• I have got the worst luck ever! I was in my room when Martha came in and started yelling about my grades. I just tuned her out, it was the same thing I’d heard thousands of times before. Then she went into a lecture about my bf.

    “Ash! Ash! Are you even listening to me? I want you to work harder and get rid of that free-loader! If your mother knew about this, we’d both be in trouble.”

    Yes my name is Ash. It’s not even short for Ashley, or Aislinn or something. It’s just Ash. My mom wanted a boy.

    “Are you still ignoring me? Your mother left me in charge of you and the estate. Until you are eighteen, you will follow my rules . . . ”

    I’d finally had enough and slammed the door in her face, and blocked it with my closet door. “Will you shut up? Mom is not going to find out, in case you’d forgotten!”

    My mom wasn’t gonna find anything out for one simple reason: she was dead. She’d died when I was nine, after overdosing on ecstasy. Martha was the head of the orphanage where I lived now. It makes me so mad when Martha uses threats like that. It’s insulting! Not that my mom would’ve cared, she was always high on something. I guess that’s the result of having your husband leave you for some girl he met the night before. Yes my life is screwed up.
    “Ash! Ash, open this door right now! You have until the count of three to open this door or you’ll be grounded! One . . . two . . . ”

    In case you haven’t figured it out yet I didn’t really care. So I grabbed the bag I’d packed and climbed out of my window. A few minutes later I heard a snap and knew that Martha had busted down my door, again. I knew that any second she’d be calling the police to go find me, again. So I headed to my best friend Julie’s house.

    She had her window open, bless her soul, so I just climbed in. She was working on her computer, but turned around when she heard me come in. She was so pretty, with her blonde hair and blue eyes. And so different from me with my blue black hair and green eyes.

    “Running away again? *Sigh* I’ll get my keys.” I couldn’t help smiling to myself. She knew me way too well. She grabbed her keys and we snuck into the garage and she started to drive out of town. My mom had a cottage on the outskirts of town, and we used to go there when she was really out of it. So every time I run away, Julie takes me there because we’re the only people who still know where it is. If I don’t want to be found then I’m not going to be found.

    We finally got there and it was the same as ever, except covered in more vines and moss.

    “You know Ash, you don’t have to do this all of the time. It won’t kill you to talk things out with Martha. She really does care.”

    I just glared at her. She gave me the same speech every time. If I let her keep going then she would start on my boyfriend and then some how convince me to go back. But this time was different, she was hiding something.

    “Jewels, are you okay? Something seems a little off. What’s going on?”

    She seemed startled for a minute, but then just said that everything was fine, you know, the usual, her parents were getting divorced, again, and her sister was pregnant, again, and her boyfriend was cheating on her. Again. So I was the good friend who told her to leave the guy. There wasn’t much I could do about the other things, because of the fact that I never knew my dad, and was an only child.

    Later we were watching a chick flick, I know what were we thinking, when there was a knock at the door. We just froze. You’d think we’d do something, like I don’t know, hide? We are such idiots. Then the door burst open and . . . a hot guy was standing in the door way. You thought I was going to say the cops were there, weren’t you? Nope. Hot guy, with some piercings, and short, spiked hair the same color as mine, but the scary part was that he . . .

    “OMG Ash! He looks just like you! Except in a you know totally hot guy way.” Julie’s eyes were huge when she said this. I was bright red, and calculating my chances with a guy like that. I had to admit that the odds were not good, especially when Jewels was standing next to me looking like a goddess. Three guesses on who had the better chance.

    So we let him in, and gave him some food. Why? Because we are idiots. He could’ve been an axe murderer but we didn’t care. All we knew was that when you’re on the run and you meet a hot guy, you let him in. Maybe my luck was changing. Or maybe not. He needed some new clothes, because his were ripped, torn, and dirty. So I was running through the house trying to find some guy clothes, seeing as my pants have no crouch space for guys. (I know what you're thinking! You should be ashamed of yourselves!) I finally found some old stuff in the attic. When I came back guess who was getting flirty with him? Yeah that’s right, Jewels.

    I must’ve looked mad because they both looked at me like I was nuts. I pulled Julie into another room. Interrogation time.

    “So who is he? And why are you flirting?! Maybe I want to flirt.” I’ll admit that I was mad.

    Julie was really confused. “Why are you so mad? You’ve got a man. As of right now I don’t. Wait! Don’t yell at me! His name is Sean. He’s the same age as us, but he doesn’t seem interested in me at all.” After all of this she started pouting. I couldn’t help but give a satisfied smirk, because my odds had just gotten a lot better.

    She was upset by that, and started to tear up. So I tried to comfort her, and told her something I hadn’t told anyone. “Just so you know, my bf broke up with me a week ago. I was just thinking that this might be my chance to have a sober one.” By then we were both laughing. So we went out and started talking to Sean.

    Dang! That guy had problems. He apparently went to our school, (why hadn’t we ever noticed him before?) and lived with his dad and step-mom. He was sick of life at home where his dad always yelled at him, and his step-mom was cheating on his dad. He’d heard his dad talk about this place and decided to stay here for a while. He then wanted to know why we were here. Yeah, it took a while to stop blushing.

