Hunted: Beth

Elizabeth Folks was 3 when she was found wondering out of Black Forest. Since then she has become the towns 'living legend'. Adopted by strangers to protect their only child, she became the 'bait' if anything were to happen...

Now at 18 years old, Beth still holds a secret she kept since the day she became a Folks-daughter. But since the downfall of the Grave Makers, witches have finally returned to Earth. Without the balance of good and evil, the witches are forced to choose a side, and once more, Black Forest is under the clutches of an evil witch. The numbers of missing children increase, slowly but surely, as time goes on...

Fighting to protect her adoptive sister, and keep her secret. Beth is thrown into the deep end when a stranger enrolls at Black Forest High School. His presence sparks Beth's fear of her secret being discovered.

When avoiding the stranger is deemed impossible, Beth puts in all the stakes to hiding from him. Yet is it him she should really be worried about?

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5. Fire

She handed me a small piece of paper and the smallest piece of bread, her hands curling my own around the items before she dropped a kiss to my cheek.

"Now go to the woods Elizabeth and whatever you do, promise never to leave them" my mother whispered. The terrified screams, and the roaring fire that had engulfed the rest of the town made me squirm as I started to retreat obediently. A loud crash, sent me glancing to my right, my eyes landing on my own reflection of wide golden eyes, and short, copper hair glistening as the fire spread to the other side of the tent.

"Mumma" I called out, turning to see her pull my little sister up into her arms.

"Go now Elizabeth. I will be fine. Promise me never to leave the forest, and to never return" she said. I squirmed at the desperateness in her voice, she was scared. I nodded as she bent down once more, low enough for me to plant a kiss on her forehead.

"I promise" I said, feeling the set of the words change me. She reached down at ruffled my hair, before I turned and began stumbling out the tent. The piercing sounds of screams seemed to chased me, as I stumbled through the open field.

 

A man emerged from the forest wielding a small jar filled with dirt. He didn't see me as I passed him, and I glanced curiously over my shoulder at the unusual clothing he wore. Stepping into the forest, I headed in deeper before fear ran through me. Darkness surrounded me as did the damp, coolness of the air. I paused. My mother... Turning back, I headed towards the edge of the forest leading to home but stopped just inside the border to see the man from earlier, his hand clasping my mothers hair as she knelt on the ground before him, the bundle I recognized as my baby sister lying meters away. He cut her hair in a fluid motion before dropping it into the jar and throwing it into the flames of our home. A cry escaped my lips, before I watched in horror when suddenly my mother then erupted into flames, a scream escaping her so blood curdling, I could barely hear my own...

 

My eyes flew open, as I began to shake rapidly. I shut my eyes, struggling to suppress the memories that haunted most of my nights. A knock at the door sent me jumping, before it opened slowly.

"Are you okay?" Tori asked. I turned my face away from her, quickly wiping the tears from my cheeks as I sat up and faked a yawn.

"I'm good, just a little hungry that's all" I said, glancing back over my shoulder, my eyes narrowing as the light spilling through the door seared my eyes.

"Okay, just letting you know Luke's down the stairs. Cade's dropped by" Tori let out, before swiftly leaving the room with the slam of the door.

 

Throwing the covers off my body, I leant over and turned on the bedside lamp, sitting still for a few moments as my eyes adjusted to the light. Getting up, I walked over to a cupboard beside the window. The cold, midnight breeze came through straight from the forest, as I threw open a drawer and pulled on a pair of shorts and a jumper out, before pulling them on. Closing the drawer, I reached out to close the windows, stopping suddenly as a flash of silver came from the edge of the forest. Squinting, I leaned forward, trying to get a better look, but unfortunately could see nothing but darkness.

"Must be my imagination" I mentally kicked myself, as I shut the window. Leaving the bedroom, I headed down the stairs, burying my hands in my pockets as my bare feet hit the cool, marble floor as I headed down the staircase.

