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Color Me Blue

Chapter Text

Leave me alone, leave me alone...
I can’t help but repeat myself, I know it’s not your fault...
Still lately I begin to shake, for no reason at all.

Persephone’s headphones draped around her neck, as her fingers skimmed the textbook before her. Music and reading, they go hand in hand, right? It’s hard to focus when there’s no melody to the words. Squirming in her seat, she pushed herself away from her desk, rolling back towards her bed. She rose with a sigh, plopping down on the soft, pink comforter.

“Perse? You good?”

Hermes peaked his head through the door, a half cocked grin spreading across his face. Without lifting her head, Persephone gave a sarcastic thumbs up, groaning into the fabric beneath her.

“I take it studying isn’t going well.” Hermes slipped through the door, eyeballing the book on her desk. Notebook paper littered the wood top, weighed down by a mountain of books Persephone had yet to open. “How could you tell?” Her voice was soft and muffled, drowned out by the cotton fabric surrounding her face. Lifting her head, she shot Hermes a look. “Did my enthusiastic thumbs up give it away, or how about my perky groans of torment?” She smirked, sitting up in her bed.

Hermes laughed, shaking his head. He plopped down beside her, raising a brow. “You’re on break, Perse, which means... take a break. You’re going to study yourself to death.” His brows furrowed, his tone lingering on serious. Persephone flashed a grin, ruffling his shaggy red hair.

“How cute are you when you worry?” She giggled, falling back against her pillows. Her eyes traced the white ceiling above her, a sigh releasing from her lips. Hermes fell back to land beside her, rolling his eyes. “Real funny. Seriously, let’s watch a movie tonight or something. Artemis will be home right? Hey, hasn’t she been spending an awful lot of time with Hecate lately...?” Persephone blushed, her cheeks turning as red as sunset. She shot up, frantically scanning her room for a topic changer. “Uh, yeah! A movie! That sounds fun. She’ll totally be home, because she’s totally not with Hecate and she’s actually... uh... in Olympus! I mean, inner city. I mean, she’s with Hera! Yeah, getting new work assignments for the mortal world.” She turned slowly to face Hermes, a plastered smile stretched across her face. Smooth, Perse.

“Assignments already? Weird, I haven’t gotten mine... oh well.” Sometimes, Persephone seriously loved how clueless this red headed bottle-blonde could be. She planted a kiss on his cheek, rising to her feet. “I’m sure you will, we are on break, after all.” She forced a smile, praying to the Gods that Artemis would walk through the door at any second. “Anyway, a movie night? I’d love that. I’ll bake baklava!” She clapped her hands together, a genuine smile rising in her cheeks.

“Oh man, I love your baklava.” Hermes laughed, scooping Persephone off her feet. “Hermes!” She shrieked, smacking his broad shoulder playfully. Hermes whisked her away from her room, into the bright living room. It was flooded with evening sunlight, a soft red sky piercing the windows. He sat her down gently on the couch, plopping beside her. Flipping through the television channels, the two eyed the screen, waiting for something to grab their attention. “Oooh! Something scary! Please?” Persephone’s soft pink hair bloomed around her face, flowing down her back. She fluttered her eyes at Hermes, tilting her head with a pout. “Scary? You always make me sleep on your floor when we watch something scary!” He huffed, crossing his arms. “I promise I won’t! Pretty please?” Her hair spread over his lap, a warm scent of strawberries filling his nose. “Ugh, fine. You win.” He winked, flipping to a cable horror network.

“Yay! I’ll start the baklava! And I’ll text Artemis.” She winked, jumping up from the couch, dancing into the kitchen.

P: Hey, Hermes and I are having a movie night. Care to join?

A: Sure! I’ll be home in about an hour. Apollo wanted to stop by, care if he joins?

Ugh, he’s such a... skeeze though. Persephone wrinkled her nose, the phone heavy in her hand. Apollo wasn’t bad but... Persephone knew he certainly wasn’t good either. Still, he was Artemis’ brother, and this was her house, so she couldn’t really say no.

P: Sure thing. I’m making baklava.

Maybe she’ll get the hint?

A: Sweet! I’ll let Apollo know!

Ugh, or not. Persephone sat her phone down on the counter, picking up her apron. In the kitchen, she found unusual peace. She was able to concentrate, everything was very clear. A laid out plan for what she was doing; much unlike her life that, up until four months ago, she was sure of. Then Hermes entered the picture and... it’s like her kitchen caught on fire. Though he’s been incredibly understanding about the virgin goddess thing, Persephone couldn’t help but question the situation. Was Hermes really okay with never being intimate? Ever? Persephone swallowed hard; that wasn’t something she could expect him to give up lightly.

An hour later, Persephone was setting a fresh baklava on the table. Within seconds, Hermes popped into the kitchen, that big goofy grin across his face. Wow, did she love that grin. “Smells great Perse! Always does.” He rubbed his hands together, eyeballing the baklava. Persephone swatted at his hands, furrowing her brows. “No way! Artemis will be here soon, and she’s bringing Apollo...” Her voice trailed off, hoping Hermes would get the hint. Of course not, all this boy could think about was food. “Oh, Apollo? Cool.” But his eyes went right of Persephone and to the food hidden behind her. She groaned, shoving him out of the kitchen.

Back on the couch, the two snuggled in together, finally deciding on a cheesy horror flick. Within minutes, Artemis shoved the front door open. “Hi all!!” She beamed, looking happier than usual for Artemis.

“Arti!” Persephone leapt off the couch, wrapping her arms around Artemis. “You’ve been so busy these days, I feel like I barely know you.” She teased, elbowing her. “Haha, funny.” Artemis glared at Persephone, causing her to snicker. Moving past her, a taller, broad figure entered the doorway. Persephone stepped back, folding her arms over her chest. he was so tall; his hair slicked back with too much gel. He always smelled like mint, but like... a strong overpowering mint. Like something Persephone’s mother would’ve pruned out of her garden. Moving back towards the couch, Persephone let her gaze drop.

“What, no welcome hug for me, Persie?” Apollo stepped through the door. Something about him... made Persephone’s heart sink. He flashed a shark-tooth grin, moving towards her. Persephone fell back into the couch, wrapping herself against Hermes.” Hey dude! What’s up?” Hermes flashed him a smile, but Apollo’s eyes never left Persephone. This, of course, went unnoticed in Hermes world. “Not much.” Apollo’s tone was flat, his gaze traveling down every inch of Persephone’s body. She grabbed a small throw blanket hanging on the back of the couch behind her, throwing it over her legs. “Artemis is in there.” She pointed towards the kitchen, hoping he would follow suit. Of course, things never went the way she planned.

Instead, he sat down beside her, grazing her over once more. “I’m always more interested in seeing you.”

Persephone shifted her weight into Hermes, ignoring the comment.

It was... such a strange feeling she had. She knew Apollo wasn’t technically a bad guy but... she couldn’t shake the feeling that he was, in fact, a bad guy. Her gut, her heart, her head all told her to stay away from this guy; avoid him like the plague the mortals couldn’t escape from.

But that was the thing, sometimes you can’t escape a plague.

Chapter Text

I always wondered why the flowers looked that one. Each one like a piece of art, carefully sculpted. Roses, for instance, were designed to swirl around each petal. Overlapping, hugging each petal into a tight twist of color. Roses were beautiful, they’ve always been one of my favorites.

 

“You’re so pretty, Persephone. I knew you wanted me as badly as I wanted you.”

But also, there’s lilies. Tiger Lilies, Orange Lilies, Easter Lilies, Royal Lilies... I’ve always loved the Stargazer Lily though. I wonder how they got the name? It certainly can’t be because they actually, you know, Stargaze. They prefer full sunlight. Maybe it’s because they take in the sun as a whole? Letting the warmth wrap around them, opening up their petals? They’re a beautiful deep pink, I’ve always wished my hair were that deep. I bet if they could actually Stargaze, they’d open up towards the night sky and let the universe envelope them.

