Forced into exile for being a dragon summoner, Kohaku’s problems only worsen when his dragon becomes inexplicably dormant. In attempt to find the reasons why, he runs into Sawyer, the handsome dragon hunter who freed him from persecution two years ago, and winds up awakening something very different—a love like no other he’s experienced before.
Sawyer’s never forgotten about the gorgeous red-haired summoner. He sets out to prove he’s no longer interested in slaying dragons. Instead, he wants to gain Kohaku’s trust, and his affection, while he helps search for the key in the dragon’s recovery.
However, there’s another frightful magic at play, and suddenly things are starting to fall apart around them. Can they maintain this forbidden love while facing the evils coming their way?
Kohaku’s hand ached, he’d been gripping his basket hard the entire time. He wasn’t about to stop at some stranger’s authority. This was his life and for all he knew, this might be his last breath.
A crunch from just behind him warned that the hunter was close, about to touch him with his dirty, bloody hands. Kohaku kept his sights on his escape route. He crashed into the door, hands and face flat against the wood, dropping his basket in the process. He could barely catch his breath.
“I said halt!” came the voice again, dark and controlling. Kohaku blinked, eyes widening when he glanced at the hunter. He stood only feet away, his sword pointed straight at Kohaku. “Come away from the door and face your fate.”
Kohaku swallowed. My fate? “W-what is it I’ve done?”
“You’ve been charged with treason,” the hunter said.
“For what reason?” Kohaku closed his eyes, fearful of what the hunter’s answer might be.
“For summoning a dragon.”
“Wh-what’s wrong with it?”
“Those evil bastards are illegal in Anscien.” The hunter’s voice never wavered. “Now step away from the door.”
Kohaku trembled in fear. The witch warned of dangers. She was evading someone when he’d met her, so he should have known this day would come. A hunter, one of the kingdom’s finest most likely, would find him eventually. Hiding the summoning within the darkest of nights worked just as long as it needed, though he still hadn’t learned much at all in the fifteen years since being given Malrith.
Kohaku took a breath, calming his fear and his beating heart. He turned on his heel, facing the hunter. “Then kill me now.”
The hunter, clad in a studded leather tunic with chainmail to protect the arms, stood there unmoving.
The quiet air hurt more than the accusation. “What do you wait for? If you intend to kill me, then do it. I know I will die with my honor still intact.”
Still, the hunter tarried. His silver sword glistened off its sharpened side, his armor was just as magnificent, not leaving a blind spot for a stray blade to penetrate. The hunter’s head and face was shadowed by a chainmail coif, leaving only the chin and lips visible in the pale light.
“Do you not wish to kill me here? Shall I follow you to the castle, then?” Kohaku grunted. This hunter showed no strength in his convictions. Kohaku’s frustrations grew. “Know that I’d rather die than give up my responsibility. Dragon summoner. Shall I fall to my knees and beg for your sword—”
The hunter lowered his arm, dropping the sword on the ground. “Go.”
“Come again?” Kohaku tilted his head.
The hunter straightened. “I said leave. Abandon this dwelling and move lest more hunters come to take your life.”
“You’re letting me—”
“Hurry.” The hunter turned toward the distant sound of trotting horse hooves on grass. “They’ll catch you within the day.” With that, the hunter darted off, disappearing back into the dense forest.