Arrows and Roses - Chapter 12
Thanatos. I had hoped it was Thanatos.
As we walked back to the castle, Persephone caught me by surprise.
“Erosa, dear, your parents have already left, but Apollo will pick you up later.” She took my arm, linking it with hers as she led me through the castle, explaining to me what was happening, leaving Thanatos behind.
“Apollo? Why not my brothers?” I asked.
She patted my hand and smiled. “They were busy with work, but Eros told me Apollo had meant to take you back up anyway. He swung by earlier when he heard you were unwell.”
I nodded in understanding, and she took me through some large doors leading into another bedroom. I spotted Philotes over by her desk, typing away on her computer.
“Philotes, do you mind letting Erosa borrow some clothes for dinner? She will need to wear a dress.” Persephone shared a look with Philotes, who grinned at the exchange.
“Of course, mother. I would be glad to.” She got up from the table, and Persephone handed me over to her, quite literally, passing my hand into Philotes's outstretched one.
“I take it sweats aren’t allowed at the dinner table,” I started as her ladyship left.
“Not really. It’s just that you’re a guest, and she probably wants you to feel comfortable. It would be awkward if everyone was in formal attire, and you’re there in pyjamas.”
I nodded again. I felt like I had been doing an awful lot of nodding today.
Philotes handed me a gorgeous bodycon dress—black, of course. It wound around my neck, not showing any cleavage, thank goodness. I think everyone had seen enough of my cleavage, no thanks to that lacy nightgown the servants put me in last night. On one side, it stopped at my thigh, while the other side trailed down to my ankle. Awesome, instead of cleavage, they get legs. I wanted to roll my eyes, but it was terrible manners to insult good hospitality. The servants could’ve dressed me worse. Like, they could’ve just let me lay there completely naked. I shook my head, not wanting to think about what that would’ve been like, and I pulled the dress over my head.
Philotes dabbed my lips with a little bit of lipstick before she took my hand to take me to dinner.
“Are you sure this is okay to wear to dinner? It seems a little too much,” I muttered. She laughed, and gave my hand a reassuring squeeze.
“Believe me, dinner with my family has always been like this. There are times when we just eat in our rooms or offices, but when we have guests, that’s not the case.” She let my hand go to open the doors to a huge room, with a long table in the centre, six places at the table already set, waiting to be used.
Philotes put me next to Thanatos, who gave me a small smile, his brother Hypnos beside him grinning, while their parents stood on the other side of me.
As we seated ourselves, Persephone started to serve the dishes out, putting a large amount on my plate.
“You haven’t eaten in a while," she said to me.
I looked around, and everyone was still wearing what they were wearing earlier today. Persephone and Philotes were wearing lovely patterned dresses, while Hades and Thanatos wore suits. Thanatos must’ve changed when I did, which was strange, considering he would have to change again into pyjamas, unless he didn’t have pyjamas.
Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it, I chanted to myself.
I focused on eating and listening to the light chatter around me. Bread, potatoes, abs, something about Gavin, Thanatos's lips on mine, damn it. I nodded every now and then, and answered any questions regarding my occupation before dinner came to an end, trying not to bumble and make an idiot out of myself any more than I already have.
As promised, Apollo arrived just as dinner ended, and I bid everyone farewell. When I said goodbye to Thanatos, Apollo took my hand and, for a moment, I thought Thanatos was scowling at him. But it was definitely not my imagination, because his sister nudged him, and his brother pulled the same face, making fun of him.
I didn’t get to say anything about it, because by the time I opened my mouth, Apollo did a star trek and beamed us out of there.
We ended up in the middle of the living room where my brothers sat on the couch, surrounded by paperwork. I looked around in shock at the mess. Contracts were scattered about, three whiteboards stood with scribbles all over them, and my brothers were furiously writing notes on pads and whiteboards. My father walked in moments after with another pile of paperwork, and Apollo whistled out loud.
“Wow, that’s a lot of paper," he commented.
