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Wedding Dragon

by Liv Rider

Bringing a fake boyfriend to his sister's wedding seems like a great idea. Until he meets one of the groomsmen.

His sister's wedding raises a lot of issues Shaun doesn't want to deal with. The worrying thought that his life is going nowhere. Two adventurous, ring-bearing cats. Bridesmaids from his old hometown who love bringing up his past mistakes and are still convinced he's a car thief. Desperate to get people off his back, he asks his straight roommate to pose as his boyfriend. Telling a few lies to impress people is fine, right? What could go wrong?

The one thing he hasn't counted on: a distractingly sexy groomsman who can't stand liars and is a powerful dragon shifter.

Mitchell never expected his fated mate to have a boyfriend.

Mitchell thought meeting his fated mate would be the best day of his life, but meeting Shaun's boyfriend makes it the worst. How can he focus on his brother's wedding now? As he spends more time around Shaun, he realizes his mate has more problems than just bridesmaids spreading rumors. Resisting the urge to go after Shaun is the hardest thing he's ever had to do. Especially since his mate is irresistible.

After a disastrous moonlit kiss, Shaun and Mitchell are determined to stay away from each other. But when the bridesmaids threaten to expose Shaun's lies, he has a choice: Run away from his past, or ask for help from the one man he wants to have a future with.

Wedding Dragon is a m/m paranormal dragon shifter/human romance with a HEA and no cliffhangers. It is the third book in the Lewiston Dragons series, following Protector Dragon and Halloween Dragon. All books can be read separately.

Excerpt:

The persistent mewing next to him got louder, and Shaun sighed. “Yeah, you’re right.” He moved in his seat so he could open the plastic carrier. He opened the clasps on the sides and lifted the top so he could pick up the cats, but he had barely raised the top a few inches when one of them already wriggled to climb out of the carrier.
He quickly grabbed the cat after dropping the top of the carrier on the grass at his feet. No white splash down the front, so this was Rumple. He held the cat to his chest with both hands, since she was still squirming to get free. She finally settled down when she realized she wasn’t going anywhere.
He looked down at Stiltskin, who had just discovered there were no plastic walls keeping her inside anymore, and he put his left hand on her back to make sure she didn’t climb out. “Good girl.” He stroked her back with his thumb.
When they’d been in the pet carrier, he hadn’t been able to see them properly.

