Her Dragon's No Angel (Dragon Guard Series Book 11)

By: Julia Mills

The couple was just another example that the Universe did not make mistakes but definitely had a twisted sense of humor. Not only was Royce six-foot-eight inches tall and Kyra barely five-foot nothing, but at the time of their meeting the big guy was hell bent on the extermination of all witches...and Kyra was a witch.

Well, not just a witch, but the daughter of the Grand Priestess and one of the strongest magical practitioners born in centuries. To say she had an issue with her mate’s attitude was an understatement. But Fate stepped in and the rest was history. The couple reminded him so much of his parents before they’d gone to the Heavens. It gave Tomas hope that someday he would find a love like theirs.

“Take care and keep in touch, young’un.” Royce barked as he cut their connection.

“Grumpy old fart,” Tomas mumbled under his breath while working hard to stay on his feet against the gale force winds battering his body.

Following the trail he’d mentioned to Royce, Tomas was pleasantly surprised to find himself winding up the mountain and even happier to end up at the mouth of a cave. Attempting to use his enhanced senses to make sure he was alone, the young Guardsman wasn’t surprised to find they were scrambled from the blizzard pummeling his body.

Stepping into the darkness, Tomas sighed in relief at the immediate loss of the howling wind and blinding snow. His ears rang and his body tingled at the absence of the noise and abuse. Shaking like a dog, a thought which in any other circumstance would’ve made him laugh, he was amazed at the huge pile of snow falling at his feet.

I could build a snowman.

Tomas smiled but quickly sobered as a huge gust of wind made its way through the cave’s entrance. “But first I need a fire.”

Little by little, his frozen senses returned as he walked further into the darkness. Reaching out, he was surprised to find a labyrinth of tunnels and alcoves. “This place is huge,” he commented to himself, chuckling at the returning echo. “And thankfully abandoned.”

It’s not that he couldn’t and wouldn’t fight off anyone, animal or otherwise, that tried to throw him back out into the snow, it was that he didn’t want to. Tomas was tired and more than a little discouraged that his plans to impress his Commander had fallen short.

Ducking into the first cavern he came upon, the young Guardsman was pleasantly surprised to find a stack of dried branches and vines beside a small pool of water being fed by a spring running down the stone wall.

“Looks like someone was here before me.” He shrugged. “Hope they made it home okay.”

Once again Tomas let his preternatural senses go, searching the entire cave for anyone or anything sharing his space. When his search came up empty, the Guardsman called forth his fire, lighting the pile of brush. As soon as the flame was nice and warm, he stripped out of his soaked clothing and hung them on the small rocks jutting from the cave wall to dry. Sure he would freeze something off he might need later, he quickly pulled on his last pair of clean long johns and wool socks then wrapped up in the blanket Maddox had insisted he take. Slowly but surely, his muscles began to thaw. Right on cue, his stomach growled.

Laughing to himself, Tomas dug around in his pack until he found what was left of the supplies Kyndel, his Commander’s wife, had packed for him. She was a terrific lady who took to her position in their clan like a fish to water. It never ceased to amaze him how she kept up with all the Guardsmen, their mates and families, while also corralling his very formidable Commander and their son, who, by the way, was the spitting image of his father.

It took some scrounging but Tomas was finally able to find a stick long enough and sturdy enough to use to cook a few sausages and thaw out the buns over his roaring fire. While his food heated, he rolled out his sleeping bag between the fire and the wall then rolled up his extra blanket to serve as a cushion. The young Guardsman was just about to sit down to eat when he realized he needed something to drink. Staying hydrated was essential to avoiding hypothermia, even in the confines of his makeshift shelter.

Kneeling beside the spring, Tomas once again used his senses to make sure it was safe before filling his canteen. He’d just sat down to eat when he heard, “What’s up Frosty? Staying warm?”

“Ha, ha, ha. Very funny, asshole.”

“Ya know I gotta million of ’em,” Jace, his closest friend joked.

“I know you think you do,” Tomas joked back, happy to hear his brethren’s voice, even if his was making fun of him.

“Seriously though, you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good. Found an empty cave to wait out the storm in. I’m sure it won’t last for more than a day. I figure I’m about a day and a half or two from home, even after being blown off course, so I should be there by the weekend. Can’t let you bring in the New Year without me.”

“No way. Liam, Aaron, Lance, and I have a blowout planned. It’ll be the best party this clan has seen in years. Figured we had a lot to celebrate having Kyra’s mom back, not to mention finding Drago after almost a hundred years.”