Arian paced the cavern in his mountain in agitation and a wee bit of anxiety. He was shaking off the dragon sleep from the past six hundred years. Not only had it been six centuries since he had been in human form, but there was a war the Dragon Kings were involved in.Con and the others were waiting for him to join in the war. Every King had been woken to take part. After all the wars they had been involved in, Arian wasn’t happy to be woken to join another.Because of Ulrik. The banished and disgraced Dragon King hadn’t just made a nuisance of himself, but he somehow managed to get his magic returned.Which meant the Kings needed to put extra magic into keeping the four silver dragons sleeping undisturbed deep within the mountain. They were Ulrik’s dragons and he would want to wake them soon.But it wasn’t just Ulrik that was causing mischief. The Dark Fae were as well. It infuriated Arian that they were once more fighting the Dark. Hadn’t the Fae Wars killed enough Fae and dragons?Then again, as a Dragon King as old as time itself, they were targets for others who wanted to defeat them.For Ulrik, he just wanted revenge. Arian hated him for it, but he could understand. Mostly because Arian had briefly joined Ulrik in his quest to rid the realm of humans.Thoughts of Ulrik were pushed aside as Arian found himself thinking about why he had taken to his mountain. When he came here six hundred years earlier, it was to remain there for many thousands of years.The Dragon Kings sought their mountains for many reasons. Some were just tired of dealing with mortals, but others had something they wished to forget for a while. Arian was one of the latter.There were many things he did in his past when the King of Kings, Constantine, asked. Not all of them Arian was proud of. The one that sent him to his mountain still preyed upon him.He didn’t remember her name, but he remembered her tears. Because of the spell to prevent any of the Dragon Kings from falling in love with mortals, Arian had easily walked away from the female.Six centuries later, he could still hear her begging him to stay with her, still see the tears coursing down her face. Though he hadn’t felt anything, it bothered him that he had so easily walked away. Because Con had demanded it.Loyalty—above all else.The Dragon Kings were his family and Dreagan his home. There was never any question if he were needed that Arian would do whatever it took to help his brethren in any capacity asked of him.
Donna Grant
Billos ran. He tore down the shore, bounded up on the rock and dove into the air. The warm water engulfed him. A boiling heat knocked the wind from his lungs. The shock alone might kill him. But it was pleasure that surged through his body, not pain. The sensations coursed through his bones in great unrelenting waves. Elyon. How he was certain, he did not know. But he knew. Elyon was in this lake with him. Billos opened his eyes. Gold light drifted by. He lost all sense of direction. The water pressed in on every inch of his body, as intense as any acid, but one that burned with pleasure instead of pain. He sank into the water, opened his mouth and laughed. He wanted more, much more. He wanted to suck the water in and drink it. Without thinking, he did just that. The liquid hit his lungs. Billos pulled up, panicked. He tried to hack the water from his lungs, but inhaled more instead. No pain. He carefully sucked more water and breathed it out slowly. Then again, deep and hard. Out with a soft whoosh. He was breathing the water! Billos shrieked with laughter. He swam into the lake, deeper and deeper. The power contained in this lake was far greater than anything he'd ever imagined. I made this, Billos. Billos whipped his body around, searching for the words' source. Elyon? His voice was muffled, hardly a voice at all. Do you like it? Yes! Billos said. He might have spoken; he might have shouted--he didn't know. He only knew that his whole body screamed it. Billos looked around. Elyon? Why do you doubt me, Billos? In that single moment the full weight of Billos's foolishness crashed on him like a sledgehammer. I see you, Billos. I made you. I love you. The words crashed over him, reaching into the deepest folds of his flesh, caressing each hidden synapse, flowing through every vein, as though he had been given a transfusion. I choose you, Billos. Billos began to weep. The feeling was more intense than any pain he had ever felt. The current pulled at him, tugging him up through the colors. His body trembled with pleasure. He wanted to speak, to yell, to tell the whole world that he was the most fortunate person in the universe. That he was loved by Elyon. Elyon himself. Never leave me, Billos. Never! I will never leave you. The current pushed him through the water and then above the surface not ten meters from the shore. He stood on the sandy bottom. For a moment he had such clarity of mind that he was sure he could understand the very fabric of space if he put his mind to it. He was chosen. He was loved.
Ted Dekker