Saturday, May 31, 2014

Free eBooks on Smashwords - May 31, 201


Always check price before purchase as cost may have changed.


The Gladiator

A beautiful young woman has a midnight tryst with a champion of the arena. He was almost too much for her...

Excerpt and description taken from Smashwords site.


The Gladiator's Girl

Rue, a slave girl in an ancient Roman ludus, has been searching for love all her life. Her mistress often gives her to victorious gladiators for pleasure at their school as a reward for competence in the arena. But Rue has only experienced cruelty from men until she meets Ducius, a muscled and handsome gladiator who relishes their love and revives Rue's wilting spirit. He treats her gently and nurtures her, and Rue begins to believe in the future again.Their relationship grows ever deeper each time they come together. But the shadow of death haunts them whenever Ducius sets foot upon the sands of the arena, and Rue is certain she will never escape the bonds of slavery. They both search for a path to permanent happiness, a path that can only be determined by their master.

Excerpt and description taken from Smashwords site.





Newlywed eighteen year old Myra finds herself in dire straits: her father has just died, their farm is about to be claimed by ruthless creditors, her brother is gravely ill... Myra is prepared to do what it takes to rescue those she loves. But when she is faced with the first steps of her journey to become the Emperor’s new concubine, Myra discovers she might have started down a path that will ultimately claim her very soul.

Taken by Rome is an erotic romance intended for MATURE audiences (18 years or older). PLEASE STAY AWAY IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY SEXUALLY EXPLICIT EROTIC SITUATIONS!

Excerpt and description taken from Smashwords site.



Britannia: Book One (there are more titles in this series...)

Maia and her step-brother Cilo were raised in an opulent but isolated villa in the Seine Valley. At fifteen Cilo escaped to the army in Britannia, leaving Maia alone and afraid.

Lucius, Luc, is commander of an auxiliary cavalry unit of Legio XX, Valeria Victrix. The son of a Caledonian mercenary who joined Rome, he and his four brothers are soldiers of renowned ability and bravery. At twenty-five he has served ten years, has another fifteen to serve, and has had enough of killing. Exhausted and battle fatigued after the brutal AD77 Cambrian campaign, he has been weighing up his chances of survival as a deserter.

As a matter of convenience, Maia is married off to her stepbrother, and once again abandoned when he returns to his post. Seizing her one chance to escape, she joins an exclusive group of travelling prostitutes on their way to Britannia. With them, she finds herself moving through a complex web of lies and deceptions, where everyone knows more than they will say and everyone she meets has their own agenda.

If she can trust Lucius, he will take her to her husband. But everything she knows about the world will change -- if she can survive the journey.

Excerpt and description taken from Smashwords site.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Warning Labels / Rating System for Literature?

A local newspaper posted this interesting opinion piece: Warning: Literature Happening. Additionally, a more in-depth look at the issue can be found here: Students Request Trigger Warnings in Literature.

I would like to comment, especially since I write erotica with multiple themes or -isms, including rape and polythesism, appearing in the pages of my books. I am also a reader.

In theory, the proposal is sound. There is nothing wrong with warning potential readers or students that certain issues may come up during the reading of a book or a class discussion. Informing beforehand allows individuals to make their own decisions regarding what they can, personally, handle at this point in their life.

However, where it gets tricky, is in the details. How can one person, or even a small group of people, predict every possible trigger for every potential reader or student who might walk through the door? Seriously, take a look at this list of 234 -isms, which may or may not trigger some horrendous event for a member of the world's society. For one of my short stories, alone, I found at least 35 isms which might trigger some person, somewhere. And, that's a short story based pretty close on a classical myth (a myth most if not all college Mythology courses would cover).

I understand where the student's are coming from. I have a horrific fear of the ocean, specifically swimming in or near it. In fact, so serious is my fear, that I cannot watch Titanic (yes, I know it won a ton of awards and is damn near impossible to ignore) nor can I get through the reading of The Perfect Storm without shudders and heaving. But, know what. I was required to read the book in school. So, I did. Was I happy? no. Did I have nightmares? you betcha. Am I scarred for life? no, not really. I learned to deal with it. Just like I learned to deal with my irrational fears about spiders and talking toys. Having to watch the Toy Story with a child I was babysitting was one of the worse moments of my youth. Still, I survived.



Why, then, can these current students not learn to deal with it? Yes, literature may include troubling moments where, yes, some traumatic event from your past life may be triggered. That's okay. It's why you are allowed to put down the book, being that it is not forced upon you to read it, and either speak to the professor about your concerns calmly and patiently, suggesting an alternate reading or making an appointment with your therapist to discuss the implications of what you've read and how best to accept it and allow yourself to grow from the experience.

Heck, I did this in high school, as a freshman. Not even in college. While reading The Lord of the Flies, (spoiler alert!) I came across the scene where Piggy dies. I was horrified, disgusted, and emotionally disturbed. I threw the book down. I never picked it up again. I went to my teacher and expressed what I felt. She understood, gods bless her, and gave me another similar book to read where no young child dies at the hands of his friends. Was she mad? no. I handled it like an adult. I still got from the reading what I was supposed to. I still participated in the class and the discussions which came up.

Why, then, can't college students do the same? I do not understand why they wish to put trigger warning labels on syllabi and books (classics or not) so as not to have to learn to grow up, deal with it, and move on. And, if they can't. They handle it with aplomb and maturity. Instead of blaming all around them for inadvertently upsetting them, they need to understand that they are one in billions.

Having said all that, I do have an alternate proposal. Why not consider the idea of rating literature similar to how movies are rated? It isn't perfect and won't suit everyone. Nothing ever does. But, at least it could provide insight for a new reader as to what could cause them issue if they are sensitive.

Here is a good site to see what I mean: FictionRatings. And, considering a rating system like this, I took the opportunity to draft what a warning could look like for a novel.

explicit, graphic lesbian sex and explicit description of rape

So, how do you all feel about this issue?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Reviews for Bound to the Emperor, Courted, and Senator, Mine

These books are not of a mythological nature, but of a Roman historical nature. All are works of erotica. Some very hot sex in the following pages, believe me!


This review is for Bound to the Emperor, though offered in parts, this is the complete story. It is written by Bethany Rousseau. The story can be found at Amazon for $4.99.

The sex is incredible and varied. There is plenty here for the erotica lover. With the Emperor, Liviana is pleasurably tormented over and over with lots of slapping, whipping, and flogging. With her gladiator, it is gentle, caring, and reciprocal. However you like it, Ms. Rousseau wrote it. 
As for the writing style, well, at first it was hard to follow. Livi is very repetitive. The book is like reading a teenager's journal. All about her, her, her, and her much more exciting life than yours, yours, yours. She dwells a lot on the differences between her two lovers and how much she dislikes her life as a slave, but how much she appreciates being a healer. On that front, I am disappointed. A woman healer in Rome? Yeah, right. 

The ending was a surprise, but I won't ruin that for you...

It is a good, steamy-hot and sexy, story, however, I'm not sure I would have spent 5 dollars on it.



This review is for Courted, a short story of the Roman Empire, by Sylvia Ketrie. It can be found at Amazon for $0.99. However, I would definitely pay more for this story, no matter how short.

My only complaint here, is that some of the Latin is wrong, but that is such a small detail in an otherwise wonderful story. Most of the Latin, and there is a lot of it used, is perfect. I love the fact that Ms. Ketrie used the Latin vocabulary for sex organs in her sex scenes. In all honesty, I had never thought of doing that. The effect for someone who knows the language is amazing. The Romans had such beautiful words for the parts of the male and female body that is it a shame we don't still use them. I truly felt as though I was reading a erotic novel from the Roman Empire.

Beyond the sex, the story itself was very well researched. I mean, history professor-type research in play here. This woman knows her stuff. I can't wait to read more of her work. I do hope she considers writing a novel-length work at some point.


This review is for Senator, Mine, a short story but part of a larger collection of 1 Night Stand Stories, written by Kerry Adrienne. It can be found online at Amazon for $2.99.

