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Her Elemental Dragons: Light the Fire: Chapter 6

I sat on the rock where Blane had hid the fireworks earlier and adjusted my ruined dress, wishing I’d spared a moment to change into a new one. I’d been too busy packing my things and debating how to explain all of this to the four men I hoped would come with me to the temple. If I couldn’t convince them, what then?

The volcano had calmed now, perhaps because I’d accepted the Fire God’s offer and was doing what he wanted. The four men stood in front of me on the sand, the moonlight illuminating their handsome features. I’d agonized for so long over which man I would marry and how I would ever choose, but now I wouldn’t have to—assuming they said yes.

“Is everything all right?” Falon asked.

“When I said we should meet later, I didn’t mean with these other guys,” Blane muttered.

Roth crossed his arms, looking surly. “Why have you brought us out here in the middle of the night?”

I drew in a deep breath. ‘There’s something I need to tell you. And more importantly, something I need to ask you. All of you.”

“What is it?” Derel asked.

There was no easy way to say this, so I got right to it. “After the volcano awakened I went looking for my sister on the beach to the north. There I met the Fire God.”

Falon’s brow furrowed. “I don’t understand.”

“What do you mean, you met the Fire God?” Blane asked.

“He came to me looking like a giant flaming man. He said he’s chosen me to be his High Priestess and that I need to go to the Fire Temple to serve him.” I glanced at the volcano, which still had a plume of smoke rising from it. “Only then will Valefire return to sleep.”

The four men gave each other confused and skeptical looks, probably wondering if they should be worried for my sanity or if I was trying to play some kind of prank on them, like we did when we were kids. I sighed and held out my hand, hoping the magic would come to me again this time. A spark flashed and then flickered into a small flame dancing in my palm. Oddly enough, it didn’t burn me at all.

“I know this is hard to believe,” I said, as they all gasped and stared at the fire. “But it’s the truth. I’m leaving tomorrow for the Fire Temple, and I’m here to ask if you will go with me and become my priests.” I swallowed and lowered my eyes. “And my mates.”

Blane raised an eyebrow. “Your mates?”

“You want us to become priests?” Falon asked, looking more baffled than ever. “And…share you?”

“How would that even work?” Derel asked.

“And how did you summon fire?” Roth added.

“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I’m still figuring all of this out myself.”

“Did he tell you anything else?” Falon asked.

“No, but he said we would learn more once we arrived at the temple. All I know is that the Fire God chose me and he told me to bring four men with me.” I closed my palm over the fire, snuffing it out. “I know this is a lot to ask of you, but I can’t imagine choosing any other men as my mates.”

“And if we say no?” Roth asked.

“I…suppose I’ll have to find others. The Fire God demanded four.” I shuddered at the thought of taking strangers as my mates.

Roth ran a hand over his scarred face. “Are you sure you truly want each of us?”

The hint of vulnerability in his voice made my chest ache. “Yes, I am.” I met their eyes in turn as I spoke slowly, hesitant to admit the feelings I’d kept inside so long. “I care about all of you so much. For years I’ve wondered if one of you might become my husband, but I wasn’t sure I could ever choose between you. Now I don’t have to choose, as long as you all say yes.”

None of the four men jumped on my offer, but each one seemed as though they were considering it. I didn’t blame them—it was a huge decision that would impact the rest of our lives. Yet with each passing minute, my path became clearer and I began to accept that this was my true calling. I only hoped they agreed to be part of my destiny.

I rose to my feet. “Think on it tonight. I plan to leave at dawn.”

“So soon?” Derel asked.

“The sooner I get to the temple the sooner the town will be safe from the volcano.”

“What of your family?” Falon asked.

“I’m going to miss them terribly, but this is something I have to do. My mother agreed—she said our family is descended from the last High Priestess. Besides, we’ll be able to visit now and then, and our families can come to the temple anytime too. I’ll still see my family when I can.”

Blane ran a hand through his dark hair. “This is a lot to take in.”

“I know, and I’m so sorry. If you’re outside my house in the morning, then I’ll be honored to have you at my side on this journey. If you decide to stay, I completely understand and won’t hold it against you.” I gave them all a weak smile. “We’ll always remain friends, no matter what you choose.”

I stepped off the rocks and began the trek back toward my house to finish packing and try to get some sleep before my long walk to the volcano, though I knew sleep would elude me tonight. I’d be too worried over what the men would decide and what would face me in the days to come.

As I passed the men, Blane’s hand shot out and caught my arm. “Wait.” He pulled me back toward him, taking me in his arms so suddenly I lost my breath. “I’m going with you.”

His mouth descended on mine and he stole a demanding, possessive kiss right in front of the other men. As always, my body melted at his touch and begged for more, even if I worried what the others would think.

When I managed to pull back, I asked, “You are?”

He ran his rough thumb along my sensitive lips. “I don’t have anything tying me down here except you. If you leave, I’m going with you.”

“I’m going too,” Derel said, surprising me even more than Blane.

I spun around to face him. “What about your family? Everyone expects you to take over as the town butcher one day.”

He shrugged. “They’ll have to find someone else. Besides, my mother would never let me hear the end of it if I didn’t go with you.”

“Thank you,” I said, sliding my arms around him. After a moment’s hesitation, he embraced me back, his smoldering eyes staring down at me as if he wanted to kiss me. His hands skimmed down my back, getting distractingly close to my behind. Other than the dance earlier, it was the most intimate we’d ever been together. Most of the time we hated each other…but maybe we didn’t. Not really.

“I’m in too,” Falon said. “The temple is probably falling apart anyway. You’ll need a good carpenter.”

I moved into Falon’s open arms with a smile. “Yes, we will.”

His hug was friendly, though he held me tight against him. I found myself pressing my face to his neck, breathing him in, wishing I was bold enough to press my lips there. Would he kiss me back if I pulled him down to my mouth? Was he going with me because he cared for me too—or only as my friend?

I turned to Roth, the only one who hadn’t spoken up, hoping he’d say he was coming too. It had to be the four of them, my closest friends, the men I’d always loved, but he shook his head. “I’m sorry, Calla. Like I said, you’re better off without me.”

He walked away as sadness dragged me down. I bowed my head, unable to watch him leave, knowing it meant the end for the two of us. For the past few years I’d held on to the hope that he would come around and we’d have a chance at happiness again, but now I knew that had been futile.

“Roth!” Blane called out, as Roth’s form vanished in the darkness.

“Let him go,” Derel said.

“Are you okay, Calla?” Falon asked, running his hands along my bare arms as if to warm them.

I forced a smile and blinked back tears. “Yes, I’m all right. I didn’t really expect any of you to say yes. Especially so quickly. Thank you so much for going on this journey with me and everything that entails.” I glanced between the three of them, thinking how lucky I was that they’d agreed to come with me. “Now we should get some rest—we leave at first light.”


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