THE STORY OF ISIS:
There are excellent versions of the Isis legends--and the Isis/Osirus story--out there. Instead of doing a lesser version here, why don't I just include the story as Maggi explains it in HER KIND OF TROUBLE...?
Since it was nothing he couldn't find out on the Internet, why not give him the 4-1-1 on the Goddess of a Thousand names?
"Isis was a powerful being in her own right," I started. "A goddess of magic and healing. But her most famous legend has to do with her marriage to the god Osiris."
"So a lot of these goddesses are part of a a sacred couple, are they?"
"I'm not sure how you'd define a lot" I felt something brush my foot, and stiffened. Then I realized it was Lex's foot. Sans shoe. Hidden by the fullness of the embroidered tablecloth.
When I caught his gaze, his brows lifted in polite inquiry. The brightness in his eyes contradicted his air of casual nonchalance.
Instead of protesting, I continued, "Remember that the French goddess, Melusine, was married to a mere mortal."
But at the moment, I could see the attraction of mortals.
"But she was married," he insisted, massaging my foot with his. "Are most"
He hesitated when I pulled my foot away, tried not to look hurt, then finished, "Most goddesses married?"
But the only reason I'd pulled away was to use the toe of one foot to slide a sandal strap off the other heel. Then, foot bare and all the more sensitive, I touched the ridge of his toes with mine, then ventured up his sock to his instep.
His eyes closed for a moment.
"Athena never marries," I told him, clinging to the sanity of what could have been a class presentation. "Or Artemis. Or..."
His toes caressed under the arch of my bare foot, which arched further in welcome. The rest of my body was taking notice as well now, a satisfied warmth like from a good glass of wine. But we weren't drinking wine with our dinner, not in a Muslim country.
"Or a lot of them," I finished lamely, grasping at conversation.
"But a lot of them are married, r--?"
He broke off as I drew my foot up the crease of his trousers, toward his knee, then back down, then back up.
"Right," I agreed, smiling evilly. "Isis. Hera. Persephone. Even Aphrodite... wait." My foot paused, resting on his knee. "Why are you asking this? You aren't leading up to another marriage proposal, are you?"
"A little higher, and I am."
He sighed as I deliberately slid my foot away. It would be much easier to insist on celibacy if I didn't continue this. More fair, too.
"According to the legend," I said, resuming the lecture, "their brother Set invited Osiris to a banquet where enemies ambushed him. Set cut him into pieces and scattered those pieces across Egypt. It's only because of her powerful magic that the grieving Isis was able to collect all but one of the pieces."
"Do I want to know what that missing piece was?" From his wince, he seemed to have already guessed that they had, as Rhys would put it, 'Abelarded' Osiris.
"No." I considered it. "But she made him a new one... Goddess of Healing, remember? She wrapped him in bandages--the first mummy--and breathed life back into him."
"The king who dies and is reborn." Clearly Lex recognized the familiar motif. "Like Arthur."
"Like a lot of gods. Not only did Osiris revive, but he was able to impregnate Isis with the god Horus. Then Osiris became Lord of the Underworld."
"Having been dead and all," mused Lex. "So he and Isis weren't together after that?"
"One of her ten-thousand names is Queen of the Underworld. She was able to move in both worlds, which may explain why her worship continued until the sixth century."
But while I spoke, Lex's foot quested up under my skirt....