I will start by saying the author needs a better editor in her pocket. There were numerous grammatical errors and some very serious sentence flow and understandability issues throughout. Also, as a student of the Romans, I was bothered by the lack of historical research into the period and lifestyle. Though, having said that, her descriptive capabilities are amazing. I haven't read a short story in quite a while with such wonderful landscaped details. 
The story itself, a love affair across timelines was extremely well planned out. There was a nice flow between plot building, sex scenes, and character development. For such a short read, I really cared about Eleanor and Darius (despite her saying it, this was not a common name for Senators of any time in Roman history). I might have felt a kinship with Eleanor based solely on her love of Ovid (I, as we all know, LOVE Ovid! - but, "his bawdy poetry" is not right. More likely, she meant Catullus and his poetry. Same time period, but different style of poetry and subject matter.) and her bad luck with men. Anyways, by the end, I definitely wanted the two to end up together.

The ending was abrupt and I was left with one over-riding question which still irks me... what language were they speaking? Latin? Cause, that might have been pertinent information.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reading Is A Way of Life: The Cup Bearer: And Other Stories

Reading Is A Way of Life: The Cup Bearer: And Other Stories (Erato's Musings...: From the Publisher : Erato’s Musings: classical mythology for the bedroom. The gods of Olympus were powerful, majestic, and seductive r...

Read the review!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dirty Minds United... a new support group for all of us!


Quickie in the Bushes 

There are two statues in a park; one of a nude man and one of a nude woman.

They had been facing each other across a pathway for a hundred years, when one day an angel comes down from the sky and, with a single gesture, brings the two to life.

The angel tells them, 'As a reward for being so patient through a hundred blazing summers and dismal winters, you have been given life for thirty minutes to do what you've wished to do the most.'

He looks at her, she looks at him, and they go running behind the shrubbery.

The angel waits patiently as the bushes rustle and giggling ensues. After fifteen minutes, the two return, out of breath and laughing.

The angel tells them, 'Um, you have fifteen minutes left, would you care to do it again?'

He asks her 'Shall we?'

She eagerly replies, 'Oh, yes, let's! But let's change positions. This time, I 'll hold the pigeon down and you shit on its head.'

AND WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???

[author unknown]

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Greek Myths Expressed on Body Parts - Tattoo Fads

I am not a fan of tattoos, for a variety of reasons, but the following tattoos are pretty cool:





How sexy are these? Especially the last one. Wow!

Friday, May 16, 2014

3 Least Sexy & Most Sexy Greek Myths - Opinions Welcome

Least Sexy Myths

1. Procne, Philomela and Tereus

Rape, rape, rape... then, cutting out of tongues, locking people away, oh, and the lying.

Her cries aroused the dastard tyrant's wrath, and frightened him, lest ever his foul deed might shock his kingdom: and, roused at once by rage and guilty fear; he seized her hair, forced her weak arms against her back, and bound them fast with brazen chains, then drew his sword. When she first saw his sword above her head. Flashing and sharp, she wished only for death, and offered her bare throat: but while she screamed, and, struggling, called upon her father's name, he caught her tongue with pincers, pitiless, and cut it with his sword.—The mangled root still quivered, but the bleeding tongue itself, fell murmuring on the blood-stained floor. As the tail of a slain snake still writhes upon the ground, so did the throbbing tongue; and, while it died, moved up to her, as if to seek her feet.—And, it is said that after this foul crime, the monster violated her again. (from www.theoi.com)

2. Apollo and Daphne

Dude, she said no. No, means no. Oh, and daddy dearest, when your daughter begs for help in her escape, why oh why would you plant her to the ground so he could catch up easier?

Lovely the virgin seemed as the soft wind exposed her limbs, and as the zephyrs fond fluttered amid her garments, and the breeze fanned lightly in her flowing hair. She seemed most lovely to his fancy in her flight; and mad with love he followed in her steps, and silent hastened his increasing speed. As when the greyhound sees the frightened hare flit over the plain:—With eager nose outstretched, impetuous, he rushes on his prey, and gains upon her till he treads her feet, and almost fastens in her side his fangs; but she, whilst dreading that her end is near, is suddenly delivered from her fright; so was it with the god and virgin: one with hope pursued, the other fled in fear; and he who followed, borne on wings of love, permitted her no rest and gained on her, until his warm breath mingled in her hair. Her strength spent, pale and faint, with pleading eyes she gazed upon her father's waves and prayed, “Help me my father, if thy flowing streams have virtue! Cover me, O mother Earth! Destroy the beauty that has injured me, or change the body that destroys my life.” Before her prayer was ended, torpor seized on all her body, and a thin bark closed around her gentle bosom, and her hair became as moving leaves; her arms were changed to waving branches, and her active feet as clinging roots were fastened to the ground – her face was hidden with encircling leaves. (from www.theoi.com)

3. Leda and the Swan

He's a swan, dear gods, why is he doing that? And what self respecting woman would let that happen?



Other top contenders for least sexy are... Uranus and Gaia (she does ask her son to castrate her husband, so yeah) and Cronus and Rhea (nothing turns on a woman more than eating her newborn infants).

Most Sexy Myths

1. Ganymede

Kidnapped by an eagle, imprisoned in the decadence of Olympus, and seduced by the master. And, in the end, you get immortality.

See my book for sale... The Cup Bearer. The best version, if I do say so myself, of just how sexy this story is.

2. Pygmalion

Ignore the fact that he began his wooing while she was still a marble statue and this is one heck of a touching love story. There is even a happy ending.

Golden Venus heard, for she was present at her festival, and she knew clearly what the prayer had meant. She gave a sign that her Divinity favored his plea: three times the flame leaped high and brightly in the air. When he returned, he went directly to his image-maid, bent over her, and kissed her many times, while she was on her couch; and as he kissed, she seemed to gather some warmth from his lips Again he kissed her; and he felt her breast; the ivory seemed to soften at the touch, and its firm texture yielded to his hand, as honey-wax of Mount Hymettus turns to many shapes when handled in the sun, and surely softens from each gentle touch. He is amazed; but stands rejoicing in his doubt; while fearful there is some mistake, again and yet again, gives trial to his hopes by touching with his hand. It must be flesh! The veins pulsate beneath the careful test of his directed finger. Then, indeed, the astonished hero poured out lavish thanks to Venus; pressing with his raptured lips his statue's lips. Now real, true to life—the maiden felt the kisses given to her, and blushing, lifted up her timid eyes, so that she saw the light and sky above, as well as her rapt lover while he leaned gazing beside her—and all this at once—the goddess graced the marriage she had willed, and when nine times a crescent moon had changed, increasing to the full, the statue-bride gave birth to her dear daughter Paphos. (from www.theoi.com)

3. Psyche and Eros

An old-fashioned Beauty and the Beast, without the crazy Grimm brothers getting their soiled-ending hands on it.

So, borne along on the panting breath of the Zephyr breeze, her worried sisters were brought to her; and falling in with their poisonous advice that she should seek to know her husband’s appearance, she yielded to curiosity, their stepmotherly concern for her safety, and laying aside the judgment of caution, she adopted that ready credulity which is always the mother of deceptions. Believing her sisters that she was mated to a serpent for a husband, and prepared to slay him as a wild beast, she hid a sharp knife under the pillow and concealed a lamp near the bed. When her husband was stretched out in a deep slumber, she armed herself with the weapon and lit the lamp concealed by her bed; as she recognized Cupid, he was burned by the dire results of her love, and she scorched her husband by spilling the glittering oil; Cupid, as he fled from the house and strongly reproached the girl for her curiosity, left her to be a wanderer and a fugitive. At length, having been assailed by many persecutions on the part of Venus, her marriage was accepted at Jove’s behest. (from www.theoi.com)

Now, having said all that about Psyche and Eros, I have in the past had flashbacks of this story in relation to the Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman film, Eyes Wide Shut. When viewed in that light, yeah, maybe not so sexy unless you are really into kink. Nothing wrong with that!


Alright, my loyal readers, what do you think? Top sexy myths? How about the least sexy myths? I want to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What is a "Street Team?"

Well, it seems the world of publishing, especially books, is becoming harder and harder to break into and once inside, harder and harder to get noticed in the thousands of new books debuting each month.

