Elysian Dreams: Olympians
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by Susan M. Sailors
Category: Erotica/Erotic Fantasy
Description: Aphrodite wants to right a wrong from many years ago. Her petty quarrel with Apollo resulted in him being separated from the woman he loved. Until now. With Zeus's help, Aphrodite has given Apollo and his beloved Daphne a second chance. Will they find happiness together? Or will they find that the years of separation have drastically changed what each of them once wanted?
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: May 2010
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [223 KB]
Reading time: 146-205 min.
Aphrodite stood in a field and stared at a very unusual laurel tree, which was not a tree at all. It had once been a girl named Daphne, and soon it would be again. She held her hands over the center of the trunk and concentrated. When she lifted her hands, a large lead arrowhead was there, stuck deep into the tree. Zeus had helped her with the spell once he and Hera had agreed to let her lift the enchantments on Apollo and Daphne without their consents, so this time she trusted her magic. She would not make the same mistake she had made many months ago with the spell she cast on Ares. She wanted to give Apollo and Daphne a second chance since her meddling had ruined their first one.
She tugged on the arrowhead, but it didn't budge. She wiggled it a little, and that seemed to loosen it. She pulled on it again. This time it came out quickly. Sap began to pour out of the tree. Before long though, it turned to blood.
Aphrodite looked at the arrowhead and threw it down. She tried to stop the blood with her hands. The tree felt hot. She felt the bark turn to soft skin, saw the tree shrink and transform into a girl who immediately began to moan in pain as her knees buckled and she crumpled on the ground.
"Apollo! Apollo!" She tried to support Daphne as best she could. Apollo had the ability to heal all of the gods and other beings of Olympus, and surely he would help the woman he'd loved for centuries. He didn't answer at all though, and he didn't appear. Damn it, he must be hurt too!
She looked around, but she saw no one. "Zeus! Help us! Please!"
Zeus immediately appeared. He knelt down and took Daphne in his arms. "Hypnos!"
Hypnos, the god of sleep, appeared within seconds. He looked angry.
"What have you done?" he asked.
Zeus looked shocked, and Aphrodite understood why. No one questioned Zeus, and Hypnos never spoke to anyone like that. He was always quiet and gentle. With a chill Aphrodite remembered that Hypnos was now the god of death again as well as the god of sleep and dreams. Thanatos, whom they had all known as the god of death for centuries, had never been real at all. He'd been part of Hypnos, the darker part, living a separate life at the will of Zeus and the Fates to protect the other Olympians from Hypnos' ambition and darker desires. Since Thanatos' duel with Zeus, Hypnos had been made whole again, reabsorbing everything the Fates had extracted. All his powers were fully restored, so Aphrodite couldn't help feeling nervous about his unexplained anger. She still remembered the days when wondering what he might do had caused great fear.
"I said, what have you done?" Hypnos repeated.
"A spell seems to have gone wrong. We didn't foresee this," Zeus said. "Help Daphne, and then I'll explain." He looked up at Aphrodite. "Apollo may need help too. Go to him and let us know."
Aphrodite nodded and snapped her fingers. She had no idea why Hypnos was upset, but she knew Apollo just might be out for her blood if he wasn't in the same state Daphne was.
Apollo lurched forward as he threw up on his living room floor for the third time. His head pounded, and his heart felt like it was being ripped apart. Something ripped at his throat. He looked down and saw an arrowhead in the pool of bloody vomit. He stared down at it in disbelief.
"Eros," he called, his voice barely audible. Then he stopped. Eros had shot the arrows at him and at Daphne, but he had done so at Aphrodite's command, her vengeance for Apollo mocking Eros' archery skills.
He'd thought Daphne was the loveliest girl he'd ever seen. She'd been shy, but he had persisted. Just when he'd felt she might be warming to him, Eros had shot them both. Apollo had fallen madly in love with Daphne in an instant. He'd reached for her, only to see her face curl up in disgust. She'd pushed him off and ran from him. Not knowing what was wrong, he'd pursued her. He hadn't understood her cries of terror or her disgust at the idea of him being near her. Then she'd called for her father to help her.
Apollo had stopped short, but had still run face first into a tree. He soon afterward learned the tree was Daphne. Her father had protected her the only way he could. The poisonous lead arrowhead had lodged deep in her heart, and she preferred life as a tree to life in a world with him in it. So the spell had never been lifted. He'd loved her and been forced to live without her, thinking only of how much she loathed him, for centuries.
He mustered all his strength. "Aphrodite!"
"I'm already here."
He rounded on her, though he was too weak to stand. Blood flowed from his mouth, and he could feel the warm liquid also running down his throat. "What have you done?"
"How can I help? I was afraid to speak. I'm sorry. The sight of you shocked me. Please tell me how to help. Then you can yell at me all you want."
He pushed his rage down as the pain surged. "The bottles, there." He pointed to the left side of the bar. "The ones on that side aren't alcohol, they're potions."
"Which one?" she asked as she ran over.
He squinted. "Blue. Top shelf, second bottle." He cringed. "I need to stop the bleeding."
She rushed over to him, and he gratefully took a long drink.
"Didn't you learn your lesson with Ares? Zeus should forbid your use of magic."
She knelt by him and wrung her hands. He could tell she was fighting tears. "It wasn't my own. The spell was Zeus', but something went wrong."
"Zeus helped you?" He puzzled over this, but then thoughts of Daphne sent a jolt of fear to his heart. "Where's Daphne?"
"With Zeus and Hypnos."
He struggled to stand. "She may need me." He braced himself on the bar. She tried to steady him, and he grabbed her by the throat. "If she dies I will never forgive you. Zeus may have to keep me from killing you."
Aphrodite didn't seem concerned for herself. "You're weak. I'll take us there. Zeus and Hypnos wouldn't let her die."
"But she may need something only I can give. Zeus is not omnipotent. I am the only one who can heal. Hypnos could only slow down her death."
Aphrodite snapped her fingers, and they appeared in the field where Daphne had lived so long as a tree. Hypnos cradled Daphne in his arms. He looked furious, and Apollo wondered what could have happened. Zeus stood watching at a distance.
Hypnos spoke up quickly, cutting Apollo off as he opened his mouth. "Help her. A few more minutes and I will have no choice but to take her back to the Underworld."
Apollo nodded and allowed Aphrodite to help him to Daphne. The intensity in Hypnos' voice had chilled him. Apollo knew it was urgent if Hypnos had to fight against his instincts. He touched her forehead. She'd lost too much blood, and her mind was catatonic. He concentrated, and three bottles appeared. Two contained orange liquids, one blue. He took the blue one first. "Hold her up. She has to swallow all of it."
Hypnos helped Apollo pour it slowly down her throat, pausing to make sure it wasn't choking her. Apollo rubbed her head, and then her throat, and finally her chest just over her heart. He felt his hands warming as his powers returned. He took one orange bottle and smelled it. He set it down and reached for the other. He smelled it as well and then handed it to Aphrodite. "Cover your hands. It will coat them like honey. Work it deep into her scalp. Rub until it is absorbed, and use the whole bottle. When you are done, there should be no trace on your hands or her skin or hair."
Aphrodite nodded and did as she was told. Apollo looked up at Zeus, too afraid to be angry now. In his mind he told the king of the gods, She might be insane. She might never be as she once was. She's only a nymph, not a god like us. I can only do so much.
This should not have happened, Zeus replied.
Apollo picked up the last bottle and gave it to Hypnos. "Make her drink this slowly as well, all of it." He touched her hand, which was cold. He looked down at her pale face. She was still perfect to him. He wanted nothing more than to see her open her stunning green eyes.
"Tell me about the spell, Zeus. If all this doesn't cure her, we'll have to try something else."
"It was supposed to reverse time for both of you. Removing the arrowheads removes the spells that were a part of you. You should both be as you were before."
Apollo nodded and squeezed her hand. He smoothed her skirt over her legs. She wore the simple green and brown dress she'd been wearing that day long ago as they'd strolled in the field together. Her feet were bare. He remembered how much she loved walking barefoot in the grass. "That explains why I still care so much for her. I was already falling for her then. I was trying to make her see how much I wanted her." He felt tears in his own eyes. "She said no to this, to the lifting of the spell. I would rather you'd left her a tree for all eternity!" His voice echoed throughout the valley.
