The Exiled Dragon By Veronica Fox Chapter 11

Different Kind of Beautiful



The mattress on the floor was softer than my bed, where I lived with Dad. The fluffy blankets covered my entire body, and at one point in the night, I burrowed deeper into the duvet. The cold air rushed around my head when I felt the blankets thrown off unceremoniously. Fluttering my eyes open, I was greeted with Creed with his brows high and breath ragged. Did he just run a mile?


I squealed, pulling the blankets back down. I was still naked under here and didn’t need to flash him so early in the morning.


“I’m still here! I was in the blanket!” Was he scared I ran away? I wouldn’t get very far; I managed to climb up the tree, but getting down was a different story.


Creed sighed, rolling back on the floor. The bed I was in was only a few inches off the ground from where he lay; he was so close throughout the night I could almost feel his breath in my face. Not that I minded, I slept better knowing he was there. Now knowing he wasn’t going to eat me or throw me out into the cold, I had settled back into my comfortable silence that we shared. Creed had a smokey smell I noticed, probably from tending to his fire in the cave so often, but a hint of lavender mixed it. It was a bit weird since he was some big, burly guy, but it was nice.


The not-a-fairy man had already dressed, taking the long way around Creed. His wings were dry, fluttering them a few times. His head turned before he walked out the door, giving me a quick wave and flying out the magic door. He didn’t want to stay, maybe because Creed gave him a death glare.


I guess big burly men do not like fairy-looking people.


Creed stood up, stretching his body; he didn’t have a tunic on, his muscles were stretching underneath his skin. I hadn’t taken the time to look at his body before this, and it was unmistakenly beautiful. It was a different kind of beautiful, the scars he bore, the tattoos he decorated his body with to keep them hidden. I wanted to know where each mark on his body came from. He made me question my sanity already, and it had only been a few days since I met him. I already had one vampire trying to claim me; I didn’t need to go sneaking glances at other un-humanly people.


Creed pulled on his leather vest, the tunic I had washed and was now dried laid on the vanity chair next to a large mirror. Creed walked immediately past it and rummaged through the drawers. “What are you doing? You can’t go through their stuff?” I exclaimed.


What if the people that lived here came back finding no clothes? I had already taken their bed and now their clothes!


Creed shook his head again, pulling out light leather pants and a female tunic. The back was cut out and tied at different points in the shirt. Creed threw it at me, walking himself into the bathroom. Shrugging my shoulders, I put on the clothes; no use arguing.


The brown pants were actually a type of leather, soft leather. There was hardly any give; it was strong and would last a long time. The tunic was thicker, covering my chest well, so I didn’t have to worry about becoming too cold. I would have to find cloth and sew myself some undergarments. I’m sure Prince Charming doesn’t even wear any.


My body instantly shivered. Did I just try and imagine Creed naked? My face immediately turned red, my hand covering my gaping mouth. The heat behind me began to pull the strings to the back of my shirt, tying it tightly. The tunic was oversized but would work well once I had gained a few pounds. Creed shook his head behind me, looking over my back.


“What’s wrong?” I turned. His mouth was in a sour state. “Are their scars there?” My mouth instantly frowned. All this time, I had thought how handsome Creed was, even when I was stuck in the tree. The scars on his body didn’t bother me. It made him who he was, a warrior, a fighter. At least, that is what I thought of him as. I found each imperfection on his body unbearably sexy.


I could see many people would find his raging muscles and scars scary and give them the wrong impression. Creed wasn’t like that to me; he was soft and gentle. Once my eyes laid on him outside of the tree, I felt like I knew who he was. Even if we did have a massive communication problem yesterday, I knew his heart was in the right place.


Creed shook his head, his hands gripped my shoulders. He pointed to me and then held up a quill that sat on the vanity. He rubbed the feathers up and down. “I’m a feather?” I questioned. Shaking his head again, he put the feather down, pointing to me again, and put his hands together just inches apart. I stared blankly at him.


“Oh,” I whispered. “I’m small?” He nodded, rummaging through his bag, pulling out a piece of dried meat. He put it in my hand.


“Too thin,” I chuckled. Putting the meat into my mouth, I chewed the hardened piece of strange meat in my mouth. It was tough, almost too challenging. I hadn’t had the chance to brush my teeth to keep them healthy; I’m surprised they didn’t fall out yet.


Creed nodded, satisfied with his work, and walked towards the magical door. He stopped, holding out his hand as I hobbled towards him. His face showed more emotion than when I first met him at the base of the tree. He was really trying to help me understand what he was thinking without using his voice.


Immediately taking his hand, he embraced me, holding me to his side. The warmth radiated from his body; tingles erupted over my fingertips while my hand rested on his ribcage. So many muscles, I internally swooned. What a great romance character he would make.


Wrapping his arm tightly, he grabbed hold of a rope that was slung over the tree, his foot wrapped around it so he could stand. Jumping from the tree, I let out a little yelp burying my face into his scarcely hairy chest. The heat emitted off his body until we reached the forest floor. Before my own feet could touch the ground or any amount of protest, his arms went under my legs.


“I can walk,” I complained. Creed’s face continued to look ahead, holding onto me tightly. Blushing, I settled back into his arms, not complaining. It really did feel nice to have someone carrying me. My ankle really wasn’t in great shape; it had swollen twice the size that it was just a day ago.



Creed brought me back to the cave; Fluffy was there, wagging or swaying his tail. I still wasn’t quite sure what type of animal he was. Just that he could pass for both a dog and cat. Creed clicked his tongue a few times while his pet ran off into the forest.