Can't say I don't see it and I've only been active in the book publishing world for a month. I did luck out and got a review on Smashwords, a very nice and positive, the day after my collection of short stories debuted. How, you might ask? My beta reader for that collection really seemed to enjoy my drafts and offered invaluable help for making the drafts better. As a thank you, I sent her a copy of my final collection. I didn't beg her for a review, but asked that if she liked what she read, could she please review it. She did. Here's the review below. I can't thank her enough for that, my first review.

Review by:
There are so many ways to do mythological erotica wrong. I gave up on it a long time ago after being repeatedly underwhelmed, so I was very surprised to inadvertently discover this collection of stories. Not only did the author satisfy my inner-Greek mythology nut by staying true to the tales, but she also delivered hot, toe-curling stories. I will be anxiously awaiting Persephone, Ms Green.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Now, to get more reviews, I am stymied. I have my books listed everywhere I can think of assuming the more visibility they get, the more likely they are to be seen, bought, and read. And, if read, reviewed. Ok, great game plan.... but, it isn't working. When I put out my free short story, On the Hunt: Hyacinth, I got immediate hits and downloads. In a week, I got 178 downloads. I doubt all of those who downloaded the book have actually already read it, so I am going to assume about 50 have read it. And of those 50, how many wrote reviews? Zero.

There could be many reasons for this:

1) I overestimated how many read the download. Maybe it has only been 5. Zero reviews for 5 reads? That doesn't seem so bad. Much better odds than 178 reads to zero reviews.

2) They read it, liked it, but did not find it unique or original enough to warrant a comment. Good gods, this would stink. So much for trying to stand out in a crowd.

3) They hated it. Though, you think they'd be more vocal than silent on the matter. Really vocal, actually.

4) They don't know what to think of it. This I could live with, if it is the truth.

5) The readers could care less about encouraging others to read my stories. But, now we are back to the original question of why? why? why?

6) Or...

So, this is where a street team comes in. I find a way to gather loyal followers, friends, and fans and ask them to read a free copy of my book before publication. Then, on the day the book is published, these loyal people go out and review my book in mass on various fronts. No matter what they thought, I just need them out there making comments, reviews, notice on my books.

Any ink is good ink? Like saying any word of mouth is good word of mouth.

To me, this seems akin to begging or paying for reviews. Like what this guy on Fiverr is offering (though, I have considered taking him up on his offer since his extra gig seems pretty useful, he write mythology, and if you read his reviews... they aren't all "WOW! This is the most brilliant literature I have ever written and I guarantee this author will one day be famous!!!!"):

To get your story noticed, you need reviews. Do not spend hundreds of dollars to get one review from an "accredited" source. You need as many reviews as possible and you need them on the same page the book is being sold from. 

For 5$ I will read your short erotica story that is up to 20K words long. I can do a story that is not erotica also if it is the same length. I will post the review on amazon.com and Goodreads if it is featured there. I will also up vote other reviews on amazon if they are at least 3 stars.

And unlike some of the reviewers that advertise here, I will not take my review down after a few weeks, (unless you want me to.)

If the story is 99 cents or free I will purchase it. If not I will need the file to read myself. Please send in PDF or DOC form. 

This is not for full novels.

Note for the gig extra. I will give you my honest opinion on how you can improve the story and future stories you may write. Our vision may not be the same so be aware and know that I am trying to help.

Still, even in my rose-colored world, I don't know if this is a good thing or not. I would rather honest reviews than many reviews. Honest reviews can help me later with the future publications. A lot of reviews help me only in the present, especially if they are all good, vague, and over enthusiastic as to me greatness.

So, here's the conundrum... how do I encourage readers to leave reviews, honest reviews, without begging them or selling free works to get them.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Forgiveness, a short story - Part Two

continued...

Without waiting for me to regain my senses, my goddess unwound my legs, picked my hands from the branches and turned to drop me on my hands and knees to the earth. Her foot nudged my legs apart before she fell to the ground behind me. A hand snaked under my body, drawing fingers from my throbbing nipple to my swollen nub and then up to my wet core. I shook. Sweat broke out all along my body, wherever she didn’t touch.

“You are so willing, so ready.” The masculine tenor of Artemis’ voice shocked me through the engulfing desire. Peeking over my shoulder, my eyes widened with what I saw. Artemis, my goddess, flickered, her visage fading in and out as a bearded man’s face became clear.

“No!” His large, rough hand moved quickly to stifle my scream. His other arm wrapped around my hips and pressed me low so my breasts brushed against the dirt.

“You are mine, Callisto.”

I felt the head of his cock force its way inside my damp and aroused folds. I clenched hard to stop him. He only groaned and pushed harder. I shoved back trying to dislodge him from my sheath but only caused him to invade deeper. I bit at the hand covering my mouth. His booming laugh rocked the earth beneath me.

“Go ahead and fight.”

Tears leaked from my eyes. I didn’t want this. He didn’t care. Over and over, he took me. When at last he finally came, I wept. Withdrawing, leaving me like an animal on all fours, he patted my head and disappeared.



It took me hours to return to Artemis’ scared grove. It took another few months for me to find comfort with my sister nymphs. At first, their hands on my skin had me cringing during our baths. Soon enough, though, I mastered the art of pretense. Life continued as it always had. Nightmares plagued me all night, but during the day, no one was any wiser to my shame. I kept my distance from the goddess lest she learned the truth of my feeling for her and what it had cost me.

A few months became half a year. With the changing of the seasons, I was feeling hope again. If Persephone could start her life anew every six months, then so could I. That hope came crashing down the afternoon I spent too long soaking in the well of cool spring water. Lately, my body had felt different, achy and heavy. Floating in the water was the only time I felt better. The other nymphs had already cantered off into the woods to spend the day with the young fawns and fox kits. Artemis had gone off hunting boar in the early morning. I was alone.

At least I thought I was. The goddess returned as the noon sun hung suspended at the peak of its journey. Seeing me, resting, asleep, she decided to sneak up on me. It was the touch of her fingertip on my lip that had been jolting awake, terrified. She backed away at my obvious fear.

“Callisto? What is it my nymph?”

I clambered to my feet in the water. Facing her, I struggled to take deep breaths and calm my racing heart.

Her eyes were drawn to my stomach. “You are with child?” Her brows creased and her lower lip quivered.

I shook my head. What? I looked down at myself. I thought I had been gaining weight because of the winter - all that meat. A child?

“Leave, nymph,” her voice was hard, unforgiving and like ice. “You are no longer welcome in my presence.” Disgust marred her features. I saw myself mirrored in her eyes; my distended womb ugly in relation to her toned and slender frame. Not bothering to dry, I hauled my body from the spring, threw my tunic over my head and left.

Through blurred eyes, clouded with tears, the only thing I saw was the man’s face who had forced this fate on me.



For three months I wandered alone. The child within grew big. I spent most of my days crouching beside fruit bushes, picking the ripe ones and eating them. I was too ungainly now to do much hunting, nothing but the slowest animals would fall prey to me. Once the greatest of the goddess’ nymphs, I was nothing now except a refugee. A fugitive from the only life I had ever known.

Sitting on the bank of a stream, far away from my old hunting grounds, I relaxed in the sun. My ankles ached and my gut was rumbling. I rested my hands on my stomach. I could feel my child kicking. She was going to be strong, like her mother, I decided. Enjoying the moment, I fell asleep.

“Wake up, Callisto.” I opened my eyes and squinted into the sun. A tall, regal silhouette filled my gaze. “It is time.”

The pain, when it came, was unlike anything I could have imagined. My entire body was wracked by the enormity of the agony that radiated outwards from my womb. The shadowed woman knelt at my feet and spread my legs.

“Let him come, dear. Open your body. Let nature flow through you. Follow your instinct.” Her voice was soothing, in an authoritative way. I gave in to her words. I had no other choice.

The wailing of my child startled me back into consciousness. Teetering on the edge of a dark abyss, I had gotten lost in the sting of my flesh being ripped wide. Holding him high, cradling him in her arms, the woman smiled down at my baby.

