I woke up coughing and gasping for air, which actually came to me pretty easily once I sat up. It was the fact that my vision was a two or three seconds delayed in returning that made me screw up.
"Jesus christ, Arlyn, did that just--?"
It was like he saw it coming before I had even properly seen her.
Arlyn yelled "Don't!"
But it was too late because by that point I had already shot a burst of fire towards this woman, who skillfully countered it with a stream of air which dragged my inferno up into a column. The pain in my head increased as I fought for control.
"What the hell are you doing!?"
"You knocked us out and kidnapped us!"
She had clearly had more practice than me but I was too stubborn to let go.
"I wouldn't have done it if I thought it would hurt you!"
"What the fuck? Why would you do it regardless?"
My arms started to ache as she started to take over but that just made me angrier.
"It was the only way I could think of getting us all together!"
"Are you psychotic?"
"RIGHT." Arlyn's voice, unexpected in its volume, silenced us both. "You're both going to stop this at the same time because somebody's going to get hurt. And, for the record, I'm inclined to agree with Sam. It was a pretty psychotic thing to do. Although you did overreact quite a lot. Sorry, I'm wasting time. Go. Stop. Do it now."
I locked eyes with the woman and we both relaxed our arms in synchronization. The heat and wind fizzled away, leaving the room in semi-darkness.
She crossed the room and extended her hand. "I appreciate it wasn't the recipe for a great first impression. I'm Jessica."
I shook her hand and she frowned, probably because of my body temperature which was probably hot enough to boil my blood at this point . "Mine wasn't the most welcoming of greetings. I'm Sam."
I flopped back to the ground, exhausted. "Why is everyone I've met recently so fucking weird?" I panted.
"Actually, she seems pretty normal." Arlyn pointed into the corner.
And who was sat there, wide eyed and nervous? The girl in the burgundy maxi skirt from the boarding house.