A favor. From YaYa. The queen of the gods, my grandmother, the woman who invented the resting bitch face, in my debt.
The possibilities are quite literally endless. Exiting her office, I’m already mulling over the possibilities in my head, her assistant staring at me blankly.
Sidling over, I rest a hip on her assistant’s desk, making those emotionless eyes drift up to connect with mine. Leave it to my grandmother to find the one race of creatures that won’t try to hit on my grandfather.
The man may have been a one-woman god for the last three thousand years, but I doubt my grandmother would even consider tempting the Fates. Even after all this time.
Dropping my voice to a husky growl, I murmur to Aphaid, “Now when are you going to abandon this job and run away with me?”
Her face doesn’t flicker even slightly with emotion, my normal effortless charm and more than potent pheromones – I mean I am the God of Love – having no effect.
Godsdamn, where did YaYa find them?
Without answering, they hold out the card towards me, informing me flatly, “The mortal’s name is Shea Ballard, here’s his information.”
Quick, efficient, and utterly emotionless, just like my grandmother.
But then there’s the favor…
I mean what can I possibly ask for her? Run naked through the God’s Complex, with nothing but a peacock covering her? I mean, I can’t be the only deity to have done so, simply must even the scales. And having the queen of the gods do so? No one would ever dare mention me doing so again.
Snatching the card from Aphaid’s hand, I scan the information, memorizing it quickly before tossing it back to them.
They don’t even raise a brow at my rude action, so I smirk wickedly and send a wink, tucking my hands into my jeans pockets before strolling out leisurely.
I meant what I said to YaYa. I don’t want to use my arrows like that for a mortal. Besides an incident at Nyxie’s island warming, I don’t use my arrows frivolously anymore.
Though I suppose having used them a couple times – or a couple hundred – deviously in the past means you can’t ever change your ways in the eyes of the family.
But as always when I look back at my life, it is divided between before and after.
Before her and after her.
Fuck, I have got to stop thinking like that. Why am I still letting her have such control over my life? Still defining it by her. It’s been two thousand years, and I still can’t forget.
Maybe I have a little more in common with my grandmother than I would like to admit.
The mortal. The favor. Get your head out of your ass, Eros, don’t you want the favor from YaYa?
Oh yeah, the favor, the carte blanche from the Queen of the gods. Mortal. Shea Ballard.
Time to work for a living.
Focusing, I pop several blocks away from the address listed on the card, preparing to lay the groundwork to complete this favor.
Mischief and Love needs to build a foundation, another thing many of the gods fail to understand.
Except there was someone…once, who understood, at least the mischief side of it. Or at least, there might have been.
Pushing my memory hard, a block makes my vision blur, and forces me to stop trying to remember.
I shake my head, clearing the headache that begins to form, how strange. Normally, my curiosity would force me to ponder at this strange mental block I’ve encountered, but the idea that I need to complete this little task to have a favor redeemable from my grandmother.
What could I ask of her?
Strolling casually down the street, I spy the mortal my grandmother sent me after. Darting behind a dumpster, I observe my target, slowly closing the distance between us.
His heart’s desire practically screams at me, to find someone to love, who loves me.
From the tree outside, I set up my observation area, preparing to watch the mortal for several days before I can truly match him with someone.
Perched in the tree, I observe him completing certain tasks with an almost godlike intensity, yet others seem to barely stir his interests.
Tilting my head to the side, I feel puzzled slightly by this mortal. He won a favor from my grandmother and asked for love, yet he seems to hold himself off from others slightly. As if he’s unsure where he belongs.
The next morning, I spy him preparing for the day and as he leaves his home, I see the neighbor whose eyes linger a bit on him as he passes. Yet, the mortal fails to notice.
He doesn’t glance at them, but continues on, leaving for work likely. The neighbor goes in, and I can hear their heart racing from the slight interaction.
He returns, hours later, and I catch the neighbor lingering at their door, as if purposely timing their day around when they see him or not.
The mortal returns and fails to glance in their direction, but I notice the slightest shade of red on his cheeks, matched to the one on theirs.
The two mortals must be too shy to speak to each other and act on their feelings, or believe that they are alone in their feelings.
I might be able to get this done without an arrow, after all.
After a week of observing the two, their shy, subtle glances at each other, I change my mind. Both are entrenched in their shyness, that short of revealing myself as the God of Love, this might continue on for a millennia.
Stringing my first arrow, I aim for my first target, releasing it through the slightly open window – I do my research, thank you very much – and hit the first mortal as he leaves for the day, and the second as they linger out in the hall.
By this time tomorrow, one of them will make the first move, feeling a strange compulsion to finally act on their secret emotions.
Now to taunt my grandmother.
With a wicked smirk, I pop out.