Rhea is a fire wielder—he can create and control fire. In a world where the different element wielders were pushed away from each other because of a war, his father is working on an attempt to reunite them, at least when it comes to having business ties.
Which is the reason Rhea is kidnapped.
Quillan doesn’t like to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong, but he can’t stay back when he sees two guys pushing a third one into the trunk of car. The fact that the tied-up guy ends up being his soulmate makes everything more complicated—and right.
That is, if he and Rhea can manage their differences, since he’s a water wielder.
Rhea scratched his stomach as he walked into the kitchen. He blinked at the bright sunlight streaming in from the window, his eyes blurry with sleep.
“I thought you’d never get up.”
Rhea groaned at his father’s voice. “You’re already up.”
“Of course I'm already up.”
“It’s not that late.”
Rhea’s father arched a brow at him. He was standing behind the counter, sipping on a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper. He wore his usual uniform—a suit, complete with tie and cuff links, and of course, shiny shoes.
“You shouldn’t wear your shoes in the house,” Rhea said as he shuffled toward the coffee machine. His feet were bare, and he grimaced at the thought of where his father’s shoes had been.
His father rolled his eyes and put his newspaper down to ruffle Rhea’s hair as he passed by him. Rhea grunted, but he knew better than to say anything. It would only push his father into doing it again. Besides, he still had to shower, so having his hair ruffled as if he were five rather than twenty-seven didn’t matter.
Rhea poured himself a cup of coffee and tried to remember what was on his dad’s schedule today. “Oh. Today’s the big day, huh?” he asked even though he knew it was.
His father had been working on this meeting for months, and he wouldn’t have let Rhea forget about it.
“Why do you sound surprised?” his father asked.
“I'm not. You know it takes me a bit to get myself together in the morning.”
His father held up his cup. “And that’s why you could never take my place.”
“Well, that, and the fact that I don’t want to. But yeah, let’s go with that.” Rhea was more than happy with his little candy shop. His father had made fun of him when he’d first opened it, saying Rhea would end up eating all his stock instead of selling it, but to both their surprises, the shop was having crazy success. It probably was because Rhea had picked a spot between two schools and a park, or maybe because people liked candy and chocolate. He didn’t care much. Rhea got to spend the days in a sweet-smelling shop eating candy and smiling at children. What more could he want from life?
His father chuckled. “All right, all right.” He checked his watch. “I have to go. I can’t be late for this.”
“Dad, your meeting is this afternoon. You wouldn’t be late even if you left after lunch.”
“I need to get ready and make sure everything is as it should be.” He frowned. “And you need to be careful.”
Rhea didn’t roll his eyes, but it was a close thing. His father had been overprotective ever since Rhea’s mom had died of cancer when Rhea was ten. Not that Rhea minded—he loved his dad, and he knew that the main reason his father worried was that he loved him, too. “I’ll be fine. I don’t see why you’re worried.”
“I’m worried because this meeting is a big thing, Rhea. You know that as well as I do.”
Rhea put down his mug and turned to the stove. He grabbed a pan from its hook on the wall, turned the gas on, and lit the flame under the it with a flick of his fingers. He loved having control over fire. “Of course I know that. I don’t have anything to do with it, though. That’s your thing, not mine.”
Rhea’s father had been working on reuniting the four elements for years, at least when it came to business. They both knew better than to think that if this meeting went well, air, fire, water, and earth would start hanging out together as friends again. The war had been too harsh on everyone, even though it was long past. But Rhea and his dad hoped that showing the other element wielders that they could work together would help everyone realize there could be something different for them than avoidance and fighting.
Rhea didn’t understand the hate between them, even though he knew their history as well as anyone else. He thought what his father was doing was a good thing, though. There were no good reasons to continue fighting. They weren’t their ancestors.
“It might be my thing, but you know as much about it as I do.”
“Not really. You’re the one with the details.” And the only one who had the balls to organize this kind of meeting, although Rhea could do without thinking about his father’s balls.
“Look, Rhea, this isn’t something that’s happened in recent memory. Not everyone is happy that it is happening, so I want to make sure you’re safe. Maybe you should stay home from work for today.”
“Nope. I have too much stuff to do.”
“Like what, eating candy?”
Rhea poked at the egg he’d broken into the pan. “Exactly.” He knew his dad was only teasing, but he could hear the tension in his voice. He was worried, and that worried Rhea, too. “Look, I promise I’ll stay inside the shop and that I’ll be careful. I can’t just close for the day, though.”
Rhea could. His father was wealthy enough that they could both stop working and live like princes for the rest of their lives without having to raise a finger ever again. Rhea didn’t have to work. He loved it, though, and he wasn’t about to let his father’s business, something he had no interest in, stop him from working.
His father checked his watch for the second time. “Fine, go to work. Let me know if anything happens, though.”
“I’ll call your secretary if I need anything. Don’t worry. See you tonight.”
His father finally smiled again. “You’ll take care of dinner?”
“What? Why not?”
“Because we’re both grown men, and we know we should eat vegetables. And no, the sauce on the pizza doesn’t count.”