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Holding Out For A Hero

Dragon Prophecies

Painted Hearts Publishing

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 55,772
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Despite his good looks and sweet personality, Lance is convinced his Asperger’s gives him power--like the power to make people treat him differently. His mother told him he was special and that people would always misunderstand. That’s why she gave him an ancient necklace and a special cape to wear under his clothes because she was dying and wouldn’t be around to help him anymore. The necklace and cape do give him certain powers, like strength and speed and the ability to see the Shadow Men, nasty creatures who have begun congregating in large numbers all over town. When he sees a group of Dragons and their witches being attacked by the creatures, he jumps in to help, like a true super hero should and gets much more than he bargained for.

Sebastien is a Golden Dragon and typical of the breed—imperious, pushy, arrogant and gorgeous. He takes Lance with him to protect him, but he has no idea who Lance really is and who the powerful forces are that wish to steal Lance’s powers. Luca and the others are on hand to help navigate this dangerous, unknown force, but it will take the combined powers of them all to defeat it and cast away forever the source of Lance’s powers - which can bring great good or terrible evil and destruction to the entire world.

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“Sebastien!” I gave him a quelling look, but I was puzzled, because I’d never seen Sebastien act like this. Oh, he was rude as hell to me when I first met him, but he was being protective then of his cousin Dmitri. He was treating Lancelot like he was some kind of a criminal and not someone who had just helped save our lives.
Lancelot looked up at Sebastien and frowned. “My name is Lance. Like I just said.”
“I don’t care what your name is, kid. You need to answer our questions.”
“I’m not a kid. And I don’t think I like you even if you are gorgeous,” Lance said, frowning at him. “I’m not afraid of you, you know. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.”
Sebastien made a surprised noise but took a step toward him. Dmitri pulled him back. “Calm down, Sebastien. Don’t frighten the kid.”
“He’s no kid, he said,” Sebastien growled, angry now at Dmitri. “So don’t call him that.”
We all stared at Sebastien like he’d lost his mind, but he ignored us and kept his gaze firmly on Lance.
The bus pulled in and Dmitri looked up. “I’ll go in and see if I can get us a car. We bypassed their rental office at the airport. Stay with Lance and watch for those creatures.”
“None of them are here now,” Lance said, surprising us by speaking up so confidently. “But they might be soon if they follow you from the airport.”
“Yeah, thanks for that, Captain Obvious,” Sebastien said, and I kicked his ankle.
He glanced at me and blushed a little, and again I wondered what was going on with him. We followed Dmitri off the bus and stood around outside the office while he went in. Pen kept a custodial hand on Lance’s arm, and I saw Sebastien look at it and frown. Was Sebastien attracted to the boy and possessive of him? If he was, then why was he acting so hostile? Lance kept casting hurt and resentful glances at Sebastien too. I looked over at Pen and shrugged. It was difficult to figure out why pure-blood Dragons did anything. I still didn’t understand Dmitri more than half the time.
Dmitri reappeared and held up some keys. We followed him out to a big van and all piled inside. This time, when I tried to sit beside Lance, Sebastien elbowed me out of the way and he and Pen sat with him in the first back seat, with Alexei alone in the far back.
I sat up front with Dmitri and put a hand on his arm. “Where are we going? We’ll miss our flight.”
“It can’t be helped. We’re not going anywhere until I figure out what those things were.”
“Maybe they don’t like Dragons,” Lance said from the back seat and I turned to stare at him.
“You know you’re with Dragons?”
He rolled his eyes at me and said, “Yes,” in a tone that clearly told me he thought I was an idiot for asking.
“How did you know, Lance? Because these guys are so tall and good looking?”
“No. Because of the color surrounding them. They’re Goldens.” He glanced at Pen. “He’s a witch of some kind and so are you, but not exactly the same kind as him.” He frowned and tilted his head. “You’re some kind of Spawn or Dragon too, but I’m not sure what kind. You don’t have an aura I’ve ever seen before.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Sebastien said, still glaring down at Lance. Everything he’d said was true, but I think it just freaked Sebastien out.
I looked back at Pen uneasily. We needed to find out where all this was coming from. “Take us somewhere where we can have some privacy, Dmitri. Then Pen and I can set up some wards to keep those creatures away, and we can have a nice long talk with Lance.”
Lance gave me a sullen look and Sebastien leaned over to murmur quietly in his ear. “And you’re going to tell us everything, do you understand?”
“You’re not my boss in any way, shape or form. But I might think about it if you ask me nicely.”
Alexei started laughing in the back seat. “Oh gods, Sebastien. I think you may have finally met your match. What are you going to do now?”

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