Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(10) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
No Were-Hunter had ever mated to a god or demon to her knowledge…
Even more terrified, she’d stared at him. “I don’t understand.” She compared their marks again and they were identical. Neither one had been there earlier. They were definitely the unique mating marks of the Draki. “If you’re not Arcadian, Katagari, or human, what are you? How are we mated together?”
“By a trio of vicious bitches who hate us both and begrudge the very air we breathe.”
It was then he’d explained that he was a rare, true-born dragon who’d been captured and deformed by an ancient god and the king who’d begun her race to save his sons so that they wouldn’t die horribly as his wife had done.
That he was the very first dragon Were-Hunter ever made of man and beast. And that he knew exactly what the mark meant.
They either accepted the mating they’d had no say in, or he’d be left impotent, and both would be sterile for the rest of their lives.
Which was no choice at all since he was an immortal drakomas born from the forbidden and cursed union of a demon and an arel.
Now here, centuries later, they stood as eternal bitter enemies.
He a natural-born drakomas.
She a born Arcadian dragonswan who was pledged to hunt down and kill all the Katagaria Draki she could find.
That was just the beginning of their differences – with the largest being that he was the dragon who’d founded her race. The Dragonbane – the one creature every Were-Hunter would sell their soul to kill.
Another mark on his body she hadn’t seen until after they’d consummated their mating, and Maxis was dressing. The moment her eyes had fallen to the branded shape of a dragon crawling from its egg that was hidden beneath the hairs on his left thigh, she’d known its significance instantly.
Maxis was the branded Drakos – the first of their breed who had killed another Were-Hunter in cold-blooded savagery. Killed, it was rumored, for no reason whatsoever.
The one beast all Were-Hunters wanted to skin alive and claim the bounty for. His life had been the first one the Omegrion – the council that governed her people – had come together to denounce and demand a death sentence for.
And he was her mate.
The father of her children.
The originator of her race.
Wincing over the cruelty of the Fates who’d seriously screwed her, Seraphina swallowed before she spoke again. “I know that while it is the nature of my species to congregate and stay together, to fight as a group, that your kind is solitary. But —”
A sudden knock at the door interrupted her.
She growled in frustration as Maxis moved to answer it.
He opened the door to show her the wolf from downstairs. “Given what you said earlier when you left to sequester yourself with your mate, I wanted to make sure you were still alive, and…” He stepped aside to show the last thing she’d ever thought to see.
A ghostly pale and rare mandrake.
Max let out an irritated sigh as he saw Blaise standing outside the room, behind Fang. While his long, braided hair was white as snow, his skin was as darkly olive as Max’s, in spite of Blaise’s Albinism. At first glance, there was little that denoted them as family – something that had served them all well, as it kept their enemies from using them against each other. “Brother, you’ve always had the shittiest timing.”
Though Blaise was supposed to be virtually blind in his human incarnation, the slow smile that spread across his face said he knew Max wasn’t alone. “Is that the scent of a prime spawning dragonswan I smell? You lucky dragon, you. No wonder you wanted to be alone.”
Agitated all the more at the vulgar insinuation, Max rumbled a low growl that was unique to their breed. A sign of warning parents used to correct their errant children, it usually preceded a sound thrashing. “That is my mate you insult. Apologize.”
Even though it wasn’t in his nature, Blaise immediately backed down. But only because they were family and Max was the eldest.
Otherwise¸ they’d be fighting right now.
“Forgive me, Strah Draga.” Blaise used the formal term for a dragonswain’s mate. “It appears my brother didn’t share his good news with me.” Blaise tsked in Max’s direction. “I would have sent a wedding present had I known.”
“Since we were mated centuries before you were born, I’d have paid money to see you do that.”
Blaise’s jaw dropped. “And you failed to mention this to me? Seriously?”
Fang clapped him on the back. “Told you you were in for a surprise. Didn’t I?”
“Nice.” Blaise passed a vengeful glare in Fang’s direction. “Remember, wolf. Payback’s a bitch.”
Fang snorted. “What can I say? My wife’s always complaining that I’m the worst behaved of all her children. And given the fact that Dev’s one of her unruly brood, that says it all.” His grin widened to an irritating level. “And on that note, I’m drifting back downstairs to give you guys space to hash out this fresh hell. Let me know if any bodies need to be hidden later, or if there are any blood splatters I have to clean… try not to get the hemoglobin on anything that stains. I don’t want to listen to Quinn bitch about repainting.”
Seraphina glanced black and forth between the two different species of dragon before she slowly neared Blaise and sniffed him. Strange. He smelled more human than dragon.
“Hey! I bathed,” Blaise said in a playfully offended tone as he stepped away from her.
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