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Boy on Fire (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1

The boy sat silently in the center of the room, candles flickering around him casting shadows on his already somber form. You can make out faint red marks upon his bare skin and charcoal curls taper the back of his neck, barely brushing his collar.

The sound of an oaken door opening breaks the silence and a tall figure strides into the room. Long chestnut curls swing with every step of her booted feet. She stops behind him, the flames reflect in her hazel eyes.

"You have come," he whispers, the only pure sound to resonate in the room.

"How could I not," she says, bowing her head. He stands and turns to her in a fluid motion, his muscles coiling as his body straightens. His white shirt is unbuttoned revealing numerous red marks. His eyes opened to reveal deep obsidian eyes.

She looks up, her eyes seem to glow brighter for a moment then it vanishes just as fast as it appears. "It has been a long time Ikarus," she whispers, Ikarus smiles for a minute then reaches to touch her face.

She jerks away, her gloved hand clenches and a faint memory rushes to the surface of her thoughts. Flames stinging her fiercely, the heat rushing up against her bare skin and running for help.

"Maia..." he begins softly.

"Why have you summoned me, Ikarus?" she asks snapping her head up, her eyes glaring into his with an almost toxic fierceness. He shuts his eyes for a moment then moves to further the distance between them.

"To continue your training Maia." he turns to the fires flickering around them.

Slowly he inhales through his nose and turns suddenly on the spot. He propels himself upward to the chandelier suspended above them. As he flips over the apex he points to each candle on turn lighting them with a single jet of flame. He lands in a crouch behind her as light floods the room and reveals her appearance.

Black boots slip sensually over black tights and a silky cerulean tunic encases her petite frame, a black velvet traveling cloak rests on her shoulders with the hood pulled back to show her pale skin and cascading curls. Tight faded gloves shape her forearms and a sapphire rests at the hollow of her throat.

Her lips part slightly as she's washed in the fiery glow, he breathes in as he remembers how he dreamed of those lips. Pink as the sunset and glistening like the morning dew, she reaches up to brush away a strand of hair that had slipped from her uniform curls.

Ever since she left all those years ago she had taken great care to hide her body, only when her mother had insisted she marry did she try to show her skin. The day she met her future husband he had balked at the sight of her and when he learned she was a bender he had been all the more disgusted, he broke the engagement and married her younger sister.

She took a home at the edge of the village to stay away from the discriminating eyes and only used her power when in desperate need. Only when she received the letter from the Water Sage did she finally return to the temple she had known as a child.

He had heard the stories but saw none of the horrors the people had described. He knew she was far more than an injured bender, she was a young woman with a great gift.

"Well? Are you ready to continue?" he asks stepping towards her. She shrinks away from him, a million thoughts racing through her head. Finally, she nods, her eyes blazing.