2.5 Rumor Has It

“Alright, great dance practice,” said Apollo. “You all can do your own thing now. I might be late for dinner.” Having dismissed us, he teleported away almost before he’d finished his last sentence.

I ignored him and ran after Calliope. When I caught up with her at the steps of the Museum, I asked, “He’s going to Helicon, isn’t he?”

“Most likely,” she disapproved.

“And you’re not going along to chaperon again?”

“I think Persephone has that under control,” said Calliope. “Maybe a little too much control. Adonis is just waiting for an opportunity to rebel.”

“He’s taken it,” I whispered. “Last night at midnight I saw him with Aphrodite.”

“Were you spying on him?” Calliope was horrified at the thought.

“No! Aphrodite summoned me. It’s a long story that I’d rather not tell you.”

“And I’m sure I’d rather not hear it,” she concurred. “Are you sure she and Adonis were, you know, together?”

“I don’t know. I suppose he could’ve been in her bed spooning her naked body in a chaste, brotherly manner.”

“Oh dear.”

“He said Apollo knew. Do you think he was telling the truth?”

“I don’t know,” said Calliope. “I don’t have a good feeling about him. I think it’s entirely possible that he lied to you so you wouldn’t tell Apollo.”

“That was my thought, too,” I said. “Apollo being two-timed wouldn’t be anything new, but he usually doesn’t consciously know about it and accept it. He stays oblivious to it until it’s staring him in the face.”

“You really do have a type,” Calliope commented.

“What are you talking about? I don’t have anything, except a dilemma as to whether or not I should tell Apollo what I saw last night.”

“You know he’ll ask why you were in Aphrodite’s quarters in the first place if you do tell him.”

“I’ll tell him the truth,” I said. Defending Artemis’ virginal reputation was surely a worthy goal in Apollo’s eyes.

“And he’ll think you’re acting jealous.”

“I’m not.”

“Really?”

“I just don’t want him to get hurt again, okay?”

“And I don’t want you to get hurt again,” said Calliope. “You think nobody sees it. I think you even convince yourself that you don’t see it. But every single time, with every one of them since Coronis, when Apollo gets his heart broken, yours breaks right along with it.”

“So why put off the inevitable?”

“Has trying to warn him ever worked in the past?”

“No,” I sighed. “I guess I’ll just let him figure it out on his own. The kid goes home in three months anyway.”

“That’s what I’m counting on,” said Calliope.

“If you think Adonis is trouble, why did you rent out the Museum in the first place?” I asked.

“I thought it would be a good way to keep an eye on him,” she said. “Not only in regard to Apollo. It’s much more complicated than that. I don’t quite know how to explain it. I just have this feeling about Adonis. Like there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye.”

“Any of it good?”

“I don’t know,” she pondered. “I really don’t know.”

After lunch, I was feeling too restless to work on any of my solo projects, so I decided to take Pegasus for a long ride. “Cloud cover,” I directed my flying steed. Pegasus shot upward toward a wide patch of clouds. He landed on top of the cloud cover and cantered the length of it, twisting and turning around icy promontories at my command. As we rounded a particularly thick stalagmite, Pegasus stopped himself just before running into Hermes.

I was a bit startled by Hermes’ appearance on my cloudy course, but unimpressed. He has the power to find anyone anywhere. “What do you have for me?” I asked him.

“A question,” he said. “Who do you think knocked up that nymph? Artemis or Athena?”

“What in Tartarus?”

“Hey, I did not open the scroll. I never made the slightest attempt to open that scroll,” said the embodiment of innocence. “I just asked Aphrodite what it said after she opened it. And I went back this morning and asked her how your meeting went. Boy, was she pissed at you,” he laughed.

“Did she look anything like this?” I pointed to my face with both index fingers. “I guess it’s too much to hope that I’m the first person you’ve discussed this with.”

“Is there really such a thing as too much hope?” Hermes answered with that slick smile of his.

