Apollymi never ceased trying to find the upper hand in her battles, and her battle with Savitar was no exception. She expected him any day now, for since he had learned her could rile her he never stayed away long – a small defeat at which she cringed. She prepared herself by wearing gauze-like clothing; covering her, but leaving nothing to the imagination. The black material brushed against her skin so deliciously that she wondered if it wasn't a bad idea. However, as soon as Savitar appeared in her garden – quite conveniently, as she'd just dismissed her Charontes – she knew she'd made the right decision with her apparel.

Savitar's eyes grew wide for about five seconds, and then they turned wild, almost savage. He approached Apollymi's throne without a word. Apollymi remained calm on the outside, but she really didn't know what to expect next. She couldn't deny that they were almost equally matched, power-wise; all it came down to was who would yield first. It appeared as if Savitar might actually do so thanks to her choice of tactic, and what would she do then? To give into her desires would also mean her surrender, and the idea didn't sit well with her. She suddenly realized she was in a lose-lose situation, for whoever gave in, the result would be the culmination of their erotic battle. She wasn't ready to share herself in such an intimate way with someone again. Archon had completely destroyed the heart she'd once had… or so she'd thought, until Savitar had come to her. She didn't want it to be true, but she knew the only way this powerful man could possibly be getting underneath her skin was if he was moving her on some deeper level than just the physical.

Her mixed emotions, so conflicted, served as a catalyst to her dangerous destructive nature. Her platinum blonde tresses whipped around her face just as her gown whipped around her body. Storm clouds rolled into her garden, thunder booming and lightning striking perilously close to the man before her. Impressively, Savitar stood his ground. His lavender eyes never left her swirling silver gaze, not even when rain began to pound down on them both, soaking through his white garments.

Desire overwhelmed her as his clothes melded to his darkly tanned body. She could clearly see every inch of him through the drenched white material, from the many tattoos covering his chest and arms to the heavy weight of his testicles at the juncture of his thighs. She was breathless, heady with excitement, but still unwilling to surrender herself. She couldn't do that again. She couldn't be at the will of another powerful male. At the same time, wildly, she couldn't respect a male who wouldn't demonstrate his considerable power. The storm raged harder as she became more frustrated with her emotions.

"Apollymi," Savitar's deep baritone rumbled throughout the garden, softer than the thunder but just as strong. He stepped up to her throne, knelt at her feet and wrapped his large, warm hands around her ankles. "I am not Archon. I am not come to control you."

Lightning struck just behind him, but he didn't flinch. Apollymi watched him with narrowed, mistrusting eyes, her slender fingers gripping the sides of her throne so tightly her knuckles turned white. She could scarce breathe, her body was so taut with anticipation.

"My own husband imprisoned me." Her voice was harsh, but behind them were all the centuries of hurt, of betrayal. Some part of her still struggled with the thought of Archon's treachery. All the world had known of Archon's love for Apollymi. More than anything at that time, more than even the bloody carnage her destroyer mantle called for, she had wanted a family with Archon. She would've given her last inkling of power if Archon would have just accepted Apostolos, held his son in his arms, and loved both her and Apostolos. Instead, Archon had flaunted his reign over her, leaving her without her beloved son in her arms and trapped in this Atlantean hell.

"He could not handle you," Savitar spoke, squeezing her calves to emphasize his words.

"He loved me!" she shrieked at him, and flinched at how out of control she sounded.

"Perhaps," Savitar allowed, water dripping down his chin. "But he did not love your son. And he did not have the ability to handle you."

"And you, Savitar," she returned dangerously, silver eyes swirling as she leaned forward on her throne, her face coming closer to his, "do you think you have the ability to handle me?" Her words were soft, low, but laced with silky warning. No male besides Archon had ever dared to presume such, but oddly enough, his challenge wasn't what had upset her; it was that he had pointed out Archon hadn't loved Apostolos. It was almost cruel, except that she'd caught Savitar's undertone. Savitar, her son's mentor, her son's only help after he'd become a god, loved Apostolos. It broke her as nothing else could.

The rain continued, but it was gentler. The lightning ceased and only soft rumbles of thunder could be heard. Apollymi's eyes softened as she held Savitar's gaze, as she waited for his reaction.

"I know that I can." Savitar's hands wrapped securely around her ankles and jerked her down on her throne, so that she slumped in the great seat until her bottom nearly hung off the edge.

