Hera and the Relic Hunter
Chapter 1: The Awakening

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Romantic, NonConsensual, Reluctant, Coercion, Mind Control, Drunk/Drugged, Magic, Heterosexual, Fiction, Paranormal,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: The Awakening - What happens when the nephew of a modern day relic hunter encounters the Goddess Hera? One of my favorite Sydney shows, you know the ones with a beautiful woman named Sydney (Alias, Relic Hunter) postulated, but never carried through on the idea that an ancient goddess might have survived through to this modern age, and if you could find her then you might be able to control her. I have now carried through on this idea for them - including revealing why they lived such hedonistic life styles.

"Γειά σου?" (Greek: Hello?)

"Πού είναι Ι?" (Greek: Where am I?)

Then she looked deeply into my eyes and a voice spoke in my head as though amplified to fill an entire auditorium.

How may I reward you for rescuing me? Take this priceless necklace from my royal neck as a token of my everlasting esteem.

Fortunately I didn't do that or this story would have ended before it ever really got started—and likely ended very badly for me. But I've gotten a bit ahead of myself here.

One thing I have to say about my uncle is that he kept meticulous notes and drawings. He was from the old school of explorers who only had a pen and a notebook with them. Those notes were full and advice—and warnings!

She should be grateful, he wrote. Require her to prove it!

You're in charge here and she knows it! You have to ensure that you know it too!

If you're not ready to carry this through to completion then don't even start. Throw the necklace and ring back into the sea and forget that you ever found it!

His other notes made it crystal clear just what the this was that you had to carry through to completion, or never try at all. Being a bit foolish, virile, and young enough to be perpetually horny, made this an enticing brier patch that I was more than willing to jump into myself rather than wait to be thrown into. Yeah, I didn't feel ready to be tied down by any relationship yet, but I'd cross that bridge when I couldn't figure out a way around it.

Expect the unexpected.

Okay, right. Provided that my crazy uncle was correct about any of this at all then that was a given. If he was as much off his rocker as the rest of the family believed then this was all just a fable anyway.

His last words, however, were more than a bit sobering.

If this all goes according to plan then always remember that not only has no one ever succeeded yet in taming her, but her ire, anger, and revenge are legendary!

There was a lot more rambling, conjecture, and what I could only charitably describe as wild guesses, but that was gist of it.

There was only one truly unanswered question here: Had my uncle wisely in the end decided not to take that final step, or had he simply died before he could?

That my uncle was dead was not in question. The sealed box containing his diary, a heavy necklace that looked quite valuable despite its unfamiliar stones, and a man's ring in solid gold with a large tawny stone to match those in the necklace, all labeled to be delivered to me in the event of his demise, was an undisputable fact.

Another undisputable fact was that I now stood in a small hidden cave not all that far from the famous Oracle's seat at Delphi, Greece, staring at a perfect marble statue.

I was surprised at how small and innocuous it appeared. Barely five-feet-six the figure seemed to be too short to be the most powerful, awe-inspiring, Goddess of them all. The two-inch stone pedestal added nothing to her stature. Even if you allow that people had been much shorter overall three millennia ago she seemed to be little more than a classically beautiful woman for her age.

I don't know what I'd actually been expecting. I'd tried not to think about it too much, although I had Googled all of the online images of the Goddess before setting out on this trip.

The description of the main temple and center of worship of any of the major Gods had always included a massive statue to make your obeisance before, which could be up to twenty-five feet in height, if not more. It was certainly grand spectacle for the simple believers who supported the temple and its priesthood.

Maybe this wasn't Hera at all. Just some serving girl or minor priestess here as a guard to the real Goddess. But the directions had been precise, even if it had taken me days to follow them properly, and there was absolutely no place else here for another figure to be hiding. I tapped on all the walls just in case there was some hidden chamber, but no dice.

The first thing I noticed once I commenced my careful inspection was the quality workmanship. It was as though legendary sculptor Pygmalion had only stepped away from her moments earlier after making his final touch, to enjoy a well-deserved lunch. That brought back to mind another one of my crazy uncle's observations.

