Dragon's CurseBy: Lili Zander & Rory Reynolds
The story so far
After a near-death encounter with a panther shifter guard, twenty-four-year-old Norm Aria Archer promises to give up her thieving ways and embrace the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, her resolve doesn’t last long. Silas, the wolf-shifter who took her in from the streets when she was fourteen, is gravely ill, and cannot pay for the treatment he needs to stay alive.
When a mysterious client offers Aria a million dollars to steal from the five dragon princes, Aria has no choice other than to accept. Though everyone in her life warns her about the dangerous dragons, Aria is determined to help Silas.
With the help of a bear-shifter called Mariana Dupree and a magical tattoo artist called Pieter Van Den Berg, Aria infiltrates the Valhalla Ball, a party thrown by Dragon Prince Bastian Jaeger, and tries to sneak up to the dragon lords’ penthouse suite.
But the five dragon princes are onto her, and the instant she opens the safe she’s been hired to empty, they appear around her…
…And claim that she’s their mate.
Which brings us to…
You. Are. Ours.
The words bounce around my head, reverberating against the walls of my mind. I don’t reply—I can’t reply. What the hell do they mean? What the hell is going on?
Rhys cradles my cheek in his big palm. I want to sink into his touch. I’m being tugged toward him, toward all five of them, even the two I don’t know at all.
This is batshit crazy.
I flinch away from Rhys. An expression of distress briefly clouds his features, and I feel a pang at hurting him. Then I shake myself. I have far more important things to think about than Rhys’ feelings.
Like Drakkar Raedwulf’s threat. If I don’t get the contents of the dragon princes’ safe to him by five in the morning, he will kill Silas. Of this, I have no doubt. I have to do something before that happens.
But how? Erik is blocking the only exit from the room. Lord Jaeger—Bastian—is in front of the safe. I have no way out of here.
You could try telling the dragons what’s at stake.
I quell that inner voice ruthlessly. That voice sounds like hope, and she’s whispered her seductive promises to me for twenty-four years, and she’s always been wrong. Maybe this home will be the last one. Maybe these people will love me enough to become my parents. Maybe the man who’s offering me a meal wants nothing in return.
There are only two people in the world I trust. Two people whose actions have proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they have my best interests at heart. Silas and Bea.
So far, the dragons have given me no reason to believe that they deserve a place in that inner circle. Even Rhys, charming and flirtatious, lied to me downstairs.
Invisible threads might tug me toward them, but I’ve got to resist.
I lift my chin up. “Am I your prisoner?”
Bastian Jaeger gives me a half-smile. “Of course not.”
“Great.” I pick up the backpack I dropped when I approached the safe. “Then I’ll be off.” I give them an artificially cheerful smile. Surely it can’t be this easy. “It was lovely meeting you.”
Erik snorts. Bastian seems to size me up, and his mouth curves into a full, wide smile. “I’m sorry, mausezähnchen,” he says. “We’ve looked for you too long, and I can’t risk anything happening to you.” His eyes soften, and his voice turns understanding. “You probably have no idea what’s going on,” he says. “I promise, we’ll explain everything in the morning.”
Explanations would be wonderful. It’s a pity I have no intention of sticking around to hear them. “If you’re not letting me leave,” I snap, “then it doesn’t matter how you sugar-coat it. I am your prisoner.”
Just then, my stomach rumbles, ruining the effect of my little speech. I flush. I’d been too nervous to eat all day, and now, my body is reminding me—loudly—that I’m starving.
“You’re hungry,” Casius says. “I’ll call for room service.”
Have I mentioned I find men with glasses incredibly sexy? Because I do. That’s got to be the reason that I feel the strongest tug toward Casius. It takes all the willpower I possess to stop from throwing myself at him. My chest rises and falls with rapid breaths, and my knees seem to turn to water.