Jarek(Dragons of Preor Book 1)(2)

By: Celia Kyle & Erin Tate

The word that most troubled Jarek was voluntary. The human females had to agree to the possibility of mating a Preor. It meant his people could not simply fly the clouds until their mate called them from the skies. They had to wait to be approached and then presented to the willing female.

He took a moment to stare down at the large planet filling the view screen, thankful for the privacy his office near the ship’s control bridge provided. He was close at hand yet afforded a small measure of solitude while he lost himself in his thoughts.

He kept the space free of decoration, allowing only what was necessary for his duties. Evuklar’s mate informed him the office was ugly and lacked comforts. She did not understand there was no comfort in warring. He would not allow himself to become spoiled by female frippery.

The drifting clouds that hovered over the planet’s surface drew his eye once more and returned his thoughts to what was to come. The Knowledge Masters reported the planet was seventy percent water and thirty percent land. So little land for so many beings, but they somehow managed. Flourished, really.

Humans had an equal number of males and females. If only Preor was so gifted. But they were not… at this time. Who knew what the future would hold if more matches were established. The planet held hope for his people. Hope Preor’s ratio of males and females would reduce from one female for every thousand males. Hope…

“Very well. Put us in orbit above the United States—specifically Ujal Station Tau near Fl-O-Ree-Duh. Prepare and open the landing deck to receive the Ujal delegation. Have them escorted to the main conference hall.” The Ujal—a sea species—were advocates for the Preor after Zurer and Preor technology helped locate the royal family’s kidnapped dragonlet. No, Ujal dragonlets are called younglings. It was yet another fact he had to remember.

The young soldier gave a small bow in acknowledgment, but didn’t say another word before retreating, leaving him alone to review the data stream flashing across his screens. It was privacy Jarek appreciated. He needed to review the plans to—

“Jarek? Are you prepared to celebrate?” Evuklar’s joyous voice told him there would be no reviewing of plans. His closest friend strode around the corner and came deeper into the office with his mate on his heels. The male stopped just before Jarek’s desk and waited for his mate to approach. His friend lifted his arm and pulled back a wing so his smaller mate could slide into his embrace at Evuklar’s side.

Jarek pretended not to notice the way their bodies easily molded together. He also pretended not to see the way the warrior smiled at her touch.

“Evuklar, Nalan,” he tilted his head in welcome. “What brings you?”

Evuklar smiled wider. “Can’t a male seek out his closest friend?”

Jarek raised a single brow. “No.”

He grasped his chest and gasped. “I am mortally wounded.”

Nalan elbowed her mate. “You are mortally difficult. “ She turned back to Jarek. “Ignore him, War Master.”

Jarek kept his grin in place even as he internally winced. He should be proud of his title. He’d earned it through blood, sweat, and scales. But when he was with his friends—the closest he had to true family—he wished he was seen as… other.

“In truth now. What—” A low tone emitted from his desk, announcing they’d reached their destined position. It also signaled a need for his presence in the ship’s conference room. He mentally sighed and prepared himself for the coming hours. An unfamiliar bout of nerves struck him nearly forcing his wings to tremble, but he suppressed the need.

Was he nervous about what was to come? No, he didn’t believe so. Then why… Another tone. A quiet reminder. Jarek stepped toward the door, already making his excuses. “Unfortunately we will have to delay this—”

“War Master?” Nalan stepped into his path, her hand reaching for him and stopping just short of contacting his skin. No one touched a War Master. No one wanted to draw his attention at the wrong moment and lose their lives to his fury.

Those were nothing but old tales still persisting after all these years. He could not recall a War Master losing himself so far as to harm an innocent. But I have not experienced the Knowing, have I? Perhaps there is something in the history…

Also By Celia Kyle & Erin Tate

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