Chapter 1: Lazy Morning
Hades stirred, blinking awake at the sound of the alarm clocks blare. Groaning, he reached over and shut off the racket, then turned over in search of Persephone. Finding her curled asleep, he cuddled close to her with a smile. He nuzzled against her chest,curling around her body and murmuring, "Wake up, sweetness."
Persephone frowned and grunted sleepily, burrowing deeper into her pillow. "I don't wanna," she mumbled.
“But you must, sweetheart. Work and responsibilities call." He kissed along the arc of one breast, searching out her nipple.
"No," she mumbled petulantly. "I'm sleepy." As his lips brushed over her nipple she moaned softly and arched toward him, eyes screwed shut.
He kissed gently over her nipple, his lips caressing the tender flesh. "I know you are, darling. But we must get ready for our first day of work together as a public couple."
"Nooo," she whined. "Let's stay here instead." The pink bud at the tip of her breast drew up, hard and sensitive at the light touches and she made a small, needy noise.
He chuckled. "It might be an ominous sign that I can't say no to you. Ah well, I think the boss might forgive lateness today." He pressed close to her, molding their bodies against each other, and took her nipple in his mouth, suckling softly.
Persephone gasped and arched against him. Her core hummed with desire and she felt her channel start to get slick with need. "Just a little late," she said in a husky whisper.
"A bit," he purred. "Wouldn't want to set a precedent." He cupped his hand warmly between her legs, stroking gently in time with his suckling.
She moaned and rocked her hips in time with his stroking fingers, burying her fingers in his hair. "Hades," she rasped.
"Yes, love?" He slipped fingers inside her, massaging the heel of his hand against her clit.
Persephone cried out softly as his fingers filled her, her sensitive bud humming under his ministrations. "I love the way you touch me," she gasped. "You make me feel so good."
"I'm glad of it," Hades whispered. "I like making you feel good. Especially since you look absolutely gorgeous in pleasure." He worked her body sensuously, basking in the sounds of her pleasure. "I'd like to make you come, then slip inside you."
Persephone nodded vigorously, then arched against him with a cry. "I'm so close, love," she panted.
"Then come for me." He shifted, pressing her over onto her back. "I'm ready for you." His hard shaft pressed against the soft skin of her inner thigh. She spread her legs and thrust her hips against his hand, her arousal spiraling higher until she burst with a cry, her lust leaking out over his hand.
Hades kept up the strokes to her sensitive flesh until her tremors began to abate. He positioned himself against her quivering channel and slid inside her on a firm push.
Persephone cried out loudly as hilted himself inside her still-twitching sheath. She trembled and twitched under him as the engorged, sensitive flesh shifted around him, jolts of orgasmic pleasure shooting through her body.
Hades began to move inside her carefully, long strokes intended to draw out and prolong pleasure. He propped himself up on both hands as his lean, strong body moved over her, his lust-filled eyes eagerly devouring every sight of her ecstasy.
She drew her knees up around his ribs and moved with him, her core already quivering on the cusp of climax. A few more long strokes and she came again with a soft wail, rippling and grasping around him.
"I love you," he whispered, his need tugging at him like an inexorable tide, spurred by the feeling of her climax. "Sweetheart, I love you so much." The sensation of her body shivering around him was sheer perfection and he knew he could never get enough of it.
"I love you," she gasped as her orgasm receded. She drew him down to kiss him desperately. "I love you," she whispered over and over against his lips.
Hades wrapped his arms around her, returning her passionate kisses, losing himself in the moment, in her. When he needed to draw back for air, he combed his fingers tenderly into her hair as he moved inside the tight clasp of her body.
Persephone fisted her fingers into her pillow and closed her eyes, giving herself up to sensation as she moved her hips with his. The pleasure started to build in her core again and her brow furrowed slightly in concentration as she worked toward another climax.
He tucked his knees under her hips, raising her into a better position to plunge deeply, curving his body over her, intimately protective. Hades focused all the effort he could on holding back the pleasure and need pulsing through him, needing to feel her bliss.
She cried out as he pressed into her at this new angle, her body taking in every inch of his stroking length. The pressure built and spiraled and coiled tighter with each thrust and she hovered on the precipice for long moments before she finally tipped over the edge into ecstasy with a loud cry.
Hades groaned as she clenched rhythmically around him, the feeling of her climax adding tinder to his already precarious control. He raised his head and looked down at her, need and a tiny thread of panic in his eyes.
Persephone's eyes fluttered open as the climax passed and saw the panicked look on Hades' face. She smiled, amused and touched at his concern for her pleasure. "You can let go, my love," she rasped. "I'll go with you."
Her permission evaporated the last tenuous threads of his attempts at control and Hades let out a groan as he claimed her lips in a searing kiss. The tightening knot of his need and arousal burst and his orgasm slammed through his body as he cried out into the kiss.
Persephone felt him thicken inside her as his climax approached. His pace quickened and the pressure inside her built fast and she came with him as his lips crashed into hers.
Hades kissed her hungrily as he shook and trembled with climax, coming deep inside her in wave after hot wave. Soft cries and whimpers of completion and pleasure escaped him as he clung to her.
She squeezed him with her thighs and gasped as her quivering sheath pulled at his twitching length, returning his kisses desperately.
As his climax released, Hades slumped over her, panting raggedly. He pressed trembling kisses against her jaw and throat, rasping murmured endearments.
Persephone wrapped her legs around his waist, crossing her ankles at the small of his back, and held him close, stroking his hair as she caught her breath.
Once he'd recovered a bit, Hades raised his head and gazed down at her, still panting lightly. "How was that for you?" he asked with a breathless chuckle.
She grinned up at him, brushing the lock of hair off his forehead. "I could get used to waking up like this," she said with a giggle. "How was it for you?"
"Incredible" he murmured on a contented sigh, turning his head to kiss her wrist. "I'd like to be able to last longer for you, though. You're delicious and it plays havoc on my control. I've not had this much trouble holding off on coming for ages."
She unlocked her ankles and brought her knees up high along his ribs, raising her arms over her head and stretching languorously. "That's what you get for bedding a fertility goddess," she smiled lazily.
Hades laughed. "I suppose so." He kissed her sternum as she stretched, before glancing up at her face with a concerned look. He bit his lip. "Are you satisfied? I don't like leaving you needful just because I couldn't hold on."
She laughed and looked up at him as she relaxed. "Hades, one or two orgasms is generally plenty to keep me happy. You've consistently given me more than that. You haven't left me wanting yet." She kissed him gently.
He let out a relieved sigh. "Oh good. I worried a bit. I'd want you to have all the pleasure you needed, then with you being a fertility goddess..." He shrugged a little. "I wasn't sure what you might need."
With a crooked smile she kissed him again, slower, deeper. "You are all I need, Hades," she murmured as she pulled away. "Just you."
Pleased and touched, he blushed and propped his chin on her chest. "You're all I could ever need. Just you by my side." His smile turned mischievous. "Or under me..."
"Or on top of you," she added, waggling her eyebrows suggestively.
"Ooh, yes. Can't forget that." He winked at her. "I suppose it just comes down to: all I need is you."
"We should probably get ready for work, love." She smiled and kissed him soundly, then added, "I was thinking. We're public now. The news will be spreading quickly. But maybe it would be better for us to arrive separately. What do you think?"
"I think arriving together would present a sort of united front and reinforce the idea that we are happily together. Plus, I just like the idea," he said with a sweet smile. "Why do you think it would be better? I'll admit, it would do quite a bit to twist up the gossipers."
She laughed. "I like the idea of arriving together as well, and if you think it would be the better PR move, I'm on board." Her eyes widened as she realized something. "I didn't think I'd be spending the night tonight, so I don't have any work clothes with me."
He frowned. "I suppose we really should get going so that you can swing by home. That might put a cramp in arriving together..." He brightened. "Oh! I had wanted to go by the Tower 2 Bakery with you this morning. What if we met up there?"
"That sounds like a good plan," she smiled. "I still haven't gotten down there."
"I'm tempted to go over to your place with you and... help you get ready," he said with a waggle of his eyebrows, "but then we really would be late."
She giggled, blushing. "I'd enjoy that, but you're right. We should maintain a modicum of professionalism." She kissed the tip of his nose and patted his shoulder. "Come on, let's get moving."
He nodded and lifted himself off of her with a groan and flopped to the side of the bed. "Getting up in the morning with you in my bed is going to require significantly more willpower..."
She laughed, stretching again as he left her. "I can't think of much of anything that would make me want to leave your bed." She rolled up, rose from the bed, and searched for any clothing she may have discarded on the floor over the weekend.
Hades pushed up to sitting on the bed and stood. "I should grab a shower, but I think I'll wait until after I've seen you off." He pulled on his robe and belted it shut.
Persephone quickly pulled on the leggings and shirt she'd worn the day before and grabbed her bag, stuffing her things into it. "I'll shower at home, I think," she said. "I don't think we'd get out of here on time if I showered here. She smiled at him crookedly.
"I guarantee we would not," he murmured, pulling her into a quick hug and kiss.
He walked with her to the front door. "Is seeing you off like this too much 'lovelorn fool'?"
"If it is, I don't care," she said, standing on tiptoe to kiss him again. "I'll text you when I'm on my way to the bakery. I love you." She stepped out onto the doorstep and lifted into the air.
"Love you, too," he called after, lifting his hand in a farewell wave.
Persephone blew him a kiss, gave him a wink, and flew off toward home.
Chapter 2: A Change in Plans
Hades strolled from the valet parking to the lobby of tower 2, whistling with a broad smile. Cerberus trotted at his side, tongue lolling. He would have ordinarily set the Guardian on to his duties, but he liked the idea of Cerberus joining them for breakfast. He smiled at the thought of Persephone’s reaction when she saw the dog. “Think she loves you more than me?” he asked the dog with a grin.
Cerberus sneezed by way of answer.
Pushing the door open into the lobby of the tower, he nodded politely to the respectful bows of those he passed and made his way to the bakery. Catching sight of Persephone already inside, he grinned in delight as he opened the door, a soft entrance chime sounding.
Persephone looked up at the sound of the chime, and her face lit up when she saw Hades come through the door, then even further when she saw Cerberus. Rising from her seat, she hurried over to them, then stopped, hesitating. "Do I give you a kiss? Or...?"
"Please do." Hades leaned down and kissed her tenderly then whispered in her ear, "though perhaps we should keep it publically appropriate."
She pulled a disappointed face. "Well that's no fun," she said with a wink and bent to greet Cerberus with a kiss on his head. Straightening, she slipped her hand into Hades’. "Lead the way, I've never been here before."
Hades smiled. “After today, I expect you’ll never want to leave.” He signaled to Cerberus to wait by the door and walked with Persephone up to the counter, squeezing her hand gently. The clerk greeted them with a friendly smile. “Welcome back, your Majesty. What can I get for the two of you today?”
“It’s Persephone’s first time here,” he said with a smile.
“Wonderful!” the pretty young faun smiled broadly. “Please let me know if I can make any recommendations! I’m quite partial to the turnovers, myself.”
Hades nodded with a grin. “I love those, too.”
Persephone smiled up at him. "Mm, those sound good. I think I'll have a cherry turnover."
Hades kissed her cheek before pulling out his wallet and ordering two cherry turnovers and a pup cup of whipped cream for Cerberus. The clerk was visibly touched by their displays of affection and smiled at him. "Your Majesty, Ms Persephone, I was so happy to see the news of your relationship over the weekend. I'm pleased to offer you these on the house as a congratulations."
"That is very kind of you. Thank you so much," she smiled warmly.
The clerk smiled broadly and Hades thanked her as well with a grin. He handed the pup cup to Persephone. "Do you want to give your good boy his treat?"
Persephone beamed a smile at him and, taking the proffered cup, hurried over to Cerberus who was prancing impatiently by the door. "Here you go, good boy!" she cooed. She held the cup for him as he greedily lapped up the whipped cream.
Hades laughed as he took the packaged turnovers and thanked the clerk again. He made his way over to Persephone and Cerberus and scratched the dog's ears. "Was that tasty?"
Cerberus whuff ed and gave them a doggy grin.
Persephone smiled up at him as she took the turnover he offered her. "He's so cute. Where should we sit?"
"There's a bit of a lounge-type waiting room just around the corner here, or we can go find a bench outside. What would you prefer?"
She thought for a moment. "Outside, I think." She slipped her hand into Hades' and waited for him to lead the way. "Come on, Cerbie," she said.
Hades smiled as they walked through the lobby, hand in hand, Cerberus trotting beside them. The passersby and lobby employees were clearly trying not to stare, and there was a fair bit of excited whispering, but reactions seemed to be positive. Once they were outside, he directed Persephone toward a bench in a pleasant little spot and they sat down, Cerberus flopping at their feet.
Persephone unwrapped her turnover and took a huge bite. "Oh my gods, this is so good." She slipped off her shoes and rubbed Cerberus' belly with her bare feet while they ate. They watched the morning commuters for a while."People seem to be feeling positive about the situation so far," she ventured. "That's good."
"Very good indeed. As long as you're feeling positive about it, though, that’s what's important to me." He watched with amusement as Cerberus lolled on his back, tongue hanging out, clearly blissed with the attention. "I hope he can still concentrate enough to do his job today."
She smiled at the fearsome Guardian fondly. "He'll do a fine job because he's a very good boy."
Hades chuckled. "I was so jealous of him that first morning you were at my place. You were giving him so much attention and I wanted some so badly."
She looked up, surprised. "Really? I didn't know that." She looked back down at Cerberus and smiled. "If I had, I would have gladly given you some."
