In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups. The police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.


"I don't like this."

Gerald Ranger glared at his wife. "Yes, well, if *someone* had remembered to charge the cell phone, we could have just called for a tow truck from the car instead of having to walk."

"And if you'd gone the way I'd told you to, and not insisted on driving through the docks, we would have found a telephone by now," Maureen snapped back.

Gerald had just opened his mouth to reply, when he saw something lying in the middle of the road. "Oh my god!" he exclaimed when he realised what the shape was.


Detective Michael Logan sighed as he ran a hand through his hair. He had just been about to go off duty when he and his partner had been called out.

"Hey, Mikey, you awake?" Lennie Briscoe teased, as he carefully manoeuvred the car through the police barriers.

Mike glanced over at his partner. "Just barely, Lennie. Just barely."

Briscoe grinned. "You should get more sleep."

Mike raised an eyebrow. "Lennie, I'm Catholic, I don't need a Jewish mother."

The older man laughed as he parked the car. "Time to go to work."

Mike grimaced as he opened the car door and got out. The cold air coming in from the sea hit him, and he wrapped his leather coat tighter around himself, following Lennie over to where a couple of uniformed police were standing.

"Martinez, what have we got?" Lennie asked when they reached the scene.

"Young woman, can't be more than 25," came the reply. "Looks pretty fresh. Forensics are going over her now."

"Who found her?" Mike asked.

Martinez nodded over to where a middle-aged couple were talking to another policeman. "Gerald and Maureen Ranger. Apparently their car broke down a few blocks away and they trying to find a phone."

Mike snorted. "Find a working phone in this area? They'd be better off looking for the answer to life in a cup of coffee."

"I thought the answer to life *was* a cup of coffee," commented Briscoe.

Logan smirked his agreement. He was just about to reply when one of the forensics team walked over to them. "Hey, Cathy," Mike smiled. "How's it going?"

Cathy Sayer shrugged. "I was meant to be at my son's school recital an hour ago, my sister thinks her husband's having an affair, and apart from the knife wound to the abdomen, there's nothing on the body that could be construed as evidence."

"That good, huh?"

Sayer laughed softly at the look Mike was giving her.

"You finished over there?" Briscoe asked, drawing their attention back to the reason they were standing around the docks at 2.30 in the morning.

"Yeah," Sayer nodded. "There's nothing else we can do here. We found a bag right next to her. We've bagged and tagged it all and we'll check it over at the lab." She held out a small evidence bag. "It's her I.D.," she explained.

Lennie took the bag off her and angled it so that the light behind him was shining on the ID inside. "Diane Sheila Cord," he read. "At least now she has a name."


Zeus paced across the conference room. "What happened?" The King of The Gods was met with silence. Looking out, he glared at the others with him. "Well?"

Ares sighed as he looked out of the window. The view of the city afforded by the office had been one of the reasons he'd chosen to locate 'Olympian Exports' on the upper east side of New York. And, as managing director, he, or rather, the Lawrence Hayes identity he'd established, had the office from which best to see it. The War God rolled his eyes. If it hadn't been for Zeus, then Discord would never have been placed in a position to *get* killed. He still remembered the day his father had called all the gods together and told them that they had to live among the mortals in order to better understand them. Many of the gods had thought it an exercise in futility, but Ares had seen some merits in the plan. After all, it was easier to rule a people when you understood them, and mortals had changed since the days when the Pantheon ruled. But now he was beginning to regret ever agreeing with the King of the Gods.

"Well?" Zeus repeated, the word harsh.

"We don't know," Ares finally admitted.

"You *don't know*?!" Zeus yelled. "Discord is dead! And the thing that killed her is still out there. Do I need to remind you that what can kill one god can kill another?" Zeus resumed his pacing. "Find it. Stop it." And with that decree he disappeared from the conference room.

"'Find it. Stop it'," Aphrodite mimicked sarcastically. "What the hell does he think we have bloody enforcers for?"

"Slight problem, love," Hephaestus pointed out. "We can't exactly send an enforcer out into the New York streets."

"Oh, I don't know," smirked Ares. "It could be fun."

"It would be carnage and mayhem," corrected the Fire God.

"Like I said, it could be fun."

"And why ask us?" continued Aphrodite. "Why not find it himself."

"Because Zeus would never put himself at risk," commented Ares. "What he meant to say is that what can kill one god can kill *him*, too."

"Great, so he sends *us* out into the firing line. Nice to know daddy dearest has such concern for our welfare."

Ares was just about to agree when a flash of light signalled the appearance of another god.

Strife looked around at the people in the room before his eyes finally settled on the war god. "Unc, there are a couple of detectives here to talk to you about Discord."

Ares sighed and rubbed his eyes. "I *hate* this century. One little thing like a body in the streets and you have the police turning up asking all sorts of awkward questions."


"You'd better show them up, Strife. The sooner I see them, the sooner I can get rid of them."

Hephaestus grinned as Strife walked out of the room. "We'll leave you to it, Ares," he said. "Call us if you need anything."

