~Ellen~

There it was again, blood gushed from a wound in her arm. Ellen grimaced, there was no way that the resident sorcerer could heal that. "Rise," a strong commanding voice said smoothly. Ellen growled, wanting to bite the head off of the man that stood before her. She winced, but managed to stand despite the growing pain in her arm. Her warriormaster, Simon Paige, smirked, "How weak, you are." The man just loved to spite her. She hissed, feeling her blood boil, wishing to draw blood from her 'coach from hell'. He laughed at her furious expression, "Come now, Ellen, if you can draw enough strength to muster a look like that, I'm sure that you can land a blow on a simple aparation."

Of course he wasn't battling her, the bloody man was too scared. He had her battling ghosts, ghosts for crying our loud. Huffing, Ellen retrived her old battered sword. He wouldn't let her near the good ones yet. Struggling to get up to her full height, she was breathing hard. Sweat was pouring down her face, falling into her eyes. Frustrated, she pushed several strands of her hair out of her face. Her current training atire consisted of an old grungy tank top and trackshorts. With that, her shoulder-length brown hair had been pulled into a tight ponytail at the nape of her neck.

Ellen nodded at Paige, letting him know he was ready, he waved at the other end of the training grounds, a new Warrior came out, he was dressed in medival armor and sat atop a marvelous black steed. He was young, perhaps even handsome. She smirked, a man on a horse showed that he had skill with aim but was not as quick on his feet. Knowing, she was faster, Ellen kept herself on her toes. The knight bellowed, "Give way, before I cut thee to bits!"

"Dismount your horse, honorable knight. An unfair advantage is not tolerated here." Her voice was proud and strong, unafraid of the larger man. He jumped off, eyeing her cautiously.

"A battlefield is no place for a woman, go back to thee home," he said to her.

At this, she couldn't help but retort, "We shall see who'll go home the woman, knight."

This startled him, he was obviously not used to being told off by a girl. She watied, anticipating his first strike. Never make the first move yourself, they had said to her, the more you reveal about yourself, the more the enemy knows. Surely, she would win the battle. The knight shouted, a warcry no doubt in his voice and charged forward, his armor clanking noisly in the process. He was faster than she thought and he reached her within seconds. He swung his sword, meaning to catch her side, she ducked and followed this with a hard knock to his helmet. He stumbled back, dazed by the blow to his head. Ellen, didn't pause, she continued this, hitting various chinks in the armor, weakening it to a point where some of the pieces fell off.

The knight was fighting rather desperately to stay 'alive', and was driven backwards. She grew tired of the mismatched swordplay and sent flames spiralling of the tip of her blade onto the hand of the knight. He dropped the sword in shock when he felt the heat travel throught it. Ellen smiled, one that could easily be mistakan for something that was kind. It had a menacing look behind it all the same. With no further comment she slammed the sword down into the knights now unarmoredchest. His eyes widened and he vanished, leaving no trace of himself behind.

Feeling victorious, she slid the sword back into its scabbard and muttered to herself, "Who's the woman now?" Before she turned to Paige, waiting for further instructions. He nodded, a sign that he was pleased with the work she had done that day. "Dismissed," he said to her, before walking out of the room himself. The moment he was gone, Ellen collapsed, wether from exahustion or from the loss of blood, she wasn't sure. A sigh of fatigue, escaped her lips and she rose, once more to leave the dimly lit chamber.

Ellen didn't mind moving around, she didn't mind being the new girl, the one everyone talked about. She did, however, very much mind, the underestimating of a pretty girl's ability to fight. In fact, from her earliest memories, she could very clearly remember, learning to fight. From, martial arts, to swordplay, she had been able to cover almost all kinds of fighting. So, dragging herself to her room wasn't all that hard, especially if she had done it before.

Upon entering her room, she was met with the strangest of all surprises, new clothes, an entire wardrobe, to be exact. Frowning, she glanced around the room warrily, she knew that this was either rigged with traps or, Paige had something different planned for her. Walking cautiously into the room, she kept a hand on the hilt of her sword and approached, the many articles of clothing. Surprisingly enough, they were a mix of causual and athletic clothing, not the usual frilly skirts and dresses the forced her to wear, to keep up her disguise. It was different. "Like it?" She whirled around sword drawn, to face Paige. He raised an eyebrow at the sword tip at his neck.

