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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21. Chapter Twenty One

 

I looked at him in utter amazement, a million questions sprang into my mind simultaneously and I didn’t know which one to address first. I couldn’t believe he was here, he had said that he would find me but I almost hadn’t believe that he would and yet here he was.

“Cain, let him go!” I said with a heavy tone of warning in my voice, William must have gave him the nod of approval because he did so, there was no way Cain would ever have done anything I asked him to do. “Tobin, you okay?” I asked, rushing to him.

“Fine, not quite fully healed but getting there.” He said with a half smile as I led him to the sofa and sat him down. “Brought your stuff.” He said motioning to a bag that Cain was carrying. I couldn’t have been more thankful than I was at that moment. I didn’t know how happy just having a change of clothing would make me.

“How did you find me?” I asked him.

“Ethan.” He said simply but he didn’t sound overly happy about it.

“How did he know where to find me?”

“The necklace he gave you, you’re still wearing it.”

“Then why isn’t he here I asked. “Is he with Catherine again?”

“No but he knew that was why you had left. He figured you must have seen them together.” Tobin explained, I could see that it cost him a lot to repair the broken bonds between Ethan and I and I admired his strength.

“So why isn’t he here?”

“Your father is furious that you got away. If Ethan leaves then they’ll follow him and he knows that you won’t thank him for that seeing as the wedding s all set to take place the minute they find you.” Tobin said and this was astonishing news seeing as I hadn’t even agreed to marry Finley but it seemed that mattered very little.”

“Didn’t they think of following you?” I asked him, I knew this was the question on everyone’s mind seeing as he had mentioned it but Tobin was shaking his head.

“I took that potion remember, as far as your dad is concerned I’ve gone on my merry way. I had no call to stay there, I wasn’t needed there so I just left and no one tried to stop me.”

“Were you careful?” William asked.

“Of course, I wouldn’t put Anna at risk, especially not when it could mean she’s forced to marry Finley. Ethan filled me in about what you found out about him. Though, while I remember you two should drink this.” He said and he removed two small plastic vials from his pocket, giving one to Cain and one to William.

“What is this?” William asked curiously, looking at it with interest.

“No idea, Ethan called it something Latin, all I know is it makes you immune to the pheromones of a succubus.”

“And why would we need this?” William asked.

“My first kiss was apparently a male succubus.” I explained and William seemed to accept this explanation and willingly drank the potion, Cain too followed suit. I stood eyeing the bag Cain was still holding dying to take it from him so that I could shower and change.

“Anna, why don’t you go and do what you need to do, after all we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow.” William suggested and I was grateful for his suggestion.

“Big day?” I questioned praying that he hadn’t adopted a sense of humour suddenly and was mocking me running away from my apparent fiancé.

“You do still want to go home I assume.”

“Oh, yes of course.” I said as I took the bag from Cain who didn’t look at me. He was far to busy eyeing Tobin with suspicion. There was certainly a lot of love in this room.

“Then I suggest rest all around, Tobin, is the sofa alright for you, I’m afraid we’ve run out of beds.” William said kindly but Tobin was not returning the kindness, he was instead glaring at William as if had offended him.

“No thanks, I’ll take the floor in Anna’s room.”

“As long as that is okay with Anna, fine.” William returned, ignoring the glare.

“Fine.” I said slightly distracted as I headed for the stairs. All I could think about now was getting in the shower and putting on a clean pair of pyjamas and going to sleep. I knew I’d sleep well tonight. I’d never take clean clothes for granted again.

I felt so much better when I stepped out of the shower, the bag had held a fantastic range of items, including a towel, soft and fluffy, pure heaven compared to what William and Cain were surviving with currently. I put my pyjamas on and dashed back to my room, I wasn’t keen on William or Cain seeing me in the skimpy pyjamas that Ethan had picked out for me.

Tobin was waiting for me when I got back to my room. He had the look of disapproval on his face that told me I wouldn’t be going to bed until I’d heard what he’d had to say.

“Do we have to do this now?” I asked, hoping the answer would be no, however I wasn’t going to be that lucky.

“I’m just concerned about you and for that matter so is Ethan. What are you doing with these two idiots?” He asked.

“When I left Ethan’s they followed me and wouldn’t leave me alone so we just came here together. I didn’t have any clue where I would have gone otherwise, it just made sense. William isn’t going to risk anything happening to me before he can resurrect Bess so I figured that I’d be perfectly safe with him. Better even than being on my own.”

