Aphrodite walked into the warm glowing light illuminating from at the entrance to the Chamber of the Gods. The radiance in the room emulated from Zeus’s chair, filling the immediate area. The portal, an opening in the floor that Zeus used to look down on Earth, lay in the center of the room. Zeus sat on the throne looking majestic in his gold and white robes. The gleaming gold and ruby crown resting on his brow tilted some when he gave her a simple nod inviting her closer. Zeus’s smile revealed the fondness he had for her. Aphrodite went around the gateway to Earth to stand before him and bowed low.
“Greetings my lord. You called for me?”
“Greetings lovely, Aphrodite. You may rise. It has reached my ears that you would like to leave Mount Olympus for a time to frolic with Poseidon in his watery depths. Is this true?”
“It is, my lord,” she replied.
“I’m afraid I cannot allow such a thing again.”
Her brows lifted. “My lord—”
Zeus held a hand up. “Don’t you remember the last time you took time off, Aphrodite? My Earth suffered greatly without your influence. The humans have come to call it the Dark Ages for goodness sake,” he added in an exasperated tone.
“Yes, I know, but this time the Earth won’t be without love while I’m gone.”
Zeus's brow rose skeptically. “Oh? How do you intend to handle matters of love during that time if you are not here?”
“The Erotes are capable, my lord,” she told him with a smile. “Eros is a God of Love and Himeros a God of Desire. Together the twin’s powers are just as strong as my own.”
Zeus thought for a moment then nodded. “Very well then. You are—”
“My lord, if I may…”
Hera reached over to take Zeus’s hand gaining his attention. Aphrodite pressed her lips together to silence her frustration.
“Great Zeus, would it not be wise to test the boys’ abilities before setting them free upon your precious Earth? Though they are the children of a powerful goddess like Aphrodite…” She paused to send a smile in Aphrodite's direction before continuing. “They are young and their gifts are untried.”
Zeus turned wide eyes to Aphrodite. “Their skills have not been tested?”
Aphrodite swallowed. “Well no, my lord, not yet. They haven’t really had the chance since I have always handled the duties on my own.”
“That is true.” Zeus stroked his beard for a moment. “But you are satisfied that they can perform your duties sufficiently?”
“I am, my lord.”
Aphrodite swallowed her groan and clenched her fists at Hera’s interjection.
“With all your wisdom I’m sure you would find it prudent to test their abilities first, before allowing them to take on such a daunting task.”
“My sons are fully mature,” Aphrodite insisted. “They would be able to handle any issues that could possibly arise while I was away.”
“I’m sure they could, dear. However, it would be tragic if Eros and Himeros were not up to par.” She turned back to Zeus. “Don’t you think such testing should take place while the goddess is still on Mount Olympus, just in case there are things that only she can fix, my lord?” she inquired sweetly.
Zeus kissed the top of Hera’s hand. “You are as wise as you are beautiful, my darling Hera. Aphrodite, I will give your sons a task to test their power. If they complete their mission with positive results you will be free to go, but if they fall short…”
“I understand. I will send Eros to you for instruction.”