Daughter Of The Dragon Princess(4)

By: Nina Croft

It occurred to Mal that the gun might have been an error in judgment. But he had a job to do and he couldn’t allow himself to forget whom he was dealing with. At least until he was sure she wasn’t already working with the Conclave.

This was too important—his people had waited for too long. Only when this woman stood side by side with their king, Vortigen, before the portal at Taryn Carnock, would their waiting be over.

Nothing must prevent that.

Besides, Mal hadn’t known she could start the fires. His gaze flickered to the charred remains of the curtains, then back to Lily. Shit, she shouldn’t have been able to start the fires and his mind still reeled from the implications.

How would Vortigen take the news?

Badly, he hoped.

Her nightdress covered her arms and he could see nothing of the mark. The silk was thin and clung to her breasts. They were exquisite, small, but up-tilted, and his dick twitched again. He ignored the feeling—he couldn’t afford to be distracted.

“Please,” he said, waving a hand toward her right shoulder.

She nodded once. Her fingers shook as she plucked open the first button of her nightdress, then the next. She gripped the material and slowly pulled it down to bare her arm.

A surge of adrenalin shot through his body. He’d known she was the one, but still to see the proof before him…

The mark was beautiful; a black dragon twined erotically around her slender arm. Golden eyes glowed and flames burst from its nostrils. Red tongues of fire licked upward, curving over the smooth skin of her shoulder.

His whole body ached to reach out and touch her. When he could hold back no longer, he took the final step. His nostrils filled with a warm spicy scent, mingled with a hint of fear and maybe arousal. When she didn’t move away, he lifted his hand and stroked her arm, his fingers gliding over skin as soft as anything he had ever felt.

At his touch, she shifted and let out a small gasp of shock, but he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the mark.

She moved quickly. He glanced up but already too late.

His last thought as he fell into darkness was that she was definitely her father’s daughter—treachery was in her blood.


Lily’s whole body quaked, her breath coming in short, sharp gasps.

Get a fucking grip.

Her fingers still clutched the handle of the vase. The heavy stone had shattered against his skull. Was he dead? Swallowing her fear, she peered down.

He lay still, but his chest rose and fell and a pulse fluttered at his throat. Relieved he was alive, her wobbly legs gave way, and she collapsed onto the bed behind her. But she couldn’t stay here forever.


She had no clue how long he would stay out and she needed to be gone. Quickly she pulled on panties, jeans, and a long-sleeved T-shirt. Her gaze locked on the gun on the bedside table and a shiver of revulsion ran through her. She picked it up between two fingers and dropped it into her bag.

But where could she go? This had been no random attack. He had known her name and from his reaction to the mark, it was obvious this man had expected to see it. Hell, he’d wanted to see it.

Who was he?

Crouching down, she studied his features. Blood matted his dark hair, and his eyes were closed. Even so, he was probably the most gorgeous guy she had ever come across. She’d always believed herself immune to the pull of male attraction, but now she couldn’t resist the impulse to reach down and run her finger along the hard planes of his face. His skin was hot to the touch, and a shock ran through her. Snatching back her hand, she stood. She had to go, but she couldn’t risk involving anyone she knew in this mess.

That left the cops.

She hated to involve the police. Having spent much of her youth running wild on the streets of London, she’d developed an issue with authority figures and avoided them whenever possible. Even now. But what was the alternative? She took her cell phone from her bag and dialed the emergency number.

“A man broke into my apartment,” she told the woman who answered. She gave a brief description of him, then her name and address. “I won’t be here,” she said when she was told someone would be there soon. “I can’t stay here. He’s unconscious—I hit him—but I don’t know for how long.” After giving her cell number, she cut the connection.

Time to get the hell out of there.

She took the stairs at a run, down the eleven flights, only pausing at the door to the street. Outside, the light was dim and she stood motionless as her eyes adjusted. She didn’t want to leave the shelter of the doorway.

“Don’t be such a wimp,” she muttered.

Pushing open the door, she slipped through and headed to where her car was parked fifty feet down the street.

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