Eros and I rushed to the living room, ready to leave. We’re headed out to look for Ate. The fact that she released the Titans was worrisome. What had the world turned into while I was stuck in those…nightmares? Duck jumped at my legs as I looked for my shoes. I knelt down, patting his little head.
“I will be back soon, little one. I promise.” I said, placing a kiss on his head. He turned, sulking off to my room. I had just woken up, and here I was leaving him once more. That week without me must have taken a toll on my little friend. I would have to make it up to him once I returned.
Suddenly, a shiver ran down my spine, and the hairs on my neck stood on end. A familiar nauseous feeling bubbled in my stomach. Someone, other than Eros, was here, and I felt them looking at me. I was hesitant to turn around.
“Dewdrop, where do you think you’re going?” a soft voice called out from my kitchen.
“Mother?” I asked, my hands shaking. Turning, I saw her face. Someone I hadn’t seen in a long time, and I preferred it that way. I felt Eros’ hand on my shoulder. He pulled me behind him.
“Mnemosyne, always a pleasure. My apologies if your invitation to the GC got lost in the mail, you know how fickle those kinds of things can be,” Eros said.
My mother rolled her eyes.
“Yes, and I am here to speak to my daughter. Not you.”
She stretched her arm out towards Eros. I watched as his body shook for a moment before he fell to his knees. His eyes went milky white.
“Aren…run.” He muttered.
“EROS!” I screamed, kneeling down. I placed my hands on his cheeks gently, searching his eyes.
“Why, Princissika? Why?” he asked, his one hand touched mine. The name made my heart break down. I dropped my hands from his face, slowly becoming numb with sadness. My mother’s abilities must have created a vision of Psyche for him.
“Oh Dewdrop, you should know better than to fall for the little god of love.” my mother said, walking up behind me. She ran her fingers through my long brown hair in a soothing way.
“You know,” she whispered, “I can make him forget all about her, and then he can love you. Would you like that?”
I continued to look at Eros as his eyes rolled back into his head. The pain he had suffered all these years made me sad, and I just wanted him to be happy.
“You can do that?” I asked her. A stray tear rolled down my cheek. He could love me?
“Why, of course, Dewdrop. All his memories of her will be forgotten. He will finally be happy and most importantly, you will be happy.”
I considered her words for a moment. I wanted my mother to do it so badly. I wanted him to move on, to love me, but I can’t do that. It wouldn’t be fair for him if I made that decision. It wouldn’t be real love anyway. His heart would always belong to her. I turned to look at my mother, more tears rolling down my face.
“No…” I said.
“No?” she asked, tilting her head. I could see a smirk pull at the corner of her lips.
“No,” I said firmly. I stood up, appearing in front of her in a blur of anger. Placing my hands on the sides of her head, I brought her history forward. It replayed in front of my mother, putting her into a trance. It wouldn’t last for long, but it would give me enough time. I fell back down to Eros, tapping his cheeks lightly.
“Wake up. Please wake up.” I whispered.
Eros woke with a jolt, sitting up. He placed one of his hands on the side of his temple.
“Fuck, I haven’t felt this shitty since Dion convinced me that acid didn’t affect gods…spoiler alert, it does”
I wrapped my arms around his neck.
I feel his body stiffen from my hug.
“Barely,” he said. “What happened?”
I helped Eros stand up as I looked over to my mother.
“She offered me a deal. I declined it, and now she is rewatching her history. We don’t have much time.”
Eros stormed over to Mnemosyne. He pulled out a couple of arrows, and after a few seconds, they turned into cuffs. He wrapped them around her wrists and ankles before throwing her over his shoulder.
“She won’t be able to get out of those before we put her back in her cell.” He tilted his head at me. “What did she offer you?”
I held my breath. Should I tell him the truth or not? If I lied and he found out then he may never trust me again. I didn’t want to lose his trust. I let out a shaky breath.
“She offered to erase your memories of Psyche,” I said. His body stiffened at her name.
“We need to go to Tartarus,” he stated, ignoring what my mother offered me. We were silent for a few minutes. “Fuck, your mom sucks, Aren. What did she do to you?”
I sighed, my stomach twisting as I made eye contact with him. I felt horrible about what she offered me. The thought that I actually considered taking my mother’s offer? It made me sick.
“What hasn’t she done?” I muttered.
“Oh, has she?” he growled, pressing the elevator button.
My shoulders tensed. I shouldn’t have said that…
“It’s nothing.” I glanced at him, faking a smile.
The elevator doors opened, and we walked inside. Eros pressed the elevator button for Tartarus.
“Tell me,” he growled warningly.
I opened my mouth to speak but words became lost to me. I realized that I have never spoken out loud what my mother has done.
“She experimented on me, testing her abilities during ancient times.”
Eros’ free hand slammed against the elevator wall and I jumped, closing my eyes. I shouldn’t have said anything.
“She what?!?” he exclaimed.
“T-to test her abilities…she used them on me,” I repeated myself again, shaking my head. “It is all in the past.”
He snarled at me, shaking with anger. “You were a child! Her child!”
“I know…” I picked my nails aggressively, feeling anxious. The topic of my mother always made me feel like this. I looked up at him, his eyes connecting with mine.
“I’m so sorry, Aren. I-I wish I could have stopped her. Spared you from this.”
“The past is in the past…I just need to learn to overcome it and become stronger…”
I heard him growl. “You, of all people, know how history defines us. It’s more than just a memory to dismiss, Aren. It’s something to become stronger from. You survived her and that is something to be proud of.”
“Yes, you’re right,” I sighed. “Although I understand how history defines us, it’s hard to take my own advice about my history. Does that make sense?”
