Running around the Museum, I quickly finished closing up from a busy day. I was preparing the last touches on exhibits before opening night. Every time I thought I was done, something would happen, making me start over again. Today, I decided that I didn’t like how I set up the Pompeii exhibit, so I had to move things around. I felt my muscles ache from all the heavy lifting.
I looked up at the clock, which read 5:10. Cursing under my breath, I grabbed my things. I was running late.
This would be the first day that Eros would pick me up after work. The reason the god of love was escorting me home? I told Artemis about the two letters I received and how I felt like someone was following me home the other night. She asked Dinlas to have someone walk me to and from work until I felt comfortable walking home by myself again. Eros happened to be the person Dinlas chose.
I quickly pushed open the front doors and locked them behind me. “Sorry, I am late,” I said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
“It’s not a problem,” he replied, holding his arm out. “Shall we?”
I took one last glance at the museum before I hesitantly wrapped my arm around his. I could feel my face turn slightly pink and I felt embarrassed. After four thousand years, you would think that I would be immune to blushing and being flustered in these situations, but no. It occasionally felt like I was still a teenager.
“So, how are you after all these years?” I asked him, trying to fill the awkward silence.
“I’ve been good,” he said. “Din said you thought someone was following you?”
I nodded and told him about the letters I had received and the strange feeling about being followed while en route to and from the museum.
“And you have no idea who they could be? No secret enemies you’ve made, writing in your journal watching history pass you by?” he asked.
I knitted my brows and tilted my head. “No. I don’t usually involve myself with mortals. I tend to observe only.”
“So you must have observed something you weren’t supposed to.”
“I observe a lot of things. Most of the time, mortals don’t notice my presence.”
“I tend to like more to be the observed rather than the observer, but that is just me”
I can feel my face burn red at his words.
“You can learn a lot observing from others,” I replied, ignoring his comment. “If only mortals learned from their past mistakes, their lives would be easier.”
“You should observe me one day, I’m sure you’d find the experience…enlightening.”
I released Eros’s arm. Surely he couldn’t mean what I thought he was implying. Scoundrel. I was not going to give in to his game. Turning my head towards the street, I attempted to change the subject. “So, the weather is nice today.”
“Surely you’ve observed such an event before. I mean sex,” he teased, ignoring my attempt to change the subject.
There was no way I was going to get myself out of this topic. “Well, I prefer to o-observe other events. Major events throughout h-history like war, horrible tragedies, and art.”
I felt Eros’s hand slide along my lower back and he pulled me closer to his side. I shivered at his touch as I tried to control my breathing.
“You do know how many of those tragedies, wars, art…are inspired by sex?”
“Yes, I know that. I don’t just focus on the intimate parts of history. I focus on observing what happens during wars, tragedies, and art. I focus on the creators, the victors, and the unsuccessful.”
I felt the heat radiating from Eros’ hand onto my back. My heart started to pound in my chest.
“You know ignoring sex doesn’t mean it goes away. Out of curiosity, Clio, when was the last time you were properly fucked?” he asked me.
My eyes widened at his question and I pushed his hand away. “I d-don’t think this is a very a-appropriate conversation to be having, Eros,” I stuttered. I could tell he was amused and it made me more anxious.
“You’ll find inappropriate is something I always tend to be, Aren.”
I tilted my head to the side, confused. “Aren? Little sheep? Why are you calling me that?” I asked him.
“Little lamb actually. It is because you seem so innocent, even after four thousand years. I find myself fascinated.”
My eyes started to glow, power surging through my body. I could feel myself losing control of my emotions, and when I lost control, my powers tended to do things on their own. “I guess I never grew up after all those years,” I said.
“You should look into that. Looks like we’re here,” Eros said, pushing up his sunglasses to the top of his head. He looked down at me and our eyes connected. I didn’t hear what he said next. I was thrown back into his past and suddenly, images of what he experienced flowed through my mind. One scene replayed over and over again until I was able to force myself out of the visions. My cheeks felt wet from tears, and I moved quickly to wipe my eyes. I could feel his pain and sadness from that memory in my chest.
“I am so sorry, E-eros,” I cried.
“Aren? What’s wrong? You’re crying,” he said. “Do you see someone?”
I rubbed my hand on my forehead anxiously, cursing under my breath. “I didn’t mean to see…”
“See? See what? And why are you apologizing?” he asked.
“Her…I saw what she did,” my voice was weak. I felt Eros’ hands grab onto my arm tightly. I winced in pain.
“What are you talking about? What…who did?”
“Psyche. She did something to you. Didn’t she?” I asked him, another tear rolling down my cheek.
Eros roughly shoved me back against the door, his face inches away from me. I couldn’t help but feel scared.
“What the fuck did you just say?” he snarled.
My body hurt from his actions and I looked away. “P-psyche. I saw…she took them.”
Eros forced me to look at him by grabbing my chin roughly. His eyes are full of anger.
“Don’t fucking say that name to me. How did you see that? No one knows that. No one.”
“I have the p-power to see someone’s past by looking into their e-eyes…I didn’t mean to,” I said, my breathing shaky.
“So you looked into mine? You enjoy your little dance through my secrets?” he said, pushing me away. “Get away from me. Go inside. I’ll tell Dinlas I have better things to do than to babysit a pathetic muse.”
I watched him as he turned away and stormed down the street. His words stung and I felt myself sobbing. “I didn’t mean to,” I cried. “I’m sorry…”