Chapter dedicated to VamptownGirl. Thanks much, my friend, for reading and slapping the vote button!

Chapter 146 – Treasure – Ileana's POV

My status as royalty entitled me to live in beautiful palaces and castles all my life, however, none compared to the stunning structure facing me now. The sheer size of it was five times larger than any other castle I had ever seen. Maybe it made sense to have such immeasurable space—dragons did roam the halls. 

Effervescence streaks of moonlight sparkled and refracted off of majestic spheres and turrets jutting into the sky, pinnacles of splendor, decadent and breathtaking. I took a moment to let it all sink in.

With elegance belying the expectation such a huge creature would be clumsy or cumbersome, Tavian swept through the air, his form sleek and graceful. He circled around to an exterior landing area on the far side of the castle. Within seconds, he touched down, releasing Loki from his claws at the same time. The big cat scrambled thirty feet away, spun around and glared, deep rumbles of dissatisfaction pouring from his chest.

Killian's wings beat the air one last time before coming to a nimble halt.  He set me on my feet. We waited as Talon unwound his limbs from around Raine's body, releasing her from the strangle-hold he seemed to have kept during the flight.  Talon slid down the dragon's back, so that he was standing on one powerful, scale-armored thigh of the beast, and reached his hands out toward Raine, beckoning her to him. She crawled to him slowly, her pain still evident in the bite of her lip and grimace of her face. When she reached him, Talon cradled her in his arms and jumped to the ground.

Talon tutted to Loki. The tiger quickly closed the distance between them, ready to be of service once again, but Raine resisted. She placed a hand on Talon's chest. "No, let me walk. I will not meet a king lying on the back of an animal."

Talon's mouth twisted, but he remained silent, setting her gently on her feet.

Once Tavian was unburdened of his cargo, he shifted back into his skin. Without a word, he strode toward two massive double doors guarded by several very large males. They looked at our group curiously, but did not speak, simply swinging the doors open at his approach for us to file through.

Once we were inside, the splendor continued. Every surface seemed to have a honey colored reflective shine, the stairs, moldings on the wall and the thirty foot ceiling, a pattern in the marble floor, even statues. I looked closer, studying the texture and drew in a sharp breath—it couldn't be!

It was all gilded in gold! 

I tried not to gawk at the extravagance. Apparently, it was no myth that dragons loved treasure.  They plastered it on everything they owned. My internal musings were interrupted by Tavian's voice, smooth and deep, "Wait here."

I pulled my attention away from the resplendence, to find him smirking at me. I flushed with embarrassment. Maybe my wide-eyed stare hadn't been so subtle. Pull yourself together, I chastised myself. I had been a Queen, for heaven's sake. Certainly, a little bit of—okay, maybe a hell of a lot of—grandeur shouldn't turn me into an ogling fool.

Tavian disappeared into a room and shut the door behind him. We stood in the wide hallway, silent, none finding the need to make conversation. After a few minutes, Tavian emerged, fully dressed.  I exhaled in relief; I had grown tedious of the effort it took not to look at him. 

His chest was smooth and bare. Black leather pants hung low on his waist, revealing the deep 'v' indention where abdomen met hips. Onyx armored plates, with dragons chiseled into the steel, covered his thick thighs and hips, leading down to black boots with more onyx plating. 

I Am Only One {Mature Vampire Romance}Read this story for FREE!