“Thanks. You’d make an excellent house husband one day,” she teased.
“Smart alec.” He snapped her butt with a kitchen towel, making her laugh, and handed Breaker some tea.
Breaker tilted his head. “You’re very close, aren’t you? It’s nice to see siblings getting along.” A hint of his age crept in his tone.
Daisy snorted. “Careful, old man. Your years are showing.”
He sent her a fierce stare.
“And now you’re trying to intimidate your much-too-young love interest. Tut-tut.” Daisy felt a thrill as she defied him, enjoying the challenge. He thought he was so invincible, so irresistible. Skylord’s son, hah! Someone needed to prick his ego.
Luke sent her a considering look. “I’m going to enjoy the sunrise. I’ll be on the balcony.”
Breaker watched him go. His bronze eyes took her measure, noted her unease. “You don’t look quite as sassy with your brother gone.”
That starched her spine. “Hey, your daddy might be the Skylord, but mine is apparently legendary. Besides, you won’t hurt me.”
His smile was sly. “I won’t?”
“Now you’re just being difficult,” she said firmly, ignoring the quiver in her belly. She couldn’t allow him to intimidate her. “Your father would never stand for the bad press, and Juniper would compost you.”
He couldn’t help a smile. Her neighbor had a reputation, and the power to back it up. “She’d enjoy that, wouldn’t she? I notice you didn’t threaten me with your father or brother. Not scared enough for the big guns?”
“Do I need them?” Might as well lay her cards on the table.
His smile was slow, and somehow more genuine. “No.”
She took a moment to really look at him. Dragon traits and all, he was a handsome man. If she hadn’t grown up with drakes, she might have found him intimidating, but she understood what made him tick. “I’m not going to marry you, Breaker. Dragons are heartbreakers. I’d rather have human love and die in a blink than settle for a cold contract with you.” There. That was clear enough.
His gaze warmed. “What if I promise you heat?”
She snorted. “You couldn’t deliver past the wedding. Juniper’s mom tried it, but her Indris couldn’t deliver. She’s seeing a teacher now and he’s hooked up with his long lost dragon love. The both seem happier.” The dissolution of her parent’s marriage had hurt Juniper, but it was also a valuable lesson. “It’s the reason Juniper didn’t want to marry you, either.”
The challenge didn’t sit well with him. “The werewolf was already in the picture, and her parent’s marriage has no bearing on this situation.”
She tapped her mug nervously. “Then there’s Malcolm and Mom. They get along and he takes care of her, but they’re like an old married couple. No zip, you know?” She’d often heard her friends complain about hearing their parents make love, but she’d never had that problem. Except for the occasional affectionate peck, her parents seemed more like friends than lovers.
His gaze wandered over her. They were on opposite sides of the counter, but it still made her breath hitch. “I’m not two thousand years old, pet. I have many, many years of fire left in me.”
Suddenly shy, she focused on her coffee. “That’s nice. You can find a nice dragon lady to share them with. I’m not interested.”He laughed, dark and deep. “You noted my age, love. I’ve not lived this long without understanding women. But we’ll do this your way.” He rose and paced around the counter.