A/N: warning – this chapter contains strong language and attempted rape for those that are sensitive or could be triggered, please feel free to skip this chapter or the last part, I will highlight that symbol (~*O*~) so you guys know when to stop. Enjoy!
Chapter 3 – Nectar and Honey
Kore felt as though her heart was about to beat right out of her chest, she had never been in such a large or magnificent looking place before.
There were so many people and Kore felt as though she were a goose compared to these beautiful deities and nymphs that went about their business as though she were invisible. She didn't belong here, instead, she belonged in the secluded hut with her mother with nothing but the feather brained nymphs for company.
Kore grabbed at her mother's hand, she wasn't thinking, all she wanted in the moment was to feel safe and her mother made her feel safe.
"Oh! Sweetheart." Demeter whispered as she squeezed Kore's hand. "Don't look so worried, you will be fine."
Kore nodded, but she felt anything but fine. The wheels in her head were going overtime and she felt panicked as though she may faint.
There was too many people, she had never seen so many people.
She turned to stare at some of the Gods, hoping they would distract her from the numerous thoughts that plagued her mind. She wondered if she would make any friends or if she would spend the rest of her visit hiding in a corner.
These Gods were nothing like the company she had experienced back home. Firstly, they didn't seem to have any boundaries when it came to modesty, which shocked Kore to no end and secondly, they were forward enough to meet her curious stares with bold ones of their own.
She felt her free hand grow sweaty and unceremoniously wiped it on the skirts of her new dress, she only hoped that it wouldn't leave a stain. She concentrated on keeping her eyes firmly on the ground, making sure to count each step as her mother led her to the dais.
She was almost there, a few steps more and she would be meeting eleven of the most powerful Gods in Olympus and once she had satisfied her curiosity, she would demand her mother take her home immediately.
They stopped and Kore felt as though she was going to be sick.
"Kore, don't be rude." Demeter chided. "Let them see your pretty face."
Kore blushed at her mother's words but did her biding anyway and looked up. She felt as though her mother was sacrificing her to the chimera as twenty-two eyes studied her – some were amused and others just looked bored.
She wanted them to stop staring and surprised herself when the words started to form on her lips, but then her mother's nails dug themselves into her hand and she realised that she was being disrespectful.
Immediately, she let go of her mother's hand and went on to her knees, bowing her head in what she hoped was a sign of piety. She listened to her inner voice as it told her to remain humble, these deities were her betters and she must honour them as such.
"Rise!" A rich, booming voice addressed her, but Kore remained on her knees, she couldn't move, she was too afraid. "Come, fair maiden. Don't be shy, I want to see your little face."
A few painful seconds went by before Kore had the confidence to rise to her feet and gaze into the eyes of the man who owned that powerful voice.
He was incredibly handsome with golden hair and eyes that looked to be the exact same colour as the sky during the day, but as Kore looked more carefully, she noticed flecks of silver shine through. He had a long, golden beard that was just as unruly as the golden curls on top of his head. He was so beautiful that Kore had to take a step back and let out a heavy sigh as she admired him from a respectful distance.
"Kore Soteira, Goddess of Springtime and the maiden of flowers." He smiled at her. "It is an honour to have you in my court and we intrust in you the duties of a nature Goddess and hope that you take this role seriously as you serve your fellow man."
"Y-yes. Your grace." Kore stuttered as she timidly walked over to the man who raised his hand for her to kiss his signet ring.
Once she had payed courtesy to him, she tried to move back to where her mother stood, but he pulled her closer and before she could stop him, he kissed her.
Kore had never been kissed before and she hated the fact that this man whom she had just met thought he could take advantage of her without asking her permission first.
Who does he think he is? She thought disgustedly.
"Welcome to my home, little Kore." He said. Kore assumed that the smile he offered her was supposed to be charming, but all she wanted to do in that moment was slap him for his forwardness. "My name is Zeus and you are welcome in my court."
