Jarek(Dragons of Preor Book 1)(9)

By: Celia Kyle & Erin Tate



He clutched her close, his grip firm yet gentle. Wary of the Ujal weapons and unaware of their orders, he curled his wings, blocking her from their view. No one would harm Melissa just as no one would take her from him. Melissa was the first evidence of a mating between a Preor and human. A vision of hope; salvation to Jarek. He would not have to take the final flight into the stars. Not as long as he had Melissa.

“Prince Tave fa’Vyl-Zeret, by Earth treaty I lay claim to Melissa Walker as Kouva to Jarek sen Claron, now Jarek joi Melissa, War Master to the Preor Third Fleet.”





4





“Prince Tave fa’Vyl-Zeret, by Earth treaty I lay claim to Melissa Walker as Kouva to Jarek sen Claron, now Jarek joi Melissa, War Master to the Preor Third Fleet.”

Each syllable pulsed inside Melissa, a resounding boom plucked her nerves and sent them reverberating against each other. They throbbed in time with her heart and spread, tendrils of warmth creeping into every part of her. Heat. So much heat. They called it the dragon’s fire, the way a Preor female reacted when she met her mate. Her blood—body—prepared itself for her mate’s claiming. They would be tied for all eternity—a Preor’s life never ending until…

Hold up. Wait a minute.

Melissa twitched in Jarek’s hold, fighting the mating heat attempting to shove her into his bed. Well, his pants anyway, the bed was optional.

The thud of his boots echoed off the metallic flooring, the sounds bouncing off the solid walls of the passageway. A chorus of similar pounding followed and she figured his warriors followed in their wake. She could understand the need for continued protection, especially considering the tense situation with the Ujal.

Which meant they’d have an audience while she put the brakes on the whole mess.

“Wait a minute.” She wiggled again. “Let’s hit pause for a second. Brakes. We need brakes. Can we get brakes? Pump ’em a little so they don’t lock up on us?”

“We will be in our quarters in a moment.”

“Look, there is no ‘our’ in this situation.” She wasn’t gonna panic. Panic? That feeling she was feeling—and wasn’t that so descriptive—had her heart fluttering in an uneven beat. Jarek grunted. Grunting was not an answer. It was… a grunt. She twitched again, wincing when her injury pulled and a bolt of pain shot through her. The scar was tender since Reesa spent time pounding on it and moving made it worse. “I mean it. Slow down.”

“No.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes.”

The guy was way too literal. “I mean it. We need to stop. You can’t just take me from my people—”

“They were never your people. The Preor are your people now.” His response was immediate and she sucked in a rough breath.

The Preor… The Ujal were never… She’d only been with the Ujal royal family for a year, but they’d become everything to her. After what her brother had done, the way everyone else abandoned her, the Ujal had become her world. She’d dedicated herself to caring for Theresa and forming a bond with her ex-sister-in-law’s new family—Nessa, Erun, and Tabitha.

Now Jarek denied them in a handful of words.

“Put me down.” The constant throbbing of sensual heat tinged with pain turned into stabs of freezing sensation. “Now.”

“We are almost to my—”

Melissa fought the Knowing—against the need to find the nearest flat surface and the way his thoughts matched hers. She jerked in his hold, hissing with the lightning bolt of pain. She tore her arms free and kicked her legs, forcing him to drop her to the deck. She landed with a grunt, bones jarring and another spear of agony zinged up her spine. She pushed past the ache and tried to focus on her task. She needed to breathe for a moment, inhale air that didn’t come straight from Jarek’s body.

“Are you damaged?” His roar coupled with the fury in his yellowed eyes told her the question was more about whether she was an idiot and wasn’t really related to whether she’d hurt herself.

“I’m fine,” she snapped. When he reached for her, she recoiled and scrambled backward until she rested out of reach. Her skin screamed at the loss of his touch, but she ignored the ache that assaulted her. The Knowing slipped through her mind in a floating loop, giving her knowledge she wasn’t ready for. She didn’t want to accept the constant flow slipping from Jarek to her. She knew it was a second-hand feed due to the nature of a Preor-human mating. At least, that’s what she assumed since she didn’t actually have Preor blood. Before this moment, it’d all been supposition.

Also By Celia Kyle & Erin Tate

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