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I always say I find inspiration in all sorts of places and this story is no exception.
The idea first came to me during a walk with my kids last summer. As we were meandering past the stream in one of our local parks, my ten year old daughter piped up.
“Look mummy, that’s the stone that looks like a dragon.”
She pointed toward a rock formation that made up one side. Now, I’ll be honest I didn’t see a dragon, just rock, lol, but she was adamant it was a dragon. As were the other kids, when they looked.
So, it got me thinking about this girl who sees the dragon in the stone. The idea was born, and when the lovely Rhonda in my reader Group, The RavDor Chicks asked me to write dragon story… the rest is history as they say.
The Dragon in the Stone was my NaNoWriMo effort last year, and you know with the awesome Gary Taylor as my visual inspiration for Lord Drorgan, my fingers flew.
You can check out my Pinterest board for this story here:
Not only did I win NaNoWriMo, but I had the story submitted and accepted by the end of November, something of a record for me, I tell you. And that was with me wanting to bash Dorgan’s and Rhonda’s heads together, at time. They’re as stubborn as each other, and I was beginning to despair that they ever would get it together. When they do… well, he’s a dragon and things get HAWT in an entirely different way.
I loved writing these two, and I hope my readers will too.
Penance needs to be paid come what may…
Several Centuries ago Drorgan was cursed into stone. Every twenty five years he is given one night and one day to find the woman willing to accept him in both forms.
It's the price to pay for his past behavior.
As a lost, lonely little girl Rhonda Butterbaugh was rescued by the dragon in the stone and she has never forgotten her fierce protector. It sparked her fascination with all things dragon. If only they were real. There are no such things as fairytales, however.
When she is attacked on her way home, and wakes up in a cursed magic castle, complete with a fierce dragon shifting lord, her life takes a turn for the surreal.
Determined to break the curse and rescue Drorgan and his kin, she hasn’t counted on Drorgan’s resistance.
Dragons aren’t supposed to be noble.
Buy it from Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/the-dragon-in-the-stone-by-doris-oconnor/
For all other buy links check the book page: http://www.dorisoconnor.com/the-dragon-in-the-stone.html
“It’s been three days. Surely she ought to be allowed to wake up now.” Drorgan leaned against the door frame to his bedchamber, and scowled at the hive of activity in what once had been his sanctuary.
Servants were carrying buckets of water up to his antechamber where a hollowed out stone served as a bathing chamber, and Magda was hovering around the pale woman in his bed like a mother hen.
“I told you she will, when she is ready, hence we’re getting a bath ready for her. Stop glaring and make yourself useful and heat that water. I think she’s coming ‘round.”
Sure enough a cock-hardening moan came from the woman in his bed, and Drorgan couldn’t tear his gaze away from the sight of her stretching like a cat. It made the sheet slip, exposing one creamy shoulder. The thin night rail Magda had procured for their guest did little to hide her assets from view, and Drorgan swallowed a groan of his own.
Magda shook his head at him, and taking the hint, he stalked off to the little chamber now bathed in sunlight. The servants scuttled away, having deposited the last bucket of water, and Drorgan stuck his hand into the bath, allowing his dragon’s fire to transfer to the liquid.
The murmur of female voices carrying through the heavy stone walls made his shoulder blades itch. He couldn’t quite hear the woman’s replies as the water bubbled up at the point of boiling, obscuring his hearing, but he sensed her approach.
Dorgan had just enough time to pull his hand out of the bathtub before he heard the soft gasp behind him, and he crunched his jaw in disgust. That’s what he got for caring. He should have stayed away, far away, but no matter how hard he tried, his dragon had insisted time and time again to seek out the woman slumbering in his bed.
The only rest Drorgan had managed to get had been curled up in the overstuffed chair by the fire. Close enough to her to keep an eye on her, yet far away enough to not give into the temptation to touch her pale skin, or to slip in under the covers with her, when she had thrashed about in her sleep, mumbling unintelligible sounds. More than once she had murmured his name in that throaty voice of hers. It had meant sleep had eluded him completely. She must have picked it up from the servant’s chatter around her sleeping form when they came to tidy the room during the day, because she couldn’t know who he was.
Drorgan always made sure he was well away in the morning, though he knew Magda, at least, would have noticed his presence. No matter how much he ruffled up the bedcovers in one of the guest rooms, one sniff with Magda’s dragon enhanced senses would have told her he hadn’t slept in that bed since the night it had been made.
Which no doubt explained why he felt so out of sorts. Nothing he did soothed the churning in his gut, nothing bar sitting and watching over the sleeping beauty.
And beautiful she most certainly was, even with the bruises marring her skin.
“Rhonda, really, you need to take it easy.” Magda’s voice held a hint of humor as though she found this whole situation highly amusing, whereas Drorgan doubted his hearing. Had his old nursemaid just called the woman Rhonda?
The tentative touch of slender fingertips on his shoulder made him freeze. It couldn’t be.
“It seems Rhonda here knows you, Drorgan.”
He shook his head and forced a denial past his lips.
Another soft gasp brought with it Rhonda’s scent, and he balled his hands into fists when she stepped so close that the weight of her breasts rested against his back. Predictably his cock took that as an invitation and roared to life with a speed that left him rather lightheaded, as all his blood shot south.
“The water is ready. I must go.”
Magda’s voice in his head made him spin round. He had every intention of sidestepping the wide eyed woman now in front of him, but Rhonda swayed as though she was going to fall, and he grasped her round the waist to steady her. The action meant that the entire length of her delectable curves molded against his body, and there was no way on earth she would miss how much he wanted her. Sure enough her toffee colored eyes widened a fraction, the pupils dilating, and it took every ounce of willpower Drorgan possessed to not reach out and pull her in with his magic. To claim the sweet lips, to taste her, to take what her body offered, and damn the consequences.
However, that’s how he had ended up in this living nightmare that was his existence in the first place, and if this woman really was the sweet little Rhonda he’d spent that memorable night with, then he needed to stay far away from her.
Turning his head to the left on purpose he exposed his scar to the sunlight streaming into the room, and Rhonda stiffened.
There, that should put her off for good. Just like she had done as a child, this woman surprised him, however. She wriggled to bring her hand up, until her fingertips traced the scar. The innocent action left his skin on fire, and he shut his eyes to stop one of his senses at least.
“Thank you for saving me, Drorgan.” Her whispered words forced his eyes open, and he swallowed hard when his gaze connected with hers. “I never got a chance to say that as a child. It bothered me.”
“You said it plenty to the stone.”
Rhonda smiled up at him, and, fuck him if her smile didn’t light up the room, and make his dragon want to curl up at her feet. Why wasn’t she afraid of him, dammit? She was supposed to be horrified, not look up at him as though the sun rose and set in his eyes.
“You could hear me?” she asked.
Drorgan grunted in answer, earning himself a snide remark in his head from Magda, who was watching his interaction with Rhonda with a satisfied grin on her face.
“He isn’t normally this shy in talking, Rhonda.”
Drorgan glared at Magda over Rhonda’s head, and a giggle escaped the woman in his arms. Belatedly he realized he was still holding onto her far too tightly, and stepping away he extricated himself, while holding onto her elbow and steering her toward he bath tub.
“Like I said I have somewhere to be. The water should be at the right temperature now.”
With those words he took off as though the hounds of hell were after him.
Happily married for the last twenty-five years, she lives with her husband and their brood of nine in a far too small house filled with love, laughter, and chaos.