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Her Elemental Dragons: Stroke the Flame: Chapter 7

KIRA

The golden-haired man stood up straighter, gazing down at me from his towering height. “I’m Auric. I was sent to find you by the Air God.” He gave me a dramatic bow, his movements refined and graceful. “I’m here to serve the next Black Dragon.”

Jasin snorted and muttered, “This guy? Really?”

I glared at him and turned back to Auric, sizing him up. His traveling clothes were simple, yet nevertheless stood out due to their fine quality and expensive fabrics. Auric was definitely not from anywhere around here. A nobleman for sure. He wasn’t as obviously muscular as Jasin, but he was just as handsome in a more refined way, with the most amazing cheekbones I’d ever seen and gray eyes that entranced me immediately. He looked at me as if I was the answer to a problem he’d been trying to solve. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by him, especially after watching him in my dreams for a month.

“You said you had a visit from the Air God?” I asked.

He nodded. “Exactly one month ago.”

“That’s when I met the Fire God,” Jasin said. A flame flickered idly across his fingers. “And when I got these powers.”

That was the same day I turned twenty. The same night I’d been hit by lightning.

Gods, maybe it really was all true.

I dropped into a chair as it all finally sank in. If I was the Black Dragon, what did that mean exactly? There was only one Black Dragon, and she ruled our entire world. I somehow doubted she’d be thrilled about my presence. She was a cruel empress, and she definitely wasn’t the type to share power. There was no way I could replace her. This all had to be some kind of mistake.

“Are you all right?” Auric asked, as he sat beside me, his voice concerned.

“Kira?” Jasin hovered behind me, his hands gripping the back of my chair protectively.

I looked into Auric’s eyes, which were the color of storm clouds. “Show me.”

For a second he seemed confused, but then realization dawned across his face. A breeze began to pick up in the room out of nowhere and soon grew into a strong wind that whipped my hair around my face, making me gasp.

The door opened and the magical wind instantly died. Tash stepped inside, balancing three trays of food and drink with such skill it was almost like magic of her own. She set each one down while her eyes roamed over both men, and for a second I felt a flash of possessiveness. Which made me uncomfortable, because neither of these guys were mine, and I had no reason to feel anything but warmth toward Tash. Of course, if what these men said were true, then both of them were my future mates. Would I ever get used to the idea of that?

“Anything else you need?” Tash asked, while searching my face. Her concern for me shone through her warm eyes, and I knew she was asking if I was all right in here with these two strangers.

“We’re all set, thank you,” I told her with a smile that I hoped showed how grateful I was for her help. She was looking out for me, even if she had no idea what was going on.

She nodded and moved to leave the room, but was blocked by a huge, broad-shouldered man with muscular arms the size of tree trunks—the blacksmith I’d seen in my dreams. His eyes were a deep forest green, his skin was the color of tree bark, and his short beard gave him a rugged masculinity that was distinctly opposite Auric’s elegant beauty and less refined than Jasin’s handsome swagger. Yet I felt the same rush of desire, familiarity, and possessiveness when I looked at him as when I did the other two men.

Gods, what was wrong with me? I’d never felt this way about a single man before, yet now I felt it for three of them?

“Well, hello there,” Tash said, staring at the new arrival with interest.

“I’m here to see Kira,” the man said, his voice low and deep, like the rumble of an earthquake.

“Come inside,” I said, with a nod to Tash.

As this new visitor stepped inside, Tash shook her head as if bewildered. She left us alone and shut the door, and suddenly the room seemed a lot smaller with the large mountain of a man inside.

“My name is Slade,” he said, his intense eyes fixed on mine. “I’ve been looking for you, Kira.”

“How do you know my name?” I asked him.

“The Earth God told me.”

“Let me guess. He came to you a month ago, gave you powers, and sent you to find me?” When he nodded, I rubbed the bridge of my nose, so overwhelmed by it all I could hardly think straight. “That was my twentieth birthday. I was struck by lightning that night. After that I began to see all of you in my dreams.”

“You knew we were coming, then?” Auric asked, his eyebrows darting up.

“No. I only caught quick flashes or vague glimpses. I didn’t think any of you were real. Just figments of my imagination. I never expected you to actually turn up here. Or to tell me you’re the next Dragons, whatever that means.”

“We were drawn to you,” Slade said. “We couldn’t stay away. Even if we wanted to.”

Those last words held a touch of sadness or perhaps bitterness, and I knew there had to be a story behind them. All three men had given up their entire lives because the Gods had given them a duty and told them I was the Black Dragon. If it was true, they’d each been chosen to serve me, protect me, and love me—against their will.

I stared down at my food, but I wasn’t hungry. My thoughts made my stomach churn, but I couldn’t deny it any longer. All three of the men had been given powers by the Gods on the same night I’d been struck by lightning, and I’d seen them in my dreams ever since. The men could control the elements, and I was strangely attracted to all of them.

Maybe I really was the next Black Dragon.


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