Natalie Bartley is a Canadian Adult-Fantasy author. Natalie has been writing for most of her teenage and adult life but started publishing those stories in December 2019 with her first book, Love and Pain in Zion. Natalie’s faith as a polytheistic witch leads her to many storylines involving the gods which surround her. She lives with her partner and stepson in Bowmanville, Ontario and is also completing her clergy status with the Correllian Nativist Tradition. They hope to one day open their own Pagan store together.
I stood with Hestia and picked up my food while Mano settled back around my neck. “I’ll come with you. If you’re worried about something, you may need a fire hose.”
Hestia slid her hand over her face. “Only if it’s Dite trying to cook something. That girl can burn water.”
I turned to look at him. Calix and Rommel were just behind Dionysos as we had been saying our goodbyes. “There has been an oil spill off the Californian shore. I need to get back to Nymphaeum and see what I can do to help.”
“But if you are pregnant,” Rommel mentioned softly, “it would be his, right?” I nodded. Dion had been the only person I’d been with since, well…since Poseidon abandoned Atlantis. “He has a right to know that you’re dealing with this Amph.”
The figure left Central Park, heading east towards the river. I didn’t know why I was following him. I didn’t know the man, and yet my heart told me I did. When we got to the water’s edge, the vision floated neatly out over the water, and I just stared at him.
I found a bench nearby and sat down, letting the air waft over me. We were a distance from the ocean, but I could almost feel the Atlantic calling to me. It was both confusing and warming. Like a lover I had never known, beckoning me home.
A few hours later, we were home, and I was curled up on the couch with a large bowl of chicken noodle soup. I had a warm blanket around me, and Revan was fidgeting. I could tell he was trying to phrase how to break the bad news to me, so I put the bowl on the side table to take his hands. “Just say it.”
I could almost feel the tension in the crowd as the first notes of the song began. I shivered with anticipation. I opened my mouth, heard the crowd inhale with me, and began. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. I was addicted to the sensation.
I leaned into his hug, needing his strength. “I didn’t cast myself into foam. Gods, I wish I had. It may have been easier. I never gave up, Pater; I wanted to be there, for Atlantis, for Poseidon…I didn’t choose to leave, to disappear.”
“PheePhee, I understand that more than you know, the need to run, to travel, to see the wild, to be the wild again. You missed so much while you were away. You need to take the time to see it all again, to truly appreciate this world you are walking in again.”
We danced, the song lulling me into a sense of security. Or maybe it was Dion’s arms, but something was making this night better than it had been, and I was grateful. I knew that the memories would resurface about what was discussed, what happened, what was broken. But for now, all I needed, all I wanted, was him.