(Immortal Dragons, #3)
Publication date: April 7th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Nobody said finding your fated mates would mean an instant happily ever after. But for Aurum, an immortal gold dragon gifted with the power of psychic empathy, love has never been simple.
Night after night, she has endured prophetic dreams about her pair of lovers, but finding them brings her no respite—the beautiful satyr, Calder, abandons her upon their first meeting, forsaking love for revenge, while royal ursa Nicholas…
Well, he looks nothing like the dark-haired man Fate promised her. So why does she find him so irresistible?
As war between ancient allies darkens the horizon, Aurum realizes the long-lost prince may hold the key to solving both her and Calder’s problems, bringing together the fated mates for good—as long as he doesn’t get them all killed first.
Their Fated connection doesn’t make things easy. But for Aurum, Calder, and Nicholas, victory might just go hand in hand with surrender where matters of the heart are concerned.
Aurum waited as still as possible, debating whether to leave and fly solo, or make herself known and go sit beside her sister. She itched for some kind of physical activity to alleviate the ever-growing craving for sexual energy, and a good, long fly would do wonders.
Nicholas’s masculine musk reached her, and her mouth watered at the scent. He smelled fertile, his aroma promising an abundance of energy if she had any inclination to take him to bed.
She didn’t, of course. The heat pulsing between her thighs was just evidence of her waning power, which she was sure would last long enough for her to reach the male who still regularly haunted her dreams even after finally seeing him in the flesh.
Males, she reminded herself. There was a second male in her dreams besides Calder, but she had begun to doubt Fate’s message, because that second dark-haired man had yet to appear. Still, that he continued to be a regular presence in those nighttime visions gave her some hope. She’d first believed that he was an ursa male, though she was more inclined to think he might be another satyr with the way he kept appearing at the river’s edge in her dreams, and was more convinced than ever that getting into the Haven was how she would find him. Maybe Calder had a brother or friend who was fated to be her second mate? And if he was indeed an ursa, then passing through the Sanctuary would give her more opportunities to meet him.
Closing her eyes, she could remember the scent of that second male, as wet and fertile as Nicholas, but the difference was that the stranger from her dream was hers as much as Calder was, and he was most certainly dark-haired and green-eyed with golden, sun-drenched skin and an aura that drew her own energy to it like a seedling reaching for the sun.
The thoughts made her cravings even stronger and she shifted on her seat, squeezing her thighs together to ease a bit of the pressure in her core.
Through the branches, she saw Nicholas rake his fingers through his hair and turn his head slightly, lifting his chin and inhaling as though savoring his freedom.
In a low, deep voice, he said, “I know you’re there, Goldilocks. And I’m guessing it isn’t watching your brothers that has you so worked up. Do you know you smell like sunshine when you’re excited? It’s the oddest thing, because I only pick that up from you. Your sister’s not shy, but she’s also nowhere near as worked up whenever I’m around her. Not at all, in fact.”
Aurum tensed, irritated by the fact that he’d sensed her presence. She shouldn’t have been surprised—he was an ursa prince, after all, being the firstborn son of Maia Stonetree. She’d just rather not have to have a conversation with him again after their failed first interaction.
“It isn’t you, I assure you,” she said. “My sister and I simply have different thresholds …”
His booming laugh stopped her and her eyes widened as he turned. His pale silver gaze bored into her as he stalked over, ignoring the scratch of branches against his bare chest. He was uncomfortably close when he bent over, his nose millimeters from hers. She leaned back, scooting as far as she could, her heart pounding. He inhaled again and grinned.
“Sunshine, Goldilocks. I bet if I spread your thighs, light would pour out from between them the same way water gushes from Gaia’s Source. Yet you seem intent on locking it up for a man who abandoned you.”
“Us …” Aurum whispered, barely able to get the word out past the tightness in her throat. Nicholas inundated her senses, heat pouring off him in waves along with that unbearably delicious aroma. He leaned closer to her, hands braced on either side of her thighs.
“What was that? I couldn’t quite hear you over the sound of that rushing river between your legs.”
“He abandoned us, Nicholas. You said so yourself.”
His jaw clenched and his irreverent, playful look vanished. “No … for him to have abandoned me, I’d have had to belong to him. But I don’t. You’re the one who does. Unlike you, I am free, for the first time in my life. Free to choose …”
He trailed off, and the flecks of green in his eyes seemed to burn with inner light, like his irises were a pair of opals filled with verdant fire. He swallowed thickly and swept his gaze over her again before shaking his head as if to clear it. He stepped back so abruptly, Aurum blinked in surprise. His eyes widened for a second, then he turned and crashed away through the brush, not even caring that there was an easy path not two steps away.
Aurum sat staring after him, her mouth agape and her pulse racing in her throat. She stood on wobbly legs, her vision swimming for a moment before she made her way out onto the sparring platform where her brothers and sister had stopped what they were doing to stare off in the direction of the ruckus of the huge ursa’s retreat.
“What the fuck is up with him?” Gavra asked. “Thought he still had a few rounds left in him. He has more energy than Kris on a good day.”
“I don’t know and don’t care,” Aurum said. “I need to fly. Are you three with me?” She spread her arms out and called on her powers to shift. Without waiting for the others, she launched herself into the air, aiming directly for the giant, glowing orb in the sky.
She closed her eyes and let the winds buoy her as she soared into the light. Nicholas’s voice reverberated in her ear, sending a shiver through her entire body, though her core heated even more. She inhaled the cold wind, seeking to flush the scent of him out of her head and the lust out of her body.
He wasn’t the one. So why couldn’t she stop thinking about him?
Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren’t apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don’t mind being with a woman who’s in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.
Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.
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