Pygmalion was no myth, he'd written mysteriously.

I said that the statue was marble, but I didn't know for sure. That's what it looked like. Maybe it was alabaster—or something else entirely. I'd leave that determination to people more expert than myself. Whatever it was this thing had to be worth a fortune. I've seen other Classical Era sculptures that are considered priceless—and this one was better! The problem is that it wouldn't be my fortune.

This isn't the nineteenth century any more when an explorer can cart his discovery back to his home country for fame and fortune, while paid-off-for-a-pittance local officials looked the other way. The Greek government would be here in a flash with armed police the moment they caught a whiff of what I'd discovered here. The fact that they'd been blissfully ignorant of it until this exact moment, and had done absolutely nothing to earn or deserve it themselves, wouldn't stop them for an instant from claiming her. Modern Greeks can't even claim to be the same people as those from her time, but that wouldn't stop them either from confiscating her for their own gain. Only one thing would make her mine!

I knew this was the first absolute no-no for any archeologist, but I couldn't keep my fingers from brushing lightly over her shoulder to verify her reality. The thought of my skin oil marring her pristine beauty wasn't enough to stop me. Unlike many sculptures from this period that reveal a great deal of bare skin, she was clothed from neck to ankles, leaving only her arms and one shoulder bare.

I jumped from the tingle of static electricity that coursed through my fingers. Belatedly I remembered that I'd been warned to expect this too.

One of the legendary powers of the Gods was their control over the mysterious force of electricity. From Zeus's thunderbolts to Asclepius' miraculous healing abilities to Prometheus's gift of fire, electricity clearly runs through their line. This can be deadly!

Asclepius, as I recalled from my college mythology course that'd I'd had to take to graduate was punished—killed actually—for the crime of bringing mortals back from death. I wonder, could he have been the first walking defibrillator?

If there was a charge here it seemed a residual effect now. It might have once protected her while in this state since a single touch would likely send the uninformed running away in fear, but I knew better. A second cautious touch felt only her smooth shoulder, however, confirming to me more than anything else that this was no ordinary statue of any ordinary woman. That left me with only the decision of my life to make next.

There are instances in our lives when we make momentous choices. Anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about has never committed themselves to buying their first house that they're going to spend the next thirty years paying off—or said "I do" in marriage. These are the decisions, unlike "What am I going to have for lunch today?" that we have to know that we're fully behind before we make them. Otherwise the unraveling of them afterwards is incredibly costly.

I thought about how many times I'd reread my uncle's painfully difficult handwriting. How often I'd held the gold necklace with its many gold-flecked tawny amber stones that no jeweler could identify, along with the matching ring with its single large stone, speculating on how much money I could get for just selling them outright.

Then there were the weeks it had taken to put this trip together after I realized I was going to come and see if I could get at least this far in following the instructions I'd been given. I could always sell the jewelry—which I had carefully registered with Greek customs so that I could get it back out again—later. Better this than to wonder about it for the rest of my life.

Then there'd been the two days of searching for what I had thought would take a couple hours to find, while wishing someone should have taught my uncle how to use a GPS. I was ready to give up when I found the rock that opened up the entrance to this cave at the touch of that ring.

Now there was just the final decision of whether to go through with it or not. It reminded me of those times when you knew that the swimming pool was cold, that you were going to get into it anyway and swim, and how you were now in that midair moment of having jumped off the edge and about to splash into it all at once—and that there was nothing at all you could do to change anything about that decision now. You had committed to your course of action and were now beyond the point-of-no-return.

I dug out the necklace and looked at it. It had a mysterious clasp in the back that had baffled me since it was open when I had first received it, and I could not determine how to close it properly.

I was worried because if I couldn't close it the necklace would just fall off.

It was also very short—barely large enough to go around even a slender neck. Fortunately this statue had its hair up in a very appealing bun leaving the neck bare.

You're either going to do this, or you're not!

