This won't make any sense if you don't read the first ones. Just a warning.
"What?" I ask.
I hear a huff. “This is the Dark Cavern! You are here to meet your feet! No, fate. Dang it, I messed it up again.”
“Of course you did, idiot. You always do!” A woman's voice says.
“It’s not my fault I can’t read these stupid cards in the dark!”
“Why do you still need to read it? You’ve said it at least one hundred times!”
I look at Arlo and Chase who look as confused as I am.
“Who are you?” I ask.
I hear a sigh. “We’re the fate deciders.”
A bright fire burns, and I can see them. They’re sitting in huge thrones. Both are equally huge, and peering down at us. One, I think the woman, has long red hair and a crown. She’s wearing a long dress with lots of different colored patches. The man has frizzy red hair, and is wearing pants and a shirt that are too small. They both have gray skin, and huge gray eyes.
“Ready to meet your fate?” The man asks.
I look at Chase and Arlo. Arlo’s gripping my arm again. “No. I do not want to meet my fate.” He whispers.
I glance at Chase who shrugs. “I don’t know.”
“Uh, no?” I say to the giants.
“”Okay, so you-wait, no?” The man says. “But...I don’t…”
The woman sighs. “Craig, no isn’t an option.”
“Then what do I do, Val? Can you tell me that?” He asks. "Do you even know?"
She looks back at us. “No isn’t an option.”
“Yeah, we could hear you.” I say. Arlo shakes his head at me.
She raises an eyebrow. “Be nice. We could kill you right now.”
“Sure. Why are we here?”
Craig throws up his hands. “I just told you!”
“Well, yeah, but why us?”
The woman sighs again. “We’ve been watching you.”
“Okay, that’s really creepy.” Chase says.
She shrugs. “I really don’t care.”
“Why us?” I ask.
“Because. Now quit asking questions.” She replies.
She snaps her fingers, and everything goes dark. Arlo’s hand disappears from my arm, and I hear a scream. I hear another snap, and two torches light up beside the thrones.
“Help!” Chase shouts. Him, Arlo, and Blaze are tied up at the edge of the thrones.
“What are you doing?” I demand. “Let them go!”
Val shakes her head. “You’ve got to choose.”
“Between them? No!”
“No, not between them, it’s your life, or theirs.” She says.
“That’s not how fate works!”
“I am fate, and this is what I want to do. Deal with it.”
Why am I always the one to save them? Can't I be in danger sometime? It's not like it's a hard descision.
“I chose them.”
“No!” Chase and Arlo yell. “You go!”
I don’t look at them. “Let them go.”
“Why them?” Craig asks.
I purse my lips. If I’m going to die, I might as well say it.
“Because I love them too much.” I mutter, blushing.
They stop struggling. “What?” Arlo asks softly.
“I’m not repeating it.” I say, looking away.
It’s quiet. Then I hear a laugh. It’s Craig. Why is he laughing?
“Pay up.” He says to Val, putting a hand out.
I blink. “What?”
“I said pay up.” He tells me.
Val grumbles something, and drops the crown in his hands.
“What happened?” I demand.
Craig grins. “I told her you’d end up falling in love with at least one of them. She bet the crown you wouldn’t.”
“You bet on me?” I ask.
He nods. “You guys are free to go.”
“Wait, what?” I say.
“You can go! The entrance is over there.” He says, gesturing behind me.
Arlo, Chase, and Blaze appear beside me. My eyes widen. I thought I was going to die. That’s why I told them.
“You love us, huh?” Arlo grins.
My face burns. “Shut up.”
“Let’s get out of here.” Chase says, smiling at me.
I nod. “Yeah.”
Suddenly I hear a yell. It’s Val. She’s gripping a torch, and she throws it at us. It sails over our heads, and lands behind us. The fire grows quickly.
"They do not get to live!" She bellows.
“Run!” I yell. We run through the fire. It gets hotter the further we get.
“Help!” I hear Arlo scream. We stop and turn. He’s trapped on the ground between two huge walls of fire that are getting closer together.
“Arlo!” Chase yells. He starts to go back, but I stop him.
