CHAPTER 1: THE BIRTH – PART 4

A long debate went on for months until they agreed that the best way to protect Halena was to put her into hiding on another world, and leave Vladimir under the belief that she died from an incurable illness. The High Council suggested Earth, where she could easily blend in with the humans. Eric and Arianna volunteered to take guardianship over Halena until she turned eighteen. A young man and woman honorably volunteered, much to the twins' sad reluctance, to stage their deaths.

In the middle of December, as snowflakes came down from the sky flawlessly landing on the rainbow bridge, everyone gathered at the end of the bridge to say goodbye to Halena. The family took a moment alone with Halena, who was nestled asleep in her mother's arms wrapped around her red velvet cloak, dressed in a small hat and white silver baby dress complete with sky blue shoulder shrug. Each family member and friend held her and kissed her forehead, before baring the little girl with a gift: her aunt and uncle, Alexander and Elena a ring forged from a burning star; Elwood, Amara, Aeolus and Silas a Valkyrie dagger and an Elven moonstone dream-catcher; and her parents a silver pendant enchanted to keep her hidden from the Nebulans and a music box baring the Asgardian symbol, with a letter for her to read when she was eighteen.

The baby was passed back to the queen, who looked at her with such sadness in her eyes refusing to let her go, remembering her own mother's words when she was a child that 'a mother's love for her children was as strong as the love for her beloved…'

'Antoinette, she will be safe', the king reassured her, wiping away a lone tear on her cheek. 'When the time is right, she will return to us. We will one day see her again'.

The queen nodded, more tears stream down her face. She and Darius gave Halena one last kiss and passed her over to Arianna. 'Keep her safe', she instructed to her son and daughter, squeezing their hands lightly. 'She will need your guidance as she grows'.

Eric and Arianna nodded.

'You have our word, Mother', Arianna replied comfortingly, and gave Darius a one-arm hug, careful not to wake Halena. 'You as well, Father'.

Darius gave her a kiss on the cheek, and went to hug his son.

'No harm will come to her, my lord and lady. We can assure you of that', Eric said.

The siblings made their way to the bridge's gateway, gazing out over the endless lake of stars. Alerting the gatekeeper, he opened the gateway with his magic. Within seconds, pure light matter as bright as the Northern Lights appeared creating a reflection of the destination like a mirror. As soon as it opened up, Eric with Arianna carrying Halena stepped into the gateway and they were gone.