“You came back!”

“I said I would,” Demeter said dropping to her knees to loosen the restraints.

“I know, I just imagined the worst.”

“You really shouldn’t,” Demeter said rising and offering her hand to help the now former captive up from the floor of her cell. “It’s self-defeating.”

Lapin looked like a mere child in the dimness of the cell. He was frowning as he held on to the goddess’ hand.. “Where are they? Are they close?”

“I already told you not to worry about it.” Demeter took a breath that she hoped wasn’t too shaky. “I took care of it.”

She led the young god out of the cell and into a long hall and paused for a second before she opened the heavy door. Moonlight spilled in. “Go on, you’re safe now.”

The young god took a hesitant step forward into the free air. He turned back to look at Demeter before he shifted into a tawny hare and scampered away.

Demeter closed her eyes and willed her hands to be clean of the blood stains only she could see. She let out a breath and opened her eyes.

They were still red.

Demeter dropped to her knees and wept. She prayed that the cleansing silver light of the moon would make her whole again.