My own internal dialogue is my worst enemy.

In the same way you've got to not think about your landing when you first jump off the edge of that pool I now stepped up to finish this quickly.

The necklace was just long enough to fit around her slender neck and lie on her upper chest. And when I touched the two ends together to try and figure out how they fit they jumped together as though magnetic. Well that solved one problem.

The two halves of the clasp when joined showed the Greek word: Υπακοή. If I read that right it said "Obedience".

I touched the ring to the necklace as and jumped again when I felt a new jolt of electricity. But it was more surprise than pain that jerked my hand away. Gold is one of the best electrical conductors around. If there had been any remaining charge that would have gathered it.

Steeling myself I touched my ring to the necklace once more.

"Ξυπνήστε," I said with more of a quaver in my voice than I'd expected, which I hoped meant "Awaken" in my piss-poor Greek.

My word echoed loudly around the cave making me fear discovery. It least if I was being the most foolish that I'd ever been before there were no witnesses here to hold it over me for the rest of my life.

Then I waited.

Of course nothing visible happened at first. You always expect it to and it never does. But as the echoes died away the transformation had started.

Initially it was hard to tell if anything was happening. I should have been more patient. She'd stood here for a long time and I should have realized that coming out of her hibernation state would take a bit. Later I'd be glad to know that she still had the necessary energy stores remaining to manage this. Left this way for too long and she would have never come back at all.

The necklace seemed to glow brighter than the sunlight coming in through the entrance plus my flashlight could account for.

Then, when I thought my tension was going to break me completely, an errant breeze caused her garment to quiver. Her skin seemed to blush slightly from stone to flesh. The coiled hair on her head warmed to a golden blonde before suddenly falling freely down her back. Her lips pursed slightly before she took a delicate, yet deep, breath that raised her chest under that garment. Then her clear green tawny-flecked-like-the-necklace, eyes slowly opened for the first time in centuries.

Finally she turned her head, focused on me, and spoke—first verbally in ancient Greek, and then perfectly understandably in my head.

It had worked! OMFG it had worked like a charm! And now my life had suddenly just gotten a whole lot more complicated.

The live person standing before me seemed so changed from the lifeless statue of only moments before. Her alabaster skin closely matched the white marble of her statue as though the sun never had touched her. Her height was perfect for me. The simple white outfit that hung so nicely on her body complementing her long golden tresses would have made her the hit of any toga party. In fact, for all I knew, she had attended the original toga party. Her gold-braided flat sandals clearly were matched to that golden hair, even though her beauty would put any mere gold to shame.

Her face would have been a compliment to the finest sculptor of all time, with high cheekbones, full lips, an artistically perfect nose, and deep eyes that drew you in from even the slightest glance. While her classically draped Greek robe covered her figure, it did little to conceal it. There was clearly a mature woman under it—one with an apparent age of thirty-something; one at the height of her femininity and the power to use it.

When I didn't immediately respond to her offer she stirred and took a partial step forward, perhaps to relieve the discomfort of standing in the same position for so many centuries. As she did her robes parted enough to reveal a bare leg that could only belong to a Goddess.

While I was trying to figure out what to do next, she stepped daintily off of her pedestal. I wondered if I should step forward to assist her. I didn't, and that was probably a good thing. This Goddess was quite capable of handling herself.

Once she was on firm footing she turned to assess me as coolly and calmly as I'd assessed her when she was still a statue.

As much as I wanted to stand up boldly to her stare, I quailed inside. Just her manner gave me the feeling that she had a hundred times more experience in these matters between men and women—or men and Goddesses—than I'd have if I lived to be a hundred. And the Mona Lisa smile at the edges of her mouth told me she knew all this too.

She took her time, allowing me to continue admiring her in return as well. That was part of her power over others, even if I was still to realize this myself.

Although without modern makeup, I have to say that the living breathing version of her seemed more pretty than stunning. I couldn't get over how even her seemingly few actual years over my own callow youth gave her a quiet maturity sufficient to spike up any insecurities anyone she faced might have. And everyone has insecurities—which she most definitely knew.

