After arresting the queen’s cousin, Slavin thinks the clan is finally safe. Unfortunately, that only lasts until the queen asks him to spy on the Eiloren clan and find out what their king is planning. Slavin can’t say no to the queen.
Dagan never wanted to be a guard, especially not for the king, but in the Eiloren clan, no one chooses what they do with their life. When the king demands that Dagan’s brother get pregnant, Dagan knows he can’t let that happen, but what can he do?
Slavin doesn’t have much time before someone will discover he’s spying on the Eiloren clan, and Dagan needs to find a solution as soon as possible. Maybe they can work together, but can Dagan trust a man he thinks is working against his queen? Can Slavin trust Dagan with who he really is?
Slavin grinned as a piece of bread flew by his ear. He was tempted to snatch it from the air and throw it back at Octavia, but he didn’t want the bickering to turn into a food fight. They’d be in trouble with Morven if that happened. Morven was already looking at them in disapproval, although Slavin didn’t miss the way the corners of his lips curled into an almost smile.
“You’re giving the kids a bad example,” Hogan grumbled.
His son was in his arms. Lorne was in his dragon form, and he chirped when Hogan spoke. Hogan’s attention immediately went to him, dismissing Octavia and the way she was behaving. She grinned at Slavin and grabbed another piece of bread, but before she could throw it, Blue grunted and shifted into his human form in Orran’s arms. Eulalia gurgled from Morven’s lap, while Lorne’s chirping turned sad.
Slavin watched as Hogan gently rubbed his son’s head. “You’ll be able to do that too, soon. You’ll see,” Hogan murmured.
Slavin would never have thought he’d see Hogan in this kind of situation. If anyone had told him Hogan would be an affectionate father, he’d have thought they were making fun of him. Not that Hogan didn’t love, but he rarely showed it, and he’d never had anything to do with children before Blue, Eulalia, and Lorne came into all of their lives.
Lorne wasn’t Hogan’s son biologically, but Hogan had been there since Cain laid Lorne’s egg. He was Lorne’s father and a loving mate to Cain, and it was good to see.
Even though it made Slavin feel slightly lonely and very much jealous.
Blue and Eulalia seemed to realize Lorne wasn’t shifting—both shifted back to their dragon forms. Blue threw himself onto the table before Orran could stop him. He scrambled into Hogan’s lap and rubbed his face against Lorne’s. Lorne chirped, his sadness clearly forgotten as he cuddled back against Blue. Eulalia quickly followed and settled against her friends.
Those three would be terrors once they grew up a little. Slavin doubted anyone in the clan would mind. The fact that the clan had three babies was incredible, and everyone loved children. Slavin suspected many people would close an eye if they got in trouble, which was both sweet and worrying. He could already imagine the trouble they’d get into if no one tried to stop them.
But Slavin couldn’t deny they were cute, especially now, all curled up in Hogan’s lap, who didn’t appear entirely comfortable with it. He was okay with taking care of Lorne, and he did that eagerly, but he wasn’t used to having Blue and Eulalia there, too.
“What do you think the Eiloren clan is up to?” Blake asked Cain, leaning over Orran to get to him.
Orran didn’t seem to mind. If anything, he looked happy to have the man he loved so close to him. He wrapped an arm around Blake’s waist and pulled him even closer, which earned him a gentle smile from Blake. Slavin couldn’t look away. He was happy for his friends, relieved they’d found someone to love, but he couldn’t help but wonder when his turn would come. With his luck, it would either happen tomorrow or in ten years.
Cain shrugged and rubbed a fingertip under Lorne’s chin. “I wouldn’t put anything past them. The king has become increasingly cruel in the past few years. He was never great, but it’s become worse, and I’m glad I left when I did.”
They were talking about Cain’s old clan. Cain had run away because they wanted to take his egg once he laid it. He hadn’t been willing to let them, and he’d done the only thing he could. That was how he and Hogan had met. Cain had been running, and Hogan had caught him. Now, Slavin couldn’t imagine Cain not being here with them. He was part of the Ogorth clan, and sometimes it was hard to remember he hadn’t always been.
His old clan had wanted him back, and they’d almost succeeded. The fact that a member of the Ogorth clan had been helping them made Slavin want to hit Caven, but it would land him in one of the cells if he did so, which was why he’d refrained. He wanted Caven to pay for everything he was doing and all the pain he was causing, but there was nothing Slavin could do.
An alarm made all of them jump and look around. They weren’t the only ones. The vast dining room was full of dragons eating and talking to each other, something they’d started doing when Blake and Sheldon had moved in with the clan. Before, almost everyone spent most of their time in their dragon form, except for the younger dragons. Now, a lot of the dragons were in their human form for the humans’ benefit. It was good to see, and it made it easier to move through the room without so many big bodies crowded together.
Sheldon took out his tablet, a frown on his face. That was where the alarm had come from, but Slavin had no idea what it meant. He didn’t understand much about computers, but Sheldon was great with them.
“We need to go,” Sheldon said after a moment.
He didn’t give any details, but everyone around the table knew something had to be happening. Sheldon wasn’t a dragon, but they still obeyed his order.
Slavin turned in time to see Hogan thrust the three babies into Blake’s arms. Blake was pouting, but he knew he couldn’t come with the team. He and his brother weren’t dragons, and they weren’t part of the security teams keeping the clan safe. Technically, neither was Orran, but he’d been in charge for years, and the queen trusted him. If something was happening, she’d want him there.