Zizny gave me a look that I couldn’t really read; this one had nothing of humanity in it. It tilted its head at an angle, to look at me with one bright eye, its nostrils widening and its jaw dropping just a little. “The Pumpkin and the Black Tower have secrets. This I can understand. But what of Sage and Audrey?”
I felt my cheeks warming; dragons did not blush, but I was sure that this one knew what the coloring meant. “We’ve been together for a long time. It’s hard to hide anything from anyone for that long… it all comes out in the wash.” Human idiom on top of human body language; I knew better. I blamed it on my nerves.
“Like stains.” The jaw dropped a little more. “And so you have no secrets from one another?”
“Mm…” I hedged, wishing for a tall hedge and not just a short wall between us. The look Zizny was pinning me with seemed entirely predatory, and its front claws were twitching. “There are Pumpkin and Black Tower things, I’m sure. We don’t tend to poke there much. And there’s my family – but Sage knows most of that now.”
“Most? Now?” Zizny’s wings flared a little bit. I regained my calm, surprising myself at how quickly it came back when I felt threatened.
“Most. My family are – well, not the sort of people you talk about in polite company. I had to explain quite a bit of that right off – right from the beginning. Human weddings are family affairs, after all, and not having any family to stand up with you is a little unusual.”
“Yes,” Zizny nodded. “That would be so in a dragon ‘wedding’ as well.” Its wings settled down on its back. “So you are ashamed of your family?”
“Oh,” I sighed, looking down at my toes. “Oh, by the seventh iteration, yes.”
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