He shifted uncomfortably. “All too well, I’m the god of love. Counselor to the most powerful beings in the world on matters of the heart, yet I am alone. So, taking your own advice? I understand.”
We were silent for a moment, and I leaned my back against the elevator wall. The fact that he was alone bothered me. I don’t know why, but it just didn’t seem right.
“You don’t have to be alone anymore,” I spoke up suddenly. “I mean, you have me to talk to.”
He snickered, the elevator doors opening on the river.
“Nice try, Aren. Deflection is my move. You’re not getting out of this one. Tell me how your mother made you feel,” he said, walking out.
For some reason, I couldn’t lie to him. I walked out of the elevator before him.
“Horrible, useless, unloved,” I sighed.
His hand grabbed my arm, and he pulled me back to face him. He touched my cheek, which caused my heart to flutter.
“You still think that, don’t you? Even now? You are still giving her power from her cell. You, Aren, kicked a Titan’s ass single-handedly while the son of the god of war was taken out. Do you know how rare that makes you? How powerful?” he said.
“I didn’t do much, Eros.” I looked up at him, my heart beating a little quicker from his touch.
Eros growled, dropping his hand from my face. He turned to the side, facing the Styx as we waited for Charon to arrive.
“Yet, you defeated her and saved me. Nothing much at all, hm? When will you understand that I’m always right, and you should know I’m telling the truth,” he said, patting his pockets. “Fuck, I don’t have any drachma. Do you have any?”
I reached into my pocket, pulling out some coins. “Yup. Just enough.”
Turning, I saw Charon pushing the ferry towards us. His hand extended to help us into the boat.
“Why do you let her keep controlling you, Aren?” he said, placing Mnemosyne on the floor of the ferry. He climbed in, and I climbed in after, giving Charon the drachma.
“Honestly, I don’t…I guess I still feel like what she said to me was right,” I said.
He tilted his head while looking at me. As he took a seat, he turned his attention to the souls in the river Styx.
“Look at them, Aren, how many of them do you think would give anything to trade places with us? Want to know a secret?” He turned back to me, leaning over to whisper. “None of us are worthy. We can only try our best. To do better, be better.”
I looked down at the souls below me before turning to look at him once more. “You are really wise, you know that?”
He winked at me mischievously. “Don’t let anyone know that. Got a reputation as a heartless asshole to maintain.”
“Of course,” I rolled my eyes. “But for the record…you aren’t that bad.”
His face turned serious for a moment and it appeared that his eyes were full of pain.
“I’m worse,” he said as the ferry stopped at the entrance to the cells of Tartarus. “We’re here.”
I heard my mother shift on the bottom of the boat. Eros grabbed her, tossing her on the banks of Tartarus before getting out. Mnemosyne groaned as Eros turned back to look at me, holding out his hand.
“My Lady History,” he said with a smirk. I smiled up at him, my heart beating a bit quicker as I took his hand.
“Thank you, Sir Love,” I said, stepping out of the boat. He formally bowed to me, making my cheeks go bright red.
“A knight of the realm, my lady, chivalry never dies,” he said, and I giggled.
“Pathetic, Dewdrop. You really think -” Mnemnsoyne started to speak, but Eros knocked her out by kicking her in the face.
“That’s enough out of you,” he growled, throwing her over his shoulder.
My heart dropped in my chest after hearing my mother speak up, bringing me back to reality. He will never love you…
“I guess we should get her into a cell…” I muttered.
We walked over to one of the empty cells, and Eros tossed her in. I crossed my arms around my chest, looking away from my mother.
“I’m sure my uncle and aunt are having a shit time with all these titans about,” Eros said.
“At least there is one less Titan roaming about…”
“Hey,” Eros walked over to me, grabbing my chin and forced my gaze to his. “You know what we do to people who don’t matter? We give them two New York State birds and we move on.”
He let go of my chin, turning to the cell. I watched as he flipped two middle fingers at Mnemosyne, causing me to giggle and shake my head. He turned to look at me, giving me a mischievous smirk.
“Come on, Aren, rebel.”
I shifted from foot to foot before quickly turning to flip my mother off.
“Happy?” I asked him.
“We’ll make a trickster of you yet,” he smirked wickedly, ruffling my hair. “We need to talk to Din and Nyx.”
“Oh, uh…would you mind if we stop at the museum first? I have a feeling we might need something there.” I attempted to fix my hair.
Eros nodded, bowing to me.
“By your leave, my Lady History.”
He snickered, helping me into the ferry.
“We’ll have to be quick at the museum, they are completely helpless without me.”
He sighed dramatically. “How did anything get done before I came home?”
“I’m sure they are.” I rolled my eyes.
Eros held his hand to his chest in mock offense. “That sounds like you don’t believe me, Aren. I’m hurt.”
“Oh, I believe you,” I said sarcastically as I took a seat in the boat. The boat pushed off from the bank, and Charon started to row us back to the elevator.
Eros scoffed, leaning back on his elbows. “We need to work on your lying skills if you’re to become a trickster.”
“And what makes you think I want to be a trickster?”
He shot me a droll look. “Uh, who doesn’t want to be a trickster?”
“Lots of people,” I shrugged.
“False, everyone wants to be a trickster.”
The rest of the trip back was quiet. I looked down at the water below, my mind spinning from everything that had just happened. My heart still ached. I didn’t even notice when we arrived back at the shores of the GC.
“My Lady,” Eros said, already out of the boat. He had his hand extended for me to take. I felt the heartache subside a bit.
“Why thank you, Sir,” I said, taking his hand and stepping out of the boat. Once out of the boat, he let my hand go and it was replaced with coldness. Could we not hold hands for a bit longer?
“To the museum?” he said.
I nodded. “Let’s go.”