A Dragon to Tame

A Dragon to Tame

Susan Kearney

January 2018 $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-849-3

The Pendragon Legacy, Book 2: Rion

 
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Time is running out . . .

Rion Jaqard has crossed a galaxy to convince Earth to help him free his enslaved people. When he meets a fascinating woman—an enticing dragonshaper—Rion must make a terrible choice between duty and honor. One desperate decision can save his world but at the expense of all he holds dear.

Kidnapped . . .

When Rion abducts her, Marisa Roarke, fiery telepath and a dragon tamer critical to Earth’s recovery, is filled with anger and feelings of betrayal. But, when she discovers Rion’s secrets, the hot, explosive attraction she’s tried to deny is reinforced by empathy and a growing psychic bond that may change her forever.

The power of passion . . .

If Rion and Marisa don’t find a way to trust each other and channel their passion, a vicious empire will finish the subjugation of Rion’s planet. Maybe even Earth.

Susan Kearney, a native of New Jersey, writes full time and has sold books to the industries' top publishing houses — Grand Central, Tor, Simon & Schuster, Harlequin, Bell Bridge Books, Berkley, Leisure, Red Sage, and Kensington. As an award winning author, Kearney earned a Business Degree from the University of Michigan. Kearney's knowledge and experience spans throughout the romance genre, and her fifty plus books include contemporary, romantic suspense, historical, futuristic, science fiction, and paranormal novels. She resides in a suburb of Tampa—with her husband, kids, and Boston terrier. Currently she's plotting her way through her 54th work of fiction.

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Excerpt

 

1

She who lives without taking risks dies without love.

—English Proverb

London, the near future

"YOU CALL THAT relaxing?” A deep male voice reverberated through the exercise room, and Marisa Roarke opened her eyes. "Meditation is so overrated.”

Rion Jaqard stalked with predatory zeal across the Trafalgar Hotel’s workout room, flung a towel onto a chair, and whipped off his shirt before sliding onto the weight bench.

During the few times Marisa had run into Rion at her brother Lucan’s apartment, she’d noticed Rion was built. But she hadn’t realized he was so solid. Talk about walking testosterone. She’d bet even his sweat had muscles.

Rion always emitted a sexy aura. But tonight he seemed to have turned his charms up a notch. Almost as if his alluring appeal was a veneer. And beneath was an undercurrent of banked urgency. Intensity. She couldn’t pinpoint exactly what was different about him but her tired mind was reluctant to question, preferring simply to appreciate his....

She had to stop looking.

Even if he was totally irresistible, she should have been immune. He may have been a first-rate flirt with other women, but he’d always treatedher like a pesky kid sister. And who could blame him? A nasty divorce many years ago had left her with the expectation that most relationships were built on a mountain of lies.

Trying to ignore the size of Rion’s very broad, very muscular chest, she frowned. "These days I find relaxing pretty much like trying to fly with only one wing.”

Conversation over. She shut her eyes again. But the image of his ripped chest and totally toned, totally etched abs remained.

Marisa imagined those powerful arms around her. Strong, yet gentle. Warm and tight with a current of need. She imagined his eyes filled with desire... for her.

Stop it.

Stop imagining. She didn’t imagine.

Not anymore.

She halted her wandering thoughts with hard facts.

Rion was from the planet Honor. The first chance he got to leave Earth, he’d be gone. But if all Honorians were built like him, Earth’s women would be rioting for interplanetary travel visas. Of course, no such documents existed. Not since the United Nations had shut down travel from Earth to the rest of the galaxy.

For the moment Rion was trapped on Earth. She sneaked another glance. All that sculpted maleness was dazzling. Seductive. A woman could have a night to remember with a body like his. She suppressed a sigh. Too bad she wasn’t that kind of woman. Since her failed marriage she’d become even more careful. Maybe too careful.

If he’d ever, even just once, shone any of his alpha sex-machine machoness in her direction, she might have succumbed to temptation and flirted. But he wasn’t interested. He’d never been interested.

Stop drooling. Just look somewhere else. Anywhere else.

Marisa had thought herself past the age of ogling men who showed no sign of ogling back. She figured her reaction was due to work-related stress from her new career.

Just six months ago, Marisa had been a successful correspondent at the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. She’d covered everything from war in the Mideast to the story about her brother Lucan and his wife, Cael, who had brought back a cure from the planet Pendragon for Earth’s fertility problems, which had been Marisa’s last assignment.

While the cure had saved humanity from extinction, it had side effects, a genetic shift that required some people to periodically morph into dragons. But humans were not accustomed to their new dragon­shaping abilities, which required controlling their more primitive side. So after discovering her own telepathic powers could be used to calm the dragons’ highly sexed and predatory tendencies, Marisa had switched careers.

A fifteen-hour shift, exhaustion, and her not-so-successful attempt to erase the emotional aftereffects of dealing with her oversexed dra­gonshaping clients had clearly upset her equilibrium.

She closed her eyes. Out. Out. Out. Rounding up the stray emotions, she corralled them into a tiny corner of her mind, then squashed down hard.

But she still couldn’t block out the man across the room. The weights clinked as Rion raised and lowered them, and Marisa peeked again through her lowered lashes. The guy was gorgeous.

He slanted a glance in her direction. The gleaming interest in his eyes startled her. "Hard day?”

"Uh-huh.” She looked away. The one-on-one telepathy she’d orig­inally signed up for wouldn’t have made her this susceptible to Rion’s sexuality. But after Marisa had begun to work with the dragonshapers, she’d discovered she could simultaneously communicate with an entire group of dragons. Her unique ability to help many dragons at once made her a valuable asset to the Vesta Corporation. Unfortunately, the side effects subjected her to all of the dragonshapers’ angers, fears, jealousies, and passions at once.

Don’t think about work.

Left with residual sexual tension, all her cells hummed with need.

Let it go.

Unclenching her teeth, she forced her lips to part, breathed deeply through her nose, and told the muscles in her aching neck to loosen. Or at least to stop throbbing so she could go up to her hotel room and sleep.

"Maybe lifting would relax you.”

She arched an eyebrow. Something had to be wrong with her hear­ing because his voice sounded coaxing.

"If you need help, I could spot you,” he continued.

"No, thanks.” Surprised by his persistence, she spoke without looking at him.

Why couldn’t he just leave her alone? Surely by now even his oversized biceps had to be burning, his lungs aching for oxygen. But he didn’t sound out of breath.

"Let me know if you change your mind.” His tone held a hint of disappointment.

Disappointment?

No way.

Her tired mind had to be misinterpreting his signals. As much as she’d have liked to believe he was interested in her, she knew better. So she had to accept that the dragons’ residual passions were affecting her judgment.

"Meditation works better in silence,” she said calmly, pleased that her voice didn’t give away how aware she was of the way his buttocks tightened and relaxed in a fascinating rhythm that made her mouth go dry.

"Seems to me your meditation isn’t working.”

He was right. She couldn’t stop staring at him. A light gleam of sweat glistened on his skin, emphasizing his muscles as he set down the weights.

He straightened and raked her with a gaze that settled on the vein throbbing in her neck. "Your pulse rate must be over one thirty,” he said.

Hell. Any woman within ten meters of him would have an elevated pulse. "Are you deliberately trying to annoy me, or do you come by it naturally?”

She expected him to take off, but he grabbed his towel, slung it over his shoulders, and wiped the sweat from his brow. And gave her a look brazen enough to heat every flat in London—for the entire winter.

Whoa. She might be tired. But not that tired. No way could she misread his male interest. Just what was going on here? He’d never looked at her like this before. What was he up to?

His tone oozed charm. "There are better ways to relax.”

"Like?” Marisa couldn’t prevent a tiny smile raising the corners of her lips.

