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Dragon Souls



D.O.A. 2



Cree Storm





Dragon Souls

D.O.A. 2



A serial arsonist has just burned down Jude Riddle’s family home, and is now trying to burn the people of D.O.A. out of Texas. Jude wants answers and is willing to work with anyone to get them, even if help comes in the form of century-year-old men with dragons as partners. Especially if one of those agents is Rance “Casper” Caldwell and his soul binding dragon, Smoky.

Casper has never accepted his maharishi in his renewed life. His beliefs were cut and dry. Death was final, and dragons were demons. However, since Casper had already died once and now walked the earth and was joined with a dragon by a higher power, did this mean he was an evil demon now, or was everything taught to him as a child a lie.

Discovering Jude to be his and Rance’s mate brought a light into what had been a dark, lonely existence to Smoky. He wanted nothing more than to claim what fate had gifted him, but to do so, meant he also had to strengthen his bind with Casper. Could he do this after all the hurt the man had caused him for centuries? Well, he better decide quick, because time is running out for him and Casper and an arsonist is nipping at their mates heels.





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Dedication

I want to dedicate this book to a very wonderful lady, Crystal Watson. Keep calling me on my mistakes and helping me be the best author I can be. You are appreciated and loved, and the best Street Team Captain an author could have. Thank you for being a part of my world.



CHAPTER 1





Jude walked into the newly decorated living room of the house Wiz had purchased when he and his "brothers," Bren and Rylee, came to help his mom, when her house was burned down.

Jude, Bren, and Rylee had been best friends since practically diapers. They had grown up together, went to college together, and started their new lives together. There was nothing that they didn't know about each other. Best friends for life. If one was in trouble, they all were in trouble and they would work together to take care of whatever the problem was. However, recent events had really put a strain on their relationship lately. Oh, Jude still loved his brothers, but he had never thought his life would be where it is today.

"Well shit!" Jude grumbled.

Bren and Rene were on the couch making out while Azul sat on the special chair Bren had specially made for the dragon, eating meat and cheese and watching "The Voice."

Yes, a fucking dragon was sitting in the living room eating a fucking meat tray as if he was just any other normal average guy. The thing is, Azul wasn't a normal guy. He was a fucking dragon.

It was moments like this that Jude thought he might have drank the special drink and fell down the rabbit hole. Dragons, shifters, and sorcerers──what the hell was next? Would he discover vampires are real? Or a giant dinosaur would walk up and ring his doorbell? Seriously, Jude was a rational person, but what was rational about a group of men sharing a soul with a dragon and then seeing one of those dragons sitting in a chair watching television and eating meat and cheese? Nothing, that's what. He knew what he was seeing was really in front of him, but his mind was in a whirlwind trying to attach the new pieces in his life. It had been this way since the day one of his best friends met and fell in love with Rene Telkin.

Rene was the leader of the Dragons of Anarchy, otherwise known as D.O.A. From the way Jude understood things, these twelve men had been fighting a war in the fifteen hundreds. They had been killed in this war and a man named Heck had brought them back. He explained that he worked with a higher power to defend humans and things were getting harder to take care of on his own. Heck wanted Rene to take charge of the crew he had chosen and help him protect mankind against those that are the worst of the worst.

Heck then introduced these men to their Maharishis. These were dragons connected to each man through their very souls. If the dragon died, so did the man and vice versa. The dragon was not controlled by their counterpart. They had their own thoughts and actions. If Jude understood this connection correctly, it was like a partner to a cop. The agents worked side by side with their maharishis and when the dragon was not needed, they had a choice to remain in corporeal form or transfer themselves to their partner, looking to others as if it were a run of the mill tattoo. Hell, Jude didn't know what freaked him out more, seeing the dragons flying and walking about or have one of those tattoos blinking at him as they ate dinner.

D.O.A. was brought in whenever a serialist was around, like the person that had invaded Poconos Boulevard, killing young boys in horrific ways──Aaron being the first.

Bren described the moment Rene and one of his men had ridden up on their Harleys. Bren had thought that two bad ass bikers were coming to his clinic to start trouble. Bren was a veterinarian and they had a lot of drugs in his clinic. Little did he know that these men used the guise of a motorcycle gang to cover the fact that they were really special agents and Rene was their leader, known as Pit. They were there to talk with Stephanie about the death of her son.

Unlike Rylee, Bren was never attracted to the bad boy types, but when it came to Rene, he fell head over heels for the man almost immediately. It wasn't long after that when Bren, Rylee, and Jude's lives changed forever. This was the day they discovered dragons and other shit you only read in fantasy books or romance novels were real. It was also during this time that they all learned the hard way that people were not always what they seem to be, kind of like their poker buddy, Lexi. He, apparently, could shift into a snow leopard. Jude had never seen the man do it himself, and right now he figured if he did, Jude might actually loose what was left of his mind.

Then there was their once upon a time friend, Stephanie. Talk about not being what you seem. Jude had thought she was a great friend. He had looked at her as almost a sister. No one could have guessed that Stephanie was the one behind the murders of the four boys on Poconos Boulevard, especially when one of those children was her own son. However, that was not all she revealed the day she took Bren with the intention of killing him. Stephanie was the daughter of the notorious Alphabet Killer and her mother had been a great sorceress and had transferred those abilities to Stephanie at birth. She had tried to live a normal life when her father had been arrested, but she felt empty, especially when Bren, Rylee, and Jude had gone off to college and left her behind. Lonely and angry, Steph had left town. It was then that she had seen Aaron in a car outside a store she had been in and took the boy to raise as her own. When he continued to defy her, she killed him.

"Jude, are you alright?" Bren asked.

Sighing, Jude replied, "Yeah, sorry I was just thinking about things."

"You want to talk about it?" Bren asked.

Snorting, Jude replied, "No."

"How's Mom doing?" Bren asked in concern.

Sighing, Jude replied, "She's taking Steph's betrayal as hard as the rest of us. She wanted to lay down for a while."

Not wanting to talk "feelings," and doing his best to pretend all was right in the world, Jude walked to the other cushy chair next to Azul and plopped down, looked at Azul, saying, "Did you pick a winner yet?"

Azul nodded and Rene said, "He likes the guy with the big beard on Blake's team."

"He's good but the kid with the hat on Adam's team is going to win this year. He's got it all──voice, looks, charm, and his back story is crazy sad," Jude said grabbing a piece of summer sausage and popping it into his mouth.

Rylee walked in not saying anything as he opened the sliding door and went to sit in the gazebo.

Jude stood up, saying, "I'll go talk to him."

Bren stood up, saying, "I'll go with you. Like you said, we're all having a hard time with Steph's actions."

Jude, Rylee, and Bren had been best friends from the day they met in kindergarten. They were inseparable. Jude knew he could count on Bren and Rylee to have his back, if he needed them, and they knew the same was true with him. When Bren's parents kicked him out for being gay, Jude and his mom didn't hesitate opening their home to him and the same thing for Rylee when his parents were killed in a massive fire.

Rylee was exactly where he had been going every night for the three days since Stephanie's death. He was looking out the mosquito screen, watching several dragons flying in the sky.

Jude walked in with Bren. Jude sat and looked in the same direction as Rylee, "Amazing, isn't it?"

Nodding, Rylee whispered, "They fly every night at this time. Sometimes they land close to the gazebo, but never get real close, well a couple do. One I can't really see that well."

"That has to be Casper's maharishi. He's damn next to invisible. When he's in the clouds, he blends right in and at night he is next to impossible to see," Bren replied.

"I see him looking into the house──or maybe it's better to say, I see the bushes next to the window move. Then there's the other. He is so beautiful. It's like seeing a rainbow in the dark. He comes really close, and sometimes he will just sit with me outside the gazebo. I know it sounds funny, but he is like a calm in a storm," Rylee said quietly.

