The Jade Arrow
Summary: For Anna Post, losing her older brother Owen and her mom and stepfather, Jim was the worst thing that could happen, but when she met Oliver Queen, it gave her a reason to go on living as a young hero trying to save her city from people like the Black Siren and Cayden James. Never mind the fact that Cayden James is her father.
Chapter 1- A Part of Your World
Anna Post walked into the school's gymnasium, relieved that her studies were over for the day. Owen, her brother had basketball practice and would drive them both home when practice was over. At fourteen, Anna was a Freshman at Star City High School in the Advanced Honors courses, but her mother said she and Owen got their smarts from their dad, Cayden James, who while they knew he was their father, had never really lived with either her or Owen. Owen said he remembered when Cayden was married to their mother, but their parents had divorced two months before Anna was born. For some reason her mother and father had kept their marriage a secret and had lived in different houses. Her father had claimed it was for her mother's, Owen's and Anna's protection. While that story might have worked when Anna and Owen were both five, it didn't work much now.
Anna felt her stomach growl. She wondered if Owen was willing to go out for Big Belly burgers or Taco Bell when practice was over. Owen was a human garbage disposal and would eat anything Anna suggested, with the exception of okra. Owens was talking with his friends on the basketball team. It was probably about the game tomorrow night as it was the finals. Anna didn't care much for basketball, but because it was her brother playing she would show up in support, which was more than she could say for Cayden. With his job as the president of Helix, he didn't show up 90% of the time to either Owen's or Anna's school events. She had been in the play "The Miracle Worker" as Annie Sullivan and her father had forgotten to show up last fall. Jim, her stepfather, had had to record the play so her father could actually watch it.
"Hey, Owen. Hey, guys," Anna greeted Owen, Billy Corbin, and Tommy Wilton.
"Hey, Post, it's your cute little sister," Tommy teased flirtatiously. Tommy always flirted with her. Tommy was one of the few guys who didn't consider her a stupid Freshman and a waste of breathing space.
"Yeah, it's me, Tommy. But don't you have a girlfriend to be jealous that you're talking to me?" Anna asked, wrapping her arms around Owen's shoulder.
"Hey, she's not as cute as you, Ann," Tommy said in his best Fonzie expression.
"Knock it off with the Fonz expression and don't call me Ann," Anna said, rolling her eyes.
"Owen! Anna!" A voice said behind them. Anna turned to see her father come into the gym and walk to them.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow," Owen said as he and Anna put all attention on their father. To a lot of people Cayden was a geek with glasses, but to Anna he was still the dad she had wanted to marry when she was four, a fact that caused her father to laughingly tell her that girls don't marry their daddies.
"Hi, Dad," Anna greeted her father and kissed his cheek.
"Hi, Dad," Owen said by way of his own greeting, but he was too macho to hug and kiss his father like Anna did.
Cayden wrapped his arm around Anna's shoulder, tucking her into his side. He gently rubbed up and down her arm with his fingers. "Hey, that was quite a game," Cayden said, using a falsetto voice that he used often when he lied to either Owen or Anna. By this point in their ages Anna and Owen could usually tell when their father was being less than honest.
"Please, don't lie, okay? I could see that you weren't in the stands. Mom and Anna told me that you didn't show," Owen said, sounding slightly upset, a fact that their father didn't miss if his face was anything to go by.
"Where's your mother now?" Cayden asked calmly, maybe a little too calmly.
"She and Jim went to have dinner at some fancy French restaurant. Ergo, leaving me and Owen to fend for ourselves for dinner. Jim got some promotion and that he wanted to treat her," Anna said raising her light eyebrows slightly.
"That's considerate of him," Cayden said with barely concealed jealousy. Cayden had made no secret that he didn't like Jim married to Anna's and Owen's mother and that Jim could tell Anna and Owen what to do. But then again, their mother had said that Cayden had lost the right to be their father when she divorced him.
"Dad, stop," Anna said.
Her father shrugged lightly and looked at Owen apologetically. "So sorry I missed the game, Owen. I got delayed at work," Cayden said as he and Anna walked to Owen.
"Is that what we're supposed to call your weirdo hacker group?" Owen scoffed, his tone full of sarcasm.
"The work we do is important. It benefits people all over the world," Cayden said. Anna felt like rolling her eyes and scoffing herself at that obvious lie. Her father never knew that she had inherited his hacking skills and she had hacked into Helix one night, just to see what her father thought was more important than a school play or Owen's basketball game. From what Anna saw, it looked like a golden opportunity for her father to end up on America's Most Wanted.
"Yeah, work you won't even tell me and Ann about," Owen said.
"As I've said, that's for your protection. Look, I know I'm not the easiest person in the world to talk to, but I do want to be a bigger part of yours and Anna's life. I truly do," Cayden said, hugging Anna briefly.
"Well, you can't have it both ways, Dad. You can't say you want to be a part of our lives and keep us out of yours. Owen, can we go get something to eat? I'm starving. I forgot to eat lunch today since I had a paper due in my world history class," Anna said, letting go of Cayden and walking to her brother.
"Sure. Big Belly okay?" Owen asked.
"Sure," Anna said as they walked away.
"When are the finals?" Their father asked.
Owen and Anna stopped walking. "Tomorrow night," Owen said, without even turning to look at Cayden.
"I will be there. I can't share with you and Anna all the details of my work, but I vow to do a better job of sharing your lives; and that begins tomorrow," Cayden said with firm finality.
Okay, we'll take your word for it, Dad. I'll even hold a seat for you next to me, Mom, and Jim. But please, don't lie to us again," Anna said, walking back to her father. Cayden gently touched her face with the back of his hand.
"I promise, Sweetheart, you will see me here," Cayden said, pressing a warm kiss to her forehead. It was the same kind of kiss he gave her when she was little and fell, skinning her knees. If Anna had had any foresight she would have seen that this day was what changed her life forever.