by Cate Masters
Freya's Bower will release The Lure of the Vine on July 7!
While I researched Greek mythology for The Duende and the Muse, I came across some interesting info about Dionysus, God of the Vine - and his followers, the Maenads. Dionysus was madly in love with his mortal wife, Ariadne. One of the few gods to remain faithful to any woman, he mourned her for eternity.
In ancient times, Dionysus became a master marketer to push his product: wine. He enticed people to drink by any means, and could be either friend or foe to humans. Sometimes both.
The Maenads worshipped Dionysus, but also lived in complete freedom. They slept beneath the stars, sang and danced in the forests. And, oh yeah, ripped to shreds animals or humans they happened upon, and feasted on their flesh.
As an immortal, Dionysus would, theoretically, still be in existence today. Still promoting his product. And still yearning for Ariadne. Or someone very like her...
Here's the excerpt from The Lure of the Vine:
On the wall opposite his bed hung a portrait. The likeness stunned her. “Oh my God. How did you…?” When could he have had a portrait made of her?
“She’s my wife.” He sat on the bed and stared at the painting, his eyes like glass. “Ariadne.”
“Your wife?” She walked closer, the portrait almost breathing, as though she were looking in the mirror. “It’s amazing.”
“When I saw you, it was as if….” He lay back on the bed, laid his forearm across his eyes.
“Oh, Dion.” She sat next to him. Ariadne. She’d heard that name before.
“I miss her so terribly.” Pain cracked his voice.
“I’m sorry. If I had known….” She couldn’t finish–what? She wouldn’t have come here?
He sat up and held her shoulders. “Ariadne. My princess.” His voice held an unfamiliar gruffness.
“No. I’m Clio.” She pushed at his arms.
With one swift movement, he twisted her beneath him. “The Fates brought you back to me.”
The Fates. Ariadne. Dion…. Her mother had told her bedtime tales when she was growing up. The realization hit her. “Dionysus.” The God of the Vine.
It couldn’t be, didn’t make sense.
Hearing his true name, his face alighted with happiness. His mouth sought hers. A life force flowed from the portrait through Clio’s veins, overwhelmed her senses, as if she’d drunk a case of his wine. His wet lips traveled down her neck. The strap of her bathing suit fell away, revealing her breast. He suckled and nibbled at her. His fingers slid between her legs, his tongue tracing her ribs, then her hips.
His tongue licked and teased. With a groan, she arched her back, inviting more, but wanting nothing of him. A swirl of thoughts stormed through her mind, fighting for dominance. Her writhing body screamed for completion. She clutched his hair. Her breaths came hard and fast, a wave of passion cresting within her.
He slid his leg across hers, then hovered above her. “You are my queen again.”
His words sobered her. Two desperate needs clashed within her, to reunite with a husband for whom yearning had surpassed sanity, and to escape, to find a husband she loved more than anything. Her words from her wedding night returned to her: I will do anything for you.
Cate Masters’ novellas, short stories and flash fiction have appeared in various web zines and epress sites. Visit her online at www.catemasters.com, www.catemasters.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook