Simeon: Dragon’s Savior Release Day & Giveaway

 

The dragon king, Anthony, entrusted Brynhilde with a quest. He had foreseen his demise and needed a reason for Bryn to find his and Jacob’s sons. A glimpse in the future had shown him that Bryn would be mated to his son Akassa, and Jacob’s son, Simeon, so he entrusted her with an ancient book. Her mission was to seek out the new dragon king when the old castle was nearly complete.

Bryn was a protector of dragons and a fierce faerie warrior. She had one weakness. If she was claimed, she had to follow the orders of whoever claimed her—even if it went against what she knew to be right and just. Over the centuries, she had been owned by many warriors and kings. But as time passed, few knew of these ancient laws and Bryn had managed to reman unclaimed—until now. Bryn had been ordered to kill the dragons.

The Dragon Slayers had all but given up on their quest to slay the dragons and the new dragon king, but when Hudson sought them out, he breathed new life into the ancient organization. Their thirst to spill blood was great.

Asher knew what Bryn had been ordered to do, and that she was mated to his brother Simeon and Akassa. The question was if Bryn could follow her heart and ignore her sworn duty. Would they all perish by the sword of this powerful faerie? Find out in the final episode of The Dragon Savior Series—Simeon.

 

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For Simeon Dragon Savior

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Two Men Joined By Fate…

Asher and Kiaran were joined at birth by the dying decree of the Dragon King―literally. Asher had his own bit of magic as a 3,000 year old immortal, and Kiaran was his dragon shifter. Out in society Kiaran was a part of Asher―absorbed into Asher’s body―only being able to separate in dragon form. At their birth home, the two men could exist apart from each other as men. They protected each other, and would until their dying breath if it ever came to that. They shared everything…that is until Essie came along….

Essie was doing her best to hide from a mother that didn’t even recognize her own daughter. The witch had poisoned her with a scratch and if Essie wasn’t healed soon she’d die…. Sick or not she didn’t want anything to do with that handsome, overbearing barbarian, Asher, nor that rude dragon that protected him. She was doing just fine on her own.

But Asher had other things on his mind and after a while brings Essie around to his way of thinking and makes her his wife, but Kiaran brought up a valid point―Essie was his mate too….

Could Essie find it in her heart to love both men equally? To share the bed of both―together?

Asher’s five brothers and their dragons watched the scenario unfold with bated breaths. The subject had never been broached, and all their futures hung on the outcome…

 

 

Lindsey Decker is hiding in the woods when the dragon shifter, Casdon, finds her on their property. She’s tired, hungry, in a lot of pain, and absolutely determined not to ask for any help. She just needs to stay hidden before that idiot Cox finds her and probably kills her this time. The cave she found will provide some protection if she doesn’t freeze to death first.

Jedidiah Benson and his dragon shifter Zak are at odds. When Casdon tells the family of the injured woman hiding in the caves, Zak knows immediately upon finding her that the girl is his and Jedidiah’s mate, but Jedidiah refuses to even look at the girl proclaiming he wouldn’t know what to do with a mate. Zak has no reservations and knows if they don’t do something fast she’ll die.

Lindsey wakes between two gorgeous men and isn’t sure if she’s dreaming or still in a fevered state. The things she wants to do with these men, both of them, should feel wrong, but instead feels it’s her destiny.

Lindsey is destined for more than two mates. Lindsey is a beacon for the lost dragons. It’s time for their return, but it’s still dangerous for them to do so. They’re being hunted, and no one is safe…

 

 

Ariannona has but one simple task to complete and the long journey she began 3000 years ago will be ended. Her reward? She was promised that she would see the king and queen again.

Elam’s not sure what to think about the beautiful woman coming back to the house with his counterpart Casdon. She has a message for Casdon alone, and the message itself makes no sense to Casdon. One thing is clear though, she is Elam and Casdon’s mate.

Ariannona expects to die once her message is delivered, and isn’t happy to learn that the former king and queen tricked her to get her there.

A dragon hunter is still loose on nearby lands and none of the dragons are safe, especially Casdon. He’s taking shots at anything he sees moving.

 

Lelani Wayne trusted no one but her familiar, Roger. And even he, at times, got on her last nerve. She didn’t like being around people. People made her nervous, and when a witch as powerful as she was got nervous, it could be disastrous for anyone in the vicinity.

A powerful witch, Erin Wayne, knew she was going to die, and reached out to the closest being she could find to take her powers and memories. She connected with Kiaran, Asher’s dragon counterpart. The jolt of the transfer took all the Benson’s to their knees.

The Benson’s were on a mission to finish the reconstruction of the castle. Shane, and his dragon counterpart, Keion, were doing their share to make it happen. But when Shane saw his very pregnant sister-in-law, Essie, bringing lunch, and a stranger approaching her fast, he couldn’t get to Essie fast enough. The baby was coming—now.

Lelani was looking for Kiaran to get her sister’s memories and warn him that the Herald, a group of witch hunting zealots, might have traced the memories and be after Kiaran as well. What she didn’t expect to find was Shane and Keion, two very big, handsome, virile men, invading her personal space claiming to be her mate. That made her nervous….

 

 

Gracie couldn’t believe it, she’d been attacked by a griffin. The pain was so horrible that she’d have to get better to die. Maybe it was better this way. Maybe death would end the tremendous grief in her heart. At least in death she wouldn’t have to listen to her sister Cora’s constant harping.

Gideon and his dragon counterpart Ominia weren’t sure how to handle Gracie. She was their mate and they were happy to have found her, but her intense grief over the loss of her family had them stumped on how to proceed.

The encounter with the griffin had more effect on Gracie than she knew. His magic now flowed within her. Gracie could now see and speak with the dead, and the former king, Anthony had a message for the new King of Dragons, Asher.

Now thrust in a world of dragons and magic, Gracie’s head was spinning. And how was she to handle two very handsome and amorous mates? Things like that just didn’t happen to her.

 

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Prologue

Anthony rubbed his head. If this kept up, he was going to need a powder for his pain. He looked at Eve when she sighed heavily. They were getting nowhere fast in this conversation, and he wasn’t sure what to do about it. Looking at the woman before him, he tried once more to get her to stand up and come closer. Sometimes being king made things unbearably difficult. “Brynhilde, I would wish to talk to you secretly. If you stay there, plastered to the floor for the entire time, I’m not going to be able to speak to you properly. Come. Let us speak.” She didn’t move, not even to look up at him. “Damn it, woman. I’m needing something from you.” “You wish to claim me.” He didn’t want to. It hadn’t been in their plans to do anything like that. To claim her, to make her his servant, would be wrong on so many levels.

“My lord, you know what I am and what I do. I cannot, without going against my laws, the ones that you put into place, speak to you where my head is higher than your own. I am but a warrior, not an equal to you or anyone.” “Show yourself.” Anthony looked at Eve when she spoke. It was unlike her to be so hard, her voice full of command. “Stand and show yourself, all of yourself, to us. Now, Brynhilde. That way we can judge your worth to us.

” The woman stood, and Anthony realized how young she looked. He knew her to be old and powerful, but the appearance of her youth startled him speechless. Not so his lovely mate. She was rarely speechless, not when it mattered the most. And this did, more than anything they’d done thus far. “You will show us your warrior. Then we’ll talk about claiming. If need be we will, but for now, I wish to see what you have to offer.” The woman raised her brow but said nothing. Brynhilde wasn’t one to fuck with, he knew this. She was as powerful as she was hateful. He was glad that he’d not have to be mated to her.

“Where is this supposed warrior that we have heard so much about?” Her arms stretched above her head. He knew it was for show…or perhaps she had been taught to bring her magic that way and it had stuck with her. But he could see the magic gather around her and stepped back. This was going to be epic, and he was excited for it, but also, if he was honest with himself, a little frightened. Light danced along her body…sparkled, he supposed. Her hair, dark before, turned a bright red, fiery he thought. And as it lengthened, tangling with her body, wrapping her up, her armor began to show itself. Anthony knew now this was for them, a show of power and force. As her armor strengthened and wrapped around her, wings appeared behind her, as brilliant a green as her eyes, of which nothing of her body showed but that. She would and could fight an army now, and come out on the other side as the victor. The woman oozed strength, confidence, and magic. He would only want to be on her side. To be on the other would mean that all was lost. Brynhilde was epic.

When her show of force was complete, she flittered above the floor before raising her sword and sticking it deep into the stone floor as she came down in her stance. He would never go by that spot without thinking of her, however little time he had left. Her chest plate was silver, a hue so bright that it was nearly blinding. There was no crest upon it, and there wouldn’t be until she was claimed by another force. As she stood there, her wings spread wide and high, her hair, the massive amount that hadn’t become her armor, ever flowing behind her head, Anthony was struck by her beauty. And the scar that went from her left eye to her chin did nothing to take away from that. He stepped forward enough to touch her, but stopped when she raised her sword.

“Do ye claim me as your own?” Anthony had a moment where he was slightly afraid, not of her personally, but of what she’d do to his son once she went to him. His son, and that of Jacob, would know a real kind of devotion should she fall in love with the boys. Or she would slaughter them. “Brynhilde, where is your family?” He saw the pain there, the flicker of it as it passed over her face. He wanted to tell his Eve to stop, but before he could, she spoke again. “You have no one claiming you…you could have a family. Where are your parents? Sisters and brothers?” “Dead, my lady.

” Anthony felt compelled to hold her, to wrap her up in his arms so that the pain would be his as well. To lessen it for her. “They were killed when I was at war. My master then…my master did not care for me and my rules, so he had them all murdered. I have found all but one of them, the ones that killed my family, and when I find him, he’ll suffer like no other for his orders to murder them. He committed a cowardly act by not being there himself, and now he will pay as well.” “I am sorry.” Brynhilde looked at him when he spoke softly. “I am truly sorry for all that you have lost.

It would hurt me beyond words to have lost all that I love.” He would, and soon, if things were to go as they were foretold to them. As he moved to his seat beside Eve, he took her hand into his. It was well past time they asked of her the favor that would put her with their son and Jacob’s. “There is a book that needs to go to the future king.” The wings flittered again, not enough to lift her up this time, but they moved all the same. Anthony continued just as Tinsel, Brynhilde’s brownie and companion, came into the room. “There will be a great war, one where you will be hidden away so that you will not have to pledge allegiance against this kingdom. I do this for you so that you can avenge your family when all is done. And it will be over someday, just not in our lifetime.” “You are an immortal, same as me.” She dropped her head, asking for forgiveness for pointing out what he already knew. Anthony walked to her then and lifted her face up to his. She was tall, and he could see the fear there in her eyes. “You cannot die, my lord king. I will fight with you.”

“‘Tis too late for that, I fear.” She watched his face, seeing what no other, save his mate, could see there…the future, and what would happen to them. “I need for you to take him this book. His name is Asher, called that from the ash of this castle when it has fallen. Someday the castle will be repaired…the magic that we leave behind will help
him rebuild, to make things right again for all who would dwell here. The book and all that it represents will be in your hands.” “And this son…what will he demand from me in return for this favor?” Anthony told her nothing, but that he was going to be as good a king, if not better than him. “I do not believe that, my lord. You are a good and kind man. Your wife too. How can this be?” “He is part of me. Of us. And his mate is as strong as he will be.” Anthony had her attention now, and thought he had to do it now or it would be all for nothing.

“This thing I ask of you, it is the final key, the last stone that will be placed in the castle. If you do not wish to help me without me claiming you, then I will understand. I will be disappointed, child, but I will understand.” Eve moved to stand behind the warrior. Her armor was as strong as his own scales, her blood as cold as his. But she could use more, would need more in the coming years, and he did not want her harmed in any way. While he touched her, Eve did the same from behind. The sharing of their magic only took a second or two, but the transformation to the warrior was profound. She stood there before him, and he knew that she was in a great deal of pain. But as he watched her, nothing moved on her; her eyes did not blink to show that she hurt.

“You have given me too much.” He shook his head. Her voice was rough, like even that was in pain. “You have. I can feel it through my body, like blood rushing from an open wound. Why would you do such a thing to me?” “You will need it, this I promise you. Once you have given the book to Asher, when the castle he rebuilds is nearly complete, you will never have to be claimed again by a man that wishes only for your sword.” She nodded and then staggered slightly. “Careful now. You are going to need to hibernate for a while at least.” Touching her armor now, the chest plate that protected her heart, he put his mark upon it. Not that she’d see it, not yet, but it would be there for Simeon and his own child, her mates, to see.

To know that she came to them with his blessings. The other women, some of them already on their path, others not yet born, would come to the men that would be family to him. They’d make them stronger still, love them beyond words, and give them a part of their magic and love that would sustain them forever. But this one, this warrior of the fairies, had been the hardest one to convince. Her heart would be hardened by the time they came together, his children and her, and sadly, she would hurt more than the others when she came to them. Not with her sword, but it would cut just as deeply and painfully. Stepping back when she seemed to be able to stand on her own two feet, he watched her stretch again, this time trying out her newfound power. After she left them, the book in her hand—to rest, she told him— he sat in his chair and thought of this woman. “She will be furious in her fighting.

And so loving when that is called for too. Of all the women that will come to our yet born children, I think she will be the best of them all.” Anthony nodded but said nothing yet to his queen. “You worry overly much.
What’s done is done for them. There is nothing else we can do but to ready things here for them. We have done more than we should have, love, but they’ll be safe now.” “I so wish I could see them.” Eve said that she did as well. “There will be children of them. Grandchildren of ours that we will not spoil or touch. It is the saddest thing next to losing you, I think. Not being able to see them grow and become men. Having their own young and playing with them.” “Someday, we’ll look down on them and smile. Our children will live. That is all we’ve ever wanted for them.

