My finger hovered over the continue button. Is this really what it’s come down to? If I hit continue, there’s no going back. The screen on my mobile flipped to an incoming call; a rude picture of Eros appeared. I contemplated not taking the call, but decided at the last second to answer it. I hadn’t even said hello before he spoke.
“Did you do it yet?”
I rolled my eyes at his impatience. “No.”
“Well, what are you waiting for?”
“I dunno, it’s just ― this is just very weird for me.”
“Oh, just do it.”
“Oh ― Oh ― I’m convinced,” I said sarcastically and gave a sigh. “It’s not that easy.”
“Sure it is, just hit continue and you go from there.”
I looked around the floor of Erebus After Dark. It was the only place with an internet connection where I thought I would be safe from prying eyes. I’d have to figure out how to get a signal in my caves. Even now, I couldn’t be sure I wasn’t being watched by Zeus; he had eyes everywhere, or so the rumour went. Just thinking about the plan drove me nuts. It’s not like I had many other options.
“Why did I even tell you I was thinking about this?” It was more of a rhetorical question.
“It’s this or an arrow, dude.” I imagined Eros twirling the arrow he had with my name on it.
I hung up with Eros and the app reappeared. Mindlessly, before I could change my mind, I hit continue.
A pop up asking for permission to use my location came across the screen, and the next thing I knew, I was swiping left and right. Fucking fuck. What am I doing? It hadn’t been a month since I signed the separation papers, and Nyx was already with Dinlas. I had heard of a few others she had bedded while I was “missing”, but again, that could all be muse gossip. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed at Olympus, gossip. Word of me, Erebus― of all the Gods― being on Tinder was going to spread like wildfire. Shaking my head, I should have just taken the arrow.
A few more swipes and I had a match.
I tapped nervously on the glass of bourbon that sat in front of me. The trendy bar my date had chosen was nearly full, and I made sure to arrive early so I could be or at least feel like I was in control. I felt like everyone was staring; my popularity as a DJ followed me everywhere, and it was annoying. Some people stared longer, others whispered. I can understand why she picked a crowded place, but I was really starting to regret this. I was about to stand up and leave when a beautiful, tall brunette walked over to the table.
Looking up at my date, I smiled in relief. I had given her some random mortal name, partially because I didn’t want everyone knowing that Erebus, the primordial God of Darkness, was going on Tinder dates. Hopefully, she wouldn’t know any different.
“Yes.” I rose from my seat and shook her hand before pulling her chair out for her. I could show a thing or two to these male mortals about chivalry.
“Well, you certainly didn’t lie about your picture,” she smiled; it was a pretty smile.
“Do people really do that?”
“Oh yeah, catfishing happens all the time,” she nodded.
“Excuse me, catfishing?” I was confused by the term.
“You’re new to this, aren’t you?” she patted my hand. I instantly felt like an old immortal that was in way over his head.
We ordered a bottle of red wine, and Liz, my date, began talking. And talking. And talking. I know that being a good listener is important, but seriously, I couldn’t be less interested in what she was talking about. Her voice droned on and on, which I drowned out by pouring glass after glass of red wine. I must have missed nodding or making a “mmm” noise because all of a sudden, Liz stopped.
“I’m sorry, I’ve been talking too much, haven’t I?”
“No, not at all,” I said, shaking my head and sitting up straight in my chair.
“So, what do you do?” she said, flipping her long brunette hair over her shoulder while licking her lips. I can only assume this was some sort of flirtatious move that usually had men creaming their pants. It barely gave me a tickle. What made me think I could possibly have anything in common with someone like her, a mortal? How do you end a date that isn’t going well?
My pants vibrated from an incoming call. I took out my phone and saw the same rude picture of Eros on the screen. Deciding to take the call, I held up a finger. “Excuse me, I just need to take this.” Liz didn’t seem to mind that I had pulled out my phone. I turned my back to Liz so she couldn’t hear me.
“So you need saving, do you?” Eros started chuckling.
I looked around the bar, searching for him. “How did you know?”
