Disclaimer: I do not own Wonder Woman or any Wonder Woman characters. I make no money from this publication.
"And this is Princess Diana of Themyscira," Professor Julia Kapatelis told yet another dignitary in rigorous black-tie.
"Pleased to meet you." The young black-haired beauty smiled brightly, extending her hand, her use of newly-learned Modern Greek still flavored by the cadences of her Themysciran dialect.
The bald, portly man muttered something inaudibly and took her hand with what appeared almost like awe. His eyes stayed on Diana's large blue eyes, under the perfectly curved dark eyebrows face framing them.
Julia smiled. She had to give him credit for staring at her face and not her chest, unlike so many others. But then, everything about Diana was really entrancing. Few were prepared to meet a real royal demigoddess in the flesh.
They had been touring Greece for a week now, as part of Diana's official duty as ambassador to the world, delivering her speeches about peace, understanding, and the improving of mankind. At her point in life, Julia no longer believed that words could sway mankind into virtue, even delivered by such extraordinary envoy, but she was glad to accompany Diana, and to help her discover the country where the Amazons had once lived. It was for Julia a return to her homeland, and for Diana, an encounter with her heritage. But for most others they met, it was just a publicity opportunity, or an item of curiosity.
"That's the last of the dirty old men," Julia said. "You've given them enough to dream about for the rest of the year."
"I thought I had dressed modestly enough."
"Well, you tried."
Wearing no make-up, Diana was dressed in a white robe covering her from neck to ankles, bound at the hips by looped golden thread, with a length of the same fabric draped over one arm. Her hair was gathered high on her head, calling attention to her graceful long neck. It was supposed to be conservative and discreet, but with Diana's curves pushing the cloth out in all directions, the outfit emphasized more than understated.
"Why must so many stare at my chest or behind, Julia? I understand there is a mammalian fixation, but there are others here with breasts larger than mine-"
"But they're twice your weight, dear, if not more! It's a matter of context. Your curves, in your frame, make quite a different effect, believe me."
Diana pursed her mouth. "I wonder how many men actually listened to my speech during the opening ceremony."
"Maybe you just made the message harder to forget."
"Ah, child, you may be the only girl I've known to be sincerely worried about being too beautiful!"
"There are more important things, Julia."
"Oh, yes. But then, these are men. They may never realize that."
"There she is, Mistress."
"Indeed," a deep, musical voice replied, with both curiosity and disdain in her tone.
"Must she be destroyed, Mistress?"
"Did her buxom charms get to you, as well?"
"Mistress, it seems a pity to waste such-"
"For once your taste is true. It would be a pity indeed. I must know more. Does the Kapatelis crone go with her everywhere?"
"It seems so."
"Arrange things, Theophilus. I want to meet her."
"Ah, we're so glad that you accepted our invitation, Princess." Theophilus Ventouras smiled broadly, leading Julia and Diana into a room large enough to stage sporting events, where the Amazon's entrance was met by hungry eyes from most of the expensively dressed guests. "You honor us with your presence."
"I hope my being here does help your fund-raiser." Diana was radiant in plain white again.
"Oh, these are the richest people in Cephalonia and all neighboring islands." He gestured widely. "To meet someone as world-famous as you, they won't mind some fleecing!"
"And here I thought the politicians were bad," Julia muttered, uncomfortable in her sober, out-of-fashion dress. As an archaeologist and scholar, she had known her share of obligatory fundraisers, but as the evening went on, her irritation with the superficiality of it all increased exponentially, along with her admiration for Diana's polite patience. She wished that Vanessa, her teenage daughter, had already joined them, as parties were for the young, after all. But perhaps this was the kind of party that Julia did not mind Vanessa missed.
"Come, Princess, there's someone else you just must meet." Theophilus led Diana to a secluded corner, taking advantage of Julia being busy at the buffet table.
"I'd rather wait for Julia."
"Will be just a minute," he insisted, and drew back a curtain that led to a small private room. "Let me introduce to you our esteemed Cassandra Colchis."
"Princess Diana, I presume?" The beautiful woman with the purple eyes had a deep, musical voice.
When Julia found Diana, the Amazon Princess was busy in fast conversation with someone who was surely a high society heiress, or maybe an actress or model: a dark-haired woman of indeterminate age, dressed in flimsy silk showcasing the length of her legs and the suppleness of her slender frame. Her long hair was bound in elaborate jeweled braids, with many long curling strands archaically decorating her unlined forehead. Most women, no matter how comely, were easily eclipsed by Diana's radiant beauty, but this woman almost held her own.
Julia disliked her immediately.
"Sorry to interrupt, Diana, but it's late, and-"
"Oh, Julia, I'm sorry. I just-"
"I'm sure Theophilus will put you... both up for the night." The strange woman smiled. "You have nothing to worry about."
"Thank you, but-"
"Of course! I already had your things brought over from the hotel," Theophilus stated casually. "And the island ferry left over an hour ago, anyway. I'm afraid you must accept my hospitality."
Julia frowned. Something told her she should indeed be afraid.
"She's fascinating!" Diana exclaimed. "And so beautiful!"
Julia shook her head. It was unlike Diana to behave like a schoolgirl. It was the Superman thing all over again.
"I suppose, if you like the slutty type."
"Oh, come on, Julia! She-"
"I'm sure she was all that," Julia said dryly. "I'm just cranky. It was a long day."
"I'm sorry, it was selfish of me."
"Oh, please, Diana! It's fine if you meet new people! You shouldn't hang around an old hag like me all the time!"
"Really? Why not?" Diana smiled, and bent down to peck Julia on the cheek.
"Go on, child, get some rest." Julia smiled as well, her foreboding forgotten.
Diana hardly noticed the luxury of the chambers she was given, her mind full of her latest acquaintance. Cassandra Colchis had engaged her in discussion as deep as her lovely eyes, and Diana had felt entranced by the older woman's words as much as by her dazzling beauty. Even the disagreements on gender politics had been stimulating and thought-expanding to the point of being thrilling.
Julia had become both her friend and surrogate mother in Patriarch's World, while Vanessa was that newfound wonder, a younger sister, but Cassandra promised to be something else, something that Diana had not found yet in this modern world.
Even when the discussion had turned to the gods of Olympus, Cassandra had continued her questions with none of the skeptical unease that all others, even Julia, always showed on the topic, almost like she already believed in their factual existence, before Diana had even spoken to assert it.
As Diana undressed, a soft knock sounded at her door, and she ran to open, glad that Julia had decided to continue chatting, full of eagerness to explain in depth her newly rising feelings to her friend and mentor.
"Julia, I'm-!" She opened the door, to find a pair of bright purple eyes meeting hers.
"I like your choice of bed wear," Cassandra Colchis said with a smile, her eyes moving down to drink of Diana's nudity.
"Cassandra?" Diana cursed herself for the stupidity of her question.
"What would you think of our hospitality if you were left to sleep in a cold bed, alone?"
After a moment's hesitation, Diana merely stepped back, and the other woman followed her into the room.
Julia groaned, trying to find a comfortable posture. The mattress was far too soft for her bad back.
They had a busy week still ahead. Hopefully they would both get a good night's rest.
Their mouths met slowly, tentatively, neither wanting to rush things, letting lips brush slowly and breaths mingle while hands slid gently over soft skin, teasing, hinting at much more to come.
Next to Diana's perfect balance of lush voluptuousness and athletic tone, Cassandra was soft and slender, long-limbed and pear-shaped, with small high breasts and dark nipples which soon became hard and compact under Diana's tongue. Yet her wiry strength surprised Diana. She had tried to be gentle at first, knowing that even her un-augmented Amazon strength was far above that of a normal woman or man, but Cassandra had a power in her frame that somehow went beyond the physical.
The silken sheets became the battleground for a slow and dreamlike contest of wills and skills, as both women sought to pleasure each other with single-minded devotion, their own pleasures magnified in the mirror of the other's flesh. Unlike the wild urgency of her recent sexual experiences, Diana found instead a soft but powerful assurance of the inevitability of mutual ecstasy that made her long to stretch each instant into lasting forever, to obliterate time itself in the delightful oasis of Cassandra's body.
Diana's first orgasm was not an explosion of release, but the first step on a staircase of pleasure that rose higher and higher, and she recognized that her skills at female lovemaking were dwarfed by those of her companion, whose touch seemed to find with magical ease every sensitive spot, to work there with true virtuosity. Even Mala, her fellow Amazon, friend and first lover ever, who had pursued lesbian sex as an art for centuries, could have learned many things from Cassandra. Diana normally took the aggressive role during sex with women, but now she relented, allowing her partner to dictate the pace and direction of their pleasures, yielding gladly to be driven to places of vast, uninterrupted bliss.
Julia stormed out of her room, enraged at the news brought by the telephone call. Despite her better judgment, Julia had allowed Vanessa to stay with her Uncle Stavros in Athens for the weekend, to attend a concert at a local festival, and see one of those noisy Euro-pop bands she loved. Stavros was supposed to bring her to Cephalonia today, so they would all travel together by boat to Ithaca, Zante, and the Arcadian and Messenian Gulfs, before flying to the Aegean Islands and Lesbos, where Diana said an Amazon city had once stood. It had all been worked out in detail, but now Vanessa had called saying that Stavros had become suddenly ill, even needing hospitalization, so of course she could not travel on her own.
Surely Stavros had overindulged on drink or food, and now the whole schedule was ruined, Julia thought as she barged into Diana's room.
"We need to reschedule everything-!"
"What? It isn't even noon yet!" Cassandra Colchis complained.
"But I should go with you."
"What for? I just need to check on Stavros and pick Vanessa up. We'll be back in no time, and I'm sure you can use the time to get better acquainted with your new friend."
"That is unfair, Julia."
Julia tightened her mouth and held back her answer. Of course an island without any men would lead to different practices, and Diana, innocent as she may appear to be, was an adult, and one with greater responsibilities and powers than most. Even if Diana was like another daughter to her, Julia knew she had no right to contest her sexual choices. But still she could not shake off her disappointment and anger. After all, they had just met. And the woman was so obviously a hussy. Did Diana have no standards at all about who she slept with?
"Maybe we both need a rest. I could use some time alone with Vanessa, too." She tried to ignore the pain in Diana's eyes as she left.
Vanessa idolized Diana. Would finding out about this incident influence her in any way? Julia did not know if she could accept that.
Nearby, the woman they knew as Cassandra Colchis smiled.
"It's all a matter of chauvinistic possessiveness. Men cannot share, so they must own, control, oppress, and ultimately deny and destroy, what they desire. It's their nature."
"But is that solely a male thing?" Diana sat by her new friend and lover at the terrace of the Ventouras state. Refreshments rested untouched at the table by their sides, and the recent calls to attend lunch had gone unheard. "Can women not be equally possessive?"
"Not the same way. A woman may develop a bond, an attachment, perhaps with a sense of entitlement, only as part of a process of sharing, where what is asked is just what is offered. Men have no such capacity for deep involvement. They just seek the superficial sense of power, of ownership. They demand and give nothing in return."
"That's far too broad a statement! I've known-"
"Look at the world, Princess, and tell me if it proves me wrong. Men rule this world, and see how it suffers for it. How can an Amazon not agree?"
"The Amazons tried in the past to supplant the rule of men, and paid for their mistake, for becoming just as extremist and narrow-minded as men. Our philosophy has changed. Balance is needed, not an inversion of roles. And balance is born of understanding."
"Perhaps. But can a man understand a woman, or even himself? See this world of greed and war. Man would destroy his own future. Are they above the irrational urges of beasts at all?"
Diana's reply was interrupted by a sudden explosion, as part of the estate burst into flame, and concussive force threw Cassandra off her chair to the stone-paved floor.
"Are you alright?" Diana's question was full of concern as she helped Cassandra back to her feet. Receiving an affirmative, Diana turned and rushed off to the burning edifice, her feet not touching the ground.
"Ah, she can fly indeed." Cassandra brushed dirt off her stylish dress and stared at the Amazon Princess in action. "Impressive."
The explosion had taken place near the dining room where lunch was to be held, destroying a whole side of the building. Entering through the shattered wall, Diana picked up three unconscious guests from behind the remains of the bar and took them outside, to the nearby lawn. Returning to the building, she heard the ceiling above her groan and shake, as the burning structure supporting the upper floor began to collapse. Knowing that others could still be under the piles of debris, she flew up to support the damaged central beam, ignoring the heat on her hands.
"ANYONE STILL HERE?" she asked, as fire continued to spread all around her.
A man groaned in pain somewhere close.
"HELP! SOMEONE PULL HIM OUT!" Diana called, but servants and guests alike dared not to approach, as flames rose and smoke billowed all about. Not knowing the man's specific location, Diana did not know if she could leave the beam and find him amidst the smoke fast enough to pull him out safely. Yet the structure continued to break apart and would fall down around them soon. She would survive but he would not. She had to risk it.
"I guess lunch is ruined." Cassandra walked into the ruined place, ignoring the flames. Her hands wove complex patterns in trailing purple light. "Find the poor man, will you? I'll hold this mess up."
To her astonishment, Diana felt the weight of the beam lessen and then disappear.
"I was not hungry anyway."
"The bomb was likely meant for me, you see," Cassandra said. "Small people cannot bear anyone better than them."
"The authorities will be here soon, and our presence may just cause poor Theophilus further complications. Perhaps we'd better continue chatting at my own place."
"Your own place?"
"Aea, a small island of my own, near here, I can answer your questions there."
"Aea?" Diana's eyes opened wide.
"You recognize the name?" The purple-eyed woman smiled.
"The same of Homer's tale?"
"Yes, I was not called Cassandra Colchis back then, of course."
The island was lushly covered by wild vegetation, and the white marble estate sprawled tastefully among the greenery.
"Welcome back, Mistress." The tall, dour-faced man in the black suit bowed deeply as the two women approached.
"There was another attempt, Nikkos. At Theophilus'," Cassandra said. "I expect results today."
"Will be done, Mistress."
"We shall be taking a bath. Arrange it." Cassandra reached for Diana's hand. "Come; let me show you my domains."
"Should I still call you Cassandra?"
"Oh, Circe will do."
"-They had been pigs all along, of course. My arts only made it literal. And pigs they were even after I undid the spell." They approached a wide but shallow pool in the open terrace, already filled with steaming hot water.
"But did you really love him?"
"I believed him... different from the others," Circe replied after a moment's hesitation. "But after a year of basking in my attentions, he chose to leave, to return to Ithaca. It was his possession, you see, just like that cow Penelope. Men just cannot give up their possessions, even in the face of true happiness. Odysseus was no exception."
Diana heard the bitterness in those words, and her own disappointments regarding Superman and all other men she had known in Patriarch's World paled in comparison. Feeling more than ever that maybe the sorceress was the equal she had sought, Diana cast her misgivings aside, and approached her, placing a hand on her shoulder.
"Circe," Diana whispered, calling her by her real name for the first time.
Circe turned about and pulled Diana to her. Her hands removed the Amazon's soiled clothing while their lips met, and both moved into the soothing heat of the bath, which soon paled compared to that of their bodies.
Stars and a bright full moon filled cloudless skies, and they continued under that faint light, until Diana finally fell back, breathless, her arms and upper back on the pool's edge, the water level with her heaving chest, and her eyes closed in sated contentment.
Circe then stood up, so the water was at her thighs, and clapped her hands, her eyes shining.
"Let's make it more interesting."
