By: Layla Heart
Sophia’s family turns out to be even more… complicated, than she originally knew.
When Sophia and her men finally make it into the magically locked room in the library, the room that has been closed off for decades, they not only find out how long her father’s side of the family has been in the area, but that they’ve secretly been doing research for the fae the whole time.
The five’s nosing around in the room has alerted people and Sophia’s half-sister shows up to check out what’s going on. Her half-sister, who she had no idea existed and who has a fae mother…
Things should have become easier now that they’ve found the research in the library and can use that to their advantage, but more than answers, it all throws up questions for Sophia.
Questions about her father, about who she really is, who the rest of her family are and what they’ve done to the people from the town where she grew up. But most of all, questions about what it means to be a half-dragon, now that the connection she felt with her witch side of the family has gotten so tainted.
Guarding Their Dragon Mate
12 August 2020
Pages: 108 pages
Available in the Netherlands/Belgium:
As part of a collection
If you don’t want to buy through any of the international stores, this story is also available in the Netherlands and Belgium as part of Fated Hearth (Guarding Their Dragon Mate Collection 2). This features the second three novellas of the series and is available in ebook or paperback.
It takes me a moment to fully understand what the woman in front of us just said. She’s Sophia’s half-sister! Of course, I understand the idea of half-siblings, I understand that part of what’s going on, but it’s hard to wrap my head around how someone could not just work for the fae, but actually have a child with one, and then also have a child with a dragon? It’s the duplicity that’s hard for me to grasp.
How someone could… How someone could deceive someone else like that. How Sophia’s father could deceive her mother like that… Or his previous wife? Both? I don’t know. Though it seems that there had been rumours about the existence of a half-dragon child, but nothing concrete, no real proof that Sophia existed.
Sophia’s half-sister quickly shrinks the distance to us, two fae guards at her side, their weapons out, both magical and non-magical, ready to attack us. Potentially ready to kill us, get rid of us.
I pull out my weapons, holding them up in front of me as I step closer to Sophia, needing to protect her. Not that my weapons are much in comparison to some of what the others use, just two knives and my electricity. But that doesn’t matter, I have to protect Sophia. I have to protect her, that’s my only goal.
“Wait.” Topaz’ voice is short and in a flash, a wall of fire appears in front of us, between us and the attackers, and we all stumble back a couple of steps, the heat overwhelming. “Stay back.” The fire spreads out to the side, surrounding us more and more, until it comes to a full circle.
The flames shoot up higher as Gale mixes his magic with Topaz’, feeding the flames with his air magic. Through the flames, I catch flashes of the woman and the guards trying to get closer to us, but even though the woman has water magic, she just showed it dancing over her weapon, she doesn’t use it against the flames… interesting.
I dare to glance to the side, to Sophia, and her face is hardened, her eyes dark as her chest rises and falls quickly. She glares at Topaz. “And now? We can’t do anything from here.”
“I know.” Topaz gives a quick nod, strongly concentrating on his magic. “But you don’t think it’s a little strange that they’re here on their own, just this small group? She must have known what breaking the seal meant. She must have known that the person breaking the seal will be related to her by blood, so why didn’t she take more people with her? Why this small group? Something’s not right.”
“I need to… She…” Sophia glares through the flames in the direction of her half-sister, then she takes a deep breath, her jaw tensing, before she visibly pushes her own magic down, taking control of herself and the situation. “You’re right. I need to think like a leader, not like a hurt little baby dragon… Either there are more people, soldiers, guards, whatever, already here or they’re going to be on their way here soon enough. Fuck.” She looks around the little group, at the four of us. “Our priority has to be the safety of the people of this town. That’s why we’re here, not for some personal vendetta, not even mine.”
“Killing them works for that…” I try to look through the flames again and I get a smack on the back of my head from Lyell.
“No, killing them would make more people angry, people who will come look for them… Taking many more with them…” He looks at me like he normally looks at Topaz. Well, I’m sorry for getting frustrated, but I don’t see how else we’re going to solve this.
“Then what do you propose?” I glare back at Lyell.
“Stop that,” Sophia grumbles to us. “We’re not killing them. End of.”
“But if we let them go, they’ll report to whoever they work for that you exist. That you’re here. Then what?” I look at her.
She takes a deep breath. “I don’t know. I don’t know yet. But I guess we’ll find out. Killing them works in the very short future, as in, maybe two days, but we won’t know anything new. If we let them go, we might be able to follow them and find out more.” She looks to us, her eyes serious. “Make them flee. Make them flee to wherever they came from and we’ll deal with it once we’ve got a plan.”
I can’t believe she’s so calm about this, this is so messed up! “Why not just kill them now? We can always retrace their steps.”
“Because I say so.” Her voice is harsh and I quickly nod.
“Of course.” She’s the one in charge. No matter what I think of her choice, she’s the one in charge, so I’ll have to follow whatever she says.
