The Pearl Ch. 10byThistlethorn©
Edited by PennLady
This is a copyrighted work of fiction. All rights reserved.
Author's note: This begins the second part of The Pearl. I had to make the switch to third person narrative due to the needs of the story. The original idea had been to write this first person from Qiang's point of view, but too many important story points happed outside of his awareness. I'm sorry for any loss of quality or enjoyment. Also, at this point the story does start to get darker. Nothing yet in this chapter, but in future chapters. I hope that it is still enjoyable and that all of you will stay around to the end, but I felt I should give a warning.
The pearl part 2: Whore Spider Chapter 10
"Yeah, no, really, everything is going pretty good here, Mom." Sebastian sat in human form on the living room floor of Dakota's house. He leaned against the bottom of the couch with Dakota's cell phone pressed against his ear as he made his "whenever he got a chance" call home.
"Classes? Maintaining a strong 'B'. My major? Um, yeah, ah, I'm looking at Asian Studies. Yeah." He grimaced as he heard Dakota's soft laughter from where she reclined on the couch. "Yeah, I know uncle Matt has a job lined up for me in his firm if I go for a law degree, but I don't know that that's, y'know, me. And besides, I though nepotism was bad." There was a short pause as he listened to the voice on the phone. "Ok, ok, I promise I'll give it more thought. Am I seeing anyone? Yeah, I met this really great girl...woman," he corrected as Dakota smacked him in the back of the head. "Woman, really great woman. Meet her?" Sebastian craned his neck back to look at Dakota. She looked thoughtful, then nodded. "Sure, I think I could arrange something, y'know, if we get serious. Right now, I'm just shaggin' her."
"Sebastian!" came through the phone loud enough for Dakota to hear. She worked hard to contain her laughter.
"Just kidding, Mom. Chill. I'll see what I can arrange. Thanksgiving? Ah..." Sebastian paused as he grappled with how to put this off. "Yeah, well, it could be a challenge. I mean, they only give us two days off, plus the weekend, and that's not a lot of time. And I've got a ton of classwork." He paused again. "Uh-huh, uh-huh, I know.... I know you don't hear from me much, and I'm sorry. It's just that things have been really, uh, busy lately. And at least I'm not calling for money." After another pause Sebastian dropped his head. "I know," he said with a sigh. "I'm sorry, I'll see what I can do. Yes, I love you too, Mom. Look, I gotta go, talk to you later. You too. Bye." Sebastian closed the cell phone and handed it back to Dakota, a dour look on his face.
"That bad, huh?" Dakota asked as she took the phone and placed it on an end table. She picked up a remote and turned on some music.
"I should be getting frequent flier miles from that guilt trip."
"No one guilts like a mom, that's for sure. Law degree, huh?" Dakota laid forward and draped an arm over Sebastian's shoulder and down his chest. Sebastian took her hand and kissed it.
"Yeah, my uncle thinks he can get me a job in the firm he works for. He probably could, but I was never interested in a law career. Even before the whole dragon thing."
"Have you considered just telling your parents what happened?"
Sebastian looked back at Dakota in disbelief. "'Mom, Dad, I'm a dragon.' That's a hell of a closet to come out of. And not only did I become a mythological creature," he continued, gesturing with his other hand, "I became a myth from somebody else's culture." He laid his head back and closed his eyes, trying to rein in some of his frustration.
Dakota ran the fingers of her free hand through his hair, as she would his mane. She smiled as Sebastian sighed and let his body relax at her touch. "I know it would be a major shock, but like you said to Chang, it's not like you can't prove it. Besides, this lying has got to stop. The story is always vague, you feel like crap afterwards, and eventually they may want to see some grades or something. What are you going to do, show them my paper work with the name changed?"
Sebastian opened his eyes and peered back at her. "Would you take some law courses?"
"I know, I know. Maybe I'll tell them I joined a 2012 doomsday cult." "Oh, yes, because the thought of their son being in some wack-job cult is so much more comforting."
Sebastian turned to face Dakota, looking put out. "Hey, sarcasm is my gimmick. Get your own."
"Oh, so sorry. I wasn't aware you had exclusivity." Dakota's tone was dry.
"Good." Sebastian sat back against the couch. "Just remember that."
