LAST DRAGON FLYING
“What have you done!”
Seymour of the Dracon looked up from the buffet table to find a crowd of rather angry humans gathered. Nearly encircling his companion and him, actually, so that they were pinned between the banquet table and the wide window through which they’d entered the room. Some of the men had drawn swords, while others fingered the gilded, bejeweled handles of knives in tooled leather sheaths at their belts. Ladies gowned in silk and satin of rich shades pressed at their menfolk’s backs, equally lethal looks glittering in their eyes.
Seymour hastily licked a telltale drop of ruby au jus from the corner of his mouth, then ran a tentative tongue along the points of his long-pointed teeth, ensuring that no embarrassing bit of the tender meal remained between them. Before an audience it seemed impolite to pick between the ivory mass with a talon as was his usual custom.
He glanced aside at his lovely companion, a truly awe-inspiring dragoness with her ebon scales tipped with opal fire and eyes like liquid flame. Wilva shrugged, indicating she was as clueless as he when it came to the obviously irate human’s question.
“Done?” Seymour asked. He glanced around the candle lit room, noting as if for the first time that he and Wilva were the only dragons present. “Ah, yes. You’ve caught us out.” He chuckled slightly. “We are indeed crashing your little party.”
“We are what?” Wilva demanded sharply. “You invited me to dinner with no intention of paying?”
Seymour felt his green-brown scales take on a bright shade of pink. “I wanted you to have the best, dearest, but the way the economy is currently for dragonkind…”
She crossed her arms across her chest and drummed talons tinted a royal purple against them in irritation. The low growl issuing from her throat did not bode well for his courtship.
The man made a similar sound, although Seymour doubted the human had mating in mind. Not that Wilva did any longer, at least where he was concerned. Mentally, he sighed with disappointment.
“Fine, all right,” Seymour declared. “I’ll pay for the feast.”
“Pay?” The man sounded as if he were strangling on the word. He took two bold steps forward so that he stood a yard ahead of the rest of the crowd. None of whom looked particularly friendly, Seymour noted. “You can’t just pay for eating the princess!”
“Princess?” Seymour echoed.
The man pointed a finger at the entrée on the buffet table. His hand shook with fury. “Yes! Princess Snow White.”
Seymour looked down at the remnants of the meal. “She was on the buffet table. She was dead.”
“Only temporarily,” the man insisted. “We were waiting for the prince to arrive, so he could awaken her with love’s first kiss.”
“But she was dead,” Seymour persisted, trying for clarification.
“Technically, yes,” the man admitted, “but…”
“And she was on the buffet table.”
“It isn’t a buffet table!”
“Certainly, it is,” Wilva said. “She wasn’t the only eatable on the board. There was this lovely basket of apples.”
“Poisoned apples,” the man declared. “Snow White took one bite and –”
“Ah, that explains that mysterious spice we thought was in the sauce,” Wilva murmured to Seymour. “It was quite tasty.”
“What sauce?” the human shouted.
“This stuff,” Seymour said, dabbing up a bit of red from his chest and licking it from his talon.
“Blood! I’m telling you, she wasn’t irrevocably dead yet!”
“But she is now,” someone in the crowd pointed out. “There’s not enough of her left to evoke.”
“Serves her right,” another anonymous voice said. “I heard she was living with seven single men.”
The man standing ahead of the crowd spun on his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter who she lived with any more!” he snarled. “What matters is that we enact revenge for Snow White’s death!”
“On the witch who brought the apples?” one of them asked.
“NO! On them!” he declared as he drew his sword and, swinging back to face the dragons, pointed the accusing blade at Seymour and Wilva.
Wilva’s irritation evaporating, she clutched Seymour’s arm. “What shall we do?”
At that moment, the main door to the hall was flung open and a rather overdressed dandy in a plumed hat and thigh high boots strode manfully into the room. “Sorry I’m late, all,” he said. “Now where is this princess you want me to kiss?”
Seymour pushed his lady love toward the wide window at their backs. “We fly,” he announced.
A moment later the castle grounds were far below them, although the insults and curses thrown by the angry crowd still rang in their ears.
“So,” Seymour murmured, matching Wilva wing stroke for wing stroke beneath the stars, “want to go back to my cave? I’ve got some very nice talon etchings you might like to see.”
“No,” she said. “Considering the sort of evening you’ve shown me thus far, you probably scratching them out yourself this afternoon as a backup plan to lure me to your home.”
