A Lesson in Dragon Love-Making

Story by Ausfer on SoFurry

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Fair warning, this is a long narrative. If you're looking for a quick smut story, I have plenty of those types in my folders ... but this isn't one of them!

Warning: contents not suitable for small children and over-protective mothers. Made from 100% all natural, USDA certified organic ingredients. Gluten free. Fat free. Calorie free. Also nutrition free. May cause stimulation of certain pelvic splanchnic neural pathways. The entity known as "Ausfer" is not responsible for any awkward social encounters including but not limited to: using this product in public, using this product while operating machinery, leaving the product on your wife's and/or mother's computer, accidentally forwarding the product to your boss, turning in the product to your professor, and using the product whilst fighting off a horde of flesh-eating monkeys.

A long, drawn-out squeak broke the silence as the heavy door's brass hinges protested at being swung open, and the sounding of the bell overhead signaled the arrival of a customer. The door, as it was pushed open further, gave way to a view of many bottles. Hundreds of bottles. On the shelves, in the aisles, on the counter. Bottles that stretched from wall to wall, filling every nook and cranny available. And nearly all of them were filled with wine. Wooden signs hung from the low-raftered ceiling, lavishly decorated with embossed print, displaying the name and type of drink offered below. Old and clearly-used wine casks, turned on-end, were spaced evenly at the end of the aisles, putting on proud display various sales and featured brands. All the wood that made up the shelves, ceiling, and floor was heavily lacquered oak, hand cut and sanded, and heavily embellished wall-mounted gas lamps bathed both the bottles and the wood in a soft warm glow, giving the store a homely and cozy appearance.

Personally, Jasper would have preferred the cool, comforting embrace of stone, or even brick. Wood had always felt too delicate and fragile to him, too easily scratched and marked. Too ... flammable. But this was a human establishment, after all, where claws and open flame were rarely encountered. And he supposed that this particular locale, with all its human touches, had its own charm that stone could not match.

Somewhere, out of eyesight, a voice called from the back of the store. "I'll be with you in a moment! Shut the door ... come in, come in!" said the voice, which sounded raspy and gravelly to Jasper's ears, as if years of smoking had taken a toll.

Jasper said nothing, but a soft whine escaped his throat, and his lips curled in an uncertain frown. He currently was standing on the threshold of the entrance, with only his head and neck peeking through into the store, and didn't want to budge. While there were no laws against it, there was an unspoken rule that dragons were not allowed to walk into most human establishments, unless they were explicitly given consent. Most buildings were not fit to accommodate their size, where both wing and tail were cumbersome at best. And Jasper was doubly sure a room packed with hundreds of fragile glass bottles was not a dragon-friendly place.

"I said come in! You're letting in bugs, close the door!"

Jasper knew he couldn't wait outside, otherwise the clerk would see nobody in the store and go back to his business, having assumed the customer had left. Grumbling to himself, he instead reluctantly followed orders, hoping that the owner of the voice that so eagerly called out would be reasonably understanding. Being a slvingdraa (or a Bluefin Zephyrin, if one were to use human terms), Jasper was roughly the size of a donkey and was small enough to easily fit through a doorway. Dark grey claws clicked and tapped on the wooden floor as he shuffled in. Wanting to keep as close to the door as possible, as soon as all four feet were in Jasper turned in place, dragging his tail inside before the door shut on it, and promptly sat back on his haunches right where he stood, curling his tail around and over his feet.

Jasper stared at those rows of wine bottles, each one reflecting a heavily distorted image of a stocky dragon with a beautiful coat of aquamarine scales, with hues transitioning from a foamy sea teal to a deep azure as they radiated out to his limbs. A yellowish tan underbelly balanced out the deeper blues and greens. The pronounced, spiky scale growths on his head and neck were elongated and pronounced in the reflections, looking almost like extra horns. His two real horns--dark grey in color and sweeping down in a gentle curve--were likewise ballooned out of proportion. He blinked his blue eyes and fanned his brilliant, blue-tipped spiny cheek fins, watching with mild amusement how they distorted in the reflections. He then flicked his long, conical ears out, watching as dozens of warped copies danced on the shiny reflections of the wine bottles.

No human had appeared from the back of the store yet. Jasper padded his feet in impatience. He fiddled with his leather chest satchel. Looking like a human backpack--only with an extra strap worn around the neck--it was designed to fit a dragon, to be worn against the breast where it kept safe its items even during flight. It was currently filled with various foodstuffs Jenivive had asked for their dinner. The satchel was fitted with a simple drawstring and contained a single, very large pocket stitched on the front. Instead of facing straight up, the opening was angled to the left, where it would be easier for the left paw to slip inside. Such a satchel had to be handmade for the dragons that wore them and were rather hard to come by.

A pair of footsteps approached, and a portly man appeared down one of the aisles. Mustachioed and balding, the human was of advanced age, if the wrinkles in his neck and sagging cheeks were any indication. He wore a simple off-white blouse and black pants, typical of any commoner, and his shoes were well-polished. He immediately shouted in angry surprise when he saw Jasper sitting in front of the doorway.

"Ah ... hello." Jasper felt his cheek fins fold back meekly as an uncomfortable, forced smile spread across his scaly lips.

"What in the blazes are you doing in my store, dragon?! Out, out! Before you knock something over!" the man angrily yelled. He pointed with a stern, bony finger behind Jasper.

"My apologies, sir, but I'd like to buy some--"

"No dragons in the store! Get out ... now!"

"Right, right, my apologies, once again ..." Jasper meekly offered. Standing up, he backed up and nudged the door behind him with his haunches, but found that it did not open. Of course ... this door had a lock on it. Pesky doors and their awkward locks and latches! He began to turn around--quickly this time--and in his haste, he felt the thicker part of his tail nudge one of the standing casks. He heard the clinking of the wine bottles that stood on top. The man gasped and lunged for the display, cradling the bottles carefully.

"Oh dear, I'm terribly sorry!" Jasper shrilled as he fiddled with the door latch using the thumb claw on his left wing. When he heard the click he pushed the door open with his head and quickly darted out onto the street corner. A few human passersby looked on with mild surprise at the sudden appearance of a dragon bursting from the confines of a small wine store on the cramped street corner. Jasper turned around and stared at the door in silence as it closed behind him.

He waited. And he waited. But the door did not open. Jasper swallowed his anxiety down. Perhaps he should knock, just to be sure he wasn't forgotten. But as his claws approached the front steps, the door finally opened on its own--just wide enough for a human head to peek through--and out popped the scowling face of the old man that he had had the displeasure of meeting.

"I sell fine wines and spirits, here, dragon. No ale. If you want to get drunk, go to whatever tavern that's foolish enough to serve your kind. Now shoo."

The head disappeared, and the door began to close. Dismayed at the man's reaction, Jasper anxiously padded his feet on the ground. "I-I'd like to buy some wine!" he blurted out, loudly. Perhaps unnecessarily so. But the door halted in place, and slowly began to re-open, causing a wave of relief to wash over the dragon.

The head reappeared behind the gap between the door and its frame. "What did you say?" the human asked, his tone of voice incredulous to Jasper's ears.

"It's ah ... it's for my keeper!" he lied, letting out a nervous little laugh. Jasper was, after all, a free dragon; he had no keeper. Not anymore, at any rate. He cleared his throat and resumed speaking. "She told me to pick up a bottle of wine for supper."

"Is that so?" the old human cocked his head. "Then I suppose you came to the right place. What type of wine does your keeper want?"

"Err ... red wine?"

The old man narrowed his eyes. "What type of red wine does your keeper want?"

Jasper had to think fast. His mind raced for an answer. "Ah ... um ... give me--give me the ones I almost knocked over! On the cask. The sign said it was on sale: two for ten reales."

It was a shrewd response, and both parties knew it--by requesting the wine that had its price on display, the store owner was now aware that Jasper could read quite well and would protest if told the price was actually higher. While few humans were willing to stoop so low as to price gouge a dragon, Jasper preferred to be cautious amongst merchants of any kind, as he had heard stories in the past.

"All right," the man nodded. "You got the money?"

"Yes, err ..." Jasper fumbled with his satchel straps with his left thumb claw, feeling out for the second strap dangling from his neck: it was attached to a small leather coin purse. "Here," he offered, holding the lanyard up with the thumb of his wing.

"Fine," the man muttered. He began to close the door. "I'll bag your wine. Wait there."

"And--" Jasper began, causing the door to swing back open. "And do you happen to have any chocolates?"

The old man gave Jasper an odd look. "There's a few selections of sweets in front of the counter. We have chocolate bars. Fancy ones, not cheap kid's candy. They're one reale a piece."

"I'll take some!"

"How many?"

"I ... err, I don't know. Four? Five? Let's say five. That will be all, thank you." Jasper tried to smile, but felt awkward for doing so. Any pretense of friendliness was quickly dropped as the door closed, and Jasper turned his head away and ruffled his wings, as if to physically shake off the cold reception of the store owner.

Jasper waited. And waited some more. But eventually, the door re-opened, and this time all the way. The mustachioed man now carried a large paper bag. The contents were invisible to Jasper, but the soft clinking inside gave away its secrets. He set the bag down next to the store steps, and the act of his aging body bending over caused him to groan even more than the brass door hinges had done just moments ago.

"That'll be fifteen reales," the old man said, adding "dragon," in a clearly disapproving tone of voice.

"Right! Ah ... hold on a moment," Jasper muttered, sitting back on his haunches. He grasped his coin purse and stuck a claw within, expanding the drawstring and opening the pouch. He counted out fifteen coins and deposited them into the old man's waiting palm.

"Thank you, it was a pleasure doing business," Jasper smiled.

"You're welcome," the man mumbled, not bothering to look the dragon in the eye as he closed the door behind him.

Once again Jasper's smile quickly disappeared as soon as the door closed. "Cranky, cantankerous old toad ..." he muttered. "What a pomf." He blew out an angry snort from his nostrils.

Jasper took a step forward to peek inside the bag. There were two of the bottles he had nearly knocked over, and at the bottom of the bag, lying on-end between the bottles, were five large bars of chocolate with fancy wrapping and cursive print on the labels. Hopefully, that's enough! Sitting back on his haunches, he took each item and carefully inserted them into his chest satchel, which was already heavy from the various food items he had purchased previously. The wine and chocolate, though ... they were the last things on his list.

When he was done, Jasper stood up and patted his satchel with a paw. "There we go! All nice and snug." With everything he was carrying, the neck strap had begun to dig into the dragon's neck from the additional weight, but his scales prevented any discomfort.

"Right! Well, time to go," Jasper cheerily commented to himself. He crumpled up the paper bag, clutched it with a wing claw, and placed it in the nearest trash bin, with wine bottles clinking along the way. As he walked down the brick footpath of the busy and bustling downtown, passing by various pedestrians and shoppers, his mind, however, was elsewhere.

His heart fluttered and his cheeks warmed at the thought of what was to come. He was going to do it. He was actually going to ask her!

Jasper had never given much thought to mating with a human before. The idea seemed highly improbable ... those humans, after all, were always so touchy about sex. No talking about sex in public. No making sexual comments in front of others, especially human children. No sex until you're a certain age, no sex between casual friends, no sex with someone other than your spouse, and definitely no sex with another species. No sex in back alleyways, no sex in the streets, no sex while dining at a tavern, no sex on top of the roofs of houses, no sex in that awfully pleasant city square with all the fountains and the trees that seemed like an absolutely lovely place for sex in Jasper's opinion ... why, it seemed like humans frowned upon just about everything! Jasper never could quite understand the reason. After all, humans do enjoy mating, right? So why must they pretend that that's not at all true? And surely even humans have sexual thoughts ... so why must those thoughts be kept locked up like a secret? Jasper shook his head in confusion. None of it made sense.

But ... not all humans were like that. Jenivive had no qualms discussing mating or expressing her thoughts on it. In fact, she seemed very knowledgeable on the subject, which caused Jasper to wonder how many mates she must have had in the past.

... Regardless of the number, all of those mates were definitely other humans, though. Jenivive had never before even so much as hinted in an interest in mating with a dragon. But just a few days ago, that had abruptly changed, during a conversation over lunch. No wait ... it wasn't just any dragon she wanted to mate with, it was specifically him! The very thought had Jasper feeling a mixture of excitement and dread. The drake couldn't shake off the anxious feelings of being forced to perform a highly delicate act which he had very little experience doing. What if he made a fool of himself? What if he caused an awkward moment that broke the mood? What if he was so thoroughly inexperienced that he couldn't even sate his partner?

Such thoughts were a major road block in finding a mate, and they had only become worse as time passed. Jasper knew good and well how promiscuous his kind was ... sex was an incredibly important part of life for any dragon, after all. At Jasper's age, a dragon was expected to be a capable mate, and to not have any experience in the art of mating was such a major point of indignity that the problem had developed into quite the neurosis!

Jasper told himself it wasn't his fault. He was a domesticate, after all, which already ruled out gaining the affection of any wildborn, as they considered any dragon raised by humans to be "tainted" due to their human-derived mannerisms and speech patterns. And even among other domesticates, Jasper's well-spoken nature and love of books seemed to put off potential mates, as most didn't even know how to read! Jasper blamed his keeper for interesting him in various intellectual pursuits ... though perhaps "blame" was too strong a word. Jasper was content with the dragon he had become ... it was merely just another hurdle when it came to finding a mate.

But such things were exactly why Jenivive had offered her help. Jasper was certain that if he could gain some real experience in mating, finding a dragon to mate with would go so much easier.

His one and only point of experience with Penelope yielded little comfort: everything had moved so quickly, and there was so much going on at the time that Jasper barely had a chance to speak, let alone think about what he was doing! His time tonight, on the other hand, would probably be of a much slower pace.

Still, Penelope seemed content with the outcome of that night ... though Jasper doubted the dragoness had many expectations herself, considering it was her first time with anyone other than her human keeper, Jacob. Nevertheless, he remained uncertain. As his former keeper would sometimes say concerning his own work ... a larger sample size is needed before one can interpret the data!

Jasper came to a stop as he approached a street crossing. This was a busy part of town, and the policeman was directing traffic: mostly horse-drawn carriages, wagons, and carts, though the occasional steam-powered horseless carriage was to be seen as well. Fancy pieces of technology, those were ... albeit too loud and smelly for his tastes. The traffic was currently stopped as a cablecar passed through the intersection. Jasper stood amongst the throng of humans as he waited for his turn to cross.

A bluster of wind blew by, causing the woman next to Jasper to yelp as her parasol was nearly carried away. It was a sunny day, but also a very windy day. Definitely not the best day for flying ... not that Jasper would have flown home had the conditions been better. He had intentionally left his flight gear at home, and was content to walk. Those colorful straps and streamers were required identification for any dragon wishing to take to the skies over the city; without them, the citizens below would have no way to tell if the airborne dragon was a threat from the outside wilderness, or a harmless domesticate on his way back home. Jasper had heard that the riflemen that patrolled the city's walls had no qualms over shooting at an unidentifiable dragon, and he did not wish to test that theory.

At that moment, the policeman blew his whistle, signaling to cross. Jasper gave the policeman a polite bow of his head and took his leave along with the throng of crossing pedestrians, wine bottles clinking away in his satchel.

Jasper looked to his left and right after he had crossed. Tiny brick shops and stores of all sorts ran down the length of the streets, looking like crowded little sardines in a tin. Lavishly painted signs in the windows advertised various wares such as stylish human clothing and shoes. The click and clatter of plates and the smell of flour and butter announced a human eatery was nearby, though Jasper could not see where. After a moment of walking, he spied it further down the street: a place called "Union Street Diner", where couples ate meals on canopy-shaded tables outside.

The city was filled with bustle and vim, and everything smelled like humans. To his left and right and all around Jasper looked, there were humans dressed up in their fancy summer dresses and suits going about their business: perusing the various shops, socializing with others, haggling with the street peddlers and their over-stuffed carts full of odd little trinkets or suspiciously cheap food, or merely passing by in silence. Another dragon had been past here, recently, judging from the scent in the air. Definitely a male gruthidraa, relatively old. A man on a bicycle rode past down the street; Jasper watched with fascination as the contraption zipped by and wondered how those cyclists always managed to stay balanced.

Jasper cut through the market square. It was a noisy and busy place, and one that other dragons usually avoided, as most did not feel comfortable around so many humans at once. But it was the quickest way to home, and Jasper did not mind it. The smells of horse, motor oil, perfume, and shoe polish that permeated Union Street gave way to the cornucopia of earthy grains, vegetables, beans, and livestock. But, like Union Street, the pervading scent was still the smell of many, many humans. The ambient chatter here was loud and incomprehensible, and Jasper folded his ears down to block some of the noise.

The market square was filled with endless colorful tents, carts, wagons, stands, and tables. Self-employed merchants of all kinds were found here, selling just about everything imaginable. Jasper weaved through the droves of shoppers, with most being familiar enough with city dragons to not give him a second glance. Farmers from beyond the walls of the city shouted to the busy shoppers, advertising their baskets full of apples and oranges and other sorts of produce with names that no dragon ever cared to learn. Jasper spied a farmer's milk cow wearing a hand-painted wooden sign hung over each flank advertising fresh milk. Lowing softly, with its tail busy swishing at the occasional fly, it stood near its owner and a cart full of heavy-looking jugs. Jasper never could quite understand how humans could stand that stuff ... the very idea of drinking excretions from a bovine's udder sounded positively disgusting. A pair of leather-clad hunters walked by, jointly carrying a delicious-looking doe hanging from a long pole, and several rabbits slung over the other shoulder, tied to a rope. They were no doubt looking to sell their quarry to a butcher.

