Her Dragon's Heart (Dragon Guard Series Book 8)(5)

By: Julia Mills

Focusing on the beautiful woman that was scurrying to right her clothing and put as much distance between them as was possible, Jace wanted to scream to the Heavens, “Why me?!” Instead, he spun Melanie around for the second time and met her glare with one of his own, speaking before she had the chance.

“Don’t you dare try to run and hide from me. I’ve spent the last four months dreaming of our first real kiss and although this may not have been the way I imagined it, it was absolutely perfect.”

He grabbed her by the upper arms as she tried to turn away and forced her to once again meet his eyes. “Talk to me.”

“No. Let go of me.”

“I will as soon as you talk to me.”

“What the hell do you want me to say, Jace? Thank you? It was fun? Let’s do it again sometime?”

Jace couldn’t stop the bark of laughter that flew from his mouth. Melanie’s resulting look would have made a lesser man slink away to lick his wounds, but it only served to fuel his laughter. He watched through watery eyes as she tried to maintain her stance and laughed all the harder when she broke down and laughed along. It wasn’t long until they were leaning on one another, barely able to catch their breath.

The first to recover, Jace chuckled, “Well, this night’s been a helluva a rollercoaster ride.”

“Sure has.” She sighed. “I think a beer or four and a soak in a bubble bath is just what I need.”

“Wish I could join you.” Jace again waggled his eyes, but this time Melanie was quick to cut him off at the pass.

“Hold it right there, Romeo. I was speaking of a solo mission.”

“Just as well, I have to get back to the la...home.” He quickly corrected, glad she had missed his almost faux pas. Then covered with, “But you can’t blame a guy for trying.”

“Oh yeah? I’m thinking I’ve got quite a lot to blame you for.” She winked and pulled her keys from her bag.

He loved that she felt comfortable enough to joke with him and hated the fact that he had to leave her, especially after the kiss they’d just shared. Unfortunately, he knew he had maybe two more minutes before Royce or Heavens forbid Rayne, their Commander, was again yelling in his head.

The beep of her car doors unlocking gave him another sad reminder that he would have to let her go, at least for the time being. Ever the gentleman, Jace reached around his mate, opened the door, and motioned for her to slide into the driver’s seat. She gave him a cheeky little grin that he filed away as one of the cutest things he’d ever seen before taking the driver’s seat.

Shutting the door, he motioned for her to open the window. Melanie acted as if she were thinking about it, and then chuckled as it slid down. “Yes?” She cooed, batting her eyes and making him once again bark with laughter.

Life with Melanie will never be boring.

“Drive safe. Call me if you need anything.”

“I’ll be fine, Jace.”

“Don’t argue with me, young lady.” He inserted as much authority into his voice as he could without pissing her off, even added a wink and a chuckle for good measure.

“You got it. I’m too tired to argue.” She laughed.

“Good. Now get outta here and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“Aye, aye, Captain.” She mock saluted as she started her car.

Jace stepped back and watched her back out and head towards the exit of the parking lot. He waited until the glow of her taillights disappeared into the darkness before heading to his Harley. The ride back to the lair was filled with thoughts of Melanie and the day he would not have to let her go, when she would be by his side always.

The sound of Liam’s agitation pulled him back to the present. “Dammit, J, tell me what the hell is going on. This is complete and total bullshit.”

Jace stopped, let his head fall forward, and blew out a long breath. It was time to come clean or risk losing the one person in the world who’d always been there for him.

Unwilling to face Liam, he began to speak. “I found my mate. It’s Melanie...from the hospital.”

“Well, duh, no shit.”

Jace spun, not believing his ears. “You knew?”