“What do you actually want?” the woman demanded to know.
“I need an assistant to run errands for me. I can have a very hectic schedule managing things like my properties, among many other things,” I said, smiling at her.
“You don’t know me, nor do you know what I can and can’t do,” the woman said.
I closed my eyes and crossed my legs, resting my wrists on my knees. Slowly, I let out a breath before inhaling through the nose. I focused inward, finding that ball of power within my core. I looked it over, searching for blocks or leeches. My brow furrowed when I didn’t find any. He had to be doing something to cause this. I found one of the threads that connected me to a strong hearth and pulled.
When I said my hearth, I meant it was the first hearth. It was from the first offering I ever received. They were blessed with as many children as they wanted. I watched her become a great-grandmother, so rare back in those days. Many barely saw their children leave their homes. She was later deified by her great-grandchildren, but alas, Despina never reached true goddess status.
The cooking fire pit burst into flames and my hair followed suit. Someone stole from me! What was worse, I had no idea that it had happened. They managed to steal from my sanctum. My trophy room. My safe room. I was going to need help.
I might have been known as the peaceful goddess, but I tended to internalize my rage until it got to the point of explosions and not the fun kind. Cities would burn, like the Chicago fire of eighteen seventy-one or the great fire of London in the sixteen hundreds.
I was cleaning trash from the street as I waited for Jenna to come out. “Ew, is this a dead raccoon?” I whined as the smell hit me. Yep, that was a rotting carcass. I flicked a finger at the dead body, sending it across the street and into a trash can before I went back to sweeping the trash from the gutter into a dustpan.
No, I was not alone anymore. “No, I am not alone,” I repeated out loud as I forced my eyes open. I started to count backward from ten, trying to settle my mind. Flashes of my life started appearing, even though I didn’t want to see them.
“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.