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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2101619
Rated: 18+ · Draft · Fantasy · #2101619
In which our herodragon is awakened and meets her master
Author's note: Still working out title, as the dragon hasn't told me what she wants it to be yet. Please advise about dialogue, sentence structure, and repeat word usage, as all of these tend to be a problem for me. (IE tendency to run on sentences and fragments, characters all sound the same, too many uses of "also"). Thanks very much! ~LadyK~


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A strange noise woke me. It invaded my dreams, a piercing shrill, and not the alarm I’d set to wake me on the first day of spring. Forcing my eyes open, I saw nothing in the darkness in which I slept, but I knew that I was not alone. I lay still, consciously recognizing the cold on my skin, the hard stone beneath my body, and hearing every minute sound. The shrill noise continued, but beneath it I could feel a presence inside my space, the movement of the body disrupting the air in an almost palpable manner. Listening more closely, I could make out low breaths, and the rustling of canvas over cotton. I began to pull my limbs inward, directing my body to contract and the limbs that were not needed to be swallowed back into my body. I was confident now that the intruder was human, and had no idea what I really was. Once the transformation was complete, I rolled over with a groan and fumbled about for my alarm.
~1~

“Holy shit,” a voice said. “It really worked.” I looked at him, annoyed, as he struck a match and lit a lamp. ~2~

“I have electricity,” I muttered, getting to my feet and going to flip the switch. Gentle lighting surrounded ups, lighting the cold basement where I had been sleeping on a thin mat. ~3~

“You have electricity, but not a proper bed?” he asked. I could tell from both his attitude and his aura, that he felt he was in complete control of this situation. He did have me at a distinct disadvantage, and I was curious what manner of instrument he had found to rouse me from deep torpor. I was also beginning to feel distinctly hungry, which was going to make me cranky, not that being wakened during my sleeping time hadn’t. ~4~

“I like to sleep on the floor,” I replied. “And one would expect that breaking into someone’s home and making a ridiculous amount of noise would be enough to rouse the homeowner. Or were you expecting something different? ~5~

“No, this is playing out exactly as I’d thought,” he replied. He began rummaging in the pocket of his overcoat, removing a small casket covered in velvet. From this, he pulled a seemingly endless length of tarnished gold chain, which I recognized immediately. “Fact is,” he went on, “I am about to own you completely. ~6~

The end of the chain finally reached the air, and from it dangled an amulet of polished rose quartz, deep within which seemed to float several tiny, polished opals. I took a moment to curse this piece of jewelry, as well as the one who clearly had not destroyed it as he had promised he would. ~7~

“You mean to buy me with an ancient trinket?” I asked, keeping my voice calm and slightly incredulous. ~8~

He smiled slightly, and began reading the words that had been inscribed in the stone. The words were so ancient that he should not have been able to pronounce them. The spell would damn me to his service until his death, or such time as he decided to free me from it. The first half of the spell immobilized me; that was the blood that had been used to create the amulet. I was unable to move or to speak, unable to stop him from reciting the second half of the spell. This second half would bind me to him, and prevent me from attaining any more distance from him than was necessary to answer his commands. Again I cursed Tristan. ~9~

When the man had completed the ritual, he said, “You have to do what I say now, right? ~10~

I wanted very badly to dash his hopes, but I am honest, having no reason to lie. “Yes,” I growled. ~11~

“And you can ‘t lie? ~12~

“No. ~13~

“Good. Go get dressed. ~14~

I stalked over to a pile of clothes, pulling out a pair of worn jeans and a tank top, and topping it with a pullover sweater. Pulling on my socks, I muttered, “Should have eaten you as soon as I knew you were here. ~15~

“What was that? ~16~

“I said, I should have eaten you as soon as I knew you were here,” I replied. To my surprise, he laughed. I glared at him, pulling on my boots, and standing to follow him upstairs and out into the freezing night. He took me immediately to a Denny’s, ordering for me French toast with extra syrup, and two glasses of each type of juice the restaurant offered, as well as chocolate milk and sausage patties. Because I was famished and had used nearly all of my strength changing to human form and bantering with him, I consumed everything that was set before me. Being fed did not improve my disposition, however, nor did his unwavering attention while I ate. ~17~

