The world holds few secrets for Oracle Elana Anderson, or as her fans know her, Ela Deville. Successful author of paranormal romance, Ela has a secret: not all her paranormal characters are quite that fictional. She hardly expected she’d trigger a chain of events that might bring about the end of the world via a pesky dragon. Rendered blind to visions of him, Ela’s only way to save her world is to keep the dragon close…very close.
Obitus, the only awake dragon in the Otherworlds, is determined to get back the magic that was stolen from him and secure his position for a good thousand years. Becoming Akai’s new guardian after getting rid of the current one is the best way to it. But that means getting Ela on his side. He’ll bargain and maneuver his way there if he has to, but ends up tormented by the desire to have her for real.
In a game of deals, half-truths and irresistible cravings, does one heart have to break in order for the other to save the world?
~ Bewitching BT
From Chapter 3, Ela’s POV:
A couple hours later, things didn’t go any better. Janice went out to run errands, and a certain scaly someone decided to stop by while she was out.
After our encounter in the ladies room last night, the dragon was now in my office. I watched him walk around my transparent desk, running a finger on its edge as he went. I could tell a lot by studying the way a creature moved. It went for animals, people, and Otherworlds creatures alike. The really powerful ones, the ones who knew they were lethal never rushed. Not even in full swing battle. They never panicked, never really got frantic—they never had to. Victory would be theirs, no matter the opponent. Real predators were calm, stealthy. It was the nature of creatures who knew how far they could go in order to get what they wanted.
Obitus was annoyingly calm and stealthy. He moved with the leisure of knowing the object of his attention had no chance to escape. Currently, that object of attention was me. That made the observing of his predator skills mildly less entertaining, but I had the advantage of knowing his attempts would all be futile. That gave me a good measure of pleasure and made each of our encounters more fun.
He stared out through the large windows, looked down on the busy street and rushing cars. The way light reflected off of his white eyes was like poetry. In my moments of weakness I loved poetry, but it was one guilty pleasure I was keeping to myself.
“So,” he muttered, still looking out the window, “a twenty-five-year-old author of numerous bestsellers. I wonder if you have any time for yourself.”
“Your concern is heartwarming.”
He chuckled and turned around, slowly. “And yet your heart isn’t warmed. Is it?”
A shiver went through me when his gaze met mine. I’d never have thought white eyes could look so…scorching hot. In an alien sort of way, but still hot—white hot. Little drops of sweat covered my nape.
“What do you want, dragon? Why keep pestering me?”
He pouted. “Now that’s just rude. I wouldn’t have pegged you for a rude woman, Elana Anderson.”
I blinked a couple of times. “How do you know my real name?”
“You know us dragons—never a dull moment.”
“Charming. Now tell me how you found out my name. It’s not exactly…accessible.”
He cocked his head to the side, the corners of his lips turning up just a hint.
“Real names are a big deal to us. I’m sure you know that. In some worlds, having someone’s full name is the greatest power you can have over that creature.”
I smiled tightly. “Which brings us back to my question. Why do you have mine?”
He walked up to me with torturous grace. When he was but one foot from me, he leaned back against the desk, bringing our eyes close to the same level.
“Perhaps I want to have power over you,” he whispered.
My heart twitched and blood thudded violently through my veins. “And why would you want that?”
He chuckled and crossed his hands over his wide chest. I hated him right then, not for the first time and most assuredly not the last, for having such a strikingly handsome human form.
“You’re going to be mine, Elana Anderson. I think deep down inside, you know it to be true. I think you’ve seen it in one of your visions. Seen how it might end. It scares you.”
Scaly bastard, I thought bitterly. “I’m not afraid of your kind.”
He tsked. “My ‘kind’? I didn’t know you were racist, Oracle. It’s disappointing.”
“Don’t play innocent,” I snapped. “You personally brought the destruction of two Orc kingdoms and single-handedly took down an elf court. And that was in your first five hundred years of life! That’s not even teenager dragon age,” I muttered darkly.
He shrugged, giving me the signature crooked trickster smile. “I’m impressed and flattered by your interest.”
Gah! The creature was impossible. “You’re a plague and I’ll have nothing to do with the destruction you’ll…”
He shot up to his feet, bringing the tip of his nose one breath away from mine.
“Yes? The destruction I’ll what?”
My temples pounded. The haze of the vision hit me like lightning bolt. The world in flames, millions of people dead. Famine, despair, destruction. And flying over it all, with languid and graceful battings of his black wings, him—the destroyer of Otherworlds: Obitus. I shuddered and stepped back.
“Listen to me and listen well, Obitus Ravusum Sangaeternus. Whatever it is you’re planning, and however you think you’ll use me, I promise you this: you will not succeed.”
He grinned, something dark and dangerous bubbling under the façade of his courtesy.
“I love how my name plays on your tongue. It sounds like a prayer. Say it again.”
I gulped and reached deep inside to find my powerful persona—that calm and collected version of me that could smile and make nice regardless of the situation. Though every instinct I had screamed for me to step back, I stood my ground.
“Get out of my office.”
“Tsk, tsk, tsk. I don’t like rude, Elana. If you go naughty, I just might have to spank you for it.”
I squinted my eyes. “Get. Out.”
“I love it when you get all bossy. Nobody’s ever talked to me like that in all of my three thousand years of life. It’s kind of turning me on, don’t stop.”
