Night. Alone. Finally.
Ares shut the double windows to his room, blanketing the room in darkness but for the faint blue moonlight. The sweet smell of his mother’s pomegranate trees sickened him, overripe and heavy on the branches. The fruit grew well in drought. As well it should, with his parents trainwreck of a marriage.
Ares toweled off his damp hair and grabbed the toothpaste.
Rest. Soon. He exhaled a heavy breath.
He’d avoided Zeus all day, hoping to ask his uncle for a favor. But the press of bodies in that hellacious Underworld line had him itching. Hades did it on purpose, to discourage participants. But if there was anything a soldier understood, it was withstanding bureaucracy. Ares had stood there, fuming inside as his mind whirred with how to protect his mother without causing a civil war. How to do right by...
Then, he’d seen Persie. The memory of her had him smiling around his toothbrush. Sweet little thing. It had been too easy riling her up. Finding joy in other’s anger shouldn’t be so fun, but Ares was….broken. Persie would forgive him. She always did.
In his room at the family estate, he knew the night’s silence would help him think, clear his head. A plan would come to him. It had to. He had family matters to patch up, things no one but him could set right.
A whisper of silk. Rose oil and earth. A shadow in the mirror’s reflection was the last warning before an arm closed tight around his neck. Then, something else.
Cold, sharp steel.
“You know what a blade at my throat does to me?”
“It excites you,” Aphrodite whispered against his ear, tugging him closer until her back thumped against the wall and she felt the heady, familiar weight of his body. Thank fates she could fly. She always forgot how tall Ares was.
“I missed you.” His eyes fluttered closed on a sigh.
Don’t show weakness. She pressed the dull edge of the knife deeper. “You have a funny of showing it.”
“You know I love you. Always will.”
She tugged firmly at his hair until his neck craned back, adams apple bobbing on a tight swallow. Still, he didn’t fight her. “You think love has a knife to your throat? That I’m here for pleasure?”
His chest rose and fell on sharp breaths, the red skin around his eyes flushing darker. “Fates, I hope so.”
Aphrodite’s traitor body heated in response. It was always this way, an endless cycle of lust and connection. Then, he’d disappear, off to answer the call of some man’s war. It had been four months this time.
She had to talk sense into him. Growling, she released his throat and pushed him forward.
“We need to talk.” She floated to the cool tile floor and glared at him in the mirror, too afraid to touch him again.
A feline smile, a promise of danger, curled at his lips. Why did he have to be so beautiful, such a perfect contrast to her? Yellow and purple were as complementary as their souls. She straightened against the bathroom wall, hands back. There was nothing she wanted more than to touch him, feel his heat, take his pain.
“We can talk,” Ares said, head tilting as his gaze wandered her head to toe. The trench coat tied at her waist suddenly too tight. The blue moonlight and red glow of their eyes seemed to light up the sterile bathroom. “Let me hold you, and we’ll talk.”
“Touch me, and I’ll cut you.” Aphrodite waggled the knife at him.
He loved it when she played with knives. Well, maybe she could use it to her advantage. Steeling herself, slipping into the old familiar role she only enjoyed with him, she stepped closer.
Ares' hungry gaze dropped to her lips and he turned to reach out and hold her chin in the softest caress. Danger.
“No!” she poked the knife into the soft underside of his jaw and pinched a nipple. “You know this game. Remind me of the rules.”
His smirk turned to a grin of pure anticipation. She could almost see his eyes dancing like flames, swirling for her, the promise of violence and lust, but controlled.
“You’re in charge.” He dropped his hands to the counter. “Red if it’s too much. My goddess wants her favorite slave still and silent.”
Favorite? That was so cute, and so true, she couldn’t help but smile. “We’re talking, remember. You can speak, if it’s relevant.”
Ares trembled as she dragged the pointed edge of the blade down his throat, then trailed it down his chest.
Together again. Peace. There were so many things he wanted to say, declarations of truest feelings, rages against his cursed fate. But he swallowed and kept it all pushed down.
When Aphrodite put her blade, her rope, her whips on him, everything melted away. Even himself. Especially himself and the ever present, boiling rage in his gut. It only simmered, asked to do her bidding. Waited for her command. Nothing felt like this. At her mercy. In her hands.
The blade slid down, rasping just under the elastic of his boxers. Tension snapped every muscle tight. His heart pounded so hard it throbbed where she gripped his wrist with her free hand. Pressing firm on his pulse, she seemed to take stock of the steady thrum. Glancing up, she looked at the pink cast on the countertop and cocked her head, zeroing in on his nose.
