Dad glared at me. “Why do you automatically assume I did this?”
“Well, she is in your office,” I pointed out. “A tête-à-tête gone wrong, perhaps?”
Thunder echoed overhead as Dad’s face turned red in anger. “For your information, I was upstairs having dinner with your mother. If you don’t believe me, you can ask her.”
I glanced down at the body, the unmistakable scorch mark making me doubt his word. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the old man has fooled around with Mother in close proximity. Pulling out my phone, I said, “What time did you have dinner?”
“Time means nothing to me, Ares. I’m immortal.”
“Humor me just this once.”
“I was up there for at least three or four hours.”
“We didn’t only eat.”
I held up my hand. “Please, there are some things that kids don’t need to know, and one of them is that their parents still fool around.”
“Oh, grow up, son.”
I made a phone call to Hades, asking him when Ophelia had arrived in his office and what the cause of death was. Dad paced the floor on the opposite end of his office from the body. I’m sure he was wondering what Mother was going to say when she found out about this. She’d either give him an alibi or hang him out to dry. “You better tell Mother about this before she hears it from someone else. It maybe 11 p.m., but you know she has spies everywhere who tell her everything that goes on around here.”
A lightning bolt whizzed by my head and slammed into the wall, sending sparks everywhere. A large burn mark was left behind, and I studied it, then looked at the one on the body. Hades’ voice broke into my thoughts. He confirmed the time of death was 10 p.m., and that she had died from a heart attack. But what he said after that left me almost speechless. I thanked him for the information and hung up. Next, I called Mother, who told me that Dad had indeed been with her until 10:30. She also reminded me that if I didn’t believe her, which I was inclined to do, then I should check my own security cameras.
I hate it when she’s right.
I went over to Cassandra. “I’m sorry to cut our evening short, but I need to take care of this situation.”
She glanced over at Zeus, then back at me. “Did he do it?”
I shook my head. “No,” I said quietly. “But remember when we first arrived at the restaurant tonight? I saw Ophelia arguing with Charlie, the forge foreman. I’m going to use my master key to go look in Ophelia’s office.”
“You should let me go with you. I’ve worked with her on several things lately. If you’ve got an idea what you’re looking for, I’ll be able to help you locate it faster.”
I thought about it for a moment, then nodded in agreement. “Let me talk to Dad for a minute.”
“What did your mother say?” he asked me when I walked over to him.
“That you were with her until 10:30. She also reminded me to check my own security cameras, which I intend to do after we search Ophelia’s office. Uncle Hades told me that Ophelia arrived in his office at 10:00 p.m.”
“Did he tell you how she died? Was it a lightning bolt?”
I put my hand on his shoulder. “No. It was a heart attack. But someone went to a lot of trouble to make it look like you did it.”
Thunder rolled through the office again and more lightning bolts hit the walls. Cassandra ran out of the room into the reception area to get out of the line of fire. I was right behind her; when he was like this, there was no talking to him. You certainly couldn’t blame him for being angry; someone had it in for the gods. And my money was on the one person Hephaestus thought he could trust…Charlie.
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