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A Touch of Chaos: Part 3 – Chapter 41


Dionysus battled to get to the gates.

He had one goal, and that was to rescue Ariadne. Even killing Perseus was an afterthought.

Then he felt something slam down on his head, but it was not a weapon—it was a helmet. He placed his hand to the cold metal as Hermes appeared in front of him.

“It’s the Helm of Darkness,” he said. “Go get your girl.”

Hermes gave him a little push, but Dionysus did not need it. He cut through the ranks of the Impious, wishing instead that he were incorporeal so that he might race through to the gates, but he was anxious to find Ariadne, worried he would be too late.

Those thoughts made him angry, and he pushed harder through the onslaught of metal-clad bodies, slamming his thyrsus into anyone who stood in his path. If he could not be a ghost, the helm provided the next best thing—surprise.

When he made it through the gates and was within sight of Theseus’s fortress, he felt the greatest sense of relief. He was almost there.

Ari, I am almost there.

He took the steps two at a time but stopped short at the top as Perseus approached.

Dionysus had wondered where the demigod had gone, but like the coward he was, he’d retreated behind the wall.

“I know you are there, Dionysus,” Perseus said. “Why don’t you come out and play?”

Dionysus clenched his jaw and gripped the helm. “You mean the same way you did when you attacked my home?”

“It was only fair,” the demigod said. “You stole what belonged to Theseus.” Perseus laughed. “Does that make you mad? Or is it just the thought of Ariadne belonging to Theseus that pisses you off?”

“What is it with all you fuckers talking about people like you own them? Like they are fucking currency?”

“People are currency,” said Perseus. “You should know that best considering the price you paid for Phaedra.”

It was hard for Dionysus to think about his maenads without feeling the storming of madness. When he had finally made it to the tunnels, he’d discovered hundreds of bodies all resting in a line, covered with sheets. He would learn later that Hades, Hermes, Ilias, and Artemis had gathered his dead. Hecate had begun funeral rites, but they hadn’t wanted to bury anyone until he’d had a chance to say goodbye.

“I hope she was worth it,” said Perseus. “That’s why you did it, isn’t it? So Ariadne would let you fuck her?”

Dionysus just stared, his hatred for the demigod burning deep. He knew Perseus was trying to antagonize him enough so that he would make the first move, and it was that piece of knowledge that kept him from boiling over—that and the fact that Ariadne had just emerged from inside Theseus’s house. She was covered in blood, but he did not think it was hers, given that the blade in her hand was dripping. Her eyes were dark and angry, full of an anguish he had seen often in the eyes of his maenads.

It made him sick, and it made him angry.

He held Perseus’s gaze as Ariadne approached from behind and answered him. “No,” he said. “I fucked her before that.”

Then Ariadne’s blade burst through Perseus’s chest, and as his body arched, Dionysus jabbed his thyrsus through the demigod’s neck. They both withdrew their weapons at the same time, and when Perseus fell, they were left to face each other.

“Ari,” he breathed her name.

It was then he noticed she was wearing some kind of wrap. He realized Acamus was nestled inside it.

He looked at the baby and then at Ariadne. “Where is Phaedra?”

Her mouth quivered. “She didn’t make it,” Ariadne said, dissolving into tears.

She fell into him, and he caught her, holding her against him. Fuck, he wished he wasn’t wearing armor right now so she had something soft to rest her face against.

“I’ve got you,” he said, threading his fingers into her hair. “Both of you.”


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