Chapter 1: He is Equal with the Gods
The streets are lined for two miles with tables and stalls selling various merchandises from clothing to ancient artifacts replicas and art. Wooden stages are set up, modest in size, but elaborate in design. Stage lights and street lamps flicker and glow. Actors’ speeches and laughter clamor over each other to be heard by the audiences. Music soars, loud and cheerful. Tables loaded with food most common in ancient Greece are set in the middle of the streets. The food is abundant and the alcohol flows freely. The streets are overflowing with people. Some have traveled all the way from Tripoli. Some people are dressed normally in modern wear – jeans and t-shirts; some have gotten into the ancient Greece spirit and donned tunics and chitons, even gold leaf crowns and sandals. The adults drink and laugh and shout. Children are mostly unattended and run through the crowds, waving sparklers like swords. One man’s tunic caught fire from a child-manned sparkler. Seeing it from across the street, Tommy put it out with a sharp breath in his direction. The man, who didn’t notice, will wonder later why the fabric is charred.
Tommy sips his drink and looks around Adam’s festival. He’s not big into crowds, but his attendance here is required, of course. He spots Adam down the street by Mr Pagonis’ display table of artifacts. Adam is dressed in his long, leather black coat. He turned his hair darker and put on makeup, and he looks so much like he did the night their worlds collided at the Dionysus festival that it makes his heart alternately skip and ache. This entire night has been reminiscent of that festival, in fact. It’s missing the bonfire, though. The city government wouldn’t allow a fire in the middle of the street for safety reasons. Adam was set on overruling them by snapping his fingers and forcing their minds to accept the idea but Tommy talked him out of it. Adam agreed but it’d taken sexual promises from Tommy, which wasn’t a hardship for either of them.
Adam is talking to a small crowd around the table. He’s animated, speaking fast and gesturing wildly. He has the group’s devoted attention. They hang on every word, follow his every move, and Adam is enjoying it. Tommy smiles. He looks back at the table behind him, reaching for a drink to take to Adam. He knows Adam loves to talk and he gets thirsty. He reaches for a cup of wine when the boy filling them hands him one. Tommy looks at him.
“It’s fresher,” he says. “Hasn’t been sitting on this table half the night.”
Tommy pauses, then takes it, giving the boy a smile. The boy doesn’t smile back. He is young, a teenager, maybe he’s not too thrilled having to serve drinks. Tommy wouldn’t have been thrilled either at that age having to serve rather than party. Tommy turns away and goes to Adam.
Adam is laughing loudly when Tommy reaches him and it makes him smile. Adam laughing always makes him smile. It also sends shivers up his spine. Always. His audience is laughing as well and Mr Pagonis turns to Tommy.
“Your Adam tells the best stories,” he says. “He was just telling us about the three-headed dog that guards Hades.”
“I didn’t know there was anything funny about Cerberus,” Tommy says.
“Oh no,” Mr Pagonis says. “He also told a joke about a miser writing a will and naming himself the heir.”
Mr Pagonis chuckles again. Tommy smiles and nods. Maybe it would be funny if he heard the whole thing. When Adam turns his head and sees Tommy his eyes flash. It’s brief and imperceptible to everyone but Tommy. He hands Adam the cup.
“Thought you might need this,” he says.
Adam takes the cup in one hand and wraps the other around Tommy’s waist. He kisses Tommy on the lips.
“What would I do without you?” he asks.
“Shrivel up and blow away,” Tommy says.
Adam snorts and takes a swallow of wine. He grimaces.
“This is wine?” he asks.
“Yeah,” Tommy says. “Has it turned?”
“No, it tastes watered down,” Adam says. He shrugs and drinks the rest in two gulps.
He sets the cup down on the table behind him and gazes at Tommy.
“Having fun?” he asks.
Tommy nods. “This turned out to be big. You must be pleased.”
“It’s better than I expected,” Adam says. “This could last all weekend. In fact, I would like it to last all weekend.”
“Adam, you can’t expect people to stay all day and night, all weekend,” Tommy says. “These are humans, not gods.”
“I know,” Adam says. He almost pouts. “If we close it down at 3 a.m. and start up again at noon, everyone would have a chance to rest. We could make this an all weekend festival.”
Adam’s made up his mind and Tommy knows arguing is futile once that’s happened. And if the people are willing to do this all weekend, then who is he to put a damper on it.
Mr Pagonis approaches them. “I hate to interrupt, but it’s time for Adam to introduce the poetry stage.”
“Introduce the stage?” Tommy asks. What the hell does that mean?
Adam gives him a wink and walks through the crowd to one of the wooden stages. Tommy follows. The crowd has been at a dull roar all night but as soon as Adam steps onto the stage, they fall silent, attentive. Adam’s ability to draw immediate attention isn’t a spell or magic; it’s just an Adam thing.
“Good evening everyone,” Adam says. He speaks into a microphone but he doesn’t need one. Gods don’t need mechanical devices to be heard but for appearance sake, he uses it. “I’m your host and I hope that you’re having the best time. Are you having a blast?”
The crowd shouts their answer.
“Before we get into the poetry, I want to throw this idea at you,” Adam says. “If we continued this festival that you have made grander than expected to an all weekend event, would you like that? Would you stay?”
The crowd roars their approval.
Well who wouldn’t want free food and booze all weekend? Tommy thinks and smiles.
“That’s settled, then,” Adam says. “Okay, so I love poetry, particularly ancient lyrics. I love the flow, the symbolism, the feeling behind every precise word. That’s why I wanted a poetry stage. There will be readings of ancient poetry, even the fragmented poems, from Aristophanes, Epimenides, Simonides, a host of ancient poets well-known and not so well-known. I wanted to start the first reading myself with a poem from Sappho and it is dedicated to my only love from the bottom of my infinite heart.”
Tommy nearly chokes on his drink. He wasn’t expecting this at all.
“He is equal to the gods, that man,” Adam says, pointing to Tommy. “Who sits across from you, face to face, close enough to sip your voice’s sweetness, and what excites my mind, your laughter, glittering. So, when I see you, for a moment, my voice goes, my tongue freezes. Fire, delicate fire, in the flesh. Blind, stunned, the sound of thunder in my ears. Shivering with sweat, cold tremors over the skin, I turn the color of dead grass and I’m an inch from dying.”
Adam blows him a kiss. The crowd is silent, staring between them, waiting. Tommy’s heart swells and if he were not immortal he’s sure it would burst. Someone claps hesitantly but that’s all it takes for the rest of the people to explode in applause and whistles. Adam jumps off the edge of the stage and jogs over to Tommy. His smile is bright and nervous.
“I know you don’t like attention much,” he says. “But I really wanted to read that for you.”
Tommy can’t speak around the lump in his throat, so he wraps his arms around Adam and replies with a kiss. The audience’s stamp of approval is so loud it’s deafening. Adam laughs and Tommy, laughing as well, hides his face in Adam’s chest. Adam leads them out of the thick of the crowd as the readings begin.
“I think we should duck out of here for a while,” Tommy says.
Adam looks at him slyly. “Really? And what would we do?”
Tommy grins, “Stuff.”
Adam laughs. “I think that’s a good idea.”
“Not Olympus, though,” Tommy says. “Can we go to the house?”