"Have you thought about asking Chang? He may have some suggestions."
"Considered it, but haven't mentioned it. I suppose I probably should."
"Oh, you think?"
"Now what did I just say about sarcasm?"
Dakota shook her head. She sat up, placed her legs to either side of Sebastian, and began to rub his shoulders. He leaned forward, giving her more access to his shoulders and upper back. A sound that started as a moan worked it's way into a purr.
"I wasn't sure this would feel as good or if the musculature would be too different" she said.
"It feels wonderful."
Sebastian luxuriated in Dakota's attention. The music was only broken by Sebastian's contented sounds. After listening for a few minutes, a question occurred to him.
"Dakota, is this song about some guy walling someone else up alive?"
"Oh, yeah. It's the Alan Parsons Project. Their first album was a collection songs based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. This one is 'The Cask of Amontillado,'" Dakota explained in a tone Sebastian found far too cheerful for the subject matter. "Their cover of 'The Raven' is really interesting, but I think I like the version I have of Christopher Walken reading it a little better."
Sebastian turned around and faced Dakota. "So when you're just chillin' you listen to music about people being walled alive and demonic birds? That's kinda disturbing."
"Oh, come on. Poe is a classic. Besides, October is just next week. Time for a little creepy, don't you think?"
"Oookay," Sebastian said with the exaggerated expression and tone normally reserved for the dangerously insane. "If you say so."
"Fine." Dakota grabbed the remote and pressed a button. The overture to The Nightmare Before Christmas started. "Better?"
"Oh, no, really, I like listening to music to go mad by."
Dakota tossed her head and crossed her arms as she leaned back on the couch. "Dissin' my music," she muttered.
"Well, I'm sorry." Sebastian said as he climbed on the couch next to her. "However can I make it up to you?" He moved in close and brushed his hand across her face. He pulled up short when she winced. Though the bruising had faded in the days since the attack, the area was still tender. He wanted to kiss her, ached to, but the constant reminder of what happened continued to haunt him. He forced himself forward and kissed gently on the forehead.
"I'm sorry." Tears gathered in her eyes.
"Sorry for what?" Sebastian asked as he sat down on the couch next to her, just barely touching. "I'm the goof who forgot bruises hurt." He laid his hands in his lap and studied them. "I never wanted you to be hurt."
Dakota turned so that her back was against the arm of the couch and sat cross-legged to the side of Sebastian. She grabbed both of his hands and turned him so he was facing her.
"I'm not porcelain. I'll be all right. It'll heal in time."
Sebastian raised his hand and ran it through her sandy blond hair. He then cupped his hand behind her head and gently pulled her against his shoulder. She laid her head against his shoulder. He held her for some time as tears silently traced their way down her cheeks.
Outside the window, someone scrutinized the scene. A small bird, black and yellow, glowered at what he saw and cursed his impotence.
Chad was at last beginning to understand some of what was going on. Both the jerk-off with Dakota and the freaky Asian guy who turned him into a bird were dragons. Dragons of all goddamned things. How the fuck did his woman get involved with dragons? He shook his head. He knew something was strange after the confrontation in the restaurant. Then after that meeting, the entire fucking world went cockeyed. As he had become aware of a world far larger than he'd ever imagined, he was frightened and maddened. He had to impose order on the outside world, so that he could impose order on the madness raging inside his head. Because the madness caused his hold on the darkness to falter.
The darkness, the darker side of himself, had been his friend, and his power, growing up. Just indulge it a little and no one ever fucked with him. A memory rose up: Chad at eight standing over his older tormentor. The boy was bent before him, gasping and crying after Chad had done to the ten-year-old what Chad's own father had done to him. In that moment it had felt so good. He learned a valuable lesson that day about the nature of pain and its use in self preservation. Hurt them back and they leave you alone. Later came the lessons on its use in control. Hurt them first, and you can control them, and not get hurt to begin with.
After the restaurant, it started to slip along with the rest of his world. The darkness still felt good, but it needed to happen only when he wanted it too. So he had to restore order, and he had to start with Dakota.
