Athena Mortem Chapter 15: One For Another

We’d been out searching all day. Warehouse after warehouse, barn after barn. So far, we’d turned up nothing. Just spiderwebs, straw, and old logs. We hadn’t come any closer to finding my baby boy. It was starting to get discouraging. I was losing hope. But I wouldn’t admit that to anyone. I wasn’t coming home without my son, and I meant that. There was no way I could spend another night in that house without him.

“Okay, this is one of the last warehouses around here, Thena.” Hillary told me hesitantly. I thought maybe she could sense my discouragement, I just hoped she wasn’t getting discouraged too.

“Maybe we should head back after this one.” Sebastian suggested. “It’s started to rain, we shouldn’t get sick right now.”

“No. You guys can go home without me, I’m not going back without James.” I knew I was being stubborn, and probably very stupid. But I couldn’t stand the thought of my son out in the world without me.

“We’re not leaving you out here alone. We’re going back when you’re going back.” Hillary was just as stubborn as I was.

“Alright, then lets get moving.” I ushered for them to follow me into the warehouse.

“Oh god.” Hillary’s hand shot up to her nose. The stench inside the warehouse was absolutely horrific. It was full to the brim with trash and boxes. The smell was like death mixed with garbage.

“Well, I guess we better start looking.” Artemis sighed. We started to fan out to search, but something stopped us in our tracks.

Voices.

Upstairs, we heard the soft murmur of a few different voices. Everyone looked at me, and I used two fingers to point towards the stairs.

I slowly started to move up the stairs. The voices were still talking, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. My heart was pounding. What was I going to find at the top of these stairs? Squatters? People just looking for shelter in the rain? Or was I going to find that man, and my son?

Was I prepared to do whatever I needed to get my son back?

I was about to find out.

I gestured for everyone to follow me up the stairs. Hillary was directly behind me, it was a comfort to have her so close. Having her there made this easier, I knew she would do anything to help me get my son back. It was reassuring.

We all got to the top of the stairs, and everything fell apart. Artemis immediately started to break down. Hillary and I started yelling, Zeus threatening lives.

My son. He was there. His head was shaved and all he was wearing was a diaper, but I knew it was him.

He was sitting in the middle of some weird sigil, surrounded by people dressed alike and reaching for candles.

And we knew some of them.

The man who’d been calling me, I finally realized where I knew his voice from.

It was Anson Fernandes, my sister’s fiance.

“You motherfucker, what the hell is wrong with you?” I screamed at him. I always knew he was slightly creepy, but I didn’t think he’d do something like this.

“Ah, dear Athena. So you’ve found us. I told you not to come looking for me. It’s sad, really. I didn’t want to have to kill you.” He sighed, like he was being asked to do a mundane task for a boss, not willingly commit murder. “And you, my dear Artemis. I’m so sorry you had to find out this way.”

“Fuck you.” She sobbed. My heart broke for her.

“Ah, that’s no way to talk to your fiance.” He smirked, then laughed maniacally. “I guess I’m gonna have to kill you too. All of you actually. This’ll be fun.”

“Leader, should we…?” The pretty blond woman next to him trailed off.

“Yes.”

And just like that, everything dissolved into chaos.

His people jumped up and formed a line, immediately shooting off spells at my people. We all jumped into formation as well. Each on of us with an opponent. Athena and Hillary took on the two girls, Sebastian and Brooke took on two of the guys. Zeus took on Ricky, the guy who stood me up for homecoming. I thought it was slightly fitting.

And I, I took on Anson. I wanted to kill the son of a bitch.

All of the rage I’d been feeling the past few days came to a head. All I saw was red. I needed blood, and I was going to get it.

I immediately started with the strongest blinding spell I knew. I wanted to blind that asshole, I wanted my enraged face to be the last thing he ever saw. I was going to do whatever I could to destroy him.

But by the time my spell reached him, he’d reduced it to sparkles.

