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September was when the honeymoon ended. There were warning signs before then, of course, but as usual, I didn't see them. Hector always said I floated along in a little bubble in my own fantasy world, willfully oblivious to what was going on around me. Maybe I did. In September, though, that bubble burst.
Sure, Hector and I had some rough patches before that. He could be a bit possessive, but he was working on it. At least he promised me he was, and that was good enough for me. Deep down, he had to know that I never wanted to be the God of Sex. It just happened. People were drawn to my power and before I could stop them, they were touching me or trying to lead me off to a secluded corner. That drove Hector insane. I don't know. Maybe I could have tried harder to discourage them. My therapist kept saying I had a right to talk to anyone I wanted to, but the thing was that I didn't want that kind of attention. If I could have wished my power away, I would have.
After Beltane, though, most of our troubles seemed past us. My new job as a film critic for Park Avenue Magazine was going well. Their checks came on time and didn't bounce. That was pretty much my definition of a good writing gig. Hector had been the top salesman of oil drilling equipment for three years in a row and would probably do it again. Our friends were reasonably happy, except Brett, but his unhappiness was self-generated, so it was nothing new. My psycho-ex, Master Marcus, the God of Fear, seemed to have disappeared. My family finally met, and adored, Hector. Hector seemed satisfied that I'd finally grown up a bit. I was getting help for my depression. The mistakes I'd made had been forgiven. All themisunderstandings were cleared up. More importantly, I was back home with Hector. Life couldn't have been any better for us.
Looking back, maybe July was when the fireworks began.
Thanks to a curse from the Goddess of Eternal Youth, I'd suddenly outgrown all my clothes. Hector couldn't have been happier. It was an excuse to drag me out shopping. Gods knew I had enough quirks to keep my therapist busy scribbling notes, but Hector put up with my faults, so I should have humored his. Within a month I think I owned everything Dolce and Gabbana sold off the rack. Don't even get me started on my shoe collection. A closet and a half full of the best of everything seemed like more than enough, though, so when Hector decided I needed a new tuxedo, I got stubborn.
Granted, because of my job as a film critic, and because we went to a lot of charity galas for the GLBT community, I wore my tux at least twice a month. He seemed to think I needed more than one so that it didn't look like I was always wearing the same thing. "No one notices," I grumbled as we walked down Rodeo Drive. I'd been glowering ever since he told me to dress up for our shopping trip.
Hector ignored me as he checked out an incredibly ugly silver platter in a shop window. I shoved my hands in my pockets and stared at the yellow Ferrari parked at the curb.
An older man wearing a leather sport jacket walked over to me. "It's hot, isn't it?" He nodded to the car.
"Um." I cast a glance over my shoulder at Hector. He'd moved over to the other window to look at a huge, porcelain elephant. Rich people sure bought weird stuff to put in their houses.
The man followed me across the sidewalk when I backed away from him. "Have you ever ridden in one?"
Heat rushed up the back of my neck.
"Would you like to?" The stranger dangled keys in my face.