When I come to, the only thought that registers is -

Hey, I'm underground!

Hard-packed clay walls make me think that the tunnel/cave thing should be hot if only from my body heat, but a continuous cold draft flowing from an overhead vent cools me. But the walls aren't plain, no - they're covered in paintings. Lavish colors, beautiful scenes and people created on the walls. They act, for me, as a solace, a portal to an ethereal world. It soothes me. I try to talk, but find my tongue heavy in my mouth. Blinking, I sit up from my laying position. I'm on a cot. My dress, as if to mock me, is still in pristine condition. The tall form of a man shadows me suddenly.

"You're up." his voice says. My heart flutters as I glimpse his appearance. Light, almost bleachy-blond hair. Green eyes, one with golden brown rimming the pupil. Tall. Strong arms. I blush, realizing that he carried me. Through the castle. The whole flippin' castle.


"H-hi," I choke out finally, "Who are you?" my voice sounds small and tinny.

"Your protector. I'm Jesse." he holds out his hand. I shake it.

"I'm Princess Eros."

Jesse laughs. Dummy, he knows who you are! I pressing fog settles on my head. "Woahhhh..."

"You okay?" Jesse's voice fades. My eyelids close forcefully. I have just enough time to thing 'Whaaaa?' before I'm cast into blackness.

I think, Okay, maybe now I'm gonna sleep without my usual weird dreams and nightmares. But no - my Father stands before me in my dream. He's young-looking, with goldenish hair and a toga slung across him. He looks concerned, a small line of worry creasing under his eyes, which are metallic and gold.

"Eros, daughter, you are in danger."

Despite my current situation, I find my usual sarcasm to be present.

"No, really?"

My Father glares at me.

I smile a bit.

Apollo, my Dad, shifts on his feet. "The Palace invaders were in league with Ares."

Before he can finish, I'm filled with rage for the snobby war god. "- I have neglected my duties to Olympus and to my other demigod children." Apollo finishes.

"But you hardly ever see me!" I exclaim. His eyes turn to me. They soften.

"I see you more than the Council allows." he says, not unkindly. "The Coucil can enforce their perceptions, which I suppose is the meaning of the attack."

"The Council can shove it!" I snort in response. Apollo laughs. "You are talented and deserve training, but sadly, I cannot be the one to give you that."

"Then who?" I ask, curious and infuriated all at one time. A figure materializes in my corner vision. It's a woman. She's clothed in shapeless iridescent flowy panels that float as if weightless. Her hair is brown, dark like mine. Her eyes, though - bluer than the sea, just like Ashmore's were.

Oh, gods.