Artemis and I were finally getting into a new normal and had a plan. Wedding magazines littered the kitchen table. My fat planner was laid out before me, pen poised at the ready, as I scanned through one of them. I tapped my lip with the tip as I turned another page.
I leaned into his hug, needing his strength. “I didn’t cast myself into foam. Gods, I wish I had. It may have been easier. I never gave up, Pater; I wanted to be there, for Atlantis, for Poseidon…I didn’t choose to leave, to disappear.”
When we finally had our fill of fun, I stole Amphitrite away to Skellig Michael. We made love on the grass not too far from where Luke taught Rey how to control The Force a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. We rolled around and howled in drunken revelry when the moon came out. We danced and pounced on one another as the waves rose to meet the emotional state of their queen. The surge came as it went when we finally lay there on our back, completely spent.
She ran to me. I picked her up in my arms and twirled around as if we were filming the dramatic I will catch up to you at the gate before your airplane leaves type of scene from a rom-com. Of course, that made her blush profusely, and that was fine by me. I enjoyed making my Pheephee blush. Who would not take pride in seeing a goddess turn red at your whim?
“PheePhee, I understand that more than you know, the need to run, to travel, to see the wild, to be the wild again. You missed so much while you were away. You need to take the time to see it all again, to truly appreciate this world you are walking in again.”
I leaned in and finally did what I had wanted to do all day. I placed a soft, gentle kiss on Amphitrite’s bare shoulder. Then I moved further in toward her neck and placed another. And another. In between kisses, I whispered, “The day. Is not. Over yet.”
Maybe it was because I had been a little moody and a lot more broody lately. All I knew was that this party god felt all partied out lately. From Napa to Guam, to all the changes on floor five, to Clio’s baby shower, there had been more drama than a season’s worth of The Young and the Beautiful Generally Spending the Restless Days of our Bold Lives in a Hospital. I hope that made your world turn.
We danced, the song lulling me into a sense of security. Or maybe it was Dion’s arms, but something was making this night better than it had been, and I was grateful. I knew that the memories would resurface about what was discussed, what happened, what was broken. But for now, all I needed, all I wanted, was him.
It wasn’t a lie or an evasion. Mathieu and I had put so much time and effort into this event. Now that it was happening and progressing along, I seemed to be lost in it. Dion reached over, sensing my discomfort. He patted my leg and squeezed it softly. I smiled at him. Tonight was taking forever.
Breathing heavily, I take a look at the damages done to the closet. There are two holes where Eros’s wings punctured the wall, as well as the one from earlier when I shoved him into the closet. I giggle softly, relaxing back against him.
I have never been a good man to her. I should have been there for her more, but there were things I needed to do that took me centuries to figure out. The guilt gnaws at me. I only hope she can forgive me for my absence. Even if she cannot forgive, at least I can apologize.
I snorted derisively. “Even when we were never technically married? If it ever comes to that, we’ll have that conversation then. But no, I’m not ready to give up the throne. I wasn’t 2,000 years ago, but I couldn’t physically return.”
Amphitrite and I had known each other since before the great war. The ebb and flow of the tides and the pull of the moon were inevitable. Then, in an effort to protect herself, she lost herself in the foam, and I could no longer reach her. I smiled warmly when she caught my eye as I entered. She was the epitome of beauty, a queen in her own right.
Hours later, when they were through, I turned and looked in the mirror and was astounded. I looked…well, I looked regal. The only thing missing was my old diadem, but I had left that in Atlantis, as was proper. I stood slowly and looked around. The stylists had gone, but Mathieu remained. “You’re beautiful, my lady,” he said softly.