Gold-tipped Arrow – A Rurouni Kenshin Fanfiction

By Rikkitsune

THE CAST

Eros: Kenshin

Psyche: Kaoru

Aphrodite: Tomoe

Hephaistos: Akira

Zephyrus: Sanosuke

Zeus: Hiko

Demeter: Tae

Amphitrite: Misao

Poseidon: Aoshi

Invisible Attendants: Yahiko, Tsubame

Persephone: Tokio

Hades: Saitou

Chloris: Megumi

All other characters are of my own creating, except for their names, which are mostly plucked from Greek myths.

Hello Everyone! Goldtipped Arrow is back on FFN. This time, I plan to be extremely careful and keep to the ratings guidelines. I don't want to be reported again. I will post each of the old chapters once I have edited them and removed the explicit material. If you want to read the original version, go to my archive, 'Wish'. Details are on my author's profile.

This chapter is the same as the original, for the reason that there is nothing here that breaches the M rating. Be that as it may, please heed the warnings.

This fanfic is based on the myth of Cupid and Pysche. The story itself has been told in both Roman and Greek mythology, and the most common story often features characters from both mythologies. For the sake of consistency, I will be using the names from Greek mythology, which is my stronger area. The cast list shows you who is who. I will try to stay as true to the original story as possible, however I will be including some new characters and parts as I go along.

WARNINGS: This story is rated M for incest and slight citrus thus far. Bear in mind that the Greek Gods and Goddesses have always displayed tendencies towards sexual deviance in the myths. I'm just going with it. There will also be lemony goodness in abundance later on in the story.

Many thanks to my beta reader Ice-Cool, who ruthlessly picks holes in all my plotlines. Where would I be without you?

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin and its characters, nor do I own the original story of Cupid and Psyche, the Greek Gods, or the myths that come with them.

CHAPTER ONE

Psyche gripped the white marble ledge of her balcony until the pain in her fingers faded into a burning numbness, staring out onto the ocean in front of her. An outsider would have the impression that she was searching the great glittering stretch of blue, but in fact her gaze was completely internal.

Why do I feel this way?

She couldn't tell with exact certainty when this feeling had begun, although she could recall certain moments in her life that had contributed to its strength. Moments when her handmaiden had told stories about having fun with her friends down in the village, or when she saw a group of young girls talking and laughing happily together in the agora. Psyche herself had no real friends to speak of, having so far lived a cosseted life where she was mostly kept apart from people outside her father's house. The most painful moments, however, occurred when she saw the loving smiles shared between her mother and father, or when she saw a young couple exchange an affectionate caress, believing that no one was watching. These moments were usually accompanied by mysterious feelings of restlessness and dissatisfaction.

Over the years the feeling had been steadily growing and twisting its tendrils into every corner of her being. Now, it felt almost like madness. A hot, strangling, suffocating madness that was almost unbearable. It was an overwhelming compulsion to run, to escape, to be free. Psyche wanted to scream, rage and throw something. Something expensive and breakable, that would hit the wall with a satisfying crash and shatter into many satisfying little pieces at her feet.

But she would not. Women of her breeding and class did not engage in such ungainly and unfeminine activities.

Abruptly, Psyche turned away from the ocean view. The sun was near its peak and the heat was reaching an uncomfortable level. She would have to return indoors, lest the sun damage her delicate complexion. If she appeared before her mother or attendants with so much as a freckle, all of Hades' realm would break loose. The young woman suppressed a rather unladylike snort as she shuffled through the doorway leading into her bedchamber. She could almost hear their voices in her ear:

"My lady Psyche, a woman of your wealth and station must stay out of the sun! Your skin is much too fine!"

"Do you want your skin to become brown and shrivelled like some common peasant working in the fields? No man will ever want you!"

