Qaida Harte on Dragon’s Treasure ~ Excerpt

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Qaida Harte for stopping by today.

DragonsTreasureFS

Title: Dragon’s Treasure
Author: Qaida Harte
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: Erotica, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Blurb:

College student Ahndrai has the ill fortune of falling into the grasp of an attractive, sadistic vampire. He encounters Eita, a vampire who lusts for Ahndrai s sweet blood and tears apart his world. Eita proves that every myth and legend ever written is only too real, and they are far darker than portrayed in any story.

Ahndrai must face a host of monsters that Eita allows to attack and kill him. Each time Ahndrai dies, Eita revives him so he can continue to feed off him. Ahndrai believes that every creature is as cruel and unforgiving as Eita. Then Nakiirn, a dragon prince, rescues Ahndrai. But even after Ahndrai overcomes his fears and falls in love with Nakiirn, they must both contend with Eita s cruelty again before the vampire succeeds in claiming Ahndrai once more.

Excerpt

Heat.

It spread over my body like water, warming my icy limbs. It felt good, easing aches that I had thought would linger forever. I felt better, more energetic, as if everything had been washed away. All of the pain, the suffering, the lack of energy—it was all gone, replaced by how I used to feel. Like a normal twenty-one-year-old should feel.

At the back of my mind, though, there was panic. Why did I feel like nothing horrible had been done to me? Like all of the pain and suffering hadn’t made me weak? Who was responsible for it? More importantly, what did they want with me?

My body felt weightless. With my senses returning to me, I began to realize that the heat was water. It spread over me as if someone was cupping it onto my chest and shoulders. Then I felt him, his chiseled chest against my left side. The man who had taken me from Eita was letting water fall from his cupped hand across my upper body while I was sprawled on his lap.

When his fingers dropped and started rubbing from my shoulder down, I tensed in his loose grip. He stopped, the sound of the water flowing with his motions ebbing away. I peered up at him, half-frightened of what he might do next. His crystal-blue eyes were still like a snake’s as he watched me.

“You are all right,” he said.

Funny how I didn’t believe him. My heart was racing while I looked around. Every muscle that I never thought I’d feel again tensed. That made me look down, curious why I had weight and mass again.

I began to hyperventilate. I was stripped of all of my clothes. He held me loosely, gently, but that didn’t mean a damn thing. I was naked. Held by a creature. Terror filled me as I scrambled out of his arms. He let me go, but not without his own soft sound of surprise.

Water splashed all over as I tumbled out of his arms and bolted a little way from him. The hot liquid went flying over the stone edges to hit what looked like sand all around us. The clear spring lapped at my hips as I stood there, trembling in horror. Ahead of me was a large house, wooden and at least three stories high, with huge ornate windows. I could see inside the cabinlike home. The dark wood matched the trees around us. I spun in circles, looking around. Where the hell am I?

“Calm down. You are safe now.”

I turned my accusing gaze toward him, an angry, frightened snarl on my lips. “Safe? That means nothing to me.” My voice shook as I snapped at him.

He moved, inching closer to me. I matched him for every inch until I hit the stone edge of what seemed to be a man-made pool. I glared at him, though I knew that if he really wanted to, it would be easy for him to grab me and force me to do as he pleased. But the look on his face was odd. I didn’t know what to think as I stood there, my hands covering my private parts.

He stopped, lowering his arms to his side. I noticed his soaked black pants then. They clung to him like a second skin, low on his hips and giving me a clear idea of what was underneath. His chest and abdomen were nothing but carved muscle. Dark tattoos curled along his right shoulder and breast, down along his side to his hip, and beneath his pants.

“I won’t hurt you,” he said, his voice soft as if he were trying to calm a terrified puppy. That was how I felt—a frightened animal that had taken far too much damage and expected more at any moment.

I made an odd, strangled sound. Nothing he said was going to make me allow him any closer than he was. I was already naked in front of him. What more could he want? What the hell had he been doing to me moments ago? I shivered despite the heat and sank down onto a kind of seat in the water. The memory of his touch across my chest made my skin crawl and sapped my strength, leaving nothing but terror in its place.

“You are all right,” he said again, as gentle as the first few times he had spoken to me. “You are safe with me. This is my home. None enter here without my knowing it. My name is Nakiirn. I will not hurt you, or let you be harmed.”

