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"So, what's the story with you and Odessa?" Lexi started her interrogation as soon as Poseidon pulled their rented chariot away from the curb. She blamed morbid curiosity for her need to delve and shrugged innocently when he glanced at her through his peripherals. 

"There is no story," he said plainly. "What makes you think there's a story?"

"I thought I saw something pass between you two. Some shared memory, maybe. Or was I seeing something that wasn't there?"

"She is a descendant of Prometheus, a god who had been known to incite havoc. Zeus and I have made it our business to keep a close watch on his offspring."

Lexi laughed. "I doubt Odessa has any of his delinquent traits, and her grandmother is Aphrodite, a gracious goddess who I have known my whole life. Odessa is eloquent, ambitious and kind. She has chosen a life of chastity, for pity's sake."

"That does not mean she doesn't have the propensity to incite her own kind of havoc." Poseidon smirked and Lexi had no problem reading between the lines.

"Tell me, Poseidon, why do you think so many goddesses have chosen a celibate lifestyle?"

Poseidon let her question linger as he pulled through the gates of the titan's palace, waving to the centaur guards on their way past. As they traveled down a tree-lined road, he finally deigned her with a response. "I suppose they aren't willing to risk their hearts if they find themselves emotionally attached to their sexual partner. Gods traditionally keep emotions separate from sex. It makes life simpler."

Poseidon pursed his lips, looking uncomfortable with her line of questioning, and he remained tight-lipped until they pulled up to a large carriage house.

"Does it really make life simpler?" she pressed. "According to mortal texts, your list of consorts is as long as Zeus'. How many of those goddesses have you had feelings for?"

"More than you might think." Poseidon locked Lexi in a pointed gaze, as if he intended to frighten her.

Lexi had spent over two years desensitizing herself to his eyes that seemed to have been gifted from the sea, and she made it a habit not to stare for fear of an unexpected wave. Although, at the moment, she saw something else lingering behind Poseidon's natural godly lust. Was it heartache?

A satyr hurried over and bowed to Poseidon, breaking the silent communication between them. "Welcome, Lord Poseidon. My lady. I would be happy to secure your chariot."

Poseidon nodded and handed over the reins, reaching for Lexi's hand to help her out. The seriousness had been dispatched, and Poseidon was focused on his duties again, but as far as Lexi was concerned, Poseidon had admitted he'd been hurt by a lover, maybe more, and this time she definitely felt sorry for him.

The palace of the titans was a carbon copy of the palace of the gods, boasting the same ornamental embellishments, gold-trimmed porticos, soaring ceilings, and a plethora of nymphs and satyrs attending to any god who might require them. The titans were not the only residents of the palace either, and Lexi enjoyed engaging in polite greetings with a few of the younger gods she recognized. She knew Clary lived there with her mother, Mnemosyne, having chosen a life unhindered by marriage or commitment. It was the norm for gods, and it was a life Lexi knew she could never embrace. Still, she liked Clary and hoped their paths would cross while she was there.

A golden-haired nymph greeted them as they entered the grand foyer, performing a deep curtsy at their feet. "My lord and lady. How may I assist you today?"

"I am here to see Phoebe. My name is Lexi. I believe she's expecting me."

The nymph's eyes blinked with recognition. "Oh, yes. Her ladyship has instructed the palace staff to escort you to the scroll room upon your arrival, Lady Lexi. Please, follow me."

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