Phoenix Fire

A phoenix will rise from the ashes and be reborn, only one can exist and he is bound to protect the daughter of death and fate, the most powerful child who was never supposed to exist. Army's will rise to destroy her before she becomes aware of the powers that lie dormant inside of her. Anna Swift just doesn't know what she's about to stumble into when she is attacked after a night out clubbing.

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1. Chapter One

Tonight was not my night. Firstly I had been dragged to a club that I didn’t want to go to, secondly the so called friend who had dragged me there had abandoned me in favour of going home with some guy she’d just met. To make my evening complete my handbag had been stolen outside the club as I had waited for a taxi to take me home. With no money and no way to pay for the lift the taxi driver had laughed at me and refused to let me into his cab. This had left me with no other option than to walk home.

My feet had been killing me after a few minutes, the three inch stilettos had blistered my feet before we had even reached the club. I’d been unable to face the half an hour walk home in them so I was going bare foot and carrying my shoes. I was betting that I looked as pathetic as I felt at that moment. I was desperate to get home, curl up in bed and sleep well into the afternoon next day. I could only feel grateful that I hadn’t had anything to drink tonight.

I automatically turned to cross the green that was finally the only thing that separated me from my home, I wasn’t sure what it was that made me hesitate but I did. Looking across the pitch black stretch of grass I could see the street lights illuminating my home on the other side but between me and my warm house was one hundred metres of grass and trees that during the day posed no threat to me. It was a walk that I had done many times before but at night time it was a completely different story. There were no lights whatsoever and even though I could see my home the 100 meters before me were nothing but darkness, an unknown path.

If I cut through I could be fast asleep in my own bed in ten minutes, if I walked all the way around then it would be another twenty minutes if not a little longer. Impatiently I told myself not to be so ridiculous. Nothing was going to happen to me, nothing more than what had already happened at least. I was sure that I had had enough bad luck for the evening and that if any God existed then he owed me a little leniency on acts of stupidity, such as cutting across a hopefully deserted, pitch dark green with no shoes on and no way of protecting myself if something untoward was lurking in the darkness.

I’d come home to live with my mum once I had handed in all my University coursework therefore completing my second year. She’d packed up and gone on holiday with my step-dad leaving me in the house on my own. Luckily I knew where she hid the spare key so getting into the house wasn’t going to be an issue. Seeing as it was the beginning of the summer and the weather hadn’t heated up enough to bake the ground my feet sunk into soft mud and damp grass. It made me shudder at the feel of it between my toes and knew that I would have shower before going to bed.

No moon shone down on me, on a night like this I would have been grateful for a little light but there was none. I gripped my shoes tightly in one hand and set off at a brisk pace trying not to think about what I was stepping on as I walked. My heart began to thump hard in my chest, nerves getting the better of me. Half way across the green and I was wishing that I had opted to take the longer route but there was no turning back now, I had to keep going.

A crack of a twig behind me made me turn my head to look behind me but there was nothing there. However having taken my eyes off my path for a moment I tripped over something and fell. I used my hands to brace myself as I hit the ground, thankful that it was a soft landing. My shoes flying out of my grip and tumbling to a stop a few inches away from me.

Turning to see what I had tripped on I saw a discarded scooter, clearly forgotten by a mum or a child in a hurry. As I attempted to pick myself up another loud crack of a branch snapping caught my attention. Scrambling faster now I got to my feet, leaving my shoes behind in a daze I began to run. I never made it all the way across the green before stumbling again, this time as something, someone grabbed hold of my waist and tackled me to the ground.

I tried to scream but a hand clamped tight around my mouth. The strong stench of beer hit my nostrils, so overpowering that it was like the guy had bathed in it. Not only that but he smelt awful, body odour wafted off him in waves so powerful that it made my stomach lurch. If the smell hadn’t then what he was doing to me might have done. The hand that wasn’t stopping me from crying out was lifting up my skirt and fumbling with my knickers.

I struggled viciously against my attacker, desperately trying to get away from him. I kicked and thrashed for all I was worth but my efforts were in vain. Suddenly a finger was inside of me and I screamed despite the hand over my face. The force of it so rough that it hurt. Using my long fingernails  I clawed at his face, hands, arms, anything that I could reach. His fingers thrust into me, painfully hard three, four times before he took them out. The next sound I heard was the sound of his zipper. It was a sound that I would never forget.

Taking the only chance I had left I bit down hard on the man’s hand. It was his turn to scream. I clamped my jaw down over his skin and didn’t release until I drew blood. I took the moment that he was distracted and hit him for all I was worth, which to be honest wasn’t much but it was enough to dislodge him from me and give me the chance to start to run.

I didn’t get far before he caught up to me, as he threw me to the ground I hit my head, immediately becoming disorientated. My head had already been throbbing but that now intensified. As I tried to get a grip of my surroundings and what was happening I was taken by the shoulder and rolled on to my back. I couldn’t focus my eyes on my attacker but I knew it was him because of the smell. Even in the faint light I could see a satisfied smirk on his face and what made it worse was the hungry glint in his eyes.

