Athena Mortem Chapter 8: Not That Bad

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Being pregnant wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I was already used to throwing up, so morning sickness wasn’t a terrible thing for me. I spent a lot of my first trimester reading about pregnancy and what I needed to do to prepare for my baby. It was a little intimidating, but I knew I wasn’t alone.

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Dexter spent a lot of time with me. I think he knew that there was something going on. We spent hours together up in the library, just reading pregnancy and baby books.

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Occasionally Zeus would join us as well. He wasn’t as strong of a reader as I was but he was definitely trying to read as many as he could. I was glad he was my partner in this.

———-

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As my pregnancy progressed, I switched to online school. Artemis told everyone once she found out, and people were mocking me all through the halls. My grandma and I decided that online school would be best, especially after the baby was born.

When I wasn’t doing my schoolwork, I was practicing some alchemy. With the baby coming, I wanted to know how to protect it. The setup was in Winter’s office, so we spent a lot of time together.

“How have you been holding up?” Winter asked me after a long period of silence.

“I’m doing better now that I’m out of school.” I told her.

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“How are you and Zeus?” She looked up from her writing.

“We’re good. I don’t see him much though, since he has a part-time job now. But I’m glad he does, we need the money.”

“Just be sure to make time for each other, that’s really important.” She reminded me.

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“Of course, I care about him and we need to work together if we want to stay together. He has a few nights off a week and we usually spend those together.” I assured her.

“That’s good. You’re a smart girl Athena, you’re really mature for your age. I have no worries about whether or not you can pull this off.”

“Thank you, that means a lot.” I gave her a sincere smile. It was nice to hear something like that from her.

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“Have you guys thought of any names yet?” She asked.

“Not yet, we’re just focusing on preparing ourselves and saving up money. We don’t even know the sex yet.” I chuckled.

“Alright, well if you need any ideas I can help. I’d love to be involved. This is my first grandchild.” She laughed.

“Oh of course.” I assured her. “I’d love your input.”

“Trust me, I’ve been waiting to have a grandchild. I didn’t think it would be this soon, but nevertheless I’m excited. I’ve got plenty of ideas.”

————

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One of her ideas was having Zeus and Artemis switch rooms. She got his old room and he moved in mine. Of course, we had separate beds, but it would be a nice set up once the baby came. We’d gotten a crib and a few small toys, we were actually very excited for the baby.

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“Wow, I can feel him kicking.” Zeus gently laid on hand on my growing stomach as the baby kicked.

“How do you know it’s a boy?” I teased, we didn’t want to know the gender just yet.

“Trust me, a father just knows.” He gave me a cheesy half-smile that made me roll my eyes.

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“But on a serious note, how long do you want to stay here?” He asked me.

“Like, living here?”

“Yea, I mean we can’t raise our baby in this house. There’s too many people here. We’ll have to move out at some point. The sooner the better, really.” He explained.

“I guess yea, but you might change your mind once it’s born. Babies are a lot of work, and here we have a lot of support. I think we should stay at least a year. That gives us time to save up and get used to having a baby.” I reasoned. Moving out too soon could add too much stress.

“Yea I guess.”

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“We’re not gonna stay here forever babe. I’ll finish school, take care of the baby during the day while you’re at school. Then I’ll get a night job while you stay at home with the baby.” I reasoned.

“What about my job?”

“You don’t have to stay at it. But if you really want to, we can have someone watch the baby while we’re working.” I offered.

“Okay. I mean we’ve got time. I’ll make up my mind about it soon.”

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“Yeah definitely. We can do this.” I wrapped my arms around him.

“Of course we can. We’re gonna be amazing parents.” He smiled at me, with that goofy half-smile.

“We will be amazing parents, especially since there’s two of us. Neither of us ever had that, and I’m glad we get to be that for our baby.” I said.

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“We’re gonna give this baby everything.” He pulled me in for a kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

————–

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The closer I got to my due date, the more sore I got. I could barely stand at the alchemy station anymore. So I spent most of my time in the living room, since climbing the stairs all the way to the library was a struggle.

The worst part about this was that I was always right in Artemis’s sight when she came home.

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“Hey fatty, still sitting on your ass all day?” She sneered as she made her way towards me.

“Leave me alone Artemis. I’m just trying to relax.”

“Look at yourself, you’ve been doing enough relaxing lately.”

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I don’t know if it was the hormones, or if I was just tired of her shit, but I snapped at her.

“Leave me the fuck alone, Artemis. I’m pregnant for gods-sake. Of course I’m fat and lazy, I’m supposed to be. Now stop being an evil bitch and get out of my face!” I yelled at her.

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“I may be an evil bitch, but at least I’m not a whore!” She yelled back.

“Oh I’m the whore? I’ve only been with one guy. Rumor has it that you’ve had the whole football team at once. You have no right to call me that.” I accused.

“You are such a bitch! I am not a whore, I’m not the pregnant one.” She glared at me.

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“Don’t even go there. I got pregnant my first time, it’s not like I’m some sex freak. Just leave me alone.”

“You’re the worst. Why did you even keep the baby? You’re ruining Zeus’s life.”

“How am I ruining his life? He loves me, and we’re in this together. You’re just jealous that my boyfriend actually gives a shit about me.” I yelled at her, her boyfriend barely spent any time with her anymore. The guy was sketchy as hell.

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“You really think that? You’re such a dumb, naive little girl. Of course he’s not going to stay with you, they never do. He’ll eventually realize that he can just leave and have a better life. Then it’ll just be you and the little brat.”

“Fuck you. I hate you. You know nothing about Zeus and I.” I balled my fists. I would punch her, but I didn’t want to hurt myself or the baby.

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“Trust me, Zeus and I have been friends longer than you’ve been dating. He’s a coward. He’s gonna leave as soon as shit gets serious.”

“That’s not true at all. You’ve been too far up your own ass to give a shit about anyone other than you, so how the hell do you know what Zeus is like?”

“Fine. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She yelled, then stormed off. I sat back down on the couch, fuming. But I wouldn’t let Artemis come between me and my family.

