Write a Review


All Rights Reserved ©


"How many times must I fall in love with you?" This erotica reads like a romantic novel centered around the young Renne, the man she's loved all her life and the boy who has loved her the entirety of his. Facing loss, Renne paves her way through the grieving period and towards the rest of her life. Inspired by the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, this work straddles the thin line of fanfiction to immerse the reader in a thrilling tale that includes martial arts and the skill of pyrokinesis. "Renne" is the flip-side of the story, world and characters presented in "Mao". Unlike its predecessor, this story has a far darker tone and is not suitable for all adult audiences. Please use discretion; "Renne" is a work of fiction and contains graphic sex scenes. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in an entirely fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Erotica / Romance
Tiona Daley
3.0 1 review
Age Rating:

Prologue, Part 1


I took a deep breath. A smooth intake of air refreshed my lungs. The muscles of my jaw refused to relax, so I exhaled slowly through parted lips. My every breath was being measured. He was watching, and simply knowing so made meditation nearly impossible.

He was always present within my mind. As I released the tension from each toe, then each foot and each calf, kneecaps, thighs… his hands were there. His war beaten hands suddenly pressed against my untrained flesh. The weight of his fingers would start a wildfire that tickled as it spread throughout my belly. I inhaled again while begging my imagination to cease.

Begging… Oh, if only it were that simple.

I was sabotaging my own energy. I turned my attention to my sacral chakra as I exhaled. My anxiety swelled as I attempted to draw strength from the obsidian and blood stone beads at my waist. The light of a new day should have been a natural cleansing. Our bodies, our kinesis, and even our crystals could be cleansed by bathing in both the sun and the sea. If only my mind would quiet. Instead, I dream of becoming one with him. Society denied us fancy flowers and witnesses, so those heavy hands clasped on this beaded chain. To all others it was merely tradition, but between us it was ceremony. Before my parents, I vowed to constantly sharpen my sensibilities and consistently extract my latent potential. To uphold self-control, obedience and mental strength as clear expectations. To him, I whispered a reminder that I was no longer a child. In a few more years, I would become a woman.

The tangibility of an object further cements its purpose. I wrestled with the memory of his voice. He filled me with both moth and flame. Above all else, I desperately sought to impress him; but obsidian forces one to face their true self. I held butterfly wings within my palms.

My next exhale was a deep release.

I ascended through basic survival and past my desire, to my navel. Self-confidence was the most direct path to the third chakra: my fire, the solar plexus. This is the seat of will power. Here I crossed my ankles as I settled into the gilded throne and gained momentum. Each breath relaxed my back, breasts, shoulders, elbows, wrists, palms, fingers. I imagined watching my body anodize.

The passage to my throat chakra was simple. I turned my neck from side to side, feeling lighter and absorbing the rise of the sun through my closed eyelids. My third eye opened as my brow finally relaxed. Once I reached the final chakra, my scalp tingled to mark the completion of my awakening. Now, balanced with the universe, I could finally open my eyes. I could finally see him again.

I was immediately met with his warm brown irises, like his favorite cognac, and lowered my gaze as I appreciated how handsome he was. I bit my lip, glad he waited for me but sorry I delayed him. We needed to move forward with our usual routine.

“Everything alright Renne?”

I wet my lips with the tip of my tongue before responding, “Yes Sir.”

I nodded and focused. I was his namesake, his “greatest treasure”, and all I needed to do was make him proud. He begun to move, and I joined him. We consciously lifted our left feet two shoulder lengths apart and stepped down with our toes. We were in tandem, breathing in sync as we turned our right feet parallel to our left. We punched: right fist clenched eye up at our waists, then twisting inward as it launched forward. The action was repeated with our left fists as we pulled the right back to its original position. I could hear his voice again, within my mind.

Only the waist turns, never the hips. Knee movement indicates hip movement.

It was a melody to me, deep and sweet, that constantly threatened to kindle every emotion I knew to repress. Like a wave, it washed over me and left me with goosebumps. I bit my lip and let it slide from my teeth slowly.

One hundred punches and we moved to willow leaf palm strikes; one hundred of those and we were on to willow leaf palm clears. By the time we reached our final hundred, we opened and closed our fingers one hundred times, before stepping our feet back together. I bowed and felt a chill as sweat dripped from my jawline to my breasts. Perspiration coated my body like morning dew.

