Thanatos watched in fascination as she drifted towards the young couple. She went like a moth to a flame. He watched her image shimmer for a second like a mirage. She was using a glamour to hide herself. Glamours would never cease to amaze him. It was comical how mortal eyes simply couldn’t see something so large and obvious, even when it was standing right in front of them.
Thanatos watched as she brought out a small golden pair of binoculars.
He frowned. What could she possibly need those for when they were right in front of her. They must’ve been a special kind of binoculars. What they did he couldn’t guess.
Suddenly she beat her wings, pink dust flying off, but in a random directions. He squinted his eyes and saw the pink dust roll towards the couple. Erosa was hovering above them, her eyes searching for something. She was waiting for something.
She threw a fist up in triumph when the boy brought the girl in for a hug to keep the winter chill out. She started dancing a little, forgetting where she was, and what she was really meant to be doing. When she did remember, she flew over to Thanatos and smiled sheepishly.
“Sorry, I can’t resist love. Especially a contracted one,” She explained. She tucked a strand of loose hair behind her ear, an action Thanatos found most attractive.
“No need to apologise. Your father got sidetracked numerous times. I guess the call of love is hard to ignore,” He shrugged.
Eros cocked her head to the side and smiled. At this rate Thanatos would be happy just to sit and stare at her. Everything she did was adorable, if you were allowed to call a woman that, and the way she was looking at him now was down right cute. Cute... never thought I'd say that word. He thought to himself.
“We had better get going. We’ll be late.” Eros said breaking him out of his thoughts.
When we arrived at the retirement home, Thanatos turned to me while fixing his tie.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
I nodded. But a thought occurred to me and I stopped him from opening the door.
“Wait, do I do I need to be in my true form for this?”
He shook his head.
“When they pass, they’ll see everything they need to see. Including your wings.” he gestured to my wings folded carefully behind me.
“Like X-ray vision?”
“Yes, like x-ray vision…”
“So can they see past my clothes?”
Thanatos’ shoulders dropped just a little.
“No they can’t see past your clothes,” he answered.
“Oh good, cause I’m not wearing my nice lingerie today,” damnit.. Stop talking. Don’t look him in the eye.
“Any other questions?” he asked patiently.
I shook my head.
We passed through the threshold, our presence unnoticed by the mortal workers, but a sudden pull led us to a room just down the hall. Room 24.
The old couple who resided there were just about ready to depart. They knew their time was coming. Which was incredibly rare amongst mortals, but it did occur every one hundred years.
We waited patiently by the bedside, watching as the couple fell asleep quickly, and when the bodies stopped breathing, their souls departed, only minutes apart.
“Good evening sir, madam,” Thanatos greeted respectively.
I bowed my head in suit and smiled warmly at them.
They didn’t seem surprised as to where they were. I thought most people would have questions. But the couple who now appeared young returned out greeting with same respect.
“It is a wonderful evening,” the young man replied.
I nodded in agreement. “Yes, it’s perfect outside for a stroll. Shall we?” I gestured towards the door.
The woman looked at me with a little concern.
“Isn’t it cold outside? Don’t we need jackets?” she asked.
Thanatos beat me to the answer as I searched for a reply.
“No you won’t feel the cold,” he assured them.
As they made their way out, the young man took a closer look at me.
“Are you an angel?” he asked, squinting at the space above my head. Probably looking for a halo.
I laughed and shook my head.
“No, but I do get that often. I’m a cupid.”
The young man looked at with definitive confusion.
“I’m here to bless your eternal love,” I explained.
The young man nodded, starting to understand, but the cloud of confusion still remained in his eyes.
“A cupid you say? I didn’t know those still existed. I thought that was all fairytales,” he watched me with a look I could only assume was curiosity.
“Well we are incredibly rare,” I answered. I unfolded my wings to show him and his wife who oohed and ahhed at them.
