Part 1

It was a GOOD scheme. Really. I'd been in Athens for a while. It was a prosperous city, and big enough to support a whole class of useless married women with nothing better to do than mark their status by the amount of gaudy baubles they owned. It had been no challenge at all disguising myself as a servant, someone so faceless and colorless that I could have had my run of any house I wanted. I mean, really! These people were so fucking stupid, robbing them blind would have been too easy. So, I waited. Crept around, figured out where all the really valuable stuff was. Listened to the idle bitches gossiping over who had what, who wanted what, who would just DIE if she didn't get some overpriced bit of jewelry to show up Lady So-and-So's new ring. People really will say anything in front of a servant! If I'd been of a mind to set up a blackmail operation, I could have gathered plenty of fodder listening to those pampered matrons gabble on. I managed not to puke, and also to piece together some worthwhile information. I could get into all the fucked up little status game details, but that'd be totally boring. Basically, there was a silver mirror and comb set that this one rich bitch had inherited. This other rich bitch, a cousin by marriage or some fucked up shit like that, thought she should have gotten it instead. She'd made repeated attempts to buy the damn things. So, I figured out where Rich Bitch #1 (actually, she wasn't all that rich compared to the rest of her snobby little circle, but she made up for it by being twice the bitch) kept her little comb and mirror.

Then I sent an anonymous letter to Rich Bitch #2 (equally bitchy, but one of Athens' wealthier dumb cows), telling her I could get the comb and mirror for her (for a price, of course), and to meet me outside of town after dark.

I disguised myself, of course. I had a deeply hooded, voluminous cloak on, and I'd appropriated a handsome black mare from the stable of a nearby inn. If I kept my voice pitched low enough, I could pass for a guy, particularly since nobody in Athens would expect a woman to be pulling this shit. I love using people's own stupidity against them. I was in such a good mood, I even put the damn horse back in the stable. It might even have been the same stable I'd taken it from.

So, Rich Bitch #2 gave me a ludicrous sum in order to steal Rich Bitch #1's mirror and comb for her. The following evening was some big-ass party or something, and Bitches #1 and #2 would both be there. I told Bitch #2 that comb and mirror would be in her bedroom when she got home.

Slipping into Bitch #1's place and getting the items in question was no trouble at all. I didn't even bother to leave my 'calling card' (a little model of a rat, made out of bronze. Don't you pay attention?) .Slipping in to Bitch #2's place and leaving them on the dresser was even less hassle. Then I set about my REAL goal. Divesting Bitch #2 of every other bit of shiny trash she'd accumulated.

I'd been merrily filling my packs when I felt a hand on my ass. I stiffened, but didn't shriek-- aren't you proud of me? I had a pretty good guess who it was, and the tongue in my ear a moment later pretty much clinched it.

"I'm working, Strife. Why don't you catch up with me in an hour or two?" I kept my voice down. I was pretty sure the house was empty, but I didn't want to take unnecessary chances.

Not that Strife gave a damn. "Nope. Ares said to come get you, so here I am, come to get you."

I twisted around to face him. "I'm in the middle of a job."

"So?" He glanced pointed at the medallion I wore. I STILL hadn't been able to get the damn thing off.

"Y'know, Strife, I can read. I read the inscription on the back of that thing. Do you know what it said?" I realized I'd been talking rather louder than I should have been, and hastily lowered my voice. "It said, 'I went to the Temple of Ares at Sparta and all I got was this lousy necklace'. Now, just between you and me, I don't think the guy I got this off of was all that fucking devout."


"Aw FUCK. Nothing, I guess." I sighed, trying to sound saintly and long-suffering. I think I managed aggravated. "So, what's the deal?"

I grabbed my bag of trinkets just in time. Strife wrapped his arm around my waist. My vision blurred. When it cleared, I was in a narrow room, with walls made out of some kind of shiny black stone. What was it with these guys and black? Strife was grinning at me in a way I'd learned to be VERY wary of.

"Ok, close your eyes and stick out your tongue."

I REALLY didn't like the sound of that. "No fuckin' way."

"C'mon, it's for a surprise."

"No thanks."

"Not for YOU, rodent-girl, for Ares."

"Oh, sure, insult me, that'll make me want to co-operate."

"I could just MAKE you do it."

Which was, of course, true. "Oh, all right." I closed my eyes and stuck out my tongue.

