Dragon Fire by Lilly Wilder

1017

Dragon Protection Book 1

Three dragons stole my heart.

When dragon shifters came to Earth, they separated from their natural home.
Now, I’m stuck in my small town, living life between two worlds.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I catch the eye of the leader of my dragon clan.
He wants to mate with me.
And take our dragon clan home, even if it means destroying Earth.

I can’t stand the idea of either.
Yet I’m not strong enough to oppose him.

That’s when I make a deal with three gorgeous devils.
Mason. Brett. Buck.
Alpha dragons of a rival clan.

I should stay away from them.
Yet my senses beg me to come closer.

I want them.
All of them.
Fully.

They vow to protect me and Earth.
But as I give into them, I worry how much my transgression will cost me.

What if I lose everything?

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Excerpt from Dragon Fire © Copyright 2024 Lilly Wilder

Chapter One

Kadie

The stars swirled around me. I stretched out my silver wings and it felt as though I was stretching them across the entire world. My wide eyes drank in everything. Each star was a pinprick of light, another world that was far away. One of them was our ancestral home, but I had never set a claw on it. I probably never would. This planet was my home, Earth.

It wasn’t always easy to live here though. The indigenous race didn’t understand our kind. If they learned there were people among them who could shift into dragons in the space of one breath, it might create a worldwide panic that would see the world broken in two. We lived in secret, generation after generation, hoping that one day we would find a way home. In the meantime, I surged through the air, feeling it wrap around my wings and across the intricate scales of my lithe body. I flicked my tail and opened my powerful jaws, enjoying the sweet taste of the air at this altitude. I swept across forests and mountains, watching the plains peel away below me. The moon hung in the air like a silver coin and I wondered how long it would take me to ascend towards it and reach it. I often thought about flying to each of those stars, wishing that I could experience life on all of them. Were there people out there who felt the same as us? Who felt lonely, overwhelmed, and scared sometimes?

I wondered whether there was anyone like me.

I hovered in the air, flapping my wings to keep myself steady. I angled my head towards the moon, staring at it, when a flicker of movement passed across my vision. It was my father. He was a huge dragon, at least twice my size. His body kept going and going, stretched out like a huge behemoth. He jerked his head to the ground, indicating that we should land. I sighed inwardly, annoyed that I could not just stare at the moon all night.

I followed his path down. Trees swayed in our wake and small animals scampered away. There were other flying creatures making their way through the forest. They were wise enough to set their instincts aside and hide in the branches, surrendering the air to us. We swooped down and eventually landed on the bank of a lake. It was a wide, watery circle. The surface was glassy and smooth, offering a perfect reflection of the sky above. I stretched my neck out and looked into the water, seeing the narrow, reptilian head staring back at me. I blinked and then shifted, watching as my human form took over. Flame red hair sprouted from my scalp as my scales receded, turning into milky flesh. My body, moments ago hard and powerful, was now soft and sensitive. Instead of being lean and lithe, I had a voluptuous chest and hourglass hips.

Every time I shifted back from being a dragon, it felt as though the world lost something. The human form, while being more mobile, did suffer from limited senses. But I was the dragon, and the dragon was me. My soul was twined and twisted with these two essences. Ancient, magical blood flowed through my veins, making me more than a mere mortal.

Some people might even have called me special, although I didn’t think this was true. It was just my nature, and there were plenty like me around.

Dad shifted as well. He was a head taller than me, his dark hair peppered with grey. He had a stern look on his face. “You weren’t thinking about it again, were you?”

I rolled my eyes. “No, not seriously,” I pouted.

“You know that it’s too dangerous. And you have to stick to the areas we have deemed as safe. Humans have all kinds of technology now to investigate the skies. It’s getting more and more dangerous to be a dragon. If they should ever find us, then it’s all over.”

“I know Dad! You don’t have to tell me the dangers.”

“Really? Because I know that look in your eyes.”

“What look is that?” I angled my head back down, hiding my face from him. Sometimes, it annoyed me how well he knew me, as if he knew my own mind better than I did.

“The look that says you’re willing to throw caution to the wind in the name of doing something spectacular, just like you did when you were a kid.”

“And I almost made it too,” I bit back.

A moment of silence passed between us. He reached out to me and put a hand on my shoulder. “Kadie, I just don’t want you to get hurt. We almost lost you last time and-”

“I’m not going to do it Dad. I’m not going to try and fly to the moon again. I was just a kid last time. I had a stupid idea in my head, and I let it get the better of me. I thought I could do the impossible, but now I know that the impossible is, well…” I trailed off, letting the implication do the work for me.

“Okay. Good. I just wanted to make sure. Like I said, it’s getting hard to be a dragon.” His words were cloaked in tension, and he sounded tired.

“You think we’re ever going to find our planet?” I asked, turning to look at him. He shrugged.

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