Walking the Blade will be a series of novels based on the life and relationships of a dragon who can shift into human form. The stories you see here are snippets and scenes that I wanted to share with you – things we wrote to further develop and fill in the history of our cast of characters. We hope you enjoy it and come back for more!~ Rach
Sebastian seemed less than enthused by the company they would be keeping over the next few years, but Senias saw it as necessary for the journey they were about to undertake. The twins not only proved useful in moving to the other world but also they were back-up should it be needed. The same went for them, it was an equal boon to the twin demons to have a vampire and a dragon along the ride with them. Senias upheld his part of the deal made with Dante. The location of the unmapped portal was not far west of the eastern coast of the new country. It was not known by any, so far as they could tell, and there was a thriving set of communities not far from the place – which meant supplies were both available, and should the settlers need anything, the supernaturals could get it and make a tidy profit off of the humans.
One rule remained between them when it came to humans… the native people of this land were not to be targeted. The native people of this land had nothing to do with the laws of Crimson or the enforcers and hunters of the rest of the world. Some of them were actually supernaturals themselves.
The first thing Senias had done was find them a new lair. Sebastian had brought in necessary furnishings for it. And yet occasionally still took a room in town to keep up appearances. During one of these town visits, both men would soon be caught off guard and quite surprised.
The clanging at the blacksmith’s shop was rhythmically soothing. It was also different from before. Changing directions Sebastian walked in the direction of the noise and came to a stop outside the stall.
~ Well now it seems your new business partner has all sorts of secrets. ~
~ Oh? ~ Senias had to come and take a look, now. He had come to be known to the natives further into the mountains west of this little area. And he was setting up trade between those and the French and British around here. He supposed he shouldn’t call them British, but that’s where a lot of them were from. Walking through the village, his brows rose when he looked to the blacksmith shop.
Shirtless, Dante was working a piece of metal with a hammer. The way the demon was crafting the metal would tell both men he was no novice at the trade. The muscles bunched beneath his smooth skin as he lifted, flipped, pounded, then turned with it to push the metal back in the fire.
The scene had gathered a good number of women to watch, too. The scent he gave off drew them in and they all had such a dreamy-eyed look. As the metal was heating up Dante turned to see them all watching him.
“Ladies!” Senias was quick to run the hens away so he could enjoy the view himself. Besides, most were already married before they even got here. Hardly any around here had been born here and survived. Most of those lived their lives out on plantations and only came into town for parcels and provisions. “How are you all this fine day?”
Most had their spell broken and laughed and said a few things to the nicely dressed mountain man before moving on. The draconic man chuckled and turned to Dante.
“I certainly hope you don’t plan on plowing any of those fields. They’re already owned by someone else. And those someones can cause us a lot of trouble, mon ami.” He hopped up on the saddle rack nearby.
“You act as if I called them here to me. I can’t help what I am any more than you and that one can.” Dante pointed towards the vampire before picking up a cloth to wipe off with. “I believe it was your ultimatum that the natives were off-limits, not that the threat of their men frighten me.”
He stepped closer to the two men as he spoke low, “But we need to feed as well and unlike him, we don’t have one on tap.” He and Miranda had been feeding one another, but couldn’t do that for long. “She’s gone to visit our sire and I told her that I’d let her know when our new establishment was up and running. Until then, I work in here and leech off those that stop by for the view. None have made it to my bed yet, though. I’m not a fool and killing humans isn’t my thing.” Dante turned to pull the metal from the fire and laying it on the anvil, he picked the hammer up and started banging away on it.
Like Senias, Sebastian was drinking in the sight of the half-demon. He leaned beside his dragon. ~ He smells just as delicious as he looks. ~ He chuckled, ~ Perhaps we’ve been training the wrong twin. ~ Something about the incubus told Sebastian there was no way they’d get him to be submissive.
“Want me to help solve your problem?” Senias asked suddenly. He’d been around them long enough to understand certain nuances and needs. He also understood that those like him could overcome their pull. ~ Dante doesn’t need training or confidence. He needs someone as strong as him. ~ Sebastian might very well know where his dragon was going with this.