    But when we stopped, we told him what happened, and that I technically owned this place. Well not yet, but I would soon enough. We then turned on the movie, and started watching again. It wasn’t awkward at all sitting next to a guy who was hot in the normal Greek god kind of way. (Hey a dead grue!)And then there was someone pounding on the door. Again. And I mean pounding! Then there was the classic, open up it’s the police.

    By then Julie was cleaning everything up and Sean and I were off and running. Out the back, over the fence and straight into the waiting handcuffs of a cop. Dang! Oh and Julie got off, again. Daddy’s money and all of that. Sean and I spent the night in jail, only to be placed under house arrest later. And so for the next month I was going to have to listen to Martha’s lectures about responsibility and what is or isn’t lady-like. All the time I wondered what Sean and Julie were doing. Finally my time was up.

    Back at school everyone had heard about my break for freedom. Julie at least was sympathetic. Or so I thought. Apparently she’d been taken in by the preps. She was dead to me. At least Sean took me in, but Julie kept showing up and trying to hit on him. I was so jealous, at least until he told her to get the (fill in your favorite word here) away. I don’t care if she was my former bff, she deserved it.

    One day long after losing my bff, and most of my sanity, the principal called both me and Sean into her office. When we got there Martha, and another couple were waiting in there.

    Sean was shocked. “Dad? Layla? What’s going on? Why are you here?”

    Now I was confused. How did he know that woman’s name? Oh. Right. Step-mom. The guy was obviously Sean’s dad. They had the same eyes and everything. Okay not everything, just the eyes. Ok so they didn’t look anything alike. I looked at Martha hoping for answers, but her expression was unreadable. Sean and I looked at each other, and I felt like I’d known him forever, not just a couple of months. So we sat down.
    Principal Robinson looked at us over her horn rimmed glasses, and I could see every bag, and wrinkle in her old face. Man was she old. I wasn’t exactly listening, but Sean was, and he was looking at me like he was seeing me for the first time. It got a little creepy.

    “What? You’re freaking me out.” I was leaning away from him.

    Principal Robinson was not impressed. “Miss Harrison! Will you listen for once? I said that your birth certificates prove that you two are twins, and Mr........um.....sorry what was the name again?” She looked at the man and his wife for an answer.The man seemed at a loss for words, and the woman was glaring at me. Why? I have no clue, I didn’t even know her! Sean was the one who answered.

    “It’s Richmond. God, you should know that by now. I’ve been held back how many years?”

    I laughed. “Probably just as many as I have.” This comment got me a nice smack to the back of the head from Martha, and a lecture on how that’s not something to brag about. But Sean was laughing, so I was too.

    Yeah, our principal doesn’t like the attention deviating for her. “Anyway. Miss Harrison! Stop that infernal giggling this instant and listen. Mr. Richmond is your father and thus your legal guardian. So you are to move in with his family and your inheritance will go to him.”

    That shut me up. She didn’t really believe that after all of the stuff I put up with that I would just let my mom’s fortune be taken away? No way, not gonna happen. And I said as much. Only with a lot more words, that young children shouldn’t hear, and not as polite. In the end I lost. Like I didn’t see that coming.

    So I asked if I could go back to the orphanage and pack my stuff, (I had an escape plan going) only to have Martha put three bags with all of my belongings in my arms. There goes my plan. When did she get so smart? At that point my step-mom, Layla I guess her name is, couldn’t stay silent any longer.

    “There is NO WAY that girl is related to us. She may look very much like Sean, but that doesn’t mean anything. I don’t care how much money she has, there is no way I’m letting that pathetic excuse of a girl in my house.” She looked pretty even when she said this.

    I suppose that was supposed to sting but I’d heard worse from my teachers. I just glared at her, and her perfect figure, blonde hair and her perfect tan. I already hated her. I could tell that Sean and his, I mean our, dad were waiting for my reaction. They didn’t really expect me to give that creature the satisfaction of knowing that she’d gotten to me did they? I just looked at Sean’s, I mean my, dad and asked when we were leaving. Layla was ticked. You could see it in her perfect face. Also she’d had a nose job. Never trust someone who’s had a nose job. Sean grabbed my arm (!!!!, wait that is so wrong) and his, our, (God I can’t get used to that) dad led us to the car. Layla followed, still looking dignified even after her hissy fit.

    Martha looked at the principal. “You were sure to burn the real documents right? The plan won’t work unless those documents are gone!”

    Principal Robinson sighed and looked at her partner. “I took care of it ma’am. Those two won’t be a problem. But was it wise to put them together? If they discover who they really are we’ll be in a lot of trouble.”

    Martha just shook her head. “And how on earth would they find that out? We’ve even got Richard believing it. Layla may be more of a problem. If she causes any trouble, bring her in and she’ll be taken care of.”

    “Yes ma’am.” Principal Robinson went back to working, and Martha left the room. Martha found her self smiling. And why not? Soon she would be rich, and have everything she could dream of. All she needed to do was get rid of a couple of nuisances. It was good to be the boss. All the time Principal Robinson was wondering why Ash looked so familiar.


    I was sitting on the bed in my new room. It was huge. Not the bed, the room. There was a desk, a flat screen t.v., a computer, and a fire place. The fire place was broken, but still! I could hardly believe that only that morning I was in a drafty room in the orphanage. It was amazing. And the alcove in the corner was the perfect place to do some thinking. Which at this point I was going to be doing a lot of. I walked over and got comfortable. I’d just closed my eyes when I heard someone else walk over. I opened my eyes.

    “AHHHHH!!!!!!!! Sean you idiot! Don’t do that! Ever!” I had opened my eyes to see Sean’s face an inch from mine. With all of those rings it was pretty scary. To make it worse, he was laughing. I threw a pillow at him. Which he caught.

    “Relax. I just wanted to see if you wanted to go get a few piercings with me. I’ve got ca-ash.” I hated him so much right now for a few reasons: 1. He did that annoying thing with the word cash. You know making it into more than one syllable. 2. He was waving a wad of cash in my face. 3. He was a hot guy who turned out to be my brother. Do I need any more reasons? Remember when I thought my luck was turning around? Yeah, not happening!

    “Um, will dad let us? And what about our new school? Aren’t piercings, like against the rules or something?” God, I had to stop looking at him like that.

    He laughed. “Yes, they are. Which is an injustice, and why you should get some. Stop looking at me like that. I thought you were a rebel. But if you’d rather follow the rules...”

    I put up a hand to stop him. “If I get my ears pierced will you stop bugging me? I’ve got a lot to figure out.” Well it was the truth.

    Now he looked confused. “What could an air head like you possibly have to think about?” And then he was laughing. So I smacked him. I mean I had lived my whole life one way, and then just found out that I was wrong. What don’t I have to think about? (Has Sean always been this annoying?)

    Guess my smack really hurt. Which is weird because it was the suckiest backhand I ever did. “My God Ash! That hurt! I was just joking! Well at least we could get your name changed or something. You know, so people don’t think you’re a guy.” I agreed to that one, and after a few hours my name was officially Aislinn, but people still called me Ash. Yes, I named myself after the main character from my favorite book, Wicked Lovely. I love that book. Sean thinks it’s retarded, but that’s just because he can’t comprehend it. Then I found a $100 bill in the street. My luck was finally changing.

    At least that’s what I thought until we got home. Two steps into the doorway and Layla is ready to ground us both. Why? Because we’d both gotten interims, for all six hours. Well we’re not that concerned about graduation for some reason. It just doesn’t matter to us. I want to go to Japan, to art school, and
    become a MANGA artist, while Sean’s going to start a band. Okay, I should be worried about grades, but a band doesn’t need a college education! So she could’ve just skipped the lecture for Sean.(Wait! Why do I care?)

    Then here comes dad, asking awkward questions about why I changed my name, and why I pierced my ears in three places, stuff like that. I answered and went to my room, and doodled. Well time passed and pretty soon it was my eighteenth birthday! Woo! Sorry for the lack of enthusiasm, but as I told Sean, (it was his birthday too) I’d lost an entire fortune! I was ticked.

    Also, Layla and dad got me a bunch of preppy clothes, while Sean got a laptop, Wii, and Guitar Hero 3. WTF? How is that fair? Oh, he also got a car. I repeat, WTF? This sucked. I was so getting my own place, but when I told them, dad and Layla (dad calmly, Layla happily) reminded me of my lost inheritance. Way to ruin my day. To make matters worse I realized that Sean flirted. With me. His twin. That’s just not right! (Too bad I liked it.)

    That was the end of it. After school I had Sean drive back to our old school, where I planned on confronting that retard of a principal. Sean wouldn’t let me go alone. How embarrassing is it to have your brother hold your hand and walk you down the hall? When everyone knows you’re related, it’s pretty embarrassing.

    At last we were at the office. I was about to open the door when Sean grabbed my wrist and pulled me down next to him. (He was crouching below the window) I was just about to ask what his problem was when he covered my mouth and said, “Listen. Something’s not right in there.” So what could I do but listen? He may look scrawny but he is really quite strong. I bet he used to get great grades in gym.

    From inside the office there was a voice that we both recognized. But what was Layla doing here?

    “I can’t take this anymore. I never wanted to be a part of this in the first place! Why can’t you just leave those poor kids alone?” Man was she freaked about something. What was she, an activist for teen rights?

    Then we heard Principal Robinson. “You work for us. We’re paying you aren’t we? All you have to do is keep them apart! If that’s too hard...”

    “Francine, I’ll take it from here. (I had to gasp, because I knew that voice. What was Martha doing here? Thank God Sean’s hand was over my mouth or we would’ve been caught for sure.) Layla, we put those two under your care so that you could watch them. We thought that keeping them separated would work, but they still found each other. You are to watch them, and make sure that they can’t spend time together. If they find out that they’re not related, and their real identities, we’ll all pay! All we need is to keep them weak and in the dark for a little while longer.”

    Principal Robinson cut in. “That was originally Julie’s job. But she failed. You don’t want to end up like her do you?”

    We heard some sobbing, and couldn’t make out Layla’s reply. The next second we were ducking into a side hallway, and Layla had composed herself and was leaving.

