Loved By Death; Chapter 16

A/N: Yet another chapter. Let me know what you guys think!



Persephone wished that she’d been surprised by how nice it was that her mother had been banished. She felt guilty for the thought, but it didn’t change the fact that she experienced almost complete and utter freedom whenever she was at Mount Olympus. Sure, her mother invited her daily, but scared of being tricked into moving back home, Persephone only accepted her invitation three times a week or so. Demeter took it surprisingly well.

To her surprise, Hermes seemed to genuinely enjoy her company, and often visited her at Mount Olympus – not as often as her mother would have done, thank Zeus, but often enough. Persephone liked his company in return. He provided her with the most scandalous conversation she’d ever heard, and it wasn’t long before Persephone viewed him as a friend. Her first friend really. All the friends of her childhood had been carefully chosen by Demeter, and it hadn’t taken long for Persephone to realise that they would run to her mother with every little secret she told them. She’d stopped telling them rather quickly.

Well, she supposed that Hades might be considered a friend, though Persephone was hesitant to use the word to describe him. It was true that she was beginning to truly enjoy his company, and she did love talking with him even more than she did with Hermes, but her relationship with Hades didn’t feel friendly. A friend wouldn’t make her feel the things that Hades did. A friend wouldn’t make her body feel all tingly or make her cheeks blush. Hades was her captor, her confidant, the man she hated and yet didn’t, and the man whose kisses she couldn’t stop thinking about.

He most certainly was not a friend.

Which was why it was so very odd that Persephone kept seeking out his company. She was even supposed to have dinner with him tonight.

For some reason the thought of it made her nervous. It was just a dinner, and not even their first. They’d sit and talk about everything and nothing, though Persephone had come painfully aware that Hades didn’t really talk about himself. He talked about his kingdom, his subjects, his judging, the books that he thought she might enjoy, but he didn’t talk about himself. Never mentioned his likes and dislikes, or hopes for the future.

Persephone wasn’t sure why it bothered her so much.

Getting pulled out of her thoughts by a knock on the door, Persephone stared at it in horror. He was early! She wasn’t ready. She was still in her bathrobe, having taken considerable longer to decide what to wear than she usually did. She supposed that he had seen her in her sleeping garments before, but there was still something so awkward about opening for him dressed so casually. She wished that he hadn’t come so soon.

Which was why it was rather illogical that she found herself disappointed to discover someone else instead.

“Hermes,” she said, unable to mask her disappointment.

Hermes grinned at her. “It’s good to see you to, Seph,” he joked, the nickname he’d bestowed on her feeling natural by now.

“I was expecting Hades,” she admitted.

Hermes lifted a quizzical eyebrow. “In your bathrobe? Not that I haven’t had those kinds of visits in my days, but I hadn’t really expected you to be the type.”

“What?” Persephone looked at him confusedly.

“I assume the bathrobe is going to be lost rather quickly when Hades finally does come.”

Unable to follow his meaning, but feeling like there was supposed to be something implied in his words, Persephone merely shook her head. “I’m planning to be dressed before Hades shows up, but I suppose if he does show up before then, I will have to shed my bathrobe in order to get dressed.”

“In front of him?”

“What?! No!” Perhaps Hermes wasn’t capable of making her blush like Hades did by his mere presence alone, but his words certainly did the job well enough.

“I couldn’t decide what to wear,” Persephone said, desperate to change to subject.

“Well, I’ll help,” Hermes said, brushing past her into her room before Persephone had a chance to answer.

“You’ll help me?” Persephone repeated slowly. She doubted the male god knew much about female clothing.

Hermes didn’t answer, busy searching through the massive stack of gowns that Hades had sent her.

“Here,” he said, pulling out a purple one. “Wear this.”

Persephone gaped at it. The dress was undoubtedly one of the least conservative gowns that she owned. The fabric itself was a beautiful dark purple with gold embroidery, but Persephone had still mostly ignored it until now, the reason being the large amount of skin that would be at display if she ever did decide to wear it in public. It was scandalously low-cut, and would accentuate her breasts in a way that Persephone wasn’t sure if she was completely comfortable with.

She’d tried it on once in secret, hidden in the privacy of her bath chamber. But even when she’d been alone the dress had simply felt too daring. It was something Aphrodite, the goddess of love wore. Not the simple goddess of spring.

She told as much to Hermes, who brushed her objections away with a brush of his hand and a teasing comment. Which was how she suddenly found herself in a dress that would have given her mother a heart attack.

But she did feel different in the dress. Rebellious. Sexy even. She blushed again at the wolf whistle Hermes gave when her saw her, quickly pulling on a shawl to cover herself up.

“What’s the point of the dress if you’re wearing that thing over it?” Hermes objected, but Persephone barely heard him. She was too busy staring at the longcase clock in her room.

Somehow time had gone by quicker than she’d imagined and suddenly there was only about twenty minutes until she and Hades had agreed to meet. And he was usually ten minutes early. She rather unceremoniously threw Hermes out, ignoring his rather indignant shouts of objection.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” she promised him, shutting the door in his face and trying to ignore her guilt for doing to. She’d apologise tomorrow, she promised herself. Right now she had other things on her mind.

