Artemis smiled. A genuine smile, this time. Beckett tore through the living room on his pudgy toddler feet, giggling maliciously with a stuffed monkey in his chubby hands. And he was gone as fast as he had appeared, apparently running from nothing. But Artemis knew. He always did.
Left in silence, Artemis returned to his essay. Soon, the teachers would realize that with every assignment, Artemis’ papers became more and more complicated. Especially considering that Artemis was smarter than all of his ‘teachers’ combined. None of his professors had established that yet.
Artemis didn’t wait long. Another small boy, nearly identical to the first, lumbered into the large family room. He was obviously exhausted, yet going as fast as his short legs would allow.
“Artemis, Beckett stoled Professor Primate,” gasped Myles, his tone dripping with desperation. Artemis’ grin broadened.
“Why don’t you steal it back?”
Myles was a natural scientist, made of the same stuff as Artemis. That also meant that, unlike his twin, Myles had virtually no physical ability. Beckett held a large advantage over his younger brother, and wasn’t afraid to use it.
“I’m tieing, Artemis!” whined Myles. Artemis still wondered if he had sometimes slurred his words when he was little, as Myles often did. Beckett, however, had lost that habit about three months ago.
“Well, tell him that if he doesn’t give Professor Primate back, then you won’t give him a Christmas present this year.” It was December 9th, and Christmas was on its way. Angeline had put up the Christmas tree several days previously, and she had decorated the house like the North Pole. Artemis wouldn’t be surprised if Santa thought he lived there.
“Okay, Arty-miss!” Myles raced off with new-found energy. Artemis shook his head. Children.
Myles strode into the living room some thirty minutes later, a large stuffed monkey seated on his shoulders. A dejected Beckett followed with a defeated look on his small face.
“Arty-miss, what’s back rail?” Beckett tiptoed to the chair Artemis was sitting in and climbed upon his lap.
“Do you mean blackmail?” asked Artemis as he gently stroked Beckett’s sticky blonde curls. He immediately wished he hadn’t. Would he ever learn?
“Yes,” whispered Beckett. Myles had done something to him. Beckett rubbed his face against his elder brother’s shirt.
“Simple-toon,” muttered Myles. He stalked out of the room, towing his primate prize.
“Er… perhaps I’ll tell you some other time.” Artemis carefully set his brother on the floor.
“Myles said I wasn’t gonna get any presents from him this year,” Beckett croaked.
“That just means you’ll have to write an extra-long letter to Santa Claus.” replied Artemis jokingly. But understanding and confidence adorned Beckett’s features. He raced from the room, only to return moments later with a pencil and a notebook. Myles poked his head into the lounge, his eyes harboring confusion and curiosity.
“Will you help me, Artemis?” begged Beckett, his eyes pleading. Myles strutted across the room, only to stand behind his twin.
“What are you helping him with?” questioned Myles. Inquisitive boy.
Artemis stood and took both of the boys by the hand. “I’m going to help you two write letters to Santa.”