Chapter Five

Godly Business...

Psyche awoke the next day and she got up and looked round, she stretched and decided to wander off, if Aphrodite wanted the wool, she have to find her, but for now Psyche was hungry, so with the little money she had left she went wandering to find a local “Pita Palace” to get herself a meal.

Psyche walked to the nearest town and she found a Pita Palace and she looked at the stand out side trying to decide what to order for a morning meal, the new breakfast hours were really helpful, Psyche looked at her sundial.
“Well looks like I’m just in time for breakfast.” She remarked. Psyche then went in and ordered a meal.

Aphrodite watched from up on her cloud and she shook her head amazed...
“Like how does she do it? I give her an even harder task than last time and she like walks off to get a meal coming so close to death... Like I’m going to have to come up with something better, and I’m going to have to think quick. I need her out of my hair and I need people to notice me again. But how to do this?” She asked herself.

Aphrodite heard a sudden zipping noise and she looked away from watching Psyche for a minute and she sees Hermes zip up toward the Mt. Olympus board room. Eros walked past and he looked at his mother and nodded at her.
“Eros what’s going on?” She asked.
“Board meeting, don’t worry I’ll go in your place this time.” Eros remarked.
Aphrodite blinked, she felt suddenly paranoid, what if someone had reported her to Zeus, for unfairly treating Psyche, she was after all interfering in the teenager’s life.
“No don’t worry I’ll go.” Aphrodite remarked to Eros and headed off to the board room.

Eros smiled to himself.
“Point three for me, I’ve scored Psyche some free time.” Eros smiled and chuckled.
Eros felt a sudden tap on his shoulder, he turned round to see Iris standing there.
“Uh Iris... hi.” Eros remarked.
“I have a message from your wife.” Iris remarked.
Eros nodded. “I know.”
Iris smiled, “So you were listening. I thought so. Not heading off to the board room?”
“Oh no after last time, only either me or mom can go, I’ve really gotta get a hang of the new quiver, mom wasn’t impressed when I nearly hit her and Hades in the last meeting, and well with Persephone not there... well we all know I would of been in for big trouble.” Eros explained.
Iris chuckled lightly, she smiled at Eros.
“You are going to have to get some control and I don’t mean just over your aiming, you know what I mean. Now Hermes should be at the gate by now keeping the minions out, go keep him company I’m sitting in on this meeting.” She explained.
Eros nodded and he flew over to the main gate, and Iris walked in to the board meeting with most of the Gods already there.

Around the table sat Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Dionysis, (or Baccas as he is know in the movie and tv show,) Apollo, Hera, Artemis, Demeter, Astarte, Hestia, one of the Dryads, Selene, Aphrodite, and one of the Muses. Iris noted that Zeus had only called a medium sized meeting. Iris took her seat and Zeus smiled at her.
“Welcome aboard Iris!” Zeus boomed.
Hades arches an unimpressed eyebrow at Zeus but stayed quiet for once.
“Sorry I’m late I just had to pass a message on to Eros. You know mortal prayers and such.” She explained and straightened out her dress.

Zeus nodded understandingly.
“Right I have all called you here for a very good reason it seems the mortals are losing their faith in us, the prayers have been cut down for some reason, even the offerings have dropped, Demeter’s offerings went down by three quarters since last years offerings, we need to find out what is wrong and why this is happening.” Zeus remarked with general concern.

Aphrodite sighed, it was true, she had also lost most of her offerings, the largest she had gotten was from Psyche giving her, the offerings she had gotten, since then only little things had been left at her temples.
“That is why we have called you to this meeting Iris, you are our messenger I want to go to earth and find out why this is happening.” Hera spoke up.

