Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Her hand heated up with that familiar burn. Something that only happened when two mates were brought together again after a long separation.
Determined, she headed toward him, only to have her path blocked by the other Amazon in the room.
Samia gestured toward the stairs. “You need to leave with your tribe.”
Seraphina shook her head. “You have something that belongs to me.”
Samia stood fast and solid. “There’s nothing here for you.”
“Oh yes, there is.” She held her hand up for Samia to see the dragon mark on her palm. “I’m here for my mate.”
Max cursed while those words cut through the immediate and echoing silence of the room. All attention went straight to him as jaws dropped in comical unison.
Before Max could think to leave, Dev took his hand in his own and checked to see the matching mark. Tsking, he shook his head in chiding condescension. “Maxy! You got some ’splaining to do!”
He shoved at Dev over his bad Ricky Ricardo impression. Dev laughed it off good-naturedly. Nothing ever really fazed that huge bastard.
Aimee stepped away from where she’d been checking on Serre’s busted nose and bleeding lip. “Is this true, Max? Are you really mated to… her?” By the way she hesitated, it was obvious she had to struggle to use a more polite term.
Releasing a tired sigh, Max nodded slowly. “Yes, the gods hate my guts. And they have a sick sense of humor.” Hence the living proof before them.
They’d mated him to her.
A natural-born dragon to an Arcadian-born dragonslayer.
Cherif snorted. “Well that explains the mystery about your lack of interest in women all these years. We just assumed you were gay.”
Max passed him a droll, irritated smirk.
Actually, he’d have much rather been gay than forced to his involuntary celibacy. The worst curse of their species was that mated males were physically incapable of sleeping with anyone other than their mated females. Once the Fates assigned them a partner, they could take no other so long as that mate lived. The ultimate pair-bond.
On the day he’d walked away from his wife, he’d known exactly what he was giving up. The steep price he’d be paying for his freedom and sanity… which said it all about the utter travesty and hell of their marriage.
Making sure to keep his expression blank, he crossed his arms over his chest. “What are you doing here, Sera?”
“We need to talk… Alone.”
Yeah, right. I went to war to train for my marriage… Alone for the two of them had never worked out all that well for either party.
Unless they were naked and she was in heat.
Unfortunately, that only happened twice a year, and he could tell by her pissed-off stance he wasn’t getting lucky tonight.
Unless she happened to gut him. That might be construed as a step up for his current celibate situation.
Max shook his head. “I said everything I had to say to you a long time ago.”
“Things have changed.”
“I haven’t, and I seriously doubt you have. Hell, you’re even wearing the same clothes you had on the last time I saw you. And that’s been what? Three thousand years? Give or take?”
She glared at him.
He laughed bitterly. “And there’s that ball-shriveling glare of hatred I remember so well. Point taken. It’s all the same. Now there’s the stairs.” He started for the door that led to the kitchen.
Seraphina teleported across the room to catch his arm and keep him in place. Those golden-green eyes enchanted him and weakened his will more than he wanted to cop to. “No, Maxis. It’s very different. Please. I must speak with you.”
He arched a brow at that. “Wow, that is a new word for you. I had no idea it was even in your vocabulary.” In the past, she’d always treated him like a brainless animal to be ordered about. One she had to train not to piss on her rug or chew her furniture.
A little more curious about whatever had brought her to this time period, he glanced to Fang. “If I’m dead by dawn’s light, wolf, hunt her down and tear her throat out.”
“I don’t think I want to know what kind of kinky sex dragons have if they come with that kind of warning. So glad I’m a bear mated to a beautiful woman.”
Max ignored Dev’s dry comment. He also knew better than to take Seraphina near his younger brother, who was currently sleeping in Max’s attic apartment… in full dragon form. The last thing he’d ever do was bring more harm to Illarion. His little brother had been through enough.
His job was to protect his family.
Even against his own mate. And having been mated to her and forced to live with her breed, he knew exactly what dragonslayers did to dragons. What they thought of them. Her armor paid a gory tribute to what her people thought of his kind.
They were better off dead and their remains used solely as decoration, or ingredients for their candles and beauty ointments.
So instead, he teleported her to the special room on the second floor that Dev and his brothers had built for their more unruly clientele. Completely soundproof, it would give them total privacy. It was also shielded to keep her from using magick against him. Given what she’d done to him the last time he’d made the mistake of being alone with her, it was an appropriate precaution, too.
He waited until she was inside before he turned the light on and shut the door to the small, spartan room.
What he didn’t count on was the involuntary reaction of his hormones to her close proximity. The sweet rose scent of her skin made his blood burn and his mouth water. Before he could stop himself, he began circling her as she stood in the center of the room, under the light that reflected off her armor and tawny skin like a majestic halo.
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