Chapter 2: Bride and Groom
It had taken a while for Persephone to realize that she was staring at Hades as he pulled a dark velvety cloak over his mountainous shoulders, which seemed to be the only thing similar to his other brothers; Zeus and Poseidon.
Aware now of what she was doing, letting her husband cloud her every conscious, she still didn’t stop. Did he know she was following him with her eyes? No; he appeared too serene, which was unusual in itself. He wasn’t supposed to radiate an air of serenity that actually had a soothing effect on the observer- at least it did on her.
Many creatures that would go unseen by hiding in the blossoming flowers of meadows or gardens, have always whispered to her the rumours of what the infamous Lord of the Underworld was like: serious, quiet and sinfully attractive, her mother would say a few harsher things about him but Persephone never gave heed to her, since everything the fairies and pixies told her had more truth to them.
He briskly moved around their chambers. “How long will you take?” Persephone’s gentle voice stopped Hades in his tracks. His dark gaze studied her, just like the day he did when they first met in her garden.
He strode towards her and lifted her chin up, Hades caressed her jaw while their eyes stayed bound to one another, “There’s a problem at the gates.”
Persephone nodded and gave a weak smile. He didn’t stop caressing her jaw, when suddenly his fingers skimmed down the curve of her neck right above her rapid pulse, she could still feel his gaze upon her, so Persephone purposely looked away when the butterflies in her stomach began to swirl violently. His hand circled the delicate base of her neck immediately quickening her breath and reminding her why she won’t look back into those pair mystical eyes.
Hades gently lifted her head- she shut her eyes tightly. She could hear his calm breath and guess how close she was to his face; her hands fisted his satiny black shirt that hugged his muscled body. Persephone gasped when Hades arm snaked around her waist, he pulled her close; his thighs brushed hers, she could feel his heat seep through her gown but she still teasingly kept her eyes closed, forcing him to tighten his grasp around her. His hot breath mingled with hers, she couldn’t control her heaving chest as he laid a feathery kiss on her quivering lips. “I’ll be back,” his sultry whisper caressed her ear like smooth velvet. When she couldn’t feel his body in the reach of her hands or his burning gaze anymore, Persephone opened her eyes to an empty room.
Persephone decided to visit the garden that was gifted to her just a couple of hours ago, she feasted on the various colours of the different flowers and plants surrounding her. Her bare feet danced along the rocky path while soaking in the aroma of clean spring water, blooming flowers and ripe fruit. Persephone pushed through thick dark bushes when she heard a soft stream of water close by. She spotted a small stream that was gently flowing down rocks and rolling along the large garden, she reached down putting her hands into the cool aqua water- that glowed brightly to light up everything around her.
A deep breath escaped her lips while thinking about the only thing running through her mind at the moment, she closed her eyes trying to erase all the thoughts that overwhelmed her, but it only seemed to make it worse when her efforts were wasted as his handsome face clearly appeared in front of her eyes again.
Persephone let out a loud groan before she got herself busy with the garden, which was the only distraction. So, like her mother had taught her, she focused her energy and took care of the plants.
An eager burn prickled throughout her entire body as she strolled past the field of red tulips- causing them to glow brightly. Her power seeped out of her every pore; the smell of the irises got much stronger when she stroked their dark violet petals. Suddenly, she remembered how Hades had caressed her before he left; she bit back a moan, her head slumped and landed in the palm of her hands when she realized, that there was no point in pushing away how much Hades consumed her thoughts.
She took another hard look at the white gardenia; the flowers happily wafted their scent around her; she felt satisfaction wash over whilst studying her work. Persephone turned to the next plant that would need her attention, but all she saw was perfection.
Enchanting ebony roses bloomed elegantly on dark green vines- that had sharp shiny thorns adoring them, she bent down to take a closer look when she noticed that there were golden flecks sprinkled beautifully on top of each of them, making them glimmer in the night magically. Their dangerous beauty reminded her of Hades; Persephone smiled warmly. His seductive charm easily enticed her to look his way and be with him- just like these roses. And now he was all hers, she felt a scorching heat reach her cheeks that would colour them a bright red once the thoughts of what he did to her heart, and body entered her mind; Persephone’s grin broadened.
