Eros and Psyche by Camilla10
A multi-chaptered story to keep you entertained while waiting for the sequel to The Parachutist
Renesmee and Jacob have just married and Edward and Bella are free to enroll in yet another university, where they plan to follow a course of classical studies. Suddenly Edward leaves and Bella is confused and totally alone. However, she is sure of his love and fears that something terrible might have occurred. It has. Indeed something happened when Carlisle was in Rome in the 17th century and now all the Cullens have to pay for it. A Latin myth opens for Bella the road that might allow for her to rescue them.
I don't own Twilight, Stephenie Meyer does.
This story has been extremely complicated to write, so I have a lot of people to thank. In Italy they were Luisa and Francesco, helping me to brainstorm, the two Giovannis, helping me with Latin and Gianluca, helping me with mythology. Over the Ocean my thanks go to Jshay and Stefanie, both for editing and content discussion. I could not have done this without you.
In Eros and Psyche some characters' POVs will be in the past tense (Bella and Carlisle). Other POVs (Edward and the Hon. Donati) will be written in the present tense. I hope this does not confuse anybody. Please ask me anything.
Chapter 1 - Gone
"I have to go, Bella."
"I cannot say."
"You are leaving me."
He crushed me in is arms.
"I have to go." He murmured, his mouth on my hair.
"I love you."
And then he was gone.
For a while I was blank. I could try to follow him, but I would not do it. I felt weak, empty. The essence of our relationship was that we were free. Freely I had chosen to be with him for eternity. I would never challenge his freedom to leave.
My cell phone rang. Alice.
"Bella, he loves you, he has not left you. But he had to go. You have to wait until you know what to do."
"Will he be back?"
"I don't know. I hope so. But maybe not. Maybe you'll have to look for him. Be strong."
She hung up. I tried to phone all the other members of the family. Nobody answered. I also tried Edward's cell phone, just in case. Time after time a recorded voice told me that the person I called was unavailable.
I rang the newlyweds and Jacob answered. Apparently all was well with them. I spoke briefly with Renesmee and I decided not to tell her anything. How could I say "Your father has left and our family has disappeared' ?' No, I had no idea of what was happening and I decided to leave them to their unclouded happiness. For the time being they would be so full of each other that they would not notice that something was wrong, unless they tried to call other members of our family. But when you are on your honeymoon you don't do that a lot. Maybe later on I would wake up from this nightmare and there would be no need to alarm my daughter.
I was surprised by how calm I felt now; I had to trust Edward, I had to trust Alice. So what do you do when your entire existence is on hold? Very well, since I was supposed to wait, I could continue what I had come here for. We had enrolled together at Yale and were supposed to follow a course of classical literature. It was a new field for me, chosen exactly because it would be interesting and different. With my total recall I could even master Latin and Greek now. In fact I had already learned some, so that I would be able to read texts in their original languages.
Desperate for distraction, I browsed through the books we had acquired for our course and here it was: the first thing we had to read and discuss. I opened the book. Apuleius, a writer who lived in the second century AD. The story of Cupid and Psyche, or Eros and Psyche, comprised in his novel The Golden Ass, or Metamorphoses.
I read on. This story was about the difficult love between Psyche and Eros, Venus' son. The goddess is jealous of the beauty of mortal princess Psyche, because men are leaving her altars untended, choosing to worship a mere human woman instead. Irate, she commands her son Eros to cause Psyche to fall in love with the ugliest existing creature.
Psyche's parents are told by an oracle to leave their daughter on top of a mountain, where she will meet the monster she is meant to belong to. Venus dispatches her son to pierce her heart with one of his arrows, so that she will love the monster destined to her. Psyche is resigned to her fate, because she knows she has enraged a goddess, so she waits and falls asleep. However Eros, approaching unseen, is so smitten by Psyche that he pierces his own hand with his arrow and then wants her for himself. Therefore he has the wind Zephyr carrying her to his own palace.
Here invisible servants take care of her and a mysterious voice tells her to wait for her master. Eros visits her at night. Son of the goddess of love, he easily seduces her and she falls in love with him. They are deliriously happy but Venus must not know that her son disobeyed her orders. So everything must remain secret. He only comes in the dead of night and she is told that she must never see him, never know who he is.
During the day Psyche feels wretchedly alone, and when he learns of it, Eros sends for her sisters, who are jealous and nasty. With vicious innuendos they cause Psyche to betray the trust of her lover. Afraid that he is indeed the monster predicted by the oracle, she rises from his embrace while he sleeps and lights a lamp in order to see him. If he changes into the monster she fears he is, she will try to kill him, or herself. Of course he is the most beautiful man she has ever seen, but a droplet of hot oil falls from the lamp on his naked chest and he awakens.
Wounded by her lack of trust, Eros leaves her. Desperate, Psyche wanders the earth, looking for her lost love. In her quest she has to overcome all the obstacles Venus challenges her with. She even has to travel to Hades, risking everything, to get from Proserpina a magic box. Curiosity is again her downfall. She opens the box and falls into a sleep that is almost like death.
However Eros has not really left her but, unseen, has followed her during her tribulations, and is now sure that she loves him as he loves her. Therefore he asks Jupiter to convince Venus to relent and cease tormenting Psyche. Jupiter agrees, and she is transported onto Mount Olympus, where she awakens and is fed ambrosia. Thus she also becomes a goddess, so that she can live with Eros for the eternity. A daughter is born to them and they name her Voluptas, or pleasure.