I was in awe, and completely outclassed here. The imbalance could have cost me everything now except for one last thing. I still wore the ring, while she still wore the necklace.

Take your reward now, she encouraged me, speaking one language as I heard another. Take it, and leave with my good will. The voice in my head sounded like one that wasn't used to any refusal.

"No!" I said as sharply as I could, seeking to break the spell that just looking into her eyes had cast over me. It was more than her eyes. She wordlessly communicated that she was a complete woman—one with a woman's body that she was capable of using without restraint when it suited her. It was a body that was more than enough for any man.

Then her veneer cracked just a bit and a bit of annoyance leaked out to show on her chiseled face; annoyance that I was so slow in following her directives and had actually seemed to be refusing her. Annoyance that made her look more like a crafty woman than a Goddess.

"No!" I said again loudly, more to convince myself than her.

"I will not take the necklace. You will make love to me here and now!" I said as forcefully as I could, worried suddenly that my loud words might attract others to this hidden cave. No one else had been near me when I'd found it, but who knew now.

Her response was not one of shock or anger. If anything I'd describe it as quiet amusement as in, and how's that going to work out for you?

When she didn't immediately tear off her garment and prostrate herself before me—yes I had actually expected that—I stepped forward and touched my ring directly to her necklace. Again there was the tingle of electricity, but it was restrained and I knew it wouldn't hurt me.

"Make love to me now."

She still looked ready to refuse, but suddenly she couldn't.

Yes ... I will I heard in my head before she took my sweating hands in her cool ones and held them to her chest for a moment, before moving them down to where I could remove the cord around her waist.

Hers was an easy outfit to remove. In the dark coolness of the cave I remember how her pubic thatch—the same golden color as her hair—caught the light as it pointed the way downwards to entrance of her mysteries.

By the time I had her positioned on the sandy floor below me on her discarded toga I could already smell the musky aroma of her arousal. I couldn't call this nonconsensual since she had acquiesced—admittedly under duress—or that she wasn't ready to take me now. My fingers verified that she was more than merely moist, as though making up all at once for three thousand years of celibacy.

I paid little attention to the rest of her body revealed in the dim light for now. I had been focused on the need to take her in this way for so long and was rather single-track in my intentions now

So I wasn't the Sensitive Male, the Caring Man, the Metrosexual Chap in touch with his feminine side, and it was a good thing. Any actions such as those would be taken for weakness here by a real woman—or whatever she was.

If this was supposed to be the sexual great experience of my life then it failed to live up to it. Hera was both quite wet, and no virgin, and I easily slid into her despite being sufficiently well endowed myself.

Once inside of her it was more of an animal coupling than sex, and it certainly wasn't love. She worked me as hard as I worked her, eventually wrapping her bare arms and legs around me as I fought to bring us both to climax.

I succeeded well enough in this regard to satisfy both of us. She couldn't hide her orgasm from me. But she separated the moment I pulled out, pulling her clothing back on again and standing just far enough away while looking in the opposite direction to maybe not have me command her to return.

While I'd put my all into it, I wasn't so tired as to not be willing to cuddle afterwards. Even the tension leading up to this encounter hadn't drained me that much with such an intriguing woman. She returned at my command and allowed me to put my arms around her clothed form, but insisted on facing away while I did it.

One down—ninety-nine to go.

When I had recovered she repeated her request—sounding more now like it was an insistent demand—that I remove the necklace from her neck.

I refused flatly.

She wandered around the cave until I told her to come back close.

"Hera?" I questioned, wanting to confirm that it really was the co-ruler of all the Gods and Goddesses of her pantheon.

Her mouth moved and said something at the same time I heard Yes in my mind.

I gave her several more instructions from my uncle's notes that I should have given her earlier. I guess that it was okay I hadn't given them earlier since I was still here breathing.

