“No!” he exclaimed, but she had pressed the button. “Anna that was probably an extremely stupid thing to do!”
“I don’t care – at least they know where I stand.” She stuck out her bottom lip like a stubborn toddler and looked him in the face. “There’s no good in me pretending to be polite, because they make me mad. I’m not going to be polite any more! I’m fed up of people pushing me around – people I could destroy with one look, but couldn’t bear to! I don’t want to be a puppet any more – I just want to be myself!” She tore her gaze away from his shocked eyes, and the tears fell. “I don’t want all this power – I just want to go back to how I used to be.”
“I know, Anna, and I’m sorry. I felt that way, back when I first … I mean, when I first left my human life.” Anna knew why it was that he had hesitated. Matt still felt awkward talking about his life as one of the Celryn, although it was long past, and she knew that if it had happened to her, she would feel the same. “I know what you’re going through.” He took her in his arms, and his body was so warm that she no longer need to sustain the fire she kept up under her skin.
“You’re so warm!” she said, hugging him back. Matt smiled.
“I still feel like I’ve got a central heating system running though my veins, that’s why. Can you turn this thing down at all?” he said, just the faintest trace of laughter in his voice. Anna bit her lip.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she said, immediately lessening the power of the flames shooting through his body. She did not take it away completely, though, leaving him with a bit of inner fire to back up his soul.
“That feels much better,” he said gratefully. “Thanks.”
Looking at the boy that had changed her life, for better and for worse, Anna wondered what she would have done if her entire life had been ordinary. Gone mad, probably, she decided. But it felt good, these little things that she was able to do for people, even if it was just to warm them up during the cold winter months.
Which apparently is a skill that no one else has, she remembered. The idea scared her slightly, and she ignored it.
A message popped up onto the screen. She let go of Matt, somewhat reluctantly, and went over to read the new correspondence.
You will regret this when we come for you, it read. There was nothing more. If hadn’t been so terrifying, the film-style cheesiness would have made Anna laugh.
It was just a pity that the blood had frozen in her veins, because at that moment she heard the sound of an engine.