tagNonHumanThe Making of a Goddess Ch. 01

The Making of a Goddess Ch. 01

byzephrbabe©

Bent over the supine form, the moon cast his silhouette in silver and ice. He leaned back from the woman who had mysteriously appeared in front of his destrier, taking in her features by Diana’s light. She was unconscious, her dark lashes resting against high cheekbones. Her face was pale- too pale for women of this region; she must be a Northern woman. He registered this, but noted with a frown that her hair was nearly black, unlike the fairness of those northern women.

He looked a long time at her mouth, the rosy lips seemed petal-soft and tempting. He leaned down to her, intending a tiny taste; her breath whispered against his cheek.

He stood abruptly and, without effort, took her up, and placed her on his war-horse, noting appreciatively the way her shift draped over her lush backside. He mounted behind her, placing a large hand in the small of her back to keep her in place.

And the man took the reins in his gauntleted hand, and nudged his horse in the direction of home.

The only thing left on the ground after man, woman and beast disappeared was a pair of horseshoe-shaped crescents of molten rock.

***

Ariadne jerked up in bed, breathing heavily. What a dream! She must have gotten to bed late after getting out of the bookstore. She would have to stop reading that book of Greek mythology she’d acquired a few days ago. Hmm, too bad. I was enjoying it.

It was then that Ariadne noticed that the bed she was in was not her dainty, quilted bed, but a bed of an entirely different personality.

This bed was easily twice the size of her own queen-sized bed, and about seven feet long. The proportions were enormous, but it was the rest of it, illuminated by a pair of torches to either side that took her breath away.

It was carved out of ebony and was covered with intricate knotwork. She glanced down at the covers; they were animal pelts, with a black velvet blanket under it all. She glanced up in trepidation, and saw where the posts ended and transparent silk banners- also black- hung from the stone ceiling

Had she died and gone to Hell? No, of course not, she reasoned with herself. The bed was far too comfortable for her to be in Hell.

She dangled her feet over the edge of the bed, letting her bare toes trail on the cold floor. She leapt lightly to the bear pelt on the floor, moving quietly across it, towards the heavy oak door. She managed to reach the door without incident or demonic apparition.

As she reached for the doorknob, however, an arm snaked around her waist, throwing her off balance and into a very solid chest. She could feel the man’s stubble against her cheek, and was startled when he whispered in her ear. She didn’t understand a word of it, but chills ran freely on her spine.

She soon realized he waited for an answer from her.

“I can’t understand you,” she said firmly, trying to wriggle out of his grasp. Instead, his arm tightened around her waist, and he growled to her, his words passing her ears in the garbled tongue he’d spoken before, but reaching her brain in strangely accented English.

“Where do you think you’re going, I said?”

Ariadne drew herself up to her full five foot eight inches, her muscles stiffening and pressing her harder against his chest.

“I am going home,” she said, her voice quivering slightly. She was frightened of this place, this man, and her fear was rapidly turning to anger.

She took a deep breath and grabbed his muscled arm with both hands and wrenched it around. Her assailant was thrown over her shoulder and landed heavily on the floor. She briefly reflected that he was immense and her momentum would probably leave a few cracked ribs. She prepared to drop onto his windpipe, elbow first. As she finally fell upon him, he was no longer there. Her elbow met with air, and she tumbled over, hitting the stone floor hard.

His arm came around her again, lifting her off her feet, and tossing her over his shoulder. She could see down his back for an instant. In the dim torchlight, the only thing Ariadne could tell was that he was clad in black leather. She might have laughed at the color theme, if she hadn’t been dangling over his back.

She could feel him moving beneath her, and thought he was going to leave the room. Instead, he dumped her on the bed, the torches guttering wildly. The man, keeping to the flickering shadows, retreated to the corner, his body movements telling Ariadne he was very angry.

“I just want to go home,” she whispered, not knowing whether he’d said anything at all. He became less visible in the shadows, and Ariadne’s anger finally got the better of her. “Why have you brought me here? Speak!” Her voice quivered, but was full of imperious command. This was her dream, after all, so why shouldn’t he obey?

It surprised her greatly when a low rumble of laughter emanated from the shadows.
“You think to challenge me?” His voice, again in her head, was laced with humor, and a deeper tone that made her feel as if he would love to best her, and would do so easily. She shivered, but stood on the bed as best she could, her balance precarious.