Upon exiting the market square, the city began to take on its slow, unsavory transformation as Jasper continued on to the impoverished Eastern Quarter. The tall, towering buildings that lined both sides of the city roads started looking a bit wearier, a bit dirtier, and the roads more worn and uneven, with a few bricks missing here and there. Pedestrian traffic decreased greatly, as did wheeled contraptions of all sorts. Rickety wooden fences sectioned off back alleyways. Street litter and trash became a more common sight, as did various vagabonds and street urchins. Some of the older buildings here were not of brick, but of heavily-weathered wood with peeling paint. Some had even been abandoned long ago.

The smog was more noticeable here in the Eastern Quarter, where a lot of industrial buildings were found, and the air felt thick and grimy. Jasper did not like it, though there was little that could be done. Jenivive lacked the funds to relocate Tailwind Shelters to a more savory location. Besides ... there are worse places in the city to live. More dangerous places. At least all the gas lampposts were still standing in this side of town. Tailwind Shelters was not terribly far from the nicer parts of the city, and its location wasn't in an overly busy part, either, which meant less bothersome humans walking around, complaining about the dragons that came and went as they pleased.

As Jasper moved on, he came across a group of human children with bare feet, dirty clothes, and even dirtier faces. They played a game of baseball in the street, using metal trash can lids for bases. Jasper had no clue how to play beyond the concept of hitting balls and running around, and he had never bothered to learn. Putting a pause on their game, a few of the children turned and shouted to him as Jasper walked past.

"Hey, dragon, where's your keeper?" the first one jeered. "Are ya lost?"

"Aw, he prob'ly ain't got a keeper, Paulie. Prob'ly can't even understand what we're sayin'."

"Well let's find out ... dragon, show us your flame breath!"

"Yeah, breathe fire for us!"

"Do it, do it!"


Jasper rolled his eyes and kept walking; he was no stranger to this request and had grown tired of performing it for humans long ago. The children continued to shout and yell as he walked by. But then, just when Jasper heard them about ready to give up, he turned around and reared back his head. Taking a deep breath of the city air, Jasper tensed up the flame sacs located right behind his jaw. These sacs were full of a special liquid that ignites when exposed to oxygen, and upon squirting the liquid out from the back of his open mouth, it flared and developed into a long plume of orange flame that had the human children cheering and whooping in excitement. Smiling to himself, Jasper continued down the road, pausing briefly to smack his lips and swallow the sudden influx of thick, slimy saliva as his mouth attempted to neutralize and cleanse the dangerous chemicals that lingered. One fact about dragons that few humans would know: breathing fire always leaves a terrible aftertaste.

The buildings grew smaller, the roads narrower and more barren, until finally at long last, Jasper crossed the road and arrived on the plot of land that was Tailwind Shelters: a sort of housing complex for dragons on the edge of the city. It was the only place of its kind. Jenivive's brainchild was, for legal reasons, a dragon shelter much like any other animal shelter, though Jenivive herself never had any intention of selling her dragons off. They were, however, available to hire for various jobs: cargo moving, mail and parcel delivery ... anything that required a strong pair of legs or wings, really. Jasper himself had done nearly everything from dangerous caravan escorts to children's birthday parties. Other dragons have performed more ... unsavory, and perhaps less-than legal jobs in the past, but Jasper tried to stay away from those. Once, he had been hired to protect smugglers on the road making their way from the city to a town near dragon country, in the wildlands to the north ... and had he known what was in those crates, he would have never agreed to the job!

Before Jenivive had bought the acre-wide plot of land, an old, wooden schoolhouse had once stood here. It had been long-ago abandoned when a larger one was built elsewhere in the city, and was in a state of heavy disrepair at the time of purchase. Jenivive had told Jasper that she and a few dragons had taken care of much of the demolition by themselves. The stone brick foundation could still be seen, on top of which a number of the newer buildings had been built.

There were two main rows of hovels that dominated the plot of land, each built out of sturdy brick and fitted with knobless latched doors that were easy to open and close with a push of the head or wing. Simple and stark in both design and function, they nonetheless served their purpose well of providing each and every dragon four walls, a roof over their head, a small cast-iron coal furnace for warmth, and a simple cotton-stuffed mattress to sleep in. In the northwest corner, facing the street, was Jenivive's small, single-story brick cottage, for she could not afford to buy a separate housing arrangement after investing so much into the shelters.

In the center of the plot, a communal drinking fountain had been installed, which was pedal-operated with a brass trough and looked nothing like the fountains for humans. It had been installed right next to the sunbathing area, which could exist only due to the surrounding buildings not reaching more than a story or two tall. Jenivive had large slabs of black shale installed there--a dragon's favorite rock to lay on for its smooth, flat texture and ability to hold heat. Much of the surrounding land was sparse grass or flagstone. Jenivive owned a push reel mower and trimmed it once a week. In the northeast corner was a modestly walled, unisex dragon lavatory that drained to the city sewers. And in the southwest corner was the main entrance, marked by a large, heavy wooden sign that read "Tailwind Shelters, 3480 Covington Road." It had been carefully hand-painted by Jenivive with a depiction of a dragon resting under a roof, which was very important, as most dragons could not read. During the evenings, the lantern hanging over the sign was usually lit by one of the dragons passing by, which allowed for easy identification for any other dragon flying in at night.

Jasper passed by the sign and entered the fenced-in lot with a pleasant sigh. It wasn't much, but it was home, after all, and the sign held some modicum of comfort and security in Jasper's heart. By now it was almost dinner time, and inside were several dragons, most laying on the slabs of slate, either napping or simply enjoying their downtime. Many were still out and about the city, either looking for work or still on the job. The postal service in particular provided a steady income to a number of dragons that lived here. Jasper immediately made a left towards Jenivive's house. Along the way, he was stopped by a familiar face, Denari.

Denari was an orgrimdraa, or what humans would call a Greater Ridgeback Dragon. Large, muscular, and imposing, the mountain-dwelling orgrimdraa were three times as long as a man was tall, and Jasper's head came up only to their shoulders. Dark, rusty red in color, barring their stone grey underbelly, their scales were tough, angular, and keratinous, and their claws as long and sharp as any. Jasper had spied another orgrimdraa at The Dark Horse Grille a few days ago, among a collection of four troublemaking dragons. Due to their size and weight, orgrimdraa were poor fliers and used their wings mostly for gliding. But on the ground, no dragon could match them for strength. They were very welcome on the city's port for moving heavy cargo that would take a whole team of humans, as all the foremen loved the idea of paying a single dragon one day's wages instead of paying three or four men.

Denari had come from the wildlands far north, and was not born into human society like Jasper had been. She was but a part of the slowly-growing number of wildborn dragons that eschewed their hermetic ways of living, often tempted by the riches and luxuries of human civilization.

Most wildborn dragons would normally want to live as far away from humans as possible, and indeed they often do ... but humans, after all, had done an impressive job of creating and sustaining massive populations of cows, pigs, and goats just ripe for the picking--which is something even the proudest wildborn will reluctantly admit. For many ages, dragons were happy to take advantage of their small human neighbors and their delicious livestock with little fear of repercussion. However, as human civilization became more organized and advanced, it became less and less practical for a wildborn dragon to simply take what they wanted without expecting an angry mob to show up at your den, or even worse--an experienced band of well-armed and armored dragon hunters looking to earn a bounty. Pitchforks and torches could be contended with, and crossbow bolts could be deflected if not a direct hit ... but the advent of accurate, high-caliber firearms was a dark, sobering time for many would-be livestock poachers. The most reckless (or perhaps stupid) dragons that were caught of in the act began to pay for it in blood.

After begrudgingly accepting that humans had become a force to be reckoned with, most wildborn turned their back on civilization altogether, and fled to the wilderness far away, hoping to never cross paths again. But other wildborn and free domesticates saw an opportunity for mutual benefit. They learned. They adapted. And they survived ... albeit, at the cost of some of their innate sense of pride. Performing menial labor or services in exchange for coin was an act that many dragons found humiliating, but one gets used to it after going long enough without an honest, good meal. The majority of dragon poaching has since been eradicated, but as any farmer from outside the walls will tell you that every once in a while, they will still awaken in the morning to find a fresh goat carcass or two ...

Denari bowed her head as Jasper approached. "Rrall Jasper-draa raan." (I greet you, dragon Jasper the rank-less.)

The title "raan" meant that Jasper was without any special standing in the community here, and thus, a dragon without influence or renown. Nearly all domesticates had that same title given to them by the wildborn. However, Denari was the beta in the community--second only to Sheck--so Jasper had to show reverence by bowing gracefully. He took a step, lowered his head and splayed out his wings.

"Rrall to you, too, Denari. How are you?" He forced a smile.

Denari let out an unamused huff. She slowly circled Jasper as she talked. "Gro kynin di drau ni'iksuu dir homnu-fen?" (What little errand is the pet doing for the human female this time?)

Jasper let a peevish grin cross his lips. Every dragon in Tailwind Shelters knew that he and Jenivive spent a lot of time together. Jasper couldn't help it ... like Penelope, he had become so used to being around humans that he now preferred it that way. That he was being called Jenivive's pet was usually meant only as a playful insult amongst the other dragons, yet the unsavory tone in Denari's voice did not hide her disdain of his human kinship.

"Rii arkuu homnu-fen, err, wait ..." Jasper furrowed his scaly brow. "Rii arkuu Jenivive kai muruus maumau--err ... un chocolate." (I brought Jenivive some beef for dinner ... and some chocolate.)

Denari peered at Jasper with a critical gaze. "Muu-rus, not mu-ruus. A strong, trilling 'oo', and after, the 'uh' sound. Do not switch them, for to say muruus, is to say 'you will like something' ... but to say 'cow', is to say muurus. But still ... you have improvement. Also," Denari motioned to Jasper's satchel with a nod of her snout, "Not only muurus and chocolate. I smell garlic, yes? And ... hmm, other strange scents." Denari hummed to herself, finding the observation amusing. "Homnu-fen makes human food, tonight. And you will eat it. Like a human! Dri drok nu draa un roh en'kuuruus nod homn dekuun roh!" (Three years among dragons and still you are acting like the human that raised you!)­­­­­­

"And twelve years amongst humans for you, Denari, yet you still act like a wildborn." Jasper lightheartedly countered, not bothering to hide his smile. "We are not so different, you and I."

Denari's playful expression immediately vanished, and it was clear that Jasper had touched a nerve. "Hrmpf. I am nothing like you, domesticate. Do not ... even suggest such a thing, it is nithiss. Insulting." She lowered her head and breathed a terse snort from her nostrils; it was the equivalent of a human spitting on the floor in disgust.

The smile was wiped from Jasper's snout. He bowed his head deeply and folded his fins flat against his scales. "M-my apologies," he muttered.

Denari narrowed her piercing gaze to slits. "Roh nod en'tuu te garuu-ssith, homnekdraa. Par rii nir'diguu gra kynu roh nuu et deydraa, os roh soluu et dohdraa." (You still are so very naïve, domesticate. Sometimes I do not know whether to coddle you like a child, or discipline you like an adult.)

Jasper kept his head low to the ground and avoided eye contact in a meek show of submission in order to placate the beta. But on the inside, his temper was slowly rising. Jasper did not like it when wildborns referred to him as a homnekdraa, which literally meant a "human-owned dragon". That wasn't even true, as he had legally left the solidarity of his keeper over three years ago. The very term "keeper" came into use because it was humiliating for a dragon to have an owner and thus be referred to as property, while a human that merely "keeps" a dragon around for a time is a tad more acceptable. Denari, however, seemed to be content in opening old wounds.

"Please spare me the animosity, Denari," he spat out through clenched teeth. "We're both draa living in a human world, trying to make due. We're on the same side, you and me. There's no need to be so callous."

Denari let out a little laugh, but the dragon was not smiling. "Rii un roh draa? Nir!" (Me and you, both dragons? No!) Denari held her head high, proudly. "Here, I make homn work for me. With coin ... they build my den, they pour me drink, they feed me food. But you ..." showing disgust, she motioned to the satchel of food strapped against Jasper's chest. "You do extra work for homnu-fen, and she does even not pay you. That is a filthy act. No draa should serve homn." She let out a snort. "We are not pets to sit at the foot of a homn master and do tricks on command! You will ... never be true draa so long as you do not understand this, and continue to act as you do."

Jasper's nostrils flared, and his eyes widened, and a fire brewed in his belly. But he held his tongue. There was no point in picking a fight, not here and not now. And especially not with a dragon of Denari's rank.

"Go ... enjoy your filthy human food," she muttered, motioning over to Jenivive's cottage with her snout. The dragoness then turned away from Jasper and began walking toward the street. "Rii anyu us'aruu draakin thuus rah tavern." (I am going out to drink with my trusted friends at the tavern.)

"Right, then. Enjoy your filthy human ale!" Jasper cheerily called out as she passed him, and internally winced as soon as he said it. Oh drat, now he did it! He knew he shouldn't have, and yet he said it anyway!

Denari paused in mid-step as the words reached her ears. The smoldering red dragon then turned her head, and when Jasper caught sight of her brazen yellow eyes, they flashed with anger.

"Roh niruu fek," she growled. (You show insolence.)

Denari stiffened her tail and gave Jasper a solid thwack along the cheek that caused him to stagger and wince. It wasn't hard enough to cause injury, and wasn't soft enough to hint she was going easy on him. No, the tail smack hurt just enough to say "Remember your place, you cheeky little domesticate." Fortunately, the only thing that had bruised was Jasper's ego.

Jasper knew he deserved it: he had just knowingly made Denari's disdain of his own eating habits sound very hypocritical. It was a highly disrespectful move, and very out-of-line for a domesticate such as himself. And yet, Jasper held no regrets, and the grin he felt in his cheeks did not wane as Denari turned to leave. After all, she was acting like such a pomf that he had to say something to get even! And it wasn't like she could have seriously hurt him for breaking the rules of respect, even if she wanted to: those snooty wildborns held their own kind in such high regard that causing deliberate injury to another dragon was considered a terrible act. Had Jasper been a human, though ...

Jasper rubbed his sore snout with a paw, secretly hoping Denari would not remember the exchange when she returned home drunk, several hours from now. Probably not. As grumpy as the beta was, she didn't seem like the sort of dragon to let events of the past bother her. He watched as Denari hit the street, took a left, and went out of sight ... presumably toward either The Dark Horse Grille or The Pot and The Kettle. The city was home to many other taverns and alehouses, but there were only a precious few that were audacious enough to let dragons get drunk on their property.

Jasper turned back towards Jenivive's cottage, nestled in the corner of the lot facing the street. Built from simple red brick and mortar, and boasting a very high, sharply-angled roof, it boasted all the quaintness and coziness of what a simple human abode should look like ... a noticeable contrast to the older, more urban buildings that surrounded it. Moss and ivy clung to the nooks and crannies of the walls, and in back, next to the flower bed, was a garden for growing herbs, spices, and vegetables of all sorts. Jasper walked up to the back door and gave it a polite rap with the knuckles of his left wing.

A voice rang out from within. "Cutch? Feena? I told you two to sort your little tiff out yourselves! I'm not going to play mediator for--"

Jasper cleared his throat. "It's me, Jenivive!"

"Oh! Right, dinner!" Jasper heard footsteps approaching from the other side of the door, which then quickly swung open, revealing a tall, green-eyed, fair-skinned human female with fiery red hair and a warm, inviting smile. Jenivive was wearing only a simple, lace-frilled chemise, a black ankle-high skirt, and stockings. Though the attire wasn't revealing in the slightest, it was still considered absolutely scandalous for any woman to be caught wearing naught but their undergarments and a skirt while answering the door! But that was assuming another human was on the other side ... no dragon could possibly be offended by such a thing, giving Jenivive the freedom to comfortably dress down during the warm and stuffy summer afternoons.

"Well, don't just stand there, come in!" she said, pulling the door open wider and stepping out of the way.

"Thank you, my dear," Jasper bowed his head politely and walked inside.

Jenivive's cottage was a homely, but charming residence. While it lacked the lavishly-decorated stone busts, beautifully-rendered paintings, and plush velvet carpet of his former keeper's estate, the simple wood furnishings, unplastered brick walls, and open rafters gave her home a rustic, quaint feel to it. There was only one main room: a conjoined living room and kitchen, which was small, yet it still managed to not feel cramped: a testament to Jenivive's home furnishing sense.

A sturdy hearth was cozily nestled in the opposite wall, which happened to be in the center of the floorplan. From there it could provide heat to all the surrounding rooms, including the bedroom that lay on the opposite side of the wall. A small kettle was hanging over the firebed, which was currently empty and would probably not be used for another few months. A selection of candles, vases, and a softly-ticking clock rested above fireplace mantle, along with a hand-carved wooden dragon that seemed to keep a silent watch over the room.

To Jasper's left was the living area, which contained a comfy-looking lounge chair, a small coffee table, and a shelf of books, for Jenivive enjoyed reading almost as much as Jasper did. Instead of gas lamps or those newfangled electric bulbs, this room was kept lit by candlelight. Part of the reason Jenivive had gotten the property for so cheap was because the original schoolhouse had been built before gas lines became more commonplace. Sadly, she lacked the funds to have one installed, but was content to make due with candles.

To Jasper's immediate right was the kitchen-half of the room, which was kept clean and neatly organized. The far wall featured a fancy-looking cast-iron coal burning stove with an exhaust pipe that climbed the wall, turned left, and fed into the chimney. Farther up, hanging from the open rafters for drying, were stalks of sage, rosemary, parsley, and other herbs, all of which probably came from Jenivive's garden. She even had an icebox for refridgeration, though judging from the dry drip pan, no ice (or food) was currently in it.

