Excitement and passion ignite in the third serial of Fire Rising by New York Times bestselling Dark Kings author Donna Grant.
In Fire Rising: Part 3, Sammi is reeling after discovering that Tristan invaded her mind. Shocked that this is the same man--and dragon--that she trusted her heart and body to, Sammi runs, determined to not look back. But when she stumbles upon a dark secret of Tristan's that shakes her to the very core, she knows she must forgive him if she is to love him....
Tristan wasn't expecting to come face-to-face with his past when he found Sammi. And with the Dark Fae closing in, he doesn't have time to do anything other than fight for the one he loves....
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her "totally addictive" and "unique and sensual" stories. She's written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night's Awakening, and Dawn's Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her husband, two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s written more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories, Dark Craving, Night’s Awakening, and Dawn’s Desire. Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.
"Dark, sexy, magical. When I want to indulge in a sizzling fantasy adventure, I read Donna Grant."
--Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author
Read an Excerpt
Fire Rising Part 3
By Donna Grant
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2014 Donna Grant
All rights reserved.
Sammi opened the iPad and hit the music icon. Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" began a slow, sexy beat. Sammi began to sing along as she leaned back in the chair.
The song reminded her too much of her time with Tristan. The words got locked in her throat, clogging it until the emotion began to overwhelm her.
She quickly hit the forward button and Kings of Leon blared through the speakers. It helped to chase away the feelings she didn't want to face.
Sammi got to her feet and walked around the sparse room. She guessed it was a room. It looked more like a small cave, and since they were inside a mountain, she assumed that's exactly what it was.
She whirled around as Jane came running into the room, her arms wrapping around her tightly. Sammi closed her eyes and held onto her sister.
"Are you all right?" Jane asked.
Sammi nodded and tightened her grip. "I guess you know all of it?"
Jane laughed and pulled back. "We've known since before you left. You told Tristan and Banan everything."
"No, I didn't." She was sure she hadn't. She had gone out of her way to give them just enough to leave her alone.
It was the way Jane suddenly wouldn't meet her gaze that told Sammi something had happened, something she wasn't going to like.
"Jane, I didn't tell them."
Her sister dropped her arms and stepped back. "Laith told us that you know who Banan and Tristan are."
"Yes, but that's not the point."
"It is," Jane insisted. "If you know they're Dragon Kings, then you must also know that each has a certain ... gift, you could say."
"Gift?" Sammi repeated, dread seeping into her pores. "What type of gift?"
Jane shrugged nonchalantly. "Each is different."
"What is Tristan's?"
Jane visibly cringed. "Don't be angry with him. He was doing exactly what Banan and I asked."
"Jane," Sammi urged.
"He can make you tell the things you wouldn't otherwise."
Sammi rubbed her forehead and desperately tried to contain the rage that bubbled within her. "So the night I felt calmer and more at ease ..."
"Was the night you told them everything, yes," Jane said grudgingly. "He gave you some peace at least."
"And you all allowed me to sneak off?"
Jane bit her lip. "Sammi-"
"While they followed me?"
Of course. It all fit into place now. No wonder Tristan had found her so easily. She had believed she'd gotten away from the Mob, but in reality Tristan had been protecting her.
So much for her having the courage to face the time alone out in the wild. She hadn't been alone. She had never been in any danger.
That wasn't what riled her so. It was how easily Tristan had controlled her mind into spilling the secrets she had been protecting. If he did it once, he could do it again.
"Tristan tried to get me to come back here from the very beginning," she said as she glared at Jane.
Jane's smile was weak. "I begged him to return you any way he could."
Sammi began to laugh. What a fool she had been. While she had been trying to protect her heart from disaster, Tristan had been manipulating her into getting exactly what he wanted. And who knew if what she felt for him was real? After all, he could erase all her fears with a simple touch.
"There is no Dark attack coming, is there?"
Jane's forehead furrowed. "It's surprising all of us that the Dark would dare to come onto Dreagan, but it appears as if they are."
