The Dragonlings' Very Special Valentine - S.E. Smith - ebook
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USA TODAY Bestseller! The Valdier, Sarafin, and Curizan Lords had children who just cannot stop getting into trouble! There is nothing as cute or funny as magical, shapeshifting kids, and nothing as heartwarming as family. A batch of heart-shaped cookies stirs the imagination of the dragonlings and their friends when Carmen shares a magical tale of love. It will take a very special Valentine, a few mischievous dragonlings, their best friends, some clueless warriors, and two enchanting Goddesses to help a lonely woman on Earth find the dragon who loves her. Internationally acclaimed S.E. Smith presents a new action-packed story full of mischief and adventure. Brimming with her signature humor, vivid landscapes, and beloved characters, this book is sure to be another fan favorite! Main Content: 118 (5x8) pages, 30,828 words

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The Dragonlings’ Very Special Valentine

Dragonlings of Valdier

S. E. Smith

Contents

Acknowledgments

Copyright

Author’s Note:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Epilogue

For the Love of Tia

Additional Books and Information

About the Author

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank my husband Steve for believing in me and being proud enough of me to give me the courage to follow my dream. I would also like to give a special thank you to my sister and best friend, Linda, who not only encouraged me to write, but who also read the manuscript. Also to my other friends who believe in me: Julie, Jackie, Christel, Sally, Jolanda, Lisa, Laurelle, Debbie, and Narelle. The girls that keep me going!

And a special thanks to Paul Heitsch, David Brenin, Samantha Cook, Suzanne Elise Freeman, and PJ Ochlan—the awesome voices behind my audiobooks!

—S.E. Smith

Science Fiction Romance

The Dragonlings’ Very Special Valentine

Dragonlings of Valdier Book

Copyright © 2017 by S. E. Smith

First E-Book Published February 2017

Cover Design by Melody Simmons

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the author.

All characters, places, and events in this book are fictitious or have been used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events, locales, or organizations are strictly coincidental.

Summary: A Valentine’s Day story and heart-shaped cookies send the dragonlings and their friends on an adventure that takes them all the way back to Earth.

{1. Fiction – Romance; 2. Fiction – Holiday; 3. Fiction – Paranormal}

ISBN: 978-1-944125-03-5 (eBook)

ISBN: 978-1-944125-02-8 (paperback)

Synopsis

USA Today Bestseller!

A batch of heart-shaped cookies stirs the imagination of the dragonlings and their friends when Carmen shares a magical tale of love. It will take a very special Valentine, a few mischievous dragonlings, their best friends, some clueless warriors, and two enchanting Goddesses to help a lonely woman find the dragon who loves her.

Love is in the air and not even the mighty warriors of the Valdier, Curizan, and Sarafin are immune to the power of celebrating their feelings for the women who have changed their lives. Hearts, glue, and glitter abound when the warriors help the dragonlings on their quest to assist Cupid in this delightful tale of love, hope, and happiness.

Author’s Note:

For those who have not read the Dragon Lords of Valdier, here is a little background.

The Valdier are dragon shifters. Only the Valdier and their mates can bond with the mysterious and powerful golden symbiots, who are, yes, symbiotic creatures, and they are stand-out characters all on their own! Each Valdier consists of three parts: the dragon, the man/woman, and their symbiot companion. They are friends with the Curizan (a species able to harness the energy around them) and the Sarafin (a cat shifting species). The following is a character guide for those new to the series:

Zoran Reykill,

Leader of the Valdier

true mate to Abby Tanner: 

one son: Zohar 

Zoran’s symbiot: Goldie

Mandra Reykill

true mate to Ariel Hamm: 

one son: Jabir 

Mandra’s symbiot: Precious

Kelan Reykill

true mate to Trisha Grove: 

one son: Bálint 

Kelan’s symbiot: Bio

Trelon Reykill

true mate to Cara Truman: 

twin daughters: Amber and Jade

son: James 

Trelon’s symbiot: Symba

Creon Reykill

true mate to Carmen Walker: 

twin daughters: Spring and Phoenix 

Creon’s symbiot: Harvey

Phoenix’s symbiot: Stardust

Spring’s symbiot: Little Bit

Paul Grove

true mateto Morian Reykill: 

one daughter: Morah

Cree and Calo Aryeh

true mate to Melina Franklin: 

one daughter: Hope

Vox d’Rojah,

King of the Sarafin

matedto Riley St. Claire: 

one son: Roam

twin daughters: Sacha and Pearl

Viper d'Rojah

mated to Tina St. Claire: 

one son, Leo

Asim true mate to Pearl St. Claire

Ha’ven Ha’darra,

Prince of the Curizan

mated to Emma Watson:

onedaughter: Alice

Aikaterina: Unknown species; accepted as a Goddess to the Valdier, she is the oldest and most powerful of her kind.