“Well, he said you’d be hungry when you woke, but damn. Do you need any more?” he asked. ~18~

“This amount is sufficient,” I replied. “Who told you I’d be hungry? ~19~

He smirked. “That’s for me to know, I’m afraid,” he replied. “I don’t need you going after him. ~20~

“I can’t go after him. Unless you order me to,” I replied. I had decided that his cocky attitude did not require me to be polite. “How did you come by that necklace? ~21~

“You wouldn’t believe I found it,” he said. I shook my head, regarding him steadily with my most unnerving stare. “He said you wouldn’t. I bought it at an antique store, and took it to my uncle. He collects objects of power, and I guessed from the inscription that this was one. He said that the language was so ancient that it probably wouldn’t work though. ~22~

“The language precedes Aramaic,” I replied. “And what was that twice cursed thing you used to wake me? ~23~

“Twice cursed,” he laughed. “I like that.” He pulled from his coat a whistle that looked very much like a reed, but was carved from jade. “A gift from my uncle,” he said, explaining before I could ask him. “Shall I show you how it works? ~24~

“I KNOW how it works,” I growled. ~25~

“Hmm, still grumpy, I see. No matter. If you’ve finished?” he asked, leaving the question open. I stood up in answer. He left money on the table to cover my meal, and we went back into the cold February morning. ~26~

“I need to get warm,” I said. ~27~

“You should have worn a coat,” he replied. ~28~

“I do not own a coat. ~29~

He sighed, then removed his overcoat and draped it over my shoulders. It was much too large, but I couldn’t help snuggling as deeply as I could into the residual warmth his body had left within it. ~30~

“That’s not going to be enough,” he said, “but it will have to do until we reach my home. When we arrive, I will build a fire for you. ~31~

I said nothing, silently following him through the icy streets. We arrived at a good sized house, just outside the city limits. By this time I could feel myself becoming more sluggish, my movements slowed and my mind dazed. My stomach had begun to hurt several miles back, being distended and full of food that I could not digest. I had also begun to misstep, nearly tripping over myself a few times as the cold seeped in. My body wanted to return to torpor, and it was becoming obvious. He hadn’t stopped, or turned to look back. I had not been able to clear the last step to the landing and had fallen to my knees, still clutching the railing. The cold shuddered through me as it penetrated the denim of my jeans, and I was left gasping and unable to move. I could focus only on drawing breath, and that process was beginning to slow as well. I could hear him unlocking his door, opening it, and turning impatiently to see why I had not followed. He cursed, and came back down the stairs, prying my frozen hands off the railing and lifting me to carry me bodily into the house. ~32~

Once inside, he kicked the door closed and carried me down a short corridor to a cozy room. My eyelids were too heavy to allow me to make out much of the furnishings, but I got an impression of bookshelves, a large desk, and a stone fireplace. He held me for a moment, considering, before putting me on the floor near the fireplace. He flipped a switch, and a flame came up from the log, emanating warmth. I was ashamed that I had emitted a soft whimper as I was set down, my body already missing the warmth of his, but the warmth of the artificial flame was welcome. I listened to him as he left the room, first returning down the hall to click the lock on the door, and then going to a different room and rummaging about in there for some moments. My limbs began to thaw and after minutes in front of the flame I felt more myself and was able to discard his overcoat. My body was soaking up the heat, and I pushed the coat aside in favor of stretching out on first my belly, and then my back, absorbing as much as I could. I was very relieved that the heat of the fire had worked enough on me to allow my body to digest the feast I had been presented shortly after waking. ~33~

