Returning Home

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!

When Senias walked through the portal on the Mediterranean coastline three days prior, he was immediately recognized as only a human. Portals between the worlds were highly regulated, and Crimson guards were dressed in proper attire for humans at the time, but wore their sashes to stand apart. They had questions and made sure no one was transporting things they had no right to transport – specifically illegal magic.  Senias – a dragon who by his very nature would be put to death if they realized what he was – had been concerned about this portion of the ordeal. 

It had been refreshing, knowing he could still pass. He had given them a name that was not anything special… Jean-Michel Raudine. He was supposedly first in his line. He was returning home from an elongated business trip to the other world; the world that most of these portals connected to.  The smells here in his own world were not so pleasant as he had remembered. But there had been a revolution in both the New World (not so new to dragonkind, but whatever) and here in France. His kind were mostly gone or in hiding. The common man was empowered and this was the first republic.  A new rebirth of sorts was happening all around.  New philosophies were the thing. And the dragon felt invigorated by the prospects. However, he had no fucking clue where anyone was. He’d had no way to contact anyone on this side. Not without people being suspicious. 

So it was that he began that long walk from the southern coast to Paris. Luckily, it was summer. And luckily, he spoke the language and he was wearing traveler’s clothing… nothing fancy.  Trousers sewn by lycan to be practical and yet look nice enough to fit into this world, boots, and a breathable cotton shirt with a cotton cord that could be loosened or tightened as-needed over his hairy chest. He was carrying the sum total of all his belongings in a knapsack over his shoulder. Fancier blokes had leering gazes. He probably looked quite the peasant to them. 

As he came closer to Paris, his mood improved. He felt… someone… for the first time in years. He nearly got hit by a cart when he stopped to enjoy the moment. 

“Ayyye!” the owner of the cart yelled. 

“Pardon!” Senias chuckled. He hoped the sensation was felt by his vampire as well. He moved to the side of the roadway and leaned his back against a tree. Tears filled his eyes at the sudden flood of emotion he felt from knowing Sebastian was yet here. When one was a supernatural… you never knew what to expect. His head bowed and he did his best to gather himself.  

~ Am I yet welcome? No one knew me. I’ve come this far with no hunting party on my tail. I promise I’ve not brought danger to you…I would never…. ~  Senias was nervous; anxious even. He was frightened that he would be turned away.  

There was the feeling… the knowledge that Sebastian was alive. But he had to remember, it was yet daylight. A few more hours and he’d get his answer. Taking a deep breath, Senias smeared the water from his dusty eyes. It was time to find his way into the city proper. Paris was not what he had known – not since the revolution. But it was still Paris. And he hoped to at least find a proper place for food, drink and respite. 

The sign posted called it – Inferno. Well, then. This sounded like a place he’d be welcome in…  

When the tall handsome male entered the tavern, he caught the eye of every working girl within along with the gazes of a few of the gentlemen patrons. The arrival had caused a momentary pause in the establishment before everyone resumed their business. 

Ensconced in the silk shrouded corner table, ruby eyes watched the new customer. ~ You’re needed downstairs, beautiful. ~ Dante called to his twin. 

Dressed in a slip of gown that was as red as her lips and her thick curly black hair pulled back with ivory combs so that curls cascaded down her back to her hips, the madam made her entrance. Barefoot, she moved down the stairs and smiled at all the usual gentlemen that frequented the place. Like her brother, her gaze was pulled to the rough stranger and she headed his way.

“Well now, aren’t you a sight? What delights can we entice you with this lovely day?”

“How did you know I preferred the English tongue?” he asked innocently enough. “My ruddy good looks give me away?” 

“You could say that. So what other language do you prefer?” She looked him over and shook her heady at his messy appearance.

“I uh… I can speak French. Up north, they think I’m a Frenchman, truth be told. You know how accents can take your voice hostage – if you’ve traveled or dealt with travelers.” Senias was just happy to begin relaxing. Talking about inconsequential things helped. 

Moving to his side, she slipped her arm around his own, “French is beautiful language and for years it was my only language.” She still held the subtle accent and she leaned in to him. “Now what is it that I can do for you, monsieur?”

“Oh, I was looking for some food and drink. Seeing where I’ve walked into, I’d like to ask if baths and possibly help with clothing would be an option, mademoiselle. I’ve been traveling from the Mediterranean to get here. As you can tell, my clothing, it has not fared well?” He had dried mud and who knows what else on his legs, and rips here and there. “I have the money for everything, I assure you.”  

“So I see.” She started them towards the stairs, “Let us go up and see you bathed. Then I will dress you proper.” After taking a few steps she looked up at him, “ I am Miranda and what should I call you Frenchie?”

“I was once known as Sean but the Frenchmen I met at the border called me Jean. You can call me what you want, beautiful.”  

