36K 1.9K 121

Lexi and Odessa shared a chariot as they made for the first location on the scavenger hunt - the cave of Hypnos. Hades and his group were starting at the end of the list and working backwards. Jules insisted he be on Lexi's team, having pledged to Hades to protect her should she require it. Of course, Gunther wished to do the same, and Tara seemed unwilling to leave Odessa's side. Their team was rounded out by Jolie and Chromia. Being the offspring of a god and a forest nymph, Chromia had become fascinated with Lexi the day she made the elm sapling grow at the Olympic after party.

During the journey through the gorge, Odessa talked excitedly about her recent excursion with Poseidon on one of his many ships. "He took us sailing to celebrate our two month anniversary. He has an uncanny memory for dates. And the gifts..." She paused as her cheeks flushed. "He had these earrings commissioned by Spikenard, the jeweler." Odessa brushed back her hair to give Lexi a better view of the gold hummingbirds dangling from her lobes by delicately forged ivy. "Poseidon asked him to make something that would reflect purity and an untamed spirit. Together, they came up with this design."

"The earrings are beautiful. It's obvious Poseidon adores you, and he is a powerful and influential god. A girl can't do much better than to be pursued by the king." Lexi nudged Odessa playfully as she made an inquiry. "So, is there anything you want to share with me on the romance front?"

Lexi knew Odessa had no other god to confide her secrets to. The risk of having them shared with every resident in Olympus was too great. Today, the answers were written all over Odessa's glowing face.

"I finally let him kiss me," she squealed. "I wasn't breaking chastity, and it was the most magical experience I have ever had. Oh, Lexi. I felt things I have never felt before. In places I have never felt them."

Lexi wanted to squeal herself, but she managed to contain her excitement inside a wide grin. "I'm so glad your first kiss was memorable. I remember my first kiss with Hades like it was yesterday. There is nothing like that feeling, and I still feel it every time he kisses me."

Odessa's enthusiasm waned, and Lexi recognized the doubt behind her friend's downturned lips. Had Lexi been too quick to share her own love story?

"Am I fooling myself, Lexi? Can I truly expect Poseidon to be faithful when there are so many temptations, both in Olympus and the mortal world? Is it even fair of me to ask? He wishes to take me to Maui, a place I have never been, but I worry he will be tempted to bed a beautiful island girl, especially since he is not receiving the same attention from me."

"There's a mortal proverb that says we shouldn't worry about stuff we can't control, including the actions of other people." Lexi delivered her message knowing she had plenty of personal experience to prove it.

"There's something else, Lexi." Odessa's face flushed again, although it may have been residual from the previous blush. "In a weak moment, I told Poseidon he was the only god I would let take my virtue."

Lexi had no hope of stifling her gasp, and she didn't try to hide it. "Are you saying you freely offered this to him in a weak moment, or you answered a question he asked?"

"Um... does it matter? I told him the truth, either way. He says he will remain abstinent until I am ready, so it will be special for both of us. But my guilt is becoming a burden, even in sleep. He has given up a great deal for me."

"Guilt is just as destructive as worry, Odessa. Believe me, I work on that one myself. And, it's Poseidon's choice to remain abstinent to prove his feelings for you. I'm sure he is not doing it to make you feel guilty."

The cave was in sight, so Lexi pushed aside her worries about Poseidon's fidelity and focused on maneuvering her chariot beside the waterfall, landing smoothly on the rocky ledge. There was some amount of complaining as Lexi waved everyone to the narrow crags, and they were forced to employ their best riding skills to land, but soon the gods were congratulating each other as they dismounted.

Lexi's Promise {Book 3}Read this story for FREE!