"Why? I'm no one. I wasn't involved with anyone at Dreagan except for you, and we might talk on the phone, but I had never been here before. Why would they use me? Why not someone else to get to the guys?"
"I don't know," Jane said in a low voice.
Sammi shut off the music. "The entire time I've been here and around Tristan I've felt as if I'm given just enough of the truth to keep me quiet. I'm tired of it all. I'm tired of running for my life, I'm tired of my body hurting, and I'm tired of being used."
"Used," she said over Jane. "I was used by Daniel to launder money in my pub. If all of you are right, then I've been used by the Mob—who are actually the Kings' enemy—to get to you, thereby to Banan. I was used by Banan to get information. I was used by all of you to flush out the people after me. And I was used by Tris ..."
She couldn't even finish saying his name.
Her chest ached as she struggled to calm her breathing, but her chest was heaving and her heart pounded with dismay. She had given her body to Tristan, and she thought he'd felt something, anything for her by the way he touched her so passionately and loved her so thoroughly.
The truth was a cold bedfellow, and part of Sammi wished she was still trying to piece it all together.
"We did it to protect you."
Jane's heartfelt words did little to ease Sammi. Once more she had given a piece of her heart to someone—her sister. She hadn't wanted to, but Jane had been persistent, and Sammi had been so lonely.
All it proved was that Sammi really couldn't trust anyone. Not an ex-lover turned business partner, not her half-sister, and certainly not a mysterious, gorgeous man who could make her float with just a kiss.
"I'd like to be alone," she said and turned her back to Jane.
"Sammi, please," Jane begged.
But she refused to look at her sister.
She waited until Jane's footsteps faded to nothing before she peeked out of the doorway to see if anyone was keeping watch. Luckily, everyone thought she would stay put during the so-called threat.
How wrong they were. She hurried from the room, looking over her shoulder frequently.
Oh, she knew someone was after her, and she knew there was real danger out there in the form of Dark Fae. It wasn't that she had a death wish or wanted to push the limits, it was simply a matter of her taking control of her life.
Sammi got turned around so many times in the mountain that she lost count. Several times she had to hide behind boulders or duck into caves when she heard someone near.
It was only by sheer luck that as she was walking past an opening, she glanced inside to see the silver dragons. They were caged as they slept almost peacefully. She wanted to go to them, but there was a man with them. He had wavy blond hair, and was dressed in slacks and a shirt rolled up to his elbows.
She wisely skipped getting a closer look at the dragons and instead managed to find her way out of the mountain. Only to stop dead in her tracks as she saw how the manor was built into the mountain.
Sammi kept to the hedges and trees as she quickly made her way to the parking lot of the distillery. There had to be someone who would give her a ride out.
She rounded a corner and collided with someone. Sammi was knocked backward, but managed to fall into a hedge instead of onto the ground.
"Ow," came a muffled American accent.
Sammi looked over to find none other than Lily. She started laughing as she straightened and helped Lily to her feet. "Thank God it was you."
Lily dusted off her oversized shirt and skirt. "Sammi? Are you all right? You look better than when I saw you last week."
Had it really been that long? "Sorry I ran into you. You got the job, didn't you?"
"Yes." Lily beamed, her black eyes shining with excitement. "I'm really enjoying it too."
"That's lovely. Listen, Lily, can you give me a ride out of here?"
Lily nodded. "Of course. Is Jane busy?"
"Very much so. Do you mind if we leave now?" Sammi asked as she grabbed Lily's purse and ushered her toward the old BMW.
Lily's eyes grew troubled. "Where do you need to go? I need to be home at a certain time." She stopped and then gave a little shake of her head. "Sorry. I'm past that now."
Sammi was about to ask why a grown woman had a curfew, but she had more important matters at hand. "How far can you take me?"
"Wherever you need."
"Then take me as far as you can," Sammi said as she got into the passenger seat.
She listened to Lily talk of all the customers she had met while they drove from Dreagan. Still, Sammi didn't relax. She had thought she'd gotten away from Dreagan once before. For all she knew, she was being followed again.
Her hand tightened on the strap of the seat belt as she belatedly realized she had put Lily in danger. The Mob or the Dark Fae was probably watching her.
"Are there any cars behind you?" Sammi asked.
Lily chuckled. "No." Then she glanced at her and the smile vanished. "Are you in trouble?"
"More than you could possibly believe. I sorry, Lily. I shouldn't have involved you."
Lily just shrugged and looked in the rearview mirror again. "I gather since you're running from Dreagan that you'd prefer me not to tell Jane that I helped."
"I'd appreciate that."
"I thought I'd see you around the distillery these past days, but Cassie told me your wound needed tending and you were resting. The dark circles are no longer visible, by the way. I think the rest suited you."
Sammi looked out her window. It wasn't rest she had wanted. It was Tristan. How quickly time passed when she wanted to savor it. If only she hadn't fallen asleep she might have been awake when he left.
"Hindsight is twenty-twenty."
"What?" Lily asked.
"Something my mother used to say. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. I always found that saying so trite, but it's so damn true."
"Yes. It is."
Sammi jerked her gaze to Lily. Gone was the shy smile. The cautious, petite woman looked haggard, afraid, and disillusioned. An inner voice nudged Sammi to ask, "You have a curfew?"
"No," Lily said with a smile.
But that smile was forced. Sammi was conscious that hers wasn't the only life that had gone to hell and back, but was Lily's one of them?
"Still no cars behind us."
Sammi nodded absently. "Cars. Right." She mentally shook herself. She wanted to help Lily, but first she had to help herself.
She leaned forward and looked up at the sky before gazing out of the side window.
"Are you looking for a plane now?" Lily asked.
Sammi shot her a smile. "Something like that. There are few clouds. A nice, clear day."
"That's good, I suppose."
"Very good," she said as she sat back.
The rest of the ride went by all too quickly. Sammi found she and Lily had a lot in common, and the only thing that made warning bells go off was how Lily easily diverted talk away from her past.
When Lily pulled the car over in a small village, Sammi spotted the bus stop just up the road. "Thank you. Get home safely."
"You stay safe as well," Lily called with a wave.
Sammi got out of the car and shut the door, waving as Lily did a U-turn and turned back the way they had come. She took a few moments to check her surroundings and look for anyone suspicious, letting out a sigh when the coast was clear.
Then she walked to the bus.CHAPTER 2
Tristan finished filling his brethren in on what had transpired with Ulrik—at least most of it—and why he had brought Sammi to the mountain.
There had been mixed reactions, but Tristan had expected as much. He left Rhys and Banan to hash out details of how Sammi and the wives would be protected. Tristan had been itching to see Sammi again, to touch her and simply hold her in his arms.
Not that he knew what to say to her. She looked at him differently, as if she knew the turmoil within him. Laith had assured him that she hadn't been that upset at finding him gone, but a tiny voice inside Tristan told him that it had mattered a great deal to her.
He hadn't set out to hurt her. He'd needed answers, some sort of direction in the storm that had become his life. And she was part of it. It wasn't just the fierce, engulfing attraction—it was that somehow she released his memories.
Tristan wasn't sure if he was ready to face those memories or not. Then there was Sammi herself. She was ... incredible. Her eyes were enchanting, her kisses intoxicating.
Her body enthralling.
With one inviting smile he had been ensnared, entrapped. Entangled. She made his palms sweat, his heart race, and his blood burn.
Tristan paused and scrubbed a hand down his face. His hands ached to touch her, but there were more pressing matters than slaking his lust, like keeping her out of the hands of the Dark.
The Dark. He hadn't fought them in the Fae Wars. In fact the only battles he had been in with the other Kings were with the Warriors and Druids. Yet he knew enough about the dragon he was and the others to know that they were powerful and effective.
The Dark—all of the Fae, really—had lost in the Fae Wars. The Kings hadn't been able to keep them out of the realm, but they were able to confine them. Even that was coming unraveled.
