The Dragon's Arranged Mate(5)

By: Serena Rose


The sunlight streaming through the windows on either side of the room lit her hair until it turned to fire. Her fair skin shone like moonlight, and as she drew closer I saw her deep emerald eyes blazing with life and vitality. I was struck by the arrow of love, as my father had described when he told me of his first meeting with my mother.

We had spent the last moon in the customary revelry and ceremony that typically accompanied a marriage of two houses as powerful as ours. There were endless feasts, games held in our honor, pageants, bonfires, all manners and forms of entertainment and excitement.

As much as I enjoyed this, what I really wanted to do was find any excuse to have a few moments alone with my betrothed. During our heavily-chaperoned visits, she impressed me with her wit and charm. Her flame-red hair reminded me so much of my father’s, as did her easy, ringing laugh. But while his laugh boomed and roared, hers was more like the tinkling of silver bells. I was captivated, and looked for any chance to hear that laugh again.

She also had a sharp mind; I could tell that, for a young woman in her position, she had spent more time at her father’s knee than she had being instructed on how to embroider and play the lute and do the sorts of things young ladies training to be queen are supposed to learn. Her embroidery skills were still very fine; she had embroidered her bridal gown, she informed me with inflamed cheeks and downcast eyes. But within almost the same breath, she could discuss politics and the most advantageous alliances to be formed between Ireland, Scotland and the rest of the known world.

She was utterly enchanting. I could tell my mother was enchanted by her as well; at one point, during some festivity or other, Rhiannon pulled me aside and congratulated me on my intended bride. She then observed that my future bride could very well be an enchantress, or at the very least touched by the fae. I knew she wasn’t serious…well, not entirely serious. There was definitely something spellbinding about Anabelle, but I had the sincere feeling that it was born of her innate inner beauty and grace. Rare it is, indeed, for such a human to exist.

The human side of me responded to her beauty and charm…while the dragon ached to possess her. I couldn’t help noticing the curve of her hips and backside, and the gentle swell of her full breasts; her gowns, which covered up the appropriate amount of skin at all times, left little to the imagination otherwise as they clung to her lush shape.

I roared inside, and there were many nights prior to the wedding when I had to take to the sky and beat my wings against the darkness around me. The urgency I felt, that need to take her and make her my own, was ceaselessly thumping in my chest and burning throughout my brain. I roared out, venting my frustration. I needed her. And I would have her…but not yet. The days couldn’t pass quickly enough for me.

I wished I had my father with me, then. I remembered the talks he gave me, especially when I first began changing and growing up. He’d explained to me the very delicate dance between men and women, made even more delicate by the fact that I was a dragon. He explained that I would have to learn to balance the love I felt in my heart with the urgency of my loins, and that my urgency might be too much to handle. I had to learn to control it in order to protect my mate.

I knew there were many things I had yet to learn, but I was so enamored with Anabelle that I was willing to do anything to have her as my own. I knew she’d be my own whether she wanted to be or not; it had been decreed at birth, after all. But unlike some woman I could control and dominate, I wanted her to be happy. I wanted her to be here with me because she wanted to be.

I just hoped she didn’t excite my temper too often; that was one thing I often had trouble controlling. But she seemed like a sweet and pleasant girl; not the fiery type, as my mother had been on meeting my father. I hoped she would remain so – for both our sakes.

**********

Finally, after weeks of waiting and wanting and yearning, the ceremony was about to begin. As was the custom, I waited by the side of the Druid priest who was to bless and secure our union      . My mother waited anxiously at the front of the crowd of well-wishers; I gave her a sure smile to bolster her confidence. In reality, her warnings and visions had shaken me more than I wanted to admit even to myself. But I put on a self-confident air for her benefit.

On the other side of the crowd stood Anabelle’s mother, soon to by my mother as well. She had proven herself just as sweet and charming as her sister, and she and Rhiannon had spent the last month reliving their girlhood through the planning and excitement surrounding the wedding. I worried that Anabelle would be overly saddened at her mother’s leaving, then also wondered how my own mother would react. Then again, I reminded myself, we were now family. There would be occasions on which we could visit and spend time together.

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