Summary: Ares proves to Aphros that he always gets what he wants.
Ο Ἔρως Εμπνέει τον Πόλεμο
Olympian Muse: Love Inspires War
Once the two Olympians had arrived on Cyprus, Aphros had come to the realization that Ares had more in store than he imagined. Against all current logic pointing Aphros in the direction of ultimate escape, the counterpart desperately contemplated the reasoning behind such frivolous behavior—from the god of war, no less. Had Ares always been this way? Before their meeting, Aphros had only been aware of the existence of Ares through Aphrodite and the many trysts between them. Such trysts were rarely of concern for Aphros, at least until the moment when all of Olympus became aware of the betrothal between Aphrodite and Hephaestus. When Aphrodite went against the wishes of Zeus and continued her love affairs unrelentingly, Aphros worried in vain for her welfare, in addition to his own. That same worry brought him and Ares to the current moment where Aphrodite was no longer a part of the story; a moment when Ares seemed more entranced by him than any other.
"Why do you walk away from me, Aphros?" Ares called out angrily, shattering the myriad of thoughts in the beautiful counterpart's mind.
"I walk away because I do not understand you!" Aphros replied harshly, the path he now travelled consisting of familiar winding stone and exotic plant life. Aphros loved the island he grew up on, and it was there that he could always find solace in his troublesome life. Unfortunately, he would not find such peace with a tyrant following his every move.
"What is there to misunderstand, love? I brought you here to be alone and away from that feeble monster who—"
"He is not so bad as you make him out to be. He has a kind heart and he is very gentle with me." Aphros had nearly enough of this game, and he stopped his retreat in favor of turning to face his abductor. Folding both arms over his chest, Aphros coyly tilted his head and gave Ares a once over before continuing. "...Are you perhaps jealous of my connection to the man you are so adamant in hating?" Strangely, Aphros felt a sense of liberation in asking such a question, but the reaction Ares returned to him was entirely unexpected.
"Jealous? I have never been and never will be jealous of another, it does not matter what the circumstances are. Do not make such assumptions. If I want something...I take it. There are no other outcomes. What I want will always become mine when I deem the time necessary to claim it for myself." Ares smirked, taking one step forward; then another. "If you do not believe this, provide an explanation as to why you stand here before me and have not yet returned to our great blacksmith who eagerly awaits the arrival of this evening?" Hearing such a question, Aphros found himself at a loss for a proper response.
"You are quite the pompous Olympian if I ever met one, lord Ares."
"If by pompous you mean confident, I must agree with you..." Ares chuckled, quite clearly amused at their verbal battle.
At such a flawless counter of his attempted insult, Aphros began grappling for a proper response. On the other hand, Ares felt himself acquiring more and more ground on which to stand in his own claims. Aphros was forced to abandon any desire to fight back with words, instead focusing on the closing distance between him and the god of war. Taking slow backward steps, which doubled those of his opponent, Aphros suddenly felt water close up around his feet; nearly stumbling into his own bathing pond when his concentration was skewed. Finding balance at the last moment, Aphros pressed his shoulders against the mossy layers of rock behind him, scoffing at such audacity when it became clear to him that Ares had silently manipulated the space around them.
"You abducted me, my lord. Do you presume to say that I came here willingly?" Aphros queried, eyes narrowed in skepticism even as he knew his words were dripping with uncertainty. Ares took his last steps forward, removing any of the remaining distance that kept them apart. For what seemed like eons, the two Olympians shared a gaze of such intensity that all of Greece could have felt the tremor of its aftershock. Contrary to the response Aphros wanted, he was met with something quite different.
"I had no hold over you which disabled your abilities to flee if you wished." Ares let the words spill from his lips, and then held his breath afterward.
"I beg to differ with you, my lord..." Aphros growled deeply, his breath hitching as Ares brought both hands forward to rest against the rock on either side of his head.
"And how might you do that?" Ares responded simply, one brow cocked in full curiosity.