    “What the hell was that about?” I have no clue why Sean was asking me. Why would I know? But I didn’t want to be too mean about it.

    “I don’t know, but our step-mom is in some pretty deep s**t.” I looked at him, and he just had to correct me.

    “Ash, we’re not really related. You heard them. She’s not our step-mom. Apparently, we don’t know who the hell we really are. Thank God.” Was it just me or was there some relief in his voice? But I was worried about Julie. What’s happened to her? On second thought, I didn’t want to know. I just wanted to go home. I told Sean and he agreed that we should at least go pack some stuff.

    “Wait. Pack some stuff? What are you talking about?” I was confused. He wasn’t really thinking, what I thought he was thinking, was he? I mean I know what they told Layla and all, but.....
    “Ash, we can’t stay there. We’ve gotta leave. What’s the problem? You were ready to go this morning. I’ll bet Julie’s house is empty. We could stay there.”

    I was tired so I gave in without argument. We made it home in under five minutes, (He was driving like a maniac.) and were packed and on the road in five more. When we arrived at Julie’s house it was deserted, just as we had expected. It was then that I realized that my former bff had been lying to me. There were no divorced, remarried, and then re-divorced parents, repeatedly pregnant sister, or cheating boyfriend. It was all a lie. I felt like crying, but I didn’t.

    Ok I did. But what can you expect? This was my best friend who had helped me fish my mom’s head out of toilets since we were in pre-k! It must of gotten really bad, because I fell down and Sean had to carry (!!!) me inside.

    “Geez, Ash. I didn’t think that this would mess you up this badly. Every time you get upset, just remember how she was lying to you. That’ll make you stop.” He had the most amazing smile. I tried it, and it only made my tears of despair turn into tears of anger. Yeah, not pretty. Well it must have been pretty, because Sean didn’t seem in any hurry to put me down. Not that I was complaining, I was savoring the moment.

    Later when we had made some popcorn we decided to sort everything out. Our conversation went something like this:

    Me: So we’re not related? (Blush)

    Sean: Right. According to those two psychos, we’re just a couple of kids with no clue who we are. Oh and they’re paying Layla to keep us apart.

    Me: And that’s working so well. (Trying to seem uncaring) We’re closer than ever, and spending every waking second together.

    Sean: (Getting up) If it bothers you I’ll leave.

    Me: (Panicking) No! I meant that in a good way. Please don’t leave!

    Sean sad Laughing) Relax Ash. I’m not going anywhere, unless you want me to.
    (Was it just me or was there an undertone to that last statement?)

    After our riveting conversation, I decided to turn in. I took Julie’s room. I must be crazy, because I started crying the second I got in there. Sean came running. I stopped and stared at him. Not because he was bursting into the room to comfort me, but because he’d already taken his shirt off. Two words: Six Pack. One other word: Hot.

    Sean held me. I finally stopped crying, and fell asleep. In the morning, it took me a few minutes to remember where I was. Then the last day’s events came flooding back. Everything, but the only thing that mattered was that Sean was still holding me. He’s so cute when he’s asleep. Just then he let out a huge snort. Very nice. He actually woke himself up. And the first thing he saw was me.

    “Well, that was an interesting night.” He then started laughing to himself. I didn’t get it.

    “What’s so funny? All we did was sleep. What’s so interesting about that?” I was very confused. Was it just me or were his eyes sparkling? It almost looked as if snow was falling in them.

    “Did you know that you talk in your sleep? We had a very interesting conversation.” He was still laughing and his eyes were still sparkling. Oh no! What did I say to him? He seemed to sense my embarrassment and his face changed.

    “Hey relax Ash. You are worried about Julie and you were telling me about your mom. She sounded nice.” I could tell that there was something that he wouldn’t tell me. So I kept bugging him until he told. And for the record he was blushing.

    “Well, I’m not sure you want to hear it. It might make you mad.” I kept bugging him. “Fine! If you aren’t the most persistent woman I’ve ever met! You said you...........loved me.” He actually looked a little sad, and the snow was still falling in his eyes. I must have been bright red by now. I decided to try to make the best of it.

    “If you haven’t figured that out yet, then you’re stupider than you look.” I laughed but he was perfectly emotionless. I stopped laughing. He just looked me straight in the eyes.

    “You realize that this is wrong, right? There is just something that makes this seem you know wrong.”

    I was really sad when he said this. I wanted this to keep going. He leaned in. “I never noticed before, but it looks like there are flowers blooming in your eyes. Like violets, or some....thing......” He never finished that sentence. Why? Because I’d finally given in and made the first move. His lips were very cool, I don’t mean like awesome, I mean cold. It almost burned. Okay they were awesome too. When I pulled away he was looking at me in a strange way.

    “Ash? Are you okay?” He seemed genuinely concerned.

    “I’m fine. What about you? You’re freezing!”

    He looked at me for a minute more, and then thought before responding. “I always ran a little cooler than most people. But not enough to make it seem like the girl I was kissing is running a fever of like 190! Are you sure you’re okay?”

    I was tired of this. “I’m fine! Wait, there’s flowers blooming in my eyes?”

    He got really close, and I thought we were going to end up in a make-out session. He leaned in, looked right in my eyes and.........backed up.

    “Yeah, there’s something there. (Laugh) Do you see anything in my eyes?”

    I know that it was supposed to be a joke, but I took a minute before answering. I embraced him. It was all I could think to do, to cushion the blow. He tensed, and seemed to flinch away at my touch. I finally answered.

    “ You have snow falling in your eyes. It’s kind of scary, but also really pretty. It sucks. We can barely stand to touch each other, but the urge is way too great. We should be at odds with each other. You know, like summer and winter. But we want the wrong thing. I understand now.” I was in tears by now.

    He just held me, but I noticed the burns starting to appear on his arms, and chest. He suddenly pushed me away. I looked at him, and was really hurt. He seemed to be thinking of how to say something. Finally he spoke.

    “I’m sorry. But Ash, look in the mirror. You look like you’ve got frostbite! There was ice on you too, but I think it melted.” He seemed very upset.

    “Sean it’s fine. You’ve got burns. Maybe it would be best if we were separated.” I had to look away to keep him from seeing the tears. All of a sudden he pulled me back in. I looked at him. He seemed angry.

    “And then what? All we’d be doing is giving them exactly what they want! I think we should stay together.” He was actually mad! I still didn’t understand. Either way I was beginning to freeze. So I tried to pull away. Yeah I didn’t think it would work either. He just held on tighter.

    “Stop. I’m freezing, and you’ve got to be uncomfortable. Seriously we should just go our separate ways. True it’s the last thing I want, but there isn’t anything we can do.” I was still crying. Sean just shook his head.

    “You’re not going anywhere, and neither am I. We’ll figure this out.” Then he said this next thing so low that I’m not sure if I was supposed to hear it. “We’ve got to.” I decided to just give up without argument.
    So we just stayed in the house and by 6 o’clock that night our disappearance was all over the news. I saw pictures of us on the screen so I turned it up, and yelled for Sean to get in the room with me.

    “ Local teens Ash Harrison and Sean Richmond have mysteriously disappeared. Many of you may remember Ash as the daughter of local druggie Gwen Harrison. After a well publicized overdose, Ash was placed in an orphanage only to be found by her father, brother, and step-mother eight years later.”

    And then Layla pushed to reporter out of the way while grabbing his microphone in one spectacular move. Then Sean’s step-mom’s voice filled the room.

    “ Please help us. I just want to find my little angels before something happens. There is a substantial reward for anyone with information. Please hurry! I don’t think I could bare it if something happened!” And then came the tears. I shut it off. Sean looked at me in disgust. I had a feeling that he was thinking the same thing I was thinking.

    “Did you notice how she conveniently forgot to mention that she was worried that something would happen, but nothing about us. Did you happen to catch that?”Okay so maybe he wasn’t thinking what I was thinking.

    He just kept waiting for an answer. I wanted so badly to lean in but the cold radiating off of him made sitting where I was now nearly impossible. It was way too cold. I noticed that he seemed to be resisting the impulse to back away from the heat that I knew was coming from me. Finally I took a breath and spoke.

    “Yeah I noticed that too. We’ve got to leave.” He started to interrupt, but I put up a hand to stop him. “I said leave, not separate. How long do you think it will take for the cops to look here?” What I was saying seemed to sink in. So that night we packed our bags and left. We were passing the piercings and tattoo parlor when they saw us.

    There were two of them, one glowing faintly and the other was leaving a trail of ice where ever she walked. They were scary. We stopped and stared, yes I know we’re idiots, and they came right up to us.

    The one with the glowing skin looked to good to be real. He was beautiful, not like Sean, but still attractive. He had white blonde hair and it seemed like he was made of sunshine. The girl was very pale, and her hair was so light that it almost seemed white. Her eyes were an icy blue color, and there was snow falling in them. Just like Sean’s only his are green. She was looked as fragile as the other one looked strong. But I had a feeling that if she wanted to hurt us then it would take very little effort on her part.

    They stopped a few feet from us and the sunny one actually held out his hand. I don’t know what made me do it but I grabbed it. All of a sudden my senses were heightened! Everything had so many colors and the sounds were amazing! I looked at my hand and it was glowing so brightly! Sean looked at a loss for words. I just smiled. But it wasn’t over yet. I thought light and everything lit up as if we were on the sun. Now it was the snow girl’s turn.

    She grabbed Sean by the wrist and all of a sudden there was snow and ice everywhere and it was freezing! But while I was holding sunny boy’s hand I barely even felt it. Then after a minute they let go. Everything was back to normal, and Sean and I were different people. I looked at him and he was a lot paler than I remembered. The snow in his eyes was quite visible and there were ice crystals falling from his arms. He was looking at me the same way he did that day I moved in with him.

    I took out my mirror. I was shocked by my appearance. My hair had a metallic edge to it, and there were little flowers blooming in my eyes. My skin was the same, except that it was glowing, and I mean glowing! It was like the sun was under my skin. It was so warm. Sean seemed to be struggling to say something.

    “Ash......you’re beautiful!” He then reached for me but when we touched it burned horribly! And then the weight of the iron in the city came crashing down on us. It was........unpleasant, but not unbearable.

