“Righto, one cream pie coming up for Dite!” I called out as if confirming an order from a diner. Aphrodite fell to the floor laughing, and the other goddesses joined her. I felt my face flush slightly as I’d clearly missed something.
I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back, pulling my knees to my chest. The decision to come and make new friends was a good one. My vision was right. Visiting Hestia was a good choice, and now I had a group of friends that I felt connected to. Maybe I could expand my decision to trust others. There was going to be more to this evening, I was sure, but I was happy to settle in and have another drink.
“What did I miss?” Aphrodite said as she came back into the living room. Under one arm was a basket of muffins, the ones I had made in vain to save my kitchen. She had whipped cream on her nose and cheek, and in her right hand was a can of the processed stuff. I had no idea why Dite liked that crap. She always says it’s fun, whatever that means.
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.”
My gaze flitted to one side and then the other before I decided to use some questionable skills I had picked up in my time away with mortals. They were both good and bad influences. I was going to find what I wanted for muffins, and I wouldn’t let something as simple as a locked door prevent me from reaching them.
Maybe Zeus was right, and it was time for us to show ourselves again, prove that we exist and that there was a better way to do things. There are ways to resolve disagreements without bloodshed. Being that some of my fellow Olympian’s sole existence was war or had wrapped their identity so tightly around such acts, it might not be possible. But, it was still a worthy goal.
Taking the stack of letters, I walked to my front door. “Hermes, I need you to deliver letters,” I said as I opened the door. I glanced at my watch and waited for a few minutes for the lift to open. “Took you long enough,” I said in jest.
“It wouldn’t have been a violation of my oath to lie with no man, but be with a woman,” I mumbled to myself as I narrowed my eyes at the flames in my hearth. My three-headed fire feline lept out and started to rub its heads across my calves. I petted him as I watched the logs burn.
There is nothing more important than the bonds of home and hearth. Without them, mankind is lost. For a long time, the balance of the home has been off and made worse with the industrial revolution. A work/home balance is needed. Too much time at either often wrecks both.
“Yep, I am. Now I am going to take care of the community center, and I am going to make sure Antwan will get the best treatment possible. He’ll get all the therapy that he needs to finish growing up as a functional adult, so I swear on the river Styx,” I said with a warm smile. I felt the bonds of my oath wrap around me, but it wasn’t a problem. Trust funds go a long way.
At least this wasn’t a magical fire. Those could be a pain to control. My hand moved slightly as I found the core before making a fist and yanking down. The fire was under my command. I snapped my fingers and pointed at the ground next to me. “Sit,” I said sternly.
The young man took both of Ouma’s hands in his own and kissed them. “If it weren’t for this place, I wouldn’t have made it into uni. Over there, at that table, you, Joe, Mama, and others helped me understand my math. This place…” he paused, a pained look crossing his face. “I was hoping to come back and help, but like the other places, the rich guys will push yet another neighborhood out.”
You did not mess with family. Period. That’s something so many forgot about me. They saw my nature of peace and interpreted that to mean I was cold, a pushover, not caring. But the moment you tried to break a family up, well, there was a reason the saying was hell has no fury like a woman scorned.