“Bend the knee,” she tells me, “BEND THE KNEE!”
Everyone has left but the Queen of the Gods has ‘demanded’ that I stay afterward. To her right is Nike. To her left is Aura. They both look like they want nothing more than to slit my wrist. It makes her feel really powerful to have them there. I can tell. It makes her feel like she is the shit.
“Yes Queen,” I state.
I bend down at that moment. I guess that meant something to her. I guess she was supposed to be taking something from this gesture. At least that’s what I expect but when I look up I can see her expression. She’s angrier than ever. Her face wrinkles up and it becomes clear that she expected me to refuse. She wanted me to refuse actually. She was looking for a reason to have her goons hurt me.
“Lower,” she spits.
“Any lower and I’ll be in the Underworld—again,” I tell her, “We both know how that turned out the first time.”
There is so much anger. There is anger that I’m back. There is anger that the coronation was interrupted. There was anger that I wasn’t giving her a reason to remove me by force at that moment. She was queen. If she wanted she could make the call. Aura was a huntress. I can see her grasping at her god-killer. She only needs a whisper to spring down from the throne and slit my throat. I’m sure that Nike, the goddess of Victory knew that had to be done in order for Persephone to say that she really truly did win.
“Are you mocking me?” Persephone asks.
“How could I mock the Queen of the Underworld?”
“The Queen of Olympus,” she corrects me.
At this point she is all but foaming at the mouth. All around me I can see vines growing. They are circulating around me slowly. I wonder what she was trying to do. Whatever she was trying to do wasn’t working though. I place my hands on the vines and from the vines sprout the most beautiful roses. They are the prettiest flowers ever.
“Congratulations, Queen Persephone,” I tell her, “Look, I’ve brought your garden from the Underworld here to Olympus to celebrate your crown.”
“You’ve gotten in touch with your godly abilities.”
“I’ve had time to practice,” I tell her.
There wasn’t much else to do in the Underworld. The dead weren’t really known for their enthusiastic personalities. I had learned a lot. I became more like the god of love. I’d had the opportunities to really grasp those abilities.
“You better not try anything,” she states.
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
All of a sudden there is a bright stream of lights. From the front of the room we can see a rainbow. We all knew what that meant. Iris, the messenger of the gods and the heir of Hermes had come with a message.
“You have a message ma’am from Hades,” Iris announces to the Queen.
“He isn’t coming in person?” Persephone asks.
I swear at that moment I see vulnerability there. From the very first moment I met Persephone she was a cold, brutal bitch to me. I didn’t understand why. I had done nothing to her. I never deserved any of it. It wasn’t even like my mother had ripped her face off like Thalia. There was no beef between Persephone and I save the fact that Heracles threatened her on my behalf one time. She hated me though. Her hatefulness ran deeper than I had imagined with most anyone else. She was like ice to me, but it looks like somehow that ice was melting, or, maybe a better description of what was happening was that her ice was cracking.
“It looks like you’re busy,” I state, “May I leave?”
She is reluctant to let me out of her sight but she is more eager to know what Hades had to tell her. I already know what the answer to that is and truthfully I didn’t want to stick around for it.
“Get out of my face,” she tells me.
“Long live the Queen,” I announce as I leave.
It was a funny thing to say, wasn’t it? Long live the Queen, when the Queen was undying?
It’s later that day. I’m wearing all black. Hades likes when I wear all black but even in the Underworld it was an impossible feat. Right now it fits the mood though. The reason is that I’m standing in a courtyard. The courtyard is nothing but ash.
This is where the temple of Aphrodite once was.
This was where the Love Department was.
“She murdered everyone,” a voice states, “Every last one of them.”
Behind me is Deimos. I don’t expect to see him here. Normally I would have been beyond excited to see him. Right now wasn’t the time for those sorts of boyish things though. I barely try to notice how much more muscular he Is then he was before. He must have put on the weight in preparation for the trials. I didn’t know much about what happened at the trials except that Persephone won and that everyone else lost.
I look at this place. I hadn’t known it for long but the little time I did know it, I felt like it was home. The little time I did know it, I felt like I finally found someplace that I belonged. They had taken me in. They had taught me who I was. These people were the family that I had never really had. I think of the Erotes. I think of the Charities.
