I even went on a small adventure into the Underworld with Thanatos. The only other person I’d known with the same amounts of moodiness and goofiness I had. Although, I’d only admitted that to him when we’ve both completely plastered. Not that many people knew that side of him.
That being said, Ed was no stranger to the oddities of Nox. His own tale was one of unexplained mystery. Not only did The Fates not work here, but he had never seen them again. Nevertheless, out of all the gods he had interacted with, he had never been more unsettled than meeting Nyx. He had heard the many rumors about her and found it smart to fear what other gods feared.
“You forget who I am.”
My hand rises, and the materials in the room start to melt away, the fabrication, the ruse lifting. I sweep my hand through the house as every bit of wood, cloth, and metal it took to make it shakes and bends to my will.
“I am the Goddess of Ruin.”
Once my muscles loosened up, I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting the water lift my legs and carry me around. With my head half-submerged, all I could hear was my own breathing and the gentle trickle of water bouncing every surface around. I loved floating like this. It made me feel like I was part of the water. Like seafoam on a gentle wave. Seafoam!
That grabbed his attention like a hook. And like a proper catch, he was pulled into my orbit. He blinked. “Dammit, devil woman. No.” He shook himself out of it, giving one of my breasts a squeeze and kissing my forehead before rushing toward the door.
I finally turned off the water and reached for a towel to dry off. As I did, I looked at myself in the mirror, and for a split second, I didn’t even recognize who I was. “What the hell is going on here?” I said out loud to no one in particular. Was it just nervous energy leftover from the stress of the tournament? Was it jitters from making it to the finals? I had no clue, but I knew something was not right.
I don’t tell him about how the entire time we cleaned the kitchen it kept changing to some cold dedicated prison. I don’t mention the woman I saw staring back at me as I turned the kitchen lights out. She wore the same red dress, had the same long flowing dark hair, and the same gold eyes and matching jewelry. I don’t tell him about the smile she wore as she pointed to me.
The crowd held their breath. One of the reasons mortals came to Nox was to be in the presence of a goddess or god, but watching a man burn alive was not what many had bargained for. Even many of the well-adapted bartenders quivered. Horrors of this kind were not typical. Nicholas stopped checking his phone and watched with full attention.
With my other hand, I searched my pockets for my potions, wincing when I realized I’d forgotten to bring anything with me from the Underworld. We needed to get out of there—fast. I was powerless on Earth without my magic, and if there was anything amiss, I was defenseless.
A sharp pain hits me between the eyes, my headache returning tenfold. I squint as I place a hand between my eyes, my nose scrunching. I stand, opening them again as every child stops what they were doing and looks toward me.
“It’s what you like, right? What you are.” Alex stands, holding up the picture. “Ruin.”
Tipping my head back on my second drink, I caught sight of something interesting on the ceiling. Some kind of shadow? While looking up, I did a few of my patented three-sixties, admiring the decor and looking for the shadow, but I did not see it again. Maybe it was a loop stuck in my mind from when Nike had floated down moments before.
She stood up tall and leaned her head back, letting out a scream so loud it could be felt. A small spark ignited on the tip of her nose, causing her entire body to burst into flames. An inferno of energy exploded from her chest. She had become the light she sought. She became the power that struck fear into others.