Aphrodite didn't speak. Tears flowed freely down her face. Apollo couldn't feel anything for her. After what she'd done to him, he'd become obsessed with her. He'd wanted nothing more than to have her, to fuck her and completely have his way with her. Once he'd done that, he'd been disgusted with her and himself. He'd hurt someone else in the process, Alala, who would soon be Ares' wife. When they'd been lovers for a time, he'd finally gotten his chance with Aphrodite. The day Alala had found him fucking Aphrodite, she ran from him, just as Daphne had so long ago. Alala was the only one who'd shown him kindness or love in the bitter centuries he'd been forced to live through without Daphne. He blamed it all on Aphrodite.
Daphne stirred. She opened her eyes and looked around. She seemed panicked until she realized Hypnos was holding her. "Hypnos!" she whispered. She threw her arms around him. "Where am I? What has happened? Every inch of my body hurts." She rubbed her head and then looked up. "Who are these people?"
They all stared at Hypnos, who smoothed her hair and held her close as if none of them were there.
"I can explain. You're going to have to remember things you've forgotten." Hypnos stood and lifted her in his arms. "Talking to her will only confuse her. She drank from the Lethe years ago to stop the pain of her memories. I couldn't refuse her."
"What?" Apollo demanded. "How did you help her? How could she drink from the Lethe? She'd been a tree for centuries. She wasn't dead. She couldn't have gone to the Underworld."
"I am the god of sleep and dreams. She hovered near the Valley of Dreams, alone in her own world, and my friendship is the only reason she is sane. She begged to forget, so I brought her water from the Lethe. It seems the spell hasn't altered that."
Apollo felt his rage boil over. "That's why she stopped talking to anyone years ago. You wanted her for yourself, and you forced her to forget!"
She whimpered and buried her face in his neck. "Hypnos, take me home, please!"
Hypnos glared at Apollo. "I am her friend, only her friend, but I will fight you as though I were more. Let her be with her only friend. She doesn't remember any of you. I will explain everything to her."
"I don't trust you to do that," Apollo said as he stepped closer.
Daphne flinched as he approached, and Hypnos took a defensive stance. "Back off, right now. You're frightening her."
Fierce jealousy filled Apollo's heart as he watched her cling to Hypnos. "No. I won't let you take her. She's mine!"
She jerked her head up. "Are you crazy? I don't even know you!"
His heart thudded painfully. He saw once again that same look of revulsion on her face. He turned from her. "Go. Get out of here!"
Hypnos nodded to Zeus. "I will explain all, to her and to you."
Zeus nodded quickly and waved him away. Hypnos and Daphne disappeared.
Apollo turned back to Zeus. "How could you let Aphrodite do this? I am going to lose Daphne again. Do you know what that is going to feel like? Do you have any idea?"
Zeus sighed. "Let's wait until Hypnos has explained things to her. We can do nothing until then."
Apollo turned his back on Zeus and walked away, slapping Aphrodite's hand back when she reached out to stop him. "I am going to get rip-roaring drunk! Keep that blonde bitch out of my path, or I will kill her!"
The two remained silent as he headed to the mortal world, ready to make a few bartenders very happy.
Daphne looked around the living room as Hypnos worked in the kitchen. "Why does everything look different?"
Hypnos came back into the room. "You are alive again, Daphne. We couldn't go to my home in the Underworld. This house belongs to Zeus."
"So I was dead?"
"In a way. You existed between the two worlds. That's how I found you. You were wandering in the Valley of Dreams."
"I don't understand. Who were those people? They seemed to know me. The woman and the man with long hair seemed worried about me, and the other man thought he owned me. Who was he?"
"It's going to take me a very long time to explain. Will you be patient with me?"
Her emotions were churning, and she wanted to cry. She wanted Hypnos to hold her in his arms. He was the only man she'd ever known. She wanted him. No other man could interest her, no matter how handsome. He had never let her get that close though, never kissed her or touched her that way. There was no other woman in his life. Why didn't he want her?
She looked up at him. "Sorry. I'm so confused." She sat down. "I'll listen though. I know you wouldn't lie to me."
