So, I really enjoy Artemis and Orion, and I found very few stories on their lives starting from the first meeting to Orion's death, so I decided I'll post either one-shots on their relationship, or make a story, I'm not sure yet... Tell me what'cha think, thanks so much :)
Artemis always enjoyed hunting in Crete. The forests in Crete always seemed greener and more alive than anywhere else in Greece. Her hunters had set up camp off the shores of the Greek island, but Artemis had carried on, enjoying the peace of being able to hunt on her own, with only the companionship of her small hunting dog, Charis.
For a while now, she had been on the trail of a large stag. The stag was the largest Artemis had ever seen and she was determined to catch it. The goddess and the dog stayed hot on the trail of the stag and it wasn't until she and her dog were less than 100 meters away did they begin the chase. Though Artemis was fast, Charis quickly outran her and was soon almost running neck and neck with the stag.
Charis nipped at the stag's legs, trying to slow it down so that her master might be able to shoot it. Artemis soon had her bow drawn and was about to give Charis the whistle to veer away from the stag so she would be able to have a clear shot. The stag, however, was not going to give in to the huntress without a fight, and in one final attempt to abandon the huntress and her dog, the stag kicked out, his hoof connecting with the gaining dog, knocking her to the ground.
Artemis saw all of this happen, and though she regretted letting the stag go free, she stopped to tend to her injured animal. She approached her injured hunting companion and knelt by her side. The dog let out a whine that Artemis knew meant that she was upset about letting the stag get away. "You did well mutt. You will just have to watch out for the hooves next time." Artemis scolded gently.
Charis let out a pitiful whine and licked Artemis's hand. Artemis laughed softly, "Where, my dearest companion, did the stag kick you?" Artemis began prodding lightly along the animal's flank and stopped when Charis let out a whimper. Artemis sighed, "Just a few broken ribs mutt, I'll fix you right up and we will continue our hunt for the stag, and you will get the satisfaction of being the animal to help bring him down. How does that sound?"
Charis barked, but whimpered at the broken ribs, and instead licked Artemis's hands again. Artemis smiled and said the blessing, "Dominus Apollo mi carissime, salve hoc animal ut maneret venatione juxta me." At first nothing happened, but after a moment, Artemis felt a gentle wind caress her face and could faintly hear the sound of a lyre, a sign that her blessing had been heard by her brother.
Charis had felt the blessing as well and began trying to get up. Artemis laughed at the animal's cautious attempts to get up, before the dog finally jumped to her feet barking all the while. "Good girl Charis, now let us go find ourselves a-" Artemis stopped in midsentence as the hairs on Charis's back began to bristle, a low growl emitted from the dog's throat.
Artemis slowly knelt down so she was next to the dog, "What is it you hear mutt?" The dog bared her teeth and pointed with her nose towards the undergrowth a few meters away from them.
Artemis warily drew her bow, and pulled the hood of her cloak over her head, "Go get it mutt." Once those words were uttered, the dog took off towards the undergrowth prepared to attack whatever was waiting for them.
Artemis's trained ears hear a deep voice mutter something and heard another growl, not coming from Charis, but another dog. Not wanting her favorite hunting dog to be hurt in a fight against an opposing dog, Artemis ran after Charis.
A few meters past the undergrowth was a clearing and Artemis saw her hunting dog circling another dog. The other dog was slightly larger and much shaggier than Charis. Charis had her teeth bared at the intruding dog and her fur was bristled, her tail on end. The other dog, however, was watching Charis calmly, its tail wagging and tongue lolled.
Artemis was quite puzzled by this and was startled to hear a man speak, "Excuse me milady, might I ask you to call off your dog?"
Artemis whipped around and aimed her bow at a man in his early twenties, not much older than Artemis appeared to be. The man had black hair and sea-colored eyes, "Who are you?" Artemis asked coldly, not bothering with formalities.
The man frowned, "I was actually wondering the same thing milady. What is a young woman wielding a long bow and prancing around with a small dog, doing out in these woods, all alone?"
Artemis narrowed her eyes at the man, "I was hunting the stag when my dog was injured. Upon hearing you we came to investigate."
The man frowned and Artemis found her patience growing thin, "You doubt my story male?"
A smirk began forming on the man's lips as he answered, "I apologize for my rudeness madam. I just find it odd that your dog was injured yet it comes barreling into this clearing to attack my dog."
Artemis frowned, "I am in good favors with Apollo."
The man quirked a brow, "You have had an affair with an immortal being?"
Artemis shook her head, "No, the relationship between me and the god is completely platonic; however, he does help me when I am in need of his assistance. Now, answer my question, who are you?"
The man ignored her, "You claim you were hunting a stag?"
Artemis sighed, "Yes, I had almost had it killed when my dog was injured as I said."
"Unfortunately, you cannot be hunting that stag. I have been on its trail for almost a week now and was about to kill it when you scared it away." The man said.
"You have been hunting the stag for over a week and yet you call yourself a hunter? I had been on its trail for less than a few hours yet I had already almost taken it down." Artemis quipped.
"Madam, I don't know who you are, but I know for a fact that I am one of the greatest hunters in all of Greece, save for the goddess Artemis. Though I'm sure if I had the chance, I could match her skills." The man said.
