Bond of a Dragon by A J Walker Book Tour and Giveaway :)
Unable to raise his arm, Ivan instinctively closed his eyes to protect himself against the bright flash. He knew that flash and what it meant. They were about to transport. Feeling every ounce of energy leave his body, Ivan broke off his mental struggle with Merglan and allowed the white light burning through his eyelids to take him. He felt a hand grip him, too tired to open his eyes, Ivan thought, Anders has found a way. We’re leaving now. The light vanished, followed by a deafening crack that echoed into a hollow space. He slumped on his knees, wavering to keep his body from falling. With his eyes still clamped shut, Ivan inhaled through his nostrils, trying to smell the new surroundings where Anders had taken them. As he sniffed, he found the strength to crack open his eyelids. The light in the space around him was dim, what little there was seeping in through stained-glass windows. No! he thought, realizing where he was. He felt the hand that gripped his arm let go and then smelled the familiar scent of dragon fire on charred stone. Ivan felt the last of his iron will shatter as he toppled to the stone floor. He lay trembling from the exertion, having given all of his energy to helping Anders and Zahara find an opening. He heard Killdoor’s terrible roar and felt the dragon’s hot breath over his body. His ears screamed from the deafening roar so close to his head as the fierce dragon’s crow ended. The ringing in his ears blocked out the clicking of heels as they circled around him. Ivan saw Merglan’s boots, but his eyelids felt too heavy to keep his eyes open for long. He blinked slowly, resting his eyes for short intervals. He could see his enemy moving from standing to kneeling in a few choppy blinks. He saw Merglan shake his head. In a blink, Merglan was standing over him again. Then Ivan felt something hard push against his shoulder and he rolled onto his back, now looking up at the high ceiling. “I didn’t think you had that in you,” Ivan heard Merglan say through his fog. Ivan tried to move, but his quivering muscles didn’t respond. His verbal response came out as a low groan. “Careful now,” Merglan said again, this time sounding closer. Merglan’s hand was on his chest. “Don’t overdo it. It’s over, Will. For you. Your little son might’ve escaped me this time, but if you recall, so did you once.” Merglan’s words cut through the fog. Ivan understood that his efforts weren’t for nothing. He had allowed his son the time he needed to escape. Ivan attempted to summon magic, his last-ditch attempt to take Merglan down once and for all. If he could sneak in one well-placed shot to an artery, Ivan might have enough left in him to take the dark sorcerer out for good. His body seized as he attempted to summon the energy and Ivan knew he was likely going to overexert himself with this last attempt. The energy required to kill Merglan would, in turn, kill him, too, but based on how he felt, he was already dead. Better to die now in taking out the greatest threat to Kartania, than to die in a cell where Merglan was likely to place him. “Oh, Will,” Ivan heard Merglan say as he struggled to force the magic to come to him. “You can’t possibly think that will work; you’re practically broken.” Ivan didn’t give in, instead trying harder and feeling the tingling of magic starting to well in his skin. This is it, how I die, how I was always meant to go, he thought. Unfortunately for you, Merglan said, his voice now penetrating Ivan’s mind. I can’t let you kill yourself, not yet anyway. Ivan’s eyes snapped open. Just as he was attempting to force his last act of magic, Merglan’s hand covered his face. A red spark shot from his palm and all went pitch black.