Iris nodded. She really didn’t know why it was happening but over time people’s faith in the Gods did vanish.
“What about you Hades?” Zeus asked.
Hades shrugs casually, “Oh you know, things are just... peachy.” Hades replied.
“I meant offering wise Hades, what about yours and Persephone’s temples?”
Hades looked at Zeus, “Well I haven’t had time to check lately you know I’ve got soul accounts to go through.”
“C’mon Hades, you must of checked.” Zeus remarked.
Hades grinned, “Well you know I hate to brag, but business and offerings are off the scale with me, I’ve had to dedicate a whole section of the underworld to them.”
Poseidon looked at Hades. “How is that, that Hades gets more than us?”
“Hmmm I wonder?” Hades Drooled.
“He is the ruler of the Underworld, the loved ones of the mortals go to him when they die, the humans do still care after their dead, that want to know that they are well looked after in the underworld.” Iris remarked.
“Bingo!” Hades added.

Aphrodite sighed and rested her elbow on the table then her head in her hand and blew her fringe out of her face.
“Well like you would still think people would um like still at least care about love, but my offerings have like dropped more than anyone else’s, you can um check the books on that one.” She added.

The Gods all look at Aphrodite. “Well the mortals are relaying more on each other than anything now, they go to each other for advice instead of our temples, they feel distant from us in these days, we have to prove to them that we still watch over them and we still care.” Iris spoke up.
“Care?! Why do I or should I care? They just over populate the place. It’s really hard to get some quiet time with Sephy with out interruptions Cerbus throwing a screaming soul back in to the Styx every five minutes.” Hades remarked.
“Gee sugar you sound like ya need a break there.” Artemis remarked.

Hades looked at her. “Break, eh would be nice, but when ya get the short end of the deal and forget to read the fine print, well there’s nothing left to do but suffer.”
“Underworld suffering nice.” Aphrodite drooled.
“Well when I suffer they suffer.” Hades added.

Aphrodite then sat up an idea had just come to her, souls were known well for suffering in the underworld, she had the perfect plan to finally get rid of Psyche once and for all.
Hades looked at Aphrodite. “Sooo ‘Dite what cha doing after the meeting?” Hades asked and grinned.
Aphrodite looked at him with an arched eyebrow.
“Well I think that I might, well you know go spend some quality time with my like um... husband.” She remarked.
Hades looked at her.
“Or you could-” Hades begun but is suddenly cut off...
“I know pay Persephone a visit! It’s totally like about time I caught up with her, it’s like been ages since we’ve talked.” Aphrodite exclaimed.
Hades sighed, it wasn’t exactly what he had in mind, but at least Aphrodite would be in the underworld for a little bit, even if it wasn’t with him.

Zeus looked at Hades, everyone was very careful of Hades’ true power especially over his attempt at Olympian take over, Zeus looked at Aphrodite who seemed actually excited to go to the underworld for some reason.
Hmmm must be a slow season of love.’ Zeus thought.

Aphrodite wasn’t the only God with a ruthless streak and she was about to make her point, if she could get the full on tour of the underworld by Persephone - she didn’t trust Hades - then maybe she could send Psyche on a mission that would see to her not ever returning to earth again... of course if she was just plainly killed she could always be revived and Eros would do that for her, his love was strong for the teenage girl, but if Psyche vanished on a mission and her body was never found then it would be impossible for Eros to find out where she was and do anything about it. Then Aphrodite could find a suitable Goddess to marry her son, in replace of the mortal princess Psyche.

Hades looked at Aphrodite she had pure expression of thinking, something Hades hadn’t seen before and he looked at the rest of the Gods, being on Olypmus without much power made him nervous but not enough to show them that he was. Hades was suddenly curious to why Aphrodite wanted to go to the underworld Persephone and Aphrodite weren't that close... after all the take over had pretty much ruined his chances and then well there was Aphrodite’s husband to deal with, it was him who created the gates to Olympus after all. Hades just wondered if Aphrodite was heading back with him to the underworld or if she was going to meet him there.

After the meeting Hades meet up with Aphrodite, floating along side where she was walking.
“Sooo...” Hades begun slyly... “Why are you the Goddess of love suddenly interested in the underworld and seeing my wife?” He asked.
Aphrodite looked at Hades.
“I just need to see a few things.” Aphrodite replied.
“Few things? Like what could you want to see that I have?” Hades asked.
Aphrodite looked at him sternly.
“It’s non of your business.”
“Well that’s where your wrong ‘Dite, ya see the underworld is my business.”

Aphrodite looked at him.
“Look I can’t talk with you about this up here.”
“So how about I give you a lift? My chariot is waiting.” Hades offered, “You can tell me on the way.” He added.
Aphrodite kicked herself.
“Yeah I don’t see why not.” She sighed.
Hades grinned. “Well right this way.”
Aphrodite knew this was not going to be a short trip, Hades would make sure of that.

Eros saw his mother about to leave Olympus with Hades and he dashed up and stopped in front of them.
“Mom where you going?” He demanded.
Aphrodite looked at Eros. “I’m going to visit Persephone Eros. Oh and if you want to say a few things to say your wife before I give her the rest of the tasks you better hurry.” Aphrodite remarked.
Hades blinked and looked at Eros,
“You’re married? When did this happen? You know I should keep in touch with more often kid.”
“Save it Hades, any bet mom will tell you anyway... I can’t see her you know that mom.” Eros replied angrily. “I’m going to work, Hades you better bring my mom back or I’ll carve an arrow of hate out of your ass.” Eros threatened.
Hades pulled at mock horror expression. “Keep your quiver in place kid, of course I’ll bring her back.”
“Stay away from the Lethe Mom.” Eros remarked.
“Don’t worry I’ll be with Persephone, we have some catching up to do.” Aphrodite remarked, and with that she walked out of the gates of Mount Olympus and Hades grinned at Eros and followed.

Hermes suddenly flew up next to Eros and looked onward as Hades chariot road off.
Eros shook his head.
Hermes raised and eyebrow and looked over his glasses.
“Can I ask do I need to change my glasses or did Aphrodite leave with Hades?”
Eros sighed, “Maybe you should look at the world through normal glasses now Hermes things are gunna not get good.”
“I happen to like rose...” Hermes replied then blinked. “Not good? Wait you mean for Psyche right?” He added.
“I bet you mom is going to send Psyche to the underworld hense why she’s leaving with Hades. Then I got a feeling she’s going to run her plan over with Persephone or at least forewarn her, and keep Hades in the dark as much as possible.” Eros explained.
“Woman like keeping men in the dark. It’s natural, that’s why I like these glasses, everything seems so much better.” Hermes replied.
“Well you keep looking at the world through your rose tinted glasses, I’m going to check on Psyche from a distance and see if I can still warn her.” Eros said spreading his wings out.
Hermes looked at Eros and then the God of love flew off...
“Good luck kid...” Hermes remarked and then he zipped off in the other direction to see if he was to do any errands for Zeus.

Psyche was sitting out sunning herself outside the Pita Palace, unaware of the attention she was grabbing, she lay on the picnic bench seat her eyes shaded, the wool still in her pocket, Psyche had decided if Aphrodite wanted it so much she could come and get it.

Hades chariot was flying over and Aphrodite held her hand up.
“Wait I need to collect something from a mortal for Seph, it’s a present I got this mortal to collect.”
Hades rolled his eyes and he pulled his chariot down to earth Aphrodite directed him to the Pita palace. They pulled over.

Psyche heard screams and people running and she sat up on the picnic table and looked at the chariot with a raised eyebrow.
“I would of thought she had more style than that ol’ ‘Dite.” Psyche murmured.

Aphrodite got out of the chariot.
“Stay here Hades, I like don’t want you to scare her otherwise I won’t have anything to give Seph.” Aphrodite remarked.

Hades sighed and he watched Aphrodite walk over to an attractive mortal girl the only mortal who hadn’t fled, Hades liked causing fear in the hearts of mortals, it was the only way they paid him respect for watching over their dead.

Psyche looked at Aphrodite and she stood up and reached in to her pocket and handed Aphrodite the wool.
Aphrodite took it and looked at Psyche.
“Any troubles getting this?” She asked curious.
Psyche smiled, “I may have blonde streaks but I ain’t, it was easy, you should just build me and Eros a house Aphrodite I will complete any and every task you throw at me, no matter how hard.” Psyche replied.

Aphrodite glared at her.
“I like doubt it, I’ll find you and give you the next task later, have a break, you’re going to need it, cause the next task won’t be so easy.”
Aphrodite then walked off back towards the chariot the handful of wall, enough to knit a golden cloak out of it, Aphrodite couldn’t believe it.
She got back on the chariot and looked at Hades looking at Psyche who is primping her hair in the reflection of the water.
“So... um Aphrodite aren’t you going to introduce me?” Hades asked.
Aphrodite blinked and looked at Hades, and she growled, Psyche didn’t do anything to provoke the attention yet she still got it.
“No Hades. Just drive.” She ordered.

Hades looked at Aphrodite and he blinked, he wasn’t sure but he could sense some sort of jealousy, he looked at the girl then at Aphrodite, even though he wasn’t on Olympus, he had heard the rumours of a mortal that matched Aphrodite’s beauty, he could only assume that the girl was the one and only.

Psyche noted she was being watched and she suddenly looked up to see the Lord of the dead in the chariot with the reigns in his hands but not driving instead staring. Psyche then figured that was why everyone ran screaming, she took a sip of her water and looked back at him.
“Um excuse me Aphrodite before you go anywhere... not that you are with him driving... Should I rebook the wedding and give your buddy there good seats right next to Zeus?!” She shouted mockingly.

Aphrodite looked at Hades, who looked at her suddenly confused.
“Eh? Seats next to Zeus. What is she going on about?” Hades asked.
“Just drive Hades!” Aphrodite snapped.
Hades looked at Aphrodite surprised at the anger she had, all this coming from hatred - and he could sense hate - all of it being hate for this one girl.
Hades snapped the reigns and the chariot took off.

Psyche waved mockingly as they left. She sat back down at the picnic table and decided it was time to enjoy the rest of the sun of that afternoon.

Hades looked at Aphrodite.
“Hey is that girl single?” Hades asked.
“No.” Aphrodite growled in annoyance.
“Typical all the good ones are taken.” Hades remarked.
Aphrodite looked at him.
“What are you complaining about that never stopped you before? How many has it been now Hades? And you still try to pick me up.”
Hades smiled.
“Hey A God of love is a God of love.” He remarked.

Aphrodite looked at Hades he was known for his good scheming, she had wanted to keep him in the dark about her plan and she would, but she might as well fill him in on a little bit about Psyche so he knew.
“And she’s married to one.” Aphrodite said with annoyance in her voice.
Hades nearly lost the reigns and he looked at Aphrodite.
“Her? So that’s what you were talking about to Eros, I take it only you know?” He asked.
Aphrodite showed Hades the wool.
“This is one of the tasks I made her complete to prove her love for my son, and she did it. To collect the wool from the sheep of helios.” Aphrodite held the wool angry. “I’m giving it to Persephone, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but I thought Persephone could make some curtains or a golden cloak out of it light up the underworld or like something like that.” She explained.
Hades nodded,
“Those sheep are killers man if I got paid for every one of the souls I have down there that were killed by those sheep I’d be able to buy the Elysian fields from Zeus.” Hades remarked.

For the rest of the trip Aphrodite was pretty quiet, Hades kept thinking about the girl surviving the sheep and getting the wool, he knew those sheep and the wool on them was worth quiet a bit of money hense the souls that he got were the greedy kind, he knew in a way Aphrodite was trying to get that girl to die, but if Hercules could save Meg, then surely if Eros got wind of Psyche being dead, he would follow, Hades wasn’t willing to repeat that mess again...

The Chariot was driven in to the underworld where Hades was greeted by Pain and Panic once he parked, both of them looking at Aphrodite then at Hades confused.
“She’s here to see Persephone.” Hades remarked to them before they could ask.
“Take her to see Persephone, I’ll be in my accounts room checking off the souls.” Hades remarked and floated off his own way.

Pain and Panic looked confused, not one single explosion from Hades, though they assumed that it was because Aphrodite was down there and he wanted to make a good impression.
“If you follow us we will lead you to Persephone.” Panic remarked.
“Right this way.” Pain added.
The two creatures lead Aphrodite off.

To Be Continued...