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The Island Dragon’s Mate (Lonely Dragons Club #4)
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Best Day Ever: When your fated mate washes up on the beach like a gift from the sea.
Lonely Dragons Club series is an MM dragon shifter mpreg series about finding your one true love. The Island Dragon’s Mate is Book 4.
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I gave Wave’s snout one more rub before signaling that she should go back to playing with the rest of the dolphins. She was the newest animal to come to the Golden Island Marine Rescue center, but she was already fitting in perfectly.
I waved to the trainer who was getting ready to work with her and headed into the lobby to say goodbye to some of the other staff members. My dragon friends thought I did nothing but play on the beach all day and collect shells, sea glass, and other treasures for my hoard. That used to be true. When I first purchased the island, the little village at the base of the hill where the house that had become my lair stood had been practically abandoned. Decades before, it had been a thriving tourist attraction, but only a handful of people remained.
At first, I was happy for it to stay that way. I didn’t want to live surrounded by humans like my friend Bartholomew who—very strangely for a dragon—preferred big city life. But after a while, I realized I wasn’t meant to be a hermit either. I wanted some contact without having to go over to the mainland. I decided to see if the village could be reinvigorated. I invested in a remodel of the resort and provided start-up capital for several other businesses. After I rescued a dolphin who’d gotten tangled in some fishing wire, I started collecting animals from the sea along with my other treasures. Knowing I couldn’t actually keep them for my hoard—beautiful as they were—I funded a rescue center to help them get rehabilitated and released when possible. The animals couldn’t stay with me, but they could fulfill the need I had to take care of someone. If that couldn’t be my mate, at least it could be animals I cared about deeply.
I was pleased with the way my island had developed. I had plenty of privacy on my side, so I could fly or lumber around in my dragon form without the tourists or locals seeing me. But I could also walk or drive into the village to see the animals at the rescue center, have a drink, and maybe pick up an omega for the night.
For years, I told myself that was enough. I had a great life. I could spend as much time as I wanted on the beach, meet new people when I chose, and thanks to the rescue center, injured dolphins, sea lions, otters, and other creatures were getting the help they needed.
No matter how wonderful things seemed, though, I finally had to admit I was lonely. I needed a mate. My search for more information about how other dragons found their fated mates led me to form a friendship with three other dragons. It’s rare for our kind to befriend each other, but unlike most dragons I’ve met, these three aren’t assholes, at least not most of the time.
Thanks to my friend Kymar, our group called ourselves the Lonely Dragons Club. Their friendship helped me feel less alone, but we could only handle so much of each other’s company. All dragons have at least some reclusive tendencies, and a dragon’s fated mate tends to be the only person they want to spend time with on a regular basis.
Years of searching, even with friends who shared my lack of progress, made me desperate. I finally broke down and asked my friend Ingrid if she could cast a spell to help all of us Lonely Dragons. She told me witches can’t change fate, but she might be able to speed up the timeline and bring us into contact with our mates right away.
The spell worked.
For my friends.
And thus, I was even lonelier than before.
Ingrid assured me it would work for me too, but three months had gone by since Bartholomew, the third of my friends to find a mate, had settled into a blissful existence with his intended omega. All three couples were expecting children later in the year. I was happy for them, but spending time with them only made me feel worse.
As I left the rescue center and walked through the village, I saw families, couples, and groups of friends laughing and enjoying the warm spring air. My chest ached with longing. I’d planned to stop into the resort bar for a drink, but I wasn’t feeling sociable after all. I passed the resort and began the long walk up the private road that led to the house I’d fallen in love with when I’d first seen the island.
Later that evening when the sun was low over the ocean, I stood on the balcony and looked down toward my private stretch of beach. At first, I was soothed by the ebb and flow of the waves, but then I noticed something. An animal? A huge clump of seaweed? No, the longer I stared at the dark shape, the more convinced I became that it was a person lying in the sand, and they weren’t moving.