“It’s a boy. Do you have a name for him?”

“Arcas.” From where the name came, I wasn’t sure. Already spoken, I couldn’t take it back.

“Fitting, I suppose.” The woman cast a sneer down at me, splayed in the grass, blood marking the pain I had suffered and the life I had borne. I tilted my head at her. You suppose? “You did not really think I would forget how you seduced him away from my bed, would you?”

Memories assaulted my weakened brain. His attack on me, his words, the wave of passion he had cast over me.

“He was my husband, nymph, and this should have been our son. He is mine to do with as I like.” 



“You can’t…”

“I can. You will not be able to stop me.”

She spun on her heel and began to walk away. I tried to lift my broken body from the ground, to rise and follow her, to take my son back, but I couldn’t. I could only watch as she disappeared into mist.

Throwing my head back, I screamed out at all the injustices of my life. I screamed until my throat was rough and red and my voice cracked. Then I roared; I roared with agony as my body morphed, bones broke, and muscles tore. I roared with the full force of a giant brown bear.


*** 

“Approach, Callisto.” The deep voice caused a shiver to trace along my spine. I stood at the edge of a great marble floor encircled by twelve monstrous thrones. Each was handcrafted and carved from various precious metals. There were no walls and no ceiling. I appeared to be standing on the top of the world. Giants of men and women sat in the thrones, bright and garishly clothed, diadems resting on judging crowns. All eyes were trained on me.

Easing down to my hands, I began to lumber forward at the command. A snigger of contempt echoed across the hall from the woman sitting before me.

“Hera.” The man beside her said, his warning clear. It was the same man who had ordered me to come close. A voice, which once again caused my body to jolt with shock.

“Why, Zeus?” She patted his arm, her eyes never wavering from me. “Look at how she bows before us.” I stopped. I looked down at myself. I was no longer covered by fur, no longer bore claws, nor did my jaw hang heavy and gaping. I was wearing a simple chiton of pure white, my fingers and toes wriggled free, and I could smile. So many years as a bear, I had forgotten what it was like to be a woman. Gingerly, I stood again. I took one hesitant step forward, then another.

“Callisto, I have called you here to ask your forgiveness. Our forgiveness.” Facing the man in his throne, I turned at his gesture to look at each of the giants. Recognition dawned on me. At the realization of where I was and who these giants were, my stomach flipped and I fell to my knees vomiting. A collective gasp of astonishment flooded my ears. My vision blurred and unconsciousness threatened.

Oh, gods…

“Shush, my dear girl,” a woman’s gentle voice broke through the haze that had enveloped me. I focused my gaze on an elderly face, tanned, and wrinkled by too much time in the sun. Her brown eyes twinkled with kindness. Placing a gnarled hand beneath my arm, she helped me rise from the floor. When I swayed, she tightened her grip and steadied me.

“Shame on you, brother. You should be ashamed to make this girl so scared. Especially since you brought her here to beg for forgiveness.” Her voice was no less gentle, but I heard the strength behind the words and tried to place her. Brother?

“Demeter?” I asked. My voice shook with the effort to speak. I half-expected a roar to escape my lips instead of the Greek name.

“Of course, dear,” she answered quietly. “Do not worry. He knows I am right. I always was and always am. It comes from being the eldest.” Her smile was genuine as she turned to face me.

Letting go of my arm, she brushed a surprisingly soft palm across my cheek before walking away. As she approached her throne, she grew in size until she was once again towering over me. I took the opportunity to observe each of the Olympians as I spun back around to pin my eyes on Zeus.

“You raped me.”

He had the audacity to smile at my proclamation. A muffled cough from behind me dropped the smile from his face. “I did.”

“And you casted me out, Artemis,” I never moved, but slid my gaze to hers. I caught her narrowed eyes and her pressed together lips. She struggled to keep from speaking. “Even though he took me against my will?” I didn’t wait for her answer. I didn’t want to hear her answer. In my heart, I still felt her abandonment the strongest. “Hera, it was you who cursed me. A bear?”

“I should have turned you into a toad, you un—“

“Hera!” She paled at her husband’s harshness.

“That wasn’t all was it? You stole Arcas from me. Was it your plan to have him be the one to finally kill me? Didn’t want to bloody your own hands?” The queen of the gods turned crimson at my words. Her knuckles gripped the armrest so hard they began to turn white. Shifting her weight, she moved to stand. It took Zeus’ heavy hand on hers to keep her enthroned, but I could still see the rage flare in her blue eyes.

“We must beg your forgiveness, Callisto. You have been greatly wronged by us.” His voice calmed and fell on me in a seductive wave. Its rich tenor filled me with a longing I had forgotten.

“Brother…” Demeter chastised Zeus.

“Right. It is so hard to be this close to you without wanting you again.” Hera shot him a hateful glare. At least I wasn’t the only one she despised now. When he started speaking again, his voice was full of the thunder in the clouds, but was absent of desire. “You were spared your fate at my demand. Whatever it is you think of me, I never forgot neither you nor Arcas. It is now my place to ask you to forgive our treatment of you.”

“Why?”

“In order to rule wisely we must be reminded of our humanity from time to time. We are offering you a gift in return. Do you forgive us?”

I bowed my head at his words. I wasn’t ready to speak the words he was commanding me to say. Forgiveness for a lifetime stolen from me was a hard morsel to swallow. “I wish for my son. At my side. I have spent too many years absent from his life. He deserves a mother.”

“But you fell at his hand,” this time it was Aphrodite who spoke up, “how can you still love him so much?”

“She is a mother,” Demeter answered for me. She was right. I was his mother. No matter what he did, I would always love him. I always had. Even as a bear, I had held that image of him as an infant in my head. Perhaps he was the reason I retained the little of my humanity that had kept me from attacking him.

“Granted, Callisto. Your son will be returned to you.” I fell to the floor in a deep bow.

Unable to work against the fates to save my life, for not even a god has that much power, my son and I were placed in the heavens.

I am a guardian of the mortals and a reminder to the gods.

Forgiveness takes time.



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Forgiveness, a short story - Part One

I sat down to write my short story, On the Hunt: Callisto, fully intending it to remain faithful to the original myth and still read as erotic as sin. What happened, however, was not that. I wrote a beautiful, touching piece of short literature about a mother and what forgiveness ultimately means.

So, on this day before Mother's Day, I offer you all the first part of this work, now called, Forgiveness. I am rewriting the other story, but didn't want to completely lose this one.

Enjoy!



Forgiveness

Lumbering through the brush, I held my muzzle close to the earth, tracking the burrowing mammal through its den. I knew I was near as drool fell in strands to the ground. It had been too many days since my last real meal. The berries, shoots, and beetles had staved off starvation, but I was craving the fullness of meat in my stomach. My small ears twitched at the sound of tiny nails scrabbling on dirt and rock as the weasel tried to scamper to safety. It had been as startled, as I was, when I stumbled upon it gorging itself on a fallen nest of eggs. The smell of the rotting yolks had drawn us both to the find. Unlucky for him, he got there first: now he was on the menu.

Suddenly a new scent drifted through my nostrils and I paused in my pursuit. Man. I lifted my head to the odor and tried to gauge the direction. I could tell, he was nearby; his sweat reeked, allowing it to drift in the mid-spring breeze. Swinging my heavy head from side to side, I listened for movement. A thicket of brambles blocked a large gap between two old pines. He was there, hiding. I was too large to try to escape unnoticed—if he hadn’t already seen me and was now waiting for his perfect shot—so I swung my pendulous body around to face the man. Hauling myself to my hind legs, I raised up fully. I jutted my jaws forward and roared loudly. Threads of saliva coated my sharp teeth. My warm breath was rank with decomposition. Stumbling forward, rocking side to side on my trunk like legs, I did my best to terrify the man. I didn’t want to attack him, but I would if he threatened me. He wouldn’t be the first. The smell of his sweat now mixed with the slight bitterness of urine.

