Adrian's phone rang.
He answered it.
He sat up in alarm. "I'm sorry, what?"
She sighed, her clothes sticking to her body, as she shivered. "One of my pipes bursts. I had to leave."
"I'll come pick you up," he said, getting dressed.
"No. I just wanted to let you know I'll need some time off—"
"I'll pick you up," he said sternly.
• • •
Adrian pulled up. She was soaked to the bone, her curls dripping in water.
She got in the car. He glanced over.
"I lost everything," she whispered. "I didn't have any insurance."
He frowned. "Your pipes burst?"
He looked away. That was not supposed to happen.
"What am I going to do? I'll have to go back to my parents house I guess. Is there any way I could get more shift—"
He stopped the car, putting his hand on her face. "Hey. You don't have to go back home. You can stay with me."
"I don't want to—"
He tucked a stray curl behind her ear.
"Nonsense. Stay at my house. Take some paid time off. You wanted to sing for me? Just me. Let me take care of my songbird," he kissed her head.
She smiled. "I appreciate that but I—"
He cocked his head, narrowing his eyes. His lips quirked up, his voice thundering in the car.
"Sing for me," he demanded softly. "And I'll take care of you. Just like you want."
"I don't want you to take care of me. I want to be with you."
"We'll be together. Just like you what," he swore deeply. "And I'll take care of you."
She looked down. "I-I don't want to depend on you completely. And I want to be...with you. Date you—"
"Don't you remember? We're married," he smirked.
She smiled softly. "I know that was a joke."
"It doesn't have to be," he murmured. "I could marry you for real. And I could fill you pockets full of stones."
"Stones?" She asked.
He smiled. "Precious ones. Diamonds. So much that you couldn't wade in a pool without sinking to the bottom."
She looked away. "I'm not after you money."
"Acknowledge it. I can't help but feel suspicious if you ignore it. I like you. I want to take care of you. I want you to sing for me forever."
She looked up. "What caused such a change of heart?"
He smiled. "You pulled away from me. And I didn't like that."
She sighed. "Oh Hades..."
His lips quirked up. He'd gotten back to Hades. Funny, how her mispronouncing his name made him so happy.
"Still. Let's go slow," she whispered. "I don't want to force you—"
"You're not," he put the car in drive, "I am of my own free will choosing to date you. To take care of you."
She sighed. "I'm still working. And I'll work less in the Mines, and find another job."
He said nothing. The heat had almost dried her clothes.
"Do you want to go to the hospital?"
"No. It's fine. I didn't get hurt. Just wet."
He put his hand in her head. "Little songbird. Sing me a long."
She sighed. But started to sing.
He smiled. He got her back. How lucky.
He meant to...find a way to get her back. This was easier.
He could take care of her now. And get to know her more.
And he could fill her pockets full of precious gems. Handcuff her with golden bracelets.
No matter if she said she didn't care about money, that was the best thing he had.
The way he knew how to love. The way he knew how to show that. He wasn't quite sure how he could.
So...he kissed her head. She smelled like lemon grass and peach.
And he was taking her home.