Psyche woke in the morning and smiled, feeling her husbands body cuddled behind her, his hand on her growing womb, her fingers twined with his, the warmth of his breath tickling her neck and making her giggle. Eros made a mumbled sound of joy, leaning in to kiss her neck ardently as her fingers slid into his brown curls.
"Good morning my wife." He whispered into her hear before ever so gently taking her soft lobe between his teeth, sending a shutter of warmth through her.
"Eros." She whispered into the morning light.
The very first morning she had awoken in his arms after she returned, she had seen it was light out and shut her eyes tight out of habit, thinking that he would have to go since it was day. He had softly and lovingly reminded her that she could look upon his face now, though even then it took her sometime to finally open them and look into his loving gray blue eyes, stunned to silence that she was truly home. She had kissed him while whispering over and over again that she loved him, bringing the greatest kind of joy to their souls as he whispered those words with her, to her.
On this beautiful morning, they had been reunited for a month and a half, each moment of it blissful. Eros' hands continued caressing her as he kissed her shoulder, his touch and lips so careful and tender as his beautiful bride melted in his embrace. They had this power over each other from the very beginning, being able to entice the other with barely so much as a look, a touch, an idea that would form in one of their minds that was somehow as their loves. His kisses on her skin were dizzying, overwhelming, making her flush with warmth throughout her form as that ache came to be known within her, everything within her aching for connection.
Psyche turned around in his arms, not able to take any more. She placed her hand on his cheek, tilting his head up as her lips found his with passion, sighing a moan as their two sets of lips seemed to become one. She pushed him onto his back, moving to straddle his waist as she continued to kiss him. His arms were around her, tenderly holding her close, while being ever careful of the swell of her womb that was between them. Even though she seemed to grow by the day they still found ways to make love without any harm coming to their child. This was one of them.
She kissed down his neck, her hands caressing his chest, her fingertips and the touch of her warm tongue driving him absolutely mad. He had missed this in a way he could not even begin to comprehend. Her touch, her lips tasting and exploring his body, her hands and fingers that she used so well to tease him and please him. He needed to kiss her, to taste her mouth. Her desires were clearly in line with his own, for soon she was kissing him again, being stunned as she always was by the power the meeting of lips always holds.
Eros' fingers tangled in her black hair that fell around them, his other hand giving her behind a squeeze, making her smile against his lips as he rolled them over, carefully propping himself up with his arm to keep his weight off of her womb as their two bodies became one, their lips parting for only long enough to let out a gasp at the feeling and take in a breath before they were kissing again, Eros gently clutching onto her thigh with his free hand as he moved within her…
They laid face to face as they held each other, their eyes speaking of their love for each other, their utter wonderment at what they had just shared. Psyche moved her head closer to his, gently brushing her nose against her husbands as she let out a sigh and their smiles grew, their lips soon meeting for a sweet, effervescent kiss.
"I love you." She whispered in a sigh, and they both laughed for no reason.
"I love you, my wife." He replied in a soft tone holding the utmost admiration and adoration. "I love you." He could not help saying the words again before his lips met hers once more.
After laying there for an indefinite amount of time, whispering sweet nothings and holding each other, they rose for the day, going to their bathing chamber to get clean for the day. Psyche floated in the water, sighing in bliss as with every breath she inhaled the sweet scent of the Jasmine and rose petals that floated in the water around them. Eros watched his wife in wonder. She was here with him, his wife, his love, his Psyche, the mother of his first child, which Apollo had confirmed to be a healthy girl. Eros was overjoyed when he found out. Psyche however, did not want to know the gender of their child, she just wanted to know the babe would be healthy and whole. Eros found it comical that he knew the gender of their child when his wife, the one carrying the child, did not. They had spoken of names, both boys and girls, and Eros simply had to pretend they were naming another future child of theirs when male names came up.
Eros slowly went over to his wife, seeing her eyes closed and a blissful smile upon her face. He gently leaned down and placed his arms underneath her knees and back, lifting her out of the water all of the sudden. Making her laugh, quickly wrapping her arms around him. He looked down upon her, a chuckle of his own coming from his lips as he looked upon her. So many of those white and red flower petals sticking to her skin and in her hair, she was truly a vision.