“I’m not intimidated and I’m sure as hell not impressed by your antics. Maybe third time’s the charm, so I’ll ask you again: get out of my office.”
The damned dragon leaned back against my desk, running a hand down his abs. Well, he ran it over his shirt, but the fabric was so fine the lines of his abs were clear enough to guess their every detail. His hand got alarmingly close to the line of his black slacks. I gulped and tore my gaze away. It seemed there was a happy ending waiting to happen down that happy trail, and I was alarmingly curious to see the credits roll.
“Come closer,” he whispered in a chorus effect voice.
I knew that voice; in my visions he always sounded like that. A true dragon voice sounded like a chorus, some of the voices in the chorus more whispery, some deep and husky. It made the hairs on my nape stand on end and I shuddered.
“So you’re a harasser now, too?”
He grinned. “I’ll be whatever you want. I’ll do whatever you want. Just come closer,” he whispered in that same voice.
I was mortified to admit it, but just the sound of him almost melted my knees. I forced myself to visualize waterfalls, filled my mind with the sound of rain. Coolness washed over the simmer in my body and I inhaled deeply.
“Your tricks won’t work on me, Obitus. Stop embarrassing yourself.”
“Dragons have no shame, don’t you know?”
“Oh, I know everything I need to know. You think you’re so special, don’t you? Well, you’re not.”
He chuckled and crossed his hands over his chest. “Really? How so?”
“Plenty of human cultures have someone like you, you know? The trickster, the dealer, the liar, the seducer. You’re not that original around here so drop the theatrics.”
He pushed away from the desk slowly and walked those couple of steps to me. When we were an inch apart, he sneaked his arms around my hips and languidly slithered his body against mine. I blushed furiously and turned to look away as blood pounded through me. He was strong and hard all over, and every cell in my body responded to him. But I knew the price for giving in, for indulging. I shuddered and just stood there, breathing slowly.
“Be that as it may, I’m special. One of a kind, in fact. You and I both know I’m the only dragon who made it out of the Panu prisons. As far as Otherworlds are concerned, I’m the only dragon.”
“One too many, if you ask me,” I grumbled.
“I want you,” he whispered. “Denying me will only make me want you bad. So, so bad…”
He trailed off and chuckled. His palms felt burning-hot on my hips, even through the layer of my pants.
“You won’t have your way, Obitus. I won’t let you.”
“When I manage to gain more of my powers back, I could take you to whatever world you’d wish. I could bring all the Otherworlds to your feet. With you by my side, there’d be nothing to stop me. Say yes.”
I shook my head, trying hard to keep looking away. “No way, never gonna happen.”
He ran a hand through my newly shortened hair, pulled on some strands enough to make me wince. He rubbed the tip of his nose against my temple.
“What is it that humans say? Never say never?”
My mouth went dry as the smell of his skin permeated the air around me. Gods help me, he was beyond hot. He was my curse, my trial. He could also be my salvation if I played my cards right. All I had to do was resist him. It seemed a lot more difficult to pull that off right now, with the heat of his body warming mine, with the smell of his skin invading my lungs. For one torturous moment I thought I might give in. Maybe I could just turn my head around and run my lips against his. Just for one, tiny moment…
My phone rang and broke that trail of thought. I stepped away and his hands left my hips. No matter though, the outlines of where he’d touched me kept burning there on my skin. I cleared my throat and picked up the phone.
“Sylvia wants to see you. I’m with her in the elevator. You ready for visitors?”
Thank gods. “Sure, I was just hanging around in my office.”
I set the phone down on the desk and looked pointedly at the door. Maybe I should get a No Dragons Allowed sign for the door?
“My hint to get lost, huh?” Obitus asked and smiled.
“I’ve been trying to give you that hint for thirty minutes now.”
“See you around,” he said after a crooked grin.
No, he wouldn’t. I waved my hand unceremoniously for him to get lost and smiled wide as Sylvia walked into the room. She stared at him like he was made of honey and she wanted nothing more but to lick the floor clean in his wake. Of course she did, dragons had that effect on, well, everyone and everything pretty much.
“Aren’t you going to introduce us?” she purred.
Hell no! “He’s nobody important. And he was just leaving.”
Obitus’s white eyes flashed at me but he smiled tightly and walked out in style. Sylvia and I stared after him, her longer than me. A couple seconds after he left, she turned to look at me with wide eyes and pouty lips.
“I could swear I just saw someone in here, but at the same time I’m positive I didn’t. I must be more stressed out than I thought I was.”
I shrugged. “Must be. Please come in, take a sit.”
By the time she did, the memory of seeing him at all was gone. Dragons could do that if they wanted. But I’d thought it was one of the powers Obitus had lost. Obviously, I was wrong. Either he was saving some tricks up his sleeve or he was gaining more power. I knew for sure he’d be dangerous, lethal in fact, if he gained enough power. I also knew I had to resist Obitus to prevent that image of horror in my visions. Of course he had to be someone I craved. Our trials were only as difficult as we were strong. But I had to succeed; the fate of my world depended on it.
About the Author & Links:
Livia lives in Europe where she listens to obscene amounts of music and devours every reading material in sight. When she’s not doing either of the two, she fiddles with anything remotely customizable within reach.
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