His face twitched as he glared at me. I held his stare for a moment, watching something shift in his eyes. It was as if something washed over him or a veil of some sort was lifted. His eyes sparkled as he took a long drag from his cigarette.
I had seen this many times, so I counted to ten before speaking. Something had deeply wounded this woman. No good would come if I responded to her bait. “I understand, Khione. I do, but I’d rather not split up as there is dreadful cell reception in the Himalayas.”
I felt my rage wane as her eyes widened, and her lips formed an O. Snow swirled around us as I fell into my grief, holding my side, my cold aura pushing outwards to cover us both in a layer of frost. Her hand lowered, hanging limp at her side. I broke down, the sobs escaping even as I tried to hold them back.
“Philomelus Arktos tou Samothrace!” I bellowed in defiance as it dawned on me that I remembered my son. The look of shock on my face must have been more than noticeable. Philo seemed pleased that I’d called out his entire name.
There it was. She was no mortal. Nay, she was supernatural. She was a witch who presumably controlled the fire from the depths of Hades. The warmth that I felt radiating off of her was more than just a feeling from seeing a beautiful woman. It was from the magic radiating off of her.
I looked over at the other side and found Kara’s mother, dressed all in black with a thin, black veil over her face. She raised it slightly and glared at me. My mother cleared her throat, and she looked over at her, her face turning pale when she saw Mother staring at her. She looked away and dropped the veil. I couldn’t help but grin. No one messed with Hera’s children.
I nearly stumbled over my feet. A yak? A yak’s smell was nauseating, and they were excruciatingly slow. I could blizzard my way up the mountain in mere minutes. I thought about protesting, but the light in Aspen’s eyes stopped me, and I swore I saw Artemis smirk.
I awoke to the sound of metal clanking together. My eyelids felt heavy, and it was a chore for me to open them. There was a dull light flickering overhead. I turned my head, rolling my eyes around as I attempted to force my blurry vision into clarity.
I no longer want to be the obsessed planner who will step over anyone to get what he wants. Who lets his doubts and criticism manifest themselves into voices that do more harm than good as they did that horrible night when I killed the woman I loved.
I attempt to answer, but I pass out. When I wake, I am in my bed, in my cabin in the Underworld. My mother busies herself in my kitchen, Nem sits at the foot of my bed, and Ky’Elli, the small beast, lays across my legs asleep and snoring. Nem is holding a silver canister with Mrs. Hestia’s handwriting on it.
I even went on a small adventure into the Underworld with Thanatos. The only other person I’d known with the same amounts of moodiness and goofiness I had. Although, I’d only admitted that to him when we’ve both completely plastered. Not that many people knew that side of him.
It wasn’t a lie. Hearing Tia’s voice had brought back a surge of emotions and regret that I had all but forgotten about. This place, though. This place was something else to me entirely. It was a symbol of my freedom.
I grumbled a bit as I held the boombox aloft. Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes started to play, and I turned my attention to the upstairs window of Kara’s house. It only took a minute for the curtain to move to one side and for her face to appear.