This was posted as part of a Word Prompts challenge on Reddit.
The words stared back from the page, haunting Derek like a broken promise. He often found himself here lately, hidden well back from the store front, lost amongst these dusty, forgotton tomes. Late afternoon sunlight bounced off the windows across the street, stirring up bizarre tableaus amongst the shelves and shapes in the darkened bookstore.
He had started and stopped so many times, each more disappointing than the last. He had somehow misplaced his drive, his motivation. The wind had opted for an extended vacation from his sails.
Amanda tip-toed down the stairs from their tiny apartment above the shop. Various candles lit with a poof as she walked by. At six, she was already in full control of her abilities, and her golden eyes had the same mesmerizing effect as her mothers. How he had ever come to earn the love of a woman such as Serena, he would never understand. But love him, she did. And he loved her too, just as desperately.
His daughter crept up beside him and gave him a warm kiss on his cheek. He turned and snuggled her, this most precious of lifes gifts. He put aside his still mostly empty diary, and reached for a larger, colourful book on the shelf beside him.
Opening it to the bookmarked page, he read, as Amanda cuddled up against his chest, one rebelious leg swinging in an imaginary rhythm. They often sat like this for hours, him reading, her listening. She would steal kisses, wrapping her tiny hands around his neck and holding on tight. She loved her father, strange as he was to this world, even though he was not, to her. Serena watched them quietly from the top of the stairs, smiling.
Their existence was simple. A loving family of three, purveyors of ancient books and imaginary worlds, relics from an age too far gone for anyone alive to remember otherwise. Serena, a woman of intense beauty, and consumate rage, should harm or ill will come to her family, or other innocents. Amanda, a smaller version of her mother, capable of reducing any thing to ash and cinder in the blink of an eye, yet delightful in her gentle way. And Derek, the only person since Transformation to have been born with no ability.
The light outside dimmed, as the Sun began to slide past the horizon.
Amanda yawned, slipping down from her fathers knee. He patted her head, and shooed her off to bed. Rising to lock the door and blow out the flickering candles, Derek paused to look out at the street. Soon, warm, lithe fingers skated across his back, as Serena edged closer to him, catching him off guard.
Sharing a tender kiss, Serena motioned with her head towards the stairs, and he nodded, sadness touching the edges of his smile. They walked upstairs, arm in arm, to tuck their daughter in.