Authors: Lacy Danes
Tags: #Dragons;Vampires;Witches;Historical;Hot Brothers;Strong females
“Keep moving. I want to feel you release against my stomach.” He reached up and pinched her right nipple. Cool air raced down her heated body, and she rocked and rubbed. His fingers lightly twisted, and her insides clenched with it.
“Indeed. That,” she rasped out. She ground her mound down as he twisted the tip of her nipple again. Her senses tumbled, then exploded. She clenched his sides with her knees and fell forward, exhausted, helpless and panting, her mind filled with nothing but pleasure.
Grandmum walked into the library.
Astrid went to her. “Thank goodness you are here.” She wrapped her hand around her arm and led her to the last open seat in the library. “We have information to tell you.”
“And I you.” Grandmum winked. “May I go first?” She sat down in the deep green chair that was Ilmir’s favorite. “I need a brandy. This is big news.”
Astrid stared—how did she know her news was big? Madoc walked to the sideboard and pulled out seven short bulbous glasses. He lifted a cut-glass decanter filled with a deep ruby liquid, pulled the stopper and poured a fingerful into each. He handed them out.
Grandmum gripped the glass tight, then took a deep gulp. She cleared her throat. “I know you will not quite understand this, but when I went to Madam Olga’s the other night, I was enthralled.”
“You know most feel the place is beneath them.” Ilmir swallowed a sip from his glass.
“Indeed. But Olga’s is not beneath me. I felt alive. At home.” She reached out toward Celeste. “Please understand?”
Celeste came to her and knelt before her. “What is it?”
“I have talked to Olga, and I want to help her. We have agreed that I will become a partner and will work at Olga’s, helping to find ways for otherworldly to find food when their sustenance is not normal human nutrition.” She smiled a smile that lit all her being.
Celeste leaned forward. “Grandmum, are you certain?”
“The Isle is your life, my dear. The town is my old one. Olga’s will be my new adventure. Besides, the establishment is so exciting there. Not at all like I imagined, and with a few little changes, Olga’s will be decadent.”
“Is there not enough excitement for you with the Zir?” Carmen sat propped up on pillows. Her figure was slowly filling out with the aid of blood from Madam Olga’s and Grandmum spending time there to figure out the best way to get the amount of blood they needed.
“The Zir certainly provide that, but it is time for my own in this phase of my life. Olga’s is that adventure.”
Astrid grasped her hand and then raised her glass to the room. “To Olga’s and new phases in life.”
“Capital,” everyone said and took a sip of their drinks.
Astrid stared at Ilmir as he stood over by the fireplace. His gaze moved to hers, and he smiled and nodded. She walked over to him and then turned to face the room. “The night when I disappeared from my body, I had forced Ilmir to bite me.”
Jordan tilted his head to the side. “Bite you?”
Celeste laughed and stood. “You are truly our sister now.”
Astrid smiled, and the stress of the information lifted from her chest. “You have always been family to me.”
“A delightful twist to your name-day wish. You wished Ilmir to come back to the fold of the family, and to do so, you ended up his mate.” Grandmum raised her glass in a toast and then took a swallow.
“This had nothing to do with my name-day wish. Our coming together happened because he is in love with me.”
They all stared at Ilmir.
“Are you?” Madoc took a swallow of his brandy.
“Indeed. I have been for years.” He interlaced his fingers with hers. “I did not expect this. I would never have bitten her on my own impulse. She is mine. And I am hers, but she is not in love with me… Yet.”
“That will come in time.” Grandmum’s soft brown eyes held that question. “You already do, do you not?”
Astrid smiled but said not a word. Grandmum saw through her to her heart and soul. “Shall I ring for cakes?”
“I will.” Celeste stood and walked to the bellpull.
Ilmir turned to face her. She pushed up on her tippy toes and kissed his cheek. “I already do.” She set her feet on the ground, but her heart, stomach and soul flew. Her life had forever changed. She was weather witch and a Zir. The family she’d grown up with was the family she would be a part of forever.
Ilmir wrapped his arm about her waist and pulled her up against him. “We will go slow,” he whispered.
“What if I don’t want to? What if I want to fly?”
A smile turned his lips, and a rough chuckle came from his chest. “Then fly we shall.”
Jordan walked over to Carmen, the water dragon so evident in the graceful way he moved. He handed her a plate with a small white cake perched on top. “I need a quill and paper so I can summon my kin. They have what I need to remove Havanis from all of your lives.”
“We seem to do fine escaping him, but life would be nice if we did not have to keep an eye open looking for him,” Madoc stated from over by the window.
“He knows where I am. He also has a presence here in this house. I feel a dark abyss. A view into your world. We must be careful, and I need my spells.”
“We have our books and Ferrous’s spells. Would you like to see them?” Fina walked over to Carmen. She’d always brought a smile to Fina’s face when she was in that dark place.
“Do bring them to me.” Carmen stared at the pregnant young fire Zir.
