I want to say thank you to all of you who recently added this story to your favorites or alerts. I hope everyone is still enjoying the story as it unfolds.
This chapter is a set up for the next where Arabella will find out some shocking news. That's all I will say on that for now.
And as for my lovely reviewers…. Thank you all again for letting me know what you think!
AdrienneG25: Oh my God! This review made me want to cry I felt so blessed to get it. I really do try hard to make this story interesting. I hope you all think it is!
Guest: We'll find out soon enough!
Jalannas: We shall soon find out what happened to her.
Pelawen Night: I hope you like where her story goes…
Missreadsalot13: Well, Hadley's still with the Queen at this point, so she won't be with Hadley, or she'd be in the pickle with Eric.
SwedishfanfictionLover: Thank you for again reviewing!
Chibichibi98: Unfortunately Eric doesn't make an appearance in this chapter (it wouldn't have gone with the flow of it). He will in the next though… And he certainly won't expect what is in store for him either.
'Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I just pulled her heart out! Oh my God!' I screamed out in full on panic mode (although to be honest with as fast as I was yelling, it probably just sounded like random high-pitched screaming) as I stared wide-eyed at Maryann's cold black heart. I knew what had to be done, did it without a second thought to save everyone, but still, it was someone's dead heart, one that was covered in some sort of nasty black goo, that I held in my hand. I quickly dropped the heart, almost like it was on fire and watched it as it beat two more times on the ground and then stopped. It was all just too much. I just killed someone, again, but not in self-defense like before with Rene or in Dallas. It didn't matter right now that she was a supernatural serial killer who fucked up my home, my town and everyone in it and would have continued on her tour of terror if not stopped now. The only thing I could focus on was that her death was literally done by my hands, hands that were now covered in some black goo substitute for blood. I knew it would come to this. I mean we'd all planned this to be the end result (hopefully) of the night, but this was too real and overwhelming to me at the moment. It didn't help that Maryann's body quickly began to disintegrate before me. In the blink of an eye she went from being the delusional wannabe bride of Bacchus, to looking like a zombie extra that walked off the set of The Walking Dead, to a big pile of dust all over my poor Gran's gored wedding dress. Needless to say, Maryann's literal falling apart at the seams did not help my mental falling apart at the seams in any way shape or form. Not that I ever wanted to kill again, for any reason, but given my track record lately I couldn't rule out that I wouldn't be forced to again. That being said I couldn't help but wonder would killing someone ever get easier and did I want it to get easier? Maybe I'd ask Eric one day how he deals with it, although being a thousand years old, give or take a few decades, I'm sure killing to him is like cleaning out your closets, just something that needs to be done from time to time.
Before I could dwell further on my actions, or more to the point continue on my way towards a complete mental breakdown, I started to feel pinpricks all over my body. They didn't hurt or feel incredible, though. They just felt like an extreme case of goose bumps at first, but the feeling quickly escalated into something more… intense, again, not painful or pleasant in feeling, just all encompassing and powerful. As the feeling grew, I noticed tiny beams of white light began to radiate from my pores. 'Oh my God what's happening to me?" I thought, scared beyond belief, as the light rays quickly grew in size. I saw the looks on Sam and Godric's faces and knew the situation didn't look any better to them from their end. And then, before any of us could do anything, everything turned bright white and then went to nothing.
I groaned and lifted my hands to my head as slowly felt the fog in my brain lift and my eyes finally started to listen to my silent plea for them to open as they flitted a few times before staying open completely. 'God this has to be the worst hangover ever.' I thought to myself before thinking further, 'Wait, I don't remember drinking that much vodka… I mean I took a couple swigs of it, who wouldn't what with everything going on at my house, or my life in general, but definitely not enough to make me feel like this. Mental note, ask the brujo what exactly was in his purple Jesus juice.'
