Here's a Sample from my story in the anthology: Molten Heart
Molten Heart - A Fire Dragon Love Story
© 2017 by Katie Salidas
He caught sight of wings in cloud of smoke rising above the crater. Dax might have backed away the night before, but now, understanding the destruction that would be caused, he had to go and speak reason.
Looking around to ensure he was alone and out of sight, Dax pulled his clothing off and called his true form to the surface.
Rising like a well-fueled flame, his wings erupted outward. He stretched them wide as his body reshaped and armored scales hardened over the soft flesh of his human form. The transition brought out a groan of relief as he fell forward on his front claws. He shook away the remaining quakes in his joints and took to the sky, heading for the recently erupting crater.
Sulfur’s stench emanated from the thick cloud. Dax let it fill his nostrils, a reminder of home during the active season. Home seemed so far away at that moment. He’d only been gone a couple of days, but in that time he’d seen so much, it felt as if he had entered into an entirely different dimension.
Beating of large wings near him reminded Dax of his course. He angled himself and fell into a circular coasting pattern just inside the massive plume.
“I didn’t expect to see another dragonkin here,” Dax offered in as friendly a voice as he could muster.
“No dragons are my kin,” a deep voice responded.
Definitely familiar. He’d heard that arrogant tone elsewhere, but he couldn’t place it. Dax searched his memories for a clue to the voice’s owner.
“All dragons are kin in some fashion.” Dax chuckled to himself. “Though some don’t want to admit it.” He tried to bring back the image he’d seen the previous night. Not a wyvern; too large. Not a hydra; he’d have no business in a volcano. He was like Dax. But as far as he knew, there were no other drake settlements left in the world. The Elders spoke of the time of blood and fire, when savage men drove them away. Might of numbers versus greatness of strength. Numbers always won in the end; that was the first lesson he’d learned as a hatchling, and the main reason his people were not permitted to see the human realms until they’d come of age. Too dangerous.
“This is my island. You are trespassing,” the rogue drake called back to him.
“I’m here for a visit only. I don’t intend to stay.”
“Then take your leave now.”
“I would, but I see you’re nesting in a very populated area. Lots of humans around.” Dax attempted diplomacy as he coasted around the inner edge of cloud.
“They won’t be for long,” the drake answered back.
“You don’t like them, do you?” Dax asked. He beat his wings again and rose higher up into the cloud, hoping to catch sight of the other drake.
“I don’t have to. They’re vermin.” The voice came from deeper within the cloud ring.
Dax would have to dive into the center if he hoped to catch sight of him. “I wouldn’t say that.”
“You’re not from here. Nor are you welcome. Go home to your colony while you still can.”
The threat in the rogue’s voice was very real, but Dax had no fear and continued with his line of questioning. “Where is your colony?”
A blast of dragon fire shot across the cloud.
Dax swerved, maneuvering just in time to avoid a direct hit. “That’s no way to treat one of your own.”
“You’ve been warned. Leave my island.”
“You’re nesting in the middle of a human settlement. You’re going to be seen, and then what?”
“Anyone close enough to see me will burn.”
“You can’t kill them all.” Dax twisted his head around, searching for the mad dragon.