Considering that was exactly what he had done, Seymour was unsure what answer would be a safe one.
But Wilva was quite ready to chew her own bone. One of contention, he realized. “I’m in great demand, you know,” she told him. “There are only a claw’s worth of females in our world and every one of you males has tried to nest with me. But I do not plan to settle for just any dragon. I want a mate who has proven he is a good provider, who has horded riches to keep a family safe and comfortable in this dark age.”
Seymour saw his chances of mating take a dive, plummeting in a death spiral. “It’s difficult to stockpile gold, silver, and gems in the market today,” he cautioned.
“Not that difficult,” a new voice said.
It was only then that Seymour noticed they were not alone in the night sky. A rather sleek bat was matching them stroke for stroke.
“Hope you don’t mind that I eavesdropped,” the bat said. “I’d intended to speak with you at the party back there, but the situation got out of hand before I could.”
Wilva turned her lovely head to peer at the creature. “You were there?”
The bat nodded. “You bet, dollface. I was there for a taste of the main attraction but you two beat me out.”
“You mean you were planning on a little bite of Snow White yourself?” Seymour asked. “You a vampire bat?”
The bat shook its head. “Just a vampire in bat’s clothing at the moment. Makes traveling easier, unless I need my casket along. So, how was her claret?”
“Delightful,” Wilva answered. “A bit sweet but the poison from the apple added a nice kick.”
The bat sighed. “Damn. Still, I could use the two of you in my line of business.”
“Oh, sure,” Seymour said dryly. “Everybody who wants a princess thinks finding one and flying off with her is easy pickings for a dragon. It’s not all that easy.”
“Then lucky for you, that’s not the job I had in mind,” the bat said. “I’m looking for gold and willing to cut you in for twenty percent.”
Wilva laughed. “Then you’ll have to look elsewhere for partners. We don’t work that cheap.”
“We?” Seymour asked faintly, barely daring to hope.
“Okay,” the bat said. “Twenty-five. I’m the one who’s done all the research; the one who knows where the goods are.”
“And we are the ones risking our lives to retrieve it,” she declared. “Sixty-five percent.”
“We?” Seymour murmured again.
“Forty,” the bat offered.
Wilva eyed Seymour. “Can you take orders when they are given?”
Suddenly incapable of speech because of the lump of emotion stuck firmly in his throat, Seymour nodded mutely.
“That’s all I needed to know,” she said and turned back to the bat. “Sixty percent.”
~ ~ ~
They settled on an even split of fifty-fifty with Harold, for so the vampire was called he was embarrassed to admit, providing the information on the goods, Wilva planning the execution of the caper, and Seymour taking all the chances, that is, doing the dogsbody’s work.
If it would win him a mate, Seymour was willing to do whatever was necessary. He knew he wasn’t the best-looking dragon in the sky, nor the brightest bulb on the planet, but he was determined. He was, at heart, a family man.
“There’s this goose,” Harold told them once they’d all landed at his lair, a rather nice castle in an undesirable part of the country. The landscaping was a bit overgrown, the décor gothic (that is to say extremely old hat), and Harold could have done with a housekeeper or two to battle the cobwebs. He’d had a couple once, he said, but they’d been dinner one cold winter’s eve.
“A goose?” Seymour bleated. “I thought you said gold was involved.”
“Perhaps it needs to be kidnapped and held for ransom,” Wilva suggested. “It must be worth something to someone. A favored pet? Or does it do tricks?”
“It does one dandy trick,” Harold told them. “It lays golden eggs.”
The dragons exchanged a look. Wilva’s was one of satisfaction, Seymour noted. His had simply been adoring, though he doubted she noticed.
Wilva produced a piece of parchment and a quill from a leather pouch strung across her shoulder, grabbed a carelessly brave rat from a corner and stabbed the quill into a convenient artery. “Give me the details,” she ordered.
Harold, who was no longer in bat form, looked hungrily at the blood dripping from her quill and leaking from the rat, but restrained the sudden desire for a snack. Business came first, with sustenance second.
“There’s this giant, lives outside of Cloud City. The goose is his. I sent a kid named Jack after it, but he got the wrong goose. The place is easy to find though because the kid over did the fertilizer on a bean plant then climbed up it. There can’t be too many stalks that tall around. Check to make sure you’ve got the right goose though, hmm? Hate for you to have to make another trip.”
