Note: Camilla Kearns was made by Phyrcracker93.
Dionysus saw the girl wandering on her own and instantly knew who she was. “Hey, Camilla.”
She tensed and reached into her back pocket. “Back up. I have a knife.”
“Relax kid, it’s me.” Dionysus held his hands up. It had been a few years since he had left Alistair’s side and began his own quest on the run. When Declan took over, he had no choice but to run. His village was in danger. Hell, he was in danger. He wasn’t ready to give in just yet, he had something that he needed to do. On his way out of the town square, he ran into Camilla, on her own and fending for herself. She was perfectly capable of it too. It was he who needed her more than she needed him. “I brought some food.”
“Good, I’m wasting away here!” Dionysus rolled his eyes at the girl who he had seen eat two granola bars before he left about an hour ago. “What did you bring me?”
“Some apples and oranges. You know, healthy stuff.”
She stuck her tongue out at him. “Gah-ross! You might as well have brought me broccoli.”
“It’s this or nothing,” He said, taking a bite out of one of the apples. He tossed an orange at the girl, who caught it effortlessly. She began to peel it.
“When can we leave this place?” She asked as she dug into the flesh of the orange.
“You’re giving up already?” He flicked the top of her hat. “We haven’t even begun Operation Black Cat yet.”
“Next time I get to name the plan.” She punched his arm. “You’re the worst.”
He feigned hurt, dropping to the ground. “Owww!”
She stood over him triumphantly. “Just tell me what I have to do!”
“Punch those bastards like you just did to me and we’ll be in business.” He had to do something important and having Camilla on his side was the perfect approach. She was a special kid. “For now, we need to wait. Declan is at the height of his power. When he isn’t looking, that’s when we hit him.”
“Can we really do it?” She asked. “It won’ t be easy, you know.”
“Of course not, but you know the castle inside and out. Leave everything else to me. We’ll be able to crush anyone who gets in our way.”
For a second, he thought he saw a gleam of amusement in Camilla’s orange eyes. It had taken a while to get her to warm up to him, but a warm house and food went a long way. Especially in a world that was unforgiving to fugitives like themselves. They were both on Altiere’s radar.
“What happens after? Are you going to leave?” He looked down at the girl. He didn’t have the heart to tell the girl what he really had planned. She didn’t need to know. He wanted to protect her.
“We’ll worry about it when it comes,” He stated.
“I’m not a child, you can tell me if you plan on leaving me here by myself. You’re not my dad or anything, you don’t have to take me with you.” Her words were sharp and it took everything in him not to embrace her. Because he knew what she was thinking.
“You’ll stay with your parents.”
“They’re probably dead,” She said coldly. “You know that just as well as I do. Don’t sugarcoat it.”
He sighed. “We won’t know until we get to the castle, right?”
She rolled her eyes. “Whatever. I already know. Just say it. You want to leave me here alone.”
She looked at him angrily, and stomped her foot. “You can’t even lie to me!” With tears biting the corners of her eyes, she pushed passed him and ran into the thick of the forest. How could she be so stupid and get so comfortable? He was just somebody using her for her powers.
Astra leaned against the old sign. She was sure that no one had ventured this far into the forest any longer. People were monitored, and the forests were dangerous. The people who lived out here hated outsiders, even Declan and Altiere knew to leave them alone. She let out a heavy sigh. Things were bad. She couldn’t even visit Ade and Millie anymore. They were all in hiding, and no one was allowed to know where the others were. That was her grandfather’s idea. He would know the best out of all of them, but it felt like she was in Lucky Palms all over again. Alone.
“I’m so stupid,” She mumbled to herself. “I should of stayed there with Cadence and Alistair. I shouldn’t have run.” Then, she wouldn’t have ever met Audric and…
You don’t mean that, my love.
“No,” She thought. “I haven’t given you permission. Get out of my head.”
It’s been a long time, and I wanted to check up on you. Forgive me.
She could feel the tears threatening to spill out of her eyes.
I know you’re scared, but everything will be alright. I promise. I would never leave you to die. I love you.
“Get out of my head!” She thought.
I know that you’re mad, but you have to believe that I cannot interfere in this world. I am trying my best.
“Shut the hell up!” She shouted out loud. “Just stop!”
She felt a warm sensation against her leg and she jumped. “Huh?” She looked down to see a black cat. She let out a small laugh, feeling the anger slowly leave her body. “What are you doing out here, little guy?”
“Meow.” It was a whine, commanding her attention. Astra leaned over to pet it. “Who do you belong to?” It was definitely a house cat, she could tell from it’s clean coat and perfectly in tact collar.
The cat backed up as Astra reached out for the name tag. “I just want to see who you belong to-”
With a loud shriek, the cat scratched Astra and then dashed deeper into the forest. Astra looked down at her hand, a pool of blood forming around the small cut. “Damn it.”
