Lisa walked quickly down the sidewalk, tapping the ground in front of her with her walking stick. Her boss had let her know it was dark and time to go home. She drew cover art for books and video games and was paid well because she did it all while blind. A breeze whipped her dark hair around her face, deep grey eyes stared straight ahead. She passed an alley and heard shuffling noises. There were footsteps behind her, more than one set. She swallowed nervously, but kept going. Her stick smacked against something.
“Look at this beauty.” A male voice said. It was deep and had a cockney accent.
“What are you doing out here all alone blind girl?” Another voice said from behind her. She felt someone touch her hair and swung her stick in that direction. There was a lot of laughter. “She’s feisty, I like that in a woman.”
“Stay away from me.” She screamed. The man in front if her slapped her hard enough that she spun into one of the men who pushed her. She fell on the ground and used her hand to find the building. She pressed her back against the wall and stood up. “Just leave me alone.” She swung her stick and it was snatched out of her hand. She was backhanded across the face and she fell, hitting her head. She suddenly heard screaming and the sound of running. She slipped away into the darkness she was so accustomed too.
Alin lifted her in his arms after he had calmed himself down. He’d scared the crap out of those bastards. They had never seen a real dragon. He could shift easily from dragon to human and back again. He stared down at the beautiful, pale faced young woman with ruby red eyes, his heart giving a little stutter. She was like him, but not like him. He shifted, black scales covering his skin. A wedge shaped head took the place of his and a long tail rested on the ground behind him. He unfolded black wings and took to the sky.
She woke up and felt around. She guessed she was on a bed. She panicked worried the men had raped her. Alin quickly walked over because he could see she was panicking. He tried to hug her but she hit him “No, please just let me go home!”
“You’re ok now, please calm down.” It was a voice that didn’t belong to the men who attacked her. “Who are you. Am I in a hospital?”
“No you’re in my home. I chased the men off and brought you here.”
“Why did you do that for me?”
“I wasn’t going to stand by and let you be attacked.”
“Thank you, I’m sorry I hit you.”
“It’s alright. Can I get you something to drink or eat?”
“Yes, I’d like some water please.”
“Ok, I’ll be right back.” She sat there nervous. She was grateful he helped her but she really wanted to go home. She wanted a nice shower and to try and push out of her head what just happened. She liked Alins voice. It was sweet and calming. She decided to get his number so they could be friends after he took her home. He came back with the water and handed it to her. “Thank you.”
“Not a problem atall.”
She gulped down the cool liquid. It felt good sliding down her dry throat. “I don’t usually leave work that late, but I tend to lose track of time.” She smiled and held out the glass. He took it and she heard him set it down. “You may have not noticed, but I am blind. Is it okay if I touch your face?”
“Of course.” He grabbed her hands and guided them to his face. She traced every line with her fingers, his nose and eyes and mouth. She moved her fingers over his cheeks and chin and then slid them back up to his hair. He liked her touching him.
“You carry a lot of pain don’t you?” She asked a little sad.
“What do you mean?”
“You have a frown and it feels like you do it a lot, like you hardly ever smile or haven’t smiled in a long time. Did someone hurt you?”
He grabbed her hands and pulled them away from his face. That was something he kept to himself. “How are you feeling?” He changed the subject.
“My head and face hurt a little, but other than that I’m fine.” She felt bad for being too personal. His life was none of her business. “Did you kill those men?” She asked.
“No, I chased them off. I don’t kill people unless I have too.” He saw her swallow nervously. “Would you like a shower?”
Alin lifted her in his arms and carried her into the adjoining bathroom. He switched the lights on and lowered her to her feet. He grabbed her hand and guided it to the bathtub faucet. “Cold is on the right and hot on the left. There is a middle knob that turns on the shower. There is a little shelf next where the shampoo, conditioner, and body soap are. If you need anything call for me.” He brushed her hair back out of her face. “If it is okay with you, I would like you to stay here for a couple of days until you are completely healed.” She nodded and he left the bathroom.
