Sneak Peek: The Dragon's Chance
You got hints of Sylvia's one night stand in The Dragon Collective. And, well, you find out the truth of it and more in The Dragon's Chance. As a special treat, I'm sharing a good chunk of the second chapter. Why not the first chapter? It's, ahem, a rather steamy flashback and I'll save it for release. 😉 The full story will be out September 16, 2021. I'll make sure to put the preorder links after the excerpt. Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment. 🙂
Jake Swift pulled his rental car up to the large, metal gates of Clan Lochguard and hoped he hadn't made a huge mistake coming here unannounced.
It had been about a year since he and Sylvia had shared that night together in Glasgow. The one he hadn't been able to stop thinking about.
And not just because of the sex—which had been fucking fantastic—but also because of the teasing during the baking competition all the way through to him holding her once they were exhausted, him falling asleep with the dragonwoman in his arms.
It may have only been one damned day, but he'd never felt so at ease around a woman before.
And yet she'd left before he'd woken up. There'd been no note, nothing.
He'd looked for her the other two days of the expo, but she hadn't been anywhere.
And just as he'd thought about driving up to Lochguard, he'd gotten the call about a kitchen fire at one of his restaurants.
So he'd hightailed it back to San Francisco and dealt with the emergency. He'd thought about flying back to Scotland after that, but then his older sister had received word that her son had been killed during an attack in Afghanistan.
Months had passed as he helped his family through the tragedy, being the shoulder his sister needed to lean on since she'd lost her husband a few years ago, until it'd been about a year since that night. He'd attended the yearly expo again, hoping to see her, but Sylvia hadn't been anywhere.
Maybe some would think him foolish, or desperate, or some other negative description to chase a woman who had left in the middle of the night.
However, Jake liked answers and knowing things for certain. He wasn't a man who liked what-ifs distracting him.
So he'd taken a gamble and driven up to the Highlands of Scotland.
Where he now sat in front of the huge metal gates, emblazoned with the clan’s name in twisted metal, wondering if Sylvia would want to see him.
He was a fairly confident guy, but she'd slipped away while he'd been asleep for a reason.
However, his gut didn't think it was because she was married, or anything like that. But there had been sadness and shadows in Sylvia's eyes at times, when she thought he hadn't been looking.
He wished he knew why. Maybe that was the reason she'd fled.
Again, stupid fucking what-ifs.
He'd change that today if it killed him. Even if she turned him away, he'd take it. Not without a little talking first, to find out the reason, but at least he'd know the truth and be able to figure out what came next.
The speaker next to the car came to life, garnering his attention as a Scottish male voice asked, “Who're you?”
“My name's Jake Swift. I'm here to see Sylvia MacAllister.”
A brief silence, and then the voice asked, “Is she expecting you?”
He wondered about the three-second pause but pushed it aside. “No. But I do have permission to be here, though. I can show you my paperwork if you let me inside.”
His cousin Ashley had pulled some strings for this visit. Even now, her voice rang inside his head: “Are you sure about this, Jake? I'm more than willing to pull in a favor for my dearest cousin, but she might not want to see you.”
He'd told her he needed to at least try to talk with Sylvia. And bless his cousin, she'd dropped her questioning and had coordinated what she could, telling him to call her anytime if he needed help with either the UK Department of Dragon Affairs or for any kind of information about dragon-shifters in general.
Of course, if the damn Scottish dragons didn't let him inside, it would all be for naught.
The voice finally ordered, “Drive straight until the first building, turn into the car park on the left, and wait for someone to collect you.”
The gate swung inward, and Jake's heart thumped as he followed the directions and parked the car.
As he waited, he resisted running a hand through his hair. Jake wasn't usually nervous about anything, and yet all his fantasies and what-if musings would be decided soon.
He only hoped he'd made the right choice. His gut was great at making business decisions, but not so much with women.
He was forty-three and had never been married. Hell, after his one failed engagement in his early twenties, he'd never again wanted to be married, preferring to throw everything he had into his restaurants.
Even so, Sylvia had been so much more than any of the women he'd dated in the past. One day with her had been more life-changing than most of his time with his ex-fiancée.
Let's hope you're not being a fucking idiot and merely thinking with your dick, Jake.
He'd had plenty of time to replay sex with Sylvia. And yes, the orgasms had easily been the best of his life.
But teasing her had been just as fun, as had them barking orders at each other as they'd made their three-tier cake. Not to mention he'd enjoyed playing with her dragon half as well.
Maybe he'd read into everything wrong, but regardless of what happened, he'd made the right choice in coming here. It was better to know for certain than to wonder about what could've happened forever.
A pair of people came out of the building in front of his car—a dragonman and woman, judging by their tattoos. The woman had wild, curly hair and an older baby propped on her hip. The man had brown hair and wore a serious expression. The dragonman motioned for Jake to come out of the car.
Grabbing his paperwork, he did and stood in front of them.
The dragonwoman murmured, “Aye, I thought it had to be him. Seeing him, there's no doubt.”
Jake frowned. “Excuse me?”
The dragonman gave the woman a meaningful glance and then focused his intense gaze back on Jake. “I'm Grant, and this is Faye. We're in charge of security here. Now, follow us and we'll talk inside.”
The baby—wearing a little sailor dress and cardigan—reached out a hand toward him and Jake smiled. “Hello, little one. Who're you?”
Grant grunted, but the woman spoke before he could. “This is our daughter, Isla. Say hi to the human, Isla.”
She waved and the baby mimicked her.
Even though his nieces and nephew were all grown now, he remembered what they'd been like at the same age. He waved back. “Hi, Isla. I'm Jake. Nice to meet you.”
Faye whispered, “He sounds funny because he's American. But we won't hold it against him.”
Jake snorted, but the dragonman spoke up before he could reply. “Come on.”
He waited for Faye to go first, and then Jake followed her, with the intense dragonman coming up behind him.
They passed a few people as they went into the main entrance and down the hall. Everyone stared at him with strange looks, which he didn't understand.
From the small research packet Ashley had given him, he knew there were other humans living on Lochguard. So he wasn't exactly an anomaly.
Faye opened a door and walked into the room. Jake followed. Inside was a table surrounded by some chairs, as well as a long mirror along one wall. He suspected it was some sort of observation one.
Grant motioned for him to sit. Once they all did, Jake pushed his paperwork toward them. “You can see I'm allowed to visit, if that's your concern. All I want to do is talk with Sylvia MacAllister.”
As Grant scanned the documents, Faye asked, “Why?”
He was honest but gave the bare minimum. “We met at the restaurant expo last year and hit it off. She left before I could get her information, and I didn't see her there this year. So I thought to come up here and say hello.”
Grant gave Jake back his papers. “Aye, you have the credentials. However, I'll be leaving it to Sylvia as to whether she wants to see you or not.” He stood. “Wait here.”
Since Jake wasn't entirely sure if Sylvia would want to see her one-night stand again, he hadn't expected anything less.
Grant looked at Faye and raised his brows, but she shook her head. “I'm going to stay here.”
“Give me some credit, Grant. I just want to chat with him.”
The pair had some sort of wordless conversation until Grant sighed. “Fine. I'll be back shortly with an answer, and I'll have some tea sent in.”
“With lots of biscuits, too,” Faye added.
With a nod, Grant left Jake alone with Faye and her daughter.
As she absently bounced her daughter in her lap, Faye said, “So how about you tell me about you and your family?”
And so he answered a series of strange questions as he waited.
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NOTE: Google Play will be out on release day, September 16, 2021. The paperback version will be on sale soon after the ebook release. The audiobook should go into production sometime in October.