From the "Sharing Delilah" Universe:
Delilah has everything and somehow came out as Witch Queen after all her trials. Take a glimpse inside her happily ever after and prepare yourself for another chapter from the steamy dream team between the trio of the New Moon pack as we take a bite into what's to come; and what has already passed.
Age Rating: 18+
Aurora made a face, and Rowan laughed, which made me smile as well.
Seth was running drills with the majority of the pack, while Cole cleaned up the kitchen to let me do bedtime with the kids. It hadn’t been going how I had hoped, though.
“What do you mean he kidnaps her? Then she’s just, like, somehow okay with being his wife? That’s as bad as Beauty and the Beast with its romanticized Stockholm syndrome!” Aurora shrieked.
Definitely not going how I had hoped.
“Can’t you just enjoy a good love story?” Rowan asked, grinning like a fool.
Tonight, I was once again teaching my children stories about deities. We often went over different godly figures, as far and wide as they went.
While Aurora usually asked for stories about Nyx, Anubis, Ra, or occasionally the Three Fates, Rowan was more of a fan of pretty much any death god. But the Aztec gods were his favorite.
Tonight, he had requested a story about Hades, and I had wondered if it might pique Aurora’s interest since Persephone had become one of my favorites since meeting Linda.
Even though a lot of Linda’s foresight at the time had to do with a spell her coven had cast on her, even now she seemed to still have a sliver of that power left. A power that escaped me, the Witch Queen.
Of course, sharing valuable stories traded among witches with my children was pointless if they continued to bicker or sweat these kinds of details. These stories could not be found in books.
Perhaps Persephone was a bad place to start.
“She was the maiden of spring. It differs between versions of the tale, but all of them certainly say they met in a garden, and he took her to the Underworld.
“It’s not like she couldn’t leave; there were stipulations that let her leave, but she always had to return within a certain amount of time to the Underworld. So, you can’t really say it’s kidnapping,” Rowan pointed out.
Aurora remained unsatisfied, deciding that Hades had to be the enemy. Even in her eight-year-old mind, she already seemed to dislike boys. This story didn’t seem to help with that.
“If he was so cruel to her and wanted the worst for her, why would he give her a ring of protection?” I asked softly, the words bringing both pairs of eyes back to me.
“A ring of protection?” Cole joined us in the living room and overheard my words.
I felt a blush creeping up my cheeks.
Even after several years of marriage and many discussions, it was difficult to share things that were supposed to stay with other witches.
There were still some things I would never breathe a word about out loud, but even sharing day-to-day activities with someone who hadn’t actively grown up within our community was both different and highly challenging at times.
“This is not in the books,” I admitted, trying not to glare as he sat on the arm of the sofa.
Cole wasn’t quite as massive as Seth, but he was large enough to screw up the whole arm with his body weight again. This time, though, I would make them pay to replace it instead of using magic.
Using magic for selfish reasons when they just didn’t learn was a waste of energy on so many levels.
“When Persephone first came to the Underworld, Hades was afraid for her safety. So, he forged a ring that would protect her wherever she traveled within the Otherworld.”
Turning his head slightly in confusion, Cole made a face, one I understood greatly.
When I spoke to him about the Overworld, Otherworld, and the Nevernever, he thought of them as three different places in addition to the Underworld. The thing was, though, we actually had no idea how they were connected.
The realm of the Fae and the gods eluded us because it was a land of fantasy and magic that only touched the surface of our world, feeding us as we fed it. Our magic was somehow different yet similar.
It was a place where time was sometimes timeless and where land and territory could change so much from one step to another that it was like crossing through a portal in a game.
“Dad thinks you’re lying,” Aurora said. Nothing escaped her. She had always been very keen on my relationship with both her fathers, from around the age of five.
She would pay close attention, noting how our relationship was very different from that of others.
Rolling my eyes, I stood up and walked over to the bookcase I kept in the living room that was filled with my old spell books.
I picked one out; it had been my mother’s, and I had finally gotten it from her about a week ago. It was hard to continue to say no to the Witch Queen when it came to family heirlooms like this.
She still hadn’t come to see her grandchildren, though. None of my family had… But it was better this way.
The book contained a sketch of the ring. It was crafted from a black material and looked a lot like a vine or knot with skeletal fingers encasing a gem. Specifically, a ruby. The sketch was dated 635 AD and simply titled “Persephone’s ring.”
“That has to be fake,” Cole said with awe, getting off the couch to take a closer look. Even Aurora and Rowan had already come over to inspect it.
“Is that even the right timeline? I mean, when did they start worshiping her?” Cole asked.
I sighed, closing the book, not even wanting to get into timelines and gods. Cole was the biggest skeptic, whereas Seth went along with things a bit more easily.
Trying to explain to Cole that if gods are gods, they are beyond time, and convincing him how it could later be labeled for what they believed it was… Well.
Without dead witches coming to life, it would take way too much energy to try and prove a skeptic wrong. So I saved my story for a later date. Sometimes, it was just better to let things lie.
“All right. Bedtime,” I said, making Cole chuckle. He knew full well how annoyed I was.
Rowan moaned, only wanting to hear more to stay up, but Aurora was already skipping off to her bedroom at the end of the house.
By the time they were out of the room, Cole’s arms were wrapped around my hips as I tucked the book safely away. “Mad at me?”
“I can’t be mad. You ask questions. Questions are good,” I admitted begrudgingly, already a little less mad as he began to trail kisses up and down my shoulder.
“I still want to hear your story.”
“Mhmm,” I replied, closing the case as I curled my other arm around to run a hand under his shirt and into his waistband.
I pulled him closer to me. “I think you’re lying.”
“Oh, I’m definitely lying. I couldn’t care less about another woman right now.”
“Is Seth home?”
“Out in the woods,” Cole replied, nibbling on my earlobe. “I have a fun game in mind. Do you want to play?”
This perked up my inner wolf who, for the most part, stayed quiet.
She seemed to enjoy being a witch and mother as much as I did, content to stay within and nurture others. Times like this, though, sounded like a challenge. “What did you have in mind?”
“He’s on his way home. If you can run to him in time, we’ll both fuck you.”
“In time?” I asked confusedly, turning around as I pulled myself out of his arms.
Cole’s eyes were already shifting, the wolf in him starting to come forth as he grinned down at me.
“Run, run, run, little wolf, before I come to gobble you up first.”