"Now, don't move. Don't move no matter what."

Oh, SHIT. I felt him grab on to my tongue with something hard, then-- Ow! The little bastard shoved something sharp right through my fuckin' tongue!

It didn't hurt as much as I thought it should have, but I was pretty damned pissed. I felt something like a little tug, then--

"Ok, open your eyes." As I opened my eyes to glare at him, he stroked my jawline with a single, outstretched finger. My tongue stopped hurting. It felt-- well, normal, except for the feeling of a little hard piece of metal sticking through it.

"What the fuck was that all about?"

"I told you, it's a surprise for Ares. Anyway, wanna see?" He held up a mirror.

Well, I wasn't so pissed that I wasn't curious. I stuck out my tongue. Yep, there was a little skinny piece of metal going through my tongue. It looked to be about as thick around as a piece of straw, but there was a little ball on each end. Fucking great. Another goddamn piece of jewelry I couldn't get off. At least it didn't hurt. I didn't get the whole 'surprise for Ares' thing, but--

Strife tossed the mirror somewhere. "Ohhhh baby!" He smirked. "Wish we had time to test-drive that puppy, but--Ares is waiting."

Part 2  Meat on the Ledge

Strife shoved me forward, hard. I stumbled through a doorway I hadn't noticed before, into a dimly lit cavern of a room. I caught myself just as I realized that I was at the top of a long, curving flight of broad stone stairs. Now, when I say this room was a cavern, I don't mean it was just some regular big room, like a king's feasting hall or some shit like that. I mean, it was fucking enormous. It was the biggest place I'd ever seen with a roof. You could hold gladiator matches in there, easy. At the far end was… something. People? A table? It was too far to make out clearly.

This damn place was too BIG for a gladiator match.

Well. I could start walking across the room. Which is exactly what a humble, obedient servant of the gods would do.

I sat down on the third step.

I'm not sure how long I was sitting there. It was probably about half an hour, but it felt like longer. A LOT longer. I sprawled lazily on the stairs, and did my best to be bored instead of nervous.

The only sign I had that I was no longer alone was the ruffle of breath on the back of my hair. I knew it wasn't Strife this time. And bored wasn't even an option.

"Were you waiting for anything in particular? Or do you just have some kind of stair fixation?"

Ares. Well, who else would it be? I tried to stay calm, but the truth is, he scared the crap out of me. I sucked in a deep lungful of air and leaned my head back. Maybe not a smart move… now that I could see him looking at me, I was more rattled than ever. "Oh, it's the stairs. For example, I could 'stair' at you for hours." Aw fuck. Did I really say THAT? Now I felt stupid, as well as scared. Strife didn't make me feel like this. But then, Strife was a rambunctious kitten. Ares was a restless panther.

He didn't exactly smile, but I saw the corners of his mouth twitch. "Oh, you're going to be way too busy for that. I have a job for you."

He had a job for me. I get yanked away from the sweetest score in MONTHS because high-and-mighty Ares had a friggin' job for me. This had damn well better---

Then he kissed me. Oh sweet sky above, did he kiss me. Job? Did someone say something about a job? Anything. Anything. Just keep kissing me like that. I felt him pause, for just a moment, when he encountered the little metal stud Strife had put in my tongue, but the hesitation was gone almost before I noticed it. And… Oh! That little bit of metal slid around under the pressure of Ares' probing…. It was like he was kissing my tongue from the inside. I almost forgave Strife then and there.

Ares rolled over, straddling me, pinning me against the stone steps. "You're not wearing the clothes I gave you." Was that a trace of a chuckle in his voice?

"Well, I like to be inconspicuous when I'm working. And I'm hardly that in a get-up that looks llike what a barmaid would wear if she moonlighted as an assassin."

"But I like it," he murmured, lowering his head to nuzzle my neck. "Don't you want me to be happy?"

Oh, not fair. No fucking fair, to talk like that. He slid a hand up my leg, up under the shabby skirt I was wearing, the cheap fabric melting away at his touch. I quivered. It was a damn good thing I was lying down. My knees were trembling like reeds in a high wind. His teasing, caressing hand slid up further, following the curve of my hip, fingertips trailing upwards, skimming across my breasts. My shirt melted away at his touch, too.

"There, now," he breathed, directly into my ear.