Tommy had agreed to live on Olympus and he did want to, but Olympus was devoid of privacy of any sort. And when there were all manner of gods and goddesses around, nothing was secret. It bothered Tommy sometimes and Adam had suggested they keep their home in Greece to have an escape.
“Don’t want to entertain Olympus with our activities?” Adam says and Tommy feels himself turning five shades of red. “I’m teasing. They don’t care, but yes, let’s go to the house.”
In a split second, they’re in their old bedroom. Adam pulls Tommy’s mouth to his as Tommy carelessly rips their clothing off. Tommy crawls back onto the bed and Adam moves over him. He nips at Tommy’s jawline, sucking on his bottom lip. He turns Tommy over and raises him to his knees. Tommy braces his hands against the headboard. Adam slowly licks up Tommy’s back from his ass to his neck. Tommy arches into it. Adam sucks on the back of Tommy’s neck, holding him firm around his hips. He bites down as pushes in and Tommy’s breath leaves him in a rush. Adam’s bite is continuous as he moves. In the grip Adam has on his neck with his teeth and his hands around his hips, Tommy’s paralyzed. He pushes his arms into the headboard, giving Adam more stability to move into him. The room is hot and Tommy’s vision waivers. He can’t stand the building pressure much longer. It’s all through him. Wherever Adam is touching him burns. He breathes harder and deeper and wails when he comes. Adam’s teeth dig deeper when he comes but Tommy doesn’t even wince. He curves as much as he can into it, feeling Adam collapsing against his back.
He feels Adam’s teeth pull out of his skin. When Adam lays down, Tommy fits himself under his arm. Adam kisses the top his head. He’s so relaxed he can’t even reply. He mentally opens the balcony door and the sound of the waves fills the room. He’s missed these waves. Olympus is impressive, but he misses this little spot on Earth that’s theirs. He snuggles a little more into Adam and allows himself to fall asleep.
When he wakes, the sun is high and bright. He yawns and looks at Adam. His face has no expression, not even one to indicate relaxation or dreaming. Tommy gets up and goes into the kitchen. He has to conjure up food since they don’t shop or keep perishables here, and fixes breakfast like a human. Sometimes he just wants to do human things. Nothing wrong with that. Once the food is ready he puts it on plates and sets the plates on a large tray. He balances it carefully and walks slowly back to the bedroom. Adam is awake now and sitting up.
“Good morning, beautiful,” Tommy says.
Adam stares at him blankly.
“Did you sleep okay?” he asks, knowing that sleeping isn’t Adam’s thing. Especially after Tommy’s incident with the Furies and getting caught in his dreams. He swore off sleep for good, but that didn’t last long. He likes sleeping.
Adam is still staring at him. The caution in his eyes makes Tommy pause.
“You okay?” Tommy asks.
Adam shakes his head slightly, looking confused. His eyes dart around the room, then settle back on Tommy.
Becoming alarmed, Tommy sets down the tray at the foot of the bed. He goes to Adam, who leans back slightly.
“What’s wrong?” Tommy asks.
“Who are you?” Adam asks.
Chapter 2: The Moon is Down
Tommy stares at him, not sure that he heard correctly. Adam stares back, awaiting an answer.
Tommy takes a breath and holds it, trying to think of an answer, then releases it. Adam says nothing.
“Is this a joke?” Tommy finally asks.
Adam’s brow furrows. “Why would I joke?”
“You don’t know who I am?” Tommy says.
“That’s why I asked,” Adam says. “Who are you? And,” he looks around. “Where am I?”
Tommy half smiles. This has to be a joke of some sort. Adam woke up and decided to play some weird trick on him. It’s not very funny to Tommy but if it is to Adam, then he’ll laugh. As long as the joke stops now.
“Is this my house?” Adam asks.
“Uh,” Tommy stutters. “Yeah. It’s ours.”
“Ours?” Adam asks. “We’re roommates?”
Tommy doesn’t answer. Adam looks around the room.
“I live here. I can see that,” he says. “I guess.” He looks back at Tommy. “Who are you? I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.”
“Do you know your name?” Tommy asks. He has a sinking feeling this is real.
Adam appears to think it over and shakes his head.
“You don’t know,” Tommy says. “Okay, you’re Adam and I’m Tommy.”
Adam acknowledges this with a short nod. He continues to stare at Tommy.
“What’s the last thing you remember?” Tommy asks.
Adam considers this. “I think I was at some party. But that could be wrong. I’m not really sure. That seems more like a dream.”
“You were at a party last night, yes,” Tommy says.
“Things are really fuzzy,” Adam says.
“It was a festival,” Tommy says. “Your festival.”
“Why would I have a festival?” Adam asks.
“You held it,” Tommy says. “You wanted to commemorate ancient Greece. Don’t you remember?”
Adam shakes his head. “No, I don’t remember planning a party.”
“You spent weeks planning it,” Tommy says. “And everyone had a great time last night and you’re extending it through the weekend.” That’s the really short version of things, but this turn of events has Tommy feeling incoherent right now.
“That sounds exhausting,” Adam says.
“Well yeah, if you’re human, but you’re a god,” Tommy says.
Adam blinks. “I’m a what?”
Tommy hesitates. This may not go over well. “You’re a god.”
Adam leans back slightly, eyeing him warily. “I don’t know what that means.”
“How do you not know what that means?” Tommy asks. “It’s pretty clear, you’re a god. An ancient Greek god. We both are. Well I’m not an ancient born god, you made me, but we’re gods. We’re one.”
“Okay, I think that’s enough,” Adam says. “This is crazy. I think you’ve got me confused with someone else.”
He moves out from under the covers and stands. He snatches the covers from the bed and holds them in front of him when he sees he’s naked.
“I seem to be undressed,” he says, trying to be dignified. “Could you leave me, please?”
Tommy still can’t wrap his mind around this.
Adam looks around the room. He points to the pile of clothing on the floor.
“Are those mine?” he asks.
Tommy glances over at the leather pants, shirt, and coat he’d torn off Adam last night. It’s his usual outfit when he appears as a god, particularly when his temple was still standing. And now he doesn’t recognize them.
“Yes, they’re yours,” he says. He gestures because words are failing him. “You have other clothes in the closet.”
“Good,” Adam says, pulling the covers higher. He’s waiting for Tommy to leave. “Thank you.”
“I’ll be in the other room,” Tommy says.
He shuts the door behind him.
“I don’t think he’s joking,” he says to no one.
When Adam finally opens the door, it’s been an hour. Tommy spent the time sitting on the edge of the couch, chewing the tip of his thumb. He can’t figure out what happened. Adam was fine when they went to sleep. What happened during the night to cause this? How does a god get amnesia? How does he forget a he’s a god at all?
“I had to wash up,” Adam says. “I was wearing makeup for some reason. Why was I sleeping in it?”
He’s dressed in ripped jeans and a button-down shirt and boots. He looks ravishing as usual. Tommy feels sick. In the space of a few hours there is suddenly an invisible barrier between them. No matter how much he wants to, Tommy, at this moment, is not allowed to run to Adam, touch him, or comment freely on his appearance. It almost feels like being dumped and still having to entertain the person who dumped you.
“I must’ve put it on for that party,” he says, looking at Tommy for confirmation. “Do I wear it often?”