Beautiful story, I reflected, enchanted and momentarily distracted from my anguish. It must have inspired a lot of subsequent fairy tales. Beauty and the Beast comes to mind. It had so many levels. Eros represents the body, the physical aspects of love, Psyche the soul. When they join, love is complete. But it remains a mystery still, enveloped in darkness. If one tries to dispel the darkness, love disappears.
I wanted to know more, and so I went to the computer and googled 'Eros and Psyche'. There was plenty of stuff, part of it relating to art. Statues, one by a famous Italian sculptor, paintings... One marble piece captured my attention. I was not sure of the author, it was a copy of the Canova piece which is at the Louvre museum in Paris, but I was mesmerized by the sensuality it exuded . Eros, wingless, is behind Psyche and her head is abandoned on his right arm, while his left hand cups her breast, and her right hand is reaching for his hair. They are about to kiss….
I had known how it felt, to be embraced by a marble god.
Memories of my human life overwhelmed me. They were not lost, but dimmed. Now, however, they were devastating me. I rose from the computer chair, my eyes unfocussed, my mind possessed by a vision. I lay on the sofa of our small house. I had not slept for years, and therefore I could not dream, but I was not really awake either. This vision, this non-dream owned me totally. I was Bella, but I was also Psyche, about to meet her lover in the deepest of night…
He is meant to shoot his arrow, but she is so beautiful. He will not do what his mother had told him to do. He caresses the arrow till he reaches its point. Forged by Vulcan the arrow will pierce anything, even his skin. Willingly he pricks his hand and he is in love.
He summons the friendly winds that are often the allies of the gods, and she is magically transported far from the mountain top. She is now in a palace where invisible servants tend to her needs and a disembodied voice tells her to expect her lord in her room that night. So this is her destiny, this is my destiny?
In the darkness he is coming to me. He is my marble Eros, my god with the cold skin that sets me ablaze. He is the monster that Psyche is waiting for, the monster that will have her and devour her. Icy fingers touch her skin leaving a trail of fire, from brow to mouth, circling the lips that open to them. Then they go lower, past the collar bone till the middle of Psyche's chest, caressing one breast, then the other. And then his mouth is on hers. She smells the scent of his cool breath. No monster has the right to have this scent; no monster's lips can be so sweet. They kiss, his cold tongue in her mouth, kindling more fires, one deep in her belly. But she is not allowed to kiss him back. His mouth does not open for her.
He is kissing her throat now, where her vein is pulsing. His body goes rigid; a growl resonates deeply in the marble chest that is pressing into her own. She feels his teeth grazing her skin. So he IS a monster; is he going to devour her? Time stands still. He has stopped breathing. How is this possible? Then his mouth leaves her throat and wanders down, and so do his hands. Her body feels cherished, but the heat deep below is insufferable, and he must know it, because his cool mouth is now there, passionate, hungry. But it is not enough; the fire inside her is not quenched. She wants more, she needs more. And then she feels his hardness on her core. He never speaks, but his stillness is the question. Moving toward him is her answer. A swift movement, a little pain. He waits again, then tentatively he moves, and she moves with him. Now the darkness is full of colors; all the colors that are in a rainbow and many more. But they are falling together in a furnace that is white, a searing white that engulfs them.
Eros and Psyche, the body and the soul, are now one but they cannot see each other, they do not know each other.
Night after night he comes for her. In the darkness there is no shame, so she is encouraged and discovers his perfect body. She learns that she can do things that elicit tremors and sounds from him; sounds of pleasure, of passion, but never a word. She will not be able to stand this for too long.
There is no need of the vicious sisters setting Psyche up, telling her that she has to bring a light to see him for the monster he is, because the light will expose him and dispel the illusion. Thus she will be able to kill him, before he can devour her, piercing his heart. Ridiculous, no knife can kill him anyway. And she does not want to kill him, she wants to know him, she wants to see his face, she wants to hear his voice, she wants to know his mind. Wise women say that it is better not to know whom you love, but she does not believe it.
One night she sets a lighted lamp in the cabinet that opens to her room and closes its door. During the night, she leaves the bed and goes to the cabinet. She has gone there other nights, to relieve herself, so he does not suspect. Faster than she believed she could be she brings the lamp over him so she can see him. He is the most beautiful man she has ever seen, lying on the bed like a reclining statue.
And then, he rises and she starts dying inside. What has she done?
Non-dream and memory become one when he, finally, speaks.
"I have to go."
"I cannot say."
"You are leaving me."
He crushes Psyche in his arms.
"I have to go. " He murmurs, his mouth on her hair.
"I love you."
And then he is gone.
- Bella's non-dream mixes her memories with Psyche's experience. I have taken a lot of liberties with both, so that both are OOC, and I have intentionally tangled them. You are free to disentangle but, most of all, please, review.
- Since I am using the Latin version of the myth, the correct title should be Cupid and Psyche. However, Cupid makes me think of a winged child-god, with dimples and a tiny bow. The Greek name Eros, on the contrary, is more appropriate for a young but adult god, fit to be an enchanting lover. In Italian they are Amore e Psiche.
-I suggest that you google Cupid and Psyche, to have more details on their charming and sexy story and see how the immortal lovers have been represented in art.