When you play with fire...

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Chapter 10

We’ve almost caught up to my life at this moment. The life of me sitting by candlelight recording my past. For anyone who may care to read about it. I know one day I’ll be gone. I want something to be left of me that tells the truth.

When people look at me they are usually afraid, they see a man in black. White hair streaming behind him as he holds fire in his hands. They see red eyes and untouchable power.

They don’t see what used to be. They don’t see the orange that as I write this is crawling up my chest. I know, because I received word from my spies. This has affected Daniel, as I suspected it would. We do have similar levels of power.

Other than what my spies tell me, I know nothing about his life now. I know where he is, but I wouldn’t dare approach him.

I’ve been rather cryptic about what exactly my plan was. The crucial one that would make Daniel hate me. If he didn’t already, the promise that I broke. It needed to be done, but all I feel is regret because it didn’t go as planned.

On a completely average day, in a completely average and human neighbourhood. Death came calling. Only he was a fire Elemental named Eric Fairless. Who had only the worst of intentions that day.

The Elemental gene is a tricky thing, it isn’t always passed Father to Son. Sometimes it appears in other places. In grandchildren of humans whose parents had the power. In second cousins and nieces.

Today, I was paying a visit to Loretta Stone. I hadn’t seen her in years, because I had no reason to. When Daniel and I first became friends, I told him I would stay away from her because after all, she was only human. I promised not to hurt her.

She had a husband now, which I couldn’t care less about. However, she also had a son, and I cared very much about that. Daniel had done his best to hide the boy from me and my men… But it couldn’t stay a secret forever.

I made a personal trip to see his death, because not only was he Daniel’s nephew but he was also a Water Elemental. Common before I started killing and kill them I did. Personally. I remembered the one who had attacked me as a boy. I do not forgive.

Loretta was on the phone, her husband upstairs in his office. I hadn’t seen the boy but I assumed he was also in the house. With barely a second to silently hope Daniel hadn’t figured it out yet. I set the house ablaze.

Loretta smelled the smoke first, I remember the panic in her blue eyes as she called for Charles to come down from upstairs. I think even then she knew I was there. She knew what I had done.

“Charles! Call the fire brigade! I think the house is on fire!” by that point it was already too late. My fire was eating away at the walls. Climbing higher and higher. Barricading her in the kitchen. Separating her and her husband.

As she began to sob, I felt pity for her. Dying alone in her own home. Not even her husband by her side.

So focused on her was I that I never bothered to confirm the boy was here. I assumed he was quiet having passed out from smoke inhalation. I didn’t think or I would have checked.

I stepped through the fire to join Loretta. It wouldn’t hurt me and if it tried I was capable of fending it off long enough to escape. I don’t know why I didn’t decide to remain hidden. I suppose once again I wasn’t thinking.

“Eric! Eric No! You can’t do this!” she saw me, and I knew that I was now a monster in her eyes. I would be the last thing she ever saw. That, that is the way it had to be.

“I can, and I will. I can’t let a boy as strong as your son survive” he may grow to be strong enough to face me in battle. I may have relished the challenge once, but the way things are I can’t afford to waste energy in that way. Not anymore.

Loretta’s husband could hear her shouting, but I imagine that the crackling of flames would have made it hard for him to hear what she was saying. He was trying to reassure her that everything would be alright. I love the optimism of humans.

“No! Not Sebastian! Not my baby boy! Run, Sebastian run!” she seemed to be aware that she wouldn’t escape. If Daniel could have seen how his sister faced death and didn’t think about her own safety. Only that of her son. He would have been proud, I think.

“You took a gamble when you decided to have him, but you know that already” the house was beginning to shudder. My fire eating away at the supports. It wouldn’t be safe any longer.

“Goodbye Loretta… I am sorry” I left her there and I am aware that you will all think me a coward for doing so. It was a good thing that I left when I did. Daniel was already on the scene, and I likely would have perished if he had seen me there.

I thought I was done, that the boy was dead along with his parents. Until Daniel started to move every couple of months. As if he had something worth hiding from me. As though after his sister’s death he was trying to out manoeuvre me.

When I found out the truth, they had nothing to bury of the agent who told me but his charred clothing. The boy wasn’t in the house that day, he was at school when I set his house on fire. Murdering his parents, but leaving him to escape my grasp.

Daniel had the child now, and they were fleeing. I knew that getting him wouldn’t be easy. In fact, it may even cost me my life. So, while I do intend to kill the boy. I haven’t pursed it very urgently.

It’s been almost six years since I watched Loretta die. My daughter and Daniel’s nephew happen to be around the same age. I think she’s about fourteen now. I recently… Got back in contact with her.

By that I mean, she’s in one of my prison cells. She is a feisty one, and I don’t put her or my men in danger. She reminds me so much of myself that it is almost uncanny. Then again, I suppose that is the power of genetics.

I did encounter a young Elemental while I was picking her up, and would you believe I’m almost certain it was Daniel’s nephew. He’s still meddling in my plans. That Hard Headed Earth Shaking Pain in the Backside.

That dream that I once had, of Gabrielle and I standing side by side on the battlefield. It may come true. I couldn’t be happier and… My door. No one should dare to knock on it. My men know better to interrupt me when I’m working.

I will crisp the idiot who interrupted me, and then I will put this away. It wouldn’t do for one of my men to find out that I am a man with thoughts after all I…

My Father will not stand by my side. Lightning works alone. Hot headed fool. He deserved the death of a man who couldn’t see the game around him as it really was. Checkmate.

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