"Your arms were so tightly around my body that my capacity to breathe came quite painfully." Swallowing the dryness in his throat, Aphros breathed inward and exhaled shakily as if to prove his point even further. As Ares watched the display in front of him, he could not help noticing how beautifully the other man's chest expanded in front of him before contracting back into place. Ares allowed his eyes to travel farther up, settling on porcelain-like features imbued with the right touch of masculinity that the final result was nothing short of ambiguous. Aphros snickered inwardly with triumph once he witnessed the full fixation of Ares, the great god of war, aimed directly at him. Such triumph was short-lived, however, when Aphros felt the suffocating strength of those arms snaking around him once more. Aphros winced, and Ares began to possessively reel the counterpart in until he could have sworn he heard the hitching of breath.
"Is this what you were referring to, my love? The way I held you..." Ares whispered, the quiet sound of spilling water just inches away doing no favors to block out the arrogance in his voice. Aphros was occupied more with pressing both hands against the other's chest, determined eyes of aqua flashing the hottest of glares in an attempt to find relinquishment.
"I dare not say, my lord...I see no reason in giving you further ammunition with which to use against me than you might already have." Aphros put pressure on his assailant's chest as if to separate them, but it was to no avail.
"So you admit that I have gained the upper hand?" Ares asked nonchalantly, head tilting just enough so that he could brush his lips over the bridge of his captive's nose—remnants of kisses to come.
"I admit nothing, lord Ares...I only wish—"
"You wish what? To be taken? Ravished?" Ares suggested, one hand creeping down to lift up the wedding chiton Aphros had so delicately been wrapped in. Gliding war-roughened fingers over the smooth outer flesh of a newly exposed thigh, Ares gave Aphros a smirk which spoke many words without a voice being heard. Aphros felt his mind betraying him as a musky scent began to take over his senses; what he wanted to say entirely contradicted what he needed to do. What brand of fate could have landed him so conveniently into the hands of Ares, the impeccable god of war?
“Ah...do you assume that I am not happy with lord—” Aphros struggled to find the name which should have followed, but his eyes were trained on the face of Ares. With such strong and determined features burning right through him, Aphros had found much difficulty in making the slightest move. “Ah...” The moment Ares saw a second wave of crimson gracing such delicate skin; it drew a knowing smile from him.
“Hephaestus,” Ares offered quietly, chuckling as Aphros jumped in response to the feel of a hand sliding higher beneath his garments.
“I know his name!” Aphros snapped, pressing back against the piles of rock which only seemed to push him ever closer to his captor.
“I see that.” Ares continued smiling, leaning closer so he could lightly touch his lips to those of the stunning creature he held so tightly against him.
“Such an unruly son of Zeus...” Aphros interrupted, turning his face to one side before any contact could be made. It was clear to Ares that the counterpart was steadily waning in his desire to avoid the inevitable, especially since he was still being allowed to touch as freely as he wished without any sign of impending denial. Such denial may have been expected without doubt at one time or another in the past, but most definitely not now. The comment connecting his misbehavior to his father was nothing short of encouragement for Ares to continue with his plan of seduction.
“Now you understand why I always get what I want, do you not?” Ares responded with more than a hint of pride in his voice, which drew the counterpart’s attention back to him.
“Have you ever heard of asking for what you want? Maybe you would receive more without having to resort to thievery...” Aphros managed, though his voice was shaky in the process of trying to force a calm tone. Rather than taking such words as they were intended, Ares took them as a direct challenge. Of course, what Aphros suggested was also the silver lining that Ares hoped to find.
"My love, what fun would there be in asking politely like a conditioned human would? As you said, I am the son of Zeus. My father takes what he wants, as do I. The title of thief is quite admirable in light of my lineage." Ares touched his forehead to the other's, quickly forcing a lustful churn back into his stomach before he used his wandering hand to tug the counterpart's leg up and around his own hip. "But am I to determine that your inquiry means you are not bound emotionally to my brother?" As Ares spoke, he projected an even tone which would not betray the savage provocation hidden behind it.