"Good. I'm making you something to eat. It's something you haven't done in a very long time, but you need to."
She nodded. After a few moments, she walked into the kitchen and stood in the doorway. "I'm still adjusting to the change in you. It's overwhelming."
Hypnos unwrapped a block of cheese and put it on the table. "I've been meaning to ask you how you feel about that. You do seem changed."
"I guess I'm responding to the change in you. Things finally seemed to be going my way."
Hypnos cut several slices of cheese from the block, and then picked up another knife and began slicing a tomato. When he was done, he finally looked up at her. "Daphne, I don't want things to be any more complicated than they already are. I'm the only man you can remember. It's natural you should think you love me. That will change though."
She shook her head. "That's not what you want. Since you got your new powers, you've warmed to the idea. I've seen little changes. I know you desire me as much as you care for me."
"Daphne, there are still some points that you don't seem to grasp. I wasn't only given new powers. My entire personality has changed. I wasn't given something new. I was given back something that was taken from me. They took it away because it was dangerous."
"Your personality has changed. I can agree with that. You no longer seem scared of touching me. I think you want to touch me very badly."
Hypnos turned from her and continued putting a sandwich together. Daphne hadn't eaten in a very long time, and she had to admit it smelled wonderful. Her stomach rumbled.
"I'm sorry, Hypnos. I'll listen to everything you have to say. I know you only want what's best for me."
Hypnos put the sandwich on a plate and carried it to her. "Then come sit down. I hope you'll remain this understanding. Even if you don't like them, all the things I'm going to tell you are for your own good."
Daphne looked down at the sandwich for a minute, and then she followed Hypnos to the couch. He sat back and gestured for her to eat. She picked up the sandwich and took a bite. Turkey, cheese, tomato, and mayonnaise. It tasted amazing.
Hypnos smiled. "Good?"
"Yes," she said through a mouthful of crust and turkey.
"I thought you might be hungry." He stretched his arm out behind her. He paused as she quickly devoured the sandwich. "I'm not sure where to begin."
"Then let me help you. Do I know those people we were just with?"
"Yes, you do. Let me ask you something first. What is your father's name?"
Daphne stuffed the final bite into her mouth and chewed thoughtfully. "Of course I remember that. Helios is my father. Gaia is my mother. They come to see me when they can, but it has been a while since I talked to them."
Hypnos sat forward. "So you do remember some people? And who is Helios?"
Daphne didn't feel like being tested, but she assumed Hypnos knew what he was doing. "He's the god of the sun. He is the sun."
"And who is Gaia?"
"She is the mother of us all. She is the earth, the land. She's everywhere."
Hypnos nodded. "Why do you believe this?"
"What do you mean, why? It's true. I don't just believe it. They're my parents. I may have forgotten some things, but I know my parents." Hypnos looked very serious and it was beginning to make her nervous. She hadn't forgotten her parents. They loved her and cared for her.
"Your parents are the sun and the earth. Sounds like something a tree would say."
Daphne stared at Hypnos. Was he trying to make her laugh? Did he have something awful to tell her? "I guess so. That's an odd association, but that doesn't really matter. Please explain to me why I can't go home. You said it's because I'm alive again. I asked if I was dead, and you said no. You said your home is in the Underworld. How could I be there if I wasn't dead? It was a beautiful valley, but no one else was there. That couldn't have been the Elysian Fields. All the good people are there."
"You remember the Elysian Fields?"
She wanted to roll her eyes, but she stopped herself. "Everyone knows about the Elysian Fields. Children know about them. Why wouldn't I know something that basic?"
Hypnos took her hand. "Daphne, until this moment, it didn't matter what memories you still had. Now it does. I'm trying to figure out what you remember. You seem to have forgotten everything you knew before you were...transformed."
"Transformed? Is that why every inch of my body aches? What happened to me?"
Hypnos didn't reply.
"Hey, let's skip what I do or do not remember. I remember you. I love you. You are my friend. Tell me something now!"
"You were under a spell. You've been a tree for hundreds of years."
"Hundreds of years? I haven't even been alive that long."
Hypnos considered this. "How old are you then?"
