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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16. Chapter sixteen

*~* Chapter Sixteen *~*

 

When I woke up it was late afternoon, my heart sank a little when I realised I was alone. As I slowly came round I realised I could hear raised voices just outside my bedroom door. If I had had my wits about me then I would have eavesdropped however by the time I realised what I should have been doing the voices stopped and my bedroom door was opening. Ethan came in with a smile on his face and a plate of toast in one hand.

“Good morning.” He said placing the plate down on the nightstand and joining me in bed, his lips meeting mine in a brief kiss.

“Who were you arguing with?” I asked as Ethan started to wave toast in front of me. I shook my head in response.

“Come on you have to eat something, you’re already half starved.” He said ignoring my question, so in return I ignored his request. Instead I pulled him down for a proper kiss, which quickly turned into something a little more hormone fuelled.

Neither of us were very appropriately attired, him in drawstring pyjama bottoms, me in the flimsy shorts and vest top he had given me to wear on the first night I had stayed here. The thin layers of material did nothing to conceal the passion we felt for one another.

I had to pull away from him. There were so many reasons that I couldn’t go through with it. I jumped out of bed in a flash, backing away from the bed where he lay confused and still very much aroused.

“What’s wrong?” He asked in a panic, I could hear in his tone that he was concerned.

“I can’t do this.” I said to him as he climbed out of the bed and made his way towards me.

“Why not, did I do something to hurt you?”

“No, nothing like that.” I said, turning away from him because looking at him half naked, clearly wanting me in a very animalistic way was difficult to resist, especially when I wanted him just as much in return. “Firstly I’ve never done this before and secondly you have a partner or mate, or whatever it is you call her.”

“I’m assuming that Axel told you about Catherine.”

“He didn’t tell me her name but yes, he told me that you and her have been together a long time and that she wouldn’t take kindly to me.”

“I don’t want to waste a single second with you Anna, Catherine has been travelling across Europe for some time now, she has conquests of her own and I don’t concern myself with them. I don’t see why she would concern herself with you.”

“Is that all I am, a conquest?” I said, his words had hurt, I didn’t know what I was to him or him to me but I knew I never wanted to be any mans conquest.

He seemed to realise that what he had said wasn’t the right thing to say because immediately he tried to backtrack and fix the damage he had done. “I didn’t mean it like that, you are more to me than that Anna.” Then after a moment of consideration he added, “Would you feel better about us if I ended my relationship with Catherine, if I made you my one and only?”

“Don’t put that on me, it shouldn’t be up to me what you do or don’t do with Catherine.” I said but before I could say any more or Ethan could respond to me there was a knock on the door. Neither of us granted entrance but it opened and Axel came in nonetheless.

“He’s here.” He said, Ethan nodded somewhat solemnly.

“We’ll continue this conversation later Anna, for the moment you need to get dressed.” He said turning to leave.

“Why, who’s here?” I asked confused.

“Your father.” Ethan replied completely flooring me.

 

*

 

Ethan and Axel left me alone to dress. It took me ten minutes to look presentable but I stayed in my room for half an hour mulling over the fact that my father had managed to cross over into this world and he was here in this house and he wanted to see me. I spent the extra time sat at the dressing table, staring into the mirror and brushing my hair.

I knew I couldn’t delay this meeting indefinitely but from everything that I had heard about him and everything that he had done he didn’t sound like a man I wanted to meet and it wasn’t even just about him being an agent of death either. He had sent Sky to intervene with Tobin and I, he had bared Tobin from seeing me and now he was here.

My father had died when I was seven, he had been a good man and I had loved him dearly. Mum had never been around, dad had done everything for me. Losing him had devastated me. Whoever this man he wasn’t my father, not really. He had never been there for me and now he was controlling my life like he had every right to when in my opinion he didn’t. The bedroom door opened and closed, I didn’t turn to see who it was. I knew who it was the instant I felt soft kisses trailing up my neck. Strong arms encircled me and despite out bickering earlier in the morning it felt nice to be held by him.

“I feel as if I need to apologise for my words this morning.” He said to me. “I have sent word to Catherine that she is to return here and the terms of our marriage are to be altered.”

“You’re actually married to her?” I asked putting my brush down.

“Not in a human sense, but yes, we are.” He said. “I shall explain it to you this evening. Your father is becoming impatient, he wants to see you.”

“What if I don’t want to see him?”

“Anna, he is your father.”

“No he isn’t. My father died when I was seven years old. The man down there may be related to me by blood but he isn’t my father.”

“I understand that, I suggest you smile, even if you don’t want to, you go downstairs, be polite and instead of calling him father, call him by his name, Lucas.”

“Lucas? You’re serious.” Ethan nodded, “Odd name for death but then I thought Peter was an odd name for an element, no offense.”

Ethan chuckled, “None taken, dare I ask what kind of name you did expect?”

“I don’t know, something out of Lord of the Rings maybe.”

