Chapter 4

"I mean it! I had no idea the recipe said 'serves sixty'!" said Hercules beating the blob oozing from the oven.

"You're a hero! Do something!" Cassandra said diving behind a table as a squirt of hot goo exploded past her.

With his great strength Hercules lifted the whole oven and threw it out the classroom window. It rolled end over end until it landed in the river and sank bubbling beneath the water.

"Phew, that was close."

"Oh Hercules, this is really sweet of you, really sweet, but maybe I should just get used to all that great lipstick and pretty bows."

"Don't give up Cassandra, we still have all night."

"How do you pass home grecenomics?"

"Well, Icarus usually helps me. Hey! Why don't you ask Icarus for help?"

"Well, I don't know…" I'd rather clean the Acteon stables with my tongue.

"Come on Cassandra, it's either that or you stay like this for the rest of your life." reasoned Hercules.

She was trapped; she would have to ask Icarus for help.

"I'd be happy to Cassums, for a price."

"What kind of price Icky?"

"Let's say for the price of one kiss I'll help you come back to being the sour puss I love so much."

Not for all the drachmas in Asia Minor! "Okay." Ewww!

"Hot Diggity Daedalus!" He yelled. He beganto whirl around the classroom kitchen. It almost made Cassandra and Hercules dizzy to see him working so fast. Before they could ask him what he was doing he stood proudly in front of the table with great flourish.

"Done!" He said, "And now…" He said puckering his lips.

"Now hang on there Icky! It has to work first." Cassandra reminded him through inner clenched teeth.

"Oh. Right. Well, till tomorrow then my sweet." He ran a hand through his wild hair, which got caught in a matter of seconds.

Cassandra's stomach shifted as she watched Icarus struggle to free his hand from his mess of hair. Whatever he'd cooked up, she almost wished it wouldn't work.

"What do you call this stuff Icarus?" Hercules asked, staring at the dish.

"It's a revolutionary new food, designed it myself." Icarus proclaimed proudly. "I call it: Jell-O!"

"Jell-O?" Repeated Hercules, "How does it shake like that?" he asked uneasily.

"Believe me, if I told you you'd regret asking."

"Well, as long as Aphrodite likes it, it should be okay." He said with a glance to smiling Cassandra. "I hope."

As Cassandra entered ProAc the next morning, she felt as though she actually was happy. In a few hours she'd be free. As much as she hated to admit it, Icarus had really come through for her.

All classes had been canceled that day in honor of the festival and students were hustling everywhere preparing. Banners and hearts decorated the hallways and in just a little while Cassandra could walk down the hall tearing them down free and clear!

"Good morning all!" She called into the home grec room.

Hercules started and turned around. He looked very nervous and afraid "Oh, uh hi Cassandra!"

"What's the matter?" She asked.

"Nothing my little olive branch, absolutely nothing!" said Icarus, just as nervous and afraid.

"Guys what are you hiding?" What did you two idiots do now?

"Nothing, uh warm day isn't it?" said Icarus. Hercules elbowed him.

"Come on, you can tell me!" She said brightly.

Hercules looked defeated, "Look, Cassandra, we've got some bad news."

"Bad news?" She said as if she'd never heard the words before.

"Well, we came in the morning and, well, the Jell-O kind of, um, melted."

He stepped aside and revealed the bowl, which contained a green soupy liquid that had once been the Jell-O.

"Oh my!" She said. Any last words before I throttle you both?

"We're really sorry Cassandra. But if someone would have told us that the Jell-O had to be kept cold!" He said glaring at Icarus.

"Hey! It's not my fault, I never had to leave it over night before!"

Cassandra stared at the bowl happily but inside she felt like crying.

"Maybe we have time to make a new one." suggested Hercules.

"Make Way for Aphrodite, goddess of love!" hollered someone from outside.

"Or not."

Aphrodite glided into the room amid much fan fare, and cheering. Dressed in red with a low plunging neck line and high cut slits, she waved happily and smiled, and winked to a special few. As soon as she turned her back to them it was obvious that the goddess was not in the best of moods.

"Hi Herc. BUSY day, you wouldn't believe it. Your uncle says hi, sorry he couldn't be here; he's fixing a chariot or something. 'The sun's not gonna drive itself,' blah blah blah, how selfish right? Like he couldn't take one day and think about me? WhatEVER! Okay, so anyway. Let's get this over with, where's this food that's supposed to wow me?"

"Well it's kind of a funny story Aunt Dite." said Hercules nervously, picking up the bowl and showing her. "You see…"

"Yeah, that's so funny." She interrupted. She snatched up the bowl from Hercules' hand and drank the melted Jell-O.

The three of them gasped as they waited for Aphrodite's response.

"Oh!" she said shaking her head. The three of them cringed in unison.

"Oh wow! This is terrif!"

"It is?" beamed Icarus.

"Yeah! It's like so better than nectar! And probably way less fattening too; thighs like these don't just grow on trees you know." She looked at Cassandra. "Well a promise is a promise!" She said with a wave of her hand. Cassandra stood there, seemingly unaffected.

"All done. Well gotta go! Great work guys! Herc, see if you can pick up a crate of that stuff for the next family picnic? Bye, Happy Me Day!" Blowing a few kisses she exited to meet her adoring worshippers.

"Well, well well," Icarus observed triumphantly, "looks like it worked after all! So now if you don't mind, I'll be taking my reward now." He leaned forward, eyes closed and lips puckered.

What met him was fist brought down on his head, "Don't even think about it wing boy."

"Cassandra!" Hercules exclaimed. "You're back!"

"I feel like an Olympic sized weight's been lifted off my cheeks." she said feeling her face and finding the smile was gone.

"My pessimistic pookie's back! That's better than a kiss! Of course if you're still interested…" Icarus said raising his eyebrows. With a look of annoyance Cassandra pushed him to the ground.

"That's my woman!" He sighed happily.

Cassandra smirked and began to walk away when she heard her name called. It was Helen, and she was carrying an eagle Cheerleader uniform.

"Cassandra, glad I found you! I got the uniform, we had a little trouble finding your size because you're just so gosh darn tall! But we did manage to alter it! I just can't wait to start training you!" She gushed.

"Bad news Helen." Cassandra said seriously, "I recently joined this underground cult and it prohibits me from showing any kind of pep or school spirit."

"Really? Not even a little?" Helen asked horrified.

Cassandra nodded, "They're very strict."

"Oh that's too bad!" replied the head cheerleader consolingly.

"I'll survive." Cassandra said with a brave sigh.

Helen frowned and looked at the butchered uniform in her hands. "What am I going to do with this now?"

Icarus flew up and snatched the uniform from Helen. "I'll take it! Give me an E-A-G-L-E!" He cheered. Slipping the oversized uniform over his head he sidled in close to Cassandra.

"Give me a C-A-S-S-oomph!" Cassandra's right hook sent him flying mid-cheer.

Hercules laughed and went to check on his friend. Thank goodness things were back to normal.