Didn’t expect to be so different…now it was only me and my brother, just us who remained behind- not that I’m complaining, so very glad that I’m alive and still a god but life tends to get dull and empty these days. When once it was a full on time partying, bicker and gossip now more than once I am finding myself alone, sitting in my room on Olympus or in one of my temples and even those aren’t as many as before, not to mention followers. I still have them of course but as I said it changed. And I wasn’t the only one that I had a hard time with that. I was glad to be back in job just like Ares must be but it wasn’t the same trill as before.
As bored as I was once again, I quickly materialized a portal before me.
“Show me Gabby!” Ok just to see where to girl is.
Just as fast Gabrielle started to take shape just before my eyes. The girls were travelling back to Greece from the northern lands where Xena helped me and Studmuffin to get our godhoods back.
“Xena…” I sighed heavily.
Every time I saw her my mind drifted back to Ares. I’m his sister and I know that he did very bad things in his very long life, more terrible than that is that he did some of those nasty things to her- the woman that he claims to love- but as I said I’m his sister and the goddess of love- he doesn’t claim to love her, he genuinely does. It’s a pity really cause I always rotted for this two to be together but Ares never listened to me, he just screwed it up…time and time again and sometimes big time. And now he does something good finally, more than I would have expected from him in fact –I’m sure Xena’s with me on that one- and he ends up here, lonely, on Olympus…well with me but I guess it doesn’t really count.
I saw his eyes back on Valhalla, he was hoping with all his heart that she will eat that golden apple. He was all face up, strong and cold as if her refusal didn’t really meant something big but I knew, that’s why I intervened so soon, taking him from there. That was almost a week ago. I guess both Xena and Gabby stayed there for some more days since it’s just now that I see them on a ship boarded and ready to come home. He will love to hear this news I’m sure.
I closed my portal making a mental note to notify Ares about this news when I will get to see him- he was rarely home nowadays-, I think he spent most of his time in his temples, maybe gathering new armies, waging some new wars what do I know but I’m sure whatever he does this days is to try and occupy his mind and forget about Xena. I know how much of a challenge that is when you are in love. Maybe he doesn’t consider himself in love but he so totally is.
With having those two in my mind so frequently by the end of the day I remembered a feast that was about to approach soon and it involved eggs. Gods! I know! Ohh what a genius I was. Ares will so kiss my feet on the end of this story, metaphorically speaking of course.
With all this idea in my head I started making my plans carefully.
By the time the Goddess of Love was done with her master plan to bring the warrior princess and the God of War together, the two friends have already arrived in Greece. They were currently logged in an inn where Xena let Argo behind before leaving for Valhalla.
The two friends decided before turning in for the night to go at the market, shopping some necessary things for the road tomorrow.
“Well, look whose back!” Aphrodite giggled, full with happiness and Gabrielle turned from the table letting the shawl that she had in her hands drop for a second.
“Aphrodite! What are you doing here?”
“Sweet Pie…what question is that?”
“Hey Gab look what…Dite!” Xena came out of a shop with a knife in her hand and oh boy she was surprised to see the goddess.
“Hi Xena…What are you doing? Procuring knives now?”
“This?...” She let the small cut knife better be seen. “…won’t say procuring…We needed a new one.”
“Oh yeah…the last one you used it on a thief and left us without something to cut the meat.” Gabrielle explained.
“Hey!...So what’s up?” Xena asked the goddess but her eyes focused on her surroundings.
Aphrodite smiled, her heart softening…The warrior babe was so looking for her handsome brother but she didn’t say anything. Xena was always defensive when talking about him and even more if Gabrielle was around so she didn’t question her on that.
“Don’t worry, nobody can see me.”
“And why are you here?” Xena once again wanted to know.
They started moving forward, Gabrielle with her eyes on fine fabrics, or a new pan or on something they may just find useful.
“Can’t I just drop by?”
“Yep…but it’s not like you.”
“You are right…I need something of you guys.”
At that the bard turned her attention to the Love Goddess.
“With what can we help? What did you do?” Gabrielle asked.
“What?...Ohh noo sweetie I’m not in trouble…” the goddess started laughing. Hear that? She dogged in a big mess having help needed from the two travelers…? No way!
“What I need is to promise that you will come tomorrow to my party.” Aphrodite’s gaze immediately switched to see Xena’s reaction.
Just hearing the word ‘party’ Xena twisted her nose.
“Ohh come on Warrior Princess it’s just a party.”
“I know Aphrodite…but you see we just came back, tomorrow we are leaving this place, don’t know still where we are going but we will figure that out…It’s just…”
“What kind of party?” Gabrielle asked.
“Good that you asked Gab…it will be nice I can assure you. I picked up an interesting theme and I need to thank you guys somehow for what you did for me and Ares. And what better way than having some fun together.”
“Aphrodite…” Xena tried again…this was just something that she didn’t want to be part of.
“I understand, but you really don’t need to do something like that for us…I know you are thankful and I’m glad you clearly are back in business but…”
“You’ve just come back from those cold lands…Gods it was cold. Xena you need to relax too somehow. Get warm again you know!”
“I do…and it’s not partying.”
“Yeah cause Xena’s idea of relaxing is going through some drills.” Gabrielle laughed.
“You and my br…” But then she stopped. The Goddess of Love didn’t want to bring Ares in discussion just to be sure and not add one more reason of why Xena won’t want to come.
“I know you won’t regret this…please.”
“I just don’t want that noise and…”
“Ohh but you see it’s a private party…we play some games, eat delicious food, have some girl time…relaxing as I said.”
Gabrielle looked at Xena and back at Dite…The warrior only needed to take a look at her blonde friend that she knew that her friend kind of wanted to go.
“We don’t have anywhere to be tomorrow Xena.” the bard clarified.
“Ok…” She finally agreed. “But I can’t promise that we will be there if something unpredictable appears meanwhile.”
“Perfect! See you two tomorrow! Tootles!” In a puff the goddess was gone, happy with what she accomplished.
“She’s crazy.” Xena stated still not believing she agreed to something so childish but maybe it will be good for her to loosen up a bit.
“It’s Aphrodite!” Gabrielle shrugged her shoulders. “It will be fun…laugh a bit before we go back to right the wrong things and fight for the greater good.”
“Words from the mouth of the bard.”
After a much rested night, finally spent on a real bed the two friends woke up next morning, eat something, took Argo from the barn and were on their way out of the town when pink sparkles fluttered in the air, before revealing the Goddess’s Love body before them, standing just right into the road.
“Hey, you didn’t think you would leave this town before my party isn’t it?”
“No…but we just…”
“I know what I said.”
“I’m so excited.”
