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Ariadne stared at the face in the polished oval of brass and could not believe it was hers. The full lips were dyed a shocking dark red, as if stained with wine—or blood—the dark lines of kohl that outlined her large, black eyes made them look deep and knowing, and the way her shining black hair was dressed, in an elaboration of loops and braids and falling ringlets plus the two thick locks curling in front of her ears, made her look ten years older. Until this morning she had worn it in two thick plaits like any other child.

"Yes, yes," a sharp voice said. "You are very beautiful—as am I—but that's no reason to spend the day staring at yourself. We must be at the shrine when the sun rises. Stand up so you can be dressed."

Silently Ariadne laid down the brass mirror and turned to face her mother. It was true that Pasiphae was beautiful—and not only in flickering torchlight. Even in bright sun light, no one would believe that Ariadne was Pasiphae's seventh child or that there was an eighth, Phaidra. Both Pasiphae's face and her body seemed unmarked by the sons and daughters she had provided her lord, King Minos. Perhaps, Ariadne thought sadly, it was because she hardly noticed the children she had borne . . . except when they could be useful.

Like today, when her daughter would be consecrated as high priestess of Dionysus so that Pasiphae herself, queen and high priestess of Potnia, the Snake Goddess, wouldn't need to be bothered conducting the rites of a minor godling whose shrine had been built to satisfy common vine growers and winemakers. Ariadne swallowed hard as she allowed a servant to slip off the loose gown in which she had been combed and painted and wrap around her the white, many-tiered bell skirt, embroidered elaborately in the same wine red her lips had been dyed. When it was fastened with the rich gold girdle wound twice around her waist and tied so the ends fell to about midthigh, Ariadne thrust her arms through the sleeves of the bodice and stood while the servant laced it up below her bare breasts. Even the tightest lacing and the firmest boning could do little for them. Barely swelling, they were a child's breasts.

The servant tskd. Pasiphae frowned and said, "Can you do nothing to make her look like a woman?"

"But I'm not a woman," Ariadne said. "No lacing or padding will make me more than a child."

It was a reproach, but it glanced off Pasiphae's perfect armor of self-interest. She said, "Well, it is unfortunate that your grandmother died sooner than expected, but your moon times have come upon you so you do qualify. It's most unlikely that you will need to prove yourself a woman."

That, Ariadne had to admit, probably was true. The god of the vine was supposed to mate ritually with his high priestess at the equinoxes and solstices, but Dionysus had not actually appeared in the shrine in two or three generations. It was enough for the ritual, apparently, that the priestess be there, on the altar, ready to accommodate him.

If he had never appeared, Ariadne would have been rather pleased with her appointment. A seventh child, third daughter, had little enough importance even in a king's household. It would be very nice to have duties to perform and a special place and purpose that was all her own. But there were records that the god had appeared—quite often when her great-great-aunt was priestess—and Ariadne wasn't really ready to offer her body in public as a symbol of the earth to be ploughed and set with seed so that the grapes on the hill sides would flourish.

Not that she had any choice. The high priestess must be either the queen herself or a royal virgin dedicated and married to the god. Since her two older sisters were married and Phaidra was almost two years younger than she, once her mother refused the office there was no one else. That meant that Ariadne would have no human husband, but that had its good side as well as its bad. Her older sisters had had the best of the men of sufficient status and wealth. She would have had to take a man of lesser family or an older man. And even among the best, one sister at least had been bitterly disappointed in her marriage. The god would make few demands, if he ever made any, and she would have a household of her own in the shrine. . . . 

Buried in her thoughts, Ariadne hadn't been aware of the final touches made to her toilette until her mother turned her toward the door and gave her a push. Obedient to her duty, she went forward down the long corridor to the colonnaded chamber that opened on the wide, formal stairway. As she started down, voices rose in a hymn from the youths and maidens gathered in the open court below. They would never leap the bulls for her, Ariadne thought; that was for the Snake Goddess, not for a godling of the vine growers.

The voices rose to a crescendo as she reached the foot of the stair and the singers, her eldest brother Androgeos in the forefront, parted before her and then fell in behind as she started across. It was not all bad to be deprived of presiding over the bull dancing either, Ariadne thought. Oh, it was a high honor, a symbol of power, to be seated before the great golden horns while the bull dancers performed, but it was horrible when one slipped and was gored or trampled and the evil omen had to be explained. She would have no more to do than to lie on an altar four times a year to provide the hope of a good crop of grapes.

