BANG! BANG! I groan loudly, reaching blindly for the alarm clock I assume to be going off, hoping to stop the obnoxious sounds disturbing me. Slitting my eyes open when my hand slams down on my empty bedside table, I belatedly remembered that I have never owned an alarm clock in my entire life. I must be dreaming.
I shift in the Cal king sized bed I had delivered to my floor of the OA a week ago. The black silk sheets slide across my skin, allowing me to settle back into my feather pillow. Within a couple seconds, I start drifting off to sleep.
BANG! BANG! BANG! This time I groan out loud, propping myself up on my elbows to glare at the door that leads to the rest of my floor, where the studio and producer offices I’ve begun setting up are located.
I pray that whoever has decided to bang on my door at this gods forsaken hour has given up and allowed me to go back to sleep.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! They were clearly getting more annoyed that I still had not answered the door. The sound awakens Din and Las, who are passed out on the floor next to my bed.
Din stretches his massive body on the floor, his claws making marks in the floor, before resting his large head on his paws, eyeing the door passively.
Neither tiger bother to get up to investigate the disturbance. Hate and Jealousy would be pawing at the door, prowling in front of it if someone were to interrupt my brother’s sleep like this. Din and Las were the opposite of my brother’s wolves: more lackadaisical, only leaping to my side if they thought I was in immediate danger. Very immediate danger. Otherwise, they barely acknowledged me.
They do say that pets take on the personalities of their owners; maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised at their attitudes.
Climbing out of bed when the pounding began again, I dance around Din and Las, snatching the red silk robe from a nearby chair, pulled it over my naked form, and tied it loosely at my waist. Whoever was pounding on my door was just going to have to endure my barely dressed state. It’s their fault for waking me up in the first place.
When the banging starts again, I reach for the door, throwing it open, preparing to throat punch whoever is on the other side – just like my grandmother taught me.
I don’t get the chance.
“Cooooooppppppp!” My visitor bellows.
A smile stretched across my face at the sight of my uncle, Dionysus, my irritation at the interruption of my sleep dissipating immediately. He’s probably the only person I would allow to pull me out of bed in such a manner, mostly because I had done the same to him numerous times in the past. I keep telling people, mischief is a full-time gig; you have to be awake to every opportunity.
Pulling me into a boisterous hug, the smile lighting my face growing even wider at my cousin’s exuberance, there’s something about him that cheers me up. Still grinning like a fool, I slap him hard on the back, before pulling away to fully take him in. “Dion! Finally finished your tour of all the bars in the Middle East?”
Without waiting for permission, my cousin swans past me into my residence. Dion isn’t what most people expect of the god of wine. He’s not the portly bellied, short man of some myth depictions, he is a god after all. Have you ever seen a fat god?
Assessing him objectively, I snicker when I notice his attire, it is just so Dion. He is always a cross between you have to be rich to look this poor and I’m missing from a psychiatric ward somewhere. Currently, he wore a white tuxedo jacket, white bow tie hanging askew around his neck with no sign of a shirt, and white pants covered from mid thigh down in sand. He is also barefoot, though he doesn’t seem to notice it, and what looks like half of a pair of handcuffs dangling around one of his ankles.
“I missed you, Coop,” Dion remarks, his nickname for me – short for Cupid – the only person ever allowed to call me that.
He dances nimbly around me, pouring himself a drink from my sidebar. He shoots back the first drink, before filling two more glasses, offering one to me.
Taking it from his hand, drawing a large swig, not even raising a brow that Dion has filled the glass to the rim, rather than the typical finger or two. Dion is not a god who believes in half measures. Chugging the rest with a gulp, I idly smirk, thinking, neither am I.
Dion assesses me from head to toe as I finish my drink, placing the empty glass back on the bar. With slightly narrowed eyes, he glances me up and down, asking skeptically, “Is that what you’re wearing?”
“Currently? Yes,” I quip back easily, bringing a smile to his jovial face, the smile reaching his eyes.
“Coop, always such an asshole, no wonder you’re my favorite nephew. I meant: that’s what you’re going to wear for SDE?”
My eyebrows coming down in confusion, I ask, “SDE?”
Dion moves to flop down on an armchair I had flown in from my house in Malibu, resting his shoeless feet on Las’ sleeping back. The tiger doesn’t even bat an eye.
“S.D.E., or Sacrifice to the Dark Elves, is the rave we are having in a couple nights,” Dion announces, using his sand covered toe to scratch Las’ side, the tiger’s purr echoing loudly throughout the room.
I stroll towards the massive walk-in closet I’ve erected in my new residence, filled with all the latest styles. Unlike the rest of my family, I’ve spent the last two thousand years among mortals, and I’ve kept up to date on the current fashion. Do you know how boring always wearing a tailored black suit is? Yes, that is directed at you, brother.
For years, I’ve had a staff of mortals taking care of me, from a chef to a driver, they had been arriving sporadically in Greece since I’d been strong armed into relocating here. My personal shopper was initially reluctant to relocate from Los Angeles to Greece, but tripling her salary finally convinced her.
“We’re having a rave?” I call out to Dion, rifling through my clothes. The last time I saw my uncle was a little more than a decade ago in Los Angeles.
Dion is the exception to the rest of my family. He was the only person who knew where I disappeared to for the last two thousand years, because I knew Dion would never ask. He would never ask where my wings were, why I was alone, all the questions I dodge from my family now.
Because he is running, too.
“Of course we’re having a rave! I’ve just returned, it’s almost Halloween, and you’ve finally come home. A rave is absolutely required under the circumstances.”
“Required now, is it?”
Pulling on a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt, I come back out to see Dion filling his glass again. Dion could drink enough to take down three gods with minimal effects.
“Required. It is our obligation as gods to have SDE. I mean, can you even call yourself a mischief maker if we don’t?”
Ruffling my hands through my hair, dispelling the lingering signs of my interrupted sleep, I smile at the sight of Dion trying to antagonize Din. The other tiger still was not rising to the provocation.
“You’re right, like always. So where are we actually holding this rave?” I ask, already imagining the kind of trouble I could cause with Dion home.
“The forest, of course.” Dion answers, wiggling his brows at me. “The more places to sneak off for illicit activities.”
“I’m in.” My smile stretched wickedly across my face, anticipating the event.