Wilva scribbled away, occasionally recoating the tip of the quill with rat juice, until the parchment was covered in undecipherable red scratches. “Absolutely. Efficiency is our byword, isn’t it, Seymour?”
Seymour felt it was safer to simply nod in reply, but he did have one question. “How will I be able to tell if I’ve got the right goose?”
Wilva rolled her eyes. “You pick it up and if there is a golden egg in the nest, you’ve got the right one, idiot.”
The vampire left them to their plans and within no time at all Seymour found himself winging his way to the bean fields. Fortunately, Harold subscribed to the local agrarian news and had saved the article featuring a woodcut of a beaming Jack standing next to his overgrown produce. He’d won first prize at the fair for a grotesquely large bean pod. Oddly enough there was another story about the young farmer’s mysterious disappearance. His family suspected rival farmers had something to do with it, but Seymour felt Harold the Vampire was the true culprit. He looked very well-fed and was certainly unconcerned about Jack’s current whereabouts. The articles, fortunately, gave the general direction in which Seymour should fly: West.
Wilva’s instructions were simple. Find the giant’s place, check each goose’s nest, then grab the poultry and hightail it back. She thought it an assignment he could do without being directly beneath her eye. She would wait for him at the vampire’s home, enjoying a box of chocolates and reading the latest issue of Draconian Amours.
It took him barely an hour to reach his destination. The size of the bean stalk made it visible – to even human eyes – from twenty miles away. It was big, but certainly not sturdy enough to hold a dracon, which Seymour felt was a shame. There were so many popular ballads sung about gallant lovers scaling a variety of pseudo ladders to win the love of a good woman. Or rescue her. Unfortunately, Wilva didn’t need rescuing. Still, it would have added a bit of gusto to the caper to claw his way up the stalk, or a shining skein of flaxen hair.
He flew up it instead, simply using the plant as a beacon that pointed the way to the riches of which he’d come to abscond.
The giant’s land was a bit foggy, with billowing bits of cloud rising in place of hills or dales as in the land of men…the land of the dracon. Seymour felt it was a bit damp. His sinuses showed their distaste for the air. To clear them, Seymour snorted a bit of fire to dry them out, then belatedly hoped the blast hadn’t given him away. But there was no sign of activity, or even habitation, at the house. Perhaps the giant was away on business.
To be on the safe side, Seymour lurked, waiting in the lee of what might be a building thunderhead, upwind of any livestock as he scoped out the lay of the place. Poultry of many colors pecked at grains hidden from his eyes by the mist. Their plumage would make dandy decorations on a hat, he thought, or a truly awesome cape boasting all the colors of the rainbow. He wondered how many feathers it would take to drape Wilva’s admirable scales. While he was engaged in a bit of mental calculation, not his strongest subject at Drak Academy, the goose made its appearance.
Seymour knew it was the goose he’d been sent to nab. There could be no mistaking it. The bird was proud, a strut in its waddle as it crossed the misty yard. A collar of highly polished bronze encircled its long throat, glistening when a beam of sunlight penetrated the foggy air.
Jack, he decided, had deserved to be a vampire’s meal for overlooking such a telling feature. Still, it was best to check. Since the bird was off its nest, there was only one way to ensure he was not making a mistake.
When the goose waddled within snatching distance, Seymour’s taloned fist encircled the bird’s long neck and deftly flipped it over. His dragon’s eye was attuned to the glitter of fine gold, and Seymour was fairly sure he caught a glimpse of a richly toned egg readying itself for delivery, but he looked closer to make sure.
Goose down tickled his nose, fanned in by the bird’s frantic flapping of its wings. Seymour glared it into petrified submission and spread his own wings for the flight home.
All the way back to the vampire’s lair, his nose twitched. His eyes began to run with tears that had nothing to do with sailing directly into the wind. He was quite relieved when he touched down on Harold’s battlements as the sun set and was able to present his prize to his waiting lady love and their vampire host.
“One goose with golden egg in production,” he announced, holding the stunned goose out before him.
Which is when it happened. The sneeze.
The sneeze that cooked his goose in more ways than one.
The reflex, caused by an hour of direct contact with goose down, sent a spurt of uncontrolled fire blasting free from his snout. Both Wilva and Harold leapt to the side, out of the path of danger.
The goose lacked that option. Catching the full strength of the quick burn, the bird went from prize to barbecued delight within five seconds. Rather than spicy sauce, molten gold dripped from the carcass.
