"I need to go, I need to go meet him," I state.
I'd just found out that my father was killed. The worst part of this is the disconnect from Cupid and Heracles. It's as though they aren't understanding the issue here. Had they been immortal for so long that they forgot what it was like to mourn. It's Heracles who looks over at me with this perplexed look when I start crying. Didn't he fucking understand it?
My father was dead. I don't understand why. We're still in the tent. When I look over at Cupid, he isn't giving me the slightest bit of help.
"That is out of the question," Cupid tells me, "It's a trap, for sure. Hades reigns supreme in the Underworld. It's like going to visit Poseidon at the bottom of the sea. Not to mention his wife hates you."
"I did nothing to her."
"Hades has been put up to this by his wife, no doubt. Persephone is jealous of us," Heracles states, "She wants to stop our rise to power."
"THERE IS NO US!" I bark.
I can't help it. I know almost immediately after I let the words leave my mouth that it's a mistake. Heracles is so sure of himself. He wants this so-called rise to power but he isn't the one who is having to pay for it. My father had been killed over a beef that I really had nothing to do with.
All of a sudden Cupid reveals himself, "Heracles just cares. He's just attempting to keep you safe. That's what we're all trying to do. He's been to the Underworld. He knows what it's like."
I turn to Heracles.
"Take me there."
"I can't," Heracles responds crossing his arms, "I promised Hades I'd never return. You should stay away. Far away. Besides...even if you were to get your father out of the Underworld...his body woud be cold and unable to exist outside the Underworld."
"Well then it's settled," Cupid states.
"It's settled," Heracles repeats.
I feel betrayed that Heracles would say that. He looks at Cupid and Cupid nods. It's as though I was watching a play of my life and not really there. These two men had created an alliance of which I was not aware and together they were making choices with my life as though I was not even in the room. Maybe it's at that moment I realize that I have been promised to Heracles by Cupid. I don't know for sure but there was no other explanation for it.
Cupid looks over at me, "Clean yourself up, Thad. The Erotes are outside. They will carry you back to Olympus when you're ready."
That's when Heracles walks over and gives me a kiss. I turn my cheek and that's all he gets. I'm beyond pissed. I sit there like a spoiled child shocked and amazed at their lack of care for my predicament. It seemed as though what I was going through was below them. They were gods. They were big shit now and the thought of a dead mortal wasn't anything they wanted to fucking deal with. Not even if that mortal was my father.
I sit there in the room. I look over at Angelos.
"Can you help me, Angelos?"
"Iris. That is my real name," she explains to me, "It was changed against my will. Most of the new Olympians are being...handled. I don't like it. I understand what you're going through..."
"Can you help me?"
"No...unfortunately I can't. However, I was given another letter. Another letter from someone whose heard of the murder. Someone who might..."
It's in the afternoon of Olympus when I get to the outside gardens. These mythical sprites play in the garden. Legendary gnomes work the garden keeping the flowers forever green. It seems as though the world around me is blossoming with all this beauty but deep inside all I can think about is my father. I haven't even had the chance to mourn. A part of me is angry. I'm angry at Persephone. I'm angry at Aura. I'm angry at Cupid. I'm angry at Heracles.
But more than anything I was angry with myself.
I've been playing the victim in this for way too long. It was time to take shit into my own hands. It was time to stop depending on others for approval and start doing things for my own inclination. So all I could think about was what would Aphrodite do.
What would Aphrodite do?
What would she do?
She'd do something. She'd do anything. That was the answer to that question.
"You came to meet me..."
The hooded figure seems to be hiding out for some reason. I'm a bit surprised when I see the person standing there. He seems to be hiding for some reason. He turns wildly from one direction to the other as though making sure there was no one following him.
"I got your letter," I state to the hooded figure, "You said that you heard what the goddesses had done to my father. You said you could help me. Who are you?"