Hera quickly made it clear that not only didn't I have to touch the necklace that controlled her with my ring each time, but that she actually preferred that I didn't touch it at all. Apparently she was like a puppet on strings and didn't like the jerking caused by the forced obedience it enforced on her. After a little back and forth she convinced me that she was willing to obey most of my requests just by me stating them to her.

She was also improving in her ability to understand and communicate back to me. Soon, although she spoke ancient Greek most of the time instead of using straight telepathy, she was synchronizing it well enough that I heard her in English instead of the strange echo effect on her first few attempts. And in return I tried to keep my words and sentences simple enough that they'd translate back to that ancient language.

Twice more that afternoon we made love at my demand, each time the same way as before. She had seemed reluctant until I waved the ring at her, after which she complied with the enthusiasm of a sexually liberated being. Of course, if the stories of her previous sex life were accurate, that's exactly what she was.

Now I'm not a sexual superman and three times in an afternoon even at my age isn't a pace I can keep up forever. I'm not even sure that I could do it three days in a row with most of the day to recover. But I was young, and coming into this there had been a long time since my last girlfriend.

And besides, Hera had already put any woman I'd ever known to shame for her quick arousal, easy acceptance of my manhood into her, and thorough performance of the act afterwards. She'd already spoiled me for any other women.

Three down—ninety-seven to go.

As I got up from the third time evening was falling. Unless I intended to live as a hermit in a cave it was time to go, but where?

I wasn't about to be able to take my new prize and board an airplane back to the States. Even if she could telepathically convince them to let her on, her lack of a passport, visa, or any other identity documents would stop us cold.

For now, at least, it was back to my hotel room in the little village nearby and keeping a close eye on her. I'd be reset right back to the starting point if I allowed her to stray.

Before we left I gave her additional instructions detailing how she was required to behave. It was a lot like telling a kid not to touch anything and don't ask any questions. In fact, just keep your mouth shut altogether. She recognized my lecture for what it was and she made her feelings about being patronized like this quite evident, but I still wore the ring. And I made sure she understood and agreed to every one of my instructions before we left the cave.

The walk back was a bit arduous and I worried a bit about her making it given her advanced age and sex. Even just in sandals she managed it better than I did, often having to wait ahead for me to catch up. She'd lived the same hard life that everyone did in those days and was far fitter than the average person today.

It was safely after dark when we arrived at the little hotel. I bundled her up to my room and had food sent up.

The boy who delivered the meal had his eyes bulge out when he caught a glimpse of her before I quickly shooed him away. He may have recognized who she was from all of the pottery replicas on display throughout Greece, but nothing was likely to come of it. He, at least, was too young to be my main concern.

Although I was certain that even the simplest meal was far more foreign to her than eating country cuisine here in Greece was to an American, she handled it well. She was quite willing to try anything that I tried first.

And when we ran out of wine she indicated that I should get more.

"Why me?" I questioned in thoughtless reflex.

Because you're in charge, unless you want me to go down and do it, that is.

Hera was already turning into a master manipulator.

After we finished the additional wine I felt relaxed enough to attempt sex with her once more. And although I'd been enjoying the wine as much as she had—and somewhere along the way I recalled her saying that this wine would do Dionysus proud—I was sure she wasn't as resistant to the idea as she'd been before. She also made some crack about Dionysus being "the God who comes," which went right over me head at that moment.

In the mood to be romantic, and after I'd shown her how the bathroom worked—which I'd had to figure out on my arrival as well—I simply picked her up and carried her over to place gently on the bed. My ardor had given me strength; as well as knowing that she was really in no position to refuse me as long as she wore the necklace. If I was wrong about this I was likely dead anyway, so I just went on assuming that I was right.

Although strong, she wasn't all that heavy and seemed to actually appreciate being courted this way. Or maybe she appreciated a bed that, while I'd felt was old and a bit creaky, was centuries ahead of anything she'd experienced before including the cave floor. Then for the first time in good light I undressed her.

Hera was neither fat, nor skinny. She was what I would best describe as healthy. Her legs seemed a bit short and stocky for her overall height, but that can always be fixed by a fine pair of high-heels.

