I lay on the comforting rouge carpet on my side, still feeling tired. Exhaling, I tossed over onto my back. The ceiling seemed too high for this room; I almost expected something to sweep down from the black surface. I closed my eyes to block it out, unable to ignore the creepy feeling. It is like Hades has designed this room to give an uncomfortable impression whenever I’m left alone in here.
I suspected he’s near, although I’m early from our normal meeting time. I still didn’t move, if he could see me, he might think I’m asleep and leave.
Instead of going, Hades moved closer.
The jolt of being lifted made me open my eyes to find I’m being cradled. Hades shifted the top of my dress down slightly to look fully at the new mark. He seemed to show some interest to it.
Looking at the mark, the circle was now a silver colour and inside it is a black tree covered in bronze and red leaves. My mind wondered to other things that didn’t involve decoding semiotics. It felt awkward enough with a guy knowingly staring at my chest and a tattoo I couldn’t really explain.
“What does yours look like?” I thought out loud. I peeked up at him and his soft smile. He moved his arms, and continued to remove his t-shirt.
I should be asking, “Why did you remove the full thing?” But any words were caught in my throat. I ended up gawking at his muscles; I had a theory he took his t-shirt off on purpose. My body tingled and ached to reach out and touch him, ignoring any sense that I am supposed to be keeping away from him.
I somehow managed to tear my gaze off his toned abdomen, moving my eyes up to look at the tattoo mark.
The black design contrasting with his white skin, around the gold circle, reached out further than mine. Inside the circle is an intricate design, coloured in black and blood red of an omega sign. I mindlessly began tracing the black swirls, ignoring the itch to move my hand lower.
“You’re ticklish?” I asked in surprise, noticing Hades’ warm chest tremble with laughter.
“No.” He breathed, pulling me in closer. “You’re warm.” He muttered. I felt his cold breath on my head as he rested on me.
I felt oddly comfortable, but my pessimistic mood is warning the rest of me that nothing good could come out of this.
Last time we met, he tried to force feed me pomegranate seeds. Today he seems completely peaceful.
I tried to creep out of his hold; only aggressively he pulled me back.
“Whiplash, much?” I muttered trying to loosen one of my arms from his ironclad hold around me, to rub the back of my neck. “You’re really not going to let me go, easily are you?”
“You’re finally catching on.”
“I don’t get it! Why do you keep trying to hunt me down? You obviously have the power to take me against my will; I’m nothing more than payment. Why don’t you take it?” I stormed, annoyed that I couldn’t guess what he is about to do. If this is going by the story he should have kidnapped me to Underworld properly by now.
“You don’t understand yet.” He answered sounding frustrated.
“Well then help me understand!” This time he shoved me off him, in a strop. He stood up and began walking towards the other side of the room, running a hand through his dark hair then paced back.
“You’re young.” He muttered. That hurt.
“What? So, it’s a, ‘I was born this century you were born millennia ago deal’?” I didn’t think age would matter in Greek mythology, they seem to take a, ‘I’ll have sex with anyone’ Deal in relevant stories.
“No! I don’t care about that.” He protested. “I never expected this.”
“You asked for me!” I shrieked, he stopped pacing abruptly and gave me a long stare.
“I asked for payment, Demeter cares for her children the most. It seemed appropriate; I wouldn’t care for the female; I never care for payments. I only enjoy the payee’s reactions.”
“What am I to you?” I demanded. “Is this some fun for you? Make me fall in love with you then break me?” Am I something he enjoys getting a reaction out of? Doesn’t he have the entire Underworld to pick from to do that? Or am I to be Hades’ special project.
“You’re-,” I began to feel sorry for him, not sure why but he looked pained like he is struggling for words. “You’re not what I expected.” He breathed in defeat.
“I’m not what anyone expected.” I mumbled, “There must be another way around this. Let me go, I can go out live my life you can go find someone you expect to find! We will both be happy!”
“What makes you think I’ll be happy with that plan?” He glared with enough threat to send a chill through me. I couldn’t exactly answer with, ‘Your warm heart and sweet personality,’ Could I? From what I had seen, there is a possibility one could be there. I may need a pickaxe to get at it, to make it show properly.
I kept quiet. Why do I have to seem like the selfish one in this argument?
