“Isabel dear, wake up.” I peeked one eye open to see Hera moving to my closed curtains. Please no, in one swift motion she pulled them both back, letting the blinding sunlight shine into my room.
“What time is it?” I yawned as I stretched.
“Ten, I heard we have more guests arriving.” I never told Hera or Zeus why I was here, and I think now is a good time.
“Hera, can I talk to you about something?” I sat up on the bed.
“Sure dear, what’s bothering you?” She sat gracefully at the edge. Everything she did was done with grace, I wish I was that graceful.
“I never mentioned who is Xavier’s father.” I started.
She smiled sweetly at me. “We already know dear, even though Thanatos has not been here for eons we can tell Xavier is his. It’s one of the reasons we let you stay. Shocked that Thanatos had a baby with a human woman, or any woman really. He’s not the easiest to get along with.” She giggled.
“Well he didn’t exactly have the baby with me willingly, let’s just say it was an unknown sperm donation.” I cringed at the situation.
She laughed her musical laugh. “Well that’s the thing about male gods dear, their sperm wouldn’t work with just anyone.” She winked at me.
“What do you mean?” I asked her confused.
“You’ll find out soon enough dear, now let’s get you ready.” I thought telling her everything would clear my mind, but instead it’s filled with even more questions.
I swiped my hands across the mirror as I finished wrapping the towel around me. This was it, I’m one hour away from seeing Thanatos. Was I ready? He doesn’t know I’m here how is he going to react? And what about Xavier? Meeting his father for the first time.
He would always ask me about his father and I would just ignore the question, not knowing what to say. I need to see him before this meeting happened.
I quickly got dressed in a white gown as I made my way to his room. “Xavier? We need to talk.” I opened the door to see him laid out on his bed drawing. He was very artistic, at age three Hera had allowed him to paint murals in his bedroom.
“Yes mom?” How should I start this conversation?
“Your father is coming here today.” It’s best to just rip the band aid right off.
He froze, then shrugged. “I don’t want to see him.” I frowned at his nonchalant attitude. Since when does he not want to meet him?
“What do you mean?” I sat at the end of his bed as he continued to draw.
“What if he doesn’t like me?” He whispered. Sometimes I forget he’s only three, especially with him looking so much older. Of course he would have these doubts.
“He’ll like you, I promise.” I gave him an encouraging smile.
“What’s he like?” I paused as I thought about his questions. Flashbacks of him choking me when we first met popped into my mind, I probably shouldn’t mention that.
“He’s different, like you. He may seem mean at first but deep down he’s a big teddy bear.” I could just imagine his reaction to me calling him a teddy bear. Xavier smiled up at me, seeming satisfied with my answer. “Now get dressed, we have to go and meet your aunt and uncle.” He looked confused but did as he was told.
I held his hand as we walked down the hall to the room Erebus and Sydney shared. I knocked and waited until they opened the door.
“Who is this?′ Erebus asked as he looked down at Xavier. Then realization crossed his features, his eyes widened. Yeah I know, looks way older than three.
“This is Xavier.” He simply moved to the side to let us walk in.
“Hi Isabel! Who is that?” Sydney asked.
“Xavier meet your aunt Sydney.” Her eyes widened.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t he supposed to be three?” Erebus walked into the room asking.
“He is three, he just grows very fast.” I explained.
“Hi.” Xavier waved shyly at Sydney, his cheeks turning a bright red. Does my little man have his first crush?
“Hey Xavier.” She giggled.
Erebus rolled his eyes. “Back off little man, that one is taken.”
Xavier stared at him in confusion then looked back at me, I shrugged. He sighed before reaching his hand out for Erebus to shake. He was a very strange child. “I will not try and court her, you have my word.” He told Erebus. Maybe it is time we leave this place.
“He’s so cute.” Sydney gushed.
We spent the next hour hanging in their room. Just like everyone else Sydney and Erebus fell in love with Xavier. It was hard not to. It wasn’t long before the bell started ringing, signaling guest have arrived. I swear these gods had a bell for everything. I got nervous, he was actually here.
“You ready?” Erebus asked me.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I grabbed Xavier hand as we made our way down the hall.
“Your hands are sweaty.” I ignored his comment, giving him the stank eye.
As we stepped outside, I heard a voice I haven’t heard in years.
“Next time you’ll be riding attached to a string, on the back of the horse leg, annoying bug.” Some people never change.
“Oh don’t pretend like you didn’t love our romantic carriage ride.” Correction, some gods never change.
“Keep your distance from me.” Thanatos growled.
“Well aren’t you two a sight.” Erebus called out announcing our presence. Thanatos looked up, and I could tell he had a smart comment ready. Until his eyes landed on me.
“Isabel?” He asked.
“In the flesh.” In seconds he was in front of me, wrapping me tightly in his arms.
“What the hell is wrong with you? I thought you were dead. I should snap your neck for running off like that.” He growled in my ear. He had such a way with words. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t turned on by it, even though I knew it was meant to be intimidating. I didn’t respond, just simply hugged him back.
“Mommy? Is that dad?” I felt him stiffen as he heard Xavier. Let the awkwardness begin. I struggled to get out of his embrace until he finally loosened his hold. I turned to see Xavier looking at us with wide eyes.
I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out. I thought I was ready, but it’s clear that I’m not. It’s still weird to find out he’s Thanatos son.
“Yes I am.”