For decades, Luca de Rossi has been imprisoned in Project Zed’s facility. More monster than man, he struggles with the same overwhelming fight between the different shifter spirits in his mind as previous beasts have. As a wereshifter, he doesn’t have the same strength to fight for control that the full shifters do.
Once freed from Zed, the normal therapies don’t work to free his mind and body. He remains locked in his madness, unable to return to his human self—and lost to those who desperately want him made whole again.
A dragon is chosen to attempt a new therapy. Drake the Enchanter is a powerful smoke dragon who understands prisons. Zed locked him in his body, not allowing his dragon side to emerge. While he awaits a treatment that might allow him to shift once more, he agrees to help the monster. Drake’s mental abilities are strong—but even his limits will be tested.
When he finally begins to reach the man trapped deep inside, feelings grow between the pair. If Drake can’t find Luca a way out, they’ll both be doomed.
A scent twisted itself around him, something unusual. One he’d never scented before. He scanned the horizon, trying to determine what they’d driven through. Most of the aromas they’d found out in this countryside weren’t ones he’d enjoyed. Swamps and fecund growth… he wasn’t sure which one was worse. But this one… it filled his nose and demanded he take in a deep breath.
“W-where… where ammmm I?”
Drake barely heard the growling question over the racing wind. He looked down at the only possible source—the beast in the cage beside him.
A pair of clear, even green eyes looked up at him from the face of a beast.
Or rather, half beast. The creature had partially shifted into human form, stuck somewhere between man and monster—but closer to man.
“On the way to safety,” Drake finally answered before inhaling the scent again.
“Who… who arrrre you?” The words were more growl than syllable.
Another wave of the scent Drake had enjoyed hit him squarely in the face. It was coming… my gods, no… it was coming from the creature. Drake’s body tensed as he considered the question in a new perspective.
Who was he?
“A… friend,” he answered, unwilling to say more, his own mind refusing to make the connection.
“I…” the man growled in what sounded like pain. “I…” His body twisted, reforming the monster he’d been. A dullness entered those green eyes. The next sound was a roar that sounded almost cat-like.
The scent faded. Drake inhaled, wishing it would return to him, but it was gone.