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Her Elemental Dragons: Stroke the Flame: Chapter 38


My horse moved slowly over the rocky, hostile terrain while my thoughts churned. I’d followed behind the others at a distance to make sure they made it to the Fire Temple unharmed, but now my duty was over. I could leave.

should leave.

So why didn’t I?

I would love to blame it on magic, but I’d ridden far enough away last night to confirm there was nothing forcing me to be with Kira. The Gods had made me find her, but that was all. There was nothing tying us together now.

I drew in a long breath and turned my horse away from the volcano, urging her west. Kira didn’t need me anymore. She was no doubt inside the Fire Temple already getting nice and cozy with Jasin. Once she was done, she could find another man to be her Azure Dragon.

It couldn’t be me. The incident in Ashbury had made that all too clear.

If I closed my eyes I could still clearly picture Kira throwing herself in front of me, trying to protect me from those soldiers, and nearly getting herself killed in the process. A sharp spike of panic had struck me then, as it did now at the thought of her dying because of me. Like the last woman I’d loved.

Mara had been killed because of me, and I swore I’d never let that happen again. Years ago, I’d been unable to save her, and now I’d nearly failed Kira too. Which is why I had to leave. Caring for someone made you weak and only put them in danger. The sooner Kira stopped caring for me, the better.

My brooding thoughts were disturbed when I spotted some dark figures riding toward the volcano. Soldiers. They must have tracked us here from Ashbury.

Not my problem, I told myself. Not my fight.

I urged my horse forward, planning to keep my distance from the armored men. Kira and her remaining mates would be able to fight them off, especially once Jasin became a Dragon. They didn’t need me. And I certainly didn’t need or want them.

So why did I feel like I was making the biggest mistake of my life?


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