According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves. ― Plato
It was against my nature for my body to suddenly radiate sweat. But I think today would be an exception. The airy fluted and harp music strummed with sudden umpth. My beaded eyes followed up the stairwell and my heart almost stopped. Persephone presence lit up the room from her radiant glow of happiness.
With tradition, the strong blonde hair man, lifted her up with ease over the threshold before being escorted down to me. With my lips parting in awe, I watched flowers I never seen trail her. I wasn’t the only one taken aback by the uplifting air. Even the Graeae sisters smiled wide even though Denio was the only one who could see.
But it was shortly disturbed when my eyes accidentally glimpsed at the golden boy smiling at Persephone with glee.
Yes, my dear nephew had shown up to escort the bride. Not because he was invited, but because he was the one god that could make our union official. Herakles was after all the guardian of wedded life.
I internally sighed. Still didn’t mean I liked him, let alone trusted him.
Trying not to purse my lips, I caught Persephone’s green eyes telling me to behave. Instantly my lips smirked at her mental scolding.
As she stood before me, she whispered softly, “Thank you Herakles.” My nephew kissed her cheek and then placed her hands into mine. Shifting his pure of heart eyes onto us, Herakles responded, “The honor is mine friends.”
With his body retreating, Persephone gave my hands a firm squeeze. “Hello handsome,” she whispered playfully.
“Hello,” I paused from my breath being taken away as my eyes drank every detail of my soon to be wife. Sparkling hand-beaded loops adorned her shoulder and waist. Vintage lace fell softly with her full train. And as tradition, the tunica recta was fastened around the waist with a band of wool tied in the knot of Hercules which only the husband was privileged to untie.
Beautiful, I thought mesmerized.
“Are you sure about this, love?” I asked as the Graeae sisters prepare for the ceremony. Her lips made a firm line at the direction of my thoughts toward her plan.
Somehow convincing me, I had created an unbinding contract with her soul. As Persephone explained so calm with logic that this would force Demeter to hand back her daughter to me. If Demeter would not comply, I would be in possession of Persephone’s soul.
I shook my head at the last memory of Persephone signing the contract with pride.
“Yes. Always yes,” her eyes gleamed.
Deino, Enyo, and Pemphredo slowly began to chant as they encircle us with incense and ringing bells.
Next they gave us each a bit to serve each other;we ate an olive, a nut and took a sip from the same chalice of wine. We were becoming one in this marriage ceremony.
“This is the symbol of your marriage, my loves,” Enyo said as she picked out seven seeds and dropped them into a bowl.
Persephone smiled toward me at the symbolism of the number. Seven months in each year, my Persephone choose to stay with me. Seven months I would not take for granted.
With a torch, Enyo burned the seeds. “May your love burn with ever lasting light.”
Walking forward, Hestia shifted beside me as a bubbling Aphrodite shot over to Persephone’s side. Handing us each of our gifts we present to each other, I turned to face my perfect bride.
Gently I placed a flower crown upon her head and said, “As of now Persephone, you will not be just a wife. You will be so much more. A person of incredibly high position. You’ll be the absolute mistress of the house, overseeing as my partner to protect and rule our home together.”
Carefully taking the one glove off my hand, she placed a beautiful flower that gave the same glow as she did. “I created this flower for you as a sign of our unbreakable love.” My bare hand held the flower without it turning black. “Not even death will part us.”
Slipping my glove back on, Enyo replied while pointing to a pedestal. “May I have your hands?”
Placing both their left hands on the opposite side, Herakles raised his hands up. “By the power invested in me, I bring together Persephone and Hades with an eternal bond.” Rings slowly formed around their ring finger. “You are now husband and wife.”
A sudden cheer echoed out from Aphrodite and I glanced quickly at our small gathering. Hestia smiled with happiness, Pemphredo tripped, but recovered with clapping and Deino leaned against Enyo, crying her non-existent eyes out.
“Hades.” The string on my heart pulled at her voice and gently she turned my head back to kiss my lips. I was in pure bliss.
When breaking apart, Persephone rested her chin on my shoulder. Her voice whispered in my ears, “Hades.” The proximity of her body was sending chills down my spine. “Let’s skip the feast and....”
I shifted my head back to see her devilish eyes and flushed cheeks. She opened her mouth, “Wake up.”
“What?” I responded as the my vision started to blur.
With my blurry vision, three hoovering images swayed before me. Slowly they focused to three beautiful woman. “Welcome back king of hotness,” Deino joked before a seriousness overwhelmed them.
“W,w,we mis,s,s,sed you ma,master,” Pemphredo stuttered.
Shaking her head, Enyo finally chimed in, “Cutting it close Hades. You were this close to being dead.”
Sitting up, a familiar strength pulsed through his veins. He was a god again. And Revenge was only thing to consume his mind.
Wind whipped through her fiery red hair as she leaped over a fallen log. Seeing her target swing down from the tress above, she slid on her knees and shot a arrow.
Getting back up, dogs could be heard in the distance along with something else.
“What a nice surprise,” she called out into the woods.
Stringing another three arrows together, a voice shouted out, “Hello Diana.”
Diana’s calculating eyes shifted to over to her long lost partner in crime. “Nina,” Diana said when releasing the three arrows behind her back and hit each target dead center.
Leaning against the tree in her army apparel, Nina smirked, “I see you haven’t lost your touch.”
“Let’s skip the formalities. What do you need?” Diana commanded while playing with an arrow in her hands.
I was half tempted to just shot her now, Diana thought annoyed.
Stomping forward in her combat boots, Nina expression become serious. “It’s your brother.”
Quickly Diana tried covering her genuine surprise. This wasn’t what she expected to hear.
Diana then rolled her eyes before saying, “It’s none of my concern how he runs his life.”
She grasped Diana’s arm and by instinct Diana raised a knife to Nina’s neck. Their faces were only a few inches apart, when Nina said the words Diana feared to hear.
“Diana, it’s time. War is upon us and we must choose sides.”
Pulling away from Nina’s hypnotic eyes, Diana stated, “And what does Apollo have to do with anything?”
“Rumor has it he knows where the Valacore hides.” Nina sighed knowing this would be hard to hear for Diana. “He’s in serious danger if we don’t get to him first.”
Diana dropped her eyes to the ground in thought.
And if Hades finds him first, her brother, who never know what it means to lie low, would be dead.
Grasping Diana’s hand firmly so she couldn’t pull away, Nina pulled her close to her side. “Are you up for some hunting?”
Diana was only a few inches from her plump lips and could feel that longing attraction once again. But then Diana’s attention turned to the scar on Nina’s collar bone and spite filled the void.
“Only for my brother,” Diana growled, “Nothing more.”