HEY! WARNING!

ADULT THEMES LATER IN CHAPTER!

Nothing too explicit, but it's not exactly for children's eyes. Advised that you're 18+ to read, but this site doesn't exactly stop you, and I can't exactly stop you either.

So, yeah. Suggestive themes later in chapter.

CHAPTER 2

"Hestia!"

She started and looked up from where she sat at the central hearth.

Hera frowned from her seat next to Athena at the looms, "What are you doing child? The flame is dying."

Hestia started, flicking her wrist at the glowing embers of the fire, flame erupting from her fingers.

"Sorry mother. All better!"

She smiled, closing her eyes and tilting her head slightly.

Hera lifted a single golden eyebrow, but turned back to the loom. The lion at her feet stretched and yawned, then stood and walked over to Hestia, putting its head in her lap.

She stroked its head gently, fingers tangling in his mane.

She sighed through her nose and looked out the window absently.

That night…..

"Hestia?"

She jumped in her seat, knocking her goblet over, the red wine spilling over the edge of the table, staring the white of her tunic.

Ares snickered as Zeus frowned at her.

"Are you alright daughter?"

"Yes father, sorry father."

He shook his head, a dark lock falling into his eyes, "Don't apologize. I just noticed you've only been playing with your food."

She looked down at the salad on her plate.

He leaned forward, "Are you feeling sick dear?"

Ares snorted, but quieted when Hera glared at him.

Aphrodite looked over, "You have been varying from extremely pale and flushed lately dear. And you have the most awful dark circles under your eyes."

Hestia cleared her throat, "Sorry. Just distracted."

Athena closed her eyes and drank from her glass before commenting, "Like at the hearth today?"

She cleared her throat again, looking at her plate, feeling her cheeks heat.

"Sorry."

Hera sighed, "On to other news, Athena, Hestia, Artemis, how is the sanctuary for maiden women coming along."

Artemis looking extremely tired, her hair messed up and stringy, eyes half closed as she drank from her goblet. Athena turned to the Queen and chatted happily about architecture and laws and obscure things.

Hestia stared at the red spreading on her legs and fiddled with the cloth.

Later that night…..

She curled up on the window seat, hugging a pillow, amber eyes glinting in the moonlight.

Not a cloud was in the sky as usual, and the moon was full and bright, right overhead. But no matter how stunning the moon was, the spatter of stars strewn across the sky never failed to stir her heart.

A flash of silver streaked across the sky.

Artemis.

She must have seen a monster sneaking into the city.

Or maybe one already in the city, hiding among all the others.

She hummed softly, winding a loose auburn lock around her finger as she watched the faraway flickering lights of the hearths in the homes.

Artemis' chariot soared right back up in the sky, circling over the realm, holding the moon steady.

"Shouldn't you be asleep princess?"

Hestia jumped, smacking her forehead against the window.

She turned with a scowl, holding her forehead, towards a shadowy chair.

"Hypnos…"

The cloaked being chuckled, "I guess that's why they call it a windowpane. Because the windows cause pain."

"Hmph."

"Hmm. Too soon princess?"

She sighed and turned back to the window, leaning against the wall.

She heard Hypnos stand up from the chair. Only from the creak. They were silent except when speaking to someone, and they never lifted their hood.

Hestia knew they were standing right at her back, watching her from the shadows their hood cast.

"Just say what you want to say and go."

Hypnos chuckled, "And what about what you want to say? Or rather… what you want to see?"

Hestia turned back to them, frowning. She couldn't see their face through the darkness, and their words were as confusing as always.

"What are you..."

Hypnos lifted a finger up to what should have been their mouth.

"Did you just?!"

They sighed and leaned forward, pinching her lips shut. She squeaked and struggled, wincing against the pain of her lips being pulled.

"Shush. Good Gaia you're as noisy as Zeus."

Hypnos let her go and leaned back. They curled their fist into a ball, then opened it, revealing a white, shimmering feather that seemed to shimmer with every color in existence.

"Goodnight princess."

They blew the feather from their palm to her. It landed on Hestia's forehead. She only had time to see it coming before it hit her and knocked her into a deep sleep.

From her perspective, she just blinked, and suddenly the room was different.

