Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used: have an animal in the story (a dragon counts, right? XD).
“It circled us? What do you mean it circled us?” I asked, my voice rising in volume.
“Gil, calm down,” Shane said.
He turned me around then tucked my head under his chin. I shivered and clutched him tightly. Calm down. Right. Easier said than done, though I refrained from voicing my remark aloud. Instead, I tried to steady my breathing and listen to his heartbeat. I frowned. “You're not dead, are you?”
Shane slid his hands in my hair and tugged my head back. His frown probably equaled my own. “No, I'm not. Why would you ask that?”
“I can't hear your heart beating.”
Shane cut me off. “I understood you. Sweetheart, don't you think that the dragon flapping its wings and the stone formation grinding might be making it a bit difficult to filter out my heartbeats?”
I shrugged. Why did he always have to sound so reasonable? “Maybe.” I took a step backward and ran my fingers through my hair. “How do we get past the dragon?”
I gaped at him. “Excuse me? What do you mean we don't?”
“Just what I said. We don't get past the dragon. Not alive, at least. It's impossible to get past a dragon, especially such an aggressive one. We'll have to go back inside and search for another way out.”
My gut clenched at the thought of walking back into the darkness with the zillion stairs and that awful stench of the dead dragon. I shook my head. “No, I'm not going back in there.”
“Gil, come on, it's the only way. We can't fight the dragon. I know this.”
Shane's emphasis on the 'I' ticked me off. It was of course a stupid reaction to have, but then again this was an extreme situation I found myself in. “Excuse me for not having the same knowledge.”
Shane closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, tight lines appeared at the corners of his eyes as well as around his mouth. It was a telltale sign of Shane becoming annoyed. I usually tried to avoid that, because I hated it when we were at odds, but right then the urge to provoke rose in me.
“Don't, okay?” Shane whispered.
“Don't what?” I shot back.
“Please don't flip now. I swear you can have a fit when we're back home. You have every right to be mad at me. Just don't let your anger overrule your common sense, okay? I need you to be safe.”
“What for?” I muttered.
Shane pulled me against his body. I didn't resist, but I didn't show any enthusiasm either. Shane rubbed his nose in my hair, then trailed a series of kisses along the left side of my face. Despite my inner turmoil I melted against him, even reciprocated his kisses with keen interest.
“I love you, Gil. I told you I'm not as strong as you are. If I could, I'd hide you somewhere I could be sure no one would be able to hurt you, but for the time being I'd settle for a place that seems as safe as it can get.”
“Our home isn't exactly Fort Knox.”
“Not many people from here possess the ability to follow us home, which makes it a nearly perfect place,” Shane replied.
“Whatever,” I said. “I'm still not going back inside.”
Shane drew in a deep breath, most likely readying himself for another sensible approach at convincing me when the ground underneath our feet shook and the wall to our right crumbled. The ceiling above us rumbled, then sand or dust or something similar trickled through the first cracks over our heads.
“Is it going to cave in?” I asked.
Shane nodded. He tugged me backward, deeper into the derelict castle whereas I pulled in the other direction, far away from the darkness. A roar filled the air and I clapped my hands over my ears, then everything around me moved at once.
Don't forget to visit the other Briefers:
Or you can visit us here: