Dragon Hunted

Dragon Hunted by JB McDonald Read Free Book Online

Book: Dragon Hunted by JB McDonald Read Free Book Online
Authors: JB McDonald
Tags: gay romance
up with anything worse, Ashe asked, "What are we doing, anyway?"
    "Finding the dragon's lair."
    Ashe stopped walking. Katsu continued for three more steps before he stopped, too, and looked back. "The dragon's lair?" Ashe's vocal cords tightened on the last word. But then, they'd been tight on the first word, too.
    "I want the eggs. I told you they were worth money."
    "Yes, but--"
    "The dragons are caught or dead. It's not like we have anything to worry about now." Katsu turned and started walking again, not bothering to wait and see if Ashe would catch up.
    Of course, Ashe did. "That isn't the point!" So much for a semi-romantic walk through a forest, complete with light bantering and soulful looks. Dragon eggs definitely put a damper on his libido.
    "I think it's exactly the point. What else do you think is going to be in a dragon's lair besides dragons and eggs? If there are no dragons, that leaves only eggs." He looked up at Ashe and drawled, "I swear I won't let the eggs hurt you."
    It was hard to argue with that sort of sarcasm. Ashe walked on, wishing he could come up with any kind of reason that they should leave dragon eggs alone. Aside, of course, from the obvious fact that they were dragon eggs , and surely no good could come of this.
    Unless he was getting half the bounty. "How much are they worth?"
    Katsu smirked. "Depends on what you sell them for."
    "Do you know where the dragon's lair is?"
    Katsu nodded easily while still watching his step. His lashes were shadows against dusky skin. "I have a pretty good idea. You think if that dragon had felt his eggs were safe, he'd have left us today?"
    Ashe considered that, then nodded slowly.
    "He didn't leave us. So he didn't feel his eggs were safe. There's only a few spots dragons of that species will hatch eggs. They need heat -- you don't find that in a shady forest. They need warmth. No breezes. Caves are good."
    Slowly, the pieces fell into place in Ashe's mind. "We were practically on top of the lair."
    Katsu nodded again.
    Ashe turned that over in his mind. Moran care for him in the afterlife, they were lucky to have escaped. "How do you know so much about dragons?"
    The corner of Katsu's mouth twitched upward in a little smile. "Cultural hazard."
    Ashe spent a moment trying to puzzle that out, then finally gave up. He offered another gambit instead. "You did well last night. I mean, I knew you were a good doctor and all, but that magic thing--"
    "Chakra."
    Ashe waved a hand. "Whatever you want to call it. That was pretty amazing." He hesitated, realizing suddenly that Katsu had saved his life. He'd known it before, of course, but somehow the import of it hadn't really hit him until now. "Thanks," he said quietly. He shifted his shoulders, feeling the sting of the small cuts Katsu had drawn into him. At the moment, he didn't mind them.
    Katsu glanced at him, then nodded once, dark eyes steady on Ashe's face. "You're welcome." He went around a tree, brushing something off his sleeve as he went. "I could probably teach you some of it. How to use your -- magic better, anyway." There was an odd emphasis around the word "magic," and it didn't take much of a guess to figure out that he'd substituted for his own word.
    Ashe grimaced. "Believe it or not, at one point I could use magic just fine. I was pretty good at it, even. I'm just out of practice."
    "I still probably know things you don't. And I'm sure you know things I don't," Katsu added grudgingly. "It could be mutually beneficial."
    Given they had all afternoon, Ashe couldn't see why not. But even more than the afternoon stretching out before them, Katsu was offering him something. Katsu never offered anyone anything. Ashe wasn't about to let the opportunity slip by.
    ***
    By the time they located the correct cave, Ashe was feeling every sore muscle from their hunt, escape, and run over the last twenty-four hours. He didn't even know he had that many muscles.
    He gazed over the nooks and crannies within the

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