The pain receded and I pushed Luke away. He smiled the widest smile I’d ever seen.
“I knew I wasn’t wrong about you.”
I looked down at my palms. Sure enough, they were ablaze. And while I should be screaming in pain, a gentle warmth gloved my hands. With a flick of my wrists the fire vanished. With another flick they reappeared.
“It’s thought activated,” Luke brought me out of my reverie, “So if you absentmindedly moved your wrists, you’re not going to set everything on fire.”
“You kissed me,” I whispered as I watched the fire flick on and off.
“Yeah, well…” Luke trailed off.
“What the fuck is your problem?” I shouted, finally lifting my eyes to meet Luke’s.
“Uhh…I like you?”
That I wasn’t expecting. Well, I don’t know what I was expecting. He’d just kissed me! But before that…ugh, boys.
“What about before? Your mood changed like every two seconds!”
Luke laughed, “I needed you distracted. Otherwise you would’ve been a panicking mess.”
“That doesn’t add up. You were pissed at me in detention the other day, and we were hardly in trouble.”
“Tomas made us all get detention so you and Alice weren’t alone. I needed to get home and finish his car because he’d been pestering me about it for so long, and I knew as soon as we got out of detention he would start pestering me again. And I was just having a bad day.”
There was an awkward silence.
“So, you like me?” I eventually asked the uncomfortable question.
Luke rubbed the back of his neck, “Yeah. I thought I was being obvious. Alice said you didn’t have a clue.”
“Alice knew?” I shrieked.
He winced, “Yeah, she’s been dying to tell you.”
“Well, uhh, she’s right. I had no idea.” I turned away, not bearing to look into his eyes.
“I thought I had been obvious. You know, with the constant staring and the awkward conversations and whatnot.”
I shrugged. The air grew heavy with discomfort so I decided to change the subject.
“So I’m a Flector,” I said as I turned back to face him.
Luke nodded, “I told you you were.”
“What I would like to know is how. How can I be one of you if no one in my family is the same?”
There was a pause.
“I don’t know,” Luke said finally.
I flicked the fire on again. Then something struck me.
“We can produce a small amount of our element ourselves. Is my outer source like bonfires or something?”
“Actually, it’s quite the opposite of Tomas’ power. He doesn’t know how much air he can create alone – if any! Fire Flectors on the other hand, can create as much fire as they like without an outer source.”
“Interesting…” I said as I scuffed the ground.
“Maggie, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I just needed to distract you, and it seemed like the perfect time to show you how I feel.”
“You barely know me. You haven’t known me for even two weeks yet.”
Luke looked at me with his large blue eyes, “What do you feel?”
I felt dizzy. Sick even. All of this was just too much to process. Didn’t he know that?
“I feel like I need some time,” I turned to grab my clothes and I rushed up the stairs. I made it all the way to my bedroom before I fainted on the floor.
I awoke to the sound of my cell phone ringing. With a pounding headache I reached out and grabbed the phone off of my dresser and checked the caller ID. It was Mom.
“Maggie, oh thank God you picked up,” Mom panicked down the line.
I winced and pulled the phone away from my ear to look at the screen. I saw that I had five missed calls from her already. Oops.
“Mom, I’m fine. I was just sleeping.”
“Really? You haven’t had any pains or anything?”
“No, Mom. I’m fine, honestly,” I tried to reassure her.
“No pains at around midday?”
My ears pricked up, “Mom?”
“Oh, sweetie. We have to talk about this,” I could tell Mom was trying to remain calm; she was failing miserably.
“Mom, what’s going on?”
“Sweetie, I’m coming home right now.”
“No, Mom, I need some answers now. Mom? Mom?”
Beep beep beep. Call disconnected. I threw my phone against the wall and started stalking the halls. My head was throbbing by the heartbeat and my hands were shaking. I flicked the flames on and off to get myself used to it, but it just made me panic more.
I ran to the bathroom and dunked my hands under the tap. I drenched them as though I could extinguish the fire on my hands. I turned the pressure up, as though I could put out the fire that was burning deep in my chest. But no matter how much I tried, when I flicked my wrists the fire still appeared.