Thanatos spotted her, from the shadows, going into the cave. She was hard to miss in a place of darkness, she was like a campfire in a forest and she was attracting all kinds of attention. In the corner of his eye, something moved in the shadows and he drifted closer. He pulled the hood of his cloak over his face, as he neared the entrance.
He saw one of the creatures of darkness enter. He frowned. The Darkness was home to many, and whenever a god was present, they hid. So why was this one going towards Erosa. Not wanting to take chances, he was about to step inside when he heard her voice.
Thanatos shrouded himself in the shadows when she came running out, clearly terrified. He looked behind her, and saw the beast chasing after, as she passed him, he put up a barrier. The creature hit it face first.
Before he could get a proper look at it, he heard Erosa whimper. Turning, he saw that she had tripped, but she quickly got back up, leaving behind her shoe.
Concerned for safety, he grabbed the shoe and materialised in front of her, which was, at the time, a good idea until she screamed and passed out in his arms.
He looked at her face, her aura, growing faint. She had gone pale, limp, and completely unconscious. She chose the worst place to lose consciousness. He shook his head. Picking her up and ignoring the moving shadows, Thanatos materialised out of there, and into the Palace of the Underworld scaring the living daylights out of his mother.
“Thanatos! What did you do?” Persephone demanded, as she rushed forward and pressed a hand against Erosa’s forehead.
“Please mother, like I had anything to do with her fainting.” Thanatos crooked his head to get a better look at her now that they had a bit of light.
“Then explain this! What happened?” his mother took her hand, her forehead creased in worry lines.
“A creature of the darkness chased her. She must’ve passed out from fear. She screamed incredibly loudly. I’m surprised you didn’t hear her.” Thanatos continued to carry her down the hall, his mother keeping up with his steps, still holding onto Erosa’s hand.
“What was she doing down there? And what would chase a god?” she asked him.
“I don’t know. I didn’t get a good look. I immediately went after her before she dove straight into the styx,” he stopped in front of his door, and his mother hurried to push it open.
“I don’t know why you and Hades insist on heavy doors,” she grunted as she pushed.
“Privacy?” Thanatos walked past his mother who followed him over to the bed.
“What could you possibly need privacy for?” she demanded. But when he looked at her cross between incredulous and exasperation, she grimaced, regretting the question.
In a few steps, he was at his bed and an invisible servant pulled the covers back, so that he could set her down. Before he could stop himself, he brushed a strand of hair out of her face. The colour had returned to her face and she felt warmer now. The underworld has a strange effect on immortals. It was almost like it was trying to drain her energy.
It was obvious that Persephone felt conflicted as to whether she should stay or leave. But Thanatos stopped her.
“Do you mind staying with her? I’ll come check on her later, but I need to check on something,” He placed a hand on his mother’s arm gently.
Persephone looked at him, seeing the silent plead in his eyes. She nodded and took a seat by the bed to hold Erosa’s hand.
“I’ll alert her parents,” she said.
“No, it’s quite alright. They don’t need to know. She’s safe that’s all the matters,” Thanatos stood up straight and stepped back from the bed.
“What happened after the creature? You said she nearly fell into the Styx.” His mother looked up to her son, waiting for an explanation.
“She ran, what else could she do. She ran towards the only source of light and that was the lantern at the end of the dock. She could’ve fallen off, she couldn’t exactly see where she was going. I appeared in front of her and she screamed. Then this,” he pointed to the unconscious goddess, lying in his bed.
She’s in my bed. Erosa… is in… MY BED! He tried to keep his expression neutral at the sight of her sleeping ‘nope, not sleeping, unconscious. idiot.’ he reminded himself.
“Well I don’t blame her for being scared. You scared me when you entered the palace,” his mother glared at him and he stared back in confusion.
“You should probably check yourself out in a mirror.” she said dryly.
Thanatos frowned again. He might as well keep it permanently plastered on his face.
“Why? what’s wrong with my suit? Dammit Gavin! I told you to wash your hands before touching my clothes!” he shouted, scaring a few servants, causing them to scatter like cats.
“No you biscuit! Check your cloak!” his mother rolled her eyes in exasperation.
“What?” Thanatos looked down and let out a harsh exhale.
His reaper’s cloak. The cloak itself was shadows sewn together to look like darkness rolling off of him, curling up like black mist around the floor. His extremities appeared like skeleton fingers, and then he remembered his face. He caught his reflection in the mirror in the corner of his room.
Groaning, he tore off the cloak, immediately his face went from flaming skull with bugs chilling in his eye sockets to his normal face. If that’s what he could call it. He hadn’t shaved in a while, which was something he should do before she wakes. He rubbed the back of his neck, and placed his other hand on his hip as he thought of what to do next. He looked around his room. Nothing was out of place.
