Sammy stabbed the last small piece of his cake and offered it to Deliosa. She happily ate it off his fork.
The room was full of people talking and eating. Their voices were a comfortable river of sound – almost like a soundtrack. Almost like a distant ocean’s waves.
But all he saw and heard was Deliosa.
The comfort of her voice.
The blue and gold of her hair.
The clear amber of her eyes.
His name in her voice.
“I would follow you anywhere at any time, Lee. I would fly to your call. I would own the sky with you.” He set the fork on his empty plate.
“And I would fly to you.” she said. “Any day. Any night. I would touch the sky with our wings and light the night with our voices.”
“If my elder says we cannot be together—”
The small gift box in the middle of the table foomped into pink and red smoke.
He closed his eyes.
Puppies and kittens posing in a garden basket. The stillness of ice. The light tapping of rain. Flying high into the clouds. Flying with Deliosa. Being with Deliosa. Sleeping with Deliosa.
He opened his eyes. “Lee.”
“What kind of questions will your elder ask me?”
“The usual, I guess. I don’t know. I’ve never gone through this before. Have you?”
“No.” She took a small sip of her ice water. “What are the usual questions?”
“Questions about you, your family, your connections, your ability to control your powers, the regularity of your cycles, your fertility—”
She put her glass down a lot harder than she might have intended. “What? Is she really going to ask about my fertility?”
“She might. I’ve known other dragons who’ve gone through this with their elders and those were some of…” He noticed her expression. “What’s wrong?”
She looked down at her glass. “If I were to tell her that I’m infertile, would that be such a big deal?”
The crowd noise dimmed. “Are you infertile?”
“Is that a big deal, Samer?” She slowly looked up at him. “Is it a big deal for you?”
The insides of his ears buzzed. “I need to think about this. Just. Just give me. Give me a chance to think about this.”
Fear clouded her eyes, but she said nothing. The ice in her glass melted.
If she’s infertile…No. Judging by the expression on her face, it isn’t a case of if. She is infertile. She cannot bear children.
My line will be a dead end. I will be a branch with no flowers, no leaves, no fruit. I will have no one to carry on my name.
I could take on a mistress to bear my children, but that is not what I want. I don’t want to be with anyone other than her.
“I want just you, no matter what. Perhaps my elder will disapprove, but it is the plain truth. I want to be with only you and no one else.”
Red tulips and yellow roses bloomed in her glass of water.
Deliosa pressed her forehead against his chest. “I love you, Samer.”
“I love you too, Lee.”