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Rachel stretches, bathed in warmth. She opens sleepy eyes and lingers on the girl beside her. Reyna's face is smooth, all her worry lines erased in sleep. She radiates beauty and strength – power. Rachel can't help feel like she falls short a lot in comparison.

Stupid really, she thinks, worrying about something so shallow. I've never cared about how I look before, why should I start now?

She sighs, stretches, and reaches for her drawing pad. She adjusts her pillows, then leans back against them, and flips to the back pages. She's captured Reyna's sleeping face and figure many times already, learned her expressions by heart. It's easy to read the differences in each drawing and to interpret her face for nightmares and visions or when her dreams are sweeter.

Turning back to the middle pages, Rachel locates her self portraits. If she stands outside of herself and looks at them as if they weren't her, she'd say the girl the lines depict was pretty in more of a plain, earthy sort of way. But the Reyna drawings shine with the light of the divinity in her blood. She wonders what it is that Reyna sees in her. It has to be weird to be dating a girl who randomly spews green smoke from her orifices and speaks with a voice reminiscent of stale dust and cobwebs.

Rachel closes the drawing pad and puts it back on the bedside table, then sits up in lotus position. A little meditation and attitude adjustment is what Apollo would suggest. If he ever deigned to stop by anymore. She shuts her eyes. Let's not dwell on that, Rachel. You'll never find the right chi with negative thinking.

A few minutes later, she's bathed in warmth again – an outside warmth. She opens her eyes, blinking against a bright light shining through the narrow window, too much for December. Squinting, she makes out a smiling tanned face framed with tousled blond hair.

"Apollo?"

"How's my girl?" he asks, coming into full focus. She raises her hand, shielding her eyes.

"Wanna turn down the brightness a little?" she asks, then lays right in on him – all the things she's been wanting to say to her recently quite absent patron. "Where the hell have you been anyway? We've been healed for three months and you didn't stop by once. Not that I've missed you, or anything, but really, a quarter of year is pushing it. And you need a haircut."

Apollo laughs outright. Rachel narrows her eyes at him. He looks different. He's always had a glow about him, but now he's downright radiant. And still smiling like an idiot.

"Sorry, kiddo. I've been a bit wrapped up with my new gig."

She wrinkles her forehead, not buying it. She folds her arms across her chest. "Director at Camp Half-Blood when the majority of the campers are gone for the school year? Forgive me, but with your talents, my lord," she adds, more out of sarcasm than deference, "I would think you'd be able to pull off those duties half-asleep."

He catches her small dig at him; she can tell by the way his eyes tighten a little at the corners, but he doesn't drop his goofy smile. He nods at Reyna, and Rachel's face floods with heat, but she's not breaking any rules. When he'd come back after the quest to free the Oracle succeeded, he'd healed the hole in her throat and given his blessing regarding their relationship. Apparently Reyna had spent a great many hours praying and sacrificing to Apollo on Rachel's behalf. It's ridiculous how far a little bit of flattery goes with him, but she forces herself to not think of Octavian and how far he'd taken Apollo for a ride with his grand schemes.

Apollo's lips turn down at the corners. "You realize the Oracle you're housing is a part of me, and she can hear your thoughts?"

Rachel exhales, caught. It's best to not try to hide anything from Apollo. Unfortunately, transparency is a skill she has yet to master. He's not my father, she reminds herself with a mental kick.

Meeting his eyes, she apologizes. "Sorry. I'm feeling really exposed and … in the past, I've always protected myself with my claws out, hissing and spitting. I'm doing okay. Reyna …" She can't keep from smiling a little, glancing at the beautiful sleeping girl, her dark hair spilling out from its loose braid on the pillow. "Reyna is wonderful. Thank you … for giving me permission …" All right. That's enough. If he only stopped by to see her blush, she's done enough of it to last several months.

A warm breeze passes over her face, fluffing her hair, and she's flooded with an intense arousal. It catches her so off-guard, she has to clench her teeth to keep from moaning, wondering what the hell has gotten into her. She presses her thighs together under the blankets, and just hopes Apollo doesn't notice. When she looks at him again, his face is equally flushed.

"I uh … I need to get back to camp now," he says, his voice low, making her cunt throb. Seriously, what the hell?

"Who is that?" she demands, spotting a shimmer in the air at his side. She almost dismissed it as a trick of the light, but then his shirt lifted in a manner not keeping with the laws of nature, and her senses are heightened when she's aroused. There is somebody else with them in the room. Apollo's cheeks redden, and then a man appears beside him, an angel.

She blinks again. No. A winged god. Cupid maybe? No, he looks too smug to be a love god, too impish.

"Rachel, this is Zephyros," Apollo says. "He's the god of the West Wind."

At least he seems almost as embarrassed by his lover arousing him in her presence as she had been under his scrutiny. Like trying on the other shoe, do you?

Zephyros nods at her and winks.

But, she realizes all at once, he's the source of Apollo's arousal, and it's Apollo's emotions rubbing off on her that has her squeezing her legs together to keep from getting the sheets damp. What an interesting development, the Oracle inside her seems to be thinking. I never thought I'd see the day Apollo bowed to a minor god.

"I'll stop by again another day, Rachel," Apollo says. "I promise we can talk shop then."

He and Zephyros disappear in a shower of gold, blowing away through the open window. As soon as they're gone, a freezing draft sweeps the room, and Rachel curses as she gets up to block it.

Climbing back under the sheets, her heart thuds against her ribcage. She looks again at Reyna's sleeping face, her fingers twitching beside her hips. They haven't had sex yet, though they have come close. She exhales long and slow, trying to cool the need pooling in her gut. It seems silly now, in this moment, all the guilty feelings, the second-guessing ruining the mood the past couple of months.

Breathing deeply, eyes closed, she slips her hand under the waistband of her underpants, just holding onto her mound, her clit throbbing, demanding attention. The scent of her arousal fills her nose. Giving in, she follows the groove of her labia with her middle finger, finding the small nub and gently stroking. She opens her eyes, speeding up, holding her breath, circling her clit with more pressure, and looks at Reyna. Stopping, her breath catches in her throat, her clit pulsing with her heartbeat against the pad of her finger. Reyna's eyes are open and focused on her face.

Rachel wets her lips, flushing, unable to break free from Reyna's fixed stare. Reyna shifts on the bed, then scoots closer, her lips twitching. She pushes Rachel's hair behind her ear. "Can I help?" Reyna's voice is rough, breathy, and it's all Rachel can do to nod, her clit pulsing again.

Rachel loses herself in Reyna's kisses, trembling as Reyna climbs on top of her, grinding against her left thigh. She slips her hands up the back of Reyna's tank top, holding onto the hard lines of her shoulder blades, heartbeat ramping up. Wet heat between Reyna's legs spreads over Rachel's thigh as Reyna grinds harder, their kisses desperate.

She gasps as Reyna works the buttons on her flannel sleep shirt open. Reyna pinches her nipple, sending small shocks through Rachel's body, waking nerve endings under her skin. Her cheeks, her scalp – she's suddenly aware of them, not sure if she's ever really felt them come alive before now. That it's her body drawing Reyna's full attention, the determination to win and dominate focused on Rachel's pleasure – rather than triumphing over an enemy – is almost too much.

She sighs as Reyna kisses down her jawline, then her throat, and breasts. Reyna teases Rachel's nipple with the tip of her tongue drawing a gasp from her throat. Reyna sits upright, eyes dark and lust-blown, her dark hair spilling even more from the loose braid dangling from her shoulder.

Rachel bucks her hips. Her underwear has to be soaked, and her clit is throbbing, begging for pressure, something to hump. She holds onto Reyna's shoulders and biceps, practically choking on the guttural cries she can't keep in. And then, bliss. Reyna moves a hand between Rachel's legs, pushing the heel of her palm on top of her mound, her fingers splaying down the damp cotton covering her cunt.

Breathing short and fast, Rachel has to deliberately concentrate to slow down, and take in enough oxygen. They're so close, the fantasy almost realized. She half-expects something to ruin it, to interrupt, but when Reyna draws her nipple up into a deep suck, then flattens it out under the firm press of her tongue, Rachel can't keep quiet anymore.

"Please, Reyna … more." Her voice is higher, airier than usual, begging. Cheeks burning, Rachel gives into her desperation.

Reyna lifts her face, pressing her palm more firmly between Rachel's legs, meeting her eyes. "I want this. Are you sure you do too?"

There seems to be a flicker of uncertainty in Reyna's eyes, of pain. Like she's honestly expecting Rachel to change her mind. She draws her eyebrows, fixing Reyna with her you gotta be kidding me look, relieved when Reyna's face softens and seems to glow with confidence. It blows Rachel's mind how much a small amount of encouragement, of love, really, can bring Reyna's soul shining through the surface of her skin. Reyna comes off so self-sufficient, so capable, but Rachel senses she hides her insecurities behind that mask, waiting for a genuine connection to make her glow like a fucking goddess.

"Yeah," Rachel breathes. "I want all of you, all of me. Show me how to fuck like a praetor."

Reyna's cheeks go pink, but the challenge makes it through, her eyes sharp with it. Rachel almost wonders if she's just jumped in too deep, but Reyna chases that thought right out of her head when she lowers herself, spreads Rachel's thighs, and tongues her through her panties.

Rachel gasps, hands on the back of Reyna's head, simultaneously wanting to hold on for dear life and not to the point Reyna tells her to let go. Reyna pushes her face deeper, her nose nudging Rachel's clit and making her hips buck, trying to repeat the sensation. Instead, Reyna moves up, planting soft kisses above her panty line, up her stomach, leaving a trail of sensitive nerves where her lips had been. She sits up, straddling Rachel's hips, and pulls her SPQR tank top off.

Reyna's breasts are a dream. Small, the muscles she's built from years of training make them pert and irresistible. Rachel pushes herself up, and plants kisses all over Reyna's chest, lost in the closeness, the softness of their skin brushing together. Rachel shudders as Reyna caresses her back and up to her hair, her scalp tingling all over again.

She suckles Reyna's nipples one at a time until they stand at full attention, her skin flushing with heat. Rachel keeps at it, her hands exploring the canvas of skin Reyna has exposed, over her back, down her sides, until Reyna's breathing grows sharp, demanding.

Rachel turns her face upward when Reyna's arms tense, and then surrenders to Reyna's kiss. It's deep, possessive, and she finds herself guided back down; tongues and lips her only focus as Reyna shifts, draping her body along Rachel's side.

Rachel squeezes her own breasts as Reyna slips her hand under the waistband of her panties, fingers slipping into place with a practiced ease, working her clit with slow light-pressured circles. They kiss with soft tongues, falling in deeper as the heat spreading through Rachel's body rises, coursing faster with her racing heart. Her breaths shorten as Reyna's fingers slip lower, testing the slickness between her labia, and stroking her swollen clit with the heel of her palm. Rachel bucks her hips against it, and then meets Reyna's dark, pleasure-drunk eyes. She pulls Reyna's mouth down into another delirious kiss, shifting her thigh so it rubs the wet heat spreading between Reyna's legs despite her sleep shorts.

"Gods," Reyna gasps, and then groans, but it sounds almost like a growl. "Got to get these clothes off." The ferocity of rightnowyes chases Rachel into submission. She moves her arms, allowing Reyna to pull away.

Fast as lightning, Reyna rolls onto her back, slides out of her shorts and then is back again, encouraging Rachel to bend her legs and lift her hips. Reyna pulls her panties off.

Before she can catch her breath, Reyna spreads Rachel's thighs and melts her into a puddle of sensation, tonguing her clit.

Rachel tugs her nipples, pleasure rippling up her spine, eyes shut as the world starts to spin. Reyna flicks her tongue, over and over, causing bursts of staccato shocks to ripple through Rachel's nerves. She's twitching all over – her thighs, her calves, her spine, her neck, and even her scalp – before she knows what's happening, she's writhing under the attention. Her hands search the bed, desperate for something to cling to – for balance, or to simply keep her from floating away – she's not sure.

At some point Reyna pauses and asks a question. Rachel looks down at Reyna's debauched face, wet with sex, and nods yes to whatever it is, falling back on her pillow, and then arching her back again, face burning as Reyna's sucks her clit and prods her cunt, fingers slipping inside without resistance.

Rachel shudders, her whole body shaking as Reyna fucks her, fingers anchoring her to her body, nearly overloading her system with arousal. She's never, in her whole life, been so turned on, so present, and she's not even reached her peak yet.

"Oh, god ... yeah," she babbles, head tossing right and left, unseeing. "More, Reyna … so close."

The pleas seem to rev up Reyna's determination and Rachel bucks her hips, seeking more of Reyna's fingers, her tongue, her everything. And then she's there, peaking. Reyna changes the angle of her thrusts, her mouth sucking, flicking, rubbing against Rachel's clit. Rachel holds onto Reyna's hair as shock after shock crashes over her, under her, all the way through the center of her body until she has to back away, twitching and blissed out.

Reyna rises above her. Rachel looks up, sex-drunk. Her mouth waters, the fog starting to lift at the sight of Reyna's lithe figure, standing on her knees, straddling Rachel's hips. The same hand she'd fucked Rachel with, rubs their juices together as Reyna brings herself to the edge.

Rachel sits up, pulling Reyna's hips so she drops down, wetness sliding over her sensitized clit. Reyna's hand speeds up, her braid entirely undone. Rachel holds Reyna's hips, grinding up against her cunt, another climax rising up inside like water flooding a dam.

They collapse in a sweaty tangle of limbs, disheveled hair, and heavy breathing. Rachel can't help but smile – the grin fixed on her face. She tries to rein it in, to regain control, but it only grows, and soon she's chuckling, weighted down by Reyna's body, Reyna's face tucked into the crook of Rachel's neck.

"What's funny?" Reyna asks, pushing herself up on shaky arms. She smiles, too, as Rachel dissolves in uncontrollable giggles.

She can't help it, everything feels so good, so right. Her laughter subsides as Reyna strokes her breasts, coaxing her into relaxation.

"That was just really really good." Rachel's trembling, her skin breaking out in goosebumps, and then she reaches for Reyna's face. "You're a dream come true, praetor."

Reyna closes her mouth over Rachel's lips in a soft quick kiss, and then draws back, the sweet scent of sex rising all around them. "You're more than that to me, my sweet prophetess."

Rachel blushes from her face to her feet, but with all the positive endorphins coursing through her body, she's never felt so beautiful.