Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(51) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Taking her hand, he kissed her palm and led it to his long, thin braids that were laced with feathers.
Sera gasped as she opened her eyes to see it. “How did you do that?”
“I have my drakomas ways.”
Laughing, she wound a thin braid around her index finger and played in his long hair with such delight that it actually made him hard again. Though how he could rally given their last heated go-round was beyond him. It was a good thing he didn’t have a bed, as he was sure they’d have broken it.
She brushed his braid against her plump lips. “There you are, my wild, feral dragon.”
Max leaned over her and kissed her as his heart shattered at the thought of losing her again. He had so many powers. So many trinkets and treasures of the gods. Timeless enchanted objects people had killed throughout history to find and possess. But nothing that could stop or prevent this.
So he held on to her so tightly that she finally protested.
“You’re crushing me.”
“Sorry. I just want to keep you warm and safe.” He teased her earlobe with his tongue.
She sighed in pleasure. “How I wish you could. There is nothing more I wish than to stay with you.”
Someone knocked on his door. Max used his powers to put clothes back on them before he called out for their visitor to enter his room.
It was Illarion, with one of Merlin’s magical spheres.
Max scowled at him. “Where are the kids?”
They’re fine and still in Avalon. Since they’re not in the process of reconverting to stone, Merlin kept them there. She thinks whatever is affecting Sera and her tribe here can’t break through the barrier to reach them on her side of things. She was afraid that if she sent them back, they’d begin to turn, too.
Sera let out a sound of happiness as she sat up. “They’re not changing back?”
Illarion held the crystal ball for her to see into it.
Both of the children were there, in what appeared to be Merlin’s castle in Avalon. They looked happy and, best of all, healthy and whole. If not a little concerned and stressed.
Edena bit her lip as she moved her head about like a little bird, trying to focus on her mother’s face. “Mom?”
Sera smiled at her as she took the ball into her hands. “Edena? Hadyn? Are you all right?”
Hadyn nodded. “We’re fine. You?”
“Wonderful, now that I know you’re both okay.”
Edena’s lips quivered. “Is it true? Are you changing back?”
She nodded. “I want you two to listen to your father and let him take care of you for me. Can you do that?”
They both nodded.
“I love you, Mom,” Hadyn said, placing his hand on the orb. “I wish I was there to say it to your face.”
“As do I. Just remember that no matter what, I will be close. And Edena, I need you to be kinder to your brother in my absence. Stop trying to clip his wings all the time. Let him learn to fly or crash on his own.”
“I shall try. For you.”
“I love you both. Please take care of each other and your father and uncles for me.”
Edena started crying as Hadyn pulled her into his arms to comfort her.
Max swallowed hard as an idea struck him. “Merlin? Are you there with the children?”
The beautiful white-blond enchantress moved to stand next to them. “I’m here. What do you need?”
“If I brought Seraphina to you in Avalon, do you think you could stop her from turning? That whatever is saving the children could save her, too?”
Merlin hesitated. “It might, but it could also kill her, since she’s in the process of changing already. I don’t know what type of spell Zeus has her under. You know as well as I do how unreasonable magick can be, and the unforeseen consequences.” She glanced to his children. “Plus, she’s not your bloodline. While she carried your young and has mixed her blood with yours, it’s not the same as being born of the drakomai. There’s just no telling what might happen. I’m sorry, Max. I don’t want to try something and lose her.”
Tears choked him. Merlin was right. With her returned to stone, there was always a chance he could find another way to restore her. To get the Tablet from Kessar and use it to free her again.
But there was no way back from dead. Especially not if Zeus splintered her statue first.
She inclined her head to him before the mist in the orb swallowed them.
Sera cocked her head to stare up at him. “What’s with that look? What are you planning?”
Yeah, you’re scaring me, too.
He stood up. “I’m going after Kessar and the Tablet.”
“Are you out of your mind?”
Max shook his head. “It’s the only way. He used it to free you. Then I can use it to keep you here, too.” He looked at Illarion. “Right?”
His brother shook his head. Yeah… no, this is a really bad, bad idea. Like trying to blow-dry your hair while showering, or piss into a high wind. Are you out of your mind?
“No. I’m desperate.”
He gave his brother an irritated smirk.
Well, it is.
Sera stood up beside him. “I agree with Illarion. Don’t even think about doing this. Are you insane? You can’t walk into a colony of demons and Amazons who want you dead, and take the Tablet the head demon covets most. They tend to react badly to such things. Believe me. I’ve seen it. I do believe Nala wears the claw of the last dragon possessed of such arrogance.”
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