Ever so gently, like he had done before, he sat me in the bed. “I can’t take your bed; I can sleep on the floor.” Sleeping on the floor was a task I had quickly gotten used to back at the Duke’s home. One had to if you wanted to create enough blood back in your body. I mean, more food would have helped, but I couldn’t control that.


Creed shook his head again; he patted the bed while walking over to the coals of the fire. The cave was well ventilated, the smoke never took over the entire area. The fire sat in a large hole, almost like a hearth on the far side of the cave. A medium-sized cauldron set over the coals. It made me wonder if witches were real too.


Pouring water into the cauldron, he then put a few logs underneath. He was starting a fire, and I was curious how he would do it. There were no firestarters, matches, or even some kindling. My mind began to wonder how he planned such a task until his lips came together, and fire spewed out unhurriedly. I gasped, waving my hands around like a madwoman.


“You can blow fire!” My voice was higher than I expected, causing Creed to stop what he was doing. “Fire!’ I squealed again. “Are you half-demon?” I said all too excitedly. Not too long ago, the idea would have made me pee my pants, but now that I know Creed wanted me to stay, it was all just a memory.


Half of Creed’s mouth went into a smile, growling in his chest that reminded me of rough laughter echoed the cave. Creed shook his head again and blew out his hot breath. That was why he is so warm; he has fire in his gut. I chewed on my lip, trying to think of what other magical creatures could spit fire from their mouths. There weren’t many creatures that could, other than dragons.


Creed wasn’t a dragon, though. He looked just like me despite the tattoos and really ruggedly handsome looks. I blushed again, picking my fingernails with my teeth. His warmth flooded over me when he got on his knees to look up into my eyes. Why were his eyes so pretty? Can a male’s eyes be pretty?


“Uh, the only thing I know that can breathe fire is a dragon….” I spoke aloud. Creed’s eyes sparkled in amusement. “A-are you?” His hands reached for mine, kissing my knuckle softly. My body sprang to life as his slightly chapped touched my skin. Warmth filled my body again, and I wanted nothing more than for him to stay close.


What is going on?


His head nodded, answering my question. “How can you be a-a dragon!? You look human!” Creed’s tongue flicked out of his mouth; it wasn’t the ordinary tongue like mine, oh no, it wasn’t. It flicked like a lizard, smelling the air. Gasping, his hands tightened on mine, begging me not to let go.


“So, you are half-dragon then?” I asked, startled. Bobbing his head back and forth, I took it as it was similar to being half-dragon; I just wasn’t going to get a better answer. Creed’s tongue rolled back over his lips, this time looking like mine own.


My fingers twitched beneath me. Creed let one hand go so I could take my fingertips and touch the sides of his mouth. The same snake-like tongue rubbed the opposite side of his mouth. I gasped again, watching it move. It was forked, just like a reptile. Could it do the same thing snakes could do? Smell?


Creed’s chest rumbled; the same vibration that I thought was indigestion filled the room. “That is the dragon part of you?” I whispered? Creed didn’t say anything; his eye said it all. Red, glowing eyes looked back into mine as his pupils turned into slits. My own eyes widened.


What kind of malarky is this?


“Your body can change? I asked. His eyes smiled this time; the hints of wrinkles that strode upward around his forehead gave it away. “Woah,” my eyes sparkled. “So you can change into like a full dragon? Can I see!?” My fingers started poking his chest. “Is it like a button I press, and you go ‘poof’ I’m a dragon!?” My animated voice caught him by surprise, he fell back on his butt, but his half-smile was still there.


My father often wrote about dragons in his stories. Sometimes when he drank too much, he would tell me crazy stories about how they were real, that he saw them when he visited Ireland and Scotland. They were huge, beautiful creatures that danced in the sky with both fire, ice, and sometimes this magic fog that would surround the dragon, making them disappear entirely. Now here I was, sitting in front of a man that could change into one! My father would be so excited.


“Wow,” was all I could muster. I looked at Creed like he was indeed some sort of god. The dark braids that fell into his face as he fell to the ground only made him look more god-like. He wasn’t just a strong human; he was a supernatural being that could take anyone down. Creed must have been massive in his dragon.


It all made more sense; he was growling in his chest when he left me alone on the bed, the enormous roar that came from outside. Goodness, he probably thought I was completely out of my mind when I said I was afraid of the vampires hunting him down. He would kill them in an instant.


“I’m sorry,” I spat. Creed’s hands came up to grip mine again. “I thought you would be in danger from the vampires, but I guess I was mistaken.” Creed kissed my hands again, unsure how to act. I mean, I was in a completely different land. The cultures might be different. This could be a friendly gesture, right? My heart turned over in my chest. What if I wanted it to be more than just a social tradition? Creed laid my hands gently back on my lap as if I would break.


He was the friendliest dragon I had ever met, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to end up crushing on him. What happens when my ankle gets better? I bit my lip. He won’t need to take care of me anymore.


Fluffy came back into the cave carrying a sizeable furry animal. Maybe the size of a Labrador retriever squirming trying to get away. Little shrills came from the white-coated animal. For being outdoors and not a pet, its fur was ridiculously white with a hint of blue hue. The face was small and pointed, the tail big and feathery, reminding me of a fox or raccoon. Fluffy brought it to Creed, his tail wagging like a dog instead of its saunter wagging like a cat.


The animal caught my eye; it was so precious looking yet terrified of two hunters that had it laying on the table. Creed began to pet its face while holding it down by its neck. The animal calmed, its body going limp. Maybe he wasn’t going to actually eat it?


Excitement tickled my stomach; maybe he got a new pet?


“Aww! It is so cute-“I was cut off by the large knife coming down harshly, cutting off the animal’s head.

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