Dragon's Keep by Jessica Marting

Dragon's Keep by Jessica Marting

Author:Jessica Marting
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781989780138
Publisher: Shadow Press

Nausea roiled in Xavier’s stomach. If he didn’t know any better, he might have thought he’d picked up something contagious on the Tube. He did know better, and he knew the precise cause of his symptoms, and she was currently heading the university’s fossil museum.

Unfortunately, Chancellor Grayson wouldn’t stop chattering during the brief trip in the steam cab, eliminating any possibility of telling Arabella about Evelyn Putney.

A cynical part of him questioned why he was so anxious about their meeting. It wasn’t as if he and Arabella had anything other than a perfectly platonic friendship, as much as that rankled his dragon. It was funny in a way that his dragon had never noticed Evelyn, or any woman other than Arabella. Funny and flummoxing. Would Arabella even care about his history with Evelyn? She had given no indications that she felt the way his dragon did about her. He now knew that it wasn’t just his dragon that felt the way it did, it was him. He didn’t know who was the influence on the other. With shaking hands, he helped Arabella out of the steam cab, every bit the gentleman he had never really been.

She wrapped her ungloved hand around his offered elbow, a gesture that offered him more support than her.

He needed the contact, would enjoy it while it lasted. He couldn’t even take the time to admire the newly constructed museum. It was a one-story red brick structure, the front door braced on either side with large wooden pillars. Small figures of prehistoric animals and birds were carved into them, the skeletons inlaid with brass. The detail was remarkable, but Xavier couldn’t bring himself to appreciate the artistry yet.

The door opened and a young, lanky man rushed out with his nose in a book, oblivious to the chancellor, Xavier, and Arabella. Xavier caught the door behind him and held it open for the others before stepping into a sunny foyer.

“What’s wrong?” Arabella whispered.

“This is it,” announced Grayson, looking around the foyer in satisfaction. “The collection isn’t as large as we’d like, but we’ve acquired many more specimens in the years you’ve been away.”

“It’s about Dr. Putnam,” Xavier said, keeping his voice soft. “I don’t know why I thought I needed to tell…” Bootheels tapped on the floor in a familiar cadence, one Xavier remembered well. It reminded him of rushing about the campus between classes, trying not to be late after he and his classmates had lingered too long over tea. He closed his eyes, as if to blot out what he had to face.


He had never expected to hear her voice again. He opened his eyes to see Evelyn Putney standing in the foyer, as he knew she would be, a telegram in her hand. Her green eyes were wide with shock, her full lips open in surprise.

Her gaze never left him, even as she lost her grip on the telegram and it drifted to the polished floor. She took a few slow, careful steps toward him before reaching out.


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