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When Fire Dragons Fall: Dragon Shifters of Elysia, #2

When Fire Dragons Fall: Dragon Shifters of Elysia, #2

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When Fire Dragons Fall: Dragon Shifters of Elysia, #2

3/5 (1 rating)
219 pages
3 hours
Jan 31, 2020


It's raining men…sort of.


After waking up to a sudden snowstorm, schoolteacher Emma Miller thinks the most exciting things she would do while snowed in at home are stream a few movies and sip hot chocolate. However, when a breaking news report of a sizeable island with unnatural structures suddenly appearing off the coast of England throws a wrench into her plans, she never dreams that shocking incident across the pond would repeat in Texas until a scorching hot—in more ways than one—dragon shifter crashes into her back yard, putting him at her mercy at a time when sheltering him could get her arrested.


Dragon shifter Sevek was warned over and over by the royal scholars not to fly too close to the ghostly city of another world that was currently bleeding into Elysia. Ignoring their warnings during one of his patrols, he consequently finds himself severely injured and trapped within the very alien world he has been obsessing over for centuries, forced to rely on Emma, a Terran woman whose sweet scent awakens desires he hasn't felt in years. Princess Briana warned his people about the danger her home world's governments would pose should they discover the existence of dragons, a danger he sees with his own eyes. It would be stupid to court a woman who could betray him to her leaders at any moment no matter how much Emma's lovely blushes suggest she would be receptive to his advances. His priority should be getting home without exposing his dragon nature, not chasing after a potential mate he may not get to keep…


Two worlds collide in this thrilling and steamy paranormal romance adventure!


Contains mature content, language, and hot dragon shifters.
This is a complete story with a HEA.

Jan 31, 2020

About the author

Cristina Rayne is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in West Texas with her crazy cat and about a dozen bookcases full of fantasy worlds and steamy romances. She has a degree in Computer Science which totally qualifies her to write romances. As Fantasy is her first love, she feels if she can inject a little love into the fantastical, along with a few steamy scenes, then all the better. She is also the author of the Claimed by the Elven King, Claimed by the Elven Brothers, Incarnations of Myth, and The Vampire Underground series.

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When Fire Dragons Fall - Cristina Rayne


Emma Miller stared at the thick snowflakes falling outside her bathroom window with an expression usually reserved for something rotting on the street, her mascara wand frozen only a cou,ple of inches away from her eye. Judging from the blanket of white covering her back yard, it had likely been snowing heavily for at least the past couple of hours if she could no longer see any grass poking through the snow.

This latest snowstorm had been forecasted to hit late that night. Apparently, Mother Nature had decided sometime last night that the area’s children needed another three-day weekend, same as last week. With a sigh, Emma recapped her mascara wand and hurried over to turn on her bedroom’s TV. It was still relatively early, only 7:00 a.m. No one from her school had called her yet about having another snow day, but sometimes that decision wasn’t made until the last possible minute.

Sure enough, a few closures of local businesses were currently scrolling across the bottom of the news program while the weatherman warned of at least another two to five inches more snow accumulation over the next few hours. Apparently, a handful of accidents had already happened downtown within the last hour.

Maybe she should call the school’s admin office and see if Kathy, her school’s principal, had already gone into work instead of waiting for them to call her. At the very least, she should go ahead and call her sister, Lillian, to let her know that she wouldn’t be driving down to Dallas today for their weekly sisters’ night out after all.

The weatherman’s voice suddenly cracked mid-word as though he had unexpectedly been grabbed by the throat. Emma’s gaze darted from her phone’s screen back to the TV in surprise. No, the man definitely wasn’t being choked, but from the frozen, deer-in-headlights look on his face, she seriously wondered if someone had suddenly pointed a gun at him off-camera.

There was another few seconds of silence before the picture changed from the startled weatherman to the morning news anchors who looked as visibly shaken as their colleague. The male anchor had his hand over one ear, probably listening to someone speaking to him in his earpiece.

What in the world was going on?

"We apologize for the interruption, the female anchor said in a distracted voice as her gaze flickered between the camera and her co-anchor anxiously. Mike is currently speaking with our producer about—"

A Breaking News title card with the AMBN national news logo abruptly appeared along with the horrendous wailing of the emergency sirens used for alerting viewers about bad weather or other impending disasters. The sirens wailed for another thirty seconds or so before the current star anchor of AMBN News appeared looking as grave as the other anchors had looked shell-shocked.

"We apologize for interrupting your regularly scheduled program for this breaking news report from our sister station in London, the AMBN news anchor said sharply. At approximately 8:00 a.m. Eastern, 1:00 p.m. London time, several eyewitnesses from Newquay, a town on the northern coast of Cornwall in southwestern England, reported the abrupt appearance of a sizeable island about ten miles off their coast. An area already known for strong surf, the island’s sudden appearance was accompanied by a minor earthquake. It was followed by a substantial increase in the size and volatility of the waves, though no tsunami warning has been issued."