I heard the man fall back and scramble, not unlike the weasel, away from me. Had I still been able to laugh, I would have. In my previous form, though just as deadly to man, no man would have ever moved so quickly from my presence. Now he could think of nothing else except flight. I fell heavily to the ground as the man sprang to his feet. He grasped a javelin in his shaking hand. The tip of it caught the setting sun and shot a line of fire into my eyes. I roared again, my front feet leaving the earth to pound down hard. He froze. The javelin hung uselessly, the tip piercing the dirt at his feet. I staggered closer still, the light brown fur of my body moved in waves with my steps. His eyes widened and his mouth gaped open. As I moved around the thicket, I saw this man more clearly. I was mistaken. This was not a man: it was a boy. A tall boy, to be sure - he hadn’t yet filled out in his shoulders and only a downy brush of hair covered his cheeks.

Stopping, I titled my head at the boy. He looked familiar. His eyes were a dull green, like the color of moss in the fall. His hair was fair, long, and wavy. However, his nose struck me. Thin and straight, it bulged at the tip. Like my mother’s. Like my own had once appeared to me—back then so hated for its perceived ugliness—when I looked in the polished silver. Sniffing heavily, letting my nostrils flare, I raised my head to get a better whiff of this boy. Familiarity tugged at my consciousness. I closed my eyes. For a brief moment the image of an infant flashed before me; the same fair hair and green eyes, the same nose. My son, Arcas.

“Go away,” he said. His voice shook and squeaked. I opened my eyes at the sound. He had raised the javelin and now hefted it on his shoulder. Though poised like a practiced hunter, I did not fear him. His voice echoed in my head. I had difficulty accepting reality with my epiphany. This was my son, Arcas. My eyes began to mist. I thought I had lost him all those years ago…

“Go away!” his voice broke my thoughts as I stumbled back into the present.

My son. He was my son. I stood up and walked toward him. Raising my front legs, I moved to embrace him. Arcas pulled back his arm and bounced the javelin in his grip. Though sweat ran as rivulets down his forehead, he had made the choice to hold his ground. I opened my maw.

Arcas. All that came out was a grunting roar, but my ears only registered my heartfelt plea. He tilted the javelin up. Hesitating, he readied it to thrust into my beating heart. I took one step too close. The javelin arched with impressive force and speed.

A blinding flare of lightning struck the earth in the exact moment I felt the tip of the javelin part the thick fur of my hide. My world stopped. My Arcas was gone.

***

The lengthening shadows of dusk cast the forest floor into darkness. With the waning sunlight came a cold, whipping wind. Had I been any less than I was, I would have prayed to the gods for salvation. Since I was a nymph of the woodlands and huntress of Artemis, I did no such thing. However, the suggestion did cross my mind. For I was lost.

When the stag had appeared across the stream from our resting stop, it was I who first noticed. He was a magnificent creature. My bow had been lying on the soft grass at my feet, my arrows still resting on my back. Moving slowly so as not to startle him, I reached for my bow. It was a practiced move. The stag never noticed. Taking confident steps closer, he had lowered his head to lap at the cool, fresh water. As I raised my bow and reached back over my shoulder to pull an arrow free, his ears flicked at the slight noise of the bowstring flexing under my expertise. Fully drawn, I sighted the stag but before I could release my arrow, one of the sisters had sneezed. I spared a moment to send her a hate-filled glare then took off after the fleeing stag.

No one followed. It was the stag versus I: prey versus hunter. Until I lost his trail and ended up here, lost myself. Failure did not sit well with me. Nor would it sit well with Artemis. Above all, I wished I hadn’t lost the stag for her sake. When any of us nymphs managed to bring down an animal, she was always been there to embrace us as equals. She rejoiced in our successes, for they were her successes as well. She had been our teacher, our mother, and our goddess and we were her students, her children, and her maidens.

Just the thought of her brought a flush to my cheeks. I loved her. She was my comfort in the darkness, my inner voice encouraging me to greatness, my confidant, and of course my friend. I wished, but did not pray, for her presence now.

“Callisto?” Her voice, though not sweet or gentle, hummed with life and femininity. I turned at my name. My heart stopped beating at the vision before me. Dressed in a sheer tunic, her thighs bare above the knee and her hair lying unbound across her shoulders, Artemis was a sight to behold. I felt my skin heat.

“Goddess.”

“Why are you so far from the others? You know you are walking in the wrong direction,” her voice lilted with suppressed laughter. I dropped my head with a shy smile playing at my lips. “You always were too headstrong to ask for help.”

“Yes, goddess.”

“Enough of that,” she whispered. Draping a muscular and tanned arm over my shoulders, she leaned close and ran her lips across my temple. I shivered at the sensation. My knees weakened and I fought to maintain my balance. Her voice fell an octave and slid across my skin setting my nerves aflame. “Let us get back to the others.”

“No.” The word came unbidden from my lips. “Not yet.”

I turned in my goddess’ embrace. “My dear Callisto.” A wave of desire swept through me, settling in my breasts and then moving to pool lower at the crux of my thighs. “My brave Callisto.” Her hand flowed along the curve of my shoulder and up the arch of my neck. Cupping my chin in her palm, she continued. “My strong Callisto.” My eyes drooped as she brought her lips close to mine, breathing her wild breath as a caress on my cheeks. “My beautiful Callisto.” Our first kiss sent sparks of passion racing in my blood. I could feel both our hearts beating in the rush.

She stepped closer to me, wrapping her arms around my waist, holding me flush. Our breasts pressed together. I squirmed with the pressure, using her already peaked nipples to tease and harden my own. She deepened the kiss; licking the seam of my lips before easing the tip inside to sweep through my warm, wet heat. The rising moan in my chest burst free, vibrating through the cavern of my mouth. Artemis echoed my moan with a hum of her own. The hand holding my chin moved up to tangle in my hair. Gripping the back of my head, she pulled her mouth from mine and began trailing kisses down my throat. My body bucked under her onslaught. She used the momentum to grab my ass and grind my pelvis into hers. Keening, I filled the dark forest with my urgency. I needed to feel the goddess against my bare skin.

I started to wrench at the brooch holding up her tunic. My nails dug at the unwieldy clasp. She laughed, a rumbling low sound of mirth. Had I been anywhere else, feeling anything less, I would have questioned the oddity of that noise. As it was, I too far gone under her spell to notice. Keeping my pelvis tilted up and pressed against her, she still managed to step back enough to tear her tunic away. Naturally, mine followed.

Nude within the goddess’ arms, I sighed as the sensation of her warm and heated flesh sliding along my own. She lifted me by the hips and urged me to wrap my legs around her waist. I did as she commanded. Taking two steps, she backed me into the cool and slick trunk of a cherry tree. I reached up into the branches and grasped two to support myself. Locking my thighs around her ass, I began to move like a snake against her. Undulating my hips and pelvis, I rubbed my delicate nub of flesh against her pelvic bone. Her lips spread and arched into a leer at my wantonness.

“Never would I have imagined…” she mumbled. Her voice flowed through me like the growling of storm clouds.

Artemis placed a palm on my breast as my head fell back and hair swung free. I couldn’t stop now even if I had wanted to. I rolled my nub into her erratically, the passion within me building until I no longer had control of my actions. Her hand massaged my globe, fingers tickling my nipple, teasing, and pinching it until it reddened with desire. She brought her lips to it then and licked, letting me feel the entire length of her tongue as it aroused me even further. Puckering, she pulled my nipple deep into her mouth and sucked. Like a cub feeding from its mother, she suckled my breast strong. Wave upon wave of ecstasy coursed from my breast to the nub.

Exploding, I screamed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ganymede, a short story (part 2)


This is just a short story, not related to one of my novellas. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.


Warning: Homosexual sex, a threesome, and rape. All explicit.


Ganymede, snatched away
     
            “I told you to stay home, Ganymede.” His calm and soothing voice was in complete opposition to the appearance of pure wrath upon his features. His deeply furrowed brow was dark with crimson flushing, his eyes harsh, pupils dilated, the line of his mouth straight and lined. If I hadn’t known him so well, I would have feared my own death was again at hand; not drowned, but scorched.

