I ignored them both, not wanting to dignify their questions with an answer. I had everything under control and wanted to make sure I took things one step at a time. The first priority was pulling her from that wreckage before the flames consumed her. The next step would be finding some shelter.
I shared how the party was like most gatherings until the chanting started and the mirrors glowed. Fresh memories flooded my mind, and I told them about him. The one I loved, or she loved, I didn’t know. I explained the passion between us and how it made me feel.
It is unfair. Why must I be the one to endure this? Why must I live in pain, alone, ugly, and unloved? Why do others get to enjoy existence? I am so tired, in every sense. So very tired. At last, I feel the pills take effect unless it is my imagination. The pain still seems to be there, but I find I care less. Perhaps I can sleep.
We’ll snuggle back up in bed. I’ll read the paper, and she’ll have her nose in one of her fantasy novels. She was always rereading them, the pages so dogeared and tatty. Maybe I’ll treat her to some new ones.
I fight off every instinct in my body telling me not to press the button to the 20th floor. Every piece of me is screaming not to do this. I went into my informal interview with Hebe all confidence and intimidation. If anything, this is the complete opposite.
“Are you serious?” I said, flabbergasted by his blasé attitude. “They caused us nothing but trouble the first go ‘round. They disrupted the forge, spied on you, killed a woman in your office, and they murdered Cassie in cold blood. Anything to do with them is urgent.”
I nodded. “Yes. The truth is the mortals are always the ones that pay the highest prices when gods war. They suffer the most loss, the most injustices. There were many reasons why the gods disappeared from the world. Many reasons why the mortals stopped worshipping.”
I’ve dabbled in the treacherous inferno trying to find this connection. Mortals are more willing, but they succumb to their humanity while I remain behind. When you stand too close to the fire, you get burnt. I’ve longed for the other side so often my being is a blackened piece of charcoal.
I sighed heavily, allowing a wave of relief to wash over me. At least I knew Clymene was alive. I hadn’t driven her to take her own life as rumours had suggested, and Asia had said she was doing well. Now all I had to do was to see this with my own eyes, and I would be free to live my life.
We shoot off like a rocket as the water rises and propels us forward at the combined will of the sea gods. Dion is thrown back and lands on top of me. Charon lurches forward, loses his balance, and lands on top of Dionysos. I groan from the bottom of the dogpile. We sail through the mist at top speed, not even feeling the cold on this trip.
You did not mess with family. Period. That’s something so many forgot about me. They saw my nature of peace and interpreted that to mean I was cold, a pushover, not caring. But the moment you tried to break a family up, well, there was a reason the saying was hell has no fury like a woman scorned.
“Because I’m tired of just existing,” I snapped. “At home, I didn’t belong. I never felt like I fit in, and no matter how hard I tried, it never made a difference. I know I don’t belong up here either, but at least I’m free to make my own decisions without being influenced by my past. This place provides me a clean slate, and I’m willing to see it through, no matter where it takes me.”