“Lucian, don’t be stubborn! I miss you. I haven’t seen you or Seth in a year…” Stella sighed lightly. She was about ready to hang up. This was her last chance to convince her older brother, Lucian, to come and stay with her on Olympus for the Fourth of July.
“It’s only a stupid American holiday, Stella. We’re not even American. Why are you so hyped up about this?” Lucian asked. There was screaming in the background of Lucian’s line. A little boy’s screaming, to be exact. And not a scream in a scared way, in a fun way. “Seth! Get off the curtains! Gah! No! No! Stop!...I told you.” Now there was crying.
“Seth?” Stella asked. “Why is he crying?” Lucian sighed.
“He was swinging off of the curtains. He nearly fell out the window. Thank god that he only fell on the floor.” Lucian reply. There was a little bit of noise, like he was readjusting the phone by his ear.
Stella sat down on an old couch in the H.Q. It was a nasty brown color that usually would make her feel her stomach contents at the bottom of her throat, but this time she was too annoyed to even let a bit of her attention slip away onto the couch.
“You need to watch him better…he isn’t sick anymore, is he?” She asked. Lucian didn’t answer for a good thirty seconds, but he was definitely still there. She could tell by her beloved little brother’s crying.
“Yea…he’s still not doing too good, Stels.” It must’ve been bad. Horrible, maybe. Lucian never called her “Stels” unless there was something he was nervous to tell her about. “He’s still dealing with that…thing.”
“What do you mean by ‘that thing’, Lucian?” Her voice had turned deadly serious.
“You know…the type II ‘Brittle bone disease’…don’t worry, I have it under control. He’s taking his medicine…but the ADD is not a good mix with it, you know? He can’t sit still for more than five minutes.” Lucian sounded sad; heart-broken. Stella knew well that he loved Seth just as much as she did. Since they left their home with their mother and Catherine went MIA, it was hard to keep in contact and take care of Seth together.
“Please come, Lucian. Please. I need to see you and him. I’ll do anything! Let me pay for the plane ticket!”
“I don’t know if it’s a good idea.”
“He wants to see me. He has to.” Stella said. And just as she did, Seth stopped crying and gasped.
“Is that Stella-bella!?” Seth nearly screamed. “Are you talking to her!? Ooh, ooh! Can I talk to her? Pleaseeee, Lu-lu?” Lucian grumbled not to call him that. He reluctantly handed the phone to his little brother.
“Hey, buddy!” Stella said, forcing happiness into her voice. “How have you been?”
“Good! But I think my leg is brok-”
“Hand the phone back to Lu-lu, Seth! Please!”
“But I want to talk to you! I haven’t seen you in forever! Please don’t make me give the phone back!”
“Seth, this is serious! You need to go to the doctors’!” Seth whined.
“Okay…” He hung up.
Stella pulled her knees up to her chest, and started to sob softly. She sometimes wondered why she ever agreed to found the Heroes Organization with Rachel Hughes. Sometimes she just wanted to have stayed with Lucian and Seth. Stay somewhat of a family, and perhaps cling to that little bit of normal they still had in their life. But that was not possible anymore. She had made the decisions she did…and there was no going back.
She got up, then went to order the decorations, fireworks, and food. She was going to make this 4th of July the best she could. Even if Lucian did not come, she would make something out of it. Just so everyone else could be happy.
She knew they struggled too, sometimes. Or at least she thought they did. Who could be taken away from the normal that humans call a life and not be stressed out? Or home sick…well, former life sick.
Rachel screamed and jumped backwards. “What are these things!?” She knew they were greek, she could tell by the writing on the side. “Who is…Gavril?”
“Oh,” Stella said as she walked into the room with another box. “Gavril’s are Greek Magical fireworks. The best, may I add. Aeacus Gavril was a son of Hephaestus. Crafted them so they’re about ten thousand times better than any firework created and lit by a mortal.” She explained.
“Well they’re scary and I don’t like them. I mean honestly, all that thing did as make a few white sparks.” Rachel said as she tossed the empty firework package into a trash can.
“Did you by chance light it? It needs to be lit.”
“Oh…” Rachel had simply pulled the wick. “No. I didn’t. I’ve never seen these things in real life before. Sure, I’ve seen pictures of some from previous years when Artemis took the hunters to see some…but that’s it.”
“How about you read the directions?” Stella suggested, taking out red-white-and-blue themed decorations from the boxes. “You know, they’re right on the side. And in English, too.”
“They weren’t big enough…or detailed enough.” Rachel said as she picked up a larger firework, not daring to pull or light anything.
“Okay. I’ll just send an Iris message to Garvil’s tomorrow to tell them to replace the title of the firework with the direction. I’ll tell them that the font simply isn’t big enough for their idol—Rachel Hughes.” Stella said sarcastically. Rachel scowled.
“You don’t have to be so rude about it.” Rachel said. “I just didn’t know. I know now.”
“Good. I don’t want to burn this place down. It’s the only place we have right now.” Stella said. “Now put those things down and help me hang this stuff up.”
“Yes, master.” Rachel said jokingly and bowed down, but just with her upper body. She took small things and started to put them on table, and light little candles. Stella did most of the things that she had to get on a ladder for.
“Hand me that.” Stella said. “Please.” Rachel nodded and handed her what she was asking for.
“Oh, yea, did you ever get your brother to come up for the fourth?” Rachel asked. Stella nodded slightly.
“Yes. He’ll be arriving any moment. That’s why I wanted to get this done now. Could you sweep up your mess from the Line Work?” Rachel looked confused. “The firework you broke.”