"No man seems to want me anyway," Psyche muttered resentfully and she retreated further into the sanctuary of her private apartment. She paused and glanced at her bed, an opulent looking collection of fine silk coverlets in magenta, pale rose and tangerine. Carefully arranged matching pillows with gold thread trim adorned the head and sheer white silk curtains were draped over tall, ornately carved satinwood bedposts standing around the edges, giving the semblance of privacy. It was a beautiful resting place and one of the many expressions of the wealth and comfort in which her family lived.

Her mother and father were the King and Queen of the lands surrounding their home. That made Psyche and her two sisters, Pasiphae and Phaedra, princesses. Psyche unconsciously wrinkled her nose at the thought. It wasn't that she was ungrateful for their monetary situation, quite the opposite. It was just that the daughters of Kings and Queens were treated as commodities rather than people. Psyche's sisters had passed on whispered rumours to her that marriages would be arranged for the three of them as soon as a beneficial alliance could be found. The thought of being given to a man in marriage in this manner made Psyche feel like some sort of chattel, little more than a Spartan helot.

Still, a treacherous part of her mind refused to see the situation at a singular angle. The awful madness seized her again, and she quickly crossed the room to sit down heavily in front of her mirror, head bowed while the feeling subsided. After a few moments, Psyche lifted her head and examined her reflection.

Countless people had called Psyche beautiful. Many more had likened her beauty to that of Aphrodite herself. When other people looked at Psyche they saw long, shimmering, straight black hair that fell to her waist, most often worn pulled back and gathered at her crown with pins and ribbons. They saw eyes of vivid cobalt, framed by long, sooty lashes and skin that was pale, dewy and smooth, without blemish.

When Psyche looked at herself, she saw the same ordinary black hair, blue eyes and white skin that greeted her in the mirror every day. She lifted her hands and absently traced her fingers over the high cheekbones, straight nose, full lips and well defined jaw line. She let them move lower, down the sides of her rounded breasts, over her slim waist, until they came to rest upon the appealing flare of her hips. She wasn't an incredibly tall woman, being also more petite in her stature than voluptuous.

The treacherous part of Psyche's mind was speaking to her through her hands and her eyes.

"You tell yourself that being viewed as property to be passed off in marriage is an awful thing, and yet here you are, examining your body for physical flaws!"

"I just want to know that I'm not defective," Psyche answered herself defensively in her mind.

"You are just being vain, like all the other women grooming themselves for marriage," the voice scolded her. "You have a fair face and body, adequate enough to please any man."

"Then why do I feel like this?" Psyche asked. "Why am I so wretched? Why am I afflicted with this madness?"

"When you are married," the treacherous voice whispered "your husband will look after you and you won't feel this madness any longer."

"But when will that be?" Psyche wailed out loud, flinging her hands in front of her to land on her dressing table with a thump. "How long must I wait? Why does no one come? Why does no one seek my hand?"

But there was no answer, just her anguished reflection staring back at her. Resisting the urge to cry, Psyche slowly straightened her already immaculate hair and clothing, the action helping to calm and smooth her troubled countenance.

"Sister!"

Psyche started at the sound of her sister's voice in her doorway. Turning, she placed what she hoped was a welcoming smile across her face. "What is it Pasiphae?"

Pasiphae stepped into the room, wearing an expression that Psyche had come to recognise as half admonishing, half pitying. The resemblance to Psyche was fairly obvious, although Pasiphae was taller and curvier with longer limbs. Her eyes weren't the same shade of blue as Psyche's and they were set more deeply and further apart in her face. Her nose was larger and her lips weren't as full. She was dressed in a deep burgundy chiton with gold embroidery, which matched the dark cosmetic on her lips and cheeks.

"I was sent to find you and bring you down to the main hall," Pasiphae answered, her superior attitude radiating from her in waves. "Sister, why do you spend so much of your time in your bedchamber alone?" Her tone was patronising, poorly concealed with fake sympathy. "It is not natural to be so solitary. You make Father and Mother worry for your health."

