Determined Prince (Captured by a Dragon-Shifter)

Determined Prince
Michelle M. Pillow
Determined Prince (Captured by a Dragon-Shifter)
A Dragon Lords Romance By Michelle M. Pillow

D
etermined Prince © Copyright
2014 by Michelle M. Pillow

First Electronic Printing December 2014, The Raven Books

Cover art by Ravven © Copyright 2014

ISBN-10: 1625010982

ISBN-13: 978-1-62501-098-8

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

All books copyrighted to the author and may not be resold or given away without written permission from the author, Michelle M. Pillow.

This novel is a work of fiction. Any and all characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or events or places is merely coincidence. Novel intended for adults only. Must be 18 years or older to read.

Published by The Raven Books

www.TheRavenBooks.com

Raven Books and all affiliate sites and projects are © Copyrighted 2004-2014

About Determined Prince

D
ragonshifter Prince Kyran
has studied the Earth people and is ready to assimilate. Female shifters are all but going extinct on his planet of Qurilixen, and his people are desperate for mates—so much so they’re taking matters into their own hands. What better place to capture a woman than Earth? After all, dragonshifters had come from there centuries ago. Surely a human female would be honored to be selected by one as fine and fierce as himself?

While on Earth, Kyran stumbles upon the most beautiful woman he’s ever imagined, singing something the natives call rock ’n’ roll. His blood simmers and he knows Eve is the one for him. But taming this feisty female is going to take much more than his training prepared him for.

Note from Author

I
f you’re
new to my books, the
Dragon Lords
are my bestselling futuristic shapeshifter romance series. The stories became reader favorites, and so I wrote things from their enemy’s point of view in a spin-off series for the catshifting
Lords of the Var
. Then they ventured off into the stars in the series installment
Space Lords
. Now, I’m time traveling with them back to our time with the series
Captured by a Dragon-Shifter
, which you are now reading book one of. Don’t worry, I have the series reading order on my website to help you figure it all out,
http://michellepillow.com/
.

To those of you not new to my books, readers have emailed asking Dragon Lords cultural questions since the first dragonshifting prince released years ago. I have teased you with a lot of little hints of how the Draig found brides in “the old days”. Many of you have expressed wanting to climb aboard the space ship and sail away into the future—which would probably take some cryogenic freezing and a lot of icy waiting. Well, before you start packing those sweaters… I don’t want any of you going to that extreme, so I’ve brought your favorite dragonshifters and catshifters to modern-day Earth. They don’t live on our planet, but they have recently started to revisit.

For
Dragon Lords
and
Lords of the Var
fans,
Captured by a Dragon-Shifter
is a modern-day prequel series to those first books. They take place long before the princes you know and love ever found their mates, long before
The Dragon’s Queen
, in a time when the dragonshifters and catshifters actually—wait for it—
liked
each other and hung out as friends. They also don’t have Galaxy Brides to bring them women. There’s no one left to marry on the planet and things are starting to get desperate.

A
uthor recommends reading
series installments in order of release for the simple fact she likes hiding little tidbits in the books as she goes and it’s more fun that way, though each book can be read as a standalone if you prefer.

Dragon Lords Related Books

D
ragon Lords Books

Barbarian Prince

Perfect Prince

Dark Prince

Warrior Prince

His Highness The Duke

The Stubborn Lord

The Reluctant Lord

The Impatient Lord

The Dragon’s Queen

L
ords
of the Var Series

The Savage King

The Playful Prince

The Bound Prince

The Rogue Prince

The Pirate Prince

C
aptured
by a Dragon-Shifter

Determined Prince

Rebellious Prince

Mischievous Prince

Headstrong Prince

B
e
sure to check out the other books in the Dragon Lords’ world: Space Lords series, Zhang Dynasty series—with many more books to come!

T
o learn more
and to stay up to date on the latest book list visit
www.MichellePillow.com

T
o the dreamers
and star gazers

Chapter One
Draig Northern Mountains, Planet of Qurilixen, the near future

P
rince Kyran adjusted
the bandana around his neck as he peered deeper into the dark cave hidden within the mountain. At least, he was fairly sure the thing around his neck was called a bandana. Or was it a handkerchief? It was hard to remember all the human words. Technically, his people still spoke a dialect of an Earth language, but so much had changed in the centuries since they’d left the planet, that many new words and customs had to be learned.

“My name is Kyran. You look like an honorable woman,” he whispered, practicing what he would say to any prospective mate. “I have a home with my parents and my brother. There we will live and you will be part of our family. Would you like to give me many children?”

Behind him, the mountain valley air was sweet, a blend of grasses and tiny blue flowers. It mixed with the almost acidic smell of porous black rocks now surrounding him. It wasn’t the darkness that caused the tiny jolt of apprehension in his stomach. His shifter eyes could easily cut through the shadows. It was what awaited him beyond the dark stone walls—marriage.

Kyran smiled thoughtfully to himself, perhaps simple was best. “Come to my home planet and I will make you my princess.”

The Draig, Kyran’s people, were a race of dragonshifters. Long ago, they’d escaped Earth, using a portal to come to a place where they could live out in the open, free of persecution. The Var, friends of the Draig people, had come with them. Vars were catshifters and had just as much reason to leave the old world. Only by working together had the two races managed to make a clean start. It was an alliance so strong that Kyran couldn’t imagine it ever changing.

Perhaps he should try poetic. “You will like my planet. Qurilixen is a wondrous place bathed in almost constant daylight. In the valley near the borderlands, there is a forest of oversized trees—so big that from a distance the taller ones look like your castle homes on Earth. Here we will join and become one.”

Though he’d never actually been to Earth himself, Kyran had seen pictures of the old palaces in the royal library, and they were very much like the castle he and his family lived in. Only some of the elders could actually remember making the trip across, and they had been little help as to what to expect. A few scouts had been through the portal to study modern Earth and to make sure the trip would be safe. They spoke of tall square castles and loud noises.

“This will be easy,” he told himself in determination. “Earth has many women. Finding one will not be hard. I have studied the transmissions. I am ready for this assimilation into Earth culture. I am a fierce dragon and will make a fine husband. A woman would be lucky to have me. I will find a princess.” Fear tried to work its way into his brain, but he pushed it aside. He had to stay determined. This had to work—not only for him, but for his people.

Luckily, Earth had advanced to a state that humans aired transmissions. They called it television, and once the shifters had learned to capture those waves, they’d been able to study the new Earth culture to practice blending in.

“How-ow-dee-ee,” he sounded out slowly, trying to mimic the wavy intonation of the customary greeting. He liked the cowmen. They appeared to be a tough breed of humans who spent much time outdoors riding funny looking ceffyls around open fields.

Blending was better than the royals’ original plan of sneaking through the portal and kidnapping human women like the barbaric tribes written about in old scrolls. At least this way, they could get a good look at the females before they snatched them. To some, the idea seemed extreme—bringing women through the portal in order to marry them. It had taken decades before enough of the elders had finally agreed to the plan. Unfortunately, the Draig and Var no longer had a choice. If they didn’t find compatible mates soon, their kind would die out in a generation. The few alien species who had made contact were not mating material for a number of reasons—incompatible biology, conflicting customs, no desire to live onworld.

For some reason, female shifters were no longer being born. The males thrived, growing stronger, living much longer than before. Couples had even been encouraged to have more babies to up the odds. Nothing worked. Now they had a large generation of men with little hope of marriage. Their best scholars were working on the problem, but until a solution was found, for the sake of their survival, they needed to find brides.

Historical documents indicated humans were reproductively compatible. This portal was their best hope, a way for the men of their planet to have a chance at happiness.

Their ancestors had caved in the portal when they’d first arrived on Qurilixen. Apparently, they’d thought no one would ever want to go back and wished to keep humans from following. Only after years of digging had the Draig unearthed it. Prince Kyran would be one of the first four grooms to go through. It was his duty to show the people this plan would work.

Many elders weren’t happy with the plan to find mates this way, for they still carried the emotional scars from the old days. Human religions had changed, and with their new beliefs had come the idea that all shifters had made pacts with some person named Demon. If there were signed treaties with this Demon, any records had been lost.

Some shifters hoped time had changed the humans. Because of the controversy, the four princes had volunteered to go first and prove this could work. Prince Kyran and his younger brother, Prince Finn of the Draig, would join Princes Ivar and Rafe of the Var. It wasn’t decreed which of them would come back with a bride, only that they had to start looking.

“Ready?” Finn asked, coming from behind Kyran carrying a torch. He glanced over Kyran’s outfit and smirked.

“What?” Kyran looked down. He looked exactly like a cowman with boots, a hat and tight pants. Actually, he’d chosen the style of dress for the tight pants. What better way to show off one of his finer assets? “It’s better than what you picked.”

Finn grinned. He was dressed as a great warrior. “We shall see who turns the most heads, brother.”

Hearing a noise, both dragonshifters turned. Prince Ivar’s green gaze glinted from the darkened shadows. When he stepped forward into the torchlight, he wore the native clothing of the catshifters. Fitted black pants pulled low across the hips, showing off a fair amount of stomach. The matching black shirt was laced down the center front, revealing a strip of his chest. Kyran quirked a brow.

Ivar waved a hand in dismissal. “The tailor brought me a gown and said I was to go to this accursed planet in it. I refused. I much rather receive stares than blend in as a woman—royal Earth custom or not. What is a
draqueen
anyway? It sounds like your ancestors, not mine, dragons.”

Kyran shared a look with his brother. Finn shrugged. He didn’t know either.

“Where’s Rafe?” Kyran asked. “The portal’s about to open.”

“Here!” Prince Rafe called. His footfall sounded over the cave as he jogged forward. His white pants belled wide at the bottom, matching the white long-sleeved shirt. Rafe glanced at his brother’s non-attire and said distractedly, “Sorry.”

The more serious Ivar grunted. “You lost track of time before
this
?”

“I felt like someone was following me. I doubled back to the borderlands before returning,” Rafe said. Then defensively, he added to Ivar, “You think I’m paranoid, but I’m telling you, not every Var wants to see us marry humans. Arguments are still being made that taking humans will dilute shifter blood and cause us to lose our natural abilities. They would rather we take to the stars and meet other humanoid species or wait for the gods to bless us.”

“It is not their place to question a Var royal decree,” Ivar stated to his brother. “The elder council had their say. This will be.”

“Shall we?” Kyran wanted to stop the two catshifter brothers before they began yelling. Moving to walk deeper into the cave, he glanced over his shoulder to see if the others followed.

“I don’t know why you’re so eager to meet your destiny, Kyran,” Finn said.

“Aren’t you?” Rafe asked. “I can’t wait to find a bride to share my bed. The women ships don’t come often enough for my taste.”

“I’ve told you to stay away from those ships. You do not know what diseases the alien travelers carry in their profession,” Ivar said.

“I only watch them dance,” Rafe defended. He let fur sprout over his nose as he made a face at his brother’s back. Finn hid his laugh.

“What if you get a shrew?” Ivar sounded reasonable, like always.

“So long as she’s shrewing in my bed, I don’t care.” Rafe winked.

Ivar grunted by way of an answer.

Kyran knew Rafe loved nothing more than to aggravate his stoic brother. “Come. The time is soon. Remember, only one is to find a bride this time. They want us to take it slowly.”

“And I elect Kyran.” Finn laughed, slapping his older brother’s shoulder so hard Kyran stumbled. “This was his idea.”

“Agreed,” Rafe said quickly, not breaking stride.

Kyran opened his mouth as he righted himself, but Ivar had said, “Agreed,” before he could get a word in. The three princes laughed. Kyran took a deep breath. He knew his duty, and if he must go first to ensure the future of his people, so be it.

“Ach! Come on then. Now is as good as later.” Kyran forced a chuckle, not wanting to admit he was nervous. “So help me, when I’m finished you all had better go next. I’ll not be the only prince settled.”

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