"What's it for?" She asked, looking at him, with a killer's eye.

"Always straight to the point, aren't you, Ellen?" He chuckled lightly, "It's for your new assignment."

Ellen frowned, she wasn't normally allowed to be outside of the Red Rose stronghold, other than for school.

"You'll be going to Trinity, Ohio," he continued, "you will be going there for only one purpose. To kill the White Rose's warrior. Our operatives say that he is being hidden there for until his powers manifest. So, it should be all the more easy for you to kill him." He gestured to the new clothes, "You'll need these, to keep up your new appearance. You will be Ellen Stephenson, a Sophmore at Trinity High School. You're a play forward in soccor and you will, find him." Paige looked at her, with a look that could have withered a flower. She nodded, mildly surprised, but pleased.

"When do I leave?" She asked, quietly.

"Tonight, your plane leaves at 9:45, so I suggest, you don't be late. A cab will pick you up from there and take you to a vaccant house. Your dad works around, which will be your excuse for not returning, come the Game." Ellen nodded once more, and wondered how long it would take to pack. Not, that she had much in the first place. "Oh, and Ellen," she faced her warriormaster, "Don't fail me." He turned and left, without another word.

~Jack~

"We've got to think about his future, Becka," Thomas Swift growled.

"He's only 7, it's too early to be thinking about such things," Becka said back at him, her voice thin and weary from fighting.

"Just because he's 7 doesn't mean he can't learn the lawyer trade, he'll have to learn it sooner or later," Thomas glared at his wife, something that he found himself doing often.

Neither of them noticed, the small boy, huddled on the staircase, his small, pudgy hands gripping the staircase's railing, hiding, too frightned by his parents fights to speak up. He was sad, it seemed like that was all they did now, fight about his future, his friends, his life, all they did was fight about him, but never really paid attention to the child of the present. Jack whimpered, his huge eyes, squeezed shut, as if to ward it all away, like a bad dream.

He didn't like it, his parents fighting, but what could he do? He was, after all, only 9. The verbal spar seemed to stop for a moment. Tentavily, he opened his eyes, just a crack to see what was occuring. Daddy wasn't there anymore, he wasn't in the kitchen with Mommy. Jack was confused, where could Daddy have gone, he wondered. Curious, he wandered downstairs to their cozy kitchen. Mommy was crying. "Mommy," Jack asked, "Why are you crying?" His mother's head snapped up to stare at the boy who had asked a question that she couldn't answer.

She smiled a tearful smile and gathered him up gently in her arms, "Daddy's gone away for a while, all right, Jumping Jack?" He pouted when she used her nick name. But quieted down, feeling that he shouldn't prod into the matter any more, in fear for making it worse. He nodded and glanced up at her, and smiled, "Don't worry, Mommy, you're too pretty for him, anyway!" Becka, shocked, looked down at the boy she held in her arms, and smiled, he would make a great man someday.

~Maddie~

It had started in school.

"There she is," "Stay away, she might hex you," "Dude, 20 bucks to go ask witch girl out," they all whispered around her. Maddie Moss tried her best to ignore them. Pushing through the crowds she trudged to her locker. It looked the same, she breathed a sigh relief, no vandalisms. Maybe, it's finally dying down she thought to herself, hopefully. She spun the dial on the lock, 15-27-33, and yanked the lock off and pulled it open. "I spoke to soon," she muttered under her breath. There were curse dolls, with her name on it, already burned, along with notes and letters, all clearly stating what type of girl she was.

"Hey, Maddie," a suave voice said behind her. She didn't turn around, she knew exactly who it was without looking.

"What do you want, Roper?" She hissed.

"Now, what would make you think that I wanted anything," he replied, sounding innocent.

She sighed before slamming her locker closed and snapping the lock back on the door. Maddie turned, "Two things, Bryson. One: Nobody calls me Maddie, but my friends, and two: we both know that you don't go around talking to girl accused of being a witch." She stabbed her finger into her chest for emphasis and stalked off to go to class. Ignoring the whispers in the halls once more.