Kore was speechless, she knew deep down that this man was Zeus, but she assumed that the king of Olympus would be a lot more respectful towards his subjects.
"You are too kind, dear brother." Demeter stepped in, Kore detected a hint of bitterness in her voice and wondered what Zeus had done to make her mother so angry. "Now, my flower. I believe you have still to meet the other Olympians."
"It's good to have you back, Deme." Zeus's voice softened as his eyes drank her mother in. "I've missed you."
"I can't say the feeling is mutual, brother." Demeter snapped back, but if Zeus was offended by her mother's words, he didn't react, instead, he continued to smile.
She grabbed at Kore's hand and led her towards the other Gods, which made Kore feel like a wayward child tied to her mother's apron strings.
Hera lifted her bejewelled hand, but every time Kore bent down to kiss it, she would move it an inch or two away so that Kore would find herself missing every time.
"My queen." Kore began. She felt even more nervous around Hera than she did walking towards the dais. "It's an honour to be presented to you, I hope that you're well?"
Hera ignored her, instead, her eyes were fixed on Demeter and Kore was startled by the hatred she saw in those teal like depths.
Hera was beautiful, there was no doubt about that, but Kore believed her mother was more beautiful.
Hera began to finger at the peacock necklace at her throat and Kore realised that she was being dismissed.
What was her problem? Kore thought. She really needs to learn some manners.
"She's definitely a looker, Deme." Poseidon bellowed. "I'll give her that, but then again with a mother like you, why wouldn't she be."
Poseidon had long silvery hair that rippled down his back like waves and his sea-green eyes were examining her as though she were some tasty morsel that he wanted to swallow whole.
He rose to his feet and gathered her up in his strong arms and twirled her about like she was a raggedy doll. She felt nausea hit her fast and would have begged him to stop, but she feared that she might vomit all over his blue robes.
"Poseidon!" Demeter reprimanded. "She's not a plaything for you to amuse yourself by, put her down this instant!"
Poseidon laughed at her mother's words, but he did put her down, although not before grabbing her chin and kissing her surprised mouth.
"You do have a pretty little mouth." He purred and Kore felt the need to vomit again. "Like a rosebud, I look forward to kissing those lips again."
"Poseidon!" Demeter screeched. She walked towards her older brother and before Kore realised what was happening, Demeter had slapped her brother right on the jaw. "Don't touch her again."
Poseidon stared at his sister; the shock was evident on his face before he burst out laughing as he sat down on his golden chair.
"Oh! Deme." He sighed. "I always loved your feistiness."
Demeter seemed annoyed by her brother's words, but instead of acknowledging him, she rolled her eyes and led Kore over to her last brother.
Kore felt fear creep up her spin as she stared at the dark figure that sat a little away from the others. She thought she could hear a voice screaming run, but she tried to ignore it as she got closer to the man.
The was the oldest son of the titans Cronus and Rhea and one of the five siblings of Zeus to be swallowed whole by their father, but although he was the titan's second born child, he looked slightly younger than Poseidon and Zeus.
His dark hair was shorter than his brothers and fell in soft dark curls about the nape of his neck and forehead. He was clean shaven, which Kore liked as it allowed her to admire his elegant, sharp features, which apart from some thin scars was perfect.
This man was a monster. The ruler of the underworld, lord of Tartarus. She shouldn't be admiring the beauty of a man who took pleasure in the torture of dead souls. He was evil.
"Kore! Stop staring." Demeter chastised.
Kore was embarrassed and she knew without looking at her freckled hands that she was the exact same colour as the rubies that rested on Hades broad chest.
"Forgive me, mama." Kore muttered as she stared at the marbled ground. "I hadn't realised I was."
She sunk down to her knees and gave him the same rehearsed speech she had given to her other aunts and uncles. She felt ashamed that she couldn't think of anything better to say than "I'm honoured to be in your illustrious presence", but she hoped that he wouldn't be too hard on her, after all, she had never been in a situation like this before.
"Kore, my flower." Demeter said. She touched Kore's rosy cheeks and motioned for her to look at Hades. "This is my eldest brother, Hades Aidoneus. He is the God of the Underworld and lord of Tartarus. Don't worry, my sweet. He's not as scary as he looks."
"Your grace." Kore greeted and offered him another curtsey.
He lifted up his hand for her to place a kiss on his onyx signet ring and as she gently grazed her lips against the cold jewel, she couldn't help but admire his beautiful, slender hands, which were surprisingly softer than what she thought they might be.
She stepped back and turned to make sure her mother was near. It was not in her best interest to be alone with this man, even if he did have soft hands.
Demeter placed a protective arm around Kore as Hades rose to his feet, he was walking towards them and Kore had the most absurd thought that he might try and follow in his brothers footsteps.
"Please, don't kiss me!" She blurted out before she could stop herself. "I mean it, I don't want you to kiss me!"
Hades froze, he looked startled and Kore was afraid she had offended him, but then she noticed a hint of amusement in his dark eyes – he was laughing at her.
"Kore!" Demeter exclaimed. "What has gotten into you? Forgive her, Aidon. She's new to social interaction."
"F-forgive me, y-your grace." Kore stuttered. She couldn't believe she had just insulted the God of the Underworld. "I-I didn't mean it."
"Then you do want to kiss me?" He questioned, raising an eyebrow. "I must confess, sweet maiden. I'm not the type to force myself on an unwilling partner, especially if she's an innocent girl."
"Kore." Demeter interrupted. "Why don't you go and introduce yourself to some of your cousins. Look! I think I just saw Athena and Artemis at the feasting table."
"Yes." Kore said. She felt like a child as the dark God continued to watch her, she wished he would stop.
"Well, go on." Demeter shooed her away. "You will need the guidance of Goddesses like Artemis and Athena, they're the rare few to hold themselves with dignity."
Kore nodded and turned to make her way over to her cousins. She only hoped they wouldn't find her as simple as Hades seemed to.
"She's a peculiar girl." Hades said as he watched his sister take her place on the dais. "I fear that you've kept her to yourself for far too long. Oh! Don't look at me like that."
"I wasn't looking at you like anything, dear brother." Demeter snapped. She felt as though when it came to Kore she was always on the defence. "I try my best with her and I'm happy at how she's turned out, but if I had my way, she wouldn't be in this godforsaken place."
"You've put her in danger, Deme." Hades said matter-of-factly. "The girl is naïve and petrified of her own shadow."
"No one will touch her." Demeter argued. She would not allow her brother to tell her how to raise her own child. "I will protect her! I am her mother!"
"I know you try your best." He reasoned. "But, she is a pretty little thing that the Gods will take delight in playing with. I've already noticed the way that some of the younger males were staring at her. She's too naïve and you have made her that way."
"I don't need advice from a man who has no children of his own." Demeter snapped back. "Maybe when you have children, Aidon. You might understand what it means to be a parent. I will do anything for my child and the best thing for her is to be kept away from this place."
"Fine." Hades said simply. He would not argue anymore with his sister, he knew there was no point, it would be like trying to convince Zeus that monogamy was a new way of life.
"Forgive me, Aidon." Demeter mumbled. "It's just – I'm fed up with people telling me how I should raise my own child, I know what she needs and it's not to be taken advantage of like I was."
"That was a long time ago."
"Time doesn't erase the damage." Demeter sighed as her eyes rested momentarily on Zeus. "It just allows me to relive it over and over again."
Hades sat beside his sister and placed a gentle hand on top of hers.
"I hate to see you go through this pain, Deme." Hades said. It was difficult for him; he wasn't the best person at giving advice to people. "He isn't worth it and the more you obsess over that waste of flesh the more you damage your daughter's hopes of having a future."