He carried her out of the warmth of their bathing pool and laid her down on the lush satee near the water, laying down with her leaning against his chest, his arms wrapped around her as she caressed those arms with her fingers. He knew he needed to leave for his duties soon… yet he could not bear to be parted from his bride. He wanted her in his arms for every moment of the rest of eternity.
They had so much lost time to make up for, and for the first month since she returned he stayed by her side constantly. But he was a god, and being the god of love was about far more than a kind of employment for him. It was his life's calling to guide mortals to love, even if that love was not meant to last, every kind of love is important. Just as each woman I have loved helped to prepare me for Psyche. He smiled at that, As if anything could truly prepare me for loving her. He shook his head, a soft chuckle leaving his lips, the sound making Psyche look back up into his eyes, stunning him with their beauty and leaving his speechless.
He knew the Moirae's purpose in bringing Psyche to him and then taking her away. Only now, because he knew what it was like to love her and lose her, did he become a full-fledged love god. Before Psyche, true love and the loss of true love were the only two things he had not experienced when it came to love. Of course, if he had it his way, they would have never been parted in the first place. Eros knew he could not change the past, therefor, he accepted what had happened. Instead of cursing the Moirae for ever separating he and Psyche, he blessed them and thanked them for bringing them back together.
Their separation and reunion had made both of them strong in a way. Going through hard times can make you something of a pessimist, though some like to think of that kind of tough and stony attitude was true strength, it was not. True strength comes after that, and only love can bring it, love and forgiveness. Forgiving both yourself and others, letting go of the past and realizing that it was all worth it to be where you are now.
A sense inside of him alerted him to his duties, that there were places he needed to be, people who needed his expertise and sometimes unseen guidance. Looking into her husband's eyes, Psyche could see it. He got this look every day he had to leave her to attend to his duties. Yet as hard as it was for him to leave her, Psyche knew he loved his work, she knew just how much it meant to him. So she placed her hand into his brown curls and kissed his lips, letting it linger before finding the will to pull away enough to look into his eyes.
"Go, husband," She told him with a soft smile. "I will be waiting here in our home for your return tonight. I love you." He nodded.
"I love you my wife. I will try and make it home in time to watch the sunset with you." He promised, she nodded and gave him another kiss.
Eros held her for another moment longer before they got up and went into their separate dressing rooms. Eros wore a royal blue, knee length tunic with onyx accents and designs in silver thread. He pinned it on one shoulder with a silver clasp in the shape of unfurled wings within incredible precision. He tied his gladiator sandals upon his handsome feet and slid on silver wristbands embedded with sapphires. He checked himself once in the mirror to make certain he was presentable before leaving his closet.
He met Psyche in their private dining hall where breakfast was already prepared for them. Psyche wore a stunning gown of pure gold and dusky rose silk, it fit her up top then fanned out to her feet in flowing folds of fabric. Her black hair was intricately braided back and held there with a clasp of gold and red diamonds. She looked stunning, and the bright smile that lit up her features captures his soul in a way he could not even begin to describe.
Eros' only thought was a prayer to the Moirae that their daughter would have her mothers smile if nothing else. He nearly laughed, realizing that then his daughter would be able to wrap him around her finger just as her mother does without even trying.
Psyche and Eros made joyous conversation as they ate, then he walked over and helped Psyche to her feet, falling to one knee before her as he placed his hands on the sides of her womb, placing a soft kiss upon where his daughter, their daughter, grew. He rested his head there, listening to her little heartbeat. Psyche placed her hand upon his cheek as she sighed in blissful contentment. Oh how she loved him!
He eventually rose to full height and kissed his daughters mother, a long parting kiss he could not leave without sharing with her. He lingered near her before taking a step away, smiling to his glowing wife before teleporting away in that stunning golden light.
Eros went to consult with his mother and ask where he was needed. He had been gone for so long, he was still catching up on everything he had missed. Aphrodite had since forgiven Psyche for what she had done, knowing that all that her sons happiness meant more than holding onto a grudge.
Eros kissed his mothers cheek and bid her farewell. The day went by fairly quickly since he was so invested in his work, though Psyche and their daughter were constantly there within his soul, drawing him home and longing for the day to finally be at an end. Yet before he could return, there was somewhere he had to go, someone he needed to speak with.
The god of love made himself invisible before teleporting into the palace in Athens. He walked silently through the halls, going unnoticed by the guards as he made his way towards the king. He entered the kings office. Tristan sat hunched over his desk, a mound of papers surrounding him as he scribbled away furiously, pausing only to stretch out his cramping hand that was a constant pain these days.
