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Fire and Ice

Chapter 1
Four years ago, October 13, 2008
If Rain had to hear one more thing about Sunny she would explode. For the past few weeks she had listened to her parents plan her sister Sunny’s birthday party. Her twin sister’s birthday party. Ever since both of the girls had turned 13 everyone, not just her family, had looked at her twin as if she was a holy saint. And like every year they forgot that the two girls were twins and would through a party just for Sunny. Rain hated it. Hated that even the three guys, Mike, John and Gabriel, and her best friend Liz ,who were supposed to be her friends, had even forgot that today was her day just as much as her twin’s.

Rain was 17 as of today and she was tired of doing all the work and having her twin gets all of the praise. No matter how many times she said “Sunny didn’t take out that soul eater, I did!” And every time she would here “don’t be jealous of you sister dear, you’ll get one someday.” Why was it so hard for everyone to believe that Rain had done it, really? Sure she wore baggy zipper pants and tank tops most of the time. Sure she was a bit off colored, born with white and black tipped hair and mixed eyes, one gold with flicks of violet the other violet with flicks of gold. And ya maybe she listened to a lot of rap and hard rock music. Maybe she did talk like a slum rat even though she lived in a mansion. But that wasn’t her idea in the first place and furthermore she lived in the pool house while everyone else lived in the main house anyways.

Rain could remember the day she had come home from summer camp and found her room gone. In its place she found that her things had been moved to storage and the wall between her and Sunny’s room had been torn down to make more room for her twin. She had had to get her own stuff out of storage and move her own stuff in to the pool house. The small building was bigger than everyone in the big house had thought so Rain didn’t mind all that much. It was built like a fortress, the small little house, and it had four floors three of which were under ground. Rain had made it homey and had cleaned and decorated the little shack. She didn’t ever invite her four friends into the house or ever let on she lived anywhere then in the main house. And she liked it that way. All of this had never really bothered her as much as before but now, after tonight she was putting her foot down.

The Mc’cloud family were the hunters and guardians for the supernatural world and of all of that jazz. They were also part of the Underworld console, which is a bunch of old goons of all races, demons to elves, and they all took turns yelling about something. Her dad was second chairman to Raphael Lunae the head chairman and pack leader of the Red Paw werewolf clan. And all of those old goons and others of the supernatural world were coming to the party tonight, which had Rain cringing.

She could remember what Gabriel, her one time crush and son of Raphael, had said about tonight. “Hey Rainy, you going to your sisters party tonight?”

Rain had been reading a book at the time and had looked sharply up at the four waiting eyes. “Ya of course I’m going to the stupid party. I live there remember.”

The four laughed. “Oh ya. So what did you buy her?” John yawned

Rain shrugged. “Nothing.”

Liz sat up. “Rain what do you mean nothing? She’s your sister!”

Rain huffed and stood scooping her bag and books up. “Like I said nothing. If you want to spend your money on her then fine but don’t drag me down with you.”

Rain had stomped off and behind her back heard Gabriel say “What’s up her butt?

Mike answered with a “Don’t know but hey do you think I should were my black tux or go casual?”

Rain sighed. While everyone she knew was at the party “of the year”, as her twin put it, she was out doing patrol. She had already taken out three lesser demons and was now chasing after a ripper demon. Large scaled horned demons with claws as long as a human arm was running around. And they just loved a good bloody dance with the devil. Rain’s boots sounded a ere echo as she ran through the dark tunnels of the sewers, the crunching of gods knows what at every step made her queasy. She had found a trail of blood leading to a sewer hatch an hour ago and she was still following the crimson smears. If she didn’t know better she would have bet she was being lead into a trap, but rippers weren’t known for thinking, just killing. Thirty minutes later she heard a woman scream. “Crap!” running like the hounds of hell were nipping at her heels, Rain shot through a large opening in the wall, no less the demon made it itself. With a rebel yell and a lot of praying to the gods above she attacked.

