Hidden Truths, Hidden Hearts

The first in the Hidden Truths trilogy.
Maria always knew she was different. From when she was a child she could do things she couldn't explain and had a power she couldn't understand. Then she meets Zac who changes her life forever. Together they embark on a journey that presents dangers, reveals long forgotten truths and brings them together in ways they could never imagine.

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16. Actions have Consequences

It had started raining. The rain had quickly extinguished the raging flames. Maria had not spoken since the fire. Jennifer and her had simply stood and watched the flames. Jennifer had managed to get out unscathed. Maria had not been so lucky. Her hair was singed. Her uniform was ruined and her skin was badly burnt. But her injuries were nothing compared to how she felt inside. Guilt gnawed at her insides.
"I saw you. The flames parted before you. I can't..." Jennifer was in shock.
Maria couldn't look at her, "I killed him."
"No," said Jennifer, "it's not your fault."
Maria turned away from the wreck as the sirens sounded in the distance, "I think I'll walk home. See you tomorrow."
Jennifer watched her friend walk away, a sad cloud hung over her.
"Yea, see you." said Jennifer sadly.
Maria looked behind her once she had gotten far enough away. She could still see the smoke rising from the ruined building. Jennifer was gone. She couldn't conceal her feelings any longer. Leaning against a brick wall she cried. The rain covered her tears. She had let the fire take control and got burnt. Someone had died because of her. Neither of them had managed to grab their stuff in time. It would be ash by now. She looked to the heavens as the rain came down. She let out an anguished scream that became choked with tears. Rain soaked her to the bone. Let it rain. She didn't care anymore.
"Maria Chandra, you are to come with me."
She looked up expecting to see a policewoman standing before her. Instead what she saw an elderly woman with long silver hair carefully braided hanging down her shoulder. She wore a celestial white robe and carried a silver staff. Despite her age her eyes sparkled with youth.
"Who are you? asked Maria.
"I am Elethea. I was sent from Loreanor where the high council summons you to take trial for using magic to harm and in front of humans."
"It was...an accident," Maria 's voice went quiet, "I tried to control it...to stop it."
"But you should not have let it start." Elethea held out her hand, "Come with me."
Maria did not move, "What if I refuse?"
Elethea's face softened a little with sympathy.
"You are making this harder for yourself." she gently touched Maria's shoulder, "I'm sorry but you have no choice."
Before Maria could reply or run away she became enveloped in a cloud of white smoke. The world faded away as it thickened. Elethea gently took her arm although she tried to shake it away. Soon everything went black.

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