Reign Of Fire Fanfiction: Reign of the Dragons: Original Story - 8. Chapter 8
Any humans that lived in houses were pampered beyond reason.
It was the first thought as I first spotted the behemoth. The house spanned probably a mile by a mile; I could see various humans around the complex, which meant this was a dragon nest. Uneasily I looked up at the dragon carrying me, but he spared not even a glance at me. God, I was terrified. These dragons were my enemies. They tried to kill me. I tried to kill them. Yet here I was flying into a fortified nest with a pureblood dragon, whose comrades I had killed.
I had never been this afraid before and I knew I was shaking uncontrollably. What would happen to me in this nest? Saphir had said I was his pet, but minds could be changed, and lies could be passed as truth. What if this was to be my execution for harming his pack? Or was this a test I had to pass? I couldn’t tell with Saphir.
As we landed, I was tossed to the side like a sack of goods, but I kept my mouth shut. Who was to know if I would be punished for being outspoken here? How did a human pet act to a dragon? I’d never seen the dynamic of a pet before and I had prided myself on knowing almost everything about dragons. Plus, Saphir had convinced me to leave my guns behind, so I was armed with only a few combat knives. Like that was going to help me. Gods I was a fool.
“Get up.” I looked up to see Saphir in his human form, looking straight ahead at the other dragons coming to meet him. I searched his face, trying to find a shred of humanity in his gaze, like sympathy or even relief to be with his dragon kin again. Nothing. He was back to his old stoic self; the terror of my nightmares: a pureblood dragon. I scrambled to my feet, my fear increasing.
“Saphir.” I looked up to see another dragon standing in front of Saphir. He sported blond hair and blue eyes and looked as if he could pass for a normal human. However, his attitude and even physical stance bellied the fact that he wore arrogance as a second skin, giving him status as a pureblood. No halfbreed could give off this aura of power like a pureblood could.
“Dalriada.” As I swapped my gaze from both of them, I realized I couldn’t tell who was more dominant of the two. They stared at one another, their gazes unblinking, as if they could communicate without words. Finally, Dalriada touched his forehead, then his heart, a dragon gesture of respect. Saphir simply took this as his due and looked toward me. “My pet will prepare my chambers. Give her to your pets for now.”
“As you command, Saphir.” With that, he waved a hand, and immediately two beautiful human women flanked me, each of them lightly grasping my arm. They inclined their heads to Dalriada and began to tug me away. I allowed them to do so with only a glance back at Saphir for reassurance. There was nothing.
So in the end, I was dragged into the house, pulled by various dragons who cast interested glances our way, escorted by servants who never looked you in the eye, until finally we entered what seemed to be the most luxurious hallway of the entire house. It was blanketed in what seemed to be gold, lined with precious stones of every variety in the walls, and it just made me feel so out of place. I didn’t belong in here, no matter if it was a roof over my head and a comfortable bed to sleep in. Sure, I’d seen a few stones from travels, but they weren’t held in high regard. Personally, I’d trade ammo for ammo instead of getting a useless gem.
“This way,” the woman on my left finally stated, tugging me into the second room on the left. I dutifully followed her only for my jaw to drop. The place was covered in different cloths and textures, only some of which I knew. I recognized silk, since I had seen a bolt being sold once before, but the rest was beyond my meager comprehension. And like the rest of the house, the decadence of the room alone made me feel horribly dirty and out of place.
“This will be your master’s room,” the woman on my right stated, her tone even and without any sort of emotion. As I watched her, the rest of her body seemed to match her voice. It was sad and made me want to rescue her, but sometimes, people didn’t want to be rescued. “Please arrange it to his desires.”
“I don’t know them…” I finally spoke up.
“A new pet?” the woman on my left queried rhetorically. “I see. To survive, you must learn how to be meek and humble. When you reach a nest, you will be told to go inside and prepare the room for your master. You will learn their likes and dislikes and prepare accordingly. Bring them what they request, when they request, and you will live. I can see strength in you, but you must rid yourself of this. Do you understand?” By the time she was through with her explanation, I was bristling in indignation that could never be released. I knew well enough that I would have to wait to tear into Saphir, but damn, I wanted to give him a piece of my mind.
“I understand,” I forced myself to say.
“We have seen Saphir before, so we know how to prepare this room. For now, we will do it, but you have to rid yourself of that stench. Dragons do not care to smell your scent in this place. We must be seen but unseen. Now go; Alisha will take you to the bathing quarters.” The woman on my right nodded to the other and led me out. I was quiet as I mused over this new predicament.
Even though the woman in me rebelled at the prospect of what I would have to pretend to act, the scientist side was in overdrive. So many questions that wouldn’t be answered until we left this place…Like, why did the dragons not want to smell a true scent? Wasn’t that how they identified each human? But then again, these were servants, meant to serve and pamper. They didn’t need names nor anything defining about themselves. Even then, I’d seen hundreds of servants on our way to Saphir’s room. Why did they need so many servants? Was there something being built in this house still? I didn’t think the dragons would tolerate this many humans at once, but again, this was my first time in a nest.
“What is your name?” Alisha finally asked, sparing a glance at my shoulder instead of my eyes. I didn’t force her to look at my face because it would make her uncomfortable, so I accepted it and moved on.
“I remember what it was like outside of these walls,” she admitted, her voice low as he gaze looked for anyone in the great hall we were walking in.
“Really?” I asked, amazed. Her movements were graceful, her step light and dainty, and god knows I wouldn’t have ever pegged her as someone to survive out of these walls.
“Yes. The freedom, the bonding of your human packmates-” I quirked an eye over her word usage but she continued, “The hunt for food, everything.”
“Do you miss it?” I asked. I wasn’t about to complain to someone finally opening up to me, and I wanted any kind of answers I could possibly get.
“I used to, but now…I’m too scared to leave these walls.” Oh god, let me not stay here that long. “Plus my master would kill me if I ran and I am provided with everything in the nest. You must play the part, Jessi, if you do not wish to change. I know of your master and he moves constantly, so you will not belong here. Just pretend to be submissive and hide your true scent. You will survive if you do.”
“I see,” I muttered. “Don’t look dragons in the eye…” I trailed off, letting her finish the rules for me.
“You’ve never played a pet before, have you? It will be difficult at first, then it will come easier for you. Do not look anyone in the eye and hide your scent; these are the two rules that must never be broken. Only speak when spoken to, serve your master to your greatest ability, and I mean give him whatever he asks. Anything he asks.” She was glancing at my shoulder again, her face blank, so it took me a few minutes for my face to color as comprehension dawned. “Exactly.”
“Saphir…hasn’t….asked…” I managed to choke out. Sleep with my enemy? No way!
“He partakes in the servants here. You should be safe for now, but I tell you this for later.” A wave of anger rose in my gut at Saphir forcing himself on humans, and Alisha caught it before I could hide it. “No, it is not like that. We are not forced and they treat us properly when they take us. It is pleasant enough.”
“You don’t have a say in it?”
“Mostly, we don’t. But if a dragon sorely mistreats another human servant, they are punished.”
“And their human servant?” I pressed.
“It doesn’t matter. That is their pet to do with as they wish. Most dragons, when they break in their pet, don’t wish to do it again so they treat their pet with some humanity. I’ve only known one dragon to beat his pets until they died and he’s left his nest.”
I fell silent as we finally got to the bathing chambers, and of course, my jaw dropped once again. Some sort of cool material lined the floor with tubs of bubbling water lining nearly every square foot of this place.
“What is this stuff?” I asked, bending down and rubbing the floor. It was smooth to the touch and glossy, and seemed to be water resistant.
“It’s called marble. You really haven’t been to a nest before, have you?” I shook my head.
“I’ve never seen this before on my travels. Then again, it seems heavy. I wouldn’t trade for something as useless as that.” Alisha nodded and moved over to bring me back to my feet.
