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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14. Chapter Fourteen

*~* Chapter Fourteen *~*

 

I sat in a stunned silence for a moment trying to take in this new and rather pivotal piece of information. I had a twin sister. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been told this before. Tobin, with all the information he had had and he hadn’t told me that I had a twin. Whenever he had talked of the past and of me he hadn’t even hinted that I had a sibling.

“What’s a mirror twin?” I asked, it was the first question that came to mind. I had never heard of the phrase before now and it confused me as to what it meant.

“Mirror twins are almost completely identical, your twin is exactly the mirror image of you. However she is the weaker of the two of you, you see all her organs are reversed so that they are the mirror image of yours as well meaning everything is in the wrong place. Everything about her is opposite to you but she should look identical to you.”

“So where is she, why weren’t we kept together?” I asked, my mind refusing to take on anymore information so I was struggling to process the fact that I wasn’t an only child like I had first assumed.

“No one knows except for your parents who made the decision, I suppose she was deemed to be weak and in need of greater protection. You were placed in the human world and she was placed in a heavenly dimension. The problem is there are several and they shift more than the other worlds.”

“Is she like me, can she clone powers?” I asked.

“No Anna, she hasn’t got power as such, at least not anything she can use. You clone power and use it to your advantage. She erases power. If she touches any supernatural creature then they immediately become mortal again.”

“So if she were to touch you, would you become mortal again?”

“I suppose I would, yes.”

“Meaning she’d be just as much of a target as I am right now.”

“Unfortunately that is correct.”

“So what would happen if she came into contact with me, would she erase my power to clone powers?”

“No, this is why the two of you were kept apart. When you two come together neither of you need to touch the person you wish to take the powers of. Your twin would take the power, erasing it from its original host and you would absorb it.”

“No wonder the demons want us dead.” I said, “We could do some serious damage to them.”

“Exactly and that is exactly why we must protect you.” Ethan said seriously, “The only problem is that your sister has been lost along with the heavenly dimension she was placed in for many years.”

“Is she even alive, if the world they’re in has been lost then surely that has to be questioned right?” I asked and slowly Ethan nodded.

“It is certainly a possibility. However we’ve had no evidence supporting that fact and therefore we must keep looking. You are to stay here while that is done, you will be safe here.” He said and he reached a hand up to stroke my hair. I leaned into his touch, relaxing into it allowing him to comfort me.

“I want to help you.” I said, not wanting to be left out of anything, I knew that I would quickly become bored waiting around here with nothing to do, I needed to be able to help them, to do something useful.

Ethan however never got a chance to respond to me before we were rudely interrupted. The bedroom door burst in and the bitchy vampire who had brought me my clothes and towels burst in glaring at me. We both jumped up from the bed in shock when she appeared.

“What is the meaning of this interruption!” Ethan demanded turning away from me and glaring at Amy who kept a look of defiance on her face as she stared at me accusingly.

“Whatever you feel for her Ethereal it isn’t real.” She said, “When Sky bit her she said he blood tasted funny, it wasn’t regular blood.”

“I’m aware that she isn’t human Amy, she wouldn’t have the same blood that Amy is used to.” Ethan said but even he sounded slightly dubious at this point. Amy after all was a blood addict, Axel had told me when Tobin had left us alone so he could fetch food. If anyone would know about blood then she would.

“She’s had contact with a succubus, intimate contact.” Amy said smugly and her declaration floored me and completely stunned Ethan. I was just glad I couldn’t sense anything from either of them.

“That’s impossible, before all of this happened I’d only ever kissed one other person. There was no way he was a succubus, I would have known, wouldn’t I?” I asked Ethan in confusion but he wasn’t looking at me. He was working things out in his mind, I could almost hear the cogs turning in his head.

“How old were you?”

“Sixteen.” I said truthfully.

“And the boy?”

“The same. We were at school together.”

“Then he might not have even known, a succubus doesn’t come into their powers until eighteen.” Ethan said and it was the way that he spoke to me that made me recoil from him, cold and unfeeling his words were like ice towards me. “What does it mean?” I asked but Ethan still wouldn’t look at me.

“It means that any man who has had feelings for you never really did,” Amy said with satisfactory gloating in her tone. “You seduced them into feeling for you when they never really did.”

It certainly explained a lot, how so many people had called me beautiful, wanted me for whatever reason. I suddenly felt ugly and unwanted. I sunk down on the bed wanting nothing more than to curl up into a ball and cry. That was how pathetic I was feeling right now.

“Leave us Amy.” Ethan said, she bowed her head and did his bidding, satisfied that she had done the damage that she had come here to inflict.

Only once she had gone did he look at me. He looked utterly hurt and saddened by the news that Amy had delivered. “What does this mean?” I asked him but I was pretty sure what the answer would be but I needed to break the silence, I wanted him to talk to me.

“Are you attracted to me Anna?” He asked, “I realise that the question seems odd given the circumstances but it is important.” He said sternly.

I nodded, “I am attracted to you.” I said and his jaw clenched with my answer, he looked as if he’d just been punched in the face. “Why does that matter?”