Psyche swallowed her irritation. Her parents were never happy unless they were wearing her as a shawl. She was always being paraded around by her family like some pretty trinket.

"I thought merely to keep out of their way, they have been so busy entertaining guests lately," she lied.

"The majority of those guests have come here with the intent of seeing you Psyche and you know it," Pasiphae chastised. She smoothed the skirt of her robe with deliberate movements, as if punctuating her statement. "Your absence has been widely commented on."

"I'm flattered."

"I'm sure." Pasiphae observed her younger sister coolly. It was a well-known fact that Psyche was quiet and sullen. She was by nature a brooder: much too willing to shun the company of others in favour of moping about in her room.

"If you really had any respect for our family and our prospects," she continued, "you would do your duty and stop hiding yourself away like a recluse."

Psyche didn't answer and Pasiphae felt a flash of anger, stirring up the bitter jealousy she already harboured for her younger sister. How could she hide herself away like this when she had the opportunity to bring so much wealth and honour to their family? She was deliberately and selfishly withholding a valuable asset. She and Phaedra had always thought it was completely unfair that Psyche should possess such beauty and be so ungrateful for it. It was obvious that she was their father's favourite and she held the attention and adoration of men everywhere. She and Phaedra on the other hand, Pasiphae thought resentfully, were the inferior versions, the castoffs that men would marry as a consolation prize if they could not win Psyche's hand.

"It will soon be time to travel to the shore to pay our yearly tribute to Poseidon the Earthshaker," Pasiphae said at length. "Father and Mother require you to attend."

"Yes, of course," Psyche answered quickly and Pasiphae smiled slightly. Psyche was pious to the point of foolishness. "I will prepare with all haste and meet you in the main hall."

"I will tell Father and Mother," Pasiphae assured her with an imperious air and swept out of the room. Psyche watched her go, feeling for some reason that she had just lost some kind of battle. She shook the feeling off and called for her handmaiden to bring her white robes of supplication so that she could dress for the ceremony.

II

Psyche walked slowly down the dusty road with her family and a large crowd of villagers, heading towards the shore. It wasn't very far away; the walk would only take an hour or so. The walk itself was quite picturesque and hardly unpleasant, even in the heat. Psyche's home was situated on the side of a mountain which sloped down towards the ocean, with the other Ithacan people living at varying levels below. The breeze from the ocean whisked upwards towards the large company, soothing away the discomfort caused by the hot sun.

Ithaca, Psyche's home, was a naturally green and mountainous island. It was difficult to keep horses in Ithaca because of the hilly terrain and people mostly kept pigs, goats and cattle as livestock. Donkeys were the conventional beast of burden. Trade was an essential part of Ithaca's economy, with exportation of wine, olive oil, wheat, flax and dried fruit being the biggest industries. The other Greek poleis paid good money for these high quality products. Ithaca had good trade relations with most of Greece, but in particular with the nearby islands of Cephallenia, Zacynthos and Corcyra. As a result, Psyche's family often made diplomatic visits to these places. While Psyche considered herself fortunate to be able to travel to those lovely places so frequently, her homeland of Ithaca held the most special place in her heart.

Psyche stared down at her plain leather sandals as she walked, avoiding the adoring eyes of the people around her. Her garb was simple and austere—identical to the other members of her family and the people walking alongside them—as custom dictated for ceremonies of tribulation to the Gods. She wore a white robe of woven flax and wool, belted at the waist with a strip of unornamented brown leather. No jewellery decorated her fingers, wrists, neck or ears and no cosmetic adorned her face. Her hair was unbound and fell like a glistening black curtain down her back. But still, to the many people surrounding her, Psyche was a vision of ethereal beauty. Numerous young men tried in vain to engage her in meaningless conversation, often approaching her with garlands and bouquets of flowers. Other people seemed content to just toss the flowers at her feet as she passed. It was a common thing for Psyche to arrive at her various destinations with great armfuls of flowers and a mob of devoted followers. The situation had become such that she often enlisted the help of her handmaidens to carry the many tokens of admiration she received whenever she left the house.