Laughing even harder now he turned my head to look at him and kissed me. For a brief moment it made me forget what I was about to do but as our lips parted it brought me back to my very disturbed reality.

Ethan took my by the hand and led me from the room. He kept our hands joined all the way down the stairs. I needed his support, nerves took over my body, butterflies took up residence in my stomach and I struggled to keep myself walking. Two people waited for us in the sitting room. One of them I recognized, the other I didn’t. My eyes focused on the one I knew. The dark hair, olive skin it all seemed familiar to me. It wasn’t until I saw the dragon tattoo on his arm that I realised where I recognized him from.

He had been in the club the night Amelia had died, he had been the one she was planning on going home with. I lowered my shields, focusing on him, trying to get inside his head but he put up his own block, throwing me out rather viciously while grinning at me. He knew that I knew and he was enjoying it.

“Anna, are you alright?” Ethan asked, I nodded and whispered to him that I would explain later. I hastily pulled my shields up again. I didn’t want to start shouting accusations around, it didn’t seem to be the time or the place for it.

Lucas stepped forward, offering me his hand to shake. Rather cautiously, I accepted it. Just looking at him I couldn’t see anything of myself in him, only the eyes. His were the same shade of light brown as mine but that was where the similarities ended. He was a bulky man with jet-black hair that was cut short. His clothes were all black too but even this wouldn’t have made me think that he was an agent of death if I had passed him on the street. He looked perfectly normal.

“It is a pleasure to finally meet you. This is Finley, he is my aid currently and will be accompanying me while I’m in this world.”

“Pleasure” I said with sarcasm. I withdrew my hand from Lucas and stepped back to align myself with Ethan. Finley made me extremely nervous and I was adamant that I wasn’t going to trust either of them until I knew how involved Finley had been in the murder of Amelia and also if Lucas had been in on it as well.

The fact that he was mentally stronger than me bothered me immensely. I couldn’t get inside his head to find out the truth which meant I would have to do it the old fashioned way.

“Word has reached me that you had some trouble with William last night. However no one could give me a satisfactory answer about how the situation was resolved.” Lucas said, he directed this to Ethan.

“Anna, perhaps you should wait outside while I explain -” Ethan began to say but I cut him off, shaking my head. “No, it was my decision, I’ll tell him. No point him getting mad at you, it wasn’t your fault.” I said and Ethan gave me a stern glare, which I adamantly ignored. “William took Ethan, I followed and made a bargain with him so that Ethan would be freed unharmed.”

Lucas looked absolutely livid, “What bargain did you strike?” He asked through gritted teeth, I didn’t even have to lower my shields to feel the rage radiating from him.

“When I went to him he had missed his window of opportunity to bring Bess back. I agreed that in one year, the day before the anniversary of her death I would go to him willingly and let him perform the ritual he needed.”

“What would make you do something so stupid!” Lucas said, his voice raised to a shout. Then he relaxed as if a realisation had dawned upon him. “You care for him. How many men do I have to take away from you before you realise that I won’t have you mate with riffraff like this.”

“There were stipulations to the agreement.” I said, my hand finding Ethan’s and ignoring the comment of him being riffraff. I would address that at a later stage.

“What stipulations?”

“He has to help keep me alive for the next year. He isn’t going to risk not being able to do the ritual next anniversary so he’s going to keep me safe at all costs. Oh and if you try to take Ethan the same way you took Tobin you won’t know what hit you.” I said trying to sound threatening but considering who I was threatening it probably didn’t sound very convincing. “Ethan can stay for the moment, he has more benefit here with you as long as there are no sexual relations I will make my peace with the two of you, at least for the moment.”

“Why are you so desperate to control my life? You haven’t given a damn the last twenty years, why are you so bothered who I’m with now? I’m twenty one years old, I’m not exactly a child.” I raged at him. I didn’t care if he was an agent of death, or death himself, I was annoyed and I was sick of bottling it up.

Lucas ignored my rant and continued as if I had said nothing. “As for the stipulations to the deal you made with William, I can see that there are advantages to it, it at least gives us a year to get you out of it.” He said with finality, be might have been done but I was not.

“Don’t ignore me Lucas.” I shouted, “I don’t care who you are, you will listen to me. It’s your fault that William came after me, you’re the one who took Bess away from him. That situation is your own doing and as for Finley, you might want to take a better look at him because he was in the club the night my friend Amelia was killed.”

At this declaration Lucas turned to Finley, “Is this true?” He asked.

“No sir, she must be mistaken.” Finley returned.

“Bullshit, I saw you, you left with her and then she ended up dead!”

“Shame you can’t prove it then isn’t it Anna.”

So angry with him I lost the small amount of control I had on my fire power and Finley suddenly went up in flames. Ethan grabbed me, shaking me, yelling at me to get control of myself and my powers before the whole house caught fire.