Opposite of the fireplace and facing the back window was a small sink with a faucet that provided only cold water. Next to it, on the wooden kitchen counter, various knives and a cutting board had been sat out as if on display, ready to be used for tonight's dinner. The wall above the counter was lined with cupboards and shelves filled with various bowls, cooking utensils, and vials of seasonings, all signs of an experienced cook.

The floorboards creaked as Jasper walked over to the eating table, which was fit to seat two. It was square and sturdy and contained signs of many years of use ... Jenivive had probably gotten it used for an affordable price and had likely painted it herself. Such an earnest and diligent decision was typical of the woman, and Jasper thought the better of her for it. One of the wicker chairs had been pulled out from the table, and in front of it, was a piece of parchment, a fountain pen, and a well of ink.

"Keeping up with your little pen-pal?" Jasper asked as he began to unfasten his leather chest satchel.

"You could say that," Jenivive replied. She gathered up the writing utensils and half-written letter and set them aside on top of a nearby cabinet to clear the table. "I'm sure he or she is very eager to hear what I've learned."

"I still don't fully trust the person," Jasper said, shaking his head. "We don't know what they are up to, or whether they even have good intentions for--"

"I trust him." Jenivive cut the dragon off, giving him a firm look in the eye. "Or her. Or them. Maybe not at first, I didn't ... they're a shrewd one, hard to get a proper bead on. But you couldn't argue with their little job proposal. And hey, it turned out much better than either of us expected."

Jasper chuckled. "That it did. But still, we don't know the full story yet. I would urge you to be cautious. Something about all this doesn't feel right to me. It makes my tail twitch."

Jenivive nodded. "I understand your concerns ... don't worry, I'm not playing all my cards just yet. Now, let's see about that dinner." She clapped her hands and eagerly rubbed them together. "Did you find everything on the list?"

Jasper nodded. "That I did. And I may ... just may have picked up a few extra things." The dragon at once felt anxious for what he was about to do. His cheek fins reflexively pulled back, and his ears folded down, as if to hide themselves from embarrassment.


Staying silent for now, Jasper sheepishly placed the chocolate and two bottles of wine on the table. He then slowly slid them over to her side and looked to her for a reaction.

"Oh ... oh my god!" Jenivive's cheeks turned red in an instant. She brought both hands to her mouth, letting out a little laugh of disbelief. "Oh my god! You actually went out and got them ... oh my god!"

Jasper reared back his head and his jaw dropped in dismay. "I-is there something wrong?" he asked, head cocked at an angle.

"No! No, it's--" Jenivive tried to collect herself. "It's fine. I'm just .... surprised you actually had the balls take me up on my words!"

"My balls? Those had little to do with it, really ..." Jasper wryly commented. "It was mostly a heart decision. As in, my heart would flutter when I considered the idea."

Jenivive began to laugh again, and started shaking her head. "I just ... I don't know what to say." She took in a deep breath and let it out with a smile. "You know what this means, right?"

"I ... I've been thinking about what it means throughout the entire day, really," Jasper muttered, averting his gaze.

Jenivive picked up one of the bottles and examined the label. "Hmm ... Red Velvet Merlot. Fancy printing. How much did you pay for these? I hope you didn't splurge; if so I can help cover the cost."

Jasper waved the question away with a forepaw. "Oh, it was reasonably affordable, my dear. Don't worry about it."

"And ... five bars of dark chocolate?" she asked, holding them up and giving Jasper an odd look.

Jasper's blue eyes opened wide. "I ... I didn't know how much you required! I was just erring on the side of caution."

Jenivive laughed as she put the chocolate down. "It's more than enough. Way more. We'll set these aside for now ... won't need 'em until later." Jenivive closed her mouth, which then opened back up to say something, but no words came out at first. "Gosh, I just ... I can't believe you went through with all this ... you actually want to sleep with me?" Jenivive finally asked, still looking equal parts amused and shocked.

Jasper ducked his head down and pouted. "Jenivive, if you don't actually want to, it's really quite alright ..."

Jenivive at once came up to Jasper and scooped the sulking dragon's head up in her hands. "Oh shush, you. I said I'd do it. So I'm gonna do it. I'm a woman of my word. Just remember two things: one, I'm only doing this because it's you we're talking about. You wanted to gain confidence in finding a mate, and I said I'd be willing to help you with that. And two, none of this gets out to anybody ... especially any of my dragons. Not Sheck, not Denari, and not Quiddle. And definitely not any of the other domesticates, because--"

"I understand, Jenivive, I understand! A secret's a secret!" Jasper said, chuckling. "So ... that means you've, err ... accepted my mating gift?"

Jenivive laughed. "Of course," she replied, patting his cheek and causing Jasper to feel a stirring in his chest. "But first, we eat! Did you get the ground beef?"

Jasper flinched. "Oh! Right! I did!" he cheerily replied, unpacking the rest of his groceries from his satchel. Jenivive took the beef, which was wrapped in wax paper, and inspected it.

"This should be more than enough. And ooh, cheese!" she gasped with delight as Jasper unpacked it. "Yes, fresh cheese!" The small wheel of cheddar was coated in a layer of protective red wax, which Jenivive took and broke to take in the sharp, savory scent. "Thank our little pen-pal ... it's been forever since I've been able to afford a decent wheel of cheese on my budget."

"Just don't add too much; you know what it does to my stomach," Jasper muttered. Dragons of all shapes and sizes could not digest dairy products very well. Most domesticates discover this the hard way at some point in their life, after being exposed to human food enough times. Milk was the worst offender, but cheese and butter could be tolerated in controlled quantities.

"I'll add most of it to my portion, don't worry." Jenivive inspected the rest of Jasper's groceries: a box of noodles, mushrooms, several carrots, spinach leaves, a small cucumber, a red onion, fresh garlic, a stick of butter, and a small pouch of flour. "Great. Great great great. I'll get to work right away," she said, going over to the sink to wash her hands.

"Do you ... erm, require any help?" Jasper asked, cocking his head. He actually had no idea if he could be of any help at all in a kitchen, but asked simply to be polite.

Jenivive couldn't help herself: as soon as her hands were washed she broke off a chunk of the sharp cheddar to taste and savor the rich flavor. "Mmmm, good stuff. And no no, Jasper, you are always my guest in this house, and so you should sit and relax while I get the cooking done. Oh, but first ..." Flashing a devious grin his way, Jenivive procured a corkscrew from a drawer and held it up for him to see. In but a short moment she had effortlessly popped the cork from one of the bottles of wine. "Might as well get started on the festivities, eh?" she said. "Do you want any? You might need a little buzz for later ..."

"Erm ... oh, why not! I suppose I shall imbibe as well." Jasper replied. He was never a big fan of alcohol, much unlike most dragons, but wasn't opposed to having the occasional drink.

"That's the spirit! Hey ... that would almost be a pun if this were brandy." Jenivive smirked. She flung open a cupboard door and grabbed a twenty ounce tin flagon she kept around specifically for dragon guests (which more often than not ended up being Jasper), who found the sturdy handle and pouring spout easier to drink from than a fragile glass. "Have you had wine before?" she asked, as she poured his wine. Due to his size, Jasper would need much more than her before he started feeling the effects, so Jenivive filled the vessel up to the three-quarter mark.

"Oh, my keeper was quite fond of it, so yes, many times! Err ... but, I can't say I favor the taste."

"Well ... wine suits me just fine," Jenivive happily remarked as she poured herself a very, very generous glass of it. "I love cooking with wine, you know. Sometimes I even add it to the food!" Jenivive laughed at that as if it was a joke, but Jasper did not quite understand it.

"Cheers," she said, holding out her wine glass. "To a fun night. A sexy night. A night that hopefully won't end up horribly embarrassing ... for either of us!"

Jasper grinned. Ah, the clinking of glasses during a toast ... merely one of many human ceremonies he didn't quite understand the purpose of. Nevertheless he held his flagon up, and the two touched their respective drinking vessels before taking their first sips.

"Hmm ..." Jasper smacked his lips, trying not to show a displeased face. "Tastes like ... wine."

"It's not too dry, slightly fruity ... not bad! I've definitely bought worse. Now ..." she paused to set her wine glass down next to the kitchen counter. "Let's get started on that dinner."

Jasper watched with a mild curiosity as Jenivive worked with a practiced familiarity and speed. She seemed to float and flutter from station to station like a busy little bee: lighting the stove, putting on a pot of water to boil, chopping up the vegetables on the cutting board, and browning the beef in a skillet. She stood up on her tip-toes to reach her shelf of spices, and grabbed a few small bottles... the contents of which eluded Jasper's limited knowledge of cooking. For all he knew, she could have been at a chemistry table, brewing a draught of Dr. Stratovich's Patented Revitalizing Wonder Tincture ... it all looked the same to him!

Jasper tried to keep a clean mind, and yet, he found his thoughts constantly going back to the wine and chocolate sitting on the dining table. Every time he did, he'd get a strange tightening sensation in his chest and loins. He couldn't believe he was about to mate with a human ... a human he had known for about three years, now! How many other dragons could boast of the same, he wondered? Well, besides Penelope, of course. What a feisty little dragoness she could be ... Jacob certainly had his hands full with her!

There were about a hundred different questions Jasper wanted to ask Jenivive about mating, and each one danced around in his head before being ousted by yet another question. What was she going to teach him? Where would they mate? Right here, or in the bedroom? Would she pounce on him, as Penelope had done? Would she mind if he were to lick her slit? What did a human slit look like, anyway? Would he be allowed to bite her neck while they mated? Would she lick her own slit clean like Penelope did? And perhaps the most puzzling of all ... what was the chocolate for, if she wasn't using it to cook?

Jasper's heart seemed to quicken with each passing question, and his cheeks began to feel warm. But he did not ask those questions. Not yet. The mood was not quite right, and as impatient as Jasper felt, he instead sipped his wine and forced idle chit-chat. Time passed, and as the dish was busy simmering away in the oven, Jasper was in the process of telling Jenivive about the altercation between him and Denari before he had arrived.

" ... and you know what she said to me?" Jasper asked, his voice now shrill with fiery indignation. "She said I wasn't a true draa, since I perform tasks for you without pay, and that makes me more like your pet! Could you believe that? The nerve of her!"

"Well ... that does sound like something she'd say," Jenivive reluctantly admitted. She was currently crouched in front of the oven checking on the meal and wasn't looking his way. "You know how traditionalist she is. Well, she and most other wildborn, for that matter. The values of draconic pride and honor are deeply rooted in their minds."

"Not a true draa? Oh, pish-posh! When was the last time Denari had gone out and hunted an animal? Killed for food? Felt the life drain from her prey's neck? If that haughty dragoness had things her way, she'd have fully-seasoned and prepared lamb served on a silver platter for every meal, with human waiters on command! What a ... a two-faced rrugn'thiss!"

Jenivive put on a look of overly-exaggerated shock. "Such language, Jasper!" she playfully chided. "For that, take a drink. I'm starting to feel a little tipsy, myself ... so you better catch up!"

"My apologies, you're right," Jasper confided, and took another draught of his wine. "But even so! I don't care how much she says she clings to the old ways, she's gone soft. Probably just as soft as I! And I've never so much as hunted a grain of rice! I'll tell you what, the next time she--"

"Jasper," Jenivive interjected.

"What?!" he irately shouted.

"Your wings. Close them before you knock something off that cabinet."

"Wha--oh." Jasper became aware of the fact that he had risen to all fours. And that his tail tip was slapping against the floorboards. And that his wings had been spreading open. And then he became aware that all these things had happened because he was getting angry. He tucked his wings in close to his body and ruffled them, sat back down on his haunches, and curled his tail tightly around his feet. " ... my apologies, once again," he finally said, letting out a huff.

Jenivive let out a whimsical sigh. "Ahh, Jasper! You definitely are a dragon, just like Denari. You both got that streak of personal pride in your heart ... which is also why you're both upset! Now listen here," she began, sitting down in her chair opposite of him. She laid a hand on his scaled shoulder. "Don't take what she said personally. I know Denari can be difficult. And prejudiced. And surly."

"And a pomf," Jasper irately added, letting out a snort from his nostrils.

"Yes, but ... the reason she started saying all those mean things to you, is because you insinuated she was no different than a human-raised dragon such as yourself. Denari is a wildborn, Jasper. She hatched into a different culture than yours ... and from day one, she was taught to take great pride in her heritage and bloodline. Your comments trivialized all of that. It was disrespectful."

"It wasn't meant to be disrespectful," Jasper griped.

"Yes, but it was, nonetheless. She comes from a different world, Jasper ... remember that. With all things considered, Denari isn't so bad. You just have to give her respect before she starts giving it back to you. After all ..." Jenivive kicked back in her chair and stole another sip of wine, looking rather smug. "She respects me. And I'm human."

"Respect? Pah!" Jasper scoffed. "She hates humans, and thinks they're beneath her! Why, she still doesn't even refer to you by name ... how is that respectful?"

Jenivive merely smiled and leaned against her elbows on the table. "Do you know what she calls me?"

"Homnu-fen. It means 'human female', of course," Jasper matter-of-factly replied.

"Well, technically you are right, it does mean 'woman'. But ... Jasper, you're forgetting how Dragon Tongue works. In their language, compound words usually start with the modifiers. But with homnu-fen, the modifier comes last. This syntax is only used when respectfully addressing someone ... it's similar to our language: our king is formally addressed as 'King Edwin the Wise' and not "The Wise King Edwin". Now look at Denari's wording: she doesn't use homnu-fen to mean just any woman, because that would be fen-homnu. Homnu-fen means the woman. As in, the one specific woman that's important in her life, and the only woman worth mentioning. She uses homnu-fen as part of a formal title, Jasper. It's a sign of respect."

Jasper's cerulean eyes opened wide. "But ... but ..."

"Now, the full title would be "Jenivive homnu-fen", but she probably doesn't like to use my name because of all those pesky 'v' sounds in it, which are difficult for you dragons to pronounce." Jenivive tapped her lips with a finger. "She hasn't got a pair of human lips, after all. Well ... neither do you, but you've spent your whole life practicing how to imitate human speech. She hasn't."

Jasper sat and pondered her words, feeling both amazed and stupid that he had not noticed that before.

"When she said hello, what were the exact words she and you exchanged?"

Jasper let out an exasperated sigh. "She said 'Rrall, Jasper-draa', and I replied 'Rrall to you, too' all casually and such. I even bowed and lowered my wings! I was trying to be a bit of a buddy-buddy with her, but it clearly backfired."

Jenivive shook her head in disappointment. "Rrall is the highest level of formality used when greeting someone, Jasper. It's not a mere 'hello' or 'greetings', it's more like saying 'I welcome you into my presence, respected one.' That was a test which you failed: she was respectfully addressing you, and you replied to that with some informal, bastardized, half-Dragon-tongue greeting that didn't even make grammatical sense. And you wonder why she doesn't care much for you! She was expecting you to reply with the formal 'Rrall Denari-draa, domos-gar', which would be her full title, considering she answers only to Sheck, and Sheck is your domos."

Jasper let out a huff. He didn't like being formal with Denari. He didn't like being formal because he was annoyed at all the wildborn who insist on living in a human society, yet refuse to engage in the local human customs and language like he did. But, the more he thought about it, the more he realized that his reasons for disliking Denari, and her reasons for disliking him ... perhaps they were nothing more than two sides of the same coin.

"Now Jasper," Jenivive continued, "you know I have nearly two dozen dragons living here, with about half wildborn and half domesticate. Naturally, there's a lot of egos running around the place. I always have my hands full of quibbles and rivalries and internal politics, and I'd rather not see you and Denari become a part of my damage control, too. So listen up: I know for sure, that if you start acting more respectful to her, she'll be honor-bound to return it, even if she doesn't want to. And that goes double, due to her status. That's how wildborn dragon culture works."

Jasper folded his ears flat and frowned. "Hmpf. I'm not sure if I want to be more respectful around her ..."

Jenivive cocked her head. "But you're going to do it, anyway, right? Because that's the proper and noble thing for a gentleman dragon such as yourself to do?"

Jasper tore his eyes away from Jenivive and ducked his head down, his scaly face looking sour with spite. He said nothing for a moment, before finally swallowing his pride, letting out a sigh, and muttering, "Yes, yes, fine. I will."

"Good." Jenivive gave him a pat on the shoulder and stood up. She went to go check on the oven, but paused when she saw Jasper's despondent expression. She turned around and gave the drake a playful rub under the chin. "Oh, chin up, you pouty-faced dragon. You're getting laid tonight. Try to not look grumpy for it."

Despite his best intentions, Jasper felt Jenivive's words had their desired effect, and he found himself grinning as Jenivive checked once more on the food.

"Looks like it's done," she said, as she grabbed some pot holders and carefully removed the bubbling meal from the oven. She carefully lowered the piping hot ceramic dish onto a simple trivet made of brass and cork. As the food was brought in front of Jasper's eyes his nose was graced with the rich smell of melted cheese, cooked beef, and a tantalizing array of spices and herbs.

Jasper let out an excited trill and fanned his cheek fins wide. "My my, that smells lovely! ... What is it?"

"It's a casserole: a single dish of noodles, meat, and vegetables, covered in cheese and cooked in a creamy mushroom sauce. And to drink ... more wine!" Jenivive grinned and picked up her wine glass. Jasper blinked. Her glass was already empty ... when had that happened?! She poured herself another very generous helping and held the bottle out to him. "Want more?"

Jasper looked down at his own flagon and frowned. He had not even finished his first. "Err ... no, I think I am fine."

Jenivive put on a pouty face. "Aw, come on!" She shook the wine bottle in his face. "You're gonna need it for what we're gonna do later. I sure as heck know I will!"

Jasper let himself smile. With all the trepidation he faced over his lack of mating experience, the woman was definitely right. "Alright, my dear ... if you insist," he said. Jasper slid his flagon over to her side of the table. "Fill 'er up, as they say!"

