Besides, if they needed to depend on me as heavily as I feared they would, was I doing them any good? Was I really teaching them anything? I couldn’t follow anyone in the group when they decided it was time for them to leave the house and pursue other goals in their lives. They didn’t need me to take care of them. They needed me to teach them to take care of themselves.
“I care!” How did he not get this? “It’s easy for you, Phobos, and Deimos. You three were always Mom or Dad’s favorites. You all barely had to lift a finger, and you were praised. None of you could do anything wrong. I’m not saying I have it as bad as Dinlas, but—”
“You were my favorite.”
Not everyone was in a fursuit. Some were just in graphic t-shirts to show their support for those in the fursuits. But sure enough, our protest area had turned into a furry convention, the biggest furry convention on the planet. There were too many of them to count.
“Eros!” Clio suddenly called out angrily, sending Alexander into a crying fit.
I froze and carefully looked down at the ground. Sure enough, there was an arrow lying on the ground near my feet, the tip slightly stained with shimmering gold ichor. “No, no, no, no, no.”
“What?” Eros’s voice called from behind me. “I thought she should get it over with.”
My heart dropped at that nonchalant statement. I knew my eyes were wide with horror. What I didn’t know was if my face was white from blood draining from it in dread or if it was red from rage rushing to my cheeks. Either option was highly likely at that moment. “You were doing what?! Tell me you’re lying!” I knew he wasn’t—after all, it was physically impossible for him to do so—but a girl could hope.
Eros was the last person I needed to explain my feelings to. Yet, I did all the same. “I’ve seen your love practically immobilize a person with pain, grief, and anger.” Seen and felt it myself. “They’re in love, so they don’t eat or sleep.” I didn’t. “They break up, so they don’t eat or sleep.” I didn’t. “Everyone is just happier being single!” I certainly was.
“What do you say, Adrestia? Why don’t you prove to your big brothers what a big girl you are now?” Their mocking tones irritated almost as much as Eros’s did. Almost. “If you fail, you tell us who hurt you, and you don’t try to stop us from finding them.”
“Eros!” I roared as I flipped the coffee table, spilling my broken laptop onto the floor. “I needed that! Do you have any idea…my files…my calendar!” My rage and dread were making it impossible for me to speak. “I’m gonna kill you!”
I sighed. I was tired. No. I was exhausted in every way one could be. I was emotionally spent from dealing with Atë. I was physically tired from my fight with Sergai. I was mentally exhausted, trying to understand why everyone was so…blind to my intentions. I flopped onto my back next to Eros. This was comfortable. It was our childhood.
“Rough day, cupcake?” Of. Fucking. Course. It wasn’t enough to get caught by anyone who hadn’t been present during my mental breakdown. It wasn’t enough for me to be caught by someone who had been there. I just had to be caught by the traitor herself.
The world stilled for me in that moment, and it had nothing to do with the fact that Persephone swept all of the glasses out of the bar cabinet to get our attention. It was the sting of betrayal that got to me. “How could you?” I asked, my voice the quietest it had been since I had arrived. “Eros, you and Din nearly died because of her actions. How can you defend her?”
Why would you waste your shot like that? How could the world have been different if you had taken it?
I never found or received an answer to either question in the two centuries that had passed. I knew I ever would.
The only thing I knew was that I couldn’t ever make the same mistake that Alexander Hamilton made. Ever.
If you cannot convince Alexander Hamilton to be your right-hand man, the war for freedom will be all but lost. Even if America wins the war on Great Britain, it will crumble in on itself if Hamilton should die in battle. The country’s future is in its hand. We cannot allow him to die, lest he take all of us with him.
Mr. Weis looked up at me in surprised confusion from behind his glasses, which now sat crooked on his face. It took him a second to realize what had happened. There wasn’t a trace of anger or irritation on his face. In fact, his eyes were filled with nothing but respect.