From the author: Kaireh has always wanted to become a Sabattan Knight, patrolling the kingdom on the back of a sentient dragon. But, as the all-female Sabattan Knights demonstrate, there are terms to the alliance between the Knights and the dragons—and Kaireh’s male body must be prepared to accept them. (Warning: erotica.)
[CONTENT WARNING: This story is erotica and contains explicit sexual situations.]
In the moonlight, Kaireh thought that the Wide Pool looked like any other hot spring—gnarled Switchnut trees, steep banks, a border of crumbling basalt. But it was far larger than any hot spring Kaireh had ever seen.
And the creatures bathing within were not human.
"So, boy," said Lappis. "You would be a dragon rider."
Kaireh glanced at her. Lappis, sitting atop a boulder, lazily uncrossed and recrossed her legs. Moonlight slipped up her muscled thighs, beneath the Sabattan Knights' regulation eight-inch skirt. For a moment, Kaireh got a glimpse of enticing, glimmering wet within the dark.
The other knights followed Kaireh's stare and snickered.
He straightened and held his head high. "I would."
"Even though you know all Sabattan Knights are women."
"I don't care. I killed a Longclaw last month, and am a man now. I can decide my profession. And I'm telling you: I want to be a dragon rider." He looked around. "And we're here, aren't we? You took me to Wide Pool. We wouldn't be here with some of the other knights if you weren't still trying to talk me out of it."
Lappis raised a dark eyebrow. "Wouldn't we be?"
Before Kaireh could reply, she slid off the boulder and padded to the water's edge. "Echo," she called. "A prospective is here!"
The rolling bodies shifted. Low chirps and chuckles bounced over the water, and out of the spring came the grace and terror of Sabattan's greatest alliance—and war engine.
The long, low dragon was the cold blue of deep glacial ice, its head the size of a Targan tortoise, its eyes the size of cannon balls. Its hide dripped and steamed faintly in the night's cool. The single row of blunt spikes down its back straightened and relaxed, like a porcupine's quills, and the ruff of whiskers around its face and nose flapped and tasted the air.
It stepped to Kaireh, lowering its head and whisking the front of his long shirt.
Kaireh could barely breathe.
"Why, she likes you," said Lappis, and the other Sabattan Knights laughed. "Could you please lay down, Echo?"
The dragon lowered herself to the basalt pebbles.
"The thing to remember about dragons," said Lappis, resting a hand fondly upon Echo's nose, "Is that, while they are eager to explore and defend their territory on land, they can only stand to be out of the water if their sensate organs are kept warm and wet. The whiskers on and around the face are hot by nature, so the protective mucus that the dragon secretes there keeps them warm enough in the air. But the sensate spikes on the back, which aren't as vascular, are another matter."
The dragon warbled something. The Sabattan Knights laughed. Since he wasn't a knight, Kaireh didn't speak Dracish, but he refused to give them the satisfaction of his asking them to translate.
"Quite right, Echo," said Lappis. "Everyone?"
Smirking, the other knights approached the dragon from her left side.
As one, they stepped up Echo's side and stood upon her back, standing in a neat row, each above a dull spike.
Each lifted her short leather skirt, revealing nothing but bare curves and fine hair, tipped with a sparkle of moisture.
And they squatted. Each knight rested her wet, opened place against the tip of a spike. With careful breaths, they eased on further, gradually, until they were sitting flush with the dragon's back, firmly affixed. The grip of their thighs on the beast's hide was almost an afterthought.
Echo approximated a human grin.
"I've left an empty spike for you at the front," said Lappis."Your turn."
"But..." Kaireh looked wildly between Lappis and Echo. But Lappis' expression was closed, and if Echo cared to give an answer, it couldn't be in a tongue Kaireh knew.
"But I don't have a... I mean I'm not..."
"You said you didn't care," said Lappis sharply. "After all, you've got another opening that'll do just as well."
