I stood on the oversized balcony in one of the many sitting rooms that Hera occupied, and stared at the expanse of foliage down below. The view from here showcased the massive pool, the water fountain, and the large garden in the back. It was gorgeous, but Olympus had its secrets; not everything that glittered was gold. Several Gods and Goddesses were down below going about their normal routines as I watched from above.
Hmm, is this what it’s like to be Queen?
I heard the glass behind me clink as Hera fixed the drinks and strode over, knocking me out of my daze. The clicking of her heels always made my hackles rise. She was a powerful woman, that’s for sure, and given how she put up with Zeus and his infidelities told me she was not one to be trifled with. Anyone who even thought about crossing her family turned into an ash stain on the floor. So, that’s why when she asked for a favor, I obliged.
“Is it done?” Hera asked, stopping by my side. She offered me one of the two glasses she had filled.
I smiled softly as I took it from her hand, taking a sip of the exquisite liquor. Hera had her own special brand that she liked to keep to herself, the fact that she was offering me some, was only because of what I had done.
“Yes, my Queen.” The sarcasm dripped from my voice as I tapped my fingers on the side of the glass. My nerves were clearly still on edge. It’s one thing to trick a God or mortal, but to do it to my own father, the King of Kings, was nerve-racking, to say the least. Who even knew if it would hold?
I knew Hera didn’t necessarily like me. I mean, I’m not her child, but she was the closest thing I ever had to a mother figure in my life. Plus, I wasn’t a hugely affectionate Goddess, so even her disdain was good enough for me. We tolerated each other, we always had.
She cleared her throat, cutting her eyes at me for my blatant disrespect, but chose to ignore it. “Good. We will have a celebration for Eurystheus tomorrow night.”
I took another sip, turning from her and the balcony. “Sounds lovely.”
She stayed by the window only turning her head to look at me. “Your father doesn’t find out about this. Are we clear?”
“Crystal, my Queen,” I responded, placing my glass on one of her marble tables and heading for the door.
“Ate,” she called as I reached the exit, “that means no running to tell your little friends. I am very aware of what trouble that mouth causes.”
Scoffing under my breath I turned around, knowing what her jab was about. “Is this about Pan catching me with a mouth full of Erato? Because it’s not my fault she writes such suggestive poetry. I just had to find out for myself.”
Hera raised her hand, the door in front of me opening almost faster than I could move out of the way. “Out,” was her only word and I happily followed that command.
I couldn’t sleep that night for some ungodly reason. I tossed, turned, and flipped until I drove myself crazy. Maybe I just needed to get laid again. I mean, it had been like twelve hours. The thought had crossed my mind that I could call Melinoë up and have her knock me out. We were best friends, after all. I laid in bed for what felt like an eternity, staring out of the open window. The moment the sun peeked through the clouds, I threw the covers off and got up. I showered and began getting ready way earlier than necessary, but I couldn’t help it. This weird feeling in my gut had me pacing like a jungle cat. It was an emotion I wasn’t used to feeling, and I couldn’t put a name to it to save my life. I needed to talk to someone and I didn’t care what Hera thought. No matter how powerful she was, I did not like being told what to do. It usually led to me doing the opposite.
I walked over to my closet tapping my chin, looking through several outfits before deciding to wear one of my favorite dresses for today’s events. I mean, I was already awake and bored, so why not just get ready for the entire evening? The dress I picked was white, long and form-fitting, with a split up either side, letting my legs move freely. The front was cut into a deep V, but didn’t expose anything anyone had not seen before as I twirled in front of the long mirror in my room. I picked out a pair of gold sandals that tied up to mid-calf and then wove my long black hair into a messy braid.
I had spent more than enough time preparing, and I knew that by this time, everyone else would be up and getting ready, too. Any time a party was thrown here, it lasted all damn day. Hmph. Now what? I guess I could go bother Clio, I hadn’t seen her since the night before last. My meeting with Hera and what I had to do took my whole day yesterday. I swallowed a lump in my throat at the thought again, that weird feeling coming back. Shaking my head I turned, dissolving out of the room.
I flew through the elegant halls of Olympus as other Gods and Goddess swatted at me passing by in a blur. I preferred this to walking. Shit, I preferred this to anything. It was the only time I felt truly free. I zig-zagged upstairs and down another hallway, heading for the Muses’ chambers. Clio usually liked to stay around her sisters, so I was a little surprised when I knocked on the large golden door and Urania answered.
She was dressed in an over-the-shoulder cream-colored dress with a matching belt. Her head tilted as she saw me, stepping away from the door as I walked in.
“Sure, come right in, Atë,” she said, sighing.