His dark gaze flicked to her mouth, tracked it with hot male interest. He’d taken her smile for an opening. Of course, he would. She doubted anyone had ever told Mr. Irresistible no. Approaching with a long- legged saunter that made her eyes narrow with speculation, he sat on the mat behind her and placed his palms firmly on her shoulders.

She should pull away until she knew what he was up to. But she couldn’t. Not when he looked so damn good.

He went still behind her, drawing out a moment of silence that thrummed with tension. Her sizzling awareness of him seemed to fill the space between them with a rush of heat.

At the first touch of his hands on her shoulders, she had to bite back a gasp of pleasure. Gently, ever so slowly, he kneaded her neck and caressed her shoulders with a sensual thoroughness that melted away the tension. Circling in on the tight spots with soothing caresses, he feath­ered his fingertips over her sore muscles.

Her pulse leaped. She swallowed hard.

Rion eased the heels of his palms into her tight shoulders with lingering, luscious strokes. After several mesmerizing minutes, he leaned forward and his breath fanned her ear. "You carry tension in the neck.”

"I do?” She sighed and leaned into his hands, grateful for the relief.

He kneaded gently, gradually going deeper, until her muscles melted, until she felt as warm and pliable as taffy. His fingers were so clever, but as he released one kind of tension, a sensuous anticipation began to build.

"Am I too hard for you?” he asked, almost sounding innocent.

She jerked upright and made a choking sound. He was sitting behind her, but she could see his chiseled face reflected in the mirrors and caught a reckless I-shouldn’t-be-messing-with-my-best-friend’s-sis­ter-but-I’m-going-to-do-it-anyway gleam in his eyes. "My hands. Am I rubbing too hard?”

"You feel great. And you damn well know it.” She lifted an eyebrow and shot back her best I-know-what-you’re-up-to look.

But she really had no idea what his intentions were. He might have been a first-class flirt with other women, but with her, he’d merely been friendly.

"I’m glad you like my touch,” he murmured.

At his flirting, her heart fluttered, but she tamped down her excite­ment and cast him a curious glance. "From what I hear, you’ve had lots of practice.”

Rion worked on a knot next to her spine, applying tension until the tightness ebbed. "You have an Earth saying, ‘Practice makes perfect.’ But I’m not certain if a massage can ever be perfect. After all, there are so many variations of where to touch... how to touch... when to touch...”

No one could accidentally be that suggestive—not even a man from another planet. And while she’d love to find out exactly where and how he would touch her next, all her caution signals flared.

Leaning forward, he whispered into her ear, "Did you know you have a very sexy neck?” His gray eyes met hers in the mirror, and she could have sworn they smoldered. When he brushed a wispy tendril from her nape, heat shimmied down her spine.

Damn, he was smooth. Real smooth. Although she’d already been burned by her ex-husband, she was long over the hurt. Yet when it came to men, she remained cautious, unable to trust her own judgment.

Ignoring the desire surging through her veins, she scooted from under Rion’s hands and stood. "Thanks. It’s been a long day. I need to hit the sack.”

"Good night, Marisa.” He stood, too, and grabbed his shirt. As she left the workout room, he called out to her. "Sweet dreams.”

Sweet was out of the question. Sizzling hot was more like it.

 

2

He will speak at times of things yet to happen... for he has the gift of sight.

—Merlin

AS ALWAYS, RION’S vision flashed before his eyes without warning.

"You dare to defy me?” The Unari raised his whip.

His victim, a man on his knees, bowed his head.

The Unari’s lash swished, cutting the air and biting into a back already scarred from too many whippings, leaving yet another bloody welt.

At the vicious blow, the victim clenched his jaw but didn’t utter a sound. Eyes dulled by pain, head down, his emaciated body trembled.

"Get up.” The blasé tone of the Unari suggested he’d beaten many men.

