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Peach Winter is a girl trying to get on with her life, and live for herself. But other people won't let her, not because of the odd things they notice about her - like her eyes changing colours with her emotions, or rain falling when she is sad.When she finds out a dark secret about her birth, it throws everything she thought she knew about life into chaos.At that crucial point in her life, she tries to rebuild herself, and ends up meeting two strangers who care for her.Which of them will she put her trust in? Shane Michaels, the enigmatic businessman, or Ethan Lewis, the struggling artist? Will Peach be able to bear the consequences of the choice she makes?

Chapter 1

Fear was a tangible thing. It twisted and turned through the darkness of the night, making everything a potency for destruction. That destruction would be easily seen in the lives of the chosen few.

Jake Winter looked through the smoke that billowed, sparkled, and hissed in the dark of the relentless fire. He had never seen something so brutal and terrifying in all his years on earth. And all he thought at that moment, was that what was happening was completely wrong.

It was true that the witch had gone a bit too far this time, but did she deserve to suffer in this manner? He wasn't so sure about it. A hand pushed him forward, and he struggled to remain on his feet. 

"She shall die today! The evil will be completely wiped out!" A man in white screamed to the high heavens.

"She is just different. She needs a second chance," Jake found himself saying.

His words were drowned, and all that he could hear were angry shouts and pains. No one was paying any form of attention to him. He tried hard not to show how hurt that made him feel. He had always felt inconsequential, and what he was about to do, will only make the hatred towards him solidify. But, he couldn't leave the witch alone, not at this time.

His sandal-worn feet slid through the soot-covered ground as he made his way to the heart of the chaos. Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see most of his neighbours, pouring fuel into the already heated furnace and shouting. He made his way through the throng. At that moment, he imagined that he was half-crazed, for none in their right mind would do this. None!

"Jake, you can't do this! We could lose everything!" His wife's panic-stricken voice had risen in a bid to stop the malady that threatened to consume him.

Jake remembered smiling at her in a dreamy state. "Think about the child she is carrying. Do you wish for the innocent child to be left alone without a family to call hers? I can't let that happen," He had said with intense conviction.

At that moment, he glimpsed the strange look that passed through her features. Disapproval seemed to reek off her, like a stench. He wondered if she would forgive him, but there was no time to dapple. He had to go.

And now, he was pushing his way through the bodies, soot finding succor in his toenails, as he made his way to the heart of the chaos. He almost gave up when he saw the witch in her element.

Jake imagined that he may piss on his pants. He wondered if his moment of bravery had been such a good idea. It wasn't looking like that anymore, and what the hell would he do in such a situation?

There was no time to think, in front of him, the witch stood with her red hair wild, with streaks of blue in them, as it swayed in her boneless face. She was beautiful, but the lines moving in her cheeks begged to differ. Debris, with a mixture of hail, fought for dominance as it danced around her, creating a barricade. Her belly was bigger than life, and Jake could practically see the unborn.

In an eclipse, their eyes met, as thunder hit the skies. Jake swallowed hard, but wouldn't fall back. There was only one thought in his mind, the child in that womb. She needed help.

"Go back to your people," The witch said softly.

He smiled with tears gleaming in his eyes. "I can't. I'm here to help you," He said simply.

A cold laugh skittered off her, sending some of the debris askew. He knew she didn't believe him, but he had to make her believe that this was indeed the truth. He stood rooted but outstretched his hands to them.

"You? You haven't helped yourself yet, Jake Winter. Then, how do you imagine that you would be of any help to me?" She asked in disdain.

Jake's hands swung to the multitude of people determined to bring the witch down. "These people want your blood, but I could help you to save your child. You don't want this child to die in this heat, right?" He shot out.

As the thunder rumbled skyward, the witch looked at him closely. Jake knew she didn't trust him and wanted to know how true he was. He tried to open his heart, so she could see as much as he wanted. But, the consistent sounds of the night made it so difficult to achieve.

"Go from here! You can't save anyone!" She said at once.

That was the last she said, and Jake felt like he was flung down the bottom of a moving train. He struggled to gain his composure, but two men shouted at him, as they pinned him down.

Jake wasn't sure of what to do. He fought to gain his freedom, but he couldn't get the release he needed. The strength of two muscular hands on his shoulder blades almost overpowered his senses. It was a bit too much. He almost gave up, but when he saw the fire almost frying the witch with her child in one swoop, he decided to do one last thing.

"She's gone already, please let me go," his voice came out croaked.

The two men exchanged looks, and strangely, they let him go. Jake looked right at the witch, and her manic eyes stared right at him. ‘Save my child,' her voice rang out in his ears.

She had been the one to do it. Jake ran faster, his legs felt like Jelly, but he still pushed through. The crowd had stopped trying to put in fuel. "Where are you going?" One of the men asked in a panic. He ignored them and kept pushing through. They tried to fling him backward, but he wouldn't budge.

Finally, he stood ten steps from the chaos. His heart pounded in his ribcage, as he watched the fire leak through the witch's skin, almost going through the belly. He had no idea what to do to help. He didn't know how to help her.

"What do I do?" He asked frantically.

"Save my child," The witch said once more,

There was a stake, a broken mirror, and a torn blanket by the side. Did it mean that destiny knew that this was about to happen? Jake grabbed the stake. He was aware that people thought he was crazy, but he didn't stop to think, he only acted. He held the stick upwards and used the blankets to wrap it in, and then, he moved through the fire.

Strangely, he felt no pain or heat, it was like warm water. "I will save your child," he said softly.

The baby was strangely calm as she looked at him through her mother's womb. He was no ob-gyn, and even if he were, the delivery wouldn't have been natural. In shock, he watched as his hands moved in its accord, and the stick dived right into the witch's skin. It seemed to be a magnet as it pulled the baby out of the witch's partly burnt stomach. Jake tried to stop his breathing from going overboard, but it was getting increasingly difficult. 

He watched in amazement as the baby settled on the stick, and the blanket wrapped itself around it. Out of the feat, that the stick might not be able to support such a small creature, he found himself lounging forward, pulling the baby closer to his chest. The green of her eyes looked right at him.

"Take care of Peach," The witch said, as she let herself become consumed by the roaring fire.

A force so strong knocked Jake ten feet away. He could feel his muscles crack, but there was no pain. He looked right at the child, and she blinked, and suddenly there was an intense rain that shook the earth.

Chapter 2

There was complete stillness in the room which belied the multitude of emotions that inoculated therein. All eyes were transfixed on the widely placed projection at the makeshift stage. All eyes except Peach.

Peach held onto her small cross-bead as she lowered her dyed blue hair on her lap. Why the hell had she come here? It felt so out of place. She felt so out of place. This thickly enclosed cinema wasn't her style. She was the type of girl that watched Netflix on her laptop and streamed racy series on Holster. So, what the hell was she doing here?

She inclined her head to her left, looking at Marilyn. Marilyn was her friends-with-benefits go to partner. The dark-haired beauty seemed to be completely oblivious to all that was going through Peach's head. She was intent on watching two teenage boys make out on the projection. For the life of her, Peach couldn't remember what the film was called. 

She frowned slightly at Marilyn. She was the reason she'd come here.


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