|Isobel Brandt \\ Persephone (praxidike) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-10-04 09:18:00
|Entry tags:||hades, persephone|
she waltzed her way into the sea
Who: Isobel [Persephone] & Obed [Hades].
What: Another time, another dream; memories following this.
Where: Ancient Greece.
When: A long time ago.
White-knuckling the edge of the chariot, Persephone saw none of where they were going. Her mind was still replaying the events that had happened seconds ago; the ground opening up, spitting forth Hades, the great hooves of his horses grinding both the dirt and her attendants into nothing. All she could think, over and over, was I asked for this.
The vehicle hurtled down into the darkness, wind whipping dark hair over her face. Even as her eyes adjusted to the lack of light, she was still mired in the thought that she was splashed with the blood of those who had trusted her, those who had served her. They sped over rivers, the stone boundaries that marked the edges of the underworld, the fields of asphodel that she loved so well.
It was only when the chariot slowed that she realized they were coming to a stop, and her hands were shaking. It took a moment to extricate herself from their grip, and a glance down at her dress showed the blue splotched with more red than she'd remembered. An echoing sound reverberated against her ears, and then she realized someone was talking to her. She glanced away from her hands, toward the source, recognizing not the man who'd stolen her, at her own request, but her Aides, the one who had inspired such feelings in her that had brought them in this point.
She didn't have to ask him to repeat; the look on her face displayed her confusion and fear. But she felt it washing away at the sight of him. With one final caress his arm drifted from its place at her narrow waist. He took her hand and led her down from the rear of the chariot to the white-flowered ground below.
"Welcome home," he said again, his voice as patient and even as if he was not merely repeating himself. The ground shook beneath their feet; Hades did not look up from her face, instead greeting the monstrous hound with his right hand upraised. The three-headed beast stopped in response, first sitting, then lying down to greet his returned mistress. Persephone's eyes, still hollow-looking and underlined with worry, were momentarily distracted by the sight of the huge beast; the beginnings of a smile worked over her mouth. Only his tail still moved, thumping hard against the earth, sending small shockwaves through the field. Hades almost smiled, then.
"Tonight there is a feast in your honor. I believe some celebrations have already begun. I'm sure you'll want rest beforehand, and a chance to freshen up…" He squeezed her hand, that little smirk still playing on his lips. They started off toward their palace, Cerberus tromping noisily in their wake.
"I have a gift for you."
Persephone pulled her eyes away from the guardian of the underworld, who'd been momentarily demoted to nothing more than an overly large puppy, back to Hades, her other hand coming to wrap around his wrist. Her first was laced tightly between his fingers, her body swaying in his direction as if pulled by gravity.
"I don't know what more you could give me." Pressed tightly to his side as they walked, she glanced out over the field; it was as unchanged as it always was. Spirits moved slowly through the space, recreating their lives as best they could; all was harmony, at least in this area of the dead. The sight calmed her, lessened the tension in her shoulders. Part of her wanted to lay down with the flowers, even if the view above was a rocky ceiling instead of sky. But the bigger part of her simply wanted to stay with Hades, wherever and whatever he had planned.
"But rest," she nodded, glancing back at him. "Yes, that...that is a very good idea." Her voice was still shaky, her grip tighter to prevent her hand from trembling. She sighed, and laid her head against his shoulder for a few steps. "I missed you."
"And I you," he said. The doors of their palace opened to them; the distant sounds of merriment carried to them from within. They crossed the threshold together, their footfalls echoing, synchronous, off the ceiling far above. His voice lowered, until nothing was left of that echo but a subtle susurration. "This place no longer feels like home without you here." Tightly he squeezed her hand; she squeezed back, glancing up at him with a smile. All other sounds faded into the background, as much as her curiosity wanted to see what was going on.
Cerberus remained at the door of the palace: too large to come inside, too enamored of his queen to wander far. The door closed behind them, their last sight of the great hound his three heads turned and still watching his masters depart.