She was wrong about Zeus. He’d never leave us. He was better than that… Right?

———–

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All of my doubts about Zeus went out the window as my due date approached. He gave me massages whenever I needed them. He helped me get all of our baby stuff organized to prepare for the arrival. Most of our time together was spent on the couch, just relaxing and talking about our future.

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About a week before my due date, the two of us were watching a movie, but not really paying attention. We were making out while we still had time to ourselves.

But in the middle of our make-out session, I felt a painful twinge in my stomach.

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“Z-Zeus, I think it’s time.” I clutched my stomach.

“What? Are you serious?” He asked, audibly panicked.

“Of course I’m serious, do I look like I’m joking?” I snapped at him.

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“Oh god. Oh god. We’re gonna have a baby. Oh my god.” He grabbed his hair and looked like he was gonna pull it out.

“Can you calm down and go get your mom? We need to get to the hospital.” I urged at him through gritted teeth.

“Okay. I’ll be right back.” He ran off to her office.

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“Grab my bag while you’re at it, Zeus.” I yelled after him. I slowly started making my way to the door so we could get to the hospital as soon as possible.

I was going to have a baby.

————-

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James Jorge Mortem was born six hours later. He was seven pounds even, and he was absolutely perfect. Zeus and I were completely in love with him. I was so excited to start my life with the two of them.

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My life was absolutely perfect.

I just wish it stayed that way.

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Athena Mortem Chapter 7: Positive

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I’d been trying, I really had been. For Zeus, I was doing my best to keep my food in my stomach. Since I stopped wanting it to happen, it happened a lot less. Except for the past week. I couldn’t keep anything down. I was constantly bending over to empty the contents of my stomach into the toilet or a trashcan. I was miserable, and I couldn’t understand why it was happening.

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“Athena?” Zeus asked from behind me, I hadn’t even heard him come in.

“I’m so sorry. I’m trying.” I responded tearfully. I felt awful for letting him down.

“Are you alright? You’ve been getting sick a lot lately.”

“I think I might have some stomach bug.” I mumbled.

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“I’m not doing it on purpose, I swear.” I promised him as I walked towards him.

“I believe you. But this still isn’t healthy. Are you sure your not…?” His voice trailed off.

“Not what? Forcing it?”

“No. Pregnant.”

My heart sank. “No. We were safe, right?” I asked, panicked.

“We were just so caught up…”

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“Oh my god.” My stomach lurched again. “This is bad.”

“I know. But I’ll fix it. You stay here, I’m gonna run to the store to buy a pregnancy test.” He laid a hand on my shoulder. “We’ll go from there, okay?”

“Okay.” I told him. But I didn’t feel like it was going to be okay.

————

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While Zeus ran to the store, I waited in the library. My mind was racing, I couldn’t be pregnant. Zeus and I had only been dating for a few weeks. We were both still in high school, if I was pregnant we’d never graduate or go to college. I’d never be a doctor like I wanted.

My grandma would kill me if I had a baby this young. She’s always been so proud of me, she’s always thought I could do amazing things. But now I’ll just be a teen mom with no high school diploma, working part time at the grocery store or something.

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“Hey, I’m back. I’ve got it.” Zeus showed me the bag from the store when he came up the stairs.

“Thanks.” I said, wiping a tear from my eye. I hadn’t even realized I was crying.

“How’re you doing?”

“Not great. I’m terrified.” I admitted.

“Me too, but we don’t know if we even have something to be scared about. Here, take the test so we know for sure.” He placed the bag on the table.

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I got up to grab it, but stopped and wrapped my arms around him.

“Thank you. Promise me you’ll be here for me, okay?”

“Of course. I’m not going anywhere.” He pulled me closer.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes.” I gave him a quick kiss before heading off to the bathroom.

———–

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“What the hell are we going to do?”

“I mean, abortion is an option, babe. No pressure, though. I just want you to know that’s an option.” Zeus and I sat in the library a few minutes later, after the pregnancy test came up positive.

“I don’t know if I could do that though. I want to go to college and stuff, but I don’t think I could go through with an abortion.” I stressed. I had options, I just didn’t know what option to choose.

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“We should tell my mom. She can help us.” Zeus offered.

“She’s gonna kill us.”

“Maybe not. Sure, she’ll be disappointed, but she’ll want to help. She’ll help us come to a decision.” He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.

“Alright, but not today. I’m not ready to handle that.” I admitted.

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“Soon, though. We don’t want to run out of options.”

———-

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“Y-you’re pregnant?” Winter asked, the shock very apparent in her voice. I kept my head down, I couldn’t look at her. I didn’t want to see the disappointment in her eyes.

“Yes.” I answered timidly.

“How far along are you?”

“Not sure, but the only time we had sex was after homecoming.” I admitted.

“Okay, so you’re not too far along. Have you decided what you’re gonna do?”

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“No, we’re not sure yet. We wanted to ask you for some advice.” Zeus answered for me.

“Well I can’t tell either of you what to do. But I just want you both to know that a baby is a huge responsibility. It’s not fun. You’ll have sleepless nights, you’ll want to rip your face off sometimes.” She started.

“Gee, thanks mom.” Zeus muttered, making me chuckle.

“I don’t mean it like that love.” She giggled. “I love you, but it wasn’t easy. Especially since I was alone. You too have each other, but this is a high school relationship. There’s no guarantee you’ll be together forever.”

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“School isn’t going to be easy with a baby. You’ll have a lot of help from me, Elsa and Sebastian, but the majority of the responsibility will be on you two. You’ll need a job, babies cost money.” She explained.

“Is there any upside to having a kid?” I asked, the way she was talking about it made it seem like having a child was a major burden.

“Oh of course.” Her face lit up. “Having Zeus was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. There’s nothing better than seeing a tiny being that you brought into the world, staring back at you. I’ve never loved anyone like I love my son.”

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“I’m scared that if I have this baby, I won’t feel that way.” I admitted. It was one of my biggest fears about having a baby. What if I didn’t love it?

“Why wouldn’t you?”

“Well my mom didn’t love me. She killed herself right after we were born. I don’t want to do that to my kid.”

