Silent as Death
By Candace
Fondling a rosebud made entirely of tiny, cut rubies, the god frowned. He placed it on its shelf, then moved it a bit to the left. No, that wasn't it. He rotated the precious sculpture a few degrees clockwise. Almost. He stepped back, brows lowered. He sighed. Something was just not right.

"Nothing's been the same since that thief got his hands on all of my things," Hades mumbled.

On the blood red divan beside him, a sprawled warrior snorted in his sleep, as if in agreement with his Lord.

Hades turned and gazed at Castor, dark topknot askew, leather kilt hiked up, so open and vulnerable in his state of satiation. Pollux snored contentedly at his twin brother's feet, nude and muscular, his leathers in a messy pile beneath the couch.

"Why on earth would Hypnos frolic with you boys, today of all days?" Hades asked the dozing twins. Of all the underworld denizens, the Sleep God would only bestow his favors on Hades' most loyal of servants, and then only rarely. There was simply too much work to be done, and too few to accomplish it.

Pollux grasped Castor's meaty calf and cuddled it to his bearded cheek.

The twins were so innocent in their oblivion. Hades sighed gently and left them to curl together for their remaining stint in the Underworld. They worked hard and always obeyed him. It was such a shame that Pollux's godly blood necessitated that he spend time in Olympus each year. Castor, fully mortal, had no such strictures. *If only they weren't so attached,* Hades pondered. *I could certainly use Castor's help.*

The King of the Underworld shook his head. When the two had fallen together in battle several years before, Castor found himself in Hades' castle, sans brother. His wails rang in Hades' ears for a year. Luckily, Zeus had been having the same problem on Olympus with his son Pollux, and decreed another of his six month on/six month off plans.

Hades traced the line of Pollux's collarbone softly with his fingertip, watched his spent cock rapidly fill and stand tall. The demigod sighed and shivered, causing his brother's cock to jerk in sympathetic response.

"I suppose you can sleep just as well on Olympus," Hades murmured, pulling coarse, wavy strands of hair away from Castor's sleeping face. "It's time." Hades bent gracefully at the waist, brushing Castor's lips with his own. The warrior groaned aloud and spilt his seed on his belly as Hades turned to wake his brother with a kiss as well.


Hades stood flanked by his matching warriors, their gleaming bronzed chests exposed by the simple leather bandoleers that spanned them,  muscular thighs flexing beneath their skimpy chamois kilts. In sharp contrast, Hades was swathed in black from the base of his white throat to his delicate, tapered fingertips. His ebony surcote rippled and shimmered as if alive, woven from the hair of a hundred dusky maidens. He wore just one ring, a sapphire so blue that it put the sky to shame, and upon his regal head, the strange crown of twisted metal and teeth.

The God of Death considered knocking on the great doors to the Halls of War. Occasionally he did so, depending on his mood. Instead, he whispered to them, a few loving words, and they sighed open to admit him eagerly.

Silence brooded inside the stark building. Monolithic, Ares' throne jutted up from the center of the floor, backlit. Hades could make out the silhouette of a foot draped over one arm of the throne, heard the drumming of fingers on one of the matched human skulls that capped off the chair's armrests.

"I see you've been expecting me," Hades intoned.

"Yes, Uncle Death," the God of War sneered. "I have a calendar. I know how to read."

Hades glided forward soundlessly while Castor and Pollux hung back by the doors, heads bowed in reverence. "I hate to give these two up to you, as always." Hades said, ignoring his nephew's jibe and overall foul demeanor. "Do find something interesting for them to do."

"I'd like to send each of them out to battlefields as my avatars," Ares snorted, "but they each insist on going to the same battle! How do I explain that there's two of me? Too fucking complicated."

Hades glanced over his shoulder. Pollux was stroking Castor's ropy forearm. "They look wonderful in matching armor. Perhaps you can use them to back up a new avatar while he's gaining his confidence."

Ares grunted. "They flanked you nicely. I suppose I'll think of something."

Hades eased forward still, climbing the dais steps slowly. His unnaturally large pupils had dilated fully, and he could now see Ares' scowling face. "Someone has angered you?" he asked casually, knowing that if he probed too deeply he'd simply be brushed off. The God of War seemed upset, truth be told, but when speaking with Ares, vocabulary was everything. The War God didn't tolerate compassion well.

Ares narrowed his eyes and stared at Hades. The King of the Underworld knew something was amiss. Usually Ares began to ripen with desire the moment Hades drew close to him.

"Stupid Hermes," Ares muttered, his dark eyes flickering away.

Hades quirked an eyebrow. Absent Hermes was more like it. He'd left the newly dead to roam about Persephone's grove completely unattended. Hades had needed to take Iolaus off his castle duties and send him there to guide the newcomers in. Luckily the blonde warrior had enough notoriety from his heroic life that the commoners were willing to follow him. In a few years, however, once the Golden Hunter's legends faded, who knew what would happen? Perhaps he'd have to get a staff and impersonate Hermes, should the young god continue to sulk that long.

"His absence is most -- inconvenient," Hades agreed, leaning over the side of the throne, winding a black tendril of Ares' hair around his finger.

Ares made a noise that sounded more like a bark than anything else. "Inconvenient?? For you, down there, maybe. Hah. Up here on Olympus, it's all anyone can talk about."

Ares glared sullenly ahead, vaguely focused on the twins caressing each others' seminude chests. Hades drew an icy fingertip along the line of his nephew's beautifully sculptured goatee. "Surely, the gossip is but an annoying gnat in your ear," he murmured.

"True," Ares muttered, shifting in his seat as he adjusted his codpiece. "Would that I could smash it as one. Apollo keeps harping on about it." His bronze, calloused hand flashed up and caught the hand of the Death God. He turned it palm up with deliberate tenderness, and began tracing the lines of the white palm with his hot, probing tongue.

Castor's leather bandoleer sounded like a bare palm slapping the floor as Pollux discarded it.

"Apparently he was Apollo's *favorite* brother," Ares sneered, holding  up Hades' hand to nip at the tiny webbing at the base of his fingers.

"That's as it has always been, " Hades concurred, gasping at the pleasurable sensations shooting from his hand to his spine, then to his groin. "I strive not to think of Apollo, myself." With his free hand Hades caressed the buckles on Ares' armor, which yielded to him eagerly, slithering to unfasten themselves. He lifted away the molded iron chestpiece, heavy enough to crush a mortal, with one hand. Ares' linen undertunic clung to his damp chest provocatively, revealing each muscular hill and valley in exquisite detail.

"Come, uncle," Ares rasped. "Share the Throne of War with me for a bit."

With a thought, Hades sent his own clothes a safe distance from the throne. They'd be in shreds already if they were in his realm, but he didn't like to tempt Ares unnecessarily if he hadn't been to see Zeus yet. He left the twisted crown in place, though. He suspected it turned Ares on.

Behind Hades, eager sucking sounds indicated that one of the twins had gotten under the other's kilt.

Hades peeled away the massive iron thighguards gently before straddling Ares' thigh, one knee to the side of his nephew, the other between his legs. The fabric of the War God's breeches felt hot and damp from its close contact with Ares' flesh on the inside of Hades' bare thighs.

"I love that your subjects have no use for the Sun God," Ares said, his breath catching as chill fingers clamped onto his nipples through his sodden shirt. He raked his teeth up the cool, white arm, showing disappointment that his lovemaking left naught but faint, pink tracings on Hades' flesh when they were not in Death's realm.

