"Flame! Flame wake up!"
"Uhng!" Flame mumbled as Ember tried to coax him awake.
"Wake up Flame! How can you sleep at a time like this!" Ember shook him hard and finally got his eyes to open.
"I'm up . I'm up!" Flame wiped the drool from his mouth and stared the dragoness in the face.
"Good." Ember nuzzled him under the chin. "It took you long enough."
"Do you really want me to get started on the waiting for someone subject?" Flame gave a sleepy smile.
Ember pouted. "I said I was sorry." Then she got that flirtatious look in her eyes again. She rubbed up under Flame's chin again and left her sides brush against his chest. As she turned away from him she let her butt rise and drag her tail along his neck. "Besides, haven't I done a good job of trying to make it up to you?" She wiggled her hips slightly and Flame found himself immediately awake.
"Oh, yeah. You've made the wait worth it all right." He said with a goofy grin.
"Good. I'm glad." Ember turned back to him and let he tongue slide against his cheek. Flame's tail began to twitch on short rapid jerks, as it always did when Ember started to play with him.
"Could we..." He started and let his tongue start to emerge from his mouth but Ember shut his jaw with her tail spade.
"Later, I promise. But right now we have something more important to attend to."
"Aw." Flame's wings drooped.
Ember's sexy grin turned devilish. "I could be mean and just say no."
Flame raised a brow. "True. But I think you'd miss me too much."
Ember giggled and turned away blushing. "Flame, you know me too well."
"Inside and out." Flame walked over to her and gave her a playful bump with his hip.
"Seriously though, we should get ready. Today's the day!" She took off towards the baths with Flame two steps behind.
The remainder of the year had gone by fast. It had taken the young dragons nearly a month to recover from their battle with Maximus. Ember's recovery had taken the least amount of time whereas Spyro, Cynder and Flame had suffered far more extensive injuries.
Since Flame's return, there hadn't been so much as a wyvern or drake sighting. Flame had gotten a stern scolding from the guardians and assigned to various 'duties' for running away. Overall, the fire breather was happy to be back in the company of his friends and the girl of his dreams. He and Ember continued their training with greater enthusiasm than any of the dragons had ever seen or expected. The two helped each other along every step of the way, making sure the other could become the best they could possibly be. At last the day had arrived to declare which one of them would be chosen for the role of 'Fire Guardian'.
"Are you ready for this?" Flame asked. The two dragons waited at the end of a long hallway that led to the temple platform that overlooked the city. Both dragons had been washed and had their horns and scales polished to glossy shine. Even in the lower light, they seemed to glow as the stared at each other.
"Are you kidding?" Ember smiled. "I'm shaking with excitement."
Up ahead, they could hear Terrador's thunderous voice speaking to the crowd of dragons, moles, cheetahs and their allies below. The two dragons started to move towards his direction.
"It's been one hell of a year hasn't it." Flame sighed.
"It has." Ember nodded in agreement. She paused and grabbed Flame's leg with her tail, as she liked to do a lot. "Flame. I want you to know, that no matter who they choose as guardian, I will never stop loving you."
"The same goes for me." Flame nodded strongly. The two stood just behind Terrador and the others now.
"Good." Ember leaned in and gave Flame a deep, loving kiss. When she released him she gave him a playful nudge with her shoulder. "Do me proud, and go get 'em you hot-shot."
"Wait, what?" Flame shot her a confused look.
"I give you your new, Guardian of Fire!" Terrador bellowed. "Flame the Dragon!" Down below the entire world seemed to roar in applause! Flame didn't have time to think about Ember's words. He turned toward the platform and marched up to the edge, standing proudly before the sea of bodies before him. His eyes widened at the spectacle. Then Flame felt something swell up within him. He rose up on his hind legs and spewed a raging tower of fire high above the city. The crowd cheered even louder.
"Congratulations." Spyro bowed respectfully with Cynder standing beside him.
