Authors: Lizzie Lynn Lee
THE MAN WITH THE DRAGON WINGS
LIZZIE LYNN LEE
First Edition 2015
©Copyright Lizzie Lynn Lee October 2015
Cover Art by (Lizzie Lynn Lee) ©Copyright (July/2015)
Edited by Tina Winograd
Proofread by Pat Sager
This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogues in this book are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is completely coincidental.
She never would’ve imagined her knight in shining armor is a bounty hunter.
He’s too bastardly wicked to walk only the right side of the law.
Granted, he’s hot and sexy as hell, but when he surrenders to the nature of his beast, he’s more terrifying than a scary monster.
Her brain tells her to run. Her body wants her to stay.
But why does her heart ache when he’s in danger?
He never believed in love at first sight, and yet, the moment he laid eyes on her, he knows he must have her.
She’s a runaway bride and the man she was forced to marry doesn’t deserve her, but will stop at nothing to get her back. Including bringing in the whole clan to take down Rovik.
True mates are real, and he plans to convince her that nothing on earth could stop him from making her his.
This story contains graphic dragon-on-dragon violence, a runaway bride who drives like a homicidal maniac, and a young dragon king who thinks every problem in the world can be solved with an orgasm.
The moment the young woman walked into the diner, Rovik knew with his heart and soul she belonged to him.
A surge of heat rushed into his head. His heart hammered fast, and an insane urge to shift threatened his perfectly mastered human form. It felt as if his blood was seared from the inside out and every fiber of his being called for her. Beckoned her. Wanted to claim her. Make her his. Forever.
Even though he was sitting a dozen feet from the door, his sharp sense of smell caught a whiff of her scent. Beneath the floral fragrance of her perfume, the distinct aroma of that woman became a powerful aphrodisiac. His cock stirred underneath his jeans.
Rovik grabbed the ledge of the Formica countertop, waiting for the unexpected reaction to pass. He had never experienced such interest toward a woman.
A human, at that.
He calmed himself with a simple meditation trick he learned while stationed in Okinawa.
Breathe in, think of nothingness, become one with nothingness, breathe out.
Gradually, he regained his composure.
Everyone in the diner turned their head in her direction, gawking. Rovik studied her surreptitiously. What do we have here? He never thought he’d see the day a runaway bride would hide out in a road side diner. She wore a floor length white wedding gown, complete with a sheer veil over her head. Her backless dress outlined her curvaceous figure: voluptuous chest, small waist, and full hips. She yanked the veil from her carefully done coiffure and balled it before chucking it unceremoniously into a nearby trash bin. She looked as if she had done a bit of sprinting as well judging that she looked out of breath.
Rovik couldn't take his eyes off her.
The woman scanned the diner. Their gazes collided.
And as if fate had intertwined theirs together, the woman picked up her gown and headed in his direction. She took the empty stool next to him at the countertop.
"Give me a slice of that apple pie. Whipped cream too, please. Do you have some Coke?" she asked the waitress behind the cash register. Her voice sounded like a song bird, beautiful and mellifluous.
"Sure, hon," the waitress resumed her gum-chewing motion, eyeing the bride thoughtfully. "Guess you're not getting married today, huh?"
"Nope, and just leave it at that," said the woman. Her tone was sad.
"I know, honey. I'm sorry." The waitress patted the bride’s hand rather matronly and went to fetch her order.
Rovik eyed her. She was so goddamn beautiful, looking as if in her early twenties. She had stunning sapphire eyes shaded with long, lush black lashes. Her cheekbones were high and her sensual lips were rouged red. She had smooth, unblemished alabaster skin. Her glossy hair was a deep shade of mahogany and styled in an elaborate updo.
"Can I buy you a sundae to go with the pie?" Rovik asked.
She looked at him. "Sundae? You know, I would love that."
The waitress returned with the runaway bride's order. "Here we go, beautiful: a slice of apple pie topped with whipped cream and Coke on ice. Is there anything else you want?"
"Your special sundae for the lady," said Rovik to the waitress, then turned back to the bride. "I was told this diner made their own ice cream. I tried their peach ice cream yesterday. It’s to die for."
For the first time since she came in, she smiled broadly, showing her perfect pearly white teeth. God, she was fucking beautiful. It was as if the whole world had just lit up. She was one of those rare few who could brighten a room like sunshine. He was captivated by her.
"That would be wonderful," she said. "I'd love to try."
“You got it, hon.” The waitress nodded and scurried to get her order.
The runaway bride offered her hand. "My name is Emily. Everybody calls me Emmy," she said.
"That's a beautiful name," he said, shaking her hand. "Mine's Rovik."
"And you just Emmy?"
She blushed prettily. "Emily Anderson. Today I’m supposed to be Emily McGuire. Thank God that didn't happen. Or should I say, won’t happen.”
Rovik silently agreed. Otherwise, he wouldn't have met this woman. "Well, Ms. Anderson, it's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Rovik Stromheim."
"You have a Viking name," she remarked. “How cool is that?” She eyed him from head to toes and took it all in. From the leather jacket, dusty jeans, and biker boots, before her gaze briefly lingered at the open-carry weapon on his holster. "Are you a cop?"
"I'm a fugitive apprehension agent."
