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How to Date a Dragon

By:Ashlyn Chase

ate to make you wait, but I should shower before you take any pictures. We just…”

She finger-walked her way up his chest. “Oh, I know. You were out fighting fires and saving people. I think that’s sexy as hell. Don’t change a thing. Except, take your shirt off.”

Drake stifled a groan. He was tired and about to be suspended. This was the last thing he wanted to do right now.

Figuring he was in enough trouble for defying the chief’s orders, he whipped off his white undershirt, faced the blond female photographer as if she were a firing squad, and asked, “How do you want me?”

She chuckled and raised one eyebrow.

“Uh… What should I be doing?” he asked.

From the look in her eyes and the way she licked her lips, the answer was X-rated. Maybe they shouldn’t have sent a woman to shoot the annual firefighters’ calendar. At this rate it would be December before she finished taking the pictures.

“I don’t want to be rude, but I really don’t feel like doing this right now.” When she didn’t respond, he waved a hand in front of her eyes. “Hello,” he said to break through the woman’s vacant stare.

“Your hair… I’ve never seen yellow streaks like that. They’re like primary colors.”

“Yeah, it’s unusual, and before you ask, it’s natural. My whole family has them.” It would be so much easier if I could just come out and say it’s how dragons know each other by clan. But, of course, he could not. Dragons were governed by the same rule every paranormal faction had to live by—namely not to reveal their existence to humans. To do so would cause widespread panic, witch hunts, and they’d probably wind up as government lab rats.

“Oh, um…” At last she seemed to remember her professionalism. “Pick up that hose and stand a quarter-turn to the right.”

Drake did as he was asked and she clicked her shutter release.

“Um, you might want to hold it higher.”

Drake realized he was holding the nozzle right in front of his junk as if it were a limp phallus. He dropped it and grabbed an ax instead, resting it on his shoulder.

“Oh, yeah. That pose really shows off your muscles.” She moved and clicked. Moved and clicked some more.

“Act like you’re having fun. Smile,” she said.

Drake rolled his eyes. “Fighting fires isn’t exactly a laugh a second.”

“Maybe if you think about something pleasant, it’ll produce the look I’m going for.”

Let’s see… something pleasant. Unfortunately, he couldn’t come up with much of anything at the moment. He had just lost the last friendly dragon he knew—his mother—a few weeks ago and still didn’t feel like his old jovial self. Plus he was in trouble with the chief. He’d never work his way up the ladder at this rate, and the job was his life. Maybe his buddies were right. He needed a hobby.

“You’re still looking awfully serious. Here, let me try something.”

“Christ,” he muttered.

She set down the camera and strolled up to him. Unbuttoning her blouse enough to expose lush cleavage, she said in a low, sultry voice, “Think of the fun we can have after I finish the shoot.”

He raised his eyebrows. Think of the horror when you find out I’m a dragon.

“No, that’s still not the expression I want. What’s the matter? Are you having a bad day?”

“You could say that.”

“Anything I can do?”

“Nope.” He’d have to take his punishment just like any other firefighter who did what he’d done, regardless of his inability to burn. He should be grateful for the chance to delay facing the chief, but to be honest, he just wanted to get it over with.

As Drake was thinking about what to tell him, Chief Tate strolled out where they were shooting.

“Are you almost done here?” the chief asked.

The photographer backed away and quickly buttoned her blouse. “Ah, yes. I’d like one more pose…”

“I’ll wait.” Chief Tate stuffed his hands in his pockets and rocked back and forth on his heels.

Shit, I’m in bigger trouble than I thought. Drake decided to have some fun with the shoot after all. He set down the ax, moved beside the chief, and threw his arm around Tate’s shoulder. “Here. Take one of me and the chief. I’ll pay you for it.”

“Huh?” Chief Tate leaned away and frowned at Drake. “What the hell for?”

“A memento. If I’m about to be fired, I’d like a picture of my old boss for my scrapbook.”

Chief Tate reared back and laughed. “I’m not going to fire your ass, Cameron. I probably should for taking such a dumb chance. This isn’t like the time the mayor heard about you saving a damn dog and was impressed. You won’t be getting a commendation for this one.”

The photographer grinned. “Wow. A commendation from the mayor! Now there’s something to smile about.”

The chief snorted. “Yeah, I told him to take off the word ‘bravery’ and make it a citation for stupidity.”

Shrugging one shoulder, Drake said, “It figures.” At least it didn’t sound like he was getting canned. That was a relief.

Chief Tate addressed the woman without looking at her. “Don’t encourage him. He risked his life for a damn pet. Cameron, you’re just lucky the mayor’s a big dog lover.”

The photographer got even more excited, if that were possible. “Oh, he is. I’ve photographed him, and he has pictures of his greyhounds right on his desk.”

“Is that right?” The chief didn’t sound impressed, despite his words. “Look, as soon as you finish up here, Cameron, come to my office.”

“Sure thing, chief.”

The photographer cozied up to Drake. She held out a card. “If you had a shirt on, I’d tuck this in your pocket.”

He took the card and glanced at it.

Suzanne Bloom

Blooming Great Photography


He smiled and she said, “Freeze.” Backing up a couple feet, she snapped a few more pictures. “There. Now I have what I want.”

Yeah, your phone number in my hand.


“I’ve got to do something to make this right, Claudia.” Bliss sat at her friend’s breakfast bar, running her fingers over the smooth granite.

Claudia took a sip of her coffee. “Look, he