Daughter Of The Dragon Princess(3)

By: Nina Croft

Her eyes were glued to the little black hole at the end of the pistol, while her mind screamed at her not to move, as if the thin sheet covering her would somehow keep her safe, deflect the bullets.

Her muscles locked and heat built inside her as if she would self-combust right here in the bed.

His eyes widened. “What the fuck?”

She followed his gaze. Shit. The curtains were on fire. Tongues of orange flame licked up the dark blue velvet. “What have you done?” she asked.

“Me? Nothing. I didn’t do this.” His tone held disbelief, but then his stunned expression turned to something approaching awe. Their eyes clashed as the scent of smoke filled her nostrils. The flames were taking hold, and a wild, unexpected excitement gripped her.

Was she insane?

It looked that way.

“Well, do something now,” she said through gritted teeth.

He leapt across the room, ripped the curtains down, rolling them in a bundle to extinguish the flames. When he turned back to her, his expression was no longer impassive. In other circumstances, Lily might have been amused at the alarm flaring in his face.

“You need to calm down,” he growled.

“Calm down?” Her voice held an edge of hysteria. “No freaking way. You broke into my apartment. You’re pointing a fucking great big gun at me, you set my room on fire, and you want me to calm down? Are you out of your fucking head?”

The pile of smouldering curtains burst into fire at his feet.

“Shit!” He stamped on the flames, then regarded her through narrowed eyes. She glared back.

“Okay, okay,” he said. “Look—I’m putting the gun down.” He lifted the pistol to show her, and then laid it gently on the table top. “There, no gun.”

Some of the tension drained out of her limbs, and she took a slow, deep breath. He was right; she should calm down and concentrate. While he had put down his weapon, he was still far bigger and stronger than she was. But growing up in the foster care system hadn’t taught her to be meek, nor had it taught her to fight fair.

She just had to find an advantage.

“I didn’t come here to hurt you,” he said.

Her gaze flashed to the gun then back to him. “Oh, yeah?”

He remained silent for a moment, no doubt considering his next move. Then he slanted her a smile, a slow lift of those sensual lips, and his eyes glowed with warmth. As though he’d turned on a switch, heat flared to life low down in her belly.

This was so not happening. “Cut the nice guy act—it’s not going to wash—just tell me what you want.”

He pursed his lips, and then nodded. “Show me the mark of the dragon, Lily.”

She jerked back as though he’d hit her, and her hand flew to her mouth.

How could he know?

Maybe he’d seen it while he was shagging her in her dreams.

Yeah, right.

Very few people knew about the mark. She’d learned to hide it away. But it had always been there, forever branding her as different, in ways she could never understand. Now, here was a stranger who knew of its existence.

She swallowed, lowered her hand. “Who are you?”

“Show me the mark, and I’ll tell you.”

Slowly, she stripped back the sheet and rose to her feet, tugging the thin silk nightshirt down over her trembling legs. The cool air brushed against her, tightening her nipples, and she shivered at the sensation.

“Come here,” he murmured.

She forced one foot in front of the other until she stood only inches away. Breathing in, she caught his scent, wood smoke and spice, like some long-forgotten memory. Or a goddamn dream. Her nostrils flared and heat coiled in her belly, a slow pulse throbbing between her thighs.

What the fuck?

His half-closed eyes glittered with excitement as his gaze ran like fire over the soft swell of her breasts then lingered on her right arm as though he could see beneath the flimsy material.

“Show me.”


Malachite Smith hadn’t expected to find anything to admire about the woman before him. In fact, he’d expected to despise her.

But she was beautiful.

As she stood before him, dressed in nothing but a silk slip, his body tightened, his dick hardening in his pants. He shifted uncomfortably and had to remind himself of who and what she was.

He searched her face for some trace of her father, but there was nothing. Nor of her mother. Cara had been small, with long black hair and a sweet face.

“Sweet” was not a word that came to mind when he looked at Lily Palmer. Not much short of six feet tall, slender and striking, with hair halfway down her back like a living flame and eyes the deep green of the emeralds his people loved so much.

She was also skittish.

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