“I am the blood of the dragon. I must be strong. I must have the fire in my eyes when I face them, not tears.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords
Rose felt anxious for her Little Sparrow’s suffering. Panting, Faith lay on her side on the bed mat and clung to her pillow and life. The smiling panda, the doctor gave her on her first treatment lay on the floor near Faith’s head, ragged and torn.
Visions overtook the little Dragon’s thoughts. Primordial things whispered their secrets to her. She didn’t understand but listened as the voice droned on in her head. Fever made her cold, made her hot, made her hallucinate. She thirsted. She hungered, for what, she didn’t know.
Knees appeared before her eyes. Blurry. Thighs, like walls leading to darkness, disappeared under a bright fabric. She could smell her sister. It was delicate and familiar. Comforting. Nostrils flared to take in the scent of her Dragon Sister. The tongue flickered to sample the air. She felt comforted by the fragrance of cloth and skin that filled her nose.
Hands caressed her face with a damp cloth. Water. She craved water on her skin. The pheromone changed. There was another. Behind her. She felt it. Familiar. The hunger, the thirst, the smell. Familiar.
Rose massaged her Little Sparrow. A song chased away the strange chant in Faith’s head. A soothing warmth penetrated her back and flushed through her body. Sighs formed in her throat. Sensations and the essence of Jasmine and Rose flooded her with relief. The Dragon was safe amongst her kind. She rested and listened to the whispers around her.
“Is Little Sparrow going to die?” Jasmine asked as she traced the curve of Faith’s neck with the wet cloth.
“No, she is deep in the Dragon. It will release her soon,” Rose replied as she continued to rub Faith’s back.
“She has already taken so many treatments and each time she sinks deeper into these trances.” Jasmine worried aloud.
“The Dragon’s blood affects her in a different way than it does us. It seems more powerful and more consuming,” Rose offered. The heel of her hand pushed against the knots in Faith’s back. “Look how she develops before our eyes.” The Dragon Mother ran her hand over Faith’s leg. “She has beautiful legs instead of those chopsticks from a year ago.”
“My legs are bigger and stronger,” Jasmine offered with a hint of jealousy.
“You are already a young woman. Faith is still a child. Besides, your legs are not the only thing growing and catching the eye of men,” Rose replied with a spare smile and glint in her eyes.
Satisfied with Rose’s approval of her, Jasmine went back to caring for Faith. She didn’t know why she felt so competitive. Jasmine envied Rose’s sway over men. The young woman wanted that power too and desired the men for herself. The fire in her stomach filled her thoughts when they came to her. She had come into season with her Dragon and desire filled her heart and head.
Jasmine felt pleasure with her visitors. She loved the feel of them on her body and the wildness of their lust. Still, the Dragon wanted to tear them to shreds with fingers and teeth to protect her sister from their lustful eyes and eager hands.
She wanted them to come to her and leave her Dragon Mother and sister alone. The Dragon in Jasmine was potent too. She felt a bond so close she sensed their emotions even before she saw or felt them. The three Dragons were bonding the same as in the animal world. They sought each other’s comfort whenever they were near or needy.
“Next month the doctor comes to test us.” Rose offered.
“I don’t want him to touch me anymore. His test takes me to dark places. Why does he have to do that to us? Can’t he find a better way? He’s a doctor; he should know.” Jasmine’s anger caused her pupils to close in a vertical ellipsis. Her irises flickered between a hazel and golden hue.
“The tests are not pleasant for a reason, dear. The pain awakens the Dragon so Dr. Aristov can judge how to treat us,” Rose answered. She thought for a moment and continued. “In your class, you have a book and a teacher as well as your classmates. Everyone studies and the teacher can guide the class and classmates can help each other.”
Rose looked into the simmering eyes of her adopted daughter. Their shared pain was one thing, but Faith was a child. Jasmine was right, she thought. Her Little Sparrow should not be touched in that way before she is old enough to understand the meaning of it.
Rose looked down at Faith. She was calm and distant. The massage and damp cloth had relaxed her. She looked back to Jasmine and continued.
“For us, there is no book to study. We have no teacher to guide us, and we are the only classmates. We must learn on our own what it means to live with a Dragon.”
“How will we learn what to do if we don’t know what is to become of us?” Jasmine asked.
“I will go to Master Chingis. He will talk with Master Aristov. We will find a way to engage the Dragon inside us without the doctor’s tests. Dr. Aristov is not an evil man. His goal is noble but the path is dark and filled with uncertainty. Faith will get her first blood within a year, and the lessons of pain must begin. I think these smart men can find a better way, but we will look for our way too.”
“I want to start now. What should we do now?” Jasmine pleaded.
“We must wait for Little Sparrow to come out of her trance. We’ll do this together,” Rose replied.
“Remember, the Dragon is a fierce animal, but she is one that responds to habit and training. We will train our Dragons to do our bidding and become our faithful companion and not the demon tormenting our soul.” Rose’s eyes glowed in the dim light as Jasmine looked on.
“How will we train our Dragon?” She asked.
“By training ourselves.”
“Tomorrow, I will go to Master Chingis, and we will begin when I get back.”
The two Dragons refocused their attention on Faith. They soothed her flushed skin and sang to her. The Littlest Dragon lie still on the floor lost in dreams brought on by the Dragon’s blood in her veins. The chimeras in her mind were not the illusions of humans. They were the dreams of Dragons.
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