Tall redwoods surround me as I try to find my center. I breathe deeply and exhale, watching as birds fly overhead. My body is warm with energy, it pulses in my core and I swallow another breath. I lean back into the plush grass and run my fingers through the soft stalks. Closing my eyes, I picture fluffy white clouds lazily strolling across an infinite blue sky. I fold my hands together and begin to hum, the rhythm sings to my soul and I begin to project my essence out into the world.

          Hours later, I return to my body feeling euphoric. When I open my eyes, I see four teenagers staring back at me. The closest boy jumps back, “Oh! It’s alive!” He squeaks.

          I quirk my head at him and blink the fuzziness out of my eyes. “Of course I’m alive.”

          “Yeah well you haven’t moved for three hours, forty-seven minutes and twelve seconds.” A girl pipes in. The other three stare at her. She shrugs, “Time is my thing.”

          “Why are you in my woods?” I wonder aloud. I don’t get many visitors around this part of the wood and especially not teenagers. After the ice event, my father had me relocated to a more tranquil setting. He said, “It will help you balance your energy”. I had rolled my eyes at him then, but he was right. The only downside was the loneliness.

          “There was a disturbance near the area. Possible demon activity. We came to get rid of it.” The tall, moody one mutters.

          I sit up fully and look at them again. Holy Hellbats, Nephilim. They all have a slight golden aura around them, the telltale sign for any Nephilim. The first time I ran into Nephilim, I had almost left that fight in a body bag. I shiver at the memory and shake my head, “I’ve never had any sort of demons in my woods.”

          The guarded one sneers. “How would you be able to tell, nymph?” He is a leering oaf, black eyes always moving.

          I scowl at him, “Probably because I myself have demonic blood.” Their eyes widen simultaneously and they move back from me. I bear my razor teeth at them. “I’m only 12% demon, but it’s from Lilith and it’s more powerful than any other demonic blood out there.” I retract my teeth and stand up, resting my hands on my hips. “However, I have allegiance only to my father, Triton. I haven’t left this forest in 15 years.” I glare at all of them.

          The other girl steps forward, her blue eyes peer out from behind her lashes, “I have demon blood too. Less than one percent, but it’s enough for most of the Nephilim to spit at me. That’s the last thing they ever do though.” Her eyes flashed towards Mr. Broody. He stiffened and his hawk eyes narrowed in on her, his hand twitching to his hidden blade. She hissed at him.

          “I’m Ava and I can control water elements.” The girl says stepping forward an offering her hand.

          “I’m Lilith. Named for dear old great, great Grammy or something like that. I can feel energy and the nature around me, but no really cool powers or anything like that.” I shake her hand and she smiles at me.

          She gestures at the tall one, “That’s Brody, he doesn’t like anyone. The one who was in your face is Zeke and Isa is the humanoid stopwatch.”

          “Lovely introductions, but I would kind of like to go back to meditating. Do you need something or can you guys find your way out of my woods?” I scowl at Brody. He reminded me too much of that first Neph I had run into, I wanted him out.

          Isa closes her eyes, “We’ll only be here for seven more minutes and fourteen seconds approximately, depending on your choice.” Her eyes linger on my face and I fight the urge to cross my arms over my chest.

          Zeke springs to attention, his nose in the air. “I can smell it and it’s not lil’ Lilith. It’s moving and it’s coming this way guys.” Metal zings through the air as the Nephilim unstrap all their weapons.

          “Whatever it is, it’s big and it’s angry,” I say, angling my body to face the mass of energy hurtling toward me.

Ava steps up beside me, “Can you fight?”

I shrug, “I’ve been trained with a couple weapons, but since being assigned here, I’ve never needed the skills.” She hands me a small dagger. The other Nephilim step up next to Ava and we watch as a glowing orange orb hurtles towards us.

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