© 2014 ohitslove

One

Staring at my mother I wondered when she suddenly aged. Her face no longer looked youthful, but instead tired and suddenly contained worry lines I did not remember. Her hair was no longer long and styled, instead short and beginning to streak with gray. My brother, Logan, also looked tired. No longer the carefree teenager I remember leaving behind.

"Liv, I'm so happy to have my baby home," my mom greeted pulling me into a hug. I hugged her tightly feeling my eyes begin to prickle with tears. I had missed my family the past five years but I had always known that my path would lead me back to them. It was part of my destiny, one I could not escape. I only wish that I had come home freely rather than being forced back.

"Hi mom, I've missed you too," I responded to her softly pulling away and turning towards my brother.

"Hey kid," I said with a smile walking towards him. He gave me a small grin in return and gave me a quick, one-armed hug.

"How is he?" I asked turning around to grab my bags from the foyer that I had dropped there when I arrived.

"He's resting," my mom answered with a frown on her face. "He'd love to see you though, go ahead and wake him, I'll bring him up some soup."

I nodded and decided to put my bags in my room before going to wake up my father. Walking into my room I realized that my mother had not changed anything since I had left. My old queen bed with its floral comforter was still intact, along with all the other memories I had left behind. Old pictures with friends I rarely spoke to anymore littered most surfaces in my room and even my old computer was still sitting on my desk. The lack of change was somewhat comforting to me. I placed my bags on the floor near my closet and decided I would unpack later. I left my old bedroom and walked down the hall to my parent's room. I knocked lightly on the door knowing my father did not like surprises. He didn't respond, so I walked in and was shocked to see how frail he looked.

Even though it was late in the afternoon, the room was dark due to the overcast weather. Deciding to light the fireplace, I concentrated on conjuring fire by heating and colliding molecules rapidly enough to create combustion. Suddenly, a ball of fire sparked in my hand, which I sent sailing towards the fireplace to light it.

"I see you aren't out of practice," my dad said softly causing my attention to focus on him.

"Well when you're born with something, it's hard to get rid of it," I sarcastically joked sitting on the edge of the bed. He sat up and stared at me for a while before speaking.

"I'm glad that you're here Olivia. There's a file in my study I'd like you to read when you get a chance."

Before I could respond, my mother entered the room with soup for my father. I nodded at him and excused myself. I walked into my bedroom and sat on the bed letting my head fall into my hands. I was already feeling overwhelmed and I knew that it would only become worse once everyone found out that I was back. I half expected people to begin showing up at the house any minute now, it wouldn't surprise me.

I already knew what was in the file my father wanted me to read. It was the reason I knew I had to return home in the first place. Threats against elementals were increasing, partly due to our declining numbers but mostly due to witches. Witches powers were not organic, they relied on spells, incantations, and nature's power to sustain them. Luckily, my community had not been attacked, but several other's had been. Elementals are nature, we derive our abilities from the air, fire, water, and earth around us. Witches use us to harness that power and ability to channel nature so that they may become more powerful. Not only are our lives at risk, but without elementals nature would cease to exist. We sustain the elements and bring balance to the world. Just like there are forest fires, there is rain to bring an act of balance.

Due to how serious the threats were becoming and the increased number of witches in the most recent century, the elementals were holding a council meeting at my house in a few days. There were exactly six council members, my father being one of them. My father was dying from cancer though and recognized that I would need to be inducted into the council soon. The council typically met in the central most location, in order to accommodate everyone. My father, Thomas Marsters, and Vincent Costa were the only two council members in the United States. Vincent's community was located out in California, while we resided in upstate New York. The other four members, Diana Goodwell, Kate Moore, Blake Rivers, and Walter Wagner were located throughout the world in South America, Europe, and Asia.

Although the meeting was not for a few days, I assumed that they would begin arriving soon in order to settle in and test me. Although this position was my fate, that never stops the council from testing new members. It requires more than just leadership skills to run a community of elementals. I called Logan into my room to help me prepare a few tricks for the council.

While I tossing a fire ball between my hands and attempting to make it grow larger, Logan commented, "you do know that Vincent died last year right?"

I immediately extinguished the flame and stared at him, full of questions.

"A coven of witches got him Liv, where the hell have you been? They replaced him with some punk ass, who you probably have never even seen before. Vinnie never had any kids and the council has been wasting the past year training this guy. He didn't even know he was an elemental," Logan told me raising his eyebrows at the last statement. I found that hard to believe myself. Unlike stories you hear about werewolves who suddenly transform in their teenage years, elementals are born with their abilities. We have the ability to connect with our element from the moment we are born, which often causes accidents depending on which element you can harness. We learn through schooling how to control and expand our abilities.

"So the council has allowed these witch attacks to occur because they've been busy babysitting? Awesome, please tell me he's an earth and air. Some fairly useless combination," I replied with a smirk.

All elementals could be powerful, depending on how much they took their studying and ability to control their element seriously. Learning new manipulations took time and a lot of control. The councilmember's and I were different though. We were all born with two different colored iris's, which immediately clued my parents as to what elements I'd harness. Most parents have to figure out which element their child will harness, since it is a 50-50 chance if the parents themselves are different elements. I was born with a right light blue eye, and a left amber colored eye. My parents immediately knew that I would harness fire and air. Throughout the history of elementals, some combinations are much more powerful than others. The ability to harness fire and water for example is difficult because they are such opposing elements. My abilities have allowed me to not only harness fire, but also conjure it, which makes me considerably deadly.

"Olivia, this guy is an ultimate elemental," Logan told me. I could feel the air around us begin to constrict as I lost control due to my surprise.

"Guess this means the end of the world is coming," I joked, forcing the air around us to relax.

"Change is coming but I'm not sure that it's good," he said with a frown. I looked at my brother with concern because deep in my gut I knew he was right.