Draekon Abduction(5)

By: Lili Zander & Lee Savino


For months, I was the subject of mockery and derision among the Highborn of the Empire. I endured sly jabs at my manhood, scornful questions about my failure to keep my bondmate satisfied, laughing taunts about my inability to sire the next Laris heir.

After sixty-five years in exile, the memories have faded, but the woman’s appearance dregs it back to the surface, and it is as if I feel that pain, that humiliation, that shame all over again.

No matter how insistent my dragon is that this red-haired woman slumped between Zunix’s spikes is our mate, I will not yield.

I’ve experienced the fickleness of women once. Never again.





3





Olivia:


I fade in and out of consciousness. I’m vaguely aware that I’m flying on the back of a fearsome dragon with scales the color of antique brass. The thought should fill me with alarm, but though I wait for panic to lance through me, it doesn’t come.

May’s sitting in front of me. Her right arm is broken, but she’s gripping the spikes of the dragon with her left hand, her knuckles white. There’s no need to be afraid, I want to assure her. The dragon’s flight is smooth. There are no sudden turns, no stomach-churning drops. The green-gold wings flap through the sky, and we ride the air currents with effortless ease.

It’s exhilarating.

The pain in my leg makes it hard to track time, but we fly for what seems like hours. We pass over lush jungle, a rocky mountain range, and then a sandy desert. The desert, in particular, seems to stretch on forever, but finally, the terrain changes, the sands giving way to a grassy plain.

Purple grass. I’m definitely not on Earth.

The dragon starts its descent. A small clearing grows larger and larger, and then, before I have a chance to wonder if this landing will be as smooth as a commercial jet, we’re on the ground.

A midnight dragon touches down next to us. Bryce, Felicity, and Paige slide from its back. Bryce’s eyes are shining with excitement, but Paige looks shaken, and Felicity retches violently. I’m so busy watching her that I barely notice the shimmer in the air.

But I do notice the black-haired man walk toward me.

Felicity was right. The men are shapeshifters who can turn into dragons. What had Raiht’vi called them? Draekons.

Roman’s voice sounds in my head, cool and crisp. Agent Buckner, what are your conclusions?

I mentally snap to attention. The female scientist seemed afraid of the Draekons. She’s warned me about them. From that, I conclude that the shapeshifters are feared by the general Zorahn populace.

Good. What else?

The Draekons took us but left the two Zorahn scientists behind on the spaceship. There’s no love lost between the Zorahn and the Draekon.

Roman steeples his fingers together. That’s an obvious conclusion, he says coolly. I expect more from you, Olivia.

I’m aware I’m hallucinating, and my boss is back on Earth, but staying focused on my mission keeps the pain at bay.

The Zorahn call this planet the prison planet. The Draekons recognized Raiht’vi and both Zorahn and Draekon speak the same language. Hypothesis: The Zorahn have imprisoned these men on this planet.

Roman fades into nothing before I can find out what he thinks of my theory. The dragon I’m riding crouches low to the ground, and the black-haired man puts his hands around my waist and gently lifts me off. “You’re badly wounded,” he says unsmilingly, setting me on the ground. Rummaging through his pack, he pulls out a small bottle and unstoppers it. “Drink this. It will ease the pain until we can get you to the med-kit.”

Trust no one. Especially the Draekons.

For a split-second, Raiht’vi’s warning makes me hesitate, then rational thought takes over. If the Draekons want to kill me, one swipe of the dragon-claws will do the trick. There’s no need to poison me.

With a mutter of thanks, I take the bottle from the dark-haired Draekon and lift it to my lips.

I need a plan.

Step 1: Fix my broken leg. The Draekon mentioned a med-kit. If these Draekons possess even a fraction of the obviously superior Zorahn technology, their med-kit will mend the break in no time. That’s good, because right now, even a newborn kitten is stronger than I am.

Step 2: Find the others. Viola, Harper, Ryanna, and Sofia are somewhere out there, looking for food and water. I’ve got to get them to safety.