“Oh Thena, Natalia had a lot of issues. But she loved you, I know she did. If her circumstances were different, she’d still be here. But unfortunately things didn’t work out that way. You have a great life, a loving family and a stable home. You’ll be fine.”

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“What’s happening in here?” My grandma came in behind me, scaring the crap out of me. I glanced at Zeus. terrified about what I should say. He grabbed my hand under the table and gave me a squeeze.

“We’re just having a talk.” Winter answered.

“Sit down, grandma. You should be a part of this.” I said nervously.

“You’re scaring me.” She bit her lip nervously as she took a seat at the table.

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“What’s going on?”

“I-I’m pregnant.” I told her, and I started to cry, I felt so awful. I knew I was letting her down.

“Oh. Oh my.” She covered her mouth in shock. “Do you know what you want to do yet?”

“I think I want to keep it.”

“That’s a huge, life-long responsibility my dear, are you sure you’re ready for that?” She asked me, obviously concerned.

“Is anyone?”

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“No, I guess not. But if you’re sure this is what you want, I’ll support you.” She sighed. “I mean, I’m not happy, but I know accidents happen. We can make the best out of this.”

“Thank you Grandma.” I smiled at her, maybe this would all work out in the end.

“Oh god, I’m gonna be a grandma.” Winter realized.

“Welcome to the club.” My grandma laughed.

——–

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We all went our separate ways not long after that. Artemis wasn’t home so I had our room to myself. I was terrified. I was having a baby, at fifteen. My life was about to be over, and I was willingly subjecting myself to that. This whole situation was overwhelming.

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Sebastian quietly entered my room and sat down on my bed. He must’ve just gotten home from work.

“My mom told me.”

“Are you disappointed in me?” I asked.

“No. I’m scared for you. I know it’s hard to raise a baby. But I’m gonna help you as much as I possibly can. Because I love you, and I know I’ll love your baby.” He told me with a smile.

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“Thank you.” I told him. “I’m so scared though.”

“I know you are. But you’re Athena Mortem. You’re awesome as hell and I know you can handle anything that gets thrown your way.”

“I hope so.” I said, but I wasn’t sure if I could.

Athena Mortem Chapter 6: Rules

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“Morning.” I quietly walked into Zeus’s room the next morning.

“Morning Thena. How’re you feeling?” He yawned and stretched as he got out of bed.

“Good, you?”

“Good.” He responded, things were only slightly awkward between us.

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“So, if you want, we can pretend last night never happened. If you want to just go back to normal I’ll completely understand.” I said quickly. We both got caught up in our emotions, and I knew Artemis would not be happy.

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“Are you kidding? Last night was amazing, I never want to forget it.” He gave me a cheesy grin.

“Really?”

“Yea, and I was hoping this could actually be a serious thing, if that’s what you want.”

“You mean like, boyfriend and girlfriend?” I asked, stunned.

“Yea.” He answered.

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“I’d love that.” I answered honestly. He leaned forward and gave me a quick kiss.

“But, on one condition.” He said when he pulled back.

“What’s that?”

“Please try to get better. Try to stop throwing up. I’ll help you, if you need it. I just want to make sure you’re healthy.” He told me. I was hesitant, I still wasn’t at my weight-loss goal but I also really wanted to be with him.

“I’ll try.”

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“That’s all I ask.” He grabbed my hand. “But we can’t keep the relationship a secret. I’m not down to sneak around behind my mom and your grandma’s backs.”

“I’m okay with that. They might not be happy about it but they’ll deal.”

“Artemis won’t be too happy either.” He bit his lip nervously.

“No, she won’t.”

“Will you come with me to tell her?” He asked.

“When? Right now?”

“In a little bit, when she’s awake.”

“Sure, but it’s not going to be pretty.”

—————-

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 “Hey Artemis.” Zeus said nervously a little later that day.

“What’s up?” She responded, eyeing me suspiciously.

“Well, since you decided to play an awful prank on Athena here, I comforted her and long story short, we’re dating now.” He explained.

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“You have got to be kidding me! I thought you were better than this, Zeus! She’s disgusting, how could you betray me like this?” Artemis started screaming.

“She’s not disgusting, Artemis! How could you say such terrible things about such an amazing person? What the hell is wrong with you?” Zeus yelled back.

“She’s not amazing, what the hell are you on? I thought you were cool, now you’re just a loser like her.”

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“You’re the loser here, Artemis. You’re constantly talking shit about your sister and its awful. She’s a good person and she doesn’t deserve it.” He glared at her. “You’re probably just jealous of her.”

“I would never! I can’t believe you would say such a terrible thing to me!” She screamed, her voice getting more and more shrill with every word. “This is all your fault, what have you done to my best friend?” Artemis turned to me.

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“I haven’t done anything to anyone!” I snapped. “What you did to me was awful, you’ve caused my entire life to be hell and I deserve to be happy for once.”

“I didn’t expect you to be dumb enough to fall for it! A guy like Ricky would never go for you, I can’t believe you thought you were in his league!” She laughed.

“I don’t care about that anymore, I care about Zeus. We’re dating whether you like it or not!”

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“What the hell is going on down here?” My grandma’s voice asked angrily from behind me. Our screaming must’ve woken her up.

“Zeus and Athena are dating!” Artemis exclaimed with frustration.

“Is this true?” My grandma raised an eyebrow at me, and I nodded.

She sighed. “I knew something like this would happen. Artemis, go to your room. We’ll talk later. Athena, Zeus, sit down on the couch. I’m gonna go wake Winter and we’re all gonna have a chat.”

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“Elsa is it necessary that we do this right now? I just fell asleep.” Winter groaned like a teenager being woken up early.

“Yes dear, our children are dating. They live in the same house, we need to put down some ground rules.” My grandma responded curtly.

“Alright, alright.” She sighed defeatedly. “So obviously no staying in each other’s rooms. Keep the doors open when you hang out. One at a time in the bathroom.” Winter started.

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“This is all pretty standard stuff, Mom.” Zeus rolled his eyes.

“I know dear, but we have to remind you so you don’t try to tell us we didn’t.”

“Take things slow. And keep in mind that if you break up, you still live together. That won’t be easy.” My grandma told us.

“I understand. I’m pretty sure we’re mature enough to handle that.” I answered. At least, I knew I was. I hoped he was too.

“Now that that’s settled, I’m so happy for you guys!” Winter smiled. “Natalia and I always wanted this.” She smiled sadly at the mention of my mom. Grandma placed a hand gently on her shoulder.

“I know, she would’ve loved this. She was a sucker for romance.” Grandma added. They chuckled to themselves and smiled at us.

“Alright, now you guys go about your business. I’m going back to sleep.” Winter said with a laugh.

“I’m gonna go talk to Artemis.” Grandma sighed and headed up the stairs behind Winter.

————-

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Having a boyfriend was awesome. He included me in the things he did, and I finally had someone my age who listened to me. I knew he was sincere, since Artemis trashed his room and he still didn’t break up with me.

Artemis was not happy that we were dating, but she also didn’t want to lose Zeus as a friend so she reluctantly let me tag along with the things they did. I bet she was feeling pretty dumb, her awful prank backfired in the best possible way.

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“Ew, do you guys really have to do that? It’s bad enough that I have to see your face, I don’t want to see it all over my best friend.” Artemis whined from the lawn chairs.

“Shut up Artemis, you and Anson practically hump each other all the time.” Zeus yelled back with a laugh.

“He’s right.” Anson replied, his accent still sending a slight chill down my spine. I just couldn’t place it, and it creeped me out.

“Shut up.” She smacked him on the shoulder, making the rest of us giggle.

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“They’re not that bad Artemis, why do you care so much?” Katherine asked from her beach towel.

“Yea, it almost seems like you’re jealous.” Brooke giggled.

“I am not, shut up! I just don’t like hanging out with Athena.” She admitted.

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“Artemis, you act like she’s literally the devil. Athena’s pretty cool, I don’t see why you dislike her so much.” Hillary chimed in from a raft.

“Jesus, Hil, who’s friend are you?”

“That’s not really the issue here. I can be friends with multiple people. I think you’re just being unreasonable and mean for nothing.” I think everyone was slightly shocked, I didn’t know her very well but she was still standing up for me.

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“Whatever.” Artemis rolled her eyes and pouted. I shrugged at Zeus and jumped in the water. I splashed him until he joined me in the pool. Then it turned into a full on splash war.

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“Hey guys, mind if I get in on this?” Hillary jumped off her raft and swam over to us. I didn’t respond, I just splashed her straight in the face. That move started an all out war between the three of us. I couldn’t remember the last time I had this much fun.

I could feel Artemis glaring daggers into the back of my head, but I ignored her. I was too happy to care.

Athena Mortem Chapter 5: Don’t Say It

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“And then, after all that time Anson and I put into nursing that dog back to health, we had to give him back to his owners. It was pretty traumatizing for nine-year olds.” I invited Ricky over to the house, Artemis was out and I felt comfortable here. We sat on a bench in the backyard and got to know each other.

“Oh my gosh, that does sound traumatizing.” I responded sympathetically.

“It’s alright, after our parents saw how devastated we both were, they each got us our own dog. So in the end it worked itself out.” He chuckled.

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“That’s good.” I smiled at him.

“So, what do you like to do for fun?” He asked.

“Uh, I’m an avid reader. I also like to play video games with my uncle.” I responded.

“That’s cool.”

“Yea, I also like to practice my witchcraft, my grandma just started teaching me my first spells.”

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“Oh, that’s cool. I’ve been learning since I was little, but that’s because I come from a large family so I was constantly surrounded by magic.”

“Do you like your family?” I asked.

“I love them, they’re awesome. I take it you don’t?” He raised an eyebrow.

“My grandma and my uncle, of course. I never knew my parents, and my sister is so awful to me so I don’t really feel like I can love her.” I admitted.

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“That makes sense. I’m sorry you never got to meet your parents. That must be tough.”

“Eh, not really. I never knew them so I didn’t lose anything. I hear a lot about them from my Grandma and Winter.” I explained.

Ricky yawned and just as I turned to face him, his arm collided with my face.

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“Oh gosh, Athena I’m so sorry. I was trying to be smooth, but I guess I failed.” He apologized.

“It’s alright, nothing’s broken.” I giggled as I held my nose.

“I’m still really sorry, I hope it doesn’t hurt too bad.”

“Not really, just a dull pain. It’ll be gone in a few minutes.

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“How about I push you on the swing to make up for it? I promise I won’t hurt you.” He joked, while gesturing to the set right next to us.

“Sure.”

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I sat down on the seat and he started to push me. My mind wandered as I continued to swing. He seemed like such a nice guy, why did people doubt him? There was no way Zeus was right about him. Artemis could never convince a guy this nice to pretend to be interested in me.

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I couldn’t wait for homecoming, and I couldn’t wait to prove everyone wrong.

—————

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“Okay Grandma, be honest, how do I look?” I asked her the night of homecoming. It was my first time showing anyone the dress I bought.

“Oh darling, you look like a princess.” She gasped.

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“You think?” I felt giddy with excitement. “I feel like one.”

“Oh honey, you’re gonna have so much fun. When is this boy coming?”

“Um, in about ten minutes. We should go downstairs and wait for him.” I checked my phone and realized it was almost seven.

—————

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“Athena, I want to make sure you’re prepared okay?” Winter said to me as she sat down on the couch.

“Um, what do you mean?”

“It’s just, if this boy doesn’t show up, don’t take it personally, okay?” She spoke hesitantly.

“He’s gonna show up. He’s a good guy.” I defended.

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“Alright. But I’m here for you if you need me.” She offered.

“Thanks I guess. I just don’t see why everyone doubts him. Am I so terrible that everyone thinks a boy wouldn’t genuinely be interested in me?”

“No of course not sweetie, it just came out of nowhere, that’s all. If he’s sincere then that’s great, but I don’t know if he is.”

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“He just never had the chance to talk to me before. That’s all.”

