(Earlier parts are linked on the Amie’s Fiction page. I’m working on turning this into a full novel and have revised a lot of it to accommodate a longer and more involved story.)
He held up his hands with that same easy smile. He probably had that smile when wandering around his boss’s new underworld. “I was sent to deliver two messages. First, plead this case out. Second, your god wants to talk to you.”
I fingered the tiny cross resting just above my collar. “He’s not my god. God didn’t stop existing just because beings with magic who call themselves gods woke up. He’s still up there. Watching over us.”
“And yet He hasn’t come down, even though there are ‘false gods’ among us now. Makes you wonder if He’s really there.” Henry held up his hands. “Sorry, we’re getting off topic. The gods are playing within the rules the government set out, not forcing anyone to worship or heed them. That doesn’t mean they can’t do a hell of a lot more than they show the public. You don’t talk to Apollo soon, he’s going to stop playing nice with you.”
My face froze. I’m not scary usually, at five foot one and a hundred and ten pounds, I’m far from it. But just as I can sense thoughts and emotions, I can project them, too. I met his eyes, going to my quiet place. The logical, cold center of my brain that let me deal with domestic violence cases when the perpetrators went free because the victims changed their minds about testifying by the time the trial rolled around. I oozed dread over him and he shivered.
“Don’t threaten me, Henry.”
“I’m not. I’m still your friend even if you aren’t mine. I’m trying to protect you. Don’t shoot the messenger.” At least his smarmy smile faded. “Manipulating emotions like that might be illegal soon, you know?”
I smiled, wide and sweet. “I think it should be. Using my powers to manipulate people is wrong. Of course, people like you are fighting to keep that legislation from going through, huh?”
His smile grew again. I really hated that smile. “You have the message. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you in Olympus soon. Always a pleasure, Cassandra.” He turned on a heel and walked to the street where his limo waited, blocking the lane.
Yeah, like I was going to just let him go without telling me what was really going on.
“Get back here.” I rushed after him.
An eye appeared in front of me and I slammed on the brakes, glad I was wearing wide-heeled black ankle boots instead of heels today. It’s hard to slam to a stop in stilettos.
The eye was a foot across and nearly as tall. The iris was dark purple, with a midnight blue six pointed star around the pupil; the skin on the eyelid a sun kissed gold and lashes that long, curled, blackest black women spend a fortune at Sephora to get.
I looked around. Not one of the suited, briefcased masses swarming over the steps looked at the eye or gave me a second glance.
I shook my head and slashed my hand through the eye. It went straight through. Illusion. The gods could make things out of thin air, but it took energy. Mostly they just did illusions. Usually just as effective and more energy efficient.
Henry’s limo pulled away and I walked through the eye.
The gods could contact ‘their people’ mentally. I wasn’t one of Apollo’s people so he couldn’t invade my mind like that, but any of them could pick on anyone in their territory they wanted. For some reason, Apollo wanted me.
Good freaking question!
Psychics weren’t a dime a dozen, but it wasn’t like I was the only one in the country. I wasn’t even the only one in Nashville, not that that mattered. Sure, it was the city Apollo chose as ‘his,’ (the whole Music City thing, I guess) but he could go all over the country. The Greek gods had all of the U.S. Hades claimed Atlanta but hired Henry who kept his office in Nashville.
And why did the Greeks have the U.S. anyway? Didn’t the Native American gods have something to say about that when the gods were carving up the world like a birthday cake? Yet another unanswered question about the gods. The list just got longer and longer the more I learned about magic and the gods.
My mind whirled as I walked to the office. Why would the gods care about an assault case? Henry said they didn’t want accusing them to become common. I could see how that could make some bad press. And get annoying fast. Maybe I could use that to my advantage.
Huh. Idea. Probably even a good idea.
If I didn’t mind a little risk of my sanity, life, and soul.
The eye appeared in front of me three more times on the way to the office. I didn’t tell it to go away. I didn’t swipe at it again.
Ignore it, tell it it doesn’t exist, and maybe, just maybe, you can believe it away.
It worked on illusions.
Too bad it didn’t work on the gods themselves.