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.
“Amphitrite,” Calypso wrapped her arms around my waist and pulled me into a hug, “you know you are welcome to stay here as long as you need. You are not bound by the mortal rules. I know you will not stay forever, but we can build you a second little hut here while you need it. It will be here for you, as I will, always.”
Dion had made it to the grand reopening of Amphitrite, as he said he would, but something was off. I could tell his mind wasn’t there, wasn’t with me, and neither was his heart. He was too wild, too spontaneous to keep to one place for very long, and I was eternally glad for the time we did have together, even though it had just come to an end.
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.