My mind is still struggling to catch up with the onslaught of new memories. My lungs are burning from my sprint to the museum, and my heart is about to break its way from my chest, but all I can see is her.
How could I have never seen it before?
The pull to Clio, not just now, but before in Olympus, the same pull I felt towards Psyche, why hadn’t I seen the pattern? Why hadn’t I wondered?
I take a gulping breath and manage to steady myself in the doorway of her office, though my hands are gripping the frame, forced to do so to make sure that I don’t reach for her.
I need answers first.
I’m honestly impressed my voice even works, especially with those fucking gorgeous kaleidoscope eyes staring at me, or the fluttering fairy wings on her back, but even with the markers of her life as Psyche, I still see her.
Gritting my teeth, I grind out, “Did you know? Did you know this whole time? Was this some kind of sick joke you played at my expense?”
I don’t believe she is, but still, some part of me needs to know.
“No! I would never hurt you like that!”
No lie. Clio, in any form, has never been able to lie. So my breath comes a little easier. But I’m not done.
“And my wings? Was that you?”
“N-no, I could never hurt you like that.”
She chokes back a sob, and my fingers dig into the wood of the door, stopping myself from reaching for her. It’s taking every ounce of my control to keep from lunging at her.
“And my daughter?”
The greatest offense I once accused her of. Keeping my child from me.
Yet the question seems to devastate her, she wraps her hands around her stomach, my fingers are bleeding on the door frame. “I…I didn’t even know I was pregnant,” her eyes lock on mine, and I have to break the gaze immediately. I won’t get through these questions if she’s looking at me, “Where is she?”
“She’s safe. So…is she really our daughter?”
“Y-yes, she is,” she whispers.
Innocent of everything I’ve condemned her for, even the most recent transgression.
It takes a moment for me to ask the most important question.
I can feel her gaze searching my face but I can’t lock eyes with her, the doorway begins to crumble under my fingertips.
“What do we do now?”
It’s the only question I can give voice to, yet not the one I’m hoping she’ll answer.
Do you still love me?
She’s silent for a moment, and the sounds of her sensible shoes tread across the carpet, “W-What would you like -”
“Stop,” I order, even as the doorway splinters completely in my fists, “if you come any closer…”
I can hear her take another step forward, whispering, “If I come any closer?”
Finally, my eyes lock with hers, no doubt she is witnessing the amount of raw need in my gaze, as I growl, “I’m not letting you go.”
I’m not sure who closes the distance between us – her or I – but I do know that in the next moment, my hands are tunneling through her hair, and my lips are sealed over hers.
Her hand is gripping my shirt tightly, returning my kiss with all the desperation I felt. Breaking my lips from hers, I kiss every single inch of her face I can reach, as if trying to memorize it, all over again.
A harsh mutter breaks through between frantic kisses, “It’s always been you, in every lifetime, in every form…”
Her tears are falling down her face, and I’m too lost in her to even think about wiping them away, “My heart has always been yours, Eros. As Clio and as Psyche.”
Breaking away from her, even slightly, so I can press my forehead to hers. “Shes here, Aren, she made her way home.”
I don’t have to tell her, who I speak of, she knows instantly there is only one her either of us could possibly care about at that moment.
“O-our baby? Is she safe? Where is she?”
Grasping her tightly, I pop us both back to the private god floor elevators, pressing the button to summon one.
Then I seal my lips back over hers, drinking her in, like a man deprived of water in the Sahara finally offered a sip of water.
There’s a distant ding of an elevator arriving, and without releasing her, I back us both into it. I don’t know who presses the button for the top floor, but I know it’s pressed, and we begin speeding towards our daughter.
We could be heading towards a fucking bullet train, and I would die a happy man.
Reaching down, I wrap one of her legs high on my hip, and absently wish she was wearing a dress, so I could press myself even more intimately against her, but I’ll have to settle.
For now…later? All bets are off.
Her kisses are even more frantic than before, as are mine, and she jumps slightly, locking her other leg around my waist.
Gripping her ass, I grind her against me, ignoring the speeding elevator. Breaking from her lips, I drag my mouth down her neck, licking her frantic pulse, murmuring, “I love you.”
