I’m not crazy. I’m a dragon!

Deka knows she’s the center of the universe, but sometimes even the almighty sun has to act when her main squeeze disappears. Samael might not yet recognize that they’re mates.

But he will.

She won’t give him a choice. First, though, she has to find him.

An ancient enemy has captured her stud. It is going to be super dangerous getting him back. Awesome because Deka thrives on risk—and will do anything for love.

Excerpt:

A chattering feminine voice woke him.

“Mind hurrying it up there, minion of darkness. I’m excited to see my dungeonesque quarters. Although, I really wish you’d let me keep my phone. How am I supposed to Snapchat about my incarceration? Do you have any idea the number of views I’d get? Not to mention the jealousy factor because I went on a European vacation and was abducted by someone with a castle.”

The bright sound in this place of pain and darkness had him lifting his head. A chain rattled with the movement, a discordant chime reminding him of his status.

Just a prisoner. A broken shell of the man he used to be.

How long since he’d lived on top of the world? His every whim catered to. His every vice fulfilled. Women, booze, riches, and more…he had it all.

But that was before.

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How long now? The days of torture and vile potions melded together, making it seem as if an eternity had passed. Now, he only remembered the good times in his dreams because, when he woke, he lived a nightmare.

How dramatic.

Shut up.

He’d earned the right to his melancholy.

Then do something about it.

The inner voice didn’t seem to recognize the futility in trying.

Just like the woman skipping down the hall still harbored a joyful outlook. That would soon change.

He roused himself enough to venture a peek through the bars at the far end of his cavernous prison and thus saw the bare legs of a woman in a short dress as she skipped by.

“Is it this one?” She pointed to his cell. “Or that one?” She gestured to the one across from it. Onwards she went, still talking. “Oooh, that one has rats. Can I have that one?”

“Halt,” gargled the jailor, a vile creature he’d come to know during his incarceration. Half slug, half more revolting slug, the jailor was the one who’d dragged him to his punishment.

“But I haven’t seen the ones on the end,” the woman said in a pouty voice much too cute for this place. “Mother always advises to ask for a corner room. Less noise that way. Do any of the cells come with windows?”

Did the foolish female not grasp the severity of her situation? How dare she sound so cheerful?

How dare the brightness of the sound warm something cold and dormant inside him!

“Come back here. Those cells aren’t for the likes of you.” The jailor jangled keys in front of his cell.

No, not a roommate. He wanted to wallow alone in his misery.

But she sounds so tasty, the beast inside whispered. And we are so hungry for meat. The rats she so admired no longer strayed anywhere near him.

“That one?” The woman reappeared, back turned to him, her platinum hair touching the tops of her shoulders, the skirt of her dress hugging a pert ass. “It’s hu-u—u-ge.” Followed by a snicker.

The silly woman joked. Did she not notice the prison cell? Then again, perhaps she was fooled by the bars with their misleading dull appearance that should have been easy to bend, except they burned when he touched the metal alloy.

What is it? Whatever the bars were made of, it acted like kryptonite. He’d learned the painful, blistering way.

The cell across from him had the same kind of bars, and now it would have a new occupant. Someone like him. Someone with a voice he dimly recognized.

She cornered me after the rooftop encounter with the wyverns and said, “Hey, good-looking, wanna get wild?”

He’d not taken her up on her offer at the time, too preoccupied with his brother stealing the limelight.

But now she was here, a part of his nightmare.

There’s nothing I can do.

Aren’t you even going to try?

What’s the point?

While he argued with himself, she whirled to face his cell, and he noted her slim ankles leading up to toned calves.

Calves made for wrapping around my waist.

She couldn’t stay still, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she stared right at him. His imagination, surely. No one could see into the darkest pocket he’d found to hide in.

His gaze strayed upward to see the pink fabric of her dress smudged with grime, the front low-cut and hugging her breasts.

The cleavage almost managed to rouse a hunger he’d not felt in a while.

He couldn’t see hands, as her wrists were tethered behind her back, and having been in the same position once before, he knew those shackles were made of the same material as the bars but lined with fabric. It prevented the skin from burning on contact, yet proved impossible to wrench apart.

The woman wearing them didn’t seem to mind. She rocked on her heels as the jailor shoved the first of three keys into the locks of the cell across from his. It had to be done quickly, one after another, in order for the door to spring open. It meant that picking one did shit because he couldn’t pick the other two quickly enough. Usually, as he worked on the third, the spring connecting them together would snap, and the locks would slam back with a frustrating click.

Also known as the sound of failure. He had quite a collection of those now.

She peeked closer, her nose almost touching the bars. “Who’s in the other cell?”

Despite him remaining still in the shadows cloaking the far end of his prison, she’d noted his presence. More like smelled it. He’d not bathed in a while. A good thing because cleanliness usually meant a visit from her.

“Don’t you worry about him. He don’t say much since the suzerain broke him.”

“Broke him how?” she asked, turning away.

“You’ll soon see.” The ominous chuckle sent a shiver down his spine because he knew. Knew the pain awaiting her.

Save her.

Not my problem. He wasn’t a hero before this all happened, and he wasn’t about to become one now.