Jenivive turned the bottle and had filled Jasper's flagon up to the three-quarter mark by the time the wine had been turned completely upside-down. Jasper figured by night's end he'd have at least four or five human-sized servings of wine in him ... which seemed to be just about right for a dragon his size.

A brief thought came to Jasper ... he knew what the wine was for, but what of the chocolate? Jenivive hadn't used it for cooking, so he still had no idea why the woman would need it. Was there some sort of complicated human mating ritual he wasn't aware of?

"Now, if you don't mind ..." Jenivive began, taking a large wooden spoon in hand. "I'll take the most of the top for myself, since you don't want much cheese. There's some cheese in the sauce, too, but I think you should be fine."

Jasper nodded appreciatively, watching as Jenivive plunged her spoon into the still-steaming dish and lifted out a heaping spoonful of the casserole. He watched as the stringy cheddar dripping off stretched into long filaments before finally breaking, and unconsciously licked his lips. Jasper, like most dragons, loved anything with a rich and savory flavor, which definitely included cheese! The tricky part was making sure one didn't eat too much of it, lest a dragon become sick to his stomach. Oh, and the other hard part was trying to forget that cheese was made out of ... cow udder excretions. Jasper shuddered. Ugh ... better think about something else, quick!

Jasper watched as Jenivive also fixed herself a small spinach and cucumber salad, using vinegar dressing she happened to have on hand, and he silently wondered how any human could stand to eat a bowl of plants. The very notion seemed so thoroughly unappetizing that he was convinced humans must have an entirely different set of taste buds to somehow make plants taste appealing.

Jenivive dolloped the lion's share of the casserole into a big bowl for Jasper and let him keep the large wooden spoon to eat with. The drake was no stranger to human eating utensils, though at times he preferred not to use them, depending on the food. He wrapped his claws around the handle and brought a heaping spoonful of cheese-covered noodles and beef to the front of his snout. He took in a deep breath, and a pleasured growl rumbled out from his throat as the drake savored the complex cornucopia of scents that were titillating his sensitive nose. Some wildborn would refuse to let a dish like this touch their palate ... they'd call it unfit for a dragon to eat, but what did they know? This smelled delicious! He couldn't help but take in another long whiff.

"Jasper," Jenivive raised an eyebrow. "Are you gonna smell your food, or eat it?" she said, grinning.

"Both, my dear," Jasper matter-of-factly replied. He opened his mouth and took the whole spoonful in one big glomp!

"Mmf," Jasper murmured as he chewed. It tasted at least as good as it smelled, if not better! Savory cheese and delicious beef, all sorts of herbs and spices, a hint of mushroom, and ... what were these disc-shaped objects ... diced carrots? No matter: they were soft and tender and could hardly be tasted.

The pair ate in silence. Such was the effect of a meal that was too good to stop eating. And by now he could feel the wine starting to affect him, giving his mind a slightly buzzy feeling to it. The anxious drake found himself watching out of the corners of his eyes every time Jenivive took a sip of her wine. How much would she need before she felt her inhibitions had slipped enough to the point where'd she be ready for mating? And how much for him, for that matter? Jasper didn't feel quite up to the challenge just yet; he'd better drink some more ...

As the dinner progressed, and Jenivive's wine glass was emptied, she slowly became giddier, bubblier, and more talkative. By the time both he and her had finished their meals, she had kicked her feet up on the table and was snacking on the chocolate. That was all, Jasper thought? She was just going to eat it for dessert? And after all that suspense, too!

"As soon as I was old enough to learn how to cook, my father taught me that recipe. He told me that my mother used to cook meals like this one all the time, back when ... before she ... well, you know." Jenivive's face seemed to dim a little, and her smile slowly faded. "I can barely remember her, you know. Gosh, I was so young when the sickness took her. I can see in my mind a beautiful, thin face. Orange hair. Lots of freckles. A loving smile ... but it's so fuzzy and indistinct."

"Did your mother work with draa, too?"

Jenivive shook her head. "No, but my father said she was fully supportive of his work. My father ... it was more than just a job to him. He just wanted to give dragons a fair chance, you know? Back when he was working in the royal stables, he was always pushing the quartermaster for more provisions for the dragons. Better bedding, roomier stables, less uncomfortable riding harnesses. He'd have the balls to stand up to some of the Dragonguard if he saw them mistreating their mounts. Got a few beatings for it, too, since he was just a commoner. As a little girl I'd cry while I tended to his wounds, and ask him why he'd be so foolish as to pick a fight with a trained soldier ... and he'd just say 'Jenni, someone's gotta stick up for the dragons ... and if it's not me, then they'd have no one.' Not everybody may have liked him, but they all still respected him."

Jasper nodded along. He was familiar enough with alcohol to know it tended to make the user ramble and drone on, which was exactly what Jenivive was doing. The alcohol was starting to affect him as well, and words suddenly came to mind. Jasper reached over the table to lay a paw on Jenivive's wrist--a very human gesture, but one he felt was warranted.

"If it makes you feel better, my dear, I never knew my parents at all. In fact, the only thing I know about them is that they dumped my egg into the hands of some human in the dragon breeding business and promptly fled. At six months old, I was sold a wealthy patron, which happened to be--"

"Which happened to be that doctor fellow ... Dr. Hank Conaway, right?" Jenivive finished for him. "You called him a 'scholar of all manner of sciences', when I first met you, all wide-eyed and eager to be out on your own for the first time in your life." Jenivive smirked. "Gosh, you were so fervent and chipper back then. Not to say you aren't now, but still."

Jasper nodded. "My keeper never married, but desired someone other than his maidservant to talk to, and so sought out a dragon to keep him company. A brilliant and kind human, both intelligent and passionate in equal measure--in fact, he finds time to not only practice medicine but also teach it at the university! But he is neither my father, nor my mother, nor did he treat me as if he were. Growing up without parents is ... difficult in ways that are hard to express.

"But you never even knew your parents! I did, for a brief time. That ... that makes it harder. God, what I wouldn't give to see both of them one more time ..."

Jasper took another long draught of his wine. "You know, this stuff ... it's not so bad! Once you get used to it, that is."

"My parents would be so disappointed to see what's happened since my father's passing ..." Jenivive blubbered. "I mean, just look at me: I lost a very respectable job of head dragon handler at the king's own royal stables after that asshole of an air marshal thought it was unacceptable for a woman to hold that position. I sold my parents' house and possessions to start up a shelter for dragons who have left their owners, and now I'm living in the poor side of town, barely making due with only a bunch of free dragons at my side ... a quarter of which are delinquents, free-loaders, or troublemakers of some kind. I get pressure from the city to keep all of them on-grounds unless supervised, the neighbors complain about the commotion and smell, the police know me and my shelter by name, and the cattle drivers outside the walls still think my dragons are poaching their livestock and want my head on a stake ... and you know what? They may actually be right, because those damn wildborns think that as an apex predator, it is their birthright to hunt and kill whatever they see fit to eat. Ugh." She dropped her head in her hands and let out a forlorn sigh.

Jasper cleared his throat. He had just thought of something great to say, something very wise ... or maybe that was the alcohol talking! He wasn't sure, but opened his mouth anyway. "That's not how I see it at all, my dear! Just look at what you've accomplished since then. You've single-handedly established the first independent draa community the city has ever seen. You found a way to legally let wildborns live in human society for the first time. And you fought for a number of other draa to leave the servitude of their keepers and give them the freedom to live their own lives. You've done nothing but continue in your father's footsteps, if not by profession, then in spirit. And there's no telling what other accomplishments you'll have to your name in the years to come. Why, I firmly believe that both of your parents--your father especially--would be proud of the woman you've become."

"Aw, Jasper ..." Jenivive gushed. The human looked genuinely touched. Her eyes began to tear up. She scooted back her chair and stood up, crossing the table and taking Jasper's head in her hands. "Thank you," she whispered, and gave him a kiss on the forehead. "You're a great draakin for any homn, you know that?" She then bent over and wrapped her arms around him tightly, an act which had Jasper's eyes open wide in surprise.

"Oh!" Jasper peeped, not expecting such a warm reaction. "Well ... you're welcome, my dear," he graciously said, returning the hug with the tight embrace of his wings.

When the hug was finished, Jenivive stood up straight and rubbed her eyes. "Ack! Look at me, getting all emotional over silly dinner talk like that! I think I'd better lay off the wine for now; it's already affecting me more than I want it to. I think I've had enough to eat, too ... well, maybe one more bite of chocolate!" She plopped back in her chair and grabbed another piece.

At once Jasper's chest began to get that strange, tightening sensation once more. "So, does that mean ..."

Jenivive put on a sly smile and played with a square of chocolate between her lips before slowly taking it into her mouth. "I think you know. Come, follow me to my bedroom," she said, standing up and beckoning him with a curled finger. "It's time for me to find out what a dragon really has between those hind legs ..."

Jasper sucked in a sudden breath and held it tight. But then, his head cocked in confusion. "Wait ... you've spent your whole life working with draa ... and you've never seen one's phallus? I'd imagine, with as much as most draa love to mate, you'd at least see a couple dozen or--"

"Of course I've seen a dragon's penis before, Jasper ... heck, we both saw two of 'em when we were with Jacob and Penelope at the tavern!" Jenivive let out a defeated sigh and her shoulders drooped in a hunch. "I was just trying to say something provocative to get you in the mood ..."

Jasper blinked. "Oh. Carry on, then!" He put on a smile for her.

Jenivive buried her head in her hands. "Never mind, you big oaf. Just get in the bedroom."

"R-right right right!" Jasper stammered, and his heart leaped in his chest. In his excitement, he stood up too quickly and his tail nearly knocked over the dining table in his haste. He yelped and shot his near wing out to grab hold of it and stabilize everything before the plates crashed to the floor. "Oops," he whispered, letting out a tentative laugh.

Jenivive was leaning against the brick hallway wall, arms crossed over her chest. She shook her head. "You're so thoroughly unsexy right now it's almost cute, you know that?"

"Err ... that counts for something, right?" he asked as he followed Jenivive to her bedroom.

Jenivive let out a sigh. "It's definitely something. Come on."

Gulping, Jasper entered the bedroom of Jenivive with a mixture of excitement and anxiousness. The drake had never entered this room before ... to his knowledge none but Jenivive herself had ever been graced with the honor. He looked around the small, square room, which was modest, but well-decorated. A large, circular red rug covered most of the flooring. Along the right wall, dominating the room's space was a comfy-looking human bed with a tall, heavily lacquered headboard. In the corner lay an end table upon which several books and a candleholder lay. To his left, next to the closet, was a large dresser and chest of drawers, both of which were likely purchased used or inherited from her parents, judging from the years of nicks and scratches. On the far wall there lay a simple makeup table, for even poor, hard-working, blue-collar women like Jenivive had the need to feel pretty on occasion. The curtains were already drawn over the windows and the candles were in the process of being lit.

Jenivive carried another candle and set it on top of the dresser. "We might as well have some moody lighting for such a special occasion, hm?" she teased.

Jenivive stepped away from the growing flame, which bathed the room in a subtle warm, orange glow that seemed to befit an intimate, moody night. Giggling from the wine buzz, she playfully sauntered over to her bed and crawled upon it, turning Jasper's way and laying on her side. Reaching up behind her head, she let her fiery hair fall down, showing off its natural curls as they came to a rest on her shoulders. Jenivive then provocatively stretched one of her long, feminine legs in the air, letting her black skirt fall down her thigh to reveal the garters that held up her stockings. Jasper watched with silent curiosity, wondering if this was how all human women acted after consuming wine and chocolate.

"Um ... now then," Jasper cleared his throat. "I-I'm assuming you aren't going to tackle me to the ground like Penelope did, correct?"

Jenivive laughed. "No, we're going to take things ... slowly."

Jasper let out a huff. What did that mean, exactly? He stood there awkwardly, not knowing what to do or say.

"So? Do you feel ready for a night to remember, dragon?" she asked, flashing a mischievous grin. Her voice was low and sultry in Jasper's ears, something he rarely heard human women do.

"I ... err, I feel like I could use more wine," Jasper nervously professed.

Jenivive snickered. "You don't want too much. Just enough to lower the inhibitions a little. Here ..." she patted the bedsheets next to her. "Come to bed."

Jasper cocked his head. "Will I fit?"

Jenivive turned a palm toward the ceiling and beckoned him. "I don't know; let's find out."

Jasper gulped. Tentatively, he approached and climbed into the bed. The mattress springs squeaked and groaned as the weight of the dragon pushed them down. Jenivive found herself having to move over. And then she had to move over a little more. And a little more. And then she ran out of space to move and stood up just before Jasper's body pushed her off.

Though in height, Jasper's head came up only to Jenivive's chest, he wasn't quite the right length for a small human bed. From haunch to head he had taken up most of the bed, and his tail spilled out from the end and fell to the floor. His large, leathery wings took up what little space was left.

"Sorry!" Jasper meeped. "This human bed is really small ... and way too soft." The drake attempted to make himself comfy. He banged his head against the headboard as he looked Jenivive's way, who had put her hands on her hips and did not look amused in the slightest. He struggled to maneuver his thick tail around the bedposts ... why did humans even have those things to begin with?!

"Okay ... looks like we're gonna need you on your back for the night," she said, sighing, and Jasper silently maneuvered himself into such a pose, which proved to be difficult.

Jenivive went into the closet and reappeared with two more pillows. "Here," she said, stuffing them under Jasper's neck and shoulders. "That should help you get situated."

"Thank you, my dear," Jasper said, bowing his head politely. "That does help quite a bit."

"Now the fun part begins. Normally, this is where my dashing lover would passionately strip me nude, but I don't trust your claws on this delicate lace. So, I'm gonna improvise ..."

Playfully, Jenivive shimmied out of her skirt, putting on a sultry little show for the dragon. She made a point of slowly unhooking her garters, showing off her long legs once more as her stockings dropped. She stretched her arms as she slid her chamise off, giggling as she exposed her bosom for the first time. Jasper watched attentively as Jenivive's clothes fell to the floor one by one, until she was finally in the nude. She turned her body slowly, giving Jasper a view of everything. When she had her back turned, she bent over and spread her legs, leaving nothing to the imagination. The warm glow from the candles cast moody shadows over her shapely, soft body. Jasper took in all the sights in silence as she turned round to face him once more.

"What do you think, dragon?" Jenivive asked, her voice low and provocative.

"So that's what human nipples look like." Jasper nodded to himself. "Who knew they'd be darker than the rest of your skin? And I'd never imagine you to have a tiny bit of orange hair down there!" he pointed with excitement to the spot between her legs. "Do all humans have that feature?"

Jenivive dropped her head down and put her face in her hands. "Oh, Jasper," she said, letting out an amused sigh. Trying hard to set the mood, she strolled over to him, swaying her hips, and slowly crawled into bed with the dragon, causing the bed springs to bend even more. Jasper held his breath as the human woman crawled over him. She straddled his stomach and leaned forward, putting her hands on his scaly chest. Her fiery red hair fell around her face, and she bore a sultry smile.

"Ooh, your scales are cool to the touch." Jenivive playfully whispered, hips swaying to and fro and grinding against his belly. "Looks like I'll have to warm them up."

Jasper blinked. This was such a different side of Jenivive than what he was used to. He was fascinated from watching the transformation from platonic friend to lover. How could she be so calm, so confident and playful? But when Jasper looked up at Jenivive's almost goofy grin he then remembered the woman was definitely drunk. The wine was starting to noticeably affect him as well ... Jasper's head felt even more buzzy, his tail felt tingly, and his wings were heavy and dull. And despite himself, he found a little budding of arousal starting to well up inside of him from all the built-up expectations of the night. He could feel something start to peek out from between his hind legs as soon as Jenivive climbed on top of him.

Jasper took in a few deep breaths. He then looked up at Jenivive with an honest, innocent face. "Tell me, does your musk always smell like this?" he asked, motioning to that place between her legs.

Jenivive put a hand to her mouth. "Oh, no no no no no, Jasper. No! Bad dragon! Bad!" She wagged a finger at him. "Put that on your list of things to never, ever ask a lady in bed. Or anywhere else, for that matter!"

Jasper reared his head back so far his horns thunked against the headboard. He flexed his cheek fins out, looking surprised. "Well, I didn't mean that in a bad way! It's sort of an intriguing smell, really ... you humans are naturally smelly creatures with all sorts of fascinating odors! Why, I could smell it from across the room, long before--."

"Oh my god, Jasper!" Jenivive's jaw dropped in a look of shocked offense, though she was still trying to hold a smile. "Just stop. You're only digging your hole deeper."

"B-but that goes for anyone!" Jasper protested. "If Jacob and Penelope were in the other room I'd be able to smell their musk, too! If Denari was approaching I'd smell her long before I could see her! All creatures have their own smells ... there's nothing wrong with that!"

Jenivive shook her head. "That's not the point. It's still a very rude question to ask any human."

Feeling indignant, Jasper lifted his snout high in the air. "Pah! I bet a dragoness wouldn't have minded such an inquiry. You humans are so used to body odor being a bad thing, when that's not true at all!"

"Well, maybe so, but you're not with a dragoness. Not tonight. You're with a human ... a human who took a very thorough bath today, for your information."

"Well, naturally!" Jasper matter-of-factly replied. "I can smell the soap on your skin, too. Though, I find the smell of soaps to be rather icky. To be perfectly honest, I think you always smell nicer without a bath."

Jenivive covered her face with both her hands. "Wow ... okay, okay: no more talk about smells for tonight. That's now a rule."

Jasper opened his mouth, but promptly shut it when he saw Jenivive's unamused expression. What little mood the woman was trying to set for the night had already been thoroughly ruined. He folded his ears flat against his head and looked away, feeling upset. "My apologies," he quietly muttered.

