Vixen (Dragon Eye Book 4)

By: Finley Aaron

Book Four of the Dragon Eye series




Chapter One




“It’s too dangerous. I don’t think you should go.”

I stop in the middle of tugging on my cardigan sweater and stare at my friend Jala. “Don’t think I should go?” I repeat, unsure what she could possibly mean. “Not go, when? Tomorrow? You think I should hold off a day or two?” I shove my arm through my sleeve and wait for her answer.

Jala’s making this lip-chewing, scrunched-nose face that says she knows exactly what she wants to say, but she knows I don’t want to hear it. Or maybe I’m just projecting.

Yes, hopefully that’s it.

Jala takes a deep breath. “I don’t think you should go, ever.”

“But that’s the whole reason I’m here—”

“I know! But it’s too dangerous.”

“We talked this over last summer. You agreed to help me then. What’s changed?”

“Honestly, Zilpha?” Jala shakes her head regretfully. “I thought you would come to your senses and change your mind. I agreed because it was a year away, and I knew if I argued with you, you’d only dig in your heels that much more—”

“Dig in my heels?”

“You are a dragon. The most notoriously stubborn creatures on earth, which only still exist because they were too obstinate to die off with the dinosaurs.” There’s half a good-natured smile on Jala’s face, so I know she’s only teasing me. But the rest of her expression says she’s scared. Scared of my plan, of what might happen to me—scared of admitting she doesn’t want to help me out, after all.

I’ve got my sweater on, the belt tied snugly against the Siberian cold. It may be summer again, but it’s still Siberia. I haven’t been here since last summer, when my sister’s now-husband defeated the mutant water-yagi, and my brother met his now-wife. Amazing how much the world can change in a year.

But Siberia is still cold.

And I haven’t changed my mind about my plan to seduce Ion—although seduce isn’t technically the right word for it. That makes it sound like I know what I’m doing, like I’m some kind of seductress, which is laughable. But what other word is there? Woo? Flirt with?

I plan to do something between flirt with and seduce. I am not a seductress. I am a...vixen. Yeah, a flirty, woo-some, dragon woman. And I am here to somehow convince Ion that he and I need to be together.

I mean, Ion may be my family’s arch-enemy, and there was that one time when he almost killed my father (yes, on purpose) but he’s also the only single male dragon in the world who I’m not already related to.

I have no other option.

Sitting opposite Jala at the small table in the cabin she shares with her grandfather (though he’s back in Azerbaijan for a few weeks right now), I give her my most rational smile and try to speak in a voice that says I’m not a crazy person, and I actually know what I’m talking about. “It’s going to be far more dangerous for me to go in there if you don’t help me.”

“B-but,” Jala stammers. “You can’t do it if I don’t help you.”

“I’m less likely to be successful without your help, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. Come on, if you’re worried about my safety, then come with me so I’m not alone, at least.”

“You don’t even know what you’re doing.”

I bite back the words that’s never stopped me before, and try to think of the thing that’s most likely to convince her to go along with her part of the plan. “My family will be forever grateful to you for the role you played in helping me find a mate.” Not that my family even knows what I’m up to. They think I packed warm clothes because I’m going skiing with college friends.

“Your family will forever despise me if anything bad happens to you.” Jala buries her head in her hands. “Your mother saved my life, you know. When I was only a very little girl, and the yagi swarmed the village square—”

“Nothing bad is going to happen to me.” I cut off Jala’s story because I’ve heard it a dozen times already and to be honest I don’t believe she was ever in half as much danger as she thinks she was.

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