SCALES-109

“My name is Melinoe. I’m actually a nymph, goddess, whichever term you prefer. My father sent me to make sure you kept your end of the deal.”

She blinked and I realized with a start that one of her eyes was white and the other black. Just like Zeus.

“You were a spy?” I asked incredulously, taking a step back.

“More like…insurance.” She responded, “I had to keep myself disguised. Lucifer and I have something of a history.”

“You too?” I asked, tempted to laugh.

“Not like that. It’s because my mother was his queen. Persephone.”

“That’s…awkward.”

She shrugged.

“It’s all a giant soap opera. I usually stay out of it, but my dad decided to call in a favour with this.”

“Did your dad also tell you to seduce me?” I asked, folding my arms.

Melinoe laughed.

“No. That was all me. I like you, Zara. You’re…real. I can’t remember the last time I had a mortal lover. What do you say?”

“I…I don’t know. I need time.” I sighed, remembering Cupid. I didn’t have the best track record with the gods.

“Sleep on it.” She offered, “I’ll be escorting you to meet with my dad soon anyways.”

Before I could say anything else, she’d vanished in a cloud of black dust.

The return to Hell was considerably more disturbing than our ascent to Earth. The ground in the centre of the Stonehenge seemed to collapse into itself, and as our party ran towards the gaping hole we were sucked downwards through another blinding column of light.

I emerged disoriented and probably about to bruise badly, but I was fairly distant from everything.

The ride back to the castle went by uneventfully, and I almost felt grateful upon returning to my room with its massive four-poster bed and the stacks of books littering the floor.

The days following our return went by just as uneventfully. There were a slew of celebrations and parties, obviously, but I avoided them as best I could.

I kept to myself. I was thinking, mulling things over, trying to come to some kind of conclusion about myself and what had happened.

I didn’t, obviously.

So when I saw a swirling cloud of black dust in the middle of my room and Melinoe materialized out of thin air, I was happy for the interruption of my aimless contemplation.

She was no longer in her servant’s outfit. A silky black gown had replaced it, contrasting with her milky skin and her startling white eye.

“Ready to visit the big man, Zara?”

I shrugged.

“Why not?”

The End

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