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: All that time in Cress’ past… Like navigating a minefield, and not just for me, but for everyone else as well.

Sins of the Parents


He pulled his knees up to his chest and put his head on them. “I should have known I was water long before those bullies cornered me in the bathroom. He told me that was what I was. He said a lot of things that I didn’t understand until later. I thought… I was convinced he was just some kind of… pervert, and I did my best to forget about it.”

“The swim lessons,” Oceana said. She felt sick, uncertain how much her brother had suffered at that man’s hands. “That’s why you quit, why you freaked out when they tried to take you back there. He was there?”


“None of the rest of us knew anything about this, though.” Moira shook her head. “Cress, why didn’t you say something sooner?”

“There was nothing to tell. The first time was too weird for me to explain since none of us were aware of that kind of thing, and I couldn’t say I’d been frozen, that some strange guy had held me in place while he babbled on about water. My parents later said he was a rogue, that he had been dealt with, that I shouldn’t worry about him.”

Sherwin frowned. “All this time, though, we all assumed the first anyone knew about the kind of stuff we could do was when those bullies cornered you. You knew before, though.”

“No. My parents didn’t explain what he was to me until after I could manipulate water. When I broke the mirror and gave those bullies the swirly they planned on giving me, the bathroom was flooded, wrecked, and I got suspended… Everyone thought it was weird how calm Mom and Dad were about the whole thing, but they weren’t calm. They were… excited. They started telling me all about what I could do and what I should not do. They told me about the rogues, and when I told them about that man, they said that was one of them, and they left, like the parents used to do back then. When they got back, they told me they’d dealt with him. That was the end of the discussion.”

Moira rubbed her forehead, looking like she had a headache. Oceana didn’t blame her. No one wanted to hear this. “Why would they lie?”

“I don’t know. I trusted them, but I don’t know that I should have. None of us should have. They knew before we were born what we might be capable of, but they never warned us or trained us. I learned all I could because I didn’t want to be helpless, ever again, didn’t want to do what I did before and cause so much damage, have so little control…” He ran a hand through his hair. “They may have betrayed us all, and I think I helped them do it.”

“Cress, you’re jumping to conclusions here,” Sherwin said, trying his best to be optimistic, the only one of them that was most of the time. “Maybe they did think they’d dealt with him, but he survived. We all thought Stone was dead, so why couldn’t your parents have been fooled?”

Oceana swallowed, putting her hand on her brother’s shoulder. Her stomach’s disquiet was getting worse as her mind ran through her memories, and she shook her head. “I hate to say this, but I think I agree with Cress. So many little things seem to make a horrible sort of sense now that always bothered me before. I mean, the way they reacted when Cress dated a normal…”

He grimaced, but like everything that had hurt him, he pushed it aside. “We all know water can alter moods. Our parents were attuned to it, and maybe they manipulated a lot more than we knew back then. Maybe I did the same thing. I… They did their best to make sure I ended up in charge, and we all had a bad feeling about where the money might have come from…”

“You really didn’t have a choice, did you?”

Cress shook his head, not looking at the woman who’d spoken. “No, Enya, I might not have seen it, but we all could have walked away. I was the one that led us down the path my parents started me on. Maybe it’s the clarity of hindsight, but I know how wrong I was. I can see what I overlooked and what it cost and—Damn it.”


“We have to go. We didn’t use that money often, not if we could help it—”

“But they know about it and they’re watching that account. They know we used it, and they’re coming.” Moira reached for the keys and passed them to Oceana. “Here. You’ve had more rest than most of us. You drive.”

She shook her head. “Enya’d better do it. I’d be too distracted by Cress, even if I wasn’t draining myself like the rest of you.”

“It’s too late. They’re here.”

Oceana frowned at her brother. “How do you know that?”

Cress pointed to the window. Rain pelted against the glass. “I didn’t start that. I also can’t stop it.”

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