Summary: With a scandal exposed, three Olympians strike an irreversible bargain.
Ο Ἔρως Εμπνέει τον Πόλεμο
Olympian Muse: Love Inspires War
Zeus had all the information and credence he required in order to make a final decision on the matter between his son and Hera’s. Ares and Hephaestus shared glances occasionally, but it was Aphros who stood between them and prevented any further lashing out at the expense of their lives. To the contrary of much mortal belief, Zeus was not above fairness within reason. Zeus stood from his throne, one hand held out toward each son.
“Hephaestus and Ares, the both of you have presented your own sides in this matter, but it is I who will make the final decision.” Zeus kept his hands held out, but veered them in toward Aphros. “You can have your battle for this counterpart. Although I know my son Ares acts with or without preparation time, we all cannot be so quick to move without armor and weaponry.” Taking his seat again, Zeus brought a hand up to stroke the beard at his chin as if thinking deeply on the subject. “I will give you three days to rally up the resources you need. How you use this time is up to you, but under no circumstances will I allow any tampering or influence placed on either side before the battle begins and finds its final victor.”
“You have my word, father.” Ares knew better than to challenge Zeus or his demands, especially as such behavior had come with a heavy price in the past.
“Your word is not worth the air it is voiced upon, Ares...but I will remember that I have it.” Zeus then turned his eyes on Hephaestus. “Do I have your word, Hephaestus?”
“Yes, my lord. I will prepare and do nothing to persuade my brother to surrender before the battle has begun.” Hephaestus had no desire to speak to his brother even if it were only to convince him to forfeit their battle.
“Not that it could ever happen. There is nothing you can say or do to convince me that Aphros is not worth my efforts.” Ares tightened his jaw in distaste of such a pretentious tone coming from his brother.
“Enough! I will not have this continue here! Both of you...return to your territories at once. The counterpart is free of any contract that binds him for three days.” Zeus finally landed his eyes on Aphros, the gaze he afforded was quite skeptical. “I do not know why you have chosen my son as your object of affection, but whomever the fates elect to win in this battle; you will be bound to them for an eternity. Consider yourself fortunate, fair counterpart, that you have been spared the conditions of your previous contract. You are not to interrupt the men or their preparations. If I hear of or catch sight of you doing so, I will banish you from Olympus...along with my son’s seemingly misplaced feelings for you. For what it is worth, I would take advantage of these three days as if they were your last. Is this understood?”
“Yes, my lord...I will not interfere.” Keeping his head bowed low, Aphros closed his eyes and fought off the emotion that was building up in his chest.
“Since I see no reason for Hephaestus to make armor for an enemy in this matter,” Zeus began, turning to look at his warrior daughter, “Athena, you will lend Ares your armaments.”
“...Yes, father.” Athena kept her eyes forward so as to hide the loathing in her gaze.
“Then we are finished here. Everyone is dismissed to continue their duties within the kingdom.” A smile played on the king’s lips as he watched Ares and Hephaestus part ways—without their beloved counterpart.
The following morning, Aphros ventured toward northern Thrace. It was in that territory that he would find the most frequented shrines dedicated to Ares—and quite possibly Ares himself. Walking slowly along the Nestus River, Aphros thought back on what had occurred the previous day. Was it possible that Zeus had given him and Ares even the slightest form of recognition in their affections? Had the king of gods actually given notice to the very idea that his most virulent of offspring could have any pure feelings of any degree toward another? Aphros looked around him as he walked, the scenery something he had not seen in quite some time. Some of the largest and fullest trees in all of Greece existed only in the Thracian forests, and it took Aphros by surprise to see how many remained by the river’s edge without becoming uprooted by the moving water. Thick branches of leaves blanketed the vast spaces of air above him in various shades of green; dark wooden trunks leading straight into the ground below as if they must forever uphold the glorious colors that sprouted from them. Aphros glanced down at the mossy earth he treaded on, blinking slowly before stepping around a randomly encountered rock that blocked his path.
“Why do you live in such a peaceful place, my love…” Aphros asked no one in particular, though it came out as more of a statement. The melodic choir of birds and other small wildlife seemed to indirectly answer his question, yet he knew only those associated with nature would best understand the dialect. Stopping short in his voyage, Aphros turned toward the river he had been using as a guide. Kneeling down by the dark blue waters, he used both hands to carefully lift some water to his lips. As he drank, the all too tranquil atmosphere gave Aphros the feeling that he was not alone. It had been such a long time since he had truly tasted earthly necessities that he was surprised at how cool the liquid was as it ran down his throat. Closing his eyes to enjoy the replenishment, Aphros sighed quietly to himself.
“You are a long way from home, god of love.” A familiar, husky voice made Aphros quickly whirl to a full stand—the presence he had felt moments ago finally confirming itself. It was hard to believe that Ares was not everywhere at once—visible or hidden—especially when he appeared at times when he was least expected to do so. On the other hand, Aphros felt his body flushing with happiness at the way Ares titled him. Just how long had Ares been following him? Even as Aphros was thrilled to see the other man at a time when he felt he would not, he could not help feeling as though he were always being watched. Perhaps such a thing was best for his personal welfare; however, just what limits would Ares go to in order to keep what he felt was his?
“Since when does the great god of war concern himself with such trivial things?” Aphros asked with a slight smirk on his lips. Ares chuckled at the response, and then made his way slowly to his lover’s side. Aphros felt his body being pulled into quite a possessive embrace. The war god had seemingly been changed overnight after their first meeting, and it was highly unlikely that something of that nature would ever happen to a god of Olympus—most notably a god that was known for his relentless asperity.
“Since I had the privilege of meeting such a beautiful creature such as yourself,” Ares replied confidently, leaning down to initiate a kiss before Aphros playfully balked at the action.
“I would hardly consider meeting me a privilege, my lord.” Aphros pressed both hands firmly against his companion’s chest as if he were barring him completely from receiving the affection he wanted.
“I am not you, my love...I consider our meeting a blessing in disguise.” Pulling Aphros closer with added force, Ares finally succeeded in procuring the kiss he had initially sought moments ago. Slowly closing his eyes, Aphros let himself become lost in the connection they shared, unknowing of how much longer they would be allowed such precious time together. Ares slid his hands up the counterpart’s smooth back, relishing the feel of musculature that he had long since desired to touch again. Aphros took it upon himself to indulge his own greedy needs and ran his fingers up the solid chest he had not yet forgotten, and then grazed his fingertips over well armored shoulders before pulling away just enough to speak—though out of breath.
“You should be preparing...but instead you are here sampling the prize before it is won...” Aphros whispered, his hands rising to rest on either side of the war god’s enamored face. “Have I not told you how devastatingly handsome you are? Especially when you are as in love as you look right now...I have not yet seen another god in Olympus look as you do.” Ares smiled coyly at the commentary, leaning down to press a gentle kiss to waiting lips.
“My beautiful dove has become quite the flatterer. I wonder...where might you have learned such a talent?” Just as Aphros had opened his mouth to answer, Ares stole another kiss. “Me. That is where.” Aphros wrinkled his nose at his lover’s swiftness, and then lowered his hands so that he could fold both arms over his chest as he gained an air of determination.
“I think you enjoy flattering yourself, my lord...” Aphros huffed, looking away as he filled his cheeks with air to show defiance of what Ares had claimed. “I am the god of love, after all...it is only natural that I know how to flatter and charm those I come into contact with.” Ares could not help chuckling at the way Aphros reacted to his attempt at playfulness, but the reality of what Aphros actually was rang quite true. Two uniquely different gods with completely opposite objectives—Ares was the last one to believe that they would ever have little, if anything, to do with one another. Ares released his hold on his lover’s body, retreating slowly from the river’s sandy banks as he began to respond.
“If what you say is true, my love...then am I to assume that I am merely under your spell at this very moment?” Taking slow steps, Ares brought a hand to his chin as if he were in deep thought on the matter. “That at your will alone I can be unbound and my feelings for you will cease to exist or as if they had never come to be?” To Ares, it was a far-fetched assumption given that he had never fallen in love with Aphrodite; she most definitely had the power to make anyone her slave if she so wished. Whatever powers Aphros had in relation to those of Aphrodite, they surely could not surpass hers. Or could they?