Words I haven’t said in two thousand years.
“I love you too,” she moans, her breathing escalating as my teeth sink into the point between her neck and shoulder.
Which is of course when the distant ding announces our arrival at the penthouse.
There’s a completely monotone clearing of a throat, and I release Clio’s neck to see my grandmother’s assistant standing there. As always, their face is a completely neutral mask.
Instead of releasing my wife, with an ashamed blush, much like the one I’m sure is climbing Clio’s cheeks, I lean forward, pressing the doors closed button, “Do you mind? I’m trying to fuck my wife.”
“Eros!” Clio reprimands, struggling enough to make me release her, though I make her take the slowest of detours down my body.
Hey, if I’m going to be turned on to the point of pain, so are you.
Her face is completely red as we step off the elevator, and when she tries to step away from me, as if to provide some distance, I grasp her hand in mine.
I doubt very much that I’ll be able to let her out of my sight for a while. That’s tomorrow Eros’ problem.
“Where’s my daughter?” I snap at Aphaid, though I know the cutting tone of my voice will have no effect.
I mean, you’ve met my grandmother, right? Cutting is her on a day when she’s feeling particularly gentle, so gentle in fact, I’d be convinced she’d been bodysnatched.
Aphaid guides us passively to the guest bedroom, and I’m a little thankful for my grandmother’s absence – I’m sure Din came straight here to be with Nyxie – because I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to hold my shit together.
Aphaid pushes open the door, and Clio rushes past me to our daughter’s side. Tears well in her eyes, and she reaches out to fix some of Hedone’s hair.
“Our poor baby,” she whispers.
Coming to her side, I reach down to lift my sleeping daughter into my arms, not surprised when she doesn’t stir. The hell she must have gone through to get to us…
“Come on, Aren, let’s take her home.”
Clio’s eyes are still filled with tears as she walks with me back to the elevator, though I can see the way she’s looking at Hedone.
She’s blaming herself.
“It’s not your fault,” I whisper, juggling my daughter to press the button for the sixty-ninth floor.
“It is…I should have fought harder, our daughter grew up without us because of me.”
I shake my head in disagreement, stepping off the elevator onto my floor, I open my mouth to argue with her, which is when I notice that she’s silently standing on the elevator.
“What are you doing?”
She glances away for a moment. “I’m going to my floor.”
My muscles lock down with the need to yank her off the elevator before the doors close, but with Hedone in my arms, I can’t.
“Aren. Get off the elevator.”
I simply can’t let her out of my sight, even for a moment, I doubt I’ll be able to for at least a millennia.
She sighs slightly, but she steps off the elevator, and a breath of relief hisses from me. Together we make our way back into the private residence portion of my floor, and I murmur to her as I open the door to the guest bedroom with my shoulder, “You know I’m a little concerned you thought you were sleeping elsewhere tonight.”
Clio’s eyes are roaming the room, and I realize absently that it’s the first time she’s ever been to my floor.
“W-what do you mean?”
I gesture with my head to the made bed, and Clio moves to pull down the covers, so I can lay our sleeping daughter in it.
“I didn’t think I’d have to ask my wife if she was sleeping with me. I thought that kind of thing was a given.”
She smiles small, leaning down to kiss Hedone’s head softly. “I’m sorry, force of habit.”
I tuck our daughter tightly under the covers. “You better not be planning to sleep anywhere in the future.”
Clio moves closer to me, grasping my hand and pulling me from Hedone’s room, closing the door quietly behind us, she turns to face me. “If you’ll have me, my husband. I’d spend every night with you.”
Which is all the confirmation I need.
Releasing her hand, I reach down, grasping her behind the knees and tossing her over my shoulder, “Good, we have two thousand years of orgasms to make up for. Best get started.”
“Lykos!” she squeals in reprimand. “Put me down!”
Opening and shutting our bedroom door, I toss her onto the bed, smirking at her. “There you go, I put you down.”
She flips her hair back from her face, and her magnificent eyes light with heat. “Since you’re being so accommodating,” she crooks her finger at me, purring, “I have a few more requests…”
My smile stretches wickedly across my face. “Requests?”
Her face burns even hotter with a blush, even as she whispers, “Yes, sir.”