The Kiss of Change

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The last thing I remembered was the burning fire in my throat, scorching through my body as I coughed. Everything after that was black.

I opened my eyes to more darkness, not black, just dark. A few candles were lit around the room, and I realized I was in a large bed, a dark haired figure sitting on the bed next to me.

I reached out and touched his arm. Nisvārtha turned around and let out a sigh of relief when he saw me smiling, "You came back." he said.

I chuckled, "You make it sound like I was in a coma for a week." Then I frowned, "Wait, how long was I asleep?" I started to get nervous as I tried to sit up. "What happened? What room is this?"

"Calm down," he said, putting a gentle hand on my shoulder. "It has only been about twelve hours, Kendra. Everything is alright."

I sighed and leaned back against the pillows, "Great. What did happen then?"

Nisvārtha told me the whole story, beginning with me fainting and ending with how he healed me using his blood.

I groaned when I heard that, "Oh God, get me some water then so I can wash it out. Ugh, so gross!"

"Hold on for a second, Kendra." I looked at him and he took my face in his hands, his violet eyes intense. "I need you to stay calm, okay? Everything will be fine I promise, but you have to trust me."

My pulse started to speed up as I held his gaze, "What are you talking about?"

"I did not want it to come to this but you are running out of time." His eyes were open and scared. Pleading, begging for me to understand but I had no idea what it was. "The sooner it happens the better. I am so sorry Kendra." His voice cracked and his eyes looked misty. "Please forgive me. I am so sorry."

I was starting to get scared, "For what?"

"For this." And he kissed me.

A firework show exploded in my mind, making butterflies riot in my stomach. The fear vanished and all I could feel was pure bliss as his song roared in my head. His tongue entered my mouth, making it tingle with more sparks. The feeling moved down my throat and through my whole body, growing stronger until it wasn't amazing anymore, it hurt.

I broke away, gasping for air. What the hell is happening to me? I thought silently. The pain got worse and my body started to tremble and shake.

"What did you do?" I grunted through clenched teeth, barely able to glare at the devastated looking drake.

"I am sorry Kendra." Was all the bastard could say.

I tried to get out of the bed but I fell to the floor with a scream, sizzling fireworks tore through my limbs and fried my nerves. The door to the room burst open as something ripped through my back. Forcing another shrill scream from my throat.

"What did you do?" An enraged voice bellowed. I knew I should know this voice but the pain was too much for me to recognize him.

"I did what I had to," said the deeper velvet voice.

A snarl, "You didn't."

"Kendra?" a new voice, female. "Oh no."

"It has started," said another female, this voice harder than the other.

I was on my knees when something started growing from my tailbone, stretching my spine to an impossible length. I was groaning, screaming, and crying all at the same time. I probably sounded like I was in labor.

"It is going to be alright Kendra," said a soft tenor voice. "This is natural. Do not fight it."

"She cannot, even if she wanted to." A voice growled angrily. "Nisvārtha did it."

"Why?" one of the women asked.

I didn't hear the reply as I screamed again, my bones shifting. It felt like I was being broken from the inside. A battle raging within me.

Something touched me and the sound of strings, sax, and drums stabbed at my head. Someone was saying something softly but I shrieked at them, "Shut up shut up! Make the music stop! Get away!"

The music vanished but the pain in my head remained, worsening until it felt like a pair of daggers were driving themselves out of my skull. Other voices joined the madness that grated at my ears. My skin prickled underneath the pain of my bones shifting. My fingers felt like the nails were being pulled out. My spine felt like it was going to snap. My head gave an involuntary twitch and I shook my head, the ripples traveling down my body like a dog and ending with what I recognized as a tail.

"It is done." Someone said, and they were right, the pain subsided and my body relaxed. I was so exhausted that my legs collapsed beneath me. I wearily opened my eyes to see everything had sharpened. My nose was longer and a pale white. In my mouth I could feel many sharp teeth and my lips were different. My nose was stronger and I could pick out the individual scents of the people in the room. There were seven people. Two monks, Śānti and Gari, and the rest my friends. Everyone was staring at me in awe.

Nisvārtha looked very sad, his purple eyes deep with a hidden sorrow.

I lifted my head and felt that my neck was way longer and more flexible. My head was heavier and my ears twitched and moved on their own, capturing every tiny sound.

I looked at myself. My body was longer, covered in white furred scales just like Sanna and Nisvārtha. My back was taken up by enormous wings, each white feather tinged with gold. I moved them to be folded on my back almost without thinking. My arms and legs had changed, becoming thinner and ending with dainty claws. My forepaws had three fingers, one of them opposable like my thumbs, each ending with a sharp claw. My rear paws were the same but lacked the opposable digit, three regular toes each with a curved, ivory claw.

With my wings folded comfortably on lay back I could see the long tail I had grown. It was really long, the end so thin I was reminded of a whip. I could feel the individual muscles of the tail, allowing me to use it as deftly as a hand, should I need to.

I recognized the furred scales, the dainty claws, the feathered wings. I could feel a pair of horns on my head, and a mane of hair flowing down my neck. I knew what those features meant, and while it was completely unexpected, I couldn't help but feel like I should have known. I, Kendra McLane, am a drake.

I met the eyes of the dragons in the room, I knew I was going to pass out in a second so I took the chance to say one word, Surprise!

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