Ember Rains (Book 1)

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Chapter 16: Steam

Over the next two weeks I took both Myra and Tyler out regularly. Myra was often smiling and even laughing in front of me. She had the most beautiful laugh. On our third date, after sitting and watching Ty play at the park, I offered her my hand to help her up. This time was different though, because she didn’t let go.

Tyler loved playing with Avrily, and Rowan and Myra were becoming good friends as well. They took the kids out regularly. Sometimes Zane and I joined them when we weren’t too busy working.

It was Saturday May 10th and I was at the cafe a block away from Myra’s apartment. We were supposed to meet up, but she was over an hour late and I was getting worried.

‘We would know if someone came for them, right?’ Brooke asked nervously.

‘Yeah, I mean of course. But we should go check in anyway.’ I replied, fighting off my anxiety.

“Who is it?” Myra asked when I knocked. Her voice sounded off but I wasn’t sure why.

“It’s Richard.” I responded as I felt myself relax as her scent got closer.

Then the door opened and Myra appeared before me looking slightly nervous. Her long hair was in a messy ponytail and her cheeks were flushed. Her eyes seemed glazed and her brow was damp. She looked sick. Still beautiful, always beautiful, but unwell.

“I’m so sorry.” Myra frowned, concerned. “Tyler had a fever and has been up all night. I just completely forgot. I’m sorry.”

“You don’t look like you feel very good either.” I frowned.

I couldn’t help but notice that she barely flinched when I reached out to feel her forehead.

“You’re burning up. You should be laying down.” I stepped forward and she moved back allowing me in.

“I will, but Ty needs some water and…” She started.

“Go lay down, I’ll get him some.” I looked down at her, wiping a stray strand of hair off her face. “Get some rest.”

I guided her to her room and motioned for her to lay down. Reluctantly she proceeded to do so.

“I’ll be right back.” I walked out and got Tyler some water.

After checking on him I brought water and Tylenol to Myra.

“Why are you doing this?” She asked awkwardly, “You don’t have too.”

“I want to, I like taking care of you guys.” I smiled at her.

“Why?” She asked again.

I sat next to her on the bed with a sigh.

‘Tell her.’ Brooke pleaded.

‘What? That I’m completely in love with her? She would flip out.’

“Does it really matter?” I asked out loud, brushing my fingers across her warm cheek.

“It does to me, I’m curious.”

Was it my imagination or did she lean into my touch. That thought sent a shiver of joy through my entire being and I couldn’t help but grin widely at her.

“Haven’t you heard curiosity killed the cat?” I asked.

To my surprise she rolled her eyes. “Firstly that was stupidity, curiosity was framed. Secondly I’m not a cat, I’m a wolf, much more dangerous.”

I laughed then, without thinking about it, bent down and kissed her forehead. She gasped almost silently but by the way she closed her eyes I knew she felt it too. The electric shock of energy that left my lips tingling with anticipation.

“Get some sleep.” I said again, grinning stupidly at her.

The next two days I stayed. I slept on the couch and took care of them both the best I could. I had Logan bring me clothes, soap and my toothbrush. Zane came by daily dropping off any paperwork I needed to do.

Day three Tyler wanted to watch a movie but it was unhooked for some reason. After getting shocked a couple times I felt someone behind me and looked up.

Myra looked much better then she had the day before as she grinned down at me. The way she bit her lip made me think she was trying not to laugh.

“Need some help down there?” Her hand flinched as if wanting to reach out to touch me.

I knew the feeling, ever since I kissed her forehead every inch of separation seemed torturous. I continuously fought the urge to grab her hand or brush her cheek. It was painful and exhausting to fight what came so naturally. We belonged together, and now that we both understood that the bond was stronger than ever.

“You look better today,” I observed.

“I feel better, thank you,” she admitted before cocking her head at the scorch mark on the bottom of my green long sleeve shirt.

“I’m not great with electronics.” I admitted with a shrug.

“I get it, everybody has their weakness.” She stepped aside motioning for me to move. I did.

“Oh yeah? What’s yours?”

As I expected she froze, but only for a second. To my surprise though, she did eventually answer.

“Getting too cold and tungsten.” She finally replied as she stood back up and facing me.

“What?” I asked, thoroughly confused.

She held out both her hands showing me the scars that encircled her wrists. I had seen them before but still I used the excuse to reach out and take her hands rubbing my thumbs over the scars.

“It’s the only metal I can’t melt.” She shrugged.

It was then I realized exactly what she was telling me, and how much it meant. She had just told me the only way to hold her captive. She trusted me not to share this information, or use it myself.

Without thinking I moved my right hand to her cheek and bent down kissing her lightly on the lips. The second I realized what I had done I expected her to slap me, or at least pull away. I did not expect her to wrap her arms around my neck and stand on her toes to pull me closer.

She tasted sweet and smoky at the same time, it was intoxicating.

“Yuck,” Tyler said, sounding truly horrified.

Myra jumped back shocked, raising her fingers to her lips.

“I’m sorry,” She said quickly before hurrying away.

I finished turning on the movie before following her back to her room.

“Why are you sorry?” I asked, walking over to where she stood facing away from me.

“I’m not good for you, I shouldn’t have let that happen.” She shook her head.

I spun her so she was facing me with her back to a wall.

“Don’t say that. You are exactly what I need in my life” I said, stepping closer to her. “You are the fire to my ice.” I chuckled at my own lame joke.

Her fair skin was flushed pink and her warm brown eyes met mine effortlessly, something I had worked hard for. A pained smile spread across her face and I wanted to make it better.

I stepped forward pressing her back against the wall. Then I laid my left hand on the wall next to her head, far enough up to make sure I didn’t scare her. I was learning what her boundaries were. What she could and could not handle.

“Do you know what you get when you mix fire and ice?” She asked breathlessly, as she stared up into my own intense gaze.

“Steam...” I whispered, in my low husky voice.

I lifted my right hand to run my fingers across her cheek.

She let out a low involuntary gasp as sparks erupted on my skin where I touched her and I knew she felt it too. She closed her eyes, reveling in the moment for a second before biting down hard on her lip. How could she deny this feeling?

“A puddle...” She gasped, sliding under my arm and walking away wiping at her tears as they slid freely down her cheeks.

I watched her go, with a sad sigh. We had come so far but I had to break through her walls if I was going to save her. Save everyone.

I stuck my hands into my pockets then followed her back out to the living room.

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