Dragon Unearthed by Ishabelle Torry

Chapter 5

Jemma

Someone may have well just dragged their fingernails down a freaking chalkboard with the way I cringed and pulled back. “Did you say thousands of years? As in…thousands, with like three zeroes behind some random number?”

He taps his wrist with two fingers and nods as a small screen pops up into view. It floats before him like an interactive hologram, and I can’t help marvel at the complexity of the obviously advanced technology. “Yes, according to the readings from my bio chip, this last sleep lasted three thousand years. I woke long enough to find nourishment, and then returned to my den and hibernated until you awoke me this evening.”

A shiver races up my spine as I look him up and down. Taut arm muscles, abs for days, and a narrow V cut at the waist emphasizes his healthy athletic physique. He’s in prime condition, and doesn’t appear much older than me on the outside. “Just how old are you?”

He uses the tip of his forefinger to slide through several panels on the hologram screen. “According to my neural implant, nearly forty thousand of your planet’s revolutions.”

“Holy shit. You mean forty thousand years? That’s incredible.” I can’t believe what I am hearing. It’s literally out of this world. A sense of excitement rushes me at once. I’m the first human being to make contact with an alien species, well maybe. Roswell and all that. But ten bucks says I’m the first to make out with one. Apprehension brings a million questions and a certain level of responsibility.

What the hell am I supposed to do with an alien being? Who do I call? Everyone? No one? I mean, if he’s really what he claims, then the government will surely scoop him up and…I don’t want to think about what they would do. I’ve seen enough sci-fi movies to know it won’t be good. This is some E.T. shit for sure.

I eye him over again, skepticism seeping in. My scientific brain asserts itself, and logic begins to demand proof of his extraordinary claims. “Forty thousand years old, huh? I’m no biologist, but that sounds impossible.” The words leave my mouth on a scoff.

Kai nonchalantly shrugs his scaly shoulder. “Clearly it is. You can see with your own eyes I am not of your species.”

“Clearly,” I snort back. “Unless that’s one hell of a makeup job. Special effects, or something.” An unsettling thought grips my already scrambled brain. That burning sensation deep in my gut returns with a vengeance. Kai says it’s a mating pull, but I am beginning to think it’s much more than that. Like my bullshit radar is dinging overtime. How could I have been so goddamned blind? It’s no coincidence my ex is here, too. At the very same location as this supposed…alien. I wipe the sheen of sweat that has accumulated from my forehead. “Oh my God. I swear to all that is holy and back…you son of…!”

Kai sniffs at the air as he leans back; his green eyes sweep over me. He looks so confused, concerned, but I’m not buying it. “Jemma?” He shifts his body side to side, as if preparing to defend himself from an oncoming assault. “I can sense your anger, yet I do not understand the cause.” He makes a move toward me, but I sidestep his advance.

Oh he’s good. Real good.I narrow my eyes, giving him my best evil glare. The one that silently says, ‘I will destroy you and eat your soul if you touch me.’ Instead, it seems to relay that I am a helpless kitten in need of loving, because he approaches anyway and slips his arms back around my waist to haul me in closer. I pull back, pointing my finger directly in his face. “Oh no, no, no. One time is shame on you, two times is shame on me. I can’t believe I almost fell for this…whatever the hell it is. How much is Eric paying you to distract me? I can’t believe I almost believed you. Aliens! Pfft!”

He looks me square in the eyes and continues the charade. “What are you talking about, Jemma?”

Anger consumes me beyond anything I have ever felt. Even after Eric’s initial betrayal and stealing of my research years ago during our divorce, I had been more hurt than angry. But now…yeah, now I am so livid, I can feel my skin crawling with rage, prickling its way up and down my limbs as it consumes me whole. “Don’t play stupid with me, Kai. If that’s even you’re real name. What does he want? More research? Well, too bad for him. I haven’t even found anything in this grid yet. Nothing more than a few old drawings and some pottery so far. I smack my forehead with the palm of my hand. “Oh sweet mother of…” I narrow my eyes at him and can feel my nostrils flaring. “I’m on to something, aren’t I? I’m about to discover something he wants credit for. Son of a bitch, does his deceit know no end?”

Kai sucks in a deep breath; thin, long tendrils expand out from behind his ears. The suave expression he’s been wearing since I met him less than an hour ago fades, replaced by a look of sheer terror as his gaze locks with mine. He then grabs me by the shoulders and lowers his face to mine, his mouth but a few inches away. “You have people digging elsewhere nearby? I need to know exactly how many men you have working here. And where they are located.”

There’s something alarming in his tone, but I refuse to let my guard down again. The warmth of his breath fans out across my face, and for a moment, all I can think about is brushing my lips against his.

Snap out of it, Jemma.

Instead, I clench my teeth. “Wouldn’t that just make it easier for you. Pfft…not gonna happen. In fact, I am going to go inform the other members of the team and tell them what’s going on. This time, I am not the only victim Eric is trying to steal from.” With a haughty snort, I turn my chin upward and snub him. Yanking my shoulders away, I make a show of whirling around and heading out of the tent, my steps heavy and determined as I stomp toward the main camp.

“Please!” his call echoes from behind.

I don’t even bother to look back and continue onward. I’m done with this shit. “Too late, Kai. Eric is going down this time, and you’re going with him.”

A rush of forceful wind takes me by surprise, and I stumble a couple steps. Looking upward, there are no clouds covering the starry nighttime sky. Yet, a rumble of thunder vibrates the air around me. Another rush of hot air hits my back, its force stealing my balance. I fall to my knees. The ground shakes beneath me as a dark shadow moves across the sandy dirt, blocking out the little bit of moonlight from above.

I watch the shadow, mesmerized, as what looks like a pair of ginormous ass wings fan out and hover above me. Gulping hard, I push myself back up to my feet and slowly turn around. Large, emerald eyes glimmer in the moonlight. They’re reptilian like, slanted, with black, crescent shaped pupils. A huff of warm air rushes me, causing my step to falter against the force. My lips tremble as I try to speak, and all I can manage is a single word. “Kai?”