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Overtaxed and Overdone

“The price I paid was too high, far too high this time.”

The image of the symbol of Hades flashed in my mind, courtesy of Ambrogio. I couldn’t hold myself back. I threw up violently as Lycaon held my hair back. “Gods above and below.”

“I don’t know what they were doing, but it was serious,” Gio commented softly.

“Alright, you all need to get back. Get healed up and rested, Medea.” I could tell Lycaon was trying to usher us out, but that image was stuck with me.

“This could have been concocted from my child with Selene, that is a Vampire, and your son,” Gio explained as another wave of nausea rushed over me. 

It had been both too long and not long enough since I’d seen that magic. “That magic shouldn’t exist anymore. Nor should there be anyone left alive who can teach it.” I felt my eyes darken to black. The chain scars on my arms blackened as well. “I… Gio, if your child is teaching that magic, I need to end them,” I said to Gio darkly before turning to Mino. “Mino… keep Morgan safe. Keep Baba safe.”

“What’s going on Medea?” Mino asked, worried. I knew I’d have to explain part of this to him. 

Lycaon chuckled and I tried to ignore him. “Now who’s the one going on a crusade?”

I shuddered as I looked at Lycaon. He was old enough, but I couldn’t remember if he had been around for it. “The last time I saw that magic was in Troy. Once I’m healed… once I’m married… I’ll bring all of you in on this.”

Lycaon snarled and I knew he had been there. “Troy…” Troy was not as heroic as Homer made it out to be. It was bloody, violent, and all sense of decorum had been thrown out the window. Colchis was their ally so I had fought beside the Trojan army. I didn’t know what side of the fray Lycaon had fallen on, but this magic had been used by the Greek army to bring Hades to them, and help with the war. All the other gods had pitched in on one side or the other, but Hades had stayed neutral.

“I don’t know what that was. I’d rather we not try to figure it out while standing in the middle of a death bed, when our enemies know where we are. We are leaving,” Ambrogio stated. I agreed.

I stopped us from leaving. I needed to explain this. “Wait, I need to explain something to Mino, since he can go on his own. Mino, magic like this is very addictive.” Gio clawed at the ground, but I paid him no mind and continued. “You cannot let Morgan anywhere near this magic. I love my daughter, but I don’t want to chance her darker impulses rearing their head.”

Lycaon prodded us to leave. He probably planned to go back through the building to search for  clues to Nyctimus’ whereabouts. Mino kept the conversation going when he asked So, it’s addictive for any magic-user? Got it.”

“Yes, I’ve,” I gulped slowly, “I’ve had my run-in with it. I’ll have to deal with that later. Now,” I tried standing again. Mino reached his hand out to me and I took it gratefully. 

“How does it spread?” Mino asked as he helped me up. 

“It’s not a disease Mino. It seeps into the mind. Once she knows of it… well, you saw how she was when I told her about the red string of fate. You saw how upset she was that I’d never taught her about it. Mino, this is one secret you must keep from her, for her and Baba. Morgan is strong and if I had time to properly teach her about this, I would. Maybe once the magic is exterminated from this world I will.”

Mino smiled at the mention of his wife. “I can see she’s getting stronger every day.”

Gio snorted after roasting the remains of the headless vampire. You and the Wolf are about the most hard-headed people I know, and I know Mino.” 

“Who and the wolf? I mean, yes, he is -” I began giggling softly, which was out of character, and definitely wrong for the location.

“You Medea,” Lycaon retorted. Gio and Mino agreed.

“You’re spent. Stop trying to exert yourself more,” The vampire commented. 

I giggled more, “Me? Nope.” The giggles didn’t stop. I sounded like a drunkard. “Oh… oh no.”

Mino gave me an odd look, but I could feel myself making a silly face. “Medea?”

I kept giggling. I couldn’t stop it. “Yeah, something’s wrong. We need to leave,” Gio stated again as if we didn’t already know we needed to go.

My eyes swam as I looked around me. “I wonder if he remembers… shhh I’m sure he doesn’t.” Shit, I knew it. I overdid it. That last spell I used to try bringing back the soul of the vampire was a step too far.

Strong arms wrapped around and lifted me. Looking up, I saw Mino’s face looking back down at me. “Hey, let’s get you home.”

Lycaon agreed with him and spoke sternly,  “Go, get her out of here now. Mino, go. Now.” It was as if I hadn’t just saved their lives an hour before, the ungrateful whelp.

Gio asked about teleporting both of us, but I wasn’t sure who he was talking to, or about. “But… we’re having so much fun here!”

“I can try. Hold on,” Mino replied. Oh, it was him. 

“It’s ok Mino. I’m a big girl. I can portal! I learned all myself,” I commented, making the motions to portal but without any intent. Mino poured a circle of bright red and yellow rose petals, sprinkled with essential oils, and the aroma caught my nose. It was pleasant. “I can fly too!”

“A drunk witch, Minotauros, King Wolf, and a Vampire walk into a bar.” Gio sounded like he was going to start a joke. If he was, it was already very good.

Did you know that? I have wings all my own. My drakon gives them to me,” I giggled out. I couldn’t help it. I knew what was happening, but I couldn’t stop it. Mino lit a match and the petals caught fire. He stepped into the center of the circle with me. I watched him close his eyes, his fists holding the crystals tightly even as he held me so gently.

“I’d love to see you fly, but not today Medea,” Gio replied to me. I’m not sure what Lycaon was doing. He had been busy the whole time. I felt bad for him. He was going to have to face his son, but he was refusing help again. I’d find a way to get rid of these scars so I wouldn’t be notified every time he got into trouble.

“Buuut…” I found myself pouting, “they’re pretty.”

“I bet they’re the most beautiful wings in the world,” Gio replied, his voice getting soft as Mino and I teleported and began to phase out of sight. Mino brought us outside the wards of my house.

I continued though as if Gio were still there. “My wings pop out from ma back. They were a gift. Gifts are always beautiful, even these scars.” I sighed softly, and looked up. “Oh looky! It’s home! Wait, is this my home? I live with someone… don’t I?”

“Come on Medea, let’s get you into bed,” he carried me in through the front door and saw the drakon-man.

“Hello Lord Mino. Oh… Medea….” He commented softly.

Mino, to his credit, didn’t drop me at the sight of a random man in my house. “Uh. Who are you?”

I felt the scars burn on my back, so I knew Lycaon was in trouble again. I tried squirming out of Mino’s arms, “I have to help him!!”

The drakon-man looked at Mino and his eyes flashed. “I believe, the cranky old bastard, is what your wife calls me.”

Mino held me tighter to stop me from getting away. “Hey, he’s going to be okay. You’ll know when he needs us,” he whispered soothingly. I calmed a little. “Wait, wait, wait. You’re the Drakon?”

The drakon nodded and chided softly. “Let me guess, magic overuse?”

Mino just stared at him. “Could your being human be causing this? She did use a lot of magic.”

The drakon didn’t lose his chiding tone, but he softened it for Mino. “No child… when Medea uses too much magic, or I suppose now when she draws on Helios too much, she becomes infantile.” I went limp in Mino’s arm. “She’ll sleep mostly, but I need to bandage her up. Who did the healing?”

Mino blushed a little. “Uh. Me?”

The drakon-man reached out and brushed an errant hair from my face. I felt it and smiled. “She’ll have those scars too, for the rest of her life. You did well, young one.”

Mino sighed and held me tight. “It hurt me to heal her. I felt her pain as it escaped her.”

“It isn’t your forte, but you did well enough. You didn’t draw her injuries into yourself and that is what’s important. Here, let’s get her to her room. Phoenix is down for the night.”

Mino carried me further into my home as the drakon-man began leading him to my room. “Thank you”

I woke for a moment, aware of everything and nothing. “Kide! My Kide!! Mino, you’ve met my Kide!”

“I have Medea, I have. They’re precious.” Mino replied as he stroked my hair. I thought he meant Phoenix.

I saw Kide, the drakon-man, roll his eyes. “That’s what you’re naming me? From Kidemonos?”

I just giggled some more. “Not my kid Mino, my Kide!” I pointed, rather rudely, at the drakon-man who looked utterly affronted by the whole thing.

Ah, yes! I have met him,” Mino said kindly.

“Shhh, do you remember the last time I got like this Mino?” I whispered and pressed a finger to my lips.

Do I?” Mino asked simply.

I giggled and poked Mino’s nose. “No silly! You weren’t there!! Only one of us was! Well… two if you count my Kide!! Threeee if you count Lycaon!” My giggling grew louder as Kide opened the door to my bedroom.Mino just arched one of his eyebrows.

Kide stopped and stared at me. “It was Medea’s first night at the cabin, the original one.”

“I miss that place,” Mino lamented.

I sighed sadly, agreeing with him. “Me too. I didn’t want to burn it down! Burn… burn… I can burn things.” I began waving my arms around, still with no intent. 

Mino simply smiled and nodded, No, no, no burning things.”

Buuuut…” I pouted again. I think that time was hitting me worse. It was going to take much longer than a couple of hours sleeping on Lycaon’s couch to get over this penalty.

“Let’s get you to bed.” Mino laid me down gently on the bed and kissed my forehead.

Kide sighed, “Lord Mino, thank you.”

Mino looked up, “Of course. She… you’re family.”

Ahhh, Mino dear! I’m gonna see Pasiphaë soon. Shall I give her a message?” I asked while yawning.

“Tell her I’m trying. I’m trying to right my wrongs. I’m trying to protect my family. I’m trying to do

right by her because I already failed her once, and I love her too much to fail again,” He replied. I don’t think he quite understood what I meant.

I yawned again. “You never failed her. Don’t think that for a minute.”

“If I hadn’t, she’d still be alive,” Mino replied.

I shook my head at Mino. “I will be resting in the Underworld soon enough.”

“That wasn’t on you,”  Kide replied kindly. I began snoring so the men left the room.

Mino looked down and followed Kide out. “It’s something I live with every day. What if I had left the Labyrinth, and been able to truly protect her. I could have taken us far away from Minos. I could have protected her from the wrath of Zeus.”

“Because that’s not what the Fates had in store. Now, go home and get some sleep, and when you can, send Morgan over… or a doctor.” Kide replied.

Mino reached out to shake Kide’s hand. “I will,” Kide took Mino’s hand carefully but shook it firmly. Mino made his way back out to the portal area and left quietly, while Kide began preparing things to care for two children, Phoenix and Medea.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/overtaxed-and-overdone/

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Maelstrom, part 2: The Abyss

The trench’s pull was strong, not that the currents were trying to pull me. The weight of my memory, the cold I felt, everything wanted me down there. I didn’t, yet. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the journey. I pulled my way up the wall and laid flat on the shelf, looking down into the blackness. I swore that I could see eyes staring at me, but most of the Trenchers wouldn’t come up this far. It was too bright.

“Amphitrite…” 

“Trix…” 

“Amph…” 

Random voices, all sounding different and yet familiar at the same time, assaulted my ears. I had no idea where they were coming from, but they surrounded me. Looking down into the darkness, I saw faces, familiar and devastating. 

“Father!” I shouted and tried to push myself away from the edge, to leave this place. If Nereus was here, we were all in trouble, and I needed to warn Poseidon. A hand shot out and grabbed my arm, holding me fast. I had just enough time to catch the charm that Hekate had given me and shout out, “schizo!” My soul was ripped from my body, and the hand that had been holding my arm was suddenly grasping water. I looked back and saw my limp body floating at the edge, looking down. I was worried about it; predators would take pleasure in ripping me to shreds. I hadn’t had a chance to speak with Poseidon about guarding me while I did this, and suddenly I was worried. Hekate had warned me not to do this alone, and here I was, alone. Like I always had been.

A figure appeared in the shadows as my soul moved towards the beings, entrancing me with their voices. I had enough time to recognize Rommel. He must have followed me. “Rommel! Protect my body until I return! Protect it!” I screamed at him. Rommel’s eyes widened in fear, but I saw his mouth move, and he nodded, before taking a defensive position over my body.

I followed the being that had grabbed me into the darkness, and I lost sight of Rommel. I knew he was capable, and this being that had my attention wasn’t letting me go. “You’re not my father. Nereus was cruel, but he never dragged me into the trench.” 

“Oh dear, I am your father, the worst aspects of the sea that you don’t want to admit live within.” We stopped and floated. I tried to see what was in front of me, but couldn’t. The black surrounded me. I was held fast by my fear, and I knew I couldn’t stay here. If my soul didn’t return to my body, I would die. The sea glass inside the pendant that Hekate had given me was glowing softly, and I remembered that I had until the light disappeared to return to my body. 

“What is it you want with me?” I demanded of the creature before me. The glow of the pendant illuminated three faces, almost ethereal in nature. One resembled and sounded like my father, the middle one was Poseidon, and the third was…Dionysos. But why him? I almost reached out, my soul responding to each of their presences. “Why you?”

“We are what you fear the most,” Poseidon’s voice resounded. It mimicked his strength, the sea at his command, the great and terrible Lord of the Sea, but I knew it wasn’t him. My love, my husband, my consort…he wasn’t here, he didn’t care. 

“You left me! To fend for myself in your kingdom!” I lashed out, my power over the water failing me. I didn’t have that with me…was it attached to my body? I craned my neck and tried to see my body, but outside of the pendant’s soft glow, it was just black. “I…you gave up on me, on us. Did you care? Did you know I was missing? Did you look for me? I gave you my everything, Poseidon. And you abandoned me.” 

Dionysos’ voice spoke softly, and as he did, I shuddered. “This is why you’ll never be worthy of love again, Amphy. Because you were never worthy to begin with. Poseidon only chose you because you weren’t fawning over him like your sisters were.” My heart stopped, and I looked at the ghost-like face of Dionysos. His words rang true and cut me deeper than any fishing knife ever could. I sank, my heart, my soul. I could feel it sinking deeper into the Mariana Trench, and I didn’t care. 

They were right. Of course, they were. I was worthless. My father knew it, that’s why he tried getting rid of me in the trench when I was young. That’s why Poseidon left, to escape me and the responsibilities he had in Atlantis. And Dion…how could he ever care for a wreck like me? These three faces showed my true fears. It wasn’t the deep, crushing black of the Mariana Trench like I thought. It wasn’t even my father’s beasts that lived down here. Maybe if I were lucky, one of the leviathans of the deep would snatch me, drag my soul down to the depths and leave me there for my father to collect.

Nereus’ voice spoke again, harsh and cold, “You ran from your responsibilities, from the family and me when you married Poseidon.”

“From Atlantis and me, when you went to Rome,” Poseidon chimed in.

Dionysos finished the chant, “From me, when you kept me back and wouldn’t allow me to come with you.”

Something hit me though, a memory, the one that had been pushing through when I first ran into Rommel. Why Rome? Why did I head to Rome, and why didn’t I return? The question was vexing me, and I turned from the figures haunting me as I tried to suss it out. I don’t think they liked it too much that I wasn’t paying attention to them, and the figures started to circle me, chanting that I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t good enough. I was barely a goddess. 

I could have sided with my father in his personal grudge against Poseidon, but like my sisters, I was entranced by him. I just didn’t admit it to myself, and I kept myself aloof when he came to Naxos that day. I pretended like I didn’t want him, and maybe that’s what drew him to me, I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything anymore. I didn’t know my own heart, or where it lay. Part of me wanted to give Poseidon another try. I loved him. I did. Another part of me wanted to let him go and see where the currents brought me, and this attraction I had to Dionysos…well, it helped keep to my rudder straight the last few weeks.

Dion… “Nisos!” I shouted, and as my mind began clearing, I remembered the promise that I made him; that I would fight this. I would confront my fears and go home. I started to swim up, the light from the pendant guiding me back to my body, but the figures of the men present in my life surrounded me. They couldn’t touch me, but they could distract me.

“Trix, you’re just a little fish, caught in a much larger net…” the voice of Poseidon teased, and once again, I stopped dead. The light from the sea glass began to flutter, and I knew I didn’t have a lot of time left, but the word net shouted at me, and it ran through my mind, pulling the memory forward.

“Net, net, NET!” I finally pinpointed the memory, and my mind faded to black as I raced back to ancient Rome, before Trinity Inc took over.

https://www.inthepantheon.com/the-abyss/lady-of-the-seas/amphitrite/

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The Worst Witch

“Poor little witches, don’t you know it’s not nice to threaten someone’s family?”

I was attacked suddenly. I was surprised it had taken them so long. The crowds were thinner, thanks to the boys’ fights and my initial attacks, but I knew there were still too many to dispose of easily. I had to draw on my power, Helios’ power, to help.

 “Pappoús,” I muttered, as I felt the sun’s rays build within. My wings were still outstretched, slicing through anyone who got too close. I could see the thoughts of my opponents, there would be an opening soon. Once I felt my wing get stuck in a body and not pop back out, the siege followed. I sent the power of the sun down into the blades and began cutting my way through our enemies. 

I folded my wings back and smiled as Night’s children began circling me. I surveyed the area and sighed. “Alright, no more blades.” I returned them to the ether and closed my eyes for a moment. It wasn’t the smartest move to make on the battlefield, but I needed to concentrate. 

I felt the scars on my body begin to glow softly. I reached outward, with my power and felt the vampires, werewolves, and witches stop in place. They were afraid of what I would do next. Good. 

“Come to me.” Two long chains, thick, heavy, and glowing bright as the sun, fell from my hands. 

I heard Lycaon groan behind me. “The Chains of Kratos. How did you get them?”

I turned and winked. These weren’t Kratos’ chains. I’d love to get my hands on those chains. I would bend them to my will in payment of what marked my body. I shook the chains, letting them ripple across the floor, sending sparks in all directions. I watched, enjoying the fear that crossed the vampires’ and werewolves’ faces. 

My arms moved fluidly. The chains moved with me, swinging around like extensions of my body. With the chain in my right hand I caught a vampire around the neck ripping his head clean off his shoulders. The chain in my left hand, clipped a witch around his knees, sending him crashing to the ground. 

I spun, delighting in the barrier I was creating around me. They couldn’t get close, although they tried. Concentrating on the beasts in front of and around me, I completely forgot I was exposed from above. The realization, literally, hit me when I felt a piercing pain in my left shoulder. I dropped the chain, causing it to clatter to the floor. “Ah!” I couldn’t shake the vampire off my shoulder. Her fangs were stuck in good. I had to let out a burst of sunlight from my body to force her off of me. 

“Medea!” One of the men behind me shouted. I didn’t know who. As I felt the nearest vampires erupt into flames, I ran through their burning bodies, picking the chains up, swinging them both forward, and tearing through the next set of vampires like butter. Their numbers dwindled fast, thanks to the sun radiating off me. Once I was confident most of the vampires were dust, I turned my attention to the wolves. In the past, out of respect for Lycaon, I didn’t hunt them. Now, however,  they were fair game. 

“Little pups… You realize if you kill him, all of you die too?” Blank expressions crossed their faces, I didn’t think they cared. I sighed. “Fine. Have it your way.”

I charged the werewolves. This was not one of my smartest moves, especially with the blood pouring out of my left shoulder, but I knew I needed to end it quickly. I spun quickly, knocking out those who got too close. Even then, I was still hesitant to kill so many. A groan from Lycaon fueled my rage and the maiming blows turned into killing strikes. The chains landed on necks and skulls. The wolves shared the strength  of Lycaon. I did my best to take out as many as I could, but my movements were getting slow. I could feel the witches, staying back and out of my way, casting. 

They were starting to get on my nerves. I had been using Helios’ strength mostly, not drawing on my magic too much, except to pull my weapons out of the ether. So, my reserves and strength were still good on that front. As I broke the neck of another werewolf I stumbled, allowing another one to slash across my face.

I screamed out as my blood flowed freely. My vision blurred and I knew I didn’t have long. “Fine. If this is how you want it.” 

The chains disappeared as I forced myself to become still. I could feel the werewolves in front of me and the witches behind them. I growled darkly. I would have given a lot for the drakon to be there just then. But I didn’t need him. I alone would handle it; me, Medea, the Sorceress of Colchis.

