Branin grimaced as the cold winds from the ice fields tugged at his wings, the frigid air piercing even thick dragon skin. Ranks of clouds on the horizon warned of the nearness of winter storms. Soon, he would need to return to the sanctuary of Cloud Eyrie. He could not survive outside sturdy walls, even if he remained in the dragon form of his twinned soul, Llewlyn. Still Branin soared higher, seeking solace from his dark mood. He dreaded the long months during which weather isolated Cloud Eyrie from the world. Snow-blocked passes and roof-high drifts prevented travel in human form by foot or horseback. Gale force winds prevented escape by wing. Winter trapped him inside walls of stone, denying him the option of escaping his loneliness in the skies above. All the other dragshi had met their mates. Their happiness, the depth of their attachments, especially that of his friends, Liam and Dealan, just emphasized Branin’s solitude.
His plans to winter over somewhere other than the high mountain complex of the dragshi vanished with the unexpected summons from Lady Eirwen. After his first rebellious thought to ignore the order from the ruler of the dragshi to return, he surrendered to the inevitable. Within the walls of Cloud Eyrie, even the temporary companionship of a woman disappeared.
Until his true mate appeared, he resigned himself to lesser relationships with the opposite sex. Over the years, many women had tried to seduce him in order to claim they’d bedded a dragon shifter or to garner the power a dragshi- wielded. At their first contact, he always made it clear no dragshi could have a permanent liaison with a true human, and that his favors could not be bought with money or wiles. Most women took his word and remained satisfied with the companionship. If they pursued their relationship to a physical level, it was done with no expectations beyond mutual pleasure. He pictured the red-haired beauty he just left. Broch went beyond the usual flattery and flirtations. Sharp words always seemed to lie just beneath her light tone and apparent sincerity. Despite her physical beauty, he sensed a ruthlessness within her. No matter how hard she tried to throw herself at him, the fire never kindled.
Branin screamed his frustration to the sky. Liam and Dealan had found each other within weeks of their first shift into dragon form. According to the ancient records in the back recesses of Cloud Eyrie, he and Llewlyn had already waited longer for their mates than any other dragshi had ever done. Llewlyn woke more frequently from the shadowed corner of Branin’s mind where he slept and the dragon’s discontent echoed Branin’s own. They were alone and, Branin feared, destined to remain that way forever. Again, he yelled to the winds. However, what echoed back from the ice-covered peaks sounded more like a moan than a dragon’s trumpeting call.
A hint of emotion whispered at the edge of his senses. He could tell the feeling did not come from his fellow dragshi, or, from one of the old dragons. That left only a true human.
The depth of the other’s longing called to him. His own hunger answered. Reaching out with a gentle mental summons, he asked,
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt and want more. For more sneak peeks, continue to the next stop in the blog by going to http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/. ~Till next time. Helen