Jin, Bianna, and the narrator (Aud) belong to the Dragons Next Door setting.
“There’s theoretical classes, of course.” Jin was talking fast. I tried not to smile; he liked to talk fast when he didn’t think his father was going to give him something. It worked on Sage, half because Sage didn’t notice it was happening, and then the other half because he noticed and was amused by it.
I was not Sage, but it amused me as well. I let him go on.
“There’s classes in everything, and Bianna’s already taking classes in the local college. And, being here, being so close to Smokey Knoll, you know that the college here is good in those things. But there’s all of those classes, and they only cover a small amount, and it’s all theory, you know, none of it is solid practice, and even the ones that do field work won’t let someone Bianna’s age – or mine – go on a field mission.”
“And you think I ought to know better than college professors?” I found it interesting that Bianna was simply listening. Her back was straight and she was watching me, not Jin. This was a girl to watch out for – or one to welcome into the family. Sage and I had been arguing that since we met her.
“I know you know better than the professors. The question is whether or not you’ll trust Bianna, not whether or not you’ll take a teenager on a field mission. After all, you’ve taken me and even Junie on trips.” He held up his hands. “I know it’s different. We’re your kids. You’ve been training us since we were born. but Bianna doesn’t have that. Her parents are human… as far as we can tell. She’d never even met a pixie until she came along with me on my birthday, much less a dragon. And the field is larger than you can handle on your own for a city, Mom, you’ve said it yourself, large and growing. You’ll need more than just me and Junie – if she wants to – and there’s going to be my time with the Tower.”
My boy knew how to talk. I nodded to Jin. Watch carefully, or welcome into the family. Possibly both. “And what does Bianna want?”
Bianna cleared her throat. “I want to learn, ma’am. I mean, I was considering social work for a career, but then Jin told me that the other races have almost no representation at all, and it occurred to me… maybe I could combine them. But I don’t know anything except what I’ve read in books.”
I knew everything the paperwork of a bureaucratic city could provide on Bianna, but that was not, by far, everything one could learn. “Perhaps we both could benefit from some hands-on learning.”
And if my son shot me a warning glance, well, that was his right. He was welcome to whatever relationships and loves he wanted, but when he introduced her to the family business… then it was time for some hands-on learning indeed.
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