Blame It On Bacchus


Vesta, goddess of the hearth, was taking her leisure in her garden when she was startled from her reverie. 

"Lady Vesta!" cried the cheerful voice of her uninvited visitor. "So good to find you here!" 

The portly god who greeted her was Bacchus, god of wine. Vesta sighed and inwardly cringed. In truth, she would have preferred a visit from any other god, even Vulcan, who at least remained civil when he kept his temper in check. Vesta supposed Bacchus may have been tolerable when sober but it was a hypothesis that was impossible to test! 

Still, she was the goddess of the hearth after all. She couldn't really bring herself to be a poor hostess, even to an unwelcomed guest. 

"Greetings Bacchus, Son of Jupiter. May I offer you refreshment?" 

"Refreshment? Refreshment, she says! That is precisely the matter which brings me to your abode!" the jovial god said to her breasts. "I knew you were the one deity in all of Olympus who would best appreciate my feat! Refreshment is the first thing to jump to her able mind and precisely the reason for my visit. Yes--refreshment indeed! Ha-ha!"

Vesta pointedly pulled up her toga, which had been showing more cleavage than she was want to, and looked disparagingly at the younger deity. 

"Bacchus, you are clearly more drunk than is even your norm. Pray, speak your peace and the reason for your visit. I have no patience with riddles." 

"Your pardon, Dear Goddess, please!" the round-faced god apologized, "It is but the excitement of my new creation which drives me to such ebullience while in turn it drives me to seek your wisdom." 

So saying, he revealed a large earthen jug from the basket he carried and presented it to her. 

"Not another of your spirits! By Jove, Bacchus, when will you be content with the grape? That nasty stuff you made from figs last century should have convinced you to stop this foolish experimentation! Wine of the grape is the only beverage you have ever produced that is fit for the table. So says the goddess of the hearth!" 

"Not so hasty, my dear goddess," smiled Bacchus, "This is no experiment; it is a veritable miracle!" 

"Really, Bacchus," Vesta objected, "If you must continue with your ëinnovations' test them out on someone with a less delicate palate like Neptune or Pluto. That uzo stuff you made left my tongue numb! I'm not going to try any more of your ridiculous...oh my!" 

Her protestation ended when she smelled the golden liquor that Bacchus poured into a crystal chalice. The odor was powerful yet delicate, intricate and all together divine. 

"As I said," beamed Bacchus, "This is not my usual offering." 

Unable to help herself, Vesta lifted the chalice and sniffed the golden liquid. The complex odors scampered through her nasal passages like happy children. The goddess' eyes went wide. 

"Bacchus, what in the heavens is this?" 

The rotund deity preened with pride. 

"That, my dear Vesta, is pure, undiluted, fully fermented...ambrosia!" 

"Fermented ambrosia?" Vesta asked, amazed. "I didn't think that was possible!" 

"Damn near impossible!" exclaimed Bacchus, "I've been trying to do it since before Minerva was even a tiny crack in Dad's forehead!" 

"And...does it taste like..." 

"Well try it, Vesta, try it!" Bacchus pushed. "Words can't describe the taste!" 

"Oh, yes...well then, try it I shall." 

The goddess of the hearth raised the glass to her lips.... 

* * * * 

Portia sighed as the temple came into view. That was where she would stay the night. It was still about three hours until sundown, but the only other temple she could reach in that time was dedicated to Mars and she would have no hope of a good nights sleep there! So she had no choice but to impose upon the vestal virgins. 

The eunuch guards looked mournfully at the scarlet sash around Portia's waist that marked her as a priestess of Venus. She smiled pityingly at them. They made no move to stop or question her; Any traveling priestess was allowed to seek shelter in the temple of Vesta, even a priestess devoted to The Goddess of Love. 

The vestal virgins themselves were less likely to be so welcoming. The blonde girl who stood watch at the inner gates scowled at her. Portia resolved herself to put her best face on the thing. 

"Greetings, servant of Vesta!" she exclaimed, "As a wandering priestess of your Divine Mistress' Kinswoman, I seek lodging for the night." 

The girl made no attempt at all to sound civil in her obligated response: "Any priestess of the Gods of Rome may take succor at the Hearth of Vesta. Enter and be comforted." 

Then she added with a biting self-righteousness: "Though I had always heard that the priestesses of Venus prefer other lodging." 

This was true, of course. Portia had been on the road for 12 days now and each night she had had her pick of lodging. Everyone was glad to welcome a priestess of Venus. The only problem was, while they were glad to give her the best bed in the house, she was given little time to sleep in it. Inevitably, she was called on to perform her clerical rites. All of them. Often on damn near every member of the household. She had spent last night at a hostel of the Roman legions and hadn't slept a wink! The residue of the legionnaires' rites still clung to her in places. She needed a bath and a rest! 

"I believe my cousin is a priestess here," Portia told the young vestal. "Since I was passing by, I thought it would be nice to renew acquaintances." 

The diminutive door maiden raised an eyebrow. Clearly she had a preconception of what sort of families produced priestesses of Venus and they weren't the sort that produced priestesses of Vesta. 

"What is the name of your cousin?" she asked. 

"Marla," Portia answered, "Marla of Verona." 

The flaxen-haired young lady got a rye look on her face. 

"Marla is indeed one of our sisterhood," she conceded. "Given your familial ties, no doubt she will want to be the one to present you to High Priestess Palonia, so I will forgo that...honor...and deliver you to your kinswoman." 

"Thank you," said Portia, "You are too kind." 

The priestess of Venus followed the young vestal as she led her in silence. Portia didn't know why the vestal virgins had to be so uptight! 

Well, that wasn't really true. At the very least she had a good theory. It had to do with the connection that all gods had with their clergy to some extent or another. Communing with Venus during the rites had certainly effected Portia herself. Her libido hadn't been nearly so strong before her initiation. She had likewise seen how her childhood friend Amacus had become more violent after performing the blood rites of Mars as the war god's vassal. Communing with a god inevitably lead you to acquire the traits of that god. Naturally, the vestal virgins acquired the traits of Vesta. 

But Portia felt it went deeper than that. A priestess of Venus only tapped into the Divine Libido during the love rites. Apart from that time, Venus pretty much let her be. The Love Goddess couldn't very well have her clergy tapped into her psyche all the time, what with her colorful social life among gods and men. Day to day life would be constantly disrupted by the Goddess' Divine Orgasms. 

But Vesta, Portia suspected, was such the control freak that she might very well require her priestesses to stay in constant communion with her. The constant contact with the goddess' psyche, along with her mandate of virginity, was bound to make anyone a bit...uptight. Portia worried what it might have done to Marla. 

The young vestal led her to the kitchen where four other virgins were engaged in the unending task of preparing the hearth bread. The one that shared her honey-colored ringlets Portia immediately recognized as her cousin Marla, despite their twelve year separation. 

"UmHm!" said Portia's guide, drawing the attention of all the bakers. "Marla, this ëpriestess' claims to be your cousin and seeks lodging with us for the night. Since she's_your_kinswoman, I thought you should be the one to tell Mistress Palonia." 

Four pairs of eyes seized upon the scarlet sash about Portia's hips and then three pairs went to the honey-haired vestal. Marla's eyes went to her feet and she blushed and generally acted like she needed to pee. 

"I...I never expected to see you here, Portia," she said. 

"Well, I didn't really expect to come here myself, but here I am," said Portia, quickly loosing patience with her cool reception here. She should have just spent the night in the woods but now that she had made her request she would be damned if she was going to back down in the face of prudish self-righteousness! 

"Well, every priestess has the right to seek shelter in the house of Vesta," Marla said, more to her fellow virgins than to her cousin. It saddened Portia to be greeted this way. She and Marla had been friends in their childhood. 

"Thank you for your hospitality," she said, nodding formally. 

"Well, I...I guess we have to announce your presence to Mistress Palonia." 

Marla looked resentfully at the door maiden, then bid her cousin follow her to meet the high priestess. Portia wished they would just skip the formal welcome that clearly no one wanted and just give her a loaf and a bed. She followed her reticent cousin and ignored the indignant whispers they left behind them. 

* * * * 

"So you really like it Lady Vesta?" Bacchus asked. 

"It's amazing!" Vesta exclaimed, "Absolutely amazing!" 

The goddess of the hearth finished off her goblet. 

"It does go to the head, though, doesn't it? You don't intend to share this with mortals, do you?" 

"Oh no, dear Vesta! Perish the thought!" Bacchus declared. "This is a treat for the gods alone. Do have another draught." 

The god of wine filled her goblet. 

"No, I shouldn't..." said Vesta with little conviction. 

"But I need your guidance, Vesta!" Bacchus explained, "I plan to hold a feast for all the gods of Rome to share my creation, but I don't know what I could possibly serve to compliment ambrosia wine. More ambrosia seems redundant, but anything I could produce would seem so common next to such a wine. Then I remembered my dear friend Vesta, the finest cook in the heavens, the goddess of goddesses when it comes to laying out a fine repast. Surely you can advise me as to what meal could properly accompany such libation!" 

Vesta smiled. 

"Your flattery pleases me, Bacchus. You have your father's tongue. In truth, this wine of yours would do well to adorn any meal, but the perfect meal, ah, that only the goddess of the hearth can divine. Come, my boy. Accompany me to my pantry and together we shall set the perfect table." 