About a half an hour later, there was a knock at the door. But since they were in a tiny cabin, you could clearly hear a little boy’s excited chatter.
“Is she here!? Oh, I hope she’s here! Stellaaaa-Beellllaaa!?” He called. Stella chuckled and climbed off the latter and opened the door. She hugged Lucian quickly, then pulled Seth into a gentle hug.
“Hey,” She said, opening the door for her brothers.
Rachel curiously walked over. “Who are these?”
“I told you, they’re Lucian and Seth. My brothers.” Stella said. Her voice had an edge to it. Rachel scowled again, and pulled Stella into a small closet where they kept different kinds of cleaners.
“What is up with you today? I mean seriously. You’ve been nothing but rude today.” Rachel said, trying to keep her voice hushed. Stella tried to leave the closet, but Rachel blocked her way. “No, you’re not going anywhere. We’re talking.” Stella growled quietly, annoyed.
“Fine. I’m stressed, okay? My brother is very sick, and the other one is working day and night to provide for Seth. I don’t control my annoyance or anger when I’m stressed. Now move, I have things to do before tonight is up.” Stella gently shoved Rachel out of her way, returning to her brothers.
She sat down on one of the single arm-rest chairs. “Sit,” She told her brothers.
Lucian sat, putting Seth beside him. He looked uncomfortable. “So…” He said. She frowned.
“How was your trip over here from Seattle?” Rachel asked as she exited the closet. Lucian glanced at her.
“Pleasant. The plane ride got a little uncomfortable, but we landed safely.” He said.
“You don’t like the demigod life style do you? I wonder why this is…” Rachel mumbles. Stella looked nervous.
“That doesn’t matter, does it?” Stella said, looking oddly at Rachel. “No, it doesn’t.” She answered herself. “Does anyone want anything to drink? A bite to eat?” She started to shake lightly. Lucian got up and stood beside his sister.
“Calm down, Stella. We’re fine. Seth’s here, safe and healthy. Same for me. We’re fine, we can take care of ourselves.” Lucian said, his voice filled with worry.
Rachel shook her head. She pretended to busy herself with a box of fire-works.
“I’m sorry…” Stella said quietly. “I need to get the fireworks ready for tonight.” Seth gasped and hoped off of the couch.
“Fireworks!? Lu-lu doesn’t let me around fireworks…but can I still light some?” Stella chuckled lightly.
“No, you cannot light them. I’ll light them, and you’ll watch.” She said to her younger brother. She got up, and started to arrange the fireworks.
Everyone who was there, had to admit that the way the HQ burnt down was an awfully cute one. It was innocent, too.
It started out with Seth playing with a sparkler around a box of roman candles on cocaine…and well, things went downhill pretty quickly from there.
“Stella, lighter?” Rachel called to her. Stella looked up from the firework display she was putting together and nodded. She pulled a yellow lighter from her pocket and tossed it to her. Rachel nodded her thanks and Stella looked back to the display. Rachel smiled lightly to Seth then lit the sparkler, handing it to him. Seth squealed and ran over to Stella, to show her.
“Stella! Stella! Look!” Seth said, holding it out in front of her. Sadly, in front of her was the display she was putting together, and about five boxes of even more fireworks. The sparks went everywhere, and in seconds, the wicks were lit on nearly every firework. Stella gasped inward, grabbed Seth, and ran, yelling for the other’s to follow her out of the HQ.
They made it away with only seconds to spare. They just stopped running, and were catching their breath when they heard from behind them the loudest BAM! BAM! BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM! they had ever heard.
Stella fell to her knees, gazing at the bright, large fire that was once their base. Tears welled in her eyes, and Seth clinged to Rachel’s legs, sobbing and trembling. Lucian paced around behind them, cussing. Rachel stared in disbelief at what just happened. She looked down at Seth, frowning. She kneels and hugs him to her.
“I see the moon. The moon see's me. The moon see's the one I long to see…” Rachel began to sing. She looked up to the night sky, to the large, bright moon that stood out from the fireworks in the sky. All she could think about was her little brother, Cole, who she still had failed to go back for. Thinking about what could be happening to him, or what was or did happen to him made her sad, it made her heart fall deep into her stomach.
“Gods bless the moon, and Gods bless me…and Gods bless the one I long to see.” Rachel sung softly, Seth slowly stops sobbing and looks up at her. She really did want to see Cole again. She wanted badly to save him from the life be probably has. No…there was no ‘probably’ about it. She knew he had that life. Because she left him with that life. And it was still a day that haunted her day and night.
“Seems to me…that the Gods above…Created you…For me to love.” Seth was asleep by now. But Rachel felt the need to finish the song, as she did to Cole often. “They picked you out
from all the rest, 'cause they knew I loved you best.” She finished, not noticing that both Stella and Lucian were staring oddly at her.
“Soooo…you wanna tell us what happened to the HQ?” Malcolm asked as the THO sat around a campfire.
“It’s a long story…” Rachel said quietly. “Basically…the Greek fireworks were a horrible decision…” She said. Matt sighed.
“Someone gave Seth fire, didn’t they?” Matt said, trying to hide his annoyance. Stella glanced at him and gently rested a hand on his shoulder. She was sitting next to him, a shawl wrapped around her shoulders. Of all nights, it was pretty cold on Olympus.
Matt’s face turned a little red, and he nodded slightly at Stella. She frowned and looked away from him.
Rachel sighed. He’s so dumb…
|The Heroes Organization|