Hades said nothing, but his lips curved slightly. His nimble fingers worked the clasps on Ares' gargantuan codpiece as the War God raised his hips to allow its removal. He breathed Ares' scent, metallic and saline, saturated with musk, the epitome of maleness. Hades traced each nipple again through the clinging shirt, then dropped his free hand to squeeze the rock hard cock that twitched beneath the moist fabric of Ares' rough breeches.

Ares bit down hard on the tender flesh in the crook of Hades' arm, grunting as his teeth broke skin. Hades gasped, and in a gesture most unlike himself, tore the crotch out of Ares' trousers.

"Fuck, yes!" Ares hissed, suckling the blood from Death's arm.

Hades grasped the proud godcock as it sprang free from its confinement, red and angry. Ares' cock was searingly hot. Hades' slender fingers were like ice against it.

Ares bucked his hips at the contact, a pleasurable growl building deep in his throat. He reached around Hades to cup his ass, burying calloused fingers roughly in the crack.

"Shall I straddle you, Ares, my fine, hot stallion?" Hades purred in his ear. "Shall I ride you on your Throne of War?"

Ares pulled his face away from the ragged bite he'd been nursing and stared his uncle in the face. His sable eyes were wide, reverent, as if he was losing himself in Hades. The God of Death moistened his lips with his onyx tongue, allowing it to poke tantalizingly between his sharp, white teeth. Hades spoke words of seduction to the War God so rarely that their effect was multiplied when he chose to do so.

Ares released Hades' wounded arm and grasped at a skull on one of the armrests. With a flick of his fingers, the top of the cranium popped off to reveal a bowl-like vessel containing a measure of sweet oil. Hades sat patiently, long, elegant hands resting on his thighs, while Ares dipped three strong fingers into the oil and brought them to his cock, coating the fiery rod so it glistened.

He plunged his fingers again into the oil, then slid them around Hades' back, working them into the smooth crack of his alabaster ass. Hades leaned forward and kissed his nephew languidly, smoothing his tongue across the War God's teeth as Ares massaged his fingers firmly, back and forth, over his body's tight opening, stimulating without penetrating. Trembling with anticipation, Hades grasped the high back of the throne and raised himself up on his knees, pressing his smooth white chest against Ares' voracious mouth. The War God shifted and removed his right leg from its usual place across the arm of his throne, sliding it between his uncle's legs. As Ares flicked his tongue across one tawny nipple, he spread his knees slowly, forcing Hades' thighs wide apart. Still his fingers continued their deliberate massage of Hades' sphincter, back and forth, back and forth.

Hades let out a long moan that caused the prickly thorns outside Ares' door to wither and die, brushing his tremendous, white cock against Ares' drenched undertunic. Ares sucked the nipple in his mouth gently, then nipped it with his teeth delicately, over and over.

"I love the way you touch me," Hades gasped, feeling the battle roughened hand of his nephew smooth over his body from armpit to thigh. Ares was being surprisingly gentle, for Ares. Hades enjoyed the closeness, nurtured it in hopes of having an ally on Olympus in regard to this Hermes fiasco.

Ares groaned wordlessly and spread his knees a bit further, bringing Hades' greased hole into contact with the tip of his huge erection. Hades buried his face in the War God's dark curls, panting shallowly. "Sometimes--I think-- this is--the most beautiful--moment," the God of Death gasped.

"Yesss," Ares hissed, claiming his uncle's white throat with his lips and tongue. He thrust his hips shallowly, so that the fleshy tip of his cock just barely breached Hades' ass, leaving it there, just so, a promise of fulfillment still to come. "Wait," Ares whispered, taking a handful of Hades' ass in each strong hand, spreading his cheeks wide, and holding him there, still.

Hades groaned with rapture, and Castor and Pollux toppled into a fleshy heap, overwhelmed by the passion radiating off of the gods before them. "Fuck me," Hades whimpered, certain that his subservience was driving Ares wild.

Ares grasped his slender white ass tighter, holding him in place with an iron grip. He rocked his hips, little more than a twitch, then stilled himself again, trembling with restraint.

"Areeeees," Hades sobbed, and the statuary in the courtyard crumbled to dust and blew away.

Ares gave a shallow thrust, and the head of his cock plunged into Hades' ass. "Uhhn, yeahhh." He stopped, holding King Death's hips like a vice.

A tear leaked out of Hades' eye and splashed on Ares' cheek. "Don't," Hades gasped, incoherent, worried that Ares might taste him. "I don't know...the power."

Ares shook the tiny droplet away, easing his grasp enough to slide his hands up to the small of his uncle's back. "Take it," he whispered, fondling the impossible, velvety smoothness that was Hades' flesh. With a great sigh, Hades lowered himself slowly onto Ares until they faced each other nearly eye to eye, and the War God's cock granted him excruciating fullness and pleasure.

Hades paused, allowing the rapture to become endurable, then let his eyes focus on the damp, flushed face of Ares panting beneath him. He released his grasp on the top of the throne, his fingers stiff from exertion, to cup the gorgeous angularity of his nephew's sweat-slick jaw. "My love," he breathed, claiming the full lips ripe with passion.

Ares made a guttural sound as they kissed, and Hades felt the War God's gargantuan cock leap in his ass. "Yesss," Ares hissed into Hades' mouth. "Love you."

Hades tasted blood where he nicked War's mouth with his eagerness. He suckled it greedily, consuming the god's essence, eating his beautiful words. He pressed his strong ivory thighs together, sliding up the hot, red shaft, then ground his body down again, causing both gods to scream their pleasure aloud. Hades shook violently with the lust coursing through him, and Ares wrapped his brawny arms around the Death God, holding him, stilling him. They rocked together, each slowing the other when one lost control of the maddeningly painstaking pace they'd set. Ares fucked Hades for what seemed like eons. The Death God allowed all traces of himself to be sloughed away, his troubles erased, to be reduced to pure pain, pure pleasure.

Once Hades became so free of himself that he forgot to rein in Ares' thrusts, the God of War apparently realized somewhere in his haze of pleasure that he was thrusting faster, harder. He plunged deep, fast, grunting like a wild animal, grasping the white body straddling his lap and fucking it up and down.

As Hades allowed himself to exist only as white hot pleasure atop Ares' cock, he heard an eerie howl with one corner of his mind, the tiny corner that was still linked to the physical room. Ares was bucking, spasming, screaming his name.


A strange snapping sound in Hades' chest where Ares clung to him distracted the God of Death. Annoyed, he diverted a tendril of his awareness to repair his fractured ribs. He sighed, mourning the loss of his delicious abandon. While he was at it, Hades decided to give a quick look around. Castor and Pollux were unconscious, no other mortals or gods seemed to be near, and for some reason the plants outside were all dead.

Ares, soaked with sweat, heaved against Hades' chest. His breathing was raw, and he seemed stunned.

Uncomfortable suddenly with the wet, softening cock in his ass, Hades swung his leg off of Ares' lap, cleaning and clothing himself with a gesture. Ares sprawled bonelessly, too limp to move, clad in his soaked linen undergarments with the crotch ripped out.

"Hades," he whispered. "You're not done. Let me bring you off."

The God of Death shook his head slightly and adjusted his toothy crown. "I must meet with Zeus and Poseidon. I'd like to keep my edge, for now."

Ares chuckled raggedly. "Cocktease."

Hades gazed at his beautiful nephew. His lips were swollen, the bottom one cut. He was a vision, so just-fucked. Hades grazed Ares' sculpted cheek gently with his cold fingertips, then backed away. Ares' gaze was wide open, guileless. Hades supposed he had an ally, of sorts.

"Your turn to visit me, next," Hades smiled, disappearing in a crackling, smoky, blue flash.