“I still don’t trust them. Cain especially, there is something about him.”

“What do you want me to say Tobin? What was I supposed to do? If I hadn’t have left then I’d probably be married already, there is no way I’m letting that happen, not when Finley is my intended husband.”

“I understand all of that sweetheart but we could find another way now that I’m here as well, we don’t have to be here with them.”

“I understand you not trusting Cain, neither do I but I do trust William. I made a deal with him and part of that deal is him protecting me. It seemed fairly logical to me.”

“Fine” He said giving up as he was clearly not getting anywhere on this particular subject but unfortunately for me he wasn’t done quite yet. “What about going home, you realise that is the most ridiculous idea in the history of ideas.”

“I want to go Tobin, I have nothing of my own right now. There are a couple of things that I want to get. It won’t be that bad, I’ll have you, William and Cain there with me. Besides that I’m not exactly a damsel in distress. I can handle myself.” I pointed out.

 “Yeah, sure, you can handle yourself, with fire power that weakens you to the point of exhaustion. That’s brilliant Anna, also your healing isn’t even very good. How exactly are you going to protect yourself?”

“That’s uncalled for Tobin, I can still use the fire.”

“No, you can’t Anna because it might kill you if you do.”

“So you found something out about it then.”

“Yes. I made some calls yesterday.” He said rather solemnly, I didn’t want to know who he would call. I doubted very much that there was an expert on situations like this.

“What did you find out?” I asked, fearing what the answer would be.

“It’s slowly killing you, every time you use it, it’s literally draining the life from you.” He said sounding none too happy about it. “Promise me, not matter what no more healing and no more fire, please Anna, it’s important.”

“What can I do to, is there anything I can do?”

“There is a way but it’s difficult if not impossible.”

“Tell me.”

“Anna, I don’t think it can be done.”

“Please, just tell me, I have to try.”

“You have to take on all five elemental powers. As I said before, our bodies have been built to withstand these powers, yours hasn’t. However if you take on all five of the elemental powers they will bond together making you so powerful and almost indestructible. It’s the only way you’ll survive but to track down and convince the rest of the four elements to allow you to clone your powers isn’t going to be simple, I don’t think any one person has ever met all of them.”

“Then we’ll become the first. I already have yours so that’s a start.”

“There is one other thing though.”

“What is it?”

“Until you have all five and they have a chance to bond together there is a risk that it could kill you. Having so much power is always dangerous.”

“Is there another way?” I asked him.

“Possibly but it isn’t confirmed, I have to wait to hear back to see if it’s possible.”

“Will you tell me what this second option is at least? I think I deserve to know seeing as it’s going to be my choice to make.”

“Stripping you of all the powers you’ve accumulated. The last cloner, her family was made up of witches and they found a way of taking away powers but the spell or potion was lost. If we can track it down you can start again, no vampire powers, no elemental power, no demonic telepathy and no succubus pheromones either.” He seemed to think that I would be excited about this but thinking about going back to just being human, unable to protect myself and unable to play any part in the coming war didn’t sit well with me. I couldn’t understand why Tobin thought that it would.

“And what if I don’t want that?” I asked him. “What if I don’t want to take them all away?”

“If it’s possible then it’s the best option Anna, it’s too dangerous to try the other way, it could kill you before we’ve even managed to track down the last three elements. Also the one element that we know of isn’t exactly going to willingly let you clone his powers. Have you even thought this through?”

“If those are my two options then this is what I’m choosing to do. I’m not stripping my powers. If you had given me that choice  four weeks ago I would have been glad to do it but not now. I don’t want that.” I said to him and Tobin wasn’t looking all too happy with my decision.

“It would kill you Anna, I’m trying to save your life!”

“Stop trying, if you want to help me then start tracking down the other elements! That would be helpful!” I told him trying to sound decisive praying that he would listen to me.

“You are so stubborn, won’t you even consider the other option?” He asked me sounding desperate.

“No.” I said to him and I knew that it was hurting him to hear me say it. “Because I don’t have a life really, not anymore. Not since that demon attacked and tried to rape me and now I have just one year until my body is not my own anymore. In my last year I am not going to run and hide because something is dangerous or difficult to achieve. Please Tobin, stop trying to protect me so much and help me.”