Greatly cheered by that thought, Ariadne walked the last painted corridor and went out the northwestern entrance of the palace. Torchbearers had been waiting at the doorway and now they marched to either side, torches held high. More torches flanked the ranks of singers who followed her. In fact the torches weren't altogether necessary; every window in every house on the Royal Road was open, torchlit, and full of watchers and the sky was already paling.

Not that Ariadne had need of torches or sunlight to find her way. The Royal Road was as familiar as the corridor between the toilet and her bedchamber. She even knew exactly how far it was to the great highway. Before she had quite completed the two hundred paces, Ariadne's confident stride faltered. Ahead were more torches, some of these waving so that the flames guttered and roared, and voices, louder, coarser voices, also singing. A hand flat on her back prodded her.

"Go on," Pasiphae's voice urged. "Those are your worshipers. Don't disappoint them."

To save herself from falling under the pressure on her back, Ariadne stepped forward and then stepped forward again. Her mouth was dry. Don't disappoint them! But what if she did? Would they tear her apart as worshipers of Dionysus were known to do? And then she chided herself for being so silly. Certainly they wouldn't harm her now, before she was even consecrated. And very few, if any, would be able to get into the shrine grounds, so they would know only what her mother and father chose to tell them. And they had never harmed her grandmother, even though the god never came to her call and sometimes the wine was bad or the harvest failed.

She turned into the great road and, despite all her reasoning, shuddered slightly. She had just remembered that her grandmother had been queen as well as priestess, doubly protected. As far as she could see, all the way up Gypsades Hill, there were torches. This "godling" that her mother scorned was either loved or feared by many more worshipers than ever attended the rites of the Snake Goddess. Of course, these were common folk and of no great account. . . . And then she heard her mother's voice again, low and sharp.

"I had no idea—"

So, common as they were, these folk were of account, Ariadne thought, at least in sufficient numbers. That was important to remember, but she became aware of the quickened pace of the singing around her. She was being urged to hurry, and realized that the torches were paling to nothing; the sky was much lighter. Fortunately she didn't need to be at the shrine until the sun topped Gypsades Hill itself and that would be some time after it cleared the lowest horizon.

Still, it was a near thing. The light was actually glinting off the gilded vine leaves of Dionysus' crown when Ariadne reached the altar and swung around to face those who followed her, seeing with some relief, that it was indeed mostly those of Knossos who filled the small courtyard. Her father had joined her mother at the foot of the stairs in the palace and had walked with them. Now he came forward and the singers burst out again into an invocation. When the voices died, King Minos kissed Ariadne's forehead, and prayed aloud, formally renouncing into the hands of the god Dionysus his rights as king and father over her as a daughter. Again the chorus rose, and during the singing, from out of a door to the left of the large painting behind the altar, came two rather elderly priests and two priestesses.

A new hymn rose in the air. Ariadne joined in this one, which praised the god and begged him to show his favor and bless his priestess and her land with his virility. The priestesses carried a brightly polished scrying bowl; the priests a large rhyton. Her father now backed away. The priestess held out the scrying bowl; Ariadne took it and, speaking the arcane words she had been taught, turned to the one of the priests, who poured a dark red wine into the bowl. When it was full to within a fingerwidth of the top, Ariadne knelt down—with considerable care not to spill the wine—and set the bowl into a hollow at the foot of the altar.

The sun was now well up into the sky and its light struck the highly polished rim and the dark surface of the wine, rippled by the slight unsteadiness of Ariadne's grip when she set down the bowl. Glare and glitter flashed back into Ariadne's eyes. The chorus was quiet now and Ariadne alone raised her voice.


A very great distance away, across a sea and a range of mountains, in a gleaming marble city called Olympus, Dionysus lifted his head from his pillow and cocked it. Someone was Calling him. He sat up and looked around. The large room was empty and silent, but the Call came again, clear and sweet, inside his head. Smiling, for he was one of the youngest among the great mages and he still took a mildly amused pleasure in having worshipers who believed him a god, he hopped out of bed and padded into the next chamber. Here a carved stone table held a flagon of wine and a cup. Dionysus dreamed mad dreams often and wakened with a dry mouth. He poured the wine into the cup and, as the Call came a third time, looked in.