“Okay, well I’ll wait here with you. I want to meet this boy.”

“That’s fine, I don’t think he’ll mind. He’s sweet.” I smiled at the thought of him. I couldn’t wait to see Ricky is his suit, the two of us would look like a royal couple.

————

*An hour later*

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“He’s just running late.” I said aloud, more to myself than to anyone else. Ricky still hadn’t arrived, and I was starting to fear that everyone was right about him.

“Honey do you want me to drop you off at the dance? He can meet you there later.” My grandma offered sympathetically from across the room.

“No, it’s okay. I don’t want to show up without him. I’ll look like a loser.” I sighed.

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“Oh honey, I’m so sorry.” Winter apologized.

“It’s fine. I’m gonna go wait on the porch.” I told them. I was too embarrassed to stay inside anymore.

“We’ll be in here if you need us.” My grandma said.

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My heart felt like it was shattered. I trusted him, I defended him, and now I look like a fool. I couldn’t believe how stupid I’d been.

—————-

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It was eleven. The dance was over and Ricky never showed up. I was devastated. Zeus was right, and I was so terrible to him about it. Artemis and her friends probably spent the whole night making fun of me and laughing. I bet Ricky was with them.

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“Athena?” Zeus’s voice startled me, I hadn’t even noticed he made it home.

“Just go inside. I don’t want to hear it.” I grumbled.

“Hear what?”

“‘I told you so.’ You were right, it was all just an elaborate prank.” I started to cry again.

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“Hey, I wouldn’t say that. I didn’t want to be right.” Zeus kneeled in front of me. “I just wanted you to be careful. I’m so sorry this happened to you.” He wiped my tears away with his thumbs.

“Do you mean that?” My voiced cracked.

“Of course. I really care about you, Athena. You don’t deserve the shit Artemis gives you.” He scowled. “I promise she’ll pay for this.”

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“Thank you.” I whispered as I threw myself into his arms.

“I’m gonna make her regret this.” He pulled me closer.

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I don’t know if it was just my broken heart, the stars, or how protective of me he was acting, but I could help but kiss him. Luckily, he didn’t resist. He kissed me back with so much passion I felt like I was going to collapse. In that moment, I needed him. I needed him more than I needed oxygen. I needed him more than a fish needs water.

“My mom’s novel deadline is coming up, I’ll bet you she’s pulling an all-nighter. Her room is empty.” He whispered against my lips. Apparently, he needed me too.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yea, she won’t be there. Do you want to?” He asked. I nodded enthusiastically

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.”Athena are you sure you want to do this?” He asked as I sat on his mom’s bed.

“Yes, and I’m not going to change my mind. Now c’mon.” I beckoned him over. He grabbed my face and kissed me delicately.

“Is this your first time?”

“Yes.” I admitted, with a slight blush.

“It’s okay, I’ll be gentle.” He promised with a slight smirk, before climbing onto the bed with me.

Despite it’s terrible start, this night was the best night of my life so far.


A/N: I’m so sorry for the long wait for this chapter. I’ve got half of the next chapter ready so I promise it won’t take as long this time.

Also, I wanted to apologize for the lack of scars on Elsa’s face. She became an elder and the scars weren’t available for her anymore. Oh well. Thanks for reading 🙂

Athena Mortem Chapter 4: Suspicious

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Later that night after dinner, the family sat down to talk. We did this pretty often, with so many of us in the house it was easy to miss out on parts of each others lives.

“So, how was school today kids?” Grandma asked us all.

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“It was great.” I answered with a smile on my face. I couldn’t wait to tell her I’d actually been asked out.

“Oh? And why’s that?”

“I got asked to homecoming!” I exclaimed.

“Oh honey, that’s awesome! Who is he?” She shared my excitement.

“His name is Ricky Fernandez.” I smiled.

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“Ha! Yea right, he’d never like a girl like you.” Artemis laughed.

“Artemis!” My grandma and Winter both scolded at the same time.

“What? He’s one of the cutest guys in school, next to Anson anyway. There’s no way a guy like him would be interested in her.” She said, her voice dripping with disgust.

“Well, I’m happy for you Athena. That’s going to be a really fun night.”

“Thank you, Grandma.” I smiled softly.

“You’re freaking delusional, Athena. It’s pathetic.”

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“Artemis, would it kill you to be nice to your sister for once in your life?” My grandma sighed.

“Probably, yea.” She mumbled.

“If you don’t start changing this attitude, you’re not going to homecoming.”

“That’s not fair!” She whined.

“I think it’s completely fair.” Winter chimed in. “You have such a bad attitude. It needs to change.”

“Whatever.” She crossed her arms and pouted.

“Anyway, what did everyone else do today?” Grandma looked around the table.

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“I tried out for the orchestra. My audition went extremely well, I think I’m gonna get in.” Zeus announced.

“That’s amazing, baby!” Winter wrapped her arm around his shoulder and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

“Mom…” Zeus grumbled, embarrassed.

“Oh chill out.” She laughed. “You’re my only son, I think I have the right to be proud of you.”

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“I passed my math exam today.” Sebastian said proudly.

“That’s a surprise.” Artemis huffed from her end of the table.

“Jesus Artemis, what did I just tell you?” My grandma glared at her. “I swear to God, one more comment like that and you’re not going to homecoming, or any school function for the rest of the year.” Artemis rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything else.

“That’s awesome, Sebastian. You’re really improving.” Winter smiled at my uncle.

“Thank you.” He smiled back, but he was obviously still hurt about what my sister said.

“Can I go to my room now? I really don’t want to be here.” Artemis complained.

“Fine. Goodnight.” My grandma waved her off. “I’m going to be painting in the living room if anyone needs me.” She said, signaling the end of the day talk was over.

—————-

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“Wait, Athena, can I talk to you?” Zeus called out to me before I could reach my room.

“If you’re going to lecture me again, save it. I don’t wanna hear it.” I scoffed.

“No, listen. I need to tell you something. It’s important.”

“Fine.” I gave up and followed him into his room.

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“What is it?”

“Please don’t get angry with me, okay? I’m just trying to look out for you.” He stalled.