Ares lounged on the Throne of War, sated. He supposed he should be readying himself for the fete his father would be throwing in honor of Hades' visit, but he was so saturated he could barely see the point.

A tiny sparkle caught his eye, but when Ares turned to look at it, nothing was there. He reached out into the room with his awareness, but found nothing amiss within the Halls of War except the finger-shaped depressions on the top of his throne. Those could stay.  As he scowled, puzzled, he caught sight of the winking glint again.

Something was caught in his hair!

Slowly he raised one cautious finger, catching the shimmering bit that bobbed at the tip of one black curl. Ares held the gemlike drop in front of his eyes, scowling harder. It was significant, somehow, if only he could place it.

An evil, eager grin spread across Ares' lips. He ran his tongue over the burning cut on his lower lip, loathe to heal the reminder of his recent pleasure. With a thought, he materialized a minuscule glass vial, tamping the precious drop into it for safe keeping.

He held the vial up to the light, admiring the tiny liquid jewel within:
Hades' tear.


Hades strolled down to Zeus' atrium at a leisurely pace, so that any telltale flush of passion on his cheeks would be faded by the time his faced his brother. That he could be so enigmatic was one of Hades' few weapons against the "King of the Gods." He also needed to perpetuate the notion of an all-consuming, one-sided attraction for Persephone, his wife, so he was not eager to advertise his liaison with one of the Olympians.

A thin, reedy melody from one of the pipers drifted through the meticulously trimmed olive grove Hades trod, assuring him that the party was already underway. It was good. Hades would arrive late enough to seem careless, but not so late as to offend Zeus.

The babble of voices grew louder in Hades' ear as he approached the stately white pillars that surrounded the atrium, festooned now with grape leaves and gay ribbons in honor of his visit. He walked unhurried up the mosaic path, until finally he was framed by the doorway. Every head turned, Olympian and godling, to behold dark Hades. The God of Death allowed fearsome power to radiate from his body. Even though he could not replenish his mana without his followers near, Hades didn't consider the demonstration to be a squandering of his ample resources. The shudder that rippled through the gathering upon his arrival was a necessary confirmation of his status.

Aphrodite, a vision in a swirling nectarine wrap, was waxing eloquent to a group of muses near the entryway. Hades paused beside her, lifting the goddess' delicate hand to his lips. She'd sent him such luscious suicides lately, he had to give credit where credit was due. Her breath caught in her throat as 'Dite gave Hades her best "virgin-goddess" smile, while her eyes held a promise of shameless rutting. Charming girl.

Athena hovered nearby at a table laden with fruits, most of them now extinct from the world below but easy enough to conjure to slake the whims of the gods. Tall and coltish, she met Hades' gaze awkwardly, as usual. Hades murmured his pleasantries, complimenting the goddess on the philosophers she'd been nurturing lately and her beautiful handling of peace negotiations between some warring Athenian factions. He had always admired the way she kept her namesake city so tidy.

He strolled then to the bubbling fountain where Hestia stood, staring at the sapphire waters, cooing at the prismlike fish that swam within. Hades breathed her name into her ear as he passed, touching the nut brown locks, tangled with ivy, that cascaded to the ground. The goddess met Hades' eye and nodded wisely. So many of her brethren treated her as if she was daft now that she'd chosen not to speak for so many centuries. Hades knew the witchwoman Hearth Goddess was still canny, though, and she knew that he knew.

Hades approached Demeter next as she inserted herself into his path to prevent his inevitable reunion with her daughter. Her normally soft eyes hardened to flinty pebbles as she crossed her arms across her ample bosom. "It's not your time yet, old man, and you won't have her," she hissed.

Hades never had less use for a goddess than he did for Demeter. Each year he pushed the rich crops up through the black soil, and each year she took the credit. It was wretched enough to have to provide for Zeus' subjects without any recognition whatsoever, but giving his accolades to such a lazy cow made the situation exponentially worse.

*At least they're MY future subjects,* Hades thought. He stared at the oddly plain goddess before him. *And at least SHE produced a delectable daughter.*

"It's a pleasure to see you again, as well," Hades whispered, his nonaggressive words frustrating the goddess all the more because they weren't trumpeted loudly enough for the other gods to hear. A muscle twitched in Demeter's jaw as she ground her teeth together, revolving around her daughter to maintain her position between Persephone and her estranged husband as Hades strolled slowly by.

Hades caught a small glimpse of his queen, of the knee-length hair so blonde it was white, lit by the sun like a halo, daisies woven through it. He almost caught Persephone's eye, but she dropped her gaze to the ground in her perpetual melancholy. It was no matter. He would see to her later. Hades strode on.

A gaggle of nymphs scattered in the Death God's wake, tittering nervously. They'd come to the fete, no doubt, to see how close they could come to Hades without him touching them, or perhaps to look into the bottomless eyes that lured their sister Menthe into the underworld. Persephone insisted that the little nymph was happier now as a plant than she was as the puppylike girl following Hades around Asphodel. Hades assumed that his wife knew these flora related things better than he.


The God of the Underworld tore himself from his odd reverie. He didn't think often of the girl that became the pervasive mint that sprung up everywhere in his realm, but when he did, he found himself quite distracted. The soft contralto voice that addressed him commanded to be heard, however. Hades stared at his sister's beautiful eyes, so intense, so like his.


The terrible sadness that lingered in the depths of her eyes was palpable, as always, but after being confronted with it for eons upon eons, Hades found that his sympathy had run dry. Perhaps it was obvious to Hera now, as it had been to Hades so long ago, that she was better suited to be Queen of the Underworld than to be Zeus' consort. They never spoke of the matter, of course, but her eyes cried out to him of every indignity that was heaped upon her by their brother.

When Hera had refused his hand countless ages before, Hades responded by rampaging back to his sunless domain in the form of a black column of smoke. He was young, then, and hotheaded. He brooded there for a millennium before he deigned to speak to his siblings again, finding Olympus suddenly populated with all their offspring with he returned. As befuddled as Hades felt, the new Olympians seemed more so, had no idea what to make of their mysterious, dark uncle. Moreover, Hades' confusion somehow projected itself as arrogance, which inspired the hatred and jealousy of the new gods as well as their interest. Sensing the need for caution, Hades had retreated further into his shell, carefully observing and deliberating before deciding with whom he could form an alliance.

And then there was Hera. How a thousand years with Zeus for a husband had taken its toll on her. Hera's natural exuberance had been buried so deep inside her that it was only recalled by those who knew her in her previous life, before she was the Queen of the Gods. She was like a fast boiling kettle now with a tight lid, ready to explode, the steam of her anguish threatening to mar all it touched. That Hera had become worshipped by the mortals as the Goddess of Marriage was surely a thorn in her side, a constant reminder of her inability to keep her husband in her bed.

Hades was strangely gratified when she saw him, then, and he could tell she knew that he'd been celibate for a thousand years, mourning her loss. He was surprised, too, at the level of his power as compared to that of the Olympians. Brooding alone, his mana had been fed by a steady stream of dead with their devotion. He had assumed that the others had been banking their resources as well, only to find that most of the gods had either squandered their powers on petty amusements, or perhaps that their resources and their capacity to retain them were nowhere near as rich as his. Aside from being unknown, and handsome, and brother to the King of the Gods, Hades was rife with godly power that rolled off him in waves, while the other gods apparently had small pools of mana from which to tap.

Then one day, upon a rare visit to Olympus, Zeus encountered a god with true power, one of the new gods. The divine figure radiated with heat as if there was a fire within him. As Hades approached the gathering, this new, young god turned to look at him, to look the Lord of Death in the face.

He had Hera's eyes. Hades' eyes.

Hades' shrunken heart swelled to see the magnificent product of his sister's loins.  "Ares," the wind whispered in answer to Hades' unspoken question. Had Hera done it on purpose, he wondered, named this fine son with a word  that sounded so like her name and his put together?

His sister's child answered Hades' appraising stare with an arrogant look in reply. He was young.

"War," Zeus had bragged, showing off his fine son. It pleased him to spawn many offspring, then to remind Hades of his dearth of family. What Zeus failed to see was that Hades took such care with his duties as the God of the Underworld that it would hardly leave time for frolicking between mortals, muses, lesser goddesses and the like. Besides, this son had so much of Hera in him that Hades wouldn't have been surprised if he discovered she'd willed him into her womb without the help of Zeus' seed.

He was not beautiful. He was perfect.

Hades was drawn from his odd musings by the imminent arrival of his brother, Zeus. For some reason he'd taken to presenting himself as a graybeard of late. He wore no tunic, only a simple piece of pleated linen around his waist. His shoulders and torso were bare and gleamed like gold, nearly as wide across as Atlas', contrasting strangely with his coiffure.

"And how fares your kingdom, my brother?" he boomed, all jocularity and easy smiles.

Hades knew better.

"My work is very demanding, though the rewards are great," he murmured, careful to say the words with no enthusiasm whatsoever. As long as Zeus thought that he was dissatisfied with his kingdom, he would make no move to try to seize it from him.

"Come, brother, and join Poseidon and me. We've much to catch up on."

Hades allowed Zeus to steer him back toward three low silken couches. Poseidon sprawled on the one to the right of Zeus', picking through the delicacies so carefully arranged on the low table before him. The green haired God of the Seas was barechested and bearded like Zeus, though his musculature was not quite as defined, his waist thick. He was relaxation personified, smiling and talking easily with the nymphs that cooled him with their huge, feathery fans. He turned his smile toward Hades and it remained there, genuine. Hades was warmed a bit, to find at least one sibling with no ulterior motive.

"Well met, Hades, well met," he chortled, grasping Hades' forearm in a warrior clasp, though he didn't bother to stand. Poseidon's informality had more to do with familiarity than arrogance.

"And you, also," Hades murmured, taking his place at the left bench. He stared at the ridiculous piece of furniture, momentarily wondering if the arrangements had been made specifically to keep him uneasy. Hades glanced around briefly, and noted that the other gods were sprawled quite happily. He sighed inwardly. It was contrary to Hades' nature to lie prone in a large group of people and call himself relaxed, though he supposed there was nothing to be done for it until the fashion for supping while one reclined went out of vogue.

Resigned to the ignoble position, Hades poured himself onto the couch, fairly certain that his limbs were arranged gracefully. He contrasted starkly to his bearded, barechested brothers, the other two in the mighty triad of the gods. A tiny smile played at the corner of his lips as Hades imagined himself in the center, flanked by his brothers quite nicely, just as he was earlier with Pollux and Castor.

"You're in a fine mood," Poseidon commented, somehow picking up on Hades' minute expression of pleasure. He had quite a talent for remaining most aware even as he relaxed.

"I have a new hero," Hades allowed, mentioning the most interesting event that had befallen him of late. "Hercules' beloved companion has joined me."

Poseidon shook his shaggy, jade head, smiling. "Look how happy it makes you to have another worker. Perhaps someday you'll see the value in getting yourself a proper number of servants, like the rest of us."

Hades gazed at Poseidon. It truly was good to see him again. "Each servant in Asphodel must be carefully..."

"*I* have a new servant," Zeus blurted out.

Hades stuffed his newfound social mood back into its shell.

"He was a prince of Troy," Zeus went on, though since Troy was not in Poseidon's realm, nor was it in Hades', neither of them were much impressed. "Ganymede, come over here," Zeus called, grinning broadly.

A well-made young man approached the powerful trio shyly. He was obviously Zeus' newest lover, the way the old man was leering at him. Or perhaps that was a smile. No real difference, coming from Zeus. The boy had a nice enough face, Hades supposed, if one liked one's playmates wide-eyed and vacuous.

"What's his job?" Poseidon asked, though Hades expected he didn't  care much, just wanted to keep the conversation flowing.

"He's my cup bearer," Zeus declared, beaming.

Hades' brows lowered infinitesimally. Zeus already *had* a cup bearer, a goddess. What happened to her? If she was dead, surely he'd know.

The youth stood by prettily while the King of the Gods took a long draught from his flagon. Hades still couldn't figure what was so precious about the young man. He extended his senses, mildly surprised to find the cupbearer radiated divinity. "Who is his father, then?" Hades queried, amused.

"Did I not say he was a Prince of Troy?" Zeus laughed.

Poseidon's celadon eyebrows met at the bridge of his nose. "Was it his mother then? A dryad in disguise, perhaps?"

"No, and no," Zeus replied smugly.

Hades allowed his eyelids to half-close as the realization of what Zeus was hinting at dawned on him, affecting boredom to cover his outrage. His brother had taken a mortal and granted him immortality simply to fuck him longer?? His heavily lidded eyes wandered around the room until they rested on Hera. She stared at him, her visage haunted. Hades hoped his sister was satisfied with the husband she'd chosen.

A stir was caused in the far end of the atrium by the arrival of a very audacious latecomer. Ares presented himself in full battle armor, framed by the nimbus of the setting sun, flanked by a gleaming demigod and his twin.

Zeus clucked his tongue. "Trouble he is, this one."

Hades ran his fingertips over the spot on his inner elbow that Ares had breached. He could feel the swollen wound easily through the whisper-fine silk of his tunic. "Perhaps war was a bad choice for your son," he suggested, dripping sincerity.

"What else would I have him do?" Zeus blustered.

Hades hid his smile. The best way to defend Ares to his father was to criticize him, of course, causing Zeus to leap to his defense. Zeus took the bait every time. "You could have given him your storm duties. That would leave you with more time for..." he glanced at Ganymede with hooded eyes, "...other pursuits."

Zeus scowled, and clouds began creeping together overhead. "No, I *like* my Storm God duties. Besides, he's the perfect War. No one could do the job better than Ares. No one!"

"As you say," Hades sighed, plucking one of the flowers meant for garnish on his platter and running his black tongue around it lazily. He could see Poseidon scrutinizing him out of the corner of his eye, but apparently the Sea God didn't know what to make of the last transaction, nor did he care to pursue it.

Zeus clapped his hands together again, and a bevy of nymphs clad only in fluttering gauzy scarves began a willowy dance designed to show off their nubile charms. Apparently five pairs of breasts and semi naked loins were the answer when Zeus ran out of things to say. Hades took wine from Ganymede while his brother caressed the boy's golden thigh. Hades' expression of mild disgust was not feigned.

"It must get lonely nine months of the year in Tartarus," Zeus said out of nowhere, running his fingers over the cup bearer's taut belly, eliciting a surprised gasp from the youth.

Hades raised an eyebrow, wondering why Zeus was playing his most hurtful cards so early in the evening. "Six months was difficult to bear, Zeus," he whispered edgily. The godlings around him lowered their voices so as to eavesdrop. "I fail to see what you've accomplished by adding another three."

Zeus positively glowed with smugness. "Persephone is my granddaughter. I had to grant her some portion of Adonis' time. She petitioned me for it, after all."

"She is my wife," Hades hissed, and all the godlings around him chafed away the gooseflesh from their upper arms.

Zeus looked hard at Hades. The Death God sensed he was getting uncomfortable. "*I* slew Cronos," Zeus trumpeted. "*I* have the final say. We agreed this!"