“Because when a succubus is attracted to someone they let off a pheromone to lure in a mate. It puts into question my feelings towards you and also how Tobin feels about you as well. This can be considered as a good thing in regards to Tobin, his punishment will be less.” He was sounding so matter of fact, there was no emotion in his voice and it stung to hear him addressing me in such a way.

“So whatever you and Tobin felt for me wasn’t real?” I asked and Ethan nodded.

“It seems that that could be the case. I must leave you now, I need some time to consider this new information. This house is still your home and you shall treat it as such.” Ethan said before turning to leave.

I could think of nothing more to say to him. I wanted to call him back, to say something, to fix what Amy had done but there were no words that came to mind that would repair the damage. I simply watched him leave, closing the door behind him.

 

*

 

I watched from my bedroom window as Ethan came and went sporadically over the next two weeks, I assumed that he was out hunting for my twin but he never said anything to me about it. None of the other Vampire’s bothered to interact with me either so I was left on my own. I only ventured out of my room when I needed food. It was slowly starting to become a mundane existence, even more hellish now that Ethan wouldn’t see me or speak to me at all. The tutor he had promised had never arrived so I really had been left completely isolated.

 

He had left a note two days after Amy broke the news about my succubus tendencies telling me that he had pleaded Tobin’s case and he had been let off without punishment because his feelings were out of his control but he was still barred from seeing me, my father had seen to that. Overall I was feeling very alone and I wasn’t sure how much longer I was going to allow myself to be cooped up inside without any social interaction.

However, my solitude had given me a chance to hone my gifts, practise them so that I had some element of control over them. I knew that to trigger my fire power I had to be utterly terrified and after everything I had been through it wasn’t difficult to trigger it. I could now summon it and extinguish it at will.

I couldn’t really practice speed or strength and my healing seemed to just be built into me now however I had noticed that my hearing was by far more acute than it had been before Sky had bitten me. In my many hours of boredom I would sit on the bed, legs crossed and keep perfectly still, careful not to make a single sound. I could then listen to what was going on in the rest of the house.

Over the two weeks I had been left to my own devices I taught myself to isolate each noise, blocking out some and picking up on the rest. It took a lot of concentration and I was sure it would come easier to full on Vampire’s but the headaches I got after doing this for hours on end were worth it when I got to eavesdrop on conversations that the Vampire’s living here didn’t think I’d ever be able to hear.

Amy for instance gloated to anyone who would listen how she had put a stop to the romance that had blossomed between Ethan and I. I learnt that Ethan also had a Vampire mate who was travelling through Paris currently and would probably be less than thrilled at the news of me.

The other Vampire’s talked of the coming battle with the demons and the sins but mostly it was just mundane chit chat that had no interest to me. Exactly two weeks after I had last spoken to Ethan I learnt that he was returning to his home, I overheard a phone conversation that confirmed he would be home late evening.

It was upon hearing this that I made my decision. If the pattern that had come about over the last two weeks continued then him being here wasn’t going to make any difference to me and I wasn’t going to sit here indefinitely with no news just because he had told me to.

As the sun began to set I edged open my window. I was on the second floor and I wasn’t sure if I could make the jump cleanly but I was confident that if I injured myself then I’d heal fairly quickly. I didn’t bother taking anything with me, I didn’t have a suitable bag to hold anything in anyway. I pulled on a zip up jumper over my t-shirt as even in mid June the evenings were chilly.

I sat on the window and carefully manoeuvred myself so my legs hung outside the window. Below me a row of poorly maintained flower beds and grass. The days were getting warmer but in true British fashion it still wasn’t hot enough to dry out the ground. I jumped, landing on the solid ground with a thud that sent jolts of pain reverberating up my legs. I was grateful that there was no pain at all but it took me a moment to adjust myself and stand again.

Once I managed it I felt so free, as if I could go anywhere. I started to run. I had never had this much open space before and despite not knowing where I was going it felt wonderful to just run. Before I knew it my surroundings were a complete blur though I found it easier now I was the one doing the running. I could focus on things in the distance, keeping any nauseous feelings at bay.

I had no idea where I was going I wasn’t even sure if I had ruled out going back but just to get out of that room was exhilarating. It wasn’t long before I had company with me, I should have known that I wouldn’t have been able to sneak out without being noticed.

Once I realised I was being followed I slowed to a stop and turned to face my companion. Axel had been speeding along behind me, keeping a close eye on me, clearly on Ethan’s orders.

“How did you know I was going to leave?” I asked him, sinking to the ground next to a small stream. He came and sat down beside me, his guard still up in case I bolted again or we were attacked.

“For a number of reasons. For a start no one can be on their own in one room for that long without getting some form of flight instinct and also because the Vampire’s that live there have been sheltered from the world for too long, they act all high and mighty but really they’re just pathetic. I’ve had to put up with them for far too long.” He said, “I would have made a break for it at the end of week one.”

“Will Ethan avoid me forever because I’m not going to live as long as he is, he’s immortal, I’m not, he has forever to be mad at me but I don’t have forever to wait for him to get over it?”