“Just tell me.” I sighed.

“I don’t like Ricky genuinely likes you.”

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“You’re such an asshole, Zeus!” I yelled. “Is it really that hard to believe someone would actually have a crush on me? Jesus, you people act like I’m the ugliest person in the world.”

“Athena, it’s not like that, I swear. It’s just, I think Artemis is behind this. I think she bribed him to ask you out.”

“Wow, so you think someone would only ask me out if they were paid?” I was getting angrier and angrier. Why wouldn’t anyone believe someone would actually like me?

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“Athena, I really don’t mean to upset you. I just don’t want to see you get hurt or humiliated.”

“I’m not going to be, stop worrying about me. We’re not even friends, why do you care so much?” I crossed my arms.

“I’ve known you my whole life, I do care about you.”

“That’s hard to believe.”

“Look, if you really want to go to homecoming, come with me. I just don’t think this Ricky guy is good news.”

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“I’m not going to be anyone’s pity date! I’m going with Ricky, because he does actually like me, I know that’s hard for you to grasp. Now please, leave me alone.” I clenched my fists in anger.

“Alright, but if things don’t work out, I’ll be here and the offer is still on the table.”

“Whatever.” I spun on my heel and left the room, still fuming.

————-

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By the next morning, I had managed to calm down enough to talk to my grandma. She was always honest with me, I hoped she would give me some advice on whether or not I should believe Zeus. I thought about it, and it did seem like something my sister would do. But Ricky just seemed so nice, I doubt he’d do something so awful.

“Hey Grandma?” I asked quietly as I entered her room.

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“Hi Sweetheart, everything alright?” She asked while petting Dexter’s head.

“I just wanted to talk to you before school.”

“Come, sit.” She patted the spot on the bed next to her.

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“What’s up?”

“Well, Zeus pulled me into his room last night and told me he thinks Artemis paid Ricky to ask me to homecoming. He doesn’t think Ricky actually likes me.”  I sighed. “What do you think?”

“Do you really know this boy?”

“Not really, I’ve only really talked to him a few times but he seems really nice.”

“Do you trust Zeus’s judgement?”

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“Honestly, not really.” I admitted.

“And why is that?”

“Because, he acts like a jerk when he’s around Artemis and he tries to be nice when it’s just us. It’s sketchy and I don’t like it.”

“Understandable. I wouldn’t trust someone who did that either. If you’re having doubts about this boy, maybe you should get to know him a little better before you make any decisions.” She suggested.

“Okay. I’ll ask if he wants to hang out after school today.”

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“Great idea. I’d say bring him over here, but we’re always full of teenagers and I bet you’d prefer somewhere private. It’s hard to get to know someone in a huge group.”

“Yea, and like I’d ever willingly hang out with Artemis and her group.” I chuckled.

“Well, we should get going. I hope you have a good day, Sweetheart.”

“You too Grandma, thanks for listening.”

“Anytime.” She smiled and kissed me on the head before heading out to start her day. I scratched Dexter behind the ears while I thought about the day ahead of me. Asking him to hang out was a good idea, but it was also kinda nerve-wracking. I just hoped Zeus’s suspicions were wrong.

Athena Mortem Chapter 3: Why Me?

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“Are you sure you guys have to leave for the whole weekend?” I asked Winter as I sprawled across her bed.

“Sorry kiddo, your grandma and I need to go to this meeting, you know we have to help keep the human government and the wolves out. They need all the adult witches they can get and your grandma and I are running the whole thing.” Winter explained as she fixed up her face in the mirror.

“Can I come with you? Maybe I could help.” I wanted to do anything I could to get out of the house for the weekend, the thought of being home while Artemis and her friends had a party sounded like hell.

“I wish you could, Thena, but it’s just for adults. If anything were to happen we wouldn’t want the kids getting hurt.”

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“Yea, I get it. I’m just not looking forward to spending the weekend alone with Artemis.” I sighed. It was no secret that my sister and I didn’t get along.

“I know, and I’m sorry. You could always stay upstairs with Sebastian. You guys can have the game room, the gym and the library to yourselves.” She suggested.

“Yea that’s true, I guess I’m worried about what she’ll try to do to me without anyone watching us.”

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“Call us if anything goes down, we’ll come home as soon as possible. Also, call us if she throws a party, I know that girl and I know she’ll try.”

“I will.” I lied, I knew if I snitched on my sister I’d be getting my fair share of stitches. Also, the cutest guy in school was coming to her party. Even though I knew I had absolutely no chance with him, I at least wanted to get a glance at him.

“Good, I trust you and Sebastian. Artemis and Zeus on the other hand, well they’ve been trouble lately.” That was a bit of an understatement, if you ask me.

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Winter walked over and sat in the reading chair across from me. “So, how’ve things been?” She asked.

“Good.” I responded curtly. I knew she was worried, I didn’t have any friends other than Sebastian and I spent most of my time at the library here or the public one. My grandma wasn’t really around much either, she was always working to make sure we had a good life.

“That’s good, but if you ever need anything your grandma and I are here for you.”

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“Thanks, Winter.” I smiled at her.

“Well,” She stood up, after realizing I wasn’t going to open up to her. “I’m gonna go get your grandma, we’ll be out of here in a few. We’ll come say goodbye.” She turned on her heel and headed out of her bedroom.

I sighed and pulled myself off her bed. My weekend of hell was about to begin, and I needed to find cover before shit hit the fan.

————

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Sebastian, Dexter and I holed up in my room in front of the TV. We could feel the vibrations from the music downstairs pulsating through the floor. We were tense, the party was just starting, it was just Artemis and her friends so far, but they were already getting rowdy.  We were hoping they would be too focused on each other to come up here and bother us.

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 “Hey, Thena, can I ask you something?” Neither of us were paying attention to the movie, so I didn’t mind his interruption.

“Of course.”

“Do you think Artemis is right?” He bit his nail nervously.

“What about?”

“Y’know, how she’s always telling her friends I’m retarded. Is she right? Am I?” Sebastian was autistic and had ADHD, but that did not give my sister the right to use slurs against him.

