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Authors: Donna Grant

Dragonfyre

BOOK: Dragonfyre
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DRAGONFYRE

By

Donna Grant

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

DRAGONFYRE

Copyright© 2009 Donna Grant

Cover Artist: Croco Designs

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

www.DonnaGrant.com

Chapter One

Quay of Skulls,

Home of the magnificent blue dragons

“Careful, you idiots,” Isran growled. He clenched his hands as he watched the two men slowly carry the heavy, large white egg from the dark depths of the dragon’s cave.

He had waited millennia for the chance to take a most prized possession from the revered blue dragons. The egg was worth a fortune, but it wasn’t money Isran was after. No, he wanted something far greater than mere coin.

He wanted power.

As a Fae, he felt the pulse of magic in the heart of his realm. Magic was in the sky and the water. It was in the very air he breathed. But it was never, ever enough.

His one taste of black magic had been all it took to show him what awaited him. Since then he had plotted and schemed his way through the ranks of the Fae’s most powerful. The few who happened to guess his intentions soon found themselves dead.

Isran’s heart thundered in his chest as the egg drew closer. He had a gift for fooling people and gaining their trust. No one had deduced he was the one behind the deaths. Oh, he had been questioned, but by then he had learned to cloak himself, so not even the most powerful Fae had seen what he really was.

He smiled when he thought of the meeting King Theron had called
the night before.

Theron had wanted his help in finding the killer. It had been all Isran could do not to jump up and down laughing at how easily he had pulled off his quest.

His greatest plot, however, was in the works. By the time he was finished, no one, not even the feared commander of the Fae army, Aimery, would be able to withstand his onslaught of power.

Isran rubbed his hands together and grinned.

One of the men tripped on a loose rock and nearly dropped the egg. Isran cursed under his breath as he glanced at the sky. The men were taking too long, and the dragon would soon return. They had to be gone, or the dragon would slaughter them in an instant.

“Careful,” Isran barked. “The egg will be meaningless if you drop it.” Galrar, the brawnier of the two, cut his blue eyes to Isran. “It’s damned heavy.”

“You don’t have much farther.”

“Tell me again why you aren’t helping?”

Isran clenched his jaw. “If I could have done it myself, believe me I would. I’d much rather work alone.”

It had taken Isran years to find the two men before him. The Fae as a general rule did not tolerate any sort of evil and, with the length to which Isran had delved into black magic, he would have been killed on the spot if anyone recognized his wickedness.

Galrar and Mormir had been hiding deep in the northern mountain regions when Isran had sensed them. It hadn’t taken much to convince them to aid in his quest, though there was much they didn’t know. The lure of coin and the promise of power had swayed them quick enough.

“Easy.” Isran held the wicker bedding steady as they rolled the egg inside. He could see all his dreams coming true now that he had the egg.

“By all that’s magical,” Mormir murmured, a note of fear dripping from his words.

Isran glanced at Mormir before he followed the man’s gaze to the sky. The large wings of the dark blue dragon could be seen. The pair of dragons circled above them before one gave an unholy roar and dove at them.

“We need to leave,” Galrar screamed.

Isran smiled at his two comrades. “Aye. I do need to leave.” As he disappeared, he could hear their screams mingled with the roars of the dragon.

Chapter Two

Kyndra pulled up on the reins as she reached the stream. She slid from her mount’s back and patted the horse’s neck, a smile on her face after the exhilarating run. The ride had been brisk and just what she had needed. Kyndra knelt by the water and cupped her hands to bring the cool liquid to her mouth. When she finished, she moved to the giant oak and sat at the base, her back against the trunk.

While her mare drank, Kyndra’s gaze followed the long, thick limbs of the oak that branched out above her. Some so heavy they drooped to the ground while their thick foliage shaded her. With the sun high in the sky and a gentle breeze rustling the leaves, she soon found her eyes drifting shut.

The wedding she had attended the previous night had only solidified that she had made the right decision in entering the Dragon Order. She had given her life to the dragons, and she hadn’t regretted it once. There were times she got lonely, but being in the Order meant she gave them everything. Seeing her friend give her life and love to her husband was much like what Kyndra had done with the Order. Besides, there wasn’t a man in the universe she could imagine wanting to give up everything for.

No man had ever touched her. It was a requirement of the Order. She came to them a maiden, and she had to stay such. It was also a great honor to be in the Order. Few got selected, and for Kyndra it had meant everything

She had known since she was a little girl and watched the magnificent blue dragons that she wanted to be in the Dragon Order. A smile pulled at her lips as she thought back to how excited and fulfilled she had been when she had been given the honor of leading the priestesses of the Blue Order.

Each dragon had their own order, with the high priestess of the entire Dragon Order ruling them all. Kyndra’s next step was to become high priestess. Nothing was going to stand in her way either. Everyone knew she would be the next one chosen. She simply had to wait for her time.

Her mare nudged her feet. “Ready to return so soon, Arion?” Kyndra had dallied long enough. She needed to prepare for the festival tonight. A blue dragon and its mate had laid an egg. It was cause for much celebration, especially since the Blues laid very few eggs. Of all the dragons on the Realm of the Fae, the Blues had more magic than any other. Every death and birth of a Blue was felt throughout the entire realm.

Kyndra rose to her feet and vaulted onto the mare’s back. She reached for the reins and was about to turn the horse around when the bone

chilling roar filled the air. She knew that roar.

It was a Blue, and the pain and anger that filled the roar left chills racing down her spine.