Jenivive smiled. "Apologies accepted, you silly dragon." She leaned in to Jasper close, until her face was only inches away from his scaly snout. "Now, you wanted to learn how to satisfy a woman, yes?" she whispered. Her red hair had fallen around her head, obscuring half of her face.

Jasper nodded slowly. "Err, I'm actually more concerned about satisfying another dragon."

Jenivive giggled. "Well, my apprehensive little drake ... I don't talk sex with dragons often, but I'm pretty sure there's quite a few things about human sex that carry over."

"Like what?" Jasper eagerly asked.

Jenivive smiled. "Alright, so here's sexy lesson number one: a lady likes a man who--"

Jasper held up one claw. "Dragon," he corrected.

Jenivive took the moment in stride, not missing a beat. "Sexy lesson number one, revised edition: A dragoness likes a drake who has confidence and can take charge."

"But I'm not confident!" Jasper worriedly professed. "Oh dear, I'm already failing ..."

Jenivive shook her head. "You don't have to be confident. You just have to act confident. Hide your timidity and your insecurity. Part of me is freaking out over the fact that I'm going to have dragon dick inside of me tonight. But I'm not showing it, am I? Mm, then again, the wine's helped a lot with that ..."

Jasper frowned. "But, I'm not confident that I can act confident."

"Well, that's the whole reason why we're here, isn't it?" Jenivive laughed, idly swaying back and forth on Jasper's belly. She ran her hands down the tan armored scutes that covered his chest. "Jasper, remember this: you only need to act confident, and real confidence will soon follow. Now, show me your confidence! Oh, I know ... let's start with something small. Have the courage to kiss me, as if I were a sexy ... sexy dragon you had just brought to bed with you. Like ... a really sexy one."

Oh dear, Jasper thought. This woman was definitely intoxicated.

Jasper had seen enough dragons kissing to know they were different than a human kiss: humans touched lips, but dragons turned their heads and locked jaws with each other. He gulped his anxiety down and fanned his fins out wide at the thought of doing either with the human before him. He felt his heart begin to race; it was likely Jenivive could feel it on her palms as well. Tentatively, he leaned forward and the pair touched lips. Jasper felt Jenivive's lips move against his own. They were reddened and soft to the touch, like delicate rose petals. His mind was buzzy from the wine, and it was hard to think. He closed his eyes and let his inhibitions slip away. He felt Jenivive's lips press and form a seal against his own, and the pair shared their first kiss.

Jenivive suddenly threw her head back and gagged. "Ack! What was that?" she gasped and licked at the inside of her mouth.

Jasper looked confused. "Kissing?"

Jenivive briefly put the back of her hand to her mouth. "That wasn't kissing! That was more like ... like being force-fed a snake! You put about four inches of tongue in my mouth!"

Jasper gawked, cheek fins pulled back in dismay. "But--that's ... that's what Penelope did to me!"

Jenivive let out an amused little giggle. "Well, I don't have an eight inch snout. There's not a lot of room in human mouths, so cut back on the tongue ... just for tonight."

He thought in silence for a moment. "Say, why do humans even have noses instead of snouts, anyway? Snouts are so much more attractive ... and you'd have a larger tongue, too!"

Jenivive laughed. "Jasper, you're intoxicated and you're rambling. Stay on topic!"

Jasper nodded sheepishly . "My apologies." The woman was certainly right: the drake's mind felt buzzy and muddled, and he could tell his attention was starting to wander ...

Jenivive once again bent down, close to the dragon's head. "So let's try that once more. And this time, slower."

"Y-you still want to go through with this?"

Jenivive smiled. "Of course. As I said, I'm a woman of my word."

Jasper blinked. Jenivive--this redheaded, freckled human that was straddling his stomach in the nude--she was smiling. She was still smiling, even after all the mishaps and faux pas that had already happened! Jasper was amazed the night hadn't ended up with her ordering him out of the room in exasperation already. This human was being so shockingly understanding ... and it made Jasper feel just a little more comfortable than before. Wine and chocolate were wonderful, magical things, it seemed! He sucked in a big breath of confidence and let it out quickly.

"Alright," he said, eagerly nodding, and went in for another kiss.

Her lips. Her soft, wonderfully supple lips. Jasper was intrigued as they pressed against his own, which were less puffy and far more scaly. He closed his eyes. He heard the wet smacking noise of a successful kiss. And he went in for more. And more. He felt her warm nose bump against his, heard the soft giggles in her throat.

"Mm, better," Jenivive whispered between slow kisses. "Now, sexy lesson number two: a lady likes--"

"Or dragons," Jasper interjected.

"Sexy lesson number two, revised edition: a dragoness really likes foreplay, to get them in the mood for sex." Jenivive finished, again taking the correction in stride. "You should almost never rush into sex: foreplay is what will get her ready for sex, and it makes sex much more enjoyable! So with that being said, I want you to start foreplay."

"Err ... how do I do that?" Jasper sheepishly asked.

"Begin with feeling my body," she finished, taking his large forepaws in her hands. As they continued to kiss she guided his claws to her waist, where Jasper took hold. "But be gentle, my little drake," Jenivive cautioned. "I don't have scales."

Jasper hummed in acknowledgment. He began to trace Jenivive's feminine form as they continued to kiss, toes gliding around her stomach, around her hips, and down her thighs. His mind couldn't escape from that odd, fuzzy feeling ... the wine had certainly taken its full effect! And here he was, in bed with a human, kissing her lips and feeling her nude body. And ...

And ...

And he didn't mind it one bit. He didn't feel too anxious or worried. He wasn't quivering in trepidation of his inexperience and foolishness. In fact, he felt relatively calm, perhaps even a bit aroused. He was doing it ... he was actually starting to do it! But wait: this was just the foreplay. There was still much more to come, Jasper reminded himself. And next time, he might not have the wine to help him ...

Jasper hummed softly as he continued to explore. Though it wasn't what the drake was used to, he supposed the curvy shape of a woman's body could be ... attractive, in its own way. Her waist was soft and supple, her hips wide and curvaceous. He ran his paws down her sides, feeling the smooth, feminine curves in her abs and pelvis. More kissing. More exploring those soft lips of hers. He even went as far as to gently squeeze her hips, causing Jenivive to giggle. "You're getting into it. Here--" She guided the dragon's large, clawed forepaws up to her breasts, and pressed them tightly against herself. "Play with these. Lift them. Feel them. Knead them."

"W-why?" Jasper asked, pulling away from another kiss.

"Because it feels good, you silly dragon." Jenivive giggled, admonishing him with a tap on his nose. She placed her hands on top of his own, tracing the keratinous blue-green scales, mapping each finger to one of his toes. Then, with her help to guide him, the two began to massage and squeeze. "Bask in the moment, I've got a pretty decently-sized pair, and many men would love a chance to do this."

"They're so ... so odd." Jasper commented, his brow furrowed as he felt the supple flesh bend and give under his toes. Wasn't he just squeezing fat? What was so lovely about that? He was trying his best to avoid scratching or poking her with his claws, and so far there were no complaints. The drake wasn't quite sure what human males found so appealing about these things, but if Jenivive wanted him to grope them, he was more than willing to oblige.

"You'll grow to like them, I bet," she replied, dropping her hands around Jasper's forelegs and tracing the musculature of his shoulders and scale-covered chest. She bit her lower lip and grinned. "Mm, you have a really muscular chest," she whispered.

"Thanks?" Jasper said, not really sure with what else to reply. "You have a very nice chest, too. It's very ... squishy."

Jenivive laughed. "Now, for sexy lesson number three: a lady likes--"

"Dragon!" Jasper corrected again, drawing his forepaws to his chest and looking up at her guardedly.

Jenivive gave him a keen glare. "Sexy lesson number three, revised edition: a dragoness likes a drake who makes her feel attractive and sexy."

Jasper thought hard. "So ... err, how do I do that?" he finally asked, unable to come up with an answer by himself.

"By showing his passion and desire for her through actions and words, you scaly little bundle of nerves!" She bent down once more to kiss the drake on the lips.

"And ... how do I do that?" Jasper asked between kisses.

Jenivive pulled back from the kissing. She was frowning. "Jasper, come on ... you're supposed to figure this stuff out just like everybody else. Sex doesn't come with an instruction manual."

"But I don't know what to do! Can you give me a hint of where to start, please?" Jasper's voice squeaked.

Jenivive sighed. "Ugh, fine. Fine! Be possessive. Tell her you want her, or that she's yours. Wrap your wings and legs around her and hold her jealously. Stuff like that. Personally, if a man comes onto me strongly, like, pushes me up against a wall and kisses me passionately, or carries me off to bed and undresses me, it's a huge rush, because I can feel how much he wants me."

Jasper sunk his head low. Oh dear, now he had gotten her exasperated. So much for the sexy mood! "I, err ... think it's a little late to do both those things ..." he muttered.

Jenvive let out a short giggle and brushed red hair out of her face. "Well, those were just examples. We're not going for a mood like that tonight, anyway. But there's other ways to show your passion and desire. Calmer ways. More intimate ways." Once again Jasper watched as she forcibly reverted back to her slow and sensual body language, to try and kindle the dying flames. She leaned in close, and as she continued to speak her warm breath washed over his snout. "We started with gentle kissing, and some fondling. Now, it is time for you to slowly turn up the heat."

"But ... but ..." Jasper murmured between kisses. "Penelope wanted to rush everything. There was nothing slow about it ... I barely had time to adjust!"

"Penelope was one time," Jenivive began, pausing to grab Jasper's forepaws and put them back on her body. "Different girls prefer different paces depending on their mood, and I'm sure Penny was excited over her first time with another dragon. But I'm also sure she and Jacob have had more slow, intimate nights such as this one. Keep in mind: the more aroused you get her, the faster she'll want to go."

Jasper blinked and nodded. Penelope must have been really aroused, then!

"Alright, so ..." Jasper trailed off, thinking hard at what to do. Somehow, he had to make this human feel attractive and sexy with his actions and words. "I don't suppose you would mind if we returned to the kissing?"

Jenivive smiled, showing great patience. "More kissing never hurts. Start there and build on it. And remember lesson one: confidence! Don't ask me for what I would mind ... just take charge."

Oh tuts, that's right ... he had forgotten to act confident. Jasper nodded with bravado, even though he hardly felt confident at all. "Right then!"

Slowly, Jasper leaned in, and Jenivive met him halfway for another kiss. He thought hard at how to 'turn up the heat,' as she had said. Kissing ... kissing ... perhaps he could try tongue once more? Only this time, very slowly! He gently extended his tongue once again, running it gently across those soft human lips instead of darting in immediately. Jenivive giggled and accepted this time, parting her lips to let Jasper explore her mouth. A strange tightening sensation formed in his chest as he touched his tongue with her own and felt the bumpy texture of her tastebuds. Her soft, human lips wrapped around his tongue. They shared breaths. Jasper could smell the alcohol on her breath with every exhale. A low hum welled up in his throat. He closed his eyes. He felt Jenivive's lips pull away for just a brief moment.

"Just relax ... and let your emotions guide you," she whispered.

Taking a deep breath, Jasper let go of the anxiety in his mind and gave his slowly-growing lust a hold of the reins. His mind was hazy from the wine. His heart was beating proudly in his chest. His tail was swishing against the bedsheets. And he could feel that even more was peeking out from between his hind legs. The windows were open, and the cool air of a summer evening washed over the slick surface of his dragonhood, chilling him.

Jasper leaned into her, slowly gaining momentum as his kisses became more passionate. The drake nibbled gently on her lower lip, causing Jenivive to giggle and whisper "Yes." The modicum of encouragement welled up a streak of daring in Jasper, and he began to nip at both lips, alternating between the kissing and nibbling. Before he knew what was happening he broke away and began to lick under her chin, at the top of her neck, where the skin was stretchy.

That area on dragons was a sensitive spot--a fact of which Jenivive was well aware--and Jasper was instinctively drawn to it. Jenivive took his head in her hands and cradled it behind the horns as the dragon explored and tasted her skin. He let out a soft, rumbling hum of pleasure and excitement.

"Hands," Jenivive whispered, causing Jasper to remember he had stopped fondling her again, and so reapplied his forepaws to her waist. His mind was fuzzy, his tail was slapping against the floor, and his wings acted as if they were made of lead. He felt his growing dragonhood throb in the air. He took a nip of the soft, delicate skin at her jawline. Before he could even register what was happening, a low, guttural growl had welled up in his throat, and he was letting it rumble proudly as he began to bite down and pull.

And then, a moment of self-awareness. A pair of dragon eyes shot wide open. His pupils constricted to tiny points. Jasper immediately disengaged and fell back against the pillows, bearing a look of sudden horror and shock.

"I ... I ..." Jasper panted with short, raspy breaths. "I'm so sorry!"

"Wait, no!" Jenivive protested. "You were doing great! What's wrong?"

"I was losing control. I don't know what I was doing. I'm scared. Scared of doing ... something horrible." Jasper buried his snout in his claws out of embarrassment. He could feel his dragonhood quickly soften and partially retreat back inside. He was starting to hyperventilate.

"No! No no no no." Jenivive cradled the dragon's head in her arms to comfort him. "It's okay. It's alright! You were giving in to your mating instincts. Humans do that too ... to an extent. Maybe it's not quite the same for us ..."

"The ... the urge to take hold of your neck was so strong! It was as if ... someone else was controlling my actions. And I was afraid I'd bite too hard, and ... and you humans are so delicate!" He glanced up briefly at Jenivive, and let out a cry of dismay. "Oh dear, oh dear! I even left a mark on your neck! I've gone and ruined the whole night!"

Jenivive reached a hand up to her neck, on the spot that was wet with dragon saliva, and felt a few soft indentations from dragon teeth. They weren't painful or tender in the slightest. "You're worried about that? Pfft. You didn't bruise or break the skin. It'll go away!"

Jasper regarded the woman's words with caution. "A-a-are you sure?"

"Yes! I've gotten worse from human lovers, trust me." She laughed.

"B-but what about next time?" the dragon babbled, shutting his eyes tight. "What if I ... lose control?"

"Hey," Jenivive removed the paws from Jasper's snout and forced him to look at her in the eye. "Listen to me, Jasper. Humans can take a lot more punishment than you think. We may not have scales, and our skin may be soft, but it can stretch and bend without harm, and that's what gives it its strength. A little biting and tugging won't hurt me. I know you, Jasper: you'll be careful enough as-is. I trust you ... so learn to trust yourself."

"R-right ..." Jasper cautiously replied.

"And plus, when you bit down, and I heard that low growl in your throat, it, well ..." she let out a short giggle. "It was scary, but in a good way ... a thrilling, exciting way. Feeling you latch on like that was kind of hot, actually."

"R-really?" Jasper looked up wide-eyed at her. "You ... you liked that? It really didn't hurt?"

"No! No ... okay, it was a little uncomfortable. But that's what made it feel so exciting, Jasper! I could feel how feral, how primal your energy was. And ... shoot, that's gonna turn all of the lady dragons on, trust me." Grinning, she nodded approvingly.

Jasper breathed a sigh of relief and fanned his cheek fins. "Whew! Thank goodness ... and I'm glad you're okay as well!"

Jenivive laughed. "Oh Jasper, you're such a sweet little dragon," she gushed, caressing the drake under his chin with a finger. "Remember at the tavern when I said you're just about the only drake I would trust in bed? That wasn't an exaggeration. So how about we pick up where we left off, hmm? Only ..." giggling, she once again grabbed Jasper's forepaws and placed them around her waist. "Remember to use your hands."

"They're technically not hands, since I use them for walking, but actually--"

"Oh, shush," she interjected, leaning in for a kiss. "Look, I'm kinda drunk. You know what I mean."

Jasper felt another swell in his chest as the human kissed him once more. "Right. In that case ..."

Jenivive gasped as Jasper went straight for the throat, latching on and growling ferociously. His forepaws clenched around her waist, claws digging into her skin. Jenivive arched her back as a chill ran down her spine, arms wrapping around Jasper's scaled neck as this suddenly fearsome dragon took hold of her.

"There you go," she whispered, holding on tight.

Her response stirred in Jasper's chest, emboldening him. The dragon let go and lapped at the spot he had just bit as a silent apology. Humming low, his tongue and lips then began exploring, eager to taste the pleasant mild saltiness of clean human skin. His heart was starting to race, and in the back of his mind, his instinctive side was wondering just how long it would be before he was allowed to mount his prize for the night, how much time it would be before he could claim her.

Jenivive brought the dragon's large paws under her bosom and encouraged the drake to lift them up. "Good. Now, I want you to lean in close so you can suckle and nibble."

Jasper's eyes shot wide open. He immediately disengaged and leaned back against the pillows. "But won't mammary fluid come out?" The drake made a face of disgust. There was no way he wanted any of that stuff in his mouth!

"What? No! Gosh, no!" Jenivive laughed. "Women only lactate after they give birth, Jasper ... and I'm definitely not pregnant!"

"B-but dragonesses don't have breasts! So maybe we should just skip this part ..."

Jenivive gave the squeamish and nervous dragon an unamused look. "Jasper ... a lady's breasts are always sensitive during arousal, and I like it when they're given some good ol' tender lovin'. Come on, I'm trying to get in the mood, just the same as you ..." She leaned forward and put her hands on his shoulders. As Jasper watched carefully she then arched her spine back, proudly putting her chest on display for the dragon, and bent her arms inward, causing the breasts to accentuate their already ample cleavage. "I want you to play with them," she whispered. "So ... go on and play, you silly, timid little drake."

