The After Effects

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Black Swirls

Harper giggled as Ragnar trotted around the field, her holding onto his thick neck and enjoying the smooth ride.

Locke stood inside of the fence, watching Ragnar closely as if he was a loaded gun and Harper was in danger. His arms crossed and leaning against the fence, he appeared to be relaxed but I could tell by the grinding of his jaw that he was on edge.

"He won't hurt her," I said as I climbed the fence and sat on the top rail. "In fact, she's safer on that horse then she would be on the ground."

Locke's jade green eyes rolled, meaning he didn't believe me. "That horse is just as unpredictable as a hungry mother bear," He responded, which caused me to huff.

"I literally raised that horse, I think I know him better than you." I came to Ragnar's defense as he currently frolicked through the field without a care in the world.

"I'm still watching him." Locke ended our discussion and kept his eyes keenly on my black beast.

As I was too busy keeping glaring at my brother, I didn't hear the dragon shifter sneaking up behind me. Cool hands grabbed my hips, pulling me from the top rail of the wooden fence. A cry of surprise ripped from my throat as my back collided with the male's front.

"Hello, Little Bird," Rorek deep voice washed over me as his hands wrapped around my waist.

"Don't you know better than to sneak up on the Acer?" I warned as the male brought his nose to my neck, slowly dragging it up and down.

"But it was funny to hear you squeal." A low rumble sounded from the chest behind me, a chuckle, I realized.

With a slap to one of the arms encasing me against him, I attempted to wiggle out of Rorek's hold as I spoke. "I did not squeal."

"Did too." Locke chimed in oh so helpfully.

"Whatever." I gave up trying to fight Rorek and his superior strength as it seemed I was never going to be let go of. A part of me didn't mind it though. In fact, I enjoyed his relentless flirting and affection. Ever since he kissed me three nights ago, he's become way more persistent, and as much as I put on an act, it was nice to be held and loved on for once in my sad life.

"Ivy! Look at me!" Harper giggled as she held her arms out, balancing on Ragnar's bareback.

I watched as Ragnar pranced around, proudly strutting off the beautiful girl on his back. Locke grumbled something about her "not being safe" as he too watched.

Harper looked over my shoulder at the male currently holding me flush against him. Her smile wavered ever so slightly at the sight of him, but thankfully, she took a deep breath and pushed off whatever memory threatened to surface at the sight of Rorek's size. Pride burned in my chest when I realized that she was overcoming her fears and was growing mentally stronger with each day.

"She's doing better," Rorek commented in my ear, he too seemed relieved at her lack of reaction to him.

"She is," I smiled as Rorek's hand plastered itself against my abdomen, his possessive touch warming something deep in me.

"Looking good Blossom," Soren called to Harper as he walked alongside the fence towards us.

Harper grinned at the nickname before she whistled to Ragnar, making him trot even faster. Locke cursed but made no move to stop her, apparently he trusted my opinion and my horse enough.

"Morning Soren." Locke and Rorek greeted the Prince as he came to a stop and leaned against the fence. He nodded a greeting to them and his icy blue eyes flicked to me expectantly.

"Good morning Princey," I said innocently to Soren. My term of endearment for him made him glare at me before he turned to the male standing over my shoulder. A look of surprise flickered across his blue eyes as he looked to Rorek. "Everything good?" He asked randomly.

I tilted my head at the strange question, until I realized he wasn't asking me. Turning slightly in the hold of Rorek, I looked up to his amethyst eyes. Only to see that the purple of his iris's were swirling with black. His mouth was set in a hard line and his usual playfulness was completely gone.

"Rorek?" I asked hesitantly. I wasn't scared of the male, something told me I never had to be scared of him, but I was worried about why his eyes were doing the swirly thing.

The black in his eyes seemed to take over completely before it disappeared and purple stared back at me. "Yes, Little Bird?"

"Is everything alright?" I asked the male, turning in his hold so I could wrap my arms around his waist and face him.

"Never been better," Rorek said with a grin tugging at his lips.

Soren took a deep breath and a low grumble came from his chest. "Is he back?" Soren asked Rorek.

He? Ohhh, Rorek's dragon. I remembered, feeling slightly stupid.

"I can't tell." A frown brought Rorek's mouth down, his face took on a thoughtful expression while he talked to Soren.

I turned to Soren in time to see an idea flicker across his face. This isn't going to be good. I thought as Soren's blue eyes met my emerald green eyes.

"Ivy, come here for a second," Soren prompted, gesturing with his hand. Figuring he wanted to talk in private, I made to pull away from Rorek. Iron arms refused to budge as I moved back.

Looking up to the massive male, I spoke softly to Rorek, "Hey mountain man, I have to go talk to Soren real quick." I again tried to pull back. Rorek's thick and muscled arms didn't even move as I struggled to pull back.

"No." Rorek's answering animalistic growl had me freezing.

"Ivy, I need to speak with you, now," Soren said again, the urgency in his voice had me feeling confused.

Accepting the consequences, I suddenly ducked out of Rorek's embrace. My knees hit the grass briefly as I rolled away from the male and out of his grasp.

A deep and threatening roar had me freezing again as I stood, facing away from the male.

Soren stood to my left, a satisfied smirk resting on his face as he widened his stance.

"That's it, get angry." Soren encouraged the male behind me.

He's calling out his dragon. I realized with a start.

Soren took a step towards me and reached out for me, trying to push Rorek even more. I turned to face the male just as everything exploded.

As Soren's hand dusted my shoulder, one word ripped from Rorek's throat as his form completely shifted.

"Mate."


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