Seeing Aphrodite’s face and her wide smile made Xena laugh a little. What would cost her to just go to this said party if such happiness will tag along with only doing so little? And because she was so unlucky that nobody or any situation intervened she just made peace with herself and agreed to do this.
Gabrielle smiled softly since she was in the mood for a party.
“Perfect!” Aphrodite almost zapped them to her temple when she stopped at the warrior’s question.
“But…don’t things like this happen at night or something?”
“Xena…” Dite put her hand on her shoulder…
“Gods…you smell wonderful.”
“Thanks I guess…”
“What do you use?”
Gabrielle burst in laughter…It was just so like Aphrodite to say something and then lose herself in something else.
“What?” Aphrodite looked bewildered at the two women laughing.
“It’s nothing…” Gabrielle answered.
“So…?” Xena insisted.
“The party? Who needs it at night? You need it now.”
She reached her hand to Gabrielle and a second after, all three materialized in the beautiful decorated temple.
Gabrielle was looking around her. She liked what she saw- cozy place, comfortable sofa’s, it looked really good- but what was with eggs there? Was that making part of the so called new theme?
“What’s with the eggs?” Xena asked before her friend had the chance. She was looking around, eating some chocolate eggs from a ball on a large temple.
Aphrodite smiled before answering. Here it comes!
“Glad you asked. Eggs are the theme I was talking about. As you can see I decorated my whole temple with them.”
“I see.” Xena laughed a little.
“So should I arrange a table for you two or are we gonna play first?”
“Play!” the bard answered excited since she was curious. That comes with being a bard- that was however what she would tell herself when the curiosity was eating her alive- now it wasn’t the case but she wanted to do something.
Aphrodite looked at Xena who just shrugged her shoulders.
“I will do whatever you guys want.”
“Perfect! One person is missing though. Ares!”
“What are you doing?” Xena immediately reacted when hearing his name. She thought they would be alone, just the three of them, spending girl time together. Where did Ares fit?
“Calling my brother of course.”
“Because…” Think of something Aphrodite!
“Because he can…”
Xena narrowed her eyes.
“Xena you saved us both silly…”
“What does that have anything to do with him being here present on a girl night…or day…”
The warrior started to regret agreeing to do this. She just wasn’t ready to see Ares again…not now.
“You rang?” Ares’s dark voice was heard just before he materialized before them.
“What…” but his voice died when he saw who was in his sister’s temple.
“Hi Xena…” He saluted politely.
He will kill his sister. He was just trying to get away from Xena’s constant remembrance in absolutely anything he did and does. He thought that letting himself be consumed in doing something else – focusing on his wars since he was back in business- would be what he needed for the moment but again…
“Hi!” She only said.
Again…he will take every opportunity he had to just be near her, just to be in her presence…He sometimes felt doomed without a choice because his traitorous heart will always chose to torment itself and he didn’t had a choice than to follow it even if he knew he will fall…hard.
“Ar…so good you are here. Now we can start.”
“Start what?” What was the meaning of this all? …and now that he looked around…this place was truly Aphrodite’s place…pink, pink and again pink…
“Do you like it?”
Ares burst in sarcastic laugh along with Xena.
“Hey…I worked my ass hard to choose this color, making it more appropriate you know, not just pink.”
“Oh yeah pretty difficult it must have been…with just clicking your fingers how many times Sis?”
“Ok…ok…so what’s this all about?”
Aphrodite moved to the table on which she had the basket with four boiled eggs.
“I have here four boiled eggs, each for every one of us.”
“Four?” Ares asked… “I only see three of us.”
“Hey…don’t be mean.” Gabrielle joked coming towards them now. She was occupied with studying some of the painted false eggs and eating some chocolate.
“Sorry didn’t see you…you are so little.”
“Guys…here…choose one.” Aphrodite intervened giving the basket to Xena after she took the only egg from there that was enchanted…the egg that will assure that she was going to win this.
Xena choose one egg, Gabrielle too and for Ares remained just one.
“That’s some choosing.”
“I didn’t want to make more since that’s not the point. Now…I invented my rules to this game.”
“Sis…I don’t have time for this.” Ares was ready to put the egg back in the basket when Aphrodite started to speak.
“You tell me…Xena didn’t either and yet she’s here and you too so shut up and listen.”
Aphrodite furious was rare to see. It took all three of them by surprise…it was a bit funny too for the audience.
“So…” she started again with her merry voice. “Listen good…the point is to break so many eggs as we can. Of course that in the end the one left standing with the egg intact is the winner and he or she can ask of us whatever they feel like it. Doesn’t it sound fun?”
For a short flicker of time Ares’s and Xena’s gazes met in some kind of battle of the sort.
“Ok…let’s do this.” Xena said taking all of them by surprise.
Both Aphrodite and Gabrielle thought that she will want to back down from this kind of challenge. And the truth was that the thought reach the warrior’s mind- it was just something that she constantly did when Ares was involved but the moment she saw the pure challenge in Ares’s eyes she forgot about the fact that she may lose too. She was thinking that by winning this she could demand anything of him, she knew he couldn’t refuse her, Aphrodite would have eaten him alive if he cheated with his unwillingness so she decided to play this game since this had major chances to play in her favor. Less wars was a victory for the whole humanity.
“Are you sure?” Gabrielle asked her friend.
“Of course she is.” Dite added with enthusiasm. She thought she will have some really hard work to do to convince the Warrior babe and play the game and by extension play exactly how she wanted.
“It’s ok.” the warrior replied back. “It’s just a game.”
“Yeah…very good said.” Aphrodite intervened again. “It will be so much fun!”
“What are we waiting for?” Ares asked making his way directly to Xena.
Just like the warrior he had his plans too. The prize for this game was very much appealing to him. Xena couldn’t refuse him, they both knew that.
“Come on Gab!” The Goddess took the bard away and let Xena and Area clash their eggs together.
“You think you’ll gone beat me don’t you?” Xena teased.
“You do too don’t you?” Ares provoked her back.
He didn’t wait for her to answer him though, he just collided his egg with hers. He never looked away from her face, it was kind of difficult since he always got lost in the vast see of her eyes so when she started laughing he was surprised.
Her gaze only descended to her hand in which she kept the egg…hers was intact, his not so much.
“And there it goes…”
“Don’t say it Xena…Ok I lost, you won…” he disappointingly said. “You don’t need to remind me yet again.”
“Oh Ar…don’t worry brother!” Aphrodite encouraged. “I can boil some more eggs and we can play all day and all night if you will.”
“You and your games.” he angrily affirmed. For once he thought that in fact his ditsy sister may be onto something and have a good idea but the only chance he had was ruined now and Xena still could win this stupid game and by saying that meant forcing him to do something that he didn’t want and it probably had to do with stopping some war.
“Come Warrior Princess it’s time to see what you’ve got. I beat Gabby so it’s come down to you and me now. I so love a victory.”
