Each dragon heir in the Silvertip line was entitled to a share of the hoard when he was ‘ready’ for it. When that time came was different for every dragon, something they were rumored to feel and sense, rather than distinctly know.
As far as Daelan was concerned, this could be the only reason why his dragon had dragged him, kicking and cursing, to Idaho of all places. And he was ready to take his gold and run right back where he came from.
In fact, the smell of treasure was so damn thick in the air that it was nearly suffocating to a dragon with very little of his own. His father’s partying lifestyle, which he had inherited, hadn’t exactly left much in the coffers.
“I can’t give it to you.”
Daelan’s voice strummed louder and lower than it should, the deep timber of his dragon coming through. In a flash, Donovan’s eyes were a deep, unsettling gold, his pupils slitted.
Though his body was still perfectly relaxed, Daelan could read his face easily enough. In the blink of an eye, the other dragon could shift and be ready to battle, if he thought Daelan posed any sort of a threat to his mate or dragonling.
Sensing the confrontation and wisely knowing it would not end well for either of them, Daelan took a moment to take a breath and calm his dragon down. His heart was pounding a mile a minute, while Donovan’s heartrate had barely spiked at all.
-Reserved bastard,- he thought grimly.
“Where’s your mate?” Donovan asked, pushing the tips of his fingers together before him and studying Daelan with interest that was sharp as a laser.
Daelan averted his eyes, going for the safety of the fire again. His dragon roused within him again, as if taunting him back.
Yeah, where is your mate?
“I don’t have one,” he answered, trying to keep his voice as even as he could.
The curse coming from Donovan was so unexpected that Daelan thought he’d crack something in his neck from whipping his head around so fast.
“What did you say?”
“I said, bullshit. Yes, you do. Where is she?”
Daelan ran a hand through his hair, slicking it through the damp black mop. Now his whole throat felt dry, and his dragonfire was no more than a tiny little speckle in the pit of his stomach, a foreboding sense of familiar guilt threatening to extinguish it.
“She isn’t here. How did you know? And don’t give me that ‘I’m a dragon, I just know’ crap. It won’t work on me.”
Donovan chuckled, visibly relaxing. Of course he would, the prick. Now that Daelan was perched on nails, Donovan could lean back and enjoy the miserable viewing experience.
“You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have one. That’s the only way this works. There is a portioned hoard set aside for you in these mountains. The magic that protects it would only call to you when you become worthy.
“As the Alpha son of a dragon that did not control a major hoard himself, it would be when you’ve come of age, found a mate and had your first heir. I assume the child’s with the mother?”
Daelan’s world ground to a halt.
He stared at Donovan in perplexed silence, his mouth practically hanging open. Donovan’s sly amusement evaporated and he frowned, leaning forward.
“Daelan, you do know you have a son, right?”
Suddenly, it became so damn clear why staying away from Boston had been a herculean effort these past nine months.
-Marley. Shit. What have I done?-
Dragon’s Christmas Baby is exclusive to our Christmas anthology, Bundle of Joy.