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?”
Eris doubled over, cackling loudly, their energy and hunger pulsing out and dancing along my spine. I shivered for a moment, wondering if they’d heard the voice. Accepting that wasn’t possible, I allowed my mind to wonder…what would it taste like to pull their truth? What would I see? What would I learn?
Shortly after taking on more employees than just dear Eggplant, I had decided to see what magic was in Clark Kent’s glasses and try on a little secret identity action. My female form is the Eris every mortal employee, except Eggplant, of course, is familiar with. She will officially be considered the boss at Insane Troll Logic. My NB form, going by the name Enzo Braeburn, is thought to be just one of the many tech grunts working under Andre.
Sometime during the rave, I’d realized exactly who I needed to call for help. It came as skin melded to skin, lips sucked lips, and I took in the vivid displays of dancing so frantic and chaotic it began to appear choreographed. There was beauty in chaos. The answer became clear, even without my brain consciously putting it together.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
In answer, their screens light up, even as Eggplant’s phone pings out of control with offers. I hear Andre and Delia murmur with delight and my eyes go fiery gold, my wings unfurling once more as I feel the chaos in the room rise.
“Well.” I sigh happily. “How do you like them apples?”
“Eros!” I roared as I flipped the coffee table, spilling my broken laptop onto the floor. “I needed that! Do you have any idea…my files…my calendar!” My rage and dread were making it impossible for me to speak. “I’m gonna kill you!”
“Goodbye, my Kallis!” I exclaim. She smiles at me with that same smile that always makes my heart soar. “We did a thing here today,” I hum to her. “Be proud of that,” I say with complete sincerity, as for once I’m even proud of myself.