I stretched my fingers, my clothing fading away to almost nothing. The magic cost would be high and I didn’t need clothing to channel, not for this. The outfit I had on was the one I’d been wearing when Lycaon and I first met, as Chalkiope and Cerseus. The irony of it didn’t escape me. 

Even with blood dripping down my body, I knew I looked good. To those savages, I assumed I looked 100% edible. I didn’t care. I felt the magic build, felt my scars light up as it did, and I opened my eyes. The witches looked terrified and for good reason. I’d only casted this spell once before in my life, for a particularly crazy Roman emperor.

“Apó stáchtes írthes, se stáchtes epistréfeis. Ósoi me antitíthentai tha niósoun to énkavma.” Slowly moving out in a circle around me, I mixed Helios’ white fire with my own purple. The nearest werewolves were caught in it first. Their howls of pain did nothing to calm me. I kept the fire pushing outwards in a circle. I could feel, if not see, the fire inching toward where they stood behind me. When it reached each one, the line broke, and circled around them. Our attackers were not so fortunate. I felt as each of them tried to escape the fire. They tried to jump over it, run from it, or just held hope I’d make it quick. No one escaped. My spell would’ve taken the building down with me inside it if I hadn’t stopped it in time.

There were screams of pain, cries, and begging. I ignored them all. No one hurt my family and got away with it. The last of the vampires succumbed to my flames. The wolves were tearing at the walls. The witches, well I had increased the heat of the fire angling towards them by a couple hundred degrees. “I’d make peace with your loa if I were you. You’re not getting away just because you’re a witch.”

“But you can’t kill us all, we’re good witches!” Most of them screamed at me.

My voice broke as I ran towards them, fire erupting from all over my bleeding body. “You’re GOOD WITCHES?? I don’t fucking think so! Good witches do not harm anyone. They don’t drag other supernaturals into their battles, or target beings far older and stronger than they are. Good witches maintain peace and bring balance to the world. Don’t lecture me about good witches. I’ve been avoiding their kind for over 3,000 years, you insignificant little beasts!”

“Ah! No, Medea! Aren’t you a good witch?!” They cried out as the flames encircled them.

cackled and stared down at them as they cowered and clutched each other and I felt no remorse. “You forget your stories, children. I am a villain. I am the villain. The woman who rained hellfire down on her own children because her husband scorned her. No, I am not a good witch. I am the worst witch. And you threatened my family. There is no absolution for you. And there will be none for me.”

The fire caught the last group of witches, and I watched them burn with a delight I hadn’t felt in years. This was me. I was the worst of the witches, and the strongest. Once I felt the last of the pitiful children fade to dust, I pulled the flames back and collapsed, darkness taking over me.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/the-worst-witch/

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An Uneasy Feeling

“He needed me, I couldn’t tell the danger he was in… but I knew that he needed me.”

I looked down at my sleeping angel as the glow of morning rose over our house. They were the most perfect being on the face of Gaia’s green earth. This last little while, with Phoenix, had been perfect. I had come to feel like myself again: happy and at peace, with love and life in my heart. The return of emotion was both foreign and welcome at once. Three thousand years was a long time to go without knowing true happiness. 

Don’t misunderstand me, raising Morgan was one of the highlights of my life. Seeing her grow into a strong capable woman made me the proudest mother ever. There was a different kind of pride that came from creating life. Bringing life into the world was something I had missed, terribly. Phoenix would be my redemption, even more than Morgan. I would do right by Phoenix, and I knew my archangel would keep me accountable to my past. 

I slid out of bed, picked up Phoenix, and walked downstairs. A forest-green and brown dress formed over my body. Before I made my way into the kitchen to start preparing breakfast, I placed Phoenix in a bassinet to let them sleep some more. There would be tea with an order of empire toast for me and formula for Phoenix. I hadn’t eaten much recently, even though I knew I needed to keep my strength up. 

As the toast came off the griddle, I felt a searing pain in my back. The pain vibrated through my back across the scars Lycaon had left me. I rushed to the bathroom and pulled down the back of my dress to look. They weren’t bleeding; the scars were pulsing white. “What?” I questioned, not as calmly as I would have liked. 

“Drakon, I need you!” I called softly, to avoid waking Phoenix. Gabriel had been away for only a couple of days. I knew he wouldn’t be done with his angelic quest yet, so Drakon would have to answer my questions. My oldest friend shimmered out of my body. and lay curled around the bassinet. “Why do the scars hurt?” I asked hurriedly as I turned everything off in the kitchen.

“You’re still connected to Lycaon, and he must be in danger.” He replied, just as soft. My eyes must have widened in fear, because before I knew it, a man stood before me and pulled me into his arms. “Shush Medea… shhh.”

“Drakon?” I asked, trying to look at him. 

“Oh child, yes. I wasn’t always the sleepless Colchian Drakon you know. I was a man once, and was cursed to guard the Golden Fleece for my greed.” His explanation tugged at my memory, but I couldn’t place it. “I can’t hold this form for long. What do you need?”

I stepped back and looked up at him. “You were one of my father’s advisors.” He nodded slowly. “I’m sorry, I can’t remember your name.” I apologized.

“It was lost in the sands of time, child, as was this body.” He said softly, stroking my hair.

“If I give you this form temporarily, will you watch over Phoenix? I cannot take them with me.” I asked suddenly. 

The drakon-man just smiled and nodded. “I shall protect them with my very life, Medea, as I have done for you all these years. Take these with you.” I felt a short searing pain in my back and looked at him. “My wings, you may have need of them on the journey.”

I kissed his cheek gently, reciting a spell Circe had taught me years ago to change man to animal and back again. I left, racing outside, and up the stairs to the portal area. I dashed through the portal leading to Lycaon’s cabin, expecting the old wolf to be around. I could smell him, hear his voice in the air, and feel his presence throughout. My senses told me he wasn’t there. I felt another moment of pain through the scars and ran my hand over them. Still no blood, but I focused on this connection, such as it was, to the man who’d held my heart for two thousand years. I knew instantly where he was. “New Orleans, Lyc, really?”

Night’s Children were in abundance there, but it was the witches who owned the city. Oddly enough, it was a place I hated to go. Once they found out who I was, everyone was so demanding, wanting this, and needing that. I started working on creating a portal to near Lycaon’s location. I wasn’t going to barge in without doing a little reconnaissance beforehand. What if I was reading the signs wrong and he was perfectly fine, or happy or… I couldn’t let that thought distract me. 

Lycaon was going to move on. I wanted him to be happy. If that meant falling in love then I hoped it took him less time to admit it than it did us to admit our feelings. Regardless, I opened the portal to an adjacent lot near a disgustingly dilapidated building. Seriously, I’d been in hovels before that had a smaller chance of being condemned. 

The first thing to hit me when I walked through the portal was the scent of blood, it was everywhere. The second thing I noticed was the imminent hurricane, but it wasn’t natural. The storm had magic written all over it. That meant witches, at least a couple of covens. Immediately after that, I felt the lack of Wards around the place. They couldn’t be that stupid. No Wards at all? I almost shouted for joy, as a plan began to form. I began to dance; frenetic and angry. My dress shifted from my regular travel gear to a Voodoo ritual dress I picked up last time I was here. Their music had caught my soul. I worked that energy into my Ward set up. Once set, the only people who could leave, were me, Lycaon, and anyone else I deemed necessary. When done, I was surprised at how little energy it had taken to set, and I smiled. I formed black leather over my body. The top vest left my arms bare. The look, one fit for fighting. I had gotten used to the faint scars left behind by the Chains of Kratos. They served as a warning to my enemies. I’d noticed a few times, when my power would build, they would shine softly with Helios’ light. 

I skirted around the building before making my way inside. I flew quietly to one of the upper floors. As I peered down into the central area my heart froze. Things were worse than I feared. Vampires, werewolves, and witches, they all worked together. In the middle of their circle, were three semi-conscious figures. The sight alone nearly shattered me. Mino, Gio, and Lycaon. 

I didn’t know Gio all that well, but Lycaon seemed to trust him, and that was generally good enough for me. Mino, on the other hand, was my kin in more ways than one. I would have razed the place to the ground to save him. Why were they there? 

Three men from my family were on the ground, bleeding, and barely moving. Accomplishing that required a feat of strength. I couldn’t fathom what I could do in this situation that they couldn’t? Then it hit me. I leapt from the broken floor down to the ground. I landed between my boys and the crowd of miscreant attackers. 

“Who the fuck are you?” One of the witches asked me as I stood up, my blue-black wings folding into my back. I ignored her and went around to the men. 

“Mino, hunny.” I knelt down near the great man’s head and pulled out a bottle of seawater. It hoped it would help give him some strength back, even if it were only to get himself out of there. “Drink this.” I tipped the bottle down his throat and placed a soft kiss on his nose. 

As I moved towards Gio, I stepped on his cane. I knew in a flash what would help. The connection between him and his cane was strong, even if he wasn’t in that moment. I unscrewed the top of his cane and poured the contents into his mouth before kissing his forehead. “Thank you for warning me, Gio.”

Lastly, I made my way to Lycaon and fell before him, trying not to cry. My hands went to his head, unafraid, and I pressed my forehead to his. “Come back to me Lycaon, please. I cannot lose you again.” I kissed his lips, softly and poured some of my own healing energies into him. 

I stood up and looked at the men, “when you think you’re healed, stay back, all of you. You may think you’re strong enough, and I know you all heal quickly, but you’re not. Let me handle this.” I turned my attention back to the crowd, who had gathered in front of me. 

The witch who addressed me when I landed started to speak again, “I said, who the fu-.” The rest of her sentence was cut off as my wings exploded from my back. I moved almost lightning-fast, tearing out her throat.

“You want to know who I am?” I dropped the piece of her throat to the ground. “Why don’t we play 3 guesses?” I pointed to each of the three factions. “Each faction gets a guess. A wrong guess, and I dwindle your numbers. Guess right- and well I dwindle your numbers regardless.”

I pointed at the werewolves, hackles drawn, blood dripping from their claws and teeth. “Who am I?” The wolves looked at each other and shook their heads as one. I grinned darkly, glad the boys couldn’t see it. I flew forward, drawing silver swords out of the ether. I slashed through the wolves in a straight line before curving high into the sky and landing exactly where I had been standing a moment before.

“Here, I’ll give you a clue.” I held the swords expertly, tips down and out, looking at the still stunned group. “Out of everyone in this room, I am the second oldest, only to him.” I pointed back at Lycaon, who I could see struggling to stand.

“Vampires. Nasty beasts. You next. Who am I?” Instead of answering, the vampire cohort decided to attack, coming at me from all sides. I dropped the blades and opened my palms, allowing direct sunlight to shine out from them. “Thank you, pappoús,” I muttered as they fell back. 

I could feel the witches bristling with power. I laughed a cold, dark and humourless sound. “You really think you can hurt me? I have trained with forces far stronger than you. More than half of you aren’t even protected by loa, and you think you can take me?” My face grew dark, hair shone like silver, and my eyes glowed with purple fire. I began an old chant. “Hekate, mitéra mageías, one who eats hearts. You brought me into your circle, taught me what you know. I beseech thee, guide me this day.” I watched the faces of the witches contort, trying to work out the second clue. I shook my head, wind whipping around us. 

“Alright, one last clue.” I clapped my palms together. As I spread them open, a small sun formed and grew. “Now do you understand?”

“Mère de Dieu, Medea.” One in the back whispered, but I heard it. “But you’re just a potion witch, and long since dead.” I shot forward, the sun in my hands thrust into the witch’s forehead. 

“A potion witch am I? Dead am I?” I ripped the heart out of the nearest witch and ate it. “I have been doing magic longer than anyone of you can comprehend. I have witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations. I walked this land when nothing was here except the alligators and snakes, and you still think me weak?” My wings whipped out, slicing through the nearest witches and they scattered. The wolves and vampires stood tall and proud, mostly. I walked back over to where I dropped my swords, picking them up. 

“No one is leaving here, except me and my boys. Now,” I angled the swords out, blunt end of the blades facing the threat, “shall we dance?”

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/09/12/an-uneasy-feeling/

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Maelstrom, part 1: The Storm Takes Over

The last few weeks at Nymphaeum had been tumultuous. Rhodes had been around to help set things up and hire the staff, and then she buggered off. Which was fine, I didn’t want to keep her from her family any longer. Mathieu, the man she hired as my General Manager, was more than capable. He was a star. He had helped me set up the control room on-site and ensure only the two of us had access. He had created a VIP list that included my family, although they wouldn’t necessarily get free rooms or get pushed to the front. Some of my family had already begun visiting. 

“Amphitrite, you don’t need to come in anymore. Between your panic room at the GC and me, we’ve got everything covered,” Mathieu argued with me one morning. As it was, my position at Nymphaeum was that of the figurehead, the mascot as you would, the nymph of Nymphaeum.

I looked at him, a storm brewing within. It wasn’t the first time we’d had this conversation, but I felt it would be the last. “Mathieu…Nymphaeum is my resort. My family and I built this place from the ground up. I’ll come and go as I choose.”

Despite the words he said, Mathieu was always courteous. “I know Amphitrite, but you don’t need to. You will always be our boss, our goddess, and I know the patrons would love to meet the inspiration behind the place. But the day-to-day…you have other things you need to handle right now.”

I glared at him as we walked out to the beach. The turquoise dress I had on today blew around my legs as the breeze kicked up. I muttered a curse under my breath and sighed. Mathieu was the only person I had told about the storm brewing in my mind. He knew of the dreams that had kept me awake and curled up in a shaking ball on the control centre floor. It was one of the most secure and expensive rooms in the resort. “I can’t, not now.”

“If not now, then when? My lady.” He only got this formal when he was trying to convince me of something. “You need to confront this, sooner rather than later. If you don’t, you may destroy everything you’ve worked so hard to build.” My jaw dropped. Had I worried him this much? Was my storm getting this bad that he feared for the resort and everyone’s safety?

“Alright, you win. I’ll head home and deal with things there. Gods only know it’s been a spell since I’ve been there,” I replied, defeated. Mathieu looked at me expectantly, and I stared back. “What, right now?” I asked incredulously.

“We’re already here.” He pointed at the ocean. I sighed, passed my phone to him, and walked into the surf. 

I turned and looked back at him. “You had better take care of my resort. I expect it to be here in the same condition as I’m leaving it. You won’t be able to reach me if there’s a problem, so call Rhodes, and she’ll be able to contact me. But please, just keep yourself, the staff, and the guests safe.” I looked up at the horizon and saw storm clouds brewing, and I knew I was bringing them here. “I will be back, Mathieu.” He blew me a kiss, and I dove below the waves, my form changing to the lithe mermaid of my youth. A large, broad tail and pectoral fins helped propel me faster and keep my balance as I swam into the oncoming storm.

When I awoke from the sea foam, I hadn’t known just how much time had passed, and I should have returned home immediately. I realized that mistake now, and I hoped I could rectify it. Sighing, I knew I should call Poseidon and let him know that I was returning. Pulling the pendant, the Jewel of the Seas, up to my lips, I whispered his name into it. If he were able, he’d hear it. I waited, I called again, no answer. It didn’t worry me too much. He had a lot on his plate, but I hoped that he was safe. It was odd, this sensation within. Surrounded by the ocean and being in my pure form had me reminiscing about days gone by and the love we shared. I worried that maybe we threw it away. 

I couldn’t erase millennia of feelings, and I didn’t want to. I also couldn’t deny this…attraction I was feeling, and not to Poseidon. I hadn’t planned on it, but I found myself thinking about it more and more as the days wore on. Sinking into his arms as we danced, the taste of wine on his lips from his feather-soft kiss. I shook my head, clearing my thoughts, and realized I was closer to Atlantis than I had thought. There was a mer patrol nearby, and I waved one over, a guard I recognized named Rommel.

“My Queen!” he exclaimed and dipped into a low bow, the patrol behind him mimicking the action. Somehow I didn’t like it as much as I used to. 

“Rise, Rommel, it’s fine.” The mer patrol stood back up and looked at me curiously. “Could one of you swim ahead and let Poseidon know that I’m on my way home? Please?” A young mer, one I didn’t recognize, snapped to attention and swam off.

“My Queen,” Rommel started, I nodded in his direction, and he continued, “what happened to you? After Lord Poseidon left, you disappeared.” Memories bounced through my mind, each tripping over the other like a babbling brook to get to the forefront. I swam away from the patrol, holding my head and shaking, trying to get a hold of the thoughts.

“I don’t know, Rommel, I don’t remember.” My voice, which was usually crystal clear underwater now, was garbled and broken. “I, you need to stay back.” The storm which had been brewing, broke violently. My arms were stretched out, I threw all the water away from me, and everyone in its path was blown backward. As though a geyser had gone off nearby, the sudden pressure change in the water surrounding me sent some of the mer reeling. I watched as their bodies shook with the effort of fighting the change. One mer in the patrol levelled a spear at me, but Rommel placed a hand in front of him and glided forward.

“Lady Amphitrite, calm…the storm is passing. You’re safe.” His words, which once soothed me, especially when uttered from Poseidon’s lips, only made me angrier. And that was when I realized I was angry. At myself, at Poseidon, at Atlantis…I was mad at everyone. At the mortals for destroying my seas and forgetting the gods had existed, that I had existed. They would rue the day. Rommel’s eyes grew wide with fear. “Everyone, get out of here. Tell the king his lady is in distress. I fear he may be the only one to bring her out of this.”

Rommel’s words weren’t registering with me. I’d gone black, blacker than I could ever remember. How had one simple question raised such a storm in such a short time? I was vaguely aware of the patrol leaving. I turned and swam away, down deep, as far as I dared. I needed to get away from them. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t hurt anyone else. I was vaguely aware of some coral reefs, and I swam faster. One of the last healthy reefs in the ocean, I feared destroying it.

Again, I lost track of how far and fast I was swimming. I just knew I had to get away. I would leave the GC, Atlantis, Nymphaeum…nowhere was safe. I had felt this storm pushing at my consciousness for the last few weeks. It hadn’t abated since my return…and I didn’t think it ever would. 

*****

My sense of time and space disappeared. The ocean around me swirled dark and angry. I couldn’t imagine what the surface looked like. I needed to pull myself deeper. Only then could everyone I loved be safe from this maelstrom. 

I felt cold, a cold I had only ever felt once before. I stopped, my eyes flaring wide open. In front of me lay the vast, black abyss of the Mariana Trench. I didn’t know what brought me here before I wanted to be, but the seeping black, the ocean’s deep heart, had long been a source of my fear. One of my memories pushed through, and I dropped. The weight of the memory pulled me down, and it was all I could do to grab the edge of the shelf before falling into the abyss. 

https://www.inthepantheon.com/the-storm-takes-over/lady-of-the-seas/amphitrite/

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Welcome home, part 2

“I was a mom again… and I was terrified of it.”

Gabriel and I headed through the portal. The area we had chosen for it was up near the road and within a bubble ward just outside the main Wards. We led the way down the stairs to the main house and everyone followed. That bubble was the single place where people could teleport safely. Gabriel was the only being who could teleport, phase, whatever, into the house and not get blasted to smithereens. Lilith looked over at us and smiled, telling me how beautiful our home was. I smiled back. Once we were across the threshold, my collar flashed visibly, and I felt the weight of it settle upon my neck.

Morgan looked around, curious. “Where in the world are we?”

I looked over and smiled as Gabriel looked at me carefully. “The Pacific North-West, Washington State, I believe.”

Gabriel’s hand wrapped around my waist. “Love, anything I should know? You ok?” I shook my head, squeezing Gabriel’s hand in response, as people started complimenting the house. It seemed as though everyone had come through, as we filtered into the house.

Morgan pulled Baba out of the sling, showing her the house. “Look, Baba. This is your grandmother’s house!”

I smiled over at her and commented softly. “It is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been to.” I felt Lycaon step through the portal, and like usual, my heart skipped a beat. Part of me would always be connected to him, our history was too long, too… convoluted. Gabriel frowned, and I worried about him. 

“Please, everyone, make yourself comfortable.” 

“My sorceress, do you want to get off your feet? Now that everyone is here?” Gabriel asked softly. I nodded gently, smiling as I watched Lilith take Baba from Morgan.

