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"Right," Jojo said. Her voice turned high as she mimicked Les's hopeful prods from earlier. "There's a fire! There must be people! They'll let us get warm!"

"When was the last time you saw a fire with no people?" Les asked, trying to keep the panic out of his voice. He wriggled his hands in the ropes, trying to pull them loose.

"Oh, I don't know, volcanoes! Lightning strikes in dry forests!" She was leaning against the board they were tied to, limp and accepting of their fate.

Les was feeling more hopeful, clearly. "The sky is clear and there are no volcanoes in these woods," he hissed.

"I bet you think there are also no fire sprites anywhere in the world, AND YET!"

"You're warm aren't you?"

The sprites danced around them, touching the piles of wood and moss clumped about the clearing. Jojo and Les craned their necks to watch them spark and flare. One of the creatures flew in close to Jojo's face and ghosted a hand over the contour of the air above her cheek. "I hope they eat you first. I hope you're delicious."

"Is that any way to speak to the man who's going to save you?" he said, finally snapping his hands free.

"Man?" She managed to look incredibly, powerfully contemptuous for someone tied to a burning pyre.
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