The Dragon's Arranged Mate(67)

By: Serena Rose

I looked fondly down at my son. He was trying very hard to be grown up and to live up to his mother’s pleas that he behave himself. I could tell that he was nearly vibrating with the need to run and jump and yell; he had all the energy of a healthy little boy, and then some. I remembered how tedious such ceremonies had seemed to me when I was his age; truth be told, I’d rather be running and playing and flying at the moment, myself.

Little Vanessa was a credit to us, as she smiled sweetly and showed off the pretty gown of which she was so proud. She would only be making the briefest of appearances today, whereas it was expected of Kellen to be present a while longer not only as the older child but as the heir to the throne.

The heir. And another dragon. I often wished, more than I even had in the past, that my father could be here to share his wisdom with me as I tried to be as good and fair with Kellen as he’d been when I was a boy. He had taught me to temper my youthful desires, to exercise caution in choosing who I allowed into my inner circle of trusted companions and advisors. He had laughed at me, and tried to teach me to laugh at myself. That was still a task to which I was ill-suited…but I had gotten better at it over the years.

Anabelle and I often sat up late into the night, talking over our plans for Kellen’s rearing. We had our hands full, and I sometimes apologized to my mother for the grief and strain I now knew I must have put her through. She would always smile, and say that she had hoped I wouldn’t be cursed with such a willful son as I had been…if only for the sake of my sweet wife. I, on the other hand, deserved a dose of my own medicine.

Still, he was very young. There were many years to pass before we knew what sort of man he would be. In the meantime, I would do my level best to provide him with the guidance that had been so lovingly given to me.

Morgan and Cliona stood together and recited their vows, and I couldn’t help letting my eyes wander over to those of my mate. Anabelle’s own eyes were bright with tears, and she turned to me as if she felt the weight of my gaze upon her. Just as she had on the day we were wed, she whispered, “Thabharfainn fuil mo chroí duit”. I’d give you the blood of my heart.

And I believed her. She’d given me much more over the years – more joy, and pleasure, and comfort, and greater challenge than any woman I could imagine. We still had moments in which both our tempers threatened to explode. Still I found myself taking to the sky in an effort to vent my irritation. It amazed me, still, that such a slight little thing could carry such a fearsome temper.

I covered her hand with my own and watched my brother and his mate complete their union      . Soon, gods willing, they would start a family of their own and add to the line of dragons that would rule the sky over Ireland long after our demise.

And I prayed, then, that should Arthur make his return, our clan of dragons and the men who fought for us would be strong enough to face him yet again. But somehow, with Anabelle’s hand in my own, I felt no fear.


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