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Doctor Dragon: Earth Dragons Series: Book 6, page 1

 

Doctor Dragon: Earth Dragons Series: Book 6


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Doctor Dragon: Earth Dragons Series: Book 6


  Doctor Dragon

  Earth Dragons Series: Book 6

  Charlene Hartnady

  Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  About the Author

  Also by Charlene Hartnady

  Excerpt

  Copyright © October 2019, Charlene Hartnady

  Cover Art by Melody Simmons

  Copy Edited by KR

  Proofread by brigittebillings@gmail.com

  Produced in South Africa

  charlene.hartnady@gmail.com

  Doctor Dragon is a work of fiction and characters, events and dialogue found within are of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, either living or deceased, is purely coincidental.

  With the exception of quotes used in reviews no part of this book may be reproduced or shared in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to digital copying, file sharing, audio recording, email and printing without prior consent in writing from the author.

  Created with Vellum

  Chapter 1

  Druze watched Stone pace from one side of the room to the other. His jaw was tight. His eyes wild. His hair stood up in different directions. Every muscle looked bunched, every tendon roped. “My female is pregnant,” the male announced, looking like it was the worst thing that had ever happened.

  Druze nodded once, not sure what to say. It didn’t feel like congratulations were in order. The male looked anything but happy about the news. “I thought the Feral were all infertile,” he muttered, more to himself.

  Stone ignored him and raked a hand through his hair, pulling on the ends, his eyes held a tortured look. Yes, that was the correct way to describe him; the male looked tortured.

  Stone’s throat worked as he looked Druze’s way. “I need your help.”

  He nodded. “Anything.” Druze wasn’t sure what he could possibly do.

  “Cordia is the last of the fertile Feral females.” There it was then. “Almost all the others were wiped out by a disease called clutch sickness. They are like the Fire dragons and have eggs instead of live young,” he added.

  Druze nodded. He already knew this but wanted to show that he was listening. He still couldn’t fathom why Stone had come to him. They weren’t friends. Not anymore.

  “The females would become with egg ‒ or clutch as the Ferals like to say. They later became fatally ill.”

  “Yes.” He frowned. “It is rare for an illness to affect an entire species,” he added, deep in thought about the plight of the creatures.

  Stone pulled in a breath, nodding in agreement. “The Feral are the basest of all the species. Despite this disease ravaging their females, they continued to breed.”

  “Jesus.” Druze pushed out a heavy breath.

  “I know. They were driven to keep going. To keep trying. The few females who survived the illness only made it through because they had their eggs cut out with a silver blade. Most didn’t survive the invasive action.”

  “I can imagine.”

  “They are infertile as a result.”

  “What happened with your female?” Druze frowned, rubbing his chin.

  “Cordia didn’t have a mate. She vowed to stay away from males, who, in turn, stayed away from her.”

  “Until you came along?” He raised his brows.

  Stone’s eyes grew stormy. He nodded once. “Despite taking every precaution, or trying to, Cordia still became pregnant.” His jaw tightened. His whole body bristled.

  “And now you are worried about your female?” Although Druze posed it as a question, it was more of a statement.

  “I’m terrified. She is a Feral and with clutch…my young. My mate—”

  Druze widened his eyes. “You mated the female?”

  Stone nodded, a hint of a smile toyed with his lips for half a beat before he turned serious again. “I love her. She’s my world. If anything were to happen to her…” He let the sentence die. That tortured look was back in his eyes. Eyes that reminded him of her.

  His female.

  His world.

  At least, she used to be.

  His biggest fuck up!

  “I need you to help me save her.” Stone sounded anguished. His voice broke. His eyes clouded.

  “I’m not sure how I can help you. I will…of course I will…do my best but…” He shrugged. “I only qualified a year ago. Why not one of the elders? The humans are far more advanced than we are. A human would be the obvious choice.”

  “No.” Stone shook his head. “This is your passion. I know you’ve been studying hard of your own accord.”

  “Yes, everything pertaining to dragon fertility. I don’t know much about the Feral.”

  “You are driven, Druze. More so than any other healer, certainly more than any human doctor. I trust you to do this for me.” Stone gripped his arm in a tight hold. The male’s jaw was tight.

  You owe me.

  That’s what he read in that moment in Stone’s eyes. You owe me. The male was right. He did owe him. Druze owed Stone big time. He owed him his life. “Then I am happy to help out. I will do whatever it takes.”

  “Thank you.”

  “We don’t know much about the Feral, and by the sounds of things, and based on how things turned out, they don’t know too much about this clutch sickness themselves. Do you know if a Feral ever successfully bred with another species?”

  “No…never. The first Feral-human mating has only just resulted in a pregnancy. The female happens to be Cordia’s best friend. Maybe we can help her as well.” Stone looked worried. His eyes were bloodshot.

  “This is a big ask,” Druze said. “I will do some research into this species. I’ll do what it takes.” He grit his teeth for a moment. “I owe you, Stone. I’m so fucking sorry for—”

  “You don’t owe me anything,” Stone interjected. “You’ve suffered long and hard as well. Probably more so. You’ve dedicated your life to finding a cure for the dragon females.”

  “For Amethyst.” Druze felt his heart clench in his chest. It still hurt. Like his chest was on fire. Like she had died only yesterday. “I want to find a cure for all the species. I had planned on finding a cure for the dragons first but,” he shrugged, “plans are made to change. I’ll start with the Feral. I have been researching all the species. That’s how I knew about their healing powers. I must tell you that there isn’t much information out there.”

  “I know.”

  “I’ll need to find out everything there is to know about a Feral pregnancy. About their clutch and how it all works.”

  “Oh…” Stone pushed out a breath. It made Druze feel uneasy. “Cordia is pregnant with two eggs instead of three. Ferals always have three eggs. This pregnancy is already different to what’s considered ‘normal’ to a Feral.”

  “We first have to establish normal…a baseline, and then go from there. I’ll need to bring experts on board. We’ll need to run it past Granite. Maybe e
ven Blaze.”

  “I had thought as much. I’ll handle the royals. Macy and Sand’s gynecologist could work. She was locked up with them. She already knows about our existence. She’s been treating Macy during her pregnancy. If the female is sufficiently competent, she would be the obvious choice. Of course, it is up to you.”

  “And possibly a veterinarian,” Druze added. It was something he had given plenty of thought to over the years. Some of the other species, like them, were also related to animals. A specialist in that field might give them the insights they needed.

  “You are right. Just make sure the veterinarian is avian.”

  Druze felt like a complete idiot at that moment. “What’s avian? I’ve never heard of it.”

  “We require a vet who specializes in birds. Feral are half eagle and half lion. Their reproductive organs are a mix between a bird and a human.”

  “Interesting.” Druze nodded. “I will need to understand timelines. I think the first step will be to bring the right experts on board. Then we’ll gather information and run tests. Hopefully, it won’t be necessary. Your female might not contract the illness.”

  Stone shook his head, his eyes clouding. “I hope to the gods that you are right, but it is not a gamble I’m willing to take. We have to know what the hell we’re dealing with before anything happens.”

  “I agree.” Druze began to formulate a plan.

  Chapter 2

  Brittney pushed the button to inflate the cuff on her patient’s arm. She watched as the device filled with air, smiling at Macy, who smiled back.

  She glanced at Sand, Macy’s mate; he looked tense. The guy was pale. His eyes were wide. He looked like he was sweating even though the air-conditioner was on.

  “This scare that you had—” Brittney began.

  “It was nothing,” Macy interjected. “I had some spotting and some pain, but it soon dissipated. I’m absolutely fine now.”

  Brittney looked back over at Sand. His throat worked and he clutched Macy’s hand tighter, forcing a tight smile. Didn’t look like nothing to her. Then again, he wasn’t human so maybe that explained the strange behavior. “You say this happened a couple of weeks ago?”

  Macy nodded.

  “Next time, please come in, or at the very least, give me a call. Don’t just sweep something like that under the rug. Bleeding can be a definite sign of a problem. Certainly if coupled with pain.”

  “We will, Doc,” Sand said, voice gruff.

  The machine made a beeping noise as the cuff inflated sufficiently for the pressure to become greater than the systolic pressure.

  “We will.” Macy looked calm.

  It didn’t take long for a number to appear on the screen. “All good,” Brittney announced, removing the cuff. The Velcro made a tearing noise. “Everything looks fine. I only wish we could perform an ultrasound.” Non-human pregnancies did not allow for such luxuries since the wall of the uterus became impenetrable to sound waves required to give a picture of the fetus. “I would like to do a blood workup.”

  Macy made a face.

  “It’s just a tiny prick.” Brittney smiled. “It’s the only tool I have to get an idea of what’s happening inside of you.”

  “I know. I don’t mind.” Macy put a hand to her belly, which was slightly rounded.

  “I will kiss it all better.” Sand looked lovingly at his mate. She’d been there when the two of them weren’t even a couple. At least, they maintained they weren’t, but Britt had known otherwise. It wasn’t hard to see what had been brewing between them. How they couldn’t keep their hands off one another. Then there were the looks, the knowing smiles.

  Brittney prepared a tray with everything she needed while Macy and Sand talked quietly together. Macy glanced her way every now and then, making her think that maybe they were talking about her. Why would they do that though?

  “You ready?” she asked, placing the tray on the table.

  Macy nodded.

  “You’re right-handed, if I remember correctly?”

  Macy nodded. “Yep, that’s correct.”

  Brittney placed the tourniquet around her arm and pulled it tight. Next, she pulled on the rubber gloves.

  “Do you enjoy your job?” Sand asked, out of the blue.

  She looked at him for a moment or two, trying to determine why he would ask her a question like that. “Absolutely,” Brittney answered. “I’ve been a gynecologist for years. I’ve owned this practice for…must be going on five of those years.” Wow! Had it been that long?

  “You get to help women like me,” Macy said.

  “Exactly.” Britt picked up the needle. “Are you ready?”

  Macy nodded, her brow creased, and she looked away.

  “Are you still averse to needles?” Brittney asked, raising her brows. She already knew the answer to her own question.

  “Yes.” Macy’s voice was high-pitched.

  “Then you’ll remember that I’m good at this. I won’t hurt you. Take a deep breath.”

  Macy did as she asked. Sand held her right hand. He still looked nervous.

  Brittney rubbed the area with an alcohol-infused wipe to disinfect the area, and then gently pushed the needle into Macy’s vein. The other woman made a little whimpering noise.

  Sand emitted a low growl, his eyes narrowing on her. “I take it that shifters get very protective of their wives when you guys are pregnant.”

  “Sorry, Doc.” He pushed out a pent-up breath.

  Macy giggled. “You won’t believe how bad it gets. He wanted to carry me up the stairs leading to your front door.”

  Brittney laughed as well. “All five of them?” She shook her head. “That is bad.”

  “I can’t help it.” Sand looked sheepish. “I worry. I can’t imagine what Stone must be going through.”

  Brittney inserted the tube, watching it fill with blood. “Who is Stone? I’m assuming it’s a person…a shifter maybe?”

  “He’s a very good friend of mine.”

  Brittney removed the tube, placing it on the tray and inserting a second tube, watching as it started to fill with blood. She glanced at Sand, who looked tense all over again. Not the same kind of tense he had been a moment ago though.

  “He mated a Feral.”

  “Oh.” Her eyes widened as she recalled her time in confinement. All three of them had been captured by a Feral woman called Leola. She’d only found out the creature’s name after their ordeal. “Why would he want to do something like that?” The Feral lady had been terrifying. More masculine than feminine. Those eyes had been freaky too. So cold. So calculating. A shiver ran down her spine.

  “It turns out that not all Feral are evil. Not that Leola was evil. Although her predicament doesn’t excuse her actions,” Sand commented.

  “It didn’t excuse her actions at all.” Britt removed the last tube, taking out the needle and placing a piece of cotton wool over the hole in Macy’s skin. “I mean, I understand that she was desperate for a child but…to kidnap people and to force them to breed, like cattle.” She held down on the wad with her pinky and sealed the needle which she placed on the tray. Lastly, she used a piece of tape to hold down the wad. “Leave that on until you get home.”

  “It’s most likely already healed,” Sand remarked. “My female’s healing capabilities have improved since mating me and will have improved even more since becoming pregnant.”

  “I’ll leave it on anyway.” Macy touched the tape. “You’ll let us know if there’s anything to be concerned about?”

  “No news is good news.”

  “How long will it take to hear?” Sand was frowning heavily. He looked angry. She’d come to realize that it was just concern and that protective streak that she found endearing.

  “I doubt there’ll be anything to report but I’ll let you know in a couple of days. You won’t have to wait too long.” She touched the side of his arm and Sand visibly relaxed.

  “Good to know.” He licked his lips, taking Macy
s hand and helping her to her feet. Sand looked her way. “The reason I’m worried about my friend’s mate—”

  “The Feral?” Brittney wondered why he was telling her all this. Maybe he needed more reassurance. Brittney folded her arms and nodded to show she was listening to Sand.

  “Yes,” he said. “Her name is Cordia. She’s actually very nice. You’d like her.”

  “You’d definitely like her. She’s nothing like Leola,” Macy piped up.

  “Nothing at all,” Sand added. “Anyway, she’s pregnant.”

  Brittney frowned. “I thought you told me that all Feral women were infertile. That no babies have been born to their species for years and years.”

  “That’s correct.” Sand nodded. “Cordia is the last fertile Feral female. She accidentally got pregnant. Stone and Cordia are fearful she might contract the same illness that wiped out the entire female population.” He raked a hand through his hair. “We wondered if you would be interested in helping a task team to find a cure.”

  Brittney made a face. She shook her head. “I’m flattered, but how would I do that? I run a practice. I’m fully booked for the next six months.”

  “Exactly.” Sand narrowed his eyes in on hers. “You’re great at what you do, and you already know about us. It would mean taking a couple of months off.”

  “Months?” She shook her head, her mouth falling open. “I couldn’t possibly take such a long break. I’m lucky I didn’t lose more patients when I was away before…when she took me.” Brittney chewed her lower lip for a beat. “I’m sure this Cordia is very nice, but I don’t know how I would feel about having a Feral as a patient.”

 
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