Her skin was surprisingly unblemished, but perhaps she just healed well.

Her breasts, which I hadn't paid much attention to so far, were small by western playmate standards, with delicate nipples and small surrounding areoles. Those nipples stood up quite nicely, however, so I started there.

With each breast just a handful I rubbed and squeezed her entire boob before focusing on her nipples. As I did this she squirmed and writhed underneath me.

While she hadn't resisted me before she seemed to want to now, but couldn't. I could already smell her arousal starting again, and the more I worked over her chest the stronger it got. Finally instead of struggling she was whimpering and pawing ineffectually at my hands. Without a doubt those breasts were a very sensitive area for her.

While I consider it a victory each time I get my hands on a woman's boobs, I finally decided I'd better move on while I remained capable of completing the sexual act. We had both enjoyed a lot of wine tonight.

I dragged my fingers down over her slightly rounded, rather than flat, stomach. I could feel her heavy breathing there in the same way I'd felt her fluttering heart when I'd had my hand on her breast.

Except for her long tresses, eyebrows and lashes, armpits and pubic triangle, her skin was completely smooth and hairless. That had to have been a very attractive feature for her time.

Moving past her pubic thatch I ran my hands firmly over her inner thighs, in part to separate them for my soon-to-come entry, and partly just because she is so damn sexy there. I was clearly touching forbidden fruit now.

While I described her skin as alabaster with only slightly darker nipples, that smooth space on her inner thighs that funnels you directly into her sexual mysteries was the whitest of all. And when I described her legs as strong and a bit stocky, I could feel her strong muscles here. Muscles that could grip and hold a man against his will until she was ready to release him.

As I stroked up and down this smooth expanse she—or her body at least—knew exactly what came next. Although she seemed like she wanted to close her legs up so tightly that no entry was possible, her body betrayed her by opening them wider and more accommodatingly the longer I played with her there.

Was she ready yet? Oh yeah! Even if I hadn't had my nose to tell me of her arousal, I could see her lubrication already oozing out and running down onto the sheet.

I should help her plug that leak, I decided. She may have already spoiled me for other woman, and if that were the case then she'd just have to take all of my attention.

My erection was not in doubt. I couldn't handle her tempting body, or even look at her like this, and not want her more than I could ever imagine wanting a woman. And I was going to satisfy that lust now.

At the last moment she tried to refuse.

No, please, she said in my mind as she put up one hand to futilely try and push my chest back.

"No, really?" I questioned, running my hands from the inside of her knees all the way up to meet at her warm wet sex. Even without the necklace I didn't see how she could refuse me now.

No, no ... yes, I heard as I ran my hands over her entrance. It was faint as though she was too distracted now to project her thoughts clearly.

Was this rape? She didn't seem to think so. She'd been taken like this before, and probably much rougher as well. We were fighting a battle for control—her native experience and sexual abilities versus my hold over her. I might have thought that my much more modern upbringing in a much more sexually liberated society would have benefited me, but that part of my experience seemed of no advantage at all. Just how sexually liberated were they back in Ancient Greece anyway? I'm certain that she would have been happy to say yes on her terms, but these were my terms.

I felt an electric tingle just as my penis touch her entrance. I gave her a sharp look and that tingle faded immediately. Then just as I started to enter her she bucked her hips up and threw her arms around me to assertively take me into her all at once.

I was so surprised by this that I almost lost my own firmness right there. No woman had ever done that before. But as I started to soften I remembered just where my penis was at this moment and it hardened back up immediately. It was very happy being right where it was inside her.

This lovemaking was more drawn out—and much more satisfying. I couldn't have come quickly even if I'd wanted to after having done that already each time before. So since there was no hurry I spent some time working myself around inside of her to try and give her the best experience possible.

I could feel her surprise as she realized just what I was doing here. I say feel it because, while it wasn't expressed in my mind as words, it was very definitely a feeling that was coming from her, as if she was surprised when lovemaking wasn't rape.

