He was- is- the king of the Underworld. By all rights, he's just a fearsome as Zeus, and he was just as self-righteous. Hades considered himself impossible to love because he considered love impossible to give. There were too many chances to hurt and to be hurt, and he had better things to do than to nurse a broken heart. So of course when his heart fluttered at the sight of Persephone, he knew he would have to squash that emotion long before it grew into something more troublesome. If only it were that simple.


7. Death Would Wait for Her


     I should have stayed in the Underworld.

     I'm a king. I ensure Charon doesn't drown every poor soul who doesn't know when to pay him. I convince Thanatos to walk Cerberus. I keep Tartarus the terrifying pit that everyone fears. I should have stayed in the Underworld.

     But I remember eyes that express every emotion as clearly as her words, and a mouth that could break me down as surely as build me up. I remember hair that flowed as smoothly as the three rivers, and I remember skin that darkened in my absence. I remembered Persephone, and I couldn't stay in the Underworld.

     It's because of her that I'm at Olympus, sitting just left of Zeus' throne and listening to Demeter try and break me apart. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't have her daughter's mouth. The same mouth that quirks up as Demeter calls me a liar and a monster. I glance over at Persephone, who is standing in the doorway and trying to hide her laughter. Her mother hasn't noticed her yet, and I avert my gaze so she doesn't. It wasn't fast enough, and Demeter turned to glare at her, too.

     "Go back to your flowers, Persephone," she ordered.

I'm sure she didn't mean for it to be nearly as condescending as it did.

Persephone hesitated as we made eye contact, and Demeter's anger was nearly touchable.


     She turned and left, but not before blowing me a conspiratorial kiss that drove Demeter over the edge.

     "She was never like this before you took her!"

     "I'm sure," I stated, keeping my expression blank.

     Demeter looked like she was about to say something else, but Aphrodite chose then to enter, and the look on her face trumped the Demeter's rage. Aphrodite looked excited.

     "Hades! It's been ages! You look- well, you look pale as usual- but you look good!" she beamed, literally pushing Demeter out of the way.

     I stared the goddess of Love down.

     "I was expecting an invitation, you know," she smiled as I stood.

     Aphrodite was beautiful in a conventional way. She had green eyes that always glinted with mischief, and her scarlet hair was twisted in an intricate heart-shaped bun. She looked like the kind of woman that they immortalized on magazines- she was the woman from the magazines usually. At least the muse.

     "An invitation to what?" I asked, already wishing I was back in the Underworld and pining over Persephone.

     "Your wedding! You didn't even come and thank me for pairing you two up!"

     "You did what, Aphrodite?" Demeter growled, and it's obvious from the other goddess' face that she'd forgotten she was there.

     Instead of listening to them fight, I leave the throne room and walk the halls of Olympus.

     I rarely saw her in the sunlight anymore. Usually when she ascended to be with her mother, I refused to follow. Every invitation to Dionysus' parties and every command of Zeus was ignored until Autumn. Her time in the sunlight was her own, and I never wanted to ruin it.

     So as Persephone sat in a garden that paled against her beauty, I watched her from the shadows. I could wait until the end of a season.

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