Eros and Psyche: Part I -- Momma's Boy
Eros sighed, leaning over the counter, letting his head rest against the cabinet. The coffee was wonderfully strong. He thought that he just might be able to get through the shoot today. He really did not want to go. Honestly, who wanted to have to spend all day in make up and costume, pretending to woo some dimwitted girl with big doe eyes? He much preferred staying in his office, combing through the latest books the editors thought would be a good idea to take.
Mother was pushing for him to be a model though. She wanted him to follow in her footsteps-being both the president of Cyprus and the most used model. But honestly, who wanted to be plastered half naked over every book cover? Eros did not really care if he struck "love" into silly women who read things just because the man on the front cover had a nice body. His physique was nothing different than every other celebrity from Olympus Mountains.
"THAT LITTLE BITCH!!"
Eros flinched, biting his lip. So she had found the tabloids
"Guess she knows about the Amethyst girl now," the cook said softly.
"Sounds like it," he ran his hand over his face, letting out a long sigh. "Make up another pot, will you please? It's far too early to be dealing with this."
"Sure thing, kid."
He took a deep breath before opening the door to his mother's room. She was flinging things around her room, cussing enough to make even Poseidon blush. Her night-clothes were slipping off, her hair still uncombed.
"THE LITTLE CUNT!"
Eros dodged a vase full of white and red roses, letting it crash into the wall behind him. He sighed, picking up a white rose and venturing further into the room. He handed the rose to Aphrodite as he sat her down at her vanity mirror.
"Mother," he murmured softly, rubbing her shoulders as he searched for her brush, "what's happened, now?" He knew full well what the answer was, but she needed to vent, so he asked anyway.
"That little bitch from Amethyst is stealing my fans," Aphrodite hissed. "Amethyst has sold more best-sellers this quarter than Cyprus has half the year! They're even starting to compare us!"
"That's not so bad. Maybe Amethyst just got a few new authors."
"THEY CALLED ME OLD!"
Eros sighed, picking up a brush and dragging it through his mother's perfect golden hair. She huffed, twirling the rose between her index finger and thumb.
"They're all looking at her now
"They'll always go back to looking at you."
She huffed again, leaning forward to rest her chin in her palm. She stared into the mirror while Eros continued to untangle her hair.
"Do I look old to you?"
"Of course not, Mother. You're the Goddess of Beauty and Love. You could never look old."
Aphrodite smiled, "What a good boy."
After he finished combing out her hair, he left her at the vanity to search through her closet. She would be in costume as soon as they got to the studio, but her paparazzi were expecting nothing less than perfect while she made her way to there.
"How about your white sundress today, Mother?" He lifted the short but elegant dress from the rack. "It's a good day for white."
"Sure, whatever you say
" She hummed, now engrossed in figuring out what style her hair should be in.
He let her dress, then helped her with her hair and make up. Sometimes he wondered if he was more a servant to her than a son.
Once at the studio, Eros saw to it his mother was pleased before thanking the Gods for his luck; the set was for only Aphrodite today and he could avoid running about in whatever odd costume Greysparrow came up with.
The latest shoots had all been for a series of fantasy type books by one of their top authors. Aphrodite was the young white witch today, who was madly in love with her demonic slave (today known as Hermes). Greysparrow had a tendency to design her characters to fit the president's image. Golden hair and blue eyes were popular features for the darkish author's protagonists.
Eros found a wall to lean on as he watched his mother flaunt her flawless figure in a robe seemingly designed to show far more skin than necessary. He was bored, wishing he was at the office. He knew better than to leave though. Whenever he was not there to tame his mother's temper, some poor lackey was fired. That happened rather often where his mother was concerned.
"Hey loser," Greysparrow's wicked tone implied mischief. She was smiling as she folded her arms under her chest and crossed her ankles over one another, leaning into the wall next to him. She was holding a folder in one hand. "I heard mommy-dearest only just recently got word of Amethyst
Can't wait to see how she reacts to next months Pomegranate and Pandora's."
"Why?" Eros felt nervous. Greysparrow tended to smile when something bad was about to happen; the bad things happened to him quite often lately.
"Oh just check 'em out, loser." She pulled the two magazines from the folder and waved them in front of his face. "They're worthy of violent fits and firings."
He snatched them away, checking the headlines. "Psyche takes over Romance" was plastered in font almost as big as Pomegranate's title. "Aphrodite Who?" the bubble pink print said innocently on Pandora's front cover.
