2. Share One More Drink With Me
Opening her eyes, she came back to reality on the nightclub's balcony, one hand resting on Dysnomi's arm while she spoke, though the words sound foreign to her. She looked up at him with confused eyes before she took her hand away and stepped back.
"Hey! Don't even joke about that! You know Loki's my hero," Dysnomi replied, smiling. "And you want me to live up to him? I never leave a lady unsatisfied, but..." his voice became husky before trailing off when he notices her looking confused. He stepped forward and wrapped her in a big hug, his arms enveloping her small frame.
For a second, she allowed her head to rest against his firm chest, listening to his heartbeat, hearing it skip when he pulled her close, and relishing the warmth from his chest against her cheek along with the feeling of his strong arms holding her. When she pulled away, she took another moment to really look at him. She noticed tattoos now covering both his arms. She was shocked, wondering when he even had time to get tattooed; though, he could change his appearance with his trickster abilities. 'Wait,' she thought. 'So... he gave himself tattoos using his magic? He can do that, right? If he can bend reality to his will, then I don't see why he couldn't do that.'
"Uhh... Calli? Are you just gonna stare at my biceps all day, or do you wanna introduce me to your beautiful new friend?" Dysnomi asked.
She jumped at the sound of his voice–she didn't even realize she had zoned out. Looking over his shoulder, she saw Nagaveni.
Dysnomi stood with confidence, turning away from Nagaveni to smirk at Calliope.
Nagaveni was staring at the floor, blushing. She peeked up at him, only to catch him blowing her a kiss and winking at her. She blushed bright red in her cheeks and looked back down, too shy to say anything.
"What?! Dys, you know who Nagaveni is!" Calliope laughed, gliding over and draping an arm around Nagaveni's shoulders. "However, I've got her wearing this concealment amulet I bought her, which we've been calling the Serpent Tamer, so the humans don't freak out. You know how they are–they'd prefer to believe that Supernaturals don't exist," she finished, with a hint of disgust in her voice.
"Nini?!" Dysnomi stood there looking amazed for a moment before regaining his composure. "Damn... I knew you were beautiful, but I can't believe I didn't recognize you. The black hair disguises you well." He paused to cock his eyebrow at her. "And having a gorgeous woman like yourself out here for Tartarus' opening night? I mean, your beauty alone will bring in half of L.A. And if it doesn't... Calli's siren song definitely will." Then, with a theatrical flourish, he conjures two purple drinks from thin air. The drinks shimmer and sparkle like a starry night in a country field. "To a successful opening night for Tartarus?" He handed the women each a drink before conjuring one for himself. "Straight from the fae realm," he said, holding his drink up toward the light, admiring it. "I just thought about what I wanted that would make tonight special, and the drinks appeared. I don't know if it's true that you shouldn't answer any questions the fae folk ask you, but I do know that I have a big mouth, and unfortunately," he paused, patting down his pockets for dramatic effect. "I don't keep sugar on me to throw down as a distraction. I figured willing the drinks into existence would be better than traveling to the fae realm."
"First, I'm deeply disappointed in you. You don't keep sugar in your pocket? You should be prepared for anything all the time. Second, couldn't you just, like, conjure some sugar? And third, who are you trying to be? Van Gogh?" Calliope joked as she admired her swirling galaxy drink. It did look fairly impressive.
Nagaveni snorted, trying to hold back a laugh, and for the first time that night, Nagaveni lifted her head. She almost looked confident despite having to keep her eyes averted to avoid turning anyone to stone. "I'll try this drink you magicked up for us... if you let me name it," she said, staring at the drink like it was the best thing she had ever seen.
"I don't know, Nini, trusting a trickster seems like a pretty bad idea..." Calliope teased, trailing off with a sarcastic smile playing on her lips. Dysnomi contorted his face into an admittedly, really cute, pout. She thought, 'He's definitely practiced that before.'
"C'mon, Calli..." Dysnomi reached out and lifted her chin so she was looking at him, already melting inside. In his peripheral vision, he saw Nagaveni go wide-eyed. He and Nagaveni hadn't known each other long, so she must not have realized then that he and Calliope were natural flirts. That didn't mean there was something between them. 'Although,' he thought. 'That doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't something between us, either. Calliope's just so damn good at keeping up with me, and I still can't figure out how she does it.' "You honestly don't trust me?" he asked, his thumb brushing over Calliope's chin.
She smiled and stepped away from his gaze, not wanting to allow herself to feel anything more than friendship toward him. She cleared her throat and averted her eyes from his scrutinizing gaze. "Of course I trust you, Dys. Duh, I wouldn't be your friend if I didn't. It's not like I go around telling everyone who and... what I am."
"Alright..." Dysnomi said with a suspicious tone. Then he nodded at Nagaveni. "Hey new girl," he said to her. He crossed the floor and leaned on the side of one of the black couches in the middle of the balcony. "What'cha got for us?"
'That damn smirk just never leaves his face, does it?' Calliope thought. She could see his smirk from the corner of her eye. Nagaveni smiled brighter and sat in the chair next to him.
"Nini?" Calliope questioned, crossing over the balcony to sit on the couch near Dysnomi and Nagaveni.
Nagaveni saw that Calliope also had a smirk on her face. It made Calliope's well-defined cheekbones stand out more. So much more, in fact, that when Calliope crossed her legs, held her drink in one hand, and crossed an arm over her bare legs, Nagaveni thought Calliope looked like a supermodel. She knew that she could do that, too, if she wanted, but she had never had that kind of confidence. So, she leaned back in the chair, stretching her legs before leaning forward, her green eyes shining with excitement. "I propose a toast with our new liquid courage, and I pray to the gods that it's actually a good concoction so this won't be a satirical name, the Cosmic Paradise!" She lifted her glass, smiling. She was proud of herself for coming up with the name.
"To the Cosmic Paradise! And to Tartarus' grand opening! You deserve this, Dys," Calliope said, lifting her drink into the middle with Nagaveni.
"To the Cosmic Paradise... And to Nini for loosening up a bit," Dysnomi winked at her just to watch her blush. "Also to Calli, because I know your voice is gonna have everyone in here begging for more when you get on that stage." He met her eyes with a smile that set her on edge as he lifted his drink and clinked it against theirs.
All three of them threw back their galaxy-inspired drinks, then slammed the empty glasses on the table in the middle.
Tartarus was now entirely full. It was a sea of wealthy people, mostly humans, dancing and having fun in almost every space available.
"Hey Calliope, someone just dropped off this weird note for you...?" Dysnomi said, walking over to pick up the note left at the door, looking over it.
When Calliope crossed over and took the paper, she said, "Well... let's read it, shall we?" She waved Nagaveni over to them, then read, "Word of advice: Viking parties get outrageous, so don't go if you aren't ready for things to get wild. Go raise hell as an honorary Viking, and get ready for your present."
"Well, that... certainly...?" Calliope started, but she trailed off, confused. Then, she said, "Wait, it sounds like there's an argument, or some other kind of commotion, coming from the main room." She was about to ask one of her friends to brave the fray with her when the sounds of shouts and grunts came from across the dance floor to the balcony, followed by what sounded like a bird screeching.
"What the fuck?!" a random guy yelled out, before running. She watched as other people in the crowd got tossed to the side, but it was impossible for her to see what was shoving its way through; the only thing she could make out was a humongous red-and-orange bird flying through the nightclub toward her, Nagaveni, and Dysnomi.
"Wait, do you two know actual Vikings?" Nagaveni asked, her mouth hanging open.
"Yeah, Dys has taken me to some insane parties in the two years I've known him. You've only been here for... what, three months? You just wait–I'm sure we'll get into something together."
When Calliope was finally able to check around again, she looked at the humans who got pushed aside, noting that most of them looked confused, like they hadn't seen anyone, or anything, move them. But it couldn't be what she thought it was... can it?