"Do not mope Athena, it is an unbecoming quality in a girl of your design!" The little girl let out a sigh as her Grandmother once again took her to task over something so small as a look. But how could she resist? The Father she had never met was just outside the window, playing with a young boy she had never seen before. "Who is he?" she asked softly. Helena narrowed her gaze. "Nikolas is of no concern to you."
Athena watched with rapt attention. "Why does Papa not want to see me?" Helena rolled her eyes, irritated by the single question Athena would ask time and time again. "Nikolas is his priority. Nikolas is the Prince and future heir of this family. Your Father has decided to devote his attention to Nikolas." Athena swallowed hard at the cold response, the words wounding her deeply. "We are leaving, get your coat," Helena instructed. The sadness in Athena's step did nothing to sway the decision Helena had made years ago when the arrival of a twin sister for Nikolas had unexpectedly emerged from Laura's womb. Stefan had punished her with isolating Nikolas and stealing the Empire from her. She had been wise to sense Stefan's rise the moment Laura stepped on the island. It had served her well. No one knew of Athena's existance.
"Athena!" she barked at the child, "stop staring out the window!" Athena was a stubborn child, but Helena could see the desire to know Stefan was weakening and in its place, a cold hatred would surely grow. When the time came, Stefan would learn what his choice had cost him. An Empire was just an Empire.
But a child. An innocent child could do so much more.