Evidently there was. “Who did you tell?”

“I mentioned it to Hera in passing. Figured any story that makes Artemis look stupid would put her in a good mood.”

“Anyone else?”

“I guess I said something to Dionysus. I don’t know which part he thought was hotter, one of the ‘virgin’ goddesses knocking up a nymph, or Stud Cupcake wanting a threesome with Apollo and Aphrodite. He said if Apollo keeps turning down the offer, he’d be happy to fill in for him.”

“Did you say anything to Apollo? Or Ares?”

“I thought about it, but I decided it’ll be more fun to see how long it takes them to figure  it out for themselves. Just this once, I’m betting on Apollo being dumber than Ares.”

“Goodbye, Hermes.” I cued Pegasus toward the open sky. Hermes flew after us, the little dove wings on his ankles beating away.

“You didn’t answer the question,” he persisted. “Who do you think it was?”

“I think I’m done talking to you,” I said.

“Suit yourself.” Hermes flew off en route to his next victim.

What was he thinking, telling Hera? I wasn’t worried about Callisto. The mystery shapeshifter couldn’t be Zeus since there was no way he was that familiar with Artemis’ naked body. But Hera wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to torment Artemis or Athena about this humiliating turn of events.

This train of thought sparked memories of finding out Calliope was pregnant by Zeus. Aglaea had used a sample of Calliope’s blood in a physician’s chalice to see that Calliope was pregnant with septuplet boys. Hera had swiped the chalice and used her prophetic powers to take the test a step further: a look at the babies’ conception and, therefore, their parentage. Fortunately, the image had been small and unclear enough that we were able to lie about it. Hera accepted that it was me and Apollo together in the moonlight and shadows, not Calliope and Zeus.

But memories of that incident got me thinking. If a prophecy goddess could use a physician’s chalice to see a shadowy image in a few drops of blood, what could a god who was both a seer and a physician do with a better sample?

Phase One of my new plot didn’t pan out. Neither Callisto nor Echo was in my hollow. So I went to Echo and Pan’s cave to look. Pan was gone, but Echo was home. Callisto was with her.

“I see you’ve moved from the hollow,” I said. “I hope this is a positive development?”

“Oh, yes,” Echo answered for Callisto. “Artemis has cooled off, and Callisto missed seeing the other girls. We’re having some of them over tonight for a baby shower. That’s not a real shower, it’s a party where everyone brings presents for the baby. And we all look at the presents and play games and talk about baby stuff and-”

“Got it,” I nodded. “Look, I need your help with something, and if you can cooperate, I might  be able to tell you whether your friends should bring presents for a boy or a girl,” I offered.

“What can I do?” Callisto asked, intrigued.

“I just need you to let Echo prick you with this needle.” If you recall, I have a crippling fear of handling sharp medical instruments. The need to solve a mystery did nothing to assuage that fear. “Echo, have you ever used a syringe before?”

Apollo was home about an hour before dinner. I grabbed him on the steps before any of my sisters could. “Hey, I need to talk to you,” I said.

“What about?” he asked in a nervous, embarrassed way.

“Science,” I said. He relaxed. “This,” I held out a glass syringe, “is fluid from the womb of a pregnant nymph.” I waited a second for him to make some wisecrack about my taste in collections. None came, so I continued. “Would you be able to use your physician’s chalice to get some information about the baby? Like sex, paternity, etc.?”

Intrigued, Apollo took the syringe. “It’s an interesting challenge,” he considered. “Let’s go to my store room and take a look.”

Apollo’s store room is really more of a laboratory. I don’t know why he doesn’t just call it a laboratory. That’d sound so much cooler. Anyway, once we were in his laboratory, Apollo located a chalice that was about twice the size of a thimble.

He transferred the fluid from the syringe into the chalice and gazed into it. “First sex,” he said. “That’s the easy part. It’s a boy. Now I’ll try paternity, which I’ve never achieved with blood. There. I think I’m getting an image. Hm, looks li- MY EYES!!! FATES, MY EYES!!!” he screamed as he dropped the chalice and syringe to better claw at his eyeballs. “Brain bleach! Give it! Now!” he shouted. I grabbed the jug thus labeled and handed it over. He tilted his head and poured the bleach into his ear it until it overflowed. Then he rinsed his eyes with some bleach for good measure.

“Putting this away now,” I took the jug from him. “You don’t want to give yourself total amnesia.” The brain bleach, invented by Apollo and named by me, was a very weak dilution of water from the river Lethe. A full-strength dose of Lethe water can make someone forget their entire life. The brain bleach just dims traumatic memories so you don’t have soul-scarring images seared into your mind’s eye forever. Images like a porno starring your sister.

Apollo sunk to the floor. “Okay,” he spoke in between slow, deep breaths. “Could…could have warned me?”

“You could have thought of a way to divine the paternity besides watching the conception,” I said as I swept up the broken glass with a whisk broom. “You know from experience that that doesn’t always give accurate results anyway. At least we’ve confirmed that Callisto believes she’s telling the truth. Did you get a good enough look to see if there was any possibility that it could have been someone else?”

Apollo answered me with a shell-shocked, open-mouthed look punctuated by silent blinks.

“I just don’t believe it was really Artemis, though,” I said. “Do you?”

“Uh uh,” he grunted as he shook his head. “Not her.”

“And I don’t think it was Athena, either. If she wanted to get rid of Callisto that badly, she could just kill her. Artemis would never have to know. If anyone could pull off the perfect murder, it’d be the Goddess of Battle Strategy.”

“Ri’,” Apollo nodded.

“So that leaves Aphrodite for means and motive. But then why would she lie to me about it? She doesn’t have any reason to. This is the kind of thing she’d brag about. Unless she thinks impregnating another female would damage her reputation as the paragon of feminine sexuality. Or unless blaming Athena is part of her revenge.”

“Maybe.”

“And it has to be a goddess, because there’s no way any of the gods have seen Artemis naked.”

“No!” Apollo affirmed. “No way. Never.”

“But I don’t know; some of your half-brothers are awfully pervy, and most of them didn’t even grow up with you two,” I reasoned aloud. “I guess one of them could’ve tried to peek. You think maybe Dionysus?”

“No!” Apollo repeated.

“He did make out with you at Hephaestus’ bachelor party, so the half-sibling deal obviously doesn’t mean anything to him.”

“I was so drunk when that happened, I barely knew my own name,” Apollo reminded me, having finally found his tongue. “Besides, Artemis isn’t as cautious as I’ve learned to be. If Dionysus had ever seen Artemis naked, she’d have gotten her revenge in such a spectacular way that we’d all have heard about it. We’d all still be hearing about it.”

“I suppose you’re right,” I conceded. “By the way, how did it go at Helicon?” Apollo pretended not to hear me as he mopped up the fluid. Apparently my cleanup job hadn’t been thorough enough. “This afternoon?” I persisted. “When you went to visit?”

Eventually, he replied, “Adonis is young and confused. Persephone doesn’t help matters by keeping him on such a tight leash. Of course he wants to explore and test his limits.”

“And where do you fall in this exploration of limits?” I asked.

“I’m his friend. Someone who’s there to look out for him.” He sighed. “Someone who’ll defend his reputation if he doesn’t look out for himself.”

“Come again?”

“I guess the rumor hasn’t made it to Parnassus yet. People are saying he’s already slept with Aphrodite. Can you believe that?”

“Can you?” I asked.

“That they’re saying it, yes; that it happened, no. And he can’t see that people believing it is not a good thing for him.”

“Where do you factor into the rumors? Or do you at all?”

“Depending on who you ask, I’m either a cuckold or part of a ménage,” he said.

“Sorry to hear that,” I said.

