A few hours before the sun was due to rise, I threw a leg out from under the covers, hoping to god I would cool off a bit. Kaul was a furnace of hell itself. I guessed it was due to the muscle mass he now carried that he just radiated heat like mad. Rolling away from him, I jerked back at the sight of Anne standing over the bed.

Ominous. As much as I wanted to laugh it away, I knew that Death wasn’t the type to joke. Besides, I usually found myself in a lot of crappy situations and most of them, was thanks to yours truly. I never said I was smart. “What kind of danger?”


The name didn’t ring a bell.

Fortunately, Death continued. “Gyes is a Hecatoncheires.” It sounded like heck-a-tonk-erees. “A Greek giant with fifty heads and a hundred hands with the power to destroy gods.” I should have stayed at the bar. Instead, I refilled the glass with water and shuffled to the couch.

“What in the hell am I supposed to do with a Hecat…giant thing?”

“Kill him before he kills you.”

Awesome. “I don’t recall kicking his puppy.”

“Do you believe that a giant with that many heads would have a reason?”

My head pounded something fierce. “One would think with all of that brain mass…yeah.”

He didn’t respond. He vanished. Leaving me sitting on my couch with another problem on my hands. Before I could overwhelm my mind further with how in the hell I planned on fighting a Greek giant, my cell-phone chimed. Groaning, I pulled it from my back pocket. The only person who would dare call me at this ungodly hour would be Mike Peterson, captain of the criminal division. He retained my services to aid in investigations.

I pressed the phone against my ear. “Paulie’s pizza.”

He paused, “We need you down at MLK Blvd. House 204.”

“Give me an hour.”

His gruff voice emphasized his displeasure. “You live ten minutes away.”

“Well, that’s the kicker. I can drive, and you’re not allowed to stick me with a ticket for driving intoxicated. Or you can wait until I call a car service to drag my happy ass over there. Your choice.”

“Ruiz will be by to pick you up.”

“I don’t want….” He hung up before I could slur out the further complaint.

The childish part of me wanted to jump into the shroud and disappear, but even I wasn’t that low when it came to temper tantrums. Instead, I grabbed a cold slice of pizza and a bottle of Ibuprofen. I downed the sustenance and waited. It was wrapping up to be a stellar night.

“Jesus, Anne….”

“It is so odd that you choose to say that name,” referring to Jesus.

“What are you doing?”

“Waiting for you to wake.”

“And you couldn’t do it in the living room?”

“I cannot see that far, mother.”

Sighing, I sat up. “What’s wrong?”


Kaul pulled the covers over his head.

I refrained from elbowing him. “Okay…then why are you here?”

She tilted her head. “You gave birth to me.”

I should know better by now. “No. Well, yes, but…” Waving a hand, I started over. “Why were you waiting for me to wake up?”

“It is dangerous in Duat, the underworld, and so I wanted to give you this.” From her dress front pocket, she retrieved a small envelope. “But you have to eat it.”

“Why do I have to eat it?”

“Because you cannot take it with you.”

She placed the envelope in my lap. “Anne, as tempting it is to eat paper…I don’t see how this will help. And… it’s paper.”

“You said it was tempting.”

“I was being facetious.”

Anne ran a hand down her tawny braids. “You are confusing, mother. The point is, is that the dead must be protected before they enter, and this will help. You also require trinkets to ward off evil.”

“And how, do you know this?”

“Father showed me the internet. It is a fascinating device that is full of lies, and very little truth, but I was able to ascertain fact from fiction. You and father have twelve hours to go through twelve gates that harbor monsters beyond anything you have seen before. These aren’t giants that Thor can simply kill with his hammer. They are creative creatures…”

“You underestimate the giants,” Kaul said from under the covers.

“No, they underestimate themselves, but you are pulling away from the conversation and adding little. You should not do that.”

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