Looking the demon over Sebastian wasn’t so sure what Sen had in mind was a good idea. ~ Sure she can handle him? He doesn’t seem anything like the one you spoke of… Gareth wasn’t it? ~
~ She likes it powerful and rough. And no, he’s not like Gareth, but he might help her get her mind off the wild-child. If we can convince her to meet with Dante, that is. Perhaps some underhanded persuasion is in order? ~ Senias paused in his thoughts, before adding, ~ I would like to see her as happy as I am. ~
“You have a harem of supernaturals tucked away somewhere waiting on me?” Dante chuckled as he worked the metal, folding it and pounding it again and again. Six folds and he narrowed the blade out while keeping it long. He etched a pattern in the top portion while the metal was still hot and soft. Once satisfied he doused the blade in the barrel of cold water and pulled it out to check for cracks in the metal.
“Only one. She’s as powerful as me. She can take a lot. She can give a lot. Just let me know you want to meet her. I’ll call to her.” Senias hopped down from his seat and stepped over to look at the finished product – or semi-finished, as the case may be.
The blade still needed an edge, polishing, and a hilt added, but he still thought it wasn’t bad looking. As the other male examined his work, Dante examined Jean-Michel.
“Then call her and we’ll meet.” His words were soft, something unexpected. Instead of a metal or wooden hilt, Dante had decided to create a leather and copper hilt. He also filled in the engraved design with melted copper so that it all tied in to make a lovely piece.
Senias called to Inea easily enough. He didn’t need to go anywhere to do that. They were bonded mates, after all. He hoped Sebastian didn’t mind, but he just couldn’t leave Dante as he was.
“Let me know when so I’m at least cleaned up to meet her.” Dante held the sword out to his new partner to test the weight and feel of it. This kind of work he could do with his eyes closed. He’d done it for years before finding Miranda and having his whole life changed by her.
Senias enjoyed the feel. He hadn’t held a sword like this in many a year. “Very nice. I miss works of art like these. Real weapons…” He moved through several routines, taking his jacket off, even to really get into it. “And no need to clean up. She likes her men filthy from hard work… when she actually takes a liking to one. She’s very picky about what’s inside.”
The blue eyes of his curious mate watched the vampire, then the dragon. But then, she saw someone new. He seemed familiar to them. He was… beyond handsome. Too handsome. She pulled the shawl closer over her already overly-dressed frame. She hated the clothing styles of this place and time. They were stiff and confining.
Senias stopped and placed the sword blade on his arm before handing it back to the one who made it. “She’s behind you,” He smirked at the demon and let him make his decision on what to do next.
~ Could’ve warned me, love. You know she doesn’t care for me much. ~ Sebastian moved towards Sen, taking himself out of her path.
After Dante took the sword, Senias moved back to lean against the stall and left room for Sebastian to come to him. Because of where they were, the couple did not openly show affection among the puritanical set. That didn’t mean they couldn’t rest next to one another while these two met.
Somehow, Dante doubted the woman would care for him going off what Jean had said. At one time he’d been a knight serving a king. He thought perhaps she’d find him too civilized. Wiping his face off on the cloth, Dante placed the sword in its spot to be polished later and turned to greet Sen’s friend.
Stepping out of the stall, Dante ducked to miss the beam of the building before straightening up to his full height. His gait was that of one that knew what he was capable of as he walked to her. She was gorgeous, but somehow he figured she’d been told that plenty through the years.
“Hello pretty eyes, I’m Dante and you are?” He reached for her hand to bring her palm to his mouth for a warm kiss. His gaze remained with hers as he smiled for her.
“Inea. Your beard tickles,” she let herself smile. “My friend tells me you’re in need of energy. I was in need of some enjoyment and fun. I’m curious. Demon?” She was obviously studying his aura already. Most tried to hide such things, but she had no shame in it at all. “And if you are, how in the world did you end up among such puritans? I would’ve thought all of you would end up among the tribes.” Her gaze went from him to the others. “Though the fang would probably never fit in…” Her voice was warm, even if her approach was nearly no-nonsense. She was obviously testing some waters here.
With a soft sigh, Sebastian tipped his head back while replying lightly to the dragoness, “Oh I fit wherever I want to.” He grinned and winked at Sen who was beside him.