Once my eyes were finally open and focused, I found that I was lying on my back in the middle of a grand rotunda looking straight up at a huge marble dome that was painted to look like the night sky, with the constellations highlighted in a bright gold. The dome looked to be about 30 feet above me and was held up by intricately carved white marble columns. If I weren't so freaked out right now I would have appreciated the magnificent and breathtaking sight. However the only thing going through my mind was, 'What the fuck just happened and where the fuck was I?' This definitely wasn't my backyard, or anywhere near my house in general. Based on what I saw tonight, Maryann definitely went for a more disgusting and decrepit look compared to the classically spectacular but more to the point clean one before me. It looks like we're not in Bon Temps anymore Toto.
I stood up, expecting my limbs to be sore from lying on the cold marble floor, but I was fine, absolutely positively perfectly fine. I looked down at the dress I was wearing, the one Maryann made me wear to her wacked-out wedding, noting that the black goo that was all over it before from my close encounter with her heart was all gone. In fact, the dress was in pristine white silk perfection. My hands were also free of the black goo. Not that I wasn't thankful to be rid of the reminder of my deadly act, but how did I get cleaned up and where the heck was I? Then I remembered the white light that emanated from me. 'Oh Lord, what happened to me?' I thought warily.
"She's got fire, beauty and strength this one of yours. I don't think I've seen one start to stir this early in a long while." I heard a man's voice in the distance, or at least it sounded like in the distance. I turned in a circle at least two or three times trying to see where the voice had come from, but didn't see anyone there. 'Great, I definitely have to be hallucinating.' I thought to myself sadly. The last thing I needed gone right now was my mind.
"Oh please, don't sound so surprised, of course she'd be remarkable. You know her pedigree. Now let's go get her." A different man's voice materialized, this time even louder and clearer than the first, as if he were approaching me. But I still didn't see anyone. 'I am definitely hallucinating. Yep, that's it; I have to be hallucinating. There is no other possible explanation because there's no way this shit is real.' I thought to myself as I tried to justify a reason for hearing the voices or being here in general. I'll have to tell Jesus to cool it on the hallucinogenics if he ever has to make his switcheroo potion again because this was a complete and total mind fuck for me right now.
Curious though, I moved from the center of the rotunda over to one of the pillars, where I thought the voices sounded like they were coming from. As I got closer to the edge, I was blown away by the view of what lay outside the rotunda. All I saw were clouds and sky with an occasional marble building jutting out from a cloud. It kinda reminded me of that Skylanders X-box game Coby and Lisa kept bothering me to play with them when I babysat them last, well, the last time before watching them during the whole Maenad situation. Buying that X-Box console and games for the kids was about the only decent thing Rene had done and certainly didn't make up for all the death and heartache he brought about.
I shook my head, wanting to clear my head so I could try to think about possible places I could be right now, in case I wasn't hallucinating. I started to really freak out when the inevitable realization came to mind. "Oh God, am I dead? Is this Heaven?" I sputtered out loud the questions disbelievingly. I couldn't for the life of me remember anything happening to me that would have killed me when I tore Maryann's heart out, but there was no other explanation in my mind for what I was looking at now, the clouds, the pristine condition of everything, the brightness of it all…
Boisterous laughter brought me out of my thoughts. I quickly spun around to find that there were two very attractive men dressed in impeccable white suites in the circular room with me, let me correct that, two men of absolute perfection, laughing their asses off at me. The first one I noticed had short somewhat spiky blonde hair that shown like the sun and eyes so blue they looked like sapphires. His face was perfectly chiseled and probably smoother than a baby's bottom. He was tall and from what I could tell with his clothes being on, he had a lithe yet muscular body. The man standing across from us was equally striking but with a completely different look. He had short-ish dark brown unruly hair that suited him nicely and hazel eyes that twinkled with a bit of mischief in them if I wasn't mistaken. He seemed as tall as the other man, but built just a little studier. A look of anger shot across my face as I crossed my arms across my chest. I mean, who likes getting laughed at especially when they have no freaking clue what's going on. Evidently this distraction was just what I needed to sway me from freaking out further.
When their laughter died down some, the brown haired fellow finally said with a smirk, "They all think they've died and gone to heaven when they get here, don't they. But I guess we are that good looking, aren't we?" Upon seeing the anger on Arabella's face he continued to say, "Oooh, look at those daggers she's glaring at us. She's feisty for sure that one. Most either bow at our greatness or cower in fear at the sight of us. This one's definitely worthy brother."
"Oh shut it Dion. I never had a doubt that she would one day come to us." The blonde haired man said with an expression on his face that looked like… pride? What the hell? Wait; did he call the other guy Dion? Oh… holy… shit!
All the color drained from my face as a very crazy and stupid and completely bonkers but potentially real possibility occurred to me. Not worried about looking like a fool, since they laughed at me already, but now actually more worried that I had just stumbled upon the truth, I mustered up the courage to ask the brown haired man, "You… you aren't Dion as in Dionysus by chance, are you?"
The brown haired man placed his finger on his nose and said, "Bingo! Smart and beautiful; that's what's kept you alive this whole time. I have to say it is rather refreshing to have someone figure it out so soon. But anyway, to answer your question fully, yes I am the Dionysus in the flesh." He waved his right hand up and down his body and wiggled his eyebrows as he said this, which made me giggle despite myself. I quickly went wide-eyed though and placed my hand over my mouth as soon as the thought occurred to me, 'Oh dear Lord, I hope I didn't just offend the god whose ceremony I just royally fucked up and whose Maenad I just killed! No, I'm hallucinating. I'm just going to continue to think I'm hallucinating.' I couldn't bear to think that any of this was real right now.
"Now, don't cover up that pretty laugh. It's like music to my ears unlike that crap that damned Maenad had been employing trying to gain my attention." Dionysus said, shaking his head in disdain while remembering all the attempts Maryann had foolishly made to get his attention, as he walked over to Arabella and offered his arm out for her to take a walk with him. "You don't mind if I converse first with the one who saved me from having to deal with Maryann myself, do you brother? I'm sure she is very curious about certain recent events."
"No, not at all. Bring her to me when you are done with your discussion as you know I have much to discuss with her as well." The blonde haired man said as laid a comforting hand on my shoulder and looked at me with a warmhearted smile before disappearing into thin air. 'That's a neat party trick.' I thought to myself. 'I definitely could've used it in some past sticky situations.'
"If you will my dear…" Dionysus said as he started to steer us towards a walkway that materialized out of nowhere.
A small anxious smile appeared on my face while I thought, 'here goes nothing…' Just when I think my life couldn't get any crazier, here I am, walking arm in arm like old pals with the ultimate reason for all the mayhem and destruction in my town; the man of the hour, the god who never comes or wasn't really supposed to exist in the first place. Yeah, I soooooo did not see this coming. What choice did I have though? How do you say no to a god?
Dion, as he mentioned he preferred to be called thinking it sounded more current, took me up a hilled walk through one of the most beautiful gardens I'd ever seen. The grass was the perfect shade of green and manicured to a fault. The fruit trees, made up of lemon, orange and apple trees, were abundant with fruit that looked and smelled amazing. The flowerbeds that were expertly peppered throughout the garden were truly a sight to behold. It was absolute perfection and I was awed to have seen it. I kinda half hoped this was heaven after all and that Gran was here to see this. She loved her gardens something fierce. And I loved and missed her something fierce. It would have been nice to see her and say I was sorry I couldn't have done more to save the house and her dress from Maryann's shenanigans.
"So, Dion, you've let me know, by way of your ego-deflating laughter, that this isn't heaven, but you haven't exactly explained where we are." I finally got the nerve to ask him after he had explained that we were walking to the main hall to get a bite to eat.
"You haven't guessed it yet? And here I thought you were smarter than that." He threw back at me with a smirk on his face. I did have a thought of where we might be, but I could tell he wanted me to say it.
