Hotter Than Fire

266022
**Darkest Minds Fanfiction**
Tamarin is twelve years old when his little sister Chamberly is taken away by soldiers in black. Several inexplicable things happen that day, including explosions and unexplained fires. Six years later, now 16, Tam begins to understand everything that's happened. He discovers his identity as a red. Attempting to survive, he searches for Chamberly- joining up with some interesting allies along the way.

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17. Together again

 True to Amaranth’s word, Kia is standing beside a black car. I would be relieved if it wasn’t for the soldier holding a gun to her head.

    For a moment I think this is a trap. They’ve found out what we’re doing. But no, the guard removes the gun from Kia’s head and nods to Amaranth, before retreating.

    Amaranth lets out a soft breath. “You two. In the car. Now.”

    Kia sees me and a huge smile crosses her face. She starts to approach, but Amaranth holds up a hand, stopping her.

    “We’re still inside the camp, sweetheart. Don’t pull that now, or they’re going to notice. You can be reunited all happy once we’re out. For now, keep your head down, keep quiet, and get in the car now.”

    I want to rebuke Amaranth for talking so harshly to Kia, but again, she’s right. The guards would suspicious if Kia ran to hug me right now. So I take Chamberly, and set her inside the car, before climbing in myself. It’s much like the skip tracer’s car- a simple, flat back, blocked from the front. Amaranth climbs into the driver’s seat, and Kia joins me. The door closes, and the car begins to move.

    Kia stares intently at Chamberly. “Is that…”

    “My sister,” I agree. I can still hardly believe the words. She’s here. Right beside me.

    Kia frowns. “She doesn’t look so good.”

    I nod quietly. “My poor Chamberly,” I whisper, running a hand through her short cropped hair. “My poor, sweet sister… what did they do to you?” She doesn’t answer, but I keep talking. “I’ve missed you so much, Chim-Cham. I know you’ve probably suffered horribly. But it’s okay. Everything is okay now. I’m here now. You won’t have to suffer again. I’ll free you. You’ll be safe. I promise. Everything is going to be okay. I’ll protect you. You won’t have to suffer anymore. I promise. I’m here. I’ll always be here for you.” I hug her gently, doing my best not to hurt her. “I promised I would find you, Chamberly. I promised. And here I am. And when you wake up, we’re going to be together, and you and me and Kia and Amaranth… we can find somewhere safe.” I don’t even think twice about including Amaranth in that list anymore. She saved us. She brought me to my sister. After that, I cannot ever repay her. The least I can do is stop hating her. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to hate her again. Not after she has saved my sister.

    Chamberly shivers, and I lay her down, wishing I still had my jacket to give to her. But it was lost somewhere, and I doubt I’ll retrieve it.

    I turn to look at Kia. “Are you hurt?”

    She shakes her head slowly, but I can already tell she’s lying. She’s moving as slowly as she can. Her movements are too controlled- too deliberate. People only move like that when they’re trying to avoid pain.

    “Let me see,” I say quietly.

    “Tam, I-”

    “Kia.” She falls silent. “Please.”

    She nods slowly, and holds out her hands. The long sleeves of her shirt covered them, but now I see red marks on her wrists that look like they were caused by chains.

    “What happened?” I ask.

    “They punished me for escaping,” Kia whispers. “They chained me to a post and then hit me.”

    I feel an overwhelming surge of anger. Why would anyone do this to Kia?! Why would anyone do this to any child? How can these people not see that we are humans too?!

    I don’t know what to say. ‘I’m sorry’? That doesn’t seem right, in this situation. So I just put a hand on her shoulder, as gently as I can.

    “It’s over now,” I say quietly.

    Kia looks up at me, and I get the feeling that I may have just done something right. A little smile crosses her face. “It is,” she agrees. “Over.” She looks at Chamberly, and her expression becomes thoughtful. “What happens now?”

    I follow her gaze, studying my sister’s weak face. A surge of sadness overcomes me. Who would she have been if she hadn’t been taken as a young child? What dreams did they suppress and kill in that place? What has she seen? What’s been done to her?

    “I don’t know,” I whisper. “I just want her to be safe.”

    Kia nods thoughtfully. “Where are you going to go?”
    “Somewhere… away,” I reply. “Away from people that will hurt us. Somewhere we can… blend in. Live a normal life.”

    “Do you think that’s possible?”
    I sigh. “I don’t know.” I hold Chamberly close to me, and she trembles slightly. Kia watches the two of us. It looks like she’s trying not to cry.

    “Hey,” I murmur to her. “What’s wrong?”

    “You’re here,” Kia mutters. “She’s here. And you can go wherever you want now. You don’t need me. You don’t need anyone anymore.”
    I stare at her in shock. That’s what she’s been thinking? That I’m going to leave her behind now that I have my sister back? The idea is so strange and absurd that I begin to laugh.

    Kia lifts up her head, studying me with a confused look. I shouldn’t be laughing. It’s just making her more concerned. But I can’t help it. She’s just so gentle and so innocent.

    “Kia, you’re family too. You’re important to me. As important as she is. I wouldn’t just turn around and ditch you just like that. I’m not heartless.”

    She stares at me. I can’t tell what she’s thinking. Finally, she blushes. “You… you really mean that?”

    “Kia, I don’t say things I don’t mean.”

    She stares at me with total awe in her eyes. Then she throws her arms around my shoulders and begins to cry, burying her head in my chest.

 

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