Taking Care of the Community

“Yep, I am. Now I am going to take care of the community center, and I am going to make sure Antwan will get the best treatment possible. He’ll get all the therapy that he needs to finish growing up as a functional adult, so I swear on the river Styx,” I said with a warm smile. I felt the bonds of my oath wrap around me, but it wasn’t a problem. Trust funds go a long way.

“Hestia, help.” My head shot up as I heard the woman call out for my help. I glanced around for the person asking for it, but I was alone with Michael, searching through the upstairs. He picked up the computer case, soapy water gushing out the back.

“I hope the insurance company will take care of this,” Michael groaned before he let out a string of curse words. “We were a month behind on payments,” he said as he closed his eyes and leaned against the wall, shaking his head as his shoulders slumped in defeat. 

“Hestia, you said this would work,” the woman said. 

“Michael, I am getting a call. Don’t worry about anything, okay? I am going to fix this, but before I can, I must help Antwan. I am guessing billing is having a fit over my card, but I will be back,” I said.

“What? What call? Is your phone on vibrate? How would you know it’s about Antwan?” Michael asked as he straightened. His foot slipped out, and he landed with a splash on the wet carpet.

“Remember the whole fire kitty thing?” I asked as I helped him up.

“Pretty sure I dreamed tha—” Michael’s jaw dropped as the three-headed fire cat trotted in, his feet sizzling as he walked across the wet floor. “Okay, I didn’t dream it. What about it?”

“I’ll need you to babysit him until I can take him to my hearth. I’ve told him to listen to you. Thanks,” I said as I focused on the person asking for help. My view of Michael’s DaFaq face was replaced by a sneering nurse.

“I don’t care whose card you have stolen. I’m going to have to report this to the police,” the nurse spat.

“What’s the problem with my card, nurse?” I demanded, stepping between the mother and the nurse. I took a moment to look her over. She stood just over a meter and a half. Her platinum blond hair was cut into a pointed bob cut and layered just so. She wore blue scrubs, along with an apple watch. I glanced at her name tag. “Karen, is it? Just run my card.”

“How does someone who can’t afford insurance know a person that has the card of the extremely wealthy? I am sure she doesn’t know this Hestia Olympian. No way you’re her,” Karan spat. 

I let out a slow breath as I reached into a pocket. I pulled out a black passport that said ΔΙΠΛΩΜΑΤΙΚΟ ΔΙΑΒΑΤΗΡΙΟ across the front and slammed it on Karen’s laptop with the photo open. “My diplomatic passport.” Never mind the fact it was an illusion, but she didn’t need to know about being the actual Hestia. She didn’t deserve to know. 

Karen glanced at the photo and then back to me. She looked like she swallowed a lemon before she nodded. “I’ll run the card and tell the doctor that it will be fully paid.”

“Good, now be gone, Karen,” I spat before pocketing my passport and turning to the mother. Karen took her billing cart and hurried out of the room. She poked her head back in. “Miss Olympian? What address is on the card?”

I put on my best smile, the one I used when talking to my younger brother before I turned, and gave the woman eyes that said, you’re about to burst into fire. Karan swallowed hard, but she had nothing to worry about. I wasn’t going to hand her over to anyone. I stepped out of the exam room and finished dealing with billing. When I slipped back in, Antwan was sleeping and his mother was gently stroking his head. I was thankful for the medication that gave him peace from the pain. 

 “Thank you, Hestia. They were going to do nothing but bandage his hands,” the mother said.

“It is my pleasure. I have no use for the extreme wealth I already have. I’ve made it my goal to spend every drachma I have, but it piles up faster than I can spend it,” I said as I put a chair next to her and sat. 

She gave me a bit of a look. “I’m Monica. This is Antwan.”

“It’s going to be okay, Monica. He will be taken care of, even beyond his care here. Anything he needs, he has a fairy godmother, so to speak,” I said while taking Monica’s hand and squeezing. 

