Chapter Two: The God of the Sea

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When I opened my eyes, only the soggy dense fabric of my dress met my eyes. I jerked my head up with a strangled, confused breath. The stone wall was rough against the abraded skin on my back. As I tried to swallow, my throat was raw. My eyes watered, still burning with salt water. I lifted my hand to rub them, but a jingling accompanied my motions. My eyes darted back down to my lap where shackles contained my wrists.

The jagged grey stone spread through the rest of the room, save the wall with only iron bars. With a grunt, I pulled my hands toward my face, even when the shackles lugged along. Where am I? I steadied my breathing. I twirled my wrists. One stung where it touched the shackles. Once I adjusted the chains and examined my wrist, I gasped. The vine sank back into my skin, little more than a tattoo, but dark bruises and welts lined my arm. Sleepwalker’s words rang through my ears. Persephone is not an Olympian, but who would act along side her? With a wince, I swallowed. Salt water. “Poseidon,” I whispered. My gaze dropped to the chains once more.

The dull thud of footsteps broke through the silence; I closed my eyes once more. A sharp click and creaking hinges chilled my spine, already cold from my clothing.

“Well, well. Good to see you’re finally awake.” His voice was smooth, river water flowing over rocks. His heavy footsteps came closer. “Nothing to say?”

My heart crawled up my throat. I drew my eyes away from my bare feet, red from the cold, and met his eyes, a startling shade of blue. “What am I doing here?” I asked, nearly inaudible. Though soft, the tremble in my voice was impossible to mask.

He curled his fist around the chain and hauled me to my feet. His eyebrows lowered, perpendicular to his square crooked nose. “I think I know someone who can answer that question.” With a quick swing, he threw me forward.

I stumbled and fell onto my elbows and knees. A kick from behind propelled me forward once more. I turned my head back regretfully as he snatched the back of my dress and pulled me up by it. Breathing occupied my thoughts, no longer automatic.

The towering man shoved me along until we reached a door. “Are you ready?” Not enough air could reach my lungs; my breaths became shallow. He opened the door and knocked me inside. “So glad you could make it.”

When I tilted my head up, the woman before me had long dark curls cascading over her slim shoulders, lovely sharp features, and eyes of a sparkling emerald shade. My mother. Her long figure rested in a soft armchair. “I would not miss it for the world, Uncle.” Her tone dripped with sarcasm. “What do you want?”

He kicked me forward again. “This is yours.”

She raised an eyebrow, staring at me with no recognition in her eyes. “A mortal? I don’t recall purchasing one of those. Perhaps, she belongs to Artemis.”

Nausea dinned through my body. My vision clouded at her words. Did she really hate me that much? I slouched against the wall, better than kneeling in front of her.

“Liar!” He raised a hand, an open palm as if to smack her.

She stood. “Ah-ah, Uncle, this room is for tribunal meetings, and we both know that you can cause no harm to me here.” Her voice remained level. She gestured to me. “Kidnapping a mortal! What purpose does this serve you? You’ve allowed a mortal to know of us! We swore that no such thing would happen again after the split!”

“The mortal already knows of us as she’s your daughter!”

My mother scowled. “Disgusting. I would never find myself low enough to lay with a man. You should return her wherever it is you’ve found her and take your conspiracies with you,” she spat. “How dare you accuse me of such acts.”

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