Chapter 22: Story Time
The past week has been amazing. No rogues, plus, Athena and I went out on a couple more dates. It seems like she’s really starting to warm up to me and I honestly couldn’t be happier. Although she still hasn’t spoken a lot about her past. But that’s okay because I don’t want to push her and ruin all of this.
“My King.” Perseus said from the doorway. “Hecate and the Queen have arrived.”
“Send them in please.” I smiled as I stood up to make sure I looked presentable and walked out of my office to meet them in the living room.
I called Athena yesterday and asked her if she wanted to come see the castle for the first time and possibly meet some of the wolves that live here. Everyone has been waiting anxiously to meet her, but I told them to not get their hopes up. Athena is still a little weary around new people and I didn’t want to make her do something that she wouldn’t like.
I smiled as I saw Athena come around the corner. Her eyes were wide as she took in the castle and she had a ghost of a smile on her beautiful lips.
‘Oh my gosh.’ Zeus sighed in content. ‘Look at her.’
“Ares.” Athena said breathlessly. “It’s beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Isn’t it?” I asked as I looked around.
Paintings and statues covered the walls and beautiful diamond chandeliers hung from the high ceilings.
“I’ve never seen a place so big.” Athena said as she continued to look around. “The flower patch outside was the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen.”
“Well, second most gorgeous.” I winked.
“I’m going to throw up.” Apollo mumbled rolling his eyes as Athena blushed.
Athena continued to look around before her eyes landed on a portrait. She looked confused and walked up to it, stopping when she got right in front of it.
“My parents.” I explained as I walked up behind her. I smiled at the pictures of my parents posing in front of the castle. The first time that they got to live in it as a married couple.
“Your mother was beautiful.” She said amazed.
“Yes, she was.” I agreed as I stared at my mom smiling in the picture.
“I’m starving.” Apollo groaned.
Way to ruin the moment.
I turned around and saw him sprawled out on the couch, half of his body on the floor.
“You are literally the most dramatic person I have ever met.” I teased.
“Only when I’m hungry!” He defended as he stood up.
“Then let’s head to the kitchen.” Janus smiled.
“Wait.” Athena said nervously.
“Are you okay?” I asked worriedly. Why does she look embarrassed?
She nodded as she stepped up on her tiptoes to reach my ear. “I have to pee.”
I chuckled. “Down the hall, take a left, and it’s the third door on the right.”
“Thank you!” She rushed out as she made a dash for the bathroom.
“Hey, Ares?” Hecate called out just as I was about to walk to the kitchen. “Can I talk to you for a second?”
I nodded, a little confused as to why her mood shifted so suddenly. “Privately? Or private private?”
“Private private.” She said.
I motioned her with my hand to follow me as we ascended the stairs and down the hall to my office.
Once we were inside, I closed the door and walked over to my desk to press a button. Hecate sat down in the chair across from my desk as the window and door locked and the shades came down, making the room quiet.
“What’s going on?” I asked as I sat down.
“It’s Athena.” She explained.
“Is everything okay?” I asked getting worried. “Is she hurt? Did something happen?”
“She’s fine.” She said silencing me with her raised hand. “Do you know anything about her past?”
“No.” I answered shaking my head. “All I know is that she’s a rogue because of something that happened in her pack and she’s an orphan. And when you told me that she had a mate and he rejected her. Besides that, nothing else. She won’t open up about it.”
‘Seriously though. Why would anyone reject that angel?’ Zeus asked shocked. ‘She’s perfect.’
‘I have no idea. But because of his stupid mistake, we got the best mate in the world.’ I added.
“Her last name is Polias.”
“Polias?” I asked shocked. “Are you sure?”
Hecate nodded. “She told me so.”
“But that’s Greek.”
“Exactly.” Hecate nodded again. “Ares. Athena might be a Royal.”
“That’s not possible.” I denied.
“Maybe even from Royal Blood.” Hecate added.
“She comes from a pack from the northern part of the state. And none of those packs are even close to being of Royal Blood or even being royal. Unless someone wandered up there?”