“It’s alright,” he shrugged. “It’ll blow over, especially as the summer goes on and people notice that Adonis isn’t being seen with Aphrodite.”

“And you’re anticipating that he will be seen with you?”

“Like I said, for now I’m his friend,” said Apollo. “I think that’s what he needs most right now. But, maybe, when he’s grown up a little more and he’s more sure of who he is and what he wants…I don’t know. We’ll see.”

“Got it,” I replied with a stoic nod. To myself, I added, Here we go again.

I’d planned to deliver Callisto’s test results after dinner, but I got a summons from Athena as soon as I left the table. I answered the summons right away.

“You brought Hermes in on this? What were you thinking?” Athena demanded as soon as I materialized in her quarters.

“That our friendly neighborhood delivery service was safe to use?” I said as Athena paced before me with angry strides. “I know, it was an incredibly stupid thing to think, and I’ll never think it again.”

“Now half of Olympus is speculating that I ‘fathered’ that child, and Artemis won’t speak to me! And everyone who doesn’t think I slept with Callisto is laughing about how I’ve been ‘jilted’.”

“Athena,” I said with as much penitence as possible, “I don’t know how to tell you how sorry I am. I really thought it was Aphrodite. I still think it might have been her. You’ve seen how perfect her shapeshifting is. You jilted her at Cronia, and this is exactly the kind of thing she’d do for revenge. Blaming you could be the next phase of her revenge for all we know.”

“Well, if it is, it’s working,” said Athena. “This is driving  me out of my mind. Ares actually guided an army to victory against Athens today. I’m the Goddess of Wisdom and Strategy and I can’t even think straight. Why is this happening to me?” She threw a dagger across the room. It skimmed past my shoulder and hit the center of a shield that hung on the wall behind me. “It seems like ever since I asked for your help, the Fates have had it in for me.”

“That’s totally not my fault,” I quickly protested, wondering how fast I could grab that shield if need be.

“This all started with your blessing.”

“We don’t know that my blessing caused any of this.”

“What did, then?”

“I don’t know! I told you, I don’t know how this works, or even if it works. That whole story in your tapestry? About Hephaestus’, Eros’, and Aphrodite’s happy endings? That could have been more Aphrodite than me. Maybe I can’t do anything without a love god’s assistance. Or maybe she’s outright working against me and I don’t stand a chance. I just don’t know.”

“I wish I’d never asked for help from either of you,” Athena resolutely refrained from crying or shouting. “I wish I’d never entertained the hope that anything could happen between me and Artemis. I’ve become just like Ares: ruled by passion, obsessed with the object of my desire, wanting nothing more than her and caring about nothing except her.”

“You know Ares doesn’t love Aphrodite the way you love Artemis,” I said, probably because a tiny part of my brain thought Tartarus must be lovely this time of year.

“That makes me feel so much better,” said Athena, “knowing he loves his woman less but has her anyway.” She telekinetically recalled her dagger and sheathed it by hand. “You can go now,” she said, putting on her stoic face. “You’re right, this isn’t your fault. You weren’t powerful enough to cause this, and you certainly aren’t powerful enough to fix it, so there’s really no point in you being here. I’ll see you at the meeting tonight.”

“What meeting?”

“The committee meeting for the Pythian Games,” said Athena. “It’s still at Parnassus tonight, isn’t it?”

“Oh, yes! It is.” Right. That was happening. Was it that time already? I wouldn’t be able to get to Echo before the meeting, and I certainly wasn’t going to use Hermes to deliver the test results. Callisto’s friends would have to bring gender-neutral presents to the baby shower after all.