"Mother fucker! Why they do that?!"
"Little baby Psyche's getting mighty popular. She's sold more this month than Aphrodite has all this year." Greysparrow's smile widened. "And the protagonist of Mythics is a brunette
Eros's jaw dropped, "Excuse me? Did you just threaten to leave us? Your our most popular author, Greysparrow. We're not letting you go that easy!"
"Freelance, loser, means I come to you to with something I've already written. You pay me well enough for it, but if Amethyst can pay better
" she trailed off. "Keep the mags. I'm sure the Goddess of Love will just die over them."
Eros read through the articles, finding Psyche to be somewhat interesting. She was rather pretty. Too pretty for her own good. In the random paparazzi shots she looked unhappy or had her nose in a book. The photos from the shoots she took were far to mechanical looking. She probably never felt the way she was supposed to be showing before. She could not get the "love" look right. Poor girl. A mediocre model for a mediocre company. But she was pretty.
"I can't believe this!" Aphrodite screeched, slamming her hands on the meeting room table. "Calling me and my company old! OLD! How dare they! How dare they even think of implying it! How dare that little bitch! Where the fuck does she get off, acting like she's better than me? She's nothing compared to me! Nothing! She looks like me with a bad hair day and the mumps!"
"Calm down, dear," Hephaestus mumbled.
"Shut up!" Aphrodite screamed, the crippled man flinched.
"Mother," Eros said calmly, "it is not as bad as you think. She's young, pretty, and a fresh face. You are the Goddess, and you know it. You'll be back in the spot-light before long."
She sank into her plush office chair, holding out her hand for him. Eros took it, and kissed his mother's fingers. "My mother is the embodiment of beauty."
She smiled sweetly, "Eros, my darling, you'd do anything for mommy wouldn't you?"
"Of course, Mother."
"Get that little bitch involved in a scandal."
Eros gaped, dropping his mother's hand, "Wh-what?"
"Get her involved in drugs or random sex or both. Just get her into something she can't dig herself out of." Her voice was calm, even, very natural.
"M-Mother! That's not fair!"
"Do it Eros," she growled, then her tone softened, "for mommy."
He bit his lip. He couldn't disrespect his mother. But to sink so low as to sabotage some stupid little brat
Could that really be the answer?
Eros sat outside the studio where Psyche was working. She was in the middle of a shoot for a book by Greysparrow. Mythics was supposed to be Cyprus's big summer hit. It was a six book long series of the old Gods and their many affairs with young mortal girls. Damn Greysparrow, how dare she betray him like that.
He sighed; he really had no reason to be upset with her. She was just a freelancer who happened to like their pay. Who she published with was really up to her. Mythics was a collaboration anyway, with a friend of hers. Eros could not recall the girl's name. She was more of an artist and a writer in any case. Amethyst must have been keeping her employed, therefore they had a reason to publish with them.
He leaned against the wall, paying no mind when some shabbily dressed girl came hurrying out with her nose in a psychology book. He admired her figure and grace, only half aware he was checking her out.
He noticed her wandering towards the street. Her attention remained wholly on the book, and not on where she was going. She had no clue there was a truck barreling down the road at illegal speeds. The driver seemed to have no clue of her walking out into the street.
Doing the only thing any person with a heart could do, Eros launched himself off the wall. Before she could advance any further into the street, he grabbed the hood of her plain grey sweat jacket and yanked her back. She landed on her butt on the sidewalk. The truck blasted its horn as it tore past them; Eros flipped it the bird. He whirled around, ready to yell at the careless idiot.
The girl was on the ground, legs bent slightly and palms flat on the concrete. Her big green eyes were wide, shocked, and staring sweetly up at him. Eros felt himself getting lost in that gaze, all his rage dissipating. She blinked owlishly, taking a steady breath, her mouth working to say something. Eros was mesmerized.
"Th-thank you." She finally managed.
Eros nodded numbly, his head swimming, his heart pounding. He could feel his cheeks burning with a blush. "J-just watch where you're walking." He spun on his heel and walked off.
How many times had he read it? How many times had Greysparrow described it? Falling in love at first sight
He had though it was just a fairytale, something that only happened in books. He could feel his face still burning.
"So, darling," Aphrodite smiled, leaning over his desk and correcting a comma error he had missed. "Have you figured out what you're going to do about the little Amethyst witch?"