Dionysus' breath drew in sharply. Instead of his own image, an enchanting female face looked up out of the wine's dark surface. The girl's eyes widened with surprise and he could see her draw breath as sharply as he had. He smiled.

"Come, godly Dionysus, come to me," she called.

His smile broadened. "I come," he said and gestured. The surface of the wine became empty. Still watching the cup, Dionysus asked, "Where?"

An image formed. Dionysus frowned. Knossos. He had not been Called from Knossos for . . . he could not remember how long, but very long. He stood a moment, the lips of his wide, generous mouth turned down, remembering pain. The priestess had been lover and friend and then, for no reason he could tell, had turned away from him, stopped Calling. He had missed talking to her for she was very wise and could often make sense of the Visions that tormented him. Once he had gone to the shrine without being Called, to ask the priestess why she was angry with him, but there had been a strange woman there who said she was queen and priestess and shrieked and threatened him. He should have torn her apart, but he hadn't been in the throes of frenzy, only startled, and he had "leapt" home to Olympus.

Later he had realized that his priestess no longer presided in the shrine. He had thought of returning, of demanding that his own priestess be brought back, but then he had become embroiled with Pentheus who was persecuting his followers and by the time he had seen to Pentheus' punishment, it had occurred to him that natives had far, far shorter lives than Olympians, that his priestess had not been young when she first Called him; she must be dead. His throat tightened. He still missed her.

He turned away from the cup, eyes staring blindly, sorry he had answered the Call. Mingling with natives . . . He had been warned against that, warned that they were always trouble—and it had been true. Dionysus turned his head fretfully, and his full lips thinned. But he had said he would come. He hesitated, knowing that the other Olympians did not regard a promise to the native folk very seriously. Perhaps, he thought, but he did not lie, not even to natives. And then a slow smile curved his lips, which parted to say the words that initiated the spell to translocate him to his shrine at Knossos. The woman's face had been very beautiful, very different from the beauty of the Olympians. They were all bright gold, she a dark mystery with her shining black hair and the bottomless black pools that were her eyes. If she were the new priestess . . . 

* * *

For some time after the face disappeared from the scrying bowl, Ariadne remained on her knees staring into the blank surface of the wine. Had she really seen that strange face, so different from any she had ever seen before? On the still surface of the wine she painted the face again. His skin was pale, almost as white as polished limestone, and his hair a mass of golden curls tumbling down to touch darker golden brows. Below those his eyes, too large, too brilliant, glinted a blue paler than the ocean. Between those startling eyes a fine, straight nose, and below it the generous mouth with beautifully shaped lips that had parted a little with surprise when the eyes focused on her and then smiled sweetly. When she had seen that smile, she had Called with all her heart, "Come, godly Dionysus, come to me." And she had heard him reply. Surely she hadn't imagined that—but then the face was gone.

A hand touched Ariadne's shoulder and she blinked, realizing she had been staring into the scrying bowl for a long time. Slowly she rose to her feet, lifted the bowl and handed it to one of the priestesses, who poured from it into a cup, which she offered Ariadne. Automatically, still wondering if she had seen or imagined that face in the bowl, and how she could have imagined something she had never seen before, Ariadne sipped the wine. When she had drunk a little from the cup, she held it out and the priest who still held the rhyton took it from her. The other took the scrying bowl from the priestess and both walked back to the door behind the altar.

The worshipers began to sing again and the priestesses advanced on Ariadne. At first, she didn't understand their purpose, all she saw was their serene and indifferent expressions and her chest suddenly felt hollow. They hadn't seen anything in the scrying bowl and they hadn't heard the voice answering her. Her head drooped and tears stung her eyes. For a moment she had thought she had touched the god, that he would answer her Call. And then she felt the hands on the laces of her bodice, on the tie of her belt. They were going to undress her, lay her naked on the altar to wait for a god who would never come!

Ariadne's eyes flashed over the heads of the priestesses to the witnesses below: her mother, half smiling with satisfaction because it was not she who would be exposed to no purpose; her father, serious, perhaps hopeful but ready to accept the lack of response; Androgeos, eyes lowered, head turned slightly away, sympathetic enough to desire not to see her shame but helpless; the courtiers, already whispering, mildly contemptuous. Well, she would not be shamed. Her hands rose and pushed the priestesses away.

"The ritual is for me to perform," she cried.