"Oh truly? I bet I could hunt the stag down before you ever could." Artemis responded.
The man arched a brow at her remark, "If you really believe that then why not make a contest of the sport. If I manage to incapacitate the stag before you do, then I get to know your name and see your face, unveiled by the cloak. If you win, I will tell you my name, and will admit that you are indeed a better hunter than I."
Artemis kept her face stoic yet she couldn't help but laugh internally at the mortal's foolishness. No doubt he would lose, and Artemis could just as easily kill him right then and there; there was no fun in this however, and Artemis would like to humiliate the male first before killing him. No doubt he would be stunned by her skill. Yes, Artemis would never turn down a chance to show off her skill and now would be as good a chance as any. "Fine male, the hunt starts now." She said, and she whistled to Charis who instantly began searching for the trail of the great stag.
The man summoned his dog and it instantly ran after Charis and the stag. Artemis sprinted after her dog, she was the never tiring huntress, and this male would regret challenging her for the rest of his short life.
It didn't take long before Charis finally began catching up to the stag. The large animal had been running ever since it had encountered Artemis earlier, and it was beginning to grow weary. Artemis could see Charis once again nipping at the hindquarters of the stag, making sure to stay away from the hooves this time. Artemis was about to give Charis the signal to move away from the stag when the man's larger, less intelligent mongrel began gaining on Charis. The other dog was soon matching Charis's pace, and eventually began outrunning Charis and it bit down on the stag's rear legs.
Artemis cursed and whistled so she could quickly bring down the stag. Charis moved out of the way, but a similar whistle could be heard, and the other dog began moving away from the stag as well. Artemis notched her bow and aimed it at the stag; she had to shoot it down before the other man did.
She released her arrow, but, unbeknownst to Artemis, the man had also released an arrow at the same time. The two arrows hit the tiring stag and it instantly fell. Artemis grinned in satisfaction and ran to join Charis, and examine their kill.
Charis ran towards Artemis barking and hopping around her feet excitedly. When Artemis arrived at the place where the stag fell, she saw that the man and his dog were already there. The man was smirking, "It appears that I have brought down the stag." He said.
Artemis felt her jaw drop when she saw the stag. She was stunned to see her own silver arrow in the hindquarters of the animal, while the man's crude, wooden arrow stuck out of the animal's neck; effectively killing it.
Artemis shook her head, "No, I brought down the beast first."
The man grinned, "If you insist milady. But I think I at least deserve to see your face and know the name of the girl who managed to just barely outshine me."
Artemis frowned, "Only if I get to know your name, and you openly admit that I am in fact the better hunter."
The man grinned, "Fine milady. You are in fact a better hunter. And for my name, I am Orion, son of Poseidon."
Artemis nodded, only her uncle would have such a daring son as Orion.
The man cleared his throat, "Now miss, if I might get to see your face and know your name?"
Artemis felt a small smile twitch onto her lips, he was going to regret ever trying to best her. She reached up slowly and lowered her cloak allowing her long, auburn hair fall onto her shoulders, her silver eyes stared into his green ones. He stared at her, confused. "I am Artemis. Goddess of the hunt and moon." She said calmly.
Orion's jaw went momentarily slack at her beauty but he instantly caught himself and knelt down before her, his eyes regarding her respectfully.
Artemis frowned slightly. She had fully expected him to boast of his superiority over her or try to take her as his wife, she was not, however, expecting this sort of respect from him.
"Lady Artemis, please pardon my manners, I apologize for my vulgar words towards you." Orion said solemnly, his eyes now looking downward, as if he were not worthy.
Artemis found herself utterly puzzled by this, "Stand up Orion, son of Poseidon." Orion obeyed, but he still refused to look her in the eyes. Artemis paused for a moment, "I purposely went easy on you." She said with a straight face.
Orion looked up suddenly, an incredulous expression on his face, "I beg your pardon?"
"You heard me." Artemis said, "I could have easily bested you in a matter of seconds I wanted to see how mediocre your hunting skill were." That's a lie.
Orion opened his mouth to speak, shut it again and finally spoke, "So you purposely let me win?" Orion asked carefully.
Artemis scowled, "You did not win. But yes, I did let you lose by just a bit purposely."
Orion nodded, "Well milady, you won. I thank you for the chance to hunt with someone such as yourself."
Artemis frowned, "I will ask you to tell no one of our hunt."
"You have my word on the river Styx." Orion said, though she could tell he was still proud of his hunt. Artemis couldn't allow that.
Artemis frowned further, "If you doubt my hunting abilities Orion, than I suppose the only way to prove to you otherwise is for another competition."
Orion looked at her surprised, "I never said I doubted your skill milady. But if you so wish to reassure yourself that I did not in fact win, then I will not say no to another competition."
Artemis nodded, "Fine, then I will meet you at twilight tomorrow by the river that runs near the far side of the island. You may take the stag, for the next kill will be mine."
Orion agreed silently and picked up the large deer and threw it over his shoulder, "I will see you then milady. Thank you." He turned to go, "Come one Sirius." He said to his dog.
Artemis nodded, "You will not doubt my skill after tomorrow Orion." Artemis muttered to herself. Nor will I doubt yours. Artemis sighed and called to Charis, "Come on mutt, let's get back to camp."