The room was huge, but all the rooms in Olympus were huge. This one definitely fit Urania’s style. Everything was always shiny with her, like she collected the stars and decorated with them.
“The place is empty,” I remarked as I flopped on her bed. “Where is your darling sister, or sisters?”
“Nice to see you, too.”
She rolled her eyes as she walked back over to her large vanity and started to adjust her hair, using a golden handled brush to sweep parts on top of her head.
“So tell me, are you looking for Clio or Erato?” she questioned with a raised eyebrow.
I smirked, hopping off the bed and adjusting my dress as I walked over to her. “Pan has such a big mouth. I need to pay him back for that.”
She giggled, but continued to fix her hair. God, she was awful at this. I held my hand out, waiting for her to give me the brush. She rolled her eyes once more before handing it over. We sat silent for a moment as I helped fix the mess she had created on her head, Urania handing me pins as I made it look better than before. Finished, I headed for the door but stopped short as she called out my name.
“Yes?” I responded by turning slightly. Urania was facing me now, still sitting in her chair.
“Look, I know you care about Clio. You guys are best friends, trust me, I’ve read her journals, but please, please, don’t lead her down whatever path you are going on. She is my sister, just like you are, but she is not mischief. I never want to see her get hurt.”
I looked at her with a half-smile, her words ringing in my ears. “I know that. I would never hurt Clio, but I also don’t think I should be the one you’re worried about, Starlight.”
She started to respond, but I had already flown through the room and down the hall. I laughed to myself at her words, heading for the only other place Clio would be. Me? A threat to Clio? Please, the only threat she should be worried about was their creepy-ass mother. I shook off my thoughts once more, heading outside and through the large garden. I made it to the massive Library in no time and turned back into my solid form.
I walked through the entranceway, the stairways on either side greeting me. The long hallway towards the back is where they kept the books I knew Clio would like. I passed a large study room on the right, and saw the telltale sign of brown fur amongst the masses. Pan. Narrowing my eyes, I changed form once again, swooping into the room. I grabbed a candle off one of the nearby tables and sat it beneath him before anyone caught my movement. As I left the room, his high pitched yelp told me it had worked. Snickering to myself, I entered the main library and began my search. Rows and rows of full bookshelves filled the inside and there were immortals everywhere. The gleam of blonde hair caught my eye, the god making his way through the columns. Eros. Well, where there was Eros, there was a little muse. A smile crossed my face as I thought of a plan. I turned once more into the black mist and hovered above the room, watching.
He rubbed his hands on his toga like a nervous teenager as he approached her. It was almost cute. I knew he had feelings for her before even he did. How could he not? Clio had this power to draw immortals in. She cared with her whole heart, to the point it was almost nauseating. In a strange way, she filled a part of me that was missing. I couldn’t lie to her. She saw all my truths with those damned eyes, and never judged me or treated me differently for it. Whereas I sought her for her innocence, loyalty, and unbiased opinions, it seemed my little Love God wanted a different kind of connection.
I watched for a moment longer as he made a horrible attempt at flirting. I literally had seen him seduce a siren once; like, Eros, get it together. They both were the definition of love-struck teenagers. Gods, this was getting boring. Eros leaned up against a pillar and as soon as he did, I sent out a bit of ruin, disintegrating it.
At first, I thought it had worked as she grabbed his hand to examine it, but he quickly pulled back. Oh, come on! I was about to just interrupt them, but I saw Clio quickly grab his arm, asking for help. That’s my muse. Laughing, I landed and changed back, watching as they went between shelves, still talking. I stayed a few feet away so they didn’t sense me right away.
They turned a corner, so enamored with one another. It’s nice watching them. I cared so much for them both. Eros and I had grown close, quickly becoming best friends. I taught him how to be just a little bit more mischievous and cunning. Whereas, he taught me to be a little bit more caring. Well, as caring as I could be. He may be young but he had wisdom, too. Many times he had even put me in my place, though I would never admit it.
I watched as Eros turned, blocking Clio’s view of me as he reached for a book for her. Given their height difference, it’s a perfect opportunity. I changed shape, forming right behind him, holding up my hands in mock claws.
“Boo!” I yelled. Eros’ wings shot out, catching him as he stumbled.
I watched as he instinctively reached out and caught Clio, who he knocked over in his surprise. He spun with her in his arms, both of them clinging to each other like lovers.
“Rhea preserve me! You need to wear a bell!” he snapped playfully.
I folded my arms behind my back and snickered. “Did I scare you?”
I looked between Clio and Eros, still holding each other, and wiggle my brows. “What are you two love birds doing, anyway?”