She ran down the hill to her camp, earbuds resting in her ears and an iPod in her pocket. With her brown hair tucked into a neat Dutch French Braid, she skipped down the hill of her summer camp, singing loudly.
This was a camp for children of the rich. Years ago she had begged her father to send her half-brother to the camp as well, and that was the only time she ever saw him anymore. Their mother had died when he was six and she was five. Eleven years had passed since then.
Her father scorned his wife's illegitimate child, refusing to take care of him and telling him to go live with his father, 'if he was so almighty.' Her brother had no ordinary father- his father was the god Jupiter. Her father, on the other hand, was an arms dealer and former assassin.
Then she saw him, his short brown hair lighting up from the sun that he stood in front of. "Antonius!" she called, using his full name to avoid the unwanted attention of other Tonys.
He turned, his blue-green eyes lighting up like her own hazel ones. "Lara!" he cried in response, and she tackled him. He was tall, nearly 6'7", and easily held up her more reasonable 5'8" frame. "Gods you've grown a lot," he joked, and she grinned up at him.
"How has dear ol' Adolfo been?" he asked, suddenly serious. He had an odd assortment of feelings about his sister's father, hating him for kicking him out but loving him for protecting Lara.
"Better than usual- business has picked up recently. And Jupiter?" she replied with a similar business-like air.
"He's been-" he was interrupted by screams from behind them. They turned, in synch as usual. A gunman was standing in the crowd of children and teenagers, shouting orders.
Something surged inside of her, something stronger than adrenaline, though that was there too. And then dread flooded through her when the crazed man spotted her and her brother. "Get away from her!" he commanded, stepping towards them. Tony hardened beside her, eyes narrowing.
Time seemed to slow down as an arm was raised, a gun pointed. Two shots rang out, and a strangled cry echoed after them. Lara realized that it was her voice that had made the noise, and stared, not understanding, at the scene before her.
Her brother lay, light gone from his eyes. He had died to protect her, stepping in front of her at the last second. Then she looked down and saw the blood blossoming across her chest. Time sped up again, and the pain came with it.
She would not admit it willingly later, but she screamed when she was shot again, this time through the heart. She fell beside her brother, and her eyes drifted shut. She could still feel the pain, the searing pain where the bullets had pierced her chest. Is this what it's like to die? she wondered. She still felt she hung on to life. Is this what it's like? she demanded of the empty space that was all she could see.