Quickly Pasht started to look forward to her yearly visits to see the twins on their birthday. Not only because it was her duty to watch over them, but because she could see her family without feeling guilty.
The first year had been the most difficult for her as the nervousness returned. She had made the decision, and informed her parents and Jake and Shamira, not to use the name given to her by The Centre. She didn't want the Twins, now named Angus and Evander or Gus and Evan for short, to have any connection with The Centre or anyone to do with it. Instead she elected to become 'Auntie Pakhet'.
But no matter what name she used, it was difficult that first time to see her family all together again for the first time since she was twelve.
Pasht sat for a moment in the car smoothing the skirt of her dress nervously.
"I can come in with you if you want."
She shook her head.
"No, this is something I need to do myself. At least the first time."
Shuck nodded and tapped the steering wheel a couple of times while he waited for her to get up the courage to get out of the car. He couldn't force her, he couldn't make her do this, she really had to do it on her own. But if he wasn't going in he had to get going soon. He had an opportunity to pick up a shift with the security company he worked for. It was casual work, but they needed the money. They could get an awful lot from the forest around the cavern, but they couldn't get everything. Petrol was one example of that. And yet here he sat with the engine running waiting for Pasht to get out of the car.
But she stopped him before he could get any further.
"I know, I'm just more nervous than I thought I would be."
Taking a final deep breath Pasht opened the passenger side door and stood up. It was now or never, she had to do this and she had to do it now. Forcing herself to stride confidently forward Pasht moved towards the door. When she reached the front door she rang the bell without turning to see Shuck driving off in the car.
Shuck smiled as he watched her move away from the car and pulled away from the curb. Now that she had made the step he knew that she would be alright. He knew her well enough to know that she wouldn't follow the cars progress as he drove away, so he did the same. Keeping his eyes on the road rather than watching her in the mirror as she disappeared inside the house.
Jake had been the one to answer the door, and his enthusiasm was obvious.
"Finally you made it, we've been waiting for you. Everyone is so excited to see you after all these years."
Pasht smiled but, her heart sped up. No pressure, no pressure at all.
"Did you tell them…"
Jake ushered her inside as he spoke.
"Yes, yes. I told them and don't worry. No one will refer to you as anything other than Pakhet. No one would do anything to jepordise you or the children. Now come in, come in. Shamira is getting the boys into their party outfits at the moment. No doubt it will be mere moments before they make a mess of themselves…"
Jake continued to talk as they walked along the corridor, while Pasht nodded along silently beside him. When they came to the living room door, however, she stopped before stepping over the threshold. They were there, all there, every single one of them. Pasht's sister Elanor, the first born, and her husband whom Pasht couldn't remember the name of. Then there was Will, her phone loving prankster eldest brother. Jake was the next in terms of age, and then it was Eric. He had been the youngest until she had been born. Her parents were also there, the two of them sitting amongst her siblings.
As a single entity they looked up at her in the doorway, and then they smiled. Adrenaline and fear pumping through her body Pasht stepped into the room. This was her family, She was safe here. These were the people who had always done what was best for her. That was why she had brought the twins here in the first place. So that they could have the childhood that she had had. Something that Gorgon had been deprived of. So that they would be safe and understood.