Inspired by characters from the Guardian series by Isabelle Santiago. She didn’t ask me to write this, but I felt like it was appropriate to end her debut week!
She can’t remember a time when he didn’t fascinate her.
And he was as fickle and biting as his element. Warm and sweet at times—especially when she had something he wanted—but cruel and careless at others.
She can’t remember a time when he wasn’t in love with someone else, either.
She can remember a time when it didn’t matter, though. When they all belonged to each other—a tiny family, all growing side by side. He loved her sister, but it didn’t matter, because she would always have both of them.
Until she couldn’t.
The cracks in the foundation of her entire existence started out as hairline fractures, and seemed innocent. Still, of the five of them, she was maybe the only one who was afraid of the change. Everyone else seemed to embrace it or resign themselves to it, in one way or another.
She remembered when his love for her sister turned into jealousy—when his fire first crackled into something dangerous—and the hollow ache that it left inside her.
She remembered, too, the time she first fled from fire—because she wasn’t the fuel that he needed, and she wouldn’t be anything else to him.
As if her sister could have ever loved him back. Didn’t he know? Water extinguishes fire. She was almost glad that she didn’t have to witness the day when her sister’s indifference destroyed him.
He can’t remember a time when she wasn’t there. Breathing life into everything around her, even the rest of them.
Maybe that is why it took him the loss of a lifetime to really see her.
He can’t remember a time when he couldn’t find her eyes, always watching, always seeing something to him that he wasn’t sure he was capable of being. Something he wasn’t strong enough to be.
He’d always felt a pull towards his opposite—the elements are temperamental like that. And there were moments—tiny moments that he pushed away as soon as they appeared—where he hated himself for seeing her warmth, hearing her laugh, and choosing her second.
As if he’d ever had any choice in the matter at all.
That’s not true. He destroyed everything he was for his opposite, and he chose that.
Of course, water extinguishes fire. That, or fire destroys water. They’re universal truths that he shut from his mind until they couldn’t be ignored. In this case, water won. Despite the childish skirmishes he’d so cockily fought when they were children, when it really mattered, water would always win against him in a fight.
What was fire without its opposite?
Destruction. Damage. Ruin.
That’s when he found her again.
An element sure in her own strength.
Salvation. Beauty. Renewel.
He can’t remember ever seeing her like this before.