” He agreed; it was all they had thought of since seeing visions of their own deaths. “Anthony, what will become of her? You know, do you not?” “I do. I am saddened by the things she must do and will do to survive. But she will. And while she’ll be stronger for it, it will harden her heart too.” He looked at his one true love. “Let us talk of more pleasant things. Take a lunch to the lake and make love there. The babes will be safe for an hour or two.” “Yes, I’d like that very much.” He nodded, standing up. “You have talked to Tinsel? He will know what is going on and help her?” “I will when we return. He will do this, I know, but it will hurt them both that we need him to do this one more thing for us.” Eve nodded as they made their way to the kitchen to get some food. “We have gained so much from this, but are losing so much more.” “Yes, but the safety of our children and those of Sally and Jacob will be more than we could have hoped for during this time, don’t you think?” He did and told her that. “I love you, my love. More than I could ever be able to tell you. You are my heart, my soul.”

~~~ Tinsel came back just as she was burrowing into the ground. Bryn watched him fly around making things right for her before she told him to sit down and be quiet. He did so, but he pouted about it. She asked him where he’d gone. “I will be here until you have awakened. I wished to gather me some things up. They’re in my pocket.” He had a magical pocket. He could carry a man in it should it be necessary. Or her, which he had once before. “Do you wish for me to sing to you?” “No.” Clearing her throat, fearful that he would sing anyway, she tried again. “I’m ready to rest now. And your singing might keep me awake. I think the king gave me a bit of something to pull me under faster.” He nodded and looked around them. She wanted him to rest as well, but he would not. And he’d more than likely sing too, once she was asleep. Bryn felt sorry for the creatures around them, ones that could not get away from his noise. Tinsel could not sing.

Words he didn’t know he made up, sometimes making the song he sang seem more silly than heartfelt. And he had no tone. Nor could he carry a tune. The man was as deaf to the music he sang as she wished she was when he did it. Closing her eyes, she smiled.
“My lady, when you wake, what is our plan then? Did you have an idea to stay here?” Yawning, she told him that she thought she’d be better off here than anywhere else. “Mayhap. But should you like to travel a bit, that would be good too. We could keep ahead of the men who would want you to fight for them.” “You could be right. I’ll speak of it with you when I rise.” Yawning again, she adjusted the rocks that covered her, disturbing the small creatures that had bedded down before her. “Tinsel, you are my one and only friend…you know that, do you not? I have no need for others in my life, save you.”

“I thank you for that, my lady. But you have no one else in your life because you have a sword at the ready when anyone gets close. Think of the friends we might have should you not be in competition all the time.” She laughed, as did he. “We are good for each other, neither of us needing much. We have all that we can carry because I was gifted a pocket, and when we are fighting, we are stronger than the others and can live for another day.” Living another day did not have as much appeal to her as it did him. When she’d had her family around, a place she could go and be loved, it had been her greatest joy. Now…well, now there wasn’t much for her to be happy about. She did her job, and did it well, then rested until someone else found her. There would never be death for her.

Bryn could weaken to the point where she would need to hibernate, but not die. It was what made her so sought after. Wounds that she received in the line of duty—for one king or another—had been so horrendous that she would be down for several months…once a whole year. But death, as had claimed her family, her sisters, and brother, hadn’t been her right. “Is the king aware of what you did to your last master?” Bryn told Tinsel that he more than likely knew. “Yes, you could be right on that. Your…. My lady, if you don’t mind me saying so, you were very violent toward him and his men. Not that I blame you…I loved your family as well. But if he had seen only a bit of what I did in the end, he might not have you coming around to…. He might not have wanted your help.”

“Nay. Like everyone, he only wants me for my sword, so I will do this. He thinks that I will not; it was there, in his head, that I’d not do this for him. So, I will, just because of that. But a book? How does he think it will be needed to rebuild a castle? I think he only jests me.” Sleep was getting harder to fight, so she stopped. “Tinsel, when I wake, we’ll go on a grand adventure, you and me. We’ll go and see the world.” “Yes, I should like that.” His voice sounded so sad that she wanted to ask him what the matter was. But sleep took her, as profoundly as the magic had from the king and queen. When she woke, Bryn lay very still. She didn’t know where she was, what time of the day it was, or what she’d find when she moved out of her hiding place. There were voices…she could hear them, but didn’t understand what they were saying. It wasn’t until Tinsel spoke that she calmed a little. “You have been asleep, my lady, for more than a few days.” She asked him how long in the same whispered voice that he had used. “A decade. No more than that, I think.”

“A decade? You are sure?” He said that he was, very much so. “I don’t understand. How was I to rest for that long of time? I was not wounded.” “I know not, my lady warrior, but I was beginning to worry some.” He appeared in front of her, his voice still very low. “There are others above us. They fight even now. Should you rise up, there is a chance that one of them will claim you. I think you should not join them. Both of them will want you, and nothing will be solved as they fight for your sword.” “I shall stay here then.” He thought that was a good idea. “Tinsel, I have been here for a decade. Yet I feel as if I have only rested but a moment. What did the king do to me?” “As I have said, I know not. But I have some sad news, my lady. He is dead. As is his lady wife.” Her heart broke for the couple. While she didn’t understand them, she had liked them a little. “The castle is in ruin. The townspeople still fight over the lands left unattended. There is much fighting between neighbors, and even families. It is not a time that we should be in. After all this time, there is no one to rule, and I fear for all.”

“The child of the king, has someone saved it?” He said that he hadn’t heard of anyone that claimed the child, or any word if it had lived through the fire. “This might be all for naught, Tinsel. Their child might not have lived for me to give this book to. Whatever will happen to him should he be out there?” “He will come, this I know. The king said that he could see into the future, and he would have seen that his child lived.” She nodded and asked about the ability to move out of her place. “Let me check for you. I am glad to have you awake now. I have seen so much. I have even worked on my singing for you. I know a great many tunes now to lull you to rest.” When she was finally free from her sleeping place, she knew that she’d been not just hibernating, but she had been becoming more. She was stronger than ever. Her armor was thicker on her body, and she could hide it with just a thought. Changing her appearance had been easy for her before, but now she only had to think of something and it was changed. There wasn’t even a drain on her magic to hold herself in another form.

Looking at Tinsel, she asked him what she needed to know. Anything that would keep them from being claimed right away. “Everything, my lady. The castle is indeed fallen. There was much fighting and deaths. I have seen so much while you lay in your slumber.” She told him she was sorry. “No need for that. You have become more than before, haven’t you? And I think that good, for not just you, but for all mankind, should they survive this. It is terrible. But you are well?” “Yes. The magic of the king and queen together has made me able to rest less, I think. Even my sword is stronger. I can feel my blood rushing over me, making me stronger still. But they are dead. I thought…well, I assumed that when they were killed my magic would go with them.” He flew up to her shoulder and sat down. “We should leave this place, Tinsel. I do not want to be caught up in a battle that I know nothing about.”

As they made their way through the woods and beyond, all she could think about was the child that had not lived. Just as she was moving toward a home of some worth, she saw the children in the yard and watched them for a bit. They were big boys, all three of them, and she wondered who they belonged to. Turning away to make her way to the next town over, she was seen by another of the boys, this one smaller than the others. He didn’t speak to her, just stared. Realizing that he could only see what she wanted him to—a woman, not the warrior that she was—Bryn moved away from him and the house to find a safer place. But his face, the one that looked up at her with such innocence, made her heart twist up in pain. Her brother had such a look when he’d been alive. Paul had been her friend and her brother. She’d loved her sisters as well, but they were such little girls, all of them worried for their hair or some such thing. But Paul had been someone that she could talk to, come to when she needed a hug. One that didn’t care if she mussed him up with mud or more. Bryn thought that she’d miss him the most. He was the best little boy she’d ever known. It took them four days to travel to the next village over. There was great strife all over, people wanting to come to the lands and take them over. No one could…there was magic all around the place. But she knew that someday, someone would come and break it down, and she wanted nothing to do with it but handing him the book. If he still lived. “My lady, how about here?”

They were far away from the ruined castle, yet could still see smoke curling from the smaller fires that had been homes of the villagers. Even after all this time, the fires that burnt there had not stopped burning. “I can get us some dinner and we can see about a home for us. Temporary, of course, but it will be nice to rest for a bit. And to have a roof over our heads. It will be better than the stone you laid upon, don’t you think?” Bryn had forgotten that he’d been awake when she wasn’t, watching over her so that no one would bother her. He could have awoken her, she knew this, but he hadn’t so that she could be ready. Ready for what, she didn’t know, but Bryn knew that something or someone would come soon. “This is fine.” He nodded and set to work finding dinner. While he was gone she thought of a little house, just big enough for the two of them, and was surprised when it started to build for them. The ground moved, the trees felled themselves for the walls. Furniture was built for them, as well as a bed and a table. And when Tinsel returned, she told him what she’d done.

“The magic of the king and queen. It was said that they could work the elements when they needed. They must have passed some along to you. This is good. We’ll be safe here for a while.” He took the berries into the home and came out smiling. “You might have thought of your empty belly too. There is much in the way of foodstuffs. You have done well, my lady. And I, for one, will enjoy the fresh flowers that are set upon the table for me.”
Bryn helped him with the house, moving things around to the way they wanted. She put magic around the place too, to keep others from finding them. She thought she could live here forever when they settled in the bed that night, but knew that she’d not be able to. Bryn needed to keep moving or else she would be captured. And as much as she wanted to use her new powers, her new sword too, she wasn’t ready to shed any more blood just yet. There had been enough of it for years to come, she thought. The next morning, she was in the kitchen having some tea when her little friend came by to see her. He was commenting on the lovely home when she remembered something. Turning to him, she asked. “Tinsel, you have the book still.

He patted his pocket. “Good. We’ll set up a plan, a pack to grab when we need to move, and we’ll keep atop it too, so that we never lose it. Should we do that, I don’t know what will happen to the world ahead. I think we should load your pocket too. With foodstuff that cannot spoil. A few wraps for bandages as well. Not too heavy for you, but enough to get us started if we have to go quickly.” “I will hold it all, my lady. And keep it safe. This is a good plan. I shall work on some meat to dry, as well as some herbs for our sup should we run.” He sounded so sure that she wanted to ask him why he was. Tinsel wasn’t ever sure about anything. Even if rain was falling upon his head while he stood there, he would doubt his own mind. “Shall I make us a meal?” As before, she let it go. Bryn might well talk to him later about it, but for now her belly was growling at its emptiness, and she wanted to look around. With so much going on, there was a quiet that made her nervous. She did wonder, too, when the castle would be rebuilt. She wanted to get this over with for the king. They talked for a long while, him telling her what he’d seen, how he’d kept her safe. She was sure that some of it was less than what he said, but she didn’t mind. Bryn doubted greatly that he’d slayed an army of men in her absence, as well as caught large fish with his bare hands. But she loved this little man, and he had kept her safe. She just hoped that she could keep him equally as safe in the coming years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana The English Dragon Release Day & Giveaway

 

The injured women in the bed, Emerald, had been poisoned with lead. Dana could smell it on her and he wondered why Danburn hadn’t. With Danburn being the king of the dragons he should have been able to smell it right off, or at least Dana thought so anyway. With the woman’s surly temper Dana should have left her there to suffer alone, but he could smell his mate on her. Since Em was an emerald dragon he deduced that his mate must be another gem to compliment his diamond.

Sapphire had been summoned with the rest of her sisters, Ruby and Opal, to Em’s side. The young girl, Carmine had powerful magic that could extract the lead from Em, but she wasn’t strong enough to get it all out on her own. The sisters would have to combine their magic with Carmine’s or Em wouldn’t survive.

Sapphire knew instantly that Dana was her mate and she wasn’t thrilled about it either. She and her sisters had been around for thousands of years, why did a mate have to muddy the waters now?

Dana wanted to take it slow. They had the rest of their lives to get to know each other. He wanted to court her and ease into the relationship. They were both immortal, so time was on their side, right? Melville James had other ideas. If he couldn’t have the emerald dragon he’d just take the sapphire. After all, her mate hadn’t claimed her yet, and by dragon law that made her easy pickings.

 

 

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Danburn English is the ninth earl of the English castle. He and his dragon alter ego have been on this earth for a very long time. Danburn is accustom to his orders being followed to the letter, no questions asked, so when this feisty young woman bucks his authority he is beyond angry.

Kendrick Barrera can’t seem to get caught up. Every time she turns around, her sister is in trouble again. Now, because of her sister’s new mess, she’s being evicted and has nowhere to go.

Danburn’s intentions were to defend her honor, but when Kendrick intervenes, she steps in front of a punch intended for her mouthy landlord. Now Danburn has to step back and take a good long look at himself, and he doesn’t much like what he sees.

Kendrick doesn’t care for the overbearing lord of the manor and makes no bones about telling him so either. No one, especially him, is going to tell her what to do or how to act or dress.

There is something about the feisty woman that has touched Danburn’s heart. She has a rare honesty and bravery that has him take notice. A woman like that is hard to find and should be protected and cherished. The chemistry is there, they’ve both felt it, but controlling his mouth just might get in the way of winning Kendrick’s heart….

 

Cassie had just arrived in Danburn’s territory and she knew as a dragon she had to report to him. Whether she liked it or not, she’d gone from one ruling male, her father, to another. Being a female dragon, and unmated, she felt cursed for her lot.

Everette Welsh, Rett to his friends, was having a hard time making ends meet. He was a good attorney, but it seemed to do him little good. His good friend, Danburn, insisted he quit his job and come work for him. Rett had no intentions of taking Danburn up on his offer, but when his boss called him into his office and was demanding that he apologize for threatening a man who blackmailing him, the words “I quit” spilled from his mouth without thinking. However, once said, he felt better for it.

Rett found himself on the wrong end of a shotgun blast, and Cassie gave a bit of herself to save him. There were only three conditions of taking dragon’s blood that a human would survive, and the other two didn’t apply to him. Rett and Cassie were mates.

Only two things stood in their way: Rett’s obnoxious mother, and Cassie’s father, a lethal combination…

 

 

Quinn Langley knew her mother didn’t have long to live. Soon it would just be her and her little sister, Carmine. Nearly recuperated from her own injuries, Quinn knew the first order of business would be to find a job and get out of Danburn and Kendrick’s hair.

Danburn had invited his friends to his home to spend the holidays, and that included his good friend, Hanson McClain. Hanson’s parents had run off and left the estate in a shamble and near financial ruin. It had taken Hanson months to repair the damage, and he was ready for a break.

Quinn had no idea that her cousin, Kendrick, was mated to a dragon, and that she and her sister were the only humans in the house. And now, the handsome stranger, Hanson, also a dragon, had claimed that she was his mate. It was time to leave. The ever practical, Quinn didn’t want solutions just handed to her on a silver platter. She’d make it on her own. But in life things don’t always go as planned. Like it or not, Hanson’s parents were a problem she’d be forced to deal with, and she discovered her sister, Carmine, had abilities Quinn didn’t quite understand.

Thrust head first into a world of immortals, Quinn found she had a whole new set of problems. Now, the first order of business would be to protect her little sister and hopefully not die in the process.

 

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Em was exhausted, but more than that, she was terrified as well. To be in the house of the king was unnerving, but the way that everyone kept coming in to check on her was also making her afraid. Like instead of checking on her, they were making sure that she wasn’t harming the household and the people there. She looked at Sebastian when he growled low. “What is it?” Someone comes, he told her. “Well, that’s not at all helpful. People have been coming in and out all day long. It would be easier for you to say that no one is out there.” The door opened and a man she’d not met before stood there. He didn’t enter the room, but he did watch her. Asking him what his deal was, he told her nothing but continued to wait. Sitting up in the bed cost her, but she thought it was worth it to have him go away. Which he did not. “My name is Dana Blankenship. You are an emerald dragon, fittingly called Emerald.” She nodded. “Your gryphon is called Sebastian and he is not one to mess with. He’s been caring for you for many decades. You ask yourself why I know this. Well, the household has spoken of nothing else but the beautiful woman who is an emerald dragon. Oh, and her sidekick, Sebastian.” He was very handsome. His face was hard, but she knew that when he smiled, like he was right now, he could not just open doors, but women would swoon and men would be jealous. He was a man that people paid attention to. She was not going to be charmed by him though. “Yes, so what? You know what everyone in the house does, big deal.” He nodded, then shook his head. “You’re getting on my last nerve, and if you knew anything about me, you’d know that I don’t care for that.” “You’re the queen of the emeralds. That part I figured out all on my own.” Her heart began pounding in her chest and she thought about what she needed to do now. “You make all the emeralds in the world. Meaning that all you can make, cry, is the same gem. Your job is to make sure that there are just enough and not too many in one place. Correct?” Terror made her snappish. Well, more snappish than she normally would be. And while she rarely held back when she was mad, this time it got away from her even before she opened her mouth. “What the fuck are you doing? Reciting my entire life’s history? What are you doing here anyway?” He asked if he could come into her room. “Not yet. I think I like you better right where you are. And I want to know, what it is you think you know that I don’t?” “I’m sure that I know a great deal, but not necessarily more than you. You’re the sister of the opal, ruby, and sapphire. I’m assuming that since you’re Emerald, their names are accordingly.” She told him that was right. “Are the others safe?”
“Why would you even care? I don’t know you from anyone.” He just nodded and leaned against the door jamb like he had not a care in the world. “What are you? Other than a dragon. You must have some kind of special powers. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to figure this all out.” “What I have is a tenacious sister-in-law that has read over the rules and regulations of our kind. Which would include you and your family. Quinn is the one to see if you have any questions about any kind of dragon. And she’s reading the books that are a part of the council as well. Smart girl, that Quinn. And she has an equally smart sister. Her name is Carmine if you ever get the chance to meet her.” She nodded, thinking that this could be really bad for the rest of them. She was in the house of someone that could hurt her worse than she was already. “I don’t know what’s going on in your head right now, but I’m not going to hurt you. None of you.” “And you think that I should just believe you? Not likely. I’ve been around longer than you have.” He said that she hadn’t, actually. “That’s…I can’t smell you.” “No, you cannot. Where are the others, Em? Are they safe? I know that you travel together, wherever you go. Are they safe?” She didn’t want to answer him, but the truth was, she didn’t know if they were or not and told him that. “If you’d like, we can go and bring them here. This is a safe haven for dragons.” “You tell me why I can’t smell you, then perhaps I’ll trust you.” He asked again if he could come into the room. “Why do you need my permission?” “For the simple reason that you won’t give it.” As she was growling low at him, he turned to his right and smiled. It was a smile that made her heart flutter and her body warm. When he took a tray from the woman that had been in here earlier, she sat up higher in the bed when he brought the tray to her. His whispered breath touched her cheek. “I’m a diamond dragon. You’re not my mate as I had assumed. But one of your sisters, perhaps? The smell on you, it gives me only a hint of her, one of the other three. Which is it, I wonder? And what would a diamond dragon have with a gem one should they have children? All things that I plan to figure out. With or without your help.” She shook her head, telling him in the same low voice that she wasn’t going to help him. “All right then, Em. I’ll see you later. And if you change your mind, let me know.” Change her mind about what? Then she remembered that he wanted to keep the others safe. In all this time she’d not reached out to her sisters, and looked at Sabastian to send him on his way to find them. “Bring them back if you do find that they need me.” He said that he could do that. “Sebastian, while you’re with them, warn them where I am. The diamond dragon is tricky.” “My lady, if you don’t mind my saying, I think you’re tricky as well. But he knows a great deal. It might not harm you to be a little nicer to him.” Em pointed out that he wasn’t terribly nice to her. “Yes, but you put up your shield well before you knew what he was to one of your sisters.” After they left, both Sebastian and the dragon, Em thought about what had happened. The dragon had warmed her body. Not in a sexual way, but more like one
would a relative, a brother so to speak. He had given her a hint of what he was. Yes, he’d told her he was a diamond dragon, but that could have been nothing more than wishful thinking on his part. He had even told her his name, knew hers as well. But the thing was, he could have been lying. I don’t lie. His voice echoed through her mind like he was standing in the room with her. You and I, we’ll have to learn to trust each other. Because we both know that I’m going to be mated to one of your sisters. Which one, I haven’t any idea, but we’ll be related. How do you know that? He laughed, and it warmed her more than the small breath had. I don’t think I’d like to be related to you. You’re not a nice person. Then we should get along splendidly. His laughter made her think that he’d just insulted her. And Em didn’t like it any more than she did the man. As the day wore on and she was feeling better with all the fresh meat and vegetables, Em was even happy that someone had taken the time to know what she needed to eat. However, it was her leg that scared her the most. The man who had hit her with the iron, he had known what he was about. She wasn’t cut badly, but until all the iron was out, and there would be a great deal of it, she would get weaker until she was no more. Not die—she was too strong for that—but she’d not be able to produce tears, nor would she be able to help her sisters when necessary. Weakness was not an option when you were a gem dragon. Your sisters are coming to you. They are terrified, if you wish the truth of it. I have told them of the man. They are both excited and afraid that he will not suit them. Em pointed out that they could hide out in the woods and meet him one at a time. After a brief pause, he told them that was what they were going to do. They wish to know how you are faring today. I told them that you were getting stronger, but that someone will need to take the iron from your body. And that you’re being most stubborn about it. I’m not being stubborn, I’m being practical. And that is not going to get us all killed. She laid back on the bed and thought about what it would take for her to be healed completely. I will need a great dragon to help me. And the king will not bother himself with a lesser dragon such as myself. And what, pray, do you think the world would do without your beautiful gems? She smiled at the tone of her sister, Sapphire, and had to laugh when she told her not to be a dimwit. They were forever picking up words to insult each other with. Ask for help or you’ll be gone. Em had met the king. But because of what she was, he’d not known about the iron. Now that she had time to think about it, she knew that then would have been the perfect time to ask for the help. But she’d been as stubborn as her sister had accused her of being. Things were not going well for her at the moment. “Hello.” She looked at the little girl standing at the foot of the bed, startled by her appearance. “I’m Carmine. My sister said that I could come and see you. But I’m not to bother you if you don’t want me to.” “It’s all right. I was just thinking. Do you live here?” She nodded. “I’m sure you can visit me any time you wish. My name is Em. I’m a dragon too.”
“An emerald dragon. Uncle Dana told me that you’re very special, and that we needed to never ever tell anyone that you’re here. Otherwise they’ll come for you, like they do me.” That scared her too. Was there nothing normal about this family? “I can help you.” “Help me what?” Instead of answering, Carmine moved to the side of the bed and pulled the blanket away, unwrapping the leaves that Em had wrapped around the wound. Em hissed when they stuck to the wound. “It’s not that bad.” “It’s terrible. The man who did this to you, he’s on his way. He doesn’t know where you are, but he does know that you’re close to him. The wound there, it’s going to keep festering until you’re dead. Iron wouldn’t normally kill you, but you’re much too weak now. I would say if its not removed very soon, it’ll hit your brain and kill you. As simple as that.” She didn’t want to believe her, but she knew that her words were true. “I really can help you. But you have to let me. Quinn said that its rude to assume that I’m smarter than everyone in the world.” “Are you?” The little girl seemed to think of her question when it had only been a joke. “Your name is Carmine, you said. Why are you so smart?” “I have this brain thingy. My sister said that it’s because my brain is so big. But the doctor, a vampire, he told me that I have a nudge in my brain. It makes me use most of my brain, a lot that most people don’t. I use ninety-four percent while the average person uses ten percent. Some even less.” She asked if the less were the handicapped. “No. Some of them use a great deal of their brain, more than a lot of smart people. But they have trouble with it because they don’t know how to process it. They know what to do and how to do it, it’s just harder for them because they don’t know the names of things, such as a hammer. They might know pounding thing, but that’s what gets them labeled as a handicapped person to begin with. Their lack of ability of what to call them.” “I see.” She did too. “How are you able to fix my leg? And you’re right, it is badly infected. I’m afraid of having to cut my leg off.” “It’s well past being in only your leg. It is racing over your body as we talk. But Dana is going to help me.” She started to tell her that she didn’t like the other man, but he was in the room before she could. “He’s very strong and he can hold you down. I’m really sorry, but you’re going to hurt like the dickens.” “Why would he need to hold me down? Isn’t there anyone else? I mean, he must have things to do.” But he got onto the bed with her and behind her. When she was wrapped in his arms, he handed her a small stone, a dark emerald. “I can crush this and eat it? How did you know…the sister-in-law?” “Yes, but not until she’s done, please?” She said that she’d wait. Afraid of what was going to happen, she held onto him while he wrapped her into his arms. This was going to be painful, she knew that. The room filled with light and all her sisters were there. ~~~ Dana was careful not to breath too deeply. One of them, the Sisters of Four, was his mate. But now was not the time to try and figure that out. Emerald needed him. She
