I smiled and closed my eyes. I loved my club, the drinks, the music, the dancing, the women. Delos was my home, both the island and now the club. I’ve been living here in the penthouse for a few months now. I needed the space from my family for a bit.

I weaved through the crowd of people in Delos, the music beating around me and vibrations radiating throughout my body. I made my way back to my office, walking up the flight of black metal stairs and into the large room. With a blackberry mojito in my hand, I walked to the large one-way glass overlooking the club. 

I smiled and closed my eyes. I loved my club, the drinks, the music, the dancing, the women. Delos was my home, both the island and now the club. I’ve been living here in the penthouse for a few months now. I needed the space from my family for a bit. 

Dad wanted us to come back and mingle with the mortals, so I was going to give it the old college try. That meant no powers, no family, nothing mythic, just me, my club, and my new friends. 

I took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. My eyes opened at the same pace, and I scanned the dance floor one more time before walking to my desk. I sat my drink down on a cork coaster and pulled a fine Cuban from my cigar box. The oaky smoke filled my mouth as I lit it and took a deep breath. 

I walked to my chair and sat down, throwing my legs up on the desk. I crossed my ankles and leaned back. Sometimes, it was nice to just chill, to kick back and relax, simply enjoy life. 

Then a knock came at my door, and I groaned. It never fails

“Come in,” I shouted without moving from my seat. I was too comfortable to be bothered to move.

Corey opened the door, his eyes glancing at me and then down to the floor. “Boss, Ms. Howard is here in the EVIP room. She requested we let you know.”

I smiled. That didn’t take long. “Let me finish my Cuban, and I’ll be down. Tell them their drinks are on the house tonight.”

“Ar-Are you sure, sir?” he stammered out.

I cut my eyes at him mid-drink. I brought the glass down and sat it on my desk as I chewed on the inside of my lip. “Are you questioning the way I run my club, Corey?”

His eyes got big as he caught my glare. “No, sir, I’m sorry, sir. I will let Ms. Howard know immediately.” Corey swiftly retreated and closed the door behind him.

I took one more deep inhale of the deep brown tobacco leaf rolled up in my hand. I closed my eyes and exhaled slowly. Opening my eyes, I rubbed my hands together and stood.

I rolled my neck and walked out of my office. Pulling my keyring out of my pocket, I locked the door behind me and took off down the steps. The music hit me as I got to the dance floor. Women and men alike glanced at me, biting their lips as they smiled. I nodded at a few and carefully weaved through people to the back of the club. I made my way to the same room Rebecca and I had used for my interview earlier that week.

When I got to the door, I reached out to open it, but paused when something caught my attention. Across the sea of heads making up the dance floor, I could just make out a brooding frame standing in the shadows of the bar. I could swear it was Asterson.

My snarl was barely audible above the music as I let go of the door handle. I turned and took one step toward the mysterious figure to investigate when the door behind me flew open. Someone bumped into me, causing me to spill my drink on the front of my dark jeans. I growled and spun on my heels.

“Are you serious right now?” It was Corey. Of course, it was Corey, the most clumsy of them all. I didn’t even know why I kept him around.

He looked down and away. “I’m sorry, sir, I’ll get you a fresh drink and leave it in the room for you.”

I shooed him away with my hand and walked across the club. The sea of people on the dance floor instinctively parted, making way for me as I strode toward the bar. My eyes were steadily scanning the entire club, on the lookout for Asterson. I didn’t know what it was, but something about him made me uneasy.

Not finding my quarry, I decided it had just been a trick of the lights. I hurried to the steps and took them two at a time, eager to change my pants and get back to Rebecca. I opened the door to my office and stepped in. Out of habit, I glanced out the window overlooking the club and saw a cloud of orange and yellow explode out of the EVIP room. The building shook, and I fell backward on my ass. 

I heard the crack of the explosion just before the window exploded, sending shards of glass rocketing into my body. With the window gone, I could hear the screams of the club-goers and the ensuing pandemonium.

I propped myself up on an elbow and brought my other arm up to cover my face. I coughed and hacked as I faded in and out of consciousness. As the world before me faded, I saw a figure appear in my doorway. The broad shoulders once more made me think of Asterson. 

“What do you want, Asterson?” I spat, sliding myself away from him, still struggling to get up. I tried to use my powers to get away, but something was interfering. I could barely move, much less use my powers.

The figure stepped closer, emerging from the clouds of smoke filling my office. Corey’s face appeared with a drink in hand. “Come on, boss, we’ve got to get out of here.” He extended his hand, and I took it. He pulled as hard as he could and got me far enough off the ground to help me propel myself to my feet.

“Where did the explosion start?” I asked, my arm wrapped around my torso. I picked tiny pieces of glass out of my body with my free arm.

Corey started bouncing from foot to foot. Sweat was beading around his brow, and I couldn’t tell if it was from the heat or nervousness. “We-Well Boss, it started in the EVIP room. I think you were the target of the attack.”

My heart dropped. Rebecca was in there with all of our friends. “What about Rebecca?”

“She and her friends had just left to get on the dancefloor when the explosion happened.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. Corey handed me the drink, and I took a long gulp before saying to Corey, “Let’s go. We’ve got some work to do.”

Apollo (Tyler Wittkosfky)
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