Read Dragon Deception Online

Authors: Mell Eight

Tags: #Gay romance, Paranormal, Supernatural Consultant

Dragon Deception (2 page)

BOOK: Dragon Deception
9.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The room had looked like a giant gust of wind had blown through it, which meant Zinc, the lone air dragon living under Dane's roof, was the culprit. Alloy would have to serve as Dane's witness.

"Alloy, what happened?" Dane's asked, kneeling on the floor next to him. "Are you okay?"

Alloy popped his blue eye open, saw who was talking to him, and opened his red eye too. "Are Zinc and Copper done yelling at each other?" he asked.

"For the moment," Dane replied with an inward sigh. Their flirting had been cute when they were eight years old. Now that they were thirteen and hormones were making them even stupider about it… Dane didn't understand how Mercury could laugh over the sheer amount of destruction they caused. Dane was really glad Copper hadn't been the one to lose this round. Instead of flipping the table, he would have set it on fire.

Since Dane couldn't hear anything else getting smashed around the house, he felt it was safe to assume that Copper and Zinc had concluded this particular fight. Or they had taken it outside and were busy destroying his lawn. That was also possible.

Alloy sighed in relief and climbed off the chair. "Okay. It's time for dinner anyway." He grinned and wandered off in the direction of the kitchen. Dane followed. There was research to do, but leaving Daisy alone with all the kits when he didn't have to was cruel. She usually left right after cooking dinner so she could spend the evening with her own family, but was staying later tonight because she had started work today after her kids' parent-teacher conferences.

Daisy had set plates along the kitchen island where Dane had bought high stools for the kits to sit on. Lumie, 'Ron, and Chrome were already seated and waiting eagerly for dinner to be served. Alloy climbed onto his stool next to Lumie. Copper's stool was still empty, but he would be joining them soon, as would Zinc and Nickel.

'Ron and Chrome were both earth elemental dragons. They were nine years old and they shared the same brown hair and eyes, but the similarities ended there. 'Ron had embraced being a girl from the very first moment Daisy had introduced her to dresses, and now 'Ron was eagerly awaiting puberty so she could start filling out. Chrome had decided to embrace being a boy instead. He wore ratty shirts and played every sport he could and 'Ron avoided him like the plague, something Mercury insisted meant that he and 'Ron were eventually going to have a lot of kits of their own together. Mercury said that a lot, though, and Dane wasn't entirely certain he believed him. Then again, dragons were a bit odd when it came to finding their mates. If Mercury thought that 'Ron and Chrome would realize they had that connection after puberty, Dane knew Mercury would encourage them to be happy together. It wouldn't matter to them or to Mercury that they were being raised as siblings. They weren't related by blood and the mating bond trumped adoptive family ties.

Nickel was the most serious of Mercury's kits. He was a water dragon with blue hair and eyes, and he had made it his mission to personally rescue the dragons. Nickel was Dane's assistant at Dane's consulting firm and he worked there every day instead of staying behind to play with Copper and Zinc, who were both his age.

Daisy clicked her tongue unhappily at the empty seats, but she started serving food to the kits that were present. Her green skin was bright and vibrant, which meant the parent/teacher conference had gone well. Her own kids were a handful too, which only meant that she was experienced enough to handle Dane's. He had doubled her salary when he invited Mercury and the kits to live with him permanently and she had obligingly doubled her work hours.

"Lumie, are ya done in the kitchen tonight?" Daisy asked once everyone present had been served, Dane included. Dane usually waited for Mercury to get home to eat on the few nights he had to work past dinnertime, but it was nice to eat with the kits on occasion too.

Lumie nodded. "I made everything for the picnic," he insisted. "I'll put it in the basket tomorrow." Lumie had done the cooking? Dane suppressed a wince and a groan. He was five years old, for Pete's sake. What the hell was he doing cooking a picnic for Mercury and Dane? And how horrible would it taste? Ordering a pizza to eat instead of Lumie's picnic was sounding like a better idea every minute.

Nickel strolled into the kitchen just moments after the food was served. He was reading from a packet of papers, either schoolwork or, more likely, casework from Dane's firm as he took his stool. Daisy frowned pointedly at him and Nickel tucked the papers away and let 'Ron draw him into conversation. Copper and Zinc slunk in moments later. They wouldn't look at each other and their stools were on opposite sides of the kitchen island. Copper immediately started grilling Alloy about his day. Copper was essentially the one raising Alloy, not Mercury or Dane, and he took being Alloy's big brother very seriously. Zinc pulled her long white hair away from her face and joined 'Ron and Nickel's conversation.

