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Royal twins ripped apart at birth become reluctant champions of good and evil. Kylie, a teenage science geek, has no faith in people. Instead, she relies on what she trusts the most, the facts—what she can see, touch, and hear but never feel. With enough pain to deal with in her own world, she is thrust into another—a kingdom at war whose strange inhabitants fear one thing the most—the return of the dragon. All of this is illogical to Kylie, but even more so, when she discovers she belongs there. Her brother, Prince Jarlon, journeys to kill the dragon who has laid waste to his kingdom. His only hope for destroying the beast is help from his sister, whom he has never met. Will their paths cross before the beast’s malevolence infects Kylie and turns her into his creature or will Jarlon have to destroy her, too?
Page Count: 256
Word Count: 61794
“You are Kalila. You are home.”
She jutted out her chin. “That is not my name. This is not my home. What if I just turn around and go back to my own world?” As she said this, Kylie’s amulet burned hot against her skin, and she felt the pulling begin again, beckoning her to scale the cliff and enter the cave.
“Can you go back?”
“No.” She sighed. “I don't think it will let me.”
“The Voice. It’s compelling me toward the cave. I have fought against it. Against everything I’ve seen inthis place and everything I feel, but I have no choice. I have to go to that cave.” She surprised herself, confiding in this complete stranger. Yet, she liked him. But, more than that, with fear and desperation warring inside her, she worried Garrad may be her last link to herself before entering the cave.
“It’s not an it,” Garrad said. “It’s a him. Druas is the dragon, and that’s his lair. They say he stole a part of your heart before you were born. He calls to use you.”
“I won’t let that happen,” she said with more confidence than she felt.
“If you fail, you will belong to Druas and his power will increase,” Garrad said. “It’s too soon for you to confront him. You must wait.”
She looked about, hoping her rational self would save her from going up there. But, she knew the thing in that cave held the answer to stopping the gnawing anger that lived inside her. That didn’t mean she wouldn’t fight his control. “Does this prophecy explain how I beat him?”
“The Lady of the Eyes may be able to tell you. Come back with me. Meet her.”
“I don’t know anything about your Lady. But I’m here, and that cave has my answers. I’m sure of it.”
She started to leave then turned back to Cornelius. “Thanks.”
She walked to the clearing and stared up at the cave. Taking a breath, she lifted her hand onto the first rock and pulled herself up. She climbed the steep rocks that led to the dragon. Three teledicthus glided in the air, two large and one small. They swooped past her, jaws snapping. Oddly, she didn’t fear them. What did, resided in the cave.
At the top, she stood in front of an enormous opening, the size of a jet hangar. She peered in but saw only darkness.
Kylie stepped into the cave. The rhythmic sound of breathing echoed around her and the air tingled with electricity. A huge outline appeared. Her gaze followed it, trying to make sense of its parts.
A pulsing wall of scales the texture of seaweed glittered and glowed in the vast darkness. A long, callused neck rose before her, topped by a head with two large nostrils oozing a clear, sticky film that covered the inside of the cave. The beast lowered his horned head directly in front of her.
Her body went rigid.
Kylie stood face-to-face with the dragon.
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