“Hold still pretty girl, just gonna capture a few pictures.”

Flash. Flash. Is that l-lightening? No, silly, it never rains here. I don’t let it rain here. This is my garden. Mother gave it to me. I don’t like it when it rains, so it never rains here. Lightening is scary anyway, can’t imagine a mortal who prefers lightening over sunshine. I mean, who would? It cracks in the sky, opening up the gates for rainfall. Who just willing stands in the rainfall?

He was grunting again. The arch of Persephone’s back shoved faintly against the heavy comforter; were her legs going numb? She couldn’t tell, this had never happened before. His weight pressed against her chest, the flex of his muscles running through his neck. His breath was so hot against her skin, it smelled like popcorn. Biting down her gag reflex, Persephone shifted her head to the opposite direction. Her eyelids clamped shut, darkness swallowing the world around her. If she couldn’t see him, if she didn’t acknowledge, maybe he’d stop? Maybe he’d get tired? Maybe he wouldn’t be interested?

“Shhh. Stop whimpering, you’ll wake up Arti or Hermes. You wanted this remember? You sent the signals.” His voice broke and trembled, a groan of pleasure releasing from his lips. His hands were wrapped tight around her thighs, his fingertips digging into her skin. It felt like lava against bare skin, like her thighs could melt off her bones. “You asked for this, Perse. I’m giving you what you asked for.” He grunted again, shoving hard against her.

Did I ask for this? I don’t remember. I remember the movie, the laughing, the popcorn... I remember Hermes drifting off to sleep, I remember saying I was going to bed... I remember Artemis heading off to bed too. Did I ask for this? My shorts were pretty short... my leg brushed against his a few times. Did I do that on purpose? There wasn’t much room on the couch... my hand brushed his when I reached for more popcorn... did I ask for this?

She could feel him inside, shoving against her, her head bobbing lifelessly against her pillow. Her arms were pinned to either side of her, weighed down by the helplessness spreading through her body. His hand traveled up her body, touching places that previously only belonged to her. Places that she didn’t have a chance to learn on her own; places that she never took the time to explore herself. Apollo was here, grunting on top of her, with every thrust and shove and grunt, taking another piece she could not get back.

He was ripping the petals off her flower.

—————

“That was great, doll.” Apollo stood up, quickly fastening the button to his jeans. His phone slid into his back pocket, his hand ruffling through his hair. “Hey, don’t tell Hermes, he wouldn’t understand why you picked me.” With a wink, Apollo swayed out of her room, the door shutting faintly behind him.

Wouldn’t... understand? Did I cheat on him? What did I do?

Persephone rose to her feet, her thighs aching with every step forward. She took a glance in her vanity mirror; she didn’t look different. The same crumpled t-shirt, the same face, her hair much longer than it was before wrapped around her shoulders, draping to the floor. A shaky hand pulled on a strand of hair, her lips curving into a frown. Her fingers tightened around the thick strand of hair, pulling with a bit more force. Hot tears brimmed her eyes, one breaking loose to roll down her cheek. Her hand pulled harder on her hair, pieces snapping free from her scalp. More tears, her hand tugged harder. “Did I do this?” Her voice broke, barely audible above a whisper. She closed her eyes, tears flooding the skin of her face. With a harsh tug, Persephone ripped the strand of hair from her head. “Oh...” She whimpered, blinking through the tears as she stared at the strand of hair before her. “This is mine. You can’t have it.” She stammered, shoving the lifeless hair into a drawer of her vanity, turning her gaze away.

This is mine, you can’t have it.

————

Morning broke through her window, sunlight flooding the room. It was warm and soft, wrapping around Persephone like a heavy blanket. She groaned, her stomach aching. She sat forward, blinking around the room for a moment. Everything seemed normal; same vanity, same bed sheets, same comforter...

What’s that?

