Releasing Her Dragon

By: Elianne Adams

Dragon Blood Series: Book 1

Chapter 1

Dark indigo, nothing more than a wink in the moonlight, drew Stella’s attention, and then it was gone. You’re not getting away from me, not this time. When she had last given chase, she’d been too eager, too desperate, and he had given her the slip—again.

The forest whispered to her, soothing her with the soft rustling of leaves, giving her the courage to do what she was about to do even though inside, she trembled. If he wanted nothing to do with her, then she’d deliver her speech and have him release her. Nothing difficult there, except, deep down, she yearned for him to want her as desperately as she wanted him, but she would hold her head up high and move on. What choice did she have? If she didn’t mate—and soon—she would shift and never come back.

The only movement she allowed herself was the rise and fall of her chest. If he suspected she was near, caught her scent or heard the slightest sound, he would never reveal himself, and she couldn’t take that chance.

She didn’t need to see him to know he was near. Every nerve ending in her body tingled, vibrating with need. Soon she would know him, and one way or the other, she’d be free of the constant ache thrumming through her. The endless need keeping her awake at night, tossing and turning as her body made demands she wasn’t equipped to satisfy.

A thick flowery perfume drifted to her nose, drawing her gaze back to the clearing. The cloying scent clung to the breeze, as it wafted past. Was he meeting someone here in the woods? A woman? Heart pounding, she used every bit of hard-earned discipline she had to keep from leaping over the knoll hiding her from them.

The quiet of the night unnerved her, but it wasn’t a surprise. Not a single creature dared draw the predator’s attention, and there was no denying he was a predator. Even the scavengers lay in their holes, hoping he’d pass them by. Time stretched until she just couldn’t sit still anymore. She had to see him. Had to see where that floral scent came from, because it sure wasn’t from the forest’s natural blossoms.

Taking care not to make the slightest sound, she lifted her torso from the moss-covered ground, uncaring that the damp earth clung to her curves. She wasn’t there to entice him after all, only to find out who he was, and if she were lucky, talk to the man.

She’d never gotten this close. The perfume all but obliterated the scent Stella desperately sought. If she could just sniff him, she would know that this was the man meant for her. But what was a she-dragon to do? She couldn’t very well walk up to strange men and start smelling them.

When she didn’t see anything in the clearing ahead, she stretched further, tucking her legs beneath her. Her shoulders slumped, and she sighed. Had he given her the slip again? No, he couldn’t have. Her blood still sang in her veins and her body still ached with neglect.

She had to be patient. A slight movement, nothing more than a shift, brought her attention to the treeline. His massive head tilted in her direction as he took in his surroundings. For such a huge beast, he blended well. Almost too well. No wonder it had been so hard to track him. His blue scales caught the shadows instead of standing out in the moonlight. Had she been a mere human, she could have walked right past and never known he was there.

The pointed end of his tail twitched in the grass, back and forth in quick, impatient jerks. Whatever he was doing, he wasn’t happy about it.

“There you are. Have you been waiting long?” A soft feminine voice drifted up to her ears. The moment it did, Stella had to fight from leaping to get to the woman before she got anywhere near the dragon.

The rumble of his growl filtered through the brush, making her skin prickle with awareness.

His tail fanned the grass again.

“Come on, Brycen, get rid of the scales so we can talk.” Stella couldn’t see the woman’s face, but if the childlike tone she’d laced the words with were any indication, she was pouting and batting her eyelashes at him. Nauseating.

The woman tossed her blond tresses over her shoulder and brought her hand up to his neck, sliding it down as though she had every right. Fury coursed through every part of her, and Stella had to grind her teeth to keep the growl from erupting from her throat.

A small puff of steam wafted from his nostrils, then with a shuddering sigh, he allowed the change to take him. The indigo scales shivered and shook, shrinking upon themselves until he took his human form. A spattering of scales covered his groin, leaving the rest bare for the woman’s perusal. Step out from the shadows. I need to see your face, Brycen. At least now she knew his name. His identity had eluded her for far too long already, and she was done waiting for him to stop running. Because it was obvious, he wouldn’t.

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