“Well done, Renne.”

How could I be so hot and cold at the same time? I chewed on my lip as my heart ballooned with pride. He need not say much. I was sure we were the same. Both of us, filled with repressed passion that we struggled to keep from bursting. I suddenly became aware, my soul was soaked and dripping with desire.

This was my time, my most cherished time, spent with my most cherished person. It was Sunday, so he would be here all day, but this moment was allotted specifically for me. In this moment, he was looking only at me. He could be fully absorbed by me, no interruptions. I longed for the feeling of his large, warm hands holding me. Although inappropriate, a single embrace would appear innocuous enough. I looked up into his eyes as I stepped forward. He opened his arms and I fell against him. Yes, our bond is far deeper than words.

I murmured my simple reply into his moist cotton tunic, “Thank you, father.”

I loved him so much and never wanted our moment to end. I bit my lip. Time would never stop for me, that was not in its nature, but I selfishly begged it to try. My father placed his hand on my head, but I was already aware I have held on for too long. I closed my eyes to melt deeper into the contact. As selfish as it was, I would not release him until I had my fill.

His chest rose and fell stiffly in response. He remained posed even though we were alone. I found it wholly unnecessary. Yes we were outside, but we were safe within the confines of our garden. Any approach would be heard. If we were suddenly seen, a single hug would be forgiven. I was, after all, his daughter.

He dropped his hand to my shoulder and my imagination expanded. I longed for the sight of his bare, broad shoulders, and pressed a trembling hand to his abs. He was well-built, and exuded power and stability. His chest hair was a trail that led to the wonders of adulthood. I opened my mouth to exhale, emptied my lungs, only to fill them with his scent. I would humble myself in an instant, if only begging were enough to motivate him.

“Daddy! Breakfast!”

The shrill call no longer startled me, only annoyed. My time was up. I stuffed my longing back into my heart as I took a step backwards. My father trained me to maintain control of my emotions, so I am careful not to make exaggerated faces. The ease may have fluctuated, but the skill remained sharp. I reminded myself that this was nothing new, but reflex turned my face away as he pivoted to collect Izu in a hug.

His voice raised to meet her excitement, “Do I smell… pakoda?”

They laughed and giggled while I was stricken with resentment towards my little sister. Although every fault could be traced back to my mother, I could never forgive either for the consistent obstruction. I used the walk inside to gather my irritation, then stuffed it within my heart as well. I was too old to be coddled, only caressed, and any opportunity for that would come in time.

Izu boasted about how she helped prepare both the filling and spiced batter, “I even chopped tha corianda an mint leaves!” The scent of garam masala was undeniable. The fritters were deep fried to a bright yellow by my mother only moments ago.

Although she was already nine, she retained a child-like manner of speech. She insisted on showcasing her ingenuous nature, as if to directly contrast and antagonize my maturity. The fried bread was his favorite, so my father gushed how “eternally grateful” he was for her thoughtfulness.

The indulgence only reminded me that he would be leaving soon. He swore every mission was their “last engagement” with the tribes in the South Pole, but I knew our fleet had been countering the Southern Menace for almost a century. I understood a new hydrokinetic could manifest at any time. Unless the entire population of both Polar Realms were eradicated, my father would always have to leave.

I washed my hands and joined my family at the table. We thanked my mother for the meal, and I remember enjoying how light and salty her vermicelli always was. Her curry was always delicious, especially piled high with red onion, but I never ate my fill. Izu engorged herself, as allowed since she was still a child. I turned fourteen the week prior and have started my menses. After receiving my waist beads, my mother took me aside and lectured me unnecessarily. There was little I had not already learned from books. The rest, my father could teach me.

Becoming an adult added a whole host of new challenges I was suddenly tasked with. For starters, women should be smooth. Be it shaving, waxing, threading or plucking, I was challenged to eradicate as much body hair as I could, on a consistent basis. I bit my lip. My breasts and hips also expanded daily, and I had no patience to accompany my mother to purchase new clothes. Wrapped sarongs tied into multiple forms and fashions were enough. Skirts and dresses allowed me freedom of movement and the tied knots provided any necessary support. I hated the feeling of moist fabric, so pants and underwear were uncomfortable and rarely worn. In two years, my father will also pierce my nose-

Another shrill exclamation pierced my thoughts, “Mao!”