I think of him…
I state, “I wished I could have seen Cupid at least one more time, to thank him, you know? Even if it was in the Underworld. Even if his spirit somehow wandered past the emptiness and found it’s way to me I would have been at peace.”
“She killed him with the God-killer,” he explains to me, “He was trying to help Heracles and I, on your behalf, of course. I think he knew that’s what you would want if you were here.”
“He only wanted the best for me. Still, he died in battle. What was the point of this genocide? What was the point of destroying the minor gods of Love?” I ask.
All those names that I once couldn’t remember come pouring back to me. The Erotes. Hedylogos, god of sweet talk and flattery.Hermaphroditus, god of hermaphrodites and of effeminate men. Hymen, god of marriage, weddings, and the bridal hymn. Pothos, god of sexual longing, yearning and desire. This wasn’t a department anymore.
This was a goddam tomb.
“I should have stopped her,” Deimos states, “I should have.”
“It’s not your responsibility.”
Deimos shakes his head, “She’s supposed to be our Queen and she destroys her own—like this?”
Deimos is shaking. Where I am sad, Deimos is mad. I guess that’s in his nature to be angry. It’s in his nature to be aggressive and warrior-like. Truth is I wonder why he cares so much. These weren’t Persephone’s people. They weren’t even his people.
These people were my people.
“Does she hate me THIS much?” I ask.
“I believe they were looking for something.”
Deimos shrugs, “Hopefully they didn’t find it. Hopefully it was worth it.”
“Nothing is worth this,” I state.
“You shouldn’t stay here. You need a place to stay.”
I sigh, getting up. He had a point. Persephone wasn’t going to sit around and care if I was sad or not. She wasn’t going to let me mourn. She had done this for reason and I needed to get to the bottom of it. More than anything now I was alone and I knew that. Persephone had all the power. She had all the backing.
And I had none of it.
“Thank you for your concern Deimos.”
“What do you mean thank me for my concern?” he asks, “I want you to come with me.”
“That’s not necessary.”
I start walking away but he grabs me. Deimos doesn’t grab me in an aggressive or rude way. He grabs me by my hand. Feeling his hands in between my hands is something that I don’t expect. He gently pulls me back towards him. I didn’t think someone like Deimos could be so gentle. Before I know it I’m close to him. We are faced to face.
I don’t know if he notices but his hand is still grabbing my hand. His fingers slide between my fingers. Each one fitting like a puzzle to some secret combination of the universe. Our eyes meet like the clash during the Titanomachy. My heart rustles in my chest.
“Do you remember how we met?” he asks, “My brother was trying to kill me. The gods thought I released the Titans. Do you want to know a secret? A secret that I never told anyone before.”
“I released the Titans.”
Hearing Deimos admit that to me shakes me to the core.
“I had your back. I framed an innocent man.”
He finds that humorous, “My brother was far from innocent. He’s killed millions of mortals in his lifetime for sport. You did the universe a favor. Believe me. Still, I shouldn’t have lied to you. I came to you in my time of need and you were there for me. I was a complete stranger to you. You had no reason to be nice to me. You had no reason to care, but for some reason you did and I want to say, I don’t know. I want to thank you, I guess, yeah, that’s it. I want to just thank you.”
“None of it matters anymore,” I tell him.
Not him releasing the Titans, not him lying about his brother. Not any of it. It was all part of a sick immortal game and we had all been victims of it.
“Come with me,” he asks.
He offers me his hand and I struggle. Deimos had been deceptive this entire time but looking into his eyes it seems as though he isn’t being that way now.
Maybe that’s why I take his hand again.
And I go with him.
The Department of War is what you would expect. Half naked minor gods, demi-gods, centaurs clad in armor, giants with clubs bigger than my upper body and armor everywhere. When we arrive I don’t get the warm welcome that I got when I came to the Department of Love for the first time. This was different. Almost immediately I see a woman with sunken cheekbones and a strong defined androgynous face confront Deimos about me.
“Have you lost your complete fucking mind?” she asks.
“He’s stranded Enyo,” Deimos responds, “I don’t have any place to take him.”
I had heard of the name Enyo in the books that I read in the Underworld. Enyo so loved war that she hadn’t picked a side when Zeus had battled against the god-monster Typhon when Typhone tried to overthrow Zeus.
That perhaps makes sense why her next comment comes easy, “We don’t get involved with those petty matters.”
Deimos looks over at me. I watch him grab Enyo. He attempts to pull her to the other side of the room. He whispers something to her. I don’t hear what he says but I can hear what she says to him afterward. It’s clear she’s beyond angry that I’m here and she’s not holding back in the least.
“What do you mean he’s important to you!” she growls back, “Maybe if you stopped thinking about him you would have won the trial!”
With that Enyo walks off. I didn’t like the look of it. I didn’t like how she walks off on him. I look back over at Deimos. I can tell he’s embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for him. He walks back over to me. His face is flushed. I’d never quite seen him like this.
He stutters during his reply, “Sorry about that.”
“No I’m sorry. Maybe it’s not, you know? The best time to be here. Or whatever.”
“It’s the best time. I got you. I’m the head of this department—aren’t I? I’m the god of war. Not Enyo. It’s up to me.”
I nod weakly at that moment.
“Thank you Deimos.”
I didn’t get why he was being nice to me but I definitely wasn’t going to complain.
He even escorts me to my room, which is unsurprisingly something like a war room. There are weapons all over the walls. A huge ax is over the bed. I watch as Deimos hustles in and hides a few blades that are on the desk and throws them into a cabinet as though they would make any difference at all. It was cute to see the god of war somewhat nervous though. Back on Earth, as a mortal I had seen men struggle to clean up their apartments when I came over last minute.
Was this similar to that?
“I know it’s not much,” he tells me weakly.
I lean over and kiss him on the cheek. I don’t think he expects it because he takes a step back at that moment. I can tell he’s struggling with it.
“What? That was just my way of thanking you.”
He smiles at that moment, “That’s all…after all this time?”
It’s a strange thing to say. It’s strange to even see Deimos smile the way that he does. He had a beautiful smile. Pure, white godly teeth that flashed all over his face. He was so perfect without even realizing it.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
He reaches over at that moment and begins to kiss me. I’m shocked by it. I’m shocked when he puts his tongue down my throat. I’m so shocked that I trip and end up backing up until I hit the bed. His tongue is in my mouth. I think about stopping him, I really do, but every part of me wants to give in to him. So when he climbs on top of me, I realize that this is going to happen.
The god of war was expressing some type of interest and he was coming at me like a wave.
“Wait, I’m confused,” I manage to get out through a muffled tone.
I really meant it. I was confused as hell. This guy hated my guts.
“Let me simplify things for you,” he responds.
He is shirtless and he pulls his pants down. His dick is out at that moment and I am speechless just staring at him. I am literally just looking at this work of art and I’m blown away.
“Fu—” I start.
I want to say fuck but I don’t get the words out. It’s partially because I’m stuck on the thought but mostly it’s because the god of dick puts his giant, brown dick in my mouth. He shoves it down my throat so deep that it hits the back of my esophagus and causes me to almost choke. He pulls his dick out slightly just enough for me to catch my breath before ramming it back in hard and tough to the back of my throat again. This time I’m ready.
I suck his dick licking the tip and getting it nice and moist. As I deepthroat him, I look up and see this mighty warrior and he’s staring down at me.
Then he says the weirdest thing, “You are my greatest enemy, you know that?”
I don’t understand what he’s saying at first until he grabs me and pulls me off his dick and slams me on his bed. That’s when I see how he mounts me. He mounts me in the most violent away. It’s almost as though he really believes this is some sort of fight for him. And maybe that fight is with me. I watch as he wrestles me into submission ripping off my clothes as though I’m denying him this pleasure. I’m not though.
“Slow down,” I whisper to him.
He slows down slightly but I can still hear his heavy breathing. The adrenaline is rushing through him especially when we are both naked.
Soon I kiss him and our tongues mash up against each other as though they are doing battle. His saliva spread across my mouth like a range of arrows. He grabs at me, holding anything he can touch. He’s feeling the narrowness of my waist, the roundness of my ass and the tightness of my hole.
