Heaven's Little Harem by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh
Summary:

hlh

When aspiring chef Achilles Vanholme returns to his childhood village of Westingshire to restore his grandmother's once renown bakery, he's immediately without means, money, or the much-needed staff to uphold the woman's last wish. But when four tenacious so-called goddesses thrust themselves into his life, all claiming to have more than a trick or two up their sleeves with plans for the bakery, Achilles finds his granny may have left him a bit more than just a "divine" sense of hope!

 


Categories: Original Fiction Characters: Original Character(s)
Classification: General
Genre: Comedy , Drama, Erotica, Family, Friendship, Romance, Slash
Story Status: Active
Pairings: Female/Female, Male/Female
Warnings: Adult Situations, Extreme Language, Femslash, Original Characters, Sexual Content , Strong Sexual Content , Threesome+, Work in Progress
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 5 Completed: No Word count: 9022 Read: 14657 Published: January 05 2013 Updated: March 12 2013

1. Introduction to the Cast by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh

2. one : a little bit of trouble by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh

3. two : the business of being mortal by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh

4. three : no mouth so sweet by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh

5. four : breakfast at ma'at's by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh

Introduction to the Cast by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh
Author's Notes:

I've always wanted to try out a harem fic, so let's see where all this muse takes us!

 

Additional characters may also be included in the cast description as we move along.

 

asia ralaia schiegoh

heaven's little harem

because love is always worthy of sharing...

usually.

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

one : a little bit of trouble by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh
Author's Notes:

Achilles attempts to get settled in the shambles that was once the famed bakeshoppe, The Rolling Pin. Whether his new tenant will make it easy or difficult is quite another story.

 

asia ralaia schiegoh

heaven's little harem

because love is always worthy of sharing...

usually.

 

 

 

a little bit of trouble

 

"God, it looks worse than I remember."

 

Achilles passed through the splintered threshold with despondent acceptance, gripping the cardboard box in his arms all the tighter. A trashed, cluttered menagerie of dust-blanketed furnishings and fixings; overturned dining tables, eviscerated appliances, random puddles of blackened, singed fabric that could just as easily been curtains as they could once have been tablecloths. A right proper mess. And it all belonged to him now.

 

"Where'd yeh like I put these down, laddie?"

 

He blinked his blues, stammering as he glanced back to see the heavyset old shepherd moving to lift several suitcases from the back end of his tiny vehicle. "I'll take them, Mr. Carson. Yeah, just leave them on the floor there. I'm not worried about getting anything dirty."

 

The elderly Mr. Carson rolled a suitcase from the sidewalk just inside the door, pausing himself to take a brief glance around. "Fancy luggage yeh've got, lad! Though I dunno what much good it'll do yeh here now; I daresay yeh'll have to live out of it fer a while, hmm?"

 

A blight of humor tickled the new tenant as he dropped the box haplessly upon the wooden counter between the displays, returning to help roll in the remainder of his baggage. "It's certainly not what I remember, if that's what you mean," he sauntered dryly.

 

"Ah, yes, but what ever does remain the same once we've left our childhood behind?" For a moment he could do naught but look, a victim to the appalling conditions that had befallen The Rolling Pin. "I tell yeh, yer granny sure knew how ter run the place! Back in those days? Why, us Carsons used ter drop in the mornings on our way ter the marketplace. Yer Granny made the best breakfast rolls I ever did taste, yeh know that? Blimey." 

 

Carson lowered his cap in something of deference as he looked to Achilles. Those watery grays once held the perceptivity of the ruling lion once upon a time, he remembered. And now the poor old shepherd could hardly see beyond his own wrinkled hands without squinting for focus. Like most things he recalled from his childhood here in quiet little Westingshire, Carson had aged. And quite terribly.

 

The elder sighed, brushing the dusty particles from his tattered gray cap. "Ah, well. Those days are long gone, are they not? It's good yer back in yer roots, laddie. Yeh'll fix this ole place up real proper, find yerself a nice girl that's not ashamed ter be traditional at home, make yerself a good place in this little world of ours. Penny's got ter be smilin' down on yeh from heaven as we speak fer all yer doing. She'd be mighty proud."

 

Achilles had to smirk at that. "I hope so, Mr. Carson."

 

"And yer mother then, hmm? How is dear Verena these days? Oh, there now, laddie, let me help yeh --"

 

"Nonsense, I've got it." He paused to adjust his glasses before dragging in the other two suitcases. For everything that still needed unpacking, it would be time for tea rather soon. "And frankly, Mr. Carson, your guess is as good as mine how Mum's been doing. But I'm sure she'll find her way around these parts sooner than later. Just as Mrs. Carson will be if I don't let you go before tea!" 

 

The two of them chuckled in synch, the old man turning to go as the younger tossed down the last of his baggage. Funny how the mention of the man's wife was more than enough to spur him into action.

 

Mr. Carson snappily fitted his cap back on before quipping, "Well! I'm off, then, laddie. Don't be afraid ter give us a ring should yeh need anything. Oh!" 

 

He flailed his finger excitedly at his newfound idea, Achilles pausing in his overwhelming perusal. "Why don't yeh come on over this evening fer supper?! Mary'll have a mind ter bring yeh dishes anyhow, so just bring yerself on over."

 

"Mr. Carson, really, I ca--"

 

"Mare won't be taking 'no' for an answer," the graying shepherd excused. He waved his hand in farewell, already making for the rickety jalopy that was nearly as old as Achilles himself. "And nor will I. We'll see yeh at seven, then! Oh, pardon me, lass..."

