Her Gingerbread DragonBy: Elianne Adams
Dragon Blood Series Book 2
The cold northern wind cut through Luke Spence’s jacket, pinching his cheeks. Stomping his feet, he brought feeling back to his frozen toes and shook the snow off his boots. His gloves were too thin, and of course, he hadn’t worn a hat, but he didn’t care. Under normal circumstances, he’d never choose to stand outside a baker’s shop on such a frigid night, but this wasn’t what he considered normal. Not by a long shot. Besides, he’d warm up fast enough once he was out of the cold.
When Stella had batted her eyelashes at him and begged him to run to the store for some eggnog, and nutmeg, he hadn’t had the heart to say no. His best friend’s mate had him—and all the other Dragon Blood men—wrapped around her little finger, and she knew it. In truth, he didn’t mind the small favors she asked on occasion. Seeing Brycen so happy gave them all hope that they would find their mates eventually, too, which was why he had come out on such a blustery evening to begin with. Not in a million years had he imagined he would be standing outside looking through a store window with his heart racing as though he’d flown over the mountain at record-breaking speed, rather than sitting at the estate in front of a cozy fire.
He had just come out of the local grocery store when he’d caught a whiff of something sweet, savory, and so potent his entire body had reacted. Now that he’d caught the scent, he’d never forget it. One whiff and everything else faded away. It wasn’t the smell of sweet treats from the bakery that kept him rooted to the snow-covered sidewalk, but rather the scent of the woman who had waltzed past him and through the door, disappearing inside before he’d had more than a fleeting glance at her pink parka and fluffy white hat.
He was about to walk in after her when the cell in his jeans pocket buzzed. He thought of ignoring it, but knowing Stella, she’d forgotten something, and he sure as hell didn’t want to make another trip into Glen Farley with the storm closing in. With his luck, he’d end up stuck in town. Dragon or no, flying in a blizzard like the one heading their way was ridiculously dangerous. As much as he loved the adrenaline rush, crashing into the mountain and spending the night buried in the snow freezing his balls off didn’t appeal.
“Yeah,” he answered with a smile. If he knew Stella, she was probably rolling her eyes at him, and would give him shit for not having better telephone manners when he got home.
“Luke, you still in town?”
His smile dropped a little when it was Brycen at the other end. He never called for the hell of it. “No, dude, I’m answering my phone mid-flight. Of course, I’m still in town,” he replied. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Listen, Stella told me that she likes gingerbread. Think you can pick her up a little treat before heading back? I hear Johnson’s Bakery makes great cookies.”
Luke shook his head. Of course, Brycen would ask him to pick something up for his mate. The poor guy was still drowning in guilt over leaving her alone when she was about to shift for the first time. Had he not gotten to her in time, it would have been disastrous, but he had, and all was well. Of course, Stella had forgiven him right away, and the love that shone in her eyes each time she saw the man was there for all to see, but Brycen still wasn’t over it. Maybe he never would be.
“I was about to head in there anyway. I’ll see what I can find for her.” At least now he had an excuse to go into the shop and stalk the woman who had his blood boiling hot in his veins. “Talk to you later.”
The woman’s sweet, spicy scent surrounded him the moment he opened the door. There was no denying it, this woman, whoever she was, was his mate. “Mate. Mine.” the dragon’s voice whispered into his mind.
“Yes, she is. But let’s try not to scare her off. I don’t think she’s a dragon.” He didn’t think the beast would do anything to blow it, but the warning couldn’t hurt.
The small shop consisted of a couple of tables with the chairs flipped upside down on top of them. The gangly teenager standing behind the counter rolled his eyes at him as he walked in, then looked pointedly at the clock. “We close in three minutes, mister,” the kid said.