- Caught By the Dragon
- Realms of the Dragons
- Labyrinth of the Dragon
- Traitors Among Dragons
- Oceans Beneath Dragons
- Deserts of the Dragons
- Island of the Dragon
- Myths Beyond Dragons
- Forest of the Dragon
- Dreams of Dragons
- Maiden to the Dragon Box Set #1
- Maiden to the Dragon Box Set #2
- Maiden to the Dragon Box Set #3
Gods still roam the world, and it’s up to Miriam Cait, her lover dragon Xander, and their friends to stop them before the joined worlds are destroyed.
Problems closer to home, however, need their attention. A summons brings them back to Viridi Silva, the woods along the southern border of Xander’s lands. There they find themselves thrust between two opposing sides, each laying claim to the forest. A truce seems impossible until a threat greater than both sides arises from within their own ranks.
A shaky trust is formed against their common foe, but old hatreds threaten to destroy the fragile truce as Miriam and company must perform a battle of wits as well as power as they fight not only for control of the forest, but for the lives of their friends, as well.
Cold. Cold and noisy.
That was my world at that moment as I stood leaning against the railing of the large balcony. At my back was the imperial castle of Xander Alexandros, lord of Alexandria. In front of me lay the frozen surface of Lake Beriadan. Ice covered every inch of its waters, and children laughed and yelped as they slipped across its surface.
Their voices were drowned out by the voices around me, and yet I was alone on the balcony. I grimaced and clapped my hands over my ears, but that did nothing to drown out the numerous voices. I threw my hands down to my sides and growled.
“That is a rather intimidating noise,” a voice spoke up behind me.
I spun around and glared at the speaker. “Will you just shut-” I froze. Xander stood in the doorway that led into the castle. One of his eyebrows was arched. My shoulders drooped and I ran my hand through my hair. “Oh thank god, you’re really there.”
He frowned as he walked up to stand a foot before me. “Should I not be?”
I averted his curious gaze and shook my head. “No. I mean yes. Maybe?”
Xander cupped my chin in one hand and lifted my gaze to his. He smiled softly down at me and made my heart flutter. “What is the matter?”
I sighed. “Do you remember those voices I heard a few months ago? The ones Crates told us were the voices of the gods?” He nodded. “Well, I’m hearing them again.”
He pursed his lips. “How long have they remained silent?”
I shrugged. “Ever since we defeated Phrixus two months ago.”
“Are they the same as you heard before?” he wondered.
I winced. “That’s the bad part. They sound louder. It’s like there’s a party in my head where I didn’t invite any of them and they’re all drunk.”
“Can you understand what they are saying?” he asked me.
I drew my chin out of his grasp and wrapped my arms around myself as I shook my head. “Nope. It’s just a bunch of murmurs, but I get the feeling from the tone of their voices that they think something’s going to happen.”
“Lord Xander!” On cue one of the castle sentries appeared in the doorway. He was low on breath, but still managed to stand at attention and salute his lord. “My Lord, a message has arrived from King Thorontur.”
I furrowed my brow. “Who again?”
“The fae ruler of Viridi Silva, the forest to the northwest of my domain,” Xander reminded me before he strode over to the guard. “What is the message?”
The guard shook his head. “The fae messenger would not-”
“Hey! Stop there!” came a shout from the hall behind the guard.
Xander strode into the passage with the guard and me close at his heels. We glanced down the left side of the hall and glimpsed a tall Arbor fae stride down the stone passage toward us. Behind him was an entourage of a half dozen castle guards who scampered after the dark-haired gentleman.
I glanced up at Xander. “I’m guessing it’s Spiros’s day off.”
He nodded. “Unfortunately.”
The young man stopped before Xander and bowed his head to the dragon lord. “It is a pleasure to see you again, Lord Xander.”
The guards hurried up behind him and pointed their swords at the gentleman. The leader of the group glanced at Xander. “My Lord, he would not obey our orders-”
Xander smiled and waved his hand at the guard. “It is quite all right. You may return to your duties-” he glanced at the messenger, “-all of you. I will entertain our royal guest.” The men bowed their heads and retreated.
I stepped up to Xander’s side and squinted at the young man. He was about thirty with pointed ears and shimmering black hair. The man was as tall as Xander, but slim and with paler skin. His eyes were the greenish color of fresh moss on a tree trunk and his black hair fell down to his rear.
I pointed at him. “Don’t we know you?”
“He is Durion, prince of the Arbor fae of Viridi Silva,” Xander reminded me.
Durion smiled at me and bowed his head. “I have not forgotten your name, Maiden Miriam, nor the great deed you did for my people which can never be repaid.”
I shook my head. “It’s just Miriam, and don’t mention it. It was more of a fluke than anything.”
He lifted his gaze to mine and his eyes flashed with a brilliant green light. “I have heard of many other ‘flukes’ that have been attributed to your impressive powers as a Mare fae. Even to the ability to produce Soul Stones.”
I shrugged. “More flukes.”
“Prince Durion, please forgive me if I I sound rude, but what has brought you so urgently to my castle?” Xander spoke up.
Durion returned his attention to the dragon lord and pursed his lips. “Pardon my interest in your Maiden-” I cleared my throat, “-that is, in Miriam’s abilities, but unfortunately they may be needed. You see, the humans have returned to Viridi Silva.”
Xander arched an eyebrow. “When did this occur?”
“The large group of humans-some two thousand in number-were noticed traveling through the forest some three weeks ago. They have taken up residency in the ruins of the formerly cursed castle and we have seen them repairing parts of the fortification.”
“Have you made any attempts to contact them?” Xander asked him.
Durion nodded. “Yes. Several messages have been left, once by night beside the largest of the tents and another by arrow pinned to the castle walls. They have not responded, and after each attempt at contact more work has been performed on the defenses.”
Xander pursed his lips. “What does the king make of these humans and their actions?”
“My father-that is, King Thorontur believes they mean to take advantage of our smaller numbers and reclaim their lost territory,” Durion told us.
Xander studied the young fae. “I sense you do not share your father’s belief.”
The prince straightened and pursed his lips. “I have observed them a great deal and can find no signs of aggression.”
“Even in their rebuilding of the wall?” Xander wondered.
He nodded. “Yes. I would do the same if I were making a new home of an old one, and there is the people themselves. The men have brought their wives and children with them.”
“So you favor a diplomatic route with them?” Xander persisted.
Durion stiffened a little more. “I cannot say for sure, Lord Xander, but it is on that front that my father wishes to see you-” his eyes flickered to me, “-both of you.”
I pointed at myself. “Why me?”
“That is a matter on which he wishes to speak personally with you,” Durion revealed as he glanced at Xander. “Will you come?”
Xander bowed his head. “We will come.”
I glanced up at Xander and pursed my lips. “You think we should? I mean-” I tapped my temple, “-there’s the voices problem.”
He nodded. “An ally has asked for my aid. I must not forsake him.”
I sighed and shrugged. “All right. When do we leave?”