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Ares couldn't sit still. He was sooo mad; mad didn't even begin to describe what he felt. That idiot brother, half-brother of his, ruining once again a very carefully planned war. He walked around the first temple he found, throwing fire-balls at every vase, statue, bust, anything breakable he saw. The war-god had just about destroyed half the temple, when a young man entered the main hall, where Ares was.

"Do you want me to throw them in the air first?" the man said as he walked over to Ares.

The war-god turned around to face the voice he immediately recognized, a smile involuntarily forming on his lips. "What do you mean, Joxer?"

"Well," Joxer said as he snaked one arm around Ares' waist. "You see, when my brothers and I were young, our father, I think you know him, Jonnus?"

"Jonnus...Jonnus... Ah! Yes, he was a good warlord. He's in jail now, right?"

"Yeah, along with Jett. Well the thing is, he taught us how to use the crossbow..." Joxer stopped talking when Ares' eyebrow went up. "Well, he tried to teach me, and taught my brothers, by throwing mother's dishes up in the air, we had to shoot them down." Joxer was finding it difficult to talk, since his god was planting small kisses in the hollow of his neck. "He said is was better than a still target, since when you are hunting, your prey is either running or flying and in war the soldiers are, as Jace put it, running around like deer too."

"Your father is an intelligent man... for some things. I still can't understand how some people can't see just how wonderful you are." Holding his lover in his arms, Ares felt the anger completely gone, replaced by that feeling, the one that always filled him when Joxer was near: love. Who would have thought it? The god of War, in love. For the thousands of years of his life, he had never been in loved, even more, no one, mortal or god, had ever loved him. "Jox?"


"Thank you." Ares claimed the mortal's lips in such an intoxicating kiss, Joxer was grateful he had those big, strong arms to hold him up. His legs were no longer up for the challenge. Ares broke the kiss to allow the young man to take a breath.

"Thanks Jox, for loving me, for making me laugh, for making me forget my anger, and all the pains I've ever felt, for just being yourself with me, and not changing, for being there for me always, when no one else would, and for teaching me to love, to love you, because I do love you, with every inch of my soul, I adore you. You are my life, you are my refuge, you are my light. I want you, I want to be with you, every day, every second. And I want to know that you love me, that you'll always love me.

"Oh, Ares..." was all Joxer could say. Never had Ares been so open about his feelings, about anything. He knew, or better, he thought, that Ares loved him; but that he meant so much to this god, to his lover, it was... overwhelming. He tried to come up with something to say back to him, but he knew he couldn't, after what Ares had just said, remember even how to speak. So he did the next best (if not the best) thing he could: he kissed his god with such passion and force, Ares knew that he did love him, just as much as he did. Joxer started moving backwards toward the bedroom behind them, pulling Ares with him, never breaking the kiss.


"Never leave me," Ares said as he stroked the hair of the mortal lying half on top of him.

"I never could." Joxer looked up at his lover, his god, his love, and kissed him.