Graves was shooting Mallory a sidelong glance. “What is it with you and dragons, anyway?” he asked with that strange cadence that put her in mind of something halfway between an investment banker and a charlatan faith healer.
(The youngest daughter of House Celebeth had been frail at age ten, and couldn’t fly for long stretches of time.
“Dragons are strong,” she could say.
Macarcalo was less frail at age fifteen, but had shown no talent for magic.
“Dragons have scales instead of fragile flesh, and sharp teeth and claws.”
Macarcalo became Hurowilin at twenty-five, learning to carry the lightning that had struck her.
“Dragons have words of fire and ice and lightning on their tongues, and answer to no one unless they wish to. Certainly not a creature as fickle as the Archfey.”
Macarcalo Hurowilin became Ilwellorane at sixty, having lost her wings, and leaving home and her best friend wasn’t half as painful as always seeing everyone else like her in the sky, forever out of her reach.
“Dragons are solitary, and they must be happy that way.”)
Mallory sniffed and shrugged. “S’a big fuckoff lizard tha’ flies an’ breathes death on things wot piss it off. Wha’s not t’like?”
“Plus, they tend t’be rich.”
“…You do have a point, there,” he conceded.
Mallory grinned toothily. “Aye. Now le’s go make one less rich, an’ us more so.”
“I like the way you think, Mallory.”
Mallory inclined her head. “Ah’m a simple creature.” It was a small lie, and one of the few she had ever told him.