Chapter Seventeen - Abby
The next morning, Cory and I jumped into training as soon as we were awake. It was sunny outside, the bright sun shining down on the roof of the brick building. The December air was back, a chilly breeze whipping my hair around as he set up a number of cones around the area. Jogging back over, he pointed at the first cone. It was the closest one to us, about ten yards away. “What I want you to do is hit that with lightening.” He said.
“What? Are you nuts?” I asked, surprised. He tried to not smirk but it showed. Shaking his head, he shoved his hands into his jean pockets.
“No. You need to learn how to properly harness this power. That means being able to direct it where you want it to go. Picture a lightning bolt hitting that cone. Then the next. Then the next.” I shot him a hesitant look before glancing back at the cone. I did as I was told, imagining a strike of electricity coming from the sky. There was a sudden loud crack behind us and the cone was struck with a bright flash of lightening. It was gone as quickly as it came, the melted cone left in front of us. I looked at Cory who smiled. “Good! Keep going.” Facing the cones again, I did it again. The cones exploded into smaller pieces, flying past us. The same happened with the last one.
“Not sure if I like knowing I can do that.” I said, looking at him. He shrugged, kicking a piece of the cone away from his foot.
“That was the easy part. The next, we need to work on you making moisture appear without any water source nearby. This was always the hardest part for Alexz. It drains you quite a bit from what he would tell me. We don’t have much time so we are going to try to go at a steady and faster pace. I want you to make it rain. Just enough to get the ground wet.”
“Okay.” Looking up at the sky, I thought of dark rain clouds. My heart began to pump hard in my chest as they slowly began to roll in above us. Sweat formed on my brow as the sky darkened. The first rain drops fell and landed on the ground next my foot. Soon, more followed. It was pouring now but Cory and I remained dry, a circular area around us free from the rain.
“Focus! You’re starting to lose it.” He snapped. I closed my eyes, gripping the crystal in my hand. The wind picked up and I could hear the rain pounding the roof top. My breath came out in short bursts, my head beginning to spin. Everything stopped suddenly as I fell to my knees. My eyes opened and everything felt like it was swirling around me. I panted, trying to get oxygen into my lungs. It felt like I had just run a marathon, sweat drenching my entire body and into my clothes.
“I can’t breathe.” I gasped, the edges of my vision darkening. I felt Cory grab me by the shoulders as he knelt in front of me.
“Just relax. Take slow breaths.” He said, lowering his face closer to mine. I took a long, slow and deep breath. I felt better a few moments later. My heart rate slowed and my breathing was coming back to me. My eyes were locked with his as I inhaled. He was looking at me with so much concern and worry that it made my heart start beating fast again.
“I don’t think I can do this.” I whispered, turning away from him. Cupping a hand on my cheek, he forced me to look back at him.
“Yes, you can. We are going to keep training. I’m not going to let you give up. Now, look at me and promise you are going to keep trying.”
“I promise.” Taking my hands, he helped me back to my feet.
“You did great. Now, I want you to attack me with something. Don’t kill me but I want you to at least knock me off my feet. It’s something you’re good at.” He walked over to the area where the cones had been.
“You WANT me to attack you?” I asked. He nodded.
“You’ll need to learn how to fight using your powers. Nothing too powerful though.” Focusing hard on him, I felt the wind start to pick up. A strong gust of wind came and he stumbled back a few steps. “You’ll have to do better than that!” He called over the wind. Clenching my fists, I glared at him. A blast of air ripped through the area, sending both of us tumbling to the ground. I hopped back up to my feet quickly, seeing him still sprawled out on the ground. The wind disappeared.
“You okay?” I asked, walking over to him. I held my hand out to him. Reaching up, he grabbed it and swiped my legs out from under me. I let out a yelp as I landed on my ass. “What the fuck?!” I exclaimed, ripping my arm out of his grasp.
“You’ll need to expect the unexpected while fighting. You let your guard down and I saw my chance to take you out. If I was Scorpio’s man, you could be dead right now.” He explained, getting to his feet. I scrambled to mine, wiping my pants off.
“I know how to fight hand to hand. I know it’s been a year since I used those skills but it’s not like I could just forget it.”
“I know you can. I just think you are too nice at times. We can work on that later. I want to keep practicing your power and control. You are doing a lot better than Alexz did at this point.” I felt my eye twitch at the mention of Alexz name. Being compared to her constantly was growing to annoy me. I felt sort of guilty for feeling that way about someone who had died but the guilt was turning into a soft anger.
We spent the rest of the day working on controlling my powers. I had created snow and ice from nowhere, coating the roof top several times. Cory helped me learn different tricks to summon wind in a quicker fashion and how to direct it with more precision. Though it took a great deal of physical strength from me, I was highly enjoying this. I felt like I was a stronger person now, the weather listening to every command I made. Even though I knew it was the crystal controlling it, I was excelling at this. For the first time in my life, I was good at something that my father had no control of.
The sun was setting as I perched myself on the edge of the fire escape. The building we were in was tall enough for me to see over the other buildings in town, the orange and red sky seeming to glow around me. Below, the Christmas lights were starting to turn on. They twinkled like stars of different colors. The town Christmas tree stood out, the giant white star shining brightly at the top. Christmas was only two days away, the holiday forgotten to me from the events of the past two days. Not that it really mattered to me. My father hadn’t celebrated a Christmas since my mother died, leaving me with the hired help during this time. To me, it was just another day.
“Hey.” Cory’s voice said next to me, breaking me out of my thoughts. Turning, I saw he was standing to my left. “Aren’t you cold?”
“Sort of. I just wanted to see the sunset then I was going to come in.”
“It’s nice up here at this time of night. The stars are amazing too. Alexz and I used to come up here and watch them.” Rolling my eyes, I turned to head to the door. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing. Just tired. Had a long day. Think I’ll head to bed.”
“Did me saying something about Alexz upset you?” He asked. I slid to a stop, sighing.
“No. I just feel like you’ve been trying to compare me to her since you met me. I’m not her and I don’t want to be her.” I replied. His face hardened.
“You are nothing like her. She wouldn’t have been so willing to give up after one try. She wouldn’t have lied to me the entire time. Unlike you, she didn’t have a problem being honest.”
“Listen, I didn’t ask to be here. I didn’t ask for any of this. My only damn crime was being a decent human being for making sure you weren’t dead. If I had my way, I’d still be back in my room hiding and I wouldn’t have met you in the first place!” I exclaimed. What appeared to be a flash of hurt crossed his face but was gone in a second.
“You should get to bed. Training starts at dawn tomorrow. Hand to hand combat.” He stormed over to the door and slammed his way through it, leaving me alone on the roof top.