Friday and I’m still dreaming…

Friday morning and I’m not really awake yet, but my mind is still spinning. I have so much going on in my brain.

I am trying to figure out how to write the big sex scene with sub/Dom overtones for my current WIP and I started a story for a fanfiction challenge only to have it completely take over my brain. 10,000 words in and I know that it’s too long for what is basically a one-shot challenge.

Why do I still write fanfiction you ask? Because I like it. Because through my fandoms I have met some amazing people who have helped me change my life. Without them I never would have attempted to publish something and their love and encouragement means more to me than I can ever explain.

And writing fanfiction is easier than original fiction. You are given a set of characters that come with a built in background that makes it easier to connect to your intended audience. You don’t have to figure out how to introduce your chacaters because everyone knows them already.

I do write some “real person” fanfiction as well and I know it freaks some people out, but relax. The men I’m writing about are not the “real” men who are on the shows I love. I know they aren’t secretly in love and pretending to get married to hide their sexuality. Once again, I use it for a base…seeing their faces in my head makes it connect easier with me and the people who want to read what I’m writing.

Now, the question of why I write gay romance novels? It’s much harder to answer and I think the answer will be my Monday Morning rant. For now, I think it’s time for the fic.

Part 3 of A Mate’s Heart – But it Burns, by Cindy Sutherland Copyright 2012

Orin woke to the feeling of fear and outrage and knew it wasn’t his own.

Tine!

He scrambled out of the nest and headed for the door of the cave only to be brought to his knees by a searing pain down his left side.

Gods, but it burns…

It wasn’t his pain, but his mate’s…his pregnant mate’s. The dragon who had been his everything for the last five years and who had finally managed to conceive their first hatchling.

Now someone was attacking him and putting it all in danger.

The fury that rose in Orin should have scared him, but in the small part of his mind that was still rational, he knew it was only partly his. The rest was his mate…his anger at being attacked.

Orin opened his mind to Tine, letting him see what was happening through his mate’s eyes. He didn’t do it often…just because he could read Tine’s thoughts, didn’t mean that he should…but these were special circumstances.

“What are you doing, Morag? What has provoked this attack?”

Morag? Who in the hell was Morag?

“You know what this is brother. That egg you carry means the end of my hopes for the throne. I won’t let that happen.”

He knew the name had seemed familiar. Tine’s half-brother, a dragon driven out of his mind by his own refusal to accept that he needed a human mate.

He pushed himself to his feet and staggered out the nest. He had to get to Tine. He knew where he’d be. Since he’d gotten pregnant, he liked to go and hunt early in the morning. He said the hatchling needed fresh, raw meat and he didn’t want Orin to have to see him eat it. It amused Orin that his mate seemed to forget that Orin would see it all in his head if he so chose anyway.

“I have no wish to be on the throne, Morag and you know it. I just want to be left to live my life.”

Orin knew it was true. They’d talked for long hours about Tine’s royal lineage and how his grandfather had wanted his younger grandson to rule. His mate wanted no part of it. The trials and tribulations of Dragon politics held no interest for him. He just wanted to be a husband and a father and spend the rest of his days loving Orin.

“It doesn’t matter. As long as you and this hatchling live, they will never make me king.”

Orin had unthinkingly grabbed his sword as he left the house, his only thought to get to his mate.

He ran through the forest as fast as he could, uncaring that he was clad only in his sleep pants, ignoring the pain of rocks digging into his feet.

He felt the jolt when Tine realized that he was coming.

“No love, stay back…there is nothing you can do. He’ll just kill you as well.”

Since their joining, the connection between them had only grown and was now to the point that Tine could hear thoughts that Orin projected at him. He used it now to send him comfort.

“I’m coming Tine. You can’t stop me. I’ll die anyway, if something happens to you.”

He could feel Tine’s worry growing as he got closer.

“I’ve heard about this strange connection you have with your human pet.” The other dragon’s voice radiated madness and cruelty…and jealousy. “He can’t help you, Tine…he has no power over me. If he comes, he will die with you.”

Orin could feel the anger building in Tine, but it was nothing like the insanity that was throbbing out if his brother’s mind. Instead, Tine’s anger was cold and calculating and Orin knew that Morag really had no idea how afraid he should be. Tine defending those that he loves was a terrifying sight to behold.

Orin gave up trying to talk to his mate and concentrated on running. When he finally skidded into the clearing where Morag had confronted Tine, both sets of eyes turned to him.

He saw Morag’s eyes widen and then watched as he transformed into his human form before wandering over to Orin.

“Your pet is so pretty, brother. Maybe I’ll enjoy him before I kill him.” He reached out to touch Orin, laughing as he danced easily out of the reach of the human’s sword. “I’ll show him what it’s like to be truly fucked by a dragon.”

Tine’s roar of fury drowned out anything else Morag was going to say and he charged at his brother. The other dragon changed back in an instant, turning on Tine and spewing a stream of fire at him, sending him cringing back, his burnt wing tucked against his side.

“You can’t have him, Morag…he’s my mate and the dragon council will kill you for touching him. It’s forbidden!”

Morag laughed again. “I care not for the rules of those that would forsake me. Once you’re dead, they will have no choice but to make me king and then I will make my own rules!”

Orin reached out with his mind; his thought’s tangling with his mates. “Ignore him Tine. He’s just trying to get you angry enough to attack. You need to stay safe and keep our hatchling out of harm’s way.”

Their eyes met across the clearing and Orin smiled at him in reassurance. “We’re stronger together. We can do this.”

Tine’s amazing eyes glittered in the early morning sunlight and between them, Morag’s heart seethed with jealousy. It rolled off him in waves and Orin knew that it made him all the more dangerous.

Tine was stuck in his dragon form. It was almost time for him to lay the egg in the nest they’d filled with soft bedding and the supplies that they’d need for the four moons that the egg needed to rest there before it hatched. Unfortunately, it made it hard for him to defend Orin against his brother when the other dragon was in his human form and Morag knew it.

“See brother? Your relationship with this…pet…” He spat the word like it disgusted him. “It has made you weak. If not for him, you’d be able to defend yourself against me. Instead you’re brooding like a female and unable to do anything to stop me.”

Their father had been one of the mad dragons. He’d copulated with the female humans who’d gone against their nature and sought out dragons to fuck. He’d used them like whores and then left them pregnant, passing on the madness to them that he suffered from.

The women had been found and cared for by the dragon elders who live in the mountains until their babies were born. Most of the women had given birth to human babies, but a few, like Tine’s mother and Morag’s had given birth to dragon hatchlings.

Tine and Morag had been considered the lucky ones as their grandfather had found them before their mothers had abandoned them, leaving them to die before they ran off in their madness.

Unfortunately, Morag seemed to be infected with the same sickness that had eventually killed both his parents.

Tine’s mother had been found and her mind healed. She had stayed with her son for years before old age had taken her away. She’d never actually mated with a dragon so she’d aged normally, passing away in her son’s arms when he was 42 summers old.
He’d been alone until he found Orin and now it was all he wanted. And Morag was threatening to take that away.

“I won’t let you hurt him, Morag. I don’t want to kill you, but I will.”

Orin could hear the determination in his mate’s voice but suspected that Morag was too far gone into madness to understand what he was facing.

Another dragon had come after Orin a couple of years ago…Tine had ripped it to shreds in almost no time. Tine had everything to lose and Morag had nothing. The motivation of the throne was nothing but an excuse to torture his brother because he dared to be happy.

“I fear you not, brother. You are foolish and weak. I will kill you and your hatchling and then use your pet like the whore he is before eating his heart out of his chest.”

Morag was so busy taunting Tine that he failed to notice Orin circling around behind him. As the other dragon advanced on Tine, who was pretending to cower in front of him, Orin crept up behind him and raised his sword. After the last dragon attack, Tine had taught Orin the best way to kill a dragon for his own safety.

Something must have alerted Morag to the danger because at the last minute he shifted form as he turned and growled, snapping at Orin, one fang catching and ripping a gash along his chest.

As his mate fell back, blood dripping from his wound, Tine attacked. He hadn’t been nearly as injured at he’d made out to be and once the other dragon was distracted, he took advantage.

Morag roared in pain and anger as Tine sunk his jaws into the exposed side of his brother’s neck, ripping and tearing with all his might.

Orin looked up and saw Morag’s deadly claws trying to grab hold of Tine’s distended belly and his rage equaled his mates.

He stood and drove the sword he held up into the soft underside of Morag’s jaw and pieced his brain. He jumped back as the mortally wounded dragon crashed to the ground, Tine’s teeth still ripping and tearing at his throat.

“Your mate killed me, Tine.” Orin almost felt sorry for Morag. The dragon’s arrogance had driven him to madness and confusion and it had killed him. “How is that even possible? Dragons are meant to rule the world!”

Tine finally pulled his fangs from Morag’s neck and wandered up to place himself between Orin and the dying dragon.

“No brother.” Tine shook his big head sadly. ”We were meant to protect it with our mates by our side.” He nosed along the side of his brother’s face. ”Go meet Draconis in peace, Morag. I forgive you your arrogance and anger.”

The other dragon sighed and nodded once before his eyes slid closed and he was gone. They both watched as his body seemed to shrink in on itself and then fade into ash, blown away on the wind

Tine turned to Orin with tears glittering in those ever changing eyes. “How badly are you hurt, my love?”

Orin shook his head. “I’m fine. Luckily I’ve been mated to a dragon and that comes with benefits, like faster healing.” He moved closer to Tine, reaching out a tentative hand towards his large head. “What about you? I could feel it when he burned you.”

The dragon pushed his head into the touch, the feelings overwhelming him now that the danger was over. He let himself drop carefully to the grass on his right side.
“I’m so sorry, Orin. I really didn’t think he’d come after me.”

Orin watched in amazement as huge tears fell from Tine’s eyes. He’d never seen him cry in dragon form before. He wrapped his arms around Tine’s neck, holding him to his chest as best he could. He was gratified to see his mate’s wounds healing quickly.

“Oh Tine…” Orin kissed Tine’s forehead. “This isn’t your fault. His madness was his own.” He realized with awe that where Tine’s tears touched the wound on his chest, it was healing immediately leaving behind only warmth.

“I wish I could take my human form and have you hold me in your arms.” The longing in those words made Orin ache for the same thing.

“Soon, my love. Once our child is safely in our nest, I will lay there with you and hold you until your heart’s content.” He stroked the surprisingly smooth scales under Tine’s jaw, trying to calm him so that his body could heal itself. It didn’t take long once Tine let it happen.

Tine lifted his head, smiling in contentment when he saw Orin’s wound was fully healed. “So forever then?”

Orin let himself fall back into the grass, pulling Tine’s head down to lie on his stomach. “Aye, Tine. Forever and always.”

Tine hummed his contentment as they lay there in the morning sun. Orin could feel his mate relaxing and the fear leaving his body when there was a sudden tension.
Orin was alarmed but all he could feel from Tine was joy.

“I think we are going to get that cuddle soon, love. It’s time to go back to our nest. It’s time for our hatching to make its first appearance.”

Orin scrambled out from underneath his mate and onto his back.

The dragon and his mate took flight. It was time to go home.

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