~66~

26.9K 1.6K 112

Lexi sat in the sewing room with her feet propped on a footstool and her belly buried under a layer of koala print fabric. She had been feeling gentle contractions all morning, but that was nothing new, and she chose to keep them from her overanxious fiancé. Hera had already prepared her for false contractions, which were supposed to be mild and irregular. Lexi hadn't even bothered to time these.

While Blythe and Lisbon cut koala fabric, Lexi picked through a collection of snaps and buttons sitting on the end table. From her position in the velvet wingback, Lexi watched the activity outside the window, where she had a clear view of the bridge and forest beyond. Lars had left his post to speak to Cole, who stood at the edge of the tree line. Cole usually relieved Lars mid-morning, but currently the two appeared to be engaged in a disagreement, based on the number of times Lars pointed to himself then at the palace. Finally, Lars returned to the bridge while Cole disappeared into the forest.

Lexi tsked to herself. She knew Lars had refused to trade with Cole because he suspected she would deliver soon, at least that was her interpretation of their chat this morning. Lexi didn't ask how he came to that conclusion, given that he wasn't an obstetrician or a god or even female, but she appreciated his dedication just the same. She decided to take him some fruit so he wouldn't go hungry, since he was probably missing lunch with his herd, and after unearthing her wide body from the wingback, Lexi excused herself from the room. In the kitchen, Fiona helped her fill a satchel with oranges and apples, all while admonishing Lexi to be careful on her journey across the bridge.

After making a pit stop to the bathroom, Lexi tucked Lars' lunch to her hip and trudged across the foyer. As she reached the front door, she heard Fiona cry out in pain. This prompted a detour back through the expansive dining room and into the kitchen where Lexi found Fiona sobbing into her hands.

"What is it Fiona? Are you injured?"

"No, my lady." Fiona cried as she pointed to the scrying mirror on the wall. "I just received a call from the palace with news of... Gaia preserve us." She lifted her dress to her face, crying hard into it.

"Tell me the news, Fiona." Lexi spoke clearly and slowly, knowing the nymphs often let their emotions run amuck.

"Rhea's body was found unresponsive in her bed chamber. They cannot wake her."

"Oh, no. The prophecy." Lexi whispered her horror as she held onto Fiona, who was slowly sliding down a cabinet to the floor.

Lexi's thoughts ran amuck as she stared at the inconsolable nymph. Was Rhea's spirit still with her body waiting to be reunited, or had it already gone to Elysium to join the souls of the fallen gods? Should she call the palace back and ask for more details? Were there any gods in Olympus who saw spirits? Oh, hell. She was wasting time. She needed to start closer to home.

"It's going to be all right," Lexi said as she pressed a kiss to Fiona's forehead. "I will make it all right."

Lexi left the kitchen and made for the stables through the great room door. She knew the nymphs would impede her progress if she told them what she was up to, so she chose not to tell them. Foregoing a saddle, Lexi climbed onto a stallion named Rupert, knowing he was sturdy enough to accommodate her and her babies. After taking stock of her equilibrium, she urged Rupert into the air. Lexi was only airborne a minute before she brought Rupert down in front of Lars, who greeted her with wide-eyed confusion. It was an endearing look for him.

"Lars, I need you to accompany me to Elysium. There's an emergency."

"You shouldn't leave the palace in your condition. Hades asked me to keep you in my sights."

"That's what you'll be doing. You can follow me on foot. Please, we need to hurry."

Lars glanced at the palace door. "Have you told anyone where you are going?"

Lexi's Promise [3]Read this story for FREE!