Ace burst through the front door of my tiny house, unannounced, almost getting himself killed.
“Chill, Tahile,” he said, pushing the blade of my sword away from his throat. “It’s jus’ me.”
“Dammit, Remedy,” I growled, sheathing my sword. “You must have a death wish charging in here like that.”
“And you mus’ have some kind of awesome demigod super power to be able to move tha’ fast. I was barely in the door before you were on me.”
I shrugged and sat down in the chair I’d been occupying before trying to behead Ace. My book was still open to the page I’d been reading.
“It’s called swift. I was honored with the gift when I was declared.”
“So you’ve been gettin’ around like tha’ since you were a kid? Why am I jus’ findin’ out abou’ this?”
I shrugged again. “What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in forum with Dudley?”
“Wha’ are you, my keeper? The Dudster probably doesn’ even remember we had a forum today.”
I sighed. “You can’t just blow off your forums, Ace.”
“Ah, kiss me arse, Tahile. I didn’ come here for a bloody lecture. Let me worry about Ernest Dudley. The only thing I want from you is a partner while I get an eyeful of the nymphs at the pools.” He wiggled his eyebrows. “I’d bet you a sack o’ drachmas tha’ they’re naked.”
Shaking my head, I grinned like a fool and closed my book. “You should have led with that and you would have avoided this entire conversation. Let me just grab Bill some jerky and then we can go.”
The nymphs had their own aquatic park near the base of Mount Olympus where the water ran fresh and blue. The Oceanids didn’t really frequent it, as they preferred salt water, but the Naiads spent most of their time there, swimming and sun bathing. That day was no exception.
“Skin,” Ace bumbled like an idiot while peeking through the clusters of lotus flowers we’d hidden out behind. “Lots o’ smooth, pearly skin. All over the place. So much of it.”
The Naiads weren’t green like the Oceanids, but they did have a certain enticing glow that made guys go crazy for them.
“And the golden fins,” Ace continued, practically drooling now. “So hot.”
“Hell, Remedy,” I said. “You’re acting like you’ve never seen a naked Naiad before.”
He didn’t respond. When I started snickering, he said, “Recently declared demigod, remember? Judgmental bastard.”
“Sorry.” I tried to reign in my smile. “The Oceanids are even more exotic, you know. They’ve got tattoos and pearls and shells perfectly placed all over their bodies. It’s a feast for the eyes and you’ll never get full.”
“Sounds like a trip to the ocean is in order,” was his reply.
“Not if they find your drowned bodies first, heroes.”
The lotus plants parted and four hands reached out, grabbed ahold of my robes and Ace’s cuirass, and yanked us through. We stumbled forward, out onto the rocky embankment that surrounded the largest of the swimming pools. Naiads were swimming, diving, sun bathing and squealing as they slid down smooth mountain slopes into the pools below. As Ace had so eloquently put, bare skin was everywhere. All over the place. So much of it. I nearly forgot myself for a moment and almost reached out to touch the one that had me in the chokehold.
“Why do male demigods think it is okay to spy on us at the pools?” the Naiad gripping my collar questioned. She shook me a bit when I didn’t snap out of my trance fast enough.
“We weren’t spying,” I said. “We were observing.”
“Same thing,” the Naiad holding Ace by the cuirass said.
“No, it’s not,” he replied. “Spyin’ is wha’ idiot fellas do when they don’t want a pretty wan to know they’re lookin’ at her. We have absolutely no issues with openly starin’ at you and expressin’ how much we like wha’ we see.”
“Nice, Remedy,” I mumbled with admiration.
“Then why were you hiding in the lotus flowers?”
“We were jus’ waitin’ for you to come find us.” Ace flashed a grin. “Hide. And. Seek.”
I gave my friend a mental pat on the back. He was quite good at this.
©2014 Diantha Jones