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Diana’s eyes snapped wide and her body instantly stiffened. “Where is he?!”
“This way, Empress,” Cadmus hurried out of the courtyard with Sam and Diana close on his heels.
“Has anyone told Callee?” Diana asked as they jogged along the halls.
Cadmus stopped at the door to the guard captain’s office and opened it. “In here, Empress,” he said as he stepped aside.
Diana and Sam walked into the room to find a guard standing next to a young man who was sitting in a plush chair holding an ice pack against his left cheek. He looked up as Diana walked toward him.
“Cadmus says you claim that you’re my nephew,” Diana said with barely restrained hope.
“Yes,” the young man answered.
“You’ll forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical. Will you submit to a DNA test?”
“Of course,” the young man replied with a slight Greek accent. A few minutes later a syringe was being filled with his blood.
When the nurse left Diana turned to the boy. “While we wait for the results I’d like for you to tell me how you knew to come here. Alexander was only three when he was taken.”
The young man nodded. “I grew up believing the Emperor of Illuminata was my father.”
“Vasilis,” Diana said coldly.
The boy nodded. “When I was seventeen I had a vision of the past. I was in a small bed and saw someone named Alexis sleeping next to me. Then a woman came in the room. She kissed my forehead and told me that Alexis was already asleep and that I should follow her example. I think that woman was my real mother.
She left the room and then I saw someone taking me out of bed and covering my mouth. They took me away and my vision ended.
I went to Vasilis and asked him about it. He told me I must’ve been seeing someone else’s past. I’m not sure how, but I knew he was lying. When he hugged me I had another vision of him giving the order to kidnap Alexis. I realized I was taken by mistake.” The young man sighed. “Vasilis never paid much attention to me and after those visions, I knew why; I’m not really his son. After that, I spent most of my time trying to figure out how to get here.
Last night I found someone who was willing to take me off the island. The guards found us and that’s how I got this,” he said as he pulled away the ice pack to show his bruised cheek.
Diana winced when the injury was revealed. “Do you have any other injuries?”
“My right shoulder is a little sore but nothing else,” the young man replied.
About ten minutes later a knock sounded on the door. “That must be the test results,” Diana said as both she and the young man stood up.
“Don’t DNA tests take a couple days?” Sam asked.
Diana smiled. “Not with our technology, they don’t.” She opened the door and the nurse walked in. “So...is he Alex?” she asked hopefully.
The nurse smiled. “Yes. The DNA is a perfect match.”
Diana smiled and tears welled up in her eyes. “Please bring Callee here immediately,” she said to the nurse. The nurse nodded and left. Diana turned to Alex. “I can’t believe you’re really here!” she said as she hugged him. “I’m your aunt Diana.” She released Alex from the hug and gestured toward Sam. “And this is your cousin, Alexis.”
“Nice to meet you,” Sam said with a big smile. “You can call me Alexis or Sam. Your choice.”
“Sam?” Alex asked, puzzled.
“We went into hiding in America after you were taken. We changed her name to Samantha while we were there,” Diana explained.
“Oh,” said Alex.
“Your English is very good,” Diana said.
Alex smiled. “Thank you. It wasn’t easy studying in secret. Illuminata has very few books on the subject.”
“Are you hungry?” Sam offered.
“Very much,” Alex replied.
“Guard would you please get Alex some food from the buffet table?” Diana requested.
“Right away, Empress.” The guard bowed and left the room.
About nine minutes later Callee burst through the door, gasping for air from running. Her gaze fell on Alex and tears began rolling down her face. “Alex!” she cried as she pulled him into a crushing hug. “Oh Theos! Alex Alex Alex!” she sobbed. “Oh, my baby!!”
Alex looked unsure of himself, but after a moment his body relaxed and he smiled. “Mother,” he said with contentment in his voice; And for a moment...he nearly forgot he was a spy.
The next day Sam and her parents sat in the admissions office for school.