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Cassie made it clear she wanted to shadow Lexi during her stay in Olympus, and Lexi was grateful for her presence. The nymph took care of setting up the badger baskets in Lexi's room and putting the babies down for their nap, while Lexi sprawled on the bed to join them. The scrying mirror chimed much too soon, and Lexi was up again to fulfill her obligations to Mnemosyne and Odessa. She made a stop in the bathroom to deal with the unpleasant side of childbirth, after which Cassie shooed her on her way with motherly reassurance.

Lexi had barely made it to the grand hallway when Poseidon appeared at her shoulder, and she tried to hide her exasperation at seeing him. Her brain was still sprawled half-asleep on the bed, and she always needed her wits about her whenever she spoke with Poseidon.

"Good evening, Lady Lexi," he said as he pulled astride her. "You slipped out of the meeting room before I had a chance to congratulate you on a supremely orchestrated discourse. I have never seen the gods take heed as quickly as they did today. You have a talent for bringing out the best and sometimes the worst in your fellows. I can attest to both."

Lexi glanced at his face to acknowledge him, and she was rewarded with a heartfelt smile. "Thank you, Poseidon. I find my debates are more successful when I choose topics I'm personally invested in. I also believe my confidence was boosted because Hades was there to support me."

"It is clear you draw strength from each other." Poseidon's smile faltered but didn't completely leave him, and he looked down at his hands, talking to them. "I understand you plan to visit with Odessa this afternoon. Will you do that here?"

"Yes, but I'm worried the hour might be too late. I have an engagement with Mnemosyne's great, great granddaughter first."

"Well, if you're not too fatigued when you return from your engagement, I have something special to share with Odessa and I wanted you to be present for it. Would you mind if I intruded on your visit?"

Lexi's heart stuttered at the mention of this special something Poseidon had in store for Odessa, something he seemed anxious about. She agreed without any forethought. "I would not mind at all. I shouldn't be long. Can you tell me what you have planned for Odessa?"

A devious smile tweaked his lips, the one she was quite familiar with. "You will have to wait just as she has."

With Poseidon's secret plans commanding attention in her head, Lexi made the trip to Grace's home and attempted to focus on the concerns of the soon-to-be mother. Lexi promised to attend the birth when it came, and she was offered many thanks as well as food and drink. The refreshments she graciously declined, using her babies as an excuse for a hasty but tactful exit. Poseidon met Lexi near the palace's foyer garden, leaving a bald section of grass at his feet where he had been pacing.

"Have you been waiting here all this time, Poseidon?" she asked as he escorted her up the foyer steps.

"No. I had a nymph fetch me these garments to change into," he said as he tugged at the collar of his white cotton shirt. "Odessa hates the red robe."

"I'm with her. The red is off-putting."

"Should I submit a request to change the council attire?" He grinned as he raised his eyebrows.

"Let's just tackle one issue at a time, shall we?"

A nymph hurried up to Lexi and Poseidon as they traveled the length of the grand hallway, bowing as she walked alongside them. "Your graces, I have a message from Lady Odessa. She says she will arrive at the palace sometime after sunset, if that suits you."

"Of course," Lexi said.

"Please show her to the terrarium room when she arrives," Poseidon added. "Thank you."

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