The air inside the dragon’s mouth was thick and murky and smelled like burning incense. And it was warm.
A feeling of peace came over Ambrose. He closed his eyes and smiled.
Not cold anymore.
The dragon pressed his tongue against Ambrose’s chest, pinning him against the creatures smooth, claw-like teeth.
Ambrose frowned. He didn’t care much for being pinned down again, but he considered the alternative – accidently winding up in the wrong side of the creature’s mouth. That made the situation seem better. Not by a lot, but definitely better.
Even though it was night, he leaned his head back and fell asleep.
And he slept as if it were day.
Dragons can attack with their emotions and with their fire breath.
Dragons can also stomp people to death.
Dragon scales are as hard as diamonds.
Dragon scales are well packed together with no gaps or weak spots.
But dragons do have three weak spots – the soft area just above their throat and the schism nerves that run down the edge of their wings.
I know this.
Olessa ran towards the dragon with the small weapon tight in her grip.
I know all of this because of my experiments.
As long as she doesn’t hit me with her emotions, I’ll have a fighting chance. I’ll stab her schism nerve in her left wing, which should paralyze her. Then, while she’s reacting to that distraction, I’ll throw my other switchblade at her throat.
This should work.
As long as she doesn’t hit me with her emotions.
Sammy opened his mouth and set Ambrose on the ground.
The cold wind tore its way past the cliff, causing Ambrose’s shivering to start up all over again.
Sammy contemplated the vampire for a few minutes. He nudged him onto his back.
Ambrose looked up at him in a half-dazed state.
He exhaled softly through his nostrils. He knew what Ambrose needed.
He knew what needed to be done.
Estrella watched the small human come rushing towards her and felt a twinge of pity. It almost wasn’t fair.
But then she remembered the experiments.
Her expression hardened.
The switchblade melted. Its molten slog oozed over the hunter’s hand.
Olessa cried out in pain and frantically looked about for the nearest snowdrift. She found one and ran towards it.
Estrella side-swiped her with her tail, knocking her onto her back. She set one of her front feet on the hunter’s chest. She exerted just enough pressure to keep her pinned to the ground without crushing her.
“You detestable worm! Is this how you’re going to kill me? By smashing my bones? You’re not even going to try to fight me?”
“You’re outmatched, hunter. Face your death with honor and courage.”
“I’m not afraid. If I must be killed by you, I’d rather be killed in a fair fight.”
Estrella dug her claws into the bomber jacket. Her voice darkened into a low growl. “What do you know about fair?”
“Release me and I’ll show you.”
An amused purr rattled inside the dragon’s long snout. “I am not a fool.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. But you are trying to win this match too easily. You’re a cheater. A coward. You don’t want me to even try. You have no honor.”
Estrella raised her head and stared at the night sky.
Her words are true. I can’t deny it. But she doesn’t deserve an honorable death. She’s cruel. She’s heartless. She gives true vampire hunters a bad name. If I fight her and she somehow wins, she will carry on with her experiments on other extraordinaries. Not just vampires.
It doesn’t matter if I let her live or if I kill her. It will be unfair either way.
She lowered her head in a long arch and stared at the small human.
But I know what needs to be done.
And it must be done.