was strong, and could hurt Carmine while she was in pain. And he knew that she was going to be in a great deal of it before this ended. Each of the women surrounded the bed, lending, he had no doubt, their magic to Carmine. “I’m going to pull it free of you, but you’re going to be really hurt. Like I said, it’s all over you now.” Em nodded in his arms. “It’s all through your blood, and that’s going to have to be collected too. Enough so that I can make the shard it came from. You understand me?” “Yes. All right. But where is the king? He must be here in the event I don’t make it.” Carmine told them all that he was coming. Ruby, dressed all in her color from head to toe, smiled as she continued. “He’ll not be happy about this, I think.” “He’ll be fine.” Dana had already let him know what was going on. And that they were going to take out the iron. He’d been surprised to know that; he’d not smelled it on her at all. “I mean, don’t you think, being the dragon all mighty, that I should have smelled something?” His mom hit him on the head. “I was just joking, Mother. Honestly, how did we all miss that?” “More than likely because she didn’t want you to know.” Danburn asked why she’d do that. “You’re the king. She’s a dragon. You add it up.” “She’s afraid of me? Why? I’m a puppy.” Kendrick snorted. “I am. I’m very nice, all the time. I mean, I have my moments, but everyone does.” “But not everyone rules, nor are they big enough to stomp on a house and kill everyone in it. Blend into the trees and woods surrounding him so that no one sees him. Oh, and let’s not forget that you have teeth that are longer than most grown men, and they’re as sharp as razors.” “Minor things when someone is seeking help.” She snorted at him again and Dana had to laugh. “Darling, you should get that looked into. You seem to have a slight cold.” And now Danburn was there with them, lending whatever help was needed. Dana wondered in that moment why he’d taken so long to come and visit his friend. He was a great one too. The men here, probably the only true ones that he had. “You have to help me a little at a time, please. Like one of you touch me when we go searching, and then when they’re tired, the next one.” She grinned at them all and Dana laughed. This child was so young, yet had the soul of a very old person. “Okay, let’s do this.” The first bit of iron came from the wound, and when it hovered just above Em’s leg, Dana had no idea what was going on. He thought, wrongly so, that he was to reach for it. But when the second, then a third piece came from Em’s flesh, he knew that Carmine was forming the shard to make sure that it was all there. It took a lot longer than he thought it should have. Em had passed out from the pain. He’d never thought of how it would be removed from her body, but the fact that wherever it was it just came out of her skin startled him. There were bleeding marks all over her body that made him slightly ill. To him it looked like they had it all, but Carmine, who was covered in sweat, said there was one more.
Danburn had long since fallen to the side, as well as most of her sisters. Sapphire was still standing, lending her magic, as was Danielle, their vampire friend. Dana had started to move, since he was doing nothing more than sitting on the bed, when Sapphire told him to sit still. Don’t move. You’re keeping her strength up. She might be passed out from the pain, but you’re keeping her alive. He looked down at the bloodied woman. She’s going to need something fresh, with a great deal of red meat. I’ll arrange that now. Sapphire nodded, but said nothing more while he asked Kendrick for help with it. She’ll make it. You know that, don’t you? I know no such thing. Had I known she’d been hurt, we’d have taken care of it days ago. Not waiting until it was nearly too late. Her tone was nasty, much like Ruby’s was. Opal was gentler than the other two. She wasn’t without a temper, but she had a nicer way of getting her point across. Just pay attention to what you’re doing, and perhaps we can all be hopeful. He didn’t have a clue what he was supposed to be doing that needed his undivided attention. The patient was out cold, and he was not supposed to move. Whatever, he thought. If Sapphire was his mate, someone was going to be in for a rude awakening. And he had a feeling that it was going to be him, he thought with a smile. When the tiny piece was added to the shard, Carmine passed out too, just tumbling to the floor like a rag doll. Quinn came in to get her then, afraid to be in the room for too long while they were working for fear of her child. That was why Kendrick wasn’t allowed to join in the help. The babes needed their mothers to be very strong. Dana loved this family, and figured that when Hanson had found his mate, it was only a matter of time before him and the other two got theirs. Kip was biting at the bit for his mate, while Griffith was more sedate about it. He couldn’t care less either way. Dana thought that it wasn’t a front either—Griffith was really that laid back of a man and dragon. But he had a temper. Like the rest of them, their dragons would take them in no time if there was a problem. But he did notice that the men with mates, their dragons were different, treading lightly, literally, when the women were about. He’d laughed his ass off the other night when all of them had ganged up on Griffith. He’d apparently trampled the flowers that were newly planted and had killed a prize rose bush. In less time than he thought it possible, not only was Griffith out there replanting the flowers, but he’d brought one of the roses from around his own castle, a very rare and old breed, to replace the one that he’d killed. Everyone was happy after that, and Griffith and the rest of them had found a new respect for the ladies of the household. He certainly had. Picking up the young woman, he held her while the staff cleaned the bed and then turned on the bath. He hadn’t planned on joining her in the bath—she wasn’t his mate, but she was beautiful. His plan was to put her in the tub, clothing and all, and then let someone else take over. But Opal saw him headed that way and nearly took his head off with her sword. “What the fuck is wrong with you?” He let a little of his own beast take him while he yelled at the woman. “You could have hurt me badly, you moron.”
“You are not taking my sister.” All kinds of things ran through his mind, none of them very nice. But he wasn’t feeling it right now and slashed out with her with his dragon’s magic. He knew that she’d not die, but he did encase her in diamonds anyway. It was all he could do not to slam his tail against her and break her to pieces. Instead he entered the bathroom, put the woman in the tub, just as he’d planned, and left the room. Then he left the house. There wasn’t anything he wanted to do more than to fly. But he’d been warned that there might be poachers around, so he only took off running for the woods. Dana had been running for pleasure—in meets, yes, not just for fun—for a long time. And he found that while not as relaxing as sailing through the skies, he did love the feeling of getting his heart pounding. You all right? He told Hanson that he was. They’re a little protective, don’t you think? I mean, that Opal, she could beat a bear with a switch, I think, and come out on top. I think you might be right on that. They both laughed, and Dana slowed his steps. I wonder which one is my mate. I know that one of them is. I just don’t know if I want any of them, to be honest. I heard you telling Kip that one of them was. Speaking of which, he’s as odd as ever, isn’t he? Dana laughed and stopped by a felled tree. Sitting on it, he looked around for inspiration. Are you still dabbling in stones? You know, making things from granite? I’m in need of a slab of it for the kitchen. Quinn wants to make candy, and I guess that is the best material that you can get. I have some at the house that are being brought here. Do you care what color? I have a pink one and one that has about ten different shades of gray it in. And no white at all. Very rare. Tell her for a box of candy, I’ll give it to her. Hanson laughed. You should know that she’s going to open herself a nice restaurant soon. Not just with candy, though all of it is really good, but also sandwiches and fruits. I think it’ll be a nice addition. Her sister is going to help her with it too. I’ll be her first customer. I’ve never had chicken fried steak before, but I think there wasn’t any better than hers. As for the slab, as soon as it arrives, I’ll make arrangements to have her come see it. But for now, I’m working in jewelry again. I missed it. He pulled out his phone and took some pictures of some of the things in the woods. You know, I have an idea that I’d like to open a branch here. You think there is any kind of need for a very expensive jewelry shop? He didn’t have any need for money. With as old as he was, and the fact that he could have diamonds any time he needed them, he was very wealthy. Not as rich as Danburn or Hanson, but he’d never have to work again if he didn’t want to. I think you should do it. Setting down roots here. Also, you have to look at this house that is perfect for you. It’s a Tudor. And the back end of it has been added onto a few times, so it’s massive. Also, and you’re going to love this, it has a couple of turrets. Not just a little one either, but worked into the design, and the bottom part of it looks like it could be the dining room area. Hanson laughed as he continued describing the house. I think the sucker has like nine
bedrooms or more, plus this dining room that will open up to hold about two hundred mingling guests. Like I said, it’s big. When can you get me in to see it? They were still laughing when he said that he’d take him today. All right. Also, the stuff I have in storage—I don’t suppose there is a place I can have it stored here until I can purchase said home, is there? It’s not going to be any trouble storing it. It’s just that my lease is about up at this place, and I didn’t want to have to pay a full year for something I don’t need. He did have money, but he was also smart about what he had, never overspending on things he didn’t need. When he could, he’d fly for himself rather than to take a plane. He also bought pieces that he wanted on sale, at tag sales and auctions. Dana was very frugal. Not cheap, but prudent. The house is empty and has been for about a year, I was told. The brick is brown, the roof of it is all slate, which is a big seller for me. And plenty of wooded grounds. There is also a stable with several paddocks and a big barn. He asked Hanson why he didn’t buy it. I don’t need it, my dear fellow. I have a wife and a home that I love dearly. Mostly the wife. And a child on the way. I did think about buying it, but I didn’t want to spend the money on it. I’m like that, you know. You are not going to tell me that you’re broke. He said that he wasn’t, but he loved that his wife was making them more money. Jackass. All right. I’ll meet you back at your house in about an hour. I want to check on Em, and then I need to get a shower. I needed some time out in the fresh air. I wish we could be more secure around here about the dragons. It would be nice to just go fly instead of waiting on the weather. He agreed with him. All right, one hour at my house. See you soon. Instead of going in the house, he made his way to the car. If there was a problem, someone would call to him. Right now, even the thought of meeting his mate was too much for him. So instead of telling anyone where he was headed, he made his way to Danburn’s house to get cleaned up. He wanted a place of his own, and the sooner the better. Not that Danburn and his lovely wife weren’t the best sort of hosts and such, but he wanted his own things around him. It was time, he thought, that he really did settle down. Make roots, as Hanson had said to him.

Vance: The McCade Dragon Release Day & Giveaway

 

Vance had always felt like an outsider to the family, disconnected, a part of them, but not. He had been content to see his brothers mated and happy but knew in his heart that happiness wasn’t meant for him. He was cut out to be a soldier and made the Army his life. He was good at it, a little too good. Until recently the government had been good to him, now the powers that be were targeting him.

Micky, a fae warrior, was a secret weapon of sorts for the government, that was until recently. Now, those in the White House were corrupt and wanted to see her dead.

They found each other out of necessity, but together Vance and Micky were a force to be reckoned with—unstoppable and lethal.

Now that Vance had found his mate and the final piece of jewelry was in place, the prophecy and the final battle with Butler was at hand. When Vance placed the final piece of jewelry, the necklace, around Micky’s neck as a wedding gift, the entire family felt the magic, but Vance’s dragon was nowhere to be found. For the first time in his life, Vance was worried that he wouldn’t be good enough to defeat his opponent. Were they all domed to die and start the McCade life cycle over again? Find out in the final installment of The McCade Dragon—Vance

 

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Emma Gentry felt like she was losing her mind. From the time she had picked up the pretty ring to examine it, she’d been hearing a voice in her head. When she ran from the demolished building, she’d slipped the ring on her finger so that she wouldn’t drop it, now she couldn’t get it off. She was in dire need of medical attention, but the voice wouldn’t let her stop to get help. There were others looking for the ring and would kill her for it. Emma was on the run.

Kenton McCade was the doctor in the family. When found Emma in his office treating a badly infected wound on her leg, he had to help her. The infection had spread and she was near death.

Kenton and his brothers were dragon shifters born without the ability to shift into their other half. The magic, it seemed, lay dormant in a sleeping dragon that was tied to six pieces of jewelry. When the ring found its way to Emma, her touch had woken the sleeping beast. When Emma touched Kenton’s sigil on his chest, he shifted to his beast for the first time. But the beast from the ring would not be complete until all the jewelry found its way to their rightful dragons….

Emma was still on the run…they need her to survive…but Emma trusted no one…

 

Jasmine Tyler was wishing she had never found those earrings in that box of junk she bought at auction. They were so pretty, and the dragons had so much detail, that she simply had to try them on. That was the biggest mistake she’d ever made. Once they were on they weren’t coming off. And those men in the black SUVs meant business. She’d hand the earrings over or they’d kill her. They’d more than likely kill her anyway even if she could get the damn things off. Now she was on the run with her young son, Gavin, and her ailing granny. A voice in her head that started when she put the earrings on was directing her to find the McCades.

The dragon had told Kenton and Jorden McCade that another piece of jewelry had been activated, and the boy that had just come into Jorden’s studio was her son. The dragon didn’t know which brother she was mated to, but she had sent the boy and her granny ahead to keep them safe. Now, another attempt had been made on her life and she was in a hospital an hour away.

The cop at the scene had been in on it, and Jasmine found herself in a pickle. She’d been drugged and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it. Her body hit the floor by her hospital bed and she was looking into the lifeless eyes of her nurse.

As soon as Jorden scooped Jasmine up off the floor and her earring touched his skin, he knew that this woman was his. The earring left a brand, marking them both. He couldn’t be happier about finding her, now to convince her to stay was going to be the problem….

 

 

Harper Bailey was in way over her head, and the trouble just seemed to keep coming. Her brother-in-law had frozen her personal accounts, and now she was on the run because she wouldn’t do as she was “told.” She had been told to abort the baby. Harper hadn’t wanted the baby she had been forced to carry in the first place, but now that she’d felt life, she would protect the child with hers.

Grady McCade knew that his mate had been found when she touched the piece of jewelry. The dragon had told him that if he didn’t hurry to her side, she would be found by the dragon slayers and her life could be ended as well as the life of the babe that she carried.

With Grady and Harper together, the dragon grows stronger, and the slayers pick up the pace in their quest for all the pieces of jewelry. Can the McCades stop them before they strike again? Are any of them safe? Find out in The McCade Dragon—Grady

 

Dr. Gabriela Nola, Gabe to everyone, hadn’t been in town long. Kenton McCade was looking for a partner in his practice, and she was hoping to fill the spot. A nice small town beat the last hospital job she’d just recently quit—90 hours a week with a shorthanded staff. She just wanted normal, and the voice in her head to stop already about opening the box and wearing the item inside.

Dalton McCade knew when he heard the dragon’s voice that he was next on the list, and ready or not his mate was coming. According to the dragon, she was already here and had refused to put the combs in her hair.

But as always, danger followed the jewelry, and Gabe was no exception. The mysterious stranger would have all the pieces for his own collection, and didn’t care who he had to kill to get them….

 

Raven Wood, an ancient and powerful witch, had been forced to help King Butler gain immortality. Butler had killed Raven’s mother anyway and for her part, even though it was unwilling, she paid the price for the deed with her sight. For centuries she has lived in darkness with only the earth and her pet raven to help guide her way.

Lewis McCade would be opening his restaurant, The Dragon’s Lair, soon. Between the pressure of the opening and a wedding he was catering for his brother, his nerves are shot. And the news that his new mate is probably nearby and blind to boot couldn’t come at a worse time.

Butler may have forced Raven to extend his life, but she cheated him and put a time limit on his magic and immortality. Now his time and magic are running out. He has to bring all the pieces of jewelry together and call forth the dragon before it’s too late. He will do whatever is necessary to see all the McCades dead….

 

 

 

 

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Lewis http://amzn.to/2mZzvx7

 

 

 


  

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“Where is he?” Morton Elliot, his vice president and right-hand man, said he didn’t know, but he’d been at home until an hour ago. “And you saw him? I mean, this isn’t a case of him just getting the things out of his body, is it?” “No. I don’t even think he’s aware of them, to be honest with you. Yeah, we saw him. I have pictures of him with his brothers. And the markers that are on him were with him every step of the way. I made sure of that myself.” Abe was handed a sheet of paper that meant as much to him as anything else that was scattered on his desk. It was window dressing. Every note, every file, even the fucking pens that had his name on them, were things that people expected him to have on this desk. But it was the desk that he had in his upstairs office, the one that he had the only key to, that was his alone. The desk that had all his businesses, information on them, as well as everything in the world that he owned and that people owed him. The room that no one, not even his wife, could enter. There were files and charts in there that would get him put before a firing squad. Things that no president, not even a citizen, should be going over. The country was going to be in for a huge surprise, and he could not wait until they figured it out. President Abe Melton, “Honest Abe,” was anything but honest or working to help them. When Morton’s watch made a noise, Abe waited for the news. He knew that sound as well as he did the ring tones on his own phone. It was indicating that there was movement. And when Morton sat down hard in the chair, Abe stood up. “What is it? He showed up, right? Where is he, Morton?” Morton said something, but he didn’t understand him. It wasn’t mumbled, as it usually was, but a whisper. “What are you saying, you moron? Tell me.” “I said that he’s here. In the building.” Abe sat down and stared at the door in front of him, expecting it to be slammed back. Him being shot was all he could think about. “I’m going down to check on it. You stay put.” “Fuck that shit. I’m going with you.” They made their way to the lowest levels in the White House. Few knew about this area, and those that did had more than likely forgotten about it. “When we get there, I want you to show me how to use that machine. I’m sick of not having any idea where he is when I want to.” “Sure, sure. But if he is indeed in the building, then it’ll matter little. We’re both dead if we can’t get to him first.” There was that. “Christ, of all people to be still hanging around.” That was true. Vance McCade had been a pain in their asses since Abe had taken office. Before that, really. He was good, too damned good at his job, and it had cost them a lot of sleepless nights as well as a great deal of money. He was just danger. And he was a killer. The idea to track him with small devices had been Morton’s. But he had suggested that they put them on him in all kinds of places. In the event that he lost a leg or an arm,
they still wanted to know where he was. Abe didn’t think that the loss of a limb would slow him down, so he didn’t want to take any chances. There were only two men that worked this computer. They each worked a fourhour shift, never left the area, and were pretty much chained to the desk at all times. Food was brought to them. Their laundry was cleaned. And twice a week, someone would take away anything that was considered trash. Even that was gone over so they’d not be sending out any messages. Three times since he’d been in office they’d had to deal with one or both the men that had worked in there. Abe thought that with the example they’d made of the previous ones, these would work out the best. At least for their sake, he hoped that they did. “He’s all over the fucking place.” The blinking lights did seem to be all over the map—in the building they were in, outside the grounds, as well as back in his home state of Ohio. Fucking asshole knew. “McCade is aware of us.” Morton said no shit. “Well, Mr. Know-It-All, what the fuck are we going to do about it? It’s not like any of your ideas to kill him have worked. He’s like a fucking ghost.” “I still have people out looking for that woman. The one that was working for us a long time ago. Seems she’s made herself known again.” He asked him how. “She killed four of our men in a restaurant a couple of days ago. Actually, two different restaurants. She’s as bad as he is when it comes to getting information that we have out there.” “We have to get rid of him. Now.” Morton said he was working on it. “Well, work harder. Have you any idea what it’s costing us to have him out there?” They left the little room and made their way up to his offices. Morton was still talking about how they were going to get this woman, but Abe didn’t see that working. If she was as good as McCade, then there wasn’t going to be any getting her to do anything. She’d more than likely turn against them too. “What makes her so special?” Wording, he knew, had to be worked around. While he knew there were recording devices everywhere, there wasn’t any kind of audio in this room. But that didn’t mean that they didn’t have them on themselves. “I mean, is she all that special that you want to bring her onboard to work for us?” “She’s said to have a bit of a magical touch that we like to use.” So, she was magical, so what? So were most of the men who protected him. “And she has no qualms about using her magic however she sees fit. As I said, she took out four of our men in seconds.” Morton got up and handed him a thumb drive. Putting it in his personal laptop, Abe watched a video of an old woman having a meal. When she stood up two of his men were down, then she and one of them disappeared. He asked where they’d been found, and he got his answer when there were pictures of his man dead. “Christ. How long was this? I mean, between point A and point B?” Morton told him a matter of less than an hour. “He was tracked too?” “Yes. And she took out another one in a restaurant about six hours before. A nice little place that served sandwiches and had free wi-fi. We think that’s why he approached her, the idiot. To tell her he knew what she was about. She shot him three
times in the gut and just walked out. It’s a fucking mess there we had to work hard to contain.” Every day something else was put in his way. All he wanted to do was make a shit load of money, keep his head on his shoulders, and not end up in prison. Abe didn’t think that was a lot to ask for. He was president of the free world. Yet every time he turned around, someone was trying their best to take his freedom away from him. Well, it was time for that shit to end. And it was going to start by ending that fucking McCade once and for all. “I want you to find me someone that can bring him to heel. I don’t care if you have to go to his mother’s house and hog tie her to make him see reason. Also, see if you can get anything on that family. There has to be something somewhere that will make them see reason. Mother fuck, this is the dumbest damned thing that I’ve run across.” Morton reminded him of the cameras in here. “I’d not have to worry about them had you done your job at the house that day. Did we ever figure out what happened to that video? Or even if the pictures we got from them can be cleaned up at all?” “No. All we know for sure is that one of the women took the drive from our man, but she handed it right back to him. There wouldn’t have been any time for her to make any kind of adjustments on it. But all it has on it is fuzz, as well as some audio. Nothing that we can use.” Of course not. Why should that be anything different? “Also, the pictures. We did manage to figure out some of that. The camera that was being used by the department there, it was just some old camera. But ours, as you know, are all messed up as well. It’s like they— Mother fuck, Abe. Do you think she is magical too?” “You think?” Christ, he was beginning to hate the world today. “Get her here. I want to talk to the bitch that had a hand in this. In fact, invite the entire clan here. We’ll have a nice little get together, and I’ll see what I can find out from them. And if I can’t find out what I want to know, then we’ll have a case of food poisoning that will kill them off and make me deathly ill. Perhaps we can say they brought it, and place the blame squarely in the McCade’s laps.” When Morton left him, Abe sat at his desk and thought about all the plans he’d had and how many of them were now shit because of one man. McCade. The things that he’d done and people he’d killed should have had him in jail, but they’d all be counted as justified, and he’d saved the American people with each one. There just wasn’t any stopping the guy. Not legally, anyway. Twice he’d had him in his sights. Well, not his own personal sights, but close enough. And both times he’d gotten away without a scratch. Abe had been told numerous times that McCade had been shot or killed, and come to find out, the fucker was going home and being repaired there. Repaired was a strange word, he knew, but they should have been making funeral arrangements instead of patching him up. Abe couldn’t even get him for being AWOL, absent without leave. Because every time he brought it up to someone, they told him that he was an American treasure and that for as much time as he spent working for the government, a little R&R, rest and relaxation, would go a long way in making him a better man.
“Better man, my ass. He’s more of a pain in the ass then even my own kids are most of the time.” Abe looked at the picture on his desk, the one of his family taken out in front of this very building. There wasn’t any denying that they were a good looking bunch, but Abe hated every single one of them. Working on his game of solitaire, he thought of all the things he had on his plate at the moment. There was an arms deal that was just a few days away that would net him and Morton about ten million apiece. He had a shipment of drugs coming into the country next week that would get them even more cash. Money that he had planned to retire on. As it stood right now, he’d be lucky if he’d be able to run with it. He and Morton both stood to lose a lot if they couldn’t get this one man to die. When his day started, his secretary getting him going to some meetings and shit, he closed up his computer and made sure that the password was in place. There were few that came in here when he was out, but he didn’t want anyone to see the shit that he had on it. He’d never make it to the upstairs if they did that. Laughing, Abe went about his morning, but never lost sight of what was really bothering him. ~~~ Vance watched Micky as she worked through the computer. He didn’t speak much, but then she didn’t either. Just watching her work was a pleasure that he thought he’d not enjoy. Nor had he ever dreamed that they’d be in a house within walking distance of the beach. Looking at the view again, he thought that he could get used to this. “They’re sending out two men to your family home. Your mom’s in particular.” He asked her why they were doing that. “I’d guess to take them as hostage or some shit. But they’re supposedly there to escort them to the White House for a dinner. I’ve already contacted your brother, Kenton, and he said thanks. He thinks you’re the one that warned him, just a heads up.” That was another thing that she did that made him like being around her. She didn’t ask him for permission when she did things, not that he thought she would. But she got the job done and did it as well as—a couple of times better than—he might have. Like today. They’d split up with the trackers. She was much better at getting places quickly. So, while she was flittering around the country with hers, he was moving around the grounds of the White House. They really needed better security there, he thought with a laugh. But he did feel better now that Raven had destroyed the trackers that she’d had. They had shown up on the computer too, the ones that he’d only just found out about. But Micky not only found it, but had hacked into the system, and now they knew as much as the men there did. “Hey, I was wondering if you had figured it out yet.” Vance leaned back on the couch again and asked her what. “That we’re mates, or whatever you guys call them. I was a little slow about it, to be honest. It never occurred to me until I was in the shower this morning. When did you figure it out?” “When I saw you the first time.” She nodded as if she’d figured he had. “Do you have a problem with it?”
