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Always and Forever

Chapter 2 False Love

"Persephone!" Demeter shrieked.

Persephone lifted one eye open from her sleep to see her mother scowling at her. "Yes mother?" she replied as innocently as she could. While doing so she sat up and stretched.

Her mother relaxed, as she always did when Persephone used that tone of voice. "Sweet Heart, you know you're not allowed to sleep outside of home. You never know what could happen. It's a good thing I found you, and not some barbarian."

"Yes mother. I apologize. I was just so relaxed and the ocean was very soothing."

"Just be more careful. I don't know what I would do if you were gone."

"Of course mother." Persephone sighed.

"Come, let's go home and sleep until light. Later today I have a surprise for you." Demeter said, offering Persephone her hand.

"Alright." She replied sleepily.

Persephone dreamed of a dark place. There was a boatman and a river. Curiosity made her approach him and get on the boat. She took in her surroundings. The river had a dark glow about it, and seemed to be much more than what it appeared to be, but it was water nonetheless. But something about the river told her that it was indeed, no ordinary river. The whole area was pitch black, but for some unknown reason she could see as if she was in the light of day. She looked up and saw nothing but cold, hard rock. I must be in a cave… she thought.

When the boat got to the other side of the river, her breath caught in her throat. Right before her eyes was the most beautiful castle she'd ever seen. Dark and magnificent. Surrounding it was a beautiful rot Iron Gate, which for some reason, did not make it's usual sound of a squeal when she went through. There were no flowers in the area before the door, or any foliage for that matter. She yearned to see what was inside the castle. She started up the dirt path up to the steps, and her hand reached out for the door. Just before her hand touched the door knob, the door opened letting out a light that seemed brighter than the sun. She blinked a few times while shielding her eyes, but alas, she woke up because of it.

"It's about time you woke up sleepyhead." Demeter cooed. Persephone blinked away the sleep and tried to get her eyes to adjust to the brightness of the sun shining in through her window. "Are you ready for your surprise?" Demeter asked as she sat on Persephone's bed. Persephone nodded. "Good. Now get dressed. It's going to be warm so where your green sundress. Once you're done I'll do your hair."

Persephone nodded curiously, but did not object to her mother's commands.

When Persephone was finished with her dress Demeter ran a brush through Persephone's wavy, waist length golden hair. Persephone loved the sensation of her hair being brushed.

By the time Demeter was finished with Persephone's hair she had took two locks of hair in the front, braided them, and pulled them loosely back, leaving the rest to cascade down her back like a golden waterfall. She looked absolutely beautiful.

Her mother smiled with glee. "Alright, you're ready. Come." Her mother said while taking her hand. "Let's go to mount Olympus."

Persephone's eyes widened with shock. "M-Mount Olympus?!" She stuttered. Demeter nodded. "You've never taken me there before!"

"I know. I just thought you should see what it's like."

"Will I get to meet my father, Zeus?"

"Yes. Along with all your aunts, uncles, and cousins."

"Wow mother! Thank you!" Persephone hugged her mother tighter than she ever has before."

"You're welcome, my daughter." Demeter replied stroking her hair.

Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Artemis, Apollo, Hera, Athena, Hermes, Ares, Dionysus, and Hephaestus were all lined up at the throne room. All were eager to meet Persephone for the first time.

The throne room was decorated with everything made out of solid gold. Zeus sat at his grand throne as everyone tried to put in a nice touch to the room before Persephone arrived.

Aphrodite, goddess of love, was adding in flowers to every place they could fit. Dionysus, god of high spirit, strong emotions, and wine, was pouring the finest wine he could manage. Hephaestus, god of fire, volcanoes, blacksmiths, and craft workers, was lighting every last torch to illuminate the room as much as possible. Ares, god of war, was inspecting his clothing to make sure there were no blood stains to frighten away the young goddess. Athena, goddess of wisdom, was preparing her knowledge of flowers for the goddess, because she knew how much Persephone loves flowers. Hera, goddess of women, was preparing small talk to share with Persephone. Despite Hera's jealousy, because of Zeus cheating on her with Demeter, she still wanted Persephone to like her. Artemis, goddess of the hunt, was finishing up her gift to Persephone. Rabbit fur, the softest she could find. Hermes, the messenger god, was preparing jokes to make his new cousin laugh.

