“Roroku did not do very well by me, really,” said Vaareng.
“She did not,” said Driaith. “But you did not do very well by me either. You tossed me aside without a second thought — without a first thought, I believe!”
Vaareng attempted to engage some of his unused thought-processes — a terrible and painful exertion for anyone unused to such labor! (I should not mock him. Empathy does not come naturally to dragons, nor are we trained to it as dragonets, or, in many cases, ever. I was just as self-centered as he, and still am unless I am intentionally working not to be.) “Driaith, I did, at that, didn’t I?”
“Yes, at the first sniff of a natural vulva. So, what am I to you? The best available substitute for the natural vulva that you seem to find so essential, but to be ignored or evicted at your convenience? Or, perhaps, your boyfriend — yes, boyfriend — who will be your ally and partner and consort, who will strike from the left when you strike from the right? I could manage to be one of these, I think. I doubt I could be both.”
Vaareng mused a moment before answering. “I have been treating you as the former. I never made an actual choice — I never thought about the question even.”
Mirinxan, who had been silent only with great effort, said, “It is no easy question to think about, or not for a drake who would prefer a dragoness, anyhow. I know that quite well.”
Vaareng looked at Mirinxan suspiciously. “Where do you fit in this? Why are you of all people being sympathetic?”
Mirinxan sighed. “Because, after much effort and rudeness, I did think about it myself, at length, a few years ago. And decided that Driaith and I are boyfriend and boyfriend. Now, I am not his boyfriend to make him unhappy. When you had your escapade with Roroku, I urged him to cast you aside as quickly and thoughtlessly as you had cast him aside. But he became utterly miserable from that. I believe he is unfortunate enough to love you, in some serious sense of the word.”
Vaareng was stung in the masculinity. “Unfortunate? How could it be unfortunate? I am …”
Mirinxan snapped, “A terrible partner — if you are a partner at all!”
Driaith hissed at Mirinxan. “Please. There is no need for insults. Let him think.”
“That I shan’t!” roared Mirinxan. “Vaareng! A while ago I tricked you out of a fine sapphire! Here, take it back.”
Vaareng took it back, of course; what else would a dragon do? He sniffed at it, tongue flicking, puzzled. “You took it from me by acceptable means. Why are you giving it back?”
“Figure it out yourself,” Mirinxan snapped. He leapt into the air and flew off, his doubled wingbeats booming angrily.
Vaareng peered at the gem and at the departing drake. “Does he do that often, Driaith?”
”…I don’t know what he’s after either,” admitted Driaith. “I should go catch him. Would you please do me the endless kindness of deciding if I am your sweetheart, or your sweet-cunny, of your for-want-of-anything-better, or not even that? I might abide by your decision, or I might not, but I can’t do that unless I know what it is, can I?”
“I will think on this, Driaith.”
Driaith kissed Vaareng. Both of them to refuse to explain to me what they meant by that kiss, so take as a passionate one, or a regretful one, or whatever you wish. “Recover now, Vaareng,” said Driaith, and bounded into the sky.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.