A dragon shapeshifter’s moved into Crescent Beach. And everybody knows dragons are dangerous. But Rob’s never met one, and he tries not to believe wild rumors. He’s a good witch, if not the most powerful, and he works hard to keep his quiet beach town welcoming to everyone. He’s hoping to find the dragon, just to talk ... but the person he discovers might be everything he’s ever wanted.
Avery knows all the rumors about dragons. After all, he is one, though he’s a bookwyrm who tries hard to be harmless. He’s accepted a librarian position in a town everyone says is a safe haven, and he hopes that’ll be true. But when the local witch shows up unexpectedly, Avery expects the worst ... but his story just might have a happy ending.
“You were looking for a dragon.” The gorgeous man raised eyebrows at him. “Why were you looking for a dragon? Is there some sort of quest? Do you need help?”
“No! No, nothing like that. Everything’s fine. Sorry about bothering you.” He meant that. His new neighbor was apparently kind enough to offer help, on top of being so beautiful that the sun had ducked behind a cloud, and Rob had now managed to completely disrupt his day and accuse him of possibly being a dragon. Well done. Way to impress the attractive person and instill confidence in Rob’s own magical ability.
He sighed. “Look, I’m the local witch, I look out for Crescent Beach and a few other nearby spots. I heard we had a dragon moving in, and you were the only person who’d just moved here. I thought I’d stop by and say hi, but obviously you aren’t a dragon, so something got mixed up somewhere --”
“What were you planning to do?” The man folded his arms, leaned against the door-frame: still casual but also not, a performance if Rob’d ever seen one. That odd tension, the skittering edge of magic, flickered; it tasted dry and rich, like old paper and bound leather and heat, against Rob’s own shields. “If you found your dragon. Call a hero-for-hire hotline, cast a spell, stab it through the heart --”
“No. Come on, no, not at all, what kind of a witch do you think I am?” Rob waved arms about indignantly, nearly collided with a very attractive shoulder, yanked his arms back, and ended up performing some sort of bizarre interpretive dance of minor annoyance and simultaneous apology. The man blinked at him. Twice.
Rob chose to pretend that moment’d never happened. “It’s my neighborhood and my people, so I was gonna check it out, yeah, but just to talk. To see what’s up. If everything’s cool, we’re cool.”
“You’d ... let a dragon move into your territory. Most witches wouldn’t. Most heroes.” The man’s voice was lovely too, low and warm and velvety around the edges, introspective with a wry edge. “Everyone knows dragons can’t be trusted. Hoarding, enchanting, tempestuous, powerful, all of that.”
“Do you actually know any dragons?”
And now the man seemed inclined to laugh, though he hid it quickly. “Do you?”