• With the sudden snap of a twig behind me, I whirled around; immediately extending the diamond hard spikes that I could withdraw or extend from my body at any moment. Then the scent of human sweat washed over me like a tidal wave, the combined scents of salt, water, and meat all in one. My first, of all instincts was to devour. As a dragon, it would always be, but these humans smelled familiar as if I once knew them. Then all of a sudden more of the same scents washed over me, confused and dazed I spread my long leathery wings and slid into attack position, sensing that the puny humans were getting ready to gather more humans.

    Then out of nowhere, hundreds of arrows shot in my direction, and then they all attacked at once. I swung around wiping out the entire circle of men with my tail, only to have a completely new group rush up to replace them. They were all jabbing at me with either spears or swords; it was so annoying, even though they could not pierce my scales. Then one did something so disrespectful I burnt him with one fireball. What he did, any dragon would have found disrespectful you never, ever, ever try to pull a spike from a dragons tail.

    Then the man that seemed to control all the others orders the men to halt the attack. As he does, I swivel my head and see a lone soldier about to fire an arrow into where my eye would have been. However, before he could make the necessary adjustments for the arrow to hit home I snap out my tail and decapitate him with one of my spikes. Then the commander clears his throat and my attention shifts to him. I find him very interesting. He is dressed in regular pants, and shirt. However, he wears only one panel of leather armor. I had thought that a commander would wear more armor than that. He has several straps of leather on his wrists and upper arm. He bows to show that he acknowledges my superiority in battle. I also bow to show that I am willing put an end to our stand off.

    Then I feel the rush of the wind that caries a thousand years of magic as my muscles shorten along with my bones as my whole being is changed. I slowly watch as the change puts me closer to the ground but I stop the flow once it has reached my wings. Then I feel the inescapable vertigo that comes with changing forms; though this is not the only form I am capable of inhabiting, it is the best one now.

    I am dressed in head to toe in leather; I can feel the chill of steel from the daggers I always keep hidden against each thigh my left ankle and lower back. The steel dyed crimson, matches the color of the leather in which I was dressed. My hair is as white as snow, and my eyes are the red of blood. This is a side affect of changing strait from dragon form, because your eyes are the color of your scales. My shirt is very simple it is a corset but tied in the back. My pants are simple as well; they are men’s pants tied in leather up and down the outsides of my legs. My jacket is leather but like all of my clothes, it has a silk liner. I am barefoot.

    I hear the men gasp as they see my human form. Then as one of the men whistles, I know why. I find this amusing really, that not a moment earlier they would have thrust a spear into me if they had a chance. Now that the leader beckons me into a small tent, the whole group of men rushes to hold aside a curtain. I laugh to my self. Some humans are so pathetic.

    Then the warmth of a low fire greets me, and a cot that they modified into a comfortable couch by the addition of five leather cushions. Moreover, the leader asks if I would like some wine. I take a seat on the couch and then take the wine. Then since the fire had gone out the leader calls to a pageboy, I say
    “Allow me”
    Then I take a deep breath and slowly breathe the fire that is usually dormant except in dragon form into the red embers; this kind of thing is very tiring so I do not let the stream flow for long. Then the as fire takes new life, the leader asks of my name.
    “My name was passed down through the ages; I’m Sapphire. Of course, if you wanted to go into specifics, it is Sapphirica Andreios Antony Alaqua. But that is long so I’m simply Sapphire.” I said.
    He nodded as if with recognition, as if that was the answer he was hoping for and was trying to hide it.

    “My name is Onyx,” he said

    This confused me so I asked why he was looking for me. This took him by surprise as he almost fell out of his chair when he snapped his head up. I burst out laughing but then I stopped my self; remembering my purpose.

    “How did you know I was looking for you?” he asked obviously perplexed.
    “Instinct and that you are terrible at hiding your emotions,” I said with a smirk.
    “The reason I was looking for you is because your presence is requested at Lord Gerald’s castle. He wishes to give you a proposition,” he said with a sigh.

    “Would that proposition pertain to fighting in any way?” I ask.

    Fighting has always run in my family and I was always the best in most fights. However, I never put much thought into becoming a major fighter. Though I have been asked by many smaller rinks, I always said no because I did not want to hurt too many of the saps.

    He confirmed my suspicions by nodding slowly and sighing.
    I had my wings safely tucked away in my jacket but I slowly extended them and they deepened in color to show aggravation. This, I did out of habit to show my feelings and to warn other dragons of my temperament. This was very foolish because, I was the only dragon for 50 miles around me; I had checked that before I had slept here the last two nights.
    Then I noticed something very peculiar in a human; that on his wrist was a tattoo that they use to show that a dragon has an owner. Then when he realized what I was scrutinizing he looked at it and sighed.