I wriggled my head around, peering down to see what he'd done to me THIS time. Aw, fuck, this was worse than before. He'd crammed me into some strappy leather bra thingie with shiny metal studs on it, and a teeny little leather panty that was already giving me a wicked wedgie. "What kind of job do you expect me to do, dressed like THIS?"

"Oh, one you should like," he said, taking me by the hand. "Come on."

Part 3  How I Found the Goddess and What I Did When I Found Her

The room, like I already told you, was too fucking big to believe. But when Ares grabbed my hand and started walking, it seemed to shrink with each pace. By the time we reached the other side, it was a normal sized....
... Dungeon? Yep. The long, wide curved stairway was now a cramped, narrow flight leading from a doorway in the room's upper corner. Close, the walls were stone, dark and damp. The ceiling had an odd slant. The 'table' I hadn't quite been able to make out from the other end of the room was a rack of some sort. It appeared to be designed to tilt, to change the angle of the 'working surface'. The edges were rimmed with a complex array of metal bars, wheels, and hinges.

Chained spread-eagle to the rack was a gagged, naked woman.

Or what LOOKED like a woman, anyway. Short, fair-skinned, dark hair and eyes. Not precisely buxom, but compared to me she was pretty curvy, with a kind of girlish roundness. She had that same ultra-THERE-ness I'd come to connect with Ares and Strife. I figured it was a god thing. And if you start thinking gods are human, well, then you might start thinking you understand them. That you can figure out how they think. And then, you're really screwed.

I looked at Ares, but his attention wasn't on me at that moment, it was on her. He was walking towards her with a light, agile step. It made his butt kinda wiggle, so that was cool. He had a way cute butt, and I hadn't gotten a good enough look at it before. She tried to turn her face away, but he cupped her chin with one hand, forcing her to face him. She fixed him with a resentful glare and tried to speak, but only the faintest of sounds slipped out around the gag.

"Now, now, Discord. I did warn you. I've been far too lenient with you and you know it." He was facing away from me, but I could hear the grin in his voice. "So I've arranged something that should remind you to keep to your place." He sauntered back towards me. Yep, he was grinning all right. He wrapped a hand around the back of my neck, pulling me close to him. "I'm counting on you, Jasne," he murmured. "This little snip of a goddess has been getting above herself. I want you to help me put her in her place."

Oh fuck. This could NOT be happening.

Ares chuckled at the shocked expression on my face. "You should be honored. How many mortals get to have a goddess at their mercy, without fear of retribution? Besides," his voice roughened, "I won't take no for an answer."

Well, he wouldn't, would he? "But I don't… I mean, I wouldn't know what…" Fuck. I was babbling. I took a deep breath. "I don't know what to do."

He looked at me for a moment, lips still curved in that damn mocking grin. "You forget who you're talking to. You've already had a few ideas that will do just nicely." He slid his hand from my neck down the length of my spine. "But first I need to make you forget how nervous you are."

Then he kissed me again. Damn. It wasn't fair, him kissing like that. When he kissed me, it was like I had extra nerves or something.

My knees were practically knocking together when he broke the kiss. Gently, with a hand on each shoulder, he spun me around to face Discord. "Now show me. Show me how much you want to please me."

Oh, so very not fair. But I must admit, the possibilities were intruiging. There was a small, five-cornered table I hadn't noticed before next to the rack. On the table were a horsehair whisk and a small clay flask. I shot a glance at Ares. He winked at me. Maybe I would be enjoying this after all.

I walked up to Discord, trying my best to copy Ares' cocky swagger. Well, he didn't laugh, and she couldn't. I lifted the horsehair whisk from the table, doing all I could to behave as if, yeah, I tormented chained goddesses all the fuckin' time. Cool and casual, that's me. The rack was a little higher than waist-height to me, so I didn't have to lean far to whisper in Discord's ear.

"Close your eyes."

She shot me a kind of dirty look, but she did it. Hey, cool!

I trailed the whisk lightly across her ribs. She twitched, rattling the chains holding her down. I glanced over at Ares. He'd conjured up a chair and sprawled in it, naked, one hand wrapped around his cock. Oh, so he wanted a show, did he? I put an extra wiggle into my step as I slid the whisk across Discord's stomach, and rested a hand on her thigh. Her skin was smooth, like a baby's. I twitched the whisk around her breasts in a jerky figure-eight, carefully avoiding her nipples. She moaned behind the gag. I slid my hand slowly up her side... and reached for the bottle on the table. I uncorked it, sniffed. Perfect. This was gonna be FUN.

