I was starting to enjoy my mortal job. Maybe moving here wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Moving back to Earth, that is. The nymphs were busy working on getting everything organized for the Silver Bow Foundation. I will have to meet with them to discuss the progress, but first, I decided to head to Dark Sparks for some coffee. This concoction had me under its spell, and I needed more of it every day. 

“Come on, girl, let’s take a walk,” I called out to Sayeh, who was resting by the corner sofa. We stepped out of my office and heard the elevator bell ding. I almost bumped into Peitho, who came out of the elevator bearing a huge smile. 

“Arty, so good to see you,” she said, reaching out to hug me. 

I returned her hug. “Peitho, what a pleasant surprise! What are you doing here?”

“I came by to see if you were here. I heard from Zeus that you were in the building.”

“Of course, you heard from Father,” I chuckled.

She smiled coyly and kissed me on my cheeks. “Who do we have here? What have you done to poor old Sayeh?” she asked, looking at her. 

“Well, you know I can’t have Sayeh in her original form in this world. The mortals would most likely shit their pants.” We both laughed. 

“It’s so nice to see you again, Arty. I’ve missed you ever since you left,” Peitho said, taking a step closer to me.

“Ha! Darling Peitho, don’t you be trying your tricks on me,” I said, laughing at her feeble attempts. 

“Alright, alright, I promise, no tricks! Not that they would work on the ever-virgin goddess anyway. All I wanted was to catch up with my friend,” she said, putting her hands up in surrender. I smiled. Peitho always had a special place in my heart. I loved her for who she was. 

“But it seems you are busy. Are you heading somewhere for work? I can come back later if you’d like,” she said.

“Of course not! I am never too busy to catch up with an old friend. Alright, how about we grab lunch together? I was planning on working all afternoon, but now that you’re here, what say you and I go to Nox Olympus for lunch?”

“That sounds wonderful. Nox Olympus it is then. Lead the way.”

“Very well. Would you mind if we made a quick stop at Dinlas’ warehouse on our way?” 

“Dinlas’ warehouse? Why?”

“It’s Sayeh. I prefer not to take her out until she gets a little accustomed to her new form, and I can’t think of anyone else who could handle her other than Dinlas. Plus, I think Sayeh will have a good time with his wolves, Hate and Jealousy.” 

“Sure, no problem,” Peitho said. I mumbled a spell to teleport the three of us to his warehouse.

I found Dinlas in the reception area, chatting up his secretary. He straightened up the moment he saw me, much to his secretary’s chagrin. I could care less about her feelings. 

“Ar…Artemis what? I mean, it’s nice to see you. Um, what are you doing here?” he stuttered.

Peitho looked directly at Dinlas and said, “Hey, Dinlas, long time no see.”

“Peitho, hey, sorry, I didn’t see you there. How you been?” 

“No kidding! I’m sure you didn’t see me standing here right next to Artemis.”

“Uh no, it’s not that…”

“Leave the poor man alone, Peitho,” I cut in, watching an uncomfortable Dinlas shuffling about his feet. 

Whatever has gotten into him? Why’s he stuttering and mumbling? I thought. I never understood his strange behavior around me anyway. 

“Dinlas, I need a favor…”

He interrupts me. “Of course, anything for you, Arty.” 

I smiled. “I need a favor,” I repeated. “Do you think you could handle Sayeh for a few hours while I go out with Peitho? I’d rather not leave her alone when she’s still adjusting to her new form.”

He bent down and rubbed Sayeh’s head. “Yes, of course. I am sure my girls would love the company,” he said for the first time without stammering.

“Excellent! I will see you back here later.”

Dinlas looked at his secretary, who had a scowl on her face, then turned to face me. “I look forward to it.”

 I hugged Dinlas goodbye, and he stiffened at my touch. I eyed him suspiciously before turning to leave. “See you soon, Dinlas.”

“Bu…bye, Arty!”

“Bye, Dinlas,” Peitho teased. 

“What’s up with that boy?” I asked Peitho when we were on our way to Nox.

“You don’t know what’s up? He’s totally smitten by you, that’s what’s up,” Peitho replied, laughing. 

“What? No way? You, of course, would only see it like that.”

“I am absolutely positive he’s into you.”

“No, he’s not! And even if he is, nothing’s ever going to happen. Dinlas is a friend, and I have never looked at him in any other way,” I insisted.

“Until now,” she remarked, raising an eyebrow and measuring me from top to bottom with her eyes.

I shook my head and smiled at Peitho. Dinlas and I? That was not something that would ever happen in a million years, I thought.

Artemis (Rashmi Menon)
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