Fire and Ice: book 1

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Twelve

Calder

Kenna had almost ripped my head off. I really didn’t know how I did it...calm her down. I just felt like I needed to distract her. The only way I knew how was to give her a heated trail of kisses up and down her neck. I pushed away that lingering caged feeling and practically seduced her. In my opinion I did at least. Big mistake.

I brought her close and I wanted more than what I was giving her, I wanted Kenna to give instead of take. I wanted her to place her perfectly full lips over mine.

As I kissed her I had unintentionally pulled her up against me and felt her plump breasts rub against my chest. Hello, hard-on. That’s when she awakened from her rage, fully aware, never backing away from our close proximity.

Now turned towards one of her sisters, Kaia, if I could recall correctly, we waited for her to say something. All she could do was act like an open-mouthed bass.

“H-how...What...” Kaia finished questioning us with a lot of hand gestures, and more open-close open-close actions with her jaw.

I too shook my head, confused as to what I had just done. Did I just calm the monster in this beautiful, curvy...delicious. Oh God. My mind just went off the tracks again. I sighed privately, to myself, as I watched Kenna try to explain what just went down.

She was gesticulating wildly, the way she does when she’s really into something. Wait, what was she saying? Uhhg! I had distracted myself again, letting my eyes roam over her obvious curves.

“...Sorry Kaia. I have no idea what just happened. I lost my cool over some blade that I won a while back.”

My eyes bounced back and forth between both women. Kaia was standing there with a blank face. Was she ignoring Kenna?! No one ignored my Kenna.

Kaia was now shaking her head, and Kenna had a relieved appearance to her body language. Had I missed something?

Kenna was now looking at me expectantly. She raised her brows as if she had just asked a question. Was it an important one? Was it life changing?

“Calder, are you ready?” Kenna asked again, but I wasn’t sure what I was exactly ready for.

What had I been thinking about? “Hmm? Ready for what?”

Kenna rolled her eyes, “I changed my mind. We’re going to town with Camira.” Then she turned to Kaia. “You want to come?”

I watched as Kaia’s face changed. Her nose wrinkled and she looked down as if she should think about it. “No. Maybe another time.”

Attention turning to my Kenna, she looked worried. “Okay.”

Kenna turned with tense shoulders, and walked out of the room, her hips swaying unintentionally. Damn she was gorgeous. I watched as her strides slowed and she didn’t so much as turn around to call for me.

Following Kenna out, I lengthened my strides to catch up with her. I felt like a puppy, for Gods sake. We walked in silence for a while, but then I couldn’t take any more of this. This tense, uneasy silence. I realized it had nothing to do with us, but something to do with what had happened back in Kaia’s room. I didn’t like her feeling this way. It made my shoulders hurt with uneasiness as well.

Looking down at her now, I could see the hesitation in her stride. It wasn’t there before the whole rage explosion thing. Kenna looked up catching my stare. “What.” She said it gruffly and guarded.

I shook my head and slowed my pace. “Nothing.”

Kenna took smaller steps, too, staying in stride with me. She huffed before she could respond. “Spit it out Calder, what’s bothering you.”

I looked at her for a moment, judging her attitude. She wasn’t directing it at me. Kenna was worried about something, and she wasn’t used to anyone outside of her circle-of-sisters acting worried about her. We stopped at our bedroom and I gave her a look. She couldn’t make eye contact for a moment, and when she realized what she was doing Kenna looked me straight in the eye, waiting.

“What’s wrong?” I had no other way of asking what was bothering her, so I flat out asked.

“Nothing you’d understand.” Taking a step into the room, she was about to drop the topic.

I shot my arm out to stop her, planting it on the other side of the doorway, and Kenna gave me a glare. My response shredded that look to pieces. “Then make me understand.”

She looked at me for a moment, and then walked past me to pick up her satchel before we left for the village. Paxton?

“I almost injured my sister.” Picking up her bag and slinging it over her head so it rested on her opposite shoulder, she faced me.

I nodded for her to continue. I understand so far that this could be a little worrisome.

“And then you snapped me out of it.” Kenna left the cave and I followed, listening intently.

Kenna gazed up at me. “Don’t you see, Calder?”

My eyebrows pulled down. I’m afraid she lost me on that question. What am I supposed to understand from this?

Sighing she mumbled, “of course you don’t.” Then she took another breath. “I’ve been in a rage like that before, but not in a very long time.” She paused, and I could see it when she played the memory over in her head. Was she deciding whether or not to tell me the memory? She sighed again and her face went blank. “You see, the last time I did that I hurt my mother in a way a daughter never should. She – She had a mate.”

“Had?”

Kenna nodded. “He was human like you. Strong yet held no confidence inside him. For other reasons that what you’re going through.” I looked ahead now, listening and watching as the tall trees passed by us. Dismissing the way she decided to describe me. We have left the mountain and are now walking over sticks, making them snap in half. “I didn’t trust him...and I got mad...and I killed him while they slept.” Kenna visibly swallowed.

“Oh, Kenna.” I had no idea, and now that I do I saw a whole other side of her. This must be why she was afraid to tell me her true origin so soon.

“I want to regret it, but I don’t. My mother’s mate was a bully and took out his anger and confusion on her. Its so horrible what I did to my mother. I can’t even tell you how painful it must feel for her to live on.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

She stopped, and turned to stand in front of me. I had to dig my heals in to stop from stepping on her sandaled toes. In all seriousness she responded, “When you lose your mate its like you’re torn apart and put back together again, except the next time you’re put together you no longer feel whole again. That evil that pries at you in the dark comes to the surface, and you either fight your monster, or you take in what your other half is.” Kenna’s eyes became glassy and a fire momentarily sparks inside her eyes. Kenna’s monster, letting its self be known? “I’ve heard it happen. It kills you on the inside, Calder.” She shifted her weight as if she wanted to shake me, make me understand. “You’re never the same again.”

