“What’s wrong, honey?” Kondra’s mate asked, nuzzling her side with his wing as he turned his head towards her, shifting some dirt on the ground in the process. He blinked at his mate and tilted his head to the side. Usually, she slept like a log, but recently she had been tossing and turning every few days.
“It’s him!” Kondra said, glaring at Grimmy, whose snores rattled the rocks on the ground. “How am I supposed to sleep comfortably with a dragon of darkness living in my house!?”
“Hush!” Leila said from Grimmy’s side. “You’ll wake him. What if you ruin his information gathering?”
“I don’t care!” Kondra roared. Her tail slammed against the ground, causing Grimmy to snort a few times. A couple of seconds later, his snoring resumed at a volume even louder than before. “How long is this freeloader staying here? How long will it be until I no longer have to worry about being murdered in my sleep? Do you see these?” She pointed underneath her eyes. “I’m starting to grow bags. It doesn’t even make any sense!”
Grimmy’s snores stopped as his mouth stretched open into a wide yawn. He smacked his lips a few times before rolling over onto his back, splaying his limbs to the side. Once again, the earth shook as his snores rang throughout the cavern.
Kondra’s eyes bulged at the sight, and her irises glowed with a white light. Leila walked in front of Grimmy and plopped herself down to block him from her mother’s gaze. “You were always nagging me about bringing home a mate, and now that I do, you try to smite him with holy magic? Maybe this is why Luke never told you about the girl he’s seeing.”
“Leila!” Luke’s voice shouted from his cavern. “How could you!?”
“Luke’s seeing a girl?” Kondra asked and drew her head back. “What? How?”
“Secret,” Leila said. “He told me not to tell you.”
“Then why’d you tell her!?” Luke asked as he crawled out of his cavern. He glanced at his mother and hung his head.
“What are siblings for if not to tattle on each other?” Leila asked with a smile. “And you’re my scapegoat.” Before Luke could respond, Leila winked at him. “So how far have you gotten? Did you make any babies yet?”
“You’re a devil,” Luke said with a scowl. “No wonder why Grimmy’s your mate. Black-hearted people suit each other so well.”
“What? I’m an angel,” Grimmy said as he rolled over and yawned. His eyes glinted as he smiled at Luke. “But someone who deceives their loving mother…”
Kondra snorted and glared at Luke. Leila grinned and tugged on Grimmy’s wing, and the duo crept away from Luke, leaving Kondra’s vision. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Kondra asked. “When are you going to bring her home? I know, you don’t want me to see her, huh? Is she a darkness dragon too, is that it?”
“No!” Luke said and shook his head. “That’s not it.” He bit his lower lip and glanced at his dad, but his dad just hummed to himself while poking a green sprout growing from the ground. “It’s just…”
“Just what?” Kondra asked.
Luke looked at Leila with tears in his eyes. He frowned and lowered his head to look up at her. Leila shook her head and smiled without saying a word, causing her brother to sigh. “Um, it’s because, uh, she’s very shy,” Luke said to Kondra. “And I just met her twenty years ago! We barely know each other.”
Kondra furrowed her brow. “Twenty years isn’t too short of a time.” She glanced at her mate. “How long did it take us to get together?”
“A few years. I don’t remember the exact amount,” Leila’s father said.
“You don’t remember?” Kondra asked, raising an eyebrow.
Leila’s father’s expression twisted. “You know that’s not what I meant.”
Grimmy whispered to Leila, “Is it just me, or is your mother a huge bi—”
Leila cut him off by clamping her claw on his snout. “That’s just how she is, and I love her for being herself.”
“Loved her so much you flew to a different continent,” Luke muttered.
Kondra turned her attention back onto Luke. “And what about Leo? Is he seeing a girl too? Is that why he’s taking so long to come back from the assembly? And where did Lulu go? Don’t tell me all of you are seeing people without telling me.”
“Is someone talking about me?” a voice asked. A silver dragon lumbered into the cavern from the entrance and tilted his head at the scene. Luke looked like he had just been whipped. His father also looked like he had just been whipped. His mother looked like she had just whipped two dragons. And Grimmy and Leila were eating Lulu’s snacks in the corner of the cavern.
“Welcome home, Leo,” Leila said and smiled at her younger brother. “Mom found out about Luke’s girlfriend.”
“Oh…,” Leo said, drawing the word out. “I see. I guess I’ll be back later? Bye.” He turned around, took a step, and was promptly dragged back into the cavern by Kondra’s claws.
“And what have you been doing?” Kondra asked, depositing Leo next to Luke. “Didn’t the assembly end a while ago?”
“The weather was really nice, so I took a nap before coming back home,” Leo said while distancing himself from his brother. “I’m not like Luke, Mom. I would never go out behind your back, leaving behind a magical imprint to fool you, and sneak out to see a girl living in the ocean.”
“I’m being bullied,” Luke said and hung his head, covering his eyes with his paws. “I’m an adult, Mom. I should be able to see whoever I want.”
Kondra snorted. “Can you stop my meteor?”
Luke sighed and muttered, “No.”
“Then you’re still a child,” Kondra said with a nod. “And children need to be chaperoned on dates.”