Eros watched him, seeing what a mess he was. He looks nearly as bad as I did when I lost her, Eros shivered at the thought, reminding himself that Psyche was at home waiting for him. The god of love made himself visible at the other end of the large room lit by the sun, which was just beginning to set. Tristan, noticed the figure out of the corner of his eye and looked up to see an unfamiliar face. The man standing there was tall and well muscled, with brown curls that held a golden hue, gray blue eyes that complemented a strong and handsome face.
"Who are you?" Tristan demanded, his tired eyes now alive with anger. "How did you get past my guards?" The man before him gave Tristan a smirk.
"As apt as they may be, they seem to lack the power to sense a god." The man stated. Tristan looked at the god before him, memories of Psyche's words going through his mind.
"I only saw him that night when I betrayed his trust," She told him in confidence. "He was so… beautiful. He had this perfect pale skin, eyes a gray blue, almost like a day when the sky is partially hidden behind a misting of clouds. His eyes had been the only thing I had seen of him before that night… and even then they still held my soul captivated."
"Quite a handsome one I take it." Tristan had replied, Psyche nodded as she looked away from his eyes, wrapping her arms around herself as he watched her momentary joy fade into her nearly perpetual sadness.
He reached out and ran the backs of his fingers across her cheek and she glanced into his eyes. It broke his heart to see her hurt like this.
"I wish I knew a way to make you smile." He told her softly, she gave him a halfhearted grin, seeing as how it was all she could muster.
"I just miss him." She whispered. "He is suffering… he is dying. This world cannot lose him, I cannot lose him and neither can our child."
He wanted to be enough, he wanted her to love him, to choose him. He wanted to tell her right then and there that he loved her, and should she choose him, he would never put her through the pain that her 'husband' had. How Psyche could still love that pathetic excuse for a god was beyond Tristan's understanding. Every moment since he found her in the cave, his soul had been praying that Psyche would end up as his own.
Tristan looked at the god before him as he came out of his reverie, now more than able to guess at who he was. He felt anger within his soul at what this god had put the woman he loved through. And she had just gone running back to him. To say that Tristan had grown bitter in the past month and a half since Psyche and he said their goodbyes was an understatement. He did not despise Psyche, he loved her too much for that. Who he truly abhorred was the one who had hurt Psyche, he who had turned away a woman who loved him and allowed her to suffer such torments.
"Eros, I presume." Tristan said to the god before him, his face blank. The god of love gave a bow of his head, having heard Tristan's every thought. Eros was not angered, seeing as how he used to hate himself even more than Tristan hated him.
"You presume correctly." Eros replied.
"Are you here to kill me then?" Tristan asked, a part of him would welcome death if he did not know that dying would leave his kingdom without a leader.
"I am here to thank you." Eros told Tristan, his voice and expression filled with sincerity and gratitude. "My wife and child would be dead if not for you. I owe you everything for saving them and caring for them when I did not." Tristan just stared at him.
"How are they?" Tristan asked, Eros smiled as he thought of his wife and daughter.
"Very well, and very happy." Eros said. "She spends a lot of time with her friends, and my mother. As for our child, our baby is healthy and due in three months time."
Tristan felt the regret in his soul that he was not able to raise that baby as his own, or take Psyche as his wife. He had wanted that future more than anything and everything. Having them would have made his life complete, yet instead, it was now even more empty than it had been before Psyche arrived. She was everywhere he looked, those sacred moments seared into his mind, heart and soul.
"I am glad they are well." Tristan replied, fighting to keep his composer.
"I cannot blame you for falling in love with her." Eros said to Tristan, looking into his eyes and seeing the soul of a broken man. "And I know what it is like to lose her, I know what you are feeling."
"Somehow I doubt that." Tristan spat, no longer able to contain his rage, his hands knotting into fists as he began to shout. "YOU LET HER STARVE! YOU LET HER SUFFER AS A PERFECTION SUCH AS HER SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN MADE TO! AND SHE DID IT ALL FOR YOU, BECAUSE FOR SOME UNFATHOMABLE REASON SHE STILL LOVES YOU! SHE DOES NOT LOVE ME, A MAN WHO WOULD HAVE GIVEN HER EVERYTHING! NO SHE LEAVES, SAYING I WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH! SHE LEAVES AND GOES BACK TO THE SAME BASTARD WHO SENT HER AWAY FOR LIGHTING A GODS DAMNED CANDLE!"