Don’t think about her underwear drawer. Don’t think about her underwear drawer. He been chanting to himself for the past five minutes. But it had not been helping. He kept half a metre of distance between the two of them, and refused to look her way. But he could only do that for so long. He liked looking at her. She had a beautiful smile that could light up the darkest of shadows in the Underworld, and eyes that one could get lost in.
While Erosa was busy showing them her wings, she didn’t realise that Thanatos was openly admiring her.
He looked at her, entrance by her radiance. Her skin had taken on a faint summer glow, while her wings started leaving trails of pink dust whenever she moved them. Thanatos watched as she opened and closed her wings multiple times to show the couple the way they moved. They were like angel wings, except fluffy and pink. The words she used were "blush pink".
“So why do you need to be present for our deaths?” the wife asked.
Erosa smiled and took the woman’s hand in her own.
“Because this is not the first time you have met a cupid. Almost two hundred years ago, you met my father and requested to meet in the next life. You had been through so much before, and you did not want death to part you. So he blessed you. The blessing was that your souls would find each other in the next life. I’m here to offer you the same chance. To be reborn again with the same blessing, or you can move onto the afterlife with each other.” Thanatos watched the smile on her face disappear, only to be replaced by a more serious expression.
“I must warn you however, to choose to be reborn you will experience all the sadness and pain a mortal life holds at the cost of falling in love again. Should you choose the afterlife, your hearts will not love each other any less, nor will they grow any fonder. You will simply be content with the other. Nothing more, nothing less.” She finished the last sentence with what seemed like sadness.
Thanatos made a note to ask her about that later.
The couple nodded in understanding. The last choice humanity had left before passing. For most, it was the last choice. For some, it was button to be pressed to repeat the effect of mortality.
Thanatos watched as the couple walked off together, unfazed by the choices given to them.
Erosa followed behind them, who was in turn followed by Thanatos.
The true form of cupid was certainly a sight to behold. Being descendants of Aphrodite they did inherit a few attractive qualities, but Erosa’s father, the first cupid was the only true heir to inherit most of them.
He watched as she glowed dimly, the moonlight illuminating her wings just a little bit. The wind picked up, and gently caressed her feathers, drawing a scent from them that found its way to the god’s nose.
Something stirred within him much to his surprise.
He could smell honeysuckle and cinnamon. Which brought old memories to the very front of his mind.
On his birthday, a lovely old woman whose soul had departed, adopted him as her grandson when she found out he didn’t really have any grandparents (Well he did, a grandfather, who was just a "hater of a really good time"—Hypnos' words). So later she returned to bring him some cinnamon and apple cookies. Having no family of her own, Thanatos agreed to visit her often. He hadn’t gone back on his word.
That memory made sense in terms of the cinnamon. But he couldn’t recall a memory involving honeysuckle.
He scratched his head, still wondering if maybe he did have one it just might’ve been so long ago.
The couple in the end chose to be reborn again. It didn’t surprise me. A lot of people assume the afterlife is just happiness. But no, it’s a constant state of content. Like a rollercoaster going straight. No ups or downs. Eventually that gets boring, but will they ever feel bored. Definitely not. Still, some people prefer the euphoria of life, and I don’t blame them.
I watched as Thanatos turned his Reaper's ring around, opening up the portal to the Underworld. They made their choice, now the next step was to meet another reaper who would guide them through the process of rebirthing. They walked into the light, hand in hand, a single silver thread tied their hands together, binding them for the next life.
When they disappeared, I turned to Thanatos who seemed emotionless.
He held out his hand to me, his eyes asking me if I was ready to leave. I shook my head. I should've totally taken his hand though.
His hand dropped to his side, and I gestured for him to walk with me through the park that rested on the opposite side of the retirement village.
“Erosa?” His voice was deep and rich like honey, I almost shivered at my name on his lips.
“Mmm?” I looked at the trees and the frozen pond. Children were ice skating on it. Some were like newborn deer, their legs could barely hold them up.
“What’s it like?” Thanatos asked.
I looked back at him intrigued by his question.
“What is what like?” I pressed.
“What is like to love and be loved?” He elaborated.