Chapter 13- Muses

He didn't recall much mythology, but as an artist he did remember the muses. The women that inspired all art, musically or otherwise. He liked the idea so much that he had Ode to Euterpe (the Muse of Music) tattooed around his left wrist. What he really liked about the Muses was that they were beautiful women…and Aaron could appreciate beautiful women.

Muse-wise he had yet to meet anyone. Most of the girls he wrote about weren't real (unless he was writing about some of his more…assertive fans). In fact the ambiguous Euterpe that whispered in his ear didn't have any kind of identity to a real person.

There were always the lovely trysts he had. Skin on skin, nails raking across his back, lips everywhere and the softness of being cradled against someone's body…the hardness of the lunges and sighs, the animal side of him that popped out…The sex was good, great…and fun to write about.

But to become immortal you had to write about more then boobs.

Tapping his pen violently against the desk, staring at his tattoo and praying for a visit from Euterpe, he was jogged back into reality by the feel of arms around his neck and breasts against his back.

"Aren't you coming back to bed, Aaron?"…

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Aaron opened his eyes slowly, sad to see the dream leave. When all remnants of it were gone he focused his eyes around him. The first thing he saw was Marita, using her father's thin comb to battle with her thick hair, and he had to smile. She had a lot of spirit… and he bet that there were a fair few boys back home that were wrapped around her little finger.

A little ways away Jack, Kate and Ana were in deep discussion, the nametag from the Others laying between them as potent as another body. Sawyer was thrusting a twig at the fire to keep it roaring all the while darting glares at Christian, who was helping Sam crack open a coconut. He'd keep reaching around her to help her hold it in place. It seemed to Aaron that Christian was letting the touches linger a bit longer then maybe he should have.

As he was studying this flirtation Sam looked up and caught his eye, holding his gaze for a solid minute, cocking one of her sideways grins at him.

He raised his hand and waved at her and she rolled her eyes, returning to her coconut. Christian had noticed the exchange, but pretended not to.

"Aaron!" Ewan was tugging on his sleeve, bringing him back to the Pace Family section of the Caves.

"Yes, Trouble?"

Ewan handed him a half of a mango and retreated, the boy had been acting very odd since his near abduction…it probably wasn't very good that no one could really dedicate the time to helping him cope through it individually but what could they do? They were in one hell of a circumstance and there wasn't an In-Case-Of-Emergency button that froze time so one person could figure things out.

Not to mention, Ewan wasn't the only one acting weird. Keely was nearly mute and glued to their father's hip, their mother had yet to put Adah down for more then fifteen minutes and the baby was beginning to become frightened by the atmosphere. Seth…Seth was always quiet but he seemed downright paranoid, jumping at every little noise. Probably because that's what Charlie and Claire were doing. Charlie was also prone to fits of indignant rage, while Claire was becoming like a lioness protecting her cubs. She looked cute but she'd tear you apart if you got close.

Staring at his mango Aaron was caught off guard by the realization that he wasn't upset. He didn't feel like he'd been through a trauma. He felt…like they'd had a stressful time at the airport and were now on a nice vacation with other families. He felt oddly relaxed. Relaxed enough so that he was focusing on the only interesting body on the island as though she were the last girl alive. Maybe he was so stressed that his mind had blocked out all the stress and he was free of it…

But it was more then that. It was something about this place…he'd been born here. If he had never been told that he would've felt it in his bones. Something about the air here was different than it was anywhere else…something made him feel eerily at home.

He wasn't sure whether that was comforting or disturbing.

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They didn't think of her mother as beautiful. Ana Lucia just wasn't the 'pretty' type. You liked her because of her grit, her nerve…you called her 'good looking' later.

And that's a hard legacy to have. Marita looked a lot like her mother, had most of her fire but none of her desire to put it to good use. At least…not anymore.

Christian might have been awkward but he was the picture of Jack and thus, was never ugly. Marita though … Marita had not been a pretty kid. When she looked at the mirror and compared it to her mother, she realized what she would become with no drive towards improvement. She would become the woman she loved…and hated.

Ana had a plan for Marita. A plan that followed the same path Ana herself had traveled down. A path that involved being heckled for her appearance, being let down for dates, and beating the shit out of the boys until she channeled her anger and made it into justice. Marita would become a Fury, a muse of revenge and fairness, and later find that special someone who liked that kind of spunk in a woman. Marita would become a model of accomplishment for the girls with "good personalities", just like Ana.

That's why Marita was the way she was. She put years of effort into becoming one of the pretty girls with their noses in the air because she was afraid that she would never have it. If her mother had her way she certainly wouldn't have it. She would go through life as a wallflower, as some gargoyle guarding whatever feminist values the rejected girls of society are forced to acquire for the sake of survival.