“No. I mean, you bathe regularly. You don’t seem to have any kind of nasty habits that would infuriate me enough to have to kill you, and you’re semi smart.” He laughed; he’d been doing that a lot since she’d come around. “You don’t do that much, do you? Have a good time, I mean?” “Are you making an offer?” Her face turned red and he laughed again. “No, I don’t usually have any fun. I’m not a fun-loving sort of person.” She nodded. “I didn’t think so. And so you know, when you changed your shirt yesterday after coming in from the ocean, I saw the scars. You’ve had a rough life for someone that is as young as you are.” He nodded. Vance had had some close calls since he’d been in the service. “You also have the sword of Caelin. It’s meant, I think, to kill his father. You’ve been chosen to do that. But with all of this, I was wondering what we do now. I mean, a lot is hinging on us being at your family home, isn’t it?” “I don’t know how any of this works, to be honest with you. But until this other shit is taken care of, I’d rather not bring it down on them. They—the men that I’m after, with your help—are getting desperate, I think.” She said that they were. “I would like to see this through. Not just the thing with Melton, but all his crew too. Then bringing forth the dragon will be a piece of cake, I think.” “Nothing is ever a piece of cake.” He just smiled at her. “You want to have sex? I mean, sometime?” “Yes. All the time.” She nodded and leaned back in her own chair. “I’m not forcing you into anything. You want to have sex with me, then I’d suggest you let me know. But I’ve wanted you since I first saw you, more so when I realized what you are to me. And me to you.” “I’m not sure what I want to do right now. You’re kind of scary, aren’t you?” He told her that he’d never hurt her. “No, because if you ever tried, you’d be in a world of hurt. Not that I could kill you, but you’d surely wish it.” “I don’t want to hurt or kill you. You’re kind of scary too.” When she grinned at him, Vance felt years of his bad feelings about life in general roll off his shoulders. “I’ve not told my family that you’re here or that you’re my mate. I’m worried that if I did they’d want to come here and meet you. Then they’d be in the line of fire too. But soon, we’ll have to make an appearance before them. And I want you to know, you think I’m scary? Wait until you meet my sisters-in-law.” “I know Raven. Well, I know of her. I’ve talked to her before, on a couple of things that I had going on, but nothing face to face. And through working with Jeff, I heard about Emma. She’s had it rough too. I knew her brother, Bart. There was a monster if there ever was one.” Vance agreed with her. “The others I don’t know but have heard about. Your mom, she’s a nice person, from the things you’ve told me about her. Nice, but stern.” “My mom raised us when our dad wasn’t around. Pretty much all the time. Then once, when he was pissed off at my mom, he held Lewis down with his boot to his neck and was going to cut his head off. Dad was pissed off because when he’d shown up, again unannounced, there wasn’t enough food for him to have a steak. I’d never even had a steak, and he wanted one.” Vance thought of that day. “Mom pulled a gun out of
her pocket and shot him right between the eyes, like she’d been practicing every day. For all we knew, she might have been. But he was dead, and she had enough proof in the form of hospital visits, as well as police calls, that she got off. I don’t think I’ve ever respected anyone as much as I do my mom because of that.” “I would imagine that she was terrified out of her mind. I mean, killing him, even to save Lewis, she had to wonder what would happen to her sons had she died or ended up in prison for it.” Vance told her that she called them her boys. “Boys? I wonder if your mom has had a look at you guys lately. None of you are just boys.” “No. And I’m the only one not married, at least not yet.” She didn’t say anything, but he felt like he needed to explain. “I’m not trying to make you feel bad. We’ll come together, or we won’t. But right now we’re working together, getting comfortable with each other, and I think that’s as good a start as any. Don’t you?” “Yes. But I’m not a pushover. Nor do I want to wait on the man of the house. I don’t cook unless I want to. I don’t do windows, not even on threat of death, and there isn’t any way that I’m going to be the cute little housewife that waits for you with your slippers every night when you come home.” He laughed. “I’m not trying to be funny.” “Oh, I know that. I was just trying to picture you with a little white apron on, standing there with my slippers—which I don’t own, by the way—waiting for me to tell you to get me a beer. Which I don’t drink.” He stood up and stretched, and she did as well. “What I would like to see you doing, and this might just be me, I’d love to see you standing in the hallway of our home, naked and ready for me. Where I would take you against the wall, hard and fast, and have you keeping up with me. That’s the way I picture you. But for now, I’m going to go take a swim. If you’d like to join me, I’m going to be naked. I don’t have a swimsuit either.” He moved out the open doors to the sandy beach beyond. Vance knew that she wouldn’t join him. The few times that he’d been in the water since they’d gotten here, she’d stayed on the deck. And when she was in the water, if he joined her, she’d leave the water. Vance wasn’t sure why, but he thought perhaps she was as shy about her body as he was his. The water was warm and calm today. Swimming out as far as he could and still see the house, he decided to float around for a little while, just to try and not think of the woman in the house. She was a conundrum. Beautiful and deadly didn’t bother him. It was her shyness that he was puzzled about. Also, she seemed to have other things about her, magical things, like the porcupine move that he’d not seen as yet. Vance wanted to find out all he could about her, but little of it had to do with her magic, and more to do with the woman beneath it all. When something touched his skin he thought it was a fish, but turning toward it, he nearly fell back on his ass when Micky was standing not a foot from him, with her breasts bared for him. “I have a lot of scars. A lot of them are old, but they still are there.” He nodded, trying his best to look at her face and not her nakedness. “When I was in the war between the trolls and faeries, I was nearly cut in half. You can still see that scar where I
was put back together badly. The magic that was to be mine for helping never came. Not because we lost—we won—but because the troll decided not to share it.” “I’ve never seen a troll.” She nodded. “Are you telling me this because you think I’ll think less of you because of them? Or do you want me to know so I can believe how bad assed you are?” “Both. Neither. I want you to know that I don’t show people, men mostly, my body, because I’m not pretty and smooth like most they’d know.” He looked at her then, what he could see of her above the water. “Some of the wounds on my body are like yours. Knife wounds. Bullet holes. I have a few that are also from chains around me. Iron has been wrapped around my legs, too, to keep me from being able to run.” “This person who trapped you like that, is he dead?” She said not yet, but she hoped that he’d help her take care of him. “Butler.” “Yes. Because of what I am, what I can do, he thought I was a witch. A person who could help him with his magic. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve been shunned by my kind. My parents, he told them that I did help him and that I had his child. A boy child.” Vance told her that Butler could have no male children. “Yes, I found that out as well. But the damage had been done. I had no child by him. Nor did he have sex with me to even create one. Once I was freed of him, I was…. It took me a great many years to train myself so that no man would ever touch me again. Not unless I allowed it.” “Are you now? Allowing me to touch you?” Micky didn’t so much as blink at him. “I’d never hurt you. Not even it we weren’t mates, I’m not a man who harms someone that is smaller or weaker than me unless it’s necessary for what I do. You’re not either of those, but I have just as much respect for you as a woman as I do my own family.” “I want you, Vance. I do. But don’t you feel that we’ve been manipulated into this?” He started to tell her that he was all right with that when she spoke first. “I like you. I enjoy your company, and you’re smart and good to work with. I guess relationships are based on a lot less. So, in answer to your question, yes, I want you to touch me. Make love to me.”

 

Dalton: The McCade Dragon Release Day

Dr. Gabriela Nola, Gabe to everyone, hadn’t been in town long. Kenton McCade was looking for a partner in his practice, and she was hoping to fill the spot. A nice small town beat the last hospital job she’d just recently quit–90 hours a week with a shorthanded staff. She just wanted normal, and the voice in her head to stop already about opening the box and wearing the item inside. 

Dalton McCade knew when he heard the dragon’s voice that he was next on the list, and ready or not his mate was coming. According to the dragon, she was already here and had refused to put the combs in her hair.

But as always, danger followed the jewelry, and Gabe was no exception. The mysterious stranger would have all the pieces for his own collection, and didn’t care who he had to kill to get them.
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Emma Gentry felt like she was losing her mind. From the time she had picked up the pretty ring to examine it, she’d been hearing a voice in her head. When she ran from the demolished building, she’d slipped the ring on her finger so that she wouldn’t drop it, now she couldn’t get it off. She was in dire need of medical attention, but the voice wouldn’t let her stop to get help. There were others looking for the ring and would kill her for it. Emma was on the run.

Kenton McCade was the doctor in the family. When found Emma in his office treating a badly infected wound on her leg, he had to help her. The infection had spread and she was near death.

Kenton and his brothers were dragon shifters born without the ability to shift into their other half. The magic, it seemed, lay dormant in a sleeping dragon that was tied to six pieces of jewelry. When the ring found its way to Emma, her touch had woken the sleeping beast. When Emma touched Kenton’s sigil on his chest, he shifted to his beast for the first time. But the beast from the ring would not be complete until all the jewelry found its way to their rightful dragons…. 

Emma was still on the run…they need her to survive…but Emma trusted no one… 

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Jasmine Tyler was wishing she had never found those earrings in that box of junk she bought at auction. They were so pretty, and the dragons had so much detail, that she simply had to try them on. That was the biggest mistake she’d ever made. Once they were on they weren’t coming off. And those men in the black SUVs meant business. She’d hand the earrings over or they’d kill her. They’d more than likely kill her anyway even if she could get the damn things off. Now she was on the run with her young son, Gavin, and her ailing granny. A voice in her head that started when she put the earrings on was directing her to find the McCades.

The dragon had told Kenton and Jorden McCade that another piece of jewelry had been activated, and the boy that had just come into Jorden’s studio was her son. The dragon didn’t know which brother she was mated to, but she had sent the boy and her granny ahead to keep them safe. Now, another attempt had been made on her life and she was in a hospital an hour away.

The cop at the scene had been in on it, and Jasmine found herself in a pickle. She’d been drugged and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it. Her body hit the floor by her hospital bed and she was looking into the lifeless eyes of her nurse.

As soon as Jorden scooped Jasmine up off the floor and her earring touched his skin, he knew that this woman was his. The earring left a brand, marking them both. He couldn’t be happier about finding her, now to convince her to stay was going to be the problem….


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Harper Bailey was in way over her head, and the trouble just seemed to keep coming. Her brother-in-law had frozen her personal accounts, and now she was on the run because she wouldn’t do as she was “told.” She had been told to abort the baby. Harper hadn’t wanted the baby she had been forced to carry in the first place, but now that she’d felt life, she would protect the child with hers. 

Grady McCade knew that his mate had been found when she touched the piece of jewelry. The dragon had told him that if he didn’t hurry to her side, she would be found by the dragon slayers and her life could be ended as well as the life of the babe that she carried. 

With Grady and Harper together, the dragon grows stronger, and the slayers pick up the pace in their quest for all the pieces of jewelry. Can the McCades stop them before they strike again? Are any of them safe? Find out in The McCade Dragon—Grady

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Happy Reading ,
There were no words that he could say that would make this any different. Dalton watched as the casket, a beautiful bright wood, was lowered into the cold earth. His friend, mentor, and sounding board had died eight days ago. Howard Short simply went to sleep one night and didn’t wake. And it broke Dalton’s heart. “Dalton?” He looked at Melinda, Howard’s wife, when she said his name. “Will you say a few words, please? My brother-in-law just can’t. He’s devastated, as we all are.” “Yes, of course.” He stood up and made his way to the podium. So many people were here today, paying tribute to a wonderful man. Dalton thought of his friend and what he could say about him. Smiling, he thought of something that Howard would have gotten a kick out of. “Howard could be a jackass when he wanted.” Everyone laughed, just as he’d hoped, even Melinda. He continued speaking about Howard as if he’d just stepped out for a cold beer.  “When we were on a stakeout or even out fishing, he’d tell me of the time he was in the academy. Of course, I didn’t believe half the crap he told me. But this one story, I think, sums him up better than anything I could say about him.” Dalton looked at the casket, then at the people there. “He’d been in the dorm for about two weeks, he’d told me. It wasn’t going as well as he’d hoped. I think he said that of the three classes he was in, he was flunking out of three of them.” Another round of laughter. “Back then, if you weren’t cutting it, Howard told me that they’d come to see you, help you pack up your things, and send you on your way. He wasn’t ready to give up, he told me, and he didn’t think that they should be just yet either. “As he was debating on whether or not to open the door when his time came, he had an idea. Howard told me it wasn’t a good idea, but he’d been down and was sure under other circumstances, he might not have done what he did next. He opened the door and told the men standing there that Howard Short had left.  “Left, they asked him, and Howard said he told him that the old Howard had decided that he wasn’t smart enough for this shit and that he wanted him, the new Howard, to try his hand at it. They asked him if he was new or old. Howard assured him that he was the new one.” Dalton thought of the man that he’d become that day. “The new Howard was given a chance. He was either going to straighten up his act, they told him, or new or not, he was going home. Howard assured them that he’d be a better man and the best cop they’d ever had graduate out of that place.” Dalton nodded as he continued the story told to him so many times, he felt as if he had been there with the man. “He not only became the best cop they’d ever had come from that place, but he continued to be the best person who ever lived. Howard ran a tight but friendly ship, he took care of his men when they needed a helping hand, and he was there for them, even when they didn’t want him to be, when things were going to shit. Howard was, and will forever be, the best friend I’ve ever had.”
After he was finished, he stood still as the guns were drawn for the salute and fired. Dalton cried then, his pain of loss too much for him to hold in any longer. And when the service was over, he made his way to Melinda again and hugged her. She too had become a very important part of his life over the years. “You’ll come to visit me, won’t you?” He told her he would. She was leaving today, to live with her son in another state. “He loved you so much, Dalton. Like his own son.” “I loved him as well. He’ll be sorely missed.”  She nodded and left him there. Dalton could have gone to stand with his family, but decided that he was fine where he was. He watched as the dirt was filled into the hole much like the one in his heart. But his would never be filled. Going to the after reception at the newly remodeled homeless shelter, he didn’t speak to many people. There was food, he supposed, that he could have eaten, but like his heart, his belly wasn’t ready for anything right at the moment. Instead he just found a dark corner and sat in it until he felt it was a good time for him to go home. My lord. He wanted to sob. Dalton didn’t want to answer who he thought was talking to him. It could only mean one thing, and he didn’t want it. Not today, perhaps not ever. My lord, your mate is coming. “Tell her that I’ve got a lot going on at the moment and I’d prefer that she didn’t.” Caelin said nothing. “Where is she and what does she have?” The hair combs, my lord. And I don’t think it’s possible for her not to come. She is on her way now. But I must tell you that she hasn’t put the jewelry to her flesh. I’m not at all sure why just yet, but she is aware of me and is coming this way. He asked what the combs did for the wearer. She will have blood that will heal all that she touches, her heart will be stronger still than it was before. Her name is— “No, don’t tell me. I mean, I know that I’ll have to know sooner or later, but for now I’d like to just not know.” Caelin told him he could do that for him. “Has she been hurt in any way? Are there beings even now trying to kill her?” Nay, she is well. Healthy, if not a bit over worked. I think she will be more inclined to not believe the story as to why she needs to come here than even Emma was. And she is not a pushover. He asked him how he knew that. Whilst I was speaking with her, to see if she was injured or harmed in any way, I felt her anger. Before I could comment on it, or even ask her what happened, she had an argument with her boss that…I think she said it curled his toes back. Dalton laughed. “She’s a hellion, then. Good, she’ll need to be to fit in with this group. I don’t suppose you know just when she’ll arrive, do you? I mean, I have a lot of things going on at the moment.” She has arrived. This morning, as a matter of fact. But as I have said, she is not wearing the jewels. You will need to have her put them to her in order for me to help her should she need me. Dalton figured it would be something like that. She has asked to join your brother Kenton in his practice. She is not yet aware that she is with the very people that are to help her. I don’t believe he has given her an answer as yet. “She’s a nurse then?” Caelin told him she was a doctor. “A doctor? Well that’s great, don’t you think? Once I’m out of work, she can support me.”
You are without a job, sir? He told him that he might well be. I don’t understand. I thought you enjoyed being a good cop. Whatever has…? Is it the death of your captain?  “He was my sergeant, but yes, because of him passing away, I don’t think my heart will be in this anymore. I might…never mind. If she can support me, I think I might just make furniture in my garage until I turn up dead one morning. Or I’ll run off and never return.”  Dalton realized then that she was out of work too. They were starting off great, he thought. Two unemployed people with a huge house, no car, and nothing to show for their hard work. When Vance sat down beside him, he asked him when he’d gotten in. “Two days ago. I’ve been working on some things.” Dalton nodded. “Rumor has it you’re the next big cheese around here. You gonna be sheriff now, Dalt?” Vance had been the only person who called him that. It mattered little to him that Dalton had asked him not to call him Dalt…he had continued over the years.  Dalton asked him where he’d heard that rumor. “Because that’s all it is, is a rumor. I’m not going to take the job. In fact, I was seriously thinking of quitting altogether.” Vance told him that he’d not enjoy retirement any more than he would. “Caelin just told me that my mate is here in town.” “Really? I’m assuming that it’s the pretty little doctor at the B&B then?” Dalton didn’t want to ask about her, but he found that he wanted to know. “Yes, she is pretty. Tall…not quite as tall as you, but close. Blonde hair that I assume is long. Dark eyes. I’ve not seen them as yet close up, but I’d say they were blue, like midnight blue.” “You know a great deal about my mate, Vance. What have you been doing, spying on her?” He nodded. “Whatever for? You think she’s some sort of murderer or something? It wouldn’t surprise me. Not at this point.” “No, but she has baggage.” Dalton just stared at him. “Her job, where she worked before, they really have a hard-on for her to come back to work for them. I don’t believe they have it in their head to kidnap her or such, but they have been trying to find her.”  “What did she do? I mean, she didn’t just leave them high and dry, did she?” He said that she’d given her notice, but that they’d not looked for a replacement thinking they could change her mind. “I see. Well, not really. Was she that good or did they take advantage of her?” “Both, I think. She is highly regarded as a physician. Much like Kenton is in his profession. She does have some surgical abilities, and from what I’ve heard, she can also put in stitches better than anyone around. These are things that patients have said about her.” Dalton asked him again why he was asking. “To be honest with you, had you not told me she was your mate, I was going to try and set her up with Lewis. He’s been…distracted lately.” That was an understatement. He was working hard at getting a restaurant opened or something. He was very secretive about it, but that’s what Dalton thought he was doing. Not that he didn’t have the funds to do it, but he had been getting deliveries out the ass for the last few days. Emma had offered to lend him what he needed in the way of funds—so had he and Kenton—but Lewis was determined to do this on his own,
whatever that might be. He did wonder if he could go work for him for a bit, just to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. “I guess I should just wait for her then. I mean, I don’t want to seem like that odd stalker guy.” Vance said he had no idea, but thought that was a smart move. He knew less about women than Dalton did, apparently. “Whatever you do, I’m sure that it’ll be either wrong or not enough. I know nothing at all about women.” Dalton looked at his brother. He was clean but his pants were army issue, his shirt a dark tee, and his boots—ass kickers, he called them—had seen better days. Vance kept his hair military short and neat, and he seldom had a beard. Dalton asked him why he didn’t wear…well, regular people clothing. “I wear what I want, when I want.” Dalton laughed. “Look, whether you go and see her or not, you should know that she’s polite, generous with her time, and like you, she wears what she does right out there for everyone to see.” He asked him what that meant. “You are a cop, Dalt. Even a blind man could tell that. And they’d not even have to see the badge. Same with her. She’s a doctor, a good one, and people know that when they first see her.” Dalton sat there long after Vance left, trying to figure out what to do. He could have, he supposed, just walked over to meet her, but he had a feeling that would have been a mistake. He was sure that he could talk to Kenton too, but decided that he’d get enough grief from him without adding to it. Instead, he went to his truck and drove home. Dalton was going to enjoy the next few days he had off, and not worry about mates, dragons, or men looking for jewelry. ~~~ Gabe walked to the diner. She’d come to love the little place, what with the strange way they served their meals and the nice people who worked in and frequented the place. As she made her way inside, she knew which seat to sit in, which to avoid. When she sat in the booth with the unforgiving spring, she moved to the window, just so she’d not be sore when the sucker pinched her. Milly came to take her order. “Breakfast?” Nodding, she held the cup as the hot water was poured into it, knowing that the little basket of tea bags would follow soon. “Got us some specials today. Cook is feeling a little good. He’s got himself a little boy now, and just don’t know what to do with himself.” “Anything that I might wish to try?” Milly asked her how brave she was feeling. “Not too bad. Do I need to be?” “Nah, you can handle it. He’s got some sausage patty sammiches, and he made up some kind of casserole with last night’s taters. Got some cheese and stuff in it too. I liked it with a little gravy on it.” Gabe wondered how much this woman considered a little. She had a heavy hand when it came to about anything. And the funny part of that was, she was as thin as a rail and looked to be fairly healthy, too. “I’ll bring you a plate. I thought about calling it the blue plate, but we don’t have any so that won’t work.” Milly left her a second time after dropping off the basket with an assortment of teas in it. Gabe enjoyed her tea as she waited on her food, and thought about what her line up was for the rest of the day. Today she had an interview with Kenton McCade, and
hopefully the house that she’d been looking at was ready to be rented. Things were going quite nicely for a change, and she was as rested and as happy as she’d ever been. “Oh lordy.” Gabe looked up when she heard the shout from the kitchen, then Milly saying “Oh lordy” over and over. Getting up, she ticked off all the things that could go wrong in a kitchen, and was afraid that Milly had been hurt badly. As soon as she entered, she put her fingers in her mouth and let go of a shrill but effective whistle to shut the few people in the room up. A dishwasher was wearing the nastiest apron she’d ever seen and dark gloves on his hands. Milly was standing there wringing her hands. A man, who she assumed was the cook, was lying on the floor with a large knife sticking out of his belly, his hands covered in his own blood and his eyes wide with terror. Gabe let her mind take over on what to do. “Milly, call the police and have them send an ambulance.” She’d learned the first day that there was no one manning the nine-one-one service just yet. “Then I want you to get everyone out of here while I fix this.” “The knife, it just slipped up.” Gabe nodded and told her she had it. “He’s surely gonna bleed to death, and Kenton, he won’t make it in time.” “I’m a doctor as well. I’ve got this. Just do what I told you.” She made her way to Cook. If he had a name, she’d never heard it. “I’m Gabe. If you’ll allow me, I’ll see if I can help you.” “I think I’m a goner. The knife, it’s stainless steel but it’s in me.” She told him as long as she was there, he wasn’t a goner. “I wasn’t paying no attention is what I was doing. Thinking of my boy and what we was gonna do when he was a mite bigger. Now I won’t see him.” He was getting weaker; the arm that was holding him up slipped out from under him and he fell back to the floor. Gabe got her first look at the wound. He’d cut his belly to his intestine, the knife still inside of him.  Turning to the person who’d come in behind her when she’d entered, she told him to get some towels. When he didn’t move, just stared at Cook with his mouth open, she tossed the pan at him that had been on the floor. That got him looking at her. “Towels. Get me as many as you can carry. And water.” He moved, and it was then that she realized he was just a kid. When he returned, a gallon of water in one hand and several towels in the other, she told him to go to the dining area.  “I can help.” Gabe wasn’t sure, the kid was green now. “My name is Gavin, and I can help you. Just tell me what to do, I’m okay now.” “We have to close this. Otherwise he’s going to bleed out. But I have to make sure that he didn’t open his bowel. Can you handle that?” He said that he’d try. “Good. When I tell you something, I want you to do it. And remember what I tell you. It will save his life.” They worked for ten minutes on checking Cook’s belly. He’d nicked his lower bowel, she thought, but wasn’t sure that removing the knife wouldn’t do more damage. She told Gavin that.
“Uncle Kenton is on his way. He said for you to do what you needed to do and he’d assist when he gets here.” She wasn’t sure how that conversation had happened but said nothing to the young man. “I told him what I could.” “You can…. You’re not human.” He told her he was but Kenton wasn’t. “I see. Right now I have more important things to do than to figure out what he might be. This is what we need to do. Christ, there is never a vampire around when you need one.”  The laughter made her smile. It was one thing to scare the kid to death over something like this, but making him see humor wouldn’t give him nightmares too. As she moved the towels around the blade, all she could think about was that he might be right…Cook might die. When Kenton showed up, his black bag in hand, he asked her what she needed. It both surprised and impressed her that he didn’t just come in and take over. For the next twenty minutes, he handed her what she wanted and helped her when necessary. The impromptu surgery room wasn’t the best, but it was going to be good enough to save this man’s life. The medics, a couple of young men who she assumed were friends of Kenton, stayed back until they were ready to transport him. It wasn’t long after Kenton showed up that they were able to say that they’d done the best that they could for the man. The rest was going to be up to the surgeon.  Gabe rode in the ambulance, Kenton beside her. The medic rode in front with the driver, so in the event that they needed to, they’d have room to work. As they worked together, she and Kenton, Cook came around once to tell Kenton to watch over his son for him. “You’re going to make it, Gerald.” She nearly asked who that was when the cook nodded. “The good doctor here, she got you all put back together, and once we get you to the hospital, she’s going to remove that knife you got stuck in you and you’ll be as good as new. But you have to believe us, Gerald. You know as well as I do that if you give up on her, Sandra is going to kick my ass. You hear me?” “Yes, she’s a mite mean when she wants to be.” Gerald moved in and out of consciousness and talked to them both when he was awake. “Had I been able to, I’d of just shifted, but not with a knife in my gullet.” It had never occurred to her that the man wasn’t human. Not that it mattered, but she might have removed the knife and let him shift. Kenton spoke to her in low tones as Gerald was out again. “Had you removed the blade from him in the kitchen, he would have been too weak to shift and he would have died. You did right by waiting.” She told him what she’d been thinking. “I could see that on your face. Don’t second guess yourself when you work for me. If you do, then you’ll fuck up.” “Am I? Going to work for you, I mean?” He just grinned. It made him look more handsome, and she was pretty sure that he used that a lot to his advantage. “I’m having troubles from the hospital where I came from. They won’t release my records.” “I don’t need them. As far as I’m concerned, you proved yourself to be a worthy partner.” She nodded and looked down at Gerald. “You said that he could have died had I removed the knife. I don’t understand a great deal about shifters.”