Taking an indulgent sip from the chalice, Vesta strolled towards her kitchen. The god of wine hefted his jug and followed, a sly smile on his lips as he watched the gentle sway of Vesta's divine posterior. 

* * * * 

Portia's cousin led her in silence to meet the high priestess of the temple. Clearly Marla was not happy about this little family reunion. Portia wondered if she had made a mistake. Halfway to Palonia's quarters, however, Marla's firm set shoulders seemed to slacken and then the girl stumbled. Alarmed, Portia put a hand out to steady her. 

"Marla, are you all right?" she asked. 

"Hmmm? Oh yeah, um, fine. I just feel a bit...strange, all of a sudden." 

The vestal virgin blinked twice then grinned at her cousin. 

"Where were we going?" 

" meet the high priestess?" 

"Oh yeah! that's right! We gotta tell Palonia that you're gonna sleep over!" 

The grin on Marla's face got bigger. 

"Maybe you can stay in my room and we can tell stories!" she exclaimed. 

"Um, yeah Marla. That would be fun," said Portia, confused by her cousin's sudden change in demeanor. 

Marla grabbed her hand and, swinging it back and forth, lead her the rest of the way to the chambers of the high priestess of Vesta. 

They entered the conservatively decorated room to find a middle aged woman with dark hair held up with silver combs. She had a bemused look on her face as she stared off into the heavens. One sandal dangled precariously from her toes. 

"Mistress Palonia," Marla said to gain her attention. 

"Hmmm?" said the high priestess, "Oh...Marla. How are you, dear? It seems to have gotten awfully warm suddenly, hasn't it?" 

"You know, I was jus' thinkin' that myself, I was!" Marla replied. 

"I thought so," Palonia nodded. "Sooooo....whose your friend?" 

"Oh yeah, I forgot. This is my cousin Portia. She wants t'spend the night at the temple ëcuz she's a priestess." 

"Oh how nice," Palonia said, "Greetings from the servants of Vesta..." 

The high priestess' jaw dropped and she gawked at the red sash around Portia's hips. 

"By The Holy Flame," she exclaimed, "Marla, did you know that your cousin's a whore?" 

Both Marla and Portia blushed at the senior clergywoman's frank language. 

"Priestess, m'lady," Portia corrected, "Priestess of Venus." 

"Yeah right!" exclaimed Palonia, "I seen one a' those temples of Venus once when I visited the capital! People give ëem money an' the priestesses do all sorts of nasty stuff to'em. In my book, that makes ëem whores!" 

"That's a common misconception, m'lady," Portia explained. "You see, we do not perform the rites in exchange for donations. All the gods demand certain things of their servants: Vesta commands that you maintain the eternal flame, bake the hearth bread, remain virginal, et cetera. Likewise, there are certain acts which Venus asks her clergy to perform. And of course, those that come to worship are inspired by the Goddess to give donations to Her glory and the maintenance of Her temple and priesthood. But it isn't a financial transaction. We do what we do because Divine Venus mandates it, not so worshipers will pay us. A temple of Venus is no more a brothel than a temple of Vesta is a bakery." 

"Yeah, but what kinda goddess tells her priestesses to get all naked and do that nasty stuff?" 

"Well, our Venus is certainly a free spirit," Portia admitted. "Not nearly so composed and proper as your Vesta." 

"You can say that again!" Palonia said and Marla giggled wildly. 

Portia was confused. Marla and Palonia were acting very strangely. Not like Vestal virgins at all. If she didn't know better, she would swear they were drunk. 

* * * * 

"Hey Bacchus! My goblet's empty again!" Vesta called out. 

"Oh dear, allow me to rectify the situation," said the god of wine, pouring another draft of the golden liquid. 

"Thanks!" said the goddess of the hearth, "Now where was I? 

"Cheeses, dear Vesta," Bacchus said. "Cheeses!" 

Vesta rolled her eyes. 

"I know it was cheeses! Which one? I got like three hun'red differnt cheeses! Iss like I was sayin' if yer gonna invite the whole lot of ëem over t'try yer wine, ya gotta start out with an appetizer. An whas gonna go be'er wif wine than cheese an crackers? I mean, there's a reason why it's a classic. Am I right?" 

"Right you are as always, Lady Vesta," Bacchus agreed, saluting her with his cup. 

"Damn right I'm right!" Vesta affirmed, "Now anybozy can jus' plop down a wheel of aged goat cheese, but it takes real skill to choose jus' the right cheese fer the wine. Now I've tried every single domesic wine wif yer cheese...No, wait a minute...I've tried every single domessic cheese wif yer' there all crap!" 

"No!" Bacchus exclaimed. 

"Yep!" she countered. "The Romans are great at architecsur but as far as cheese goes, they suck ass! ëscuseme. The gorganzola comes close but iss got an afertase like Vulcan's feet. I d'know what they wer thinkin' with that mozzarella shit. Maybe if you melted it on flatbread with some sorta sauce it would be worth eatin'...I dunno...but it goes wif wine about as well as Mercury's togas go with those weird sandals he's always wearin'!" 