“Yes, I think that would be best,” I replied quickly. 

Gabriel guided me to the couch and helped me sit down. This pregnancy was just about at the breaking point, and I knew it was almost time. Once again, conversations were going on around me, but the life growing within me demanded virtually all of my attention. Hippolyta mentioned she had a new job, and I smiled over at her. “That’s wonderful. That sounds like a lot of fun, Hipp!”

Gabriel coughed roughly. “They made you a reaper? Holy shit… I mean… err… congrats.”

I patted Gabriel’s knee. “It’s ok, love.” I looked over at Morgan. “Dear, how have you been settling into your new powers?” I was trying to hint at her that she would be needed, without outright saying it. I had asked Morgan if she would help me deliver the baby.

Morgan nodded and smiled. “Yes, now that Baba’s siphon has been released, I’ve been getting a handle on my powers again.” 

I chuckled and sighed. “Not what I meant, I meant the Mother powers.” She just looked at me, and I nodded. Morgan froze, I’m not sure if she was nervous, or if the Mother wasn’t kicking in. 

Lilith looked over. “Is it now?”

I nodded and smiled as I felt a contraction rip through me. “Everyone stay calm; I’m not freaking out. Yes, Lilith, the baby is coming now.”

“Was this the plan?” Gabriel asked quickly. 

I chuckled and groaned as the contractions hit again. “Gabriel, you’re the one who stocked the house.”

Gabriel looked at me, surprise and a little fear in his eyes. “Gnome sacks.” He cursed softly. I laughed and moved forward a little on the couch.

I looked to Morgan, as did Lilith, but it was Hippolyta who took charge. “Medea, breathe. I’ve delivered before.”

Morgan regained her composure and began freaking out, which is far better than my first time after inheriting the Mother’s office. “I— I-I, I don’t know. I’ve only ever GIVEN birth the one time.” 

Gabriel, too, seemed distracted. It was at this moment that I realized it would be Hipp who did the delivery. I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed, but this would also be a good learning moment for Morgan if nothing else. “Yes, I stocked it, but not for like, full delivery, there was shopping…”

I breathed slowly, trying to remember the feeling last time, but it wasn’t helping. This birth would be more than Mermerus and Pheres.

Hippolyta knelt by my side and took one of my hands as Gabriel phased out. Morgan was still trying to collect her thoughts, and I was losing my connection to my mind. I could feel the babe’s power coming forth, and a soft mama whispered in my ear. “Morgan, the information will come to you.”

There was a moment where both Hipp and Morgan were trying to give directions, and while the bathroom was the right place for Baba’s birth, it would not do well for this one. I was not keen on showing my entire family my lady parts. Lilith called out for hot towels, and I knew someone was on the right track. All I could do was focus on the breathing, and not pushing, not yet.

Gabriel phased back in with two doula kits and a bag of mouth guards. I looked up at him quietly. I could feel Cernunnos, Lucifer, Gio, Robin, even Lycaon, who was outside watching the sea, all paying close attention to the suddenness of tonight’s events. I felt a little bad for them, but I wanted my family around me. When Morgan gave birth, they had just returned from their honeymoon, and it hit us all by surprise. I’d known this was the date of their birth for weeks.

Hipp was talking about my dilation. I didn’t pay attention. I was starting to feel the pressure of the little one’s head pressing down, and I gripped the couch with my spare hand. I was cautioned to breathe and I did – as if I could stop. The pressure was building, and I felt like I was going to explode. Gabriel plopped down beside me and offered his arm to me. I took it tightly. I remembered the pain from Pheres, and this was so much more than that. Could it have been the pairing of our power into a single being that was causing it? I hoped that meant that our child was healthy.

A contraction rippled through me, and as I shivered, I clenched down on Gabriel’s arm. “THIS IS YOUR FAULT ANGEL!!!!”

Hipp was guiding me, trying to keep me calm. Lilith took my other hand. Morgan was watching, and she gave great advice at the moment. “Pour some of your healing energy into her, Gabriel! It helped me.”

Gabriel frowned at me, and I glared right back. “We created-” he looked around the room. “Yes, I’m sorry, blame me, love.”

I could feel everyone’s calm energy, and new warmth, one I’d never known before spread across my belly. Cernunnos’ blessing. I knew it the moment I felt it and nodded my thanks, trying to focus on my breathing. I closed my eyes and tried to stay calm as Hipp kept reciting how dilated I was. I didn’t care, this child wanted out, and my fears roared back.

“I’m going to be a terrible mother,” I muttered, trying not to cry.

“My sorceress, you are everything, the strongest being I know. You have this.” Gabriel stated, forcefully, like he was trying to drive it into my mind. Morgan dropped to her knees in front of me as people tried convincing me that I would be a good mother. 

You will be fine, Medea, the child, is coming as normal. A voice sounded in my mind, and it wasn’t my drakon. The horned god was trying to comfort me in his way. I tried to shake the calming feeling Cernunnos was sending, but it settled in, and I calmed as if an epidural had been injected.

“You’re gonna be a wonderful mother. I am proof of that.” Morgan enforced. I started to cry, suddenly afraid of my failures, both with Mermerus and Pheres and with Morgan. I felt Gabriel’s energy pulse through our marks, and I breathed deeply, pulling on his strength, more than I ever had before.

“You’re going to push now, okay?” Hipp warned, and I could feel it, I knew it was then.

I nodded and began pushing. As I did, I was wracked with pain, and I screamed out. Gabriel just watched in awe, unaware of my grip on his arm.

I felt the head crown and screamed out again. Hipp leaned forward, ready to guide the baby. Everyone was telling me to breathe and keep pushing, so I did. I knew the shoulders were next, and that they would be more painful. After that I felt Gabriel’s hand grip mine tightly, and I knew he was nervous and anxious. I would have to find a way to thank him for keeping a cool head through all of this.

I called out for Morgan, wondering where she was. “I’m here, Mama.”

I nodded and looked at her. “You need to help with this last step.” Hipp was coaching me through, and I was thankful for her work, so very grateful, but Morgan needed to do this.

I pushed, my whole body spasming once more as our child came forth the rest of the way. Gabriel murmured encouragement. “Morgan, take the child and cut the cord. Please, Morgan.” There seemed to be some argument about who was going to cut the cord, but I just shouted, “The Mother!” Morgan then conjured up scissors and cut the cord quickly. I felt her power surge, that of the Mother, and I knew it was truly gone, truly settled in with Morgan.

Gabriel smiled brightly between the baby and me, and I knew he was happy. When Hipp cleaned and wrapped the baby, she handed them to Gabriel, who beamed. I opened my eyes and looked around, my hair shone silver, and I smiled up at Gabriel and our baby.

The afterbirth came quickly, for which I was grateful. I did not want to have to wait around for it. Gabriel whispered to the baby, “you are a creation of love and power, beauty and peace, you are everything.” He held our child, bringing them close. “Love…” 

“What are you going to name your little angel?” Hippolyta asks after she finished cleaning the afterbirth and me up.

I heard a whisper in my soul, the part that was still Lycaon’s oldest friend, and his congratulations sent a shiver up my spine.

Gabriel smiled widely, and handed me our baby, “look who we get to meet.”

I looked up at Gabriel, Morgan, and everyone else, and smiled before taking my baby. “Their name is Phoenix.” I began singing the lullaby to Phoenix that I used to sing to Morgan. The rest of the world fell away until Lilith passed me a warm, black, baby blanket. 

“Lucifer and I brought this.” She said softly, her voice both happy and sad. I wasn’t sure why, but I’d figure it out soon.

Lycaon walked in, a forced smile on his face. How had it come to this? If he hadn’t died, what would have happened? I couldn’t think about that, even though I knew I would always love him. “Well, it’s been quite the night. I’m going to head back to the cabin, ya know, in case some wolves decide to show up.” 

Gabriel stared at Phoenix, his fingers skimming over their hair. Hipp gave us a bracelet for Phoenix, for when they are older, it was beautiful. I looked up at the man I’d loved for 2,000 years and tried not to cry again. “I’m sorry, Lycaon… I just wanted my family here for this since most everyone missed the birth of Baba.” He congratulated us and began to walk towards the door. “I… be safe.” I murmured. 

There were more congratulations, and Cernunnos sent one of his fae to tell the Queen about the new child. I happened to mention changelings, and Gabriel froze. “Excuse me, changelings?”

“I’ll tell you later, Gabriel,” I commented softly. People began filtering out after that; I think they saw how tired I was, and tried to give us some space. Phoenix opened their eyes, and drakonic pupils stared up at me.

Gabriel kneeled beside Phoenix and me. “Wow. Were we expecting that, love?”

“I know! What does this mean? You, out, now!” The drakon appeared in his diminutive form. I shook my head. “EXPLAIN!” 

Well, you were pregnant, with both of us, inside your body… Did you think none of my essence would settle in?

Gabriel just arched a brow and chuckled. “Oh, the fates.”

I looked at Gabriel. “You were expecting this?”

Gabriel replied, still laughing as Morgan brought Baba over to meet Phoenix. “Expecting? No. Surprised? No. But Phoenix is thrice fated so, of course, another shoe would drop.”

We discussed what Phoenix would be to Baba, as I just stared down at my child, wondering what fate had in store for them.

Cernunnos delivered a unique Irish harp to me. “A gift for little Phoenix! What is an angel without a harp!” He smirked towards Gabriel, making me chuckle.

I thanked Cernunnos for the harp. Gabriel commented he was a trumpet guy. Morgan cast the fireflies about to make Baba laugh and Phoenix’s eyes lit up at the moment.

I could see Morgan and Lilith were both exhausted and I extended invitations for both of them to stay. Lilith accepted, but Morgan declined, stating Mino would be home soon, and she wanted to be there to greet him.

I nodded and smiled. “You always have an open invitation, my daughter.” She leaned down and hugged Phoenix and me. 

She laughed. “Soon, when we’re not so busy, and you’re not about to pass out.” 

I yawned deeply. “Granted, I’m…” I fell asleep on Gabriel, holding Phoenix in my arms.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/08/19/welcome-home-pt-2/

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Welcome Home, part 1

“Would… would any of you like to come and visit our house? Take a little tour, enjoy the night?”

Gabriel phased us into the lounge at Lycaon’s cabin. As I stepped out of his arms, I stumbled slightly. His arms wrapped instinctively around me, making sure I stayed upright. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that, Gabriel.”

He laughed at me a little and kissed my forehead. “At least you didn’t… you know…”

As I rolled my eyes at him Lycaon walked into the lounge and looked at us. “Well, I got your fire message.” His voice was a little terse as it normally was when I was around. “I didn’t expect you so early.”

“I’m sorry, I need to set up the portals, the phasing is really starting to get to me.” I explained sheepishly. As we spoke, Lucifer, Lilith, and Robin appeared in the lobby. Lucifer looked for a place to sit, Robin took in his surroundings, and Lilith made her way over to Lucifer, taking a seat on his knee. “Hello Robin, Lucifer. Lilith!” I admit I was excited to see her up and about. I had worried after the state of her injuries.

It was at this time that Hippolyta walked in. My heart soared to see the demon general. I had missed my sister dearly. She bowed to Lucifer, grabbed a drink, noticed Lilith and gave her Queen a bow before she found a couch to sit on. 

“S-so… everyone is coming in… heh. All at once,” Lycaon stated. I think he sounded a little nervous that so many of us were arriving at once, since the last time most of us were together, outside of the battle, was in Hell and it hadn’t ended well.

“Hello, Medea,” Robin said. His voice was soft, as if he was trying to avoid taking up too much room, but I knew he had strength in him.

What surprised me was Cernunnos showing up. I hadn’t really expected it, but it was nice all the same. “Boo!” His jolly voice shouted through the room, not so much to scare us, but I think it alleviated some of the tension that was building. 

Lucifer looked around, smiled at Lilith and Hippolyta, and we all exchanged pleasantries. I made sure to hug both Lilith and Hippolyta, and Gabriel commended Lycaon on the new cabin. Lycaon thanked him. I had hoped that they might patch things up, which I knew was my fault.

Lil and Hipp were congratulating me as if I’d already given birth. I knew they couldn’t wait for the little one to arrive, and honestly, neither could Gabriel and I. We were so excited, regardless of how apprehensive I was about it all. I looked at my two sisters, the Queen of Hell and Hell’s Demon General, and I whispered softly, “It’s almost time.”

The others kept talking, but I remembered why we were here. “So Lycaon, where would you like to set up the portals? And Lucifer, could you teach me to create one, please?”

The Wolf King smiled and nodded down the stairs. “I have a room downstairs that’s still empty.”

Out of the corner of my eye I watched Cernunnos sit down nearby with three fae. They just watched us. I couldn’t tell if he was enjoying the scene or waiting for something. “Hello, Lord Cernunnos.” I tried to look at him to bow as I could and greet him properly, but he always stayed just out of focus. I turned back to Lycaon instead. “And it’s sheltered?” I could hear Lilith and Gabriel bantering, and shook my head. “Please, not tonight you two.” 

Cernunnos replied and even his voice sounded far off, “Greetings little one and blessings on your child!”

It was then that Morgan teleported in with Baba Pasiphae slung around her body. “Boy have I missed that!” Lycaon at the same time responded to me telling me that the room was secured.

Thank you, Cernunnos,” I attempted to bend again, but failed. “Morgan!!” I heard Lycaon mention the actual Merlin’s liquor and having some of it left over and smiled. “Can you save some of that for me, for after, Lycaon?” I asked softly.

Morgan came over and hugged me gently so as to not wake Baba. “Mother.” Oh, I had missed her so much these last few weeks.

The conversation kept going around the room, but I knew we needed to get started on the portals. Lycaon had said he’d keep a bottle safe for me, and I smiled. Morgan showed me some of the magic she used to help pacify Baba, and my heart swelled for her. She thanked me for the house and the island, and asked how I was doing as she placed her hand on my belly. “Morgan, I’m about ready to pop. Lucifer, shall we get these portals done?”

I knew Lucifer was still around, but I had this pressing matter at hand and I needed to move. “I guess I’ll set them up myself. No one blame me if they’re wrong.” Morgan offered her help to me as I walked down the stairs. “Yes, please, Morgan. Stairs haven’t been easy for me these last few days.”

Gabriel paid attention as I left, and Lucifer followed. I was thankful I wouldn’t have to try to create portals for the first time on my own. “Lucifer, we need to set up the portals.” Lycaon stepped outside to smoke. I guess he didn’t need to be there for the portal set-up, and even though it was his house, I was grateful. I don’t think my stomach would appreciate the smell too much.

Lucifer asked where we were going to put them, and we indicated the room. “This room here, I think, is where Lycaon was talking about. One to Morgan and Mino’s island, I think? One to mine and Gabriel’s house. Did you want to set one up to Hell?”

 Morgan chimed in quickly. “Yes, I would definitely feel more comfortable if we had an easy way to reach you all.”

“Absolutely,” Lucifer responded shortly.

“The location I have identified for our place is outside our Wards. So even if you turn up unannounced, you’ll be outside until we can let you in.” I stated, softly. It was the best Gabriel and I could agree on that allowed people to come and go as they saw fit, but not enter our property unannounced. Morgan seemed to agree with me.

Lucifer smirked and began setting up portals; I watched him carefully. “Yes, someone was particularly, vehemently, against having a portal directly linked to our house and inside the wards.” 

Morgan just laughed at that. “Ohhh, the angel wants some privacy, does he?” 

I just nodded and smiled. “That’s one word for it, Morgan.” I paid attention to what Lucifer was doing, and tried to imitate it, creating a small portal to the deck. 

“Hands a little higher, Medea,” Lucifer instructed. I did as he told me, opening the portal more, and trying not to focus on everyone else’s conversations. “Better?”

Lucifer nodded and smiled gently. “Much. Now concentrate on the portal until you get it to the desired size. Sometimes it’s nice to have a small one to throw people or things through.”

I nodded and chuckled softly, concentrating on opening the portal wider, until a person could walk through normally. As soon as my concentration broke though, the portal collapsed. 

“Oh, right.” Lucifer and I kept working at it until I managed to get one and keep it open. I felt Morgan’s hand on my back, rubbing it gently. It helped me focus, and I noticed a new guest arrive. Ambrogio, the first vampire. I waved at him and smiled, but he joined the rest of the conversation that was going on mostly between Lilith and Hippolyta.

I leaned into Morgan and worked on opening another portal, to make sure the first time wasn’t a fluke, and I could hold it. I focused everything on this portal and barely registered as Morgan stepped in behind me in case I fell. Once it was set, and I dropped my hands, I looked around the room. “Does someone want to test my portal, to verify it works?”

Morgan offered, and I nodded as Lucifer drew a demonic incantation to keep it open, unless he or I closed it. I can test it. Baba and I.” 

Gabriel also volunteered, and I smiled at him softly. “There’s no way you and Baba are going through until we know it’s safe.”

“Thank you Lucifer,” I muttered as I dropped my hands and fell back. Morgan caught me and eased me to the ground. As she did, Gabriel rushed to my side and knelt beside me. I knew it was almost time, I just hoped Morgan awakened to her new powers in time. My first time delivering a child after I gained the office of Mother was harrowing. I passed out and Baba Yaga had to do it. Trust me, no one wants the Witch of Russia delivering their child. Lucifer ended up walking through my portal, and then came back through. I whispered to them both, “It’s almost time.”

Morgan’s eyes widened, “time?”

Gabriel frowned at me. “My sorceress, what do you mean?” 

I smiled and nodded conspiratorially. “Would… would any of you like to come and visit our house? Take a little tour, enjoy the night?”

People started filtering through the portals, and Morgan and Gabriel helped me up. “Love?” Gabriel asked softly. I wanted to tell him, I really did. But something in me kept quiet, and only mentioned snippets of what was coming.

Lycaon had appeared back downstairs, and eyed Gabriel and I. It hurt having him near, as I knew it hurt him, but Lycaon was and always will be, my oldest living friend. My family before this family. My brother in arms on more than one occasion. A potential lover, even though nothing ever came of that. I had lost him once, and I swore I never would again, even if it killed me to keep him in my life.

“Is it now?” He asked softly. I couldn’t tell if he meant the baby coming, or the tour, or something completely different. His mind was closed to me, as it was most of the time. Normally I resented him for it since I was so easy to read, especially by him.

Everyone followed us through. Lilith grabbed a bag, Morgan wanted to make sure Baba knew it was a safe space, and everyone else just wanted to see the space Gabriel and I had made for ourselves. I smiled softly at everyone, my eyes were sparkling, but I could feel Gabriel frowning, and I didn’t know why he was displeased with me. I’d figure it out soon though. Cernunnos had left with Robin a short while ago, I wasn’t sure where they went.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/08/14/welcome-home-part-1/

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My Heart is Healed, My Power Restored

“Who knew I had this much power, waiting for me, once my heart was whole again…”

It had been in the open air, the last fragment of my heart, from my initial battle with Soloman Kane. Back when Lycaon was alive, back when we were dancing around each other, back when I nearly died. Lycaon had found the shard of my heart, and as soon as it hit fresh air, I sent my drakon after it. He could phase, I could not. It was weird having powers within me that I couldn’t use. We communicated through our internal bond, although I could not speak through him. He appeared in front of the cabin, the one we razed, the one Lycaon was attempting to rebuild, and began scouring the ground.

Lycaon looked over and cocked his head. “Hello, dragon.”

My drakon noticed the wolf but didn’t pay any attention to him. He continued looking for the tiny piece of his partner. I have nothing to say to you. I can smell what you’ve done, wolf… and I am unimpressed.

Lycaon chuckled, I had to give him credit, even though my heart swelled knowing he was alive. But I didn’t understand what the drakon meant. “Well, you wouldn’t mind leaving my property then?”

The drakon huffed and turned away from the Wolf King. I will, once I’ve found what I’m looking for. And then you will be free of the last vestige of your pain, but she never will be.

Lycaon, cocky, self-assured, sexy as hell, and cold, just looked at the drakon before puffing on his cigar. The scent invaded the drakon’s nose, and thus mine, and I swooned; I couldn’t help it. My heart, some of it would always be Lycaon’s. “I already am.” He replied simply.