The picture! He rushed over to his fireplace, and grabbed the picture off the mantel. It was of Erosa and him when they were younger. He looked at it, and stroked the frame gently, remembering. The picture frame was enchanted to show his fondest memories. It had no need for cameras, only relying on the owner’s mind for any details.
She was much younger then. Young and wild. He had stumbled across her hiding in the bushes not far from where he was doing bookwork. She was using her father’s binoculars, and trying to spy on a young couple of satyrs.
“What are you doing Erosa? Spying?” he mused. He lifted back a branch of the shrubbery and smiled at the young girl.
“Yes, now shh. I’m working,” she waved her little hand, trying to shoo him away which Thanatos obliged.
“Move over,” he whispered.
Erosa shuffled over and he looked at the couple she was spying on.
“Working huh?” he looked at her set up in amusement.
She had on her person, the binoculars, a pouch and an elegant bow and arrow.
“Erosa. Where did you get the bow and arrows?” he leaned in to whisper. The young girl looked up at him and grinned.
“My father. It was a gift for my first successful shooting. My brother’s wanted to call it hunting, but that just sounded predatory,” she shrugged and handed him the binoculars.
“Wanna watch? Father, gave me my first official scroll. I'm meant to shoot these guys,” she grinned excitedly, her eyes sparkling.
“Sure, are you a good shot?” Thanatos smirked and little Erosa snorted.
“Am I a good shot he asks… just watch oh Lord of Death,” she rolled back her shoulders and nocked the arrow. Thanatos watched in fascination as her tiny arms drew back the string. On her left arm, she wore a gold bracer to keep the string from hitting her soft skin. She held the string at her anchor point for three seconds before releasing, plenty of time for Thanatos to see the arrowhead covered in pink dust. Thanatos followed the arrow, as it flew towards one of the satyrs. It hit the young man square in the chest. For a moment he wondered if it failed, but the satyr rubbed at where he got hit before looking at his friend with adoration in his eyes.
“You only need one arrow?” he asked.
“Yeah, the arrows don’t make people fall in love. They just amplify good feelings. Love potions aren’t allowed. Father won’t tell me why. But I know that something happened. Something to do with Lord Zeus and a goat?” Erosa creeped away from the bush, and Thanatos followed her. When they were out of sight, she shouldered her bow. She was half his sizel and she looked young. But she had lived long enough to know about the world around her. It was all there in her eyes.
“Well, you’d better get back to the temple. I’m sure Eros is waiting to hear the success of your quest,” he jerked his head in the direction of East.
“He already knows. He had a dove accompany me. Once the deed is done. The dove flies off and lets my father know the outcome,” she smiled at him before gently beating her wings.
“Well I guess I’ll see you around,” He watched her take off, flying East before she disappeared into the clouds.
He made his way back to the spot he was occupying by the pond, shaking his head. That was the first time he had met one of Eros’ children. She was an interesting being.
Thanatos let out a soft chuckle before he walked over and placed the frame in his drawer just seconds before Erosa stirred.
It was like wading through water. Opening my eyes, I blinked, my eyes adjusting to the lighting. Which there wasn’t a lot.
It all came back to me and I screamed.
I looked around frantically and spotted the shadow creature coming towards me.
“Dammit Gavin! Put the bloody cloak down!” I heard someone shout.
Thanatos came rushing over to stand in front of me, blocking my sight. Shielding me.
“Thanatos,” I felt my breath catch, and I clutched at my chest where my heart started to ache.
Then I remembered. I tried to push him out of the way, ignoring his really nice, firm butt. Not that it was firm. I wasn’t trying to purposely feel… It was an accident. Please don’t judge me.
“It’s after me!” I shouted. But Thanatos just turned around and pushed me down. He walked over to the floating shadow, grabbed it and threw it out of his room.
“It’s my reaper’s cloak. I’m so sorry Erosa, I didn’t mean to scare you,” He came back to me and reached for my hand. Before our fingers could touch, he pulled back, confusing me.
“What were you doing down there Erosa?!” he fumed.
I felt my cheeks grow warm. I didn’t want to tell him I was down there to see the fates. There’s only one reason why a cupid would go down there. It’s already embarrassing enough, but I couldn’t very well tell him to his face.
Something passed him caught my eye and I realised it was a mirror. I sat up and looked around, it appeared I was in a bedroom. Even though it was completely dark outside, the heavy black drapes were drawn to reveal large windows. In one corner there lay a built in walk-in wardrobe. In another corner, a sleek black, piano rested, and not a modern one. A big classical grand piano. In front of the bed was a fireplace, and it was alight. The dying flames did their job casting a red glow throughout the room. But it looked like it needed one more piece of wood. Suddenly a floating log came out of nowhere and moved into the fire. What the f...
“It’s the invisible servants,” Thanatos explained.
