A Different Sort of Dragon
Hi everyone. Thank you, Iyana, for letting me visit here today to talk about dragons and my newest novella, featuring – yes, you guessed it – a dragon.
What do you think of when you hear the word dragon? A powerful fire-breathing creature with fangs and claws, perhaps with Saint George there to slay the monster as in tales of old?
For my latest fairy tale story I’d like to introduce you to a different sort of dragon, one who is more sweet than scary and more vulnerable than powerful. Those who have read some of my other stories will know how I like to mix things up a little and Runt, the weakest dragon in the litter, will come as no surprise to them.
When you meet him at the start of his story, he is well and truly at the limit of what he can endure. Broken in body and spirit, I knew from the moment he stepped onto the page, he would never be the sort of dragon we usually read about.
What would it take for a dragon to become something other than what we all perceive dragons as being?
In the case of Runt, his vulnerability stems from the betrayal of everyone he has ever known. Thankfully for both Runt and his true love, his heart and kind nature have not been damaged and he still has a chance for happiness.
I hope you enjoy meeting him as much as I did.
When Lord Marcus set out on his quest, it seemed a simple enough task to accomplish. Slay the dragon and rescue the princess, securing his father’s approval and earning his happily ever after—only the princess is a witch and the dragon is nowhere to be seen. Instead he finds a young man who has a very big secret and is in far greater need of rescuing. Marcus’s well planned quest might have taken an unexpected turn, but his happy ending could still be within his grasp, if he can earn the trust of a dragon who has been betrayed and hurt by everyone he has ever known.
Once the servants had departed, Marcus went to fetch Runt from the bedroom so he could take a bath. As Runt stripped out of his borrowed clothes, Marcus tried not to stare at his body. When he caught Robert’s knowing glance, he scowled and set about scrubbing at Runt’s hair with a little more force than was necessary. When Runt cringed at his ministrations, he mumbled apologies and made an effort to take more care. He tried to keep his touches business-like, but he didn’t fool anyone and certainly not himself. As he washed away the layers of dirt, bruises upon bruises were revealed, along with more scars than Marcus had ever seen on another living being. Marcus’s heart ached when he saw the abuse the poor dragon had suffered.
He was vaguely aware of Robert and Aiden leaving the chambers, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Runt. A thin scar, several years old, stretched down the length of his arm. Marcus traced the raised flesh with his finger.
“One of the princes did that,” Runt whispered. “I was lucky. If I hadn’t moved just in time, he would have pierced my heart. Sometimes I used to wonder whether I might be better off if one of them had.”
“No!” Marcus took Runt into his arms, cautious not to hold him too tightly. “Never say that. You’re safe now.”
“I’d given up,” Runt cried. “When you came to the castle, I’d given up hope of ever being free again. I longed for the pain to end. I just wanted everything to be over.”
Marcus carried Runt to the rug in front of the fire. He held the dragon while he sobbed and Marcus murmured nonsense words into his ear. He vowed the witch would be dead before the end of the year. No one else would suffer at her hands.
L.M. Brown is an English writer of MM and MMM romances. She believes there is nothing hotter or sweeter than two men in love with each other… unless it is three.
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