Once a dragon…
Saxophone player Noah Long shifted from dragon to human 2500 years ago, but the dragon blood still coursing through his veins has kept him healthy and virile. Now his secret is out, and the man who discovered it will do anything to make Noah’s blood his own. Noah’s only ally is martial arts expert Lila Fox, who heats up the fire in his belly…and his heart.
Twice a killer…
Lila Fox’s first kill was at age sixteen after her stepfather put her mother in a wheelchair. Fourteen years later, she kills another abuser to save a woman’s life. When the man who wants Noah’s blood kills her sister, she can’t let the death go unanswered. She teams up with the strangely compelling Noah, and discovers he’s not all man and has a few tricks of his own.
Skin and scales. Lila ignored the cold marble floor beneath her and reached up to cup her hand against the side of Noah’s not-quite-human face. He should have looked ugly, but his magnificence awed her. The gold scales should have felt stiff like lizard skin, but they felt like expensive silk. His jewel-toned eyes stared into hers. With his elongated jaw and widened nose, he looked half dragon, half human.
“You’re beautiful,” she said, and heard her voice, soft and ethereal, like the wisps of smoke hanging in the air.
“You’re insane.” His voice rumbled, pleasing to her ears, wrapping her in comfort and strength.
“Maybe.” She spoke slowly, dreamlike. Maybe this was a dream. A lovely one from her childhood, when she believed in unicorns, fairies and dragons. A dream she didn’t want to stop believing, though she knew it was false.
“You saved me.” Even as she said the words, she knew they couldn’t be true. No one saved her. She saved other women, teaching them how to protect themselves, giving them back their power.
“He was going to shoot me, but you charged him.” Noah frowned, puzzled. As though he’d walked into her dream and couldn’t believe it, either. “Don’t do that again.”
She brushed her fingertips down his face again, the skin and the scales silky. Sparks danced on her body. Another part of the dream.
“I drank your blood.” Even her voice sounded disconnected and happy. Surely that wasn’t the real her. “You brought me back to life. I stumbled into a fairy tale.”
“There are no bullets in fairy tales.” His deep voice reminded her of warm molasses. She wondered what it would be like to swim in warm molasses. To dangle her toes in it, let it lap over her feet. “No guns. Just swords and magic.”
“And dragons. Will I turn into a dragon?”
He looked down at his shoulder and arm, still human, then back at her. “Apparently I can’t be a full dragon myself, so I doubt it.”
“You don’t know for sure?”
He didn’t answer, but as she watched, his jaw shrank, his nose thinned. Her dream was shrinking. Disappearing.
The disappointment hurt more than the bullet in her chest, a sharper ache. For a few moments, it had been a lovely dream, as if she were floating on a big fluffy cloud. Now she toppled off the cloud and tumbled to earth with a thud, landing hard on a cold floor.
A wave of tiredness swamped her, wrapping around her brain. She moaned her denial, even as images flashed in her mind. She’d hovered above Noah, Lila, Kevin and her own body. No longer a participant but an observer. Kneeling on the floor, Noah cut his hand to save her. He looked calm and intent, but his passion buffeted her, tempests of emotion. She watched the blood drip into her mouth, saw the tension in Noah’s face, heard him order her to swallow.
And his thoughts—she heard them, too, louder than Izzy’s sobs. Swallow, swallow, swallow. Then his voice, tinged with desperation. “Please. Please swallow.”
As he pleaded, she’d whooshed back into her body. Her throat convulsed and she swallowed.
She’d returned for one reason. Because he said please. Coming back to life was her choice. Drinking his blood… Her choice.
The images faded, and she stared at Noah. This was real, no fairy tale. He was an actual dragon.
Tiredness engulfed her. Her eyes wanted to close, but she fought to keep them open. Her hand dropped to his shoulder, clasping, hanging on to her link to life. “Your blood is doing something to me. I can’t keep my eyes open.”
“Close them. You’re healing and you’re tired. I’m tired, too.”
“You’re hypnotizing me.”
He slid his arms beneath her back and her knees, then lifted her easily, as if she were a child instead of a tall woman with muscles. “You need to sleep.”
She looped her arms around his neck. “Will you stay with me?”
His step faltered. She felt his surprise and she laughed, hearing the breathiness, but not embarrassed. Sex didn’t embarrass her. Kindness… Perhaps. She let her eyelids lower.
“Are you sure that’s what you want?” He strode through the hall toward the back stairway, his breathing not changing, though she wasn’t getting lighter with distance.
“I want you to be next to me when I wake. I want you to tell me what I am.” And she didn’t want to be alone. Not tonight.
“I’m not sure what I’ll be, either.” The sadness in his voice squeezed her chest.
“There are no such things as vampires.” He stopped at the back door and double locked it, the two snicks soft in her ears. “That’s a myth.”
She opened her eyes, gazing at the taut underside of his chin and jaw as he started up the stairs. The up and down movements began, and she interlaced her fingers behind his neck.
“Have you ever thought that somewhere there’s a vampire saying the same thing to a woman about dragons?”
His laughter came, full-bodied, his chest rumbling. Her eyelids closed again and she leaned her head against his shoulder.
Something was wrong with her. Seriously wrong. She felt…happy. Content. Izzy had drugged her so she could rob the man who’d taken them both in, then Izzy’s boyfriend had tried to kill her. No, not tried. He’d succeeded. She’d died.
And then she’d come back to life.
She should be angry, miserable. Instead she wanted to close her eyes and dream of Tinkerbelle and dancing unicorns. And dragons. One particular dragon.
It was his blood. His blood made her happy. And sleepy. Happy and Sleepy, two of the seven dwarfs.
She wanted to laugh, but her mouth was too tired to open. Her mind felt numb, as if someone had shot novocaine into her brain. Her heartbeat was slowing, her breaths steady. She tried to push the lethargy back and hang on to the lovely feeling. Afraid to fall asleep. Afraid of what she’d be when she woke up. A woman, a dragon, or half of both…
…or dead. Because dragons weren’t real. That part must be an illusion.
The only part she believed was the bullet in her heart.
“Edie is brilliant! I love her snarky characters, the humor, the sex, the incredible story and the perfect narration she is able to spin into a single novel. I was on the edge of my seat while savoring another Ramer masterpiece! This comes highly recommended!” – Aimee Coffee Table Press
“Edie is a great writer and pens a wonderful story.” -Blodeuedd Book Girl of Mur-y Castell