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Her Elemental Dragons: Shake the Earth: Chapter 16


When I woke the next morning, I found the Resistance base a frenzy of activity. Soldiers were arming themselves and preparing for travel, while other people rushed around, delivering supplies and messages, or gathering their things. It would take a week for them to reach Salt Creek Tower since they didn’t have dragons they could ride to get their people into position quickly. Those who wouldn’t fight would remain here in relative safety, but were prepared to escape if things went badly and the Dragons tracked the Resistance back to Slateden.

I avoided the commotion and found a quiet room used for training that now sat empty, where I pulled out my twin swords. When something was bothering me I found physical exertion and the familiar slice of my blades helped clear my mind. Not that something was bothering me, not exactly. It just annoyed me that I hadn’t seen Kira much in the last few days, except when we were in meetings with Parin. She spent all her free time with her other mates, the ones who followed her around like they couldn’t stand to be apart from her for a single minute and proclaimed their love daily. I would never be one of those men, and I had no right to demand her time when I couldn’t give her anything in return. I shouldn’t be annoyed. I shouldn’t want her attention all to myself. But I was a selfish bastard at the best of times.

“There you are,” Kira said, from the doorway. “For a while there I’d worried you’d run off again.”

“I haven’t, but I can still change my mind.” The reminder of how I’d left her once stung, but I ignored it as I lowered my blades. She wore her hunting leathers today, and I admired the way they clung to her body and showed off her shapely hips and ample breasts. She’d come looking for me, and that was something at least.

“I came to tell you that we’re leaving today to visit Slade’s village and check that his family is safe. I’d like it if you would come with us, but it’s your decision of course.”

“I might.” If she wanted me there I would go, but I didn’t want to seem too eager either. I raised one of my swords. “Care to join me for a couple rounds?”

She stepped into the room, her eyes bright. “I think I can spare a few moments.”

I passed her one of my swords, since hers was absent. “How generous of you.”

She swung the blade, growing accustomed to its weight. “Don’t tell me you missed me.”

If only she knew. I gave her a wicked smile. “I’m sure you wish I did.”

We each took position across from each other and got into fighting stances. I’d been training with Kira whenever we had a spare moment, usually when we camped for the night or before we took off in the morning, and her form had improved a lot over the last few weeks. She’d never be as good as me (then again, who was?), but I was satisfied she could defend herself better now.

Kira attacked first, but I easily parried her blow and countered with my own. She danced out of the way, and I admired how light on her feet she was. Her eyes took on that determined look I’d seen a lot lately, and she adjusted her stance and struck again.

“You’re getting better,” I said, as I sidestepped her strike.

“All thanks to you.” She gave me a wry grin. “Or should I say thanks to the Black Hood?”

I shook my head at that ridiculous name. “No one calls me that anymore. And I’m happy to take the credit, but you’re also more focused these days.”

Her grin faded and she gripped the sword tighter. “If I’m going to stop the Dragons, I need to be focused.” We traded blows again for some time, before she asked, “What do you think of the plan?”

“It’s risky. It assumes the Dragons will leave the Earth Temple to defend against an attack, but there are a lot of things that could go wrong. And you’ll be in the center of the danger if it does.”

“Then it’s a good thing I’ll have you with me to watch my back.”

That was something I’d insisted on before agreeing to this mad scheme. The plan had Kira and Slade sneaking into the Earth Temple, and there was nothing stealthy about Slade. They needed me to scout ahead and keep them safe. But even if we succeeded, that was only the beginning of our problems.

“And what will we do when it’s time to visit the Water Temple?” I asked. “The Dragons won’t fall for this trick twice.”

Her brows pinched together. “I don’t know, but we’ll have to worry about that when the time comes.”

She attacked me with renewed vigor that I sensed was born out of her own frustration and grief. I decided to let her gain the advantage to boost her confidence, but she struck harder than I expected. The blade flew out of my hand, and a victorious smile lit up her face.

She levelled her sword at my neck. “Surrender.”

“Never.” We were both breathing heavily from the exertion, and the air became thick with sexual tension. I darted forward and stole the sword from her hand, then pressed her back against the wall, the blade at her throat. “You still have a lot to learn.”

She gazed into my eyes as I pinned her there, and I became aware of the rise and fall of her breasts and the feel of her soft body against me. “I’m eager to learn anything you want to teach me.”

Her words brought all sorts of naughty things to mind, and I couldn’t resist capturing her lips with mine. The sword fell from my hand and hit the ground with a sharp clang, but I was too wrapped up in kissing Kira to care. I caged her in, then dragged her arms up over her head, pinning them to the wall. With one hand I held her there, as I let my other hand skim down her side, finally allowing myself to touch her the way I wanted. Last time she’d initiated the kiss, but now it was my turn.

Her body melded against mine as the kiss grew deeper and more intense. When my thumb slid over her taut nipple it earned me a soft, delicious gasp. Her touch, her taste, her responsiveness…it all made me want to devour her.

“Kira, are you in here?” Brin’s voice called. I jerked away from Kira and released her arms as the door to the room opened. Brin poked her head in, then flashed a knowing grin. “Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt.”

I reached down and picked up both my swords, then sheathed them. “It’s fine. We were done anyway.”

Brin nodded. “We’re almost ready to get going.”

“I’ll be right there,” Kira said.

Brin shut the door and left us alone again. I turned back to Kira, who stared at me, her face flushed, her lips parted. I immediately wanted to haul her against me and take her mouth again, but that moment had passed.

“Will you join us?” Kira asked.

I had no interest in meeting Slade’s family or visiting another small, boring village, but the thought of being apart from Kira suddenly seemed unbearable. If it were any other woman I would have walked away by now, but for some reason I couldn’t stay away from her. “I will, but only because someone needs to be there to keep you all out of danger.”

“Of course.” She granted me another smile that tempted me to reach for her again, and I forced myself to turn away. Curse this stupid destiny that tied me to her. It would make fools of both of us before the end. Especially when she realized I would never be able to love her the way she wanted.


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