“Why do you care? You’re some rich Greek woman,” Monica said as a tear slid down her cheek.

I gave a warm smile. “Monica, look at me, please.” The mother slowly looked at my face and then my eyes. “I care about family. Dominic Toretto wishes he could care about family as I do. My idiotic younger brother finally had a great idea, telling his fellow gods to come back to the mortal plane. You are my return. I wish to help keep the bonds of the family together as mentally ill rich fools try to break them.”

“Okay, gods? You said drachma a moment ago, and your passport name said Olympian,” Monica said, her eyebrow-raising as if saying you gotta be kidding me. “Are you saying you’re the Hestia from the Greek Gods? Are you actually trying to tell me that the Greek Gods exist?” 

“Yep, I am. Now I am going to take care of the community center, and I am going to make sure Antwan will get the best treatment possible. He’ll get all the therapy that he needs to finish growing up as a functional adult, so I swear on the river Styx,” I said with a warm smile. I felt the bonds of my oath wrap around me, but it wasn’t a problem. Trust funds go a long way.

Monica nodded. “Okay, maybe? You have money at least, and you scared Karen away.”

I gave a soft laugh. “All you have to do in order to make sure a wild Karen doesn’t lash out is to act like you own the place. You make sure you can shut them down before they can get a full head of steam behind their mouths.”

Monica pinched the bridge of her nose. “Yeah, that describes them nicely.”

“What have the doctors said about your son?” I asked to change the topic.

Tears formed in Monica’s eyes as she swallowed hard. “Second and third-degree burns. They don’t know if he’ll ever use his right hand again. They are saying that they’ll have to take skin grafts if they are going to save his hand. They were recommending that we amputate, for his sake.”

“He kept the fire from spreading until Michael and I got there. You should be proud that he saved the girl,” I said, taking Monica’s hand again.

“I am proud of my little boy, but he shouldn’t have to,” Monica said as tears flowed freely down her cheeks. “Antwan should be whole and healthy. He wanted badly to be there tonight. He wanted to make sure that his niece had someone to play with. Now? He’s going to lose his hand.”

“That was before I threw money at them. I am thinking now they know it’s going to be paid for they might have more options,” I said just before the door opened and the doctor came in with a team behind him. Monica gave me a sideways glance as she wiped the tears away, her face shifting from scared mom to pissed off mama bear.

“Miss, can you step out? This is for family,” the doctor said. 

I patted Monica’s forearm. “Holler if you need me.” I stood and flashed a smile at the doctors before stepping out. Karen came toward me, my card in her hand. 

“Miss Olympian? Yes, the bank has opened a credit line for you to us,” Karen respectfully said. 

“Great, now I want to pay for everyone in this building,” I said.

The billing woman blinked a few times before squeaking, “Everyone? All fifteen hundred beds?”

I shrugged. “It’s not like I can’t afford it. Why don’t you get the head of billing and have her call me in the morning? It would probably go better if I speak directly to her.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’ll send her an urgent message as soon as I get back to the office. Do you want your card back?” Karan said as she offered the card back.

“Thank you. Make sure you have my direct number,” I said. She grabbed a pen and paper from the nurse’s station and wrote down the number.

“I’ll have her call you first thing in the morning,” Karen said before rushing off. 

I hovered in front of the glass doors of the emergency room bay. It was trying not to head into a couple of the rooms. An old lady was losing her husband to a stroke, a child had a long cut and was in pain, a car accident that caused a woman to miscarry, and others. The worry that floated in the air was palpable. The door opened, and the doctors walked out, discussing the case. 

“Did you have better news?” I asked, noting Monica’s face. The worry lines were slightly relaxed.

“Oh, god, yes. Sorry, I mean, yes, they did give me good news. Now that money isn’t a problem, they think he has a chance to get at least seventy percent use out of his hand,” Monica said before she flung her arms around my neck. “Thank you. You saved his future.”  

“It’s what I live for,” I said as I returned the hug. 

Hestia (Aaran Jolly)
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