T H I R T Y - E I G H T
I deposited the small flower on the ground safely before flinging myself back against the cool, and freshly grown grass.
This Island was magnificent with more than enough nutrient rich soil to practice my gifts on.
So why wasn’t I getting any better?
No matter what I did, my powers still wouldn’t do what I asked of them.
I was lucky enough to revive most of this Island’s soil but other than that, I couldn’t do diddly squat.
“Come on Seph,” I muttered to myself “You can do this.”
A rustle sounded nearby but I dismissed it.
It was most likely one of those baby boars again looking for their mother.
I raised my palm and sighed when the tiny flower appeared.
I frowned when said tiny flower started to wilt.
I mean, I knew I was bad with my powers but I never managed to wilt any of them before.
Being the Goddess of Spring meant that I created new life, not killed it.
“Neat trick” A smooth but deep voice said from beside me “But I don’t think that tiny thing is going to be big enough to populate this whole Island.”
I squealed and jumped up quickly, hiding behind a large tree.
There was a deep chuckle and when I peaked out from behind the tree’s large branches, the man grinned at me, his dark unruly curls flopping into pretty crimson eyes.
My heart did this weird twirl in my chest as I continued to stare at the strange man.
No, not a man.
A God of some sort.
“Who are you and how did you find this Island?” I questioned, trying to mold a piece of fallen tree bark into a makeshift weapon.
My powers really weren’t cooperating with me today.
The God’s grin deepened until dimples appeared, his olive complexion complementing his handsomly strong features.
“I should be asking you the same thing” he laid back, propping his hands behind his head “Considering that this Island is only known to a very few selective people.”
“I asked you first.” I frowned.
He shrugged and looked up at the sky “This place has the best view.”
I raised an eyebrow, peeking at the clear sky.
“I think any place has the best view if you’re just looking up at the sky.”
“Who said I was just looking at the sky?” he shot me a smirk, his eyes roaming down the little part of my body that was showing behind the tree “I could be looking at other things...Pretty things...Beautiful Gorgeous things.”
I narrowed my eyes at him “Who are you?”
He sat up, those long silky curls bouncing into his eyes, obscuring those magnificent ruby colored jewels.
“Some call me Pluto, others call me Aidoneus, my brothers call me Hades” he shot me a grin “But you can call me anything you want, αγάπη μου.”
I snorted at the nickname and then winced internally, remembering the etiquette lessons my mother and the nymphs taught me during my younger years.
“My turn” His grin widened at my snort “What are you doing here little one? I don’t remember you being here the last time I visited.”
I raised my chin high, refusing to answer his questions.
Partly because of my pride and partly because I was intrigued by him and the game he was playing.
Because, make no mistake, this was a game to him.
A game that I didn’t fully understand as of yet but did know that I would do everything in my power to make sure that I won.
He raised an eyebrow “You aren’t going to answer me?”
I locked eyes with him and my brow rose in challenge.
He grinned “What’s your name?”
I scoffed and went back to tending to my flowers.
“If I didn’t tell you why I was here, what makes you thing I’ll tell you my name?” I muttered lowly to myself.
“What was that?” his amused voice came from my left side “Do I detect a hint of sarcasm lacing your voice αγάπη μου?”
I ignored him and focuses on reviving the wilted little flower in my hand.
“That won’t work.” he said simply.
After five minutes of trying to revitalize the flower, I finally broke.
“Why won’t it work?”
“Because I’m here” he leaned back into the cool grass “You can’t revive something in my presence.”
“Why?” I snorted “What makes you so special?”
He suddenly flew up from his sleeping position, giving me a look of disbelief.
“You don’t know who I am?”
“No...?” I stared at him “Am I supposed to?”
“How old are you?”
“What does my age have to do with anything?” I raised an eyebrow at the topic jump “And you should know to never ask a lady her age.”
“Tell me” he demanded, his eyes darkening a bit “Who are you, αγάπη μου?”
I sighed “I’m eighteen.”
“Eighteen hundred years?”
“No, just eighteen years old” My nose crinkled “I’m not a child.”
“So young...” His mouth dropped open in disbelief “And your name?”
“Persephone” I twirled with the ends of my hair “But my friends call me Korė”
He swore “You’re Demeter’s daughter?”
I narrowed my eyes at him “You know my mother?”
“Everyone knows Demeter” He let out a laugh “She’s...a force.”
I smiled, knowing exactly what he was talking about.
My mother was definitely....something.
She was fierce, loyal, overly protective, and would do anything for those she held dearly.
With that being said, however, she was also a bit smothering and wanted things done her way.
Which was fine...when I was ten... but now that I was my own adult, I realized that sometimes my mother’s way wasn’t always the right one.
She wanted to mold me into a mini her but we couldn’t be more different. Not only with our perspectives but also our attitudes towards certain things.
“I can’t believe she let you out of her sight” Hades remarked, gazing at me with a curious look “We all thought she would hide you in the Mortal Realm forever.”
“The other Gods and Me” he said “Whenever someone would mention you, she would redirect the topic onto something else.”
“That sounds like my mother.”
“So you really don’t know who I am?” he asked curiously, his eyes sparkling.
“Just you name” I shook my head “And that you’re a huge annoyance.”
He grinned and laid back down “You haven’t seen nothing yet αγάπη μου.”
1 week later
“You’re back” I said casually to the presence at my side, not bothering to look up from my journal “I’d have thought you would get bored of me by now.”
“Me? Bored?” He scoffed, laying down next to me and depositing his head in my occupied lap “I could never get bored of someone as curious and beautiful as you, αγάπη μου.”
I gazed down into his crimson eyes and a smile curved at my lips when I realized that he was absently playing with a piece of my unbound hair.
“Must you insist on calling me that infuriating name?” I asked, exasperating lacing my tone “If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed you have forgotten my own name already.”
Those glittering gems twinkled as he stared up at me “I think αγάπη μου suits you better.”
“Over my given name?”
He nodded “Nicknames are almost always better than someone’s given name.”
He grinned “You don’t want to know what my brothers call me during family gatherings.”
I tugged on one of his curls before standing “Now you’ve got me intrigued.”
I dusted off the back of my dress and his grin widened “You do know that I can see up your gown when you do that?”
I gasped and immediately a horde of Larkspur sprouted tall, engulfing Hades as well as the opening in my gown.
“Omph” he grunted out “I see you still can’t control those powers of yours.”
“I can control them just fine.” I snapped, spinning away from him and stomping towards my favorite place on the whole island.
“No, you can’t...” a sing-song voice whispered in my ear.
I spun, ready to give him a piece of my mind, when I found that I was alone.
I narrowed my eyes, wondering if this was one of Hades tricks again.
There was a whistle from above me and when I snapped my head up at the sound, Hades grinned wildly at me from one of the branches.
“What are you doing up there?!”
“You tell me” he said “You’re the one who did this to me.”
I gasped “I did?”
He gave me a droll look and motioned to his feet “Well, I didn’t do this to myself.”
I looked down and saw branches wrapped around his muscular calves starting from the soles of his feet.
The tree, which I guess sprouted because of my anger (And desire to get him away from me), intertwined Hades body within its own branches.
I let out a giggle when I saw Hades smack one of the branches that was fiddling with the edge of his shirt and slowly dragging its way upwards.
“You minx!” he laughed from above “I never knew you had it in you!”
“It wasn’t me!” I giggled harder “At least, not intentionally.”
“Oh yes it is” he said “You were angry at me, therefore your emotions invertedly triggered your powers natural protective response.”
“Then how do I get you down?” I asked “Since I’m not angry anymore?”
“That’s easy” he said smugly “Since anger triggered this response, happiness will reverse it. Think happy thoughts about releasing me.”
“What if I don’t want to release you?” I cocked my head to the side “What if I want to keep you up there to stop you from pestering me all day?”
“You wouldn’t dare, αγάπη μου” When I started to walk away, he called out to me “PERSEPHONE!”
I paused and crinkled my nose.
He was right.
Áγάπη μου sounded much better coming out of his mouth than my given name.