Hades paused, considering how best to respond. If Zeus was singing his Cronos song again, it meant he was afraid. Hades pressed his lips together to keep himself from smiling.

"Once she's tired of the brat, she'll make another petition. You know how fickle women can be," said Poseidon, ever the peacemaker.

Zeus nodded. "Indeed. And that would be her right, as a goddess."

Hades stared at him, unwilling to act mollified for Zeus' comfort.

"Besides," the Sea God said around a mouthful of grapes, "however fetching this Adonis may be, he's still not the Lord of Wealth, eh?" He chuckled, perfectly at ease to me the only one amused by his statement.

Zeus was the first to break eye contact with Hades, turning toward Ares and the twins as they marched around the insipid, fluttering dancers and presented themselves on the dais of the three great gods.

"Father," Ares said, bowing briefly, his armor clanking. Though his face was serious, his voice held a smirk. "It is my eminent privilege to present to you my brother, Pollux, for his half-year term of service to Olympus. It is my hope that you will extend to me the same rights as in previous years, and confer charge of this fine warrior and his brother to me."

Hades stared at his nephew languidly. It wouldn't do to display any undue interest in Ares in front of all the gods, of course, but it was only natural to admire the snake like manner in which his words of diplomacy were delivered. Zeus was glad for a reason to discontinue his discussion with his brothers, Hades figured, since he didn't chide Ares for being scandalously late. Not that the lateness was Ares' fault, of course, though Zeus didn't need to know about that.

"You honor your father by keeping charge of your brother, a laudable warrior. Keep him well during his stay in the home of the gods."

Ares bowed again with a creak and a clank, his black eyes dancing briefly over Hades' own as he turned toward the party to leer at the dancers. Castor and Pollux stepped up to take Ares' place and knelt before Zeus, the elder god laying a hand on each of their heads. Hades watched the benediction from the corner of his eye, unsure if Zeus blessed them both because he was being fair, or because he couldn't tell them apart. He sensed no transference of pleasure, or power, or energy of any kind. Hades wondered if Zeus' mana was expended in his continual fornication, or if he simply held it back from his worshipers out of selfishness.

If one of Hades' subjects was the recipient of his lord's benediction he would be writhing on the floor, screaming in ecstasy by now. The twins simply knelt, heads bowed, motionless. Zeus gave them nothing, Hades concluded smugly. The "King of the Gods" would certainly develop an inferiority complex, if he only knew. Hades trusted that Pollux and Castor wouldn't reveal his secrets to Zeus, since they only spoke to each other.

Hades turned to watch Ares sprawl on a blood red divan, his massive armor opening huge rents in the fabric. He plucked a fig from a nymph's tiny hand with delicate lips while curling a lock of a dryad's hair around his fingertip. The nymph licked her lips, while the dryad eased open one of the buckles that held Ares' breastplate in place.

"I think you put out one too many couches," Poseidon commented, snagging a curl of cheese and popping it into his mouth.

Hades followed the Sea God's gaze, noting the strangely empty couch that remained.

"No," Zeus replied as the twins marched off to their posts near Ares and he tugged Ganymede against his massive breast. "That's Hermes' seat."

Poseidon scowled as if wondering why Hermes would be absent, or perhaps why he hadn't noticed the absence before.

There was a clank and a crash as Ares' breastplate tipped forward, crushing the platter of libations before him, as well as the table beneath it. Hades noted that he wore supple black calfskin beneath his metal carapace this time. He must have been expecting to be stripped.

Zeus glanced at the source of the crash, muttering, "The *perfect* War..." Ganymede gasped as Zeus lazily twirled the boy's delicate, pink nipple between his huge fingertips. Hades speculated that if *he* did anything of the sort to a newly made god, the recipient would turn himself inside out with bliss.

"I had expected he would show up, honestly, to honor his favorite relative," said the graybeard.

The thought that Zeus somehow *knew* what had transpired between him and Hermes flitted briefly across Hades' mind, but he quickly discarded the thought. Unless Hermes had gone running back crying to his father, there was no way for Zeus to know what took place in Asphodel.

Hades shrugged and helped himself to another flower.

"Little Hermes is always the first to come and the last to leave at every party," cried Poseidon. "Are you sure he's all right??"

Zeus sighed as Ganymede's knees buckled. The youth sat heavily on the dais before Zeus' couch, though to his credit, he didn't spill any wine. "He's alive, he's not hurt physically, though I'd rather not pry beyond that."

Hades wondered if respect was the real reason Zeus wasn't spying on his young son. Considering how much Zeus and everyone else liked Hermes, the explanation was almost plausible. Knowing Hermes as well as he did, though, Hades also knew it was possible that the crafty god had outwitted his father somehow and was hiding.

Ares' throaty laugh carried to Hades' ear over the hum of the crowd. Denuded of his armor, the God of War lounged happily, black leather-clad legs spread wide and vest peeled open, while the blonde dryad tongued his left nipple, the blue-haired nymph his right.

"Can I interest either of you in a bit of company?" Zeus asked, addressing both of his brothers. "One of the dancers, perhaps?"

Hades glanced in Zeus' direction, mildly surprised to see Ganymede lapping at his brother's fierce, red cock. The youth remained on the floor where he had landed earlier, head thrown back to accept Zeus' raging member. His hands clutched earnestly at the urn of wine between his legs, as he ground his hips against it.

Poseidon even raised an eyebrow. Zeus had never taken a man in front of the family before. Hades scanned the room. Apollo and Artemis stared at the proceedings with round eyes. Apollo wet his lips eagerly, while his sister merely looked stunned. Hera was nowhere to be seen.

"Now, now, you know I come here for the food," Poseidon chuckled. "You can't drink wine underwater."

It was Poseidon's usual reply, and most likely for his usual reason. He honored his wife Amphitrite enough not to go spilling his seed elsewhere, and in public.

"There is only one whom I desire," Hades said listlessly, voicing his own usual objection.

Zeus grabbed up a handful of Ganymede's chestnut curls and nudged his cock more deeply down the boy's throat. Ganymede swallowed, the contraction of his throat muscles eliciting a shiver of delight from the King of the Gods.

"Take her, then," Zeus gasped.

The court fell silent, save for the sucking and licking sounds made throughout by a dozen eager mouths, each owned by a godling eager to curry favor from an Olympian.

Hades was on his feet in a flash, the air around him so thick with his power that the space surrounding him was a haze. He met Demeter's eyes, which blazed with stunned anger. She was insignificant, now. She could little dispute the will of her King. She was a column of frustration, rooted to the spot where she stood, unable to do a thing to protect her daughter.

Tentatively, a slender white foot poked out from behind Demeter. Rings of gold inlaid with amethysts adorned the perfect toes, and a delicate chain of platinum encircled the willowy ankle.

Hades contained himself, mostly, but allowed a minuscule tremor of excitement to reach his voice. "Not here."

Zeus glanced sharply at Hades. Perhaps he regretted the decree he'd just made in the midst of his excitement, but the piercing look that Poseidon was giving him squashed any thoughts of reneging his words. "Of course, my shy brother. Certainly half the court would swoon from the sight of your waxen flesh. You may use my chambers."

Gauzy nymphs prudently melted out of the way as Hades closed the distance to Demeter with a few quick strides. Just as he came upon the snarling matron, the delicate flower that was Persephone stepped around her mother. The platinum tresses of Hades' queen were buoyed by the power spilling off him, and rose to surround the monarchs of the underworld like an eerie nimbus. Tendrils of pearly steam interwove with the floating cocoon of hair, becoming a swirling mass of movement an energy that spun faster and faster until it disappeared in a flash of azure light.


