T H I R T Y - F O U R
3 days before their Journey
I watched my son laugh with Serenity after their noon martial arts practice with a fond smile on my face.
His smile, such a rarity these days, was nearly identical to his father.
A smile that made my heartache when I realized what he was about to go through in three day’s time.
My son looked up and smiled at me, his eyes sparkling with an emotion that I knew all too well.
He loved his girl and I knew without a doubt that he would do anything to protect her, even if it meant breaking my heart in the process.
“Hey Mom” he hugged me, his sweaty self ruining my favorite dress “What do you need?”
I laughed, pushing him off me “Ew! You smell!”
He grinned wolfishly at me “I do not!”
“You do” Serenity snickered before poking her head around my baby’s body “Is it time for our session yet?”
I shook my head “I think you deserve a ‘Me Day’ today.”
Serenity jumped up in excitement “Does that mean what I think it means?”
I nodded and she let out a ‘Whoop!’
“I’m taking a hot shower and a long nap” she did a little dance and made a silly face at Zephyr “Sucks to suck!”
He rolled his eyes “I can take a nap too you know.”
I gently touched his arm “I was thinking that we could take a walk and talk about a few things.”
“Oooh someone’s in trouble.” Serenity snickered and Zephyr hip bumped her hard enough that she stumbled “Hey!”
“Go take you nap Princess” he said “It looks like you need one.”
She gasped and was about to lay into him when Midnight and Shadow appeared at her side.
They nudged her towards the door and she glared at Zephyr “This isn’t over.”
Zephyr grinned at her and watched her walk away.
It wasn’t until she was out of his sight did he acknowledge my presence again.
I looked at him with a raised eyebrow when he gave me his full attention.
He blushed “Can I take a quick shower?”
I nodded “You can find me in my private garden.”
I walked towards my private garden, the one where my Husband surprised me during our first anniversary.
It was hidden in our castle and only accessible to my family.
It was the exact replica of the Island Hades and I met on, the one where my mother destroyed when she realized that my love for Hades was real.
I crossed the small bridge that lead me to the main part of the replica island and went to my favorite place on the whole island.
My floating bench that was attached to the largest branch this majestic tree had.
With closed eyes, I gently swayed back and forth, smelling all of the beautiful flowers I have grown and maintained over the years.
“You know, Dad always said that you loved this place more than you loved him.” my son’s voice sounded out from beside me.
His weight shifted the bench and we all but stopped swinging, it became more of a gentle rocking motion.
I smiled but kept my eyes close “When he acts up, you bet your butt that I love this place more than him.”
Zephyr chuckled softly “He’s not going to like that answer.”
I shrugged and opened my eyes, glancing at my son.
He locked eyes with me and smiled, his beautiful eyes lighting up in amusement.
Eyes that he inherited from both his father and I.
One Violet from me and one Crimson from my Husband.
“Is there a particular reason why you called me down here?”
“What reason more does a mother have than wanting to spend time with her son?” I asked innocently.
Zephyr gave me a droll look “For being the wife of Hades, you’re a horrible liar.”
“You dad’s not a liar” I said automatically “He’s just a...creative storyteller.”
“That’s a definition of a liar.”
“Fine...” I sighed “You caught me. He’s a Liar. A horrible handsome liar.”
Zephyr’s face scrunched up in an “Ew” expression before he laughed “So what really did you call me down here for? The truth this time.”
I jumped up from the bench “Walk with me?”
He got off the bench too and followed me down the cobblestone trail.
When we got to the bank of the small river, I took off my shoes and dipped my toes in the cool water.
“When you we a baby, I used to come here with you and your brother and dip your little toes in the water” I laughed “Your brother hated it here, his little face always scrunched up in annoyance. You on the other hand, would giggle like maniac whenever your father would dip you dangerously close to water.”
“Hades? Having fun?” he scoffed “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
I looked at my son “You know, we were young once.”
“You two are still young” he grinned at me “You stopped aging at like Twenty-five.”
“This was when we were itty bitty immortals” I said “Practically newborn baby immortals.”
“What happened?” Zephyr looked at me “To make dad like this? He’s very different than the one in your stories.”
“Your father...need to make choices in his life” I sighed, looking over my garden “Choices that will haunt him forever. It takes a toll on people. It changes a person forever.”
I turned to my son and touched his face “One day you will have to make choices, choices that will effect your life forever.”
“What kind of choices?”
I gave him a sad smile “Choices that will either make you into the man that I know you are or break you into a man that I will barely recognize.”
He gave me a look “Do you know something about this trip that I don’t?”
I looked into his eyes, the ones that I loved so much, and shook my head.
“No, but everyone in life has a hard choice to make” I said “And I want to make sure that if the time comes to make that choice, you’ll make the right one.”
“How do you know that I haven’t already had to make a hard choice?”
“Because my boy, you’d had a rather easy life down here” when he went to argue with me, I put my hand up “I never said a normal life, like normal boys live, but you did have a sheltered life. Less sheltered than mine but sheltered none-the-less.”
“I live in the Underworld mother” he deadpanned “Literal hell. What do you mean I have a sheltered life?”
“What she means dumbass is that between the three of us, you got it easy in life” My husband snorted from the entrance of my garden “You wouldn’t have lasted a day with my brothers or your grandmother.”
“Nana’s an angel.”
“She is now” Both Hades and I said in unison “But before she was ’Nana” she was a demon.”
“Hades!” I shook my head “That’s not nice.”
He grinned, walking up to me and wrapping an arm around my waist “It’s true though.”
I zipped my lips and he chuckled.
Zephyr rolled his eyes “Am I free to go now? Or are you two going to torture me with your disgusting displays of affection?”
“Do I get a choice?” Hades asked “Because if I do...I’ll definitely pick the one that tortures you more.”
“Ha Ha” Zephyr walked to the door “Very funny.”
He waved at us and my husband turned me in his arms.
“You warned him” he said softly “You shouldn’t have...”
“He’s our baby Hades” I looked up into the Crimson eyes of my husband “I had to do something.”
“If you told him anything about the journey than the deal is...”
“I know” I sighed “I know.”
Maybe I wasn’t a horrible liar after all, considering that I just lied straight to my son’s face.
This trip will change his life forever.