“Get bent,” Polyphemus growls. “You’re a terrible father. Do you really think I’m going to listen to dating advice from you? The last relationship you had was with Medusa, and she dumped you in front of everyone.”
The cyclops stalks out of headquarters, ducking as he passes through the thick wooden door. At least he doesn’t slam it. We’ve had to replace the damn thing four times in the past couple of months. Seems none of us know our own strength off of Mount Olympus.
With a roll of my eyes, I turn to face Euryale, our bartender. And then remember she was the one who encouraged Medusa to dump my ass. Despite that, one of the many snakes that make up her “hair” wraps itself around a bottle of whiskey and upends it until the rocks glass is almost full.
“The kid’s not wrong,” she says and slides the drink toward me. “But then again, Meds took off for the Underworld and never looked back, so…maybe you’re not the only one who makes poor choices.”
The liquid slides down my throat, warming me from the inside. It takes a hell of a lot to get a Greek God drunk, but half a bottle? It takes the sting from Polyphemus’s words.
“Life was supposed to be easier off the mountain,” I mutter.
“Oh, come on, Poison.” The nickname slides off her tongue with a little hiss. “All the gold we brought with us? You can’t tell me you’re wanting for a damn thing.”
I’m not. I’ve got a sweet mountaintop hideaway, a vintage bike that roars louder than Apollo on his best day, and I’m Vice President of the Gods of Thunder MC.
Well, one of them anyway. Z made me share the title with Hades. Oh, sorry. Cole Black. The idiot changed his name, handed the keys to the underworld over to Medusa, and Cerberus ended up as a three-legged chihuahua. Pretty sure the dog tries to kill Hades every damn night, but he’s just too small to do any damage.
Draining the last of the whiskey, I shake my head. “Of course not. You’ve seen my place, Euryale.”
Her yellow eyes take on a brighter glow. “Parts of it. As I recall, once we reached the patio, you kept me quite…occupied.”
“Was an epic mistake. We both know it. Don’t worry, Poison. My lips are sealed.” With her hands pressed flat to the bartop, she leans forward and I catch a whiff of her perfume.
Epic mistake? Absolutely. Yet I enjoyed every minute. So did she. I made sure of it.
“Let Polyphemus cool down a bit. He’ll ride for a few hours and by the time he gets back, that cute little Pixie he’s pining over will be a distant memory.”
I hope she’s right.
The sun paints the sky in a thousand different shades of red, orange, and purple. The view is nothing compared to the never-ending rainbows all around Mount Olympus, but then again, my life is a lot simpler here.
All of our lives are a lot simpler.
Even with Polyphemus’s shit.
Once we burned the Ambrosia fields, we weren’t sure where to go, but Zeus decided Seattle was a fitting location since there’s a Mt. Olympus here too. Note the spelling. It makes a difference.
Most of the time? I love living among humanity. But today? I’m on my fifth bottle of scotch and it’s doing nothing to dull all the anger, frustration, and pain. Of all the things we left behind, Dionysius’s wine is the biggest loss. That shit could lift the worst mood. Or at least make you forget about it for a while.
Staggering out onto my patio, I drain the last of the bottle. Damn Polyphemus. I shouldn’t let him get to me, but that’s a lost cause.
I could kick him out of the club for his impertinence, but he and his brothers rock at their duties guarding headquarters, and though the twelve of us—the OG Greek Gods—hide our wealth behind so many layers of magic even the Fates would have a hard time finding it—you can never be too careful.
Humans are devious, annoying, and terrible creatures. Some of them, anyway. The Postmates and Door Dash peeps? They’re solid.
“Polyphemus needs to learn some damn respect. I’m his father, for gods’ sake,” I mutter, my hands braced on the stone wall so I can stare out over the waters of Puget Sound.
Yeah, the father who abandoned him, failed to warn him about the dangers of alcohol, and let Odysseus drive a stake through his eye. It’s no wonder he hates you.
I hope Euryale is right and he’ll come around. I abandoned all hope of a relationship with him eons ago, but now that we’re all in Seattle—based here at least, no one’s seen Z in months—I have a second chance. Too bad I’m screwing it all up.
My fingers itch for my Trident. I’m not a fool. I didn’t leave it behind. But a nearly seven-foot-tall Greek God with long, white hair, blue eyes, and a body carved from granite holding a shimmering golden Trident aloft? Someone would notice.
At least, I hope they would.
Motion from far below distracts me from my tipsy musings. Pale arms, trying to push against the dark waters of the Sound. A mane of red hair. Fanning out in rippling curls as the human tips her head back, her lips barely high enough to suck in a breath of air. There’s no other sound. No screaming. No splashing.
It’s a myth. That drowning is loud and obvious. It’s not. Most people who drown do so silently. Using their limited air to breathe, not call for help. If she could only float on her back, she would be fine. But the brain works against the body.
This human in in trouble and she will not last much longer.
Not on my watch. I may no longer be God of the Sea, but the waters and the creatures within still bend to my will.
Holding out my hand, I picture my Trident in my mind’s eye. Two seconds later, it materializes, all nine feet of gold shimmering in the last of the sun’s rays.
The clothes I can replace. But my shoes? Fine Italian leather, perfectly sculpted to my feet? Those, I toe off quickly, leap onto the stone wall, and focus my gaze on the woman below.
“I’m coming, human. You will not die today.”
And then I jump, fold myself in half in mid-air, and execute the world’s most perfect dive, landing in the frigid waters of Puget Sound without so much as a single splash.
I don’t know who this woman is or why she’s in trouble, but saving her? It’s the one thing I can do that no one will hate me for.
With a strong kick, I approach her from below, and my eyes widen. She’s completely naked. A firm ass, shapely legs, delicate arms.
Catching her around the waist, I lift her so her head breaks the surface, then send out a beacon to any creatures within this large basin who might know who she is or how she ended up here. She gasps for air, choking and sputtering, and then she goes limp in my grasp.
“Stay with me, love.”
The Trident carries me—us—to shore, and once the waters are shallow enough for me to kneel with her held against my chest, I brush her hair away from her face.
A small, almost upturned nose, dark lashes, and a bruise swelling on her cheek. Someone hurt her. Did they also throw her into the water?
The waters ripple, and a giant octopus slithers towards me. Holding out my hand, I let the cephalopod wrap one of its arms around my wrist.
“What happened to her?”
The octopus shudders, and images flash through my mind. The beautiful woman in my arms sits on a rock, her red hair draped over her breasts, and she smiles as she stares out over the water. But then a dark shadow falls over her from behind.
A scream, a splash, and a bolt of bright light, then nothing.
“Who is responsible?”
My tentacled friend has no idea, so I nod and send him back to the cold depths where he’s protected.
“I’ll take care of you,” I whisper to the unconscious woman. Once I climb back up the mountain. If it were dark, I could use the water to lift me. But this close to sunset? Too many people would see. Thank the gods for the private trail leading from my house to the beach. And for the icy waters chasing the last of the alcohol from my system.
I’ll get her home and into my bed. After that, hopefully she can tell me who hurt her.