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: And… a bit of aftermath and transition…

And someone new. 🙂

A Sudden Shift

“Where’s Cress?”

“He got it in his head that he had to deal with the safe-deposit box, and he left.”

Moira grimaced. Now was not the time for any of them to go off on their own, and Cress knew that better than anyone. He’d led the team for too long to be that stupid, but then she should have known that something was wrong. “That have anything to do with the sudden rainstorm that drenched us on our way back?”

Oceana nodded. She ran her hands over her arms, shaking her head before she looked to the other door. “I want to blame your brother, but it’s not all his fault. Cress just… He couldn’t watch, not that. Seeing him just then… Putting a knife in his gut would have been kinder. I should have stopped him, but he’s never wanted anyone to see him struggle, not with anything. Maybe things will be different now that he’s not in charge, but he’s used to holding everything in and not showing a bit of weakness. I had to give him space. That’s the only way I know to help him now. He’s fracturing fast, though, and I’m not sure he should be a part of going after Stone.”

“Damn it, I told Sherwin not to bother. I know he’s always kind of… circled back to her, but that’s not love. He just doesn’t know any better.”

Oceana shrugged. “I think he wants to, but this is not the time for it. We all cope with the weirdness that is our lives in different ways. He went for dating whenever he could regardless of what the inevitable outcome would be—us leaving—whereas you and most of the rest of us just decided that was off-limits.”

Moira looked at her. “Yeah, and if you think that I was ever under any illusions about you and Stone, you’re a fool. Where do you hide the ring, anyway?”

Oceana said nothing, turning away to gather her things. Moira shook her head, not feeling like cleaning up another of her brother’s messes, but they had to get on the move, fast. She didn’t have time to ignore it or let him try and muddle through fixing it. She knocked on the door, keeping the rap short and precise. “Enya?”


The door opened a few seconds later, and Enya forced a smile. “I want to thank you for trying to head your brother off.”

“Apparently, putting him into a wall wasn’t enough.”

“Oh, he had to try, one last time, I suppose,” Enya said, pulling at her shirt. “Next time we stop, we’re arranging a wardrobe change, right? I’m not even sure where this came from. Everything I had must have gotten burned, so this is… yours?”

“Oceana’s. She’s the closest to your size, and even then, it doesn’t fit. We’ll take care of that next time. Promise.”

Enya nodded. “Probably a good idea. I bet we’re all getting a bit ripe since the only ones who managed to spend any time in the bath were the guppies.”

“Hey! I am not a guppy, and if Chess were here, he’d douse you for that,” Occie said, shaking her head. “We got everything we need? The laptop and everything’s here, Terra’s already back in the car, and I told Sherwin to get in already.”

“You did? I didn’t hear any yelling.”

“Sherwin doesn’t need anyone to yell, remember?”

Enya bit her lip. She closed her eyes for a moment. “I… I feel kind of strange at the moment, and I’m not sure I know what to… I was going to blame it on what Sherwin did, but I haven’t felt like this since… Since the last time I saw Aidan before the fire. It’s not quite the same, but that’s the closest I can get to pinning it down.”

Moira stiffened. “That’s usually the way one of us feels when we sense a rogue that’s close—real close. Damn, if this guy is working with the agency, they found us already. In the car, quick.”

“You said that Cress was gone.”

“He got stubborn about the safe-deposit box.”

“Can you handle a fire rogue on your own?”

Occie shifted the bundle in her arms. “I doubt I could douse him like Cress can, but I’m not on my own. I have the rest of you to help if we need it, but hopefully all we have to do is drive away and be done with it.”

“It’s never that simple with us,” Moira said, opening the door with a gust of wind, letting Occie go in front of her and then Enya. She would have given the unstable one the thankless task of driving again, but having the other firebug nearby seemed to have upset her, and it would be better if she wasn’t behind the wheel.

“Nice touch with the wind.”

She turned, watching the lighter flick open and shut in the man’s hand, over and over. He didn’t even seem to realize he was doing it. She wasn’t surprised. A lot of the rogues attuned to fire carried one, covering up their own abilities and exaggerating pyromaniac stereotypes, just like he was with the dark clothes and the unkempt appearance. “What’s it to you?”

“Been a long time since I ran into anyone like you,” he said, closing the lighter and putting it in his jacket pocket. He shoved his hands in afterward, giving her a smile. “You wouldn’t happen to be missing a water elemental, would you?”

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