Hecate shrugged. “I don’t know which pack she belonged too. But she has a Greek last name. Not to mention a Greek first name as well. The fact that she has both has to mean something.”
“That could be just a coincidence. Jason and Achilles have Greek first and last names and they aren’t of Royal Blood. And besides, there’s no way to ask her. Her parents are dead and she never met them.” I explained as I rested my chin in my hand. “And just because her name is Greek doesn’t necessarily mean she’s Royal Blood.”
Hecate gave me a look. “Do you know anyone who isn’t Royal Blood or royal that has a Greek name?”
“Okay good point.” I nodded. “But even if she was at least royal, I would have known.”
“True.” Hecate sighed, but I could tell her mind was turning.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked.
“Somehow her last name sounds familiar to me.”
“I can’t put my finger on it.” Hecate groaned as she tried to think. “We were talking one day and she said it. Ever since then, it’s been playing in the back of my mind. I feel like I know it from somewhere, but I draw a blank every time.”
“I’ll tell you what.” I paused as I lifted my head and looked at her. “You keep digging and I will too. I can go through my parent’s old records and see if anything sounds familiar. You dig around your house too. Maybe you had a note, or a picture, or anything really. Just try to find something.”
“What if she is of Royal Blood? Like you?” Hecate asked worriedly.
“Then we need to start training her now. If word gets out that there is a Royal Blood who doesn’t know how to fight and hasn’t unlocked her full power, then everyone is going to be looking for her. They could easily capture her and sell her to the highest bidder. Any hunter would love to get their hands on a Royal Blood werewolf.”
Hecate’s eyed turned hard and she gave me a stern nod. “We need to get her ready. Maybe move her into the castle so she’s guarded at all time. At least until she can protect herself.”
“I agree. But that might have to wait a little bit. No offense, but she hasn’t fully accepted you yet. She’s not going to pack everything up and come live with you.”
Dammit. Hecate’s right.
‘I want my mate.’ Zeus growled.
‘Me too.’ I sighed.
“You’re right. Then we need to double the protection. And I think its best that we keep this between us.” I told Hecate. But I could tell she was a little hesitant. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s just.” She sighed, but then cleared her throat. “I don’t want to keep any information from her. When she found that I lied about there being an Alpha King here, she didn’t talk to me for two days. I don’t want to lie to her. And she’s a smart girl; she’s going to figure something is going on.”
“I’m not saying anything about lying to her. I just don’t want to tell her anything right now because we don’t even have any proof that she could be royal, except her first and last name being Greek. And that’s not a lot to go on.”
“I guess you’re right.” Hecate agreed. “Fine. But if she asks about any of this royal stuff, I’m not going to lie to her.”
“Deal.” I nodded as Hecate gave me a grim look.
After finally emptying my bladder and making sure I still looked somewhat okay in the mirror, I turned to the door to open it and leave the bathroom.
But I stopped dead in my tracks as I realized I forgot how to get back to everyone in the kitchen.
“Oh, crap.” I growled.
This is a disaster.
I gulped as I took my chance and walked forward, and then took a left. I kept walking until I got to another hallway.
This doesn’t look right.
I looked left and right and then decided to take a right. But that led me to a stairwell.
‘Um, I don’t think we passed any stairs coming to the bathroom.’ Artemis pointed out.
‘I think you’re right.’ I agreed.
I groaned and turned back around, hoping to go the same way so I could end up by the bathroom again.
But that didn’t happen. I got lost again as I came up to another stairwell.
I hate this castle.
“Are you okay my Queen?” A gentle voice spoke from behind me.
I jumped in surprise and whipped around to see an older gentleman in a tux smiling down at me.
“I think I’m lost.” I mumbled embarrassed.
The old man chuckled. “My apologies for laughing, but I can see that my Queen.”
“I’m trying to find the kitchen.” I admitted.
“I’ll show you.” He said giving me a kind smile as he offered me his arm. “Right this way.”
“Thank you.” I sighed in relief as I placed my arm around his.
