I'm Happy to announce that this series has been released as a collection, where readers may now buy all of them at once! Please look for it. For the Moment, a taste of what's in the Collection.
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Copyright ©2006 Lena
An Authorized Excerpt:
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It was a dark and stormy night...
Jack turned away from the window in disgust. Now he was thinking in clichés. Wasn't his life crazier than any novelist could dream up? Okay, so the thunderstorms had lasted four days already, cooping him in the apartment with his lover, Aneurin. Normally, this would not be a bad prospect. Normally being the operative word. Nothing in his life would ever be normal again. Not when his lover was a dragon and he was a wizard in the modern day Washington, DC area.
Aneurin's sleeping dragon form took up a large portion of Jack's generous penthouse living room. The large napping sofa Jack had previously owned hadn't lasted past the first time Aneurin took his pain pills. After the eye surgery to correct his cataracts two days ago, he'd needed them. Where one pain-wracked man had sat, a dragon lounged in rubble. Jack shrugged, and a grin crept over his face. His heart lightened. Oh, well. What was the value of mere stuff when you had love? He crept over to lovingly rub his dragon's scaly muzzle. Aneurin's contented sigh ruffled Jack's hair, and the gold-tipped tail ceased its restless movement.
Jack reached up and adjusted the blue silk bed sheet now serving as a draconic blindfold. They'd given up trying to keep Aneurin in human form when the pain pills made him so stoned he'd revert to his reptilian form as soon as he fell asleep. Aneurin's voice crept softly into his head, still slurred with sleep and narcotic. "J-Jack? Is it Wednesday yet?"
His heart wrenching a little, Jack kissed the purple muzzle. "No, not quite. It's Tuesday evening. Tomorrow we take your bandages off, lover dragon. We'll have a lovely time in the shower, washing away all that goo the doctor put on your eyes, and then you'll be able to see again. Tonight, you'll probably need just a mild analgesic instead of those little pills that make you sleep."
A draconic purr rumbled. "Good. I'm tired of sleeping all the time. I smell rain, though." The gigantic head sank slowly down to rest on his forepaws. "Guess we'll have to wait on your flying lessons again. Can't wait to go home and get a proper riding saddle for my aching back, anyway. You've got a bony ass."
Jack chuckled and hid his lurch of fear. He patted Aneurin's soft nose comfortingly. He didn't want to go to Honalee. Not yet. Ironically, all those years he'd thought himself an orphan, he'd dreamt of his parents. Now he practically quaked in terror at the thought of making the dimensional leap and meeting his mother at last. "Liar. My weight is insignificant, and my bony ass sits between two of your ridge scales. I'm the one with his balls divided by a hard plate of dragon hide, and I'm the one who about froze to death in that cold mountain air."
The trip to the Rockies and a secluded mountain cabin while they waited for Aneurin's turn on the operating table had not gone well. Without anything to protect his privates from hard dragon spinal ridges, the first leap in the air had been painful and the situation hadn't improved. He also hadn't been able to change form. His magic was still very shaky and weak. The results had been messy. He'd managed to get as far as a very misshapen semi-humanoid form with scales and wings, and it had taken them hours to get the wings off his back and make him appear human again.
Snuggling again into his pillows, Aneurin mumbled something about "low ambient magic levels" and began to snore. Jack stepped gingerly over the pile of blankets that made up Aneurin's improvised bed and went back to his dining room table where his laptop hummed patiently. The spreadsheet detailing the sales of all his investment properties seemed like his execution orders. All his wealth now resided in safe bonds, T-notes, and CDs, locked in several banks under the watchful supervision of lawyers and accountants who eyed each other with suspicion. The sales were complete. Only this penthouse remained as his one property. Everything was in order for him to leave for Honalee.
He slugged down the cold remains of his coffee and strode toward the kitchen to brew a fresh pot. He was going to miss coffee in Honalee, but without one bit of electricity, there would be no way he could take his beloved professional coffeemaker with all the gadgets a coffee snob could want.
Lucynda's latest letter, written in her perfect calligraphy, lay like a recrimination beside the stove. He'd memorized the words her dragon, Draig, had read to him. He estimated the note was written at about the level of third grade in the language of Honalee, but his mother's dragon had been very pleased. He'd almost forgiven Draig for her deception at pretending to be his therapist.
Guilt twisted knife-sharp in his guts at the memory of her loving attempt to understand why he hadn't just hopped on Aneurin's back and come to her immediately once he'd known of her existence. "I don't understand half of what Draig tells me, son, but if you need to do these things before you can come for a visit, I must agree. What are a few more months after nearly thirty years? I will wait. With much love, Lucynda."
Jack rubbed his aching forehead and put the letter back down. How could this woman he didn't remember love him so? After being an orphan all his life, having a mother seemed impossible. He wanted to know her. He did. Yet he was so terrified of the prospect.
EXCERPT: Dragon's Stone Lena Austin Reviewed by Sassy Brit on 6:10 am Rating: