I paint almost entirely in reds and oranges. I like to paint fire—and things on fire. This bothers some of those people at school. My mom understands, so I do most of my painting at home. My friends call me “Scorch” because of it. It started in Junior High, and I haven’t been able to drop the name. I guess it’s better than my given name, Sidra. It means “stars” in Latin and my mom gets way too into Latin for it being a dead language in my opinion.
Sometimes when I’m in front of my easel, painting fire, like I am right now, my mind just runs and runs. There are no child support checks and a father living in Mississippi with the super whore, Bliss. There are no awkward moments when I walk into a class and search for the least unappealing seat. There is just me—and reds—and oranges—and fire.
“Sids, come down and grab some breakfast. You’re going to be late for school, Honey!” my mother yelled, breaking my mind’s sprint.
I wiped the paint off my hands with a cloth to the side of my easel. This room used to be my father’s office before he ran off with Bliss, the super whore. Now, it’s an empty room with a concrete floor. It was easier to tear out the carpet than deal with the glass and shards of my dad’s computer—and whatever had been spilled all over the remnants. The room’s demise had been my gain. It had the perfect light exposure and I didn’t have to worry about spilling paint on the floor. It had been the first decent thing my dad had done—leaving behind so much anger that we’d destroyed his edifice—his ode to work.
So, that's Sidra's POV, but here is an excerpt from Asher's:
She was sort of psychotic. She’d spaced out again while watching the fire. This Sidra chick had a serious pyro-mania going on. Still, I was almost positive she wasn’t the one I’m looking for. It wouldn’t be the first time one of the pyro-demons had masqueraded in human form, but they usually didn’t settle for cute female forms with nice copper-colored eyes. Plus, she wasn’t keeping a low profile, and she wasn’t new. That jock on the front row had made it sound like she’d lit plenty on fire over the years. Trace had decided that this was a new spot—possibly even a new demon—or several demons. Considering the amount of fires, I was guessing we had a pack of demons on our hands. It was rare for to them gather like this, though.
Vegas was getting nailed with fires right now. No one suspected arson, but a demon wouldn’t leave traces around like that to get them tagged as arson. That was part of what led Trace and me here. Another city. Another load of fires. A bunch of fire demons.
Nothing should be special about this place, but Sidra was changing that. She was pretty amazing.
Brand liked Sidra too. Brand didn’t like just anyone. He was the pickiest mutt. Brand wouldn’t like her if she was a fire demon. She had to be just a cute pyro in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Still, I had things to do—things that shouldn’t include tailing a hot pyromaniac. Okay, the word “tail” shouldn’t make me smile, but damn Sidra was hot. I couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong with the guys at this school. At any other school I’d been in, Sidra would have been the one with the quarterback—not the one being pelted with paper missiles. What was up with that idiot?
The teacher noticed Sidra’s expression and turned the burner off again. I tried to give this Ms. Lyons a smile to relieve that terrified look in her eyes, but Scorch here—wasn’t helping. It was probably just as well we’d be next to the fire extinguisher.