Tempted by Darkness (Bound to Hades #1) - Lillian Sable


Hades sat on a throne of skulls and bones at the center of his fallen kingdom. Shadows crept ever closer, more of the land succumbing to total darkness with each passing day. He found himself growing wearier as the inevitability of oblivion became more certain.

At this point, only the anger sustained him.

The realms of myth and legend all served a purpose, each with their own inexplicable set of rules and procedures. The underworld was no different, even as he wished for the power to change it.

But a realm of death served little purpose without some form of life to chase away the all-consuming darkness.

That had been the agreement he had struck with the other gods when they cursed him to this place. He would be gifted the smallest but of light.

Of life.


But she was gone, taking any trace of light with her.

A crystal orb dangled from his fingers, his hand suspended in the air over the side of his throne. With even a slight movement, the thing would fall to the ground and shatter into a thousand glittering pieces.

How many times had he thrown orbs identical to this one across the room to watch them burst, only for another to appear in his hands? It was always the same face that he saw reflected in that crystalline surface, the face that haunted his kind's version of dreams.

This was the face that he wanted to take between his hands and crush until it burst and bled. And then he wanted to conjure it again from the ether to do the same thing over again.

That was the anger talking, he knew, and the keen sense of betrayal. If she were here, he was as likely to fall at her feet in supplication as he was to react with violence. The urges fluctuated with moods, which were impossible to predict.

The fact remained: this girl had destroyed his kingdom. And she was the only one who could repair it.

This was a land of death, of course. But not of dying. Without her, he was doing precisely that.

He had offered her a crown and a place at his side. From the moment that she accepted it, the underworld recognized her as its queen.

Then she stole away like a thief in the night when it became too much.

When he became too much.

Bringing the orb closer, he inspected the face that was equal parts loathed and beloved. The curve of her cheek reminded him of eternity, and her eyes had a depth that seemed enough to drown in. As much as he wanted to hate this beautiful face, he simply wasn't capable of it.

Pain ripped through him as another portion of the underworld crumbled into dust, nearly dragging him to his knees. It wouldn't be much longer before he lacked the power to so much as lift his head, much less rule in this forgotten place.

Whatever could be done to salvage this decaying realm, had to be done soon.

Using more strength than should have been necessary, he summoned a second orb. Its glassy surface felt smooth and cold in his other hand. Any reflective surface would have suited his purposes, but he liked the simplicity and grace of curved glass. In it, viewing between realms would be effortless when he returned to his full power—if he ever did.

In this second one, the picture was no longer static. He watched the girl move across a stage, her face animated as she spoke. She was identical to the first in every physical way, but he saw something very different.

This girl had no concept of what awaited her. She carried no guilt because it was impossible to feel sorry for something that you could not remember doing.

This girl was innocent.

Innocence that had come at the cost of his suffering.

He imagined her as she had once been, perfection wrapped in the promise of eternal love. Her dress had flowed off her body as smoothly as the tears tracking down her cheek, and he had tasted those like they were nectar from the gods.

She had suffered under his hand, that he could admit. The indignities he had brought upon her were necessary, even if he’d found some pleasure in them.

But then she had destroyed everything.

In moments like this, it was difficult to remember that he had loved her once, more desperately than he cared for anything else. Even himself. She had taken that love and trampled it under her feet, leaving his kingdom in dust. She had to atone for what she had