The cool silvers and whites of her room on top of Mount Olympus had been replaced by golds and bronzes. She looked back out the window.

The city was much closer than it had been, and almost entirely gold.

The Golden City.

Asgard.

Hestia blinked, her mind addled from sleep.

Why was she here?

"Hestia…"

She turned in a flash to the bed, going as red as her hair, and turning back to the window immediately.

The Asgardian warrior from the previous month was laying on the bed, head propped up on a fist, facing her.

With a noticeable lack of clothing.

Hestia felt her heart racing, then skip a beat as the bed creaked.

She choked slightly as she heard his soft footfalls saunter towards her, stopping right at her back.

"Hestia…"

Her breath trembled as she felt him lean down and wrap his arms around her waist and rest his chin on her shoulder, nose against her neck.

Hestia gulped and shifted, feeling something poking at the middle of her back.

His breath was warm against her neck, lips just barely brushing the skin, tickling her.

"You ask me here, but you won't even look at me? How shameful."

He kissed her neck, making shivers run down her spine. She choked again when he licked her neck from her jaw to her shoulder.

Hestia gasped as he turned her slightly, laying her out on the seat, all while nibbling at her shoulder.

Her breath trembled, heart pounding fit to burst straight from her chest, eyes fluttering closed as he licked and nibbled along her shoulder and neck, his hands tracing the curves of her waist and hips.

She felt him lean back slightly to watch her face. She shifted her head, hair splayed on the pillows, to meet his dark eyes.

"You're so beautiful in the moonlight…"

He leaned down and his lips melded with hers, a hand entwining in her hair. She took a deep breath and leaned up into him, wrapping her hands around him, one on his upper back, the other curling into his hair.

He chuckled against her lips, "Getting eager there, are we?"

She sighed softly, "You started it…"

He chuckled again, and ground softly against her, kneading her hip. The room was soon filled with the sound of the creaking from the seat, and the sound of their breaths.

Hestia took a deep breath. He smelled like pine, fresh rain water, and mead. She leaned up and kissed his neck right under his jaw. The scent in the room was more intoxicating than Dionysus' wine, sweet and warm.

His head went back to her shoulder, and she felt his teeth latch onto the sleeve of her gown and start to drag it down. His hands went to her back and tugged on the strings.

The filmy gown came undone in his hand and he tossed it across the room, towering over her, running his hands and eyes all over her, making her squirm under his touch.

He positioned himself over her, lining them up.

"Are you ready?"

She nodded, her breath caught in her throat.

He leaned down over her, breathing heavily. She looked down slightly at his hips and watched as they suddenly plunged forward.

Hestia jolted awake from a sudden meeting with cold marble. She looked around the white room, confused, hair mussed, falling in her face.

She stood, her gown hanging limp around her body, all wrinkled from her turning in her sleep. She growled, pushing her hair back, and walking to the closet.

Later that morning….

"Sorry to bother you Hecate."

The young woman looked up from her cauldron.

"Crown Princess Hestia. To what do I owe this… rare and exquisite honor?"

Hestia sat in a chair across from her and fiddled with her cloak.

"I need a protection charm."

Hecate cackled, "Worried about something happening to your precious head?"

"I don't want any more late night visits from Hypnos."

Hecate froze, and looked up.

"Hypnos?"

Hestia nodded.

"What did they do?"

"Hypnos knocked me out and put an… unsavory dream in my mind. I'm the goddess of family and maidenhood. I don't need Hypnos trying to disable my family and destroy me with temptation."

Hecate stayed frozen for a second before bursting out laughing.

"Hypnos doesn't give you dreams! They let what's in your heart and mind be seen! So your unsavory dream was of your own making."

She threw a medallion at the confused girl, "Here. It'll keep them out, if that'll do any good."

Hestia gripped it tightly, "Thank you Lady Hecate. I appreciate it. I'll take my leave now."

She stood, then clutched her chest, bent over double, coughing.

Hecate jumped up and ran to her side, "Hestia?!"

She fell to her knees, hacking. Her palms hit the ground and she coughed up a bunch of bloody white petals.

She wheezed, then her eyes rolled up in her head and she passed out face first into the bloody petals.

Later that day…

Hestia blinked wearily at the plain white ceiling.

"So is she going to be ok?"

