WAR DRAGON'S MATE
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Copyright 2017 Paul Lucas
Cover Art by Paul Lucas
On The Cover: Holly
and Riven contemplate some fun.
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Holly Gallager stared up at the enormous reptilian
monster, who glared back at the two human women. "Password?"
Holly's friend Jimena smiled confidently. "Smaug
is a pussy."
The large saurian measured over eight feet high,
with a heavy musculature that sent his weight soaring over four
hundred pounds. He was humanoid in shape, with dark green scales
covering his body and an angular reptilian head. A pair of bony
bull-like horns sprouted from the brow. Twin holes in the back of his
dark tee shirt allowed for the free movement of his enormous bat-like
wings, while a similar egress in his jeans accommodated a long
He narrowed black-slitted eyes. "Nice try.
But that was last week's password. What's this week's?"
Jimena gulped, shooting a nervous glance at the
half dozen people waiting just out of earshot behind the velvet rope
just inside the door. "Um... Toothless is awesome?"
The saurian bouncer snorted. "He is. But
that's not the password. But eh, at least you were here last week. So
for that and twenty each I'll let you in."
The women reached into their purses and
reluctantly handed over the bills.
The bouncer smiled through dozens of sharp curving
teeth. "Good enough. Enjoy yourselves, ladies. And you may want
to wait until the end of the fights tonight to get the web address
with next week's password."
They both shuffled past the club's main doorway.
Beyond the short entryway corridor, the facility opened up into a
large open space bigger than a football field, converted from an old
industrial warehouse. The building on the outside still looked akin
to an old rusting factory, but its interior had been transformed into
a sleek underground nightclub.
A DJ in a corner worked off a ragtag assembly of
equipment on a cheap folding table, but no one danced to the beats
thrumming out of the various speakers. The music was only pleasant
white noise to keep the crowd entertained until the main event
A shiny bar outlined in neon lined one wall, with
a throng of patrons ordering drinks. Tables and chairs were scattered
about the room, but with a line of tiered benches arranged around a
fenced-off square around the center of the room. They were intercut
on four sides with stairs for easy access. The set-up reminded Holly
of the cheap storable seating used in high school auditoriums, except
most bench rows sported a narrow shelf in front of the seats for
Those benches surrounded a large open pit set down
below the main floor, about seventy feet square on a side. Dents and
rust-colored stains colored all four metal walls.
Jimena poked her shoulder. "I'll run to the
bar. What do you want?"
Holly looked around nervously as if she hadn't
heard the question. "I still can't believe you talked me into
Her dark-haired friend rolled her eyes. Jimena was
the only friend Holly still retained from high school, now fifteen
years behind them both, and her conservative parents had always given
her grief for hanging out with the outspoken latina. "You're the
one who wanted to spice up your life with something exciting. These
dragon fights are definitely that."
"I never did anything illegal like this
"That's part of the problem. You always play
things too safe." Jimena indicated the two brawny guests at the
end of the bar, conversing casually to a well-groomed man in a fancy
dark suit leaning on the bar. "See those two guys there? I
talked to them last week. Off-duty cops. They're talking with the guy
who runs the place, Zapruder or something. See? Even the cops know
about this place, and no one cares it's technically illegal. There's
nothing to worry about. Everyone is here simply to have a good time."
Holly hesitantly nodded, and settled on a seven
and seven for a drink. After giving her friend's back a reassuring
pat, Jimena shuffled off to the bar.
Holly stood awkwardly alone, looking about, hoping
no one from the office was there to recognize her. She mostly worked
from home nowadays, but still had to put in a personal appearance at
the insurance company who employed her at least once a week. Maybe
getting caught at these fights wouldn't cost her job, but it could
prove potentially scandalous.
She listened to snippets of conversations around
her. Apparently the opponents for the various bouts tonight had been
determined by random draw. There was a lot of talk about a dragon
named Omyn, the region's current champion, being favored to win
tonight's biggest bout. But a few mentioned others named Riven and
Lawg as a possible contenders.
"Holly!" called a familiar voice over
the low-level din.
Oh no. She did her best not to openly
cringe. Not here, not now...
When the owner of the voice slipped into her line
of sight, she had no choice but to acknowledge him. "Hello,
Edgar," she said flatly to her ex-husband.