It was indeed that time already. The Pythian Games, a week-long competitive event in sports and the arts that Apollo hosted in his sacred city of Delphi every other year, were less than six weeks away. Apollo and my sisters were, of course, in attendance at the committee meeting. Athena came as promised. Hephaestus was working as master engineer, AKA Builder and Fixer of Everything, as always. Aglaea had volunteered as chief medic for the event. Ares was a judge and Hermes was overseeing the vendors. Dionysus would most likely handle refreshments for the immortal guests, but he never signed up until the last minute. Artemis, who was supposed to judge women’s archery, was notably absent from the meeting. Also on the notably absent list was Aphrodite, who had not been asked to join this year’s committee. The beauty pageant, once her pet project, had been stricken from the roster after last Games’ debacle.

Eros and Psyche flew into our dining hall right as the meeting was being called to order. “What are you two doing here?” asked Apollo.

“I heard your sis was going to be a no-show,” said Eros. “I’d hate to see the hopes and dreams of all those bow-slinging chicks get wiped out by a little Olympian drama, so I thought I’d volunteer to substitute.”

“You want to judge women’s archery?” Apollo reiterated. “That’s thoughtful of you.”

“Hey, I’m a happily married man, and I resent your implication!”

“Eros’ motives are innocent,” his empath bride confirmed. “As for me, Aglaea, do you remember what we talked about?”

“Right,” said Aglaea. “Psyche’s been working on something she calls ‘sports psychology’. She’d like to work under me and offer her services to the athle- Ares, shut your mouth, and keep in mind I’m sleeping with the guy who makes your weapons and armor.”

“Sure, keep telling people that,” Ares mocked. “Wait ’til the little bastard comes out with wings or horns or some other guy’s face.”

“Ares, where’s your girlfriend tonight?” Athena changed the subject.

“Girlfriend,” Ares scoffed. “We don’t need words for each other.”

“I’m sure a lack of words works best for both of you,” said Athena.

“Oh, yeah? Well, you knocked up a chick,” Ares taunted in reply.

“I did no such thing! I’ve kept my vow,” Athena protested.

“Then your girlfriend hasn’t,” said Ares.

“And what about yours?” said Athena.

“Don’t have one,” Ares maintained.

“Well, then,” Athena tried again. “Let me rephrase that. Where is the goddess who normally sleeps with you but, according to rumor, has been otherwise occupied since Persephone’s feast?”

“Huh?”

“It’s just a rumor,” said Apollo.

“She’s saying Aphrodite dumped you,” Hephaestus translated. I got the feeling Aglaea thought he was being a little more smug than necessary.

“For a twink,” Hermes added.

“Shut up, Hermes!” Apollo bristled.

“Is ‘himbo’ better?” asked Hermes.

“No, it isn’t,” said Apollo.

“Cool,” said Hermes. “I’ll go with that one.”

“Just leave him alone, will you?” Apollo ordered, going completely on the defensive.

“I’m not doing anything to him,” said Hermes. “I’m just saying, he’s kind of an airheaded skank.”

“He is not, and since when do you find those qualities objectionable anyway?” said Apollo.

“Hey!” said Ares. “Are you saying my woman’s been blowing me off for that-”

“Persephone’s son,” Athena finished Ares’ sentence for him, likely in much different words than he would’ve used. “And Aphrodite’s ‘your woman’ now? I thought you two didn’t need words.”

“Damn right she’s my woman, and if I catch that fruitcake with her, I’ll make him my woman, too.”

Apollo jumped up and gripped the table with his fists. “Ares, if I find you’ve so much as leered in his general direction, I will lay you out in front of the entire Pantheon. I’ve done it before, and you know I’ll do it again.” I believed him. When Apollo was about Adonis’ age, he’d taken up boxing for the sole purpose of getting Ares to quit bullying him. Suffice it to say, it worked.

“What, you jealous?” Ares taunted. “No problem, there’ll be some of this left for you when I’m done with your little boyfriend.” Okay, it kinda sorta mostly worked.

Calliope rose next to Apollo. “I will not have this kind of talk in my house,” she commanded. “Ares, you need to leave. Now.”

“I’ll leave when I want to leave, bitch,” Ares folded his arms.

