The Passion of Hades - Eliza Raine Page 0,1

for mortals and immortals alike. He would never have forgiven himself either, which would have been a complete pain for everyone. I'm glad you survived.'

I frowned. What was her angle? I didn't believe for a moment she cared about me, but I wondered if she did care about Hades.

'Why am I here? With you?'

'I thought it best to remove you from harm’s way. Hades will take a long time to calm down. And my husband, Zeus, is good at taking advantage of chaotic situations. I wouldn't want you caught in his web.' This time there was a dangerous glint in her eyes, and her voice held an edge to match. I imagined Zeus' glee at seeing Hades lose it so spectacularly, and anger pulled at my gut.

'How long do I need to stay here?' I asked her.

'Why, are you not comfortable?'

'I... I just... I wanted to see Skop.' There was a flash of white light, then the kobaloi, butt-naked and sporting a look of complete confusion, appeared on the bed. He whirled, his bearded face sagging in relief when he saw me.

'Oh, thank fuck for that,' he said, then shimmered into his dog form. 'I thought you were dead.'

'I'm touched you care,' I told him.

'Are you shitting me? You saved my life.'

'And you mine. I wouldn't have known what to do with that phoenix otherwise.'

'Nor did I, Hecate told me to tell you. She couldn't reach you herself.' I remembered seeing her during the chaos, her eyes milky, and blue power glowing around her. Gratitude heaved through me. She had been there, with me when I thought I was about to die. Begging Hades to stop.

Skop flopped down onto the bed with a massive sigh. 'I could sleep for a week after that,' he said, his eyes closing.

'What a strange thing to grow attached to,' said Hera, one eyebrow raised as she looked at the little dog.

'He and Hecate are my only friends here,' I said, following his lead and leaning back on the cushions. If I was stuck here, I may as well get comfortable. I wanted Hera to leave, so I could work out this new energy flowing through my body. I didn't feel any different, but I knew it was there.

'Hades is your friend.'

I snorted involuntarily.

'Yeah, If you're into friends who can kill you, or like to wind you up to the point of exploding and then...' I trailed off, realizing my anger had made me say too much. A knowing smile crossed the goddess's dark, sumptuous lips.

'Well, now that you have a modicum of power, you might be able to survive long enough to make friends with him properly,' she said, far more gently. 'This place was very different when he was happy. I should like to see that again.'

Frustration simmered inside me, making my skin feel hot when it wasn't.

'Why won't anyone tell me why I left? Or what I did to that poor man's wife?'

Hera let out a long breath.

'He was telling the truth about you drinking from the river Lethe, you know. It is one of five rivers of the Underworld, and it will obliterate the memories of any who taste its waters. Only the King of the Underworld can reverse a power like that.' My hopes sank even farther into the pit of my stomach. Hades wouldn't tell me what had happened. He'd made that abundantly clear.

'Fine. Athena was right anyway, I should just move on. Worry about the future instead of the past,' I said, not able to give the words the sincerity I had hoped.

'He might tell you, you know. Should I send him to you?'

My jaw dropped slightly as dread trickled down my spine, flames already licking at the edges of my vision at the thought of how I had last seen the King of Hell.

'No! No, I... I think I should rest,' I said, too loudly.

'You can't avoid him forever. You're competing to marry him,' she said, then disappeared with a flash of white light.

I swore as I blinked the bright spots away. I was competing to marry a freaking maniac.

Two

Persephone

As soon as I was done swearing about self-entitled douchebag gods, I sat upright again, and closed my eyes. If I had gained power, I needed to know what I could do with it. I concentrated hard, trying to feel something inside me that wasn't there before, that surge of life and vibrancy that I’d felt after eating the seed.

But I could feel nothing.

I knew it was there,