“You idiot, you think you can defeat me? I’m the strongest witch of the century. Your pathetic little spells won’t even affect me.” Anson laughed.

“You can’t defeat me. I’ll always win. My followers? They’re expendable. I’ll get new ones. But you can’t get new friends.” He laughed.

“Ricky, do it.”

Ricky drew back his wand and prepared to aim. I wasn’t sure what he was aiming for or what he was supposed to be doing, but I intended to find out.

But my attention was pulled away from him and back to my opponent, when my wand went flying out of my hands. Anson had used a spell to fling my wand across the room.

I looked back to him, and he was suddenly on top of the creepy alter. There was no way he could’ve climbed up there in the second I looked away from him. Maybe he really was the best witch of the century. Normal witches were not strong enough for teleportation.

“Athena, I will spare you. Your friends, they’ve maimed all my followers. They’ve won the battle. Except you. You can’t defeat me, you can’t kill me. There’s nothing you can do about it. You’re going to have to live the rest of your pathetic life knowing that you couldn’t kill the man who kidnapped your son.” He chuckled. “And well, I think the repercussions of this battle will be punishment enough.”

“I will fucking kill you, even if I have to do it with just my hands. You’re not going to get away with this.” I growled. I started to come for him, but was frozen in place. He’d managed to do a freezing spell without lifting his wand or even saying anything aloud.

“Ah Athena, you’re so naive. You really think I’d let you get close enough to do that?” He laughed. “I’ll be back. For both of you.” He stared at me for a few seconds, but it felt like it went on forever. He had such a creepy, dead look in his eyes. It was like there was nothing but pure evil behind them.

And with that, he jumped over the railing and into the pool of garbage on the floor below. I turned to rush down the stairs, to follow him, but I was stopped dead in my tracks by a scream.

“Zeus! Zeus no!” My sister screamed in such a way it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Artemis kept screaming his name over and over. Hillary was crouched next to her, trying to get her attention. Trying to comfort her. Brooke was latched onto Sebastian, crying into his chest.

We’d defeated all of Anson’s followers, but not without a casualty of our own.

Zeus Garnet, my first love and the father of my child, lay dead on the cold, disgusting floor of that old warehouse.

Before I even really registered what I was doing, I ran over to him. I pulled him into my arms. I’d never felt anyone so limp in my life, his head just flopped right over. It made my stomach turn, I thought I would puke. The feeling was so different from the usual strong and comforting way of his body. It didn’t even really feel like him.

“Zeus, Zeus.” I couldn’t cry anymore, not after the past few days. I was numb. “I’m so sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. I wish we could’ve worked things out. I wish we could’ve co-parented.”

No one could really hear what I was saying. Artemis was having a full-blown breakdown. I didn’t blame her. Her fiance was an evil mastermind, and now her best friend of all time was dead.

I was glad no one could hear me though. This was just between me and Zeus.

“I’m so sorry. I know you wanted your son to have two parents, unlike us. Fuck, I’m so sorry.” I pulled his limp, cooling body to my chest. “I really did love you, Zeus. I always will.”

I held him close to me for a while. I lost track of time and my surroundings.

Despite all the noise, a tiny little voice pulled me out of it.

“M-mama?” My little James. He sounded so small, so terrified. Gently, I laid Zeus back down on the ground.

“Baby, it’s okay, Mama’s here.”

I scooped my son up into my arms. He clung to me, as I did him. I held him so tight, I never wanted to let him go.

“Mama.” He sobbed into my chest. He was scared, his entire body was trembling.

“It’s okay my love, you’re safe now.” I told him. I wasn’t going to let anything happen to my baby ever again.

“Athena, we should leave. He might come back for us. And we don’t know if these people are dead, knocked out, or stunned. We should get out while we can.” Sebastian interrupted my moment, but I knew he was just looking out for us.

“We can’t leave without Zeus.” I told him sternly.

“We won’t. I’ll take him.” He offered.

