Dragon Kisses #3 (Laurel, Niall, Jonathan)
In the months following Jonathan’s transformation, Laurel struggles to come to terms with her feelings for him and the horrific memories of time spent as a dragon’s slave. Jonathan struggles to be patient, but Laurel’s fear is breaking his heart. Niall and Cassie open a popular bakery and revel in the bliss of love and their new lives. Arabella pines for Tobin’s aspects to be reunited, and Nora discovers the secret of creating Zmaj offspring.
Meanwhile all Zmaj braces for the Inamanida attack that Tobin warned them about. When it finally comes, the Zmaj find themselves vastly outnumbered by enemy forces. In the violence that follows, everything changes.
Warnings: MFMM, MMMFF, MMFFM
Word Count: 32,450
Giving her a half smile, I tried to move our conversation forward. “Can I get one of those baguettes?” I pulled a skirt from my bag. Evelyn and I were in business together, sort of. She made beautiful and functional clothing, and I modeled it so that people would want it for themselves. When I was little, my dreams hadn’t included becoming a fashion model, but that’s what I was. Without electricity or anything approaching technology, my Computer Engineering degree wasn’t going to do crap for me.
Cassie eyed the long skirt. I’d tie-dyed it red myself from crushed beetle shells. Those things were truly everywhere, even in a parallel dimension. They probably wandered through wormholes regularly.
“If you ask nicely.”
My head jerked around to the source of the voice before my brain processed the speaker. Turning, I found myself face-to-face with Cosmo. His jet black hair fell to his shoulders, curling slightly on the ends, and his black eyes regarded me intently. He had a strong jaw and sharp nose that worked to make him more imposing, yet it didn’t detract from his attractiveness.
He didn’t smile as he stood with his arms crossed and his weight leaning mostly on his left side. Our eyes met, and I quickly looked away. Yeah, I was a chicken. I wasn’t going to give sparks a chance to jump between us because I knew I couldn’t handle what he offered. I sidled a glance at Niall, but I turned my attention to Cassie and gave her the skirt. “Next time.”
She opened her mouth to say something, but Niall snaked his hand around her upper arm and jerked her to his side, hissing something for her ears only.
While Cosmo stared at me, Finley came into the store. He grinned when he saw me. “Laurel, you’ve been avoiding me.”
It was true. Though I was friends and business partners with his mother—Evelyn considered them all her son—I made sure my visits to her didn’t overlap with Jonathan’s. To my knowledge, Jonathan had been avoiding me as well. I’m sure if he wanted to see me, Evelyn would have made it happen by now. She wasn’t our matriarch for no reason.
I managed a small smile. “How’ve you been?”
His smile slipped a little. “I miss you. I thought we were going to be friends.”
I really didn’t know Cosmo or Finley, but they wouldn’t see it that way. “I told Jonathan we could continue to be friends, but he hasn’t been around.”
“It’s particularly hard for him to see you. If you reject Cosmo or me, you’re rejecting aspects of him, not the whole of me. Him. Us.”
Laughing at his pronoun slipup wasn’t something I could bring myself to do. Even he couldn’t decide if they were separate people or not.
He touched my hair lightly, bringing my attention back to him. “There’s still hope. That’s my point.”
There was no hope. “I don’t even know you.”
Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.
I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.
I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.