Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(61) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
As he went back, he lost his footing and fell, and tumbled down the side of a ravine.
Sera’s gasp echoed in his ears.
For a moment, his heart stopped beating as he feared he’d lost her. Then, he felt her hands on his scales, near her saddle, clutching at his body. “I’m still here,” she breathed.
Reassured, he extended his wings and caught the light breeze so that they could ride it through the unseen black. The very edge of his talons scraped against the sides of the walls, but it seemed large enough to hold him. “Can you see anything?”
Suddenly, he heard Kessar screaming out. “If you want me to release you, dragon, give us the Tablet and Bowl.”
Max let out a tired sigh at a demand he knew he could never meet. There was no way he could surrender either of those objects to a creature like Kessar. He would be too destructive with them.
“Looks like a nice vacation home. What do you think?”
“Sure,” Sera said in the same playful tone. “Put up some curtains. A little color. Shrunken heads. We can make do. Particularly if we nail Kessar’s hide to the wall. That would be a lovely decoration. Don’t you agree?”
“Throw in Nala’s scalp and… aye. Quite homey.”
Seraphina laughed. Only her dragon could manage to be so amusing when things were this serious and frightening.
“What’s your answer, dragon?” Kessar demanded again.
Max sped up.
And slammed into a net.
Terrified he’d crush or hurt Sera, he immediately changed forms and caught her against him. Unfortunately, when he did so, she’d already pulled out her knife to try and cut the ropes. A knife that went deep into his very human stomach.
Sera’s features paled. “Max?”
Unable to breathe from the unexpected pain and depth of the cut, he fell back and used every bit of magick he could to hold his human form. He had to. There wasn’t enough room in the net for the two of them if he were a dragon.
He’d kill her.
Seraphina shook as she saw how much blood was pouring out his side. “What have I done?”
His breathing ragged, he gave her a sad smile. “You have to run, Sera.” He handed her the small Tablet and placed it in her hand. “Don’t let them catch you.”
“I can’t leave you like this.”
“You have to. Think of your children. They need you.” His hand trembling, he kissed her. “I love you, Seramia.” And with that, he cut through the net with his claw. “Use your dragon form and fly.”
Sera fell through the rough hemp cord, and changed, but she didn’t go far. She couldn’t. Especially not when she looked back to see him lying inert in the net, waiting to die.
And all because of her.
Refusing to let it end like this, she went back for him.
The instant he saw her hovering dragon body, he glared at her. “Sera! What are you doing?”
“We got into this together and we’re getting out that way.” As carefully as she could, she cradled him with her dragon arms to her chest, and gained a whole new appreciation for his restraint. He made it appear so easy to use his dragon body like a human’s, but it wasn’t. It required a whole different kind of dexterity and skills.
And as she flew, she prayed for a miracle.
One she knew wouldn’t come as his breathing grew fainter and fainter, and the demons came closer and closer.
“Don’t leave me, Maxis. Please…”
Just as she thought she might have slipped past their enemies, a bright flash in front of them blinded her.
And more enemies surrounded them.
Max came awake to a strange mechanical humming noise. Like a vaporizer or something. It blended in with the faint sound of zydeco and laughter. Cars passing by on the street outside.
Of a crowded bar and metal music from next door…
Blinking open his eyes, he found Sera sitting on the floor by his side, stroking his snout. But the most shocking part was the fact that his dragon’s head was cradled in her lap.
And her breasts were pressed against his cheek.
He had no desire whatsoever to move from this position. Especially since she held his head at an angle that allowed him to see straight down her shirt, and the fact that she didn’t have on a bra. Something that made his mouth water and his heart race.
In spite of the pain, he went rock hard. Thankfully, he was lying on his stomach so that the only one who knew about this uncomfortable situation was him. And the floor beneath him, which probably wasn’t any happier about it than he was.
“Am I dead?”
She frowned at him. “Why do you ask that?”
“This doesn’t feel real. My room… You.” Dead or dreaming seemed the two most logic conclusions, and if it was a dream, he’d like to think he’d already be naked with her.
“It’s real. As is the accidental stabbing I gave you when we were caught.”
Damn, that hadn’t been a dream. No wonder his side hurt so much. At least now he knew his memory was whole.
“You sure it was an accident?”
“Ah, now who’s being mean?”
She snorted at him. “Yeah well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
If he wasn’t in so much pain, he might have joined her laughter, but he still wasn’t convinced she hadn’t done it intentionally.
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