“What?” I turned back toward him “Don’t like the view up there?”
He snorted “Real cute.”
I smiled and closed my eyes.
Within seconds, I felt the tree’s energy plunge back into the earth along with the Larkspur’s.
A minute later, warm hands caressed my face and I flinched back, my eyes popping open.
Hades concerned face came into view.
“You really don’t know what you’re doing...” He asked softly “Do you?”
Tears crowded my eyes but I willed them to not fall.
I wouldn’t cry anymore, especially in front of someone like him.
Someone that was much more powerful than I.
Someone whose power was the same caliber, if not more, as my own mother’s.
“I....” I turned on my heel and walked away.
“Áγάπη μου” he grabbed my wrist softly “It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“I’m not ashamed” I lied “I’m learning at my pace.”
"Áγάπη μου...” he cooed “Controlling your emotions is the key to everything. If you can’t control them, then learning at your own pace will be useless. You wouldn’t be learning anything at all.”
I looked away “I don’t need anyone’s help.”
“I think you do” he said softly “And it’s okay if you do.”
I locked eyes with him “I can’t accept your help.”
“I was given six months by my mother to prove that I have what it takes to be the Goddess of Spring” I looked away “If after the six months are up, and I still haven’t proven myself by mastering my powers, she’ll seize my powers and redistribute them as she sees fit.”
“She can’t do that” Hades growled, his crimson eyes darkening “That’s not possible.”
I shrugged “I really don’t want to take that chance to see if you’re right.”
I sliced my hand through the air, ending our conversation.
“There’s nothing I can do about it Hades” I said “She’s my mother and when I say she never goes back on her word, she doesn’t. I can only master my powers and prove her wrong.”
“Then I’m helping you” he said and grabbed my hand “We’ll prove her wrong.”
I shook my head “She’ll know if I receive help.”
“She’ll just know” I said “She always knows.”
He gave me a crooked grin “Trust me, with my help, she won’t figure out a thing.”
6 months later
“Hades!” I squealed as the annoyingly stubborn man continued to tickle my sides “Stop! Or else I’ll make you pay!”
Hades chuckled against my neck which tickled me further with his stubbly beard.
“You’re going to make me pay? With what αγάπη μου? A crown of flowers!”
I gasped in outrage “HOW DARE YOU HADES AIDONEUS! I CAN MAKE MUCH MORE THAN FLOWER CROWNS NOW!”
I smacked him as I accentuated each word.
“I’m sorry αγάπη μου” He kissed my neck “I know your powers are much more than that now.”
I harrumphed “Don’t you forget it.”
"Aγάπη μου, what’s going on? What’s making you feel so tense?” He asked, laying down on the bed of flowers that I made.
I cuddled my face into the crook of his neck “My mother.”
“You don’t think she’ll like me?”
I snorted “I know she won’t like you.”
“Because of my deviously handsome good looks?”
“Sure...” I drawled out which made him pinch my hip “No, she won’t like you because you’re...you.”
“Should I be offended?”
“No” I kissed his neck before nipping at it “Because I love you the way you are.”
“I love you too Persephone” He groaned and rolled on top of me “Besides, your mother has met me before.”
“She’s met you as a fellow God” I raked my hands through his hair “Not as the man betrothed to her only daughter.”
“I can handle her” he scoffed and rolled his eyes “I love you and nothing is going to change that.”
I grabbed his curls, curls that are much longer now than when we first met, and locked eyes with him “Do you love me enough to stick around if my mother acts up?”
“I’ll love you even if your mother disapproves of us” he kissed my cheek “The question is...will you be okay with her disapproval of me?”
I nodded, feeling more sure than I’ve ever been in my entire life “I will be.”
“Even if she’s all you’ve know your entire life?”
“Yes” I smiled, pushing back his long curls “I’m happy with you. I love you. You make me feel whole.”
His crimson eyes lit up and he nipped my neck “You know, after tomorrow, there’s no going back. Everyone will finally know you’re mine.”
“I know” I said softly “And I’m ready to be yours. Forever.”