"A bounty hunter?"
a bounty hunter."
The peach sundae arrived. Emily thanked the waitress and Rovik and started to pick on the whipped cream. She ate it with gusto and then demolished the pie as well before chugging the ice cold Coke. Rovik loved women with healthy appetites. He grew tired of watching his past dates pick on just salad for sustenance.
She exhaled a deep breath. "Man, that hit the spot."
"I told you it was good."
"Yeah. I've been sugar deprived for the past three months to fit into this stupid dress."
"How awful. I'd marry you dressed in a flour sack," Rovik ventured.
Her smile returned. "Would you?"
"Pretty girl like you? Sure."
"That's nice to hear. By the way, I'm not the one who got dumped at the altar. I ran away." Emily looked at the clock above the cash register. "In twenty minutes, they will look for me. They'll catch me eventually. But I’ll go back kicking and screaming. This is my last chance of freedom."
Hearing that, every cell in his body went on full alert. "Are you in trouble, Emmy?"
"Hmm?" She lifted her eyes from the empty plate. "I guess I can say that."
"Did you call the cops?"
"Cops?" She laughed. "I'm supposed to marry the sheriff’s son. Don’t men in uniform tend to stick together, especially in small towns like this?" She sighed. "You wouldn't understand."
"You’re mistaken. Try me," Rovik said.
"You’re not from around here, are you?"
"I'm from New York. I came here to pick up a bail jumper. But my friend apprehended him a few hours ago."
"So, are you driving back to New York?" she asked.
"That's the plan."
"Can I go with you?"
Rovik was stunned. Was this fate or temptation? This seemed too good to be true. "You want to go with me, a man you've just met? Didn't your mom teach you not to go with strangers?"
"My mom's dead. Don't know my dad. I've lived with my mom’s friend since I was twelve.” She studied his expression. “Say, you work as a bounty hunter, right? I’m good with numbers and I can run your business for you, you know, behind the scenes. I’m a fast learner and I can figure out how to cut your overhead to make your bottom line more profitable. I used to work in an accounting department at an insurance office after I graduated from high school. My GPA was four point O.”
“That’s impressive. How come you didn’t go to college? With grades like that you could easily get scholarships.”
.” She dipped her head in lamentation. “I was raised to marry the sheriff’s son. He doesn’t need a wife with a college degree. He just needs someone to clean the house and warm his bed.”
“Is that so? What if I want you more than just running my books?” Rovik crumpled the used napkin and tossed it on his plate. “Sometimes a guy is tempted to have some pretty young thing warm his bed.”
She eyed him critically.
Was she being naïve? Rovik wondered. Surely she knew how appealing she looked to men? That beautiful face. The voluptuous body. Especially breathtaking smile. Rovik was a sucker for a woman with a pretty smile.
“Then, I’ll just convince you I’m worth more than a cheap thrill.” She smiled rather mischievously. “You know, I didn’t have a plan to run away until this morning. I had this insane urge to get out of the church and walk into this diner. For the first time in my life, I followed my instinct. My guts tell me to ditch the wedding, then I did. Do you believe in fate, Mr. Stromheim?”
Rovik slowly acknowledged her with a faint nod. “That I do, Ms. Anderson.”
“So.” Emily flashed her smile again. “Do I get the job?”
What could he say? Perhaps this was what fate had in store for them. He was meant to meet her and she was destined to be with him, not the man she was supposed to marry today. He offered his hand. “Welcome to Whitewater Bond Agency. Glad to have you onboard.”
Her face brightened as she shook his hand eagerly. “Does this mean we can leave now?”
“Naturally. I have no more business to conduct in this town. There’s no reason for me to linger.” Rovik got up from his stool and peeled out two twenties from his wallet for the tab. “Keep the change,” he said to the waitress.
People in the diner watched them leave, some with clear disapproval on their faces. Not that he cared. He knew he courted trouble, hitting on a runaway bride. And now he was about to spirit her away. Fuck it. This woman was his mate. No one else could have her.
Emily sobered at the thought of giving her future to a complete stranger. But Rovik had kind, warm eyes, and she felt she could trust her life to him. She’d never met a man like Rovik. He was good looking and incredibly hot. He was the kind of man you’d gladly see at the end of a long, hard day. Someone who’d make her comfortable. Relaxed. She could shed all of her masks and be herself in his presence. Strange, considering she’d just met him.
Unlike the man she was supposed to marry today.
Dwayne McGuire had always been a mystery to her, and not the good kind. Behind Dwayne’s smile and soft voice, he gave her the epic creeps. Especially after Dwayne openly announced she was his fiancée shortly after they graduated from high school. She hated the way he touched her. And whenever he kissed her, she always fought the urge to hurl. Dwayne had never mishandled her but she had this compulsion to run whenever he was within her vision.
As Rovik gently steered her toward the door, she was aware that every pair of eyes in the diner watched her every move.
The town folks had done exactly that over the years, nothing more and nothing less. If she were struck by lightning and keeled over by the street, these people would say, “Poor thing,” and go on with their lives.
She was aware of the invisible barrier between her and the people in this town, and had grown accustomed to their treatment over the years. She’d yearned to leave for a long time, but the arrangement between her mother and Norman McGuire, the sheriff, bound her to this place. No more. She wanted to be free.