“You’ll learn. Gerald is a wolf. There is a lot of pack around the area. Nearly seven hundred now. The people who own the B&B where you’re staying, they’re bears. Milly is human, but she’s married to a cat.” She asked him what his family was. “My brother is a cop. He’ll be meeting us at the hospital. He has to fill out a report for insurance purposes. Milly owns the place, and while she’d never tell anyone this, she’s fallen on some hard times of late and can’t afford this hit to her bank account.” “She needs to fix up the place. Expand a little, and for the love of all that is holy, get some better seating.” Gabe didn’t point out that he’d not answered her as to what he was. She figured that he either didn’t want her to know, or it was so bad that he didn’t want to share. “I’m looking for a house. One that is ready to move into. I don’t want to have to fix something up.” “We have a few. We’re here.” Just as he said that, the ambulance made a hard stop. Had she not been holding on, she would have fallen out of the door when it opened. The man standing there in a police officer’s shirt and jeans did not look happy. “Dalton, this is my new partner, Gabriela Nola. Gabe, this is Dalton McCade. We’re dragons.” She was halfway out of the back of the ambulance when Kenton spoke. Gabe felt her breath swoosh out of her and her heart simply stop beating. She knew they were speaking, arguing really, but nothing was getting through. Not air, not sound, not even blood was running in her body. Then the pain, like someone had slapped her, registered a split second before the world around her just disappeared.

Cooper: The Manning Dragons Release Day & Giveaway

Cooper Manning and his five brothers were true dragons. Centuries ago, when the humans had turned on their kind, their father sacrificed himself to save his sons by casting a powerful spell which allowed them to walk among the humans. Even centuries later, Cooper couldn’t seem to let go of the past and despised most humans.

Carson Langley was exhausted. After being forced to work thirty-six hours straight, she unwittingly complained to the new plant owner, now she knew she was fired. There was nothing left to do but go home and cry about it later.

Cooper was sent by his brother to retrieve the helpful woman and bring her back to the plant, and he wasn’t happy about it either. It didn’t help that when she answered the door she shared his sour mood, and when he touched her hand, the magic that surged between them meant only one thing–she was his other half, and she was human…. Cooper was seeing red.
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One of my fellow dragon sisters has a upcoming release
Coming May 23rd 2017
Domlen the dragon that will have you begging for more! 
*****Can be read as a Standalone!*****
Mature Audience Only! Explicit sex scenes and language.

Domlen Draglen does not follow any rules except his own. He does not want to be like his brothers, but his need to find the lady his mother predicts to be his mate has become his focus. He wants to find her and prove his mother wrong so he can go back to his normal life. The only problem is the mouthy, curvy she-wolf interests him, but she’s not his type or is she?

Tempest Shellin wants to prove that she can be essential to her pack. When the drop dead sexy dragon shows up for her, she didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. To save her pack she agrees to his rules, but soon finds out Domlen doesn’t play fair. 

Will this Domineering dragon and mouthy she-wolf find love or will they allow traditions to keep the apart.






A time when all creatures roamed the earth as only their true selves. Where magic was celebrated. And where dragons darkened the skies every day.
“I’m afraid there is no hope for us.” No one made a sound as their leader continued. “Since the humans found out about us and what we can do, we have been doomed. I’m so terribly sorry.” Coop looked around the room. There were so few of them now that he could easily count them. When he’d been younger, thousands of years ago, there wouldn’t have been enough space for all of them to share this room. Now they were down to a quarter of them sharing the space because so many, his own wife included, had been murdered so needlessly. Coop was saddened by it all. Turning to leave the large cave, he was stopped by his brother, Xavier.  “The boys, they are well?” He nodded and smiled. Coop felt it all the way to his heart, a place that had been dead for so long, it seemed. “You have the spell? You are going to use it on them? I so wish I had thought of this before my own family was taken from me, Coop. You are a brave man and a good father.” “Thank you. And I shall use it tonight. It is the only way to save them.” Xavier nodded, his own heart heavy with the losses they’d suffered. “You know that I would have shared should I have had it sooner. I’m so sorry, brother. All of my heart, it’s sorry for you.” “I know that. I do. But they’re all gone now. My other half, my children. Killed for things that are not fair to our kind.” Coop knew that all too well. “Aria was a good woman, Coop. A good woman and mother to your sons. She will be missed forever.” “Aye, in my heart and those of my sons.” Xavier stood there for several seconds and Coop told him he must go. “They’re awaiting word on what is to happen with us all.” “One more thing, if you please. It won’t take but a second. I have left them all that I have. It is where you keep them hidden away, the boys. Deep within the cave, it’s all there.” Coop asked him what he meant. “I cannot go on, brother. I cannot. There is too much grief in my heart for me to live. I have left my things for your children there. They might survive this, with the magic that you’ve given them. And if so, they’ll need more than you have to help them.” “Xavier, please, you mustn’t do this. They’ll miss you as much as I.” Xavier nodded and said that it had begun. “You can come and stay with us. You’ll live with us in the caves.” “Nay. I cannot. I must go. Just tell them that I love them. With all of my heart.” There would be no stopping him once his heart was made up, Coop knew this, but it made his heart no less full for it. “Goodbye, my brother. Take care that you are not caught by the humans.” Coop made his way back to his hidden cave and sat before the fire. The boys, he knew, were resting, their bodies getting stronger daily with their age. Soon they would be as big as him, dragons of worth and size.
When his eldest son came to him, his eyes full of fear, Coop knew that it was well past time that he did what he’d been practicing. The magic that would keep them safe. Gathering his sons, six of them in varying shades of blues and greens, he asked them to have a seat, that he had a story to tell them. It wasn’t a story, not truly, but a tale that would hopefully keep them safe. “A witch told me once of a great magic that only few can do. It takes a loving heart and a strong dragon to make it work. I have asked her and she has told me how to make it so. This magic, it will keep you all safe from the humans.” They nodded, each of them knowing that it was a human blade that had taken the life of their dear mother. “I will perform this upon you, each of you at the same time, and give you some magic that you will use when you need it. This magic, strong and powerful, will let you roam with the humans, and they’ll not know that your true self is just below your flesh.” “You mean we’ll be humans as well?” He nodded, then shook his head at Cooper, his oldest. “I don’t understand, Father. Will you explain?” “Yes. The magic that I will give you will let you change into your true self when you are alone. But when you are out in the world, you will need to be a human. A man.” Cooper looked at his brothers, then back at him as he continued. “With this magic, I will also give you a gift. Something that you will need to keep yourself safe should they find out. A stronger armor than any other dragon before you, as well as the same immortality that you have now, as man or dragon.” Hudson stared at him for long moments. He was the thinker, and if he could think of a reason for this not to work, he would voice it loudly. He was much like his mother in that. She would be the first to say when she did or did not like something. And the first to say that the plan was perfect. He only hoped that she would have approved of this. “I think you are very smart, Father. To try and keep us safe. But I can only think that this will not work on you. Or is that your plan?” The boy was much too smart, Coop thought. “If you change us, who will change you?” “There will be no one to change me, son. I will…. It is my wish to join your mother in this earth.” He watched them, seeing if they understood the love that he’d lost when she’d been murdered. “Giving you this magic, it will be something I can tell her that I’ve done for her sons. You know as well as I that she loved you more than anything on this earth, including herself.” “She died saving us.” Coop nodded at Lincoln. “I’m not happy that you’re going to die, Father, but I understand wanting to be with Mother. I miss her more every day.” “As do I.” He looked at his sons, all of them growing into dragons of worth. “I must have an agreement from you all. If even one of you does not want this, then it will not work. I would say that you should think on this hard. For once I have given this to you, there will be no going back.” “I wish to have it.” He knew that Cooper would be the first. Not that he didn’t love his father, but Cooper would see things in a way that most would not. To not have this done would mean a certain death for them all. Dragons were too valuable dead not to be hunted for all time. “I will do whatever it takes to make sure that you are proud of me as well.”
“I am already, Cooper. Forever.”  The others nodded too. They were ready for this, as much as he was dreading it. Because once he started the process to change his sons into men, then he would begin to die. It would take all that he was to change them. Standing up, spreading his wings out behind him, Coop told them about the things that their uncle had left them. They knew where the family jewels were, the things that their mother had left them as well. Once they were standing, their bodies strong and healthy, he felt his heart swell and break for what he was about to do. “I, Cooper Manning, of the Manning Dragons of the earth, give to my sons, Cooper, Hudson, Lincoln, Lucas, Tristan, and Xavier, all that I am. Each of you will take a part of the earth with you when you are converted. The part of you that is unique in all ways will be strengthened and enhanced. You will be immortal, forever, and those that you take to your heart will be as well.” His sons bowed before him when he told them to. He said the words over them that would change them to men. Coop could feel his body shutting down, his heart beating a little less. But he had one more thing he wished to bless them with, and held himself upright to give it from his own dying heart. “One day, true love will come to you. And you will have more than you’ve ever known. It will fill you in ways that you cannot ever imagine. Love will be yours for all times. For only then will you become a true dragon, a Manning dragon.” ~~~ Cooper sat with his brothers while their father lay dying. Coop’s heart was weak from what he’d done, and it was tearing him apart. Father was weak, yes, but he continued to tell them tales of their mother, of their adventures when they were only small dragons. They were going to be alone soon…their father was so close to joining their mother that it hurt Cooper in ways that he hadn’t expected.  “What shall we do with his body?” Cooper looked at Tristan and asked him what he meant. “He will not be able to lie here. If the humans were to find him, they’ll surely cut him up into pieces. I don’t want that for him. We were never able to bury Mother in the proper way after what they did to her.” “We could burn his body.” Cooper wondered how that would work when Hudson continued. “His scales will be worthless to them should they come upon his body. The magic that he held within him also will be useless to them. He will be nothing more than a carcass that they’ll leave alone.” Burn his body. It was something to think about. But he didn’t want to, not while he was still breathing, his body still alive. When he laid his head upon his father’s chest, hearing his heart beating slower and slower, Cooper wondered what his father would think if he knew that the magic that he’d given them hadn’t worked. That they were all still dragons. “He gave his life to keep us safe. But it did not work.” No one said anything to him as they each watched their father. “Dragons such as we are, we’ll be hunted and killed by the humans. There is nothing we can do but wait for them.”
“We will survive if we stay here.” Cooper told Xavier that they’d have to leave here eventually. “To feed and to fly, yes. But perhaps we could do that only at night. To keep to the skies and not let them see us.” “They know we are about and will have spies out looking for our lairs. We will have to kill any man that comes for us, and still we will not be safe. We are, after all, dragons that have a great deal of magic.”  Coop stopped breathing. Cooper didn’t hear his father’s heart, and knew that it was at an end. He was quiet for a bit longer, waiting, hoping for just one more beat, one more sound that would mean he was still alive. But there was nothing. Their father was dead. Sitting up, he told his brothers that Coop had passed from this world into the next. None of them had ever seen a dragon die before. Their mother had been dead when they found her. Each dragon that they’d come upon when they were out had been dead long before they found them, their bodies stripped of every part of them so that they resembled less of a dragon and more like a pile of bones that had been cut up.  Dragon’s scales were used for roofs for humans’ homes, and for shields. The very meat of them was roasted and stored away so that it could be used for medicines and potions. Their hearts were cut up and dried, then ground into a powder for the humans to use to keep them from sickness, as well as magic to have a grand garden and trees heavy with fruit. The only part that would be left was the bones, and sometimes even those were carried off and used for something. Cooper hated all humans. “We will do as suggested by Hudson. It is the only assured way that we can—”  Before he could finish, he felt the stirring of the earth. It shook so hard that it knocked each of them off their feet. As they lay there, terrified that someone was coming for them, their father appeared before them.  His body was still aground. But instead of dark in death, he was brilliant in light. Faeries, thousands upon thousands of faeries, seemed to be covering him. Before Cooper could tell them to stop, to leave him alone, Father spoke. “I love you, my sons.” Each of them nodded, and their fear was almost something Cooper could touch. “I will now and forever join my true love, your mother. I must warn you, when you find your other half, and you will, you’ll have to be careful of the Slayers. They’ll know what you’ve found by the magic you both will share. My sons, you will leave this place and take your place among men. Becoming someone that I will be proud of.” “Father, the magic didn’t work. We’re still dragons.” Cooper felt shameful to say a thing to his father. To tell him that his sacrifice had not worked. “We will be hunted and killed.” “Nay, you only need to think of being your other half. Becoming a man is that simple. The same when you wish to be your true self.” Cooper wasn’t sure what that meant, but his father continued before he could ask. “Go now, before men come here. The magic to hide me will draw them here. Be safe, my sons, and know that I love you more than I do any other creature on this earth.” Cooper stood then. The faeries were still working, taking the body of his father apart. But as he watched, he could see that they weren’t doing that at all, but preserving his
body. Faerie ropes were all around him…strings of magic wrapped around him like a cocoon that made him invisible to all. As Cooper stood there, his brothers beside him, he knew that, like him, they mourned the loss of yet another parent. “You are the eldest?” He nodded to the faerie when she asked. “We have a gift for you. For all of you, but you will receive the most. Your father was a great man, your mother a queen among her people. We wish to bestow upon you all that your father had.” “My brothers, they will need it as well. I should like to share.” She smiled at him and bowed. “What have you done with his body?” “He is being prepared to be moved. We will make a grand garden upon him. Flowers will be there for all to see, but only few will know that a dragon is there with his other half, his love.” He nodded. It was as it should be. “You will take this gift? You will share, but as I said, you will get more than the others.” “I don’t care. Please, just do what you must so that we can hide.” She nodded again and touched her fingers, small tiny ones, to his forehead. Then she did the same to the others before coming back to him. “It is done? You have shared it with us?” “I have, Lord Cooper. But you must leave here now. There are humans coming. The magic that we used to do this thing has given them cause to come here.” He nodded and looked at the ground where their father had been. “He is safe. Just as your mother is now. Go, before they find you here and murder you as well.” He thanked her for her help and left. The exit from this part of the cave was hidden so well that only they knew about it. As they made their way into the night, he thought of the human inside of him, and the pain of it took his breath away. In seconds he was down on his knees. Whatever was happening, he was surely going to die. “You’re a man.” He looked up at his brothers as they began to change into men themselves. “We’ll be safe now, all of us. We’ll be humans for them until we can find a place where we can be ourselves.” “I don’t think that’s ever going to happen again.” Hudson nodded and held his head tightly as he did so. “We will need to train ourselves in their ways. Become what they are. But never monsters.” “No, never that.” They made their way to a building…any would do for now. Hudson, like Cooper, was staggering a little, but they were getting stronger as they moved. He turned to look at Cooper as they were settling in the empty shell of a house. “We will need to buy things, houses and such.” “Yes. But tomorrow. I am too tired to think beyond how much we have lost.” Hudson and the others agreed. “When the humans are gone from our cave, we’ll go and find what Father was telling us about earlier, about the wealth that will keep us safe.” “I only hope there is a great deal of it. I don’t know how to work, nor to become a part of their world, do you?” Cooper told Xavier, the youngest brother, that they’d soon learn. “I hope so. I hope so.” He did as well. It was going to be hard enough for them to learn to eat and dress like them, much less get around. Cooper hoped that this worked. For he was as afraid as he’d ever been in his life.

Everette: The English Dragon Release Day & Giveaway

Cassie had just arrived in Danburn’s territory and she knew as a dragon she had to report to him. Whether she liked it or not, she’d gone from one ruling male, her father, to another. Being a female dragon, and unmated, she felt cursed for her lot.
Everette Welsh, Rett to his friends, was having a hard time making ends meet. He was a good attorney, but it seemed to do him little good. His good friend, Danburn, insisted he quit his job and come work for him. Rett had no intentions of taking Danburn up on his offer, but when his boss called him into his office and was demanding that he apologize for threatening a man who blackmailing him, the words “I quit” spilled from his mouth without thinking. However, once said, he felt better for it.
Rett found himself on the wrong end of a shotgun blast, and Cassie gave a bit of herself to save him. There were only three conditions of taking dragon’s blood that a human would survive, and the other two didn’t apply to him. Rett and Cassie were mates.
Only two things stood in their way: Rett’s obnoxious mother, and Cassie’s father, a lethal combination…

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Danburn English is the ninth earl of the English castle. He and his dragon alter ego have been on this earth for a very long time. Danburn is accustom to his orders being followed to the letter, no questions asked, so when this feisty young woman bucks his authority he is beyond angry.

Kendrick Barrera can’t seem to get caught up. Every time she turns around, her sister is in trouble again. Now, because of her sister’s new mess, she’s being evicted and has nowhere to go.
Danburn’s intentions were to defend her honor, but when Kendrick intervenes, she steps in front of a punch intended for her mouthy landlord. Now Danburn has to step back and take a good long look at himself, and he doesn’t much like what he sees.
Kendrick doesn’t care for the overbearing lord of the manor and makes no bones about telling him so either. No one, especially him, is going to tell her what to do or how to act or dress.
There is something about the feisty woman that has touched Danburn’s heart. She has a rare honesty and bravery that has him take notice. A woman like that is hard to find and should be protected and cherished. The chemistry is there, they’ve both felt it, but controlling his mouth just might get in the way of winning Kendrick’s heart….



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Chapter 1  
Rett needed a break. It was that or he was going to break someone. He stretched his neck muscles, hearing them pop and crack, and smiled when the man across from him seemed to freeze up for several seconds. Leaning onto his desk, he was glad to see the man back away as far as his chair would allow. “I’ve not asked you for a great deal of money, Mr. Welsh. Only enough to see me through this hard time. You’ll pay for the retraction or things will not go as you had hoped they would.” Mr. Ralph—Douglas, he thought his first name was—smiled at him. “It matters very little if it’s true or not. People will have it in the back of their mind for all time. Every time something else is written about you, even if it is true, they’ll think of this. So, you pay me, then I’ll see to it that a retraction is printed, not that it will do you much good. You’re about as done in as they come, I think.” “You are right about that and more. But even had you only asked me for a dime, Dougie, you wouldn’t have gotten it. I don’t do well with people who blackmail me. And in the event you’ve missed reading your own papers of late, I’ll let you know something that the entire world probably knows. I don’t have any money. Not even the dime that you might have asked for.” Dougie said his name was Douglas. “Well, when you come to my office, making demands that piss me off, I need to find some pleasure. And shortening your name gives me that. Now, as I was saying, Dougie, I don’t think you understand the consequences of pissing me off.” “What are you going to do, Everettey?” For some reason his comeback about his own name was funny to him. “What do you think people will say when I tell them that you’ve threatened me? I will too. Do whatever it takes to get you to pay me. Do you think they’ll come running to your aid? I think not. They’ll say you’re the monster that I’ve portrayed you as. Just pay me the money, I’ll put in a retraction, and then things will be good for us both. For a while anyway.” Dougie laughed again. “You just never know what might happen if I find I like getting money from jerks like you. But the article as it stands will run regardless of your opinion of me or what you call me.” Rett’s phone ringing startled him and Dougie. Instead of telling the man to fuck off, which he really wanted to do, he picked up his phone. The laughter at the other end made him smile. There was only one person in the world that laughed like that. It was his good friend Danburn. “I’m wondering if you’d like to come and spend the holidays with us. We’re going all out this year. Mother has even gotten some of the staff to…. What’s happening?” Rett laughed. Even to his ears it sounded bitter and cold. “Tell me what’s going on, or so help me, I’m coming to get you. You’ve had enough crap going on for several lifetimes.” “I have at that. But right now, I have a man in my office that is blackmailing me. And the really strange part of it is, he’s thinking that he’s going to get money from me. Apparently, he thinks that I’m going to just bend over and take it up the ass. Would you like to buy a newspaper and get me out of this shit?” Danburn asked him the name of the paper. “The Centennial. You’ve heard of it. It just ran your marriage announcement. 
Which I hate that I had to miss, but with money being tight and all…. Well, I’m even further down on my luck than before with this jackass here.” “Hang on. Let me do some checking on something.”  The man across from him looked at his nails, then brushed off something only he could see from his pants. He was trying to act as if he had not one care in the world, and Rett had a feeling that he didn’t. The man was used to getting his own way in this sort of thing.  When Danburn came back on the line several minutes later, gone was the laughter and in its place was the man he knew could be as hard as nails.  “Put Mr. Ralph on the phone, please. I’d very much like to speak to him.” The laughter and humor were gone, and in their place was the man that frightened him a little, even through a phone connection. Rett just handed Dougie the phone without a word. He had no idea how Danburn knew who was in his office or who he had talked to while he held the line. But when Dougie whimpered and stood up, Rett got up as well to get himself a bottle of water. It would be like his friend to make someone shit themselves even over the phone. Without a word to him, the phone was laid on the desk and Dougie left. When he picked it back up, not only was Danburn talking, but a woman was speaking as well. It had to be Danburn’s new wife. And she was having a good time with whatever was going on at their end. “Thank you, love. Now we only have to get Rett here and things will be so much—” The woman’s voice again. Rett wasn’t quite sure if she was pissed or laughing, but Danburn growled low. “If you do that, then I will spank you.” “Danburn?” The laughter again, and this time it made him laugh as well. “I’m only assuming that you’re speaking to your lovely wife, and she thinks whatever you did to Dougie was wrong.” “She spoke to him, made him tell her what he was up to. I did not. She’s very good at that, making people tell her the truth when all they want to do is lie to me. What a world we’ve come to, don’t you think? Where the first thing people want to do is lie to you. Sad is what it is, just sad.” Danburn laughed. It was something that he’d now heard his friend do several times in the last several moments. A thing that Rett hadn’t done himself in a very long time before now. “Come here to stay for a few days. A month. Hell, for the rest of your days. I miss you. And I need your help.” “I’ve got to work. Unlike some people who own the world, I need to pay my bills and eat. And my mom’s bills too. Apparently, my dad hadn’t been…never mind. You only need to become your other self and feed yourself by gorging on fresh fish. Which, I will say, is much too fresh for my tastes.” He leaned back in his chair. “I miss you as well. And I’m sorry I couldn’t come for the wedding. I would have loved to have met your wife. But as I said, I can’t right now. I have a lot of things riding on me having a job, even as piss poor as it is.” “She regrets it too. The not meeting you part…she loves being my wife.” Rett would just bet she did. “Like I was saying, I need you for a few things. A good attorney is hard to come by, and you’re the best. But I’m sending a plane for you now. You’ll be on it or 
so help me, Rett, I’m going to become my other self and come there for you. I’m sure that won’t go over any better for you than the now dead article in the paper.” The article. He’d completely forgotten about it in talking with his friend. Dougie said that he was going to have an entire story printed up that told all about his family. Some of it would be true…there had to be a kernel of truth to make people believe the rest. And if he was honest with himself, he would have thought the public had all they wanted on him and his family. But Dougie had pointed out—and he might have been right—that a scandal was what people craved. Even when it was a lie. “Did you buy it? The newspaper? Did you buy it?” He told him he already owned it. “It figures. You own everything, my dear friend. But this thing, I can’t believe he thought that he could get anything out of me. Danburn, they think I’m rich. Everyone does when they hear someone is an attorney. I’m not. Why would someone come here, say that I’m some sort of asshole and killer, then expect me to come up with forty million dollars? I don’t even think there is forty dollars period in my account, much less forty million.” “I’m sorry buddy. I truly am. I’ve been reading up on your dad’s ordeal again, and your mom’s predicament as well. You should know that I wish I could have been there for you from the first, but I had no idea at the time that it was you. But I have good news. I need you to come and work for me, Rett. I’ve asked and asked, but now I need you here.” Rett closed his eyes. He knew Danburn was serious, but he had no idea of the obligations that held him here. “I’m sending the plane and my wife to get you. When she gets there, you’d be best served to do as she says. She’s not a nice person when she doesn’t get her way.” “I bet she would have to be hard being married to you. But I just can’t do it, Danburn. I’ve told you this before, I’m broke. I have vacation left but if I quit, I’ll even lose that. I have no money to take off even if I wanted to. I don’t even have…. Hell, Danburn, I don’t even have a pot to piss in right now.” He told him he knew that. “You would. I can’t swing it without things falling apart here. I’ve told you that. I’m supporting my mom and myself pretty poorly right now.” “I’m going to help you. And so you know, my wife is on her way.” When the line went dead, Rett put the receiver in the cradle.  He wanted to cry. Turning his chair so that he faced his tiny window with the worst view ever, Rett was tempted to jump. He was sure that he’d live. That his broken body would be on life support forever and he’d be broker, if that was even possible, than he was now. All he had was his name, a name that used to mean things. Now it only meant ruin. Rett—Everette Welsh the third, to be exact—had gone to college with Danburn. Not with him, really, but they met there. While he had struggled to study, Danburn had cruised. When things came up, like fees and such, Rett had taken a second job. Danburn had just pulled out his credit cards. The man had it all, and Rett had been in awe of how mature, how smart the man had been. Then he found out the truth. They weren’t friends then, only acquaintances really. Danbur Danburn was in his study group, not that he ever showed up for them. They shared a table together in lab too, and had spoken during class. That had been the extent of their 
