My eyes feel heavy from hardly sleeping. I hate lying to Eros. It makes me sick to my stomach, but I have to do this on my own. After meeting with L, I will tell him the truth about everything. I don’t even know if L will be there. It has been months since I received the letter to meet with the mysterious person. So much has happened since my return home, I forgot all about it until recently. Placing a hand on my pregnant belly, I open the coffee shop door. A little ding goes off, letting the barista know I have arrived.
Although it is early in the morning, there are still a few people grabbing their morning coffee. I make my way to the back of the line and close my eyes. A surge of power flows through me as I trigger my new ability to see other’s auras. The skill came to me once my memories of Psyche returned. It should help me narrow down the possible people who can be L.
My eyes scan the shop, stopping for a second on a man with short dark hair. His aura is blood red, and his face looks very familiar. He reminds me of someone, but I can’t figure it out. Could this be L? Perhaps if I tap into more of my power and look through his history… No… I scold myself. When did I start thinking it is okay to look into someone’s past without their permission? I look away from him, guilt seeping into my bones.
My attention is being drawn to another aura in the room. I follow the invisible trail to a different man. He is younger than the other. Strawberry blonde hair and big brown eyes that look almost black. He can’t be older than thirty, but a few mortals have a special gift of looking younger than they actually are.
A small smile tugs at his lips as he studies me, and a shiver rolls down my spine. It is like his eyes are looking into my soul. Impossible, right? I notice the glow around him. His aura is jet black, and it drips onto the floor. Unknown? I’ve never seen this before. I blink a few times, placing my hand on my stomach as one of the twins kicks. Danger. I gulp, turning my attention to the barista. Ordering a pastry and some water, I release a shaky breath and turn around. The blonde is still looking at me. It’s him. I can feel it.
I walk over to his table, coughing slightly. “Do I know you?”
The man smiles warmly at me, showing his perfect white teeth. “Clio, Muse of History. So nice of you to finally join me. Please, sit.”
He points at the chair in front of him, and I look down at it, chewing my bottom lip. My ankles are killing me and resting would be nice. It will give me a disadvantage if I need to leave quickly. I sigh, giving in to sitting. There are people here, and I doubt the man will take me in the middle of the day. I place the pastry on the table in front of me, picking at it.
“How do you know who I am?” I ask him.
“How could we ever forget the beautiful goddess who saved our ancestors?” He smiles.
My breath hitches in my throat. It has been a long time since I saved a mortal. A few hundred years, at least. When I saved them, I left no evidence of who I really was. At least, I don’t think I did.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“I am your generous donator,” he says, waving a hand in the air.
“L…” I am right.
“You can call me Lukas,” he says, taking a sip of his coffee.
I nod slowly, chewing my bottom lip nervously. His aura hasn’t changed, which concerns me. He is a little too happy for a person with a dark aura. “W-what do you want?”
Lukas looks at me. “Can I not thank you for saving my ancestor all those years ago? Some say she was fated to die.”
I gulp. “I-I have not saved a-anyone.”
He leans forward, his voice a low whisper. “Little girl. Pompeii. 79 AD.”
My eyes widen. Pompeii… That was my last flashback episode. I haven’t had any since then. Well, I had the flashback of the Titanic, but the artifact triggered it. This man knows more about me than I thought. My past is coming back to haunt me once again because of him.
“I want to give you one last gift. To thank you for saving her all those years ago. If you hadn’t, then I wouldn’t be here today,” he says, sliding a small box towards me. It is wrapped in brown paper and tied up with a green ribbon. My hands begin to shake.
“I hope you remember all the lives you saved, Clio. I would hate to have you forget what you’ve done.” Lukas sneers, his tone changing to harsh and cruel. I shudder, looking down at the small package and regretting not messaging Eros where I am. Gods, I am foolish to think I can handle this on my own. I slowly stand from the table.
“Are you not going to open your gift?” Lukas hisses.
I open and close my mouth. Just open it and go. “O-of course.”
Taking a seat in front of him once more, I tug at the ribbon. It loosens, and I gently tear at the brown paper. I slowly lift the top from the box and prepare myself for the contents. I gasp, dropping the lid onto the floor. A small burnt rag doll sits delicately in the box. It belonged to her. The little girl I saved. My mind instantly starts buzzing, and I can feel a pull at my memories, like what happened a few days ago with the other artifact. I need to leave.
“T-Thank you so much, but I-I really should be going now,” I whisper.
Lukas gets up from his chair, his smile cruel. “I will see you again, Muse of History.”
As soon as he walks away, I desperately grab a few napkins as my nose begins to bleed gold ichor. I press the napkins against my nose to stop the blood. There is no chance for me to make it back to the museum on time before the flashback strikes. It is already starting to overcome my senses.
Suddenly, someone slides into the chair in front of me, and I look up to see who it is. The man with the red aura. Although his eyes are a bit different from before. Bright blue eyes glare at me, and my stomach instantly drops. Darn it.
“So…anything you want to tell me?” Eros’s voice comes from the lips of the man.
