HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 178

She pressed the button. A moment later, the door buzzed. She opened it and they rode the elevator up thirteen floors. The sensation of unease followed her all the way down the hall. She knocked on her mother’s door and waited anxiously.

A man opened the door. He was a little heavier than she remembered and he had flecks of grey in his dirty blond beard, but he otherwise he hadn’t changed a bit since she’d last seen him.

“Dad?” she muttered.

“Hey, Princess,” Jackson Osbourne said. “Surprise.”

“What… what are you doing here?” Angela stammered.

“It was your mom’s idea,” he said. “Thought it’d be nice to have everybody under the same roof for once.”

“Everybody?” Angela asked.

He smiled and beckoned her inside. She hesitated a moment, shot a glance at Genesis, then followed her father down the hall to the living room.

Vivian and Harriet, Angela’s mother and stepmother, stood by the kitchen counter chatting over drinks. Her twin half-sisters, Frederica and Josephine, sat on the couch watching television while her stepbrother, Kay, reclined in a chair by the window.

“Why did I not see this coming?” Angela said to her mother. “You were so nice on the phone yesterday, I should’ve known you were up to something.”

“You have to admit, I showed an impressive amount of restraint,” Vivian said.

“Yes, I’m so very proud of you,” Angela said sarcastically.

“Who’s your friend?” Harriet asked.

Angela froze, and glanced at Genesis.

“This… is Genesis,” she said. “My girlfriend.”

“Your what?” Jackson said.

Angela smiled sheepishly and said, “Surprise.”

“I don’t understand,” Jackson said. “Since when have you been….”

“I don’t know,” Angela said. “Always, I guess? Do we have to get into that right now?”

She nodded at the twins, who were doing a poor job at pretending not to listen. Jackson cleared his throat.