Chapter One (Part VIII)Mature

“Charlie, won’t you do us all a kindness?” Zeus asks me pleasantly, gesturing towards the grand piano in the corner of the room. I don’t hesitate, if it means getting away from Hera, but before I can take a step forward, Zeus steadies me and looks into my eyes.

If I may ask, how are our guests feeling tonight?

I take a glance around the room and close my eyes for a few seconds to absorb each and every wave of emotion. An involuntary smile appears on my face, and immediately my heart begins to race with mild euphoria.

In general, happy as clams.

Zeus’ face doesn’t seem to relax, though, but I can understand why: the happier they are before he delivers the news, the more devastated they’ll be.

Regaining his composure, he squeezes my shoulders and releases me, beckoning me once again to the corner of the room. Hermes follows me to the piano and sits beside me on the bench.

“What was that all about?”

“He was wondering how everyone was feeling,” I reply.

“Oh.” He hits two keys with his knuckle. To anyone else, it may seem like just a couple of random pitches, but they’re actually the first two notes to Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat major. He likes when I play this song. I would’ve tired of it had it not been for his reaction every time he requests it.

I give him a wan smile and begin playing. Soon enough, I can feel the residual tension from his body melting away.

It truly is a wonderful piece. Its slow beauty coats the air like honey, reminds me of the feeling of being in love, if I were ever.

The End

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