This page is secret! I shared these small bonuses in my newsletter but they seem too small to create a whole book for, so I am sharing them with you here.
(Bonus for Onyx Dragons: Amber ~ You really must read that book first!)
It was hard for Darcy to smuggle home a thoughtful present for his angry wife because said angry wife was his only ride.
“Don’t look inside,” he said, again, as Amber looped the reusable bags around her slim wrist. She liked to fly them around in human form. “It’s a surprise.”
“I have a surprise for you, too.” A demure, pleased smile curved her lips.
Oh, thank goodness. It had been too long since he’d seen her smile.
He put his arms around her diminutive shoulders. As a human, she was so tiny and dainty against his six-foot frame.
As a dragon, of course, she was as big as a very nice house.
Amber rose into the air, lifting off with what seemed like magic but which his new dragon in-laws assured him was simply the gravity-reversing properties of the alien stellarium in her dragon-shifter blood.
He spent the whole trip being grateful that she wasn’t mad at him any more.
Amber was beautiful, everything he dreamed of his whole life, and he squeezed her sweet, tiny form as she zoomed across the curve of the planet and landed deep in the humid jungle. Inside her lair, the temperature controls kept the windows from fogging, and the afternoon sun filtered through the dense greenery.
She released him. “Do you want to share your surprise first?”
“Yes.” He stepped back, straightened his gray suit, and tried to compose the speech he’d been practicing.
She sat on the bed and crossed her legs. Her innocent schoolgirl plaid skirt revealed a bit of forbidden thigh.
His great speech flew out the window.
God, she was sexy.
She tsked. “Darcy. I’m waiting.”
Right. He straightened. “I’m sorry about last night.”
“I never meant to be flippant about IVF or sound unsupportive. It is important to have kids around the same time as everyone else so that ours will have similar-aged cousins, and I don’t want you to be left behind by your siblings again. I know you felt left behind for your whole life.”
She uncrossed her legs. “Thank you, Darcy.”
“So. I did research today. If we go the IVF route like my sister, I bought you a little care pack.” He pulled out his purchases and spread them across the buttery wood floor. “This is positive energy tea. It’s that tangerine flavor you like. These are some comfy socks and massage oil. I promise to massage your feet, your hands, your back, your injection sites, whatever you need, any time you ask.”
“You already do massage me every chance you get.”
“Well, now I will double that.”
“Heh. Is that possible?”
His spirits rose with her amusement. He tapped the box of tea. “Yes. Anything is possible. Positive energy.”
“You know? You’re right.”
“I’m right?” He lowered his voice to his best romantic bass. “I love it when you seduce me like that, darling.”
Amber snorted at his performance—she always supported his comedy efforts, no matter how lame—and then uncapped the massage oil and sniffed. “Mm. It’s nice. I guess our bottle was getting a little low.”
He set out the other small items—a floral medication bag, a lavender spa neck pillow, aromatherapy set, and relaxation bath fizzes.
She watched his performance all with a small smile, which Darcy knew was his unexpressive wife’s way of silently saying she was very touched.
He folded the emptied bags.
She pointed curiously at the remaining two. “What’s in there?”
“Ah, well. I asked Jackie what got her through the whole procedure, and this was her number one recommendation.” He unzipped the first bag. It was overflowing with ice cream. “Double banana monkey chunk.”
Amber blinked slowly. “That is a lot of monkey chunk.”
“Jackie said she ran out at midnight and collapsed on the floor crying.”
“I don’t think I would collapse for, um, that flavor…”
“I get the sense it was just one more thing that happened after her first round failed, but now, you definitely won’t.”
“Is the other bag filled with monkey chunk also?”
“Huh? Oh, no. It’s one of every other flavor from the store. Double banana isn’t for everyone.”
She breathed a sigh of relief, and then a little frown marred her forehead.
Darcy pulled Amber into his arms, tucking her small form to his and stroking her precious honey-gold hair. “I’m sorry I sounded so reluctant. I don’t want you to go through the same cycles of hope and despair and crying on the basement floor in front of an empty freezer. But I also want to start our family, and I’m ready. I will stand by you, in sickness and in health, with monkey chunk and without, for as long as we both shall live. And then some.”
“That’s good.” She smiled at him with a warm glow. “Because I went to the dragon medical center today, and I am pregnant.”
His brain whirred, processing her words one line at a time, and then restarting instead of coming to the conclusion.
His mouth kept the conversation going no problem. “You did? You are?”
She nodded. An even broader smile broke across her face.
“You did,” he repeated. “You are.”
She was pregnant. She was pregnant. Oh, thank God. There would be no midnight crying jags because of ice cream. Even though he’d just bought out the freezer section of the local mart. “Well, uh, great.”
She beamed. Her closed eyes formed the most adorable happy crescents.
Oh. God. He squeezed her. He’d felt awful all day. This was his wife, he loved her so much it hurt, and seeing this happiness on her face made everything all right.
And, huh. He was going to be a father sooner rather than later.
She lifted up to his level and kissed him. “You are so thoughtful.”
Yes. Oh yeah, he was.
And she was pregnant.
Amber glanced over at the bags. “What are we going to do with all that ice cream?”
“Ice cream party.” He pulled out his cell phone. “Invite your brothers and their families. I once saw Pyro eat an entire carton of ice cream including the cardboard. It’ll be gone in ten minutes.”
“Then we’ll have to announce our news fast.” Amber threw her arms around him again. “Thank you, Darcy.”
No, no, no. Thank you.
He didn’t say it out loud. She was the one who’d go through everything. He was the support staff. Ready, willing, and totally at her back. Or her front. Sides. Wherever. As much as she wanted and would let him.
She hugged him tight.
He danced her around their living room in the jungles of South America. No matter how much he tried to surprise his wife, in the end, she always gave him the best surprise.