Scaling Her Dragon: BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance (Paranormal Dating Agency Book 8) (4 page)

 

 

NINE

 

Becca wanted to turn and give the guy who looked like he’d never seen a razor a piece of her mind. How dare he talk to her like she should have known that was his space? Razzy was the one who’d dared her, and she’d been stupid enough to fall for it.

She glanced around the ballroom but didn’t see the girl. She’d tuned out Drayken and his suave Casanova personality. The guy knew just what to say to a woman. Unfortunately for him, Becca was more aggravated over the other man than interested in talking to Drayken. Something about the jerk stuck with her. His eyes. Behind all that anger and anti-social bullshit, she’d seen so much sadness.

They reached Charlotte and her mates; Brecc and Eros proceeded to have a conversation with Drayken.

“Where did you go?” Charlotte asked. “I looked all over for you?”

“Your sister had the misfortune of walking into Vikter’s lair.” Drayken smiled. “Thankfully, I heard him roaring at her and saved her from his clutches.”

Becca had to stop herself from rolling her eyes at the way Drayken made himself sound like a superhero. All he needed was a cape. She had shit handled and would have been fine without him. Some men liked to be the center of attention.

Charlotte gave Becca the look that said
we can talk later
. Becca took the glass of wine Charlotte handed her and sipped. She glanced at Drayken from the corner of her eye. His incessant chatting had started to get on her nerves. The guy just didn’t know when to shut up.

She slowly backed away, until Drayken was so involved in his conversation with the wolves, he didn’t realize she’d moved. Charlotte gave her a quick nod to indicate she was free to walk around. What Becca should do was get some air. The ballroom was packed with people, and she was starting to feel flustered. It had nothing to do with the annoying man in the library. Nope. Nothing.

She slid out a side door and took a path she swore would lead her to the gardens. She had a pretty good memory, so she marched down the quiet rock-lined walkway without hesitating.

“Stupid man. Did he really think I was there to bother him?” she grumbled, almost tripping on a rock. Her shoes changed from heels to flats with a single thought. She couldn’t believe everything in this place had so much artificial intelligence.

“Like he’s that cute,” she growled. She could barely see anything under the frazzled mop on his head. Other than the piercing, gold eyes, she had no idea what he looked like. “He looks like he needs a flea bath.”

She reached a circular area in the garden with a bench in the center. She sat, glanced at the dual moons, and sighed. So far, she’d loved coming to Aurora. She’d seen how happy her sister was with her two men.

In the past, she never would have thought it was truly possible for three people to be in a happy relationship, but she’d seen otherwise with Charlotte.

Her thoughts turned to herself. Men. She would find a good man. She was positive she would. There had to be a good one out there for her.

Breath caught in her chest when she saw a massive dragon flying overhead, fire shooting out of his mouth. She gasped, her heart shooting to a galloping beat.

The dragon wasn’t going fast. She found herself mesmerized by the giant creature. She stood, following through the woods to catch up with it. A loud roar and bright bursts of light guided her along the dragon’s way. She’d never seen a dragon in her life—not a real one.

She started running, something she wouldn’t be caught dead doing, trying not to lose the dragon. She slipped between trees, glancing up to follow the dragon. Nobody had mentioned dragon shifters. Maybe they just had dragons, not shifter dragons.

There was an opening between the trees ahead. By the time she got to the area where she’d seen the dragon descending, he’d already landed. Light from both moons allowed her to see the amazing animal almost blending into the rocks lining the lake. She took a tentative step forward. Leaves crunched under her feet.

The dragon raised his head. He’d been drinking from the lake. Big, golden eyes shined in the darkness. She should be scared shitless, but she wasn’t. Instead, she found herself mesmerized. Her entire life, she’d been dreaming of dragons. The mythical creatures had taken over her home and her free time.

She’d done so much research, looking into the myths, the legends. They all pointed to dragons not being real at any point in time. But this moment, watching that beautiful creature stare her down with curiosity was beyond every one of her realities.

“You’re real,” she whispered, taking another slow step toward the dragon. His scales shimmered under the moonlight.

He didn’t move. He watched her with intense, golden eyes. She bit her lip, unsure what to do. This was her biggest wish come true. A dragon in front of her. The dragon finally lowered his head, to lay on one of his paws, and huffed. She hoped that was his way of relaxing and allowing her to come closer, because that’s exactly how she was taking it.

“Hi,” she said quietly, clearing her throat and gripping the sides of her gown. “I’m Becca.”