“Topaz, Gale? Push them away.” Sophia steps forward, her own magic swirling around her, then she looks at me. “Want to do that thing we did before, use our magic together?”
I nod stepping closer to her, my one arm around her, tucking her against my chest, the other next to her outstretched hand.
“Go.” Sophia nods and the wall of flames drops, the magic instead forced forward, a wave of hot air shooting at Sophia’s half-sister and the guards. Then Sophia uses her own magic and I mix my electricity through her water. Electricity might not do that much against other fae, but it’s still annoying to them, and combined with the water, the electricity keeps sparking all over the place. It’s still not comfortable to get shocked constantly, even if it doesn’t do that much, it’s still not a good feeling.
The water and electricity mixed magic hits one of the witches in the back, one of the ‘researchers’, and they go down fast, screaming out in pain. That gets the attention of Sophia’s half-sister and the guards. They quickly change tactics now that the witch is in trouble.
The guards rush to the witches, trying to protect them with their bodies, as Sophia’s half-sister steps in front of them, holding up her sword. She’s using her sword to create a magical shield around them, protecting them from the water and electricity. The guards pick up the witches and dive into a side-street, out of our view.
“You think this is over, little sister?” The half-sister looks straight at Sophia. “You and your little rag-tag of rebels don’t stand a chance. Our father knew that, he’s always known that, that’s why he came back home. He didn’t want to be part of the losing side, on the wrong side of history.” She pulls something out of her sleeve, it looks like a dagger of some type.
It takes me a couple of moments to figure out what she’s holding, it’s a claw of some type, just a single nail. My stomach rolls, it looks a lot like a dragon’s nail. Fuck.
Sophia’s half-sister takes the nail into her hand tightly and falls to one knee, stabbing the nail into the ground. As soon as she’s got it stuck in the road, she jumps back and shockwaves ripple out from the claw, making everything around us shake. Her half-sister somehow manages to sprint off, even though she’s not very steady on her feet. But if we want to follow her, we have to pass the middle of the ‘earthquakes’, and it’s hard enough to stay on our feet as it is. With every wave, the shocks get more and more intense.
Around us, buildings are starting to creak and the old library collapses, the flames high, like they’re trying to reach for the sky, a wave of heat rushing towards us. Hell, the heat is burning hot. My skin feels like I’ve held my hand into an oven for too long.
Topaz does something with his hands and seems to be able to contain the heat with his magic, as Gale lifts himself into the air a little, floating over to the nail so he doesn’t have to deal with the shocks and he pulls it up with his magic, making sure not to touch it. As soon as the nail is pulled from the ground, the shaking stops, though my body still feels weird from it, all tingly, like my muscles and joints are all in weird places now.
Gale walks over to us, no longer floating with the shocks gone, and he holds the nail out to Sophia. “I guess we can make some guess as to what they’re doing with the earth dragons.”
Sophia nods, carefully picking the nail from the air, and turns it over in her hands. “It looks…” She pulls a face as she turns the ragged edge up. “It doesn’t look cut, it looks pulled out.”
Oh, no. My stomach rolls. The hell? Why would they do that? “Why?” I manage to croak. That’s just… cruel, beyond cruel.
Lyell shrugs, his face pained. “Why not? If they can control earth dragon magic like this, without having to depend on dragons, then why wouldn’t they do this? It’s no loss to them. They don’t care about the dragons, they just care about their own power.”
“Lyell is right,” Sophia grumbles. “They don’t care about others, they just care about themselves. But my ‘sister’ has made a mistake.” Her eyes slowly start to glow. “I have no idea if she even knows it herself. I have no idea how much she knows about witches, or their magic, but she just made a huge mistake.”
“Which is?” I glance her way, not sure I understand.
“She just let me know that she’s of the same bloodline as I am. I had no idea if my father was alive, or where he’d be, but I now know that she is, and we share the same blood. Specifically, we share the same witch bloodline.” She lets out a deep sigh. “I tried looking for my father before, but I couldn’t find anything. Either because he wasn’t alive or because he could hide himself, but I don’t think she knows how to do that. She’s too arrogant. She thinks that being a fae protects her, but it doesn’t, not while she’s out in the open, anyway. Even witches can only track someone for so long, or protect themselves for so much, but when she’s on the go, she can’t use many hiding spells, especially not ones that would hide her from bloodline searches.” She looks around. “Let’s go. We need to get back to the school. The rebels need to guard the town, make sure they’re not coming back, and I’ve got something to take care of.”
I nod. Still not exactly sure about what she just said, still a little lost. But Sophia looks so sure of herself, so sure of her plan, that I’m not going to stop her. I’m not going to doubt her, because this is the most hopeful she’s looked in a long time.
Glancing to the others, they seem to be the same, not exactly sure about the situation, but definitely ready for whatever’s going to happen next.