How hard could this really be? I know I wanted to pick the right one. It had to be perfect, and the right fit for Atë. I walked up and down the display, looking things over. And then I saw it, right in the middle of the pack. It was brilliant. My smile spread from ear to ear. I hoped she would love it.
I tilted my head slightly, smirking. “If I knew that, I wouldn’t have texted you, Atë.” I waved my hand dismissively before she could counter. “What or who helps you when you’re…feeling…ragey…unhinged…unbalanced?”
Yes, I may be on the hunt for Titans older than literal time, but I also need help. Someone I can trust, but also not tell me how terrible my idea is. Besides, I don’t trust Erebus, especially after how weird he has been recently. Secret phone calls and suddenly having to leave? Nope. I need an assistant of my own, and who better than Chuck?
So many questions ran through my head. The number one being, how did Melisseus always know when my guard was down? Was there a mole within Olympus? Perhaps one of the many Titans that no longer resided in Tartarus? Every god in Olympus was a gossip.
The brisk air greets me, lifting parts of my hair as I grip the edge of the balcony with both hands and look over. Clouds form, spreading out beneath the mountain as sunlight dances on my far left. Closing my eyes, I lift myself upward and place my feet on the rails to steady myself. It only hurts for a second, and then I’m free.
The reason I say it to her so much…I went two thousand years without saying it to her. Then an extra thousand years with my mind wiped and her being trapped in a dagger. So, yeah, I’m going to say I love her at every opportunity.
You have no idea what I’m doing when I’m not here or how I’m literally trying to fix myself. You weren’t there, Erebus. You weren’t locked in Tartarus. You have no idea what I’m feeling or what it’s like. And for one second, let’s stop pretending like you’re some hero helping me. You didn’t do this out of kindness.
“Atë, this seems like a conversation we probably shouldn’t have in the lobby.” I paused, then continued after deciding to answer her question. “I remember BDZ disappointing me as much as the mortals and justice becoming a game. What side of that game are you on?”
“No, I think my session is now. Don’t you? I mean, what’s the point in this? This was Persephone’s gig, right? And she gave up on me, too?” I tilt my head once before going back to my reading. “I mean, no hard feelings. It’s not you. It’s me. Also, I think this will be the last session I have.”
The world stilled for me in that moment, and it had nothing to do with the fact that Persephone swept all of the glasses out of the bar cabinet to get our attention. It was the sting of betrayal that got to me. “How could you?” I asked, my voice the quietest it had been since I had arrived. “Eros, you and Din nearly died because of her actions. How can you defend her?”
Regardless of what happened between us and my callous ways, it proves one thing. Erebus cares for me. Which is a problem. So me being me, I do what I always do. I destroy it. Everything he bought, everything he gave me. Ruined.
Why would she be looking for me? “I’m here on business,” I say. “I’d heard they’d let you out. I would have visited, but, well, you know…” I look Atë up and down and raise my eyebrows. The outfit hugs her figure, accentuating her curves, and I don’t need to use my skills to know what every man in the bar is thinking.