Series: Ann Gimpel, Libra
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2018
Contributors: Ann Gimpel
Genre: New Release, Zodiac
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Flames turn hot
But what would you expect from two dragons?
Zachary Marston, dragon shifter, hasn't done a whole lot of shifting lately. Nope, he spends his time buried in law books as he presides over Superior Court in Denver. He's convinced himself things are great, but his dragon has other ideas. His bondmate is a tough adversary. After it threatens to abandon him, Zachary gives in and agrees to a meeting with a few other shifters. Maybe he can help out—before returning to his cushy courtroom.
Chloe's always longed for a bondmate of her own. After her twin brother links with a lion, she ups the ante, casting every spell she can think of, but none of them work. Even the smoking-hot dragon shifter who crosses her path can't ease the sting of remaining mateless.
Vampires are gaining strength, draining mage magic to augment their own. Shifters and mages—the good ones—have to mobilize fast. Libra to his bones, Zachary slings words Chloe's way, but she's a Leo and not intimidated by anyone. They're an unlikely pairing, but destiny won't be denied. Like it or not, a shifter's mate is in the stars.
Zachary Marston glared at the lawyer standing in front of his bench. “You’re wandering, counselor. Get to the point. Now.”
The youngish man shifting from foot to foot colored. His dark hair was cut short, and his polyester suit practically screamed Men’s Wearhouse. Despite his obvious discomfort, he didn’t look away. Zachary—Zee to his few friends—offered the newly minted lawyer points for that.
“Sorry, Judge Marston. But I wanted to make sure the jury fully appreciates how valiantly my client struggled when her estranged spouse—”
Zee made a chopping motion. “Enough. Court is in recess until one o’clock.” He eyed both attorneys, the one in front of him and a smooth, slick operator sitting next to his equally smarmy client a few feet away. “Have your closing arguments ready when we reconvene. Ten minutes max.”
Mr. Slick surged to his feet. “But, Judge. My arguments are prepared, and they’re far more extensive than—”
“Cut them.” Zee rose, judge’s robes billowing around his tall frame, and turned. The bailiff held a door open, and Zee entered his chambers behind the courtroom.
“Do you need anything, sir?” the bailiff asked.
The corners of the bailiff’s mouth twitched with suppressed amusement. “Easily arranged. No one will bother you through the noon hour.”
Zee clapped the bailiff on the shoulder. “Thanks, George. Appreciated.”
The bailiff turned liquid dark eyes on Zee. Gray stubble covered the top of his mostly bald head, and his face was a mass of wrinkles. As always, his beige uniform was crisp and pressed. “No worries, Judge. You and me, we go back a long way.”
Before Zee could respond, George backed out the door, pulling it firmly shut behind him. Zee eyed the thickly padded black leather chair sitting behind a massive mahogany desk, but he was too keyed up to sit in it. He shrugged out of his robe and loosened his tie before crossing the room to large windows that looked out on the Rocky Mountains.
Denver’s main courthouse was an enormous structure, complete with Doric columns and extensive lawns. The flower beds were empty this time of year, though, and the lawn had lost its summer lushness.
Deep within him, he sensed his dragon, his bondmate for the past 600 years. The creature was restless. He didn’t blame it. He wanted to fly too, but his current life circumstances didn’t offer much in the way of opportunity.
“Why are we doing this?” The dragon’s question caught him by surprise.
“Doing what?” Zee kept his voice low. Not that his office lined with bookshelves and law books wasn’t reasonably soundproof, but it paid to be prudent.
“This,” the dragon repeated. “Wasting time while you preside over small-minded wretches and their petty problems. Nothing you do changes anything. They walk back out into the world and do the same thing all over again. I liked it better on the other side of the big sea when you cut off hands or burned out tongues. Now those were deterrents.”
A smoke plume curled from Zee’s mouth. He blew it aside and hoped fire wouldn’t materialize next. Damn near everything in his office was flammable.
He had an uncomfortable hunch his dragon was right—it almost always was. “What would you have me do?” he asked, keeping his tone mild. “The world has changed—a lot. Nowhere to go, really. Certainly nowhere we could fly free.”