Posted by Lexxie Couper on Saturday, June 25th, 2011
Okay, that’s not really the title of my current WIP but it’s the closest title I can think of that describes the book (I’m assuming you all got that it’s a play on Puff the Magic Dragon, yes?). So what IS my current WIP, you ask? A contemporary erotic rom-com about a dragon shifter and his unexpected human mate I’m writing for Ellora’s Cave.
Being a dragon shifter in today’s world isn’t easy. Unlike those wus wolf shifters, you can’t just shift form and go for a run through the nearest National Park. And heaven forbid you actually take wing over your hometown. It’s not a case of being shot with arrows by scared villagers. Nowadays you’re more likely to be shot down by a Neighborhood Watch zealot armed to the teeth with an AK-47. Then there are the mythology junkies constantly trying to track you down, not to mention the whole sex issue. Try telling the little cutie you’ve met down at the local Starbucks you may accidentally ignite if you experience a truly soul-shattering orgasm.
No, being a dragon shifter kinda sucks. But that’s exactly what Tyson Conley is. And he’s coming on heat, which means all sorts of fun-and-games for the complete stranger he’s just spied running with her dog along Bondi Beach, Australia. As insane as it all is, Tyson knows the second he sees her she’s his mate. Now, he just has to convince her of that. Oh, and dodge the psychopathic “dragon hunter” who inexplicably seems to have discovered what he really is at the same time. Because if Tyson doesn’t join with his true “fire mate” before his heat cycle finishes, bad things will happen. Lots of bad things.
Wanna read the beginning of the first chapter? Unedited, of course…
Heartburn sucks. Especially when you’re a dragon shifter.
Tyson Conley pressed the heel of his palm to his sternum and rubbed, knowing it would do sweet F.A. to relieve the pain. This is what he got for eating spicy meatball pizza. Every friggen time he ordered it, he ended up in hell. At some stage of the game, he was going to learn his lesson. He could already feel the insidious heat radiating up through his throat from his chest, but whereas a human would pop a Tums or two and be done with it, he was now in for a bloody scorcher of a time. True, he couldn’t blow fire in his human form, but that didn’t stop the bloody inferno in his chest making him wish he was dead. Or scalding the lining of his digestive tract.
He let out a growl, a thoroughly bestial sound that made the old duck sitting at the table next to his flinch. She stared at him, eyes wide.
He gave her an apologetic smile, fighting the urge to fidget on his chair. “Sorry,” he said, pushing the remains of his pizza away from him. He was done with it. If Ryan ever turned up, he could eat the damn thing. As far as Tyson was aware, spicy meatball only made his younger brother more—
A million pinpricks of fire razed over Tyson’s flesh. And another million. His mouth went dry and, despite feeling like he was about to spontaneously combust, he froze.
What the fuck?
The old duck beside him glared at him, mouth puckered with disapproving disdain. He must have made a noise. What it was though, he didn’t have a fucking clue. Another growl? A groan?
Invisible fire swept over his skin again, hotter this time, so much hotter. And purposeful. Sweeping over his skin in an inferno of heat until his prick was so fucking hard he wanted to cry out in pain. And pleasure. Oh, Gods, did he want to cry out in pleasure.
Fuck me, the mating fire.
Tyson twisted about in his seat, looking around the beachfront café. No one looked back at him. No one stared at him with open hunger. The only one paying him any attention was the old duck with the sour-lemon face and there was nothing hungry or sexual about the way she looked at him. She looked at him like she was about to pull an Uzi from her handbag and save the world from a psychopath.
She leant toward him, eyes narrowing behind her shell-pink glasses. “Are you on drugs, son?” Her lips—painted the same pink as her coke bottle glasses, Tyson noticed in a brief moment of surreal detachment—pursed tighter. “Are you tripping?”
Fresh fire scalded his flesh, so hot, so intense, he grit his teeth. His cock throbbed with such impatient insistency he feared he was going to erupt. He blinked at the old duck, opening his mouth, closing it. His throat wouldn’t work. His balls felt ready to burst. Holy shit, the mating fire? How could he be experiencing the mating fire? Since when were there female dragon shifters in Syd—
A woman jogged past the café, holding the leash of a massive animal that could be a dog but looked more like a hairy…thing…loping beside her. She jogged past the café, dark red ponytail flipping behind her head like a dancing flame, slim body radiating smoldering energy, breath slipping from her in streams of crimson mist Tyson knew no one else but him could see.
She jogged past the café, dog-slash-thing running beside her and Tyson’s entire body was engulfed in heat. Heat and lust and want and need. Need. Urgent need. Hungry want. Dire lust.
His heart slammed into his throat. His mate. His fire mate. Fuck, he’d seen his fire mate. And she was—
He jolted to his feet, stare locked on the woman jogging through the crowded footpath. His table went skidding, bumping into the old duck’s. His pizza clattered to the floor, along with his untouched beer, his phone and the old duck’s glass of wine she’d ordered the minute she’d occupied the table beside his. Beer and wine splashed his ankles, dribbled inside his Reefs but he didn’t care. He had to see her. He had to—
“Sonny!” she hissed. “You’re making noises like a—”
The word reverberated through his head, drowning out whatever word the old duck had used just as the crowd swallowed up the jogging woman.
He was making noises like a dragon. A dragon on heat. Fuck, he was making noises like a dragon on heat because he was a dragon on heat. Christ on a pony, his fire mate had just jogged past him, oblivious to his existence, triggering the mating fire, and she was human? Human? How the fuck could she be human? Surely he was wrong? He couldn’t detect the distinct honeyed-sulfur scent all female dragon shifters exuded but how could she be human? Since when did dragon shifters mate with humans? Never, that’s when. Sure, they may fuck them every now and again, but mate with them? No. It wasn’t possible.
Of course it isn’t. So tell that to your body.
His body however, wasn’t listening to logic and millennia-old fact. His body was well and truly on its way to shifting—shifting for Christ’s sake!—and unless he did something soon, something drastic, something insane, the busy Bondi Beach esplanade was going to find itself plus one very horny, very large, very medieval mythological dragon.
He stumbled away from his table, trying to find the woman—his mate—in the flow of pedestrians filling the footpath between him and the beach. He had to get to her. What the hell he was going to say he didn’t know, but he had to get to her and, if nothing else, kiss her. And hope to all things holy that simple contact would quell the shift.
“Sonny,” his ever-informative elderly neighbor hissed again, her voice somehow punching through his stunned disbelief, “did you know you have a very large erection?”
Tyson blanched. He jerked his stare back to her, down to his groin, to the bloody obvious hard-on tent-poling his cargoes and back up to her face. “Err…”
She smirked, and for another insane moment she didn’t look old at all. Or female. And then fresh fire razed Tyson’s flesh, licked at his balls, his groin. Fresh fire accompanied by a bone-deep shudder and he knew his fire mate had turned around. Turned around and was jogging back toward him.
He bolted. Vaulting over chairs, tables and the café’s row of potted palms. There was a shocked shout behind him, a few shocked “what the hells?”, a loud bray of stunned laughter and then nothing. Nothing but the thumping of his heart and the roaring of his blood in his ears. Fuck, he was about five minutes away from an uncontrolled and unwanted shift into his dragon form, he was still fighting a mean case of heartburn and he was sporting an erection the size of a cricket bat. What a perfect first impression to make on the perfect stranger he was going to kiss right here on the busy Bondi Beach foot—
He ran into her.
Straight into her.
There was an oof, a growl, a warm, firm body pressed to his, an explosion of fire over his flesh, through his body, into his soul, two wide, stunned blue eyes staring up into his, and then Tyson crushed her lips with his. Crushed her lips and invaded her mouth and let the molten demand in his being be consumed by her sweet, destined heat.
Now, if anyone here has a title suggestion, I’d gladly welcome it 😉