With the ice dragons backing off, the others have gone hunting, leaving Avery and Tobit home alone. They’re the smallest members of the clan, and the weakest, but that has never bothered Tobit. He just wants everyone to be safe and happy, and he does whatever he can to make that happen. And now that he has some alone time with Avery, he knows it’s his chance to get close to the other dragon.
Avery doesn’t understand what it means to completely belong to the clan, not yet at least, and what Tobit describes to him is different than anything he’s ever considered before. With Tobit there to guide him, they’ll come together to make the clan whole again.
Tobit looked over at Avery as he waited for the water on their little stove to get hot enough for him to make them some tea. They were alone in the house, which was rare. A month before, the ice dragons had attacked their clan looking to take Avery back with them, and the others had been a bit overly protective of them ever since. Tobit didn’t mind that, though. It felt good to be looked after and cared about, as if any one of them would stop what they were doing just to keep him from tripping over his own feet.
“You okay?” Tobit asked him. Outside, the storm was picking up, though it had been raining all afternoon.
Avery looked away from the window and gave him a nod. “Yeah. I’m just worried about them. It’s rough out there.”
Tobit was worried, too, but he’d been with the clan a lot longer than Avery had. “They’re all strong dragons. They won’t be afraid of a bit of thunder and lightning during their hunt.” Tobit chose not to mention the fact that he definitely did not like that they had decided to take Kovu with them. He really didn’t trust that dragon, and he knew he wasn’t the only person in the clan who felt that way. But they were all willing to give him a chance, unlike Tobit.
Something about Kovu screamed at Tobit that he just absolutely could not be trusted. Even Oren, who had been on his side about Kovu in the beginning, had started to hang out with him a bit more over the past few months. Tobit didn’t understand how all of them could ignore Kovu’s betrayal when he’d gone back to the ice dragons after being with them, but they seemed to be able to move on from what Kovu had done with ease.
The water began to simmer, and Tobit pulled the pot off the stove to pour the water into two mugs he’d brought down from the cabinet above his head. The only kind of tea he really liked was peppermint, which was what they were having. Avery hadn’t had a preference either way.
“Milk okay? And honey, too?” Tobit asked him.
Avery shrugged. “Sure. I’ve never really had that kind of tea, so I’ll take it however you would normally make it for yourself. Thanks.”
Which meant that they’d be sharing a plate of shortbread cookies, too. Tobit finished making the tea and prepared the tray. When he came out to the living room, Avery was still staring outside. He looked worried, and Tobit liked that about him. He’d only been in their clan a short while, but he was already so attached to all of them, just as they were to him.
He knelt down and placed the tray on the coffee table close to where Avery was sitting. When he looked back up at him, he found Avery watching him intently with his icy gray eyes. “What’s wrong?” Tobit asked him.
“You’re serving me. You don’t have to do that.”
Tobit got off his knees and came over to sit beside Avery while their tea steeped and got cool enough to drink. “I don’t mind. Really. And it’s not like I’m really serving you. Bringing tea over doesn’t qualify in my mind.”
Avery gave him a weak smile and turned to face him completely. “If you were an ice dragon, or if you were in an ice dragon clan, that would be considered your role in life. Just as mine was as a whore.”
Tobit knew what Avery had been, and he disliked that word just as much as Donovan did. But unlike their unofficial leader, Tobit didn’t feel that it was his place to tell Avery not to say something. “Some earth dragons are like that, too. It’s what I did before I joined this clan. I don’t mind serving, though. I like my place in life, and even though Donovan and the others have tried to convince me to go hunting with them from time to time, I would much rather stay here taking care of the house and having things ready for them when they get back.”
“You like serving?” Avery sounded completely confused, as if he had no idea why anyone would ever like such a horrible thing.