Bren shook his head, "Doesn't sound funny to me at all. That's how I feel since meeting Azul."

"What's it like talking to a dragon?" Jude asked.

Shrugging, Bren said, "Honestly, it's no different than when I talk to anyone else. He's really fucking smart, too. I know that sounds insane, but it's true."

"Have you guys seen the water dragons?" Rylee asked.

Shaking their head, Jude replied, "Didn't even now we had them around. Hell, I'm still getting used to the fact they exist."

Bren stood up, saying, "Give me a second. I'll be right back."

Bren stepped out of the gazebo and went into the house. Rylee pointed high in the air, "I wonder whose dragon that is."

Jude looked up, "Damn, does that thing look like a huge light-colored panther to you?"

Nodding Rylee said, "I wish they came out in the daytime. Besides Azul and the one that comes to sit with me, I've not really seen one clearly and I would love to actually touch one."

Bren came back in, carrying three bottles of beer and set them on the table. "I saw a few when I was rescued. Hell, I got to ride Casper's and I have to tell you, that shit was freaky and awesome at the same time.”

“You never went for a ride with Azul?” Jude asked taking a sip of the cool liquid.

Shaking his head, Bren said, “No, I didn’t want him to think I was abusing our relationship.”

Jude snorted, “Bren, do you even know how insane that sounds? Azul is a dragon, not a——"

Just then Azul walked past the three men, scratching his crotch, and belched. Then took flight.

Bren burst out laughing, “You are such an ass, Azul.”

“More like insane.” Jude mumbled.

“Hey, Azul is not crazy, he’s——unique,” Bren said with a silly grin.

Rylee looked at Bren, “Explain this relationship that Azul has with you and Rene. I really don’t think I get it.”

Jude snorted, “And please reaffirm you are not having sex with a dragon, because that is just a nasty thought.”

Bren rolled his eyes, saying, “Jude, I am not now nor have I ever had sex with Azul. With Rene it is emotional and physical, but when we claimed each other, Azul seemed to possess Rene long enough to claim me with a bite. I literally felt our three souls connect. With Azul, it is a spiritual thing. I can hear him speak, see what he sees, hear what he hears. When he flies, if I like, I can mentally visualize, and physically feel all that he does. He's great to talk with and he is so funny. I love them both equally, yet differently. I crave the touch of Rene, but I need Azul near as well. It's something I think you have to experience before you can really understand."

"I guess so, because in my mind, I see three people in a relationship, but you only have sex with one, yet you are in love and emotionally involved with both," Rylee replied.

Bren thought for a moment, then replied, "That's about it in a nutshell. Like I said, unless you're mated to one of the D.O.A. men, you can't fully understand."

"Well then, we will remain in blissful ignorance," Jude said raising his bottle then taking a swig.

Rylee sighed, saying, "I don't understand how we couldn't have known that Stephanie was so insane. The things she told you she did. Bren, it just doesn't make any sense."

Jude set his bottle down, saying, "Yeah, like how she said she stole Aaron from outside a corner store. How can that be if we were all in the delivery room when she had him?"

"I don't know," Bren whispered.

Rene walked in carrying extra beers. Sitting down, Bren moved closer.

"Do you know, Rene? I mean how can I have all these memories and none of them be real?" Rylee asked.

Sighing, Rene replied, "I'm not sure, but maybe it had something to do with her being a sorceress. Taj is the one that specializes in that area. I'm sure when he gets here with the other men he might be able to answer your questions, Rylee."

"I will be more than happy to answer whatever questions you have, Rylee," Taj said walking into the gazebo and sitting next to him.

"You're back," Rylee replied with a big smile.

"I only went to the airport to pick up the guys. Jude, your mom said to tell you that she couldn't sleep. She's making something for the guys to eat and I'm sure they will be joining us to tell everyone what they found out about the arsons," Taj explained.