He looked at me sadly, it was almost as if he hadn’t realised how real the deal I had made with William was, the finality of it. This time next year the body my soul inhabited wouldn’t be mine anymore, it would belong to Bess. I knew that Lucas and Ethan wanted to find a way to get me out of the deal but I stood by the agreement I’d made with William and the reasons behind it.

“I’m going to help you anyway I can, I would never just abandon you but I still think that this is the worst plan you could have chosen. The last three elements won’t be easy to find and you might die before we find them.”

“It’s a chance I’m going to take. Please just leave it at that.” I asked him and he nodded. I could hear the cogs whirring in his mind and I let down my shields so I could listen in. I could have laughed at what I heard. He was going to tell Ethan, Tobin thought that Ethan would have more sway over the decisions I made and he was actually bitter about that. I had to feel a little sorry for him seeing as he cared for me deeply but he really had no clue.

“What are you laughing about?” He asked with confusion.

“You, Ethan isn’t going to change my mind, even if he was here with you while you told me all of this it wouldn’t matter what his opinion was this is still the choice I would make.”

“You read my mind?” He asked sounding hurt.

“Yes, why?”

“Please just don’t, it’s a demonic power and I don’t want you using it on me.” He said now sounding grumpy with it.

“I don’t get it Tobin, what’s the problem here?” I asked with confusion, keen to know what I had done and whether he was just annoyed because I had vetoed the plan he wanted me to pick.

“Do you know what demons use that power for Anna?”

“No, I don’t.” I said honestly fearing that he was about to telling.

“They get inside people’s heads, they find out their worst fear and then they torment them, it’s why you can feel emotions as well. Demon’s get inside their victims head, relive the worst moments of their lives and torment them with it. I don’t want you in my head, got it?”

“Okay” I said, taken aback by the abruptness and the annoyance in his voice. It was true that I had never really thought about why the demons had this power or how they used it but it made a lot of sense now that Tobin had said it. “I’m sorry.” I offered, not wanting to fight with him. He was the only friend I had at the moment and I didn’t want to bicker.

“No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that. I’m just worried for you. I don’t’ think you’ve made the wrong choice and I really don’t want to lose you.”

I looked at him, not wanting to lie to him or give him false hope that he was never going to lose me because of course that was utter rubbish. Of course he was going to lose me, I had ensured that when I had made the deal with William but equally I didn’t want to remind him of that and upset him all the more.

“We’ll survive this.” I said to him and he nodded. He opened his arms up and I went to him, allowing the embrace. I felt the warmth of his body and of his heart flow from his body to mine. It was such comfort to me that we just held each other for the longest time, enjoying the comfort we gave to one another.

 

*

 

I was up before dawn the following day despite having had less sleep than I had hoped for because of my chat with Tobin. I dressed silently and in the dark so that I didn’t wake him, he was still snoring on the floor next to my bed when I snuck quietly out of my room.

I headed for the kitchen to make coffee. It was about the only thing that William and Cain kept fully stocked. It had surprised me to learn that an ex heavenly being who had been on this planet for over 500 years had a coffee addiction but who was I to judge?

I was going to need an artificial boost if I was going to get through today. William was the next to join me downstairs, no doubt roused by the scent of brewing coffee. He too was already fully dressed but then again I had never seen him anything less than a shirt and jeans. He seemed always to be immaculately attired whenever I saw him.

“Coffee?” I offered.

“No, thank you.” He said rather stiffly taking me by surprise, I had never seen him refuse coffee even after having drank three cups previously. “I overheard you and Tobin discussing your options last night.”

“Okay.” I said carefully, unsure about where this conversation was going and unsure how I felt about being overheard.

“I don’t want you off chasing elements. Take the damn potion and don’t be so foolish.” He said and that shocked me even more. I had to put down my mug of coffee so that I could focus my attention on William who was sounding deadly serious.

“Excuse me?” I asked him trying to take in his sudden demand of me.

“You are not chasing elements, it is too dangerous.”

“You’re telling me what to do now? What happened to not containing a free spirit?” I asked him challenging him. Last night, before Tobin had arrived, he had been nice, he had talked to me about Bess and he had agreed to let me go home when I knew full well neither Ethan nor Tobin would have allowed it if I had just been with them.

“I said that before I had seen how stupid you could be. Take the option of the potion and be done with it, you can always collect more powers, ones that won’t hurt you.” He instructed.