The dragon sniffed.

“I guess you can’t tell me your name, huh?” She smiled. “It’s okay. You’ve got such beautiful golden eyes. I bet you make all the ladies crazy, don’t you?”

She swore there was surprise in the big animal’s eyes. “I’m sorry. I let my mouth run away from me.” She stopped a foot away from the dragon’s massive head. Her fingers itched to run her hands over his scales. They shimmered brighter the closer she got. “Do you mind if I touch you?”

The dragon didn’t say anything…because it was a freaking dragon. What in the hell was wrong with her? She kept waiting for him to say something like. ‘I’m gonna turn you into bar-b-que if you get too close.’

She raised a hand to his face and slowly caressed the area around his nose. He closed his eyes. She figured if he was anything like a puppy, he’d like being petted there. She grinned when the dragon let out a breath. “I bet you like your belly rubbed too, don’t you?” He rumbled something, and she’d swear he was saying ‘
yeah, right
.’

His giant eyes snapped open. It was like staring deep into a pool of swirling liquid gold. He sniffed and opened his mouth. His big, spiky teeth were much closer to her face than she was comfortable with. 

“I hope you run free here.” She sighed. “On my planet, you’d be hunted by idiots and the government.” She slid her hand over his scales. They were soft, something she hadn’t expected. Walking around his giant paw, she caressed her hand over his body until she reached his belly.

The dragon eyed her with curiosity. His wings shimmered like the most delicate chiffon. “You’re the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen.”

She lowered her head to place it on his belly and listen to him breathe. His powerful lungs pushed her face with every breath. For a second, he tensed, then he sunk lower into the ground, relaxing to her touch. She met his gaze and swore he saw into her soul.

“Your eyes look so sad, and you look so lonely,” she whispered. “I know how that feels, too.” There were no other words uttered. For a quiet moment, she listened to the dragon breathe. She swore they had a connection going. She guessed her love for dragons throughout her life allowed her to find a way to link with the creature without the need for words.

“Becca!” Charlotte’s voice sounded from the trees.

She whirled around, taking a few steps in the direction of Charlotte’s voice. “I’m right here!” She glanced over her shoulder and saw the dragon take off in quick flight. “Wait! Don’t go.”

It was too late. He shot through the air, flying so fast into the darkness of the night, if she would’ve blinked, she’d have missed it.

Within seconds, Charlotte, her two mates, and Drayken rushed from between the trees. They glanced around until they saw her. Her heart sank. The dragon was gone. For a magical moment, she’d felt so in tune with the creature. Now, she was lonely again.

 

 

TEN

Vikter wasn’t sure what to think. He’d finally come to the realization he wanted her. The human. Becca. The way she touched his dragon, so carefully and without a single trace of fear or worry, had done him in. Even when she’d noticed his sharp teeth and realized he could have hurt or even killed her with a single claw swipe, she’d stayed.

He glanced into the night. He refused to acknowledge his dragon calling for the human. Lust. That’s what it was. He saw his reflection in the window and growled. This desire for her wasn’t going anywhere.

Razzy slammed his door opened and raced inside. “Vikter!”

“Why did you send the human into my office?” he asked, his temper under control for the first time in weeks.

He turned to face her and caught the flush of crimson on her cheeks.

“I’m sorry, Vik. I didn’t think you’d be in there. It was just a joke.” She made a guilty face, shuffling foot to foot.

“Somehow I think this was your way of getting me to interact with our guests,” he said, reading more into his sister’s features than she would have wanted.

She stopped, her brows dipping low. “You should have been there with me, welcoming our guests and celebrating like mother would have wanted.”

He nodded. “You’re right. I should have been there.”

She opened and closed her mouth. “Really?”

“Yes.” He marched toward her, stopping inches from her. “I’m sorry I’ve been so distant. I will try to give you more of the support you need.”

She threw her arms around him, hugging him tight. “No. I’m sorry. I know you’re going through a hard time, but I have faith we’ll find your mate. Soon. I just know it.”

The image of Becca slipped through his mind. The dragon tried to convey something through their link, but Vikter shut him down. He didn’t want or need emotional attachments to anyone. His heart didn’t seem to care what he wanted. The very thought of Becca’s smile, her eyes…something warmed inside him. An emotion he wasn’t really familiar with tugged at his heart.

“I like Becca,” Razzy said. “Do you mind if I invite her over for dinner tomorrow?”