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“She is not right, not at all. She’s an ignorant, terrible person. Never listen to her.” I was trying to stay calm, I didn’t want him to misinterpret my anger as anger towards him. I hated her, and how she could make my amazing best friend doubt himself.

 “Okay.” He avoided eye contact and started to pet Dex.

“Why do you ask? Did someone say something?”

“No, I was just thinking. You always take what she says personally. I thought maybe I was missing something, like maybe she was right about me.” He explained. My heart broke, I never knew that he noticed I took what she said to heart.

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“If I stop believing what she says, will you too?” I offered. It would be hard for me not to, but I had to try for him.

“Ok, I promise.” He looked up at me and smiled, then continued to pet Dex.

————–

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After we finished our movie, Sebastian decided to go to bed. Since everyone else was downstairs partying, I decided to work out in the home gym. I was down to a hundred pounds, and my goal was ninety. I wanted to look good in a dress for Homecoming, which was coming up soon. Not that I’d get asked, but I could still go stag.

Halfway through my workout, the gym door opened from behind me.

“Hey, this floor is off limits.” I called out, assuming it was one of Artemis’s annoying friends.

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“Oh, sorry. You just have such a nice house, I thought I’d take a break from the party to explore a little.” A familiar voice responded from behind me. Richie Fernandez, the hottest guy in school. Also, the cousin of Artemis’s boyfriend, Anson.

“Oh, it’s ok. I can see why you’d need a break, it seems like parties can be a little overwhelming.” I took a deep, shaky breath as I turned off the treadmill. He was so cute, I didn’t have a chance with him but I still didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of him.

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“Have you never been to a party before?” He asked, and I realized I probably seemed like a huge loser.

“Well, not really. Artemis has had a few parties before, but I’ve never actually been a part of them. We’re not exactly besties.” I admitted.

“She can be hard to get along with.” He chuckled. “Your name’s Athena, right?”

“Yea. Yours is Richie?” I asked, and he nodded. “Well it’s nice to meet you, I’ve seen you around school but we’ve never actually spoken.”

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“Well that’ll have to change, you seem very sweet, Athena.” He flashed a smile, making my heart skip a beat.

“T-thank you.”

“I’ll see you around, have a good night.” He smiled again and walked out with a wave. I stood there a few seconds, trying to process what happened. I couldn’t believe that someone like him would want to talk to me.

————-

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“Really, Richie Fernandez?” Sebastian scratched his head early the next Monday after the party. I didn’t tell him until now, because I didn’t want Artemis or Zeus to find out.

“Yea, he talked to me, and he wasn’t mean at all. I still don’t believe it.”

“Do you think he likes you?”

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“I don’t think so, he was probably just being nice. I mean, why would he go for me when there are so many pretty girls at this school?” I gestured over to Artemis’s group.

“You’re pretty, Athena.”

“Thank you, but not like them.”

“I think so. Maybe he wants to ask you to homecoming.” He smiled.

“I really doubt that, Seb.”

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“Oh gosh, he’s here.” I said as Richie walked into the school. Sebastian started to turn around but I stopped him. “Don’t look, he’ll know we’re talking about him.”

“Oh, ok. That makes sense.” He chuckled.

“Oh god, he’s coming over here.” I took a deep breath as I noticed him heading in our direction.

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“Uh, hey Athena.” Richie smiled his famous smile at me as he approached.

“Hey Richie, how was the rest of your weekend?” I asked.

“Good, thanks for asking. I was wondering if I could talk to you?” He looked over at Sebastian, as if cueing him to leave.

“Hey Seb? Why don’t you head to class, I’ll talk to you during lunch,okay?”

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“Oh, okay. See you then.” He understood that we needed a minute alone. He walked off to class and gave me a smile and a wink before heading up the stairs.

“He’s your uncle, right?” Richie asked when Sebastian was out of sight.

“Yea, but he’s only a few years older than me, so I consider him more of a brother than an uncle.”

“Oh, cool.” He moved into the space where Sebastian was standing only a few moments earlier.

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“So, I wanted to ask you something.” My heart almost stopped, what could he possibly want to ask me?

“W-what is it?”

“Well I don’t have a date for homecoming yet, and I was wondering if you would be mine?”

I’m pretty sure this time my heart actually did stop. Was I dreaming? This couldn’t be real. Why me, of all the girls in the school? Why would the cutest guy in school choose me?

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After a few seconds, I realized I hadn’t given him an answer. “Y-yes! I’d love too.” I responded, maybe a little too enthusiastically.

“Awesome, I’ll pick you up that night at seven.”

“Sounds great. I can’t wait.” I smiled nervously at him.

“Me too, it’ll be fun.” He winked at me, then headed off for his morning class. As he walked away, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Athena Mortem Chapter 2: Weak

Warning: Body image issues

*A Few Years Later*

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Despite how much I wanted things to change as Artemis and I got older, they didn’t. In fact, things got worse. I tried everything I could to get my sister to like me, but no matter what she always still hated me.

Finally, after so many years of trying to be nice to her, I realized what I had to do. She always called me dumb, ugly, and fat, so all I had to do to get her to like me was to be smart, pretty and skinny. I was getting straight A’s now, but I just couldn’t figure out how to be pretty or skinny.

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“Mew”  Dexter’s adorable cat voice pulled me away from my laptop screen. My grandma had gotten him as a birthday present for me, she told me that every young witch needs a familiar. She offered to get my sister one, but she laughed and said she was too busy having a real life to have time for a familiar or anything witch related.

“Hey, Bud.” I smiled at him and rubbed his soft little belly.

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Suddenly, he jumped up and folded down his ears.

“What’s wrong, Dex?” I asked, obviously not expecting an answer. It was a few seconds before I heard what he was hearing. My sister was home, and she brought her friends. I hoped they wouldn’t come in here, I had homework to do and I hated when they kicked me out.

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Luckily, they went to the balcony. I’d still be able to hear their loud, obnoxious chatter, but at least I wouldn’t have to find a new place to work.

Carefully, I looked out the window to see who was all there.