"But luckily, the republic's esspandin," Vesta continued. "I hadda try the local shit firs, a' course--loyalty and all that--but I say anyplace with a Roman legion posted there is fair game for Roman cookin', am I right?" 

"Logical," Bacchus agreed. 

"Essacaly!" Vesta nodded emphatically. "Now there's this lil' backwater part of the republic they call the nether-regions or sumpin' like that...." 

"Sounds like my kind of place!" said Bacchus with a wink. 

Vesta snorted and giggled. 

"Bacchus yer jus' naughty! But anyway, they make this stuff they call gouda. I gotta wheel of it somewhere. Jus' a secon'." 

The goddess of the hearth rummaged through her collection of cheeses while Bacchus enjoyed the lay of her toga as it draped her divine rump. 

"Found it!" She declared and cut two small slices of the mellow soft cheese. 

"Thank you," said Bacchus, accepting the morsel she sliced for him. 

"No probem!" said the goddess, nibbling the cheese and washing it down with a large swig of the wine. 

"Now thas much be'er" she declared and smacked her lips. 

"So on to the main course?" Bacchus asked. 

"Not so haysee, missser," Vesta objected, " I said be'er, I din' say it wasza bestests! There's at leass a dozen more I gotta try t'figure out the perfec match!" 

"Sorry--I didn't mean to rush you. You know best, I'm sure." 

"Damn straight I do!" Vesta bragged. "Iss a very delicate process. Which remines me: I gotta cleanse my pallet!" 

She took another swig of the ambrosia wine, swishing it about in her mouth and swallowed it. 

"Damn thas good stuff. On to the muenster!" 

* * * * 

"Well, I guess we gotta make ëer welcome, right?" Palonia was saying, "I mean, thas what we do, isn'it Marla?" 

"Huh?" said Portia's cousin, who had been admiring how the light on the high priestess' crystal-headed scepter sparkled. "Oh yeah, Divine Vesta proclaims that any priestess of any of the Gods of Rome shall be welcomed in the Temple of the Goddess of the Hearth. Iss a rule." 

"Thas right!" Palonia declared, "An' rules are rules. Thass why they're rules. Am I right?" 

"Yer right!" Marla declared, pointing emphatically at the high priestess, "Thass why yer the boss, cuz of all the right people, yer the rightest!" 

"Thas' right!" Palonia agreed and both the virgins giggled. 

"Ya know what?" said the High Priestess. "I wanna have a fessibal!" 

Marla giggled. 

"We can't have a fessivbal!" she said, "Iss not one of Vessa's holy days! I know cuz I'm in charge of the calendar this year!" 

"Well shit! Vessa's got relatives, right?" Palonia pointed out. "We oughta show some respec' fer them too, right? I mean, by honoring Portia here, we're honoring you as well--Why shunza it be the same wif the godseses?" 

The two virgins turned to Portia. 

"Is it one of Venus's holy days?" Marla asked hopefully. 

"Um, no, not really." Portia said. If it was she wouldn't have dared try to spend the night sleeping. "But...I do believe it is a minor holy day of Saturn, Vesta's sire and Venus' grandsire..." 

"Great!" exclaimed Palonia, "We'll have us one of those warchamacallits that they had back in the old days!" 

"A Saturnalia?" Portia asked, eyebrows raised in disbelief. Surely Palonia didn't know what she was saying. Saturn's rites made those of Venus look tame! 

"Yeah, lesss have one a those!" Palonia exclaimed. 

"Ummm, what exactly did you have in mind?" Portia asked delicately. 

"Well, I think it involves dancing around a fire, an' we got us a fire, so we're set!" said the high priestess. 

"I love dancing!" Marla exclaimed and clumsily twirled about. 

"All right then!" said Portia, smiling at their innocence, "I guess I'm up for a party!" 

She was still tired, but how often would she get a chance to see the vestals let their hair down? As if on cue, Palonia pulled the silver combs out out of her hair and shook out her long dark curls. Whatever was going on, Portia was going to go with it and see what happened. 

"Lesss go t'the courtyard then!" Palonia exclaimed. 

Portia followed the giggling, staggering vestals, shaking her head in disbelief. 

What ever was going on with Marla and Palonia was obviously effecting the two priestesses keeping Vesta's Sacred Flame as well. They had piled on much more fuel than usual and built it into a raging bonfire into which they were staring and giggling. They had shed their robes of office and wore only the gauzy white shifts that served as their undergarments. Even in these brief outfits, they sweated heavily in the heat and the white fabric was plastered to their bodies as they sat sprawled before the fire. 

