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Lisbon arrived at the bedroom door just as Hades was kissing Lexi farewell, choosing to take his breakfast with him to the gates. Lisbon waited until Hades was out of the room before she announced that Lars was at the bridge.

"Lars wants to know how you and the babies are doing," Lisbon said as she hovered over the cribs. "I think you've made an admirer for life, Lexi. Lars is quite handsome for a minotaur."

Lexi grinned at Lisbon as Sella helped her slip on her favorite flats. "Is Ink aware of your infatuation with handsome minotaurs?"

Lisbon giggled. "He teases me about it. He thinks I'm interested in their prominent... you know. One has to wonder how well they handle themselves. I have never observed the mating ritual of minotaurs. Have you?"

"Goodness, Lisbon. Don't you think it's a bit inappropriate to watch minotaurs while they're being intimate."

"Not really. They're like any other animal."

Lexi cringed, but she didn't counsel Lisbon on her antiquated views. She knew it would be a long time before the gods accepted the minotaurs on the same terms as the centaurs and satyrs. Lexi was also starting to wonder about Lisbon's relationship history. How much had she engaged in intimacy and with whom?

"Have you ever seen a minotaur herd in Olympus, Lisbon?"

"Yes, of course, but usually I'm in a chariot flying over them. We took a school trip through a minotaur forest once and were chased out with spears. The minotaurs here in the underworld are much more pleasant."

"That is because of Lady Lexi," Sella offered as she tried to tuck Elm's flailing arms into her blanket. "She saved the minotaurs from the hunter's arrow."

"But the minotaurs in Olympus have not been hunted for over two thousand years, and they're downright hostile."

Sella raised her eyebrows at Lexi. "Perhaps, Lady Lexi will be able to bring them into the light."

"I think I'll save that for a future agenda, when the hunt is not so fresh in everyone's mind," Lexi said. "Many of the gods still complain about not having minotaur meat in their pantries." As Lexi spoke, her mind wandered to other things that had nothing to do with minotaurs. "I wonder, Sella... How well do you know Hades' study? I was interested in a book on the Titanomachy."

"What do you want to know, Lexi?" Lisbon asked. "I know a good amount about the war. I wrote several reports on it during my educational years."

Lexi reached into Ely's crib to pick him up, and his face puckered as she kissed him. "Would you mind sitting with me after breakfast, Lisbon? Sella is going to bring the babies to the great room. We can chat there."

"Of course."

"And I will fetch the book you need," Sella said.

While the babies were being tucked into badger baskets, Lisbon escorted Lexi down the staircase. Despite the fact that Lexi's belly no longer had her struggling for purchase on the steps, her body seemed determined to expel all the blood it had stored up during her pregnancy. When they reached the dining room, Blythe was there waiting to serve them breakfast.

"You seem distracted, Lexi," Lisbon said as she pulled out Lexi's chair for her. "You're thinking about Rhea, aren't you? Are you worried you won't be able to reunite her spirit with her body?"

Lexi had to credit Lisbon with keen insight as she offered a sober nod. "I'm just concerned I might be insulting Gaia by attempting to undo her prophecy."

"I don't think Gaia will condemn you for using your gifts to resurrect a dear friend. I have always thought of Gaia as fair and just."

"I agree with you on that, but I believe there are other things that need to happen before such a powerful prophecy can be undone."

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