"Mt. Olympus." Even as the words came out of my mouth in a whisper, I couldn't believe I was actually voicing them as an option. I was now completely convinced that Jesus's potion was more potent then I thought and that I was just hallucinating all this. I mean, who goes to Mt. Olympus, but more to the point, who goes there and then goes home to tell everyone about it? Like 'hey girl where did you go on vacay? Oh I went to Disney. Yeah, well I went to Mt. Olympus and hung out with some gods, you know, no biggie.' Yeah, I ain't never heard of those conversations.
Breaking me out of my internal reflections he said, "See, now that wasn't that hard to deduce, now was it? I knew you were smart enough to work it out." He then happily pulled down an apple from a tree and handed it to me. "You really should try one of these. They are to die for."
"To die for." The words resonated in my mind as I took the apple from his hands (it would have been rude not to take it after all and who really wants to offend a god) and looked at it. It was the perfect shade of red with not an imperfection to be found on it. And even though apples don't usually smell, well apple-ly, this one smelled utterly amazing. But as I brought the fruit to my lips I noted how it felt eerily similar to the weight of Maryann's heart. A wave of disgust flowed through me as I brought the apple away from my mouth and looked at it again. It was the same shade of red that I would have imagined a normal heart would be and about the same size and shape. I dropped the apple, in practically the same manner I dropped Maryann's heart, and proceeded to throw up. "So much for not offending a god." I thought to myself as I wretched whatever contents my stomach still had all over my white dress and heaven forbid, Dion's white dress shoes. Where do you even get white dress shoes like that?
"Well, that's not the response I normally receive when I hand someone fruit from my garden." Dion said with a chuckle. Thankfully he wasn't offended, or at least didn't appear to be. "You have an aversion to apples?" He asked somewhat playfully.
I looked up at the god from my clenched over position with a look that pretty much said, "Really?"
"Okay, no aversion. Something made you lose your lunch though, what was it?" Dion asked, curiously, as he knew it wasn't the apple per se.
As I stood back up, the mess I just made vanished and my dress, the ground, and more importantly Dion's shoes were in pristine condition again. Instead of answering his question though, I asked in wonder, "Hhhhow?" My interactions with Jesus were the first I'd ever encountered with magic, so I still wasn't accustomed to these types of acts.
"Sweetheart, we're gods here. When we fight we make glorious messes. Learning to magically clean up one is ingrained in us in the womb." He said with humor that didn't quite make it to his ancient eyes. "That little mess you made is nothing compared to when we clashed with each other."
My eyes went wide when he mentioned the fight between the gods. "All of that; all of that was real?" Remembering some of the cracked-out stories I'd read about on Wikipedia about the gods, I couldn't believe that any of it was remotely true. Now this guy is insinuating that they are. Holy shit!
"Some of the stories, or at least parts of them, are true, most are exaggerated or flat out wrong though." Dion replied flippantly, like we were talking about stories in a tabloid magazine like Star or OK.
"Why don't you put the truth out there?" I asked curious but with a slight tinge of annoyance. Knowing more of the truth could have possibly prevented our town being taken over by Maryann.
"Because most mere mortals are not able to handle the simplest of the truths out there. Most mortals would have never survived what you have survived because of their innate inability deal with small tragedies let alone monumental occurrences. Most would rather live in blissful ignorance of the harshness that exists the world. They are not strong enough to handle anything beyond their day to day existence because it would cause them to step out of their comfort zone and actually use their minds and look beyond themselves and their own selfish needs, the way you have." He replied solemnly. It was a shame really; most mortals lived such boring mundane lives never realizing they had such potential to do something; to do more.
I looked at him for a moment as his words sunk in. While he basically insulted the human race as being weak pathetic creatures, I knew that he had complemented me somewhere in his explanation. As flattering as his complement may be, I couldn't help but think that living in blissful ignorance had a nice ring to it sometimes. How much of myself was I going to have to fix because of my ability to survive these truths he's talking about? How much was even still fixable? Could I survive, surviving?
"But back to my original question, why did you react the way you did over my apple?" Dion asked, truly curious as to what caused her distress.
