FANG AND CLAW
by Evangeline Anderson
Nocturne Academy, #2
My name is Kaitlyn Fellows and I’ll never be the same.
The Fire stole everything from me.
My home…my family…even my beauty.
The right side of my face is normal–even pretty. But the left side, I hide in shame. That’s where The Fire marked me…scarred me forever.
At Nocturne Academy I’m nothing–just a little Norm girl with no supernatural powers and a disfigured face.
Which is why it’s so strange that a big, Handsome Drake like Ari Reyes should take an interest in me.
But it isn’t only Ari who’s interested in me.
For under his high cheekbones and clear amber eyes, he hides another, much more frightening visage–A Drake, the fire-breathing monster that lives within him.
A monster who has decided I should be his alone.
Can I survive Ari’s love for me? And more importantly, can I survive the love of his Drake?
Because once a girl has been claimed by a Drake, the only way out is through The Fire.
What am I going to do?
I finished my test and brought it up to the teacher’s desk to place face-down on the slowly accumulating pile. Ms. Eventide was a Nocturne with sharp green eyes and a pale face. She nodded as I put down my paper and turned to go back to my seat.
“Very good, Mr. Reyes, you may read quietly at your desk,” she murmured.
I nodded, even though I knew that I wouldn’t be reading a thing. I would get out a book and pretend to read, of course, but mostly I would be watching Kaitlyn, who was even now getting up to place her own test on the teacher’s desk.
But as she moved past me, the little human seemed to trip on something on the floor. She gasped and windmilled her arms, her test papers flying in all directions as she started to fall.
I didn’t think—I just acted. Reaching down, I scooped her up before she could hit the floor and gathered her close to my chest.
“Oh!” Kaitlyn gasped and for a moment I saw her full face, as I had that day in PE—both the lovely right side and the scarred left side. Then she turned away quickly, using her long hair to hide herself, as she always did.
“Are you all right?” I asked, worried about her.
“I’m fine. Please put me down.”
She was trembling in my arms—shaking as though she feared me. I could smell the scent of her terror too—the sharp smell of adrenalin rose around me.
But there was something else too—an added component to her usually sweet scent which I was, by now, completely addicted to. It was strangely metallic and…I don’t know how else to put this…cold. A scent like winter coming on.
What was wrong with her?
“Mr. Reyes, I believe you can put Miss Fellows down now.” The sharp voice of our teacher cut through me like a knife and I realized I had been cradling the little human to my chest and inhaling her scent, trying to work out what was different about her, while ignoring her request to be put back on her feet.
“Forgive me,” I said quickly, setting her down gently. “I just…didn’t want you to fall.”
Kaitlyn’s only answer was a frightened glance before she rushed back to her seat. But then she appeared to realize that her test papers were still all over the floor. She started to get up again, though by now, everyone in the class was staring at her—which I knew was agony for the little human. In all that she did, what she strove for most was simply not to be noticed—not to be seen.
“Let me,” I told her and bent to pick up the scattered papers. Stacking them neatly, I placed them face-down on the teacher’s desk and resumed my own seat.
Kaitlyn’s one visible eye—a lovely pale aquamarine that was striking in the pale, creamy brown of her face—followed me uncertainly. As I passed her on the way back to my desk she murmured, “Thank you,” in a voice so low I was certain no one heard but me.
I nodded and murmured, “Welcome.”
She stared at me for a moment more, then looked quickly away, her curtain of hair swinging down to hide her face.
I wished she could have met my eyes just a moment more—I hated the fact that she was clearly afraid of me. I probably shouldn’t have swooped her up like that but what else could I do—just let her fall?
Inside me, my Drake roared in negation. Kaitlyn was ours, he asserted passionately—ours to watch over, ours to protect. I could no more stand by and watch her fall and hurt herself than I had been able to let Sanchez get away with bullying her.
But as I sat back down in my own seat, I couldn’t help lifting my nose to catch a bit of her scent once more. Her fear had faded but the new, cold note hit my nose, making it tingle. I frowned—why did she smell so strange? So unlike herself?
I frowned as I wondered once again, what was happening to my little human?
Evangeline Anderson is the USA Today and NYT Best Selling Author of the Brides of the Kindred, Alien Mate Index, and Born to Darkness series. She is thirty-something and lives in Florida with a husband, a son, and two cats. She had been writing erotic fiction for her own gratification for a number of years before it occurred to her to try and get paid for it. To her delight, she found that it was actually possible to get money for having a dirty mind and she has been writing paranormal and Sci-fi erotica steadily ever since.
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