It was dark when we left the warehouse a few minutes later. It didn’t seem like that much time had passed, it felt like everything that happened only happened within the span of a few minutes. But it must’ve been at least an hour.

As we left, I scanned the entire area multiple times. I was anticipating Anson behind every tree and around every corner. Maybe he’d changed his mind, maybe he wanted to kill us all after all. But I didn’t see him anywhere.

I hoped no one saw us, because we looked like such a mess. A dead man, multiple crying woman, and a terrified mother clutching onto her son for dear life.

I was dreading our return home. As happy as I was to have my son back, I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with the aftermath.

I couldn’t fathom having to tell Winter her son died to make sure my son got home okay.

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Athena Mortem Chapter 14: We Can’t Be Sitting Ducks

It was about five in the morning, usually normal people would be asleep at that time. But we were no longer normal people. We no longer had lives, at least for the time being. For now, there was no such thing as work or school. There was nothing outside of this situation. All we did was sit around and wait.

What were we waiting for? My toddler to just walk through the front door? Sure, there were police officers leading search parties, but I knew it was fruitless. They wouldn’t find Jj out in the corn fields. They wouldn’t find him out there. Someone had him, and we needed to be doing more to track this person down.

After the events of the day before, none of us could sleep. Zeus, Artemis, Hillary and I sat on the floor of Hil’s bedroom. I still couldn’t figure out why Hillary telling me she loves me as her best friend was so heartbreaking, but that was at the back of my mind. For the most part.

Otherwise, we were just basically sitting in silence.

“Am I the only one who thinks this is bullshit?” Hillary aggressively broke the stifling silence. “Why do they want us to just sit here? We should be helping, we should be trying to track this motherfucker down, not comb through crop fields.”

“Don’t you think the police know what they’re doing?” Zeus retorted, defensively.

“Do you really still think they know what they’re doing? They’re not doing shit, they’re not trying to track this call, they’re not searching houses or sketchy areas. Just crop fields. It’s bullshit.”

“That is fucking bullshit. We should be out there doing something.” Artemis slammed her fist down on the ground. “We shouldn’t just sit here, Athena, we should be out there finding your son.” She spoke to me and only me, implying I was his only parent here.

“We can’t just rely on these incompetent desk jockies to find your son. We need to be proactive.” She sighed. “I’m down to go out searching if you are.”

“B-but the caller…” I trailed off. I wasn’t supposed to look for him. He told me not to come after Jj, that he’d know if I did. “He said not to.”

“How will he know?” Artemis scoffed.

“He’s probably watching me. Hell, he’s probably been watching me for months.” I sighed.

“We can’t just be sitting ducks, Thena. We need to look in different places, not just the fields.” Hillary chimed in. “I don’t think anything is gonna happen.”

“I can’t risk it. I don’t know what that man is capable of.”

“Then you stay here. We’ll go out, we’ll look for him ourselves.” Zeus had seemingly changed his mind, perhaps Hillary had swayed him. She was a very passionate, persuasive person. She could basically convince anyone to do anything.

“Yea, you stay here, watch the phone. Make sure he doesn’t call again. And if he’s watching us, he’ll know you’re not coming with us.” Hillary explained.

“I don’t know…” I thought it sounded like a bad idea.

“I don’t want to just sit here and wallow, either.” I addressed Hillary directly. “It sucks, it’s the fucking worst but I don’t want to go out there and risk my life or my son’s life.” I sighed.

“We’re not gonna let that happen, Athena. We’re going to make sure our little Jj gets back here safe and sound.” Hillary told me confidently. I wanted to believe her, I really did. But was it really worth the risk?

“Where would we even look?”

“There are a lot of old warehouses on the edge of the forest, it used to be a lumber yard until they shut the company down to conserve the forest. There are also a lot of abandoned farm houses on the outskirts of town.” She explained. “If some creep from out of town is holding him somewhere, it would probably be in a place like that.

I had to keep myself from crying after hearing that, the image of my little baby in a gross, dangerous warehouse was enough to make me scream. But I couldn’t.

“I’ll go, but we’re waiting until later. I want to wait for Sebastian.” My uncle had been out of town, on a vacation with his girlfriend. I hated that this was cutting their trip short, but I was grateful he was coming. I missed him, I needed him right now.

“We can do that.” Hillary smiled softly. “Anything you want, you’re in charge of this mission.”

“Okay.” I smiled slightly at her. She smiled back at me, making my heart flutter for a reason I could not explain.


It wasn’t long after we decided to go out to look for Jj on our own that Artemis and Hillary suggested we rest up before going out. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to sleep, but I was going to try anyway. Artemis was the first out of the door, heading to my bedroom where I offered to let her sleep with me.

But on my way out, the door quickly shut behind me, leaving Zeus and Hillary alone. I stopped in front of it for a second, eavesdropping.

“Hey, Hillary.” I heard Zeus say sleazily, I’d never heard him use that tone before.

“Yes?” She responded, sounding slightly confused.

“I was wondering, if after this whole mess is over, would you like to go out?” He asked her. My heart dropped to my feet. My ex, asking out my best friend.

“Um, are you serious right now?” Hillary retorted in disgust. My heart lept back up into my chest as she said that. It felt good to hear him get rejected. Especially by her.

“What?”

“Your son is missing, and you’re calling that ‘this whole mess’ and asking me out when its over? That’s fucking sleazy.”

“What? It’s sleazy to think this is all going to work out okay? It’s sleazy to want to celebrate that with a pretty girl?” He pleaded. I internally chuckled, he sounded so pathetic.

“I’m not interested, get out of my room.” Hillary demanded sternly. I leapt away from the door, anticipating Zeus’s exit.

But before he could even leave the room, the house phone rang.

Everyone came running from their respective rooms. Even Dexter came running from my room behind Artemis.

Within seconds, I was in front of that phone. My heart was pounding so loudly in my ears, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to hear whoever was on the other line.

“Hello?” I answered confidently. If this was the man who was holding my son, I didn’t want him to give the satisfaction of knowing he was upsetting me.

“Ah, Athena, how are you?” That smooth, creepy voice poured through the phones speaker. It sent shivers down my spine, because I recognized it from somewhere. I just could not for the life of me place where.

“What the fuck do you want from me?” I snapped. I didn’t want to play his fucking games. I just wanted to know where my son was.

“Oh, Athena. That’s no way to talk to someone doing you a favor. I called to let you talk to James.” The man laughed slightly. “I wanted to let you say goodbye.”

“What the fuck do are you talking about?” I started to panic. We should’ve left earlier, we had to find him as soon as possible. “What do you mean ‘goodbye’?”

“James Jorge is our son now. And tonight, since it’s the full moon, James Jorge will be descending into hell. He is a crucial sacrifice to our one and only.” He sounded absolutely batshit crazy.

“I swear to god, if you hurt him, I will tear you limb from limb with my bare hands.” I threatened. The thought of my son being… sacrificed… made me incredibly angry. I was ready to fight.

“Your god can’t help you now, Athena. And since you’ve been so awfully rude to me, I don’t think I’ll let you speak to James. Except, one goodbye.” He laughed, and I heard some slight scuffling on the other line.

“Say, goodbye Mama.” The creepy man urged from a distance.

“Goodbye Mama!” Jj’s precious little voice came through the phone set. I nearly lost my shit.

“James, I love you baby. I’m gonna find you, I’m gonna save you. I promise.” I told him as fast as I could.

The phone call came to an abrupt end. The man must’ve heard me promising him things, and ended the call. My heart sunk. Hearing my little boy’s voice again was too much to bare. I had to go and find him, and I had to go now.

“C’mon, we’re going.” I gestured towards Zeus, Artemis, and Hillary.

“Without Sebastian?” Hillary asked.

“He can welcome Jj back home.” I clenched my jaw. I wasn’t coming back without him.

