The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper starts off as any other low brow elf seeking a real place in life. He didn’t think the real place would be babysitter to a dragon. Part of him wishes the dragon mother decided on eating him instead of shoving him into this new role. What was he thinking getting involved with Linda or Hartliebe or thinking he deserved more in life than running a beer company. Beer is his life. Or it was. His life now seems a lot different. And scary.
Genres: Adventure, fantasy
Sujatha and Dominik
Ethan chuckles at me as I realize the hot spring is surrounding me again. “Get in. We’ll leave you here. I was planning on buying Marcello dinner at the inn for all his support.”
Cyro grimaces at Cat before leaving the room. I watch as the three leave me here alone. I need the time in the water. Cat chuckles glancing at me crawling into the water. “They know, don’t they?”
“Huh?” I watch her from my new spot in the water.
“I’ll get changed and join you.” She grins slipping passed the door. In a few minutes, where I closed my eyes, I hear her get into the water with me. “So, what’s on your mind?”
I gulp in air. I cannot offer myself to her. She can take, but I am worn out from the training. “I can’t do anything.”
“Tsk. Well fine. Once you’re healed, I will wipe you out again.” She winks and I shiver in the impossibly hot water. “So heal up.”
“You want me? Why?”
“Because we are both twenty years into our ritual.” She tilts her head looking at me. “We are going to turn about the same time.”
What? I stare at her until she splashes me. “You mean you didn’t start your ritual until two decades ago? And I’m…” That means my ritual was started at birth. How? Why? I need to ask my parents. My father particularly.
“Don’t ask questions.” She grins at me. “Go with the flow. Heal for now. We have fun things to get to before they come back.”
“How long will they take?” I look her over.
“They won’t bother us until morning. Unless I bother them.” She grins taking my hand. “Now, let me know when you’re healed enough to play.”
Considering the hot springs, her healing magic, and the current play, it won’t be too long. When I see the others again, I will be made fun of, but I don’t care. She is freaking hot and sexy and I am well aware of her body not meters from me.
By morning, our play becomes restful. We took a room at the inn and if I am not mistaken my friends are next door. They knock after sunrise leaving me fully ready to move on to the next stop. Which is the shore town where Mad Hatter Zee spends her day. Actually several Mad Hatters live in the town. They will be able to find us a boat. I hope.
Finding Zee is the easy part. She is currently having a party, so everyone in town is going to visit her. She has several people we already know there: Dorothy, Jess, Amanda, and Aimee. Aimee’s family looks to have headed off to an inn for rest, but she is still with Zee.
Then there are several we do not know: Nancy, a buxom elf with eyes of gold; Kassandra, the scrawniest elf maiden I ever saw, so much so I considered her male at first; Dee, Zee’s older sister and basically looks like her twin; Leah, a stout woman, who is not an elf, but her three feet frame and long beard have me question what she is; Sonya, a hyperactive forest elf who loves cherries; Sujatha, an elf with this condescending smile and all seeing eyes; and Olivia, the only elf who may look normal and sound normal, but she’s a Mad Hatter, so she can’t be normal.
The collection of Mad Hatters has me very confused, but we join in. Ethan looks very pleased with us now as he cajoles most of the girls into liking him. Cyro listens in to Dorothy’s tales. Jess tries to capture me into a story, but I move into another area of the party. It leaves me with Sujatha, the strangest elf in the bunch. She sits alone drinking cider. The lack of alcohol surprises me, as most are drinking. Maybe first impressions are dead wrong. Sometimes they are.
“Hey. I’m Dominik.” Start with introductions.
“I heard before when Captain told all of us who you were and to let you celebrate with us.” She huffs at me. “Boys do not belong in the Mad Hatter crew.”
“We aren’t crew.” I shake that idea away.
“Captain said differently.”
Frowning, I think of how Dorothy said we were honorary members. Supposedly we even have hats. Although I haven’t seen the strange hats of the crew here. Erin was the only one who showed it off to us. “Well, I don’t mean to break up your tradition.”
“You ain’t the first male in our crew.” She drinks down her cup before eyeing me. I gulp at her direct line of sight. “Derrick joined us for a while.”
Aimee’s husband. I remember him. “So, you don’t mind as much then?”
“Shane too. Damn hippy.” Sujatha snarls at the missing person. “When will Erin get here anyway?”
“She’s coming?” I scratch my head.
“Can’t leave without a navigator.” Sujatha hands me her empty cup. “Go get another one for me.” She motions me away with her cup.
This is one strange party. For the next hour, I sit beside Sujatha and listen to her gripe about the members. I learn a lot about the ones I do know and little about those I don’t. It seems Sujatha hates Amanda the most. And that stems from the fact she’s a demon.