Closing Time

I left them all, finished the pitcher of Black Siren, and walked over to Mathieu. “Send everyone home, skeleton crew for the rest of the week. You all deserve a break. Make sure everyone gets some time off. I don’t want the mortal staff around if my family decides to start breaking the place.” I smiled softly as I watched the staff exit through the hidden doors as quietly as they had entered. I followed their lead and disappeared through one of the secret doors. Conflict was not my strong suit, and I’d had enough surprises and angst for one night.

I took the opportunity to grab my cloak and a snifter of scotch from my suite. Okay, Selene was right. I was growing to like it. A few minutes later, or maybe longer, I slipped back into the ballroom, my cloak wrapped around me. Glancing around, I could still hear raised voices, so I ducked back through the hidden door.

 “I’ll murder the lot of them if they ruin my resort on opening night,” I muttered into the darkness of the hallway. “Too much…so much drama tonight…well, that’s my own damn fault.” How did I not realize this was going to happen? 

I reappeared in the gardens below the balcony and sat down near the fountain. The gardens were peaceful and perfect. I wanted something that was the best of both a romantic locale and a mediation area. You could see out over Monterey Bay. The ocean was sparkling under the moon, and I could hear the waves slamming against the rocks below.

I heard a crash, glass breaking, and didn’t even bother to look up. I sighed, realizing it was just one more thing I’d have to worry about in the morning. What caught my attention, though, was the Cha-Cha slide. It was one of the few mortal songs I knew, mainly because it played in the on-site club every night. I couldn’t help but laugh and thought that maybe Nike would like to dance with me while Adrestia was helping Dion in a way that I couldn’t. I teleported up to the dancefloor, placed my cloak on a chair, and joined Nike. “Mind if I join, Nike?”

She beamed down at me since she was much taller, even in heels. “Let’s show them how it’s done, Aunt, shall we?” 

“Sounds good, even I know this one!” I replied and began dancing. Now, it’s not hard, you follow the words, but it is fun. 

Dres tried getting Dion over as she joined us on the dancefloor, but he just leaned into the bar and smiled slightly. “There’s no way I’m dancing to that. You go ahead, though.”

I looked over at him and smiled, kicking my shoes off. I hope he knew I hadn’t intended to hurt him. He commented about joining on the next dance, and I smiled. “Only a few songs left… I think the evening is wrapping up.” 

Adrestia was adorable, trying to follow the steps to the song, and as it came to an end, Nike smiled and giggled. “Aha, this was so much fun. I guess I needed this.” She gave me a big hug. “I need to get on to patrol before Kratos comes looking for me. Thank you for a great evening…well, I guess it’s morning now.” 

“Well, tell him I said you could have some fun,” I quipped back. 

Dion walked over after speaking to the singer. “Last dance?” He held out his hand to me, and I smiled.

I took his hand, and he guided me back to the center of the dancefloor. “As you wish.” Adrestia and Nike cleared the floor, ostensibly to allow Dion and I to dance by ourselves, and “Sea of Love”, by Phil Phillips and The Twilights came on. I leaned into him as his arms came around me. “Thank you.”

He turned me slowly into the dance, keeping me close. “Don’t worry about the damages…I was going to have Luis wire some funds for your foundation, but you can use that to make your repairs.” 

I stared up at him. I knew he had a boatload of money, but this was going to be costly. “No… I’m going to chase Eros down for the damages he owes, but thank you. Truly, Dion.”

Dion snorted and chuckled. “Good luck with that. Eros can barely afford a shirt,” he commented with a wink. I smiled, giggled, and laid my head against his chest. “There’s that smile…”

“Only for you,” I replied softly.

We danced, the song lulling me into a sense of security. Or maybe it was Dion’s arms, but something was making this night better than it had been, and I was grateful. I knew that the memories would resurface about what was discussed, what happened, what was broken. But for now, all I needed, all I wanted, was him.

“So…hope business for the Nymphaeum will be good and a lot less hectic than the opening has been,” he stated. It almost sounded like a benediction, like he was willing it into being.

That is the hope. And no more hurricanes,” I muttered under my breath.

Nike made her way over to the balcony. “Night, Aunt, Dion, and Drista.” 

“Goodnight, Nike. I’m glad you came,” I replied.

Adrestia said her goodnights as well. “Goodnight, Nike. Good night, Amph. It was a great party. Goodnight, Uncle Dion.”

“Thank you, Dres. I hope you had fun,” I commented, hopeful that the drama hadn’t ruined her night.

“Goodnight, Adrestia…be safe,” Dion added.

“I will be.” She left slowly. I could see her feet were hurting her, and I hoped she was making use of the rooms available.

I watched over Dion’s shoulder as Nike took off into the night sky, and I smiled a little.

Dion smiled at me and offered his elbow as the band started playing “Closing Time” by Semisonic. “Let’s go, Pheephee.”

I took his elbow and nodded with a smile. “Lead the way, Nisos. I’m all yours.”

Published by Natalie Bartley

I am a 33-year-old Adult Fantasy author in Oshawa, Ontario. I hope one day to open her own Pagan store with her partner. I have been writing for most of my life but have only recently (in the last year) started putting those stories out to the world. My faith as a polytheistic witch leads me to many different storylines that involve the gods around her. My first book, Love and Pain in Zion, was a labour of love and heartbreak, and it took me many years to complete it. I live with my partner and step-son in Oshawa and is also completing my clergy status with the Correllian Nativist Tradition. My husband and I are planning on opening up a New Age/Metaphysical store, where I am running the storefront and he is running the services in the back. Since he is already a licensed interfaith minister and can perform weddings in Ontario, and a Reiki master, we can start offering services soon. I am enrolled in Witch School International as a seminary school of the Correllian Nativist Tradition. I have mostly completed my First Degree clergy status, and am almost finished my Second Degree. Brian and I run a local temple (Temple of the Night) which is a part of the Correllian Nativist Tradition. We are currently the only temple with full temple status in Canada. If you want to help fuel my writing, consider donating to my Ko-fi! https://ko-fi.com/nataliebartley

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