Kiara really was just minding her own business when it happened. She was out in the field just before the sun set, readying a fire to breathe some life into the night when the ground split open. Before she even had time to take out her sword, something had caught her by her waist and hauled her into a chariot. After that, everything simply went dark.
The underworld: land of the dead and the damned. Across valleys of souls and past the mystic rivers stands the palace of the lord of the realm. It was a castle of black marble, precious stones and metals frivolously scattered like dust among the gardens. Statues and soul fires decorated and illuminated the rooms and hallways, breathing a modicum of life into the halls haunted by ghostly servants, undead soldiers and other beings of this realm. This, all of this, was ruled over by-
Calliope cursed, pacing worriedly across the hallway in a panic. That was the dumbest thing to do on impulse. That was the last thing she wanted to do on impulse, but the chance was right there and she blinks once and she suddenly had the girl hauled on her chariot then in a random room in the palace and-
Just because it was okay with her father doesn’t mean she should have done it. Maybe Calliope should have asked for a date instead of just watching the girl from the underworld for months like a creep. How hard could it have been to ask out a pretty girl?
“I am so fucked.” She groaned, glancing at the door to her guest’s room. Any minute now, the girl could wake up and then they were both going to be deeper into uncharted waters than they already were.
The sound of shuffling came from inside the room and Calliope froze. Even if she was the god of the underworld, regarded as one of the most terrifying entities of this world and the eventual lord of all beings, she was not remotely prepared to properly meet this girl. Especially since she just kidnapped her. Calliope didn’t even know her name.
“Hello?” the girl called from inside the room. Calliope wanted to hide behind one of the decorative statues in the hallway, or maybe melt into the wall. Anything to avoid this impending interaction. Instead, she froze right in front of the entrance to the room like she was asking to be seen.
The door opened slowly and suddenly the lord of the dead was face to face with the girl she’d just kidnapped. Calliope’s immortal heart stopped in its tracks when their eyes met, a purple galaxy swirling with gleaming yellow stars piercing right through her soul. Her orange and teal hair practically shone in the low light of the hallway. Even her confused smile brought comfort to Calliope’s nervous state. This girl was so much more beautiful than she even thought possible.
The silence must have unnerved the girl though because she shuffled on her feet nervously. “Oh, hi?”
Her words alone sparked Calliope back into action. But instead of proper thought guiding the things she said next, impulse took over yet again. Once the words left her mouth, she might have wanted to be struck down on the spot.
There was a pause as they both stared at each other in surprise. “Uhhh,” the girl chuckled in disbelief, “no? Who are you?”
Yeah, Calliope definitely wanted to die.
“Then again,” the girl’s eyes roamed over Calliope’s figure, a playful smirk appearing on her face as she blatantly ogled her, “you are pretty damn hot. Maybe dinner first?”
Calliope perked up a little, glad that her blunder hadn’t driven the girl away. “Yeah,” she muttered, standing a bit taller before repeating the affirmation with more conviction, “yeah, I can do that. Dinner. What would you like to have?”
“How about something simple? Maybe some chicken with a side of Nectar and Ambrosia?” The girl suggested.
The lord of the underworld nodded, clicking her fingers to alert the palace’s servants to the requests. “It’ll be done then. I hope roasting will be to your taste?” She stepped back to give the girl the space to properly exit the room and close the door behind her.
“That's perfect, I’m sure it’ll be great.” The girl giggled. “I’m Kiara by the way. Takanashi Kiara.”
Calliope sucked in a breath, finally able to place a name on the object of her affection. “I’m Calliope Mori.”
Kiara tried the name on her tongue, over and over again, sending a shiver up the lord’s spine. Perhaps Calliope should have used a different name other than the one everybody knew her as. For all she knew, Kiara could be driven away just knowing that she had just been kidnapped by the lord of the underworld.
“Calliope,” Kiara said again, “I like that, it’s a very regal sounding name. Though, I think I’ll just call you Calli. Cute name for a cute girl.”
The nickname was certainly not something she expected to receive today. It was nice though and it warmed Calli’s heart, knowing it was something given to her by such a magnificent being. “Of course,” Calli says, accepting the nickname with no questions asked. The excited smile she received in turn was nothing short of a reward.
“By the way, did you really kidnap me just to ask me to marry you?”
Calli blushed furiously. “I panicked, okay?!”
Kiara laughed, bouncy and bright, her enjoyment making her hair light up even more to make her seem more ethereal. Or perhaps that was just Calli’s imagination? “People don’t usually kidnap someone when they panic.”
“LISTEN!” Calli sputtered, trying to make up an explanation that wouldn’t make her sound weird. “I’m sorry I kidnapped you, that was a big mistake on my part, but I really wanted to talk to you and I’m not exactly supposed to be in the overworld for long.”
“So is this you trying to ask me out to a date?” Kiara snickered.
Kiara chuckled just for a moment before casually taking Calli’s arm. “You know, my papa told me to expect someone that will ask me out. I didn’t think it would be the lord of the underworld.”
Calli startled, “You know who I am?”
The girl waves a hand around the hall. “Pretty obvious,” she remarks, “and your surname didn’t really hide anything.”
Calli wanted to smack herself. Of course Kiara's father would tell her someone was trying to court her. And of course Kiara knew where she was and who the only other being around would be; no palace in the overworld had black marble. Why didn't Calli think of that? Did being the lord of the underworld entail a special kind of 'not so bright'?
“By the way, am I allowed to leave?” Kiara asks, “I was in the middle of an adventure.”
“Of course,” the lord of the underworld nodded, “why wouldn’t you be allowed to leave? Hopefully though, you’ll leave after dinner?”
Kiara smiles warmly, “Definitely after dinner, I wouldn’t skip out on that. Mind showing me around while we wait?”
“It’ll be my pleasure.” Calli says breathlessly. She would do anything Kiara asked, just for a chance to see that warm smile.