Dressing the Dragon (Dragon Ruins Book 2)

By: Rinelle Grey

Chapter 1

Karla walked downstairs, trying to ignore the irritating itch that had crawled over her skin ever since she had woken up to find her room empty and all sign of Taurian’s occupation removed.

She should have felt relieved that he had woken before her, giving her a few moments to collect her thoughts. His constant presence and those smouldering eyes following her everywhere were disconcerting. Despite him keeping his promise to stay on his side of the bed, she felt it every time he moved, and if his skin happened to touch hers as he rolled over, fire had shot through her. Needless to say, she’d barely slept. She knew he didn’t want anything more from her than to complete the Mesmer ritual that would heal him fully, but telling herself that didn’t stop her from being flattered by his obsession.

She had a plan for getting her life back on track. And the keys to that plan were back in England where her job and home was. She and Bruce had been together for three years, and living together for most of that time. They’d committed to each other long ago. A wedding was really just a formality. A formality she had no need to be scared of.

And that was the only reason she hadn’t been able to say yes when he’d asked her to marry him. She’d gotten cold feet, that was all. But as soon as she could talk to him, they’d sort that out.

He still hadn’t called her back. He should be home from work by now. Surely he’d received her message? She’d give him another call after breakfast. She’d feel a lot better once she could talk to him in person and be sure he still wanted to get married.

“Morning, K,” her dad said cheerfully over the sound of sizzling bacon. “Ready for some breakfast?”

“Sure.” Karla looked around the room. “Where’s Taurian?”

“He’s outside. Said something about checking the perimeter.” Her dad crossed to the table and heaped some bacon and eggs onto the plate in front of her. “He’s a strange lad, that one.”

That was the understatement of the year. Karla gave a nervous laugh. “You’re telling me.”

Her dad put the frying pan in the sink and ran some water on it, causing a cloud of steam to fill the kitchen. Then he came and sat down opposite her.

Karla scooped up some egg and put it in her mouth, then realised her dad wasn’t eating, he was just watching her.

She chewed and swallowed, then asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Is there something you want to tell me?”

Lots of things, but nothing she could really voice. “No, why?”

“I was up early this morning, and I noticed that your guest didn't sleep on the couch.”

“Oh.” How was she ever going to explain this to her dad? If she tried, it would sound like she was being fooled by the craziest of stories into sleeping with a man she barely knew. Well, a dragon actually, which strangely enough made it seem less crazy. And she had no intention of actually having sex with him, just sleeping in the same bed.

Yeah, that didn’t sound bad at all, she thought sarcastically. How could she convince her dad that it wasn't like that when she couldn't even completely convince herself? He’d think she was crazy.

“Look, it's none of my business. You’re a big girl and I’ll support you whatever you choose to do. If you like this bloke, then I’m happy for you, but you might want to make sure that chap back in England doesn't get hurt.”

Karla felt a flash of guilt at the thought of Bruce getting hurt. But that wasn’t going to happen. She’d made the decision that she was going back to him.

But it was nice to know she could count on her dad to support her, no matter what. He always had. Why had she thought this time would be any different? Her heart warmed. “It's not like that at all. I'm just helping Taurian, and… never mind, you wouldn't believe it. But it's completely platonic, I promise. And as soon as this is over, I'm heading back to England and to Bruce. He asked me to marry him, Dad.”

She’d expected to feel good saying it, but to her surprise, she had to force the words out. Uncertainty sunk in her stomach. For some reason, she felt like she was lying, like she was making up a story to appease her father’s concerns. Was she making a mistake?

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