Tommy, caught up in his racing thoughts, shrugs. “Sometimes. I guess.”
Adam nods and browses the room like he’s a visitor at a museum. Tommy feels lost.
“Are we close?” Adam turns to him.
Tommy clears his throat in effort not to shout his frustration. “Yes, we’re very close.”
“Well I don’t know why I can’t remember anything but I’m glad I have a friend,” Adam says. “You’ll have to lay off that gods business, though. I figure it’s an inside joke between us but since I can’t remember it, maybe it’s best not to bring that up.”
Tommy doesn’t know how to reply. He can feel anger heat his face. Gods business? Inside joke?
“It’s not a joke, inside or otherwise,” Tommy says, standing. “It is the truth, you are a god. I am a god, you made me. I’m not fucking kidding.”
Adam looks back at him and holds his hands up. “Okay, sorry. I’m not trying to upset you.”
“Upset me,” Tommy states. “This whole morning has upset me and you think we have some inside joke that you don’t get right now so I should back off. This is your life we’re talking about. You’re entire being and you want me to lay off?”
He can feel a spark fly off him in response to his anger rising.
“Hey wait,” Adam starts but Tommy’s anger is determined to have the last word.
He waves a ball of fire in his hand and it hovers.
“This is not an inside joke,” Tommy shouts. “I don’t know what the hell you’re doing, why you’re pretending not to know me, but I’ve had enough, Adam.”
Adam’s eyes widen as he stares at the ball of fire. He backs away.
“Oh my god, you’re a demon,” he says, looking around frantically for a way out. “You’re some sort of demon.”
He runs for the door and Tommy realizes what he’s done. He stamps out the fire, then slams the door shut as Adam opens it. He can’t let Adam run out into the street screaming there’s a demon in his house. Adam pulls on the doorknob, beating on it, trying to turn it.
“Adam, stop,” Tommy says, calming down.
Adam doesn’t hear him. He continues pulling on the doorknob and pounding on the door. When he calls for help, Tommy shouts for him to stop.
Adam goes still, huddled against the door. He’s afraid of Tommy. This realization breaks his heart.
“Adam, look at me,” Tommy says. “Please.”
It takes him a minute, but he turns to Tommy. He holds himself stiff as if waiting for Tommy to attack. Tommy feels defeated.
“I’m sorry,” Tommy says. “I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have gotten upset with you. I didn’t mean to.”
Adam doesn’t reply, doesn’t move.
“I won’t hurt you,” Tommy says. “I would never hurt you.”
Adam nods slightly.
“I’m not a demon,” Tommy continues. “I promise.”
“You must be some sort of magician,” Adam says, trying to give Tommy an explanation.
Tommy takes it because it’s just easier right now. “Yeah, something like that. A magician.”
Adam visibly relaxes, even smiles. “That was a good trick. You really fooled me.”
Tommy tries to smile back. He’ll agree to whatever Adam wants to think right now because he can’t lose track of Adam in any way. And if Adam’s scared, he’ll run.
“Come sit,” Tommy tells him. He’s exhausted. “Are you hungry? The food is probably cold now, but I can reheat it.”
Adam walks to the couch and sits. He still looks wary, but he smiles anyway.
“With your magic, right?” he says with a small laugh at his attempt to lighten the mood with joke. Maybe it’ll be their new “inside joke.”
Oh fuck, what am I gonna do? Tommy thinks. To Adam he wearily returns the laugh. “Yes, with my magic.”
After Tommy reheated breakfast (in a microwave) Adam wanted to go out. Tommy was hesitant at first because they were likely to see people who knew them and Adam wouldn’t remember them. Then again, maybe seeing familiar faces or places would trigger his memory and end this disaster.
They walk the streets, still lined with the stages and tables from the festival, all waiting for the afternoon when the party will start up again. Adam looks at everything like he’s never seen any of it before. In fact, he acts like a tourist, and this does nothing to ease Tommy’s mind that everything is going to be okay. Tommy wonders if taking him by the old temple would help. Adam built it, so he has a special bond to it. Should he risk bringing up the fact he’s a god again? He opens his mouth to suggest seeing the temple, when, without a word, Adam takes a detour to the right. He’s spotted an ice cream shop.
“I love ice cream,” he says when Tommy catches up. He starts to go in, then stops. He checks his pockets. “I don’t seem to have money. Or a wallet. Or anything.”
Adam has never had any of these things, of course, but seeing the almost distressed look on his face, Tommy says, “You must’ve left all that at the house. It’s okay, I have money.”
He reaches into his own pocket and pulls out money. When Adam gets home, he’ll find money and other assorted cards humans keep in a wallet on the dresser. Good thing Tommy remembers he’s a god.
Adam’s face lights up and he asks Tommy what kind he wants and he won’t take no for an answer. Once they have their cones, they continue down the street.
“How long have we known each other?” Adam asks.
“Centuries” is the answer Tommy wants to give. Instead he says, “A really long time.”
“How did we meet?”
This is becoming painful for Tommy. “At a festival. Kind of like the one you’ve put together.”
Adam nods. “I’m glad we’re friends. You seem nice.”
Tommy’s chest aches. Friends? Nice?
“Who are those people waving?” Adam asks. “Are they waving at us?”
Tommy looks in the direction Adam’s looking. He sees Mr Pagonis and Aphrodite standing in the doorway of the gallery. Tommy eyes Adam.
“Do you recognize them?” he asks, hoping there’s some spark of realization.
Adam shakes his head slowly. “No.”
He takes Adam’s arm and leads him over. Might as well get this over with. Maybe one of them will have an idea.
“Ooh, ice cream,” Aphrodite says. She gives Tommy a small kiss on the cheek, then turns to Adam. “Hey, gorgeous.”
Adam smiles. “Hello.”
“How’s my favorite couple?” she asks.
Adam looks over her head at the gallery, still eating his ice cream.
Her radiant smile falters as she looks at him.
“What are you two up to?” Mr Pagonis asks. “Getting ready for the festivities again?”
“Sort of,” Tommy says. “Adam wanted ice cream.”
“How are you feeling, Adam?” Aphrodite asks.
“Fine, thanks,” Adam says, biting into his cone.
Aphrodite glances at Tommy. He looks away.
“So what are your plans?” she asks Adam. “The festival starts again in a few hours. Are you going to be here for the whole thing? Do you have anything special set up? You are the host.”
“How long does it last?” Adam asks.
Mr Pagonis’ frowns. “Why you said until 3 a.m., I believe.”
“That’s a long time,” Adam says. He finishes off his cone.
Aphrodite and Mr Pagonis both look at Tommy.
“Uh, Adam is having a slight problem with his memory,” Tommy mutters.
“I’m going to go in and look around,” Adam announces, and he moves past Mr Pagonis and through the door. Mr Pagonis follows him inside.
“Tommy, what is this?” Aphrodite asks.
“I don’t know,” Tommy says, his voice breaking. “He was like this when he woke up. He was fine when we went to bed, and this morning...”
“Have you told Zeus?”
“No,” he says, annoyance in his tone. “I don’t want to call on Zeus for every thing that goes wrong. This has to be temporary. It has to be. I just...don’t know what happened. Or how to fix it.”