"Imagine meeting you here," he said
cheerily. Edgar was a tall, balding man, dressed in an ill-fitting
suit. He introduced her to the very young-looking blond thing hanging
off his arm. "This is Aino. She's from Finland. Aino, this is my
"Hello. Nice to meet you," his companion
said in a lilting accent.
"Same," Holly replied, trying to think
of something nice to say that didn't sound lame.
Damn it, why was Edgar doing this? He knew she
was terrible with on-the-spot social situations.
Or, knowing him, that was probably the exact
reason why he did it.
"I never imagined I'd see you somewhere like
this," Edgar told her.
"There's a lot about me you never knew,"
she said cooly.
"How's the house?"
She felt her irritation rise. "No longer
Edgar's cool demeanor turned much colder. "Look,
I was trying to be nice, with us in public and all. But crap like
this is why I left."
"No, I left you because you
couldn't stop collecting young tarts like Pokemon cards. What, did
you pluck this one right from her junior prom?"
"Oh, so fucking witty. For all the good it
ever does you. I guess we can just keep talking through the lawyers,
"I much prefer that."
"I'll leave you to whoever you're here
"Jimena," Holly supplied.
"Your best friend. Right." The tone of
his voice implied that was the only kind of companion she would ever
get. "Come on, Aino. Let's get some good seats."
"Nice meeting you," the young woman
said, seeming a bit confused as Edgar pulled her away.
Holly gripped her purse tightly in both hands,
hearing the faux-leather scrunch hard under her fingers. She fought
against the urge to tear it apart as a substitute for Edgar's throat.
"Hey, was that Edgar?" Jimena asked as
she approached with a glass in each hand.
Holly snatched up her drink and drained half of it
in one gulp. "I'm definitely going to need more than one of
these," she said.
In the late 1970s, the United States tested an
esoteric theory about the creation of kugelblitzes. A kugelblitz is a
black hole created solely by the concentration of vast amounts of
energy into a single tiny pinpoint. Using relatively small but
carefully synched atomic weapons in an underground test, the
scientists sought to create a short-lived quantum black hole that
would, in theory, evaporate away within a few milliseconds.
Instead, in the collapsed crater of ground zero in
the smoking aftermath, floated a strange mirrored globe ten feet
It took the scientists and engineers many days of
panic, tests, accusations, prayer, scanning, and recalibrating sixty
years’ worth of quantum theory to realize that they had
accidentally created a stable wormhole. One that led, they soon
discovered, to a parallel Earth in another dimension.
They also found that on this new Earth, primates,
and therefore humans, had never evolved at all. The world was
dominated by a huge genus of creatures that combined many features of
mammals and dinosaurs, and had developed a unique if limited
shapeshifting ability. The humans were quick to nickname them
dragons, and the label stuck.
By the time Holly entered middle school, the
humans had learned to create more portals with particle accelerators
instead of messy nuclear weapons. Many countries leased this new
technology to create portals of their own. Some portals lead to new
worlds that were still being explored.
One of these newer worlds turned out to be not so
much parallel to the humans' Earth, but to the dragon homeworld that
had previously been discovered. A parallel of a parallel dimension,
so to speak, the first ever discovered. But whereas the inhabitants
of the first dragon world were mostly peaceable and cooperative, the
dragons of this new Earth were considerably more warlike and
There were other subtle differences. These new
"war dragons," as humans began calling them, were more
humanoid in their base appearance than the naturally quadrupedal
alternates. Their shapechanging was more limited, but their biology
compensated for that with accelerated cellular regeneration that
allowed the healing of wounds three times faster than humans. Their
society was also more advanced, with near Renaissance-level
technology, compared to the original dragons' Bronze Age tools.
The war dragon kingdoms saw a great many
advantages in cooperating with the technologically-advanced alien
humans. Both trade and diplomatic relations haltingly sprang up
between the two worlds. Over time, that inevitably led to a number of
black market interests operating in the shadows of the more
legitimate commerce, including an underground fighting circuit on the
humans' Earth that featured war dragon gladiators.
"Tear that fucker apart, Omyn!" Holly
bellowed, slamming her fists on the small shelf and nearly knocking
over her fourth seven-and-seven.
