Arrows and Roses - Chapter 16
"You didn't tell me you had a library," she said. "I'll show it to you next time you come down." He offered with a smile. "I would like that very much."
“Do you think she’s having a good time?” Thanatos leaned over to Amora, who nodded.
She looked past him at her sister and let out a grin.
“You did well over by the pinball machine.” She whispered.
He let out a chuckle. “I thought I’d make an idiot out of myself, but Erosa’s so cute when she’s frustrated.” He commented. The two of them laughed softly and he leaned back in his chair. Then his thoughts went back to Apollo’s arm around her. He wanted to reach out and pull her back towards him, but Julian stopped him.
“Relax. They’re just friends,” he said.
Thanatos grit his teeth and carried on like nothing was wrong, and now he was sitting next to her, her fingers within touching distance.
He settled, knowing that her body was leaning towards him, but his brows pulled together when she changed and started leaning towards Apollo. Confusion clouded his mind and he leaned back over to Amora.
“She’s leaning away. Do I smell bad?” He asked.
Amora sniffed in his direction and shook her head.
“You smell like men’s cologne, but that’s it.” She looked past him at Erosa and she frowned. When Thanatos turned, Apollo and Erosa were deep in conversation, talking about the movie they were watching.
“Don’t overthink it. Apollo and Erosa have always liked analysing movies. Something about symbolism and stuff.” Amora started to explain. Thanatos took this information in and pondered over it. He ignored their whisperings throughout the rest of the movie and focused his attention on the big screen, trying to see if he could understand any hidden meanings he might be able to discuss with Erosa.
Frustrated he couldn’t find any, he walked out with the rest of the group. Amora walked beside him and the two immediately got talking about the next date as they made their way into the arcade next door.
“What else does she like?” Thanatos eyed Erosa and Apollo laughing by the candy stand.
“Well, she absolutely loves chocolate. Old Disney movies, songs about love and women's empowerment, she craves ice cream like there’s no tomorrow—but she always holds herself back, she doesn’t like it when she puts on a few pounds. She gets self conscious when she eats junk food around other people, and she loves her dog Marshmallow and her cat Wish.” Amora rattled off.
Thanatos quickly memorized this information and stored it in the back of his mind for later. He would have to think of something that included any of those, that way she would absolutely love it. His gaze fell on his brother, who was glaring at him and jerking his towards Amora. It dawned on him that Amora was the cupid that his brother fancied. He frowned and immediately pointed at Amora while she wasn’t looking and mouthed at his brother.
"This is her?"
Hypnos nodded, the expression on his face still dangerously fixated on his brother.
"Why am I talking to her then?"
Hypnos’ lips pressed into a tight line and he looked down in embarrassment before looking at his brother. He mouthed back. ‘I’m pathetic!’
Thanatos ran a finger through his hair, clearly exasperated. He was talking to the young woman that his brother fancied while the one he fancied was talking to another man.
"Come here and talk to her!" Thanatos mouthed.
He was glad Amora was too distracted by the arcade games to notice that he and his brother were arguing about her.
"Get over here before I haul your ass over here!" Thanatos glared at his brother until he caved, which didn’t take long. Hypnos left Julian’s side and hesitantly made his way over to them. Just before he got to them, he straightened and tried to make his frown turn into a neutral expression.
He was going to try and fake the fact that he wasn’t affected by Amora, who beamed at him when he joined.
“I love motorcycle games! I wanted to get one but dad said no.” She pointed to the game they stood in front of.
“You have wings, why on earth would you want a motorcycle?” Thanatos quirked an eyebrow at her and she blushed in embarrassment.
“Well, I’ve been on a motorcycle once, and it felt like flying, only I wasn’t using my wings.” She grinned and Thanatos smiled back. Hypnos looked at the game before turning towards Amora.
“Do you want a game? I’m no Hell’s Angel, but I love arcade games.” He said. Amora’s eyes lit up when he produced a few tokens for the game.
“It’s on!” She hopped onto the blue bike while Hypnos straddled the red. Thanatos put the token in and watched as his brother lost gloriously to the little cherub who grinned in triumph.
Thanatos looked around for Erosa and found her by herself outside the arcade, looking at her phone.
“You know, socialising is meant to be done by looking and talking to people.” He stated. She jumped, not hearing his approach but she smiled at him regardless.
“I know. But I couldn’t help it. I want to know that everything is under control at the temple. My father and my assistant says it is, but I keep freaking out that something is going to happen.” She bit her lip and Thanatos felt the urge to stop her from doing that. It did strange things to him, and he couldn’t think straight when she was making such a cute face.
“Are you enjoying the night?” He leaned against the railing, facing her.
Erosa put her phone away and sighed.
“I am. It’s been a while since I’ve actually taken a night off. Most of the time, I just hang around at home and Khione and Lacey come over. They bring the fun to me knowing that I won’t come out.” She shrugged and gave a half hearted smile.
“But what about the Olympian parties, you don’t go to those?” He tried to recall a time he did go, and he thought he remembered seeing her there.
“Of course I go… but not to party…” She trailed off and Thanatos nodded in understanding. She was there to help people get together.
“So you don’t party at all?” He shoved his hands in his pockets while waiting for an answer.
“Not really. I prefer quiet company.” She reached into her handbag and brought out a small book she had kept in there.
“You brought a book to a social gathering?” Thanatos wanted to laugh at the coincidence. She blushed deeply and was about to put the book away when Thanatos stopped her, realising she thought he was laughing at her.
“Don’t, please.” He started. He reached into his jacket and took out a miniature screen. He tapped it a couple of times and it came to life, with a book title he last read.
“You like reading too?” She moved forward and took the tablet out of his hands. She scrolled through his library and he watched her with interest.
“You like reading Belle Woods? She has the best mystery novels!” she exclaimed. Thanatos reeled in shock.
“You like Belle Woods too?” he reached for the book she had in her hands and examined it. Surely enough, it was the same book, by the same author.
She let out a tiny squeal which drew a laugh from him.
“I love her books. Heroic adventures! Daring Damsels! A mystery that ends in a twist! How could you not love stories like that?” She looked at him with bright eyes.
“Well then, did you enjoy her novel The Jewellery Thief?” Thanatos grinned at her and his own happiness increased when she nodded so fast he thought her head might literally fall off.
“How could I not? A beautiful detective! A cunning thief and suspenseful romance,” She pulled back and looked at him, a small frowning taking form on her face.
“Wait, you read that?” She asked.
Thanatos looked at her in surprise.
“Was I not supposed to read it?” He scratched the back of his head. But it seemed like she wasn’t judging him when she smiled again and lifted a shoulder.
“Sorry! I thought you were only into adventures, you know, action thrillers and whatnot. The Jewellery Thief was an intense romance, I’m quite surprised you would read one,” she explained.
When she said, it made sense. Not many men read romances, but he was curious and the author was one of his favourites, so he thought why not.
“Belle Woods is one of my favourite authors. She taught me to never judge a book by its cover.” He answered.
Erosa was surprised by his response. “Really, did you read much before that?”
Thanatos shook his head. “Not the stuff that she writes. I use to read old stuff like biographies and scientific facts. Now, I've recently opened up a new section in the library downstairs that features fiction, science fiction, mysteries.” Thanatos was proud of it. He had asked Lord Hades if that was okay and the man said yes. After that, he spent forever hunting down good books to add to his collection.
“You didn’t tell me you had a library.” Erosa looked at him, her eyes sparkling with eagerness.
“I’ll show it to you next time you come down.” He offered. Erosa sighed in happiness and held the tablet close to her chest.
“I would like that very much.”