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Her Elemental Dragons: Stroke the Flame: Chapter 42

KIRA

Every soldier in the room fell to their knees except for the General, all of them gasping and crying out. “The Crimson Dragon!” some of them shouted, while others asked, “How?”

Jasin’s new form was terrifying and awe-inspiring, and I felt a flicker of fear until he looked at me and his eyes were the same warm brown as when he was a human. And though he looked a lot like Sark, who had haunted my nightmares for so long, he was still Jasin, the man I had given my heart and body to only minutes earlier.

I rested my hand on his side, feeling the smooth, warm scales under my fingers, before turning to the General. “The Fire God has chosen a new Crimson Dragon. Leave now or feel his wrath.”

“That’s impossible,” General Voor said. “Sark is the Crimson Dragon.”

“Not for much longer,” Jasin growled, with a voice I barely recognized. “Let them go.”

The soldiers seemed hesitant, glancing between Jasin and the General, unsure of who to follow. The General pointed his sword at us. “We serve the true Dragons, not these imposters. Kill them. Kill them all!”

Two soldiers charged at Jasin, but he swiped them away with his massive talons. Others raised their swords to Auric and Slade and panic swelled inside my heart. Without thinking I reached out toward them and flames shot from my palms, setting both soldiers on fire. The men screamed, while I stared at my hands in wonder. I’d done it. I’d used fire. And I wasn’t scared at all.

Jasin had given me both his magic and his courage.

Slade and Auric jumped to their feet and moved to protect the priests, though their hands were still bound. I prepared to launch more fire at the other soldiers, but then felt a blade bite into my neck and a large presence behind me.

General Voor gripped my arm tight, holding me against his chest with his sword at my throat. Blood dripped down my neck, and he was strong enough that I didn’t dare move. Everyone in the room froze, with my three mates staring at me and the General. Auric looked worried, Slade had a stony expression, and Jasin, well it was hard to tell with his new reptilian face, but I knew he was furious from the bond shining bright between us.

“Surrender, or I kill her,” the General called out.

“Get your hands off her,” a cool voice said behind us.

General Voor cried out as a spurt of blood washed over me. It took me a second to realize it wasn’t my own. He let me go and stumbled back, while my heart pounded in my chest as I spun away to face the man I so desperately hoped was my savior.

Reven held one of his swords in his hand and had murder in his icy blue eyes. He stabbed Voor a second time in the chest, then watched him fall to the ground. As soon as the General hit the ground, I rushed toward Reven and threw my arms around him, burying my face in his chest.

“You returned,” I said, while my heart nearly burst with relief and happiness.

With his free hand he clutched me tight against him and gazed down at me. “I did.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “I knew you would need my help. Looks like I was right.”

“Is that the only reason?” I whispered.

He took my chin in his hand and brushed his lips across mine ever so softly. “There may have been other reasons too.”

With their General dead and a large dragon glaring at them, the soldiers all surrendered. Jasin shifted back into human form with a great slithering of scales and a rush of heat. He strode toward me and Reven. “Are you okay?” he asked me.

“I’m fine,” I said, touching my neck. It didn’t hurt anymore, and I had a feeling the wound was already healing itself.

He gave Reven a sharp look and I expected him to say something rude or angry, but instead he said, “Glad you’re back. Don’t do anything like that again.” Reven only nodded in return.

The three of us rushed over to Auric and Slade, who had already removed the ties around their hands. Auric pulled me close for a kiss, whispering, “I’m so relieved you’re safe.” I turned to Slade, who wrapped his muscular arms around me in a protective, close embrace. He pressed a soft kiss to the top of my head, before releasing me.

Calla moaned, and I dropped to her side, my panic returning. She was covered in blood, as were the priests who were trying to tend to her wounds with worried looks on their faces. They were her mates, just like my men were mine.

I took Calla’s hand in mine. “You’re going to be okay.”

She coughed and clutched her bloody chest. “No, I won’t. But it doesn’t matter. I fulfilled my purpose. Twenty years ago the Fire God chose me to be his High Priestess, just like he chose you, Jasin.” Her eyes shifted to him, before going back to mine. “He told me I must come to the Fire Temple to prepare for the next Dragons. I’ve waited for this day for most of my life, and it is an honor to know I could help you both.”

Jasin kneeled beside her and took her other hand. “You’ve served the Fire God well.”

Her eyes fluttered shut. “Thank you.”

As she faded away, my heart clenched and something burned in me like an ember. Through our touch I felt a kinship with her, like a twin fire flaring bright inside of both of us. I took Jasin’s other hand in mine, forming a circle between us, and felt it within him too.

The gift of the Fire God was inside all of us.

While drawing strength from Jasin, I willed it into Calla, praying for the Fire God to help us heal his chosen priestess. Our hands began to glow with the same unearthly orange light from the volcano, as if lava flowed underneath our skin, and the heat became so intense I nearly let go. But I held on, and a second later Calla gasped and opened her eyes. The four priests around us cried out and rushed to her side.

“You healed her,” Blane said, while the others praised both me and the Fire God.

“With Jasin’s help,” I said.

“The Fire God has truly blessed us all,” Derel said.

“Thank you,” another one said, whose name I had forgotten.

“It seems the Fire God still has more work for you,” Jasin said to Calla.

“Thank you both,” Calla said, as she sat up with a smile. She cupped my cheek and then did the same to Jasin. “I will cherish your gift and do whatever I can to help you.”

“If everyone’s good now, we need to get out of here,” Reven said, with his lazy drawl. “The Crimson Dragon—the other one—is heading this way.”

Fear gripped my throat, but Jasin wrapped an arm around me. “We can fight him,” he said. “I can face him as a Dragon now too.”

“No, we can’t,” Auric said. “He’s immune to fire, just like you are. We don’t stand a chance until more of us can shift too.”

“He’s right, we need to run,” Slade said.

Calla got to her feet, with the help of two of her men. “You must hurry. Go out the back by the crater, then head down that side of the volcano. It leads to the ocean, to a dock where a ship is waiting for you. You can take that to the Air Realm and the next Temple.”

She truly had prepared for our arrival, anticipating everything we might need. “Thank you,” I said, hugging her quickly. “I hope we meet again.”

“We will.”

“What about our horses?” Auric asked. “And everything with them?”

“We’ll bring them here and take care of them for you,” the fourth priest said. “When it’s safe, we’ll make sure they are brought to you.”

“Now go, quickly,” Calla said. “There’s no time.”


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