Excerpt: Must Love Dragons

Excerpt: Must Love Dragons

Book 2: Immortally Sexy

Less than forty-five minutes after the attempted assassination, Theresa was still shaking from the incident, from the realization that Lyman had found her. Her injured wrist was almost healed already, so she didn’t bother with wrapping it. Instead, she’d raided Becca’s closet for comfort clothes, and had just finished putting on a pair of pale blue sweats and a baby soft tee shirt when someone pounded on Becca’s front door. She yelped and dove behind an armchair, her heart thudding.

Oh, God. Lyman?

Someone pounded again, and she realized what she was doing. Dragons didn’t hide, not even from other dragons who could kick their ass. Besides, it’s not like hiding behind a chair would save her from Lyman. Her only hope was to make him thing she was more of an opponent than she was.

She forced herself to stand up, grabbed a nearby lamp, ripped the cord out of the wall and held it over her head. He would kick her ass, but heaven help her, she was going to do her best to damage him before she went down.

Clenching the lamp, she eased toward the door, wishing Becca was back from harvesting souls. She could use a little fireball backup. She peeked through the spy hole, then the lamp fell from her fingers and she yanked the door open. “Zeke? What happened to you?”

He had a scratch on his left cheek and his beautiful shirt was torn and filthy. His hair was in total disarray, and he looked much more like the bad boy she’d imagined him to be. Delicious. He held up his hand for silence and leaned against the door jamb. “First of all, I owe you an apology. You were right about my client. I don’t know how it happened, but I screwed up.”

At his confirmation, she had to grab the doorframe for balance as the room suddenly tilted. Lyman really was after her. He wanted to find her so badly that he’d hired Zeke to find her.

But how could Lyman still be alive? When she’d gone back to find him after escaping his clutches, everyone said he’d perished in a fire that had destroyed half the town. A fire that had wiped out her family’s holdings, the ones Lyman had usurped for himself.

How much worse had he become in the one hundred and eighty years since she’d last seen him? She pressed her hand to her forehead and closed her eyes, trying to keep the nausea at bay.

“T? I apologized.”

She dropped her hand, lifted her chin and gratefully focused on being angry at Zeke, instead of afraid of Lyman. “And what about lying to me? Any apologies for that?”

He rubbed his temples and gave a soft groan. “Part of the job. It’s what I do, but it’s over now.”

She scowled. “You don’t get forgiven just like that.”

A muscle ticked in his cheek. “Don’t push me tonight, T. I’m on the edge.”

“Oh, and I’m not? In case you didn’t notice, someone tried to kill me tonight.”

The muscle ticked more fiercely. “I noticed.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. She could practically feel him willing himself to calm down. He opened his eyes and fastened his deep brown gaze on her. “Who are you?”

She shook her head and started to shut the door. “Leave me alone.”

“No.” He shoved his way inside, a show of masculine stubbornness that made her want to grab his belt and yank him against her. “I’m extremely expensive, and someone paid me a lot of money to find you. Why?”

“Why should I tell you? So you can betray me to someone else?” She stepped back as he paced the living room, a tightly strung energy rolling off him. Energy that seemed vaguely alarming, but familiar as well.

He came to a stop in front of her. “The betrayal was an accident, and I’m here to fix it. Tell me what’s going on.”

“Hah!” She tried to shove past him, but he caught her upper arms and held her in front of him. Heat flared in her from his touch, and she had a sudden yearning to throw herself into his arms and beg him to ravage her. She tensed and tried to clear her mind. “Let go of me.”

He released her so quickly she stumbled, his face strained.

“For your information,” she announced. “I don’t make it a habit of trusting my secrets to men who lie to me and set me up to be killed. You lost your chance with me, Zeke, so leave me alone.”

He studied her for a long moment. “I can’t leave until I get the answer to one question.”

“Fine. What’s the question?”

“Are you a dragon?”

All her dragon senses flared into self-defense mode, and she eased back from him, her instincts suddenly reacting to him as a threat. “What’s it to you?”

He met her gaze for a moment, then her nose was flooded with the most amazing scent of burning pine, of fresh woods, of earth, of melting chocolate. She had just enough time to panic, and then her legs gave out and she collapsed in a puddle of ecstasy.

* * *

Zeke caught Theresa before she hit the ground, cradling her body against hers as he swept her up, adrenaline spiking through him as her hot skin burned through his shirt.

“Oh my God,” she moaned as she wrapped her arms around him and nuzzled the crook of his neck. “You’re a dragon slayer.”

“Ex-slayer.” He staggered as she ran her fingers through his hair and showered frantic kisses on his throat. Shit. He hadn’t meant to hit her that hard with his scent. All he’d wanted was to see if she reacted, since he knew she’d never tell him the truth.

“This explains a lot,” she mumbled as she tried to unbutton his shirt. “I knew you couldn’t have been good enough at cybersex to make me monogamous. God, you’re an asshole.” She got his shirt open and pressed her face to his chest, inhaling deeply. “You smell so amazing. You’re going to kill me, aren’t you? Ooh…”

“No.” He made it to the couch and set her down. He tried to pull back, but she clutched at his shoulders, fighting to keep him near. Her eyes were closed, her body arching toward him. Old instincts swirled to the surface, and he had to look away from her exposed throat. “I’m an ex-slayer. Ex.” Remember, Zeke? Ex.

“You can’t be an ex -slayer. You are or you aren’t.” She tried to hit him, but she missed and nearly fell off the couch in a sluggish mound of female curves.

“Come on, T.” He pulled her back up and held her upright on the couch. “I didn’t release that much scent. Help me out here.”

“Help you?” She blinked at him, her eyes glazed as she swayed toward him. “Help you kill me?”

“No.” He stepped back, clutching his fists against the instincts pushing at him to do what he was born to do. “Help me resist.”

“Resist? Hah. You slayers don’t resist. You bring us down and kill us. It’s impossible for a slayer to change sides.” She slid off the couch and rolled onto her back, her fingers reaching for him as she ground her hips into the carpet. “I can’t believe you’re a slayer.” She moaned with distress and desire. “I can’t believe I want to have sex with you when I know you’re about to kill me!”

Zeke closed his eyes against the need raging through him, the primal urge to follow his destiny, to destroy. She’s just a dragon, Slayer. They all deserve to die. Kill her now. He cursed and shook his aching head. “I gotta go. I’ll be in touch.”

“Zeke!”

He sprinted for the door and slammed it shut behind him, his body pulsing with centuries old needs that he’d kept at bay for so long.

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