As the days slid by, Hades grew closer to Persephone and her mother. Since their romp in the grass Persephone craved his presence more than ever and was forever at his heels, though not in an annoying, childish way. If anything she tried to appear more mature, and it became apparent that if she was merely curious before, now she was truly and utterly taken with him. Overnight, Persephone had decided that she would make a conscious effort not to stain every dress she owned and to keep her hair done up nicely and even wear makeup upon rare occasion. Demeter was delighted by this, often stating over private lunches with Hades that even though Persephone was still bratty, precocious, and mouthy, it was easier to deal with if she at least dressed like a lady.

She of course didn't know that her daughter was dangerously close to too close to Hades, and that their lessons and play were always undercut with the slightest current of secrecy and eroticism. Hades usually had enough sense to keep his hands off Persephone (disregarding the time she wore an off-the shoulder shirt that made him sink to his knees behind her and run slow hands up her bare arms as he pressed kisses to every inch of exposed shoulders, neck, and back he could find) and Persephone rarely initiated anything between the two of them (disregarding the time she had been so impressed by something clever he had said that she had circled her little arms around his neck and given him a hot, openmouthed kiss behind the ear that left a sensuous smudge of coral lipstick in its wake) and so Demeter knew nothing. The goddess was merely delighted by the closeness between Hades and her daughter because it would make the hypothetical shift in family dynamics if Hades ever came to his senses and married her that much easier, and so saw only what she wanted to see.

Demeter had cozied up to Hades considerably as well, and was now convinced that she was in some sort of relationship with him. Hades was not completely innocent in this; he had certainly allowed her to think that. They spent time together, shared nearly everything, even kissed upon occasion. Truth be told, Hades wanted to snap out of his infatuation with Persephone and fall for Demeter, he didn't see why it wasn't possible. The goddess had been his friend since childhood, she was one of the most beautiful women he knew, and lo and behold, she was the same age as him…But Persephone brought him to his knees. Demeter only slightly warmed his disposition, like comparing hard alcohol to a familiar tea. Also (and Hades desperately hoped it wasn't his ego rationalizing his lust), Persephone was easier to relate to intellectually. It sounded insane, after all she was only a child, but she was sharp and possessed a boundless appetite for knowledge. Persephone wanted to know everything there was to know and tried to start debates with him on a regular basis, Demeter had no desire to discuss anything to terribly far removed from gardening and society life. Half the reason Hades and Persephone's relationship turned as intense as it did as fast as it did was that they fell in love with each other's minds; he with her wonder and natural wit, she with his clever speech and boundless supply of useful facts.

That wasn't to say the god of the dead was having some sort of illicit affair with his niece, quite the opposite. The relationship between the two of them was warm and intimate, but with a safe distance and was above all, unpredictable. Some days, they were father and daughter, others, a pair of scholars arguing just to have the pleasure off hearing the others' rebuttal, and on the more dangerous days they were a man and a woman who wanted nothing more than to go to bed together and never come back out. Hades never knew if when Persephone rushed to give him his morning hug if she were seeking innocent security, scholarly stimulation, or sexual excitement. And the worst part was, he never really knew what he wanted either, until he was holding her as she cried or pointing out why exactly Yeats was superior to Byron or trying to control his breathing as she ran her tiny hands down her chest, just to see how it would make her feel.

For a long time, things were happy. Hades enjoyed reminiscing with Demeter and listening to her warm laughter fill the kitchen as he made them coffee in the morning, and he cherished the delicate balance of whatever it was he had with Persephone. For a good long while, nothing hurt. And then, in one terrible night, everything was shattered.

It started with the proposal. Of course it did. Looking back on it, Hades would sullenly note than none of what had happened would have needed to transpire if Demeter hadn't done what she did, but that didn't change the fact that yes, after waiting for almost three months for Hades to do something about them, Demeter had asked the god to marry her. She did it one night after Persephone had gone to bed, over wine and the softly droning voice of the nearby radio, and it broadsided Hades completely. There was such love and hope in Demeter's eyes that he almost broke down then and there, taking her hands in his and shamefully telling her everything, begging forgiveness as a mortal would one of their saints. But he managed to keep his composure and had listened to Demeter profess her damned love and offer him everything she had, and he couldn't say no. He physically couldn't. It was ridiculous, he was the god of the Underworld, he had heard every sob story and plea of love or hate you cared to conjure and was immune to every one of them…Excel the one of this marvelous creature he had grown up and felt nothing but platonic admiration for. So he said maybe. Smoothly, in a comforting, rational way that spoke of "making a big decision" and "taking things slow at the moment" and he hated himself for being such a good liar. It was then he knew that he couldn't carry this charade on any longer. He had to leave Demeter in peace and allow her heart to heal. Besides, The Underworld would be needing him.

The next day, Hades sat in his usual chair in the sunroom, thinking along these bleak, fatalistic lines while Persephone colored pictures at his feet, humming a song Hades didn't know. After what seemed like an eternity of silence, Hades composed himself and gently roused the girl from her thoughts.



