Birds appeared on the outer edges of her vision. She shifted her gaze. She watched the wings moving, brilliant white down and bluish gray up. Their feathers along with their shapes reminded her of the herons she often saw in the bayous and marshes around New Orleans. She smiled. The reminder brought wonderful memories of growing up in the Crescent City.
Every summer her parents would take her to beach on Pontchartrain Lake. Water, sand, and sun had covered her from head to toe. She’d loved the summer months with picnics in the park. They’d feed the pigeons in Jackson Square. Then when she’d grown and had her child, she’d done the same for her. She smiled at the memories.
Soft footsteps approached her from behind. The touch of a warm palm on her neck soothed her. A second later, the cushion dipped from the person sitting.
Paladin’s deep voice warmed her more than the sunlight. “You’re awake. You must be much better if you can smile.”
“What kind of birds are those? They look similar to ones on Earth,” she asked, not ready to face him.
Silence answered her for several moments.
When he leaned above her, he cast a shadow over her shoulder and chest. “They are not birds. Those are dracs, fledgling dragons. They are from my clan’s namesake.”
Surprised, she shifted closer to the window, studying the flying beasts. Small, with slender bodies, the creatures showed little to no resemblance to the beast from her vision. “Those are the dragons?”
She glanced at him. What she saw melted away her surprise. Golden strands lay against the high cast of his cheeks. Seren reached up and glided a finger tip across his bottom lip. His smooth, almost silky lips parted. She lowered her hand, returning her gaze to the window.
She struggled to keep her desire under control. Need pounded between her legs. When she spoke, she kept her tone even. “I don’t like the way you make me feel.”
“In what manner do you speak?”
“Is that so terrible?” His voice had deepened.
She sighed. “For me, yes. I don’t want to feel those emotions. I wanted the vision to end. Desiring you doesn’t fit into the picture.”
“Desire is not bad.” He brushed the back of his hand over her cheek.