Dragon Heartstring

Dragon Heartstring by Juliette Cross Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Dragon Heartstring by Juliette Cross Read Free Book Online
Authors: Juliette Cross
that.”
    He scoffed. “There may be more than hate-mongering, Shakara.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “I’m sure you’re aware that the Grayson family will be the hardest hit if this ban is approved. They have distributors who will feel the loss, but ultimately it will be them who suffer.”
    “Yes. I know that.” His defense of the Grayson family lit a fuse inside of me. “I don’t care about the Grayson’s financial loss. They’ve created a machine that is an abomination to Morgonkind.”
    He flinched. “Shakara.” He said my name low and deep, stirring me toward wayward thoughts. I wondered what it would be like to hear my name on his lips—in a dark room, alone.
    He leaned forward over the table to speak intimately. “I don’t give a fuck about the Grayson family fortune. And I’d like nothing more than to see those weapons removed from the market and destroyed.”
    “Then why—”
    “Because what you don’t understand is that the Graysons aren’t just ruthless in their business dealings. They’re dangerous. And powerful. What you threaten to take away with the banning of the Volt gun is enough to put your own life at risk. Are you willing to do that?”
    I believed what he said was true and that he warned me out of compassion. “Yes. I’m willing.”
    “Even your own father is willing to risk your life, all your lives, whoever stands up for this cause?”
    “Demetrius. I have mended men with broken bones, lacerations, open gashes, severe burns. All kinds of wounds and injuries. I can help them all. But if a Morgon man or woman is shot by a Volt gun, he dies. There is no coming back. This weapon was created for one purpose—to kill Morgons. I’m a healer. I must do what is right. No matter the danger it may put me in.”
    He stared at me for a moment, seeming to understand the sincerity of my words. “I see.”
    We sat in silence, both absorbed in our own thoughts when the waitress walked up with our plates.
    “Here you are. Two house specials.”
    The sandwiches were stacked with deli meats and cheese on a fresh roll with chips.
    “Thank you,” I said.
    “Can I get you anything else?” she asked, smiling at Demetrius.
    “I think we’re good,” he said, barely glancing up.
    She nodded and left us alone. We set to eating in tension-filled silence. Until finally, I said, “Don’t worry, Demetrius. I know my father is taking precautions. More of the clan is coming up from the Feygreir Mountains for the hearing as a show of force. It will be fine.”
    He studied me with his sandwich halfway to his mouth. I could see the wheels spinning in that handsome head of his.
    “Yes,” he assured me with a small smile. “It will be fine.”

Chapter 5
    “ M r. Grayson is here to see you,” said Nadine through the desk comm.
    “Fine. Send him in.”
    I stood and straightened my tie before striding to the door just as Nadine opened it. The man who walked through was not the friend I knew at the university. He walked with a limp and a cane and wore his hair much longer, partly hiding the burn scars along the right side of his neck, jaw, and cheek. The look in his eyes was different as well. Where there had once been confidence, perhaps vanity, there was now only menace. Still, I reached out a hand to shake his. He did the same, his hand withered from the burns, more evidence of the last day we’d seen one another.
    “Aron,” I said, taking his hand in a firm grip.
    “Demetrius,” he said, not bothering to hide his animosity.
    “Shall we sit?” I gestured toward my small conference table near the glass wall overlooking Gladium’s towering business district. “Nadine, can you get us some water please.”
    “Of course,” she said, rushing away and closing the door.
    Aron took his time and made a show of limping slowly to the table, propping his cane next to him, and easing into his chair. I settled next to him and waited. He stared at me for a minute, measuring my suit and my face. We

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