Okay, I can’t take it anymore. I need to talk to someone. You know Ares has me moving into Wares in one of the apartments in his building. I have not decided, but Ares and Dad have. Don’t I get a say in this? I may be one of the youngest around here, but I should still have a say as to where I’m going to stay while off the mountain.
So, I decided to go talk to Ares and work this out.
I circled around his building, surveying the people and seeing where everyone was. Ah! Found him. Ares was in his office at his desk, looking over some paperwork. His office was still being put together. I observed paint cans and furniture still in boxes or covered with plastic as I hovered at the window. I tapped on the glass. He turned his chair and noticed me outside.
“Nike, what are you doing ? Come inside,” he said, pointing to the door inside.
“No!” I shook my head and pointed to the latch on his window.
He patted around till he found it. The window opened in a vertical pushout. Hephestus had them put in all the windows across all the OA buildings.
“Nike, we use doors.”
I flew in and shrugged. “I know, but not today. I need to talk to you, and I didn’t want a nosy pants butting in,” I said, pointing to the door.
Ares closed the window and turned back to me, laughing at that. ”Are you alright? Dad hasn’t sent you here for something?”
“No, Dad didn’t send me. I…I…” I looked around to be sure no one was around to hear me. “I just need to talk to you about something. I mean, can I? I mean, may I talk with you ? You said that if I ever needed to talk, you would be able to listen…I mean…never mind. I see you’re busy. I’ll come back.” I headed to the window. “This is dumb.”
“Whoa, slow down, little one.” He grabbed my hand to stop me. “What’s going on?”
My head dropped as I turned back to face him. Tears were forming in my eyes. “What is it?” Ares brought me in close and held me. “Nike?” All I could do was hold my fist to my eyes, trying desperately to hold in the cry in my heart, but the tears gave way.
He guided me over to the sofa in his office “Here now, little one, sit here,” he said as he pulled the plastic off the sofa. Leaving me there as I continued crying, he grabbed the box of tissues he had in a drawer in his desk and brought them over, offering me one. “Oh sweetheart, now what’s got you so worked up? Take a deep breath.”
Blowing my nose and wiping the tears, I noticed how nice his sofa was. “Hmm, comfortable,” I said as I bounced up and down a bit. I noticed how nice his office was. “Wow, this place looks pretty nice, considering the mess it was the last time I was here.”
Ares smiled at me, shaking his head. “Glad you approve. Now quit stalling. What did you want to talk about?”
“Well…” swishing my mouth back and forth…“It’s this whole move off the mountain.”
“ Oh yes, that reminds me,I took the liberty of having your apartment painted, and Dad said he wanted you moved in by the end of the month so I…”
“UGH!” I exclaimed
“That’s what I need to talk to you about. I can’t move in here with you,” I said with a growl in my voice.
“What? Why? Dad said…”
“I know Dad said, but he forgot.”
“He forgot what?” Ares said as he sat in the chair next to me.
“He forgot his promise.”
“His promise? Little one, Dad never keeps his promises; you should know that.”
“It’s not that kind of promise, promise, it’s a bigger promise than that”.
“Nike, you’re not making any sense”
“OH MY GODS!” I exclaimed as I dropped my head back, rolling my eyes.
Ares giggled a bit
“It’s not funny!!”
“Okay, okay, I won’t laugh. What’s this bigger promise, promise that Dad made that he forgot?”
I stood up and began to pace the floor, trying to find the right words. I looked over at my brother; he was genuinely listening to me. “Do you remember how I came to live at Olympus?”
He just looked at me. “Okay, do you remember or are you just going to sit there?”
“Nike, you know me better than that. I was just giving you my full attention.”
“Oh, well, it was just before the Great Titan War, and Lord Zeus called for a gathering of the Gods to help him overthrow his father, Lord Cronus, and free his siblings from his belly. My grandfather, Titan Okeanos, told my mother, Styx, that he should take her children there.
My mother spoke to my father, the Titan Pallas. They fought over this for days, I remember. But in the end, my mother’s logic won out, and we four were told to pack our things and that we were going to see Zeus. I remember looking back and seeing how angry my father was. My Aunt Metis waving at us and my grandmothers were both crying, for they knew something I did not. Once we arrived at the meeting location, Lord Zeus was there. He was very pleased to see my mother.”
