An Arcane Free Short
A Little Bit More
Kel Sheridan is a crossbreed and Gabe Ferrar is a pure blood. No two people could come from more different backgrounds and yet they still managed to overcome all obstacles to build a life together. Or have they? What happens when life throws just a little bit more at them?
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Kel staggered as she shimmered into one of the uppermost floors of the Incog building. For one brief moment the room blurred around her, but she blinked it into focus…including the face of the Drachon she’d just teleported.
“Stop blowing your fire breath in my face,” Kel groused and pushed the young Drachon out of her space. Like the Sanguen, Drachon were another species of the Arcane, a longer-lived link off the same evolutionary chain as humans. A couple weeks ago her partner Raife Merrick, one of two Drachon she could actually stomach, had mated a crossbreed Sanguen being experimented on in a Triumvirate lab. Once word got out that it was possible for Drachon to mate outside their species, the bastards were lining up to help Incog take down the lab in hopes of finding more compatible females.
They had to fly beneath the radar of the Triumvirate, a trio of powerful witches who ruled the Arcane with a healthy amount of tyranny and kept a keen eye on Incog. It would be counterproductive for the bitches to know Incog intended to take out one of their supersecret Frankenstein labs. Kel was the only Sanguen with high enough security clearance to know the location of the incoming Drachon. That meant she’d spent the better part of the week teleporting a fucking dragon army to Incog from secret, outlying locations. And right now she was beyond exhausted and fighting some killer nausea.
All she wanted to do was crawl into her bed and avoid life for at least two days, but since they were taking down the lab after sundown, sleep wasn’t likely to get marked off her to-do list for at least another twenty-four. More’s the pity.
The Drachon leaned in to scent her. Kel palmed his face and pushed him away. “Don’t start.”
In order to survive past their final heat, Drachon needed to mate and impregnate a compatible female. If she had a nickel for every time she’d been sniffed this week…
His nostrils flared, and he frowned in disappointment.
Yeah, that’s right, you smoke blower, this incubator is already in use.
“I appreciate your assistance.” He bowed formally.
Kel waved him away and turned to leave. Whatever.
She was so done with this. Blowing out another breath, she shuddered in revulsion at the conflict going on in her gut. How could someone be starving and nauseous at the same time? Was that even possible? This baby crap already sucked, and she was only a few weeks into a nine-month sentence. She tried not to think too hard about it, tried not to look too far into the future. The problem right now was taking down that Frankenstein lab experimenting on other Arcane.
Then she would sleep for at least two days, skipping the eating again since this kid couldn’t decide if it wanted to be fed or just make her heave. It stood to reason that any spawn of hers would be difficult.
From her belt the deep sounds of Chopin’s Funeral March chimed, drawing the attention of the surrounding Drachon. Kel didn’t look down at it because there was only one person with that ringtone. “It’s been fun, boys.” With a jaunty salute she shimmered.
Kyeros Forestor didn’t look amused when Kel appeared in his office. She was just a tad to the left of where she actually intended to appear, and she’d knocked over a potted plant in her bid to catch her balance.
Bent over, she drew short breaths through her mouth to still the sudden urge to puke and dropped her gaze to her boss’s prized bonsai on the floor, the pot in pieces. Shit.
“As you can see, my men’s concerns are valid.”
Kel jerked upright and immediately wished she’d moved just a bit slower. The room tilted, and she grabbed the back of the chair she’d intended to teleport in front of. Looking for the source of that comment, she frowned at the big man standing to her far right near Forestor’s desk. Judging from how big the asshole was, she’d guess he was Drachon. No surprise there. Those fuckers knew no other way to grow them other than supersized. However, there was something different about this one. He wore the same black BDU pants that most of the others wore with a long-sleeved, gray thermal. He was leaner in the hip, his feet braced, and his gray eyes were a bit hard and wild.
A scrapper. She recognized that edge about him that promised he would do what was necessary to survive; she had seen it in the mirror for years. He’d also been here before. A couple weeks ago when Raife had brought his mate back from the Triumvirate labs.
“Brim Fallon, right?” He was some kind of go-to guy for the Drakes, the leaders of the Drachon.
He gave a curt nod, but his lips were thin and disapproving. Those gray eyes were flinty as he looked at her.
“Well, Brim Fallon, tell your ‘men’ to mind their own damn business.”
Kel snapped her mouth shut at the soft but authoritative warning from her boss. For all the shit she gave him, her respect for Kyeros Forestor was unconditional and complete. He’d pulled her from hell, given her purpose, and for that she would serve him until she cocked up her damn toes.
“I’ll take care of this,” Forestor said to the other man. “I appreciate you bringing your concerns to me. Please make yourself comfortable. I only ask that your men not leave the floor they’ve been assigned to.”
Brim nodded and moved to leave but paused next to Kel. His nostrils flared and something soft moved behind his eyes. “You should better care for yourself.”
Kel didn’t get the chance to spew the snarky comment that came to her lips because all that was left of him was a blur of movement before the door closed with a click. The bastards could move fast when they wanted to. It made getting the last word in damn hard. She glared at the door. Damn. She liked getting the last word.
Kel blew out a breath and dropped down into the chair she’d been clinging to. Leave it to Forestor to get right to the point. “Yes.”
Forestor was a Guardian in his prime, capable of using his every heightened sense to appraise his surroundings and those who were in them. His dark eyes studied her, and she knew he was using those abilities to evaluate her. By the way his brows lowered she could tell he wasn’t pleased with what he saw.
“Where is Marshal Ferrar right now?”
Kel quickly defended her mate. “Doing some House bullshit somewhere. I talked to him this morning.” Gabe called her at least twice a day. He said it was because he needed to hear her voice, but she suspected he recognized something was off with her but couldn’t quite figure it out. Her blood gave him some Guardian extrasensory abilities; he just wasn’t accustomed to using them. Otherwise, he may have known about the pregnancy before she did. “He’ll be back tonight.”
Kyeros folded his arms over his chest. “Why is he not here now? You are Sanguen. You have needs only he can meet. I expected more from him.” There was a flare of power as though his body heat expanded to brush over her, and she squelched a wince. Kyeros was protective by nature but more so over her than the others. It was most likely because he’d carried her broken body out of hell when she was barely a teenager. A muscle in his jaw ticked. “I will speak with him and make him aware of his responsibilities.”
This time Kel did wince. “I’m a full-grown adult, Kye. You don’t have to defend my honor. Besides, we’re already mated, so no need to go get your shotgun, Paw.”
Kyeros lifted one brow in that expression that said he was exasperated. He used it so often with her it had long ago lost its significance. “This is not humorous, Kel. You are obviously suffering because of his neglect.”
Kel sighed. “It’s not neglect. He doesn’t know.”