“Knock, knock,” came a voice on the other side of my apartment door.
“Just a moment,” Francisco called out as he approached. “Who is it?”
When he opened the door, he saw a medium built young man with dirty blonde hair. “Just me, kid,” the man said as he walked in.
“Hermes, come on in.”
“So, is Golden Wings here?”
“She’s in the shower. If you care to wait…”
But before Francisco could finish, Hermes was headed to the master bathroom. He leaned on the doorframe and smiled that boyish, devilish grin. “Uhhh, hmm, now there’s a view I could stare at all day.”
“Hermes! Get out of here!” I shouted at him.
“Why, Nike,” he said, feigning surprise, “with a figure like yours, it’s no wonder they keep you under lock and key.”
“GET…OUT, before I call Kratos or worse, I’ll tell Dad!”
“Okay, okay, jeez.” He covered his eyes. “Dad is why I’m here.”
“What? Why? Is he all right?”
“You’ll need to hurry up to find out,” he said as he walked over to the bed, where Francisco had laid out my clothes.
I came in wearing a towel, drying my hair with another one. “What’s this about Dad?” I asked as I approached the bed.
“I have a message for you from him.”
“Why didn’t you just give it to Francisco?”
“Because Dad said to deliver it to you personally,” he replied as he looked me up and down.
“Stop it!” I said, tossing the towel over his face. I grabbed my clothes and returned to the bathroom to get dressed. “Tell me what the message says.”
“No, Dad said to deliver it to you, and to you, I shall.”
Exiting the bathroom fully dressed in a pair of jeans and a Nike off the shoulder sweatshirt, I stomped across the room to Hermes. “Fine,” I snapped, folding my arms. “What did Dad have to say that he couldn’t have said in a text?”
“He gave me this to give to you.” Hermes produced a black envelope with a golden “Z” seal on the back. It was an official OA envelope, and he kept it just out of my reach.
“Damn it, Hermes! Just give it to me. Wait…what is it?”
“It is a summons.”
“I know what it is, but why am I getting one? I’m usually the one bringing these to the others when Dad wants something done, or if they are in big trouble.” Then I realized. “Wait…am I in trouble?”
“Yup,” Hermes smirked.
“What for? How do you know?”
“Why else would he ‘summon’ his most trusted? You’re in big trouble, Nike. He wasn’t smiling when he gave that to me.”
“What could I have done?” I frowned.
“Have you had one of your blackouts? You know how much that upsets him.”
“Yes, but it was contained…they got to me…”
Hermes walked behind me and started rubbing my shoulders. “Yes, yes, tell dear Hermes all about it…” His hand was about to touch my breast.
I grabbed his hand, and judo flipped him onto his back. “Do that again, and I will tear it off.”
“Whoa, whoa…okay.” Hermes put his other hand up in self-defense. “Don’t kill, hurt, or otherwise maim the messenger, remember?”
“Then keep your grubby little hands to yourself…remember?”
“Okay, okay,” he grumbled. I released him. “Well, I heard you were late to the board meeting, and that Dad wasn’t smiling when you came in.” He stood up and rubbed his shoulder. “Damn, Nike, you could have broken it.”
“Could have are the exact words you need to remember.”
“Where were you?” Hermes said, ignoring my veiled threat.
“I was out apprehending…I was on patrol,” I said, snatching the envelope from him.
“Dad said everyone was to be there, no exceptions.”
“But I don’t have a business. I just work for Dad, so to speak. I opened the summons and plopped down on the bed to read it.
Your presence is required in Lord Zeus’ office on Friday at 9 a.m. This is an urgent matter. You are to bring the business data for Dark Sparks, including projected specs and financial information regarding this OA holding.
Business attire is required.
Hermes was peering over my shoulder. “Huh? Look at that; you must be doing something wrong.”
Pushing him off my shoulder, with my brow furled, I said, “What could I have done wrong? Wait, that’s tomorrow! How do I get all that together by tomorrow?!”
“Don’t know, kiddo. Good luck with that.” Seeing how upset I was, Hermes kissed my cheek. “I’m sure you’ll be just fine, little one,” he said as he turned to leave, “just like that a—”
“GET OUT!” I yelled at him, pointing at the door.
Hermes laughed all the way out the door that Francisco was holding open. “Good day, Hermes,” Francisco said as he closed the door.
So many thoughts were rushing through my head now. What do I need to gather? Who can help me? Wait, Carra…she’s been helping me. I’ll call her.”
Locating my phone, I called Carra, asking her to meet me at Dark Sparks near the GC.
In the back office, we worked on putting together a presentation for my father.
I have to say that I was grateful to have Carra. They didn’t teach you how to do spreadsheets in deity school. I mean, I only learned how to use a laptop last year, along with many other things. How hard could this be? I mean, it’s just Dad, right?
Later that evening, I called Eros to see if Thea could help me find an outfit. She came right down to my apartment with several ideas. We went through all of my skirts, blouses, pantsuits, jackets, heels…the works. Once we settled on a color, I tried on about thirty unique combinations until I decided on a pair of white dress slacks and a golden blouse with a white jacket and gold shoes.
After a restless night’s sleep, I got dressed and went to the GC. Carra, wearing a black suit with a white blouse, met me outside Dad’s office. Hebe greeted us as we approached her desk. “Hello, dearest,” she said, standing up to give me a hug.
“Hiya, Hebe,” I smiled. I pulled back. “This is Carra.”
Hebe shook Carra’s hand, then gave me a puzzled look. “Nike, why is she here?”
“She’s going to help me present the specs and financials to Dad.”
Looking down at her monitor, she shook her head. “Dad only wants to see you.”
“But I planned the entire presentation with Carra. She and I…”
Hebe shook her head. “That may be all well and good, little one…” I coughed, trying to interrupt her before she said my childhood nickname. “Carra, if you will take a seat,” she said, picking up the phone.
I looked at Carra and shrugged. “Hebe, really, what’s going on? First, Hermes is all ‘you’re in…’”
Hebe stopped me, “Yes, Dad, she’s here…yes. She brought someone with her. I think so, hold on.” She put her hand over the receiver. “Dad wants to know if you can do the presentation without her.”
I looked at Carra, who nodded and smiled. “I…guess so, but…” I said hesitantly.
“Yes, Dad, she can.” Hebe hung up. “He says that you, and you alone, are to go inside.”
I was frowning as I walked over to Carra. “I guess I’m on my own.”
“Hey, no worries! You can do this! Besides, you have all you’ll need on your laptop, and at least six copies of the presentations. Be sure to give your father the blue one with both logos on it. He’ll like that.”
“Thank you, Carra. I just wanted Dad to see how helpful you’ve been to me.”
“Nike, Dad’s waiting,” Hebe called out.
“You got this. Just like you told me, remember?” Carra said, giving me a hug. “I’m going to head back to the shop. Let me know how it goes.”
I smiled at her, taking a deep breath. I took the laptop bag from her and checked inside for the folders. Turning around, I headed toward the door my sister was holding open for me. “You got this, Nike,” Carra called out encouragingly.
I took a deep breath and walked into Dad’s office.