And then the vision widened in scope, like a camera backing up and allowing a wide-angle view. Bright orange Cuttees flapped their wings and soared over the hellish Honorian desert. And Rion gasped in horror. Beyond the two men were hundreds, maybe thousands more starving Honorians, laboring to build a giant wall under the Unari lash.

"Get up, slug. There’s work to do.” The Unari landed a brutal kick on the man’s hip.

Deep in a trance, Rion flinched. Willed the man to get up.

The lash descended again, this time shredding skin across the man’s vulnerable stomach. With a primal howl, he pulled his knees into his chest.

As the man writhed in pain, Rion glimpsed a distinctive three-quarter crescent-shaped burn mark on his arm.

Sweet Goddess. Rion knew him. Avril had once been a giant, a palace guard.

"Back on your feet. Get up, slave.”

"Slave?” Rion snapped out of his trance, head reeling. It took him a few moments to realize he’d had a flash, a gruesome vision of the future.

Currently a guest on planet Earth in the luxurious Trafalgar Hotel, where the Vesta Corporation had housed him for the last six months, Rion paced, clenching and unclenching his fists.

Ever since his arrival on Earth, Rion had been employing his diplo­matic skills to convince the United Nations to join the Honorians’ fight against the Unari. So far he didn’t have the votes of enough delegates to swing a commitment from Earth. Hell, they wouldn’t even agree to open the portal to send him back home, never mind pay for an army to fight the Unari.

But he was now done with diplomacy. Done pleading for Earth to help.

It was time to act. And his new plan was moving along nicely. Run­ning into Marisa last night had been no accident. She’d been suspicious at first, smart woman that she was, but after the shoulder massage, he was pretty sure she now thought of him as more than Lucan’s friend.

Sealing the deal might take longer.

His best friend’s twin... annoyingly suspicious of him, downright intelligent, blessed with rare telepathic talent, she was definitely a woman with curves in all the best places. She deserved to be taken to London’s best restaurant, wined and dined by a real gentleman.

His conscience stabbed, but he didn’t have the luxury of question­ing his scruples. Not after the horrors he’d seen.

By the Goddess, he’d had enough of political squabbling, inde­cision, and England. The visceral need to get home to prevent the disaster he’d envisioned flared hotly in his core. Only long years of discipline allowed him to contain his rage. But he’d do anything to save his people.

With communications knocked out on Rion’s home world, Marisa was the key to his plan to free his people of the Unari invaders. A rallying cry sent to every dragonshaper on Honor would make it possible for Rion to organize a revolt. And Marisa had the rare talent to send that message.

Leaving his room, Rion strode down the hall to the suite next door and knocked on the door. "Lucan... you there?”

Marisa cracked open the door and slipped off the security chain. With her mass of chestnut hair—highlighted in various shades—vivid blue eyes, and slender body, she resembled a picture he’d once seen in a childhood book about a fiery mountain sprite.

"Enter at your own risk.” Marisa’s eyes sparkled with humor, as if he’d caught her at the tail end of a joke.

Tendrils of her luscious mane curled over her slender neck, and he was reminded of feeling that smooth, silky skin beneath his fingertips last night. She shot him a friendly grin as if their encounter had never happened. "Welcome to chaos.”

"Isn’t Lucan around?” Pretending to search for her brother, he forced his gaze from her provocative gem-studded earlobes to look around the hotel suite.

She hadn’t been exaggerating about the chaos. Two baby dragons hopped across the carpet. Not yet strong enough for true flight, they took a few running steps, fluttered their wings, and toppled over, only to get up and do it all over again.

"Shut the door quickly before one of them escapes.” Marisa scoot­ed a baby away from the door.

Rion stepped into the turmoil of boisterous baby dragons, a barking dog, and a ringing phone, but Marisa seemed unfazed by the confusion.

Wearing high heels, jeans, and a snug tank top, Marisa swayed her hips with a sensual ease as she stepped between the furniture, the yap­ping dog, and the baby dragons’ hopping test flights. "Lucan and Cael are out to dinner.”