It's like there was some potent force whose single interest was blocking or collapsing all the Kings had done. It couldn't be Ulrik. His magic was taken from him. And this would have to be magic in order to fight against something as prevailing as dragon magic.
Ulrik had said he would stop the attack on Sammi if Tristan joined him. He wasn't afraid of the Dark. He was afraid of what they would do to Sammi.
Tristan leaned against the tunnel wall and hung his head. Ulrik offered an easy solution to the problem at hand. But if he left Dreagan to join Ulrik, Tristan knew he would be banished.
Con could try to take his magic and prevent him from shifting into dragon form, just as he had done with Ulrik. Tristan didn't even contemplate spying on Ulrik. Ulrik would expect that and have countermeasures in place.
"Shite," Tristan growled.
He couldn't believe he was even contemplating such a drastic decision. If it had been any other mortal he wouldn't, but Sammi wasn't just anyone.
The idea of the Dark on Dreagan left a bad taste in his mouth. Dreagan was special, sacred. If the Dark wanted a war, then he would give it to them. If they wanted to take a King and any mortal connected to them, then he would take them in return.
He straightened and continued on to the chamber he had left Sammi in. He needed to see her, hold her, touch her—even if it meant more memories surfaced. Because right now, she was the center of the storm, the calm in all the chaos.
Tristan rounded the corner and stepped into the chamber as he called out, "Sammi."
There was no answer, and a quick look around the small chamber showed she was nowhere in sight. Tristan whirled around and ran back into the corridor as he looked one way and then the other.
He ran to his right, glancing into each entrance. When he didn't find her he circled back around, knocking into anyone who got in his way until he arrived back at the chamber.
Tristan was breathing hard, his mind refusing to believe what he knew had somehow occurred—Sammi was gone. She had left the mountain, Dreagan.
He let out a bellow and grabbed the chair as he threw it against the wall. It splintered into pieces, fabric hanging and crumpling as it crashed to the floor.
But that did nothing to ease his fury. Tristan backhanded the items atop the table before kicking the table itself and sending it to the same fate as the chair.
Before he could do more damage his arms were pulled behind him and held tightly.
"Easy," Laith said. "That was my iPad."
Tristan jerked against the grip. "Release me. Now."
"No' until you tell us what the hell is going on," Rhys said as he came around to stand in front of him.
"Look around. It's obvious."
Rhys's face twisted into a confused mask. "What's obvious is that you ruined my favorite chair."
Tristan gave another yank and pulled an arm free. He swung around, his fist aimed for Laith's face when he was once more stopped. He jerked his head around to find who had grabbed his arm and found himself staring into Banan's storm-gray eyes.
There was a soft gasp behind Banan as Jane stepped into the room. Her gaze shifted to Tristan. "Where is she?"
Banan released him. "Fuck!"
"I gather you mean Sammi?" Rhys asked.
Tristan nodded. "I've searched the entire mountain."
"It's my fault." Jane lifted eyes filled with tears. "I came to see her. She was upset, and I made the mistake of letting it slip about how we learned who was after her."
It felt as if a wrecking ball slammed into Tristan's gut. "You told her how I got the information."
Jane nodded and sidled closer to Banan. "She was furious."
"But why leave?" Laith said. "I told her the Dark was coming for her."
"I don't think she believed it," Jane said and wiped at her eyes before tucking her auburn hair behind her ears.
Banan gathered her in his arms. "We'll find Sammi, sweetheart."
"I hate to bring this up, but Con is going to lose his shit when he learns all of this," Rhys pointed out.
Tristan made a sound at the back of his throat. "Fuck Con."
"I'd rather you didna," Con said as he stepped into the chamber.
Tristan shoved past them all and ran to the back of the mountain. As soon as he reached the cavern, he shifted and flew out of the same opening that Laith had brought Sammi through just hours before.
He had to find her.
Because if he couldn't, he might very well be joining Ulrik.
Excerpted from Fire Rising Part 3 by Donna Grant. Copyright © 2014 Donna Grant. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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