I kneaded my hands together nervously, because I didn't really want to talk about my part in ruining Maryann's ritual in honor of him. He seemed pretty unperturbed so far, but I'd seen Longshadow go from Mr. Calm, Cool and Collected to Mr. Crazy Angry I'm Gonna Go Medieval On Your Ass vampire a so I knew that looks can be awfully deceiving.
Dion noticing my nervousness said, "You know what, we're almost to the main hall. Why don't we continue our discussion there?"
I nodded my head, thankful for the reprieve, but still drawing a blank at how to approach that topic with the god.
"Here we are. Why don't you take seat and I'll be back before you know it." Dion said as we entered the main hall. It was breathtaking, but wasn't everything here breathtaking in the playground of the gods? This hall though, it was what I pictured something like the Parthenon would have looked like in its heyday. The white stone columns stretched unbelievably high holding the beautifully tiled cream and golden roof up so that it too seemed in the sky itself. Exquisitely painted frescos lined the walls and perfectly sculpted nudes seemingly danced across the room. I couldn't help but wonder if the real life muses looked exactly the same as the sculptured pieces, because if so, these Olympians were packing some major heat. 'Oh Lord, there goes my libido again.' I cringed as my thoughts ran to the dark side. Maybe it was just a side effect of Maryann's sex soirée. Maybe I just have an itch that hasn't been scratched in way too long.
I still hadn't made it to my seat, because I was too busy taking in the amazing sights before me, when Dion came back with servants bringing multitudes of food and drink. 'It's a good thing no one that goes to Merlotte's saw how fast the service is here and how good everything looks because they ain't never going to see something like that there. Lafayette was definitely a fan of the 'I'mma gonna take my sweet-ass time to get it right and don't bother bitching 'bout it to nobody school of culinary arts.' I thought to myself with a chuckle as I saw the bounty Dion brought back with him.
"I thought you'd be sitting here, biting your nails in boredom but I see you're just lollygagging around. Come, come, let's quench our appetites." Dion said excitedly as sat down, grabbed a huge turkey leg, like the kind you see at Renaissance fairs in the fall, bit down aggressively into it and then took a huge gulp of wine from a chalice made of gold all before I could even think about picking up something to eat. 'Guess he was hungry.' I thought. In that moment he definitely looked like the living embodiment of being the god of revelry and excess. I was amazed though that even though his actions were rash and gluttonous, he still looked elegant and dare I say… clean. If this were someone at Merlotte's doing the same thing, they'd need one of those adult plastic bibs they give you at some restaurants that serve lobster so you don't stain your shirt. Somehow I just couldn't picture this god sitting next to me with one of those bibs on.
Shaking my head to get the mental picture of Dion with a bib, I responded to his comment, "I wasn't lollygagging around. I was taking in the beauty that's before me." I responded finally in a somewhat playful manner. I didn't feel necessarily more sure of myself or my company at the moment, but I wanted to let him know that I wasn't just being a complete fool either and that I wasn't being an ungrateful bitch.
"You jest. How can that be true when I wasn't in the room?" He said in a joking fashion.
I laughed, hoping again not to offend, but added with a smile, "Living in my little podunk town and coming from a family with little means, I don't get to see places like these or works of art like the ones all around this room. I have to take it all in while I can. I'd be a fool not to." I had travelled with Jessalyn, but we often didn't have the time or money to do all that we wanted in the cities we visited because we still had to work to have a roof over our heads and food on the table wherever we were. We'd visit museums when we could, but it really was few and far between and none of them were of the magnitude of spectacular that this place was. There was no way any museum would ever be able to capture the pure magnificence of this place though. There were no words for the beauty of it.
He looked at me again with a knowing smile before saying, "There is so much more to you than most of that podunk town will ever see. They should bow to your greatness."
I laughed again before saying, "Well, I don't know about that, but I'll tell ya, I'd be glad if they just tipped better." 'Especially after saving their asses.' I thought to myself.