“Did he hit his head, maybe?” she asks.
“He doesn’t remember he’s a god,” Tommy states flatly.
She sucks in a startled breath. “Have you shown him that he is?”
“I scared him,” Tommy says. “That’s all I did. He thinks he’s human. And he doesn’t remember me or us at all.”
“Okay, there has to be an explanation,” she says. “And once we find that, then we can fix this.”
Adam comes back outside.
“There’s a lot of neat stuff in there,” Adam tells them.
“I know,” Tommy says.
“There’s a painting in there, looks just like you and me,” Adam says.
Tommy knows he’s referring to the painting his old friend Dimitrios did of Agapios and his oracle. It is them. Adam knows that. One day he’ll remember it.
Aphrodite stands behind Adam. She flicks a finger at him and Tommy sees a pink spark shoot out and hit Adam in the back of the head.
“So cool,” Adam says, scratching the back of his head. “No wonder you think we’re gods.”
Adam laughs. Aphrodite’s eyes widen. Tommy wants to sink into the ground. Adam’s attention is caught by a band on one of the stages tuning up for practice before the festival. He wanders over.
“Well, that didn’t work,” Aphrodite says. “I was hoping I could make his memory come back but I just gave him an itch. Whatever this is, it’s not from a little bump on the head, Tommy.”
Tommy knew as much, but to have it confirmed just made his stomach sink further.
Chapter 3: … You Burn Me …
Tommy leans back in his chair at the outdoor cafe. He closes his eyes behind his sunglasses as a light breeze blows through his hair. It’s been a long afternoon. He and Adam spent the morning wandering the streets, looking at all the stages. Adam smiled at everyone who waved and spoke to him. He gave input when asked as though he remembered everyone speaking to him. Even though he didn’t recall being the host, he slipped into the role naturally and, for fleeting moments, Tommy forgot about his memory loss. But it only took a blank look or a cautious move to remind him. He found it strange that Adam couldn’t remember who he was but he could remember everything else, like how to direct a city festival, or the fact he needed money to buy something. How are things like that innate but not the sense of self? That made no sense to him. If your memory is gone, shouldn’t everything be gone?
Once the festival started again at noon, Adam continued strolling through the streets as the crowd multiplied, directing his volunteers and charming the guests. Tommy got tired of following him everywhere. Tommy may be a god, but Adam’s long legs and fast pace still made it difficult to keep up with him. Truth be told, he was also tired of seeing Adam flirt back with anyone who flirted with him first. He’s not only forgotten his godhood, he’s forgotten their bond, and it cut Tommy deeply.
The sun shines down on him slowly heating his skin and he feels drowsy. His mind drifts on a wave and he briefly wonders what happened to Adam and how he’s supposed to find out. The task of fixing it seems Herculean at this point and Tommy just wants to sleep now. The chatter and shouts of Adam’s growing crowd fade and he begins to drift into sleep. It’s a light doze but he’s relaxed enough to be startled awake when Adam sits in the chair across from him. Tommy sits up straighter.
“This festival is pretty fun,” he says.
“You had fun putting it together,” Tommy says. He stretches and yawns.
“Why did I?” he asks. “I mean, nothing wrong with a festival, but what made me think of it?”
“Well you wanted to pay homage to this city as it was in ancient Greece,” Tommy says.
Adam looks around. “I don’t remember living here for any length of time. Like, growing up here or anything.”
Adam didn’t “grow up” anywhere; he emerged from Zeus fully formed, like all his children. Tommy’s not sure how to explain it without getting into that “god business” and freaking out Adam again. If he doesn’t want to hear he’s a god, then he definitely doesn’t want to hear about the curse, Zeus altering it in this city, and the temple.
“I like it here, though,” he says, turning back with a bright smile that melts Tommy inside.
Tommy nods. “Good.”
An awkward silence falls between them. The silence of one person being too familiar and the other a stranger. It’s odd and Tommy feels that unwanted barrier between them again.
“Ready to go back to the house?” Tommy asks.
“Um,” Adam looks around again. “You go. I’ll be back later.”
Tommy’s initial reaction is not to leave him alone, but he can’t babysit Adam either. He sighs and relents to parting ways. He hopes Adam remembers the way home. As he gets up, Adam rises also and walks off into the crowd. Tommy’s eyes follow him. When he disappears into the sea of people, Tommy leaves.
Several hours later, he’s searching through Adam’s books for some sort of clue as to how a god might forget himself when Adam walks through the door. He drops the book he’s holding onto the table with the others he dragged off the shelves. The bookshelves are nearly empty. Books cover the table in a pile and they’ve been useless. All the information is geared towards gods being a myth but Tommy can’t stop looking.
“I made it,” Adam announces as he shuts the door. “I got lost at first but I kept walking, then remembered the area we walked this morning.”
He looks at all the books on the table.
“A little light reading?” he asks.
“I’ve been trying to research what might’ve happened to your memory,” Tommy says.
Adam picks up a book and sifts through the rest.
“Why are you looking in mythology books for that?” he asks.
Tommy shrugs. “You never know?”
Adam hums and puts the book down.
“I just came to change,” he says.
“You’re going back?” Tommy asks.
“I have a date,” Adam says with a smile. He walks into the bedroom.
Tommy freezes as the words sink in. He sees Adam going through drawers in the bedroom, hears him opening and closing the closet door, humming to himself, but Tommy’s paralyzed.
“You have a what?” he asks in a whisper.
Had Adam not been a god he wouldn’t have heard Tommy. He pokes his head out of the door.
“A date,” he says with a laugh. “You know, someone asked me to go out with him this evening and I said okay.”
Adam continues laying out clothes on the bed. Tommy feels like he might actually throw up where he’s standing.
“You can’t…” he says.
“Why not?” Adam asks.
“You can’t…” Tommy repeats, breathless. “Do that.”
Adam doesn’t respond.
“Who is it?” Tommy asks.
“Just a guy I met walking around the festival,” Adam says lightly. “His name is Apollo. How neat is that? He’s named after one of those gods. Makes sense, I guess. We are in Greece.”
Tommy can feel himself sinking into the floor. This isn’t real. Maybe the Furies are after him again and he’s stuck in another dream. He’d rather that than Adam really going on a date. And with Apollo? They never delved too deeply into past relationships but he knew there had been some sort of affair with Apollo before Tommy. Apollo had given Adam all his freckles. The knowledge had made Tommy a little jealous when he heard, but he knew that Adam was his. But Adam doesn’t remember any of this now. And he has a date. With a former lover.
Adam shuts the door to change clothes. Tommy sucks in his breath so fast and hard that he almost hyperventilates. His eyes are wild when Adam opens the door, ready to go out.
“You okay?” Adam asks.
Tommy shakes his head. “You’re not going.”
“Pardon?” Adam asks, raising a perfect eyebrow in derision at being told what to do. Another innate trait of his apparently and unaffected by loss of memory.
“You can’t date, Adam,” he says.
“Why not?” Adam asks.
“We’re together,” Tommy says.
Adam frowns. “You haven’t said anything before this second.”
“I didn’t want to drop too much on you,” Tommy says. “You don’t remember who you are, or this place, or me, and I didn’t want to add to it.”
