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Eros placed the plate onto the table, quickly double checking that he’d placed the correct condiments in the most sensible place. He smiled at the two ladies, admiring their beauty as one of them slipped her hand around him, to squeeze his backside. Eros, laughing slightly, nodded as the ladies looked at each other, giggling, “Enjoy your meals, young ladies!” he said. Turning, glancing across the restaurant, he could see Jackson’s face. The utter shock and repulsion obvious.
As he neared, Jackson lent to Eros’ side, “Dude, they were both eighty!” Eros chuckled,
“My friend, any woman, at any age, has the desire to rival the wildest armies of man. I welcome the attention and return it with vigour.” Jackson tilted his head slightly, mouth open, making noises of disbelief as he turned and walked back into the kitchen.
Eros had met Jackson on his very first visit to the restaurant, after seeing the note on the door asking for staff. He needed a job, and this seemed like a perfect fit. Jackson had a sense of humour that Eros had missed for the longest of times. A quick wit, a person to truly admire within the growing world of his.
Eros had found working a luxury, an adventure, especially after the many, many thousands of years standing by the pillars of time or admiring all the mortals from afar. He welcomed the change, embraced the moments, with his daily life becoming something that he welcomed. The easy task, of feeding then many, with the few scraps that they created, was but a pleasure for one such as himself. He loved them. Every single one.
The bell rang, snapping Eros from his thoughts, sending him immediately towards the collection counter. The food smelled glorious, cooked to perfection, and it all reminded him of the feasts that he often enjoyed. He did not need to eat but, nonetheless, the Gods sometimes reminded themselves of the mortal’s desires. Collecting the two plates of food, he quickly navigated the bustling room.
He reached the table and put the food down, nodding to the two gentlemen. He looked at the both of them, their clothes, the design of their hair, the facial hair formations and more. Jackson had called the formation a moustache, an age-old testament of man. A coming of age. To prove to others that a male could finally deepen his voice, find a maiden and more. The word maiden. Eros wanted to laugh due to Jackson stating, insisting, that he never call a woman a ‘maiden’.
As the two men started to eat, the pleasantries exchanged, Eros looked towards the entrance as a woman walked in. His eyes widened, his stance straightened, as his desire rose within. She was magnificent. A spectacle. A moment in time that would never be repeated. “Who is this Maiden?” he asked no-one, forgetting his promise to Jackson.
“That’s Sandra. She works here!” answered the coming of age man.
“I must know her!” Eros replied.
“Good luck, she’s not into pretty boys!”
Eros tutted, throwing aside such a comment, “I am more than pretty!”
He watched as she walked, time slowing to a near stop, his eyes expressing his intentions and desires. He loved all of them but, right now, one more than the others. He adored grace, beauty, especially the way her hair flowed as she walked. He knew that he’d recently had his heart ripped from his chest, but that would never matter to the God of love. He loved, he should love, again and again, until he found the one. Eros knew, that she was also the fourth woman that had caught his eye today. His love truly extended beyond the normality of this world.
His thoughts got the better of him, as he looked away, reminding himself that such things were not permitted. He could never love another person, again, ever. His duty was to love, not to receive love in any form. He had to hold and never be held. This was his curse. His longing to escape. Each time, the many times, he had been scolded as the petulant child he was. He shook his head, his long hair moving in front of his face. Brushing it aside, he once again nodded at the two men and walked towards the collection counter. His day, this very day, would continue. He pushed away the sadness that found him, closed his heart away and returned to smiling. This was his task. To love all. To embrace all of them, with endless love and gratitude.
He collected the next set of plates, turned, to find the restaurant once again, slowing. He watched as they all seemingly paused, a slow-motion event which could only mean one thing. He knew what was happening, feared the event, as he returned the plates to the counter.
“Brother!” said a voice from behind him. Eros turned, slowly, returning the greeting,
“Welcome Brother Ares. I never expected to see you here!” Eros looked at the face of a God that he hoped he’d never see again. His Brother, the God of war. The fear within Eros was not for himself, or his health, but for every single person around him. The entire planet. Ares lived for war, destruction, the suffering and carnage from blood thirsty endeavours. This was unexpected.
“Why are you here Ares?” Eros asked with humility in his voice, understanding that some Gods, above others, deserved respect.
“I am here, Brother, to warn you. We are all upon this Earth of yours. Amongst the creatures you care for.” Eros closed his eyes, realising the carnage that awaited the mortals. Ares continued,
“It is your doing. You fell, you longed, you embraced one above all others and we have all paid the price for your foolishness.”
Eros stepped forward, “Brother, I…”
“No,” said Ares, cutting off Eros’ words, “All of us will fight each other as the mightiest returns to the heavens. Most of them will come for you, Brother, as we know that we paid the price for your mistake.” Eros wanted to plead, to beg Ares not to do whatever he would do, but there would be no use in such words.
“When all the others have finished with their fight, when there’s only the two of us, you shall come to me, Brother. You will fight me. If you do not, I will wage war upon this world!”
Eros, under his breath, cursed his Father for playing such a cruel game. It wasn't enough to have his love crushed, destroyed, then this. As Ares faded the restaurant returned to normal and Eros turned, to once again collect the plates. He wasn't surprised, if he were being truthful to himself. This was the way of things. The way of the Gods. The mayhem. The madness of it all.
He placed the plates onto the table, the same routine repeated, the same smile and words. Underneath his stance, his gestures, arose feelings that he’d not felt for the longest time. Dread, fear, anger, with only his love to combat such things. No matter the outcome, the circumstances he found himself standing within, he’d use the greatest force he’d ever known… love.