I barely catch myself on my desk in my apartment at the OA after leaving Dinlas. My breaths are coming out shallow as a result of the interaction with my brother, the way his heart had summoned me.
Sliding down to the floor, I lean my back against the side of the desk. Din and Las pad over to me, sensing my pain, laying their big bodies next to me, though they sniff me for a moment, no doubt smelling their new friends, Hate and Jealousy. The fact that the two tigers strangely get along with my brother’s wolves is a matter I’m not quite ready to completely explore.
I’m still reeling from the revelation that Dinlas knew I could feel his pain, and how easily he used it to manipulate me. There I was, minding my own business, when the feeling of my heart being wrenched from my chest flooded through me.
I thought something happened. That somehow I was wrong about how Nyx felt for him, and yet another person broke my brother’s fragile heart. Or even worse, something happened to Nyx.
Nyx is one of the few gods I would call an actual friend, so I’d dropped everything to go to my brother.
Only to find out he’d manipulated me. Apparently, I am not as good at concealing my emotions as I thought.
As if that wasn’t bad enough…he hugged me. Dinlas.
Which would have been fine – extremely uncomfortable, never to be repeated – but, I felt the way his heart reached out for mine when he touched my scars. He was empathizing with my pain – almost feeling it himself – and it only magnified the feelings I repressed. Like a never-ending circle, me feeling his pain, him feeling mine.
Suddenly, I was back there. Reliving their loss for a second time.
The scythe cutting through the limb, the blood, the feathers falling from me, the agony, the feeling of horror, despair, betrayal.
Grabbing a waste basket, which rests under my desk, I dry heave into it. Thank Rhea, I haven’t had the chance to eat anything today.
Pull yourself out of it, Eros. You’re not there anymore, you’re at the OA. Yet, no matter what I tell myself, the scene keeps playing through my mind in horrifying technicolor.
The feeling of lightness waking up, knowing that she’s going to be next to me. Then the pain, like nothing I’ve ever felt.
Thea throws open the door to my private apartments, the door knob banging on the wall, likely leaving a dent, but at the moment, I can’t bring myself to care.
“You have several interviews waiting for you in the other room, so if you think you’re just getting out of it – “ She breaks off, finding me collapsed on the ground leaning against the side of my desk, my hand clutching the waste basket as I try to stop myself from dry heaving into it.
She sighs, reaching into her pocket, dialing someone and holding the phone to her ear as she comes to my side.
Din and Las growl softly at her, trying to protect me when I’m like this, but Thea flips them both off, and they begrudgingly allow her to approach.
She speaks softly into the phone, while sitting down at my side, shoulder-to-shoulder, “Hi, this is Thea, cancel all his appointments for today. I don’t give a flying fuck what you have to tell them, make something up. Also, there’s a number in the first drawer of my desk, please dial it and tell them to come immediately.”
She clicks off the phone, and sits in silence with me for a moment. She knows me well after working with me for so long, so she doesn’t try to hug me, she simply places her hand on my thigh, palm up.
Heavily, I grab her hand like a lifeline, grasping it tightly in mine, trying to yank myself out of the horrific moment I’m playing in my mind.
I’m not sure how long we stay like that, completely silent, her quiet support as she holds my hand.
She must have left the door to the room open, because the sound of racing footsteps approach, and we both glance over to find my mother, holding her heels in one hand, likely having taken them off to sprint here.
Thea gives my hand another silent squeeze before she stands, crossing the distance between her and my mother. Thea communicates something to her before leaving the room, quietly closing the door behind her.
My mother is silent, throwing her heels to the floor haphazardly, taking Thea’s place at my side.
The blood trickling down my back, the swing of the scythe, the look of hardness in her eyes as she looked at me, the glint of hatred I’d never seen before.
I hate that I’m this weak, that she brought me so low, how she can still have this effect after two thousand years. That my brother simply brushing my back in affection can hurl me into this kind of traumatic flashback, which I can’t seem to pull myself out of. When will I stop reaching for her when I wake up? When will I stop looking for her in every room? When will I forget? When will I stop loving her? When? When? When?
Whatever mortal said time heals all wounds was clearly an idiot, because two thousand fucking years have passed, and this wound is still seeping blood.
Resting my head against my mother’s shoulder, her familiar scent – still familiar even after two millennia – pulls me out of my flashback. That’s all it takes sometimes. Something to pull me forward. The sudden jolt to the present is a little disorienting, and a little hiss of relief slips past my lips, the tension slipping from my body and the urge to dry heave passes.
“Thank you for coming, Miteras,” I whisper, wishing I didn’t have to break this spell of silence we were under.
I feel her place a soft kiss to the top of my head still resting on her shoulder. “Always, angel. Always.”