The people of her homeland had developed a tendency to worship Psyche in the place of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. Word of Psyche's beauty had spread as far as Thrace and her parents were constantly welcoming guests from across the sea expressing their desire to look upon the Ithacan King's youngest daughter. Her father and mother, for their part, welcomed the attention to the family, believing that Psyche's fame would inevitably secure a marriage beneficial to the survival of Ithaca. Pasiphae and Phaedra appeared accustomed and somewhat indifferent to all the fuss, but Psyche knew that envy lay within their hearts. She had overheard them once, talking quietly to one another about how she was impious and ungrateful for the blessings bestowed upon her by the Gods.

Psyche herself watched Aphrodite's Ithacan temples deteriorate with rapidly increasing fear and dismay. She felt that being worshipped in the stead of the goddess of love and beauty was a grave impiety, worthy of calling down the wrath of Olympus upon her head. Aphrodite's jealousy of mortals in particular was legendary and frightening in its own right. The consequences of her anger could be catastrophic. Psyche felt powerless to divert the trouble that would surely come of this situation and strived to act piously and respectfully in order to counterbalance the behaviour of the Ithacan people.

Psyche supposed, as the path slowly twisted downhill, that it was these circumstances which lead to her feelings of separateness and solitude. She had always felt as though she were alone and different to other people. She had decided quite a long time ago that being different wasn't necessarily a good thing. People acted strangely around her, almost as if they feared her. Visitors came to look upon her in their flocks, but none seemed interested in really talking to her, befriending her or seeking her hand. It was as if she were a fine horse for sale in the marketplace, but the price placed upon her was too high.

She would gladly trade places with her sisters, who were inundated with suitors and offers of marriage. In their situations, it was a matter of choosing the best offer from a multitude, while in her situation it was a matter of waiting for an offer to be made.

III

Aphrodite was in a bad mood.

The goddess of love and beauty paced her boudoir restlessly, a sour look etched upon her otherwise radiant features. She had long, silky blue-black hair that fell in a gentle wave to her mid back, with shorter sections in front that served to feather becomingly around her pale, heart shaped face. She wore a fringe that tapered softly to a point in the middle of her brow. She had a tall, lithe figure with slender, gracefully shaped limbs. Her skin was smooth, unblemished and milky white to the point of luminescence. Her dark, long-lashed eyes were set wide apart in a face that seemed naturally serene and seductive at the same time. She was dressed in a comely lilac confection of silk and chiffon that hugged her curves in all the right places and floated smoothly around her body in the others, adding to her aura of other-worldly appeal. Her every movement was the epitome of grace and hypnotic charm and she knew it all too well.

"How dare those foolish men worship her instead of me! Me! The very goddess of the qualities they claim that she possesses in such abundance!" Aphrodite's consternation knew no bounds. "My shrines are left derelict and forgotten, to crumble to the ground like so much discarded rubbish, while they trail along after that arrogant child Psyche, throwing flowers!" Aphrodite paused in her pacing to stomp her foot indignantly. "Am I to be eclipsed in my rightful honours by some insignificant mortal girl? I am the divine goddess of love and beauty, while she is a pitiful lump of clay moulded in my image who will deteriorate and return to the dust centuries before I reach the bloom of my prime!"

Aphrodite glanced around petulantly at her opulent surroundings. Her bed and furniture were intricate carvings of pearl and ivory, inlaid with pure gold and amber. Her curtains, bedclothes and floor coverings were the finest woven silk, in elegant and tasteful colours of green, maroon and alabaster. Strewn haphazardly among her possessions were countless gifts from her lovers, mortals and Gods alike. Aphrodite was far from a virgin; she believed that sex was one of the greater pleasures in life and indulged in it as often as she possibly could. She had borne children to several Gods and mortal men; however she chose not to concern herself with most of them. One of her sons in particular was her favourite and he was never far from her presence. Eros, one of her three sons by Ares, the God of war. She rarely saw her other two sons by Ares, Phobos and Deimos, as they were constant companions to their father, particularly on the battlefield.

