The Heir (Men Of The North #14) - Elin Peer



Northlands August 2457


This was my chance to impress them all. And by all, I was thinking of Thor Aurelius in particular.

The power five from the Northlands were here in the Motherlands for the fourth summer summit for future world leaders.

I’d been nervous and excited ever since my mother told me that she and I had been invited to teach the summit members about energy work.

Twelve Oaks National Forest was famous for its gorgeous nature and hosted this year’s summit. Nestled in between large mountains and tranquil woods, the campsite we had arrived at lay next to a lake with crystal clear water. I wondered if the place had been chosen for the summit because this part of the Motherlands was so similar to the Northlands.

When my mother and I exited the old community drone that we arrived in, my legs felt wobbly from nerves.

“There they are.” Freya and Aubri waved their hands in the air to greet us. My mother and I smiled and waved back while walking down the pebbled trail toward five large tents that stood in a half circle with a campfire in the middle.

People sat around but rose to greet us when we came closer.

“Athena.” Freya hugged my mother tight and then she turned to embrace me. Lifting me from the ground she laughed. “You’re almost as tall as me now.”

Freya was seven years my senior but one of my favorite Northlanders because she always made me feel welcome whenever we visited my father’s childhood friends in the Northlands. Her father, Khan, was the ruler and their family lived in a grand palace, while my family lived in a cramped old mill here in the Motherlands. Sometimes I wondered how my life would have been different if my parents had settled down up North, but with my mother serving the community as a priestess, that wasn’t a possibility.

“Good to see you two pretty ladies,” Indiana said with a charming smile. “Wow, Linea, you grew since I last saw you. You two look more and more like sisters.”

My cheeks heated as my gaze darted to Thor. I hadn’t seen him since our families celebrated Christmas together at the Gray Mansion seven months ago. He was even more handsome now and my heartrate was out of control being so close to him.

Aubri was next in line to hug my mother and me. Then came all five Motlanders and the five French delegation members that we greeted with politeness.

I kept sending glances in Thor’s direction, but except for a short dip of his chin, he didn’t acknowledge my presence and I had no chance to talk to him before my mother gathered everyone by the fireplace in the center of the campsite.

“Jonah asked us to teach you all about energy work,” my mother said with a kind smile on her pretty face.

All the Motlanders made enthusiastic sounds of excitement and the girl who had introduced herself as Holly said, “Jonah told us. We’ve been dying to meet you. All we trainees for the Council follow your virtual lectures.”

Another of the Motlanders beamed as she confirmed, “It’s true. We’re big fans.”

With another side glance to Thor, I hoped he heard that comment, but he wasn’t paying attention to me at all.

“Thank you for your kind words. Linea and I are honored to be of service today. Are you ready to get started?”

I saw the French delegation members studying my mother’s face and whispering among themselves. Unsure if they understood that the tattoos on her forehead were symbols of wisdom, I felt tempted to tell them, but my mother began teaching just then.

Despite several of the people talking among themselves, my mother didn’t call out or raise her voice to get attention. Taking a position with her hands folded in front of her, she waited for everyone to settle down before she began.

“Thank you for welcoming my daughter Linea and me into your group today. We are honored to be here. For those who don’t know us, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Athena and I live about two hours east of here with my family. My husband, Finn, is originally from the Northlands. We have been blessed with four children: three sons and a daughter. Linea is our youngest child and already serving our community with her gifts. I can tell that a few of you are wondering about the tattoos on my forehead. They are the sign of a priestess and represent my journey within the ancient wisdom