My therapist has given me a journal at our last session, and I am currently staring at a blank page while sitting in my room. This is supposed to help. Help get my thoughts out without them eating me whole. So let’s try, I guess. I sigh before picking up the pen I threw on my bed and start.

 It’s been a week since I have moved in with Erebus, and at this point, I would prefer being in Tartarus. This…this is torture. My nightmares haven’t stopped. I try to hide my blistering screams when I wake up. So far, it seems to work. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. Either way works for me. To me, it feels like I haven’t really slept well in forever. My constant pacing has to be annoying. 

I have tried to leave a few times. Erebus literally having to drag me back into the house was fun. That fight did not end in blissful orgasms, but rather more avoidance and frustration. Not that I want that from him anymore, anyway. Right? I mean, I’m still mad. I’m hurt over that damned show, but to be honest, it’s more than that. Before, he seemed almost perfect to me. I know I messed up. I did the bullshit you’re not supposed to do. I placed him on a pedestal. But he found me when I was truly lost. He kept trying to help me, even after everything. It was the dumbest thing. I thought it was some sort of true love or whatever, but I was wrong. Like I usually am. He gave up on me within a month. That’s what hurts the most. 

The mortals? Fuck them. Half of them are dead, anyway. I just thought, for once, I had finally found someone who wouldn’t forget me. That’s what it truly boils down to, like everything else—being forgotten. It’s the one thing I can’t heal from. I know it. I know I’m angry, bitter, and mean. 

What else can I do? I tried to heal myself in the most bloodthirsty way. It landed me in Tartarus. Hmmm, Tartarus, maybe that’s what is missing. Maybe my nightmares are really that ancient pit calling me back. Maybe I am not healing because I still don’t know who let me out. Hmmm.

I place the pen down, close the journal, and put it in my nightstand. The one that wasn’t demolished. Actually, my whole room is nice and neat now. I had bought—okay, stole—a whole new set of decorations for it. I made sure Erebus saw everything. I don’t want him thinking I care about anything he bought me. If I want us to be completely done, in every sense of the word, I can’t let him know his actions mean anything to me. Sighing, I hop off the bed and make my way to the closet. I pick a black lace crop top and the matching black leather pants. I add red heels, of course, because hello, my favorite fucking color. Soon my lips will match. After curling a few pieces of my hair, I head to my next mission. I want answers, and I know how to get them.

“Where are you going? A little dressed up for breakfast, aren’t we?” 

I pause on the step, turning toward Erebus’ voice. Shirtless, with tousled hair and wearing only pajamas, he looks half asleep. I swear to Rhea if he doesn’t start wearing a shirt in this house, I’m going to set it on fire. Either from my own lust, or you know, with matches. 

“Out. Don’t wait up,” I snap before pasting on a fake smile.

“It’s 6 in the morning.” 

My brows furrow. Wait, was it? Well, I haven’t been sleeping, so I guess that makes sense. 

“Okay. Bye.” 

I don’t say anything else as I walk downstairs. I am reaching for the doorknob, when every door and window in the house slams shut. I jump back a step, and that only enrages me more. 

“Erebus!” I scream, spinning to look back upstairs. 

He leans over the banister, a small grin on his face. The shadows he controls, dance off of him and toward every exit. 

“Where are you going?” 

I cross my arms. “To do my boyfriend. Now, open the door!”

He doesn’t flinch, just continues to stare. Fine, I guess I will just have to do this the hard way. 

I throw my arms up dramatically. “Fine. If you won’t let me leave, come with me. I was actually going to get breakfast.” Lie. 

Erebus quickly changes clothes, and we head out. I let him drive since I plan to ditch him the first second I can. I pick a packed and fun little breakfast place not too far from where we are staying. We order and wait the twenty minutes for our food to arrive. I don’t want to get up and use the restroom too soon because I know his guard will be up. 

The giggling coming from the back of the small restaurant gives me a great idea for a distraction. I get up to excuse myself to the bathroom, even though I know Erebus doesn’t believe me for a second. After one sarcastic comment about him wanting to hold my hand while I pee and an eye roll, I head to the restroom. On the way, I pass some couples, a few teens, then the rowdy bunch toward the back comes into view. My eyes light up as I pass them, my voice a breathy whisper on the wind, filling the mortals’ ears around me. 