When they saw the high priestess, the flame guardians leapt awkwardly to their feet and hunted guiltily around for their togas. 

"Holy Shit!" Palonia exclaimed, staring wide eyed at the bonfire. "That is so cool!" 

The two flame guardians stopped their attempt to cover up and stared at their matriarch, then collapsed in a fit of giggles. Marla and Palonia joined them. Portia couldn't help but chuckle herself. 

"Najulia, Kalena," said Marla, "Thiss is my cuzin Portia." 

"She's not a whore," Palonia clarified and then grinned at Portia. 

"Nice to meet you, Portia," said Najulia. Her companion just blushed and giggled harder. 

"Charmed, I'm sure," said Portia. 

"We were jus' thinkin' that we should have a fessibal," Palonia informed them. 

"Really?" exclaimed Kalena. "That would be so cool! Can we dance?" 

"You bet yer bottom!" the high priestess declared. "Najulia! Ring the bell! Call everybody! We're gonna have us the bess damn fessibal ever!" 

The flame maiden went to a white cord that hung beside the entrance to the courtyard and set a large bell to ringing. Soon, the three bakers and the door maiden staggered in, leaning on one another, their robes in disarray. 

"Vassals of Vessa!" Palonia declared, "In honor of Our Lady's daddy Saturn an cuz Marla's cuzin is visitin, we're gonna have us a fessibal." 

The virgins giggled and cheered. Portia was amazed. She had seen no evidence of wine about the temple but the vestals were all clearly plastered. If there was no physical explanation, it must be divine. But how on earth could Bacchus have influence on Vesta's clergy in Her very temple? 

* * * * 

"Well, Bacchus m'boy ," said Vesta, hopping up to sit on her kitchen table, "I gotta tell ya: I'm stumped! I've tried every stinkin' cheese in the pantry, every sor'a fish er fowl or flesh I can think of and they jus' don' do it! Lesss face it this stuff is jusss too damn good!" 

The goddess took another swig of the golden liquor and smacked her lips. 

"An I should know, right?" she continued. "I mean, you shaid sho yershelf, you did. You said, ëhey! I'm gonna have a feast an I'm gonna invite all the gods so they can try my new ambrosia wine--but what to serve? What to serve indeed?' An you said to yerself you did, ëI'm gonna go ask Vesta, cuz she's the goddess of the hearth and if she knows anything, iss how ta throw a dinner party!'" 

"Thas'a you said an I'm very, very flazzhered. But I gotta tell ya, I'm stumped. You were cowin on me t' enlighshen you an' I jus' fell on my butt!" 

The goddess wobbled a bit on her perch on the table and the god of wine stepped forward to place a steadying hand on her shoulder. 

"Dear, dear Vesta, most divine of all the goddesses," he said, looking deep into her addled eyes. "You haven't failed at all!" 

"I haven'?" she asked, confused. "But I tolya, I d'no wha you should eat wif yer wine!" 

"No, but your mere presence has proven inspirational!" Bacchus explained, "Because spending the afternoon in your kitchen, watching you imbibe my remarkable vintage, you have inspired me to know the perfect accompaniment to ambrosia wine." 

"I have?" asked the drunken goddess, amazed. 

"Indeed!" Bacchus exclaimed, "There is only one thing so exquisite, so divine, that it would not be shamed to be eaten with such a beverage. I dare speculate that beside such a meal, even this, my greatest creation, might pale by comparison!" 

"Yer kiddin!" Vesta said, gawking in unbelief. 

"No dear Vesta, I am not! And the irony of it all is that this divine meal has been right before us all along!" 

"Where?" asked Vesta, looking about. 

"Why Vesta, gracious hostess that you are, you have already laid it on the table!" 

Vesta looked at the bare table a top which she sat. 

"Whateryou talkin' ëbout, Bacchus?" she asked. 

"Here, let me show you," he said, placing his hand behind her back and gently lowering her to lie on the table. The round faced god of wine then took his place in a chair at the table and hiked up the folds of Vesta's toga. The goddess giggled. 

"Bacchus, what in the heavens are you....Oh my....OH MY!....By the sacred flame....Ooooh BACCHUS!" 

* * * * 

Portia and the six virgins where dancing frantically about Vesta's sacred flame. Augusta and Drusila were outdoing Orpheus himself on the flute and drum, creating a wild and erotic music. All the priestesses had discarded even their undergarments and sweat poured from their bodies, glistening in the firelight. It wasn't a Saturnalia per se, but Portia didn't doubt that the lecherous old god would be impressed by it. 

The musicians reached a frenzied, fevered pitch, as did the dancers. Their enthusiasm and frenicity more than compensated for their drunken clumsiness. In fact, they seemed to move with a complex yet definite synchrony that Portia could only assume was more inspiration from their Goddess. She was amazed and swept up by their raucous frenzy, her road weariness forgotten in the heat of the virgin's Saturnalia. At last, both dancers and musicians collapsed, panting desperately as they sprawled naked about their Goddess' Sacred Flame. 

