Laying back, her hair mussed and one braid undone on the sun-heated turf, Daphne sighed. A smile played on her lips. The satyr was long-gone. She was laid out, splayed wide. Her arms and legs ached with the effort of the fucking. Her cunt throbbed, but whether with aftershocks of pleasure or from the beating it took, she didn’t care. This is what she was created for. What her being, deep down, craved.
“Shy nymph… please?”
The voice, masculine yet lyrical, surprised her and she moved to sit up. Apollo’s hand touched her shoulder, stilling her movement.
“I am Apollo, a god from Olympus.”
Daphne turned slowly to look over her shoulder. Indeed, he must be a god! The cascading waves of his blonde-tipped hair fell to caress his broad shoulders. His brown eyes were flecked with golden chips, making them glow like bronze. An aquiline nose, strong and wide only emphasized the greater chisel of his high cheekbones and sturdy jaw. Her gaze dropped and even through the unflattering cut of the tunic, she admired his toned waist and thick thighs.
“Daphne,” she answered the unspoken question twitching his lips—strikingly feminine in their fullness.
“Sorry to have startled you.”
“I was just resting. Would you like to lie with me?” Daphne patted the soft grass under his sandals. Her smile struck him like a bolt from Zeus. Her face lit up with the innuendo of her words. She had never had a god before, either in the chase or between her legs. Wondering what he would feel like and winking at him with the thought, her smile grew as he fell to the earth beside her.
“You only have to ask, sweet nymph.” In that moment, Apollo would have done any and everything she asked. “More than my immortal life, I wish to lie with you.”
Stretching a hand out, he ran his fingers across the rise of her breasts and up between the shadow of her collarbone to her pulse point. Toying with her, he circled the sensitive skin with his fingertips then leaned down and did the same with his tongue. Suckling roughly on her tender flesh, he marked her as his. He sat back and passed his gaze over her naked body. She flushed pink under his observation. Placing his hand back on her, he plucked her nerve endings like his lyre and in response, she sang. She hummed. She whimpered. She opened her mouth to scream. Maybe she wouldn’t run this time.
* * * *
Eros watched as Apollo approached Daphne from the clouds, which still hung in the cooling evening sky. Drawing a lead-tipped arrow from his quiver, the youthful god ran his fingers up and down the string of his bow. A replay of the previous night’s feast flashed before his hard eyes.
Apollo, his head thrown back and golden neck arched in mirth, filled the vast room of Dionysus’s palace with his musical laugh. Standing close, pulled up under the larger god’s arm by a firm grip to his shoulder, Eros cringed. Once again, he was teased for his small stature and slender, nearly feminine build. Despite his age, older than the newest generation of Zeus’ children, he still appeared to be pubescent. No hair marred his cheeks or chest. His muscles were the gangly wires of youth, not yet defined like those of Ares or Hephaestus.
“With arms like those, it is no wonder his aim often falls short of the mark,” Apollo taunted, grinning drunkenly down at the minor god.
“Unlike the aim of your sister, the master huntress. How poor a son you must have been to your mother for her to give your sister the skills of a man,” Eros tossed back at the sun-god. A look over to his side, he winked at Artemis. They had an understanding, a long-standing agreement. Neither of them was overly fond of her twin brother and his habit of boasting. Nor his claim of skill in archery. They knew who really held such a honor.
“Oh? You dare to question my manliness?”
“You sing songs, write poetry, and play with the dolphins. Is there really a question?”
Apollo flung Eros across the room at the insult. “You are just a child! Playing with your toys! You have no idea of the work of a real god!”
Eros lifted his head high, thrust his chin forward, and rose to his feet. “I will show you the power I can wield. You wait!”
Rocking back on his heels, Eros smirked. He would show Apollo. Apollo would rue the day he thought to question the elder god’s power. Eros was not the weaker of the two, nor were they equals. Eros would always hold sway over everyone. Even Zeus knew better than to mess with him. The god of love was a force to be reckoned with.
Glancing down at the cloud beneath his sandaled feet, he placed the arrow beside the gold-tipped one. One for hate, one for love. The ripples of a smile danced across his lips. This was going to be fun!
* * * *
The green blades of the soft, fresh spring grass tickled Daphne’s back. Her slender and unblemished fingers tangled in Apollo’s flaxen locks. His curls danced with the movement of his bobbing head between her thighs. A heavy arm draped across her hips, holding her down, keeping her in place. His other hand cupped her mound. Massaging the skin there, he teased her with fleeting touches.
Apollo’s tongue lapped at her folds, up and down the seam, seeking the sweet nectar of her feminine secrets. A finger sifted through her petal-soft curls in search of the delicate nub hidden beneath its hood of flesh. Finding it, he pinched and rubbed. Her back arched and hips thrust forward, threatening to push him off. Gripping her hip hard enough to leave a bruise, he fought to control her reaction. However he had imagined this moment, he was surprised how good she felt pinned under his ministrations. He loved the way she moved. Loved the way she sounded. Loved the unique smell of her approaching climax—like a meadow after a rainstorm. Loved the taste of her filling his mouth. Loved… her? A gold-pointed arrow struck his heart—a perfect shot—and disappeared in a puff of mist.
Blowing his warm breath on her clit, he felt her weaken and sigh in complete surrender. From between her thighs, he spoke. “Honeyed nymph, have you ever been to Olympus?”
“No,” she squeaked. His murmur traced along every quivering fiber of her being and she squirmed.
“Would you like to see Olympus?”
He eased his tongue from between his lips and across the barrier of hers. He groaned as he felt her body yield to his invasion. Stroking deep, as deep as he could, he drew the thick cream of her body’s sap from within. He needed more. So did she.
“With you?” The whisper hung on the edge of her conscience.
“Of course.” He grinned. She’d be welcome with him anywhere.
Replacing his finger with his mouth, he suckled on her aching nubbin and thrust two fingers into her moist, heated core.
Plunging the digits in to the knuckle and curving them to caress the spongy anterior of her sheath, he gave up his hold on her hips and grabbed her ass. He lifted her high with one hand to kneel under her body. Bracing her slight weight on her neck and shoulders, his mouth and fingers worked their magic.
He had spoken of his home… and her… together. Her, a nymph. Him, a god! Dear gods!
She melted under her thoughts. Begging her divine lover for what she desired, Daphne used her body instead words. He played her body like an instrument. In moments, she was lost in a field of gently waving, verdant ferns. She stood on the edge of sanity. Daphne had never felt like this before. A pleasure beyond anything she had ever known hung just out of reach. Love.
She never felt the lead-tipped arrow pierce her heart or heard the sinister laugh of the god of love as he spirited away. All she felt was sick. A sudden, stomach-roiling swelling of dread coursed through her veins with each pump of her heart. Bile rose in her throat. Her head pounded, severe pain making her squint against the intensity of Apollo’s golden skin. Raising her fisted hands, she pounded on his hands. Nails dug into the yielding flesh of his wrist. Delirious, he ignored the minimal pain and continued to feast on her now unwilling garden.
“God…” she whispered, upper lip curled in disgust.
Pulling away from her eden, her dew dripping from his chin, he lifted his eyes to hers. “You called?” The pain, rising anger, and open hatred in her gaze froze him to the core. “Darling nymph?”
Apollo did as she ordered, setting her softly on the cooled ground. A crease across the bridge of his nose spoke to his confusion. The sign of his own arousal at their previous actions stood accusingly at her, nodding its approval of her—until now—willingness. Her body recoiled at the implication. Moving as fast as she could, she crawled backwards, putting distance between her and the god.
“Get away from me!” Her yell was shocking in the calm evening. Bird song and the hum of insects fell silent at the rage in her tone. Pushing herself to her feet, the whites of her eyes glowed in the dimming light. A shake of her head and she spun on her toes and disappeared into the darkening forest.
“Zeus’s balls!” And Apollo took off after the fleeing dryad. “You want a chase? I will give you a chase.” He was laughing beneath his heavy gasping as he attempted to keep Daphne within sight. His strides, even as a god, were no match for her fleetness. She easily avoided capture.
Dodging around giant oaks and shadowy pines, she kept just out of reach. Her feet fell upon the mossy floor of her wooded domain. Coming to the stream of her friend and lover, she leaped it as gracefully as a doe. Apollo paused in his pursuit to admire her lithe beauty. She was an amazing creature. Her voice alone held him entranced—whether in mirth or wrath. The fact that her body, voluptuous in the right places and toned in the rest, was so beguiling only made his heart ache for her all the more. Placing a hand over his heart, he ducked his head and closed his eyes.
“Not love, I cannot be in love…” he mouthed, with the same words echoing in his mind. The sound deafened his arguments. Gods did not fall in love. Lust, just lust. Lust was all they had, wasn’t it? Apollo had never been so unsure.
As her footfalls faded away on the far side of the stream, he jumped back into action, choosing to splash through the stream instead of hurdling it, hoping the water would cool his sore feet. The soothing liquid was a temporary relief. In haste, he rejoined the unrelenting chase.
Daphne ran as fast as she was able, plenty fast to avoid the amorous embraces of a clumsy, aroused satyr, but a god was a different being altogether. A quick glance over her shoulder as she whipped around an oak and she could see Apollo’s golden radiance in the distance. He was keeping pace with her, gaining even. Placing a hand against the rough bark of another tree, she paused in her flight to survey her surroundings. She was nearing the edge of the forest where her friend’s stream swelled and churned, mixing with her own father’s river. From this distance, though, she struggled to make out the roar of his turbulent flow. She would need to get closer before pleading for his help.