“No” I said defiantly.

“What?”

“I said no, this is my body and my choice. You can either help me or get out of my way but you have no control over me. Not yet anyway. I have a whole year before you get to put Bess into my body and until that moment when you need to do the ritual or whatever it is you need to do then it’s my choice what I do with my life, or what’s left of it, understand?”

“It is reckless and stupid Anna.”

“Well it’s the only choice I have because I don’t want to get rid of my powers. Are you going to accept that or not?” I asked him. I was not budging on this matter. I wasn’t going to drink any potion or get rid of the power i had acquired. I just had to be more careful with how I used particular ones.

“Not willingly.” He returned begrudgingly.

“Fantastic, now are you sure you don’t want coffee?”

 

*

 

It took Tobin and Cain another couple of hours to get up, dressed and fuelled with caffeine so that they were ready to go. An entire hour after dawn had broken we were finally ready to leave.

“How are we getting there?” Tobin asked.

“I will take us.” William said without elaborating and barely acknowledging Tobin at all, a huge change from the kindness that he had shown the evening before. I could already tell that this was going to be a long day.

“How?” Tobin asked again.

“He can teleport.” I said clearing things up for Tobin and stopping a fight before it started. It was obvious that these two wouldn’t be getting along despite agreeing about the fact I should take the potion rather than go searching for elements. However I didn’t think that even this was going to help them bond.

“Wonderful” Tobin said with heavy sarcasm.

“Well you don’t have to come.” Cain interjected.

“I’m not leaving Anna alone with you two!” Tobin said now glaring at Cain venomously.

“Yes, because it isn’t like she was alone with us for two days before you showed up.” Cain said mockingly and I could see Tobin was getting close to the edge with each snipe.

“Stop it, both of you.” I said coming to stand between them before a fight could start. “Tobin as much as I would enjoy seeing you punch Cain to a pulp we have to go. The earlier we go the less likely it is we run into trouble. If you two want to stay and punch each other black and blue then go for it, William and I will go alone.”

“I’m not leaving you.” Tobin said.

I didn’t reply, I had gone over with him that William wasn’t going to hurt me and I wasn’t about to do it again now. We didn’t have time to stand around talking, arguing or fighting, we needed to leave.  

William offered his hand out to all of us. I took hold of it and then so did Cain. Tobin looked a little apprehensive but finally he too took William’s hand. For a second there was that awful feeling of being sucked up a vacuum cleaner before being spat out the other end.

We landed on the green outside my house. Tobin had to steady me as I regained myself. I hated teleportation. I’d have preferred regular human methods of transportation over the supernatural methods any day. I was astounded that it hadn’t affected Tobin at all, he seemed completely at ease with it. Then again he had been a part of this world since he was born, for all I knew he had travelled using teleportation before.

The place was empty of people. The morning was chilly and I was regretting only wearing a t-shirt. It felt strange being back, I hadn’t thought that I would ever come back here. It had only been a few weeks but the night I’d been attacked here and Tobin had saved me, throwing me into the supernatural world and overloading me with information seemed like it had happened years ago.

“What day is it?” I asked looking around.

“Sunday morning.” William said, which explained why it was so silent. “Which house is yours?” He asked me and I motioned to the house which I had lived in for the whole of my life. Now coming back as a completely different person and knowing I only had a year left to live was an odd feeling.

It didn’t feel good to be back here. As the four of us moved closer to the house I realised why it felt so wrong being here. The house had been ransacked in my absence. The windows smashed and the door broken down. It upset me to see it in such a state, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“What happened?” I asked unable to take my eyes off the ruined house.

“I’m guessing demons. The day we left here we lost them when we were riding round on the underground, this is the only place they knew you had ties to, they would have come back here.” Tobin said, “This is why I didn’t think it was a good idea to come back.”

“Do you still want to go inside?” William asked and I nodded in response.

“I need to get a few things, if they’re still here.” I said realising that if the house had been like this since soon after I had left then it wouldn’t only have been open for attack by supernatural creatures but also regular human scumbags too.

“We should make this a quick visit.” William said and even he seemed uneasy about being here now. We had all come to the conclusion that it had been a mistake to come back here but we were here now and I wasn’t leaving until I got what I came for. I started making my way towards the house trying desperately not to think about the state of it too much because if I did I was likely to start crying. 

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