"You don't honestly want to be a waitress the rest of your existence, do you?" Dion asked in disbelief at the thought.
"No." I replied honestly before adding, "I didn't have the money to go to college before or really to do much of anything before. However, due to some really unfortunate circumstances, I do now. But to be honest, I haven't had a moment to breathe lately let alone think about what I wanted to do with my future. Right now the only thing on my mind is survival."
"And survive you have." Dion said cryptically. Switching gears he asked with a smirk, "Aren't you going to dig in? You must be starving after eliminating the contents of your stomach on my shoes."
Wanting to keep him in a good mood due to the fact that I still might have to explain my part in his Maenad's unfortunate loss of her heart, I playfully responded, "I did no such thing. Show me the proof. No evidence, no crime."
"Oh touché sweetheart. However, I don't think either one of us wants that wretched stench back." He replied with a smile before taking another huge bite of that turkey leg.
"Nope." I replied, popping my p. No need to relive that.
"So I'm sure you have questions about that Maenad situation…" Dion said as he pushed his plate away from him indicating he was done eating at the same time that my face dropped and all color drained from my body. I sure did have questions about the Maenad, like was this guy pissed that I totally took out his so-called bride?
The words sprang from my mouth before I gave any thought to them. "Yeah, you know, she was kinda wrecking havoc on my town and my home. No offence, but what the hell?" I didn't mean for my question to come out as an accusation or condemnation of him, it was more out of sheer and utter curiosity. Why would someone want someone else to act like that or cause others to act like that? It just didn't make any sense to me. What would be the justification for what Maryann did? How was any of it necessary or warranted? Just…why?
"Yes, well, Maenads weren't some of our finest creations, I'll give you that. Although they weren't always as… overzealous… as they have become through the ages." Dion said with a sigh.
"Overzealous? I think bat-shit crazy would more accurately describe Maryann." I interjected thinking that overzealous was glossing over the obvious.
"Perhaps… and part of the blame does rest on us I suppose." He began. "You see, all of us gods were trying to outdo one another back in the day, when we were more immature and selfish; relishing in our status over the mortal world; playing with mortals like they were ragdolls having them attend to our many whims. And of course there was the whole fact that the more followers you had, the more beloved you were. The more devout your followers were, the more your peers would approve. You get where I'm going with this, right?"
"Yeah… I think, unfortunately. Maenads were your addition to the Mt. Olympus pissing contest." I responded with a sarcastic snort.
Dion laughed lightly to himself. "Yes, I suppose it boiled right down to that in the end. It was not one of our proudest moments and I dare say we all learned from our actions as evidenced by our being worshipped by mortals eventually ceased except by a few… stragglers."
"Like Maenads. Do I really want to know how many more stragglers are out there? I asked hesitantly.
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about any others right now, no. And thankfully you have effectively ridded me of one painful reminder of my not so glorious past." Dion answered.
"Okay then, if you're glad to see the Maenads go, then why on earth didn't you get rid of all of them already yourself? You made my puke go away with what, a thought, magic, osmosis? It would have been easy for you to do it. Why couldn't you get rid of them instead of letting them wreck havoc on so many innocent lives?" The questions slipped out before I could censor myself. Did I really need to be chastising a god? Probably not. But I did. It's my hallucination after all, right? God I hoped so.
"Ahhh, but what you don't understand is that it is forbidden for us gods to get involved in certain matters." Dion said with a shrug. He knew that Arabella would have a hard time buying this, but really, his hands were tied.
"Color me confused, or just blame it on me having a human moment here, but who exactly forbids a god from doing anything?" I asked, dumbfounded by his reason for his non-action.
"Zeus, our father and leader of us, that's who. He is all-powerful and his word is law amongst us. Those who go against his wishes do so at great peril to themselves and the ones they love. There must be grave importance to your pursuit to defy him and a good enough argument to win over his support in the end." Dion said with a seriousness that I had not seen from him yet.