Two tall figures approached from the terrace's sides, broad chests and shoulders and narrow hips marking them as males. After a slight reverence, they moved into the pool.
Diana frowned. "Who-?"
"They serve me." Circe's hands moved to caress the muscular limbs of the new arrivals, drawing both to her. "They can serve us both."
"I -I don't think-"
"You think too much," Circe laughed, and pushed one of her servants towards Diana, before turning to kiss the one she held back.
His pupils were large and liquid, astonishingly golden in color. The hand reaching for her was covered by a soft, silken down. He smiled, and his teeth gleamed white under the moonlight, the pointed canines larger than normal.
"No, thank you." Diana pulled away, and lifted herself off the water to sit on the pool's edge. "I'd rather not."
"Would you prefer mine? Or another one?"
"No! Sorry, I just can't. Not with a stranger that I-"
"I was a stranger, too."
"I felt like I'd always known you," Diana whispered, though she wondered what she could really believe.
"Watch us, then." Circe drew the servant back to her, while the other one embraced her from behind.
The sex was rough and frantic. Sharp nails and teeth worried flesh while they struggled in erotic abandon, and the waters churned violently around them. Circe was simultaneously entered from front and behind, and urged her partners on to greater efforts with shrill cries and gasps that joined their grunts and groans in discordant harmonies. These noises became wilder and more growl-like as the sex progressed, and the torchlight reflected in the churning waters cast dancing shadows and highlights on the joined bodies, and Circe's lovers seemed hairier and more muscular. Diana's eyes caught every detail of the feverish tryst, and a heat restarted in her loins, urging her to touch herself, to echo the passion she was witnessing. Circe turned then to stare at her, and Diana felt her whole attention captured by the wild passion held in those eyes. Circe's voiced demands became more and more urgent, but her large purple eyes never left those of the Amazon even during her evident culmination.
As her lovers withdrew silently, Circe dove into the water, to rise up with a smile, slicking back her wet hair with her hands. "Good for a warm-up," she said, breathlessly. "Did you enjoy watching us?"
Diana blushed, realizing that she had been touching herself after all.
"Did you feel tempted to join?" Circe waded towards Diana, her servants in tow, their visages darkened.
"Yes," Diana replied honestly. "But-"
"I knew you would." Circe caressed Diana's muscular thighs where she sat, asking them to open to her touch. "You just need to learn to let go." Her mouth dove at the wet junction of the Amazon's legs.
Diana closed her eyes, surrendering to the delicious skills of the sorceress, soon allowing Circe to pull her back into the pool. Their mouths joined and both turned during their embrace, so Circe was back to the marble wall of the pool, and Diana felt another pair of strong hands touch her from behind. She tensed at this, but Circe's touch begged her to accept it, and soon the Amazon Princess relaxed under the combined caresses.
"Now you do me." Circe moved out of the water to sit at the pool's edge, spreading her legs.
Diana leaned forward, her shoulders and arms above the water, anxious to taste again Circe's intoxicating flavor, and wondered if she would also taste the seed Circe had received from her lovers, or if the waters had washed it away. The sorceress soon grabbed onto the Amazon's hair in appreciation, and whispered soft, loving obscenities. Taking advantage of her position, the servant behind Diana slid his hands from her slender waist to her wide hips, preparing to enter her.
"What? No, I-?" Diana stirred, but Circe held hard onto her hair, keeping her from moving away, from denying what was to come.
"Accept it," Circe muttered hoarsely. "Enjoy it."
Diana hesitated, looking up at Circe with worry, but did not pull away, as she could have. Her eyes closed with momentary pain as the servant started entering her, the tightness of her sex making the progress of his hot, rigid member difficult, despite the water around them and her own wetness. He began to thrust back and forth, and each motion let him slide deeper into her, until she felt him slap against her buttocks, the wet hairiness of his hips an afterthought in the undeniably rising pleasure of the coupling.
