(Note, this is a rewrite. There was a missing chunk out of the last third. So I leave this non-repost for your repast, re-read, review and reply if you care. So this non-repost will replace a non-reblog of the re-imaged rewrite. )
Chapter 33. After Metal Shop
Metallurgical class from the autumn semester was not easy, but this semester, they put to action the chapters they had read out of the Book of Smites and the workbook “Alloy Allies”, written by some hammer-slinging maniac named Hephaestus.
Jona came back to the dorms on the Emerald floor covered in soot and sore to the bones, going straight to the showers, he barely had the strength to take off his clothes and stand there in the hot water as it cascaded over his shoulders.
He hurt so bad, even swear words were not enough to describe the all-day torture. Several minutes passed before he was able to scrub with a sponge that grew on a stick and struggled with that when he saw that the oversized pool of water that served as a bath for larger swimming dragons and thought that it would be enjoyable to just sit in the warm waters.
But it was so far to walk on his sore legs. Professor Vuul, the fire-drake from the south had him pumping the bellows for the forge for the last two hours— after he had swung a hammer on different metals that he learned to heat from barely able to hold it in his hand, to sparkling white-hot.
He shook his head, he had to fill the great tub and even with the massive-multiple faucet, it would take longer than he wanted to wait, and he had hot water now.
With the hot water running over his shoulders and cascading down his body, he felt a great deal better.
He was standing there with his eyes closed, letting the water do the magic of bringing a soul back to the comfort zone when he felt a soft hand slide over his left shoulder.
It was Kolo, the teaching assistant to Professor Vale.
“Let me wash your back. You look like you are in pain.”
Jona covered up as much as he could, yipping like a startled puppy.
“You… I mean… me… I’m…”
“You are naked, yes, and so am I. But relax, I was watching you and you need someone to wash you. We are on the same team, right? We take care of each other.” She smiled, her tail slowly sliding over his hip while the girl dragon rubbed his back with a fibrous sponge that a dragon-team harvested from halfway around the world.
Kona’s hands, covered in human like skin on the palm, had a slightly coarse texture, like the paw of a cat. It was very sensual, but Jona was not ready for sensual.
He was in too much pain with overused muscles that he never thought he had, understanding now, more than ever, why his dad was so strong.
Even with her ministrations of creams and perfect pressure of her fingers, Jona’s body punished him with cramps and heavy, aching arms that could not shut the water off to the shower, his fingers didn’t want to close tightly enough without cramping.
“Jona, you need a cuddle for the night.” Kolo said matter-of-factly as she turned the hammered-bronze and emerald water control to “off” and draped a large towel around his shoulders and tied the belt at his waist, creating a large tunic of soft brushed cloth against his skin.
“What? Are you trying to get me in your bed?”
“You can keep your clothes on, but you should know by now, dragons like to touch and be touched. I will let you sleep in my arms, it will be a help heal your muscles and you can go back to class.” She smiled, her eyes sparkled like nothing else. Kolo did not have faceted eyes like full-blooded dragons, but she had the glint that stopped conversations. “Besides, the cloth in that robe you wear has medicines in the fibers, they do the most work. I will just help you sleep.”
“Aw, I can’t do that, Sprite would not understand with another body in the bed.”
“Sprite is a dragon.” She smiled. “This is what she will desire most as she grows, the more the better in her mind. Dragons sleep together.”
Jona hurt in all his muscles. The thought of having the gentle touch of this dragon that he had a crush on sleeping with her arms and tail around him was beyond his dreams of desire.
“And I have a special nightshirt to wear to bed.” Jona said. “My mom made it for me.”
“Sprite has told me she loves cuddling with you and that shirt a great deal. It’s made of the finest fibers that could be found of Honeytree thread.” Kolo nodded. “When I was little, I had a sleep-ball made of Honeytree thread.
“Honeytree thread?” Jona blinked, it was the first time he had heard of the name.
“It grows in a valley two days’ flight from here. Think of the fur of a long-haired kitten, only as long as your arm and twice as soft.”
“How? I mean…” Jona stuttered.
“I have studied a great deal. I am still learning every day.” Kolo said softly, sitting on his bed, pulling him to her arms.
She was absolutely correct. His aching muscles needed to rest, the girl dragon laying with him, with her arms around him. The three of them lay in her huge bed, Sprite against his chest, Kolo spooned to his back, it was nothing like what he expected, it was like being in a giant kitten hug, without being overheated.
For all their scales, dragons were able to give an immersive sleep. And Jona slept without dreams, in the medicated toga, Kolo’s healing touch, Sprite’s love, his body healed far more quickly than if he slept alone.
Kolo watched the Jona sleep, her parents would fart flames to have a daughter curled up with a first-year student, and not wait until he was ready to graduate.
But he made her smile widely. For all his flaws for being a young human, he had the pheromones of a dragon, the brilliant mind of the best of humans and the heart of a master.
She just had to mentor him into being what he could be. She had to talk with the Green Man.
For now, however, Kolo the youngest, of the water clan of swimming dragons, closed all three eyelids on both her eyes and slept with the human in her arms who slept against her chest in a wonderful, warm snore.