    “It’s them.” The snow girl was surprised when she said this, but also sad.

    “They’re not going to be very happy. All their plans are going to go up in smoke.” At that comment sunny boy burned up the flower he was holding. I tried to see the match or lighter that he had used to do that, but didn’t see anything.

    Snow girl kept going. “So now that they’re together, what do we do? Look at them! Their glamour was already coming off.” Her blue eyes were full of confusion. Sun boy answered while keeping his distance from her. “We tell them the truth and take them home.” He sounded so confident. Snow girl was a little more than skeptical.

    “That’s it? If they find out then those two are done for, not to mention us!”Sun boy just kept staring at her. The intensity of his stare slowly placated snow girl. “Fine, I see that I’m going to lose this battle. You two!” It took a second to for us to register who she was talking to. “Come with us.” And then they turned and started to walk away. And for some totally screwed up reason we followed them.

    We walked out of town and into the woods. Then all of a sudden the two freak shows in front of us just stopped. So we did too. The two of them then walked over to a hill and just seemed to disappear. Well, curiosity got the best of us and we ended up walking to the hill, and there we saw a hole in the side. We had no clue what to do until snow girl came out and grabbed Sean by the hand. I got seriously jealous, and grabbed his other hand. Snow girl was stunned, and waited for me to let go. I didn’t, I wasn’t going to let her have him even though it caused me terrible pain. So she lead us into the hill.

    The place was filled with so many beings. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were short ones, and tall elegant ones, some had wings, and others were just plain gross. The two we were following led us into another empty room. There they sat down and asked us to do the same. It seemed to take forever before they spoke. (I didn’t really care because guess who I was sitting with.)

    “I still don’t understand why they’re here. It’s pointless. Even if they know, there’s nothing they can do about it.” Snow girl was ticked. Sun boy tried to comfort her.

    “Annabelle, calm down. (Oh so her name was Annabelle) They need to know, now that they’re together. It’s why we’re here.”

    “But Robin!” (So he’s Robin. Okay I got it now)

    “Hush. So Sean, Ash. I suppose you’re wondering why you’re here.” We just nodded. It was all we could do.

    “Well then. Eighteen years ago two fey were born. (He noticed our confusion.) Faeries. Anyway one was of the summer fey and one was of the winter fey. By birth those two would be forced to clash, but there were those who wanted to take over. There was a traitor in our midst, and she stole the babies away and gave them to mortals. Any of this ringing a bell?” We shook our heads. Annabelle didn’t want to stay silent.

    “Robin you’re confusing them. I’ll make it simple. You two are fey and were stolen as babies. They didn’t even leave a changeling. So you are a summer fey, and you are a winter fey. You two can’t be together. So we’re sending you to your separate mortal homes and you can get back to your lives.”

    I was going to say something but Sean spoke before I’d even opened my mouth. “Wait. You said that there was nothing that we could do. Do about what?” I had to admit that I was curious too. Annabelle answered. (Doesn’t she ever shut up?)

    “Even if we get you guys go home, the traitors will just come back and kill you. There is nothing you can do! Just separate and go back to your mortal families.”

    I was now officially ticked. “Listen you albino freak! I don’t know about Sean but I’m not going anywhere. By the way I haven’t got any mortal family to go back to! And another thing....” Sean cut in, and also covered my mouth to get me to shut up.

    “Before Ash kills you two I’d like some answers. Who would kill us? Why were we so important to kidnap?” He was wincing through the entire thing, but that was because I was trying to bite his hand. Robin decided to talk now. (Ha! Take that Annabelle!)

    “You two aren’t ordinary fey. You’re monarchs. (We stopped struggling with each other long enough to give him blank stares.) *Sigh* You don’t understand anything do you? Monarchs can only be killed by other monarchs. So even though the iron hurts like hell, it won’t kill you. So unless Marta and Francie are involved you’re in no danger.” He giggled at the thought.

    We gasped. Sean’s hand slipped and I took the opportunity to exercise my voice. “My guardian’s name is Martha and our principal’s name was Francine. They were paying Sean’s step-mom to watch us and make sure we didn’t spend too much time together.”

    Robin had been drinking some clear liquid that was slightly glowing and choked. “Marta and Francie are in the mortal world?” Annabelle had to talk again.

    “And they’re using mortal names. No wonder we can’t find them. We should’ve seen this coming. Marta was always too ambitious for her own good. It’s almost as if being the Queen of The Dark Court isn’t enough for her. I’ll never understand what she could have offered Francie to make her go along with this.” Robin was really upset by this news.

    “It doesn’t matter what she offered her. What matters is that they can get to them! We need to hide them. We need to....” Sean and I gasped simultaneously at what happened next. Annabelle in an obviously desperate attempt at getting the floor again, grabbed Robin’s chin and kissed him full on the mouth. We knew by our own experience how much that had to hurt. After lip locking for a while she finally moved away and started talking. (Shut Up!)

    “Why don’t we just send them to their courts? I’m sure they can handle it. I think they’ve figured our how to use their abilities by now. (Robin couldn’t speak, so she kept going.) They can handle themselves.” How she could say that after nearly freezing Robin I’ll never now.