Her yells were drowned out by the crowd's
continuous shouts and jeers. Jimena shouted some aside at her, but
Holly just nodded absently, not really paying attention. The bloody
match in the metal-walled pit below completely mesmerized her.
One opponent was Omyn, the reigning champ of the
regional fighting circuit. He stood at a truly monstrous height of
eight and a half feet tall. His physique reminded Holly of an oak
tree, a solid uncurving mass of thick muscles wrapped in dusky orange
scales. Six thick horns radiated back from his face, where a human
would have locks of hair. One the horns looked like it had been
snapped off. If what she had read of the war dragons' healing factor
was true, he would be able to regrow it back in a few weeks.
Omyn roared viciously as he charged at his
opponent. Holly could feel the vibrations of the heavy dragon's feet
impacting the floor.
Facing him was a blue and gray striped dragon
nearly as large, calling himself Rahzor. This one had horny spikes
sprouting outward from his forearms, which he had already used to
bloody Omyn. He planted himself to meet Omyn's charge.
The two massive alien saurians collided like
crashing mountains. The crowd cheered wildly as blood and scales
flew. Rhazor had stymied his opponent's attempt to knock him over by
jamming his arm spikes into Omyn's shoulder.
It was a blow that would have finished any human
fighter. Omyn, however, merely snarled through the pain as he twirled
to grab Rahzor's shoulder and knee. With a bellowing roar, he lifted
his opponent clear over his head and threw Rhazor against the nearest
wall. Holly could feel the impact of it reverberate through her seat.
Rhazor crumpled to the ground, leaving behind a blood-spattered dent
in the metal wall. He dazedly tried to lift himself back up.
Omyn pounced on his groggy foe, hauling the other
dragon up and slamming his fist across the other dragon's jaw again
and again. Rhazor finally slumped limply to the floor, unconscious.
Omyn raising his crimson-soaked fists high in
triumph, snapping his wings wide dramatically. Cheering chants of his
name echoed through the whole immense building.
Holly noticed a few fans on the bottommost row of
seats reaching down through the loose barrier fence to just barely
touch the smears of Rahzor's blood. Holly found herself a little
jealous. "Definitely have to get closer seats next time,"
"Definitely!" Jimena said. The crowd's
shouting was dying down. As the announcer began his typical post-bout
spiel, the two women were able to hear each other again. "Glad
to see you actually enjoying yourself."
"Hell yeah!" Holly exulted, taking
another sip from her drink. "I should have done this long ago."
"Beats you sitting alone in your apartment
moping all the time, eh?"
"I wasn't alone. I have plenty of friends."
"Online. Playing Menagerie of Myths
and Aetherkin obsessively. Do you think real friends alternate
between calling you a filthy noob and wanting to bang your mother?"
Holly smirked. "You did, that one time I
invited you in on a raid."
"And that night we both learned a valuable
lesson about mixing Jägermeister and MMO's."
The women snickered. The crowd around them hushed
as the last match of the evening was about to start.
The first contender to enter the pit was named
Lawg, an eight-foot saurian with emerald-colored scales and a thickly
sculpted bodybuilder's physique. He strutted around, preening himself
and pumping his fists at the crowd to amp them up.
"He certainly likes to show off," Holly
Jimena snorted. "Maybe that's because Lawg
has quite a log there."
Holly saw immediately what she meant. The dragon
fighters were all fully nude. Dragons were allowed to be unclothed in
public on Earth as much as they wanted. As limited shapeshifters,
showing off bodies sculpted by years of conscious effort was
considered an important part of their cultural heritage. Some dragon
visitors to Earth wore clothes to better fit in with humans,
especially if it was part of their job, like the bouncer at the door.
But most went about completely starkers.
The sexual organs of most male dragons didn't seem
much bigger than a human's, at least in proportion to their size.
Looking at them from afar, with only other dragons near them to
compare, they hardly seemed remarkable. But since most dragons
towered seven to eight feet or more in height, Holly realized that
'in proportion' meant they could measure porn-star huge by human
Lawg's fleshy dangle was by far the largest of any
of the dragons she'd seen tonight, topping them all by at least half
a foot. Since dragons were limited shapeshifters, that had to be a
deliberate choice. It didn't seem too wise to make such a sensitive
part so big if one fought naked for a living, but then Lawg obviously
ate up the attention from the crowd. Maybe for him, it was all part
of the show.