 

Achilles had ignored the small talk taking place outside the tattered storefront, sneezing into the crook of his arm. Goddammit, this bloody dust! Even standing around staring at the place drove his nerves into madness, his already garbled questions into enraging accusations. His mother had given him the impression for the last fifteen years that, despite Granny's illness, The Rolling Pin had been seen to. "It'll be in good care for when you're ready to take it," Verena had always promised. 

 

Now that Achilles ran a frustrated hand through his dirty blonde hair as he began the egress out the back, he realized his mother must have assumed her son had no intention to uphold his grandmother's dying wish. 

 

That'd explain why she nearly lost her head with me making the trip here. At that he had to chuckle; his mother remained selfish even still.

 

A flighty knock upon the threshold prompted Achilles out from his thoughtful stupor, only to send him knee-deep into another. 

 

"Can I... help you, miss?"

 

"God, I sure hope so!" 

 

It were as though she needed no invitation, much less anything beyond a greeting with inquiry for assistance. Her wild, tumefied hair encompassed her smirking face as some sort of kinked halo, dark eyes centered solely on him as she stepped over and around the heaps of luggage and boxes strewn upon the sooty hardwood floor in a pair of magenta pumps. Despite the eccentricity of her chic city garb in an English village some three hundred miles from London, Achilles himself could not shake her stare. She was, undoubtedly, a complete eyesore. Yet how she managed to look so comely in all her bizarre allure remained a mystery.

 

The young woman adjusted the multicolored designer bag within the crook of her arm as the other extended to him, still a good few feet away in her zigzagged walking. "You must be Achilles, then? You've gotta be, with that chin and all; look just like her."

 

"I'm sorry?"

 

But she had already forced the handshake, her grip tight yet remiss as her own gaze finally began to take in the rubbish surrounding them. "She told me you'd need help and all, but I never expected the place to look quite like this. We'd better get started if we want it open before the Fisherman's Festival --"

 

Achilles shook his head, solidifying his tone as he crossed his arms. "Alright, now look here! I don't know who sent you down here, miss, but I'm quite sure it had nothing to do with me. And you can tell me mum I don't want any of her bloody lot coming to weasel me out of anything."

 

"Oh, please. I've hardly come on your mother's regard. What've you decided to do about these old display shelves, dear?"

 

"Well I haven't got anything to pay you with if you're looking for employment in any case, much less a rusted shilling to do a damn thing around this place. Whatever you've come for, I don't want it and won't be giving away anything I don't have. Now, I'll have to ask you to leave."

 

He started to usher her away when she slapped at his shoulder with her bag. Startled, Achilles furrowed his brow before finally grabbing at her arm.

 

"The hell is wrong with you, woman?!"

 

"Clearly, the one in the wrong is you! How dare does the likes of you lay your hands on me, a goddess?!"

 

He paused in his confusion, frowning. Yes, it seemed tea would likely be late this evening.

 

End Notes:

A bit sloppily put together, I'm afraid. I think I've got more confidence by chapter two lol

two : the business of being mortal by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh
Author's Notes:

Bombarded with the concept of a living goddess, Achilles learns just what sort of things his late Granny has been pupeteering from the grave. Two more goddesses make carve their way into Westingshire.

 

 

 

the business of being mortal

 

 

They were nearly nose to nose, though with the final word she was in far less a state of shock than he. If anything, her aggravation lay in having her fancy little jacket squeezed on.

 

He loosened his grip, gaze narrowed down to her own. 

 

"Goddess?"

 

"What, couldn't you hear me? Yes, 'goddess'. And for heaven's sake, listen when I'm talking, alright? I've said it three times already." She expectedly straightened herself as he stumbled back, catching himself upon the ledge of the counter while simply staring at this woman. This positively insane woman.

 

It was only a moment after watching her go back to perusing the damage of the shoppe before he muttered, "You're mad. Fucking mad."

 

"Penelope Anne Vanholme, right?" She ignored his profanity as she kicked a plank of rotten wood. She went about as if it were her own business, whipping out a pocket pen and a miniature notepad from just within her purse. Her fervent scribbling varied from the blunt sincerity of her speech. " Better known as Penny to folks around town. Only child of a baker and his wife, the product of another set of baker and wife, who were products of yet another baker and wife when first establishing this here little establishment so affectionately known as The Rolling Pin. Your grandmother, dear Achilles, knew that this bakeshop was more than just a dream to you in your youth; it's a family heirloom. That's what she always told you -- holy shit, those vents are practically -- wasn't it? That's why she had nurtured your adoration for the culinary arts without a second thought because... well, let's face it. Your mother was too busy chasing after businessmen to really be any good at fostering your dreams."

 

"Power-brokers," he corrected faintly.

 

"All the same."

 

Kneading the bridge of his nose, Achilles finally opened his eyes. He needed... Christ, he needed tea. It was far past tea time, though he wasn't quite sure he would ever get around to fixing any at this rate.

 

The stranger with the feral black mane bit her lip, smirking at the sight of him. "Well, lookit you. Taken aback a bit, are we? Didn't think I knew all your business, did you?"

 

"Goddesses don't--"

 

"And for shit's sake, would you be a dear and please spare me the 'goddesses don't exist' speech?" she hissed, setting a hand upon her hip. "I wouldn't call myself one if I wasn't one, now, would I? Nor would the rest of us. It's such a fuckin' insult every single time."

 

His sudden bark of laughter left no curiosity for his disbelief, the "goddess" of sorts less than amused. Achilles took the box of knickknacks, shaking his head as his barking ebbed into mere chuckles. Best thing to do at this point was walk away. "So there's more of you lot, then? Alright, miss. You've got me pegged; your cleverness outdoes mine, I'll give you that."

 

"Why, you-- you don't believe me, do you? Achilles! Hey, Achilles! Y-you come back here --!"

 

The audacious clicking of heels stomped after him as he left the shop in the far back, taking the narrow set of creaking stairs up to the residential quarters. At the glance of things, here and below threatened to be two entirely separate buildings. Someone must've been living around here...

 

"Why d'you think I'm here in the first place, then?!"

 

"I'm sure I don't know," he sighed after setting the box down. The sitting room, which had always been the communal area that each other room fed into, was cluttered at worst, but delightfully more agreeable as far as conditions went in comparison to the shoppe downstairs. The curtains, the same wretched pink and yellow stripes as they had been in his youth, appeared washed and starched; the three windows, each propped open to allow the early evening breeze, along the back wall visibly wiped clear of smudges; the two couches and the loveseat had been refurbished entirely, their ancient fabric still threading to his touch; the dark hardwood at their feet polished, spotless. The hideous pea green rug upon which the varnished coffee table sat was vacuumed and beaten free of mites and tangles. Even the old television had switched rabbit-ears for a respectably-sized flatscreen, though it lay propped up against once of the couches halfway assembled. A sloppily rolled sleeping bag hid beside it.

 

Someone had been here, and putting in a considerable amount of work. There was no mistake about that.

 

Abruptly quiet, the woman clicked to his side as she took in the conflicting cleanliness of the living quarters. "For what it's worth," she started suspiciously, plunking her purse upon the coffee table between the lounging furniture. "I didn't have a hand in this, much as I wish I did. I don't suppose you've done anything either?"

 

"Not at all. You've see me, I just got here."

 

The two wordlessly accompanied one another as they wandered throughout the second floor. Achilles found himself treading lightly, unsure of what he would encounter despite the acute cleanliness primped around and about. By all accounts the place was comfortable, boasting restored or brand new effects that somehow spruced up yet maintained the coziness he had embraced as a child. 

 

From the sitting room sprouted a single, rather narrow hall devoid of natural light save for the window at the far end that led to the opposing staircase downward. Four oaken doors, two on either side, sheltered four intimate little bedrooms; each equipped with an antiquated armoire, nightstand, and, cramped into the corner, a desk. For all the fixings, however, only one bedroom possessed a four-post queen squeezed up against the wall.

 

A profoundly curious Achilles took leave of his snooping before hunkering back down the way he came up to fetch additional boxes. "What did you say your name was?" he wondered aloud on the way down.

 

"Hmm? Oh, you'll call me Izzy, please..."

 

She continued to speak, though with the distance Achilles had quite quickly tuned her out until he started back up for the stairs again.

 

"... in the contract. But we can talk about all that later," she finished, taking note of his work. After he set the box down, they met eyes yet again. 

 

The dark beauty bit her lip, simpering as he adjusted his glasses once more. "So Izzy. If it isn't money you're expecting, then what do you want? I'm all for free labor, but there's always a catch. Not to mention," he made the trek back downstairs, being sure to adjust his volume as he took up two suitcases by the handles. "You've still not explained why you're here. Assuming you are what you say you are --"

 

"A goddess," she corrected.

 

"Yeah, that. Assuming you are one, what's my granny got to do with any of it? What've I got to do with any of it? Careful, I need in."

 

"It's funny you should talk about labor, really," the dark Izzy quipped as she scooted quickly to the side, plunking down within the downy confines of the loveseat. She propped her brazen magenta heels upon the oak coffee table, leisurely going about taking them off and tossing them to the side. "But I'm here to help you get The Rolling Pin, well, rolling. She enlisted me to aid you in whatever fashion necessary to get this old place off the ground and established as a platform for your career. We signed a contract a few days ago right after her passing. And in exchange for my participation, I get my mortality."

 

He sighed with a shake of his head, arms crossed. "You're serious about this goddess business, aren't you?"

 

Izzy threw her head back in something of a mockery, allowing her nimble body to soak itself into the plush confines of the loveseat. Her neckline exposed in its chocolaty contours, those slender shoulders falling back as her erect spine slunk in relaxation. Quite expectedly, the rather spritely pair of breasts lifted themselves naturally at the behest of her arching back. Achilles couldn't necessarily ignore the calcifying parts of him inherently affected by this woman, immortal deity or otherwise. Truth be told it had been several months since he had stumbled into that enigmatic one night stand with the woman from the seminar -- the woman dripping in gold, flesh painted golden brown that danced with the sketches of strange tribal tattoos, cinnamon-flecked hair tightly coiled in in the bun that attempted to tame her -- and even longer than that since he had been in any rendition of a committed relationship. Hell, maybe if he would take the time to shave the sorry excuse of a bristled goatee clean he might even have had a chance if he tried. It wasn't that he was devoid of whatever facets women deemed attractive, but he had been so hopelessly wrapped up in the futile drag that was culinary school he would never know if a woman wanted him or not.

 

But this one; no, this mad one made it perfectly clear. All she had to do was continue to sit there, lounge there, picking at the imaginary dirt between her hot pink fingernails and simply glance at him as she did now for him to know. 

 

Achilles cleared his throat as he looked out one of the windows beyond him. Had he imagined the door closing in the shed in the backyard...?

 

"And what... ahem, how does she give you mortality?" he inquired.

 

"I've gotta do a bit of labor. Or go into labor, more accurately. That's where you come i-- shh, wait." She glanced behind him, eyes narrowing.

 

He heard the backdoor open and shut just as she did, his back leaning from off the wall as he turned to the staircase at the end of the hall. The opposite staircase, the one he hadn't traversed in the fifteen years he had been away from this place. He started for it then, booted feet heavy as he nearly raced to peer down to the staircase.

 

"Jeezis Christ!!!"

