Just then, a knock comes at the door and I voice outside calls out. “Did someone call the fire department?” A female voice calls as the door swings open. I feel the air shift and as I turn to look I’m met with a blast of icy water. My eyes widen in shock as it gushes towards me, hissing as it touches my skin. I hardly have time to inhale before I’m knocked off my feet and find myself fully sliding across the floor, drenched and cringing from the cold.
Kaitlyn gets caught in the crossfire, standing next to me, and gasps as the water slams into her, arms flailing in panic.
The water continues for a minute, pooling on the floor around us. I clutch the egg tightly to my chest, worried it will become petrified, or worse, crack, from the sudden temperature change.
When I’m sure the water has stopped, I gasp for air, coughing. “Kaitlyn?!” I look around to see where she ended up. “Kaitlyn?” I call again, twisting around to see if she’s ok.
I hear a splash and my head spins to see Andrei running across the wet training from to Kaitlyn’s huddled form by the far wall. The pressure of the water seems to have pushed her much further than it did me.
“Oh my God! Kat! I’m so sorry!” I hear a frazzled high pitch voice come from the door. Suddenly the water starts to recede and I find myself standing in a depth of no higher than my ankles in a matter of minutes.
Andrei rolls Kaitlyn onto her back, resting her on his lap, checking for a pulse. “Come on Kat! It was only water! You can’t do this to me!” he shouts, pinching her nose as he begins to give her mouth to mouth.
I crouch by her side, ready to help if I can. My body shivers a little from the cold of the water. It was pretty icy. I guess I can handle water pretty well, even though I’m a fire type element, but I can only imagine the pain she feels, being true fire. Lava is a little more steadfast I suppose, though it still hurt.
“Breathe Kaitlyn,” I whisper hoarsely.
“Oh move over!” The skinny blonde girl with piercing blue-green eyes says sharply, standing over us. “Mouth to mouth is for sissy’s, Andrei. We need to move quickly,” she holds her arms out over Kaitlyn and starts glowing as she pulls the water from her lungs. I stare, slack-jawed as the water floats out of her mouth and falls onto the floor beside us.
A minute later, she starts to cough.
“Kaitlyn! Are you ok?” Andrei asks, voice thick with worry. I watch intently, equally worried.
She sort of jumps up, rolling onto her side, propped up on her elbow as her free hand clutches her chest. She coughs hard, gasping loudly. “Ow… That was a little much, don’t you think?”
The blonde shoves her hands on her hips, a stern look on her pretty pointed face. I’d say her blue eyes seem to burn with an offensive fire. “I’m sorry! I didn’t have much control of it near the end, the Guild’s just too big! Are you ok? I’m so sorry.” Her voice is thick with guilt.
Kaitlyn’s head tilts, glaring daggers at the blonde with a slight smirk. “I’m fine… if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that you enjoy drowning me.”
I look up at the blonde as her brows knit together in increased worry. “I don’t! I swear!” she says, almost crying. “Andrei said you needed ice water, but I didn’t really know how much or why. He said something about the new guy and being on fire…” she says in a faltering voice. I turn back to Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn rubs her forehead. “Yeah… Caroline, new guy,” she waves at me. “New guy, Caroline.”
“Hi new guy,” she says with a half smile.
“Hey,” I wave back. “I’m Heath.” She nods, looking back down at Kaitlyn.
“I had no idea water would affect you so much,” she hangs her head, voice muffled by her arm over her mouth. “Have you never been swimming before?” she looks up, her eyebrow rising with slight curiosity.
Kaitlyn glances at Andrei, then down at the floor, resting her head in her palm, without answering.
“You can’t, can you,” she guesses. Kaitlyn shakes her head slowly. “Well, then let’s make a deal,” the blue-eyed girl smiles mischievously. “You can teach me to fight if I can teach you to swim. That way, water won’t hurt you so much next time, maybe… Fair?” she offers with a hopeful smile. I can still see worry behind her eyes.
“Yea, sure. Slow torture. Sounds fun,” Kaitlyn grumbles, her face scrunches in pain.
The blonde face splits into a wide grin. “Great! ‘Cause you know I wasn’t planning on rejoining the fighting classes before. I don’t like hurting people. But now I can teach you some survival skills. So I’ll make an exception.”
“Yea, whatever. Training wasn’t optional, but sure,” Kaitlyn doesn’t look up or open her eyes.
“It’ll be fun teaching you something too. So… Was there really a fire?”
“It wasn’t a fire,” Kaitlyn growls. “It was him, Lava. Not me. But thanks for that. I haven’t died in like a week. Guess I was due. Heath had a bit of a meltdown,” Kaitlyn grumbles. “If you kill me, I swear I’ll haunt you.” I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut hearing her explain my meltdown, even if brief.
