How to Drive a Dragon Crazy/Excerpt
“Why don’t I go?” the human male said, trying to keep the tremor from his voice.
“Why don’t you?”
“Yeah. I’ll…uh…yeah…” He quickly walked out of the tent and Éibhear grinned.
After all these years, he shouldn’t enjoy doing that sort of thing…but he did.
Still…where the hell was Izzy?
Thinking he should go track down his cousin, Éibhear was reaching for the tent flap when he heard from behind him, “…game with me…arrrggghhhh!” He spun around at the scream.
“I bloody hate when you do that!” Izzy yelled up at the tent ceiling.
“Where the hells did you come from?” Éibhear demanded, knowing he would have heard the woman come back in if she’d snuck in under another part of the tent.
But he must have startled her because Izzy snatched the small blade she had holstered to her thigh, spun, and threw it at Éibhear’s head. He jerked to the side in time to avoid the damn thing impaling his nose, but the blade tore across his cheek instead, leaving a healthy sized gash.
Fed up and bleeding, Éibhear barked, “Izzy! It’s me!”
And Izzy barked back, “Yeah. I know!”
Brannie rushed in to the tent, dark brown eyes blinking wide. “Izzy? Where did you come from?”
“Out, Branwen,” Éibhear ordered his cousin and Izzy looked at Brannie, watched the dragoness begin to get irritated with her kin.
“I don’t take orders from you, Éibhear the Blue.”
“And I”—Éibhear placed his huge hand over Brannie’s face and forced her back out the tent—“take orders from no one!”
“That was just rude, you big bastard!” Brannie yelled from outside the tent.
Éibhear faced Izzy. “Why do you keep throwing things at my head?”
“It’s such a large target—”
“Why are you here, Éibhear?” she asked, frustrated. The conversation with Rhydderch Hael…it annoyed her. It had been more than a decade since she’d heard from him. It used to bother her. For years, when she was a child, Rhydderch Hael had been with her. She’d been taken from her mother at birth by a bitch goddess and it was Rhydderch Hael who’d protected her. He’d sent three loyal human soldiers to save her, to watch out for her. For years Izzy and her three Protectors had traveled around the Southlands, the god’s voice in her head, sometimes in her dreams, promising that one day she’d be with her mother again. And he’d kept that promise. Izzy had loved him then. Not just as a god, but as someone who cared for her. But her mother had tried to warn her. Tried to tell her that the gods were never to be trusted. Izzy hadn’t listened, though, and now Rhydderch Hael wanted something from her. What that was…she had no idea. But she wasn’t looking forward to it, she knew that much.
So having Éibhear here when she was already irritated, looking annoyingly adorable with those damn warrior braids in his blue hair, but acting pushy and demanding, did nothing but piss her off.
“I was sent to get you,” he explained, watching her closely. Probably confused as hell. Good! Let him be confused. “To bring you back to Garbhán Isle.”
“Why? I’ve heard nothing from my mother or Rhi,” she said, mentioning her baby sister.
“I was just told to bring you back.”
Izzy groaned at that. “Oh, gods.”
“If you heard from Ragnar, he heard from Keita who heard from Morfyd or Briec, which means—”
“Tell me this ends at some point.”
“—Mum and Rhi are going at it again.” She shook her head and walked over to the large, plain wood desk that was covered in maps and missives and weapons. “I don’t have time for this.”
“You don’t have time for your mother and sister?”
She faced him. “You have nerve to talk. When were you home last?”
Instead of answering her direct question, he pointed at her arm and asked, “Your arm…it’s healed rather quickly.”
Now she didn’t answer him. The last thing she needed was for Éibhear the Blue to know about her conversation with Rhydderch Hael. Gods…what a mess that would be.
“I’m not going back to Garbhán Isle, Éibhear.”
“If it was important, Annwyl would have sent messengers for me. So my mother and Rhi will have to work this out on their own or wait until I’m done here.”
“Until you’re done doing what?”
Izzy focused on the map spread out on the table, looking for places the enemy might hide. “The Queen wants the ogres wiped clean from this region. And that’s what I’m going to do.”
“All right then.”
But instead of leaving, Izzy looked up to see the big bastard take off his fur cape and toss it onto a nearby chair. Then he began to remove the many weapons he had strapped on his body.
Fascinated—gods, was he getting naked? And would she mind?—Izzy walked around the table and leaned her butt against it, arms crossing over her chest. Éibhear removed the majority of his weapons until he finally was able to drop onto her bed and stretch out with his arms behind his head, incredibly long legs crossed at the ankles.
When he closed his eyes and let out an exhausted sigh, she finally asked without rancor, “What the battle-fuck are you doing?”
“I’m Mì-runach. I don’t stop until I fulfill my duty.”
“Which means what exactly?”
“That until you’re ready to go, I’m here with you. By your side. Attached to you until I can deliver you to Garbhán Isle.”
“Attached to me?”
“Like a parasite?”
“I prefer loyal companion. But don’t worry.” He smiled up at her. “You’ll get used to me.”
Somehow, Izzy doubted that.