He grinned mischievously. "I got that impression. Remember we discussed what your reaction would have been if I'd fessed up to thinking you wanted sex that morning when I helped you with your hair."
She blushed slightly. "Oh right...I remember now." She took a bite of turnover and winked at him. "I suppose it's not appropriate for me to give you a belly rub at work."
"Not unless we find an out of the way corridor again," he remarked placidly. "I'm all for that."
Persephone's blush deepened to a comely fuchsia and she concentrated on eating her turnover. She shivered slightly, remembered the heated encounter they'd had after court on Friday. Hades smiled and wrapped an arm comfortably around her shoulders. "You're beautiful when you blush."
Persephone snuggled into the crook of his arm and leaned against him, nibbling on her turnover. "Thank you," she murmured, smiling up at him.
Hades leaned down and kissed her forehead, eyes closed in contentment and lips curved into a smile. "You're welcome, sweetheart."
Persephone finished her turnover, licking the crumbs off her fingers, then checked the time. "Oh, I better get moving. Thanatos will give me no end of crap if I show up much later." She stood up and bent to kiss him. "I love you," she whispered.
He returned her kisses with a smile. "Love you, sweet. I'll text you later?"
She nodded. "Please do."
"All right." He stood and tossed the turnover wrappers in the nearby trash can. "My schedule is fairly light today, so I should be free to chat."
"Okay," she smiled and stood on tiptoe to kiss his cheek once more. "See you later!" she called as she hurried into the building.
Hades waved after her and smiled down at Cerberus. "What a difference a weekend makes, hmm?" Cerberus just grinned.
Persephone hurried to her desk, relieved to see that Thanatos wasn't there. She really didn't want to deal with him teasing her for being late, especially now that everyone knew about her and Hades. As she passed by the cubicles she saw heads pop up and heard some furtive whispering, but she held her own head high and ignored them. You're fated to be a queen. Who cares if they're talking about you?
Hades sent Cerberus off to his post and went upstairs to his office where he found Hecate waiting for him.
"Looks like the two of you made a bit of a splash over the weekend," she remarked dryly, tapping a stack of newspapers on his desk. Hades leafed through it, steeling himself, but the coverage seemed largely positive. He breathed a sigh of relief.
"I didn't think we could escape with no bad coverage, but this seems fairly decent."
"Decent so far, yes. Any other unpleasant interactions I should know about?" Hecate raised her eyebrow. If the press were involved there was almost certainly an unpleasant interaction.
He shrugged. "A couple of overly nosy reporters. You know about the one from the Herald. She was just overeager. But we ran into one from a tabloid looking for sleazy information. Persephone sent her packing."
Both of Hecate's impeccably groomed eyebrows rose at this. " Persephone did?" She smiled. "Perhaps she's getting the hang of this faster than I thought. How did she cope with everything?"
He smiled. "Remarkably well. She is incredible. I let it slip that I love her when we were out yesterday. Hecate, she loves me."
Hecate smiled affectionately at her old friend. "Does she then?" She patted him on the shoulder. "Congratulations, Hades. When's the wedding?"
He blushed and cleared his throat as he sank down into his chair. "We, uh, haven't discussed that. Neither of us wants to rush into anything. Even though the Fates have apparently gotten involved, we just know that she's fated to be queen, not when."
"Really?" she said thoughtfully. "That's interesting. Neither of your brothers delayed at all once they'd discovered their consorts."
"Zeus and Poseidon are idiots," Hades grumbled. "I'm not about to rush her into things like living together, much less marriage, before she's ready for it. Enough people have tried to control her life that I am not going to do the same. I am as eager to marry her as you might expect," he said softly, "but at the same time, knowing the Fates are playing a hand makes it easier. That coupled with knowing she loves me and I love her... It is no hardship to say I want to let things unfold in their own time without impatient prodding."
Hecate nodded, satisfied. "Has she decided what she wants to do about the Apollo situation?"
"Not specifically, but I'm behind her either way." He raked a hand through his hair. "I can't imagine how she's felt all this time waiting for the other shoe to drop with those photos."
Hecate nodded. “It must have been incredibly stressful. I’m proud of her for starting this process, though.” She glanced at her watch. “I have a bit of a meeting to check on, but I’ll be free in a little while if the two of you want to meet about legalities.”
Hades nodded. “Thank you, Hecate. I’ll let you know.”
The goddess nodded politely to him and left the office.
Hades picked up his phone and pulled up Persephone’s text messages, just the idea of talking to her bringing a smile to his face.
Hello, sweetness. I met with Hecate this morning.
The newspapers seem favorable, except the ones
you'd just expect not to be.
We've done pretty well. 😉 How have you fared?
Hi! 😘 Lots of people staring and whispering.
Lots of people acting like they want to come
ask me questions but don't.
I'm glad, I don't feel like answering a bunch
of personal questions about us. What did Hecate say?
She asked if we'd had any unpleasant encounters
and how you were handling things. She also
asked if you'd decided what to do about Apollo and the pictures.
I told her we hadn't discussed legal actions in too many specifics.
She also asked when we'd planned
the wedding. I told her we weren't rushing.
Well, that’s reassuring… 😉
I was thinking about the photos.
I think I changed my mind
about what I want to do.
All right, darling. You know I'm
with you, regardless. How do you want to handle it?
I don't want to go out and
publicize what happened to me.
I'm still working through it with
my therapist, I can barely talk
about it without crying... I'm not ready.
I want to quietly start
legal proceedings and keep it as
quiet as possible.
I understand. Do you want
to come up here on a break or a
summons from the boss and talk with
Hecate on legal steps while she's up here?
Persephone : Summon me, Your Majesty 😜
New email notification:
You are hereby summoned to the 99th floor to appear before King Hades.
Why do you always have to be so extra? 😂
P.S. please don't ever stop being extra
What's the point of being King if you
can't be ostentatious?
Now get your gorgeous ass up here.
Yes, sir. 😘
Chapter 3: Minutiae
Persephone walked into Hades's waiting lounge. A green nymph with a pleasant smile had taken Minthe's place and Persephone liked her very much. "Hello, Egeria. Hades asked me to come up."
"Of course," Egeria smiled. She pressed the button on her headset. "Your Majesty, the goddess of Spring is here to see you."
Hades smiled as he pressed the button on his desk to acknowledge the call. "Very well. Would you send her right in, please?" He caught sight of Hecate’s grin out of the corner of his eye and ducked his head, blushing. "Oh, hush."
The goddess just laughed.
Persephone rapped lightly on Hades's office door, then poked her head in. "Hi," she said softly, smiling at him. She looked so handsome and powerful standing behind his giant hardwood desk that she forgot that Hecate was even in the room.
Hades crossed the room to her in long strides, a broad grin on his face, and swept her into a hug and a tender kiss. "Hello, sweetness."
She returned his kiss enthusiastically, until a light cough caught her attention. She pulled back from the kiss and blushed furiously as she remembered that Hecate was there.
Hades laughed and kissed her forehead as Hecate smiled at Persephone. "Don't worry about it,” she said dryly, “I've walked in on much worse in the time that I've known him."
Hades gave her a dirty look.
Persephone's eyebrows rose almost to her hairline. She looked at Hades. "Oh? Well, I suppose that's something we'll have to discuss at some point."
Hades cleared his throat. "Yes, well..." He ushered Persephone over to the couches where Hecate sat waiting for them. "I have had my indecorous moments..."
"Indecorous," she murmured. "Indeed." She sat down on the couch, hands clasped in her lap, and looked up at Hecate.
The older goddess didn't bother hiding a smile at the king’s discomfort. She turned to Persephone. "So, Hades mentioned that you had some legal action in mind against Apollo. I'm am ready to help with anything you have in mind."
Persephone cleared her throat and shook off the pang of jealousy that had stricken her at Hecate and Hades' comments. "Yes. My initial thought was to go public with the...situation. But I realize now that I'm not prepared to deal with everything that will likely go along with such an action. So I think I'd rather start appropriate legal action, quietly. Very quietly. I don't want anyone to know until we are fully prepared for a legal victory."
Hecate hummed thoughtfully. "That is quite doable. I have several contacts that I can use to begin searching out options and potential avenues to take. I trust them completely in terms of discretion, so there is no concern on that front."
Persephone smiled gratefully. "Do you mind making inquiries? I'd like to get things started as soon as possible now." With an uncomfortable shrug, she continued. "I've put it off for too long."
"Not in the least," Hecate said with a warm smile as Hades put his arm comfortingly around Persephone's shoulders. "Should I begin with putting paperwork and evidence together or just gather options to present to you?"
She thought about this for a moment. "P-perhaps just options for now?" She looked at Hades, uncertain. "I-I've never done anything like this before."
"That's completely fine," Hecate murmured reassuringly. "There is no reason we can't take small steps."
Hades squeezed her shoulder. "Indeed. We will take this at whatever pace you need, darling."
Persephone inched closer to him. "How long do you think it will take to gather the information?" she asked, looking down and twisting her hands in her lap. "Now that I've made the decision I'm starting to feel antsy."
"Give me a day or so and I expect I'll have a good bit for you. Perhaps some more still to gather, but certainly enough to start with."
Persephone nodded, groping for Hades' hand. "Hecate, would you mind leaving Hades and I alone, please?" She looked up at Hades. "If that's alright, of course."
"Of course." He squeezed her hand. He looked up at Hecate. "Thank you for your help with this."
The goddess nodded. "I am happy to be able to help in any way I can," she said softly, standing up. "I'll be back in touch with information." She quietly left, locking the door behind her.
Persephone leaned against Hades and sighed. She could feel herself trembling. "I didn't expect to feel...so much," she murmured. Her stomach was in a knot and she clasped her hands harder together in her lap to stop them shaking with nerves and fear.
He wrapped his arms around her. The feeling of her trembling tore at his heart. As Hades stroked her hair softly, he whispered, "It's understandable, I think. This has been hanging over you in many ways for quite some time. Taking these steps at last is bound to be emotional.. I'm proud of you, darling."
She turned and crawled into his lap, curling into his chest. "I know it's not appropriate to cuddle at work, but I need it."
"We're alone, and the door is locked. This is perfectly fine." He held her tight, kissing her softly. "There's also a great deal of difference between whether it's appropriate to cuddle simply because we feel like it, and when it's needed ."
Persephone buried her face in his shoulder, clinging to him tightly. She took deep breaths and soon started to relax. Her trembling subsided and the knot in her stomach loosened, soothed by his solid presence. "The enormity of it just keeps coming over me in waves."
"We shall meet each wave and weather it," he whispered, "Just breathe through it and know I'm right here.” He gently raised her face with a hand under her chin and kissed her sweetly.
She brought her hands up to cup his cheeks, returning the kiss and deepening it. Hades hummed softly as he followed suit, the sweet kisses becoming more tender and sensual.They lost themselves in each other for breathless moments. Breaking for air, Persephone whispered, "Thank you. It's easier knowing you're by my side."
She pressed her forehead to his and closed her eyes, breathing in the scent of him. She knew she should go back to work, but she was loathe to break physical contact with him.
"You could take the day off if you need it. This was quite a big thing to tackle so early in the day." He watched her closely, gauging her comfort levels. "If I recall the schedules correctly, there's nothing tremendously important pending for trials."
She shrugged. "I don't know what I'd do with myself all day anyway. At least at work I can be distracted. But...can I stay here with you for the rest of the day?"
He nodded. "Absolutely. I would be glad of the company. Whether that's while I try to get work done or, if the mood strikes, we take advantage of the door being locked..."
Persephone pulled back and looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Is that the kind of 'indecorous' activity you've engaged in the past?" she asked, masking the thread of jealousy curling through her with a wry tone. Why do I care if he’s been in here with other girlfriends? But she knew why. He’s had so much more experience. Is there anything I could do with him that’s truly new?
He blushed hard. "A bit, yes. When I was younger and quite a bit more brash, Hecate had occasion to lecture me on the use of door locks. I have on occasion been too impatient to get to the privacy of this office to remember to lock the door behind me."
"Have you ever been too impatient to make it back to the office at all, before me?" she asked, holding her breath a little bit. She thought she could get over him having been with other people in his office but the stab of jealousy at the thought of him having taken someone else in that deserted hallway...
He smiled a little, guessing where her mind was. "Sweetheart, I have not. You were the first to push me past the edge of need into 'must have you now '."
She nodded, relieved. "I know it's silly, but..." she hesitated. "Nevermind, it's stupid." She blushed and looked down, embarrassed.
"Kore," Hades said softly, "there's not a single thing that could be on your mind that I'd think was stupid or silly. If something is bothering you, I want to know about it. What is it, sweetheart?"
"It's just, well..." She shrugged, cheeks flushing deeper. "You're much more...experienced than me. I've already had a lot of firsts with you. And I just..." She swallowed. "I just wish that more of your firsts were with me," she finally blurted in a rush.
"That's not silly or stupid." Hades cupped her cheek and kissed her forehead tenderly. "It is true that the breadth of my experience is greater than yours. But, in spite of that, consider how many firsts I have had with you. I've never fallen in love before. I've never felt a connection like this. I've never had sex and had it mean something beyond simply getting off, no matter how much I liked my partner. I've never made love while the primal powers took me, much less experienced it with my partner doing the same." He drew her into a warm embrace, whispering emotionally, "Sweetheart, these firsts mean so much to me. Even more because I've been able to share them with you."
Persephone smiled sweetly and kissed him, then rested her head on his shoulder, snuggling in with a sigh. "Those are more important firsts anyway," she murmured, content. "Thank you for spending the day with me."
"You're more important than paperwork." He stroked gentle touches over her arm and shoulder. "I'd cancel trial if you needed me here."