“Over an egg.” Ares mocked.
Aphrodite just cast him a boring glare. She was used with Ares being a pain in the ass and having lost the game, it explained it even more. Either way what nobody knew was in fact that she cheated great time and she had all the intention to cheat again and thus beat Xena and claim supreme victory.
“Yay! I’m the winner!” she could make a dance for it. Damn it was good to win.
“Congrats…” Ares sarcastically added. “…now…” he prepared himself to leave when his sister started to speak again.
“Ares…don’t you dare leave so soon. You didn’t even hear my request.”
“You can fill me in later…”
“Ok…what do you want from me?” he asked bored.
“Oh dear brother…For starters I don’t want you to use your powers.”
This made Ares frown. Was she drunk?
“And you Xena just so you know I have everything checked- food, place exactly for one full weekend-, I won’t want you to die on me from hunger or something…”
The warrior was puzzled, what was the goddess talking about?
“…you may call how many times you like I won’t be available…oh and in case you want to escape from that dreamy house, I put a spell on it. Nobody leaves until I say so…I decide when you can come back ok?”
Xena’s brow furrowed and she was left with the words in her mouth cause next thing she knew she was zapped away by the goddess powers together with the God of War letting only a wide smiling Aphrodite behind and a bewildered Gabrielle.
“What was that?” Finally Gabrielle decided to speak. “Where is Xena?”
“Sweetie Pie…I wanted to spend some time with you, relaxing a bit…Want some turkey?”
“Aphrodite!” Gabrielle desperately added.
“Ok…Xena is alright I assure you. After this weekend – like 2 days not more than that- I will bring her back to you. She wanted to relax too right? But in her kind of way, well I gave her that. She wouldn’t had fun here with us, we both know that.”
“Oh…him…I punished him. Trust me having him forbidden to use his powers, he knows no greater punishment than that.”
“But why, what did he do?”
“This last week…” The goddess took a place on her sofa while adding with sadness in her voice. “I felt so lonely…he doesn’t keep me company, he’s always away, doing whatever he does…I just feel so bored sometimes…things are different now Gabby. Please don’t leave, say you’re gonna stay these days and have some fun together, until I bring Xena back.”
Aphrodite raised her eyes with almost tears in them, threatening to fall.
“Oh Dite…I will stay…but you have to promise me Xena is alright.”
“Pinky promise!” The goddess face lit up.
For now the plan was working. She thought that keeping her fingers crossed everything will turn out splendid.
The vortex swiped her out of her feet and with the speed of light she found herself seconds after in another room, another place in fact…She was back in her grandparent’s farm and as soon as her eyes opened and she took in her surroundings she knew she wasn’t alone. Her crystal blue eyes were now perfectly mirroring the chocolate ones of her companion who was none other than the God of War himself.
“My sister…” He started. “She has some guts, bringing me back here…”
He turned around checking the place since the last time he saw it…it was just one week ago, everything was intact just like he left it, more like how Xena left it to him when she abandoned him here saying that she will come back…she never did. It still infuriated him to think about how stupid he was, hoping with every sound that he would hear outside that maybe this time around it was her but every time he got disappointed. He guessed that he should really thank her for giving him his Godhood back- it was clear for him that mortality wasn’t cut for him- but think about it he was a little resentful that she did that even if those feelings were very deep buried inside him. Many nights on a row he thought about her-no news there- but then he was thinking about her in a new light. Mortality brought this opportunity into his life, to maybe be something else for her…not her patron god or her lord but a man…a mortal man…it was a door that could open something else for him.
His eyes searched her now…-she looked around, her face serious, her black hair a full cascade on her shoulders, her eyes sparkling; she was a sight to behold no matter in which state of mind she was or what she was doing. He was so very used to study her that he could very well depict how agitated she started to get with every second that was passing…She was uncomfortable and he could swear he was the cause of it.
“What?” She aggressively asked. “Your sister is crazy if she thinks she can just pop us here and…” Her sentence ended abruptly and instead starting screaming his sister’s name: “Aphrodite! Aphrodite!”
“She won’t come.”
She only looked furiously at him and continued to call the Goddess of Love.
“Xena! She won’t answer…she said so…I know my sister. Look she even kept her promise.” He pointed at the rich table with different types of food on it: from fruits to meat and wine to dessert.
“There must be a way…” She made her way to the door and opened it.
The sun was almost on his way to disappear, soon the twilight will come and the night would install itself.
“Xena!” Ares yelled after her but she was furiously on her way to leaving the farm with decisive steps. She didn’t get to far though cause she bolted herself straight into an invisible wall.
Ares was still looking at her from behind on the porch…She continued to hit the wall with her fists but it was in vain of course. Aphrodite told them exactly what she did. The only one who could release them was the Goddess of Love herself. A trade smirk appeared on Ares’s handsome features.
“Why are you laughing?” she asked indignantly.
When did she come back so soon?
“You like this don’t you? Of course…this has your hand all over it. You knew…”
Ares’s smile disappeared. Now he was getting antsy too.
“Of course you knew…I bet it was even your idea.”
“You can stop right there. I was as clueless about this as you were so you don’t get to blame me.”
She pierced him with her icy gaze before presenting him her solution.
“It’s simple then…just use your powers and bring me fucking back to Gabrielle so we could go back to our business and you and your sister may get to yours, do something else than rip mortals from their will.”
“Oho there…I can’t use my powers, you forgot?”
“And why ever not?”
He looked for a moment at his hands…he felt his godhood pulsating through his veins, he had his powers of course. If he would use them or not it remained at his will and he be damned but he was so gonna spend this weekend with her. Aphrodite gave this to him and he will take advantage of it.
“I simply don’t want to.” He threw the words at her, his amused eyes never leaving her furious ones.
The warrior laughed sarcastically.
“It’s my choice. Dite said something to us, we are gonna respect her whishes…” he clarified.
“Whishes? Those aren’t hers…and respect them? Ares you don’t know what that is.”
That struck him to close to his heart. Hasn’t he showed her enough how much he was capable to sacrifice for her? He would do anything for her and until now he only received crumbs back: Thank you Ares! His heart leapt in his chest hearing her how sincere she was and then she left him all alone…mortal and alone.
You are bad for me Ares! First she teased him with her soft kiss and then she slapped him with those words.
Maybe I will visit! But she never came.
I have found a way to give your powers back. Who was she kidding; she did it most for herself and the greater good. He told her once that she didn’t owe him anything for what he did. It was a selfless act but if he could be true to himself than he could admit that he desired something else from her than what he received instead.
Her lines flooded inside his brain and now the previous amusement turned in anger. He was so angry with her because he knew her too well -she won’t admit anything to him about her feelings-and he be damned if she didn’t feel something for him.
