"Would Mi'lord care to join me for a bit of wine?"
Hades turned his eyes up from the papers that he held to see his wife approaching him with two glasses of red wine held lightly in her hands. He could not help but smile at the sight of her, so radiant and beautiful as she moved towards him with a smile that reflected his own. Her auburn hair had been carefully braided in a million tiny locks that were now secured in a fancy bun atop her head, allowing only a few strands to frame her sweet face. Her emerald eyes shimmered with the incredible love for life that she held deep within her, causing her to practically glow in this somber domain.
The dark lord set aside the papers that he had been reading over and held out a hand to her, the delicate unfurling of his long fingers commanding her to come forth.
Persephone, for that is what she shall be known as from here on out, smiled softly as she drew near to where her husband lay reclining on a large chaise lounge, papers scattered at the floor about him. It had been four months since she had been granted permission to return with him to the underworld, yet he was still trying to catch up on all the work that he had missed during their "honeymoon". It seemed that there was quite a bit more behind being the lord of the Underworld than she had originally thought.
Hades caught lightly at her wrist once she was close enough and tenderly pulled her down to sit beside him. She smiled that loving smile that caused his heart to almost skip a beat every time he saw it as she draped herself languidly on the lounge beside him, offering him the glass of wine which he took gratefully.
"You looked as though you could use some company," she spoke softly as he guided her to lean back against his chest. She pillowed her head contently against his shoulder and took a sip of her wine as she reached down to pick up one of the papers that lay on the floor. "And what is it that has caught your intrigue so greatly?"
"Just a few of the trials that the Judges have sent to me," Hades replied after taking a drink from his own glass. He shifted a small amount so that he could wrapped his free arm protectively about Persephone's waist, his fingers caressing the soft, silk material that she wore.
The goddess placed her hand atop her husband's, entwining her fingers with his own and giving them a gentle squeeze as she read over the paper that she held in her hands. "Since when did the 'great Judges' start coming to you for advice? I had thought that their word was final."
"Oh, normally it is. But it is law that each and every one of their cases are to be reported to me. I am to know of everything that goes on within my kingdom and the passing of a soul into the Elysian Fields or the darkness beyond is just one more thing I must know." He paused a moment as he took another swallow of the sweet wine, savoring the mildly burning sensation as it went down his throat. "Plus there are always times when I do not agree with the Judges' decision and can manage to sway it. You see, though the Judges are indeed great and powerful as far as choosing where a soul goes, they are also quite foolish and not at all just."
"You mean like what happened with Talaus," Persephone questioned, setting the paper carefully aside to pick up another one and scan over it.
Hades nodded his head, turning his eyes from the paper that she now held in front of her to their hands where they sat entwined within each other. "Indeed. As well as several others. However, I am not able to rescue all of them that I see as being falsely persecuted. There are times when even the Judges can outrank my decision and cast a soul into an eternal torture."
Persephone nodded her head understandingly, intently reading over the transcript of the trial before her.
The dark lord finished off the last bit of his red wine and set the empty glass aside before settling back further in the lounge, allowing the backs of his fingertips to tenderly caress his goddess' bare arm. She in turn leaned further back against him, his firm chest pillowing her back as she relaxed her head on his shoulder.
Oh, how he loved her.
Hades closed his eyes, just reveling in the way she fit so perfectly in his arms. The way her hair smelled of rich vanilla. The way the warmth of her skin flowed deep into his very pores, causing him to feel like he were basking in Apollo's sun itself. Everything about her was beautiful and perfect without a single flaw to be seen. Why, sometimes he felt as though his heart might just burst within his chest because he loved her so much. Never before would he have thought that you could love someone so much that it hurt but now he knew for a fact that you could! That the mere presence of one such as lovely as this could change even the coldness and bitterest of hearts.
Persephone gave a soft yawn, leaning forward just a small amount to set the paper she had been reading aside, and then she leaned back into her husbands tight embrace. Closing her eyes she turned her head so that she could hear the rhythmic beating of his heart matching her own through his chest. The fingers of one hand remained tightly wound between his while her other hand reached up to lay lightly against his upper body. She could hear his deep breathing right next to her ear and it caused a pleasant chill to run down her spine as he continued to trail his fingers lovingly up and down her arm.
Silently they worshipped one another with their bodies, their thoughts, and their hearts.
"It really is a shame," Persephone whispered quietly, not bothering to open her eyes or shift about as she spoke.
A very small frown of curiosity crossed Hades face. "What is, my love?"
"That no one will ever know our true story," the young woman replied, her fingers gliding across his muscular frame. "That the mortals will never know of our love for one another."
"Ah, yes. You refer to your Mother's 'curse'?"
"I know what she will do. She will go to the Muses and whisper lies into their ears. She will tell them the tale that only she wants them to hear. Of how you came and stole me away from her. Of the way that she grieved over me and threatened to freeze the world over if I was not returned. Of how I was tricked into eating of the food of the dead so that I would be forced to remain here."
Hades chuckled softly. "If she has as much of an imagination as you do I would not be surprised."
Persephone sat up a small amount, turning so that she now lay on her stomach with her elbows resting against his chest and looked into her husband's dark eyes. "Do not make fun, I am being quite serious."
The god's expression shifted to an understanding gentleness as he peered back into her own eyes, tenderly brushing a lock of her hair away with the back of his hand. "I know that it upset you, my love. I too have thought on what a truly wondrous story the Muses shall miss out on. The greatest bards of Greece could have never written of a tale such as ours."
"The young ones shall learn of our story and be taught only lies."
"Perhaps," Hades murmured thoughtfully, running his fingertips lightly across his wife's smooth cheek. His smile was tender and sincere as his eyes met hers and saw the troubled glimmer within their emerald depths. "However, I do believe that it shall not always be that way."
Persephone leaned into his caress, closing her eyes and savoring his masterful touch. "Really? You believe that Mother will someday allow for the truth to be told?"
"I believe that with a love like ours that she cannot hold back the truth, my love. Perhaps it will take months or years. . .maybe even centuries before our story is sung. But I believe with all my heart that there shall come a time when one of the blessed Muses shall grace the world with her presence and her song."
The smile that slowly spread across the goddess' lips as she took in his words was nothing short of a radiant beam of sunshine and she lay her head contently back down against his chest. Hades could not hold back a loving smile as he bent his head and placed a gentle kiss to her forehead. She gave a pleasurable sigh and he turned his gaze out across the dark River Styx once more.
Yes, some day the mortals will know of our story, my heart, and they shall rejoice in its telling.
He closed his eyes thoughtfully and placed his cheek against the top of her head.
Some day. . .
- The End -