Demeter opened her mouth to argue, but then decided it was best not to. She knew that deep down her brother was only trying to help her.
"I appreciate your words, Aidon." Demeter smiled as she turned her moss coloured eyes to look at him. "If only others could see the kind and loving man that I do."
Kore made her way over to the feasting table, but by the time she got there, Artemis and Athena were already gone, leaving Kore with nothing else to do but eat.
The hall was starting to get rowdy as ambrosia flowed from the bejewelled chalices of the Gods.
She had never seen such wanton displays of abandonment as nymphs draped themselves over Gods like jewellery. It was uncomfortable to witness and Kore wondered if the nymphs felt shame for their actions, but then figured that the wine was a strong factor between being modest and lewd.
The world outside of her little sanctuary was daunting and strange and as she stood by the feasting table, Kore couldn't help but wonder if she should have been more forceful in begging her mother to let her stay home.
There was a small part of Kore that felt shame at the way she was acting, she always thought that she would be more confident around these people and less judgemental, but life was never that simple.
Kore wished she was back home.
It was difficult being an outsider, she knew she didn't belong here and even though she wished she could change herself to suit her current situation, it wasn't that easy.
Why can't I be as confident as I was in my bedroom? She wondered.
Kore relived the many times she would act out meetings with the Gods in her little bedroom and how confident and witty she had been, but playacting and real life were vastly different and the reality of being in a room filled with powerful deities made Kore feel like a mouse in a room inhibited by jungle cats, who would pounce on her if she put a foot wrong.
She felt sickened at her hopelessness and turning towards the table she poured herself a drink. The liquid was a mixture of nectar and honey, which was a favourite of hers and as she sipped of the sugary concoction, she wondered how long she would have to endure this nightmare.
There was a variety of fruits and meats on the table and Kore chose a strange fruit, which had jewel-like stones inside it. She had never seen a fruit like it before, it almost resembled an apple and as she lifted it towards her mouth, she felt someone close behind her.
"You don't want to do that?"
Kore turned to see one of the most beautiful men she had even seen in her life.
"The fruit." He pointed towards the fruit that was a few inches from Kore's mouth. "You don't eat it like that, you'd break your teeth."
He laughed, the most beautiful sound she had ever heard. He had such a rich, melodic voice that sent Kore into a fluster.
"Oh! I didn't realise." She said hopelessly. "I feel so stupid, but I've never had this fruit before."
He continued to laugh as Kore stood frozen, she couldn't stop staring at him and wondered if he thought she was rude in her curiosity, but she couldn't help it, she had never seen anyone like him before.
The man reached for the fruit in Kore's hand and subconsciously, she jumped back. She had never been in close proximity with a man without her mother's comforting presence nearby.
"S-sorry." Kore blushed. "I'm not used to being in the company of men, my mother said you're all monsters."
She laughed, but it was an uneasy one. He probably thought she was insane – like a tiny manhating version of Demeter.
"Don't worry, I don't bite." He smiled, his teeth were straight and white and his full lips made Kore feel things that she had never experienced before. "I was just showing you how you eat them. Here."
He took the fruit from her hands and carefully lifted out the tiny seeds.
"Here, take one." He gestured. "You'll love them."
Kore timidly lifted her hand and quickly grabbed a seed, the less touching the better.
She lifted the seed to her mouth and as soon as she felt the tiny jewel slide down her throat, she couldn't help but think that the man was right, it was the best thing she had ever tasted.
"What do you think?" He asked, his amber coloured eyes watched her carefully. "Aren't they delicious?"
"I think they're my new favourite thing." Kore said as she reach for another seed. "They remind me of cherries or maybe cranberries – I like them."
"Good." He said dusting his hands to get rid of any excess seeds. "Now, what's a beautiful little thing like you doing by herself."
Kore blushed, she had never had a man call her beautiful before and it made her feel like a giddy child, especially when that man was as gorgeous as this fine specimen.