At one point I had the insanely wacky thought that this would be the ideal woman to get head from because she could hold a conversation with you as she was going down on you.

In the end this was more relaxing, more satisfying, might even be called making love instead of just having sex, and appeared to give her two nice orgasms by the time I got mine.

After that I just held her and we fell asleep together.

Five down—ninety-five to go.

You'd think life with a Goddess would great, wouldn't you? Think again. A privileged, pampered, overly indulged and resentful female of any sort is hardly the best company under any circumstances. So why did I bother? Several reasons, actually.

One, I was very curious. I mean, who wouldn't be?

Also I was young and stupid—and horny. At my age, who wouldn't be?

And then, although she seemed a much older woman given her mid-thirties appearance, she was wildly appealing—especially in that outfit. And she seemed to have some strange abilities that I wasn't too sure about yet, but might be pretty awesome. I mean this way she could talk in my thoughts was already mind-blowing.

And if I didn't goof things up, I was going to be getting all the sex I wanted from her for as long as I wanted it. That's a pretty great deal isn't it?

We made love again in the morning because I wanted it and she had to acquiesce to my wishes.

And again later after that.

And a few more times over the next couple days after that.

I'm supposedly at my sexual peak, and as a woman I think she is supposed to be near hers at her age as well.

While she didn't seem exactly thrilled with my demands on her, generally showing a disdain that said she could take a whole lot more of this than I, or any man, could ever give her, she held her tongue in check on this issue for now.

I soon started taking her out in-between encounters and we walked around the small village getting more than our share of stares and requests for pictures—of her. While she was under tight orders not to stray from me or answer anyone's questions about whom she really was, I allowed the pictures. I just explained that she was an actress portraying one of the Greek Gods for local color and that pictures of her were $50 each. A lot of rich tourists seemed willing to pay up, and she posed in her statue pose and smiled nicely for each one of them.

Eleven down—eighty-nine to go.

Now what do I mean by that comment eleven down—eighty-none to go? Am I actually keeping score of my encounters? Carving notches on the bed? You betcha!

My uncle's notes said that the control of the necklace was temporary. Legend said how It had once been used to order her to use her special Goddess abilities to go to sleep like a statue until wakened again. It was during a power struggle and the winner was to return and claim her.

This was followed by three of the longest, murkiest, paragraphs about balance and how great abilities are always offset by significant vulnerabilities that it has ever been my displeasure to try and read. I've read it a dozen times and still don't know what the hell my uncle was talking about there. Even individual sentences don't make any sense.

But at the end he said quite clearly that to really own her you must be her lover one hundred consecutive—and yes that word was underlined heavily as if he kept coming back to it—times.

I took that to mean that I've got to keep her from banging the bellboy lest I have to start all over again with her. And while she's actually pretty hot—especially for a three thousand year old chick—that idea of hundred times in a row seemed less like a cakewalk after each additional session.

How does sex become a burden you might ask? Easy! Just do it because you have to do it. Tom Sawyer painting the fence—you get the idea.

But quitting isn't an option. The notes are equally clear that Hera really made life bad for lovers who disappointed her—especially those of her husband Zeus. There are tales of humans turned into animals, even rocks. Could she really turn someone into something completely different? I hadn't asked her yet since I wasn't sure that I was going to like her answer. Any tale that has lasted three millennia has to have something pretty powerful behind it.

At some point we did start talking. Call it Stockholm Syndrome if you wish since I never let her out of my sight. In a way she seemed to appreciate that since Zeus's infidelity was as legendary as his thunderbolt. Besides it gave us something to do between sexual encounters—and boy did I learn a lot that surprised the heck out of me.

Gods and Goddesses are different from us ordinary mortals—that much was plain to see. But they were an awful lot like us as well I found out. Truth is, if I had Hera or Zeus's abilities—their real ones, not the inflated versions presented to the crowds of their uncritical worshipers—I might well have turned out just like they had.

Fourteen down—eighty-six to go.

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