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?”
For centuries, millennia, the changes in the world I saw were wrought by mortals. Busy, each building on what came before, and each passing, while the gods grew steadily quieter, turned in upon themselves. Perhaps that’s why I saw so much in these firefly lives, to join them, to be my own flash of light in the darkness.
It took me the better part of the morning, but I found her. It looked as though she had been on a shopping spree. She was carrying half a dozen bags. Retail therapy, really? Murder spree, epic fight, sex, and shopping. I shrugged to myself. Yeah, that sounded about right. I didn’t want to interrupt what seemed to be a carefree morning for her. Now that she was out, I had all the time in the world to figure out what she was up to.
We work silently, and soon the remains of my doors are in the trash, and Atë’s staring at the floor with a strange expression.
Hitting her affectionately on the shoulder, I murmur, “It’s strange, isn’t it?”
Her eyes turn to mine. “What is?”
With a smirk, I ruffle her hair lightly. “Cleaning up your own mess.”
I look at Clio’s great belly, knowing more of us are coming and that they’re gonna need someone. Someone to look to when they feel they’re not good enough, someone to make them feel like even if they screw up and make mistakes…it doesn’t mean they have to go away.
Smirking, I pad back to bed, placing the golden necklace around Clio’s neck. I lock the clasp before sliding into bed next to her. It is more than just a pretty charm. If she has another episode, it will summon me. And…if I touch my quiver, I can summon her to me, from anywhere in the world.
But that’ll just be our little secret…
Eros looks me up and down. “I want you to realize that you’re trying to change the past. You think you weren’t strong enough, and we lost our daughter.”
I open and close my mouth a few times, looking at him. I…I didn’t realize. Is that really what I am trying to do? Prove that I am strong enough now to protect our unborn children? I look away from him, staying silent.
It is like his eyes are looking into my soul. Impossible, right? I notice the glow around him. His aura is jet black, and it drips onto the floor. Unknown? I’ve never seen this before. I blink a few times, placing my hand on my stomach as one of the twins kicks. Danger.
She wouldn’t put our children in such danger, would she? It’s not just her life, which is already invaluable, but it’s our kids too. How dare she put herself in danger like this? We’re supposed to be married. Share everything. I have no secrets from her. She’s seen me at my darkest. My lowest. She saw me give up. And she kept this from me?
The entire walk has me thinking about tomorrow and what I am to do. I have no plan in place for what I am going to do when I meet L. What if I am captured? A shiver runs down my spine. That is a worse case scenario.
An opening appears, and I push through, Dorothy behind me. We arrive to chaos. People are pushing past one another, attempting to be the lucky ones to get on the lifeboat. I hold the boy closer to me, looking at Dorothy. Her face is not its usual joyful expression, but grim.
The barrette begins to glow, and I feel a strange energy pull at my soul. I try to fight against it, to stay in reality, but this power is stronger than I am. My eyes slowly close, and I slip into the darkness.