Ice Dragon's Omega:Frozen Heart

By: Canis Blackfang

Chapter 1

KARR



I was damn good at what I did. I’d better be, after all I’d spent a good chunk of my life doing it.



Where most fire-breathers would shy away from the snow capped mountains in search of warmer haunts, the peaks have always brought me comfort. I guess it was no surprise that I took up residence on this mountain, oh, seventy five or so years ago and began giving guided tours to the few thrill seekers that came through. Mount Peutong was way off the tourist radar – even for humans, who were way more into the whole exploring the ass ends of the world thing than us dragons – but it was still home to no end of beautiful scenery and cold nights that brought the comfort I craved as an ice-breather.



“It’s really cold up here, isn’t it?”



I was giving a trekking tour to a newly mated shifter couple, a man and woman probably half my age. The two of them hadn’t stopped commenting on the temperature since we had set out from Trystal’s lodge, so much that I had to wonder what made them choose to come to the mountains in the first place.



“But you probably don’t mind it, huh?” the man continued. “Being an ice dragon and all.”



“Darling, it’s much too cold,” complained the woman. She had on an expensive fur lined coat and other fancy outdoor gear, all way too extravagant for the type of trekking we were doing. “Sir? Um, Karr, was it? When will we be back at the lodge? I’m absolutely dying for a glass of Krug before we get off this hellish place.”



“Don’t worry ma’am,” I said, biting my tongue. “You’ll be back soon.”



We actually hadn’t even gotten through even close to half of the hike, but I wasn’t going to say anything. I turned down off the main trail which was dusted with a coating of fresh snow that covered the ground in a blanket of white powder, and lead them to path that looped around and took us back to the lodge. It seemed like all the dragons who came through the lodge were like them – rich and spoiled and wanting to get back to their money and comforts as quickly as they could. So many who came through to half-ass it and head back home, saying they had enough adventure for one lifetime.



It was exactly the attitude that had inspired me to go out and travel all those years ago, to try and find something worthwhile. I had found Mount Peutong, but the things I had left behind only kept following me.



“Well that was a challenging hike,” the man said as we neared the lodge. “I feel like a real explorer now. I can see why you ice dragons like it out here.”



“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself,” I said, trying not let my amusement show.



“Have our champagne brought to our room,” the wife said, and I suppressed my urge to encase her in a block of ice.



The lodge had been there for over a hundred years, retrofitted and repaired across the decades to keep up with modern standards. The outside had the look of a turn of the century building, all wood paneling and beautiful checkered glass windows, and the inside was filled with pioneer cabin style furnishings mixed with modern amenities like central heating, Internet and all that.



Trystal, a dragon shifter herself, had owned and operated this place since the very beginning. She was a few decades older than me, placing her solidly at the end of her middle age years. She was a fire breather, and though I didn’t like to stereotype, she had the hearty personality of one to match. Trystal was a dear friend, the only one I really could say I had. I liked to joke with her and tell her that if I weren’t gay, I would have made her my mate by now.



“Who said I would want you?” she’d always tease back.



I opened the front door to the lodge and the couple hurried inside, huddling together as they retreated to their suite. I was amused by the way the wife clung to her husband’s arm, shivering exaggeratedly. The door to their room banged shut, and I chuckled and hung my jacket up onto a row of pegs on the wall. The inside of the lodge was small and cozy – just a front reception desk, and beyond that a large living room with several couches, arm chairs and tables all out in front of a large fireplace, and the sides of the main room were lined with the entrances to the guest rooms and the dining area.



“Back already?” Trystal’s voice called out from the dining room.



Trystal came out, already holding a tray with a bottle of Krug champagne in a bucket of ice. “I’m guessing those two asked for this,” she said.



“How did you guess?” I laughed.



After she had dropped the champagne off at the newlymate’s room, Trystal brought out a couple mugs of hot tea and we sat down in front of the fire. Except for the two trail blazers holed up in their room, the place was pretty much empty as usual.



“You expecting anyone else to come in this weekend?” I asked.



“Nope. No new reservations.”



“Shame,” I said, settling back into the chair and taking a sip of my tea.



“Today’s tour wasn’t very interesting, huh?” Trystal said with a knowing grin. She leaned towards me, narrowing her eyes with an intent look. “Come on, Karr, what are you waiting for?”

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