conversations and friendship until one night, when he’d been invited to his home for a dinner party for Danburn’s mother, Elissa. Two men who were as different as night and day in the same house.  The dinner was far better than anything he’d had in a long while. The courses were perfectly timed, the wine flowing. As he sat there with Danburn and his mother, they all talked about not just college, but Danburn’s other home, the servants that had come here for the party, and the things they were going to do when they graduated in a few months. He’d known very little about the big man. It wasn’t until about halfway through their first year that he realized that not only was Danburn a truly nice guy, but he wasn’t human. He’d told him—during a bitch session with him—that he could change into a dragon. A big fucking one, he’d told Rett. That night, the night of the dinner, he got to see him in his full glory. It was that part, the man shifting into a large dragon, which had startled him out of the house and into oncoming traffic. Rett had thought, but knew better now, that Danburn had been trying to fob him off, get rid of him with this ridiculous story throughout their college years. But the car that had hit him had nearly killed him, and brought the two men together in such a way that Rett still wondered about. It was then that he met the other people that Danburn had called friends too, each of them dragons in their own right. And Rett had been friends with them all since that fateful night. Not that he thought Danburn had had anything to do with him being hurt. He knew it was his own fault, running away from words that confirmed what he’d been told several times over the years. Danburn had not left his side the entire time Rett was in the hospital. And when he’d been released, his leg and arm in a cast, Danburn had brought him to his home, a larger home than most of the dorms that he’d not been able to afford, and helped him catch up with his classes. That was when he’d learned that not only was Danburn a dragon, but he was older than anything Rett had ever known. And much better off than Rett could have ever in all his life imagined. “I don’t need the education. As I have told you, I’m not human. But I’m not in my twenties either. I’m old enough to remember things that even history books no longer cover. The money that I have, it’s from my family. So far back now that I doubt even my mom knows who started the first savings account that put us where we are now.” Rett had nodded then, not sure if he wanted to know it all. “You have questions?” “Too many to put out right now. You’re a dragon, I know that, but are there more of you? I mean, your mom for sure, but others too?” Danburn nodded and told him he knew two others. Hanson McClain and Kip Newton. “How am I supposed to believe that, Danburn? I mean, I know you showed me, so I know that you’re not lying to me, but I have to admit, it’s a lot to take in. Especially for me, when I’ve never even thought of dragons.” “Would you like for me to show you again?” Rett said no, once was enough. “You’re a good man, Rett. A better friend too. And the reason that you’ve never thought of dragons is because we like to keep it that way. For humans not to ever get it in their heads that they have to be out hunting for us like they used to.”  
“All right, I guess I can understand that. I mean, you hear about…I guess I never thought that part was true either. That there were dragons that flew the sky.” He looked around the room, then at the books that he’d been studying. “Why are you doing this for me? I’m not in your league of…well, anything. Why?” “You’re a good man, as I said. And you’re going to make a great lawyer someday. I think, sometime down the line, I might need you to come and rescue me from myself.” Rett told him about his money worries. About his family and his father. “I’ve taken care of your money issues at the college. There isn’t much I can do about the rest, I’m sorry for that. But the other…well, it’s the very least I could do after what I made you do by running from me. You won’t have to work anymore to go here, either. There is a fund set up for you to use for housing and food.” “I don’t want you to do that.” He told him it was done. “Danburn, you don’t know me. For all you know, I could be this guy who scams people all the time. I need for you to stop this now.” “I trust you more than with my life, but those of my friends and family as well. Besides, it’s done. And someday, I don’t know when, I might need you to come to help me. I’d like for you to think of this as a loan, a loan until you can repay me with help.” He nodded, unsure how that was going to work. “Rett, I swear to you, I will never ask you for anything that you aren’t willing to give.” As the years rolled by, he studied like it was his job. At first, he’d not wanted to take help from the other man, but he needed it to make it work. His name, the Welsh name, hadn’t been much in a long time, but it got worse once he was out of school and trying to make a name for himself. Rett looked up from his musings when someone touched his hand. “Mr. Welsh, Mr. Peashaw would like to speak to you.” What now? he wondered. But instead of asking, he told Mary that he’d go now. “I don’t think he’s very happy.” “Do you know what’s going on?” She shrugged and he smiled. The girl was as shy as he was when it came to making friends. “I might need some empty boxes with the way my luck has been going of late. I don’t know what he might want, but to be called to his office like this, it can’t be good.” “You’ll be all right, I know it. You’re a good attorney.” He nodded. Rett was a good attorney, he just worked for shitty people. “Go on now. See what he wants. Maybe he has a promotion coming up.” Not likely, but he made his way to the tenth floor. If Mr. Peashaw could have managed it, he would have had his offices on the roof, just so he could have the highest level to look down on people. Rett had disliked the man since he interviewed with him all those years ago, but he had taken the job when no other offers were forthcoming. As he knocked on the door, Rett ignored the secretary at the desk. She was as snobbish as Peashaw was, and even if he were to ask her a question, she’d just glare at him. He figured that was her job, to put people in a bad mood before they entered the office. Rett realized how much he really hated his job. The room, when he was allowed entrance, was just as it had been all those years ago when he’d interviewed with the man. The walls were dark, the furniture too, and the 
carpet was a blue so dark that it looked black. Not even a dust moot dared mar the dark surface. The books, all of them as old or older than Rett was at thirty-two, were dark with age and unused. It was like being in a cave. Or a haunted house. He sat down when told to in the most uncomfortable chair he’d ever put his butt in. “Mr. Welsh. What do you have to say for yourself?” He had plenty to say, he supposed, but nothing that Peashaw wanted to hear. Of that he was positive. “I’ve just gotten off the phone with the local rag, the Centennial. They’re saying that you’ve threatened one of their staff.” “I don’t think Mr. Ralph was actually working there. But yes, I did in a way. But not until after he threatened me. He was printing an article about me that wasn’t true.” His boss stared at him. “He put in there that I was a murderer, and I’m not.” “Might do you some good to have a wife. She’d keep you cleaned up if nothing else.” Rett didn’t even bother looking down at his worn and old suit. He had no idea where his comment had come from, but it was a moot point he supposed. It was probably in reference to his own wife and how, rumor had it, she picked out everything the man wore, including his underthings. “But we don’t like to have our people threaten anyone. You’ll apologize this moment and take out an ad in the paper stating that you were wrong.” “I’m not wrong. I think I’d remember if I had murdered someone, don’t you think?” His boss asked him if he was trying to be funny. “No, but I don’t think I should have to tell someone I’m sorry for him lying about me. And, well, if I apologize, it looks like I am someone that would kill for no apparent reason, and I’d never do that. I don’t think I’d ever murder a person for any reason, as a matter of fact.” “I don’t see what one thing has to do with the other. Just man up and do what I said.” He started shuffling the papers around on his desk, dismissing him, Rett knew. “I’ll expect to see it in tomorrow’s edition. That’ll be all.” “I quit.” The words spilled out almost too quickly. Rett looked at Peashaw when he finally looked at him, and could see that he was just as shocked as Rett was. But when the words hung there, just for a moment, Rett realized that’s just what he wanted to do. “I can’t be subject to a firm that won’t back up someone that’s been here for as long as I have. I will turn in my resignation before I leave for the day.” “And what will you do, Welsh? Run your own firm? You don’t have the money to get your rent paid on time since your father killed those two people and left you high and dry. Why, your mother is calling here every week wondering if there is some delay in your pay so that she can get her part of it on time.” Mr. Peashaw shook his head and went back to shuffling papers. “You are no more quitting than I am. Get back to work, and like I said, have that apology in the paper tomorrow.”  “No.” Rett was feeling better with every word. “I’m not going to do that, and I’m not going to work here any longer. I’ve had enough, and I think this is the best thing I could do for myself. My mother will have to…. Well, I’ll survive this. As I have a great many things in the past, I suppose.” Before he could change his mind, he left the office. On his way back to his desk, he thought of all the shit this was going to do to him. How hard it was even now to make 
the threads of his life meet. But he wasn’t going to stay here. Not any longer. And that alone gave him a little more bounce in his steps. It took security ten minutes to make it to his desk. He had already told Mary what he’d done, cleaned out his desk, and had his equally threadbare coat on. It was terrifying to think he was out of work, but it was also the best feeling he’d had in a long time. He was standing on the sidewalk when it hit him. He was no longer employed. Going to his apartment, Rett set his things on his table and sat down. He didn’t have the slightest clue what he was going to do now. There wasn’t much in the way of food in his house, no stash of money to lean on when things got tough. Things were always tough for him, it seemed. And he had no idea what his mother would think. The worst, no doubt.  As he sat down to a bowl of cereal, the last good meal he would have for a while, he thought of nothing but putting the food on the spoon and getting it to his mouth. He was nearly done with it when someone knocked on his door. He could only stare at the beautiful woman standing there. She had a coat in her hand that looked entirely too large for her, and a smile that not only put him at ease but made him smile back at her. “Hi. It’s chilly out, isn’t it? I forgot my coat, and this was on the plane. I think it belongs to Danburn.” The woman standing at his doorstep took his breath away. He knew who she was, Danburn’s wife, but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember her name. “Kendrick. Danburn told you I was coming. I’m here to take you back with me.” “I quit my job today.” She grinned at him. “I don’t know why I did that, but I’m in deep shit. But I’m free to come for a visit now, I guess.” “Great. We’ll be glad to have you, for as long as you want to stay. But as far as you being in deep shit, I don’t believe that either. From what I’ve been told about you, you’re a very resourceful man.” Rett told her that Danburn always said that. “And I’m sure he’s right. Well, since you have no ties here now, you can pack up and come with me. The plane is waiting for us. Someone will come here and close up for you too. I’ve already arranged it.” “Why?” She told him that she knew she’d be able to talk him into coming with her, and didn’t want to chance him changing his mind. “No, I mean, why are you wanting me to go home with you? I don’t know what Danburn told you, but I’m not really the type of person he hangs around with.” “I’m not the type of person that one like him marries either, but here we are. And I’ve been where you are right now. Broke, no hope, and nothing to show for all the hard work you’ve put in.” He nodded before he could think that wasn’t something he should share. “Come on now, Rett. Let’s get you going before Danburn comes too.” He wasn’t sure how it happened, but within an hour not only was he going with her, but they were having dinner on a very expensive plane. Rett also found that he really liked Kendrick English. She was a perfect match to his friend the dragon. ~~~ 
Cassie walked the hallway once more, just to make sure there was nothing out of place. She’d been doing that all day, just taking a trip down hallways to make sure that the place was ready to open in a couple of days. She wanted things to be perfect. Three weeks ago, she’d found herself on the doorstep of Danburn English. She knew what he was. His dragon, larger and stronger than hers, had called to hers. As soon as she met him, Cassie wanted to leave the area immediately. When she’d first met him she thought…well, he wasn’t a mean person, just not…kind, she supposed she’d call him. Then she’d met Kendrick. “I need someone to work with me. Not behind me, but right beside me. I know that you’re a dragon, and I could also use some help with that as well.” Cassie had nodded, then shook her head. “You don’t want to work with me? Well that sucks. I thought we could be a good partnership or something.” “I don’t want to work for anyone. What I mean is, I don’t have to work, not really. I have money, a great deal of it, but I can’t get to it. I might not ever be able to, honestly. My father is holding it over my head. I’m only here…well, I’m here because I have no place to go and my dragon needs to submit to Lord English’s while I’m in the area. I know that I’m babbling, and I’m sorry about that, but I’ve been having some trouble lately and…. Well, let’s just say that while I’m here, I’m under Danburn’s rule.” She asked her why her father was doing that. “I suppose because he can. He is not a nice person at all, and has it in his head that women, all of them, are only good for a couple of things. Mostly to cater to his needs. It’s not his money but mine. But because of the laws of our kind, he can pretty much do what he wants. I have no mate that can, I guess, take over his duties of making my life a living hell on earth.” “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” Cassie agreed with her, but said it was the way they’d done things for centuries, and she was just a lowly female in the eyes of the laws of their kind. “I don’t believe that any more than you do. I’m going to have Danburn look into this for you. There is no reason for you to be homeless and without money when you’ve got it.” Four days later, not only did she have her money, but her dad had also given her some of her other things. Like the jewelry that her mom had left her, as well as a few other things, personal things that Cassie thought she’d never see again. Cassie went to Danburn after her things had been delivered by a large van and asked him what he’d done. “I did nothing. My wife did.” She looked over at the small woman, then back at Danburn. “In the event you don’t know this yet, Kendrick isn’t a pushover, nor is she one to order around. I think your dad figured that out pretty quickly when she spoke to him. By the way, there are a few more things coming your way too, things that I only just found out about. He will turn them over to you.” “Thank you very much. I never…he gave me my money. All of it. And my mother’s jewels as well.” Danburn congratulated her. “No, you don’t understand. He told me that he’d sold them off. Took them and sold them to a pawn shop a few years ago.” “Well, I’m sure that he’s regretful for that as well, if that was what he actually did.” Danburn had leaned back in his chair. “So now that that’s settled, would you like to come 
and work for me? Mostly you’d be working for Kendrick. But I’d need your help on occasion too.” “Doing what? I just got out from under one bastard…I’ll not work for another.” He laughed, and she had felt her face heat up. “I’m sorry. I’m not normally so rude. I mean I am, but not to people that have gone out of their way to help me.” “That’s fine. What the job would entail is you working with my wife. Kendrick doesn’t want to be a housewife, and I don’t blame her. It’s very time consuming and we have staff. But what she wants to do is work with the homeless and find them shelter and a good hot meal. The building that we have renovated is done now. It only needs someone to keep things running smoothly. There will be people there to help you, but you would be in charge.” She asked if he normally indulged his wife. “You should ask her that. To hear her tell it, it’s all I do. But I assure you, I can only do so much before she comes down on my head again. She isn’t one to take fools lightly. And I do make a fool of myself where she’s concerned.” “And you want me to come and work for you both. Doing what?” Danburn explained just what it was they needed her to do. “That’s all? Just run the shelter for you and keep it in working condition?” “Pretty much. I mean, I’m sure there will be pitfalls. But we have attorneys for that sort of thing. There will be a staff too, one that will report only to you. Also, I’ve hired a doctor and a dentist, but I don’t know them that well and hope that they’ll work out for us. If not, then we’ll do something else.” So here she was, working for a dragon and his mate. Cassie enjoyed it too. And working for the English’s wasn’t as difficult as she thought it might be. They were good people, very much in love with one another, and they treated her with respect. Two things she’d not had a lot of in her lifetime. But they were far from friends, she thought. He was her boss, as was his mate. Cassie had just entered her office when she turned at the sound of her name. One of the people staying there full time, a helper of sorts, knocked before entering with her and closing the door behind him. “There’s are two men at the door who are asking to speak to you.” Cassie, as everyone there was calling her, asked who it was. “I’m not sure who one of them is, but the other one is Timothy Bond. He claims to be a friend of Lord English.” As she made her way to the front of the building, she tried to remember if she had any appointments today. There was no one that she could think of, but sometimes, not often, she’d forget to write something down. Or, Kendrick would set something up and forget to let her know. Cassie smelled the wolf before she got to the door and turned to Colin, the man who had come to her office, and told him to keep the cameras on the front of the place. She didn’t want any trouble, but if there was, she wanted it recorded. The doorway was open but both men stood outside it. For some reason, she thought that she’d be better off just closing the door in their faces. Cassie didn’t invite anyone into anything if she could help it. Vampires had a nasty way about them, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to tangle with one today.  
“May I help you?” The wolf turned to look at her. His eyes were a startling shade of purple, and full of anger and something more. She wanted to think she was wrong, but she thought he was insane. “We’re not open just yet. And Lord English isn’t around today.” “Danburn said he’d call you.” She didn’t say anything. He hadn’t, and if this man thought she was going to fall for this, then he was dumber than she was. “I think you should check your messages. And if you can’t read them, then find someone that can. I don’t have time to be hanging out here while you try to do your job. Danburn is a very good friend of mine, and don’t think he’s not going to hear about this.” Pulling out her phone, because there had been times when she’d missed a call, she saw that she had not just a voice message, but also two texts. Reading them over before going to the message, she saw that Danburn had indeed let her know these men were coming. But she was to ask for identification.  After checking both men’s credentials, she invited them in. The wolf, Timothy, told her to take him to the clinic with his friend, Walter. Walter, the vampire, was a doctor. Timothy…. Well, she had no idea what he might have done for a living. She thought it might be asshole. And if that was right, he was really good at his job. Before she could welcome them to the shelter, Walter looked her over like she was a bug on the wall. She disliked the man immediately. “The next time we come around, I don’t want to have to wait outside like I’m some sort of criminal. Be better prepared if you’re going to work here.” She didn’t say anything, but he must have thought she needed more bashing from him. “You’re not what I expected in a person running this place. I thought they’d be…I don’t know, smarter. At least have a good deal more respect for those that are not just older, but much more experienced in the ways of the world. Next time, pay attention so we don’t have to do this again.” “You mean like you’re giving me respect? That’s what you’re talking about? Pardon me for saying so, but you’re a dick. First class, but a dick all the same. So, fuck you and your getting respect from me.” He just stared at her. “And for your information, I’m nearly twice your age, so you should have some respect for your elders, prick. Or someone might burn you to a crisp.” As she walked away, she heard him laughing. She had no idea why she’d done that— it wasn’t like her to be so brash—but when she entered her office, Cassie called Danburn to be sure she wasn’t fired after talking like that to one of his friends. He wasn’t any happier with the man than she’d been. “Neither of them are a friend. But Walter was willing to work at the clinic a couple of days a week as a physician until I can find someone else. Timothy is…I’m not entirely sure what his role there will be, but I’ve heard that he will be in charge of getting funding for the clinic and getting others to invest. I don’t know either of them that well. But if you have to kick either of them out on their collective asses, I’ll hold the door for you.” Casandra thought that might just happen, too. She told him what had happened when they’d arrived and how she had handled it. Danburn was both pleased and tickled that she could handle things there for him. As they hung up, she wondered what his wife 
would say, but realized that she’d more than likely agree with her. Kendrick wasn’t going to take their shit either, Cassie thought. 



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Under the Owl Branch

Grady The MCCade Dragon Release Day

Harper Bailey was in way over her head, and the trouble just seemed to keep coming. Her brother-in-law had frozen her personal accounts, and now she was on the run because she wouldn’t do as she was “told.” She had been told to abort the baby. Harper hadn’t wanted the baby she had been forced to carry in the first place, but now that she’d felt life, she would protect the child with hers.
Grady McCade knew that his mate had been found when she touched the piece of jewelry. The dragon had told him that if he didn’t hurry to her side, she would be found by the dragon slayers and her life could be ended as well as the life of the babe that she carried.
With Grady and Harper together, the dragon grows stronger, and the slayers pick up the pace in their quest for all the pieces of jewelry. Can the McCades stop them before they strike again? Are any of them safe? Find out in The McCade Dragon—Grady
Emma Gentry felt like she was losing her mind. From the time she had picked up the pretty ring to examine it, she’d been hearing a voice in her head. When she ran from the demolished building, she’d slipped the ring on her finger so that she wouldn’t drop it, now she couldn’t get it off. She was in dire need of medical attention, but the voice wouldn’t let her stop to get help. There were others looking for the ring and would kill her for it. Emma was on the run.


Kenton McCade was the doctor in the family. When found Emma in his office treating a badly infected wound on her leg, he had to help her. The infection had spread and she was near death.

Kenton and his brothers were dragon shifters born without the ability to shift into their other half. The magic, it seemed, lay dormant in a sleeping dragon that was tied to six pieces of jewelry. When the ring found its way to Emma, her touch had woken the sleeping beast. When Emma touched Kenton’s sigil on his chest, he shifted to his beast for the first time. But the beast from the ring would not be complete until all the jewelry found its way to their rightful dragons…. 

Emma was still on the run…they need her to survive…but Emma trusted no one…

Jasmine Tyler was wishing she had never found those earrings in that box of junk she bought at auction. They were so pretty, and the dragons had so much detail, that she simply had to try them on. That was the biggest mistake she’d ever made. Once they were on they weren’t coming off. And those men in the black SUVs meant business. She’d hand the earrings over or they’d kill her. They’d more than likely kill her anyway even if she could get the damn things off. Now she was on the run with her young son, Gavin, and her ailing granny. A voice in her head that started when she put the earrings on was directing her to find the McCades.


The dragon had told Kenton and Jorden McCade that another piece of jewelry had been activated, and the boy that had just come into Jorden’s studio was her son. The dragon didn’t know which brother she was mated to, but she had sent the boy and her granny ahead to keep them safe. Now, another attempt had been made on her life and she was in a hospital an hour away.

The cop at the scene had been in on it, and Jasmine found herself in a pickle. She’d been drugged and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it. Her body hit the floor by her hospital bed and she was looking into the lifeless eyes of her nurse.

As soon as Jorden scooped Jasmine up off the floor and her earring touched his skin, he knew that this woman was his. The earring left a brand, marking them both. He couldn’t be happier about finding her, now to convince her to stay was going to be the problem….




THE McCADE DRAGON SERIES –
                                                            Happy Reading ,
kathisbartonauthor.blogspot.com/
First Signing of the year

ATTENTION AUTHORS & READERS
Join us for ARC NOLA 2017
Jan 27th & 28th, 2017
Holiday Inn Superdome (Just 3 blocks to the French Quarter!)
Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/arc-nola-2017-tickets-22804931163

Reader tickets only $15.00 for both days
Book Signing is FREE and open to the public

Author spots still available
Each 1/2 table includes 1 free reader ticket the author can give away.

Where Authors and Readers come together for fun in the French Quarter.

Friday is registration and small group outings into the French Quarter.
Plan what you would like to offer as an outing for the readers.

Saturday
Speed-date the authors in the morning.
Lunch break
Afternoon FREE to the public book signing
Another evening in the French Quarter

Sunday
Travel home

The ticket does not include meals.
There are so many incredible restaurants in the French Quarter;
I have left meal options up to the attendees.
Authors may want to organize small groups for lunch or dinner outings.

Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/arc-nola-2017-tickets-22804931163
Attendee Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744305265789567/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Authorreadercon

Prologue
The queen, his queen, sat upon her throne and cried. Warrior, the only name he’d ever been given, moved closer to her, close enough that she could touch him should she wish. He gave her warmth, something that he could tell that she needed in this cold room, even with the hearth overflowing with flames. The jewels, which were as much a part of her as the crown that she wore, glistened in the evening fires. And she wore them like the queen that she was. “We’re to be put out, my friend. Whatever shall I do if I have no home, nor any place to house my people? They will surely die without food and shelter.” He had no answer for her. Warrior thought she knew this too. But it made him feel good to know that his queen thought of the others in her keep before her own troubles. “He took it all from me. All. And for what, pray? Because he could? Because it made him feel like a king? I made him one, and he has done this to us. He thinks to take this all from me for another woman. Another woman that will have nothing once he tires of her as well.” Warrior looked up at her when she began to pace the large room. Not much remained here now, not like the riches that had been here centuries ago. Once there had been large tapestries, and long tables with bejeweled ornaments upon them. Paintings had adorned the halls, of ancestors that had lived and died to make this castle the strong fortress that it was. Blades had hung along the walls, their nicks and mars in the steel telling their own stories. Riches beyond what any man could have in one lifetime had been abundant, yet the new king, the one that had been chosen for his lady queen, would have more, took more. Or he would kill to get it. Babes had been born here, and as adults they had died in the same bed that they’d taken their first breath in. This place had bred queens that fought beside their men until death. And now it was in near ruin because of greed. Warrior wanted to help her in some way, but wasn’t sure what he could do. The ring on her finger flashed, and he was saddened that someone else would wear his gift to her. The jewelry he’d forged for her was the only thing that the king had not been able to find and sell off. She had done well with that at least, making sure that it was held in the family for future generations. “The other dragons, have you told them to scatter?” He told her that they had all gone into hiding, save him. “You should have left with them, Warrior. I love you most of all, and should you be captured, then I feel all will be lost.” “I will not leave you, my queen. Without you, there would be no us.” Warrior sat up when the doors opened behind them. The little boy, Caelin, came to him and climbed up on his back. A seat was there, forever, for the queen to use when she surveyed her kingdom. But little Caelin, he knew that he’d be just as welcome. “Come, my queen. Sit upon my back and let me take you someplace safe.” “No. You must be safe. For my son.” He started to tell her that without her, none of them would ever be safe. “I have a plan. A good plan, but I need you to help me with it. It’ll work. You’ll see. Caelin and his children’s children will be safe because of it.” She told him of her plan to gather him into the jewels to keep him safe for her son. Also how doing this would keep the jewelry for them, the only thing that was of value she had left save
