I walked the halls and stair wells for what had to be hours. My stomach was the one thing that pulled me back to reality. I couldn’t fathom how much of my life had been a lie. One lie after another. I felt my power leaking from me and I knew I had to vent some of it before it became dangerous to myself – not to others. I had since lost the capability to lose control. But holding that much power at bay that wanted to escape was dangerous to myself.

I should have gone to get food but instead I found myself in the Academy behind an orange door. The room was similar to every other one in the Academy, used to train students with fire without burning the place down. The room was coated in fire retardant material and the sprinkler systems were set to a different than the rest of the building.

It was the one place I could let go of my power and not hurt anyone. Walking into this room caused paralyzing fear, today I wanted to drop to the floor and lose control.

I didn’t drop to the floor, and I didn’t lose control. The door locked into place with the in use sign outside. I let my power flair. The fire in the room, it was everywhere. It always was. The heat from the sun powering its essence. I pushed it away and the room lit into a small inferno. I stood in the center as the fire ran up the walls and across the ceiling. Crawling like I wanted to. A storm cloud formed above me and the rain fell drenching my body in the warm drops of water. A small breeze cooled the water further as it sped up around me. Earth was never fun, but it circulated through the air with the other elements helping to power and fuel the others. I could feel the life in the elements. I let them swirl and combine and make patterns all of their own accord.

It was a beautiful cacophony of colors and I felt better as the winds died down. The fire started to spluttered out and the rain slowed. The earth settled to the ground and soon there was nothing but me standing in the room alone staring at the far wall with tears running down my cheeks.

A voice crackled over the intercom. “Nox. You okay?”

I turned to the window above the room that let others look down upon the training and I saw the face of my angel – my Wicked Truth and I frowned. “No, but I’ll be okay. I’m done. I’ll meet you outside.”

I unlocked the door and stepped outside into the cool air-conditioned hall. The special room had become a sauna of my creation. Sage was downstairs in a heart beat with a small child holding to his hand and two bags of things with him. He smiled. “Dorian told me to take you away from all of this for a few weeks.”

“A few weeks?”

Dorian stepped out of the stair well. “You’ve got a lot to think about I think. Your father told me what happened. I found Sage with Drake and figured it was best he take the two of you away. Everything will be as you left it when you return. Take a vacation. I think Dae’lin will agree. Learning your father is alive and well is one thing. Learning your motherly figure all your life killed …”

I placed a finger to Dorian’s mouth. “Enough. I’ll go. Do you have Sage’s address?”

Dorian nodded. “Yes. Why?”

“I’d like Jace, Mia and Naya to meet him. If you could arrange with Sage a time to have them over. I’ll cook. Maybe you and Aiden can come play with Drake too.”

Dorian nodded. “Sounds like a plan. I will let Sage take you home, and we’ll talk tomorrow when he drops Drake off for class.” He looked at me sternly. “You, young man, are not to step foot in this building until at least July 6th. Do you understand me?”

I nodded. “Yes, sir.”

Dorian smiled at me then patted Sage on the shoulder. “He’s all your’s. Take care of him.”

Sage knelt down and whispered in Drake’s ear. I heard him tell Drake to offer me his hand, and we’d swing him. Drake followed his instructions by holding up his hand and smiling at me. I took his hand gratefully and smiled down at the most beautiful family I could ever hope for. Everything would be all right.

The Last Phoenix (in order)