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Lexi stood in the Square of Heroes rattling off the items on her list. "I need to visit with Odessa. Then I have to see Phoebe. I was also hoping to stop by Persephone's home to say hello to Alex, but Eros was taking them sailing, so we can scratch that off the list. Oh, and I have to pick up a gift I ordered for Hades at Emanuel's shop."

Poseidon's eyebrows were raised when she finished. "That's quite a to-do list. Why don't we start with the last item, since Emanuel's shop is right outside the square. Then we can tackle the other two once I round up a chariot."

"Sounds perfect."

Lexi started for Emanuel's shop before Poseidon had a chance to take her arm, although he had no trouble catching up and matching her gait stride for stride. As usual, they were greeted by nearly every god to cross their path. Poseidon bowed to a group of goddesses standing outside a shop, and Lexi couldn't help grinning when she heard the goddesses erupt in a chorus of giggles.

"I'm sure Emanuel has told you he is responsible for most of the fine statuary found in the city squares," Poseidon said as he allowed his robe to brush her arm.

"He is very proud of his works of art, and rightly so. As soon as I found out he was Mnemosyne's grandson, I asked her to introduce us."

Lexi recalled all her visits to Emanuel's workshop. Each one was made to ensure the piece progressed the way she wanted it to. She had not seen the finished product yet, and she felt a bit nervous about it. She already knew the craftsmanship was superb, but she worried Hades would get pouty when he realized what Lexi had to do to... personalize it.

When they reached the door to the shop, Lexi's nerves had tied her stomach into knots, and she realized then that she didn't want Poseidon to see the gift, so she tasked him with finding a chariot, which he did without further questioning. A melodic bell announced her arrival as Lexi pushed the door open, and Emanuel bustled out of his workshop to greet her. Besides his white apron, he was covered from head to toe in white dust, and he beamed at her with wide, kindly eyes. She had grown fond of his eyes after paying him so many visits.

"Lady Lexi. So, good to see you. Today is the day, eh? Are you excited to see your masterpiece? Come. Follow me."

Emanuel didn't give her a chance to answer before he disappeared back into his workshop. He knew she would have no problem finding her way. Lexi squinted against the sun streaming into the room, flooding the space through a dome-shaped skylight. In the beam of light stood Emanuel's current work-in-progress; a bust of a god with a boyish face and curly hair. It could have been anyone, although it bore a striking resemblance to Eros. Maybe Persephone came up with her own idea when Lexi told her of her surprise for Hades.

Emanuel led her to a corner where a heavy tarp covered a large piece just two inches shorter than Lexi. She knew what lay beneath it, and she held her breath as Emanuel grabbed a handful of fabric and lifted it off, revealing a masterpiece carved into white marble. Lexi didn't hold back her gasp, and her hand flew to her chest as she stared in awe. Emanuel had captured her likeness perfectly, from the natural wave of her hair as it fell over her back and shoulders, to the slight cleft in her chin, to the fullness of her breasts. Only one breast was exposed, while the other lay barely hidden beneath an expertly sculpted sash. The sash hung over her shoulder, wrapped around her gently-turned wrist, and draped discretely in front of her pubic area. The piece was absolutely stunning and extremely sensual.

"Oh, Emanuel. It's perfect. All those hours of posing definitely paid off. Hades will love it. I'm sure of it."

"If he doesn't, I know several gods who would put in a bid for it." Emanuel smiled sweetly, and Lexi felt her face heat under a very intense blush.

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