The dragon turned its head and seemed to look straight at Keira. Pulling her arm out of her sister’s, she drew herself upright and stared straight back, meeting the golden eye of the dragon before it turned its enormous body in a slow, fluid motion and lazily flew towards the mountains.
A dragon has moved into the neighborhood of Keira's small, medieval village, unsettling the residents as they fear for their safety. All except Keira, who is fascinated by the creature, both dangerous and beautiful. But when Aaron Drake decides to take up residence in his ancestral home of Storbrook Castle, set deep in the nearby mountains, Keira finds herself unsettled by the handsome stranger. Why did he decide to move to Storbrook, almost eighty years after it was last inhabited, and does the dragon really live in the caves below the castle?
As she watched the mighty beast before her, the dragon bent its neck into a graceful arch downward, bringing its face closer to Keira’s eye level, its golden cat-like eyes watching her intently. Keira quelled the desire to step back, instead keeping her feet firmly planted as she continued to gaze at the dragon.
“Why did you take me?” she finally asked, shuddering at the thought of what might have been. She lifted her hand to her cheek, feeling the sting of scratches scored down her face. A flash of sharp teeth made her draw in her breath as the dragon replied with a growl.
“I’m sorry Keira,” it said. “I should have been there sooner. When I think of what that boy was about to do …” The dragon stopped and pulled in a breath. “I shouldn’t have left him alive!”
Keira trembled at the thought. “But why?” she said. “What does it matter to you?”
The dragon stared at her for a long moment, until finally it breathed out a sigh, sending sparks flaring from its nostrils. “Come closer, Keira,” it said.
Keira hesitated, wondering what the dragon intended to do with her.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” the dragon said.
She looked at the mighty beast before her and suppressed a shudder. Its claws rested on the ground, razor-sharp and menacing. She could see its pointed teeth and knew that it could rip her to shreds in an instant, or burn her to a crisp with one hot breath. One swipe of its massive tail could send her flying through the air, or leave her broken on the ground. Keira knew that the dragon could wield mighty power with barely any effort, striking fear into the hearts of many brave men. But as she looked at the dragon, gazing into eyes that blazed like the fire it breathed, she felt her fears slowly melt away.
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Linda K. Hopkins lives in Calgary, Canada, with her husband and two great kids. When she's not writing, she's usually reading (a great pastime when you are trapped in a snowbound landscape eight months of the year!), tinkering on the piano or just living life!