Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance Books
Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance Books

Magic’s Most Wanted Epilogue Bonus Scene

It was hard to believe the day had come.

After almost an entire year of planning and sending invitations, here I was, getting ready to walk down the aisle to marry Zaron Cain, my fiancé and fated mate. It was such an emotional moment, one I had never imagined would happen to me.

I felt butterflies in my stomach as Astra helped me with my gown, making sure everything fit perfectly. She fussed and primped, fixing my makeup and hair. The dress was something out of a dream. The white fabric wrapped around my body and twisted in places, revealing the shape of my figure through its elegant design. It was a dress made by Gloria at Knit Wit. She also made Astra’s dress, a beautiful pale yellow number that accentuated her eyes.

Everyone I knew would be in attendance. Or almost. My father was in prison, where he belonged. And there was no way I was allowing Duke anywhere near the wedding. He was still paying for his crimes, even after turning on Ostin and confessing everything. But Roman was there and so was B, much to my surprise. Roman still struggled with what happened with the Hunters Guild, even though none of it was his fault. But from what I had heard about B, he was not only fully showered and wearing clean clothes, but he had brought a date with him. That was huge for the rat shifter.

Zaron’s side had a much bigger contingent. And on top of the list were Zaron’s parents. Given all that we had gone through together, it was almost hard to believe he had parents. Growing up without a father and with my mother passing, it had just been Astra and me. And now there was Zaron.

The first time I met Leogard and Greyginia, I didn’t know what to expect. The meeting didn’t exactly go smoothly. Mr. Cain, as he nearly demanded I call him, was less than thrilled that his son had bonded himself to me. He was no doubt expecting his son to marry a dragon shifter. And I couldn’t blame him. Thankfully, his wife—or as she insisted I call her Greyginia—was nothing but warm and inviting. She showered me with love and affection. It was all very overwhelming, but in a good way.

However, seeing the two people who created and raised Zaron, I finally understood what had led my fiancé to being the man he was. Not that I thought he was perfect by any means. Far from it. I loved every aspect of the man he was and had learned that we complimented each other beautifully, even if he slipped into one of his moods occasionally.

Mr. Cain might not have been thrilled with how everything turned out, but he was satisfied that Zaron was happy. That I made Zaron happy. And it probably didn’t hurt that his wife had nothing but good things to say about me. Mr. Cain might be the big, bad dragon in that duo, but Greyginia had the ultimate power.

Everything felt unreal as I gazed around the room that Zaron had set aside as the bridal suite. We were marrying at Zaron’s estate, an outdoor ceremony and then the reception in the ballroom inside his house. Zaron and I had a long discussion about venues. He was offering to rent any place in any realm that I wanted to have the wedding. But in the end, it had made more sense for him to host. It was convenient for us, since our bedroom was just upstairs from it all, but there were enough potential guests who might not be comfortable in the human realm to merit holding it elsewhere.

Besides, Zaron never hosted anything. This was important to him and important to me. It was nice that he was making such an effort to bring people together for a positive event.

Plus, it really was a stunning location. The estate had everything we could possibly need, with the giant manor house and the wonderful gardens and green spaces. The ceremony was set to take place beside the lake, in the sun. A special sun shade had been devised for those who could not actually enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Those Naturals had not used the portal system to reach the estate. Instead, a blackout carriage was used, transporting them the old-fashioned way.

Sadly, I had not been able to see Zaron since the rehearsal dinner last night. It was just a stupid custom. Zaron and I slept in the same bed almost every single night. There was no reason for us to be apart for even one night prior to the wedding. So when Zaron had left me with Astra and gone off to the guest house with Ryzan, I had found myself missing his presence beside me.

Ryzan’s participation in the wedding had been more than a discussion. It had been a heated debate. Zaron refused to entertain the notion of not having his friend involved in his biggest day. I hadn’t forgiven Ryzan for his transgressions. Hell, I’m not sure that Zaron had either. But the bond between the two was undeniable. Despite their rocky relationship, they were there for each other, no matter what.

That meant that Ryzan was part of the wedding party today. The same went for Astra. She was home from college for the summer, with a boyfriend in tow. Her love life was something I was still trying to get my head around. Astra had gone away to college, and she had found herself. In more ways than one. I was just glad that she was happy and living her best life.

“The arrangements for your boyfriend are acceptable?” I asked, wanting to make sure his needs were appropriately taken care of.

“Yes, they are more than acceptable,” Astra answered. “I’m sure he’ll be thanking you for them at some point today. When you invited him, he was skeptical, but I think you’ve helped change his mind on a few things.”

“I’m sure you get most of that honor,” I countered, laying praise on my sister. Her boyfriend was interesting, but he made Astra happy, and that’s what mattered most to me. And she had chosen a good guy. He was just complicated.

Zaron and I decided early on that it made the most sense for Astra to be my maid of honor. There was no one else I would rather share this momentous event with. Astra had stood with me during every major step along my journey, and this one was no different. I wouldn’t be the woman I was today without Astra’s support. I owed her my entire life.

“Almost done,” Astra announced as she mussed with my hair. My red locks had been styled professionally, but Astra liked to make sure that every strand was in its proper place. Once she finished adjusting, I glanced around the room. Everything I saw was because of Zaron. He had given me everything I could desire. And he had made possible a total reversal of my fortunes. But my favorite part of my new life was waking up to the man next to me in the morning and going to sleep next to him at night.

The only thing left to do was to make it official in the eyes of the law and the Fates. We were already committed to each other, a bond formed and sealed magically. This was simply another level of commitment, one made publicly, with all our friends and family to witness it. It was important to me and even more important to Zaron. But he was also a man of society, a world I remained naïve about, but was slowly learning. Appearances mattered, even if they often were a lie.

Astra made a few more adjustments to my look, checking me in the mirror from multiple angles.

“Perfect,” she finally declared. “Now let’s go get you married.”

Together, we walked out of the suite. Most of the guests had already arrived. They were waiting outside near the lake. We entered from the back, so that no one would get a peek at me before I made my entrance. Everyone would get to see me walk down the aisle at the same time.

“I’ll see you at the front, sis,” Astra said as she left my side so that she could join Ryzan and wait for me at the altar. As maid of honor, Astra would enter first on Ryzan’s arm.

Meanwhile, I had elected to walk down the aisle unaccompanied. Zaron had pushed back against this at first. It was tradition for the bride to be walked down the aisle by a male member of her immediate family. But there was no one in my life to fulfill that role. The closest person was Roman, and that seemed wrong on more than one level. He had basically been my boss.

Besides, I had been walking the path of my own fate for so long, it only made sense to continue that here as well. Zaron had relented. He had tried suggesting that his father perform that duty, but given his less than warm attitude toward me, we had eventually agreed that I would enter on my own.

That meant I waited in my wedding gown, listening to the ceremony taking place outside, as I prepared to walk out. I was alone, although a small gaggle of the servants from the mansion had joined me to make sure I didn’t need anything, or worse, run away. Not that I had any plans to do that. I knew some brides got cold feet before their weddings, but mine were firm in their beliefs about marrying Zaron.

Finally, it was time. The officiant announced I would be entering soon. That was my cue to open the door and emerge, walking down the aisle, toward the man I was about to wed.

The door opened in front of me and the bright light flooded in through the opening, blocking my view momentarily. I stepped out onto the soft carpeting that had been laid over the grass leading to the lake. People stood up from their seats, all turning to face me as I emerged from the darkness, into the sunshine. And then I started down the aisle. I kept my eyes focused straight ahead, at my groom, but I could feel all eyes on me.

I took measured footsteps, keeping time with the music, careful not to misstep in my heels on the uneven ground. This was perhaps the biggest day of my life and I wanted every bit to go according to plan, for both Zaron and me. And everyone here today wanted the same for us.

When I approached the altar, the officiant gestured to Zaron, who took my hands in his. Then we turned to the officiant, ready to get to the real purpose of this gathering, which was for me and Zaron to bind ourselves together forever.

The ceremony flew by as I barely heard a word the officiant spoke. I couldn’t take my eyes off my groom, standing strong and tall as we listened to the words that would unite us together as husband and wife. But before I knew it, it was time for our vows and Zaron was first.

“I am yours to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, ’til death do us part,” Zaron repeated, his voice steady, but his pulse racing beneath my grasp. I sensed Zaron’s excitement through the bond, but it also showed on his face, demonstrating to everyone just how much he cared for me. And I was sure he felt a similar sort of excitement from me.

I took a deep breath, ready to recite my vows. “I am yours to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, ’til death do us part.”

Those were the words of the marriage ceremony, binding us in the mortal eyes of both Naturals and the Fates. Simple, but still meaningful. And given the bonding mark that was clearly visible on my left shoulder, purely for show, since the Dragon Bonding Ritual had brought us together in ways a wedding ceremony simply could not. However, this rite was more for our guests than for us.