“I don’t mind,” he said, his body heating at the thought of having her near again.

“Good,” she sighed. “Drayken invited himself and Aunt Laina as well. The last thing I want is to have to deal with those two alone.” She pulled back and met his gaze. “He likes Becca. That should take his attention, keep him from annoying me.”

Vikter’s dragon roared to life at the mention of his cousin. Jealousy flittered through his veins, firing a new wave of rage. He bit back a growl and instead focused on the fact he’d have his little human back in his home. That was more to his liking.

“Are you ever planning on shaving again, brother?” Razzy asked, yanking on a clump of his beard. “You’re so handsome; when I can’t see your face, I can’t tell if you’re happy or not.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Good. I’d hate for Becca to think this is how you look all the time.” She gave him another hug and turned to go. She stopped at the door and glanced over her shoulder. “I don’t know what happened, but I’m glad you’re feeling better.”

 

 

ELEVEN

 

Vikter picked up the tea he’d been given and waited for Gerri to show. He sat in the sunroom of the castle of the lion king, Alyx. Massive windows brought the outdoors inside. The view of the garden was better from this location than any other in the castle.

He had to talk to Gerri. She’d promised to find him a mate on her return to Aurora from her last trip to get Becca. He’d given up on that and didn’t want her to waste any more of her time searching.

“Vikter,” Gerri said, walking into the room. “So good to see you.”

Vikter stood and waited for the physical contact. Gerri had already told him she was a hugger. As predicted, she embraced him and patted his shoulder.

“It’s good to see you too, Gerri,” he said, sitting back and watching her fill a cup with tea.

“I know I promised to help you sooner,” she said, adding sugar to the tea. “Who knew I’d be going back and forth to earth so many times?”

He cleared his throat, not wanting to sound accusatory since it wasn’t her fault he hadn’t found a mate within the time he needed. “I came to ask you to disregard my request.”

She frowned. “What do you mean? Forget about it?”

“My days are numbered,” he sighed. “Your time is better spent finding someone else a mate.”

She slammed her teacup on the table. “Are you seriously giving up on life, Vikter?”

He blinked, shocked at the change in the older woman. She’d gone from pleasant and sweet to angry and demanding. Her voice rose to a growl.

“Not necessarily giving up,” he said, unable to stop the bitterness in his voice. “Not like I have a choice.”

Gerri stood, shook her head, and walked to a window before turning to face him. “Look at you.”

Vikter winced. He knew it had been a mistake coming to see her without cutting his hair or shaving. “I’ve looked at myself.”

“You hard-headed little fire-breather.” She glared at him. “You think any woman will want a man who takes such little care in his grooming?” She shook her head. “I’m not saying a beard or long hair is bad, but this,” she said waving her hand up and down in front of him, “is a mess.”

He jumped to his feet, not liking the way she spoke. “I’m not looking to impress anyone.”

“Clearly,” she snapped. “Forget about a mate for a second, Vikter. Have you stopped feeling? Have you stopped desiring women? Lusting?”

Becca’s hips swaying in his office came to mind. Not fucking now. He so didn’t need that while standing in front of Gerri getting torn a new asshole.

“My needs aren’t important,” he ground out. The fact that she made him question how Becca viewed him didn’t sit well. “I came to tell you to stop the search for a mate.”

She lifted a brow. “Too late, you stubborn man-child. Although, any woman would have to be a saint to want to deal with you looking like something the cat dragged in.” She lifted her gaze to the ceiling and growled. “I swear to all that’s holy, I need to add stipulations in my contracts. Must. Use. Common. Sense.”

Vikter let the barb slide and instead turned from Gerri. “I don’t know what to tell you. Even if you found someone in time, I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind to be anyone’s mate.”

She pursed her lips and glowered. “You listen to me, you scaly little boy. If you mess up my match in any way, you’ll regret it. I don’t care what you want at this point. This is the misery inside you talking. It’s the anger and frustration from what you perceive to be your upcoming demise.” She folded her arms over her chest. “Hear me and hear me well. You
will
be mated. You
will
have a long life. If at any point you start to think like this again, I
will
smack some sense into you until that brain of yours is back in normal working order. Got it?”

He did. He didn’t want to give in to her manipulation, but the idea of Drayken getting Becca because Vikter looked like shit didn’t sit well with him. It was time to go home and shave. He’d deal with whatever female Gerri had in mind later. Becca consumed his thoughts. Only Becca.

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