Loved By Death; Chapter 13

A/N: R&R. And enjoy!

Demeter was angry. And hurt. And frightened. Not since the war had she seen Zeus so furious. Sure, she’d overheard some of his and Hera’s infamous fights, but Zeus was never truly angry with his wife. Not like he currently was with Demeter.

He just didn’t understand! Kore was her daughter! Of course she was going to do anything in her power to make sure that she was safe! And what of it, if that meant lying a little bit? She was sure that she hadn’t accused Hades of anything he hadn’t already done to someone else’s daughter’s, nor anything he hadn’t planned on doing to hers.

But Zeus refused to cooperate! He kept insisting that Hades was indeed quite a catch for a goddess of Kore’s status. A catch?! Just because he had wealth and a throne?! Demeter would rather see her beloved daughter with anyone but the dreaded Lord of the Underworld. Anyone!

And to make things even worse, Zeus had banished her from Mount Olympus for the next century. And he’d even told her that she was getting off easily! It was mortifying, humiliating, but worst of all… it meant that it would be so much harder for Demeter to have any influence over the cursed relationship between Hades and her beloved daughter.

And it was even worse than she’d originally thought! The span of that man’s influence over her daughter was terrifying. And Kore couldn’t even see herself how he manipulated her, the poor child!

Thankfully her mother could, and would do anything in her power to stop it.

But with her being banished from Mount Olympus, Demeter was only too aware of her limitations. She left Zeus’ throne room in order to say goodbye to her daughter before she left, and to make sure to get a promise that she’d come visit at least five times a week, when she’d seen the most horrendous thing.

Barely able to hold back her gasp of horror, Demeter could only watch in silent terror as Hades escorted her daughter around the palace garden as if they were some normal couple and he was courting her! They were talking too lowly for Demeter to hear, but she didn’t have to. She watched the smile on on her daughter’s pretty face, and the self-satisfied expression on Hades’, and she knew that she was running out of time. She had to do something drastic, but the last time she’d done so, it’d ended in a catastrophe.

How had she been supposed to know that Kore would take her abductor’s side? She’d raised Kore to be honest, true, but surely the girl could see why this particular lie would be in service of something good. How it could have been how Demeter would finally free Kore from Hades’ tight grasp.

But Kore had refused to take her side, and though it hurt, Demeter had forgiven her daughter. She knew that she would get an apology when Kore understood exactly how evil her husband truly was.

Oh, the thought of his pale hands touching her! It made Demeter sick to the very core. Any man but Hades!

Demeter stopped up as she turned the thought over. She hated the thought of any man touching her sacred daughter, kissing her, whispering sweet nothings into her ear. But surely, Hades would be the absolute worst possibility.

Perhaps she needed to allow Kore a bit more freedom concerning men. As long as that man wasn’t Hades of course. Then, after Kore had come to understand the horror that was her husband, Demeter could begin to separate her and her new love interest. It would, of course, only be temporarily, and before Demeter knew of it, she’d have Kore back where she belonged.

But who to pick? It had to be a single, male God, who’d never forced himself upon a woman.

Ares was out of the question. He was almost as bad as Hades himself! As if it wasn’t enough that he was the God of War, then his illicit affair with Aphrodite was well-known. Not to Kore, of course, Demeter had made sure to keep such filthy behaviour hidden from her daughter, but Demeter herself was well aware of the brutish behaviour of the God of War.

Perhaps Hermes. There was something boyish about him that Demeter liked. She figured he wouldn’t be too hard for her to control. To make sure they never went beyond a few whispered words and some kisses. But still…

The mischievous behaviour of Hermes was notorious. He might successfully trick her, and get Kore alone, and Demeter couldn’t allow that to happen. Who else was there?

Apollo. He was handsome and charming, but perhaps he was a bit too handsome and charming. She couldn’t allow Kore to develop too deep feelings for him. Not to mention that Apollo’s talent with young girls was infamous. It was said that a girl could find herself on her back before she’d even realised it. No, Apollo was definitely too charming. Demeter had to protect her daughter’s virtue.

With a sigh, she realised that none of the gods would be acceptable. She would just have to pick the least bad of them, and after several minutes of contemplation she decided that it had to be Hermes. Sure, he was mischievous, and he’d had his fair share of nymphs and mortal women alike, but Demeter had never heard of him forcing himself on a woman nor had he gotten into anything too scandalous for the last several centuries. No, Hermes would have to do. Besides, he’d been the one to bring Kore back from the Underworld. With a bit of luck, a part of her might even consider him her saviour.

Now all Demeter had to do was to make sure that he had plenty of opportunity to court the young goddess. She hesitated. Perhaps she should inform Hermes about her plans. It would be so much easier if they were on the same page.

Oh, why did Zeus have to force her to leave Mount Olympus? It would be so much easier if she could stay here chaperoning. But she supposed that she would somehow have to make due.

Summoning one of her servants, Demeter instructed her to bring Hermes to her in secret. Demeter was well-aware that she would have to make sure that Kore never realised that Demeter was the one fabricating her approaching romance. Not to mention the fact that she had obviously just fallen out of favour with Zeus. The other Gods would most likely avoid her company in public for the next several months at least. Hermes probably wouldn’t be too happy with the summon. Never mind that.

Demeter thought of the pretty face of her beloved daughter, her bright smile, and the rosy quality of her lips. She had no doubt that Hermes would deem her daughter worth a little inconvenience.

Feeling better now that she had a plan, Demeter wondered how long she had before Zeus got impatient over how long it took her to vacate the palace, and decided to throw her out with force.

They should probably plan quickly.

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