Loved By Death; Chapter 11

A/N: I don’t usually like telling a story from two perspectives, but in this case I just couldn’t resist! Hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

  Hades was a happy, if somewhat confused man.

He had started the day in a foul mood, not yet having entirely recovered from the way in which his wife had quite unceremoniously thrown him out of her chambers. Hades still wasn’t sure what he’d said wrong. They’d been having such a pleasant conversation in one moment and in the next she was clearly dissatisfied with something he’d said or done. He’d heard all the jokes of course, about the impossible workings of a female’s mind, but he hadn’t realised that there was so much truth to it.

So Hades had not started his day in the best mood, and it had only gotten worse when he’d run into Ares, who’d dared to mock him of all things! Not directly, of course, Ares wasn’t stupid enough to do that. But a comment here and a comment there could go a long way. It had started out innocent enough.

“Lord Hades,” Ares had greeted him with a sly smirk. “How funny that I should run into you just, when I’ve just had the most interesting… conversation with your wife.”

Hades had to keep himself from frowning. “I hope she seemed well,” he said.

Ares grinned. “Very well,” he assured him. “She seemed rather fond of my company as well. Very fond indeed.”

This time Hades did frown. It sounded like Ares tried to imply that he and Persephone had the same kind of arrangement that Ares had with Aphrodite, and that was simply impossible. Hades knew his wife. He’d spent months watching here, trying to guess her every thought, foresee her every wish. Persephone was not the type to start an affair. She was far too innocent, far too good to do such a thing.

“What are you talking about?” he asked calmly.

Ares shrugged. “Oh, nothing, nothing. Your wife is very beautiful. You’re a lucky man.”

Hades watched him suspiciously. “I know,” he said.

“And with the softest skin as well,” Ares continued. “When I allowed my hand to slowly stroke over –“ He was cut over abruptly as Hades took him by the throat and smashed him against the wall.

What did you do to my wife?!

“Nothing she didn’t want! She certainly didn’t complain when I kissed her! Seemed to rather enjoy herself! You can’t punish me for something she chose herself!”

Slowly, Hades let go. “Leave!” he ordered the other god, struggling for control.

Ares seemed to be about to discuss it, before he thought better of it and left.

A kiss!

A kiss!

Persephone had kissed him. Him! When she could barely even tolerate the sight of her own husband! It was ludicrous. It was insane. It was… rather hurtful.

Hades leaned against the wall, trying to gather his thoughts. Had Ares told the truth? In that case what would have driven Persephone to do such a thing? He couldn’t imagine it was love.

Perhaps if it’d been Hermes or Apollo, Persephone might fancy herself in love, but Ares? The God of War? It was impossible. Though he supposed anyone might have seemed better than the husband she loathed.

Hades took a deep breath, trying desperately to keep himself from running to Persephone’s chambers and demand an explanation. He was well aware that she had given him no promise of fidelity. But still. His heart clenched painfully at the thought of Persephone allowing anyone else to touch her.

Did she do it to punish him? To hurt him as he had hurt her? He desperately hoped so, for the mere idea that she’d allowed Ares to touch her out of any genuine feeling for the man was too much to bear. Not only would it mean that he had lost her heart to another man – and to Ares no less – but it would also mean that Persephone would be hurt. Ares wasn’t the loyal type, and there was certainly no way he would stay out of Aphrodite’s bed. Persephone put herself up for heartbreak if she truly pursued the God of War, and Hades could do nothing to stop it.

Clenching his fist tightly he wished that Ares was a better liar so that he might have believed that it’d been nothing but a ruse to hurt him. But Ares, despite his many faults, were not the type of man to sneak behind people’s back – he certainly didn’t try to hide his affair with Aphrodite. He was honest, and right now Hades despised him for it.

Hades willed himself to relax. It was a kiss. Nothing more, nothing less, though he so desperately wished that it was something less. Still, though. A kiss wasn’t the end of the world, though he’d hoped that Persephone’s lips were for him and him alone.

But she hadn’t actually shared a bed with someone else. Hades barely withheld a shudder at the thought. He’d wasted many hours daydreaming of doing just that, and the thought of someone else touching her, kissing her, bringing her that kind of pleasure… it was unfathomable.

Should he go to her? And do what? Demand that she stayed true to him? What would such a promise be worth, given under force? Beg her to never touch another man? A better idea by far, but too risky. If Persephone didn’t already know that she had hurt him that would certainly make her aware of it… and the worse possible scenario would be deciding to then hurt him even more.