She slid from the mare’s back. “Return home,” she told her horse just before she used her magic to transport her to the dragon.

Kyndra opened her eyes to find herself on top of a mountain. The cool air rushed over her, blowing her long hair away from her face. She turned and gasped as one of the Blues lay dead at the entrance to their lair. Next to him were two dead Fae.

“Nay,” she whispered, her eyes filling with tears.

The Fae knew how precious all dragons were to their way of life. None would be so foolish as to attack a dragon. She took a step toward the dead dragon, her hand extended. She had to know what or who killed him. The only way to do that was to touch him.

It was a gift the dragon’s magic had given the Fae. By being the first to touch a dragon after its death, she would be able to see everything the dragon had seen—and felt—before its death.

Just as she was about to touch the Blue, the ground shook beneath her feet as the female landed next to her mate. Kyndra’s heart hammered in her chest.

“I’m here to help.”

The female was beyond comprehension though. The pain at losing a mate had crazed her.

Kyndra licked her lips, her breath coming faster. She had but one chance to discover the truth.

Her hand reached out, the shiny blue scales of the male mere inches from her fingertips.

Another roar rent the air, making Kyndra’s ears ring. She covered her ears and stumbled backwards. Her mouth parted in fear as the female leveled her head with Kyndra’s. The anger and malice visible in the dark depths of the beast’s gaze were enough to halt Kyndra.

“I need to know who did this,” she cried. She dropped her hands and took in a steadying breath. It was her duty as leader of the Blue Order to know the dragons. They knew her, every one of them knew her. Why did this one continue to stop her?

“Please,” she begged. “Let me help you!”

In response the female opened her mouth and roared as she put herself between her mate and Kyndra. The meaning was clear. Come any closer and Kyndra would die.

Kyndra sighed. “I’m sorry. So very sorry.”

She glanced at the dead Fae once more before she transported to the temple of the Dragon Order. She took a deep breath as she gazed down the aisle to the throne and the high priestess.

Just as she suspected, every leader of dragons awaited her. Their eyes watched her as she walked toward the throne.

Kyndra had always loved the temple with its floor of white with swirls of blue shot in the marble. Thick columns stood on either side of the vestibule, lining the long walk that led to the throne of the high priestess and the magnificent dome that stood above her.

Many times Kyndra had stared at the glass in the dome memorizing each etching of the story of the melding of dragons and Fae. The temple had always been a place she could come to gather her thoughts. Now, the cold stones seemed to echo the threat of what she had witnessed.

Kyndra’s steps didn’t falter as she knelt before the high priestess and bowed her head.

She had never failed the Order before. It was destroying her that she hadn’t been able to talk to the dragon, to make the female understand they needed each other to solve what happened.

“Kyndra.”

She lifted her head to stare into the eyes of the high priestess, Julieth. Shame coursed through Kyndra. Never, in all the millennia she had been a priestess had something so catastrophic happened to the order—to
her
dragons.

“Forgive me, Julieth. I have failed the Order.”

The high priestess rose from her throne that was made from the same marble. On either side of the throne stood three women, the handmaidens of the high priestess. They never left her side, faithful until their dying breath.

Julieth took Kyndra’s hand and pulled her up until they stood face to face. “There is no doubt what has happened is…bad. However, Kyndra, it can be righted.”

“The female wouldn’t let me near the male to determine what killed him.” Though each dragon order had a leader, Julieth knew the happenings of all the dragons without having to be told by her priestesses.

Julieth sighed. “I know. I saw it.”

Kyndra had seen firsthand what Julieth’s visions could do. It amazed Kyndra that Julieth could learn minute details, as if she had experienced what she saw herself.

“I’m sure the female would have struck me had I gotten closer.”

“There’s no doubt she would have,” Julieth agreed and pulled Kyndra with her as they walked to a room behind the throne. She waved for the handmaidens to stay behind then shut the door to face Kyndra. “I can feel the fury moving through all the dragons. There is only one thing that could provoke that kind of anger.”

Kyndra’s heart plummeted to her feet as the realization hit her. “An egg was stolen.” Julieth nodded. “We cannot know for certain. The Blues mate for life, as you know. The female is mourning the loss of her mate, and her anger is palpable. She distrusts us now.”

“They know me. I’ve never given them reason to do anything but trust us.”

“Aye, yet were there not two Fae dead next to her mate?” Kyndra nodded.

“I’ve already alerted King Theron. He wishes to speak to you.”

“Me?” Kyndra was taken aback. Only the high priestess was called to the palace. “Why me?”

Julieth’s face was grave. “Unease ripples through our realm. For months the dragons have watched, waiting to see the next time the dark magic would surface. Whoever is wielding it is very powerful. Not even the dragons can determine who it is.” Kyndra fisted her hands and took a deep breath. “We’ve all heard of the murders, but it isn’t natural for the Fae to turn evil. The magic that pours through our realm—us—is pure.”

“There is always a balance of good and evil. You cannot have one without the other.

Most Fae who feel the pull of the dark side will leave our realm, for they know to be discovered is to be locked away, or even death.”

“Exactly. The few who have dared to fall to the dark have been discovered. We all know how seductive black magic is.”

Julieth shook her head and sliced her hand through the air. “You’ve read of its seduction, Kyndra. That is vastly different than tasting your first rush from using the black magic. For most, the threat of never seeing our realm again will keep a Fae from trying the black magic. But for others…”

BOOK: Dragonfyre
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