Ares. The name alone caused a delicious anticipatory shiver to run through her. As far as lovers went, Ares was one of the best. The numerous fantasies she had harboured about being taken roughly, viciously and possessively had all been thoroughly and systematically fulfilled by Ares. He was a master of rough, yet satisfying love-making, his relentlessness often wearing down even Aphrodite's legendary stamina. Bearing him three children had been worth it in exchange for the mind-blowing sex. The single bad memory she recalled of her time as his lover was when her cripple of a husband, Hephaistos, had caught them in bed together. Apollo, that uncontrollable gossip, had let slip to Hephaistos that she and Ares were sleeping together in secret and her husband had created a golden net which had captured Ares and herself in the middle of one of their more passionate trysts. Aphrodite had thought she would die of embarrassment, caught as she was in her position astride Ares, close to orgasm and unable to move because of the net. Hephaistos had called all of the Olympian Gods to come and witness her shame. However, to Aphrodite's great relief, they had simply laughed at her husband, with Poseidon stepping in to persuade him to let them out of the trap.

Aphrodite felt a familiar throbbing ache begin to build between her legs and a contemplative smile crossed her perfect face. Perhaps she would invite Ares over for a visit sometime soon. But for now, she had more important things to attend to.

"Eros!" she called, turning to her large window, framed with billowing white silk curtains. Within a few minutes, she heard a gentle flapping of wings and a much loved form appeared on her windowsill.

Eros, her son, truly was a beautiful creature, destined to look forever as a young man a few years into his prime. He had long silky hair almost down to his waist, a shade of crimson that was known to shine a lighter scarlet in the sunlight. He usually wore it gathered with a leather band high on the back of his head, although Aphrodite preferred it loose; she had always had a fetish for playing with his hair. Long strands escaped from the band to hang around his face and in front of his expressive eyes, which were usually an enchanting shade of violet. It was only when Eros was provoked into losing control of his emotions that his eye colour changed to a burning gold. He had a long, slender body similar in form to his mother's, although his skin was an attractive shade of golden brown and stretched tightly over well-formed muscles that he had obviously inherited from his father. He most often went about shirtless, much to the delight of the females around him, not excluding his mother. Aphrodite had accepted the fact long ago that she was sexually attracted to her son. They had never had sex, but there were times when they had come close. Today, Eros simply wore a pair of flowing white silk pants and nothing else, save for the elaborately decorated gold and leather quiver and ebony bow that he had slung carelessly over his broad shoulders. He had a pair of feathered wings sprouting from his shoulder blades, a clean and pure shade of white. His one flaw was the diagonal scar that marred his left cheek. He had acquired that scar during a quarrel with his father. Neither father nor son would disclose the details to Aphrodite, much to her irritation.

"You called for me?" His voice was deep, masculine and seductive. He possessed many charms that Aphrodite liked to think he had inherited from her. She crossed the room to stand in front of her son and he sprang lightly from the windowsill onto the floor.

"Yes." She stood on her toes and kissed Eros on the mouth. It wasn't a chaste kiss, or a kiss that a mother would give to a son; rather, it was an open-mouthed kiss that a woman would give to her lover. Eros responded in kind, tangling his tongue with hers and reaching out to pull her hips firmly against his. His mother was the most beautiful woman in the world, he would be crazy to not feel some sort of attraction to her.

Eventually, Aphrodite broke the kiss, looking up at her son with lazy desire and slightly flushed cheeks. He simply observed her stoically, accustomed to his mother's covetous attitude.

"I want you to do something for me, my darling," she purred, turning away and leading him by the hand towards her bed. Once there, she reclined gracefully across the cushions, looking up at Eros through her lashes while he stood silently in front of her.

