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Dragon Spawn Chronicles, Book One
Enchanted as a child, Rhiannon grows up hidden, safe from a destiny that could be disastrous to her world. But when an evil sorcerer, seeking to destroy the Power of Two, opens the veiled gate that holds the dragons underground, Rhiannon must emerge. She must find the warrior marked with the dragon's flame, for only he can defeat the evil devouring the land.
Laird Dylan is a shadow in his own keep. Branded at birth with a dragon's head mark, he is shackled to a cursed life. Now dragons lay waste to his land. But his duty to stop them is derailed when he meets a woman who is unafraid of his shadowed past--a woman he could love.
In the midst of evil, Dylan and Rhiannon find a love more powerful than dragons and sorcerers. But will it be lost to save the world they know?
Page Count: 318
Word Count: 84124
Dylan awoke, but lay still. What had disturbed him? He glanced toward the window to see lightning flash across the night sky. He rolled to his side searching out his hounds, but they both lay at peace, unbothered by the storm.
Next, his gaze sought and found the lad or a lass, lying before the hearth and knew what had awoken him. Though this small MacKay had tried to keep herself hidden, too many things pointed to her gender. And those things had bothered Dylan. There was softness about her and a gentle grace like a doe in the forest. She had covered her mouth with a yawn, choked on the whiskey’s fire something all lads were brought up on. Her cheeks were smooth and without stubble. And there was the graceful way she moved. All small things but they were adding up. He did not like puzzles.
She had kicked the quilt off, and one wrist was tucked up under her chin. Her chest rose and fell with an even cadence; he could see an involuntary shiver move along her body. The fire had burned down; he needed to add a few logs to warm the room and cover the lass again.
Throwing the covers back, he slipped from the bed and padded over to the hearth where he stooped down between Rhi and the fire. He took logs from a basket nearby and added enough wood to the dying flames to see them through the night. The dry saplings caught with a roar, filling the room with dancing light.
He turned toward the lass to watch the firelight play like caressing fingers over her slender form. She lay on her back with her face turned away. With a need to see more of her, he reached up and pulled the cap from her head only to discover a wealth of partially soot covered fiery hair that was braided and stuffed down her shirt. One corner of his lip twisted up in wicked humor, and he shook his head slowly.
The soot smeared marks on her face could not hide the long dark lashes that lay pillowed on smooth cheeks. He wanted to run his finger along the edge of her dainty ear, but resisted the urge. How could so much courage be contained in this one woman? She had stood up against the blade twice, yet did not complain, or beg anything from him.
As his focus fell to her slowly rising chest, he noticed the nearly flat and misshapen swelling where her breasts should have been. He narrowed his brow. Mayhap she was deformed in someway.
The oddity compelled him to touch her. Softly so not to awaken her, he ran his fingers over her chest. To his amusement, he found she had bound herself so no womanly curve could be detected. Again, a smile curled his lips. Here was solid proof of what he had suspected from the first. A woman in disguise.
She certainly intrigued him. The longer he was with her, the more questions formed, and the answers weren’t forthcoming. Through the stench of stale clothes came a sweetness all her own. The scent reminded him of lavender, violets, and the forest.
The heat from the fire scorched his skin, urging him to finish his examination and go back to bed. He would find no more answers tonight, so he pulled the quilt over her, making sure her arms and legs were covered then sat the cap back on her head. He stood to leave her, but held his ground as she started to mumble words in her sleep.
Her brow crinkled into a frown, and she twitched as if troubled by some demon in her slumber.