“What if that’s what he’s planning?” Athena asked with a shift from playful to aggressive in her tone of voice. Her pawn shifted up two spaces.
His brows folded together in deep thought that hid his glowing, sea-blue eyes and scratched the fine, brown stubble on his chin. His slightly sun-kissed skin was unusual for someone living in Great Britain. He did not blend into the average crowd because he was the sorrel stallion in the crowd of passive, dapple grey falabella horses. Instead of conforming to the dull weather in the atmosphere, a warm and welcoming aura radiated off his skin to nearby strangers. Some passersby would glance at the man and their eyes would linger too long to be socially acceptable. Lost like a new litre of puppies, they would proceed to wander off with a daze expression left on their faces. No mere human would be able to comprehend the importance of the events, distracted by the godly figures calmly competing like they had eternity to play. Nothing existed to them except the board and each other.
“Well, assuming that you are right and we can somehow find the bastard, what would we do to punish the man?” He placed his black knight over his pawns, ready to defend.
Athena’s green, threatening eyes had no effect on the man, who intently sat there waiting for her to make a move. Finding a way to punish the man was completely irrelevant to the conversation. The man had millions of weaknesses, one of them actually being Athena herself. He was avoiding directly answering her questions because he completely uninterested in the big man’s motives. Of course, he also didn’t really care how the man was going to be punished; he wanted the man to be punished. In fact, he had been waiting for this opportunity to step on the big man for a long time. He just didn’t want to look weak in the process and, in some sense, lose to her. She mentally snarled at him, urged with a desire to strangle him and throw his useless body back into the sea where it belonged. She would finally hear that satisfying splash of his body hitting the water and one of his brainless animals like group of seaweed or a couple of seashells could save him for all she cared. Oh look everyone! She wanted to announce. Your holy rule of the sea is being rescued by some barnacles!
At the same time, he was contemplating why he had let her live for so long. Her personality was repulsive and she lacked all the likable feminine qualities to be considered an accommodating and obedient girl, the only kind of girls he appreciated. He had loved many beautiful women who were full of grace and respected his nondebatable authority, but this troublesome child would always suddenly leap into his life at the worst moments and take a few stabs at his body for the fun of it. So why did he let such disobedient child grow in Metis and later pop out of Zeus? Oh right. Athena’s nonexisting brother was destined to overthrow his father, but sadly, Metis only bore a girl and, at the time, he thought she would render completely useless to him. If only she was the boy that the prophecy had predicted, they won’t have to pick up the leftover pieces of the plan and finish the man off in the first place. His arrogance matched her defiance and the invisible war between sides continued.
Cunt. She thought.
Virgin. He laughed.
She glared at him but waved his insults off like little water droplets hitting off a cement wall. At least her virginity was much more honorable than his reckless attitude of infidelity.
“I think you’re forgetting that you aren’t the only one who has ties with him. You’d gain so much more if you would just give up and choose me.” She sighed out little puffs of air, visible in the cold weather. “Think about the consequences when he wins. That’s just as bad as me beating your arse.” He let out a little air from his mouth, trying to control his laughter from her pathetic threats. “Actually whether or not you side with me, I will always be kicking your irresponsible arse.”
She moved her bishop up. “Just.”
She collected his knight. ” Like.”
And she threw it on the ground. ” That. How does it feel?” Her lips puckered together and she squinted her eyes a fraction like she had tasted something sour in the air.”
He smiled and advanced his pawn diagonally. The pawn devoured the bishop and he flicked her bishop off the board like a repulsive flea that had landed into his food. “It feels like that.” After a long pause, he continued, expressing himself in a lazy manner as if the sun was beating to hard on him.