“Of course.” The steel reentered her voice. “You’re not a god, after all.” The silence was palpable, and Ariadne could feel the hairs on the nape of her neck stand on end. A shiver of doubt coursed over her, leaving her cold. She couldn’t hear him, even in the silence of the room, and leaned forward to get a better angle. Instead, she fell forward, and would have fallen off the bed if there hadn’t been what she felt was an arm, gently pushing her back. She hadn’t seen anything touch her, and was shaken with the possibilities. She fell back on the bed, her face a mask of surprise.

She quickly recovered, however. Her courage was backed by her confidence that, in a dream, she could do whatever she damn well pleased. Ariadne sat up, her eyes becoming more accustomed to the dark. “I know you’re still here.” Nothing; he was silent and invisible. She could nearly believe she’d imagined it, except where she was sitting, and the fact that her elbow hurt like a bitch. Ariadne crawled back from the inky, unnatural dark of the other side of the room.

She took a torch in one hand, careful not to catch the coverings on fire, and stepped of the bed. The cold seeped into her feet, and was contrast to the hot branch in her hand. She walked steadily- despite the torch’s violent guttering- towards where he had spoken from.
She reached the wall. There was nobody there. A slightly hysterical laugh escaped her. And another. She nearly dropped the torch when he materialized out of nothing in front of her.

“Holy shit. How? No, I don’t want to know.” He was scowling, and so was she. His muscular arms were crossed over his chest, and his legs were braced apart. It was the classical stubborn pose. His face was tilted down towards hers, and she stared angrily at him.

When he spoke, his mouth actually formed the words that she heard. “What odd language do you speak, mortal?”

“Ha! So you admit to being otherworldly,” she burst out. His scowl deepened, but Ariadne hardly noticed; she could feel herself sinking into hysteria.

“Of course.” He growled something in his own language. She just knew he was cursing her.

The torch guttered suddenly in her hand, and she did drop it, the brand extinguishing as it hit the floor. She could feel the residue of power in the air: it was oily and cloying. He’d made her drop it, she knew, and the idea that he had utter control over her irked her.
Ariadne let out an exasperated sigh, and turned towards the bed, and the other torch. She knew she’d have to wait for better light, and rest before she could tackle him efficiently. And it was a dream, anyway. “Look, I can’t deal with you right now. I’ll just go to sleep and wake up in my own bed in the morning.” For some reason this saddened her. It wasn’t as if working in a used bookstore was an exciting life for her. Okay, so it was her bookstore, but it was going under anyway. She’d get up in the morning and give it to her assistant. Man, even her assistant wouldn’t want it.

Face it, Ari, she told herself, this is just a dream, you can’t stay here forever.

***

Crap. It’s morning. Man, what a night. What a dream. “What the hell am I still doing here?” An unidentified flying body leapt from the bed, glimmering blade in hand. Looking at it with an appraising eye, she could see it was meant as a dagger. A two foot long dagger.

The man, who she didn’t recognize as either of her ex-boyfriends, was absolutely, wonderfully, stark naked. Light streamed through the window, illuminating his body, and glinting cheerfully along the blade that would equally happily run right through her.

“Who the hell are you?” He was tall, and she knew he was much taller than she. His hair was blue-black and curled around his ears, the tangled mass hiding his face. His muscles were tensed to fight. He finally heard what she said, and straightened up.

He was magnificent, his body a bodybuilder’s defined musculature: long legs and arms, a sculpted torso and a too well proportioned…

“My god! Put some clothes on!”

“So I am your god now, woman?” His voice was silky and dark.

“Oh. It’s you,” she growled. At least it wasn’t someone she’d never met, she reasoned sarcastically. “What were you doing in the bed with me, anyway?”

“Should I not sleep in my own bed?”

“Well…” She wanted to say “Not with me,” but she couldn’t bring herself to be so prissy, and especially not while he still had no clothes on. “Hey, at least put some pants on or something.” So you can continue to stare at his chest? her conscience asked. “No.”

“No? You’d rather wish me in nothing at all?” Humor laced his voice. Humor, and something under it; sexual energy.

“No, that’s not what I meant. I was thinking out loud. No, put some clothes on.” As he did, easily slipping back into his black leather pants, she watched his back ripple. It was all Ariadne could do not to stare at his tight… no, don’t even think it.

