"Were are Hades and Persephone?" I ask, glancing around the empty living room. They are nowhere to be seen tonight, neither are any of the Automatons.
The corner of Hermes’ mouth quirks. “Out. Possibly in the Underworld. One never knows with those two.”
Relief unfurls in the muscles in my shoulders. Still, I can’t help but ask, “Without saying goodbye?”
He’s definitely amused. “Shall I fetch them for you?”
“No!” My answer is too quick, which I fear broadcasts just how ecstatic I am at the thought of being along with Hermes right now. And that realization causes me to blush for the millionth time around him in the last month, so I clarify, “Of course not. I was just curious.”
“Curiosity killed the cat, you know.” To my delight, his hand finds mine and our fingers intertwine. It is a delicious sensation: his hand, warm and worn in mine in just such a way that feels like it’s an extension of my body.
It must be criminal to adore touching someone so much.
“Did it, though?” I ask, and he laughs a burst of exasperated air.
“Possibly, but then again, who am I to judge, when I am often struck by curiosity that I cannot help but sate?” He gives me that dazzling grin of his and pulls me through the house. “Case in point: you.”
“Me?” I squeak unattractively. There are lights ahead through the French doors leading to the patio, and I am curious myself enough to wonder what they are, but not nearly as much as I am for what he might mean.
“Yes, you.” He glances back at me. “I’ve never told you that I was overcome with curiosity when I heard Athena cursed some girl from one of her temples. It wasn’t like it was the first time she’d gone vindictively bonkers, but she was really put out over you. I mean . . . one of her followers? Even that was low for her.” His fingers squeeze mine gently and we stop about twenty feet from the doors. “When I first showed up on your island . . .”
I am helpless at looking anywhere but in his eyes. Tonight, they’re green. Vivid, beautiful, clear green. “Yes?”
“I’d been warned that you were a monster and that I best keep my distance. That you would slay me at the slightest provocation, and naturally, I believed it, as I could not blame anyone’s hatred toward my family after what my sister and uncle had done to you. But once Death handed me that first soul and departed, I heard you crying. My curiosity inflamed tenfold. What kind of so-called monster weeps like her heart had shattered and never would form whole again?”
Like clockwork, my cheeks burn. His fingers brush my reddened skin ever so gently before I turn my face to rest in his hand. The butterflies in my chest swarm frantically. “My sister misjudged you. I knew that the very second I heard your anguish. I’m afraid I was lost to you from that moment on. I had to discover all that made you you, even if I would suffer the same fate as the proverbial cat. And I never cared about the risks, as long as my curiosity about you was sated first.”
“Truly?” The word barely escapes my lips.
His eyes are so intense. “Truly.”
Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.
Connect with Heather:
Website / Author Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest