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Her Elemental Dragons: Embrace the Dark: Chapter 10

We had sex two more times that night, just in case that was the problem, but the Air God still never appeared to give us his blessing. Eventually we slept, tangled in each other’s arms and legs, with sated smiles on our faces.

As dawn’s bright light woke us, we made love again, just for good measure, but then we grew worried.

“This isn’t normal,” I said. “Not from everything I’ve been told. The Air God should have spoken to us.”

“Can you use air magic?” Erroh asked.

“I don’t know.” I reached out a hand toward the bed, and to my surprise, the sheets began to moved a little. “Yes, I think so!”

“That’s good. The bonding worked then.”

“Can you turn into a dragon?”

“I’m not really sure how, but I can try.” Erroh’s brows furrowed in concentration, but then golden scales began to slide across his skin. His body grew larger, shifting and changing, until he grew wings and a long tail, along with sharp fangs and talons. He let out a roar and stomped his feet, swishing his tail around, and then gave me what I think was a toothy grin. “That was incredible!”

I laughed and rested a hand on his golden snout. “I guess the Air God isn’t coming, but he gave us both his blessing anyway. I’ll have to ask Auric what he thinks on our way home.”

“Hopefully the Air God doesn’t regret his choice,” Erroh said, in his rasping dragon voice.

“Of course he doesn’t. If he did, you wouldn’t be a dragon right now. Let me see your wings.” He spread them wide, and I walked around him and stroked the scales. “Very nice. I can’t wait to ride you.”

He snorted. ‘I thought you just did that.’

I rolled my eyes. “You’ll probably need to practice flying, but maybe not. Auric got the hang of it instantly, while Jasin and Slade needed more practice. Either way, soon I’ll be able to fly beside you.”

‘Get on,’ he said. ‘I want to see what it feels like.’

‘I’m naked!”

‘After what we just did, I don’t think that matters.”

With a laugh, I climbed up and settled myself on his back, his hard scales pressing into my core. He walked across the platform, spreading his wings, and I enjoyed the feel of his muscles moving under my legs and excitable areas. Then I climbed off, and he shifted back into his human form. I could tell he wanted to try flying, but probably not from this great height.

Once we dressed, we headed back down the tower, where we met my dad outside the library. “How did it go?” he asked.

Erroh and I exchanged a worried glance. “Um…” I started.

Auric’s face fell. “Oh no. Was it awkward? I know first times can be difficult but—’

“No! It’s not that!” I said, my face turning red.

Erroh rubbed the back of his neck. “All of that was fine. Really good actually.”

I had to quickly get us back on track before this became more awkward. “The Air God never visited us.”

Auric’s jaw dropped. “What?”

We quickly explained what happened, minus all the naughty parts, and confirmed the bonding worked. Dad said he’d never read about anything like that occurring before. We asked Blair and the priests about it, but they were just as surprised as we were, although they’d also not spoken to the God for some time either. That was pretty normal though—they often only appeared to choose a new High Priestess and after the Ascension bonding.

After a quick breakfast we set off for Soulspire, with Auric promising to show Erroh how to fly later and to give me some rudimentary air magic lessons. As we flew, it was hard not to feel disappointment though. I’d expected to meet a God, and he’d never arrived. Was I not worthy of his time? Or did this have something to do with the Death Goddess and my fifth mate? Hopefully once I bonded with Carth at the Water Temple we’d gain more insight into the matter.

When we arrived home that night I hoped to be able to speak with my mother, but she and my other dads had already left for Divine Isle to meet with the elementals, and there was a note requesting Auric join them the next day. My other mates grilled Erroh for details, but I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to collapse in my bed.

Finally, I got a good night’s sleep.

In the morning, I was excited to get to work. When I got outside, I found Auric and Erroh already in a nearby field in their dragon forms, and I watched from afar as my father taught my mate how to fly up into the air. Erroh caught on quickly, like he was born to be a dragon, and I laughed as he started doing flips in the sky. I laughed even harder when he crashed right into Auric, making them both fall a little, until their wings caught them.

They shifted back to human form as I approached. “That was fun to watch,” I said.

“I got a little carried away there,” Erroh said. “Sorry.”

“It’s fine.” Auric smiled at us both. “I still remember how thrilling it was to be a dragon at first. Sora, I’d hoped to begin your air training today, but unfortunately Kira wishes me to visit Divine Isle to speak with the elementals. I’m sure Erroh can give you some tips though, and I can help you both some more when I return.”

“I’d like that.” I said, giving him a hug.

Soon he was flying across the sky as a dragon again, and Erroh started showing me a few of the things Auric had taught him. While we were training, my other mates joined us to practice their own magic. It was so easy being around them, joking and laughing as we’d done our entire lives, with the exception of Parin. He stood a little apart from us, solemn and stiff, like he wasn’t sure he belonged there. I wasn’t entirely sure either, although my pulse quickened when I looked at his handsome face.

Afterward, we all headed into the city to share a drink at a pub, although not Varek’s one, of course. We stayed on the other side of the city entirely, though I distantly wondered if I should have invited him. No, he’d been clear he wanted nothing to do with this part of being my mate.

“To Erroh and Sora!” Carth said, as he raised his tankard of ale with a wink. “And to getting that over with, so we can head to the Water Temple tomorrow!”

We all raised our glasses and laughed, before chugging our ale down. Then Erroh wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “We had a pretty incredible night. Are you sure you want to follow that?”

Carth smirked. “I’m sure I can manage to top whatever you did.”

Parin held up a hand, his face serious. “Wait. Have you noticed it’s cleared out in here?”

I set down my ale and glanced around the tavern. Parin was right—when we’d entered, the place had been packed, but now only a few people in hoods sat at various spots around the room. The bartender and serving staff were gone too.

Then the people in hoods all stood and turned toward us, wearing those same blank gray masks as the protestors the other night.

I hastily pushed my chair back and stood. “We have company.”

There were about twelve of them, and they didn’t have any weapons. Then again, we’d left most of ours behind too. But we had magic.

“We are the Unseen, and we reject the rule of the Dragons,” one of them said, wearing a black mask. Then she—I think it was a she, anyway—opened her hand and shot a ball of fire at us. We jumped out of the way, hitting the dirty, sticky floor as the flames engulfed the table where we’d been sitting. I could only gape at it, and at the person who must be their leader.

“Believe me now?” I asked the guys, as we all scrambled to our feet and summoned our elemental powers. Carth dumped a bucketful of water on the table, dousing the flames, just as the woman sent another burst of fire at us. This time Zain managed to gain control of it and throw it back at her, but then one of the other masked people used water to stop it.

That meant more of them had powers. Maybe all of them. How?

I didn’t have time to find out, not when the elemental attacks came quickly. Floorboards ripped up and flew toward us in sharp, pointed stakes. Chairs and tables were blown into us, along with tankards and other glasses. Shards of ice shot toward us, along with balls of fire. The attack came from all sides, and we were totally surrounded and outnumbered.

“Shift into a dragon!” Zain called to Erroh, as he melted a shard of ice midair.

Erroh used his air magic to toss a chair out of the way. “I can’t—there’s not enough room in here!”

I tried to use my air magic to blast someone back, but I only made a light breeze. Damn, I needed more practice. Instead, I kicked one of the Unseen in the chest, then knocked them out with a quick move Reven taught me. One down. Many to go.

It was a good reminder that I didn’t need elemental magic or weapons to take people down. I’d been trained by the best, after all. I moved through the pub room, using my combat and parkour skills to avoid attacks and knock the attackers down, while my mates handled the magic flying all around us.

Suddenly the tavern door burst open, and Varek stood in the doorway. He grabbed the nearest cultist by the throat and the life drained out of the screaming man, turning his skin black.

“Leave this place, or death will find you too,” his voice boomed out, making everyone pause. I couldn’t help but stare at him too. Darkness surrounded Varek like a cloak, and he looked absolutely terrifying.

And devastatingly handsome.

He wore a shirt that showed off his muscular, inked arms, and with his hands clenched he stalked forward toward another cultist. The masked person stepped back quickly, but they were too slow, and Varek grabbed them next. As death took the cultist, the other Unseen all stumbled and tripped and forced their way out of the building. By the time the cultist’s body hit the ground, the tavern was empty of everyone except us, along with the people we’d already taken down.

Varek ripped the mask off the dead cultist and tossed it aside, then shook his head in disgust.

“What did you do?” I asked. “You killed those people!”

“I’m not the only one.” He gestured at some other cultists we’d taken out in the battle.

I set my hands on my hips. “That was self-defense. And many of them are unconscious, not dead. You didn’t have to kill them!”

“I was defending you,” he snapped. “I’m the champion of Death. This is my way.”

“I didn’t need defending!”

“How did you know we were here?” Parin asked, as he stepped over a broken chair to approach us.

“I heard there would be an attack from my informants.” Varek shot me an arrogant look. “Aren’t you glad I have a criminal organization now?”

“We had it under control,” I snapped.

“I’m not so sure about that.” Erroh glanced down at his arm and winced at the burn there.

“You were right about the human with fire powers,” Zain said. “We shouldn’t have dismissed your concerns. It was just hard to believe without seeing it with my own eyes.”

“And they had not only fire, but all the elements,” Parin added.

“The Unseen are getting elemental magic somehow.” I moved across the room and took Erroh’s arm in my hands, then let out some of my healing life magic. The burn vanished and the skin repaired itself in seconds. “We need to find out how.”

“We need to head to the Water Temple,” Carth said, his voice serious for once. “We were outnumbered today. We need to finish bonding with Sora so we’re all at full strength for the next attack.”

I wished my parents were in Soulspire so I could talk to them about what happened tonight. With them gone, it was even more reason to become dragons quickly so we could defend ourselves and the city. Mother had told me not to rush, but what other choice did I have?

I sighed. “We’ll leave first thing in the morning, though it might take longer without a ride from one of my dads.”

‘I’ll fly you,” Erroh said. ‘I just need a good night’s rest first.’

“I’ll see what my people can learn about the Unseen and how they’re getting magic,” Varek said.

I bit my lip, but then forced out, “Thank you.”

Varek moved close and looked down at me with smoldering intensity. My breath caught when it seemed as though he might kiss me, and try as I might to ignore the attraction between us, I couldn’t. His very presence tugged at me and made me want to step into his arms and embrace his darkness.

“Try not to get killed before our bonding,” he growled, and all the desire vanished.

Or so I told myself.


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