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Lexi smiled as she watched Hades from the window of their bedroom. He had gone to the shed right after breakfast to get started on the crib. Now, as he hunched over the workspace he had set up in the yard, a sheen of sweat coated his back and chest. The picture could have been taken from any American home. A handyman hard at work, building something to make his family's life better. Who would have thought the god of the underworld could be so domestic? And looking mighty delicious doing it.

Rubbing her belly, Lexi thought about her future with that delicious, domestic god and the child they had created through their unbridled passion. Her pregnancy still felt like a dream. She was going to give birth to a god. Or would it be a goddess? What gifts would he or she possess? Would their progeny want to follow in his father's footsteps?

With renewed determination, Lexi abandoned her post at the window and strode down the long corridor to Hades' study. He was adamant that nothing be off limits to her, including his study, where he kept his vast collection of books. She often used the mahogany-rich space to research the bylaws or read the true accounts of the gods. Some of the mortal interpretations of the myths were ridiculous. Imagine, Cronus devouring his children. Whoever came up with that wild story was smoking something. Today, however, she was not interested in books.

Closing the door, Lexi walked up to the scrying mirror, speaking her intention. "Poseidon's Palace." She watched the mirror come to life, swirling like gray matter trapped behind glass. She always half expected to the see the face of Snow White's evil stepmother appear. The magic of the gods never failed to impress her.

A pale, thin face came into view on the other side of the mirror, a face Lexi recognized as belonging to Gwyn, one of Poseidon's nymphs. Gwyn greeted Lexi with a polite smile that appeared forced. This did not surprise Lexi, as she had noticed the sea nymphs exhibited more mood swings than forest nymphs. Still, Lexi's radar was triggered.

"Good day, Lady Lexi. How may I serve you?"

"Hello, Gwyn. I was hoping to speak with Poseidon."

"I am sorry. He is away from the palace, but if your message is urgent you can reach him at Odessa's home. He is helping her and her fellow goddesses install a water filtration system."

"Really? That is very thoughtful of him." Lexi could not keep the grin off her face. She knew how Poseidon's mind worked, and she could see this gesture of altruism as his way to impress Odessa.

Gwyn did not appear to share Lexi's amusement, letting her polite smile slip as she ground out the next few words. "Thoughtful, indeed. He insisted on overseeing the project from start to finish. The chaste goddesses are planning a celebratory dinner as a show of their gratitude. So, he will not be taking his meal at home."

Lexi definitely detected a note of malice in Gwyn's tone, which she had come to recognize as the favored tone of Melinoe, and Lexi could only guess Poseidon had done something to upset the nymph. "My message is not that urgent, but I would appreciate you telling him I called. Thank you, Gwyn. Pleasant day to you."

"I will see the message is delivered. Pleasant day to you, my lady."

The mirror went dark and Lexi stood in front of it, deliberating her next move. She had chosen the study to place her call to Poseidon, hoping to avoid a potential brood if Hades found her chatting in their bedroom with the god he most wanted to disembowel. Of course, she had merely intended to tell Poseidon about the agenda being blocked and ask him to reason with his pig-headed brother, but apparently that would have to wait until Odessa and her roommates were enjoying filtered water. Why did they need filtered water anyway? Surely, Olympus didn't have a problem with contamination.

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