Taming London (Warwick Dragons #1) - Milly Taiden Page 0,1

ashen, then her cheeks became two bright spots of crimson. “It’s Jones, you absolute jerk.” With a huff, she grabbed her dress from the floor and slid it on. She grabbed her shoes and purse, and before London could get to her, she swung the bedroom door wide open. He cursed under his breath.

“Oh, dear.” Johanna clicked her tongue. “My dear, I think it’s best if you were to gather your things and go.”

Sabrina looked back over her shoulder. There was so much anger rolling off of her, it made the air bitter. “You’re such a pig, London Warwick.”

“Yup,” he grumbled, running a hand on his face. “Nothing you didn’t know, babe.”

He hadn’t bothered to shave lately, and he was surprised to find he had quite a bit of growth on his face. That would only give his mother more ammunition for the proper dressing down she was going to give him.

But Johanna Warwick was grace and poise personified. She would never raise her voice. Not even when she found her youngest son in bed with the flavor of the week.

“James has the kettle on.” She took a few steps toward him, assessing him attentively. “Clean yourself up and join me for tea.” She shoved him gently, but firmly, back into his bedroom.

London opened his mouth to argue, but his mother puckered her lips. It was the slightest of movements, but London knew it for what it was. She was thoroughly unhappy with the state of him. This was a woman who had commanded armies and led legions into battle. Not to mention, she had braved the high fashion world for decades. He shuddered to think of it.

“You have fifteen minutes, London. Then I’m sending in James to scrub you down.”

“Not necessary,” he mumbled.

“And please shave.” Her tone was clipped.

In a flurry of expensive perfume and centuries of over-tried patience, she closed the door behind her. She hadn’t quite slammed it, but her movements were brisk enough to let her displeasure be known.

With a string of curse words that could rival a Thames sailor, London retreated back to his bathroom and rushed through his shower and shave. He nearly nicked his throat a few times, but it was better to bleed than to keep his mother stewing with her meddling ways. He also kept a small, well-groomed beard as a sign of open defiance.

When he left his bedroom, he noticed that Johanna was seated in the dining room, where tea and biscuits were laid out on the table. No doubt his mother would comment on his lack of proper staff and housekeeping skills, but that was one thing he couldn’t bring himself to care for.

“That’s much better,” Johanna said. She rose from her seat at the table and glided her way to him. She tugged at his ears, dropping a kiss to each cheek before tutting in a complaint to his facial hair.

“Hey, Mom.” He hugged her close.

She might have shown up unexpected and judgmental, but London still respected her.

“What brings you to town?” He poured himself a generous cup of coffee, forgoing the weak tea his mother preferred.

“I’ve had a call from Sanderson.”

Well, shit. The board of directors had called his mother.

London felt like a little boy being chided for his misdeeds all over again.

“He was concerned,” Johanna continued. “Apparently, you’ve been missing more and more work. Your last exhibit did poorly, and I began to worry that you’re slipping into poor health. I thought it best to come for a visit. In case you needed me to nurse you back to health.”

Just like his mother and two brothers, London was a dragon. He didn’t get sick. He’d been around for centuries and had never gotten so much as a cold. Even when sanitation and the medical field were budding industries that killed more people than it saved. Johanna knew that, of course. She liked nothing better than to jet around the world, wrangling one of her three sons. She was known for her unannounced, unexpected visits. Her gift at meddling was legendary.

In fact, London was sure it had been Johanna who had called Clive Sanderson, and not the other way around.

“There’s more.” She turned on her heels and settled at the table, where she sipped her tea like the queen herself. “I can’t have this, London.” She took her sizable purse and retrieved a file from it.

Even before she spilled the contents onto the table, London knew what it was. Yet there they were. The tabloid covers of