“Says the woman with a knife pointed at my dick,” Ares chuckled, but her eyes narrowed, twisted his forearm until she saw the red, angry slash, already half healed. “It’s a flesh wound, I assure you. The cast is mostly for Hebe and mom's sake.”
“Who hurt you?”
“Don’t worry about it.”
She sighed then leaned up and kissed his collarbone then his nipple, smoothing the fingers of her free hand from his nose to his jaw. Whisper soft and reassuring. She turned sweet in that last breath before it all went fuzzy. “You’re safe. You know that, right?”
“With you? Always.” Ares nodded, keeping his voice firm and deep. Just because he was safe, didn’t mean she was. He’d never hurt her, or the children, but it didn’t mean he belonged with them.
But this, they could do. This, they always did so very well.
The sharp side of the knife hissed over his chest, scoring the hairs as it went. Twisting it quick, she changed direction. He never knew which way she’d go, but every fat stroke made him shiver, sent a cascade of tingles across his skin. His nipples were diamond hard points. The tip of the blade slid down one arm, then up the other, before tracing his jaw in a continuous line of lightning and fire.
Aphrodite pulled away, and everything went dark and cold without her. Before he could protest, he watched her bite the knife between her teeth and pull black cloth from her pocket. Unrolling it, he recognized the glove. She’d had it fashioned after one of his uniform gloves but sewed five sharp points at the fingertips.
“Kitten came to play?” Ares’ breaths came faster and shallower.
She tugged the glove over her right hand and snatched the knife from her mouth in the other.
“With you? Always,” she said, as a bright smile, the first unbridled one of the night, unfurled. For a moment, her beauty struck him speechless.
She pressed the tip of knife against one areola, while slowly dragging her needle sharp fingers together of the other. His head fell back on a grunt at the exquisite pleasure. Her gift of pain.
She went to work then, twisting the blade to trace over the puckered, sensitive skin of his scars. Across his abdomen, he tightened and grimaced at the sensitive scrape of metal over skin. And her gloved hand stayed busy, sweeping across his chest, up his neck, and finally down his side, daring him to writhe.
But he stayed still, focused on his breath and the tingling sensation that grew to a fire beneath his skin. It almost rivaled the wrath churning deeper inside.
Most of all, Ares focused on her. Black silk trench coat, black hilted dagger, black glove, and huge black pupils, blown with arousal. He’d never seen anything so terribly beautiful. So powerful. The mother of his children. She had no rival.
How could Ares not see his capacity for control? Fearsome beast that he was, the god barely flinched as the points and blade left angry marks on his skin. His body flushed a delicious dark golden color and his teasing smirk was gone, mouth gone slack. She was pleased. With his mind free, there was only the two of them and the terrible work of her hands.
Aphrodite dropped to her knees, the knife and glove trailing down his thick thighs, tracing over the strong bones of his feet. Eye level with his covered cock, she blinked twice realizing his boxers were lilac and covered in hearts. Oh, her sweet god of war. She needed him naked. Now.
“Let’s see that beautiful cock.” She snuck her blade under the leg of his underwear, carefully rending the fabric. Up and up, she cut until she reached the waistband. With a deft flick, the fabric fell open, the remains falling down one leg.
Ares kicked them away and widened his stance. His hands fisted, bracing against the counter, muscles bunching and flexing to retain control.
“Good boy,” she whispered, blowing over the wet end of the huge golden shaft bobbing for her.
“Fates,” He panted, “Put your mouth on me.”
“Who’s in charge?” She slapped the flat of the blade against his balls, watching his breath stutter. If she were honest with herself, hers were too.
“You.” His mouth formed a perfect “O” that persisted for a moment before his jaw clenched.
The sharp points of her gloved hand wrapped around to grip his firm ass, and she placed the knife to the counter, gripping his cock firmly at the root.
Licking her lips, she trailed them up and down his length, twisting her head to the other side, reveling in him. Musky, salty, so taut, so warm. Gods, she’d missed him. Four months was too long.
“Now, about that talk.” She licked the tip, his familiar flavor delicious.
“You…you can’t be serious.”
She let her gloved hand roam up and down the back of his thigh then switched to the front. Her claws swept up his chest, muscles bunching delightfully as the razor tips left scraping white lines in their wake. Rising tall, she poked his chin with the sharp end of her pointer finger. “If you want my mouth, you’ll talk.”
“I’ll try, babe, but shit.” He shook his head and slapped his own face. Hard. “My mind’s not all there.”