“Ares...I wish to ask you a question. However, before I do...I require your word of honor that you will answer me in truth. Do I have your word?” Aphros had followed Ares to where he was now idly resting his back against the thick trunk of a nearby tree. Looking up momentarily, Ares was struck by the earnest gaze of his lover’s eyes.
“Have I not been honest with you since the beginning, my love? If it is honesty you want, I have no qualms in giving it to you.” Ares awaited the question while Aphros took a few steps closer, both eyes on the war god’s face as if to watch his expressions carefully.
“Do you feel that you are in love with me right now?” Aphros asked the question leisurely, but with a hint of curiosity in his voice.
“You mean this very moment?” Ares responded, and then smiled thoughtfully as he took some time for himself in deciding his final answer. Aphros raised a brow at his lover’s reaction, but waited patiently. Eventually, Ares leaned forward and took Aphros by the hand before tugging him closer until their bodies were pressed together. Aphros gazed up at Ares as if he were willed to do so; lashes falling and rising again in a slow blink as he watched bowed lips part in reply. “I feel that I am very deeply in love with you, Aphros.”
“Mm...and this is the truth?” Aphros tilted his head, both hands deliberately dropping to each side of his body. Ares moved his own hands around his lover’s waist so as not to let him retreat should the effort be made.
“Your one condition was that I not lie to you was it not? It is the truth.” Ares watched Aphros carefully, witnessing no actions which might suggest rejection or concession.
“Then I must take your word, my love.” Aphros whispered, lifting his hands to rest against his lover’s biceps. “You see...” leaning inward, Aphros touched his lips to a tightened jawline. “My powers are weakened here...while yours are magnified.” Aphros smiled to himself, knowing full well that he never had an advantage over Ares in the very lands of his birth. Ares was not quite sure how to react to such information, and his thoughts were clearly reflected in his expression. Had he always been so busy that he forgot such a fact? On the other hand, how had he become capable of overpowering Aphros in the place of his birth the first time they made love?
“Is that so...” Ares calmly breathed, smirking just slightly as Aphros left another kiss against his skin. Aphros nodded in confirmation, and Ares was surprised at how easily the counterpart had acquiesced. It was almost too easy, as a matter of fact. “Why do you tell me this?”
“So that you are at ease in your suspicions of me.” The answer came quickly and without needed thought.
“My suspicions?” Now Ares raised a brow in skepticism. Why would Aphros care if he was suspicious?
“That it is your own heart, my lord...and not the charm of a mere counterpart that convinces you of these feelings to which you have confessed so honestly.” Aphros then lifted both hands, fingers gently resting against his lover’s face. Aphros was correct in what he stated, though it threw Ares into a whirlwind of suspense at the realization of such a truth. Could it be that he had never fully understood his feelings until they were legitimately and so unabashedly pointed out to him? It was then that Ares decided to use this stunning epiphany to his advantage.
“Well then...if my influence is indeed stronger...” Ares began simply, kneeling down just enough to sweep Aphros up into both arms. The action startled Aphros and he nearly fell from his lover’s arms while grappling for stability, but Ares gripped him firmly enough before such an accident could occur. “I will thrive on this chance to show you just how strong it can be.” With those final words, Ares returned to the riverside and proceeded to follow the trail of reeds headed northeast.
Where the river ended there was a small cove bordered by mountainous rocks; various lengths of ivy spilled from the rocky cliffs above. The most amazing part of the entire scene was the waterfall: it cut a path through the many shades of green covering so that it could stream heavily into the clear pool below. Thick collectives of bubbles and foam spread out across the surface of the waters; the rippling movement causing various plants and foliage near the banks of the cove to tremble. The trees were much taller and darker in hue than those they had left behind. Aphros was in awe that Ares could have ever been born near such breathtakingly beautiful surroundings. As Ares finally released his lover to stand on his own, Aphros surveyed the scene around him with widened eyes.
“I have only heard about Thrace...but this is not what I remember being told.” Ares chuckled to himself, lifting a hand beneath the counterpart’s chin so as to draw attention back toward him.
