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(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.)


            I arrived at the theater just before nine. I should’ve been late, made him wonder if I was coming, but that went against every self-preserving bone in my body. If I was late, he could consider it a breach of our oral contract.

And you don’t break deals with gods.

Who did you think was populating Hades’ new underworld? It wasn’t made for the dead. It was made for the gods’ people who broke their rules.

Yet another reason to stick to my guns and tell Apollo to take his offer and shove it up someplace even more painful than his ass.

I parked in the employee parking, knowing somehow Apollo would make sure the attendant knew my car was supposed to be there and not have it towed. I climbed out of my car, smoothing down my skirt. I hated that I’d dressed up for him, but it was Apollo’s Theater. You didn’t go there in even normal suits. It was black tie, sometimes white. I was just self-conscious enough to not want to stand out in the crowd of Nashville’s blue bloods.

Also, if I dressed normal, the ticket guy might think I was a protester pretending, and then have to call Apollo for confirmation, and I wanted to at least have a chance of barging in on the bastard.

Huh, I liked the second reason better. I’d stick with that.

The dress was a blood red strappy gown with a corset-like top and a full ball skirt. I got it for 2L Barrister’s Ball and it was nice to have a reason to wear it again. There weren’t a lot of formals, shows or balls in the life of a Prosecutor. I had on my favorite red stilettos and an elaborate black and gold Pashmina an ex bought me.

My hair was twisted up and I’d done up my makeup. I hated to admit it, but it was fun getting all gussied up. Even if it was just to tell a god no in person and not for anything like a show, or even, gasp, a date.

I know, heaven forbid a lawyer actually have the time for a social life.

My heels clickity-clacked my arrival as I rounded the building to get to the main entrance and protesters near the edges of the pathway leading from the sidewalk turned to shout at me that it wasn’t too late and I could stop supporting the heathen gods and just go home.

I walked around them.

Red ropes encased a path through the large lawn and all the way to the street. Guards stood every few feet, keeping the protesters away from the sculpted grounds. There were only a few well-dressed patrons hurrying inside and two by the cancellation booth. I guessed the show started at nine thirty.

I got around the bubble of protesters and onto the rope encased pathway.

Click, click, click, my heels sang, loud enough to hear over the shouting protesters. Or maybe that was just my heart pounding in my throat.

A guard by the cancellation booth stopped me. His name tag said ‘Bruce.’ Wasn’t that just a perfect guard’s name? I pressed my lips together to keep from giggling.

No, I wasn’t nervous. I’d just… had a lot of sugar.

He was a foot taller than me with strong features, solid blue eyes, and hair buzzed so short I couldn’t tell its color. If he wasn’t ex-military, I’d eat my Pashmina.

“Name?” Bruce asked with a smooth Southern accent just a little too close to Foghorn Leghorn’s to be real. Or that could’ve just been me.

“Cassandra Berry.”

He nodded once and his eyes slid out of focus. He nodded again like someone was talking to him. Someone probably was. I shivered. Can you say creepy?

His eyes came back to me. “I’ll escort you.”

Of course he would.

So much for barging in.

Bruce offered me his left arm and I took it with my right. Everyone just assumes you’re right-handed until you tell them otherwise. Yes, I felt a little silly for walking in on his arm like he was my escort in an old movie about the South, but it seemed rude to ignore him. He opened the door for me and walked me into the lobby.

A gentleman, my my.

The lobby was as spectacular as I remembered. Circular and very Greek with its white and light rose marble floors and columns. Red velvet chaises were placed along the walls. Circles of four leather chairs made up little island groupings for conversation scattered here and there amidst the sea of stone. Gold statues adorned the columns and doorways, and a real crystal chandelier straight out of The Phantom of the Opera hung in the middle of the ceiling.

The ceiling was the best part. A straight up Michelangelo-esque depiction of stories about the Greek gods, mostly Apollo and the Muses.

Dressed up people milled about and light chatter echoed along with classical playing in the background, but it was clear the show was going to start soon by how the few people left glanced at watches and cell phones. We walked to an elevator in the back and rode up to the fourth floor. I chattered the entire time and Bruce nodded along, looking interested. Man, he had to have been paid well to play babysitter.

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