“I did, too,” Éibhear continued to complain. “But apparently my father had other ideas.”“It was either that,” Addolgar shot back at the boy, “or let Bercelak cut off your head like he planned!”Éibhear, human and dressed in chain mail and the surcoat of some long-dead army, put his hands on his hips. “Why? Because I didn’t agree with the old bastard?”“You’re a soldier!” Addolgar yelled. “You don’t agree. You don’t disagree. You follow orders!”The boy raised his hands in th
Unsure what to do, Braith did what she always did. She sort of folded in on herself. It was how she’d always handled her father when . . . well, whenever he was around. Pretending nothing bothered her was something Braith had always been good at, and she put those years of practice to excellent use now. But as she looked around the table of amiably chatting dragons, she noticed that Addolgar’s mother was staring at her.When she saw that Braith was looking her way, the She-dragon raised her brows. Braith frowned, confused. Shalin raised her brows again and then gestured to Addolgar with a tilt of her head. Still unclear what she was trying to tell her, Braith gave a small shake of her head.That’s when Shalin the Innocent, Tamer of Ailean the Slag, slammed her hands down on the table and b
“Well,” Crystin said, “we’ll be staying here at least the night so I hope you’ll have time for dinner and a little chat about old . . .”Crystin’s words faded away as three male dragons in human form walked out of the Main Hall doors. Addolgar didn’t recognize them, but Caron ran up the stairs and threw herself into one of the dragons’ arms.“Daddy!”Crystin crossed her arms over her chest and gawked up the stairs at her mate. “What the hells are you lot doing here?”“Oh,” Shalin said, smiling, “when I heard from Addolgar that all of you were safe and coming back to the Southlands together, I sent out messengers to retrieve your mates since I knew they were part of the troops camped not too far from here. Isn’t that fortuitous?”“Aye,” Crystin muttered. “So very fortuitous.”The three males glowered down the sta
“You don’t think we’re coming with you?” Crystin snapped, suddenly appearing quite annoyed. “Do you really think we’d let you meet that Red bitch on your own?”“Auntie Crystin—”“Shut up. You ramble like your mother sometimes.”Braith looked up at him. “I ramble?”“Not compared to my people,” Addolgar admitted.Crystin faced her sisters. “We need to get these three idiots back to Devenallt Mountain without breaking our backs in the process. Any suggestions?”“Aye,” Owena said. “I’ve got one.” She held out her claw to Addolgar. “Give us your ax, yeah?”Addolgar took a step back. “Owena . . . no.”“Just give us your ax. We’ll take care of the rest.”Disgusted, but not seeing much option, he looked at Braith. “And are you all right with that?&
“I was so worried,” she told him, “when Heledd told us we hadn’t gotten all of them. I realized they must have come in through another way.”“Lightnings like the sneak attack. Too bad for them, I love killing Lightnings, so it all worked in my favor.”“Good job, Mountain,” Crystin praised. “Your father would be proud of you, too, I think.”“And I thought you knew my father.”Braith leaned her head back and looked up at Addolgar. “Wait, why do I need your hammer?”“It’s your hammer now. At least until we have one made for you. And you’ll need it for when we go after your bastard father.”Braith broke out in another smile that warmed Addolgar’s heart. She was whole now, wasn’t she? Truly whole.Crystin stepped up to them, placed her claw on Braith’s shoulder. “We’ll clean up this gods-damn mess,
“Oh, no you don’t,” a male said. He didn’t seem to care what she’d done to his comrade.Braith tried to grab something she could hold on to, but her talons tore through nothing but dirt and stone.She was yanked back to the Lightning and, desperate, she kicked out, hitting him in the chest. With an “oof!” he flew back several feet, and Braith tried again to get to her claws.“Get that one!” someone yelled, and Braith knew they were talking about her.Addolgar slid down the wall and landed on his ass. He could already hear his father telling him this was his fault because he wasn’t paying attention! And knowing the old bastard was right, yet again, did nothing but piss Addolgar off.
Addolgar studied the weapon in his big hand, looked over at Braith, and threw it at her.She caught it, easily. Swung it once, twice, then lifted it with both hands. It felt right in her hands.Comfortable. The way, she assumed, a weapon was supposed to feel.Braith grinned at Addolgar. A grin he returned.Owena nodded. “He’s right. She’s a hammer dragon.”Disgusted, Delyth glowered at both Braith and Addolgar. “You know,” she finally said, “you two certainly are perfect together. You&r
But Braith’s reply was a simple, “No.“What do you mean no?”“No,” she said again, her hand still stroking him.“Dammit, Braith, get these chains off me!”“No.”“I’ll tear this bed apart,” he threatened.“And then you’ll have to answer to my aunts. They’re very proud of this bed. Ripped some poor bloke’s castle apart, stone by stone, to get it, too. Do you want to tell them what happened to their bed when they get back?”