“My love...this is one of the few areas of Thrace where the landscape is unscathed by darkness and war. There are many shrines on this land, as well as numerous Thracian tribes who tend to each of those shrines. But even as we are not far from my palace, I promise that you are safe here.” Aphros felt the heat in his face rise at the chivalry that Ares was providing to him, and his eyes flickered away momentarily.
“Why did you bring me to this place?”
“You were already here, Aphros.”
“That was not my question, Ares...” Aphros returned his focus to Ares, now with an eager expression.
“I brought you here to remind you of home.” Ares pulled Aphros into his arms as he spoke; the reflection in his eyes was that of the counterpart’s perfectly sculpted features. For the first time, Ares noticed that Aphros was wearing apparel that seemed to echo that which he wore on the first day they had met. Contrary to that day, however, he was stunned that such elegant fabric did not catch his attention sooner simply for the fact that it was a deep crimson color—exactly the same shade as the blood of all those he had claimed in countless battles. But what were battles now that he had been solely focused on winning the love of Aphros? He had not even attempted to prepare for the battle with his very own brother, now set to commence in less than two days. Any battles seemingly mattered not to the war god at that point in time, especially when he was fighting a war within himself. Suddenly, a light gasp threw Ares from the deep web of thought he had been constructing—forcing him back into the reality of where he was and who he was with. Dropping his gaze, Ares found that Aphros had one hand rested against his chest. At that moment, Ares felt his chest thundering with the movement of his own heart as if it were trying to escape from inside his body.
“Ares...your heart...” Aphros curled his fingers in and out as if he could not believe his own sense of touch, “it has gone mad!” What Ares saw not only intrigued him, it also compelled him to lift his lover’s face until their eyes were level with one another.
“If this madness is a result of my love for you...then by the gods may I never be sane again.” Before Aphros could endorse or condemn his lover’s words, Ares seized his lips with such ferocity that it drove a whimper from his throat. Aphros closed his eyes tightly, returning the kiss as equally as possible even as it was slightly painful to do so. Ares could feel the counterpart’s arms sliding up and around his neck, which only drove him to continue his assault on the mouth he had become adamant in retaining control of. Leaning forward, Ares pulled Aphros ever closer as he deepened the kiss. Ares began to feel a peculiar form of electricity crackling up his spine, while Aphros felt the pressure of his lover’s tongue rolling aggressively against his. Abruptly, Aphros arched his back and pulled away just enough to where he could catch his breath.
“My lord...” Aphros panted, eyes flickering anxiously over the features in front of him, “you are quite insatiable!” Ares looked at Aphros with a pained expression, almost as if he were unsure of himself in that moment—but he quickly came back to his senses and held back a growl in his throat.
“When all comes down to you, my love...I am quite insatiable. Have you not noticed this until now? You are free of your binds to my brother at this time...and I was never bound by any regulations but my own. I plan to make good use of all this freedom.” With those words, he knelt down and hoisted Aphros into his arms with slight effort due to the unexpectedness of his actions. Aphros began to resist, but when Ares gave him a look of desperation against it, Aphros gradually became submissive to the war god’s resolve. As Ares composed himself and turned toward the basin of water just mere feet from them, he began to wonder: had he truly gone mad or was he so in love that he could no longer tell the difference between sanity and madness?
“Ares...” Aphros lifted a hand to touch the side of his lover’s face, forcing the man to look at him. “Something is wrong....tell me.” Shaking his head, Ares leaned forward to press an assuring kiss to his lover’s barely parted lips. What had Aphros done to him? What had he done to himself?
“Nothing is wrong, Aphros...I am only thinking.” Such an answer was not enough for Aphros, but he knew that the thoughts in his lover’s head would remain there until Ares wished to voice them—and then was not that time. Aphros glanced down as he heard the swishing sound which accompanied the movement of water, finding that Ares was entering the clear waters at the base of the falls. Aphros gained a look of fascination at the way the trembling water reflected all the colors around them, making Ares chuckle at his lover’s child-like appearance.
“There are fish here?” Aphros asked innocently, tilting his head to one side as he gazed into the water as if in search for something.