She chuckled against his neck. "That's far too much power to give me," she said, amused. "' Goddess subverts Underworld justice by demanding King's attention .' That's quite a headline."
Hades laughed. "I'd spin it differently somehow. It's not the business of the papers to know when you need me."
"I always need you," she said softly, twirling a lock of his hair around her finger, then leaning in to kiss him.
He smiled and whispered against her lips between kisses, "It's still not their business."
"What else isn't their business?" she asked, brushing her tongue over his bottom lip.
He hummed thoughtfully. "Well, I can think of many things. There's the particular shade of blush that spreads across your chest when you're aroused. There's the sound you make when I touch you. Or that I make when you touch me."
"I like the sound you make when I touch you. But what sound do I make?" she asked curiously, running her fingers through his hair.
Hades massaged his fingers over her back slowly. "I suppose it depends. There are several. With touches like this, you often let out this tiny little groan, as though what I'm doing feels so good you just can't hold it in. If I touch you in sensitive places, there's this hitched in-drawn breath, like a wash of pleasure catches you off guard. Then, of course, there's the cries you let out as your arousal builds. I love those."
She flushed slightly. "I'm glad you like them," she said shyly. "I should probably let you get back to work, even if there isn’t anything pressing."
"I'm yours right here for as long as you need me, sweetness, " he murmured.
She kissed him deeply. "I just want to be near you right now. I'd like to see you work...although it might be distracting if I were sitting on your lap… But I think some job shadowing would be useful for, you know," she blushed furiously, "later."
He laughed. "It's probably good, then, that there's no critical work to do today. I can stand to be distracted." He bent down and kissed her cheek before whispering in her ear, "I wonder what job you could possibly be looking for shadow experience in... My future queen..."
Her blush somehow deepened. "I-I just thought that I should know how...you know, you...rule stuff."
Hades chuckled. "I think it's an excellent idea, my dear." He placed her on her feet and stood from the couch,offering her his hand.
She took it and followed him to his desk. "What have you been working on today?"
"Budget approvals, quick memos." He sank down into his chair and invited her to perch on his knee. "All the dull little administrative minutiae involved in running a business and kingdom. Thoroughly uninteresting."
Persephone sat and studied the papers on his desk, brow furrowed. "If I'm going to be queen I need to know how to do all of that," she murmured. "Then I can help you."
He gave her a sweet smile. "I shall be glad of the assistance." He showed her through the daily paperwork routine, which reports came from and went to which departments, which memos simply needed a sign off and which ones needed further scrutiny. "Egeria helps as a gatekeeper of sorts, but there's still plenty to do "
She listened intently as he went through each item, and after a while started guessing what should be done and making suggestions as they went along. Impressed, Hades made note of her suggestions and shifted to showing her what might be done on a busier day, using as an example a page from his calendar, full of trial times and conferences with barely room to breathe.
His hand rested comfortably on her lower back, fingers stroking along her spine.
"This is so much," she murmured, leaning back into his touch. "Do you like having your days packed like this?"
"No," he admitted softly. "There is a satisfaction in doing well with a booked solid day, but I'd be just as pleased to find other satisfaction. This behemoth of an organization is simply too much."
"You should have more help," she said absently, looking through his calendar. She shifted on his knee moving back to be more fully on his lap. "I don't suppose I can start doing any of this work before we're even engaged." She leaned back against him with a sigh. "I wish I could help you."
He kissed her cheek. "There's probably some small things here and there, but if we are still trying to avoid appearances of favoritism it can't be too overt. Truly though, Kore, you help me so much simply by being here."
"I'm not too much of a distraction?" she asked with a smile, turning her head to kiss his cheek in return.
"In the best possible way," he murmured, leaning into the kiss. "You are a breath of fresh air." Hades tapped the papers on his desk. "In terms of ruling, there's more to it than this stuff. Diplomatic type functions, dispute resolutions, PR events. But it's all the behind the scenes nonsense that really gums up the works. I, of course, want you with me for anything and everything, but if you're of a mind to help with the minutiae, I'd be so grateful."
"Of course," she said. "You want me to be an equal ruler. That means that I do everything you do, right? That means the minutiae, too." She cuddled against him with a sigh. "I think my greatest hope is that I'll be a help and a credit to you as queen."
"My love, you are already an immense help. I can't imagine that would change." He cuddled her close. "You're a credit to everything you do."
Chapter 4: Indecorous
Persephone smiled and swung her legs over so she sat sideways in his lap. "Thank you," she said softly, leaning her head on his shoulder. "For now I'll just do the best I can with trial preparations. But you'll let me know if there's anything else I can do?"
"For certain, I will." He kissed her forehead with a smile. "This is less of an official capacity, but... How do you feel about some indecorousness?"
"If in-office indecorousness with the king isn't within the official purview of the queen, I don't know what is," she murmured, a grin spreading over her face. "Although I'm not the queen yet..." she added with a blush.
"It's within the purview of the king's lover and absolutely within the purview of the king's love." His large hand massaged over her thigh. "As queen, it's within your purview to not have to hide it for fear of special treatment claims."
She turned toward him slightly and put her arms around his neck, playing with his hair as she teased, "Are you saying that, when I'm queen, we can be as indiscreet as we want with our...amorous exploits?"
Hades hummed quietly with a grin. "Well, perhaps not. But there won't be cause for raised eyebrows if we have extended office visits."
"I don't care about anybody's eyebrows," she whispered, brushing a kiss over his lips.
Hades chuckled and winked. "I should hope you care at least a little about mine. I happen to think they're rather nice."
She traced her fingertips over the eyebrows in question, sleek and thick. "I love your eyebrows," she purred. "They're part of your face, and I love your face."
Hades cupped his hand over her bottom, kneading as he smiled. "Do you like seeing them raised in surprised pleasure?"
"Oh, I do," she said, sliding her hand down to cup between his legs, hoping to elicit that very expression.
His eyebrows went up as he groaned and Hades settled back in his chair as he hardened under her fingers. "Oh, that feels good."
"Oh?" she murmured. "Shall I continue?"
"Please," he rasped, sliding one hand along her leg and pushing up the hem of her burgundy dress. "I love how you touch me."
Persephone gently stroked his burgeoning member through his trousers. "I love to touch you. That works out nicely."
His fingers slid over her stockings, tracing patterns up her leg. "Sweetheart, I was thinking something..."
"What's that?" she breathed.
"Would you call me Aidoneus? Not necessarily all the time, but I like the idea of you calling me by my actual name."
Her hand stilled and she looked at him in surprise. "Y-yes, I would be happy to call you that. If you want me to." She hesitated. "Aidoneus."
He smiled. "I like how my name sounds in your sweet voice. 'Hades' comes from what the mortals call me, so it seemed fitting for when I was building the kingdom here. Plus, reminders of my younger years are... difficult. But even though I've discouraged its general use, that name is special to me. It's the name my mother gave me."
Touched, Persephone kissed him gently as tears welled up in her eyes. "I'm honored that you would share that name with me, Aidoneus," she said with a tremulous smile. "It will be what I call you in private, just you and me."
He returned her kisses and wiped away her tears with gentle touches. "I love you, Kore. All of me is yours. Even the name I let no one else use."
"You use my birth name anyway, but consider this your official invitation to use it when we're alone," she murmured. "I know it's been a teasing thing up until now, but it's...comforting to be called by the name I had before..." She hesitated and swallowed. "Before," she finished lamely.
Hades kissed her cheek. "You have grown so much in your powers. You were always a powerful goddess, but you are becoming awe inspiring. I'm touched to be able to call you Kore. It makes me feel like I'm reaching past the powers to the sweet woman you are. I suppose that's what Aidoneus is. No kingship, no realm. Just a simple god, hopelessly in love."
She stood to face him, then wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly, burying her face in his neck. She breathed in his smoky scent and sighed.
Hades stroked her back as he embraced her, burying his face against the side of her neck. "I love you, sweetness. I never knew I could be this content."
"Me either," she mumbled against his shoulder, wriggling closer to him.
He lifted her back up to straddle his lap and hugged her tightly, groaning quietly as he breathed in the sweet honeysuckle scent of her.
Persephone smiled to herself at his needful sound. She shifted a bit, letting her skirt ride up her legs so she could straddle him more fully.
"Would you touch me again, sweetheart?" he whispered, his hands kneading over her ass.
She brushed her lips over his, lightly teasing, and whispered back, "Only if you ask very, very nicely."
"Please, Kore," he murmured with a smile, "Would you please put your hands on me?"
She slid her hand between them and ran it down over his still-hardening member. "Like that?" she breathed.
"Oh, yes," he rumbled, letting his head fall back against the chair with a thump. "That's so good." He started working the hem of her dress upward.
She leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on his exposed throat as she squeezed him lightly through his trousers.
Hades let out a strangled noise as he ran his hands down her legs and back up underneath her dress. As his fingers encountered her garters, his cock twitched hard under her fingers and he groaned again.
She smiled against his neck as he twitched and groaned. "Whatever is the matter, my love?" she murmured huskily.
"Your un-underthings," his voice cracked as his fingers slid over the bits of lace. "That is unbelievably sexy."
"Which part?" she asked teasingly. "The stockings?"
"The stockings are hot as fuck. But the garters..." His fingers stroked over the lacy bands with fleeting caresses on her skin. "I like them rather a lot."
She chuckled as she ran her hand up the hardened length of him. "Perhaps I'll have to wear them more often," she purred. "Would you like to see them?"
"Please," he exhaled a needy whisper, then blushed. "I, uh... I should probably mention I've seen your under-things before. After Tartarus, when Cerberus pushed the bathroom door open. It was only for a moment, but the sight was arresting."
She laughed as she slid off his lap and turned her back to him. "He is a good boy. Will you help with my zipper?"
Hades sat forward eagerly and drew down the zipper of her dress. He kissed the smooth skin as he bared it, his lips trailing down her spine.
Persephone shivered as he kissed down her back. The dress slid off her shoulders and she slowly worked it down over her hips, then let it fall in a puddle on the floor around her feet.
Hades let his fingers drift over her lower back and hips, skating gentle touches over lace and skin. His gaze roamed over her, the sight of her pink skin barely, but alluringly, covered by the silky fabric. He lined soft kisses along the waistband of her underwear, letting out a quiet, needful moan.
"Do you like them?" she asked, looking over her shoulder at him. She slowly turned to face him and placed her hands on his shoulders.
"Sweetheart, I love them." Hades looked down at the lacy bands around her thighs, tracing them with a finger and gestured at the prominent bulge in his trousers before looking up at her with a wry grin. "I love them a lot."
Persephone grinned. "I'm glad you love them. I love that they...affect you." She ran her fingers through his hair. "Well, Your Majesty, you have the pretty intern in your office, in nothing but her under-things...what are you going to do with her?"
"I'm a scoundrel, aren't I?" he purred, "I'm going to have my wicked way with her." His fingertips skimmed over the damp cloth between her legs. "Though I'm torn on how. I was considering having my pretty intern on her knees with her lips around my cock, but then I couldn't appreciate these delightful under-things." He grinned suddenly. "I have an excellent idea..." He coaxed her to straddle his lap once more, leaving space between them.
She eagerly let him guide her into place. "At least 50% scoundrel," she said with a sultry smile, hands skimming restless over his chest and shoulders. "I'm eager to see how much higher you'll push it."
He stroked his fingers between her thighs. "I aim to pleasure you, to get you gasping, then take you across my lap right here in this chair." He grinned at her, sultry and sexy. "You're going to ride the king in the very place where he makes the decisions that affect the entire kingdom. What do you think of that?"
She inhaled sharply. "I think the only thing hotter would be if it were your throne," she said huskily. Her hips tilted forward, encouraging his stroking fingers. "I think that I just got even wetter."
"It would take more doing to ensure we had uninterrupted time, but rest assured, I will take you on my throne." His fingers slipped under the elastic of her underwear and played through her folds.
She gasped, then moaned softly. "Aidoneus," she murmured, "I don't want you to take me on your throne until I'm your queen and your wife."
He inhaled sharply and his shaft twitched. "Then we shall wait," he rumbled. "When we are married, I will claim you in the place where we shall dispense judgement together."
Persephone shuddered and ground herself against his hand with a groan. "Fates, I want you," she breathed. Her nipples were hardened peaks visible through the thin fabric of her bra.
He caught up her hands and placed them over the bulge in his trousers. "Then you have a task before you, sweetness," he murmured silkily. His fingers played through her wetness, spreading the slick as he pleasured her, and dipped shallowly inside.
She cried out softly as she squeezed his hardened shaft. Her fingers crept up and pulled at his belt, deftly unbuckling it, then made short work of the button. She slowly drew down the zipper, dipping her fingers into the waistband of his boxer briefs and tugging them down so his shaft sprang free.
Hades smiled lazily as she worked and he stroked inside her body. "I'm liking the idea of you riding me with all this pretty lingerie still on."
"So am I," she said, breath coming short. "With you still dressed. Very scoundrel-ish."
"I shall have to summon you up here often to sate my dark whims. It wouldn't do to let my scoundrel percentage slip." His fingers pressed a little deeper inside her, stroking and probing as he whispered hotly. "Look at us, little goddess. Locked away, in secret, but there's only that door concealing this tryst from prying eyes. With you in lingerie, gasping and riding my hand, my cock hard and waiting for you..."
His words sent her arousal spiraling and she tipped over the edge into bliss, coming around his fingers with a soft, surprised cry. She felt the gush of wetness coat his fingers and she kissed his lips desperately.
Hades growled as she spasmed around his fingers, his free hand cupping the back of her head as he returned her kisses hungrily. He rode out the climax with her and purred heatedly against her lips, "I'm going to take you now. Slide so deep inside you while your little sheath is still quivering..."
