I remember, in our ‘younger’ years…
I walked alongside Erebus in a rare stroll through Olympus, the Olympians’ home, not the mortal city. We traded our usual dark garb for brilliant blues and reds, gold accents glittering in Hemera’s light. A small circlet graced Erebus’ forehead, and it caught my eye every once in a while, making him smile.
The seasons in Olympus don’t necessarily have to follow the ones in the mortal plane, but we do so anyways. The autumn in particular was one of my favourite times of the year, when everything burned red and gold, the skies were more rouge and plum coloured, and the wines were mulled and delicious.
The Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated in September, but carry it on as long as the winter’s sleep would let us; or rather, however long Persephone allowed us, I suppose. Regardless, the air smelled of ambrosia and pumpkin pie, and immortals one and all were in a pleasant mood. This is how Mount Olympus should feel – full of magic, power, warmth. Little bickering (this is Olypmus, there will always be some form of it here) could be heard, laughter and singing overriding it in the cool air.
“We haven’t done this in quite some time, have we?” Erebus commented, watching as a flock of golden sheep were herded by.
“No, you’re quite right.” I slid my hand into his and squeezed gently. “We should do this more often.”
He kissed my cheek gently, and we continued down the path until we came to a small cafe. The smell of cinnamon rolls and coffee drifted out, and I could see Erebus looking inside to see if it was busy. I tugged on his hand, grinning.
“I can see the rolls are calling you – come, we’re not in a rush, love. We can splurge on us.”
Erebus gave me that charming smile that made me first fall in love with him, and he followed me inside. I ordered us two rolls, an Americano for him and a French vanilla cappuccino for myself, and we seated ourselves near the window to watch passers-by. I sipped my drink slowly, letting my roll cool a little, when I caught Erebus staring at me. I touched my mouth and cheeks, frowning slightly.
“What are you looking at, is there something on my face?”
He reached across and cupped my face. “Just your radiance, as always. Don’t mind me, I’m just admiring my wife – you know how I am.”
I blushed slightly and kissed his wrist with a smile, before turning to my cinnamon roll. “Charmer.” I took a bite as he grinned and shrugged.
“Isn’t that why you married me?”
I rolled my eyes, and we finished our snacks and drinks before heading back out into the street, hand in hand. We stopped to chat with a few others we met along the way: Hermes, Apollo, and even Zeus and Hera were out enjoying themselves, Hera’s arm tucked into Zeus’. When they weren’t causing natural disasters via their anger, they were one of the sweetest couples I could think of on Olympus.
Sunset was drawing to a close, and I, of all people, was starting to get tired. Erebus must have seen it in my face, and pulled me close to him.
“Shall we head home, my skies?”
I nodded once, and Erebus teleported us home to Tartarus. The dark, cool apartments felt nice after the warmth and energy of Olympus. I made my way to my chaise and slid onto it, nudging my slippers off and sighing. Erebus came up behind me and kneaded my shoulders, and I melted beneath his hands. I closed my eyes and let myself enjoy the moment, until I felt his lips brushing up against my neck.
“You’re tired. Let’s get you somewhere more comfortable than the couch, hm?”
When I tried to protest, Erebus came to my side and scooped me into his arms, making me laugh as he carried me to the bedroom. Kicking his own shoes off, he lay me on the bed, showering me in kisses as I returned them. Pulling away from me for a moment, he removed my robe gently, more tender than sexual, and draped it over the ottoman at the end of the bed.
“Now, turn over so I can see about fixing those shoulders of yours. Don’t make me ask twice, and keep your wings in.” I could hear the cheek in his voice, so I stuck my tongue out at him and rolled over, folding my arms beneath my head. I felt blankets pulled up to my thighs, the bed shifting on my right, and then his fingers were pressing into my spine. I let out a long breath, and I heard him chuckle.
“How’s that?” Erebus purred, sliding his thumbs down the middle of my back, small pops coming from underneath them.
“Wonderful,” I murmur into my arms, and I have to make an effort not to let me wings reappear and smack him in the face.
I shift slightly to make myself more comfortable, and his hands follow me. They pressed into my shoulder blades, deep into my lower back, carefully at the nape of my neck. His thumbs glide up the sides of my neck and behind my ears, into my hair to massage my scalp, and I can feel the pull of sleep coinciding with the release of my muscles.
I remember Erebus’ hands rubbing my right arm down to my wrist, squeezing each finger gently but firmly, and my body felt like it was tingling from the inside out. He faded in and out of my mind, and I thought I felt him kiss my cheek once more, curling up beside me and pulling the blankets over us, before I went to sleep.
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