Series: C.D. Gorri, Cancer
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Contributors: CD Gorri
Genre: New Release, Zodiac
Buy the Book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books
Will Nathan Silvertongue, a cranky SeaDragon, change his attitude after he gets trapped by sassy Witch and Junior Station Master, Phoebe Bright?
Nathan Silvertongue is a Dragon Shifter, bound to the sign Cancer, and a Warden of Terra. Called into duty upon the disbanding of the Hounds of God, Nathan ignores the first few attempts of the Heralds to get in touch with him. Living on a tiny unmarked island, the SeaDragon left mainstream life decades ago, preferring his isolation and solitude, but that all changes when she shows up.
Phoebe Bright has been promoted to the rank of Junior Station Master by the Heralds of Terra. Her job is to wrangle and confirm assignments for her charge. If only she could find him!
Tracking down the elusive SeaDragon hasn’t been easy, but this Witch isn’t about to give up. Not even when he slams the door in her face. Literally.
If he won’t talk to her, he won’t talk to anyone! Phoebe conjures a spell that leaves the two of them on his island without any means to communicate with the outside world until they come to an agreement.
Sparks fly as tempers and lusts grow wilder with each passing day, will they survive being waterlocked with only each other?
A thousand years I have dwelled on this solitary rock. Completely alone on this deserted island. My own private paradise. Ha! Yet true. I am better off away from the tailless monkeys and their trivial lives. The last SeaDragon has survived this long unattended, and I shall continue to do so till I draw my last breath.
Nathan Silvertongue repeated the words to himself, inside the hollows of his brain, as he slowly woke to the familiar sounds of rushing water. His cave, well, mansion actually, was deep in the belly of the island he’d claimed centuries ago.
Shielded by a cloaking spell it’d remained undetected by normals and most supernaturals for as long as he’d been there. It was perfect for him. His own place where he could roam as both man and his beast, and, more to the point, where he could live his life the way he wanted to.
Not as some puppet on a string answering the whims of those treacherous fates and their puppets! The Heralds have done well to leave me alone these last thousand years, he thought to himself as he stretched his enormous body.
Yes, he’d mostly slept the time away. Dragons did not hibernate exactly, but he was able to slumber for years, even decades if he chose to do so. This last sleeping spell was a few measly weeks, but what else was there to do when the sole purpose of your existence was taken from you?
Bloody Wardens and their bloody duties. Well, he’d more than done his duty! He frowned at his thoughts while he checked on his supplies. Hmm. Need to place an order on Prime stat. His last round of improvements to his manse were nearly complete. He’d needed to wait for the cement to cure to continue, so he’d napped away the time.
Life went on, he supposed. He began the process of making coffee and scrounging up some meat from his freezer before firing up his computer. Who knew a SeaDragon would be so dang computer savvy?
He loved the speed and infinite possibilities surfing the internet gave him. He enjoyed placing orders and keeping an eye on the weather and such. No need at all for anyone else. Not on my perfect island.
Though, in truth, he did miss actual interaction. The comradery he’d had with the other Wardens. Heck, he even missed fighting with his Station Master when things got very dark out in the middle of nowhere. No one knows where I am. I am forgotten. The thought was damn depressing. No. Not depressing. I like being alone.
In his day, he’d defeated every water witch and demon that had tried to worm its way into the Earth. He’d done so for centuries. I was really something back then. But Nathan had lost himself somewhere along the long and winding road of his life. I like my life how it is. Alone is better.
True, he missed the activity of battle. The mental and physical preparedness that came with simply being a Warden. He sometimes wondered how he’d fair in a fight these days. Note to self, start a morning work-out routine.
Muscles notwithstanding, he hadn’t engaged in anything resembling warfare in centuries. Nathan was not lazy exactly, but he simply hadn’t had much contact with others in the past thousand years. Once upon a time, he’d spilled blood, sweat, and tears in the process of fulfilling his vows. Sometimes his own.
He’d used his powers of Cancer to control the water. An element that was as volatile as it was powerful. Aware with each moment that it could so easily turn on him. Nothing was as invigorating as invoking his powers!