His only chance to push her buttons without having her run away from him was this…this weekend with the two of them all alone.
“Well I’m gonna find out aren’t I?” He dreary replied back.
“How convenient…exactly right now.”
“The sooner the better right? You are the specialist on this not me.”
She passed by him and slammed the door of the small farm house once she was inside. What was she going to do? The urge to lock herself somewhere away from him or hide –even if it was childish if you think about it- was too great. Her mind was screaming at her that she needed to do something about this situation. Damn! For the last week she only dreamt about him- she even came to question herself about what was happening to her- and that since he tempted her with that golden apple. Ohh it wasn’t the first time he was intoxicating her dreams but this time it was different. Ares doing the ultimate sacrifice for her and him becoming mortal was still shocking to her even now but that mortality- that simple act of selflessness- was playing with her head, invading her mind with thoughts about things that she can never have.
She studied her dreams closely, she knew that much that it wasn’t about the power that the cursed apple was capable to provide for her, no…it wasn’t that- or more it wasn’t just about that. Only remembering his burning gaze, feeling his nearness, hearing his seductive voice in her head playing his words over and over again: I guess you know I’m never gonna stop trying, her stomach burned in that moment…Gods she even almost tear up seeing him leave. She only came to one conclusion that she hated but she needed to be true with herself. The moment he eat from that apple was the moment when in her head -even if there were just fantasies that she was never going to ask and for sure never planned to have- those dreams just crushed and it had such an impact on her that she felt vulnerable…even now maybe for the first time ever she wasn’t ready to see him or be near him. She needed some space to let things go back to normal, to give her brain time to recuperate. Which is pretty difficult to have when she was gonna spend 2 whole days with him.
The door cracked open and he came inside. She stopped her pacing.
“It started raining.” He informed on a peaceful tone.
He knew her and he knew himself…being like a time bomb wasn’t going to make her open up to him…He didn’t want her upset or angry, with a reason to explode- that won’t be a pleasurable time spend with her so he was more than prepared to keep his temperament under check. After all mortality doled him, maybe he could pretend to be mortal- even more it was forbidden to use his powers anyway.
Xena turned in his direction, her eyes sparkling but she didn’t said one word.
“Are you going to treat me with complete silence?”
Again she didn’t say anything but she looked around the room- her attention being caught by the table full with food. Now that she looked at all those various and delicious food her appetite grew. She took a strawberry and popped it into her mouth and then followed a grape and a cherry.
Trying to calm the atmosphere between them and just bring it on a comfort zone for both of them Ares approached the table. By then Xena was eating some meat with bread.
“Didn’t know my sister is such a good cook.” He took a glass of wine from the table.
“We both know she didn’t cook this.” Xena’s voice was still uneasy but the fact that she answered him meant he was on the good way.
“You were hungry. Thirsty too?” He handed her the glass now full with red wine.
“Is your plan to get me drunk?” She accused him but she did take the glass from his hands. She needed that drink.
“You must know this won’t work.”
“Come on Xena! Give me at least the benefit of the doubt. I swear- it may not mean much to you- but I didn’t know my sister’s plan.”
She drunk the whole cup before answering.
“Maybe…but if you wouldn’t want this…” she looked at him and just her gaze made it perfect clear she wasn’t only speaking about this said vacation, it was about them…the two of them together. “…you would have used your powers.”
“I never said I don’t want it…Come on you know how I feel…I more than…”
“Stop it Ares!” She got up from the table, right away taking care to distance herself from him and he could swear she was in a defensive mode.
Her guard was way up... It was hard to remember the last time her defensive wall was so huge –she always had one and especially against him- but he felt that this time only the slightest move that he would make she was prepared with a reply back in her defense.
“Why?” He decided to push.
She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Because…because all you do is lie…and lie…I don’t want to hear it anymore.”
“You didn’t even let me finish what I wanted to say.”
“What for? It doesn’t matter Ares…Can’t you just leave me alone?”
“It’s that why you gave me this back?” In his anger he made a fireball appear in his hand.
“So now you can use your powers.”
“Don’t change the subject Xena.” With closing his hand the fire dissipated. “Answer me!”
“So now I’m the bad guy? For giving you back something that you desire in the first place?”
“Desire?” He laughed sarcastically. “Dammit! I would have spent eternity as a mortal…die as one if you would have been my side.” His gaze was boring into her.
“You don’t know what you are talking about.” She didn’t need to hear this. The more he spoke about something like this, the more her brain was picking it up because her heart wanted it, her mind was another story.
“No…no…you see I do. And what you do? You run…time and time again.”
“I don’t run!” She knew deep down that she was lying of course but she refused to give up. She fought him so much for so many years…she couldn’t give into him…not now…not to a god.
“Yes you do. But what’s even more interesting is that you keep repeating the same lie to yourself over and over again and to me too.” Damn, he knew her too well!
“What? Did the cat take your tongue?” He asked in victory.
“As I said this won’t get us anywhere.”
She passed by him and gone towards the bedroom where they slept the last time they were here.
Ares remained behind still angry with her stubbornness. After taking a deep breath- a effort to calm himself down- he looked through the window…it was pouring rain outside, he be damned if he will sleep here in the living where by now rain was started to drip. He popped a grape in his mouth and followed Xena.
The Warrior was getting her armor off her when Ares pushed the door to the small bedroom open. Her head immediately snapped towards him, her breastplate coming down on the floor with a tad. Ares took a deep breath, drinking himself in her beauty…she was amazing. He moved slowly towards the bed while Xena continued to take off her boots, remaining only in her black shift. When she was done she only looked at him with an irritated gaze.
“What are you doing?” She scolded.
“Looking at you…” he dreamily and honestly answered. By now her scent invaded all of his senses. Could he really restrain his desire for her having her so close to him, beside him in the same bed? He shuddered…
“No…no…I mean what are you doing here?” She pointed her finger at him.
He was by now you could say ready for bed…his vest was on the ground and he was lying on half of the bed, the other half empty for her.
“Sleeping.” He closed his eyes, dissimulating what he just told her.
“No…Gods don’t sleep.”
“Well sometimes we do. Especially when we are tired.”
She couldn’t believe her ears, not wanting to ask what the hell did he do all day to be tired in the first place, but that would have opened another topic to be discussed between them, another fight probably.
“Ok…you are tired…you sleep…but not HERE.”
“Why not?” He asked innocently.
“It’s not my fault you don’t want to use your powers and make yourself comfortable on some bed that you could just pop in this house with only clapping your hands.” She spurt the words out.
“It’s nothing wrong on relieving my time as a mortal.”
“You hated it.” She exasperatedly added.
“In fact no…I can’t say I liked it but I had something that as a god I couldn’t.”