Arilla and Arosa: Unknown species, still young for their kind, they are twins and thought to be Goddesses.

Chapter One

“Mommy, can I have a cookie?” Phoenix asked, peeking above the table after she crawled up onto one of the chairs to see what her mom was doing.

Carmen turned a soft, loving gaze to Phoenix and nodded. “Yes, but just one, I don’t want it to spoil your lunch,” she said with a smile.

Phoenix scowled and shook her head. “I can eats lots of cookies and still eats lunch. My dragon is always hungry,” she replied with a serious expression. “Did you makes hearts? I love hearts!”

“I know you like hearts, that’s one reason I made them in this shape,” Carmen chuckled and tapped Phoenix’s nose with a fingertip covered in frosting. “Oh my, you have red frosting on your nose!”

“Frosting? Is that the yummy sweet stuff?” Creon growled, stepping into the kitchen and sniffing in appreciation before looking at Phoenix when she turned her head and grinned up at him. “I think I need to lick that off!”

Phoenix’s eyes widened and she released a squeal of laughter when her dad came at her with his hands up, growling like he was going to eat her up. She slid off the chair and took off for the living room with Creon playfully snarling and chasing her. Carmen laughed when she heard Spring’s dragon’s delighted roar when she came to help protect her sister from the Daddy-monster.

Carmen smiled and shook her head, enjoying the sounds of giggles and deep masculine laughter coming from the other room. She refocused on decorating the cookies. She added the words ‘Be mine’ on one of them.

She shook her head and her lips twitched when she heard Creon’s startled howl of pain. Spring must have been successful in sneaking past his defenses. Her dragon was teething and Creon was her favorite chew toy at the moment.

Carmen glanced up when she saw Creon walk back into the kitchen, rubbing his ear. She raised an eyebrow at Creon as she picked up the cookie she had just finished and placed it on the rack for the icing to set. Warmth filled her when he walked up behind her and slid his arms around her waist before resting his chin on her shoulder.

“I hope you told Spring that she isn’t supposed to bite,” Carmen murmured, picking up the next cookie and placing it on the rack with the others.

“Of course – not,” Creon replied. “I had Phoenix trapped and Spring wanted to protect her sister. Besides, she didn’t bite me all that hard.”

Carmen tilted her head back and glanced at his ear. “You’re bleeding,” she stated. “Baby dragons have very sharp teeth. It doesn’t matter if she bites hard or not, it is going to draw blood.”

Creon reached up and touched his ear. He scowled when he looked at his fingers and saw the tiny smear of blood. He released Carmen and walked over to the sink. He dampened a disposable cloth and wiped the small cut before he tossed the cloth into the trash disposal and washed his hands. Carmen saw the mischievous grin curve his lips when he turned his gaze to the cookies she had finished.

“Don’t you dare,” she warned, but it was too late. He had already snagged two off the rack before she could stop him. “Between the girls, and you, I’m not going to have any cookies to take to Paul and Morian’s tonight.”

“Why do you have words on them? You did not write on the other cookies you have made,” Creon observed, gazing at the words written in red frosting. “I like them.”

Carmen glanced at him with an amused smile after he took a huge bite out of the cookie and moaned in pleasure. Unable to resist, she leaned closer to him. She gazed up into his golden eyes before bending close enough to flick her tongue along the corner of his mouth where a tiny smear of frosting was stuck.

“You had some yummy sweet stuff there,” she whispered, her gaze growing hot when she felt his reaction.

“I will never be able to thank the Goddess enough for bringing you into my life,” Creon murmured, pulling her tight against his body. “I love you, Carmen.”

“Is you going to kiss her? Can I have your cookie if you do?” Spring asked from behind her mother.

Carmen rested her head against Creon’s chest and giggled. It never failed. Now that the girls were older, every time they tried to sneak a moment alone, it was like a neon sign going off, and one or both of the girls would appear. She felt Creon’s hand move. Spring’s delighted giggle told her he had given her the cookie he was holding.

“Share it with Phoenix,” he ordered, sliding his warm hand back over the curve of Carmen’s hip.

“I will,” Spring promised, turning and disappearing back into the living room. “Phoenix! I gots another cookie.”

Carmen looked up at Creon again. “That was bribery, you know,” she murmured, sliding her hands up his chest and wrapping her arms around his neck so she could tangle her fingers in his hair.

“I know,” Creon retorted in a low voice. “Now, where was I?”

Carmen melted against Creon when he captured her lips in a kiss that tasted of cookies, frosting, and pure male. She returned his hungry kiss with one of her own. It didn’t matter that they had been together for over four years and had two children, her heart still thundered when they kissed.