"I'm not very good at social interaction." She confessed, if it were possible Kore believed that her cheeks were the colour of flames. "I tend to embarrass myself. You know, I say the wrong thing."
"Well, you seem to be doing fine now." He said kindly. "You shouldn't worry about what other people think, they don't matter. Anyway, I like you."
"Really? I feel like a child." Kore admitted. "I wish I could be as confident like some of the other Goddesses, they don't care what people think of them and I tell myself I don't either, but I do – I really do and I wish I didn't."
He squeezed her shoulder gently and Kore felt comfort in his kind gesture.
"I mean, I've been standing here for the last few minutes trying to pluck up the courage to speak to my cousins." She pointed in the direction of the two deities. "But, I keep talking myself out of it. I think they might laugh at me."
"They're not like that." The man interjected. "At least, they would see themselves above it. I assume by your robes that you are a virgin Goddess, they would admire you for that alone. You shouldn't be afraid of them."
Kore looked down at her white robes, she had loved them the first time she saw them, but the thought of those robes standing in the way of her and this man annoyed Kore.
"Demeter made me wear them." She said quickly. "I like them, but it was more my mother's idea, she's very protective of me."
"You are a beautiful girl, any mother in her right mind would want to protect you." He agreed. "I'm guessing that's why you want to seek out the virgins."
Kore frowned at his words; she heard the slight change in his voice as though he was condemning them for their virtuous choice.
"Demeter thinks they would make good role models for me and I agree." Kore said defensively. "I'm the maiden of flowers and therefor must remain pure and not allow my mind to be distracted by wicked thoughts, I think my cousin would help me greatly in that task."
He laughed, but it wasn't the cheerful infectious laugher he had offered her earlier, this laugh was full of malice.
"If you think they save themselves for virtuous reasons then you are wrong." He argued. "Athena likes to think she's better than most of the male population put together, but she's wrong. She's just a selfish girl who needs to stop being frigid and let herself loose, maybe then she might smile more and Artemis, she too obsessed with her own hobbies and hunting parties to give the thought of love any meaning."
"You shouldn't talk like that."
"Here, why don't I get you a drink." His voice softened. "Forgive me, I blunt to a fault."
He reached for a jug of ambrosia and gestured for her to hand over her cup, but Kore shook her head.
"No, I'm sorry." Kore confessed. "Mother doesn't allow me to drink ambrosia, she says it's too strong for me."
"Well, what your mother doesn't know won't hurt her." He said. "Besides, if Demeter was that worried about you, she wouldn't have left your side.
"Oh! Well, I suppose one won't hurt." Kore agreed, she looked over to where her mother was talking to Hades. "Although, I only want a small one, I don't want to get too drunk."
"Whatever you say." He laughed as he poured the sparkling liquid into her cup. "You shouldn't be so worried, besides, I'm right beside you."
She lifted the cup to her lips and took tentative sips as she waited nervously for the ambrosia to take effect, which didn't take long.
"So, I hear you're a very good poet." Kore giggled. "I must confess, I think I can sing a tune as good as anybody even the great Apollo."
"Ah! My cover has been blown." He sighed before smirking. "What gave me away and what makes you think I won't punish you for that last remark."
"I wasn't completely sure, but you're like a golden prince." Kore smiled.
"Oh! Really?" He laughed. "Well, then I definitely need to punish you. I can't have you going around telling people that your better at my own profession."
"What are you going to do about?" Kore said drunkenly. "Force me to listen to your harp playing. Now, that would be torture."
"It takes a brave soul to joke about my music capabilities." He whispered as he moved a few inches closer to Kore. "I might have to take you outside and show you what I'm made of."
"Is that an invitation, my lord?" Kore sobered up. She felt her stomach was in knots. "Or a threat?"
"That's for you to decide."
Hades made his way towards the hall doors. He had just finished conversing with his sister and now it was time to deal with his youngest sibling.