            Zeus’ hand rested atop mine. Lazily, his index finger moved around and around in an erotic caress in the center of my palm. “Not an option. My brother…” I dropped my gaze from his, then, and took a look at my surroundings. I was in a big, dome-roofed room, very clean and clear of clutter, on a simple cot. A handful of other cots lay empty in the same room. Against the far wall, floor to ceiling windows were open to the fresh air. A single oil lamp and small wooden table sat next to my cot.
            “Ah, yes, that fool Ilus. His vanity will destroy a kingdom.” For an instant, his wrath amplified, and then just as quickly receded. In fact, his entire demeanor changed, lightening. Seeing my frown, my obvious confusion and a little fear, he turned to the archway on my left.
            “Didn’t I tell you to let him rest, father?” I sat up to see the most handsome young man entering. He had nearly white-blond hair perfectly coiffed to look easy and elegant, his shoulder-length curls the envy of many Trojan women, a simple yet incredibly sheer tunic showed off his golden-tanned chest belted with what appeared to be spun gold, and a smile both welcoming and scheming. “If he’s to recover fully, he needs sleep.”
            “Yes, my son,” Zeus said, turning to me, “Ganymede, meet Apollo. Apollo is the best doctor we have in residence. Though, I dare say, his son’s bedside manner is much better.” Apollo stepped closer. He smelled as good as he looked, like amber and musk, with a hint of sunshine.
            Placing a manicured, soft, feminine hand on my throat, his deft fingers seeking out my pulse, the god of medicine added, “My son learned everything he knows from me. Father is just upset he was too busy to come immediately when his lord beckoned him.” Quieting, I watched his facial expressions fade to complete absence. As the silence stretched on, I got nervous. About to speak, to fill the stillness, I caught sight of Zeus’ slight shake of his head.
            “You’ll be fine by tomorrow morning.”
            Apollo turned to Zeus and bowed. His footsteps died away in the hall before I dared to attempt speech. “What...?”
            “He was listening to life’s song in your blood. As I said, his bedside manner needs improvement. He tends to act without thought. Never was my favorite child, actually. Always seemed a little out there, a little too odd.” Zeus chuckled. “More so than most of us gods, I should amend.” I only smiled at this sign of my lord’s humanity. Lying back on the cot, I sighed deeply.
            The room filled with silence, both of us lost in thought enjoying the easy lapse in our conversation. Like old friends, I imagined, then corrected. Like an old married couple. This new revelation shook me – a slight tremble raising goosebumps on my exposed skin. Zeus noticed and moved to pull the woolen blanket higher over my bare shoulders.
            “What is-“
            “I knew you had to be wondering that,” he interrupted me. “Of course, anyone in your position would be. I’ve been trying to figure out how best to put this to you without scaring you entirely.” He looked down at me. I’ve seen his face with many emotions playing across it, but I had never seen Zeus like this. He looked self-effacingly giddy, like a child about to receive a wish they have waited their whole lives for, but too scared to hope for lest it never happen.
            “I sent your father a gift yesterday. Four magnificent pure white stallions from the Olympian stables. Swifter than mortal horses and longer-lived by far. He was very happy to receive them; beaming so fully, I thought his teeth might fall out.”
            “Why?”
            “To pay him for you.” Zeus undoubtedly saw my slack-jawed bewilderment, but ignored it. He kept his face turned down, eyes away from my searching ones, and hands in his lap. His voice was low, loud enough for me alone to hear. “You were going to drown, my boy. The world has never seen as handsome a man as you. It will never see another. Poets, though, will try to find others and compare them to you, but all those other men will sadly fall too short of your perfection. I couldn’t let you die. The eagle who lifted you from the wreckage was me. I hated to hurt you...” He turned then, to look at me, raising a calloused, heavy hand to my shoulder. My gaze followed the movement and I looked down to see a healed wound, a small puckered scar. “It adds to your beauty, boy. A small imperfection, which highlights the otherwise purity of your soft, youthful skin.” To prove his point, Zeus lowered his mouth, ever so seductively, to the scar, and licked it gently before kissing it fully. I felt passion bloom and my cock stir. Dropping his hand from my shoulder, he trailed it down across a nipple, my chest, to my hip, and then my rousing cock. A swift caress and he pulled away.
            “Not yet. Soon, though, I think. Apollo was right. You need rest.”
            “But?”
            “I’ll return tomorrow morning.”
            The rest of the day passed slowly. I saw no one else. Heard nothing at all. No footsteps from slaves darting about on their business, so common a sound in my life before that now, without it, I felt homesick. Tears began to fall, unbidden yet welcome, and I cried myself to sleep multiple times as the rays of the sun slid across the bare floor of the room. Darkness fell absolute. The tranquility and isolation passed. Come morning, it was all I could do not to scream out until I was hoarse just to fill the overwhelming quietness.
            My hands were shaking and my skin was flushed, my tunic and the bedclothes damp with sweat, by the time Apollo entered the sparse room. He carried a silver tray heaped with fresh fruits, lightly honeyed wine, and a still warm chunk of hearty bread. “Demeter sends her well-wishes,” he said, that same beaming smirk upon his face, as he balanced the tray on the edge of the cot. Though the food looked absolutely divine, my stomach was so tied up from the night’s inner turmoil I couldn’t fathom the thought of eating. “I’ve been told he’s already on his way.” I must have looked shocked, for Apollo toned down his smirk and I saw pity in his eyes. “Whatever he tells you, remember, you still have a choice.”
            “A choice about what?”
            “He would surely find a way to bind me in the pits of Tartarus alongside my grandfather if I were to interfere more, but…”
            “You are right, you know,” Zeus’ rumbling voice startled us both. Our conspiratorial surprise might have passed unnoticed if the breakfast tray hadn’t clattered to the marble floor with a resounding, accusatory, echo at that exact moment. Apollo lowered his eyes in deference while I chose to take the moment and watch some imagined bird soar through the clouds outside the window. “So, have you actually gotten around to checking his life’s song this morning or not?”
            “Yes, father.” He pressed his fingertip to my throat and the room fell into stillness as we all waited. A thousand breaths later he caressed my throat as he withdrew and nodded. “You are completely healed, Ganymede.” Then, as Zeus’ gaze moved from his son’s face to mine, I saw as Apollo mouthed, remember, before leaving us alone.
            With the swoosh of Apollo’s tunic against the edge of arched doorway, as he slipped past it and into the hall, Zeus opened his mouth to speak, then shut it again. I just stared at him. He seemed a completely different man from the one I knew in Troy. In Troy, he was all confidence and power barely held in check. Here, he was almost human. I wasn’t sure I liked this side of him. It scared me. I wanted him to be the god all mighty I had been forced to surrender to, the one to whom I had given my heart and soul. He lowered his eyes, opened his mouth again only again to close it, then raised his gaze to me and laughed. A deep, hearty, thunderous guffaw.
            I hesitated to smile at his obvious bewilderment. “Zeus, my lord, tell me…”
            “So direct. Well, fine,” he began, the mirth in his voice easing into a slightly desolate tone, “I offered the horses to your father, boy, in payment for your mortality. The sisters have already cut your string, you see. It is only with a promise that you still breathe.”
            A deep, harsh, held breath, perhaps my last, escaped my tight throat.
            “I would like you to serve Olympus, this palace, as our attendant, Ganymede. It will be your duty to do my bidding, serve me as I request, and wait upon the other gods and goddesses. You, too, will stand among us, as an immortal.”
            “I…”
            “I need you to accept, Ganymede. I need you to live, here, with me,” fear clouded the forming tear at the inner corner of his dark brown eye. “Please?”
            There was no doubt in my answer. I could not be the cause of such fear in my lover’s eye. Never.

