Ancient Enforcer (Ancients Rising #3) - Katie Reus


Two months before The Fall

Mikael stared out the window of the home the Alpha of New Orleans had just brought him to. After waking from a millennia-long sleep, he and his brothers had just been passing through so they’d checked in with the Alpha. Originally they hadn’t planned to stay long, but they all liked the territory.

He and his brothers had already been “vetted,” as King put it, but the Alpha still required that they have what was the equivalent of a babysitter. A human female, of all people. It made no sense. If King had said a dragon female would be keeping an eye on him, he would have understood—dragon females were the fiercest of warriors.

But this human was apparently going to be their new boss at a construction site as well. King had offered him a job there and had hinted that if this worked out, he would like Mikael and his brothers to be on the pack’s security detail.

Mikael wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He wasn’t sure about anything since waking from a long Hibernation. He and his brothers were still adjusting to this new world where humans were in charge of things—and the world appeared quite dysfunctional. Things were very different than when he’d gone to sleep millennia ago. Supernaturals weren’t out to all humans, only to a small group.

Most humans had long since forgotten about his kind’s existence. The city of New Orleans was different, however—many people knew of supernaturals and accepted them. There was a deep magic here that sang to his dragon half. It was the same with his brothers so they had decided to stay.

To test the waters.

So here they were, waiting to meet this “babysitter” or guardian as King had called her. He’d assured Mikael and his brothers that they would like her—he said everyone did.

King stepped into the living room suddenly with a litheness that was usually reserved for feline shifters, and motioned that the three of them should follow.

Mikael and his brothers did, making the short trek out to the back patio that had a bunch of overhead lights strung up in a crisscross pattern, potted plants, and big umbrellas shielding a good portion of the patio from the bright sunlight.

But all he could focus on was a pretty human standing in between two human males, her stance protective even though the males were bigger and taller than her. It was clear there was a familial relationship, given the shade of their skin and the shapes of their eyes and mouths.

He flicked a brief glance at the two males, but his gaze strayed right back to her. Her chocolate-brown hair was wild and curly. It was pulled back into a ponytail, and under the sunlight, wild streaks of red shot through some of the strands. Her skin was sun-kissed and glowing and… He realized King was staring at him.

He blinked and cleared his throat.

“Mikael, this is Avery. She’s been gracious enough to allow you and your brothers to live here,” King said.

“We appreciate it very much,” he said, stepping forward and closing the distance between them. He held his hand out in the way he had seen humans do, but only because he wanted to touch her, to feel how soft her skin was.

Her cheeks flushed a delicious shade of pink against her bronze skin. Her hands were soft but had little calluses that he liked. He probably held her hand a little bit too long, because one of his brothers cleared his throat.

Not wanting to come off like a weirdo, he turned to her brothers and shook both their hands as well. “These are my two brothers, Casimir—you can call him Cas—and Ivyn. We promise to be good roommates for as long as you will have us.” How about forever? his dragon half purred.

He ordered his other half to be quiet.

Her smile never wavered as she looked at all of them and he understood why King had said he would like her. She was like sunshine incarnate. There was a glow that rolled off her. Hell, even her scent was intoxicating—like sunshine and sweet, fresh peaches.

“King explained that you three have just woken up and are still adjusting to the world, right?”

His brothers murmured affirmations behind him even as he nodded. He still hadn’t stepped away from her, hadn’t put any distance between them. That was not happening any time soon. He liked being close to her too much. This whole sensation was strange. He had not