“There are, my love.” Upon reaching his destination, Ares slowly released Aphros into the water. As his toes slipped into the cool liquid that was then surrounding them, Aphros smiled at the way it tickled his skin—all the way up to his hips. It was strange that Ares found the ‘lesser god’ to be far more attractive than any other true god he had encountered in his own lifetime, especially then as Aphros retained that childish aura about him. Aphros reached down to run his fingers casually through the water to pat the backs of lazily floating fish below, smiling more brightly whenever he was actually able to touch them for a lengthy period of time.
“The fish here are friendly...” Aphros sighed happily to himself; fingertips brushing slightly against a fish’s tail before it turned away and disappeared into a mass of bubbles caused by its quick movement. Aphros frowned, turning around in short circles as if to look for the fish to no avail.
“Aphros...” Ares whispered, taking a step closer to his lover with a slight smile. Aphros glanced up from his searching and found Ares face-to-face with him. The intensity in his lover’s eyes seemed as though it were demanding something that Aphros had not yet provided to him. It was almost frightening, yet it was also exciting to know that there was still an unknown between them that could spark such feelings. Aphros returned the gaze he was receiving, though not able to match its strength before finally exhaling as though he were being crushed under the weight of it. His smile returning, Aphros lifted both hands to rest lightly against his companion’s face.
“Is this where you ravish me and add another mark to your long list of salacious dalliances?” Aphros tilted his head, eyes gleaming as he chose his words carefully. Ares was not amused that Aphros could lower his existence to that of a common harlot.
“You are not beyond reproach, Aphros.” Ares tightened his jaw, gripping Aphros tightly by the waist and holding him firmly as if to reinstate his words. “Do not presume to group yourself with those who are.” Aphros felt his heart begin to itch with his lover’s words, and he curled his fingers into his palms nervously.
“You do not think me venal?” Aphros smiled coyly to hide his own feelings, and then gasped as his lover's grip had become so tight that it made him wince.
“I do not. You confuse seductiveness with venality.”
“Do I now?” Aphros was intrigued, and he moved closer to brush warm lips over his lover’s jaw line. “Enlighten me, my lord. How have I made such a dire mistake?” Ares felt his arousal more evidently than before, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to hide it.
“I could never love one who is of venal character or frame of mind...” Ares held his breath and blinked slowly as he felt those lips against his skin; he wanted nothing more than to claim them to silence. “I must confess that I do love you, Aphros...with all my black and war-ridden heart.” Aphros was taken aback by such a statement, but he managed to keep his disposition under control as an idea came to him.
“Really...” Aphros breathed out quietly, leaving kisses along a taut jawbone before slowly lowering one hand down his lover’s torso—stopping abruptly in between the war god’s legs. Applying slight pressure, Aphros used his fingers to glide methodically over the apparent and painful hardness. At that point, Ares had stopped breathing and Aphros smirked as he met his lover’s gaze. “Your heart is higher up, angel...”
“Nng—You...” Ares felt his entire body respond to Aphros by going rigid, “...will be the death of me.” Dipping his head, Ares confined the counterpart’s lips to an aggressive kiss that demanded full response. Aphros felt his knees nearly buckle at the power behind that kiss, and he indefinitely returned it with as much effort as he could gather given his growing weakness to the situation at hand. For a god of love, Ares found his lover’s submission quite out of character—though he realized it would not have happened quite so easily without his own influence. Chuckling quietly to himself, Ares encircled Aphros with both arms before he began to lead the both of them back toward the waterfall that ceaselessly poured out over the moss-covered crag. Suddenly, Aphros felt his back touch upon one of those rocky areas and it made him gasp during a series of otherwise impenetrable kisses.