“In you go.” The jailor went to shove her, only she moved more quickly, skipping into her new home and twirling to exclaim, “This is just dreadful.” She grinned. “I love it. Babette is going to be so mad she didn’t go out drinking with me. She won’t be able to say she was caught by some evil Suzie—”

“Suzerain.” The title his captor insisted on. It proved easier to give in after repeated uses of the word bitch left him a bruised mess.

“Whatever. This is epic. Although it would be more epic with a camera, hint, hint.”

The jailor didn’t reply, instead choosing to slam the door of the cell shut. It didn’t need the keys to automatically lock with a loud click.

“Turn around. Give me your hands. I’ll remove the cuffs,” the jailor ordered.

The manacles only came off after they were safely stored in the cell.

“What if I want to keep them?”

The jailor growled. “Don’t be difficult.”

“Or what? You’ll spank me. My fiancé probably wouldn’t appreciate that. So, since you insist.” She whirled and presented her hands through the bars then hissed as the jailor yanked on them, forcing them against the metal, burning her skin as he removed the cuffs.

“Damn, Jabba. Those bars are made of some legit dracinore. I thought that stuff was extinct.”

“You thought wrong,” was the reply. “You should probably rest. The suzerain will come for you later.”

Was it only him, or did those words deserve a dun-dun-dun musical score?

The plodding steps of the jailor receded, followed by a distant thud as the door to the dungeon slammed shut. Alone again in almost perfect darkness but for the one flickering torch in the hall.

But you’re not alone anymore.

“Yoo hoo. You can come out now,” she sang.

Answer her.

Why? What can I say? Oh, hey, welcome to my nightmare. Hope you have a high threshold for pain, not that it matters. The suzerain will have you sobbing in no time flat.

Whiner.

Fuck off.

“Would it kill you to say hello?”

Wait, that wasn’t his mind speaking but her.

She approached the bars. “There’s no point in hiding. I know you’re there.”

He held still.

“Listen, I understand you’re overwhelmed. I mean, it’s not every day your future intended, who is drop-dead gorgeous, comes to your rescue. Some men might find that emasculating, but I’m sure you’re evolved enough to not care.”

Rescue me? A dragon did not need a female to come to his aid.

Have you not noticed your current dilemma?

What part of fuck off do you not understand?

“Just in case you suffered some kind of amnesia, it’s me, Deka Silvergrace. We met a while back when you were in your evil overlord phase.”

Ever get the distinct impression someone wouldn’t shut up unless you answered?

With a mental sigh, he shrank on himself, compacting all his lovely body into the confined form of a human male. A dirty, stinking one, sporting a ragged growth of beard and no clothes. He kept to the shadows and not just because the collar around his neck tethered him. He wasn’t about to let the woman who practically shone with a silvery inner light see how far he’d fallen.

“What is that smell?” she exclaimed.

“Shut up.”

Now there’s a way to say hello to a beautiful woman.

You can shut up, too.

These conversations with himself were driving him a little crazy.

“It speaks!” she crowed. “All hail, Samael. The smelly, evil overlord.”

“I said shut up!” He lunged to his feet and approached the bars, body bristling, the chain rattling along with him. He made sure to keep clear of it lest it burn. He had enough scars.

His lunge brought him out of the shadows, and her eyes widened.

“Holy Captain Caveman. You know, stud muffin, I thought you were hot before, but this whole untamed thing you’ve got going is pretty sexy, too.”

“Why do you persist in blathering? Do you have any idea of the gravity of the situation?”

“I thought gravity was constant all over the Earth. That’s what my science teacher told me. Or was that false? Is there a conspiracy afoot to keep us from really knowing the true gravity that exerts a force on a body? Is that why my scale at home always has me ten pounds lighter than at the doctor’s?”

The direction her mind took was so drastic, he didn’t dignify it with a reply. “How did you get here? How did they capture you?”

“In an alley outside a club. I thought for sure they’d come after me at the hotel, though. I even made sure to leave the balcony doors open every night. But no, they were so cliché about their abduction.”

“You sound as if you expected it.”

“Well, duh. I didn’t go around Paris leaving clues everywhere for nothing, you know.”

“We’re in Paris?” He’d wondered at his location, given the last thing he recalled was a warehouse, then the inside of a box, then this cell.

“Yes, Paris, the city of love. It will add a romantic element to our story when we tell our children.”

That rendered him speechless. “What the fuck did you say?”

“Oooh, listen to you using bad words. Good thing Aunt Yolanda isn’t here. She won’t care if you’re the Golden king’s brother. She’d make you swallow some of that nasty oil. Which, I will add, is kind of dumb because I usually spit it out and say something worse.”

He couldn’t follow her, so he didn’t bother trying. “Why did you want to get captured?”

“To find you, of course. I told my family you were mine, but they wouldn’t help. Which is cool. I mean, I can totally rescue you myself. So cheer up, my sexy stud muffin. I’m here to take you home.”

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Chris on Night Owl Reviews wrote:

Score: 4.50 / 5 - Reviewer Top Pick

Deka is nuts and has illustrated this fabulously. She's also determined, confident, and able to back up her attitude...Lots of fun and smexy times, and the total irreverence that Deka shows, well everyone, is highly entertaining.