Exhausted and breathless I let the flames fade. Ethan had to hold me up so that I didn’t collapse. I was vibrating with power, tears were streaming down my cheeks as I put all my energy into not losing control again. Angry red burns covered Finley’s body and his clothes were singed beyond repair. He sank to the floor shaking in agony, apparently whatever creature he was couldn’t heal themselves.

I couldn’t believe what I had done. Ethan exchanged brief looks with Lucas before sweeping me off my feet and carrying me from the room. Axel had been waiting for us outside and had clearly heard the whole encounter. No words were spoken between them but Axel followed us upstairs, taking up his post outside my bedroom door.

Ethan laid me on the bed where I curled up in a ball sobbing. Using the fire power that I had cloned from Tobin was draining both emotionally and physically. Either I needed more practice or there was a reason that only one person could harness the power of each element.

“I will be back in a minute, I need to go and talk to Lucas. Will you be okay on your own or shall I send Axel in to keep you company.” Ethan asked, I didn’t say anything, I didn’t have the strength to even move. He placed a kiss on my forehead and left, sending Axel in to watch over me just in case.

“Something is wrong.” I managed to say to him, my voice was only a whisper but I managed to get it out. Axel came closer, sitting on the floor next to me so that he could hear me more clearly.

“What is wrong?” He asked.

“Tobin’s powers are wrong. I can’t control them, at least not well. I need his help to control them.” I said and even as I did I could feel them inside of me. It felt as if the fire itself was sweeping through my body. It was the only power I had taken on that didn’t feel natural. Even the demon’s telepathy had been difficult to mast but I had and now it felt as if I had had control of it my whole life. The fire was nothing like that though.

“I will talk to Ethan, swaying the decision that was made to keep him away from you won’t be a simple one to overturn. However I think even Lucas can be made to see that it would be beneficial to you. I don’t think that Ethan will be pleased however.” Axel said.

“Can’t Ethan give him the potion that he took? Make him immune to the pheromones too then maybe he won’t feel anything for me either.”

“I will talk to him.”

“Thank you.” I said and closed my eyes.

Using the fire to attack Finley the way I had had taken more out of me than I cared to admit. I needed something, I needed to know why his powers drained me so much. It took all I had to conjure fire and I didn’t like the feeling that it left with me.

Ethan wasn’t going to like having him around, that much I was certain of. Tobin had already shown distrust and dislike towards Ethan. I had a feeling that the feeling was mutual. However I had other things to worry about other than who could get more jealous over me. That was if Tobin felt anything after taking the potion to make him immune to my pheromones.

I wasn’t quite asleep when Ethan returned, he clearly thought that I was though because he didn’t bother to leave the room before addressing Axel who had remained with me as per his instructions.

“Lucas is summoning Tobin here. Only a phoenix can heal burns caused by phoenix fire. He isn’t prepared to consider the accusations that Anna put forward until Finley is healed.”

“You might consider asking Lucas if he will permit Tobin to see Anna as well.” Axel said, I was immediately grateful that he was doing as I had requested of him.

“Why?” Ethan asked with suspicion.

“Using powers shouldn’t exhaust her this much. Before she fell asleep she told me that something was wrong, she can’t control the fire like she can control the other powers she processes. She wanted you to give Tobin the potion you took so the pheromones don’t affect him also.”

“Potion or not I don’t want him near her. I already know that passion like what he felt for her was not chemically induced by any pheromone, it was just magnified by it. What Tobin feels for her is real and it is strong. I only pleaded his case because I knew Anna cared about him and she would have been concerned about him. However if her powers are being affected and he is the only one who can help then I don’t see what I can do.” I could hear the defeat in his voice that was only under played by the annoyance. I had been right in assuming that the feeling would be mutual.

I listened intently while concentrating on keeping my breathing slow and steady to ensure that both Ethan and Axel thought I was asleep. They exchanged a few more hushed words before Axel went to leave, before he could Ethan seemed to stop him.

“Next time, please don’t share intimate details of my life with Anna. She is displeased to hear of Catherine and I don’t entirely blame her. Information such as that is for me to divulge when I believe it is necessary for her to know. It is not for you to gossip about, do you understand me Axel?” This was a side of Ethan that I never hoped to be on, I thought the tone he had taken with me when he had discovered I’d shared a kiss with a succubus was bad, it was nothing compared with the way he spoke to Axel now.

“I understand. Please accept my apologies.” He said before I heard the door open and close. He was gone. Seconds after he had departed Ethan joined me on the bed, wrapping his arms around me protectively.

“Tobin doesn’t have to see me if you don’t want him to.” I whispered to him.

“So you heard that then.” He said and I nodded, turning to face him and snuggling closer. “Will it help you with controlling that fire power of yours?”

“I can do it, I’m sure that I can. I just need more time.”

“Axel was right, it shouldn’t take this much out of you. He will help you but either Axel or I will be there to supervise. I won’t have him force himself on you.”

“He won’t do that.” I said now half asleep. For a Vampire he was surprisingly warm.

“I love you Anna.” Was the last thing I heard him say before I drifted off to sleep.

 

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