Dragon's Fire:A Reverse Harem Romance(4)

By: Lili Zander & Rory Reynolds


Silas is already dead, another spirit hisses. Leave before you share his fate.

No! My knees go weak, and I almost crumble to the cold stone floor. Silas cannot be dead. I would feel it in my heart. I would know.

Wouldn’t I?

My pulse racing, I start running. Faster and faster. The Bloodstone around my neck is hot to the touch, its magic reacting to mine. This time, I don’t fight it. I let it lead me deeper into the Rogue Prince’s castle.

“Halt.” Two guards stand in front of a tall set of iron doors. I’ve reached my destination. “Who are you?”

My voice is cold as ice. “I am your death.” Before they can move, I draw Endellion from its sheath and slash at them. They fall to the ground, lifeless, red blood welling from their bodies.

As if the blood is an offering, the doors swing open soundlessly. The Bloodstone blazes in warning, but I don’t heed it. I’m so close to finding Silas.

Sword in hand, I enter the dark cavernous chamber. A tall cloaked man looms over a familiar, bound figure, holding a knife against Silas’ neck. “Aria Archer,” the Rogue Prince says as I take a step forward into the light. “I’ve been waiting for you. I thought you’d want to see this.”

“No,” I scream. “No, please.”

But it’s too late. Gideon Zyrian smiles viciously at me, and he slits Silas’ throat.

I’ve failed.



I sit up in bed, my heart racing, my entire body damp with sweat. As nightmares go, this one was a doozy. My fingers shake, and when I pull the covers away and roll out of bed, my knees are weak.

It was so freaking vivid. If it weren’t for the fact that Silas’ epic sword collection doesn’t include a sword named Endellion, I would be struggling harder with coming to grips with reality. I seize upon that fact like a life preserver. It was just a dream.

“Get a grip, Aria,” I tell myself in the shower. Hot water rains down on me, but the nightmare has left a chill that won’t go away, and I know why.

The dream feels real because it’s rooted in the truth. Silas might not be imprisoned in some Gothic castle, but he’s dying.

The only family I have is going to be taken from me, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

For some reason, wolf shifters are particularly susceptible to blood diseases. Silas has thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, or TTP, which causes his blood to clot uncontrollably. It’s controlled with monthly plasma infusions, but because Silas is a shifter, he can only be dosed with shifter plasma.

Shifter plasma is expensive. Each treatment costs fifteen thousand dollars.

Silas was a thief his entire life, but he was never a saver. He lived large and spent his wealth generously, giving to everyone who needed it.

Six months ago, my bank balance had a hundred thousand dollars in it, the money I earned thieving. Now, after six treatments—one a month—I’m down to my last ten thousand dollars.

In the next twenty days, I need to come up with another five thousand dollars.

Thirty days after that, another fifteen thousand.

And so on, and so forth, for at least five years, until the disease can be brought under control.

If I could, I’d rob MagLab in a heartbeat, no matter what the risk to myself, but the business has been shuttered. I stole from the dragons and got away with it, but MagLab has paid the price.

One step at a time. Focus on the five grand.

I step out of the shower, still cold, and mutter a curse as I glance at the clock on the wall. Brooke, the manager at Trendz Jewelry and Accessories, the store I work at, will take an extremely dim view if I’m late to work, and she’ll write me up if I’m there even a minute after nine. I’ve got to run.





3





Bastian





All the magic in the world is trapped inside the Bloodstone, and the Dragon Princes no longer have the power to access it.

Gideon Zyrian did this. Even his name causes me to see red.

“My Lord Jaeger.” The Alpha of the Eclipse Pack bows to me. It’s rare for a pack Alpha to seek me out, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not going to like what Lukus Hyde has to say.

“Alpha.” I incline my head but don’t rise. Not that the wolf would expect me to. Shifters have a hierarchy, after all, and dragons are at the top.

As is our right. Other shifters can only access their magic to change forms. Dragons, on the other hand, can pull the threads of magic from the very earth itself, wielding it for our use. It makes us powerful.

And, as the Dark Dragon has demonstrated, it makes us dangerous.

“Something is wrong with the wolves, Lord Jaeger.” Hyde gets directly to the point. “More and more of our women are giving birth to Norms. In the last year alone, seven babies were born into my pack without any magic. It is as if we no longer have the power to pass our gifts to our children.”

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