Apollo nodded, "Yes. I removed the rose bushes, so she should be good."

Hecate nodded, "I'm glad. I'll leave her here with you to watch over her."

"No problem. Thanks for bringing her Hecate."

"No worries. I hope she gets better soon."

Hecate left the medical ward, leaving Apollo with his little sister.

He sighed, "Hes…."

Her voice was croaky, "Yeah?"

"You just made me lie to Hecate."

She sat up, "What?"

"That wasn't some rare disease. Well, it is. But not one born of an illness."

"Then, what?"

"It was Hanahaki."

"Hana-whatta?"

He sighed and sat next to her bed, "Hanahaki. The disease of unrequited love. It fills the victim's lungs with roses until they suffocate on them."

Hestia turned pale, "But I'm the goddess of maidenhood, I can't fall in love!"

"Wrong. You can. And you're the goddess of maidens. You don't technically have to be one yourself. Mostly, you're the goddess of family and the hearth. And family, well…"

She groaned and leaned back.

"It's going to come back."

"What?"

"The bushes." He adjusted his glasses, "Since this disease is born of the heart and magic, and not an illness, it can't be prevented, or cured fully."

"But you got the bushes out!"

"They'll grow right back. Faster this time, since they now have an easier path of least resistance. All I can do is remove the bushes again and again until they grow too fast to be removed."

Hestia stared at her hands, throat closing up.

He looked at the clipboard in his lap, "Judging from the rate of growth I saw, you went very well with the growth, having it barely grow for about a month. But then it almost exploded overnight."

She gulped.

"I talked to Hecate, who said you came to her for a medallion to keep Hypnos out of your room. I talked to them next, and they couldn't tell me what your dream was exactly. But from their face, I'm guessing it was of the romantic variety."

Apollo consulted his clipboard again, pushing his glasses further up the bridge of his nose. Hestia breath trembled, and her hands shook as she worried the blanket in her lap.

"Putting two and two together with your recent behavior, the Hanahaki, and Hypnos and Hecate's confessions, and the growth rate of the flowers, I'd say your condition started about a month prior to this, give or take a few days."

He looked up at her. Hestia pulled her loose hair in front of her face to shield herself.

"About a month ago, we were in Asgard. I noticed that you kept looking over at a specific guard. So." His blue eyes met her grey ones, "Anything you want to tell me before I outline a treatment plan?"

She hugged her shoulders.

"I… yeah…"

Apollo set his clipboard aside and steepled his fingers, crossing one leg over the other, "Go on."

Hestia brought her knees up to her chest, "I don't know what I felt. But when I met his eyes, I knew that I at least liked him as a person. He looked nice. He brought me a blanket that night, and I found myself squealing into the pillows when he left."

He nodded thoughtfully.

"Time passed and I kept finding myself drifting off. You've noticed how dippy I've been."

"Don't call yourself dippy, but yes, I noticed you have been extra distracted lately."

She looked off to the side, away from him, "For some reason, I just can't get his face out of my mind. And…"

"Yes?"

"Last night, I had a dream…"

"Of?"

"I was back in the room in Asgard, and he was on the bed, uhmm…"

She turned bright red, remember the dream vividly.

"Oh, I see."

"How long do I have before the bushes grow back?"

He consulted the chart, "About two weeks, give or take a couple days."

Her head drooped.

"Now, for your treatment plan, I would advise…"

She sighed and leaned back on the bed, closing her eyes.

"You should come with me and Asclepius to Asgard, when we go to check up on the Queen. You do remember when we offered our medical services to her to aid in the safety of her children. It would be lovely to have my little sister and wonderful assistant with us when we go."

He smirked at her, "and of course if we happen to see a certain guard, well, that's all for the better, isn't it?"

Hestia smiled, crying, "I'd love to help you two."

"Great." He stood and adjusted his coat, "I already have your clothes, including some nice ones, your medical books and supplies."

He pointed at the table next to him, "Just change into that in the morning, grab the bag and we'll all be ready to go."

"Apollo, thank you, so much, for everything."

He leaned forward and kissed her forehead, "Anything for my little sister." He pushed her back playfully, making her giggle, "Now get some rest, goofball. See you tomorrow."

Edited by JoJo 'Perlia' Jesus