It really is a relief to get back to teaching after all of that. Passion is about letting go of control, not losing control. All very unsettling. 

Looking back, it was all pretty clear – that first meeting where I was nervous – it affected that room. Then I started losing control when I started thinking about going back and seeing all the Gods again. I was uncertain and confused, then afraid. It wasn’t until Demeter got me out of that cell that I calmed down. That was when things started to settle, though of course, I was not in any position to notice at that stage.

Fortunately, after a good brainstorm with Urania, we came up with at least had a working idea of how to keep it under control. And it seems to be working so far. All I really have to do is stay calm and balanced. Nyx balanced me out pretty good too, I must say. It would be trite to say sex with a Primordial is primal, but whew. You try fucking the night sky and I bet you’d be pretty relaxed afterward, too.

Tonight’s class was a good test of my composure. I have stayed calm, and it was just like it always was. I felt the minds, reached out and gently touched them, watched their smiles grow and their pens move. I finally think I understand what Zen means. It’s a paradox – abandon and control, passion, possession. They are not opposites, no matter how it seems – the riddle that is not a riddle is to hold both in balance.

I could feel the power coiled up inside – I was still all of a muse locked up in a mortal body, but it was contained, balanced, and under control.

So, a good ending. All the loose ends tied up. Nyx had more or less forgiven me for the whole incident at Nox, I reconnected with Urania, and I was feeling a lot better about showing my face at OA.

I raised my cup of tea, took a sip and the door slammed open. I yelled as the scalding tea splashed down my shirt and leapt to my feet. Ten second of chaos ensued, ending up with me standing half naked, burns down my chest, a scalding hot, soaking wet shirt in a puddle of tea on the floor and Hera in my face, waving her hands in the air. 

Calm and balanced?

“What in HADES have you done, Erato!” It wasn’t even a question. Hera’s demands slammed into me with such force that I stepped back again and again – and each time she stepped forwards into the space until my back was against the wall. She can be quite intimidating even when she is calm, and I’d never seen her this angry – or at least, not at me.

“Stepmother! I…” 

“Don’t you dare ‘stepmother’ me! I would have expected this from Iaccus or Eros, but you? You get yourself embodied with a penis and all of a sudden, you can’t keep it to your FUCKING SELF? WHAT DID YOU DO TO NIKE?!”

“I…Nike?? I haven’t even…oh.”

I had seen Nike. She walked past me – I think she spoke to me. That evening. Just as I ran into Nox, trying to hide. Trying to pretend that everything was under control, when it so obviously was not. She was there. 

What did I do?

And that’s when my final vestige of self-control disappeared. Have you ever seen a coiled up spring release all at once? All that stored energy bursting out? I felt it. It burned down every nerve in my body and burst out of every inch of my skin at once. It was lucky there weren’t any mortals in the building at this time of night, they would have been getting it on with anything that was even vaguely physically compatible.

But there weren’t. It was just me and Hera, and she was already incandescent when it slammed into her – and I don’t know where in the maelstrom of anger and desire she was when she slammed into me. My shoulders hard against the rough brickwork, her hands tight around my wrists, pinning me back against the wall with divine strength. Her bright green eyes stared into mine, and I was suddenly, intensely aware of her body pressed against me, her breath on my lips, her breasts pressing against my bare chest through her thin silk top. Her lips met mine, soft, then her teeth on my lip, her pupils grown huge and dark and swallowing up the universe.

That moment lasted an immortal eternity, then she suddenly took a step back, leaving one hand on the centre of my chest. She looked down and away and took a deep breath – I was doing the same, struggling for that “Zen” or whatever the fuck that stupid idea was that had seemed so simple less than sixty seconds ago – then she looked up again.

“I think I understand. It’s probably just as well you didn’t do that anywhere near Nike; I don’t think she’d ever recover.”

I knew a warning when I heard one. I also gave her full marks for a very rapid recovery – Hera always had incredible willpower – I was still tingling all over, and I’d had a few days of getting used to this happening. 

“I’m sorry, my queen. I had no idea. I locked myself into a mortal body without realising the consequences. I am…” I hesitated…“learning as I go.”

She shook her head. “I don’t think any Muses have tried that before. I don’t know why you did, but you’re stuck with it now.”

She still hadn’t removed her hand from my chest. I took another deep breath, let it out slowly and regained the rest of my composure. She took another step back, removed her hand (though if I were suspicious, I might have thought it trailed down my chest a little more than necessary)  and looked me up and down.

“I must compliment you on the mortal form. Nice choice,” and with that she became very serious.

“It’s very clear you didn’t do anything deliberately. And Nike has suffered no lasting harm. So I…forgive you. This time. But if you ever do this to any of the innocents again, I will intervene. So get whatever this is under control.”

She turned around and left, though she did glance back. “And stay away from Zeus! He doesn’t need any help!”

So that’s me told.

She does have very soft lips though, and my wrists still tingled where she held me down.

Erato (The Poet)
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