He hit me, his fist crashing into the side of my head increasing my disorientation and giving him the advantage that he needed. I felt his hands ride up my thighs, pushing my skirt up. This finger nails then scratched their way down again, taking my underwear with them. Feebly I tried to stop him but my attempts were met with another punch to the head, this one almost knocking me unconscious. My vision blurred for a moment, I couldn’t focus on anything other than the ringing in my ears.

  “Please” I managed to croak out, “Please don’t.” My attacker just laughed, it was a horse mocking laugh that made my eyes well with tears. He fumbled around for a second before something cold and metal was pressed against my neck. “Shut up Bitch or I’ll slit your fucking throat.” He said, his voice has horse as his laugh. I knew that this guy wasn’t joking. He pressed the blade to my neck with enough pressure that his nicked into my skin. He moved only to force my legs open and position himself and to tear open my top, exposing my upper body.

He traced the blade down off neck, over my chest and used it to slice open the front of my bra too so that he could grab hold of them roughly, squeezing and tugging at them as if they weren’t attached at all.

I couldn’t help but think that I had saved myself for this, my first sexual encounter and it was going to be at the hands of a rapist who held no standards of personal hygiene. There would be no romance or candle light, just me, him and his knife. He’d probably kill me when he was done too. Tonight really wasn’t my night at all.

I expected it to be painful, I thought that I would want to die before he was finished except the pain I expected didn’t happen but neither did the penetration. One minute this weight was bearing down on me and the next is was gone. I was sure that I lost consciousness but someone else was here, I was sure of it.  I couldn’t focus on anything around me, I thought I heard a scream but I couldn’t move, I couldn’t open my eyes. My stomach churned and I had to turn my head so that I could vomit. The grass had been damp and it soaked into what was left of my clothes making me shiver in the cool evening air.

I wasn’t sure how much time passed, I drifted in and out of consciousness, lying next to a patch of my own vomit. The sickly sweet smell wafting up my nostrils making my stomach churn threateningly. The moments that I was aware of my head throbbed and my eyes were blurred. I made a feeble attempt to sit up but it was in vain.

It wasn’t until my head was propped up for me that I realised that someone else was indeed there and that I had been saved. I knew this because he smelt nice, a refreshing change from beer and body odour. It was a sweet smell, like vanilla ice cream. As I lay battered, bruised and cold the smell was a comfort. I struggled to keep my eyes open but I wanted to get a look at the person helping me. My eyes however failed me, still blurred and unfocused, I couldn’t even see if it was a man or a woman.

The last thing that I was aware of was that whoever it was wrapped their coat around me, providing a thin layer of warmth and also covering my exposed body. I battled to stay awake but it was no use and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. “Annabel, come on sweetheart, you have to wake up, we have to get inside.” A familiar voice said to me. Opening my eyes, I had to blink a couple times to make sure that I wasn’t seeing things. My head was throbbing and for a moment I thought I was delirious. The man who was propping up my head on his lap was Tobin.

He had been a student at the University, living next door to me in halls. We’d hardly spoken, he had been the talk of all the girls with his golden hair, tanned skin and muscle bound arms, but had never socialised and never dated. He had kept very much to himself and been in every single class that I had taken yet never spoken a single word to me. His eyes looked purple to me but I was sure it was the darkness and the fact that I was groggy from the attack.

“Are you okay sweetheart?” He asked again and I nodded but instantly regretted it. The throbbing of my head only intensified with movement. “I’m going to get you inside before they come back okay?” He asked.

“They?” I responded but he lifted me up in a bridal lift and carried me towards my house. I didn’t ask how he knew which one I lived in or how he let himself in when even I didn’t have a key, I was just grateful to be home.

Upon setting me down upon my mother’s cream fabric sofa, mud-caked feet and dirty clothes and all he shot off and through half closed eyes I saw him checking all the windows and doors making sure they were secure.

“What are you doing?” I asked, trying to sit up and keep the coat covering me at the same time but my body resisted, screaming in protest at the attempt to sit up. Tobin was instantly by my side.

“I’m just making sure we’re safe and don’t try and move. Listen to me Anna, I’m going to do something to make you feel better okay, don’t be scared, let me help you and then I’ll explain everything okay.” I nodded and he placed his hand on my head and the other intertwined with my own.

 

I closed my eyes with exhaustion, a warmth spreading through my body as if I were lying next to a roaring fire and slowly the throbbing in my head began to fade and my body stopped aching. As Tobin withdrew his hands my eyes snapped open and I looked down at myself. My injuries were gone, there was no pain, in fact I felt amazing.

“What did you do?” I asked in shock, “How did you, what are you?”

“I healed you, it’s one of my gifts and to answer your final question, I’m a phoenix.”

 

“As in a bird?”

“No because as you can see I am not a bird, just like other people are humans I’m a phoenix.” He said very calmly, he sounded so rational, like what he was saying was the truth. I waited for him to start laughing, to tell me it was a joke but the laughter never came.

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