“Why did I agree to this?” Hades mutters.
He sits beside Persephone Rosi. He is dressed in a black suit from his personal clothing line. His hair is slick and tied back, and his jaw darkened by a perpetual five o’clock shadow.
Persephone beams at him and teases, “You lost a bet, remember?”
She swears a bright pink dress from Aphrodite’s Spring Collection. Her hair is a mass of bouncing curls and falls down her back in golden waves.
“I expected your terms to be far more…predicable,” Hades replies. Despite his sullen tone, his gaze is soft and loving.
“That’s what you get for assuming!” Persephone chimes happily, her bright eyes alight.
INTERVIEWER: feels completely invisible, clears throat Thanks for joining me today.
PERSEPHONE: Of course!
INTERVIEWER: Congratulations on your engagement.
PERSEPHONE: Oh, thank you.
INTERVIEWER: Have you started planning for the big day?
PERSEPHONE: laughs I am pretty certain the souls began planning the moment I fell into the Styx.
INTERVIEWER: Speaking of engagements, what’s your idea of a good marriage? Hades and Persephone exchange a look
PERSEPHONE: What do you think makes a good marriage?
HADES: smirks It’s a lot of things, isn’t it? If I had to choose what is most important to me, I would say communication. We learned that the hard way, didn’t we?
HADES: And you, darling? What is most important to you? PERSEPHONE: Trust because it is so multifaceted, isn’t it?
HADES: his smile widens, showing his teeth It is multifaceted. It’s the thread that connects us— influences all of our decisions.
PERSEPHONE: lowers her gaze to her hands where they are folded in her lap I did not trust you enough in the beginning.
HADES: presses a finger beneath her chin, forcing her gaze to his You were taught to mistrust me and I did not help by keeping secrets. Do not berate yourself, my darling.
INTERVIEWER: fidgets in seat, feeling like they, clears throat What are you most proud of about your life?
PERSEPHONE: Oh, so many things—how can I chose?
PERSEPHONE: glares What are you most proud of?
HADES: raises brows Oh, most definitely you.
PERSEPHONE: No, not me—choose something else.
HADES: Why? The question is what are you most proud of about your life? My answer is you.
PERSEPHONE: tries not to smile You are impossible.
HADES: And you? You haven’t answered the question?
PERSEPHONE: is quiet for a moment If I had to choose, it would be all the times I stood up to my mother because that was, ultimately, how I was able to live. Hades and Persephone share a meaningful look.
INTERVIEWER: What are you most ashamed of in your life?
PERSEPHONE: swallows and looks away
HADES: reaches for her hand You do not have to answer if you do not wish to, my darling.
PERSEPHONE: No, I’m sure everyone already knows. I am most ashamed of what I did to my best friend. A long stretch of silence
PERSEPHONE: looks at Hades
HADES: addresses Persephone I don’t suppose you will tell me I don’t have to answer?
PERSEPHONE: grinning Oh, no, I want to hear this.
HADES: I’m most ashamed of my past.
PERSEPHONE: frowning What started it all? The shame?
HADES: teasing Have you suddenly become the interviewer?
PERSEPHONE: I’m only curious.
HADES: Perhaps we will have our own interview later. You may ask me as many questions as you please.
PERSEPHONE: suspicious In exchange for what?
HADES: smiles wickedly
INTERVIEWER: clears throat, loudly If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
PERSEPHONE: I think I would choose Athena. She is the goddess of so many things—wisdom and courage and law and justice, strategic warfare and mathematics.
HADES: You are a goddess of many things.
PERSEPHONE: arches a brow Don’t patronize me.
HADES: I would never. Athena was not always the goddess of many things, she obtained new titles as she lived. You shall, too.
PERSEPHONE: gaze softens And you? Who would you spend the day with?
HADES: opens mouth to speak
PERSEPHONE: Don’t say me.
HADES: raises brow Growing arrogant, my darling?
HADES: I suppose I would choose the Goddess Nyx.
PERSEPHONE: raises brows Why?
HADES: shrugs I supposed I would ask her why she spawned the Fates and ask her to take them back.
PERSEPHONE: presses hand over her mouth in an attempt to not giggle
INTERVIEWER: How do you handle stress?
PERSEPHONE: I like to go for a walk or play with the dogs. Oh, or ride the horses.
PERSEPHONE: elbows Hades again You’re impossible!
INTERVIEWER: coughs and stares intensely at notes Let’s see here…Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?
PERSEPHONE: Uh, no.
HADES: Do you suffer from a reoccurring nightmare? If so, what happens in it?
PERSEPHONE: No. she looks at Hades
PERSEPHONE: You suffer in your sleep.
HADES: frowns Less so when you are near.
PERSEPHONE: What do you dream?
HADES: I dream of darkness.
INTERVIEWER: What is your darkest childhood memory?
HADES: reaches for Persephone’s hand and glares at interviewer
INTERVIEWER: swallows and thinks: I am going to Tartarus for this
PERSEPHONE: There are so many. I think what stays with me most was watching her beat nymphs—my only friends—within an inch of their life. The first time, it was because I hand wandered a little too far from their view, the second time she was just channeling her anger.
HADES: I was not born a child.
INTERVIEWER: Okay, something a little more lighthearted.
HADES: more glaring
INTERVIEWER: Is there a secret spot you like to retreat to? If there is, why that spot? Hades and Persephone exchange a look
PERSEPHONE: If we told you, it wouldn’t be a secret.
INTERVIEWER: If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
PERSEPHONE: I would probably do what I already do on the weekends — explore the Underworld and spend time with the souls in Asphodel and Elysium.
HADES: looks at Persephone Stay in bed.
PERSEPHONE: elbows him in the side
HADES: Snatches her hands and presses them to his lips before releasing her
INTERVIEWER: clears throat Okay, well, that’s all the questions I have. Anything either of you would like to add?
PERSEPHONE: starts to speak
HADES: No. stands and brings Persephone with him Darling, I believe you asked to bargain?
PERSEPHONE: a slow smile spreads across her face, and her eyes darken
INTERVIEWER: Do you think I’m going to Tartarus?