Adam stares at him. It’s a piercing stare, one that Tommy can feel scrutinizing him. It’s the look Adam gives when he doesn’t believe someone. It’s rather cold.
“Adam, please,” Tommy says softly.
“I think you just don’t want to be alone tonight,” Adam says.
“I swear, we are together,” Tommy says. “We are bound by the Fates.”
“The what?” Adam asks.
Tommy hesitates. “The Fates.”
Adam rolls his eyes. “Not that again.”
He moves to the door and Tommy runs after him, grabbing his arm.
“It’s true,” he says, panicking. “We were bound centuries ago.”
Adam shakes him off. “Stop. This gods thing is nonsense and I don’t want to hear it. You should really get help with that.”
“Adam, listen to me,” Tommy pleads. “It’s real. We are real gods. You can’t go.”
“I’m not listening to this,” Adam snaps, slamming the door behind him.
Tommy feels an anxiety attacking coming. He can’t believe this. Not only does Adam have a date, he doesn’t believe Tommy. His gut reaction is to appear in Adam’s path and lock him in a cage until this amnesia thing is resolved. But he can’t trap Adam like that. It would scare and anger him. He doesn’t want Adam angry at him any more than he is already. He definitely won’t listen to reason then. Not that he’s listening much now.
Tommy forces himself to calm down, trying not to think of where Adam is going and what he might do. He reminds himself there is a way out of this. He just has to find it. Adam doesn’t have any idea what he’s doing or what Tommy means. After an hour, he can’t stand it. He knows it’ll be painful, but he has to see what Adam’s doing. He appears at the festival, remaining invisible. His focus is pinned on Adam who is alone. He’s standing by the poetry stage and listening intently. Maybe Apollo left? Or, better yet, didn’t show up. Tommy’s relaxing a little when a man approaches Adam. He’s tall with long blond hair, perfectly defined muscles, and golden. He can only be the god of the sun. Adam turns to him and smiles, taking the cup of wine offered. Tommy’s stomach knots into a hard ball. Apollo puts an arm around Adam and whispers in his ear. Adam’s laugh rings through the noise and stabs Tommy in the heart. He glares at Apollo.
He should go home but he can’t bring himself to leave yet. He follows Adam and Apollo all evening, remaining invisible and at a safe distance. Nothing has ever been as painful as watching someone else court Adam and Adam accepting it. Tommy can’t stop the tears when Adam pulls the sun god close in the dark behind one of the shops. He would rather be back in Tartarus than watch this any longer. When he returns home, he sits on the edge of the bed, silent and numb. He can’t stomach thoughts of what Adam might be doing now. It seems like an eternity before he hears Adam come through the front door.
Tommy appears in front of Apollo outside, blocking his path.
“I figured you’d show yourself eventually,” Apollo says.
“What did you do?” Tommy asks in low tone. His anger is so absolute and flowing off him that Apollo’s eyes widen for a split second.
“I went on a date,” he says arrogantly. “Deal with it.”
“You know he does not belong to you,” Tommy says.
Apollo shrugs. “Tell him that.”
“I’m telling you,” Tommy says. He’s rather surprised at the calmness in his voice. “You know damn well under normal circumstances he wouldn’t have anything to do with you.”
“Not my problem he can’t remember you,” Apollo says. “Just because the Fates ordained your union doesn’t mean anything if he chooses to date other people. You can’t stop him.”
“His memory was stolen,” Tommy says. “How can you take advantage of him like that?”
“I saw a chance and I took it,” Apollo says. “Plain and simple. I enjoyed what he and I had before you came along.” Apollo leers, goading Tommy. “I enjoyed him a lot, in fact.”
Tommy’s anger threatens to choke him, but he manages to say, “Don’t ever show up here again.”
“What are you going to do about it, Tommy?” he asks, stepping forward. Tommy stands his ground. “You may be a god, a minor one at that, but you’re a spoiled brat. He has spoiled you too much and now you can’t keep ahold of him.”
Tommy doesn’t have a reply that’s not full of foul language so he keeps quiet to preserve some dignity.
“He may not remember you or who he really is, but he certainly remembers other things,” Apollo says with a smirk.
Tommy’s response is lightning fast and Apollo finds himself on the ground with smoke drifting off him. Part of Tommy is stunned that he just attacked a major Olympian. Yet the part of Tommy in control right now is ready to fight to death for Adam.
Apollo looks around, shocked to find himself on the ground. He coughs and waves the smoke off his clothes. He stands, wincing.
“I seem to have underestimated you,” he says. He watches Tommy for a moment, then sighs. “Nothing happened, Tommy. You have my word.”
“I saw you behind the shop,” Tommy says.
“Well you left too soon,” Apollo says. “He wouldn’t go any further than kissing and touching. He stopped me when I tried. I didn’t push him.”
Tommy remains silent.
Apollo steps closer. They stare each other down, neither wavering.
“He’d be proud of you,” Apollo tells him. “He has every reason to be.”
Tommy bites his lip to keep his composure until Apollo is gone. He knees nearly buckle and he breathes deep and slow.
When he goes inside he sees the bedroom door closed and the light off. Rather than rehash it all tonight, he lets Adam sleep.
Chapter 4: River of Unmindfulness
Tommy watches the storm come in. Rain hits the window with force and then lazily slides down the glass. The wind strikes the ocean and rolls the water into large waves. Tommy wonders if he can talk Poseidon into sending a nasty wave to the heavens and drown the sun god, put out that stupid bright light of his. It would take a huge bribe but it’d be worth it.
He spent the night pacing the living room, perched on the couch, pacing again. He hasn’t been able to calm his thoughts. At one point, he went to Adam’s bedside and watched him sleep until he felt like a psychotic stalker. He went back to the dark living room and stayed there, roaming like an agitated caged animal. It’s early morning now, gray and dreary. The light in the sky isn’t strong enough to drive out the storm’s darkness. The sun isn’t coming out today.
Tommy smirks at the sky, thinking almost childishly, Not shining today, are you, Apollo?
He turns away from the window when he hears the bedroom door open. Adam stands in the doorway. They stare at each other. The tenseness between them is obvious. Adam finally speaks but quietly.
“I guess the festival is rained out today.”
Tommy nods his agreement but it’s too dim for Adam to really see it.
They stand in silence, looking at each other. Tommy’s heart jumps with anticipation. He can feel their bond, still there, still very much alive. He walks to Adam. Lightning flashes, illuminating his god, the sight stealing Tommy’s breath.
“I’m sorry we argued,” Adam says.
Tommy doesn’t say anything, just takes a chance and slips his arms around Adam’s waist. Adam hugs him close. Tommy presses his ear to his chest and he can hear Adam’s heartbeat. It’s steady and strong and Tommy needs him back. He looks up into the eyes that stole his soul centuries ago, searching for the god that must be in there somewhere. The dreary glow from the storm shines in those eyes and Adam looks otherworldly. Tommy feels a spark of hope. Adam pushes hair away from Tommy’s face, lightly stroking it. It’s a familiar gesture.
“You’re beautiful,” he says.
“I’m yours,” Tommy answers.
Adam smiles and it’s a regretful smile. It clenches Tommy’s heart, killing his hope, and he pulls away. He can’t face more rejection.