"I..." The sudden repositioning of his leg made Aphros lightheaded, using both hands to grip the war god's upper arms so that he could steady himself. Any Olympian arrangement like those of Hephaestus and Aphros was to be adhered to regardless of emotional investment, was it not? How could Ares ask such a thing having come directly from the bloodline of Zeus? The question Ares posed itself was easy to answer, yet that answer was difficult to explain. With grim dignity, Aphros tightened his grip on the other's arms before a quiet voice spilled from his lips. "I am but bound to your brother by decree only..." With the confession finally breaking free from the depths of the counterpart's heart, streams of bitter regret began to streak helpless features. Ares, finally having the answer he needed, suddenly realized that he had somehow known it all along.
"My beloved Aphros..." Ares breathed in relief, both hands rising to gently cradle the counterpart's face as if he were the most precious being in the universe. Such caring behavior was unexpected when coming from a seemingly senseless madman of a war god, but when their eyes met in such a moment of raw honesty, Aphros felt all doubts about Ares and his intentions simply melt away. Wetting his lips in preparation to speak, Aphros found himself quickly silenced when Ares leaned forward to claim his quivering mouth in a kiss so intense that both deities felt their skin burn with feverish zeal. If Aphros had not wanted this from the very beginning, instinct would have cried out to him to stop such heresy. To the contrary, Aphros and Ares knew that their instincts collided in simultaneous mutual need, even as it presented a situation of destructive consequences. No time was spared as Aphros slowly moved curious fingers over hardened muscle until his arms had tangled around his possessor's neck.
"Mnh..." While Ares only deepened the kiss in response to the other's willingness, Aphros whimpered as he drew their hips together with the strength of his previously risen leg. The rush of water could be heard from all around, but their own ears seemed to completely void any sound that did not involve desperately panging heart beats or labored breathing. It was a lustful and passionate harmony that only Ares and Aphros shared; a harmony that only they wished to hear. Ares let his hands slide away from the other's face, now pressing heated kisses to tear-ridden skin.
"Why must you be so ethereal," Ares whispered dryly, drawing a shy smile from Aphros in return. It was then that Ares grasped onto the last leg Aphros had to stand on. "Hold tightly to me, my love..." Even as Aphros had gone untouched since his creation, he was not inept in his understanding of what Ares intended with such a request.
"The goddess Tyche must be watching over you..." Aphros huffed, his eyes flickering cautiously over the other's expression as he complied with the request. With a tender smile of affection, Ares shook his head and placed a reassuring kiss to waiting lips. Once Aphros was distracted, Ares effortlessly hoisted the counterpart's lithe body up and out of the trembling water below. Groaning as Aphros hugged both legs around him, Ares finally relinquished the love god back against the rocks for more support lest he become too enticed to downplay their chivalrous intimacy. Remembering the denial of his words when their kiss ended, Aphros smiled coyly and closed his eyes as his senses were filled with the rivers of jasmine flowers cascading down the mineral wall behind him. "No?"
"What we have found here has nothing to do with destiny or fortune. We have created this for ourselves." Again, Ares shook his head and leaned forward, leaving a trail of kisses down the length of a soft jawline. "Have no fear of our sanctuary running dry, my love...I will defeat all challenges brought forth against us. This is ours...for even longer than an eternity." Aphros raised his head, two vast pools of sapphire reflecting the face of Ares as if he were all they could see.
"If I were not mistaken...your words sound like one of the greatest declarations of love in the history of Olympus." Aphros spoke calmly, never once forgetting exactly who it was he shared such company with. "Could it be that one of the great sons of Zeus is claiming to love a mere counterpart to the great goddess Aphrodite?" Again, the flush of skin was apparent. Such a reaction was so rare in its display of humanity that it inspired Ares to slow his actions, and he stopped to admire the rouge-tinged skin for what it was: proof that he had broken through the innermost Bastille of any being which held a lonely heart captive.