    Since Robin’s lips were still slightly frozen, he couldn’t disagree so Annabelle took me and Sean to our new homes. Our new separate homes. I must say that I didn’t like this arrangement much. Sean lived on an estate in a winter wonderland. I couldn’t stand being there, which is weird because before I loved the snow. It was just too cold now. Likewise Sean couldn’t stand being at my new garden castle. I thought it was beautiful but Sean kept sweating and complaining that it was too hot.

    We decided that we were still going to go to school. That worked for all of about five seconds. We felt the crushing and burning of the iron, and man did it hurt. Plus when we finally figured out how to do glamours, we couldn’t restore the ones that had hidden and protected us for eighteen years. We did make a lot of mistakes trying though. (For the protection of younger readers we will refrain from repeating these incidents. “Hey Ash? My pants fell down and the fly disappeared again!” “Sean! I just said that we weren’t going to repeat those incidents!” “Sorry. Can you help now?” “AUGH!!!! Moron! I’ll be right there.”)

    So school was out. Just great. So instead of being a MANGA artist I get to be a hunted Queen of the Faeries. And since he couldn’t play his guitar with the steel strings, Sean had to quit his band. He was never the same again. We also found out that the Winter Court enjoyed torment (Well all except for Sean) while the Summer Court enjoyed fun, music, and dancing.

    It was different for sure. And get this, we both had to get a consort, or bf and gf, husband and wife, whatever, before we could take the throne. How retarded! Sean and I decided to have a secret meeting to consult the other’s valuable advice.

    Martha was looking out the window when they came in. She turned and standing by the door were Francine and Layla, the latter in steel cuffs. Now how did Francine manage to get those on her? Nevermind.

    “I’ve brought her. Would you like me to dispose of her now, or would you like to speak to her first?” Francine was waiting, while Layla was crying and the tears had completely ruined her make-up.

    “No. I would like to speak to her first. It’s not often that I address our failures, so she might appreciate this.” Martha walked into the light and dropped her glamour. Now instead of old overweight Martha there stood a beautiful, young, red headed woman. Her eyes were a shocking shade of blue and where there used to be liver spots, there was nothing but a couple freckles. Francine, or to you perfectionists out there Francie, followed suit and dropped hers as well.

    She was quite different. Her hair was a copper color, a sign of a faerie from the Light Court, but her once beautiful green eyes had turned red and demonic. Layla it turned out was actually human. Surprising. Martha, or rather Marta, began to speak.

    “So Layla, we heard your little broadcast. Why would you be so worried about two insignificant children hmmm?” Marta was relishing every second of this. Layla just cried harder, so she continued. “We gave you one simple job, but you couldn’t even do that could you? And now those two will take their places and all will be lost!”

    Francie started to snicker. Marta absolutely lost it. She beckoned her forward. Francie not yet realizing what was happening came eagerly. “Do you think that it’s funny that those two will win? Do you find it amusing that we might lose EVERYTHING? I don’t find it amusing at all!”

    Francie was cowering in fear. It made her look almost back to her old self. Almost. Marta grabbed her by the neck. This hurt her badly because Marta had steel tipped nails, (How had she ever gotten those on?) and it burned Francie. Francie started to choke, but Marta released her. I need her. For now. Instead she pulled out a large ornate knife and Francie backed into the corner. Layla never even got her scream out.


    “Sean what are we going to do?” I was desperate and I knew who I wanted my consort to be. I hoped that he wanted the same thing I wanted.

    “Ash, I don’t know. I don’t want to marry some albino, and a it ticks me off that we can’t even touch anymore.” He was really mad.

    “Sean calm down, your making it snow. And it feels kind of good.” In fact it felt great. Sean came over and sat next to me. Although I knew it was going to hurt, I still leaned on him and we eventually fell asleep. I had awesome dreams.

    Well I woke up practically frozen, and Sean had burns. And it hurt. A lot. And to top it all off Robin, and Annabelle were standing over us. And they didn’t look happy. Again Annabelle had to talk.

    “Do you two want to kill each other? You came pretty close!” They were mad.

    So we were caught, separated, and taken home. I looked at hundreds of suitors, and they were all, snobby, preppy, princes. Boring! Where are all the emo guys? Robin was tired of me turning everyone down.

    “There has to be one that you like!” He seemed both concerned and ticked off. I just had to respond.

    “There is. But you won’t let me see him!” For all of those who are wondering I was still wearing my jeans and t-shirt. He’d heard this all before, and gave me the same response.

    “You just don’t realize the danger that you pose to each other. You could kill each other just by touching.”

    “You and Annabelle touch all of the time.” I was hitting below the belt and we both knew it.

    “That is different.” Same excuse.

    “No it isn’t and you know it. And I don’t like any of these guys. I pick Sean, final decision. No more argument.” I even crossed my arms for emphasis. So he gave up. He went and gave Sean a call, and it turns out that Annabelle had broken days ago. I knew he liked me! I knew it!