Izu jumped from her chair to hug him before I could even turn to glance behind me.

The taste of my saliva turned bitter. I swallowed and recognized the metallic taste of blood. I had caught the tip of my tongue with my teeth after it freed my lip, but the physical pain was easily dwarfed by the intensity of my emotions. Of course Mao would abandon the comforts of his large estate to pay another visit today. He only spent the entirety of yesterday here as well. I imagined he would gladly cast off every luxury to live down here, if the invitation were ever extended.

I hated how Mao had grown taller than me, seemingly overnight. He was stronger too, svelte and a beast at pushups and sit-ups. His dark brown eyes were somehow as expressive as his gestures, and he could rely on a natural charisma that drew everyone to his side. And who could forget, he was the only son of Admiral Chen Xin. The entire Southern Raiders fleet was under the command of his father, and their estate atop the highest point in our village. It was a steep climb, so of course they were the only family who used carriages imported directly from the Copital City.

Mao was a fairytale Prince. A knight in shining armor, that stepped right out of a storybook and into our home. He was a model son, one that any proud Ember Isle family would want as their heir.

My mother offered him a bowl, but he declined by bowing. He glanced at me, then turned to bow to my father and stutter, “I-Is it alright if I join you for morning forms, Lieutenant Liu?”

Yes, he is still a teenager, but he has always lacked courage. Women of all ages loved Mao because of his lineage and his looks, but I thought being bold was far more important. Besides, his stutter counteracted every ounce of the manliness he was naturally gifted. Like all the other men in our village, Mao failed miserably when measured against my father.

I stood and corrected Mao while looking at my father, “Lieutenant Commander Liu.”

Lieutenant Commander Ren Liu was only recently promoted, but it mattered. My father was now the commanding officer on his frigate. He deserved every modicum of respect, even from the son of the Admiral. My father however, chuckled as he waved away the stuttered apology Mao immediately attempted to form. Mao was assured: he was always welcome to join our training sessions.

The first Pyre King instituted government policy that restricted every household to only two children. It proved essential, as it managed the consumption of resources and allowed our nation to enter an era of modernization and prosperity; but the decree altered the worth of a woman in our society. Every family has only two chances to ensure the longevity of their bloodline. After over ninety years of war, it is no wonder that islands throughout the Ember Isle are now brimming with working women. Daughters are considered financial burdens. I have no doubt my father would have preferred a son.

I watched the men head back outside as I collected the plates to expend my spite. At least women can join the army. It may never be my place to engage in direct combat against the Earthen Empire’s forces, but domestic duties were an absolute waste of my time and talent. The first born was still expected to support their parents in old age, so I promised to do all I could to bolster my family reputation. There might never be another Ren Liu, but our kinetic ability could become legend.

I half-listened to my mother and Izu while they chatted. They kept themselves busy making plans to go into town and invited me out of courtesy. I smiled and declined, like I always have. Spending any moment without my father was a complete waste of the day.

My tone threatened to betray my intention, “You both should take your time and have fun.” I bowed and accepted their dishes to wash as well.

I recall how sincerely I hoped that Mao would not linger. He had a way of becoming stuck to my side, like a malignant growth. With Izu and my mother leaving, I was suddenly granted a golden opportunity. I dried my hands and headed to the backyard. As I sat on the steps to watch, I found myself chewing on my lip in thought.

Pyrokinesis is far from difficult. Admittedly, fire forms take only a modicum of focus and attention to detail. For me, those were easy enough to manage, but both proved difficult hurdles for Mao the over thinker. He would invariably second-guess himself, falter, then hesitate to follow through.

The teachings of my father are the only laws I ever cared to obey. Just as quickly as a spark ignites into a flame, your fire must flare and consume before it is extinguished. With pyro-kinesis, one must think-act-react, all within a single breath. The echo of his words lifted me to my feet.

I released my lip and took the same stance in demonstration. The shadow of my father is vast and dark. If Mao cannot follow his lead, he can instead watch me. I perform the high X block, followed smoothly by a low roundhouse calf kick, and finished with a shield of deep orange flames. My father smiled at my flawless execution. I snap my gaze to Mao and am met with his stupid, vacant eyes.

