Deciding to get revenge over someone and actually getting it quickly proved to be two vastly different things. Persephone decided to start by figuring out exactly how long Hermes was going to take this charade, and so she invited him to dinner.
They’d had eaten together before, and Persephone had until now thought they they’d had a good time together. They’d joked around, and it hurt to have realised that Hermes had only viewed their time together as a means to an end. Today’s dinner, however, was going to be different.
Preparing for it took far longer than Persephone had anticipated, and she wondered how Aphrodite did this sort of thing on a regular basis. At least she assumed that the older goddess did such things for Ares. Dinner was sent for and candles were lit until Persephone felt that it was a sufficiently seducing atmosphere for what she had planned. She dressed in a red dress with a deep cut, and lined her eyes with Kohl. Though Hermes had made her feel like a little girl, she would never let him know it.
She greeted the golden-haired god with a smile when he finally came, and Hermes‘ eyes went comically large as he caught sight of the room.
“What’s this?” he finally asked, and Persephone noted with satisfaction that the usual joking and confidant tone was missing from his voice.
“You don’t like it?” Persephone asked, trying to sound worried.
“It’s… eh… it’s nice. Just a bit… unexpected is all.”
Persephone smiled again. “Then I dare to hope that unexpected is a good thing.” Taking a deep breath to gather her courage, Persephone stepped closer until she could see the little flecks of brown in Hermes’ green eyes. She preferred Hades’ dark ones.
“Hermes, I think I’m in love with you,” she said, looking up at him with what she hoped was admiration. She’d completely forgotten how awkward this had felt with Ares.
“What?” Hermes said, and Persephone looked down once again so he wouldn’t see the triumphant glint in her eyes.
“I love you,” she said. “And I know that you must feel the same for me. Why else would you spend so much time with me?”
“I… um… I…. what?”
“I love you,” Persephone helpfully repeated. “And you love me. But we’re held apart.”
Persephone looked shocked. “Of course! How can you ask that?! I’m married. To that… that…” Here she was supposed to say something insulting about Hades, but surprisingly found herself unable to do so. “To that other god,” she finally said.
“So you are asking for an… affair?”
“No! How could you say that?! Don’t you love me?!”
Persephone wished that she could cry on command like her mother apparently was able to, but all she could do was attempting to look hurt. “I love you,” she said again. “I couldn’t possibly be happy with just an affair. I want us to truly be together, and I know that you want the same. You need to challenge Hades.”
“I need to what?!”
“Challenge Hades. He is my husband. You need to go to him right now, and demand that he gives me to you.”
“You want me to go to he Lord of the Underworld and demand him his wife?!”
“I know it seems scary, but don’t you see? It’s what it would take for us to truly be together. You have to. And I do realise how frightening it must seem, so I will strive to make it as easy for you as possible. Which I why I have to insist you do it immediately.”
“Why?” croaked Hermes.
“Well, so it’s over with of course! No need for you to go around worrying about it. I say we go find Hades right this second!”
”But… but… but…” Hermes took a deep breath. “You can’t be with me if he kills me,” he tried to reason with her.
“I know it’s going to be hard. But if that’s what it takes for us to truly be together, I’m willing to take the risk. And I know that you feel the same.”
“You’re willing to have me tortured?!”
“I can honestly say that that is how much I love you.”
“But that doesn’t even make any sen–” Hermes cut himself off. “You know,” he then stated. It wasn’t a question.
Persephone grimaced as she realised that he had seeb through her, but she knew that it was pointless to keep it up now. “Yes.”
“And all of this? Was just to what? Get a good laugh?”
“Well, I would have preferred to take it a bit further. I wanted to see how far you’d take it. Not too terrible far, really. I suppose you didn’t think it worth it.”
“Was in corroboration with my mother? Was playing with me? Was treating me like the stupid, little girl whom my mother is convinced that I am? Yes, I’m quite aware.”
“How did you find out?”
Persephone shrugged. “I kind of just figured it out,” she lied. “Though I still can’t believe that I was stupid enough to consider you a friend. I assure you that it won’t happen again.”
“Seph, I am your friend.”
“No, you’re just some guy who found himself a little bit horny and a little bit bored. And don’t call me that.”