 

The sight of the two women smeared in garden soil threatened to startle him out of his jeans, the man, slapping his palm to his heart. They, too, stumbled in something of surprise, though he was the one who started shouting, "If people don't stop sneaking around in my bloody house! Who the fuck are you?! You know what, don't bother. " He pointed furiously, bewildered at his own twisted fortune, at the door they had just emerged from. "See yourselves out. Get out. Get out!!"

 

"Well keep your panties on!" That was the short, mahogany-fleshed one, the woman with the smokey grays and the roots that needed re-coloring to match the copper taint of her lengthy, straightened braid. She held up her garden-gloved hand as if to safeguard the quieter broad, nearly shrinking into her shoulders behind the basket of produce weighing heavily within her tawny hold. "You might not know us, but we know exactly who you are, Achilles Vanholme."

 

For the love of God, this day could not have rendered itself any nuttier than he had found it now. 

 

She had started to introduce herself when she paused to squint. "Ishtar? What're you...?"

 

Came from behind him, a chuckle of pleasant disbelief twisting her full lips into a curious grin. "Well, if it isn't Ma'at and Rosmurta. Sent from Mother Watcher to spy on me, are you?"

 

"Oh, no, no!" 

 

The timid tawny piped up from behind her vertically challenged shield just then, suddenly enlivened with nerve. "Mother Watcher doesn't know we're here. We signed contracts with your grandmother," she looked to Achilles somewhat anxiously. Her hold on the basket looked to tighten as she shifted feet, viridescent gaze lowering. She motioned for the shorter of the two to move on up the stairs. "We're, ehm, here to help you out around here!"

 

"I'd argue we've done more than enough of that already."

 

Izzy -- Ishtar, perhaps? -- snapped her finger, the proverbial lightbulb flickering on above her curlicued halo. "Okay so thanks, yes, but I'm actually the one who's got a contract with Penelope." She snapped again, brows furrowed, before a tattered page of parchment shifted suddenly into her hand. 

 

The bloody thing went poof! from out of thin air. Fucking. Went.Poof.

 

He snatched his glasses away, nearly tossing them to the floor at his feet. While Achilles settled his spine against the propped window, head steadied tight in his hands for fear it might fly away along with the rest of his senses, the three had reduced themselves to bickering over their own pieces of parchment, waving it wildly within one another's faces.

 

"That's impossible," Ishtar argued firmly. "No more than one of us can be assigned to any client at a time. How do we all have a contract with the same damn woman?"

 

"Gimme that." The short one, he couldn't yet figure to be Rosmurta or Ma'at, snatched Ishtar's paper to inspect for herself. The taller tawny glanced over her shoulder to read along, at which point she wondered quietly, "Perhaps we can go back up, then? Considering only one of us is needed--"

 

"Each contract is bound with our blood, Rosie. We can't return to Heaven until both ends of the agreement are met, you know that."

 

"But Isht--"

 

"That crafty old hag!" Ma'at glared over to the bewildered Achilles while demanding of the feral-haired Ishtar, "And I suppose you wanted mortality in exchange as well?"

 

"Izzy!" Rosmurta set the basket down, appalled. "I thought you wanted to keep your wings! With all that trouble you started in Palestine, I would think you'd know better than to simply quit now."

 

"All I know is we can't let him knock us all up."

 

With that, all eyes fell upon him. Achilles blinked his senses back into rough order, wondering whether or not he should bother to replace his specs upon the bridge of his nose. His azures glanced from sepia to gray, gray then to green. 

 

He dared to ask, "What, me?" Then his chortle of laughter yet again, though at this point he had begun to dizzy himself with the continual roundabouts of nonsense. "The fuck have I got to do with any of you?"

 

"Well that's the only way for us to be mortal," came Rosmurta's softened explanation. "A goddess who bears an earthly child renounces her everlasting life the moment it's born. He's not a very informed fellow, is he?" Her giggle conflicted with the severity of the other three and their grave countenances, at which point Rosmurta quieted.

 

"I see. So I should just wank off and toss my jizz to each and every one of you, then? Is that it?! Granny's signed me on to just... just... fuckin' inseminate everyone?! Hmm?? You know what--?"

 

In a fit of confusion he moved to slam his seized hand into the replastered wallpaper, only to raise them above his head. Surrender; he had given up on this thing all together. He straightened his back in a feeble attempt to find his footing before reaching for the door to his right, struggling with the knob to even push it open. A hand moved to steady him, but he shrugged the woman's hold off. 

 

"No one bother me," he warned. "Don't fucking bother me until I wake my damn self up. Alright?"

 

He hadn't bothered to await any clever retaliations before slamming the door behind him. The single room with the neatly made bed he had managed to pick, and much to the gratefulness of his back. With another two steps he fell forward into the relieving forgiveness of pillows and woolen blankets.

 

It had been a long day in any case. If he could manage to sleep this off and wake up to his right proper self in the morning, Achilles promised he'd admit himself to the nuthouse. It sure sounded better than what he had waiting for him outside these four walls.

 

 

End Notes:

Another piece of jumbled back-and-forth dialogue :] Enjoy!

three : no mouth so sweet by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh
Author's Notes:

Achilles and Rosmurta have an intimate heart-to-heart.

 

no mouth so sweet

 

"Achilles?"

 

  At first he ignored her, the cloying veil of her voice. It was timorous, apologetic, softened with apprehension of upsetting him. At the familiar clink of silver he bothered to grunt his descent into consciousness. 

 

"Oh, you're up and moving!"

 

"And you're still here."

 

The pillow upon his head shifted as he peeked through the shadow of his slumber, watching with precarious irritation as the goddess with golden hair set the tray upon the nightstand beside him. She offered a compunctious turn of her pinked lips, saying then, "I'm sorry. I know you didn't want anyone in, but it's so late already. You wanted some tea, too, if I remember."

