Astra took a deep breath. This was it. She was going to see her family after three years. She was finally twenty one years old, no longer a baby. They were her family, what was she afraid of? “Declan is not there,” Astra chanted to herself quietly. “He is not there.”
“You okay there?” Astra jumped back, startled. The orange haired male held his hands up in front of him. “I come in peace.”
She bit her lip. She was not ready for this, after. She longed for Audric. What would she do without him? Two years of isolation, and now, she was meeting other people for the first time. Everything she had prepared in her head had flown out the window as she stared at the attractive male. “You have business here?” He pointed to the house she had been deliberating in front of just mere minutes ago.
“I uh..do y-ou?” She hated the stutter. Why did it have to come back!?
“You could say that, yes.” He nodded. “The man in that house right there is my boss. Who are you exactly?”
“Uh, umm…” She hesitated. Did she tell him who she really was? Or, did she lay low?
“Listen, you’re cute. But, that’s not getting you into that house.” He crossed his arms over his chest, like a body guard.
“It’s m-y hou-se!” Astra cried. “I’m goin-g in.”
“Your house?” He raised his brow. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Who ar-e you an-yway?” Astra asked.
“Who am I?” He asked. “No, who are you?”
“That’s n-one of your bus-iness!” Atra tried to sound confident, but her stutter gave away her fear of confrontation. She wondered if it’d be better to just leave and come back when the male wasn’t here. What if she had the wrong house and her dad had moved?
“Like I said, beautiful.” There it was again, that flirty tone. Was that supposed to get her to listen to him? Her face heated up. “It’s nothing personal. But the Keeper isn’t seeing anyone right now.”
The keeper? That was definitely her dad! “I’m h-is dau-ghter.”
“Daughter?” He raised brow once more. “There were four of you, yes. I guess that makes sense.” His face danced with amusement. “But I can’t really be sure of that.”
Astra pushed passed him, anxious to see her father. She pounded on the door, waiting for him to answer. “Hey there, fiesty! I’m being a hard ass for everyone’s safety here. His, yours and mine.” Astra tapped her foot impatiently, waiting for someone to answer the door. “What’s your name, beautiful?” She continued to ignore him. “Fair enough, I did just harass you. But in my defense, I still don’t know if you’re the keeper’s daughter or not.”
“Dionysus.” The two looked up to see a red haired male. “Stop harassing Mr. Gray’s guests. You’re not his body guard.”
Dionysus rolled his eyes. “Until this war is over, everyone is a suspect. Even the pretty ones.” He winked at Astra, causing her face to flame once more.
“Can I ask your business?” The red haired male asked. “Unlike the elf, I’m actually Mr. Gray’s assistant.”
“Assist-ant?” Astra nodded quickly, absorbing the info. “Ri-ght! Okay, that’s ne-w.”
“Burke, My girl here would like me to believe that she’s Alistair’s daughter,” Dionysus said, eyeing Astra mischievously.
“Sure, flirt with another one of his daughters.” Burke rolled his eyes. “Astra, right? I’ve seen you in the photographs. Welcome, Mr. Gray will be surprised.”
“Tol-d you!” She exclaimed, looking at Dionysus.
“My bad, Ms. Astra Gray.” He extended his arm for her to take. “Let me make it up to you by escorting you to him, I have a meeting with him today as well.”
“No need,” Burke cut in. “He’s in the next room. You can follow me, Astra.”
“Kill joy,” Dionysus muttered under his breath as the group approached the living room.
“What’s all this racket?” Alistair looked up from his book. “Astra? Is that really you?”
She nodded excitedly, feeling her nervousness wash away. “Daddy!” She launched herself into the arms of her father. “I missed you!”
“Astra…” He stroked her hair lovingly, pulling her tightly to his chest. “What are you doing here? Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine. I’m alright. Everything is ok,” Astra said.
“The guardians?” Alistair asked, worry written on his features.
“Please don’t worry, we’ve worked something out.” She bit her lip. She hated lying, to anyone. But she didn’t know if it was safe to talk about Audric. “They won’t be bothering me.”
“A deal with the guardians is one of the worst deal you can make,” Alistair said, not convinced. “Are you sure everything is alright?”
“Yes, daddy.” She held her wand in the air. Now, she had brought it everywhere with her. “I’ve been training.”
“Dionysus, why don’t you take a seat?” Alistair asked, motioning for the orange male to come over. “We have to fill my daughter in on everything happening in Moonlight Falls. She’s been gone for a while.”
“No offense, sir, but I really don’t know if it’s the best idea for an outsider to come in and start-” Dionysus was cut off by Astra’s loud, but shaky voice .
“I’m n-o outs-ider! This is my hou-se!”
“Okay, so outsider wasn’t the best choice of words. What I mean to say is a novice-”
“Nov-ice! I know magi-c! I am capabl-e!”
“Astra, honey. Calm down.” Alistair laid a hand on her shoulder. “Dionysus has a point. I cannot let you rush ahead and do anything reckless. Your sister has tried that already, and it was no good.”
“Yeah,” Dionysus agreed. “Ask Charlotte what happened.”
“I know speci-al magic,” Astra said carefully. “Not even d-ad knows it.”
“Special magic?” Alistair titled his head. “I know almost all of the spells floating around Moonlight Falls.”
Astra stopped talking, fearing that she’d expose Audric. “Forget it, if you do-n’t want me to h-elp.”
Astra stood up and began to walk away. She allowed her feet to take her through the old house. It looked exactly the same. It had only been three years, but it felt like centuries since she had arrived her. She stopped walking and settled into the empty kitchen table. She could help, she knew she could. Once again, everyone doubted her. They knew the old her, not the new more confident one. If push came to shove, she believed she could strike down an enemy with her wand. “Firecracker, no need to storm off on your poor old dad like that.”
