HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH A GREEK GOD
CHAPTER ONE: IN WHICH THE UNIVERSE COLLIDES
They say that mere mortals cannot fall in love with a god.
That's what Penny thought, at least, until one fateful day brought her face-to-face with a very godly pain-in-the-ass. And as you know, that type is even more difficult to get rid of than that of a human sort; since you can't merely push one into a lake somewhere and hope they quietly (figuratively speaking) drown themselves to death. Oh no—as she was about to find out, they don't drown. They merely laugh it off and question why you would such a silly thing in the first place, since gods are immortal.
It began on a humid summer morning in Ithaca. The streets were bustling and the street side marketplace was beginning to open for the day, vendors wheeling out their homemade wares, fresh-picked vegetables, and other trinkets and whatnot.
Penelope Lalos, more commonly just known as simply Penny to her street friends (read: enemies and sparring partners) was currently squinting out at the marketplace from between the overhang of a dark alleyway.
Whips of fair golden hair, the color of wheat and straw, escaped from the mussed braid that fell neatly down her back. Aquamarine eyes gleamed with excitement as they narrowed further, trying to spot her prey.
"Good day, Mr. Ninnis! I can't believe this heat, can you? And I simply can-not believe that my mother sent me out today to buy her stupid head remedies—she's always ailing about pains in her neck, pains in side, talk about a pains in my bloody rear end, now pains in her stupid head—"
A plain dark-haired girl about Penny's age was complaining loudly at the medicinal seller, who looked anything but sympathetic as he rustled through his bottles and bits of roots and herbs.
"Pain in the head, eh? Must be this blasted heat wave we're having... I'll find somethin' for ye, never worry girl..."
"OUCH!" Penny quite forcefully "bumped" into the other girl.
Penny looked up, all apologetic tears and long eyelashes, albeit a new found lump underneath her white tunic.
"I'm so sorry," she gushed as she attempted to help the other girl up, "I'm just so clumsy these days! I was trying to get to the fruit vendor before all the good melons of the day were sold—it's this heat you know, driving my family near crazy! We all need some cool melon in the afternoon these days..."
The girl glared at Penny, pushing pieces of sweaty dark hair out of her eyes.
"You would do well to watch where you're going, street girl!" She sneered. "My master beheads people like you for even walking in his path!"
"Are you even on par with your master?" Penny asked dryly.
The girl sputtered, "I'm his favorite maid! He calls me his pet every single day and asks me to sing to him, since my voice is like his little nightingale, he says!"
"More like his sweetly singing whore in bed," Penny muttered darkly under her breath.
"How DARE you say that to me!" The girl shrieked, "I am not sleeping with him—and even if I were, it would be none of your business, idiot! I bet you've bedded so many men in your lifetime for a few coins that you have lice growing in who-knows-where!"
Penny emitted a low growl, "Miss, I was going to let you off nicely today since it was my fault I ran into you—but I should teach you a lesson for speaking to me in that manner!"
The girl looked triumphantly at Penny, "And what manner is that? Hit the truth, haven't I? The manner one uses to speak to gutter trash and common sluts, is that it?" She laughed loudly.
Penny smiled sweetly at the girl, "Nope. The manner one uses to speak to their betters." And with that, the fair-haired maiden flounced off, leaving the other girl seething.
Grinning to herself, Penny thumbed the small knapsack of coins underneath her breast band.
Ah, sweet revenge.
"Oh, hullo there! Top of the morning to you, Zeus, old buddy, old pal!"
It was another never ending morning of absolute bliss and heavenly delights on Mount Olympus, and to be honest, Hermes was getting bloody tired of it. Sure, there were women beautiful beyond words to sleep with, a stream of crystalline wine spewing from the fountains, and a constant flow of the most delicious delicacies in the world popping out of thin air before him—but it really wasn't the same without some fun in life on this old mountain.
That's where he came in.
Grinning evilly, Hermes looked the picture of innocence as Zeus sat on his airy cloud (not figuratively speaking), getting fanned by nymphs and eating grapes that seemed to appear in front of his face, freshly peeled and seedless.
"Hermes." The great god raised an eyebrow at him. "What brings you here today? I thought you were off gallivanting with some Athenian priestess, the last I heard of you."
"Oh, that didn't work out." Hermes said airily, smoothing back his beautiful curling russet-brown locks from his head. "She wasn't very much fun once she started singing her priestly hymns and whatnot. Not really my kind of gal."
Zeus frowned at a grape that had popped into the air before him. It was un-peeled. Wonder how that had happened.
"Oh really? You should take a mistress or even a wife soon, you know... look at how famously me and Hera get along! Of course, the odd lady or two in my bed... find a woman who knows how to look the other way, y'know!" Zeus roared with laughter, the nymphs giggling along with him. One had the audacity to wink at Hermes. He shuddered. Ugh, nymphs. The common prostitute in magical form.
Zeus caught his shuddering glance. "No nymphs for you I see. Well then, what about one of the gods here then? Aphrodite seems rather fond of you."
Hermes shuddered again. "Don't even speak about Aphie to me! God, that woman is like a machine! All she ever wants to do is bed me, and when she does, she can go bloody weeks at a time! She's like a windmill—she never stops!" He whined.
Zeus chucked some more, "Be a man, Hermes! If a lady needs her satisfaction, we men don't question it. We carry on and let them have it! That's the Olympian way." Another grape.
Hermes looked at him darkly. "Her idea of satisfaction is endless. I swear to god (no pun intended), we're going to have to get her a goat or something because her energy NEVER ceases! Even for a god, I have my limits you know! She tires me out," He complained. He still had welts on his arms from when he had seen her last. She was into some pretty kinky stuff, that Aphrodite.