"I need to talk to you, sweetheart."

"Bout what?" She queried, looking up at him from her spot on the floor, rolling a piece of gum around in the magnificent mouth. Hades shifted uncomfortably.

"You do realize that my staying here isn't permanent, don't you? That I will return one day to the Underworld?"

"Course," Persephone laughed. "But not for a long while. Time difference, remember?"

"I'm afraid it will be sooner than either of us would like. It's already been a week in my time, Sephne, I cannot continue to abandon my godly duties. And I must leave you and your mother in peace; I've encroached upon your lives long enough."

Persephone's eyes were suddenly filled with hurt tears. "What? No!" She scrambled to her hands and knees, crawling over to Hades' chair and kneeling by his side. "We love you! We don't want you to leave. Please Hades, stay here. Stay with me."

Stay with me. Again he almost broke. But then the god found his resolve, running a trembling hand over her beautiful hair.

"Persephone, I can't."


"You know very well why. I've never treated you as a child, you understand insinuation, I won't start doing it now."

"Hades she doesn't know!"

"And that is wicked of us, do you understand? I love your mother, Sephne."

The demi-goddess looked as though someone had shot poisoned arrows through her heart, and tears streamed down her cheeks. "Love? Are….Will you marry her?"

"That would be lying, no. I don't love her in the sense of marriage, more in the sense of family, and that is why I cannot stay and continue to break her heart and corrupt your beautiful innocence."

"I'm not innocent," Persephone challenged.

"Yes you are," Hades laughed softly. "And a terrible liar." Then he sobered up. "I'm leaving, Persephone. Soon."

The little goddesses' face fell, and she cried for a moment, then looked up at him and said with all the steady resolve and loving sacrifice of a woman twice her age,

"Then I shall go with you."

Hades had nothing to say to this, so moving were the words, but he didn't have to. Persephone pulled herself up and into his lap, sliding her stocking-clad knees snugly in on either side of him, and kissed him on the mouth. Chastely, nervously, just the gentle pressure of skin on skin. Hades leaned into the point of contact and felt the thrill of it shoot through his soul, which only compounded when Persephone pulled away with gleaming eyes and parted lips. Hades ran a thumb over her mouth, tracing the warm, wet hollow and knew then that they were both lost.

He kissed her hungrily, catching the pillow of her eager mouth in his own insistent one, working her open wide and wrapping his arms around her waist. Persephone leaned into him eagerly, making soft sighing noises as waves of pleasure and arousal swept through her system, igniting synapses in her brain she didn't know existed. Hades didn't care about protecting Persephone anymore, only chasing her deeper down the rabbit hole of desire, and slid a hand under her skirt high up on her thigh, just below the curve of her bottom. She clutched the lapel of his jacket, trying to keep up with him, biting him rather cattily on the mouth when he refused to slow down. Hades drew away in surprise, then smiled at her slyly and dug his fingernails into the soft flesh of her thigh, wrapping his mouth around her neck.

Hades bit and sucked as slow as she liked on her delicate skin, leaving red marks in his wake, then groaned when Persephone rolled her hips tighter into the heat of his lap and laced her mischievous fingers through his dark hair. She breathed heavily, terrified at the sudden throbbing need low in her abdomen though exhilarated that Hades was completely in the moment with her, holding nothing back because of her age. That passion was a bit frightening though, like she was fast losing control of the situation. In her panic, Persephone managed to speak.

"Hades," She moaned, and there was that fear again. Hades heard it.

The god drew back from his ill gotten prize, taking her face in his hands, suddenly sick with himself and everything that he'd done. He withdrew from her a bit.

"I'm sorry-"

"Don't be. I want this. Just…Not like this."

It was surprisingly insightful for someone her age. Hades smoothed her hair back gingerly, as if he was afraid of breaking what he had relished in pushing to the limits a moments ago.

"Neither do I." A thought struck him. A stupid, reckless, heedless thought that made the coldest part of his heart glow with warmth. "Sephne…Marry me."

Persephone punched him rather hard in the shoulder, pouting.

Hades, surprised as he could be, massaged the stinging shoulder and cocked an eyebrow. "Sorry. That's a stupid idea, I know…"

"Of course I'll marry you, silly man," Persephone said craftily. "I just wanted to ask you first!"

Hades laughed at her display, half from amusement and half from the sheer euphoria of her answer. "Well the result's the same!"

"Yes it is," She grinned, letting him kiss her again, this time slowly, to savor it, with complete security and faith in the other. She muttered huskily between kisses,

"I'm going to be your wife, Hades. All yours. And you will be my husband."

Hades would have pinned her down right then and there and unlaced her dress with his teeth if Demeter hadn't appeared in the doorway with the most horrid look of betrayal and jealousy on her face.

Might continue from here, might not…What do you guys think?