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: There’s a scene in the second story that goes into why Moira and Cress shared the leadership and what bonded them into their roles, but this one has a priceless bit from her, and a glimpse of why she is the way she is.

The Ever Changing Wind

“I think I know why you call him a fish.”

Moira smiled, amused by the tone of the rogue’s voice. “He’s still underwater, isn’t he? First time he did that, he scared the hell out of everyone. Stayed under for a good ten minutes, we all figured he must have drowned and we’d never find him in the bottom of that lake. Then up he pops with this obnoxious smile and said that he wanted to go snorkeling because he’d never need a diving tank.”

“He’s got more of a sense of humor than I thought.”

She shrugged. “You have to know Cress to get his humor. He’s not easy to read.”

“Yeah… I’m wondering about him, though, because… Well, he took on that bastard who killed my sister knowing he couldn’t handle it on his own, and just now, back at the lake before his disappearing fish routine, he said something about Enya needing to learn to control it on her own, without him to calm her.”

“He’s got a point. He can’t always be focused on keeping her calm. If we get in a fight, he’s got way too much going on. He can’t be worrying about any one of us because what he’s doing is ten times more taxing than what we are. If we’re not taking care of our own end, the whole thing falls apart.”

“That what happened to your other earth?”

“Terra overextended herself, and Stone knew it. He went to protect his little sister, and he paid for it. She probably could have pulled out of it in time and saved herself, but he took those bullets for her, and that’s half the reason she’s the way she is right now.”

Flint nodded. “Makes sense. You’ve got a real problem, though. Your former leader is suicidal.”

Moira let out a breath. “No. He overreacted to something that happened earlier, but he’s not like that most of the time.”


“My brother the idiot kissed Enya right in front of him.”

“And your brother missed the memo on that… how?”

Moira would like to know that herself. She didn’t see how it could be more obvious, but maybe Sherwin needed things spelled out in black and white and filed in triplicate. She didn’t know. “No one’s ever really talked about it. Our love lives are our own. They’re private. I don’t need to know what any of the others are doing, believe me. Stone made no secret of how he felt about Occie, and Sherwin’s not shy about flirting with just about anyone, but the rest of us… That’s something we don’t discuss. We all know that Occie loves Stone, too, but to my knowledge, she never said it aloud.”

“That got something to do with the damage their parents did to them?”

“Maybe. There’s a lot neither of them told us. I called Cress on his crap once, and he just kind of blinked and said if I knew, why did he have to tell me? That’s how his mind works. If he knows you know—and in general, he does—he doesn’t say anything.”

“Must have made working with him as your leader interesting.”

Moira folded her arms over her chest. “You trying to pick a fight with me?”

“You’re quick to defend him. I’m trying to figure out why.”

“Oh? So you want to imply something about me and Cress? You figure I’ve been pining for him all this time, working as his second because I never got over some pathetic crush I had on him when we were children? Dear heaven, what will I do now that you know my terrible secret? Please don’t tell him. I couldn’t bear if he knew.”

Flint laughed. “That was good. You almost kept a straight face, and that is very impressive. I enjoyed it thoroughly.”

She couldn’t help a small smile. “Even if I had ever had any feelings for him, I knew a long time ago that they would never amount to anything. Just like everyone knew with Stone.”

“Hmm. Since the only other male in your group is your brother—wait. Enya’s brother. Were you two ever—”


“Now that one was not half so con—”

He was across the room and in the wall before Moira realized she’d lost control of her emotions. Damn him for needling her that way. She hated the way he got under her skin. He was nothing like Aidan, and she didn’t need this. She wanted to get rid of him, now, but she knew that they needed him, that Enya did, and she’d overcome a lot just to accept that offer. No, Moira knew she couldn’t get rid of the bastard, but she could make sure that he stayed away from her.

Far away.

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