Portia was panting nearly as hard from the joyful exertion, though she had not collapsed. As she wandered among the panting virgins seeking Marla, however, she realized that something more was going on than exhaustion from the dance. Along with panting, the vestals were moaning. Moaning and writhing. This was starting to look like a real Saturnalia. 

Marla was laying near the high priestess, her legs clenched together her unfocused eyes looking near panic as she squirmed on the temple floor. Palonia was in a similar state. 

"Portia!" her cousin cried out when she saw her, "Portia! I'm so horny! So fucking horny! Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck! I can't take it anymore! I need it! Vesta be damned, I need to fuck! Help me, Portia! Help me find a man to fuck!" 

"No, Marla, No!" Palonia cried out, "You can't! You mustn't! If a vessal virgin breaks her vows, they bury her alive! I've seen it! Iss horrible! Oh please, Marla, I couldn't bear it if they took you!" 

"I don' care, damn it!" Marla declared. "I'm so fuckin' horny! Let'm kill me--I don't care! It'll be worth it!" 

"Oh Marla, Marla, Marla!" cried Palonia, weeping openly, "I can't stand to loose you! If you're gonna break your vows then so am I! I'm really horny too! Lesss go find someone to fuck us then we can die together!" 

The two Vestals embraced to seal their coital-death pact. Portia shook her head. 

"You know, you do have less fatal options," she told them. 

"Whazhya mean?" Palonia asked. 

"Well you know what they do on the Island of Lesbos, don't you?" 

"Huh?" asked Marla, her mentor looking equally clueless. Portia shook her head at the naivete of virgins. 

"Well, about three and a half centuries ago, Sappho of Lesbos found that men were not particularly necessary or even desirable in doing service to my Divine Mistress. She and her handmaidens did quite well on their own, if her poetry is to be believed. Am I correct in thinking that in Her mandate that you remain virgins, Vesta simply commanded that you not submit yourselves to any man?" 

Marla and Palonia gave each other wide eyed glances, then nodded. 

"Well, then, it seems to me that nothings stopping you from meeting each other's needs." Portia pointed out. 

"But...But how?" Marla asked. 

"Oh come on, now. You've got fingers, lips, tongues, toes--Surely you don't think the rites of Venus only involve the genitals?" 

From the embarrassed looks on their faces, Portia saw that that is precisely what the virgins thought. With a pitying shake of her head, she resolved to show them. 

"Look, Marla," she said, while spreading wide-eyed Palonia's thighs with an experienced touch. "Here is Palonia's mound of Venus. You have one yourself, so you no doubt have some idea what would feel nice. Come here and make friends with it." 

Portia's cousin approached her mentor's moistening mound and tentatively reached out but her hand faltered. 

"Come now, it doesn't bite," Portia chided. "Just stroke it, pet it like the nice soft warm creature it is. Like this." 

Portia manually began to work the high priestess vulva. It was warm and weeping. Palonia moaned, arched her back, and her eyes rolled back as she received the first sexual touch of her life. 

"See, it's easy. Now you try," Portia encouraged and Marla complied, gingerly at first but then with growing enthusiasm as her eyes filled with wonder at the feel of her senior's sex beneath her hands. Palonia was quite appreciative of the inexperienced but adoring touch. Marla smiled broadly. 

"Now sit up, Palonia," Portia instructed with an encouraging hand. "You can help out Marla while she helps you." 

The dark haired senior clergywoman looked like a timid novice as her hand delved Marla's depths, filled with awe at what she was doing and what was being done to her. Then the thrill of it was too much and she giggled. Marla giggled in turn. Both vestals' hands were working in earnest now as their owners stared into one another's delighted eyes. Portia put a gentle hand behind each of their heads and propelled them into a long, passionate kiss. 

Portia looked about. The other moaning, panting vestals were staring in amazement and lust. Kalena was actually drooling. 

"Well what are you waiting for, ladies?" Portia asked, "It's obvious you all want it. It's not hard and learning how is half the fun. Just do what you think would feel nice and ask your partner if you've succeeded. She'll let you know. If it feels good, do it." 

The virgins turned their gaze from Portia to each other and then the floodgates opened. Soon the courtyard of the Sacred Flame was a scene that Saturn would be proud of. Portia went about giving advice on technique but the vestals were quite creative on their own. She would never have believed such uninhibited lust could come from virgins. There was only one explanation--Vesta must be being very, very naughty. Portia giggled and wondered how she had gotten into such a state. 