"Nice and big, isn't it?" Circe laughed, pulling Diana's hair, urging her to continue the oral ministrations, making the young amazon even more aroused, more aware of the multiple sensations contributing to her rising pleasure, of the delicious taste of Circe's sex in her mouth, of the vigorous thrusting from behind that drove her closer and closer to orgasm. But Circe beat her to the climax fast, and the sorceress slid back into the pool, kissing Diana hungrily before moving to a side, into the arms of the waiting second servant, her desire far from sated. Diana reached forward to the pool wall facing her, as her male lover increased the tempo of his thrusts, becoming more and more violent in his motions. She then felt Circe press next to her, hip to hip. They turned to each other and their excitement grew higher as their stares locked, both drinking of the mirrored passion in the other's eyes, while their respective lovers serviced them from behind.
Finally the pleasure grew too intense to hold. Closing her eyes, Diana pressed her forehead to the pool wall. Her knees almost slipped on the pool's tiled floor, while her lover pounded her with savage strength and speed, his torso pressed against her back now, his wet hairy skin rubbing against her own smooth one. She moaned, feeling orgasm approach, but did not want to come yet, wanting Circe to join her in climax. The sorceress was crying out loudly her pleasure; much more vocal than Diana, she had been moaning and squealing almost from the start. Diana turned then to look at Circe, and her eyes opened wide in shock and horror.
Circe was lost in her pleasure, eyes closed and head shaking from side to side, arms trembling as she held to the pool wall precariously, crying out her feverish excitement. Glancing back, Diana was then struck by the larger picture, by the sight of the large hairy creature mounting the lovely sorceress. The quadruped body retained suggestions of humanoid shape, but the dark-furred frame and limbs, and the elongated head with its open, slavering jaws were undeniably inhuman. Diana gasped in shock, and twisted to behold over her shoulder her own lover, still more human than Circe's, but changing with each second. The handsome exotic features become more and more bestial as he lay over her, thrusting into her depths with a wild urgency she now recognized as fully beast-like.
Diana knew she had to stand up, to stop this awful act, to escape and save Circe as well from that thing possessing her, but her body sidestepped her horrified consciousness, having continued along its own instinctive path, and before volition could become action, with an overflow of sensation that almost drowned her fear and shock, Diana found herself at the verge of a powerful, violent orgasm.
She pulled away violently, an instant before reaching her climax, throwing off her now even more bestial lover in abrupt denial of her body's demands. Just then Circe cried out her own orgasm, and Diana saw that whatever had once been human in her partner was now fully gone, and the sorceress trembled in the throes of her climax while mounted by a massive, savage-looking wolf-like creature.
A low growl called her attention, and Diana turned to see the servant she had just thrown off, fangs bared in angry protest, his feline body crouching near her.
"Merciful Hera," Diana whispered. An animal. They had been coupling with animals.
"Would you have preferred a canine?" Circe asked casually, stepping away from the pool, while a short man in a dark suit brought her a long silken robe. "I find them best myself, too."
"No, no." Diana stood away from Circe, her blue eyes following the wet beasts as they were led away by other, apparently human servants, that tugged on heavy chains. Circe. She should have suspected. "I did not-"
"Oh, please!" Circe shrugged, gesturing for another robe to be given to Diana. "You had mated with beasts before, no?"
"But-" Diana began, confused, remembering what she had experienced in the Netherworlds of Tartarus during the Challenge of the Gods. She wondered whether she could consider all that had happened in those magical realms as fully real. But then, Circe's creatures clearly were also magical, though this was the real world. "I... have, yes, but-"
"Then you know no human male can compare for a good, hard fuck, Diana. I thought we could share such pleasures, too."
Diana did not know what to think. She took the robe offered her, and saw that the slender youth who bore it was lightly covered in faint fur as well. He did not meet her eyes.
"Were they men you changed into beasts, or beasts you made into men?"
"Is there any difference?"
"I thought your magic work only within this island."
