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“My parents named me after the warrior Perseus in hopes I’d grow up to be brave and strong.” He sighed rubbing his neck awkwardly, “I’d grown up with stories of the gods I just didn’t believe them.”
“Tada, boy weren’t you shocked as shit to see her.” Kharon muttered sarcastically, “Now that story time is over, let’s get back to that list.”
“No one is stopping you from reading your little list grouchy old boat guy,” I said dismissively, “I would, however, like to hear more from Perseus.”
“Would you stop calling me an old boat guy?” Kharon growled in my direction, “You are beginning to push your luck too far.”
“I prefer Percy,” Perseus piped up as he stepped toward me.
I watched Kharon narrow his eyes at the boy but said nothing. He turned back to the crowd and lifted his list to his face. I raised an eyebrow at his weird behaviour but chose to remain silent. I motioned for Perseus to follow me as I made my way up the beach toward my castle, I wasn’t the kind of girl to take a strange man to my bedchambers but I did want a bit more privacy to speak to the youth. Ares was the reason I’d been overpowered by children and sentenced damnation, if he had anything to do with this boy being here then I wanted to know why. I sat down on the stairs into my home and waited as the boy did the same, he suddenly seemed rather nervous.
“What did you do for Ares to sentence you to damnation?” I asked, placing my hands in my lap.
“There was a girl at my college, the kind of girl some guys dream about. She had blond hair, a great body with an overly pretty face but she had the personality of a stone. Although that could be an insult to stones…” he paused looking at me.
I gave him a little laugh and raised an eyebrow, “What does this have to do with Ares?”
“I’m getting there,” he sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, “So this girl has all the boys on the end of her little finger. I end up being paired with her for a class and would you know it, she takes offense that I'm not hitting on her and tells her huge ass boyfriend. Here I am thinking I'm going to get the shit kicked out of me by this overgrown meathead and next thing I know I'm literally in hell.”
“This blond girl, she didn’t happen to be Aphrodite did she?” I asked with a sigh and rolled my eyes.
“Yeah, but how was I supposed to know that Di was short for Aphrodite?” he asked with a frown, “So Ares appears before me in all his might while I'm at band practice and declares that I shall be damned for my crime. I didn’t have an idea what he was talking about.”
I stifled a laugh at the way he described the whole situation and shook my head. How petty had those children gotten in the years that I’d been trapped down here? Had Ares really damned a boy because Aphrodite had thrown a tantrum? Of all my nieces she was the most spoiled and stuck up but to damn a human boy over something so trivial as not proclaiming her beauty. I shook my head again as I turned to the boy sitting across from me, hazel eyes staring almost through me.
“Okay well, there is good news and bad news. While I can’t do anything to Ares as much as I would like to, I'm sure I can get Cerberus to let you out of here.” I said getting to my feet, “He’s really so sweet and understanding.”
He glanced toward the beastly creature I fondly spoke of and his face conveyed his disbelief, “I'm sure he’s a delight.”
“Come on, let’s go and speak to Cerberus,” I said reaching for his hand.
The boy grasped my hand and let me pull him to his feet. He followed me as I made my way over to the three-headed guardian of hell with a look of worry on his face. Cerberus lifted his demonic head to look at us, red eyes flashing as they ran over the length of Perseus. His middle head followed shortly after, tilting to the side in a silent question. I was a few steps away from the beast when Perseus pulled me to a stop with his hand in my own.
“What happens to you when I leave?” he asked quietly.
“I will stay here,” I said, tilting my head to the side, “Zeus would never allow Cerberus to free me.”
“You’ll be all alone?” he asked with a frown.
“I suppose so; don’t you wish to return to your home?” I asked pulling on his hand.
We’d barely taken a step when Perseus pulled me to a stop again, inches from where Cerberus stood looking as confused as I felt. I stared at the boy with hazel eyes as he stared back at me. What could make him pause this way? Who wouldn’t want to escape hell if given the chance? I couldn’t seem to understand what was going through his mind as he chewed on his bottom lip thoughtfully and let out a quiet sigh.
“I can’t leave you here all alone.” He said quietly, his fingers lacing through my own, “I can’t let you suffer anymore.”
“I don’t understand,” I whispered, glancing down at our joined hands.
“I’m saying that I’m going to stay here.” he said stepping closer to me, “You won’t be lonely anymore, Hadie.”