"Nothing." Eros answered bluntly, pushing away from his desk.
"Oh well," she sighed, "something will come to you."
"No, Mother, I meant I'm going to do nothing. What you're asking is unfair, both to her and me. So I'm not going to do it."
Aphrodite's jaw dropped. "Excuse me?"
"I said, I'm not doing it."
"You already told me you would," her voice was hard, her blue eyes so cold.
"Well now I'm telling you I won't."
"God damn it, Eros! That little hussy is making me-making US look bad! You're going to just let that happen?!"
"Yes! I can't believe how vain you're being! The company is not going to go under just because Amethyst got a new model."
"You're defending them!"
"Maybe you're just going senile," Eros spat; Aphrodite gasped as if he had physically punched her.
"DID YOU JUST CALL ME OLD?!"
"Seems like it, doesn't it?"
"YOU'LL DO THIS OR I'LL FIRE YOU, YOU LITTLE PISSANT!"
"YOU CAN'T FIRE ME! I QUIT!" He stomped across the room, ripping open the door.
"IF YOU LEAVE THIS OFFICE I'LL DISOWN YOUR ASS!"
"WHO WOULD WANT TO BE YOUR SON ANYWAY?! HAG!" He slammed the door behind him. As he started to stalk off, he heard a snicker.
"Talk about clichés."
"Shut up, Greysparrow."
She fell in step behind him, "That was your first fight with mommy that didn't involve fashion, wasn't it?"
"I said shut up Greysparrow."
"You like this girl, don't you?"
He stopped, whipping around, "Do you enjoy tormenting me or something?"
She grinned widely, "Yes, very much so."
Instead of doing what he wanted and punching her as hard as he could in her face, he spun on his heel and ran off.
"Thanks, Hermes," Eros mumbled as the bachelor tossed him a can of Coke.
"Hey, whatever, don't even think about it. Mi casa es su casa
Or however the saying goes. It's nice to have a teenager in the house anyway."
Eros opened his soda, "Whatever happened to Pan? I heard rumors he had a breakdown or something."
"Ah, I admitted him to the mental hospital so he could be with Dionysus. Two of 'em are faking crazy so Hera will leave Di alone."
Eros nodded but was not entirely convinced that the two of them were strictly "faking crazy;" he had been around them far too often for his own liking and was pretty sure they were both mad, and not just because of the "forest parties."
"Anyway, what finally drove you from Fair Lady's side? I thought you could put up with anything that woman did. To be able to deal with her for nineteen years
Eros sighed, "Long story
Hermes smiled, nodding sagely, "Well whatever man. Don't even worry about it here. And hey, nineteen years
That's longer than anyone's been able to put up with her."
Eros nodded, mumbling another thanks. He wondered briefly if Hermes was his father. He was fooling around with Aphrodite about that time. Him and Ares, as well as her husband
He didn't linger on it long. It would do him no good.
Aphrodite tore the dressed from her closet. None of them seemed right. Why? Why could she not find just one fucking dress to match the day? Why the hell was her closet full of crappy dresses? What the hell was wrong with this closet?! This was not the closet of a Goddess! A Goddess would have at least one non-sparkly black dress with sleeves. Why did all of them have to seem so
"SON OF A BITCH!" She screeched, tearing the rack off the wall and swinging it into the opposite wall, spilling shoes and breaking a mirror.
Her hair had been hell for a week now. Her make-up always seemed smudged and too light or too dark. She could not for the life of her find anything to wear. Why the hell could she not look good?!
She let out a whine, ripping down the lights and another rack. She tried to tell herself this was because of the little Amethyst bitch. She tried to say it was just Persephone's fault for letting her magazines print crap. She tried to make herself believe it had nothing to do with how much she missed her son. She did not miss him. She did not need him to go about her daily life.
She let out a sudden sob, "I can't find anything to wear," she sniffed, tears spilling over and running black down her cheeks. "And my hair won't get straight in the back." She let out a loud wail, throwing herself onto the floor, sobbing and banging her fists on the carpet. "AND NOW MY MAKE UP IS RUINED!" She let out another horrible wail.
Hephaestus sighed, "Would you like me to call Eros?"
Aphrodite looked up, eyeliner smudged, mascara running. "Y-yes." She hiccupped, wiping her face. "I want my baby home."
He nodded, praying to the Gods that Eros would come back to this.
To be continued