An exciting new story in Donna Grant’s Dragon Kings series is out this week, picking up right where Dragon Arisen leaves off, and I have an awesome excerpt for you.
Lotti felt air whoosh around her. She tried to think of solid ground to land somewhere unhurt, but she kept falling. Once again, her magic failed her. She screamed for Alasdair, but she was utterly alone except for Villette’s laughter ringing loudly around her. Lotti looked down to see the ground rising quickly. She was plummeting to her death.
Suddenly, Lotti’s eyes opened, and she bolted upright, gasping for breath.
“Hey. Lotti, love. Look at me.”
Large, strong hands gently framed her face. She turned toward the sound of Alasdair’s deep, soothing, accented voice and stared into his eyes.
His gaze searched hers before a small frown furrowed his brow. “It was a dream. You’re all right.”
She squeezed her eyes closed and threw her arms around his neck. He didn’t release her until she stopped shaking. She leaned back to see the first streaks of light in the sky. Dawn had arrived.
“Want to talk about it?” Alasdair asked as he handed her a waterskin.
She drank her fill and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand before telling him about the nightmare. “What if she’s right? What if I’m responsible for everyone’s death? What if I do destroy everything? I’ve hurt people before.”
“Only because you fought against your magic and lost control. I doona believe Villette. She’s bitter and full of rage. She will say anything to get a jab in at someone. If there is a Destroyer, it isna you. Someone with as much love to give as you have, can no’ be the one meant to wipe out existence.”
“But what if?”
Alasdair tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. “You’re a good person. You’ve never intentionally hurt anyone who wasna trying to harm you. If you were the Destroyer, then that wouldna apply to you.”
She wasn’t so sure of that. “I couldn’t use my magic.”
“You’ve told me before that your greatest fear isna being able to use it. Dreams have a way of taking our worries and fears and compounding them by a million. Then there’s the fact that you’ve had a difficult time sleeping the past few nights. Exhaustion finally caught up.”
“Maybe. Probably,” she added with a sigh.
“Since you learned about your powers, have they failed you?”
“Well…nay,” she admitted.
“Then there’s no reason to think they will when you need them.”
Lotti wanted to believe him. Alasdair’s words were wise, but she couldn’t entirely stamp out the doubt. She glanced around their camp, noticing for the first time that Varek and Jeyra weren’t there.
“They gave us some privacy,” Alasdair said.
Lotti pulled her knees up so her feet rested on the ground. The longer she was awake, the less of a hold the nightmare had on her.
Alasdair glanced into the woods. “You know verra little about your people. You can no’ trust Villette, and Eurielle didna share much.”
“She will. She promised. I do wish I had someone to talk to about all of this.”
She nodded as she drank more water. “You’re talking about Erith?”
“She created this realm for the dragons. Rhi went to warn her about the Star People, and Erith isna one to run from a fight. She’ll come. If for no other reason than to get answers for herself. She’s a friend and willna stand with Villette and those swayed by her.”
“You can’t know that.”
He gave her a crooked grin. “Aye, lass. I do know that.” He ran his finger along her jaw. “You got free of Villette once. You know who you are now, and you’re learning your powers. Whatever advantage she had is gone. You doona need to fear her. Doona underestimate her, but doona fear her.”
Lotti was the only one who could fight against the Star People. The more she gave in to panic, the more Villette won. “Good advice.”
Alasdair got to his feet and held out his hand to pull her up. “Ready?”
“Ready,” she said, dusting off her bum before catching a biscuit he tossed her way.