I stood on one of the rolling hills in the middle of Eventide, plotting what I would do with my newfound space; it’s what I had christened the land my aedis sat on. I had a makeshift cabin set up so that I could oversee construction here, instead of working remote as I did with Nox. It would feel wrong to be so far from a place that would capture me for the mortals, and somewhere I didn’t have to be in my mortal form. The winds caught my wings as I fanned them out, relishing the feeling – I so much preferred my usual appearance to my mortal form, though the mortal men did seem to appreciate the figure I presented.
I will try not to sound like Zeus, but it is so fulfilling to finally be able to give mortals a place to properly worship me. I used to whine on about not having a proper monument to, always a statue or nook tucked away among the visages of others. But now, by my own hand and resources, I can truly show my glory to the mortals once more.
Onyx, ebony, marble, and gold were to be the main components of my aedis, and I was having only the best shipped in from around the world. I could just hear Zeus raving at me about spending money that should be going towards his projects, but he was already receiving most of my funds from both of my Nox locations, and if I was lucky, from my new shop soon, too.
To accompany this, I was building a race track near the gates to Eventide, where my family and friends could entertain themselves, if they wished to do so. One or two pavilions would be built by the waters, and I would have the flora and fauna remain wild and untouched, unless for dinner.
Inside my aedis would be quarters for my guardians and priestesses. A pair of satyrs from Hestia’s pack, Alex and Golly, had decided to stay with me as my guardians, while two of Artemis’ nymphs had shown up not long after. I was hesitant to let them share a space, since it’s been a long time since I had been around nymphs, but they get along famously – almost too much, if you know what I mean. I will say that the satyrs are very independent, and do not need encouraging when it comes to hunting, drinking, or spending some time with me.
Being immortal and having power at your fingertips is infinitely useful, and I am often glad you mortals have no real access to it. With a few stolen bodies from Lord Hades’ mines and my new guardians, my aedis was standing tall, and shone beneath the full moon within the week. The exterior was unassuming and plain, its beauty in the sharp corners and curves of its architecture. The interior, however, was lavished with etchings and paintings that depicted different scenes from our history: Chaos giving birth to the Primordials, the Titanomachy, the Trojan war, Alexander the Great, Herakles; but also my wedding to Erebus, our children Aether and Hermera’s births, as well as the rest of my offspring coming into their own, and my adventures in the Underworld. Incense burned inside hanging censers, pedestals displayed effigies of my favourites, and a long black and gold threaded carpet ran the length of the floor to a great statue done in my likeness. It felt darkly ethereal – it was perfect.
My cell phone started to ring, and I looked to see Luna’s number on the caller ID. She had been most instrumental and setting up all the meetings and taking care of any whining potential buyers for my new business. I swiped right and answered with a smile.
“Hello Luna, you have wonderful timing. I just finished the construction of the temple.”
“Oh, congratulations, Lady Nyx! I’m sure it’s beautiful.” She sounded breathless, even on the other side of the world.
“You will be able to find out for yourself – I am inviting you to visit in the next few weeks. But we can speak of that later. What is it you needed?”
“Oh, I just wanted to let you know the last few contracts were signed this morning – Whole Latte Love is officially ready to go whenever you are, my Lady.”
I felt a rare, simple joy fill me – of all my ventures, this had been the easiest to execute. I had a mortal take care of it for the most part, but even that had been smooth. She would make the perfect candidate for priesthood.
“Thank you, Luna. I will come by shortly.” I ended the call and took a deep breath, inhaling the incense that filtered through the air, before teleporting to the front door of the shop.
Luna was walking inside and turned around to see me, surprise barely registering on her face. I had appeared before her so regularly now that it was commonplace for us now.
“That was quick, my Lady.” She held the door open for me, the scent of freesias following her movements, and I headed inside.
It was even better than I had envisioned: the pastry cases gleamed beneath the hanging lights, casting a homey feeling over the room. I could see the gleaming appliances, tucked into their respective homes in the kitchen, and the smell of coffee and pastries was almost there. Comfortable chairs tucked around custom made tables were ready for people in need of a hot drink, and sectionals were placed by the windows, for those that wanted to really unwind.
Luna seemed amused at my content expression. “Come, the daycare side is complete as well.”
I followed her around the back to the adjacent room, and my heart leapt. Thick, plush carpeting covered most of the room for little hands, knees, and feet. Storage bins full of toys, books, blankets, and stuffed animals were stacked neatly against the wall, and there was an arrangement of chairs and loveseats for reading and relaxing. Luna walked over to what I thought was a shelving unit, pulled a small notch on the side, and unfolded it to reveal cribs and small beds.
“We had to get creative with spacing, of course, but it works,” she said, and I noted a bit of pride in her voice.
Luna nodded. “Social media is set up, flyers and advertisements will be all over town and in the paper tomorrow.”
I kissed her cheek with a smile. “You’ve done wonderfully, my dear. Now we wait for the phone to ring and the emails to trickle in. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on Scotland?”