“You need not looked so shocked, woman, I am no monster.” His back was still to her, and stayed that way until he had left the room through the heavy oak door, the lock audibly closing her in.

Ariadne’s anger returned, and she rocketed from the bed, and pressed her ear to the door, listening to his retreating footsteps. She banged on the door, her hysteria mounting again. “Hey! You can’t just lock me in here! I’m a human being, I have a life.” This last, she mumbled to herself; he couldn’t hear her.

She ambled back to the bed, and sat down in the middle, legs crossed, staring at the door. Almost immediately- though it could have been an hour- the door opened and a lithe young man entered. He was carrying a laden tray, and looking too perky for a servant in the man’s house. He set the tray on a low table by the window, and garbled to her in the same strange language.

“Look, I’m sorry, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying,” Ariadne sighed.

The fellow smiled even wider, looking mischievous. He bowed low and said: “Of course. Why should you know Greek? You don’t come from here.”

It was the most anyone had said to her so far. She sat further towards him, straining to see all. He wore a short toga pinned at his shoulders, and a band of gold circled his head, doing little to wrangle his auburn curls. She glanced down and was forced to do a double take. On his leather sandals- oddly tattered in comparison to his circlet- was a pair of gray-white wings.

“Hermes?” It was an aside to herself that the young god took as a question. She decided she had somehow fallen into a coma, and it was her subconscious mind doing this.

“At your service, lady. I am the messenger god. And with that, I must go, before your captor returns and sends me to Hades.” He turned towards the door, his fleet feet carrying him quickly. Ariadne leapt off the bed and ran to the door, blocking his exit.

“Wait. Who is it that keeps me?”

“Ha! Lady,” he said, his youthful manner returning. “If you can’t guess, you don’t deserve to know.” With that he gently put her aside and stepped out into the hall. “Lady, please eat. You may not die while you’re here, but if you don’t eat something, it could be a pain when you waste away in the mortal world.” With that eerie request, he was gone, and the door was locked.

***

Hermes stepped blithely into the Great Hall, and was knocked off his feet by a hurtling body that pinned him down and growled angrily: “What were you doing in my chambers? I expressly forbade it.”

“I was feeding your pet, you lout. Now, get off me.” He used his short staff and hit his oppressor in the throat, causing him to roll off.

“What pet is this, son?” A rumbling voice called from across the Hall. Hermes laughed and flew into the air.

Zeus was in his most frequent form: a middle-aged man in a young man’s body. His rich brown hair was touched with gray at the temples, and his faced was lined with laughter. That is to say, he had wrinkles.

But his body was in its prime, athletically muscled, and if any would admit it, oiled. He glistened. The king of gods claimed always that it was his aura.

Hera, seated next to him, scowled darkly at Ares. The frown was so like his own that there was no mistaking mother and son. She wore the glamour of a woman in her fifties; her pale hair was piled on top of her head, and caught with emerald ribbons, to match her long toga. Her arms were covered in thin silver bangles, and the chiming was soothing on Ares’ nerves. She handed him a goblet filled with mead, and pulled him back into his seat.
Hermes alighted on top of the table, taking a handful of almonds and throwing them in his mouth. The fact that most of them rebounded off his nose did not seem to bother him.

“So, my son, what pet is this that your brother speaks of?” Hera’s voice rolled with motherly command. Hermes laughed, his sandaled feet rolling him in midair. He was about to tell his stepmother about the woman in his brother’s chambers, but thought better of it. Let Ares deal.

“Mother, this is none of your concern. I am no child to be scolded,” he growled. He grabbed his plate of food and stormed out of the Great Hall.

Hera leaned over to Zeus, who fed her a bit of bread. “I will find out what pet he hides from me.” She looked up at her husband. “You know how persistent I can be.”

***

Ares stomped into the gods’ lists, his leather boot steps echoing in the emptiness.
Only one other was there. Apollo sat in the shade of an olive, tickling a nymph. He took no notice of his looming brother, but the nymph did. She took one look at his face and laughed, dissolving into the ground and rejoining her tree. Apollo came up short, missing her mouth entirely. He hit the earth with his fist.

“Sweet Gaia! What do I have to do to get...” He finally noticed Ares when he was lifted bodily by the strap of his quiver and placed upright. He turned, his scowl dark- a cloud across the sun- and lashed out with a burning fist, catching his own flesh and blood squarely on the jaw.

