Keeper of the Dragon Sword by Linzé Brandon

Linzé Brandon
By Linzé Brandon April 17, 2013 15:34

Keeper of the Dragon Sword by Linzé Brandon

Summary:

It was definitely not her week. Her uncle had been murdered, her life had been threatened, an old school friend had re-appeared, she had two body guards and a new home. Elizabeth L’Emery was not having a good time as the new owner and chief executive of the largest fabric manufacturer on Xa’an.

Randall Storm had missed his best friend from school, but he had so many secrets that staying away from her had seemed to be the only solution to keep her safe from the uncontrollable lust for blood of his dragon half. But when he was assigned to her protection detail, he didn’t want to be anywhere else.

As they search for ways to control his magic that didn’t enslave him – and didn’t kill her – more threats came to try and pull them apart. When the opportunity arises to put a weapon of incredible power into her hands, Elizabeth has to decide if the violence of the blood ritual would be worth the sacrifice of becoming the Keeper of the Dragon Sword.

Attacks, magic and sword battles ensue as they continue to fight for her life but in the end it might come down to the ultimate sacrifice of the dragon to keep his vow to serve his master with his life.

Was their partnership strong enough to survive the choice of enslavement to prevent a war against their people or a ritual that could kill the woman he loved?

According to the author, this book contains descriptive writing about sexual acts between consenting adults.

The author has rated this book XXX (adults of legal age, 18 and up, only).

Excerpt:

He stood in the shadows and watched the woman as she walked down the passage towards him. He could see all of her as the white overhead lights flashed over every line of her face, every curve of her body, hiding none of her gracious movements. She wore magicians’ clothing, a pair of black loose fitting pants and a white shirt. Magicians wore this as their uniform underneath their robes, but it was unusual to see a non-magic person wearing the same clothes.

Her red hair was slipping from the thing she had it tied with on top of her head. Her lips were tight, but he couldn’t see her eyes to decide if she was angry or upset.

He watched the woman open the door to their apartment. She would be alone tonight and probably every night from now on. He sighed aloud –he hated giving people bad news. Even though the satisfaction of arresting a criminal was always a high, the thought of the people they left behind or hurt in the process left a bitter taste in his mouth. Waiting any longer was not going to make it easier. He stepped into the bright light and made his way to her front door.

 

Elizabeth stared at the cup of tea she had just made, wondering if she should cook or wait until Mertin came home. Another glance at the timepiece on her left wrist, told her that he was late. He was never late. She went into the main room, kicked off her shoes and sat on the couch drawing her feet under her. There was a book on the couch, but after a glance at it, she decided against reading. It had been a long day. The foremost fabric supplier in the five territories had recently lost its managing director and part owner, her father, and his responsibilities were passed on to her uncle, the other owner. Her uncle needed her to step into her father’s shoes. Trained in management, her experience was mostly at a lower level of management as the head buyer of the V and L Fabric Company.

Thoughtfully she eyed the book again, it might help her mind to relax. Taking another sip of her tea, she opened the book. Two pages later, the door bell sounded.

“Computer, open the door.”

Mertin never used his own key. She put the book down, and got up to ask if he wanted tea before the evening meal.

She never got that far. Shock paralysed her body as she looked into the bluest eyes she had ever seen. Recognition flashed through her mind. Impossible. She opened her mouth, but not a sound came out. The next moment there was nothing.

 

Randall caught the woman before she hit the floor. He lifted her into his arms and went down the passage to the main bedroom. It was dark. He called to the house computer to switch on the light before he stepped inside and gently laid her down on the bed. He sat next to her and waited for her to wake up.

Naturally blond, her hair was now a bright copper red, done by a salon close by. He liked it. She had grey eyes according to her file, but he always thought silver was a better description. Before she fainted, he noticed her eyes were different; the soft blue hue was brought out by the bright contrast of her hair. Leaning forward, he brushed a few wayward strands from her face. For the past three moon cycles, he had been investigating her and her mate, and he never saw her wear it down. A tight bun, for a cold woman. The comment had been made by one of the female officers who had assisted him. Cold was not the way he saw her; reserved, maybe, perhaps a little shy. He ran his fingers through his hair. If she didn’t wake up soon, he would have to call a medical officer or a healer.

 

Slowly she opened her eyes, and again the shock was almost too much. She must have imagined it. Probably too much stress. This time however, she managed not to faint.

“Hey,” the ghost of her past said softly.

She tried to sit up, but her arms and legs felt too weak to do as her brain commanded. She gave up and laid back down.

“Randall Storm?” she asked in a shaky voice.

“Hello, Elizabeth,” he said in that husky voice she used to love so much.

Elizabeth looked up at the man quietly watching her. Physically he was bigger than she remembered, his shoulders broad and the light jacket he wore could not hide the power in his arms and upper body. Quietness and maturity surrounded him, and she sensed a tremendous strength in him. She also sensed something more, but could not identify it. His blue eyes were his most potent physical asset, and she always felt that he could look into her soul when he looked at her, like now.

She moved to get up from the bed. “Why are you here? And why are we in … this bedroom?”

“This is your mate’s room?” It was decorated in shades of cream and brown, but it looked empty.

“Yes.”

Once on her feet, she still felt dizzy. It had been hours since she last ate, no wonder her legs were weak. She stumbled, and he easily lifted her into his arms. Without thinking, she put her arms around his neck for support. They left the bedroom and he took her back to the main room where he gently put her back on the couch where she had been sitting when he arrived.

He sat down on the table in front of her and took her hands in his. The simple gesture filled her with dread.

“I have some bad news.”

 

She looked from their hands to his face. “Mertin?”

“We arrested him this afternoon.”

She could sense that he kept his voice calm for her sake. She just looked at him. It took effort to find her voice. “Arrested? Why?” Then she saw the gold badge attached to his jacket. It read senior detective with his name underneath.

He looked down at their hands and sighed heavily. “Contract murder.”

Her hands went cold. She felt the heat from his body, but it did nothing for the numbness in her chest.

“C-contract m-murder?”

“Yes.”

“Who? Why?”

Releasing her, he ran his fingers through his hair, before he got up from the table.

“Your father and his business partner,” he said flatly.

“But my father died in a transport accident.”

He stopped pacing for a minute to look at her. “It was no accident. We arrested the thugs that did the damage to the transport your father travelled with, and they confessed everything.”

“And my uncle?” she asked as tears were forming in her eyes. She swallowed hard. Haydn Ville was like a second father to her.

“Last night. Two guys jumped him and killed him on his way home. We arrested them this morning thanks to the excellent security your uncle had installed in the outer perimeter of the factory.”

So that was why he wasn’t at the office today, and she couldn’t get hold of him or her aunt. “Mertin? Are you sure?”

He ran his fingers through his hair again; it made him look like a wild man. “That is why it is called contract murder. He paid them to do this. We have the proof, not just the confessions of career criminals.” He sat down on the table again.

She stared at him. “But, why?”

“He wanted your inheritance.”

She blinked. “My inheritance? How? The company will not be mine alone, and besides we were joined with an asset exclusion contract.”

He handed her a message disk and watched her put it in her hand computer that laid on the table. She read the file he pointed to: it was her uncle’s will.

“But this isn’t right,” she said glancing up at him. “This document says that I inherit the controlling share, but the will I saw after my father died, only gave me twenty five percent, the controlling share belonged to my uncle and the rest was given to my two cousins in equal proportion.”

“It is the final will should both your father and uncle die. Control of the company goes to you.”

She sat back on the couch, stunned. It made sense to give control to her, because her cousins were the Peace Ambassador and the Grandmaster. A thought suddenly occurred to her. “Was the previous will a forgery?”

“No, it was a legal will. Remember your uncle was still alive, so only your father’s shares were divided, but your uncle was still in control.”

“Then why would Mertin m-murder my father and my uncle?”

He pointed to another document on the disk.

It was another will, hers it would appear, giving Mertin all her assets after her death. She frowned at him. “I have no such will. When I die, without an heir, the shares would go to Stefan’s daughter and any other children that my cousins might have. The company must stay in the direct control of the Ville family or blood relations.”

He nodded. “We know that. It is part of the statutes of the company, so he would have had a difficult time to get it anyway. There is another problem that is actually a little more pressing.”

She looked at him. “What problem?”

He took her hands again. “You are next,” he said flatly.

She frowned. “What do you mean, next?” Then her eyes widened. “You mean, he plans to kill me too,” she whispered.

He dropped her hands and got up again pacing the room. She could feel the waves of frustration coming off his body. He messed up his hair even more.

“The contract has already been given to someone. The problem is that we do not know who it is.”

“Why would he do something like that? I have never done anything to hurt him.”

He told her the truth. “Mertin’s own business is in a terrible state. He has made bad investments and if he does not do something quickly, the company will go under.” He shrugged.

She rubbed her temples, feeling a headache coming on, and only partly because she had not eaten. She slowly got to her feet and found that her legs supported her well enough this time.

“Would you like some tea? Something to eat?” she asked as she took her empty cup from the table.

“Didn’t you hear what I just said?”

She turned around. “I heard you. Everything is too much right now. Whatever you want me to do about it, will have to wait until I eat something. I don’t want to faint again.”

He held up his hands. “There is no need for you to go to any trouble.”

“Well?” she asked. She really didn’t know what to do, what to think, but she knew that this childhood friend made her feel safe. He turned her world upside down, but somehow managed to help her keep a level head at the same time. She wasn’t ready for him to leave, not yet.

“Only if I can help,” he returned with his most charming smile as he followed her to the kitchen.

She gave him the vegetables and fruit to prepare. Her hands were shaking a little too much to handle the sharp knives.

They ate in silence for a while.

“There is one more thing.”

She waited for him to continue.

“You will need full time protection, until we catch the assassin.”

She paled, but her voice remained steady. “But I thought that since you have Mertin, that I will no longer be in danger.”

He shook his head. “I wish.” He paused for a moment. “The contract was paid in advance, and if it is who we suspect, he will come after you until he has succeeded.”

For the first time in her life she felt real fear. Law abiding citizens didn’t need to worry about assassins.

“How will you protect me?” she asked in a small voice.

“Two security officers will be assigned to stay with you full time.”

“Will you be one of them?“ A different kind of fear got hold of her. She didn’t want anyone else. It was irrational, but the man sitting at this table watching her, sharing a meal with her, became the only one she felt safe with.

“Why?”

A blush stole onto her pale cheeks. “Because I know you will protect me,” she said so softly that she wasn’t sure that he had heard her.

Copyright© Linzé Brandon. All rights reserved.

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Linzé Brandon
By Linzé Brandon April 17, 2013 15:34
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