"Anything," he answered, wondering what she had in mind. He had been a little bit bored of late. The most excitement he had been able to conjure recently was that amusing little episode of payback against Apollo. The insufferable braggart had been loudly and publicly poking fun at Eros' bow and arrows, proclaiming that he was still much too young to be handling such adult weapons. Like the couple of centuries Apollo had on him made any difference.

"You should leave bows and arrows to skilled archers like me!" he had laughed scornfully. Eros, furious at this attempt to humiliate him in front of the other Gods, had simply bided his time and waited to get even. The time had come when he spied Apollo brazenly looking over a young river nymph named Daphne. She was one of Artemis' company, a virgin huntress that shunned all men and happily roamed the lands, completely absorbed in the thrill of the hunt. Smiling wickedly, he had whipped a gold-tipped arrow from his quiver and, using his bow, had shot it straight into Apollo's heart. Apollo himself felt nothing, but the damage had been done and Eros' arrow had filled him with an all-consuming love for Daphne. Eros then withdrew another arrow from his quiver; this time, it was tipped with lead. This arrow was shot into the heart of Daphne, inspiring her with an even more bitter hatred for men, particularly Apollo.

Then, it was simply a matter of sitting back and watching the drama unfold. Apollo made a complete fool of himself, relentlessly pursuing poor Daphne who wanted nothing to do with him. After a lengthy pursuit, Daphne had thrown herself to the ground on the bank of her father's river and begged him to help her. Peneius, the river god and Daphne's father, changed her into a laurel tree in order to save her from Apollo. Eros had thought he would die laughing as he watched Apollo stroking the laurel tree lovingly, utterly flabbergasted that this female had managed to escape from him. The fool had then gone on to proclaim the laurel as his sacred tree.

Yes, it would be good to stir up some more mischief. Perhaps he could enlist his partner in crime, Zephyrus, to come along. He turned his attention back to his mother.

"There is a girl, a mortal girl that has dared to deny me my rightful honours as the goddess of love and beauty," Aphrodite was saying. "I want you to help me have my revenge against her."

"What do you want me to do?" Eros asked eagerly.

Aphrodite smiled indulgently. "By frowning upon Psyche for being worshipped as a Goddess I have already ensured that no mortal man of worth will ever seek her hand. Mortals are far too cowardly to risk incurring my wrath. But I want you to make sure she is duly humiliated for even considering herself to be a rival to my beauty and charm. I want you to give me a revenge as sweet as my injuries are great. I want you to inspire in that haughty Psyche a love for some low, mean, unworthy being. The uglier the better. In fact, only the poorest, most hideous creature you can find will suffice. Make her fall desperately, passionately in love with him."

Eros smirked at his mother. She was truly diabolical. Oh yes, he would definitely have fun on this little excursion.

"Where will I find this Psyche?" he asked.

"She is the youngest daughter of the King and Queen of Ithaca," Aphrodite answered. "You will find her apartments at the top of the royal house."

"And what is my reward for running this little errand for you?" Eros asked his mother, arching a dark red brow. Aphrodite grinned.

"Oh, I would have thought that the pure joy in creating humiliation and upheaval would be enough for you!" she answered, feigning surprise. "However," she purred, casually slipping the strap of her dress off one of her pale shoulders, baring one perfect breast to his view, "I'm sure I could think of something more worth your while."

Truly diabolical. Eros shook his head, smiling ruefully. "It's a tempting offer, but you do know me too well. Simply creating mischief is payment enough for me. I will leave with all haste." He strode back across the boudoir to the window, spread his wings and departed without another word.

Aphrodite watched the window for some time afterwards, idly stroking her exposed nipple with slender fingers. "Pity," she said to herself and then turned her thoughts towards playing hostess to Ares.

IV

"So that's the famous Psyche?" Notus asked his brothers.

"Yes, that's her, so I've been told," Boreas answered.

"Let's pass by them again," Zephyrus suggested. "I want to get a better look."