I shook my head at him, pressing tighter against the side of the wall. “No.” The word was clipped and high-pitched as it came out.

Nakiirn knelt down in front of me, the water up to his chest. He stayed there without moving, just watching me. The longer he was down on his knees, the more uneasy I began to feel. Wheezing, I buried my face against my shoulder, turning away from him. I couldn’t stand it! If he was going to do it, why was he waiting?

Then again. If he wasn’t going to do anything… why the hell was I waiting for it? Had I become so pitiful that I couldn’t recognize an escape when one was presented to me? I took one glance at him and bolted. Nakiirn started. A shocked “Wait!” burst in the air as he stood up. The water crashed all around me as I threw myself up out of the pool and into the sand. Out of the water, I scrambled to my feet. I saw another hot spring several feet to the right, that one glistening a pretty blue color. To my left were the woods. In front of me was the huge house.

Running naked wasn’t my idea of a good way to escape, but I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for him to assault me. At least, not when I had the opportunity to run sitting pretty right in front of me. He would hurt me, I knew he would. They all did. He was no different. The only difference was that he’d taken me from Eita and restored my body. How he did that, though, was beyond me. I didn’t think I wanted to know. Eita was afraid of him—he’d even been hurt by the dragon. That right there spelled it out.

The dragon was bad news.

So I ran, sprinting as fast as my legs could carry me. Nakiirn called for me to wait several times. I didn’t listen, and hoped that I could get away from him. I knew he would be faster than me, but I ran anyway. Being chased by a creature would put the burn in anyone’s lungs. It drove me into a wild fear that wasn’t going to be extinguished anytime soon. I didn’t pay attention to where I was going, I just skirted around the huge house, trying to find anywhere to go or some way to outrun a dragon.

Turning the corner, I slammed into something warm and hard. Hands gripped my arms, holding me upright so I didn’t bounce off and fall. I screamed so loudly it hurt. Slapping and punching, kicking and twisting, I tried to get free. Fear twisted my stomach and tears streamed down my face.

“Whoa, h-hey. Hey! Stop that, you will hurt yourself.”

The hands holding me were as gentle as his voice. Not tight enough to bruise or break my arms, but firm enough to keep me from slipping away. I shouted in anger and fear. The one holding me sighed, stepping forward and pushing me back with him. Another scream ripped through my throat, making him stop.

“Damn…. Hey, Nakiirn. Your treasure is awake.” There was a hint of laughter in his voice.

I failed to find it amusing. Treasure? What was I—some kind of possession? A material thing that these monsters would do what they wished with? I was tired of being used as a means to satisfy, all because my blood tasted so good or I smelled wonderful to them. I had never wanted to be treated in such a disgusting way!

“Yes, I know that. Now unhand him, Taisei.”

The one referred to as Taisei released me. I stumbled away from him. With that wild fear still driving my actions, I tried to dart around him. He moved, opening his arms wide to keep me from getting away. Stepping back, I stared at him in fear. White hair flowed down over his shoulders much like Nakiirn’s black locks did. His thin eyebrows were pulled up in concern and confusion. He was dressed in tight black leather that looked like some kind of ancient-styled armor layered over his thick body from head to foot.

Two handles peeked out from behind his left shoulder. Buckles and belts laced his body, black spikes curving wickedly from his shoulders and forearms. He looked behind me. Tilting his head to the side, he arched an eyebrow, his deep dark green eyes filled with questions.

“Nakiirn, if I cannot touch him, then how will I stop him?”

“He does not want to be touched.”

Taisei flicked his gaze to me. I flinched, but he was looking back at Nakiirn a moment after. “Then how do I keep him from running?”

“Leave me alone!” I found my voice then, screaming it at both of them before taking off in another direction.

“Ah! Wait!” Taisei shouted.

“Stop. I will handle it.”

That spurred me on. I entered the woods and found it much harder to run through than the open backyard. Trees were in my way. Bushes scraped my legs and branches caught my hair, yanking my head back as they tore through the knotted strands. I wasn’t sure how far I had gotten, if anywhere at all. My feet tangled into the roots of the forest, and I went tumbling forward with a startled cry. The weight of my fall shredded my hands as I tried to catch myself in the roots and twigs of the underbrush.

