The book will be a refined version of this story. The story is essentially the same, but is more polished, words and sentences tweaked here and there, some scenes deleted or rewritten, etc.
I have created a Facebook for my nom-de-plume, M.M. Kin. It is where I will be posting official information on my books – publication, updates, bonuses, etc etc, and will also be happy to answer questions from readers as well as listening to your feedback and suggestions.
As soon as the book is published, I will also update here and inform you of the title and where you can buy it.
My Facebook name and ID – Mxm Kin and 100002454774004
I would like to give a huge THANK YOU to all of my readers and fans who have supported me through the writing of this story, and hope that you like the book even better than you did the original draft of this story!
What you see below is a clip of chapter 11 of my book.
As the fateful day that he had set in his plans drew near, Hades spent more time on the surface. He would watch Kora as she played with the nymphs, or when she went on one of her solitary walks. Down below, things had been readied for her. His smiths made jewelry and his tailors created fine garments for her, and doubtless the young goddess would enjoy these elegant offerings once they were laid out before her. He hoped she would find his bed comfortable and his Palace a worthy home.
The heat of a summer day filled even the shadows under the trees, and Hades tugged at his collar impatiently, hearing the soft rustle as his bride-to-be made her way through the trees. She had on a light pink knee-length tunic, flowers braided into her hair by a few nymphs and a crown of them around her head, the pale petals almost white against her hair. Her eyes reflected the verdant forest around her, clean and bright green to match her mood. Despite the heat, she was enjoying herself. When she moved through a patch of sunlight, her hair flashed with the shine of myriad golds and coppers, and her step was light and happy as she merrily bounded along the thick grass. She was a lovely sight though the tunic she wore was of a cut that children usually wore, a testament of how Demeter perceived her daughter. Hades imagined her in one of the regal gowns that awaited her below, and smiled at the mental image.
Come here, love. See what I have for you. He stood at the edge of a small clearing fully illuminated by sunlight. At the center of the clearing was a flower, but not one that grew from the warmth of the surface world. Its petals resembled that of a lily, but were almost black, shining a soft, deep indigo in the light as its iridescent sheen glittered with a smooth myriad of colors.
He leaned against a tree in silence as the young goddess moved several feet past him, exclaiming softly when she saw the treasure shining there in front of her. She had never seen any flower with such a beautiful and deep color. She approached it before bending down to examine it as he watched her. She plucked up the flower, inhaling it. Its odor was not strong, but there was an undeniable note of dark sweetness that she found entrancing.
His helmet had served him well during the war against the Titans, and it was just as useful here... even if the motive itself was questionable. Once in a while Hades might feel a bit dirty for spying on her as she frolicked or meditated, or played in the water, but the allure had been too powerful to resist. She intrigued him.
As she bent down, he got a lovely view of her backside, supple and firm under the thin linen, and he could not help but wonder how it would feel in his hands and have her respond to his touch.
Kora felt the tingling on the back of her neck that told her she was being watched. She believed herself to be only a demi-goddess, with weak powers. But unlike the nymphs or even Mother herself, she was able to sense this mysterious intruder. It wasn't the first time she had the feeling she was being watched.
She stood up in alarm and looked around, trying to see if she could see who the intruder was. Who would be watching her? A nymph? This feeling was strange, as if she could feel eyes studying her form. The stare felt hot against her body and she stifled a moan by nibbling her lower lip.
"Who is there?" she called out sharply, trying to sound as brave as she could. Her eyes blazed fiercely in contrast to her small body. Her hands balled up in fists as she tried to sense just where the intruder might be, and looked slightly to her right, where the feeling was strongest.
Hades smiled faintly as he saw her gaze in his direction and remained there, unmoving and invisible as he watched her display of fearlessness. It was just that, a display; he knew she was nervous, and for that he felt a twinge of regret that it had come to this. He licked his lips hungrily and put the regret aside.
Without a word, he lifted his helmet.
Kora gasped softly and took a step back, feeling startled. Who...? She studied his face. At first, she didn't place him. It had been so long since she had seen him, and she had all but forgotten that meeting, but the memory came rushing back to her.
This was Hades, Lord of Death himself. Was she to die now, just as her father had? Was this what Iasion had seen? She took another step back, his dark eyes seeming to bore into her.
Of course, Hades had considerably more loving intentions for this young goddess than taking away her life. He gave her a smile that he hoped wold reassure her. However, his presence was intimidating, more so from the fact that he had simply appeared out of thin air. He held his helmet tucked under one strong arm and stared at her, his dark eyes shining with a mixture of emotions – hunger, need, desire, fondness – as he gazed down at her. His clothes were black, and seemed to be made of shadow itself. She took another step back.
His hair was pulled back in a loose tail, and his face and hands stood out amidst the blackness that otherwise covered him. Before she could say anything, he spoke.
"Do you like the flower?" he asked in a quiet, almost gravelly tone. Her gaze flicked to the dark blossom in her hand before she nodded slowly, eyeing him warily.
"There are many more of that flower where I come from. It is always a splendid thing to see an entire field full of them."
"...Where does the flower come from?" She glanced at the helmet in his hands, unnerved by its resemblance to a skull.
"The Underworld." Even though she already knew the answer, his utterance caused her to shudder.
"Death... please..." Her voice was tight with terror. Death had been the one thing she feared ever since the loss of her father and the rest of her family. His eyebrows furrowed in concern.
"I am not here to take your life," he said, his voice dark and soft, with an undeniable firmness.
"Then... why are you here? To take one of the nymphs?" she asked with apparent confusion. Despite his words, she sensed he was nonetheless here for her. The shadows around him seemed to be alive, moving and shifting.
"I am not here for the nymphs," he said, taking a step toward her. Despite her steps back, in one stride he seemed to be right in front of her, and she squeaked out in shock upon feeling, a strong but gentle hand on her chin, caressing her cheek with the pad of his thumb.
"Please, do not be afraid of me, my dear," Hades murmured, concern in his gaze.
"Why are you here?" she demanded in a whisper, surprised at how warm that pale hand felt, and how his touch caused her skin to tingle.
"I am here for you." His blood pumped fiercely as he gazed into her eyes, and he held back a soft groan. There was time enough. Take it slow... don't frighten her. Her skin was so warm...
As the young goddess gazed up at her unexpected guest, she felt a cold shiver pass through her. Death...
Without a word, she turned and ran.