Next came the exchange of rings, a tradition in both the Natural and human worlds. They were simple gold bands, but made from the purest gold. And mine slid on right next to the engagement ring, which was far more significant than these bands. That ring contained a shard of his Dragon Heart Stone, something that connected us together in addition to the bond.

And finally, the moment we had all been waiting for, the kiss sealing our union. The second his lips pressed to mine, I knew I would be happy for the rest of my days.

That moment was followed by another as Zaron and I faced our guests, raising our hands, signaling that the reception could begin.

Zaron and I led the wedding party and then the guests into the house and the prepared ballroom. The piano sat in the middle, but now there were tables arrayed all around it, with fancy china and sparkling glasses. Food was to follow, a massive banquet prepared with the finest delicacies the Land of Light had to offer. It was Zaron’s money that had paid for it all, but I suspected his parents had contributed as well, as a gesture of support.

Roman came over to congratulate us as everyone filed in.

“It all looks beautiful,” Roman told us as we entered the ballroom along with the wedding party. “I haven’t been able to ask before now. How is the life of a private detective treating you?”

It was a bit odd for Roman to ask that now, of all times. But he looked so run down, so tired. His post-Ostin life had not been nearly as good as mine had.

“I like it,” I said. “I help people find closure. I’m working cases the Hunters Guild never touched because Magical Law Enforcement didn’t fund bounty contracts for them.”

“That sounds nice,” he said absently, staring off into space for a moment. “Good luck.” Then he walked away.

“Well, that was weird,” I commented as I turned to my new husband.

“Don’t worry. Let’s just enjoy the day. All I want to do right now is to dance the night away with my wife, and then take her upstairs to make love to her in every room in this house.”

He had certainly picked the right day to mention that.

“Maybe we can start with the ballroom and then move on to your study,” I suggested playfully.

“It is tempting,” Zaron admitted. “But there will be time for all of that later. And we have guests to entertain first.”

Zaron grabbed my hand and led me out onto the dance floor. The reception hadn’t technically begun yet, but it wasn’t too soon for a newlywed couple to kick things off. Especially when it was just us. This was our moment and our future. It was time to celebrate.

The band wasn’t ready yet. The bandstand was set up and their instruments were all there, but the band members were off doing whatever it was they did before their set. However, that meant there was no music. Not that it stopped us from dancing.

We made a full circle around the empty dance floor, taking up the entirety of the space as the guests filed in from outside and watched.

“Dancing without music?” Greyginia said as she stepped into the ballroom on Mr. Cain’s arm. “We can’t have that.”

Zaron’s mother left her husband’s side and strode confidently over to the piano. It still looked just as pristine as the first day I saw it. She opened the lid, revealing the ivory keys, and sat down to play.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but what I got was more than I could have dreamed of. Zaron’s mother began to play a tune on the piano and it was amazing. She swayed with the music, playing with passion. I didn’t recognize the song, but it was modern, with a good beat for dancing.

It also served to bring in all the other guests. And that included my sister Astra. She pulled her boyfriend onto the dance floor as others joined in. The room filled with life, with celebration, and a lot of smiles. Even the band showed up, and rather than get angry over the change in schedule, they joined in with Greyginia, jamming with her as the guests danced.

The reception was supposed to be a party and we definitely made it so. But eventually, after several songs, we got the reception back on schedule. Food was served, speeches were made, alcohol was imbibed, and the more traditional dances were conducted, although the first dance lost a little of its luster. Not that I cared. I was too happy to care about such matters. And our guests were clearly enjoying themselves.

Eventually, however, I found my mind wandering to thoughts of being alone with Zaron, naked in bed. I ached to feel Zaron inside of me, to release all the energy I had held onto since our last coupling. And I could feel his eagerness through the bond, sensing his desire for me growing stronger and stronger with every passing moment. He wanted me. He needed me.

Zaron was a good sport, though, following along as the evening progressed. Finally, however, he leaned down and whispered into my ear. “I want to show you something, if you’ll follow me.”

“Anything,” I said, taking his arm as we headed toward the door.

There were a few knowing glances as we waved goodbye to our guests. Greyginia winked as we slipped out and Astra laughed. I didn’t care, though. Zaron had a look in his eye and it excited me.

