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Chapter 24: From the Eye of the Storm

There was a groan, a roar, the soft patter of rain drops. A flash of lightning, followed closely by the earth shattering rumble of thunder. Gabrielle stood on the edge of a cliff, an intense everlasting thunderstorm above her and the froth of the sea below her

The wind whipped back her hair and she felt the static of the lightning running through it. Standing here made her into a human lightning rod. She was collecting strength from the bolts, healing and recovering from her last fight.

Her brand new black robe was partly torn, thanks to her fight with Sebastian. Which she should have won, which she would have won, if those kids hadn’t shown up when they did.

The emotionless black eyes of the shadow Elemental had been fixed on her throughout the fight and they had made her skin crawl. There was so much power behind them, that even she was justified in feeling scared.

Soon they will stand by my side or they will fall. The twins might only be children still but they were also obstacles. Anything that stood between her and achieving her dreams, had to be removed.

For a moment, Gabrielle wondered what her mother would think if she could see Gabrielle right now. She imagined the fear in her mother’s eyes at the sight of her. Crackling with power and sending off tiny sparks of electricity.

Perhaps she would hate Gabrielle, for killing the man who had loved her once and then following in his footsteps. She wouldn’t understand that this was the only way forward.

She had known, the moment his red eyes locked on hers that she would kill him. Her father he might be, but she couldn’t even remember when he had been there. He had left her and her mother, that wasn’t something Gabrielle was able to forgive.

After he was gone, she knew his organization would collapse without a leader, and if they were strong enough to win. She wanted to be on their side when that happened. She wanted to lead them to victory.

Her father had gathered an impressive army, most of them he recruited through fear. They were terrified of him, so they bent to his will like trees in a storm.

Now they had to hold just as much respect for his daughter. She was much more frightening and a lot less reserved. She had already crisped three young recruits caught stealing from the rations. She would not tolerate any disloyalty.

Sebastian is afraid of me… As he should be, she had relished the fear and anger in his eyes. He was so naïve and he always let his emotions and attachments get the better of him. She would love for him to stand by her side, but he was much too stubborn for his own good.

Removing him from her path might prove challenging but she knew she only had to wait. He would come to her, charging in after his revenge. Leaving himself open to being trapped and killed.

She almost regretted having to do this to him, after all he had treated her better than anyone else in her life. For a moment, she wondered if she gave this up now, would he take her back?

No, best not to get caught up in unrealistic fantasies, she had her father’s army to think of. If she didn’t provide them with the battle her father had promised them she would pay the price. They would rebel, and together they might even beat her.

She would not go down like that, so she had no choice but to fight against Sebastian. His uncle would be weakened from the torture; the twins weren’t old enough to be at full power. He was as vulnerable as he was going to get.

Once this was over, she would leave what was left of the army to themselves. She would find somewhere nice and isolated, with the knowledge that as long as she, the last truly powerful Elemental stayed away, the humans were completely safe.

It was what the one thing her father had said that had made any sort of sense, Elementals were a danger to any human that had the misfortune to be near them. They just couldn’t seem to keep themselves under control.

The kindest thing to do was to eliminate what was left of them, so that they would never have to suffer the grief of knowing they had killed innocent people.

It was why she had chosen not to stay and fight once the twins showed up. The battle that would have followed could have hurt humans in the surrounding area. Not that she would have been likely to win anyway. Four against one wasn’t the best odds.

Five against Fifty isn’t great odds either. Her father had gone a little over the top in his eliminating, leaving only Fifty that could be persuaded into his army. It was not large in human standards, but with that many Elementals in one place it was powerful.

None of them had great amounts of power but they made up for it in sheer numbers. Sebastian and his little team of four would never be able to fight them all.

When he comes, I will set them on him, if he dies his team will be weak from grief. It would cripple them and cloud their minds. She would corner them, watch them squirm, and then crush them.

Gabrielle smiled, it was so much more fun being the leader of the Peacemakers than another of her father’s pawns. He should have seen the checkmate coming, but he didn’t.

If he couldn’t stop me. No one can.

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