Light My Fire by Jodi Redford
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Paranormal Romance/Red Hots!/Menage
Aiden Fortune’s orders are clear: Find the woman, claim her as a sexual sacrifice—and share her with his horndog twin brother. Distasteful as it is, the Drakoni council insists the ancient custom be honored. Or Aiden will be banished.
One glance at Dana Cooper, and Aiden is thrown into the dragon version of a tailspin. Claim her? Hell, yes, he’ll claim her. Problem is, she has no idea her father signed away her destiny at birth.
Dana has dated enough whack-a-doodles to fill an insane asylum. Two gorgeous men claiming to be dragons? Par for the course. Until they give her a tantalizing glimpse of their inner beasts, which makes her think she’s the one headed for a padded cell—for actually considering their offer of the hottest sex of her life, for life.
Her resistance melts away under the onslaught of two men who pack enough heat to set off smoke alarms in a six-block radius. Especially when she realizes she’s falling for Aiden. But with a town full of dragon hunters and an enemy lurking in the shadows, surviving a week of Aiden and Jace’s double-teaming will be the least of her problems…
Warning: Contains two smokin’ hot dragons and their not-so-unwilling sacrifice. A few wardrobe malfunctions and inappropriate use of paintbrushes. You might want to have your local fire department on speed dial.
Wiping her damp fingers on the hem of her polo, Dana hustled toward the rear hallway. She rounded the corner in time to see Aiden dragging a limp Emmaline through an opened doorway. Breaking into a run, Dana barreled down the corridor and skidded into her aunt’s small office. Her heart thundering, she gaped at Aiden and Jace while they gently settled Emmaline onto the raggedy tweed loveseat wedged in the corner.
Aiden grunted. “My dumbass brother showed your aunt his inner beastie.”
Dana glared at Jace. “That better not be code for you waving your Johnson.”
Jace sputtered a laugh. “No.”
A low groan floated from Emmaline and her eyelashes fluttered. Dana rushed to the sofa. She dropped to her knees on the cushion, prompting the broken spring in the frame to give an indignant woongg. Emmaline gave her a blank stare. “I think I fainted. How quaint and embarrassing.”
Relieved almost to tears that her aunt was apparently okay, Dana grinned. “You always were a bit of a drama queen.”
“No, hon. You have me confused with Raul.” Emmaline shifted her head and yelped when she spotted Aiden and Jace. Her face went whiter than Raul’s homemade Alfredo sauce.
Dana shot Jace a fierce look. “Are you certain you didn’t show her your dick?” A hum of warning came from her aunt and Dana rolled her eyes. “Sorry, I mean penis.”
Emmaline struggled to the edge of the cushion. “Don’t antagonize them. Dragons have a fiery temper.”
“Oh my God. I can’t believe you guys told her that kooky story!” Dana jumped up and slashed her hand in the direction of the door. “Get out. Now.”
Emmaline tugged the hem of Dana’s polo shirt. “Hon, fireballs. That’s all I’m saying.”
One corner of Aiden’s mouth tipped upward. “Don’t worry. We have no intention of flambéing your niece.”
“Arrgh. Would you stop it? And you…” Dana shook a finger at Emmaline. “Don’t encourage their lunacy.”
“Sweetheart, listen to me.” Emmaline grabbed Dana’s extended hand and tugged her onto the loveseat. “They really are dragons. Drakoni. I saw it with my own eyes.” She sent a pleading look toward Aiden and Jace. “Show her.”
Both men stood stubbornly mute.
“Oh no you don’t.” Displaying her typical spunk, Emmaline pushed onto her feet and stormed toward the brothers, her orthopedic sneakers squeaking. The crown of her permed hair barely reached the middle of Jace’s broad chest. The huge discrepancy in their sizes didn’t stop her from yapping at him like an enraged Pekinese. “You’re not getting away with making me look like a blabbering fool. I’m giving you two seconds to flash her some lizard eyes or I’m telling those hunters out there exactly what you are.”
Aiden’s nostrils flared. “You wouldn’t.”
Crossing her arms over her chest, Emmaline tapped a foot. “Try me.”
“Damn it.” Aiden plowed his fingers through his hair, leaving it in messy spikes. “We didn’t want to throw everything at Dana before she’s ready.”
“Ah, screw it.” Jace stalked toward the sofa and leaned over Dana. He blinked and his blue irises glimmered, shifting into brilliant amber. Quicker than she could fathom it, his pupils elongated into distinctively reptilian-like slits.
Her chin plummeting, Dana slumped, banging her head on the loveseat’s tall back. Jace turned to face Emmaline. “Happy now?”
