Chapter two

I stared into the fireplace at the dancing yellow and orange flames that burnt into the blackened wood. The warmth that exuded from it felt almost exactly like standing next to Derrek. I closed my eyes and imagined the heat radiating from it and pretended it was a warm embrace from him. Derrek, Blake, Cameron and Troy had gone out to chop more wood and I hadn’t seen for most of the morning.

Serena was dancing about in the kitchen baking and cooking while the rest of the girls lounged about watching TV or reading a book. I looked over at Cara who was sitting on the loveseat by herself and noted how quiet and introverted she was. She had such a powerful ability and yet was absolutely terrified to use it. She kept to herself more and the most she spoke was when she was with Cameron.

My eyes roamed over to Sophia and Bree who were sharing the sofa commenting on everything that was on TV. They seemed a lot closer despite being opposites. Bree was calm and went with the flow with everything, not wanting any conflict or negative energy. She was like a river, flowing swiftly and smoothly through and over smooth rocks. Sophia, on the other hand, wasn’t afraid of conflict. She was strong-willed, spoke out how she felt and sometimes was over dramatic but had a heart of gold.

It was hard to imagine that only a few months ago they had been the very people we were trying to escape from and were attempting to kill us. Well, more of Derrek, Helena and Max. I sighed at the thought of Max. I still couldn’t handle to look at myself in the mirror. I would still wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air and drenched in sweat at the nightmares I had.

I would dream that I wasn’t the animalistic brain-washed creature that was so intent on killing my friends. I dreamt that I was completely sane and yet... I just wanted to kill them. I saw myself throwing the ice spear that pierced through his body and then my malicious laugh would crawl out my throat and echo all around me like a horrible memory of how insane I was.

Despite sitting in front of the fire, I rubbed the goosebumps that stood up on my arms. It was like when one nightmare ended, another one had to begin and yet this one was infinitely worse because of the fact that it was actually real.

The flames whooshed to the side and slowly the yellow tips of the flames changed to a light shade of violet. As the seconds ticked past the violet tips began to engulf the yellow and as it reached the orange core of the fire the violet deepened to an imperial purple. The once orange and yellow fire had completely morphed into a purple fire.

“What are you thinking so hard about Tadpole?”

I smiled at Derrek’s deep voice but didn’t take my eyes away of the fireplace, “Nothing.”

Derrek sat behind me and pulled me back against his chest as we both stared in silence. “You know, I can tell when you’re lying Tadpole. Your cheeks warm up and that warmth spreads down your neck. What’s bothering you?”

At first I didn’t speak. I tried to squash all my jumbled thought into a cohesive little box so that I could at least explain to him without tripping over my own tongue. “I’ve been having nightmares again” I sighed.

I could feel him nodding his head and he was the one to stay silent now. He held his hand out towards the fire and began flicking his finger up and down. The flames began to sway and dance and little tuffs of purple fire would jump away from the rest to float up into the chimney.

“You want to talk about it?” He asked, leaving the choice up to me. I sighed and couldn’t help the jumble of words that came flying out from my mouth as I explained the nightmares I’d been experiencing about murdering one of my best friends. The whole time Derrek stayed quiet and by the end of my ranting explanation he shook his head.

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