Chapter 1: Eros and Pysche (Bo/Tamsin)
The words of her family rang in her head as she lay in absolute darkness; the only sensation the steady warmth of the body lying next to her.
“Bo, you can’t possibly feel safe with that thing, if it won’t let you see it it must be hideous!”
“You know it is just a matter of time before the creature tires of you and decides to make you it’s next meal.”
“You’ve been given to a monster, the whole town is talking about it.”
Bo felt the doubt planted by her friends and family take root in her chest and blossom into an overwhelming need to be sure. Just one look, then she would know for sure.
Her lover was a mystery she had to unravel. Gentle but also passionate, solid but unknowable, they were a being of contradictions that drew Bo in more with every passing day.
The first night had been one of shy exploration. A soft voice telling her it was okay to touch, but not to see. Bo could never see her mysterious lover.
“It would ruin everything.” A husky, feminine voice had said.
So Bo touched. Slowly, needing to create a picture in her mind of what she had been given over to. She felt soft skin, sharp angles, and also... feathers? Her lover sighed at her touch, leaning into Bo but never pressing, never implying that Bo needed to do anything more than run her small hands gently over the hidden body lying next to her.
A few days in, however, Bo had wanted more. They met in a kiss that tasted of a cold breeze at night, sharp and crisp. Her lover held her close, twining their hands around her waist and into her hair. They made love that night, the tender embrace falling away to heat and passion that left Bo throughly in love.
She was in love for many reasons. Her lover’s touch, their gentle manners and the comforting presence they were next to Bo at night. They told enough stories to fill lifetimes, stories of adventure that kept Bo enthralled but never gave away any details as to who she was speaking to. They treated her with kindness, more so than her other lovers ever had, and left her to wander their gorgeous mansion and grounds at her leisure while their hidden servants made certain she had everything she could ever need.
But she needed to know.
Just one look.
She silently got up and went to the chest at the foot of the great canopied bed. The chest opened with a creak that made Bo wince, but moments passed and her lover never stirred. She quickly took out the candle and match she had hidden there earlier. Closing the chest and setting the candle on top she struck a match, and with a trembling hand lit the candle.
The flickering light revealed the familiar details of her bedroom, the high ceilings and the colorful decor that she favored, as well as her lush bed and the figure lying still within in.
Bo crept forward, the candle shakily held aloft, and finally looked at her lover.
Her world stopped spinning. There, in her bed, was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. Bright blonde hair was strewn across her pillow and around a sharply beautiful face, like something out of a storybook. Her limbs were long and elegant, and they reached out to where Bo had been sleeping just moments before.
Could this be real? Could she be real?
She as she approached the bed, she realized one detail was missing. The feathers. She was certain that was what she had felt all those nights in the darkness, soft and delicate but very much there. Perhaps they were folded up against her back? Bo had to know for sure.
She slowly leaned over the beautiful sleeping figure, her eyes looking for any sign of the feathers she had caressed so many nights before. She had just barely gotten a glimpse of bloody patches on the chiseled back when, unbeknownst to Bo, a small drop of wax dropped off of her candle and unto the silken skin of her lover.
The woman woke with a violent start, sending Bo reeling back, the offending candle still in hand. Icy blue eyes met hers, filled at first with confusion that slowly melted into despair. Betrayal.
The woman got up slowly, untangling herself from the plush blankets and standing up to her full, regal height. Bo shivered at at the beauty that was fully revealed to her now, more than she could have ever hoped for. The woman gave her one last sad look, and turned to face the moonlit window behind her. As she arched her back Bo saw lithe muscles contract, before wings shot out from where the bloody patches had been. Before Bo could think to speak her lover threw open the window latch, and with what sounded like a sob flew off into the frozen night sky.
Bo stood there, tears rolling down her cheeks. She had betrayed the love of her life. She had not been given to a monster, but to a miracle. Hurriedly she set the candle down and ran to the window, but she knew in her heart it was too late. Her lover was gone.
Now it was up to Bo to get her back.
Chapter 2: Hero and Leander (Kara/Lena)
As the sun began to set, Lena carefully balanced the lantern onto the windowsill, watching the flickering light spill out into the growing gloom.
Soon, she thought to herself. She should be here soon.