Jasper gulped and nodded. His drunken gaze took a moment to focus on the pair of strange mammalian nipples in front of him. How odd ... it seemed like the human's nipples had somehow become more erect and pronounced since the beginning of the night. He slowly brought his head forward and brushed his lips against the left nipple with great trepidation. Trying hard to force all the unpleasant images of lactation out of his mind, he took in a deep breath, wrapped his lips around the fleshy nub, and began to tug and suckle in the most gentle of ways.

"Keep going, dragon," Jenivive cooed, bringing a hand around to caress his scaly cheek and forehead. "You can go harder than that. Harder. Harder! Ow--too hard! Theeeere you go. Mmf ... yeah, that feels nice."

Jasper braced himself for the worst, but ... no white mammary fluid splashed on his tongue. There was only the taste of her supple, sensitive skin, and his own saliva. Whew! Feeling a bit more confident, Jasper began to lap around the areola, wetting it with his tongue and gently nibbling the area with his teeth. Jenivive blew out an exhale between puckered lips, humming quietly in pleasure as this scale-covered creature continued to lap and nip at her breasts.

"Good, good," Jenivive whispered, guiding the dragon's head to her other breast. "Just imagine you're nipping at the soft skin under a dragoness' chin, showing your lust for her."

Jasper closed his eyes and thought hard. He took the firm nub of flesh between his carnivorous teeth and pulled, remembering what Jenivive had said about human skin being tougher than it looks. Growling softly, he jealously squeezed her around the hips with his paws, earning another whisper of praise. He felt a nudge from behind the head as Jenivive brought him forward, sinking his snout deep into her pillowy bosom.

Nibbling and sucking on fleshy chest nubs ... such a strange sexual act, this was! Humans could be so weird at times ...

"Use your tongue more," Jenivive whispered.

"Mmm, like this?" Jasper asked, his voice muffled from the soft smothering of her breasts. He let go with his teeth and flicked the tip of his long tongue across the firm little nipple several times.

"Mmm, yeah," she whispered, holding on to the dragon's head tightly. "Keep going."

Jasper's tongue explored and traveled. These human nipples were strange to lick and suckle from, but it could be worse, he reasoned. His tongue moved around the firm little nubs in circles, dancing the end of his tongue all across the surface. Eventually, Jenivive motioned for him to switch breasts yet again, which he did with pets and rubs of silent approval.

Jasper lost track of how long he practiced his foreplay. His tongue began to explore the soft curvature of her breasts, and once more the drake became emboldened as his emotions began to take charge. His dragonhood began to throb for attention once again, and his chest became tight as his nose and tongue prowled and explored every inch of human skin he could reach. He nibbled on her neck, her shoulder. Even her ears ... which caused an encouraging gasp and a girly giggle: a reaction that told Jasper he should remember the spot for next time. He felt the tip of his dragonhood touch against something soft and warm--Jasper realized he was fully erect and brushing up against Jennivive's backside. As she was caught up in the sharp embrace of a dragon's teeth and claws, another thrilling chill worked its way through Jenivive's spine, and as Jasper felt her work the shivers out of her body, he grinned.

Minutes passed, until finally Jenivive gently pulled the dragon's head away from her, and Jasper beheld before him a human woman with an honest look of actual wanton arousal. Her cheeks were flushed, her nipples erect, and she nibbled on her lower lip as a grin spread across her face.

"That was great, Jasper ... you're learning fast." She let out a satisfied sigh and brushed a lock of red hair out of her face. "Now, say something sexy to me, as if I were a sexy, sexy dragon you are trying to seduce and take to bed. Say something hot. Something that will make me want you."

"If you were a dragon? Well, I ..." Jasper thought hard. But his addled mind was drawing a blank. Damn alcohol!

"Go on," she encouraged, tilting her head.

Jasper babbled, pausing often to lick and nibble at her skin. "Ah ... erm ... your haunches ... are so appealing to me that I feel ... inspired to mount you."

"No, something better than that. Try again."

Jasper kissed and nibbled along the neck of his human lover. His claws tightened around her waist. "Mmm ... the sight of your scaly slit makes my phallus become stiff."

Jenivive laughed. "Definitely no. Try again. Go with something more intimate and casual. And less clinical."

Jasper let out a little growl of frustration. He leaned his head all the way back until his horns thunked against the headboard. There was no dragon sitting on his belly, looking to be impressed ... there was only this human woman by the name of Jenivive.

"Jenivive, you are ... "

Grinning, Jenivive raised an eyebrow. "I'm what?"

Jasper looked up at this woman, dumbstruck at how to impress her. He drunkenly stared into her green eyes, her pretty face and red hair. And maybe it was the alcohol talking, but all of a sudden he felt so incredibly lucky to have met and befriended such a human, that she'd be willing to take a dragon to bed ... an embarrassingly inexperienced dragon that had no idea how to treat such an honest, attractive, and understanding female as she.

Without another thought, Jasper opened his mouth, and let the alcohol choose his words. "Jenivive, my dear ... you are such a pretty human. No, wait, I redact that statement: you are such a beautiful human. And a lovely woman. And a wonderful friend. And you have really squishy breasts."

Jenivive sniggered laughter.

A goofy, wine-induced smile spread along Jasper's muzzle. "And ..." he continued. "I've been thinking about mating with you all day. My dear, I couldn't keep it out of my mind, and every time it returned, I felt my chest stir and my loins grow tight. Because not only are you a beautiful human, you're patient, encouraging, and fun. A good friend. And tonight you've also proved to be very, very sexy ... why, I'm sure you're precisely everything a human--and maybe even a dragon--could want for a lover. And despite my timidity's best efforts to muddle the mood, I find myself wanting to hold you, to taste you, and to take you and mount you. Now, I have no idea how a dragon such as myself managed to end up in the bedroom of such an incredible woman tonight, but ... I'll be damned if I'm not determined to make it worth your while!"

He looked up at Jenivive, and became aware of the fact that she was holding her breath. She appeared entranced, and let the air out slowly, through pursed lips.

Undaunted, Jasper continued. "And by 'worth your while', I mean ... I want to make you cum bucket-loads, Jeni--"

"Oh my god, Jasper!"

Jenivive was trying not to laugh, and took to hiding her face in her hands as she stifled a snigger. After she had a moment to collect herself, she stared into Jasper's eyes with an earnest look of endearment. "Ah, Jasper ... you really, really should have stopped at 'worth your while.' You had a good thing going there."

Jasper cocked his head. "Truly? Because I was feeling as if ... well ... I don't know what I was feeling, to be honest!"

The woman snickered and held a hand to her mouth. "That was all really, really good ... right up until you blurted out 'cum bucket-loads'."

Jasper frowned and cradled his snout in his claws. "Oh dear ... I blame the wine!" Jenivive giggled.

"But the rest of your little speech ..." A mischievous smile played across Jenivive's face and she playfully cocked her head, causing her red hair to flip over her shoulders. "That'll do just fine, dragon."

Jasper's eyes shot open wide and a sudden growl escaped his throat as a feminine hand wrapped around his phallus and squeezed. Jenivive had reached behind herself and wrapped the slippery organ in her grasp. He watched Jenivive, who had cutely bit her lower lip and was giving him a sly grin out from under that head of red hair of hers. She let out a girly giggle as she felt it throb and stiffen around her fingers.

"Congratulations ... tonight is the first time I've touched dragon dick! It feels ... exactly how I thought it would feel: hot, stiff, and slick."

Jasper wanted to reply, but he could only let out another growl of approval as she slowly stroked the pillar of dragon flesh to full attention. He was overly sensitive from the very long wait and those fingers of hers seemed to work like magic! Each digit was flexing on its own, providing a wonderful rhythmic pressure on everywhere the woman could reach from her position.

"Do humans do this of-ten?!" Jasper lurched in mid-sentence as she wrapped her hand around the spade-shaped head of his phallus and squeezed. She rubbed her thumb along the underside of the smooth organ, hitting all the sensitive spots. It once again throbbed and stiffened up in her hand, with the head expanding to full size and firmness. A few drops of clear pre-cum dribbled out, coating her hand in a thin layer of natural lubricant that she seemed eager to spread around.

"Do what?" Jenivive cocked her head innocently as she squeezed him once more.

"Mate ... with your hands?" Jasper panted through an open mouth. He rested his forepaws against his chest and basked in the pleasure of finally being stimulated after such a long night of anticipation. A drake could get used to this "hand mating", Jasper thought ... in fact, it would be quite nice to have a human providing a little of this on every evening!

"When we're alone with no one else to turn to ... yes, us humans sometimes pleasure ourselves with our own hands. But when we are with someone else, it's usually just foreplay."

"Why not just ... use your mouth, like dragons do?" Jasper paused to gyrate his hips upward, wishing for that hand to explore more. Jenivive let out a little giggle as she was rocked up and down on his stomach. "Is your tongue too small to be of service?"

Jenivive shook her head. "We're not that flexible. Can't reach far enough to lick. Not even the men can, as far as I know."

Jasper's face turned into an expression of sadness. "What a pity, you're missing out. Oh! Actually ... Rff," Jasper paused once more as that hand around his shaft sent the dragon humming with pleasure. "This leads me exactly to a question that I've ... mmmm ... been wanting to ask you all night."

"Yes?" Jenivive asked, squeezing the drake's shaft hard as her voice inflected.

Jasper let out a low growl of pleasure. His heart fluttered as he stirred up enough wine-induced courage to ask her. "M-may I lick your slit? I could ... show you what you're missing out on, mayhaps?"

Jenivive put on a faux show of modesty and inflected her voice in a way typically shown by high class nobles. "Why, you certainly may, you gentleman dragon you!" she said, giggling.

Jasper's eyes opened up wide. "Really?"

"In fact, that brings us to sexy lesson number four: a lady--no wait, a dragoness ..." Jenivive paused, waiting for Jasper's nod of approval. " ... likes a drake who is willing to pleasure her. And I'm sure dragon tongues are really, really good at doing just that." Jenivive raised an eyebrow, her lips widening into an excited smile.

Jasper licked his chops in anticipation. "Wonderful!"

"Mmm ... show me that dragon tongue of yours," Jenivive provocatively whispered.

The drake opened his mouth wide and flexed out his long, muscular tongue in a curly 'q' shape for display. Jasper's thick and pointed tongue was deep red in color and looked to have around seven inches of usable length. Moreover, after the first few inches, it was at least as wide as any man's penis if not more. Jenivive's jaw dropped a bit, and she eventually let out a long whistle. Simply imagining all the things that tongue was capable of sent a tingling sensation shooting through her ladyparts.

"Damn, Jasper ... now that is a sexy tongue. I can't believe I'm gonna have that thing all to myself tonight!"

Jasper felt a bit warm in the cheeks, and he smiled graciously at the compliment.

Saying nothing more, Jenivive turned around. Jasper's heart thumped in his chest as she backed up and bent over, allowing the drake to instantly become very, very familiar with what a human female had between her legs. He couldn't help but lean in and take in the smell, but refrained from commenting on it for Jenivive's sake, no matter how much he enjoyed it. Jenivive snuck a hand underneath her stomach and Jasper watched with great interest as she spread the bottommost part of her slit to reveal a tiny little pink bump.

"I want you to look here, and--"

"I know what a clitoris is, my dear," Jasper chuckled, interrupting her. "Though yours looks a bit different than a dragon's.

"Then what are you waiting for?" Jenivive replied, rocking and swaying her hips provocatively.

Jasper blinked. "I can just, err ... dive right in?"

"Yes!" Jenivive said, sounding a little impatient.

Jasper nodded. "I see ... and, may I grasp your buttocks? For support."

Jenivive laughed. "Jasper, enough already! You don't need to keep asking for permission for every little act! Take charge for once!"

Jasper at once felt incredibly foolish. "My apologies ..." he grumbled.

"And besides ... it's rude to keep a lady--or a dragoness--waiting. So shut up and start licking. And remember: confidence!"

Oh right ... he had already forgotten about that. "Okay, then!" Jasper excitedly replied. The drake gave his view another once-over, and gulped his anxiety down. It felt so odd to be presented with hindquarters that lacked a tail ... what an unnatural sight! But perhaps, that would merely mean more room for his snout. Jasper leaned in and grasped both buttocks with each paw, causing Jenivive to giggle and lean back into his grip. She swayed her hips provocatively in the dragon's grasp. Jasper took in another long, slow whiff, familiarizing himself with the exotic scent of human femininity that had been tantalizing his nose ever since she first climbed up on him. He licked his lips, wetting them.

Closing his eyes, Jasper extended his tongue, and planted a long, slow lick across the human's slit.

"Oooh," Jenivive cooed as the warm tongue glided across her vulva. "Oooh ... oOOooh! Good god you have a huge tongue. Mm yeah, get right in between--yes! Ahh ..." She leaned back into him, pressing her backside against the drake's scaly nose.

Jasper paused as the faintly sweet and tangy flavor spread across his taste buds. He wasn't sure what a human would taste, what with their paltry senses, but to a dragon, the flavor was simply wonderful ... though it wasn't as strong as he was expecting. He wormed his scaly snout deep in between her folds and eagerly explored, tongue darting around, exploring every inch. As he continued to lap and lick around her entrance, Jasper felt the woman's soft breasts press against his lower chest, and a hand reach around the base of his phallus once more.

"Oh hell, you're bigger than I imagined ..." Jenivive said aloud.

"I, err ... is that a problem for later?" Jasper asked between licks.

Jenivive let out a moan as, once again, his long dragon tongue glided across her labia. "I ... don't know. We'll see. Oh, fuck ... your tongue! God, Jasper!"

Jasper couldn't help but grin. He flicked his tongue across Jenivive's sensitive little nub, eager to explore and taste. His claws dug into her buttocks. The dragon let out an eager growl, sending more shivers down Jenivive's spine. The drake leaned into her slit, sweeping his muscular tongue around her entrance. Her soft, outer labia pressed deeply against his snout, and the wet smack of his tongue lapping diligently filled his all senses with erotic flavors, scents, and sounds. He heard Jenivive moaning again. She was actually moaning his name!

Jasper was content to lick for as long as Jenivive wanted. Soft ... everything was so soft! Her skin, her lips, her buttocks, and especially her slit ... it was all soft, supple, scale-less skin that yielded easily to his tongue. Jasper was not familiar with such a sensation, but he was beginning to find enjoyment in it. Delicately, he flicked his tongue just barely inside of her, wanting to build up a little more courage before plunging in, and in the meantime he traced and tasted the sweet folds of her outer lips.

"God, Jasper ..." Jenivive moaned. "Are you ... are you teasing me?"

Jasper's eyes blinked open. His fluid-covered tongue retreated back into his mouth and he swallowed. "That wasn't my intention! My apologies."

"No, no! A little teasing is a good thing! Keep going! You're doing good so far. God, that tongue of yours is huge ..."

"Oh!" Jasper let himself smile. "Very well, then." He darted his tongue out and once more explored the entrance to her most private of places. He felt Jenivive's hands grip his scales in rapture as he then moved down to lap at her clitoris. He had noticed that the woman was no longer stroking his shaft. "Are you ... going to reciprocate, my dear?" he guardedly asked.

Jenivive bit her lip and looked down at the dragonhood before her. Jasper had developed a noticeable bulge between his hind legs. The scaly skin just above that bulge had stretched wide to reveal her intimidating, throbbing prize. Smooth and glossy with moisture in the dim candlelight, the deep red shaft was around the length of her forearm, and as thick as her wrist at the base. Its tapered form bore a slight 'S' curve and had a pronounced, bulging urethra along the underside. The head was roughly spade-shaped, and swelled in size with every throb. Clear pre-cum had dribbled down the shaft, where it collected on his lower scales. The base of his dragonhood was wider than Jenivive could comfortably take, though the same could be said for the length. The whole setup was so unfamiliar, so different than what any human was used to. And the length was quite imposing, especially for oral sex! Even with the wine still coursing through her veins, she wasn't sure if she was ready to put her mouth on this thing.

"I, ah ..." Jenivive hesitated, and resorted to resuming her 'hand-mating'. She wrapped her hand around the base to gather up the natural lubricant and stroked Jasper slowly, liberally spreading the fluid all over the dragon's shaft. "I'm not sure," she finally said, after a long pause.

Jasper blinked. He was a little disappointed at Jenivive's non-committal, but did not let it bother him. After all ... this was supposed to be a night for him to learn how to pleasure a partner, not the other way around! He paused for a moment, to revel in the sensation of those wonderfully dexterous human hands on his dragonhood, before descending his snout in between the human's legs once more.

"Go back to my clit," she suggested. "Use your tongue on her. She also likes to be rubbed."

Jasper followed orders diligently, and ran his tongue in circles around the human's clitoris, earning a pleasured moan out of her, and found amusement in trying different sorts of flicks, kisses, and nibbles to see what would produce the biggest reaction. He settled upon taking her small clitoris between his lips and giving the area some special attention with the tip of his tongue, just as he had done with her nipples earlier. The effect had the human swearing and groaning as pleasure bloomed within her body.

After a few more minutes of teasing around her entrance, Jasper leaned his head back and smacked his lips. "Jenivive, have you ever received oral sex from another human before?"

"Yes," Jenivive replied, not elaborating. "Why?"

"Hmm ... I bet a human doesn't have a tongue long enough to reach very far inside ..."

"Yes, that's--Haa-aaah! Oh god!"

He felt the human's vent clench and spasm as he thrust his tongue deep inside of her. He wormed and wiggled his way as deep as he could, tasting every inch of her warm inner folds and spreading his draconic saliva around inside of her. The muscular, squirming sensation had Jenivive gasping with delight and swearing profusely.

"God, Jasper!" Jenivive's body shook and twitched as the intense oral assault quickly sent her mind reeling. Jasper's tongue felt like it was thick as any man she had taken in the past, and the ways it could twist, flex, and wiggle around was without compare. This was ... this was something that no man could ever do!

