Arrows and Roses - Chapter 10
"It's just one giant sitcom in the bedroom! Fan-bloody-tastic!"
I woke in darkness. There was no light streaming through my window, nor were my pets begging for attention. I lay there confused, black silk sheets tangled around my body instead of white velvet. My eyes finally adjusted and I could see the embers of a dying fire in the fireplace. An open book lay on the floor as if it has been knocked off its shelf.
I looked around and spotted Thanatos in the chair. My heart jumped at the sight of him.
He had rolled up his sleeves, revealing muscular forearms. He must’ve loosened his tie, for I could something shiny resting near the hollow of his neck.
A necklace? I didn’t think Thanatos was the type to wear jewelry, aside from the reapers signet ring.
I bit my lip, fighting the urge to get a closer look. But it was difficult when temptation was right there.
I threw back the sheet and padded over to where he was resting.
He didn’t look comfortable. His neck was bent from angling his head on the back of the seat, as was his torso. I’ve never seen such a regal man slouch before, it was interesting.
Like watching a cat sleep in a strange position.
I leaned in to get a better look but his shirt was in the way. The neck chain was long so I’d have to undo his shirt to see. After a couple of seconds of deciding, I undid his tie and my fingers moved down to start on his buttons. I lifted the shirt slightly so as to reduce the amount of jostling the material would move that might wake him. I thought about lifting the necklace, but it might tickle his skin and I didn't know if he was a light sleeper like my brothers.
I managed to undo the third button when I felt something was off. I stopped what I was doing and looked around. Nothing was out of place. It was still just the two of us. I looked back at the buttons to continue when I glanced up to see his enrapturing dark eyes blinking at me with intrigue.
I squeaked and took a step back, stumbling, I would’ve fallen and hit the cold hard ground if Thanatos hadn’t reached out and grabbed me by the waist.
“Whoa, steady there,” he murmured, pulling me tight against his body.
I could feel the heat from his hands through the thin nightgown I wore. He was hot.
I also realised that my hand was on his bare chest. Oh holy mother of pearl…
A locket? I was able to get a better look at what was hanging around his neck but then I felt his biceps tighten around me. Whoa, I didn’t know he worked out. I wanted to groan at my inner dialogue, but the caterpillars that weren’t yet butterflies inside me were wriggling around way too much for me to focus. His arms, his gorgeous muscled arms, were around me. He was also centimetres from my lips. I could kiss him if I just leaned in a little.
“Erosa?” he said in a husky voice, breaking my out of my trance.
“Yeah?” my voice came out shaky and breathlessly. Oh my god, pull yourself together! He’s just a really good looking guy! My inner thoughts were not helping me.
“Why were you undoing my shirt?” he asked. The beginnings of a smile were playing on his lips and I couldn’t help the stupid nervous laugh that came out.
“Aha! Well you see, I couldn’t help but notice, the ah, necklace around your neck. I wanted to get a closer look.” I tried to play it off smooth, but I knew I was f-ing up really bad. This. Was. A. Complete. Disaster.
Good job, you were caught red-handed undressing him. You’ve done it now. Now everyone’s going to know you're a pervert. Well done Erosa. You couldn’t have said you were getting him ready for bed? No that sounds worse. Never mind.
I swallowed, my throat dry. Was he angry? He didn’t look angry.
“If you wanted to take a look, all you had to do was ask,” he gave a small side smile and lifted the locket up to my face so I could see better.
“Then why do you wear it?”
“I hope to fill it one day with pictures of the one I love,” he shrugged, and the two of us stood there looking at it in silence.
“BROTHER! IS EROSA AWAKE YET?” We both turned to look at Hypnos, who burst through the doors followed by Philotes.
“Well she is now you idiot.” Thanatos rolled his eyes and I couldn’t hold back the grin.
“Are we interrupting something?” Philotes eyed us suspiciously and we remembered just how close we were standing.
The moment his warmth left me, I felt the cold and I couldn’t stop the shiver. He stepped back, lowering his arms, and where my hand felt the steady beat of his heart, it now felt empty. Thanatos must’ve seen me shiver because he summoned a thick blanket which he draped over me, also covering my half naked self.
Oh no. I'm half naked!
I looked around for my bra and spotted it on the bed with my dress that I wore to see the fates. I could feel the blood rush to my face, and I hid it in the blanket.
Thanatos looked in the direction I had looked and before I knew it, he lunged across the bed, taking the bed sheets with him. I heard him hit the floor with a hard thud and I felt myself pale at the scene. He took with him not just the sheets but the vase too. It crashed to the ground, breaking apart. I grimaced at the sound and my heart filled with dread. I hoped the vase didn’t mean much to him.
“It’s okay. I needed a new vase,” he called from the floor.
Thanatos stood up quickly, gathering the bed sheets in his arms, including my bra and dress.
“Um, I will have the servants make the bed,” he announced loudly.
“Bro, why are you shouting?” Hypnos lifted an eyebrow, Philotes behind him was trying her hardest not to laugh.
“I was talking to Marvin.”
“You mean Gavin?”
“No, I mean Marvin.”
“We don’t have a Marvin.”