Mao and I had been together since infancy, so I cannot pinpoint when exactly it started. All I knew was that over the years, Mao had become increasingly worrisome. He would fall into staring spells, like absence seizures, that were frustratingly prolonged. I knew exactly how difficult it could be to focus, but Mao seemed insufferably lost and his kinesis suffered because of it.

Every time I called him out on it, he would get defensive and turn the conversation to blame me. No matter how I looked or what I chose to wear, or not wear, it was somehow the reason behind his shortcomings. I cannot be held responsible for his own inadequacies. Instead of bringing it up first, I have learned to simply stare right back at him until he snaps out of it. If he gets offended and asks why I am staring, then he is also at fault for starting the ensuing argument.

“Thank you Renne,” the velvety smooth voice of my father pulls my attention. My eyes meet his and are welcomed home as he continues, “Well done, but today you will focus on training your blue flame.”

I could only nod as he triggered another wildfire within my belly. Every word from his mouth was an allurement. The motion of his lips moved me in ways nothing else possibly could. Oh, how deceptively light those lips were. They released intense heat, and every sound that passed from them could suffocate me. I hold my right hand out with my palm up and open. Even my blue flames were a byproduct of my love for him. I am sure he suspected that was so, and my heart begged to fall back into the memory. I closed my eyes. Was three years so long ago?

I am taken back to when I was eleven. My body flushes as I watch the negotiation of fingers. My hands were small and my fingers thin in comparison to his. It is not just our hands though. My body was wholly naive, inexperienced and ignorant to the magnitude of the world. There was a pulsation within me. My thighs trembled and slickened at the rush of my young heart. Now, the fine hairs of my forearm arise, as I relived every breath and shiver.

I opened my eyes to observe the blue flame that blossomed within my palm.

Weak pyrokinetics can only manage red flames that are barely visible. Generally, every pyrokinetic in the Ember Isle can manage at least a dull red flame. To join the military, all recruits must be able to produce a clear red flame, at minimum. True mastery, as we are taught, requires more than the effort of a single individual. With proper breeding, like the royal family, pyrokinetic Masters have produced clear orange to white flames. There are tales of great pyrokinetics who slayed dragons with a pure white flame. The most recent was General Suzaku, the current crowned prince, who slayed the last dragon in existence. But by comparison, there are barely even rumors of pyrokinetics that have produced a blue flame. My blue fire is rare. Truly taming it is unheard of.

While still hot, I replicated the form. The execution was smooth and effortless, but my shield burned orange once again. Bright orange flames were no longer good enough. I dreamed of joining the military and sought to force the rest of the world to submit under the manifestation of my love. In one fell swoop, I would end the war so my father would never again need to leave our sanctuary. If he longed for adventure, he could sail within the harbor of my arms. Home safe on our island, my ripened body was all his to explore.

I sighed and moved back into position. Perhaps I had lost my calm while too fixated on turning my aspiration into reality. I started, then bit my lip as I failed again. Perhaps relying on a three-year-old memory had become a detriment. The memory itself was vivid, but the magic it held may have depleted. I freed my lip and meditated on my father. His eyes have always captivated me the most. I concentrate on the depth of their brown color. Red, orange, and yellow flames encircle his pupils and burn. In stasis, I produced a shield of blue fire, but once I re-attempted the maneuver, my flames were disparagingly orange.

Desperate, my next thought was that a stronger desire would unleash more power. I bit my lip and glanced over at my father and Mao. If only Mao would disappear. I enjoyed training and graciously received the blessings of our sun. As instructed, I gave thanks to the rays that renewed and transformed my body. They selflessly warmed my skin while I was filled with greed.

Mao made it his mission to call out my selfishness, but he had barely seen an iota of it. Only my father had. My father knew my every desire and accepted me.

I lifted the hem of my skirt with a sigh and gathered the material. I needed only enough fabric to keep my butt covered, so the rest was tucked over and then under the fabric at my hips. The excess bunched together precariously, barely concealing my thighs. I remember how difficult it was to ignore the feeling of being watched from behind.