They had all come to Texas when his mom's home was mysteriously burned down. Thankfully she had not been home at the time, but still, his childhood home was gone. It was hard on him, but he couldn't imagine how hard this shit was on his mom. Then discovering the fire was set on purpose──It was all a bit incredulous.

Why would someone want to burn down his home? Who would hate his mom or even he and his brothers so much that they would set fire to their home? None of it made a damn bit of sense. Rylee was struggling with this situation as much as the one with Steph. After all, his parents were killed in an arson fire before he had graduated high school.

Jude let out a deep breath. "I hope they found out more than we did. The insurance company is really giving us the run-around on this. Rylee is doing what he can, but they refuse to pay out until it's proven that my mother didn't start the damn thing herself."

"Like she would destroy a home she's lived in for over twenty years," Bren muttered.

Rene shrugged a shoulder, saying, "It's not unheard of, love. Trust me, we've seen people do crazy things in the name of money."

Bren laughed. "I remember you telling me."

"So, until they get finished and get their asses out here, what is it you wanted to know?" Taj asked.

"How is it, if Stephanie stole Aaron, we remember being in the birthing room when she had him, changing diapers, taking him to the park, and Aaron just being a part of our everyday lives?" Rylee asked.

"From what I witnessed, when we rescued Bren, Stephanie was not just a sorceress, but an extremely powerful one, at that. I have no doubt she did an imagery thing while you all slept. It's not unheard of for a mage to sleep walk," Taj replied.

"Uh, you mean dream walk, right?" Rylee asked in confusion.

Jude raised a brow and Rylee shrugged, "What? You're not the only one that reads those paranormal romance novels."

Shaking his head, Taj replied, "No, she does not enter your dreams. She enters your mind and changes memories. When you dream walk, that is where you can be a part of, talk to, and interact with a person but it doesn't change your view on your past. However, sleep walking is going into a person's mind, without their knowledge of the person ever being there, and changing memories or thoughts."

"Fuck, so what you're saying is we were mind raped?" Jude asked harshly.

Bren sighed, "I don't like it any more than you do, but I think we should put her in our past and get on with our future."

"You say that because you have a mate. You have someone to help keep this roller coaster we call life stable. Rylee and I get to flounder in hurt and anger alone. We're left to try and pick up the pieces of our lives and make sense in a world that has no sense to us anymore," Jude said slamming his beer on the table.

"Jude, that's not true," Bren gasped.

"Yes, Bren, it is. Our lives used to make sense. I'm a doctor, you're a vet, and Rylee's a lawyer. We went to work, played poker, ate pizza, burped, farted, and understood where we were going. Now we have dragons, dead men walking, and crazy bitches and fuckers trying to kill us and destroying our home. Nothing makes sense anymore. I just want my life back the way it fucking was!" Jude snapped.

Azul landed and looked at Bren. Bren shook his head, and the dragon walked into the house.

Needing to be alone, Jude stood up, grabbed his beer, snapping, "I'm going to go check out the pool. Those water dragons sound interesting and I want to see if they are just as crazy as Azul."





CHAPTER 2





Casper watched Jude walk out of the gazebo. He could see the man was angry by his hard steps and jerking movement. For some reason, Jude's pain made him angry and want to destroy whatever or whoever had pissed the man off. However, he had a big feeling it was Jude trying to process everything that had happened with his friends. Jude may have been coming off as unfazed since their arrival, but Casper had seen past that facade and Jude was anything but that. The man was about ready to lose it and Casper had a deep need to help him put back the pieces when that happened.

"My son is a funny sort. He looks angry, but he really isn't. It's his way of trying to expel the pain of betrayal he is feeling and how his world has been rocked right now, with everything he's had to see and try and make sense of," Clara softly said.

Casper didn't know that to say so he remained quiet.

"You aren't much of a talker, are you?" Clara asked with a laugh. Then said, "Well, good thing my son can talk enough for the both of you."

Casper turned to Clara in confusion. She just gave that soft laugh that warmed Casper on the inside, saying, "You don't think I've noticed how you watch my Jude? Or how your dragon watches through the window at night when he is watching television with Azul?"

