Chapter One

A hushed silence hung over the insignificant stretch of white sand, on an island that time itself had forgotten. The waves lapped against the shore in a whispered kiss; the breeze – that wished to violently to be a part of this moment – dared to not so much as rustle the palm leaves along the shore, despite its excitement; and the moon had lowered itself so far so as to watch the unfolding scene, it had dipped almost half way into Poseidon’s waves. Yet despite the silence a tense and nervous energy vibrated the charged air. It was one of those moments when the earth itself knew that what was taking place would change the very fabric of its being.

“She’s beautiful.”

The woman pulled herself up to her full height with the dignity of a Queen, despite her exhaustion, and smiled in response to those cherished words spoken into the night that would forever be a secret. Forever be theirs. She carefully manoeuvred the bundle in her arms into a more comfortable position for her and the child, tucking the soft white blanket around the sleeping angel. Such an action was uncalled for given how well behaved the gods were being – not even a sliver of breeze dared to disturb their moment as a family. No, the action was borne of the terrifying need inside of her to touch, caress and love this child. The small touches were nowhere near enough to feed the hunger of love so strong inside her heart, but she would have a lifetime to feed that need. A lifetime with her daughter.

“She is going to look like you,” the Queen of the Amazon’s eyelashes lifted, her gaze focusing for a moment on her partners face before lowering once more to the sleeping child in her arms. Hippolyta was all creamy skin and blonde hair, more Celtic in her looks than Grecian. Her blue eyes had set her apart from her kin a lifetime ago when she had still lived among the now ancient civilisation. A rare and desired beauty, but forever an outcast. The girl in her arms would have similar problems, though through no fault of her own. No, her daughter would also not bear the typical dark hair and eyes the Amazonian women were known for. But that was because her daughter had not been born in the conventional way. No, her baby had been born in the brilliant burst of power, from a God who had answered her prayers.

A throaty laugh. Her partner’s fingers brushed the tight red curls, a tribute to the fire she had been born in, across her daughter’s forehead.

“Perhaps a little, but she will have your eyes.”

Silence enveloped them once again, both of them simply content to watch the sleeping princess. They were painfully aware this moment could not last forever. It was already a stolen memory that would be cherished but that would never happen again. That this could have happened as it was, was a testimony to the loyalty of the Gods to the couple.

“I have to go.”

Pain. Heightened more so because of the overwhelming joy they had both revelled in for the past hour. Hippolyta’s eyebrows drew together in a frown, tearing her eyes away from the precious child to look into the face of the man who had made it all possible. The only other person she would perhaps love as much as her daughter.

“Stay.” A command from a woman who was not used to having people say no to her. From a woman who had come to him drenched in blood and forged from horrors. “Hera won’t be able to touch us here. My warr-”

“Your warriors would die in agony, Lyta,” the hand he used to cup her face so much larger than her own that it covered half her face. “She is a goddess. Your warriors may be blessed with our gifts, but she would surpass them.” Hippolyta bristled, ready to challenge such words: her people had fought far worse that a jealous woman. But the stubborn man ploughed on. “And she won’t be aiming to hurt you, she will be directing her full fury onto her.” They both gazed down at the incredibly small bundle gathered in Hippolyta’s arms. The princess yawned, tiny chubby fists waving in the air, and opened her eyes. Both of them sucked in a breath. Yes, she had indeed got her mother’s shade of eye colour, but the rims of her irises were tiny circles of lightening.

A few more stolen seconds ticked by before she felt him pull away.

“I will visit,” and though it sounded like a promise, they both knew it was an empty one. It had taken the aid of seven Gods to have this moment let alone anything in the future. But she nodded nevertheless because it gave her heart hope and watched as he raised his hand to the sky to summon the lightning that would take him home.

“What are you going to call her?” He called over the roar of pure power that descended from the heavens. Hippolyta glanced down at the girl within her arms and smiled at the pure wonder those eyes beheld when gazing at her father.

“Diana.”

But when she looked up he had already gone.

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