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Jean.” Miranda led him to her private rooms and pulled the rope to have the bath filled as she set about stripping away the ruined clothes. In French she instructed one of the girls to fetch the tailor and another to discard his ruined clothes. 

“I would like to keep the pants, please. But if they could be washed?” he got nods from the servants. Turning, he saw the madam herself remaining. 

Waving the servants off she smiled for him, “Come, climb in and I will wash you up. You smell foul Frenchie.” Miranda laughed softly as she sought out the sandalwood soap and the musk oils she’d bought at the market. Placing a few drops of the oil in the bath water she mixed it with her hand and then stepped back to let Jean settle in.

He’d never been bashful, especially not in this body. And he had a reason for being so foul, so he wasn’t embarrassed by it. He had chosen to go with the female, because Sebastian wouldn’t be bothered by it as much as if he had chosen a male. Had he chosen a male and his vampire still wanted him – it might spell the end for the poor soul. Jean made sure his pouch and bag were still where he had placed them before moving to the tub and slowly letting his weary body sink into the nearly perfectly heated water. 

“Mmmm, just the scent and the feel of clean water make my weary body feel better. Thank you for the personal touch, Miranda.” He smiled, showing he still had quite perfect teeth – something unusual for humans his age. 

“You looked like you would’ve appreciated it.” She wet a cloth and lathered it up.

“Well, I am assuming by the way you handle yourself and the staff that you are the owner? So, I thank you for helping me, when you could easily have someone in your staff do so.”  Sen… or well, Jean…he let himself relax so his back was rested against the tub. His eyes looked over her lazily.  

“My brother and I are partners in this establishment.” She moved around the room while he soaked. “Are you enjoying it? Do you need my help?” Miranda laughed softly and her ruby eyes glittered. 

“I would appreciate having my back well scrubbed. I can’t reach it well enough, and I’m sure I have a few layers of filth back there,” he chuckled. His green-blue eyes sparkled with mischief. 

Walking back to the tub with the large cloth laid over her arm, Miranda watched him with obvious fascination  

“You’re not like the others.” It wasn’t a question, it was a statement. She breathed in the delicious heady fragrance of him as she leaned in close. “You are different.. very, very strong and…” Her head tipped to the side causing curls to dance over one shoulder. “Where did you say you traveled from? The Mediterranean has never smelt quite as pungent as you do Frenchie.” 

“Well, I’m a Celt who just walked for days through a rainy Gaul… sorry, Republic of France. Viva la Revolucion!” he chuckled. “You know anything about Celts, according to the leaders of France, and almost anywhere that’s gone against us, we stink. We like making our enemies sick.” He laughed, not even able to keep a straight face with it. 

She joined him in the laugh though not as deeply. Picking up the scrub brush, Miranda soaped it up and scrubbed his back as he requested. 

“Mmmm, you’re good at deflection, as well. Bravo, monsieur. Rinse off and climb out so I can dry you off. The tailor will be here in a moment.”

“As you wish,” he stood and took the glass from the table nearby and he rinsed the soap from his body.  He stepped out and reached for the towel she had left for him, but he watched her with curiosity. “So do you make a living trying to guess people or do you just find yourself curious about me?”  

Now it was her turn to laugh as she took the cloth from his hands. “I’m curious about you and I don’t just guess my clientele. I know them, it’s my work.”

Two hours later Miranda had him dressed as he had requested and she was enjoying the view. Standing before him with the tailor they discussed him as if he weren’t present. Everything from the line of his form to the way she wanted his second outfit made. When the tailor left Miranda walked to stand before Jean. “You like?”

“I do… not quite upper class, but not peasant, either. I like it very much,” Jean turned to look in the mirror properly. “Glad he already had some clothing he could let out for me.” He was surprised by her next move. 

Miranda moved in close so that her breasts pressed against his chest as she looked up at and kissed his chin, “You look gorgeous in that and now I want to enjoy taking them off of you.” Her fingers danced over Jean’s stomach as she purred for him.

“Mmmm… is it by chance evening, yet?” He asked, hope in his eyes when looking down into hers. He didn’t want to do something stupid.  

“Not far off, why do you ask?” For some reason she thought her plans were about to be ruined.

“I have something, I think you’ll like. Since you’ve been kind to me, Miranda. This is not the payment. I have that.” He held a finger up, stopping her from going forward on him. He walked over to his bags. Taking out enough gold to cover her help and also a jeweled dagger, he turned to hold both out to her. 

“You seem the type that should have that. I never use daggers. And it’s a special one.” It had come from the other world, after all. 

Miranda had pouted until he produced the magical dagger. Her eyes lit up at the sight of it and she smiled though her brow did lift as she took it from him. 

“I knew there was something different about you. You came from the Mediterranean, my ass.” She smirked, her hand putting the gold aside so she could study the dagger. “A work of art.”  