The sole purpose for his visit to the Olympian pantheon was to meet his brother and discuss plans about the titan, but things hadn't gone to plan as he was caught up by the many problems of his younger siblings lives.
It was at the corner of his eyes that he noticed his niece, the strange flower maiden and his nephew walking towards the same doors.
She seemed stumble, but Apollo held on to her and they were both giggling like children.
Hades shock his head in disapproval, he knew his sister would find their behaviour abominable, but he reasoned that these two were adults and if Kore wanted to spend her days being flattered by romantic, sunny haired men then so be it.
It was pathetic, but it wasn't his responsibility, he had other more important things to worry about.
A thought entered his mind that Apollo might hurt the girl as he had been engaging himself with one of the nymphs before she came, but then again, she was probably so desperate to get away from her clawing mother that a dim-witted boy like Apollo seemed like a good idea.
Hades pushed the girl from his mind, someone else could deal with her. He had business to tend to, which did not involve a naïve girl and with that he went on full pursuit to find his little brother.
The sooner he got to his brother, the quicker he could get out of this damned place. He had already spent too long in this place than he intended to.
Kore giggled as Apollo poured more ambrosia into her empty cup. She had told him in the hall that she would only have one, but the more she sipped the more her resolve weakened.
They were now in the palace gardens and Apollo delighted Kore when he told her that her mother had designed most of the magnificent structure.
Kore knew her mother was talented and only hoped that with time, she would be able to offer up her skills for a new generation of deities to admire.
Kore closed her eyes as she listened to Apollo play his harp, he was wonderful and when he began to sing, she was lost. Kore couldn't believe that someone could be so talented.
"Y-you are right." Kore stumbled over her words but tried to remain dignified. "I could never sing like that."
She was drunk and although she feared her mother might give her into trouble, she didn't care.
"I-I have n-never heard anyone sing like you." She hiccupped. "I don't s-suppose that anyone has ever told you how g-good you are?"
"Oh! I've been told I'm more than good." He smiled as he sat beside her on the marble bench, moving the harp away from him. "But, it means a lot to me that you like my voice."
He bent down towards her, placing a small kiss on her unsuspecting lips.
"You're so damn beautiful." He whispered. "I've been wanting to kiss those lips since the moment I saw you."
Kore jumped back and rose to her feet.
"What are you doing!?" Kore shouted. "I'm a virgin Goddess, you're not supposed to kiss me."
"I know you wanted me to kiss you." He said. "Don't lie, I could sense it in you and even if I didn't your eyes gave you away."
"Yes, I think you're handsome." Kore admitted. "But, that doesn't mean I want you to kiss me and If I did, you should have at least asked my permission first."
"I want to do more than kiss you." He smirked. "You have no idea the images I've conjured up in my head of you and I."
"Stop!" Kore demanded. How could she have been so stupid. "I don't want to hear it. I want you to leave. Go! Leave me alone!"
"No, you followed me into the gardens." He argued, rising to his feet. "I didn't force you to come with me, you did that all on your own."
"I'm sorry if I mislead you, my lord." She panicked; she didn't want to anger him further. "But, I'm a virtuous woman and I will not be tempted by acts of the flesh."
Kore felt herself blush bright red. She had never been in a situation like this before and wanted to get out of it as quickly as possible.
She turned away and began her march towards the garden doors when felt rough hands grab at her waist.
"Kore!" Apollo yelled. He spun her around to face him and Kore wanted to slap him. "Don't be so stupid, I know you want me. I know you're afraid, but I'll be gentle."
He pulled her close and started sprinkling kisses about her lips, cheeks and throat. Kore felt numb.
"Please." She whispered. "I want you to stop, please stop. I don't want this."
The pressure of the hands on her waist lessened as he stared at her. She noticed the lust in his amber eyes dim down.
"Forgive me." He sighed. "I don't know what came over me, I-I just couldn't help myself. You're so beautiful."