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The usual three girls were with her, as well as Zeus and Artemis’s new boyfriend, who I still hadn’t learned the name of. I probably shouldn’t even bother, she went through them faster than underwear.

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“Hey guys, my Grandma and Zeus’s mom are going out of town for some witch bullshit this weekend, we should totally throw a party.” My twin suggested to her friends. I knew the minute my grandmother told me she would be out of town that this would happen.

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“I am so down, want me to bring the booze?” The unnatural redhead, Katherine, offered. From what little I knew of my sister’s friends, I knew that her parents owned a bar so it was easy for her to steal alcohol.

“Hell yea, what kind of party would this be without it?” Artemis laughed.

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“What about your sister? Isn’t she like, gonna be around?” The blonde one, Brooke I think, asked. My stomach twisted, I hated when I was brought up around them. Part of me knew I should walk away from the window and stop listening, but the rest of me wanted to hear what they had to say despite how awful it would be.

“Yea, she’ll be here. But don’t worry, that loser won’t be allowed to party with us. I’ll make sure she stays upstairs with her only friend, the cat.” She joked, making them all laugh.

“But like, won’t she tell your grandma?”

“Athena is like, terrified of me. She knows I’d beat the shit out of her if she ratted me out. I’ve done it before.” She bragged, as if abusing your sister was something to brag about. They all laughed, I really couldn’t see how they could find amusement in someone else’s pain.

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“Yea, I’ve seen it a few times. It’s pretty hilarious. We’ve got nothing to worry about with her, she’s way too weak to stand up to her.” Zeus laughed.

“God, how is she even your sister? She’s so lame.” Katherine asked, causing an outbreak of giggles once more.

“Honestly, I don’t even know. I’m just glad she got all the fat and ugly in the womb. I would probably kill myself if I looked like her.”

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I could feel the small lunch I managed to choke down coming back up. They said stuff like this all the time, why did it still effect me so much?

As I was looking out the window, one of Artemis’s friend looked over and made eye contact with me. Stunned, I jumped back and almost fell over. Artemis was going to kick my ass for eavesdropping.

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The one who noticed me listening, Hillary, hadn’t said anything yet. I bit my tongue as I waited for her to tell my sister, it would only be seconds before my sister dragged me outside and beat me up in front of her friends.

“Hey, Artemis?” Hillary started, making my breath catch in my throat. I should’ve ran and hid, but I was too afraid to move.

“Yeah Hil? What’s up?”

“I was just wondering, what time for the party this weekend? I have a prior commitment but I think I might be able to make it.” She asked. I was extremely confused, there was no doubt that she saw me listening. Why didn’t she tell her? Why did she steer the conversation away from me?

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“Well, any time after like nineish should be ok. I just wanna make sure my grandma is like, too far out of town to come back early and find us. You know what I mean?”

“Yea, yea. That makes sense. I’ll definitely be able to make it then.” She smiled brightly at my sister. Maybe she’d tell her now? I held my breath again, waiting for the ball to drop.

“Awesome. How about you babe, will you be able to come.” Artemis asked the blonde boy she was sitting on.

“Wouldn’t miss it.” He responded. He had an unfamiliar accent, I couldn’t place it and it kinda gave me the creeps. I couldn’t really explain why though.

“Good, I need someone to keep my retarded uncle and fatass sister out of the party areas.” She giggled and played with his hair, flirting stupidly like she did with every single guy she’s dated.

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My blood boiled, the way she spoke about Sebastian pissed me off. I hated that word. Especially used in that context. I wanted to punch her, but instead, I felt my lunch rising in my throat once again. This time, I knew it wouldn’t go away.

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Luckily, I had thrown up so much that it didn’t hurt much anymore. When it first started, I had to force a finger down my throat a few times to make sure I got everything out. Now my body did it on its own. I was glad, sticking a finger in there was gross and uncomfortable.

I knew what I was doing was unhealthy. I knew it could kill me. But I didn’t care. Maybe, if I got skinny enough, my sister would stop hating me so much. I tried exercise and eating healthy, but Artemis would just mock the way my fat bounced when I tried. So I stuck to vomiting and exercising until I almost passed out, when Artemis wasn’t home of course.

No one in my family noticed yet, though. I hadn’t lost enough weight and I was good about hiding it. I hoped they would never find out, because then I’d have to stop. I didn’t want to. I couldn’t.

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As soon as I finished I pulled myself into a sitting position. I started to cry, the things my sister and her friends said about me finally came into effect. I just couldn’t understand, why do some people have to be so mean? Why be mean to someone when you can be nice? If you’re nice, then you both feel good. I wished my sister thought more like I did.

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I soon finished and calmed down enough to exit the bathroom. To my surprise, I almost ran right into someone as I came out of the door.

“Sorry Zeus. I didn’t see you there.” I apologized to my housemate.

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“No need to be sorry.” He leaned casually against the wall.

“Oh, ok.” I responded awkwardly. I never really knew how to act around boys.

“Everything ok? You were in there a while.” He smirked slightly. I narrowed my eyes, I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew what he shouldn’t.

“I’m fine, I was just cleaning up.”

“Don’t bullshit me, Athena. I know what you’re doing.” To my surprise, he actually looked a little concerned.

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“Oh? What do you think I’m doing?” I crossed my arms angrily.

“You’ve been making yourself throw up.”

“No I haven’t.” Technically, it wasn’t a lie since my body did it on its own now.

“You know you don’t have to, right? You’re perfectly fine.” He ignored my defense and continued talking. “Artemis is a bitch, she’s just jealous because she knows you’re better looking and you’re smarter. She only does this so she can get the upperhand.”

“Yea, but I’m way too weak to stand up to her, right?” I quoted what he said earlier to the group and his face paled.

“I-I didn’t mean that, Athena. I have to be on her side, or she’ll beat me up too. You remember the dollhouse.”

“So you just let her continue to do it all to me? Wow Zeus, you’re my hero.” I rolled my eyes and walked away. It was a lot easier to stand up to him, I knew he wouldn’t hurt me like Artemis would. I just hoped he wouldn’t tell her about my bulimia.