Changing from dragon to man as he descended into the darkest corner of the forest behind the lair of the Blue Thunder Dragons, Callum O’Shea’s feet had just touched the ground when a grumbled, “Where the hell have you been?” nearly knocked him on his ass.
Spinning toward the sound, sword drawn and the enchanted lightning he’d inherited from his mother dancing along his fingertips, the brilliant blue dragon was prepared for battle as another voice chuckled, “Way to go, Doxie. Just had to scare the young’un, didn’t you? Now he’s gonna hit us with that crazy ass lightning of his.”
Lowering his sword and pulling back his magic as he recognized two of the older Guardsmen of his Clan, Callum tried hard not to laugh as the ancient one they all called the mad dragon groused, “He'd better rethink his plan. I was taking down bigger men than him before he was little more than a twinkle in his daddy’s eye.”
Laughing out loud, the Guardsman known as Kayne, who also happened to be the son of Lugh, the Celtic God of the Sun, teased, “Simmer down there, Maddox. Calysta will kill me if you end up a French fry. Heaven knows that woman scares the crap outta me.”
Although he laughed along, Callum felt a pang of jealousy at the mention of the mad dragon’s mate. It made him think of Wolfe, one of his best friends, who’d found his mate not so long ago and was now living in North Carolina.
Callum was happy for his brethren. The Goddess knew there was nothing as important to a dragon, especially a Guardsman, as finding the one woman the Universe had made for him, the only person in all the world who completed both man and dragon - heart, soul, and mind. It meant he could have children, would have many, many more years on Earth, and when he’d drawn his last breath, would ascend into the Heavens with his one true love to live out eternity with those who’d gone before him. No one deserved it more than Wolfe, but it didn’t stop Callum from missing him.
It was obvious how much the big blue dragon loved his mate or how they completed each other heart and soul, especially since the idiot couldn’t shield his thoughts to save his life. Even thousands of miles from the Lair, every Guardsman within their Clan felt the incredibly special bond Wolfe shared with his dragoness, Dannika. It had become the running joke with all the Guardsmen. Callum couldn’t count the number of times he’d shown up for training only to find a group of his brethren laughing and retelling some sappy event Wolfe had let slip through his mental blocks.
It was funny. There was no denying it, and Callum laughed along with the rest. But then when he was alone, in the wee dark hours of the night when his mind would wander, he couldn’t help but be jealous…and it pissed him right off.
Why can’t I just get over it? Wolfe’s my brother. I want the best for him, and that’s what he has. I need to get a grip. Get a hobby. Find that damn…
“Are you paying attention, young’un?” Maddox’s snarl, pulling Callum from his thoughts. “I’m talking to you. What the hell were you doing out flying with that damn bug moon shining bright in the sky and not even one cloud for cover? Are you trying to get yourself killed or worse yet, caught?”
Rolling his eyes, trying to hold his temper, Callum countered, “No, I was looking for something.”
“You were looking for something?” Maddox stepped forward, his growl growing more ominous with each word as he repeated, “You were looking for something?” Turning to Kayne, the mad dragon nodded his head toward Callum and with a healthy dose of sarcasm asked, “Did you hear that? The mighty Callum O’Shea was looking for something?”
Shaking with anger, tired of being questioned, pissed off that he didn’t have one of his best friends to talk to and ready to be rid of the lot of them, Callum opened his mouth to tell the mad dragon to go straight to Hell but never got to say the words. In the blink of an eye, Maddox spun around, sped forward, and while grabbing the electric dragon by the collar of his light green T-shirt, bellowed, “I don’t give a damn if you were looking for a pot of gold at the end of a freakin’ rainbow. No one flies without permission and never alone!”
White hot fury filled Callum. How dare he be questioned! Who did Maddox think he was? He damn sure wasn’t his father or, for that matter, his friend. He was a cranky old dragon who thought he knew everything but didn’t know shit.
Callum’s brilliant blue dragon roared in his head, demanding to be set free, to face the challenge issued by another of his kin. The power he’d inherited from his mother combined with his pure white dragon magic, making it feel like fire raced through his veins.
Static electricity popped and sparked in the air. Streaks of lightning filled his vision as Callum raised his hand right before Kayne roared, “Get back, Doxie.”
But it was too late. The mad dragon had gone too far, pushed too hard. With barely a coherent thought, Callum zapped the mad dragon with a mere pop of his power and stood smiling as Maddox flew ten feet through the air, landing ass-over-tea-kettle at Kayne’s feet.
Glaring at both ancient Guardsmen, the electric dragon growled, sounding more dragon than man, “I will do what I want when I want.” He stepped forward, sparks still crackling and popping all around him. “Now, I’m going home. Don’t follow.”
Slowly turning toward the Lair, Callum stalked into the darkness of the forest, reveling in the feel of the power filling every fiber of his being. It wasn’t until the soles of his boots hit the wooden planks of his front porch that the true gravity of what he’d just done hit him.
Crossing the threshold and slowly closing the door, the electric dragon took a deep breath, counted to ten as he exhaled. and unceremoniously plopped down on the couch. Letting his head fall back, he stared at the ceiling as he sighed. “Well, Wolfe is always saying go big or go home. Guess I did both tonight. Wonder if I’ll have any scales left on my hide when the mad dragon gets done with me…”