She saw the shock in their faces, heard gasps and cries from the people ranged below the dais, saw the glance each priestess gave the other to judge whether they should seize her and force her. Then a strong voice came from behind.

"I have come."

The crowd cried out with one voice and Ariadne spun on her heel to look across the altar at the painting of the god. It still glowed on the wall, the right hand of the god holding a vine from which depended a cluster of ripe grapes and the left resting lightly on the shoulder of a young satyr, who nuzzled his horned head against one of the god's thighs while one cleft hoof rubbed shyly the back of a goatlike hairy leg. Now before it stood a living being—living, but not a man, Ariadne thought. She had never seen a man so tall or so strong, with the skin exposed by his scant tunic the color of milk and hair seemingly of coiled gold wires.

"Dionysus," she whispered, stretching her hands toward him over the altar.

He stared at her, his too-large eyes open wider than she had seen them in the scrying bowl, but his face bore no more expression than that of the painting behind him. Ariadne heard two soft thumps. The priestesses had fallen to the floor, either in obeisance or in a faint. She wondered whether Dionysus was waiting for her to flatten herself and press her face to the floor and felt bitterly disappointed. The sweet smile that had drawn that last Calling from her had held nothing of that kind of pride.

From the waiting crowd came gasps and whimpers, rustles, as robes stiff with jewels and metal-thread embroidery creased and crumpled while their wearers sank to the floor, but Ariadne didn't, couldn't, move. And then the god did. He whispered a word she didn't understand and made a gesture, and the sounds from behind her were cut off as if a door had closed.

"You Called me?" he asked.

"Yes, Lord Dionysus," she whispered, tears in her trembling voice. "It is the ritual. It is done at each change of season."

"I heard no Call last solstice nor for many, many years before that."

"That was while the old priestess, my father's mother, served your shrine. I don't know what she did wrong that you didn't hear her. She died and I was chosen to take her place." She swallowed. She couldn't say that she had wanted him to come. A god might be able to read her heart; if he learned she was lying . . . "I performed the ritual very exactly."

"But you are only a little girl, a child. How dare they offer me so unripe a fruit."

His eyes passed over her to stare at the kneeling worshipers beyond. Although his face still showed little, Ariadne heard the fury in his voice and terror caught at her. She had no idea what would be done to her if he rejected her. That had never happened in all the time the shrine had existed. He had come in the distant past, and the wines of Crete had been prized and praised in every land. Then the priestess died and some past queen had wanted the glory of being Dionysus' priestess as well as queen. In that she failed, for the god hadn't come to her Calling nor to the following queen/priestesses, but he had never rejected a priestess.

If her father did not sacrifice her there at the altar, Ariadne thought, the people would tear her to bits. She drew her hands back from their reach toward the god and clasped them desperately under her barely swelling breasts. Tears began to course down her cheeks, smearing the kohl that lined her eyes. She hadn't felt ready for mating, but surely that would be better than to be turned away.

"I'm not unripe," she sobbed. "My moon times have come. I'm ready for marriage. Oh, don't turn me away, my lord. The people will tear me to bits for displeasing you."

"Tear you to bits . . ."

Something flickered behind his eyes—knowledge of such frenzies? Horror? Ariadne began to tremble as she remembered the stories about the winter worship, not that in the shrine but out on the hills and in the forests when it was said the followers of Dionysus went mad and tore beasts and men apart with teeth and nails. When he hadn't come to the shrine, had he led those worshipers? The breath caught in her throat as he suddenly strode forward, stepped onto the altar, and pulled her up beside him.

"Don't weep, child," he said, putting an arm gently around her shoulders and drawing her close. "I won't harm you. You don't displease me. But those who chose so unfit a sacrifice—"

Relief made her bold enough to glance up at him. He was again looking out at the crowd of people. His eyes were clear blue, very pale, bright and hard as polished gems—mad and merciless. And in them Ariadne Saw, but not with her eyes, father and mother, brother and courtiers, all gone mad, striking and tearing at each other, covered with blood.

She couldn't bear to look and couldn't look away. Fear made her sick. Her stomach churned; her heart pounded so hard she felt a tearing pain around it—pain so great she sagged against Dionysus' side. He looked down and the Vision of chaos faded. Instead she Saw a covering around her heart unfold, like the petals of a strange flower. They held the beating heart at their center, and as that flower pulsed, a mist of gently swaying silver strands flowed out toward Dionysus. When they touched him, she breathed in deeply as feeling and knowledge flowed back along the strands to her.

