Is Hera alive? Safe? Did my bargaining work? Did Zeus set me free? Am I imagining all of this? Another nightmare? Did I really escape or just trade one prison for another? I have so many questions and no answers.
I groaned in pain as several thousand years of memories rushed back in. I felt nauseous and struggled to put everything into perspective. I felt Zeus kiss my hands, and I opened my eyes, immediately remembering every argument, every laugh, every moment with him.
“That after everything you did, after everything she did, I watched them take her away, and I actually felt guilty.” I stop, raising my head to look at him. It is the first time I admitted that to anyone. Let alone myself. “So yeah, guess my crimes have earned me eternity.”
“The best thing about the queen, Hades, is she can move however she wants. Forward…back…” I roll my hips to the rhythm of my words, smiling when his arms tighten as he wills them still. “Sideways, up or down…”
Hades follows close behind me, slamming the door shut. He waves his hand, and I hear a soft click as he seals us in. Incredulous, I mirror his movements as he circles me. He comes to a stop at the end of the bed and begins to remove his cufflinks.
The silence is interrupted by a muffled choking sound. Eyes wide and a hand plastered over her mouth, Persephone stares at me, stunned into silence. Beside her, Hades is like a statue, his face drawn with shock and realization.
Let me take this moment to remind everyone listening, that there is nothing worse than the words: But I am curious, when they come from me. It’s a death knell, a battle gong, an explosion in the distance.
It’s a challenge to all who hear it.
I nod, staying silent for a moment. What was I to say? No comforting words could take away the pain she is feeling inside. She must have buried it down so deep inside that she couldn’t even feel it anymore. I have to help her.
The satisfaction I feel is intoxicating. It’s one thing to best an opponent. It’s another to best an equal. The fact he feels the tension, that he knows I’m not what he’s grown accustomed to, that he’s actually having to work…