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Wren turned, quick and despairing. He was gone. She did not bother trying to find his mind; she knew it would be hidden from her utterly.
I am alone. In Greece, she thought to herself, too stunned to feel terror. There is an entire ocean between me and home. She struggled to recall her geography but gave up quickly. Kingston was further away than it had ever been in her life.
She took a few aimless steps among the rocks and stones, wondering if Herne stood there with her, laughing invisibly. I can go down to a town, lift information from the people there. The thought was reassuring but she wondered how much her non-familiarity with the local language would hinder her.
A small noise in the stones behind her made her turn again, hope flaring briefly. There was no one to be seen. She drew in a ragged breath, then looked down to see a white envelope, gleaming incongruously among the dry, cold rocks.
She stooped and retrieved it, tearing it open with angry hands.
“I’ll feed your cat for you.” Reynard’s handwriting, neat and precise as ever.
“Where are you, asshole?” she shouted, not hiding it from anyone or anything. There was no response; just the implacable silence of the mountain. Wren sat down, uncaring of the dust and sharpness of the stones against the fine linen of her dress. Herne was testing her; that much was obvious. She did not feel like being tested.
“You are not alone, ever.”
Wren looked up. A woman stood before her, dressed nearly exactly as she was. She was tall and slender, long pale hair hanging to her waist with a portion braided into a crown. She held out a hand to Wren. “Please; let me introduce myself.”
Wren took her hand and rose, stepping on the hem of her own long dress as she did so. The woman squeezed her fingers briefly and smiled before letting go. “My brothers are cruel and wild.”
“Brothers,” Wren repeated, unsurprised.
“I am Selene.” She glanced around herself with an air of irony. “I do not come to this peak often but this land is where I make my home. Pan knows this well.”
Another smile, kind and amused. “Your ascension has been well-known.”
Wren reddened with sudden self-consciousness and embarrassment. “Really?”
“We all know what Reynard has done. Your godhood has been a… noisy one thus far.” She frowned slightly. “Through no fault of your own. Reynard, as ever, has been capricious and even in his despair seeks frivolous amusement.”
“We made a kind of deal.”
Selene flipped a hand dismissively. “You were human and confused. His actions were selfish. To cause you to endure such a painful transition highlights his inadequacy.”
“It was probably the best offer I was going to get from anyone.”
“That is true. New members of the family are rarer now. They were even when Reynard joined us. So you are something of a novelty.”
“You know why he gave me power?”
Selene’s expression grew blank, cold. “Yes.”
Wren hesitated, unsure of what to say next. It was apparent that her purpose was not something that would endear her to her new family. “Can you tell me how to get home?”
Selene’s expression softened a touch. “Yes. Herne either underestimates your power or wishes for you to. It’s a simple trick: picture where you want to be and decide to be there.” She shrugged a little. “It does help to have been there before.”
“It’s that simple?”
“Indeed. Or you could become a bird and fly there yourself. Or commandeer a luxury jet, causing all involved to believe that you have every right to it.” She spread her hands. “You can do anything.”