“Seph, I admit that I made a deal with your mother to seduce you. And I admit that it was because I thought it could be fun. Annoy the goddess of life and the god of the dead all with one great prank? How could I possibly have resisted that? But I never wanted the seduction to actually succeed. I wanted to annoy Hades. Not enrage him.”
“So you never even planned to sleep with me? You just wanted to laugh at me behind my back? What kind of sick game is that, to try to make someone fall in love with you for the heck of it?”
“I didn’t try to make you fall in love with me.”
“Yes, you did! I heard you! You were building a foundation! Just because it wasn’t working, didn’t mean that you didn’t try!”
“What do you mean that you heard me?”
Persephone hesitated. Then she sighed, defeated. “I heard you talking with my mother,” she said, challenging him to defy it.
“Well, she was upset that I didn’t make any progress. I had to tell her something.”
Persephone snorted. “How stupid do you honestly think I am? Besides, let’s say that this whole thing was just you trying to pull a prank on my mother and husband. How did you honestly think it would turn out?”
Hermes shrugged carelessly. “I try not to look too far into the future. Disturbs the present, does it. I just knew that I was still pissed at your mother for a previous… misunderstanding, and it was too tempting to pass out on. I just enjoyed watching her struggle, trying to cope with the thought that she was essentially throwing her beloved daughter into the arms of a man. And Hades… well, he’s always fun to tease if you can get away with it with all your limbs still attached to your body.”
“Well, it’s going to stop now!”
Persephone stopped, not expecting the easy response.
“Well, obviously I can’t continue without your cooperation, which you clearly won’t give. I do want to ask you to reconsider though.”
“Reconsider what exactly?”
“Pretending to let me seduce you.”
Persephone stared at him. “You’re mad,” she finally said.
Hermes grinned. “So I’ve been told. But think about it. Don’t you want to get back at your mother?”
Persephone hesitated. She really, really did, and she’d had trouble coming up with a plan that taught Demeter her much needed lesson without being actually cruel.
“I do,” she finally said. “But I fail to see how you can help me with that.”
Hermes grinned, relaxed once again. Leaning up against a table, he sent her a conspirational smile.
“Consider this,” he said. “Demeter is unhappy with your marriage. She’s even more unhappy that you’re not unhappy in it. So she decides to make you unhappy by having you fall in love with another man. In Demeter’s mind this isn’t ideal, but she’s willing to deal with it. But now imagine that her beloved, innocent daughter doesn’t fall for the gorgeous god as she was meant to. Imagine if she didn’t plan to stick with her Lord of Darkness either. Imagine that she picked both of them.”
“Both,” Persephone croaked. She had no interest in that! Not only did it seem like much more than she could handle, but she wasn’t interested in kissing anyone but Hades, let alone sleep with them!
“Only pretend to of course,” Hermes hurried to assure her. “You’re going to continue seeing Hades, while appearing like you’re seeing me. Imagine your mother’s reaction to that.”
And Persephone did.
Oh, if her mother thought that it was her fault that her virginal daughter was seeing not one, but two men! There was something delightfully scandalous about the thought. Still, there was so many reasons not to. She had to tell Hades for one. She knew it’d hurt him if he thought that she was actually sleeping with Hermes, and she didn’t want to do that to him. And… a couple of days ago she would probably had gone for it. But now she didn’t know where she had Hermes.
They were no longer friends, and she wasn’t sure of she could trust him on this. What if he just went running to her mother once again? Still… the thought was ever so tempting.
Persephone hesitated, and Hermes patiently waited as the seconds ticked by.
Should she leave the lies and deceit behind her, or should she chance this one great scheme? Her green eyes flickered lost around the room while she tried to make up her mind. She wasn’t made out for these court games!
But wasn’t this exactly what she’d wanted as a child? To scheme? To play the pranks that she’d never been allowed to? Perhaps she should just consider it a prank, like Hermes said that he did.
“I… I don’t know,” Persephone finally said. “I’ll have to think about it.”
“Of course. I can come by tomorrow for your answer?”
Persephone nodded slowly, and watched dully as Hermes left her room.
“One last thing,” he said as he was walking through the door, looking back at her with what for once was a serious expression.
“I enjoyed your company more than I thought I would,” Hermes told her. “It may have started as a prank, but I’m glad it made me a friend. Though I fear I’ve lost her again.”
And with these words he left her.
A/N: I’m curious as to what you guys think? Is Hermes full of crap or not? Let me know in the comments!