“Boys!” Khione steps between us. “What’s the matter with you? The first time the three of us have been together in centuries and all you can do is trade insults and push each other’s buttons? Haven’t you got anything else to say?”
After seeing those heroes I once knew die or become the villains, I moved on. I looked for new homes, new soldiers to start revolts, and new powers to dismantle. There were dictators to de-throne. I never thought I would return. At least not to the city where I had seen mortals do the impossible.
I had come here out of obligation and a need to prove myself. Instead, I found myself supported by the people I had surrounded myself with. I was lucky to have people and pets who accepted me for who I was.
I was the heart. She was the butterfly. We’d fought once, long ago, when I was still considered a war goddess. She was forever a warrior, but it’d been a long time since she questioned my skills in battle. Our malicious and derisive names for one another became loving endearments by the time our swords were sheathed and we lost ourselves in friendly drinks.
“Righto, one cream pie coming up for Dite!” I called out as if confirming an order from a diner. Aphrodite fell to the floor laughing, and the other goddesses joined her. I felt my face flush slightly as I’d clearly missed something.
I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back, pulling my knees to my chest. The decision to come and make new friends was a good one. My vision was right. Visiting Hestia was a good choice, and now I had a group of friends that I felt connected to. Maybe I could expand my decision to trust others. There was going to be more to this evening, I was sure, but I was happy to settle in and have another drink.
Callie’s tears had slowed, and I could see her body was dragging her back into sleep. I stroked her hair again and whispered, “Rest. We will deal with everything else later.” And we would, but her ex just might not survive me dealing with it. I still had a little goddess wrath within me, and I had plenty of frustrations to take out on him.
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 just hoped sooner rather than later. I had to admit that his kiss, even if it was on the cheek, got me a little hot under the collar that I wasn’t wearing. I flung myself back into the pool and rested there, floating on the surface like foam on the sea. “I hope you find me again sometime soon, Dionysos,” I whispered as I watched the sunset.
With all the voices surrounding me and the burning fever of the madness threatening me at all times, I could not help what came next. I leaned close, kissed her tenderly on her right cheek and whispered, “That is why I have a special place in my heart for you, you know that.”