Ares grunted as his bitter, hot cum filled the ardent nymph's mouth. The look in Hades' eyes as he wrapped his hands around Persephone's waist had nudged him over the edge. Ares knew that look well, the one that threatened to expose him, to consume him, to completely absorb him. Maybe that was why he liked fucking his uncle so much. The God of Death had the power to annihilate Ares, to grind him down to his most primal essence and soak him right up. Sex with anyone else just seemed downright tame in comparison.

Persephone stood with her eyes closed, her dark gold lashes a heavy fringe on her cheeks. Hades held her gently at arms' length, staring at the heavy ropes of gems and precious metals hanging around her neck, cascading heavily between her breasts.

"Why are you wearing all of those?" Hades whispered.

"They were a gift," Persephone murmured, keeping her eyes shut.

Hades stared at the girl, his ghostly blossom. "A gift? From whom?"

Persephone opened her eyes and grinned impishly. "From my cold, evil husband who keeps me captive in his dreary, sunless realm!" She laughed at him merrily, clapping her hands together

Hades' eyes danced as he stared into the sparkling sapphire of his queen's eyes. "So what do you make of this latest 'boon' from Zeus?"

Persephone shrugged and leaned into her husband, molding her pliant body against his. "I would guess he's doing his best to be unpredictable, you know, shake things up. That's all I can figure, between this, and his cock, oops, I mean CUP bearer." She pulled herself gently out of Hades' grasp and spun away like a delicate whirlwind, her hair floating about her in spirals, daisy petals fluttering to the marble floor.

Hades kept his eye on the elfin goddess as he skulked over to the huge bed in the center of the room that rose like a slab from the marble dais. "Do you suppose he'll think about me raping you, here, on his bed?"

Persephone tittered.

"Perhaps he'll find a nymph with beautiful hair and pretend that she is you, and he is me..."

"Hades," the goddess scolded mockingly. "Not only are you on Olympus, but you're in *His* bedchamber. Certainly *He* can hear you."

The Death God perched on the edge of the vast bed, gazing at Persephone as she resumed her hypnotic twirling. "Oh, he'll hear." Hades reached inside himself and selected a tiny crumb of his power. "He'll hear what we want him to hear.

"What do you sound like when you cry, my Queen?"

Persephone ceased her twirling and began a series of swanlike bends, her multitudinous strands of jewels obviously weighty on her chest. "I've no idea. Can't even pretend when I'm this close to you..." Her voice trailed off as she looked at Hades, and a light flush spread across her cheeks.

Hades shrugged and projected the sound of his wife's voice pleading for mercy, then weeping, punctuated by the occasional breathy, masculine grunt from him. The utterances were a simple enough illusion that they would revolve on to cover their true conversation without any further attention from him.

"Are you well?" Hades asked gently, as she delicately placed one jeweled foot, then the other, advancing toward him slowly.

Persephone's brow furrowed. "Adonis knows I loathe him, I think."

Hades' eyes widened. "How could you -- what did you say to him?"

The goddess sighed. "Nothing, my lord, nothing. I just think that -- he can feel how empty I am. How I'm yearning for the day when I can return to my home."

Hades sighed. "You have everyone else completely deceived. They'll be offering you condolences left and right until it's time for you to return to Asphodel, now that you've had to 'be taken' by me at the height of summer. Why not Adonis? He's not terribly bright."

Persephone pulled a face. "Please, don't remind me."

Hades spread his hands in supplication. "Did I not find you the most handsome mortal in Greece to be your lover?"

"Yes. I know, you tried, and I'm trying, it's just that -- even though he's pretty, I can think of nothing but you. I miss you, Hades, and I miss our palace, and our subjects, and my grove."

Hades shook his head sadly. "I know, beloved. I wish there was another way, but you are the only one I can trust to gather this information. "

Persephone sat daintily beside her husband, close enough to bask in his aura of power, but not actually touching him. Together, they stared at her sparkling toes without a word.

"I have heard that Aphrodite covets him," Hades said finally, breaking the silence.

"They seem well matched," Persephone nodded.

"Allow her to rob you of his affections then," Hades decreed. "Be suitably crushed, of course, but once he's entirely hers, you may go to Zeus and petition to spend the three months once again in Asphodel. Perhaps you may claim that you're ashamed that he's left you, and you wish to escape the humiliation. I'll leave the details to you as always, my fine little actress."

A grin spread across the goddess' elfin face. "As you wish, my lord."

Hades lay down on his side, propping his head up on his elbow. "What other order of business have we to discuss?"

"They're playing with the idea of having the crops rot this year in Corinth. That would be in autumn, though, and the deaths wouldn't begin until early winter, so I'll be back home to help you deal with the volume."

Hades nodded.

"Hephaestus is constructing some sort of chariot for Poseidon, though whether it's for war or sport, I haven't heard any speculation."

Another nod.

"Apollo is livid with Eris for perpetrating retribution on one of his priests, though as yet he hasn't done anything to her in return."

Hades toyed with the hem of her gauzy shift.

"The main thing on everyone's mind is Hermes, of course," she said quickly, staring at Hades with sudden intensity.


"I noticed that he went missing after a trip to Asphodel. A few people are whispering that Ares did something to him, since Ares was unaccounted for at the time, but I wondered if maybe it was something *you* said or did."

He should have known Persephone would suspect. She kept the Underworld informed by fitting disparate clues together and deducing a whole to present to him. Of course she would figure out that he had something to do with the Hermes incident. "It was nothing for him to get so worked up about."

Persephone huffed in aggravation. "You've angered Hermes? Our best ally? Hades, what were you thinking?"

Hades glanced at his fingernails.

"Who is your eyes and ears on Olympus during the winter? Who took it upon himself to guide the dead that were getting lost outside my grove? Who lets me assume his form to sneak down and see you?"

Death was silent, there being nothing to say. The whole debacle was as much Ares' fault as it was his, though he had no desire to point a finger at the War God and expose him as an accomplice.

"I can't even begin to imagine the magnitude of what would have to be done to anger him," Persephone went on. "I've never seen him angry."

Hades lifted his hand, palm toward his wife. "Enough. I will set things right."

Persephone sighed. "That is all I can ask."

Hades slid a finger beneath the slender tie that held her shift in place. He eased the string over her shoulder, drawing an eager tremble from her. "Don't I always give you what you want?" Hades whispered.

"Yes," she gasped as her eyelids fluttered shut.

Hades mouthed the delicate shoulder, his black tongue darting out to remember the taste of his wife. She panted as he nudged the tie off of her other shoulder, her dress sliding down her torso to expose her dainty breasts. The Death God slid his tongue downward, circling the rosy nipple that flushed happily to greet him with little preamble. Persephone made a strange, strangled noise.

Hades laughed gently and checked his illusion. He prompted the ghostly "voice" his wife to follow his actions and beg him not to perform them. "They can't hear you, love. Don't worry."

Persephone released the breath she'd been holding with a shaky laugh. Hades cupped her breast and ran his slick tongue back and forth over her nipple, then in a circle, then repeated the motions again and again with maddening patience. The goddess began to tremble and keen, rather more softly than she would have in her own bed, of course, but avidly enough nonetheless. Hades wasn't sure precisely what his attentions did to her, since he couldn't quantify her orgasms as he could those of a man, though he suspected that his queen rode the wave of a continuous orgasm when they made love. She gave up attempting to control her quaking limbs as he moved languorously to the other breast, subjecting it to the same thorough laving.

