“Hello, son, what brings you by this morning?” he said as I stepped into his office.

I took another deep breath before I closed the door behind me. “I thought you would like to know of some developments overnight.”

“Of course, of course. Have a seat.”

“No thanks. I prefer to stand right now.”

“Suit yourself,” he replied.

I told him about the discovery of Charlie’s body at the forge, and Dinlas’ efforts to track down the killer that had led him to the river in the national park. “Obviously, the two deaths are connected,” I concluded. “I’m just not sure what the connection is.”

“This will not reflect well on us,” Dad said, getting to his feet and pacing the floor. “You have got to put a stop to this as soon as possible.”

“I agree. I’d like your permission to go through Ophelia’s office. Did she have an apartment here?”

“No, but she did have a place nearby. I’ll have Cassandra get her address for you.”

“I’m sure I’ll find it in Ophelia’s files. I just wanted to let you know what was going on. I’ll be talking to Artemis soon. She’s more familiar with the national park than I am.”

“That’s a good idea. I’m glad to see that you are reaching out to your family for help. Nice to see you swallowing your pride when you know you’re in over your head.”

Condescending bastard. “I’m not in over my head. One of the things I have learned over all these centuries is that networking is everything. It’s who you know, not what you know. Dinlas and Artemis are good at what they do, just as I am good at what I do. They help me, I help them.” I walked over until I was standing face to face with him. “Let me make myself crystal clear: I’ve heard that you are complaining that the family isn’t adding to the coffers fast enough to your liking. Everything I have earned has been used to benefit the family. I’ve provided security systems; I make sure that they are safe. You, on the other hand, have sat up here on your ass, lording over the rest of us just like you used to do, thinking you can do whatever you want without consequences.”

“I will not allow you to talk to me this way,” he growled. “I am your father, and I am still the ruler of Olympus.”

“Yes, you are both of those things,” I agreed. “But perhaps you should spend less time moving us around like chess pieces, putting us where you want us, and more time getting to know your family. We’ve all changed, Dad. We’re not the same deities that we were 2,000 years ago. If we have to change with the times and learn to live among the mortals, then you need to change with the times and learn to treat us as family, not people who are supposed to bow down and worship you and do your bidding every time you snap your fingers.”

“I think it would be in your best interests to leave my office now,” Dad said, barely controlling himself. I saw his arms tense up, and I knew he was itching to throw a dozen bolts at me. 

Walking toward his office door, I stopped and turned around. “One last thing: Aunt Demeter needs an assistant at her law office. She’s fed up with people just walking into her office like they own the place. I think Cassandra will be a wonderful asset to her.”

“That would be fine. I’m sure I can find someone just as competent to take her place.”

Closing the door behind me when I left, I heard thunder rumble in his office, followed by loud cracking sounds. Dad was throwing a temper tantrum. He had the right; I was pretty harsh with him. But it had to be said.

“What happened in there?” Cassandra asked me.

“Nothing you need to concern yourself with,” I assured him. “I have a new job for you, one where you won’t have to worry about someone making a pass at you every time you come to work. What do you know about the law?”

Ares (Teresa Watson)
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