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Dragon's Desire (Dragon Shifter's Mates #3)
Author:Eva Chase

Dragon's Desire (Dragon Shifter's Mates #3)

Eva Chase




Chapter 1





Ren



Sometimes you get a moment so heavenly you can hardly believe this really is your life. Like falling asleep cuddled between four insanely hot alpha shifters who are destined to be your mates.

A few weeks ago, I hadn’t even been dating anyone. I’d only just gotten myself an actual apartment. Now I was enveloped in protective affection—and let’s not forget the hotness—on the biggest, softest bed I’d ever seen in an estate so impressive it took my breath away. Okay, so more than a few people had tried to kill me in the last several days, but as I’d drifted off to sleep I was feeling like on the whole I’d come out ahead.

But of course, those heavenly moments never last. Something always shatters them. This time? It was a knock on the door in the middle of the night and a quavering voice saying, “There’s been an attack on the bear alpha’s estate.”

West, who’d answered the door, flicked on the light in the sitting room. The wolf shifter’s voice came out tight. “I think you’d better come in.”

The rest of us were already clambering off the bed. I’d been so exhausted that night I hadn’t bothered changing. My dress from the farewell party with the avian shifters hung on me in a mess of wrinkles. I gave the soft fabric a quick tug and rubbed my eyes as I hustled to the doorway.

Aaron, the alpha of the avian kin and current owner of this estate, strode ahead of me. The light glanced off his golden hair the same way the sun shone off his feathers in his majestic eagle form. I’d always thought of him as my Disney prince, but right now his blue eyes were sharp and his square jaw clenched. More warrior than royalty.

“What exactly happened?” he asked the attendant who’d come with the message.

Nate, my massive bear shifter, came up beside Aaron. His usual gentle presence had fallen away, aggressive tension radiating from his brawny body. “Is anyone hurt?” he demanded in his low baritone. “Who attacked my people?”

West leaned against the wall by the door, his arms crossed over his lean chest and his green eyes narrowed. Marco, the jaguar shifter who was alpha to the feline kin, stopped beside me and set his hand on my shoulder tentatively. He and I hadn’t exactly been on the best of terms in the last couple days—his fault, for shooting off his mouth to his kin and talking about me like I was some kind of prize to compete over—but now we clearly had bigger concerns.

The attendant ducked his head, his hands clasped in front of him. “I only know that we received an urgent call. The staff on the estate hope that their alpha can return as quickly as possible. It appears a group of rogue shifters somehow managed to break into the estate and attempted a surprise attack on some of the advisors and their families.”

A growl rumbled from Nate’s chest. “I’ll go now.”

“We’ll all go,” I said. “We were going to head there in the morning anyway. That’s probably why they picked your estate to attack.”

We all knew that the attack had probably been more about me than any of my alphas or their kin. As the last dragon shifter alive, it was my role not just to take all four of the alphas as my mates but to unite the entire shifter community at the same time. Given that I hadn’t even known shifters existed, let alone that I was one, until a few weeks ago, I had a lot of work ahead of me.

But I wasn’t going to back down. Especially not when it came to the assholes who’d killed my fathers and sisters.

Nate gave me a quick nod, already hustling out the door. For a guy that big, he could move awfully fast when he needed to. The rest of us hurried out behind him.

“Find whatever pilot is most rested,” Aaron instructed the attendant. “We’ll take the jet.”

“The jet?” I repeated. I’d missed that part of the estate, apparently.

“Each of the estates has a couple of private jets on hand in case we or our advisors need to take care of matters elsewhere in a hurry,” he explained as we headed down the white-walled hall. “It’s a lot more reliable than counting on human-arranged flights.”

“It just seems a little strange. Here, anyway. I mean, all of you can fly already.”

The corner of his mouth quirked up into a tense smile. “Not half as fast as an airplane, even on my best days.”

Fair. I wasn’t sure I could beat a jet even in my dragon form. And I couldn’t hold my dragon form for more than fifteen minutes so far, so that was kind of a moot point anyway.

We’d just burst through a side door into the warm summer night when another set of footsteps pattered behind us. Alice, Aaron’s younger sister and self-appointed bodyguard, dashed to join us. Her golden-blond hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail and her eyes were brightly alert. Did the girl ever sleep?

“I heard the news,” she said. “This time I’m coming along.”

“Alice,” Aaron started.

She waved her finger at him. “Nope. No arguments this time. Last time you were just going on a little trip to maybe find a missing dragon shifter, and you ended up battling rogues and nearly getting poisoned by faeries. This time we know someone where you’re going wants you dead. Who knows what the hell other trouble you’ll all get into?”

Aaron didn’t look convinced, but he also didn’t look like he had the energy to argue. It was still completely dark out. We couldn’t have slept for more than a couple hours. And yesterday had been a very long day.

“I want Alice with us,” I piped up to make his agreement easier. “It’ll be nice to have a little break from all the testosterone.”

West muttered something under his breath, and Marco chuckled. A twinge of guilt pinched my stomach. It was my best friend Kylie, who was back in Brooklyn recovering from a rogue attack right now, I should have been counting on for girl talk. But our friendship had gotten a little more complicated with every strange and scary revelation I’d encountered.

Alice grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze in thank you. And I guessed to reassure me, because then she leaned over and said, “It’ll be okay. We’ve handled worse.”

I wasn’t sure if that actually made me feel better. The shifter community had faced an awful lot of problems in the years they’d gone without a dragon shifter. It wasn’t my fault that my mom had gone on the run and decided to lock away my memories of what I was, but it was hard not to feel a little responsible for the mess she’d left behind. I was the only one left who could pull the pieces back together.