“I-I need…to…get out of…here.” I breathe heavily, trying to fight off the impending seizure.
He frowns at me, grabbing my arm and teleporting us to my bedroom at the museum. My husband gently lays me down on the bed. As soon as my head touches the pillow, my entire body tenses up, the darkness pulling me in.
Screaming, crying, smoke, a little girl.
The memory replays through me like a home movie, although not as nice. Slowly, it ends, and the darkness fades away. I blink a few times, trying to regain focus.
“Are you okay?” Eros asks, his disguise fading away.
Sitting up slowly, I nod. I reach into my side drawer, pulling out a chocolate bar. The flashbacks always ended with low blood sugar. Hence my obsession with baking cookies all the time. It was to prepare myself in case an episode would happen. I peel the wrap, taking a bite of the sweet snack.
Eros grabs a chair, yanking it over to the side of the bed. I can feel the anger coming off him in waves. It makes my stomach twist as I nibble on the chocolate. I am not in the mood to have this conversation with him. I attempt to push myself off the bed, but my muscles are too weak and I fall back. Eros continues to stare at me, his bright blue eyes pulsating. I sink into the bed.
“W-what?” I ask him.
His breathing is loud as it slowly comes in and out of his mouth. Yup, he is furious. “Is there anything you want to tell me?”
I chew my bottom lip anxiously. My attention shifting to a blank wall. “Oh…um…”
I see his shadow on the wall grow bigger as he stands. “Not only did you lie to me, but you put yourself, and our children, in danger.”
I squeeze my eyes shut, breathing deeply to calm myself. My voice barely comes out, “I-I thought I could handle i-it.”
“You lied to me!” he growls. “To me!”
I jump slightly, eyes watering. “I-I didn’t exactly lie…”
Snap. Whatever he is holding must have broken from his grip. He is beyond furious. “And the seizure? Are you saying you forgot to tell me about that? I noticed you don’t seem even alarmed about it.”
“I-it hasn’t happened in m-months. I thought they were o-over,” I stutter.
“You saw my dreams!” he yells. “I have no secrets from you. I don’t even know you, do I?”
Hot tears stream down my face. “I-I was going to t-tell you when I got home tonight…”
“What home? A home is something you share.”
I finally turn to look at him, sniffling. “E-Eros…”
His face is like granite, hard, and no emotion. “You are my wife. Mother of my children. We will go home.”
He holds his hand out to me, and I hesitantly take his hand. “Y-You’re still mad…”
Eros doesn’t respond, lifting me to my feet. He teleports us to the second floor of the lobby, right in front of the elevator. He pressed the button, staring straight ahead.
Silence. The elevator arrives with the ping, and we both step into it. Eros hits the button to our floor, causing me to jump again. “I’ll be moving into the guest room.”
I look at him, eyes widening. “W-what?”
“You heard me, Clio,” he growls. My name…he never calls me by my name. The elevator opens to our floor, and he steps out, holding the door open to ensure I get out with him. “Eileithyia is on her way here to check on you. We don’t know the effects your activities had on our children.”
I slowly step off the elevator, my heart sinking. “T-They are fine…”
“Forgive me if I don’t trust your word,” he says harshly. Eros doesn’t wait for me as he heads to the guest bedroom and shuts himself inside. Slowly, I make my way to our bedroom. I gently close the door before collapsing onto the bed, sobbing. After a few minutes, there is a soft knock at the door.
“Clio?” Eileithyia calls out.
I sit up quickly, wiping my cheeks with the back of my sleeves. “Come in.”
Eileithyia opens the door, slipping into the bedroom. In her hand is a small doctor’s bag, her stethoscope hanging around her neck. She must have been prepared for a text from my anxious husband. My half-sister smiles at me softly as she kneels down beside me. “Eros said you had an episode? I’m surprised he’s not here breathing down my neck like usual.”
My lip trembles, trying not to cry. “S-strange…”
Eileithyia puts on her stethoscope, placing the cool drum on my stomach. Her focus now on the babies. I breathe in and out slowly. Eileithyia’s hands begin to glow as she moves the drum along my stomach, closing her eyes.
“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a father so concerned for his children before they’re even born.” Eileithyia hums softly. “Well, I can see you had some stress, so I’m ordering you on bed rest for the week. Relaxation only. Doctor’s orders.”
This isn’t going to be a relaxing week. I chew my bottom lip, looking away from her. “O-Okay…”
“Bed rest,” she says, packing her things away. Grabbing her pack, Eileithyia walks to the door. Eros is there, nodding at her. “There you are, I should have known you wouldn’t be far.”
Eros doesn’t look at me. “No, I’m never far from her.”
She kisses his cheek. “I’m sending my cell phone bill to you.”
My husband smiles weakly at her. “I would expect nothing less.”
Eileithyia waves to both of us before leaving. I slowly get up from the bed and walk to the door. Eros turns away, not saying a word before departing the room. My shoulders slump as I turn back to the bed. I really messed up this time…