Lisa played with the knobs in the shower until the water was just the right temperature and turned the shower on. She let the warm water flow over her hoping it would wash away all the bad feelings she still had from her attack. She sighed as she thought about Alin he was such a kind person but what could be troubling him so? She reached for the shampoo and soap and began to wash herself. It all smelled like Alin when ever he would pick her up in his arms. She rinsed herself off and turned the knobs off before reaching for the towel Alin set on the edge of the tub and wrapped herself in its warm softness.
When she was dried off she put her clothes back on and felt her way to the bathroom door. She realized she couldn’t call for him because he hadn’t told her his name. When she got the door open she could feel Alin coming. “Why didn’t you call for me?”
“How am I supposed to call for you if I don’t know your name”
“I’m sorry, my name is Alin”
“That’s a very beautiful name” He said as he lifted her in his arms. “I’m sorry I got too personal before. I can just tell a lot when I touch somone. I’ll try not to do it again.”
“Don’t be sorry”
“If I’m going to be here awhile can you let me feel my way around so I know where I am?” He set her down and grabbed her hand “Alright.” He started guiding her around and she got a confused look on her face. “This doesn’t feel like any home I’ve been in before.”
“Well I doubt you’ve ever been in a castle before.” she laughed “You’re joking.”
“No I’m serious” He enjoyed her laugh and hoped he could make her do it more while she was with him.
The place was big and she made a mental map of it. She was incredible with direction. She felt heat and pulled her hand back. She guessed it was a fireplace. He took her past it and her fingers touched what she was sure were books. She felt very sad at that thought. She longed to read actual words. She could read braille, but she wanted to see the words. “Are you alright?” He asked, concerned.
“Sometimes being blind is hard.” She smiled up at him.
“If you had the chance to see would you take it?”
“In a heart beat. I know my blindness has given me a lot of gifts. I can draw anything after touching it. I draw covers for books and games. Everyone says they are so incredibly detailed. I would love to see what I do.”
“We’re you born blind?”
“Yes. I have been this way all my life. I used to run into everything. I had so many bumps and bruises that doctors had to tell people I wasn’t being abused. My poor parents.”
He felt bad that she couldn’t see. She probably didn’t know how pretty she was. He was enjoying guiding her around his home. She made him feel happy just by being beside him. He took her around the rest of the castle then back to her room. “Was that everything?”
“Yes, you should probably relax. You hit the ground pretty hard.”
“Are you going to leave me?”
“Only if you want me to go.”
“I’d like it if you’d stay.”
“Then I’ll stay” he said happily. He started trying to think of somthing they could do so he asked “What do you normally do at home?”
“I read my braille, draw, listen to the tv, somtimes I go outside and enjoy the sounds. All sorts of things. I wish more books came in Braille. There’s a lot of stories I don’t get to enjoy.’
“Want me to read somthing to you while you lay down?”
“Are you sure you want to do that?”
“Yes I am. I’ll be right back”
Lisa lay on the bed as he came back in. He sat down next to her and she heard him open the book. It was Through the Looking Glass. She had read it many times, but hearing someone reading it was a completely different experience. She enjoyed the low rhythmic sound of his voice. It was very soothing and she found herself drifting off to sleep.
Alin closed the book and just admired her beautiful face. He found himself wondering how the offspring of a dragon had wound up blind. She wasn’t full dragon, maybe less than half. He brushed her hair out of her face and kissed her cheek. He got up and pulled the blankets up to her chin and sat the book on the table next to the bed. He would finish the story later.
She found herself following a little whit rabbit. At least she thought it was a rabbit. From the descriptions she had heard and after playing with then she hoped she imagined it right. He kept turning and looking at her with big, dark eyes. She raced after him, calling out for him to slow down. She chased him through a maze, barely catching the end of his fluffy tail before he disappeared behind another corner. He stopped at the center and sat next to a water fountain. There was a large stone dragon at the center. She felt like crying and didn’t know why. “Another is coming, another like him.” A female voice said. “You can’t let him have you. Alin has searched for so long.” A woman with pale skin and red eyes stepped out from behind the dragon and walked along the base.
“Who are you?” She asked.
“I am his sister encased forever in stone. I gave up my search, gave into grief and turned to stone. Don’t let the other take you from him.”