The position he takes me in on my back. My legs are on his shoulders. My ass propped up slightly so that his curved dick has access to enter my hole.
“Oh god,” I moan.
I pull the sheets. My heart is beating faster and faster.
“Oh shit,” he states.
He’s fucking me long and deep. All the while he’s looking me in my eyes. He’s sizing me up. He’s figuring me out and I’m letting him.
When we orgasm it’s as though we both are losing the battle. We do it together at the same time. A final scream. A final white flag.
And the war is over.
He collapses next to me and he seems to almost announce surrender after all this time, “I want you for myself, Thaddeus.”
Hearing those words have so much weight to it. I’d waited so long to hear them. I wanted to hear them for so long. Now that I had heard them I didn’t know what to think of them.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“You know what I mean,” he responds.
He’s right. I did know what he meant. I just didn’t want to hear those words right now. I sit up at that moment. I look out into the darkness. The thoughts are just rolling into my head.
“I can’t…” I state.
“What….why?” he asks.
“I promised myself…” I finish, “I promised myself to Hades.”
Thalia enters the room. Across the room, she can see Queen Persephone. The Queen is livid. She was all passion, this new Queen. It’s clear Persephone took up after her mother who had damned the world to seasons at some point so that everyone could suffer along with her. Persephone was definitely a child of that angst.
“Is it as bad as it looks?” Thalia asks Nike.
Nike hasn’t left Persephone’s side. I don’t think she had a choice. Persephone was likely to destroy all of Olympus in the mood that she was in now.
“Hades has asked for a separation,” Nike states.
It’s clear what this meant.
“Thaddeus?” Thalia asks.
Thalia should have known better. She shouldn’t have underestimated the God of Love. The God of Love had seduced Hades and now Persephone was a Queen without a king on her throne with her. Thalia shakes her head. The plan had gone so well. Persephone and Hades would have been unstoppable together on the throne. Once again Thaddeus was throwing a wrench in the plans.
“How long has this been going on?” Thalia asks Nike.
“She’s relentless,” Nike whispers to Thalia, “We don’t know what to do.”
“Leave her to me.”
Walking into the room was like walking into a dragon’s den. Thalia makes sure her steps are loud. All around the room are cherry blossoms. Those were the remains of everyone who got on the wrong side of Persephone during her mourning process. She turned them into goddam trees.
As she approaches, Thalia thinks of a way to confront the issue. She could confront Persephone’s emotional attachment to Hades. He wasn’t the most charming man in the world. Thalia could probably assure Persephone that she’d find someone else to love.
But Thalia wasn’t stupid.
Persephone’s anger had nothing to do with love. Her anger had to do with embarrassment.
“We won’t make the same mistake twice,” Thalia promises Persephone, “We won’t underestimate Thaddeus again.”
“He wants to marry him. Hades…can you believe it?”
“I can. I can believe it because they all do. They all want to marry him. Just like his mother Aphrodite.”
There is a pause.
“I can’t even kill him again. Hades will just release him.”
“No killing him won’t do it. Killing him won’t stop this, but he must be stopped,” Thalia assures the Queen, “We have no choice in that matter at least.”
There is a pause. Persephone was too weak to think.
“How are we supposed to stop him if we can’t kill him?”
Thalia smiles, “Agree to the separation that Hades wants. Give him his divorce.”
Who knew that Gods could get divorced? It was a new age though. So many mortals had gotten divorced before. They had survived. Thalia had to assure Persephone that she too could survive this.
“How does that fix anything? Everyone laughing at me! EVERYONE. They adore Thaddeus. They completely ignored my coronation for him.”
“We can use that.”
There is a pause. Persephone is getting more confused by the minute. Poor girl. She was all anger and no intelligence.
Thalia tells Persephone what she has yet to figure out, “What did Zeus do to Aphrodite when she was causing issues on Olympus because every god wanted her?”
“He forced her to marry Hephaestus.”
“Exactly. It’s time to force a marriage.”
Like mother, like son. Both would be forced to marry a monster.
Thalia looks over at Persephone and gives her a resolution to remember, “You marry Thaddeus.”