may be eaten alive. You don’t live in the palace then?”
“Gods no. I live near enough to show up if need be, which is rare. The family is happy not having me there. I mean, they love me and all that, but they prefer to see me more for family events where we’re away from prying eyes. I actually live in a cave most of the time. It’s away from the court and not too close to humans, though I also keep a house in the country that I stay at occasionally,” Hunter explains.
“Whatever, at least your family loves you and all that shit. I guess Aphrodite likes me well enough, but we don’t see each other too much. When I was younger, I was my mother’s handmaiden. Unfortunately, our gifts are alike enough that it didn’t work out. She has a mad jealous streak. She started a trend where servants are stuck wearing headscarves and shit.”
“It would have been impossible for her to hide your beauty.” He smiles before quickly changing the subject. “I imagine you’re pretty social?”
“I like to party and go out. I also like to stay in, since it’s kind of an event when we go out. I don’t always like to be on, personality wise, or have people all around me fawning over us. It’s more fun to be with other supernaturals, since mortals tend to go nuts at a pretty face, and the intrigue in that has definitely worn off.” I frown.
“I can imagine that; you are pretty old.”
“Only been alive forever, even if I just started out as an idea. How old are you? Am I grossly cradle robbing, or is it just slightly?”
“I’m five hundred and eighty-nine years old,” Hunter answers, sounding a bit uncomfortable.
“I can certainly say I’ve had younger. Then again, I’ve also had older.”
“I’m not that young.”
“Yep, you’re old enough to have matured, realized it was a boring way of life, and switched to being immature again. It’s like having wisdom but ignoring it most of the time. Plus, I bet you have some major cool treasure. Come on, tell me, tell me! You collect treasure in a big hoard, right? Keep it in your cave? I’ve heard dragons and griffins are treasure fiends,” I say, eyes lighting up.
Hunter answers my smile with one that is possibly even brighter. “What self-respecting dragon would I be without treasure? Of course I have a stash. I’m particularly fond of vintage crowns. I also like royal jewels, gem-encrusted gowns, and scepters. My biggest collection so far seems to be head and hair pieces, like those little combs for your hair and headbands.”
“No offense, but your collection sounds a little girly.”
“I also keep daggers, swords, scrolls, furniture, and all kinds of things. But my collection is also for my future mate. I want to have enough gifts to give her at least one every day of our lives together. Treasure is the ultimate show of appreciation,” Hunter says with a little shrug.
I try to cover up the way his words affect me by saying, “Well, if you start to run out, you can give her each earring at a time instead of as a pair.”
“Apollo is sooo not as big a meddler as Aphrodite!” Ana disagrees with Apate loudly, causing Hunter and me to turn our attention to them.
“If anyone is the bigger meddler, it’s Ares nowadays. He and that shifter biker gang he’s leading. I don’t know what the hell he’s thinking,” Apate says with some admiration. “I heard some amazing stories from the twins the other night!”
“Did she just say Ares is the leader of a shifter biker gang?” Hunter asks me in a slight whisper.
“Yeah, he’s got a real thing for leather,” Ana answers.
“Trust me, the others in Olympus must have been glad to be rid of him. When he’s jonesing for a fight, he picks on them like crazy. They’re the only ones who can give him a good run for his money, so he tries to start shit with them. Not that they give in, but sometimes he makes it damn hard to resist,” Apate adds.
“If you irritate me, I’ll sic him on you,” I