His opponent entered the ring. He was shorter,
measuring maybe only a little over seven feet in height, and sported
dark indigo scales, like the color of a deep sunset. Highlights of
matted violet peppered the stretched skin of his wings. Bony
horn-like frills framed his angular facial features. The loudspeaker
announced his name as Riven.
Unlike Lawg, Riven didn't seem interested in
riling up the crowd. He gave the packed humans around him a few
crisp waves in greeting, but otherwise proceeded directly into some
Holly narrowed her eyes, studying the newcomer,
instantly intrigued. Of course, his lack of showboating could itself
be an attention-getting tactic, as it starkly set him apart from his
fellow fighters. She noticed a momentary lull in the crowd noise as
they, like her, took in the latest contender.
Riven snapped his wings wide, then went through a
flurry of quick jabs and blows into the air. His expression was all
business. Holly's brows shot up, noticing how clean and crisp his
movements looked, how he shifted his body subtly to throw his body
weight into each one. She didn't know much about fighting. She had
taken two years of karate in middle school, but now two decades
later, she barely remembered how to kick without falling down. But
she did recognize the same type of bodily efficiency and energy that
her karate sensei had.
"Oh yeah, that one's going to win!" she
exulted, her words ringing throughout the club. She realized
belatedly the crowd was still momentarily quieted.
The black dragon zeroed in on the sound of her
voice. For a moment, Holly and Riven locked eyes. Her cheeks
brightened in a blush.
Riven smiled warmly and rewarded her with a tight
little nod. Holly's blush deepened down to her shoulders.
The people around her laughed as Riven went back
to his warm-ups. An older gentleman from the row behind them leaned
in. "Good choice," he told Holly. "Riven's really been
moving up the ranks in the last few months. Not the biggest monster
I've seen here, but he definitely has a lot of skill. Like an
old-school prize fighter."
"That's all I needed to hear," Jimena
said. She flagged down one of the bookies working the crowd and put a
hundred dollars down on Riven to win at three-to-one odds. Holly did
the same, by far the most money she'd bet on a fight so far.
The announcer called for the end of betting and
had the contenders position themselves on opposite ends of the pit.
Holly wondered briefly why the club didn't have a referee or an MC in
the pit itself like in normal fights, but then realized that no sane
human would want to be locked alone in a small metal arena with two
The fight started.
Lawg's roar echoed off the walls as he charged for
Riven. The dark-hued dragon snarled fiercely and held his ground.
With almost dancer-like grace Riven ducked under
Lawg's charge. He planted his legs wide and rammed his shoulder up
into the bigger dragon's midriff. With a fluid heave, he flipped Lawg
over, using his opponent's own momentum against him. The green-scaled
dragon tumbled over and slammed hard onto the metal floor.
The crowd cheered wildly at the unexpected
Lawg recovered quickly, spinning around on his
back and kicking out at Riven's leg's to trip him up. Riven danced
backward, barely avoiding it. Lawg slapped the floor powerfully with
wings and tail to quickly spring back onto his feet.
The two dragons' long, spittle-flecked growls
sounded very much like bears with paws stuck in a meat grinder. Holly
tilted her head. "Are they... talking to each other?"
"Yah," the old guy behind them
interjected again. "War dragon language. I picked up a bit of it
since I started coming to these fights years ago."
The mature gentleman narrowed his eyes. "Let's
see, Lawg said something like, 'so you're army trained, eh? Me too.
We're just supposed to bash about for the crowd, but if you want a
The old guy laughed. "And then Riven is said
something like, 'You talk too much. You plan on beating me with your
Lawg's features screwed up hatefully. Baring
curved talons on the end of his fingers, Lawg launched into a series
of quick, vicious slashing attacks at Riven's upper body. The dark
dragon's own arms became a blur as he struggled to block and counter
with blows of his own.
The two opponents pulled apart, both baring
various slashes and cuts. Riven had taken the worst of it. Lawg's
longer reach had given him the advantage in the exchange.
Riven moved to attack, then feinted right, kicking
at Lawg's knee. The emerald saurian faltered at the blow, but didn't
go down. He used his long tail to swipe at Riven's own leg joints,
nearly tripping up his foe.
