Feel the Burn Page 49

There were grunts from his sisters and abject silence from his brothers. But that had never stopped the Gold before.

“It is a beautiful day, isn’t it?” He stood behind Marina Aleksandrovna and reached over her to grab one of the warm loaves of bread from the table. Marina, as any Rider would expect, yanked the dagger from her belt and slammed it into the table, only missing the Gold’s human hand because dragons were quite fast.

The Gold held his hand against his chest and stared at Marina. “Woman, have you lost your mind?”

“Get own food,” Marina warned.

Tatyana rolled her eyes. “We discussed this,” she reminded them all. “In the Southlands you do not have to defend your food like a wolf defending its carcass.”

“He was still too close.”

Dagmar Reinholdt sat down at the table with a sigh. “It’s like eating with my brothers again.”

“At least your brothers have some manners!” Gwenvael walked around the table to find another seat and easier access to the food while Marina yanked her blade from the table and slid it back into her belt. The entire time, she never stopped eating.

Once seated, Gwenvael eyed Tatyana. “You dress like the other Riders, but your accent . . .”

“I’ve been trained in the ways of the Southlanders,” Tatyana explained. “I know many languages and the etiquette of many cultures. There are a few of us among the Riders. We relay information from the Anne Atli to those we—”

“Conquer?” Dagmar asked.

Tatyana smiled. “Of course not. We prefer the term—”

“Destroy,” Zoya volunteered.

Tatyana gritted her teeth before snapping, “Why are you here, Zoya Kolesova?”

“Because you need me!” she cheerfully replied.

“Like wolf needs fleas,” Nina Chechneva muttered.

Gaius walked into the hall. His hair was soaked and he wore a chain-mail shirt to go along with his grey leggings and brown boots. As human, he looked . . . exceptional. Why couldn’t he be human? Why a lizard? It was unfair.

“Ladies,” he greeted. Elina smiled up at him and Kachka kept eating.

Exceptional or not, he was still a spoiled royal who couldn’t have a few extra people in his bed.

“We have to go hunting because of you, royal,” Kachka accused.

The dragon snorted. “You don’t need a reason to go hunting, Rider. So don’t put that on me.”

He reached between two of the Southland royals, ignoring the glares as he did so, and grabbed a loaf of bread. “Before you two go, though, you may want to check out the training ring.”

“Are you suggesting my sister needs training?”

Elina’s head popped up. “Do not come at me. He did not say me.”

“Not you two. But Annwyl is in there with Talwyn, and I’m guessing that will be quite entertaining.”

The room had become horrifyingly silent, and the three of them froze, fingers moving toward their weapons, waiting for an attack at any time. When they finally looked at the others, the Southlanders were staring at them, mouths agape, eyes wide.

“What is happening?” Kachka asked her sister.

“I do not—” was all Elina got out before the Southlanders moved with such speed that all she, Elina, and Gaius could do was stand there and hope not to get knocked down in the stampede as the others charged for the door.

When all that was left were her sister, Gaius, and Dagmar Reinholdt, Dagmar sighed, pushed back her chair, and stood.

“Come on,” she barked at her dogs, which followed obediently behind her as she left the hall.

Gaius went back to eating his bread. “Well . . . that was interesting.”

Chapter Fourteen

Talan didn’t know how he’d ended up in the stables. The last thing he remembered was going to the local pub with his cousins and meeting up with some of the Riders....

Thankfully, he woke up fully dressed and none of the horses appeared traumatized. So he decided to assume that even drunk, he’d managed not to end up in a situation where he’d become one of the “husbands” of Zoya Kolesova’s—most likely—big-boned daughters.

Talan stood, paused, threw up in some hay, then stumbled out of the stable after patting a horse on his head.

He really shouldn’t try to keep up with his dragon cousins and the Riders. There were few who could outdrink that lot.

Making it past the stable doors¸ Talan immediately shielded his eyes from the bright light of the two suns and leaned up against the stable wall.

Prev Next