After a long day, the bell finally rang and Acadia almost ran to her jeep, wishing there were less people so she could fly. Her phone vibrated with a message from Chris, reminding he’d gotten a ride home with another friend and to have a great birthday. Acadia frowned and threw her bag into the back of her jeep. She climbed into the driver’s seat and pulled her keys out of her pocket. As she started the engine, something heavy dropped onto the hood of the jeep, making the entire vehicle rock.
“What in the Niflheim was that?” Acadia exclaimed as she tried to stay in the car. As the rocking stopped, she looked up and pushed her hair back away from her face. The redheaded girl that she’d seen earlier was crouched on the blue hood. She was wearing tight black leather pants and a white sleeveless shirt with a howling wolf on it. A long silver necklace swung from her neck, the pendant catching the light. The black outline of a sword stuck through a star with a large all-seeing eye on the pendant called for Acadia’s attention. She pulled down the bracelets on her left wrist and checked the tattoo there. The symbols were the same.
“That’s the coat of arms from General Rhondor’s family of Vanaheim,” Acadia said softly. “Very few are allowed to have that on their person.”
The girl tilted her head and smiled. “And who do you think I am?” she asked.
Acadia’s eyes widened. “Caylis!” she yelled as she leapt out of the car and pulled her sister off the hood into a hug.
Caylis laughed and hugged her sister tightly. “I have missed you, Cadie,” she said. “It has been seven long years without you.”
“Agreed,” Acadia replied. “Where’s Drew? Where are you guys staying? Where have you been?”
Caylis laughed and shook her head. “I will tell you later, when we are with Gwen. And my mother is not with me, she stays in Vanaheim with our father. But she is well. Queen Hippolyta’s rage has been quenched, it has been safe to be home for two years. Why have you not returned?” she asked, confusion coloring her voice.
“Ask mom that when we get back home,” Acadia replied glumly. “But come on, she’ll be so excited to see you!” she said, brightening up as she pulled her sister into the jeep.
“Would it not just be easier for you to fly home?” Caylis asked as they drove back to the penthouse.
“It would,” Acadia conceded. “But humans here aren’t like us. They can’t do the things we do. If they saw me flying, they’d think I was a freak and take me to a lab somewhere.”
“These humans are strange,” Caylis observed. “I hope that you have not inherited their ways during your stay here?” she asked hopefully.
Acadia shook her head. “No. I’m still nothing like a human. Why would I not use my gifts?”
“Why do you not use them all the time?” Caylis countered.
Acadia ignored her question and pulled into her parking spot in the garage. “Ready to see where I’ve been hiding for the past six years?” she asked.
Caylis slid out of the jeep and followed her sister to the elevator. “Instead of taking this tiny box, perhaps we can materialize there instead?”
“But I can’t do that,” Acadia protested. “I don’t know how.”
“But I do,” she replied with a smile. “Give me your hands.”
Acadia placed her hands in Caylis’ and closed her eyes as the garage began to sway around them. When she reopened her eyes, they were standing in the middle of the penthouse.
“Your home is nice,” Caylis said as she looked around the main room, taking in the ornate modern silver and leather furniture. “Where is Gwen?” she inquired as she walked toward the large windows overlooking the ocean.
“Here I am,” Gwen said as she glided into the room. “Caylis, how have you been?” she asked as she wrapped Caylis in a tight hug.
“I have been well,” she replied. “And the two of you?”
“Same,” Gwen answered. “Is Drew here? Or are you alone?”
“I am alone,” Caylis said gently. “But not for long. I have news to tell both of you.”
Gwen and Acadia looked at her expectantly.
“It has taken much tracking to find you both,” Caylis began. “No one knew where any of us had gone, whatever magic our mothers used served its purpose, for it was nigh untraceable. My mother and I left for Asgard, and we stayed there under the protection of King Odin for five years. Mother knew Odin when they were young, and he was happy to help us. I also grew close to many in the Ore Father’s court and studied under some of the greatest minds before our father found us and we returned to Vanaheim. Queen Hippolyta did ally with the dark elves to seek revenge on Gwen and Drew. With Asgardian help, we won the war and the Amazon queen was removed from power. My mother and I have been safe living on Vanaheim since then, and we have been searching to find you both and bring you back home, as well.”
It was silent as Caylis finished.
“That is much to hear in a short amount of time after so long,” Gwen finally said, breaking the silence. “What do you think, Cadie?”
Acadia looked up from her hands folded in her lap. “I don’t know what to think. Earth has been home for seven years. That’s a long time. I…” She let her voice trail off, then quickly got up and ran to her room.
Caylis and Gwen exchanged looks.
“This is much to take in,” Gwen said. “Is there anything else?”
Caylis sighed. “Nothing more that I am willing to say. The rest will wait until we return home.”
“Caylis, Earth has become home to Acadia now. She misses Vanaheim as much as I, but she could not permanently leave here. And as long as she stays here, so shall I. I cannot leave my daughter on this planet alone. It is too dangerous,” Gwen said softly as she looked toward her daughter’s closed door.
Caylis nodded. “Thank you for allowing me to stay, but I need to roam at night. I will return in the morning. We can continue this conversation in the morning light.”
Without waiting for a response, Caylis turned toward the large floor-to-ceiling windows and pushed one open, then leapt out. She hung suspended in the air for a moment, then vanished.
“Did you speak to them?” asked a male voice coming out of the darkness beside her.
“I did. They do not wish to return home,” Caylis said dryly.
The man grunted. “Then they will be here when we take control?”
“The alternative is to force them to leave, which would require things I am not willing to do,” she responded softly. “So yes, they will remain in their self-imposed and selfish exile. Gwen is too soft to stop us, and my sister is too human. They will not put up much of a fight.”
She turned and faced the man next to her. He was tall and strong, with strength to crush an entire house in his arms if he wished. He watched her as she walked toward him. He knew she was dangerous.
Caylis smiled. “Cor, go and find the rest. They are needed. I think we shall begin soon, yes?” she asked with a tilt of her head.
Cor grinned and agreed, then ran into the water to a small island just far enough off shore to discourage visitors.
Caylis stared up at the apartment where her sister was. “You will hide for now, Acadia. But in the end, you will either stand with me, or fall against me.”