Emma stared a bit dumbfounded at the TV screen. An island appeared? Just how big was sizeable? And why in the world would they sound the emergency alarms here in the States? A horrible thought abruptly rose, unbidden. An island appearing in the ocean without warning was certainly something to get excited about, but was everybody freaking out about it because it was a precursor to something potentially catastrophic on a global scale like the imminent eruption of a supervolcano no one knew existed until today?

Come to think of it, she did remember a few reports within the past couple of months of seismologists worried about the increase of earthquakes worldwide. There had even been a four-pointer reported a couple of miles south of the Red River along the Texas-Oklahoma border just three weeks ago. Since the only damage reported had been a few windows rattling in the small town closest to the quake’s epicenter, most people had just shrugged and had chalked it up to the increase of fracking in the area.

The news program cut to a live video feed with a reporter down on a beach in Newquay. Hundreds of people were lined up across the small stretch of beach a good hundred yards or so away from the crashing waves, most of them with smartphones raised taking video or pictures of the large landmass poking out of the waves in the distance. A few were staring in the direction of the island with binoculars.

Wait—Emma narrowed her eyes and stared hard at the mysterious island as the cameraman zoomed in, and then her mind froze in utter disbelief. Was that—no, it couldn’t be—

"…outlines of what appear to be buildings even from this distance," the reporter was saying as though plucking the words from her mind.

She had to agree with him no matter how impossible such a thing seemed. All the edges she could see on the island were just too clean and straight to be naturally occurring.

Emma jumped and nearly dropped her phone as her sister’s ringtone sounded out. She didn’t even have time to say hello before Lillian demanded, Are you watching the news?

Are you sure we’re even awake? Emma countered with an uncomfortable laugh as she sat down on the edge of her bed.

"People are already shrieking about ‘Atlantis rising from the deep,’ ‘it’s the Illuminati,’ ‘Armageddon is starting,’ and every other crackpot theory imaginable. Hell, I’ve even had at least a dozen clients call me frantic about the end of the world! Seriously, who calls their lawyer when they think the world’s ending?"

I was thinking more along the lines of a supervolcano, myself, before the live video of the island started coming in, Emma admitted. With the increase of the number of earthquakes happening lately…

Hmm…the earth shifting—and I suppose those buildings could be from an old sunken Roman city not in the history books or something—but could the ocean floor rise so much overnight? Lillian asked.

Emma continued to stare at the impossible island on her TV screen as she considered her sister’s question. Well, a few years back, there was a big stink about an underwater volcano in the Red Sea that suddenly started erupting and formed an island practically overnight. They kept showing the before and after satellite pictures on a loop.

But this isn’t really the same thing, is it? Lillian said pointedly. I don’t see any smoke at all in the video. Other than the reported increased surf, the island is simply—there.

"Those planes that just flew over appear to be from the British Royal Air Force," the reporter said, drawing Emma’s attention back to the news report. She could barely make the aircraft out as it moved through the thick cloud cover.

Wow, that didn’t take long. The British government must be spooked, Emma said.

Or they know a lot more about that island than what the news crews have shown us so far, Lillian countered worriedly.

I suppose you mean— Emma gasped mid-word as one of the lower-flying fighter jets abruptly exploded.

What the…!

"Did someone just shoot that jet down?" Lillian practically shouted, causing Emma to nearly drop the phone when she flinched.

The reporter certainly thought so. He was currently rambling excitedly about possible missiles as he both reported on the chaos of hundreds of people on the beach suddenly screaming and running away from the shoreline and the fiery wreckage of the jet that had fallen into the ocean.

I was looking right at it when it exploded. I didn’t see anything streaking towards it.

Neither did I…look! The other two planes are starting to circle back around.

Emma’s eyes were riveted on the crazy scene unfolding on her TV screen. This wasn’t something she thought she would ever witness outside of a movie.

Do you think they’re about to bomb the island?

Who knows? Lillian replied. Just because we didn’t see anything hit that jet through a shaky news live broadcast doesn’t mean the other two fighters didn’t either see or detect something on their radar.


To her layperson’s eye, the way the remaining two fighter jets were circling the island didn’t give the appearance of an attack formation, though one of them did veer away from the island sharply without warning.

Silence fell between them as Emma watched the jets continue to fly circles around and occasionally over the island while the reporter breathlessly continued his speculative commentary about the military’s next step, as well as the origin of the mysterious island, itself.

And here come the reinforcements, Lillian said just as Emma noticed about a dozen more fighter jets fly into frame.

Almost in the same moment, the reporter began shouting, Did you see that! High above the right side of the island! Zoom in! Zoom in! I can’t believe what I’m seeing, but that’s a—

The screen abruptly went dark, and Emma could have screamed.

No! Lillian hissed in outrage. Tell me your screen didn’t just go black, too...!