Daisy had been trying to teach the kits table manners, but even though they all managed to use a fork and knife to eat, they stuffed their faces quickly and dashed off.

"Bath time!" Daisy yelled after Lumie and Chrome, who both ran out of the kitchen pretending they hadn't heard her. Daisy sighed, but collected dishes from the counter. "I'll catch up with the scamps," she insisted when Dane stood and began helping gather the dirty plates. "I'm sure ya still have work to do."

"I don't know what I would do without you," Dane told her seriously. With both Mercury and Dane working, there was no way they could have raised all the kits without Daisy's help. "How were your parent/teacher conferences?"

Daisy sighed. "Good. My brats are passing middle school, although Jeremy wants to take up football." Dane winced, thinking about her rambunctious kids running around learning to tackle people. It would only be worse if Chrome were the one who wanted to play. Dane made a promise to himself to never let Chrome even try. Although Dane couldn't even get any of his kits into school at all.

Nickel had heard just how long the school day was, asked Dane how he was supposed to get any work done when he was stuck in a horrible classroom all day, then informed Dane that he wouldn't be attending. Luckily Dane had gotten a compromise out of Nickel that he would study for three hours every day with a tutor Dane had hired for him and spend at least one hour every night on homework. Once the other kits had learned that Nickel wouldn't be attending school, they had also refused, but thanks to Nickel's compromise, they spent the better part of the day in a classroom. When Mercury, the tutor, or Dane could catch them first, of course. Dane was going to make certain that they would all get their GEDs at the very least.

"Yeah, it's a mess," Daisy finished, echoing Dane's own thoughts closely, "but I'll figure it out. Now, ya git. We've both got stuff that needs doing." She was smiling as she made shooing motions, so Dane allowed himself to be pushed from the kitchen.

He walked up the stairs and turned towards his bedroom where he had left his laptop. Dane could hear splashing from one of the bathrooms down the other wing of the house, so at least someone was obeying Daisy. Probably 'Ron or Zinc. Nickel would finish his work first while Copper would avoid the water for as long as Daisy let him. Daisy would have to catch Lumie and force him into the water, and Alloy depended on whether he was embracing his fire or water half that day.

Dane left them to it and headed into his bedroom. His computer was where he left it, so he settled into one of the armchairs, popped it open, and called up a map of the Great Appalachian Valley. It stretched from Alabama all the way up into Newfoundland. Dane's territory was a small part of that. He controlled from north of the Mason-Dixon line—although his territory did stretch down the Chesapeake Bay into Maryland in a few places, so that wasn't exactly an accurate border—and ended at the Canadian border. Dane watched over the Northeast primarily, the description of which depended on which map he looked at. Some said the Northeast began in Virginia and followed the coast to Maine; others said it began in Pennsylvania; and yet more insisted it was everything east of New York, which was essentially New England. Either way, north of the portions of Maryland that he controlled was all his.

The werewolf's pack territory was in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. The mother dragon wouldn't have traveled south or west as an extremely territorial Minotaur had set up his maze in the mountains there. She couldn't have gone east because she would have run into human civilization, the very creature she was running from. Which only left north. Given the amount of time she had been on the run and the distance Dane calculated she could have traveled with three kits in tow, she must be in the Hudson or the Mohawk Valley in New York. It was a large amount of space, but aside from the lone cat shifters setting up small territories throughout, there wasn't anything to keep her from feeling safe. It was the most logical area for Dane to resume searching. He would start walking a grid in the Hudson Valley, keeping away from the suburbs of New York City, and head towards Albany. She and her kits had to be somewhere in between the two big cities.

First thing tomorrow, Dane would start walking through the valleys.

"Almost done?" Mercury asked, leaning over Dane's shoulder to look at what he was researching. Mercury's long bronze hair brushed Dane's arm as he settled his chin on Dane's shoulder.

"Yeah," Dane sighed. He had his starting point, so he didn't need to keep looking at maps. Going out searching in the dark in those mountainous woods was dangerous. Dane had to at least wait for first light.

"Good," Mercury breathed. He tilted his head and took the point of Dane's ear in his teeth. "Because Daisy has Lumie in the tub right now. She's running the water faster than he can evaporate it, but they'll still be a while."