“So yeah, it’s probably a good idea to cancel the festival today,” Tommy says, walking away from Adam, trying to act nonchalant.
Adam nods. “I guess I should make an announcement of some sort. Somehow. Since I apparently run this thing.”
Tommy fidgets with the hem of his shirt. He doesn’t have any input one way or the other on Adam’s festival. The silence between them is heavy. Finally, Adam speaks.
“I guess I’ll go. Do you want to come with me?”
“Sure,” Tommy says. He remembers they can’t travel like they normally do without Adam having a meltdown and accusing Tommy of being a demon again, so they’ll have to walk in the rain. He could create a car in the driveway, but Adam would be suspicious and Tommy wants to keep him as calm as possible until they figure this out. He walks into the bedroom and produces umbrellas and brings them back to the living room, handing one to Adam.
Adam said the best way to announce the cancellation was by posting signs and Tommy felt sure Mr Pagonis would let them borrow materials to make them. Mr Pagonis was only too happy to help and the three of them quickly made signs. Tommy shivered inside the gallery. His clothes were still damp and he couldn’t dry them and be inconspicuous. Seeing this, Adam insisted that he post the signs himself and Tommy stay inside.
“How are things?” Mr Pagonis asks once they’re alone.
Tommy really doesn’t know the answer to that.
“Must be difficult right now since Adam doesn’t remember himself,” he says.
“Yes, difficult,” Tommy says. That’s a word for it - difficult.
“Of course it must be even harder when a god forgets himself,” Mr Pagonis mentions.
Tommy’s head whips around to look at his friend, feeling like he’s been caught with his pants down.
Mr Pagonis’ smile is kind. “I’m no fool, Tommy. I’ve known who you are for a long time.”
“How?” Tommy asks.
“The painting in the back for one thing,” Mr Pagonis says. “You don’t just resemble the oracle, you are the oracle. That is you in that painting. But it wasn’t just the painting, it was the way you looked at it. Such longing, such devotion, so many memories. And the love. The love on your face, Tommy, was abounding. And when Adam came in, the way he looked at you... it was electric, and I was certain. Agapios couldn’t be without his true love and he made you immortal, and that is truly beautiful.”
Tommy chokes back tears. His heart beats with memories and they tug on him, beg him to pay attention to them and make things right again. And he wants to; he just doesn’t know how.
“You never said anything,” he says.
Mr Pagonis shrugs. “I thought you would tell me when and if you ever wished me to know.”
Tommy feels guilty now. He and Adam have been friends of this man, supported and worked in his gallery for a long time, and they’ve kept their nature secret from him as though he couldn’t be trusted.
“I showed Adam that painting yesterday specifically to jog his memory,” Mr Pagonis says. “It didn’t work, however. I was hoping it would. I’m sorry.”
“You have nothing to apologize for,” Tommy says. “Thank you for trying.”
“Do you have any ideas on how this came about?” Mr Pagonis asks.
Tommy shakes his head. “Not really. He doesn’t seem to have hit his head on anything. I can’t see something like that affecting a god, though. I guess it’s possible some other god put a spell on him? But I don’t know who or why.”
Mr Pagonis nods in thought. “I wonder if you could talk to the goddess of forgetfulness, Lethe. She might be able to tell you something, if she’d been commissioned to take his memory. She also has a river in the Underworld.”
“Yes, it’s an extension of the goddess,” Mr Pagonis says. “The River of Unmindfulness. It passes through the cave of Hypnos, god of sleep, before passing through Hades. The dead drink from it to obliterate their memories so they may be reincarnated.”
“Oh god, obliterate?” Tommy asks, feeling a sinking hopelessness. It’s the worst word possible in this scenario.
It hits Tommy suddenly and he can’t believe he didn’t realize this before. It’s not the goddess. It’s the water.
“The wine,” he says. “Water in the wine. And that boy.”
“One of the wine tables,” Tommy says, becoming excited. “The first night of the festival, I went to one of the wine tables to get a cup for Adam, and there was a boy there who handed me a cup. I was going to pick one up off the table, but he specifically handed me a cup. Adam mentioned it tasted watered down.”
Mr Pagonis frowns. “We haven’t watered down wine in ages. People don’t drink it as consistently as they used to so there’s no need.”
“But this was,” Tommy says. “And Adam wouldn’t have mentioned it if he’d ordered the wine to be watered down for the festival. That has to be it.”
Adam comes through the door dropping his umbrella just outside it.
“It might stop raining this afternoon and maybe the festival can continue tonight,” he says.
“Did you order the wine at the festival be watered down?” Tommy asks.
Adam blinks. “I don’t know. Probably not. That sounds like a terrible idea.” He laughs. “Why?”
“Do you remember drinking wine that was watered down at the festival?” Tommy asks.
“No.” Adam frowns. “I only remember drinking wine there last night and it wasn’t watered down. Which reminds me, Apollo and I have another date tonight, so...”
Tommy stands stock still, careful to show no emotion, no reaction. Mr Pagonis, straightening up small prints on the counter, stops and turns towards them, eyeing Adam with disbelief.
“Is that going to be a problem?” Adam asks. His stance changes to one of defiance as he stares at Tommy.
Tommy swallows. He shakes his head in order to get the word out of his mouth. “No.”
Adam relaxes and smiles. “Okay. Well I have some things I need to do, so I’ll see you later.”
Tommy remains still, staring at the door even after Adam leaves. He stands there trying to remain calm and composed against the emotions churning inside him.
“Oh Tommy,” Mr Pagonis says. “This can’t go on.”
Tommy goes back home to look through Adam’s books. He searches Lethe and finds everything Mr Pagonis told him in the mythology books. Only the goddess and her river aren’t myths. The river flows through the Underworld, which means no living human could’ve done this. The water not only causes mental oblivion but can cause concealment. Tommy latches onto the word - concealment. It’s a damn sight better than oblivion. Something concealed can be revealed again. But how does he trigger it?
He can’t sit still and he doesn’t know what to do. His mind is churning. How can he tap into Adam’s memory and force it back? He can’t focus. He doesn’t want to wait around at home for Adam and he doesn’t want to go back to the gallery. He decides to go to Olympus and he’s suddenly there. The marble halls are vast and quiet, lit by large torches every few feet. The air here is dry and chilly. It’s not a very inviting place, actually.
He wishes to talk to Aphrodite and she appears.
She bites her lip. “I’m so sorry, sweetie.”
“About what?” he asks.
“About Eros diluting Adam’s wine,” she says.
Tommy stops. “Eros? Your son?”
“I thought you’d figured it out already,” she says.
“Your son did this?” he says, nearly shouting at her. “Why is your son fucking up my life?”
She flinches. “He’s mad he’s not the only god of love.”
Tommy’s eyes widen and he’s not sure he can form coherent sentences right now. The sullen teenager at the wine table was Cupid and he’s jealous?
“He really doesn’t like competition,” she says. “And Agapios is much more desired. He’s not just a god of love, it’s True Love. Adam is one of the few gods whose power is still as strong as ever. People still believe in True Love.”
“You’re saying that your son is pissed off that he’s not the one and only god of love, so he slipped Lethe’s water into Adam’s wine? And has essentially turned my world upside down?” He walks towards her as he speaks. Aphrodite backs up, looking ashamed. “Is that what you’re fucking telling me?”