So there they were, back to talking ‘them’ again. Wanting to bypass the conversation she just let it drop and chose in place of making him leave- which she knew it won’t happen- another tactic.
“Ok…goodnight then!” She said with resentment and left the room, making sure to slam the door.
You could say the god wasn’t expecting that…he took a deep breath, hell most of the time he was in need of air after they would “talk”, which was more like fling words at each other.
He rested his head on the pillow. Gods that woman was going to be his doom in all ways known in this universe. The silence in the house was perfect for someone’s funeral but he didn’t need to wait long cause soon enough he heard something drop, and then more noise. What was she doing? He thought at first to keep his place, it was her choice to leave and nobody was keeping her away, she could come back to bed, beside him whenever she wanted… but again he knew she won’t do that. The sound of thunder and suddenly a very rough rain hitting the window glass made him worry about the safeness of this house. He looked at the ceiling- this room was alright he could tell- but he remembered that when he came into this room, the main room wasn’t looking good…it was raining inside, slowly but surely. Where would she sleep? She did need that sleep not like him. He was curious and that eat at him…He didn’t want to put fuel on the fire by going to her and upset her even more that she already was but…maybe it was wiser to give the bed to her.
He got up and slowly approached the end of the room and with carefulness cracked the door open. He made no sound and he draw his head out of the room first, carefully to not be seen. He was welcomed with a very hard working Xena that was trying to repair the roof hole. She was sitting on a chair that was itself sustained on another chair and she was trying to stuff some things into the hole, the rain coming hard on her, she was half soaked. His eyes roamed across her body…she was damn sexy wet like that but then again she was only mortal.
“Xe…” He didn’t even spell her name entirely that she turned her head, the little action making her loose her balance and fall hard on the floor taking both of them by surprise since Ares wasn’t expecting her to fall and neither did she.
He heard a moan of pain and in seconds he was right beside her but she was fast on her feet already, helping herself up by supporting her weight on the table next to her. She looked at her left foot…How could she fall? Now she had a sprinkled leg. Great! She took a seat on a chair carefully inspecting how severe the wound was.
“Let me see that!” Ares voiced when he could definitely see that something was wrong with her.
“It’s not necess…”
“Xena…” he insisted taking a seat on another chair opposed to her and taking her leg in his hands with gentleness. She hissed a little when he placed the foot on his lap.
“I’m sorry!” he said under his breath with a small voice that she wasn’t sure she heard it. He massaged the swollen red place at the base of her foot.
“Au…Just…I can do this myself.” She wanted to retract her feet but he stopped her.
He placed his hand above the wounded foot and right after that her pain disappeared as in wonder.
“There… you are as new.”
“Ares…” She was now up, on both her legs… “…I thought you can’t use your powers.”
“I can’t use them to zap us out from here…but…”
“You know I never asked you to heal me.”
“I know…I wanted to.”
“Of course!” She sarcastically added. “You want…you get right?”
“Xena…” How stupid he could be… “You know what I wanted to say.” He tried again.
“Yeah…go back to sleep.”
He got over how she delivered those words to him and started telling her about why he was in the same room as her.
“About that…you may have the bed if you want.”
“And why are you so giving so suddenly?”
“Gods…I’m trying to be nice.” He exasperatedly added. Was it so hard to believe that? Maybe it was in her eyes…Who knows what she thought about him, really how was she seeing him? Did she even for a moment see him as a man? Did she want too? Or was he just a figure for her? Was this even making sense? Forcing her to stay here with him against her will? What man in the right mind would do what he was doing to the woman he loves?
She could tell he was sincere, he was trying to be nice…that puzzled her. Since they got here he only showed her that he was prepared to do anything just to win her in what twisted way his mind worked. But the annoying part is that by being good he was winning terrain in her eyes and in her heart and she hated and loved it in the same time.
“Ares…” She flared her hand in his face.
“Thanks!” She repeated what she said just seconds again.
“My pleasure!” he answered back a small smile on his face.
Xena made her way to the bedroom, rain still dripping from her wet hair and clothes.
She turned back. Felling a little ridiculous about the fact that he was really going to ask her permission- he who didn’t ask that from anyone- but seeing the switch of the rooms worked and she was civil with him, he was prepared to do anything.
“It’s that…you are all wet.” His fingers pointed at her.
Now that everything passed she remembered that indeed she was soaked to the skin.
“Can I use you know…my powers to dry you up?”
Xena’s eyes widened. Was he really asking her? Or was she hearing what she wanted to hear? Taking her silence and the fact that she didn’t leave as a good sign, next second Xena found herself all dry.
“I guess you can. Good night!” She said and she bestow him a very little small smile, barely visible but to Ares it was huge.
The door at her room closed with a small tad and she made her way to the bed slowly, a smile on her face. She admonished herself mentally, forcing herself to stay serious, she wasn’t feeling good about the fact that he healed her and that he really surrender the bed to her. Of course it had nothing to do with the bed, it had everything to do with this simple notion: capitulation. It was a small step of course but it still was one.
She lied down on the bed and gods be damned the bed was imprinted with his masculine scent. She smelled the pillow and took a deep breath: how in the earth will she sleep tonight?
In another room, the same dilemma…Ares was contemplating these small rewards: a small smile, a thank you…He would do anything to look at him as she did in this little moments or when he was a mortal. Then he wasn’t an enemy, now he felt like one. It all came down to this cursed godhood it seemed. Either way, the thoughts didn’t let the God of War sleep either.
The first rays of sun in the morning after a very shaking storm last night landed on Xena’s face. Her palm rose on her cheek to protect herself from the light, she was still sleepy since she didn’t sleep well and for sure not enough. Her night was restless and full with dreams again, it was driving her crazy.
“Aghhh!” She took the pillow and covered her head entirely with it since the light as if with stubbornness was hitting her face.
After a few more minutes she slowly got up from the bed, arranged herself a bit by straitening her shift and her hair before getting out of the room. She was surprised to see that Ares was asleep. A small smile captured her face when seeing him with his head on his hands on the table, he looked kind of cute and for sure not dangerous at all but was he really sleeping?
The thought that they were all alone here and the fact that she was feeling that she was losing control- that needed control in his presence- swirled once again is her head. Wanting to use the time here though in another way, making her forget about forbidden things, her eyes settled on the pa-plafond…the hole was gone, sealed.
“Good morning!” His deep voice decentralized her attention from where she was looking.
“Yeah…morning. I see you were busy last night.”
“Kind of! Are you hungry?” He pointed to the table still full with food.
She took a strawberry from a plate and bite it
and then took a place at the table before him. A deafening silence set in the room. Xena was eating a bit of cheese and drinking some wine while Ares just looked at her for a short moment before taking a chicken leg in his mouth.
