As the only eligible female dragon of child bearing age, Cerya Vasiliev is promised by the elders to a man she doesn’t love. To make things worse, she’s fast approaching her time for breeding. Her only hope is to escape during the Monster Ball. But when plans go awry, she’s reluctantly rescued by the only man who makes her heart ache and her pulse race.
Talon Alexeev gave up his right to claim Cerya as his mate upon learning of her engagement to his cousin, the leader of the Drakur, a man he admires and respects. He’s managed to keep his distance and built a wall around his heart. But when he discovers the intoxicating female in the early stages of mating heat in a ballroom full of eager males, both monster and human, he jumps without thought to protect her.
Hiding in close quarters from the males in pursuit, Talon’s dragon must resist Cerya’s call to mate or risk betrayal of kin and kingdom.
“What the Drakur’s hell are you doing here?” He couldn’t staunch the anger that had festered inside him since her engagement to Leander was announced by the elders of the clan. “You’re supposed to be under lockdown.”
She stopped wriggling her ass in the chair seat, lifted her chin, and crossed her arms over her chest in a huff. Immediately, she uncrossed them and stood up. “I refuse to be a prisoner any longer. You can’t imagine what it’s been like, trapped in that hotel suite, no one to talk to, nothing to do. I’ve been going out of my mind.”
Talon straightened away from the door, ready to spring—or bolt—should she try something stupid…like taking even one step toward him. “Sit down and stay put.”
“No.” One hand tugged at the V of shimmering material between her breasts.
He lifted his gaze from the delectable view of her cleavage and met icy blue eyes. “I said sit—”
“I can’t, damn you.” Then she shuddered, her shoulders sagged, her head rolled back, and a little cry escaped her throat. “It hurts.”
“It hurts to sit?”
“It hurts everywhere.” She tore at the bodice of the dress with claws that hadn’t been there minutes ago. “I can’t stand it any—”
The ripping sound of fabric fueled the fire in his groin. The scales on his neck spread to cover his back. Fuck. She was further along than he realized, and he couldn’t get near enough to stop her from shredding the dress for fear he’d fall under her mating spell. Yet his body reacted to her exposed flesh regardless of the distance.
He clenched his fists and tried a soothing tone to calm her. “Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Try to relax.”
“I can’t breathe.” Her frenzy to undress only seemed to intensify until the upper half of her dress hung in ragged strips around her waist. Her pale breasts rose and fell as she sucked in shallow gulps of air. Her nipples were distended, and even from where he stood, he could see the scales that came with mating now covered her chest, ribs, and most of her left shoulder.
If he didn’t get out of here—
Her hands rose to cup both mounds, lifting, squeezing, kneading.
He swallowed as he grappled for control, for any way to avoid the inevitable if he stayed, which he shouldn’t. “I’ll go see if I can find Anya.” He gripped the knob behind him but couldn’t make himself turn the lock.
“Why?” She pinched her nipples, her head fell back, and she moaned.
His balls tightened at the sound. He swallowed again to wet the sudden dryness in his throat. “She can help you.”
“No, Talon.” Her head lifted, and her gleaming eyes met his. Her hands lowered slowly to her sides. “She can’t help me.” She glided toward him with purpose. “You’re the only one who can help me now.”
There was no mistaking the look of desperate determination in her eyes. Dragon flames burned hot inside her. He could feel them reaching out, stoking the embers inside him to life.
Dragon shit. Who the fuck was going to help him?