"And saving countless mortal lives just doesn't fit the bill I suppose, does it? We're not good enough of a reason." I said, anger in every word. Just like we were to most vampires were we to these gods; playthings, food literally for vampires and food for folly to these gods, nothing but fodder to their boredom. It was sickening and wrong and I hated how I absolutely felt complete and total powerlessness to stop any of it.
"You may not believe it, but I do empathize with your world and the woes that have befell it due to our missteps, however Zeus did not forbid us to interfere lightly or without reason." Dion replied softly.
"Oh yeah, and what would those reasons be? Because it's so fun to watch us flounder on earth like a fish out of water, just flapping our little bodies to stay alive under conditions that should kill us? Oh, or how about we're so beneath you that you don't believe we're worth the energy it would take to lift a single finger to help us? No, no, no, it must be that you were having too much fun up here now and had no more use for the puppets you left down on earth. Am I close?" I replied, again not censoring myself as I should probably have, but what was I supposed to do, lie? Say what they did was right or just? That would have been a lie. And, maybe if I spoke up, he'd see that we're not worth forgetting about.
I was surprised to say the least that he didn't seem angry at all at my outburst at him while he calmly stated, "No, you're not close in the least. The reason why he forbade us to act is you."
"Excuse me? I'm a 20 year old waitress from some hick town ain't no one heard about. How exactly am I the reason for ya'll not doing anything for thousands of years?" I responded to his supposed revelation appalled. This guy was not going to pin their inaction on me.
"Not you per se, but those like you; the survivors; the leaders; those who make a difference in the lives of others. You would not have the chance to do so without having reasons, circumstances to prove yourselves more. Yes, it would have been nothing for us to clean up the messes that we made on earth once we realized the error of our misguided ways, however Zeus saw it as a learning exercise for both us gods and mortals." Dion tried to explain before I cut him off.
"So you left all sorts of who knows what kinds of crap for us to deal with so you could what, watch and take notes like we're some sort of science experiment to ya'll? Like we're all just lab rats without minds or souls? That's just… just… wrong." I replied, still appalled by this all.
"There's not that much out there anymore to be perfectly honest. Most of our frenzied followers died out early on due to their own actions, but the few who have lasted through time, I will not lie, there was a lot to learn of their actions as well as from the actions of those who interacted with them. You may view this as crass, us watching, observing mortal behaviors, but is it really all that different from say a psychologist listening and observing even the most wicked of minds?" Dion challenged.
"Uh yeah, first of all, psychologists may listen to all the thoughts of sane and insane people, but if someone is about to hurt someone else or themselves, they intercede and don't let it happen. They lock them in a padded room away from society. You cannot say the same and that's the difference buddy." I replied quickly.
"But what if letting someone act on their instincts, whether you agree with what they are about to do or not, makes others take action, right a wrong, make them stronger, might that not be a good reason to let it happen?" Dion pushed for me to see his side of things.
"People show courage in all sorts of ways, little ways and big ways. It's not like we need to have misguided, cannibalistic, sex-crazed lunatics to battle with as well. Why do we mortals need to have our woes cranked up a gagillion notches like that? We don't normally see the small shit that troubles us coming let alone that!" I responded with a huff.
"Because surviving the seemingly survivable makes you somewhat godly, don't you think?" He replied leaning back into his chair with a smirk, like I was supposed to pick up on something.
"I don't think anyone, well anyone normal, is actively looking to be godly." I replied cautiously. I really didn't get where he was going with any of this.
"No, you're wrong there, some are; there are those who have figured certain things out on their own and tried to manipulate certain outcomes." He began while I thought he couldn't be more vague if he tried. "But those aren't ever the ones that are worthy of notice. No, those who beat odd after odd without wanting the glory, those are the true heroes. This is what Maryann failed to see you know. She started out a truly fine specimen and I had high hopes for her. But, she was impatient; wanting to ascend before her time, mind you this was after the time when Zeus still allowed us in the playground sort to speak to play with our toys. But I digress. She thought that if her parties were grander, more exotic, more extreme that I would come to her. What she failed to grasp was the more outlandish and quite frankly disturbing her parties became, the less interested I was in her and her actions. And it was this obsession with getting what she wanted that led her to complete madness. Unfortunately it's the actions of her and several other Maenads like her that give me a bad rep." He said while I sat and listened to his tale wondering still where this was all leading.