"Your attendants await your call," he said, "though I would prefer to see to you myself." He pushed open the door to their vast chambers. The faint scent of dried flowers drifted in on a breeze: bouquets of dead roses, asphodel, and wheat, their faded colors lit and their faded scents warmed by torchlight. "A warm bath should help. Something to wash away the patina of travel."
She did not reply, going stiff at his eloquent way of stepping around just what he'd done. What they'd done. Persephone was a goddess of life, new life at that, but she could not forgive herself for what had happened. As her eyes drifted over the flowers in the room—dead flowers, she could not help but note, though she well understood they'd been meant in good intention for her pleasure—she nodded, almost hazily, as if lost in a dream.
"I want you to stay," she said, as they came to a stop in the middle of the room. It was so big—larger than her meadow, it seemed, even when it had walls to mark its endpoints and her meadow seemed boundless though marked by trees. The cavernous quality of the room swallowed her whole; she stepped away from Hades for a moment, approaching one of the vases to brush a hand over the asphodel. It had long been her favorite. It flaked even under her careful touch, translucent white petals falling softly through the air to the black tabletop.
She turned, leaning against the table; the blood spatter over her dress was evident, even in the dimly lit room. Glancing down, her fingers grimly traced it, forcing herself to look at her crime. When she looked up, it seemed as though she might accuse him of something, force her blame on him. Instead, her hands and arms rose, beckoning him forward. "Come here."
He moved to her side without a moment's hesitation. His eyes were on hers, though he could almost feel the presence of the dried blood flaking off her pale fingertips. Darkness surrounded him, a tangible void somehow relieved by her presence. She stood in his shadow, and still seemed to possess an undimmed light of her own. He took her hands in his own, his icy fingers circling hers. He had no words to offer her; only a stony silence betrayed by the look on his face, by the way his gaze sought hers in silent question.
She pulled his hands around her in a loose circle his form to her. Her own went around his middle, her face pressed to his chest; a deep inhale reminded her of who he was, why she was here. It was a long moment before she pulled her head back and looked up at him. The sight of his face so close was what made her finally and truly smile, her mouth wide.
Her arms moved from around his waist to allow her hands to cup his cheeks, pulling his face down to hers. His forehead settled against hers for a moment, her eyes closing again as she was glad to be simply wrapped inside the tight embrace of the king of death; her Aides. The more tension that fell away, the more exhausted she felt.
"You said there was a bath?" She finally asked, after a long and much needed moment of silence. Persephone made no move to break his hold on her, content to remain in it or be directed if necessary. He nodded softly. His thumbs traced over the lines of her hips. Then he gently disengaged from her, taking her by the hand, and led her through their torchlit chambers.
The floors, the walls, the ceiling above, were black mirrors, darkness polished to the finest shine. Their heels clicked in time as they moved through the space. He led her through one room, then another, stopping in an expansive chamber. Torches leapt to life at her arrival, illuminating a deep pool sunken into the floor. Steam rose from the water within. White petals adorned the surface, lazily spinning as an attendant poured more scalding water into the pool. The attendant rose when his vessel was emptied. He bowed to his king and queen, his eyes downcast as he walked backward from the room.
Alone once more, he turned her to face him, both of them standing at the edge of the pool. His hands fitted to her shoulders, his fingers tracing the lines of her dress. She stepped into his space, the smile curving her lips showing how pleased she was with his attentiveness. The room was cool, between the hard stone and the pool being the lone source of heat. Even Aides' touch was cold, but it was never something she had come to dislike. Her hands went to his chest, her eyes looking up at his mischievously.
"You said you would see to me," she said, fingers plucking lightly at his robes. Part of her wondered how far she could push this, and curiosity made her more than willing to try. "Prepare me, then."
