Monster Smells & Other Thoughts

Ever think about how something or someone smells? Or how a monster takes in their environment? Well, if you’ve read The Saint George Chronicles smells are a HUGE thing for Xavior. He picks up on emotions and other information.

For dragons in my universe, it’s one of the ways they are able to navigate the world around them and understand their partners better. The relationship Xavior and Gregor have, even their working relationship, involves what Xavior smells more often than not. Sometimes Greg picks up on that too. Whether it annoys Greg at times, or it triggers a memory for him.

Sometimes romances talk about smells. In monster romances, I haven’t read much about how humans relate to their non-human mates, other than through body language and sex. Sometimes there is a mention of pheromones, usually with werewolf shifter stories, but the human is generally oblivious.

I made it a point for Xavior to constantly have a reoccurring theme about how he can smell emotions and his attraction to Greg. Point being that dragons can pick up on more than arousal, fear, and anger that most other shifters sense.

In Rare Temptations, I write about smells as well. One of the things that triggers the relationship between Freddie and Lee is how the demi-goddess has this underlying smell that attracts the dragon and makes her want to do any number of things, not the least of which is kiss her. This theme will continue into their next book where we find out more about this underlying smell and why dragons find it so potent.

As we enter the season for all things that smell, whether those are flowers, perfumes, candles, new spring growth, or lust filled dragon dens, I hope whatever you smell brings you joy and happiness. Here’s an excerpt from The Saint George Chronicles.

“Hey, mister, are you sad?” Terrance asked. The question sounded loud inside the quiet vehicle. Had he smelled something that prompted his question? Terrance was sitting the rear seat of the vehicle. I swiveled my chair slightly to look at him. His eyes darted from me to Greg.

I caught Greg’s attention and tilted my head toward Terrance. Greg set the autopilot and turned his seat to face the boy. I turned back to the vehicle console and took over driving while Greg talked.

“Something like that,” Greg said.

“Is it because you can’t shift?” Terrance asked.

I thought that was an odd way to ask if Greg was human. Terrance was old enough to know what humans smelled like. Maybe it was Greg’s ability that altered his smell? To me, he only smelled like Greg. A combination of sandalwood and sage combined with something slightly metallic. He could stand in a crowd and I’d know where he was by that alone.

“No,” Greg said, as he tried to smile. “Are you sad, Terrance?”

“Yes,” he said, though he didn’t smell sad. He smelled like he was planning something. Greg seemed willing to play along.

“Why are you sad?” The mild concern I heard in Greg’s voice made me smile. It didn’t surprise me that he was good with kids.

“We didn’t have ice cream,” Terrance replied.

Greg sighed and tossed his hands up with a shrug. “Well, I guess we’ll have to stop for ice cream then.” I almost laughed as I altered our course to add an ice cream place to our route. Greg turned back to the console to take over driving. He had a genuine smile on his face now. It was better than where the night had started, and I had Terrance to thank for that.

Terrance took less time to eat the two scoops of chocolate strawberry ice cream than we spent in the bathroom to clean him up. Between a cleansing spell for his clothes, and soap and water for his face and hands, we managed. When he let out a satisfied burp, we all laughed.

“Feel better?” Greg finished wiping off Terrance’s face as he gave an enthusiastic nod that belied his sleepy eyes. A few minutes after we returned to the vehicle, Terrance was fast asleep.

After another thirty minutes, we pulled up to a fabro-printed ranch-style house painted blue and white with a solar panel roof. The style was popular because the design was easy for commercial material printers to produce.

Greg stepped out of the vehicle, walked up to the front door, and knocked. When I looked back at Terrance, he had shifted into a medium bulldog, fully awake, with his face pressed to the vehicle window.

The kid smelled of happiness and a deep longing. When a person as tall as Greg answered and a slightly shorter person appeared next to them, Terrance started scratching at the door and whining. I got out, jogged around the vehicle, and opened the door for him. He bolted out of the vehicle, into the yard, and up the stairs into the arms of his parents before either adult could take a step toward the vehicle.

Greg shook hands with both of them as they thanked him, then closed the door. He walked back as he wiped at his face, though his lips were curved in a smile.

“Is everything okay?” I asked. Greg nodded as he came toward our vehicle.

“When Terrance bolted after catching a scent, they looked for him for the better part of a day, then reported him missing. They came home and didn’t leave in case he showed up. They were hoping he would remember his way home. It’s been a week since he took off.”

I shook my head. “He’s a good kid. I’m glad he’s home.”

“Yeah. Me too.” Greg got into the vehicle, and I followed. The silence returned, but the mood was lighter.

From the chapter Shifting Winds – The Saint George Chronicles

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