“Go with Blaze. I’ll get Arlo.” I tell him. “No questions.”
He looks like he wants to argue, but he nods. “Please be careful.”
“I will.” I say. “Go.”
I start to run, but Chase stops me. “Wait.” He says. He grabs my face, and kisses me.
I blink, and he’s gone, running after Blaze. I turn, and run towards Arlo, trying not to think of whatever just happened.
“Arlo, are you okay?” I ask, grabbing his hand. His shirt is on fire. “Take off your shirt!”
He nods. “Okay...”
He starts pulling it off slowly, and I yank it over his head. “C’mon! And cover your mouth!”
“Yeah…” He says, stumbling along.
I pull him through the fire, the heat getting stronger. Arlo grips my hand, and I pull him closer to me, and away from the flames.
“Why aren’t you getting burned?” He asks suddenly.
I blink. “What?”
“Your arm.” He says.
I look at it, and see he’s right. My arm is in the flames, and it’s not burned.
“I-I don’t know.” I say.
"You're part dragon. That might be it." He says.
I nod, not fully paying attention.
We’re almost at the exit. “C’mon, it's right there.”
We run through the arched space, and I can see Blaze and Chase at the edge of the long hallway we just entered, waiting anxiously.
“This way!” He yells. We run to catch up. He broke the rocky wall, and we go through the hole.
We’re somehow back at the field, and once we all get through, the wall disappears. I look at them. They’re all okay.
“So..” Arlo says, smiling at me. “You love us, huh?”
“Oh my god.” I say.
Chase laughs. “Is that yes?”
“Seriously? Can I get a break? Please? I nearly died! Again!”
“You’re perfectly fine.” Arlo says. “So yes?”
I cover my face. “Fine, yes, maybe. Leave me alone.”
“It’s fine, calm down.” Chase says.
Arlo laughs. “We like you too.”
“What?” I ask, looking up.
“We like you too.” Arlo says.
Chase nods. “For a while.”
“Okay…” I say.
“Also, we heard what JJ did.” Arlo says.
I nod. “Yeah…”
“Just so you know, we’d never ever do anything like that. So don’t worry if you are-”
I interrupt him by kissing him. When I back away, his eyes are wide. So are Chase’s.
“You wouldn’t shut up.” I mutter.
He throws his arms around my neck. “You do like me!”
“Obviously.” I say, hugging him back.
I glance at Chase, and see him grinning. “I knew it.”
“Shut up.” I say. He walks over, and puts his arms around both of us. He looks at me expectantly, and I kiss him, too.
“Now what?” I ask after a while. This hug has lasted long enough for me. I pull away.
“Huh?” Arlo asks.
“What do we do? I mean, JJ isn’t coming back. We have no way to stop the angels.”
“Yeah we do. We’ve got the sword and dagger. They’re deadly to them.”
“Then why did we need JJ?”
“I don’t know.”
I sigh. “Of course.”
“Sorry.” He says.
I shake my head. “It’s fine. We just need to figure out what to do.”
“Can we get some food?” Chase asks. “I’m starving.”
I nod. “Yeah, let’s go.”
We walk back to the car, and I get in the back again. For some reason, I haven’t driven my car for a while.
“Hey…” Arlo says. He sat in the passenger seat, and they both turn to look at me.
Blaze lays next to me, dropping his head in my lap. “Yeah?”
“Um, what’s your name?” He asks nervously.
I blink. “What?”
“You actually never told us your name.” He says.
“I definitely did.”
Chase shakes his head. “No you didn’t.”
Really? What have they been calling me then? But now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve heard my name in a while. That's really weird. How did I forget something like that?
“It’s Jackson.” I say. “My name's Jackson.”
Arlo nods. “Okay, Jackson. Will you be our boyfriend?”
I smile at them. I don’t know when the last time I smiled was. “Of course.” I say. They both stare at me. “What?”
“You’re smiling.” Chase says.
Arlo nods. “You never smile.”
“I smile! Sometimes. I think.” I protest.
They laugh, and Chase starts driving. I don’t know where we’re going, but if I’m with them, it’ll be fine.