Hades soon sat back down next to my curled-up body.
“What do you want?” He asked, I looked up at him startled; I knew I had to think of my answer carefully. Saying I didn’t want to live here could bring consequences I wouldn’t be able to deal with. The original story of Persephone not much is said about her life after the decision was made. Only she spent multiple months with her mother and the remainder with Hades. In ancient times that might have been attractive. That Persephone might have been happy spending the Spring/Summer months skipping through fields and running back to mother every night but I have wanted to separate myself from my mother. Finding myself tied to her and another person, hardly the ideal situation. Clotho might not be doing this but part of me feels like fate is giving me the finger and laughing.
“I don’t want to be kept in the same place or places.” I mumbled, smothering myself in my arms.
“You don’t have to stay in the same place, if you stay down here with me. Just as long as I know you’re safe.” He said curling a strand of my hair around his fingers. He’s tricking me, right? Tempting me? He’ll bring out the pomegranate next.
My head became too full again. It is bad enough considering eternal life with my mother’s protection. Moving to the Underworld would be like moving planets. I wanted travel but this maybe is a step too far.
“If I stop with you. Will I be able to leave the Underworld?”
“No.” He answered bluntly.
I sighed collapsing further, the tiredness I arrived with returned.
“Persephone?” Hades asked noticing my lethargic movement. When he’s going to stop calling me that? Do I have to start preparing to start getting used to it?
“That’s not my name.” I yawned.
“It is to me.” He muttered pulling me up making me rest on him.
I began to wake up to an argument. It made me wish that I could go back to sleep.
“Demeter, he’s not going to lock her up in one room down there. She’ll have freedom in the Underworld. He’s made that perfectly clear.” A man said. I knew the voice; I’m trying to place it.
“That doesn’t mean I’m going to give her to him! It’s a trick. You really think he could have any positive feelings?” I recognised my mother’s voice but that sneer made me know it is her.
“Enough! You knew when I created that contract he can take any means necessary to take what his rightfully his. Be hoping what he is feeling and purposing is real.”
“Great idea. Have a conversation about a person in front of that person.” I commented shifting my hair from my face, sitting up from the sofa. I turned my head to see mum and Sarah’s dad by the fireplace. I knew he is Sarah’s dad due to the times he had come over on her birthday. On those days, I thankfully got to spend the day with Yuuki, Sophia or less thankful Athena “I thought you would have been smarter than that. Or are we hoping the selective hearing trait got passed on to me?”
Hades, I need my shut-up button back please. I am going to have to deal with this, Hades proved to be like alcohol to me. Took away my control and it is sort of addictive.
I swiftly staggered out of the room before either could process what I had said.
“See, he’s a bad influence!” I heard her scream; I ended up smirking as I walked up the stairs heading towards the bathroom. Oh great. I’m feeling like a rebel.
After a long bath and wrapped safely into a towel, I decided it might be safe to see what mood my mum might be in.
With the rush I accidentally tripped, managing to catch myself on a glass shelf below the mirror. The glass cracked into splinters slicing the palm of my hand. I instantly grabbed my left hand, hissing and hopping trying to avoid injuring my feet and offering myself a form of distraction.
The sharp pain I can handle, sight of my own blood is something that always makes me feel sick. No one understood why I want to study medicine when I couldn’t stand the sight of my own blood. I have to point out; it isn’t like I’d be operating on myself.
I rushed looking for a plaster, or in this case a bandage might be better, before something about my wound caught my attention and I stopped dead in my tracks.
I’m not sure whether to be freaked out or annoyed. There were droplets of gold liquid on the floor. Uncurling my hand revealed a pool of gold liquid doing its best to hide the unwanted laceration, engraved into my hand.
“You have got to be kidding me?” I complained. Thanks Fates. Apparently, I bleed gold.
No matter what colour it is. I still feel sick.
Wrapping my hand up in tissue I escaped out of the room. I’ll either come back to sort the gold blood stuff and the glass later or my mum can sort it out. It’s obvious she’s still here and she hadn’t calmed down yet. Not sure if me breaking a piece of the bathroom will make things better.
I managed to find a bandage and get dressed in my bedroom. Before I could get out the door. I felt a stab in my arm. Instinctively, I grabbed my left upper arm as my knees met the ground, my head suddenly becoming dizzy. The burning in my body coursed through me that nearly took my attention off the door opening and closing.