Watching the babies cavorting on the rug, Rion grinned at one major side effect of the sterility cure. Some people who took the vaccine now had the ability to morph from human to dragon and back. As did their children. And the babies shifted back and forth at will.

His smile faded as he recalled Earth’s struggle to accept the dragonshapers. During the last six months, parents, governments, and schools had adjusted to a baby boom and three-month gestation periods. In order to adapt to the cultural changes, many people had made sacrifices. Marisa had given up her reporting job to work at a London university and now used her telepathic abilities to teach adult dragonshapers how to contain their powers and strength.

Thank the universe the rambunctious little ones couldn’t breathe fire yet. "You volunteered to watch the twins?” Rion asked, careful to simulate surprise.

"I must have been out of my mind,” Marisa said with a laugh. Ignoring the ringing phone, she pivoted and leaned over to pick up a dragon. The pose drew his attention to her perfectly rounded ass, and he found himself battling the urge to yank off her jeans and nibble his way down to her panties.

She plucked one of the twins off the dog’s back. "Condor, sweet­heart, you can’t ride Buster.”

Rion laughed. "Why not?”

She set the baby dragon on the carpet and shook a finger at Rion. "Don’t start.” Her voice was stern, but her lips twitched into a smile. "Their claws might scratch him.”

Rion raised an eyebrow. "Through his fur?”

"I don’t know.” Marisa shrugged. "Even their mother doesn’t know. Cael says she didn’t dragonshape until she was five and had a little common sense.”

As baby dragonshapers, Rion and his cousins had often ridden the Honorian equivalent of dogs and horses. The young dragons’ instincts were right on target. Lifting Condor, Rion gently placed him on Buster’s back. The dog wagged his tail. "See, he doesn’t mind.”

"But Nessie’s throwing a fit. She wants up, too.”

Rion patted the little girl’s neck. "Nessie, you’ll have to wait your turn.”

Nessie squawked and flapped her wings.

"Uh-oh.” Marisa reached for Nessie.

But the dragon dodged, evading her aunt’s hands, and Marisa clenched empty air. She stepped forward to catch her balance, and her heel caught in a dog toy. Rion grabbed her shoulder and pulled her against his chest to steady her.

The sweet scent of her hair and the feel of her soft, toned body inflamed his senses and tempted his fingers to explore. He yearned to plunge his fingers into her hair, yank back her head, and taste her sweet mouth.

If she’d been unattractive, he still would have pursued her. But she was gorgeous, alluring, thank the Goddess, so lying, at least about his attraction to her, wasn’t necessary. However, holding her this close had him all fired up. Both his hearts pounded out a rhythm. Take. Take. Take.

If Rion were here solely to slake his own needs, he would have slammed his mouth over hers and demanded what he wanted. But his people needed her help. He couldn’t risk moving too fast.

Employing the utmost control, he held perfectly still.

She tilted her head back and smiled. "Thanks.”

Rion didn’t even attempt to control the huskiness in his voice. "I’m always happy to catch a pretty girl.”

She blushed. Rion reluctantly released her, but not before he breathed in her scent once more... strawberry soap, with a hint of lime.

Eyes sparkling, Marisa spoke breathlessly. "Guess I should be wearing track shoes to keep up with this brood.”

Kicking off her heels, she revealed bright turquoise polish.

At the sight of those toes, Rion sucked in a harsh breath. What other surprises did Marisa keep hidden beneath her clothes?

Were the dragon scales on the insides of her arms, legs, and spine deliciously thin, or intriguingly solid? When he’d held her so closely, had her scales undulated in response? Would she writhe with pleasure if he ran his tongue over them?

Buster banged into Rion’s leg, and Rion reached down to pet him, glad for an excuse to move away from Marisa. This was not the time to come on to her. He had to hold back if his seduction was going to work.

