Open Fire Book 1: Embers

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Chapter 2

Wow… talk about a bad first impression, not that I believe in first impressions. The first thing I did was face-plant through the door, (which included me getting a bloody nose, I don’t think I broke it though) right at the feet of some beefcakes in fancy black suits, one grabbed me under the arms and plopped (more like threw) me into a comfy recliner (that made the landing a little better) and the other just kinda was creepy.

Huh…”, I thought, “I didn’t know we had one of these.”

I shifted around until I felt comfortable, then I proceeded to bounce up and down on the chair with a giddy look on my face. I heard a cough, so I stopped and looked up to see a lady in a fancy pantsuit sitting with her legs crossed in the chair across from me. She looked at me with contempt and impatience. Oops, might have been a bad idea to bounce on the chair, I can’t say I regret it though. I can see why Miss. Harkins was concerned; this lady looked like she could kill. Now me being me, I would have enjoyed punching her in the face, I have a terrible temper. I would have loved to knock that snooty look off her face, but I didn’t. Why? Three itty bitty problems.

1.Miss Harkins told me not to do anything stupid (it wouldn’t be stupid to me, but I had gotten the point)

2.The guards were still there, and I don’t think they planned on leaving just so I could hit her. (That was a pity)

3.As stupid and weak as she looked, she probably had a trick or two up her sleeves. They always have a backup plan in case we don’t cooperate. (We, meaning orphans, can be feisty little suckers, make no mistake)

When I finally came back to reality, in other words when I was done glaring, she handed me a tissue. I accepted it grudgingly and attempted to stop the blood flow. She smiled at me and started with the introductions.

“Hello, my name is Ethelreda Gomez, but you will refer to me as Mrs. Gomez, is that clear?

She raised her eyebrow with an antagonizing look. It was as if she thought she owned me. I merely nodded in response and thought, “Mrs.…. who in their right mind would marry this nutcase!? And even worse, what kind of name is Ethelreda?!” Mrs. Gomez then continued with her, what I now thought to be a lecture.

“Now I want to make it clear that you are coming of age and will soon be sent out on your own, meaning you will no longer be permitted at the orphanage. You are aware of this, correct?”

She stopped and waited for my response. I merely nodded, the less I spoke the less chance of me accidentally saying something rude or using an attitude. I never was much of a talker anyway. Not unless I had some sort of sarcastic remark up my sleeve. I’m not the most positive either. She looked irritated with my lack of verbal’s but continued anyway.

“In any case, since you have no known family to live with, I am giving you the opportunity to come with me. Not only will you have someplace to stay but you will finish your rather...unstable education.” She grimaced but continued,” Now how does that sound to you?” She gave me a false smile.

I just looked at her, not quite sure if what she was telling me was the truth, or if there was some sort of catch to her rather sudden proposal. She raised an eyebrow at me, apparently, I was taking too long to make my decision. I desperately wanted to take her up on her offer, the sound of having a proper home and schooling was very appealing to me. It would give me my own chance to have a life. Cause, like, seriously, my education consisted of papers printed off the internet that I had to fill out and give back to Miss. Harkins, I don’t even know if I ever got any right. I came to my decision, with one side saying yes and the other screaming no.

“Alright, I don’t see why I shouldn’t go. But why are you offering this to me? There are tons of other kids out there that would benefit from this more than I would, and yet you chose me.” I stopped and looked at her, waiting for her response.

She merely laughed, I raised an eyebrow, inquiring as to why she found my question funny. She stopped, looked at me, and said,

“You may not know it Phoenix, but you are one of the few that have the qualities we look for.”

I didn’t know whether or not to take that as a compliment or to anticipate what was to come. But I wasn’t about to worry about that now, it didn’t seem relevant to worry in this situation. She stood up and she motioned for one of her guards who walked over

“This is Clint, one of my top guards here, he will accompany you to your room and help you pack. You should come down as soon as possible so we can head back to your new home.”

She smiled when she said that, I guess this lady wasn’t that bad, the idea certainly seemed to appeal to her. I simply nodded as I stood up and strode out of the room with a smile on my face. I was about to have a life, a home, a family.

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