Daphne thought. Nothing came to her. Nothing. She reached back as far as she could. She was sitting by a river, and Hypnos asked her if she felt better. She smiled at him and said yes. Before that...there was nothing. Her stomach lurched. She pitched forward and vomited on the floor. Her breath came in gasps, and her heart started to pound. Her stomach kept convulsing until she began to spit bile out onto the floor.
Hypnos knelt down beside her, stroking her hair. "I'm sorry I can't make this easier."
"Who were those people, Hypnos?"
First he helped her back up onto the couch, and then he pulled her into his arms, resting her head on his shoulder. "The woman was Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The man with long blond hair was Zeus, the king of the gods. The other blond man was Apollo, the god of light."
"And what do they have to do with this? They all acted like they had something to do with this, with me."
"They do. Do you want to know now?"
She wrapped her arms around his waist. "I don't know. Is there anything I don't know about you? About us?" She hoped there would be, but it didn't seem very likely.
"Not the way you mean. I am the god of sleep, dreams, and death. I'm your friend, the only friend you've had for centuries. About a hundred years ago, you drank from a river in the Underworld, the Lethe. It made you forget everything I need to tell you."
"I wanted this? To forget? Is it that bad?"
"Yes, you wanted it. It's not so terrible, but you were tired of remembering."
"Okay. So, who are my parents?"
"Peneus is your father. He's a river deity, though not as powerful as me or the others you saw earlier. Your mother was mortal and has been dead for a very long time. You remember what mortals are? Who they are?"
She looked up at him and nodded. "Yes. They live in the other world."
"Good. Yes, that's right. You're a nymph. Immortal, with your own powers, but not quite like a god."
"Not as powerful?"
"Yes. After you were changed, Helios and Gaia probably came to see you in the field in Olympus to take care of you. I'm not sure though. You never told me about those things, and I rarely went there. I always saw you as you are now, in human form, in the Valley of Dreams."
Daphne pulled away from Hypnos. She closed her eyes, remembering something. She remembered voices, but they weren't clear. "I don't know. Maybe. It doesn't make sense now."
"I think your memories are breaking through."
"Will they just come back?"
Hypnos shrugged. "I'm not sure. The spell to release you might fight the effects of drinking from the Lethe, but I cannot be sure. I think we may need other help."
"Who is that?"
"She's one of the Titans. She may be very hard to find, but she's better than the alternative."
"Apollo. He's the god of truth, but I don't think he could help near as much as she can."
"What is she the goddess of?"
"Memory. She may be able to restore your memory, but we have to find her and ask her first."
"Is it so hard? Can anyone else help us find her?"
"Zeus, perhaps. They had many children together a long time ago."
"They were married?"
Hypnos smiled. "No, they weren't, but he might know how to find her."
Daphne thought carefully. Did she want her memories back? If she willingly gave them up, they must be painful. What would it do to her? Even with Hypnos there, she began to feel afraid.
"Hypnos, does my father know yet?"
"I don't know. It's possible he doesn't."
"Can I see him now? Can he come with us?"
"Would you feel better?"
She sighed. "I don't know. I don't understand what's happening at all. If I was cursed, why have I been brought back? I was happy. Why take that away from me?"
"Someone was...trying to make something right. You didn't do anything wrong."
"So why was I turned into a tree then? That does not sound normal to me."
"I suppose I need to explain this before we go to your father."
Hypnos took her hands. "Just listen, okay?"
She nodded. His hands shook a little, and she wondered what kind of horrible tale she was about to hear.
"You were turned into a tree by your father. He did this to protect you."
"Protect me from what?"
"You and Apollo were sitting together, and you were both shot with magical arrows."
"What? Who did it? Why would they want to hurt us?"
"It was Aphrodite's son, Eros. Aphrodite was angry with Apollo because he had mocked her son's archery skills. She made two special arrows. One made Apollo fall very deeply in love with you. The other made you hate him."
"It made me hate him? Why?"
"So you would hurt him by rejecting him. You ran away, and he started to chase you. He only wanted to catch you so he could find a way to help you. He was confused but knew something magical had been done to you. You hated him so much though that you didn't want him near you. You ran to your father's river, and you asked him for help. He was no match for Apollo, so he did what he could."