“Camilla!” Dionysus didn’t want to shout, but he wasn’t a vampire. He couldn’t play mind tricks. “Camilla, damn it! Get back here!” Dionysus ran farther and farther, trying to find the little girl.
“Not so fast buddy.” He felt a strong grip on his arm, stopping him in his tracks.
“Damn right it’s me. You owe us all an explanation. A good one.” Erik’s glare was intense. “Alistair needed you, and you weren’t there. We’re all freaking hiding, when all you had to do was call upon your people to help us. You could have helped us!”
“Lower your voice.” Dionysus mumbled. “It’s still not safe.”
“You’re the one yelling to begin with. We’re all trying to get our home back, and you’re chasing after some girl.” Erik crossed his arms over his chest. “My wife…” He paused, wondering if he should divulge the information.
“Listen man, I…there’s something I have to do. I don’t mean for any of this to happen. If I could stop it, I would. I just-”
“Oh, shut the fuck up!” Erik boomed. “My wife is pregnant. This is no life for her!”
Dionysus felt a pit in his stomach grow as he heard that news. “Ade is…? Damn it, man. I-” Before he could finish he heard a loud shriek. “I have to go!”
Erik thought about yelling after him, but what good would it do? It looked to him like Dionysus had made up his mind. He wasn’t on their side anymore.
“Hey!” Pax whispered harshly. “You’re going to expose my hiding spot!”
The cat gave a simple meow and curled up against his small body. “Hey, stop that. Bad kitty.” The cat ignored him and began purring as it rubbed it’s head against Pax’s leg.
“Kitty!” He covered his mouth instantly. “You almost blew my cover. Shoo!” He tried his best to ignore the cat and turned his attention back to his aunt. “Why did you scratch her? That wasn’t very nice.”
The cat blinked and yawned. Pax rolled his eyes. “Leave me alone, cat.” He heard loud footsteps and he shrunk back into the foliage to avoid being spotted.
“Camilla!” Dionysus shouted again. “I’m sorry! We have to talk!”
Astra’s eyes widened as she saw Dionysus running her direction. He was shouting about some girl. Camilla was it? She rolled her eyes. Maybe if she was quiet enough, he’d disappear. Forever, this time. She pulled her knees up to her chest and covered her face, hoping he wouldn’t see her.
“Camilla!” The footsteps only got louder, and she realized he was now in front of her. “Excuse me miss, have you seen a little girl? She’s pretty short, wears an orange hat and pigtails?” Astra let out a garbled muffle, hoping he’d just move on, but there was no such luck. “Are you alright ma’am?”
She looked up at him, hatred burning her eyes. “A..Astra?” He stuttered. “It’s really you.”
“Do us both a favor and walk away right now.”
He nodded. “That would probably be best.” Two for one…today just wasn’t his day. “You haven’t seen a little girl though, have you?”
She shook her head. “Why are you with a little girl?”
His eyes widened. “It’s not like that, Astra! I’m not some creep!”
She stood up. “It was great seeing you again. I need to leave now.” Astra began to walk away when Dionysus grabbed her arm.
“Your hand, it’s bleeding. What happened?” He asked.
She rolled her eyes. “Don’t worry about it.”
The look of concern on his face made her heart hurt. “Astra, I’ll never stop worrying about you.”
“Save it, Dionysus. If you cared, you would have been there when we needed you the most. You just left. There wasn’t even a single thought about us in your head, was there? What was all of this, some kind of game to you? When the going got tough, you just left.”
“It’s not like that, Astra. I love your family as if they were my own.”
“Then why weren’t you there?” She asked again. “If you cared, you’d have been there. Even Zayne was there and he wasn’t here from the beginning like you were.”
“How was I supposed to know that they’d come to your dad’s lair? I thought Audric triple sealed it-”
“Just shut up! Okay, I don’t want to hear it anymore. You and Audric are both idiots full of false promises! You both said that you’d be here for me, and you both left!” She dropped to her knees. “You all just leave…” First, it was Thad who left because he was too old for her. Then, Declan left. Audric left. Her grandfather passed away. Her siblings were split up. Dionysus left.
“I…Astra, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it meant that much to you. I never wanted to leave you. You have to believe me. It’s because I have to do something and it isn’t safe to mix your family up in it. You’ve all been more than accommodating to me. I wouldn’t mix you up in this when you’ve already got so much on your plate.”
“That’s what friends do,” She said fiercely. “We help each other, no matter what the consequences. I thought you knew that.”
“I’m sorry, but the consequences are too great to drag you into it. But you have your sister, father, grandfather…Audric. You’ll be fine.”
She shook her head and the tears spilled some more. “I don’t have anything anymore. My family is so preoccupied with everything. I know it’s selfish of me to want more attention when this is all going on, but I feel so alone.” When he reached out to touch her, she pulled away. “That’s enough. I really should be going back. Good luck with everything you’ve got planned, or whatever.” Astra stood up and dusted her shorts. She was about to leave when she heard a loud voice.