Hades' face remained quite serious, though his pleasure at this turn of events was evident to one who knew him as well as she. His touch grew firmer on her shoulders. His thumbs pushed downward at the fabric that lay neatly folded there. He pressed closer, his head canted downward, placing a soft kiss to the pale slope of her shoulder. He pushed cloth free, letting it slide from her arms. The rest of her dress followed quickly after, pooling in red-spattered blue at her feet.
He knelt, then, taking one slim ankle in his cold hand. Delicately he unfastened the straps of her sandals, caressing her skin as he removed first one, then the other. He kissed the slope of her calf, the ridge of her ankle, the bloodstained arch of her dainty foot.
It took much of her willpower to still herself as he moved over her body; watching him at her feet was surreal, but not unwelcome. A hand steadied her on his shoulder, then passed over his head.
"Help me into the tub, and then join me." That same hand moved down, pulling his head back up, cradling his chin. Her thumb passed over his cheek, her eyes tracing the familiar outline of his dear face.
He tipped his head up to her hand. He watched her for a moment, then rose as she bid, his hands returning to hers once more. He led her to the edge of the tub. Along its sides, black stone gleamed; inside, the water was clear enough to see straight through to the bottom. Asphodel petals drifted outward as he guided her to step into the water. Just as quickly they moved back to her, clinging to her legs, caressing her as gently as he had.
Only when she was standing, nearly submerged, did Hades slip his own robe and move to stand with her. His hands came to rest at her waist, his eyes on hers, ready and waiting for her next demand.
Her hands were quick to move his, the moment they alighted on her skin; over her sides, his palms and thumbs brushing her breasts (the touch making her shiver), until she held them just under her own face.
"Good servants don't usually have to be told what to do, but I'll forgive it this once," she said, a teasing sound in her mouth to match the look in her eye. Hades nearly slipped and quirked a smile. Persephone dropped one hand, letting it fall where it would, and reached out for a sponge that had been purposefully set near the tub's edge, near a bottle of scented oil. As she did so, she did not look away from Hades, her gaze locked with his; the only interruption it suffered was her putting the sponge in his hand, and turning about, pulling her hair over one shoulder. "Was the feast your idea?"
Soft splashes marked his movement as he came to stand behind her. He raised the sponge, now heavy with still-steaming water, and gently traced the slope of her shoulder.
The sponge moved slowly across her back. At intervals he squeezed, dripping water down the ridges of her spine. He glided closer, so near that the latent chill of him warred with the heat of the water; an unusual but not altogether unpleasant sensation.
"They are glad to welcome you as their queen," he added. One hand moved to grip her arm. He held her only loosely, raising her arm as he brought the sponge down to caress its pale length. "I did not coerce or obligate them, if that is your concern."
His cold grip coupled with the warm touch of the sponge made her shiver, but she was completely at ease under his control. She did, though, turn about so that she was facing him again.
"They're happy for you," she replied, all laughter removed from her voice, instead replaced with a simple gladness reflected in the curve of their mouth. "The mark of a beloved king, I should think. The mortals above curse the gods' names more often than they thank them; that the dead should be so reverent of their ruler says much about him." Her arm loosened from his grip, fingers gliding along his shoulder for a moment until they came to touch his face again.
"You must do much to please them," she continued, tugging his face down for a long desired taste of the one she'd been so missing. He smiled against her mouth, his tongue parting her lips and toying with her own. His free hand moved to her hip, then the small of her back, fitting her curves to the hard planes of his shape. His nails dug shallowly into her skin, marking her as his own.
They parted only reluctantly, and only after a time; then he soaked the sponge in hot water once more, and traced the swell of her breasts with its soft, porous edge.
"They will curse me, too, in time," Hades said. "But I've brought Life home to them. For now, they are happy."
His hand dipped lower. As he held her close he trailed the sponge carefully over each nipple, teasing each one to a taut peak. Persephone gasped, the sharp intake of breath quiet in the cavernous space around them.
"What could you possibly do to make them unhappy?" She pulled him backward through the water, until she was sandwiched between him and one wall of the tub. Hands played over his face, moving lower to fondle his neck, the pads of her fingers tracing out veins and pressure points embedded in his skin. The wonder of his low body temperature was enthralling, and Persephone wanted to see what other shivers it might elicit.
"If you were planning on keeping me to yourself, well, I won't disagree. Not for awhile, yet, anyway," she added, pulling the sponge back from his grip to perform the same ritual on him; water poured thickly as she traced it over his chest, her mouth straining for his again.
He did not keep her waiting. He lowered his mouth to hers, opening himself to her gentle exploration. His hands moved to her hips: softly at first, then clasping her tight, lifting her up against his body and the water-warmed stones at her back. He let her touch him, let her trace the cold shape of him with hot water and soft sponge, even as he brought her legs to wrap around him. He held her pinned there, the thread of their conversation utterly lost in favor of a dialogue far more intimate.
A needy cry needled its way through her throat as her arms wrapped around his neck; the sponge hung suspended in her right hand for a moment, before falling with a plop to be carried away by the small, swirling currents of the bathing pool. Persephone pressed tightly to him, locking her ankles around his waist to feel the hard planes of his body. The movement gave her positioning to move the event into a different direction; she pushed away from him, sprawling gently on the semi-warm stone behind her. Her legs, still cinched around him, pulled him forward as her body angled back on her hands.
She grinned, incisors sinking into the swell of her bottom lip as her legs fell away from him into the water, still parted. A hand reached out to his chin, pulling him forward for another kiss until he was slanted above her. She nipped him, first on the mouth, then the chin, before directing him lower.
Hades moved slowly down her body. His hands telegraphed where his mouth would soon be, one trailing after the other with cool deliberation. He cupped her breasts, tracing their swell with teeth and tongue. He tasted every inch of her slick skin from the hollow of her throat to the shallow dip at her navel. His eyes turned up to watch her, to study even her smallest reactions, as his mouth followed the ridge of one hard hipbone. Then he moved down into the water, his body bowed above hers, and pressed an open-mouthed kiss to the warm, slick apex of her thighs.
His tongue slid into her, soft and probing. His hands fitted to her hips and raised her up to meet his mouth. He sucked lightly at sensitive skin; his contented sigh vibrated through her flesh. Leaning back on one hand, Persephone throttled her moan as well as she could; for a moment, her mind was stuck on the thought that they had to be quiet for fear of certain persons overhearing. A hand reached forward, grasping her own breast before descending further to wind fingers in his hair.
"Gods, who could ever curse you," she murmured, her nails raking over his scalp. All thought of the blood spilled in order for her to be there now was erased from her mind, in that moment. She moaned again, this time louder, the quiet emptiness around her (the stone beneath her, water rippling gently around her legs) reminding her that she was no longer in a cage. Though her voice never reached the high pitch of a scream, Persephone ceased to smother the cries that eked from her mouth.
Hades listened to every one, as beautiful as music, as welcome as spring. He stroked her body with hands and lips and tongue, his teeth subtly tracing the lines of her body beneath him. He settled cool fingers close beneath his mouth, sliding first one, then another, deeply into her. He followed the curves of her, learning her body anew after their too-long separation. It was worship of a sort, and for a god he proved surprisingly adept. His free hand slid back up her body, finding her fingers where they played over her own flesh. He took her hand and held it tight, lacing his fingers with hers as he drank her in.
She cried out at that touch, at everything that was making her head spin; a dark pleasure had begun to swirl in her groin, spreading upward and through every limb. With her head thrown back, Persephone's brows narrowed over her forehead as she allowed her climax, grabbing it up like the greedy thing she was even as she had no desire for this interlude to end as quickly as it seemed it had. Her chest heaved as her mind descended from the clouds it had been thrust into for only a few, short moments; she came to lean forward, her hand still entwined in his, her other reaching for his face. She tilted it back, forcing him to look up at her, welcoming him back up into her arms.