A small circular stain sat in the middle of her bed, heavy on her sheet. Her heart thumped in her chest, her throat swelling with tears. “No.” She muttered, crawling over the stain. She started at the bottom corner, ripping the sheet from her bed. Folding it over, she moved to each corner, pulling the corners tight over the comforter until the formed a lumpy ball of fabric. She tossed the mess to the floor, stuffing it under her bed until it was no longer visible. Backing away from her bed, she eyeballed the bare mattress, folding her arms across her chest. “I’ll do some shopping later.”

“Hey, sleepy. Hermes said he’d catch you later, you were pretty out of it and he didn’t wanna wake you.” Artemis smiled warmly at her friend, flipping the pancake on the stove in front of her. “I’m making breakfast, you hungry?” Persephone felt a pit form in her gut, rising into her chest.

Depends, wanna know what your brother was up to last night?

“Um, no thanks, Arti. I’m just gonna get ready to meet Hera for the Underworld tour.” Persephone shifted her weight between her feet; she couldn’t tell Artemis what happened. Persephone herself still didn’t understand what had happened, and until she sorted her own feelings out about it, she certainly couldn’t run her mouth.

“Oh, right, the intern exchange. I wish you’d pick another place.” Artemis groaned, wrinkling her nose. “Interning for Hades... just doesn’t sound like you.” Artemis turned on her heels, piling pancakes onto a plate.

Persephone snorted, leaning against the doorway of the kitchen. “That’s rich, coming from someone who’s spent an awful lot of time in the underworld lately.” She raised her hand, pretending to study her fingernails before raising a brow at Artemis. “Besides, Hades is one of the more... tame brothers, right? It’ll be fiiiiiine.” She waved her hand nonchalantly, adjusting her skirt. She opted for a beige long sleeve top that hugged her figure, pairing it with a black pencil skirt the started higher on her waist, cutting off just before her knees.

“Whatever... besides, the underworld suits me, I’m a tough cookie.” Artemis grinned, eyeballing Persephone’s outfit. “You could’ve picked something a tad less revealing though.” Setting her plate of pancakes on the counter, she folded her arms across her chest. “Don’t forget, he’s still a King, Perse. He could still have his... trists, if you will.” Artemis sighed, shaking her head.

“I appreciate the concern, Arti, but I’ll be fine. I promise. Hecate is even the one showing me around! So it’ll be fine.” Persephone insisted, wiggling her brows at the mention of Hecate. “I’ll be sure to talk about that cute stuffed bear with the bow and arrow you sleep with...!” She trailed off, moving out of the doorway.

”PERSEPHONE, I WILL END YOUR EXISTENCE IF YOU DO!”

Persephone laughed, snagging her house keys from the tv stand. She yanked the door open, swinging it shut behind her.

It didn’t take long to reach the Inner City, Persephone always tuned the drive out anyways.

“$20, Pinky.” The grumpy nymph huffed at her, watching her exit the back of his cab. “Oh! Of course, sorry.” Persephone blushed, handing him a 20 dollar bill. The door latched behind her, and she stepped forward.

The stairs to Hera’s home always looked so intimidating; hand carved marble, swirled with gold. They glistened in the sunlight, clacking against her heels as Persephone made her way up them. Her small hand was swallowed by the heavy wood door, black marble wood swirling through the splinters. She pressed lightly against the doorbell, tugging at her shirt.

Artemis was right, I should’ve worn something different.

“Persephone! Right on time, as usual.” Hera beamed down at the little goddess, her golden locks of hair swirling around her shoulders. She reached an arm out, placing a hand gently on one of Persephone’s shoulders.

“Hello, Hera.” Persephone smiled warmly, patting nervously at the tight bun atop her own head.

“Persephone, darling, I unfortunately cannot accompany you to the underworld. But I’ve ordered a taxi for you, paid for in advance, and Hecate will meet you at the entrance. Have fun, darling!” Hera turned on her heels, practically waltzing away from the door.

“Oh, uh, but —“ It was no use, Hera was already waving her away from the door. Persephone turned, surprised by the sudden arrival of the taxi in front of her. She glared down the large set of stairs, huffing to herself. “Could’ve at least called me before I hiked up this unnecessary mountain of stairs.” She gloomed, dragging her heels as she made her way back down to the taxi.

