“Yes there is.” Ash’s voice dropped to a whisper. “We have to destroy the Type M Blood Facility.”
Will blinked. “Ash, how are we going to do that? The facility’s a high-end science research facility that’s guarded very well. You should know that.”
“No, it’s a slaughter house for people like us, and I don’t want Taiga and Tundra to end up there like we did. And if they did, they might not be as lucky as we were to escape. The only way to keep them safe is to destroy it.”
Will looked across the living room into the kitchen where Taiga and Tundra, his younger siblings were sitting playing with blocks. “Ash, they’ve got you, me, and my mom. Blaze is dead, Gustav is missing, and who knows if the facility’s even continuing now?”
Ash turned to Will’s mom, Renee. “Renee, you should understand this. You already lost Will for I don’t know how long, do you want Taiga and Tundra to end up the same way?”
Renee remained silent in thought, watching her youngest children.
Ash angrily stood. “Gustav raped me in there, just like he did to all the girls as his own personal ‘test.” I don’t want that to happen to Taiga. I don’t want Taiga and Tundra to end up in a place that wants them dead, where they’ll be tortured and separated and could die.”
Will stood up and put his hand on Ash’s shoulder. “Ash, we can protect them. There’s no need to worry about them and the facility.”
Ash shrugged his hand off and gestured toward a picture on the mantle of her when she was younger and with her family. “Will, see the family in this picture? I never got to know that family because of my blood type. I killed my mom and little brother by accident when I discovered my curse and set the house on fire. My dad tried to save me, but instead thought he killed me. And he’s partially right, Vanessa died that night,” she said, using her birth name for emphasis.
“Ash, I can understand why you want to do this, but our protection is enough for them,” Will said as he took a step back from his girlfriend as her eyes began turning gold, a sign that her fire wasn’t far from the surface.
She turned and faced him, her eyes blazing sunset gold. “Will, I never got to save my younger brother or my mother. You have everything I’ve ever wanted, a family. My dad thought he could protect me, and look what happened. He gave me a memory loss serum that almost killed me and still works today. I don’t remember half of my past because of that.”
“Baby, believe me, I know. But we can’t just leave everything and go back to the facility and destroy it. We’d only get caught again and put back in there, and this time, they’d make sure we didn’t escape,” Will said softly, a sign his own anger was starting to surface.
“Why can’t we?” she yelled loudly enough for the twins to drop their toys and run into the room.
“Mommy, why are Ash and Will fighting?” Taiga asked, pulling on her mom’s pant leg.
Renee looked down at her daughter. “It’s nothing, sweetheart. Why don’t you and your brother go upstairs and get ready for a nap?”
Being the one who loved to follow her mom’s rules, Taiga grabbed Tundra’s hand and dragged him upstairs to their room.
Renee stood and positioned herself between her son and his girlfriend, her hand steaming when it touched Ash’s skin, her water reacting with the girl’s fire. “Will, Ash is right. Your father and I thought we could protect you, and look what happened. He died and you were taken, and most likely wouldn’t have escaped if it weren’t for Ash. You two need to destroy the facility before they can hurt anyone else or break up any more families.”
Will sighed and looked down at the ground, seeing the sense in her words. “But I just got back after I don’t know how long of being gone. I can’t go back there again and risk everything again.” He looked back up toward Ash. “I don’t want to risk losing you again, or my mom, or the twins.”
“I don’t want to lose you either, or the family that I’ve suddenly gotten, but we have to,” Ash said quietly. “You guys are all I have now.”
“So it’s decided, then,” Renee said. “You two are going back to destroy the facility.”
With a nod, she turned and walked up the stairs to her youngest children.
Ash took a step toward the mantle and stared at the picture of her family. “I never even knew my mother. Or Brett. Every time I see Tundra, I wonder if Brett would’ve been like him. I wonder if they would’ve been friends. I wonder if Brett would be like us.” She turned back toward Will, her eyes sad. “You don’t know what this guilt is like. Just let me go by myself, your family needs you here.”
Will walked toward her and wrapped his arms around her, a small cloud of steam rising when their skin touched. “I know I don’t know what the guilt is like, but I can’t let you go alone because if something happened to you, I would know that kind of guilt. I don’t want to lose you again, Ash.”
She put her head on his chest, listening to his heart beat. “Then we need to do this quickly. Every second we wait is another second that Taiga and Tundra could be in danger.”
“I know. Let’s just spend the rest of the day with them, and then we’ll leave first thing tomorrow.”
Ash nodded. “Okay. But first thing tomorrow.”