Cooking Lessons

“Smash them, do not whip them! They are potatoes, not a torture victim, Hades!” Persephone could hear the heavily-accent voice of Milan in the dining room. She raised a  curious brow as she pushed the door opened to the kitchen where she found Hades and Milan  standing at the kitchen island. Milan lingered on Hades’ right, aged face contorted into a  frustrated scowl as Hades stood over a bowl, potato masher in hand, looking just as irked. He had  shed his suit jacket, rolled up the sleeves of his button up, and wore a white apron.  “I am doing the best I can given your instruction, Milan,” Hades snapped.  “What are you implying?” 

“You said to mash them, I’m mashing them!”  

“I said smash! There is a difference!”  

Hades threw the potato masher—one minute, it was in his hand, the next, it had come to a  spot at Persephone’s feet.  

“There is no difference between smash and mash!” he growled, turning on the head cook.  “Smash is rough, mash is smooth!” Milan exclaimed, throwing up his hands.  Persephone had never seen any of Hades’ staff become frustrated with him before, save  

Hecate, and she hardly counted as help. She bent to pick up the masher Hades had thrown.  “If you say smash one more time—” Hades warned, his eyes furiously alight. “Smash! Smash! Smash!” Milan stomped his foot for emphasis and Persephone almost  

burst into laughter, but Hades lifted his hand, and she felt his magic stir. She took that moment to  make her presence known by clearing her throat. The two froze, whipping their heads around.  “What’s going on here?”

Hades dropped his hand, and the two turned fully toward her, hands behind their backs.  They reminded her of children who had been caught stealing cookies straight from the pan.  “Nothing,” they said in unison.  

“Really?” Persephone asked, holding up the potato masher she had snatched from the  floor. “Because it looks like you’re taking cooking lessons, Hades.”  

The two just stared, and then she narrowed her eyes.  

“And being incredibly rude to Milan.” 

The cook glanced at Hades, bushy brows narrowing in contempt, and then bowed to  Persephone. “Thank you, my lady.” 

“He is the expert. You should really listen—after all, you were the one who asked for  cooking lessons.” 

“I did not ask,” Hades paused, frustrated. “I thought you were practicing.” “I’m on my way now,” she said, approaching the kitchen island.  

“Then why are you here?” 

She raised a brow at Hades’ question, and she had to admit, it surprised her a little. He had  never been unhappy to see her. She had come to kiss him goodbye before heading off to see  Hecate, and now she hated that she regretted her decision.  

“Saving Milan, apparently,” she snapped.  

At her tone, Hades expression changed—going from frustration to a flicker of hurt.  “And for that, I am grateful,” Milan said, placing his hand over his heart, as he inclined  his head. Hades scowled.  

She smiled at him before placing the potato masher on the counter. She met Hades’ gaze. 

“I came to kiss you goodbye,” she said. “But I think I’d rather avoid your mouth for  today. It hasn’t been very kind.” 

Hades’ lips twitched. “Oh, but darling, I’m certain you prefer when it is wicked.” Persephone was not amused—how could he be so arrogant in the face of her anger?  Milan coughed, and Hades turned toward him. “A moment?” 

“Of course,” Milan said, though he glared at Hades as he spoke. Then he turned to  Persephone and bowed again. “My Lady.” 

He exited the kitchen, leaving them alone—the island between them.  

“I’m sorry,” he said, and he sounded sincere. It was progress given Hades did not always offer an apology, or acknowledge when he was wrong.  

“You should apologize to Milan.” 

“Right now, I am apologizing to you.” 

She stared. He knew what she wanted—an explanation. Slowly, Hades was becoming  accustomed to explaining himself. He took a breath and lowered his eyes to the counter.  “I…was trying to surprise you,” he admitted, voice low, as if he feared the Fates  themselves might hear what he had to say.  

Persephone’s brows rose. “Surprise me?” 

“With dinner.” 

Something really warm unfurled in her chest.  

“I’m not…good…at not being good at things,” he kept going. “And I…really wanted this  to be good.” 

“Hades,” Persephone whispered his name and it drew his gaze. “Why did you want to  surprise me?”

His brows drew together, as if he didn’t understand why she would ask such a question as  he said, “Because…I love you.” 

She smiled. “And that’s why, no matter what, the dinner will be perfect.” 

Hades stared, and after a moment, his eyes darkened. She recognized that look—it was  predatory, and the air grew thick with desire. Persephone took that as her queue to leave—she  had promised Hecate they would practice, and she couldn’t count the number of times she’d been  late because of Hades. 

As she backed away toward the door, the God of the Dead came around the island.  “Where are you going?” he asked, gliding toward her. 

“I have lessons,” she said. “Hecate is expecting me.” 

“She will understand if you are late,” Hades said, helpfully.  

“But, as I understand it, you have a dinner to prepare,” she replied. 

“Do I? The surprise is ruined now.” 

“It is hardly ruined,” Persephone scoffed. “I am excited, my expectations are high, and  I am eager to taste your….” She couldn’t help it. Her eyes dipped down his body, eyeing the  growing bulge of his trousers. “Masterpiece.” 

Just as she finished, her back hit the door. Hades arms cage her, braced against the frame.  His lips slanted over hers, but did not touch as he whispered, “Are you now?” “Yes,” she breathed.  

“Then I will take pleasure from watching you indulge,” he promised.  

There was a brief moment of silence as they stood together, wavering between parting  ways and coming together. If he closed the distance, pressed his lips to hers, Persephone knew  she would yield. He could take her anywhere in this kitchen—feast upon her body as much and 

as long as he wanted. She would let him sate her and when he could no longer move, she would  devour him.  

“Persephone?” Her name was a rough growl.  


“If you don’t leave for lessons now, I’m going to fuck you.” 

She swallowed hard. “Is that supposed to scare me away?” 


A second more past, and just as Hades went to reach for her, Persephone pushed through the door, laughing as she went.  

Hades let out a growl. “Persephone…” 

A thrill shivered through her at the sound of her name on his lips. She would hear it again  later, after dinner, as he sheathed himself inside her.  

“I’ll see you at dinner,” she said. “Save room for dessert.” 

To Be Continued…