“It’s not like he would stand up to him anyway,” Avalon yawned in the middle of his tirade. “There’s no way in hell the Crown Prince is going to stand up for a Shape-Shifter like Lilly Mason. Trust me on that,” Avalon slammed his hand on the kitchen counter to make his point.

“But why? Why do they hate the Shape-Shifters so much?” I asked out of ignorance.


“Lucan, like all of the royal family and much of the Kingdom, believe they are manipulative and untrustworthy. But even more, Lucan is extremely paranoid. He truly believes they are after his crown, and after his life. I don’t think he’s wrong to believe that now; but they weren’t always. After Derrick outlawed them, he had hundreds of them executed in the worst ways to prove his point. Things settled down for a while, but during Lucan’s reign they have escalated almost to the point of extinction. During the first several years he was on the throne, his main goal was to hunt every last one of them down. I don’t think he would have stopped killing them either, if it weren’t that….” Principal Saint suddenly cut off his sentence and shut his mouth as if he had said something he hadn’t intended to.

“If it weren’t what?” I asked hoping to glean more information.

“If he hadn’t found the one Shape-Shifter he was looking for,” Principal Saint coughed into his hand and walked over to the sink to work on the dishes. I gave Avalon a curious glance, but he shook his head as if he was just as confused as me.

“Well, you two, there is school tomorrow, so why don’t you head off to bed. I’ll finish cleaning up the kitchen,” Principal Saint moved around Aunt Syl’s chef’s kitchen as if he knew exactly where everything was. He must have been using his magic.

“Goodnight,” Avalon yawned again, raising his hands far above his head to stretch. He turned to leave and something finally dawned on me.

“You’re staying here?” I blurted out, suddenly putting the random suitcases and Aunt Syl’s instructions together.

“Yep,” Avalon barely acknowledged me before making his exit. I heard him on the stairs and then into the guest bedroom where he slammed the door shut behind him.

“We thought it best if someone stayed here with you Eden. I think it’s best that you have some protection,” Principal Saint turned to look at me, and I found it strange that we are alone in the kitchen together.

“Why? Now that I know it was Avalon behind all of those attacks I’m not afraid anymore,” I crossed my arms and fought back my own yawn.

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“Yes, I know. But you should be afraid. Kiran could be very dangerous; you don’t really know him, do you?” I held back a snotty response, realizing that they were the ones who didn’t really know him. “It’s just a precaution anyways,” Principal Saint waved it off as if it was no big deal, “Besides wouldn’t you like to get to know your twin brother a little more? I’m sure the two of you have a lot to catch up on,” he gave me a genuine smile and I relaxed. After all of the information I just received I had almost forgotten that Avalon and I were twins…. actual twins…. actually related.

“I guess you’re right Principal Saint,” I conceded, sending him my own version of a genuine smile.

“Amory, please,” he implored. “I’m so much more than your high school principal.”

“Amory…?” I tried his first name a bit uneasily, “My first question never got answered. So what is the exact purpose of the Resistance?”

“Ah,” Amory, took a moment to look out the window that sat above our kitchen sink. “Well, it has many purposes, such as to completely wipe out the royal line so that the Titans may have their freedom back. Also, to protect as many Shape-Shifters as possible so once we do have freedom again, our magic will not be missing anything and can be restored to its full glory. And then finally I suppose, to protect you my dear,” he smiled at me gently, but also a little sadly. I took his reference to me as a general idea to protect the Immortal population as a whole.

I smiled again and nodded my head; but suddenly I had a very uneasy feeling about the true meaning of his words. I remembered back when my life as a human was so simple; all I had to think about was myself. Sure, I lived in fear of what I would blow up or burn down next, but even that seemed so much simpler than now. This whole fairy tale Kingdom came with a lot more baggage than you read about in Disney books. Not to mention the super powers; they had a different playbook all together. I stalked up to my room, exhausted and overwhelmed, hoping to forget it all in the sweetness of sleep.

Chapter Thirty-Two

“Eden, let’s go!” Avalon yelled at me from the driver’s seat of his oversized truck.

I took a final glance in the mirror, and applied another layer of lip gloss, before I grabbed my backpack and rushed out the door. Avalon revved his engine, accentuating his impatience. I flung the door open, and threw my backpack in before struggling to make the climb up into his cab.

“Tomorrow we are taking my car,” I said, out of breath as I worked to buckle my seat belt, although Avalon had already taken off and was flying through the neighborhood streets haphazardly.

“Only if you let me drive it,” he replied, swerving in and out of spaces I was convinced were much too small for this tank.

“Why can’t I drive?” I whined, remembering my Land Rover with sentiment.