My lungs were in conflict between screaming and gasping for breath. I coughed for help; I knew it would be useless. I could barely manage a proper voice and the nearest people were possibly still having a quarrel on the ground floor. I called for the one person I knew had a chance of hearing me.
“Hades. Help.” I gasped. Every so often a body wrenching pain would make me soundlessly scream. At that moment, I didn’t care who came.
There’s still no answer; I tried to drag myself closer to the door. I knew getting downstairs is impossible; the blistering throbbing in my muscles wouldn’t let me.
“Get out of my house!” Shrieked through the building.
I couldn’t hear the answer, of course I heard my mothers.
“She wouldn’t call for you! Get out! How did you even get past the barriers?”
“Look, get out of my way!”
I coughed in disbelief recognising Hades’ voice.
“No! You are stopping away from her!” From the echoes of their voices I think they were behind my door. I knew this disagreement, they were having, could last all day.
I don’t think I have all day.
Gripping my bed frame, I drew myself up. In my movement, the pain overwhelmed making me screech in pain. I collapsed and curled up tightly on the ground. The bedroom door almost swung off its hinges, everything became blurry as the dark figure rushed towards me.
“How did a Fury get in here?”
“Hades. Have you left your invisibility helmet out again?”
I hummed in response, still not able to open my eyes. I recognised I’m still on the floor, either I hadn’t been out long or no one cared enough to put me on a more comfortable surface. I felt light, the pain had gone, but instead I am left tired. I felt someone pick up the hand, which I had cut, and unwrap it.
“They got her blood from this cut. You should have protected her! This sort of poisoning can only be used in the first few hours of the initiation!” Hades scolded.
“If it wasn’t for you this wouldn’t have happened. You bring trouble with you wherever you go!”
“Yet I was the one you came and asked for help centuries ago?” I wonder what he had helped with. My mum must have been really desperate to go to Hades for help.
“Enough! If you two don’t come up with an agreement and get along soon, I will take Alexa away from both of you!” It made me feel like a toy being fought over by two children.
“Will you lot learn not to have arguments about me in front of me? I may be sleeping but there are times where I can hear you!” I groaned if I had the strength I would have stormed out of the room. Instead I found enough strength to open my eyes and sit up.
“What happened to me?” I asked rubbing my arm. It felt as if someone had played darts using my arm as a target
“Ambrosia poisoning.” Hades huffed.
“Your blood for the next 24 hours will be gold. But around this time your blood can kill you. We think a Fury got a sample of your blood. Put even the smallest amount of pure ambrosia in your blood stream, when your body is trying to absorb the rest of it, you have a reaction that can result in death.”
“I’ve known about this what? Two days? And someone is already out to kill me… Besides him?” I mildly screeched pointing at Hades for the last part. I need to get some self-control back.
“I’m not trying to kill you!”
“Alexa, calm down.” Demeter instructed. Calm down? Someone tried to kill me! I climbed to my feet, pushing past everyone, annoyed about everything what is happening.
“Where are you going?” Hades called as I stomped down the stairs.
“I’m British, I’m stressed. I’m getting a bloody cup of tea!” I screamed lifting my arms in the air as to prove a point. I’m sure they can’t see me; for me it added drama.
I felt like I am on a warpath. I am like my mum in some sense, I hardly got angry but when I did it showed. When I heard the light bulb shatter, I knew I might have to consider calming down. I kept an eye on the kettle, the last thing I wanted to do is to short fuse that. However, my attention soon moved to the sudden wilted plant near it.
“Yeah I would start giving up if I lived here too.” I groaned. Great I’m talking to dying plants. It is strange at what condition it is in. My mum, took care of any plant life like it is family, which may make more sense, she’s Goddess of harvest.
I listened as, “Get out of my house,” Bounced off the walls. More arguing followed. My mind tried to work out what the chances of me escaping this place before someone found me. I still had no idea how powerful the other Gods and Goddesses were. I could step out and be caught. With a Fury trying to kill me, I’m not sure if I wanted to step out. Nevertheless, if my future is that I could go out, get caught by a Fury or one of Hades’ servants or be stuck inside the house. I think I will take my chances with going outside.