Super Short Epilogue Go!

I had such vivid dreams after I mated with Caleb. My theory was that it was because I was finally happy and I was finally able to sleep the entire night sans medication (except when he woke me up). I dreamt of flying with Caleb or traveling to some exotic place in the world, basically, reflections of what I had been doing the previous day. I loved every moment of it and I hoped that my dreams would always be so care-free.

But two nights after I discovered Anne had disappeared, I found myself in a small clearing in a forest. I couldn't tell if it was early morning or late evening. The forest didn't look familiar. I'd never seen the giant redwoods before. I wanted to. I made a mental note to remember to ask Caleb when I awoke. It was almost silly how easy traveling was for me now.

I took a few steps in the forest in the attempt to get my bearing. I pushed a low-hanging branch out of the way and I found myself standing on a hill overlooking the city. The harvest moon hung over the city, providing beautiful illumination for the summer night. This time I knew where I was: Libbie Hill in downtown Richmond. I turned around to look behind me, but the redwoods were nowhere to be seen. When I turned forward again though, there now stood a man about fifty feet ahead. Though the moon was bright, an inky darkness seemed to permeate his being and I found it difficult to make out his features. As I walked toward him, I entertained the idea that the man was Caleb and he had discovered how to enter my dreams. I took about two dozen steps and I realized that, though he too favored dressing in all black, this man was not my mate.

I continued approaching the man in my dream though I don't know why. With every step that I took toward him, I saw additional details that I hadn't noticed before. His coat was differently cut. That was the first thing I noticed. It was fancy, not utilitarian like Caleb's. The second was that he wore boots, but not combat boots that Caleb preferred. They looked like riding boots. Then I noticed his sword. It wasn't the large, broadsword that Caleb kept strapped to his back; this man had two thin swords strapped to his side. His hair was shorter too, curling about the nape of his neck, rather than being long enough to pull into an elegant pony tail. I couldn't make out the color in the darkness, but I knew that it wasn't Caleb's chocolate brown.

I drew next to this stranger, oddly unafraid in my dream, but my mind raced. Now that I was next to him, I could see that this person next to me had at least three inches on Caleb. He was heavily muscled; he was an arm's length away from me so I could plainly see that his bicep was huge. His clothes were an expensive mix of well-tailored leather and silk: black and silver with hints of a dark teal blue. He had knives strapped to his leather-encased leg and a metal bracer on his left arm. Despite his size, his appearance was that of masculine beauty which was a sharp contrast to Caleb's handsomeness. He was beautiful, I realized. As I inspected him, his gaze shifted from the city to me and a pair of cold, calculating blue-green eyes evaluated me.

His eyes drifted to my left arm. I self-consciously tugged on my sleeve even though I somehow knew that he was able to see the mark that Caleb's power had drawn on me.

His lips quirked into a smile that didn't touch his eyes. "Bonded cubus mate?" he murmured, his voice an accented, baritone melody.

"W-what?" I stammered.

"You are marked as the leash holder and mate of an incubus," he said.

I clutched my arm. Mate, I understood. "Leash holder" was something unfamiliar. "So?" I demanded.

The twinkle in his eye let me know that the bastard had the audacity to be amused by me. Nevertheless, he said dismissingly, "The answer is of no consequence to you." He resumed gazing over the city while I stood beside him and fumed. After several measures moments of silence, he asked, "This is Richmond? In Virginia?" He spoke the names with careful deliberation, as if they were foreign to his tongue.

"Yes." I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. He didn't look like a terrorist, but at the same time, had America pissed off a new civilization that hadn't reached the news outlets yet? "Who are you?"

He looked at me again. His eyes glinted, whether it was malicious or mischievous, I couldn't tell. "Someone your mate will fear," he stated. Then he nodded, "Maddie."

My breath caught. "How did you know–"

He vaulted over the railing of the hill. I wasn't sure what I was expecting to happen since I knew I was dreaming, but even in my wildest dreams, I did not expect to see that man float in mid-air and start to glow. I did not anticipate to see his body shift, elongate and sprout wings. I certainly did not expect to see him change into a large, maned dragon and fly into the rising sun.

Some of you are gasping right now. Some of you are basically trying to figure out WTH did you just read.

So, ever read one of those serial novels? The ones that resolve the main story and then have an extra chapter at the end that supposedly seamlessly introduces the dilemma for the next novel? Well, I'm kinda leaving the door open for a story that waaaay down the road.

In the meantime, this story is now meant to be a prequel to Hand of Grace that is best read after you've already have read HoG. However, if you haven't read Hand of Grace and you are interested in knowing who the incredibly rude person is in this chapter or if you want to know what happened to Anne, then I encourage you to go read it.

For established HoGers, I'll explain the intricacies of what just happened in this scene once I start posting Hand of Justice. I think I have a good hold on the first chapter, but I'd like to have at least a dozen or so written before I start posting. My main problem is that my day job involves a LOT of writing so when I'm off hours I find that I rather do something else than stare at a computer for fun.

I'm trying to figure out what I should say in closing other than thank you for reading this and commenting. Hmm... I hope you liked Maddie and Caleb! Please let me know what you think about it so I can be encouraged to write more!