I hit the ground hard, my shoulder grinding into the socket. I tried to get back up, fear jolting through my body in waves. The dragon, Nakiirn, would be on me at any second. Just the thought of what he would do made me shudder. I didn’t want to think about the nasty, horrific things that would happen to me once he caught up. Those images choked me. All I could imagine were the things that had already been done to me. The things that Eita and the other creatures had done.

He would do them too.

I knew he would.

So I crawled forward. I was the most pitiful human on the planet. When I heard his footsteps through the underbrush, I cried in horror. Unintelligible words flooded along my tongue, breaking the sound of his steps with my whimpered cries. As I crawled, I could see a shimmering wall of blue light ahead.

My hand reached it and stopped. It was hard to the touch. I couldn’t get through it even though I could see more bushes behind it. The thing rippled like water when I slammed my hand on it, but it was solid. I was horrified that I’d been caught so easily, but not surprised. Turning over, I saw my pursuer standing a few feet away.

I started to crawl left, but the wall of light shot up in front of me the moment I moved. Flipping around, I tried to go right, with the same result. Leaves crunched under his boots, and I froze. Breath hung in my mouth, neither leaving nor entering my throat. Looking up at him again, I flinched as his hand lowered to his side, a blue glow fading from his fingers.

“Please, you are safe here.”

I curled my legs up to my chest as I whimpered in response. Sharp pain pulsed from my ankle, and I winced and reached for it. Nakiirn came closer to me. I pulled away from him, hissing between clenched teeth. The dragon stopped moving.

“You are injured. Let me help you. I didn’t get to finish healing you. You need to rest.”

“No! Don’t fucking touch me! I won’t let you! Not anymore! No more!”

By the end, I was screeching the words. Nakiirn stared at me. He looked shocked. Then his gaze grew soft with emotions I wasn’t sure I could name. He edged forward, forcing me back against the wall that had come up between me and my escape.

“If you leave me, it will be very hard for me to protect you. You are precious to me. You have no idea what you are to me. I want to protect you from everything that will hurt you. Please, let me do that, my treasure.” As he spoke those soft words, he inched closer, his hand outstretching until it was brushing ever so gently across my face and into my hair.

“Let me show you what you are to me—a treasure that I can never replace if I lose you.” He was so close to me. One hand tangled in my hair while the other traced along my arm. The touch was soothing despite my trying to shake him off. “Let me hold you, heal everything that has been broken. I will do anything for you. Anything that you want of me. I only ask that you do not leave me.”

I shuddered. Those words were worming their way into my mind, making me writhe and want to take everything he said as truth. I just couldn’t do it, though. I cried as I sat there, eyes squeezed shut. As I shook my head hard, he inhaled sharply. The hand drawing light circles stopped while the other trembled in my hair. I opened an eye and looked up at him.

His deep blue eyes were watching me in sorrow, the pain clear. What surprised me the most was seeing tears sliding down his perfect face. He was crying. Why… why was he doing that? He had to be doing it on purpose. One of the ploys to get me to trust him. It almost had me feeling for him.

“W-why?”

“My treasure. Let me show you. As a dragon, I cannot leave you. My existence is for you—there is nothing else for me. I have searched all this time for you, for my sweet treasure, and I have found you. Do not leave me now, not in such a broken state. I cannot stand to think of what might happen to you should you leave my sight for more than a second.”

I stared at him, at a complete loss for words. What would I do? Was there anything I could do? Were his words even true? I would never know if any of it was true. Not unless I tested them, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to. In all of the darkness, there had been plenty of times I thought I’d found light. Every time, that light had turned on me. Why was he going to be any different? Better yet—

Did it matter?

Links

Dragon’s Treasure on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble

Giveaway

About the Author

EUpcv8XTQaida Harte is a new author with Dreamspinner, her first publication released December 2015.

Qaida has been writing for most of her life and has always dreamed of being published. Her preferred genre’s are modern fantasy and erotica. Action and danger are a must in the themes of her projects, as well as that steamy romance to help ease all the heart ache.

She currently resides in the beautiful town of Reno, Nevada with her wonderful husband. Days are spent pounding away on a keyboard with a hot cup of coffee and music blasting. There is an endless amount of characters and dark plots weaving and too little time to get them all done.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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