She reluctantly pulled away from him several minutes later and rested her head on his shoulder. Her fingers slid down to play in the opening of his shirt so she could touch his warm skin. She sighed happily and she looked up at him.

“Thank you,” she whispered, lifting her hand to run her fingers along his cheek.

A confused frown creased Creon’s brow. “For what?” he asked, caressing her back.

“For loving me, for being there, and giving me two beautiful daughters,” she murmured.

“I am the one who should be doing the thanking, Carmen. You have filled my life with warmth and love. It is a gift any warrior would cherish,” Creon replied, slipping a hand under her chin to brush another kiss across her lips. “Why are you making cookies with words on them?” he asked again, turning to look at one. “’Be mine’… What does this mean? You are already mine.”

“We celebrated a holiday on Earth each year called Valentine’s Day. It’s a time to show your affections for those you like and those you love,” Carmen explained, deciding to make it simple instead of going into the history of the saints, and the religious and political causes that created the holiday. “When we were kids, we would exchange Valentine’s Day cards with all kinds of images and words on them. My favorites were the princess ones. I kept those for years.”

“You are a princess,” Creon stated matter-of-factly.

Carmen wrinkled her nose at him and laughed. “Trust me, I never expected to become one, and it is much different than what I was expecting.”

“Different in a good way or a bad way?” Creon asked with a touch of concern.

“In a good way,” Carmen assured him, leaning up to brush a kiss across his lips. “In a very good way.”

“This ‘Valentine’s Day’, it is something you miss? It is something the girls would enjoy?” Creon asked.

Carmen chuckled and nodded. “Yes, I miss it, and I know the girls would love it,” she replied, turning and picking up the tube of frosting. “It was fun.”

“Then we shall have a Valentine’s Day… once I know what we need to do,” Creon replied, picking up another cookie. “Any holiday that has cookies with yummy words is good enough for me.”

“Out!” Carmen ordered, shaking her head and laughing. “Go pick on the girls while I make more cookies.”

“In that case, I’ll need a few more,” Creon said, grabbing three more cookies before he darted around the table when Carmen grabbed the dish towel. “Girls! I have captured more cookies for us.”

“Yay!” The girls yelled from the living room.

Warmth flooded Carmen when Creon shot her a boyish grin before disappearing into the living room to play with the girls. Her hand fluttered to her throat at the raw emotion of love he sent her. Even her dragon wasn’t immune to the promise in that grin.

Harvey babysit tonight, her dragon muttered.

“Oh, yes, I definitely think a night out is in order,” Carmen agreed with a sigh. “For both of us.”

I tell Harvey, her dragon responded with glee.

Chapter Two

Later that evening, Carmen leaned back and listened to the other women talking about the different things the kids were getting into – both big and small. Sometimes it was hard to believe that they were all there, on an alien world, loved by men who were larger than life.

For a brief moment, a wave of sadness washed through her. It was so intense, so painful that she rose to her feet and walked out onto the balcony of Paul and Morian’s living quarters. Carmen gripped the stone railing and looked up at the stars.

Paul Grove, her best friend Trisha’s father, and Morian, the mother of Creon and his four brothers, found love after losing someone, just as she did. She vaguely wondered if they still felt the overwhelming sadness and pain that came with the memories.

A soft smile curved her lips when she felt Creon’s hands slide around her waist. He wrapped them tightly around her and pulled her against the warmth of his body. She relaxed against him and continued to look up at the stars.

“I felt your pain,” he whispered, rubbing his chin against her short, blonde hair before bending to press a kiss against the faint mark of the dragon on her neck. “I am here for you always, Carmen.”

“I know,” she whispered, tears burning her eyes at the love in his voice. “Sometimes, it still hits me hard; thankfully, not as often as it used to. Having you and the girls has helped me to heal.” She turned in his arms and gazed at him. She lifted her hand and laid it against his cheek. “I can’t forget him, Creon – either of them.”

Creon turned his head and pressed a kiss against her palm. She savored the warmth and the gentle touch. Her love for him swelled inside her and she slipped her hand up to tangle her fingers in his hair.

“I would never ask you to forget Scott or the child you lost. I only wish I could shield you from the pain,” he murmured.

“You do,” Carmen replied, meeting his lips when he bent to kiss her.

It was true, he did shield her from the pain. When she first arrived on the planet, it had been unbearable. The murder of her first husband, Scott, and losing their baby due to the severe injuries she sustained had broken her. In her grief, all she was able to think of was revenge. It took several years, but she finally found closure. It did not come by her own death, as she expected, but in finding love again – with an alien male who had refused to give up on her.