Chad ruffled his feathers as an involuntary shiver ran through him. Yes, it felt good, but sometimes it scared him, just how quickly and completely he could be lost in it. Even before things went crazy, he sometimes saw himself going further down a path he wasn't sure he liked. He wasn't sure where it ended, but imagined it as engulfed in darkness.
He adjusted his weight as the branch rocked and tried to put his thoughts in order. Sometimes, he conceived that the more he indulged his darkness the more it eclipsed any of the nobler aspects he might have. But for all of this, he never realized he was at war with himself. These questions of what he wanted versus what he should want that had plagued him before only became worse when all he had to do all day was look for seed. He considered making a pass by Dakota's car when a voice behind him froze him in place.
"I should hope you realize this is not the most expedient route back to your human form."
Chad recognized Chang's voice. He looked back, uncertain what to expect. He saw neither a human nor a dragon. Instead, a falcon gripped a branch slightly behind him with wickedly sharp claws. The keen eyes of a predator regarded him over a cruel curved beak.
"Furthermore," the raptor continued in that oh-so-calm voice, "you should really pay much better attention to your surroundings or you will not survive long enough to find your way out of the spell." In an explosion of feathers and flapping, Chad was away from the branch.
Qiang lounged, sprawled out across the mosaic tile floor of his lair, curled amongst the many pillows strewn about. The constantly burning fires caused his red and gold scales to glitter and glimmer. Mingzhu straddled his back and tenderly worked the kinks out of the muscles that lay under his scales. The contented rumble that ran through him was strong enough to send vibrations through his favorite's legs and into her body. She was unclothed, as she often was given the heat of the place, and the feeling pleased her. She leaned forward and brushed her breasts against his back.
"Is this to your liking, my love?" She gazed at him through half-closed eyes.
Qiang raised his head and regarded the maiden poised on his back. Her eyes were nearly perfect almond, delicately slanted and brown as the good earth. Her long black hair cascaded down her back, highlighting the honeyed tones of her skin. He raised his tail and ran the soft fur of the end ruff along her back, eliciting a sensual stretch from Mingzhu that exposed her willowy body. To his liking? She was entirely to his liking. He curled his tail around and curved the tip of it under her chin.
"Of course, my dear. As always." His smile turned mischievous as he ran his tail down her front, tickling her as he went. The sway of her petite breasts and curve of her body, nearly as lithe as a dragon, enchanted him. When he reached her sex he tickled her there also. He knew the effect his tail had when slipped up inside of her. The movements of her body in pleasure excited him.
Mingzhu was not his first, of course. There had been others, and Qiang prided himself on his knowledge and technique, acquired over many years. He felt Mingzhu's body respond to his ministrations. She rocked on his tail, her eyes now closed, and ran her hands down along her stomach as the fur tickled its way further up inside of her. The smell that began to permeate the air caused stirrings deep within him.
He pulled his body in on itself until he was about seven feet long. From experience, he knew this to be a good size. The hairs of the tail still brushed against her, but Mingzhu now straddled a much smaller girth. She smiled as Qiang rolled over onto his back underneath her and she settled back against his legs. His tail slid out, trailing liquid, only to be replaced by his growing shaft. Mingzhu worked herself around Qiang's penis as he entwined himself around her. He held her tenderly in his coils, reveling in the feeling of her flesh against his underscales. She wrapped her legs around his body as the muscles of her vagina clamped down on the shaft buried within her. What the teasing with the tail had started, Qiang finished as he twisted himself up inside her. She shook against him as her orgasm swamped her.
Qiang uncoiled himself and held her against his body. She kissed him on the chest and draped her arms around him. He brought his head down and what started as a sensual lick across her shoulders and neck became a passionate kiss as the dragon form melted into a human. He knelt on the floor, Mingzhu's legs around his hips and his still erect penis in her. He laid her back on the floor and continued to thrust into her as his tongue teased her mouth. She tightened her grip on him and kissed him back. His orgasm blazed through them both. Mingzhu cried out as Qiang roared. As they recovered, they lounged against the pillows.
She was silent, as she often was after lovemaking. Qiang ran his fingers through her hair where she laid her head against his chest.. She was attentive as a lover, and eager, but in many ways a child when compared to him. He hated to admit it, but her innocence was one of the things that attracted him. Though he had had favorites before her, and he had always been fond of them, Mingzhu was dancing dangerously close to love. Dangerously close for his comfort at any rate. He still mourned the loss of the friend he had come to America with, Mingzhu's great-great-great grandfather.
