I'm...different. Most people are out to kill me.
And not in the classic cat-fight way.
Like, with a knife, or gun.

Jake is my only friend.

I trust no one.

This is what the mark (#) has given me.

The group of people I belong to are hunted, killed for things we do not know. Just because you possess special powers doesn't mean you are evil, right?

I sure as heck hope not.

This is what I am.

I, Fire Rose, am an Allure.


9. Chapter Nine





When I hear a knock on the door, I jolt away from him. I look over at the door, slightly shaking beneath Jake's knock.

"Fire? Zak?"

"Zak." He moves down to lightly kiss the right side of my jaw. "Zak." He hums against it. "Jake's knocking." He pulls away and looks at the door, letting out a sigh.  I grin. "We can't tell him."

"That we just made out?" I roll my eyes.

"That...and this...whatever this is."

"Are you implying you want to start where we left off Ms. Rose?"

"Zak! Fire! Open up! I can hear you guys talking in there!" I bite my lip.

"I don't know."

"Zak, if you're hurting her I swear..."

"Can I think about it?" He gives me a quick peck on the mouth.

"Of course." He hops up and opens the door, letting Jake in.

"Finally! What the hell were you two doing that took you so long?!" I instantly blush, thinking about it. Jake comes around and I stand to hug him. Zak sits back on his spot on the couch. I sit next to him, and Jake sits on the other side.  I grab the blanket and wrap it around my shoulders again, still being freezing. "I woke up and you were gone. You scared the shit out of me, once again."

"Sorry. I couldn't wait. I had to get answers."

"Did you get all the answers we need?" I meet Zak's bright green eyes, staring at me curiously.

"All the answers I want for now, yeah." I mumble. Zak grins. "But I'm really tired, so I think I'm going to head off to bed." I stand up and Zak follows.

"I'll show you where the rooms are. You can pick where you want to sleep." I nod and follow him down a hall.

"Goodnight Fire."

"'Night Jake."




There are four rooms, two on each side, both pairs facing the other. Zak points to the one closest to us, on the right.

"You take that one, I take the one diagonal?" I shake my head.

"Too far away." He grins.

That dimple.

"How about across the hall? I don't want Jake to get suspicious."

"Next to mine and you have a deal."

"Alright." I smile and open the door to my room. I turn to look at Zak. He's just standing there, staring.

"Something wrong?" I ask.

"No, everything's absolutely perfect." He gives me a gentle kiss on the cheek and then walks into his room. I bite my lip, trying to hide a smile threatening to spread on my face, and walk into the room, flopping onto my bed.

Sweet dreams beautiful.

You too Jake.




I wake up around five, not being the sleep person, and take a shower.  I grab the same clothes, not having another spare. I need to head back to camp and gather up supplies. I wonder if Demeetrie is still looking for us. I decide I need to get this map figured out fast before time runs out and he does find us. I grab my bag and walk out of the room. I walk to the kitchen and pull out the map and a pen and extra piece of paper. I set my bag on the barstool next to me and take a seat.

"Up so early?" My head whips around to Zak's bright green eyes shining at me in the dark. His hair appears to be wet. Well, that would explain my cold shower.

"Couldn't sleep."

"Me either." He sits on the other side of me, looking at the materials I spread out on the counter. "You're really set on figuring out this map, aren't you?"

"I need to find out why Sir Jock put it in my hand before he died, and why he would trust me with it."

"Sir Jock?"

"It's a long story."
"We don't seem to be having anything going on." I sigh.

"Long story short, he hated Jake and I for taking a few buckets of gold from his cellar, and he caught me outside the castle."

"I don't think that's the whole story," He says with a grin. "But I'll wait if you don't want to tell me. I'll figure it out eventually, right?" I roll my eyes, even though he probably can't see it in the dark. "So, that map. You want to get to the end right?"

"Yeah. You good with reading maps?"

"I didn't pass any of my geography classes in Dread School if that's what you're asking." I laugh a little and draw a little circle in pencil on the paper.

"I didn't either, so we're on the same page. If Jake was awake he could read it."

"Nawh, we don't need Jake. If I see a familiar point on the land, I could figure out the rest. I'm pretty familiar with the woods surrounding the place." I want to say "Of course you are, you practically live out here." But I think that is a ruder vibe than I want to give off.

"Why DO you know the woods so well?" He meets my eyes once again. They tell me they don't want to answer. "Sorry, I didn't mean to-"

"No it's alright. You deserve to know. You knew once." I nod and look back at the circle. It isn't looking like a circle much anymore. I've overlapped it so many times. "I was told I had to come here. I was banned."

"From what?"

"That story is for another time." I decide to just shut my mouth. "Well I figured out how to survive out here. Someone recruited me to a camp, and told me I could go to school there."

"Dread School."


"And that's when you met me?"

"A few years later, yes."

"What happened after..." I drift off, not certain as to if I want to continue or not.


"I met you." He looks down at his hands, playing with his fingers.

"Something happened. It was an accident."

"But what happened?" He shakes his head.

"It doesn't matter."

"What do you mean it doesn't matter? This is important right? What made me lose my memory!?"

"I did alright!" I can't do anything but stare at him, waiting for him to continue. "It was my fault. I shouldn't have started that fight. I shouldn't have started it on a busy road..."

