Back in the Day – Across the Portals, Long Ago

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 and come back for more!

 ~ If I hafta send Devon in after yer ass, there won’t be much left of it ta have fun with, Scales, ~ Kieran warned the dragon he’d been friends with for several years now. Using the dragon’s mind speak to rouse the beast was something the old warrior had become accustomed too after long missions. The lycan Alpha motioned for the barkeep to come over to his table so he could settle up. 

~ You’re no fun. Can’t even sleep in? ~ Senias rolled over and then off the bed. He was upstairs, but with mindspeak, that didn’t matter. Sometimes, he felt like he’d made a mistake in teach Kieran the way to use this ability.  Damn they needed to get that bastard laid.

“What is it?” the male voice behind him from the bed asked. It was a rough sound, the common tongue wasn’t something this one was used to speaking.  

“Gotta get going, I’m afraid. But, the room’s paid til noon. Enjoy it as much as I enjoyed you,” the dragon chuckled before stepping over to the basin for a good scrub. He always carried exotic scents from the other side with him to help with masking the smell of good sex and sweat. He traveled with lycan… best noses around. He didn’t need them knowing all of his business.  

“Very well. I don’t need ta be showin’ face downstairs anyway.” the man stretched and then turned over. Sen looked back over his shoulder, shook his head and sighed. 

When he came down the steps, he was still strapping on his secondary sword belt. His bag was over his shoulder and he was scanning the common room for his other compariots. They’d been scouting and fighting skirmishes at the borderlands for days and days. This had been the first rest in a while and it had lasted all of a night. He looked over to Devon and Argoth and spoke quite clearly, “Your old man is a hardassed slave driver.” 

Looking up from his mug of ale, the dirty blonde lycan chuckled as he nudged his dark haired friend, “Hear that Argoth, he’s finally startin’ to understand my ole man.” With a shake of his head, Devon waved over the barmaid for another mug and a new pitcher for the three of them.

“Good to see we didn’t have to drag you from bed this time. Your bed mates don’t care for that.” Blue eyes sparkled as they lifted to the dragon who was joining them. Argoth was Devon’s best friend. And Devon? Devon was the Alpha’s prince.

“Bed mates hell,” there was a rough shake of Dev’s dirty blonde hair and a rumble from his chest, “I don’t care to do that. I never know what or who he’ll have in that bed with him or how many. Let’s just say more times than not I’d just as soon let him roll out on his own.” He sighed and finished his ale, before wiping the dregs from his short bristle of beard.

“Smart wolf, there,” Senias flicked his tongue in perverted manner.  

After a good, deep laugh Argoth held a fresh mug out to the new arrival, “Does this mean you’ll be joinin’ us for the next battle Senias?”

Taking the mug, he swirled the liquid around inside of it and then took a drink. Snarling his nose up at it, Sen put the stuff back on the table.

“Not like I’m a surprise anymore. They all know Kieran Weylyn has dragons on his side. And those damned elves who keep a hold of slaves and lycan lands need to just give up, if you ask me,” the dragon chuckled. 

“I told ya, Sen don’t care for the petty squabbles these days right? He prefers to hold back and join the big battles like the one coming in three days with the elves.” Golden eyes shifted to the dragon, “Will ya be ridin’out with us or comin’ in with the second wave?”

“He’ll be in the second wave.” Kieran was walking back by, looking at the door and then back to the stairs. 

Devon looked towards his father, “Shouldn’t he get to decide his fate ole man?” 

Devon’s gaze went past his father as his old man was pacing and checking over the room. And then, finally Kieran asked, “Where are Gareth and Derek? I thought they were going to join us here with you and the others.”

“I’m sure Gareth’ll be here shortly,” Senias walked over to the bar and ordered a whiskey before grabbing one of the sweet rolls they had out. Gar was Devon’s brother and the only one he could vouch for. After all, he knew why the young man was late. 

“I’m here, get yer knickers out of a knot,” a young man with eyes as blue as his father’s, Derek made his way back into the front door. 

Kieran gave the boy a death stare. 

“Sir,” Derek looked aside and made his way around Kieran taking a wide berth. He sat next to his father and looked across the table to Devon. “Where to today? More scouting or this time, maybe not so much and going back for the troops?” Derek never knew where his duties fell. Sometimes he was to scout and be sure nothing changed between the initial reports and when the troops got in. Sometimes he was part of the initial troops. He didn’t mind. He was just excited to be part of things.

“There’s another slaver movin’ through the area and we thought we’d go introduce ourselves. We have a few days before the elves get close enough to challenge and at least the slavers will give you and Gar some much needed practice.” Devon chuckled but then his attention was caught by the newest arrival. He should’ve known where his little brother would be if she was in the area.

Inea walked into the place from the back hallway. She was in her normal loose but perfectly fit clothing. Her eyes went to Kieran and she smiled like the cat that ate the canary.

“Good morning?” 

Kieran growled. These bunch were too playful. And he didn’t like how the dragons played so much more … they were bad influences on his pups. But at the same time, he couldn’t deny their capabilities. 

“Is it not a good morning?” the dragoness played coy before moving toward her partner at the bar. “Sen.” The other dragon simply bowed his head to her and took the whiskey offered by the barkeep. He passed her a roll.

“Mornin’ Inea, don’t suppose you’ve seen my brother this mornin’ have ya?” Devon teased as he chuckled and enjoyed more ale. 

“Maybe an hour ago, when I got up and left the room. I always let people sleep if they need it. I’m nothing if not polite,” Inea’s eyes sparkled. At first their romping had been a secret, but in the last battle’s end celebration, she and Gareth had been found out and she didn’t really give a damn, now. He was an amazing lover and doting companion. What lady wouldn’t want that? 