Had less happened to her that day, had she not seen a god appear and heard him speak to her, she wouldn't have believed what she felt and saw inside her head. Awe made her receptive. She knew she had received a Gift, given when she was consecrated to make her a true priestess. Through that Gift she could read her god's will and she knew that he felt belittled and abused, and that his Power was to make those who scorned him punish themselves through holy frenzy. But it was understanding that had come to her through those tenuous silver strands, not fear. Her weakness had distracted him. The people were still safe.

"My lord," she cried softly, gripping his arm with one hand and winding the other in his tunic, "there was no one else. I am the eldest virgin daughter of the king. You were offered the best my father and mother had to give."

"The eldest virgin daughter," he repeated, now looking down at her, his voice puzzled rather than angry. "Is that the custom?"

"A royal virgin," Ariadne said, smiling up at him tremulously. "Is that not your demand? If it isn't, I will make clear what you do desire to my father and have it written in the records of the shrine so there is no mistake in the future. But I hope you won't turn me away. Please? I wish to serve you. I am ready. Truly I am."

He laughed suddenly, made a gesture as if he were drawing a line around them, and said, "Epikaloumai melanotes."

Ariadne's sight seemed to dim, not as if ill had befallen her eyes, but as if someone had drawn a very thin gray silk curtain between her and the others. The priestesses had backed to the very edge of the dais and were still down on their faces, but her father and brother and some of the others were now standing and saluting the god. She saw that their mouths were moving, speaking or praying, but she couldn't hear them, and she realized that she had been seeing that for some time without "noticing" it.

"What is it?" she asked, clinging tighter to Dionysus. "What have you done to them?"

"Nothing at all," he said. "I didn't wish them to hear what I said to you—it's no business of the common folk to hear what a god says to his priestess—so I put a wall of silence around us. And then I added a wall of darkness. Do they think we of Olympus are animals that we couple in public?"

She could feel the blood rush into her face as excitement and anxiety twisted together quickened her heartbeat. "Then you will take me?"

He laughed again, softly, and that smile of infinite sweetness changed his eyes so that, still bright, they did not glare or look hard. "As my priestess, yes, and gladly, but I cannot couple with a little maid who should be playing with toys in the nursery."

Tears filled her eyes again. "They will not understand. They expect to see the god sowing the land in the person of his priestess."

"I never did!" he said indignantly, stepping down off the altar and lifting Ariadne down as if being on it might trap him into an action he rejected. "Even with my chosen priestess, whom I dearly loved, and she was a woman in her middle years. I never coupled with her in the sight of all."

Ariadne shrugged, surprised that she should feel so disappointed by his refusal to take her after all her earlier fears. "I don't know where they came by the notion, but they believe that the fertility of the land is bound to the coupling of the god and the priestess."

His eyes narrowed. "And they will punish you if I do not perform like a rutting beast?"

"I will have failed my purpose," she said very softly. "There will be no assurance of a rich crop of sweet grapes, of wine that is sweet and potent with no bite and sourness of acid—"

"We don't need to couple for that. You are a priestess who can Call me. When you do so, I will come and run along the hillsides and dance among the casks."

"Will you?"

He smiled down at her. "Your eyes are like dark stars. They are black as obsidian and yet so bright! Yes, I will bless the vines and the wine." Then his lips thinned. "But I will not copulate with you before their eyes for their lascivious entertainment."

She knew it wasn't safe to press him further and yet it might be equally dangerous to let him leave without some proof of what he had promised. She glanced out toward the people, most still kneeling and all in attitudes of prayer. They couldn't hear what she and Dionysus said, he had told her—and then she noticed that gray film and remembered that he had said they couldn't see either.

"My lord," she whispered, "I can see your worshipers, but you said they couldn't see or hear us."

"They cannot."

She joined her hands prayerfully before her small breasts again. "Then they cannot know what we have been doing, can they? Oh, my lord, would it outrage you just to be seen naked with me?"

He looked at her, eyes half lidded and kind again. "You're a clever little minx. If that will satisfy them and confirm you as my priestess, I'm willing. Let the fools believe what they will."

