The nuptial music soared. I sprinted down the glass hallway towards giant doors encrusted with seashells. I couldn’t tell if the roar in my ears was my heart racing or the waves crashing around the undersea castle. All I knew was that I hadn’t felt this alive in centuries. I had always been a gambling god, yet the stakes had never felt this high. I knew better than most that love could be destined or it could be a fool’s errand. I kept tramping down the question that broke on my mind like the ocean breaks above. Was I crashing this wedding for the bride’s sake or for my own? As the god of love, I should know my own heart, but this hostage situation turned long weekend… It was more exhilarating than anything I had felt in decades. Maybe it wasn’t love, but I didn’t want to give it up.
When I reached the gilded mollusks and starfishes that decorated the door. I paused and checked out my reflection in the glass. Love can be vain, I admit. I brushed soot from my curly blond hair and sighed. Since I had teleported in a hurry, I hadn’t the time to clean myself up after working in the smithy. I looked more like a frat boy than a primordial god in my forge-scorched jeans and vintage football jersey. I definitely wasn’t up to the Olympic dress code of gold silk tunics and tiger skin cloaks.
My fist tightened around a golden arrow. The gods were assembled to see Neptune’s wedding. If the rapturous sounds of the Muses were any indication, the ambrosia had already begun to flow. I passed a treasury of exquisite gifts—gems, gold, silks, and more—in the watery atrium. What should have been the undersea wedding of the millennia was about to become the undersea scandal of the millennia.
I had been the one to get Neptune into this mess, I admonished myself as I squared my shoulders, and I would have to get him out of it. Venus might have recruited me for this mischief, but I had been the drunken ass who’d agreed to it. In my defense, it had been another boring Mount Olympus party and I’d thought we were just going to liven it up.
Last weekend, the god of wine hosted a gala, much like the one before it and the million before that. Apollo had played his lyre as the Muses harmonized. Jupiter and Juno held court over the marble chamber from their golden throne. The reclining divinities made merry with dryads and satyrs surrounded by ethereal beauties, architectural perfection, and marvelous blah blah blah. For me, it was just another day of being a Roman deity. I had drunk enough wine to kill a mortal and was reaching for a set of dice when my latest scandal began.