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Red dragon Emily Carrington found her mate in black dragon Vahid Delrey, but misunderstandings, painful secrets, and distrust keep them apart. Emily thinks Vahid doesn’t want her. Vahid thinks Emily is a stuck up snob who could never truly love him. Both dragons hide crippling secrets from their pasts as their pain at being apart escalates. Emily falls for the strong, sexy black dragon and hides her need of him behind an icy facade. Vahid longs for Emily to need him but can’t bring himself to mate with such a cold woman. When Emily’s secret pain fetish threatens her life, Vahid must decide whether to save her or let her self-destructive ways rid him of the mate he never thought he’d love.
Warning: This book contains one asshole hero, one cold as ice heroine, mating in shifted form in a haystack, a suicide attempt, spanking, anal play, BDSM and it's all needed to create a very happy ending.
“Gods! Why’d you have to get drunk, Emily?” he growled, his voice short with tension.
“I’m not that drunk,” she lied.
Vahid snorted, smoke rolling from him in a big cloud. He tugged her along the path into a dark section of the garden then stepped off the sidewalk onto a woodchip strewn path.
Wobbly, half from all the alcohol she’d drank and half from her unsuitable designer footwear that wasn’t meant for a dirt path, Emily tried to keep up with Vahid, all the while wondering just what the hell he was going to do. Kill her and bury the body?
A gurgle of hysterical amusement escaped her. Vahid’s hand tightened its grip. “C’mon.”
Just when she thought she’d snap a heel, he pulled her into a dark gazebo and shoved her down on a hard wooden seat. He paced the tiny space before her, his dark hair disheveled, his eyes stormy.
“None of this has to be as hard as you make it, Emily,” he said gruffly.
Unbidden and uncharacteristically, tears sprang to her eyes. “Speak for yourself, asshole,” she muttered as she fought back the tears and the lump in her throat. She knew from experience that the ache in her chest could only be assuaged in one way, but a trip to Far From Heaven wouldn’t be possible for days. She hugged her arms around herself defensively. Being close to Vahid fucked with her head and her body. She wished she wasn’t drunk now. She needed her wits about her.
As if he’d heard her thoughts, which she knew wasn’t possible because she shielded from him automatically, he stopped and speared her with an intense gaze, filled with an indefinable emotion. “Release your dragonfire,” he whispered hoarsely. “Burn off the alcohol.”
Emily shivered uncontrollably. Releasing her dragonfire would also heighten her sexual awareness of him, not that she needed it honed any sharper. And Vahid knew damn good and well what releasing her fire would do to her. He was tormenting her, she decided, although he didn’t look like he was enjoying any of it.
“No.” She refused on principle. She never did what Vahid told her to.
His hand shot out and grasped her ponytail, tugging it gently. “Yes. I want you sober.”
“I’ll just get drunk again the instant I’m back in the lodge,” she sneered.
Vahid’s eyes flashed in the darkness. “It’s your career. Go ahead and flush it,” he ground out. “But right here, right now, burn it off.”
Feeling trapped, Emily jerked her head and Vahid released her hair. She stood on rubbery legs and turned away from him. Closing her eyes, she reached inside and connected with her dragon. Heat spiraled through her body and with a loud roar, her dragon pushed to the surface as she released her dragonfire in a huge fireball. The flames crackled and hissed for an instant and then the fire went out as she sucked back a deep breath. Clarity returned full force as the alcohol in her system burned away.
Vahid took a step closer to her. Their eyes met and sexual tension filled the air. Nostrils flared, Emily’s senses came alive as her head filled with the scent of allspice. Her body remained hot, the scent of her arousal evident to them both. Her dragon clawed at her, wanting Vahid, wanting to mate him and turn loose her dragonfire on him.
Emily’s breath hitched in her throat as Vahid took another step toward her. She retreated, taking step after step backward as he advanced. When her back slammed into the side of the gazebo, she turned her head away from him. He stepped into her personal space, his hard body brushing hers. His hand captured her chin, forcing her head around. Their eyes met. Emily’s fear rose as she recognized the heat in Vahid’s gaze.
“Oh, no,” she whispered.
His fingers caressed the skin of her jaw as he held her chin immobile. “Oh, yes, Emily. For once, let go of that icy control and feel.”
The fierce words, couched in a deceptively soft voice, had Emily shaking with need. “I feel, Vahid. I feel a helluva lot more than you will ever know.”
“Then show me. Just fucking show me.”
She opened her mouth to reply, but his lips closed over hers. As a first kiss, it fell flat in the romance department. However, what it lacked in romantic sweetness, it made up for in intensity. Emily couldn’t remember ever being kissed so thoroughly. In fact, other than a few encounters that had left her sexually frustrated, her only good sexual experiences were Dominant/submissive scenes. She had no real experience with kissing and intimacy.
Vahid’s lips were soft but firm. They moved on hers with an expertise that sent a spark of jealousy through her. He’d been with women he’d loved while she’d been with men who’d used her and used her pain against her. That thought became her last lucid one as heat flared within her body and turned her into a creature of sensation.
The wet lick of their tongues as they danced together made Emily’s knees weak. Vahid’s arms gathered her against his rock hard muscles. The arm around her waist felt like an iron band. Shuddering with reaction, lust, and overwhelming emotion, Emily collapsed against him, her heart thundering. She reached up and gripped the broad shoulders that she’d ached to touch from the moment she’d first seen them. His growl of satisfaction vibrated against her lips.
Emily grew lightheaded from the ferocity of Vahid’s kisses. He held her mind and body in thrall as his lips and tongue demanded a response from her. With her composure cracked and her body in a frenzy of need, she had no choice but to submit to his desires.
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