The rumbling in the walls reminded me of the underground in London; mortals passed through and lingered there as well, just like the Underworld.
My dark paradise: Tartarus. I didn’t realize how much I had missed these walls until I came back. Though I have a permanent home here, I very rarely visit. I prefer snow-chilled mountain peaks and the darker corners of the rain forest – Hades probably prefers I am not here much either, really. But it felt good to be home, where I am who I truly am, not confined to a mortal’s standards. So fickle, and easily scared over the strangest things. If shown an image of a person with four arms, they call them “super mutants” and “heroes”. But tell them that there are mortals with opinions different than their own, and suddenly, they’re in a dither. No wonder they do not worship as they used to, they’re too busy bickering.
I wandered through my haven, reminiscing with each step. Though it was an open-plan room, it was just under 5,000 square feet, carved out of the walls of Tartarus and inlaid with black and gold-vein marble. In one section was my lounging room, where black velvet chaise lounges and gold-trimmed couches sprawled on bear and lion skin rugs. Many moons ago, Erebus and I would have long conversations over appetizers and drinks there, whiling the time away together. An ebony coffee table with clawed feet sat between them all, with a luminescent moon sitting atop it to remind me of Selene. Dark ferns and eternal flames completed this space, and stretched to the bar and kitchen. To keep up with the latest in technology, I had all stainless appliances installed with Erebus’ help, and the bar renovated to match the decor bronze stools sitting before it to await thirsty patrons. For all the flaws mortals may have, they do have a way of finding ways to expedite chores – I love having a dishwasher, though I’ve never used it. When we got wind of Zeus’ orders to go to the mortal plane, Erebus had suggested I implement some mortal things here and at home to get used to them. It hasn’t been as useful as he probably thought it would be, but it was a nice thought.
The bathing room consisted of an in-floor tub, large enough for Erebus and myself to sit comfortably next to one another (his idea). A waterfall shower stood a little ways away from the tub, crystal panels separating its space from the toilet and sink. There was something extremely appealing about a wet body pressed against steaming glass, and my husband was only happy to oblige when I wished it. But it was my bedroom that made me the happiest, with its towering bookshelves and circular bed in the middle. I had covered it in the finest silks and linen I could find, plush rugs scattered tastefully around it. A crystal chandelier hung above the bed, where Erebus had draped long, sheer black curtains that were tucked into the mattress of the bed, giving it a sort of dome look. I suppose there’s a rule to kissing and telling, but I don’t follow it – my forays into both the mortal and immortal bodies that have lain in my embrace…it would make Aphrodite blush. But I also loved lying in the middle of the bed and painting the ceiling with little stars when the room was dark. I used to do the same for Selene when she was much younger and feeling fussy. Her star-struck smile always melted my heart. Oh, my little girl.
I wonder if this is what it feels like to be “alone at the top”, as the mortals say. I’m not fond of it. Is this what Zeus felt before he decided to send us all here?
… I will not sympathize with that blustery fool.
So I suppose it comes down to this: what do I have to my name thus far? Not much. The mortals have tried to immortalize me in a makeup line, which is endearing but underwhelming. A Primordial deserves more tribute than an eyeliner and mascara, no matter how good it is. I have Nox, but it cannot be the end-all and be-all. What does the goddess of the night have to do to have mortals lay themselves at her feet once more?
Perhaps it is time I make my way back to the OA. I haven’t so much as thought about Nox Logistics in some time, and I’m sure Zeus hasn’t bothered to make sure it’s kept up to par with the rest of the departments while I’ve been away. That will be my first task, and perhaps hiring a body or two to oversee the general management of it while I expand my reach. There were several empty floors the last time I was there; it could be a start for my next project. And, I suppose if I’m going to do this right, I should find myself a permanent residence there as well, as the others have. Maybe Selene will help me – it would be lovely to see her once more, and she has an eye for interior decorating.
Greece, I come home to you.