"I love you, Theon Chthonius." The words were spoken with shuddering breath, ragged and torn as the blue dress of the Kore that lay across the room from them.
"And I love you, Persephone Praxidike." He pulled her toward him, until she balanced carefully on the edge of the pool, her legs dangling on either side of him, fitted to his ribs. He kissed her, her taste still on his lips, the sweet scent of her still on his hands. His slick tongue slid over her own. He held her close until at last they parted. His eyes remained on hers. "Welcome home, my queen."
A small laugh bubbled from her throat, even through her smiling, closed lips. Somehow, she did not think it would take long to become used to being called queen, though she desired it from no one's lips more than his. Her hands smoothed down his shoulders, stopping on his biceps; her mind wandered to what he'd said when she first arrived.
"Where is my gift? Aside from the ones you've already given me," she asked. "And I suppose we should attend the festivities, though only for a little while. Don't think I'm done with you, yet."
Hades smiled against her mouth; his teeth worried at her lower lip. "Impatient," he teased; Persephone made a small face, shaking her head in reply. "Your gift is in our chambers. I think you'll find it suitable for tonight's feast."
He released her only slowly, his hands trailing down over her breasts, her ribs, her hips, her thighs. She found herself squirming against every touch, wanting it to never end. He moved back across the pool and up its slick steps, then circled it to move behind her. He held out a hand and gently guided her up from where she sat. Out of the water's welcome heat, his touch seemed all the colder; still he held her hand tightly, leading her forward into the vastness of their quarters. Persephone likewise did nothing to break their hold, her fingers securely entwined with his as they pattered their way across hard stone with wet feet, leaving a trail.
"In there," he said. His cold eyes glittered, chips of ice in his bone-pale face. There was a smile in them, though, one only she might have seen. He looked to a wardrobe, a massive armoire carved from a single piece of ink-black wood. Persephone paused, looking at him with a wry suspicion. Releasing his hand, she crossed the room, her excitement tamped in an effort to keep her movements from seeming too greedy. But as soon as she opened the doors, the dress that came spilling out took her breath away.
Black folds rippled down, winking in the light from dozens of embedded ebony stones. It would wrap around her middle, leaving her shoulders bare; everything else seemed modest and voluminous. It was not the dress of a country maid passing for a deity of springtime; this was a gown fit for a monarch.
Persephone handled it gently, the cloth silky to her touch. "Oh, Aides," she breathed, feeling tears stinging at her eyes from his generosity. She glanced back at him, worry tingeing her voice. "Is it... Do you think this is appropriate for the feast?"
He stood close behind her, watching her hands as they moved over the cloth. He looked to her face, then, his gaze piercing as he tried to read what she truly thought of this gift. Buried deep beneath curiosity was genuine concern that she might find it somehow wanting. But rather than voice this fear he only smiled, and brushed a hand over her bare arm. "This is your homecoming, Praxidike. They should see you and know you for the sovereign that you are."
Persephone ducked her head, her eyes moving over the dress, still completely enamored by it. The only thing that surpassed it was the man next to her, whom without she would not have all these fine things. She wiped at one eye, and nodded again, drawing closer to him as the cloth fell away from her hands back to the floor.
"I would do nothing to displease you; that is all that worries me, Aides," she replied, a hand reaching up to touch his face. Gratitude and love beamed from her own as her thumb stroked a cheek. Then her hand fell back down to his, and she tugged him forward as she stepped back, their king-sized bed wide in his vision behind her.
"A queen takes what she wants," she echoed his earlier words, pulling him around to push him gently down on its black comforter. Naked, he fell to its surface, embraced by the soft darkness below.
He smiled as he reached up to her and pulled her down atop him. Again his hands moved over her body, committing her shape to memory as they traced upward. He cupped the nape of her neck, guiding her down into a deep, probing kiss.
She leaned into him, hands cupping his face once more as her mouth answered his, her legs fitted around his hips as she felt more than willing to be swallowed up by the shadow around them.