“I didn’t know, Tommy, I swear,” she says. “He let it slip today that he’d done it.”
“And you didn’t think to tell me?” he shouts.
Orange fire flashes and a solid, hulking god appears holding the largest hammer Tommy’s ever seen.
“What in the name of Zeus?” Hephaestus begins, then recognizes Tommy. “She tell you what her offspring did?”
Tommy stares at him. Is he the last to fucking know this?
“I wasn’t trying to keep secrets,” she says but Tommy doesn’t know if she’s speaking to him, her husband, or both of them. “It’s not as bad as it seems. A god’s mind can’t be obliterated, only concealed. Adam’s mind can be restored.”
“Not as bad as it seems? He’s dating Apollo,” Tommy shouts.
“Ew,” she says, grimacing.
“Oh that’s just wrong,” Hephaestus states.
“I’m so sorry, Tommy,” she pleads.
“Menace,” Hephaestus says, turning to his wife. “That little armed fairy you had is a menace.”
“Watch it,” she snaps at him. “That’s my son.”
“Well he sure as hell isn’t mine,” Hephaestus barks. “You and that Ares... can’t even keep your kid under control. Now look what he’s done. All this trouble because he’s jealous. He’s just like his parents.”
They begin their domestic quarrel and Tommy backs away. It’s obvious they’ve had this fight many times before and will again, but he doesn’t want to be part of it. He goes back to Greece. He’ll have to figure this out on his own.
Chapter 5: I Saw a Reflection of Me Where Your Heart Is
and the end.
Night has fallen and the rain has stopped. The festival has continued. Tommy walks through the crowd, searching for Adam. He assumes that Adam and Apollo will be here. He’s determined to steal Adam away and explain all of this to him. All of it even if Adam freaks out. If he has to, he will confine Adam until it’s resolved. He moves out of the crowd. He can’t even sense Adam nearby. It’s possible they’re not at the festival. The idea of Adam on yet another date angers and nauseates him at the same time. He makes a definite goal of being where Adam is currently and he finds himself back at the house. The lights are off and it looks like no one is home so why did he appear here?
Tommy hears a noise from the bedroom. The door is shut. His mouth goes dry and his knees weak. He hears it again. It’s a moan.
“No,” he whispers. “Adam, no.”
He marches to the door and opens it. His heart shatters. Adam lies on the bed, his shirt off, pants undone, Apollo over him. Apollo kisses down Adam’s neck, his hand inside Adam’s pants. Adam moves into the touch. The rage in Tommy is quick and explosive. He crosses the room in one stride, grabs the sun god by his hair and flings him backwards. Apollo hits the wall and falls to the floor, broken plaster from the wall landing on top of him.
“What the hell is wrong with you, Tommy,” Adam says sitting up.
In distress and fury, Tommy slaps Adam. He’ll regret it later. Right now, all he can think is how their bond has failed. Adam has failed.
The slap has godly force behind it and Adam’s head snaps to the side and he falls on the bed. He holds the side of his face and looks up at Tommy in shock and pain. Tommy can feel his eyes glowing with anger. Tommy is about to say something when a force hits him in the back and he flies to the other side of the room, slamming into the wall and sliding to the floor. He rolls over. Apollo is up and glaring at him with such hatred.
The feeling is mutual, bitch, Tommy thinks.
Apollo motions and light shoots towards Tommy. Tommy slides to the side, seeing Adam crawl off the bed and press himself against the wall out of the way. Apollo strikes again. Tommy moves, the light cracks the wall next to him. He waits for Apollo to march closer before hitting him in the chest with fire. The sun god hits the floor, smoke rising off him, just like last night. But tonight, Apollo rises faster and hits back. Tommy turns at the last second and the lightning hits him in the side, knocking him down. He feels ribs snap and it drops him to his knees, but he gets up quickly.
“You can’t beat me, little god,” Apollo says. “I’m older and stronger than you’ll ever be.”
Tommy throws a line of electricity at him that winds its way around Apollo’s neck. Apollo grabs at it as it tightens.
“You can’t have him,” Tommy says.
Tommy throws another fireball. It whips by Apollo but he dodges it and keeps advancing towards Tommy. He breaks the electric bind around his neck and grabs Tommy by his. Tommy slaps his hands on Apollo’s chest, feeling it crack. Apollo winces and squeezes Tommy’s neck, lifting him off the floor. He slams Tommy into the wall, busting a hole in it, and knocking the breath out of him.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take special care of him,” Apollo says.
Tommy pulls back a hand and slams it forward, a wave of light hitting Apollo in the face. He drops Tommy and falls back. Apollo’s disoriented and Tommy hits him again and again, knocking the sun god unconscious. He could kill Apollo right now, but that’s not what he wants. He looks over at Adam, crouched against the wall, terrified. He’s managed to button up his pants and put his shirt back on. It’s a human reaction to not feel so vulnerable, and maybe Tommy should have compassion, but he’s furious with Adam at the moment. Tommy was fighting an Olympian for him and Adam’s just getting dressed. This situation shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
“Adam,” he says with a calmness he doesn’t feel.
His voice startles Adam. “Stay away from me. Both of you.”
“You’re coming with me,” Tommy says.
Tommy stands and Adam looks around the room for a way out. He hurries to Adam as Adam runs toward the door. He grabs Adam’s arm and transports them to the temple site. Adam shrieks when he sees they’re no longer in the bedroom. He pulls against Tommy’s grip, trying to get away.
“Relax,” Tommy says. “Adam, you have to concentrate to break out of this.”
The force of the place rushes at them, surrounds them. It’s soothing to Tommy but Adam still fights, then suddenly stops. He goes still and silent and looks around. Tommy releases his grip.
“I know this place,” Adam says.
Tommy remains quiet.
“It’s part of me,” he says. “Part of ... us.”
Adam steps carefully. The air is calm. He cocks his head, listening.
“I hear thunder,” he says. “It’s underneath. There’s an origin here.”
Tommy watches Adam walk to where the entrance used to be. Adam walks across it and through the rubble to the broken altar. He stands over it, then kneels and holds his hands out.
“It’s vibrating. This is ours.”
Tommy stands in front of him. Adam speaks as though he’s in a trance. He’s seeing their past. Tommy holds his breath.
“You were given to me here,” he says. “I took you here. You were my gift and my sacrifice.”
Tommy’s afraid to confirm or say anything for fear of breaking this recovery. Adam doubles over, retching. He vomits up water. It’s Lethe’s water. Tommy kneels next to him and puts a comforting hand on his back.
“Get it out,” he says and Adam vomits more.
When it’s done and the River of Unmindfulness’ water is no longer in him, Adam sits up. He’s quiet. Tommy suddenly fears that his memory is still lost, maybe for good.
“I remember, Tommy,” Adam says quietly.
Tommy breathes relief. He moves to embrace Adam, but Adam holds up a hand to stop him. Fear returns to Tommy’s heart.
“It’s not you, agapi mou,” he says.
“Your memory has returned?” Tommy asks and Adam nods. “I don’t understand.”
“My memory is back but I also remember the last two days,” Adam says. “I betrayed you.”
“No, Adam, it wasn’t betrayal,” Tommy says. “It wasn’t your fault at all. You didn’t know.”