"Please," she panted. "I need it." She pressed her forehead to his as she rode his hand feverishly.
He lifted her forward with a hand under her ass, only withdrawing his fingers from inside her when he nudged the blunt head of his erection against her sensitive flesh. He held the damp fabric of her underwear out of the way and growled, "Sink down. Show me how much you need it."
Persephone made a needy, mewling noise and lowered herself onto him. She groaned lustily as he stretched her sensitive, quivering flesh, slowly taking him inside until she held him to the hilt.
Hades let out a deep groan as she sheathed his erection. "Fates, you always feel amazing." He lifted his fingers, wet with her arousal, to his mouth and licked them with a wicked smirk. "You taste amazing, too."
She shuddered as she watched him taste her essence, then grabbed his hand and wrapped her mouth around his fingers, tasting herself. She hummed at the musky-sweet taste. "I can see why you like it."
Hades stared as she licked his fingers, frozen in astonishment. His shock only lasted a moment however. His expression shifted to one of feral need and he bucked up into her with a snarl. "Do you like the way your lust tastes on me, little goddess? You look delicious licking my fingers like that."
She locked eyes with him and nodded, sucking his fingers deep into her mouth again and running the tip of her tongue along the seam between his fingers.
"After I've come inside you and you've milked my cock dry," he purred, "I want you to clean my cock as thoroughly and prettily as you're cleaning my fingers."
Persephone shivered around him as she drew his fingers out of her mouth. Leaning toward him, she pressed her lips to his in a heated kiss as she rolled over him, shifting his hardness inside her swollen, sensitive sheath.
Hades wrapped his arms around Persephone, returning her kisses ardently. He rolled his hips up to meet her movements, relishing the feeling of her weight against his lap.
She moaned into his mouth as he moved inside her, one hand buried in his hair, the other cupping the back of his neck. "Aidoneus," she breathed as she broke away to kiss along his jaw.
He tilted his head back to give her access, purring low. "What is it, love? What do you need?"
She smiled as she pressed kisses over his throat. "I just love you. I love saying your name."
"I love hearing you say it. Whether in sweet whispers or breathless screams."
"You shouldn't make me scream in here, Aidoneus," she said with a breathy laugh. "That would start some inappropriate gossip."
You're right," he chuckled. "I'll settle for needy whispers and murmurs while we're at work." He cupped his hands over her bottom, his fingers still hooked into her underwear to pull it aside, gently encouraging her rolling motions.
"Wrap your arms around me, Aidoneus," she whispered in his ear. "I want to feel you hold me."
He wrapped his arms around her back, cradling her against his chest. "Then I shall hold you, Kore. For as long as you need."
She moved over him in a smooth rhythm, sighing and humming at the sensation of him moving within her. She cradled his face in her hands and kissed him deeply, the tip of her tongue dancing with his.
Hades moaned quietly into the kiss, opening his mouth to invite her deeper exploration. The wet, tight grip of her body was sheer perfection, drawing up mounting desire, a firestorm of need to inevitably burst into searing climax.
The angle perfectly stimulated her most sensitive places and her arousal spiraled, coiled, and burst. She cried out into his neck as her hips stuttered over him as she shook and panted.
He growled in satisfaction as she clamped and spasmed around his shaft. Hades fiercely held back his raging need wanting to savor her climax without the fog of his own.
After long, trembling moments she relaxed against him with a sigh. "Oh, Aidoneus," she murmured. "You make me feel so good."
"I'm glad, sweetheart," he whispered, his voice a little strained. "I love you so much, Kore."
"I love you, Aidoneus. Do you want to come?"
"I'd be lying if I said no," he rasped. "But I'm not eager for this to be over."
She smiled as she kissed him slowly. "Then we'll continue?" she said, with a questioning roll of her hips.
"Yes, please," he murmured, "I'm not nearly done with you yet."
Chapter 5: Tryst Logistics
"What else do you have in mind?" she purred, starting her rhythm again.
He stood and laid her back across his desk, holding her legs up against his chest and over one shoulder. "How about this?" Hades purred as he began moving. "I can get nice and deep and you're all laid out for my scoundrel appreciation."
Persephone cried out softly as he bottomed out inside her. "Oh, Aidoneus," she moaned. "I like this. I like this a lot."
"Yeah?" he panted. "I do, too. Especially with this lingerie." He ran his fingers over her garters as he hilted on a thrust. "You are absolutely gorgeous.” The sheer, dark material against her pink skin was somehow more alluring than complete nakedness would have been.
"Maybe I should wear under-things like this all the time," she gasped. "Would you like that?"
Hades laughed softly as he worked himself in and out of her welcoming body. "I think I might like it just too much. Might have to work in a regular time in my schedule to fuck you silly."
"We can have your PA put a standing meeting on your calendar," she laughed breathily as she arched on the desk, writhing sinuously, displaying herself for him.
“I like that plan." He cupped his hand over her breast, rubbing fingers over her covered nipple as he strengthened his thrusts into her body. "Block off an hour after lunch every day for sexy shenanigans."
"Every day?" she panted. "You're insatiable." She felt her sheath start to quiver as he thrust harder into her.
"Oh, yes I am," he murmured with a smile. "But even if I weren't, isn't it better to have a time set aside? Then we don't ever need to scramble." He tugged down the cup of her bra, tweaking her nipple once it was bared.
She cried out again, louder this time, as pleasure shot from her nipple straight to her clit. She felt the inevitable build up start in her core.
Hades grinned as he rolled her nipple and his hips in coordinated rhythm, stoking her arousal. "Think you'll come for me again, sweetheart? I want to come for you." He lodged deep for a moment. "It's so good to feel you coming around me while I empty myself into you."
She nodded, panting, as small noises of pleasure bubbled up in her throat. Her core tightened as he thrust and she came around him with a loud cry, unable to stop the wave of ecstasy.
Hades growled, only managing a few more strokes before the knot of need in his belly ignited. He let out a ragged cry as his climax crashed through, his shaft thickening as he released into her quivering channel.
Another small orgasm took her as he found his release, and she moaned softly as herhot sheath milked him on each thrust.
Hades braced himself on the desk with one hand, cradling her legs against his chest with the other, and turned his head to press breathless kisses along her calf as he trembled with his climax. Her noises of pleasure and continuing tremors sparked deeper bursts and he panted as he jerked erratically against her.
Persephone watched him avidly as her body drew out his pleasure. Watching men in this moment always made her feel powerful, but seeing the most powerful of the gods, not to mention the king of a realm, come undone inside her took the feeling to a completely new level. She squeezed him even as her own spasms subsided, the tremors heightened by the feel of his still hard shaft filling her. .
Hades let out an inarticulate noise as she squeezed, the sensation setting off a series of aftershocks. He gazed down at her, his eyes heavy lidded with spent pleasure and smiled. "That was amazing, sweetness."
She grinned up at him. "I'm very glad you enjoyed yourself. I rather liked it as well." She squeezed him again, a saucy look in her eyes. "I don't think you know how powerful I feel when you come undone like that."
"Tell me," he breathed, "tell me how powerful you feel when I'm trembling inside you."
"Like I'm holding an entire realm inside my body," she breathed.
Hades smiled and kissed her ankle. "An entire realm, hmm? I knew you liked the idea of holding a king inside you while he shuddered in pleasure, but now it’s stepped up a notch.” He stroked soft touches over her thighs. “Does it thrill you, my love, to render me whimpering with bliss? Does it excite you to see a king undone?” His eyes were full of sultry teasing as he looked at her from hooded eyelids and Persephone shivered. ."
"You know perfectly well that it does,” she whispered hoarsely. “Kiss me, Aidoneus.”
Hades laughed softly and released her legs from his shoulder to curl around his waist before bending down and claiming her lips in a tender kiss, scooping her back into his arms, against his chest, and sinking down into his chair.
Persephone snuggled against him with a sigh of satisfaction. "I love you so much," she murmured. "And I like being indecorous with you in here."
Hades laughed. "I like it as well. I predict many trysts for us in this office." He kissed her cheek and whispered, "I love you dearly, Kore."
Persephone realized he was still inside her. "You're still hard?" she whispered.
"So it would seem," he shrugged with a lopsided smile. "What can I say? You inspire me."
She chuckled, low and sultry. "You don't seem to be in very good condition for going back to work, Aidoneus."
"Probably not," he drawled, cupping her cheek. "I seem to recall wanting your lips around me. Though that might not help too much with being in a fit state to go back to work if you were just going to clean me up."
"Mm," she hummed, arching an eyebrow. She slid off his lap, letting out a small sigh as he left her, and stood facing him. She eyed his groin critically. " Tsk tsk , this is no way for a king to present himself," she said, shaking her head solemnly. She knelt between his knees and essayed a lick up the underside of his shaft.
Hades let out a deep groan and grasped fitfully at the arms of his chair. "I think it's a superb way for a king to present. As long as it's to his lover." His breath hitched at the warm caress of her tongue. "Oh, fuck. How do you make that feel so good?"
"Practice," she murmured, "combined with natural aptitude." She sucked his head gently, then pulled her mouth away with a soft, wet pop.
"It's so good, sweetness," he gasped. "Your practice and natural aptitude have my approval." He combed his fingers through her hair, his gaze roaming over her kneeling form. "You know," he whispered, "that's a subservient position, but I rather feel like you're the one in control. I feel like I'm at your mercy."
"That's because you are," she purred. He was too large to fit all the way inside her mouth, so she lapped eagerly around the base and up the shaft, cleaning up their combined essence, then took him into her mouth as far as she could.
Hades gave a low cry as her warm mouth engulfed him, cradling her head in his large hands. The caress of her lips and tongue was sweet, addicting torment. Owned . His thoughts were muzzy, distracted by the pleasure she gave, but he knew it for fact. Every encounter just cements further that I'm hers. Fates aside, I couldn't imagine ever wanting anyone else .
Persephone carefully cleaned every thick inch of him, then sat back on her heels, licking her lips. "All clean," she said huskily. "Time to go back to work."
"Not so fast," Hades purred, lifting her to her feet, a feral gleam in his eye. "I'd considered your mouth on me as a fitting end to this tryst, little goddess, but I didn't anticipate quite how excited it would get me." He cupped a hand over her core, soaking the already damp fabric further with wetness left behind from their coupling. "I'm not quite done with you yet.'
She felt the sex flush spreading over her cheeks and chest afresh as she drew a shuddering breath. "W-what did you have in mind, Your Majesty?"
Hades hooked his thumbs into the waistband of her underwear and drew them down her legs. "I'm going to put you over this desk and fuck you hard and fast. I'm not going to hold back and I don't want you to either. I want you coming hard. Then, I'm going to send you back downstairs with the slick of our fucking between your thighs and these-" he held up the scrap of lace and silk that was her underwear, "- in my pocket. I want you thinking for the rest of the day about how thoroughly I'm yours and how thoroughly you are mine."
Persephone moaned quietly, feeling herself getting even wetter at the idea. She grasped his shirt in both small fists and kissed him deep and hard.
Hades returned her kisses ardently, his tongue twining with hers. As he rose from his chair, he drew back from the kisses and turned Persephone around, pushing her down over the top of the desk. "Spread your legs," he rumbled, pinning her hands to the dark wood.
She obliged eagerly, lifting up on her toes to push her ass upward toward him invitingly
Hades angled his hips, positioning himself, and immediately slid inside her, beginning a savage, fast rhythm.
Persephone cried out as he hilted and started pounding. Her sheath immediately started to twitch and quiver around him as he hilted over and over.
He bent and nipped at the back of her shoulder, a litany of panting growls escaping his chest. This was so deliciously wanton, with her in skimpy lingerie, him mostly dressed, a hard fuck over the desk where he made the decisions that affected thousands. He'd fucked women in this office before, fucked them over the desk before, but none of them had been Persephone. None of them had met every sexual challenge with raw enthusiastic abandon. None had cried out quite so sweetly and bucked back to shove him deeper.
She strained to take him as deep as she could, and her sheath started to spasm as she clung to the opposite edge of the deck. "FATES!" she panted as her climax overtook her.
Hades snarled, bucking hard. His automatic instinct to hold back, to pleasure her longer, plucked at him, but he let it go. This was a time for a rough, fast claiming. He whispered heatedly in her ear as he fucked deep and hard, his need drawing tighter and tighter. "You feel so damn good around me when you come like that. You're going to make me come, little goddess."
"Come for me," she gasped, then cried out as one climax waned and another started. "FATES!"
He bottomed out with a guttural snarl, releasing deep inside her shuddering sheath. Hades kept his rhythm for a few more strokes, growing more and more erratic as he came, until he hilted deep with a low moan.
Persephone clung to the desk, panting, as her channel clutched and grasped at his twitching member. "Fates, that was hot," she said hoarsely. "We can do that any time you want, love."
"Duly noted," he panted against her neck. "It was, in fact, quite incredible. That might have to be our go to work-quickie."
She nodded enthusiastically. "I will let you take me over any desk you want, Aidoneus. At any time."
He chuckled and stroked her back. "I'll keep that in mind."
Persephone sighed at his light touches. he murmured, eyes drifting closed. "What time is it?"
He squinted at the clock. "It's not quite eleven. I really should get a bit more work in before lunch time rolls around." He slipped out of her with a regretful sigh.
"Oh," she said a little drowsily. "I was hoping it was time to go home."
"Not quite, unfortunately." He helped her up carefully. "You're welcome to curl up on the couch or in the ensuite if you'd like."
"I want to curl up with you," she pouted, wrapping her arms around his waist and holding him tight. "Come lay down with me, let's have a nap."