“You’re present, with me, just where I want you.” She tongued the tip of his cock and sucked the first few inches for a moment before popping off.
“Nnnggh…” he groaned, hips punching forward before he stopped himself and leaned back against the counter.
“Why did you leave?” She pumped him with one hand and scored the glove down the front of his leg. “I’ll suck you off as long as your words make sense.”
Let’s give him a chance. Aphrodite dove forward with abandon, enjoying the slide and stretch of him finally where he belonged. Inside her. When he was lodged firmly in the back of her throat, her lips against the dusting of golden curls at the base, she brought her gaze up.
His chest rose on heavy, powerful breaths, those blood-red eyes glassy.
She cocked an eyebrow at him. It was hard to remind him to answer the question with his fat dick down her throat. Moving to pull off, he gently ran his hand down her hair before pulling his hand back.
“Kitten...I’ll talk.” He looked away and sighed, fingers gripping the marble countertop.
Aphrodite pulled back, but gave him one more chance. She worked shallow pulls just around the tip, until he started talking.
“Why did I leave?” He looked down at her working him over and smirked. “I was called to war. Two factions against the other. Blood feud. It’s a long story...”
She loved on his cock, sucking then licking, and the longer he talked the harder she sucked. Each bob deeper and longer than the last. Tearing off the glove, one hand tugged roughly at the base while the other rubbed his perineum. A choked cry marked the only brief halt to his story. His hips came off the counter, trying, then failing to stop mini thrusts into her mouth and hand. But, he rallied, despite the sweat on his brow.
“The Trojans were insistent, you see...their force grew stronger….harder to…control….and….” Knowing he was close, Aphrodite jerked back and fisted the tip of his cock tight to bring him back from the edge.
On desperate, deep breaths, Ares bent forward. “You’re going to kill me with that mouth one day.”
“You’re immortal. You’ll live.” Letting his cock go, she slapped it just for the pleasure of watching it bounce back for more torture. “And, you’re avoiding the question. You may have left for war, but you were gone for four months. I was worried. Why did you stay gone? And I won’t start again until I hear the truth.”
“I don’t belong with you...or the kids.”
“That’s hot garbage,” she said, rubbing idly with a gentle stroke, because she could, because he was hers. And he was close to the truth, his truth anyway. He had this silly idea he was some kind of monster. Idiot. “Something must have happened before you left. What was it?”
Ares rubbed at the back of his neck. "I got in a fight with my dad. It put things into perspective."
“Zeus is an emotionally stunted sex addict. He has no room to talk.” Fuck his daddy issues. Ares was a father himself, and not a great one at the moment. Aphrodite made a mental note to keep her recent escapade in Zeus’ office out of the conversation. “What did he say?”
Ares dug his fingers into her hair and pulled her to stand. His eyes were soft and vulnerable. This was the real him, beneath all the smug confidence. “He said I wasn’t good enough for you. He’s right.”
Motherfu*&^% . Aphrodite would chop Zeus’ dick off one of these days. And feed it to him. With sriracha sauce.
Ares' tear-filled gaze sobered her quick. As gently as she could muster, she placed a hand on his cheek. “You’re good enough for me. You’re good enough for our family. You always have been.”
“He had a point though. You all are better off without me. I want the kids to be like you. Fierce, independent, full of love.”
She growled, remembering all the ways she’d changed when he left. So many parental burdens left to Eros. “I’m only fierce and independent because you’re not here.”
With horror, she realized he thought that was a good thing. This was his plan. But it didn’t feel good, how she’d grown so tough she had a thick, impenetrable shell to anyone except her family.
“You’re stronger without me.” He kissed her cheek. “The children are better off.”
“Foolish god.” All she wanted was him. He was no danger to them, if anything they grew twisted and hurt without him home.
“You all are part of Olympus. Respected. Besides my mother, no one else even likes me. I cause havoc wherever I go. I’d infect the kids with this rage, this monster that never leaves me.”
“You have no rage with us.” She flew up so they were eye level and she could rain soft kisses to both sides of his face. “You are tender.” She’d kiss him until he came to his sense. “Loving. Protective.”
Ares groaned and sagged against the countertop, hands softly roaming up and down her arms. “You are my medicine, but our family is my purpose. I won’t curse you. Violence haunts my steps.”
“Look at you. You have such control, such deep love. I…” She was speechless. His desire to protect them was so stubborn and stupid and….self hating.
“I don’t trust myself.”
“I trust you. I believe in you.” I always will. Somehow, he could love them but hate himself. And how could she ever solve that? She couldn’t. In that moment, Aphrodite hated him. His cowardice.