The problem was Marita had not altogether avoided her fate. Instead of being an ugly wallflower, now she was a pretty one. Skinny and well-groomed, what every boy wanted and ever girl hated…

And as invisible as before.

It seemed to her the only time she was seen was when she was fighting. Being in the ring was better then center stage, because the blood of the enemy looked like wine under the luminance of the spotlight. Her flaws were blown out by the heat of the flashbulbs and for a moment she became some statue of a war goddess…some holy relic lined with barbed wire.

The only problem with it was that she had dedicated so much time to becoming this that it was stigmatized in her mind, something evil and disgraceful. It was the ultimate fall of the angel…

Though perhaps her wings had always been clipped? And she was only now realizing that's why she had trouble flying…

Marita sat quietly poking her black eye and feeling the scratches that were healing on her body. Cleaning the guns with her mother had since calmed her wild spirits and now she was merely bathing in the weak aftermath of rage. She was always angry, but normally she just came off as constantly simmering below a boil. For whatever reason this island brought out the full measure of her anger and brought it out all at once. She was feeling almost bipolar, one minute fine the next screaming in a frenzy fit to murder.

And for some reason seeing Sam was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. There was something about that girl that rubbed Marita the completely wrong way…

Maybe it was that Sam was, naturally and effortlessly, what Marita wanted to be…and acted the same as her. She had the best of both worlds with the unfortunate handicap of never being able to enjoy one of them.

Or maybe it was the example of their parents, Ana seemed to hate Sawyer and Kate with a kind of passion that couldn't be expressed, only felt. Jack, on the other hand, seemed happy to see Kate, almost relieved. A part of him smiled, a part of him laughed…it wasn't the same smile and laughter that her mother invoked…

Maybe that's what irked Marita.

Or maybe it was just the island. The mere feeling of the sand under her feet turned her stomach, and she was a beach bunny when she had the ability to be one back home. The crisp salty air seemed heavy on her lungs, like thick smoke that was slowly smothering her. Something about this island brought out her evil side, the dark side…

Maybe that's what scared her most of all.

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They took her to museums sometimes. Always at Kate's behest. It would be below Sawyer to say that he enjoyed them or wanted his daughter breathing in that musky boredom. But whatever he may think, Sam enjoyed it. She saw other families there…being amongst the normal made her feel some small part of herself was normal too.

She remembered seeing an exhibit once of Artemis, the goddess of war. The goddess was standing on a field of gore and victory, her body immaculate and her face serene.

They had to rip Sam away from it.

She had to stare, she couldn't help it. Gazing at the painting she did not see a god, she saw her mother. Her mother sitting on the corpses of those behind her, bullet ridden walls and fire-blackened homes, but looking as harmful as Betty Crocker. Like the goddess, Kate could destroy with a flick of her wrist…and yet she never looked guilty.

Sam never figured out whether that was her gift or her curse.

The only thing Sam knew was that it was the reason she was always running, and the reason that she was alive…it was the reason for everything in Sam's life no matter how insignificant. It was as though her mother was all three Fates, creating, weaving and cutting the strands of Sam's life.

Whether Fate or mere goddess, so much of Kate affected Sam that she might as well have been both.

Sam was used to that feeling…but that didn't mean she enjoyed it any more now then before.

The island was different from everywhere else Sam had ever been. It was the first place to stay immovable beneath her feet. She wasn't on a treadmill for the first time, the motion of her life had frozen in time…and as strange as it felt, she enjoyed it.

For the first time there were no cops, no FBI, no pursuers, no getting caught…not even the chance of it. They were alone here with two other families and strange doctors that tried to kidnap them. But hell… she wasn't being shot at. She wasn't being told it was time to go. She wasn't being teased with roots she could never have.

Sam felt solid on this island, solid after a lifetime of fluidity.

And she liked the people that were here, too. Each one as solid as the next, and each guaranteed to be there the day after next and the day after that.

She liked this alternate reality, this trap they were sitting in.

If this is how the mouse lived, damned if Sam was going to be the cat anymore.

TBC

Author's Note:

HOWDY!

Wow…its been almost two weeks? More then two weeks?

Well…I have good reason for this, I promise.

First off…my cowboy asked me out! First boyfriend! Shortly thereafter he became first lover…tonight I had to go pick up my first birth control (as baby-making is not on the High School agenda) and with all that going on…softball started. Which means not home til late anyway, and the boyfriend really takes a cut from that.

I have another song written, I just have to type it up….that might be your treat later this week (or be released next week if a new chapter looks iffy…)

But life's just been hectic! What can I say?

THANKS whoever stuck with it through the lull!