He had not had a favorite in years prior to Mingzhu, and had never taken one from the family of his friend that still served him. But in what felt like the blink of an eye, he watched her grow from a child to a woman. He desired her, but he had desired others before and abstained. He gathered his strength around himself like a barrier. Then one day she looked at him with those perfect almond eyes that shone with both desire and innocence and said, "I love you." His every defense fell and he toppled like a mountain without foundation. He had prepared himself for battle and was defeated by her gentleness.
Qiang gazed down at Mingzhu and smiled at himself. He would expect a gweilo fool of a dragon like Sebastian to fall in love with his favorite, but Qiang had considered himself wiser than that. As Mingzhu's soft breath on his skin stirred feelings deep within him, brushing close enough to his pearl to frighten him, Qiang was forced to consider that perhaps the fledging may yet have the last laugh in this matter.
Mingzhu turned her face up to Qiang. "Is everything all right, my love?"
"Of course, my dear."
With her face turned up to him, Qiang once again contemplated just how lovely her lips tasted. Then he leaned down to see for himself.
The next day, Qiang found himself with a most unusual visitor. In the office of the restaurant, he listened as a goldfinch told him of it's woes. Apparently, a previous suitor of Miss Dakota's had run afoul of Chang. Qiang remembered him well enough, even if he did wear a much different form then when he was last at the restaurant. Qiang's assessment at the time had been that he was rude, and something of a bully. An even worse form of gweilo than Sebastian. Still, that he had managed to figure out there was a true dragon attached to the restaurant was something. For this reason alone he entertained his diminutive, ensorceled guest. Chad reached the end of his diatribe.
"I see." Qiang rested his check against his hand with his elbow on the desk. "Well, that is certainly an inconvenient place to find yourself, but I fail to see how I could be of assistance."
He listened again as Chad chirped away. "Yes, I could possibly return you to human form. And your offer of handling Sebastian for me is rather....obvious. But there are two problems with your plan. One, age equates to power with dragons. Chang is significantly older than I am, hence significantly more powerful. My chances of safely undoing his spell are not very good at all. At best I would accomplish nothing but getting in the middle of his business. At worse...well let's just say if my talents were not up to the task there's no telling what the effect on you could be. And there are much worse things then being a bird. Secondly," Qiang removed his hand from his face and folded both arms on the desk. He leaned in close to Chad. "and equally important, you are being disingenuous with me. Sebastian is not you principle target." He raised his hand as Chad began to indignantly chirp. "Oh, I know --you would keep to whatever bargain you and I forged regarding Sebastian. But your true target is Dakota."
Chad fell silent and stood, his beak gaping.
"What, you think I don't know your mind?" Qiang laughed. "You were clever enough to find me, but you have much to learn. And while I have little kind to say about Sebastian, I'm not looking to harm him, either. And I have no issue what so ever with Dakota, nor can I think of a reason she deserves to have you in her life at this time."
Chad remained silent for a moment, then erupted in a long and expressive set of chirps.
Qiang shook his head, exasperated. "There is a way out of you predicament, but it's not through me. You must find it for yourself."
He listened for a few moments longer before he sat back in his chair and propped his elbows on the arms of the chair, fingers interlaced.
"You know, you may want to take your leave before you find the end of my patience."
The next volley of chirps gave no ground.
Qiang leaned forward again, with his elbows on the desk, and rested his chin on his interlaced fingers. "Because songbirds are a delicacy and I haven't had lunch."
Chad was gone in a yellow and black flurry.
It appeared to be the day for unexpected guests, for later that afternoon Qiang was advised someone was there to see him. His surprise at finding Chang waiting at the bar was considerable. He crossed the seating area and lowered his head when he reached Chang.
"You honor me with your presence," Qiang said.
Chang smiled. "I do? How marvelous. Given our previous meetings, I was uncertain what my reception here would be."
Qiang raised his head and kept his composure but inwardly winced at the reminder. "The circumstances of our previous meetings were indeed-- tense. I hope to in some way atone for my past improprieties."