Kissed by Fire(6)

By: Kimber White

My back went up. Xander kept his tone level, but that fire lit his eyes. “What were you doing there?” I asked, turning the tables on him. “What were you looking for?”

The question seemed to cause his own inner turmoil. He opened his mouth to answer, then clamped it shut. He’d just asked me to trust him for a few minutes. It appeared he wasn’t willing to do the same for me.

“The wolves didn’t show up until you did!” I rose from the couch and started pacing again. “So maybe you tell me what they were looking for. I told you, Marvin was just a harmless old man. He didn’t have anyone but me. We looked out for each other.”

Xander ran a hand across his mouth. “That’s not possible. He was a mage. They don’t generally live on their own. What was he doing out here? In Chicago. The closest coven is hundreds of miles away.”

Tears spilled down my cheeks. I tried to hold them back, but it was no use. Marvin was dead. He was well and truly dead.

“Circean,” Xander said, though it felt like he was talking more to himself. “Am I right? He was Circean?”

I threw up my hands. “What does it matter now? Marvin wasn’t part of a coven. Not anymore. They cast him out. I think his family was from Ohio or someplace. But, he hadn’t had any contact with them in over fifty years. He was alone until I came along. I was all he had. And he was…” I couldn’t finish the sentence. A sobbing hiccup burst out of me.

Xander rose and came to me. He stopped just short of touching me. I craned my neck to meet his eyes. The guy was huge, maybe a full foot taller than my five foot four.

“What did they want?” I said, my voice coming out as a choked whisper. “Why in the world would those wolves want to hurt him? They just bust into the shop already shifted and out for blood. I’ve seen plenty of shifters before, but not like that. Not a murderous pack. They never even asked him any questions. They just killed.”

Xander reached for me. I gasped as he touched my upper arm. It was just an instant, but his eyes sparked with fire. Touching me was doing something to him too.

I stepped out of his grasp and hugged my arms around me tight. I had to push my emotions aside. I had to think straight. “They would have killed me too.” I meant it as a question, but before I finished the sentence, I already knew the answer.

“I think so,” Xander said. “That was a full bloodlust. They were carrying out an Alpha’s command. I didn’t think it wise to stick around and wait for him.”

“And you don’t know what they were looking for? Why?”

Xander went very still. I couldn’t read his expression. Trust. It seemed we were still a long way from it. I wanted to scream at the sky and demand he take me home. Except, in one earth-shattering moment of grief and clarity, I realized there was no such place for me anymore.

There was a rumble of movement behind Xander. Strong, deep voices came from further down the hallway. Xander moved quickly, putting his body between me and the source of the sound.

Then, we weren’t alone anymore. Four men, just as tall and powerful looking as Xander filed in one by one. Each of their eyes blazed with the same fire. Like Xander, they were sharp and handsome with dark hair, well-muscled and imposing physiques. The truth of their nature slammed into me. Dragon shifters. They looked from me to Xander and back again. One of them stepped away from the bunch. Xander let out a warning growl and squared his shoulders, blocking me from their view.

“What the hell, Xander?” the man said.

Xander cleared his throat. “Gideon this is…” He ran a hand through his hair, let out a sigh then stepped to the side, exposing me to the hard gazes of the four other men.

“This is Shae,” he continued. “She...we...uh...we ran into a little spot of trouble in Lakeview.”

“Uh huh.” The one he called Gideon looked over his shoulder at the three other men.

“Shae,” Xander said, extending his hand toward them. “These are my brothers. Gideon, Finn, Loch, and Kian.”

Brothers. All five of them. I could barely process what he was saying. An hour ago, I thought dragons were extinct or merely a legend. Now, I appeared to be locked in a damn tower with five of them. And the only person in the world who would understand or even believe me was dead.

Chapter Three


Shae stood straight and defiant. Still, I could sense the turmoil inside of her. Hell, I’d been able to sense just about everything about her since the moment I laid eyes on her. I couldn’t fathom why. She was human. She had no magic of her own. And yet, I felt a magnetic pull toward her.