“Are you sure? I’m pretty sure we have a Marvin working for us somewhere.” Thanatos looked at them impatiently, one of his arms waving about, gesturing to the rest of the castle.
“Marvin? No, I’m not familiar with a Marvin.” Hypnos tapped his chin thoughtfully.
“Philotes, are you familiar with a servant called Marvin?”
“I know a servant called Mavis, perhaps that’s who you’re thinking about brother.” Philotes looked at her disheveled brother who shook his head.
“Nope, definitely a Marvin. You know he’s hearing impaired because one of his ears got cut off?” Thanatos answered.
This entire scene was a train wreck. I wanted to sink into a puddle and never form again. This was just one giant sitcom in the bedroom.
“So this is where everyone is hiding!” I turned to see Lady Persephone walking into the room followed by my mother.
“Mom?!” I felt my cheeks burning in embarrassment.
“Lady Psyche! I promise it’s not what you think,” Thanatos quickly tried to explain.
“Oh it’s fine, I know you’re a gentleman. Quite frankly, I was hoping to see my daughter in the arms of a man, preferable yours, but I guess I came a little late.” My mother waved nonchalantly.
“Mom!” I groaned as she went on.
“So this is where Thanatos resides. He’s quite far from the rest of the family. His interior decorating is nice, very simple but nice.”
Lady Persephone nodded.
“He chose everything himself.”
Wait, this was his room? I looked at the bed. I slept in his bed?! Oh for crying out loud!
“This is your room?!” I looked at him, my face still red in embarrassment.
“Mother!” Thanatos looked at Lady Persephone with pleading eyes.
“Thanatos,” she acknowledged.
“Mom!” I cried.
“Erosa!” My mother smiled in my direction.
“HYPNOS!” Everyone stopped to look at Hypnos, who held both arms in the air as if he were celebrating.
“Really?” Thanatos hissed.
“I felt left out,” his brother shrugged.
“How do you think I feel? I’m the only one who hasn’t been acknowledged,” Philotes frowned.
“PHILOTES!” Hypnos shouted happily. His sister grinned, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, Hades walked in with my freaking father!
“Lord Hades?!” Thanatos bowed in the presence of Hades and I just froze. What were my parents seeing right now? Their daughter wearing nothing but a blanket!
“Ah son! Eros and Psyche have arrived to pick up Erosa. Hello my dear, I hope you’re feeling better.” Lord Hades looked at me with surprisingly warm eyes, which made me feel so much worse.
“I am, Lord Hades, thank you for asking.” I curtseyed as best as I could being covered head to toe in a blanket.
“Lord Eros, will you and Lady Psyche being staying for dinner? I make an excellent roast,” Hypnos proposed. Philotes bounced up and down excitedly.
“The roast with sweet sauce?” she asked.
“Caramelised sauce sister.” Hypnos patted her arm.
“Guys!” Thanatos groaned, burying his head in the pile of sheets he was holding.
“That sounds like a wonderful idea! Would you like to stay for dinner?” Lady Persephone ignored him and turned to Eros who took his place by his wife’s side, Hades coming to stand beside Persephone.
“Oh, we don’t want to intrude,” my mother replied.
“Nonsense, we love guests!” Hades clapped his hands together, looking pleased with having visitors.
“How about this, we’ll have a formal dinner next week?”
“That sounds wonderful,” Dad replied.
“Is Friday suitable for you?”
“Of course!” my mother answered.
I took the chance to run into Thanatos’s wardrobe to hide.
“Can everyone please get out?” I heard Thanatos ask.
“Of course dear, I was just showing Lady Psyche around. She hasn’t been here in a while and I wanted to show her around our home,” his mother replied.
“That’s great mother, Lady Psyche and Lord Eros. I am so sorry you had to see this.” I peeked out from the vents in the door to see Thanatos bowing deeply in my parents’ direction.
“No need to apologise. I’m just glad my daughter is finally seeing someone,” my father nodded happily.
I have never wanted to bang my head against a wall, so hard, in my entire life.
I could see everyone leave, and when I heard the door shut I crumpled to the floor, filled with shame.
Light footsteps came to the door and I couldn’t look up to see his face.
“Erosa? May I open the door?” he asked gently.
“What’s the point?! You’ve already seen me naked!” I groaned into my hands.
“Technically I didn’t. I wasn’t the one who dressed you.” He waited for a bit before opening the door a crack.
“Are you decent?” he whispered.
“By decent, do you mean, is everything covered? Yes,” I grumbled.
He opened the door and crouched down holding my dress in a bundle.
“Your, um, brassiere is there as well,” he said handing me the pile.
“It’s too cold to wear a dress,” I mumbled.
“Right, well, oh here!” He got up and walked over to a set of drawers, pulling out a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie.
“Oh my god, you have those?”
Needless to say, I was genuinely shocked. Thanatos wore three piece suits. I honestly believed they were the only clothes he had.
“You think I wear suits all the time?” he asked raising an eyebrow at me.
“You slept in one last night,” I gave a small smile.
“True.” He handed me his clothes and took a step outside.
“I’ll be waiting outside when you’re ready,” he told me.
“What about you? You should get changed too,” I said.
“I will, ladies first though.” He winked.