Part 4  When I Bite into a York Peppermint Patty, I Get the Sensation...

I daubed a bit of the peppermint oil from the vial on a fingertip and waved it under Discord's nose. Her brow wrinkled... she recognized the smell, but apparently had no idea what I would be doing with it. Shame on her... a goddess shouldn't be so naive. I ran my oiled fingertip down her neck. She'd start figuring it out soon enough. With my other hand, I trailed the horsehair whisk along the creamy, curvy length of her. She was like a ripe little fruit, all round and soft. I watched her face carefully. When she began to relax, I cracked the whisk down on her thigh, hard. I knew it wouldn't precisely hurt, but it'd sting like fuck. I don't think she was expecting it... her eyes shot open. Aw shit… gotta look fierce! I shot her my best Evil Grin, the one I keep practicing in mirrors. I doubt it had much effect on her. I crouched down, pressing my face against hers.

"Eyes closed," I whispered in her ear, dipping my fingers in the peppermint oil. "Please don't make me repeat myself again. It makes me awfully cross." I snuck a glance at Ares. He was still sprawled in his seat, lazily stroking his cock. He met my gaze and licked his lips. I felt my knees start to go again, and looked away, quickly. Fixing my attention on Discord was much easier, and didn't make my insides flop like a fish on dry land and my breath stick in my throat. She was staring at me. I didn't have time to figure out the look she was giving me; when she saw she had my attention again, she closed her eyes. Irritating little minx. I blew on her neck, where I'd smeared the oil. She squirmed a little. Good. If she thought THAT tingled… I stroked my peppermint-coated thumb across of her pink little nipples. She whimpered behind her gag. She tried to tilt her body away from me, but the chains didn't give her any slack. Neither would I. I blew across her mint-oiled nipple and she thrashed as much as the chains would let her.

I laid my head on her shoulder. "You'll only hurt your wrists doing that. Those chains look really strong."

She tried to say something from behind her gag. From the rhythm and heat of it, I guessed it was your basic angry abusive commentary.

"Now, that was probably a mistake." I grabbed the oil and coated my hands. "After all, you're pretty much exposed and defenseless right now, aren't you?" I slid an oily hand down her belly, feeling her try to flinch away.

Well fuck, I'd had enough playing around. I clambered onto the broad surface of the rack and crouched between Discord's chained legs.

"Struggle if you wanna," I called out. "You already know it won't do you any good." I slipped my hand between her soft little thighs, spreading her lips, smearing her pussy with the strong peppermint oil. Her hips jerked, hard enough to make the chains binding her clatter. Ripe little fruit indeed… her cunt was as juicy as a split peach. I slipped a finger inside, rolling my thumb over her hard little clit. I wriggled forward, lying on my belly, propped up on my elbows.

"You're so tense. Your legs are practically shaking. What's got you so worried? Afraid I'm gonna do *this*?" I worked the index finger of my other hand into her ass. She sputtered behind her gag. "Or *this*?" I lowered my head to lick and nibble at her clit, sliding another finger into her slick, grasping cunt, wriggling the finger in her ass. The mint oil made my mouth tingle, warm and cool at the same time. She pushed her hips up at me as much as her bonds would allow as I slowly worked as much as I could of my hand inside her.

When she started to buck against my hand, I knew it was time to say, screw finesse, and just started pumping her for all I was worth. She was more worked up than I'd realized; it was hardly any time at all before I felt her spasming around my hand. I her her cry out, shrill and loud. Ares must have removed her gag. I looked up.

He was standing right over me, cock in hand, eyes glazed. Discord was still gasping raggedly when he grabbed me by the hips, shredding the scraps of leather he'd dressed me in, pulling me up to him, slamming me down on his jutting prick. He took a few steps like that, holding me up, before pushing me up against the wall, thrusting into me at a furious pace. I gripped desperately at his shoulders for balance, wrapping my legs around his waist, pushing back against him. I came quickly, panting and gasping, and he didn't last much longer, erupting inside me with a startling roar.

I leaned back, sucking air, staggering to my feet. He stood, regarding me for a moment, then motioned to the stairs.

"Go," he said. "I'll see you later."