Astra looked up to see the elf. “You aga-in?”
“The one and only, beautiful.” He winked at her and settled into the chair nearest to her. “I didn’t properly introduce myself back there. My name is Dionysus Blaze. I’m ruler of the elves here in Moonlight Falls.”
Astra stared at him quizzically. She hadn’t noticed too many elves in her time here. There was a whole colony here, and this man was in charge? He hardly resembled a leader. Audric, he could pass off as a leader. “I know, someone as handsome as me can’t be in charge of all elven people, but I am.” He leaned back leisurely in his chair. “We want to make it so that everyone can live here, regardless of occult status. That’s why your dad and I have teamed up. We’re going to take down some wicked evil vampires.”
“I can hel-p,” Astra began again.
“Regular magic won’t do anything but stunt Altiere and his posse for a few moments,” Dionysus said. “This is no laughing matter. It’s serious. They will tear down everyone here to build their empire.”
“My magic isn’t ordin-ary,” Astra protested. “It’s elven.” She covered her mouth. One day and she was already spilling the beans.
“I’m sorry, I think I misheard you. Did you say Elven magic? Elven magic hasn’t been practiced since the funding of Moonlight Falls. There are no elves who could teach you that kind of magic. Elves with that affinity for magic are rare.”
Astra shrugged and leaned her head on the table. She didn’t want to explain anymore. She let out a small yawn. “Am I boring you?” Dionysus poked her arm. “You’re lucky you’re so cute.”
She felt her face heat up and kept it positioned on her arm so she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of embarrassing her. “don’t c-all me cu-te,” She mumbled. “I have a boy-friend.”
Dionysus raised his brow. “You Gray girls always have a flock of men by your side, don’t you?” He tapped the table in front of him. He had initially been teasing Astra, but he did feel a pang of jealousy thinking it over. Two Gray girls, and neither one interested. Funny how things worked out. Dionysus stood up. “Welp, I need to go help your dad come up with an action plan. If what you said is true, about the elven magic…” His voice trailed off. “Nevermind.”
Astra wanted to ask him what he meant, but anxiety rose within her. She watched him walk towards the living room. She let out a sigh. She couldn’t even talk to him, how could she help? What was Audric thinking, sending her back here? She wanted to go back to him.
Astra headed towards the stairs. She wanted to go to her old room. She stopped upon hearing two new voices. She stopped by the doorway and listened.
“Charlotte said she isn’t feeling good,” Millie complained. “I’ll have to wait until later to tell her the news, when we’re home.”
“What news?” Adeline asked.
“I wanted to wait until we were all here, like a family,” Millie said. “But that never seems to happen anymore.” She frowned. “Are Char and Jeff fighting again?”
“It’s complicated,” Adeline said. “It isn’t simply about feelings. If it were, there would be no fighting.”
“Then what is it?” Alistair asked, curious himself. “I know Declan deeply affected her…”
“It’s not only that, Dad. It’s something else. She should probably be the one to tell you guys. But, biologically, humans and Vampires don’t match up. I’m starting to see that.”
“What does that mean?” Millie asked.
“You don’t know?” Dionysus asked. “When purebred vampires bred with humans, they got mages. Correct?”
“Yeah,” Millie agreed. “So?”
“The purebred vampires died out because they could not handle the chemical imbalance their body automatically adapted to.” Everyone stared at Dionysus, wondering what he meant. “When a vampire is carrying a human baby, it is different than a vampire. The vampire doesn’t need all the nutrients as a human, they need blood, and such, the woman’s body prepares as such. But humans need more, and a vampire’s body isn’t shaped for it.”
“You mean to say that…” Adeline’s voice trailed off. “The human babies destroyed their mothers?”
“It wasn’t their intention, but babies take and take. Mages have powers that can adapt to a vampire’s body, but with humans, either the baby dies because the mother’s body does not chemically change, or the mother dies because of the change,” Dionysus finished.
“You couldn’t tell this to Charlotte?” Adeline asked. “I think it’s important.”
“She doesn’t seem like she’ll be having a child anytime soon.” He shrugged. “Didn’t think it was relevant.”
Adeline looked like she wanted to say something else. That was when Millie saw her. “Astra? Oh my gosh! It’s you!”
She beckoned for her sister to join them. “You look gorgeous, oh my goodness! You’re exuding confidence! You’ve really grown.” She pulled her into a hug so tight, Astra thought she wouldn’t be able to breathe normally again after it.
“You’re going to kill the poor girl,” Dionysus said.
“Dio, shut it!” Millie rolled her eyes. Astra felt a tinge of jealousy watching the two’s playful banter. She didn’t understand why. “Have you met Dio?”
“I’ve had the immense pleasure in meeting the firecracker, yes.” Dionysus nodded. “She’s your twin? You two are complete opposites.”
“In both looks and personality,” Alistair said.
“How was living with humans?” Millie asked. “You have to tell me everything! What about that guy? What’s his name?”
“Oh, your boyfriend?” Dionysus asked.
Astra shut her eyes. Damn it. She didn’t want to talk about Audric, and he really wasn’t her boyfriend. But she didn’t want to look stupid in front of Dionysus. “Thad…?”
“Tell me you aren’t dating him, he’s like dad’s age!” Millie exclaimed.
“No he wasn’t.” Alistair rolled his eyes, recalling his talk with Alistair Jr. “But I have to agree. I hope you’re not dating him. I might have to freeze him or something.”
She gulped and shook her head.”N-o boyf-riend,” She mumbled quikly, hoping Donysus couldn’t hear. But she knew he did when she saw the smirk that lay on his face.
Burke Springfield was made by Francothecitysimmer. Thank you!