I’m hard at work writing a new paranormal, the next dragon book, Dragons Don’t Lie and I thought I would share the first chapter (unedited). It releases in September. I promise I have the perfect mate chosen for Ashrac.
Looking down at the small white business card in my hand, I can’t help wondering what I’m doing here. I glance up at “PDA” etched in white script on the glass door in front of me. I’ve lost my marbles and sunk so low even my best snake eyes won’t save me. Shrugging my shoulders, I decide to go for broke. What the hell do I have to lose at this point? I open the door and shove it forward a little harder than I meant to. It slams against the far wall with a thud. An older woman behind the large oak desk looks up and I grimace inside my head. This won’t go well.
“Mr. Ashrac?” she questions in a sturdy, direct voice.
My back straightens and a low growl escapes my throat. “It’s Ashrac of the Red Dragon Clan,” I correct.
She rolls her eyes, pulls out a stack of papers, and arranges them on a clip board. “I’ll call you Mr. AOTRDC.” Her prissy lips say she thinks she has the last word on this subject. My eyebrows lift as I try to decipher what she’s talking about. “It’s the acronym for your name,” she adds with another eye roll and lifts the clipboard in my direction. “I’m Gerri Wilder of the Old Woman Clan. I’ve been expecting you for—” she looks at the large clock on the wall and then back at me, “two hours,” she chides.
I ignore the sensor of her words and take the offered clipboard.
“Fill out what you can and we’ll use a private room for your interview.”
“Interview,” I grumble under my breath as I take a seat and look at the first page of the form. It’s straight forward until I turn the page. “Humph,” I grumble again and flip through the next page without filling out the required lines. My, “this is ridiculous,” is loud. Gerri Wilder or GWOTOWC ignores me.
I turn in the sheaf of papers with only the first page filled in. Gerri looks through them, huffs and stands from behind her desk. She’s not even five foot tall and I have no idea why I’m letting her ruffle my scales. Her short white hair is a lie or at least I think it is. She’s shifter of an unknown variety. During my fifty years of visiting the human realm there have been many changes. This realm is now a melting pot of every paranormal creature imaginable. I’m undecided if that’s good or bad. Bottom line… I prefer my own realm where dragons are lords of land and sky. Even at my young age I’m old-fashioned that way.
GWOTOWC touches a button on her phone and a man steps from an office and waits by the door. “Follow me,” she says and walks through the door the man walked from. He heads to her desk and takes a seat. I follow as told even though fire heats my lungs. Dragons don’t like being bossed around.
The small room has one table with four chairs. The walls are white with colorful artwork positioned to their best advantage with accent lighting. Gerri takes a seat and stacks my paperwork in front of her. She lifts an eyebrow and waits for me to take a seat across from her. Once I sit she wastes no time. “We’ll go through each page and I’ll fill in the blanks that gave you such a problem.”
“Nothing gave me a problem I just didn’t wish to answer those stupid questions,” I tell her in a bored voice as I lean back in the chair and stretch my legs beneath the table. The room is too small and my dragon doesn’t like it.
She blows her bangs up from her face without blinking in obvious exasperation. “Do you want a date or not?”
“I want a mate not a date,” I correct her.
Now her gaze intensifies and the need to strangle her grows. Not that I actually would. Strangulation holds certain penalties in this realm that I’m not willing to pay right now. She continues talking like I’m no threat to her, “We will follow procedure. Finding you a mate begins with setting up a few dates.”
“No,” I say loudly while fisting my hands to keep from flying across the table. I don’t have time to waste and this woman is insufferable. “A mate is all I require. Match one to me and I’ll take her.”
She lifts the top page that I filled out and moves it to the back. She ignores everything I just said and insists on keep up this stupid charade. “First I need your shifter proportions—weight, height, and so on when you’re in dragon form.”
“Why?” I snap.
She gazes over the top of the paper completely unruffled by my semi-roar, damn her. “This will be more pleasant if you drop the attitude and help me here. I’m on your side.”
“I seriously doubt that,” I huff.
“Look Mr. AOTRDC, you contacted us. We provide a service. That service entails arranging meetings with several eligible females according to your specifications. If that isn’t what you wish, we can end this interview immediately.”
I give her my fire-breathing-dragon gaze and she has the audacity not to melt into the floor. “I want a mate,” I say and pound my fist on the table for emphasis. “I will kidnap her and take her to my realm where she’ll be held until she agrees.”
Gerri’s face goes from ghost white to red but I ignore that.
“My dragon form is as large as this building. Do you want my cock size for your form too?”
Without blinking she replies with a stubborn tilt of her head. “That question is on page six where your sexual preferences are covered. We’ll get there in a moment. This is easier if we do it in order.”
She still doesn’t blink. “I’m sure.” She marks a bit of information on the page and flips it over. “What are you looking for in a mate?”
I close my eyes for a moment and think about it before making a verbal list, “Docile, pretty, gently spoken, able to take orders. Frightens easily,” I add because I want her terrified when I kidnap her so we start our mating on the right foot.” I open my eyes in time to see Gerri shake her head. “What? You asked.”
She starts writing again and flips the next page over. “I need your social status.”
“What does that mean?”
“Can you afford a date, mate, wife, or concubine?”
I mull the word “concubine” over in my head because I like the sound of it. No, I tell myself. Mate only. “I have adequate wealth to keep one of each and it wouldn’t cause a hardship. My castle has just been completed and all it needs is a mate to handle my day to day personal care.”
Another head shake and more writing. She looks up after a few minutes. “Describe what is required for your care.”
This woman is something else. Are men really so different that she would need to ask this? “I want meals on the table at the proper time morning, noon, and night. I require a clean castle that runs like a finally tuned machine. My mate will handle those details along with her mate duties in my bed.”
She rests the papers back on the table. “So basically you want a sex slave?”
“No.” I shake my head. “A general slave who is seen and not heard would be better. Sex with me will be her bonus.”
I swear she tries not to smile. “I have just the woman in mind. You will date her first and if that doesn’t work out, you will call me and I’ll set you up with someone else. I think Flora will be perfect though and I’m rarely wrong about these things.”
“Good,” I grunt. “I like the name Flora. It sounds passive enough.”
Here’s the paperback cover