"I confess, my beautiful Aphros, that what I feel for you has surpassed all else I may have felt for any other whom I have shown interest in prior to our meeting. As it stands, I would not know love if I experienced it. However, with your title and all that you stand for, I am more than confident that you will know before I do." Ares kept his voice balanced, as certain of himself in this new territory as he had proven to be in battle. Before Aphros could comment on it further, his lips were reclaimed in a kiss which demanded submission. Smiling briefly, Aphros acquiesced by returning the kiss in full.
“Mn—” Aphros could feel that there was something more than attraction since it was his duty to read such things in another, but even with that knowledge, it would be a slow process for the both of them. Ares had welcomed the trouble in bearing half of the crisis that once belonged to Aphros alone, which could result in relentless consequences should they be discovered in their rendezvous. Fortunately, Ares was not a god who dwelled on the negatives of a situation; in fact, Ares rarely saw himself facing repercussions of any kind. As the kiss progressed, Ares slipped two fingers beneath the loosely knotted belt at his companion's waist, tugging it free with limited effort.
“Finally...” Ares breathed in between kisses of desperate need, “the taste I have been wanting for so long...”
“You...enjoy my kisses?” Aphros almost giggled with excitement at the way Ares made him feel.
“I do enjoy your kisses, love. I enjoy the way you sound...the feel of your body against my own...the way your eyes shine so brightly when they look upon me...” Ares knew his voice had gone dry with the reality of his own feelings, but they were demanding in their necessity to be heard. “I love the passion you used up until the very end only to deny me the very thing you knew I wanted...the way you torment me now into a state of near insanity...your wiles could make any being tempted enough to break all rules of morality...just to have you.” Aphros found himself plagued by such lofty admissions, but he was also in a state of endearment.
“Pros Theôn...I do believe the great son of Zeus has fallen in love.” Aphros gasped, making no complaints when Ares casually stripped the himation from around his upper body. Once released of the final piece of fabric that bound his chiton, Aphros shivered with nervous anxiety. Could he handle this type of submission? Was he even ready for it? Ares brought his attention upward momentarily, noticing the other’s expression wrought with uncertainty. Ares quickly made up his mind to do away with any confusion Aphros may have had about his intentions.
"My beloved Aphros, I will not do anything that is against your own will. With the way I feel and all that has brought us here now..." Ares sighed with a shaky voice, lifting Aphros and making the other man face him as he explained himself. "If this truly is what it means to be in love, I wish to show you just how deeply this son of Zeus has fallen..." Ares sounded so confident and full of ambition that it prompted Aphros to smile, leaning forward after a few moments to give the god of war a gentle kiss of encouragement.
"Please do, my lord..." Aphros whispered, toes wiggling under the golden lace with which they were still clad. Each move from Ares came far easier than it had before once given the appropriate stimuli. War-ridden hands took care to unhook clasps where they held material together, then slowly drew away the last remainder of fabric from an untouched body. Once Aphros was bared openly to only the eyes of Ares, it was a momentous sight to see, and quite different than spying on someone as they bathed. Casting the lone garment away, Ares hastened to disengage from his own clothing until nothing remained between them. Gazing over the nymph-like creature with legs tangled so tightly around his hips, Ares leaned forward to leave heated kisses down the expanse of an exposed throat.
"I shall never grow weary of my name on your lips, my love..." Ares breathed out, hands taking full advantage of uncovered thighs if only to tug Aphros ever closer against him.
"Nnm...Ares...my incredible lord Ares..." Arms winding up higher on bronzed shoulders, Aphros slid his fingers into the other's hair and tilted his head back with a sound of approval at the attention he received.
"More..." Ares growled, fingers grasping desperately at the legs around him before sliding up to rest on the counterpart's waist.
"Ares—hah...show me..." Tugging furiously by now at the hair sifting between his fingers, Aphros rolled his body forward as if to press Ares further into his actions. The counterpart had no knowledge of what he did, only that it felt instinctual to behave so. With Ares, most of what he did or said in the presence of others relied primarily on his own will; however, Aphros had a great influence on his instincts.
