Denying the Dragon (Dragon Ruins Book 5)

By: Rinelle Grey

Chapter 1





“Karla and Lisa should have the beds,” Bruce offered. “I’m happy to sleep on the floor.”

Karla didn’t really care where she slept. She was just relieved Ultrima had stopped chasing them and they were back at her father’s house, and she could sleep. For a week. The fact that there weren’t enough beds for everyone seemed like such a minor problem after all they’d been through.

It was only that morning that she’d arrived home to discover Bruce here, and since then, she’d rescued him from a dragon, healed Taurian, watched him fight another dragon, and found out Taurian’s clan was gone.

Surely finding room for them all to sleep could be accomplished quickly and without fuss.

“As shall I,” Taurian said quickly. “Dragons don’t sleep on beds anyway. A blanket is perfectly adequate.”

Karla tried not to look at Taurian. Maybe this wasn’t so simple. She didn’t want to even think about where he would be sleeping. Or whether he’d be naked or not. As exhausted as she was, her body heated as soon as that thought surfaced. She tried to suppress the desire, and failed miserably.

After his revelation earlier that day that if they slept together a third time, they’d be permanently mated, she knew she needed to keep her distance. Mating with him was a far bigger commitment than she was prepared to give right now. She’d known him for less than a week for goodness sake.

The attraction between them didn’t seem to be related to that at all. And it refused to be silenced. She couldn’t guarantee she could say no in the heat of the moment. Better that they slept as far away from each other as possible.

Lisa looked at both men, a half grin on her face. “Well, I’m not going to argue, I’m more than happy to sleep in a bed.”

Since there were only two beds, hers and her father’s, that would leave all three men on the floor. Then again, her father’s bed was a double. It occurred to Karla there was an advantage in not sleeping alone in the bedroom. Far less likely that Taurian would decide to visit her. “If you want to sleep in my room, Dad, Lisa and I can share your bed,” she suggested. “Then Taurian or Bruce can have the lounge.”

She should have known that would only complicate things further. Oh, her father was happy enough to sleep in her bed, it was the two younger men who were the problem.

“Bruce can have the couch,” Taurian said immediately. “As I already said, dragons are used to sleeping on the floor.”

Bruce folded his arms, a gesture that for him, was almost antagonistic. “I’ve slept on the floor more than once as well,” he said quickly. “I think, as a prince, Taurian should be the one sleeping on the sofa.”

Taurian looked down his nose at Bruce. “Being a prince doesn’t mean I’m soft, if that’s what you’re implying.”

“Stop. Both of you,” Karla demanded. She looked at them both. Apparently she was going to have to make a decision herself if she wanted to sleep any time soon. “Since Taurian’s the reason we’re all here, he can sleep on the floor and Bruce can have the couch.”

Taurian looked like he wasn’t sure whether he was pleased or annoyed at her reasoning. Eventually, he inclined his head with at least a show of graciousness.

Bruce hid a grin. He, at least, seemed happy with the decision. Karla suspected he hadn’t been looking forward to sleeping on the floor, no matter what he said.

To Karla’s relief, once that was sorted, everyone began to get ready for bed. She brought her suitcase out of her room and offered a change of clothes to Lisa who accepted them gratefully.

As the two of them changed in her father’s room, Lisa said,” I kind of expected you’d be sleeping with Taurian. Or was it too awkward with Bruce around?”

Karla paused with her foot half way into her pyjama shorts and stared at her. Lisa’s face was openly curious and Karla couldn’t detect any sign of malice. It was on the tip of her tongue to deny any feelings for Taurian, but then she paused. She finished dressing while she considered the situation. Lisa’s admiration for the dragon prince was obvious. And no matter how much distance Karla knew she should keep, she didn’t think she could handle watching Lisa flirt with him.

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