Warnings: This title contains graphic language, sex including some m/m sex.
Word Count: 91,150
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT
Claudia R., Manic Readers Reviews
"From “Cupid’s Confession” by Carl Hose – “This story was hilarious!...If you’re looking for a short story that delivers laughs as well as some spicy sexiness, you will love this tale!” From “Black Bear Skin” by Erin O’Riordan – “sweet yet sensual, heated and hot all at the same time.” From “The Seduction of Sir Galahad” by J.E. Taylor - “If you have never read a story by this author I implore you to try one out, you won’t be disappointed. If you like a little mysticism, love, romance, and good old-fashioned sex, then this is the story for you!” From “Artemis and Actaeon” – “It kept me interested from beginning to end... If you like a hot story with a lover scorned, this is the tale for you.”
From "Artemis and Acteon" by Selena Kitt
"I want something."
"Anything, precious." Zeus held the wiggling three-year-old Artemis on his knee as they sat on a wooden bench in the orchard, laughing as she climbed him like a tree, tugging at his beard and then kissing his cheek.
"Anything? You promise?" She blinked at him, her little rosebud mouth a pout, her blue eyes wide.
"I promise," Zeus assured her, rubbing his finger under her smooth chin. "That's what Daddies do, you know. We give our daughters everything they want."
"I want..." Artemis began, beaming, her eyes turning toward the woods where she had spent most of the afternoon, listening to the sounds of the hunt and playing with the dryads who lived in the trees. "I want to never be married..."
"Never?" Zeus laughed, brushing her dark curls off her cheek. "Go on, what else?"
"I want to have lop-eared hounds, and I want stags..."
"Stags?" He raised an eyebrow. "For?"
"To lead my chariot," she said, rolling her eyes. "What else? And I want to be a huntress. The best huntress of them all!"
Zeus smiled. "Is that all?"
"And, I want the nymphs and the dryads to be my constant companions," she insisted, pointing to young Melissa, a nymph who was hiding behind them, peeking past a tree and watching. The girls had spent the morning together down by the brook, fishing with makeshift poles. "Forever and ever!"
Zeus kissed his little daughter's cheek, thinking of her all grown-up. "You shall have it, precious," he assured her. "You will never be married, and you will be the best huntress in the land—"
"Ever," she insisted. "The best huntress ever."
He chuckled. "The best huntress ever, then. And you shall have lop-eared dogs and stags to pull your chariot, and all the nymphs and dryads shall serve you for all their days and yours. Is that what you want, my darling?"
"Yes," she whispered, pressing her cheek to his, her eyes meeting Melissa's. "It's perfect."
* * * *
"It really is just as you wished it," Melissa whispered against the gentle swell of Artemis' bare breast. They were lying naked together in the very same woods they had traipsed through as children, watching birds flitting from tree to tree above their heads.
"What is?" Artemis asked, twisting a long strand of Melissa's blonde hair around and around her wrist.
"Don't you remember?" Melissa looked up at her mistress. "You wished that you would never be married, that you would be the best huntress in the land..."
"Ever," Artemis said, and smiled. "The best huntress ever. And yes. It is everything I ever wanted." Artemis cupped the nymph's breast in her hand, her thumb teasing her nipple.
"Am I?" Melissa asked, still searching her mistress' face.
Artemis kissed the top of her head. "You are as always. I know my life not without you."
Melissa sighed happily, her eyes closing as Artemis gently stroked her soft, firm breast. Her nipple was hardening nicely, and although she had spilled nectar twice this morning from her mistresses ministrations, she was ready for more.
Suddenly, Artemis sat, reaching for her robe. Melissa watched, confused, as the goddess pulled it on and slung her bow and quiver over her shoulder.
"Get dressed," Artemis told her in a hiss. "Quickly."
Sensing her urgency, Melissa fumbled on her own robe, standing beside her mistress. Artemis was looking into the woods through the clearing and as they watched, a tall, red-haired goddess appeared through the trees.
"Athena!" Artemis cried, her eyes bright, her dark hair flying behind her as she ran to meet the goddess.
Melissa frowned, watching the two embrace, and bit her lip when they kissed, a soft, more-than-welcoming caress.
"The hunt for the white stag has started." Athena put her arm around Artemis' waist, her hand hugging her hip. "It's going on for three days! Did you know?"
"I'd heard something," Artemis replied, her eyes never leaving the goddess' face. "Are you going?"
"The party has left," Athena replied, glancing over at Melissa and giving her a smile. Melissa's frown deepened and she crossed her arms. "But I thought we could try to catch up with them. They are somewhere in these woods."
"Yes, let's," Artemis exclaimed, sounding for all the world like the little girl that Melissa remembered sitting on her father's knee, her voice high and excited.
"You can come, Melissa," Athena offered with a smile.
"No, thank you." Melissa's voice was cool.
Artemis turned, leading Athena back the way she came. Melissa watched them go, a lump in her throat.
"I'll see you tomorrow!" Artemis called, turning and giving a brief wave.
Finding her way back to the tree, Melissa curled up at the base, tears pricking her eyes. For as long as she could remember, she had been Artemis' favorite. There had been others, of course, but she always came first—until Athena. They had been seeing more and more of each other of late.
They're not lovers, Melissa told herself, wiping at the tears on her cheeks. It's not like us.
Yet, she doubted. The secret looks, the subtle touches, the quiet laughter, it all told her a different story that she didn't want to know the ending to.
"Hello." Melissa started, glancing up at the voice. It was a man—tall, blonde, with a bow and quiver strung across his back. "I didn't mean to startle you. Are you feeling well?"
She wiped at her tears again with a sniff and a nod. "Yes, thank you."
"Now, I know a fib when I hear one," he said with a smile. "May I sit with you?"
Shrugging, she moved over, making room for him at the base of the tree. They were quiet for a moment, looking out across the clearing. Melissa was remembering how warm and soft Artemis' hands and mouth were against her skin. That just made her tear up even more, and she wiped at her face, trying not to let him see.
"You're a nymph?" he asked, picking a daisy from a bunch gathered beside them.
She nodded, not trusting her voice.
"I am Actaeon, son of Aristaeus," he told her, twirling the flower in his fingers. "My father lives at the edge of these woods, beyond the stream."
Blinking at him, she sighed. "Yes. I know of him. He often comes to gather olives here."
"What is your name?" Actaeon picked another daisy, then another, beginning to string them together.
"My mistress calls me Melissa," she replied, watching him, seeing the resemblance now, the thick flaxen hair, the startling blue eyes. He smiled over at her, picking more daisies as he worked.
"Are you a hunter?" she asked him, cocking her head, interested in the intricate twists and plaits he was making.
"The best hunter in the land," he boasted with a grin, holding up his wreath of daisies. "Here we are, a crown of flowers for a delicate blossom."
She smiled as he placed the circlet on her honey-colored head.
He lifted her chin, his eyes smiling, too. "Now, that's better than tears. Much better."
Melissa turned her face, looking across the clearing again. "You are not the best hunter in the land."
He laughed, stretching out and leaning back on his elbows. "Is that so?"
"It is so," she insisted, touching the delicate flowers resting on her head. "My mistress is the best huntress in the land. She is on the hunt right now."
Raising his eyebrows, he cocked his head at her. "Actually, so am I."
"You do not look like you're hunting," she scoffed, pulling her knees up to her chin.
He rolled over onto his side, his eyes narrowing a little and his nostrils flaring as he looked up at her. "No? You're mistaken..."
She glanced at him, her heart beating a little faster when he put his hand over the bare foot peeking out from under her robe.