His hands went to the heavy gold brooch that held his tunic at the shoulder and pulled it loose. The cloth dropped down exposing his broad chest, not bare as Cretan men's chests were—either by nature or by plucking—but with an inverted triangle of golden curls stretching between and a little above his nipples. The point was at the end of his breastbone, and from it grew a narrow band of sleek blond hair that reached down toward his navel. Ariadne had started to undo the laces of her bodice, but her fingers lay idle as she watched him untie his belt. He caught the tunic as it slid down his body and tossed it on the foot of the altar.

When he turned back to her, she was still staring at him and he said, "Are you afraid? I promise I won't hurt you."

"You are beautiful," she said. "I don't fear you. I am your priestess. You are my god. You won't harm me."

She didn't know what he read in her face, but he looked pleased, and what she said was true. It was the right thing to say, too, at least to this god, because he came close, smiling.

"Let me help you," he offered.

"Is it right for a god to wait upon his handmaiden?" she asked anxiously.

He only laughed in response, but she dropped her hands submissively and let him undo the laces of her bodice and then the ties of her belt and skirt. The heavy garment fell into a heap and she stepped over it, wriggling out of the bodice, which she dropped unceremoniously atop the skirt. It didn't occur to her as she took his hand and drew him back upon the altar that she didn't feel the smallest flicker of discomfort.

"Shall we lie down?" she asked.

"Why not?" he said, grinning, and then, "You atop me. I would mash you like trampled grapes if I lay on you."

She giggled. "Oh no. Jests are made of men who allow their wives to take that role, and the god must plow the earth." He looked rebellious, and she flung her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek. "I'll come to no harm. You can support yourself on your arms, and we can rise at once as you remove the blackness."

He nodded brusquely and Ariadne lay down on the cold stone. He knelt beside her, then straddled her, and she thought how terrified she would have been if he had simply taken her. Now the brief moment that he covered her with his body was a warm joy and she would have held him to her if she hadn't been afraid to anger him. She did grip him for an instant as a roar of sound suddenly smote her, but she let her arms fall away as Dionysus pulled free and rose, realizing that he had dismissed the wall of silence as well as that of darkness and the crowd was screaming with joy and enthusiasm. Then he reached down and helped her up.

With a hand on her shoulder, he turned to face those before the dais and the two priestesses, who still knelt at the edge. "This is my Chosen, my priestess," he said. "Let her be honored among you. Let her word be as mine, and when it passes her lips, let it be obeyed."

"Yes, lord," Minos cried, his fist to his forehead.

Behind him a strong voice began a song of thanksgiving. Ariadne was pleased by the satisfaction she saw in her father's face and a little amused by the astonishment on that of her brother. Her mother looked stunned, and she kept casting quick glances around her as if to assess the sincerity of the worshipers. Ariadne thought it was real enough. After all, they had seen Dionysus appear from thin air, they had seen him cast a pall of darkness between himself and them. Two miracles were not to be lightly dismissed. And there was his appearance, too. Ready to burst with joy, she laid her hand over his and squeezed it gently. He looked down at her.

As the song died, Dionysus raised his hand. "I accept your worship and am well pleased with my priestess. Now you may leave so I may commune with her in private."

The two priestesses scrambled to their feet and sidled around the edge of the dais toward the door to the left of the painting, but from the very front of the crowd there was a sound of protest that drew Ariadne's eyes. Her own widened as she saw Pasiphae pulling free of her father's hand on her arm, lifting her own hand toward Dionysus, and smiling her most seductive smile.

"Lord God," she murmured, "I—"

"Go," Dionysus broke in. "I wish to be alone with my priestess."

"But I should be—"

Dionysus lifted his hand. Suddenly Ariadne was again aware of those silvery strands that reached from her to Dionysus and they transmitted a strange feeling. A tingling? A gathering of weight that was without weight? Ariadne remembered she had felt that—that Power—when Dionysus cast the spell of darkness. She felt danger too, and knew he was about to be rid of what, to him, was a minor nuisance. She drew breath hastily to cry for mercy, but Minos had turned back and now pulled his wife roughly away toward the gates that closed off the grounds of the shrine.

Ariadne saw that Pasiphae didn't go willingly. She dragged back and kept looking over her shoulder, her eyes flicking from Ariadne to Dionysus. Ariadne felt chilled and pressed herself against Dionysus' side. That look bode no good for her. She shivered as Pasiphae went through the gate, the very last to leave, still looking back. Then she felt Dionysus gesture, and the gates swung shut.

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