 

"Want some cocoa?" James called out from the bar, as he hooked up the kettle. Glancing at Tori who's back was turned to me, I watched as her hands clenched nervously onto the cup before her.

"No, thanks. I'll just go find Cade" I replied, reaching the bottom step, and turning to the other side of the hall. Entering the slightly ajar, double doors of the main lounge I reminded myself to relax as I saw Cade and Luke talking beside the fireplace. They both glanced up as I entered.

"Your up" Luke said, moving from beside the fire place, before picking up a thick blanket from beside the fire and heading towards me.

"I was hungry" I lied, my eyes not leaving Cade as he leant forward in the armchair he'd been leisurely lying back in moments before I'd entered. His arms then rested upon his knees, as he linked his hands his eyes blazing red with the reflection of the fire, as usual the only possible windows to his soul shut off from my only ability to sense what his intentions were. I curled up beside Luke as he threw the blanket around my shoulders, and drew me close, before planting a kiss atop my slightly tousled hair. I watched as Cade's eyes avoided the action, yet only for a second before they flew back to Luke's as we walked over to the lounge beside the fire.

 

"If you have something on your mind, I'd rather you say it, than keep it to yourself" I informed him, as Luke helped me sit into the seat before sitting down beside me, his arm still around my shoulders. Cade's eyes then slowly turned back to mine once more.

"It isn't common for guardians to fall in love with humans" he said bluntly. Raising an eyebrow, I found myself glaring as I opened my mouth to snap a reply before Luke calmed me with the smallest pat of his hand.

"We aren't lovers Hunter, though if we were it wouldn't be any of your business now would it?" Luke inquired, his voice low and calm, yet beneath it all - I could still hear the protective sharpness.

"You are, after all, hunting a witch are you not? Or have you forgotten your assignment?" I teased, smirking as Cade's jaw clenched in obvious aggravation.

"If I can't sense anything about him, I'd probably better start drawing out the answers another way..."

"Which faction do you belong to?" I asked. He seemed to jump, suddenly very alert.

"North, south, east or west? I don't suppose you haven't an origin of training, am I right?" I asked. His gaze suddenly hardened,

"The North" he replied, his voice suddenly cold and closed off.

"Touchy" I suppressed a smile.

"And you are given assignments by the good or the..." I continued,

"Since when did humans know about Hunter and Guardian factions?" Cade asked, interrupting me before turning to face Luke.

"Guides are given their role at different ages, for Beth it was a few weeks after her 5th birthday" Luke replied.

"And the plot thickens..." I smiled at Luke, before turning back to see Cade watching me with wary eyes.

"Your an orphan..." he said slowly, punctuating each word as if his thoughts were beginning to piece things together...

"Don't be silly" I told myself,

"His bluffing" I took a deep breath,

"Actually she's my sister, and that subject is off limits" a voice snapped, cutting him off. We turned to see Tori holding two mugs of steaming cocoa, her eyes blazing as she glared at Cade.

"Stranger" she growled blatantly.

 

Her blonde hair was illuminated by the fire as she walked past it, the tips turning red as she handed Luke and I a cup.

"I didn't ask for..." I said, looking up at Tori to see her still glaring at Cade. He sighed and got up slowly.

"I think I might get going..." he said. Luke and I set our cups aside, as we began to walk with him towards the entrance. I glanced over my shoulder to see Tori still glaring at him as she followed, arms crossed.

"Got to figure some stuff out about the assignment, and since there doesn't seem to be many answers here I'll look elsewhere" he informed us, turning to shake Luke's hand muttering a small thanks before turning to give Tori and I a polite nod as Luke opened up the door.

"See you later then" I said, watching as he left. Reaching to close the door, I saw the flash again as before but in under a second it was gone once more, and the only thing I could see was Cade open up the door to a flash, new, four-wheel-drive. Pausing, for a moment I didn't return the small wave he cast me before driving off, because even as I shut the door and locked it, I knew one thing for certain,

"His not working alone".

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