“Incubus – and I was raised around such. Trust me though I’m true to my nature when it counts.” Dante smiled for her and showed his double fangs on top. “Besides I survived those days and was quite pleased to leave behind the constant moving, resettling, and raiding. I enjoy a good fight from time to time but not all the time.”
Sen reached over his shoulder and scratched his back before clearing his throat.
“Where’s your Scot?”
“He’s coming over.” She looked between them all and taking Dante’s hand like it was nothing, she began to lead him back to where her dragon mate was standing. She didn’t realize the modern ways, really. “Our newer styles in the old country won’t do over here. His accent’ll be bad enough, but kilts are all he has right now. He figured he might need some breeches.” Even Inea had a bit of a highland lilt to her own accent she’d picked up.
Sebastian watched and chuckled low, ~ Seems you were right, she is interested. He just hasn’t completely hooked her yet. If he doesn’t soon, she’ll lose interest and slip away. ~
~ This is always the interesting part. Who actually gets to stick around when it comes to my lovely minx. ~ Senias didn’t hide his entertainment. The time with the lycan had been hilarious. So many egos shot down over there, it was sad and hilarious at the same time. The one that kept coming back for more – the one that had actually made Inea interested had been a surprise to him. So he wondered if this one could help get her mind off that one.
With a slight tug to her hand, Dante pulled her back to him so that they were face to face once more. Her opposite hand went to his upper arm, enjoying the muscle there, but her head canted slightly to one side, a brow raiding.
~ Uhoh. Fireworks or gunpowder? ~ Senias asked Sebastian for his wager.
Dante’s ruby gaze moved over Inea as he drew in her scent. ~ We weren’t finished yet. ~ The words brushed through her mind as his eyes glittered for her.
~ Oh? ~ her eyes narrowed and her chin tilted up. ~ Are you certain? ~ the energy behind that drop-dead gaze of her was crackling electricity waiting to be unleashed if someone pissed her off. She was used to fighting, used to force her way into conversations, accustomed to taking control so that she was not taken. It was all easy to read with her. And probably most men didn’t stand a chance. Either they were too insecure or they weren’t bold or assertive enough. It wasn’t that there was a ‘type’ with Inea – as Sen and Sebastian seemed to think. It was that she was such a strong woman that most men fell off one side or the other of the path they needed to walk in order to keep her.
~ Very certain.~ She didn’t frighten or intimidate him. The incubus found strong women a challenge well worth his time and patience. Especially those that were also intelligent and yet soft – such as Inea seemed to be. Oh, he hoped… Dante lifted his hand to smooth his knuckles along the beautiful woman’s cheek. Just as she was weighing him for the worth of time, he was doing the same with her.
Inea allowed the touch. She rather enjoyed that sort of thing. It was how Seamus had kept her attention over the years – that move between fierce and bold to loving bold. Bold was very necessary, else the dragoness knew she’d just run a fucker over.
~ You’ve come from the highlands to see him? ~ Dante nudged towards the pair leaning near his stall.
“Yes and to meet you,” she answered aloud. ~ He said he knew someone who might be of interest to me. A friend. ~
~ Then who’s the Scot you brought along with you? ~ Aside from what his partner thought, Dante was a great deal more cautious than his sister ever would be. Simply falling into bed with just anyone was how demons ended up dead, enslaved, or banished.
~ He’s… my lover. ~ She paused, turning completely from the other two males now, in her stance of curiosity. ~ You’re worried. Cautious. You shouldn’t be. If Sen trusts you… ~
~ Sen? ~ Dante lifted a brow towards her in question. Unsure of who she was referring to he went on, ~ Shouldn’t I be? I’m a demon and many of my kind are enslaved these days by witches and warlocks.~
~ Oh? ~ She looked back to her mate and his vampire and clicked teeth with her tongue. The demon didn’t know which one she was talking about when she used the old name. He didn’t know what they were? ~ I’m a sorceress. No wonder you’re cautious. I hadn’t thought of that. ~
Jean’s eyes narrowed. He wasn’t sure what was happening quite yet. But the way Inea looked at him, he had a feeling he might not like this situation. It was of course, too late for questioning, wasn’t it?