Perhaps it was Mao staring again. I earnestly hoped my father became jealous, and was sure he was well aware of my aspiration. Releasing the hidden desire within those amber eyes was all I have ever cared for.

Cool down exercises and stretching are a key component in any training regimen. I moved to my hands and knees, separated them shoulder length apart from one another, and began stretching my back. I arched and then bended, breathing slowly. In a perfect world, my father would take a break from tutoring Mao so he could enjoy the sight of me.

I switched to stretching my hips and rotated from left to right. My arms were kept straight as I brought my butt around in a circle. It felt good to press my pelvis as close to the ground as possible. It was admittedly erotic, but still an honest stretch, so my father would have no reason to stop me. I switched to rotate slowly in the opposite direction and licked my lips. I was not doing anything wrong.

Once finished, I sat on my heels to perform neck rolls. If only I could ask him to come over and braid my hair for me. Long hair was his preference, so I never cut it. I imagined the sight of my long curls slowly veiling my body was enticing.

I tilted my head to the left, then slowly collected my curls to drape over my left side. Today, I would hide nothing. The action exposed my shoulder blades and back, so the sun could illuminate the indentation of my spine. I placed my left hand above my ear to press down gently, then slid the right down my neck to make sure my trapezius muscle stretched fully. After a brief count, I released to repeat the motion with the opposite side.

I switched focus, standing to stretch my arms above my head. It would be too obvious if I turned to check whose eyes were on me. I could only be patient and hope that my efforts would work in my favor.

I clasped both hands together behind my back. What man could resist a pert butt? Daily exercise and physical training were unable to circumvent every jiggle and bounce in that area. I widened my stance before bending forward and stretching my arms. I was sure it was working. I closed my eyes and released my hands. My hair tumbled forward as I pressed my palms to the ground. The wind blew gently and swept my curls against the sand beneath my feet. I focused on breathing and bent my elbows and knees slightly, lowered gently, then straightened and lifted to my toes to stretch my legs. It was satisfying, and I trembled against the phantom hand that ran across my lower back. It hesitated, then gained courage to cascade over the curve of my butt and flitter down my legs.

I wanted to peek but would not look at him until I completed my stretching. I brought my torso as close to my legs as I could. With my hands on my ankles, I besought the mind of my father to be filled only with my body. His imagination needed only to take my flexibility into consideration. There was so much that only I could do with him.

The body of my mother was amorphous in comparison to mine. Her muscles were shabby and lacked durability due to her sedentary lifestyle and diet. I stretched to my right and then left sides. My breath blew against my legs until I moved back to center. I stepped my legs back together and rolled up even slower to warm my entire backside. The key is to keep your legs straight and move at your own pace. The voice of my father had always been instructive, but there was a warmth to the tone that made me anxious. It struck deep within my belly, like lightning, and made me salivate.

I stretched my torso and curved from one side to the other, then bent backwards to stretch my stomach as I became an archway.

Calves, quads, and hamstring lunges and stretches came next. Every exertion leading up to my favorite: splits. I worked in all directions, left-right-center, and positioned slowly to stretch my legs, hip flexors, and inner thighs. I was taught that my inner thighs must be strong and flexible. Even Mao quickly learned to keep his head and arms up during sparring. I performed aerial high kicks flawlessly, and it was my inner thighs that helped me maintain my momentum while twisting in the air.

Once finished, I turned around to finally look at my father. Mao, however, caught my attention first. He moved almost as soon as I turned my head, pivoting while pressing a hand to his forehead. He was in pain, so I looked up at the sky instinctively. It was clear blue with no clouds in sight, but I knew that wince. Mao mentioned his migraines could be triggered by anything, not just rain and stormy weather.

I stepped quickly to his side, speaking clearly in concern, “Mao?”

I touched my hand to his cheek. His face was flushed as he dropped his hand to look me in the eye. My immediate worry is that he was overheating from overusing his pyrokinesis. My palm felt no warmer than his cheek, so I decided to close the gap between us and touch my forehead to his. He shuddered as I lifted to my toes, then held his breath as I closed the space between us.