The drakon found the shard of my heart and picked it up carefully with a claw. So glad for you. You’re a coward.

Lycaon scoffed, at least, that’s what it sounded like. “A coward? That’s funny.” He laughed as the drakon ignored him, and flew away.

The drakon returned to Hell, dropped the fragment in my hand and then melded back into my body. 

Gabriel sat me down softly on the bed and knelt in front of me. I must have fallen over. “Medea, what is it? What’s happened?”

I began sobbing again but I held my hands open. “Do you know what this is?” Gabriel wrinkled his brow and shook his head. “It’s the missing piece of my heart.”

Gabriel sat back, stunned. I think he thought the same as I did, that piece was never coming back. “I… what? I’m confused… I thought that was… lost.” Gabriel grit his teeth and took a slow breath. “How did you get it, love? What does .. what does it mean? Talk to me…”

I choked, reliving the memory as it flooded my mind, both from the drakon and from the heart fragment that witnessed it all. “It was, Lycaon… found it while he was rebuilding the cabin. And then… he purged himself, of all his humanity. The drakon had to go retrieve it…”

Gabriel looked at me worried, concerned. “Ok…” his eyes flashed purple fire, “what does that mean for you, love?”

I looked up at him, shaking visibly. “It means, once I cleanse it and put it back in, I’ll be mostly healed. My strength will be greater than it is now. You don’t know this, but I’ve been fighting at less than full strength.”

Gabriel chuckled softly, it was melt-worthy, and readily eased my worry. “I do know… what did that poem say? ‘I can tell where your scars are.’” I nodded sadly as he spoke. “If having it back is good… where do your tears come from?”

I tried looking up at him, but couldn’t make eye-contact. “Because I am now the only one living with this pain…”

He rested his head against mine, allowing a low tendril of power to flow between us. “Share your pain and all your burdens with me. I will be your Atlas and carry your world, love.”

I looked at him, my eyes flashing purple. I opened the small part of me I had kept closed, with my pain about Lycaon, everything Gabriel hadn’t felt yet, and I let him in.

Gabriel just closed his eyes and leaned into me, letting his defences fall. His power swirled between up, blurring the lines of where he ended and I began. He allowed my emotions to filter in, the rush was stark and deep, and for a moment he gasped for air trying to take it all in. He held steady though, not willing to move away from this moment, or me.

I curled into him, giving Gabriel everything I didn’t even know I was keeping: all the pain, all the years, all the grief; the love for both, the guilt, the desire to let go and move on, and the inability once he returned.

I could feel Gabriel’s focus on my emotions. He lifted me slightly, laying us both across the bed, and curled himself around me as purple tears streamed down his face. I could feel his heart breaking and mending along with mine over and over again through the weight of my pain. All the while he pulsed our marks with the healing energy that is Us.

~~~

The next morning, I was aware of Gabriel waking. He seemed sluggish, like coming out of a drugged state, but his body was humming with me. The combination of his power and my magic surrounded, filled us, and calmed me. I felt him shiver. Even though I wasn’t conscious, I was vaguely aware his mind was blank, and he was keeping it that way. But he curled around me and I was home, as always.

~~~

Gabriel woke up the following day startled as if he was being called somewhere. I was already awake, so I rolled over to face him. “Gabriel?” Whatever emotional baggage I was carrying seemed to have disappeared, or at least been processed. My bump was more present now, and it seemed as though all I was doing was sleeping. I didn’t remember eating much or moving around, and I knew that needed to change. 

Gabriel blinked awake, slightly groggy and smiled. “Yes, love?”

I just looked over and smiled back. “Nothing, I’ve just missed you.”

Gabriel smiled brightly, reached over, rubbed my belly, and his smile grew immensely at the increased bump. “I’ve missed you.” The smile vanished in a flash and was replaced with seriousness before he whispered. “Thank you for sharing all of you with me.”

I leaned over and kissed him lovingly. “I should have done it ages ago.” I fell back asleep and lost track of time after that. This pregnancy was behaving oddly, the child was growing quickly, and I was worried I wouldn’t be mobile for the battle.

~~~

A few days, a week- I had no idea- later I rolled out of bed, quietly to not wake Gabriel and looked around. I pulled the piece of my heart out of the small box I’d put it in and sighed. “Alright, let’s get this over with.”

I walked around Hell, the shard of my heart in my hand, and looked for a place of serenity to cleanse it. Yes I know, peace and serenity in Hell… What was I thinking? But I remember Hippolyta saying something about a garden, so I tried to find that. When I did, I was taken aback by the beauty of it. “This is perfect.”

I held out the shard of my heart, the last remnant from my personal battle with Solomon Kane. I sat cross-legged on the ground, beginning to meditate. I closed my eyes and held my hands out, the shard began to float above my hands, while the white fire in my soul started cleansing it slowly. “Don’t rush this Medea,” I muttered softly to myself.

I could feel the heat burn through the flesh, reigniting it, and I noticed a slight tug. The shard wanted to go home. Smiling, I opened my shirt. I had pulled on a button-up hastily before leaving the room. I looked at the hole in my chest and the burn marks that criss crossed my skin. 

“Alright, little one, go join the rest,” I whispered before letting go of the heart fragment and watching as it soared into my chest. The moment it connected with the rest of the flesh I screamed out in pain. “Ah!!!!”

The shard reattached itself, my heart began beating fully for the first time in months and tears streamed down my face. “Oh… gods…”

I got up slowly, my legs trembling beneath me. I felt my power surging back, a power I hadn’t even realized I’d been missing. I made my way back to my room, knowing the battle with Sam would be imminent now.

As I stumbled back into our room, the burn marks began fading to a soft black, looking more like a faded tattoo, versus the dark black they had been. “Gabriel…” I muttered before falling on to the bed.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/my-heart-is-healed-my-power-restored/

~Co-written with C.S. Ratliff and JayLynn Watkins

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Argonautika II, part 3: My First Life Comes to a Close

“The rage did not abate, did not change… and while Jason remained ignorant, there would be no healing him.

“NO!” The stream of white fire that left my mouth shocked me, it was as if the drakon was still within me, but I didn’t know where he had gone. As I ran towards them, Jason dropped the archangel blade and jumped back. “Gabriel…” I looked at my angel as I got closer. I could see cuts through his clothing, but I couldn’t see any blood pooling, so I sighed a breath of relief and picked up his blade. “You dropped this.” 

Gabriel pulled me into a kiss, and I melted into him, as he took his archblade back. “Thank you, my sorceress.” He said softly before I turned back to Jason. 

“How did you get the drop on Gabriel?” I asked, stalking forward. Gabriel stood beside me, the rage within him building. 

Jason just laughed at us. “He was so fixated on you, not on me… Fatal flaws Medea, did you learn nothing from Odysseus when he sailed with us?” I shuddered violently, the memory invading my mind. I stepped forward, the ground around me erupting in the white fire. Jason skipped back and taunted me. 

“He has no soul, Medea,” Gabriel warned, his voice dark. I looked over at him stunned.

“Are you sure?” I asked. Gabriel nodded, it looked like he was going to say something more, but he stopped. I turned back to Jason. “That’s how you came back with your gifts,” I growled out the word, “you traded your soul to Circe.” Jason’s face went wide in a grin, and I glowered at him. I knew what I needed to do. I knew I had the power to do it, but I had loathed granting him the gift of it. “Why did you abandon me, Jason?” I asked again.

He looked at me, at the fire between us, and sat down on the crumbling wall. “Because I was no longer entranced by you, Medea.” My mouth fell open and I stared hard at him. Jason looked at Gabriel and sighed. “You, too, will grow tired of her, her games, her unpredictability. She was a wild card at Corinth, I never knew what was going to happen.”

I fell backward before Gabriel caught me and sat me down. “I… was entirely devoted to the running of your household and the raising of our sons. I was in your bed every night, pleasing us both the way I knew we liked it. I was pregnant Jason, with our third child, when you left me for that other woman. Did you know that, Jason?“ His eyes widened in surprise and I saw the knowledge dawn on him. 

“You’re lying to me,” he whimpered. I shook my head, not saying anything. “No… you’ve been many things, Medea, but you’ve never lied to me. Pregnant,” he muttered softly. “Girl or boy?” His voice had lowered to a whisper and I had to fight the urge to rush to him and comfort him.

I knelt on the ground where I was. Gabriel placed his hands on my shoulders and I felt our bond snap back into place, the invisible collar around my neck shining for a brief moment.

I looked at Jason and sighed. “A daughter, we were going to have a baby girl…” I paused and looked at him, horror flashing across his face. “But the grief, before the rage, what’s the term they use nowadays, ah yes, I miscarried. My grief over what you had done to me, killed our child… and then Circe, or weren’t you listening?” 

Jason looked between Gabriel and me, and I knew that was when Jason managed to overpower my angel. “Circe was the one who inspired my rage. She knew what I was going to do, she helped create the idea for it. But I was the one who eventually chose their demise. Even in the rage, the blinding rage, I wanted their passing to be easy. So I drugged them, before bed. Just a few drops of hemlock in their nightly drink and they drifted off to sleep, never to wake. I live with that guilt Jason, and now, so will you.”

I stood up, the white fire erupting into a circle around Jason, King of Corinth, and Gabriel looked at me. “He has no soul, he can’t feel guilt.”

“Not yet he doesn’t,” I replied as I held out my hands and walked towards him unafraid. I pulled Jason into my arms, the white fire of Helios burning through his body as he screamed.

Jason screamed my name to the stars above us and still, I held him. I called on my grandfather, on every god and goddess I knew of to help me return Jason’s soul to him, intact, that he may feel the harm he had caused. I felt it, a soft whoosh, as whatever power Jason had was given up in trade for his soul. He screamed again, this time in pain and agony. 

“Medea, stop! You’re killing me!” Jason cried out and clutched at me, trying to escape my grasp. I held him tightly and when I felt his body go weak, limp against mine, I let him go and stepped back. “What did you DO TO ME!?” He screamed at me. 

My body was growing weak and I was struggled to stay standing, but I did. I held out and answered Jason. “I gave you your soul back, no more running around pretending you’re a demon, or some badass warlock, or whatever you were doing. Your soul, such as it is, will feel every decision you make, as I’m sure you’re coming to grips with all the decisions you have made in the last few hundred years. I’m sorry, Jason. I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused you over the last 3,000 years.” I lowered my head in shame, the white fire wrapping itself around me. “I regret giving in to the rage that Circe inspired; I regret taking our sons’ lives. I regret seeking my vengeance on you, and destroying your line. I regret it all. I do not regret leaving Colchis with you, nor do I regret loving you.” I stepped forward as Jason fell to the ground and I kissed his forehead. “Goodbye Jason, you will not see me again.” I kissed him one last time, our lips meeting gently, and I turned away from my husband, the past of Colchis fading in my mind.

~~~

As Gabriel and I made our way back to the shore, and away from Jason, I collapsed into him. “Let it all out, love.” Gabriel held me, stroking my hair gently as I sobbed hideously. The first act of my life came to a close, and while the white fire of my grandfather returned Jason’s soul, it also burned away my guilt, my sin. I felt purer than I had in years. 

I looked up at Gabriel and asked him softly. “Can you bring us back to that little hotel we stayed at, in Gibraltar? We can rest there for the night before we head back to Hell and deal with our Sammael problem.” 

“Anything, my sorceress,” the archangel of my dreams swept me into his arms, and we phased into the lobby of the hotel, scaring many of the patrons there. He got us the penthouse room. The concierge didn’t argue with him when Gabriel demanded the room, a sobbing sorceress in his arm. Once he had the key, he phased us to the door and then carried me into the room. Gabriel carried me over to the bed and just held me as I cried through the night. The next morning, I wondered why the drakon hadn’t returned, and I knew we’d have to go searching for him.

“Don’t worry about it Medea, I’m here, I’m safe. On the island where Jason left the fire message. It’s the closest I could get to you.” He replied when I cast a thought out for him. I looked at Gabriel and told him where the drakon was waiting for us. He took me in his arms, and I felt calm and safe. I wrapped my arms around him as he phased us back to the Pillars of Herakles. When I caught sight of the drakon, I sped out of Gabriel’s arms and pulled my drakon into a deep embrace. “My child, you will never be apart from me, we are one and the same… Soul-bonded, Medea.”

“Where did you go, my oldest friend?” I asked softly as I pressed my forehead against his large muzzle.

“I am less forgiving than you. At first, I tracked Circe, but I lost her scent quickly. And then… I’m sorry, you should not have left Jason alive. I remedied that.” I sighed, I should have known. “He was already thinking about tracking Circe down to get rid of his soul. He wasn’t going to live with it. So I ate him.”

I sighed again and rolled my eyes. “So, you’re not going to need to eat for what, 3 weeks?” I asked, the idea of Jason rotting in his stomach, somewhat appealing to my darker nature.

The drakon huffed at me but Gabriel laughed and walked over to him. “Thank you, friend, I know you did it to protect the one we both love.” The drakon nodded, and I knew he was being sentimental because he was being silent.

“Alright you old fool, let’s rejoin and see what fresh new hell awaits us in Hell.” The drakon huffed once more and faded, before rejoining my body. We began the flight back across the Atlantic, with fair winds and following seas the rest of the way back.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/07/19/argonautika-ii-pt-3/

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Move in Day, part 4

Today was the day. The day I would be moving into the GC for real. It felt surreal that my home was here, the new Olympus, and not Atlantis. But the option hadn’t even occurred to me to go back. When I returned to solid form, to consciousness, I felt the disconnect with the ocean kingdom. I somewhat regretted not discussing my role in the kingdom with him before I moved in here. It just felt right. Opening Nymphaeum and trying to sort my place out within the family seemed to be the right move. 

I was downstairs in the lounge, waiting for Alessa, who would be accompanying the movers. We had put up all the walls, portioned off the rooms accordingly, painted everywhere, and now it was installation day. My bed was arriving, the kitchen and bathroom were being put in, and everything seemed to be coming together. So why was I feeling so lost? The storm that had brewed when I met Alessa at her office a couple of weeks ago hadn’t dissipated the way I’d hoped, and the worst part was, I felt it growing. I knew that something was wrong, but I couldn’t place what. And for now, I had to focus on getting settled. 

Tonight would be my first official night in the GC, and I was a little nervous. I had taken up a suite at Nymphaeum for too long, and it was time to give it to the customers. We were getting a steady stream in now. There were guests from all over the world booking with us, and we were building momentum. The most popular rooms were obviously beneath the surface, as all manner of sea life likes to play around. Ok, maybe I had asked them to, but the guests loved it. The online reviews were raving, and the thought of it made me smile. I stood up quickly as Alessa approached. Her blonde hair was up in a ponytail, and she was frowning. 

“Alright, spit it out, what’s wrong?” I asked playfully to help diffuse the anger I could feel building in her

“The kitchen countertops, that beautiful lapis lazuli you found, they won’t be here for another week,” Alessa said quickly. I could tell that she was trying to keep herself calm to avoid the storm in my eyes, and I nodded quickly.

“It’s alright Alessa, is everything else ready?” She nodded and sighed. “Well then, I won’t be eating here. There’s a little bistro nearby that I’ve begun to frequent so I can eat there, it’s no big deal.”

Alessa chuckled with relief and waved to the foreman who was entering the lounge. “Alright, it’s floor 27, the door to the suite is open. Everything is ready for you to start,” she said authority in her voice. I just smiled and led the way to the elevator. 

Once we arrived at my floor, I opened the doors and watched as the crew started bringing in all my furniture. We had already set up the Nymphaeum office to watch over the resort while I was here. I looked at the door. If I hadn’t placed a tiny conch over the panel to open it, I would never know where it was. And that was the plan. No one was supposed to know. It wasn’t on the floor plans, and Alessa was the only other one who knew that the suite was smaller than the original floor plan. 

The kitchen and bathroom were the first on the list for installations since they were the most essential. My bedroom, living room, dining room, and everything else that easily movable would be arriving later in the day, and I was excited, tangibly, visibly ecstatic. It seemed my life was coming together, and as the day went on, my apartment suites began to take shape. The second floor was complete, and I made my way up to observe the rest of the work from the interior balcony above the great room. It was an open concept suite, and I loved it. It was all me. Soft blues and shimmering turquoises, bright teals and deep cyans were accenting every room. It looked like I was under the sea, just as Alessa and I had designed it.

“Amph!” I heard her call up to me. I looked over the railing and smiled down at the interior designer. “We’re almost done down here. Your television and internet are hooked up. Your kitchen is ready to go, minus the countertops, and the bathrooms are done. I think,” she paused as I came down the stairs, “I think we’re ready to call it a day.”

I smiled at her, the woman who had become my closest friend. “Would you like to stay for dinner? I’ll order something in, and we can enjoy a nice bottle of wine.” 

Alessa smiled and nodded, her brown eyes sparkling. We had discussed the possibility of advancing our relationship once this work was done, but we had agreed not to. We enjoyed each other’s presence to be sure, but we chose to stay friends instead. I understood, my respect for her only grew, and it was a mutual agreement. I was still glad to have her in my life, my best friend. “Alright, Amph, are you in the mood for anything specific?”

I paused and smiled a little. “Some pasta? And perhaps a nice salad?” I couldn’t eat seafood, I just couldn’t bring myself to, but I wasn’t going to deny anyone. Alessa respected my decision, and when we’d eaten together, she had refrained from ordering seafood. I called in the order, topping the pasta with chicken and bacon, and we cracked a couple of bottles of wine while we waited for the food. Red for Alessa, white for me. 

The night was beautiful, excellent dinner, sparkling company, and when it was time, I walked Alessa down to the lounge and made sure that she got into a cab. I wanted to keep my friend safe for as long as possible. 

Once Alessa was gone, I made my way back up to my floor and locked the door behind me. My first night in my new space, and I was suddenly nervous. I was alone. And that was something I had feared since Poseidon and I parted ways. I debated contacting him. I missed him so very much right now. I had my phone out, and his number dialed when I stopped and put it down. I’d only end up reaching Kai. I knew that it wasn’t Poseidon I’d been talking to these last few weeks, even if Kai was too polite to say anything. I doubted he was even at the bar. 

I pulled out the Queen’s Jewel, which hung around my neck, but stopped before activating it. My nerves were not an emergency. I was sure he was swamped being a king, being my king. Once things settled down, I knew that I would head back down to Atlantis and reaffirm my oath to King and Kingdom. Whether he wanted to keep me around, well, that was a discussion we would need to have at some point.

I made my way back up to my bedroom and flopped down on the bed. I was weary, not just tired from the move in, but from running into the family. Seeing gods that I hadn’t seen in over 2,000 years was draining me. I knew I would need time in the sea, away from civilization, which is hilarious considering I’d spent the last two millennia as sea foam. Even just a swim back home, seeing it again, would be rejuvenating. I made a mental note as I slipped into unconsciousness to visit Atlantis sooner rather than later.

*****

The next morning I awoke in a sweat. The dreams faded quickly, but the feeling remained. A sense of dread washed over me and when I looked out the massive windows, the clear blue sky and bright sun were no indicators that anything was amiss. Perhaps it was just my fears of being alone, or maybe it was something else. I didn’t know, and I didn’t really want to get into it so early in the morning.

After finding a pair of comfy pants and a loose off-the-shoulder sweater to wear, I trudged downstairs and made my way to the unfinished kitchen. I made some tea and walked over to one of my larger chairs. I had it facing the windows, so I could look outside and almost feel like there was a balcony. 

My phone dinged softly, and I smiled. Only a few people had my number, and they were all a cause for smiles. 

Alessa: Amph, the countertops will be in today. I called and rained hellfire down on them for botching the delivery date. I’ll call later with a more accurate delivery time. 

My smile got bigger.. My tea tasted better, the sky looked brighter, and I relaxed a little more. The storm clouds in my minds-eye dissipated for now.

As I looked around my nearly finished apartment, I sent a quick text to an old friend that I had run into a little while ago. 

Amphitrite: Dion, my apartment is nearly done, come over one night for that dinner I promised you. 