"So it was, centuries ago," Circe sat at a table covered with plentiful delicacies, and with a gesture, invited Diana to join her. "But a small understanding with Hecate increased my power."
"Hecate? The witch goddess?"
"The Crone aspect of the Trinity of the Moon. Not as popular as Artemis among the rabble, but more helpful of her followers. In a way, we are both avatars of higher powers, Diana; though the Olympians may have scorned my Patroness, just like men unwisely scorned me."
"The Olympians are not infallible." Diana's own words surprised her. Once she would have thought it blasphemy, but the Challenge of the Gods had taught her to see the deities in different sight. "But-"
A deep voice cut in. "Excuse me, My Mistress."
"You'd better have good reason to interrupt us, Nikkos," Circe said coldly.
"You asked for results today, Mistress." Nikkos bade other servants to enter, dragging in two struggling young men, their clothes ripped to shreds. "These were the ones responsible."
"Good work, Nikkos." Circe smiled mirthlessly. "You'll be rewarded later, at my chambers."
She stood up, her green robes flowing around her, and approached the captives. Both were barely teenagers, and their eyes were full of fear.
"Who organized it?" Circe approached them. "Who leads your pathetic little group?"
"You can kill us! But we won't-"
"There are worse things than death," Circe hissed.
"What are you doing?" Diana interrupted.
"She enslaves our people!" the youth cried out. "Turns them into her pets! She-!"
"Be silent, scum." Circe's gesture made his mouth close unnaturally. "These fools sought my death. They must be punished for their crime."
"You only have your man's word of their guilt-"
"Nikkos can never lie to me. Nor can the sentries I have everywhere. I need no other evidence."
"If they are responsible, then you must turn them over to the local authorities."
Circe turned around, and laughed. "You are so naive! The only authority that matters in these islands is mine."
"But you cannot-"
"Please leave us, Princess, if you have no stomach for justice. We can talk later."
Diana stepped forward.
"You cannot kill them. These are not the old days anymore, Circe."
"All days are mine if I wish so, Diana. Do not argue with me in front of my servants."
"I cannot let you kill them."
Circe's eyes narrowed, and her voice changed as she spoke: "You are not just naive, Diana, you are ignorant. You know nothing about this place, this world, Princess of the Amazons. Your people ran away to a hidden island for a reason; their ideals could never survive in reality. Not then, not now. But I've been here, living for centuries in the shadow of man's madness and incompetence. I understand reality." She stepped closer to the amazon. "I can teach you, Diana. You can be my pupil, my partner, my lover. Or you can choose to oppose my will. But believe me, it would be better if you ran back to hide at your puny island, than dare to defy me."
Diana's blue eyes did not waver matching Circe's stare. "I cannot let you kill them."
Circe's mouth closed in a tight grimace, and the look of bitter disappointment in her eyes almost broke Diana's resolve; almost.
"So be it, amazon. You spurn my wisdom, and my love, as Odysseus did. In my youthful folly, I let him go freely." Her voice was steel now, cold and cutting. "But I've grown wiser, and you, I now brand my enemy."
"It doesn't have to be like that, Circe. Just let-"
"It must be like that," Circe said, and purple fire sprang from her fingers.
Their fight was as brutal as their lovemaking had been tender.
Circe's servants changed into hideous hybrids of men and beast, and charged at Diana, to aid their mistress, but their animalistic strength was no match for the full power of Wonder Woman, and they were easily defeated. Circe alone was the true threat.
Blasts of unholy fire sought the flying heroine, and garden trees and marble constructs alike came alive, trying to trap her in their reshaped grasps. Diana tore off a chunk of marble from a shattered column to throw as a missile against Circe, but the sorceress blasted it to dust.
"Please Circe! We don't have to fight!"
"Yes, we do, you ungrateful bitch!" Circe spat. Her eyes shone with inspiration and she moved to the corner where the bound captives still crouched. As she waved her hands and muttered gutturally, both young men began to shift and change, while screaming in pain. "Once under my spell, they are mine to command! I can order them to kill each other, unless you come down to me!"