Seymour stared blankly at the tasty smelling remains of the goose, then switched his gaze to Wilva and the vampire.
“You idiot!” Wilva growled.
Harold recovered his aplomb quickly though. “Gesundheit,” he said. “A shame, but geese aren’t the most pleasant creatures to care for. No doubt I would have tired of it soon, or found the eggs of inferior karat. We’ll have better luck with the next caper. You see, there is this girl who has the ability to spin straw into gold.”
Ignoring Seymour and the steaming goose in his fist, Wilva looked around for a handy creature to puncture with her ever ready quill.
~ ~ ~
She allowed him to rest overnight before departing on kidnapping duty. This time the direction given was toward the dawn.
“Don’t think of it as stealing the girl,” Harold told him the next morning before the sun crested the mountain. “She’s being held against her will by some troll named Rumpelstiltskin.”
“A troll?” Seymour knew his voice had wavered.
“Not a real troll,” the vampire assured him. “His personality just has a lot in common with a troll.” Harold glanced around the nearly empty rooftop. “Cupcake not seeing you off?”
“She’s not a morning person,” Seymour said.
“Gotcha. I’m not much of one either,” Harold admitted, one eye on the growing glow to the East. “I’ve got this skin condition. A sun allergy. You understand allergies, right, champ?”
Considering the fate of the goose the day before, Seymour manfully owned up. Yes, it seemed he did have an allergy.
“Should I worry about this Rumpelstiltskin guy?” he asked.
“Naw. You’re a dragon, dude. Big, mighty, fire-breathing. Tell the girl you’re there to emancipate her, free her from The Man.”
“So you aren’t going to make her spin gold?”
The vampire scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous. Of course, I am. Which reminds me, don’t forget to bring her spinning wheel along. Her trick might not work with just any spindle.”
Seymour duly nodded and launched into the sky.
By noon he’d located her through the simple expedient of stalking, cornering, and nearly petrifying a villager. “Girl, spinning wheel, hay, gold,” he told the quivering human. He’d found it was best not to speak in full sentences to the breed, but to get right to the point.
The man relaxed right away. “Oh, her,” he said. “What do you plan to do with her? Have her for lunch?”
Actually, after the fiasco of the Snow White buffet, Seymour wasn’t feeling inclined toward damsel delight presently. A nice Holstein sounded much tastier.
“No, just sent to steal her,” he admitted.
“Good riddance either way,” the villager said. “With her out of the picture, maybe the godfather will move on, too.”
“Godfather?” Seymour echoed.
“Rumpelstiltskin. Racketeer extraordinaire. We’ve been looking for someone to put him out of business.”
“Well, I’m the man…er, dragon for the job,” Seymour said. “Where do I find her?”
The villager led him to the door of the stable where she worked, just so he wouldn’t make a mistake and take someone the townsfolk wanted to keep. Seymour appreciated the help.
It was a simple snatch and grab -- girl in one claw, spinning wheel in the other – and he was off.
~ ~ ~
The sun had set by the time they reached the vampire’s abode, but Wilva and Harold were waiting on the battlements, idly sharing a snack of freshly caught rodents.
“There he is,” Harold announced, passing over the gerbil he’d finished draining of blood. “And he’s got both the girl and the goods.”
“About time,” Wilva grumbled before tossing the limp gerbil down her throat.
Seymour set the girl on her feet and placed the spinning wheel out of harm’s way before approaching his partners. “One deed nicely done,” he said.
Wilva scowled. “Sure you got the right one?”
“Quite sure,” Seymour declared, deciding it would be best not to mention the helpful villager. “Ask her yourself.”
“Ask me what?” the girl demanded, shaking out her rather tawdry skirts before tossing her hair away from her face. She was rather pretty, Seymour noted, for a human.
Wilva lowered her head so that dragon eye met human eye. The girl didn’t even flinch, which Seymour found an admirable trait as he most certainly would have considering the suspicion glinting in his beloved’s narrowed gaze.
“Are you the girl who spins straw into gold?” the dragoness asked. Well, asked is probably too polite a term for it, but the word will suffice here.
The girl smirked. “Yes and no,” she said. “I’m the one Rumply claims can work such magic.”
“Claims?” Harold repeated. Seymour was sure he heard the vampire’s dreams begin to crack and fall to the floor in a clatter, his voice quavered so.