“This is just a dream. Get away from me.” She backed up even though the woman looked sad. She snapped awake as she was falling out of bed. She hit the floor and gave a little yelp.
She then felt arms around her picking her off the floor “Are you ok? What happend?”
“Just a bad dream. Sorry if I scared you.”
“did you hurt yourself any more?” She laughed “I just fell out of the bed. I’ll be ok”
“Good, you slept a long time. I’m glad I insisted you relax. Are you hungry?” She nodded and he started to walk out of the room to make somthing. “Can I come with you? I don’t really want to be alone.”
“Of course you can.” He picked her up again and she layed her head on his shoulder and took a deep breath. “I bet you look really handsome. I like the way you feel and sound.” he blushed. “Thanks, is there anything your allergic to?”
“Nope. Thoughtful of you to ask.” He set her down at the table and went to the stove to begin cooking. He smiled as he cooked because he was thinking about the compliments she gave him as he carried her in there. He kept turning around to look at how beautiful she was. He thought that maybe she’d stay if he asked as long as he waited until she was all better and each day went as well as this one.
She sat there feeling very strange. She didn’t usually dream in images. It was usually just smells and sounds. It was odd seeing something, but also very exciting. She heard Alin walking into the dining room and he sat a plate down in front of her. He guided her hand to her fork and she smiled at him. He sat down next to her and they ate. “What was your nightmare about?” He asked.
“There was a woman with red eyes and long brown hair telling me another one like you was coming for me. It was very strange and terrifying.” She answered and felt the air suddenly grow tense. “What’s wrong?”
“Did this woman say who she was?”
“Your sister. She was standing on a fountain.”
“Oh no. Another senses you here because you have no mate.” She heard his chair scoot back and she was sure he stood.
“What are you talking about?”
“You wouldn’t understand even if I told you. You wouldn’t believe me.”
She reached for him and he took her hand. She stood, grabbing his face. He was worried, scared even. “Please tell me what’s going on? I deserve to know.”
“Dragons looking for a mate can sense single dragons of the opposite gender. It’s how I found you and was able to protect you from those awful men in the ally”
“You’ve already lost me. Neither of us are obviously dragons.”
“You are, I dont think you’re even half but you do have dragon in you and I well. I can change and let you feel me.” She just stood there then said “Ok” He backed away from her a little bit and changed. He stepped back twords her. Without putting a hand on him she could feel the difference. She reached her hand out and he tilted his head down for her to touch it. She couldn’t believe what she was feeling. She ran her hand down his neck and touched his body. He shifted back, grabbing her hand.
“So you only helped me because you were looking for a mate? Is that why I’m here?” He didn’t want to talk to her about this yet nore this way. She had just got there. He knew she was going to want him to take her home. “I wouldn’t have let them hurt you regardless. You don’t have to be my mate. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable or feel under pressure atall. I’ll take you home now if that’s what you want me to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for you to be. You’re so beautiful and seem so nice.” He stood there waiting for her to say anything. He was so afraid of this other dragon and of her leaving.
“Please say somthing Lisa”
“I need to be alone, to think. I’m not leaving, but I need some space.” She didn’t know how to feel or what else to say so she just turned and walked away. She walked back to her room and sat on the bed. She wondered for a moment if she had lost her mind, but shook her head to dispel that thought. She was very sane, had even talked to a couple of therapists when she was going through a rough patch with her blindness. They said she was normal, mentally healthy. She didn’t know how she felt about this whole mate thing. A woman she didn’t even know had come to her, pleading with her to stay. How could she say no to someone so full of sorrow and regret.
Alin cleared the table and raked out the dishes. He felt a sudden sense of loss that was worse than anything he had ever experienced before. He felt like crying, something he had not done since his sister had left him. She was in his garden at the center of a hedge maze, but she wasn’t alive. Only her soul had remained intact it seemed. He wanted to hit something so he quickly went to his room and changed into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and went downstairs. He had a huge gym he had had custom built. He beat on the punching bag, pouring all his anger and sorrow into each blow.