My curiosity is even more lit when the person takes off their hood. Underneath it, I see this handsome boy. He's extremely handsome. I'd seen him before. I couldn't put my finger on it immediately but I had met him before.
"My name is Ganymede."
"The cupbearer," I realize.
He'd been Zeus's cupbearer specifically. He'd been at the roundtable. He had been with Heracles. At first, I wonder if Heracles sent him, but I was sure that wasn't the case. Heracles was going out of his way to make sure that I didn't go to the Underworld. He was trying to `keep me safe'. In other words, my father wasn't worth the hassle of going toe-to-toe with Hades the King of Death.
"Follow me...if you want to see your father again," he tells me.
I find it hard to keep up with the immortal cupbearer. We walk past streets full of centaurs and giants. We move past the temple of the God of war where I can see all the war gods gathering around to practice fighting on the backs of griffins. A twisted road leads past the forge of Hephaestus or I'm assuming what used to be his forge. It's on the side of what seems like a volcano. Now it belongs to the goddess Thalia. Soon we get to what seems like a regular building. As we get closer I realize that this building reminds me so much of what it was like in the mortal world.
It was a fucking hospital.
Who knew that even on Olympus there was the need of a hospital.
"What is this?"
"I brought your father's dead body here," Ganymede explains, "Follow me."
He leads me into the hospital. As we walk in, I'm somewhat blown away by the business of the place. There are deities of medicine moving around as though it was the most normal thing in the world. A cyclops has lost his only eye in the waiting room. A water nymph was changing colors at the front desk. Not too far from us, I see a siren who seems to have lost her voice and is desperately attempting to get it back.
I'm so amazed by all of this that it takes Ganymede to grab my hand and lead me down another hallway of the hospital. At the end of the hallway, there is a door. The door handle has snakes crawling around them.
"Go through," Ganymede states.
"You aren't coming with me?"
He shakes his head, "No. I've made the arrangements. Inside is the son of Apollo. He'll help you bring your father back. You'll need this."
He hands me something. It's a knife.
"What's this for."
"You'll know when the time comes."
"Why are you helping me?" I ask Ganymede.
Ganymede doesn't answer. He turns and he's gone almost as quickly as he brought me here. I remember the words that Thalia told me not too long ago. She told me not to trust the Olympians. Maybe she had a point, but right now I was desperate. I was beyond desperate. So I put my hand on the door and push it open, disregarding the snakes.
A man is standing there. He has on a doctor's coat. He's handsome but a bit nerdy. Most of the 12 Olympians were...except for Thalia, of course. It isn't just the fact that he has extra thick glasses but he seems to be biting his nails awkwardly. That doesn't surprise me though. I slightly remember him from the party but not really. He was just a face in the shadows that was staring at me. One of many. He wasn't in his doctor's robes then. He is of medium height not as short as Krill but nowhere near as tall as Deimos. He's shapely even underneath his doctor's coat. He has a muscular and athletic tone but not fleshy or heavy. Another feature that distinguishes the son of Apollo is that that he has a spring in his step because of his graceful, well-proportioned legs.
As I walk into the room I look at a table. A table in the room. There is a cloth on the table.
I can't help it. I find myself walking up to the table. I have to know. I have to know for sure. So I pull the cloth and immediately I see the person underneath!
It's my father!
"Sit, please, before you faint," he tells me.
Seeing my father there I can't take it anymore. I start mourning, unintentionally. I'm letting loose all over the doctor's office. The son of Apollo seems to be used to it. He looks at me with sympathy, but an understanding sympathy. It's the look any doctor would give a patient who has received bad news. It was as though he cared, more so then Heracles or Cupid, but not enough to really linger too long on it.
I'm grateful he allows me my mourning, even if it's just for a minute.
"I'm sorry," I finally state after a few seconds, "I wasn't...expecting..."
"Death is a hard thing to swallow for most. Hades is a cruel, grim god," he explains, "He is stern, unwavering. So many of us have loved mortals. No persuasion or sacrifice can influence him. No wonder he never got invitations to any of the parties."
He laughs. It's clear he's trying to make me feel better. Looking up, I have to admit I do. He's charming without really needing to be. It seems to just come naturally to him. He smiles at me and his smile is as bright as the sun. Then I remember his father is Apollo, the god of the sun and light. His hair looks like the sun. The texture of their hair is medium length falling to his shoulders, wavy, thick, and blond in color. It's almost the color of Krill's blonde hair except Krill had dark skin. I notice he has a pink color tone with a clear complexion. Their eyes are large, almond-shaped, brown with long lashes, and he has a frank, honest expression, sparkling and brilliant. His nose finely shaped and his cheeks are full, firm, rounded as red as fuck. Is he nervous?
Is that what it is?
Do I make him nervous?
I notice he holds a staff in his hand. It isn't until I see how his hand tightens around the staff that I realize there are two live snakes on his staff. I'd seen the sign before...in hospitals on Earth. It was a well known symbol in hospitals. It depicts a serpent entwined around a staff. I had no idea that symbol was because of this god.
"You are the heir of Apollo?" I ask.
He nods, "Yes. My name is Asclepius."
These names were getting harder and harder to pronounce.
He smiles, "You can call me Clep. I'm the god of Medicine. As well as all the other things my father was responsible for. It's nice to meet you, Thaddeus. You are just as...stunning... up close and personal."
I think about asking him why he's helping me like I did with Ganymede. Looking at him though, I can almost tell immediately why. His neck is long and well shaped, muscular. He has a prominent Adam's apple. He has this deep voice that is almost musical in tone and when he talks his Adam's apple moves slowly as though he's thirsty. And the way he's looking at me I can tell exactly what he's thirsty for.
"You noticed me before?"
"Noticed you?" he asks, "I tried everything to get your attention at the festival. Most of all the other gods were as well. Male and female. Everyone wanted to talk to you, to offer you a drink...or something. Everyone was so scared though. It's almost as though you're too...sacred."
He looks at me longingly. Had Ganymede known he'd be so willing to help me? He looks like he wants to say more. He looks like he wants to say a lot more, but he stops.
"How can you help me, Clep?" I ask.
"I used to bring back people from the dead all the time," he explains, "Of course Hades complained to Zeus who forced me to stop. Zeus isn't here any longer though...if you know what I mean. If we can have Hades release your father's soul. I can do it."
"How do I do that?"
"Perhaps we can wait until after the trial. We can have the new King of the Gods demand Hades release your father's soul. Then I'll be able to bring your father back to life."
Once again I was being placed in a situation where I would have to beg a stronger god for something. I would need to be helped. I was tired of that. That is the reason that Cupid believed I would be nothing more than a king's consort. No. That wasn't going to happen. I was going to take things into my own hands. But how?
Then I look at my own hands.
Ganymede had given me something. A knife. I look at the knife. I see a symbol on the knife. It's a knife with the symbol of Phobos on it. I remembered this knife. I start thinking about how Ganymede got the knife but then my mind goes straight to the fact of what the knife was. It was a God killer.
"What if I died?" I ask him, "Would you be able to bring both of us back if Hades released our souls?"
"You can't die."
"What if I could?" I ask. I show the God of Medicine the knife. Clep stares at it. He stares at it hard. He seems shocked that I have it. I'm assuming Ganymede must not have shared this part of the plan. He quickly hands the knife back to me though.
"I'm not going to be involved with this," he states, "You're an Olympian. Once your soul goes into Hades, it belongs to him. You understand that."
My father was dead because of me. He was dead because of the fact that I had become a god and abandoned him. The guilt was eating me up. Persephone and Aura were trying to hurt me by killing my father. They had done it because of me. If there was even the slightest chance that I could get my father back then I had to take that chance...no matter what.
"Can you do it?"
He hesitates, "I can't be responsible."
"For a kiss?"
He pauses. His eyes all of a sudden have that focus again. Those almond eyes narrow like a hawk with desire more clear than the skies after his father dragged the sun across the sky with a chariot. He was the new charioteer though and perhaps if he was still just the God of Medicine he wouldn't have taken the chance, but I see ambition in his eyes. The same ambition I was beginning to see in most of the Olympians.
"You'd kiss me?" he asks me.
He was still in the mindstate of a minor god. At one point, no one prayed to Asclepius but doctors and the sick. Now he was the heir to Apollo though. He was a major god. I think I just needed to remind him of that.
I lean forward. My hand caresses the side of his cheek, "Of course. If you helped me with this. I would probably look at you, the god of the sun, in a new light. With me by your side, Clep...we could light up the world."
I remove his glasses. I take off his doctor's robe. Just as I suspected. Underneath the medical uniform and the thick glasses was a real Olympian. And he was fucking stunning. I was sure this was what Apollo himself looked like. It was clear who his father was.
I kiss his lips. His soft pink lips press up against my lips. His tongue first nervously embraces mine but slowly gets more comfortable. Slowly it gets more confident. Soon he's aggressively kissing me as hard as he can until I fall back a little bit.
That's when I kiss his neck. Kissing his neck seems to drive him crazy. I can feel his dick beginning to harden up against my thigh. It's hard as a rock before I notice. I remove his coat. I unbutton his white shirt. Underneath there is a body of a god. The thorough chest, the perky nipples, and the cascading abs. Why hide all of this?
I kiss the nipples. I kiss the abs.
I kiss and kiss.
"One more kiss," I promise him.
I unbutton his pants and before I know it his dick comes out of them.
I run my tongue over my lips to get them good and wet and look, into his face. He doesn't blink. It's almost a divine skill at this point. He doesn't want to miss a second of it. I open my mouth just slightly to tease and excite him as I get very close to his Penis. I breathe on him, blow on him with my hot breath. I stick my tongue out again and reach for him. I tease him. I can feel his hips thrusting forward. His dick is throbbing for my warm...hot mouth.
I can feel his dick pulsating in my hands as I hold it just inches away from my dick. He's biting his lips looking down at me.
"Fuck...I want you," he says, "I'm going to make you mine...if it's the last thing I do. I'm going to win the throne and make you my consort."
I blow his dick slowly leaning forward. Slowly...slowly. My mouth is dripping with saliva. I cup my mouth around his dick ready as though I'm about to swallow it in the back of my throat but then I stop. I stop just like that.
And that's when I stop.
"You need me," I let him know.
He doesn't fight it, "More than anything."
"Good. Then you need to help me," I state.
There is no hesitation. Not even the slightest bit of it.
"Do you want to slit your throat sitting up? Or would you like to go to the Underworld laying down?" he asks.
Deimos grabs Ganymede by the neck.
"Why did you hand him the God Killer?" Deimos asks, "ANSWER ME!"
"I don't know what you're talking about," Ganymede whines.
He knew Ganymede would lie. He had sent one of his most trusted minions, one of the many daimons of the battlefield to track Thad. The daimon, or spirit of war, had reported back that Ganymede had handed Thad a God killer. Now the cupbearer was lying to his face. Deimos grabs Ganymede and smashes him into the wall as hard as possible. He couldn't kill the cupbearer. Not with his bare hands at least, but he'd feel the pain of being slammed into the wall for some time to come. Deimos made sure of that. He lifts his fist again.
"Has anyone ever told you the reason why Hephaestus had a limp?" Deimos
asks, "Zeus was so outraged by how hideous he was that he threw him from
Olympus. I wonder what will happen to your face when you hit the ground..."
Ganymede is terrified. The look on his face says it all.
"We're better off without him," Ganymede explains, "He's far too beautiful. Far too dangerous."
"What did you do?"