Pushing away from the tree, the nymph shuddered. She had to make it to her father’s shores. The thought of Apollo between her legs again, with either his tongue or cock, had her stomach threatening to heave. Her legs wobbled at just the memory of what he’d been doing. Dropping a hand to her curls, she willed herself to forget.
“Daphne!” His yell startled her into movement. She had dawdled too long. He was close. “Wait!” She didn’t.
Sprinting, she moved in a blur. Apollo cursed. He lunged, reaching out. His fingers touched the feathery strands of her hair as she streamed away from him once again. So close.
The straining rhythm of his breathing filled her ears and her mind. He was right behind her. She could feel the warmth of his sun-darkened skin. Could sense his eyes staring at her, following her every zig between the trees and over the fallen limbs. Daphne could feel his desire, his need emanating from his every pore and tracking her every move. Her skin crawled at the sensation.
Closer and closer. Apollo would have laughed in joy if he’d had the air. She was beginning to weary. Soon, she would be his at last!
When the sound of her father’s swift-moving water greeted her, she nearly fell to the earth and wept.
“Father, river Ladon, hear my prayer!” she began, “Your daughter, Daphne, seeks your aid.” She fought for the right words, her mind spinning with the knowledge that Apollo was within reach, dangerously close, and from the exertion of her escape. “Help me flee the unchaste clasp of this god! I do not welcome his embrace!”
* * * *
Ladon, from beneath his roiling waves, heard his daughter’s plea. The fear in her voice stirred his anger. Rising from the depths, he was held back by a fist around his wrist. The lord of gods and king of men, Zeus, appeared in the water beside him.
“The Fates have spoken, Ladon. We are all theirs to weave to and fro as they see fit. This was ordained. She is to be his. Do not let her get away.”
Ladon nodded. He was not in a position to deny his lord. Not even for his daughter.
* * * *
Daphne ran along the bank of her father’s river, her worried eyes begging the water for a sign. Suddenly, she saw a whirlpool form ahead of her, slowing the flow of the river. She lowered her eyes in gratitude.
“I am sorry, daughter.”
Ladon emerged from the river and clapped his giant hands in the air. A fine mist surrounded him. Daphne sprinted through the vapor. The droplets of moisture clung to her skin. Watching his daughter, he noticed her pupils widen and her head jerk up. She felt the magic work on her instantly.
“No!” Daphne screamed. The birds in the branches high above screeched and fluttered away in a shower of feathers and broken twigs.
A dense numbness seized Daphne’s limbs, beginning at her feet and climbing higher with every effort she made to continue her flight. Her skin, so pure, so flawless, ripped apart and subtle imprinting marred her flesh. A thin bark molded her curves. Her toes stretched toward earth again, this time seeking her mother’s nutrients. Up her legs, the transformation rose. The bark closed over her feminine garden, her leafy eden taking on its true form. A thick moss, bright and verdant, spread down to the soft ground below.
What was happening to her? She was his. His love. He wanted her. Beneath him, clamped around him, in his arms. And she wanted him. He knew she had. Her body had proclaimed its truth. He walked around Daphne, facing her, and watched her change. His brows knit in concern and confusion.
Her fingers grew and hardened. Her spine shifted and straightened, pulling her taller. Panting with shallow breaths, tears tumbled from her eyes, turning to sap as they rolled down her roughened cheeks. She stared into the face of her enemy. His smile, his love, her worst nightmare and the last vision she was going to ever see. Life wasn’t fair.
Caressing the hard smoothness of the metamorphosing nymph, Apollo admired her beauty, even now. If he could not have her as a nymph and lover, he would still have her this way. Under his fingers, wherever he touched, he felt her body yield to fate. Yield to him. Her body never lied.
Her breasts rose perky and youthful with her final breath, her life finally taken from her and given to another.
Rising onto his toes, the sun god stroked down the thinly veined, dark green and glossy leaves that surrounded her once-immortal face. The echo of her perfect features was faintly etched in the canopy of waving branches. He stepped in close and wrapped his arms around his one true love. A glimmer of her warm life force was still there and he soaked it in. Closing his eyes, he remembered her emerald-colored irises and her sweet, melodic laughter. He sighed. Gone, but never forgotten.
Stepping back, he extended his hand and snatched a handful of her leaves from her limb-like branches. He snapped off a longer twig, green and flexible. With deft fingers, he wove the leaves along the length of the twig and curled it around, fastening the ends together. He placed the crown of laurel on his blonde, wavy locks. Pressing a kiss to her trunk, he turned and walked away.
“You will always be mine, Daphne. You will see Olympus, as I promised, and I will love you for eternity.”
Her only answer was the rustling of the leaves in the breeze. He took it for assent.