Mar. 1st, 2015

callipygos: (snuggle up my buttercup)
“Hi, sweetie.”

Matt looks up sharply, and Aphrodite’s standing there in a dress the color of a ripe peach. She smiles at him with full lips, and the feeling blooms in him the way it did before: a sense of beauty that goes through him like a lance.

“A—Aphrodite,” he murmurs. “Hey.”

He’s experiencing a keen lack of gestures—bows, kisses to the backs of hands, something courtly. But the goddess just giggles.

“Can I sit down?”

And, well … stay on her good side or out of her way.

“Of course,” he says, “totally.”

Once Matt has pushed his books and his coffee to one side, and once Aphrodite has stretched out her long legs under the table (and Matt has moved his own), he says, “What brings you, ah …”

A rueful smile touches the goddess’ lips.

“My cousin,” she answers. “More or less.”

Under her gaze, Matt strives not to blush. “Epimetheus.”

She laughs again, softly.

“You do have a way of saying his name.”

… His efforts not to blush may not be going all that well.

“All right, yes,” Aphrodite says. “Epimetheus. You know how it goes with family, sugar—you just want the best for them.”

“In my experience, family doesn’t always share your definition of ‘best.’”

“That’s what I’m discovering.” The goddess purses her lips. “I tried asking, but I’m afraid Eppy doesn’t make much sense.”

“What makes you say that?” Matt asks.

“Well he doesn’t like sex much, for one thing.”






Matt doesn’t have an immediate response for that.

His expression must be funny, because Aphrodite bursts into golden laughter.

“Oh! I’m wrong, then?”

Matt stammers, “I, don’t—“

“All right, don’t kiss and tell. It’s okay.” Aphrodite holds a finger to her lips. “Anyway, your guess is as good as mine what he really means by anything. Personally, I can’t imagine not finding sex important.”

Matt smiles ruefully. “Well, ah … I mean, I can imagine it. Sort of. Not very well.”

The goddess cants her head to one side.

“Can you?” She lets out another giggle. “Gosh, you’re just adorable! I’m almost mad Eppy got to you first.”

Matt is pretty definitely sure he’s blushing now.

“Sex is, um, it’s a little bit different for me than for most people,” he says. “It has to do with the way I practice magic.”

“Magic.” Aphrodite sets her chin in one hand, regarding him intently. “I’ll bite: What do you mean by that?”

Matt glances to her face, and manages to lose his train of thought entirely. But in the deep, bright blue of her eyes, the luminous gleam of her skin, the curve of her cheek—he finds it again.

“The way I learned to practice magic begins in the body. So, your body is the instrument, and sex is the way you channel something bigger than yourself, usually but not always with someone else. It’s … sacred.”

As he talks, the goddess’ smile slowly fades. Matt finds the expression that remains difficult to read.

“Maybe Epimetheus didn’t get to you first, then,” she murmurs. “Not really. There used to be temples dedicated to me where they did things like that, did you know that?”

Matt nods. “I’ve read about it. Yeah.”

“Mortals don’t go in for it much anymore.”

“Not where I’m from,” he agrees.

“Does that get lonely?”

Matt frowns.

“I don’t know, sometimes. I think a lot of the time, I feel … very lucky, and very … connected.”

Aphrodite’s smile now might be called wistful.

“I suppose you can’t beat connection,” she says. “Or getting lucky. Be good to my cousin if you cross paths again, okay sweetheart?”

“I promise,” Matt tells her. (There’s really no other answer.)

“Good boy.” The goddess’ smile brightens. “Oh, hey—and how do you feel about cats?”

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Aphrodite Dionaea

March 2015

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