I shared how the party was like most gatherings until the chanting started and the mirrors glowed. Fresh memories flooded my mind, and I told them about him. The one I loved, or she loved, I didn’t know. I explained the passion between us and how it made me feel.
I locked my gaze with his, and the hunger and need in his eyes so matched my own that it shoved me over the edge. I slid my hand from beneath his and placed it against his chest. Then, never breaking eye contact, I pushed him back onto the bed.
He knew about my trust issues. He knew the pain, and he knew all about the trauma of before. He had my trust. He had shown me another way, a way to unleash the woman in me. I felt him shift on top of me, and my thoughts were back in the moment.
“Mademoiselle, nous atterrirons à Paris dans environ 30 minutes.” I heard over the PA system on the private jet. I opened the shade, and there she was, the most beautiful city in all the world. Paris. The sun was just rising behind us.
Funny how you just never know what’s really in a book until you crack it open and look inside. Bob was just like that. He was a gentle giant, a hard worker, a good husband, and a father. He’s going to need more than his strength alone to fix this situation.
“Regroup and expand our search parameters. It will take longer, and we’ll be gone for extended periods. I can’t keep sending crews out. It’s detrimental to the business. If I had concrete evidence that Kara was in one particular area, then I’d take every single person with me. We’d raid the place, rescue her, and then deal with the perpetrators appropriately.”
“You mean go into full God of War mode and kill them all?”
His cheerful smile was infectious. He always had a tune to hum, and for as big as he was, he could dance along the loading dock as smoothly as any dancer. Everyone liked him. He’d been working for us for about a year now, and I loved it when I worked in the shop on delivery day.
How am I going to tell my mother? This past year had been such a whirlwind of events that I hadn’t had the time or seen a clear enough path to approach her. Between the Titan attack, Dad’s coma, and then Mom being gone, then returning. What am I gonna say?
I watched how you handled everything that came your way with dignity and grace. I saw your tears, and I saw your joy. I wanted to grant you these Victories today. The first a life worth saving, the second for the lives you saved, and the third for what gives your life true meaning, your family. Thank you. You’re a true hero and champion in my book.
“Unfortunately, the sight of him covered in the lion’s skin scared everyone and the stories of his heroics grew even grander, which caused him to get a bigger head and become more insufferable. And of course, every time Alcaeus did something amazing, Zeus wouldn’t shut his big mouth about it for years!”
We danced, the song lulling me into a sense of security. Or maybe it was Dion’s arms, but something was making this night better than it had been, and I was grateful. I knew that the memories would resurface about what was discussed, what happened, what was broken. But for now, all I needed, all I wanted, was him.
I picked up one of my shields. I had just written Bethany’s name on the inside and hung it back on my wall. Snorting a laugh, I thought to myself, Thanks for the reminder, Brother. Sitting in my chair and looking at the shields on the walls, I reminisced about the thousands upon thousands of victories I had given.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how many people were suffering through this virus. So many had lost their jobs. I needed to do something to bring Victories back to them. I had the beginning of an idea, but I needed to flesh it out more.
“It was around this time that Zeus and I started going through a particularly good period. I don’t know if he was distracting me on purpose, but I wasn’t paying much attention to the mortal world. Not long after the snake incident, Alcaeus’s mother set him in the woods, apparently hoping to avoid my wrath. Had I known about it, I would have taken his life and been done with him.”