“As will you...” Aphros sighed shakily, eyes fluttering to a close as he braced himself against the water-soaked rocky barrier behind him. Ares licked his lips as he watched Aphros arch his body forward, arms hanging loosely over his shoulders though his hips came so close to making contact that it aroused Ares all the more to imagine the results. Now gluing his mouth to his lover’s neck, Ares lapped harshly at the fair skin and used his hands to slide down the counterpart’s outer thighs—though mainly to feel the wet warmth of finely built muscle. Aphros rolled his head off to one side to allow Ares more access, one leg casually rising to hook over a hip before drawing their bodies closer together. “Let us make love...my impervious god of destruction...” Aphros felt his body flush with heat at his own request, smiling to himself in such a way that Ares was reminded of innocence at its best. Aphros was not innocent, yet he could still mirror that image with little to no effort. How could there even be such a possibility of this, especially when it came to a god of love? Ares realized and had even admitted that Aphros was capable of being his ultimate undoing, but for that to happen would mean his own defeat in not just mind, but body and spirit as well. Could he really allow himself to succumb to another so completely? Leaving marks upon bites over gloriously smooth flesh, Ares bit down on his lover’s shoulder.
“Why must you be so beautiful...?” Ares growled, fingers clinging tightly to the strong legs he had been physically admiring. “To gaze at your body alone has the power to sweeten my tongue...but to taste you...such a flavor is ambrosial and burns the palate with desire...” Hearing Ares speak such inspired words of passion and hunger made Aphros tremble, and he had to bite down on his lower lip in order to hold back the sounds that threatened to escape. Ares could no longer control himself, fingers already working at the fabric and threads binding his lover’s clothing; however, disrobing was slightly difficult now that the material had become wet and adhered itself as though it were trying to become part of the skin it shielded.
“Ah—Ares...” Aphros sighed, fingers now possessively combing through his lover’s hair as he heard yet another growl shake the space between them.
“I have no intentions of giving you over to my brother...even if it were possible for me to lose that battle he has imposed upon me...never...” Lifting his head, Ares pressed an open-mouthed kiss to the counterpart’s lips while lashing his tongue forward to taste unspoken words which now only existed on the heated air between them. Aphros whimpered with satisfaction at how Ares handled him, throat tightening as he felt sneaky fingers creeping their way beneath his chiton. The very cloth itself clung tightly to damp skin even as Ares relentlessly pushed it up higher; Aphros felt his body heat rise at the very idea of his lover’s objective. Aphros arched forward as Ares squeezed his hip bones, their arousal coming into contact for the first time. This drove Ares so close to the edge that he was forced to bite possessively at the love god’s lips with a groan, desperately trying to control his increasing enthusiasm.
“Ares...my love...” Aphros nearly cried out, but managed to control his voice enough to where it sounded more like a compliant request. “Ravish me...I beg of you...” Fingers trailing up and over his lover’s muscled shoulders, Aphros felt his stomach tremor at the sounds Ares made in response. Such noises were akin to a child that wanted something, yet did not know how to ask for it. Was Ares attempting geniality by tempering his behavior?
“You...” Pulling back for a moment, Ares licked his lips and shook his head in disbelief. “Even this way...you are absolutely beautiful.” Aphros gazed heatedly at the war god, but Ares had already decided that he would take his time in getting to know his lover inside and out all over again. Ares lifted both hands from shaking hips to rest them on broad shoulders; slowly gliding his fingers over warm skin while removing the upper portion of clothing that covered his lover’s body. “Your body...must have been created by beings higher than the gods...” Ares watched in awe as the fabric fell away from ivory skin to reveal that well-built torso he had seen on occasion and was only able to taste but once before. Aphros felt the epicurean gaze of his lover and his chest tightened in response—making both pectoral and abdominal muscles become far more noticeable than before.
“Whoever made me...it seems they made me for you.” Swallowing the dryness in his throat, Aphros shifted beneath his lover’s weight and reached out to hold his face lovingly. “My body...heart...and even my mind...they all react to your very presence...your behavior.” Brushing a thumb over the sharp curve of a lower lip, Aphros smiled and gave pause to his speech as if to take in the real essence of what he was saying. “The way you touch me...the way you look at me...your voice when you speak to me...” Pulling Ares closer, Aphros then leaned up to touch their lips together so softly that it could barely be felt by either deity. “Make love to me as if you were going into battle...for the last time...” Aphros whispered, both hands retreating from the warmth of his lover’s visage in favor of helping him to begin undressing. With the blessing of Aphros, Ares ran his fingers playfully down each side of the love god’s body before stopping at his hips once more.
“Say my name again...it has never sounded so perfect than when it comes from your lips.” Unlacing a golden belt from around the counterpart’s waist, Ares eased the rest of his garments open and finally let them fall haphazardly into the water that surrounded them. Aphros was more inhibited, but he eventually managed to slide a single piece of mid-length fabric from the war god’s waist. Aphros curiously felt over the small amount of clothing as if it were new to him, though he was more than familiar with Olympian males wearing such limited amounts of bodily attire in order to show off their masculine forms.
“Ares....my love...” Setting his eyes on Ares—or more exactly, his now entirely naked body—Aphros bit down on his own tongue to keep any sounds of arousal subdued.
“So soft like the feathers of a dove...” Ares slipped his fingers beneath the knee of a strong right leg, lifting it so that it was wrapped completely around him. “Hold fast, my love...I will do my best to provide and reinforce the love you are asking for.” It hurt to remain quiet when there were so many feelings and emotions within him, but he did not want to free them just yet. By his own will, Aphros bent his left leg and twined it around the war god’s waist impatiently. Ares leaned down and began to press soothing kisses against the flesh of a throat, collarbone, and even the upper abdomen. Ares made sure to cover as much space as possible, whispering what seemed to be phrases of enchantment. Suddenly, Ares felt his breath hitch, while Aphros arched upward—both gods had played the fox card in unison by lacing their fingers around one another’s arousals—now pressed tightly against one another.
“Un...it is painful...” Aphros whispered shakily, though Ares knew what kind of pain was being referenced and it made him stroke his lover harder—hoping to placate the discomfort. At the same time, Aphros arched higher, though he rolled the pad of his thumb over and over the very tip of the firmness he held so delicately in his possession. Ares groaned as he felt the thick heat of his own fluids being spread over him, preparing him for what was to come. Ares massaged his fingers over the base, then moved to the center of the shaft and gave a careful squeeze. Upon hearing a muffled cry escape the counterpart’s throat, Ares could not resist himself and leaned over the beautifully angled body beneath him to capture panting tiers in a rapturous kiss. Once Ares had the counterpart distracted, he slowed the pumping of his hand and moved his fingers deeper between two sensually interwoven legs. Before Aphros could object to this, Ares slipped two viscid fingers into his lover’s body and immediately began to move them in a way that would ease the coming pain. As this was the second time, Aphros was not in pain per se, but he found it impossible not to whimper into the deepening kiss he shared with Ares due to slight discomfort.
“Shh...” Ares kept his voice low, leaving gentle kisses against the counterpart’s face as he took several moments to continue moving both fingers as carefully as possible. Aphros pressed his tongue into the corner of his mouth with a nod, willing his own body to agree as well even as it did not want to. Finally, Ares was nearing the last moments of the preparation ritual as the tightness around his fingers was disappearing. Aphros had long since relinquished his hold on Ares, both hands now resting against the war god’s chest while his nails curled in and out to scratch anxiously against bare skin. Ares quickly, but cautiously, set about positioning himself so that the very tip of his arousal began to penetrate the most sensitive part of his lover’s body. Aphros made an immediate sound of approval, his lower half tingling with excitement as it all too quickly swallowed up the lengthy and intrusive pressure of swollen flesh. Once fully engulfed, Ares closed his eyes and gasped out a heavy groan—he was so close to giving in at that moment but knew it would be a waste if he did so.
“My love...” Aphros panted dryly after some time of adjustment, “please move.” Ares gave the god of love a once over to be certain of his words, then allowed himself to roll his hips forward with a guarded pace. Ares nearly lost his breath several times as he watched the body beneath him arching and writhing in response to his movements. Also, Ares could have sworn he saw Aphros change his facial expressions from anxiety to desire, then back around full circle to begin again. It was one of the most incredible scenes he had ever witnessed next to claiming the lives of his past enemies. What scared Ares the most was the impact of that very moment, the mental and physical impact alone, might possibly surpass all others in his life.
