They were damned either way. Whether the lesser kings accepted the proposal or not.
The word rolled around in his mind. It made his gut churn and left a bad taste in his mouth. Coal looked at each of the four males, from one to the next. All of them were powerful specimens. Pure royal blood ran through their veins. Their golden chest markings were testament to that. As was his own. He felt such pride at being a royal prince, at being a fire dragon.
Granite, the earth king had dark hair and even darker eyes, like polished onyxes, much like his own. There were also flecks of black within his chest marking, to show that he was an earth dragon. Of his personality, it was known far and wide that he was both strong and a hothead.
Then there was Torrent, the water king. His hair was so light it was almost white. His eyes as blue as the ocean itself. Flecks of green could be found in his golden chest markings to represent their element familiarity. The male was excessively arrogant but likeable, an odd combination.
Thunder had eyes the color of amethyst jewels. As the air king the blue flecks within his golden markings were definitely prominent. Though normally calm, the male looked agitated at the moment. This meeting needed to run smoothly. Coal only hoped that the males would accept the proposal put forward by his brother, the fire king. Blaze was the strongest of the dragons. He had eyes the color of emeralds. He, like Coal and the rest of the fire dragons, could breathe fire, which gave them a superior advantage over the others. Their golden markings were pure.
The air king held the platinum goblet with such a grip that Coal was sure it would crush at any moment. His face was red. Scales were visible through the golden tattoo on his chest, making more blue bleed through. A sure sign that he was moments away from changing.
“No,” Thunder growled. The word was accompanied by a billow of smoke. It left his mouth in a lazy, curling tendril, at complete odds with the male who expelled it. The air king was fire breathing mad. Such a pity for him that a bit of useless smoke was all he could produce. Thunder had better watch his step. Blaze looked relaxed as he leaned back in his chair, but Coal knew better. His brother was not as calm as he seemed. The slight tic in his jaw was evidence of that.
The air king clenched his teeth together for a few long moments, clearly trying to get himself back under control. Best he do that, and quickly. Blaze would not tolerate such outbursts, even from another king. “You can forget about having one of the air females. The agreement was, your sister for one of my tribe. A fair trade.”
The earth and water kings moved restlessly in their chairs, as did the princes at their sides. They were not privy to the arrangement that had been made between the fire and the air kingdoms. Had the agreement worked out, it would have put both fire and air at the top of the food chain, with their own tribe, fire, as the solid leaders over the four kingdoms. As it stood though, they were still at the head of the game despite the deal falling apart at the last minute.
Blaze twisted the ring on his finger. “I will agree to the three of you taking human mates on the condition that I get to have one of the fertile dragon females.” His green eyes blazed. He dropped his hands back at his sides. There was not a single sign of tension in his body. Not true. There it was again, that tic. Only, you had to know where to look and if you blinked once too often you might miss it.
Thunder laughed. There was no humor to the sound. “You are an arrogant bastard.” The male turned serious in an instant. “We are going to take humans whether you like it or not.”
“Do that, and I will destroy you.” Blaze’s voice was even. “That goes for all of you.” He let his gaze go from one king to the next before returning to Thunder.