Chapter Thirty Four: Roxy

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A little later there was another knock at the door.

I so did not have time for this.

"Who is it?"

"Cin."

Flames! "I've just got out of the shower. Can you come back in a bit?"

"You don't look as though you've just got out of the shower to me." I jumped and turned around to find him directly behind me. I hadn't even heard him open the door.

"What are you doing in here?"

He smirked. "Normally you coming out of the shower would be an invitation to enter. However, I can see now that you weren't exactly being truthful with that statement, were you?"

I shrugged as casually as I could manage. "I didn't want visitors. I'm busy."

"Well you ought to be a little more careful with you security in here then." His gaze was piercing.

"What do you want Cin?"

"Your mother wants to see you."

I snorted. "Since when have you been her errand boy? You can tell her I'm busy."

"Doing what?" He lounged on my bed, in the same spot Brae had been sat only a little before. The thought made flames flare in my stomach. He clearly had no intention of going anywhere.

"Make something up." I sighed. I really didn't need this right now. I had to go and find Lorelie.

Cin patted the bed beside him, beckoning me over. Maybe I could use this situation to my advantage. Cin was sure to know where Lorelie was. I went over and sat down beside him. "How is the Control going? Have we got any more yet?"

His face seemed to darken. "No. We've had trouble getting to anyone. They've been staying in their rooms most of the day, and only seem to come out in groups. It's odd."

Well that made my job simpler - the last thing I needed was any more of them being Controlled. "What about Lorelie, is she still co-operating?"

"Yes."

"What have you got her doing?"

"That's classified."

I laughed. "Come on Cin, you can tell me!"

"Why?" He said, twisting suddenly to face me. "So you can go and tell your Arcan boyfriend where to find her?" His tone was sharp and caught me off guard. Before I could react he grabbed my wrists and slotted ornate manacles onto them.

Instinctively, I tried to flare up - I knew that I could match Cinaer in a fire-fight. But nothing happened, there wasn't the slightest flicker of flame. "Like the new Protector Suppression gear? We had them made to use on any difficult delegates, but they work just as well on traitors. You won't be able to use any of your powers. No fire. No Control. No escape. Poor, weak, little Roxy."

I snapped. Trying to reach every inch of him that I could, I hit out with my fists and feet.

His own flames were as strong as ever and without the protection of my powers their heat scorched my skin. Crying out, I shrank back, away from the heat and pain.

"Not so tough now, are we, Firefly? Still think that he's worth it?" He advanced on me, grabbing hold of my hair and dragging me to my feet by it. I fought back the tears which were threatening to spill down from my eyes. I would not let him see how much he was hurting me. He ran his flame filled fingers across my arm slowly, almost as if he was caressing it. "Is he worth betraying your people, your powers, your blood?" I shuddered, but refused to cry out in pain.

"He'll never feel the same way about you, you know. I heard him talking to you earlier - I was coming to tell you about the manacles, ironically enough - and I could hear him from outside. He thinks you are a worthless, bloodthirsty Helian. Nothing you do now will change that. He just knows that you are his only chance of getting out of here alive, so he's using you.

"What did you think was going to happen Roxy? Did you think he would be so grateful to you for helping that he'd take you with him? That you could live happily ever after in Air-Head land?" His words hurt far more than the flames, which he was now running across my chest, tracing my collar bone. I shuddered but refused to respond. If I opened my mouth I'd only betray how much pain I was in and I wouldn't give him the satisfaction. "He could never care about you. He sees you in the same way they see all of us: ruthless, cruel and power hungry." He laughed callously. "I guess we're about to prove them right."

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