“You want to leave,” Apollo said as the rest of us Muses stood in unison.

“Ares, get out or I’ll call Mom,” Hephaestus quietly told his brother. “She’s been pretty mad at you since you got blood all over the marble at Persephone’s feast.”

“Fine, I’m going. But you can’t watch your boyfriend all the time, Twinkletoes.” With those parting words, Ares disappeared.

“Can we discuss actual business now?” Clio suggested.

“Excellent idea,” said Apollo. “Now, Aglaea, are you sure you’ll be able to handle the medic setup so soon after the baby’s born?” Assuming Aglaea delivered on time, her baby would only be a few weeks old by the Games.

“Childcare? Heard of it?” Aglaea replied. Psyche’s eager smile and nod implied that she’d been chosen for this task.

“Maternity leave? Heard of it?” Apollo persisted.

“You know the baby’s going to be healthy and Aglaea’s future looks good,” I reminded Apollo.

“I also know that my ‘knowledge’ can be incomplete,” Apollo replied.

“Did you have a vision about the baby?” Aglaea gasped in delight.

“Who does she look like? I mean, what does she look like?” asked Hephaestus. Aglaea glared at him. “I just meant more like me or you,” he disclaimed. In any case, his question was overlapped by a chorus of demands from my sisters, all wanting to hear about the vision.

“Hephaestus,” Apollo said with a heavy sigh, “I…I’m sorry, I don’t know how to break this to you after everything you’ve been through.” He paused for dramatic effect before revealing the awful truth: “Your daughter looks just like you.”

Hephaestus was still for a moment. I wasn’t sure if he was going to laugh or cry. He went with a third option: grabbing his wife’s face and kissing her for all he was worth. Through some combination of the three, he kept whispering to her, “She looks just like me.” Aglaea held him and whispered back, “I told you she would.” The scene would have been picture perfect if not for a brave smile masking downcast eyes on the boy at the end of the table. Eros kissed Psyche on the cheek and quietly slipped out of the room, leaving his dad and stepmom to their celebration.

The meeting finally got around to some actual plan-making. As soon as the committee was discussing business that didn’t concern me (well, it might have concerned me, but I was bored to death), I followed Eros’ example and sneaked out of the Museum. I flew Pegasus to the place I knew Eros would be: the gazebo in my hollow. The gazebo he’d built there for Psyche when they’d first met.

“Hey, kiddo,” I said as I dismounted. Eros’ back was to me. He didn’t turn around.

“I’m not a kid anymore,” he reminded me. “I’m a lot older than I was a couple years ago.”

“I guess so,” I acknowledged. “It’s hard to remember since you still look the same, and half the time you still act the same. But, yeah, since we planned the last Pythian Games, you’ve fallen in love, gotten engaged, gotten married, your parents got divorced, your dad’s started a new family…”

“Do you know what a love child is?” he sulked, leaning against a birch pillar, still facing away from me.

“I’m familiar with the term.”

“It’s what I supposedly am,” he answered himself. “I’m not really as dumb as I wish I was. I know that my father is either that guy in there who was threatening to rape my mom’s shag-of-the-week, or that other guy who only hooks up with my mom when they’re both bored with the people they’re really into, and who doesn’t think twice about spreading gossip about her.”

He snapped a twig off the pillar and absently threw it in no particular direction. “Did you see Dad’s face when Apollo said the baby looks just like him? Did you feel him and Aglaea feeling at each other?”

“I’m not an empath,” I reminded him. Eros isn’t a universal empath like Psyche, but as a love god, he can sense feelings of love and desire as well as create them.

He turned to look at me. “What I felt was a woman who knows she made a baby with the love of her life, and a man who knows he’s going to be a father for the first time.” He carelessly flipped his hair, but his voice wavered. “Who’s the real love child?”

