So, one of the things Fafnir talked to me about before he left was why I went 60 years without a date, and I’m suddenly attracted to two men. Apparently, it’s chemistry. Dragon body chemistry reacts to the presence of another dragon. I didn’t know that Jack had dragon ancestry, but my body did. And just getting within ten feet of Vlad set off all my alarms like a forest fire.
I don’t like the idea, really. Choosing your boyfriend should be about more than hormones. I like Jack for Jack. He’s easy to talk to. He laughs at the same things I do, likes the same movies. Vlad and I have practically nothing in common, aside from scales. Vlad still thinks like a privileged prince from the days before cars and indoor toilets.
So, I argued with Fafnir. “It was just coincidence that Jack was the first guy I ever asked out, and he was part dragon. He’s got a lot going for him. He’s smart, brave, has a good heart and he makes me laugh. That’s why I asked him out.”
“So, describe the man you have fought beside for the last few weeks," Fafnir said.
“You mean TakeDown?”
“Yes, tell me of this man.”
“He’s pretty cool. Brave, tough. Never quits. What about him?”
“Is he not attractive, this man?”
“Uh.” I had to think about it for a minute, picture TakeDown in my head. I never thought about him that way. He’s tall, built like a brick wall, pretty blue eyes. “Um, yeah, I guess he’s attractive.”
“And he is a man that you admire, a man who fights at your side, and sees the world much the same way you do.” Fafnir's red beard split in a wide smile.
I squirmed in the kitchen chair in my apartment. I had a feeling I knew where he was going with this. “TakeDown’s a good guy, yeah.”
“And yet, you have no interest in him as a potential mate.”
“Lots of guys are good-looking and brave and honorable and all that. Maybe he’s just not my type.”
“That is exactly right," Fafnir nodded, and took a big swallow of beer. "I can smell no trace of dragon blood in him. He is not your type.”
Ma laughed from the sink where she was washing up. “He’s right, little plum.”
“But Ma, you’re not a dragon, and Dad obviously was attracted to you.”
“You’ve always been so fascinated with your dragon heritage, and the tales your father told you. Do you remember the stories I told you before bed when you were little, about Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent who walked as a man?”
“That’s an old Aztec legend,” I said, then thought about it. Merlin was a legend now, too, my father’s father.
“My mother was the daughter of a priestess of Quetzalcoatl, an inherited position, also called the children of Quetzalcoatl. Before the conquistadores came, there were a lot of legends of serpents who flew, and could also be men.”
“You’re saying that you’ve got dragon ancestry, too?”
Fafnir nodded. “I can detect the scent on her. It is strong, perhaps only three or four generations back, although I have never smelled her clan before.”
I felt defeated. “But that means I’m doomed to only be attracted to people if they’ve got some dragon in them.”
Fafnir laughed loud enough to rattle the chandelier. “How does that make you doomed, fledgling?”
“I want to choose who I’m with based on love, based on who the man is inside, not his species.”
Ma hugged me. “Your father and I were very much in love, Damson. Chemistry only determines attraction. Love is a very different thing. The right man or dragon for you is out there, and you have plenty of time to find him.”
“What if I’ve already found him, and lost him?”
Ma squeezed my hand and smiled. “If Jack is the one, then he will forgive you.”
“I still have to go out with Vlad. I promised.”
Fafnir chuckled. “You are a prize worth fighting for, fledgling. May the best man or dragon win!” He raised the big mug of beer Ma gave him, and Ma grinned back at him, and raised her tea glass to clink against it.
Next thing you know, they’ll be taking bets.