 

"I never said I wanted tea," came his grumbling reply, though it was just the token to have him sit up from the confines of the blankets strewn about him. Noting her already timid bearings, however, Achilles cleared his throat in his own apology. "You're Rosmurta, then, are you?"

 

At their introduction she lightened, giggling quietly as she poured the steaming tea into the fine china. "Yes, that's me! Oh, but everyone calls me Rosie. Not so old fashioned!" She tapped the cup of sugar cubes. "Just one with a dash of cream, yes? Let's see if I can perfect it on the first try."

 

Achilles accompanied her in the restful silence. He watched as she busied herself over such a trivial [albeit kindly] task, unable to shake the peculiar sincerity this woman went about with. 

 

"So Izzy and Ma'at are around?"

 

"Unfortunately not. A call came in from one Mr. Alexander Carson about supper an hour or so ago, but Izzy said you were indisposed and couldn't be troubled."

 

He cursed under his breath, running an oversized palm through the flaxen mess of his hair. "I'd completely forgotten," he confessed tiredly.

 

"Oh, but Mr. Carson invited the three of us in your stead," Rosmurta excused. She set his cup neatly upon the saucer before offering it over to him, smiling as he accepted with small thanks. "I would've gone, but Ma'at insisted one of us ought to stay should you wake up. So I figured I'd fix you a bit of tea for waking, and I've already got the bangers ad mash in the kitchen should you want any."

 

"Bangers and mash?" Achilles sipped into his teacup, trying not to chuckle the contents all over the bed. For it being her first time preparing things the way he liked them she certainly was on a roll. "Goddesses can stir it up in the kitchen, too? I've got to say, I'm impressed."

 

A furious blush darkened her tawny cheeks, Rosmurta turning her back so that he might not yet see the smile widening across her lips. He didn't mind any; it was clear she was the type not to know how to take a compliment. Considering she seemed so well acquainted with both Ishtar and Ma'at alike, however, he couldn't necessarily that flaw was entirely her fault. Neither of the outspoken two sounded to be the nurturing sort.

 

After a moment or two of his relishing the steaming beverage and her aimless staring around the room he drawled, "You'll forgive me for my behavior earlier. This hasn't exactly been the easiest last few days."

 

Rosmurta nodded with a smile.

 

"I don't know why Granny, God rest her, would dabble in my affairs so. Christ, even from the grave she's giving me a piece of her mind!" He down the rest of the tea before slinging his legs over the edge of the mattress to pour himself some more. 

 

"You don't think she means well?" Rosmurta moved to have the condiments ready, but he shook his head, taking her hand and squeezing it lightly.

 

"I've got it, Rosie. You just relax. And yes, of course I know she means well. That's the one thing she and Mum have in common if nothing else; always looking to fix me with something or someone, as if I can't for myself. That was nearly the entire point of me coming out here; I intend to make my own mark in this world by my own hand, not with the women in my life always throwing money in or sporting nepotism or any nonsense like that. The rebuilding of this shoppe," Achilles dropped the sugar cube in, not bothering to stir before taking a ravenous gulp. "Will be at my own doing. I just wish she'd see that, wherever she is."

 

He nodded over to the goddess by the window, asking then, "You lot want your mortality that bad, eh?"

 

She peeked through the pale blue valance out to the backyard before replying, "It's so strange to be so far away from the bustling of the Elysium and in such a sleepy village as this. We've been here almost a week, Ma'at and I, and yet the time passes with such pleasant significance. Everything we do is meaningful in one way or another. It all benefits someone, eases the burden for another. And all the while we get to be involved in the bettering of things personally." Rosmurta bit her lip, viridian gaze seemingly far beyond the little fenced-in confines of the vegetable garden out back. "If this is what it means to be mortal -- to be a mere speck amongst the grains that make the sands of a common shore -- then I must confess it to be something I crave for myself, very much so. It's like I've never felt so enlivened in the thousands of years I've spent being idly worshipped as I have these last six days."

 

They exchanged glances then. Achilles remained silent despite the yearning of her eyes, his tea now somehow very unimportant. 

 

"Am I... crazy for that, you think? Is it silly to want that for myself when I've been so long a figure of attributes I can't even have for myself? I-I-I just... goodness, I'm sorry."

 

Without a moment's pause he brought himself to his feet and to her side. His gray-sleeved arms came about her willowy frame, the great man taking hold of those lithe hands that sheltered her tear-stained face. But he bore witness to her abrupt melancholy and bade she not hide it from the likes of him. He never cared for a woman to break down into tears before him; quite frankly, the very thought of the whole ordeal was unnecessarily sentimental and filled him with near unbearable awkwardness. True, he had been a witness to and even a reassuring advocate in many a tearful bout by his one and only sister. But this, quite clearly, wasn't anything like that. Truth be told he felt rather sorry he even inquired about the entire mortality subject in general, and now that, since he had caused her tears, he ought to be responsible for bringing her back to comfort.

 

Or at least wipe her face dry.

 

"I don't think you're crazy to want what you've never had before," came his reassurance. It was hushed in its sonorous timbre while he bade she look up, up at him as he spoke to her. The very nerve in his cotton-covered toes flecked with a peculiar tingle once she obeyed him, viridescent attention glittering with newfound tears. Achilles couldn't help but give a rueful grin, cupping her face in his hands as he continued to soothe, "In fact, it's a very natural thing for us humans; to want, to crave. You're better at this mortality thing than you thought, aren't you?"

 

Rosmurta's tearful laughter resonated against his looming frame, threatening to seal what mere inches of space existed between them. But she nodded, sniffling the remnants of one end of sorrow before sputtering into another. His mind tripped its gears in confusion on what to do, knowing he could only feign this natural air with her for so long...