Most Dragons did not swim. More comfortable in the air, were his brethren, where he’d always felt the seas were his true home. What brethren? They were all gone now.
He was the last. He’d been the last SeaDragon for eons. But now he was the very last Dragon Shifter as well. Sadness and fear gripped his heart, but he refused to give in to the panic as he stood and stretched his large body before sauntering forward.
It was a hard truth. Nathan had not heard the trumpeting sound of his kind in centuries. He would go on being the last Dragon Shifter on Earth until his final breath. Which would not come for a long, long while, provided he stayed on his island.
It was not like the Heralds of Terra had much use for a dried-up Warden like himself. Hadn’t for almost a millennium. Not when the Christian God took over and the Hounds claimed the Earth their territory. Those dogs had some serious issues when it came to territory.
Bastards had called his magic blasphemy. Declared all other supernaturals evil. The nerve of those shaggy flea-bitten mongrels! Nathan felt the fire of his beast rouse inside his chest. He took two deep breaths to calm himself then proceeded to get on with his day.
He scrolled along the website, double checking his order and readying himself to read the world news while sipping the dark Italian roast he enjoyed so much. The dark, heavenly scent made even his Dragon growl in anticipation.
Being isolated didn’t mean he didn’t know anything about life. Hell, he did have a Prime account after all. What am I, a barbarian? He scoffed at the idea.
All Dragons loved their creature comforts. Even SeaDragons. His hoard consisted of many irreplaceable treasures and precious gems, gold bricks, stocks and bonds, and all the usual wealth. It also happened to hold every techie gadget he could get his hands on. Something that was a little difficult considering he lived completely off the grid.
In the beginning, he’d mostly relied upon lost ships and later, airplanes for his supplies. His ability to traverse over both the water and the air made it easy for him to find such cargo.
With the revolutionary advancements in industry and other areas over the last century, it had become almost impossible for Nathan to simply ignore the world. So he did what he did best, he adapted.
Nathan had spent months setting up various accounts all over the world under several aliases. Using addresses in nearby islands, and some on the mainland, he’d ordered and shipped his goods to those isolated destinations every month or so. Then, after slipping into his other skin, he’d go pick them up.
Simple really. He always travelled in the dead of night, when there was little chance of being seen or heard, using his special cloaking magic, of course. Nathan had amassed quite the hoard over the years.
Not just material possessions and money, Nathan had also studied architecture and design. Building his own castle or manse, as it were, with his own bare, er, dragon hands. Just because he preferred his own company, didn’t mean he couldn’t live in luxury.
Not at all. In fact, he’d managed to set himself up rather nicely. His cave was more like a true Dracan Castle these days. The Castles of the Dragon’s of old were truly a sight to behold. In that tradition, the ways of the Dracan, he’d used both muscle and claw to carve his abode from the rough rock formations that made up his sandy isle.
Nathan had always had a gift for the artistic. Now, with over sixty thousand square feet of space, that is three full stories with floor to ceiling, hurricane proof glass facing outward to the seas, Nathan lived in his very own castle. He frowned at the thought that he, the last Silvertongue, had accomplished so much, and yet would never share it with anyone else.
Sipping from his mug, he perused the security cameras set up around the island from the monitors on his desk. From them he saw his castle, glittering like a diamond on the topmost peak of the volcanic mountain that made up the island.
He’d installed solar panels and wind turbines for electrical power, along with a large machine that utilized the current from the nearby waterfall to generate electricity. Satisfied, he set his gaze to the weather. The program beeped and glowed bright blue and green as it charted some unusual storms and winds headed his way.
“Damn, I’ll need to head out sooner than I thought,” he muttered to himself as he checked on the steak he’d just put in the broiler. Nothing better than a charred porterhouse for breakfast! Normally, he’d add sliced tomatoes, but he’d only just awakened. Note to self, check the gardens.
Nathan enjoyed every modern amenity, including plumbing, satellite, and a variety of extreme sporting equipment like his treasured ATVs and Jet Skis. He also had a greenhouse, several yards of outdoor gardens, a mini orchard, and a smokehouse. All he lacked was company.
