After a breathless moment of silence, she made the connection.


A burst of energy rushed past Caylee. Then, bolt after bolt of bluish white lightning arced across the sky, lighting the meadow and casting shadows in the trees surrounding it. The sound of thunder was so loud it caused the ground to shake. She would’ve fallen to her knees if Haden hadn’t been standing behind her, holding her in his strong arms and anchoring her against his solid body. She blinked to focus on a pitch-black cloud of smoke forming several feet in front of her.

Holding her breath, she watched as the smoke dissipated and a huge, shadowy image appeared. Squinting, she struggled to make sense of what she was seeing. It was an animal. A very large animal.

A colorful series of explosions, similar to fireworks, started at the top of the animal’s head and continued all the way to the tip of its tail until brilliant shades of red, gold, silver, and purple shimmering streaks illuminated what appeared to be a black dragon.

To Caylee’s horror, the dragon turned and fixed its gaze onto hers. It slowly moved toward her. With each step it took the ground rumbled beneath its weight. Stopping directly in front of her, it bowed its massive head reverently at her feet.

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