 

But was it really pretense if his actions came to him so easily?

 

He dared not think on it long enough to hesitate. The pads of his thumbs smoothed the droplets of saltine crystals away, Achilles suddenly lightheaded with the twining of their sinewy, shallowed breaths combing against one another's lips. And hers were so flawless in their slightly parted wake; tinged with the lightly pinkened melatonin of her pale-gold flesh, virginal in the innocence she knew and ever still glossed with plump, sultry allure of her wanting ignorance. Her fingers wrapped about his wrists, though guideless, shiftless. No, she couldn't know what the sight of her did to him now. She hardly knew what to do with her own self...

 

He kissed her then. Kissed her and relished in the fleeting surprise that only an ancient chasteness would possess. But it only took a moment for her to shiver with life, her sweet, succulent mouth tilting ever upward so that he might drink, drink from the willingness she poured forth. Those hands clasped so listlessly about his wrists tightened in recognition, anchoring her forward until she fit the curvatures of her front form so neatly against the chiseled edges of his own.

 

"Achilles...?"

 

He grunted, snatching her mouth upon his once more. "If it's a child you want," he breathed against the curve of her chin, the silk of her cheek, the lobe of her ear. A hand of his lowered about her neck, softly clasping it while the other brushed back the crinkled tendrils of gold. "Then I'll gladly give it. It'll make you happy?"

 

"Achilles, I--"

 

"Shh, tell me." His kiss sweetened against the hardening hold of his hand, to which the goddess elicited a most delicious moan. "Mmmn, I see. We'll have to get another one of those out of you again, won't we? Now tell me; will a child make you happy, my love?"

 

That unsolicited title set the starlight in her eyes, Rosmurta daring a breathless, "Yes." Her gasp echoed her words as his hand abandoned the naked lining of her neck to slide further down, thumb hooking the dramatic hem of her sweatshirt collar so that it might follow suit. Achilles stepped back, eyes fast upon Rosmurta's as he effortlessly pulled her along, before turning them both in one other's previous positions. And so now he took one more foot forward before her knees gave out against the ledge of the bed, the arresting young image of a woman staggering as she fell upon its downy surface. 

 

He didn't give her but a moment to shrug out of the pair of denim jeans hugging the laced lines of her legs. She hadn't but barely a handful of hips, though as his greedy hands managed to unbutton and yank them down about her ankles he was pleased to see the whole of her maintained a refreshing sylphlike symmetry. This woman was not thin so much as she was merely lissome in shape, making pleasant do with what fair qualities she had been blessed with. And as he stood above Rosmurta in all her half-naked glory, those endless, trim thighs of fawn going on for days as they attempted to cross upon one another, Achilles could not pretend he was anything less than entirely enamored. Violently so.

 

At the behest of his hands she lay completely, great greens wide and filled with wonder as she stared up at his breathless face. He had begun to unbuckle his own sheath of denim when her shifting hips sought the notice of her panties.

 

Achilles could hardly resist the laughter as he smoothed his wandering hand upon her calve. "Hiding from me still?" he wondered.

 

She grunted as that same hand of his tugged brutishly at the cotton-lined hem of her white bikini underwear, lifting her hips upward. In one fell swoop he heaved them down and out, pooling somewhere upon the hardwood with her pants. For a moment he let his fingers test her own preparedness, only for them both to recoil with sharp inhales; she burned for him. To make matters worse, she couldn't have been any wetter; that fleshy slit dripped with creamy, silken lust. 

 

He abandoned her there, knowing he'd never leave if he dared offer that teeming womanhood any ounce of selfish attention. This time she laughed along with him, letting her arms up above the splayed mass of her flaxen mane so that his palm could caress the flat expanse of her belly. 

 

"Not anymore," she whispered, grinning. "Achilles, take me? Please, please have me..."

 

Whatever inch of him he couldn't be certain wasn't prepared solidified to granite once those creamy thighs spread open on their own accord. She invited him without a word, gaze fixed upon him in a hopeless need begging to be quenched. And who was he to deny that of her? What right did he have?

 

But it was only at her insistence. Between her thighs he slid, knees nudging her further up on the bedding, while he propped himself above that awestruck face. Perfect; that was the alignment of their forms, his pressed against hers in a shameless need. And with the beckoning of his wayward tongue to accept his mouth upon hers came the flagrant forward heave of his hips.

 

She cried out against the insurgence of his lips, nails embedding themselves into his own freckled shoulders at the unanticipated discomfort. She hadn't expected his girth, his unabashed length. Her tongue delved deeper, thighs clenched tight about the muscled small of his back. The mortal above her, inside her, stretching her beyond her known limits, finally began to pump his hips within to his carnal content. Again and again his thrusts ensued, degenerating in the initial kindly consideration he may have possessed. No, he fell prey to his own rapacious want, nearly destroying the windswept woman moaning restlessly beneath him. 

 

Achilles wasn't sure he would make anywhere near the general length of his stamina tonight. Better he didn't make any promises.

 

 

|||

 

 

Ma'at opened the refrigerator for Ishtar as she proceeded to stuff all three corningware dishes full of food into its empty confines.

 

"You should've seen the one before this," she hissed, hand upon her great hips while she propped the door open. "I told Rosie I'd be damned if I'd have to clean all the mold out of that one. It was worse than the goddamn oven."

 

"We won't need to worry about anything but a microwave considering all this food Mrs. Carson's had made. Probably ought to get one in the morning after breakfast. Whew!"

 

The cocoa-skinned deity waved her hand in cue for Ma'at to shut the refrigerator closed, wiping her brow. "Goodness, but those folks can talk, hmm? Alright, so the only thing we've really got to get a handle on is remodeling that horrid bakeshoppe itself. And a new paint job on the store fro--"

 

Hand flying to her lips in quiet, the vertically-challenged Ma'at bade the other listen. Ishtar made a face to retaliate before the noise reverberated; a moan. A most pleasurable moan at that.

