Chapter Nine:

The tortured cry of the light-footed Hermes had summoned Hades to Persephone's chamber with such a haste that the South wind itself would not have been able to catch him. And such a blind fury was upon him, that the inhabitants of the underworld felt it trembling through their souls, moaning and covering their heads with great fear and distress. They called for Mercy and begged him to calm, to no avail.

He had thought Persephone in trouble – had thought something terrible had befallen her. Such a thought tore at his very fibre, twisted his soul and made him… afraid.

When he arrived at her chamber however, he was confronted with a sight that caused him to tremble with an emotion that was not anger, nor fear.

Hermes held Persephone's wrist in a vice like grip, although her hand was open, palm upwards and stained red, but empty.

A pomegranate lay at her feet.

Her blue eyes had flickered at his entrance and he had stepped hesitantly towards her, the sound of Hermes speaking strangely distant as he focused upon her mouth.

The juice from the pomegranate stained the corners of her full lips, as red and thick as blood itself.

'You have won, Lord Hades. Be glad and rejoice in your victory…' Hermes released his hold upon Persephone's slender wrist and turned away in disgust.

Persephone's chest rose and fell heavily with the effort of each breath, distraught.

She watched Hades approach with a racing heart, his shadow looming about her, but no longer intimidating or fearful – but comforting. The look in his eyes was as blinding as the light of the sun, and his graceful movements towards her caused her to tremble, betraying her emotions. His gaze was focused upon her stained lips she knew, and she absently tried to lick clean the juice upon them, suddenly embarrassed for reasons she could not tell.

Hades, Lord and Husband, reached out and touched the corner of her lip with a look of concentration on his handsome face.

Love was in her gaze, and with that glance he knew, as only a true lover could why she had eaten the pomegranate.

A smile graced his face then, a smile that he used only for his one love. His wife and Queen. Affection overcame his hardened heart and he leaned down and caught soft lips in a tender kiss.

The blood of the pomegranate disappeared under his mouth and locked they were in a passionate embrace, an embrace powerful enough to shame the unabashed Hermes.

A look of sorrow there was upon the Goddess' face however, when Hades withdrew.

'My mother…' She seemed to say with that quiet glance. Hades heard and he straightened resolutely, knowing what must be done.

'Of how much did you consume, Goddess of mine?'

'Naught but six seeds my husband.'

'Glorious Persephone, I can not take you from your mother's side, the earth withers and dies above us in her sorrow and the other God's despair. Yet you have eaten the food of the Dead and so by law must remain… so I propose this; may you reside above with your mother for six long months of every year, daughter of the harvest… marvelling in the light of your beloved sun. And then, for the other six months may you sit by my side, as Queen of the Dead and beloved to your dark Hades.' Persephone looked up at her husband with wonder at his wisdom, but also with a bittersweet emotion. She was leaving for her dearest mother – but leaving meant casting aside his love for six long months.

'Yes, my Lord.' She had answered clearly, her voice heavy with sorrow.

Hermes was silent during this exchange, but his heart had soared at the outcome. Demeter would be unhappy with the arrangement, but mortals and God's alike could return to their lives, no longer affected by the trials and tribulations caused by Hades' love of one once innocent maiden.

'Come then, time runs short, Queen of the Dead, and the earth falters under the heavens.'

Hades travelled with the pair through the halls, over the river Styx and to the very entrance itself of the Underworld, his dark eyes brimming with sorrow at the loss of his most precious jewel to the world above. Persephone halted with him, and they kissed one last time before she began the upward climb towards the surface, casting a last glance behind herself at her husband standing tall and solemn at the gate, before she was blinded by the harsh and unforgiving light of the sun. She cried out in pain and sorrow, covering her tender eyes.

Oh, how she missed the darkness.

Authors note: Well people, that's it! If anyone wants me to do any retellings of other myths, please let me know, cause I might give it a go for you! =) I love greek and roman mythology, so I'd be more than happy to have a go for you. You may notice that in this retelling that Persephone ate the pomegranate even though she knew what would come of it… whereas in the original myth she did not know what would happen and was tricked to staying at Hades side. This was obviously a take of the myth in my own way, so therefore I took a bit of artistic licence and changed a few things, which I hope didn't ruin the story for any of you! Anyway, thanks for reading =)