TITLE: Le Petite Mort and the Heart Table (WIP)
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
As Death’s apprentice, Dede was fairly certain she never should’ve been short listed for the next Goddess of Love opening, let alone selected for the position. She shuddered at the thought of having to tell Death the news.
“Are you sure you won’t reconsider?”
Aphrodite reclined on her throne, her hard gaze never wavering from Dede’s. “The Council of the Heart Table has spoken. You will be Astarte’s replacement.”
Dede drew in a deep breath and uncurled her fists. “I’m not Semitic. I can’t replace her.”
One blood-red brow arched up. “Oh, do you now know who your mother is?”
She held back a wince. “No. But I’ve never felt an affinity when their rituals are performed.”
Aphrodite’s fingers tapped against the golden apple crowning the armrest of her throne. “Our understanding is you have never shown affinity for any of the pantheons in particular. Besides that of your father’s line, you have shown reactions to the rituals performed for members of the Council. You are our only option.”
Dede closed her eyes for a moment, gathering together the chaos stirring in her center. She forced it into the tiny space she reserved for things she had to deal with at a later time. The space was getting a wee bit crowded of late. With Death’s latest contract, even the illusion of sleep had been taken away from her.
She played her trump card. “Death will never let you take me.”
“In matters of Council appointment, Death has no say. We recognize you have a duty to perform for him, but you will be a member of the Council. The next meeting is in two days.”
“Why are you even bothering with bringing me on board? The Semitic Pantheon is nearly extinct. No one will notice if Astarte’s not replaced.”
Aphrodite’s gaze turned icy and she sat up straight. Dede remembered too late the Council Chair’s reputation for viciousness when people crossed her.
Dede smiled. Her face may have cracked a bit, but she smiled. “Two days. I’ll be here. May I please be excused?”
The hourglass sands in her head streamed off a minute before Aphrodite gave her response. It was a wave of the hand, but Dede turned tail and scooted out of the Council’s chamber. She would have ran, but that would have been undignified. If there was one thing Death had taught her, it was to always be dignified.
The crowd at the elevators had her switching track to the stairs. The pitch black stone lining the walls of the United Councils Building made the stairwells almost everyone’s least favorite place in the world. The only light that survived in them was from Hellmouth torches. She took the stairs in measured strides, wishing her power for teleporting wasn’t blocked along with natural light. Three floors down, through an archway into the light and she was back in the lobby. She hurried over to the far corner only waving as people called her name.