 

"The hell is all that about?" She looked to Ma'at, fists suddenly clenched, before coming to her own realization. "For fuck's sake, Rosie. You don't think she--"

 

"That little slut!"

 

Her balled fists came slamming down upon the counter in a fit of rage, her voice raised as she began to spew a string of curses in alphabetical order. It was the taller, however, who insisted she hold her tongue.

 

"Let her have her fun for now," Ishtar tempered, tone carefully gauged to keep her own fury a secret. She took hold of the bronze one's arm. "You knew it would happen eventually. For all of us. Just because she's fucked him first doesn't mean she's conceived before us."

 

"Don't be stupid. That's exactly what it means." She shrugged out of Ishtar's grasp and back to the refrigerator. From the right shelf she pulled two lagers, haphazardly slamming the door behind her. "And if it's a war she wants, Izzy? Oh, do trust me; she'll get it."

 

With a swift alignment of the cap between her teeth Ma'at yanked the lager free, spitting the cap out before taking a good swig to mull her ravenous rage. "She'll damn well get it."

 

End Notes:

This is the first love scene I've written in a l o n g time, so forgive me if it's choppy or moves a bit too fast. Hope y'all enjoyed!

four : breakfast at ma'at's by Asia Ralaia Schiegoh
Author's Notes:

Achilles attempts to make an understanding.

breakfast at ma'at's

 

 

He never managed to take his glasses off.

 

Scrunching against the morning light seeping into his eyes he shifted, ready to turn his pillow to the cooler side. His hands gripped at the strangely solid woven sheet, only to jerk when it moved.

 

He blinked, sitting up on his elbows. But he sighed, relieved, once he saw her bare midriff was where his head had been sleeping against instead. A proud smirk crept across his lust-parched lips.

 

Rosmurta lay just as he left her the night before -- or was it early this morning, the second... no, no the third time around? -- with her face burrowed within the rumpled blankets. He nudged her in test of just how conscious she was, sliding himself out from bed when she continued to snore unresponsively, barely twitching under the pillow she clutched to her chest. It was just as well that she sleep through everything; they had fallen into a tumble of sweat-glistened limbs but a few hours ago. 

 

After clicking off the lamps that had burned all night Achilles shifted into his jeans, not bothering with replacing the long-sleeved gray shirt strewn upon the floor with the rest of their clothes. Quietly he snuck from the cozy little bedroom, feet subconsciously avoiding the floorboards that creaked at their noisiest. The door he left cracked behind him.

 

"Slept well, did you?"

 

He hadn't reached the left staircase before taking pause. "Well enough." He and Ma'at exchanged glances as she sat up from the couch, rubbing the sleep out from her gray eyes. The irony in which she spoke to him couldn't be mistaken. "And you?"

 

  She stretched into a yawn, arms high above her head of tousled coppered hair. Those strange inked shapes traced from the upper end of her elbow and around; a familiar sight he had strewn with kisses just the night before upon Rosmurta's very spine. For the life of him, however, he couldn't shake that even last night wasn't the first time he had noticed that sort of tattoo.

 

"I would've slept soundly if it weren't for all that thumping going on in the room down the hall." The minxlike grin twisting on her plump lips struck him with little trouble, though he couldn't bring himself to behave in such a manner. Her fickle jealousy would have been flattering if it weren't so amusing. "But I'm sure it's none of my business."

 

Guess she wasn't that quiet after all, then.

 

Achilles gestured with a nod toward the kitchen downstairs, chuckling. "You'll have a cup of coffee with me?"

 

At once the light in her smoky eyes cleared and brightened. Her manicured feet slid into the precariously placed purple slippers before she donned the matching housecoat from the loveseat. Adjusting a wedgie from her polka dotted sleeping shorts she mused, "I'll fix us some breakfast."

 

|||

 

"You make as though it's some sort of big deal."

 

"And you don't take it seriously enough."

 

Achilles sputtered a pitiful laugh, aimlessly stirring the single sugar cube in his mug of black coffee as he sat at the little country table by the bay window overlooking the garden. The kitchen lay nestled on the first floor just at the bottom of the left stairwell, before the office and washrooms further down. It could easily have been the next dwelling in the shophouse after the bakery itself; the three-deck ovens, stove and kettle along the west wall, two refrigeration units hunkered beside the washing and storage corner to the north wall, followed by a baker's bench and elongated pastry table aligning much of the east wall with several tiered racks meandering around the island of solid granite in the very center. While each appliance had been updated to improve its efficiency there could be no denying the rustic essence of the original design had been maintained. Truth be told, simply looking around the place had him itching to get his real handiwork started.

 

From the stove not several feet away his momentary companion, profile to his eyes, flipped the slices of cottage loaf, leaving the hot pan to shift over to the side and finish dicing the pear and plum upon the cutting board. Though he had offered some time ago to help her prepare the meal, Ma'at insisted it was "much too simple a task" to even ask for his assistance. 

 

She cleared her throat before adding, "You've got to understand;  we've never heard of more than one of the same contract existing. Mother Watcher hasn't allowed it because it doesn't guarantee that any contract other than the first will be completed. That sort of thing is pretty heavily regulated and for the life of me I can't figure out how Penelope managed us to all sign for the same task."

 

The knife came down with a final chop.

 

Achilles eyed her from his coffee. There could be no mistaking her aggravation -- it was more apparent yesterday -- and he could not help but assume the goddess somehow felt cheated. 

 

"Yeah, well." He took another look out to the window, shrugging the broad expanse of his shoulders. "Granny always had a way of ultimately making you do things her way." Though I dunno why she pulled this out from her sleeve.

