Twenty years ago
Blood coated Emmy’s arm and dripped onto her denim shorts as she cradled her friend’s head in her lap. The pavement burned from the summer heat and an adult screamed in the distance. She glanced at Lucas’ bike and the car that hit him, just six feet away.
Tears pooled in her eyes and she was scared she wouldn’t be able to help him. Even at eight years old, she knew it was one thing to heal a friend’s scraped knee, or a dog’s paw, but Lucas was in bad shape. She placed a hand on his chest, bent over his body and squeezed her eyes shut. She went inside herself to the place where her power slept, waiting to be called, and prayed for him to wake up.
The glowing power grew in her chest, flowed through her hands and into his body. It was different from the heat coming from the pavement or the warmth of the sun. The light that came from her was energy. It was life. She opened her eyes and her hands shined with it.
As it had before, the warmth faded but this time her head hurt. Even though she fought it, darkness crept in as did the realization that her parents were going to be very mad at her for doing this.
She pried open her eyes. A very big man with shaggy dark hair laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder to steady her as he knelt beside them. He picked up a semi-conscious Lucas and handed him to his scared parents. People were coming but they stayed away from the man as he turned to her. He scooped her up, cradled her in his arms.
Mommy and Daddy would be mad, but she was safe. He started to walk away from the group of people. Sirens blared in the distance.
He smelled of cinnamon and woods.
He felt like home.
“Your heart’s too damn big. Gonna have to move you again.” He peered at her out of the corner of his eye. He was disappointed in her.
“You’ll need to learn some discretion, Angel,” he whispered in a rough, gravelly voice but his lip tilted with a hint of amusement. “Otherwise, you’ll continue to freak out the humans.”