No sooner had we exited the ballroom, leaving the noise and gaiety behind us, when he swept me up into his arms. He carried me down the hallway, but not toward the stairs. He did not take me to our bedroom. Instead, he carried me in the direction of his treasure room.

I laughed at the thought. I certainly wasn’t against sex in the treasure room, but it left me wondering what was going on. What did Zaron have in mind?

However, we stopped short of the treasure room, instead entering the Roman style bath.

“I’ve already seen this room,” I pointed out as Zaron set me down on my feet in front of the steps that descended into the water.

“You’ve never had sex in the bath,” Zaron said in a husky voice as he pressed up behind me. His hands moved to the clasps holding my dress together and slowly unhooked them. One by one, the tiny metal hooks yielded to his fingers and the dress loosened around my body. Soon I stood before him in nothing but my heels, underwear, and stockings. And Zaron wasted no time helping me shed all those.

I spun around, stepping into Zaron’s embrace as I wrapped my arms around his neck. I kissed him deeply as our bodies entwined. And I reveled in the feeling of Zaron’s heat against me, even with his tuxedo still separating our bodies. But if Zaron could undress me, I could undress Zaron. After all, that was what I wanted to do anyway.

As Zaron shrugged off his tuxedo jacket, I worked to remove the tie and unbuttoned his shirt. When he pulled his white shirt from his pants, I ran my hands across his bare chest, reaching around to slide them down his back and the scaled dragon tattoo that resided there. I moaned in anticipation as I helped Zaron remove every article of his clothing. The sooner he was undressed, the sooner we could fully give into our desires.

Once we were both completely devoid of clothing, Zaron took me by the hand and led me into the water, taking the steps as we descended into the steamy pool.

“Come enjoy the waters, Mrs. Cain. The waters are quite relaxing and conducive to other pursuits.”

“Like what?” I teased, knowing full well what was about to happen.

“I guess you’ll have to be surprised,” Zaron countered, giving as good as he got. “Unless, of course, you decide that you’re no longer interested in that kind of thing anymore.”

“Never,” I replied. “Not as long as you’re involved. I could never get enough of you.”

Zaron grinned, wrapping his arms around me once we reached the full depth of the pool. It was only about four feet deep, not enough to completely work as a swimming pool, but more than enough for the two of us.

As we held each other, Zaron sank down, submerging the both of us until only our heads were above water. Then he kissed me, hard and fast. He explored my mouth with his tongue as my legs wrapped around his hips, pulling us together.

The warmth of the water seeped into my bones, relaxing me and easing away any stress planning for the wedding had left behind. As I clung to Zaron, the fire in my belly grew hotter and hotter. I had no idea what exactly Zaron had planned, but I was game no matter what.

However, before we could actually commit to the act, our first time together as a married couple, the door opened. I immediately ducked down, making sure the water concealed my body. Zaron and I both turned to face the interlopers.

It was Astra and her boyfriend, although it seemed they hadn’t noticed us yet. He had pushed Astra up against the open door, their lips locked together in passion. It appeared the two of them had snuck off as well, although they were less likely to be planning to go for a swim.

Zaron stood up straight, his lower half still fully submerged. He cleared his throat, announcing our presence.

Astra’s boyfriend’s head snapped to the side, seeing us for the first time. It took Astra a moment longer to react.

“Oh my Fates,” Astra said, her face red with embarrassment. “We’re so sorry. I thought you went upstairs.” She then turned toward her boyfriend. “Come on.”

I just waved as Astra pulled her boyfriend out of the room, slamming the door shut behind them. I stood up and laughed. The entire situation was unexpected. But at least it had been entertaining.

“That was… awkward,” Zaron said. “But what do you say we forget all about that and get back to the reason we’re in here? You’ve gotten me all worked up now, dear wife.”

I giggled and floated back over to him. “Perhaps we should pick up where we left off?” I suggested.

Zaron growled as he pulled me toward him, splashing water in the process. I giggled again, but knew I would soon be moaning in pleasure. And as he ran his tongue along his mark on my skin, I did just that, ready to consummate our marriage, over and over again.

I never imagined any of this would be possible, that I would meet the man of my dreams while going after one of the Magic’s Most Wanted. I never dreamed that I would be here, married and in love, and about to be pounded by my dragon shifter fated mate in his castle. Everything had changed since that day when Zaron walked into my life. And even after bringing down the Dark Merchant and the Rogue Elf, I had no idea I would capture the Black Dragon as well. Life certainly was an adventure, and I never wanted that to change.