She watched from the bushes right outside the house, staring intently at the female Hephaestus, swinging her hammer down and moulding out the shield. She licked her lips unconsciously, wiping a hand on her brow and shaking the sweat off. She wasn’t used to seeing someone so petite look so strong, and the allure of the workshop was enough to keep her there for possibly another hour.

The smithy tore off her gloves and shook her head of short, shock blonde hair, turning towards the window. Arian sucked in a breath; now that she could see the woman’s face, she realized she wasn’t as young as she thought she was.

“I know you’re there.”

She almost fell backwards, eyes wide and clothes snagging onto the brambles around her. The woman leaned against the window and smiled at her.

“Those bushes aren’t a strategically sound place to hide.”


The woman’s eyes froze her in place, something that only Kendra’s icy blue stare could previously have done to her. But this had nothing to do with attraction – this was all power, and how much that woman at the window seemed to exude without really doing anything.

“Best come in so we can have a proper chat, then.”