Zeus frowned as another grape appeared before him un-peeled. What was going on? Was he losing his touch? "So picky, Hermes. And her beauty is said to be unrivalled. What about my dear Athena, then?" He said fondly. It was well-known that Athena was his favorite daughter, and that her intelligence even went beyond his own.
Hermes groaned. "All that woman wants to do is play chess all day! She's the complete opposite of Aphie. When I have my—ahem—urges—she just smirks and says not until I dominate her in a game of chess, which you know of course, is impossible."
Pop. Pop. More grapes appeared. All unpeeled. Zeus frowned deeply. "Oh, is that right..."
Trumpets sounded as a messenger ran in, gasping for breath. "Sir—Zeus—there's been a horrible magical shortage!"
Zeus growled. "Magical shortage?!" He boomed.
Oh, god. Hermes slowly backed into a statue, accidentally snapping the statue's left breast off. Zeus wasn't supposed to get the news this quickly! He was supposed to butter Zeus up first.
The messenger hesitated, "Well, not a magical shortage, exactly. It appears that something has been blocking up all the power in the region," He explained.
"WHAT?!" Zeus roared, his eyes glowing pure anger.
Hermes surmised that this would be a good time to leave now. He began edging out the door faster.
The messenger looked at Hermes, and then smirked. Hermes felt a cold shiver go down his spine. He knew that messenger. Since Hermes was the god of messengers, he had to personally train every single Mount Olympian delivery boy and show them the ways. Unfortunately, the current messenger in front of him was one of the unfortunate ones who got trained on the days he had drunk a little too much wine the night before, causing him to be especially snappy and snooty to his poor students. He cursed, what bad luck!
"What we found actually, is—this." The messenger held up a single winged shoe. "It was wedged between the magic conductor that powers all the magic flowing in the nearby area." He explained.
Hermes groaned, and quickly dashed away down the lofty corridor but suddenly his legs were frozen and his entire body was locked in place.
Penny snickered to herself as she watched the girl go into a temper tantrum as she discovered hey money purse was missing.
"Two loaves of bread please," She said happily to the baker selling his aromatic fresh-out-of-the-oven delicacies.
Rowan, the baker, laughed as he looked at the girl chuckling to herself as she was witnessing a screaming rampant girl across the marketplace. The girl seemed to have lost her coins and couldn't buy something at the medicinal stand.
"Up to no good again, I see," Rowan said wryly as he wrapped up two loaves of his nut bread up for the girl.
"Why, I don't know what you are talking about, Mr. Rowan!" Penny wrinkled her nose at him, but her blue eyes gleamed.
"Stop foolin' me girl, you're famous for being the local pickpocket around here! Why, Ninnis over there always reminds me to watch me own pocket when I'm around you!"
Penny looked eagerly at him as he handed her the loaves of bread. She tore open the cloth wrapping and hungrily bit into one of the loaves. Ah, bliss. The sweet nutty scent permeated her senses, and the lightly sweetened loaves were as soft and heavenly as ever. Why, Penny reckoned, not even the gods ate food this delicious, that was for sure.
"Mr. Rowan," she said happily between bites, "I would never for the life of me think to pick your pocket as long as you keep making this delectable bread!"
She continued down her path happily, munching on her bread.
Well, she would have been happily munching her bread, if it were not for a certain something had not fallen out of the sky and landed on her with a loud thump.
"What the hell—mmff!"
Penny yelled loudly as the mysterious thing that had landed on her seemed to be huffing and puffing. Something was pressed against her lips. Something that felt suspiciously like another pair of lips. She screamed, pushing the thing—it?—off of her.
"You bloody little ingrate! You idiotic fool! You BLASTED PIECE OF NO GOOD—" A hand clapped itself over her mouth.
"Shut up, wench!" The voice said angrily into her ear. "Zeus will hear me! I'm running away from Mount Olympus!"
"You're what?!" Penny said shrilly, attempting to turn around to get a look at this madman—or woman—who was spewing all this nonsense. "Don't even play with me, I may look like a weak little girl but once I get up—I cannot forgive such an ingrate that steals a girl's first chaste kiss from her lips!" She winced as a pain shot through her leg from her excessive yelling.
The thing finally pushed him—it—her?—self off of Penny finally getting a good look at the girl. It was a boy, around her age it seemed, although he seemed to emanate a youthfulness and deviousness that wasn't common to most boys her age. His looks were very attractive indeed, with curly brown hair and wicked dancing jade-green eyes.
"That was your first kiss?" He said, surprised.
"Yes, it was!" She exclaimed, flustered.
He wouldn't stop looking at her. She pushed his cheek away, irritated.
"What!?" She hissed, "Never seen a girl before?" The boy looked contemplatively at her.
"No, not such a beautiful human girl!" He suddenly said. Penny sputtered. Oh, god. He wasn't going to turn into another of those lovesick swains that followed her around, like old Perseus from last month and then there was Odios from the farmer's market, was he? She knew she was pretty, from the way boys had started looking at her even since she started wearing a breastband, but if she was going to start attracting attention from random strangers that fell out of the sky...
Wait a minute. Out of the sky? Something he had just said a few seconds ago registered in her brain. Zeus? Mount Olympus? Was he a crackpot, or was he...
"I'm Hermes, the greek god!" The boy grinned winningly at her. "Want to become my mistress?"
Author's Note: Another new story, since I was having writer's block doing my summer assignment for school and writing for A Monetary Affair (which you should all go read, btw!). This one will be a little more silly, but Hermes and Penelope were lovers in Greek mythology :)