The brothers fought, Hephaestus watching from his forge, Diana laughing softly from her bower of jasmine high above them.

By the time they called it quits, they both bled profusely. Apollo had taken a nasty hit at the start, and one side of his ribcage was already blackened; Ares seemed to have won for the time being, coming off with both eyes swollen shut and a hole in his cheek where his teeth had cut all the way through. Asklepios had sat and watched, cringing at the damage being done.

He hurried forward, his old man’s form suiting his healing personality. He rubbed salves over the gods’ wounds, poking a magical finger into Ares’ cheek, healing it. “Hmph. That’ll leave a bruise, make no mistake about that.”

Apollo laughed. “Can you not heal it, boy? Did your father not give you enough power that you must leave a bruise?”

Asklepios chuckled behind his scowl. “I leave only a reminder of the pain. No good making you all beautiful again. And of my father...” He shrugged and laughed, as did Apollo. He spoke to his own father. Asklepios hobbled off, laughing to himself.

Apollo slapped Ares on the back. “It’s a woman, isn’t it?”

Ares stepped back from his brother. “I have no idea what you’re taking about.”

“Yes you do, brother. Mother told me you had a pet. And I guessed myself. After all,” he laughed, “how long has it been? A decade? A century? Brother, you were so desperate you brought a mortal to Olympus!” Apollo god of the sun laughed hard, golden tears of mirth streamed down his face.

***

It was the truth, by the blood. He was so desperate. But, why shouldn’t he be? Apollo was desperate every few hours. Minutes!

Ares unlocked his room with a wave of his hand. It opened silently, and he stepped in, not wanting to disturb the mortal. She appeared to be asleep in the bed. She was on top of all the covers, and her toga was crumpled, and had worked its way up her legs, showing the beginning of her white thighs. He noticed a dark marking on the outside of her leg, just above the hem of her gown. He edged closer, treating the sleeping woman like a cyclops on methamphetamines. He was so close, and reached out to lift the hem and bare the mark when she lunged.

The harpy had been lying in wait the whole time! He wrapped his arm around her as he was propelled back, slipping in something viscous, and landing on his butt on a pillow from his very bed.

Somehow, he could not incite his rage. He laughed, good humor returning. She was a smart wench, smarter than he’d seen in a long while. She’d lain in wait for him, drawing his eye with her tattoo, and bowling him over, using some kind of sauce to slip him up. He lay on the floor, his back touching cool stone. At least she’d allowed him to fall on a pillow; he had enough bruises as it was already.

“I’ve bested you,” she said triumphantly from his lap. “Do you yield, laughing god?”

He did a half-sit up, and grinning at her said, “Never. I am a god, and you are naught but a mortal.”

“So you think you’re better?”

He laughed again, easily rolling her over, and into the gravy. He came to rest between he legs, effectively pinning her down with his weight.

“Yes.”

Ariadne stared up into his face, or at least what she could see of it. Most of it was in shadow or hidden with his hair. She could feel his breath, hot, on her chin. An unexplained longing welled up, and she reached to his face to brush away the hair, but his hand was already clamped around her arm, holding it down. What little of his face she could see- some partially defined features- was staring intensely down at her... mouth?

She’d always felt that her mouth was too full for her small features. She tilted her head back, silently challenging him to claim her mouth. He waited the barest moment, which seemed like an eternity to Ariadne, then dipped his head down and brushed his mouth against hers.

Ares felt so clumsy, and was sure she wasn’t fighting him because she knew he could easily kill her. The thought that she was afraid of him rankled, and he pulled back from her.

Looking down, he drank in her face, eyes closed to hide the fear and loathing, breath coming in pants from trying not to scream in his face. Every breath of hers was an agony for him, waiting for condemnation. He told himself that he should just get up and walk out, sending her back to the mortal world where she belonged; but he couldn’t move until she looked at him.

She didn’t. Instead she whispered, “Why’d you stop?”

He groaned and pressed his mouth to hers again, trying to be tender, but managing only to stoke his desire, and diminish his self-control. He sank his hands into her luxuriant hair, holding her still. She released her breath into his mouth; an involuntary reaction caused by the fact that she couldn’t even move for new oxygen.

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