The transformed youths pounced on each other, snarling like the savage wolves they grew to resemble. Blood soon stained their fangs and claws.
"NO!" Diana cried out, and flew down to face Circe.
"Good," Circe said, unleashing a new blast of furious power. "Die now."
Diana stood her ground, both arms held up before her, focusing her will on the crossed bracelets, channeling her Olympian-given power to withstand the barrage of eldritch energies. Pain coursed her body and her skin began to burn, but she began to walk towards Circe.
Circe continued her attack, knowing that the Amazon was fast enough to knock her unconscious between beats of her heart if she relented, and the energy discharge rose in power. Seeing Wonder Woman continue her slow approach despite this, Circe mumbled a dozen words, and her animorphic servants woke up and rose all about the ruined chamber. Answering her command, they surrounded the Amazon and began to close in to her, fangs and claws gleaming in the remaining light.
Diana knew she could not resist Circe's attack while also fighting her creatures off. Gritting her teeth, and using all her concentration to hold her balance and resistance, she lifted one leg up, bringing her knee close to her chest. With a grunt, she brought her foot down against the marble floor.
The stomp made the whole palace shudder, and Circe fell to the ground, startled, stopping her attack. Diana used this to free the golden thread she still wore as makeshift belt, as she flew up. The magic lasso sprang from her hands under her will, and its noose surrounded the baffled animorphs, before closing and gathering all of them into a single clump.
"WHAT IS YOUR TRUE NATURE?" As Diana shouted, the fire of Hestia ran through the lasso. The bestial creatures screeched in response, and with a hard tug, Diana threw them all at Circe.
"You devious bitch!" Circe gasped, with what almost sounded like admiration. She shaped her magicks into a sphere of protection, as around her the servants began reverting to their true shapes, some becoming men, some beasts, but all turning on her as their bestial minds were momentarily freed from slavery. Dozens of changing voices growled or yelled at her. "But your trick will not free them for long!"
To the surprise of both Diana and Circe, loud gunfire erupted from a side corridor, and several armed men and women entered the room, aiming their weapons at the sorceress.
"KILL THE WITCH!" Many among the still-shifting animorphs echoed the cry, but hands, claws and bullets could not pierce Circe's magic protection.
"DIANA!" The call was from a voice that the Amazon Princess instantly recognized. She rushed to embrace Julia in the incongruous guerilla outfit.
"You'll all pay," Circe muttered, waving her hands at the new arrivals. "I needed a change of service staff anyway."
The men and women continued their shooting, unfazed, the purple fires raging harmlessly about them.
"Molly," Julia explained, showing Diana the improvised bracelet on her wrist, shared by all the new arrivals. "The humble herb that, as Hermes told Odysseus, could negate Circe's transformation power. Being an old scholar has it uses, after all."
"Molly? MOLLY?" Circe asked incredulously, as her magic dissipated harmlessly around her new enemies. Cruder manifestations of power could still work, but Wonder Woman had turned to face her again, and most of her former servants had run away, escaping the many ricocheting bullets. Several paces away, Nikkos lay fallen in a puddle of blood.
There was no use in fighting a losing battle.
"We will meet again, Amazon, and debts shall be paid," Circe snarled.
Purple fire exploded, filling Circe's entire palace, and as it faded, the witch was gone, along with all evidence of her presence.
Men and women cried with relief and happiness, hugging nude long-lost relatives. Even those who saw familiar faces among the dead still joined in the celebration. They were at last free of Circe's shadowy reign.
"The Resistance contacted Stavros, to try to draw us away from Circe, from this place where she controlled all local officials through her magic or wealth," Julia explained. "They hoped for your help, but my foolish jealousy almost ruined everything. I'm sorry, Diana, I-"
"You were right about her, Julia." Dianafs voice was hoarse. "I was the one being foolish. I hoped-"
Julia shook her head. "Hope is never foolish."
Diana nodded, and looked away, tears running down her face.