“That wasn’t a lie, mademoiselle.” He wore an angelic expression, a smile curling his lip. “I just never said where I had been traveling prior to that. At any rate, you are exquisite and have kept this tired man good company. Perhaps you can take these clothes off of me at another time. I would hate for you to be half way into it and be interrupted. I’ve come here to meet with someone.” He moved his fingers into the back of her hair and enjoyed the silkiness. He leaned in to kiss her forehead, very gently before backing up. 

“You mean to tell me I bathed you and made you smell as delicious as you now look for someone else’s pleasure? Shame on you for not telling me earlier, Frenchie.”

“Well, I wouldn’t have gotten the pleasure of your attention and your words had I told you. Besides, I made sure you were well compensated, did I not? You won’t see those made here anytime… ever.” He winked at her. Maybe the fact that the work of art was from the other world would quench her curiosity and need for now. 

~You’re always welcome with me…~ Sebastian had shadowed himself to the tavern the moment the sun had lowered enough to give him the strength. He moved through the front doors and up the stairs to where felt the dragon.

Senias barely got turned when he saw the one he had been forced to leave behind so long ago enter the room. 

Pushing the bedroom doors open Sebastian rushed in to take his dragon into his arms. “Sen…” He kissed the taller man deeply while ignoring the other in the room. They held each other and that kiss! Oh, but it was done in such a deliciously passionate manner! He’d thought to have forgotten! The dragon was so relieved!

Miranda stood to the side and watched the handsome stranger with the Celt. She took in the rich attire of the new arrival and with his pale complexion and long black tail of hair that was braided down the leaner built male’s back there was no doubt that this was a vampire.

“Do you have any idea how much I have missed you Senias?” Relief and joy was flooding through him over the return of his dragon.

“I have a pretty good idea. The name is Jean here, not Sean…the guards changed it. Seems the Celt doesn’t roll off the tongue very well.” He smiled, his eyes moving toward the lady in the room with them. He didn’t want anyone doing research on his actual name. That’d erase all of the effort they had put into him being gone for so long.  He turned, his arm still around Sebastian’s waist just as Bastian’s arm was around his. 

“This is Miranda. She had her tailor fashion me a proper set of attire to get around in that’ll keep my head on my shoulders, but at the same time, not label me a peasant. And I like them. She’s been my hostess since I got here. Miranda, this is Sebastian. He’s the man I’ve been waiting years to have again.” He didn’t mind introducing them, for he knew if Sebastian ever wanted to, he could probably erase the memories from her. It was an old vampire ploy. His fingers grasped Sebastian’s side and he wasn’t stepping away. His emotions were very high, and he was happier than he’d felt in at least a full year! 

Sebastian couldn’t stop looking at Sen as he introduced the female. He did manage to glance the woman’s way and smile for her. 

“Thank you, I know he isn’t easy to dress.” The vampire chuckled and moved his hands up along Sen’s spine as he leaned in to kiss him again. It was hungry and bruising in its need. Audiences didn’t bother Sebastian and Sen at all. They were warlords and after battle when adrenaline was running high the last thing they concerned themselves with was privacy. Not to mention, Sebastian had learned a long time ago that his lover enjoyed watching and being watched.

This time, Senias didn’t just accept the kiss, he moved his hands to Sebastian’s face and held the kiss, deepening it and growling as he did. Damn, Sebastian could kiss like no other. His eyes watered again with the emotion he felt. He may have told Mira she shouldn’t remove his clothes, but he was ready for his clothes to be removed by the one in front of him. He had more scars, now, but he was fairly certain his vampire wouldn’t give a damn. His left hand moved into his lover’s hair at the nape of his neck. He gripped the hair despite the braid and then let his mouth leave Sebastian’s so he could continue to taste him, his tongue moving over the lower lip and down his chin before he forced Sebastian’s head aside slightly. He nipped Sebastian’s neck up to his ear and then down to his collarbone. ~ You smell like paradise, love… ~ 

“I assure you the pleasure is all mine.” Miranda purred in response as the sweet energy rolling off of the couple hit her senses. Oh this was even better than she hoped for. The powerful desire between these men was strong. They were both supernatural. Yes. And so was she. Turning just slightly, Miranda moved her fingers in a particular symbolic gesture, and the door to the room closed. She simply made sure to be quiet and move out of their way. She had a feeling the succubus side of her was about to get drunk.  

There was a low answer growling from Sebastian as his lost love exposed his neck only to tease his pulse point and torture his skin. He tugged the shirt free of the pants and slid both hands beneath to move them over the heated flesh of his lover. Laying hands on Sen’s ribs, Sebastian let them glide over each one as he nipped at the dragon’s shoulder and grazed his fangs along Sen’s pulse. 

~You taste divine.. I want more.~

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