I have never once in my life had the intense desire to kill Eros, but after learning what he did, I want him dead. Eros told me exactly what Erebus had been up to and why I can’t find him. Whatever resolve or remorse I felt suddenly melted away, leaving me with a white-hot piercing pain. It overtakes me, and I feel like I want to vomit. I storm back to my room, unable to disappear since the God Complex got their shiny new security system, and break everything in my sight.
“I didn’t know!” Eros’ voice echoes in my head.
I turn, kicking my dresser and sending it flying against the wall, shattering it into a million pieces.
“Do you even have feelings?” Erebus’ words ring in my ears.
I pick up my bed and throw it into the large living room area. It crashes and breaks, just like my heart. A dating show. After everything. I am angry, hurt, and disgusted. I am a fool, beyond a fool. I feel dirty. Like I was tricked once again by someone I…
I can’t say it.
I know what I have to do now and don’t have time to waste. If I am going to ruin this little show, I know who I have to find first.
It took me a few days to track down Harrison, the host for Erebus’ new undertaking. My skills were lacking, given the fact I had spent what I thought was a thousand years in Tartarus. I’m rusty, but not for long. I still have some outside contacts with the kind of people the mortals feared: the corrupt, the liars, the ones who cheat to get into politics. Name them, and I can tell you how I know them. My month-long absence was felt by those less than honorable mortals. I convinced them it was a brief vacation, and after a few threats and some broken bones, everything is back to normal.
Everything but me.
I cross my legs and settle in to watch from the far corner of the low-lit club. I traced Harrison and a few of his colleagues here. They seem to be celebrating the new show. From what I’ve heard, they haven’t started filming yet but would in the new few days.
I sip my manhattan, eyeing the men from across the room. Harrison is about five-foot-five and the loudest member of his group. They’re all dressed in casual but sophisticated attire. The women that surround them laugh at their jokes even when they are terrible.
I made myself seem alone as I could after rejecting the numerous attempts from men and women who wanted to join me. I know Harrison’s type. Women throw themselves at him religiously for a spot on TV. I’m sure he enjoys it, but now and then, his type likes to be the hunter.
I have pretty much been eye fucking him since I arrived and knew he would make his way towards me soon. Moving to the bar, I wave the bartender over, asking for something a little stronger. He gladly obliges and I turn back, making sure Harrison hasn’t wandered off. Reaching out, I pick up my drink and throw it back. That’s when it hits me.
The bright lights of the club melt away as I look around the harsh darkened cell once more. Erebus sits on my opposite side, his face lit up, laughing at something I said. I look down at my worn and tattered clothes holding the stolen bottle from the party he brought.
“Are you okay?” he asks, leaning forward.
“No. No, this is wrong! This already happened! I’m not here anymore.”
A sharp pain slices through my palm as the glass I am holding shatters. The room is suddenly alight once more and music blares into my ears. The club goers look around as the building shakes.
“Hey, are you okay?” he asks again.
Wait, no, that’s not Erebus. I turn to find Harrison next to me, his brow furrowing as he looks from me to the broken glass on the floor.
He reaches for my hand. “You cut yourself. Let me see.”
“No.” I jerk my hand back, snapping harsher than I mean to. I clear my throat, trying to play the dumb mortal klutz. “I mean, I am fine. It slipped.”
He smiles softly before looking around at the slowly dwindling crowd. “Yeah, I can imagine. It’s not every day we get an earthquake here.”
I snort more to myself. Oh, silly mortal, that was not an earthquake. Earthquakes are more of Poseidon’s field. That was the Goddess of Ruin not in control of her powers and almost burying you and your idiot friends.
I wrap my arms around myself, keeping up my ruse. “Yeah, I would like to get out of here. Do you have a place?”
Harrison ends up taking me back to his hotel. He is only staying here until arrangements are made at the place they will hold the show. I know this because he doesn’t shut up the entire ride. If the trip had taken any longer, my whole plan would have been ruined. I was tempted to kill him then and there.
Harrison is mixing drinks at the minibar in the small penthouse. I take the opportunity to snoop through the files left out in the open. He has info on every contestant including their family, net worth, and background. I am impressed. I keep flipping through folders and stop when I find Erebus’ information. That same dull ache comes back tenfold as I grab the picture they used for him. I lean back into the plush couch, still holding it as Harrison returns with drinks in hand.
“Yup, that’s him.” He points with one finger as he sits next to me, handing me my glass.
I lean forward, putting the picture back, exchanging it for the liquor. “He’s handsome.”
“And immortal. Which brings in a ton of applications.” Harrison smirks.
He takes a sip, and I mimic his motions, trying to pretend I am just another mortal interested in this stupid show and how to get a TV spotlight. Not the vengeful, hateful Goddess of Ruin whose heart feels like it is in a million pieces.
Harrison throws an arm behind the couch, relaxing more. “I think they assume they will get rich quick. All I know is he is practically ancient, recently divorced, and no psycho exes we need to worry about.” Harrison pauses, chuckling to himself. “Which sucks for drama factor, but I’m sure we can spin something for ratings.”
I tip the drink he gave me back, finishing it as Harrison looks at me in amusement.
“Thirsty?” he asks.
“Something like that,” I respond, standing up.
I walk over to the large closet and I throw the doors open, moving suits and casual wear to the side.
“If you want something to wear, I am sure I can find something.” He snickers behind me as I hear him get up.
I turn half smiling. “Do you ever hear those old wives’ tales? You know the ones about snake owners? They say that pythons will size up their owners so that one day they can swallow them whole.”
His eyes seem to turn dark with desire. “Is that what you want to do to me? Swallow me whole?”
“Not in the way you want.” I wink at him before holding the suit next to him, then back to me. That should do. I place it back in the closet and look for a few more before taking them out and striding past him as I continue to speak. “Tell me more about the info you have on Erebus.”
“Oh umm, is that what that was about? I mean the women are gonna eat him up, too. They love the tall, dark, and mysterious types, although half of them are in it for money or fame. Maybe one for love but,” he stops, a pained expression crossing his face as he shakes his head. “Although I don’t know why I am telling you this.”
I shrug as I place the suits on the back of the couch, leaning against it as I answer him, “Oh, it’s simple. I am convincing you. Think of it as persuasion.”
He pauses, rubbing his temples, and I push off the back of the couch, heading over to him. I stop in front of him, tilting my head.
“Sorry. The headaches aren’t usually a side effect, but my powers have been a little off, so to speak, since Tartarus.”
He opens one eye. “Tartarus? Like the Greek version of Hell? Like Underworld?”
I nod my head. “Yeah, pretty much sums it up.”
“Look, lady, I don’t know who you are, but you need to leave. I read everything Erik Armor sent over, and it didn’t mention anything about brain-melting exes, so either you mean jack shit to this guy, or you’re just forgettable. Either way, it’s not my—”
His words are cut off as I lift him in the air by his jaw. His hands hold on to my arm as his legs kick beneath him. His eyes bug from his head as I caught the reflective glow of mine in them.
“Both of those subjects are very touchy for me, so forgive me for killing you a bit faster than I want. Guess I’ll just find out the rest of the info I need on my own. It’s been real, Harrison. Send the Underworld my regards.”
With one flick of my wrist, his head snaps to the side, his body thuds to the ground as I let him go. I shake my head as I gather the files he had lying around. I pick up the clothes and search the penthouse for his phone and all forms of ID I can find. After a quick shower, I let my body change to the height and size of Harrison Rex. I wore one of the suits he had left and fix his hair, happy with the appearance. I take one final look before leaving the penthouse.