"I did not know my maharishi visited with Jude," Casper replied.

Clara gave a sharp nod, saying, "I don't know about before, but every night since you arrived here, your maharishi has quietly stood at the window into the living area, watching my son. I thought your maharishis and you had a close relationship. One that allowed you to talk to each other. I have to ask myself, why you don't seem to have the same relationship that Azul has with Rene?"

"We are different. I call on him when I need him, but otherwise he has his life and I have mine," Casper replied a bit harshly. He could tell he had hurt Jude's mom's feelings and immediately called himself every name in the book.

When Clara turned to leave, Casper touched her arm. Clara turned back, Casper said, "I apologize for my rudeness. I am not used to talking to outsiders."

Clara raised a brow, then looked out the window where Jude was looking into the pool, saying, "Well, from what I'm seeing from you and your maharishi, we won't be outsiders much longer."

Clara walked away and Casper looked in the direction Clara had just been staring at. Could she be right? No, she can't be correct. He would have felt the dragon heat, like Rene had when he first met Bren. But what if his mating was broken, like he was. Casper was not like his brethren. He had always been different.

No one talked about Casper's induction into the D.O.A. because he was not brought into it as the others had been. Rene and the rest of the crew had all been killed the same day in the same war. Whereas Casper had died in that war, but a day earlier. When Rene was asked by Heck to declare who would be by his side, Rene didn't know what calling Casper's name would mean. Hell, no one did.

Casper had gone through the light. He couldn't tell anyone what that was like, because it was as if it was a distant dream, like a film out of focus. He did not come back complete. Where the others never lost their souls, Casper's had gone from his body the day before. When he was returned to the world, it was without his soul. His maharishi was more than a partner and soul connecter. His maharishi was his soul. It was why they shared more than the ability to talk, see through each other's eyes, or give direct orders they would follow──well, unless they didn't agree with the order. Then the dragon would do what they pleased and fight with their partner later. Casper and his dragon could actually take over each other's form. It was how he got the nickname, Casper. He could become ghost-like because he would enter his maharishi's body and become almost smoky mist. No one could see him, just as they could barely see his dragon. So what if his differences made his mating different? He needed answers, and the only one with those might be Eagle. He was the historian. He knew the tomes like the back of his hand.

Quickly Casper made his way into the dining area, but the only person in there was Blade. "Have you seen Eagle?"

"Well, they say if you masturbate enough you might go blind, but I don't normally need to since I am never lonely at night. So I would say my eyesight is twenty-twenty," Blade replied with a laugh.

Casper growled low, snarling, "I am not in the mood for your games, asshole. Where is he?"

Blade drew back and held up his hands saying, "I'm not really sure. Try the living room. He said he was going to see if there was anything good on television until we gather for our meeting."

Casper quickly left the room and entered the living area. Azul sat in his favorite chair flipping through the channels. "I thought you went to fly with the other maharishis?"

Azul sighed and looked out the window. Casper noticed Bren and Rylee with Jude by the pool. All three were sitting Indian style on the ground and Rylee had his head on one shoulder of Jude as Bren had his head on the other. "They are heartbroken over Stephanie's actions. I wish I knew how to help."

Azul nodded, sniffled, and wiped a lone tear away before it could fall.

"Have you seen Eagle?" Casper asked.

Azul pointed outside once more and Casper looked until he noticed the man in question inside the gazebo, talking to Rene as he watched the three men sitting by the pool.

Quickly making his way outside, Casper walked into the large covered area, "Eagle, can I have a word?"

Eagle's brow rose in surprise. It was unlike Casper to ask to speak to any of his crew, but this was important. Casper needed answers.

Standing, Eagle replied, "Sure."

Casper looked back over to where Jude sat and his heart clenched at the deep sadness he felt coming from the man. He didn't like this feeling and he needed to understand it, but he also wanted it to stop.


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