Lisa came out of her room and searched for Alin. She needed to talk to him. She could hear him downstairs so she moved slowly down each step. She followed the noise into what he had said was a gym. She could hear him hitting something. She recognized the sound. She had entered herself into a boxing class to help with the frustration she sometimes felt. She moved silently behind him and rested a hand on his shoulder. He froze and she pulled him until he turned and wrapped his arms around her. He buried his face in her neck and she just held him. “It’s okay, I’m not mad I promise. I understand why you didn’t say anything.” She said softly and he started shaking. “I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around some things, but I really understand.”
“You don’t want to go home?” His voice sounded sad and cracked a little. “No, I’d love to stay here and get to know you better. You’ve been so nice to me.” he held her tighter and a few tears ran down his face. “Aw, please don’t cry. There’s no reason to.”
“I thought you’d come back and ask me to take you home. I was so worried. I didn’t want you to leave. My home finally feels like a home with you here.” They stood there in eachothers arms for awhile. He didn’t want to pull out of it until he was sure he wasn’t going to cry. He didn’t want her to see him as baby nor did he want her to stay just because she pitied him. He felt such comfort holding her. “I’m sweaty now which I’m sure isn’t pleasant for you. I’ll go shower.”
“Ok, I’ll wait for you in my room.” He picked her up and took her to the room he had givin her. He didn’t want to let her go but didn’t want to be gross and sweaty. He went to the shower very happy she was staying. He still had a bunch of worry weighing him down though. This other dragon may be forceful and dangerous.
He finished washing the sweat from his skin and switched the shower off. He stepped out and dried then wrapped the towel around his waist. He wanted to be close to her. He went down the hall and tapped on her door. “Come in.” She said and he pushed open the door. She was sitting cross legged in the middle of the bed, breathtakingly beautiful, holding Through The Looking Glass. “Is everything okay?” She asked and frowned.
“Of course, perfect.” He crossed the room and sat in front of her.
She reached out her hand touching his chest. Her fingers found an odd shaped scar. “What’s this from?” She traced it.
“Even in today’s day and age there are still dragon hunters. I was harpooned through the chest when I was sixteen.” He grabbed her hand a pressed it flat against his chest. “It barely missed my heart. Imagine trying to explain to a doctor why it happened.”
“That sounds horrible. I’m sorry.”
“He was arrested so no worries.” He brought her fingers to his lips and kissed them. “Tell me about your blindness.”
She shrugged. “There’s something wrong with the wiring in my brain. No one has figured out how to fix it.”
“I’ll find a way to bring it back. You deserve to see.” He held her face in his hands and brushed his thumbs over her cheeks. She smiled sadly and he leaned in, kissing her softly. When she didn’t pull back he deepened the kiss and pushed her back onto the bed. A strange vibration went through the entire castle and he pulled back, growling.
“What was that?” She asked and sat up as he crawled off the bed.
He ran out the room and into the dining room where Gareth was. “I can feel her here and she obviously isn’t yours so where is she? I bet she wants a real man like me. You’re such a softie and woman want the tough guy type.” Gareth tried to rush past Alin but he grabbed him and threw him out the window. He ran after shifting into a dragon. “How perfect.” Gareth laughed and changed too. Lisa could hear them and was afraid.
She hated the aura of Gareth and hoped he got nowhere near her. She wished badly she could see what was going on. She heard a voice in her head. It was the voice of Alins sister. “You’ve got to hide. You can’t let him find you. You belong with Alin and Gareth will take you away. He’ll make you leave with him regardless of what you want.”
“Where am I supposed to go? I can’t see. I only know the inside of this castle because Alin showed me around.”
“My brother is a good man Lisa. I’ll use what’s left of my spirit to give you sight. I’ll no longer be able to help him in spirit but I think this would be the most helpful and make the two of you very happy. Please choose to be with him. I can feel his deep care for you.” Suddenly Lisa felt weird and her head started throbbing. She fell back on the bed with the pain.
She actually screamed. It felt like fire moving through her skull. She was suddenly blinded by the beautiful cream color of the room. She closed her eyes, her senses suddenly very overwhelmed. She opened them slowly, allowing them to adjust. A loud roar startled her and she jumped up, taking off at a full sprint. She found the back door and ran to the large hedge maze. She closed her eyes, remembering the path the rabbit had taken her on. She ran inside, turning corner after corner until she came to the center. The dragon statue was even more beautiful in real life. She jumped onto the base and hid behind the dragon.