He places a hand on Adam’s arm, silently asking for Adam to embrace him and let this nightmare be done. Adam won’t look at him.
“I’ve been touching and touched by another,” Adam says. “Understand I will not touch you while I’m tainted this way. I will not violate our union any more than I have already.”
Tommy doesn’t see it the way Adam does, but he understands, and he knows Adam’s resolution will not be changed. But he’s dying to be held.
“Should we go to the bath then?” he asks and Adam nods.
Adam discovered a natural hot spring, a bath in a secluded area a year ago. It was untouched and unknown. Adam kept it that way. He lined the rim with colored stones and cleared the brush and rendered it invisible. Only he and Tommy have access to it. It’s theirs. They sit in the hot water on opposite sides. Adam set out several jars of soaps and oils and Tommy waits patiently, albeit anxiously. He hasn’t touched Adam in days and he feels empty. He watches Adam carefully scrub his skin, ridding all traces of Apollo. He even washes out his mouth. Tommy doesn’t feel this is necessary but Adam feels guilty and wants to remove any residue left before coming back to Tommy.
Adam waves the jars away and stretches out, his arms propped up on the sides, his head back. He appears relaxed but his eyes are sharply focused on Tommy. The insatiable, devouring look that Tommy knows so well and craves is back and fixed on him.
“Come here,” Adam says.
Tommy swims to him. His mouth meets Adam’s and without preamble, he grasps Adam’s cock, finding it hard. Adam moans into Tommy’s mouth. His arms go around Tommy, clutching him greedily. The need is urgent and Tommy’s legs widen to press up against him and sit on his lap. Adam slides into him easily, his hands wrapping over the top of his shoulders to push him down farther. The steam rising from the water thickens. Tommy leans his head back, releasing long moans to the sky as he rides Adam with deep strokes. Adam grips him around the waist with one arm. His hand finds Tommy’s cock and he caresses it lightly, forcing Tommy to ride him harder and seek more friction. Adam pushes his hips up to meet Tommy’s and Tommy chants his name uncontrollably.
“Tell the heavens,” Adam gasps. “Tell the heavens who’s yours, who fucks you, who makes you feel this way.”
“Adam, Adam, Adam,” Tommy chants.
“Don’t stop, baby,” Adam says, thrusting up harder.
The water in the bath boils, bubbles rushing to the surface around them. Steam rises faster and sweat runs into Tommy’s eyes. He moves almost furiously, and Adam’s strokes become demanding, bringing Tommy to the edge. He can’t stop saying Adam’s name.
Tommy shouts when he comes, alternating between his god’s given name and chosen name. “Agapios, Agapios, Adam.”
He can feel his blood sliding fast and thick through his body, his veins throbbing. He feels lightheaded and hot. He grips Adam tightly.
“You’re mine,” he says, changing his chant to the heavens. “Eisai dikos mou, you’re mine.”
“I’m yours,” Adam declares, sucking Tommy’s words and his tongue into his mouth.
Tommy looks into Adam’s eyes. He sees full awareness. He touches Adam’s face, his hair, his lips. The weekend has been a nightmare, but it’s over.
Adam smiles. “You broke my cheekbone when you hit me.”
Tommy’s eyes widen. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have hit you.”
“Yes, you should have,” Adam says. “The only one here who needs to apologize is me. I treated you badly.”
“You didn’t know,” Tommy says. “Your memory...”
“I should’ve known you,” Adam says, interrupting. “Through everything I should always recognize you.”
Tommy realizes what he’s saying.
“Our bond is not infallible,” he says. “And that bothers you.”
“Doesn’t it bother you?” Adam asks.
“Yes,” he says without hesitation. “But it remained unbroken.”
“And had my memory not returned, I would’ve tormented you for eternity with other lovers, not acknowledging our union,” Adam says. “And you would’ve remained bound to me without choice. I’m not okay with that.”
Tommy’s not okay with that either. Not the lovers part anyway.
“I would’ve won you back,” he says.
Adam smiles. “I’ve no doubt.”
He pushes back strands of Tommy’s hair, his thumb stroking the side of his face.
“I don’t ever want to hurt you like that again,” he says.
Tommy sees the terrible regret in his eyes. He can’t make it go away; it’s something Adam will have to come to grips with himself. Tommy holds him tightly, laying his head on Adam’s shoulder.
“Our bond is unbreakable since we took the oath,” Tommy says. “And we are joined for eternity. That’s what it’s designed to do. We’re still able to make our own choices outside of it, though. We have to be careful.”
“Yes,” Adam says, stroking his back.
They sit in silence, Tommy wrapped around Adam, and Adam stroking his back, his hair, kissing his face lightly.
“I don’t want to go back to Olympus,” Tommy says. He sits up to look at Adam.
“Neither do I,” Adam says. “Not for a long while, at least.”
“I want to go back to the house,” Tommy says.
“You want to stay there after all this?” Adam asks. “We could find another.”
“He’s not running me out of our house,” Tommy says. “Besides,” he lifts his chin. “I kicked an Olympian’s ass in that house.”
Adam’s laughter is loud and clear and adoring.
“You most certainly did,” he says. “Yes, we’ll stay there. Consider it repaired and there is a new bed.”
Tommy smiles. He’s not usually a vindictive guy but he hopes Apollo knows how Adam has rid himself of the sun god for Tommy.
Tommy transports them there, rolling onto his back on the new bed, Adam on top of him.
“Not wasting time?” Adam asks, grinning.
Tommy pulls him down into a kiss. He sighs, feeling Adam’s weight on him. It’s comforting and grounding. He slides his hands around Adam’s waist and down, clutching his ass and guiding him in. He rotates his hips slowly, feeling Adam in every possible way. Adam moves slowly, taking his time and holding Tommy carefully. He breathes into Adam’s mouth, shuddering with every smooth push of Adam’s hips. His groin tingles and burns as his cock rubs against Adam. His hand slides around to stroke himself but Adam holds it back. Adam presses against him more, sliding in deeper, pulsing faster with more intention, and Tommy’s body freezes, allowing the wave of pleasure and heat crawl over him. His cock is so hard and so hot and the small amount of friction it’s getting from Adam is consistent and lovely torture. Tommy’s neck arches and his head pushes back into the bed, blood rushing to his face, every part of him is focused on the orgasm. Adam’s lips glide up his neck to his ear.
“Come, beautiful,” Adam whispers.
Tommy’s vision hazes over as he comes. His hands grip Adam, fingers digging into his skin. His body goes rigid and Adam comes, desperately whispering Tommy’s name in his ear. They go still, savoring the moment and each other. Tommy can hear their hearts beating as one. He finally feels peace again. Eventually, Adam slides over and lies next to him. He plays with Tommy’s hair and touches his face.
“Oh,” Adam says suddenly. “I guess we should close out the festival. It’s the last night.”
“Tell the truth,” Adam says. “It was fun. People loved it.”
Tommy gives an exasperated sigh. “Yes, people loved it. It’s fun. This has been the worst weekend for me in all eternity and I hate your festival.”
Adam laughs. “Next year will be different. I promise.”
“No wine for you next year,” Tommy says.
“Not a drop that I don’t make myself,” Adam swears.