Darius was different. For one he could speak English, something none of the other slaves that had passed through could do. He also carried himself differently, like despite the chains and dirt he was better than Luc’.
Luc’ was ten and had a crush on Darius. Her father had kept him instead of selling him on and Luc’ liked to watch him to his orders and giggle and run away when Darius spotted her.
Luc’ was eleven when she tripped. It was Darius’ fault she liked to tell him afterwards but never told her father, mother or brother. It was an accident and Darius didn’t need to be punished and it wasn’t like she got hurt. But she should have, falling hand first into a fire and coming back unscathed was wrong. Even Darius looked scared of her.
She was twelve when her brother died. She hated herself for not crying at his funeral. She did cry, oh how she sobbed, but it was not for her brother. The Higher family had to have a male heir, even if that meant using dark magic and kicking a child’s head in to make them hold still. When Luc’ woke up her chest was burning and her eyes were fire. She strangled the maid in her room, she didn’t even get a chance to speak. It was the first person she murdered and that night she murdered ten more. Her father stopped her, a shot to the shoulder. Luc’ went down screaming and didn’t get back up. She instead waited and watched the fire from the corner of her eye. It glowed dim but steadily grew until the flames reached the ceiling, she could feel it calling to her. She was almost convinced her was the one doing it until her father screamed. He and Darius were ablaze and while Darius stood as tall as ever while her father flailed until he fell and didn’t get up. Darius picked her up, the floor crackling beneath his feet and her clothing burning away against his flesh. she fell asleep in his burning arms.
Ages thirteen and fourteen were of no mention but things changed gradually. Darius spent more time with Luc’, they talked more and while Luc’ was still a slave trader and Darius was a slave, they were closer. He could sing, and speak German, French, he swore in Romanian and whispered prays in French. Luc’ was sure Darius spoke with an American accent when Luc’ asked about his past. Luc’ became a Lord instead of a Lady and slowly became less angry about it. It was Luc’s duty, it was meant to be. At fifteen Luc’ realised how dangerous Darius was. Darius had attracted the attention of the Leader. He called him Harold. No one who knew the Leader on first name terms was going to live long. The Leader tried to make Luc’ sell him to him. Luc’ said no and surprisingly lived. He told Darius to go. To run. Somewhere. Anywhere. And he did. That surprised Luc’ most of all. Luc’ forgot his birthdays. There were rumours of a fire God, from the heavens to side with the rebel to punish humans. Luc’ didn’t believe it. He didn’t come from heaven. One evening Luc’ placed his hand in his hearth again. he could feel the heat but it was warm and comforting. It made him smile. His mansion had fires lit at every corner, burning day and night, even around his neck he hung a fire emblem. He made a habit of sitting naked in them and forgot often that sticking one’s hand into a fire was not the done thing in normal society. In Human society. He was twenty when he saw Darius again. it was by accident, the wrong place at the wrong time; he had decided to go horse riding alone, to clear his head. the bandits had come and though Luc’ had tried an Illusionist would never beat an Immortal-born. He awaited death, not fighting them as he was dragged along the floor, jeers surrounding him. Their fires roared with the deep yell. He was taller, much taller and strong like a giant, his face snarling at the rebels. Luc’ was dropped and watched him with the same awe that his people did. He looked like the Emperor he was meant to be. Luc’ was up and in his arms seconds later. They didn’t kiss, physical expressions were trivial to the fire that weaved around them, sinking into Luc’ skin and burning brightly from Darius’. It didn’t burn her because the Fire God loved her.