We grabbed our wands, and stormed out the front door. I almost broke the thing off the damn hinges, but I didn’t care. I was enraged, and I needed to find my son. But as soon as we got out onto the front lawn, we were surprised by someone we hadn’t expected to see until later.

“Um, hey.” Sebastian stood at my gate awkwardly, unsure of what to do or say. Brooke, his girlfriend and one of Artemis’s best friends, stood behind him. She was visibly upset, she looked as if she was going to cry.

Sebastian started to take a few steps towards me. “Are you alright?”

I flung myself at him. I had never been so glad to see him in my life. We’d grown apart a little since Jj was born, and since I’d moved out. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. But none of that mattered now. He was here, and it felt like the best thing in the world.

“I’m not.” I answered honestly. “But I’m so glad you’re here.” I hugged him as tightly as I could without hurting him. He hugged me back, which I really appreciated, considering he didn’t like physical affection very much.

“Where were you all going?” Sebastian asked me as I buried my face into his chest.

“We were going out to look for Jj on our own. We don’t have much time. They’re going to hurt him tonight.” I told him. I heard Brooke sob sharply behind him.

“Well, we better get going then.” He let go of me and dropped his arms. “Do we have a specific area we’re searching?”

“Hillary wants to look in the old warehouses.”

“Well, it’s a good thing Brooke and I brought our wands. Let’s go get Jj back.” He smiled softly at me and immediately turned to leave.

I was so glad I had such a confident, capable group of witches with me. We were going to find my son and get him home safely.

I was also going to tear apart the son of a bitch who took him in the first place.

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 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 1: Dollhouse Prom

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While Grandma was away at work, she made Artemis, Zeus and I play in the livingroom. Winter was still working on her novel, but instead of being cooped up in her office, she used the family computer so she could make sure everything was ok.

Artemis and Zeus dragged my dollhouse downstairs, well technically Zeus did while my sister bossed him around. They always played with my dollhouse, I never really got to use it because Artemis always took it from me.

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“Can I play with you?” I asked, as I always did. There was no doubt in my mind that the answer would be no, but I still held some hope that my twin would come around.

She didn’t answer, she just pretended not to hear me.

“Uh hey, Missy? Athena asked you a question.” Zeus nervously informed her. She scoffed and rolled her eyes.

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“Yea I know, I heard.” She sneered and finally looked up at me. “You know I don’t like playing with fat, ugly trolls! Stop asking!” She shouted angrily.

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“Hey! Artemis that is not ok.” Winter scolded without even looking away from her screen.

“She started it.”

“No she didn’t, I’ve been sitting here the whole time. Apologize.”

“Fine, I’m sorry that you’re fat and ugly.” Artemis stuck her tongue out at me.

“I’m warning you Artemis. Stop. Apologize again.”

“I’m sorry.” She mumbled.

“It’s ok.” I said softly, not wanting to upset her. “I’ll just go play video games.” I sighed. There was no way they were gonna help me do something special for grandma now, and there was no way I could pull off something great by myself.

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Video games weren’t all that fun alone, usually I had someone to play with, but Sebastian was still at school. He usually stayed late for tutoring. He’d be home any minute though, and then we could play video games until he had to leave again.

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It was only a few minutes later when he came stomping through the door, visually frustrated with the amount of snow outside.

“I hate the snow. Why does it have to snow all the damn time?” He frowned and threw his backpack and coat on the ground.

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“Hey Sebby, wanna play?” I waved my controlled at him. Hopefully I could cheer him up.

His face immediately lit up. “Hell yea! But only for a little bit, I have to get ready for the school dance tonight.”

“Okay!” I smiled and handed him a controller.

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“How was school?” I asked as we started a new round.

“Stupid as usual. I hate sitting around all day.” He sighed and flipped his hair. “How was school for you?”

“Good, we’re starting a new book in class.” I responded excitedly.

“Oh cool, what book?”

“Charlotte’s Web.” I was practically bouncing up and down with excitement.

“Oh that’s a great movie, never read the book though.”

“Me either, I’m excited.”

“That’s awesome.” He smiled at me. I knew he hated reading, he could never really sit still long enough to finish a chapter book, but he loved seeing me excited about things.

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“Artemis, can we go play video games? That looks fun.” I hear Zeus whisper quietly to my sister.

“What? Are you serious?” She yelled, slamming the doll on the floor. “No! I can’t believe you asked me that!”

“W-why can’t we?”

“Because we don’t play with ugly people or idiots.” She scoffed, glaring at me and our uncle.

“Sorry, but I like video games more than dolls.” Zeus had finally mustered enough courage to stand up to her.

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He put his doll down and stood up. “Stop being so bossy.” He stuck his tongue out at her and started to walk away from the doll house.

“You are going to regret this, Zeus Garnett.” She called after him, a strange, throaty growl followed her threat. It made my heart lurch, what was she gonna do to him?

Zeus gave me a small nervous smile as he approached the couch. “Can I play?” He asked.

“Of course.” I smiled at him and handed him a controller.

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Zeus plopped down next to Sebastian and joined our game. We were having a lot of fun, the game was much more exciting with three people.

I wanted to get completely lost in the game and just have fun, but I could feel the hateful glares my sister was giving me from across the room. There was no telling how she would handle Zeus’s betrayal and it frightened me. Artemis had done some terrible things before, and there was no doubt in my mind that she was planning something. It was only a matter of time before whatever she came up with played out.

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As soon as Winter and Sebastian got up to make us some food, Artemis jumped up and started running up the stairs. Her brow was furrowed and she looked very angry, I braced myself for the outburst we all knew was coming.

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She came stomping down the stairs only a few minutes later, oddly dressed in a pink dinosaur costume from our dress-up trunk.

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As soon as she stepped off the staircase she drew her hands towards her chest and started growling and stomping. I bit my lip, she’d never done something like this and I was scared, I had no idea what she was about to do.

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Artemis dinosaur stomped over to my dollhouse and raised her arms high above her head.

“No one betrays me!” She growled, before swinging her arms down on the toy. There was a loud crack, but it was still standing.

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“This. Will. Teach. You. To. Steal. My. Friends.” She seethed between each smack on my dollhouse I barely even got to play with.

I just sat there with my hands over my mouth. My sister was mean, I always knew that. But I never thought she’d do this.

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After a few more angry smacks, my dollhouse was in pieces on the floor. I felt my eyes tearing up, Why did she have to be so mean?

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“Artemis Mortem, what have you done?” My grandma’s voice called out from the kitchen. She must’ve just got home and come in through the back door.

“H-hi Grandma.” Artemis smiled nervously.

“How dare you! You are grounded for six months. No TV, no video games, no computer unless its for homework, no friends over. Nothing. Go to your room right now.” She was furious, and even though I wasn’t the one in trouble, I was afraid of her.

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“Okay.” Artemis whispered. I had never heard her sound so terrified. She quietly ran off to go spend the rest of the day in her room.

“I’m so sorry, Athena. I’ll buy you a new dollhouse.”

“It’s okay Grandma, you don’t have to. I’m getting a little old for dollhouses anyway.” I never really lied to my grandma, but I didn’t want her to have to buy me a new one. Also, I knew that if she did, Artemis would just steal it or break it again.

“I guess, but if you change your mind, let me know.” She smiled sadly and walked into the kitchen, probably to find Sebastian to get him ready for the school dance.

————-

*Later that night*

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“Hey, what’re you doing up?” Sebastian quietly crept back into his room two hours after the school dance ended.

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“I wanted to hear all about the dance.” I smiled at him from the bed. I couldn’t sleep, so I went up to his room to wait for him to get back.

He chuckled. “Well alright then.” He made his way over to the bed and took a seat next to me.