The dog ricocheted off his leg and scampered around the couch, almost tripping Marisa again as he ran in a tight circle, barking and wagging his tail. Condor clung to Buster’s back, flapping his wings, cooing happily. Nessie roared, spread her wings, and launched herself high enough into the air to settle perfectly atop her brother.

The scene was chaotic but also homey, cozy, and peaceful in a clamorous way. So different from the brutal violence in his vision. By the Goddess, he would do whatever was necessary to bring this kind of bliss to Honor again.

Patience. He couldn’t come on too strong. While he’d have to wait until the babies were asleep to make a physical move, he could still put this time to good use.

Nessie’s wing knocked over a vase of flowers. Rion lunged and caught it, but not before water spilled onto the rug.

Marisa rolled her eyes and gave Rion a now-see-what-they’ve-done look. "Cael’s going to scorch us.”

"Your brother’s put her through much worse, and she hasn’t cooked him.” Rion placed the vase in a closet and shut the door. He glanced up and spotted Merlin, Cael’s owl, on the top shelf of the bookshelf by the fireplace, wisely settled high above the fray.

Rion turned to Marisa, his body back under control. "Cael loves your brother. Besides, he has more than enough fire to counter hers.”

"I’m glad my brother and Cael found each other. They have it all— passion and friendship. They are true soul mates.” She grinned.

Damn, she had a beautiful smile. "You aren’t jealous?”

She shook her head, her chin at a jaunty angle. Marisa clearly couldn’t have been happier for her brother. "The two of them give me hope. If they can be that happy...” Her eyes took on a dreamy hue that intrigued him. Floored him.

Sweet holy Goddess. He might have just enough scruples in him to stop his reaction to the smokiness in her voice or the vulnerable hope in her eyes. But his body reacted.

He shifted to hide his arousal.

Between Marisa’s stunning looks and her quick mind, she was accustomed to men pursuing her. And accustomed to turning them down. That dreamy look in her eyes had told him she wanted the same kind of connection her brother had with his wife.

She wanted love. Commitment.

A decent man would walk away. A man with fewer responsibilities would do the right thing and leave her to pursue her dreams.

But Rion wasn’t that man.

"I heard you set your own fire last week,” he teased, turning the conver­sation in a safe direction. Marisa had dragonshaped, eaten platinum, and accidentally incinerated a tree.

"You heard about that?” Marisa laughed, not the least self-con­scious about her actions. "I haven’t had much time to work on my own dragonshaping control. The government’s keeping me too busy calming everyone else.”

New dragonshapers were required to go through Marisa’s one-week training to learn to regulate their fire-breathing. Not so easy a task, especially since dragons lost most of their human intellect after shifting.

"How’s it going?” he asked, careful to keep his voice casual.

"I’m getting the hang of group telepathy.”

As twins, Marisa and Lucan had always been telepathic—but just with each other. However, after Marisa had taken the vaccine, she’d discovered she could communicate with multiple dragons, while remaining in human form. Selflessly, she’d given up her home in Florida and a job she loved as a reporter because Earth needed her unique talent. Not only could she train more than one dragonshaper at a time, she could draw on her full human intellect to cope with the primitive dragon brains.

The dog rounded a corner, and Nessie pitched sideways. Marisa bent to catch her, her jeans tightening again to give him yet another glimpse of the perfect shape of her ass. But the dragon righted on her own, and Marisa straightened.

"Excuse me a sec,” Marisa told him, then focused on the babies.

Setting her hands on her hips, her face full of intense concentration, she moved her lips. While he heard nothing, the baby dragons did. They now used their front talons to cling to their ride.

Clearly, Marisa had given them instructions through a silent mental link. Impressive. And if his resolve had wavered, it was back in full force. It was too bad for Marisa that he needed her. But neither his genuine liking and respect for her, nor his own guilt, would deter him from carrying through with his plans.

Buster ran under a coffee table, scraping the babies from his back. Nessie and Condor tumbled, rolling and squawking, but weren’t injured. Dragons were tough.

