Wareine had just spent the day with a group of friends and was now exhausted. He decided instead of going home he would just sleep where he was so he laid on his back and stared at the stars until sleep overcame him. In one of his dreams hot, disgusting smelling wind started blowing against him. He was gagging and flying away, trying to get out of it but he absolutely couldn’t. His eyes snapped open only realizing it was a dream when he saw an overly large white wolf over him. It growled causing Wareine to yelp and back away on all fours. He had been consumed with the wolf until he heard a male and female voice laughing hysterically. “come now Kuri, I think he’s had enough” The gorgeous elven woman said through her laughter. The wolf ran to her with all the enthusiasm of a puppy.
Embarrassed he became annoyed ‘what the hell was that?’ he snapped at her. “that will teach you to mess with my brother. You’re always playing pranks on him at his shop. You hurt his business” Wareine now actually looked at the guy “oh you baby, calling someone else into this. I was just playing.”
“I didn’t tattle. I tell my sister everything and we so happened to see you sleeping so she decided to play a prank back. Don’t tell me you can’t take what you dish”
“How pitiful” Dacia said with a head shake and small chuckle.
“One who hides behind a woman has no right to tell me anything.” He said still glaring at him. “I will get back at you, remember that.”
“You should leave my brother alone.” Dacia interjected.
“He should learn to fight his own battles.” The wolf growled at him and the woman crossed her arms over her chest.
“I am allowed to defend my brother.”
“And I am allowed to to mess with him from time to time.” They stared each other down, neither of them relenting until Dacia’s brother grabbed her shoulder.
“Just let it go Dacia.”
“Fine, but if any harm comes to my brother I will gut you.”
Wareine rolled his eyes. “Oh yes because I am prone to murdering people who tick me off.” He sighed, knowing he was being childish and making her worry for no reason. He wasn’t a violent person, at least not until he needed to be. “Just go and take your coward of a brother with you.”
“as he said he didn’t ask anything of me. We saw you and I sent Kuri of my own accord” she walked off with her brother and wolf, not wanting to fight with this annoying and childish man any further. She could feel how ruffled Kuri was and scratched behind his ear “all is fine”
“I cant stand him”
“I can see clearly now why” Wareine tried to lay back down but he kept thinking of that elves sister and how she looked at him. He had gotten disapproving looks from many people and couldn’t care less but with her, it annoyed him so he was stuck awake, frustrated and unaware of what he could do about it. Apologizing was out of the question. It would be a frigid day in hell before he uttered the words I’m sorry to such a weakling
The next morning Wareine decided to pay a visit to Mabon’s shop. He was happy to see that Dacia and that wolf were nowhere to be found and snuck up behind Mabon, shoving him into his shop as he unlocked the door. “Wareine, what do you want? Still sore?”
Wareine waved his hand. “I’m not here for childish games, tell me about your sister.”
Wareine reached into his pocket and pulled out a small bag. He tossed it on the counter, the metal inside clinking together. “If you know about dragon’s and treasure then you know this is serious. You brought your sister into this so tell me about her.”
“Are you trying to apologize or something?”
“Like hell.” He crossed his arms. “I just want some payback.” He lied. He was starting to get irritated. “I’m not going to hurt her.”
“What’s the treasure for?”
“It’s gold and some gems, just use it for whatever.”
He smiled “You feel bad for upsetting her.”
“One more comment and I’m taking it back”
“Okay okay, I’ll tell you about my sister” He may not like Wareine a lot but his sister didn’t need protecting. She could decide if she liked him or not. “That wolf has been her best friend since we were small children. Just as fair warning if he thinks you’re going to hurt her he wont hesitate to hurt you” Wareine just stared, not saying anything. Um, she doesn’t get along with our sister well but thats my other sisters fault.”
“Well I don’t have an amazing relationship with Claudius so whatever”
“Claudius? King Claudius?”
“yes?” Wareine acted as if it were weird that gave him pause. “well damn, you’ve never mentioned that. I didn’t even know he had a brother”
“In fairness it took him so long to get with Queen Cantaly because I told her he was gay”
“You seriously have no limits with your games do you?”
He waved his hand. “My brother will always forgive me no matter what and besides, I promised not to mess with Cantaly again.”
“Maybe if you grew up you’d get a long more.”
Wareine rolled his eyes. “Anything else I should know?”
“She’s really smart, her favorite color is blue, she was the wild child out of us. Not like drinking and stuff, but like climbing trees, jumping off cliffs, that sort of thing. She’s not scared of anything. She does like to have fun, but not your kind of fun. She likes exploring.” He rubbed his neck. “I’d be careful, she might kill you.”