"I gave him a one-way ticket to Hades," Ganymede explains, "That's what he
wanted. That's what he asked for."
`YOU JEALOUS PIECE OF SHIT!"
Deimos lifts Ganymede, ready to make him pay for it but then he hears the footsteps walk into the room. When he turns he sees her...Thalia.
"If you are going to tell the story of my father," Thalia state, "Tell the whole story. After my father was throne away for being deformed, he sent the gods a gift. A throne he forged. Hera, queen of the gods sat on that throne and the throne would not release her. Stricken with desperation and in awe of his ingenuity, Zeus had no choice but to invite my father back to Olympus."
She had overheard him. She was always close. Always stalking the shadow. Deimos drops Ganymede and watches almost immediately as Ganymede runs as though he was mortal again to safety. Ganymede doesn't stop until he was out of the room. Deimos grunts, leans back, wiping the anger off of his face and replacing it with a cool unbothered look.
"What's the point of your story?"
"Someone's usefulness isn't outlined on their face," she explains, "There is no power in love. Or so I thought we had this discussion. Why are you concerned with what happens with Thaddeus."
"He can't go to the underworld"
"Why not?" Thalia asks, "Isn't that the point?"
All of a sudden it hits Deimos, "It was you. You supplied Ganymede with the God Killer?"
Thalia nods and smiles, "We had a deal. Do you remember our deal?"
"We release the titans together, the titans kill the Olympians and we become the King and Queen of the Olympus," Deimos repeats.
There is no power in love. It was the words that Thalia had told him when they had first met. She had pitched the idea to him a long time ago. He'd promised her then that he would stay focused on the plan. So far everything was going great. The Titans had been released. His father and the other Olympians were gone. It was a new age. It was time for a new guard. And he would be the one to be the king of the new gods. It was everything he wanted.
All he needed to do was win the trials and become the new god. All he needed to do was stay focused.
"You're attracted to him," Thalia states.
"Of course not."
"You don't have to lie to me," Thalia responds, "It's quite clear. Thad is remarkably attractive..."
"I want the throne..." Deimos argues with her almost immediately, "That's what I want. Yes...he's attractive. He's...uniquely attractive. But I promised to marry you. We had a deal. I'll hold my end of the deal. No matter what."
He didn't realize it would be this hard. Here he was having people following Thad, for godsakes. Thalia had warned him of the new god. They had worked to try to get rid of him before he came to Olympus. He was trying to avoid what was happening now. He was trying to avoid not being able to go to sleep without seeing his face. He was trying to avoid not wanting to know more about him. He was trying to avoid not liking Thad.
And the more he avoided it the worst it was getting.
"I understand it's a struggle," she states, "Even I am quite attracted to him. You remember why the Titans haven't shown up don't you? They feel like the son of Aphrodite will cause us to war amongst each other in the same way that Aphrodite did until Zeus forced her to marry my deformed father."
He'd heard how bad it was with Aphrodite. He heard about the chaos. Right now there was no Zeus around to stop that from happening. The Titans were placing a bet that Thad would destroy Olympus so that they wouldn't have to.
"It's getting worse," he realizes, "Hera's heir Hebe has declared that she should be Queen of the Gods and would make him her husband."
It was spreading past just males now. She probably wasn't even attracted to him. It was clear to everyone that he was gay. It wasn't about attraction anymore. He was becoming something else. He was becoming a symbol to the new Olympians. He was becoming a symbol of what everyone else wanted and in order to be the true ruler of the Gods, you would need to have it.
This could cause trouble. It could cause war. Not a 2nd war against the Titans. This would not be the 2nd Titanomachy. This could mean civil war.
"We don't have to worry about that...not anymore," Thalia states.
"Why not?" Deimos asks.
Thalia smiles, "I spoke with Persephone. I promised to help her send Thad to the Underworld. She has confirmed that her husband Hades will hold him prisoner there...forever..."
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