Alin snapped at the larger dragon. He slashed with clawed hands and feet. The plummeted to earth, grappling with each other. Gareth managed to get him on bottom and slammed him into the ground so dirt and stone spewed up like a geyser. His vision spun and he barely caught Gareth flying away from him. He pushed himself to his feet and tried to fly. His wing was wounded. He shifted to his human form and ran.
The ground vibrated as something heavy landed close. Lisa peeked around the statue and jerked her head back quickly when she saw the large crimson scaled beast. She started shaking and hugged her knees to her chest. “I know you’re here little dragon. I can smell you and feel you. His scent is all over you, how disgusting. I’ll make sure you bathe before I make you mine.” She peeked around the dragon. He was a human now, tall and broad shouldered with a buzz cut. “Come out little dragon or I’ll destroy this whole place to find you.” She couldn’t let that happen. The statue was Alin’s sister. She stood up and walked out from behind the statue.
“Here I am.” She said, still feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything. She hopped off the fountain and stood defiantly before him. He moved closer, inhaling her scent.
“There is something off about your smell.” He said.
“I’m mostly human.”
He wrinkled his nose in disgust. “What pathetic dragon screws a human. No matter, you’re dragon enough.”
Her heart was racing as he came closer. She wasn’t sure what to do. When he was right in front of her she punched him hard in the nose. It poured blood and he yelled as she ran. Alin had caught up and tackled Gareth. They tumbled on the ground together. He wondered how she was running outside without crashing into anything. She ran into the woods looking for a place to hide from Gareth.
Even in a panic she couldn’t help but be taken away by everything she could now see. It was amazing and she couldn’t wait to see what Alin looked like. She found a huge mass of leaves and slid into them making sure to cover herself. She cowered there wishing she could turn into a dragon and help. She concentrated on it using all her will trying to change. She thought it was probably futile since she wasn’t even half dragon but she had to try.
Alin rolled on the ground with Gareth. The bigger man punch him in the face. He shifted into a dragon and trapped him with one clawed hand. He roared, long sharp teeth inches from his face. He knew he was going to die. Something white slammed into Gareth, carrying him off and rolling into the hedges. Alin managed to get to his feet and was shocked to see a small white dragon standing between him and Gareth. He could feel her energy, knew it was Lisa. She roared and swiped at Gareth.
Gareth attacked her in a rage and she grabbed his head, throwing him to the side. She slapped at him with her tail, the tip catching him across the face and cutting it open. She snapped at his face, driving him back. No one was going to take Alin from her. She swiped her claws across his chest down to his abdomen. He was covered in blood. He took to the sky, hovering there for a moment. “This is not over bitch.” He said and flew away. She felt herself shifting back, feeling weak. Her knees gave out and hands grabbed her shoulders. She lost consciousness, her vision darkening.
Alin carried her inside. He was really worried about her and was shocked she was able to turn into a dragon. It seemed like she was able to see but he thought that was impossible. He took her to his room instead of the one he gave her. He hoped she wouldn’t mind since his bed would be much more comfortable. He sat there beside her thinking how grateful he was she was able to shift. He would’ve died and she would’ve been gone.
He put a hand on her cheek and then gently kissed her lips. He had been enjoying kissing her so much when it was interupted by Gareth. He loved the taste of her even more than he loved her touch. He hoped more than anything that when she woke up she’d want to be his. He kept trying to tell himself that she passed out because that was the first time she shifted and she’d be fine and awake by morning but he couldn’t get himself to stop worrying and sleep. All the tiredness from fighting with Gareth seemed to be converting to worry about Lisa.
He put his head on her chest to listen to her heart. Even that was a sweet noise to him. He was in love with everything about her. He grabbed her hand and layed it on his face. It would be morning soon so he concentrated on falling asleep until he was finally gone. He woke up around lunchtime the next day and she was still sleeping. He could hear her beautiful heart beat so he knew she was still fine. He saw her move a little and then grab her head. Her eyes opened and they were no longer gray. “You can see?! How?!”
