“Aphaid, before you leave for the night, would you be a dear and bring these files to Demeter’s new assistant? They’ll know what to do with them.”
Aphaid looked at me with black eyes similar to Dinlas’ and nodded. “Of course, my Lady Hera. More notes on your book?”
I handed them the files and absently brushed a loose hair from my face. “Yes, mostly. There are also two client files for her – Mrs. Kinneki and Mrs. Greene. You remember them?”
Aphaid clicked their tongue behind their teeth. “Such sadness. Yes, I remember them.”
I went back into my office, closing the door behind me. Kicking off my heels I lamented the loss of my rug. “Dinlas better replace my rug soon, or I’m going to change the location of his warehouse and not tell him where I put it until he does.”
I breathed in long and deep as I walked on bare feet to my window. Nike had given me a beautiful peacock stained glass piece that really brightened up the room. I traced my fingers along the lead seams and closed my eyes.
Moxie-moo, I have need of you. Do you have a moment for me?
Within moments, I hear the pop of displaced air outside my office and then a quick knock on the door. I turned and motioned the door open.
“Of course I have time for you, Mamá.” Moxie glided into my office and met me in the middle for a hug. “What can I do?”
I brought her to my couch and sat down next to her, curling my feet underneath me. “Something is affecting your sister and until I can fix this, I need you to run an errand for me.”
She lifted a delicate brow. “What’s going on?”
“There is a man that is making Nike uncomfortable. I need you to dispose of him for me.” I sighed and remembered the fear and confusion on Nike’s face.
Moxie looked at me thoughtfully and nodded. “What man and what is he doing?”
“I don’t think he’s doing anything directly. He seems to be a pawn at the moment, but I don’t want him to make any advances. It seems your sister has had her first bout with desire and while that is normal for everyone else, quite frankly, it freaked her out.”
“What happened?” She leaned back against the arm of the couch and waited for me to fill her in.
“She had a wet dream about a mortal who frequents the coffee shop she works at and is now completely embarrassed around him. I just want him removed from her life so she doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable anymore.”
Moxie giggled. “She could just…get it out of her system.”
I laughed so hard I snorted. “I don’t care what he says, if Nike ever actually had sex, Zeus would have an aneurysm.”
She allowed a brief laugh from her lips. “Of course, though that is likely to happen eventually. Are we to remove every male that catches her eye? Then any women?”
“As long as it makes her uncomfortable and embarrassed, yes. I don’t think this dream was something she welcomed.”
“Wouldn’t it delight you if there were little winged Nikettes fluttering about?”
I laughed loudly. “You know me so well, Moxie-moo.”
“We are creators of our own dreams. I presume this male is a mortal?”
“He is, and quite attractive from her description. His name is Fernando.” I wiggled my eyebrows at Moxie to try and get at least a smile from her, but she ignored me.
“I’ll do as you ask, Mamá, but I just wonder if it is a one-time thing, or if she is just finally coming into her full bloom.”
I stood and stretched my whole body before answering. “I wonder as well but, there have been other odd behaviors lately, too. Artemis is allowing Dinlas to date her, and I even caught her saying she would be my granddaughter-in-law. The Goddess begged Zeus for the ability to stay virginal forever and as much as I love my grandson, his romance skills aren’t that impressive.”
Moxie screwed her mouth to the side and furrowed her brow. “Hmm…if it wasn’t so late in the summer, I might think it was the fever of springtime at play.”
“I’ve also ruled out Morpheus. There’s something else going on and I will figure it out.”
“It would be easy enough to distract Nike’s mortal. Just send Aphrodite into the shop and he’ll forget about any other female.”
I curled my upper lip at the mention of Aphrodite. “I’d rather not involve that harlot if I don’t have to. Besides, I have complete faith in your abilities to distract him.”
She smiled up at me and nodded. “Perhaps he’ll get the idea that summer vacation is just what he needs right now. Though I may just amuse myself with this fine specimen that is turning our Nike’s head.”
I laughed and walked to my desk, picking up an index card. “I would expect nothing less. Hopefully, I can fix this before there’s any damage. Zeus would probably tear the city in half if she let a mortal touch her like that.” I handed Moxie the card. “Here is everything I know about the mortal.”
She stood and took the card, looking slightly confused. “Since when does Zeus care about who lays with who?”
“Nike has been, and will always be “Little One” to everyone, including The Great and Powerful Lord on High.” I let out a frustrated sigh. “I’m sorry. I’ve been more cranky than normal lately and I don’t know why.”
She shrugged and shook her head. “Eternity is a terribly long time to stay the same. Hmm, strange energies. Maybe it’s the proximity of so many Gods so close together? When we were separated, our energies weren’t so concentrated.”
“I don’t know. It’s been so long since we’ve all been so close together. I’ll talk to Zeus about it. See if maybe spreading everyone out might help. Thank you for taking a moment to see me, dearest. I have work to do though. Client folders to go through and all that.”
Moxie kissed me on my cheek and I walked her out of my office. “Anytime, Mamá. I’ll take care of this mortal by morning.”