Zadri(Dragons of Preor Book 5)(2)

By: Celia Kyle

He was unsure of the Preor word for that part of a female. He’d never sought to learn. Not when he was unworthy of a mate. A child of Syh… he mentally sighed and shook his head. It did not matter. His only focus was to quiet the dragonlet.

He released the soft song once more, the rising and falling tones reaching out to the female’s offspring. The rippling soon slowed, gradually reducing until the child no longer shifted and shoved inside its dam.

He returned to his position near her head, gaze locked on the human female. He hated the way she suffered—the reason she had yet to wake. In truth, he was the reason.

Zadri had killed her mate. At least, that was the current belief. That the male he’d killed was fated to mate this small female. Killed. Such a simple word. In truth, he’d ripped out Ballakin’s throat with a single bite and allowed the male dragon’s body fall into the Gulf of Mexico. The killing was justified, Ballakin had kidnapped another’s female with the intent to murder her, but the male’s death resulted in the pregnant woman’s unconscious state.

The loss of a mate… Damaging. Deadly.

Yet she had not died. She remained clinging to life and he wondered if that was because she truly desired to live or if she only lived for her offspring. Regardless, her heart still beat in her chest even if her eyes did not open and meet his.

He wished he could see her eyes. He got a glimpse each time Healing Master Chashan checked her p-you-pills. Humans called them brown, but they were so much more. A combination of Earth dirt and the green of living things.

Hazel, a part of him pushed the word forward and Zadri shoved it back. His mind recoiled against the intrusion, the pressure of something attempting to fill him with… knowledge.

The Knowing, it tried to surge once more. He closed his eyes and shook his head. His mind slowly cracked more day by day, soon to shatter into pieces that could never be mended. He was not experiencing the Knowing. He had not met his mate and the blood history of his people did not fill his every thought.

The Knowing only came when two destined mates met, giving them the full weight of the Preor genetic knowledge. It was too much for a single mind—Preor or human.

Though he could not deny the presence of something inside him. Facts previously unknown now crept into his mind. As if the Knowing was present despite his unwillingness to believe.

Believe that a child of Syh would ever be worthy of a female of his own. That did not change the fact that he had sat at this female’s side for days, only leaving to perform his duties as the newly appointed Defense Master.

The female whimpered and he reached for her, brushing a strand of hair from her cheek. He did not allow himself to touch her skin. He was not sure what he would do if his fingers caressed her flesh.

“Hush, Delaney Cole. You are well. You are safe,” he whispered the words, unwilling to draw the attention of the healing master. Chashan would eject him if the male believed Zadri disturbed Delaney.

His pay-shent needed rest.

All Delaney had done was rest, but Zadri did not remind the male of that fact.

Delaney released a soft sigh, her face turning more fully toward him and a relaxed expression overtaking her features. As if his voice—his words—soothed her. Part of him hoped they did. Hoped his presence calmed both the female and the dragonlet inside her.

That the Knowing stretched between them and—

And nothing. She was Ballakin’s mate no longer connected to her deceased other half. She was not his.

The Knowing, that low voice, pushed at him once more and he clenched his teeth, flexing his jaw.

He did not experience the Knowing due to Delaney or any other. She belonged to Ballakin.

There have been several instances in Preor history when clutchma—

Zadri pushed it away once more. He would not listen to… whatever lurked inside his mind.

The doors to medical parted with a low whoosh, granting someone entrance. Zadri breathed deeply and listened to the newcomer’s approach, attempting to identify the room’s newest occupant. The heavy tread of boots on metal combined with the new scent told him who approached.

“War Master Taulan,” he murmured the soft greeting, gaze still on Delaney.

The war master merely grunted and stepped to Zadri’s side. The male’s skin held a slight purple hue, proof of his heightened emotions. Normally a Preor’s flesh remained a copper color the humans called tan. The appearance of scales was a sign of the loss of control and heightened emotion.

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