“My name is Perseus.” He introduced himself as he bowed his head.
“Athena.” I smiled. “It’s nice to meet you Perseus.”
“Likewise my Queen.” He smiled.
“So how long have you been living here?” I asked trying to make small talk as we made our way to the kitchen.
“Ever since I was a teen.” He smiled.
“Really?” I asked shocked. “That long?”
“I got into a lot of trouble when I was younger.” He admitted. “I’m not proud of it.”
“What did you do?” I asked nicely, hoping I didn’t strike a nerve.
“I stole food from the markets that were in my village, just a couple miles from the city where we are now.” He explained. “My family was poor and we didn’t have enough money. And us being a human family, it wasn’t like we could go out and hunt for food.”
“Then how did you get into the castle with the Alpha King?” I asked confused.
I thought you had to be a werewolf to get in here?
“Word travels fast when you live in a small village, my Queen.” He chuckled. “Somehow the King at the time, who was King Ares’ grandfather, heard of a little boy causing trouble and him being the amazing King he was, came to check it out for himself.”
“Really?” I asked amazed, getting drawn into the story.
Perseus nodded. “He came to my village and told me to straighten out. That the only way to get me to stay out of trouble was getting a job. So he offered to move me and my entire family here and I would work in the castle as a butler.”
“How did it go?” I asked, letting go of his arm as we finally made it into the living room next to the kitchen. But I was too interested in the story to walk away.
“At first it was awful. Rebellious teenage boys don’t like being told what to do.” He explained making us both laugh. “But eventually, it worked out really well. I saw how much money I was making for my family and knew that if I kept up the good work, maybe I’ll be able to get a raise.”
“Yes, I did. So much that I was even able to buy my little sister some nice toys at the local shops around the city.” He smiled at the memory. “That’s also when I met King Ares’ father. He was a nice boy and we actually became great friends. I was the best man at his wedding when he married Queen Hera.”
“Were you there when Ares was born?” I asked intrigued.
Perseus laughed and nodded. “He was a rambunctious little boy. Always ran around the castle naked. He hated wearing a diaper.”
I had to quickly put my hand over my mouth so I didn’t laugh so loud.
“King Ares was a very nice boy. When he got older, he was so giving and wanted to help out any way that he could. He even helped his father build some new buildings in my home village and helped with any money trouble.” Perseus explained.
“Wow.” I said amazed. “That was very nice of them.”
“It was.” He smiled.
“So how did you find out about werewolves?” I asked. I’ve been dying to ask this question.
Perseus laughed so hard that his face started to turn red. “It was an accidental slip from King Eros, King Ares’ father. He was showing me how to shoot a gun and he said something about how he wished I could shift like him. Then the next thing I know, his father is dragging us both to his office by our shirt collars and giving us a lecture. I was terrified but also excited. My best friend was a werewolf. I think that actually brought us closer.”
“That’s an amazing story.” I said in awe. “King Eros sounds like a wonderful man.”
“He was.” Perseus smiled sadly. “He really was.”
I was about to say something, but Janus spoke first.
“There you are.” He laughed as he walked up to us. “We were getting worried.”
“I got a little lost.” I admitted. “Perseus found me wandering around and helped me get back here.”
“Thank you for showing her the way.” Janus smiled as he placed a hand on my shoulder.
“Of course sir.” Perseus nodded.
“Maybe I can hear another one of your stories, Perseus.” I said as I turned to face him.
“I would love to tell you more, my Queen.” He bowed before he turned to leave.
I walked into the kitchen to see Apollo stuffing his face.
Big shocker there.
“Hey. Sorry, I got lost.” I laughed as everyone turned to look at me.
Hecate gave me a small chuckle and immediately sat down at the table.
I turned to Ares and he really wasn’t paying attention to anything. He looked really deep in thought.
“You okay?” I asked Ares.
He looked down at me and gave me a forced smile. “Yeah. Just a little hungry.”
I looked between Hecate and Ares, and the air seemed a little tense.
Something was definitely up and they aren’t telling me.