Chapter 6: Morpheus

Raven stood on a high bluff next to Sol Palus shivering as the cool night air blew across her drenched body. She pressed herself against the creature's body trying to get warm. The half moon was slowly sinking into the black waters that stretched out before her. The storm had quickly cleared out replaced by a million twinkling stars overhead.

Another breeze caused her teeth to chatter violently as she wrapped her arms across her chest. Raven closed her eyes trying to will herself warm and regain control over her shivering body.

"What is it with you and standing out in the rain?" Morpheus' familiar voice called out from behind her. Raven opened her eyes and saw the immortal walking towards her. Sol Palus grunted and stomped his hoof positioning himself between his master and the approaching god of dreams. Raven reached out and stroked his neck in reassurance.

Morpheus held a large towel up between his two hands. Raven eagerly stepped around Sol Palus and approached the immortal then turned around allowing Morpheus to gently wrap it around her shivering body. Raven lowered her head and pulled the towel tightly around herself.

The god of dreams smiled in the pale moonlight. Raven could see the faint outline of his goateed face. He was dressed in a dark leather jacket with matching jeans and boots.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to go outside with a wet head? Dry your hair off; you'll feel warmer." Raven smiled slightly at Morpheus' chiding. She took the end of the towel and pressed it to her face then started to scrub her hair dry.

"I don't want to hear any bad hair jokes from you," she lightly scolded him.

"Wouldn't think of it," he replied.

He took a couple of steps towards the Nightmare. It stomped its feet in disapproval halting him in his tracks. Morpheus hated these infernal beasts. They would never threaten his father like this. He, on the other hand, was only a minor deity; master of the small goings on in mortal's sleeping minds. He looked over at Raven. She smiled at him as he suffered the indignity of being driven off by a minor demon.

"Not one of my Dad's best, but he seems to have taken a liking to you." Morpheus said as he raised his hand and began to stroke his chin.

"Yea," Raven tilted her head as she continued to work the towel through her hair. "He ruined our garden and kept the others up with nightmares."

"They'll do that if you're not careful," Morpheus said matter of factly. He studied Raven's response trying to see if she had figured out that it was he who had interrupted her dark visions. There were times when he would splash his dream paints to relieve a mortal's dark visions. Though in this case had to be careful with Raven for she was a hero; her destiny could not be altered in any way.

"Sol Pa-," Raven started to say her steed's name.

Morpheus quickly cut her off. "Don't ever speak its name out loud," he firmly corrected her. "You of all people should know that."

Raven looked back at the creature. Morpheus was right; never mention a demon's name out loud unless you want trouble. She walked back to her Nightmare and gently rubbed her hand along its bristly coat. Sol Palus craned its head back as its silvery eyes glowed in the dark. For the moment he remained under her control.

"Why did he choose me?" Raven asked Morpheus.

"He must have seen you when you were in Hades. I guess he couldn't resist someone as cute as you." He forced himself to smile knowing Raven was beginning her journey into darkness.

Raven looked back at the creature trying to hide her embarrassment at the immortal's statement. She rarely got any comments on her appearance.

A light tune thankfully interrupted their conversation. Morpheus fumbled for his phone. He extracted it from his jacket and flipped it open. "Hey Mom…yea I found her…yea it's here with her…. they seem to be all right….sure." Morpheus looked up. "My Mom says hi." Raven nodded as she continued to stroke her Nightmare's neck. "OK, tell Dad I'll be home soon, bye." Morpheus closed his phone and jammed it back into his jacket. Raven began to laugh lightly.

"Can't get used to that, huh?" Morpheus smirked.

"Sorry, I'll always find it amusing," she countered. "Does the all powerful Hades want his son home?" she chided him.

"Yea," Morpheus folded his arms across his chest and turned to survey the scene that lay before him. He refused to rush home as his father instructed.

"Why doesn't your Dad have his own phone," Raven asked. "I'd think the god of the underworld would need one?"

"Oh he had one," Morpheus answered. "He hated it; got over three thousand messages the first hour it was on."

"Three thousand?" Raven shook her head in disbelief.

"Yea," Morpheus continued with a devious smile. "It was a real pain in the ass to get that many into his inbox without him figuring out it was me."

Raven tried to stifle her laughter at the immortal's unusual prank. "You jammed up your father's phone with three thousand messages?"

"Would you want your Dad to be able to contact you any minute of the day?" Morpheus calmly explained. "My Dad's a notorious micromanager. You know I hate having someone constantly watching over me. It's just easier to deal with my Mom."

Raven nodded her head in agreement. Morpheus turned his head back towards the sea. He wondered to himself how Raven would handle her next ordeal. Divination and prophecy had revealed her coming battle against her own shadow and the vision that would haunt her and determine her future. But he could not tell her, she would have to overcome this ordeal herself.

"Morpheus?" Raven said in slight frustration.

Morpheus turned towards her as Raven fluffed the last bit of dampness from her hair. The soft moonlight reflected off her dark probing eyes. He wondered if she had any idea how beautiful she was.

"Sorry I must have dozed off for a spell," he lamely replied.

"The god of dreams with his head in the clouds; who'd of thought." Raven lightly chided him.

Morpheus laughed off her snide comment. "I'm in no hurry tonight." He turned back to stare out over the placid ocean. Raven smiled then turned to soak in the scene that stretched out before them as she gently stroked Sol Palus' neck.