“You must bathe,” she stated, and as I looked around, everyone around us was stark naked. Of course, everyone that had traveled with Julie and I had always bathed at once with a sentry on guard duty. It was just easier to watch over everyone that way, even if we all pretended not to look at the opposite sex. Now I stripped myself of my guns, leaving my knives and wires on my person, and ignored the shocked gasp from Alisha.
So in reaction, I stripped and got into the closest pool, which had no one in it and looked back to Alisha. She held out a bar of soap and nodded when I took it. I scrubbed, wincing at the rough texture, but put it to the side when I finished. Next came the shampoo, which was easy enough, and conditioner, which I’d only seen a few times on my travels. Something that softened the hair wasn’t much sought after, even if Julie had snuck a bottle when I wasn’t looking.
“Here, wear this for now,” Alisha said softly, handing me a bundle of clothes when I stepped out of the bath. “We’ll wash your other clothes for you.” I nodded and dressed quickly, and when I was done, I had to say that I loved the feel of their clothes. They were silk and soft against my skin and also were very breathable compared to my usual garb. However, some of the knives were visible, so before I could be scolded by Alisha, I took off the ones that anyone could see, leaving the hidden ones strapped to my legs. The ones I couldn’t use I bundled inside a cape she had given me
“Now we will go to the kitchen and you will prepare your master’s meal.” I remembered the last thing he had eaten and nearly growled at my irritation. The cocky bastard and his stupid bear.
“How do I prepare it? Do I have to cook it?”
“Oh, no. You must bring it all to your room and arrange it to his desires.” God, could dragons do nothing in this place? Pampered, all of them. “Here is the kitchen. You remember the way back to your room?” I nodded. “Good. This food is arranged for anyone to bring back to their masters. Get what you need and what your master wants to eat. I will join you in your room shortly.”
“Right.” She left, carrying my clothes, and I sighed at the sheer amount of plates in front of me. Some had the same food, but many were different. What did Saphir eat? I had no idea, other than bear meat. I’d never asked, nor had I really paid attention to a dragon’s diet. I mean, when their jaws were coming for you, you never asked how they got their sparkling white teeth. So I just grabbed the first plates and began to walk back to my room. I kept my eyes averted as people passed, trying my damndest to keep out of trouble, and finally reached my room. As I entered, plates of food were already strewn across two tables, and I nearly threw the food at the woman inside who eyed me disdainfully.
“Now you bring his food?”
“You told me to bathe.”
“Yes. I told you nothing of food for Saphir. Put those back.” I bristled with anger at her haughty attitude and whirled from the room, taking the food back. I put them back in the kitchen and stalked back to my room, my anger still not abating by the time I got back. But I knew how to keep it leashed. Mostly.
“Now what?” I asked, hopefully as calm as possible.
“Make your sleeping mat outside of the room.”
“Outside?” I managed to choke out. Don’t get me wrong, I’d slept on worse than a floor, but it was the principle of the thing that was getting me riled.
“Yes. You will attend to him as he calls for you.” I looked down, barely noticeable through the two tables piled with food and saw another bedroll.
“Then who is sleeping there?”
“I am,” she stated, a hint of a smirk on her face.
“You are,” I repeated, trying to hold onto my anger.
“Yes. I’m his personal attendant for this nest. A dragon gets tired of the same pet all the time, you know.”
“And I’m sure he’s not tired of having the same pet at this nest now, is he?” I saw my barb had struck, but she quickly composed.
“He requests me when he arrives here, else there would be a new pet in this room. But he has never wanted another; only me.” Knowing my anger was at dangerous levels, I whirled and shut the door behind me forcefully. Let the bitch think she’d won this fight. I could kill her in five ways outside of this door and every one of them would make me damn happy.
Instead of killing her, like I really wanted to do at the moment, I grabbed the bedroll and spread it out next to the wall, tucking my weapons underneath the pillow they had given me. The dragons would smell them, but I would put them back when the bitch had left. She would turn them in or get rid of them, and I’d traded a lot for most of these. Her grubby hands weren’t touching any of them.
