Home > Dragon Mage (Dragon Point #7)(9)

Dragon Mage (Dragon Point #7)(9)
Author: Eve Langlais

“You can’t kill them. I said we had to find them, because they’re important. If they die, then we might as well just give up now,” Elsie announced. “We need them alive.”

“In that case, we’ll have to split up,” Babette suggested.

“Agreed. I want each team to have a good balance of defense and attack. We don’t know if these horsemen will come quietly,” the king said, drumming his fingers. “Contact the Sept matriarchs and have those closest to the sightings readying teams.” The Septs being divided by color and then, within those colors, by strength, which usually was decided by the family bloodlines.

“You need to do more than just contact those closest, Your Majesty,” Brandon added quickly. “We need to make that alert wider. We’ve been looking for these guys for a week, and yet they were invisible. Think what that could mean if they are intent on harm. We need to ensure all the Septs and families are on alert.”

Aimi nodded. “My husband has a point. If this goes south, then strike teams should be assembled and ready to move in all the major cities at a moment’s notice.”

“Agreed. Make it happen.” The king rose, and everyone scrambled to their feet. “I want up-to-date reports on any news of these horsemen.”

“Aren’t you meeting with the United Nations?” Aimi reminded. She might be pregnant, but she kept on top of things now that she was restricted close to home.

Remiel grimaced. “I’m heading there now.”

“Which I still don’t agree with,” Aunt Yolanda muttered. “Whoever heard of the King of Dragons abasing himself in front of humans.”

“It’s called negotiating.”

“Seems an awful lot like showing our neck.”

“We didn’t have much a choice, did we?” He referred to the fact they’d been outed. And while some humans still believed it was an elaborate hoax, it wouldn’t be long before social media and the need for people to video everything brought more evidence to light. Best they come to an arrangement with the world now before the days of hunting resumed again.

The room dispersed quickly once the king left, until it was only Babette and Elsie.

“So, bestie, are you excited?” Elsie asked.

“About?”

“The juicy secret I kept just for you.” Elspeth practically bounced in her seat.

“What did you do now?” Babette asked, not without some anticipation. She and Elsie did have a good time. Why, the last time they hung out, a refinery in Texas blew up. The time before, they sank a ship, and then there was the time Babette was sleeping with the enemy and had to redeem herself.

Elsie bit her lip as she grinned. “I know where the fourth horseman is hiding.”

“And you didn’t tell the king?”

“I saved it for you, best friend.”

On days like today, that was most certainly true. “Where?”

“Find the nerd with the dragon tattoo.”

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

The unused pajamas under her pillow: Only cute ‘til woken.


Azrael strode through the market, a tall menacing shape in a cloak. People leaned away from him, but not in fear, more like awe. Some of it respectful, others overcome and sinking to their knees, heads ducked, humming respect, clasping their hands to their forehead.

He paid them no mind. Made no sign at all that he saw them.

The leather of his boots was dusty, despite the stone road he followed. The same dirt clung to his cloak. A bruise, dark as a mottled shadow, covered his cheek.

A man fell in beside him, also wearing a long swath at his shoulders, but lighter in color, cleaner, too. “Did you handle it?”

Azrael’s lips pressed tight. “I dispersed it, but not before it killed an entire village.”

The other man ducked his head and huffed a breath. “We have to stop it before the pieces reassemble.”

“How long can we keep shredding them apart? We need a way to separate the pieces permanently,” Azrael stated.

“The kind of magic that would take…” The other man trailed off and looked around them. The only thing to see were the people going about their lives.

If the menace came to this city, so many would die. Yet if they didn’t act, even more would perish.

The man in the pale cloak stared at him. “You mustn’t ever give up, Azrael. Promise.”

“Whatever it takes.”

“Even if it takes your life?”

The statement startled Daphne awake. It took a moment to realize it was but a dream. A strange one about a place she’d never visited.

Who were those men?

Azrael. A younger version than she’d met in the museum.

The place she almost died.

Am I dead?

The pillow under her cheek said no. A gaze to the side showed the glowing red numbers of her clock. Not in the museum. Home and in bed. No misty monster or hot dude in leather pants refusing to kiss her. No medieval hero or arid ancient city. Everything was a dream.

So explain the lingering scent of cardamom. Odd since she didn’t particularly like that spice and didn’t own anything with it as an ingredient. She sighed, and her throat ached. Was she getting sick? That would suck.

The covers rustled and the mattress shifted as a body moved.

She wasn’t alone. “Oh my God!”

She dove out of bed, reaching for the baseball bat—her weapon of choice—she kept by her nightstand. She hit the floor and brandished it with a shrieked, “Don’t touch me!” To punctuate her demand, she waved her aluminum protection.

“Kind of hard to lay a finger on you given where you’re standing,” was the dry reply from the guy in her bed.

Not just any guy. The one from her dreams. Fully clothed. Looking singularly unimpressed.

Her shoulders slumped. “I’m still sleeping.”

“More like delusional. Are you always this stubborn to see the truth?”

“Care to insult me some more? Because obviously that’s all I’m good for. I think.” She eyed the bed, then him, finally her fully clothed self. “I assume nothing happened.”

“We slept.”

“Together?”

“Your bed was adequately sized for the purpose, despite the fact you thrash in your sleep.”

“Excuse me for disturbing your rest.” She rolled her eyes.

“You are forgiven. Don’t do it again.”

“Where are my glasses?” She squinted at her nightstand.

“How would I know where you keep your cups?”

His reply made no sense, other than the part where he’d obviously lost them when he kidnapped her. A good thing she kept a spare set in her nightstand. Not as cute as her lost pair, though. They were thick and sturdy for the times she fell asleep in bed with them on.

“Why do you wear those?”

“To see. Duh.”

“They amplify your vision?”

“Without them, everything is just a blur.”

“Do you not have physicians to correct your sight?”

“Not everyone can afford laser surgery.” A girl could dream, though.

Azrael sat up and stretched. It would have been better without the shirt.

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