She meant to look up to admire the twinkling stars that were blanketing the garden, but her sight was caught by a tree with red globes dangling close- that were looking quite dull.
Hades dismissed the guards that stood around the entrance of Hell when he found out the problem was just a misunderstanding between the Styx guards and the ferryman, Charon. But Hades lingered; not alone though.
The tall metal gates were always shut tight and they would only open when the souls crossed the river, by paying a fee to the ferryman. And then the souls had to pass the only guard of the gates, which was the three-headed hound and his friend, Cerberus. Hades only trusted the hound to protect the most important part of the Underworld.
He noticed how dimly the torches were lit, but the shadows that swarmed around the gate weren’t there by accident, he knew Cerberus watched stealthily from the covers of the dark- and it never caused the beast any hindrance in his duty. The torches unconsciously began to glow brighter as their King got close, the fire guided his way and allowed Hades to see when Cerberus let out a huff of hot steam from the shadows.
Hades hand crept out from beneath his cloak and lifted into the air, abruptly a soft snout came forward and nudged him back gently; his lips slightly curled up. The scent of ashes wafted towards Hades, Cerberus also had the faintest scent of sandalwood mixed in with gardenia which didn’t strike Hades as unusual, instead the familiar scent comforted him. Cerberus had taken quite a liking to Persephone, when Hades went back to see her in the garden Cerberus had decided to tag along, which Hades was immensely grateful for because the playful hound was able to draw Persephone out of her hard shell, she had an ease to her when she was alone like she was entirely in her own little world, and she seemed to love Cerberus too- that much was clear to Hades.
Zeus had encouraged him to go to Persephone, but he never knew he would fall so deeply for her sweet scent and warm light- that seemed to fill any room she was in. But he didn’t just marry her for the pureness she was, he also saw a fire that burned in those sunshine hazel eyes- that were locked up in Heaven. When they first met in her garden, her eyes didn’t fill with fear or disgust- like everyone else’s would, but the exact opposite; wonder, amazement and a hint of mischief had bloomed- a smile threatened to appear on Hades face as he recalled the events of when he visited his wife for the first time. She wasn’t alarmed when he had entered her garden, she had silently examined him for a few moments contemplating if he was any danger to her or her garden, and then she was recklessly calm with him like he wasn’t Hades god of the underworld, but some fairy that went exploring in her garden.
Suddenly, Cerberus nudged Hades because the beast was completely aware that the King wasn’t paying any attention to him. Hades gently moved his hand in the same direction that the hound’s thick dark fur laid, and then he waved Cerberus goodbye, finally to spend some time with his wife; alone.
Hades was just outside his chambers when he realized the strong sent of gardenia and sandalwood was terribly faint, and usually wherever his wife went, spring wasn’t too far behind.
“Where’s your Queen?” Hades asked one of the guards that protected their room.
The half bull, half man dropped his massive sharp axe and bowed respectfully before answering his King's question. “The Queen went to her garden, my King.”
Hades nodded to the guard and went in the direction of the garden- that Persephone thankfully had taken a liking to. He never would have thought; a few flowers would do the trick to convince his stubborn goddess.
Hades reached the garden in seconds since it was strategically placed close to their chambers, his eyes immediately spotted his wife’s long fiery golden hair that spilled down her back, her curvaceous body was adorned with an eggshell-blue gown, that draped down a crookedly wooden ladder.
His mind had to reel-in the image in front of him before his body quaked at the sight. “What are you doing!” Hades shouted feeling immense panic fill his heart when he saw his wife dangerously high up on a ladder.
Persephone abruptly turned hearing the thunder in her husband’s deep voice- she smiled brightly at the sight of him, until she felt the weak ladder wobble under her bare feet, and Hades vanished right in front of her eyes.