Sorry, but it did. Of all the lousy times for the station to lose the feed.

Wait a sec…I’ve been scrolling through a bunch of social media sites on my tablet while we’ve been watching. Let me see if it was just our area that went black.

Why didn’t she think of that? Emma scooted along the edge of her bed until she could reach the tablet on her nightstand. A bright flicker in the corner of her eye had her instantly turning back to the TV.

It’s back! she exclaimed then huffed in annoyance. No, it’s just our regular news anchor giving us some BS about the British station having technical difficulties.

The internet agrees with your ‘BS’ assessment, Lillian quipped with a chuckle. That broadcast was streaming to pretty much the entire planet, and so far, everyone’s reporting the blackout. For the feed to go dark at such an interesting time either has to be the most unfortunate coincidence in history or it was intentionally shut down.

Forget sailing, I think the coincidence ship never reached port in the first place, Emma said dryly. What do you suppose that reporter saw?

People maybe?

You’re not starting to believe that Atlantis theory, are you? Emma asked incredulously.

Lillian snorted. Not really, but a weird island just appeared seemingly from thin air off the coast of England. Can we honestly rule it out at this point?

Emma frowned and tuned back in to the TV. The anchor was assuring their viewership that they were doing everything in their power to reconnect with the British station’s broadcast. Apparently, they were unable to reach anyone by phone and were now trying to reach someone through their social media.

Speaking of social media…

"Hundreds of people were on that beach. You can’t tell me that someone didn’t at least get some shaky cell phone video after everyone started panicking."

You’d think, Lillian agreed, but other than about a million clips of the fighter jet exploding and falling into the ocean, there doesn’t seem to be very much beyond that. At least not any that anyone is freaking out over. I’ll keep looking.

Emma picked up her tablet. "I’ll help. The school hasn’t called yet about taking a snow day, but I don’t think very many people anywhere will be going to work today regardless of the weather."


Not for the first time, Emma wished that the whole appearing island drama that had the whole world entranced had happened while she and Lillian had been together. Especially now as she sat on her couch feeling uncomfortably alone and exposed while she watched the latest video clip that had just finished playing on the news broadcast for the third time. A bit afraid, too, if she were being completely honest with herself.

What she was seeing had to be a joke. It had to…

It was a clip taken from a cell phone video that had been uploaded to a popular social media video-sharing site by one of the eyewitnesses on that English beach who went by the simple handle name of HC. Neither she nor Lillian had run across it before it had abruptly began playing on every news station across both television and the internet. That alone made it highly suspect in her book. Still…

"It has to be doctored," Lillian’s voice rose firmly from the phone Emma had on speaker that rested on the couch cushion to her left.

Emma nodded absently, her eyes glued to the TV. It was a couple of seconds before she remembered that she wasn’t video chatting with her sister and needed to answer vocally.

You would think, but…

But what…?

For the fourth time, Emma watched what she had first mistaken as a flock of birds fly up from the building-like structures of the new island as though startled by the sudden fly-by of several fighter jets. It wasn’t until the person shooting the video had stopped walking and had sloppily zoomed into this new action that Emma and likely millions of others had gotten their first look at what in all appearances looked like a group of flying, golden-hued dragons straight out of a fantasy movie that seemed to shimmer in and out of existence every time they flapped their wings.

Was this what that news reporter had seen seconds before the newsfeed had cut out?

…but they look too good, too real, Emma finished. Could someone really have done such a great CGI rendering of a dragon and added it to such a recent video in such a short time? Those dragons don’t even look like any of the dragons I’ve seen in movies and on TV.

"But dragons, Emmy…dragons! Lillian said tightly. No matter what our eyes are seeing, that’s just too crazy to believe!"

And yet the Brits seem to be taking it seriously according to the newscasters, Emma said pointedly as she listened to said newscasters excitedly announce that the British Prime Minister, Catherine Wilson, would be holding a press conference in half an hour.

"You’re kidding!" one of the female newscasters abruptly exclaimed.

Emma found herself leaning forward almost giddily. What had happened now?

"We are now receiving reports out of Canada about a second geologic structure suddenly appearing in Quebec Province, west of the Richelieu River."

Another one? Lillian exclaimed in disbelief. What in the world is going on?

The apocalypse? Emma thought weakly as the three local newscasters were replaced by a blonde female reporter heavily bundled up in winterwear. She was standing in a field blanketed with a thick layer of unblemished snow. A single, unusual looking mountain with a snow-covered peak dominated the snowy landscape in the distance behind her.

"This is Kate Waterstone, and I’m reporting live from Quebec Province outside of Saint-Jacques-le-Mineur. At approximately 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, according to several residents of the area, the mountain behind me appeared much like the unknown island that appeared earlier this morning off the coast of England. It unleashed what one eyewitness described as a ‘sonic wave’ that shook the earth and blew out the windows of homes within a few kilometers’ radius. There are preliminary reports that several small

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