the little boy. By separating the jewels like this, no one person would own the dragon, her dragon.  “I do not understand how my being magically separated will help your child. I can do more harm as myself than most armies can defeat.” She held her son in her arms now. Her mind, he knew, was seeing beyond what they were looking at now. The gift of sight, even her own demise, was a gift or a curse that she held to herself. Not even her husband, the traitor, knew about it. “Many generations from now my son’s children will have the pieces. And when they do, all the pieces will make you whole again.” They both looked at the sleeping child. “Many will be broken by the curse that I shall put upon these jewels. There will be lives taken, children unborn, until the right generation comes along and makes it work. But when the right family is gathered, when they love harder than any other, there will be riches beyond their wildest dreams. Jewels and long life. There will be dragons again, too. The queen, a queen beyond what I am to you now, will rule you all once again as you darken the skies as you once did.” It took them well into the next day for the magic to work. Warrior watched over her and the small boy as he got weaker; each part of Warrior that she took to add to the jewels that he’d forged for her made him less and less. He would not have it any other way, not when she was so determined to give this for her child. When there was nothing left of him but a single spark, as she called it, he felt her tears as they fell upon his back as she sat upon it one last time. “I know that you cannot fly, my friend, but I should like to sit upon your back as I did so many times before.” Caelin was there too, his little body ready to leave the castle and all that he knew when the time came. They both looked at the castle door, the one that was even now splintering with the weight of the monsters on the other side that would kill her. “It is time.” Warrior knew that the child would be safe. His queen had told him over and over that he would grow to be an old man; there would be a great many scars upon his body from his strength as a warrior, too. And he would sire many children, strong sons to take his seed and name until it was time to come forth again.  “Go. Now.” Her son seemed to understand that his mother was putting his life before hers. He stood watching her before falling into her arms once again to have her wrap her arms around him, just once more. And when he ran, leaving the castle and the grounds forever, they both knew that he’d be the one that saved them. “Are you ready, my friend?” “I am, my queen.”  The sound of the men on the other side did not bother them overly much. They both knew that what was to happen now would be something the men would never understand. And when she said the words over them, Warrior felt the earth move beneath him, the castle walls shake with the power of her magic.  Thank you my warrior, my friend. See to them when the time is right. Warrior knew not where he was. There was magic all around him, his body tight in the jewels that he’d made so long ago. And when he opened his eyes he saw the men standing in the room where he’d been only moments before, their armor as clean and as bright as the morning sun. He looked at the man who had caused this all, his king. “What mean you that you cannot find him? He is a dragon, as big as the walls that hold this monstrosity up. Find him, and my lady wife.” The men scattered and Warrior laughed. The man
still had no idea that he’d born a son of the queen. She’d kept the boy safe by not sharing who the child was with anyone but herself and him. “The man that brings me her head on a platter will be rich tonight. I want her and all that she stands for dead.” When he felt himself move, he knew that the king had found him and had picked the piece up. The necklace. The last piece, one that could not be taken away and hidden when his last spark was put inside it. He eyed the man that had fallen a kingdom and wished him dead. ‘Tis not his fault he is a fool. Perhaps it is, but he is a bigger fool than I thought him to be if he thinks to win this day. He smiled at the sound of his lady queen’s voice. I had no idea that I’d join you here. It is very cramped, is it not? It is. But we are safe here. He will not harm us now. She said nothing and he wanted to turn to her, but knew that he could not move. My lady, he cannot harm us, correct? Nay, we are beyond his wrath now, but he will try. This day he will present us to his lady wife, his new lover. And when she complains that the necklace is too large for her, he will break us apart. I will no longer be able to speak to you, not until the rest of you is with me. He asked if she had known this before. Nay, I did not. It wasn’t until he touched us that I knew. He now has her belly filled with his child, one that he is as yet unaware of. She laughed then. What have you done, my lady? She told him that he would have no sons born of him ever again. There would be one born of their union, but he’d not be of his seed. You have done this? From here? Yes. When she moved over his spark, he felt it and was warmed by it. My child will be the only son he has, and he is yet not aware of him. His father will be aware of him one day, when Caelin finds his sire and cuts his head from his body. But for now, Caelin is safe. She told him to sleep and he had no choice in the matter. As his eyes were closing, he saw her then, the lady that would wear him for a time. Warrior had no idea what to expect, but he knew as surely as he was inside the necklace with his queen, he would protect the lady with him as best he could. Warrior wished for time to go by quickly so that he might see his queen again.

Shane Dragon Savior Release Day & Giveaway 8/22/16

Please scroll down to enter for a signed paperback 
Lelani Wayne trusted no one but her familiar, Roger. And even he, at times, got on her last nerve. She didn’t like being around people. People made her nervous, and when a witch as powerful as she was got nervous, it could be disastrous for anyone in the vicinity.


A powerful witch, Erin Wayne, knew she was going to die, and reached out to the closest being she could find to take her powers and memories. She connected with Kiaran, Asher’s dragon counterpart. The jolt of the transfer took all the Benson’s to their knees.


The Benson’s were on a mission to finish the reconstruction of the castle. Shane, and his dragon counterpart, Keion, were doing their share to make it happen. But when Shane saw his very pregnant sister-in-law, Essie, bringing lunch, and a stranger approaching her fast, he couldn’t get to Essie fast enough. The baby was coming–now.


Lelani was looking for Kiaran to get her sister’s memories and warn him that the Herald, a group of witch hunting zealots, might have traced the memories and be after Kiaran as well. What she didn’t expect to find was Shane and Keion, two very big, handsome, virile men, invading her personal space claiming to be her mate. That made her nervous….
Aedan  News Letter winners was
                                                                KERRY ERICKSON
                                                                 KATHRY BAYLIS
                                                                 YARITZA SANTANA
                                                                  ROBIN DENNISON
Jorden news Letter  Winners was  
                                                                     Reda Blair 
                                                                     Ann Ivey 
                                                                    Shona Wesley 
You should have already gotten your book in the mail if you did not get it please contact Denise at denisek0319@gmail.com and let her know , She will have the tracking numbers
Happy Reading ,
Hope  to see you there !!!!!!!!
 Kathi S. Barton Author & Elizabeth Seckman Book Signing at Empire Books & News
30 Pullman Sq, Huntington, WV 25701
Sept 10 5 pm to 7PM
Prologue
“Tonight, we will rid the world of another witch. Their magic, their unholy ways of making others do what they wish, their worshipping of Satan, will be abolished with them one at a time, so long as we have breath in our bodies to do so.” Rohm Herald looked out over his followers, men who believed as he did, that witches and their kind should not be allowed to be a part of this world. He turned to look at the witch on the stake behind him, at her face and then her belly, fat with no doubt Satan’s bastard no matter what she said to the contrary. Her lies had brought her here, and she would die knowing that he’d done all he could to bring her from the darkness this night. “Do you give yourself over to His word? Do you now forsake the lifestyle that you have lived, following the man with a forked tongue and black magic?”
For an answer, she spit in his face. He wished they were alone even now. He would wipe that smile from her face even as he cut her heart out. Rohm drew back his hand to slap her, to bloody her blasphemous lips once again.
“You do and you will never see your next child take its first breath. Mayhap you won’t anyway, if I can help it.” The words, spoken softly, felt as if she’d burned them into his head. “You will stop this foolishness, Rohm Michael Herald, or I will bring a curse down on you that will be felt generations down your line. So far removed from you that you will think I lie, that my magic has no meaning to you.”
“Are you saying that you be a witch?” She laughed then, her head thrown back in mirth that made his body tighten in fear and anger. “You will die this day, by fire, should you not tell me that you have no magic in you, that you do not practice the arts of witchcraft if you be one. Renounce now and I will spare you the death of fire.”
“I will die anyway, and you know that. You have it in your head that I will, and that will come to pass. Even my babe, your grandchild, is going to die with me because you care not to hear the truth of my words.” He did know that, but he would make her death quick, much quicker than that which was planned. “I am a witch.”
His congregation gasped at her words. Then when she laughed, the sound of it echoing over the vast field that they had been using for a year now to rid the world of women such as her, once again Rohm felt the stirring of fear settle over him.
Rohm had no choice in this now. She had made her decision and now she must die by it. Lifting the flame that had been handed to him by his second, his own son Michael, he turned to the men that had worked with him for so long. It was coming up on midnight, the bewitching hour, he’d been told; time to do his duty for the world.
“Tonight we bring to our fold Mary Wayne. She has been found guilty of being a witch; has admitted to us all here that she is what we feared, the child of Satan.” Mary laughed behind him and began speaking, her voice too low for him to understand her words. Raising his own voice, Rohm continued. “We burn the devil from her and his child within her. Then when it is done, and all is balanced in this world, we will give her body a proper burial and bless her for her life. For being a mere woman, she knows not what she has done.”
The sound of her words came to him then. She was cursing him, and those that were in the field beyond. When he turned to her again, the flame ready to set to the wood there, the moon was blotted out for a moment. He staggered back when two great beasts landed in the field with them. But as he made his way to them, thinking the beasts were there to eat them, a man appeared in the place of one of them, a woman by his side in place of the other. Rohm thought perhaps it was his mind playing tricks on him, or maybe the witch making him see things that were not there. The man and woman were close enough to make out now, and he nearly welcomed them.
As soon as the flame in his hand went out, the men that he could call upon fell to their knees, then to their backs as the man and woman walked by them. They had surely killed them, he thought. And would him as well. Soon it was just the four of them, Mary, the couple, and himself. Rohm felt his body tighten, his skin crawl, when he dared to think what this might mean. They too were witches, powerful ones that had come to murder him.
“Mary, you’ve gotten yourself into trouble again, haven’t you?” The witch called the man his lordship. “Rohm. I can see that you have not heeded the advice of others, and have perhaps bitten off a bit more than you can chew in this. You were told to stop killing the women that will not heel to your word. And that burning women at the stake isn’t the way things are done. Were you not?”
“She has claimed boldly to be a witch. Has admitted before my men that she is indeed a practitioner of the dark arts. In this, she has left me no choice but to do as my fellow believers wish and burn the devilry out of her.” Mary claimed that she had not. “I heard you. You said you were a witch.”
“She is a witch, but does not wholly practice the dark side of it.” Rohm backed up when the man, a great warrior, stepped up on the dais of stone set up for him to stand upon when Rohm himself was at his duties. He looked to be a man of great wealth and size. His body was lean, not an ounce of fat upon him, Rohm thought, not at all like he was. “But it’s not the reason that you’ve brought her here, is it? You’ve another agenda that has nothing to do with dark or white magic, but with her babe and your son. You should learn more about witchcraft and the people who use it if you plan to use it against them. Dark arts are—”
“Anthony, he cares not what they practice,” the woman said with an air of authority. “Nor does he care if she is indeed a witch or not. Others have not done as he told them, and he’s found reason, much like he has with Mary here, to have them killed. Mary has done nothing to him, save not telling him sooner that it is his own son who is the father of her unborn child. It is only happenstance that she is also a witch.” Anthony turned to the woman at his side and smiled at her. Rohm could almost taste their love for each other, feel it as if it were a warmed blanket that had been dried on the line in the yard. And it pissed him off. Women were not to show such emotions to a man, especially not in the public as this one was doing. He’d opened his mouth to call her a witch as well when she simply looked at him. His throat grew tight and he could not speak. But she could. “Come, the night grows cold and we have much to do this night.”
“So we do.” Anthony turned to the witch, and with a snap of his fingers she was down on her knees in front of the stranger. “Mary, I have a task for you should you like. If you’ve no wish, there will be no punishment and you will be well paid for your troubles this night.”
“He meant to kill me, my lord. I feel it my duty to end his life where he stands. I am here only because his son, Michael, could not keep his pecker in his pants when he has a wife of his own.” Anthony looked out over the field, and Rohm knew the exact moment that Anthony spied his son. “He will need to pay for what he has had done to me this night. I have no house, my books have been burned, and he has taken my coin as well.”
“Do not think to harm my son, sir. I know not who you are, but should you harm him, I will find you and make you pay.” Anthony looked at him then, and Rohm felt his body burn with the desire to run and never look back. “He is my only son. You will not harm him.”
“Nay, I will not harm him.” Rohm felt the air rush from his body then. But it was short lived as the man continued. “But he will not live to see his next child born, nor will you, I fear. You both have been found out, I think. His wife and your own lady wife know of the bastards that you have sired. There is a lot going on at your house this night.”
Rohm looked at Mary and could see her head bent, her body shaking with her laughter. When he reached for her, his knife in his hand before he could think how close the man was, Rohm decided that he would kill the witch himself. But his body grew hard till he could not even blink when the man told him to stop. The command in his voice, as hard as the stone he stood upon, held Rohm there. Then the man helped Mary up till the witch now stood near the woman and the man as he spoke.
“As I have mentioned, we’ve a task for you should you like to take it. It will be one of great importance to me and my family. It concerns the babe that you now carry.” Rohm watched as the woman touched her hand to Mary’s bastard child. Did they not know how unclean she was? Did she even care what she was doing? That inside of her grew a child that was made in sin? But he could no more speak to them than he could move. He could only watch in horror as they moved away and out of his reach.
This is not to be, he thought. He was in charge of clearing the world of such things as witches and other things that he did not understand. He cared not for what they had to say, but it was his duty, as a man of the cloth, to do this thing. For now, there was little to nothing he could do. But he would rise again, and soon. Rohm had lost this battle, but he would find her again.
As the midnight hour passed over, then the sun began to rise up and over the mountain, Rohm could finally begin to move. His body was sore, stiff from lack of movement. But his mind, his plans for the woman and man, and even Mary, had been plotted out. He would be ready for them; he would have his revenge in this.
He would find them. Even if he had to do so on his own, he would find them and kill them for what they’d done to him this night. When the men with him began to move, standing and looking bewildered, Rohm started barking out orders. He wanted this done, he wanted them dead. His next grandchild was due to be born in a matter of weeks.
“Find Mary, bring her back to me.”
No one questioned what had happened to her, where she had gone if not up in flames, but moved as if they were in a trance, their bodies as stiff and sore as his. But when one of the men called to him, told him that something had gone wrong, he knew with each step he took that his son, Michael, had died this night, and by the hand of, if not the witch, then the man and woman with her.
His son, the only living son of his loins, lay where he had dropped, his body fat with laziness, his face relaxed in death. Leaning over his child, he touched his fingers to his face and found him to be cold, as cold as the ground that would soon welcome him.
Rohm thought that nothing could have prepared him for the pain of it. It rolled over him in waves of anger, sorrow, and hate. The feeling in his heart blackened, killing whatever peace and good will he’d had there.
Rohm’s son had been born to him late in life, his wife having given him nine girls, all of them useless. She had gone to her own cold grave when she’d finally done her duty to him and given him a son. So happy he was with his namesake that Rohm never saw his wife die, leaving the room as soon as his child was given to him. Rohm couldn’t even say if she had been dead long when he’d taken his child to the church to be baptized, having him blessed in the event that something befell him too. He had wanted to take no chances with this boy. He thought that blessing him so soon after his birth would prevent him from being sickly and dying.
“Lord Herald, what should we do now?” He looked over at the wood piled high yet unburned by flame. The stake that he himself had cut down and put in the ground stood in testimony to the fact that he had failed. “Shall we take young Michael to the undertaker now?”
“Yes. And tell my eldest daughter….” He couldn’t remember her name, not that he would have tried had he even known it. “Tell her that I said to prepare a feast for his wake. When he is buried, it is then that we will find this woman and man and bring them here for their crimes against us. Mary will pay for my son and all the other sins that she has heaped upon my door.”
“Man and woman, Lord Herald?” He had no idea how to describe them, so sending them on their way to take care of his child, he moved to his dais and sat upon it. The words of the man and of the witch came back to him. He would not see the birth of his next grandchild.
~~~
Anthony wasn’t sure what to make of the woman that walked with them. She wasn’t rude really, but she was too blunt for his taste, then she would act as if she were wounded and stupid if you called her out about it. It was difficult to keep up with her conversation as well, which was flying from one thing to the next like something bouncing in a room. And he knew from what they’d been able to see in the future that she wasn’t to be trusted, not even with this task, but she would not have much say in what they needed of her. She need only to give birth, that was all. The rest would work itself out. When his own lady wife told him to stop his thoughts and behave, he thought that he’d been very good in not taking her backside with his hand and showing the witch how to behave.
Eve, the heart of his body, her own body heavy with their children, looked as beautiful to him as did the sun setting over his castle. But they had seen what their future would be and had decided to take care that things were prepared for their children, children that they’d never see or meet should things come to pass as they were shown to them. This woman, one of many, would help them in that. She wasn’t as good as the others nor as magical, but needed all the same. Mary was the first of their tasks to set into motion, and Anthony was worried that they’d made a mistake in her.
You know as well as I that we have not. And it is not the woman that we’re depending upon, but her child. He looked at Eve when she spoke to him through their link. Mary’s daughter, she will be the key to many doors that will open that will save our children.
I know that, my love, but I do not have to like her much. She need only to understand what she is to do and when to do it. I fear, as I can feel that you do as well, that she is not up for the task. I worry for her part in this. If she does not heed our warnings and stay where we put her, then she will die, and her child as well. She assured him that Mary would do well. I hope so. I should hate to think of her failing them in their hours of need.
His wife told him that she would not fail. There was little doubt that she was to have a babe and that it would be a daughter. The rest had already been set in motion, and she need only to live long enough to bear the child. Eve patted his hand, then turned back to Mary to tell her of what they needed.
“Mary, we know that you have magic, but not a great deal of it. You can cast spells that come to pass, but other than that, you have nothing more.” Mary opened her mouth, but his lovely mate only raised her hand to stay her words. “I will not listen to you puff yourself up, Mary. You know as well as I that I am telling you no falsehood. You might be able to fool others with your misguided attempts to be a great sorceress, but we both know you have no more power than this rock does. Now cease these lies once and for all.”
“‘Tis as I have said about his son, my lady. He took me over and over one day and I conceived his bastard. When I went to his father when he’d do nothing to support me, I was beaten again and brought before the group you found me with.”
They also knew this to be only partly true. Michael had taken Mary, anywhere that he could find a hard surface. But she had enjoyed their coupling as much as he had. It wasn’t until she was full of a child that she complained. That was when he’d hit her, knocked her away from him, and scorned the woman. After going to the man’s father, she was taken into the cell that had held her until she was to be burned like nothing more than meat upon a spit. Anthony thought that humans, for the most part, were an odd group of beings.
Anthony wished that he could take all the men in the world that would raise their hand to someone smaller and without means of protecting themselves and burn them. It would take a lot of his flame, he thought…there were that many horrid people in the world. But there were times, he also knew, that the women could be just as mean, just as cruel as any man could be. Sometimes, in his experience, more so. People in general, he had learned, were not willing to think before speaking when they felt an injustice had been done to them.
“We have need of your help, in the form of a female child…your child. Her magic is greater than your own and will need guidance in the world that we live in. If you do not listen to me, follow my direction, she will surely die and you will be burned at the stake that we have saved you from this night.” Mary rubbed her hand over the babe there but said nothing. “Anthony and I have a place for you to go. A place where you will be safe and kept from harm should you do as you are told. There will be help as well, for you and any children you should have after you have given us this help. You will have more than enough coin to keep you, and food enough to never feel the pangs of hunger again. All you have to do is keep the babe safe and to help her grow into her magic. If you wish to say no, then we will leave you to yourself and go about our business. But know this; you will die, soon, and by the flame that nearly licked at your feet this night, Mary Wayne.”
“I have no wish to die, my lady. But I’ve no way of keeping her safe, either, unless you do indeed help me. Even now he plots my death.” Anthony knew this to be true, but also knew that his son was now dead, as cold as the ground that he fell upon. Not from the hand of the woman here, but because his own lady wife had found out about the babe Mary carried and the others. She had poisoned him. “I cannot keep myself safe now, much less a child. You say I will have coin? Servants? Someone to cook for me?”
“Yes. We shall protect you.” Mary began shaking her head even as his lady wife spoke. “You know what we are, Mary. You have known this since you were a child at your own mother’s feet. A dragon can protect you like none can. And we shall.”
“My babe, she has a meaning to you? You wish to buy her from me? I will gladly birth her and sell her to you.” Eve shook her head; they would not lie to the woman, but they couldn’t tell her why they’d not take her from her mother. They might not give her all the truths of it, but they’d not lie to her. “Then you take her. Raise her as your own so that she’ll be safe, and I will live in this house you have given me for payment. With the servants, of course. I shan’t be able to keep a house like I need on my own.”
Anthony wanted to tell her no, that someone as selfish and greedy as her should be punished. To think that she’d sell her own flesh and blood for nothing more than a house. Anthony would no more do that than he would cut off his lovely wife’s head. He wished now that they’d never seen the future, especially the one in which they needed this woman’s help.
“We cannot take your child. And should you wish not to do this, there will be no coin, no servants, and no home to keep you safe. You must do as we tell you. The hour, it grows late, and the men are, as you said, plotting.” He and Eve moved forward, deeper into the forest where the house was, knowing in their hearts that they’d have to convince this woman no matter what. But they also needed to be firm in their dealings with her. “You will come with us now. We will protect you and the babe so long as you do as you are told. We’ve set up this place to be safe and ready for you, with people there to help you once you have given birth.”
It took them nearly an hour to get her settled in her new home. Anthony wanted to shift, show her how well they could protect as they said they would and be done with it all. But he knew that while she believed what they were, she would be terrified to see
him. As they walked along to a safe place to shift, he spoke to his lady. Yes, they had done what they had come to do, but there were still going to be repercussions for young Mary Wayne.
“You have not told her the whole of her life. Nor have you told her she must love both her children equally. She will not, and you know this.” Eve said that it would do her no good to do so. “Yes, but you know as well as I that she will misunderstand what we have put before her.”
“Yes. And that will be good for the child too. The second child will survive, not by her mother’s hand, but because she will be left to her own devices. She will learn and survive as a strong woman. There are others there that will make sure that she gets what she needs to live and be what we need her to be. What all of us need for her to be.” Anthony knew this as well. “I have managed to help the children, not once as we had planned, but with both the magical powers they will need. Especially the second born. Her immortality is set now; they both, provided that they are born, will live for a great many years.”
“They will live then? Despite their mother’s inability to see the clear picture?” She said they would. “My love, my life, I don’t know if I can do this. To think…. I cannot lose you like this. We have so much to give. And our children, we shan’t see them grow and become the men we hope for them to be.”
“I know this too. And it grieves me so that I will never touch their skin, see them smile. We must do this, Anthony. You know this as well as I. Because if we don’t do this, then all will be lost. As will our children.” He nodded, his heart heavy with what they knew was coming. “Anthony, our children, do you think them to be great men? Men that will think of us when this all comes to pass?”
“They will love us no matter what we have done for them. This, this will ensure that our line does not end, but more importantly, that a great many lives will go on as well.” She nodded and reached for his hand. Taking hers, he put his hand over her heart and told her that he loved her.
“And I you. And will beyond our deaths. You have been the reason for my heart beating, my blood pounding in my body since I first touched you.” He wanted to stop now, take her into his arms and hold her. But he could not. Things were in motion now, things that they could see coming, and if they did not act now, everything and everyone would be lost.