"He turned me into a tree? Hypnos, this is ridiculous. I don't care what you think or what you've been told, but I would remember being a tree!"
"No, you wouldn't."
She pulled away and stood as he reached for her. "Sounds pretty damned memorable to me."
"Will you believe your father?"
"Why didn't he change me back? Surely someone could if all this other stuff is possible."
"You refused. You said you didn't want to be changed back."
"I wanted to be a tree? No, that can't be possible."
"The arrow made you hate Apollo so much you didn't want to live in the same world as him. Aphrodite asked you over and over again, but Zeus finally made her leave you alone."
"This is a dream. This is not happening." Daphne closed her eyes. "This cannot be happening."
He stood and moved closer to her. "Let's go find someone who can help. Please?"
She turned back to him. "If you want to help, then comfort me." She twined her arms around his neck. "Make me feel better." She pressed her lips to his.
He jerked away from her violently.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
He looked confused. "I shouldn't be able to kiss you. It should make you fall asleep."
She frowned, but then she moved close again.
He backed away. "Daphne, my kiss could kill you."
"Then stop kissing me if I fall asleep." She touched her lips to his, and nothing happened. She kissed him again, and still nothing.
"I don't understand," he said.
"Don't try to." She pulled him close and kissed him deeply.
He resisted, but she rubbed her body against him. He opened to her and returned her kiss. His hands roamed over her back. She deepened the kiss, feeling desire surge inside her. She'd wanted this for so long. If everything around her was about to change completely, she wasn't going to give up this chance. The kiss seemed to thrill him, so she used that to her advantage.
She ran her hand down his chest, and then opened his pants. She had her hand on his cock before he could protest. He groaned as she stroked it to life. It felt good in her hand, very long and very hard.
"Daphne, I don't want you to regret this." His voice had grown husky. "You're very hard to resist. I've never been able to kiss anyone outside of a dream."
She looked up into his eyes. "I'm not going anywhere until you give me this satisfaction."
He groaned. "Then I won't let you go until we're both satisfied." He grabbed the straps of her dress and ripped them. Her dress fell to the floor. He took her face in his hands and kissed her roughly, pushing her back slowly until he had her pressed against a small table. He lifted her up onto it, and she leaned back against the wall. His hands ran over her breasts, and she shivered at his touch.
"Yes, Hypnos, yes." She could feel her need for him building. She wanted to feel him inside her, pumping into her. Her fantasies had recently become more intense. She'd been sensing he'd wanted this as much as she had, especially the past few weeks. Whatever had happened to him had given him more passion, and that was just what she needed from him at this moment.
"I've always wanted to touch you," he said as his mouth descended on her breasts.
She gasped when he ran his teeth over her nipple. She'd never felt anything like this. The delicious sensations overwhelmed her. His fingers moved up and down her thigh. It was the sweetest torture. She shifted under him, wanting him to touch her.
He brought his lips back up to hers as he pulled her hips forward. He pulled his cock from his pants, and its head touched her. He rubbed it against her opening. "Are you sure, Daphne?"
He rubbed her back, breathing deeply. He seemed to be under great strain, like he was holding back. "You probably don't remember this, but you're a virgin."
"I don't care. I need you so much. Hypnos, please."
He hesitated, and she held his face in her hands.
"I trust you above any other. You're right. I didn't think about being a virgin, but it doesn't change how much I want you. All I feel is desire. I'm not scared. You're the man I want to give myself to. I'm happy you're the first."
He took her left hand in his and kissed the palm. He pushed forward, penetrating her.
She shifted back to welcome him. She sighed as he slowly filled her. She searched her mind for memories of this with another man, but they weren't there. She didn't understand how she could want this so much if she'd been a virgin, but perhaps that was why she needed it with such intensity. There was some pain, but being with him lessened it. She knew pleasure would come if she let him have his way with her body.
He cradled her in his arms as he moved deeper inside her. He kissed her face and hair, groaning with pleasure. "You feel amazing. I've thought of this often."
"So have I. I didn't understand why you didn't want me."