Would she do it? Persephone wasn’t usually the type to find pleasure in hurting other people, but considering what he’d done to her… maybe.

No, it was better if he didn’t say anything. He would do his best to be a perfect husband. To make her want to be faithful to him. And of course a few casual threats in the right company wouldn’t hurt either.

Mind made up, Hades leant against the wall, prepared for a long day of waiting. He’d brought papers with him from the Underworld that needed to be looked at, but he couldn’t find it in himself to concentrate. He wouldn’t go to Persephone though it itched in ever fibre of his being to do just that. She didn’t want to see him, he reminded herself. She’d hate it if he came by unannounced. By the Underworld, he was the last person that she wanted to see in every realm there was.

Which was why is was so very puzzling when she called for him.

The only explanation that made sense was that she was in danger, and Hades was there before he’d even realised he’d moved. To stand between Persephone and… no one. Hades blinked in incomprehension, when he failed to find the threat. He was sure that there must have happened something horrible for Persephone to call on him of all people, but for the life of him he couldn’t see what.

He searched in Persephone’s face for any clue as to why she called him, but all he saw was steely determination, and by the sight of her he just knew that he had to ask him why she had kissed Ares, had to beg her to remain faithful.

Except suddenly she was kissing him. Grunting in surprise, his entire body stiffened, unsure how to react. He didn’t taste alcohol so she wasn’t drunk, but he couldn’t imagine what else might have brought this one on. Then his wife started to move her lips against his, and he stopped thinking altogether.

Moaning in pleasure, the world could have burned down around them and he wouldn’t have noticed. His wife was kissing him and nothing could be so glorious. At least until she pressed her body against his, and his brain shut down completely.

He pulled her closer still and begged for entrance, which she surprisingly granted. In all his daydreams of this he’d never remembered to imagine her taste, and he realised now that he’d been missing out. She tasted of flowers and strawberries and summer. Delicious, and he knew he’d never be able to eat a strawberry again without thinking of this moment.

He’d kissed before, but never like this. Never knowing that this might be the only chance he’d ever get, and that he better bloody well make the best of it.

Persephone moaned, and Hades felt something primal well up in him. He’d done that. He’d made her moan. She was enjoying this. Then a scream made Persephone pull back, and Hades was ready to kill whoever was ruining the best memory of his life.

He watched the fight between mother and daughter with growing comprehension. Persephone had kissed him to punish Demeter for… well, for being Demeter, and Hades hoped that she’d kissed Ares for the same reason. He could live with that though the thought didn’t please him.

For a second it seemed as if Persephone was to kiss him again, and his heart sped up in anticipation. He knew it was wrong, to take advantage of this dispute with her mother, but how he longed for another taste of her.

Sadly enough Demeter left – just about the only time he wished that she hadn’t – and they were left alone.

And then his wife said the most puzzling thing yet.

“I’m sorry,” she told him, guilt clear in her voice.

“Why?” he asked her incomprehensible.

And then to discover that she thought she had used him! Well, he supposed it was technically true, but Hades couldn’t find it in himself to care. She’d kissed him, and he had to bite his tongue not to suggest a variety of ways she was more than welcome to use him in. Most of them involving the bedroom. Quite a few of them taking place some place else.

Instead he only told her part of the truth. He told her that he’d enjoyed it, and Hades hoped he wasn’t imagining the pleased look in her eyes.

Hades felt happy.

Slightly confused, jealous, somewhat disappointed, but mostly happy. His wife had kissed him, and now he knew that she tasted like strawberries, and perhaps he still had a chance with her. Hades couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this pleased with the world.

Even promising her that he didn’t expect her to actually come to his bed wasn’t hard – not now that he thought it a real possibility that she might one day do so for no other reason than her wanting to be there. Hades knew that he hadn’t imagined the way she’d moaned into his mouth, or the way she had pressed herself against him so wantonly. She might have been too innocent to understand what she was feeling, but Hades wasn’t. He had recognised the desire in her eyes.

His words, however, were rewarded with a sweet smile that was only too innocent, before Persephone leaned up and kissed his cheek.

The bubbly feeling inside of him grew. This kiss hadn’t been meant for Demeter’s eyes. This kiss was just for him.

It had been an absolutely horrible, confusing and positively amazing day, and Hades didn’t even notice the smile still stretched across his face as he made his way through the palace.

His wife had kissed him, and she tasted like strawberries.

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