Fire and Water

- A Serialized Novel -

Enya Royston has hidden from herself and her abilities, fearing the destruction that always comes with using them.

Author’s Note: A bit of strategy for Enya’s practice, a bit of bonding, a bit of worry…

A Discourse Between Fire and Water

“Baby steps.”

Flint caught the look Washburne gave him, and he shrugged. That was what they were. He’d never met anyone as terrified of their element as Enya, and she was looking at a long time in getting over it, just like anyone with trauma had. Hers was different, most of them didn’t fear themselves, but she did. So she’d have to take it slow. He understood that. He wasn’t trying to push her.

Windy thought he was, but then that woman would probably disagree with any choice he made just to spite him. Funny enough, he liked that about her. He also liked how much she hated being called Windy. That made it that much enjoyable to use.

“I’m surprised you’d be willing to settle for that.”

“Hey, asking her freaked her out so bad you had almost killed yourself talking her down, so I figure baby steps are a good thing. Just like giving her space now is a good thing. She’ll clear her head, and if she thinks she can try for more, she will. She’s more of a fighter than she thinks.”

“Don’t you mean than we think?”

“Maybe that, too. Look, if you’re worried about it, I’m not interested in her that way. There’s… I get the same feeling around her as I did when my sister was alive, and it’s just too damn wrong to cross that line. You don’t have reason to worry about that. I’m not out to seduce her. I’m trying to help.”

“Never said you were trying to seduce her. I know you’re not.”

Flint grimaced. “Oh. You can… sense that?”

“Living with Sherwin is hell.”

“Point taken.” Flint put his hands in his pockets. “It’s not like it’s easy to balance any kind of relationship while you’re on the run. Probably why those perfect pairs you’ve got going on are brother and sister. Love’s way too complicated to manage while you’re dealing with elements and us ‘rogues’ and whatever the hell that water elemental is.”


Flint laughed. He couldn’t argue with the other man’s assessment. “They said you crossed paths with him before, but no one bothered to say what happened when you did.”

“He froze me, babbled on about me being water, said I was one to watch… I suppose he sees me as competition, and I am, to a degree, but he’s got at least twenty years on me as far as control goes, and if that fight had gone on longer, I’d have lost.”

“Yeah. So why’d you go up against him anyway?”

“Figured he might be interested in telling me where Stone was.”

“Did he?”


Flint frowned. “Okay, why, if you are the most powerful one and the one that lead them for twelve years—why the hell would you think that exchanging yourself for him would be worth it?”

“Terra’s half-insane without him.”

“So? She can’t do what you can do.”

“My sister’s married to him.”

“Damn.” Flint put a hand to his head. That complicated the hell out of things. Oceana was stuck trying to balance her brother while she was grieving, and she couldn’t do that forever. She’d crumble, Washburne would go with her, and there went half the team right there. “Even so… Why you for him? I don’t think that’s an equitable exchange.”

Washburne shrugged. “I don’t have to explain my reasons to you.”

“I thought you were supposed to be the calm one. Wouldn’t have figured on you being so—”

“If Enya is going to work on her control, there will have to be a point at which she does it without me around to stop her or keep her calm.”

Flint blinked. “Um, true, but I think she’s a ways off from that point, so why are you using that to change the subject? You know that was one of the clumsiest dodges I’ve ever heard because it was completely obvious.”

“She has to be able to control it on her own, without me, or she may as well have never tried. I won’t always be there.”

“Are you—” Flint shook his head, staring at the lake. “All right, where the hell did you go?”

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