“Because if you were having a good time, you wouldn’t have answered your phone.”
I nodded, of course. “So what do I do now?”
“Hit on the waitress.”
“Say what now?” I was confused.
“You heard me.”
“I’m not going to do that ― that’s rude.”
“Dude, you’re on a call in the middle of a date. You’re already being rude.”
Turning around, I looked across the table at Liz, and she smiled politely back. She didn’t even seem bothered by my disrespect. I don’t know if I could take another minute of her yammering. Being totally arrogant may be the only way out of this.
“All right.” I hung up.
“Sorry about that. Just my next date. She needed to cancel.” I shrugged as I put my phone away, like what I had just said was no big deal.
Liz seemed to be caught off guard for once, she had nothing to say.
“So what did you ask me? Oh right, what do I do; I do a whole lotta nothing.”
“I’m sorry, but did you just say your next date?”
I leaned forward. “Oh, don’t worry, honey, I actually invited her to our date, but she came in and saw you and got intimidated. But that’s okay,” I raised my head pretending, to look around the bar, “I’m sure we can find someone else for the threeway. Do you do backdoor stuff? Oh, it doesn’t matter, we can make it up as we go.”
Liz sat quietly staring. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was she pissed or not? I would have expected any “self respecting” mortal woman to have thrown her glass of wine in my face by now. What was this woman’s deal? A sly smile moved across her face telling me I had made a mistake. Damn, she’s into it.
“Well,” she said, smiling as she leaned forward speaking softly, “I normally don’t get into that right away, but I can make an exception for you.” she tossed her hair annoyingly.
Shit― I’d have to go another route.
“Perfect! I’d invite you over to my house, but my mom has a book club every Friday evening, and tonight is her turn to host. So maybe we should head over to your place. If we can’t find anyone here to come along, I can always call up my sister. She’s always hot and ready for some action.” I used my napkin to cover the smirk that threatened to expose me for the liar I was. Liz sat back in her chair, looking at me oddly, probably mentally computing everything. Liz appeared to be a bit on the slow side. What more could I add that would drive it home?
“You live at home?”
Really, that’s what she took away from everything I just said? “Yeah, is that a problem?”
Her face scrunched up, “Your sister?” she finally said, disgusted.
There ya go, Liz…I nodded. “Oh― no, it’s―it’s okay. See, she’s actually my ex-wife; the divorce was finalized last month. We had been together since the dawn of time, though. You see, I went missing, or at least she thought I did. But really, I went to sleep and didn’t wake up for three months. I didn’t realize it at the time of course, but I was thrown into the dream realm by Melinoe.”
“The dream realm?” Liz’s eyes were as big as saucers. Either she thought I was totally losing it or she understood the names I was dropping, but just in case…
“Yeah, but she was only doing it because Ate told her to. Nightmares are kind of Melinoe’s thing, being the Goddess of them and all. Nyx, that’s my ex-wife―”
“The ex-wife that is your sister?” Liz questioned.
“Yes, she kind of made my absence a bigger deal than it actually was, at least in my opinion. She’s still pretty mad at me, but she might be open for some play. Although I’m not sure what her feelings are about mortal women, I’d have to ask her.” I leaned back and sipped my glass of wine, satisfied with the crazy I laid out before Liz. Mortals usually freaked out when they found out they were dealing with Gods.
“I ― I thought you ― you said your name was Tyler, though?”
“Oh yeah, I lied. I didn’t really want people knowing that the God of Darkness and Shadows was on a Tinder date.”
“The God of Darkness?”
“Geez, you must be hard of hearing, Liz.” I rolled my eyes impatiently. “Yes, the God of Darkness and Shadows, Erebus.”
Liz jumped from her seat, knocking her glass of wine over.
I cocked my head and added one last thing. “Did I mention Nyx and I are primordials?”Without another word, Liz left the table, making a beeline for the front door. I chuckled to myself. That was kind of fun. I stayed to finish my glass of wine. I will never try online dating again. There must be an easier way without having to resort to one of Eros’ arrows.