“Your sister.” She smiled at him and he tackled her with a kiss. His first thoughts were wondering if she liked what she saw. He hoped she hadn’t imagined someone who looked better than he actually did. He pulled back “I’m sorry, I should quit kissing you like that.” She hugged him “isn’t it normal to kiss your mate?” He couldn’t believe his ears “Are you serious? I mean are you sure?”
“Yes I’m sure unless you’ve changed your mind about me.” He hugged her tighter. She kissed his cheek “You’re very handsome. Just as handsome as I imagined.”
“You’re going to make my heart beat out of my chest Lisa.” She laughed. “So how do we go about making us official so no other assholes come?”
He kissed her again with such desperation that it took her breath away. She tangled her fingers in his hair and wrapped her legs around him to hold him close. His hands explored, setting her on fire. He kissed his way to her ear and down her neck to her shoulder. He nibbled at her collarbone and she squirmed. She felt him smile against her skin. He moved lower his mouth paying attention to both breasts, biting and nipping so she arched into him with a soft moan. He moved lower, his lips brushing over her belly button and then down so his tongue slid over and then inside her. She whimpered as his mouth moved expertly against her. He kissed his way back up and tangled his fingers in hers as he thrust into her.
He made love to her slowly, needing to take his time. Her small sighs and moans pushed his heart into overdrive. He leaned back, taking her with him so she sat in his lap. He kissed her, his lips moving gently over hers, catching every breath. They finished together and clung to each other, catching their breath. He pressed his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. He had never been so happy. “I love you Lisa. I love everything about you. I don’t know how it happened, but I am glad you can see me.” He said softly.
“You are better than I imagined.” She ran her fingers over his face, her eyes closed. “I love these eyes and this mouth. I love it when you smile. I want to see you smile a lot. No more frowning, no more pain.” She pulled back to look in his eyes. They were a beautiful shade of red. “I love you very much.” He untangled their bodies and they lay together, her head on his chest.
“How is it you can see?” He asked.
“Your sister used the rest of herself to give it to me. She wanted you to be happy.” She rested her chin on his chest.
“She was always giving so much, never thinking about herself. Hopefully she is finally at peace instead of trapped in a statue. You shifted too, a feat unheard of in someone with so little dragon blood.”
“It was strange. I had to will myself to change. It drained so much out of me, but the dragon just took over to defend you and I let it. It felt odd being something else. Maybe the next book I draw for will have dragons.”
He smiled at her, at how beautiful and happy she looked. He loved her inside and out, her heart and her soul. She was more brave than he could ever be, had faced both blindness and dragons even though both were terrifying. He had never expected to find her, had accepted he would give in and finally turn to stone like his sister. He wondered now if she had been the one forcing him to go on. He tangled his fingers in Lisa’s soft hair and kissed her. This is where he would stay forever.
They laid there together for a little while then she sat up “I want to really see where you live. Everything has already looked so amazing. Better than books describe the world. You can stay here if you want.” He got out of the bed. “I go wherever you go Lisa. I don’t want to spend a second away from you.” She smiled and they both got dressed. She excitedly walked around everywhere. It was cute for Alin to watch. He enjoyed seeing her so happy. He was going to make sure she was happy for the rest of her life.
“There’s more to see outside when you’re done in here.” She ran over to him hugging him. He hugged her back breathing in her sweet scent. She grabbed his hand and ran outside with him. She looked even more amazed than she did inside. “We have to go outside every day. There’s so much to see.”
“We can go wherever you want Lisa. Just tell me and we’ll go.”
“I can never thank you enough for being the one to rescue me or your sister enough for giving me such a gift. I have never been more happy than this moment.” It was both terrifying and exciting. She was dizzy with all the colors. She wrapped her arms around him and he held her close. “I want to see the world with you.”
“We’ll see everything, fly anywhere. There is so much you have to see, so much I want to show you. I love you with all my heart. Everything I have and everything I am is yours.” He tilted her head back and brushed his thumb over her chin. “Will you stay with me forever, tie yourself to me?” He was actually holding his breath for her answer. She could easily break him with one word.
“Yes, forever and always.” She finally said and he kissed her. His heart finally whole for the first time.
Note: Stacy Meyer also attributed to this one