Kore stopped struggling and waited for him to let her go, but when he continued to hold on, she knew that he was playing games with her.
He smiled sweetly at her and Kore hated herself for thinking that she had wanted to kiss those lips.
"Alright, can you let me go now." She said, forcing herself to smile. "I want to hear you sing again."
When he refused to let her go, she felt she had no choice but to meet his atrocious actions with one of her own.
"You little bitch!" Apollo exclaimed as Kore lifted her knee to meet his privates.
He let go of Kore and she made a run for it, but she wasn't fast enough. Apollo grabbed at her hair and pulled her back to him, which made her stumble to the floor.
Kore could feel tears streaming down her face as Apollo got on top of her. He was going to rape her; he was going to rape her and there was nothing she could do to stop it.
"You're a sneaky little bitch aren't you?" He sneered. "If you really wanted to remain a virgin, you would have stayed in the hall. Admit it, you want me."
Kore spat in his face.
"I won't tell anyone about us." He wiped the spittle from his face. "It will be our little secret. See, I can be a nice man."
Kore felt like giving up, he was so much stronger than her.
Terrible thoughts entered her mind that it wouldn't be that bad, he said he would be gentle, but then the horrible feeling of disgust entered her brain and she decided that she didn't want to be like one of those nymphs who allowed the Gods to have their way with them.
Apollo was pulling at her robes, exposing her freckled legs to the humid air. She tried again to push him off her, but he wouldn't budge.
"Please, Apollo." She begged. "You don't want to this. If you want me like you say you do, you could for my hand in marriage, please I would deny you then, but we'd have to speak to my mother first."
"Shut up." He demanded. "I don't want to hear it."
He grabbed one of her hands and drew it down between their bodies. She gasped as she felt him against her fingers.
"Do you feel that." He whispered against her ear. "I want you so much, I want to be inside you."
"Get off her!"
Apollo jumped off her as though he had been struck by lightning, the voice seemed to have startled.
Kore tried to turn her head to see who the voice belonged to, who her saviour was.
Hades the God of the Underworld stood by the garden doors and he had a murderous look on his face.
'Phoebus Apollo." He said icily. "I believe she told you to stop, now go back to the hall or I will happily feed your balls to my dog."
Apollo looked as though he wanted to argue but kept quiet. He looked like a chastised child as he made his way towards the doors, keeping a careful distance between himself and her rescuer.
Kore pulled down the skirts of her dress, relieved that they hadn't ripped or went further up her body. She felt embarrassed that Hades had seen her in such a humiliating position.
She rose to her feet, refusing to look at Hades.
"Are you alright?" He asked. "He didn't hurt you too bad, did he?"
"You don't look fine."
"I was almost raped, your grace." She turned to look at him. "I don't know about you, but I don't feel like smiling after someone tries to force themselves on me."
"Yes, forgive me." He said. "You're right, that was foolish of me."
"Thank you." She offered him a smile.
"For what? You don't have to thank me." He frowned. "Anyone would have stepped in like I did, what Apollo did was wrong."
Kore stared at him and it was in that moment that she realised that he wasn't the evil God she first thought he was. He had stopped her from being violated when others would have watched on in amusement.
Hades walked towards her and offered her his hand, which she did.
"You must be careful next time." He said as he led her towards the garden doors. "Don't be so trusting, there are plenty in this palace who would wish to do you harm."
"I know I may look frightful, but I'm nothing like the men that dwell in the clouds." He said softly. "I mean you no harm, remember my words."
"Yes, your grace." Kore murmured.
When they got to the doors, Kore turned and bowed her head to Hades and thanked him for everything.
"Your grace?" She said. "The first time I saw you, you frightened me. I now realise that I was wrong, you are completely different to what I expected you to be."
She turned towards the doors, not waiting for his response, she was too embarrassed.
If she had looked back, she would have noticed the faint smile on Hades face as she made her way towards the hall.
I hope everyone liked this chapter. It took me forever to go through.