F O R T Y - T H R E E
11 years ago
I was visiting my Nana with my mother for the first time in six months.
My Nana was rarely home on the this side of the country, due to her duties of being the Goddess of Agriculture keeping her away, therefore to spend time with her while my mother did her job as Goddess of Spring was a dream come true.
Unlike my brother, I loved the Mortal realm. It was just so lively and bright and my Nana always made it a point to teach me some things about nature that my mother refused to.
Not to mention, my Nana’s house in this part of the world was perfect.
It was a simple two story craftsman home on a big acreage of land that was populated with all these different types of trees, crops, and even flowers that were indigenous to other parts of the world.
My mother always chastised my Nana for bringing in those exotic flowers, saying that it could harm the native plants and wildlife not to mention raise suspicions with the local mortals, but Nana always says that her land was specially enchanted because it kept everything inside the boarders she set up.
“Zephyr!” Nana’s melodic voice sounded out “I can’t believe you’re here!”
I smiled and walked into her outstretched arms “Hi Nana!”
“How’s my strong boy doing?” she cooed, talking to me like I was a baby “Are you eating okay? Did you run into any problems along the way? Is your brother fine?”
I laughed and hugged her tighter “Cerberus is doing fine. He’s with Dad.”
At the word ‘Dad’, Nana tensed up.
Mom must have noticed because she let out a exasperated sigh “Mother...”
“I didn’t say anything about that soul sucking leech!” she paused and then snickered “Oops.”
“Mom!” My mother sighed “I’ll have you know that Hades was actually worried about you during your last trip.”
“I’m sure he was” Nana laughed “He was worried that I would tell you about how I managed to evade his little surveillance team.”
“What?” Mom asked but Nana ignored her, instead choosing to focus on me.
“You’re getting taller now Engonós” she patted my face “You look so much like your mother.”
“He looks like Hades, Mother” Mom pointed out “Right down to the dimple in his cheek when he smiles.”
I groaned “Can we not do this now?”
“Do what?” My favorite women in the world said at the exact same time.
“Do this” I pointed at them “Whatever it is that you guys do in order to spare my feelings.”
I looked at Mom “I know Nana despises Dad.”
I then looked at my Nana “I know you hate Dad but you also have to understand the fact that while I love you to death, he is still my Dad. He deserves more respect than what you give him.”
Both my Mother and Nana gaped at my words.
“I’m going to go explore the woods for awhile” I hitched a thumb over my shoulder “So fix whatever you two have to fix before I come back so that this vacation doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out and go home.”
Before they could say anything else, I walked into the woods with Shadow appearing at my side.
I rubbed his head and black flames fell from his mouth as he let out a growl.
I grinned down at him and headed north, wondering if I could practice my powers in the open field that boards my Nana’s property and the neighboring one.
I was thinking about the best way to get there when a high pitched squeal came from the right.
A squeal that was so high pitched it nearly busted my ear drums.
I looked down at Shadow and nodded for him to go left and surround the perimeter.
He disappeared in a puff of smoke as I went to go investigate the noise further.
What I found amused me greatly.
I called Shadow off as soon as I saw him creeping behind the source of my amusement.
A girl, about a few years younger than I, was squatted down at a small creek staring excitedly at a frog.
A particularly ugly frog that was missing an eye and looked like it had seen better days.
"Mr. Ribbers!” She squealed, watching the frog jump from one stone to the other in the shallow creek.
I laughed quietly when I saw said frog trying to hop away from the girl as fast as his slimy little legs could take him.
She was almost caught up to him when her small foot caught the edge of a stone in the creek.
I watched as close her eyes, probably accepting the fact that she was about to fall, and reacted.
I grabbed her around the waist and hauled her up to my chest, where her feet dangled an inch above the creek.
“I don’t think that frog was worth ruining your pretty face over” I said, amusement lacing my voice “He was trying to kill you.”
“Let me go” she snarled, trying to punch me from behind.
“A ‘thank you’ would be appreciated” I said sarcastically, dodging her punches, before depositing her on the soft dirt.
She sat on the dirt and glared up at me, squinting at my face do to the sun shining down on us.
I shifted on my feet as she inspected me from head to toe.
She was cute... I mean....when she wasn’t trying to pummel my face.
She had curly brown hair that went past her shoulders and cat like green eyes that were so unique that when she shifted her head, the color changed from light green to a pretty jade color.
When she continued to stare at me with her unnerving stare, I poked her soft cheek “Too much frowning and your face will freeze like that.”
She swatted my hand away “That’s not true.”
I shrugged and sat down next to her in the soft dirt.
“I’ve never seen you before” she said “Are you new to the Pack?”
Ah...so she was a wolf.
I should have guessed considering that she was as fast as the hopping frog, faster than any human I’ve ever seen before.
I mean...not that I’ve interacted with many humans before.
I gave her a small smile “No.”
She jumped up suddenly, readying herself in fighting position, and glared harshly at me.
“Who are you?” she growled “And what are you doing on my land?”
I raised an eyebrow “Your land?”
“My father’s the Alpha who protects this land and the people on it.” She said proudly.
“Relax Princess” I drawled out, picking up a stone and tossing it up in the air “I won’t hurt you.”
She remained in my position, her small muscles coiled tight, a contemplated look crossing her face.
“If you’re going to run” I drawled out “I’m not going to chase you.”
She narrowed her eyes “Why not?”
I raised an eyebrow “You want me to chase you?”
“Don’t trespassers usually chase their victims to keep them quiet?”
“Don’t know” I shrugged “I’m not a trespasser.”
She raised an eyebrow this time “You’re trespassing now.”
“I’m not trespassing” I said “My Nana owns this part of the land. If anything, you’re trespassing on our land.”
She remained quiet but gave me a ferocious glare.
I shrugged “Why are you trying to catch that ugly frog anyway?”
She eyed me warily and kept her distance “He’s my friend.”
I snorted “Your friend?”
She visibly stiffened, nodding indignantly at my snort “Yes, my friend.”
“And you don’t have any human friends.”
“I have human friends” she said “My cousins.”
“Cousins don’t count.”
“Then no” she paused “I hate people.”
I chuckled at her blunt response and twisted around the stone in my fingers.
“So what are you doing here trespasser?”
“Visiting my grandmother” I said, ignoring the tone of accusation in her voice “She lives nearby.”
“Is she part of the Pack?” she asked, toeing the gravel underneath her tennis shoes.
I snorted, nearly laughing at the though of my Nana being ‘apart of a Pack’
She narrowed her eyes “Then how’d you get so far out here if you Grandma doesn’t live on our land?”
I opened my mouth to remind her that technically, this was my Nana’s land she was trespassing on, when another male’s voice rang out.
I whipped my head around and when I saw a boy’s head, I reached out and used my power to hide myself in a nearby tree.
“SERENITY!” the boy, about my age, called out “DAD WANTS YOU!”
“OVER HERE!” She yelled, taking her eyes off me for a second to answer the boy and giving me the chance to hide.
“Do you...” she started to say but then stopped when she saw I was gone.
I smiled and when she was finally gone, I came out of my hiding spot and whistled for Shadow.
He appear at my side in moments, nudging my thigh with his head.
I grinned at him “Shut up.”
His only response was a loud bark and a playful nip at my heels.