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Kimberly Loth Books

The Dragon Kings Book Twenty-Nine

The Dragon Kings Book Twenty-Nine

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 55 reviews

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Ruby and Pepper fight against the dragon council to protect Gale, but will it be enough?

Meanwhile, Hughie faces problems of his own as the wizard family he invited into his home is not the good guys he thought they were.

Synopsis

Ruby and Pepper fight against the dragon council to protect Gale, but will it be enough?

Meanwhile, Hughie faces problems of his own as the wizard family he invited into his home

are not the good guys he thought they were.

First Chapter

Hughie, Benjamin, and Judy searched the whole castle from top to bottom, but there was no sign of Nikolas or his family. In some ways it was good that they had left because the immediate danger was gone, but in most ways this was a very bad thing.

“Dragon’s teeth!” Hughie exclaimed as he collapsed onto a chair in the study. Judy sat across from him.

Hughie watched Benjamin pace, and then he hung his head in his hands. “We had him. Right here. And now he’s gone. I’m an idiot.” He truly was. Grace had given him control of the castle, and he’d ruined it all.

Judy creased her eyebrows. “Why do you say that?”

“Because I was too busy worrying about how things looked with Penny to see what was going on right beneath my nose. I should’ve never let myself get distracted with her.” But even as he said those words, his heart still stung. He liked her way more than he should, and he didn’t even understand why.

That kiss though.

He scowled. That kiss ruined everything.

Judy leaned forward. “I’m glad you and Penny found each other. I’m not convinced that’s over, and it was nice seeing you smiling for once. Unless of course she’s in on it. Then well, at least we found them.”

“I smile.” Hughie wasn’t sure why that was the thing that bothered him from the conversation.

“Not very often.”

He ignored the comment. “It doesn’t matter. She’s the daughter of an evil wizard. Not gonna make that mistake again.”

“Hey, my mother was the daughter of an evil wizard.” Judy leveled him with a look. He shouldn’t judge, but he was struggling with all his emotions at the moment.

“I know. I’m sorry. I’m still ticked that we had the wizard, and he escaped before we found a solution to the sleeping dragons.”

“He might not be the evil wizard. Maybe he’s just an overprotective dad.”

Hughie sniffed. “No way. We’ve never seen that spell before, and suddenly he’s doing it in the castle? It has to be him.”

“What if it’s not?” She grabbed his wrists and stared at him.

“You don’t really believe that, do you?”

Judy shrugged. “Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t. I liked them all though.”

That’s the hardest part of this whole thing. They were friendly, likeable people. Even Nikolas. Hughie didn’t want to dislike them. He wanted them to all live happily ever after in his castle and learn from each other. He wanted to wake up to Penny’s pretty face every day and listen to her laugh.

“Me too. Believe me. I know exactly what you’re saying. But we have to face reality. He’s evil.” Hughie jammed a hand through his hair. “What if we aren’t strong enough to fight him? What if we never get the dragons back?” His voice caught a little. His mother and the others had been gone for so long already. They’d missed out on so much.

Judy reached over and gripped his hand. “We will. Don’t worry. Now at least we know who he is, which is something we didn’t have before.”

She was right, but they let him go, and Hughie had no idea how to find them again. The whole situation seemed hopeless. And maybe it was. Maybe his whole life would be one disappointment after another, and he’d never get the girl or defeat the evil wizard.

“I don’t know how we’ll find him again.” He was being pessimistic, but he was frustrated with the whole situation. And, if he was being completely honest with himself, he was missing Penny.

“Let’s not worry about that now. It’s been a long day with a lot of crap that happened. Why don’t we wait for Mom to get here, and we’ll figure it out then?”

Hughie nodded. He wanted to keep hashing things out, but that would be pointless. It would just make him more depressed.

Both Judy and Benjamin left. Hughie wasn’t quite ready to go to bed yet, and he didn’t know what else to do, so he wandered around the castle and found himself in front of the Honor Room. At least they’d managed to keep the dragons in there safe. If something happened to his mom, he’d never be able to forgive himself. She was the one he really needed to protect.

He undid the spell that closed off the space and entered the room. This room never changed, except when they had to move new bodies in here, and he hated the sameness of the room. It was just one more indication that life stopped the day the dragons went down.

He checked on Sid, Liam, and Isa first. They were all sleeping and no worse for the wear.

As were the other dragons who’d been affected.

Hughie wasn’t sure why he’d been avoiding his mom. He wanted her to sit up and be shocked by how much he’d grown. He wanted her to hug his neck and kiss his forehead. He wanted her to tell him that his hair was too long and lecture him on not being rude to Judy.

“I thought you were going to bed.” Judy’s voice echoed around the room.

He turned to face her. “I am. I just wanted to check on them.”

“Me too.” With her hair pulled away from her face, she looked just like her mom.

Most of the time it was easy to think of Judy as a child, but in moments like this, he realized she was nearly an adult.

She walked into the room and glanced around at the bodies. “I barely knew them, but I miss them all. I want to know them.”

Hughie gave her a sad smile. “I know what you mean. I was older when they went down, but I still feel like I don’t know them as an adult, you know.”

“Yeah.”

They moved to where Skye lay. Even though she was his mom and way older than most humans on earth, she still looked like she was in her early twenties, with smooth skin and long platinum blonde hair. She was always the prettiest woman in the room though she never realized it. Because of the bond between them and their spouses, Aspen and Rowan had looked younger than their years as well.

He smoothed her hair back and stared at her face. He wanted desperately for her to sit up and start talking to him, but she didn’t. And her breath still came slow and even. He’d spent way too many hours down here talking to her and not having her talk back. 

“Hughie!” Judy called.

He jerked his head up. “What?”

She stood next to the dragon they found in the woods, her face ashen. “There’s something wrong.”

Hughie rushed over to her and the man.

“I don’t think he’s breathing,” she said.

Hughie put his face right up to his nose, but no breath tickled his cheek.

“He’s not.” Panic rose in his throat.

Judy placed her fingers on the man’s wrist, her face twisted in worry. “There’s no pulse.”

No. No. No. No.

This couldn’t be happening. He knew CPR. He’d been trained in the medical arts, and he began pushing on the dragon’s chest. But even as he did so, he knew it wouldn’t work. The whole body was ice cold. The man had been gone for hours.

Hughie was supposed to protect them, and he’d failed.

He continued pumping up and down on the man’s chest, but Judy tugged at his arms and pulled him away from the body.

“Nikolas killed one of them,” he said, his voice wooden.

She shook her head. “Do you really think he’d do something like that?”

“He was pretty angry at me for kissing Penny.”

“Yeah, but murder?”

Hughie swallowed. The stakes had just been raised, and he wasn’t about to let Nikolas get away with this.

He would pay for what he’d done.

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