“I love thee, Aphros...” Ares spoke in heated whispers, leveling his breathing and the tone of his voice so that he could be heard—but not by anyone other than the one his words were meant for. For a split second their eyes met, and it was in such intensity that Ares was able to see the full cathexis of the being he was embracing. Aphros was the god of love, after all, and even the most expected of epiphanies could not release Ares from the shock he felt at his new discovery. Whatever Aphros might have felt or thought, needed or wanted; it was reflected in the pale oceans of cobalt Ares could not free his own gaze of. Aphros finally smiled, tears escaping the boundary of thick lashes only to streak quickly down the sides of the counterpart’s face as if in retreat from their lifelong prison. Leaning down to kiss the salty liquid away, Ares pressed their bodies together and began to move his hips in a controlled rhythm. Aphros bent his legs slightly, locking a foot over an ankle behind his lover’s waist. It was hard to keep from touching the amazingly toned body that was making such an impression on him, thus Aphros moved his hands up so that he could slide his fingers through dampening hair.
“I can feel the truth you speak...” Aphros choked out, his body heat increasing as Ares drove so deeply that it made his breathing slightly complicated. Ares quieted his lover by taking possession of his mouth in a way that allowed him to glide his tongue up against trembling lips, then beyond them shortly thereafter. Tugging gently at the hair he held in his fingers, Aphros returned the kiss and began to move on his own accord to match the rhythm of his lover’s body. Each push forward made muscles expand and contract, the very act of their love making was enough to once again close them off from the world around them. The only sounds they could hear involved those of labored breathing and broken gasps of arduous devotion. Sliding his hand up against one of the legs so tightly pressed against him, Ares gently squeezed his lover’s outer thigh before using that same grip to raise the leg slightly higher. Hips now thrusting in at a new angle, Ares groaned heavily at the pleasure it gave him to feel such heated constriction. Aphros, on the other hand, cried out as his body leapt upward with each of the war god’s calculated and powerful movements.
“So alive...” Ares whispered, continuing to press warm, but hungry kisses to the pale skin of a strained throat. Water splashed as they moved together in a harmonious rhythm of zeal, while all other forms of nature around them seemed to continue without their notice. Aphros did not cease in his calling out of Ares, especially once he had been caught up in the throes of his own pleasure. Ares relished the visuals he was given: sweat and water had joined together on flushed skin in chaotic moiré patterns; beautifully fashioned muscle and sinew tightened in multiple places under the weight of their vigorous conduct; vessels carrying the fluid of life would make themselves present in the throat whenever an effort was made to speak or breathe; full, but kiss-swollen and quivering pink lips parted and closed so rapidly that Ares was tempted to seal them forever with his own in an attempt to end their relentless acts of seduction—no matter how innocently or naturally it was contrived. Ares began to realize that he had fallen so in love with his consort that he was now imagining a world where only the two of them existed and nothing more. Had he finally reached his limit of undoing?
“Ares...I fear...” Aphros panted, his hands having moved in the process of his exhilarated state to claw helplessly at his lover’s back and shoulders. “I fear...I may be using...my new wings...soon.” Ares swallowed the primal response with which he may have answered, knowing such a statement to mean that his lover was close to his apex. Nodding in concession, Ares began to drive his hips against Aphros in such a way that it made the counterpart’s body tremor and pulse in his arms. Using both arms to lift Aphros from the rock where he had been steadied, Ares silently begged the creature to hold onto him as he rolled his hips up and into the one place he knew would release the both of them. Fortunately, as Aphros begun panting dryly, all it took was a single maneuver of his hips crashing down hard against those of his companion before he cried out for the last time—his release also signaling that of the man that held him so intimately. Both Olympians let their spirits run free with newfound ecstasy, clinging so tightly to one another that the harsh breathing between them became even more so. What started as a playful moment of casual banter had turned into an exchange of love, yet both gods involved in such acts knew that they were risking everything by spending time together at all during a period when they should have remained separate. As the heavy breathing calmed and all sounds returned to them, two pairs of eyes found one another before sharing satisfied smiles.
Speaking in full was out of the question, although one particular grouping of words was heard between the two lovers before they resigned themselves to procuring languorous kisses of adoration upon one another’s lips.
“I love thee."
One clouded figure stood hiding behind a mass of large trees, having watched the love tryst unfolding for quite some time. Even as there were many reservations against it, the stormy figure knew what had to be done in order to save his master from ultimate ruin—even at the expense of his own existence.