The constant fighting gets old after a while. Even the God of War needs a break occasionally. Honestly, I’m on vacation right now. But Hermes popped in with a letter from dear old Dad, Zeus, who is demanding that I do some public relations work. I’m pretty sure he means damage control in my case. He thinks I like to wreak havoc wherever I go. Well, obviously I don’t, if I’m sitting on the white sands of a beach right now, drinking Mai Tai’s and enjoying the view of beautiful women playing beach volleyball.
I looked over at the other side and found Kara’s mother, dressed all in black with a thin, black veil over her face. She raised it slightly and glared at me. My mother cleared her throat, and she looked over at her, her face turning pale when she saw Mother staring at her. She looked away and dropped the veil. I couldn’t help but grin. No one messed with Hera’s children.
I grumbled a bit as I held the boombox aloft. Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes started to play, and I turned my attention to the upstairs window of Kara’s house. It only took a minute for the curtain to move to one side and for her face to appear.
“I think you need to look at this from her mother’s point of view, Nike. Ever since she met me, Kara has been kidnapped twice and had to kill a minotaur. Her life has been in almost constant danger. If you were in her mother’s shoes, would you want your daughter to associate with someone like that?”
“It’s your whole demeanor. You look like you haven’t slept well for a while, your left leg is twitching like you’ve had too much Dark Sparks coffee, and you aren’t flirting outrageously with me, which you normally do. So what gives?”
Running through the opening, it took a moment for our eyes to adjust to the low lighting. Torches in sconces along the walls flickered as we rushed by. The first thing I noticed was the metallic smell of blood.
I hadn’t talked to her in two years, ever since I sent her back to her husband. The sound of her voice still made my heart race, and I was flooded with memories of times past when things had been good between us. But this was hardly the time for a trip down memory lane. “This isn’t a good time, Aphrodite,” I whispered.
The message was to take these folders to his ungrateful son. I wasn’t sure who he was talking about until the messenger mentioned that Zeus’s portrait had a hole in it again, and I realized he was referring to you.
“Are you serious?” I said, flabbergasted by his blasé attitude. “They caused us nothing but trouble the first go ‘round. They disrupted the forge, spied on you, killed a woman in your office, and they murdered Cassie in cold blood. Anything to do with them is urgent.”
“Because the past has affected what happened on your wedding day, which in turn had a part in what happened to Katharina in the other reality. And it plays an important role in what is to happen soon. You need to learn from it to move on.”
He nodded and left. I walked over and looked out the windows behind my desk. The sky was cloudy, the tree branches swaying in the wind. I heard a roll of thunder, followed by a lightning flash, and then it started to rain. The weather seemed to match my mood. Sighing, I turned around and stopped when I saw someone standing in the doorway.
The past few days, I had struggled to hit my daily word count. The story seemed elusive, unwilling to come to life. But today, for some reason, I didn’t seem to have that problem. My fingers flew across the keyboard as the battle raged on the screen. Swords clashed, blood spilled, men died. When I finally took a break, I noticed it was late afternoon.
“My family? Not all of them give off nice, relaxing vibes. Murderous vibes, yes.”
“What family doesn’t make you want to commit murder? I have the same problem. Get over it.” He pulled me to my feet and shoved me toward the door. “Go upstairs, find a fabulous suit to wear, and go have a little fun. First thing in the morning, we’ll start looking for her again.”
“Regroup and expand our search parameters. It will take longer, and we’ll be gone for extended periods. I can’t keep sending crews out. It’s detrimental to the business. If I had concrete evidence that Kara was in one particular area, then I’d take every single person with me. We’d raid the place, rescue her, and then deal with the perpetrators appropriately.”
“You mean go into full God of War mode and kill them all?”