“Wh-what was that?” Wincing at the screechiness of her voice, Dana scrambled from the cushions and whirled in front of Jace. His eyes had returned to normal. For a brief moment, she wondered if she’d imagined the whole thing. No, that didn’t make sense. She wasn’t prone to hallucinations. Okay, there’d been that freaky incident involving cold medicine and a talking Ficus tree, but that was a long time ago.
“It was a brief glimpse of my Drakoni form. I’d have shown you more, but I didn’t want to scare you. Not to mention your aunt would have been pissed if I tore through her roof.”
Emmaline sniffed. “You can bet your cute dragon buns on that.”
Dana sank onto the arm of the loveseat and scrubbed a hand across her face. “You know you guys are only supposed to exist in fairy tales and low budget sci-fi movies, right?”
Aiden’s dark, penetrating gaze ensnared her. “And your paintings. Let’s not forget those.”
His husky voice provoked unbidden images of her fantasy dragon—the decadent beast that starred in her most bizarre and X-rated dreams. The same beast that ultimately earned a depiction in her most erotic creation. Heat spiraled from the core of her sex all the way to her nipples. Just thinking about her nocturnal dragon almost made her orgasm. Jeez, thank God she didn’t. How embarrassing would that have been? “Let’s pretend for a second that my head isn’t ready to explode. Mind explaining how you’re able to walk around in a man suit?”
Aiden’s eyebrows winged upward. “Man suit? Interesting term. I’ll have to remember it.” His expansive shoulders hitched in the faintest shrug. “The abridged version is we’re shifters. Our human form was built into our genetic code to enable us to blend in with society.”
Jace nodded. “Yep. Kinda tough for a fourteen-foot dragon not to stick out in the crowd.”
Automatically, Dana’s attention lifted to the ceiling. Okay, he hadn’t been exaggerating about damaging the roof. “Man, you guys must have ginormous houses.”
A chuckle broke from Aiden. “We limit our Drakoni forms for the outdoors.”
“Smart thinking.” Dana fiddled with a stray lock of hair that’d escaped her scrunchie. “Next question—what are you doing here? With me, I mean.”
Aiden stepped beside Jace. “I told you. You’re our sacrifice.”
“What?” Emmaline shrieked.
They all turned to stare at Dana’s aunt. The color slowly leached from her skin again. “Are you saying you’re going to eat her?”
“Well, not necessarily in the way you’re thinking.” A wicked grin stretched Jace’s mouth. Aiden punched him hard enough in the arm he stumbled sideways.
“What my brother means is she’s not that kind of sacrifice.”
“All right, then what kind is she?” Emmaline demanded.
The flush that raced over Aiden’s cheekbones was downright adorable. “Uh…it’s probably best if we don’t go into the nitty-gritty details. I wouldn’t want to embarrass you.”
Enlightenment replaced Emmaline’s scowl. “Sex? Is that what this is about? Jeez Louise, I’m not a nervous virgin who’ll fall into vapors at mere mention of the word.” She suddenly frowned. “Come to think of it, Dana isn’t exactly a virgin either. Isn’t she supposed to be untouched in order to be placed on the sacrificial chopping block? She’s had her fair share of lovers. Not an outrageous amount or anything, but let’s just say the girl’s no longer pure as driven snow. Maybe she’s not exactly tarnished as the mucky black stuff you see piled on the side of the—”
“Okay, you’ve officially clobbered that simile and it’s now whimpering for mercy.” Dana didn’t know whether to hug her aunt or throttle her. On one hand, it was darned sweet that Emmaline was fishing for a way to save Dana from becoming the sacrificial offering. On the other hand, it was rather mortifying to have her sex life up for debate.
“Virginity isn’t a requirement,” Aiden said, his strained voice breaking through Dana’s internal grumblings.
“Besides, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a virgin these days?” Jace’s smile turned teasing. “We’d have better luck finding the Easter Bunny.”
Dana dug her fingers into her temples. “Don’t tell me it exists too?”
“Don’t know. But I sure do love me some rabbit.” Smacking his lips, Jace rubbed his stomach.
“That is really warped.” Despite the weirdness of everything, Dana couldn’t help her chuckle from joining Jace’s full-scale belly laugh. Once the hilarity passed, the seriousness of the situation returned and she shoved her hands against her lap, twisting her fingers together nervously. “I’m still not clear on this whole sacrifice thing. You want me to have sex with one of you—why?”
The now all-too-familiar silent communication passed between Aiden and Jace, earning an exasperated groan from Dana. “Would you quit that and just spit it out already?”
“Fine, you want blunt?” Aiden, his jaw hard as stone, pinned her with a stare that sizzled. “You’re not having sex with one of us. We’re a package deal.”
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