A few minutes later, Alisha arrived at my room, and eyed me sitting against the wall.
“What are you doing? You should be seeing to your master’s meal.”
“Bitch already took care of it,” I muttered. “I swear to god, I’ll slit her throat when she sleeps.” Alisha sighed and knelt beside of me.
“You and many of the pets at the compound. She believes that she is better than any of us because of the many dragons that prefer her. She caters to their needs and they allow her the privilege of sleeping with them.”
“Privilege?” I echoed. “Hah.”
“Please, calm down. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself.”
“Then get that bitch out of my quarters so I can sleep inside.”
“Unless Saphir orders it, she will not.” And since Saphir would probably laugh that I’d gotten stuck outside, that wasn’t going to happen, which got me even angrier over my situation.
“Goddamn it, that bitch better-” a hand came down over my mouth and I quieted, but recited a litany of profanities in my head. It made me feel marginally better.
“Please, quiet! Since she is seeing to Saphir, you may eat your meal in the kitchens. Are you hungry?” I nodded reluctantly. “Then come. Let us eat.”
So once again, we made our way to the kitchens, but this time, I caught a glance of the dragon that had welcomed Saphir. He eyed me once, caught my gaze, and I saw his gaze darken. I cocked my head, confused, then realized I wasn’t supposed to look them in the eyes. Immediately I dropped my gaze and moved on with Alisha, who never suspected anything.
I had brought my meal back to my bedroll, where I ate in relative silence. This was not worth it; I wanted to leave this place and never return. I could admit, I was used to being in control and being in charge, and the loss of that power chafed. Also, that bitch in my chamber waiting for Saphir. I wanted her gone for obvious reasons; she was annoying and had no right to kick me out of my own chambers. If I wasn’t so conscientious of what I would cause with a fight, I’d kick her ass and literally throw her ass out.
And down the hall I finally saw Saphir for the first time since I had been taken; he was walking with the same dragon that was angry with me before. They were trailed by two human servants, each waiting for any order the dragons could possibly have, and I just sighed. This place was way too decadent for me. Give me the forest any day. And as Saphir came to stop in front of me, I looked at his shoes, no matter how much I wanted to glare at him.
“Human, what are you doing outside of your chambers?” The comment made me bristle, and by the chuckle from Dalriada, he could smell my anger.
“Well-” I began, but caught my sarcastic comment before it got me into trouble. “There seems to be some…confusion…for my sleeping arrangements. I…respectfully request…to be placed elsewhere since you will already be serviced for the night.” Now Dalriada exploded into full blown laughter and I changed a questioning look up at them. Was my request so out of place?
“Your wench thinks lowly of her station,” Dalriada stated, his grin wide.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-” Saphir held up a hand to still anything I was about to say.
“You should have kicked her ass out,” Dalriada stated. “You preside over her, no matter what she says.” Calmly, I set the bowl down and stood slowly.
“I can get her out of the room? In any way, shape, or form?” Verbal confirmation was what I needed, because that bitch was going down. How dare she try to put me outside like some dog who had displeased his master. Oh, this would be the moment I would savor; watching her get her ass beat by me would amuse me for a long time to come.
“That wench won’t leave quietly,” Dalriada agreed. I watched his face, looking for a lie, then turned to Saphir, my anger smoldering.
“Get her out in any way you can,” he agreed. “You must establish your station as my personal pet.” I grinned evilly at him.
“Ignore the screams,” I said darkly, then entered the room. The bitch was waiting on the bed, wearing nearly nothing, and I pointed at the door. “Get the hell out of my room, you lying bitch.” She quirked an eyebrow at my display, which made me even angrier. This was my room, my master for all it was worth, and the spot on the floor was mine. Her ass was going outside.
“I believe I told you Saphir requests me when I come to this nest.” Now armed with knowledge, I struck back.
