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Kimberly Loth Books

The Dragon Kings Book Twenty-Eight

The Dragon Kings Book Twenty-Eight

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 54 reviews

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Ruby got more than she bargained for with the new dragon and now she's fighting to keep her family in tact. She can't explain why she needs to protect him and her entire family disagrees with her. Thankfully, Pepper, who is fleeing her own problems, shows up and helps Ruby.

Meanwhile, Hughie finds himself falling for Penny and creates a bigger mess than he intended.

Synopsis

Ruby got more than she bargained for with the new dragon and now she's fighting to keep her family in tact.

She can't explain why she needs to protect him and her entire family disagrees with her.

Thankfully, Pepper, who is fleeing her own problems, shows up and helps Ruby.

Meanwhile, Hughie finds himself falling for Penny and creates a bigger mess than he intended.

First Chapter

The next day, Ruby found Damon in the kitchen, replacing a few of the lightbulbs. She’d been up for several hours but had successfully avoided him. She knew what he would say about Gale, and she wasn’t ready to deal with that yet. Yes, he was a threat, but Ruby was already attached to him.

“Thanks for taking care of those.”

He shrugged and jumped off the stool. “Gale completely fried them.”

Ruby frowned and flipped on the coffee maker, not saying anything. She didn’t have a good argument.

“You know, he could’ve killed Mason.” He kept his voice low and soft. It was worse than if he’d yelled. He was scared, not angry.

She didn’t want to look up at him and see the crossed arms and disapproving stare.

Ruby took a deep breath. She played the scenario over and over in her head from last night. If Mason had died because of her insistence on keeping an unknown dragon around, she’d never forgive herself. But she didn’t want to give Gale up just yet. “Okay. Let’s keep him out of our home. He can stay with the dragon children.”

“And if he hurts one of them? We don’t know the extent of his abilities.” Damon leaned against the counter and crossed his arms.

Ruby squeezed her eyes shut, sunk into a chair at the table, and dropped her head into her hands, trying to think through this. No solution magically presented itself.

“Hey, Mom,” Walker said and climbed into her lap. Damon sighed down at him. He wouldn’t want to fight in front of Walker. They always waited until the kids were asleep, which made for some long nights, but at least the kids never felt like they were in the middle of the fights.

“This conversation isn’t over.” He kept his voice level, but Ruby could hear the frustration behind it.

She nodded, but at least she got a reprieve for now. Walker glanced over at Damon but didn’t say anything. He snuggled tightly into her, and she was reminded that he was getting older and would likely not be this way for long. His early morning cuddles were the best.

Slowly, the rest of her kids got up, and they had breakfast and started school. Routine was important. Not a word was said about what happened the night before. Mason was unusually quiet, but otherwise he showed no signs of lingering pain or damage.

It was Damon’s day to teach, so she made her way down to the babies with only Gale on her mind. He was still so little and vulnerable. She loved being a mom and protecting her kids, and the dragon babies felt almost as much her own as her biological children. That’s probably why she wanted to protect him.

She entered the cave to a cacophony of noise. The kids were being rambunctious this morning. Flames erupted more often than Ruby was comfortable with. She should take on her dragon form, but she just wanted to see Gale and get out of there. Damon would think her careless, but she had a lot more on her mind at the moment.

Marigold was in the middle of several of her friends, squawking.

Pepper put a hand on her flank. “Can I see Gale?”

Marigold nodded and extracted him from her pouch without even looking at Ruby. She was too engrossed with her friends.

Gale blinked sleepily at Ruby, and she held him close to her chest as she navigated her way through the kids.

She passed Sequoia and took a left instead. If she brought him back into the living room, Damon would probably be angry. Instead, she brought him into the egg room and sat down, setting him on the ground in front of her.

She loved this room with its glittering colors. It was warmer than the rest of the caves as well. The eggs let off their own heat.

Gale toddled around, looking like a large bat. He sniffed at the eggs and chased tiny pebbles that rolled away. Ruby couldn’t figure out how something so little could wreak so much havoc on her life. He could barely fly, and yet he had the power to kill.

Maybe Damon was right.

Gale wandered over and looked up at her with his tiny face, his piercing purple eyes staring into hers. Did he hear what she just thought? It was possible, but unlikely, though they’d never seen these dragons before, so maybe.

He nudged her hand, and she scratched him under his neck. He practically purred. Maybe he was just like a cat.

Once he was satisfied with that, he climbed up her shirt and curled up around her neck, with his head on one side and his tail on the other.

She sat there for a while, letting him sleep. She didn’t know what they were going to do, but she would fight to keep him here.

He woke a little later and nibbled on her ear. She giggled and pushed his mouth away. “Are you hungry?”

She stood and made her way back to her kitchen. Damon and the kids would likely be in there, but Damon wouldn’t make a big deal of things with the kids around. She entered the kitchen, but it was empty.

Phew.

Gale didn’t leave her shoulder as she opened the fridge and pulled out hotdogs and chicken strips. Then she grabbed a few more things for him to try.

He devoured the meat, and she handed him a grape. He chewed on it for a few seconds and then spit it out.

Ruby chuckled. “Okay, no grapes then.”

She put a bowl of milk in front of him. He stuck his nose in and came up sputtering, but then he licked the milk off his lips and went back for more. It was a messy ordeal, but at least he liked it.

She tried feeding him a few more fruits, but he wasn’t having any of it. He ate peppers though. She accidentally threw in a jalapeno, and that was his favorite, so she chopped up more of those.

Every time he ate one, the lights flickered a bit.

“Mom, look.” Walker ran into the room. Ruby jerked her head up just as he collided with a stool. He fell backward and then scrambled up onto the chair, not deterred in the least.

In his hand, he held a crumpled piece of paper.

His face fell.

“What’s that?” Ruby asked.

“Dad taught us how to do origami, but I ruined mine.” His eyes filled with tears, and Ruby put her arm around him. Gale followed her with his gaze, watching every move she made.

“I bet we can make another one. What was that?”

“A frog. I could make it jump really high too.”

“I bet. I know how to make a jumping frog.”

Ruby found another piece of paper and folded it up, explaining each of the steps to Walker. Gale crawled over to them, watching the paper carefully.

Walker took the frog and made it jump. Gale squawked and hopped away. Walker giggled. “I think it scared him.”

“I think it did.”

But Gale crawled back over and sniffed at the frog, so Walker made it jump again. This time Gale was prepared. Instead of running away from it, he stuck his neck out and snatched it from the air, crushing it in his mouth.

“Hey,” Walker squealed, and Ruby held out another piece of paper.

“I can make another one.”

And she did. Ten frogs later, neither Walker nor Gale were tired of that game.

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