Jorden The MCCade Dragons Release Day & GiveAway 8/8/16

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Jasmine Tyler was wishing she had never found those earrings in that box of junk she bought at auction. They were so pretty, and the dragons had so much detail, that she simply had to try them on. That was the biggest mistake she’d ever made. Once they were on they weren’t coming off. And those men in the black SUVs meant business. She’d hand the earrings over or they’d kill her. They’d more than likely kill her anyway even if she could get the damn things off. Now she was on the run with her young son, Gavin, and her ailing granny. A voice in her head that started when she put the earrings on was directing her to find the McCades.


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Chapter 1
Jasmine Tyler moved along the boxes, her heart not into looking for a deal. She was
exhausted, her body hurt in more places than she could think about, and she was lonely.
With all the people around her she knew that was silly, but she missed her son and her
grannie. It had been necessary to send them ahead. Ahead to what she wasn’t entirely
sure, but they were safer there than they were with her at the moment.
While I cannot see them as yet, I know they will be safe. Jasmine told the dragon that they’d
better be. I wish that you could talk to them. At least young Gavin. I think it would do you well
to hear his voice. Him as well, I would bet. The boy loves you very much.
And I love him very much as well. But you know as well as I that I can’t chance contacting
either of them. He said that he knew, but it made it no less sad for him too. I’ll be there soon,
and when I am, I can get these earrings to the right person, gather him and Grannie up, and move
on. And if you tell me again that I can’t do that, then I swear to you that I’ll cut my own ears off
and be done with the lot of you.
So the dragon didn’t bother telling her again that it didn’t work that way. Twice now
she’d told him that if he brought up again how this man and his family would keep her
and her family safe, she would never speak to him again. And the three days that she
didn’t say a single word had made her point for a little while. The dragon, or whatever
manifestation he was to her, didn’t listen well, it seemed.
She was going to have to move again soon. Making her way to this family was costing
her so much more than just being without her family. Jasmine could hardly do any
business with the way things were going, and it was more than a little difficult to trust
anyone enough to even see if they were really a buyer for her things or someone out to
get her. She shivered when she thought of what had happened to her and Gavin to get
her moving out of their home in the first place.
They’d been headed to the post office, her and him, and they were going to get some
pizza to take back to the house with them to share with her grannie. Gavin was telling
her what homework he’d done that day and she was teasing him about working on the
weekend. The car that hit them in the rear had come out of nowhere.
Being rear-ended really hadn’t been that bad. Her truck was old and made before
plastic was a big deal, and thankfully had no airbags or they might not have been able to
get moving so quickly. For the most part they’d been all right, thankfully. But before she
could get out of her truck to see what damage, if any, had been done to her truck, the
man hit her again, then again. It was then that she realized he was pushing her into
oncoming traffic. Screaming at Gavin to lay down on the floor, she floored the gas pedal
and closed her eyes.
Still to this day she had no idea how she had managed to not only get through the
traffic, which had been very heavy and fast, but also escape who had tried to kill them.
But as soon as she got home, she realized two things at once.
The dragon had been right. They were upset about the earrings and were coming for
her. And the worse part of it was, they were also going to harm her son and grandmother.
Secondly, they had to get out now. Not just out of the house, but they had to leave
everything behind and get the fuck out of dodge.
Less than two hours after they got home, her truck was loaded and coolers packed,
then they were gone. Even as they were driving through her little town, she saw three
large black SUVs pass her going in the opposite direction from the one she was
driving…the way toward her home. There were no plates on the big vehicles, and since
the windows were so dark, she had no idea who or how many people were in them.
Probably a good thing, she realized later.
She tried to tell herself that they might have been headed in any direction other than
her house. But two days after they left the only home they’d had, she’d seen on the news
that it had been burned to the ground, as had the barn that stood next to it. Jasmine
gathered them up once again and made another long trip before she felt she needed
information from the dragon in her head.
What is it about these earrings that has men trying to kill me for them? And why can’t I take
them out now that they’re in my ears? I don’t want to hear about how I’m going to this family, I
want to know why I have to. Why me?
I can do that, my lady. There are six parts to me, a set of jewelry called a demi parure. It
simply means matching set of jewelry. Few know that it was forged by a dragon and his master.
They decided, when things were too dangerous for a dragon to be roaming the earth, that it would
be safer if he, this being a part of me as a dragon, should have his spark, his magic, put within a
special piece of jewelry. But alas, the magic was too much for a single piece and was divided up
into five pieces. The sixth was made later when a lady thought the necklace was too large for anyone
to wear. Then a terrible tragedy was bestowed upon the master and the dragon, along with all of
his estate being taken away. I know not what happened to his things; only that the spark that
creates us was no longer together. Jasmine asked him how long ago this was. I have no way
of knowing that, my lady. For as a spark and only a small part of the whole, I cannot understand
the passing of time until I have been awakened. But the ring, it has been awakened and thus, myself
as well. And now it is held in trust by Emma…I have told you about her. The rest, not including
yours, was spread out all over the world at one time, but now are close, but since the other pieces
haven’t been awakened yet, I know not where. Her next question to him was, why her. I know
not, my lady. Until you touched the jewelry that has turned out to be my wings, I knew nothing
of the holder.
So, you want me to believe that there is this set of jewelry out there that a bunch of women
will touch and bring to life…or I guess, bring you to life. Then if that doesn’t sound creepy enough,
these women have to make their way to this family of men, dragon men, and give it over to them
and become their slave of sorts. And on top of that, they’re stuck with this stuff forever, even if
they want no part of this plot. I’m sorry, but this is about as farfetched as it gets. Not to mention
sort of like slave trade for me to believe in. He asked her how she was hearing him if he was
just a manifestation. I don’t know. A tumor? Could be. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately.
You have, and I’m sorry to say that it isn’t over as yet. When those men went to your home
and destroyed everything that you had, they did a search and found enough information to find
you and your family. She asked him what sort of information. Pictures of you and your family.
What Emma says is DNA on objects left behind. They can and will use every item in their
possession to find you.
And then what? What is it they think they’re going to do to me? He didn’t answer her. Is
my son in danger? My grannie?
Yes. You all are until you can get to the McCade family. And even then, they will not stop
until they either get what they desire or they are caught by the authorities. I am sorry, my lady.
She wanted to cry. All she’d done was find a pretty pair of earrings that she wished she’d
never seen now. It would not have mattered when you saw them, my lady; somehow they would
have come to you. You are the one that needs to be a part of the dragon with one of the McCade
men.
I don’t want to be a part of any man. Don’t you see? I’ve lost enough shit in my life because
of a man. Not all of it was his fault, but he lied to me. Over and over, and there is no reason to
think that this man won’t too. He’ll take and take until I have nothing. I am nothing. The dragon
wisely said nothing. I know; I’ll mail them to them.
You cannot remove them now that you wear them. Stomping her foot, she paced in front
of the pretty little hotel where she’d stopped to rest for the night. These terrible men, they
will not stop until they have what they want. You must understand this.
No, I don’t have to understand anything. She turned when she heard Gavin call out to
her. “I’m sorry, baby. What is it? Everything all right?”
“Yes. Why are you talking to yourself? Or it is that dragon again? Tell him that we’re
doing the best we can and to cut you some slack.” She hugged him to her and felt tears
fill her eyes. “We’re going to be all right, aren’t we, Mom? As soon as we get to this house,
we’re going to be just fine, right?”
“I hope so, Gavin, I really do.”
Then five days later, nearly two weeks ago, she’d used every penny she had and put
them both, her grandma and son, on a plane for Ohio. It wasn’t safe for them to travel
together any longer.
She was just sorting through a box when she felt something, a kind of nervous panic,
which had her snatching her hand back from the items in the box and looking around.
Christ, would she ever feel safe again, she asked herself? Then the dragon spoke to her,
his voice calm yet slightly tight sounding.
The man near the food truck. Do you see him? Jasmine looked around, trying her best to
look as if she were checking out the rest of the items. He feels wrong.
As casually as she could, Jasmine made her way to where she could get a better look
at the man. She could see him now; he stood out like a man in a tux among a room of
cowboys. At the moment he was trying to figure out how to eat a hotdog without wearing
most of it. Backing into the trees and away from the man, she watched him unobserved
for several minutes. There wasn’t anything odd about him, not that she could say, “Hey,
that’s it,” but she still knew there was something. She nearly told the dragon that he was
looking for things that weren’t there when the man shifted on his feet and she saw the
gun.
The need to flee made her feel like she was being watched. Looking around, trying
to decide what to do now, she wanted to curl into a tight ball and just cry. She had no car,
nothing to protect herself with, and not a great deal of money either. She was, in a word,
fucked.
I can’t leave yet. Can I?
The dragon told her that she could not. Then he pointed out the man across the table
from the auctioneer. He wasn’t watching the items but looking around, as if he were
searching the people and not what to buy next. Jasmine went deeper into the woods and
then stood behind a tree. When the two men came together, they scanned the area twice
before splitting up and moving around. She knew they were looking for her.
What do I do now? He told her not to move, not to run. I can’t let them get to me. If they
do, you said that they’d kill me for these earrings. And as much as I hate them right now, I need
to get to my son, damn it.
Do not move, my lady. They are looking for a young boy to be with you. They are thinking
that you’d not leave him or your grandmother alone while they are out there. They know not that
you have sent them both ahead. She let out a long breath and tried to think about anything
but wanting to run. If you do, then all is lost. Just wait for me to tell you that you can go. But to
the bus stop, not to the hotel.
She knew as surely as she was standing there listening to a dragon talk to her in her
head that they’d already been to her hotel room and had figured out where she was. The
newspaper. She’d gotten one and had circled the auction for today not far from where
she’d been staying. It wasn’t as if she had any money to spend—she didn’t—but Jasmine
was bored and needed to do something that didn’t involve her thinking about how much
she missed her son. So walking to the place that was stated in the ad, she had been there
for only a few minutes when she realized it wasn’t as fun as it used to be.
He is going to go by you in a few moments, and when he does, follow him, but not closely. I
will tell you when to move to the bus stop. She wanted to tell him to fuck off, there wasn’t
any way she was going to follow that man, but the dragon spoke again before she could.
He will not expect you to be behind him. Nor will his partner. You must trust me on this. I will
not allow you to be harmed.
As soon as she was given the signal to move, Jasmine moved out from behind the
tree and right behind the man. She was close enough that she could see the tat on the
back of his neck that looked like some sort of Japanese symbol; or Chinese, she wasn’t
sure. There was also one that peeked out the bottom of his sleeve. When he pulled the
shirt up enough, she nearly stopped walking. Dragon told her to keep moving.
I’ve seen that before. He told her to turn then, and to go to the bus stop. When she did,
the bus pulled up just as the man turned to go back to where she’d been. Sitting down,
she turned on her seat and watched as both men moved around the yard again. He had a
dragon tat on his arm. I’ve seen that before. The man that tried to shoot us the day that Gavin got
hurt and I sent them away. He had one just like it.
They are all a part of a group of men out to harm you and all that help you. They have no wish
to bring me to life, but to profit from controlling me. It is them that I am trying to save you from.
Jasmine asked the dragon who they were, what the writing meant. It’s Chinese, as you have
guessed. It says Sǐwáng de suǒyǒu lóng. Its translation is, death to all dragons. I have not seen
that for many years. More than you can imagine. It, like a great many things, comes and goes as
the need arises. Today they need it to feel important. Who knows what it will be used for in the
future?
Her mind went in a single straight line direction. A group of men. Not a man, but a
group. And they didn’t just want her dead for the earrings, but they wanted to control
the dragon himself. That meant that the McCades, the very people that she was headed
to, were in danger as well. And her son and grannie would be caught up in it because she
had blindly sent them there. Christ, she wanted to crawl into a hole and cry. To just bawl
her eyes out. But now she had to make her way to Ohio faster, to see to her family. And
the only way to do that was go get some money to get herself a car. She told the dragon
what she needed and why.
I will help you. She nodded. He’d suggested that before, him helping her, but she’d
told him that she would never cheat, steal, or lie to get what she needed. She’d had that
done to her more than enough. You will see; I’ll keep you as safe as I can.
And my family? How will you protect them? He told her that until they connected with
the McCades he had no way of knowing about her son and grandmother. And they won’t
until I get there. This is really fucked up; you know that, don’t you?
He said nothing, which was good…she wasn’t ready for him to tell her anything but
that they were going to make it. How, she hadn’t any idea, but she so wanted to hear him
say that to her. And as surely as she was sitting there, she knew that there was a lot more
shit to deal with before she got to her son.
~~~
Jorden put the last of his paints in the box and set it on the floor. When he looked up,
his entire being froze. The kid, a little boy, was standing there so still that he looked like
one of his plaster casts. Jorden started forward to find out what he wanted when the kid
lifted a gun and pointed it, steadily no less, right at him. Jorden stopped.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” The kid said nothing. There were lines of exhaustion
under his eyes, and his face looked puffy, as if he’d been crying recently. “If you’re here
to get some money or drugs, I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to help you. I have
neither here. The doctor isn’t in either.”
“It says there is a doctor here. There’s a name downstairs on the door. It’s the only
reason I’m here. To get a doctor to come with me. It says McCade. Where is he?” Jorden
tried to think where Kenton was when the little boy spoke again. “It doesn’t smell like a
doctor’s office up here either. More like Mrs. Witt’s art class. Is he a physician or some
other sort of doctor?”
“No, he’s a physician. A general practitioner, as a matter of fact. And this is where I
work, the reason for the smell. I’m an artist. Well, people tell me I am, and pretty good at
it, I guess.” He took a step forward and the kid told him to stop. “Do you need a doctor?
I can call him here if you need him. Kenton, he’s the doctor, he’s off today with his wife
doing…. Actually, I have no idea where he is. But if he’s not here, then he’s at his home.”
“I don’t know what else to do. I’ve been…I got up and she wouldn’t wake up. So I
thought that I could find a doctor. But I know that she’s not going to be all right. My
grannie, I believe she’s died.” Jorden nodded and sat down on the floor. He wanted to
give the kid the impression that he was relaxed when he was anything but. “I need
someone to come and look to make sure that I didn’t do something wrong. We’re on the
run, my grannie and I.”
“What might you have done to her?” He just shrugged. Jorden decided to ignore the
part where they were on the run for now. “I see. So you think you killed her then?”
“No. I didn’t kill her. She and I have been…. Last night she told me she was tired. She
has been a lot lately. Powerfully tired she told me, and wanted to turn in early. So I was
really quiet and got my shower and jammies on and played on my reader before I went
to bed as well. When she didn’t get up before I did, I checked on her and her face and
neck were cold. I think she might have died in her sleep last night or sometime.” The little
boy scrubbed at his face and Jorden felt badly for him. “I can’t get in touch with my mom
either. I’m all alone, so I thought a doctor could tell me for sure.”
“Where is she…your grannie, I mean?” The kid said nothing but did lower the gun.
“I’m going to get my cell phone out and call Kenton. And when he gets here, we’ll go to
where she is and we call in the police to—” The gun came up again, this time a little less
steady. For some reason that scared Jorden more than the steady handling of the gun had.
“No, you can’t do that. If you call the police, I’m as good as dead as I think she is.”
Jorden felt his dragon move along his skin. Fear and sadness made him want to go to the
young kid and hold him. “Mom, she sent us ahead of her so that we’d be safe. And we’ve
been doing everything we was told. But Grannie was sick before. It was why we went to
stay with her.”
Jorden pulled out his phone and pressed the button to call his brother. The kid never
moved, just stood there with the 9 mm pointed at him like he would most assuredly use
it if he fucked up. When Kenton answered his cell laughing, Jorden almost wanted to
hang up and call someone that wasn’t having as good a day as Kenton seemed to be
having.
“Did you decide that you needed some help moving out anyway? I told you that it
was—”
Jorden cut his brother off. “I’ve got a visitor.”
Kenton must have noticed something in his voice and asked him through their link
who it was. “I have to speak to you this way. He has a gun pointed at me, and I don’t
want to be shot if it’s all the same to you.”
“I’m on my way.” Jorden told him to just come alone. No police. “I’m not going to
fucking come into a situation without some sort of back-up. You want me to tell Mom
that you got us both hurt? You know how well that might go over.”
“Kenton, you’re going to have to trust me on this and come here alone. I’m talking to
him now. I would say that he’s about ten or so years old.” The kid told him how old he
was. “He’s ten. Just last week as a matter of fact. He came here looking for a doctor. A
doctor named McCade. He said his grandma didn’t wake this morning. And that he has
been sent here ahead of his mom so that they’d be safe. He said that he’s all alone in this
world.”
Kenton put together a sting of curse words that made him smile. “Dragon said to ask
him if he is Gavin. If his mom is Jasmine.” Jorden asked and Gavin said that was right.
“She’s another part. The wings. Dragon said that she’s fine, but he had no way of keeping
in contact with the boy and his mom until one or both of them found us. I’m assuming
that’s why he doesn’t want the police or the media involved. His mom is protecting him
even now.”
“Christ.” Gavin lifted the gun again after having just put it at his side. Jorden had a
feeling that he was making him nervous. “Come here first and bring Mom. I have no idea
why, but I think he could use her. I know that I could right now.”
“I’m on my way. I’ve contacted Dalton as well. He’s not in uniform right now, so that
might not be so bad. Can you ask Gavin if he is hurt?” Again he asked the boy, who just
stared at him. “Jorden, did he tell you where his grandma is? Or where his mom might
be?”
“No. He said that his mom sent them ahead and that his grandma didn’t wake up.”
Jorden reached out to Kenton on their link. I think he’s hurting, but not physically. Also, he
looks exhausted, and I can hear his belly growling from here. If he’s been on the run since Dragon
told you that she was coming, then they’ve been on the run for over a month.
Poor kid. Christ, to try and stay safe like this and to have your grandmother die would be
horrific. The kid has guts; I’ll give him that. Jorden agreed, but told him he still had a gun
pointed at him. It’ll be fine, Jorden. I’m at the door now. Can you warn him that I’m here?
Jorden said that he would and the elevator motor kicked on, telling him that Kenton
must have been right in the lift when he told him. Jorden watched as Gavin lifted the gun
again and pointed it at him. It wasn’t nearly as steady, and when he lowered it once again,
Jorden realized how heavy it must have been for this kid.
“My brother. He’s coming up with my mom.” Gavin said nothing, but swayed just a
little. “We won’t hurt you, Gavin. We will protect you.”
“The dragon, he told my mom that she needed to go to the McCade family and give
them the earrings. He said that we’d be safe here. I’m not saying you had anything to do
with my grannie dying, but I don’t really feel very safe right now.” Jorden nodded and
watched his brother and mom come out of the elevator as Gavin continued. “He warned
us the night that these men showed up at the hotel we were in. I was going to the
bathroom when the door just flew open and there they were. One of them cut me with a
knife when Mom said she couldn’t give him whatever jewelry that she’d stolen from
them. My mom doesn’t steal. But they weren’t taking no for an answer. So she hit the big
one with a bat, then she shot the second guy. We got out of there right away.”
“Good for her. But men like this one, they think that if they want something that it
should be theirs. My name is Aisha McCade, by the way. And this is my son, Kenton.
You’ve met Jorden.” Gavin said nothing. “If you would put the gun down, I’d feel so
much better.”
“I can’t put it down, Mrs. McCade. My mom told me that this thing might be the only
thing between her seeing me again alive or in the morgue. I don’t want her to come see
me there. I’ve had a really hard time what with missing her, and I’d really hate to
disappoint her by getting my butt shot up.” Mom told Gavin of course he didn’t want to
disappoint her. “My grannie, I think she died. If it gets out that she is gone and her name,
then they’ll know that I’m here.”
“Do you know who they are? The men that your mom is being chased by? Do you
know them? Have you seen them lately?” Jorden wasn’t sure who could be coming now,
but they’d been warned that someone would. And if Gavin had any information they
could use, it might help them. “Have you seen them since you and your mom separated?”
“No. And I can’t call her either to let her know what’s happened. The dragon, he said
that it would be too dangerous. Mom said that determined people could track a fly fart if
they thought it would give them what they wanted.” Gavin flushed brightly. “I’m sorry.
I’m really tired and hungry. Do you think you can tell me if my grannie is really gone? I
need to figure out what I have to do next. Like where to live, and find something to eat.”
“Yes, I can go now. But for as much as I’d like for you to stay here, I think it would
be better if you came along with me. Just in case the owner might question why I’m
there.” Gavin sat down, his poor little body just giving up. When Kenton went to him to
see if he was all right, Jorden noticed that he didn’t bother trying to take his weapon. He
wasn’t sure if that was smart or not, but it wasn’t pointed at any of them now, and Jorden
thought he could live with that.
The hotel was within walking distance of his building. Kenton went in first with
Gavin. Jorden stayed outside, just waiting while his mom went to get Gavin something
to eat. He wasn’t sure what to say to the kid, not having a lot of experience with them,
but when Kenton came out of the room shaking his head, Gavin simply crumbled. Jorden
was glad to have been closest to him to gather him in his arms while he dealt with his
grief.
Jorden held him while he sobbed. He kept saying he was all alone now and that he
wanted his mom. Jorden didn’t blame him…right now he wanted his own. But when she
showed up with a burger, fries, and a cola, Gavin said he wasn’t hungry.
“You have to eat, kid. You want to get sick and end up somewhere you don’t want
to be? Someplace that you can’t control? Like a hospital or something?” Gavin just looked
at him—glared was more like it—and Jorden was impressed. Then Gavin told him he
was already where he didn’t want to be. “Yeah, okay, I’ll give you that one. But eat and
we’ll get this figured out. My brother Dalton is coming by. He wants to talk to you too.”
“How many brothers do you have?” Jorden told him five. “Sheesh. I bet they’re all
as big as you and Dr. McCade are too. I guess if the bad guys are coming, it would be best
if you weren’t puny little guys like me.”
“Yes, we’re all pretty big men.” Jorden snagged a fry and ate it as he continued.
“Dalton is a cop, so don’t freak out on him if he starts asking you cop questions. To be
honest, I’m not sure that Dalton knows any other way to ask questions. Anyway. As you
know, Kenton is a doctor. Private practice now. I paint. Grady fancies himself some sort
of computer wizard, which really he is, but he works for this asshole that sort of takes
advantage of him. Lewis, the baby, is a chef…a pretty good one, I guess, since he’s got all
these awards for his cooking. He lived with me until a little while ago, so I’m thinking
he’ll be finding him a place to put his hat. And Vance is…. Well, Vance is Vance. He has
a job that pays well, but I’m not entirely sure what it is he does any more. He was in the
service until recently, and has been known to disappear from time to time.”
Jorden told himself he wasn’t babbling but biding his time until Gavin finished his
meal. Besides, he was going to be staying with them now, so he needed to have all the
scoops on all of them.
By the time Kenton had made arrangements to have the body removed, Jorden and
Gavin had moved back from the place and into the diner across the street. He hadn’t
wanted to leave, but Kenton explained to him that they were going to Jane Doe his
grandma so that her name would never come out, and he had to keep a low profile. And
if the press showed up, which was highly likely, they didn’t want his picture taken.
In the end, Jorden took him to his house. By the time they were pulling up in front,
not only had Gavin fallen asleep, but Jorden had spoken to Kenton and Mom twice about
him. Jorden was glad now that he’d hired himself a staff. The house was fucking huge
for a single man, but the kid was going to need someone to cook and clean up after him.
Jorden hadn’t the slightest idea what to do with a ten-year-old, but he liked him and
figured they could work something out.