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Kimberly Loth Books

The Dragon Kings Book Twenty-Seven

The Dragon Kings Book Twenty-Seven

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When new guests show up at the castle, Hughie doesn't know what to do with them. He knows he has to protect the castle, but when one of the girls catches his eye, he takes a chance. But will he regret it?

Meanwhile, Ruby welcomes a new guest of her own that threatens her whole way of life.

And Pepper has no idea how to juggle two boys at she's crushed on forever and the other she's not sure she wants to like.

First Chapter

It was several hours before the rest of Ruby’s family got up, but after finding Marigold and Gale, she couldn’t go back to bed. Gale slept for most of the night and early morning hours, curled up on Ruby’s lap. Ruby managed to sleep a little on the couch, but mostly she worried about what would happen when the council found out.

They would likely take him away, and he wouldn’t be raised in a home. They’d treat him like a science experiment that was about to explode.

Around five a.m., she got up and started the coffee maker while she listened to Marigold prattle on about how she’d managed to hide Gale and how at times she almost got caught. Gale stayed curled up in Ruby’s hair. Once she got the coffee going, she went back to the couch and moved Gale into her lap instead.

“Has he exhibited any powers yet?”


“Canyon dragons can read minds, but you’re still too young to read someone’s mind who doesn’t want you to.”

Ruby was grateful for that more often than not. Once Marigold learned to read minds, she would have to grow thicker skin. That girl took offense to everything.

Marigold puffed her cheeks out and thought. If Ruby had her phone, she’d take a picture of the little cutie, but it was currently sitting on the counter, melted. She’d have to go into town and find a new one. Though at the moment, her busted phone was the least of her worries.

No. I don’t think so. All he does is eat and sleep.

He sounded just like the other dragon babies in the infant room. “That’s what babies do. Has he tried talking to you yet?”


“You didn’t talk until you were three, so I wouldn’t worry about that just yet.”

This little Gale was a mystery, and nobody knew yet what he was capable of. It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Mason careened into the living room, followed by Brooke. They bickered about something and flung themselves onto the couch next to Ruby and Marigold. Walker laid his head on Marigold’s flank, and Brooke narrowed her eyes at her.

“Hey, Marigold. I thought Mom said you weren’t allowed in here anymore.” Brooke clenched her fists.

She changed her mind.

“But you have to control your fire around us.” Brooke was always the bossy one.

I can.

Ruby waited for them to notice the little dragon in her lap, but her children were incredibly unobservant and apparently more worried about Marigold hurting them than Ruby had thought.

Damon walked in and dropped into the seat next to her, placing a light kiss on her lips. She kind of wished he’d lingered a few seconds more. Kissing him was still one of her favorite things to do.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” he asked with a nod toward Marigold.

Ruby nearly laughed out loud. “She’s fine. We had a long talk about her fire.”

Gale stirred in her lap, but she made it a point not to look down at him so she could see how long this lasted. She couldn’t believe no one had noticed.

“Ouch,” Damon yelled and glanced down.

Gale had nibbled on his fingers.

He thinks you’re food, Marigold said.

“What on earth?” Damon asked.

“It’s a long story,” Ruby said. “But meet Gale.” She held the little dragon up so Damon and her kids could see him properly. Gale snapped at Damon’s nose, and Damon chuckled.

“What is that?” Brooke asked.

“A very small dragon. We don’t know exactly what kind yet.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Didn’t the council tell you not to hatch them yet?”

Time to change the subject. “Looks like we need to get this little guy some food. How about bacon and eggs?”

“Yay!” Mason said. “Can we make them green?”

“Sure thing,” Damon said. “And while I’m cooking, Mom can tell us the story of how Gale came to be.” He eyed them suspiciously, but didn’t say anything. She figured he probably didn’t want to feed Brooke’s anxiety.

They walked into the kitchen, and Ruby put Gale on the counter and set out some bread for him. He wouldn’t like it as well as meat, but it should hold him over until the bacon was done.

He sniffed at it and then tentatively tried a piece. He made a face and spit it out.

“Guess he doesn’t like bread,” Brooke said. A grin formed on her face, and she clapped her hands. “He’s so cute.”

Ruby chuckled and reached for the fridge handle. It shocked her, and she jumped back, shaking out her hand.

“What happened?” Damon asked.

“Static electricity.” She grabbed the handle again and found Mason’s stash of hot dogs.

She broke them up into little pieces and set them in front of Gale. He tried one, chewed and swallowed, and went back for more. He might be a meat-only dragon. Most of them preferred meat, but many would eat other things.

Damon dropped a couple of slices of bacon into a pan, and they sizzled. “So how did he get here?” Damon asked.

Ruby relayed Marigold’s story, and the details she got wrong, Marigold corrected. Damon’s eyebrows furrowed as the story progressed.

“The council won’t be happy about this,” he muttered under his breath. Ruby wasn’t sure he meant for her to hear.

“I don’t see why we have to tell them.” Ruby had been thinking about this ever since she laid eyes on Gale. They could keep this a secret. She didn’t know what the council would do to him.

“While we don’t have a lot of visitors, there are still too many people coming in and out of here, not to mention the other kids. One of them could easily spill. And we’ll be in a lot more trouble if they find out that we kept him hidden. If we want to stay here and continue to raise the babies, then we have to be honest about him.”

“Dad’s right,” Brooke said.

“But what if they take him away?” Ruby clenched her jaw.

Marigold snorted orange smoke. They can’t take him away. He’s mine.

Damon frowned but didn’t reply. He flipped the bacon, and Gale toddled over to investigate. He stuck his nose into the pan, and Ruby pulled him away. He snapped at her, but she avoided his fangs.

Walker giggled. “He wants his bacon.”

Ruby and the kids kept him away from the pan until Damon finished cooking. Then Ruby fed him some. His eyes widened, and he hopped around, scarfing down the whole piece.

The lights flickered, and Damon pursed his lips. “Wind must be bad today.”

Gale rushed over to the plate with the bacon and snatched another piece.

Ruby picked the plate up and handed it around. “Quick, take some before Gale eats it all.”

Her kids snatched up their own pieces, and Ruby made sure Marigold got a couple.

The whole time, Gale studied her, his eyes firmly on the plate. He cocked his head this way and that and then spread his wings and took to the air.

Marigold gasped. He’s never flown before.

His flight was clumsy, and he landed smack in the middle of the bacon, sending the plate skidding along the counter. There were only three pieces left, and Ruby let him eat them while Damon started on the eggs.

Gale then walked up her arm to her shoulder, got as close as he could to her neck, curled up, and fell asleep.

“He’s kinda boring,” Mason said.

“He’s still really little.” Ruby rubbed Gale’s head.

Damon came over and stroked his wings. “He’s pretty though. I’ve never seen this color before.”

Ruby nodded.

That was the problem.

New colors were unpredictable.

And the council didn’t like unpredictable.

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