Something doesn’t feel right, I can feel it in my soul. It feels like someone is trying to rip my heart in half. One of the halves is twitching, withering in pain. Eros. I open my eyes and sit up, rubbing the sleep from them as I look for him. He is staggering away from the bed and I know instantly that something is definitely wrong.
“Lykos, come back to bed,” I murmur, still trying to wake myself up.
“Why? Princissika? Why?” he says, making his way out of the bedroom. Sleepwalking? I force myself to wake up more as I swing my legs off the bed. I stumble after him, grabbing his wrist.
“Lykos, I am right here.”
His eyes gaze down at me sightlessly, before he throws himself away from me, heading towards the next door.
“You took them…” he mutters, “my heart and my wings…nothing left.”
My heart beats faster in my chest, filling with anxiety. The words burn into my soul, opening a wound that will probably take a while to heal. What is going on with him? I need to wake him up before something bad happens. I grab his arm again.
“Lykos, wake up,” I plead.
“What more is left of me?” He tosses me back and I fall onto my bum. I watch as Eros tears open the door, dropping it to the side before pressing the elevator up button. I feel my heart stop beating. This is really bad. Scrambling to my feet, I grab for my phone. If I can’t wake him up, then I know one immortal who probably can.
I search my contacts, finding Dinlas’ name. I press the green call button while pacing the living room. I am afraid that if I get too close to Eros, I will make things worse. After all, if I am right, he is having a flashback about me taking his wings.
“Pick up, pick up, pick up,” I mutter, the feeling of needing to vomit increasing. I hear the ding of the elevator and I watch Eros step inside, the doors slowly close in front of me. Shit. My vision blurs from the impending tears. Thankfully, Dinlas answers the phone.
“Clio? Do you have any idea what time it is?” he asks. I break down sobbing when I hear his voice, ignoring his question.
“Dinlas, it’s Eros. S-something is wrong,” I choke. “He went up to the roof.”
“I’m on my way,” he says, hanging up the phone.
I don’t waste another second. I rush over to the elevator, pushing the button frantically until it opens, I step inside, pressing the button to the top floor. The elevator music is less than calming; it actually feeds my anxiety until I almost can’t breathe. The ride up feels like an eternity and I make a mental note to ask my father to improve the speed of it. My thoughts turn to Eros. Is he okay? Did Dinlas get there in time?
Finally, the doors open and I step out. The wind is cool against my legs and I realize I forgot to put pants on. That doesn’t matter. All that matters is his safety. In the distance, I see Dinlas on Eros and I exhale a sigh of relief, but it doesn’t last long. Another immortal appears on the roof, I squint and my world stops as I recognize him. Kronos.
“EROS!” I scream, but it is too late, both men disappear with Kronos.
It takes me a few seconds to process what just happened. I drop to my knees, banging my fists on the ground until they sting with pain.
“Fuck, fuck, FUCK!” I scream.
I look up at where Eros and Dinlas just stood, my lip trembling. I have to find them. I have to…no. I can’t. Hedone is downstairs and if something happens to both her mother and father, well, that wouldn’t be fair to her. She just found us.
I take a shaky breath, struggling to stand. This is what my husband would want me to do. I walk over to the elevator, going through the motions of pressing the buttons and entering, my mind slowly going numb. Come home to me, Eros.
It feels like forever before the elevator stops on my floor. The doors slowly slide open and I drag my feet along the carpet. My eyes sting from the amount of tears I have shed. Could you blame me? I had just gotten my husband back and he slipped through my fingers once more. It is killing me.
I look at the entrance door. Broken. Eros must have hit the door too hard when he…I shake my head. I can’t think of that now. First, I needed to take care of our daughter. Kori. When we brought her home, she was sleeping. Does she even know what I look like? Will she trust anything I say? My heart starts to ache at the impending conversation.
My mind is so busy, I don’t even realize Hedone is out of her room. She throws a knife at me, barely missing my cheek, and hits the door behind me. My eyes connect with hers and I raise my hands in the air. I need her to trust me before I can explain anything.
“Kori, breathe,” I whisper.
