The Blood King
Skylar remained where she was on the floor, rubbing at her throat and glaring at the others with those bright, watercolor blue eyes. At least her skin had turned less sallow. Seconds ago, her pallor had him…concerned.
Ladon did his best to push adrenaline, along with the burning need to claim her immediately, down deep in his gut, though it tested the limits of his control. He gave the members of his guard—his closest friends—as well as the advisors who made up his Curia Regis, a sharp nod and waited in silence while they filed out.
Brand sat, too, saying nothing, probably sensing the dangerous edge on which Ladon’s emotions balanced.
“Damage my future mate like that again, and I’ll rip your arms out of their sockets.” The warning slid from Ladon. He couldn’t have held it back even if he wanted to. Not that he wanted to.
Still on the floor, Skylar’s back stiffened. “I’m not your future anything, asshole.”
“Not helping,” Kasia said pointedly, adding a glare at him for effect.
Shit. Where’d his control go? He’d just been telling himself to cool it with the claiming language. Ladon clamped down on more words.
Kasia held out her hands and pulled Skylar to her feet, allowing Ladon a view of Skylar’s face. His body tensed in reaction. Now that he had a chance to study her, he couldn’t deny her beauty. Darker and sharper than her sister, those glacial eyes a striking contrast to her midnight hair, her skin a darker shade than Kasia’s paleness, and those lips…
Kasia focused on her sister, her gaze settling. “I love you, but you got this totally wrong.”
Given her attitude so far, Ladon waited for an immediate rejection, but Skylar didn’t speak for a long beat, searching Kasia’s eyes. “My sources informed me that a rogue dragon kidnapped you and dragged you here to mate you to a king. Brand is the rightful King of the Gold Throne, right? He killed Uther, and apparently at least some gold dragons now bear Brand’s mark on their hands, which makes him king. A king you’re mated to. Am I wrong?”
Kasia sent a smiling glance at Brand. “You got it mostly right, but what you missed was that I didn’t mate the king I was intended to.”
Skylar turned those ice-blue eyes on Ladon. As realization dawned, her lips quirked. “What happened, big boy? Couldn’t close the deal?”
Ladon held her glance with an unaffected stare, hiding his reaction. Why the hell was her insulting him so amusing?