Once it was sent, I went back to looking out the window and relaxing my morning away.

https://www.inthepantheon.com/move-in-day-part-iv/lady-of-the-seas/amphitrite/

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Argonautika II, part 2: Family Can Be Your Worst Enemy

“My life has been unexpected, every turn, but this… will change everything…”

I stalked towards Jason slowly, wondering why he hadn’t tried fighting me or breaking free of my bonds. I knew he had power in this life, but he wasn’t using it. I could feel Gabriel behind me, bristling, wanting to protect me, preferring just to plunge his blade into Jason’s chest, but he didn’t. As I reached Jason, the Argonaut, Edward Kelly, my first love… my thoughts travelled back to a conversation I’d had with my aunt Circe before I “borrowed” the Golden Fleece and left with Jason. 

~~~

“He’ll betray you, in the end, Medea, they always will. No man is worth your heart, your life. And don’t ever submit yourself to one, you’ll never be free then.” She said, her natural golden hair a gift from her father Helios. “Best find yourself an island and turn unwary men into pigs, or dogs, or something. Just stay free and unattached.” 

I hugged my aunt, she’d been burned before, and had learned the hard way. But I remembered the vision I’d had when I touched the Golden Fleece for the first time when our powers merged and mine exploded. I saw my life with Jason, two beautiful boys, and love. I felt love radiate through the vision. I knew what lay in store for me, and I chose not to heed Circe’s warnings. 

“On your own head be it then Medea, but don’t come crying to me when he does exactly what I’ve said.” She muttered before walking off.

~~~

That conversation was the first indication that my aunt’s dark streak might affect my life, looking back on it now and I allowed the white fire of Helios to lick up my arms, accentuating the burn marks that the Chains of Kratos had left behind after my first tangle with Solomon Kane. When he nearly killed me, when Jason saved my life. Even the shard on my chest lit up a bright white. I watched as Jason’s eyes widened in fear and I reached out, taking his throat in my hand, keeping the flames back, but not the heat. “Who ensured your safe return, Jason?”

He laughed, frightened, but he laughed. “That’s not the question you really want to ask, is it?” Even this close to death again, and he was still full of bravado.

“You’re right,” I growled, “that’s not the question I wanted to ask.” My other fist slammed into Jason’s gut, shattering the wall behind him, but the cords stayed intact.

“Medea!” Gabriel called out to me, but I wasn’t listening. I flew forward, the drakon beside me, his rage as strong as my own. I lifted Jason into the air and threw him down to the ground, his back cracking on the stone floor. 

“You left me! You abandoned ME!” I hollered at him, as I rained abuse down on his body, the lack of aura still disconcerting me, but then I remembered what he asked me to do when we were living together in England. “You begged me to kill every child in the village, threatened me with exposure if I didn’t… What kind of monster did you return as Jason?”

“I’m the monster?” He made to kneel, and his voice, so full of raw emotion, stopped me in my tracks. “You murdered our sons, you did Medea. What mother in their right mind would do such a thing? I thought you loved them, I thought you loved me?!” Jason screamed back at me. 

“Of course I loved you, you gods-damned idiot! I left everything behind in Colchis to sail off into an unknown future, just so I could be with you. And YOU ABANDONED ME! WHY?” I grabbed his neck again, the white fire threatening to continue onto Jason’s flesh.

“Because I told him to,” a new voice sounded, one that washed over me like honey, one I had nearly forgotten.

“Aunt Circe?” I sputtered, dropping Jason unceremoniously to the ground. I completely forgot everything and ran into her arms. She held me tightly and stroked my hair as she used to when I was a child.

“I’m here child, I’m here. Drakon, it’s good to see you again, I see the new shards are doing well.” The drakon growled an acknowledgement but didn’t speak.

I looked up at my aunt, golden hair and eyes, my purple ones shining at her. “What do you mean, you told him to?” I asked, terrified of the answer. 

As Circe led me away from Jason, I was vaguely aware of Gabriel pinning Jason to the ground even further, keeping him from moving. “Do you remember what I told you, the morning you left Colchis with Jason?” I nodded having thought over the conversation only minutes ago. “Like you, I saw him in your future, that vision you shared with Lady Hekate and me,” I looked back at Gabriel before Circe turned my head back towards her, “I saw more in it at the time than you did. I saw your love for Jason, and how it would change the ancient world.” I shuddered, the reason being my murdering my children, it set the precedence for all other judgements of the kind, even though most thought the Kindly Ones had caught up with me. “I saw the wolf king,” I coughed at Lycaon’s mention, “and thought you were perfect for each other. The King who tried to outsmart Zeus and ended up cursed, and the bitch who thought herself better than everyone else, stole a priceless family artifact and ran off for love. You two deserved each other.”

The venom in Circe’s voice stunned me, yet her face and actions were still affectionate. “Is that why you hate me so much? Because I ran off with the Golden Fleece? Or because I had found love, where you couldn’t?” Her hand fisted in my hair and yanked my head back.

“I don’t hate you Medea, I envy you,” her eyes lit with green fire, dark unlike Merlin’s had been, and I stared at her shocked. “You did what I could not. You got the drakon’s attention, bonded with him. You touched the Golden Fleece and absorbed its power. You’re lucky your sons were born to a mortal father, anything other and their power will be extraordinary.” My mind raced to what Gabriel and I had discovered during our time with Raphael and our unborn child. “I saw that too Medea, your children, born of the Archangel, I shudder at their power. And yet, you would never have made it this far had I not cursed you when I did, so really, you should be thanking me.”

I ripped myself from her grasp, the white fire taking over most of my body in rage. “You cursed me, when? TO DO WHAT?!” I shouted and shot a stream of fire at her. 

“Medea!” Gabriel cried out again, his voice so far away from me, our bond feeling weaker than ever before. 

“You did it!” I screamed as I shot bolt after bolt of hardened white fire at Circe. “You were the one who cursed me to kill my sons!!” I felt her fall beneath the fire, and she looked at me.

“Yes, I did, and look how strong it made you.” Her hands met mine, and the fire cooled. “You are finally able to bear my father’s fire. The last step for you, before your final ascension.” I stared at her like she was crazy, and maybe she was, alone on that island with only pigs for company.

“My last what? What the hell are you talking about?” I screamed and Circe just stood, unaffected by the fire, her own strength radiating against mine. 

She chuckled and pulled me into a tight hug. “You’ll see, child, when you and your angel create the life you so hope for, you’ll see.” And with that she vanished, leaving me alone, and full of worry again, for the life I was trying to build. 

“Circe, you get your man-hating, pig-changing ass back here!” I shouted into the sky, but no answer came. 

“Medea…” I heard Gabriel’s voice sound behind me, weak and far away. I turned to look back at Gabriel and Jason, and what I saw shocked me to my core. Jason had Gabriel pinned to the wall, the archblade hovering right over Gabriel’s heart.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/argonautika-ii-pt-2-family-can-be-your-worst-enemy/

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Move in Day, part 3: Ivy and Wine

As I made my way back to the God Complex, happy with how my meeting with Alessa went, I ran into an older man who looked exactly as I remembered him. “Dionysos!” I exclaimed, pulling him into a hug.

I could feel a small amount of resistance from him before he realized who I was. “Well, well, if it ain’t the Queen of the Sea herself.” He spun me around and kissed my cheek softly. The amount of wine on his breath was staggering.

“You didn’t fade, did you? The mortals have always welcomed you into their homes. No wonder you didn’t need to take on a new body,” I chirped playfully, nudging him as we made our way through the complex.

Dionysos laughed heartily at me. “You’re not wrong, Amphy. Not wrong at all.” He looked me over and smiled. I knew I had an attractive body. I chose it for that reason. “So long as there is drunken revelry, I will always be around. And you? I’m not getting a wall of sea-salt vibe from you anymore.”

I slapped Dionysos’ arm and laughed. “I haven’t been salty in eons. I’d like to think I matured since Poseidon and I split.”

Dion smiled crookedly at me, and I could see some of that old mania in his eyes. “So what brings you to the God Complex? Are you staying here, too?”

I nodded and smiled softly. “Yes, Hebe gave me floor 27. I get the whole floor. What about you? You located near dear ol’ Daddio?”

Leaning on his thyrsos as if needing the support to think, he held his palm up, fingers splayed. “Yes! Floor five, all mine! I still have a lot of setting up to do, but it be mine.”

I laughed brightly and looked at him. “Floor five, do you have any ideas on what you want to do with it?” Looking around, I wondered aloud, “Is there somewhere to get a drink, or at least sit while we chat.”

Dion smiled and offered his elbow while talking rapidly, both to himself and me. “Yes, yes, lounge upstairs, lots to drink and lots to sit on, some comfy, some not. The set up will be set up as I set it up when the set up comes to me. Floor five set up, not lounge set up.”

I laughed again; I couldn’t help it. Dion’s ramblings always made me laugh, and I could feel the sea rolling with me. I took his proffered elbow and nodded. “To the lounge then. I had an interior designer drop by my floor yesterday. Would you like their contact information?”

Dion’s head lifted to the ceiling in thought, and he stopped mid-stride, almost toppling both of us over. I should have known better than to ask him something mid-walk. Then snapping back to reality a few seconds later, he finished his stride and nodded. “That would be very nice of you, dear. Very nice indeed!”

I smiled as we made our way to the lounge. It was classier than Poseidon’s bar, and I felt under-dressed here, my sundress and bare feet not seeming to cut it. But then again, Dionysos was in sweatpants and a flannel shirt, so I felt even worse for him. “Any drink you would recommend? I’ve recently taken a liking to white wine. From home, naturally.”

Dion smiled broadly, then looked down. “It’s all the same to me if it’s all the same to you. My taste has no taste, and that is the big punchline.” He raised a hand to get the waiter’s attention and yelled out loud before he even got there, “Tall glass of mineral water, flat for me, and whatever the pretty lady will have!”

I looked over at the waiter and said, “A glass of Assyrtiko, please?” The waiter nodded in confusion and hurried to the bar to put in the order.  

“So, what designs have you designed in your mind for your floor, Amphy?” Dion asked while physically trying to swipe a thought away from in front of his mind.

I closed my eyes and reimagined the space. “I want to have an office, completely secure, in case something happens again like the Titan’s escape. I heard some of the stories from Poseidon, and I saw Olympus…” I shivered as the waiter brought the drinks over. I took a sip and sighed happily. “Other than that, I want it to feel more like a beach cabin, than under the sea. I have other ways of remembering home.”

“A beach cabin sounds positively sublime to me.” Dion rubbed his hands together in excitement and nodded before slapping his hands together. “What is this about Titans, though? There was an escape?”

I nodded and took a long draught, not generally how one drank wine. “Yes, I believe someone decided to use them as a weapon and let them out. Revenge against your father, for some ill-perceived slight millennia ago. Poseidon didn’t really want to get into it too much, but I could tell that the betrayal of one of our own cut deeply.”

Dion smiled an uneven smile, and his eyes welled up a bit as he finished his mineral water in one sitting. “Slights and betrayals. It all seems so…familial, doesn’t it? It often happens when ancients get bored. I hope things eventually work out for the best.”

I nodded and sighed. “Change seems to come slower to us, and growth is even more delayed. Because we’re ageless, we think we have all the time in the world to fix our issues. But we don’t, and if our fading didn’t teach us anything, it should have taught us that.” I shook my head and smiled at Dion. “But enough of the drab and dreary, what plans do you have now that you’ve returned?”

“Plans? No plans. Only one plan. The Plan. The Master Plan! A plan so masterfully masterful that it will blow all expectations out of the water.” With that, Dionysos leaned into me and nudged me with a wink. “No pun intended.”

I laughed again, deep and hearty. “Of course not… And let me guess, you’ve completely forgotten this Master Plan?”

Dion stammered a bit and slapped both knees with his hands. “I have only forgotten it because it’s safer to be forgotten at this time. Such is part of the master of such plans. I can’t go around telling everyone, now can I? Especially not me. You know what a tattle-tale I am!”

I finished my wine and nodded. “The problem with madness, I’ve found, is that you’re either completely withdrawn and closed off, and no one can get you to open up, or you’re loose-lipped and sinking ships because you have no control… Now, I am, of course, speaking from personal experience.”

I think Dionysos found the last line a bit too confusing because he stopped moving again for a few seconds, probably to analyze what I had said. What came next, though, made me stop short in my thoughts and take in my breath. With no warning, he leaned close, kissed me tenderly on my right cheek, and whispered, “That is why I have a special place in my heart for you. You know that.”

I blushed furiously. I’d like to blame the wine, but I’d finished the glass earlier. I looked over at Dionysos, I could see the old and young god within his face, the young never too young, and the old never decrepit. How he managed to keep a sane balance between the two amazed me. “Thank you, Dion, that means a lot. I…” I suddenly faltered, unsure of what to say next. It wasn’t often that someone, mortal or immortal, had me at a loss for words.

Watching my reaction to his gesture, Dion giggled like a little child and leaned into his thyrsos to stand. “So…lounge is here. I’m on floor five, you on floor twenty-seven, interior designer coming to you, and I need…I need to be at the airport soon. I have to pick someone up so they can pick me up so we can come back and…” With that, Dion got lost in his thought pattern one more time.

I stood slowly. I knew better than to try to decode his ramblings, but I was certainly intrigued by it. “Wait.” I pulled out Alessa’s business card and wrote my number on the back. I passed it to Dion. “The number for the interior designer. I’ve already entered all the information into my phone. Call them if you want.” 

With a faint nod, he took the card and stuffed it in his shirt pocket. “And you? Do I call you if I want?”

I nodded again and raised a wall of water to take me home. “Anytime Dion. I have a hotel to get back to. The Nymphaeum, come by sometime and check it out. Maybe next time we can talk more about this master plan of yours.”

With a slight bow of his head, not in reverence but more in understanding, Dion smiled an easy smile at me and said, “Worry not, daughter of the seafoam. I will come to find you. Sooner or later.”

I turned and winked at him as I stepped through the wall. It instantly closed behind me, leaving Dionysos alone. Rhodes greeted me as I returned, and seeing my bright smile asked, “So, how did it go?” I laughed, remembering how I teased Dion moments before.

“It went, well, dear. Now, let’s get our work done, see the guests, and then I desire a swim.”I linked arms with my daughter, and we made our way around the hotel. The guests were taken care of, the staff knew what they were doing, and I wanted to lounge.

As I made my way out to the infinity pool, the view caught my eye. A memory rose from its burial spot, deep in my subconscious. Poseidon and I, standing on the deck of a ship in the arctic ocean. The memory faded as I shook my head and dove into the saltwater. Yes, all my pools were saltwater. What did you expect of me?

“Mother?” Rhodes came out as I surfaced on the far side. I nodded, letting her know I was paying attention. “Everything is taken care of, and I’m going home to Lesbos for a while, see the family again.”

I smiled and swam back, walking out of the pool. “Of course, Rhodes, bring them by sometime, I’d love to meet them.” I kissed her cheek softly and watched her vanish in a wisp of mist. Time to be alone for a bit, I guess, I thought with a sigh. I could always go over to the Mermaid’s Tale and see if Poseidon had returned, but did I want to bring that storm back into my life so soon? I knew he had things to attend to back home, and Kai would be a good confidante. Maybe down the road when we’d calmed down, but I feared it would always be so. I needed to stop thinking about running into his strong arms, feeling the salt on his skin, and tasting the wine on his breath. Wait, wine? When did I start thinking about Dionysos again?

Secretly, I had hoped that he’d follow me immediately, but I also know how the both young and old god was. He went down his path. The delicious madness in his mind sometimes matched my own maelstroms. Maybe that was why I felt this weird attraction to him. Like two magnets aligned just so and slowly pulling on one another. I knew that he would come soon. I just hoped sooner rather than later. I had to admit that his kiss, even if it was on the cheek, got me a little hot under the collar that I wasn’t wearing. I flung myself back into the pool and rested there, floating on the surface like foam on the sea. “I hope you find me again sometime soon, Dionysos,” I whispered as I watched the sunset.

https://www.inthepantheon.com/ivy-and-wine/lady-of-the-seas/amphitrite/

~Written alongside Peter Farmer. Check out his work https://jhiieri.com/

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Argonautika II, part 1: I Keep My Promise

“I said I would go to him… I never said I would go alone”

Gabriel and I phased into our new home, after spending the previous few days in Hell hiding and recuperating from Sammael’s revelation. I rubbed my arm where he had slit his own open and sighed. “This link sucks,” I muttered.

We walked out to the balcony and looked at the clear skies. Gabriel unfurled his wings; I let out my drakon ones, the blue-black scales sparkling with some of the baby Golden Fleece shards. We took off into the morning sky. I still wasn’t used to flying as a human; I preferred the drakon form. Gabriel looked over, took my hand, and I felt steadier for it. We had discussed where we would be meeting Jason. When I said Colchis, the archangel had laughed at me.

“See, time is relative. Full circle, back to the beginning.” His voice purred across my skin and I shivered. I had to suppress the urge to pull his angelic body to me and take him there in the sky, but I resisted. “How long will the flight take?” He asked, squeezing my hand as he sensed my nervousness.

“We’ll have to stop at least once. I’m sure you could fly forever dear but, in this form, I’ve got about 10 hours of flight time. That should put us on the East Coast of the US, as far east as we can get. Then we can tackle the Atlantic in the morning, and at the very least, make it to Spain. If we need to take the second night, so be it. I’d rather not arrive at Colchis directly after having fought the Atlantic winds.” I replied quickly. My nerves were taking over; in a flash, Gabriel had me in his arms, he just held me.

“We don’t have to do this Medea, the battle was won, we survived. Let’s find some other time to honour your deal.” He suggested as we hovered high above our house. I knew he was serious too. To keep me safe, he’d walk through hell with me.

I looked at him, my amber eyes meeting his deep brown ones. “Would you have me break my word? Would you make me a liar?” His eyes shone in the light, they always entranced me. He shook his head. “Gods only know what the outcome would be if I broke my word when he kept his.” 

“Fair point, my sorceress, and I’m not willing to find out. So, let’s keep going.” Gabriel said, teasing me as if I was the one who stopped flying. I laughed and flew ahead of him, my powerful wings carrying me forward.

“‘Cross country now, we’re going to have to be either very high and careful or find another way,” Gabriel had warned as we began the journey.

“I’m always careful, angel… I made it across the Atlantic as a 20ft drakon, all while carrying a heavy marble bier,” my voice caught slightly, as it still did when I spoke of Lycaon, and Gabriel just held me close before I continued speaking, “all the way to Stonehenge. I think I can manage some intercontinental flying in human form.”

He just chuckled and followed, his steel coloured wings catching up to me easily. There was something freeing about being this high up, almost like being under the water. The thought of swimming, serpentine through the depths of the Atlantic made me smile, but I didn’t know if Gabriel would be able to join me down there. 

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We dodged some planes, teased some hikers along the Rockies, and found our way to Cape Cod- one of the most eastern points on the continent that didn’t take us too far out of the way. When we landed we found a beautiful little bed and breakfast to stay at for the night then made our way out for dinner. 

~~~

The night passed, as it would between lovers and soulmates. The next morning I found myself staring into a maelstrom over the Atlantic. “Are you kidding me?!” I exclaimed loudly as we stood on the pier.

“You thought this would be easy, my sorceress?” Gabriel teased as his hand wrapped around my waist. I glared at him, yet through our bond, or maybe because he knew me so well, he just laughed, knowing I wasn’t really upset. The problem was, I knew I wasn’t strong enough outside of full drakon form to tackle the storm, I just didn’t know about Gabriel. When our eyes met, he saw the question. “Don’t worry love, if it comes down to it, we can spend another night here and hope it blows over by tomorrow.”

I shook my head, the thought touching, but I had this impending sense if we didn’t reach Colchis by the end of day two days hence, Jason would be gone, and my word would be broken. “We’ve wasted enough time Gabriel, I’ll shift in the air,” I said as I took off, battling the strong winds until I was far enough out of sight to change to drakon form. I let his mind take over, his instincts were better than mine. Medea, you fool, you should have listened. He warned me, even though he stayed the course. “I know, but you heard what I said, we need to get to Colchis. Now.” We could swim? We’d be there faster… he offered. I sighed and looked to Gabriel, through the drakon’s eyes. He didn’t seem to be struggling, the air seemed to move through him. I’m sure it was an angel gift, the only people I had known to have that control over the air were the children of Aeolus, both mortal and immortal. We broke into the calm eye and I hovered for a moment, letting my wings rest.

“How far do you think we are?” Gabriel asked me softly. 

I looked straight down, peering through the waves and the drakon scoffed, across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, almost two-thirds of the way to Spain. I was shocked. “The storm is that large?”

Gabriel and I looked at each other and we nodded, our wings pushing us through the opposite wall and back into the storm. Lightning flashed, and I wondered if Zeus was angry at my return. I hadn’t been back to Colchis in 3,000 years. The second half of the journey was rough; when we reached land, I didn’t pay attention to where we were, we ran to the nearest town and found a room to stay in for the night. We fell into bed too tired to do anything but strip out of our soaking wet clothing and form dry ones on us.

~~~

The next morning we rolled out of bed, still exhausted from the storm, but when I looked outside, the sun was shining down and it was a gorgeous day. When Gabriel and I exited the little hotel, a familiar sight caught my eyes. “The Straits of Gibraltar,” I mumbled as Gabriel linked his fingers in mine. “Have you seen them? The Pillars of Herakles?” 

“I’ve been all over, my sorceress, yes I’ve seen them. But, I sense you wish to go back?” I nodded, a memory pulling me there. We took off. It was easier to fly than to walk; soon enough we landed in front of the pillars and I was immediately greeted with a fire message:

I’m glad you’ve made it this far, Medea. I knew you couldn’t help but stop here, where Mermerus was conceived. Do you remember that night, how beautiful you were, how my arms felt around you? You gave me everything, and then you took it all away. I await you where we first met, wife, do not keep me waiting any longer.

Gabriel pulled me into his arms as I shook with rage, the fire message dissipating into the air. “I am going to kill him… and then I’m going to resurrect him and kill him again.” I growled, the drakon shaking within me. We’ll get him, child, we will. He growled out. 

Gabriel nodded, agreeing with the drakon. “We will, Medea. Jason will pay for everything he has put you through, and we can finally move on with our life together.” The stress he put on our matched my hand placed on my abdomen, and the life we were creating together. I turned away from this place, which held so much sentimentality for me, and took off into the clear Mediterranean sky. Gabriel and I held course over the Sea, nearing Turkey in the early afternoon. We’d made far better time than I’d anticipated; we soared over the African side of the country then over the Black Sea. I could feel Colchis calling me home, the drakon could too.

As the National Park, which held the ruins of my home, came into sight I fell out of the sky. The wave of emotion that caught me was surprising. Before I hit the water, Gabriel had me in his arms. We landed; I was home, in my birthplace, Colchis. 

Gabriel had set me down, where the atrium used to be, and I sat for a moment while I cached my wings within. The drakon roared and separated himself from me, before shooting a wall of flame towards the back entry.

I found out why a moment later. “Jason,” I growled out, my voice dangerously dark. Seeing him, in the flesh, knowing that it was Jason, our whole life together flashed through my mind; I had to resist the urge to light him up. I had questions, and they would be answered.

“Medea, my love. I expected you to come alone, not bring your newest toy with you. And drakon, it’s nice to see you again.” Jason barely gave Gabriel the time, but he reached out a hand to stroke the drakon, who promptly snapped at my ex-husband’s fingers. Clawing his hand back, Jason stopped. “You’ve come to kill me, Medea. Get on with it.”

Cables shot forth from my hands and pinned Jason to the wall behind him. “I will kill you Jason, and slowly… Kane is dead; I pulled his beating heart out with my bare hand. Shall I do the same to you? No. First I have questions. Then… we play.”

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/argonautika-ii-pt-1/

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Move in Day, part 2

I looked up at Alessa’s office, Divine Interiors, and smiled. I could tell that she and her brother were extremely proud of their accomplishments and their business. I made my way inside the gleaming building. The receptionist smiled and looked me up and down as I walked in the door. 

“You must be Lady Amphitrite. Alessa told me to expect you, but I didn’t realize you’d be here so soon,” he said brightly.

I looked him over. He was attractive, but in a somewhat nondescript sort of way. I didn’t even catch his name before I heard Alessa’s voice coming from a hallway behind him.

“Amph! I’m so glad you’re here.” She beamed.

I smiled in return and held out my hand. “Well, when I woke up to those designs you sent me, I couldn’t wait.” Alessa shook my hand and led me to her office. I could see scale models of all the different interiors she’d designed, and I knew that Poseidon had given me the right contacts.

“So, as we walked through the space yesterday, I saw the cathedral ceilings, and wondered if a second floor would be possible, so I came up with a few different ideas. Obviously, there are some for a single floor, we could use those beautifully high ceilings to our advantage, or we could create an entirely new space. Move the bedroom up there, add a sitting room, and a balcony…” Her voice trailed off as she opened the large display TV to show me the designs. I was truly blown away. Alessa began going over all the different designs she’d come up with and didn’t stop talking. I could tell she was excited, and that fed my own excitement.

“Alessa,” I paused her for a moment, and she seemed relieved. “Let’s sit and have a drink. You’ve been talking nonstop for the last half hour.” Alessa breathed deeply and sat down. I began to hum softly, a calming sea-shanty, and I watched as she visibly relaxed.

“What?” she asked after a few minutes. “What was that?”

I finished the phrase and smiled softly. “Just my voice. It’s a gift of mine, Siren Song. I can use it for different effects, but normally I use it to help calm people. Am I…” I didn’t want to ask it, but eventually, curiosity won out. “Am I the first deity that you have designed for?”

I watched Alessa’s eyes widened, the chocolate brown sparkling. She nodded. “Yes, I guess…you make me nervous, Amph.”

My mouth hit the floor. I don’t think I’d ever made anyone nervous in my life. It was an entirely foreign concept to me. I began laughing, a little storm brewing in the sound. “I…make you…nervous? Oh, gods! Gaia preserve me.”

Alessa looked at me, horrified. “I didn’t think it would be quite that funny, Lady Amphitrite.” Her voice was gruff, professional, and almost angry. “If that’s all, I think I’d rather get down to business.” She stood up and walked back over to the display. 

Standing quickly, I grabbed her hand and smiled. “No, Alessa.” I breathed slowly, calming the storm, the madness, and gently kissed the back of her fingers. “Don’t be angry. I’m sorry for my um…outburst. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been around normal people, mortal or immortal, and I’m still learning. I have never, that I know of, been known as intimidating. I apologize most profusely if I hurt your feelings.” I stood straight and pressed my forehead against hers. “I don’t want to lose my first friend, please.”

Alessa looked down at me, her couple of inches making a difference, and closed her eyes. “You seemed different for a little bit there, Amph.” Her voice was soft but still hesitant, and I pulled back, still holding her hand. “Like…a storm was brewing in your mind. Like a different person was ready to take over.”

I looked at her, and in the reflection of her eyes I watched my normal blue eyes glaze over dark grey, and I realized that she’d seen it. The part of myself that Poseidon and I had been hiding since the beginning. He wasn’t to blame for the majority of the storms the mortals attributed to him. I was. After living in Atlantis for a while, my bond with the sea deepened. I’m not sure if it was to balance Poseidon out, or if my own powers were growing, but I was more attuned to the tides than before. I would switch from bright and bubbly, to calm and docile, to violent and stormy. We called it Maelstrom, and the mortals took it as the name of a sea storm. Most of the gods I’d met didn’t know how that felt, to be containing such a force at all times. Feeling her build until she broke and took everything with her. 

I lowered my eyes and sighed, calming my emotions before speaking again to Alessa. “I am the embodiment of the sea, I will always carry a storm with me, and for that, I can only caution you. I do not know when or if it will come out.” I slowly looked up at her, her eyes taking in my shifting expressions as I allowed the storm to pass over my face. “I would become a different person, I wouldn’t recognize you, and I could hurt you. I–” I stopped as Alessa wrapped me in her strong arms, and I looked at her. “What?”

“Amph, you are amazing,” Alessa said, holding my gaze intently.

I shook my head, trying to keep the tears back. How long had it been since a friend held me this way? How long had it been since I’d had a friend? Perhaps a couple of my cousins in our youth, but never just a friend. 

“You have just returned to the surface world after what? 2,000 years away? And you’re trying to learn and catch up on history and find your way. Step out as your own person. It’s no surprise there’s a storm brewing within you. I’d say you could let it out with me, but…” 

I shook my head violently, the tears streaming down now as I looked away. 

Alessa tipped my chin up, forcing me to meet her eyes again. “I know you’d keep tighter control to protect me, and the mortals. I’ve read the stories, Amph, the few you’re mentioned in. You are a friend to humanity, as much as any goddess is. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to let your storm out once in a while. But I’d suggest not suppressing it if you can. Anger, which is something we humans know all too much about, bottles up the same way. It can eat us away from the inside out if we don’t address it periodically. Now, if you need someone to talk to, well, you have my number.” 

I nodded and pulled back slowly, our eyes meeting again. 

“I will be your friend when you need one, because, goddess,” she chuckled softly, “it looks like you need one.”

“Alessa, you are the first person I met here other than family. You will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you.” She let me go and grabbed a tissue to wipe my face. “Now, let’s settle on some designs so that we can get to work putting it all in action.” She laughed and nodded in agreement. 

Within the hour, we had honed it down to one design. It was sleek and sexy, definitely beachy, but inviting all the same. She had taken into account the panic room, as we were calling it. From there I could run Nymphaeum, using it as both an office and a safe space if anything happened and I couldn’t get out of the GC. There was a hardline phone with a direct line to a similar office at Nymphaeum, for management to use if I wasn’t in. Poseidon had suggested many of these ideas as we chatted. He didn’t want to see anything bad happen because of poor planning. As he’d been running a business, and a kingdom, for a while, I heeded his advice. 

“So, the second floor will be entirely…” I started.

“The bedroom, yes,” Alessa finished my sentence with a smile. “We can set up an identity scanner if you want to keep unwanted people from heading up the stairs, or you can leave it open.”

I giggled softly, like a little girl, and suddenly I felt years younger. “I don’t expect to have many visitors who would need to see my bedroom anytime soon.”

We stood up as the documents were printed and walked over to Alessa’s desk. “You never know, you may find someone to your liking.” She grabbed the paperwork out of the tray. Technology was more amazing to me every day! She flipped through the printouts, marking what needed to be signed. 

“Yes, you’re right. Perhaps I will. Or maybe an old flame will surprise me, who knows? I can’t tell the future, Alessa.” I began signing and smiled. “But for now, I just want to be me. Amph, wild, free, and untethered. For once in my life.”

Alessa smiled like she knew something I didn’t, and once the paperwork was taken care of, she laughed. “Alright, I’ll take your word for it, but don’t come to me once you meet someone, and you’re tempted to break that rule. I’ll be here to remind you of it. Now, we start work tomorrow, are you excited?”

I laughed along with her, took my copy of the contract, and we headed back towards the entrance. “Ecstatic. I’ll make sure the front desk knows that your crew will be arriving bright and early, and to give you access if I’m not there waiting. I want to see this place come into fruition.”

We made our way outside, and Alessa pulled me into a deep hug. “You’re strong, Amph. You can make it on your own. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need a support system. I know that Lord Poseidon has your back, and so do I.” I nodded and smiled at her. This woman had become such an integral part of my life in a short time. I knew I could face any mortal challenge as long as I had her in my corner.

“Thank you, that means a lot. Now, I believe you have some calls to make.” Alessa laughed brightly. “And so do I.” We shook hands once more, and Alessa made her way back into the offices. I walked towards the GC, back to my new home, and made a call to let reception know to expect Alessa and her crew tomorrow morning.

https://www.inthepantheon.com/move-in-day-part-ii/lady-of-the-seas/amphitrite/

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I Am Made Whole Again

“I could feel my child hanging in the ether, I didn’t want them to wait too much longer…”

Merlin called me into a special room that he had set up to perform the procedure, the one that would regrow my womb and enable me to bear a child again. The thought made me extremely nervous, yet I was hopeful. Lilith was there, by Merlin’s side as I entered. I had asked her to be there with me.

I knew, if the pain was too much, she was the only one who could push me through it if I started to beg Merlin to stop. Merlin extracted a promise, similar to the one I got from Lilith; no matter what she would not try to stop him.

He told her I would be in excruciating pain, and Lilith swore to him, as she did to me, that she would not try to stop him. Merlin indicated the only bed in the room and I went to it, laying down slowly, my breathing deep and calm. 

“Medea, are you sure?” Lilith asked. I just nodded, worried that if I spoke to answer that question I would chicken out.

I took a few more deep breaths, calmed myself, and looked at Lilith. “Swear to me, no matter what I say, you will not let me stop.” I know she had already promised us, Merlin and I, but I needed to hear it then, in the moment.

Lilith nodded. “If it’s what you want, of course.” 

“Whether I beg for death, or beg you to stop it, I need you to keep me going,” I emphasized.

Lilith took my hand and smiled gently. “You can rely on me, sister.” The affirmation warmed my heart and I looked at Merlin.

“Ready?” He asked quickly. 

I looked between them, Lilith squeezed my hand and I nodded. “I’m ready.”

“Now as I’ve said before, this will be painful because I’m not only regrowing but bringing something back.” He stated.

“Right,” I replied simply.

Merlin looked down at me. “Close your eyes and slow your breath.” I did as he said. Lilith began drawing little circles in my hand, I think to help calm me down. Merlin interlocked his fingers and placed his hands over my pelvis. I could see, with my mind’s eye, what was going on, but the vision was skewed a little. Merlin closed his eyes and chanted, “Ceangail an corp seo, ris an rud a tha air chall.” Bright green energy flowed through his hands into my womb burning away all the dead tissue.

“AHHHHHH!!” I screamed in pain as I felt the energy burning through the death within. Lilith placed a hand on my head to keep me from thrashing.

“Thig còmhla ris a ’bhodhaig agus an anam seo le ùine.” Merlin continued, the burning attached to my soul.

I screamed again in pain, in terror, and began trying to pull away from Merlin’s magic. Lilith stood up and held my arms, preventing me from moving too much. She was quite strong, despite her size.

“Lilith, please hold her tight,” Merlin said as I looked up at Lilith, terrified. “This is the part where it regrows, the worst part.” Lilith increased the pressure on my arms, and smiled down at me reassuringly. “Thoir air ais na tha air a bhith a ’gabhail.” 

I screamed and begged to be let go. “Please, I can’t do this, it’s wrong of me,” I screamed again. “Lilith, please let me go!”

“It’s ok Medea, think of Gabe and your future.” She said reassuringly. The green energy turned black and Merlin raised a hand. “I’m sorry sister, I love you.” I could see that she was crying as well, doing as I originally asked her.

I looked from Lilith to Merlin, seeing the green shift to black, and my eyes widened in fear. “No… Fate was wrong, I don’t get children… STOP, please… AHHHHHHH!!”

“Dèan an corp seo gu h-iomlan agus coibhneil.” Merlin continued as I screamed.

Lilith held me tighter, murmuring to me. “You can do this, you’re the strongest woman I know.” Merlin pushed his palm into my stomach, and the burning increased.

“I’m not, I’m weak and I’m terrified… NO!!! It hurts so much, Merlin please!!” I cried out, but Lilith just watched Merlin with trust in her eyes, even if I could see the fear there too. 

Lilith kissed my forehead and muttered. “You’re not weak.”

“Ceangail an corp ris an itealan seo.” Merlin chanted as the room flashed bright green.

My legs thrashed about on the bed as I writhed in pain, tears streamed down my face as I felt the last burns. Merlin fell down, exhausted. “It is done.” He stated softly.

Lilith winced and took me in her arms for a moment. “Are you ok Medea?” However, when she saw Merlin fall, she rushed over to his side and held him. “Merlin, are you ok?” I couldn’t be angry, I hurt too much.

The pain receded slowly and I shook uncontrollably. “I… no, I don’t know.” My voice was shaky, it didn’t sound like mine at all. 

Merlin’s ring glowed green for a moment then it dimmed. “I’m ok.” He stood slowly. Lilith threw her arms around him hugging him tightly. “That was harder than I remember,” he commented softly.

Lilith looked down at me, curling into a ball and cursed. “Bloody hell Medea. This is why I hate magic.”

Merlin just asked me how I was feeling.

I curled up tighter, cradling my stomach. “I don’t feel any different, shouldn’t I?” Lilith sat down beside me and took one of my hands.

“The pain will subside in a few minutes, and no. You won’t feel any different, until, well… you know.” Merlin said as he wiped his brow.

I nodded, “Right, right.”

Lilith looked at Merlin with awe and love, I was trying to focus on things other than the pain in my abdomen. “You are incredible, love.” 

Merlin answered simply. “It’s just the magic and knowing how to control it.” 

“Well I’m impressed,” Lilith replied, still staring at Merlin. “Medea, can I do anything to help?” She asked softly.

I tried rolling off the bed but it hurt a lot. “I just need to get to my bed.”

“I just need to rest,” Merlin said, more to himself I think than anything, but as I tried to stand he stopped me. “Let me check you first.”

Lilith stepped out of the way, and I nodded, trying to open my body up to him. He held his hand over my abdomen and closed his eyes. She was watching him with interest.

Merlin spoke softly. “Let me calm your body.” I looked up at him and nodded, as uncurled as I was going to get. “Gabh fois, relax.” A blanket of green energy washed over me, calming me. 

I breathed deeply and relaxed. “I still want to get to my own bed.”

“Just wait,” Merlin said as he closed his eyes and focused. He slid his hand down over my pelvis as Lilith looked between us, waiting anxiously. 

“Is she okay?” Lilith finally asked the question we were both wondering.

Merlin smiled. “It is whole again.”

The words filtered through my brain, but I was having trouble processing them. “I can… I can have kids again?” Merlin stepped back while Lilith jumped for joy.

“Congratulations.” Lilith exclaimed happily. “Well done, my love,” she said to Merlin. 

“Yes, and you are ovulating as we speak, so careful of… celebrating.” Merlin warned. 

That was the last thing I remembered hearing for a while. I was ovulating, for the first time in millennia, and I could bear Gabriel’s children. I heard the voice of our first crying out in joy, a soft “Mama,” in the wind of my mind, and I smiled. I looked up at Merlin and smiled brightly. “Thank you.”

“You are welcome,” he replied with a smile. 

“Now, can I go to my own bed?” I asked a little forcefully. I knew Lilith and Merlin were discussing something. If I’m being honest, I tuned them out and focused on the little voice in my mind, calling me home.

I only changed my focus back when Merlin said my name.

“Yes you can, Medea.” I just nodded and rolled my legs off the bed and began to stand. I had already begun walking to the door before Merlin spoke up. “Medea, would you like help to your room?”

I shook my head and made my way to the door. “No, I think I can make it.” Lilith had taken my arm.

“Lilith dear, please help her,” Merlin said, it almost sounded like a command, and I smiled over at Lilith.

“Or I could use some help,” I added almost jokingly.

Lilith picked me up effortlessly, I knew she was strong, but damn. “Ok. I’m quite strong you know.” 

I squeaked a little, having just realized that. “Oh, I can see that.”

Lilith carried me to my room; I opened the door and she placed me down on my bed gently. She smiled kindly, kissed my forehead, and left quietly.

Gabriel was there, waiting. “Medea, what just happened?” He pulled me towards him, embracing me gently.

“Merlin fixed me,” I responded softly.

Gabriel’s voice broke a little, and so did my heart. “Why didn’t you tell me…” his voice trailed off as he buried his face in my hair. 

I leaned into him, speaking softly. “I knew you would try to listen to my cries of pain, when/if I begged Merlin to stop, you would try to stop him. And if you had, I would have died.”

All Gabriel could do was rock me. “Tell me what you need.” 

I smiled at him. “Just this, just you and me. Just you holding me, loving me. Your aura is already helping me to calm down. Also, right now, I’m especially fertile, and apparently ovulating; so we either need to be very careful or get ready for pregnancy.” 