Lantern set, Lena crept out of her chamber, her bare feet ghosting across the cool cobbled floor. Silently she stole down the back staircase, her shadow jumping behind her in the waning sunlight. Every creak and shuffle echoed like a thunderclap in the hush of the tower, but Lena knew that her fellow priestesses would be deep in contemplative prayer as the sun set, as they were every night. Life as a priestess could be stifling but at least it was consistent. As Lena made her way to the front door of the tower she said a silent prayer to her Goddess for her lover's safe passage. She knew Kara was strong and swift, but she also knew that the Gods could be cruel to lovers. She slipped through the front door and shut it quickly and quietly.
Lena hurried down the craggy rocks that led from the tower down to the whispering sea. Her feet knew where to land without, her instincts honed from many nights upon this path. Lena felt the stiff breeze through her thin white shift and she inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of cooling summer air and saltwater. Out in the distance she could just barely make out a dark shape cutting through the water, and the sight made her heart beat faster. She turned, just briefly, to see her lantern still burning bright in the window high above, shining a faint light out into the dusky air and guiding Kara faithfully back to her. This had been their ritual all throughout the heat of the summer, Lena would light her lantern and Kara would come to her as faithfully as the setting sun would kiss the horizon every evening.
Finally the rocks gave way to soft sand, and Lena watched as Kara emerged onto the rocks, sea spray surrounding her like a halo. she ran to Kara, the sand giving way beneath her feet and the breeze pushing at her back as if the West Wind himself had blessed their union. When their bodies finally met it was into an embrace. Lena could feel the sea water sluicing down Kara's strong body and soaking the front of her shift, but she didn't give it any mind. Kara tasted of sunlight and salt, her kisses firm and full of promise, her calloused hands tangled in Lena's dark hair. Lena sighed onto Kara's lips, her knees going weak at the taste of her lover. Finally, they broke apart for a breath, and Lena looked up into smiling cerulean eyes.
"Hello my beautiful girl." Kara said, looking at her reverently, as if Lena herself was the Goddess the tower had been built for. Lena flushed and dipped her head, the unmasked love in Kara's gaze almost overwhelming. Kara, not one for shyness, caught her chin and brought her eyes back up, her smile growing even wider. Without a word, Kara brought them together for another searing kiss before leading Lena away into the growing darkness.
She was the moon, Kara thought. There was no other explanation for the beauty in front of her. She was Selena brought down to earth to bless the soil beneath her feet and the sky above her. As she led Lena down the beach she marveled at the softness of the porcelain hand clasped tightly in her own, a stark contrast to her hands, which were rough and deeply tanned from a summer of work on the coast. Lena huddled close in the growing chill, and as she did Kara caught her scent; jasmine and temple incense mixed with Lena. She was a priestess of the Goddess of love, she had said, but Kara knew better. She had to be a Goddess herself.
After a few moments they reached their destination, a small cave sheltered behind a hidden copse of trees. Lena followed her inside quietly, both of them tensing in anticipation. Once they were inside, Kara knelt and retrieved a tinder box and blankets from behind a cairn of rocks. With practiced hands she struck the flint and lit the kindling already waiting in the small fire pit. She had no idea when Lena found the time to prepare the cave, with all of her duties as a temple priestess, but she always did. As the small fire began to crackle, she turned back to her lover to find that Lena had already spread the blankets out on the soft ground of the cave and now she stood in the glimmering firelight, her eyes expectant.
Kara rose, and they came together like a stormfront meeting a coastline. Wasting no time, she pushed Lena's shift down around her shoulders until it pooled down around her feet, revealing endless silky skin. She brought Lena down to the blankets with frantic kisses, pulling her own tunic and breeches off as her lover lay out before her.
They made love until the first hints of morning streamed into the warm cave, and with that they gathered their things and bid each other a fond farewell. Kara,steam rising off of her golden body as she stood in the cool morning air, kissed Lena's hand worshipfully, and with no ceremony or pretense, dove back into the sea and began to make the long journey back across the strait. The sharp sea water cleared the sleep from her eyes and brought strength rushing into her muscles, and she tore through the water like a predator, her mind filled with images of her love back on shore.
A crash rang out through her chamber, and Lena woke with a start.
Tonight, as any night, she had balanced her lantern on the windowsill to guide her lover to her. But tonight she had rested her weary head on her dressing table before she began the long journey to the beach. I'll rest for just a moment, she had thought. I am so tired, what good would I be to Kara if I can barely keep my eyes open?
The lantern lay in crushed pieces on the stone floor, and the reason for the accident was apparent as soon as Lena had opened her eyes. The sky beyond the window was dark and roiling, the sea crashed against the rocks with a fury she had never seen before. Someone had angered the Gods, and now her love was without her guiding light. Kara was smart, thought Lena. Perhaps she had seen the storm coming and not gone out into the sea. But a lump stuck in her throat. When I had set the lantern I had not seen any sign of this storm, she thought to herself, swallowing to try and rid herself of the dreadful feeling that something was very, very wrong
Lena stood vigil at her window for the entire dark night, watching the sky sever itself with angry streaks of lighting an the sea throw itself up in defiance. It was only as the first rays of the morning sun hit the water that she was able to just barely see the battered figure clinging to the rocks below.
Chapter 3: Fionn and Sadhbh (Clarke/Lexa Part 1)
The hounds crashed through the underbrush, baying for their master to follow. Lexa, her strides long and powerful, burst through the thicket in hot pursuit. Her bow clattered against her back as she leapt over a fallen tree with a whoop, her voice echoing alongside those of her faithful dogs hellbent on closing in on their prey.
The scent of the sun and the fresh air filled her chest and spurred her on, and she ran with all of her might just to catch a glimpse of golden fur and flashing hooves in the forest ahead. The doe was quick, and crafty, it had eluded Lexa for days but still she gave chase. Every time she sighted the beautiful creature, or smelled it's sweet musk on the breeze she was filled with longing, the need to make it hers growing stronger with each passing moment.
The baying of the hounds grew to a fever pitch, mixing with the wind and the the sounds of the forests until it became a primal cacophony in Lexa's ears, spurring her to go still faster in her pursuit. The hounds rounded a bend, howling with the scent of animal, until all at once they went quiet and skidded to a halt. Lexa swore under her breath when she saw what had stopped them, a crystalline river that stretched across the landscape and stopped the hounds from following the heady scent of the golden doe.
Lexa's chest heaved with exertion as she studied the landscape, looking for any sign of the creature, listening for any sound. The emerald forest was quiet, nothing but the rustle of leaves and the muted chirping of songbirds in the distance. Her sharp eyes fell on a patch of brier across the river, and as she scanned the trees she caught a glimmer of gold shivering amongst the leaves. She hollered for her hounds, and together they crashed into the river, sending spray up to glimmer in the sun's rays. The doe flew from her hiding spot and the chase was on once again, hunter and prey equally breathless in their pursuit.
Lexa lost herself in the chase once again, wheeling around bends and through trees after her quarry. The doe played her part well, dodging the hounds around every turn while keeping herself just out of Lexa's reach. That is, until around a corner a towering bluff came into sudden view, and with it the doe found herself suddenly unable to escape.
"Heel!" shouted Lexa, and with that the hounds stopped their noise and and waited at their master's feet. Lexa pulled her bow from her back and swiftly nocked an arrow before lining up her shot at the gorgeous creature in front of her. The gleaming arrowhead was pointed at the doe's heart, and Lexa tensed with the knowledge of the coming kill. But before her fingers released their hold on the taut bowstring, the doe shuddered. Golden fur gave way to smooth skin, and limbs lengthened and curved.
Lexa, her breath not yet caught, lowered her bow. Before her, where her quarry had once been, lay a woman shivering naked in the open air. Her long mussed hair was the rich color of the hide Lexa had hoped to have spread across her bed, golden and bright. Her frightened eyes flashed blue as they took Lexa in, still standing tall and aggressive in her posture with bow in hand.
Lexa, startled, took a moment to collect herself and realize the picture she must be. Slavering hounds at her feet, a weapon drawn with the sweat of the hunt still drying on her brow. Quickly, she lowered her bow and spoke before she could think to stop herself. "I'm sorry." she said, knowing as the words left her mouth that it wasn't the right thing to say. "What I mean to say is," she continued, slipping over her words "What, who are you?"
The woman, tense and unmoving, appraised her with eyes that betrayed a lingering sense of unease."C... Clarke." she finally said, her voice creaky from lack of use. "My name is Clarke." Her delicate hands tried to cover herself as she spoke and Lexa, ever the gentleman, dropped everything and began to remove her coat. "You don't have to-" Clarke started to protest, but Lexa strode forward and gently dropped the coat over her shoulders. "You're cold." Lexa stated matter of factly. "Of course I have to."
Clarke looked up at her but did not move. After a few quiet moments passed with no change, Lexa straightened herself and turned to go. Before she could take a single step however, she felt a small hand shoot up and gently grasp her wrist. He looked at this woman that had been her prey once again, and this time when their eyes met Lexa felt the heat of the hunt return.