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“Was it magical?” I asked. I imagined all the girls in pretty princess dresses and all the boys in nice suits. Like something from a movie, the kind you just want to jump into.

“It was. Everyone looked so good. You would’ve loved it, the girls all wore long, pretty dresses.”

“I can’t wait until I’m old enough to go to a school dance.”

“Don’t worry, that day will come soon.” He smiled and placed a hand on my shoulder.

“Did you dance with any pretty girls?”

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“I did, yea.” His cheeks started to flush bright red. “We won prom king and queen, then went out for food to celebrate.”

“Oh my god.” I gasped in awe. “Do you think I could ever be prom queen?”

“Definitely, you’re the prettiest girl I know.”

“What about Artemis? She’s more popular than I am, she’ll probably get more votes than me.”

“Artemis is mean. Someday, no one’s gonna want to put up with her anymore. No one wants a mean girl like her to be prom queen.”

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“But what if she bribes them? Or threatens them?” I worried. Being prom queen was one of my dreams. Standing on the stage in a beautiful dress in front of the kids who were mean to me, getting crowned the prettiest in the school. That would show them.

“You don’t have to worry about that right now.” He assured me. “C’mon, let’s get you to bed.” He laughed as I started to yawn.

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“But I’m not tired.” I protested as he scooped me up in his arms to carry me to my room. Just after I said that, I was unable to stop myself from yawning again.

“Alright sleepy-head.” Sebastian teased.

“You better tell me more about the dance tomorrow.”

“I will, I’ll give you every detail you could ever want.” He gave me a quick kiss on my cheek and started to make his way downstairs.

“You’re the best uncle ever.” I giggled sleepily, before giving him a kiss on the cheek too.

Generation 2 Prologue

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Throughout my life, my grandmother did her best to provide for us. She worked long hours at the movie theater downtown and took a job at newspaper as a secretary. We barely ever saw her, but when we did, she would always put on a smile no matter how tired she looked.

My grandma was one of the few people in my life I actually liked. I know you’re supposed to love your family, but it’s so hard when they’re so terrible to you.

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It all basically started when we were toddlers, I couldn’t remember the very first time it happened but I know it’s been going on for as long as I could remember.

“Missy, can you pass me a block” I asked in my tiny little toddler voice.

“No! Our blocks!” She stuck her tongue out at me, gathered the blocks and piled them in front of herself and Zeus, our family friend and housemate.

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“Hey, be nice to Thena! She never did anything to you.” My uncle, Sebastian stood up for me. He was more like a brother to me than an uncle, he was only a few years older than my twin and me.

“Thena is weird, we don’t wanna play with her.” Artemis stuck her tongue out at me again.

“Zeus, I thought we were friends!” I cried out at him.

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Before he had a time to respond, Artemis wrapped her tiny arm around his shoulder and kissed his cheek.

“No, Zeus is my friend, not yours. No one wants to be your friend.”

“Yea!” Zeus chimed in. It broke my tiny toddler heart, we had played together before and I thought he was my friend too.

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“Why are you so mean?” I started to cry, their bullying was very hurtful, but little did I know, this was only the beginning of her reign of torment.

“Because you’re stupid!” Artemis giggled, like a baby villain.

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“Aw Athena, don’t be sad.” Sebastian jumped up and picked me up.

“T-they’re so mean.” I sobbed.

“I know, but I’ll never be mean to you.” He smiled at me and stuck his tongue out, but in a silly way which made me laugh.

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I giggled and stuck my tongue out as well.

“Don’t worry Thena, whenever they’re mean to you I’ll always be there to cheer you up and stand up for you.” He gave me a kiss on my forehead.

“I love you, Sebby.” I smiled, happy he was there for me.

“I love you too.”

————-

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As I got older, I thought things would get better between Artemis, Zeus and I. Part of me was hoping Artemis’s mean streak was just a phase and after she grew out of it we’d be best friends, like most twins are. But that wasn’t the case. In fact, it seemed as if she got meaner the older she got.