I looked at her and saw the nightmare that she was afraid of: finding her mate and then losing him. “Kenna, I’m not going anywhere and neither are your sisters.”

She started walking again. “You don’t know that.”

Well, what the heck were you supposed to say to that? Kenna sounded so sure of herself. Sure that someday, in the future, something will happen. Well, I won’t let anything happen to her. I vow it.

“That was the worst rage I’ve ever experienced in a very long time, because I acted on it. I acted on this rage that grew and intensified till there was nothing left. My monster took over.” After a few more long strides she continued. I could now see a wall to a village up ahead. “And then when you stopped that rage...that monster,” She glanced back up at me so I could see the realization in her eyes, “it just proves all the more that you’re my mate. No one’s ever been able to pull me away from that fire...that evilness.”

Then we arrived at the gate, and there was nothing more to say.


We’ve been walking through the dump of the town for a while now, and we still haven’t found Camira. Kenna explained to me that she probably got absorbed in something and forgot all about us.

I actually didn’t really care that we couldn’t find her; I liked walking with our hands intertwined and hearing the details about this small, not-even-a- dot-on-the-map village.

It was a small village but had a diversity of many different people; people who never belonged anywhere. Looking around I saw little shacks where the families sold their goods for better goods, and I saw little kids kicking a can. I could hardly stand to think how these people lived, and I knew Kenna could see it on my face.

Leaning in and whispering in my ear, with her chin tilted up to reach it, she eased my weariness. “Don’t worry. This is the only way they know how to live. It’s been like this for many generations.” Then she gave me a warning. “Just don’t pity them, they can sense when you do, and they hate it.”

As Kenna pulled away, looking at me knowingly, I asked her a silent question with wide eyes. She nodded her head in response. Yes, these people are human, but they also hold a fear. Fear of the inner-city.

Minutes later, Kenna still holding on to my hand, or is it really I holding on to her? We arrived at the edge of the inner-city of Paxton. It’s like stepping over an invisible line. A boundary. And as we crossed, people gave us looks. Some held a threat to them. Some held longing; longing to cross I presume. Most of the longing, hopeful eyes were from kids old enough to know the difference. The rest were just plain hatred. Seeing those looks I held onto Kenna tighter and never looked back. How were we going to get home?

Once again Kenna answered as we walked deeper into the inner-city. “We will go the same way we came. They never do anything, because they hold to much fear inside them.”

I look down for a moment, away from all the new sights. “Fear of what? Who?”

“The Horned One’s.” Kenna practically sneers, “Or at least that’s what those bastard’s call themselves. They’re really Satyrs. Douche bags if you ask me.”

“Like half goat half man?”

The deeper we walked through the city, the more confident Kenna became. “Yes.”

Nodding my head, I observed the new surrounding more closely taking this new information in. There were many carts lining the streets with different items presented. Some food, which I couldn’t recognize. Some held jewelry, both simple and expensive. Turning again, my shoes scrapping the cobble street, dodging a donkey with a cart attached, my eyes caught a pair of bejeweled daggers. Kenna just lost her one dagger. I believe she needed a new set. But how in the world was I supposed to pay for these?

Looking around again, I watched as people came up to carts and paid with these foreign coins. “How do you pay for these things?”

Kenna looked at me and answered disbelievingly, “we didn’t come here to buy stuff, Calder.”

I looked back at Kenna, away from the currency in people’s hands. “I know Kenna, I was just asking. Do you not want me to learn how you live?” I finished with a smile, trying to make my retort sound softer.

She gave me one of her looks and then answered again, “This is not the way I live.” When Kenna finished gesturing to the people around us she continued. “This is how my youngest sister lives. Camira thinks its fascinating to interact with these....these – ”

Rolling my eyes at her for the first time I cut her off. “I don’t care. Maybe I’m interested sense you brought me.”

Another disbelieving look and almost a betrayed look crossed her face. “The silver is worth ten and the gold is worth fifty.”

I nod my head and squeeze her hand, “Thank you.”

Letting out a breath Kenna answered, “Yeah, whatever.”

“Hey.” I stated taking her chin and stopping so she could look at me properly. Our noses positioned inches away from each other. “I’m sorry. I was just interested.” We were stopped in the middle of the road and as people passed us, they made sure I saw the dirty looks they gave us. I didn’t care. Deep down I probably should have though.

Kenna nodded, gently releasing herself from my soft grip. Looking around she sighed again and looked back at me. “Well, Camira is nowhere to be found.”

“You think something’s wrong?” I asked, looking around cautiously.

There were many civilians who roamed the streets doing daily tasks, but there were also huge men with horns that protruded out of their heads. These men with a goat like appearance must be The Horned One’s. There were two walking down the street minding there own business, but even their presence caused the citizens to make way like the red sea opening up. They were a few heads taller than me with wide shoulders and biceps that could be considered something like a thick tree branch. I watched as they walked with confidence, and cut every queue they got into.

“That, or she doesn’t want to be found.” Kenna finished, with an airy, almost nonchalant response, bringing my attention back to her beautiful form.

The sun was teasing the horizon now, and shadows that stretched across the land hid half of Kenna’s face as we squinted in the direction of the sun. Looking from the sun back to Kenna, I waited for the red blotches in my eyesight to disappear before I could really take in the sight.

She had a light golden shade of skin, and the sun helped her red hair look like fire around the edges. As she walked it was like a calm kind of frenzy, like the way a fire would sway and reach towards the sky. Kenna looked absolutely perfect in the evening light.

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