The Darwin Chronicles, Book Three: The Blackfire Meadows

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Chapter 29

The woods contained spectacular scenery, as always. Emmett stared at the fang in his hand and squeezed it. But he couldn't bring himself to do it.
I can't, He thought to himself, dropping his hand to his side. It's probably safer for everyone to do it. Better for her, and less people would probably die. But I can't.
"Emmett?" Norie walked up to him. "What are you doing? Mom says dinner is ready-" She saw the fang is his hands and stopped. "Oh, Emmett."
"Don't worry. I can't bring myself to do it," Emmett assured her. He sighed and slung the fang back around his neck again.
"You shouldn't have even thought about it," Norie scolded him, taking his hand and tugging him in the direction of home. "You may have saved her from the Ciis, but don't remember who she is. You know the dream we all had the other day. What if she knows something? And besides, killing her isn't right. She trusted you with that fang. She knew you could kill her anytime, but she gave it to you anyway."
"Yeah? Well, she sure as heck doesn't trust me now. At all." He opened the door and stepped inside. "Hi, Mom."
"What were you doing out in the woods?" His mother asked. Emmett glanced at Norie, silently asking her not to tell. She seemed to get the message.
"He went to get some fresh air," Norie told her, washing her hands at the sink. "You know how it is. People smothering him, and everyone else, about the dream and the Ciis."
"Yes. Well, hopefully you were thinking about something worthwhile Emmett." Eliza plunked some potatoes down on the table with some ham and sat down.
"I was," Emmett said, digging in.
"About your girlfriend," Norie muttered under her breath. Emmett shot her a look and kicked her underneath the table lightly, watching her grin slightly in victory.

Darren watched in shock as Amelia turned into a phoenix, hovering majestically over the luscious Blackfire meadows. She shouldn't be able to transform into mythical creatures so easily. Not to soon after her Awakening. Immediately after her Awakening is understandable, since all Legends can after their newly gained powers. But just a few days after? Impossible. But yet...obviously, it's possible now. With her. Like her father said she would, she's grown up to be powerful. More powerful than the rest of us. He thought about his son at home, who was unaware of his own potentials, and hoped that maybe one day, he too could be this powerful.
"Was that okay?" Amelia asked, landing in a crouch and bringing him back out of his thoughts.
"Oh. Yes, that was fine. Perfect, really. Have you somehow been practicing?"
"No. Why? Should I?"
"No, no, no," He said hastily, pulling her to her feet. "But usually it takes a long time, a few months usually, for a Legend to develop the strength to transform into mythical creatures without assistance. And yet, you just...did it so easily."
She gave him that studying look, sending a wave of guilt and regret rushing through him. That look he knew so well, from his own Giver. And suddenly he remembered the flames and heat, the pain, the handsome man's contorted face, and the little girl watching her father burn all those years ago.
He looked up into those familiar grey eyes and could tell that she knew what he was thinking.
"I-"
"Don't." The girl turned away, angry. At him? He couldn't tell. "Don't apologize."
"But-"
"It's not your fault. No!" She interrupted him before he could even speak, as he opened his mouth to retort. "I've said this before. Please, don't talk about it. Even if it were your fault, I wouldn't hold it against you. I just don't want to think about it. Think about it. What's your son's name? Emmett?"
Darren sighed. "Yes."
"Well, what if you performed the Awakening on me and burned up, and Emmett was there to see it? Would he want to be reminded of it by me?"
"No, I suppose not."
She closed her eyes. "You've always been like a father to me, Darren. Since Dad died. So please, please, don't remind me anymore."
"Alright."
Suddenly the girl gasped.
"Amelia? What?"
"I-don't know." She frowned, placing her hand on her left shoulder. "My shoulder feels...sort of warm. So does the rest of my body. But my shoulder feels the warmest."
Darren trudged over to her. "Are you alright? I don't feel anything out of the ordinary. Maybe you're getting sick."
"No," she insisted. "I'm not getting sick. But I feel it."
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