So today is Sunday and I'm posting this excerpt...SORRY! I was visiting family yesterday and forgot to get a blog post ready to go before I left. So, since I'm already late, I won't keep you from what you're really looking for.
Here is an excerpt from the begining of Chapter 20:
I grabbed the side of the car trailer and climbed up. We had just arrived at the drop-off location, and all the time and work we had put into getting the vehicles up here was now thrown out the window as we removed the securing ties to get them down. It was the one thing I hated about transporting cars to the dealers in the city.
Raikidan climbed up next to me and gave me a hand with the chains. As we worked, a group of three women casually walked by. Their giggling and quiet whispers seemed to catch Raikidan's attention because he looked down at them and smirked. The three women looked at each other and giggled more. I rolled my eyes and sighed. Men. It didn't matter that he was a Dragon, it seemed. He still reacted the same way.
Raikidan looked at me. "What?"
"Nothing," I muttered.
"Eira, what did I do?" he whispered.
"Don't give me that. You know what you did."
"No, seriously, what did I do wrong? All I did was smile at them."
"Seriously, cut it out, Raikidan. I don't need another Blaze in the house."
"I was trying to be friendly," he defended. "I'm trying to be as normal as possible, like you asked. Obviously, I did something wrong by the way you're acting compared with how those females were acting."
I sighed. "Raikidan, that wasn't a smile. That was a smirk."
"All right, how was it wrong, then?"
"Your smirk said you were interested in them and got them a bit excited. It made them feel a little lucky to even grab your attention for a split second. It's a woman thing."
Raikidan snorted. "Well, that's not what I meant to do."
"Then smile at people. Don't smirk."
Raikidan blinked. "That's the only way I know how to smile." I gave him a look of disbelief. "I'm telling you the truth! My father smiled the exact same way."
"A family trait, then?" I mused.
"Black Dragons are the most persuasive of the three Dragon colors, so I don't see why it wouldn't be," he replied quietly.
I thought this over. That might explain why he had been able to get more information out of me than I would have liked the first few days after we had met. I wasn't on top of my game, which could have made it easier to persuade me. It might also have to do with my strange behavior lately. I made a mental note to be careful of that from now on. "I suppose that could explain it."
"Hey, lovebirds," Blaze called up to us. "Quit your yakking and get working. We have cars to unload."
Raikidan tossed a handful of chains at him. "We're already done, smart one."
I was impressed with Raikidan's chosen vocabulary. He really was getting the hang of blending in. I wondered if he was reading at night while I was asleep. He had to be. It would be the only explanation for his use of names and other lingo the rest of us rarely used.
"Excuse me? Who is this we you're talking about?" Ryoko chimed in. "I'm the one who did all the work. But, Laz, hon, I don't blame you for being jealous. They were hot. Especially the blonde."
"I'm not jealous," I muttered.
Ryoko grinned. "Sure you're not."
I snorted. "If you like her so much, why don't you go after her? I doubt she's made it that far with how slowly she was walking."
"Nah, she's not my type. The brunette was, but I'm going pass this time."
Because you already have someone else in mind. I chose to bite my tongue. I knew it was for the best right now.
Zane came around the back of the trailer. "Don't make me tell you two ladies to stop flapping your gums."
Ryoko jumped down. "We're already done with the chains. Not like we're wasting time since only one person can unload the cars at a time. Which has me thinking, who's hungry?"
Zane chuckled. "You know the way to a man's heart, don't you, Ryoko?"
She giggled. "Who doesn't like food?"
Zane laughed and patted her on the shoulder. "I can't disagree there. Go pick us up some food and meet us back here. We should be done in about an hour so don't go too far."
Ryoko nodded and then grabbed Raikidan by the wrist. "You're helping, let's go."
We watched Ryoko drag him off and the boys snickered. Well, except Rylan. He actually looked both confused and irritated.
Blaze nudged him. "Someone's unhappy."
Rylan shoved him away. "I am not. I just don't know why she didn't ask me like she always does."
"You're not her only friend, Rylan," I said as I headed for the truck. "She's allowed to ask someone else to go with her."
"Where you going, Chickadee?" Zane asked.
"Just going to sit down," I replied. "I'm not going to be useful when it come to unloading the cars."
I walked around the truck and sat on the bumper to wait. I watched Raikidan and Ryoko walk down the street while the boys went back to work. The two were laughing about something and I found myself getting jealous. Why couldn't I open up to either of them like that? To anyone like that? Why did I have to be such a recluse freak that couldn't hold a proper conversation without pissing someone off?
I looked to my right when Rylan suddenly appeared next to me. He too was watching Ryoko and Raikidan.
I snickered. "You're pathetic, you know that?"
"You're watching them too," he countered. "Makes you not better than me."
"I'm just observing. You're the one getting worked up."
He looked at me. "I see that look in your eye. You want to know what's up too."
I shook my head and chuckled. "I really don't care. The two are friends, so what's there to get all worked up about?"
"You can't fool me, Laz," Rylan said. "The bond has made me very aware of how you've been feeling lately, especially when it's been just the two of you. I'm aware of how you've been feeling while sitting here. You know the bond has always been stronger on my side than yours for unknown reasons."
"I was thinking about something, but it's not what you believe it to be."
"Right." He grabbed me by the wrist and hauled me off my feet. "Let's go."
"What are you doing?" I demanded as he dragged me down the street.
"Getting to the bottom of this."
I stared at him wide-eyed. "Seriously, Rylan? We're not stalking them. Not only is that illegal, it's creepy."
"We're not stalking them," he insisted. "Just investigating without them knowing."
"That's stalking, stupid."
"Shut up and follow with me."