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Emily had told him they were kittens, and he had expected tiny kittens with wobbly legs. But Rumple and Stiltskin were older than that, somewhere between graceful adult cat and wobbly kitten. Did you get cat teenagers? Because with their gangly limbs, that was definitely the best description for them.
Stiltskin was squirming to get out of his grip. Shaun picked her up so he could hold both of them in his lap. As they were sniffing at his jeans, he saw the pale green ribbons tied around their collars. He grabbed the one around Rumple’s neck and saw the ring dangling from the ribbon. His stomach dropped. Oh, great, so if either of the cats made an escape, they’d be running off with the wedding rings. No pressure.
“What good kitties you are.” He hoped he sounded reassuring. Stiltskin kneaded his left thigh before finally lying down, while Rumple kept sniffing everything within reach and was trying to jump off his right leg. “No, stay!”
“I got it!”
He started at the sudden shout and barely stopped Rumple from jumping off his leg. “No, dammit, stay!” When he finally had a good but gentle hold on both cats, he turned in his seat to glare at whoever had just shouted.
A man came striding down the lawn, his hand wrapped around something as he waved at Dale and Emily.
Shaun’s mouth suddenly felt dry at the sight of Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome. The wind sent a breeze through his black hair in a way that had Shaun’s fingers itching to ruffle it, and he was sure that the man’s strong jaw was perfect for kissing down to reach his neck, or up to his inviting lips.
The cats in his lap began wriggling again, and Shaun had to look away to make sure they stayed in place. “Stay still,” he hissed at them. His heart raced in his chest. Any second now the man would walk past him, and the last thing Shaun wanted was to look like an idiot who couldn’t even manage two young cats. Stiltskin meowed back, and both cats kept squirming to get away. Rumple slipped out of his grip. He should tell Emily to rename her ‘Houdini.’
This was a disaster, and the wedding rehearsal hadn’t even started.
Stiltskin meowed again. Shaun held her against his chest as she squirmed to get free to join her sister on the lawn. He bent down carefully, trying not to flatten Stiltskin. Rumple seemed too surprised by having escaped to do more than look around, her ears swiveling.
“Good girl.” He tried to keep his voice gentle as he reached for the small cat. His fingers brushed the soft fur on her back and she jumped out of the way, turning to look up at him. She butted his palm with her head, then darted away from his reaching hand. Her tail was swishing in the air and she clearly thought this was a fun game.
He slowly slid forward so he could get off the chair. Stiltskin meowed again and Shaun looked down, making sure he didn’t accidentally crush her as he carefully kneeled on the ground. “It’s all right,” he told Stiltskin. “Tell your sister how much fun you’re having being held by me.”
“I don’t think that’s necessary.”
Shaun looked up and was face to face with Tall, Dark, and Handsome, who also had the greenest eyes and the friendliest smile Shaun had ever seen. “What?”
“Your cat telling this one how much fun it is being held by you,” the other man replied, crouching down opposite him. “Um, although I’m sure it is! Fun, I mean. Being held by you.” He frowned, looking down for a moment before meeting Shaun’s eyes again. “Sorry, can I try that again?”
Shaun stared at him, then laughed. “Yeah, sure.” He felt like he should apologize about his own brain fart. He should’ve noticed the man was holding Rumple in his hands.
His hands with long, elegant fingers, holding the cat so gently, stroking her back….
Okay, if he was getting jealous of a cat, he should definitely get a hold of himself.
“You seem to have misplaced your cat. Here you go.” The man offered Rumple to Shaun, smiling at him again.
“Right.” Shaun was a little distracted by the smile and the eyes and the hands and the everything else.
Seriously, he had to get a hold of himself.
He looked down at Stiltskin, who was staring at the man as well and had gone still. Shaun carefully sat back down in his chair again, all too aware the other man was only a few feet away from him. His heart pounded in his chest and he was flustered all over. This was ridiculous. He’d had plenty of hot guys ordering drinks at the bar and had no trouble hearing their order or keeping his mind on the job. What the hell was wrong with him today? “I can take her now, thank you.”
There, that was polite and made sense. Finally.
The other man stood up, cradling Rumple to his chest. Shaun definitely wasn’t feeling jealous at all, not at one large hand stroking the cat’s back while Rumple was purring. Her eyes were closed contently as she rubbed her head against the man’s green shirt.
“Maybe we should put them back in the carrier.”
That would be the sensible idea, but Shaun shook his head. He’d only have to take them out again in a few minutes. “Rumple and Stiltskin are the ring-bearers. I might as well leave them out of the carrier for now.”
The man’s eyes widened, and he looked at the cat in his hands. “Right, Dale mentioned that. I was hoping they’d change their minds.”
“Me too.” Shaun smiled. “But my sister swears it will be fine and well, you don’t argue with the bride, do you?”
“I suppose not.” He sounded skeptical as he eyed Shaun. “Maybe I should sit here with you and make sure they don’t escape again.”
“Please!” Shaun immediately replied, then realized that may have sounded a little desperate. “I mean, yeah, sure, if it’s no problem.”
“It’s definitely not—”
“Hey Shaun, did I miss anything? I got you a drink!”
He froze at Chris’ voice behind them. He’d completely forgotten about him, and he turned around to see Chris walk down the lawn, carrying two glasses.
This was definitely a disaster.
“Thanks,” he managed, as Chris stopped behind his chair. “Great.”
“I figured you’d be thirsty.” Chris’ tone was cheerful as he looked at the other man. “Hi, who are you?”
“I’m Mitchell.” His green eyes were confused as he looked from Shaun to Chris, then down at Shaun again. “I was just helping…Shaun, was it? I was helping him with his cats.”
Shaun wished the ground would open to swallow him whole.
Or swallow Chris whole. That’d work too.
“Yeah, he was just helping,” Shaun said.
Chris was silent for a moment. “Good thing I’m here now to help you, honey.”
Shaun ducked his head, snorting awkwardly to cover up his desire to burst out laughing. Stiltskin blinked up at him.
“Oh.” Mitchell’s voice was quiet and flat, and Shaun’s stomach twisted. Did he sound disappointed? “I see. Can I give you this one, then?”
“I kind of have my hands full,” Chris replied. “Shaun? Can you take the cat?”
Shaun forced a polite smile on his face and looked up at Mitchell again. Was this how karma worked? You lie about having a boyfriend, so fate throws a hot guy at you that you can’t even flirt with or everyone will know you’re a liar? “Yes, I can take the cat.” He held out one hand, holding Stiltskin against his chest so she wouldn’t escape. She hadn’t gone back to squirming and wriggling to get out of his grip, which was good. “Thanks.”
Mitchell gently put Rumple into Shaun’s free hand, his fingers brushing against Shaun’s wrist, and Shaun started at the spark that shot through him. Mitchell jerked back too, although he still ran his fingers down Rumple’s back. She purred, butting her head against the palm of his hand. He smiled down at the cat. “Now, you be good and behave,” he told her, his voice soft. “Especially on the big day.” He glanced at Shaun, smiling at him too, before standing back up.
“We’ll make sure they do,” Chris said. “The both of us. Because we’re together. In a relationship.”
“Right.” Mitchell frowned a little. “Right. I’ll—yes, I’ll go now.” He nodded at Chris, then hurried over to Dale and Emily.
Shaun stared after him while Chris shoved one chair aside so he could sit down on the chair on the other side of the pet carrier. Both Rumple and Stiltskin lay down quietly in Shaun’s lap.
“What did I miss?” Chris asked. “And did you want water or not? I can take one of the cats.”
“He caught Rumple.” Shaun handed Chris Stiltskin in exchange for a glass of water. “She escaped.”
“And that required lots of intense, awkward staring at each other?”
“What? No!” He felt his face redden. He hadn’t been awkward, had he?
Chris laughed. “Whatever you say.”
“Shut up,” he muttered, taking a sip of water and looking away from his friend. Unfortunately, that meant looking at Mitchell, who had made his way down to the arch to talk to Dale and Emily.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

When Liv isn't writing, she's reading, helped by the occasional shot of caffeine. She has an affinity for the paranormal and animals of prey (as well as their domesticated cousins). To receive a free story and find out when she has a new release, join Liv's mailing list  or visit her at http://www.livrider.com for more information.