A shiver of need rushed through Carmen when Creon groaned and pulled her tight against his body. Her hands tightened in his hair and their breaths mixed, growing more demanding with the heat of the dragon’s fire.

“I’s told you they would be kissing. They does that whenever they thinks we aren’t looking.”

Creon’s muffled laugh shook his frame and he reluctantly released Carmen’s lips. He rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes, breathing deeply to calm his aroused body. The girls had become pretty observant, even asking a couple of times why Daddy’s pants grew in the front and theirs didn’t.

“What do you need, Spring?” Carmen asked, tilting her head to look around Creon’s shoulder.

“It’s story time,” Spring said, gazing up at her mom and dad. “You said we could haves cookies with the story time.”

“We’ll be right there,” Carmen promised. “Go ask Aunt Ariel if she can pour the milk.”

“Okay,” Spring replied in delight.

“What’s wrong with your daddy?” Jabir whispered, glancing back at Creon with a frown.

“He’s waiting till his pants don’t grow no more,” Spring said. “They does that when he kisses Mommy.”

“Oh,” Jabir said, staring at Creon’s back. “Mine’s only does that in the mornings.”

Carmen turned her face into Creon’s shoulder to smother her laughter. It was too much. The image of Creon’s face the first time the girls saw him in the morning flashed through her mind and she melted into uncontrollable giggles.

“I think having daughters is much more difficult than I anticipated,” Creon finally said in a rueful tone.

“It will only get worse,” Carmen retorted, drawing in gulping breaths between her laughter. “Poor Ariel, I can just see her face when Jabir couldn’t understand why he was poking out the first time.”

Creon’s shoulders shook as he chuckled again. Carmen loved listening to his laughter. She reached up and brushed another kiss across his lips.

“Are you ready?” she asked, gazing at him, her eyes twinkling with mirth.

“Yes, but I’ll warn you, we are sneaking out tonight. My dragon is in the mood for some playtime,” Creon replied, reluctantly releasing her and stepping back.

“I think that can be arranged,” Carmen murmured, brushing her hand across the front of his pants with a seductive smile.

“Great! Here I go again!” Creon muttered, glaring down at the front of his pants which was bulging once again. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Carmen laughed in delight and nodded. She glanced over her shoulder at Creon when he turned to stare up at the stars in an effort to cool his body down. This is what she needed to pull her out of her melancholy memories: new memories filled with laughter.

Chapter Three

Carmen stepped back inside and glanced around the living room. She smiled when she saw all the kids seated at the miniature tables Paul built for them. Her gaze softened when she saw Riley and Vox. They were each holding a little girl in their arms. It reminded her so much of Creon and her when Spring and Phoenix were first born.

Their twins were identical with matching heads full of blonde curls and dancing blue eyes. When they smiled, dimples appeared like mirrored reflections on their cheeks. Vox was going to have his hands full when those two grew up. They were going to be gorgeous.

Their son, Roam, sat next to Bálint, Trisha and Kelan’s son, while Ariel and Mandra’s son, Jabir, sat next to Zoran and Abby’s son, Zohar.

“Are Cara and Trelon coming?” Carmen asked, glancing around.

“Yes, they were waiting for Emma and Ha’ven to arrive. Trelon has a new gadget he wanted to show Ha’ven. Plus, I think this pregnancy is slowing Cara down a tiny bit,” Abby explained, sitting down on the couch next to her mate, Zoran.

“Only because she is either eating or throwing up,” Trisha replied dryly.

“Here they are,” Morian replied, rising from where she was sitting when Amber and Jade, Cara and Trelon’s precocious twins bounded into the room in their dragon form.

“Oh, my! I totally love the nails, girls,” Riley breathed, staring at the row of tiny claws painted red and pink and decorated with miniature hearts. “I want mine done like that.”

Cara grinned. “I created a nail machine. The girls and their dragons are going through a stage where they want a different design every day,” she explained.

“Can I get one?” Riley asked with a hopeful grin.

“Please tell me this was not what you wanted to show Ha’ven,” Zoran replied with amusement.

“Of course – not. Well, maybe. It was more for Emma and Alice,” Cara replied with a grin. “Emma was telling me about Alice’s fascination with colors lately.”

“Nice nails, Trelon,” Mandra laughed.

Trelon lifted his middle finger to his older brother. It was painted purple with small colorful balloons on it. Carmen chuckled along with the rest of them.

“How’s the new litter of Grombots, Mandra? I heard you have about a hundred of them now,” Trelon retorted.

Mandra’s face darkened and he shot his wife and son a quick glance. Carmen shook her head. The evening was well and truly about to get exciting if she didn’t start the cookie and story time.

Once a month, the family gathered to have dinner, spend time together, and share dessert and story time. Carmen had drawn the card to read or make up a story for the kids this month.