“Who are you?” Hedone asks, flinching back. She points another knife in my direction. I smile to myself as the memory of Eros meeting me as Psyche rushes back to my mind. I really thought I was intimidating with that tiny dagger.
I keep my hands up. “I am…your mother.” Gods, that didn’t seem like the right thing to say. “Clio and Psyche.”
I see her look behind me, she must be observing my wings. One of the two things I have gotten back from my time as Psyche.
“He saved you?” she asks.
“He helped return my memories,” I say, lowering my hands.
“Memories?” she asks, continuing to point the knife at me.
“It’s…it’s complicated. It will be easier if I show you.” I slowly make my way to her. Hedone continues to hold the knife but doesn’t stop me.
I nod. “It requires eye contact and nothing else. I will share with you the memories, the happier memories, of my life with your father. Would that help you trust me?” I ask.
Will I be able to have you as a daughter? Can you ever forgive me?
“My Pater?” Hedone looks around the room. “Where is he?”
My eyes become blurry, but I try to hold it back. You must stay strong for her. Now, what should I say? I can’t lie to her, that would not fix the bond that was broken between us, but a little white lie won’t hurt.
“There was an emergency. He should be back this week,” I say.
“He left me?” she asks, a single tear drops from her eye and a lemon-yellow aura flashes around my daughter. I blink for a few seconds and it disappears.
“Kori, he will be back. Your Pater would not leave us for long. Trust me.”
“Really?” She looks up at me and all I see is the face of a child.
“Really. He doesn’t give up on the ones he loves.”
Hedone drops the knife and it clatters to the floor.
“He doesn’t love me…”
I take the opportunity to rush over to her side, wrapping my arms tightly around her.
“He does, Kori. He really does,” I soothe. She holds onto me tightly, and my heart slowly starts to put itself together.
“He didn’t even know I existed,” she whispers.
“That was your grandmother’s doing. If he had known about you, he would have never stopped fighting to find you,” I say, kissing her forehead.
“How do you know that?” Hedone looks up at me, her eyes, identical to mine, are watery. How I wish I could take all her pain away.
“I just know, Kori. Aren’t Miteras supposed to be all-knowing?” I say, wiping the tears that fall down her cheeks.
“Will…will you show me?”
“Show you my memories?”
She nods. “Will you?”
My eyes begin to glow as my gaze connects with my daughter’s eyes. I show her parts of my past, like a movie playing in one’s mind. The moments of Eros and I in my multiple lives, and what my mother did to our little family. Most of the memories I show her are of her father and the amazing god he is. The side of him only my daughter and I would ever truly get to know.
After a few minutes, my eyes stop glowing and I see my daughter once more. Tears are dripping down her face and I pull her close to my chest.
“Why did she do that to you?” she asks. I am surprised that is the first thing she asks me.
“Honestly? I don’t know, but I will never, ever do what she did to me, to you. I love you, my Kori,” I whisper, my lip trembling.
She cries into my chest and I hold her tighter. My own emotions becoming uncontrollable, I cry silently. What my mother did to my daughter is unacceptable. I will never let anything happen to her again.
“It’s okay,” I soothe. “We are together now and that is all that matters.”
Keeping my arms around her, I lead her back to her room. I hear the padding of animals behind me. Turning my head, I see my boys: Din, Las, and Duck are looking up at me. I can see that the two tigers know that something is wrong with Eros, and I smile at them sadly. Las walks up beside me, rubbing my leg. A part of me feels safer with them here and I know Hedone is safe with the boys. They are loyal to their owner and Hedone is his daughter.
“M-miteras?” Hedone stutters as we enter her room.
She sits on her bed, looking down at her feet. I see her fiddle with the bottom of her shirt and I give a small smile.
“Will you hold me?” she asks, “Just for a little bit.”
“Of course,” I say, crawling into bed beside her. “I won’t leave your side.”
Hedone wraps her arms around me, closing her eyes. The three animals jump on the bed, Las and Din shrinking into kitten form. They cuddle up to our legs, their purring soothing, and I soon find myself drifting to sleep.