"Show you what...my love...?" Ares was preoccupied with lashing his tongue out against collarbones and nipping hungrily at the curve of a flushed neck. "Tell me...I need to hear you tell me what you want." Another growl erupted from the war god, inciting Aphros to tremble under the sound, yet it made him whimper with need. Had he ever needed anyone so much as he needed Ares?
"...That you love me..." Aphros pleaded, a fresh round of tears already building up behind thick lashes which fought to keep them at bay. "Please...show me you love me." Ares pulled back once Aphros had opened up to him so completely, though it was not without risk. Ares and Aphros both knew that to plunge so headlong into something so strong and unsanctified was dangerous, but they believed otherwise. Reaching down between their bodies even as they shook with anticipation, Ares took hold of his own arousal and worked his fingers over swollen skin, releasing enough tension so that he could prevent any pain from reaching Aphros later.
"You will need to remain calm, love. Because you are still pure...I may cause you some discomfort." Ares swallowed the massive regret in his throat, the realization that he would soon taint this beautiful creature's virginal status almost too overwhelming to believe. Aphros blushed at the other's words, and then gently eased Ares forward by closing each leg even tighter around him. Ares felt his own breath hitch at the sudden movement.
"Allow me to be the judge of that, my lord...my lack of experience will not belie my knowledge of...what will come. Show me...that you love me..." Aphros whispered confidently. With a final sigh, Ares nodded and moved his hand away from its work between them until it was resting just beneath his companion's backside. The two shared a longing stare as if they were gauging the threshold of response, then Ares carefully pressed two fingers up against the tightest region of flesh.
"Ah—" Aphros winced, his body reacting in a slight twitch.
"Kiss me, Aphros...it will help," Ares offered, only moving his fingers up and deeper into the other's body even as it attempted to resist him. Aphros did not need to be told more than once, his body arching forward until their lips met in a fury of desperation. Taking advantage of such a distracting moment, Ares intensified the kiss as he progressed toward readying Aphros from the inside out.
"Mng—Ares..." Again, Aphros felt his body jolt with the extensive pressure which seemed to come from all directions. It was not so much painful, but it did ache. Ares smiled solemnly into the kiss as he felt Aphros constrict around the work of his fingers, though he could not let it stop him. Over time, limbs that were so dependently clinging to Ares had finally lessened in ardency. Even while Ares knew that Aphros had been well prepared, he remembered to take care in removing each digit.
"I know, love...it is uncomfortable but you must stay relaxed," Ares cautioned, brushing his nose against the other's cheek before holding his breath and reaching back down between them. "I promise you I will go slowly. I do not wish to hurt you."
"Un..." Aphros nodded, his body completely flushed and layered with sprinkles of clear pond water and sweat. Aphros simply wanted to feel for himself the love that Ares spoke of, and by now he was more eager than ever. "I am ready, my lord..."
"Just breathe..." Ares managed to take hold of his arousal once more, carefully inching steady hips forward. Aphros returned to gripping the other's biceps as tightly as he could, suddenly able to feel the solid tip of flesh edging against that same area of his body which Ares had made so tender. Closing his eyes, Aphros sighed heavily and tipped his head back against the flurry of jasmine resting behind him. Ares used one hand to steady the counterpart's lower half, while the other helped to guide him just barely inside. Aphros winced, but Ares groaned at the seemingly impervious state of such a pure body.
"I am fine...Ares..." Aphros whispered, eyes opening slowly while attempting to ground the slight pain by digging fingertips into the war god's muscled skin. Ares pushed further in, though he kept his movement slow and precise so as to allow the other man to accept him with discretion. "More..."
"You are too beautiful for me to stop..." Ares confessed, grinding ever deeper into the firm heat that drove him mad with hunger. Swallowing each heart beat that threatened to escape him, Aphros paced his breathing and relied on Ares to guide his body in the right direction. Lavishing kisses down the side of a throat, Ares gasped in complete shock when Aphros used both legs to tug him forward, finally sealing them together.
