Ares' muscled arm shot out and an angry blue fireball slammed into his sister's statue, disintegrating it into its composite atoms.

Aphrodite gasped. "Oh no you didn't, musclehead!" she huffed, sending a pastel bolt right back at him, turning his trademark black leather to pink and salmon lace.

"What the fuck-" Ares looked down at his new threads.

Dite crossed her arms. "Is that the only word you know?"

Ares glared. "No. I also know shit, cocksucker, cunt, asshole, and bastard. What's your point?"

"Just that you're an uncultured dweeb who couldn't keep from swearing to save his life." She smiled sweetly, which could only mean she was planning something evil. "Hmmm...care to make a little wager, big brother?"

Ares tilted his head suspiciously. "What's the bet?"

"You go 24 hours without swearing and I'll personally entertain your favorite warlords for a month."

"And say I lose? What then?"

Dite grinned. "Then you have to serve me as one of my priests for a month."

Ares shook his head vehemently, sending his dark curls flying. "Forget it, Boy Toy!" He whirled and started to stalk away.

Dite sighed mock-sadly. "It's for the best. You just don't have the discipline."

"What?!?" Ares whipped around. "*I* don't have discipline? Look, Trampolina, I am a warrior. I am the Kink of Warlords! I *am* discipline!" The lace on his pastel outfit quivered in outrage.

"Then it's a deal?" Dite simpered, knowing she'd skewered her big bro right in the center of his massive ego. An Ares kabob.

"Deal!" Ares snapped. "24 hours with no swearing. Prepare to-" he sneered-"*entertain* my men." He turned again to go.

Dite held up one exquisitely manicured hand. "Uh uh, big bad bro! Not so fast." She laid a hand on the War God's sculpted chest and caressed his pecs appreciatively. "I have to assign you an escort, of course. To keep you honest."

Ares narrowed his eyes. "Escort?" He suddenly had a baaaaad feeling that he'd been boned up the ass with no lube in sight.

"And there's just one person I'd trust for the job..." Dite gestured.

No. It couldn't be...

...but of course it was.

Iolaus appeared from nowhere, blinking.

"Aphrodite?" He surveyed the pink, rose-strewn temple. "Ares," he said, less enthusiastically.

"Blondie!" Dite cooed, grabbing the hunter and crushing him to her chest. "Long time no see!"

"Hmm mumph mmm grmph," Iolaus replied, smothered by an overabundance of divine pastel bosom.

"That's great! Just peachy-neat!" Dite ruffled his long blonde mane and released him. "Now, Curly, I know you're just dying to do me a little favor..."

"Why is the hair on the back of my neck standing up?" Iolaus asked no one in particular.

"...so I just *know* you'll watch over Ares for me and make sure he doesn't swear. Not one nasty word comes out of that latrine he calls a mouth or he serves in my temple for a month."

"How long."

"Only 24 hours," the goddess said nonchalantly.

"TWENTY FOUR HOURS???" Iolaus exploded. "24 hours with Ares? Did someone spike your ambrosia?? I'd kill him!"

"Ditto!" Ares snarled.

"Now, Iolaus," Dite wheedled, "Herc won't be back for at least another day, and this will pass the time."

"I can find plenty at the bottom of a tankard of ale to keep me busy," Iolaus retorted, crossing his arms.

Dite upped the ante. "I can give you a little potion straight from Egypt that'll have Herc's prostate singing 'Nearer My Goddess To Thee'."

To Iolaus' credit he only paused a couple seconds before replying, "We don't need any help in that department."

Dite sighed. "Okay, okay. I can see you can't be bought. I'll just send you back to where you were."


"Back to that lovely little seaside village to enjoy Autolycus' company for the next week." She peered from under her lashes, waiting for the reaction.

It came.

"Autolycus?!? Au-fucking-tolycus??" Iolaus' lips curled in distaste as he spat the name of the thief.

"Now you sound like Ares," the goddess of love chided. "You see, that adorable seaside town you're staying in is due for a humongo storm tomorrow. Roads flooded out, gonna take at least a week to dry out and clear." She toyed with the lace on her lingerie. "Poor Herc won't be able to get through for a week, but Auto...well, he arrived quite unexpectedly today. What a coinky-dink that he happened to get a room riiiight next to yours at the only inn in town. It'll be nice for you to have a friend in that week of rain when no one could possibly leave the inn." She smiled brightly. "Aaaaall that togetherness!" She let it sink in before continuing. "Of course, I do have some teensy little bit of influence over Uncle Poseidon. I suppose I could ask him to postpone the storm until you and Herc are safely out of town."

Iolaus groaned. Score one for the Pink Panther. She had him by the codpiece and was squeezing like Tartarus. A week with Autolycus or a day with Ares.

He sighed in defeat. "Ares, if you're gonna hang with me, you'll have to change out of that ridiculous outfit."