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Hecate rummaged inside her satchel as Lexi navigated the chariot to the gates. Hecate's chariot had been built for three, making it trickier to operate than Lexi's own two-person chariot, and Lexi appreciated Hecate's confidence in her piloting. In fact, Hecate had become more companionable with Lexi over the past couple of years, something Lexi noticed after Hecate deemed her fully versed in the history and bylaws of Olympus. Lexi was grateful for Hecate's friendship, but she still felt like she would always live in the shadow of Persephone.

"I knew there was something I forgot," Hecate said as she huffed into her bag. "I left your monthly dose of Wild Yam back at my cabin. We'll just have to stop by there when we return." Lexi glanced sidelong at Hecate and that's all it took to make the matronly goddess suspicious. "Have you been taking the herb as I instructed, Lexi? Are your menses still regular?"

Lexi shrugged as she maneuvered the chariot over the path leading to the gates. She really wasn't in the mood for an interrogation from Hecate. "For the most part."

Hecate scrutinized Lexi with the sharp gaze she knew too well. "Explain 'for the most part'."

"Well, I've occasionally missed a dose and I've occasionally missed a period."

"When was your last menses?"

The gates were in view, and Thanatos swung them open to accommodate their chariot. Lexi ignored Hecate's question for the moment, occupying herself with guiding them safely into the cavernous space and waving at Thanatos on their way by. Once they had entered the tunnel that would deliver them to Olympus, the dark silence forced Lexi to acknowledge her friend's inquiry. She knew Hecate would wait until the end of eternity for an answer.

"Around the spring equinox."

Lexi heard Hecate draw in a slow breath, which was Hecate's version of a gasp. "You have skipped two full cycles?"

"Yes, but that's not unusual for me. I've been late plenty of times."

"Hmm."

It was too dark to read Hecate's expression, but Lexi could guess what it looked like, pinched and judgmental. Hecate had asked Lexi to tell her of any changes in her menstrual cycle so she could adjust her dose of herbs, but Lexi had been so busy lately, with the recent trip she and Hades took to India and the wedding plans. Those trivial details had slipped her mind, although now those trivial details were consuming her like a red tide.

"I want you to stop taking the Wild Yam for now and start using other forms of birth control," Hecate said, flatly. "It will be best not to flood your body with the herb if... How often do you and Hades engage in coitus?"

"Do we have to have this conversation now, Hecate? Look, the exit is just ahead."

Lexi was never so grateful to see the sun shining through the crevice in the rock, and she uttered the password as she urged the horses on. Hecate could speculate all she wanted about Lexi's bodily functions, but Lexi's sex life was not up for discussion. Besides, Lexi didn't need her thoughts distracting her while she sat among the council members, particularly Poseidon. The god of the seas had made it his life's mission to outdo Hades in every possible arena. Poseidon was wasting his time and effort, of course, because Lexi was passionately in love with Hades, but she had been taking advantage of Poseidon's overzealous behavior as a way for him to pay his penance. It had been two-and-a-half years since he made his big mistake, but compared to eternity, that was a drop in the bucket.

When they arrived at the gates of Olympus, Heracles greeted them with a wide smile and a deep bow. He was such a sweetie, with the biggest heart of all the gods she'd met, and he had never attempted to lay a hand on Lexi, which put him at the top of her list of favorites.

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