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For centuries, there have been legends of Vampires—the fault of one careless dragon. But humans only know part of the story. Walking amongst us are Dragons—Shape-shifters who feed on blood.
Reluctant Dragon Elder Janos Aventech’s vacation in New York is about to come to an abrupt end. Riding on the subway, he stumbles across a Dragon mate—one of the few human women with whom his people can unite and be truly happy. And his people’s enemies are out to get her. As his attraction to this woman grows, he knows he must find her mate and see her safely into that man’s arms. It’s destined. But as every minute passes in her company, Janos begins to see he’ll never willingly let her go, mate or not.
If only she were his mate…
On the subway, Scarlett couldn’t stop staring at him—then he turned crazy. When he essentially kidnaps her off the train, she knows she should be irate and terrified. Instead, she finds her initial attraction growing. But what’s all this stuff he’s spouting about mates and enemies? She only wants to return to her life, not get caught in the middle of a war. But it’s too late for that. She’s destined for a Dragon’s bed, and in Janos’ arms, she can only hope it’s his.
Scarlett snapped shut her phone. Janos took it from her limp fingers. He opened the back, flicked out the battery and, before she could stop him, slid out the SIM card then snapped it like a brittle match.
“What are you doing?” she demanded, outraged that he’d dare to destroy her property. And he was cutting off her most effective means of contacting the outside world. Maybe going with him was a very bad idea after all. Her mother had always told her as a child that danger lurked in pretty packages…and he sure was pretty.
He tossed the two pieces, the battery and the useless phone into a nearby trashcan. Then taking her arm, he started down the sidewalk again. “If you want to be invisible, you can’t send up beacons about your location. Your phone is like a homing signal, and trust me, it’s very easy for the wrong people to get their hands on it.”
“What are you? A cop?”
He snorted. “Hardly. But I’m not one of the bad guys, either. C’mon.”
“Why should I believe you? This could be a trick. You could just be taking me to them.”
Janos growled low in his throat.
“The most difficult…” he muttered under his breath. His dark gaze pierced her attitude, deflating it like an old balloon. “These people don’t play games. If I was one of them, you’d already be dead. They don’t wait for privacy, they just kill. And the longer we wait, the more danger you’re in. That one, the one you saw on the train…by now he’s contacted his comrades, and I can promise you they’re headed here now. They want you dead, and they’ll see it done this time.”
“But there was only one other man…” she said weakly.
“There are many. Two might have attacked you before, but there’s an entire army, and they all want you dead. Now you can trust me and let me help you, or…I can force you to come with me. Like it or not, you’re under my protection.”
An army? They wanted her dead? Why? She’d never hurt anyone! “I don’t… Why do they want me dead?”
“Because of who you are to my people.”
He was so matter-of-fact it sent panic racing through her. “What—”
Exploding brick and glass beside them threw her into Janos. His arms went around her like iron as she looked over her shoulder. A swarthy man with glowing blue eyes stood no more than twenty feet away—no! He wasn’t standing. His feet were six inches above the ground while he levitated. His fingers glowed the same blue as his eyes and balls of light surrounded his palms.
What was he?
Janos growled, his arms tightening. He seemed to grow taller…and thicker, muscle building against her body. Stunned, she glanced up at his face. A gasp tore from her, ripping from her tight throat like razor blades. Blackish green scales—she could only describes them as scales—cascaded over his face like dominoes tumbling over one another. His head changed shape, becoming more triangular, sharp teeth protruding from his mouth, his nose disappearing. The scales tumbled down his body, covering even his clothing. She screamed when wide leathery wings curved high above his shoulders. As she struggled to get free, they wrapped around her, surrounding her entire body and holding her as tightly as his arms.
They blocked out all light, allowing her to only see Janos’ face above the wings enclosing her. But it wasn’t Janos’ face it was… something reptilian.
An impact knocked them back a few feet, and ever through the wings, she felt the energy sizzle over them. Janos roared. While she watched, wide eyed, he opened his mouth. A harsh rumble ground against itself beneath her ear. His chest expanded then his torso curved slightly down, bending her with it. Suddenly, his belly hollowed and a blast of fire shot from him. The light of it blinded her. As the streak of flames continued, the pressure of his wings stole her breath, crushing her into darkness.
“Dragon…” she whispered, the sound lost in the fury above her. “But dragons don’t exist…”