YA High Fantasy
Godlike dragons with stained-glass wings and jewel-like scales protect Ava’s home in the sky. As a human-dragon hybrid, she’s always served them without question. Until she finds one devouring her father, and she ends its life. Panicked and hunted, she flees to the human desert beneath the city.
Except she’s not alone. Vito, the dragon Ava serves, follows. He refuses to abandon Ava, yet doesn’t know her crime. With Vito by her side, Ava can’t surrender to those chasing her without risking his life.
The city controls the desert’s water supply, and the long-suffering ground dwellers want all dragon-kind dead — including Ava and Vito. They offer Ava a deal: if she tells them the secrets of her city, she gets refuge. Ava must choose between her life and the city she once called home—including Vito, the only loved one she has left.
How long is the fall down to earth?
I lean against the fence that marks the drop from the floating city to the desert below, digging my fingernails into the wet wood. The city rests drowsy behind me, golden spires and cobblestone roads cloaked in morning mist. My legs shake underneath me. I fidget with my fingerless, scaled gloves.
It’s morning already.
And the smell of blood is still so strong.
I should have left hours ago, but I couldn’t leave my room, couldn’t stop scrubbing. Hot iron blooms in my nostrils as if the sticky red liquid is still smeared across my face, my clothes, my palms.
But it isn’t on my skin. I’ve washed myself pink. It can’t be there.
Gravel scrapes behind me. I curl my wings snug against me, gripping the fence tighter and looking around.
Once someone finds the corpses, once they know I’m gone, I’m dead. And yet, here I am, not ready to leave the people that would kill me. My fingers itch for the sabre I left behind.
They’re coming this way. They’re going to spot and capture me if I don’t move. Sweat beads on my forehead.
I lean forward, stretching my wings slowly so the soft stained-glass feathers don’t make sound —
Something grabs the collar of my shirt. Hot, moist breath blows across the nape of my neck and through my shorn hair as I’m yanked backwards.
I scream and grab my dagger, but I know it’s useless.