Eros glanced at the clock for what seemed like the 20th time that morning. His brat, Cupid, had said he would be running a few minutes late as he had errands to run. But it was almost lunch time now and still no sign of his brat.
Gathering up the arrows that he’d made this morning in his work shop, Eros carefully placed them in the correct bins. Many people assumed the arrows that he and Cupid shot were all the same, but that assumption was wrong. Each arrow had a specific purpose; some directed the mortal to a person of the same gender, some to the opposite gender. Many arrows also enhanced the desire for the power exchange, and there were arrows that were decidedly… vanilla. Eros made sure the arrows were always placed in the correct bin; love was difficult enough without being shot with the wrong arrow.
Just as he shut the lid, Cupid came storming in with a slam of the door.
“And where have you been, love?” Eros said using a firm voice that he’d received extra tutoring in. Like all tops, Eros was a good student at Top School, but use of a firm voice hadn’t come naturally to him. He much preferred to use his normal, soft, seductive voice.
“Out,” came the uninformative reply.
“Pardon me?” This time the sternness came instinctively to Eros.
“I said I was out! You want to know where? What I was doing? I was looking for another job! I don’t want this one anymore. I want a new job! One with less pressure, less stress!”
Eros took in the wild look in Cupid’s eyes, the tears streaming down his cheeks, the flush of his face and knew his brat was spinning. Eros had taken the Spinning class as an elective in Top School. He knew Spinning class wasn’t an exercise class: he’d read the course description as it’s a well known fact that all tops read the fine print, and Eros knew it was instruction on how to recognize and treat a brat that was so upset, all of his emotions were out of his control. In class Eros had learned that spinning out was a much different creature than a temper tantrum. That had fascinated Eros so much he’d written his thesis on it.
Taking Cupid gently by his shoulders, Eros turned him around and walked him to an empty corner. “You may stand here and calm down. No talking, no fidgeting, just you calming down.” After making sure his brat was following his instructions, Eros walked over to the love seat they kept in their arrow workshop and fluffed the pillows. He knew once the spin was over, his brat, his love, would be exhausted. Emotions running riot tended to take a lot of energy. A nap would be in his brat’s future. But first he had to get to the root of the problem.
“Cupid, if you have calmed yourself, you may turn around.” Seeing the complete misery on his brat’s face, Eros held his arms open in invitation and instantly those arms were full of apologetic brat.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Cupid’s voice was muffled against his shirt.
“Alright, my love. It’s alright,” Eros murmured soothing words of love into Cupid’s ear. “Have you calmed down enough to tell me what’s going on?”
With a nod of his head, Cupid pulled back and looked up at Eros. “I thought I would love this job. Working with you, helping people fall in love, find their soul mate. I thought it would be the most rewarding job I could find. But it’s not always so easy to watch them after I’ve let the arrow fly.”
Eros nodded understandingly to his brat. He knew all this. Love was a messy business, not all flowers and romance, but his sweet, tender brat had been wearing rose covered glasses. “Go on,” he encouraged Cupid.
“Some people really have a hard time accepting who they fall in love with. What their desires are. It’s so hard watching them go through all of that. Some even blame the gods! Even the universe!” Cupid exclaimed.
“Oh, love,” Eros said softly. “I know it’s hard at first. Remember how hard it was for you when we first fell in love and you moved here? You, a Roman God, falling in love with me, a Greek God a lot of people had a hard time accepting us. Yes, we are both gods of love but we had a lot of obstacles to overcome. You had more than I as you moved here to be with me. The cultural differences, a few brats who were prejudiced, all those complications you overcame with love.”
Eros bent down and kissed Cupid on the nose. “And look at you now. You have friends here; you know your way around Mt. Olympus like you were born here. And I have my soul mate. The mortals too will struggle, but they do eventually find self-acceptance and self-love. You just need to be patient. Love is a bumpy road, but the end of the journey is well worth it.”
“It’s so hard to watch them struggle,” Cupid confessed.
“Yes, it is hard to watch. When you see them struggle and feel so bad for them, you need to take the time to look and see the end results. Nothing is more rewarding than to see a brat and a top find their other half. Come look.”
Eros led Cupid over to the love seat, gathering him close, Eros turned on the wide screen monitor. They watched in comfortable silence at the mortals who’d found their other halves. The brats growing and flourishing under the love and guidance of their tops; the tops feeling a sense of purpose with the trust their brats had gifted them with, were all displayed in high definition on the television screen.
Eros felt his brat slip into sleep. Gently kissing him on the head, Eros settled back and enjoyed the feel of his brat in his arms. He knew when Cupid woke; he would be full of remorse. No punishment would be needed, spinning often didn’t require punishment. Eros would take his brat home, and would shower him with love and affection. The two gods of love would continue to run their business and live their lives, knowing the journey was well worth it.