She points to the pillows next to me, and I grind my teeth to keep from snapping at my mother for setting me up. Clio’s face goes red when she sees me, and her gulp is audible even as she takes the seat beside me. Her back is stick straight, every inch of her body on edge. Her voice is frosty. “What is it you’d like me to do, Aphrodite?”
I looked at what little remained of the orb and frowned. “Yeah…Oh well.” I shrugged. “It was a nice thought. But it’s just a material possession.” I tried concealing how bummed I was, but I knew Clio could tell. “But do you know how hard it is to find good friends?” I winked at Clio.
“That’s probably a good thing,” I muttered as I reflected. “You get married, have kids, and then you get attached to the smallest things.” I rolled my eyes. “Family trips, presents…then the kids grow up and leave, and all that you have left of them are the things they leave behind or gifted to you. Then one day, you may find yourself roaming the streets with a bossy muse looking for said gifts.”
I rush around my kitchen, putting spices on the fresh fish I just cooked. The pig I got from the market squeals at my feet as I chop up the vegetables. I push a few beans over the counter, allowing them to fall to the ground. The pig snorts them up, and I giggle.
There was a white satin aisle runner with chairs on either side. Candelabras were set strategically along the path, giving the whole scene a soft glow. Fireflies fluttered over the water, their lights blinking off and on, just as they had done the night I proposed. It was simple and elegant, just like Kara.
Closing my book, I tuck my writing utensil behind my ear. I think I have gotten everything I need from this. I look up at the stage and feel my eyes widen. The next animal is a little piglet, and my heart instantly melts. I have a weakness for animals, and I know that this little one doesn’t stand a chance with a bunch of hungry mortals.
“I’m facilitating a connection.” I smile. “Not today, probably not tomorrow, maybe not for years and years. But eventually, two of her little monsters will seek out your two, and they will share a bond only the King of the Underworld could understand.”
“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.”
“So I’m the only one to live with that burden?” I ask, my shoulders dropping. Usually, I don’t mind knowing everyone’s history, but this…I thought it was going to be something we shared. Eros comes up behind me, sighing again as he wraps his arms around me. I push him away, frustrated and hurt. “Goodnight, Lykos.”
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.
My heart dropped at that nonchalant statement. I knew my eyes were wide with horror. What I didn’t know was if my face was white from blood draining from it in dread or if it was red from rage rushing to my cheeks. Either option was highly likely at that moment. “You were doing what?! Tell me you’re lying!” I knew he wasn’t—after all, it was physically impossible for him to do so—but a girl could hope.
“Ohhh, Clio, if you got me diamonds, I may have to steal you from Eros,” she says, wiggling her brows before gently tearing the wrapping. She drops it to the floor and opens the box. She freezes, her fingers hovering over the gift.
Eros was the last person I needed to explain my feelings to. Yet, I did all the same. “I’ve seen your love practically immobilize a person with pain, grief, and anger.” Seen and felt it myself. “They’re in love, so they don’t eat or sleep.” I didn’t. “They break up, so they don’t eat or sleep.” I didn’t. “Everyone is just happier being single!” I certainly was.