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“I love you, sis,” I whimpered. My lip trembled and fresh tears came streaming down.

I kissed her gently on the forehead and then went to go see how Mom was doing. I slowly walked through the door and sat down next to her. She turned toward me as much as she could. She had burns on her neck, feet and legs. Rose definitely got the worst of it, but Violet inhaled a lot of smoke.

“Hey, sweetie,” she strained to say.

“Hey, Mom, how are you feeling today?” I asked.

“Oh, you know,” she avoided my question, but she smiled at the fact that I called her ‘Mom.’

“This all began because of that stupid curse, I don’t even understand what the point of any of it was. Who cares if one person is good and the other evil? What difference should that make to their child? Who would even care enough to do that?”

“Your Grandmother,” she sighed. “On your dad’s side.”

“What? I don’t understand. Why would she put a curse on her own granddaughter?”

“To prevent him from doing this, to prevent you from ever coming into existence, I thought if I gave you up—”

“I don’t understand what the big deal is. If they would have left me alone, none of this ever would have happened.”

“Scarlett, my family—our family has always respected the Alliance out of fear, but that never stopped us from being their biggest enemy. We were on the exact opposite side of the spectrum. We helped people escape them. You are one of us, but you are also part of them, and that makes you powerful. She knew that you would either be the one to lead them or the one to bring them down for good.”

“So, what does the curse have to do with anything? What does the curse have to do with stopping that?”

“I guess she hoped that your father wouldn’t have the heart to put his daughter through that, but he never cared. He only sees you girls as pieces in his little game.”

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