The rest of my afternoon goes by quickly as I prepare for the Primordial of Darkness to arrive at my place. I ensure my mother and sisters are gone. Knowing them, they would probably react poorly to seeing Erebus arrive at my room in Olympus. I mean, it is not every day the Primordial comes to Olympus. They would know something is up. Not to mention my mother. Her reaction is unpredictable, but I know it wouldn’t be pretty.
I rush around my kitchen, putting spices on the fresh fish I just cooked. The pig I got from the market squeals at my feet as I chop up the vegetables. I push a few beans over the counter, allowing them to fall to the ground. The pig snorts them up, and I giggle. It is nice to have company while in my room. It is something that has been missing for a long time.
After finishing my preparations, I bring the food to the table and wait for his arrival. It starts getting late, and my brows furrow. He has probably forgotten. I mean, why wouldn’t he? I am just a muse, no one that important. He probably got distracted and forgot about our deal.
I am about to sit down to eat when I hear a knock at the door. The pig squeals from under me and runs to the door. I follow quickly, swinging it open. Erebus is standing on the other side, disheveled and covered in dirt. He doesn’t wait for an invitation before walking into my place.
“I thought you weren’t going to come,” I whisper.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbles. “I was looking for someone.”
My brows furrow as I close the door. My pig follows behind Erebus, squealing happily.
“Are you okay?” I ask. “You don’t look…well.”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he grumbles, patting his shoulder. Dust looms off him and his jaw tightens. He is clearly irritated. “Do you have somewhere I can wash up?”
I nod, pointing to my bathroom. “Yes. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, drop it,” he barks loudly before entering the bathroom to clean up.
I tense when he snaps at me. He wasn’t like this earlier. Something must have happened, and my curiosity is poking me to find out, though I don’t want to badger him. Who knows what could happen if I push him too far?
“What’s up with him?” I ask the pig. She squeals in response, and I sigh. Erebus walks out of the bathroom, and I raise a brow.
“Can we eat?” he asks, his voice softer than before.
The back of my mind starts to tingle as my powers activate. I want to know what is bothering him. I want to help him. I blink a few times to get control of myself. “Yes.”
“I’m sorry,” he says.
I tilt my head at him, chewing my bottom lip. “Would you like to talk about it?”
“It’s nothing,” he says, looking down at the little piglet.
“You know, sometimes it helps to talk to people about what bothers us,” I say, pulling out a chair. “It can help you see things in a new way.”
“I don’t even know you.” He sighs heavily, taking a seat. “I…”
I take my seat across from him. “I’ve heard opening up to strangers can be easier than opening up to someone you know. Besides, we are family, right?”
“Are we?” Erebus looks at me strangely. “I mean, I guess everyone stems from Chaos.”
I giggle. “Yes. In one way or another, we are family.”
He looks me up and down before opening his mouth. “Something very dear to me was taken years ago. I have been trying to get it back ever since.”
I tilt my head. “I assume you don’t know who stole it?”
“No,” he growls, glaring at me. “I was in that market this morning for a reason. I had gotten word that a mortal who had some information on it was going to be there. I think our display drove him away.”
The piglet squeals, and I wince. “Sorry about that. Maybe I could help you?”
He snorts. “No. You would be more of a distraction than a help.”
“How do you know that?!” I ask, pouting. “Another pair of eyes could help!”
Erebus stays silent for a moment before slamming his fists onto the table. “Damn, I was so close.”
I chew my bottom lip, looking him up and down. “I can help. Honestly. I can look into the suspect’s eyes and see their past. That way, we will know if they truly have whatever you are looking for.”
“Hmmm,” he ponders. “These places I go, they aren’t for ladies. This…what I am looking for, I want it back. I am not messing around here. I don’t know if you will agree with…my methods.”
“Your m-methods?” I ask, tilting my head.
“Yes. I don’t obey mortal laws, or even the ones we set upon each other on Olympus. When it comes to family, nothing stops me from getting what I want.”
I gulp. “Okay.”
He gives me a stern look. “You think you can handle that?”
“Yes,” I whisper, my brows furrowing. “Surprisingly, I think I can.”
Erebus stands from the table. “Alright then, we have no more time to waste. I think we might be able to pinpoint the last location of the mortal. My shadows have been searching all day.”
I stand as well, forgetting about the dinner. “Lead the way.”