* * * * 

Vesta's robes lay spread out on the floor. Bacchus' raiment lay in a crumpled pile beside them. The god of wine lay naked upon Vesta's kitchen table, unashamed of his corpulent form, grinning from ear to ear. The goddess of the hearth straddled him, impaled upon his godly member, riding him at full gallop, causing his vast belly to quiver. 

"Oh Yesh!" she cried out drunkenly, "Oh Yesh Oh Yesh Oh Yesh!" 

Her immaculately coiffed hair was a shambles, intricate braidwork unraveled, stray locks flying free or plastered to her sweat-soaked face and body. Her bounteous bosom bounced and bounded with each thrust of her womanly hips. Millennia of repressed passion streamed from every pore and radiated out into the universe leading conservative housewives throughout the Roman republic to indulge in shocking fantasies as they prepared the evening meal before their hearths. 

"Oh Sweet Goddess of Fire!" Bacchus declared. "You ignite the god of wine! You always have! Every smoldering glance has always set me burning!" 

Vesta filled the air with slurred exultations and unrestrained laughter. Her servants came scurrying to aid what they assumed was her distress, only to blanch and retreat, eyes downcast. This caused the inebriated goddess to laugh all the louder. Entwining her fingers in her wild mane, she slammed her sodden sex down all the harder on Bacchus' hard member. 

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" she cried out. 

She grabbed the jug that bounced beside them on the table, tossed back her head and poured its remaining contents down her throat and down her body. The golden liquid streamed between her breasts and along her belly to splash where she and the god of wine met in divine coitus. 

She threw the empty jug across the room, grasped a full breast in each hand and screamed out in triumph, rapidly shaking her head so that drops of sweat and wine sprayed the room. 

She fell forward over Bacchus, her breasts pressing against his bosom, and the younger god grabbed her head and kissed her roughly. Their tongues intertwined. He tasted of ambrosia wine and her own divine juices. She grunted with pleasure and clenched her sex about his member. 

His hands moved to her divine rump and squeezed. Their kiss broke off and Vesta raised herself on her hands to see Bacchus grinning wickedly through the jungle of her hair. 

"Oh Vesta, Vesta, Vesta!" he exclaimed. "You do so know how to make a guest feel welcome!" 

"Less go do it in the garden," the drunken goddess suggested. 

Bacchus laughed. 

"Of course, my insatiable hostess! Lead the way!" 

* * * * 

Portia looked out on the scene she had had a small role in setting. Marla and Palonia had their faces buried between each other's thighs, rocking and moaning, sharing all their years of restrained passion. Augusta had found a novel use for her flute, having stuck it deep inside a delighted Drusila as she abandoned her drum to beat on her fellow musician's flanks. The flame guardians, Najulia and Kalena, had retrieved ritual tapers and seemed to be trying to determine just how many of the candles could be put in their various orifices. The young, formerly self-righteous door maiden was staggering determinedly toward her, leaning on the youngest of the bakers, both vestals' faces glistening with each others juices as they grinned naughtily. 

"Um, hi. I'm Brutia. This is Bertia." said the diminutive blonde door maiden, "We fergotta introduce ourselfs afore." 

Bertia nodded a bit too enthusiastically and the pair almost fell over. 

"Yes, I remember," said Portia. "You were a bit brusque with me when we first met." 

The blonde girl blushed furiously. 

"Golly I'm sorry about that! I had no idea whazh I wazh talkin' ëbout! I was jus' tellin' Berita that if I knew how fun it wassa fuck, I woulda been a preisess of Venus too. Isn that right Berita?" 

"Yep!" said Bertia with another destabilizing nod, "Thas wha she said all right! An I said, ëyeah, it'd be cool t'be a whore', an' she said ëshe's not a whore she's a preisess an' she's the mos' bufital preisess ever!' an' I said ëyeah, she's really bufital an nobodies fuckin' her' an we both thought that was really sad." 

"Yeah," said Brutia, "So we was thinkin', since yer so nice an so bufital an we're so grateful that you showed us howa fuck, that maybe we could, um, be nice to you..." 

They smiled with shy, drunken lust in hopeful anticipation of her answer. Portia gave a rye chuckle. It didn't look like she'd get much sleep tonight either. 

"Very well, girls. Come show me what you've learned." 

The giggling vestals advanced and Portia guided their mouths to her full breasts. They suckled in tandem, their tongues teasing her nipples. They embraced her, pressing their nubile breasts against her belly as their hands caressed her back. Portia let out an appreciative hum. She hadn't realized just how horny the vestals' spectacle had made her. She sighed as Bertia's hand moved up to knead the nape of her neck while Brutia's moved down to caress her bare bottom. The young vestals each had their spare hand on the other's backside, fingers digging into their firm flesh. 

