I stood at the top of a cliff looking out across a rampaging sea. Uncle must be in a less than pleased mood. Though hopefully he wouldn't sink any cities this time. I sighed and turned back to wander down the path towards the many acres of farm land that I had my best grape vines growing in. They were the oldest grape vines in the world at this point and had the added benefit of my blessings so they always made the best wine. The fact that nobody knew about the grapes was only because Father insisted on secrecy. I didn't agree with it but then I supposed what I thought didn't really matter much. I reached out and brushed my fingers across a leaf which formed a brighter green stain under my finger. The stain slowly spread along the leaf and down the vine, the leaves perking up and practically exploding with health. I smiled some as several new grapes formed and ripened before my eyes. I did miss using my powers sometimes. I grabbed at the air and pulled my goblet out of nowhere to take a sip.
"How goes it?"
I smiled at the familiar voice and turned to face my favorite brother. "The wine will be ready by the party and shall be my best yet," I told the taller blonde.
"I wasn't asking about the grapes and you well know it," he replied, sky blue eyes soft and concerned.
I sighed and glanced away. "You've heard then."
"Of course I have. I hear about everything," he said stepping closer to put a hand to my chin. He tilted my head enough so that I had to look at him. "I do not want to see you hurt again, Dionysus…"
I sighed and swirled the wine in my cup. "He is so sweet, Hermes. He even worried about hurting me when we were together," I said.
"That is his ignorance as to what you are," Hermes said.
"Perhaps, but when is the last time someone worried about your health, Hermes? Nobody ever worries over Gods and now so few worry for their fellow men it is almost depressing. And you know how I dislike being depressed…" I murmured.
Hermes nodded. "It doesn't suit you in the least, dear brother."
"I cursed a man the other day," I said with a small smile. I didn't particularly wish to stay on the current topic and my run in with the foolish mortal seemed a very good change of topic.
Hermes' eyebrow went up near his hairline of blonde curls. "And what, may I ask, did this mortal do to incur your wrath of all the Gods?" he asked. I understood his confusion. I was one of the more easy going of our family. Father's wife or Aphrodite were far more likely to curse someone than I was.
"Firstly, he interrupted my time with Kiers," I said and Hermes nodded some. "Then he had the gall to insult me."
"Mortals today…" Hermes said with a headshake. "No sense of self preservation."
"There will always be foolish Mortals," I said absently. "After all, we were in our prime when Niobe decided to anger Artemis and Apollo. To think one would be foolish enough to anger both of them at once is almost ridiculous yet she did so."
"That woman I heard about for centuries," Hermes said with an eye roll. "I don't know why everyone takes to complaining about mortals to me," he grumbled.
I took a drink of wine to hide my smile but I knew it wouldn't get past my brother who sent me a slight glare that I knew he didn't mean. "What do you think of the idea of another sibling?" he asked curiously. I sighed some in exasperation and turned to continue down the row. I knew Hermes would follow me.
"I would rather hope father would have stopped by now. We don't have enough power left to be splitting it even more with more children," I said brushing over more plants to increase the potency and flavor of the grapes. A mortal would probably be drunk on just a sip of my best wine but it wasn't really intended for human consumption. It was intended for Gods. Though if a Mortal did dare drink it, it might just make them above Mortal themselves. I smiled some at the thought.
Hermes sighed a little and the breezes responded with a nice gentle sea wind. "One would think. But then, he is free to do what he wishes."
"Free to do as he wishes but we are not," I said in a slightly bitter tone. I took a drink of my wine to try and wash the bitterness away with the rich flavors.
"He is just concerned," Hermes said. "You know he worries over you. You are not much of a fighter."
I glared over my shoulder at my older brother. "You would think I were the youngest with the way he acts. Just because I was born half mortal and don't have more muscle than brains he acts like I'm a newborn babe," I griped. "He didn't even pay this much attention to me when I was a babe. You looked after me more," I continued.
"Before you get into your rant entirely, might I point out you are not the only one he's been obnoxiously protective over lately," Hermes said putting a hand on my shoulder. "He's all but tried to chain me to the ground lately. I'm not meant to be on the ground as long as the others."
I glanced over at him. He did seem rather ill at ease compared to his usual carefree self. He was shifting his weight from side to side as if about to jump off the ground. The constant shifting made the links of the thin chain he wore around his left bicep tinkle slightly, especially the two strands that hung down lower than the main length of the chain. His hair wasn't as wind tossed as usual and he would glance upwards every once and a while. "Why is he of all people keeping you from wandering?" I asked after a moment of studying him.
He sighed a bit more, causing the breeze to echo him. "I don't have even the slightest knowledge as to the why, dear brother. Just that I'm going stir crazy…" he said before running a hand through his curls in agitation. "He's told Aphrodite to stay near home as well. And you know how she enjoys tasting all walks of life."
I smirked some at that. "Yes, I know."
