Home > Aiding the Dragon (Stonefire Dragons #9)

Aiding the Dragon (Stonefire Dragons #9)
Author: Jessie Donovan

Chapter One



Aaron Caruso of Clan Stonefire stared at the old metal gate of Clan Glenlough’s lands and resisted the urge to flip off the security camera watching him. He’d done the bloody ridiculous knock they’d asked of him. And yet, ten minutes later, he was still standing in the rain.

At least it was summer, so he wouldn’t bloody freeze. Not that the Irish summer was any better than one back home, in the north of England.

His dragon spoke up. Forget about the weather. We will see her soon.

Not even dropping me in a vat of poisonous snakes will get me to kiss her, dragon. So, shut it.

This isn’t Italy. Teagan is different.

Teagan O’Shea was the Irish leader of Clan Glenlough. I learned my lesson about females. Maybe in ten years, I’ll change my view. But for now, they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

Try telling that to our mum.

Stop with the logic. Of course Mum is different.

The metal gate screeched as it opened slowly. In a few seconds, it revealed the form of a young male with red hair and the softness of late adolescence. Aaron added, Great. They sent us a child. So much for a diplomatic welcome.

The boy’s lilting accent prevented his dragon from replying. “Sorry for the delay. Matters came up.”

Aaron grunted. “Fine. Can we get out of the rain now?”

The boy raised an eyebrow. “They mentioned how cloudy weather made you tetchy. Odd, given where you’re from.”

Great to know the Irish clan was already talking about him. He forced his voice to be polite. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to come inside and talk with your clan leader.”

“Follow me, then.”

As Aaron walked past the gate, he noticed few people walking about. The only other time he’d set foot on Glenlough, it had been night and pitch-black. Not even the cottages had had lights shining in the windows.

While he did spot movement behind the curtains of a few homes, he had the feeling everyone had retreated to merely watch what he would do. Aaron was starting to think he should’ve delayed his trip a few extra days to find a replacement for his usual Protector partner, Quinn Summers. Quinn’s mate going into labor had been bad timing.

His beast sighed. As if she had control over that.

I’m starting to think she did. Vivian never wanted Quinn to go to Ireland for weeks on end.

Vivian is another good female example. You paint with too broad a brush.

Aaron mentally sighed. Decent ones exist, but just not romantically for me. Accept it.

It doesn’t have to be romance. Just a kiss or two would be enough.

Not dignifying his dragon with a response, Aaron caught up to the boy. “Am I still not going to get a hint about why I’m here?”

The male shook his head. “It’s not my place. Teagan will tell you.”

At the name of Glenlough’s female leader, his dragon perked up. Good. So we will have a meeting with her.

It’s probably the only one, so don’t get your hopes up.

I still say we should find ways to see her again. If you pushed aside your bitterness, you’d see what I see.

What? And have another female use me and toss me away like Nerina did?

She fooled you, not me. That’s why you should listen this time.

Not wanting to deal with an arguing dragon, Aaron constructed a mental prison and tossed him inside. Aaron sighed in relief when his beast’s roars weren’t more than a murmur. Maybe now he could get some bloody work done.

Because no matter what his beast wanted, there was no fucking way Aaron was going to kiss Teagan O’Shea. Females were off the table for the next few years. His time was better spent eradicating threats and making his clan safe.

Or, as his current assignment dictated, ensuring the Irish clan’s safety.

As they finally walked away from the area packed with cottages, the large, looming shape of an old castle came into view. From his previous visit, he knew it was their great hall. In daylight, he could better see the stones making up the walls as well as the turrets. “I wasn’t aware my visit was going to be a clan-wide issue.”

“It isn’t,” the teenager merely stated, a note of finality in his voice.

The male might be young, but he was dedicated. Aaron didn’t think he’d spill any more information, so he merely followed the Irish bloke into the great hall and down a set of stairs. However, instead of turning down a corridor like his last visit, they went down a few more flights of stairs.

When they had to be fairly far underground, the male finally turned down a hallway and stopped at the door at the end. He rapped five times and then left the way he came without another word.

So much for Irish hospitality.

The door opened. Killian O’Shea’s tall, dark-haired form filled the doorway. He was Glenlough’s head Protector and in charge of clan security. He was also Teagan’s younger, but overprotective brother.

Not to mention that since female leaders were viewed as weaker, Killian was the public face of the clan. To most of the world, Killian O’Shea was clan leader.

Killian grunted. “Come in quietly.”

His curiosity piqued, Aaron complied. However, the room was empty except for him, Killian, and a table with chairs. There wasn’t even a picture on the maroon walls. Aaron opened his mouth to ask what was going on, but Killian’s glare silenced him.

Taking a seat, Aaron hoped his assignment with Glenlough was short. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could prevent himself from saying what was really on his mind and that wouldn’t do since Stonefire and Bram—Stonefire’s clan leader—were counting on him to strengthen their alliance with the Irish clan.

He’d just have to focus on the end game of going home and protecting his mother. That would keep him in line, provided his dragon calmed the fuck down. As if to make a point, his beast pounded on the mental walls, but they held.

Aaron tapped his fingers against the table and waited for Teagan to arrive.






Teagan O’Shea laid a hand on the arm of the elderly female sitting next to her. “Are you sure she’s not merely out for an adventure? Sadie has found herself in trouble before for sneaking away.”

Eliza Kavanagh shook her head, her short, gray curls bouncing around her face. “My Sadie isn’t one to be overly dramatic. If she said she’s running away with that male in a note, she’s done it.”

“I believe you.” Teagan kept her voice soft. “Why didn’t you tell me of this earlier, right after you found the note?”

Eliza wrung her hands. “I know dalliances with Clan Northcastle are forbidden right now. I didn’t want my granddaughter to get in trouble.”

Clan Northcastle was the Northern Irish clan near Belfast. The two clans had been at odds for a number of years, and neither one liked matings between the clans because of it.

Teagan stared until the older female met her gaze again. “Eliza, you can always come to me, no matter what. Sadie isn’t the first female to fall in love with someone she shouldn’t.”

Tears trailed down Eliza’s face. “I know I should’ve come. I only hope my delay didn’t make things worse. But I’m here now. Is there anything you can do to help my granddaughter?”

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