Zadri(Dragons of Preor Book 5)(4)

By: Celia Kyle

The war master went to Delaney’s parents, joining their small circle that also included Chashan. Zadri pushed the argument from his mind, choosing to focus on Delaney instead. He silently stared at her, memorizing her appearance, tracing every line of her face with his gaze. Beautiful. Perfect. Mine.

Yet not.

He would always remember the color of her hair, the lightness of her skin, and the delicate notes of her natural scent. He would not, however, recall the taste of her lips on his. A desire that lived in his very soul and demanded he sate that single need.

One kiss.

One brush of lips on lips.

One… he leaned down, cursing himself for being a dishonorable male while also anticipating the touch of their mouths.

The connection was more than he’d ever imagined, the lushness of her lips pillowing his softly while her scent invaded his flesh as if it was a physical thing. Gentle and slow, he let the kiss linger, his tongue brushing the seam of her mouth with the lightness of a feather even as he cursed himself for being so dishonorable.

Her flavors exploded across his tongue, sweet and dark with hints of heat that called to his dragon’s heart. It wanted to roar with its joy, the unimaginable pleasure of that tiny connection. He moaned as the taste of her filled his entire body, his wings trembling with an uncontrollable rush of need.

And in return…

Delaney screamed.


The sound didn’t want to end, the ongoing shout pulled from her lungs while fear filled Delaney from head to toe. The rustle of wings, the heavy thud as they flapped and fought against the air, resonated in her mind. Roars vibrated along her bones, sending shudders of terror through every inch of her body. Adrenaline flooded her veins, blood pumping faster and faster as more panic enveloped her very soul.

Then the visions…

Blood. Pain. Death.

Then falling, blood falling from the sky like rain, pain receding as darkness drew closer, the rush of water and then… acceptance.

Strong hands gripped her biceps, holding her steady when she would have fought for freedom. She struggled against the grasp, jerking and twisting, fighting to get away from her captor.

Air wheezed from her lungs, the last remnants of oxygen spent while her scream died off. She opened her eyes, parting her lids with a whip-fast snap, and met another’s stare.

She wasn’t dead. She hadn’t been flapping wings or fighting in the air. She hadn’t been coated in blood and then fell to her death in the sea.

Delaney shook her head, trying to clear her mind of the persistent cobwebs that clouded her thoughts. It’d been… a nightmare. That’s all. It’d been nothing more than a nightmare.

She sought through her memories, trying to figure out how she’d ended up wherever the hell she was. She’d gone to PCST—Preor Choosing Station Tau—with the hope of finding a Preor mate. There had been check-in and some conversation with the other women present as well as the Preor warrior manning the station. It’d been fairly quick and then they were all shown the door, appointment cards in hand. She’d stepped out of the building, stared across the expanse of concrete that separated PCST from the beach and met one man’s gaze.

No, wait, he’d had wings.

She met one Preor’s gaze.

That was the last she recalled before the violent dreams took over. Then she’d entered hell, wrapped in its deadly embrace until that very moment.

Delaney blinked her eyes a few times more, bringing her surroundings into focus—smooth metal walls, metallic flooring, and a datapad that displayed medical history. Hers?

She pulled her attention away, eyes dancing over the rest of the space, the hints that she’d been brought to a medical facility. And through her search, her attention finally fell on the man—male since he had peach-hued wings on his back—holding her.

A male whose dark eyes and peach scales seemed familiar.

The eyes, the wings, the scales… Piece by piece she put the blurred puzzle together in her mind.

He was… She fought for the memory, the truth she should know but had somehow lost when she’d passed out. It was right there, dancing in and out of reach—close enough to see, but too far to grasp.

The eyes, the wings, the scales… Her attention dropped to his chest, to the straps that crisscrossed his pecs. One strap for honors, the other for station—both made from katoth as were his pants. It was a Preor warrior’s uniform and what they most often wore even when not on duty.

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