“Yeah,” she admitted. “Rumply’s a fence and I’m the cover for his operation. He takes stolen goods, melts them down, and passes them off as newly minted by my spindle. I believe he’s got a moll combing pure silver from her hair and a giant crushing coal into diamonds somewhere, too. At least they are as far as the gullible public is concerned.”
Seymour saw his hopes being dashed upon rocky shores once more. Without a steady income of gold pouring into his purse, Wilva would look elsewhere for a mate.
“So, you can’t spin straw into gold?” Seymour murmured with disappointment.
“Heck,” the girl said. “I can’t spin wool much less straw. I’m just window dressing.”
“And therefore, of no use to us,” Wilva declared. She went so far as to flick her tongue in a hungry fashion.
The girl, sensibly, backed away.
Which is when Harold the Vampire stepped between slavering dragoness and cringing human.
“She’s of use to me, madam,” he announced boldly.
“We’ll share,” Wilva said. “As we did with the gerbils.”
The vampire frowned and shook his head. “I don’t intend to drink her claret. Well, not yet anyway,” he confessed, his voice lowered so that the girl wouldn’t overhear. “But I’m a fence myself and can use the same dodge to get rid of hot goods.”
“That’s all well and good for you, but what about us?” Wilva snarled. “We’re still out of pocket.”
“If we had pockets,” Seymour murmured.
Wilva threw him a quelling glance.
“No, no, you won’t be, dollface,” the vampire said. “I’ve got this other caper in mind. This time it means taking over a territory though, which is why I saved it for last. There’s this tree that bears golden apples.”
“Ah.” Wilva sighed, contented once more. “Bushels of gilded fruit.”
“Well, the yield is piddly, just three apples a season,” Harold said, “but they’re big ones and guaranteed unadulterated 24 karat. Interested?”
From the glow in his lady love’s eyes, Seymour knew they were interested. Wilva spared the remaining gerbil long enough to scratch out her notes, then tossed the critter to Seymour as a reward. As he gulped it down, the dragon watched Harold lead the girl away. The vampire was looking quite fondly at the slender column of her neck.
~ ~ ~
Wilva waited until Harold and his snack had vanished below before she crooked a claw at Seymour. “We’re leaving,” she said. “And we’re taking the tree for our own this time.”
“But Harold did the research,” Seymour protested. “Is it ethical to cut him out?”
“Is it ethical to steal for his gain?” Wilva countered. “He’s happy. He’s got the girl and can con the populace all he wants with her aid. You think he won’t hear from that Rumpelstiltskin person? The man will be on the doorstep with his lawyers and a handful of wooden stakes before Harold knows what happened. Let him deal with the repercussions of the thefts without our help. You weren’t happy stealing for him, were you?’
He’d been stealing for her. “No,” Seymour said. “But this is stealing from him.”
“Nonsense,” Wilva declared. “Taking territory is a time-honored tradition, even among the humans. The strongest always takes what they want, and I want that apple tree. It’s a guaranteed income for life. For us and for our dragonettes.”
“Our dragonettes?” Seymour repeated, his head spinning with the notion. Mating! A family! His dream come true!
“If you take possession of the tree,” she said, qualifying the promise.
Seymour barely heard the if. It was only when the infamous tree was in sight that he began to wonder exactly whose territory he would now have to take. Would Wilva be disappointed in him if he negotiated a deal rather than perform a one dragon enactment of the Battle of Agincourt?
“I’ll go in first to see if the tree is real,” Wilva said. “You hide.”
“Hide,” Seymour repeated blankly. The tree stood alone on the top of a hill miles away from the nearest forest. There wasn’t even a barn handy for his needs.
Wilva gestured him off impatiently. “Go,” she ordered.
Fortunately, there was a handy field of ripe wheat, the stalks waving in the breeze. Not that they were tall enough to totally cover him, but for once his natural coloring of green and brown would make him look like a small hill once his head was hidden among the grain. Well, the disguise would work with anyone who wasn’t familiar with the field, but Seymour didn’t see that he had any other option. Stealthily he crept into hiding as Wilva made a grand entrance, her jet-black wings spread and glinting in the sun as she daintily lowered herself from the sky.
Not bothering to even glance around, she stepped up to the tree and reached for an apple that glowed such a warm color it would put a Golden Delicious to the blush.
Yet, before she could pluck it free, a blood red fist with long, curved midnight talons curled around her claw. “Not so fast, sweetcakes,” a deep dragon voice said.
Yes, a deep dragon voice! For low and behold a mighty beast of scarlet and jet had appeared out of nothingness.
