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Her Elemental Dragons: Shake the Earth: Chapter 9


Kira’s eyes burned with determination as she stood before us. “We need to make lightning.”

It was the morning after we’d discovered Stoneham had been destroyed, and she’d told all of us about her visit from Enva while we’d had some bread and cheese. Then she’d insisted Jasin and I train with her immediately while the others prepared for us to depart. The tone in her voice had left no room for argument, and now she stood before us with her hands clenched in fists, her shoulders stiff, and a fierce slant to her lips.

All night long I’d tossed and turned, worrying about how she was doing and wishing I could comfort her, but she’d made it clear she wanted to be alone. Any time one of us tried to talk to her—and we’d all tried—she’d sent us away. Now I wondered if I should have tried more. I wasn’t sure I liked this new, rage-filled Kira that had emerged after she’d spoken with Reven. Gods only knew what he’d said to her to make her turn her grief into fury. I’d never seen her like this before and wasn’t sure what to make of it…or how to undo it.

Jasin arched an eyebrow at her. “And how are we supposed to do that?”

My brow furrowed. “Yes, you said we needed to combine the elements, but it doesn’t seem like Enva gave us any actual information on how to do that.”

Kira crossed her arms. “It must not be that hard to figure out. We’ll just have to try.”

I sighed and looked over at Jasin, who shrugged. We stood near the river we’d camped beside, away from the others and within reach of water in case things went wrong during training. I summoned a ball of swirling air in my palm, while Jasin did the same with fire. We moved closer and raised our hands to combine the two elements together—but all it did was snuff them both out.

“Well, that didn’t work,” Jasin said. “Now what?”

“Maybe I need to do it,” Kira said. She summoned both elements in her hands and tried to force them together, with the same result. We’d been practicing with air in the few moments we could find since we’d left the temple, and she’d picked up the basics of controlling it quickly. I sensed she found it easier—or less intimidating—than fire. Of course, it would take a lot more training before she was a master. After all, I was still learning new things every day, including lightning it seemed.

“Gods!” Kira yelled, as the elements disappeared from her hands. Her eyes filled with tears and she wiped them away with quick, angry strokes. She was trying to mask her grief by channeling it into fury and action, but it was still there under the surface. She would have to deal with it at some point, but not today I supposed.

“We’ll get it eventually,” I reassured her. “What else can we try?”

“I don’t know.” She turned away, her face twisted with frustration. I hated seeing her like this, but wasn’t sure what to do.

“Remind us again what Enva told you,” Jasin said, in a tone one usually reserved for trying to calm a wild animal. I could tell this was tearing him apart too.

Kira scowled. “She said you’ll be able to combine your magic through your connection with me.”

I nodded slowly as I considered her words. “Maybe she doesn’t mean we should literally combine them, but somehow access the other’s element through our bond.”

“Is that possible?” Jasin asked.

I spread my hands. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Can you feel each other through the bond like I feel the two of you?” Kira asked.

I shook my head. “Not that I’ve noticed, but my bond with you is still so new. I’m only beginning to feel your presence.”

“It gets stronger when we’re touching,” Kira said. She reached for both our hands, linking the three of us together. From the corner of my eye I saw Slade, Reven, and Brin packing our things and giving us curious looks. They had to be worried about Kira too, but they knew better than to interrupt us during training.

My bond with Kira burst inside me at her touch, much stronger than it had ever been before. Waves of grief, anger, and guilt washed over me and it took me a moment to realize they were coming from her, along with a sense of desperation and determination, plus a dash of frustration and impatience. I sucked in a sharp breath as I sorted through her emotions and found my way back to my own self again.

“I think I can feel Auric through the bond,” Jasin said. “But it’s very faint.”

When I glanced over, his eyes were closed. I copied him and searched through that tangled web that was my sense of Kira and there, in the distance, was a small flickering flame that felt like Jasin.

“I sense you too, but only barely,” I said.

“Try to access each other’s magic,” Kira said.

I reached through the bond for Jasin’s flame, but it was faint and elusive. I felt a slight tug inside me and wondered if it was him doing the same. We faced the river and in front of us the air shimmered with a slight buzzing sound, like a spark being struck. Kira’s face tightened and her hand gripped mine harder, but then the sound vanished. We’d lost it.

Sweat beaded on Jasin’s forehead. “Almost got it, but the bond is still too weak.”

“Maybe it will get stronger with time,” I said. “The Dragons have been bonded for hundreds of years, after all.”

“We don’t have time!” Kira said, obviously exasperated. She dropped our hands and pinched the bridge of her nose. I longed to pull her into my arms and tell her everything would be all right, but I knew she would only push me away right now.

“We’ll keep trying until we get it,” Jasin said.

Slade trudged through the brush toward us and called out, “We’re ready to leave when you are.”

Kira sighed. “I suppose we should get going if we’re going to reach the Resistance by nightfall.”

I rested a hand on her back. “It was only our first attempt. We’ll get there eventually.”

We began to follow Slade back to the camp, when a loud splash caught our attention. We froze and turned toward the river, my magic rising as I prepared to defend against a potential threat, and I felt Jasin do the same. Reven and Brin rushed to our sides, both holding their swords and ready for battle. Kira stood in front of us, facing the river like a warrior queen as she slowly drew her sword.

If the Dragons had found us, we weren’t going down without a fight.


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