Ever the reader, ever the researcher, I collected all I could. The tomes themselves exuded a rich, musty sense of history that I held invaluable. Being here made me feel complete, as if I were blanketed in the comfortable sense of order that comes from studying trials and tribulations from antiquity.
Hades is perfect. Physically perfect. It is rare for us gods to have flaws in our physical forms because we have such a high degree of control over them, and we heal so quickly. So, when my fingertips find themselves drawn through a trench on his outer thigh, it is something of a shock.
I heard the sound of my heart shattering, taking with it the last glint of hope. I fell to my knees, letting out a howl from the depth of my soul. Selene cradled me in her arms as we rocked back and forth together. Sayeh was lost to me forever.
“I don’t want to be bound to him any longer. It’s not as if I am throwing away my past or my history. Its time has passed, and what was once there,” I shrugged, “it’s not the same. Besides, it’s not just a barrier to us. I have thought about it since those visions. It’s a barrier to all of us. You, me, Hades, Hekate. We are all trapped at this crossroad.”
Summoning is not a pretty art. It is painful for the spirit to be ripped through the ether at someone’s whim. The only way it stops hurting is to go where it’s called. That’s the reason for the circle. If something is likely to arrive angry and sore, best you welcome it in a cage.
“Thank you, Lord Hades, for coming, but your assistance is no longer required.” The words flowed from my lips accompanied by the gentle sounds of metal on stone as the golden bracelets broke and fell away from my wrists.
Hades smiled down at Persephone, then glanced at me. “I will go with Persephone from here. Your powers cannot help her here. This task requires something more…substantial than dreams. I am sure you understand.”
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.