To me, the High Council meeting was mostly a blur. It was not until towards the end of it, when Anaxandra returned, that I began to gather my befuddled senses.
The ballroom was crowded. A few of the Goddesses sensed my alluring humanity and began to creep closer next to me. It was only Zeus’ anger that kept them at bay. Man, was Zeus furious!
“You,” he bellowed at Aphrodite and pointed a potent finger in her direction. She shuddered, sensing the scorching power building up in the tip. “As punishment for you the curse you placed on Apollo, you too must be cursed as well.”
An intense beam of light burst out from his fingertips, momentarily blinding everyone in the room. I screamed out in agony. This much light was painful for immortals. It was torture for me.
When my sight returned, I looked at were Aphrodite was standing. In her place now stood an old hag with shrivelled up skin, patches of grey hair and a warped posture. Its mouth was twisted into a permanent grimace and a mouldy wart had sprouted on its chin. I gasped along with the others when I realised that this ugly being was Aphrodite. Only her eyes had remained the same. After all, they were the only feature that showed her true self – harsh, cold and spiteful.
“And you shall remain like this until Apollo’s curse has been lifted,” Zeus said through clenched teeth. The hag screeched and stormed from the room. “And you!” Zeus whirled around to face the northern part of the crowd. It scattered apart until Hades was in Zeus’ view.
Zeus clicked his fingers and the flames on Hades head were extinguished. Hades made a noise that sounded oddly like a whimper before he scampered out, following Aphrodite’s trail.
“Now,” Zeus said in his booming voice. He turned to me. The expression on his face was no longer livid. It was just sad. Incredibly sad. “I’m afraid, young Apollo, that you cannot stay here. Even though you were once the great G-d of the Sun, you are now humans.”
“And humans don’t belong in this realm,” I added. I wore a grave expression.
“Yes. I shall give you exactly one night to pack your belongings, and then my faithful messenger, Hermes, will guide you into the realm of humans.” I nodded solemnly, restraining myself from dropping to my knees and begging him to let me stay.
“I trust that Anaxandra would escort you home, being that she is the fastest of all immortals.” I glanced at her. She smiled at me in response. Unlike the other smiles I received from the Goddesses nearby, hers was free of sexual intension.
We were at my sun house in a matter of minutes. Anaxandra was breathing hard as if she had just ran a marathon and I looked more than slightly windswept.
“Wow, you’re fast,” I complimented her. Anaxandra’s breathing sped up as her eyes fixed on mine. They were filled with desire. So she’s not as immune as I had hoped, I thought miserably. I could tell she was struggling to keep strictly professional in my presence.
Without warning, her arms shot out and she had me pressed up against my door. Her face was pressed up right in my ear.
“Must go...Before I lose...Control,” she whispered through ragged breaths. Before she left, Anaxandra touched her lips lightly onto mine, filling my whole body with a sensation of adrenaline mixed with exhilaration. “Sweet dreams,” were her departing words.
It was only when I was inside and passed one of my mirrors that I realised that I was glowing. Hmmm, I wondered. It seems I am somewhat more than human when I was aroused.
I was not excessively surprised when I found Nyx lying on my bed. Even though she was fully clothed. What actually stunned me was how she greeted me. Which was not at all really.
“You need energy before you enter the human realm,” she said abruptly.
“I’ve seen some of the people there. Not many of them are nice. You are going to need it.”
“Okay,” I replied, tired of refusing.
“Umm...” Her cheeks flooded with colour.
“What,” I asked. This was out of character for her to be embarrassed, especially around an arrogant twat like me.
“The only way to do an energy transfer without harming humans is through...” She trailed off. The emotion on her face showed me that she felt like dying of humiliation.
“Intercourse,” I finished for her.