“Styx, it is a fine day to see you here,” Zeus said extending his arms to her.
“My Lord Zeus,” Mother said, stepping into his embrace.
Lord Zeus looked over Mother’s shoulder and saw us four standing there.
“Aha, I see you brought them.”
“Yes. These are My Children.” Mother motioned over for us to come closer.
“This is my eldest Son, Kratos – he brings Strength. Next is my daughter, Bia – she is the force of great strength. Next to last is my son, Zelus – he brings the Rivalry, and my youngest, my sweet Nike – she will be your greatest prize, for she is Victory,” Mother said as she stroked my cheek.
Each of us bowed as Mother introduced us to him. Zeus approached each of us and looked us over. When he got to me, he lifted my chin and glanced in my eyes and he could see his reflection in my ocean moving eyes and he was taken in, till he stepping away from us. “Very good,” he said.
“But there is one thing you must do first, if you wish them to help you.”
“You will swear an oath on me that when you win this battle as it was foretold…that you will take personal care of my children.That they will live in your home for all time. Do you take this oath? To break this oath will mean death to you.”
“I Swear this oath upon the ‘River of Oaths’, that her four Children shall dwell in my house and that I will care for them for always. Unto death do we part,” he said as he held my mother’s forearm.
“And so it was said and so it was done. That was the last day I saw my mother for eleven years. My brothers and sister and I stood by Zeus till the very end of that war.” I stopped at the window, looking out upon the street below. “So you see, Ares, it’s an unbreakable bond and if we are not near him, then something terrible will befall him.”
“OMGODS!! Nike, are you saying that The Promise made to…I mean, on your mother is still binding?”
“Absolutely. And if he doesn’t have us near him, then…” a tear fell down my cheek as I shuddered at the thought of anything happening to my dad.
“That does give new meaning to “swearing to God,” he chuckled. Ares came up behind me. “There, there…now don’t go doing that.” He spun me around and wrapped his arms around me. “Ssshhh…it’s alright. So this is what’s been bothering you these past few weeks. Everyone’s been worried about you. That’s why you are always around Dad.”
I nodded my head. “If not me, then at least one of us. Kratos, Bia, or Zelus.” I sniffled and tried to regain my composure.
“Come now, little one. Do you want me to talk to Dad about this for you?” Ares asked as he lifted my chin from his chest to see my eyes.
“No, I can do it. I just needed to talk to someone. Everyone’s been so busy moving and getting jobs and there just hasn’t been time for me really.”
Ares pulled me in tighter. “I see, little one. I will tell the others what is going on with you.”
“You don’t have to tell them. Besides, Kratos, Bia and Zelus said, ‘That no matter where Dad lives, as long as I am close by, he will be safe. But you know, I have lived with him and Lady Hera for so long that even if I lived only four or five blocks away, that that would be too far.”
“I understand. Here I thought you didn’t want to move in with your big brother,” he said as he let me go. “I still don’t know how you do it.”
“It’s not a big deal really. They are my parents and my family. You know that’s how we became Dad’s foster kids as they say down here amongst the mortals.”
“Hey, wait?” Ares looked over at me, puzzled.
“Never mind that.” I moved around his office. I walked over to a ladder where there was a paint brush and a bucket of paint. I picked up the brush and moved it across the wall. Up and down. I’d seen others doing this once, so I just started doing it. Ares walked over and grabbed the paint roller and joined me in painting the wall. We didn’t say anything for a long time. We just painted the wall and when the wall was completely painted, we stepped back and admired our handiwork.
“Thanks, little sister, for your help.”
“Sure,” I said as I dropped the brush back into the paint can. I crossed to the window and unlocked it.
I looked back at my brother. I winked and nodded as if I knew his question.
“Sure?” he asked me.
“Yeah, I just needed to talk to someone, and I had to tell you, being my big brother and all.”
“I’ll call over to the OA and let them know that the stuff I ordered for you will be delivered there instead.”
“Wait, you ordered me stuff?”
“Yeah, it’s all the stuff any young lady would need when starting a new life.”
“Oh, forgive me…young Goddess.”
“Thank you, Brother.” Running back over to him, I gave him a big hug and kissed him on the cheek. Then I headed back to the window and pushed it open. “I hope this idea of Dad’s works out,” I said as I jumped out the window.
Looking back, I could see Ares waving. “It will all be fine, little one, and so will you.”