Marisa grinned. "I think that’s enough rough stuff for...”

Buster barked at the dragons, circled them, then barked some more, as if ordering them to climb back on. This time, Nessie flew on first. Condor settled on top of her, and the three of them were off flapping and running again.

As if in unspoken mutual agreement, the adults gave up on conver­sation. They didn’t have to wait long for the commotion to die out. A few minutes later, the dog lay panting on the carpet and the twins humanshaped. Stronger than non-dragonshaping children, Nessie at only three months could crawl over to Rion, and he lifted her onto his lap.

With a mischievous grin, Marisa handed him a baby bottle, picked up Condor, and began to feed him. Looking lovely, she cuddled the baby close, in the easy pose of a natural mother. He followed suit, cradling Nessie in the crook of his arm and placing the nipple between her tiny pink lips, surprised at how good it felt to hold a child again. She smelled like powder and lotion. Sweet.

"Why so thoughtful?” Marisa asked, her face soft and happy.

He felt his neck flush. He’d just had a flash that implied imminent danger to his people, and here he was cooing over babies. He ignored her question. "Are you enjoying your new telepathic abilities?”

"Mm-hm?” She raised an eyebrow as if she knew his introspection had really been about the baby. "I’m still adjusting. I suppose we both have abilities that can be seen as advantageous as well as detrimental. Lucan told me how the flashes frustrate you.” She crossed one elegant leg, reached for a soft cloth, and wiped a trickle of milk from Condor’s cheek.

He kept his gaze on her eyes, although he really wanted to mem­orize the curve of her leg. "For me the worst part is when I don’t have a clue if my vision is from the past, present, or future. What’s worst for you?”

"The residual emotions. When I’m open and sending messages, I’m also receiving. I’m not so good at filtering them out.” Marisa might have looked maternal, but her eyes sparkled with a sexy-as-hell curiosity. "Are your flashes like a waking dream?”

"Sort of.” Rion rarely spoke about his flashes. But to gain her confidence, he had to give a little. "When a trance hits, I’m still aware of what’s going on around me. If I have to I can move, but only slowly, since I’m so distracted. Like being caught up in a good book, only more so.”

"Can you make yourself—”

He shook his head. "The flashes come at random. Sometimes I see a one-second snapshot. Sometimes I see an entire scene. It’s rarely complete, and I don’t even know if it’s the beginning, middle, or end.”

"Does everything you see in the future come true?”

"Unless I do something to alter that future.” He hesitated to say more.

Her gaze, suddenly sharp and curious, locked with his. "You can alter the future?”

"That’s what my father and grandfather believed.”

She pursed her mouth as if she’d figured out a puzzle. "So like the telepathy I share with Lucan, your flashes run in the family. But... you don’t like them?”

Her perception surprised him. "They are my birthright. I’ve learned not to ignore them. The good visions can be very useful. Three years ago, I got a visual warning to escape just before the Unari invaded Honor. That one saved my life.”

"The Unari? Who exactly are they?”

"No one knows for sure. But my people believe the Unari race is one of the most powerful partners in the coalition of evil that makes up the Tribes.”

"And you saw Lucan in a vision before you two met?” she asked.

He nodded. "Before I’d ever heard of Earth, I saw myself and your brother battling the Tribes.”

Marisa frowned. "The Tribes? King Arthur’s ancient enemy? Isn’t that who you and Lucan fought on Pendragon?”

"Yes and no. It’s true we fought the Tribes on Pendragon.”

"But?” she prodded, her gaze burning into his, her body tensed.

"My vision of your brother and me fighting the Unari Tribes together hasn’t happened yet.”

Marisa’s gaze pierced his. "Oh, my God. Are you certain?”

"Yes.” Rion nodded. "While we were on Pendragon, we found hints that King Arthur’s ancient enemy, the Tribes, might be rising again. Not just on Honor. Not just on Pendragon. But all across the galaxy.”


 

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