The Package

inspiration can come in many ways…and the best is from friends. Thanks fiona and sofia…you guys are the *best*…~nilla~

The brown box was leaning against her front door. She didn’t see it when she pulled into the drive, nor when she collected the mail from the end of the front walk. Sifting through bills, scowling at overflowing advertisements, she didn’t see it as she unlocked the door. The sound of it falling with a soft thunk onto her hall floor, almost inviting itself in, caught her attention at last.

“What the fuck now? I didn’t order anything…”

Bending, she scooped the package up. Whatever it was, it was lightweight. Meticulously she hung her keys on their allotted peg, dropped the mail into the basket beneath, then took the box with her to the kitchen. The stamps indicated overseas passage.

“Fee….” She sighed and smiled. Her cousin was traveling in Europe. In fact, Fiona had invited her along on the journey, even offering to pay her airfare. But she couldn’t take time away from work just now, not with the biggest client in her life hanging in the balance. This was a make-or-break deal, and if she landed the Emerson account her career was made. Drake Emerson had a fierce reputation for shredding anyone who displeased him. She had every intention of winning this client–and overwhelming him with her creative approach to marketing his company. She’d given weeks of her life to the presentation that would happen on Thursday.

With a sigh, she returned her attention to the box. Meanwhile, her cousin was off dancing over the hills of Ireland, or gawking at Big Ben, or where ever she was at the moment, soaking up all the local ambience.

Carefully she slit the tape, opening the flaps. Inside on the top, a note, in Fee’s wide, rolling scrawl:

Saw this and immediately thought of you, Cuz.  Wish you were here. Dinner at a fawking awesome pub last night, danced with this local guy who was…well, you can imagine. He danced just as well under the covers too.  🙂  Miss you. Fuck your work! Come join me!

She smiled, hearing Fiona’s ribald laugh in her head. Setting the note aside, she opened the papers hiding the treasure within. And gasped. It was incredible. Her cousin had been so right to send this to her. The tail of the dragon wrapped sinuously around the stem of the tall goblet. Blown from silvered-blue glass, the twining form spoke of a fierceness, and a palpable sexuality. At the top rim of the glass goblet, his head lay in repose, looking at her. Was there a hint of a draconic smile in that muzzle? The eyes were brilliant sapphires, clear as the sky in September, the blue so intense that she almost felt  him watching her.

Turning the bowl in her hands, Delia took in every detail–which was perfect, down to the last pointed scale on his tail. Despite having been a long-time dragon lover, she’d stopped collecting every draconic rendering she’d seen, dragons having become so popular over the years. But the unusual, the pieces that truly piqued her interest, those she did still gather. And this would be the crowning jewel in her collection. Closing her eyes, she rubbed her fingers over the smooth glass of his head, imagining the heat of those gorgeous eyes. There was a tickle along her wrist. Fearing a return of Mr. Creepy Spider, who had plopped onto the table in front of her this morning during breakfast, her eyes flew open.

She fell back a step.

Wrapped around her wrist was the tail of the glass dragon. His forelegs rested on her arm, and those intense eyes were now staring up at her. In her hands, the now dragon-less wineglass. She looked from glass cup to glass dragon. It didn’t make sense. She looked again. Naked glass. Glass dragon on her wrist. She blinked, shook her head.

It had been a long day. She hadn’t slept more than 4 hours a night nearly all week, going over and over the presentation. She was fucking hallucinating.

“You’re not.”

The voice was richly resonant.  A quick glance showed her that no one else was in the room with her. As she watched, the tail unwound from her wrist, and he-it-whatever it was- marched upwards. She flinched, and the tail quickly swung around her upper arm, while needle-sharp claws dug into her shoulders. The thing was now eye-to-eye with her.

“Stop that! You’re going to shake me right to the floor. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a new glass wing if one breaks off?”

Her breath, frozen in her throat, shivered out her lips.

“W-w-what…are …. you…?”

“Duh. I’m a dragon. Did you not recognize me?” He unfurled his wings, which she hadn’t really noticed before. Releasing his tight tail grip, he pushed away from her and sailed gracefully around the room. A slash of evening sun beamed into the kitchen. He split the beam into a million rainbows as he sailed through it, the crystal of his body fracturing the light, and turning her very ordinary room into something extraordinary.

With a light flap, he circled through the room again.

“Put the goblet on the counter. Good. Now…hands up. No, no. Cup them.”

He spoke to her like she was a dimwitted child. Slowly she lowered her hands from their “it’s a stick-up” position, to palms-up-and-flat in front of her. Making one last pass around her kitchen, his wing once more refracting rainbows around the white walls, he soared towards her. Nodding in approval at the corrected hands,  he landed there, gentle as a feather, twining his tail around her right wrist.

“I can see I have a lot of work ahead of me.”

There was a heavy sigh, and a puff of air that smelled, ever so faintly of something sweet and hot.