Chapter 12. Wrath of Nyx

Silence rung strong throughout the room, but in the darkness, something stirred. It was a crab of sorts, only it was a shade of blue that looked mixed with violet. Its stalk eyes scanned the room, searching for its target. It pinched its claws together, fully aware that the dog could probably find it. It had to be cautious in this mission.

It made its way in through the open door scanned its surroundings. There, asleep on the bed, was the girl. In haste, the crab swiftly made its way on to the bed. Going under her covers, it moved slower, avoiding her body as much as possible, until it made its way to her pillow, where her arm was resting. The crab loosened its claws and mercilessly latched its claw on to her wrist. The girl immediately woke and screamed. Startled, the crab released her and tumbled to the floor. The light was on in an instant and upon turning the crab saw the former underworld god and his hound. The crab held its claws up in defense, ready to fight…

"Stephanie!" Hades rushed to my side and took my bleeding wrist in his hand, "Cerebrus!"
I'm on it master! Cerebrus snarled and lunged at the crab that had attacked me.

I felt dizzy, like my whole world was spinning. My head was light, but my eyelids heavy as could be. I knew I couldn't sleep now. I knew what would happen if I did.

"Stephanie! Stephanie don't you dare fall asleep!" I heard Hades yell, but his voice was slightly muffled.

My hearing and eyesight were being affected. I couldn't hear or see right. Everything was so fuzzy. The temptation to fall asleep was great. I just wanted the pain to stop. It felt like liquid fire was rushing through my body, burning every fiber of my being. Moving my head slightly, I watched Cerebrus fight the crab, which I quickly identified as Cancer. My vision blurred, blackened for a moment, and then came back unfocused. My hearing wasn't better, as everything was still muffled. Hades shook me, but I didn't, couldn't respond. In my head, I heard a familiar, hated voice.

Persephone…come back to me…to the underworld.

"Don't you dare, Thanatos!" Hades yelled so maybe it wasn't in my head.

I was dying. Breathing became hard, so I held it in. I wanted to tell Hades that I was sorry and that I'd grown to care very much for him…more than I was supposed to.

Don't fight this, Persephone. You're mine. Every mortal belongs to me. I am the end of every story. You can't escape me.

Digging somewhere deep, I felt something new. A strength I'd never known before that was coursing through me stronger than the fiery venom of Cancer. I could breathe a little easier now. With a gasp of air I said: "No…but I can still try".

I fought internally, trying to keep Thanatos away from me. I had to go on. I had to fight and stay alive for mom, for Cerebrus, and, most of all, for the former god who was trying his hardest to keep me alive. Finally, my eyes snapped open and I took a deep breath that came easier than I thought it would. The first thing I saw were those beautiful steel gray eyes staring down at me with concern, worry, surprise and then relief. He held me closer, looking as if he were on the brink of tears.

"Oh thank whatever gods are left you're alright! I'm never letting you out of my sight again
Stephanie Kore!"
"How is it that-"
Cancer is dead. Cerebrus answered before I could finish my question, The venom would only work if he were still living. Are you alright? He whined and put his head under my hand that dangled out of Hades' hold.
"I'm okay. Thank you" I pet Cerebrus and looked at Hades, "Both of you. I didn't know you cared about me that much…especially not after today" I chuckled a little and Hades smiled.

My heart raced again. He had a really nice smile. He only kept me close in response, my head on his shoulder now. Hades whispered in my ear.

"Of course I care about you, Stephanie…I'd be so lost without you".
"Shhh…" he picked me up and my arms went around his neck. He carried me to his room, "You're sleeping with me the rest of the night. I'll be damned if I let Nyx try to take you from me again. Sleep. I'll bind your wrist, the wound isn't too bad, Cancer didn't get in too deep" Hades set me down on the soft bed and put his hand on my forehead again.

For a moment, I dared to think, to imagine, to hope, that he would lean down and kiss me. Wait, what the hell was I thinking? Hades didn't like me like that! He couldn't. He loved Persephone, not me. I was just her reincarnation, nothing more, nothing less. I meant nothing to him in the ways of love, but as a friend, I meant a lot, almost like I was detrimental to him. I watched as he cleaned and bandaged my arm and then lied down next to me.

I snuggled to his chest for extra warmth, trying to keep back tears. I didn't want him to know that I was afraid now that every primordial was out to kill me….