He frowned hard at himself for the wayward thought. I am not lonely. I like my life as it is.
He poured himself a second cup of coffee, sweetened it with just a teaspoon of the dark coconut sugar he preferred and sat down to his steak. Famished, he finished without hardly skipping a beat and was just washing the dishes when a tinkling sound alerted him to something amiss.
He sat up, not bothering to dress as he followed the sound of the melodious chimes towards his front door. There was no lock. No doorbell either. No reason to lock things when I am the sole dweller of this island, he thought. Nathan scowled when, to his surprise, the handle began to turn.
He tensed as he readied himself for an attack. Perhaps some animal thinks to break in? Unlikely. He’d fought any predatory beasts off the land centuries ago. Besides, what beastie could open doors, much less, best a Dragon?
The tinkling sound grew louder as his door flew open to reveal a blinding yellow light. Nathan lifted a hand to shade his eyes against the brilliant light that momentarily blinded him. The brightness dimmed after a second, but he still had to blink to stop his eyes from watering. Dammit!
“Who dares enter my domain without permission?”
Nathan leapt forward, claws extended, and growled the question. Every cell in his perfectly honed body ready to defend his fortress. Guess I don’t need to work out after all, he thought smugly as his muscle memory tensed in anticipation of the upcoming scuffle.
His Dragon rose to the front of his mind, ready to Shift at a moment’s notice, until he inhaled. Nathan froze. He’d just tasted the most tantalizing bouquet on his forked tongue. He hissed as his body reacted rather unpredictably.
Silver eyes focused, he took in the shape of his mysterious visitor. Not an animal. Indeed not. A pair of shapely ankles teased his vision as he took in the curvaceous form before him. A very female form. Grrr.
He cut off the growl that had sounded from his chest without permission. Frisky Dragon. He would not succumb to temptation, no matter how lovely the woman who’d broken his solitude was. And she was lovely.
Large blue eyes opened wider, if possible, as she perused his naked form. He hardly bothered with clothing, especially when he slept. He’d only just woken. Her smooth, creamy skin seemed to go pink as she stared.
Suddenly abashed, Nathan wished he’d taken the time to don a pair of pants at least. But why should he feel that way? Why bother dressing when he was the only one there? He stood taller. Too bad if she was uncomfortable, this was his home. And I live alone.
“I said, who are you?” Sniff. Witch.
He sensed her powers instantly, along with a light citrusy fragrance that was simply her. Tempting, but he needed to focus. She might not be friendly after all. We’ll see about that.
“Nathan Silvertongue?” Her voice rang out. It seemed to wrap around him like a sweet embrace, while setting him on guard at the same time. What did this temptress want with an old, solitary SeaDragon anyway?
“Who are you and why do you trespass on my isle?” He spoke with the authority that was innate in one as old and powerful as himself.
He was, after all, Nathan Silvertongue. Six-foot six inches of honed muscle and power. A SeaDragon Shifter who’d seen more than a thousand years on the Earth. Breather of fire, retainer of Cancer, and master of the oceans and seas. He was none to be trifled with.
“I’m Phoebe Bright, Mr. Silvertongue. I’m a Junior Station Master and I’ve been assigned to you by the Heralds of Terra-”
“Leave,” he growled the word.
Nathan turned his back on her, struggling to keep control in her presence. His Dragon was pushing forward, trying to get out, but Nathan couldn’t allow that. What the heck was wrong with him?
Breathing in and out, he forced his Dragon back down inside of him. He would deal with the tempting Witch swiftly and efficiently. Walking back to the slate countertop that he’d cut and polished himself; Nathan sipped his cooling coffee. Ignoring her gasp of surprise and defiant glare, he chose to act as if she were already gone.
“Mr. Silvertongue,” she said, her short-heeled sandals clacking across the smooth stone floors grated on his nerves as she strode towards him. He had to admit he admired her determination to confront him, a six and a half-foot Dragon Shifter. She is brave, this Witch, even if she works for those bastards.
“Mr. Silvertongue, I don’t think you understand, my job is to make you do yours. The fate of the world is at stake here-”
“The fate of the world is always at stake, away with you now before I get angry.”