Jenivive's flavor was dancing on the dragon's taste buds, filling him with desire and excitement. He felt Jenivive rest her hands next to his proudly-standing erection and relax in his claws as her body was assaulted with the wonderful flexibility of a dragon's tongue. His shaft was rock hard and yearned for attention. The monstrous organ would regularly throb with need, and each time the tip would provide more lubricant for Jenivive's hand to work with.

The sound of quiet licking and lapping filled his ears, broken only by the occasional moan or pleasured growl. Jasper loved the way her body would react to his ministrations: how she'd slowly grind against his nose, or press against his tongue with wanton desire as he wiggled it in and out. Jasper was becoming more emboldened by the minute. Here he was, pleasuring a woman orally, and it seemed that she had no complaints so far. And moreover, his apprehension and trepidation were completely absent from his mind ... though the wine was not. This whole mating thing was shaping up to be easier than he feared it would be!

"God, your tongue!" Jenivive let out another wild moan and pressed hard against the dragon's snout that was so thoroughly embedded in between her legs. "Curl it up--no wait, I meant down. Yes. About an inch or two inside. A little too far. Right there! Now, start darting in and out ... wiggle it a little ... fuck, yes! Just like that! God!"

Jasper's eyes widened as Jenivive clenched hard around his tongue and the muscular passage seemed to come to life. He seemed to have found a sensitive spot of some sort. He put all his concentration upon reaching this area, flexing his tongue down to rub up against her inner walls at just the right place.The silky inner folds of her passage tickled Jasper's long, dragon tongue as he darted it deep within her again and again. Jasper was eager to familiarize himself with the inner workings of a lady's innermost secrets--or a dragon's, for that matter--and made a mental note to remember this spot, and to see if it worked just as well on a dragoness.

Jasper let out a hum of content as his shaft was stroked by those soft feminine hands. He then felt her pause for a brief moment, and as he looked up he saw Jenivive toss her red hair around the back of her neck with a flick of her head.

"Aw, hell ... screw it, I'm drunk and horny. No regrets," she muttered. And Jasper had no idea why.

But then, he felt a sudden hot sensation around the head of his cock as the woman took Jasper's dragonhood in her mouth. Jasper, with his tongue tied up at the moment, could only let out the long, deep growl of a pleasured male dragon as Jenivive began to tenderly suck. Those soft lips of hers he had been kissing earlier ... they were wrapped tightly around his shaft, providing the seal for some wonderful, wonderful suction ... the likes of which he had never experienced before. She took as much of the large, pulsing organ as she comfortably could, and used a hand for the rest, stroking Jasper aggressively as she fellated him.

The dragon's pre danced on her tongue, tasting savory and slightly coppery. She twirled her tongue around the large, spade-shaped head of his cock, moving in circles, and the drake growled approvingly at the technique. Hearing all these low, reverberating growls of a lusty predator carried with it an odd, intriguing thrill for Jenivive, and she was beginning to understand why other people might prefer the more wild and feral traits of a dragon lover. Again the drake's pride stiffened and throbbed, and a spurt of savory pre-cum jetted into her mouth, splashing against her tongue where it was quickly swallowed. Using one hand to keep herself supported, her other snuck between her legs and began to rub her clit aggressively as Jasper continued to explore her depths.

Jenivive was humming moans as she continued to suckle the head of Jasper's cock. She came off of him with a loud smack. "Oh god, Jasper! I'm close ... mmf, don't you dare stop!" and without missing a beat brought the tip of his dragonhood and let it part her lips completely. She resumed her sucking, twirling her tongue around the sensitive head of his shaft.

Her words only invigorated Jasper, who redoubled his efforts. He swirled his tongue around inside of her, stroking her silken walls diligently. Her flavor was alive on his tastebuds. His claws dug into her buttocks. He was too distracted to worry about hurting her. His horns were constantly thunking against the back headboard as he moved his snout in and out, matching the rhythm of the human's grinding hips. He thrust his tongue deeper, his tongue tip tickling every inch he could reach.

"Mm ... mhm! Mmm-mmf!!!" there was a popping sound, followed by an audible "Fuck, Jasper!" as Jenivive came off of his cock once more, too distracted to fellate as the orgasm hit in full force.

The woman's moans became louder, more pronounced. Jasper felt her soft, scale-less body grind mercilessly on the front of his nose, pressing in deeply and filling his nostrils with the exotic scent of a lustful human female as Jenivive was driven to euphoria. Her body begin to twitch in the dragon's grip as a warm, giddy feeling radiated out from her inner walls, causing the woman's enraptured cries to reach a high pitch that Jasper had never heard Jenivive reach before. Jasper's eyes widened as his tongue was caught up in the middle of it all, feeling her insides seemingly relax, then suddenly constrict around him with rythmic spasms. Feminine juices dribbled down his scaled chin as the human rode her climax out, savoring every second.

And then, the shrill voice slowly calmed down, her hips came to a stop, and Jasper took that as his cue to retrieve his tongue from her depths. Jenivive about collapsed on top of him, panting wildly. He licked the juices off his lips and cleared his throat.

"Ahem ... how was that, my dear?"

Silent for now, Jenivive merely raised her right arm and gave him a thumbs up. "Gimmie a minute," she finally wheezed, and Jasper did so. He passed the time by exploring the woman's buttocks with his paws. He gave them a squeeze and Jenivive giggled, playfully shaking her rear for him. Hmm ... there wasn't quite as much squishiness as her breasts, but they were still very squishy nonetheless! Jasper found the sensation amusing, if not a bit intriguing.

After a quick break Jenivive pushed herself up to sitting position on Jasper's scaled chest. She then flipped herself around, resting on top of his erection so she could teasingly grind against it, giving it some of the warm attention that it needed to regain some of its firmness. Now that Jasper saw her face he noticed her hair was already a mess, and her lips were wet and glossy.

"Okay ... whew!" she pushed her red hair out of her face and behind her ears, allowing her to see once again. "That was ... wow."

"Have I performed adequately?" Jasper asked, fishing for reassurance.

Jenivive let out a whistle. "In a word, yes. In two words, hell yes. I'm starting to see why Jacob likes his dragon blowjobs. Dear god, your tongue was intense! But next time, remember to pay more attention to a lady's ... or a dragon's clit, especially when they're about to climax."

Jasper nodded studiously. "Noted. Your advice has been committed to memory!"

"Give it some rubs with your toes while you wiggle your tongue around inside, and you'll have her melt in your hands, I'm sure of it. All the lady dragons will be spoiled silly! Alright, so ..." she playfully padded her hands on the dragon's scaled chest. "What lesson are we on now?" she asked, continuing to slowly grind against the dragonhood between her legs.

Jasper's brow furrowed as he thought hard. The wine was still affecting his mind, making it a little hard to think ... it was almost as distracting as the soft press of a woman's grinding on his shaft! "Hmm ... I think five?"

Jenivive flashed a provocative smile. "Alrighty! Sexy lesson number five: a dragoness likes a drake who knows what she wants."

Jasper frowned. "Can you be more specific?"

"Well, for example: sometimes, ladies--and I presume, dragonesses, too--like a slow, intimate night. And sometimes ... us girls just wanna good fuck. Sometimes ... we want a little of both."

The drake tilted his head in confusion. "But how do I know when to do which?"

"Intuition," Jenivive replied, and Jasper frowned. "Oh, come on!" she griped, when she saw the drake's expression. She slapped her hands down on his chest. "I never said lovemaking was simple, Jasper. She's not going to tell you unless she's really pushy or unhappy with what you're doing. If you want to give her a night to remember, you have to pay attention to her mood and adjust accordingly. Just keep in mind ... the more aroused you get her, the faster she'll want to go."

"Right," Jasper nodded solemnly. "So what now?"

Jenivive grinned. "So let's practice your intuition. With that being said, if I were a dragon, what do you think I'd want you to do to me right now--without asking for permission beforehand, I should add. Pay attention to my body language. What am I looking for?"

Jasper opened his eyes as wide as they would go and scanned Jenivive for cues. Her cheeks were flushed, her lips parted in a slight smirk. She was still breathing rapidly, and still wonderfully grinding against his rigid dragonhood. It yearned for attention with regular throbs. Jasper brought his paws to his snout and shook his head violently. Damn alcohol ... clear head, must get a clear head! Oh, how he wished he could bury the thing within her already and give her a pounding! What the heck was he supposed to be doing, anyway?

Jasper swallowed thickly and cleared his throat. "Err, do you want me to--"

"Ah ah!" Jenivive chided, wagging a finger at him. "I said no asking for permission. Just do something, already, Jasper! Take charge! Be charming and confident."

Jasper grumbled something unintelligible. Just do something? How could she make it sound so ... so trivial, so simple? This was a difficult situation! Exasperated, he looked up once more at the woman straddling his loins. And then he saw the cue: her eyes. And at once an epiphany washed over the dragon.

Her pretty green eyes were focused solely on him. She was giving him a look ... a sharp-eyed look of desire. A look that said she was aroused, and she was ready. A look that read 'hurry up and do me'. He tried to open his mouth and respond ... however, unspoken doubts gave him pause.

... what if I say something wrong?

But the woman had already proven to be understanding and supportive, even throughout his many blunders.

... what if I'm not good enough to sate her?

But he was not here to impress anyone ... most of all, her. This was but a learning experience: the perfect time to take chances.

... what if I can't be the confident dragon she wants me to be?

But she had already told him: you only have to act confident, and real confidence will soon follow.

... what if--

Jasper closed his eyes shook the doubts out of his mind. Enough of these blasted 'what if's, already! He was tired of them! Now was not the time for second thoughts! Here was this attractive human female waiting for a dragon to make a move on her. The opportunity was real. He only need to reach up and take it by the horns.

... you're ... you're right. Absolutely right. So take a deep breath now, and say something charming--no wait, something sexy ...

His shaft ached for attention, his loins burned for relief. He couldn't wait to claim her.

... Wait, claim her? The phrase sounded alien and unfamiliar when Jasper thought it, but a part of him deep inside resonated with those words, filling him with vigor and energy. Yes ... claim her. Mate her. Take her as his own. Those words sounded good. They felt exciting.

Jasper opened his brilliant blue eyes, puffed out his tan chest, and before he even knew what was happening, a few alcohol-induced words were already out of his mouth.

"Stand up and present yourself for mounting, my dear," he growled, cerulean eyes narrowing to slits. "Your dragon is eager to claim his mate."

Jenivive's eyes lit up. "Yes! Yessss!" she clapped her hands in excitement. "Oh my gosh, Jasper, you nailed it, right down to the playful dirty talk and the confident attitude! You absolutely nailed it! Oh, I could hug you right now!"

Jasper's eyes bugged out of his skull. He felt a stirring in his chest as Jenivive dove on him and wrapped her arms around his neck. Had he ... had he really just 'nailed it'? As he felt the human hold him tight, he returned the embrace with his forelegs, and allowed himself to believe that yes, he actually had. A grin spread across the drake's snout, and he felt his draconic ego well up deep inside of him, filling his heart with fervor and pride.

Jenivive slid off the bed, taking a short pause to stretch her legs as Jasper rolled off and onto his feet. He stretched and ruffled his wings, which were a little stiff from being laid on.

"Ow, gotta stretch the legs ... okay!" She bent over and put her hands on the bed, then tossed her red hair back and peered over her shoulder, enticing Jasper with a shake of her hips. "Come and get me, you confident, sexy dragon, you!"

Jasper grinned. Gone was the apprehension. Gone was the trepidation. There was only excitement and lust in the drake's mind as he took his place behind her. He gave Jenivive's slit a few more licks before jumping up putting his forepaws on the edge of the bed beside her own. Jenivive gasped as he lowered his snout down and latched onto her neck. His shaft poked and prodded at her entrance, giving the human chills.

The enthused drake tightened his teeth's hold on her neck. "Rrrr ... do you want it?" he asked, his draconic voice low and guttural as it reverberated in his throat. "Do you want to feel a dragon's pride?" The words were out of his mouth without thought or hesitation. It was like some spell had taken hold of him ... Jasper could hardly believe the things he was saying!

"As much as I ever will," Jenivive playfully replied. "Give it to me."

Growling in acknowledgement, Jasper arched his lower back, searching for the warm lips that lay aside her entrance. When he found it, the pointed tip of his red dragonhood pushed in, its slick surface gliding easily with their combined fluids. Jenivive sucked in a gasp and spread her legs out as she was penetrated by the thick, throbbing organ. He felt so much bigger than he looked! Her grip on the bedsheets tightened as her wet slit was spread ever wider. His shaft felt red hot, and Jenivive's jaw locked open in a silent moan as the tip searched deeper and deeper, parting the depths of her inner folds.

"Rrrr ... why does mating feel so good?" Jasper wondered aloud. His breaths were short and shallow, his heart racing.

"Fuck, I don't know, but don't stop," Jenivive cried out between thrusts.

"You need not worry, my dear. I will not let up until I've bred you thoroughly."

Jenivive felt a smile spread across her lips. He was really getting into his groove, letting his lust and passion dictate his words and actions. The drake was even improving his dirty talk, now that he was thinking with his dick and not his brain. It seemed like he didn't need any more instruction or advice ... it was time to let the dragon have his way!

Jasper continued to press in, but when his tip traveled far enough to press against her cervix, Jenivive reflexively tightened her inner walls around his girth, causing Jasper to grunt in surprise as his dragonhood was constricted.

"Woah there, scale-butt! Don't drill all the way to the bedrock, that can hurt!"

Jasper blinked as a moment of self-awareness came over him, and pulled back just a tad. At first he wondered why it felt like he was penetrating so much deeper compared to the time he was with Penelope, but at once the answer came to him: Not only was Penelope slightly larger, but she had a thick tail (and a very attractive one, in Jasper's opinion) that made it difficult for both dragons' hips to become flush with one another.

"Scale-butt? Are we at that point in our relationship where we have pet names for each other?" he let out a soft chuckle.

"I suppose we are now," Jenivive playfully replied. "Fuck me."

Growling deep in his throat, the dragon obliged. Jasper pulled out until all but the tip was still nestled between Jenivive's outer folds, and then gave her a strong thrust of his hips. Jenivive buckled and tensed up underneath him as another thrust sent her rocking.

"God!" Jenivie cried out. "Fuck!" Her eyes nearly bugged out of her skull as she took another thrust. This dragon's cock was huge!

The dragon paused in mid-thrust. "Are you alright, my dear?" Jasper asked, feeling concerned.

"I'm fine," Jenivive assured the drake. "Just start out a little slower for me, and work your way up."

"Very well."

Jasper held back, going slowly for her. He could hardly believe his dragonhood was penetrating a human female at the moment! She felt so wonderful, so incredibly warm! Jasper focused on each individual fold and ripple as they passed over his shaft, and the sensual pressure of her walls that were so tightly wrapped around him. Jenivive basked in the sensation of this exotic, dragon shaft spreading her wide. Jasper's hips were powerful and muscular, and each thrust carried with it an air of feral excitement and vigor. The hot dragonhood inside of her was pulsing and throbbing with a steady rhythm, spreading its clear precum along her internal walls. The intensity of the act had her squirming with delight and moaning his name. She reached up above her head and wrapped a hand around the dragon's neck, nails digging in harmlessly against his smooth, aquamarine scales as the drake mated her.

Taking what Jenivive said to heart, Jasper relied on his intuition to gauge his pace. As time went on, the human became more relaxed as she tensed her muscles less and less. Her moans were less erratic. And he could feel her growing wetter. Slowly, he increased his drive, his thrusting becoming stronger, penetrating deeper, until finally, he was taking her as if she was but another dragon capable of withstanding the power of his thrusts and the jealous grasp of his claws.

Eventually Jasper leaned back, his forepaws leaving the bed. Stiffening his tail against the floor for balance, he put some of his weight on her as he took the woman on two legs, mating her with a methodical, powerful drive. His now free forepaws wrapped around her, feeling her and holding on with greedy claws. Now, in this position, he could once again bend his neck down and rightfully claim his mate by latching onto her shoulders with his teeth. He felt a surge of excitement as he took hold, and once again, he felt Jenivive shiver.

The covetous, tightening embrace of the lustful dragon excited Jenivive, and she could only hold on for dear life as the hot dragonhood buried deep inside of her sent her mind reeling. Her mouth was locked in a silent moan, her hair was flying with every powerful, bestial thrust. She felt the drake's hot breath washing over her head and ears, his hot saliva dancing on the skin of her neck, and could feel herself becoming wetter by the minute.

Jasper's claws continued to explore. He felt himself becoming more comfortable, and remembered what Jenivive had said about her ladyparts. With one paw wrapped firmly around her, his other sneaked downward, his thick toes forcing Jenivive to spread her legs wider. He hooked his paw around her thigh and eventually, he found it: a wet spot. He then began to rub his toe back and forth, pressing his thick sole down on her sensitive little nub.

"God, Jasper!" Jenivive held onto the bed tightly as his thick dragon cock explored her innermost depths. "Keep going," she groaned, though the drake needed not any more encouragement. "Make me cum!"

"That's the plan," he growled.

Eventually, Jasper could feel her starting to rock back into his thrusts as Jenivive prepared for another orgasm. She cried out loudly, her grip on the bedsheets turning her knuckles white as the drake's large shaft triggered a powerful climax. Jasper held onto her, growling softly as he took his mate and not letting up for a moment. She came hard around the drake's thick dragon cock, tensing up her body and crying out in rapture as the large tool penetrated her deeply. Between her loud moans, the wet sounds of wild sex, and the squeaks from the bed as they pushed against it, Jasper's ears were full of noise.