“I can handle anything and certainly any woman” Wareine shook his head “Okay then, today she’s taken Kuri to let him play. Normally that puts her one of two places. She’ll have him by the first big river you come to when you enter the woods to the north of here or she’s taken him to that really large meadow, the nearest one to town. If she’s not in either place though he didn’t want to play at either place and just led her off. I can’t help you if shes not at one of those places” As Wareine left Mabon’s shop he lifted teh bag of dragons treasure. His sister must have left a really good impression on him. This was an apology regardless of it he would admit it.
Dacia hid in the tall grass, her body completely still as she listened for Kuri. This game kept them both sharp. She heard his sniffing and jumped out and onto the wolf’s back. “Got you.” She said as the wolf twisted this way and that trying to dislodge her. It was all in good fun and she knew Kuri wouldn’t hurt her. It was like rough housing with her siblings. The wolf fine fell into the grass, rolling so she let go. He then dropped down on her and she coughed as he went completely limp.
“Kuri, heavy, off.” The wolf yipped and licked her face, making her laugh. “No, stop you goofy wolf.”
Wareine was surprised at how disappointed he was at not finding Dacia in the woods. He had hoped he would instantly find her and that would be it. He was troubled by being bothered by her. “Get yourself together.” He snapped under his breath.
He took off for the second place her brother had mentioned. He wanted to see her, hoped more than he would like to be around her today. He wasn’t used to caring so much about what someone else thought or if he was near them. When he landed he could smell her but could tell it was a lingering scent. He had missed his chance to see her here and groaned. He wanted to track her but he was too proud. He wouldn’t let her see he cared enough to follow her scent so he could see her today. He went home, being led by that pride that so often got him in trouble.
Before he could even sit, someone was knocking on his front door and he groaned, quickly answering it. It was his brother. “Claudius.”
“Someone looks like he’s in a bad mood, I’ll just come back later then.”
He sighed. “What’s up? Did something happen?”
“Cantaly wanted to invite you to dinner.”
“And you didn’t.”
“That’s not true.” Claudius rolled his eyes. “You haven’t come by lately, come eat with us tonight. I’m asking, please join us. We should catch up.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Cantaly things we should spend more time together since we’re siblings. Family is important to her.”
He opened his mouth to say he would think about it then had a thought. “Could you invite two others. One is Mabon, you may know his shop and the other is his sister Dacia.”
“Sure? Is there a reason?”
“Not really and does it really matter?”
“No, alright, I’ll have someone go and invite them then. See you tonight.”
Wareiene felt excitement rush through him. Why on earth did he care about this girl so much when he barely knew her atall. He had to find out and was glad Cantaly had talked his brother into inviting him for dinner. Wareine was on time which surprised the maid that answered the door. “Um..welcome..” Wareine gave a nod and came inside. He wasn’t sure where to go since he was normally late when invited over so he asked a worker “where are they before dinner?”
“Family time, let me guide you. The other guests are already here but I’m proud of you, not late” As he walked he couldn’t figure out what he was feeling. Was it nervousness to see her again? He didn’t know and was annoyed yet again at all these new emotions stirring. When Wareine was let in he saw them all gathered around talking. Claudius and Cantaly Jr say side by side while Padma and Hadwin were playing with Dacia’s wolf companion. Cantaly did a double take, at best he was thirty minuets late and here he stood, almost precisely on time for dinner “hey” she said and quickly got up to hug him. He hugged her back and he saw her give Claudius a look to come hug his brother.
“I hear you asked them to invite us, thank you for the honor” Dacia said with a genuine smile. Wareine looked away “I gave your brother enough to make up for any lost business I cost” His heart started beating faster and he realized part of his urge to see her was to let her know that so she would have a better image of him. “Thank you, He has a lot of competition so any lost business is bad”
“what did you do Wareine?” Claudius asked and Mabon quickly spoke “Just two men messing with eachother. it got a bit out of hand” Wareine was surprised Mabon would be so quick to brush off his behaviour. “but it was great of you to repay him Wareiene.” Cantaly said.
He shrugged. “It’s not like I need it and I have more.”
Kuri huffed and Dacia giggled. “Now, now be nice boy.”
“So the wolf still doesn’t like me. Well I was going to steal you a nice juicy steak from the kitchen, but if you want to have an attitude I can just give it to one of the dogs.” Kiru grumble whined. “Then let’s just call a truce pup.”
He hated it was so much easier to talk to the hound than to its master. It was his pride, but maybe through the wolf and Mabon, it would be easier to earn her forgiveness. “I think he agrees.” Dacia replied as she scratched Kiru behind the ear. “Who can beat raw meat.”
