Author: Rebekah Lewis
Publisher: Rebekah Lewis
ISBN: B0713T4TDBmore from this user
Zeus doesn't ask for much. Just for Hermes to deliver his messages, run his errands, obey his every command and, oh yeah, not to interfere with the Satyroi as they quest to rescue a close friend and retrieve a mystical instrument called the syrinx from Dionysus. So Hermes shouldn't be surprised when Artemis calls in a favor and it involves something Zeus has expressly forbidden him from doing.
Within the past forty-eight hours alone.
Now that Hybris has finally gained Pan's trust, there's only one obstacle in the way of starting over again with her family: Hermes can't forgive her for walking out of them so long ago. Devising a plan to win his admiration back, Hybris sets out on a dangerous mission that could go wrong at any moment. A risk she's more than willing to take if Hermes may stop avoiding her as a result.
When their paths cross unexpectedly, can they ignore their feelings for one another long enough to accomplish their tasks? Or will the danger surrounding them create a domino effect of damage that would affect not only each other, but the Satyroi as well?
Unable to leave now that he’d come so far, he approached a pair of large, marble urns that stood about five feet high and three feet in width that should have been used as tree planters. Someone must have removed the trees and soil since they were the only empty vessels along the wall, but why? Inside one, he discovered Artemis, her hair the exact pale shade as the marble surrounding her.
He snorted and leaned one arm on the lip of the urn. “Do I even want to ask?”
Her silvery eyes flashed annoyance as she scowled and gestured to the left with both hands. “Get inside the other urn.”
“Excuse me, what?” This had to be how those humans on prank television shows felt. He glanced around but didn’t find anyone watching.
“Get. Inside. The. Urn.”
Hermes shrugged and floated up above the second urn. “Okay, Scooby Doo, but no Scooby snacks for you if this doesn’t have a really good reason.” Was cable addiction a thing? He’d been watching cartoons with his grandson a lot even though Leonidas was too young to understand them. He dropped into the urn and whispered, “Okay, I’m out of sight. Care to explain why we are hiding outside Zeus’ temple like no one is going to notice?”
“I waited for you to leave. You were in there, like, three hours.”
Ouch, it’d been a long meeting, but she had to be exaggerating. Zeus had gone on and on, and then Hera returned wanting to just go to war over Apollo, but Zeus had shot her down.
“What would you have done if I hadn’t walked this way?” he asked. “I could have flown right out of Olympus.”
“Sorry.” He heard her shifting positions. “I knew you’d walk out here and linger a bit because you usually don’t fly off right away unless it’s extremely urgent. I’ve seen you do so on more than one occasion.”
Oh, sure. Nothing going on. Only a possible apocalypse occurring in the mortal world while his friend was being tortured by his worst enemy. “And this isn’t extremely urgent?”
“The situation is, but you don’t care about Apollo or Helios. Never did.” There was no accusation in her tone. Apollo might be her twin, but even she grew frustrated with his bullshit every once and a while. “Sometimes you pause and look around this realm,” she continued. “I think you remember things how they were before…” She didn’t have to clarify. Before he was a father, when Hybris had loved him. When Olympians were the highest order of deities in the mortal realm. Before things changed, the gates were closed, their legacies lost within myth and legend.
“I never realized anyone was watching,” he said softly, and not just because hiding made him feel the need to whisper. “But that doesn’t explain why we are inside urns. Speaking of which, did you repot the trees?”
“I’ll put them back. It doesn’t matter!” She sounded exasperated. Hermes could almost feel her glare penetrating through the marble. “I need to call in my favor.”
Dread smacked him and dropped to his gut. For her help in distracting Apollo the day he and Hybris rescued Daphne, Hermes had promised a favor of her choosing at any random moment. “Can’t it wait a few days. I kind of have to find Helios right now…”
“This won’t take long,” she pleaded.
Seriously? He didn’t mind helping her out, he really didn’t. But her timing sucked. “Zeus told me I couldn’t go after Apollo…” That had to be why it couldn’t wait, right?
“It’s not about Apollo!” she hissed. Then she took a deep breath and added, “I care about my brother, but he’d understand. I may get chosen to take up the reins in the sun chariot while both are missing. My powers tie me to the moon, so I am likely the closest they can get until a new sun god is born. No one else is going to volunteer.”
Well, no, they wouldn’t. They had freedom in this era, not having to frequent Earthen temples and do things for mortals unless they wanted. Not to mention driving the chariot too long could drain an immortal until they were weak and close to death. He didn’t think Zeus would let anyone drive too long before swapping them out, but if he wanted to silently get rid of someone… “So you’ve chosen to deal with this by hiding? Are you wanting me to smuggle you out of Olympus in an urn?” She could do that on her own.
“No, idiot.” Artemis shrieked. Then she gasped and whispered, “I need you to borrow the syrinx. For, like, two minutes.”
The smooth surface of the marble around him seemed to close in on him at once. He stared at the urn, barely comprehending what he’d heard. He started sputtering, seeking words or some coherent order of consonants and vowels before shouting, “Are you out of your mind!”
© 2017 Rebekah Lewis.
Pride Before the Fall is part 2 of 3 in The Adventures of Hermes. If reading as part of The Cursed Satyroi series, this book should be read after The Satyr Prince, as book 4.5.
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