Part 5  Bizaare Lust Quadrangle

Naked and dazed, I made my way across the room. It only took a few steps, but when I looked back, the room had stretched out behind me. It was a vast cavern again. I staggered up the stairs and through the doorway, slumping to the floor. Well. Where the hell was I now? It was a small room, somewhat sparsely appointed, but comfortable. The carpet beneath me was dark blue, thick and soft. A fire crackled reassuringly in the fireplace in one corner. But the centerpiece of the room was a low, wide bed with a fuzzy-looking blanket.

And Strife, in a loose linen smock (black, though. Duh!), sprawled on the bed. He looked almost lazy, but for the intent way he was gazing at me.

"Hey," I said. "What the fuck was all that about back there?"

He smirked. "That was the squeaky wheel getting the grease."

I raised a single quizzical eyebrow at him... a gesture I'd been trying to perfect for MONTHS.

"It's, like, standard. Ares spends a lot of time with me, Discord feels ignored and does something bratty, he focuses on her for a while." He rolled over onto his belly, crossing his arms. "Starting with punishing her for whatever obnoxious thing she did do get his attention. They've been at it for weeks, and I don't think they're gonna come up for air anything soon." He kicked his legs aimlessly in the air. "Don't feel particularly ignored. He's been blowing me off too."

"Ah-HAH. So that's why you've been visiting me so often this month."

Before the words had finished leaving my mouth I knew I'd said the wrong damn thing. Strife's face changed... his eyes narrowed, and his whole expression hardened. Fuck fuck fuck.... I'd done this to myself, let myself forget that I was, after all, talking to a god. They don't act like humans, can't be expected to, and whatever happened next, I deserved, for not keeping that in mind.

He was on his feet before I knew it, and grabbed my arms, his fingers digging into my flesh with so much force that I was afraid he'd snap my bones. I didn't, couldn't, move. I think I tried to say something, but no sound came out. He pushed me down onto the bed, straddling me. I could feel his hard cock grinding against my belly through the thin shirt he wore. He was still staring down at me with that hard, cold look.

"Is that why I've been coming to see you." It was almost a snarl.

Then he kissed me. It wasn't anything like Ares' kisses, confident and possessive. He kissed me like I was air and he was drowning, his tongue probing every particle of my mouth as if he were memorizing its contours.

By the time he pulled back, I was gasping for breath. He hadn't loosened his grip on my arms, and my hands were starting to go numb. I was afraid to look at him.

"Is that why," he muttered into my ear. He scraped his teeth down the side of my neck, not exactly hard, but fiercely. I think I was trembling. He let go of my arms, but I didn't move. He pulled off the smock thing he was wearing. I wondered inanely why he didn't just vanish it.

He cupped my chin in one hand, forcing me to look at him. I expected him to say something, but he only stared at me. He slid his other hand up between my legs. He touched me so gently, and I wasn't expecting that, couldn't understand why he was handling me like a porcelain statue when my arms still throbbed from the rough way he'd grabbed me and thrown me down. Even though my brain was frozen, my body responded of its own accord, and his light touch was maddening.

"Just FUCK me," I choked out.

He grinned down at me. I was suddenly afraid that I'd just guaranteed myself a few hours of being teased, but a heartbeat later he drove the length of his prick inside me in a single, smooth motion. His eyes never left my face. I pushed up against him, trying to get him to fuck me harder, needing it hard.

Still that maddening grin. "You want it, huh?" He laid down flat on top of me, pressing his face against my neck. "You want me to fuck you, huh?"

And then, yes, finally, he was fucking me, slamming it to me as hard as I could want, and I was shoving back up against him, rising off the bed to meet each thrust, and I was gripping his ass, groaning out with deep, wordless cries that I knew would leave my throat raw…

It seemed to last forever, but it was probably over pretty quickly. I lay back, panting and exhausted. Strife rolled onto his side. He ran his index finger down the length of my nose.

"The stuff you…acquired… is in your bag, by the fireplace." The light, casual tone of his voice didn't match the intent way he was looking at me. "I'll take you back to Athens in the morning, unless you think you can fence the stuff for more somewhere else." He chuckled, starting to sound a little more like himself. "Maybe I'll even help ya spend the money. But for now, why don't you get some sleep."

I didn't think I'd be able to sleep, but somehow, I did.

Continued in 'The Polished Bronze Rat in Deep Shit'