Wish I could do that, Seymour thought. He also was impressed with the size of his rival, for there was no doubt that the other dracon was indeed a rival. Wilva was nearly fawning on the beast as she stared up at him. Yes, up, for the other dragon was a full head taller than she and looked like he wrestled krakens for fun – and always won.
By comparison Seymour had a build the equivalent of an accountant’s part time mailroom clerk. His options were to remain where he was, hoping the Scarlet Rippernel wouldn’t notice his field had acquired a new mound of dirt, and lose the dragoness of his dreams, or risk his life in a challenge.
Eww, tough one. If Harold had been there, Seymour was sure the vampire would have counseled him to throw in the towel – even if he hadn’t one on him. But Harold was off licking the non-gold spinning girl’s neck. Seymour was on his own. Am I mouse or dracon? he asked himself as Big Red smooched a simpering Wilva’s claw.
Without conscious thought, Seymour pushed to his feet, spread his wings and gritted his long sharp teeth. “Unhand that maiden,” he roared and flew straight at the pair.
“Back off, brownie,” the red said as Seymour’s face rammed itself into the other dragon’s fisted claw.
Well, that’s the way Seymour saw it.
Sprawled at the foot of the tree, Seymour waited for the stars to stop dancing before his eyes. “She’s mine, you know,” he informed the red. “We’ve been adventuring together, sharing meals. The word nest has dropped like a pearl from her lips within my hearing.”
Wilva looked repulsed; Big Red was amused.
“I don’t think she’s interested in you any longer,” the larger dragon said.
“I never was,” Wilva confessed. “I was just along for a meal and the gold, waiting for a better dragon to come along.” She fluttered long lashes at the red who towered over her. “I think one just did.”
Her words had the same effect as a knight galloping his charger full tilt at our downed hero for Seymour felt as if a steel tipped lance had been rammed right into his heart. His jaw dropped open in shock. To add insult to injury, the apple tree bopped him on the head with a quite heavy, solidly built, large golden apple.
That’s when Seymour’s brain decided to kick into action. Freed of the shackles of love, it whirled with ideas, plotting, planning, and came up with what Seymour was forced to admit was a diabolical solution.
Slowly Seymour pushed back to his feet. “It appears I’ve been taken in by a gold-digging floozy,” he said. “She’s all yours, buddy.”
The red flashed all his long pointy teeth in a smile. “She always was, pal,” he declared and turned all his attention to Wilva.
Which was just what Seymour wanted him to do.
Pretending to be about to leave, Seymour looked back over his shoulder. “Hey, Red,” he called. “I’ve got one question for you.”
“Yeah?” the larger dragon drawled.
“Can you catch?”
But it was already too late for the red to answer. Seymour had thrown the golden apple he’d hidden in his claw. His aim was true and his speed, if measured, would have clocked out at well over a hundred miles an hour. The fruit shot down the double line of the red’s glistening teeth, barely grazing his slavering tongue, and rammed into his throat – where it stuck. When the larger dragon toppled over, the ground beneath Seymour’s feet heaved as if it were a carpet being shaken out by a giantess.
Wilva fluttered around the downed dragon, unable to help him dislodge the deadly apple. “What have you done?” she cried – all right, snarled – at Seymour.
“Simply took a page out of the Snow-White lexicon,” he said and calmly plucked the remaining two pieces of friut from the tree. “I killed him with an apple.”
But Wilva’s attention span was equally short when it came to the scarlet dragon. She was now drawn to the produce clutched in Seymour’s claws. “You’ve got the golden apples,” she murmured almost reverently.
“All but the one I’m letting Red there keep,” Seymour said though his generous offer had more to do with being squeamish about recovering it from his rival’s corpse. Rather than even glance at the red’s remains, Seymour polished one of his treasures against his chest until it gleamed even more brightly. “I’m not greedy,” he told Wilva. “Two are enough to keep me quite comfortable for a lifetime.”
“Oh, Seymour,” Wilva sighed. “I knew all along you were the mate for me. Where shall we build that nest?”
“Build it anywhere you choose, for frankly, my dear,” Seymour said as he spread his wings and lifted free of terra firma, “I wouldn’t have you for a mate if you were the last dragon flying.”
Last Dragon Flying © 2009 Beth Daniels / J.B. Dane
Cover Design and Interior Layout: Beth Daniels
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information and storage retrieval system (such as file sharing), without permission in writing from the author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.