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DRAGON AWAKENED
by Jaime Rush

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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He faced away and covered his eyes with one hand. Her gaze drifted down wide shoulders that tapered to a narrow waist, his exquisite ass, and then strong legs dusted with hair as dark as the hair on his head. And the Dragon climbing up his back. Her gaze drifted to the mirror’s reflection where she could see the front of him. His closed eyes and strong chin, the Dragon watching her...

“Ready?” he asked.

She started. “No.” The word snapped out of her mouth, only because she’d been gawking. She put her clothes in a pile far from his. After arranging her hair to fall over her breasts, she said, “All right.”

He turned around to face her. “I’ve been to a lot of ceremonies. Each teenager has a family member who triggers the Awakening. I will act in that role. When you Catalyze for the first time, it will be intense. Painful.” He must have seen her trepidation at those words. “I know you can handle it, Ruby, because you’re meant for this. And I’ve been told you’re quite tough.”

“Hah hah.” He still said her name in that sultry way, wrapping his voice around it like a coating of melted chocolate.

He placed his hands on either side of her face and brought his mouth toward hers. Her body wanted to fall toward him the moment his mouth settled over hers, but she remained on her feet.

Heat tore down her throat, lighting every vein on fire. Her body jolted with pain as fingers of flame reached into her extremities. She screamed, blindly reaching out and digging her fingers into his shoulders. He pulled his mouth away but jerked her against him. She gasped, her body shivering.

“Breathe, Ruby. Breathe through it. Your Dragon is waking up. Bring it in.”

“Hurts. Hurts so bad,” she managed to say. She thought for sure she was on fire, but he was holding her close, enduring the flames, too. She saw it then, behind her closed eyelids. The Dragon was deep red with streaks of white, its scales glossy. It lifted its head, stretching its neck and releasing a stream of fire from its mouth.

Then she was moving, faintly aware of her skin rubbing against Cyn’s. The hunger inside, God, the hunger washed over her in great waves, and she no longer dug her nails in to fight against him. She pulled him closer, his chest against her cheek, the rub of his sprinkling of hair chafing her jaw. She ached to pull him inside her.

“Control, Ruby,” he whispered when he should have shouted it.

She shook her head, her mouth sliding against his skin. Her breath came in shallow pants, her hands moving over his back.

He lowered his head, his voice hoarse. “Ruby.”