"You really deserve this." Cynder nodded approvingly.
"Well don young, dragon." Terrador and the other guardians smiled down at him.
"You've a fantastic job, getting to where you stand today." Volteer piped up.
"You will make a fine guardian." Cyril concurred.
"Thanks you guys." Flame blushed. "But I'm a little curious about something..." He turned back and looked at Ember who was approaching them.
"Ember came to us and requested that you be given the position." Terrador thrust his head around the circle indicating their collaboration. "She has seen how much effort you've put forth into this training and she felt that she would be better suited as an advisor to you."
Flame's eyes widened as he looked from his friends to Ember. "An advisor? Really? I had no idea."
"It is rather unorthodox." Cyril bobbed his head. "But seeing as how close you two have become, we felt it would be a shame to separate you two after all the hardships you've endured as a team."
"Surprise." Ember giggled and gave her love a respectful bow. "Congratulations Flame. My Fire Guardian."
"Ember, you didn't have to." Flame couldn't shake the tears of joy from his eyes.
"No. But I knew you deserved it. I take that back, you earned it."
"She's watched you grow since you two became friends." Volteer pointed out. "She's definitely a special influence in your life young dragon."
"I couldn't agree more." Flame smiled and pressed his lips to Ember's. The elder dragon's diverted their stare slightly.
Cynder looked at Spyro who was watching with a smile. She gave him a gentle elbow. The purple dragon looked at her and the two nuzzled cheeks.
The moment was interrupted by the flapping of leathery wings.
"Well now. I see that this year has been rather interesting." The young dragons looked up to see Marla and Infernus descend towards them.
"Oh!" Ember gasped and turned away in embarrassment. Flame tried to avoid his grandfather's look as well. Both of them were blushing uncontrollably.
"Here I was expecting that you'd want to return home." Marla nudged Ember who looked at her in shock. The comment had also caught Flame's attention.
"Home?" Ember shuffled her feet bashfully. "Well, it has been a long time." She looked over at Flame who just smiled softly at her. After a moment she looked back up at her mentor and smiled proudly. "I think I know where my place is." She puffed her chest out. "I found the one I care about most in this world. And home wouldn't be home without him."
Marla and Infernus exchanged looks with each other and the other guardians. "Very well." Marla turned back to Ember. "You have made your decision like a responsible young dragon should. So I shall honor it." She bowed respectfully. "But just remember you are always welcome to come back should you so wish."
Ember had tears in her eyes. "Thank you." She choked slightly and hugged her mentor's large muzzle.
"Anything you need little one." Marla sighed proudly. The young dragon had matured so much since the last time she had seen her.
"Speaking of home." Infernus spoke up. "Shouldn't our young guardian here be making preparations to return to his?" Flame and Ember shared confused stares then looked back up at the old fire dragon.
"Indeed." Terrador nodded and looked towards Flame and Ember. "The new guardian must introduce himself to those who inhabit this world so they know who to call upon should trouble arise."
"And I'm sure he'll be needing his advisor to help guide him and keep him on track as well." Volteer added with an insightful grin. Flame blushed and Ember licked his cheek.
"And in the meantime, there's more business to attend to." Terrador announced and turned to Spyro and Cynder who looked surprised that they were being addressed now. "While our new guardian is away, we will be begin training the new candidates."
Spyro and Cynder shot each other a quick glance. "New candidates?" Spyro raised a brow.
"Spyro, we're reaching the end of our days as well." Volteer sighed. "We need young dragons such as yourselves to one day take our place and protect this world."
"So not only are we presenting a new guardian today." Terrador reared his head high. "We are also picking out a new batch of candidates for guardian."
The young dragons all gave each other wide-eyed looks.
"Oh, here we go again." Spyro and Cynder rolled their eyes together.
There you go guys. That's the end of Book 1. Debating on the issue of making this a two-book series or a trilogy. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or things you may want to see happen, PM me. Until then, see-ya-lavista. (In about a week)