Before they sat down to eat Wareine gave Kuri the promised meat. Dacia hoped it wouldn’t make Cantaly uncomfortable but she was far too curious not to take this opportunity to ask “so I’m sorry if this is rude. If you don’t want to answer please don’t but I’ve heard rumors our kingdom may go to war soon’ Cantaly almost choked on the food she was swallowing “that has circulated among the people?”
“Yes” Cantaly looked at her husband with a worried expression before answering “there has been some tension yes but believe me I am doing everything I can to avoid it. Not only for the sake of my people but I have family members in my knights. Not to mention Ryans wife just had twins. Last thing she needs is for Ryan to be fighitng in some stupid war. Are the people worried?”
“Nobody knows to believe it or not”
‘Hopefully I can smooth things out…maybe I should hold a gathering to inform people of what’s going on. I want to make sure they only have correct information and don’t worry more than they should”
“You seem so stressed. I’m sorry”
“No no Dacia, I’m glad to know my people have cayght wind. Thank you”
“It’s not like you’ll have to worry about much if it does come to war, epsecially not with Irim on your side. He could take down an entire unit with one look. People must know this, he’s not to be trifled with. Then there is Zane who inspires fear in all who would dare even think badly about his family. I will also fight.”
“Thank you Wareine.”
“None of us will ever let anything hurt your kingdom. I may be an ass, but your family is still my family.”
“you should stop being so nice brother, next thing I’ll be hearing you’ve been reading to the elderly.”
“I will kill you Claudius.”
“And I’ll kill you back.”
Everyone at the table laughed save for Claudius and his brother but the two were smiling at eachother. Cantaly was so glad to see it. She had grown up in such a tight knit group it pained her that Claudius and Wareine weren’t closer. She wondered if it had something to do with Dacia. Perhaps he finally found himself a good woman that would straighten him out. They didn’t seem like a couple but perhaps he had a crush. “On a happier note how are Raounzel and Casimers travels going? They are on the go again correct?” Dacia asked
“Wonderful, they send us letters everywhere they go and they even had someone draw them in one town. I had it framed” Rapunzel answered. Claudius spoke “yeah, those two will never get tired of traveling. They plan to return in a month and stay. In our last letter back we told them the twins had arrived and needless to say they are excited.”
“I can imagine, children are a wonderful thing. Everyone should have them.”
“My aunt and uncle would agree, Belle loves babies and Zane loves how happy it makes her. They could probably fill this whole castle.”
“What about you two? Are you going to have anymore?”
“We wouldn’t mind some little brother’s and sisters. Right Hadwin?” Padma said.
“Yeah, it’d be fun teaching them to fly.”
Claudius took his wife’s hand and brought it to his lips. “Maybe we’ll talk about it.”
“Claudius,” Cantaly reprimanded, “we have guests, be good.”
He grinned then looked at his brother. “What about you Wareine, ever going to grow up, settle down, and have kids?”
Wareine didn’t like suddenly being put on the spot and he could see his brother was doing it on purpose. “Uh, I…well, it would depend.”
“On what?” Dacia asked.
He flicked his eyes to her. “On the woman. She’d have to be perfect.”
High standards for a jerk” she teased. She didn’t think he was a jerk anymore. He had tried to make amends with her brother and tonight, he really seemed like he was trying in general. All he needed was time and somebody to slap him in the back of the head when he took jokes too far. She knew how handsome she thought he was might be coloring the light she saw in him but she did see a potentially very good man in Wareine. They threw a couple witty comments back and forth, entertaining everyone else at the table until Wareine shyly forced past his pride “You know…I could see if that sort of thing would interest me with you if..you’d agree to a date with me”
Dacia was only a little surprised “sure, when?”
“Yeah, you made up for hurting my brothers business and that’s about all you can do. You play too much but I see a good guy in you. I think you just need someone like me to swat you on the back of the head sometimes.” His blush deepened and he noticed his brother holding back laughter. Wareine threw some peas at him which only made Claudius laugh “apparently you are just what he needs” Claudius said through his laughter to Dacia.
If Wareine and Claudius had been alone, he would have already attacked him even though the wrestling match would probably end in his defeat. He’d just get back at him later and he would try to be nice about it so Dacia wouldn’t hate him. The idea made him inwardly flinch. That’s not something he wanted, her disapproving look was enough to break him. Once dinner was over, he told his brother, Cantaly, and his niece and nephew bye. He wanted to spend more time with Dacia so he offered to walk her home.
“I’ll just go on ahead.” Mabon said.
“At least take Kuri, it’ll make me feel better knowing he has your back.”
