Ember

Nina Brecher is your typical 17 year old girl with a talent for two things. Making enemies among her teachers and peers, and getting into trouble. On a day in September she goes on a hunt for a stapler in her stepmother's office and finds a paper telling her she was adopted. She always knew that she was different than the rest of her family. Her eyes are the color of pure gold and with hints and flecks of bright red in them, and her hair, unlike the brown straight hair she should have inherited from her mother, is a hypnotizing red that seems to glow in the sunlight. When Nina goes on a search to find her biological mother and finally get some answers, she finds her in a mental ward. She makes several visits to her mother, each time hearing more of the story that put her there. The story of the magical community in the hidden city that her mother says she came from. Soon, Nina finds herself in between two worlds. Should she stay, or should she try to hunt down this hidden city?

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1. Chapter 1

"Nina!" Natalia called from the kitchen. 
"What!" She called back over the bass track of the remix  she was listening to. There was no answer. With an irritated sigh she put her laptop down on the bed next to her and stood up. She paused the track and made her way past the messy piles of clothing and other shit on her floor.
"What?" She asked, quieter this time, and leaned her back on the wall in the kitchen where her stepmother Natalia was stirring something on the stove.
"Can you go pick up Kitty for me? She's at her boyfriend's house, and she sounded all wired up about something and she wanted me to pick her up but I'm busy."
Kitty was Natalia's pain in the ass of a daughter. Nina was an only child of a relatively wealthy man whose wife had passed away at an early age. A few years after her death he had married Natalia. And it was no secret to any of them that he loved fifteen year old spoiled little Kitty more than he ever loved his own seventeen year old daughter. 
The two girls couldn't stand each other. Already at their first meeting when Nina had been just nine they had never gotten along. 
With another irritated sigh she pushed herself off the wall.
"Sure." She mumbled and picked her car keys off the kitchen island. 
She had always hated Kitty's snobby attitude, but Natalia had been more of a parent to her than her father ever had. 
It was not hard to spot that Nina was... different. She never fit in anywhere, her teachers despised her, her eyes were a most unusual color, and she had a terrible habit of getting into accidents with fire.It wasn't that she suffered pyromania, but fire always seemed to find her. And even if the teachers caught another student red-handed with a lighter, she would get blamed due to their general dislike of her. 
She slammed the car door behind her and turned the key in the ignition. Her car was the result of five months of hard work training the little girls at her ballet school. She was a natural born dancer. Her movements were lighter than air and controlled but free at the same time. Several spots at different ballet schools had been offered to her, but because her father blamed Nina for the accident that had killed her mother, he kept her stuck in this little piece of crap smalltown. So all of the money that could have been spent on her education had been put into designer clothes for Kitty instead.
Adjusting her rear view mirror, she caught a  glance of her eyes. They shined gold, and little flecks of orange and bright red caught the light here and there. Her hair had the lame illuminating effect. It seemed when the sun shone on it that the auburn strands glowed with a reddish tint.
Nina had always been ashamed of her eyes, ever since she could remember. She didn't remember her mother much, but she knew that she had accepted her strange qualities and loved her anyway.
That was all her father had ever told her.
Natalia was the one who finally made her see that while being different in high school might not be very much fun it would do her good later on, and her eyes were nothing to be ashamed of. 
She pulled up at the white mansion Kitty's boyfriend lived in. She was convinced that Kitty liked the house more than the boy.
In the front garden stood a sour looking Kitty with red eyes and crossed arms. She literally threw back her head in frustration when she saw who was here to pick her up. She threw her Chanel bag in front of the seat and got in behind it. 
"I asked Mom to pick me up, not you!" She grumbled and refolded her arms across her chest.
"Oh it's no big deal, I'll pick you up anytime. You're welcome." Nina said and made a U-turn. Kitty rolled her eyes and looked back out the window. 


 

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