Hades hesitated for a moment before giving in with a smile. "It probably doesn't bode well," he commented wryly, "that I can't say no to you."
Persephone gave a delighted wriggle. "Yay," she said with a yawn. "You can't do the things you did to me and expect me to stay awake, Aidoneus."
"Hardly," he chuckled, scooping her up into his arms and walking to the ensuite lounge. He sank down onto the chaise and began stripping off his half undone clothing after lying her down.
She snuggled down and watched him remove his clothing. "You're beautiful," she murmured sleepily.
Hades blushed a little and smiled over at her. "I think you might be a little biased, but I appreciate the compliment." Naked, he rose and went to a cabinet, pulling out a blanket and returning to her to swathe the blanket over them. Persephone sat up a bit to remove her bra, dropping it on the floor next to her, then cuddled up next to Hades with a contented sigh. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her forehead.
"Whatever shall we do on busy days where we can't take a nap together?" he murmured wryly. "I could get used to this."
"If we just have the quickie, we should be okay," she mumbled, dropping off into sleep.
Hades chuckled and let himself relax into sleep, holding her close.
Chapter 6: Retaliation
**trigger warning- discussion of assault**
One month later…
Hades rubbed his hand over his face as he fought the urge to crumple the tabloids spread over his desk. Not all of them were as lurid as he could have feared, but it was clear in every picture what was happening. He’d told himself that they’d known this was the likely outcome. They knew the pictures were out there.
He hadn’t been prepared for the reality of it. He hadn’t been prepared for the shock-value headlines, seeing Apollo’s retaliation to the lawsuit splashed in print…
He hadn’t been prepared for seeing the fear on her face...
He stood and paced, anxious while they waited for Persephone. Hecate watched him, her yellow eyes serious.
1 new text message
Kore, please come up to my office
at your earliest convenience.
There have been some developments with the lawsuit.
Persephone's stomach did a little flip when she got Hades' text. I wonder what happened . She'd been nervous about the photos Apollo was sitting on but it had been just over a month since they started the legal proceedings and she'd started to think that he wasn't going to use them after all. I hope it’s something else . She mulled it over in the elevator to floor 99, tapping her foot nervously.
She waited anxiously for Egeria to intercom her arrival up to Hades, then hurried up the stairs and knocked smartly on the door before opening it and poking her head in. "Ai-er, Hades?" She saw Hecate sitting in one of the chairs before Hades' desk. Hades himself was pacing up and down the length of the office. "What's up?"
Hades crossed the room to Persephone and gave her a warm hug and a kiss. "Thank you for coming up, sweetheart." He ushered her into the office to where Hecate had stood to welcome Persephone.
After giving the younger goddess a quick hug, Hecate said, "Papers for the lawsuit were delivered to Apollo. He has retaliated by releasing the pictures to the media. Several tabloids have picked up the story."
Persephone felt like she'd been punched in the gut. All the air left her lungs. Her knees felt like they were going to give out. She could feel the blood drain from her face. "Oh. Oh, dear," she said, her voice sounding remote to her own ears, like someone else was talking. "That's...not great, is it?"
Hades caught her up supportively against his side and helped her to one of the armchairs to the side of the office, kneeling next to it.
"It's not great," Hecate said gently, "but there is a silver lining. It makes the situation more difficult for you, but I think it might work in our favor in a legal context. Apollo is claiming these pictures prove consent, but there is little in them to demonstrate this. I think he just handed us evidence we need."
Persephone nodded numbly. "Let me see," she said quietly. "I want to see." Hecate gathered the tabloids scattered across the desk and handed Persephone the stack then went to pour her a glass of water.
Hades murmured quietly, "Not all of the papers went for as overtly scandalous a tone as they could have, which I take as a good sign.'
Persephone paged through the papers, feeling the bile rise in her throat as she finally saw the pictures he'd taken. So much of her body was visible. She hadn't remembered that he'd pulled up her shirt. She stared at a full page image of her breasts, a large purple hand grasping one of them, then closed her eyes in a futile attempt to stop the tears, letting the papers slide off her lap onto the floor.
Hades shifted over in front of Persephone, wrapping his arms around her. His own eyes prickled with tears at her anguish and he murmured soothing noises, as he let her cry against his shoulder.
She clung to him, rage and humiliation and shame all swirling through her in such a bewildering melange of emotion that she shook with the force of it. Persephone focused on the solid warmth of Hades against her. Safe. Supportive. A rock in a stormy sea. At last, she released her frantic grip on him and sat back, wiping the tears from her face. "What do we do now?" she asked, holding her head high even as her voice trembled.
Hecate handed Persephone the glass of water and spoke softly. "These pictures can be entered as evidence in the lawsuit. They can only help our case. As far as what to do in an immediate sense... That is up to you. We could schedule a small press conference to put out an official rebuttal of Apollo's assertions. Arguably, it might be best to leave that until after the lawsuit is public knowledge so that we have it as additional backup. I doubt that we can avoid reporters looking for information. The two of you will probably be faced with questions, many of them invasive. A simple 'no comment' would be fairly effective, but we risk Apollo's voice being the only one in the room at that point. Which brings us back to a small press conference."
Persephone groped for Hades' hand as she thought about this. "I think we should do the press conference right away. If we're the ones who tell the public about the lawsuit, we're the ones who will control the narrative, no?" Her stomach clenched and flipped and she breathed deeply through her nose in an effort to keep herself calm.
Hecate nodded as Hades squeezed Persephone's hand. "Yes," she said. "There are some downsides in that we wouldn't have the finished lawsuit to back up our side, but I think that's outweighed by the benefit of being proactive."
Hades murmured to Persephone. "We can schedule it for whenever you are ready."
She swallowed and looked Hades in the eye. "Today," she said firmly. "I want to do it today." She stood and squared her shoulders. "I need to go home and find something conservative and responsible-looking to wear. Hecate, while I'm gone, can you please draft a statement for me? I will be delivering it myself."
Hecate nodded, already tapping on her phone. Hades stood and hugged Persephone. "I'll get everything ready for you. There is a conference room on the fifth floor that should be perfect for this." He cupped her cheek. "I'm proud of you and I love you so much."
"I love you, too," she whispered, kissing him hard. "I'll be back soon." She turned and, opening one of the windows, flew off in the direction of her apartment.
Hades watched her go, his heart pounding, stomach knotting. There was only so much he could do to lessen this burden on her. The most he could do was try to ensure a smooth set up, then be there for her. "Hecate, what's the likelihood we're looking at a negative reaction for this?"
Hecate thought for a moment. "It's difficult to say. Persephone is not yet very well-known in Olympus, whereas Apollo is. However, I've been tracking public sentiment since we first filed the lawsuit and it doesn't seem that he's especially well-liked in some circles. That will work to our advantage."
"I hope so." He went to pick up the dropped tabloids and tossed them on his desk. "I think the benefit of getting this out there and no longer hanging over her head outweighs almost any drawbacks, but I don't want her hurt any more than she already has been. I think I'd do anything to spare her more pain."
Hecate regarded him thoughtfully. "Did you notice how she took charge of the situation? She has good instincts." She smiled at her friend. "She'll do very well as queen, I think."
Hades smiled despite the tension coursing through him. "I think so too. In the time we've been together, I've seen more and more from her that would be a credit to any ruler. She's incredible."
"Well," Hecate said, standing. "I'm going to go work on Persephone's statement. You should go get the press room ready.”
Hades nodded. “I’ll have Egeria contact the news outlets, but ask her to wait until Persephone gets back, so she doesn't get ambushed before time.”
Hecate nodded. "Let me know as soon as she returns."
Go ahead and come back to
the office window when you return.
We've arranged for the conference room.
Egeria will send notification to the media outlets
about the press conference once you're back. We’re
planning to start about an hour after you return.
Okay. I love you.
I'm back. I let Egeria know I'm here. Where are you?
Overseeing some things in the conference room.
I'll be right up. Go ahead and wait for me in the office?
Persephone paced nervously around Hades’ office, wringing her hands as she waited for Hades. Where is he? Her stomach churned, and she thought that if he kept her waiting much longer she’d completely lose her nerve.
Hades slipped into the office and shut the door behind him. He made his way over to Persephone, one hand behind his back. "Sorry," he said, kissing her softly. "I had a few things to take care of."
She returned his kiss eagerly, his touch and presence soothing her nerves as always. "Is everything ready?"
"All ready. Now just a bit of waiting." He blushed and pulled out the bouquet of pink and blue roses he had hidden behind his back. "I know it's a bit silly to get the goddess of Spring flowers, but it was the best I could do on short notice."
Persephone's face beamed with pleasure and tears pricked at her eyes. "They're beautiful," she whispered. "Thank you so much!" She took the bouquet and buried her face in the blooms, inhaling their scent.
Hades smiled to see her enjoyment. "The florist was quite pleased and a little starstruck. He guessed I was buying them for you and wished us well."
"That's so kind," she murmured. She took a couple of the blue flowers and wove them into her hair, then looked at him with a shy smile. "This way I'll take a little bit of you with me to the press conference."
Touched, Hades lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles. "I'll start off welcoming the reporters. Then I'll cede the microphone to you. I'll be right behind you the whole time. You'll never be alone in front of them. If at any point it becomes too much, just give me a signal and we can shut it down and help you out of there."
She nodded, squeezing his fingers. "Is it time yet? I just want to get his over with," she sighed.
Hades glanced at his watch. "Not quite, but I think we can start heading downstairs slowly. Here-" he took the bouquet and went to the sink to put them in water. He returned with one of the small pink flowers. "If you would?" He indicated the space in his lapel.
Persephone blushed as she took the flower and tucked it into the buttonhole on his lapel. She patted his chest gently. "There. Very handsome." She smiled up at him. "Let's go."
Chapter 7: Making a Statement
**trigger warning- discussion of assault**
Persephone paced behind the curtain that had been hung at one end of the conference room. She held a copy of her statement in her hands, muttering to herself as she read through it under her breath, practicing again and again. Hecate had written the first draft, but Persephone herself had tweaked it until it read perfectly. For what felt like the hundredth time, she pushed down the flurry of nervous butterflies in her stomach. I just want to get this over with. She paused in her pacing and looked up at Hades, silently asking if it was time yet.
Hades glanced at his watch, then out at the assembled reporters. "I think we're just about good to go. One last thing." He crossed over to Persephone and kissed her softly. "I love you so much."
"I love you, too." She kissed him back, sweetly, then nodded and took a deep breath. "I'm ready." She turned toward the curtain, ready to walk out, then back to Hades, her eyes wide. "Wait, do I go out with you?" she asked, slightly panicked. "Or do I wait until you're done?"
He took her hand. "Come with me. Even aside from wanting to be supportive, I want them to see solidarity with us on all of this."
Hades squeezed her hand as she nodded and they walked together out from behind the curtain. The clicking of cameras and flickering flashes immediately filled the air. He squeezed Persephone's hand reassuringly, knowing her aversion to photography.
Persephone clutched his hand hard, squinting as the flashbulbs went off. She kept her eyes glued to Hades as they walked and took deep breaths to keep herself calm. You can do this Persephone. You have to do it. You need to set the record straight.
Reaching the podium, Hades turned to face the reporters, letting go of Persephone's hand with a final squeeze and a soft smile. He addressed the assembled group.
"Good afternoon. Thank you for coming. I apologise for the short notice on this conference, however, matters have arisen which need to be addressed. Persephone, goddess of Spring, has a statement to give. Afterwards, we will take questions, though I reserve the right to cut the conference short if they are too invasive, so consider your questions carefully." He stepped back and gestured for Persephone to take the podium with a warm smile, after lowering the microphone for her.
Persephone's face underwent a subtle change as she readied herself to face the press. Her nerves seemed to fall away, replaced by a look of serene determination. She stepped confidently up to the podium and looked out at the assembled reporters.
"Good afternoon," she said with a warm smile. "Thank you for joining us today. My name is Persephone, goddess of Spring. As you are no doubt aware, some inappropriate photographs of me were released to some media sources and hit newsstands today. These photos were released by Apollo, god of the Sun, in retaliation for legal proceedings that I recently filed against him. These legal proceedings are directly related to the acts depicted in those photographs; Apollo will insist that those acts were consensual. Allow me to assure you that they were not . I cannot go into details regarding an active criminal investigation, but suffice it to say, nothing that happened that night was done with my consent. With that in mind, I hope that you will all do the right thing. If you have published those photos, I hope that you will retract them. If you haven't published them, I hope you will refrain from doing so in future editions of your publications. Thank you for your time."
She stepped back from the podium and looked at Hades, eyes wide.
The reporters immediately erupted into a din of shouted questions. Hades put his arm around Persephone's shoulders as he raised a hand for quiet, then called on one reporter.
The pretty, young dryad stood, her notebook in her hands. "Your majesty, were you aware of the existence of these photos when you began dating Persephone?"
Hades leaned in toward the microphone. "I was not," he commented a little coldly, "but I consider them immaterial to my feelings toward Persephone."
The reporters erupted again and Hades picked another. "Your Majesty, were you aware these photos existed before they were published?"
"I was. Persephone informed me of the events and told me the photos existed."
He called on a grizzled chimera. The reporter asked, "Since this is the first official press conference held since you and Ms Persephone began dating, can the two of you give us an official statement on your relationship? Is marriage in the cards?"
Hades felt a yearning tightness in his chest. It's still too soon ...
"We are letting things unfold naturally," he told the reporter. "I'm sure you can appreciate our wish to maintain privacy. Suffice to say that we are very happy."