With drinks and rolls in hand, the two dragons in human-skin moved to join the rest at the table. When Gareth appeared a few minutes later it was pulling his shirt down over his young, lean built form. His dark braids clicked together on the right side of his head as he adjusted his clothing. He said nothing as he moved past his father, their Alpha. His bright blue gaze held to his sire as he moved to join the others at the table.

“Mornin’ all, how’d the scoutin’ go?” Gareth took a seat beside Inea and rested his arm around her shoulders. He could feel the ole man’s glare, but that was nothing new. Gareth lived on the Alpha’s bad side for some reason or another. He’d become used to it, just as he’d become used to Devon defending him against their sire.

“Oh, that’s sweet, but it’s not necessary,” she whispered to Gar. She knew he was doing it to show off and that wasn’t appetizing to her likes at all. Inea took some of the dates and nuts in the bowl in front of her and began digging in without waiting on the one beside her. 

Gareth withdrew his arm and seated himself properly while keeping his thoughts to himself. Unlike the others, his control wasn’t so easily kept and his beast ran high on emotions. It was why he spoke little and listened to a lot.

“We were just tellin’ the others that we found some slavers. Dev wants to take you and Dare out to give em a proper lycan greetin’.” Argoth chuckled and poured his own son as well as Gareth a mug.

“I think that’d be wise. After all, you’ve not had a good fight in a while. Need to get those muscles and memories back on track,” Senias explained. Kieran was now finally taking his seat. He pulled a biscuit out of the basket and ladled gravy over it. 

“I concur. And no dragons. Time to put your mettle back up where it needs ta be.” Kieran looked across at the two younger lycan. “Be careful of yer beasts around the slaves. They don’t want ta be there.” 

“My beast is in its cage for now. I don’t have a habit of spillin’ innocent blood.” Gareth rumbled as he reached for a biscuit to bite into.

Devon rumbled at his brother. Why did Gareth feel the need to bait the ole man? “Settle down, they’re havin’ a bonfire and we’re just goin’ to the festivities tonight. Once we get the feel of the place we’ll go back.”

Shrugging his shoulders Gareth dropped his gaze to the table as he ate his biscuit in silence.

~ You’re fine. He wasn’t just talking about you, Gar. ~ Inea tried to soothe him as best she could. 

~ He’s always talkin’ about me and my beast. ~

“So we don’t get to go to the party?” Inea asked. She looked from Kieran to Senias. 

“We have something else to get into, my dear.” Senias pointed out before motioning for her to come with him. The dragoness sighed and plopped the last date back in the bowl before getting up and going to walk with her mate.  Kieran and Senias tended to already have strategy in place and then they let everyone else know. It could be annoying.

“It’s Pack Regis – you know they make side money off slaves from the other world. I’ll be chattin’ up the leader of the caravan while you get yer paws in and around what’s goin’ on amongst his men.”   Meanwhile, Kieran surveyed the boys. “You’ll need better clothes. Here,” he tossed some gold on the table. “These nagshda and their slaves usually know everything that’s been goin’ on from the portals outward. We need to know we won’t be trifled with.” 

“You think the other dragons might, you know… step in?” Derek asked. 

“No, knucklehead.” Kieran gave Derek a perturbed look. “The dragons ain’t my worry. But the elves on the other side of the dragons? Now that’s my worry. I want these bastards on the NorthEast taken out. They’re gettin’ way too close to our allies’ packlands. And they’re not just lookin’ for slaves this time. You know the Alphas of Rourke were the ones ta take back the lycan slaves from the elves up there anyway. These elves are probably looking for some payback. I don’t care how refined most of ‘em act… they like vengeance as much as the next.” 

 Taking the gold, Devon tucked it away as he stood up. “So dress the part and play our roles is what you are saying.” The accent was lost just to show the ole man that he still knew what that part was. 

“Which means Dare and I are going to be the royal escorts for the two princes here.” Argoth squeezed Derek’s shoulder. He grinned at the young man before winking. “Think you’re up to it son?”

“I’m as up to it as I could ever be up to anything,” He shrugged. “I’ve been a royal guard a lot. It’s nothing new, huh, Gar?” 

“It’s boring.” Gareth wasn’t one to pretend. “The elves’ll be seen to and I’m certain we’ll get the details that we need from the slavers. Is Pack Rourke preparing for any unexpected attacks that may be coming their way? Or are they leaving their security up to our Pack?” Gareth looked towards their father as he stood up beside Devon who was preparing to head out.

“Rourke always has their perimeter patrolled. But they took a big hit last time, while protectin’ our borders while we were collecting our troops from the back side. We owe ’em. I don’t doubt they have the spirit, I just wonder do they have all the power to put behind it. That’s why the dragons are goin’ ahead.”

“But… they don’t like dragons,” Derek pointed out. “Dragons have strafed their fields before. Destroyed more than one of their villages.” 

“Well, then,” Kieran got up and lifted his leg over the chair back instead of scooting away from the table he was at. “…guess they know what dragons are capable of. And these two would be on their side. They’d be damned fools to turn Sen and Nea away. Especially when they’ve been sent by yours truly.”  

Derek started to say something else, but he felt his father’s hand on his shoulder, letting him know not to bother. He looked between the other three there and asked, “But what if they refuse?” That scenario wasn’t out of the question. 

“If they refuse it will be a grim endin’ for sure and we’ll go in and clean up as we have before.” Devon didn’t like to think about such an outcome but it was always possible. “We can’t force them to accept help, Dare, it don’t work that way.”

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