Stepping over to her large mirror, she took she shawl off, blushing at the sight that met her. She was dressed like Aphrodite, and Persephone wasn’t sure whether or not she considered that a good thing. She’d often been jealous of the older goddess’ clear confidence, but she’d only daydreamed of wearing the same kind of clothing. She hadn’t planned on ever actually doing it. Still. Somehow the dress made her feel uncomfortable and confident all at once.

Slowly she put on make-up, lining her eyes with Kohl and painting her lips with the reddest lipstick she was able to find. Her dress seemed less wrong on her now, and her constant blush only made her look more beautiful.

Her mother would have told her that it was an immodest thought, but Persephone liked feeling beautiful. Besides – her mother wasn’t here. She could wear whatever she pleased.

Then a knock sounded and Persephone lost her nerve. Quickly throwing on the shawl once again she went to open it, this time finding Hades on the other side.

He was staring at her, and for a moment Persephone worried that she’d forgotten her shawl, quickly checking to see that it was indeed covering the indecent amount of skin otherwise at display.

“You look beautiful,” Hades told her.

Persephone fidgeted awkwardly. “Thank you.” She stepped back, nervous in a way she just wasn’t with Hermes. “Please do come in.”

It was always like this during her talks with Hades. Somehow she’d be unnecessary nervous during the first ten minutes, but slowly relax into the conversation as time went by. Today wasn’t any different, and Persephone felt her confidence returning. Along with a surprising wish to make Hades talk about himself.

He was talking about a book that he thought she’d rather like, and Persephone had to admit that it sounded intriguing, but right now then it wasn’t the book that she was interested in.

“What’s your favourite?” she asked him, trying to sound relaxed and only moderately interested.

Hades frowned. “My favourite?”

“Yeah, you know; the book that you prefer over all others.”

“Why?”

Persephone sighed, exasperated. “Well, because I’d like to know.”

“You do?”

“Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked.”

“No, I suppose that you wouldn’t.” He looked thoughtful, but gave her the name of a book nonetheless. Persephone had never heard of it, and when Hades didn’t offer to lend it to her as per usual, she wasn’t sure how to get her hands on it. Though she supposed that maybe she could just ask.

“Could I borrow it?” she asked him, and Hades looked at her in clear surprise.

“If you wish,” he answered, before quickly turning the conversation around so that it was focused on her.

“I’m visiting Mother occasionally.”

Hades nodded, seemingly expecting the answer.

“And then I’ve spent a lot of time with Hermes.”

Hades froze. “What?”

“Hermes,” Persephone repeated. “You know; the god of messengers.”

“Yes, I’m familiar with his work,” Hades stated coldly. “I just wasn’t aware that you were.”

Persephone looked at him confused, unable to understand the clear dislike in his voice. “You don’t like Hermes?”

“Not particularly. What is he trying to do with you?”

“What do you mean with do with me? We’re friends.”

Hades snorted. “Yes, I’m sure that friends are what Hermes are hoping for.” He looked at her rather wildly. “I don’t want you to see him,” he told her, and Persephone felt anger well up in her at his words.

“Excuse me?” she asked coldly. “But I don’t believe that you get to decide whom and whom not I can be friends with!”

“Hermes isn’t exactly known for being friends with pretty females!”

Persephone clenched her fists together, standing up in righteous fury, hardly even noticing the shawl falling down and landing at her feet.

“Get out!” she ordered.

Hades looked at her, clearly shocked, and Persephone could only imagine how long it must have been since someone had given the great god order to do anything. Well, she wasn’t about to back down!

“What?”

“I said, get out! You’re acting just like my mother! This is my life, wife or not! I didn’t even want to be your wife if you so recall! So don’t try to tell me whom I can be friends with! Hermes is my friend, and if you can’t accept that, then I believe that you should leave!”

Hades seemed to be about to argue, before he stiffly stood up, and bowed before her. “I will do so,” he said with a cold voice, and Persephone realised that this was the first time that Hades had been angry with her.

She didn’t feel scared as expected, and merely stared him down until he finally left with anger in his eyes and displeasure written clearly across his face. Locking the door after him, she slid down on the floor, staring angrily at the dress that a part of her had known that she’d worn to impress Hades.

“Idiotic god,” she murmured, but now that he was out of sight, her rage was slowly dying out. She was still angry. She’d thought that he was different than Demeter, that he actually respected her opinion!

But she couldn’t quite muster up the rage from before. She hoped that they wouldn’t quarrel for too long. She liked his company, though not enough to apologise when clearly he was the one in the wrong!

She’d worry about it tomorrow, she decided, pulling off the dress as she did so. She always felt calmer about things once she’d slept on it, and she hoped tonight was no exception.

Hiding herself under the silken covers in her bed, Persephone wished that not everything in the room would remind her of her husband. Her husband whom she was angry with, she reminded herself.

Closing her eyes, she let exhaustion overtake her.

She’d worry about everything tomorrow.

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