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FEEL THE BURN
Dragon Kin #8
Released Nov 24th, 2015
I, Gaius Domitus, one-eyed rebel dragon king of the Provinces, know that better than most, since I have to fight off half my ungrateful family on a regular basis to keep law and order here in my lands. But I never expected to have to consort with a barbarian human woman.
Kachka is beautiful, if you like them fierce—and of course I do. But she keeps complaining about how spoiled and decadent I am, and how a feared Daughter of the Steppes has no time for foolish dragons. I think she likes my eye patch, though. It is quite dashing. With death always at our tails, we take our passion like we take our allies. As they say, love the barbarian you’re with…
Kachka tied off her travel pack, slung it, her bow, and a quiver of arrows over her shoulder, and walked out into the hallway. She made her way down to the Great Hall and found her sister sitting on one of the tables, in deep conversation with her mate, the black dragon Celyn. When she saw Kachka, she let out a relieved breath.
“Death found you well this day,” she nearly cheered.
“Yes. Now I must go.”
“Go? Go where?”
“To find honor or death.”
“Morfyd said the queen was upset about the temples on her land. So she is sending you to stop the ones raiding those temples,” Elina guessed.
The dragon’s back straightened. “Wait . . . what? What are you doing?”
Kachka ignored him, because he was male and this was an important discussion about battle plans. A discussion only women could truly understand.
“Will you bring some of her weak soldiers with you?”
“No, no. She offered them. But what could they do except clomp around and make too much noise, letting all enemies know we are coming. They would be useless. Instead, I return to homeland. Find strong woman to fight by my side.”
“But it will be dangerous. So if I do not return in the next year or two, and you get no message, assume my death,” Kachka stated flatly, “and make sure to perform sacred rites so that I can meet our ancestors in next world.”
“I will,” Elina promised. “And I will cut my face deep in honor of your death.”
“Thank you, sister.”
They gripped each other’s forearms and nodded, knowing this might be the last time they saw the other alive.
With nothing else to say, Kachka headed toward the big doors.
But she’d only moved a few feet before Celyn barked, “Is that it?”
“Is what it?” Elina asked.
“A promise of self-mutilation and a nod? Is that all you have to say when you may never see each other again?”
Elina frowned. “As opposed to what, dolt?”
“I don’t know. A hug? A kiss good-bye? Something!”
With a shake of her head, Elina let out a long, pained sigh. “Go, sister. You have important work to do and no time for . . .” She waved her hand at the aghast dragon standing beside her, mouth open in confusion. “. . . whatever this is.”
“Take good care of your dragon,” Kachka said as she moved on. “He will need your protection, being so weak and pathetic.”
“Weak? I am a mighty dragon of the Southland—”
The sisters’ combined laughter drowned out the rest of that ridiculous statement and sent Kachka off on a note than she could have ever asked for.
Originally from Long Island, New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken has resigned herself to West Coast living, which involves healthy food, mostly sunny days, and lots of guys not wearing shirts when they really should be. Writing as Shelly Laurenston, she is also the creator of the wickedly funny Pride series for Brava. For more info about G.A. Aiken’s dangerously and arrogantly sexy dragons, go to www.gaaiken.com.