Time of the Flame

Briar has always known to expect the worse. She also knows never to trust in things like true love. She has always known to cover her sorrow with humour. Until she meets a guy that makes her feel alive and shows her there is a lot better things in the world but also a whole lot worse. What if all she's known about her family is wrong? What if all she knows about herself is wrong?

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1. Valentine

My alarm blares noisily. I reach over to shut it off but someone grabs my hand, stopping my attempt at shutting the horrid noise off.

"C'mon, get up." A voice chides me.

I open one eye a little and my older brother, Jackson, stands there, glaring at me.

"Why?" I mumble sleepily. I pull the covers over my head.

"It's your favourite day of the year!" He exclaims. "Valentine's Day! Maybe you'll meet your love." He pokes me in the side and rips the covers off me.

"No!" I exclaim, desperately trying to grab the blankets. "It's the devil's day! Plus there's school!"

He throws me over his shoulder and carries me downstairs. He dumps me on the couch and drops a pile of clothes on me.

"Wear these." He says gruffly.

I look at the clothes and there is two different socks, two pairs of pants and no shirt.

I raise my eyebrows and say, "I don't even think I can pull this off."

I smirk at him and go upstairs.

"Don't fall asleep or I'll make you go to the dance tonight!" He calls.

I put a look of horror on my face and gasp, "You wouldn't!" When he nods I pretend to faint.

"Go get dressed!" Jackson screams at me and I run up the stairs.

I grab black jeans, a black long sleeved shirt, black Converse sneakers and I put my dark brown hair in a ponytail.

I race back downstairs and grab a apple from the kitchen counter. I grab my messenger bag from my brother and run out the door. I jump into my black Toyota Tundra and rev the engine.

I honk the horn and yell, "Jackson, hurry up!"

He jumps in and grumbles, "Just go."

I back out of the driveway and drive to school. As soon as I park the truck Jackson jumps out of the truck. I turn off the truck and jump out of the truck. I'm greeted by my best friend, Grace, jumping onto my back.

"Hey!" I exclaim in protest.

She jumps off and exclaims, "Happy Valentine's Day, Briar!"

I roll my eyes and say sarcastically, "Yay."

The bell rings and Grace and I race walk to our first class. Math. We sit in the front right beside each other. We figured out a while ago that our math teacher, Miss. Crux, doesn't watch the front row so we can do pretty much anything.

Miss. Crux clears her throat and says, "Class, today we have a new student." A boy with shaggy blonde hair and bright green eyes walks into the classroom. Most girls whistle and I roll my eyes. "This is Jacob Monastery."

He waves at everyone and takes the seat beside me. I look back down at my notebook and start sketching.

Miss.Crux clears her throat again and says, "Briar."

I don't look up from my sketch but I say, "What up?"

"Would you mind showing Jacob around the school at lunch?"

I shrug. "Sure. Got nothing better to do."

Grace elbows me in the side and I immediately realize that was the rude thing to say. Whoops.

"Would you mind talking to me in the hallway?" Miss. Crux asks and I see that it's not really a question.

Yet, I still say, "Not really."

Miss.Crux sighs and continues the lesson. I breath out a quiet sigh of relief. If I have detention one more time this year I get suspended. I really don't need that on my record.

I look down at my drawing and I see- without realizing it- I drew my father and mother. They died in a car accident when was little. My aunt has "looked after" us ever since. When I say "looked after" I mean calling ever couple months to see if we're still alive.

The bell rings for lunch and I gather my things.

As Grace leaves she whispers, "Have fun with the hot guy!" Before I can hit her she darts out the door.

Jacob walks up and asks, "What'd your friend say?"

"Something that will earn her a punch once I catch up with her."

He laughs even though I was completely serious.

"Let's get this over with." I mutter.

Jacob raises his eyebrow. "Got somewhere better to be?"

I snort. "On Valentine's Day? Yup! In my room reading and hiding from all the couples!" I shudder in mock horror.

He laughs again and says, "Your name is really Briar?"

"It is my gift and my curse!" I exclaim dramatically.

"You better show me around before they think we're doing something in here."

I wrinkle my noise and say, "Sadly they're pretty lenient about that kind of stuff on Valentine's Day. But yeah we better go."

We walk out of the classroom and I get death glares from all the girls.

Finally I get so annoyed I yell, "I know I am incredible and gorgeous and you all are jealous of my awesomeness but for God's sake stop staring at me!"

They all stop staring at me.

"You are a interesting piece of work." Jacob observes.

"I am not a piece of work. I am a piece of art." I correct.

Out of nowhere, the blackness comes.

Before I completely pass out I think, God, not again!

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