“And here we go.” He supposed it was a moment of truth. They had trusted the demons thus far with their lives and their livelihoods. And the demons had trusted them. Hell, he and Sebastian could’ve killed their pupil a dozen times over by now… it wasn’t even a thought in their head to do so. He nodded once.
~ Then we should all be on equal ground. ~ Inea turned back to Dante completely. ~ The Scot is named Seamus and he’s my kindred. He has been for several centuries – going on a millennia. Senias is my mate. We are dragons, blacklisted by Crimson. So we have as much to lose as you do, in trusting anyone. And yet, here he is, engaging in business and pleasure with you and your sister – as he has told me. Which means he trusts you enough to be prone or even sleep near you without fear for his own life. Now you know what you are truly dealing with. Does that…help? ~ She looked down at his big hands and moved her fingers over them, exploring.
~ It’s always good to know your business partners. ~ He wasn’t furious because he hadn’t been fully honest with Jean himself yet.
~ I am Inea of Clan Gorias. He is Senias of Clan Morias. I have a human name, but I rarely use it. He uses his human name because he’s not a sorcerer. He has to find other ways to keep his life safe than just magic. So, that would be why he has been so cautious. He was making sure his trust was not misplaced. Just as you seem to do. ~ She smiled for him, then. ~ I’ll just kill a bastard and move on. I have that luxury. ~
Seemed only proper to fully introduce himself in return. ~ Dante De’Salucet is the current human name I go by. My true name though.. you’ll forgive if I don’t quite speak it yet as that is needed to banish me. I will tell you my father’s, though, as he was long ago banished for my mother. Lord Darius Val’Ashtar, one of the nine demon rulers in the demonic realm. I rarely speak to him, but my sister is his favorite. Your secrets are safe, I would never divulge such. I know how it is to be hunted. ~ Taking her hand he wrapped her arm around his and turned her so that they walked towards the other two side by side.
The fact that Inea allowed this told the other two that she was warming up to the demon. She was willingly allowing equity reserved for very few other souls.
~We’ve made them nervous, how delightful.~ Dante looked at Inea once more as he gave a slow grin.
Oh…she liked him. He was wicked. Inea looked between the two men. She was surprised to see the changes she could see. There was a stronger bond between them than there had been before. Well, good for them. She hoped they enjoyed it for as long as life allowed.
“It will be dawn before you know it, shouldn’t you two be doing other things? We can go over arrangements for the next portal exchange tomorrow while Sebastian sleeps. Is this acceptable Jean-Michel?” He didn’t let on that Inea had told him the truth.
“Of course. I suppose we should all meet up tomorrow at twilight for some catching up?” Jean suggested, knowing that Seamus would probably be here by then.
“I’m happy with that arrangement,” Inea supplied, not letting go of Dante’s arm.
As the two walked off to learn more about each other, Senias scratched his back again. The people were heading into their homes or going to the tavern. The crickets and frogs were chirping.
“Where do you want to go and haunt from here?” the dragon asked before moving his right arm in a circle to try and unkink that feeling of pain in his joints, there.
Rubbing the annoying spot for his love, Sebastian thought long and hard on Sen’s question. “Could always take more supplies out to that Indian tribe you seem to favor. Or we could go to hovel that passes for a tavern right now and see what trouble we could stir up there.”
“Mmmmm… it’s getting boring here, isn’t it?” He leaned back into the rubbing hand. He appreciated the reprieve from the nuisance brand.
The vampire took a deep breath, “Is it just me or did that just go entirely too smoothly?” Though he’d never admit it, he worried about the dragoness. Looking in the direction the pair had gone the vampire suggested, “Could go with them and see that all is truly well.”
“I can’t disagree. Let’s go tag along for a bit. Not right upon them, maybe a nonchalant distance?” Senias looked over at Sebastian with an evil grin. “Where’d you think they’re going, anyway?”
“What about that bed and breakfast on the outskirts of town? You know the one that we actually thought was too nice to be out here.” Sebastian grinned at Sen. “If it is where they are going, we should be able to watch while not getting caught.”
“Are you inviting me to a bed and breakfast, good sir?” Senias raised a brow playfully.
“Absolutely. We can skip the breakfast and go straight to bed.” Sebastian smiled and growled for his dragon. He loved being playful with Sen.