“No fair! I wouldn’t kill you on purpose! You can only haunt me if I murdered you and I’d never do that!” her voice rises to a new pitch. “Are you really going to be ok? Or should I call Gwen?” she tilts her head.
“I’ll live. I doubt Gwen could do much, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt,” Kaitlyn sighs. “I can only feel how that affected me… I don’t know about… y’know. Can you guys go find her?”
“Sure. I’ll just be a bit. Takes time to get to the greenhouse from here,” she says, standing up.
“Guys? As in plural? Why don’t I just bring you with me? Wouldn’t that be faster?” Andrei stalls.
“I think it’d be best if I don’t move for a little bit,” Kaitlyn admits reluctantly. “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.”
Andrei hesitates, reluctant to leave her side. When he finally complies. He leans in for a peck. I turn away, awkwardly, glancing down at the egg to keep my mind off what’s in front of me. Then he stands and leaves. “Don’t worry, we won’t be long. I promise,” he says before following Caroline out of the training room. I look back to Kaitlyn as she shifts, laying on her back. The room is awkwardly quiet now. She looks up at the ceiling, eyes half open, watching me.
“You seem alright… How do you feel? Does water affect you too?” she asks.
I study her expression, unblinking. “Not so much, I guess. I…” I used to hate the water too after I got my magic. But there was no other way to cool myself down. “The cold usually shocks my system, and hurts like hell, but… it keeps me from burning motels and shit down. So I deal with it,” I tell her.
She nods slowly, eyes falling closed. “That’s good. I’m glad it doesn’t hurt you.”
“If it hurts, why didn’t you ask Andrei to heal you?” I ask, unable to take my eyes off her.
“You can’t heal a fire that’s been extinguished,” she laughs once, breathing heavily. “There’s nothing he can do. He’ll just panic and worry.”
“You could… feed it…” I find myself strangely suggesting. It doesn’t sound like me though. “If you reignite it, it could heal.”
She opens one eye to look at me, brows creased. “With what?”
“Wh-” I cut off. I know I shouldn’t even be thinking such a thing. I grind my teeth together and look away, my own wet hair blocking my view of her. “Nothing… nevermind,” It’s only a passing thought. It probably isn’t even a thing that applies to magic. I push the thought aside.
“Enlighten me,” she presses. “I won’t judge. It’s not like my plan is much better.”
My heart twists as she tempts me again. It’s the only way I can’t describe the kind of response. I can’t ignore it now. I move on instinct, quickly swooping down and placing my right arm on the ground beside her face for support as I press my wet lips against hers. I’m shocked at how cold she actually feels. My heart thrums and the heat builds, softly. I feel warmth on my lips as I touch hers, passing it to her.
I linger there, longer then I should, but it’s difficult to restrain this feeling, this… yearning. I pull away watching her as her cheeks flush red, eyes growing wide.
“Oh… Kay… Wasn’t expecting that,” she mumbles weakly.
I hover over her, biting back the heat still on my lips. “Does it… feel better?” I ask, referring to her fire.
She seems to concentrate a moment. “Actually… yeah, a little. How did you..?”
“I didn’t… just a gut feeling,” I mumble, looking down at her. I want more, I don’t know why, but I do. I’m anxious though. I have no idea if and when Andrei might come back, so I pull away.
“Oh,” she mumbles. “Like an adrenaline thing, right?”
“Yeah, Something like that. I thought… if I transferred heat to you… you’d feel better… like a spark,” I dismiss.
“Right…” she nods, studying my face. “Why did you kiss me, though? I mean, there are other ways to transfer heat. So…”
“There are?” I flinch, though I was really hoping that would be a good enough excuse for stealing a second kiss. I’m beginning to think there’s something seriously wrong with me.
“I almost can’t tell if you’re a bad liar or just an idiot,” she sighs as she starts to push herself upright.
I feel a pang of guilt before responding. “What if I’m neither?” I say, feeling a small smile on my lips.
She sits up slowly, her expression shifting to a blank stare. “So you’re just toying with me then,” she says at point blank.
I freeze. I scramble to respond without too long of a delay. “I’m not toying with you,” I say, holding her gaze to show her I mean it.
She meets it, unflinching. “Which is it then?”
“Which is what?” I ask, tilting my head to the side.
“Did you want to kiss me or not?” she narrows her eyes.
Something inside eggs me on. “I think the better question is, did you want me to kiss you, or not?” I try to turn her around. “You asked me to enlighten you. I only wanted to reignite your flame, and that’s how I chose to do it. I don’t see a problem if you don’t.”