"You're such a time-waster," Notus complained. "It's lucky that Poseidon forbade any fog or rain to fall today, or I would be carrying my vases all over the place."

"Well, that's your problem, being the South Wind," Boreas responded cheekily. "Zephyrus and I don't have to carry anything nearly as cumbersome."

Notus, the South Wind, Boreas, the North Wind and Zephyrus the West Wind, invisible to mortal eyes, flexed their wings and wheeled about silently, rushing back towards the large group of people kneeling on the sand.

"She really is stunning," Zephyrus commented, hovering just above Psyche's head. His brother and cousin joined him, gazing down into Psyche's pensive features. "A woman of her beauty, I'm surprised she hasn't been paid a visit from Zeus yet."

"Don't let Hera hear you say that," Boreas laughed. "You'll get her into all sorts of trouble!"

"I think she's in enough trouble as it is," Notus interjected gravely. "Aphrodite has worked herself up into a fine rage over the poor child."

"Ah," Zephyrus responded, the sound more an exhalation of air than anything else. "Yes, the Ithacan people are neglecting her worship in favour of this girl."

"What do you think Aphrodite will do?" Boreas pondered.

"I think the better question to ask is what won't she do?" Notus answered him. "You are aware, of course, of her relationship with Hermes the Giant-Killer, and her closeness to Apollo, the Golden Archer?"

"Oh dear," was all Boreas could say.

"Oh dear indeed," Notus nodded his head grimly. "It's simply a matter of time before she exacts her revenge on this mortal."

"Or even worse, she'll unleash her son Eros upon her," Boreas agreed, the corner of his mouth twitching.

"Come now, Eros isn't that bad and you know it!" Zephyrus cut in tetchily. His friendship with Eros was well known and Zephyrus was staunchly loyal to his friends. He raked a hand through his spiky brown hair, blinking his large brown eyes in agitation. He uncurled his long, lean form from its position of observance in front of Psyche and drifted into the air a few feet above her. Boreas and Notus followed suit.

"Eros is still young and just wants to have a good time," Zephyrus continued. "And with a mother like Aphrodite, he's got no hope of being any different."

"Well, you do have a point there," Notus conceded.

"All defending aside though," Boreas piped up "That doesn't help the plight of that pretty little girl down there."

Zephyrus sighed. "I suppose you're right. But what are we going to do about it? Nothing, that's what. It's not our place to interfere in mortal affairs, particularly when the Olympians have decided to meddle with them. We can only hope that some benevolent God decides to take pity on her."

"Yes," Boreas agreed, but Zephyrus could see that his interest was already waning. "We should be getting back to Thrace. I have been away from my Orithyia for a long time."

"Speaking of meddling in mortal's lives…" Zephyrus began snidely. Orithyia was the mortal daughter of the King of Attica. Boreas had seen her dancing by a stream and become infatuated with her. He had abducted her and taken her to their castle in Thrace, where she became pregnant. She was due to give birth any day now and Boreas was fretting over her, despite himself.

"Hush," Boreas snapped. "You will be the same when you find yourself a suitable woman."

Zephyrus and Notus, laughing heartily, rose further into the air, followed by a scowling Boreas and began the speedy journey home.

But Zephyrus didn't forget Psyche as easily as his brother and cousin. He had a nagging feeling that he would be seeing her again.

Author's notes:

Please read and review or I won't know if I'm any good!

'Agora' is the loosely used Greek word for a marketplace.

A 'helot' is the term for a slave that was used in Ancient Sparta. Helots were typically people who were forced into slavery when the Spartans invaded their lands. They were considered to be the bottom tier of society with no personal rights or freedoms and their lives were the property of the Citizens they served.

'Poleis' is the plural form of 'polis' which means 'city-state'. These city-states were basically independent political units that controlled a limited amount of territory surrounding the state. Sparta, for example, controlled more than 3000 square miles of surrounding territory.