A lone figure stood awaiting my arrival.
Take the natural snobbiness of your everyday hipster, compound it by the regular arrogance of guys in their mid-twenties, and magnify it by infinity thanks to that whole god factor. You’d start to come close to the waves of disdain that just naturally rolled off this dude. The Eau de Smarm he exuded ensured that I wasn’t going to be cozying up to him any time soon.
It may have seemed like his denim shirt, worn unbuttoned over a white wife beater and skinny jeans had been picked up directly off of the floor that morning, but no. From the top of his rakish fedora sitting on his bright red- dyed hair to his pink socks and white vintage Keds, Hephaestus was calculated cool.
And weirdly cute, but I wasn’t going to give him that.
Not even the cane he sported, due to his left foot being twisted inwards could detract from his projecting an overall “don’t even bother reaching for my greatness” status. If anything, the cane was a sleek, black, way cool accessory. “Hephaestus, I presume.”
He crossed his arms. “It’s Festos. And you better have a damn good reason for showing up here with that
“Theo sent me. Prometheus,” I amended, since I wasn’t sure if he knew Theo’s human name.
Given the double take I received, I guess he did.
“I don’t believe you,” he said flatly.
“I swear. He thought you could help break a memory spell.”
“Too bad. I’m busy.”
I took a step forward, my hand up to keep him from ordering me out.
“Please. I don’t think he would have sent me unless he believed you were truly the one person who could help.”
Festos considered me for a second, then rolled his eyes. “Lovely. You’re her
. Did Prometheus mention any type of payment for my services?”
“His undying thanks?”
Festos looked a bit too hopeful at that. You know, if you looked past the “couldn’t care less” vibe.
“Not really,” I amended. “But you’re the only god he’s ever mentioned in a remotely respectful way.”
“Wow. Such flattery.” He sighed and waved me toward the machine in the middle of the room. “Get on.”
He limped over to the contraption. “You want it undone or not? Lose the pillow you’re wearing and move.”
I tossed my puffy coat onto one of the sofas. Then glanced outside. I couldn’t help it. I was worried the minions had come back.
“We’re warded up,” Festos said and flicked a switch.
The machine came to life in a roar of sound.
I bet you a bajillion dollars that if you made a list of all the ways you might remove a memory suppression spell, no matter how weird you got, none of the items would include being hooked up to one of those kinda grungy, video arcade dance machines and trying desperately to keep up with the patterns whipping past.
I win, right?