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Hades listened to Lexi's respirations as she slumbered heavily, reassuring him she was made of flesh and blood, and she was his for eternity. Passionate love making will do that, inspire a god to indulge himself in something so completely that he loses his propriety as well as his stamina, although the exhaustion he felt may have been from waking every three hours to tend to a pair of hungry gods.

Hades had no intention of waking Lexi. She needed her sleep before the day got underway. Although Hades had only turned the hourglass once since the underworld had been reunited with Olympus, it was decided Lexi make another attempt at reuniting Rhea's spirit with her body. Zeus was the impetus for that proclamation. While Hades held the same fears Lexi did about the consequences of another failed attempt, there were just as many fears circulating that Rhea's body would not remain in stasis for long.

Hades slipped out of bed and escaped to the bathroom to bathe before the babes woke. During the process, he heard the potent cry of his son, and he expedited his bath, walking into the bedroom in search of his robe. Dressed only in blue satin panties, Lexi smiled at him as she stood over Ely's crib to pick him up.

"If you're trying to entice me back into bed, it's working," she said as she gave Hades' body a seductive one over.

"I could say the same of you." Hades kissed Lexi's cheek before peeking into the crib of his daughter. Elm blinked up at him with lively eyes, and he lifted her to nuzzle the swath of dark hair on her head. She smelled of Lexi.

"The babies seem to have synchronized their schedule for your benefit, my love," he said.

"Or Ely has decided to synchronize everyone's schedule."

Lexi swiped her robe off the back of a chair and Hades helped her tug it over her shoulders while she maneuvered Ely from arm to arm. This had his cries turning to coos as he enjoyed the jostling, but it also appeared to trigger Lexi's breasts, which began to leak. Once Lexi had settled into a chair and both babes were under her arms, Hades walked to the speaking tube, calling down to the nymphs with a request for chamomile tea.

"My nerves are fine," Lexi said, reading Hades' mind. "I gave myself a pep talk during the babies' last feeding."

"I'm glad to hear it. You're still welcome to join me in a cup."

While Hades dressed at his wardrobe, the tea arrived, and Sella stayed to tidy up, awaiting the moment she could avail herself to Lexi.

"I think I'll bring Ely with us to Elysium," Lexi said as she bounced Ely at her shoulder. "He woke up grumpy."

"When does he not wake up grumpy?" Hades offered.

"Sella, would you mind taking care of Elm while Hades and I are out?" Lexi asked as she placed Elm into Sella's waiting arms. "And give her a bath, please. She smells like breast milk."

"I think she smells just fine." Hades buttoned his shirt as he walked to Lexi's chair, and a moment later, Ely was being handed to him with instructions that he choose an appropriate outfit for a jaunt away from the palace.

Ink and Lisbon were waiting at the breakfast table, and Lisbon quickly scooped Ely out of Hades' arms, although he would have been fine eating one-handed. Conversation ensued and breakfast was consumed, after which Ink saddled up Rupert for a trip to the gates, and Hades piloted Lexi's chariot to Elysium.

The journey transpired smoothly, punctuated by the joyful sounds of a contented son. Lexi had placed him face-out in his carrier, which resolved his grumpy mood. When the bridge to Elysium appeared on the horizon, Hades immediately recognized the two broad-shouldered gods at the foot of it. Poseidon and Heracles stood protectively in front of Rhea's bier, and when they glimpsed the chariot, each took hold of the ends and carried it over the bridge to the other side. Had they been apprehensive about delivering Rhea's body to Elysium?

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