Peaking out her front window, Hera shifted the heavy curtain. Her hand trembled; fingers aching like she’d dipped them Hephaestus’ pot of lava.

“Hera? Love, are you okay? Was that little Persephone?” Zeus peered around the corner, a brow raised at his wife.

“I...” Hera watched as Persephone entered the cab, the tires peeling away. Watching the small yellow vehicle disappear in the distance, Hera felt a single tear streak down her cheek. Her hand raised instinctively, wiping it away before turning to her husband.

“It was! She’s doing the tour of the Underworld today for the intern exchange program.” Hera offered a small smile. Come on, Zeus. Know me a little. Naturally, Zeus offered an empty blink followed by a bellowing laugh. “Oh, Hades will LOVE this! Minthe is gonna lose her absolute red-headed shit. I gotta call Poseidon.” Zeus turned on his heels, a faint dial tone in the distance.

Hera stood alone in their front room, surrounded by sunlight. It should feel warm; inviting, like your mother bringing you an after school snack. Instead, it felt empty, like it was swallowing Hera whole in the silence. Her lip quivered, a hand flying to cover her mouth as she let loose the tears that brimmed her eyes.

Who did this to you?

Chapter Text

Minthe draped her legs over the chaise lounge edge, running a hand over her lace bralette top.

Where is he?

She tucked a loose piece of her fire red hair behind her ear, folding her arms over chest. Hades’ old grandfather clock ticked in the background, seconds turning to minutes to hours. She huffed, pushing herself up off the lounge dragging her heels across the cool marble floor. They clacked against the glossy top, echoing down the empty hallway.

He’s late. Why?

Frustration began building up in her chest, crawling up her throat like she could breath fire. She whipped out her phone, scrolling through Fatesbook. No updates, no tags... so at least he wasn’t out with anyone. She opened her messages, fingers tapping faintly against the screen.

M: He’s late. He’s never late. WTF?

T: Told ya bitch, he’s getting bored ;)

Minthe groaned, scrunching her nose at the screen. Thetis could be such a bitch, but maybe she was right. Since making things... official, Hades certainly had higher expectations. Minthe didn’t do well with expectations; she was a wing it and go type of girl. She found herself wandering into the bedroom, kicking off the tall black stiletto heels. Her feet sank into the plush area rug, walking lightly to the edge of the bed. She sat down, facing the full length mirror she had forced Hades to buy. How else would she be able to look at herself when they had sex? Minthe was a lot of things, but pride tended to overrule them all. Smirking, she rose to her feet, walking to the mirror.

Dropping to her feet, she balanced in a crouched position, sticking her hips out to the right side. She let her hair hang lofty over her shoulder, her bottom lip out in a pout. If Hades wasn’t going to be here to appreciate a fine work of lingerie art, Thetis certainly would.

M: You’re full of shit. He could never bored of this.

[IMAGE ATTACHMENT]

T: OOOOOH! You wore the new new! I loooove the way the thigh highs grip your legs, girl. Legs for days.

Minthe grinned, feeling a moment of satisfaction. But yet, the hole in her heart would fill with satisfaction and drain with hurt.

Where is he?

————————

Persephone tugged at her skirt as she stepped out of the taxi. Maybe she really should’ve taken Artemis’ advice and worn something a little more conservative.

Why don’t I ever listen?

Hugging her arms to her sides, she stepped forward on the concrete. Her petite heels crunched against the loose specks of gravel and concrete, causing her to stumble.

Stupid! Heels? Seriously? You thought you were coordinated enough for this?

“Oh, be careful.”

A man stepped out behind her, a heavy black coat covering his obviously expensive suit. Even his pants were pressed and the seems tailored to his height. Black gloves covered his hands, his white hair whipping faintly with the breeze. For some odd reason, he sported sunglasses... when there was no sun. Persephone smiled faintly.

“I’m so sorry. I’m a klutz, usually. I apologize.” She gripped his arm for support, balancing herself out.

The man gave a gruff chuckle, helping her find her balance. His hand didn’t linger long, which Persephone found oddly respectful. “It’s alright, I can handle klutzy.” He smiled, glancing down at the small Goddess.

Persephone pretended to adjust her top, running her hands over it to smooth the wrinkles. “Right, well, I should get going. I’m doing an intern interview... er, tour? Today.” She ran a hand nervously over the back of her head, fidgeting with the bun her hair was wrapped in.

“Oh! Good luck!” He waved her off, but she was already moving away to the large glass double doors.

Well, at least he was polite.

Once inside, the cool air seemed to flitter off. The building was much warmer, and far busier than she expected. Workers buzzed around her, scanning badges, running papers, spilling coffee. A small bubble of excitement welled in her chest. This was so out of the ordinary for Persephone, and she was finding herself... loving it.

“Persephone!”

Persephone turned on her heels, brows raised. She scanned the area behind her, wrinkling her nose. Was she hearing things now?

Out of the middle of a large crowd, out popped a very professional yet grumpy looking Hecate.

“When I say EXCUSE ME it means GET OUT OF MY DAMN WAY!” Hecate waved her arms at the crowd, scowling at each and every one of them. Workers avoided her gaze, averting their eyes every which way.

Haha... oh boy.

“Hecate! It’s been so long!” Persephone threw her arms around the Goddess, squeezing her in a tight hug. “I’ve missed you, friend. How are you?”

“I’m great! Would be a tad better if you let me breath, however.” Hecate coughed, Persephone releasing her tight grip.

“Oh! S-sorry.” She offered a small smile, fidgeting her fingers.

“It’s fine, dear. It has been too long! Look at you, all grown up. I’m so glad you’re here, I really hope you love it and decide to stay with us.” Hecate offered a warm smile, wrapping her arm around Persephone. She lead the pair through another set of double doors, scanning a small white badge to the entrance. They entered a long carpeted hallway, approaching an elevator. “First things first, we’re going to the top. I always start with a Hades introduction. He runs things anyhow and assigns internship jobs, so, it’s best to make a good first impression.”

Persephone found herself chewing on her fingernail, blinking hard at Hecate. “You could’ve warned me! I, am terrible with introductions.” She scowled, nudging Hecate.

“You’ll do fine.” Hecate nodded, pressing ‘99’ on the elevator directory. They ascended upwards, workers buzzing on and off the elevator at every floor. Hecate droned on about the internship, how it was paid but not much, how the work could be boring but the work relationships could get her far... “Persephone? Are you even listening?” Persephone glanced up, Hecate’s hands on either hip, a brow raised at the young Goddess.

“You bet! Boring work, good relationships.” She nodded, offering a smile. Hecate sighed, shaking her head.

They reached their destination, Hecate motioning for Persephone to exit first. The pair walked down another long stretched hallway, nymphs and various creatures bumping past them.

“Not everyone here is grumpy — it’s inventory week. Everyone is trying to make sure they don’t get their asses chewed by miscounting shades, misplacing shades, losing souls, losing tokens and the like.” Hecate wrapped her arm through Persephone’s leading her up a small set of stairs to a landing.

Persephone let a sly grin cross her face as the walked across the landing, glancing around at the art and various statues scattered through the building. “It’s beautiful here, I can see now why Artemis likes spending time here.” She nudged Hecate, wiggling her brows.

“What?!” Hecate glared down at Persephone, her mouth ajar. “She does NOT spend too much time here! I don’t keep her here all day! I - I simple have her run errands is all! That’s her job anyway!” Hecate rambled, heat rising in her cheeks.

“I never said you did.” Persephone giggled, winking at her old friend.

“You brat.” Hecate huffed, pulling Persephone along.

Finally, they reached a large desk with a granite top. Behind it sat a slender but beautiful red headed nymph. She was filing her nails, talking aimlessly to someone on her Bluetooth headset.

“Minthe, page Hades. Immediately. Also, work hours are not for pleasure calls.” Hecate’s voice lowered, her arms folding across her chest.