Minutes past, and Jasper lost track of time. He bred the human for what seemed like a good twenty minutes. He took her strongly ... yet carefully, balancing the knife's edge between practiced, delicate control and bestial, primal lust. The room was filled with growls and groans. His crashing hips were shaking Jenivive's delicate feminine body with every powerful thrust, with scales pounding against skin ... with hair flying and wings flexing.

It was only much later that Jasper felt himself nearing completion, as a pressure began to build up deep in his loins. His thrusting became more feral and rough, his growls louder. He felt his wings expand proudly and a fire beat in his heart. In his mind there was only arousal and a strong desire to deliver his seed deep within his mate.

"I'm ... close! Rrg!" Jasper managed. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, he thought to ask her if it was alright to finish inside of her, but shrugged it off as a silly and unnecessary idea.

He could feel his dragonhood stiffen, the pleasure blooming, and took no effort to abate it. His claws gripped the human tight, his tail went rigid, and then, with one final, shuddering thrust, the drake let out a room-shaking roar as he seeded his mate. Jenivive held on for dear life as the dragonhood inside of her throbbed with energy, pulsing and flexing as she was filled with dragon cum. Spurt after spurt of hot seed coated her inner passage, building up an intense pressure, and Jenivive tightened up around him as she basked in the moment of being taken by the powerful, virile dragon.

"Too ... tight ... I can't ... Errg!" Jasper growled, finding it hard to ride his orgasm to completion with her squeezing him like that. He pulled out of her violently and sighed with relief as the remainder of his seed was released, where it spurt out and splashed against her buttocks and back. Hot dragon cum seeped from her now well-used slit as Jasper's cock finished its last few dribbles and began to return to its flaccid state.

Jasper began to relax: his muscles were slackening, his wings were folding back up and falling back against his spine, and he was wearing the biggest, satisfied grin a dragon could possibly wear. But then, there was a moment of horrible revelation as he saw what he had done to Jenivive's back and butt. It was coated in spurts of cum.

"Oh dear, oh dear!" Jasper cried out in dismay. "I'm so sorry! Let me clean you up!"

"What? Jasper it's okay!" Jenivive giggled as she felt his long tongue sweep across her rear end. She waited for him to stop, and when he did not, she let out a whimsical sigh. "Oh fine, if you're offering, I won't turn it down!" The woman waited as the drake frantically cleaned every bit he could find, and tried not to giggle as the ticklish tongue danced across her skin. When he was sure no trace of his seed was left on her back and rear, the drake began to lick at her slit, to clean that too.

"I'm so sorry for that," he mumbled between licks. "I ... I was having trouble finishing. You grew awfully tight all of a sudden ..."

Jenivive laughed. "Never had a guy offer to clean up like this, before ..." she hummed in amusement. "Oooh!" she felt the dragon's tongue sweep across her mound and leaned back into his scaly snout. After she spread her legs, sneaking two fingers down to her slit to spread it slightly. "Mm, yeah ... clean that spot for as long as you like, dragon."

Jasper silently nodded, happy to go in and explore, lapping up all the juices he could find while Jenivive hummed in pleasured bliss.

After a few minutes, Jasper licked his chops and raised his head. "There! All done!"

Jenivive flipped to her back and flopped against the warm sheets of her bed, where she stared at the rafters of her ceiling, grinning madly. "Welp, I've done it now ... I've gone and gotten fucked by a dragon." Jenivive laughed. "So that's what it feels like to have that much cum in you. Mmm... hot. Hot and messy as shit, hah hah! Where's that wine? Ah, nevermind, I've had enough for the night ..."

Jasper stared at her oddly. He was not used to hearing such vulgarity come from Jenivive's mouth, and yet tonight he had heard more curses out of the woman than he probably had ever heard since he first met her.

"So, err ..." Jasper did not know what to do or say. He watched Jenivive's rapidly-moving chest as she panted softly from sexual exhaustion. "So, did you?" he finally asked.

"Did I what?" Jenivive replied, still staring at the ceiling.

"Did you cum bucket-loads?" Jasper asked, trying not to grin.

Jenivive sniggered laughter. "Oh, you silly drake!" She lifted her head and beckoned him close. "C'mere, it's time for your last lesson."

Jenivive moved over, and, after a great deal of positioning, curled up on the bed next to Jasper. She took his horned head in her hands and guided him to rest his chin between her breasts, brushed the red hair out of her face, and stared into his expressive, blue eyes.

Jenivive raised one eyebrow and stared at him with a facetious grin. "You, scoundrel-dragon, have just thoroughly wrecked my delicate flower, like the dastardly, knavish rouge you are!"

Jasper folded his ears back. "Err, what?" He wasn't sure, but that sounded like a tease ...

"Now," she began, running a hand over his scaled forehead, "for sexy lesson number six: a dragoness likes a drake who sticks around and cuddles after a good night of sex."

Jasper opened his eyes wide. "Oh. Oh! Right!" He brought his forepaws forward and wrapped one around the human. "Cuddlebugs, snugglebunnies, and the like. Correct?"

"Mhm," Jenivive replied, stroking the drake's cheeks fondly. "Don't run out on a lady--or a dragon, after a good lay. Us girls like to enjoy the afterglow."

Jasper's eyes darted around the room. "Right, noted!" A silence fell over the room as Jenivive wrapped her hands around the dragon's head and neck, holding him tight and stroking his cheek. As time passed Jasper grew uncomfortable in the silence, so he spoke up again. "So ... erm, with all things considered, how did I do?"

Jenivive tilted her head. "Mm, a lot better than I was fearing. You actually started to get the hang of it, and I was honest-to-goodness proud of you when you told me to get offa you and said you were eager to claim me. But ...! With that being said, there's room for improvement! You're still too preoccupied with how you're doing, as if you're keeping score. Sex isn't a game of chess, you know ... there's no checklist of do's and don'ts, there's no rulebook ... it's more about the feeling. Learn to relax and enjoy yourself, Jasper ... you'll get better at it through practice."

Jasper pondered her words silently as his face was slowly stroked by those delicate human hands of hers. "Hmm," he mumbled. The drake was hoping for more improvement than that, but reminded himself that he wasn't going to change overnight.

"You're a fine dragon, Jasper," Jenivive continued as she stroked his cheek. "You're intelligent, kind, caring, and charming. And .... god, your tongue is incredible!" she groaned in satisfaction. "Once you work out all those timidity kinks and learn to listen more to your feelings and emotions, you could be a real lady-killer some day!"

Jasper smiled as a warmth filled his heart. "Thank you, Jenivive ... you're a wonderful, beautiful, and gracious woman, you know that?"

Jenivie grinned. "See, right there? That's exactly what I'm talking about." She gave his cheek a playful pat. "You'll turn out just fine, drake. We covered a lot of ground tonight, so let's review. Can you tell me what the lessons are?"

Jasper's scaly brow furrowed as he thought hard. The alcohol in his mind was clearing, making it a bit easier to think. "Mmm ... be confident and take charge. Don't skip foreplay. Be willing to pleasure her. Use your intuition to figure out what she wants. And stay for the afterglow and cuddling."

"Close," Jenivive said, chiding Jasper with a tap on his snout. "You forgot 'make her feel attractive and sexy.' But other than that, you got it down pat!"

Jasper frowned. "Forgive me, but all these lessons seem horribly skewed in the female's favor ..."

Jenivive laughed. "But you're forgetting one thing: she'll be playing by the same rules, Jasper. Sex is a two way road. All the things I did to help you, other ladies will be willing to do as well, if they like you."

Jasper pondered the human's words, and realized that Jenivive, too, had been working hard tonight. She had been understanding to his faults. She was patient and slow to anger. She had worked hard to kindle a sexy mood and to keep the flames lit. She had complimented him and had made him feel sexy and masculine. And she had let him explore and act according to his whims--even letting him nip and bite her neck! But would other females really be so ... so ideal? Perhaps there was only one way to find out ...

"So," Jenivive began. "Do you think you'll remember all we covered tonight? I know it's been a lot."

"Well, err ..." as he looked into the woman's kind green eyes, an idea came to him, and he smiled. "Oh, I might need a refresher course, sometime! Err, if you'd be up to that?" Jasper asked, darting his eyes away briefly.

Jenivive laughed. "Don't push your luck, you silly drake!" Jasper frowned, pouting silently as Jenivive hummed in thought. "But on the other hand ... I'm not currently seeing anyone else, so ... you know what? I'll think about it." She gave him a wink.

Her words stirred in Jasper's chest. "Pardon my language, but perhaps a ... a dragon fuckbuddy is better than no fuckbuddy at all?" he asked, fishing for a bite.

Jenivive flashed a provocative eyebrow raise. "Mm, perhaps," she replied with a sultry lick of her lips.

"And you might grow to miss my tongue!" Jasper added, sounding hopeful.

Jenivive giggled. "Jasper, we did this to help you gain confidence in finding another dragon for a mate."

"I don't see why I can't pursue that as well ..."

"Oh, pfft!" Jenivive playfully swatted Jasper's snout with a pillow, and both began to laugh. When the humor had died down, Jenivive then took the dragon's head in her hands again. "Now, kiss me, as if I were a dragon: we're supposed to be cuddling, after all."

Grinning, Jasper lifted his head and brought it forward, pressing his lips against her own.


It had been nearly another half hour before Jasper took his leave of the small, homely cottage facing the street. It was now night, and the moon shone brightly over the lot of Tailwind Shelters, bathing each of the dragons' abodes in white, cold light. Most of the inhabitants were likely asleep for the night, or would be soon. The crickets in the grass were busy singing their tranquil and relaxing serenades. But as he passed by the sunning rocks, he noticed the shape of one dragon laying alone in the field. The dragon's scales flashed a stark, dim red in the pale moonlight, and as Jasper drew closer, he heard a snort, followed by a gruff, feminine voice that called out to him in the darkness.

"Gro at'roh am'duu mar, Jasper-draa? Di'hanuu us'scuu rohim domos-gar ina?" (What are you doing out here, dragon Jasper? Have you come to mock your beta once more?)

Jasper gulped. He immediately wished he hadn't come this way. "H-hello, Denari. Wait wait--" Remembering Jenivive's advice, he performed the bow of submission once again, splaying his wings low to the ground as he lowered his chin. "Rrall, Denari-draa, domos-gar." (I welcome you into my presence, respected dragon Denari, beta of our community.)

Denari hung her head low and avoided Jasper's gaze. She let out a grumpy huff. "Spare me your respect, domesticate. I am not worthy of it." She was deeply slurring her words, and Jasper realized the dragon must still be heavily intoxicated from her night at the tavern.

Jasper flinched. He had not noticed until his eyes began adjusting to the dark, but Denari wore a forlorn look of depression. Her fins were drooped, her tail was slack as a limp rope, and her wings had fallen down along her flank. "Err ... what did you say?" he asked, feeling perplexed.

"You heard my words. I will not repeat them," she dismissively said, and continued to avoid eye contact. She hung her head low and let out a sigh. "My scales are not so thick, sometimes. As I left for the tavern, your words stung me, like a gruunik-domu (hive of wasps). So many proud draa under homnu-fen's care, and yet it is the timid domesticate that has the courage to point out that which I try hard to hide in plain view. It is ..." Denari let out a huff. "What is the word homn have for these moments?"

"Irony?" Jasper offered.

Denari bowed her head in acknowledgement. "Yes, that." The dragoness let out another long, weary sigh. "In truth, I am ... I am no true draa, same as you," she continued, shutting her eyes tight. Tears streamed down her cheeks. "None who stay here are, as long as we continue to live as homn do, in little houses full of fancy possessions and warm hearths. I would return to my home ... but, I am grussu. A scorned one. An exile. My fate has been sealed. I am cursed to this filthy way of life."

Although Jasper had not known Denari was a grussu, he was not surprised to hear it. Grussu were relatively common in Tailwind Shelters; several have been exiled from so many wildborn communities that they simply had nowhere else to turn to. And more often than not, their ostracizing was not born of a crime or misdeed, but of politics. Wildborn dragons in positions of influence preferred to hang on to their power, even if that meant orchestrating the removal of potential competitors from their society.

"I'm ... I'm sorry, Denari," Jasper managed, not sure with what else to say.

Denari closed her eyes. "I have fallen from grace, not worthy to be called draa. This truth, it eats at me, like a worm. Leaves a hole in my ragn. Heart. I bring home fancy, human-made nokos-aru (materialistic frivolities), but it does not fill the hole. I gorge myself on human-prepared meat, but it does not fill the hole. I down pints of human-brewed ale, but it does not fill the hole. These things ... they only make the hole bigger. But, I do not know with what else to fill the hole." She turned her head and snorted on the ground, again signaling an act analogous to spitting on the floor in disgust. Only this time, it was disgust with herself that she expressed.

Jasper stood there with jaw agape in shock. The Denari he knew was a bastion of strong will and pride who never showed the tiniest shred of weakness ... he had never seen this side of her in all the years he had known her. He dashed his eyes to the ground, feeling at once foolish for all the hateful things he had said about Denari behind her back.

"Denari," Jasper began, gently, "You and I are both draa, make no mistake." He came over to her, and--risking backlash, laid his head against her own in an act of reassurance. He was relieved to find she accepted the touch. "What food you eat and where you live does not determine who you are. For if a human began hunting for food and living in caves, would we call him a dragon? No, of course not!"

"Hmph," Denari ducked her head down. "We speak of different things, domesticate."

Jasper tried to think of what else to say. He thought back to Jenivive's words about the wildborn ... how respect and heritage was so deeply important to them. And suddenly, he had it.

"Is it really different, though? You, Denari ... you have your wings, your scales, and your tail. You have a fire in your belly and a heart that beats proudly in your chest. The title of 'dragon', or 'draa' ... that is your right to claim by birth, and nobody can take that away from you. So, hold your head high and take pride in who you are, for if you cannot even respect yourself, then neither will others respect you. And a dragon deserves better than that. You ... deserve better than that."

More tears ran down the dragon's face upon hearing Jasper's soft-spoken words. "Your words are ... kind, domesticate." Denari muttered. "Unexpectedly so." She looked up at Jasper, meeting his gaze for the first time. And for but a brief moment, it seemed if the dragoness was about to reach out in need of comfort and support. But then, just when Jasper thought she'd open up, she abruptly broke eye contact and hardened her heart, ruffling her wings and shrinking away from his presense.

"You have said your piece. Now leave me to my drunken sorrows. I do not need your pity."

Jasper sighed. Typical Denari. That was about as close to a thank you as Jasper was going to get. "Very well." He bowed his head and turned away.

"Wait," she began, stopping Jasper in his tracks. "I smell homnu-fen on you. You mated her tonight, yes?"

Oh, drat! Jenivive had wanted that to be a secret! But in his distraction, he had already slipped up. "Yes," he reluctantly admitted, for there was no hiding it from a dragon's sensitive nose. He couldn't wait to hear how disgusted Denari was over a dragon mating with a human.

Denari let out a huff. "Hmph. Perhaps homnu-fen does pay you for your services, after all ..."

Jasper turned around. "Denari, please do not tell this to anyone. Jenivive doesn't want other dragons getting ideas ... and she doesn't want any humans finding out, either!"

"It is very difficult to conince ... to convince homn to mate someone not of their own kind." she slurred, struggling more than usual with the "v" sound due to the alcohol. "You must have charmed her, one way or another. Not an easy task. Hmm ..." Denari bowed her head. "Akuus. It is done. Your secret is to be kept unspoken."

Jasper fanned his cheek fins. He was a bit surprised at her reaction: Denari was ... actually impressed? That was the last thing Jasper had expected out of her! For the first time in a long time, he felt a kindred appreciation for this stubborn wildborn. "Thank you, Denari. I hope you are in higher spirits for tomorrow. In the mean time, please think on my words. And keep your chin up, okay?" he said, giving her a gentle nudge under her snout with his own.

"Mhm," Denari mumbled, glancing his way. "The homn-like gesture is ... appreciated." She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, seemingly able to collect her emotions and calm herself.

"Goodnight, and take care," Jasper said, bowing his head in respect.

For the first time tonight, he saw Denari's smile dance briefly in the moonlight. "And you as well, draakin ... you as well."


(EDIT: finally got the post-story content in without crashing firefox!)

post story notes:

This story was so long that it was nearly impossible to edit without SF's editor freaking out and hanging up every few seconds

This story is actually a side story to The Persistent Dragon, which is here: https://www.sofurry.com/view/238036

Why is the story so long? Well, two reasons. One, I wanted to practice my descriptive imagery for set and setting, which I still feel I need a lot of work on (I feel like I've identified where I can improve and have made improvement after writing this story, though). And two, it took forever to get the smut going because I really, really did not want to write it. I'm sorry, guys ... I thought I was ready to pick up another adult story but my libido has been non-existent and I find it incredibly difficult to write smut if I can't even muster the right mindset for it.

And no, I'm not saying "I only write smut when I'm horny" because that's not true. At all. I don't need to be aroused to write, but I do need to be able to draw upon the emotions that drive the imagery. And writing smut requires MUCH more emotional input than drawing porn, trust me. This is why I couldn't even get my characters to act like they're aroused. So what ended up happening is that I unintentionally stalled the porn for so damn long (due to not wanting to write it) that the story ballooned out of proportion. Then I had to force the writing even though I really didn't want to do it ... and yeah, it was a struggle.

The good news is I am 45,000 words into my novel, though. So there's that. I'd share parts, but ... yeah, I wanna get this published with my REAL name on it, so that's not gonna happen. Sorry. The last thing I'd want would be for these stories to be publicly connected to who I am in real life.

Did anyone catch the significance of Denari calling Jasper a "draakin" instead of "draa" at the end? I'm curious if anyone has been paying close attention.

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