I got back up to the top layer of the Underworld and found, not another spirit awaiting me, but the young goddess Persephone. She stood proudly before me, her long brown hair pull back into a bun with a braided headband like traditional Greecian style. She smiled her perfect theeth at me. "Nice to see you again, Charon."
"The same to you, my lady." I held my hand out to her and helped her into the boat. "Down to see Hades?"
She nodded and took her seat. I rowed her away, down towards Hades on the lowest layer in hell. We didn't speak to each other for a while but finally Persephone got tired of the deafening silence.
"I wish you could see summer. It's really beautiful. I just wish it lasted longer."
I nodded, unsure of how to respond to her comment. I'd never left the underworld. Never seen even a peak of sunlight. I'd been trapped down here for thousands of years. "How is your mother?"
"Well, everytime I see here she's so happy because I'm back. I wish I could see her after I leave and know what she goes through. Zues told me she makes the worst snowstorms and everything happen when I'm gone, but I don't even know what snow is." She look up at me and squinted her eyes, trying to see past my hood to my face. "Do you?"
I shook my head. "I've never seen it and probably never will."
"Take off your hood."
"You would run away from me."
She snorted. "Unlikely. I've nowhere to run."
Good point but i still wasn't taking it off. No one besides Hades and the gate man had been me without my hood. My face was scarred and disformed and if anyone saw it they would never look at me again. Hades hardly ever looked at my face when my cloak was off or my hood was down. The gate man was kind enough to pretend it didn't bother him but I knew it did.
"What are you thinking of Charon?" Persephone asked.
"You should already know the answer to that, my lady."
"I'm trying not to be rude and press into your thoughts."
I laughed, its sound echoing off the rock walls around us. "You should get your husband to follow in your footsteps." I stopped the boat. "Speaking of your husband, we're here."
I got out of the boat and helped Peresephone out. "I want you to escort me to Hades."
What was with her and the strange requests today? "I'm not allowed in Hades private quarters."
"Rubish." She placed her hand on the crease of my elbow. "Lets go."
I glanced back at my boat but went along with her. I learned long ago that you never say no to a goddess. She can make bad things happen.
Cerberus, Hades three headed dog, sprung awake as he heard us coming. All three heads started barking loudly and, were he not chained to the wall, I'm positive he would've had us for lunch.
"Oh hush Cerberus." Persephone ordered. "Sit."
Surprisingly, he did as she ordered.
"Now lay down."
"Good boy." she released my arm and walked over to him the started scratching the middle heads ear. His tounge flopped out the side of his mouth and he started panted. "Who's a good boy? You are! Yes you are!" Persephone said then kissed his giant snout.
"Persephone be carefull!" I called.
"Oh he's not going to do anything. He's just a big softie." She came back over to me. "I'll bring you a steak later Cerberus."
All three of his head lifted up at the mention of steak. Hades didn't feed that dog nearly enough.
"Come on Charon." She pulled me towars Hades room and I started getting nervous. When Hades saw me he'd beat me. Or do something worse. We reached the door and I stepped back.
"I should go now."
"No stay here Charon." Persephone knocked on the door. "You'll be fine."
I swallowed and stayed a foot a so away from her just to be safe. the door flew open and there stood Hades. He wore all black and his shoulder length black hair was pulled back into an elegent ponytail. A somewhat smile spread across his face.
"Persephone, welcome home."
"Thank you, dear."
Hades kissed her and started to turn away until he saw me. "What are you doing here, slave?"
"I invited him to escort me here." Persephone stepped up to my rescue.
"I told you he's not allowed back here Persephone!" Hades reached into his room and grabbed his whip. I started to take off my cloak but Persephone stopped me.
A sneer crossed hades face then was replaced by a sly smile. "You're right, my love. I won't beat him." My mouth fell open. He was kidding, right? "I have a better punishment in mind."
Yep, I saw that coming.
"Come in Charon." Hades went into his room and gestured for me to follow. A knot formed in my stomach. What was he up to? "Come one. Now."
I went into the room but refused to look at anything for fear of that whip. "You stand here." Hades moved me to where he wanted me. Right at the end of the bed. I suddenly understood what was happening and the knot in my stomach grew even tighter. Hades pulled Persephone onto his bed and undressed her. She groaned and started to undress him as well. I couldn't watch this...
I looked away and clamped my eyes shut but I couldn't block out the noise. This was torture. Hades was only doing this because he knew I could never have sex. I could never have a woman. I would never know love.
And Hades was loving reminding me of that.