Jade Elthering woke up alone and tortured. At the age of 6, she was at the mercy of a killer. Some how she escapes and manages resume a normal life for eleven years thanks to her loving foster family. But when her kidnapper returns for her, life gets turned upside down. Transported back to her previous life, Jade must resume her true identity if she is to save her friends and family. But will she have the courage to face down her stalker?


8. She'll rise, but she sure don't shine


We set out the next morning at around 7 o’clock. Blaze was keen to start at sunrise... but we had a problem. Renee had a fit. She demanded to go with us.

‘Look I was dragged into this boring old world with you. I REFUSE to be left alone with these old fashioned freaks! Imagine the food I’d be fed? That bowl of porridge alone has too many calories to count!’ she exclaimed, pointing at the bowl that Samlett was eating for breakfast. ‘And besides, it’s the least you can do; after all you dragged me into this mess. You better start making it up to Me.’ she continued.

 ‘Oh and by the way? Your hair is knottier than ever. You badly need a trim, your split ends are getting WAYY out of hand.’ Renee added with a flourish.

After about an hour of arguments about how she’d just get annoyed and dirty with us, she brought up Blaze, and how he was the only one nice to her here. It took a lot of effort to not burst out laughing at the fact that he’d spent the last hour thinking of reasons for her not to come with us. I didn’t think Renee really liked Blaze, but because he was attractive and the only male our age that she’d spoken to since being in Alta she flirted unsubtly with him and scared him away. Blaze was an annoying complication in the back of my mind which drifted to the surface often. What did the hair kissing thing mean? Was that normal for people in the Hollow? Maybe we’re friends… maybe we could be more. I puzzled over it. Anyway Renee ended up coming with us, and demanding more blankets and extra food to be taken.  

I went outside to the stables with Blaze to get Starlight (another horse) ready for Renee. As we were brushing Starshine thoroughly Blaze blurted out,

                ‘Jade you don’t think Renee really does like me right? I mean she has no reason… I haven’t approached her in anyway at all, to be honest she scares me!’ he laughed shakily.

‘Erm… I think that she thinks she likes you because you’re the only guy her age that she’s met in a 20 mile radius. And she hates this place so much that she doesn’t want to go any further than a 20 mile radius!’ I laughed back. ‘Unless of course, you’re there’ I winked.

‘Oh, thank God!’ he laughed, ‘I just don’t think of her that way… I’m more into real girls. Renee doesn’t belong here in my world. I see her as an accident. I was more interested when you came through the Gap. It was like I was expecting you.’ he paused. ‘I don’t know how, but I can guess why…’ he trailed off, staring at my face intently.

I wondered if I had something on my face, and suddenly his words clicked.  I stared back at him thoughtfully. He tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear and I swallowed convulsively and my heart was hammering so loud he must have been able to hear it. He leaned closer to my face and whispered something about his world changing when I entered it, but I couldn’t concentrate, he was so close by then it was dizzying. I could feel his sweet breath on my cheek. His lips found mine as I wrapped my arms around his neck. Our lips moved together in perfect synchronization. His mouth opened with a sigh and we stood there kissing in the stable. My heartbeat returned to normal, this all felt right; there was nothing wrong with it. The rain poured down all around us, but I was dry and safe and warm, I was with Blaze. When the rain reduced to a light drizzle I pulled away, he looked confused for a second and it took me one word to remind him of what we had to prepare for today.


‘Oh. Can’t we just temporarily poison her?’ he suggested with a mischievous smile.

‘Blaze!’ I scolded.

‘I was kidding... Mostly.’ he laughed softly.

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