=Chapter 8=

Vanilla was just absolutely beside herself. It had been already 24 hours and she still couldn't turn up her daughter, the Goddess of Spring. The rabbit patriarch was sick with worry and grief. She was starting to run out of relevant ideas of where her precious charge may be.

Suddenly, Vanilla had another insight. She could go and ask Helios(Knuckles). He is Apollo's brother, and carries with him an all-seeing eye. Vanilla could go to him and ask him what had happened to Amy. Without a second thought, the goddess went straight up to the Temple of the Sun. There, she found Helios seated at the center on a golden cushion and in a cross-legged position as if he were meditating.

"Greetings, Mother of the Earth." the ruby echidna said in a low voice. "What brings you here to this place?"

"My daughter." Vanilla explained in a sad and desperate tone. "She's disappeared and I have no idea where she's gone. Please help me."

"I saw it happen." Helios declared. "Your daughter did not just simply disappear, she was kidnapped."

Vanilla's earth-toned eyes widened in shock and anger.

"By whom?" she cried. "Tell me!"

"By Pluto of course." Helios replied in a calm voice. "The son of Hades and Prince of the Dead made away with your child, Demeter."

Vanilla was now quite enraged. She could not believe her eldest charge had become a victim of typical male lust. And after all the careful actions she took to keep Amy hidden and to ensure that did not happen.

"That...that boy...shall PAY!" Vanilla shrieked.

With that, she promptly took off to Mount Olympus.

XXXXXXX

In the Sacred Gardens, the earth and vegetation was starting to react aggressively to Vanilla's rage and anger. This frightened a certain fox nymph accompanying his rabbit counterpart.

"Whoa, Cream, what's going on?" Tails cried.

"Oh dear," Cream murmured with a look of dread. "mother must be terribly upset right now."

The plants gnarled and twisted ghastly around them. For a moment, it seemed to threaten Tails.

"You best stay close to me, Tails." Cream suggested, taking the kitsune's hand. "They won't hurt you as long as you're with me."

"O...okay." Tails stammered.

XXXXXXX

Meanwhile, in the Underworld, Shadow and Amy were still asleep. Or rather, Amy was curled up asleep, and entwined in the ebony god's arms. Shadow was watching his captive slumber beside him with a low gaze. The warmth Amy was emitting along with her water lily scent, was making him feel highly intoxicated. The crimson-splashed male buried his muzzle into Amy's neck and planted butterfly and vampire kisses onto sakura fur and skin. Pretty soon, the Goddess of Spring stirred under Shadow's embrace. Blinking and clearing her vision, she looked around in a daze. Then, Amy remembered where she was.

'How awful.' she thought bitterly. 'I was really hoping I was having another nightmare.'

It did not take her long to realize that Shadow was beginning to get a little more aggressive with his embraces.

"Do you mind?" Amy quietly snapped.

"That's no way to greet your husband." Shadow murmured coyly in her neck.

"Oh get real!"

The sakura female attempted to push him away, but Shadow would not let up. He kept pulling her back up against his body.

"I'm not quite finished with you yet." the midnight god said, still trying to groom her.

"I don't care!" Amy cried. "Leave me alone!"

The cherry-pink goddess continued her attempts to break free, but like a boa constrictor, Shadow coiled his limbs around her, ensuring that she stayed in place. Amy finally gave in as her squirming triggered her exhaustion. She began to pout.

"I hate you..." the goddess muttered.

"That's still no way to greet your husband." Shadow reminded her.

"Go to hell!"

"Already am."

Amy let out a cry of fury and tried punching him. Shadow got ahold of her wrists and firmly held them down. The sakura hedgehog let out a growl at the ebony male.

"Now then," Shadow said. "are you going to be polite?"

The goddess let out a little whine. She really hated this. This was worse than being secluded in the Sacred Gardens. Her life just went from bad to really shitty. It was starting to suck being an Immortal because then she couldn't do away with herself. That is, if she could get away from the Prince of the Underworld long enough to do so.

"Why the hell did you pick me?" Amy questioned.

"I already told you, little flower." Shadow replied in a no-nonsense tone.

"Yes, but there has to be more of a reason."

There was a moment of silence between them as Shadow resumed his nuzzling of her neck. Amy kept flinching away from him and scrunching her shoulders.

"Whatever's the matter, my dear? You don't trust me?" the crimson-splashed hedgehog asked. "Or are you afraid of me?"

"I'm...I'm..no! Just what are you getting at?" Amy exclaimed.

"I asked you a simple question. Are you afraid of me?"

Amy was silent. Yes, he did give her the creeps. A lot more than what she gave Shadow credit for. But she refused to allow herself to acknowledge that or let Shadow take full advantage of it.

"I'm not afraid of you." Amy said in a direct, but shaky tone.

Shadow smiled. Of course he saw right through her. She was absolutely terrified of him. Quite plucky of her to say she wasn't scared when she really was. At the same time, Shadow was disturbed at this. He didn't want her to fear him. He just wanted her to be freely affectionate to him as he was to her.

"You're not a very good at lying, little flower." Shadow said in a low voice.

Amy flinched at him again. The midnight god in turn, gently took ahold of her chin and turned her face towards his.

"But in any case, I do not want you to be in fear of me. Ever." he continued.

Then, Shadow gently pulled her into a liplock. Amy gasped as she felt his lips brush against her own. Naturally she would have slapped him, but since he was being so gentle about it, she became too shocked to do anything. Her whole form went into heat. It didn't take long for Amy to start kissing back. Shadow then carefully pinned her to the bed with him on top and her beneath him. Finally, after a few seconds, they broke away. Amy was in quite a daze. Shadow smirked deviously at her.

"Well, it appears that you are blushing, little flower." he teased.

Amy immediately scowled at him.

"I freaking hate you..." she muttered.

Shadow's grin became wider.

"If that is so my dear, then why are you holding onto me so tightly?"

Which was true. During their embrace, Amy had unknowingly wrapped her arms around his neck. The young flower quickly withdrew her hands from him and looked away.

"Why do you have to be such a jerk?" the goddess whimpered.

"I am not acting as such, little flower." Shadow said, dignified. "You just don't want to admit the obvious."

Amy made another growl at him. For Shadow, she was turning out to be so fun to tease. Seeing her pouting was absolutely adorable. And that was a rarity for the Prince of the Darkness to think such thoughts. Shadow easily found himself having fun teasing the Goddess of Spring.

"So then," Shadow began again. "do you still hate me?"

Amy narrowed her jade orbs at him.

"Damn straight I do." she said in a venomness tone.

The ebony male chuckled.

"Well, I can surely see that will change." he sneered.

"Whatever..." Amy droned nonchalantly.