“Since when do you eat mortal food?” she asked without actually looking at him. .
“Since now, I guess. My sweet sister has forgotten one thing…my food, so I will just use yours if you allow me.”
Ares only smiled and Xena did too in the end.
“Unfortunately I can’t just sit here all day and do nothing…Ohh but I know…” The warrior got up from the table fast as soon as an idea rushed through her mind.
Ares just flashed her a wondering gaze.
“We can clean this place up.”
“Oh no, no…bad idea Xena.” the God of War refused categorically. He didn’t even want to go there.
“Why not? That way I won’t bore myself to death…”
“Aphrodite took care of this place, can’t you see? She even fixed the bed. It’s clean and I may have something else that won’t bore you.”
“Ohh spare me…”
“No, it’s not what you think.” Ares only said in his defense taking his sword- that was still resting on the table and making a visual point to her.
“Come on, I’m sure that if there’s something you miss, that’s having a worthy opponent to entertain you. ”
He could tell…her eyes were gleaming in the sun that was bathing the house with its rays.
“And you are?”
“Am I not?” he teased.
Xena ran into her room and after a short moment she came out - sword in hand and a precious smile on her face.
“Ok…let’s do this!” she only said, her eyes inflamed with appetite.
They both made it to the yard at the back of the house and took a fighting position. Xena was the first to charge forward but of course Ares blocked her sword as easy as breathing.
“Come on, you can do better than that!” he teased and Xena indulged further.
Ohh the God’s previous speech from back in the house and the idea itself was getting a thrill out of her…and now that she was really into it, she was enjoying herself big time. He was right after all, for a very long time she had lacked a true opponent and nobody could really replace the War God’s skills. She only got this real joy and pleasure to fight when she was fighting him. It’s not like she didn’t enjoy the other battles, she did, she always did but he was different…a real challenge anytime, anywhere.
She was still in the offensive, going for the kill…even if they both knew how inaccurate that was to think. Ares was keeping his ground, a defying smirk on his face. Sometimes having a fight like this with her could outrun anything…he was delighted to watch her in action and even more to be part of that action.
She made a quick flip and turning around, she prepared for the attack but as she would have guessed, the god of War knew her every move. The balance between them was tight and it lasted for hours but as hungry as they both were for the fight they didn’t even feel the time passing so when Xena started to tire, Ares let his guard slip for a moment and that’s when she attacked, her sword piercing his chest.
“Ouch!” He brought his hand on the sword that was impaled in his body. “Got to say…I’m under level here.”
Xena laughed out loud at his manners. They were both very conscious that he was just saying that to say something, but she couldn’t ignore the fact that it was cute.
“I need a little break.” he added. It was the perfect excuse to make his beautiful Princess rest a bit and eat something.
“Yeah, sure…you need one.”
With a smile on her face, she entered the house with Ares on her heels.
She felt so incredibly good, it only made her appetite grow even more and it was time to eat something too. Ares got along and filled a plate with food for himself as well and started eating. Xena just cast her gaze upon him for a second but she didn’t say anything, she just resumed her meal.
“Are you up and about for a second round?” Ares asked after he was done.
“Of course, but what do you think about changing tactics…? No weapons.”
“Fine by me!”
So as they both agreed they restarted their deadly dance, but this time using only their hands and fists.
At one moment, Ares took his vest out, displaying his perfectly shaped abs and Xena stared for a short moment, losing her focus so soon after a fist collided with her midsection- a sound of pain leaving her mouth- making her scold herself for the lack of concentration…and just for those milliseconds.
“Xena…” he spelled her name with a bit of a worry in his voice. Had he been too brutal?
“I’m fine…I’m fine!” she repeated and attacked him with full force.
“Maybe it would be better to use the swords again…” he volunteered.
“Why? Are you afraid that I might beat you up again?”
“Afraid? Don’t think so…”
Letting her wall fall down even if just for this little fight made her feel free and so good…it was as if time had stopped. By the time they thought it was enough for the day, the sun had already disappeared and the moon was starting to show itself on the sky.
“Wow…time really past by us.”
“See…told you it was a good idea to make time vanish.”
“I can’t argue with you on that.” she answered, and a small smile appeared on her face.
Drops of sweat were pouring from her body now after all that hard work out and she just thought that she needed urgently to take a bath…that would be wonderful. A bath…that’s when her mind stopped…there was no bath in the house.
“Your sister thought of everything huh?”
Ares only nodded.
She looked around and saw the clear water from the river that was passing near the farm house, but the problem was how she could take advantage of its waters.
“What are you doing?” Ares asked when she started running into the wrong direction, away from the house. By the time he got to her she was almost done getting herself out of her battledress.
“Taking a bath…” she naturally responded before diving in it. Luckily the shield that Dite created around the house was spread enough so that she could enjoy a much needed bath.
Standing there, on the sand still warm from the sun that had just disappeared, Ares took in Xena’s splendid appearance. She was the perfect sight to see. His heart made a somersault in his chest before he decided that he wanted to join the warrior in the water. Why not? He was dying to be there with her, to get the chance to touch her in every way that he could, to kiss her endlessly, gods he was day-dreaming again. It was impossible to actually do that and even if sometimes he chided himself for not being able to control his heart more- the way he would have wanted to - he always fell back on the same track: she was impossible to resist.
As he advanced in the cool water, waves of it splashed towards him. When he was finally in it to his chest, he made a huge jump, the spattering of water making Xena’s swimming stop and just as fast, she found him coming to the surface right beside her- so close that had she stretched her hand, she could feel his skin under her palm- too close to her liking, so near that her mind had difficulties to give some actions to her muscles to swim away from him.
Trying to do something apart from simply standing there and lose herself in his gaze she started talking.
“You don’t need cleaning…” she attempted to make him focus on something else then her.
“That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy a very good bath in the right company.”
It appeared her attempt had back fired. She knew him all to well, that’s why she hated that she was here alone with him. Only herself knew how his mortality had spelt games with her mind the last time they were on this very same farm.
“Ares…” she pressed once again and tried to make him change the subject.
“What? Do you want me to lie and say I don’t enjoy being here with you?”
Her eyes flickered just for a moment back to him and…ohhh how irresistible he was standing there inches away from her, having that innocent expression on his face when she knew all too well he was just a damn good player.
In response, she swam away from him.
“Don’t you want me to be sincere?” he yelled after her. Was she kidding him? Here he was saying things to her, not that it was hard to say them- he was being sincere after all- but he knew what she was doing. He was dead struck not to let her though.
“You can’t even stand being in the same water with me? Heck, come to think about it, you even have something against being in the same room with me, what am I saying?!”
“Just stop it Ares…” she racked. “You damn well know this has nothing to do with…“she tried to find her words.