“We left them up in Ilmir’s room when we pulled you out. Do you mind me going to fetch them, Ilmir?”
“Suit yourself.” Ilmir waved his hand toward the door as he beamed over his new mate.
Carmen was happy for them but sad they still were not the magnificent creatures they once had been. She would fix that. “Where is the metal dragon? Ferrous, you call him?”
“He was called away by a woman who lives off the Is-Midtergang.”
“Isle of Ice?” Her home had once been near there. Could things be coming full circle? She needed to see her, and to do so, she needed her magic back. “Where is Fina?”
A pulling sensation came at her gut and pulled her spine tight to the back of the settee. Chills pricked up her scalp. Havanis was here. “Do you have a protection spell on this dwelling?”
Ilmir walked to her. “What are you feeling?”
“He is here. I can’t see him, but he is in this home.”
“Not him, but the king of obsidian himself.”
A scream came from upstairs.
“Fina?” Madoc ran from the room and up the stairs.
Everyone else followed, leaving Carmen alone in the library. She was too weak to stand. In a flash, she saw Fina staring at a mirror covered with magic handprints. The image in the mirror shone dark with blood, and fog smoked around the edges. A dark skeleton lunged out of the mirror and tackled her to the floor. “Sleep now. Be light. You are mine until the earliest morning that be.”
Just as Madoc ran into the room, Fina floated up and into the mirror. Havanis laughed. “Late.”
The voice trembled through Carmen, and she jerked back to the present place.
Havanis had taken Fina and the baby she had yet to bear.
He would not let her go with the babe still alive.
Carmen pushed herself up to standing. She would be strong enough. They needed her as she needed them. All their powers together were the answer to return Fina and to banish Havanis for good.
About the Author
Lacy Danes made a New Year’s resolution to write a hot, historical romance. A year and a half later, she achieved her goal. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where besides writing she enjoys horseback riding, gardening and savoring a great martini while watching the world go by. Visit Lacy at her website
Look for these titles by Lacy Danes
House of Sin
It’s easy to fall in love. Destiny requires tooth and claw.
© 2013 Lacy Danes
, Book 1
Curses are designed to be cruel, but the one afflicting Jordan and his brothers is almost beyond bearing. A dragon born by blood magic, he is an immortal trapped in human form, with only one hope of finding his eternal mate. He must bite her—and pray she lives.
One dark night, he senses the wounded heartbeat of a woman in the shadows, begging him to end her life. Ever the gentleman, he chivalrously obliges her wish. Only to discover three days later that she lives. And has married another.
Celeste always dreamed of marrying for love, but the nightmare of living in her father’s home drives her to wed the Duke of Hudson. Yet on her wedding eve, she is compelled to follow a mysterious man who professes to know her secret. A man with curious blue scales on his muscular arms—whose shadowed eyes reflect a dangerous mix of destiny and desire…
Warning: Explicit sex, sex in water, four super-hot dragon brothers, and a curse born from magical power that has left them wondering who they are all their lives.
Enjoy the following excerpt for
Jordan’s vision hazed and warped in a colorful wave, heightening details at the center of his focus. He shook his head and looked down to the highly polished wood floor. His sight returned to normal.
What just happened? His vision never colored except after he had bitten. He locked his jaw, and his chest labored. He slowly raised his gaze back up at the duke and the woman who stood the same height beside him. A rainbow of colors radiated out from her.
The woman… He closed his eyes, and the image from the beach came back to him…
Golden hair lit up with the sun. The pearls of her aristocratic dress played against the tips of his fingers as he gently laid her on the grass for dead.
His throat tightened. He had bitten her three days past, and she…lived.
Oh, bloody hell.
His body shook.
She was his mate.
Heat coursed through his flesh and burned through his cock, which swelled and pressed painfully against his trousers. His mate. He shifted his stance and placed his hand at an angle to disguise his engorged erection. Damn. He glanced about the room. This couldn’t be possible. His attention snapped back to her.
“Lords and ladies, I present to you my new wife, Her Grace, the Duchess of Hudson!” His Grace raised her fingers to his lips and kissed her gloved knuckles.
It was her. It really was the same woman. Jordan had touched that wrist. Had taken her bracelet. His treasure of her death. His fingers fisted, and he stumbled forward, seeing nothing but her golden hair, slender nose, full, angelic lips and noble cheekbones. All held the color of life. Not death.
She had wed Hudson.
He bumped into the gentleman who stood before him.
“Mind your step.”
How could she? He continued forward without pause. After five hundred years of frustration and loneliness, he had found his lifemate, and Cupid had poisoned the arrow.
She had married another, and tonight would bed her husband.
His feet moved as if he glided, pulled by a rope to her. This was wretched! His vision streaked, danced and swirled in blue and gold ripples, making his stomach flip.
Yet he’d found her!
The room hummed and dropped away. He stepped in front of her, shaking. He stared down at eyes so green they reminded him of a serene, moss-covered pond. A shiver raced from the tip of his toes to the white streak in his hair.