"What fight? Why were we fighting?" He shakes his head, not wanting to continue. Or maybe he just can't continue, whether he wants to or not. He wrests his head in his hands. Most boys I have met do that when they are about to cry. I crane my head to see if he is. He's taking deep breaths. "Zak..." I pull him into a hug. He hugs me back, digging his nose into my shoulder. "I'm sorry." I whisper. His soft, dark hair tickles my cheek.

"No it's alright. It was my fault, not yours. I just haven't talked about it for four years..."

"Four years?" I pull away. "That's how long it's been since you saw me?" He nods.

"They told me you were dead." He whispers. I sigh.

"I wish I knew what I was doing so I could tell you. I know for the past three years I've been at the camp."

"But where were you before that?" He looks at me with wet eyes. I think about it.

"I never thought about it before. Sir George..."

"Sir George?! Sir GEORGE?!"

"Yeah...never liked that guy." He throws his hands in the air.

"Fire, he's the one who took you from the hospital. He took you from me... and I never saw you again." I gasp.

"I knew there was something messed up about that creeper!" Zak smiles. I almost want to laugh. I knew it all along! No wonder I hated him so much! He took me from Zak! He...he...kidnapped me! "We should ambush him! We should plan an attack right now and go and steal everything dear to him! Then I can perform some torture techniques-"

"Torture techniques?"

"And maybe Jake could shoot him with his arrows after!"

"Arrows?! Shoot him!?"

"And then he will have to beg for his life, before I slice his thr-"

"Okay..." Zak puts a hand over my mouth. "The Fire I knew would never do any of those things."

"Maybe this is a different Fire." I mumble into his hand.

"She's certainly a lot braver, that's for sure." I lick his hand and he pulls it off and wipes it on my cheek.

"Eww! Gross!" He grins.

"Now that's the Fire I knew." I roll my eyes.




After three hours, Zak and I finally have figured out where the bunker is on the map, and what direction we need to go to find where the map leads us.

"We'll head out as soon as Jake wakes up." I pack up the things into my bag. Zak stares at the zipper as I zip it up. "What?" I ask.

"That keychain." I finger the 'F' keychain in my hand. It has a capitol letter 'F' with a heart around it. The F spins inside the heart. It's green, my favorite color.

"What about it?"

"I can't believe you still have all these things."

"What? I'm confused."

"I gave it to you on our first mission. It was a sun reflector. You used it for signals, to find me when you needed help." I look at it, shining and cold against my hand.

"I remember my dad giving it to me. I always think the things you gave me are from my dad. Why? Did you even ever meet my dad? I don't remember him."

"He died before I could meet him. You said it was when you were sixteen."

"So why do I always relate him to you?" I zip up my bag the rest of the way and sling it over my shoulder as Zak stands.

"You did say I had the same color eyes as him." I look up into his eyes. That's why I love them so much. My dad. Zak grins down at me and I poke his dimple.

"I think my dad had a dimple."

"I might remember you saying that too." I turn and walk away, sitting down on the couch and flipping on the projector with the volume low so I don't wake Jake.  "What are you doing?"

"Watching the projector, what does it look like I'm doing? Might as well relax before our long journey right?"

Zak sits next to me, putting the backpack I set there on the floor. I change the channel to the Movie Channel. There's a movie about the Allure War on. It's an interesting topic, even if my kind lost. I stare at the projection of all the people fighting in the war. It drones on and on about the different sides and weapons in the war. Zak squirms, like he's uncomfortable.  I look over at him. I lean into him. He tenses, eventually relaxing and letting me lay on him. I feel my eyes start to droop, not having slept the whole night. Right before I fall asleep, I see Zak's green eyes stare right at the camera on the projector.

That's when I realize, Zak fought in that war.

That war was fourty years ago.




"What do you mean she fell asleep!? You don't just accidentally lay on someone's lap!"

"Jake you're going to wake her up. Just relax."

"Why would I relax when my best friend just slept with the enemy!?"

"We didn't sleep together! I never fell asleep! And we were researching-"

"What? How close you can get to each other?"

"Jake! We were researching the map! Trying to find clues on the projector!"

"Bull shit!!!"

"Don't yell, you're going to wake her up!"

"Why would you care?!"

"Because I do alright!"

"Why! Huh, Zak? Why would you care so much about a girl you met a few days ago! Huh?!"

"Because...why don't you ask her when she wakes up?!"

"Alright I will!"


"Fine!" I groan and roll over in Zak's lap, burying my face farther into his shirt. "See what you did?! You woke her up!"

"Jake...shut..up..." I groan. Zak strokes the side of my face and tucks my red hair behind my ear.

"Don't you dare touch her."

"You aren't her mother. She can take care of herself."

"You know wh-"

"JAKE!" I jump up and push him. He falls back onto the floor, hitting the projector. Zak holds in his laughter. I turn to him. "YOU NEED TO SHUT UP!" I turn to Jake, on the floor, in shock. "AND YOU NEED TO LEAVE HIM ALONE! HE'S LIKE A REALLY SOFT PILLOW! OKAY!?" I throw my head back on Zak's lap.

"Awh damn. You got told." Says Zak. Jake mimicks him and stomps back to his room. I snuggle closer to Zak. He strokes my face again. He leans in and whispers in my ear, in his husky sleepy voice."I also remember how much my Angel likes her sleep."














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