“ME? It has everything to do with me. You can’t stand me right?…” he mocked. “…why did you even help me? Was it guilt? Or…was it remorse? …but again why bring me here of all places, why give me hope when you left…” he was frustrated now.
“Just stop it…!” she yelled back at him. Was it so hard to follow her whishes for once?
“Why? Is the truth too much sometimes? Is that it?”
“You don’t understand…”
“Enlighten me then, Xena…”
“I have nothing to say…I just want this to end!”
By now Xena had got out of the water, drops pouring down her body. She took her armor from the shore and she started making her way towards the house.
Ares remained behind but he refused to let things like this.
“Xena…” he yelled coming after her and when he was finally behind her, he grasped her arm and turned her forcefully to him.
“We both know that I’m not as indifferent to you as you’d wish.”
She shook her arms out of his grasp but she stood her ground.
“I just want to hear it from your mouth…When you gave me the apple, you…I saw you Xena, you didn’t want me to eat it, deep down…you wanted me mortal but on the other hand, it was your fault. I did tell you that you didn’t owe me anything.”
“It needed to be done…the world was unbalanced without you! If I had given only Aphrodite her godhood back, the world would have been a very messed up place, you know that.” Xena finally spoke, her heart heavy to see him like that. He wasn’t only furious and frustrated but she was causing him pain.
“I don’t know about that….Remember that the world could very well survive without the God of War for a whole year. Nothing happened. You did it for yourself, for what I wake up inside you.”
For the millionth time she was searching for a little door to escape this prison of words and feelings that he was bringing her to hear and feel.
“Am I? Why are you lying? I’ve never understood it and you know how very much back we go with this one. I did terrible things to you but is it so hard to admit it Xena…I want to know, that’s it. Just tell me what I make you feel.”
“You don’t want to know or hear, you want to have…and it can never be.”
He took a deep breath and Xena saw this as her cue to leave his side once again.
“You are always running…” he said, almost a whisper but the warrior heard him all too clearly.
“I’m not running…” she stopped and replied but she didn’t turn. By the time she resumed her pacing he was already in front of her.
Her gaze fell on him, his eyes were dark, his body tense.
“Then don’t tell me anything, show me you aren’t running.” Right when he finished his line his lips rushed to take possession of hers in a tremendous passionate battle of sorts, the one that he wasn’t intent on losing.
She was petrified when her brain finally realized what was happening. Ares was kissing the life out of her and even if she tried and she did resist him for awhile, in the end she knew it was a lost battle for her. She knew that if this were to happen she would be lost, that’s what she tried to prevent from happening. The passion and lust that she had denied, that part of her that was now craving for him, took possession of her mind and soul just like Ares’s lips owned her body by now. He was rapidly making his way towards her throat, drawing soft cries out of her, his hands finding her breasts through the wet shift that she had on her. He ripped it open to reveal her to him.
For a flash of time his heart constricted in fear, thinking that now she would tell him to stop and he would have done it but he only heard her whimper become even more needy when his lips found her hard, erect nipples.
He took his time to look at her face…her eyes were closed, ecstasy all over her perfect visage. His hands found her thighs and using his powers he rested her back against a near tree.
“Ahh…” she moaned loudly when her back collided with the tree; her eyes dark -just as his- opened for a second, a small doubt creeping inside her fast but the new wave of pleasure provided by his skillful fingers that hit her core made her forget about everything that she considered poison for her soul…she wanted this man, this god inside her.
“I want you Xena.”
She didn’t voice an ‘I want you too’ back but her treacherous body was surely giving him all the indices that he needed to continue.
By the time his tongue had plunged again in her mouth, exploring it again, battling with hers, drawing moans of pleasure from her, he was ready to bury himself deep inside her. With one swift movement she brought one leg around his middle and in the next second he buried his shaft deep inside her.
Xena shivered at this new powerful sensation, marveling at how perfect he felt, they were made for each other in every possible way.
She rode one wave of pleasure after another….She had forgotten how long it had past since she last felt that way…it had been with him again, years back, so many that she almost did not remember what she had left behind. Gods it felt incredible to be his again but even before she ended the thought, the realization of what was happening washed over her again. It was a mistake but even if she realized it, the sweet tongue kiss on her neck, his warm hands all over her body made her bury those thoughts deep down in her brain for now.
Her hand lifted to his face, bringing him close to her and kissing him sweetly but soon the sweet innocent kiss turned back in a very hungry one once more.
“Really?” she asked.
Ares only smiled back.
“Don’t tell me you forgot this…I’m insatiable when it comes to you.”
Brining a protective hand behind her, to her back, he kissed her one more time before transporting them into the house, into the bed in which he planned to make love to her over and over again.
Very slowly his eyes opened…had he been dreaming it all? The soft breathing on his neck brought memories back to him and he shifted his head slowly towards the naked, warm body that was resting against him, so close to his chest. Gods he thought his heart would soon burst inside his chest, that’s how happy he was.
He placed an innocent kiss on the crown of her head while visions about the previous night still flashed before his eyes. When he had come here- he needed to thank Dite for sure- he had hoped for a kiss maybe, but never- not even in his wildest fantasizes could he have imagined this! They had spent the whole night making love and only when the dawn broke did Xena fell asleep against him and she was for sure tired cause she was usually an easy sleeper, even a little movement –like that kiss on her head- would have normally woken her up.
He didn’t want to rush into thinking further than that but he couldn’t help it: what was going to happen to them now, would she back down as she always did, would she allow him to be there for her just like he had always hoped and wanted, would this night change things for them or they did nothing else but consume the fire that was burning their souls? He exhaled deeply, for once realizing he was a bit concerned to have her go back to the cold bitch she was almost all the time with him.
She felt the light kiss on her head but she didn’t open her eyes, she didn’t want to face what she had done, she wanted to maintain the bliss that she was feeling for a little longer. By the hard, deep breath he took, she could tell he was thinking hard but what was really in his head? The fact that this had happened after all this time, was that what he was after? Was he still set on making her his queen? Was she in danger to lose herself? Where were they going to go from there? Being true with herself she would have liked nothing more than for things to stay the same all the time but she knew that sooner or later reality of who he was and who she was and how different they were would finally kick in…they were star crossed lovers, doomed to fail.
Her hand that rested on his side constricted- a mere reflex on having him possessed by her just like she did last night- but it was enough to allow Ares to know she was awake. She planted a sweet kiss on the area on his neck next to his face.
He groaned in delight and gave her a long, lazy kiss back.
“Good morning my dear.” His happy voice made her smile.
“Morning.” She tried to sound neutral but even to her ears it didn’t sound anything like that- more like ‘I’m happy too.’