"Uhng—!" Aphros cried out in response to being filled so abruptly, arms sliding up and around his new lover's shoulders if only to hold him as close as possible. The distress was palpable, yet Aphros had never imagined a more sated feeling than the one he was experiencing. Ares leaned forward, resting both forearms against the rocks on either side of the other’s head, almost as if to both guard him and support his own weight.
“Nn—I cannot remain still...I apologize,” Ares huffed outward, gazing down over Aphros with amazement as he began to roll his hips in a slow rhythm. The labored rise and fall of his lover’s chest was so provocative that Ares moved forward greedily, wanting nothing more to keep him separated from such a stunning creature.
“Need more...” Aphros whimpered softly, legs trembling as they continued to maintain their enthusiastic hold around his lover’s waist. The deeper Ares pressed inside of him, the more Aphros felt himself livening up to the sensations washing over him in constant droves. While the pain was present at first, it tapered off until it was a dull, but wonderfully aching throb. Ares complied with his lover’s request, raining kisses down against skin which had warmed excessively through the proximity of their bodies.
“Move with me...” Ares moaned, lifting his head long enough to press his lips to the other’s for more incentive. Aphros responded with a kiss of his own, experimenting curiously by rolling his hips forward in a rhythm that nearly matched with that of Ares. Several moments passed as they explored what it felt like to be joined in such a torrid scheme of love making before they had found a pattern that suited them perfectly. Ares moved with adamancy and slow precision; however, Aphros met each thrust with increasing sounds of desire and enthusiasm.
“Ares...my angel...I cannot—” Aphros managed, his lungs expanding and contracting almost too quickly for him to keep up with. Ares growled each time he felt his lover’s fingers clawing into his arms and back, but it only made him tug the heavenly love god closer to him. “Uhn...I feel...weightless...”
“It is what the gods call ‘receiving your wings’ as a rite of passage, love...” Swallowing back the desire to continue even longer, Ares slid both hands up the side of his lover’s body before giving him a gentle squeeze.
“If these are my wings...I must envelop you in them forever...so this feeling will be only mine...” Aphros returned the squeeze he received by cinching his legs up against the small of his lover’s back.
“Such a wonderful sentiment,” Ares added, his body grinding forward ever harder so as to get Aphros to finally let go. The blinding force of Aphros tightening down on him made Ares feel as if those wings were already closing in around him. The sounds of elated birds, rushing water, and long awaited love making had mixed together in a symphony of impassioned need. It was in that particular moment when everything was crystal clear to them that it was time to let it go. “Together now, my love...”
“Yes...help me use my wings...” Aphros whimpered shakily, the very pit of his stomach burning as the tension in his lower half built up. One hard thrust was followed by one which was even harder, Ares feeling that yearn to make Aphros his in every way. Ares was first to cry out, and Aphros followed closely after once filled with a new pressure of wet heat. It was sudden, but the two furiously panting bodies finally melted together in blissful release. Aphros saw brilliant flashes of light for many seconds, Ares kissing away at his lips and neck as the both of them held one another in a vain attempt to calm their senses.
“I will move us to a more comfortable location...you need rest now...” Ares whispered, his voice ragged after such a forceful expelling of his emotions. Once again, other sounds of life and presence rang out in a happy chorus all around them. Ares carefully separated himself from Aphros, though with much hesitation, before pulling his new lover into both arms much like a husband would carry his bride. Resting his head against the support of a strong shoulder, Aphros closed his eyes and simply listened to the rhythm of his own heartbeat. It was strange how the unfaltering pattern moved of its own accord, yet remained so resilient to keep him from losing consciousness.
“I felt it...” Aphros proclaimed, his tone quiet as he pressed a hand to his own chest while the other found a place against the other’s. Making sure to catch each pound of a heart in the palm of his hands, he smiled at his own words. “With every part of me...it was projected so clearly...your true feelings for me.”
“Did you? How did it feel, love?” Ares replied, smiling affectionately in response to such a claim. Reaching a dense portion of grassy earth within the garden just outside the baths, Ares gently eased the both of them down beside one another. Aphros immediately wrapped his arms around the war god’s fatigued torso, tugging them closer together so as not to remain separated for too long.