“You survived.” His deep and raspy words barely left his mouth.
Her eyes widened, and her skin paled, accentuating the freckles across her nose. “Pardon? Do I know you, sir?”
She had freckles… His lips turned up into a genuine smile. Freckles. He wanted to know every tiny detail about her.
A weighty force pressed upon his shoulders, buckling his knees.
He knelt before her, bent low, and stared up at her like a peasant in awe before a goddess.
The image of her as he had dragged her from the water—blood and seawater trailing over him and staining his clothes—slid through him.
Now this distortion stained his soul.
He had left her…
Left his mate for dead.
How could he not have known? He licked his lips with a tongue that held no moisture. The scent of orange blossoms and cherries filled his flaring nostrils. Her scent. The scent of her blood.
She’d had no wedding ring on her finger that night. He opened his mouth and grasped her hand. She needed to know she was his mate, a love for all time…
Thick-gloved fingers wrapped about his forearm, and his scales prickled in familiar warning. Ilmir.
“Please excuse him, Your Grace. He is truly in his cups.” Ilmir’s calm, deep voice slashed through his beautiful rainbow fog.
The censure of the room came crashing back to Jordan’s senses.
Ilmir’s breath pressed to his ear. “You are making a dangerous spectacle.”
Jordan turned his head toward Ilmir and narrowed his eyes. How dare he? The man had done everything against all mores his entire life.
“Jordan.” Ilmir glanced at the woman before them. “Is this…” His gray eyebrows rose over his pale, ice-blue eyes in question.
Jordan remained silent and continued to glare at his brother. Beyond his grayish-white hair, his well-tailored evening attire made him appear the perfect, elegant young gentleman. Appear… Jordan frowned and ground his teeth together. How dare he act noble? Here. Now. He wanted to grab Ilmir by the ear and drag him outside, but nothing was as it should be tonight, and this act too had strings.
Hudson stepped before them, blocking his new duchess from view. A deep frown scarred his face. “I suggest you listen to your brother. Your family is in enough of a public tumble, which I will help you out of, but this…” His brow arched, and dreaminess glazed his eyes. An odd smile flashed across his lips, then disappeared.
Ilmir wrapped his arm under Jordan’s and pulled him to his feet. His breath warmed Jordan’s ear. “Don’t fret. If she is yours, no one can deny the fact. Not even her.” Ilmir slowly turned him from his beauty.
Jordan wobbled and swayed, his shaking legs unable to support him. He floated as if he was a bloody cork in water…water so unfamiliar and deadly. Deadly? He mentally jarred himself. He was water. Water could never kill him. He’d found her, and he would not leave her here for Hudson’s use.
“Act inebriated.” Ilmir gripped him hard and almost dragged him through the crowd.
Like the devil he would! Jordan glanced back. Her eyes, huge emerald pools that spoke of a deep soul, watched him as she talked to an older woman at her side. He pulled against Ilmir’s grasp. “Release me.”
Ilmir’s fingers tightened. “No, brother. This is not how we untangle this.”
“This is not yours to untangle.” He could not leave without saying more to her.
She needed to know. Know what had happened.
She needed to know she was his mate.
“Release your fingers,” he ground out, and the sacs in his mouth swelled. He jerked his head back—that was not supposed to happen unless he prepared to bite—and clenched his teeth, holding his lips closed on the poisons that swelled in his glands.
He glanced around the room. Bloody hell! His body changed against his will, and he did not know what those changes encompassed. The room watched them. What was happening to him? He firmly planted the soles of his shoes on the marble floor.
“No!” Ilmir’s fingers dug into his flesh. “Not until I have you in a carriage. She will not disappear, Jordan. I assure you.” He laughed a mocking chuckle and yanked him through an open door. “She is a duchess.” He kicked the door closed with the heel of his boot.
“To hell, Ilmir.” His angry words smoked out of his mouth and singed the fabric on Ilmir’s coat. Damn smoke. He’d just breathed smoke. He stared at the lightly glowing spot on Ilmir’s sleeve, and his eyes widened. He had never done that before.
“Quite so. Hell has had me and enjoys my flavor.” The sleeve of Ilmir’s coat puffed, smoldering. “Now listen and listen well, brother. That there”—Ilmir pointed back into the ballroom—“is the Duke of Hudson. This is his home. If we slight him, we have no remaining allies in London. Do you understand?” Ilmir brushed at the singed fabric and continued to stare at him as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
Of course Jordan knew where they were. But— Bloody hell! She was his! His! “Ilmir.”
“Control yourself. You cannot do this badly.”
Jordan’s fists shook in anger. “As if you should give that guidance. You have never thought of anyone but yourself!”
Ilmir nodded. “Correctly stated. And you have seen the consequences. Be the good whelp you always are. Or go your own path and we all fall.”
“Fall? We can’t fall.” But Ilmir was correct about one thing. Confronting her here in front of a room full of people when he was uncertain of his body’s changes was a poor plan. He sighed and rolled his shoulders. He needed her alone. And now.