She didn’t try to move herself from him but made herself even more comfortable into him. He brought his arms more possessively around her, holding her more tightly to his chest. For good minutes, neither one of them spoke, that until he heard Xena taking a deep breath prepared to say something.
“Say it…it was a mistake Ares…”
She closed her eyes and lifted her head off him finally, looking into his eyes- and she saw the hurt there- a feeling that she didn’t want to take in her knowledge.
“Maybe…” she only said. “…but it happened, it was wonderful. Still, tomorrow it ends.” Xena got up in a seating position and buried her face in her palms.
He followed her movements and took her black, smooth hair over her back to the side, kissing her shoulder and her earlobe.
“Why? Why?” his voice was smooth making her stomach drop.
A small tear fell out of her eye and then she got out of bed, looking for her cloths scattered on the floor. She fastened her dress and turned around to face him.
“Because it can never be Ares…it can’t.” her voice was faltering her. “It’s just too much history between us, too much has happened…”
“I’m sorry for what I’ve done…what can I do for you to believe me?”
She took a seat on the bed once more, her gaze on him.
“I do…I believe you, it’s just that the facts remain, I may have forgiven you but I can’t forget…”
“I was stupid but now I know…”
“Don’t say it Ares…it will be just harder. It’s Eve too.”
When Xena spoke, her daughter’s name it dawned on him…
“I told you, I didn’t know, I swear that had I had the slightest clue, I would have taken care of her, I …”
“You don’t know that…losing a possibility to mold a new perfect warrior with skills? It’s not you Ares.”
“Maybe, but you have to know I have never loved her.” He took Xena’s hand in his and kissed it but as soon as his words left his mouth, she retracted it.
“It is as it is…I would never chose you before my daughter…she loved you.”
This was the very first time when she got the courage to utter the words out loud but it was as she had put it…Eve…she could never make her daughter suffer by seeing her and Ares together, it was the cherry on top of a cake.
“I thought you were dead Xena, I was devastated, I was like that for years and when I saw Eve, maybe I don’t know…she had that vibe, she made me think of you, made me…”
They both held gazes until she broke it and left the room. It broke her heart but it needed it be done.
She got out on the porch, the sun was finally out, caressing her face with its rays.
“Xena…” he came towards her.
“Just listen to me.”
She closed her mouth and turned, facing him.
“What do you think I want?” he didn’t let her answer but continued. “I don’t want the warrior, the ruler, the queen to be …I want you and of you can’t let me have you as I would want than let me be around you, to drop by, to…I don’t know, have me as you’d want me to be, do whatever you want with me but don’t throw me out of your life for good! Just let me be there. I won’t push.” he implored, advancing towards her, lifting his finger to her lips, making their counter with it and giving her a short kiss first and when he saw she let him he kissed her again, with passion this time, opening her lips to his, invading her senses with his kiss.
“I swear I won’t push.” he repeated.
She only nodded and he took her in his strong arms, encircling her, never wanting to let go.
“I need to think…” she said while her head rested on his shoulder, inhaling his scent. Gods what is she thinking?
“It doesn’t need to be official or something, nobody needs to know if this is what you want. I just want to be allowed to do this…” he took her hand in his…“… this…” he caressed her on her arms “…or this…” he kissed her softly.
“Can we enjoy what it’s left of this holyday, what do you say?”
A small smile appeared on her face, biting her lower lip in anticipation.
And now that the tension eased, that things were said and some cards showed on the table they finally let it flow naturally, even if for the few hours left and what it would be time spent alone the following day.
They enjoyed their company- just like a normal couple would do even if they were far from normal- and made a pact not to talk about other things that would just hurt them uselessly.
Now that the day was almost over, a bad, unsettling feeling crawled inside both of them. Ares didn’t know what she would decide and she wasn’t sure what to do.
The God moved on the bed and lied down waiting for Xena to join him. She did, just after she removed her boots. He cocooned her in his arms and placed small kisses on her cheeks, neck, shoulders.
“Maybe we should get some sleep…” she voiced and he nodded in her hair.
The air was hot, result of a very warm summer day and she woke up middle of the night sweating. She had no idea how much she had slept but not much, in his arms she felt secure and safe, the irony of it all.
“Xena…” his voice was rough with sleep but he felt her move.
“I’m hot…” she only said and got out of the bed.
He was now wide awake and looked at her…she was phenomenal, so sexy even in this state, sweat on her forehead, arms, her hair against her skin.
“I have an idea…” he took her hand and dragged her after him for a few short paces before he took her in his arms and ran with her to the river going straight in it. When he was buried deep in water to the waist he let her out of his arms.
“Great idea…” she said pleased. It felt incredibly good- that cold water against her warm skin.
For the following minutes she only focused on getting herself wet enough- clothes, hair, face….
“Now this is something else.”
When she resurfaced, he was behind her kissing her back and shoulders.
“Tomorrow this ends as you said…”
Xena didn’t let him finish but turned and kissed him, taking him by surprise but responding to her urgent kiss nonetheless.
This time they made love into the water, other sensations, but the same consuming, passionate love making.
“I don’t want it to end…please…” he heartbrokenly pleaded on their way back to the house. “Plus it’s not every day a war god gets to do this.” he joked.
The next day came faster than one would think but with it her answer too.
“Bring me back Ares…”
Hearing her, he thought that indeed this was the end for them.
“The spell is weak, I can leave and I can take you with me if that is what you wish.”
He took her hand in his, kissed it and vanished with her just outside Aphrodite’s temple from where she had whisked them in the first place.
“Your Bard is probably waiting.” he spoke seriously, not wanting to prolong this endless pain that she was causing him.
“Probably…“she looked at the temple and then back at Ares. He was sad and locked gaze with her before he turned and wanted to leave the old fashioned way.
“Ares…” her hand touched him on his shoulder.
“I believed what you said but between us things can never be as you want them to be, but…I can, I mean I want to allow you to be near me…I want more than just what we had until yesterday.”
His whole face lightened and came near her, in front of her…his hands cupping hers, placing a soft kiss on her lips.
“Don’t disappoint me and make me regret it.”
“Then I’ll see you later, I have some wars to get back on…Can I consult with you sometimes?”
“Hey…don’t push it…” she laughed.
“Kidding!” He quickly placed a kiss on her lips before he vanished in his blue sparkles.
Deep breath…gods what had she done? But she couldn’t bring herself to feel bad about it…her heart was happy and she would give this a try. They needed to set a few things straight first though but that would be said later that day…The thought alone that she would see him again made her tremble in anticipation.
With the biggest of smiles she entered the temple.
Another place, another happy heart was supervising a camp of warriors but his mind was somewhere else…Xena… he couldn’t wait to see her, but first he needed to have a long chat with his sister after she got rid of the annoying bard.
He could as well kiss her feet- like literally- from the joy he was feeling.
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