I sat at my desk. It’s Saturday, so the building is empty, except for me and the girls. They gave up trying to get their ears scratched and instead lay next to the desk.
Artemis left. I mean, she already left this morning, and apparently already left our flash relationship. She said Erato was blame, that he leaked his ‘lust dust’ all over her and she couldn’t control herself. Said she didn’t know what she was doing. She scooped up her clothes this morning and ran out of my bedroom like she was running for her life from Cyclops’ cave.
“Does she think I’m a fucking idiot? She knew exactly what she was doing.”
I tapped out a cigarette and lit it with my gold lighter. After the first deep draw, I stared absentmindedly at the lighter while I flicked it open and closed in my hand.
My mind flashed a reel of the last several days over in my head.
“Walking in Olympus Park…the waterfall…the cavern temple…her beckoning to me…our climax after climax…dinner out…holding hands…laying and talking with her head nestled on my chest…”
I looked down at the girls as they lay snoozing.
“You idiot,” I thought, “once again you opened up and invited someone to fuck you over. Why did you think it was going to be different this time? You just never learn. This is why you can’t trust others. This is why you need to keep things to yourself. No one gives a damn about Dinlas, except Dinlas.”
I scoffed and threw the lighter down on my desk. She used me. There is no other word for it. She knew of my feelings for her and she took advantage of me. The little ‘Virgin Princess’ decided that she wanted to see what it was like. She wanted to try out a few days of debauchery, and she knew just where to find an idiot who would fawn all over her and make her feel good about herself.
“So you weren’t good enough,” came the immediate thought.
“Why do you ever think you’re good enough?” came another thought.
“Nonsense, I was good enough physically, she just never had any real feelings for me. She got her thrill, now she’s moved on.” <Laughs internally> “Yeah, sure you were. Sure, you were good enough, that’s why she just ditched you after only three days.”
Another thought popped into my head. It was a woman’s voice.
“You need to stop.”
“Moxie?” I thought.
“Yes, it’s Moxie. I can hear you all the way over at the Olympus Administration Building.”
“Get the fuck out of my head.”
Moxie laughed. “I will not. You need to go outside. Do something, stop sitting there sulking.”
“I can’t help it. She just ripped my guts out.”
I heard Moxie’s long sigh of exasperation.
“Look Din, I don’t have long. I have to meet with Zeus in a few minutes. I don’t know what Artemis’ reason was for what she did, but it’s done. You need to suck it up and pull yourself together. You’re the Zeus-damned God of Hate. You need to start acting like it, instead of acting like The Whipped God of Puss.”
“Umm, not really helping here, Mox.”
“Sorry, Kiddo, sometimes tough love is the best love. Try to think about something else. Throw yourself into some work, bang that red-headed kink secretary again…”
Estrella. My thoughts cut Moxie off momentarily as I thought of our last encounter when I so casually tossed her aside. Tossed her aside, much like Artemis now did me.
“Oh, shit,” came Moxie’s voice in my head as she read my thoughts. “I didn’t know you dumped the freaky little ginger. Well, that’s just awkward. So maybe throw yourself into some bounty work?”
I replied, “Ok seriously, you need to stop. I don’t feel like working and there is no one to ‘bang’, as you put it.”
Moxie persisted.“Then head up to Nox and find yourself some strange. It’ll do you good. You know, just get it all out of your system. I bet if you call Nyx, she can hook you up. Have you been with a guy recently? Maybe a little variety is all you need.”
“Moxie, for the last time, stop. I mean, I appreciate you’re trying to help. But I don’t want to bang, or be banged, right now. I’m fine, thank you. But you are right, I need to get more involved with my work. Honestly, romance has distracted me for some time now and work has suffered. Thank you for your help.”
“You sure you’re okay?”
“Moxie, I’m as well as can be expected.”
“Okay then, well I’m outta here, gotta talk to Big-Z about some marketing.”
I felt her check out of my head. She was right. I ground the nub of my cigarette out, got up and walked over to my filing cabinets. After a moment of digging, I pulled out the manilla envelope Aunt Demeter gave me after I helped her get rid of Mr. Franklin. I walked back to the desk and spread the contents out. There were pictures, surveillance reports, bank statements, and a list of assets. Everything I needed to track and apprehend the fugitive. I picked up a picture and looked at it.
“Anthony Santiago,” I thought, “brace yourself. I’m a little pissed off right now and you are my new pet project.”Moxie’s flirty voice giggled momentarily in my head, “Now there’s The God of Hate that I know and love.”
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