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Despite her lack of sleep and her family's confession weighing on her shoulders, Lexi woke up smiling. It was her eighteenth birthday, and she was going to enjoy it like the world was on fire.

After reading the happy birthday texts from the only two girls she considered true friends, Lexi jumped in the shower and stood beneath the hot water for a while, performing a thorough inspection of her elbow and hip where bruises had formed from her fall. They were minor compared to previous battle wounds, and they brought to mind a particularly brutal lacrosse game after a storm.

With soapy loofa in hand, Lexi massaged the tender spots, letting her mind drift to Luke. How would he react if he saw her like this, wet and naked? Would a nude woman even affect a god who had his pick of goddesses? A shudder swept through her at the thought of sharing his bed. Had he thought about sharing it with her? Was it different with a god than with a human? Would the pleasure be enhanced? At least she knew his man parts responded like a human's.

Showered and dried, Lexi smoothed her favorite lemon verbena-scented lotion across her skin, which Luke seemed to respond to. Then she spent extra time styling her hair and coating her eyelashes with mascara, which she only did on important occasions. She might as well flaunt what the gods gave her, as her mom would say. Ugh. Now her mother's obsession with Greek gods made perfect sense.

Lexi chose her birthday ensemble weeks ago; a pale pink scoop neck sweater and black pleated mini skirt, paired with thigh-high stockings with rosebud embroidery and three-inch, peep toe heels. She saw a stylist wear it on Instagram and immediately claimed it as her own. After donning a diamond-studded necklace and matching earrings, the bling she'd received from her parents last weekend, she sashayed into the dining room, owning every inch of those heels.

"C'est magnifique, Signorina Lexi," Lady Twila gushed as she swished over in a form-fitting gown made of black and white damask. The fabric reminded Lexi of the curtains hanging in her dad's study, but royalty could pull off anything.

"I'll never be able to match your grace and beauty." Lexi offered her usual curtsy just as the memory of last night's big reveal played in her head. She was exchanging pleasantries with Aphrodite. Not just royalty, but the goddess of love and beauty. Heat flooded Lexi's face like a storm surge, and she grabbed the back of a nearby chair in case she needed it.

"Are you having a spell, Lexi?" Her friend's concern attracted the attention of another, who slipped up behind Lexi and placed a gentle hand on her back. She knew immediately who it was.

"Maybe you should sit down." Luke pulled out a chair as his velvet voice spread over her like warm sheets from the dryer.

Lexi nodded gratefully, waving everyone to the table. "Don't worry about me. I'm just hungry. Luke, will you do me the honor of sitting here?" She patted the seat next to her, and he swiftly obliged.

The chair across from Lexi was quickly snatched by James, who slid a white shirt box across the table towards her. "This is for you, Lexi. I know your parents said not to bring gifts, but after we talked yesterday, I thought you might like it."

His gaze flicked to Luke, and Lexi felt a touch of guilt for showing Luke preferential treatment. James had plenty to offer, and she enjoyed his company, too. Boy, would his mind be blown if he knew who Luke really was.

"That's so thoughtful of you, James. Should I open it now?"

"Yes. I'll need to explain something when you see it."

Properly intrigued, Lexi pulled the lid off the box and lifted the ends of the tissue paper, uncovering a University of Oxford sweatshirt. "Oh. This is amazing."

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