“Get angry then! I’m not leaving until you fully understand and complete your mission,” she stood toe to toe with him, her blue eyes blazing. So pretty, he thought. Then, angry at himself for such a sentiment, Nathan grabbed the Witch by her hips, lifted her to his eye level and dropped a hard peck on her kissable lips.
“Ooopf!” She pushed his shoulders and he laughed, dropping her back to her feet and walking around her.
“There now, seeing as how you aren’t here for other forms of entertainment and as I have no mission, Witch, I will say it again. Leave. My. Island.”
“No, you are a Warden of Terra! Sworn to protect the Earth-”
“The Wardens are no more. Why do you insist on dredging up a past best left forgotten?” He growled as he shrugged on a pair of pants, no longer comfortable flaunting his nudity.
It was that kiss. That pitiful excuse for a kiss, the one he’d pushed on her meaning to frighten the blonde beauty away, had stirred something inside of him. Something best left hidden and alone.
“I am afraid you’re mistaken, Mr. Silvertongue.”
She narrowed her ash blonde eyebrows at him, her frown caused a dimple to peek out on one otherwise smooth cheek. Stubborn. No feisty. Grrr.
His Dragon seemed to approve of her resolve. She was a plucky little thing indeed. Positively adorable. Wait? What?
Drawing himself up to his full height he turned his silver glare on her. Nathan Silvertongue did not think this pest was adorable! Or sexy. Nope. Not at all. He wisely ignored his SeaDragon’s dramatic eye-roll. But what was it she just said?
“Mistaken? How am I mistaken?”
“Mr. Silvertongue, the Hounds of God have been disbanded by the Greyback Pack, the Wardens are once again needed-”
“Ha! Those mongrels were defeated then?”
“No, I am afraid corruption within weakened them. The Werewolves have a sort of new leader now, they are re-grouping and, we are now allied with them.”
“Ah! I knew those dogs could not remain in power forever. Not that the Heralds would heed my warnings-”
“The point,” she interrupted his tirade, “is that the Wardens of Terra have been called upon once more. We are back in business, as they say.”
“You may be back in business, but I am not,” Nathan bristled.
How dare she come into his home, intrude on his island, and order him about! Not now. Oh sure, he’d waited for a hundred years, or three, to be called back by the Heralds. Waited for the world to realize what he’d meant in the fight against the Dark. But no. He’d not been missed. All he’d sacrificed had been dismissed. Grossly discounted, in fact.
He’d had family once. A mate. A home. All gone while he was out doing his duty. Arianna, how could you? Pain squeezed his chest briefly as he recalled his greatest mistake with agony. Forgive me, my brethren.
The names of the fallen whispered across his mind. Bluewing, Diamondscale, Onyxclaw, and young Ambereyes. Four of the finest Dragons he’d ever known. All Wardens of Terra. Like him. Though they’d carried no sign of the Zodiac, they’d had other gifts. But still, they’d fallen under the betrayal of the one he vowed to protect above all. The elemental Arianna.
Nathan shut down the images of the past. His Dragon growled against the pain in his mind’s eye. But like a steel door, he switched it off, focusing instead on the curvy little Witch who’d dared bring up his past.
“Leave,” his voice was quiet. Dangerous. But did she heed his warning? No. Of course not. Stepping forward once more, she raised her hands as if in surrender and spoke.
“You have been called upon, Nathan Silvertongue. Terra needs you,” bright blue eyes bore into his and Nathan shuffled back.
No, he would not fall for her plea. He was wiser now. Stronger. He would not be fooled by the Heralds again. Standing up, tall and only half-nude, he stalked the shorter woman until she backtracked to the door from whence, she came.
The sun was just breaking out behind the storm clouds that had been passing more and more frequently overhead. Not a good sign, he acknowledged. The storms he’d seen on the weather tracker were coming. Fast. He needed to get his supplies, but first, he had this to deal with.
“The Wardens may have been recalled, but I am not one of them. Not anymore. Leave my island, Witch. You’ll find no heroes here,” he slammed the reinforced door in her pretty little face.