Friends in Need

The two of them were back far too soon, with flat boxes, tape and large sheets of paper. Calypso looked on helplessly as they started putting the boxes together.

She jumped as her new phone rang. Circe.

“Where are you? What’s going on? Who to I need to murder?”

“I guess you saw the video, so I’m in my apartment, I don’t have a job any more and I don’t think murder’s really an option.”

“Don’t put it past me. That pig might be at the top of the tree but he’s now squarely in my sights and I aim to make his life as painful as I possibly can.”

Which wasn’t very much Calypso knew, but the support was nice. Circe went on.

“So, why are you back at your apartment?”

“It’s part of my work contract, so I have to move out. Jason and Hercules are here to help me pack.”

“Are they idiots?! You can’t move out tonight. Put one of them on, now!”

Calypso held out the phone. “Circe wants to yell at one of you.”

The both grimaced, then Jason sighed and took the phone. “Hi Circe.

Calypso absently listened to Jason’s end of the conversation, still sunk in miserable disbelief.

“How did you get this number? H wasn’t going to give it to anyone so Calypso didn’t have half the company trying to get hold of her.”

“You what?”

“Well that would do it.”

“I know.”

“She’s in shock, what do you expect?”

“I’m getting her away from anyone who could drag her back in before she’s had time to look at her options.”

“Thank you, I’m not completely heartless.”

“I haven’t discussed it with her yet.”

“Well, she has a few choices. Tonight she could stay here, stay with us, or go to a fabulous hotel, company’s expense, I’ll get it through on the departmental credit card. Then she’s been offered a couple of weeks in a cottage down in the wilds of the West Country to have a bit of time out.”

“I can’t tell you who’s cottage it is.”

“No.”

“Of course we will!”

“Alright, here she is.”

Jason handed the phone back to Calypso. “I think she’s not about to throw us to the six-armed giants any more, but you might want a bit more of a chat.”

She brought the phone to her ear. “It’s me again.”

“Good. Now don’t let those two push you around. They mean well, but you need to do what’s right for you.”

“I’m afraid I don’t know what that is right now.”

“Well you will. Oh crap, gotta go, multiple deliveries incoming and at least one is catering. Take care and keep me updated, okay?”

“I will, and, thank you.”

“Pfft. I just wish I could do something you could thank me for. Chat soon.”

With that, Circe was gone and Calypso was once again faced with the loss of the only home that had ever felt truly hers.

“Is there any way we could leave this packing until tomorrow?”

Jason and Hercules exchanged a worried look. Jason sat down beside her again.

“If you really want to, of course, but I’d be happier if we kipped on the sofa or something. I don’t think Zeus had any understanding of the backlash he’d get when he got rid of you and he might come storming round here to make you fix it.”

Calypso paled. “I don’t want that.”

“Me either, petal, so what would you say to a night or two in our spare room, while we sort this place out and get your things safely stored? Then Herc can fudge some sort of delivery run on Friday and nip you down to the cottage with anything you want for a couple of weeks of quiet.”

She rubbed her forehead, then gave in. “Yes, that sounds lovely, thank you.”

Hercules bent to pat her shoulder. “No it doesn’t but we appreciate you trying. Chin up, you’ll come through this. Just think, you’re free of Z Corp now.”

Calypso looked up at him. “Like Matteo. He’s happy isn’t he.”

She mulled it over. The realisation stole her breath. “I hadn’t thought of if like that before, and I hate having to leave my team and everything but, you’re right, they can’t control my life any more can they.”

She set her shoulders back. “I can do this. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I can do it.”

The two men smiled at her, and Jason said. “That’s the spirit. Now, how about you show off this gorgeous little place and tell us how we can turn it back into something utterly boring.”

Hercules looked at Jason, suddenly intent. “Take photos.”

“What?”

“Take before and after photos. So that if Calypso wants to go into anything around home decor or interior design, she has something to show.”

“Ohhh, good idea! Are you okay with that, petal?”

Calypso nodded. “I have no idea what I want to go into but it would be a good idea to be prepared, just in case.”

“Now that sounds like our Reception Director! Do you want to direct operations?”

She shook her head. “I’m not feeling clever enough I’m afraid. I’m sure you’ll do a great job.”

Jason snorted. “I’m not. Any way we can haul one of the photographers in on the quiet?”

Hercules shook his head. “All on assignment. Plus, they’re good at photos of people, most of them would have a cadenza at the thought of having to take pictures of things.”

“Call Eros. He owes you a favour for sneaking his girlfriend out of his apartment that night Aphrodite turned up in rabid Mama Bear mode.”

“If I do, we’ll have to delay packing until at least tomorrow and I’d rather we get Calypso free of the place as soon as we can.”

“Fine, I’ll take them but don’t blame me if they turn out awful and she has to redecorate another flat to prove her abilities.”

“I won’t and if they’re that awful, we can pay her to redecorate our place.”

Jason brightened. “Ohhh, good idea. Would you like to?”

Calypso blinked, she’d all but tuned out. “Um.”

Hercules rolled his eyes. “She needs time to rest up and process. She doesn’t need to be bombarded with ideas, and she also doesn’t need me talking about her as if she isn’t here.”

He smiled apologetically at her. She smiled back. “It’s been happening all my life, I’m used to it.”

Jason huffed and shook his head, then gave her a quick peck on the temple and stood. He turned slowly, taking in the room, then pulled out his phone and began taking pictures. The photo ‘gallery’ on the back wall, the bookcases with their mix of bright paperback spines and odd knicknacks, the kitchen corner and the little cupboard she’d converted into a coffee station after watching a YouTube video. It felt strange watching someone capture her hobbies and creations as if they were something important. It made her want to squirm.

“Can I go into the other rooms?” Jason asked.

“Yes, it’s all tidy.” And she wouldn’t be there to watch his scrutiny.

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