She watched with hooded eyes as Savitar lifted the hem of her gown that was practically nonexistent anyway. He brushed it back to the tops of her thighs, leaving her legs uncovered before him. With infinite slowness, he trailed the tips of his fingers up and down her smooth legs, watching her reaction. Rain lightly pelted her legs, and even though she could regulate her temperature, she shivered. It only added to the sensation of his meandering fingers. A self-satisfied smirk played at the corner of Savitar's mouth, and instead of bristling, Apollymi bit her lower lip and gazed up at him heatedly from beneath her lashes. Savitar's breath caught, and it was her turn to smirk.

With a feral look in his lavender eyes, Savitar leaned forward and ripped the gown completely in two. The wet halves fell on either side of her pale body, leaving her bare to his hungry gaze. She knew she was beautiful, but being bare before him left her uneasy; especially with his unwavering gaze lingering on every erogenous zone she possessed.

He pressed a kiss to the inside of her knee with his fingers danced at the sensitive skin behind her knees. His lips ghosted over the tops of her thighs, and he inserted his body to rest between her legs as he worshipped her. When his kisses moved oh, so close to the juncture of her thighs, she brought her legs up and planted her feet on his chest, and pushed him back.

"You know how I feel about equality, Savitar." She eyed his clothes with distaste as she rested her arms on her throne.

He threw back his dark head and laughed, a dark, erotic sound that settled in her bloodstream and sent thrills chasing along her skin. He rose to his full height, standing before her as six-feet, eight-inches of pure, virile male. He peeled the wet shirt off his torso and slung it to the ground. His long hair was drenched, and the ends of it stuck to his shoulders. Rivulets of water trickled down his chest, inching over his sculpted muscles and into the clinging pants he still wore.

"Finish it yourself," he challenged her, his eyes intent on her flushed skin.

Apollymi stood regally, and what had formerly been her gown slithered to the floor as she stepped from the throne. She approached Savitar as the rain hit their bodies softly, trying to control her breathing and maintain her composure. It was useless. As she came within inches of him and felt his startling heat, she knew that any resistance was futile.

Her fingers curled into the waistband of his white pants, and she tugged them down lower and lower, crouching as she removed them. Sopping wet as the cloth was, after she helped it over his hips it fell to the ground, and suddenly she was staring right at his impressive prick, mouth open slightly in a little "O" of surprise. All god-beings were well-endowed, but perhaps Chthonians more than most, if Savitar was any indication. Her gaze traveled up the length of his scrumptious body to find him staring down at her with undeniable yearning. She stood slowly, coming up to his shoulders. They simply watched one another for endless moments, resembling the calm before the storm. And then Savitar thrust his hands into her hair and brought his mouth crashing down on hers.

Apollymi moaned low in her throat and wrapped her arms around him. Their bodies pressed flush together; Savitar's erection was a steel bar against her hip. She clutched at him desperately, her nails digging into his shoulder blades, her body melding against his as their tongues dueled wildly.

Savitar backed her up, one hand angling her head so that he could kiss her deeper, the other gripping her hip to maneuver her in the direction he wanted her to go. Her bottom hit the edge of her throne, and his lips ghosted across her chin before he spun her around and pressed her forward. He bore down on her shoulders insistently until she leaned over the arms of her throne. His hands slid down her back, and he cupped her buttocks before massaging gently, bending forward to nip at the tender flesh. Apollymi moved back against him in response, seeking his steely length but receiving no respite.

"Savitar," she whispered, aching for him. He crowded in close from behind, pressing his body tight against hers as he stroked her arms, the nape of her neck, her shoulders. With a swift urgency, he sheathed himself in her tight heat, groaning at the sensation, his head falling forward to rest between her shoulder blades. Apollymi gasped from the feeling of his invasion. The exquisite fullness stole her breath and made her nearly wild with need.

She rocked back against him, and Savitar pistoned steadily into her, rolling his hips and grinding against her. The tip of his cock brushed against the sweet spot high inside her with expert acuity, and as her inner muscles clenched around him like a vise, he filled his hands with her breasts. His thumbs rolled her nipples into throbbing hard peaks, and he plucked at them as he bit down on the tendon between her neck and shoulder. She screamed; he growled.

But it wasn't enough. She needed more of him, needed him to strum her body like his own personal instrument. "Savitar," she moaned, completely undone.

Another low growl escaped Savitar as he began to pound into her heat. One of his hands slipped down in between her feminine folds to find her clit, and he circled the taut nub with his middle finger unmercifully.

Apollymi broke. With a satisfied scream that turned into a low, ongoing whimper, she rode out her climax, her hands gripping his forearms. Savitar gave a rough short as he found his release. Apollymi felt his warmth fill her, and she had to squeeze her eyes shut as aftershocks pulsed throughout her body.

