I have it.
Oh gods, it feels so good. So right. His grief was a living thing that I drank in like nectar before he disappeared. I backed away slowly, pretending shock when it was all I could do to conceal my triumph. It was a very long moment before I could get away but I held his emotion in a bubble that came with me to my secret place.
Standing in the hollow bowl atop my island mountain, I anchored myself to earth and with a deep breath let his pain wash through me. Agony, sharp as a dagger knifed through me, but I welcomed it. Recognized it for I'd felt this before. Grief ... loss ... despair
... anguish ...
I felt the faint stirring of a new power and I slowly brought my hands up in a cupping motion, concentrating on my last element. Nursing the impulse to create new life out of the death of love, I waited patiently and focused on my desire. And was rewarded with a faint flicker of ...
... flame ...
It was weak for now, not like the whirlwind I had called up out of my own grief but it would do. It would grow as I was growing, in power and control until I was ready to destroy the old order and replace it with myself.
I played with the small fireball, tossing it up and catching it with my other hand. With a little effort, I had another one and I smiled as I juggled them quickly. This was going to be fun. In an idle moment, I wondered if Ares had killed himself and followed his dead love. Who'd have believed the cynical god of war could feel so strongly about a mortal.
Love, a dangerous emotion. I smiled and added a third ball of fire to my juggling. It was a good thing I'd given up on all that nonsense. How nice if he had destroyed himself, one less opponent when I take out Zeus. Even if he hasn't, he won't be of any use. The berserker rage I felt before he winked out will drain him dry of all power eventually.
Joxer was the lucky one. He died before watching me kill his lover. I merged the three balls into one large ball of fire and hovered it before my chest, staring into the heart of the fire. Such visions danced in the flames, not enough to melt the ice in my heart but then nothing would ever do that.
Smiling, I began to stretch the ball out into a web of bright light that rivaled the sunlight that would soon peak over the horizon. Soon now, I'd be ready. And now there was no one strong enough to stop me.
It was going to be a good day.
End part thirteen