“What happened?!” I demanded.
I immediately got to my knees and started organising the contracts when my brothers shouted at me.
“Don’t touch it! It’s in order!” Julian yelled.
“Order? It’s practically snowing in here!” I yelled back.
“Someone explain to me right now what happened!” I hated raising my voice, but drastic times call for drastic measures. Julian let out a groan. “I swear to god! It’s all Cleo’s fault!! If he’d just paid attention to the mortals instead of that bloody goat, we wouldn’t be in the mess!”
“It’s nothing, Erosa. We have everything under control,” Klaus said. Just as he finished that sentence, another dove flew in, carrying a thick bundle of letters. It dropped them on a table, and flew out the same window.
“This isn’t nothing! Let me help!” I tried to reach for some papers, but Apollo pulled me back just as my brothers lunged forward, yelling in protest again.
“Let them be. If they say it’s under control, then it’s under control.” I heard Apollo whisper in my ear.
I let him lead me away from the tornado in the living room, and into the calm and tranquillity of my room.
“So, I heard what happened in the underworld.” He started. I let out a groan before he could get angry with me.
“Apollo… Can we not—”
“What happened to waiting for me? I was worried sick when I got to the docks and you weren’t there!” Apollo had never raised his voice at me. He was my brother’s best friend, and he had always been quite gentle. Seeing him angry scared me.
“Apollo,” I started.
“Don’t 'Apollo' me, Erosa! You know what happens in the underworld! You know it’s dangerous! That’s why we agreed to me being there with you!” He raked his hands through his hair, gripping them tight. I felt my heart rate increase a little, the pit of my stomach churning over again.
“Apollo, please. Calm down.”
He finally stopped, and turned to look at me pressed against the door. He saw the fear in my face. His eyes went round at the realisation that I was frightened of him.
“Oh, god, I’m so sorry Erosa… I’m so sorry!” He got down on his knees, and looked at me with pleading eyes. I went towards him slowly, making sure he wouldn’t have another outburst, before helping him stand up.
“I’m sorry, too. I got scared and impatient. When Charon showed up, I jumped on the boat right away.” I drew him into a hug. He hugged me back fiercely, and I felt the guilt wash over me. He was right, I shouldn’t have left without him.
He pulled back just enough to look at me with his startling, blue eyes.
“I got there just in time to see Thanatos pick you up and take you back to the castle. You were extremely lucky that he was there," he said. I nodded and looked down. Suddenly, what the fates had said to me came to my mind.
“Wait, you were there?” I asked. So many thoughts came rushing through my mind. Apollo was the one coming to me… the fates had said that the one I was destined for was near. Was it possible that Apollo was the one? I looked back at him and studied his face. I had never been attracted to Apollo. It would be crazy to be destined for someone that you were not attracted to. I thought... No. I hoped it was Thanatos, but it seemed his heart belonged to someone else. Then again, maybe it was part of my trial. Maybe I was supposed to win him over. But what about Apollo...
I looked at Apollo closely. For the god of the sun, he didn’t have blond hair, surprisingly. It was light brown, but I have noticed in the past, that when he was in the sunlight, he had golden streaks. He had these crazy, electric-blue eyes that stopped most women in their tracks.
“Of course I was there. I was meant to accompany you to the fates.” Apollo rolled his eyes at my terrible memory.
“Don’t ever do that to me again. Julian would kill me if anything happened to you while on my watch.” He pulled me in for another hug, holding me for a few beats longer than expected before leaving me alone in my room.
Apollo is my match?
I stood at the door, mulling over this information. I mean, it kinda makes sense. He was always around my family; he was down there in the underworld with me. But, I wasn’t attracted to him.
Confusion clouded my mind, making my thoughts quite murky until I couldn’t focus. Shaking my head, I walked forward into the bathroom to get ready for bed. But, my thoughts kept leading me back to one person. Thanatos. I had hoped it was Thanatos.