Which meant that they didn't have to worry about Lumie walking through the wards and locked bedroom door and seeing something he shouldn't. Dane grinned and shut his laptop, then turned his head to take Mercury's mouth in a proper kiss. Dane wrapped his arms around Mercury's waist so Dane could pull him onto his lap as Mercury groaned and pressed closer. Mercury let himself be manhandled happily. His fingers ran down Dane's chest a few times, feeling Dane's muscles through his shirt, before Mercury began to yank open the buttons.

Dane was getting hard. Hell, he was usually hard whenever he was around Mercury. He loved the way Mercury looked with his full lips, small and pert nose, and his thick lashes over his bronze colored eyes. Mercury's hair was also a beautiful bronze color that echoed the large scales that covered most of his body. He was too sexy not to get Dane aroused with only a smile and a come hither wink. Mercury was hard too. Dane reached out to feel him through his pants and grinned into their kiss when Mercury's hands shook and he fumbled a button in response.

They didn't make it to the bed the first time, panting and grinding against each other on the couch until they both came. After a few minutes where they cuddled close, trying to catch their breath in between long kisses, they stumbled to their feet and shucked off what little clothing had survived on the way to the bed.

Sometimes it was awkward finding time to be together. Scheduling sex around Lumie was decidedly odd, but Daisy had informed Dane that he was only living the hell of any parent. In a way, it made the time they did find together more special.

Dane loved Mercury. He didn't need to have lots of sex with Mercury to prove that fact to himself or to anyone else. Still, he couldn't complain as Mercury's fingernails dug into Dane's back and Mercury moaned in Dane's ear as they geared up for round two.

It was nice to know Mercury loved Dane too, even after five years together.

CHAPTER TWO

Mercury reclined on the pillows, wondering when they had actually made it to the bed. Dane was tracing circles on Mercury's stomach with two fingers. He wasn't glowing any longer now that the fun had ended, but he hadn't put his glamour back on. His long blond hair was splayed behind him in tangles. It was the color of sunshine and mesmerizing if Mercury looked at it too long. He preferred to get lost in Dane's eyes, but the blue orbs were closed as Dane fought to even his breathing back out. Instead, Mercury reached out to run one finger along the pointed tip of Dane's ear, jingling one of the silver rings pierced through the cartilage.

"Lumie wants us to go on a picnic during lunch tomorrow," Dane said out of the blue. He opened his eyes to look at Mercury. There was a pinched line between Dane's eyebrows that made Mercury laugh. Dane was very worried about what Lumie had planned.

"Sounds like fun," Mercury replied with a shrug just so he could see that line deepen and Dane frown. "I can leave work for an hour around one o'clock."

Dane saw the smile on Mercury's face and buried his head in a pillow with a groan. "It's Lumie's picnic. Something is going to go wrong," Dane insisted. He peeked one eye out to look at Mercury, who couldn't help laughing even louder.

Lumie was a menace, admittedly, but it was far too much fun watching Dane try to handle Lumie's quirks. Dane was smart in that he knew offending Lumie wouldn't end well for him, and trying to dance around the delicate line between upsetting Lumie and appeasing him was going to slowly drive Dane insane. Mercury was enjoying every moment of it and he thought Lumie might be too.

"You're sure you can get off work?" Dane asked hopefully after a moment of thought.

Mercury's smile couldn't help growing at the plaintive note in Dane's voice. Dane was an amazingly powerful person, both in magic and personality, and a five-year-old dragon had felled him.

"I've taken lunch at my desk while working for the past few days," Mercury explained, much to Dane's consternation. "No one will complain if I leave the office for a bit tomorrow."

Mercury still wasn't entirely certain how he had gotten a job with the local division of the SupFeds, also known as the Federal Bureau of Supernatural Investigations. He had applied on a whim, joking with Dane at the time that he would make an excellent spy inside the SupFeds to see if they still had any hand in the dragon abductions and cruel experiments. Mercury had never expected to be called in for an interview and had been even more surprised when he had been offered the job.

BOOK: Dragon Deception
9.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Orange Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
Crow Fair by Thomas McGuane
The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara
The Scar-Crow Men by Mark Chadbourn
Crow Country by Kate Constable
Hat Trick! by Brett Lee
Fury's Kiss by Karen Chance
The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson