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Her Elemental Dragons: Ride the Wave: Chapter 40

AURIC

FIVE YEARS LATER

The gardens outside Soulspire palace were full of people in their finest clothes, all of them chatting with excitement and anticipation as they waited for the wedding to begin. When the music ended a hush went through the crowd and the two brides stepped forward, wearing matching gowns in different colors. Brin’s gown was pale yellow and decorated with citrines to represent the Air Realm, while Leni’s was the color of fresh new leaves with emeralds for the Earth Realm. The gown was cut so that it didn’t hide Leni’s missing arm but celebrated it, a reminder of our triumph at the Spirit Temple and everything we’d sacrificed for peace.

With their hands clasped, Brin and Leni moved to stand in front of the altar, which was decorated with crystals, incense, candles, and bowls of water, representing the four elements. Calla, the High Priestess of the Fire God, greeted them both with a smile and began the ceremony.

I watched my best friend as she spoke the words binding her life to Leni’s, and I couldn’t help but smile. Brin had become one of my advisers in the last few years, helping me with diplomatic relations between the four Realms. After Kira released all the Realms to rule themselves independently, the Air and Water Realms had adapted easily and were eager for this change, but the Earth and Fire Realms had a harder time with it. They’d relied so much on the Black Dragon’s control and guidance that they’d struggled without it, but things were getting better now. Brin had been a big part of that.

Leni, on the other hand, worked for Reven. She’d proved to be a good scout and spy, plus she wasn’t afraid of the elementals…or anything else, really. And she never let her injury hold her back.

As the ceremony wrapped up, Kira took my hand with a bright smile. I caught Slade’s eye and he gave me a warm nod. His large family stood around him, his mother crying happy tears into a handkerchief and his other sister beaming with happiness. Brin’s parents were there too looking much more stoic, although they were smiling, and their eyes were bright. They’d accepted their daughter and the woman she loved, even if they’d once wanted me to marry her instead.

When the two women kissed and were proclaimed a married couple, the entire audience cheered. Kira raised a hand and petals of all different colors rained down on the garden like snow, and everyone turned their heads up toward the blessing.

“We never had a wedding,” I said to her. “Does that bother you?”

“Not at all,” Kira said. “We don’t need one. Our souls are bound together for all eternity. That’s stronger than any wedding ceremony.” She nudged me with her hip. “Besides, we get enough attention as it is. It’s nice to have a day honoring our friends instead.”

“Yes, it is.” I glanced around the garden, which Kira had put in last year to honor the Life Goddess. Hundreds of people now celebrated on its lawn, dancing to the music and congratulating the happy couple. There were elementals among us too, the ambassadors who had been staying in the palace the past few years while the negotiations with their people progressed. Reven had been a big part of that, and though relations with the elementals weren’t perfect, they were getting better. He spoke with one of them now while sipping a glass of wine, with Jasin beside him nodding at something he said.

Behind them, I caught sight of Cadock and Faya dancing with her son Parin, now about five years old. They’d gotten married two years ago, and Faya was pregnant with her second child now. She was another of my advisers, helping me with the Earth Realm in particular. As Cadock picked up Parin I noticed his slight limp, another reminder of our victory and everything we’d lost to achieve it. A touch of old sadness struck me as I remembered my brother Garet, who’d also fallen that day. I knew he would be proud of what we’d accomplished since then.

Kira and I made our way through the crowd, speaking to a few people along the way, before finally reaching Brin and Leni. They were still holding hands, their cheeks flushed, their eyes dancing with joy.

“Congratulations,” I said, giving them each a kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you,” Brin said, flashing a dazzling smile at Leni.

Kira gave each of them a hug. “I’m so happy for you both.”

“I couldn’t imagine two people more perfect for each other,” I said. “It’s about time you two got married.”

Leni laughed. “Brin was resistant for a long time, but I finally convinced her to marry me.”

Brin waved her comment away. “I wasn’t resistant, we were just busy!”

“Sure, that’s what it was.” Leni rolled her eyes with a smile.

“Excuse me if I was hesitant to get married after being forced to be betrothed to this man for so long,” Brin said, nudging me with her elbow.

I laughed. “Oh, so now it’s my fault?”

“Ignore her,” Leni said. “We wouldn’t have met at all if not for you.”

Slade rested a hand on his younger sister’s shoulder. “We’re all very happy that it worked out this way.”

We chatted for another few minutes before Brin and Leni were called over to talk to someone else, leaving the three of us alone in our corner of the garden.

“You and I are officially family now,” I said to Slade.

He wrapped one of his thick arms around my shoulder. “We’ve been family since Kira first brought us together.”

Kira leaned against me with a smile. “And this is why we don’t need a wedding.”

“As usual, you’re right,” I said, kissing her on the cheek.

No, we didn’t need a wedding. As Slade said, we were a family, bound to each other, heart and soul, our destinies entwined from our first breaths to the day we would leave this world. And in a few years, we’d have one more addition to that family. I, for one, couldn’t wait.


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