The whispers stuck with her, that night, too.

Maddie yelled, "Grace! John Robert! Mama! Where are you guys?"

Her sleeve was damp from the water she dumped on it. She was careful not to breathe in the smoke as she searched frantically for her family. Tears streamed down her face, from both the smoke and in panic. It was supposed to be a quiet evening, Mama was free that night and took the younger ones out to dinner, while she stayed back at home to paint the sunset. She coughed, the smoke stung her throat and eyes. Maddie called out once more, "Mama! J.R.! Grace! Are you here?" Panic welled up inside her, she barely felt the heat of the flames.

The flames roared around her, and she screamed when a figure clad in firefighting gear scooped her up and carried her out. She hit his back furiously, trying to get him to let go. She needed to be sure that they weren't still in there. The firefighter dropped her as soon as she was outside, like she was some cursed object. Immediately, the police swarmed her, asking if she had started the fire, or if she was involved with any of the recent arson attacks. She couldn't answer, but shook her head furiously, while her salty tears streaked down her sooty face.

"Don't cry, Maddie, I'm still here." She didn't dare look up, afraid of being put under Bryson's magic spell. He reached down to try and embrace her. She hit his arms away, not wanting to be held in anyones embrace other than her family's.

"Maddie, why on earth are you crying?" Maddie's head snapped up, nobody she knew talked like that except Grace. Her eyes met Grace's own fierce, determined ones. She yelped and threw her arms around Grace, sobbing into her shoulder. Grace patted her back and hugged her back. It wasn't until after she'd found the rest of her family, did she realize why everyone else seemed so skittish. The whispers started again, "Firestarter," "Firestarter," "Witch," "Cursed Girl." Maddie, tried once more to ignore them.

~Seph~

He walked, with a gait that was proud and confident. It was almost similar to that of a panther, waiting for its prey to finally die from loss of blood, patient and lazy. People couldn't seem to help, but stare, he didn't mind of course, he was used to it at that point. It was only his first day and he already knew how his status here would be. Seph McCauly, couldn't help but smirking, lightly to himself at that. He was the shepard, the boy who all his life he was flocked the other sheep.

Upon entering class, the entire room seemed to hush, growing a little quieter than its normal volume. He flicked his gaze around the classroom, searching for an empty seat, before slowly lowering himself into an unoccupied one. He pulled out his headphones and jammed them into his ears, drowning out the noise of the morning classroom. Seph, was so focused on his music he hadn't noticed the girl standing next to him, until she ripped out his headphones.

"Hey, newbie," the girl said, "My seat." Seph glanced at her, she was rather short, with black hair and asian features. Cute, but too hot headed for his taste.

He met her annoyed gaze, "Why?" It was a simple enough question, if she answered it well enough, he'd move, if not, he'd sit there like a rock. He could practically see the steam hissing out of her ears.

She leaned in close, so she had his attention, "Cuz, see those kids over there?" She gestured towards a small lot of kids, 3 guys and 2 girls, "They are my friends, so seeing as you don't have any to back you up, move." He smiled, he liked her, she was stubborn enough to assert herself, even with a guy like him.

"Alright," he shrugged and moved to get up, "Fair enough, on one condition. Introduce me." This stroke her as odd. She gave him a funny look.

"Why?" She asked, narrowing her dark brown eyes at him.

"You know, I have no friends, I'm the new kid, besides, I still don't know your name either." He flashed her a small grin.

She glared at him for a moment before cracking a grin herself, she stuck out her hand, "The name's Maia," she said, "These are my friends, Luke, Harper, Grant, Sarah and Ceceile."

Seph grinned at her before gripping her small hand in his own pumping a small amount of energy into it before nodding at the others. "I'm Seph, Seph McCauly, and we're gonna have a blast."

Heyo! So, I just got through with reading the Heir Trilogy (Chronicles?) and thought it was AMAZING! I have also taken a paticular liking to the whole Seph/Maddie situation. Tis quite intresting. Soooooo, yeah, enjoy.

OOOO AND REVIEW PLEASE!