    So we planned everything out, and we were going to get married (!!!!) in three days. We were going to show these faeries how to do a wedding right. So everything was set up, and we were expecting trouble. It was just you know a feeling, I mean we hadn’t heard from our dear friends Marta and Francie in weeks.
    So the day of the wedding we were all ready and I had picked out the perfect dress. Yes, I know, I was actually wearing white. How strange. And Sean had a tux! (!!!!) How amazing. Well I knew something was wrong when Robin and Annabelle came in. Just a guess, you know, seeing as they were covered in blood. Robin spoke first for once.

    “She was here. Francie was here and she took Sean.”

    I now realized that Annabelle wasn’t talking because she had blood in her mouth. So we set out. Robin was all for making me stay behind, but there was no way that was ever going to happen. Those (Again fill in your favorite word.) had Sean! That was my guy!

    We finally made it to our old school. Why there? Where else would they take him? We didn’t even bother with glamours. Every one was staring, but I didn’t care. They had my Sean! We ran to the office. At first it seemed as though no one was there, but then we heard the door close. We slowly turned.

    Francie and Marta were standing in front of the door. In between them was Sean. And no, they still had their glamours on, but we could see through them. Robin was the bravest and actually approached them. (I was just as brave, but Annabelle was holding me back.)

    “Francie, Marta. How have you been? The Light and Dark Courts must be having a fit. Perhaps you could drop those ridiculous glamours. We’d rather see how you really look.” Francie giggled (Hadn’t she been the one who’d yelled at me for giggling earlier in this story?), and Marta didn’t move a muscle. But they did drop their glamours, and I found myself staring. Not at their looks, but at Marta’s outfit. It was amazing and would have looked so much better on me. Okay maybe not but a girl can dream can’t she?

    Sean was unconscious. Then with complete disregard for his feelings they threw him in the corner! If Annabelle hadn’t still been holding me back those two would’ve been dead. Francie approached slowly and while we were watching her cat like approach, Marta sprinted in from the opposite direction. And she had a knife. A bloody knife. (Not bloody in the British way like bloody hell, but like there was blood on it.) Robin dodged, but it didn’t matter because she wasn’t headed for him anyway. She was headed for me.

    Annabelle pushed me out of the way and got the knife right in the......arm. In one move she hit Marta across the room and took the knife out of her arm. Robin sat in a fetal position on the ground sucking his thumb. My hero? Don’t think so. So now that I was free, I was in a huge cat fight with Francie. Poke in the eye, hair pulling, biting, scratching, and everything. We heard a scream.

    I glanced at Annabelle and saw the large, ornate, silver knife sticking out of.....................Marta’s chest. You thought I was going to say Annabelle? Yeah right. Francie took this opportunity to scream in anguish and grasp my neck. I was choking, and realized that she must have been a monarch. I figured that only because of the fact that I actually couldn’t breathe. Annabelle saw what was going on but she was losing blood and couldn’t move.

    I was starting to pass out when I felt that you know what ripped off of me. Everything was still going dark and my breathing was getting weaker. Then something cold touched my lips. Everything came back with full force. I opened my eyes. I knew what was going on, but I couldn’t tell if this was a kiss or CPR. Who cares? Sean was awake and kissing me! I finally managed to get up, with Sean’s help, and saw the bodies of Marta and Francie piled in the corner. I went to look and saw that Francie’s neck was broken, and her eyes were now precisely the same color as mine. We even looked a lot alike.

    I looked at Annabelle and Robin. I had to know. “How old was Francie?” I grabbed Sean and held him close, not caring if it killed me.

    “She was about to celebrate her 900th birthday.” Robin was hiding something. I could tell.

    “So could she have had children? Or was she too old?” Sean looked at me and understood what I wanted to know. He started to try to show me how small the odds were when Annabelle had to talk.

    “She only ever had one. With the former Summer King. She was taken back to the Light Court and he was killed in battle later. And yes it’s true. Your right Ash. She’s your...”

    “THAT’S ENOUGH! I don’t want to hear anymore. Can we just go get this wedding over with?” I was almost in tears, and Sean was holding me close. We went back to the sight of the wedding and got that service over with. Later I found my family lineage, it sucked. Francie really was my mom. But I’d never accept that, as far as I was concerned, my mom was a dead druggie. Oh well, I still had Sean.


    “Mommy what are you doing?” Artemis had entered my room. She was wearing a little flower petal dress that made her glowing skin seem even lighter, and her blue-black hair was up in a knot at the back of her head and surrounded by little pink blossoms. My only child as of right now.

    I took the little faerie girl on my lap and answered her. “Just writing about my life when I was younger. It was kind of crazy.” She looked at me with her green, snow filled eyes.

    “Like about how you and daddy met? And about Layla and Julie and them? I like that story.” She was such an easy child to please. So this is what happens when summer and winter are together. I liked it.

    “Yes it was that one.”

    “Knock knock.” We looked towards my door, and standing there still looking like a Greek god, even though it’s been about 200 years, was Sean. He came over and we kissed.

    “Eeeewwww....... Why do you guys do that? It’s gross.” We laughed at our little girl’s repulsed face. We picked her up and kissed her cheeks, embarrassing her further. I had never been happier.

    My luck had finally changed for good.