Jarek(Dragons of Preor Book 1)(7)By: Celia Kyle & Erin Tate
Only to have a Preor step between them, dark eyes boring into hers.
The rest… the rest happened in a blur.
She must have done something, moved in some way that allowed her to…
No matter how she managed to do whatever it was she did, it ended with a sobbing Theresa in her arms while Melissa stared down at a wide-eyed fallen Preor warrior, a low hiss on her lips. The voice that filled the air sent a tendril of need down her spine. “And that is why you never step between a dam and her dragonlet.”
Jarek vibrated with need, his warrior’s training deserting him and his Master’s control fleeing in the face of his mate.
The Knowing still bombarded him, his race’s history flowing in a continuous river of knowledge while his body battled riotous emotions. His staff stiffened the moment he laid eyes on her, his wings fluttering and moving of their own volition as the truth washed through him. From there, came the Knowing. Then the overwhelming drive to be at her side, protecting and caring for her.
But at her first shout, the Ujal surrounded her. At the cry of the youngling and the interference of the warrior, she’d become feral. No, she’d become a Preor dam intent on protecting her dragonlet and those were the exact words he’d put to voice.
Chaos still surrounded them, Ujal facing off against Preor while his mate and the Ujal youngling cowered in the middle. Shouts battled with snarls, his warriors adopting defensive positions, which allowed them to protect Jarek as well as the defensive female. No one seemed sure of what’d occurred, but a frightened female and dragonlet were enough to put their kind on the killing edge.
Above all, females must be protected.
“Jarek, what is the meaning of this? Have your men stand down.” The prince’s voice was tinged with barely suppressed violence and Jarek understood Tave’s response. If his eyes did not deceive him, it was the male’s youngling Jarek’s mate clutched. Tave had endured enough stress about Theresa’s safety to last a lifetime, but Jarek could only do so much so quickly.
The warrior she’d downed slowly regained his feet, the deep furrows cutting across his cheek bleeding freely, and the liquid coated both his flesh and uniform. “Radoo, report to medical for treatment.”
“War Master…” The male objected and Jarek recognized his reluctance. Any hint of censure or punishment could result in a warrior’s delay in traveling to the surface. It was a rule he’d put into place himself, a motivation to keep his warriors in line.
“Nothing will be recorded. You did not violate directive. But a youngling should never witness the results of violence. Report to medical.” He fought to keep his tone even while the fire of need still burned his blood. Other feelings assaulted him, the topmost being the determination to get unattached males away from his mate.
“Yes, War Master,” Radoo saluted and darted behind the wall of Preors faced off against the Ujal warriors.
He was left with the remaining males still at attention and prepared for battle as well as the Ujal royalty who would gladly separate his head from his body.
“Prince Tave, if you will order your males to stand down, I will do the same. There is an explanation, but it will require cool heads.” He attempted to keep his voice even while the urge to kill every male in the room raged inside him. Each unattached Ujal and Preor was a threat against his mating to the human.
“I put my faith in you and your crew at the urging of Zurer joi Sobol, but this is an act of war against my people. I want my daughter in my arms and her nanny at my side. Now.” The prince growled low and Jarek’s men tensed further, prepared to move at his order.
Jarek fought for calm and battled back his instinctual need to go to his mate. He sensed her unease and the fury surrounding her heart. Her protective instincts battered at the air surrounding her and the scent of those emotions in turn pummeled him. He knew they also fueled his men’s continued readiness. A fearful and furious female brought out a Preor’s need to protect and defend.
Knowing a kernel of trust had to be planted, he turned to his warriors. “Stand down.” When they did not immediately comply, he hissed which drew the attention of his mate. “Now.”