“That guy over there at the table, close to the window, is the same guy from that hit reality show Love Me or Love Me Not. He’s single, rich, and hung. This is your only opportunity to ask for an autograph, get a picture, or maybe even a date.” 

I push the bathroom door open as the chatter and commotion start behind me. I throw a quick smirk in his direction as I disappear, a burst of maniacal laughter filling the restaurant. 

I breathe a sigh of relief as I step onto the banks of the River Styx.. I need answers. Actually, only one answer, and I am willing to kill for it. I pace the shore, my adrenaline at an all-time high. Spirits beg to cross, and I swat their ghostly figures out of my way. What’s taking so long? The sound of a boat coming to shore causes my head to snap around. I stomp over to Charon as he leans against his oar, waiting.

“It took you long enough!” I snap. 

The ghostly souls beg him for passage as I walk through them and step onto his boat. He turns his head to look me up and down before holding his hand out, palm up. Right. No small talk. I pat my pockets before meeting his gaze and frowning. 

“Well, would you look at that? I have no drachma. Good thing crossing the river isn’t what I came for.” 

He looks at me strangely with his creepy stare. I rip the oar out of his hands and break it in two across my knee. I don’t hesitate as I ram the jagged, broken, spear-like piece through his midsection. A groan escapes his mute lips as he doubles over. 

“There it is. I knew you had a voice in there somewhere. Okay, well, not really, but I do think it’s time you and I had a little conversation.” 

So he knows I mean every word I say, I twist the piece of oar in his midsection. 

“Now, I came here for a reason. A question, really. You are going to answer it, or I’ll drive this through your thick skull. Got it?” 

He doesn’t move or speak, but as I’ve mentioned, he never has or will talk.

I twist once more before I yank the piece of wood out. I move my hand, grabbing him under the chin and lifting until our eyes meet. 

“Now, tell me.” My voice is strong, determined, pissed. “Who. Let. Me. Out.” 

He moves out of my grasp, stepping back just a centimeter as he raises one arm straight into the air, pointing forward. He uses his other arm, in the same position, before moving that one back slowly. He is mimicking the motions of an archer. I only know one archer stupid enough to do that. I let out a breath, part of my heart sinking. Shaking my head, I solidify my form at the back of the boat and I cross my ankles. Charon turns to look at me, down at his midsection and back. 

I point to the oar he uses, which lay next to him. Solid. Whole. Unlike me. “Looking for that?” 

I pop to my feet, tapping a single finger near my eye. “Delusion, love. Remember, I am that, too. Besides, it’s nothing personal. Being the Goddess of Mischief, tricking people is my hobby.”

I sigh once more, pat him once on the arm, and hop out weaving my way through the souls to the elevator. I don’t look back to watch him leave, but I hear the rocks scrape wood as he pushes off. Well, I wanted an answer, and I got one. No one wanted me free. No one wanted me here. My heart breaks a little more, thinking back to the note left with the single letter E. 

I had hoped it was Erebus. I should have known it wasn’t him, since when I escaped he’d been busy with several women. A part of me had still hoped it was him. I am a fool for thinking otherwise. But that had all been part of Eros’s plan, hadn’t it? He wanted to make me believe it was Erebus who released me. Then I find out about the show, go into a blind rage, and what, admit my feelings? I scoff. 

All that show did was drive a larger wedge between us. At least now I know who truly cares for me, even if I feel used for it. It is and always has been the mischief family I had made. Granted, my fall scattered us all, but at least now, I knew it was Eros. Mischief calls to mischief, after all. 

I lean my head back as the elevator doors close behind me. A single tear rolls down my cheek, before another, and another. I growl, swatting at my face as my stupid emotions take over once more. Of course, he would save me. No one else would. I meant nothing. Maybe that’s why it was so easy to forget me in the first place. The elevator dings and I step out onto the main floor. I fix my hair and makeup in the glass reflection. Now, I just have to pay a visit to a little therapist. 

Atë (Amber Albright)
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