Sequel to Temptation, A Dragon Story
Justin never forgot Ariel, the bewitching beauty who ensnared him and caused him to become her father's prisoner. Ariel's father tortured Justin as he tried to extract the powerful black dragon's magick, but Justin managed to escape. Now the black dragon has returned, demanding that Ariel spend three nights in his bed. But in claiming his revenge, will Justin surrender his heart?
copyright 2018 Bonnie Vanak
Spring of 2017
She adored dragons. They reminded her of tumbleweeds, rolling on forever, free to roam wherever the wind took them. Even when dragons were spitting mad and only a few feet away, they still fascinated her.
Powerless, immobilized by iron chains her father had found on the internet, the black dragon roared and clawed at the air, his front feet tipped with razor sharp claws.
A lump clogged Ariel Harrington’s throat. Poor, caged creature. She dared to draw closer to the iron cage holding the dragon prisoner. On her bottom, she scooted over the cold concrete floor and wrapped her fingers around the cage’s bars.
Even enraged, the black dragon was beautiful. Light shimmered off his ebony scales, making them glitter like onyx. Amber eyes with slit pupils gleamed as he bellowed. Two black horns grew from the top of his head, each tipped with sharp points. Pearly rows of knife-like teeth flashed as he bared his lips at her.
And the wings, ah, the wings! Folded back, they were not impressive, but when he unfurled them like a cape, they filled the width of the cell.
Flickering torches barely cut through the gloom in the deep, dungeon-like basement. Black smoke curled upward, and then caught in the air drafts blown in through vents in the ceiling. The air was redolent with acrid smoke, charcoal and fear.
Not the dragon’s fear. Her fear for this magnificent creature.
Her father had constructed, at great cost, this room for the day he captured such a beast.
Two months ago, he’d succeeded with her help. Justin the black dragon had pulled over to aid her with a flat tire.
And then her father’s assistant had thrown the iron upon him, rendering him helpless.
Sinking to her knees, she stared at the great beast, a symbol of enormous magick. Magick her father envied and hated. Every chance she had, she snuck down here to talk to the mighty black dragon.
Ariel wrapped her fingers around the iron bars. “I’m sorry for what is happening to you, Justin.”
Dark eyes gazed back at her in the gloom. Then the beast blinked, its black pupils turning round as her own. He blinked again, and the pupils elongated again.
What had her father done to him?
Eyes filled with misery and hatred, he stared at her. Justin the dragon was a little older than her, but at 25, she had few experiences in life. This dragon had seen and explored the world.
Justin lunged forward, nearly reaching the iron bars. Chains rattled and the beast roared again as the bonds restrained him. Overriding the scent of smoke and misery was a strong woodsy scent.
It must be Justin’s own scent.
Her powers as Mage grew stronger each day, especially her sense of smell.
She dared not inform her father, for who knows what he would do? The man coveted every flicker of energy – power he leeched each day from the dragon.
Nostrils flared as the dragon sniffed at her, and then his gaze centered on the glowing amber crystal hanging from a silver chain around her neck.
Ariel touched the crystal. Rare and filled with energy, it enabled a Mage or a witch to siphon a dragon’s powers…
And then protect the wearer from the dragon. It was her most precious possession. Her father had found it in a mysterious cave he said was filled with dragons.
Leo had taken only that one crystal from the cave and gave it to her as protection from the black dragon. He’d been using other crystals, however, infusing them with dragon magick, Leo Harrington had become capable of healing the gravest of wounds.
Or inflicting them.
The balance teetered on a razor’s edge.
Ariel held out a hand to the black dragon. “I wish I had never agreed to this evil. I swear, I thought Father was sincere when he insisted he only wished to capture you for observation, not to torture you and drain your magick.”
Even as she blinked, the dragon shifted into a man. Hair dark as ink spilled to broad shoulders. With sculpted cheeks and face carved from a master artisan’s chisel, he was quite handsome.