“And where am I exactly?” I looked around, Lady Persephone was sitting on the bed near me. She gave my leg a reassuring squeeze before looking at Thanatos for confirmation.
“You are in the palace of the underworld,” He answered.
“Okay and whereabouts in the palace of the underworld? Because I’m pretty sure this isn’t the living room,” I frowned.
Thanatos blushed. He actually blushed. He opened his mouth to answer but his mother beat him to it.
“The guest room. You’re in the guest room,” she blurted.
“We have many rooms,” Okay… that was random. Thanatos raked his hand through his hair, clearly stressed. He paced about, refusing to look me in the eye.
“How did I end up here?” I reached out, and grabbed his wrist as he walked past me for the fourth time.
“Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. What happened?” I leaned back, down onto the bed, which apparently made Thanatos uncomfortable.
“I have business to continue. Mother?” he looked at Persephone in way that resembled almost pleadingly.
“Go, I’ll take care of her,” she said.
Thanatos nodded and left the room quickly.
“He found you down near the docks outside the caves of the Fates. You worried him, and Thanatos doesn’t worry easily,” She said to me when he left.
“Well he has a strange way of showing it. Where did he go?” I stared at the door, half expecting him to come back, and another half wanting him to come back, fully knowing he wasn’t coming back.
“He probably went to check on some things?” She suggested.
I knew I was frowning.
“Will he come back?” I asked suddenly, forgetting to hide my emotions.
Lady Persephone smiled and patted my leg.
“He will. He just needs to do a few things first,” She assured.
Thanatos couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Erosa was in his bed. The words kept repeating themselves over and over in his head. The sight of her in his bed was another image burned into his memory.
He tripped on one of the carpets down the hallway and cursed.
“Could someone please come and fix the floor?” he shouted.
He continued on down the hallway and out onto a balcony.
He was tempted to go back down to the Fate’s cave and do some investigating to find out what that creature was doing. But he knew it would be gone by now.
“What do I do with her?” he asked aloud.
“I don’t know, ask her on a date maybe?” said a voice behind him.
Thanatos turned to his left, and saw Apollo leaning against the door.
“What? No. and you’re not meant to be down here,” He glared at the golden god who grinned at him.
“I wanted to pop by and see if Erosa was here yet. We were meant to meet up at the dock, but when I got there Charon told me he already took her to see the Fates,” he explained.
“Yeah, I found her outside the cave, something inside scared her so bad she fainted, so I’ll keep her here for a while before letting her return home,” Thanatos shook his head.
“You’d better let her return home…” Apollo gave him a knowing smile.
“I will. I already considered the idea and mother nearly hit me because of it,” Thanatos smirked.
“I still don’t know how the mortals got it wrong. Hades didn’t kidnap your mother,” Apollo’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
“Yeah, she likes to make fun of him with that. She tells me every single time. She walked into the Underworld, she didn’t get dragged in,” Thanatos grinned. After a while he tilted his head to the side after realising something.
“She asked you to go with her?” he tried to keep his face neutral, but he felt his lip twitch, which Apollo did notice.
“Well of course. I’m the sun god. I light up the dark like no other?” He lifted his eyebrows and made finger guns at Thanatos.
“We could be great together Than,” Apollo winked and Thanatos rolled his eyes.
“But I know when my affections aren’t returned. So,” he stepped forward to stand next to Thanatos.
“Are you going to ask her on a date?” He finished.
Thanatos turned away to look out at the gardens below.
“Because I don’t know how.”
“It’s easy, just ask casually. By the way Than, you wanna see a movie with me this Friday?” Apollo gave an easy smile.
“Yeah man sounds good,” Thanatos nodded, “I don’t know how to be casual. I’ve never courted anyone before.” He hung his head, feeling slightly. Completely oblivious to what his friend just did.
“Just don’t think about it,” Apollo clapped his friend on the shoulder.
“You do realise that’s contradictory. How can I not think about something I’m doing?” Thanatos looked to the side, exasperated.
“It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Plenty of people have done it. Hercules for example, did a lot of stupid things when he was alive. 12 things in fact. All of them without thinking,” Apollo pointed out.
“But that was Hercules. His circumstance was different.”
“Sure, but he still managed to get it over and done with.”
“What’s your point?”
“My point, old friend, is how much longer are you gonna wait to make her yours?” Apollo looked at him with a sympathetic smile.
Thanatos didn’t answer so Apollo got up to leave.
He got down the hallway when he heard Thanatos call his name.
“Hey, what time’s the movie this Friday?” He turned to see his friend standing in the middle of the hall, hands in his pockets, looking lost.
“Seven alright for you?” Apollo called, walking backwards.
“Awesome, mind if I bring someone?” Apollo smirked.
“As long as it’s not awkward.”
“Sweet, see you then,” He turned and waved over his shoulder before disappearing in a golden shower of dust.