v

Dressed in the deep red of royalty, I felt overdone and foolish as I entered the grand room. Gold vines, decorated with etched grape clusters, clasped my upper arms, while a simple gold diadem sat nestled in my oiled curls. The room itself simply glowed with gold, ivory, and silver. Everywhere I cast my gaze, I was nearly blinded by the sheen of wealth. The gods and goddess, now my equals, reclined about the enormous room, in small groups, chatting and snacking on the fresh fruit, honeyed nuts, and petite pastries which sat on ornately carved marble tables, inlaid with ivory scenes from the beginning of creation. So overwhelmed, I stood frozen in the entry. In comparison, I was humbly clothed and adorned, a poor man’s god. I did not belong here.
            “Ah, come Ganymede!” Zeus’ voice commanded everyone’s attention and the conversations echoed to silence. All eyes swiveled to me. “Hebe, bring in the goblets and wine.” A young goddess from the far end of the room shifted on her feet, turned to a silent, surprisingly well-groomed, satyr and was handed two goblets, fitting for the banquet hall, and a bowl of wine. She seemed to float over the floor as she all but ran to stand before her lord, head bowed, slightly curtsying.
            “My lord.”
            “Hebe, your duties as the divine cup bearer are finished.” I noticed the quick upward flick of her eyes and slight clamping of her bottom lip between her teeth at his words. My heart seized for her. “You may now join your husband as his divine consort and serve humankind as protector of youths.”
            “Lord?” Hebe was shaking so hard, I feared for the wine, but Zeus seemed to hardly notice.
            “Yes, daughter? Do you disagree-“ He stopped his words, not needing to tease her any longer. She was already spinning about looking for somewhere to place the goblets and wine she held. “Hand them to Ganymede, Hebe.” The smile behind his words filled both her heart and mine with such warmth, we both turned comparable shades of deep pink. She spotted me at the same moment I stepped forward, entering the hall completely. I had to juggle the goblets and wine as soon as she thrust them at me as Zeus’ words chased her from the banquet. “Hercules is waiting for you in your rooms!”
            It took an act of nearly Herculean, a doubly blessed god – first to earn immortality after his mortal death and now Hebe as wife -, effort to finally settle my nerves and the sloshing wine enough to stand composed before Zeus in the exact location I had noted Hebe wait. With a deep and hesitantly shaking breath, I repeated her words, “My lord.”
            “Hand the king’s goblet to me first, then the queen’s to Hera.” After guessing at the designation of what I perceived as identical goblets, I followed Zeus’ quiet directions to me. I must have guessed correctly or perhaps it was my new role, which allowed me this intimate knowledge of goblet design, but neither Zeus nor Hera gave the goblets a second look. “Now, fill our goblets with the spiced wine.” I did. “Perfect. You are to fill each god’s goblet throughout the night before they empty. You will only serve our goblets, though, each evening at the start of the first course. “Pan,” and here Zeus flicked his wrist back toward the satyr I had noticed earlier, “will keep the wine perfectly spiced and honeyed and the bowl you carry full. These are your duties as cupbearer to the gods. Do you accept these responsibilities?”
            “My lord, I do.”
            The rest of the evening passed quickly. I knew, without reason, when the goblets in the room were nearing emptiness and found myself at the god or goddess’ side delicately pouring the wine. Pan, though he hardly spoke, seemed a nice enough fellow. However, I did catch the satyr sneaking a few sips here and there of the wine he prepared. Once, upon catching my eye from across the room as he stole a drink, he mouthed, “taste test.” I only smiled. Who was I to question the workings of this foreign kingdom? Hebe and Hercules arrived close to the end of the second course looking particularly happy and decidedly in love. Aphrodite was the first to greet them, giving both a full body hug and gentle kiss. She then grabbed the couples’ hands and trotted them like prized ponies through the hall. Neither seemed to mind, they eagerly accepted the well wishes of their friends. Aphrodite even dragged them over to me and Pan so we could offer our own cheers for their happy futures. I felt welcomed among the gods and satisfied in my change of fortunes.
            When at last the banquet was over and the gods began to file past Zeus and Hera, thanking them for the evening, I fell in step behind Hebe and Hercules and in front of Pan.
            “You’ve done well, Ganymede. Welcome to Olympus. Pan,” Zeus turned to the satyr, still well-groomed, but swaying a bit, and smirked, “will you show him to Hebe’s room? If I understood Hercules correctly, it has been cleaned and readied for Ganymede to take ownership.” Summarily dismissed, Pan stepped around me and led me from the room. Sadness fell upon me and weariness snuck into my body. I was just another of his gods now. Nothing special about me.
            Leaving me standing at the entry to my new room, Pan shuffled off down the long columnated hallway to disappear into his room in the infinite palace, while I stared off into nothingness. I was sure, from our conversations back in Troy and this morning that I was special to him. Now, as a god on Olympus, I seemed to be nothing more or less to him than Hebe or Pan. Just a lower god to serve him. A tragic ending. The sound of my heart breaking was a sob of pure pain and anger. Falling to my knees on the marble floor, I clutched my head and wailed. The cry echoed away in the vast emptiness of Zeus’ palace as the final piece of my heart and soul cracked and broke free. Tears streaked my cheeks, ruddying my beautiful face. I needed to find him, to ask where I went wrong…
            I ran as though driven by an outside force, unconsciously following my heart to the one who so completely destroyed it. I heard her ranting long before I found myself at their door.
“…think he’s one of us…”
            “…common whore…”
            “…a plaything, playing god…”
            “…believe it’s an honor?...”
            “…flaunt your newest toy in my face,” Hera’s voice squawked and broke with intense emotion. I crouched beside the heavy wooden, intricately carved door – a sensuous artistic representation of a lightning bolt mating with a peacock feather – and listened to the shrieking queen. Her rampage included more than words, for each insult to my being and existence was followed by a crash of glass against the walls and floor. The stories circulated down on earth weren’t far off the truth; she was the pure embodiment of jealousy. Her voice and tantrums, no less so.
            Listening, waiting, I wanted to overhear Zeus support me. When, at last, silence ruled the room and I still hadn’t heard a word of defense, I knew I was right. I was nothing to him now. The journey back to my room was the longest of my now endless life.