“I remember when your parents were expecting you,” I said. “You were all your dad could talk about. Every time I saw him, he’d tell me, ‘This time we’re keeping it. This time we get to have a real family.’ And when you were born, he was crazy about you. He’d take you to the forge with him whenever your mom would let him. Sometimes she’d even go with you guys and the three of you would have these cute little family moments. Your dad was so proud of you the first time you picked up a hammer, and when you mixed your first alloy. Do you remember that?”

“Kind of,” he smiled a little. “Hey, remember when I made that spear?”

“Oh, man,” I laughed. “Your dad must’ve told me that story a million times.”

“I was just a kid,” he remembered. “When are humans that size? Like, nine? Ten?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“I’d gotten this great idea for a love spear. You know, so I could get two people at once and have them stuck together so they couldn’t run away from their feelings? Dad helped me with the forging and Mom helped me with the love spells.” He laughed at his youthful naiveté. “It’d still be a great idea if I could figure out how to make it invisible. And if I could think of something to call it besides a love spear.”

“Ares came in just when you’d finished your first prototype,” I prompted him. “Your parents were both there.”

“Yeah, and the spear was really heavy, but I’d enchanted it so I could lift it easy,” he grinned. “So I’m flying around with it and Ares comes in to pick up some weapon. He’s all like, ‘Hey, you’re finally acting like a real man. Whatcha got there?’ And I’m like, ‘It’s a love spear.’ And I’m all excited because Ares never cared about my inventions before. And then he’s laughing at me, and calling it fruity and stuff. Mom didn’t say anything, but I could tell she was mad at him.” I was relieved to hear Eros falling back into his normal speech patterns. Philosopher/Poet Eros always concerns me a bit. “So then I’m like, ‘Here, you want to hold it?’ And I drop the spear into Ares’ hands and he practically falls over! Dad goes, ‘You want some help with that?’ But noooo, Big Bad Ares doesn’t need help with anything. So he stands there for the longest time holding the damn thing up like the moron that he is. After awhile he goes, ‘Here, kid, want your spear back?’ And I said, ‘Nah, keep it.’ He would’ve been stuck holding it forever if his troops hadn’t summoned him.” Eros ended the story with a real smile and real laughter. “Mom was pretty embarrassed about Ares looking so the way he is. Dad loved it.”

“Won’t it be cool when you and your dad can help Euphrosyne learn the forge together?” I suggested.

“Oh man, that’ll be awesome!” he grinned. “I’ll make her her own little baby quiver and bow when she’s born. Don’t worry, the arrows’ll be mostly powerless. Hey, I wonder what kind of powers she’ll have? Aglaea’s a healer. You think she’ll be able to do that?” He paused in rapture at the beauty of his next thought. “We can bring the spear back! She can heal people after I spear them!

“Your dad and Aglaea are so lucky to have you for a babysitter.”

“I just hope it kills Psyche’s baby fever,” he laughed. “Whenever we talk about it, she goes into empath mode and says I’m being selfish. I am, kind of, but not how she thinks. She thinks I’m afraid of the responsibility. That’s not it, though. We’ve got all the time in the world to make babies. I guess two years feels like a long time to someone born human, but I feel like I just met her. I want to keep her all to myself for a while.”

“Have you told her that?”

“Are you nuts? I’d sound like a total sap.”

“She married a love god,” I reminded him. “I think she’s cool with total saps.”

“She is,” Psyche said.

“How long has she been behind me?” asked Eros.

“Since about the time you were wrapping up your story about the love spear,” I replied. “Those butterfly wings are really quiet. You guys stay here as long as you want; I’m heading home.” I mounted Pegasus and urged him toward the Museum before the sapfest could begin.

“Hey, Eros,” I heard Psyche giggle as we flew away. “Turn around.”

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3 thoughts on “2.5 Rumor Has It

  1. Looks pretty cool so far! I always love Thalia and Eros’ interactions, they are always funny and enlightening. All I can do is feel for poor Athena. Everything is falling apart for her. Great job on another wonderful chapter!

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