    “Yes, I was once like you but they scuffed me so I gave up my dragon form for this,” he said gesturing to his body.
    “Why were your wings cut off?” I asked knowing the pain he felt; in a fight I had all six webs of skin between the bones in my wings cut; it was not pretty.

    “I had run away from a fight because I wouldn’t fight my baby brother I just wouldn’t,” he said with so much pain in his eyes I almost cried. Then I take a moment to control my emotions. I decided that I had had enough with these stupid people wasting my time with stupid questions.
    “I won’t be accepting the deal you have come offering. Now I have to go find somewhere else to take refuge from the rest of the world. Good bye.” I knew that I was being rude. I stand and start to leave. I hear him stand as well.
    “Wait I have to return with you!” he says urgently. I have little sympathy for this man, and push aside the door and walk into the center of the clearing.
    “What! You cannot just leave! I need you to come with me!” he yells, jogging to catch up. I take on my dragon form and turn to face him; baring my teeth, I emit a guttural snarl and watch as he jumps back. I almost fall over laughing but somehow manage to remain upright. He stands quickly and his face contorts in absolute agony. I know he is fighting the change and wonder why he would want to. The change is instinctual. The need to be something stronger is natural. It takes great control to resist. His face calms then he make a stern face and glares up at me.
    “I am taking you back with me.,” he says. He states this as if I am some sort of pet that has disobeyed. How dare he? I am no ones pet! I can never be owned ask the four kings who have tried. If you can find the top halves that is. Oh, he is so going to get it. I rear back onto my back legs, extend my spikes and roar in defiance. I slam my front legs onto the ground on top of him. However, he had moved. Oh well. That just makes it more, fun for me. I spot him sprinting away into the forest. I smile wickedly and tear after him.
    He runs quickly for a human. It takes me a moment to catch him. I jump in front of him and growl menacingly. His eyes widen in surprise. Then he skids to a stop. I reach toward him smiling greatly. Then instantly my hand claps around a glistening black, scaly foreleg. Looking up I meet eyes of fire and ice. His eyes were beautiful. His face loomed over mine he was easily twice my size. He was very well muscled. I broke my gaze free of his and hissed a warning. If he touched me, he would regret it greatly. He started to circle and as I followed suit I noticed that his back was badly scarred. Long angry red marks stretching to the middle of his back. They stemmed from two bloody and ravaged bones jutting sickeningly from his back at unnatural angles. My heart saddened at this. To have been treated so cruelly, by your own kind even. Suddenly he bolted forward and rammed me in the chest. As I fly backwards, I noticed that he was limping slightly on his left leg. I felt my spine wrap around the tree at an unnatural angle and knew that this was going to hurt like hell. Then as I slumped to the ground waiting for the pain, there was none. It was as if he had not touched me at all….it must be shock I thought. I stood slowly and waited for the pain but surprisingly still, none came. Hmm, well that is nice to know! No pain well, that helps. I look at him judging weaknesses and strengths. I decided that his back was his greatest weakness, and his tail his strongest point. How I know any of this, I am not sure… but I rely on my instincts, and plan my next move carefully. I could A)jump over his head and risk a broken wing on those trees as I drag my tail down his spine or B) jump on his shoulder embed my tail in his stomach and claw at his back….. I choose B. I crouched and ran forward, one bound two bounds… now! I scream at myself then as I feel his shoulder slam into my stomach I know I was dead on target. I quickly dig my claws into his shoulders and chest. Then jerk my tail upwards. I hear a soft thud/plash and feel warmth spread down my tail I know it his blood. I roar and rear my head back searching for his throat. By now, he is reacting and is yanking at my tail with one hand and has gripped my shoulder tightly. He sees my looking at his neck and jerks his head back. I laugh and open my mouth as wide as it will go and watch in super fast motion as my canines embed in his soft fleshy throat. He screams in pain and grabs my other shoulder as well. With out his front legs for support he falls forward and he crushes me with his weight. He starts to roll desperately and I hold tighter. He pulls viscously on my shoulder I feel with regret as one is dislocated and I lose control of it. He pulls it away from him and yanks hard on the other. I hear a distant shuffle of leaves and decide it is not worth noticing. I pull out my back feet and allow him to throw me away from himself. I land awkwardly. One arm is pinned below me the other is limply laying sprawled beneath me. I stand and instantly regret it. He had thrown my by my wings. My back exploded in pain with every movement. I stand biting down hard on my tongue making it bleed. It gives out instantly and I re4alize that it was still dislocated. I walk on my three good legs a few paces, and decide that I will not show any pain. I walk around him once letting my wings drag. It takes me a minuet to realize that both wings are dislocated as well. Great that is all I need now.