"He even banned Heracles from entering any tournaments, even under disguise," he added in a hushed whisper. My eyes widened at that. Father never banned Heracles from anything, much less the one thing he was actually good at. The boy was all muscle. Hermes nodded in agreement with my shocked look. "And, he, Hera, Uncle Hades, and Uncle Poseidon have been meeting many a time in the past few months," Hermes added.
"What? Why?" I asked.
Hermes shook his head. "They won't let me or the winds anywhere near the mountain while meeting. They don't want anyone to know what they're discussing but I know it has to be big. They have not met like this since that Jewish boy started making a stir…"
I bit my lip, not liking this new development at all. It couldn't be a simple thing. Simple things were handled by the lesser Gods who governed the areas affected. The only reason for them to get together was that something terribly large was going on. Though the fact that they hadn't called the council and were meeting in secret was even more concerning. "I do not like that," I stated after a moment.
"None of us like it," Hermes said. "Even Aries is worried."
I nodded absently. Aries wasn't one to worry over anything. I raised my goblet to my lips and nearly drained it entirely before lowering it again. It refilled from the sky but I barely paid attention. "Perhaps… I should let Kiers go," I murmured. I didn't want to bring a lover into the mix with something unknown brewing on the horizon. "I don't want him hurt in whatever Father fears is coming."
Hermes' eyebrow went up at the mention of Father afraid but I had no other word for it. That would be the only reason for him to be holding secretive meetings like he was. And to bypass the council entirely was not something he was prone to doing on a whim. He was usually very responsible so long as it didn't involve his many affairs. "It might avoid dangers for him but you've already lain with him, Dionysus. He's irrevocably entwined with us now. The fates would say the same thing.
"Bah, the Fates," I said in annoyance. "Busy bodies and alarmists."
"Be that as it may they aren't wrong. When have you ever heard of a mortal being involved with one of us for a night and that was it? Their lives never take that path when it comes to us. Abandon him now and he may arrive at a very distasteful end," Hermes warned.
I winced at the thought. "I don't want harm to befall him," I murmured. "But with so much uncertainty I am not sure what I could do to keep him safe. Hunter is watching over him for me but should Hera feel inclined it wouldn't be hard to hurt him in spite of that. You know she doesn't wish me happiness."
"That is not necessarily true," Hermes said. "She is more fond of you than some of the others."
"She likes my wine," I said dismissively.
"True. And she utterly despises poor Heracles," Hermes pointed out.
I couldn't help but laugh. 'Poor Heracles' was not what came to mind when I thought of my overly strong brother. "Poor Heracles indeed. Probably the one of us the most of the mortals have heard of. He has several movies you know. Terribly inaccurate but then again that's to be expected."
Hermes smiled some. "Indeed it is. I particularly like the one where they entirely ignored that Father cheated on Hera to have him. He was simply a lost son. As if that would happen among the Gods," Hermes said sarcastically. "But then they also had a very vivid imagination as to what Uncle Hades looked like and forgot Aunt Persephone entirely."
"It appears as if you've watched said ridiculous movie a bit too much, brother dear," I said with a smile as I continued down the row of vines. It would take quite a few barrels of wine to fully supply the party tomorrow but that wouldn't be an issue.
"Perhaps but it was amusing for its incorrectness," he said as he followed behind me. "Have you spoken to Grandmother lately?"
"Mm, no. Why?" I asked as I brushed my fingers across several more leaves to bring them to full bounty.
Hermes shrugged. "She was asking about you the other day. I figured she would have contacted you by now." I made a noise of thought at that. It wasn't often my Grandmother contacted me. She spent most of her time keeping to herself and rarely got involved with our lives unless it was something important. "Perhaps she was curious about your mortal as well," Hermes offered.
I nodded a little at that. It was possible. I was closer to Grandmother than Father anyway. My affinity for growing things came from her and not Father. "Perhaps if I went to Grandmother she would convince Father and Hera to drop this idea of testing Kiers. It is ridiculous. He's but a mortal and can't be expected to compete with anything but other mortals."
"It is unfortunate that they are doing this. I can see their point but I agree that is somewhat ridiculous. We never had to test our mortal lovers before. We are still strong enough to handle so few of them," he said and I gave him a grateful smile that he would agree with me. "But, perhaps it has something to do with these secret meetings they've been having. They have been making many strange rules lately… I do hate secrets…" he muttered with a frown.
I chuckled some before taking another drink of my wine. "My dear brother, sometimes you simply can't know everything," I told him and he made a face at me. I chuckled again and turned my attention back to helping my vines grow the best grapes. I would need plenty of them and the more I helped the better they would be.
It took just a fraction of my power to ensure plenty of good grapes and then I allowed myself to leave. Hermes had only stayed for part of the time. He had grown restless and left to find something else to do. I understood. Hermes wasn't one to sit still for long. He had to be doing something. He was as changing as The Winds themselves. It was odd that Father would even think to try and contain him. I hoped such an unfortunate thing didn't tell of even worse to come.