“Alright, come Kuri, I made doggy treats.” The wolf trotted happily away and Wareine felt a little nervous now that they were alone.
“So, when’s our date?” Dacia asked. “You were so irritated at your brother you didn’t pick a day.”
“Oh.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Tomorrow night maybe?”
“Wow, so soon?” She teased.
He blushed but he couldn’t hide his eagerness and take it back now “yeah..why wait you know” he rubbed the back of his head “it’s sweet I make you so nervous”
“You do not”
“I do too” She kissed his cheek. It stopped Wareine in his tracks and he began to stutter as he obviously tried to speak. She covered her mouth and giggled. When he could speak again he said “that wasn’t very nice”
“Oh it was, you liked it”
“doesn’t make it nice” She laughed again and it made him smile. It wasn’t so bad to be embarrassed by this woman, it meant her laughing and teasing which was amazing. At her front door she spoke again, all confidence “Its only fair I give you a real kiss since I messed with you back there” his heart started hammering against his chest and he moved in slowly to kiss her lips. He deeply hoped this wasn’t a joke. She let him kiss her and he pulled her into him. It felt intensely good and he didn’t want it to stop but he made himself before it became way too long. He didn’t want to freak her out and have Dacia cancel their date.
“Have a good night.” She said with a knowing smile.
“Oh, yeah, you too. Good night, I mean.”
As soon as her door was closed, he covered his face. He couldn’t believe he was acting like some teenage boy. It was like he was going on his first date or something. He took a deep breath then turned away before he was knocking on her door for another kiss. He was still wide awake when he made it home and instead of going straight to bed, he went into the little back room where he kept his treasure neatly organized. He wanted to give something to Dacia tomorrow, something special. He looked through the jewelry first and decided that wasn’t right so he moved on to weapons. He had collected a few here and there. He smiled when his eyes rested on a silver dagger with a wolf engraved in the handle. He was sure she would love it.
The next evening he gave her his gift the second she came out her door “wow, a dragon giving me one of his treasures. You like me a lot huh?” She admired it, loving he gave her somthing with a wolf on it. He had put thought into what treasure he gave her “It’s beautiful Wareine, thank you so much” He was blushing again, feeling happier than he thought he would that she was happy. He’d give her all his treasure if it made her happy. He finally understood his brother with Cantaly and felt like a douche he had made them getting together take longer with his games.
“where is Kuri?”
“I don’t take him on dates. He understands. Where are we going?”
“Are you hungry? I thought we;d eat together first. I’m going to cook for you”
“You cook?” she sounded completely surprised. “yeah, I’ve lived on my own most my life. How would I eat otherwise?”
“Hey you’re a dragon, you could just shift and om nom somthing whole” He smiled “Om nom?”
“Yep, om nom, speaking of which, can I see your dragon form? I want to get to know all of you” His heart fluttered hearing those words, “sure, after we eat” He took her to where one oif his favorite animals to eat was, killed one then cooked it over a fire for her. When they were both full he did as he said he would and shifted into the serpent like dragon he was. She touched him and kissed his face again. She could tell it embarrassed him even though she couldn’t see a blush. He gave her time to really see this form then shifted back into a man.
“That’s not something you would use to describe a man.”
“But you are. I love your scales.”
His blush returned. “I guess I can let you get away with it, but don’t say anything to either of our brothers. I’ve embarrassed myself enough as it is.”
She smiled, lacing her fingers through his and moving closer. “Now I have something I can use against you if you ever get out of hand.” She teased.
“That’s not very nice Dacia, who knows what I might do.”
“Such a terrifying dragon, should I run away?”
He huffed. “It might be the only option, after all you did say all I’d have to do is eat someone up.” He snapped his teeth and she laughed, making him smile.
Their date went exceptionally well, at least he thought so. He wasn’t used to caring very much how the woman felt about a date so he wasn’t sure. When he walked Dacia to her door he said “I had a really good evening with you..is that something you would do again?” She gave him a gentle smile “Such a sweet, gentle dragon” He blushed again “stop that” she giggled, making up for the embarrassment. I had a lot of fun, I would definitely go out with you again”
“Good, I’ll let you know when I have something else planned’
“well if you don’t think of somthing before I take Kuri out again you can come with me. I want you two to bond aswell” Wareine smiled back, filling to his brim with happiness. He walked away feeling better than he had ever felt. He didn’t have much with her yet but he was determined to be a good man like she wanted. He was going to do his best not to let his pranks get out of hand and be the adult she deserved to be with. Many people had called him childish but he hadn’t felt he was until her. Dacia deserved better in her life and if she’d date a man like him he’d sure as hell be the best he could for her.
~ The End