“Always, rest in me. I’m already ready,” Gabriel said quickly, “But I’m not the one who has to do the heavy lifting.”

I nodded and smiled, tired from what my body had just gone through. “I know you’ll be an excellent father.”

We talked about what we wanted for the next little while. We were both ready to create life, but then there was a noise. I sent Gabriel out to check, warding the room from phasing, even against him. The pain returned while Gabriel was gone; I knew he was fighting, I was watching the battle from afar, but was too weak to assist. When he returned, tired and wrapped me in his arms, I felt calm, safe, and loved. We spoke some more before drifting off to sleep. 

~~~

The next morning I awoke feeling better, but still sore, so Gabriel and I opted to stay in bed. At some point in time during the morning, Merlin had sent me a fire message, but I didn’t receive it until I left the room sometime far later in the day… After Gabriel and I had created our first child.

Even though I was no longer the Mother, I knew exactly when I had conceived. I felt the presence in my mind shift to my abdomen as the soul of our first child took residence in their own body. I was overjoyed, ecstatic, and Gabriel, well the look on his face was worth all the pain and all the heartbreak that had led us to this moment.

It wasn’t until I left the room, sometime in the evening, that Merlin’s fire message finally reached me. The procedure had worked, I knew that much, but there was an unforeseen side-effect: there was a life link now, between Merlin and myself, what happened to one of us, would affect the other.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/06/22/i-am-made-whole-again/

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Move in Day, part 1

*Ding Floor 27*

I got off the elevator and looked at the plain white door in front of me. Well, that was going to have to change. I pulled my notepad out of my satchel and began scribbling ideas down. I thought a nice mural of Atlantis along the wall and on the door would be perfect. I unlocked the door and stepped in. The room was blank and massive. I could see white walls all around, and a gigantic bedroom off to the side. All of this space was…well, it was too much. 

“Ok, I need an office,” I began writing and speaking, sketching out a floor plan and wandering around. “I want to run the hotel from here if need be. I know that’s the point of everyone having their spaces here, for protection and whatnot,” I muttered to myself as I paced the gigantic room barefoot. I wandered and paced and muttered, the room taking shape in my mind, and I smiled. “Wall here, an invisible door here. I need the office to be completely self-sustaining, my…oh, what do they call it? A panic room.” I walked over to the windows and looked out. The God Complex was impressive. 

My phone vibrated in my pocket, yes my dress had pockets, and I pulled it out. The incoming text was from Poseidon: Hope your time at the GC goes well, let me know if you need any help. Also, check out this baby.

The picture was of the largest bed I’d ever seen, and I couldn’t help but blush at the thoughts running through my mind. And yet, I needed it. I replied quickly, asking if he could put an order in for me, and have it delivered to floor 27. I was getting used to this! I got a little wink face back and chuckled. He sent me a number to a design consultant, and I did a quick search. As I said, I was getting used to the phone, and I looked at some of the work that they’d done. I’m not going to lie. I was impressed and decided to give them a call.

“Hello, yes, is this Divine Interiors? My name is Amphitrite, my par- friend Poseidon recommended you. Yes, I’m in the God Complex. Yes, I have some time this afternoon. Yes, I would love for someone to come and look at the space. I’m a bit lost when it comes to designing this space. Excellent, I’ll meet them downstairs. Goodbye.” I hung up the phone and then realized I didn’t know how I was going to pay for what I needed. I could raid one of my caches. I had one nearby. 

I left the suite, locked up, and made my way down to the lounge where I could portal out. I saw a few familiar faces but didn’t stop to say hi, I just disappeared and reappeared at the beach. I walked into the surf and changed quickly, my mermaid form taking over from one breath to the next, and I made my way down. The cache wasn’t too far off the coast, but it was well hidden and impossible to get to unless you could shift into another form. When I retrieved the small box from beneath the dying coral, my heart broke. My ocean was dying faster than I could heal her, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I died along with her

I swam back up to the surface, shifted back to human form, and opened the box. Gold drachma shone brilliantly in the sunlight, and I smiled. Poseidon could call his hoards from the depths, but I had to visit my caches in person. I preferred it that way. It gave me a chance to reconnect with the space, remind myself why I chose it, and why I hid stuff away. This particular batch of goodies came from some time I spent in Ancient Greece as a regular human. I lived in Korinth at the time and made a decent wage while there. I was neither proud nor ashamed of my history, it just was. I wanted some time away from the court, and I got it. I shook the memory away as I teleported back to the lounge, tucking the box into my satchel. Yes, a mermaid with a satchel and a bunch of funky stuff in there. I know.

I sat in the lounge and ordered a glass of white wine. Poseidon had pointed me to a Greek wine called Assyrtiko, and I had taken a liking to it. This particular bottle had come from Thera, one of my favourite places above and below the waves, and I sipped it with pleasure. 

I was early for the meeting, and I didn’t have anywhere else to be, so I figured I’d wait here and enjoy a glass of wine or two until my contact came. I checked my phone, saw that I had a few hours to waste, and smiled before double-checking the name: Alessa. What a gorgeous name. I pulled out my notebook and began drawing. I wasn’t good at it, but I enjoyed the freedom of it. I sketched ideas for the suite, thoughts in my head, what this woman may look like. I spent so much time writing notes and scribbling down my thoughts that I didn’t even notice the woman appear in front of me. “Ahem,” she coughed softly, and I looked up. One of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen was standing before me. She was strong, but petite, with brown eyes and blond hair. My mouth went slack, and I sat up straight, placing my wine-glass down. 

“Do you know where I could find the Lady Amphitrite?” She put the stress on the wrong syllable, but I just smiled. 

“You can call me Amph, if you’d like.” I stood up slowly, allowing the woman to step back, and she smiled as I extended my hand. “You must be Alessa?” 

She took my hand in a firm grip and nodded. “I am. I’ve heard good things about you, Amph.” She tested my name, and it sounded wonderful on her tongue. I picked up my satchel and held my arm out to the doorway of the lounge. She made her way out, a little taller than I was, in work boots and functional clothing, and I respected her for it. I looked down at my bare feet and gulped. It wasn’t exactly uncommon for me, but I knew people in the modern age preferred having something on their feet. 

“Who have you been speaking to, that’s spoken of me?” I was curious, I wasn’t well-known even within the family. My fame so to speak came from my proximity to Poseidon, not anything I’d done. We stepped into the elevator, and the scent of her perfume caught my attention. Jasmine, but it wasn’t overpowering, it was subtle. I tried not to focus on it and hit 27. 

Alessa smiled and looked over, her soft brown eyes disarming me for a moment. “Lord Poseidon, of course. I called him after you got off the phone with my brother. Alex is the one who originally did Lord Poseidon’s suites, so I called to get a little background on you,” she blushed, and so did I. “Was that alright?”

The elevator dinged again, and the doors opened. “Yes, that was smart on your part.” I opened the door and looked around. “It’s a blank slate.”

Alessa stepped in and smiled. “It’s perfect, do you have any ideas in mind?” I nodded and showed her some of the rough sketches I’d done, and the bed picture that Poseidon had ordered me. “Oh, that’s lovely. Are you expecting to have company?” The question caught me off guard, and I shook my head. 

“No, I am,” I coughed gently, “technically single for the first time in, oh gods…30,000 thousand years? Something like that. I don’t even know what year it is right now. So no, I am going to enjoy myself, the massive bed, and have all the room to move and sleep where I want.” Alessa started laughing at me, and I blushed again. I didn’t know if I was attracted to her, or if I was so starved for friendship that I didn’t know how to act anymore. I looked sideways at her. “What?”

“Amph!” She wheeled out as she keeled over laughing. I just stared at her. “I’m sorry, you called me here for business, and I’m asking about pleasure.”

“Well,” I huffed softly, “they’ve always mixed in the past for me, I’m going to have to learn to separate the two of them again.” She placed a hand on my arm, and I stilled. “I’m sorry, Alessa. Let’s get back to work.” I needed to focus on something other than her charm. 

I heard her gulp before she responded, “Right, so what did you have in mind for your office?” 

I guided her over to the side of the suite that I wanted to wall off and indicated roughly how big. “I want it basically to function both as a safe room, and as the hub for the Nymphaeum.” Alessa looked at me, and I smiled. “My hotel, although I guess it’s more of a resort. I want to be able to run it from here, minus the guest interaction obviously. With everything my family has been through the last few months, I want to have somewhere safe, something impenetrable.” 

Alessa nodded and smiled. “Alright, I have some ideas, I’ll draw out some sketches and email them to you. Or did you want to meet up again?”

I bit back the immediate answer of meeting up again, and instead, I just smiled for a moment. “Why don’t we meet at your office when you have something?” Alessa beamed back at me, and she gave me her card. “Thank you, I’ll put the information into my phone now, and send you a text, this way you know who to call when you’re ready.” I did just that, including my name, address, phone numbers, fax, whatever that was, email and social media contacts. And then I texted her. Alessa, it’s Amph, now you can get a hold of me. I hit send and watched as she saw it.

“Thank you, Amph. I’ll call or text as soon as I have some designs for you.” I nodded and shook her hand again.

“Take your time, I’m living out of the Nymphaeum at the moment, so I’m not exactly homeless,” I replied. We made our way back down to the ground floor, and we shook hands again. 

“Until next time,” she said softly, and I nodded as she walked away.

I watched her until she got into a work truck and left before I replied under my breath, “Until next time, Alessa.” I teleported back home and, with a smile, helped my concierge Matthieu check-in the waiting guests. 

The next morning I woke up to massive spam of pictures and a single text message from Alessa. I was inspired. Come by the office today. I smiled, rolled out of bed, and changed quickly into a soft blue sundress. I remembered to put on sandals before teleporting to the office location on my phone.

https://www.inthepantheon.com/move-in-day-part-i/lady-of-the-seas/amphitrite/

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The Island

“One of my gifts to my children, was for them not to worry about building their own house…”

We arrived at the island in the early afternoon, I had forgotten about the time differential and the sun hit me in the face like a ton of bricks. “Ugh, time difference, it’s still daytime here,” I grumbled.

Gabriel emerged behind me and chuckled. “We’ll need to make note of that.”

I nodded, smiled at him, and looked around. “Agreed, but, since it’s daylight out… we could get started on the house?” 

Gabriel agreed with me and smiled back. “So, what’s first?”

“The foundation, we need to excavate to put the foundation in.” I pointed up the beach. “There should be good, it’s more solid than building on the sand, so the house won’t shift too much, but I can still put piles even further down just in case.”

Gabriel chuckled at me and nodded. “Ok, let’s head that way.” He took my hand as we walked to the spot I indicated. “How does it feel to be here?”

I pulled Gabriel towards the spot I thought would be best and sighed. “It feels odd, but I’m glad it’s theirs.”

Gabriel pulled me into a hug before speaking. “They’ll be happy here, and away from Merlin’s shenanigans.”

“They will be safe, and I’ll be happy to visit,” I commented softly.

Gabriel looked over at the beautiful coastline smiling. “Me too.” He stated simply.

I looked at the waves, the beach, the island. “This was originally part of the Hawaiian chain, as the sea-floor sublimates under the American west coast and pulls the hotspot towards it. But it’s so far away from the chain that people never settled it.” I explained softly. 

“Maybe that’s why it seems to radiate peaceful energy. No war.” He added.

I nodded and smiled. “That’s part of why I suggested it.”

Gabriel kissed my forehead and I smiled. “Very wise and sexy.”

My smile turned into a blush and I knelt down to the ground in front of me, placing my hands on the sand. “I’ve been practicing nature magic, not wanting to overdo it again.”

Gabriel looked at me concerned and asked what I needed. “What can I do? Do you need me to move away? Come closer? Will tapping my power help?” 

It still amazed me that Gabriel could love me so fiercely. I looked up at him. “Kneel beside me? Place a hand over mine… I think if we combine our power, it shouldn’t overtax us.” 

Gabriel did as I asked and he knelt down, breathing deeply, and placed a hand over mine. I kissed his cheek gently and smiled again. “Now, I haven’t done this before, so bear with me.” He nodded and I took a deep breath as I closed my eyes. I focused on the dimensions I remembered from the drawings; I began to imagine the sand and dirt and rock disappearing from the ground.

I felt Gabriel beside me; he focused his thoughts on our love and our connection as he opened his power for me to use and access as needed. I tapped in gently at first, clearing away boulders, vines and roots, creating holes for the piles, as the sweat began to build upon my brow.

Gabriel felt the power building and heard the changes in the earth around us. He kept his eyes closed as he focused on the connection between us and balancing his power for me. When I felt like the earth had moved enough for what we wanted, I opened my eyes, looked at the massive hole in front of us, and nearly collapsed. “I need to fill this… before the ground shifts and we lose it.” 

Gabriel caught me before I fell; I saw concern etched in his brows. “I don’t know if you can at the moment, love. Can I help you? We can’t exhaust all your magic.”

“I need to… while we’re still tapped,” my breathing was growing ragged, and I knew I should probably cool it down for the night, but I shook through it. “It should be easier, I’m not moving earth, just… stealing some concrete.”

Gabriel nodded to me and wrapped his arms around my body. “I’m going to try feeding you my power through our connection. Your magic is going to work, mine will replenish you to keep you upright. My first gift is healing, it should help.”

I nodded to him and began working, slowly, the concrete filling in the bottom, then creating the walls and support beams, and the piles down into the earth. Gabriel opened the link, he visualized my core and vibrated his power to sync with and bolster any weary or fatigued parts of my aura. I groaned, feeling the power boost, which also made me feel extremely horny at the time. “I’m almost done,” I whimpered out.

As I felt the last of the concrete set around the rebar- yes, I stole all that too- I collapsed, purple fire flaring everywhere. Gabriel scooped me up and held me close. As he held me, I could feel him feeding his power into me, in hopes that it will replenish me enough. He wiped my brow, concern etched along his face, as he waited for me to come back around. 

I looked up at Gabriel, my eyes unsettling, shifting between purple and amber, and I smiled weakly. “I love you, Gabriel… Will you marry me?”

Gabriel chuckled at me softly and grinned widely. “Yes, Medea, I will marry you.”

I nodded weakly. “I’m going to keep asking you, I know… because I can’t believe I’ve got you.”

Gabriel leaned forward and kissed my lips softly. “And I’ll always say yes.”

I closed my eyes and sighed. “Until you tire of me.” The fear was real, more real than anything I’d ever known before, and it was crippling.

Gabriel ran his fingers through my hair, feeding small bursts of healing energy into me, as he rocked me slowly in his arms. “You are my everything. I will never tire of you. Every breath in your body is a new exploration for my heart. You are mine and I am yours, and it will always be this way.”

“I hope so… I can’t lose you, Gabriel,” my heart was in my throat as I whispered.

Gabriel whispered back at me, “you never will.” I nodded to him and opened my eyes, as they shifted back to amber, my power retreating back into me. “I love you,” he said, as he kissed my forehead.

“I love you too,” I moaned softly.

“What now?” Gabriel asked gently. 

I smiled and leaned against him. “Rest now, I can do more in the morning.” 

I looked out over the water as the sun began to set. Closer to the shoreline, Gabriel created a blanket and pillows with a canopy above us then picked me up effortlessly and carried me there. He lay me down gently and kissed my forehead. 

Our lovemaking that night was intense and intimate, beautiful and seductive. There was something different about that night, and Gabriel and I promised to discuss it in the morning. We fell asleep to the calm crashing waves against the sand, and I was reminded for a moment of home. 

~~~

The following day we spent the morning in each other’s arms, our love and the magic of the island pulling us together. While wrapped within each other, we remembered the night before and how different it felt. I had looked down at Gabriel with complete love, trust, and desire radiating on my face. “I am yours, eternally Gabriel.” I groaned out.

Gabriel looked at me, and whispered hoarsely, “Is that what happened last night?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know what happened last night. It just felt so right, to be so intrinsically linked to you. If I didn’t know any better,” I thought back on it, “I’d almost say that the island fae married us last night.”

Gabriel arched a brow at me. “They can just do that?” He chuckled softly.

“The fae are powerful, they can do almost anything… and they delight in messing with humans. It’s not the wedding I’d imagined though, I’d still like to do it properly if you would?”

Gabriel held me fast and spoke from his heart, “I’ll marry you as many times as you’ll have me Medea.” 

I groaned as the control shifted to Gabriel, but I wasn’t complaining. “Then, when we’re done dealing with Jason, marry me… please.” As if asking once more would help me believe it.

Gabriel growled out a yes and we were lost to each other for the rest of the morning.

Later, I formed a dark purple bikini, a pale purple dress and matching hat and sunglasses over my body and smiled. I made my way back over to the house and held my arms up, envisioning the walls, the floors, the skeleton of the house. As the structure came together, I breathed deeply and looked over at Gabriel. I’d pulled the shades down to the tip of my nose so I could see properly in the shade, and I focused on where the roof was going to be.

Gabriel smiled back at me, but I could see the concern on his face, the amount of magic I’d been using was worrying him. I also saw his desire, to throw me down and have his way with me. It made me smile. Since I’d been working in the sun, my skin was beginning to return to the Greco-Persian olive colour of my youth. As the roof joined together, I again glanced back at Gabriel before falling over. 

Gabriel made it to my side before I hit the sand. He scooped me up and used his power to fashion us a shaded alcove, with water, grapes and cheese nearby. He laid us down on the blankets and began the process of pulsing his healing energy into our marks. He also wet my lips gently with the water, dehydration being something I’d forgotten about. 

I roused slowly, the exhaustion ebbing off and I looked up at Gabriel. “What happened? Did I finish the house?”

Gabriel shook his head and tipped the water bottle to my lips. “You got the roof on, then you dropped. I barely got to you before you hit the sand.”

“Oh, I’m…” I caught myself before apologizing. “Thank you for catching me, not that the sand would have hurt if I did hit it.”

Gabriel nodded, handing me some grapes and nudged me with the water. He increased his power pulses a bit as well. “Yes, but you are mine. You shouldn’t hit the sand if there’s breath in my body to catch you.” 

I smiled and took a couple of grapes, nibbling on them slowly. “Thank you, my love.”

“How much more, love? This cannot possibly be good for you. Though, I think our combined strength is helping some.” Gabriel asked, his voice full of concern.

“The furnishings should be good. I just want to get the basics down for them. Tomorrow.” I answered softly.

Gabriel kissed the top of my forehead and handed me some cheese. “Ok, I’m home wherever you are. I just don’t like this strain on you.”

I took the cheese and nibbled while smiling. “If I didn’t do this, Morgan would have to, and I’m not putting that stress on the baby.”

Gabriel nodded slowly. “I understand. One more day, if it’s not done, we’ll just have to portal in some humans to work it out manually.”