A slender nymph stood and said, "Your Majesty, I know you said you and Persephone are happy together, but what exactly are your feelings toward her that sex photos wouldn't impact your feelings toward her? Is that the kind of goddess who should be the potential future Queen of the Underworld?"
Hades bristled immediately, a snarl curling his lip as his eyes flashed red. "How dare you?" He stepped forward and gripped the edges of the podium. "First of all, how a goddess chooses to live her life has no bearing or impact on how well she might rule. Second of all, I love her for who she is. Photographs do not change that. Third and most important, they were nonconsensual! Not her fault and not her choice! Even if they weren't, I wouldn't give a damn!"
Oh, this isn't going well, Persephone thought. She placed a gentle hand on Hades' shoulder. "My love," she said softly. "I think it's time to step back." She slowly pulled him away from the podium and drew him down to kiss him gently. Hecate stepped up to the podium. "That will be all for today, thank you," she said, then turned and herded Hades and Persephone back behind the curtain.
Hades allowed himself to be shepherded away, still grumbling and fuming. Once backstage, he ran his hand through his immaculate hair, leaving it disheveled. "I'm sorry about that. I just... The nerve of her!"
Persephone looked up at him, eyes shining. "You really do love me, don't you," she said softly.
Hades deflated a bit as he saw her tender expression, his anger replaced by softness. "Yes," he whispered. "I truly do. More than anything."
"I love you, too." She looked up at him earnestly. "H-how did I do?" she asked shyly
"Darling, you were incredible," Hades murmured with a smile. "Perfect poise and determination. I couldn't be prouder of you."
Hecate said with a sly smile, "Indeed. Our illustrious king didn't do nearly so well on his first several press conferences. You're a natural."
Hades gave her a dirty look. “How I did or didn’t do is immaterial here. Point was, love,” he said to Persephone, “you did extremely well.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead.
Hades sighed quietly as he set down his tumbler of scotch. He'd tried for hours to go back to sleep without success. He hadn't wanted to disturb Persephone, so he'd gone downstairs for a drink and to settle his mind a bit. The upheaval of the day was still very much in his mind.
After the press conference, they had gone home, neither of them having the focus needed for remaining at work. They had ordered dinner and simply spent time together, talking quietly about anything except the press conference, and making love.
Persephone had asked if she could stay over and Hades had readily agreed. It had been clear that she hadn’t wanted to face being alone in her apartment, and he wanted her to stay where she was comfortable. All that was aside from the fact that he loved how his big house felt with her in it.
But now, with Persephone sleeping, Hades found himself in need of decompression. So much had happened that day that still twisted his gut, not least the appalling gall of the reporters in the press conference. To think he would ever turn his back on Persephone due to scandalous photos, even aside from their context...
What I told that reporter is no less than the truth. The photos only matter in that they are evidence of crime and they hurt her. I don't give a damn for myself about the optics of a queen who has sex photos. I'm only concerned for her .
This was what he kept coming back to. He and his realm could only be better for her presence. He’d spent centuries barely giving a shit that the realms gave him the collective stink-eye. He still didn’t care all that much, but the uncertainty of the future and what this bad press could mean for Persephone was what was stealing his sleep. He laughed softly to himself. I wonder what Hecate would have to say about it. She always said I have no concern for the business optics. Guess I just needed the right motivations.
Minthe preened in the rearview mirror of her car, finger combing her glossy hair and pushing up her breasts.
It hadn’t taken long to come to a plan after she’d seen the broadcast of the press conference. Her lip curled at the thought of Hades’ pink tart. She's a liability. He's so worried about optics now, and these are about the worst optics possible . She stepped out of the car and walked to the front door of Hades' house, adjusting the hem of her short skirt. He's as good as mine again .
With a deep breath, she knocked on the door.
Chapter 8: Old Pains and New Joys
Minthe shifted impatiently on the stoop. The light was on in the living room; she knew he was awake. She rapped on the door again, more sharply this time. Hurry up, you big blue idiot.
Startled by the knock, Hades set down his scotch and went to open the door, cinching his robe shut. Who the fuck could it be at this hour?
He pulled the door open to reveal Minthe in a short skirt and pouting smile.
"Minthe?" He blinked in surprise. "What in the name of the Fates are you doing here?"
"Hey there, Big Blue," she cooed, slinking past him into the house. "I just wanted to come by and offer my condolences about your relationship with Persephone."
He scowled. "Condolences? What are you talking about? There's nothing wrong with our relationship."
"Oh, Hades," she said, face sad and voice tinged with pity, her ears drooping. "Do you really think it's sustainable with all that bad press? You know sex pictures aren’t a good look for the girlfriend of a king." She sidled up to him, lightly tugging at the lapel of his robe with one red finger. "At least our dirty laundry stayed out of the papers." She looked up at him from under long eyelashes, giving him the look that always broke down his defenses and landed her in his bed, no matter how bad the fight. "I just want you to know that I'm...here for you. When it's all over. Or even before, if you wanted."
Hades' eyes narrowed as he firmly removed her hand from his chest. A distant part of his mind that wasn't furious at her presumption was amused at the ineffectiveness of her ploy. He recognized the winsome look and knew very well the effect it used to have. Look at me. I've grown.
Aloud, he stated, "It won't be over. There are more important things than optics. She's more important to me. I want more than outwardly tidy dirty laundry, and I finally have it."
Minthe scowled as she pulled her wrist out of his grip. "She's obscenely young, and an heiress, Hades. Do you think anybody looks at this relationship and sees it for anything other than what it is? A creepy old man getting his dick wet with a pretty young fertility goddess, plus the added bonus of adding to your fortune?" she spat. "Everyone can see what's going on here."
"I don't give a shit what everyone thinks they can see," he snapped, goaded and pushed. "I am happier with her than I ever thought I could be. I want to marry her!" His brain caught up with his mouth a half second later and he realized with a shock that there was none of the automatic sense of restraint, no feeling that they needed to wait. Only the same sense of rightness that had highlighted so many points in the relationship, again and again feeling as though pieces had slotted securely into place. "I'm going to marry her," he said, as much to reinforce his statement as to savor the knowledge. It's time .
Minthe's face darkened in anger. "You're going to marry her? I'll believe it when I see it, Hades. Don't think I've forgotten that you were going to propose to me not so long ago. You're as fickle and inconstant as your brothers.”
He paled. "How did you-" Memory flashed back to the night of the Panathenea, the weight of the ring box in his pocket, the ache of his empty arms as sharp as the ache in his heart. The same night he'd seen Persephone... It doesn't matter. What's done is done, past is past. You have so much better to look forward to now .
"You, of all people," he growled, "have no room to speak to me of inconstancy, of fickleness. How many times did you change up plans as petty retribution for some slight?" He shook his head. "Minthe, our time together was one misery after another of two people clinging to the only comfort they knew. I deserve better. I'm choosing better."
Cerberus, attracted by the noise of the argument, loomed up over his shoulder, three heads snarling, foot long teeth bared. Hades’ eyes flashed scarlet. "You should leave. Now. Don't come back."
Minthe blanched at his words as much as the fearsome Guardian looming behind him, but steeled herself for one final volley. "I knew because I found that sorry excuse for a ring in your coat pocket the afternoon before the party," she hissed. "But I'm glad you didn't ask me, because I didn't want to marry you. Nobody wants you, Hades. They want power and money, but not you. Even your little pink tart." With that, she left, slamming the door behind her.
Hades winced as the door slammed, and slumped. Cerberus whined quietly, laying one of his massive heads on his dad's shoulder, one of the others licking inquisitively at Hades' hair.
He turned to the dog, wrapping both arms around the thick neck, and hugging his Guardian. "Thank you for the assistance, Cerberus. Bet that felt good after all the times you had to put up with her. I'm sorry about that."
Cerberus whuffed quietly and shrank a bit, reducing to one head but still clearly on edge. Probably worried about how I'm feeling... The pain of Minthe's words prickled at him despite his efforts to shake them away.
Persephone padded into the living room, rubbing her eyes. "Aidoneus?" she asked, voice raspy with sleep. "What's going on? I heard the door slam."
He turned toward her, a welter of love and emotion rushing through him. He crossed the room to her quickly and hugged her. "I'm sorry it woke you, sweetness. Minthe came by and didn't take too kindly to being showed out by Cerberus and myself."
"Minthe?" She frowned, looking up at him in confusion. "What did she want?"
"To get me back," he said quietly. "She figured I'd be fretting over today’s conference and the pictures and wanted to let me know that she'd be there for me when shit hit the fan and this was over. I told her that this wouldn't be over and I was choosing better than anything I'd had with her. She didn't take kindly to the rejection."
Anger rose in her chest and she flushed pinker. "How dare she? Was she unkind to you? I swear I'll kill her."
"It... wasn't anything I haven't heard before, from many sources." Hades sighed, the thread of hurt twisting through his belly. Why is that still so painful? He went on, "The standard insults that the only things I have going for me are wealth and power and that any relationship I might have is just a creepy old man looking to fuck some young thing who’s only interested in that wealth and power." He raked a hand through his hair. "I don't know why it still hurts to hear it..."
"Because it hurts when people say hurtful things," she said quietly, taking his hands in her own. "And because you never thought you deserved better, even though you always have. And those negative thoughts can creep back in very easily." She drew him down the hall toward the bedroom. "I'm cold, Aidoneus. Come to bed and warm me."
He went willingly with her, trying to let knowledge of her love and his newfound certainty of marriage wash away the lingering ache. "I love you," he whispered as they reached the bedroom.
She turned and smiled up at him, the starlight that filtered through the windows giving her a face a slight glow. "I love you, too." She drew him to the bed and sat him down, then straddled his lap. "Aidoneus, I do love you because you are an immensely powerful god with immeasurable reach. I do love you because you are a king. I do love you because you have untold riches. I love you because of what each of those things bring out in you." She cupped his face in her hands and looked earnestly into his eyes. "You are a wise and diligent king, devoted to meting out right justice. You use your power for the care and improvement of your realm and everyone in it, not for your own personal gain. Your accumulation of wealth is the result of sound business practices, for the most part, not because you sought to find and hoard it." She kissed him gently. "All the things you are have turned you into the god I fell in love with. To Tartarus with what other people think."
"Kore..." Deeply touched, the pain washed away by her words, Hades reached up to cup her cheeks, returning her kisses. "Your friendship, warm regard, and love have meant so much to me. I've been happier with you than I ever dreamed I could be. All that you are... Your sweet nature. Your humor and laughter. How you embrace and overcome every challenge. Your wrath tempered by justice and used for betterment." He hesitated a moment, a blush tinting his cheeks. His newfound certainty hovered at the tip of his tongue, the words almost begging to be spoken. The only thing holding him back was uncertainty of her response. But the idea of not sharing it with her was not an option. I don't know what her response will be, but I can't not tell her. Honesty and openness only. No deflection. Memory flitted through his mind. “ Ask me again later. I promise I’ll say yes…”
He went on quietly, earnestly, laying one hand over her heartbeat. "God of wealth I may be, but this is the greatest treasure I've ever held. Everything I have, everything I own, pales in comparison to the chance to love this heart for the rest of my immortal life. I cannot imagine a better partner with whom to rule. Persephone... would you marry me and do me the honor of being my wife and my queen?"
Chapter 9: Promise Kept
Persephone's eyes filled with tears as he spoke, then overflowed when he asked his question. She nodded mutely and threw her arms around him in a fierce hug. Letting out a hiccuping laugh-sob, she kissed his neck. "I will," she said through the tears. "You honor me, Aidoneus, with your love and trust." She pulled back and kissed him.
Hades let out a disbelieving laugh, his own tears overflowing. He kissed her soundly. He wanted to dance. He wanted to fly. He rained kisses over her face, a little overwhelmed by emotion. We’ve talked about this before. She promised me that she'd say yes. Why is this so strong? But he knew the answer . This was more than theoreticals. This was more than the Fates intruding on their lives. This was a firm, comfortable knowledge in his gut that he was hers, she was his, and they belonged together. It was knowing there was no need for apprehension or fear in the face of what they shared.
"We've known about the Fates for awhile, sweetness,” he whispered, resting his forehead against hers, “but the idea of marriage always had a feeling with it of needing to wait until the time was right. I don't have that anymore. Only that same sense of all the pieces falling into place that we've had before. Only a desire to be fully yours forever." He cradled her face gently. "I cannot express to you how happy I am right now."
She brushed the tears off his cheeks with her thumbs, laughing, then pressed her forehead to his. "It's perfect," she murmured with a smile. "Just perfect."
"I don't have a ring," he murmured apologetically. "But I'll make that up to you. I can surprise you with a ridiculously romantic proposal and we can wind up the papers if you want."
She smiled, brushing the hair away from his face. "I don't need a ring, love. I only need you."
"Still, I'd like to be able to give you something." He thought for a moment, then held up his fist between them with a soft, shy smile. Pale blue tendrils of light wisped between his fingers and his eyes flashed white as his hair and robe fluttered on a phantom breeze. Hades opened his hand carefully to reveal a gem of deep plum and indigo, the colors curling and mixing in mesmerizing swirls. Spangled through the stone were countless inclusions, the tiny flaws imitating a field of stars. "These kinds of flaws generally decrease the value of a stone," he whispered, holding up the gem, "but I thought they'd be appropriate. It reminds me of us, the colors and stardust of our primal forms, coming together and making something new."
Persephone's eyes overflowed again as she reached out a tentative finger to touch the brilliant gem. "It's beautiful," she whispered. Without warning her own eyes flashed white and her hair ruffled on the same phantom breeze, as she used her power to weave wedding crowns of laurel leaves and narcissus and asphodel through their hair. "I can't make gems," she said shyly, "But I can make crowns."
