Raising my arms to the sky my eyes fluttered closed. Scrunching my toes into the ground I felt the cool, still damp Earth give slightly, allowing my bare feet to sink a few millimeters. I turned my palms towards the corn maze before me, feeling each individual plant and the way they had reacted to the recent storm. Most were faring well, but a few had lost some important roots and required a little help reinstating themselves. The roots dug deeper into ground, burying themselves deeply until each of the stalks refused to move.
At my feet, a dozen pink and purple daffodils bloomed. The sight of them making me smile, I bent at the waist, gathering the small flowers in a bunch between my fingers. The world had quieted in the hours leading to dawn. I stood facing the east, the welcoming rays of sunlight streaming across my features like water. Every morning I stood within the cornrows and watched the man leading the sun’s chariot, I could feel the way each individual plant reacted to the sun’s rays, its branches reaching higher, its roots digging deeper. I never knew how long I stayed that way, only that the sun had paused its journey across the sky when I began to return to my mothers holding.
A soft sound startled me, pulling my attention back towards the corn my mother had so lovingly planted. Apollo stood with his arms folded across his broad chest - a inquisitive smile brightened his face. I straightened, my mother’s rules about men - about gods in particular - filled my mind before the man before me spoke.
“What a field this must be, to grow a flower as pretty as thee.” With a flourish he bowed, the eloquence of his words astounding me. “May I ask your name so that I may sing your praises to all who care listen?” The God of Music of Poetry offered me his hand. I took it, curtseying my face flaming the colour of Mothers’ rosebushes.
“You may name me Cora.” A simple lie hidden in the simple truth. Cora; ‘the maiden’ or ‘the girl’. He need not know all my secrets in one day. My identity was something my mother had hidden for far too long to be ousted by the God of the Sun.
“A lovely name for a lovely girl.” Apollo beamed, his face a radiance of which I had never seen before. He was practically luminescent. The job of being master of the sun’s chariot had transformed the boy into a bright and warm young man. Despite the warmth radiating around him and the sun shining from the sky above a gentle rain began to fall around us, causing the God to frown - more at me than at himself.
Biting my lip I grabbed his hands, our eyes locking for an inexplicably long moment before my decision seemed to made itself. I pulled on our joined hands taking the God deeper into the corn maze. If he were mortal he would never be able to find his way out - as it was, the intricate twists and turns were likely to send him insane. The storm followed us as deep into the maze as it dared before disappearing with a final clap of thunder.
Apollo and I neared the centre of the maze, the ten foot tall statue of Demeter poised throwing the very corn that grew around us stood, waiting for us. Rarely had anyone ever made it to the centre of the Goddesses maze - to do so either incurred her wrath, or her praise, depending on your intentions. The God beside me froze in appreciation before turning to me, his eyes scrutinizing my features as if to compare me to the statue that now glared at us as if we were trespassing.
“Do you know what Demeter is famous for?” He quipped, as if I would not know the qualities of the statue in my own garden, but I allowed the God his moment in the spotlight. “Fertility.”
A second or two passed before the God wrapped his arms around my slender waist, pulling me closer with strength unknown to mortal men. Sweet, sunburnt lips pressed heatedly against mine, his fingers splaying against my back, toying with the folds in my dress. As he leaned away the gold in his eyes shone against the midday sun. Gently he lowered his head, his teeth just brushing against the area between my shoulder and neck. I gasped - the air stuttering out of my body in waves as his gentle yet firm hands rounded their way to the front of my body caressing the tops of my breasts. A sound escaped my lips, one I had never in my life made before, the God snickered under his breath lightly before his tongue lashed out against my neck, his fingers gently dislodging the sleeves of my dress, allowing the bodice to fall to my waist expertly.
I went to cover myself, but his hand grasped at my arms stopping me, the heat from his gaze spreading a blush across my cheeks and down my chest. He released me, his thumb darting across my nipple while his mouth conquered mine. I moaned into the kiss as his thumb and forefinger toyed with me. His hands arched down my stomach, gripping the sides of my dress and carefully wiggling it further down to my hips, his light caress almost tickling the sensitive area.
A strike of thunder tore us apart, the storm had finally made its way to the centre of the maze. A worried look at the sky, only dark in the place where we stood made Apollo scrutinize me further. There were not so many people in this world that the God of the Sky would risk upsetting Demeter for. He was starting to wonder why I was so important. I shivered reluctantly, blushing as I pulled my dress back onto my body, sweat making it cling against my chest.
“Cora - may I ask you the name of your parents.” His eyes searched the sky above, as if expecting Zeus himself to strike him where he stood. I offered Apollo a smile, carefully placing the elegant hood of my dress over my hair to stop the rain from reaching my face. I wanted his hands back on my body, his tongue mixing with mine.
“I am the Daughter of Demeter.” I curtseyed at the statue of my mother, her hard eyes following me as I stepped away from the God of Music, Sunlight and Poetry and escaped back into the corn maze.