Dinlas’ brow furrowed at my comment. I shouldn’t be surprised that no one remembered me, but it still stung.
“I have to say, I have never heard of you. It’s impossible that you would exist and we not know about you.”
I stalked forward, placing my hands on the desk as I leaned towards him.
“Is it? Because the Gods are so caring. They would never betray their own. Right? I mean, your family loved and cared for you?”
I paused my lip curling as I tilted my head. “ Oh, wait. They didn’t.”
The veins in his forehead throbbed at my crassness, but I didn’t care.
“You’re lucky I can’t move from this seat or—”
“Or what?” I snapped. “What I’m saying is the truth. Don’t you want revenge? Or would you rather go on pretending it never happened?”
“If you’re here to sway me to your cause, you’re shit out of luck. I would never betray my family, least of all for a psychotic bitch like you, with a slight case of amnesia.”
It was my turn to be angry now. I felt the power come off me in waves as I pushed off the desk. The places where my hands had rested slowly started to erode. The destruction spread and the desk creaked, falling apart. Dinlas moved his hands, looking back at me in shock before turning to check on his sleeping wolves again.
“Enough small talk. Give me the keys to Tartarus and I’ll be out of your perfectly combed hair.”
His eyebrow hitched at my request. “The keys to Tartarus? That’s what you want? First of all, what makes you think I have them? And secondly, even if I did, there is no way in Hades you could just walk into the Underworld.”
“Allow me to answer that with sarcasm.” I lifted my hand counting off on my fingers as I spoke. “First, I know you have a set, just like I know you and little Nyx have been doing it like rabbits for the last few months. And secondly, you have no idea what I can do.”
He swallowed at my statement, which told me I was right.
Shrugging, he responded, “I’ll tell you nothing, and no amount of torture or false bravado will make me.”
“Dinlas, do I look dumb? I’m well aware of that. That wasn’t my plan.”
“Yeah, your plan seems awfully basic. Open the gates of Tartarus, then what? Release the Titans, and for what? I can feel the hate coming off of you. It’s how I knew you weren’t Nyx. I have felt what you have, and trust me, it doesn’t end well for anyone.”
A slow smile crept onto my face as I walked towards him. It wasn’t the expression he was expecting, given how his own changed to confusion more than anything else. I straddled his lap as he sat trapped in the chair. Lightly, I caressed his cheek. He looked at me in disgust, trying to move out of my grip.
“For what, you asked? For revenge. I am going to ruin everything Zeus holds dear. No more family, no more friends, no more Olympus. He will lose everything, just as I have.”
“You are more of an idiot than I thought if you think you can fight, or even hurt, Zeus. You would never win, no matter who is on your side.”
“Don’t you get it? Don’t you see? It’s not about winning. It’s about sending a message. What’s that mortal saying? If you make a God bleed, people will cease to believe in him.” My eyes lit up once more as I stared at him. “Now tell me where the key is, and after you do, you’re going to forget this little conversation. You never saw me, this never happened.”
He fought once again. He struggled against the spell, but eventually revealed its location. It was clear that he still wasn’t fully recovered from his incident at Samhain, otherwise, this would have been a different fight.
“A chest, foot of the bed,” he slurred.
As soon as the last word left his lips, his head lulled back and he fell asleep. I stood up, pushing off of him. I needed to fix the room before I left, so my alibi of never being here stuck. I looked around the room at the destruction, and concentrated once more. I could create ruin, but I could also restore order. I focused and the hole in the wall filled back up and the desk in front of him repaired itself.
Once done, I dematerialized and traveled back through the air vents, searching until I found the rooms I sought. From the information I had, Dinlas rarely even went to the OA, so the key had to be here. I reformed in an apartment that screamed Dinlas, from the neutral colors to the spartan furnishings. A part of me stung once more. He had a place to stay. A home with them, and I had nothing. Not anymore.
The pain and anger flared once more as I knelt before the chest. I opened the lid, but nothing of value was inside, and definitely not a key. Shit. He couldn’t have lied to me, it’s physically impossible in that state. I stood, pissed that I could have misheard him. Maybe it was a different chest, maybe he had more. I kicked the one in front of me, hard enough to splinter it. Suddenly, a small niche on the inside popped open, giving me exactly what I had come for.
I made it back to my safe house off the coast of Italy, twirling the key in my hand as I walked up the stone steps. It felt lighter than I had expected, given the doors it opens. I was smiling to myself when I entered the small villa I was currently borrowing. The wide expansive space didn’t feel empty when I entered the darkened room. I stopped, realizing my senses weren’t wrong, and that I wasn’t alone.
“Problem, Ate,” a small raspy voice croaked. “We have problem.”
“Yes, yes, Master says we have problem,” another voice echoed near the first.
Two small creatures perched on the sofa in the middle of the room. Their eyes glowed and tiny leathered wings beat as they flew to different areas of the room, gazes focused on me. Imps. I swear I’d be better off with a mangy mutt.
Sighing, I responded, the irritation clear in my voice, “What problem? I got the key, just like he asked.”
“Master says another knows too much,” one said as he walked his clawed feet over a dresser, knocking items to the floor. “Must take care of her first.”
I huffed. “What about Tartarus? We don’t know when Hades is coming back from his little field trip.”
“Yes, but Master says she sees the past and she’s strong. Can mess with plans,” the other responded. “Memories she can break.”
This was getting me nowhere and I knew better than to argue with lackeys.
“Fine, whatever. Tell me her name, and she is as good as gone.”
They both flew towards me, circling as they laughed with their deranged scratchy voices. They told me the name I needed and exactly where to find her. They left, bolting out of an open window, their wings fluttering against the wind.
Well, I guess it was time to visit a little muse named Clio.