CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIVE
Hedone stood in front of a wide wooden front door. The house beyond was beautiful and modern. She had come here often when she was a child. The owner had loved her completely, no matter what anyone said about her. She’d often hidden here when she couldn’t handle her life anymore. This man had loved her through many dark days.
Even though she had a key, she knocked on the door. This was the first time she was visiting as a Goddess. The door was opened by a servant. The woman bowed deeply and stepped back.
Hedone heard arguing from the living room. She pointed in the direction of a loud male voice followed by a female response.
“Lord Perses,” the servant said in a soft tone. “Athena.”
“Apollo?” Hedone asked. “Artemis?”
“Drinking,” the servant said, slyly. “Not yet drunk.”
“Hera’s not here?” Hedone asked.
“She’s in the garden with Orion,” the servant said. “Shall I tell her you are here?”
Hedone scowled when the servant bowed again. As Heather, she would never have put up with it. As Hedone, it set her teeth on edge. Not so long ago, she was a low level “half-breed.” All of this fawning started after her father screwed up.
“Ma’am,” the servant asked from a bowed position.
“Please do,” Hedone said. “I’ll see myself in.”
“Watch your six, ma’am,” the servant said. “Lord Perses is in rare form.”
Hedone chuckled. She walked down a hallway and into the living room. For a moment, they didn’t see her. Perses was standing against the wall. He was so agitated that he shifted back and forth as if he was going to attack or flee at any moment. Athena held an open book in one hand. Her other hand’s index finger punctuated each point she made as she read out loud to Perses.
Apollo and Artemis were slumped on couches set at right angles. Apollo was throwing an apple in the air in rhythm to Athena’s pointed finger. Artemis was laughing at her twin. In spite of the servant’s warning, the twins didn’t seem nearly as drunk as they usually were at these event. Her host was standing with his back to the room as he poured water into a hand blown glass. He spun in place to respond to Athena when he saw Hedone.
“Hedone!” Ares, the God of War, exclaimed.
Hedone flushed in equal parts of joy and embarrassment. Her grandfather rushed to her and held her tight. She never felt more loved than when this horribly complex God wrapped himself around her. He kissed both cheeks before looking deep into her face.
“How is Blane?” Ares asked. “Wyn and Mac? Tink?”
“Fine, good, everyone is good,” Hedone said. “They are looking forward to seeing you again in the spring.”
“I was sorry to hear about Chet,” Ares said. “The war within …”
“ … is oft not won, no matter the courage of the one who fights it,” Hedone finished his often stated opinion.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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