It was after dinner and everyone except Atlantis was in the living room. Atlantis was standing in the hallway, listening.
"So Blaze, have you given any thought to college yet? I know you still have one more year, but you're a very intelligent young man, and you could graduate early."
Blaze took a sip of water while considering how to word his answer. "Well, I've been going to the same school my whole life, and I was thinking about maybe waiting a year to start college. I would go ahead and get my own place, so you wouldn't have to put up with me too much longer, Mrs. Keystone."
Atlantis stood hidden in the doorway.
"Blaze, we wouldn't mind you staying, you should know that."
Blaze smiled and walked around to arm chair his soon to be adopted mom was sitting.
"And besides, we'd like to adopt you and have you as a full member of the family."
Nix and Azkedelia both smiled.
"Really? That'd be wonderful, Mom!" Azkedelia exclaimed happily.
Atlantis silently took a step forward.
"Peter and I already talked about it, and I would love to be part of this family. Thanks to Cambio, I've never really had a family."
Nix jumped up and hugged Blaze tightly. "This is great news!"
Atlantis walked into the room. "Blaze, I need to talk to you, privately."
Everyone turned and looked at her.
Blaze heard the all-too familiar raspy grating in her voice and nodded. "Alright then."
He let go of Nix and followed Atlantis out of the room. When he got to the hallway, she was gone. He looked in the kitchen. Atlantis was standing with her back to him.
"You wanted to talk to me privately?"
"You've caused me a lot of trouble, Blaze. More trouble than you're worth," she said with her back still turned to him.
Her voice was deeper and raspy. Cambio.
"Atlantis, that's not you talking, it's Cambio. Don't listen to whatever he's saying."
Atlantis turned to face him. She had her hands behind her back. "Blaze, I really should have gotten rid of you a lot sooner. You've been nothing but trouble, son," she sneered.
Blaze took a step closer. "Atlantis, don't listen to him!"
She laughed and pulled her hands from behind her back. She had a butcher knife in her right hand. "Time for me to fix my mistake!"
Atlantis-Cambio threw the knife. Blaze ducked and it thudded into the wall outside the kitchen.
"What's going on in there?" Peter yelled.
"Nothing, dad!" Atlantis-Cambio called.
Blaze slowly stood up. "Atlantis, listen to me. You are not Cambio! Fight him off! I know you can!"
Atlantis shuddered and convulsed. Blaze ran and pulled her away from the knives, not wanting her to hurt herself.
She blinked rapidly for a few seconds. When she fully opened her eyes, they were clear and gold again. "Blaze? What did I do?"
"It was Cambio, not you."
Atlantis looked over his shoulder at the knife sticking out of the wall. "Oh my gosh, I tried to kill you!"
Blaze hugged her tightly. "It wasn't you, it was Cambio."
"I tried to kill you!" she whispered. She pressed her face against his chest and sobbed.
Blaze looked up and saw Peter and Genevieve standing in the doorway with Azkedelia and Nix looked over Peter's shoulder. "Peter, I'm sorry, but I lied to you. We all need to talk."
Peter nodded and stepped back from the door. He and Genevieve led the way back to the living room.
"It's okay, Atlantis," Nix said.
Azkedelia said nothing, but stared at her sister, then started shaking her head. "Please tell me what I'm thinking isn't what's happening."
Blaze shrugged and led Atlantis out of the kitchen. He looked up at the knife stuck in the wall. "You should have told them earlier," he whispered.