“But not this time. He didn’t request you because he’s got me to take care of him. Now you have about five seconds to dress before I throw your ass out.” And I wanted her to say no. Gods, let her say no.
“I’m not leaving.”
I made my way over to her and grabbed her arm, yanking her to her feet. She stumbled forward, not expecting the attack, but quickly recovered and fisted a hand in my hair. Immune to hair pulling, I simply threw a fist into her stomach, grinning when she crumpled. However, she came up swinging, her hands slapping me to get me away from her.
“You had your chance,” I said sweetly before I blocked a slap and kicked her in the stomach, sending her flying toward the door. She slammed against it and I roughly picked her up from the floor, opened the door, and threw her outside, where she landed at Dalriada’s feet.
“There,” I said, smiling at Saphir. “Your meal is ready,” I said sweetly. Saphir to glanced at me, his look telling me to behave, but I knelt and picked up my bedroll and followed him inside. I deposited them beside my bag and blinked as Dalriada entered the room and closed the door behind him.
“Your pet is spirited. She is not broken yet?”
“No. She will not be broken.”
“Good. I like her spirit.” Now I was really surprised and turned to Saphir.
“But, Saphir?” I saw him glance at me as he sat down to eat, telling me to continue. “I was told I should shut my mouth and be submissive.”
“Like you could manage that,” he scoffed between bites. I opened my mouth to argue, thought about it, then shut my mouth, knowing he was right.
“Where did you learn that?” Dalriada asked, plopping down in a chair and watching me.
“How to fight.”
“You have to learn it to survive in the wilderness. My father taught me most of what I know.”
“Where is he?” Dalriada asked.
“Dead in a dragon raid.” He made a noise of acceptance and continued to study me.
“And you have killed dragons?”
“How many?” he continued.
“Enough.” At his look, I sighed. “Twenty-three.” He nodded and looked toward Saphir.
“She has killed enough dragons to be of use to you. They would never expect a human to be a threat.” I wanted to ask what he was talking about, but Dalriada rose. “Let me play with your pet, Saphir. She looks to be delightful.” I looked toward Saphir in disbelief, and he just nodded.
“Do what you wish,” Saphir said in dismissal, wholly intent on his food.
I saw Dalriada move from the corner of my eyes, and I was already in a defensive stance before the dragon’s punch had even come close. I deflected and managed to punch him in the chest. His right hand hooked toward me and I ducked, spinning and sweeping his legs out from under him. Dalriada fell, his face surprised, and I flipped away to land in another defensive stance. Saphir began laughing and the sound startled me. Sure, I’d heard him laugh, but never with this much gusto and mirth.
“Pathetic human, is she?” Saphir asked between gasps of laughter. “I would never choose ordinary.”
“True. She did surprise me. She is well trained for a human.” Now Dalriada, fully prepared, launched himself at me. It was a flurry of punches, kicks, and blocks from both of us, and each managed to land a few hits on the other. However, it was destined for me to lose, since I didn’t have the stamina or fortitude of a pureblood dragon, so we finally pulled away when a punch to my jaw rocked my world.
“Enough,” Dalriada said, knowing by this point I was beaten. “You are highly trained, human, and would make a good pet for Saphir. I accept your petition, Saphir, and will allow sanctuary when you have slain Enveri.”
“He shouldn’t have come after me.”
“No, he shouldn’t. He should have known better.” I swapped gazes between both dragons as I rubbed my aching jaw. Dalriada walked over and placed a hand on my aching jaw, smirking at my wary glance. “I’m done playing, pet.” So I dropped my hand and let him begin to heal me, his eyes never leaving my own. As I held his gaze, comprehension finally dawned about the heated looks he was giving me. His gaze was sensual, his grin contemplative, and I blushed and finally looked away.
“Be nice to my pet,” Saphir broke in, his voice amused. “I doubt she’s known a man before. If she has, she has no scent on her.”
“Truly? Your pet’s innocent? When will you take her?” Suddenly very interested in the conversation, I held my breath for Saphir’s answer. He continued to chew like the question wasn’t hanging around us, then finally harrumphed.