The rain stopped completely, and a wispy fog floated throughout Apollymi's garden. Her head lifted. She felt Savitar's forehead pressed against her back; his hands were still caressing her, one between her legs, one at her beast. She gripped his wrists and pushed them away before she was overcome with her passion once more. Savitar stepped away from her, and she felt instantly bereft – and disliked the feeling.

How had she gone centuries without such intimacy? If she could've remembered how it felt to be taken in such a way, she would've given into Savitar sooner. Their lovemaking had been even greater than the divine sex with Archon which Apostolos had been a result of.

"Do you feel well and truly handled, Akra?" He was teasing her, referring to her as his mistress. She didn't feel so much handled as worshipped. She suddenly wished to return the favor.

Sending him a smoldering look from beneath her lashes, she took his hand and guided him over to the large pool in the middle of her garden. She eased into the surprisingly warm water, and tugged at his hand so that he would join her.

She made him sit on the pool's tiles, and she eased up between his legs in the water. He was wearing a very satisfied smile, and she returned it as she wrapped her arms around his neck. It was one of her rare genuine smiles, and she realized with a good amount of anxiety that she felt something very, very deep for this Chthonian.

"What is it?" he asked, frowning. He held onto her slim hips as he regarded the stricken look on her face curiously.

Before she could answer, the air stirred, and a small, beautiful Charonte appeared next to the pool.

"Akra, the Simi came all the way to see you and-" The little demon stopped talking abruptly as she focused in on her Akra and her Akri's friend in the pool. She regarded them with a befuddled tilt of her head, her hands going to her hips.

Apollymi shoved away from Savitar, but she knew it was too late. This was going to get back to her son, and Apostolos was not going to be happy with the news.

"Simi," she spoke gently, rationally, "I am glad you've joined me here in Kalosis, but you must keep what you see here to yourself." She couldn't be mad at Simi; quick to anger as she was, this Charonte was like a grandchild to her, and she'd never forbade Simi from entering her garden like she had the others.

"Why Akra? Is your fun time with Akri's friend the Savitar a big secret?" Her wings twitched in excitement, and Apollymi fought the urge to groan mournfully. Simi could not keep a secret.

"Simi," Savitar spoke, coming up behind Apollymi in the water so that Simi's wondering eyes couldn't see him, "We need you to keep this quiet."

"Okay. I won't tell anyone but Akri." She nodded vigorously.

"No!" Both Savitar and Apollymi shouted at the same time. Simi flinched back with a perturbed look on her face.

"I don't keep secrets from Akri," Simi informed them haughtily.

It suddenly dawned on Apollymi that once Apostolos learned of she and Savitar's… whatever it was they had, she wasn't sure if she wanted to deem it a relationship… her son would be angry enough to stomp all the way down to Kalosis, thereby releasing her and leaving her free to reign terror down on the Greek pantheon. The idea had much merit. But… could she upset her beloved son in that way? He had been so content since he'd found Soteria. She wanted her vengeance, but she wasn't sure she wanted to achieve it by hurting Apostolos.

"Don't even think it," Savitar growled into her ear, managing to startle her.

She met his eyes over her shoulder and whispered, "How did you know what I was thinking?"

"You know the extent of my powers, Apollymi. Don't test them." His grip on her waist tightened, but his thumbs stroked along her skin as if to soften his rebuke.

"She will enlighten him eventually, whether intentionally or not." Apollymi had already decided not to incite Simi into telling her son, but Savitar made her defiant.

"Then we will deal with it then, calmly and reasonably. No destruction allowed." His lavender eyes bored into hers.

"Curse you! I'll bring destruction whenever I please, and best you stay out of the way." She stood up in the pool, silver eyes swirling dangerously. "Leave me," she commanded him, fists clenched by her side.

"This isn't over between us, Apollymi," Savitar warned, rising from the water with menace. His gaze trailed over her body before he disappeared, but his power lingered in the air, caressing her skin with invisible fingers.

Apollymi shrieked with frustration. She stepped out of her pool and dried and clothed herself with her powers, stalking toward her throne the entire time. Simi trailed behind still looking confused.

"Akra?"

"Do not ever become involved with a male, Simi. They are merciless, wearisome beings." Apollymi sat steaming on her throne, gripping the arms and clenching her teeth.

"But Akra, they serve their purpose in the bedroom."

She wasn't sure how her grandchild knew of such things, but she found she couldn't fault that reasoning.