Stealing from a dragon is bad, getting caught is worse.
Kasper Cobalt is a thief who wants to quit, but his boss forces him to do one last job. He has, of course, heard of dragons, but he isn’t sure he believes in them until he’s standing in front of a guy who breathes smoke and has weird eyes.
Saxon the Sinful is bored out of his mind. Running a jewelry store on Dragon Row should be pleasing. He is, after all, surrounded by gold and gemstones. But he’s also surrounded by humans, and one of them has the audacity to try to steal from him.
After having caught Kasper, Saxon locks him up in his basement. He should kill him, and he might, but first he’ll feed him. He looks hungry. Kasper can’t hang around and play dragon’s prisoner even though Saxon takes great care of him. His boss will kill him if he doesn’t finish the job. Kasper is reluctant to betray Saxon, but a thief and a dragon can never have a happily ever after, can they?
NOTE: The Dragon’s Prisoner takes place on the same street as The Book Dragon’s Lair and Mated to the Fire Dragon but can be read as a standalone story.
Kasper did his best to see the rings over the shoulders of the group of women without being too obvious about it. Black diamond. Was a black diamond worth more than an ordinary diamond? Despite being a thief who’d stolen a lot of jewelry, he didn’t know much about the value of things. Loretta had told him which piece to get, and he hadn’t asked questions.
He didn’t think the shopkeeper was faking his devotion to the ring, so it had to be valuable. And recognizable. And it was vintage, so the pawnshop dragon would most likely accept it as an heirloom.
It was the piece.
Now he only had to figure out how to get it. He stepped a little closer as the shopkeeper lifted the tray off the counter. Out of the corner of his eye, Kasper could see him place it in the third drawer from the top and turn a key in the lock.
Locks were pickable.
The question was if there was a night guard. He doubted anyone would steal anything while the shopkeeper was there. Having watched him for some time now, Kasper had to admit he was impressive. He wasn’t sure he believed he was a dragon, though when he’d stepped into the shop, he’d been telling the woman by the counter not to offer herself to dragons if she wanted a family. It didn’t mean he was one, but ... His pulse picked up.
Fuck. Dragons. And Duke wanted him to steal something from one.
Did they have treasures they guarded like in fairy tales? This was a jewelry store. Granted, it had the word treasure in its name, but since he sold things from it, the pieces in here couldn’t be his.
The women headed toward the door, chatting excitedly, but the man stayed to glare at Kasper. “What do you want?” His eyes turned into the color of flames. Dragon. Kasper forced his muscles to relax.
“I think the phrase you’re looking for is, How may I help you?”
“It’s not the phrase I’m looking for. Buy something or get out.”
“I’m having a look around.”
Sharp teeth became visible, and Kasper did his best not to suck in a breath. Shit, it would hurt to get bitten.
“This is not an exhibit. If you want to look at pretty things, go to a museum or an art gallery.” Smoke curled around his words.
“How will I know what to buy unless I can have a look at what you’ve got?” Kasper stubbornly met his gaze despite wanting to look away.
“You don’t have the money to buy anything on this side of the shop. The cheap trinkets are by the door.”
Rude bastard. “How can you possibly know if I have money or not?”
A forked tongue flicked out, and the air in Kasper’s lungs froze. Shit, forked tongue.
“You smell of unwashed clothes and poverty. You don’t have the means to buy diamonds or you’d have worn different clothes. You’d have smelled of some flowery soap, but now you smell of ...” He tilted his head and a frown appeared between his brows. “You smell faintly of chlorine.”
Kasper’s heart hammered in his chest and his hands threatened to tremble. “You’re telling me you can scent what soap I use?”
“Now you smell of fear.”
A million thoughts swirled in Kasper’s brain. The shopkeeper took a step closer, which had Kasper taking one back. Could he scent more things on him if he came closer?
“What’s your name?” Kasper took another small step back before he could stop himself.
“Saxon the Sinful.”
Kasper stared. Was he joking?
“What’s your name, human?”
Human. Kasper snorted. He could give a false name, but he didn’t think Saxon the Sinful would be able to figure anything out about him either way. “Kasper Cobalt.”
“Cobalt is a metal, right?”
“Ah ... yes.”
“But not precious.”
Kasper stared at him. Did he mean he wasn’t precious or cobalt wasn’t precious?
“Nothing like gold or platinum.”
Shrugging, Kasper forced himself to smile. “Nope, nothing like those metals.”
“Maybe you should go to a cobalt store instead of a jewelry store. It might be more suitable.”
“Maybe you should attend charm school.”
Saxon grinned, showing off several sharp teeth. “I know all I need to know about charms.”
“Charm, not charms. A school that teaches you to be pleasant.”
“I’m pleasant when I want to be.”