297K 9.2K 1.1K

Hades did not have to know what happened in the dining room between Lexi and James. In fact, he preferred not to know. He left the ball in James's court, and if the boy didn't know what to do with it, he would have no chance keeping up with Lexi. She possessed the spirit of a mustang, and her mate would need to equal her in determination and self-assurance, but with a kind and patient manner. Someone to tame her without breaking her. 

Hades had become rather an expert on human nature, and he was well acquainted with matters of the heart. Despite the complications of pursuing Lexi's affections, his heart would not let him give up. He very much wished to be part of Lexi's world. If she still wanted him.

When Lexi arrived at the billiard room, she wore a coy smile, and Hades imagined it was meant for him. When he realized she was walking his way, he downed a third of his gin and tonic. The sting woke him up, and the rush gave him courage. "You look like you're enjoying your birthday, so far," he said.

"Very much." Lexi glanced at his glass but said nothing about the time of day. "Would you like to try your luck with me at the billiard table?"

"I have a feeling I'm being suckered again, but I cannot think of another soul I would like to get beaten by."

Hades was no hack at the game, having perfected his skills in his own billiard room, and he rarely said no to a challenge, especially when it involved a beautiful female. Lexi got the music playing. Something modern that had her hips swaying, and she shimmied across the room, pulling everyone she passed into an animated dance. Childlike laughter filled the space, and the energy around Lexi became electric, spreading throughout the room faster than a wildfire.

When Lexi weaved her way towards Hades, her sly grin told him he was destined to indulge her folly, and he readily answered the call of her outstretched hand. The bass thumped and his heart pumped as he spun her into his chest and back out again. Their hands parted and Lexi drifted away, whirling across the floor like a maple seed caught in a breeze.

Hades couldn't help thinking of Persephone and how much she enjoyed dancing to lively tunes. She would often entertain him with a jig when he played his violin, although more and more she forgot to do it. What would his life look like with two females to cater to? He had attempted it before, without long-term success. Surely, Lexi's tenacity and robust self-esteem would help her flourish in the role. Would it be selfish of him to consider the possibility?

In that moment, Lexi's radiant smile came into view, as if Gaia herself had delivered the message, and Hades was pulled enthusiastically towards the billiard table. "You're an amazing dancer." Her words rushed out as she caught her breath. Then she moved in close, speaking only to his ear. "I wonder what else you can do with your body?"

He lifted his eyebrows, and Lexi's face burned like a summer sunset as she hustled to the billiard balls and started racking them up. Hades casually slipped behind a chair to hide his arousal. He knew Z had his eyes on them. The scowl was there as soon as Lexi pulled Hades onto the dance floor. And Hades hadn't expected Lexi to test him quite so much. But he had himself to blame for that. She was a sensual time bomb, and he had triggered the countdown.

"I take it you've played billiards before?" Lexi said as she made the break, using the second ball technique to spray them perfectly across the felt.

"I've enjoyed my share of games. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am much better on this green than I am on the living version." Hades rubbed his hand across the cloth as he offered her a smirk. She ate up the challenge hungrily, gracing him with a wily grin.

"Good. So am I."

Although Lexi had him backed up to the ropes a couple of times, Hades managed to beat her their first game. She immediately insisted on a second, and when she got her win, Dion stepped in to try his luck against her. Their playful banter never stopped the whole ten minutes it took Lexi to sweep Dion resoundingly under the rug. Despite his loss, Dion seemed happy just to have his sister speaking to him.

Lunch was delivered upstairs, keeping the party on the course of Lexi's choosing, and by mid-afternoon, she had accrued an impressive nine wins and only two losses. She gave up the second loss to her gloating godfather, which took a toll on her enthusiasm. But she rallied with a suggestion that everyone don their bathing suits and make for the heated pool.

The music followed them outside, and the deck's wet bar was quickly set up. Although Hades was fully prepared to see Lexi in a bathing suit, when she arrived in a white bikini with fringe that dangled in front of her assets, tempting one to have a peek, he had to take cover in the water. 

A volleyball net was set up across the pool and the competition continued, pitting Lexi, Dionysus, and Hades against Z, Apollo, and Mnemosyne. After much flagrant cursing and a near drowning when Dionysus accused Apollo of cheating, towels were dispensed, and everyone lounged around the deck drinking wine.

Lexi made herself comfortable against Hades's crossed legs as they shared a chaise next to Artemis and Apollo. While the conversation had everyone duly occupied, Hades kept a close watch on Lexi's hand, which had begun drifting across his stomach as she talked. She didn't seem aware of the direction her hand was going, but he was, and when her fingers dipped down to the waistband of his swim shorts, he took hold of her wrist. Her wide-eyed response suggested she had been oblivious to her actions, although she may have been reacting to getting caught.

"Not that I wouldn't enjoy having you continue what you were doing," he said. "I suggest we find a more private venue for it."

"That's an excellent idea." A wicked smile tweaked Lexi's lips, and she spent a moment staring at his bare chest. Or was she looking at something a little lower? Hades brought her hand to his mouth, distracting her from discovering what she had done to him, and as he kissed her fingers, a large, self-important shadow appeared beside them to block out the sun.

"Lexi, your birthday dinner is being prepared," Z said in a strangled voice. "You should have your guests retire inside to prepare."

"Okay." Lexi slipped her hand out of Hades's grasp and tucked it into her lap, while Z glanced pointedly at their close proximity.

"Before you join them however," he went on. "I would like to have a word with you...in private."

PLAYLIST SONG: In The Air by Morgan Page, Sultan, Ned Shepard and BT feat. Angela McCluskey

Lexi's Undoing {Book 1}Read this story for FREE!