Clearly, Hecate was not a fan of this... Minthe woman.

Minthe huffed, rolling her eyes. “It was Thetis. Keeping me in the loop with Olympus, you know the deal.” Minthe grinned, but it felt shallow and empty. She eyeballed Persephone for a moment, her eyes narrowing.

“Minthe! Page him, now. I won’t ask again.” Hecate approached the desk, her eyes glowing.

“Okay! Damn, give me a minute.” Minthe dialed a few numbers, leaning back into her chair. Her hair was pulled into a tight high-top ponytail, even still, it hung to the middle of her back. She was beautiful, no doubt. She had a small, slender frame but curved in the right areas. She wore a tight red mid-turtle neck dress, and had little makeup on. Persephone noted that she wouldn’t even need it; she was naturally pretty.

Persephone adjusted herself, suddenly wishing she could crawl into a box and tape it shut.

“He’ll be down in a minute.” Minthe rolled her eyes, folding her arms across her chest. Hecate nodded, turning away from her.

Minthe eyed the small Goddess, tilting her head. She was very pretty, and as curvy as an Olympus mountain highway. Clearly her hair was long and thick, the bun on her head was pulled tight but loose curls popped out here and there. She was short and petite, the tiny heels barely adding to her height.

This little girl may be an issue.

Behind her, she heard the all too familiar sound of Hades’ loafer shoes tapping against the floor. She swirled in her chair, batting her eyes at him. Hades nodded briefly at her, causing a bubble of anger to build in her throat.

Excuse me?

Hades moved directly to Hecate, reaching his hand out for hers. Hecate shook his hand, smiling brightly as she introduced Persephone. “Hades, King of the Underworld, meet Persephone, Goddess of Spring.” Hades turned his eyes from Hecate to Persephone, only to feel his heart stop in his chest.

It’s the girl from this morning, but she looks so... different. Was I not paying attention?

“Hello, sir. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Persephone’s voice was small but firm, her arm extending to offer her hand. Hades wrapped his hand around her small fingers, lingering perhaps a second too long.

“Uh, yes, I’m Hades. Pleasure.” He stammered, withdrawing his hand as Hecate cleared her throat.

Persephone giggled, feeling her cheeks turn as red as Minthe’s hair. Her hand felt warm, it was so small in his, but his hand was so... welcoming. Strong. She liked that.

Hecate sighed, rubbing her temple. “Ah, yes, anyway. Persephone is here for the internship tour. I was wondering if you could give it to her?”

“WHAT?”

A collective inquiry from both Persephone, Hades, and Minthe. Hecate stared at the three, Hades’ eyes locking with Persephone’s. He glanced a Minthe, noting the glare of death she loomed over him.

“Yes, I have a very busy schedule and double booked myself. You’ve given tours in the past, and Persephone is a peach. You’ll have fun!” Hecate beamed, clapping her hands together.

“Well... I don’t suppose I mind, if you’re okay with it, sir. Would you care to give me a tour?” Persephone gave him a warm smile, rubbing the side of her arm nervously as she bit on her bottom lip.

If you are the peach, I would very much like to be the pit.

Hades cleared his throat, nodding in agreement. “Sure, I’d love to give you a tour. It shouldn’t take too terribly long, I promise not to bore you to death.” He wiggled his brows, causing Persephone to erupt in a fit of giggles.

Hecate grinned, waving at the pair as she walked away. “Have fun!” Her voice echoed as she walked from the landing, disappearing down the stairs.

“Right, let’s do this!” Persephone gave an enthusiastic fist pump, grinning up at Hades.

“Yes, let’s do this.” He extended his arm for Persephone to grip. “I recall you being rather clumsy.” He grinned, winking at her. “Oh! That was you? I apologize. I didn’t recognize you without the sunglasses... er, moonglasses? You have no sun.” She teased, nudging him softly. “I appreciate your help, though.” She smiled warmly at him, draping her arm gently around his. Hades laughed, squeezing her arm with his hand as he began leading her down another hallway. I am in so, so much trouble.