Kiss of Destiny

Kiss of Destiny, #3 of the Dragon Legion Novellas and part of the Dragonfire series of paranormal romances, by Deborah CookeWhen the darkfire crystal takes the dragon shape shifters Thad and Drake to an unknown location, only fulfilling his firestorm matters to Thad. Little does he know that in following its light to his destined mate, he’s stepping into the realm of the gods, a place so forbidden to mortals that any who enter it must die. Aura has always been skeptical of long-term promises—but Thad is irresistible. No sooner does Aura surrender than the gods demand their due of her dragon shifter. Can she save Thad and make the dream of the firestorm come true?

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An excerpt from Kiss of Destiny:
His firestorm!

Thad barely managed to contain his excitement. He was surrounded by a dense white mist, a fog that obscured everything beyond an arm’s reach. Even so, the fog was lit with a radiant orange light, the light of his firestorm, and he spun in place, trying to discern which direction was brightest.

She would be there.

He could see the rocky path beneath his feet and feel the chill of the air, but not much more than that. In three steps, he’d lost Drake completely.

Suddenly, a blue-green flash of the darkfire illuminated the fog behind him. It grew to blinding brilliance then disappeared completely. Thad swallowed, knowing that Drake was gone.

He was alone.

But the firestorm’s light meant he wasn’t really alone. Its golden glow shimmered on his fingertips. He lifted his hand and turned in place and, just as earlier, the firestorm sparked to flames that leapt from his fingertips to guide him to his destined mate. He felt a heat in his body and a tingling of desire, one that reminded him of the earthly aspect of the firestorm. The sparks leapt from his fingertips, as if to urge him to hurry. He took a step, saw the flames build a little higher and felt the heat increase in his body.

What did she look like? What was she feeling? Would he fall in love with her immediately, or would it take time? Thad was desperate to know. He summoned the change in his body with impatience, wanting to have the fullness of his dragon powers for this moment of moments.

Even the change seemed to be fueled by the firestorm. It swept through his body with a vehemence he’d never experienced before, making him feel so powerful that he might have been invincible. In his dragon form, Thad breathed fire at the sky in triumph. He was delighted that even his plume of flames bent in the direction of his mate. Could she feel the firestorm? Was she waiting for him? He took flight, using his keener dragon senses to try to discern more.

The fog was impenetrable, but his heart skipped at the faint scent of perfume. It came from the same direction as the firestorm’s sparks led and was wonderfully feminine. It smelled of flowers and made him think of soft warm skin. Thad closed his eyes and took a deep beguiling breath of it, then flew on at reckless speed.

His dream was coming true.

Before he and his fellow Dragon’s Tooth warriors had been enchanted, he’d had few expectations about the once-in-a-lifetime mating experienced by his fellow Pyr. The sparks flew to identify the woman who could bear the child of the dragon shape shifter in question. For most of the Pyr Thad had known then, a firestorm was the chance to create a son and not much more. His own mother had been loving and kind, but as a child, Thad had always felt the household was incomplete. He hadn’t been able to name the omission until he came of age.

Thad had met his own father when he’d been collected from his mother’s household and taken to Delphi. Theirs had been a short acquaintance and not a talkative one. His father had believed in leaving the training of young dragons to those who did it best. His obligation to his kind had been fulfilled by satisfying the firestorm, creating a son, then bringing the son to be trained when he came of age. Even though Thad had felt a yearning to know more about his father and to build a connection, his father hadn’t shared his dream. After their arrival at Delphi, Thad had never seen his father again.

Drake had been different, even when Thad had first met him. Not only was Drake an experienced and respected commander, but he had married his mate and lived with her and his son. He was the first Pyr Thad had ever met who had made that choice. The notion of having Drake as a father and knowing him, of having the ongoing opportunity to learn from him was incredible to Thad.

But so enticing.

He supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised that the Pyr like Drake were drawn to his command. Alexander was another who had made a commitment to his mate. After the enchantment had been broken, Thad and his fellows had found themselves in a future. There, the Pyr who followed Erik Sorensson made permanent relationships with their mates. They were partners, not just biological parents, and worked together to fulfill the mission of the Pyr to defend the earth and its treasures. Some of those dragons had multiple sons, which was remarkable to Thad. The Pyr almost invariably had male children, since there was only one female of their kind at any given time, but for a dragon shifter to remain with one woman and create a family was a modern notion. The contentment of those Pyr was clear to even a new arrival like Thad.

He had yearned to feel the spark of his firestorm in that world.

Yet mingled with the promise of such a partnership was a fear that the Great Wyvern had forgotten the old firestorms or the more ancient Pyr. In being enchanted, Alexander and Drake had been separated from their mates. Thad had worried about this. Was it a sign that the firestorm wasn’t forever? Did it mean that the Dragon’s Tooth warriors were different? Did it mean that the firestorm’s promise could be fleeting?

When the darkfire crystal had cast them through space and time, it had been Thad who discerned the truth and Thad who had been most relieved. Now, his own firestorm sparked at the end of his talon. He would do anything to see it satisfied and pledge whatever was necessary to the woman who would bear his son.

His chance to do all that and more was only moments away.

Thad couldn’t wait.

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Excerpt from Kiss of Destiny ©2013 Deborah A. Cooke

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