The two dragons traded blow after blow, dragging
the fight into the longest of the night. Riven used punches and open
hand strikes, much like a human fighter, while Lawg favored his
claws. After ten minutes in, Lawg sported many bruises while Riven
was badly cut up over most of his upper body. Trickles of red freely
ran down the dark scales of his muscular arms. Neither seemed
concerned about their injuries.
"See? Just like a prize fighter!" the
old man exulted. "I didn't think Lawg had similar skills though.
He usually just tears into his opponents like a pit bull. Must be he
can't do that with this one."
The dragons crashed together again, grappling.
Lawg used the spines protruding from his wingtips to bash at his
opponent's face while their arms were locked together, a flashy
technique that tended to wow the crowd, especially if it connected
with a foe's eye.
Holly saw it then: a tiny little smirk on Riven's
lips as the wing-talon came only millimeters away from gouging out
The indigo dragon shifted suddenly, pulling
sharply at the bigger saurian instead of pushing against him. Lawg
was thrown off balance. Riven swiveled his hips in and executed a
classic judo-like throw over his back. Lawg went flying.
The green dragon instinctively spread his wings,
arresting his flight. He hit the ground on his back, but perhaps not
as hard as he could have. Like before, he was on his feet in a
A heartbeat too late. Riven was already in the
midst of a follow-up attack, and delivered a devastating drop kick
right to Lawg's jaw as soon as the taller saurian stood up.
Riven snapped his wings wide, using the bounce
from the blow and his own wings to spiral down onto his own feet
instead of falling to the ground himself. But even more impressively,
he kept his momentum going, spiraling around to deliver another solid
reverse roundhouse kick to his opponent's face. Bloody spittle flung
from Lawg's maw.
Holly caught her breath as the crowd cheered
wildly. It was easily the most impressive display of skill she'd seen
at these fights so far.
Lawg was heavily staggered after that. A few more
solid blows from his opponent and he went down, unconscious.
The audience shouted and whistled and stomped
their feet at Riven's victory. But rather than reveling in his win,
the smaller dragon simply raised his hand at the crowd, giving them
all a curt nod and a tight smile. Then he exited the pit, leaving the
clean-up crew to take care of the comatose Lawg.
Holly and Jimena lingered at the underground club
for quite a while after the last fight. Jimena promised her companion
something special after most of the other patrons left. Holly
certainly didn't mind; she was reluctant to have the night end. She
hadn't had this much fun since before her divorce.
The pair of friends sat at the bar, having just
waved good-bye to the two police officers Jimena had pointed out
earlier. In conversing with them, both men had proven handsome,
charming, considerate... and, of course, happily married with wives
waiting at home. Just her luck. The excitement of the fights and the
drinks had made her feel more than a little horny. "M-maybe I
was too bitchy to Edgar earlier," she said abruptly as she
nursed her fifth seven-and-seven.
Jimena glanced at her in alarm. "What? Where
did that come from?"
"Just thinking about the house, and how he
used to be in it when I got home. That big, dumb, stupid, lonely
house." She sighed, looking about. "I don't see him in the
crowd any more. I wonder how his date went..." She began
rummaging around in her purse for her phone.
"Holly, no." Jimena snatched the phone
away from her friend and placed it back in the handbag. "Remember
what happened the last time you two played drunk booty call? You
were crying for a week."
"Yeah. But maybe this time..."
"Maybe what? Edgar miraculously becomes less
of a toxic asshole? Edgar was a gigantic idiot, cheating on you with
one dumb bimbo after another. You deserve so much better."
Holly loosed a long tortured groan. "Okay.
Maybe. But its been over a year now. Where am I going to find Mr. 'So
Jimena smirked as she touched up her lipstick.
"Well, I don't know, but I did arrange a Mr. Fun-For-Right-Now,
if you'd like. Certainly a hell of a lot better than an Edgar booty
"What do you mean?"
From behind the bar, one of the human bouncers
stepped out from a door and waved at Jimena. He was a big, broad
mountain of a man dressed primly in a suit. Jimena grinned and waved
back, then finished her drink in one gulp. "There's Denali,"
she said, pulling on Holly's arm. "Let's go."
"Remember how we used to do the after-show
groupie thing for that grunge band we followed in college? Well, I
arranged for us to do the same kind of thing with the dragon
"I can't believe I'm doing this," Holly
said sheepishly as the girls were led through the backrooms. She
wasn't exactly a stranger to casual one-night flings. But all of hers
had been back in college, and mostly part of her aforementioned
"You don't have to go through with it,"
Jimena suggested. "Its no problem if you want to go home. I'll
tell you about it tomorrow."
"No, no, I want to give it a try. Its just I
don't know too much about dragons. Especially in that way. I
mean, is it safe?"
"Oh, yes ma'am," Denali said ahead of
them. Denali was native Alaskan from one of the Tlingit tribes near
Juneau. He was a huge and muscular, seeming almost as broad as he was
tall. Hence his nickname denoting the biggest mountain on the
continent. "The dragons usually save their aggression for the
ring. We make sure of that. Anyone found abusing a guest like
yourself doesn't last long."
"I did this last week when I was here,"
Jimena confessed. "So I can confirm there's nothing to worry
about. The dragons can seem intimidating, but they'll do their best
to treat you right. War dragon females tend to be just as big and
twice as fierce as they are, so the males learn quickly to treat all
females with respect. Plus there's no risk of pregnancy or disease.
Their cellular biology is just a little too different from ours for
"But they're so big..."
"Not much bigger than a human where it
counts," Jimena said with a light laugh. "Besides, I've
seen the toys you use. Shouldn't take much for you to get used to
Holly gave her friend a whack on the arm for
blurting that out, her cheeks burning. Jimena just giggled.
They stopped outside a large double door with a
lot of obvious claw scratches around the metal doorframe. "Okay
ladies, I just want to go over the rules again," the bouncer
said. "We want everyone to have a good time. Us bringing them
females is a privilege. they have been made very aware that if they
abuse it--as in you--they will have that taken away, or even expelled
from the fights altogether. The syndicate bosses are adamant about
that. So let us know if there is any kind of problem."
Denali cricked his neck casually. "That being
said, dragons do have their quirks. Once things turn, ah, intimate,
they will expect you to act submissively. That's not to say you can't
say or do things you think are important, but its best you couch it
in a compliant way."
"But you just said the females make sure the
males treat them right."
"They do, outside of sex. But once they
choose to mate with a male, they turn submissive for him for as long
as the intimacy lasts. It's just the way their species' instincts
work, ma'am. That reminds me. Which of you two is the oldest?"
"I am, I guess," Holly supplied.
"Do you own any property?"
"A house and a car..."
"More than me," Jimena said. "I
just have a lousy apartment."
"Okay" Denali said, turning back to
Holly. "You'll be seen as the most desirable, so you'll have
first choice of the males."
"Me? But I look so frumpy..."
"You look fine," Jimena corrected.
"Either way, that won't matter so much to
them. In their culture, females almost always choose their partners.
The more experienced and more successful the female, the more
prestige for the male in being chosen by her. Now we'll go through
the locker room to their rec room, where you'll be able to choose. So
without further ado, ladies..." Denali pushed the door open.
Inside the air was pungent with the musky-spicy
scent of male dragons. It was very unlike any human scent, but Holly
did not find it unpleasant.
The activity of the dozen or so dragons in various
states of cleaning and talking came to a momentary halt as they
turned to regard the human women. Many of them made dirty asides amid
The only one who seemed unimpressed was Riven, who
was applying salve to his many various cuts. Just because war dragons
could heal somewhat faster than humans didn't mean their wounds
couldn't still hurt like hell, or need tending to.
To Holly's surprise, right beside Riven was his
opponent Lawg, sporting thick bandages and holding a cold pack to the
side of his head. They were casually talking together, even chuckling
at the occasional joke between them. Lawg suddenly elbowed Riven and
pointed toward Jimena and Holly.
Once again, the indigo dragon's eyes were drawn to
Holly's. Her heart thumped loudly as she unexpectedly found herself
peering into those dark, intelligent orbs.
Lawg nudged Riven's wing with his own. Riven's
nostrils flared as he abruptly turned away, a blush turning his
facial scales even darker.