Mao shoved me away painfully. The sudden overreaction was rude. This was not the first time I have had to check his temperature. Mao has always had a weak constitution. I suffered a sudden twinge in my heart at the unexpected force and withdrew. At least I was able to confirm he had no fever. The apparent panic in his eyes calmed my anger, and I rubbed the sore spot on my sternum as I spoke.

“Are you alright Mao? Should I walk you home?”

The pain subsided quickly, so I offered him my hand. He quickly shook his head and refused to look me in the eye. I understood as he stepped further back and completely brushed me off with a forced smile.

“N-Nah, I’m alright, I’ll be fine. I need to practice! Y-You’re done stretching, right? Let’s spar!”

He ran his hand through his hair, and I recognized the nervous gesture. I offended him. I immediately put my hands behind my back in solidarity. The Admiral even referred to his son as ‘delicate’ and his mother, Lady Xin, even asked me to keep watch over Mao. It was embarrassing. I would be careful to keep my distance, and to not overstep from now on. Especially with my father as audience, Mao must not appear feeble or infirm. He could no longer be the weak little boy I once played with. I could at least allow him to pretend to be a man.

He shifted into ready position, but I knew we should refrain. I shook my head and turned to my father who also disapproved. His face was full of understanding as he placed a hand on Mao and spoke earnestly, “Son, there’s no shame in taking a break when you need it. An overburdened flame will suffocate itself.”

Sparring would only serve to further injure Mao.

Mao lowered his gaze and sighed, then nodded as he relented, “I-I’ll see you tomorrow then... Thank you again, Lieutenant Commander Liu.”

As he bowed to my father, I brushed aside all worry. Bubbles of excitement filled my chest. I could finally have my father to myself again, all to myself again, and it was barely noon. With my mother and sister leaving, we would have an entire day together. I watched Mao leave, then turned to follow my father inside. I became anxious as I wondered what we would do first. How should I tell him we had the entire house to ourselves? I could wait until he sat in his favorite chair, then press my hand to his shoulder as I murmured the words into his ear. Just because we would be alone did not mean he would fully indulge me, but it was a start.

I washed my hands in the kitchen sink and considered showering. My father picked up the paper and sat in his favorite chair. If I came up behind him, I could rest my breasts against his shoulders. I imagined sliding my hands down his chest. The action would be hidden as he holds up the newspaper. We would be close enough to kiss.

I dried my hands and retrieved two cups, then filled them with water before taking them to his side. My heart was struggling to keep my emotions smothered. I wanted to unleash my inner child, to liberate my every whim. He was my father after all. Who else could be tasked with the duty of responding to my needs? I did not want to be hidden. I wanted to sit on his lap, press my body to his chest, and cup my hands to his cheek as I ran my tongue against his lips. Only he was destined to be my support, both physically and emotionally. I would accept no other.

My father turned his face, then smiled at me in appreciation as I appeared in his periphery. It was not too late; I could at least quickly kiss the top of his head. Nuzzling my nose against his soft curls was enough of a treat. He took his glass and tapped it to mine before drinking. Instead of acting, I became congested with envy. I was jealous of the glass against his lips, the water flowing into his mouth, and even the droplets that wet his mustache. His Adams apple had me enraptured as Izu entered in a flurry. I tore my eyes away to drink my own water, turning to remind myself how to breathe.

“Mao left already!?” Izu hangs on our father, her arms encircling his neck as she pleads, “If you’re done daddy, come with us! It’s just errands, but it beats staying inside all day!”

My father laughed and shook his head, “Sunday is a day of rest. In the ancient culture, Sundays were reserved to honor and worship our sun gods. We would come together and thank the spirits for giving life, warmth, and illumination to mankind.”

I smiled to myself, unable to remain jealous while swooning over his endless wealth of knowledge. With the Pontiff dead, the cycle of reincarnation was broken. No one in the world cared about gods or spirits anymore. I have perused every book in his collection, but I could never catch up to his brilliance.

His glass was emptied, so I reached to retrieve it. I wanted, at least, our palms to touch. A chance greeting of his brutish hands against mine. Instead, I swiped past Izu.

She yelped and pulled back like I hurt her, “Oh, yuck! You’re all gross and sweaty! And you smell like outside! Don’t touch me, I’m about to go to town! Mom!”