She stares into my eyes for a painfully long moment, before turning her face away. “Fine,” she mutters as she tries to stand up.
“Fine?” I ask. “Just, fine?” I try to read her expression but I find it difficult. She has a good poker face, in my opinion.
“What do you expect me to say?” she asks, wavering on her feet. I stand with her, stepping back, hunching my shoulders.
“What do you want to say?” I ask with a flat look.
“I don’t know,” she turns toward the door, several feet away, hugging her arms around her chest. “All I know is I need to warm up before I pass out again.”
“I’m full of ideas,” I say, watching her.
She pauses, looking back with that same flat expression. “Like what? You’ve already used the ignorant excuse,” I watch her sway, curling slightly in on herself. Her jaw clenches, though her expression remains almost bored. I can tell she’s holding back on how bad she really feels.
I push my feelings aside and approach her. “You’re in pain. Let me help you,” I try to offer, reaching out my right hand, while holding the egg with my left.
She stares me down stubbornly. “How?”
“Tell me what hurts? How can I help?” I ask.
“I don’t know how!” she snaps. “You’re the one who said you’re full of ideas.”
Those ideas all end in me kissing her… “If you want me to kiss you, just say so. You’re not exactly telling me not to,” I frown, becoming irritated with her behaviour. I don’t understand. Is it just me? Or does she want it too? She won’t outright refuse me… What does she want? It doesn’t help that she doesn’t say anything, just stares at me.
I take a slow breath, not sure if I can cope with this back and forth. I just want to…
Yes… just go for it…
I feel the rumble in my chest, like a sentience. It eggs me on.
One little kiss… you’ve done it before… What’s one more? Hmm??
My lip curls with frustration and I shake my head to dispel the thoughts. I can’t. If I do, Andrei… and Kaitlyn, I’d come between them. But… that’s what I’ve been trying to do since yesterday… isn’t it?
Since when do you care. You’ve always gone after what you wanted before. Go on… She’s telling you to.
No… that’s not true, that’s not how she-
Yes, it is. She’s hurting. She needs your heat. She needs you…
I step toward her, eyes fixed on her as I have an inner battle with my conscience. She shivers, standing in front of me. Andrei couldn’t help her with this. Only I can… only fire can.
Before I know it, I’m brushing my right hand through her wet hair. I see the steam rising off my skin as it touches her. I grab the back of her head firmly and pull her face into mine. I feel the heat in my lips and this only reminds me she’s not just cold here.
I hear a thud as the egg drops to the floor and I wrap my left arm around her back, pulling her against me. She’s freezing, but I can fix that. Only I can. Her arms slowly unwrap from around herself, cold palms rest timidly on my hips. I flinch at her touch. She doesn’t seem to resist me. Does she want this too?
My fire burns and it wants more. I part my lips, searching for it. My hand shakes as it grips her head with an uncontrollable passion. I feel a pinch as her nails dig into my hips. My left hand slips under her shirt and I press my fingertips firmly into her back. I feel the sparks jump between us. Our lips and fingers burn.
Wherever we touch I know my skin glows. I can feel the heat like an extension of my senses, I don’t have to see it to know. I hook my leg around hers, making her buckle at the knee and holding her with my hand already on her back. She lets out a gasp as I lower her to the floor, lips still locked. Pressing both my hands against her face, I lay on top of her, trying to make as much contact as possible.
I slide one hand down her neck, feeling her blood pulse under my touch from her racing heartbeat. It only makes me more excited. Everything feels like magma running through the crust of the Earth, the pressure building to be set free.
“You may want to control yourself, and quickly. Andrei is on his way back,” A woman’s voice rings in my head. My eyes span open and I jump back, breaking contact. I stumble off Kaitlyn and scramble to my feet in a panic. I look around, surprised to see no one around to whom it could belong to. All my passion turns to dread.
I look at Kaitlyn with wide eyes. “Selene,” she says, sitting up and running a hand through her hair. She doesn’t look the least bit surprised.
“She’s in my head?!” I gawk.
“I’m pretty sure just to warn us. I highly doubt she was spying on purpose,” Kaitlyn says dismissively, rubbing her temples. “She doesn’t usually bother getting in the middle of… this sort of thing.”
“I don’t want her in my head!” I strain my voice, bringing my hands to my face and combing my hair nervously, trying to get my shit together. No one has any business being in my head. No one. Ever. I look at the door, panic rising. I need to go. If Andrei finds out… If Selene knows… If Selene tells Andrei… I have no confidence I can keep a straight face right now.
I turn to Kaitlyn, every muscle in my body tense with anticipation. “I’m sorry. I gotta go,” I run to the door. In my panic, I forget the egg and my clothes. In nothing but my bare feet and pants, I run.
By Kayla West