Hypnos thrust faster. "Oh I did, but given your circumstances, I couldn't. I care for you too much to hurt you. I never knew when a day like this might come."
She shook her head. "You wouldn't have hurt me."
He stroked her face. "You don't know that. I have changed in so many ways." He moved in long, deep strokes. "I'm not hurting you?"
Her pussy throbbed with need. Everything felt tight, ready to give. "Oh no. I've never felt like this before. It felt strange at first, but now it's amazing. Hypnos, I don't care what happened before. I love you. Only you."
He suddenly looked very sad, but he kissed her before she could say anything else. She came, bucking against him. She held him as she shook. His cock felt hot and hard and wonderful inside her trembling pussy. She pressed against him to take his cock deeper. As the pleasure moved over her, she knew she'd go crazy if they couldn't do this again.
He began to move again, and she soon felt him release into her. He held her tightly, and his kiss grew more anxious. They both trembled as they pulled away from each other.
She looked up into his eyes. "I'm sorry if you didn't want me to say it. You had to know I loved you, and I had to say it."
"I already knew it. I shouldn't have touched you." He turned away from her.
She walked ahead of him and stopped him. "I disagree. I needed you."
"Do you feel better now? I don't."
His words stung. She hadn't expected him to say he loved her too, but she hadn't expected him to react like this. "You seemed to enjoy it. Are you saying you regret it?"
He shook his head. "You misunderstand completely. I wanted to do that to you the first day I heard you singing. But as much as I love you, my heart has not turned that way. As much as I've thought of you and wanted to touch you, I am not meant to fall in love. It's too dangerous."
"That started out very sweet, and it ended very pompously. You're better than me then, is that right? You're too good for me because I'm a nymph and you're a god?"
"What did I say to make you think that?"
"You can fuck me, but you'll never love me?"
"Desiring a beautiful woman is not wrong. I was trying to be honest. If I were meant to love you, I would by now."
"You love her!"
"That blonde girl who comes to the Valley of Dreams. You look at her differently."
Hypnos sighed. "That's Persephone. She's the queen of the Underworld. She is married to my master. That is what makes her special to me."
"You always told me not to approach her."
"I didn't want her to know you were there. Hades didn't even know."
"The god of the Underworld." He frowned. "I've talked of him many times since you drank from the Lethe. Why don't you remember him?"
Daphne stared at him. She'd never heard the name Hades before. "No, you haven't. You're trying to make me think I'm just a confused little girl."
"No, I'm not. All the magic you've been subjected to must be affecting your mind."
She turned away from him. Zeus was king of the gods, and he was interested in what happened to her, if Apollo could be believed. "Zeus!" she cried.
The blond man appeared in an instant. His eyebrows shot up when he looked at her naked body. He snapped his fingers.
She looked down and saw her dress, showing no sign of a rip, was on her body again. "Ah. Didn't think about that. Can I do that myself?"
"Yes, you can," Zeus said. He was glaring at Hypnos.
She snapped her fingers as he had done, and her dress became blue with long sleeves and a shorter skirt. The material felt cool and comfortable.
She explained, "I am mad at him, but he hasn't done anything wrong."
"I have trouble believing that," Zeus said as Hypnos adjusted his pants.
"You are the king of the gods. For now I would prefer your help because Hypnos and I need some time apart. Will you help me?"
He walked over to her. "Of course. My spell to free you nearly killed you. I will do anything you ask."
"Take me somewhere else. I want to think."
Zeus nodded. "I will." He turned to Hypnos. "We will discuss this in detail later."
Hypnos bowed to Zeus.
She looked at Hypnos. "It may be a few days before I want to see you again. Think about the things I said."
"I will, Daphne." He looked stricken and helpless. She'd never seen him like that before. The changes in his moods, the conflicting desires that seemed to pull him in two directions and make him both regret and question his actions confused her. She wanted to understand, wanted to help him.
She went to him and kissed his cheek. "You are my friend, but you'll forgive me if I decide to fight for more because I truly do love you. I do not regret what just happened, and in your heart you don't either." She turned back to Zeus. "I'm ready."
Zeus took her hand, and light flashed around her. She closed her eyes and hoped Hypnos would see things differently the next time they met.