Hades reached up to touch the leaves and flowers twining through his hair and looked up at hers with a smile. "They're beautiful." He kissed her deeply, his smile sweet when he drew back. "My queen."
She blushed deeply. "My king," she replied softly, pushing the robe off his shoulders. "I love you."
Hades shrugged out of the filmy garment, letting it fall to the bed and baring his muscled, scarred chest. "I love you, sweetness, so very much." His hands roamed tenderly over her, pushing the hem of her shorts up her thighs.
Persephone grasped the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head, baring herself to him. She pressed her chest against his and hummed. "You're so warm."
Hades chuckled, bending down to press a line of hot kisses along her shoulder. "Are you cold, darling? Shall I warm you up?" He drifted his fingers over the bare skin of her back, the feeling of her bare, full breasts pressed against his chest inflaming his desire. His cock twitched under her, beginning to fill and harden.
"Yes," she breathed, sliding off his lap and pulling down her shorts. She pulled him to his feet and pulled his boxers down as well, and wrapped her small hand around his stiffening member. "I'm cold."
"Then I shall banish the chill from you," Hades murmured, his eyes heavy lidded and full of desire. His hands cupped the weight of her breasts, palming the full globes as his thumbs slipped over her nipples.
"By the power vested in you as King of the Underworld?" she asked with a smile, inhaling sharply at the touch that brushed over her nipples.
He shook his head with a wry grin. "By the power vested in me as the man who loves you." He pulled her close, kissing her soft lips and whispering. "I want to taste you."
Persephone shuddered and felt her nipples harden almost painfully. "I want that," she said breathlessly. "Please."
Hades scooped her up against his chest, turning to lay her across the bed, slipping to his knees next to it. He bent over her, kissing the soft curve of her belly.
She spread her legs, propping her heels on the edge of the mattress, and buried her fingers in his soft, blue-white hair.
He hummed quietly as his lips caressed her skin, working his way downward. His hands came up and covered over her breasts, kneading the pliant flesh.
Persephone moaned softly and arched against him, encouraging him toward her aching core.
Hades kissed through her soft curls, tracing his tongue over her furrow before slipping it inside her folds. He lapped slowly through her slick flesh, humming with pleasure at the taste of her lust.
She inhaled sharply and let out a soft "Ah!" as his tongue slipped over her sensitive, needy flesh. Her hips bucked upward, seeking further stimulation.
He curled his tongue around the swollen bud of her clit, flexing it slowly. Hades looked up at her along her body, his eyes glittering with love and desire through the fall of his hair.
She raised her legs and hooked her hands behind her knees, spreading herself for him further. Her hips undulated up, her body begging for the touch of his tongue, for the pleasure he could give her.
He massaged her clit slowly with the flat of his tongue, and brought down his hand to slip two fingers inside her damp channel. He massaged her slowly, probing for her sensitive areas.
Persephone cried out loudly as slid his fingers inside her. She ground her hips against his hand, encouraging his thrusts, as she writhed beneath his ministrations.
Hades worked his fingers in and out of her channel, rolling his tongue over her clit. He hummed, letting the vibration shiver over her flesh.
She cupped her breasts and rolled her nipples between thumb and forefinger, gasping and mewling as he drove inexorably to the edge.
He laid his free hand over hers on her breast, working the sensitive nipple with her. He flicked the tip of his tongue over her clit, working her desire higher and higher.
His hand on hers, working her body with her, sent her over the edge and she came with a cry. Her hands flew down to his head and her thighs clamped around his head.
Hades growled as he pleasured her, his fingers working her clenching sheath. His shaft throbbed and ached with need, his pulse attuned to the pulses of her pleasure.
Persephone pushed him away as she writhed and twitched under him, her clit so sensitive as her orgasm waned that it was almost painful. "Aidoneus," she gasped, "Too much."
He pulled away immediately, moving up to lie next to her. "Sorry, sweetheart," he murmured, wiping his face and licking his fingers clean.
She stretched languidly, a satisfied smile curving her lips. "Don't be sorry, it was amazing," she purred, tugging at his hip. "I want you inside me, Aidoneus."
He shifted over to lie atop her with a smile. "Oh, is that so? It just so happens that I want to be inside you."
"What a marvelous confluence of interests," she murmured, looking into his eyes intently. She drew her legs up so her ankles were at his hips. "I never stop wanting you. Every moment of every day I long for you." She kissed him gently. "I didn't know it could be like this."
“You have me, love," Hades promised softly as he slipped inside of her. "Even if we cannot be joined as one like this, remember that your sweet heart holds mine. I am yours. For our immortal lives." He began to move in her with deep, rolling motions as he whispered quietly. "I have belonged to you from before I knew I loved you. Soon, we will stand before our friends and family and all the realms and pledge ourselves to each other as corulers, equal. But I pledge this to you here and now, Kore, with no one else to intrude, no pomp and circumstance, no frills or social expectations." He cupped a hand around the back of her head and kissed her with the utmost tenderness, his voice breaking on deep emotion. "As far as I am concerned, you are my queen. Everything you are, everything we have, has felt indescribably right. I don't need a ceremony to tell me that I am yours. This king bends knee only to his queen."
Persephone was overcome with emotion at this expression of his dedication to her. She had never imagined that joining with another could be such a joyful, emotional expression. She kissed him eagerly, her body moving with his. "I will be your queen. From this moment, if you want me," she murmured softly, brushing her lips over his.
"I want you," he whispered. "In all ways. As my queen. As my wife. My sweet love. As the goddess who holds my heart. Be mine and I am always yours."
"I'm yours," she whispered back. "Forever."
"Forever," he breathed, resting his forehead against hers as he cupped her cheek and they moved together. Forever for immortals was trivial in some respects, but this carried a weight that couldn't be simplified. My wife and queen. It seemed impossible, yet the warmth of her seeping into his chest, coiling around his heart like a loving embrace, was proof. Hades gazed down at Persephone, a knot of emotion closing his throat. He combed his trembling fingers into her hair, brushing against the laurel and narcissus, and tried to imagine an eternity of two thrones, blooms woven into the onyx metal of a spiked crown, the twining of a supple vine, thorned and flowered, around the glowing blue metal of a bident...
His breath hitched and, overwhelmed, he bent to kiss her with all the tenderness he could muster.
Persephone returned his kisses ardently. Forever .
"I love you, Aidoneus," she whispered. She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him close and placing gentle kisses over his neck and shoulder.
Hades buried his face against the side of her neck, murmuring sweet, meaningless noises as he kissed her throat. The pleasure building inside of him, the ecstasy of joining with her, only seemed a natural complement to the effervescent joy bubbling inside him at her acceptance. Though it was impossible the moment could last forever, it seemed like the perfect encapsulation of them: flowered crowns tangled in their hair, the indigo and plum stone meant for her ring on the nightstand, and the two of them lost in each other in blissful union.
"I want you to come with me," she breathed into his neck. "I want to finish together." She moved her hips with his slow, long thrusts. "Fates, you feel so good." Her heart swelled with love and happiness, with the joy she felt at belonging to him and knowing it would be forever. She never doubted for a moment that he would remain constant; he was hers.
Hades nodded, groaning quietly as pleasure sparked through his body. He lifted his head from her shoulder and looked down at her with love and need in his eyes. "I wish I could stay like this forever, sweetheart. There's nothing better than feeling you holding me inside you."
"We have forever," she whispered. "All eternity." She kissed him deeply, tenderly, angling her hips so that his thrusts hit her pleasure spots. The pressure built in her core slowly, inexorably. "Can you feel it, my love? I'm getting so close."
"Oh yes," he murmured with a smile. "Tiny tremors that grow stronger and stronger until you burst around me. It's an incredible feeling." He set aside any attempt to stave off his own climax beyond timing it to hers. The unfettered mounting of need was a delicious torment and he kissed her with a desperate hunger. "Come for me, my queen," he gasped against her lips. "Let me feel you come undone."
His words sent her arousal spiraling and she cried out with each thrust, louder each time he hilted inside her, until she came around him with a wail. Her sheath rippled and clenched as he moved, prolonging her pleasure.
As her cries mounted, his arousal spiraled tighter, drawn closer and closer to the point of no return by her clear pleasure. The knot of tension built and built and Hades gritted his teeth, trying to last, knowing she was close and it wouldn't take long. Just as the shuddering pleasure crescendoed and tipped beyond his control, Persephone's voice rent the air with a sharp cry and her wet channel clamped down rhythmically around his length. Hades cried out, a wail to match hers, as his climax splintered his concentration. He drove deep, thickening inside her as he came in long, wrenching spurts, his breathy moans and whimpers in cadence with his faltering thrusts.
Persephone's arousal peaked again as he hardened and bottomed out and groaned his own completion. Her legs shook and she clung to him as he drew every last shudder of pleasure from her. Her sheath grasped and milked his cock, pulling out his pleasure in turn.
Hades trembled over her, wracked by the spasms of pleasure that seemed to ricochet and echo harder with her own contractions. As the climax receded, he gradually relaxed bonelessly over her, barely retaining the presence of mind to hold himself up on his elbows to not squish her.
Persephone's arms slid off Hades' body, landing limp on the bed on either side of her head. Her eyelids were heavy and she gazed up at him, eyes clouded with pleasure and satisfaction, smiling lazily.
He panted quietly, relishing every bit of sated tiredness that filled his body as he lifted his head to look down at her with a loving smile. Hades chuckled and picked up a few of the profusion of petals scattered across the bed, bringing them up to his nose to inhale their sweet scent. "I may never be able to smell another flower without getting turned on..."
"Good," she said with a tired giggle. "Come here and hold me, Aidoneus. I need you."
Hades turned them to their sides, carefully to maintain their connection, and wrapped his arms around her.
Persephone draped her top leg over his hip and snuggled in, pressing gentle kisses over his chest.
He let out a happy sigh and kissed her forehead. "I love you so very much."
"I love you, too." She smiled against his heated skin. "Guess what."
Hades smiled. "What is it, sweetness?"
"We're going to get married." She wiggled delightedly.
He laughed. "Indeed. I shall be your husband. And you will be my wife." His smile softened to something shy and vulnerable. "My wife..." he whispered, wonderingly.
Persephone pulled back and looked up at him with a smile. "You like that idea?" she asked, reaching up to smooth his hair out of his eyes.
"I do," he whispered. "This is like an amazing dream, and I've woken to find it real." He kissed her tenderly. "Sweetness, to know you'll be my wife... I cannot describe how it makes me feel."
"Can we wait to announce it?" Her brow furrowed and she looked down, tracing one of his luminescent scars with her finger. "It's not that I don't want people to know. It's just...everything we do is so public. And I feel like I want to keep this just for us for a little while." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "That's probably silly."
"It's not silly at all," he murmured with a smile. "I like the idea of having this time just for us. We can't officially crown you until we are married, of course, but as I said..." He lifted her hand and kissed her palm with a sweet smile. "As far as I'm concerned, you are my queen."
Chapter 10: Heart to Heart
Persephone gave Hades a radiant smile. "What is a royal wedding like?" she asked curiously. "I've seen your brothers' wedding portraits at Hera's...they're lovely." She blushed slightly. "I've never really imagined a wedding for myself."
"There's lots of formality," he murmured, "Pomp and ceremony. I'll be in my dress uniform. Photographers galore." He grimaced. "The papers will have a field day leading up to the wedding. Everyone will want to know everything."
Her face lit up. "I've never seen you in your dress uniform. Not in real life, anyway." She blushed. "I kind of like the idea of pomp and ceremony."
He smiled. "It has its own appeal. I just want you to be prepared."
"Who usually performs the ceremony?"
"As the goddess of marriage, Hera has purview. She performs all the god marriages. She and Zeus simply eloped." He chuckled.
"I kind of like the idea of eloping too. But my mother would kill me."
"Set aside what Demeter would think," he said softly, "and, keeping in mind that we don't need to decide anything quickly, what appeals to you more? The formal, big wedding, or elopement?"
She pursed her lips, thinking. "Would it be wrong of me to want the big formal wedding?" Her cheeks flushed again. "It would make me feel more queen...ish. I think."
"It's not wrong at all," he whispered, "Both options appeal to me. I like the idea of a ceremony commensurate with how deeply I feel about you. I like the idea of something small, intimate, and simple. What's important to me, though, is you and our life together. If you want the big wedding, then by the Fates, you shall have it. As long as I get to adore you as your husband, I will be content."
Hades paused, thinking, a blush staining his cheeks, before he went on in a whisper. "I am old, Kore. I have seen many things. Done many things. Through it all, I have looked for, thought I found, and gave up on anything other than being lonely. Until you. You have been a breath of spring into a cold, dark world and I would have been content to simply be allowed to love you and bask as your warmth and love took my jaded old self and made me feel young again. Now, to know that you will be my wife, my queen..." His voice hitched and a tear traced down his nose from the corner of his eye. "My goddess of Spring, to know that I will have you at my side, my queen and companion... All of my yearning all these years for someone with whom to share everything never approached what the reality would feel like."
Persephone's heart squeezed in her chest as she gently wiped the tear from his dear face. "Oh, Aidoneus," she whispered, her own eyes welling up at the thought of this gentle, loving god toiling in solitude for millennia, resigned to an eternity of loneliness. "You'll never be alone again, I swear it."
He smiled softly, radiantly, his heart singing at the simple, sweet acceptance of his goddess. "I love you, Kore. So much." Hades kissed her deeply, with the greatest tenderness. Happy tears prickled at his eyes, drawn by the simple, blissful joy suffusing his being.
She returned his kiss eagerly as a feeling of homecoming washed over her that she hadn't felt since she was a young girl in the mortal realm. It was as though all the sense of rightness she’d experienced in her time with Hades concentrated into one moment, suffusing her with a sense of welcome and wellbeing so deep that it took her breath away.
