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Trelleir is a true dragon whose magic allows him to take on human form. The last of his kind, he longs for companionship. Even if it is only that of a human female. However, she is a slayer. Sworn to kill all dragons, including him.
A slight lessening of the obsidian signaled the end of the tube. Deneae bit her lip. The journey into the heart of the mountain had taken hours. The light came from the moon framed in the wide maw of the massive cave. A scrape against the floor extinguished the torch. When her eyes adjusted she picked out the various entrances to what she assumed were other chambers.
She gasped when a moonbeam travelled across the room. It lingered not on a rock, but the massive hulk of a sleeping dragon. The tip of the tail twitched as if the creature dreamed. After a soft snuffle, the movement stilled. The glow also revealed a white mass below her, where piles of bones had accumulated layer upon layer for years. Or eons, she corrected. No matter, the bones will serve me as a ladder.
As quietly as she could, she scrambled from one level to the one below. Each time a bone cracked beneath her weight, she stopped, breath held, only moving on when the dark hulk remained motionless.
Deneae slipped closer. Her blade rose to strike a blow from above. A strange thrall enveloped her. Unable to break the paralysis, she closed her eyes to slow her racing pulse. She looked up from her struggles to be pinned in a baleful glare. No longer sleeping, the dragon's eyelids were now open. Even in the darkness broken only by the fading embers of the torch, she knew the creature saw her.
A deep growl entered her mind.
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Copyright 2013 by Helen Henderson
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