"These are the terms of our alliance," said Lappis. "Nothing else feels as comfortable for them. Now remove your pants and underneaths. Or do you not want to be a Sabattan Knight after all?"
Kaireh bowed his head. "I want to. I've always wanted to. But I didn't know—"
"Then do as I say."
Nervously, casting one last desperate look between them, Kaireh untied his belt and dropped everything to the basalt.
Kaireh circled the dragon and scaled her hide, as he'd seen the knights do. Echo's skin was strangely soft and warm. He stood in position, above the foremost spike, and willed himself to look into Lappis' unforgiving eyes and not what awaited him below.
Kaireh clenched the hem of his long shirt, even as his throat clenched nearly shut. By humiliated, determined degrees, he lifted.
Kaireh finally looked down.
The spike bobbed as Echo warbled something in impatience.
Trembling, Kaireh squatted. He backed himself up against the blunt head of the waiting spike. Echo twitched it again, and Kaireh shivered as it rubbed against his tender place, leaving smoothness and wet.
Fearfully, Kaireh began to lower himself. It hurt. His breath came quick.
"Relax," Lappis ordered crisply. "Just let it happen."
Kaireh closed his eyes. He'd had no idea that their alliance meant this. Did any of the men of Sabattan? He couldn't imagine what being enveloped must feel like for a dragon. So he pictured what it must feel like for the Sabattan Knights, galloping mile after mile, pounded mercilessly from below with each gleeful tread of a draconic paw. They must remain open and impaled all day long. Just think of that. All those women being impaled, all day, every day.
Kaireh's arousal stirred. The smooth, warm spike twitched against him again, and his knees weakened. His weight dropped, and with a sudden, strange pop—
Kaireh gasped and froze, his eyes flying open.
"Well?" Lappis demanded. "Keep going."
Breathing faster, Kaireh obeyed. The spike slid deeper, effortlessly parting his soft, conquered flesh now. The more Echo filled him, the greater his arousal grew, until by the time his bare bottom finally hit dracoback hide, he was dripping.
Kaireh moaned. He rolled his hips, desperately trying to get comfortable, but relief was impossible. The spike was far too large, large enough to stretch the limits of body and mind alike.
Below him, Echo chuckled in contentment. The spike deep within Kaireh's body trembled with the sound, and the vibrations evoked tiny starbursts of pleasure that Kaireh never wanted to stop.
Behind him, the Sabattan Knights snickered again.
"Well well well," said Lappis. "So you managed to get all the way on. First try, too. You must be naturally accommodating."
"Mercy," Kaireh moaned. "Oh mercy."
"What's that, Kaireh?"
"This is... I can't... I can't..."
Lappis inclined her head. "Dismount, then."
Kaireh struggled off, yelping as he felt that strange pop again, whimpering at the sudden, cool emptiness inside. Echo chirped in disappointment.
Kaireh slid to the ground on shaky legs, falling onto the pebbles.
"Are you satisfied now?" asked Lappis.
He raised his sweaty face to Echo, his arousal still painfully full, his breath still quick. Echo still waiting.
All those other dragons. All those smooth, wet spikes. All those rides in a Sabattan Knight's career—20 or 30 years' worth. Just think of that.
Kaireh's arousal throbbed.
"No," he whispered. "When can I get back on?"
This story originally appeared in LIKE A BREATH OF FLAME.
KJ Kabza is back with a second round of fiction that’s “Incredible” (Tangent), “Fascinating” (SFRevu), and “Worthy of Edgar Allan Poe” (SFcrowsnest). Featuring his freshest work from top SF/fantasy venues of today, including F&SF, Nature, Daily Science Fiction, and more, UNDER STARS showcases wonders from worlds both here and beyond. Included is all of KJ Kabza's work published from mid-2011 through 2013, plus 5 new pieces, exclusive story notes, and 69 dirty limericks with a speculative twist.
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