Hades gasped sharply into the kiss, the tethers of the Underworld into his being suddenly pulling taut and shifting. He drew back and stared at Persephone in shock as the feeling of connection he'd always had with his realm seemed to rearrange, making room for a new link, a warm band that seemed to nestle around his heart. It carried with it a sense of companionship and shared decision making, of relief and succor after weary toil. It held, somehow, an unmistakable sense of Persephone and he knew instantly what had happened. "The Underworld just accepted you," he whispered. "Sweetness, I can feel it!"
Persephone stared back at him, eyes wide and mouth open. "You can-you can feel it? But I don't..." she hesitated. "I don't feel anything." Her expression turned to one of worry. "Why can't I feel it?"
"Newness, I expect," he rubbed her back soothingly as he settled back down next to her. "I've had millennia to grow accustomed to exactly how my connection to this realm feels. It's obvious when it changes. But you might be feeling more than you think. I tend to consider my realm links as bands or ribbons reaching into me because it's a convenient metaphor. But there have been times it's been more of a feeling out of nowhere. Just a sense of everything going perfectly, or an unsettled feeling in the case of a problem. Consider how you're feeling, sweetheart. What emotions are filling you?"
Her brow furrowed as she thought about this. "I feel like...I'm home," she said simply, with an apologetic shrug. "I don't really know how else to explain it. Maybe I could tell more if I used my powers..." She trailed off, remembering what had happened the first, and last, time she'd tapped into her link to the Underworld.
"Let me try, Kore?" He cupped a hand over her cheek, tilting his forehead against hers, probing gently into her with his power. "Just like that night you felt out how I was using the primal powers, and just like the next morning in the kitchen, I think I might be able to feel out your realm connection." He sifted gently through her domains. Her powers over plants and growth, and underneath that the domain of springtime, her powers feeling to him like sinking into warm layers of water, enveloping and supportive. He probed deeper, and smiled as a sudden feeling of contented warmth washed over him. Like a hot bath soothing aches, like the comfort of a loving hug, he could feel a mirror in her of the warmth of his own connection to the Underworld.
Hades frowned slightly, concentrating. They’d known she was connected to the realm. Granted, this felt deeper, but there was a facet missing. There seemed to be added depth. He probed a little deeper and his eyes went wide as the true nature of her links seemed to slide into place in his awareness. Like strong cord, tendrils of power linked her to the Underworld, and her domains, but now tendrils of her power flowed to him as well. Streamers of light extended from her head, hands, and heart into his own body.
We are bound together. Like three corners of a triangle, the same sense of connection linked the two of them to each other and to the realm. Hades nudged these links in her, highlighting them in her awareness. "Here," he whispered, wonderingly, "we are bound to each other and to the realm.."
Persephone gasped as she was able to focus on the connection once he had shown it to her. "I can feel it," she whispered, eyes wide. "I can feel you ." She closed her eyes and looked inward, carefully feeling around this new-found presence. "It feels like...roots. Anchoring me here." She grinned as she probed again, eagerly. "Your connection feels like roots, too. Twined together with mine." She looked up at him in wonder. "When did this happen? I swear it wasn't here before."
"I am not sure, but I'd guess that it has to do with you agreeing to marry me. Remember how differently Cerberus reacted to you after we had our discussion of theoreticals and you agreed to say yes? I think that this place, our powers, our connection, views you as queen as much as I do now that I’ve asked properly." Hades smiled a little tremulously as he basked in the warmth of their connection. She has always given me that warm and snuggly feeling, but this is so much more . "Sweetheart,” he whispered, “I had no idea what this would be like. I've said before that your love feels like a hug around my heart but that was nothing compared to this."
Persephone smiled tenderly at him. “I feel the same way. I feel so close to you right now.” She kissed him soundly. "How long do you think it will take for my awareness to sharpen like yours?" she asked eagerly. "Should I practice, or..."
"Practice can't possibly hurt anything," he murmured with a smile, "but to answer your first question, I have no real idea. I'm thinking though, that it won't take long. I think if I coach you on what to look for, then you'll be able to pick it up in no time at all." A fresh surge of overwhelmed emotion broke over him and Hades closed his eyes as his breath caught. How can something so perfect be real? She's the piece that's been missing from my realm, from my rule... He probed gingerly at his awareness of his ties to the Underworld, finding the sweet sense of Persephone twined through each bond, strengthening them in ways he'd never suspected they needed. I never dreamed that finding my other half could feel like this.
An ugly urge to hide, to push away, reared up in him and Hades tried to shake it away, heart pounding suddenly. For all of my longing for this very thing, and I get more than I ever thought possible, how can I want to push it away? But the answer came as quick as the question. You still think you don't deserve it, old man, and when have you ever been comfortable with feeling overwhelmed by emotion? Even more than that, it was feeling her so deeply. After centuries of solitude, it was more than a little disconcerting to be linked like this. Fear curled through him. I’ve always been alone and now, with this connection, I might be anything but. How deep does it go? How connected are we? Thoughts tumbled through his mind, chased by the realization that he needed this sense of connection as desperately as he needed air.
Persephone's brow furrowed as she watched emotion flicker across his face. "What's wrong?" she asked softly. She fancied that she almost felt him pulling away from her, and it confused her. She slowly stroked his arm. "Aidoneus?"
He almost shook it off with a casual dismissal, but stopped himself. No deflection. Honesty only with her and yourself. Even if it hurts.
He ducked down, nuzzling his face into her chest and wrapping his arms around her, tempering the desire to hide and distance with hiding against her. "It's complicated," he whispered hesitantly, "and I'm not sure I can explain it. Or at least not well. But I'll try..."
She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and stroked his hair. "I hope you know you can tell me anything, love," she murmured. "Maybe I can help you put words to it."
He closed his eyes and let the feeling of her embrace and caress begin to wash away the pain and uncertainty. "You know," he said quietly, "that I have trouble with accepting that I deserve good things. You are without a doubt the best thing that's ever happened to me and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed."
She smiled and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "I know that," she said. "You know that you do deserve good things, though, right?" She rested her cheek against his hair and closed her eyes. "Whether it's me or something else, you deserve every good thing that happens to you."
"I can feel you wrapped around my heart," he whispered, voice catching. "It's not just a sweet metaphor anymore. Kore, I can feel you. Our shared rule and your love for me twine through me like my own breath."
She squeezed him tighter. "I suppose that feels rather invasive," she said quietly. "I understand how that could be overwhelming, sweetheart. It's okay to feel that way."
Hades let out a noise of frustration at himself. "I'm sorry, I'm not explaining well. It doesn't feel invasive. I want it. Already, I'm not sure I could do without it." His voice dropped to a whisper. "I want it so much that it scares me, Kore. In all my life, I've never felt like this. That is what’s overwhelming."
She put her fingers under his chin and gently urged him to look up at her. "I've never felt like this, either. Aidoneus, earlier, just before you felt me, I had a feeling of...completeness and belonging wash over me. I haven't felt anything like that since I was a girl in the mortal realm." She kissed him sweetly. "I don't feel overwhelmed. But I also don't feel the realm the way that you do yet. I expect I'll be sharing your feelings soon enough.” She brushed her lips over his again. "In the meantime, is there anything I can do to help you? I don't want you to feel scared."
He combed his fingers through her hair, his gaze soft, wonder, love and a thread of uncertain fear mingled in the scarlet depths. He whispered quietly, "As much as the adjustment to my feel for the realm and my disbelief I could merit your love, and tying it all together... I've never done well with strong emotion for various reasons. To not just know that you love me, but to be able to feel it... To not just know that you are fated to be queen, but to feel it twining into me, strengthening my own rule... To feel such an instant need in myself for that link... I have felt intense emotion along the spectrum and I never imagined this simultaneous hunger and contentment." He sighed quietly. "Sweetness, just love me. That's all I could need."
She smiled into his crimson eyes. "Well, then. That makes it easy on me," she whispered back with a smile. "I hope I learn to tap into my new powers quickly. I want to feel what you're feeling, too." She cupped his face in her hands and kissed him, long and slow.
Hades returned her kisses, his heart singing despite the lingering fear and apprehension, though it was quickly fading. With her love, even I can't keep such negative feeling up forever. Just relax and be comforted by her . He rained gentle kisses over her face. "I love you dearly, sweetheart."
"I love you, too," she whispered. She hooked her leg further over his hip and drew herself as close to him as possible, deepening the kiss and burying her fingers in his hair. After a few moments she pulled away, a little breathless. "Whatever happens, we'll figure it out together. Okay?"
"Together," he whispered softly. "We'll face every obstacle together. For eternity." A joyful tear slipped down his nose. "Fates, that feels good to say."
She gave a soft laugh. "Why are you crying, my love?" she asked, as she wiped the tear away.
"Happy tears only, sweetness. I'm so happy I don't know what to do with myself." He kissed her tenderly. "The idea of standing beside you for eternity is... It's just an incredible thought."
"It is amazing,” she whispered. “I am so excited for a long future with you. But for the present, do you think we should go to sleep?" she asked, rolling her hips against his questioningly.
"Eventually," he whispered with a smile. Hades stroked gentle fingers over her cheek. "Are you needful, sweet?"
"Yes," she whispered back. "I want you."
Hades smiled. "Then you shall have me." He angled his hips to press his member between her legs, letting the shaft caress her folds as he began to harden. "I want to try something, Kore. We can feel each other's presence through this link. I wonder if we could get each other's sensations." He felt inward along the invisible bonds between them, closing his eyes as he felt her deep love. "Might be good practice and," he gave her a crooked, mischief smile as he opened his eyes again, "it might be extremely hot."
Persephone smiled and closed her eyes, looking inward. It took a little longer than Hades, but she found their link. She felt a surge of emotion come from him and she smiled widened. "You love me so much. How embarrassing," she teased.
"It's the worst," he teased her in return. "I'm just pathetically in love with you." He flexed his hips forward, stroking the length of his erection against her sensitive flesh, and inhaled sharply as his own pleasure melded with echoes of hers through the bond. "Oh..."
The gasp was all he could manage as he stared at her.
Her eyes sprang wide and her mouth fell open as he moved against her. "Do you feel that?" she said, voice catching. "Oh, gods."
Hades cried out, catching her into a desperate embrace as his hips stuttered forward. His own intense pleasure amplified by hers into a feedback loop of need and it wasn't long before he was trembling against her. He whispered against her neck, his voice a hoarse radp, "Can you feel it? Fates... I feel your pleasure. Oh, love, it's so good."
"Inside me," she panted, pawing at him desperately. " Please , I can't go another second." She lifted her top leg to open herself to him, needing to feel his pleasure as he stroked inside her body. "I want to know what it feels like for you."
Letting out tiny, keening noises of need, Hades reached down and positioned himself against her, crying out hoarsely as the feeling of his erection against the tender flesh of her core was mirrored through his awareness by the starbursts of pleasure that sparked through their bond. He trembled as he pushed inside her, already a breath away from climax, unbelievable pleasure coursing through every vein.
Persephone cried out sharply as he slid into her. "Oh, Fates," she panted. "I-I think I'm gonna come!" She breathed noisily through her nose, eyes clenched shut, trying to sift through the twining of their pleasure inside her. One thrust and I'm done for .
Hades made a strangled noise that might have been agreement. He held back fiercely on his need, desperate to stave off the inevitable, but her pleasure was a siren song and he was helpless. Hesitant, faltering, he drew back and thrust gingerly. The resulting pleasure cascade shredded any pretense at restraint or willpower and Hades wailed as he came immediately, pulsing hot bursts of seed into her body.
Persephone's orgasm started as soon as he started to withdraw, and she came with a scream as he hilted inside her. Her own climax twisted with his as it shot down her spine and she cried out with every pulse of his completion, trembling and jerking as shared pleasure ricocheted through her.
The twinned climax savaged him and it was all Hades could do to cling to her, gasping and trembling in the grip of unimaginable pleasure. Every pulse and contraction of his orgasm echoed in hers, which in turn spurred his, until it seemed the maelstrom of sensation would never end.
Persephone shook in Hades' arms as wave after wave of pleasure crashed over her. Her tight sheath spasmed around him, clamping down so hard that the pleasure bordered on pain, his ecstasy echoed inside her.
Hades trembled, his cries becoming hoarser as their climaxes went on and on. Finally, exhaustion overpowered the circuit of bliss and the overpowering pleasure began to fade, leaving him wrecked and boneless. He clung to her, breath heaving with tiny mewling whimpers on each exhale.
Persephone felt his climax fade, and hers faded with it. She lay limp in his arms, panting and unable to move, except for the periodic jerks as an aftershock rocked through her. She was overwhelmed with a heavy, sated exhaustion and felt herself rapidly slipping toward sleep.
His limbs feeling like leaden weights, Hades struggled to lift his head to look at her. Exhaustion dragged at him, sleep yawning like a welcoming abyss. But he wanted to check on her. If what she felt was anything like that. ..
"Kore?" he croaked, "Are you ok?"
She forced her eyelids up to look at him and nodded, smiling. "I love you," she rasped. She wanted to say more but she couldn't make her brain engage with her mouth.
He nodded, eyelids drooping, the need for sleep tugging at him now with the reassurance that she was all right. Hades kissed her, the caress of his lips clumsy with tiredness and he collapsed onto his pillow, already half-asleep. "Love you," he slurred with a dopey smile.
She returned his kiss sleepily and drifted off.
Hades felt the embrace of their bond around his heart, mirrored in the embrace of her arms around his back and he drifted to sleep with a smile on his face.