Earth. That is where I am now. In the few days we’ve been in this Realm, I’ve learned so much about this new world. I’ve grown incredibly close to my two partners, Apollo and Artemis. I’ve also changed so much that I don’t remember who I was before arriving here on Earth. My whole world seems to revolve around Rain, and only Rain, now.
I close my eyes and flip through images one more time. The image of a silvery wolf pup—as I now know it is called. That is Rain. Simply the thought of her gives me strength. She’s the other half of my soul, the one I need to find.
“Selene,” Artemis says, “you really need to stop spending every waking moment thinking about Rain.”
Something inside of me tingles, in a wonderful way, as he speaks, but the words he says rid me of the happiness. “I was born because of Rain, Artemis. How could I possibly stop thinking of her? We ought to go searching for them again. They need us to keep them alive.”
“Come on,” Artemis retorts, “it won’t hurt them if we aren’t there for a day.”
“It is true,” Apollo agrees. Of course. The first time Apollo and Artemis agree on something, it’s against me. “They probably cannot even walk yet. Creatures on Earth start out helpless, and they slowly grow up to become stronger and smarter.”
“And how do you know this?” I ask.
He frowns, “I suppose it is a gift? It is like how we know how to communicate and what words mean. I just know.”
Sometimes Apollo is a bit odd. The way he speaks in a mechanical, perfect way unnerves me, along with how much he knows. It seems as though every question I have, he has an answer to. And he’s right. He’s always right.
“You are aware that we can hear each other’s thoughts, right?” Apollo mentions.
I feel my skin turn hot as I try to clear my mind of thoughts. “Yes… another gift that I haven’t seemed to master.” Silence. “Well, we don’t seem to be doing anything productive, so should we go find the Destined?”
Without waiting for a response, I turn, searching for the warm beacon that is Rain. Instantly, I feel her presence, closer than before, but not close enough. My feet move on their own accord, barely touching the forest ground.
“Selene,” Artemis calls, causing another smile to creep across my face, “Are you really that eager to end our freedom?”
Again, the words rip the smile off my face. “Honestly, do you feel nothing for your Destined? Talon was his name, right? Don’t you feel him at all? They need us. We need them. Apollo, isn’t that the relationship between our Destined and us? Destinies depend on their Destined. We were brought into this world simply for that fact. If our Destined didn’t need us, we wouldn’t be here. Don’t you understand that? I’m simply trying to do my job.”
“No,” Artemis murmurs. “No, I don’t. I don’t understand why it’s our job to guide someone else. Why do we have to live for them? We haven’t even met them yet. Right now we’re sharing a life, but I want to live, to really live. I want to live for myself.”
“Artemis, we cannot,” Apollo begins. “We—”
“We what? Is it simply not possible to walk away from Talon and live by myself? Or is it that we shouldn’t?” Artemis’s eyes blaze with fury that I’ve never seen.
“We cannot,” Apollo whispers. “There has never, to my knowledge, been a Destiny who walked away from the Destined. It is not possible, Artemis. Talon will not be able to live without you, and if he dies, you will too. You are going to end up driving yourself insane to the point of death, Artemis.” He pauses for a moment, looking at me. I dislike the look on his face. “And you know I’m always right,” he quotes me. The anger inside me bubbles. That was just low, turning my own words against me! “Selene, I thought you were on my side in making him stay,” he says.
They’re always in my thoughts. Don’t they understand that if I don’t say the words out loud, it means that I don’t want them to be heard?
Artemis growls, “What’s the difference between death and not living? Because this isn’t living.” I wince as I watch him, his pain emanating from him in waves. I reach my hand forward to comfort him. “Don’t,” he snaps, jerking himself backwards.
Pulling my hand away, hurt, I open my mouth and close it again. There are no words to be shared. The regret sticks in the air, like he’s trying to tell me he’s sorry without saying it out loud. I won’t take it though.
I slowly walk across the snowy ground once more, leaves and snow touching the soles of my feet for a moment before passing through. Artemis is right… we aren’t living. We don’t even truly exist in this world. Anger boils inside of me as I push one foot into the snow. The leaves on top remain untouched even as my foot sinks deep into the cold. Unlike creatures of this Realm, I can feel the touch of ice inside my foot, not only on the surface. I pull my foot out, looking down again at the place a footprint should exist. Nothing.
“Let’s go,” Apollo says, placing a hand on my shoulder. “We have tasks to do, Selene. You know that. You have felt how right it feels to think of Rain, haven’t you? This is what we are meant to do, and we will do it.” He doesn’t have to say it, but we all know that “we” is only referring to two people right now.
I stare at Apollo in silence, looking into his warm, amber eyes. For a second, I find myself lost in them and the wisdom they carry.
“What are you doing? I thought we were going to find the Destined,” Artemis’s voice snaps me out of my stupor. A smile is on his face, but even with my lack of mindreading skills, I can tell it’s fake. “What are you waiting for, Selene?” He continues smiling as he speaks, his voice as sickeningly sweet as his grin.
“Nothing,” I mumble. I take a quick peek at his eyes. They sparkle like gemstones, beautiful and cold. I forget about the coldness though, basking in the beauty. “Our Destined need us.”
Continue to Chapter 2