 

"The only reason I didn't leave last night was because I would've had nowhere to go without eventually having to come back here." Ma'at checked the browning bread, tossing the rest of the chunked fruit into a large porcelain serving bowl. "A goddess can't return to Elysium without her contract being completed, so it isn't as though I'd be able to plea my case to anyone. So we're just... stuck here."

 

She stood still for a moment, head downcast as if she were too lost in the complications of rather ill-importance to Achilles. Not that he believed them to be absurd necessarily, just that he didn't see what was so wrong with them all simply abiding by the terms of their contracts with his granny.

 

So he asked.

 

Ma'at gave him a mischievous smirk, dark brow arched. But he shook his hand, waving off her thoughts. "Don't go thinking I'm after that sort of thing; I've got my own love life to sort out, much to Granny's disappointment. I just don't mind spawning a few little buggers if it means seeing this place get up off the ground." He reassured then, "You'll be leaving after you get what you want, right?"

 

"She did mention you weren't keen on children," the goddess muttered.

 

In another moment she came over with their plates, setting both down before fetching the little bowls of fruit. Achilles promptly thanked her, smiling down at the scrumptious arrangement of toasted cottage loaf, thick slices of hickory-smoked bacon, and the colorfully arranged plum and pear. If Izzy could manage her way around the kitchen as well, Achilles was confident the four of them would be on top of this whole bakery business.

 

They began to eat in silence. It was comfortable enough, he could admit, and Ma'at hardly seemed to mind not talking about babies or breaking contracts for a few moments.

 

"I just want my life to be my own, you know?"

 

He looked up from his bacon, though she was quite far away as she took in the sights from the backyard. Ma'at held the coffee mug to her lips in stillness. "I've always done my duties. No one could question that. I'm the incarnation of truth and preserver of ultimate justice; I weighed hearts against my own, for fuck's sake!" She took a sip then, the scalding temperature of the coffee still not as searing as her tone had just been. For a wonder, it began to cool her tongue. "But now that my temples have withered with the sand and the here-and-now has become the ancient, I'm not needed the way I used to be. And quite frankly if everyone else in the world has moved on then I daresay think I ought to as well. We all ought to."

 

"I wouldn't go that far," he countered. Achilles had to focus on his bacon a bit more, as his sympathies for these women were beginning to pull him in directions that weren't like his usual self. Not in some years, at least. "Everyone has a need for someone, Gran used to tell. Some of us might even need more than just one person to keep us on the right path. Maybe the way you're needed has just manifested itself into other things, hmm?" 

 

The shrug of his shoulders brought a chuckle to them both, Ma'at smirking into her coffee. "I don't like that you're making me feel any better over this. I'm still angry with you for seducing Rosie."

 

"Finally! You come out with it."

 

"What was that for anyway? Out to prove something?" Her tongue blackened with her piping mug. "We only just met you, for one. Secondly, we've still got to get the bakery up before we can even think about anything else. I'm not dealing with customers and a pregnancy until I figure out how to bake a cake first!"

 

"You don't think I'll teach you?"

 

"Don't get smart with me, mortal. It's the fucking principle. But I'm sure you weren't thinking about that while you were banging poor Rosie's brains out, were you?"

 

"Poor Rosie? Ha!" Achilles snickered, his eyes flicking to hers. He didn't see the point in putting all the facts out there -- like how Rosamund came onto him with the intent to shag -- considering it would only incite additional drama under his roof. Just as quickly it occurred to him that, if things were to go smoothly with this coexistence experiment, a certain level of civility would need to be maintained. Rules would need to be established. He believed in running a tight ship, and while these women were supposedly here to alleviate the burden of his journey to success they already proved themselves to be a handful. They couldn't get in the way of things.

 

"I'll let Rosie decide just how innocent she was to seduction when she wakes, hmm? And for someone so concerned with having her own bairn I don't think it fair for you to be upset with her about the same. And I'd bet she's just as vested in this as you and Izzy are, so why wouldn't I go along with what she asked?" He had a bite of bread before deciding on how to approach the concept of house rules, but their conversation was cut short.

 

"What am I vested in?"

 

The two looked over to see Ishtar lugging brown bags of groceries. She hustled to the counter to set the heavy burden down, sighing with relief. Ma'at greeted her as she pointed to the bowl of fruit and the remaining slices of toasted cottage loaf. "Help yourself," she offered.

 

"It looks delicious," the cocoa-fleshed goddess smiled. She wiped her hands upon her black tights, glancing over at Achilles with a certain knowing. He couldn't help but go back to his own coffee, chuckling to himself. No doubt everyone in the house was aware of his grievously brilliant fuck.

 

Well, he thought it so, anyway.

 

"We were just talking about opening up shop," Achilles lied. "I've been thinking I should get a full survey of things as far as what still needs doing, then make--"

 

"Well, you can certainly cross Rosie right off that list."

 

Ishtar tutted at the biting sarcasm, taking a seat between the two. "You're not helping, Ma'at. Go on."

 

"Right then. Like I said, just need to know what's been done and what still needs finishing up as far as remodeling. But before any of that happens I'd better make a few things clear." He leaned in to the two of them, azures taking both without forgiveness. "We're supposed to have a few bastards running around here in the next, what, year or so? Well if we're planning this  then we've got to have a game plan set. We, ladies, are gonna need to set up a few rules."

 

Ma'at and Ishtar exchanged dubious glances, the cocoa-fleshed one rolling her eyes. "Alrighty then," she allowed slowly. The two of them leaned in as well, a grin crimping their lips. "What rules?"

 

End Notes:

It's been a little while, but I'm glad I got this one churned out!

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