Two long hours later, after killing the monstrous demon and taking a crying college student to the hospital, Rain parked her motorcycle in the small garage of the pool house. She was torn to shreds, streaked with hers and the demons blood, and she felt sick from the venom filled bite of the Ripper. All Rain wanted to do was take a hot shower change into her favorite night shirt and shorts and go to bed. As she limped over to the door she could hear the thump of the stereos bass at the main house. Hope they were having fun because she wasn’t, not by a long shot. No sooner had she taken off her boots her cell phone went off. Rain groaned as she answered. “Mom I really don’t feel up to it tonight, can’t I just…”

“No you cannot just! I want you here at your wonderful sister’s party. And I want you to come in that pretty dress I picked out for you. Really dear, just because were hunters doesn’t mean we have to look like big meanies all the time. Now get down here! If I don’t see you at the punch bowl in ten minutes you’ll...”

“I know mom. Bad things will happen and you’ll make me live in the pool house.” Funny she was already living there.

Rain could hear her mom growl on the end “Don’t use that tone of voice with me young lady. Ten minutes. Remember that.”

With that Rain clicked off the phone. She ran her hands against her face then limped over to the shower with a new pair of zipper jeans and a red and black ripped up tank in tow. Five minutes later Rain ran across the lawn towards the house then made her way to the punch bowl, three minutes to spare. Rain looked over the heads searching for Dante. Rain blushed.

Dante was the son of Marcus Umbra the third chairman and pride leader of the saber tooth werecat clan. He was tall and tan, with midnight black hair with eyes the color of burgundy and gold. He was the hottest guy she had ever seen and he had wanted her. They had been dating for three months now and Rain couldn’t help but smile at the time they had spent together. He had been sweet and even with his bad boy attitude he had always made her feel like herself. She remembered the first time they had met at one of the consul meetings. They had both been running opposite directions and had slammed into each other in the dark underground hall ways. She could also remember what he had said after they had both gotten up
“Oof watch it you…” that had been when he had looked up. For the first time in a long time she felt something. He had coughed and stood taller and smiled. “Umm sorry.”

Rain had giggled and then turned to go when he had grabbed her arm. “Wait what’s your name? I mean I want to know the name of the pretty girl that knocked me of my feet.”

Rain smiled back. “My names Rain and you?”

The boy smiled and said “Dante. Dante Umbra.”

And with those few words things had turned to something bright. Dante made her feel beautiful and loved. Something that Gabriel had never done, even when she had stayed by his side in the darkest of moments. He had always talked about how beautiful her twin had been and things such as that. Rain looked over the crowd once again when she smelled her mother’s perfume right before the hand fell on her elbow. “Finally, I thought you wouldn’t show up. And what is this? I bought you a three hundred dollar dress and you where this. By the gods, what am I going to do with you?”

“Mom have you seen Dante?” Rain asked, quickly changing the subject.

Her mother sighed. “I think I saw him go into the garden. But really Rain, a tank top?”
Rain faked a laugh then kissed her mother’s cheek. “Thanks mom!”

Rain weaved herself through the crowed and slowly walked through the garden path to the center of the large area. As she rounded a corner her smile faded. No, no this couldn’t be. She must be seeing things; she did not see her twin and boyfriend locked in a kiss. No that just couldn’t be. But no matter how many times she blinked and rubbed her eyes the scene didn’t change. She gasped and as she stepped back a twig snapping under her boot. The couple jerked apart and Rain’s eyes met Dante’s.

He stepped towards her. “Oh gods, Rain. Rain wait this… this isn’t what it looks like.”

Her sister huffed. “Ya Rain he was just giving me my birthday gift. You don’t mind sharing do you?”

Dante jerked back towards her twin. “Shut up Sunny!” His eyes went back to Rain’s, desperation and pain in the depths of the two golden orbs. “Rain look...”
Rain put her hand up and shook her head. Hot tears leaked out of her eyes but she wouldn’t break down. Not now.

“Don’t Dante. Just… just don’t. I should have known, I mean really who would have wanted to be with me except in the hopes of getting close to my sister. Gods I’m such a fool.” She choked on the last words and turned from the two.

Rain ran back toward the house at full speed, behind her Dante called her name. His voice growing more and more pained with each syllable.

She ran into the crowed and tried to get out the front door but her arm was caught by her father. “Rain where do you think you’re going? You can’t leave; it’s your sister’s birthday! How would that look to the others, hmm? Bad is what it will look like. Now go on stage and …”

Rain slapped him. She didn’t even know she had done it until he faced her again with a red hand print on his face. She should feel ashamed. She should feel remorse for what she had done. Too bad she didn’t.

“No Dad, I think I won’t go on stage. I’m tired of this crap!” She was yelling and distantly she could hear the music and crowed go silent. All eyes were on her.
“I’m tired of this house. Tired of this family. I’m tired of this town, and most of all I’m tired of being in Sunny’s shadow. You treat me like I’m something you have to put up with, well guess what Dad; you won’t have to for long.”

Her father grabbed her arm. “Rain now is not the place to through your little fit.”
Rain laughed at that. “Little fit. Little fit? Is that all you have to say? Oh my gods you’re stupid. I have news for you Daddy dearest, Sunny and I are twins! Or did you and everyone here forget that little tid bit.”

She heard the crowed gasp, some in astonishment others, like her so called friends and family, gasp in pain. She didn’t stop.

“Have any of you ever seen Sunny out on patrol before? Anyone? No you haven’t because she’s been here or with some new boy toy. Not out there, not like I have. And what happens at the end of the day, when I’ve been working my butt off, saving lives and risking my own? Your sisters such a good girl. She took out this monster and that demon! Oh why can’t you be more like her? You give her my credits, everything I do magically turns into something she did. None of you even noticed that I graduated school last year! Ya I graduated top of my class, and not one of you, family or otherwise, showed up. Thats it I’m done.”

Sunny and Dante had broken through the crowed and in her twin’s eyes, she could see fear. Rain laughed harder.

“That’s right, I’m done! Let Miss Princess do the work. And if you don’t get what I’m saying dad let me tell you in a way you will understand. I quit.”

With that Rain stepped out the front door. She didn’t look back but then again she didn’t need to. The pained faces of her friends, family and now ex-boyfriend was enough. She broke off from the path and ran to the pool house. With the door firmly against her back she closed her eyes, trying but failing to make the tears stop. She didn’t think, didn’t breath as she walked to her room, pulled out her duffle bags and started to pile clothes and personal possessions in to them. Rain didn’t know where she would go but she knew she couldn’t stay here. With her two bags of belongings in her hands she went out to the garage and strapped them to the motorcycle. Everyone must have been frozen because as soon as she started the bike Gabriel and Dante along with others ran out of the house.

Both boys yelled out her name as she flew by. Rain went faster. She turned her head in time to see two large animals, one wolf and one panther, in the place of the boys chasing after her. She drove faster and faster, the trees turning into black, brown and dark green blurs, but still she could see the two animals behind her. Rain turned on the busy highway, heading for the Morona Bridge. In the shadows of the forest running beside the road she could see the two shadows running faster and faster. Rain didn’t even notice when she was the only one upon the road, but she did notice when something bit into her jacket. It was the panther and in his eyes she could see pleading. She kicked him in the chest and drove faster. She winced as she heard the crunch but only a little. She couldn’t feel remorse for it, after all wasn’t that how her chest felt?

The two animals had given up on trying to grab her and now were trying to pop the tires. Just as the lupine lunged and the feline swiped at the back tire she hit the bridge. In the side mirrors of the bike she could see the two beasts stop and call out in pain. Rain blinked back the tears, tears of sadness and joy, and laughed. She was free. She was finally free to do what she wanted. Do what she always wished to do. As Rain turned to the future, she left all her shackles in the past.

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