Though he longed to tongue her enticing nipples for hours and bask in her trembling pleasure, Hades was uncomfortable on Olympus, nervous in his horrid brother's bedchamber. He snaked a hand under Persephone's hem, raking his nails gently up her quivering thigh. She punctuated her keening with a scream as he slid a long finger into her pussy, marveling as always at the delicious slickness of the dew gathered there. He dipped each of his fingers inside her in turn, anointing himself with the goddess' essence while she screamed his name.

Hades paused in his suckling to gaze at his queen. Her white neck was thrown back prettily, her mouth open, gasping. The passionate flush on her cheeks had spread to her breasts, ripening them, thrusting them outward in search of Hades' attentions. She was much stronger than she appeared. All of the other women he'd pleasured were unconscious by that point.

Hades grasped her hem roughly and yanked it up around her waist, plunging his face urgently between her legs. Persephone fell back, her legs splaying, fingers clutching shakily at his hair. With both hands, Hades pushed aside her swollen folds to reveal the rosy flower blossoming within. Persephone's wailing voice hoarsened as Hades lavished small kisses on his beautiful flower, top to bottom, side to side before plunging his onyx tongue into the eager slit, glistening with tangy juices.

The room fell silent.

Hades frowned. His timing had been all wrong. He'd made her faint, and he hadn't even gotten to her clit. Shrugging, he buried his face in the folds of her pussy, breathing in the sharp scent of her arousal, lapping gently at the moisture that seeped out. Her limbs continued to quake, an autonomic response, he supposed. She'd reached her threshold and likely couldn't feel anything more.


The party went downhill after Hades left. Ares supposed that his father had gone too far out on a limb trying to be radical, and was now regretting the decision he'd made. It felt good to watch him squirm.

Stupid Hermes never showed. Ares patted the tiny pocket in which he held Hades' tear. His plan would have been wonderful, if only Hermes could have obliged him by showing up. The tear would work like Death's cum, Ares presumed, linking the imbiber to the Dark God. A drop in Hermes' food would have drawn the pouting god down to Asphodel, and once he was there, Hades could've apologized for the rough treatment Autolycus had at his hands. Or he could have lied. Whatever.

It didn't much matter, as Hermes wasn't there.

Heaving a great sigh as he rolled his eyes, Ares motioned for the twins to collect his armor and headed out, the last to come and the first to leave. Hades was the only one he cared to see, and he was gone. Besides, Ares had enough of watching Zeus humiliate his mother.

As Ares strode by the couch of Apollo, he allowed a tiny droplet to splatter onto the Sun God's food. It would serve him right for the dirty look he was giving Ares for no good reason whatsoever.


Hades poured himself through the black earth, rematerializing in his throne room. The chamber looked strange to him while empty, its huge double doors shut against the never ending line of supplicants. They waited, still, just on the other side of the great bronze portal. Hades could feel their longing. While the happiness of the cosmos' largest kingdom was quite a burden to bear, it was comforting to be so loved, so needed.

Hades reached out his awareness and sensed his winged assistant Morpheus flitting up and down the front of the line. *What is he doing?* The Death God reached out with his awareness a bit more, then shook his head. Several people toward the front of the line were basking in strange and wondrous visions, then sharing their fantasies breathlessly with their neighbors. His line had a rather lighthearted feel to it, rather than the anguished, neglected cast it took on whenever he had to leave it for more than a few hours. Morpheus had a strange sense of humor.

Satisfied that the Asphodelians would survive a bit longer without him, Hades wandered through his silent mansion. His eyes played over the myriad tones and textures, hues and contours of the endless mass of treasures he passed by. His toys were always such a comfort, each one an expression of devotion lovingly crafted by one of his subjects. Occasionally Hades would reach out one pale hand to caress the smooth coolness of marble, or the nubby softness of a tapestry. He felt empty still, the longings created by his congress with Ares and Persephone yet unfulfilled. His treasures were unable to hold him with tender arms, to whisper sweet words of love to him.

Sighing (which caused an eruption of unexplained tears from several souls in the line outside his front door) Hades wandered until he came to the towering portal which led to his garden.

Traces of Hermes' energy lay thick about the garden. Hades was surprised. He hadn't pegged his nephew as a plant lover. The Death God extended his awareness and scanned the area. A small patch of turf surrounded by a few sculptured shrubs spiked with echoes of passion and satiation -- and love. The signature was Hermes', and another that was vaguely familiar.

Though Hades hadn't paid much attention to the man, it was easy enough to put two and two together and presume the other entity taking his pleasure in the garden was the thief. Hades recalled the tenderness with which Hermes cradled the stunned mortal in his dungeon. How obvious, that they were lovers. Hades hadn't realized it at the time, too mortified at being caught in the act with Ares by an Olympian. And besides, since when did Hermes select a mortal to be his mate? And a man, at that? Hades shook his head. The Messenger God was renowned for his penchant for nymphs. Certainly a mortal would never be able to keep up with him.

Hades frowned, walking deeper into the garden. His head spun, trying to calculate exactly what it would take to make things right with Hermes. His nephew's anger made more sense now that Hades suspected the nature of his relationship with the mortal, but surely no permanent harm was done? Who could he ask to gather this information for him in the mortal world, when Hermes was always the one who did just that for him?

The Death God leaned against a gray-barked tree and inhaled the myriad scents of passion left by trysting shades and perhaps a few of his helpers. One signature caught his attention with its ill feeling, unsettling flavor.


As Hades crossed his arms to wait he brushed the wounded spot on his elbow, bringing scorching memories of the previous afternoon to the forefront of his mind, unbidden. His cock ached dully from lack of release.

With typical melodrama, Thanatos arrived in a crackle of black lightning that sent a ripple of displacement through the garden and dropped the temperature significantly. He had many forms: A black cloaked, skull-headed reaper, a graybeard in a sackcloth robe, a wide eyed maiden who claimed to be Hades' sister Celeste, and this, his "real" form.

A slim, pale youth with enormous, leathery black wings alit before Hades in the wake of the eerie lightning. He thrust his hips forward defiantly, straining his black leather pants and causing the studs on his low-slung belts to glint in the ambient gray light. He crossed his arms over his bare chest, winged forms not being conducive to the donning of shirts, and tossed a strand of long, silky, black hair out of his colorless eyes impatiently.

Hades observed his posture and regretted summoning the Reaper instantly.

*What can I do for you, My Lord?* Even in mindspeak, Thanatos' voice dripped with sarcasm. He had never spoken to Hades with his physical voice, since a large portion of his power lay within his vocalizations. A whisper in the ear of his chosen subject was Thanatos' preferred method of converting a soul from its earthly domain to that of the dead.

Hades fixed Thanatos with a black stare. He supposed it would be best to simply get to the point. "I seek Hermes. Have you seen him?"

The Reaper smiled evilly (though surely he strived to do everything evilly) showing off his pointy teeth. *I have not.*

"You will be on the watch for Hermes. If you see him, you will request that he report to me."

Thanatos continued to smile his unpleasant smile and bowed low at the waist, fanning his wings out behind him. *It would certainly be my pleasure, My Lord.* Still grinning, he rose and took another step forward. *Is there any other way in which I may serve My Lord?*

Hades wondered what he had been thinking when he summoned his insolent servant whilst his back was to a tree. Surely, it must have been the fatigue of the day that had muddled his thinking. The saw-toothed god was now upon him, standing as close as one could without touching him. "That will be all," Hades said dryly.

Thanatos lingered overlong, then cocked his eyebrow. *How is it Persephone's aura clings to you, though it's the height of summer, My Lord?*

"I visited her today, on Olympus," Hades replied, purposely stingy with the details of his encounter.

*Ooooh, that's unusual.* Thanatos' forked tongue played between his daggerlike teeth as he sent the thought. *I suppose you're sated, then?*

Hades stared coolly in reply.