Apollo, however, was the most nervous of the gods. He paced rapidly in a corner of the vast room, looking forward to the moment when Persephone walked through the doors. Why? He knew there was a second, hidden, agenda to her coming here. In fact he and Demeter planned it.

When the young goddess walked in through the gemmed doors everyone stopped dead in their tracks. All of them were found dumbstruck.

Zeus was the first one to break the silence. "Persephone!" he cheered. "How wonderful it is to meet you. We are all so pleased."

"T-Thank you lord Zeus." She stuttered. He nodded. Everyone introduced themselves and what they do. Apollo was the last to do so, and he gave her a smile. She noticed and offered a shy smile back.

"Alright," Demeter spoke up. "That's everybody." Without Persephone noticing, Demeter gave a sly smile to Apollo and nodded towards Persephone. He nodded in reply and understood their unspoken agreement.

"Hello, lady Persephone." Apollo approached her.

"Why hello lord Apollo." She smiled.

"Would you like to walk with me?" he offered his arm.

"Of course, I would love to." accepting his arm and offer.

Apollo led her through the gardens while she beamed at all the flowers. He smiled at her beauty and couldn't wait any longer. He needed her. "I have a question Apollo." Persephone stated. "If you're the god who drives the sun, then how is the sun up right now? Shouldn't you be driving it?"

Without hesitating he answered. "I have a son. He sometimes drives it for me when I have important business to attend to." She nodded, studying him. He had golden hair that blew in the wind, like every other god on Olympus. He gained very strong muscular arms from his many years of work. He was also quite taller than her. He was indeed a beautiful god in every way, but there was something there she did not like. "I must say." Apollo continued. "I have had my affairs with beautiful women. But you, you are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen." He said looking her up and down. Persephone blushed, but she was unimpressed.

"I wouldn't say such things lord Apollo. I am not even close to the beauty of Aphrodite. You may offend her. Besides, beauty isn't all that matters." Apollo's golden brown eyes narrowed.

"No? Then what else is there?" She couldn't believe he was being so insensitive.

"Well for one a woman has rights and virtues that all men must respect. She has brains and skill. She can't just sit around all day and await her man." Apollo glared.

"A woman is supposed to stand behind a man and wait and obey his every order. No matter what it is." He smirked at that last part, and looked at her with a hunger and lust that frightened her.

Persephone did not like this man at all. He scared her, and she wanted to run, but the problem is, is that she has no clue where to run to. He could easily catch up to her and over power her. Would he do such a thing? "Don't worry my dear, as long as you do as you're told, I'll never hurt you. Well, except maybe in bed." This sent a terrible shiver down her spine.

"You wouldn't dare!" she said nervously. "I'll call my mother, just you wait until she finds out about what you've said to me!"

He chuckled. "My dear," she flinched at the sound of the venom in his voice. "Who do you think arranged this meeting of ours? We've had this agreement since the day you were born. Your mother wants you with me!" with the seriousness in his voice there was no doubt in her mind. He was indeed telling the truth. "No!" she whispered. She shook her head and brought her hand up to cover her mouth. "Yes." He approached her with a greedy smile and lust in his voice. "No!" she turned and ran. She could hear his shouts from behind her and soon his heavy footsteps quickly catching up. She felt his painful hand grasp her wrist and she was yanked backwards. She called out in pain, tears now forming in her eyes. "You'll never escape me, my dear. You're mine." She screamed and pushed him with all her might. He chuckled at her vain attempts to get away, but before he could get away with it, four of her sharp nails scraped across his face. He cried out in pain. She took this opportunity to run. Before she could get too far she tripped and rolled down the bumpy steep hill. Rocks and tree branches drew blood from her as she scrapped down the hill.

When she finally reached the bottom of the hill her skin and dress was torn and had blood on them, her hair had leaves in it and was no longer in its beautiful style. She looked around wildly for any sign of her being followed. She stayed as quiet as she could for fear of getting caught.

When she was certain Apollo was not around she found it best to find shelter. Her throat burned for water. About twenty paces away was a cool stream. Persephone clumsily ran to it, collapsing at the last step. She scooped up water into her hands and drank greedily. Once she was finished she looked at her reflection and cried.

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