“Athena, darling, you and I are not friends. We never have been. Friendship is something that I am sure neither you or I care for nor the other gods with brains,” That was the closest Athena had ever heard him compliment her, but she didn’t let her guard down around the dangerous man. “It’s foolish to think that we would need friendship if we know that our ‘friends’ will always eventually bother us in the end with the excuse that friendship has no price. You, Athena, would know better than anyone else after your little fool-around with Pallas. All friendship and human attachment creates are necessary worries and sorrows.” The reminder of the consequences of her violent personality hit her like a wave of guilty and he chuckled quietly at her reddened face. “It’s fair to say the relationship between us is purely business. So you have a motivation other than this friendship and you haven’t told me it yet, am I right?” She didn’t respond and waiting for him to finish. “I also have decided that its fair that you tell me what it is that you are afraid of and I will help you if I think it is necessary.” He leaned forward and stared deeply into her eyes. “Like a contract between two businesses, I should have the right to understand the circumstances of the situation.”
She held unbroken eye contact with a straight face that rarely laughed and leaned forward as well to match his actions. An old lady with her arms wrapped around her husband’s right arm was strolling by. When she noticed the two inclined towards each other, she frantically tapped her husband’s shoulder to obtain his attention and proceeded to point at the distant two completely oblivious to the miscommunicated signals they were giving to the common eye. “Oh, Harold. Oh, oh look. Young lovers these days seem so happy and young. Sometimes they just can’t contain themselves.” The old lady chuckled and her face lit because she was desperate of any kind of excitement at her age.”Remember when we were that young and energetic?” The two paused for a few moments from the overwhelming amounts of nostalgia, but wobbled on because the old lady, Marge, was anticipating finishing the blue scarves she was making her grandchildren by tomorrow.
“Blimey! Where did you get that? A book?” She said, taunting his argument. “Whether or not I have motives, they aren’t your problem. Your own problems will come if you don’t assist me in my plan. I will make sure that you suffer when it’s all over. Don’t fight a game you’ve already lost.”
Still keeping eye contact, he cocked his head slightly, observing her and contemplating how legitimate her threats were. Her words seeped like poison into his bones and he knew that she was being serious when she said she would make his life as miserable as possible.
“I could kill you right now.” He added the empty threat sharply directed at her.
“What would you gain from doing such a thing?” She teased.
“Some goddamn peace and quiet around here.”
“Don’t forget I could also kill you right now.”
“Your move.” He suddenly said, changing the topic again. He tipped back into his chair and finally broke eye contact.
It would truly be reckless if he wanted to challenge a second time. Last time, he even lost power to Athens. Athena moved her pawn forward and he knew exactly why within seconds.
As she exposed her king and queen in the same move, he knew exactly what she meant. Everything had a purpose in her book. Everything was exploitable. Everything truly was a business to her and she played the game better than he did. Except the circumstances were different, because this time the choices were a little different. Athena was the queen. And the big man was the king. He had the choice of taking down either the king or the queen, but once he moved his queen in for the kill, his king would be exposed. Taking the queen meant that a knight would take his queen and then the rest of the game would be a dominant reign of Athena’s power that would eventually lead to his downfall. Taking the king meant that he would be safe and he would win the game. And taking the king was his way of agreeing to take her side. She didn’t really give an inkling about the outcome of game and only about the potential alliance between them. Her priorities were clearly displayed across the board like a mannequin posed behind the window of a store. It was the game except she never played fair.
Last time, his manipulative niece had convinced Salacia to sprinkle in some salt into the water he had offered to the Athenians. His affair with Medusa was certainly not something that his wife’s counterpart approved of and after having a chinwag with Athena, Salacia was convinced that both Athena and she lost tremendously from his irresponsible actions. With his eye on potentially ruling Athens, they both decided it was of their best interests to punish him on judgement day. When the Athenians gulped down the given water, he became perplexed by the distraught expression of the people. He had given them the finest water on the earth that he could find and yet they did not appreciate it? He quickly found out from Triton what Salacia had done but killing her was equivalent to waging war against Athena. She smiled innocently back at him exactly like the moment when she presented an olive tree to the Athenian people, waiting patiently for the decision.
“Off with his head. Off with his head.” She chimed quietly in the background, infuriating him even more.
The overblown ego in his chest hurt when he inflated and deflated with air as he reluctantly kicked her helpless king with his winning piece.
“Now, what can I do for you?” He offered in a steady and controlled voice of defeat.
Athena’s smile faded because smiling was only a sign of weakness. Her smile was replaced with the permanent uptight look she was famously known for. She knew she won. She always won.