Title: From the Elements

By: Dragonfire


Chapter Three

They rushed toward her; fists raised rage seeping from their eyes. The first of the three swung at her right side as the boy continued to propel himself toward her. The blow whipped past her as Aithne moved quickly into a crouched position, a smirk plastered on face as she readied for the next move. She snapped her leg out catching him at the knees and forced the boy to the ground. A gasp was ripped from him as he fell, knocking the air out of him. Gracefully she stood up in time to block the next blow that would have hit her head if she had stayed on the ground a second longer. The second guy backed up to get room to take a high kick. As his foot came at her Aithne was able to grab his heal and land a clean punch to his chest hard enough to knock the wind out of him and force him off the scene. The first attacker was soon back on his feet and prepared to grab her when he held in his spot by two muscular arms clamped around his chest. He still stood there as the last tormenter was deflected after trying to get a punch through to the face of this new girl. The two collided as Aithne shoved him to the side.

"Ryo. Thank you. Duck down." Aithne gave him an impish smile as she watched one of the bullies try to sneak up on Ryo.

Ryo moved and kicked the feet out from under his attacker while Aithne grabbed the leader by the collar of his shirt. She gave him a hard shake chuckling as he flinched away from her. Once she had set him on the ground again he took off at a sprint not bothering to look back. The other two quickly followed.

"Hey nice job there. That was some great fighting. Letís just hope you donít get a bad rep with it. Donít worry about getting in trouble though. Even the teachers know that those three had it coming sooner or later." Ryo told her that as he helped the two girls pick up the papers that had been thrown on the ground. Thankfully Isabel hadnít been hurt in the encounter, just slightly shaken.

"Well I was not about to let them hurt my friend. I may have just met Isabel but she is the only friend I really have. And donít worry about my reputation. I am quite used to being the outcast. I try not to let it bother me." Aithne stood and grabbed the other girl on the arm just bellow the elbow and helped her get up. The other four men that had eaten with them at lunch had gathered and the crowd of students began to thin. "Now Isabel do you still want to show me around this place or what? I need to find something in my bag. Now where did I drop that bag?"

Aithne walked over to where she thought she had left her bag but when she didnít find it she realized the bag must have been moved around when everyone gathered to watch the fight. Weíre in high school and we still get into schoolyard fights. This is pathetic. We have high school bullies. Itís sad that humanity hasnít matured since the Roman Era. Everyone still gathers if they think blood will be spilt as long as itís not their own. Now where is that blasted bag?! Aithne kept looking but to no avail. It just disappeared. Growling in frustration Aithne sat down at the bench she had just looked under. Then all the sudden the bag was being pressed into her hands.

She looked down and was surprised to see a large white tiger holding her bag in its mouth. The creature was magnificent. If standing it would most likely stand at about her waist and it had stunning blue eyes. The tiger was very well groomed and its coat held a healthy shine to it. It didnít seem to be the least bit aggressive because it was allowing a young to boy ride on its back. For some reason Aithne wasnít the least bit surprised about seeing a big cat walking around the school, she had seen stranger things. She was just curious as to why it had her bag.

"I think this is yours. I found it sitting over there and then saw you looking for it so I brought it over." The boy looked like he was between the ages of seven and nine. Hard to tell the ages apart. Theyíre both short and annoying at those ages. This looks like he is going to be very annoying. One that will always ask you the same questions repeatedly. Oh well what can you do?

"Thank you I was looking for this. Beautiful animal I must say. I love tigers." Aithne reached over and took her bag from the large jaws of the tiger gently petting him behind the ear.

"Heís not mine, heís Ryoís but weíre still friends. His nameís White Blaze. We like to play together. My nameís Yuli. Whatís yours?"

"I am Aithne. I just moved here from Scotland. It is nice to meet you, Yuli. You too White Blaze and thank you again for finding my bag. You here to see friends. Ryo would be my first guess. Is that right?"

"Yeah. Weíre good friends. He helps me a lot. You know I think you have a cool name."

"Thank you. I like yours too." Aithne stood to leave but Yuli just ended up following her. "Where are you heading to?

"Iím looking for Ryo and the others but I think he saw me first. It was nice meeting you. HI GUYS!!!" Aithne cringed at the shrill high-pitched voice but smiled as the other began to walk towards them.

" Hi Yuli, White Blaze. What are you doing here? I thought you were going somewhere with Mia. Does she know youíre here?" Cye asked as he lifted the boy off the tigerís back and placed him on his feet. He then smiled at Aithne as she saw her holding her backpack "Good you found your bag and I see you met Yuli and White Blaze. Hope they didnít pester you to much."

"No they didnít, they were the ones that found my bag for me. White Blaze gave it to me when I started looking over this way. Yuli and I were having a nice little conversation."

"Yeah. Sheís really nice. And she wasnít scared of White Blaze. First time I didnít see a girl scream when they saw him. Isnít that cool?" He started to laugh remembering all the times he scared the girls at his school when he brought the tiger with him.

"Very. Now to the question. Does Mia know that you are here? You canít just keep doing this Yuli; we need to know ahead of time if youíre going to come visit us. What if the next time you come here we are some place else and you have no way of getting home?" Sage reprimanded. This had to be the fourth time the kid came to their school once his let up and every time he did they ended up getting in trouble with Mia.

"Sorry. So what are you guys doing? Can I come with you?" The guys just groaned. There went the plans for tonight. It was either take him or listen to him pout and whine about not going.

"Isabel let us get going. I have to do some food shopping anyway. So I need you to tell me where a good grocery store is. Then it is home to more and more boxes. Beautiful pet you have, Ryo. White tigers are rare. Youíre lucky to have him." She slipped the bag onto her shoulders and went to catch up to the retreating form of Isabel.

*********

Later that evening Aithne stood in the room that was now hers. It had yet to be decorated, as did the rest of the house. She really had not wanted to lie to her friends that she was staying with her foster parents in that old house but thinks were just to unsteady right now. Besides she would be living in that house for the next couple of days until she had moved everything and gotten her new furniture. She needed furniture in her new loft before she could actually move in. Aithne had spent some of the money she had been able to hide from her foster parents to purchase this place. They had taken most of her inheritance but she had been able to set aside a good amount for rainy days. What better way to use it then to escape that trap of depression and greed that was her foster home.

Good thing that Isabel showed me around or I wouldnít have found all those good home stores. I canít wait till I move in completely. I should really start looking for a roommate. I really donít want to live by myself, just away from those two who pretend to care about me. Most of my stuff is packed and I should be getting in that bed tomorrow. The couch and the chair for the living room should be arriving next week. I have to check when the kitchen table and chairs are coming. Have to do pick up my flatware and the carpets. Man I have a lot to do. Iím going to need some help.

Aithne was startled out of her musing by a knock on the door. No one that she knew had any knowledge that she was here or even moving into this loft. The only person who knew was the realtor. She stood up and opened the rice paper doors that closes off a small room with a low ceiling. Outside of the room were about five steps to get the living room that had a small office area that was separated by waist high walls. To the side and a bit above was a wall of windows. In front of the windows was a narrow walkway that lead to a closed off area that had an extra bath tube behind the doors. To the right was the hallway that led to the dining room and the kitchen. Behind her was another hallway that led to the one of the three bedrooms.

"Coming." She reached for the doorknob and saw some one that she had never met yet seemed vaguely familiar. The girl was 5í6" and was crowned with wavy lavender hair that beautifully accentuated her = silver eyes. She looked African and about a year younger than Aithne who was eighteen. "Can I help you?"

"Yes I wanted to see if you are in need of a roommate? Iím Tinmath Coriander." The lavender headed girl introduced herself and extended her hand.

"Yes but I have not put out the add yet so how would you know that I am looking for a roommate. I am PenDragon Aithne by the way." Aithne was very confused about this girl, she did not feel that Coriander wanted to harm her or even knew anything about her other than that she needed a roommate.

"I saw you and your address in a dream and I knew that I was going to end up living with you. I thought the sooner I came over the sooner I could move in."

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