“How does one put the feeling of love into words, Ares?” The response came quite simple, yet Aphros could not have been more confused as to how he could explain himself.
“What one cannot say...they might attempt to show instead,” Ares argued casually, lifting one hand to gently brush a single strand of hair from his lover’s eyes.
“And how might I do this, my lord?” Aphros closed his eyes, breathing in the masculinity of the man above him. “This is but my first time feeling something so powerful...I could not even control myself...”
“I do believe that is the strength that love can have. It makes us perfectly sane and irrationally mad all at the same time...it has the ability to do things that even we gods could not accomplish. Knowing you...I have come to realize that it has strength beyond anything we could ever understand...although I have had no experience with love on a personal level...” Ares suddenly tilted the other man’s face up toward him with a dignified smile, “...until now, that is.”
“Still the flatterer, I see...” Aphros quipped, leaning up to press a solid kiss to the other’s lips. Aphros was in a state of euphoria, eyes now locked on his lover’s face with far more than what could be considered genuine fascination. “I am honored to be your first experience with love...”
“Stay with me, Aphros...do not return to him,” Ares whispered faintly, fingers tracing over the same jawline which was now covered in his kisses. Ares saw the hesitation and pain in the expression returned to him at such a request, but even as Aphros pulled his hands away, Ares drew both of his up to catch them in what felt like a grip of desperation. “Please...”
“I would love nothing more, my angel...but the wings you have given me are for our eyes only. I cannot allow Hephaestus to see them...nor would I be free to use them against him.” Aphros felt his body beginning to tremble, but Ares was not ready to give up.
“And I cannot let you go...I am not a man who must beg for anything I have wanted or desired...can you not see what you have done to me? I cannot let you go.” Ares closed his eyes, then leaned down and helplessly rested his forehead against the other’s with a deep sigh. “I will not...”
“The great son of Zeus...broken down by a mere counterpart. Shall I weep or rejoice?” Aphros breathed out, now having his turn to lift his lover’s head so that they could face one another. “What can we do, my love? I have no greater desire than to stay with you...I have been given so much in this small amount of time we have had...” Aphros gazed over the face he had become so fond of, his expression returning to that same distanced solemnity that Ares had seen the day they met.
“Broken down I may be...but you are no mere counterpart. You have become so much more to me than I ever imagined.” Pulling the other’s hands to his chest as if to continue pleading with him; Ares could not bear the thought of sharing his beautiful paramour with another. He could not allow it. While Aphros should have been accustomed to hearing that anyone would gladly risk it all just to be with him, such a statement coming from Ares was quite different and most unexpected. The great god of war professing love for anyone other than himself? Curling his fingers nervously in his lover’s grip, Aphros sighed heavily upon realizing that he had come to a decision long ago.
“I will stay with you for as long as it takes until we are discovered.” Closing his eyes, Aphros tried to pace his own breathing and heartbeat before continuing. “But not today. Hephaestus must not know about us or what we have done here for it may anger him. What if he were to rage against us? I might lose you forever...”
“That is impossible, Aphros. As long as you exist I will always find you. Rest assured, my love...I will never let that happen.” With a loving kiss to pouting lips, Ares released his lover’s hands in favor of letting one hand roam over the still naked body beneath him. “You are so beautiful I do not want to think of returning you to my brother.” Aphros flushed at the compliment, tilting his face into the hand that suddenly touched upon his right cheek.
“I share your sentiments...but I must go back...” Aphros felt a single tear creep down the side of his face, but Ares quickly wiped it away with a gentle swipe of his thumb. “Even if it is only to appease Hephaestus...” They knew what had to be done, regardless of how much they did not want to do it.
“To appease Hephaestus...” Ares whispered to himself, eyes narrowing as he succumbed to the deeper thoughts in the back of his mind. Hephaestus could not even begin to understand the amazing creature which had been so easily stolen away from him, the realization alone plagued Ares to near madness. It was clear that Aphros must be returned to whom he had been promised. The planned union following such a return, however, would not come to pass.