“He isn’t mad at you.” Axel said simply.

“Then why is he avoiding me?” I asked feeling deflated and hopeless.

“Because he wanted to be sure that next time he see’s you he’ll be feeling his own emotions, nothing that has been chemically engineered by your pheromones.”

“How can he be sure of that?” I asked.

“He’s been looking for a witch over the last two weeks, he’s using witchcraft to find a way to make himself immune. Then once he is he’ll know how he feels about you.”

“How do you know all of this?” I asked him staring off into the distance. Not too far away from us was a tiny village, the lights were starting to come on in the houses as the evening got steadily darker.

“I am more than a bodyguard to him, I am a confident as well. You should feel honoured Anna, he has never reassigned me to protect anyone else. Whether he feels romantically towards you or not he still rates you of high enough importance to have me protect you rather than him.” 

“He rates me of high importance because I’m an asset in the coming war. I’m not stupid Axel, I know that I’m only being protected this much because if I die the demons get an upper hand and no one wants that.”

“I don’t think that anyone gives you enough credit. Personally I didn’t think that keeping you contained here would work but it wasn’t for me to voice my opinion. Ethan wanted you kept safe, away from possible demon attacks and that was what he got.”

“Until I ran off.”

“Until you ran off” Axel agreed.

“Do I have to go back?” I asked him, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back or not but I wasn’t sure if Axel would give me a choice or not.

“It’s up to you. Where would you go if you didn’t? Tobin is in another world, you don’t know how to cross over to get to him, there are two sets of demons out there looking for you, one group will kill you on sight and the other will take you to William who’ll trade your soul for his girlfriends. Doesn’t seem to me that you have very many decent options.”

“When you say it like that it sounds like I don’t have any choice.” I said in defeat, “Though to answer your question about where I’d go, I think I’d go home.”

“A wise choice if it was safe for you to go there. Sometimes I wish I could just go home.” He said and I had to turn to look at him as he had never divulged anything so personal about himself to me before.

“Where was your home?” I asked him curiously.

“I was born in Ireland.”

“You don’t have an accent.” I stated.

“I have spent many decades in England, my accent faded.” He said but didn’t elaborate anymore, I didn’t want to push him, he didn’t seem the type to spill his guts to anyone that asked. To even have told me as much as he had seemed to have been a push for him.

Do you know if Ethan succeeded, did he find a way to find out if he does feel for me naturally?” I asked, changing the subject quickly to avoid an uncomfortable silence.

“I think that he did, but I must tell you that he does already have a mate, they have been together for two centuries. She won’t take kindly to you if he does have romantic feelings for you. May I suggest that you consider very carefully your own feelings before you talk to Ethan?”

“Honestly I don’t know, I’ve never done the whole relationship thing.” I said to him trying to be honest about it. There was no reason to hide it and at this point I needed all the help I could get, especially if I was going to make an enemy out of it. Axel took a deep breath, “How did you feel when you told Tobin that it could never happen between the two of you?” He asked me, I had forgotten that he had been listening in and I felt slightly embarrassed that he had heard that particular argument.

“Guilty, I felt really guilty, he was so hurt that I rejected him.”

“And how did you feel when Ethan left after Amy dropped her bombshell and then avoided you for two weeks?” He asked, I thought about it for a moment, wanting my answer to be truthful.

“Hurt” I said and Axel nodded.

“I think you have your answer.”

“How did you get so good with this?” I asked him smiling at him, I hadn’t taken him for a big softy and I certainly wouldn’t ever have imagined him to have relationship talks with me like this.

“A long time ago I had a sister, you remind me of her.” He said and again after that one short, simple sentence he shut down emotionally and I didn’t pry anymore.

“I suppose we should go back then.” I said after a moment or two when we had lapsed into a fairly awkward silence where neither of us knew what to say.

“Ethan will be home by now and I’m sure he will be wondering where you are. I wouldn’t like to be there when he starts to lay into the people who were supposed to be taking care of you.”  Axel said with an amused smirk.

 

*

 

 

When we got back to the house there was chaos. That was the only word that crossed my mind as we entered through the front door. Every occupant of the house was running around like they didn’t know what to do with themselves but needed to look busy.

Axel and I stood back and just watched, no one seemed to notice that we had entered the house. It wasn’t until Ethan strode across the entrance hall clearly in a rage that anyone noticed that we were stood there.

“Anna!” He exclaimed with relief, throwing his hands up into the air. Everyone who had been bustling around us just stopped and turned to glare at me. “Where have you been?”

 

“Went for a walk.” I said simply, “Axel came too, I was perfectly safe.” Seeing how he had ignored me for two weeks I didn’t see how one little white lie would hurt. Ethan didn’t have to know that I’d run off. Axel nodded in agreement when Ethan’s gaze switched to him.

“May I have a word with you in private.” He said and I nodded, not that I had much choice in the matter, he had grabbed hold of my arm and was propelling me at full speed towards his office, passing all the glaring vampires as we went.

 

 

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