I paused outside of the cafe to take in the towering concrete, glass and steel building across the street. It was impressive in a gargantuan glass dildo kind of way. Mostly it screamed, “Oh my gods, I have to overcompensate for all of those statues depicting me with a small, flaccid wee wee.” I didn’t need to see the construction site banners announcing “Coming Soon – Olympus Enterprises” to know that I was in the right place.
I took a deep breath and crossed the street, passing by a busy crew of hard-hatted construction workers who were shouting at each other in Italian. As I approached the entrance, the shouting shifted to catcalls and wolf whistles. The redhead that I was wearing attracted more than her fair share of attention. One appreciative admirer kissed his fingertips and cooed, “Bella,” then fell from his ladder when I looked up at him to smile my acknowledgement.
His co-workers scrambled to his aid, so I didn’t need to waste precious time helping him up from the ground. The sundial on the wall indicated that it was nearly 8 a.m., and I wanted to get in and out before the rest of the family started showing up.
Stepping over him, I walked up to the massive, tempered glass doors. One side was being held open by another leering worker, who offered a wide, toothy grin and tapped the edge of his hardhat to me, oblivious to the agonizing cries of his fallen colleague. The redhead was serving as a better distraction than I could have hoped.
The lobby was a surprisingly tasteful mix of soaring, old world columns and contemporary design elements. Directly across from the entrance was a large reception desk staffed by a beautiful Aphrodite knockoff. From the two-story chandelier to the lighted fountains, it was obvious that every detail was staged for dramatic effect. Someone intended to get attention, and I was certain I knew who it was.
As I headed towards the reception desk, my path was blocked by a familiar handsome face. “Hello, beautiful. Is there something…anything that I can help you with?” he asked.
His chest puffed up and his mouth curved into a sly smile. “So, you recognize me, eh?”
“Uh. Yeah. Ares, it’s me. Moxie.”
“Moxie,” he repeated, his brows furrowing. “Oh. Moxie! Since when did you go red?”
“About twenty minutes ago,” I replied. “She’s just a temp.”
He stepped closer, leaning in to whisper, “She’s hot. If you want to wear her out later, we can do dinner.” He paused, then added, “Maybe more.”
I pushed him away, “Eww. Don’t be creepy.”
He laughed good naturedly and held his hands up. “What? Can’t a guy be nice and offer to take a lady out to eat?”
I looked passed him at the Aphrodite look-alike and nodded in her direction. “I thought she was more your type. You’ve always preferred blondes.”
He glanced back and chuckled. “I’m still working on her.” He thumbed at her over his shoulder, then pointed at me, circling his finger around the oval of my face. “Good luck getting passed her with that face you’re wearing. Security is getting tight here, especially after the sabotage. You are gonna get flagged by the facial recognition software.”
“Sabotage? I don’t know…” I started to ask him what was going on, but was interrupted by a familiar voice from behind.
“Moxie-moo. You are here!” Hera said as she pulled me into a hug, then moved back away, her hands still on my shoulders, “Look at you. A redhead. I like it.”
I smiled warmly and leaned in to kiss her cheek. “I thought you might.”
She ran her fingers along the length of the rich crimson waves and tugged lightly like she did when I was little. “I still prefer you in your little blonde pigtails.”
Ares interjected, “You recognized her? How did you know it was Moxie in that body?”
Hera tsked. “A mother always knows her children, silly boy.”
I suppose I should take a moment to explain the family relationships, here, since you’ve likely never read about me. Simply, I have no father but three mothers: Gaia, who conceived me; the mortal, Alcina, who carried me; and Hera, who raised me. Just stick a pin in this and I’ll give you all of the details in later posts.
She put her arm around my shoulder. “I gather you are here to talk with Zeus.”
I nodded. “Can you tell me what this is all about? Why am I being summoned?”
She turned to Ares. “I’ll take her up. Don’t you have some important security issues to attend to?”
He glanced over at the reception desk and grinned impishly. “I wouldn’t call her a security issue, Mother.”
Hera just sighed and shook her head, chuckling lightly. She then turned back and started walking, guiding me to the elevators. “I’ll fill you in when we go to my place.”
Ares called after us. “Hey, Mox. I meant what I said about dinner.” He wiggled his brows and winked pointedly.
I glanced back. “Creepy, Ares. Really creepy.”