Thanatos pushed a lock of hair that had been hanging in his eyes behind an ear with an index finger, then ran his finger wantonly across his full lower lip, along his collarbone, and down, down, to his nipple. He toyed with himself idly, drawing lazy circles around it while he stared back at Hades.

The Lord of the Underworld had always been immune to Thanatos' dubious charms, thus he felt slightly curious about the vague feelings of temptation he was experiencing. He pursed his lips and stared at the Reaper harder. Too scrawny, too hairless for his taste, but yet...

*Are you?* Thanatos asked, fluttering his leathery wings.

Hades reminded himself that he didn't particularly *like* Thanatos, that he simply respected him for his ability to execute his job as well as he did. The only thing he had to reprimand him for was the Sisyphus incident, a lapse in judgment better forgotten.

*Are you?* the Reaper sent again, in the mental equivalent of a purr.

Hades turned his head away from the other god's hypnotic gaze. Certainly the Reaper was a poor substitute for Ares or his queen. Besides, if any sexual exploration was to begin, Hades feared it would end up with him buried happily in the Reaper's ass.

That couldn't happen.

For all Hades knew, his cock would annihilate the poor bastard. And then who would make mortals die?

"Go," Hades whispered.

Thanatos' smile transformed into a sneer as he raised his hands high, summoning a lightning bolt to carry him back to earth. With a crackling flash, he was gone. The air around Hades smelled burnt in the wake of the other god's departure. Hades sighed and sagged against the tree. He had danced those steps with Thanatos a thousand times before, but never had he been so close to succumbing.

He ground himself back against the tree, a well placed knot reminiscent of Ares' erection pressing into his buttocks when the War God held him from behind. Hades smiled. His ass still stung from its assault by the Warcock earlier. He ground harder into the woody knot, licking his lips. His own cock was so heavy with arousal now that is was painful, more painful than his stretched, abused ass. The pain was delicious in itself, of course, but the release would certainly be exquisite.

Hades eased his trousers down, and felt his rigid cock glide against the inside of his silky tunic. He touched himself tentatively through the whispery fabric. Is that what it would feel like, to be inside Ares' ass? He scowled. Though the texture was interesting, his cock seemed to know it was but his own hand that fondled it. He glanced around, wondering what would make his fantasy more complete, and spotted a dewy, broad leaf nearby.

"Please," he whispered to the tree, which dropped the leaf into his outstretched hand obligingly.
Hades pushed his tunic up, exposing his beautiful white cock to the pearly gray light of his garden. Lovingly, he curled the glistening leaf around it, holding it tight, creating a firm tunnel with which to stroke himself. He thrust tentatively, pleased at the strange, foreign waxiness of the plant. Surely that wasn't what Ares' ass would feel like, but at least the leaf didn't feel exactly like his often-used hand. Wetting his lips which were suddenly dry with his rapid breathing, Hades pumped again. Yes. It was good.

A strand of hair fell forward to tickle at Hades' cheek, and he brushed it back impatiently. His eyes widened as he stared at his hand reverently in sudden realization, then brought it to his nose. His fingers were soaked with the musk of Persephone's loins. He breathed deeply, groaning aloud as the intoxicating scent made him excruciatingly stiff. With his other trembling hand, Hades held the leaf steady as he began to slowly pump his hips.

A deep breath, and Hades saw his face between Persephone's legs. A pump, and he was deep inside Ares' ass. His black tongue darted between his own fingers, and he was tonguing her clit. Another pump, and his balls were slapping the backs of War's thighs. Hades sniffed and stroked and licked himself as a symphony of beautiful flesh undulated in his mind's eye, as the seductive words from his lovers were revisited longingly.

The tree held Hades as his knees turned to water and his eyes rolled back in his head. His seed shot forth, arcing magnificently in the pearly twilight, splattering the gray grass at Hades' feet.


The Sumerian warrior crouched in the bushes, spear hefted onto his shoulder from where it could easily launched. He'd been staking out the bushes in Hades' garden for over a month now, hoping to catch sight of the Mycenaean and the Greek buggering each other again. He'd seen the Mycenaean since then on the battlefield, but the soldier had just looked at him blankly when he asked where his Greek boyfriend was. The Sumerian was positive their encounter wouldn't be a one-time fling, even if the Mycenaean did deny it later. Something about the way the two touched, kissed, looked at each other -- it was fucking hot. The bearded soldier licked his lips as his groin began to tingle. If he timed it just right, maybe he could impale them both on the same spear. Then, if he was quick, he could jerk off over their bodies before they had a chance to get up. He sighed. Before he could carry out his plan, the other men needed to do their part and rendezvous again.

Sighing, the Sumerian rose from his low crouch and shook the stiffness from his legs. He decided to try doing a circuit of the garden. Perhaps the lovers had found a more secluded bit of turf somewhere in the sculpted shrubbery.

He crept among the bushes stealthily, combing over the garden in frustration. The Sumerian made his way to the center and paused, scowling. In the garden where everything was perfectly symmetrical, just to the right of the center tree (and decidedly off-center), a small bush had sprouted. He approached the plant cautiously, certain he would have noticed it before. Was it a weed of some sort that had popped up in Persephone's absence, perhaps? It didn't look like a weed. In fact, as the Sumerian neared, he saw that it bore fruit.

The delicate, roseate globes that dangled from the leafy mound were arranged in a most asymmetrical way, convincing the Sumerian that he certainly did not recognize this particular plant. Reaching out with a hairy, calloused hand, he touched one tender sphere. It felt soft, yet resilient. Grasping it gingerly, the soldier twisted until the fruit came off in his hand, then held it up to his face. It was nearly the color of flesh. One whiff of the fruit set his mind reeling, the fragrance was so delectable, yet elusive. Needing no further encouragement, he took a bite.

The pulpy inside was black, and filled with uncountable, tiny, juice-filled sacs that burst against his teeth. Tartness edged with sweetness flooded his mouth, the intensity of the flavor like nothing he'd ever experienced. He chewed on the black flesh, grinding the pods of inky fluid between his molars, reveling in the sensation that was so much more than just taste. The sweet juices rolled down his throat, caressing his insides.

The Sumerian sank to his knees, ebony spittle bubbling from the corners of his lips. Suddenly his visage of transcendental ecstasy crumpled, and became one of utter grief. Tears sprang from his eyes, rolled down his cheeks to join the black froth at his mouth running into his beard. He croaked something, a plea perhaps, but it sounded strange and hollow to his ears. Never, ever had he been so alone.


Hermes stared down implacably at the Sumerian dolt writhing on the ground. His inferior, malleable mind had been easy enough to breach and then implant the impulse that carried him to the center of the garden. The fruit of Hades' wasted seed was a tempting enough morsel on its own; he hadn't even had to nudge the oaf to partake of it.

The God of Thieves chuckled as he watched the Sumerian writhe on the ground and froth black bile. He couldn't have found a better test subject to try the fruit out upon.

Limber as always, Hermes swung down from the thick limb he'd been draped over and landed delicately on the gray turf. He looked down his aristocratic nose at the writhing creature on the ground, and decided to kick him once for good measure. The bastard was oblivious even to that, so absorbed was he in his own anguish. Hermes smiled and harvested all the tiny Misery Fruits, depositing them in his satchel for safe keeping. As he turned to go, Hermes noticed that half a fruit was still clutched in the sadistic warrior's hand. The god pried his fingers open carefully and stared at he ugly little fruit more closely.

"No seed," Hermes said dryly. The plants would have been quite pretty sewn outside all of Ares' temples. "Pity."