I smiled, nodded, and giggled a little. “Ok love, but tonight, I just want to rest, with you.” As we curled up, my back resting against Gabriel’s chest, we looked out at the ocean and discussed our future, what we would teach our children when they came, our hopes and our fears. We discussed what we wanted for our proper wedding. Gabriel asked me to dance for him, the reception could be there, but he wanted all my focus on him. As if it would be elsewhere. I asked if he could read me one of his poems, he’s managed to capture me with his words, and I want to show our world that bond.

~~~

The third morning, I woke up, still within Gabriel’s embrace, and I reluctantly rolled-off him, my dress and bikini reforming over my body, I walked slowly through the house, my magic escaping slowly and creating everything Morgan and Mino might need. The bedrooms, the bathrooms, the kitchen, the dungeon… I had pulled images from Morgan’s mind before they left on their honeymoon.

It wasn’t something I enjoyed doing, but I wanted this house to be exactly perfect for them. Once I was finished, once I was happy, I knew we could leave, but I really wanted a swim, so I made my way down to the beach. The sundress faded from my body; I hit the water, enjoying the cool, refreshing feeling upon my skin. Gabriel joined me, and instead of returning home once we were done, we spent one more night on the island. We swam, we made love, we enjoyed ourselves without any worry for the time being.

It was all perfect until we returned to the Sanctum and the shit show that had gone on in our absence.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/06/14/the-island/

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My Archangel: Our Love, Our Bond

“How did I get here… How did I find myself bound, in love, happy, with an archangel?” 

I remember before, while I loved Lycaon, knowing of the existence of archangels and angels, but I had never met one. I remember thinking that they were all going to be self-centred, pompous jackasses, and then I met Lucifer, and then I met Gabriel. My feelings for Gabriel came as a complete shock to me, especially so soon. But, it was there, from the moment we started talking, I felt a connection. Our aura’s matched, which in and of itself was a miracle, given we’re from different backgrounds, different power sources, different gods. But it was undeniable, our auras, our power seemed to fit together, and the more we got to know one another, the more I realized that we did as well. 

My journey with Gabriel, and I was the only one allowed to call him that, seems to be a blur. He’s just, always been a part of me. Even the drakon is content… and that tells me that I’m on the right path. A little while ago, when Morgan started feeling sick, I examined her, telling her that they were expecting; I felt my heart break. I had realized my foolish decision, thousands of years ago, to deny my body any more children, couldn’t be reversed… and suddenly, I wanted to be a mother again. Perhaps it was just the emotions running through me about being a grandmother or finally passing on the Mother to Morgan, but I wanted another child. The last piece of the vision granted to me by the Golden Fleece, was someone kneeling before me, my belly swollen with a child, and kissing it reverently. I knew now that person wasn’t going to be Lycaon, and as I meditated on the vision it became clearer. Gabriel was going to be the father, I could feel it plain as day, but even though we were close, I hadn’t come to fully realize how much I loved him or was bound to him until I mentioned the vision. The look in his eyes, though he had never sired a child before, was one filled with joy and terror at the notion. 

It wasn’t until later that I realized why Gabriel was terrified: the Nephilim. The entire race was wiped out, by him… and he couldn’t bear the thought of our child being born into a world where Yahweh’s wrath could be visited upon them. I remembered telling Gabriel I was infertile, and he still had faith. He even posited the idea that Merlin may have been able to come up with something since he was magic incarnate. Merlin’s reaction though, when I told him about my infertility, astonished me.

“But you’re the Mother?” He asked loudly. I blushed and buried my face in my hands, ashamed. I was the Mother, incarnate, and I couldn’t have children.

Merlin told me he could fix me. Gabriel argued I didn’t need fixing, but I knew I wasn’t whole; nothing about me was, even with Gabriel beside me, bound to me. My submission to him had surprised me, everything about Gabriel surprised me. I didn’t regret it, not in the slightest. I knew who I was; I thought I did. 

Over these days, I felt the power of the Mother ebbing, and it worried me. What if, once I was just the Crone, I couldn’t give birth? It was a thought that worried me, one I didn’t voice to Gabriel. The assurances I got from Merlin when I asked him about the procedure, were that it would unmake me, he had to destroy before he could create. I expected that and that it would be painful. But to be so painful that I would beg for death, or beg to stop, almost turned me off from the whole idea. But I knew I had to go through with it. We would wait, until after Morgan had the baby when everyone would be preoccupied with the new baby. Merlin would ask Gabriel to attend something, I could not have him nearby, and we would do it. He would fix me.

I asked my angel, my beautiful, perfect, wildly inappropriate angel, a favour, and he had to promise before I told him. After extracting the most sincere oath I could, I told him that Merlin would come to him with a favour, and Gabriel would need to do it, no questions asked. It would be just him, and I would let him know that Merlin’s request was tied to the favour of mine. Once we had that settled, we began planning a trip to visit his brother, Raphael, the only being who Gabriel could meet with that may have information about our child, and the Nephilim.

What we learned shook us, I think me more than Gabriel but we took it in stride and instead of heading to the hotel, we went to our new house. The one we picked out together, the one we were going to raise our children in. A couple of nights before we left, Gabriel revealed a vision of his own, us on the beach in front of our new house, a toddler running around beside us, pure love radiating on our faces. He shared the vision with me, and I wept. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and it was part of why we were so eager to visit Raphael, sorry, Rafaela. That night, in our house, I could see it, the peaceful life I had only dreamed about was becoming a reality, and it stung a little, that I still loved Lycaon, I don’t think I would ever stop. But Gabriel was my future, I loved him with everything I had, even if our meeting was unconventional

We returned back to Sanctum the next day, reluctantly, but it was the night of the party, the one I had been waiting for. I was going to dance for the audience, something I hadn’t done in years. I certainly hadn’t danced since Lycaon’s death. He was the last one to see me dance, I danced to set up the wards, I danced to seduce him (more than once), I danced to love him. But that night, I was going to forget about Lycaon. While I got ready, I pulled my outfit out of my closet, I had kept it secret from Gabriel, and I reattached the denarii to it, the one that Merlin had been holding on to since Lycaon’s death. My mind ran back to the promise made as Merlin dropped the coin into my hand. 

“Medea, my love. If you hear this, then I failed you. I failed you all. Just know that I have contingencies beyond the grave. I will come back to you, one way or another. If it takes me a millennia, I will return. I sought death for most of my life. After we unveiled our secrets, I wanted to live more than anything.” 

The rest was directed at Merlin, and I didn’t care. This promise, this coin that he had taken and somehow returned, had me breaking down, even Gabriel couldn’t pick me back up. I sensed him coming and put the garment back in the closet before he could see. We changed, made our way to the party, and enjoyed the night. My dance, at least on my end, went perfectly. I weaved the magic as I moved, the way I used to, my body remembered how to move, how to seduce, and I could feel it all once I stopped. The men, the women, the waiters and waitresses, all eyes were on me, and suddenly I felt scared, nervous, but then Gabriel walked over, the amount of carnal desire in his eyes let me know that I was in for a delicious night, being the perfect sub for my love, my master, my dom. My angel knew how to make me feel like the only woman in the world, and I loved him for it. It was a feeling I’d never known before, and I couldn’t wait to start the rest of our lives together. 

The night after the party, as I was falling asleep, I asked Gabriel to marry me… and then I forgot, until the next day when he prodded me to remember, and when I did, I asked, unafraid. “Will you marry me, Gabriel? Before our friends and family, before all the gods? Will you be my husband, now and forever, and always before?”

“Yes, my love,” he growled out in response and I lost myself in his love. The Sanctum had been quiet for a few days after the party. Morgan and Mino had left on their honeymoon, and I knew I wanted to get their house built before they returned so that they had nothing to worry about. 

This morning dawned like normal, perfectly in Gabriel’s arms, and once we finished our morning exercises, we made our way down to the lounge, seeing Merlin and Lilith. Merlin had set up our portals, one to our house, and one to Morgan and Mino’s. I had tuned out the conversation, the Moirae had pulled me for a while, and I was vaguely aware of Gabriel storming out and heading to the pier. I made my way up to our room before I was released, and then I began planning for our trip. We had decided to head over tonight so that we could start tomorrow morning, nice and fresh. Gabriel phased into our room and smiled, we finished getting ready, and once done, once I had everything I thought we may need, Gabriel locked the door behind us and we made our way down to the portal room. 

We found the right portal, and as I took Gabriel’s hand, as we stepped through together, I was excited to be giving this gift to Morgan, my daughter, and Mino, the son of one of my best friends. We stepped onto the island in the early afternoon and I smiled. “I guess we can start working.” I teased, and Gabriel began asking where I was thinking.

“Just show me where to work and what to do… and I’ll help however I can.” He said brightly before we set to work.

https://curseofthefallen.wordpress.com/2020/06/07/my-archangel-our-love-our-bond/

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The Return of the Sea, Part 2

I awoke one morning, not too long after opening the Nymphaeum, and sighed. I knew that today would be the day. Since I had separated from Poseidon fully, I had felt the call to return to Olympus properly.

“Ok, Amph…you can do this,” I told myself, and made my way to Poseidon’s dive bar to let him know I was returning.

“Damn, Amph, you look…” He left the sentence hanging, which left my heart pounding for him to finish.

Instead, I smiled and twirled a little. “What, this old thing? I’m fond of the dress,” I stated simply. Poseidon looked like he was going to move forward, but he stopped, respecting my wishes. “I’m heading up. I know you have a portal, and I would like to use it, please?” I asked politely. Some things were bred into me. I could have whirlpooled over, but with having been away for so long, I didn’t trust the connection to the family to be that strong. I needed to have my feet on the ground at Olympus before I could fully reignite that bond.

Poseidon cocked his eyebrow, and those sea-green eyes I loved so much grew bright for a moment before he stepped aside. “Of course, Amphitrite, you can use it whenever you need to. Just know, the destruction up there is terrible.” As I walked in front of him, Poseidon placed his hand on mine, and I looked up at him. Even this new mortal body stood below the towering sea god.

“Yes, Poseidon?” I asked, my voice hitching slightly.

Poseidon took a long breath, I could see his neck bulging a little, and that meant he was trying to control some aspect of himself. “Be careful up there. There are gods and beings that haven’t been seen since long before the fall and have returned to Zeus’ command. By the way, does he know that you’re coming?”

Poseidon let go of my arm, and I smiled brightly. “He knows that I’ve returned, I’m sure, but if I’m coming up? I don’t think so.” Poseidon led me into the back, and to his portal to Olympus. I knew that it could also lead him home, though it seems he’d given up being King of Atlantis. “Thank you, my friend,” I said softly and kissed his cheek. Poseidon activated the portal, and I stepped through without hesitation.

~~~

When I exited the portal, the devastation surprised me. Sure, Poseidon had warned me about it, but to witness the lingering carnage? I felt tears well up, and I had to wipe them away. It would be no good, going before the King of the Gods crying. I had an image to uphold, anyway. I saw a man running towards me and looked at him. Mortal security on Olympus? 

“Excuse me,” I called out, and he stopped in front of me. “I’m looking for Zeus, do you know where he is?”

The security guard eyed me seriously, and I could tell through the uniform that he was well built and suited to the task at hand. “Who are you, and how did you get here?” he demanded.

While initially affronted by his tone, my smile settled into a cool temper, and I looked him dead in the eyes. “My name is Amphitrite. I am the consort of Poseidon, which makes Zeus my brother-ish. Now tell me,” I widened the smile to show off a line of shark teeth I rarely used unless someone was really pissing me off, “where my family is. I have been gone for a very long time, and I wish to see them.” I didn’t need to tell the man that Poseidon and I had separated, even if it was only just this week.

The security guard blanched when he saw my teeth and stood at attention. It was the little things in life that brought me such joy. “Ma’am,” I clicked my teeth, and he sputtered, “Lady Amphitrite, everyone has moved down to the God Complex HQ. I would suggest you start there. But ma’am,” I growled a little, not feeling as young as the body I was in suddenly, “Lady Amphitrite, sorry, but you may want to make an appointment with Hebe first, before seeing Lord Zeus.”

I nodded and smiled again, my teeth returning to normal. “Thank you very much, mortal, for your help. I can take it from here.” He nodded and waited for me to leave. I set up a wall of water, not knowing my destination was tricky, but with family, there was always a bond connecting us all together. And now, once I was here and felt the current re-establishing itself, I knew I could follow it. I stepped into my wall of water, focusing on Zeus’ signature and allowed the current to take me to him.

~~~

“I’m sorry, miss, but you can’t go in there,” Hebe called out as I strolled past her desk. Was this going to be the theme if I returned? I stopped and looked at her, my crystal blue eyes radiating annoyance.

“Hebe, was it?” I looked over at the nameplate on her desk. She nodded and barred my way. I had to give the girl credit. “Well, Hebe, I’m new here, and I haven’t seen my brother-in-law in over 2000 years, and I would very much like to.”

Hebe’s eyes opened wide, and recognition dawned. “Lady Amphitrite, I’m sorry. Lord Zeus told me that if you were to return to give you access to your floor.” 

“My what?” I asked curiously, moving to the front of Hebe’s desk so that the assistant could return to her duties. 

She looked me over and smiled sweetly. “Your floor, here within the Headquarters. I believe…” Hebe trailed off as she scrolled through her computer. “Yes, here it is, floor 27 belongs to you.” 

I fell into one of the chairs and looked startled. “I have a floor all to myself?” I guess I was more out of touch with Olympus than I had previously thought. “But, my hotel…”

Hebe just smiled and nodded. “Yes, and we can mark that down as well. A hotel you said, what is it called?” she asked as she passed me the key to Floor 27.

“Nymphaeum, because,” I began.

Hebe picked up on it. “Yes, because you’re a Nereid.” I nodded. “And where is it located?”

“A few miles away from The Mermaid’s Tail,” I replied, anticipating her response. 

“Ah, so then you’ve already run into Poseidon.” I nodded again, trying to keep the tension in my voice to a minimum.

“Yes, he stopped by the hotel a couple of days ago, he said he liked the name.” I could hear in my voice, that my feelings for him weren’t quite gone yet, but what could you expect after millennia of being together, even when we weren’t? Hebe just nodded and put the information into her computer.

Looking up, she smiled at me. “I see it here. You’re open for business?”

“Yes. We’ve had a few customers in already, but I need to focus on marketing to get more people in.” I replied, beaming at the prospect of having a full hotel.

Hebe stepped in and smiled. “Well, we can certainly help you with that. Most of the gods who have returned have started their own businesses, and we will help you, however we can.” She shook the key at me again and smiled. “Now, I believe you have a floor awaiting you and a business to run.”

I chuckled as I registered the polite dismissal. Normally it would set my teeth on edge, I was the Queen of the Sea, but the way she said was more matronly than condescending. “Yes, Hebe. Will you let Zeus know that I’ve returned, officially, and that he is always welcome to come to visit the hotel?” Hebe just nodded at me, and I smiled as I left, making my way to the elevator to explore this floor 27.

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The Return of the Sea, Pt 1

Should I give you a little history of who I am? Would that help in the coming days when I tell my current story and how I got here? Yes? Okay. To start, I am the oldest of fifty daughters born to Nereus and Doris. I am one of the Nereids, the female embodiment of the sea. When I was a young nymph, Poseidon pursued me, and I chose to play hard to get. I knew what a catch he was, one of the Big Three, God of the Sea, the male form of, well, me. I ran and hid near Atlas, an old family friend, and it was there that Delphin found me. Poseidon didn’t even come himself, but Delphin made a good argument. I would be a goddess, Poseidon’s equal, and would rule the seas with him. I had to admit, that sounded good. No more living under my father’s shadow. The Old Man of the Sea could be fearsome. 

I accepted Delphin’s offer and left with him for Atlantis, where Poseidon was pleased to see me. I also knew who he was, and how many children his brother had by mortal women, and that the trait was probably familial. I didn’t care. His presence was intoxicating, and when we met for the first time, I saw in him my future. We were happy, even with our other consorts. It was an arrangement that was beneficial for us, and I did not resent his mortal offspring. I didn’t hate or put my stepchildren through trials and hardships just because of their birth. If anything, I supported them on their journeys. Theseus was a favourite of mine. I gifted him some of my own attire, and he treated me with respect I never saw from Zeus’s children. Perhaps that is why no one knows me. I wasn’t a bitch *cough* like others were. Oh well.

When we fell, when the gods faded, Poseidon and I had grown apart as lovers but had remained friends, and I retained my place as his consort. I remember nothing through my time in the seas, just floating by, not even paying attention to humanity’s prosperity. I barely remember hearing a call, Zeus’s voice, commanding everyone to return. I didn’t fall under his power, I never did. I was his cousin by birth, and his sister by choice, but I was NOT an Olympian. He held no power over me. 

The sea was fickle, and I was the sea. Sometimes, even more than Poseidon. The sea was always seen as a woman, and Thalassa and I had merged into one being many, many millennia ago. I was slow to respond and quick to act. I was violent and calm, stormy and bright. I didn’t need anyone in my life who would try to temper that. When I realized that, I awoke, and it amazed me it took so long. “Okay,” I said, “now what?” I wandered the oceans, growing in strength and spewing out the garbage and filth that humanity had dumped in me. 

Eventually, I was drawn to a little bar where merpeople could swim up and interact with the mortals on the other side. I realized the source of the pull when I discovered Poseidon was running it. I shifted into a mermaid, blue hair and eyes, a sleek, lithe body, and he didn’t recognize me. I knew then that I would be free. 

We chatted. He flirted, and I flirted back. If by the end, he did realize who I was, he never let on. I left and made my way down the beach to a secluded cove. From what I could see, it was accessible only by boat. I smiled, this was where I would make my home, my mark. But what kind of home could I build? The thought of a bar appealed to me, but so close to Poseidon would pull his customers away, and I wasn’t that much of a bitch. Maybe a hotel? One that showcased the splendour of the ocean and showed off all her might? That I could do. 

I raised the building, asking Hephaestus for help, seeking out Athena to guide with the finer touches, and locating as many of my sisters as I could find to add rooms and suites under the waves. When it was finished, I looked on, proud of my achievements, and emblazoned the front door with its name: Nymphaeum. A little nod to my origins, I hoped that people, mortals and immortals alike, would come to visit. 

There was a casino, restaurants, beaches, hundreds of rooms, and a little section I left alone for private use, as per my good friend Hedone’s request. “Amphi, it looks great!” she exclaimed when I brought her in for the first time. My friend hugged me, her power of pleasure washed over me, and I smiled.

“I’m glad. You and your harem are currently the only ones to use it. Maybe that will change.” She hugged me again and disappeared in a puff of pink smoke. I walked the empty halls, waiting to open properly, and I sighed.

“This looks amazing, Amphitrite.” My heart stopped momentarily. I turned around and saw my consort, the God of the Seas, Poseidon. He was looking at me with respect and desire. I smiled easily at him.

“Thank you, P,” I replied, walking over to him. “I wanted something of my own. I’ve seen all the other businesses that the gods have set up, and this,” I waved around me, “is mine.” 

Poseidon took one of my hands and kissed it gently. “You could have come back to the bar.” I cocked my eyebrow at him. “As if I didn’t know that was you, I’d know your presence anywhere. But I understand your desire. We have been bound by the past for too long. If you will still have me as a friend and confidante,” he winked scandalously, “would you take your freedom, the separation we both feel?”

I didn’t know what to say, and I looked up into his storm green eyes, eyes I had fallen in love with millennia ago. “I would fall from divinity, though, would I not?” Why was that my only worry?

Poseidon laughed. “You’ve been a goddess for most of the years you’ve been alive. No, my love, you will still be you, and maybe even more without me tying you down.” There was a sharp intake of breath, and Poseidon smiled easily at me. “So, be the sea. Be wild and free, and most importantly, be untamed. Be exotic, calm, serene, and virulent. Be the goddess of the sea that you were always meant to be.” Poseidon kissed my forehead tenderly and smiled as he walked away. “By the way,” he turned and looked at me from the entry, “I love the name.” With that, he vanished into a whirlpool, my heart thudding out of my chest.

I felt the snap of the invisible chain that bound us through the years, and I turned and ran off the balcony, diving into the ocean below. My power had returned, a power I never knew had been contained. I soared through the sea, flexing my muscles and watching as the mortals cowered in their ships and homes. I sunk nothing. Even after seeing all the garbage polluting my waters, I still did not hate them. But I did warn them, the seas were no longer man’s to control. I would be there, testing their worth, judging their mettle. Only the finest would ply my waters. I could be everywhere, see everything, and I would always be present. 

The sea was free, and she would revel in that release.

It’s NaNo bitches!

Happy first day of NaNo! I’ve already written 929 words (of 50,000) and I want to hit 2k by the end of the day! Stay tuned here as I work on my WIP’s, start 2 new shorts: Yule Be In Love (Love in Bar Harbour book 2) and Sand and Sea (Gods at the End of the World book 2), AND still getting my posts written for Amphitrite and Medea! I can do this!

ALSO, because I’m apparently not enough of a masochist, I am publishing Amphitrite’s “Maelstrom” on November 17. Get your preorders in now!I am still 13 sales away from my #33by33 goal, so help a girl out will you?

If you don’t want to buy a book, but still want to help support me, think about “buying me a coffee”. I have recently set up a Ko-fi page, where I will also take commissions, as well as the occasional caffeine donation. Thank you all in advance for your support, keep your eyes peeled as I update you on my progress, and maybe =, just maybe, I’ll knock out another book or two during the month.

https://ko-fi.com/nataliebartley