The young vestals' mouths were sloppy and unskilled at her breasts but their passion more than compensated, with the added thrill of the same divine synchrony that had choreographed their drunken dancing. It was their fingers, however, that made Portia glad she had agreed to join in the fun. Countless hours of bread making had made the girls' hands remarkably strong, yet delicate and dexterous. As Bertia drew all the tension from her neck and shoulders, Brutia did things to her buttocks that had never been done in all her years in the temples of Venus. It would never have occurred to her that she should be jealous of a loaf of hearth bread! 

The vestals' fingers made their way to each others welcoming mounds and they began to mewl and squeal at Portia's breast. They were becoming a bit too enthusiastic, sucking just a bit too hard and Portia began to worry that if she didn't break it off, the girls' teeth might play more of a role than Portia really wanted. (It was a common danger with beginners.) Besides, the girls' adroit fingers were actually making her weak in the knees and remaining upright was becoming a distraction. 

Gently patting them on the head only encouraged them to increase the fervor of their adoration, so Portia slid her thumbs along her breasts and into the young priestesses' mouths, popping them off her nipples. Hooked on her thumbs like two inebriated, horny fish, they continued to suck for a moment, looking confused. 

"Did we do sumping wong?" Brutia asked around her thumb. 

Portia removed her digits and lovingly patted their cheeks. 

"Oh no, dear girls," she told them, "You're doing very, very well! So well that I just can't stand up anymore!" 

The girls absolutely glowed as they basked in her compliment. Portia was taken aback. She wasn't used to being idolized like this and she found that she liked it. A lot. 

"Very well, my young apprentices," she said, lying down on the ground, spreading her limbs in welcome. "Show me what more you have learned!" 

Giggling, the two girls dropped to their hands and knees and crawled to Portia's beckoning body. Brutia on her right, Bertia on her left, their fingers continued to work their magic, doing astonishing things to her thighs, hips, belly and breasts. 

"Oh sweet Venus!" Portia swore, "You two are amazing! Don't be shy, though. Come and explore my cavern of wonders!" 

They obediently descended upon her mound of Venus, kneading it with those marvelous fingers of theirs and slipping them inside. She could see the awe in their faces as they came to recognize the differences between her well-worshiped personal temple and their virginal vulvas. Three of Brutia's slender fingers fit easily inside. Portia decided she would not have properly instructed them in Sappho's methods without at least an introduction to fisting. 

"Come now, Brutia dear," she instructed, "Make your hand into a flower bud, like this." 

Wide-eyed, the door maiden did as instructed and Portia guided her diminutive hand into her welcoming sex. Berita giggled wickedly when she realized just what they were about and started to stroke Portia's labia, helping her open up for Brutia's entire hand. Berita started to lap at Portia's pleasure nubbin and Brutia began to knead her buttocks with her free hand. The young virgin's lust was truly inspired. They worshiped Portia's body with the determined obsession that Portia had only seen manifested before in her fellow clergy and devotes of Cupid. Portia had no doubt now that Vesta must have been making a drunken slut of herself. As difficult a concept as it was, it was the only plausible explanation. 

Tired of being the only woman in the courtyard not wholly consumed but lust, Portia centered her psyche and reached out to commune with Divine Venus. By no great coincidence, Portia's Goddess was en flagrante as well. Rational thought washed away as Portia was borne aloft on the wave of her amorous Patron's Divine Orgasm. She clutched the sweaty manes of the young vestals who eagerly played at her nether regions and let out an adulant cry of pleasure. 

* * * * 

Naked, drunken Vesta rolled about in her patch of lavender, then got up on hands and knees, beckoning Bacchus with a wiggle of her shapely rump to once again enter her. The Wine God's divining rod was drawn unerringly to her flowing well. 

Amid the impeccably sculpted shrubbery, the fragrant herbs, and the tasteful stonework, Vesta and Bacchus rutted like beasts. They grunted and groaned, jibbered and moaned as their godly flesh strained to occupy the same space. The flame that had always been contained within the hearth goddess raged on, consuming everything in it's presence, fed by the volatile spirit of the god of wine. Together, their raging inferno built towards climax. 

"Oh! Ung! Nnnnnnnnng!" Bacchus cried as his hot seed flowed into the goddess. 

"Ah-Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!" cried Vesta as her inner fire exploded, filling her being with heat and light as ecstasy overwhelmed her. Her drunken lover flopped beside her in the lavender, panting, but she was only vaguely aware of him as she rolled about. Her psyche expanded to fill the entire universe. 

As the drunken goddess reveled in her orgasm, She became aware of the exultant prayers of her clergy, singing her praises with a heady fervor she had never known. Crossing her eyes, she reached out with her divine senses to find that in each of her temples, all of her priestesses lay sprawling, grinning, and drooling, over come by Vesta's excesses. 

"Oops!" said the drunken goddess, then collapsed in a fit of giggles.  

The End.

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