Friday, February 1, 2008

The Dragon of Croatia

by Valerie Everhart


Gavriel Dimitrios, the dragon of Croatia is loose and with vengeance on his mind. Stubborn Callie Stewart, the woman responsible for his release from the ancient stone tablet may be too cozy with the smugglers Gavriel has vowed to capture. Their shared passion and deceit has the Adriatic Sea at a boiling point as they delve into caves and race across islands, into the very heart of danger.



Excitement quickened through her. Then she saw something that she would never forget. On the east side of the hall. A relief on a wall, showing a woman wrapped in the sun, with the moon at her feet, her hair blowing out around her. To the side, she was threatened by a large dragon, his mouth opened wide. She shone her light first on the woman, then the dragon- and caught her breath. His scales a brilliant flame of glitter like diamonds reflected the light back to her. Shimmering ice like brilliance.

The more she stared at the picture the more she wondered the purpose of the dragon. Maybe he wasn't threatening the woman. Could it be he was protecting her? Then it changed again. To Calie, it looked like the dragon hungered for the woman. Her imagination was running wild. Dragons always hungered for women.

She needed to go back and find what the men had left here. That was her first concern. But she was too fascinated by the dragon. It looked as if he watched her now. She turned away, a shiver slithered through her, a tingling that felt sexual pulled at her. She stepped back from the dragon. That was when her eyes found the bundle. Back behind a ledge, to the right, a cloth peeked out from some smaller rocks.

She walked over and crouched down, the dragon and woman forgotten for the moment. She pulled the burlap back from the bundle. This wasn't what the men brought; they had huge bundles of something. This was too small. It was a stone tablet with hieroglyphics. She recognized some of the symbols from studying the bascanska ploca, the famous baska stone tablet, which had been discovered in Croatia ten years earlier. Probably something a schoolteacher might not know, but an agent sent to apprehend smugglers, might.

Most of it she couldn't decipher. However, she only recognized about every fifth symbol. She studied each mark, frustration building with her inability to decipher the symbols. Moving her finger to the next line there was a space empty of any symbols; a gap of about four inches. Then more symbols. However, these characters were different. She didn't recognize any of the writing, and it was far smaller hieroglyphs. She ran her fingertips over the symbols, hoping for some enlightenment. Her brain didn't recognize anything. She shivered again, much like she did while studying the dragon. A frisson of excitement ran through her. Her nipples hardened. She glanced at the dragon on the wall. A picture burst forth in her head. A dragon taking flight in the air. A brilliant shot of light. The wall shimmered, seemed to come to life. She realized she was no longer in the cave, but on the ground, in a clearing. While the dragon circled overhead.

He landed on a rock outcropping, and the gleaming dragon became a man, huge, tall and heavily muscled, bulging arms and a massive chest.
Lethargic, she could do nothing but watch his approach. His head swung around scenting danger, his gaze honed on her, and his head tilted, as if unsure of where he was also. It reduced her anxiety. He was magnificent. If she thought the dragon was awesome, the man was tremendous. Dark flowing hair, taut rippled muscles. He approached her cautiously. He didn't seem threatening to her. He was a stranger. Her dragon stranger.

He knelt in front of her. She wasn't wearing her caving equipment. In fact, she wasn't wearing anything. All the dirt and grime was gone. She no longer smelled of coconut butter and sweat. This was one terrific fantasy. Unclothed, no wonder he didn't hesitate in approaching her. Not that he was wearing much more than she.

He touched her then, gently drawing her slowly toward him. Her heart pounded. His hands brushed through her curly short hair, tussling it. His dark eyes deepened as he stared hungrily at her; focused only on her. Her mouth went dry. He pulled her into the shelter of his large frame, blocking out everything around them. Her insides were melting, going up in flame, and she took a deep breath. She felt his rippling muscles, his scent masculine and sexy. She reached up and laid her hand on his chest, and felt his steady pounding heart. She raised her gaze to him and was lost in the pool of burning desire she saw there. She could only stare up at him. His fingertips brushed her throat, and sent fire racing through her blood. He bent his head and kissed her. Mind blowing, drugging kisses that she never wanted to stop. His tongue swirling over her lips, capturing her tongue. A soft moan escaped her. Sensations increased.



1 comment:

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