“First of all, you don’t use magic enough for me to trust you,” Avalon explained as if I was the unsafe driver, meanwhile I was pretty sure he just ran the last three cars we passed off the road. “Second, it’s not safe. Eden, you are in real danger whether you believe it or not.”

“I do believe I am in danger!” I folded my arms across my chest defiantly. “I believe your driving is the most danger I have ever been in!”

“You’re such a human. Relax,” Avalon demanded.

I laughed out loud. I was pretty sure Avalon meant “human” as an insult. He could insult all he wanted, but at least when I was a human I wasn’t in life threatening jeopardy constantly.

“No, only everyone around you was at risk. Do you remember what you were like as a human?” Avalon answered my thoughts and I let out a small grunt of frustration.

“Just because you can read my mind doesn’t mean that you should,” I growled.

“Alright, alright,” Avalon lifted his hands off of the steering wheel and held them up gingerly as if to say he conceded; but I knew it was only an act. He would be in my mind as long as we lived; and apparently that was going to be a very long time.

As it turned out twins were able to connect to each other’s minds without letting their other defenses down. We could always communicate with each other and read each other’s thoughts, no matter how far away we were. Amory said that to a certain extent even human twins had this ability; ours was just strengthened because of our other powers.

I was sure this would come in handy one day, but right now I found it extremely irritating. Since he moved in with us over two weeks ago, he was always there, always around and always in my head. I found it ironic that even though Avalon and I only just met we fell easily into the role of siblings without any extra effort by either of us.

“How did you sleep last night?” Avalon asked a little more sensitively than I was used to.

“Fine, thanks,” I replied, not sure how to read his question.

“No weird dreams?” he pried further.

“No, not that I remember. Why?” I asked, suddenly suspicious.

“Just wondering,” he turned sharply into a parking spot in the student section and I was convinced he was going to scratch the cars to either side of us. When he shut the engine off, I found myself clutching the seats and holding my breath. “Calm down, Eden. See this is why you can’t drive, you rely too much on your human senses and forget to use your Immortal ones,” he jumped down from the cab with ease and I followed behind carefully but awkwardly.

We were two of the last students to arrive, due mostly to my inability to be on time. Only a few other students hurried up the walkway to their respective classes. I watched Kiran and Seraphina from a distance. Her long blonde hair bouncing with every step she took. They seemed to be laughing about something and then he held the door open for her and let her pass with a small bow. Gross.

“Let it go, Eden,” Avalon growled in my ear. He had obviously watched the same scene, but for completely different reasons. And I could guarantee his stomach didn’t feel empty and his heart didn’t tighten with jealousy after it happened.

“You’re right. He’s the bad guy,” I sighed quietly, watching him walk through the door to the English building with longing.

“And you’re the idiot,” Avalon nudged me with his hand, pushing me in the direction we needed to continue to walk.

“I just thought that… I mean he didn’t even let me thank him for the night of the dance,” I referred to the fight on the gymnasium rooftop. It had happened over two weeks ago, and Kiran had yet to say even two words to me.

“Told you. He’s the bad guy,” Avalon picked up his pace, and I had to run to keep up with him.

After the dance, it was days before Kiran returned to school. I had looked forward to each day, when I would hopefully find a chance to talk to him, to thank him for saving my life, and then to apologize to him for what happened next. But by the end of the week, when he finally came back to school, looking more beautiful than ever, completely unscratched and completely perfect, he did not pay me even an ounce of attention.

I expected to feel relieved; not only did his inattention appease Amory and Avalon; I thought I would be able to forget about him and therefore stop suffering from all of the mixed feelings I had for him. And although Amory and Avalon were quite pleased that he seemingly wanted nothing more to do with me; and although my feelings had become clear, it was not quite in the way I anticipated. I found myself missing him more and more every moment. Memories of our kiss, or the strange dreams I’ve had of him, flooded my thoughts and I realized that I had utterly, hopelessly and pathetically fallen for him in a way that must be categorized as much more than a simple crush.

“We’re skipping after lunch, so be ready,” Avalon whispered to me before opening the door to English class. I mumbled a reply, too wrapped up in my thoughts of Kiran to really understand what Avalon just said to me, and then prepared myself for the verbal lashing Mr. Lambert was sure to give me on the crime of tardiness.

“Where are we going?” I demanded of Avalon, as he once again controlled his truck carelessly. I gripped the door-frame and whispered a silent prayer.

“I told you, it’s a secret,” I could hear the smile in his voice, but I refused to open my eyes and view the destruction ahead of us. Suddenly the road was very, very bumpy and I bounced around violently in the passenger’s seat. If I had not been born and raised in Nebraska and realized the transition from pavement to gravel, I would have lost my lunch all together.

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