Even though I loved getting to see my old friend again, it wasn’t enough. I was consumed with worry and regret. My mortals only had one day of relief before I had locked myself away again. They tried to lure me out with more pop culture, food, and coffee, but I just wanted to sulk. I knew I needed to go take care of my patients, but most were still figuring out how to fit sessions back into their schedules. Until then, I was free to mope and be as blue inside as my skin was on the outside. I still hadn’t returned to the GC, preferring the comfort of being around my mortals even if they were still confused about what was happening.
Callie’s arrival drew me out. I couldn’t refuse her. I needed to see how she was healing, physically and emotionally. I knew she had plenty to work through. “How are you feeling?”
“Better, thank you. I really came to thank you because I know what you did for me.” My face betrayed me. Had Micah told her? No, he was better than that. Out of habit, I reached out and took the container she held out to me.
“I really am not hungry.” Which was surprising given how much I had been eating recently.
“Tori and Micah told me you haven’t been eating. You hired me to cook for you, and I’m going to cook for you. Eat, please.”
My gaze went past her to the other two mortals in question. “Since you are all here, I suppose it is time to tell you the truth. I know you have often wondered who or what I might be.” A sigh escaped as I handed the container back to Callie and pulled the fluffy blanket tighter around my shoulders. “I know it is likely hard to believe, but the gods walk among mortals. My chosen name is not creative in the least when you learn what my real name is.”
Tori looked curious as she walked closer, wrapping an arm around Callie’s shoulders. “Which one are you?”
It was a day for me to be surprised. Had she suspected the truth of my origins? She was from a Greek family that had worshiped the old gods. But I wasn’t sure if she believed in us. “Aphrodite.”
“Called it!” Callie exclaimed. Micah cursed as he pulled his wallet out, handing some bills to my blonde cook. “Sorry, I just knew that you were someone special. When you showed up to help me, I pieced it together.” She tucked the bills away and then shoved the container back into my hands again. “You might not need to eat, but we both know it’d make you feel better.”
I frowned but didn’t give them away again. “Fine. I will eat.” As I turned to go back to my solitude, I felt Tori grab the blanket I’d wrapped around myself. “Yes, Soteria?” I didn’t use her full name often, but it perturbed me she was doing something so out of the norm.
“Don’t smite me. Please,” she said, but her tone matched the smile on her face. She knew I wouldn’t do anything of the sort. “We all decided it’s time to watch Battlestar. Will you show us?”
They must have been truly concerned for me. Both Tori and Micah had voiced their displeasure at the thought of watching what had become my favorite show. “Truly?” It might have been out of pity, but I wanted to share something with them. True, I could have bothered Hestia, but I didn’t trust myself not to question her about Hephaestus or unload on her. I wasn’t ready for that.
At their nods, I shrugged and led the way to the living room. I curled up on a corner of the couch and opened the container that Callie had brought. There were various truffles and sweets within, and I couldn’t help but laugh. “An offering to a god?” I joked. They laughed and rolled their eyes as they all settled on the other furniture. Callie ended up cuddled against my side, and I didn’t move away. The contact was nice and comforting. But when Micah didn’t immediately start the first episode, I looked curiously at them.
“We’re going to watch, promise. We just want to talk to you first. What’s going on? I haven’t seen you like this since you hired me.” Micah was the first to speak, and I sighed as I looked at each of their faces.
“I am sure you are familiar with my story, concerning Ares and Hephaestus. Since seeing Dr. Frost, I have been trying to reach out to my husband to reconcile.” The joy on Tori and Callie’s faces made me chuckle softly. “I just have not been able to reach him. I am not sure if he has received my voicemails or texts and chosen to ignore them or if he is in trouble somewhere.” I rubbed at my blue-green face, making sure no tears had fallen. “Enough of that. I will let you know when I know something. I would rather just enjoy the fall of civilization, please.”
When Tori parted her lips to speak, I merely shook my head. “No. Another time, we can discuss it. Right now, I would rather have a distraction.” This time, they all nodded, and Micah started the first episode. They might not have enjoyed it at first, but it enthralled me from the beginning. After a little while, the others seemed to get into it. They even began asking questions, which amused me. “I will not spoil it for you.”
“But I want to know which ones are cylons! Don’t make me look it up. I’ll look it up.” I looked at Callie and laughed as she took her phone out, quickly grabbing it from her and putting it aside.
“Half the fun is watching and learning. You have to guess and be prepared to be wrong.” The way my mortals pouted definitely cheered me up. They were good at changing my mood. But I hadn’t realized before then that I had made a new family for myself. As much as I loved my family, it was different with those three. They were accepting and tried to help me heal as only mortals could. There was something different about how humans felt and acted, and I found myself needing to immerse myself in their company. I was home with them wherever it was we went.
- Before You Go - June 7, 2022
- Poison and Wine, Part III - April 5, 2022
- Poison and Wine, Part II - March 12, 2022