"You must have noticed that we are sitting here in this beautiful venue having a civilized discussion, a bounty of food and beverage lay before us, but you have not touched a thing and I have only had enough to sate my appetite, nothing more and nothing less. Yes, I am the god of revelry, of having a good time, but that title has become twisted over the centuries into one that I am shamed to have attached to me. Now my name is associated with extreme drunkenness, intense madness and deviant sexual abandon. Not that there is never a time for any of that, but it should be done within reason and certainly without putting anyone into harms way. Having a good time with loved ones, caring for one another, sharing your bounty, these are all things I stand for. Didn't you wonder how easy it was for the people in your town to fall under Maryann's spell?" He asked the question that I couldn't deny was in the back of my mind.
"Yes. There were very few that weren't." I replied softly. It was truly frightening how practically the whole town fell to her mind control and how quickly.
"It's because whether they'd admit it or not, they wanted an escape from their mundane lives but are normally too afraid to do anything about it. Maryann gave them the perfect excuse to live out their deepest darkest fantasies without having to take any of the blame." He replied humorlessly. He took no pleasure in this, she could tell.
"But, they all had them alien eyes. They couldn't escape the grip she had on their minds." I replied.
"True, once she had a grip, it would be almost impossible to loosen it, although I noticed you were able to do so with your friend." He replied with a sly smile.
"Yes, but it was one helluva ride. Your Maenad was a freaky bitch." I replied.
"That she was. But here's the thing you are missing; those people let her in. They bought what she was selling hook, line and sinker. They wanted to let loose and then blame her for their actions. They were selfish and weak and full of fear and it fed right into her schemes." He said sadly again.
"But if you could have gotten rid of her…" I tried to say but this time he cut me off.
"Then my dear, we wouldn't be having this conversation." He smirked as he said this.
"Why does this keep coming back to me? I don't understand." I said with a huff. I wasn't the type to have philosophical conversations, especially not with a freaking god. My typical conversations tended to revolve around the gossip at Merlotte's (courtesy of Arlene – Gossip Queen Extraordinaire), inappropriate sexual commentary (courtesy of Lafayette, Tara, Jason, oh who am I kidding, pretty much everyone I know) or how to survive the next supernatural catastrophe. I was surprised that I had held my own for as long as I did, but I knew there was something being left out of our conversation.
Dion ignored my question, and instead said, "You know, you would get along great with my sister Athena. She is the goddess of wisdom, courage and justice. You two have a lot in common."
"Don't tell me, she's going to grill me next on something like transcendentalism or Buddha or Darwinism or the like next." I said with an eye roll. I would have brushed up on some stuff or at least googled or wikied something had I known I'd be waxing philosophical with a god.
Dion's eyebrow lifted with my comment.
"What, just cause I come from a hick town doesn't mean I'm a hick. I did alright in school." I said, now obviously offended. My whole town didn't have enough fingers to count how many times someone thought I was just another dumb southern blonde bimbo. Well news flash folks, I just held my own with a god. Yeah me!
"I would never question your intelligence. But back to your earlier question of why this comes back to you, well, that would best be explained by my brother who I believe is waiting patiently for you at his residence in Mid-Olympus. Come, let me take you to him and he can answer the questions you have now and some you didn't even knew you had." Dion said as he stood up and offered his hand to me. I graciously accepted his hand and walked with him into another great unknown. The only thing I could think of right now was that this was one helluva hallucination and if it wasn't, I may be royally fucked.
A/N: Just in case you're wondering, I pictured Dion looking like Nathaniel Buzolic who played Kol on the Vampire Diaries and the blonde man as Alex Pettyfer.