Holly didn't know dragons were even capable of
The bouncer led the women up a set of back stairs
to a large game room laden with furniture built to the scale of
dragons. Every chair, couch, and table were at least half again the
size of their normal human equivalents, and reinforced with metal
along their frames. Large trays of heavily-burnt meats, which dragons
loved, and a dozen bottles of liquor lined the room's only table. The
space sported two tinted windows, one overlooking the main club floor
and the other peering into the storeroom-cum-locker room.
Two other human women were already waiting in the
room, both looking to be college age and much more like one would
expect of a fight club groupie. They snickered like truant
schoolgirls as they waved hello.
"No sense beating around the bush,"
Denali said. "You ladies know what you're here for. You can
still back out if you want, no problem. So is everyone still willing?
No cold feet?"
Jimena glanced at Holly, but the divorcee said
"Good," the bouncer said. "Now
we'll have you pick your partner before we bring them in, otherwise
they'll feel compelled to compete right in front of you. A fight
could break out for real, only this time they won't be safely locked
up in a pit." He turned toward Holly and gestured casually
toward the window overlooking the storeroom-turned-locker-room.
"Okay, miss, go ahead and choose first. The only thing we ask is
that your partner be one of the bout winners. It helps to motivate
the others for future fights."
Holly peered out form behind the tinted glass,
amazed she was still going through with this. She wondered how much
of her sudden courage had to do with the five seven-and-sevens
bubbling around inside of her. "I don't know who to pick,
"How about the bluish-black one?" Jimena
suggested. "He certainly seems intrigued by you."
Holly's breath caught as she thought back to
Riven's soulful eyes. Maybe there was something to that. "Okay,"
she said. "I pick with Riven."
What surprised Holly most about the dark-hued war
dragon was his pronounced accent. "I certainly didn't expect you
to speak like a Russian," she said.
"Like a Ukrainian," he corrected. "My
homeland is located in that part of the world, so I originally passed
through the Kiev wormhole when I came to your Earth. I learned the
language there first, especially after I joined their military for a
while. I am still learning your English."
"You speak it very well, considering."
"Thank you. There were always many American
movies to watch on TV in Kiev, so I had a good source to learn from."
"I noticed Omyn had a similar accent."
"Similar, but different. He is from a rival
nation-clan located where your eastern Russia is. As I spent my first
few years on your Earth in Kiev, he spent his in Moscow."
After the two of them had been formally
introduced, it took Riven less than five minutes to suggest they go
for a walk around the now mostly-empty warehouse while the others
began plying the liquor pretty heavily. Holly certainly didn't mind.
She'd already had plenty to drink and the physical activity was
helping settle her occasionally-gurgling stomach.
The other couples had already started to make out
when they had left the large rec room. Riven seemed a little
uncomfortable at that. "Are you okay?" she asked the big
"What do you mean?"
"From what I had been told, I was kind of
expecting a dragon male to be, I don't know, all grabby and stuff
after a female chose them. Omyn certainly was with Jimena..."
He ruffled his wings, a nervous affectation. "I
apologize. It is just I have never mated with a female human before.
You are so small. I worry about hurting you."
Holly felt a heated tingle deep within. Did he
have any idea how sexy his deep, accented voice sounded was saying
something like that? "Why did you allow yourself to be, ah,
He shrugged. "The other fighters and my
manager Bogdan all say I focus too much on fighting and training.
They said a female would help me relax."
"Kind of the same with me," Holly said.
"My friend brought me to the fights tonight so I could loosen up
a bit. I bet she thought this would help with that too."
"So you are not a, how do they say, dragon
"No, not usually." She sucked on her
lip. "Not that I would mind trying it out."
Riven may have proven a bit bashful, but even he
recognized an obvious opening like that. He stopped and turned,
running the back of his fingers ever so gently over Holly's exposed
His scales did not feel rough at all, as she
feared they might. His skin was much more akin to very soft,
well-worn leather, studded with many small bumps. It was quite
pleasant, especially coupled with his surprising body warmth.
She rubbed back at his hand in response, kissing
suggestively at his palm. She was nowhere near as nervous as she
thought she might be. Riven seemed more than pleasant and gentle
enough to relax around, and she was quite curious now to see if being
a dragon's slut for a few hours was as fun as her drunken mind hoped.