I dropped back down in my chair and looked at the two of them. I was relieved that it was just my brothers, Phobos and Deimos. They are twins who often work for my father. I wasn’t particularly thrilled to see them, but they were harmless enough. I mean as harmless as Fear and Terror can be. With a sigh, I pointed to the two overstuffed leather chairs on the other side of the desk. Deimos fell into one, but Phobos started to wander and check out the office as I lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply.
“Nice place you got here, Brother.”
“Thanks,” I replied, then added, “don’t you two know it’s bad manners to teleport right into someone’s living space?” I waved my hand at the two black wolves at my feet. “Next time, I’m gonna turn these two loose on you.”
The twins looked at one another, then grinned and shrugged, but didn’t reply.
“What do you two want? I’ve got several things lined up this evening. You two don’t fit into the schedule.”
Deimos feigned being hurt. “You don’t have time for us? Here we thought that we were your favorite brothers.”
I smiled and flicked my cigarette ash. “You two are my favorite twin brothers.”
“Funny,” responded Phobos as he checked out my collection of Greek theater masks on the wall. “We’re also your only brothers who are twins.”
“Is there a point to this?” I asked as Phobos moved on to sniff at my liquor decanters from a small cabinet on the far wall.
“Well,” said Deimos, “we heard you’re doing more than just bounty hunting. We heard you were making a little something on the side.”
“Who’d you hear that from?” I replied. Then I snorted and answered my own question, “Dad?”
“Ares won’t return our calls,” answered Phobos. He was rummaging through my two oak filing cabinets. No matter, they were empty since I had so few clients.
“Don’t try to change the subject,” cut in Deimos. “We want to know if you are running an illegal side business.”
I looked between the two of them and sighed. “This stays between us. That’s non-negotiable. Although if you two know, then that means at least one other person already knows. Yes, I am going after high level bounties. People who have a criminal organization under them. Once they are gone, I go in and start getting protection money from legitimate businesses in the area, and I take over some of their less than legal businesses. I’m making far more from the networks than I could ever make from bounties.”
“Nice,” said the twins in unison as they grinned at one another again.
“Incidentally, do either of you know what a “grow operation’ is? Apparently, I now have a big one that backs up to the Olympus National Park. I don’t really know what it grows or where it is, though.”
My two brothers shook their heads. Neither had a clue.
“Maybe I could ask Artemis?” I said, more to myself than either of them.
Phobos announced, “We want in. We want to work for you. You know, as enforcers. Who better then Fear and Terror?”
I looked at the two of them before I answered. “Did Dad put you up to this? Or Mom? Mom did it, didn’t she? She’s got you two idiots trying to spy on me.”
“I swear we are not spying for Mom,” answered Deimos. “And Phobos is telling the truth; Dad hasn’t returned our calls in weeks. Says he has nothing for us because he’s doing all of Uncle Heph’s work. Nana Hera said he’s ‘turning over a new leaf’. Can’t wait to see how long that lasts.”
I leaned back in my chair, looking at them. “So you two want to work for me?” I said after a minute of eyeing them.
They looked at each other before Phobos answered, “Well, yeah. I mean if Grandpa Zeus is eventually going to make us all get jobs, then we might as well work for you. I mean, we really aren’t qualified to do anything besides wreaking havoc by instilling fear and terror in the general populace.”
“You sound like you just read that out of an encyclopedia.”
“Or,” said Deimos suddenly, “we could work for something called a haunted house.”
Phobos and I both looked at him, but neither of us responded. Deimos was never accused of being the smartest god in the room.
“Let me ask you this,” I replied as I slowly turned back from Deimos, “who even said I was hiring?”
Phobos smiled and replied, “C’mon, you’re Hate. Who goes better with Hate than Fear and Terror?”
“Let me think about it. In the meantime, you two lose yourselves. I have to interview my new assistant. I’m running late already.”
“We’ll wait to hear from you,” replied Phobos. Without a word, they both disappeared, only to be replaced by the soft *pop* sound of displaced air as they teleported away.
I thought about their offer for a few minutes. I had something else important on my mind, so I decided only to decide about it later. I locked my office door, then retreated into my private living quarters. Someone was waiting for me in the bedroom and I was ready to spend the evening getting acquainted…