The sign read, “No Howling.”
Typical. She never did like much noise, but using the same word that was used for those tiny, yipping creatures… Well, that was just rude.
I bellowed, “Adarra!” and smiled, flashing my teeth in the waning light of the sun. That was nothing like a howl. Those stupid dogs couldn’t get that much echo if they all yipped in unison.
A growl came from the entrance to my right. I started to turn that direction before recalling her architectural prowess and her paranoia. She could very easily rig some sort of tunnel or something to project her voice to a different area of her lair. I stayed where I could see all the entrances – those that I knew of, anyway.
Her voice echoed from within, “What do you want?”
“To talk with you, you old hermit, so come out where I can see you!”
“Tridan?” her snout peaked out from the entrance a little ahead and to my left.
“Who else would come all this way to try to talk some sense into you?”
She inched out of the cave. I didn’t know if she was nervous or flirting. The way her scales shimmered in the setting sun gave me the shivers and I had to flap my wings and take a few sidesteps to calm down. She really should reproduce. It would be a shame to lose her coloring – the way her scales had that iridescent shimmer over that deep scarlet. She was breathtaking. The fire in my belly started to boil. Focus! I wasn’t here to court her!
“Why did they send you?” She was definitely frightened. I’d never seen a dragon try to hide in the open, but she was doing her best – head down, neck folded double against her chest, tail curled around the front of her – It was a pathetic picture.
“I’m not going to hurt you, force you, or even reprimand you. Please. We used to be friends.”
“That was a long time ago. Things change.”
“You know why I’m here.”
“The same as all the others?”
“What makes them think I’ll give you a different answer?”
“I don’t know, but I told them I’d try.”
“What if I just say ‘no’ right now? Will you leave?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” I paused trying to decide if I would leave. I didn’t want to. I’d forgotten how spectacular she was. How radiant! Imagine if she were to stretch that neck toward me! I put my head down so I could clear the image from my mind. It was as hard to think as ever with her around. “I don’t want to.”
I dared not look up. How would she respond? Would she ask me to leave? “What if I say ‘no’ and invite you inside?”
My head snapped up and I looked into her swirling, multi-facetted eyes. The rainbow of truth swirled around a very bright red spark. Perhaps my trip wouldn’t be completely in vain.