I shook my head as she wiped at her dress. I barely grazed her and was shocked at the affront. My eyes narrowed, and I was poised to berate and excoriate the impudent child. The words swelled within my throat as I spat, “I doubt I even touched you Izu! You are about to go outside yourself! How nonsensical-”


I blinked. The entire argument tumbled dumbly from my lips and fell silent to the floor. My gaze automatically snapped to my father and was pulled into the vortex of his irises. He continued, as if the outburst never occurred.

“The goddess worshipped on Sundays, was Veztia. She was the first-born daughter of the god who ruled over time. He charged his goddess with a sacred blue flame that was never allowed to extinguish. To our ancestors, she was as significant as both life and death, dawn and dusk. Veztia was revered over both land and sea. After the unification of the Pyre Islands, the Ember Isle insignia was derived from the flame of her hearth.”

That was why he chose that name.

I blushed as my father naturally closed his paper, then folded it as he stood. My mother had appeared in the doorway and Izu stuck her tongue out at me as she skipped away to join them. I could not have cared any less. I busied myself with forcing my heart to still.

My father had only ever spoken that name in private. It was a signal, a secret held only between us. My heart was not ready to hear it spoken in normal conversation. School textbooks and lectures quickly glossed over the ancient tribes and warlords of our past. Religion was non-existent and history generally starts with the prosperity of the Zho Pei Dynasty and the strife that started the Jasmine-Rose War. I floated to the sink and carefully placed our empty cups beside each other. What did it matter that he collected my mother by the waist? She had the freedom to be affectionate. I coveted that liberty, but had my own salvation.

While I followed behind everyone to the foyer to say our goodbyes, Izu groaned how she had been waiting all morning to leave. Even with two daughters, we were a picture-perfect military family. I should have felt horrible for tainting the image. Everything would have been proper however, if only I had been born his son. If anyone were to blame, it would always be my mother.

The front door closed, and I acknowledged the lock clicking into place. The air in our empty home suddenly felt different. It was sticky and viscous, like molasses, and weighed down my arms and shoulders. My father turned from the door and his gaze was suddenly oppressive, which caused me to swallow reflexively. The tone of his voice was overwhelming, “A burn will heal Veztia, but harsh words are always remembered.”

I stood, admonished, as he wrapped his arms around me in a hug. There was no need for me to bow in solatium. I am now Veztia and he was all mine. I hesitated though, sniffing audibly as I attempted to check if Izu had a point. I had gotten sweaty, so maybe I was offensive.

My father took notice and shook his head. All pretense and hesitation left with my mother and sister. He was eager to feed my selfishness, “We have worked up a sweat. If it bothers you, prepare a bath. We can soak for as long as you like.”

I softened and relaxed against him as I implored gently, “You will join me?”

He kissed the top of my head as he murmured, “Of course.” This is all I longed for. To be held in my father’s arms. Loved by only him. I released him and skipped up the steps, light and full of expectation.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Kttn25: What did I like? Absolutely everything! Short, sweet, and spicy.. just how I like it!

Claire: Une très belle histoire avec des personnages tourmentés, j'adore

bumby1988: I love the characters and the plot so much I noticed a few mistakes that need to be changed but nothing I can't look past very well written

Kaari: Just finishing book 4 of this great series and will read 5 before the night is through

Maria: Es una historia linda y fresca.

Mancey: Je trouve l'histoire facile à lire. Agréable et romantique à souhait. J'aime beaucoup, hâte de pouvoir lire la suite.

Namugwanya: am eager to finish the book

LoadingLemon: really enjoying the plot right now can’t wait to keep reading

More Recommendations

Katie: This book is well written and flows nicely. Very few grammatical errors. I recommend this book as it will really play with all your emotions. Good job author. Keep up the good work. 💜💜

Yohana: Me a parecido demasiado interesante, me gusta que sea una historia que tenga un buen desarrollo y que de alguna manera esté un poco más largas de las que e leído, también me gusta que tenga buenos argumentos y especificaciones pero sin llegar a ser aburrido y sin demasiado drama, es muy buena his...

Ayisha Bhandari: I really loved it one of the best on inkitt❤️

Tesorito: Me gustó mucho esta historia...

Susanne Moore: Ugh I hate those bad and selfish people. Can't wait until they all get there butt kicked

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.