v

My back was to her, when I heard her footsteps in the corridor outside my curtained door. Looking out the latticed window, seeing clouds stretch off as far as I could see; everything was beyond imagination. The muted colors of the deep blue ocean and green and gold earth appeared randomly, almost mockingly.
Gliding aside the thickly woven curtain, her voice was soft and sugary with hypocrisy, “Settling in comfortably?”
“Comfortably, enough, my queen. Trying to get used to the view.” I added to myself, “and to the fact that your lord and husband is yours and not mine anymore.”
She stepped fully into the room, crossing it with purpose, and reached out to gently tap my shoulder. “Some views are easier than others, yes?” She lowered her caress from my shoulder down my upper arm, to rest in the crook of my elbow. Her grip tightened there and she pulled slightly to turn me towards her. My eyes first went to her face. She was no longer a young woman, but her skin was still smooth and clear of wrinkles. It was the tone of a pale, unripe olive. Not dark, but not light either. Unique to her own beauty. Her eyes, some color between grey and hazel. They sparkled with specks of gold. Her mass of dark, slightly wavy, hair was bound in a tower on top of her head; woven and effortlessly, gracefully tangled with wisps breaking free at her high forehead, behind her ears, and along the nape of her neck. She looked older, wiser, and carefree. Her lips were red and plump, colored by the juice of the pomegranate wine I had served her earlier in the evening.
As my gaze took all of this in, it dropped to see she wore nothing like her regal gown and robes from the feast – all lush, heavy, boldly dyed fabric – and, in its place, was now wearing a sheer, silk chiton, open and airy. The neckline gaped, gathered in front, low on her chest. Her hand traced a sensuous line from tucking a curl behind her ear down along her cheek and chin, across her throat, traced her collarbone, and between the rises of her breasts. My eyes followed. She noticed and smiled seductively.
“Do you like what you see?”
“Queen, I am Zeus’…” Or, at least I was.
“It will be just between us. A secret. Zeus won’t have to know.” Hera dropped to her knees before me. Trying to step away, to put distance between us, I struggled to think of something to say to let her know I didn’t want to do this but without offending her. I couldn’t do this after what I heard her say about me. Her wrath was not to be taken lightly. My eyes darted around the room, looking for inspiration, anything to help. Instead, I caught movement near the curtain. Zeus parted the curtain slightly, when he realized I saw him, his finger lifted before his lips.
“Hera…” Zeus shook his head at me. Hera’s gaze rose to meet mine, while mine was already dropping at his motion to meet hers.
“Don’t worry.” Hera’s hands on my hips, moved lower, slipping under the edge of my tunic. Her smile was wide, though not warm. “Let me show you what you’ve been missing on earth. A goddess is so much better than those mortals.” She lifted my tunic all the way up to rest it on my hips, putting her hands back where she had them before. Zeus nodded. My heart rate picked up. My breathing quickened.
Leaving her hands on my hips, still holding my tunic, bunched up under her slender fingers, the queen of the gods leaned forward capturing just the tip of my cock between her rouged lips. I was already semi-hard, not so much because of her ministrations or beauty, but because I could see Zeus’ pupils darken with lust and his breath hitch in his throat as he watched his wife begin to work upon me. She started slowly, her tongue working like magic stroking first the underside, then caressing up to sweep along the veined sides of my quickly swelling cock. My hands dropped of their own accord, to grasp her hair and hold her steady as she began to rock back and forth, ever so slightly. My cock was now at its fullest length and width, filling her warm, moist mouth completely. Her cheeks bulged with the effort to keep me deep inside. She sucked hard as I surged forward down her throat then sat back, letting me come nearly free, only to keep my head pinned for a moment as she flicked the tip of her tongue at my slit. Hera kept the pace slow, though I rotated my hips dramatically to encourage more haste.
Zeus had stepped completely into the room, not yet entering it proper, but standing off to the side of the entrance. The curtain swayed gracefully back into place. Having him so close, but unable to touch him, feel him deep, made me shiver with expectation. Not the least helped by having his wife on the floor before me.
I popped free of her mouth, bringing my attention back to her in an instant. “I want you inside me.”
“I already am.” I couldn’t help the hint of amusement in my voice. She was too obviously trying to get me in trouble with her husband, yet completely unaware of his presence. “At least, I was.” I placed one hand on my spit slickened cock and the other on the back of her head. I grinned at her, suggestively.
“It wasn’t a suggestion, boy. It was a command. You had better learn the difference quickly. Here on Olympus, we give commands.” Hera’s voice was stern, all traces of the earlier false sweetness gone. She stood, letting my tunic fall back into place, though tented over my erect cock. Reaching up to her shoulders, first the right side, then the left, she opened the gold clasps of her chiton, letting it fall directly to the floor. A puddle of silk. She didn’t demur or shy away as her body was displayed to me, a perfect, mature, regal nude. Nor, did she hesitate to grab my own tunic and lift it hurriedly from my thin and feminine frame.
Sashaying to the bed, piled high with pillows, silks, and velvets, she laid down spreading both her arms and legs wide. “Come to me.”
With a quick nod and a smirk from the corner of my vision, I advanced upon her. Kneeling between her legs, I placed my hands on her ankles, keeping my gaze locked on hers. I ran my hands up her calves, lessening the pressure from my full palm to the tickle of my fingertips as I stroked over and under her knees and along the thin, highly sensitized skin of her inner thigh. Her entire body shuddered and I could see moisture gathering at the apex of her long legs. I crawled forward, positioning the head of my steel rod against her inner opening. Crouching, I fitted my arms under her legs and lifted her slightly, tipping her pelvis up, allowing me an unfettered slide fully, deeply into her womb with one strong thrust. Her moan was music to my ears, so similar to her husband’s. My thrusts were slow and deep. Her hips lifted and met mine with each push forward, her back arching as I filled her.
“My queen?”
Hera’s head fell to the side at the sound of her title on her husband’s lips. “My king, help me!” At once, her hands, which had been gripping my shoulders, slid to my chest and shoved at my weight. Her knees bent further toward her stomach and she shimmied her legs through the cradle of my elbows and placed her feet in position to propel me off her entirely. She struggled to close her thighs, too. All this done in the split of a second as her words simultaneously registered in my ears. “He’s raping me!”
I froze. My gods, she… I knew it had been a trick; the jealous whore!
Zeus strode from the shadows beside the doorway. Hera dropped one hand from my chest and reached out to her husband. “Gany-“
“Quiet!” The command was merciless but scarcely a whisper. My lord advanced on us, in media coitus. His eyes wandered along our naked, intertwined limbs with such zeal, I felt my cock swell and jump in response. Hera’s own body also responded; her nipples peaked, her womb clutched tighter, and moisture escaped unbidden. I ground my teeth at the sensation and tried not to move my hips. “Ganymede?”
“My lord?”
“Make her come. Show her the error of her assumptions.”
Hera’s eyes widened, the whites of her eyes rolling sideways to glare at her husband. “No!” She shoved me, hard, hands and feet together in a concerted effort to rid herself of me entirely, very likely hoping to propel me right out the palace window. Not that I’d be the first she’d get rid of that way.
            Zeus placed a strong hand on her leg, right above the knee, but ignored her and looked into my eyes, tilting my chin up and turning my face to his. “For me. Prove to her what no words, least of all mine, could have said in your defense. Let her realize your worth and our bond for herself.” Leaving his hand on her leg, stilling her movements, he took a small step back. Like a wolf stalking its prey, head lowered, eyes unwavering, lips drawn back faintly, he trailed his palm across Hera’s sleek skin. He skimmed over her thigh, dipping momentarily into the soft, dark hair hiding her feminine secrets, up her stomach, into her bellybutton, around one breast, then to the other. Lifting her breast, plumping it, he used his rough, calloused thumb to pebble her nipple and make her moan. The moan became a whimper when he offered his wife’s breast to me. I latched on, a little teeth, and sucked hard again and again. My tongue traced her hardened nipple with each suck. I felt her feet relax in the crux of my elbow and took the opportunity to begin moving inside her. With her legs lifted so high, she had no way to control my motions. I took full advantage. Tilting my hips, I caressed the upper side of her inner womb with the mushroomed head of my stiff cock. She came in a torrent. Body shaking, breath heavy, womb quivering. She yelled out, but Zeus’ hand was quick to cover her mouth. As she recovered, Zeus and I shared a passionate kiss.
            “Again.” Reaching to the sheet crumpled on the edge of the bed, he ripped it into three lengths. Zeus didn’t make eye contact with either of us as he used one scrap to gag his wife and the other two to tie her hands above her head to a beam under the bed. “I gave you an order, boy!”
His voice was deep with desire and cruel with passion. Though Hera had already come, I was still incredibly hard. Pulling free of her cunt with a wet pop, I shifted one of my own hands down between our bodies. The effort dropped my weight onto her; her crushed breasts tickled my own puckered nipples and I couldn’t resist shimmying just a bit, making us both giggle with suppressed arousal. That giggle was short-lived as I found her clit and used my fingertips to massage the little bud. A pinch, a tickle, a bit of rough pressure, and a flick; Hera was mine to dominate. She tried to fight the building awakening of her every nerve ending and the rush of need gathering in her womb. In vain, she writhed beneath me. The action borne of frustration racketed up both our cravings. Removing my hand, I hauled my body up from hers, felt Zeus’ hands on her ass cheeks encourage and spread her wider for my penetration and took the reluctant queen towards another orgasm.
“Oh, gods!” Her echoing scream died a slow death in the small room.
“You are mine Ganymede. Take Hera again, fill her.” Sweeter words, I had never heard. My cock was throbbing, aching, and punishing me for holding back. At last, I was given permission to find my own relief.
Zeus mounted the bed, it croaked under our combined weight but held. While Hera’s limp body offered no resistance at all, I was slowly slipping in and out of her damp womb, taking her along for my final ride. As I rode the used mistress of Olympus, Zeus, its master, took his cock in hand and pushed through my tight bud’s barrier. The growl which ripped itself from my throat only drove Zeus and I both deeper. He withdrew his incredible length almost to the head, then plunged back in; I did the same, under his guidance, to his wife. With Zeus’ sweat-slickened, duskily haired chest to my back and Hera’s blushing nipples to my chest, I was finally fully welcomed to Olympus.

v

I spent the remainder of immortality pouring out Zeus’ wine during the day and his divine nectar each night. Sometimes Hera deigned to join us…