Murray watched as adults and children sat on a tube of some sort and flew down from the mountain, laughing and splashing in the water. All of these people were so happy. They were not scared of what was to come. Murray was amazed at what he could see and what could be lost.
Sadness overtook him suddenly and he felt tears come to his eyes. As they slowly leaked out, all he could do was whisper to them all, “I am so sorry. I am just so sorry.”
Apollo heard Murray’s soft words. When he looked down to his little man, he saw tears coming down his cheek. Kneeling he took him into his arms. “Hey, sweet thing, what is wrong? I thought you would love the view. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
Murray just cried harder. “I do love the view.”
Apollo pushed Murray back a bit and wiped at his tears. “Then what is it? Why are you crying?”
Murray tried to get himself under control, but the tears kept falling. “They are all so happy, Apollo. Everyone is laughing and smiling and look, there is a couple on the lift kissing and planning on how they want to spend their lives together, and because of me their lives could all be ruined.”
The tears fell faster as his breath hitched. “I should have said no to Hera and Aries. I should have let them kill me or at least said something to Poseidon. I should have done something to stop what was going to happen. I was stupid! I was—”
Apollo shook Murray and when he looked up he could see Apollo was pissed. “Now stop that this instant! You are not to blame for any of this dammit! You are the keeper of the scrolls, Murray. When one of us comes to you for an answer you are to give it! You are not the reason that Hera and Aries put Zeus in Icarus! The blame goes to them. This is their greed and their doing, not yours!”
Murray was shocked at Apollo’s anger. “But, Apollo, I gave them the way to do it and then I lost the scrolls!”
Apollo shook his head. “No, sweet thing. You gave them the answer they were seeking and they stole the scroll.” Then Apollo did something that he would never be able to explain. He leaned down and kissed his little man.
The kiss was gentle and so sweet. The taste of his man was everything he thought it would be. Murray tasted of cinnamon and peaches mixed together. Like tasting warm peach cobbler, and he wanted more.
Apollo nipped at Murray’s lower lip and Murray opened for him with a moan. Apollo took that and went in for more. He took his tongue in and began to dance with Murray’s. Hugging the man closer to him, he rubbed his hands up and down Murray’s arms and felt Murray run his fingers through his hair. It was one of the most pleasurable kisses he had ever experienced. The fact that they needed air was the only reason he slowly released Murray from the lip-lock bliss he was in. “You could not have predicted that they would take it. No one could.”
Murray was in awe of what had just happened. Apollo had kissed him. Not a peck on the cheek either. This was a mind-blowing, fry-your-brain cells, damn-I-want-more kind of kiss. He had actually been able to run his fingers through Apollo’s hair like he had always dreamed of.
Murray had no idea what to think about it. He had no idea why Apollo had kissed him, and he really didn’t care, because he wanted to do it again. Just as he went to try and coax one out of him, Apollo’s words registered.
Taking a step back and missing the closeness and the warmth that came with it, Murray shook his head. “That is not true. I know why they took that scroll, Apollo. I should have thought about it but I was so absorbed with my own thoughts that I never considered it would have been taken and I should have. Keeping the scrolls safe is my responsibility and I did not do my job. I am just surprised that Poseidon did not punish me because of how bad I failed. This could destroy everything for your quest to free Zeus and the only one to blame in this is me.”
Apollo stood up straight. “Murray, there is no way you could have predicted that someone would take the scroll. Why would they take it? How can this destroy our quest to free Zeus? You are making no sense.”
Murray looked to Apollo, surprised. “Well, Apollo, that is simple enough. If you do not have the scrolls to present with the keys at the fall equinox then it makes your petition to relieve Hera and Aries null and void. That is the rules set forth so there are no misunderstandings during the proceedings. Hera and Aries can argue you missed something and therefore your request for reconsideration will not even be heard. That is why it was decided many centuries ago that any person making a request, that has been written on a scroll, must have that specific scroll present. This way the people making the decisions can use it to defer to. Therefore, no scroll, no petition. We have to get that scroll back or it won’t matter if you all find your mates. You cannot proceed without it.”