“Whenever I need to be serviced. Why have a pet when I’m here at the nest?” Dalriada grinned toothily.
“Let me take your pet off your hands for the night.” Oh my god, let me die here and now. No way I wanted to hear this conversation, and I agreed to none of this when I became his pet. I should’ve made him draw up a contract with all these little tidbits, because even if it was normal to him, it sure as hell wasn’t normal to me.
“Human?” Saphir questioned, his gaze unfathomable.
Well damn. This was what the phrase ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ meant. I was damned if I said yes and damned if I said no. What if Saphir was expecting me to say no so I could be only his? Dragons were possessive of their mates, even to the point of jealousy, so would it spread to encompass a pet? And what if I said yes? I had no want to be…claimed, or taken, or whatever they called it. They were my enemy. I killed their kind. Why would I become romantically intimate with one voluntarily?
“She’s a new pet. One day, in fact. She’s terrified of you.” I opened my mouth to speak, but shut it. Let them think I was afraid of the dragon itself instead of nighttime pleasures. Even though it stung my pride it would serve my purposes for the moment.
“Most new pets are. I’d take good care of you….what is your name, pet?” Now I looked at him surprised.
“Jessi.” My voice was quiet but strong, thankfully. I didn’t want to appear too weak.
“Come back with me, Jessi.” It was odd hearing my name on the lips of a dragon and I didn’t say no because of the sheer oddity of hearing it. I was so used to being called human or pet that it didn’t register that a dragon would care to even learn my name.
“Leave her alone,” Saphir chided. “Take the wench outside.” Dalriada laughed and shot a toothy grin at Saphir.
“That’s a good idea. The wench will still be spitting mad from Jessi. I can turn that to my advantage.” He all but stalked out of the room, and I saw his nose twitch as he opened the door. Of course the wench wasn’t out there, but he could always follow her scent, which seemed to be what he was going to do.
“Have you eaten?” Saphir asked as the door shut behind the other dragon. I stood and nodded, but by god, his food looked so delicious. I was used to meat and the occasional berries, not all of these fruits spread out around him. “What? Never seen fruit before?” I wanted to say yes, but I shook my head no. “Hmph. I guess you wouldn’t living here.” He reached into a bowl and threw me a green thing. I caught it and eyed it.
“It looks like a grape. But it isn’t red.”
“Different type of grape,” Saphir answered. Under his gaze, I nibbled the edge and puckered.
“Lord, that’s sour!” Saphir grinned at my distress. “Now it’s sweet.” Now that I was used to the taste, I could taste the sweet undertones. What an odd grape.
“Here.” Now he held out something and I walked over to him, taking it from his hands. I bit the outside curiously, then stuck out my tongue.
“Ew!” I cried out.
“Stupid human, you take off the skin.” Saphir took it back and with a flick of his wrist, broke off the top part of the fruit. He continued to drag it down, doing the same with the other parts of the skin, and it revealed a white thing underneath the skin. I took it back and took an experimental lick.
“Eat the banana,” he commanded. I took a nibble and brightened.
“It’s good! I like it.” He waved his hand so I bounded to the bed and ate my food silently, enjoying the taste.
“Human, you will be protected here. Sleep for now, because tomorrow, we will hunt.” I gulped down the banana and nodded seriously.
“I understand.” It was what I was here for and what I could make my use doing. If it kept Julie safe from Saphir’s wrath, I could deal with this.
“Then sleep human.” I put the skin back on the table and went to curl up on the sleeping bag on the side of the bed. However, Saphir stopped me with a hand. “Not there. I don’t want you to smell like her.” I hesitated but nodded, secretly wanting to sleep in the comfy looking bed. So when I slipped under the soft covers, I burrowed into the pillow and marveled at how soft and squishy it felt compared to a hard ground.
“I want one of these,” I murmured, already falling into a deep slumber.
“If you can carry one, human,” Saphir replied as he began to eat once again, allowing me to fall back to sleep.