Eros stayed calm, knowing every word Tristan spoke was the truth, no matter how much it hurt.
"You are right." Eros replied in a calm yet heartbroken voice. "She should not still love me after what I did to her, and if our love were any less powerful, I doubt she that she would still love me. I know what I did to her and to our child even though I had no idea she was pregnant until she came to me, and it is something I will have to live with for the rest of eternity. Psyche and I are meant for each other, our very souls are bound together. I know how much you love her, and believe me when I say that if I could have chosen anyone besides myself to be with her, to love her, it would have been you. You are a good man, and Psyche does care about you, deeply, which is why I am here."
"I am afraid you have me at a loss." Tristan replied, still trying to keep the anger and heartache under control.
"There is a celebration my wife and I are holding to welcome her into the family." Eros began. "Both of our families will be there, her father and sisters and their husbands, as well as all of my family. I know it would mean the world to Psyche to have you there. It will be held in our home where you brought her, two weeks from today."
"I cannot simply leave my kingdom on a whim." Was Tristan's response, which was more of an excuse. No matter how much he missed her, the last sight he desired to see was her with Eros. "I am afraid I will have to decline your invitation. Tell… Psyche, I send my apologies." It was still difficult to say her name.
"Very well." Eros said. "However, should you change your mind, we would be grateful to have you." A slight smirk came onto Eros's face, a mischief within his eyes. "Trust me on this, Tristan of Athens, you will not want to miss this celebration, it will prove to be… life changing." Tristan gave a curt motion that was akin to a nod.
Eros became invisible before teleporting away to his waiting family, just in time for sunset. She bundled up in warm furs as she sat on the beach. Eros smiled as he sat beside her, wrapping his arm around her.
"Hello wife." He whispered and kissed her cold lips, he sighed and then laughed, giving her the best reproachful look he could manage. "You should not be out in the cold."
"Your mother said fresh air is good for our child." She told him, her eyes pleading with him not to be upset with her. "I just want to see the sunset." He nodded and then held her closer to keep her warm. "Did you do it? Is he coming?"
"We will have to see." He told her, kissing her cool forehead.
Tristan paced the floor in his bedroom, thinking that if he kept this up, there was sure to be a path carved into the stone from his constant movement. Three days had passed since Eros' visit. At first Tristan had been firmly resolved to stay in Athens, not able to see any possible good that could come from his attending this celebration. What if I lose my control and begin screaming at Eros again? Or even worse… what if I speak words of anger to Psyche? Now that he would not be able to stand. No, it is best that I stay.
Try as he might, his traitorous thoughts kept pestering him, making him unable to even focus on his duties. Finally, he called to his friend and advisor Alexander of Athens, seeing as how desperately he could use both a friend and adviser.
"My king." Alexander gave a bow when he arrived.
"I have no idea what to do." Tristan said, then quickly ran through what had happened and the words that were spoken between Eros and himself.
"I say you go." Alexander said, much to the shock of his friend and king.
"You what?" Tristan nearly screamed, though it did not faze his friend.
"You are still hung up on Psyche." Alexander began. "Perhaps seeing her with him, seeing that she is happy, will help you to move on with your life. Eros is right, this could be life changing, and I think we both know how much you need a change." Tristan sighed.
"I cannot stand to see them together." Tristan said as he sat on the edge of his bed. "Just the thought of it…" Tristan ground his teeth together, his hands turning into fists.
"You need to do this." Alexander, always the truthful one with his king, told him straight. "How else are you to move on?"
"I do not want to move on." Tristan admitted, taking a deep breath and running his hand through his hair. "What is there to move on to?"
"There is only one way to find that out." Alexander told him, Tristan looked up to his friend. "Go." Taking another deep, painful breath, Tristan knew what he had to do. No matter how difficult it would be, he had to see her again, just once.
Author's Note: I would SO LOVE to know how you liked the chapter! Reviews mean the world to me, each and every one, though you can also PM me as well :) I will try and get chapter 21 up and running sometime soon, though no promises can be made. It is all about where the muses take me. And thank you once again for reading, it means the world to me!