When the man returned to the room, he was carrying a pair of fleece lined slippers, and a very warm looking housecoat. Both were too big on me, as the overcoat had been, but I was not opposed to wrapping myself in more warmth now that digestion had begun. He’d taken my boots off me before leaving the room, but I had been too far gone to notice. He did not insist that I shed my other clothing, for which I was very grateful. My last experiences with Masters suggested that, when presented with a female slave of any kind, the first order of business was to get her naked as quickly as possible. I shuddered a bit at the memory, but put it away as soon as I could. He had resumed watching me. ~34~

“Better?” he asked. ~35~

“Yes,” I replied. I was regarding him steadily from within my warm nest, attitude wary. ~36~

“You could say thank you,” he remarked, smirking. ~37~

“I could, but I will not,” I replied. “The thing about making me your slave is that you are now responsible for my well-being, which means you must care for me when things like this happen. ~38~

“Fair enough,” he said. “Although, I really don’t like the word slave. ~39~

“What would you call it then? ~40~

He considered. “Pet? ~41~

“That’s more degrading than slave. ~42~

“Well, if it’s to be my choice of what to call you, and I assure you I know it is,” he said, “then we will use the word that I like. ~43~

“Is that what you will name me then? Pet?” I spat the word at him, leaving no doubt about how much I despised it. ~44~

He laughed. “No, even pets have proper names,” he said. “What name would you like? ~45~

“My preferences do not matter,” I replied, “and the spell that puts me under your control prevents me from choosing a name of my own. Names have power, and it is foolish for a Master to give that power to his…slave.” I deliberately used the word he disliked, finding him and his strange sense of humor to be very tedious. And I was still cranky. ~46~

“Well, that’s an interesting caveat,” he said. “I’m tempted to call you ‘Kitten’, just to remind you of your place, but I will be taking you with me to places, and I don’t think that Kitten is an appropriate name. What is your given name? ~47~

“Humans cannot pronounce my given name,” I told him. “My first human name was Zoie. It means ‘healer. ~48~’ “

He nodded. “Then I name you Zoie. If you are sufficiently warm, I’d like to show you to where you will stay. ~49~

I stood and followed him down the corridor to another room, this one decorated sparsely with a twin bed and one chest of drawers. There was no window, and no decorations on the walls of any kind. One light in the ceiling illuminated the room, and I noticed that he had opened it with a key from the outside. ~50~
“This room is yours,” he said. “It’s not much but it’s what I have available. You will be allowed to decorate it with your own personal effects, as you earn them. ~51~

“Earn them? ~52~

“Yes. When you please me, you will gain a reward. When I am displeased with you, you will be locked in here until you decide to behave. ~53~

I arched an eyebrow at him. “Really? ~54~

He looked offended. “Yes, really. There is no window so you cannot escape; you will enter and leave the house by the rear door, when you are allowed to leave or enter. ~55~

As I listened to him drone on with his “rules”, I couldn’t help but think that this human was far less intelligent than I had first thought him. Locking me into a room with no window? Making up punishments and rewards for me doing what he told me? ~56~

“Did your informant not tell you how this was supposed to work?” I finally interrupted. ~57~

“What do you mean? ~58~

I took a deep breath and let it out. “You do not need to train me. You need only to tell me what I am to do, and it will be done. If you forbid it, I will never attempt it. Rewards and punishments make no difference to how I behave, now that you have spoken those words. I can have discourse with you but direct orders cannot be negated. ~59~

He was studying me. “You are not happy about this,” he finally said. ~60~

“You’re very observant,” I replied sarcastically. His lips twitched; he was trying not to smirk at me again. ~61~
“You may call me Aidan,” he said. ~62~

“What, not Master?” I asked, feigning shock. ~63~

“No, not Master. Aidan,” he said. “Do you need anything? I have to get ready for work. ~64~

“I’m fine,” I replied. “Am I to stay here while you are gone? ~65~

“Yes,” he said. “I’ll be locking you in. I’m rarely gone longer than 5 or 6 hours, so you shouldn’t get too uncomfortable. If you fall into heavy sleep again, I’ll just wake you when I get home. ~66~

“Very well,” I sighed, entering the room and turning to stare at him as he closed the door and locked it. ~67~
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