That’s how I found my brand of inner peace. I would go for a run when I was frustrated, and I wouldn’t stop until all the anger was gone. By the time that happened, I was often in a new place. This time, my meditation led me to the catalyst of my current nightmares. I stared up at the warehouse with its broken windows and exposed brick exterior.
I nodded. “Yes. The truth is the mortals are always the ones that pay the highest prices when gods war. They suffer the most loss, the most injustices. There were many reasons why the gods disappeared from the world. Many reasons why the mortals stopped worshipping.”
Adrestia jumped, whipping around and throwing a wild haymaker. I leaned back to avoid the lightning-fast punch, my hand coming up to catch the deceptively delicate fist as it came at my face. I studied Adrestia as images of her past deeds, good and bad, flashed through my mind at the skin-to-skin contact. It was all overshadowed by her panic and the jumbled memories that had sent her fleeing.
One by one, I laid the lilies at the eternal resting places of my friends and comrades in arms. I only spoke in my head, not yet comfortable with letting Kimmika hear what I had to say.
I’m sorry. I miss you all. We were supposed to save the world together. How the hell am I supposed to do this alone?
Wait. Two hands, with five fingers each. Two arms… Two legs and two feet? The sheet covering my lower limbs raised and bumped unevenly, showing the lack of symmetry beneath my torso. I threw the covers back, wanting to know what was wrong with my leg.
Most everyone joined in the cheers, but gradually, they all started asking the same questions I had. Who had invited all of us, and why did we all come if we had no clue who our host was? The only person who could answer any of these questions was the odd man out.
Your brother and sister-in-law couldn’t agree on what this extra room should be. Clio thought you should have an office, but Eros wanted you to have a sex dungeon. I ultimately decided to leave it blank until you come to me with your specific requests. Think about what you want for this room as well as the rest of the apartment. This is your home away from home. So make it your own.
Besides, if they needed to depend on me as heavily as I feared they would, was I doing them any good? Was I really teaching them anything? I couldn’t follow anyone in the group when they decided it was time for them to leave the house and pursue other goals in their lives. They didn’t need me to take care of them. They needed me to teach them to take care of themselves.
Adrestia held her hand out for Mourgo to smell, but he already had the scent from her first step onto the trail. Instead, Mourgo leaned in and headbutted her on the cheek lightly. That made her giggle and give him scratches. What a charmer.
“I care!” How did he not get this? “It’s easy for you, Phobos, and Deimos. You three were always Mom or Dad’s favorites. You all barely had to lift a finger, and you were praised. None of you could do anything wrong. I’m not saying I have it as bad as Dinlas, but—”
“You were my favorite.”
Not everyone was in a fursuit. Some were just in graphic t-shirts to show their support for those in the fursuits. But sure enough, our protest area had turned into a furry convention, the biggest furry convention on the planet. There were too many of them to count.
I need more mischief. I need to see the clash of Trojan and Greeks on the ground below us. I need to smell the blood and hear their cries. It’s always been this way around Eris, something I’ve always relished about their presence. They allow you to be your darkest self, the side you hide from the rest of the family.
“Eros!” Clio suddenly called out angrily, sending Alexander into a crying fit.
I froze and carefully looked down at the ground. Sure enough, there was an arrow lying on the ground near my feet, the tip slightly stained with shimmering gold ichor. “No, no, no, no, no.”
“What?” Eros’s voice called from behind me. “I thought she should get it over with.”