Sin of Silence by Orin Drake

        "You're domesticated." The tall blond man spat hatefully, accusing.
        "I am loyal." The man with the gunmetal hair snarled back, all semblance of refinement gone. "I would not expect you to know anything about that."
        "Don't turn your back to me, Deveste." The first growled back.
        Green eyes flashed red under those strands of gray-black-blue--the warning happening only a fraction of a second before he pounced the blond, slamming his arrogant head into the floor. "Sein. My name is Sein."
        Stars and pain exploded across the other man's senses--but he still knew what was being said, even pinned to the ground and probably bleeding. "That's the name he gave you."
        "And that's the one I choose to keep."

        The guards parted for Sein without a word, always diverting their eyes as he passed. That was how it was. He was... dangerous, but untouchable. They all knew; there was no way they couldn't. He didn't bother with glammer to hide his claws or his slate-colored wolf-ish ears, nor the swirling eyes that danced between green and gold.
        To these people, he was a wolf demon. Capable of tearing any of them apart to feed upon their souls--a warlord in a time of peace, just waiting to bring the bloody battlefield back.
        But to these people, also... he was the favored of their Lord. --Not their king, who was merely a bland figurehead to handle the mundane matters, but their Lord. Lord Coulear. A dragon in the form of a man. He was perfect, skin the color of white marble, long hair the color of quicksilver and eyes as liquid black as the Abyss, tall and thin and strong and delicate at once. He spoke in a way that hypnotized, a cadence that could comfort or entice, enrage or devastate. The human form was so clearly a costume, a false thing that enwrapped something far more... and so the people worshiped.
        And so Sein had found himself stricken. Never once in his life had he been devoted to another living thing. But when he'd met Coulear on the battlefield, he'd fallen to his knees before the magnificent dragon, recognizing it immediately.
        Sein had been prepared for death; not the bare hand that rested lightly on his head. Nor the whispered words from above him, "Tell me your name."
        He'd mouthed it. He was quite certain he hadn't been able to make a sound... but he'd spoken the word he'd been born with. Deveste.
        "No." The dragon has said. "Your name is Sein."
        It had been years. Perhaps a whole lifetime to a human, though it was hard to tell. Sein was free to wander the world, if he liked... but he never really stopped to speak with the humans. Most of them feared him anyway. It hardly mattered. Sein ascended the stairs to the Lord's palace, and then up the winding, black marble staircase to the long hall and beyond.
        There he waited, upon the throne, as beautiful as always. A dragon in a man's skin--eerie traces of inhuman melodies even in his breathing. He extended a perfect, pale hand.
        The proud, fierce warrior approached. He sat at his master's side on the floor, allowed his hair to be stroked, allowed words of praise and a tone of elegance to be purred into his ear--not because he was conquered. Not because he had ever been forced or tricked or so much as asked. It was because Sein saw the brutal magnificence of the dragon behind Coulear's eyes, felt his presence and his power as surely as he felt the hand drifting down his neck to rest at his shoulder.

Content copyright Orin Drake 2011.
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