Author’s Note: Apparently, I am crazy. I decided to make Three Word Wednesday a part of almost all my serials today. Yeah. Not the brightest idea, but to that end, I wrote a flashback for Fire and Water because two of the words fit too well to ignore.
Today’s words: pale, naughty, and douse.
I only wanted pale and douse for this, but I made the other one work, too.
“Ouch. That hurts. Why do I feel like I got hit with a brick?” Enya groaned, trying to turn over, only to find she couldn’t move. Something heavy had her pinned down, and she wasn’t going anywhere. “Okay, make it a bus. I got hit by a damn bus. Get it off me.”
“I swear, the bus will move in a minute,” Cress said, and her eyes shot open, trying to figure out how she’d ended up in the middle of the street with him covering her, bodies pressed together like they’d been up to something naughty, and she had to be dreaming because she and Cress were not like that. Cress wasn’t her boyfriend, Sherwin was, and though he’d kind of hinted around that he wanted to do more, she wasn’t ready for that. They weren’t even in high school yet, not ’til the fall, but he was such a guy. They only had one thing on their minds, right?
Not Cress. He was different. The water thing made him focused on other things, not girls, not school. He was kind of obsessed with learning all he could about his element and what he could do with it. He did that all the time.
“Did you start another rainstorm? I’m soaked, and that had better not be because you… um… I don’t know, spit all over me.”
Cress grunted, rolling to the side. “Enya—”
“So the two of you are alive. I almost thought you’d both be dead after that one.”
She looked up at her brother, feeling something strange when she did, and she didn’t like it much. It wasn’t like being with Sherwin, flirting with him or letting him kiss her, but there was a kind of tug to it, like she couldn’t help being aware of everything Aidan did. “Dead?”
“You hit the car, remember? We were playing, and I almost caught you, and I swore I’d get a kiss when I did, so you tried to dodge me, but you hit the car, the mirror and… It broke, honey,” Sherwin said, and she swore she’d make sure he never called her honey again because it was wrong, but so was what he was saying. “It broke, and it was… bad.”
She sat up, looking around the street. The lawns were scorched, all the grass gone, and the car that she’d hit—damn, that belonged to the Washburnes—was a shell, something out of a war movie or one from the end of some world. She shook her head. “No. Tell me I didn’t do that. Tell me I’m not fire. I didn’t do that.”
“It’s okay,” Aidan said, putting an arm around her, but he was always a terrible liar, and she could hear the fear in his voice. She’d scared the hell out of all of them, hadn’t she? She could see it in Moira’s face, in Sherwin’s and Terra’s and everyone. Well, everyone but Cress, but then he looked more like he might pass out any second, so she didn’t think he counted.
“I could have killed someone.”
“You didn’t,” Cress said, forcing himself to sit up. He was so weak, his skin pale, and he almost fell when he stopped bracing himself against the pavement. Occie knelt next to him, and he leaned back into her, gratitude in his eyes as he tried to smile for her.
“You idiot. You almost got yourself killed.”
“No, Occie, it wasn’t like that—”
“What did you do?”
“He doused the fire, Enya. He doused you. He was the only one who could get close enough to do it, but he did,” Stone told her, and she stared at him before turning to Cress, not sure if she wanted him to deny it or not. At least he’d been able to stop her, but if he had done all that… what had it cost him? Could it have killed him, like Occie said?
“Thank you,” she said, though the words were awkward and inaccurate. She needed so much more than that to make up for what he’d had to do.
He shook his head. “It’s fine. You just weren’t ready for that. You didn’t know what was happening, and I’d have done it for one of the others if they’d needed it.”
Enya grimaced. None of the others had, though, and they wouldn’t. Well, maybe Aidan, if he was fire like she was, but Terra was already working on restoring her garden, quiet and calm. Stone could create art with what he did. Moira’s windstorms were scary, but she had them under control the whole time. Sherwin was—well, he was hot air, but he didn’t need help with his element. Occie was fine, too. The only screw up around here was Enya.
“Cress, if you hadn’t been here…”
“One of the parents would have intervened. Or you’d have come through the panic. Don’t look at me like that. You don’t need me. You can do it yourself. This was just a one-time thing,” he said, letting Occie help him to his feet. “I think I need a nap. Or a bath. Why do I want a bath?”
“Because you’re water, you goofball.”
“Oh. Yeah. That. No, I want a nap. No more water. I hate water…”
“You’re tired and talking crazy. Come on,” Occie said, shaking her head as she and Stone herded her brother inside their house.
“You okay to walk?” Aidan asked, and Enya nodded, accepting his help to get up, leaning on him as she stood. Her clothes were soaked, but she was alive, they all were, and she knew that if Cress hadn’t been there, that might not be true.
“I don’t want to be fire.”
“It won’t always be like this.”
She gave her brother a glare before turning to go to their house. What did he know about it, anyway? He hadn’t done what she just did. He hadn’t almost killed everyone and destroyed their homes. He didn’t get to talk about things he didn’t know.
She was a monster. Just look at what she’d done.