As for Zeus, he wasn’t exactly mean, but he went along with everything my sister said. He obeyed her every command, he was basically her little servant. I never understood it, he was older than her and she was always so mean to him, his devotion to my sister never made sense to me.

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No matter how mean they were to me, I would still try to be friends with them. I didn’t have any friends at school (thanks to Artemis), Sebastian just started high school and was busy with homework, Grandma was always working and Winter was constantly locked in her study working on her novels. I was lonely, and they were my only options.

“Hey, can I play?” I came into the room one day and saw them dressed up as a prince and a princess. I loved dressup, it was a lot of fun, even if Artemis always claimed the best costumes and refused to let me play games with her. I still loved the costumes, I loved how special I felt dressing up as a princess.

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Artemis snorted and started laughing. “You’re kidding right? You know there are no peasants allowed in the palace. Get out.”

“But where am I supposed to go? This is my room too.” I pouted, unable to keep the hurt expression off my face.

“I don’t care, why don’t you go read, like the dork you are.” She giggled, and elbowed Zeus until he started laughing too.

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“Reading is fun though.”

“Yea, maybe for people who don’t have friends.” She snickered. “Now be gone! We have a kingdom to run!”

I sighed, it was her fault I didn’t have friends, she made everyone at school think I was weird. If she didn’t want me to hang out with her, then why did she isolate me from every other potential friend?

I just couldn’t understand Artemis.

———-

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Luckily, my grandma and Winter loved to read too, so we had a huge library upstairs. It was awesome, we had shelves full of books and a bunch of comfy chairs and a nice big couch. It was perfect for a little bookworm like me.

Most of the time I was alone, but sometimes Winter would take a break from writing and come up here to read with me. Or when Grandma had a rare day off, she’d sit next to me on the couch and read her favorite stories to me. Sebastian’s room was right next to the library, so I’d see him every time he got up from studying to go to the bathroom or get a snack.

It was perfect here, I had some solitude and some interaction. But the best part? No Artemis. She never bugged me when I was up here. The only times she came up here was to play in the game room, but even then she kept out of my way.

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I was so absorbed in my book and my thoughts I didn’t even notice my grandma sit down in the chair next to me.

“Hi Sweetheart.” My grandma spoke softly, but she still startled me.

“Hi Gramma, how was your day?” I looked up at her and put my book down.

“Good, how was yours?” She smiled weakly. I knew she was lying, she looked tired and worn out. But she didn’t tell me that, she didn’t want me to feel bad.

“It was alright.” I responded.

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“Was Artemis mean to you again?” She asked, concerned. I bit my lip, I wasn’t sure if I should lie and say no, or rat her out. Last time I did, she cut all the hair off my favorite doll and hung her in the shower for me to find later. I didn’t want to repeat that, but I also didn’t want her to get away with it.

“Kinda, but it’s ok. I’d rather be reading.” I patted the book with a smile. She sighed, I could tell she was fed up with my sister’s behavior.

“I’m sorry dear, I’ll talk to her.” She went to stand but I stopped her.

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“Please don’t. She makes things worse for me when I tattle.”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t let her get away with this. She needs to learn her lesson. Don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on her when I’m home and I’ll make sure Winter watches her when I’m gone.” She smiled supportively. Hopefully that would work.

“Ok, it’s worth a shot.”

“Good, now go wash up, Winter’s almost done with dinner.”

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I nodded and jumped up, making my way towards the stairs. I stopped halfway, and turned to face my grandma.

“Thank you, Gramma. I love you.”

“I love you too, dear.” She smiled proudly. It almost looked like she was gonna cry. “Now, go on, I’ll be down in a minute.” She ushered me away, and wiped her eyes when she thought I wasn’t looking.

My grandma did so much for us, I wanted to do something nice for her. I had to come up with a plan. Hopefully I could get Artemis and Zeus to help me out, maybe it could bring us closer together.