Ares nodded at his brother and sister before they vanished in a burst of light. Mentally communicating with Strife to tell him that it was now clear to bring the police up, Ares settled back behind his desk and prepared to let Lawrence Hayes greet the detectives.


Lennie flashed his badge at the receptionist as they walked into the building. "Detectives Briscoe and Logan. We're here to see Lawrence Hayes."

The receptionist smiled at him. "I'll just call Mr. Hayes' assistant to show you up." Leaning over, she picked up the telephone and punched in some numbers, quietly talking to whoever it was that had just picked up. Replacing the receiver, she looked back at them. "He'll be here momentarily."

Less than two minutes later, one of the elevators opened, and a young man walked towards them. "Hi," he smiled, holding out a hand. "I'm Terry Bowers."

Mike took his hand. "I'm Detective Logan, this is Detective Briscoe."

"Yes. Please, follow me and I'll show you to Mr Hayes' office."

Mike and Lennie followed Bowers into one of the elevators, quickly glancing at each other when the young man hit the button for the top floor.

"We were all shocked when we heard what had happened to Di," Bowers said when the elevator started to move.

"Did you know her well?" Briscoe asked.

A small frown crossed Bowers' face before he met the detective's eyes. "Not that well, no," he answered.

Lennie's next question was cut off by the elevator stopping and the doors sliding open.

Bowers walked out and motioned them through into an anteroom. "I'll just inform Mr Hayes that you're here." He opened a door to another room and quickly stepped inside.

Mike whistled as he looked around the room. "That looks like it cost more than my apartment," he commented, pointing to a painting that was hanging on one of the walls.

"Probably did," smirked Lennie. "I've seen your apartment, remember."

Mike's retort died in his throat as Bowers came back into the room.

"Mr Hayes will see you now."


Ares looked up as Strife walked into his office.

"They're outside, Unc," the younger god told him. "Will I show them in?"

Ares nodded. "Yes. The sooner I get rid of them the sooner I can start figuring out what killed Discord."

Strife eyed the War God. "What if the police interfere?"

Ares laughed at his nephew's words. "They're *mortals*, Strife. What could they possibly do?"

"I don't know..." Strife fidgeted slightly as his words trailed off.

Ares' eyes narrowed. "What?"

"There's something about one of the detectives," replied Strife. "I'm getting these... vibes from him. I don't know how to explain it.

"It's probably just your imagination, Strife. Discord being killed has us all on edge."

Strife shrugged before turning to fetch the men waiting in the anteroom. "Yeah, you're probably right."


Mike quickly glanced around the office they were shown into. A large desk sat in front of the windows that over looked the city.

The man behind the desk stood up and walked over to them.

"Mr Hayes, this is detectives Briscoe and Logan." Bowers introduced them before he walked back out of the office.

"A pleasure to meet you, Detectives," Hayes said, holding out a hand.

Mike couldn't stop the slight shiver that ran down his spine at Hayes' silken tones. Shaking his head to clear it, Mike took the other man's hand and shook it. "We're sorry about Ms Cord."

Sadness briefly crossed Hayes' face as he motioned them to seats in front of the desk. "Yes, we couldn't believe it when we heard what had happened. Do you have any leads?"

"Not at the moment," admitted Lennie. "In fact, we were wondering if you knew what she was doing around the docks at that time of the morning."

Hayes shrugged. "I'm afraid I have no idea."

"Did you see her yesterday?" Mike asked.

"Yes," nodded Hayes, perching himself on the edge of his desk. "We had a problem with one of the export contracts. A few of us were here until early morning trying to sort it out."

"Was Ms Cord one of the people here?"

Hayes nodded. "Diane left around 11.30, I had assumed she was going straight home."

"And yourself?" Lennie looked at Hayes.

"Terry and I were the last people here. We left around 30 minutes after she did."

Mike quickly looked at Lennie before moving his gaze back to Hayes. "Do you know of anyone who would want to harm Ms Cord? Personal, or business related."

"We're in the export business, Detective Logan. We deal in priceless artefacts everyday. But killing Diane would hardly get them anywhere." He paused. "And I don't tend to pry into my employees private lives, so I can't answer if there was anyone in her personal life with a grudge."

"Priceless artefacts?" Logan repeated. "What exactly *do* you export?"

"Many things," answered the other man. "A large part of our business is the exportation of antiquities to various museums around the world.

"Is it possible that Ms Cord was involved in the export of... other things?"

Hayes laughed. "*Everything* that passes through this company does so on *my* authority. *Nothing* goes through here that I don't see."


Ares frowned as Strife showed the two men back out of the office. If they wanted the police kept out of this, then they would have to find whatever killed Discord. And find it quickly.


Briscoe frowned as they walked out onto the street. "There's something about that guy, Mike. He knows *something*, even if he *isn't* the murderer."

Mike nodded. "I know. I got the impression there was something he wasn't telling us."

"Well, the security guy confirms that she left at 11.30," pointed out Lennie.

"I don't care, there's still something else here," commented Mike, just as his pager went off. Checking the number, Mike quickly jogged over to the phone next to the car and rang the station.

"Who was it?" Lennie asked, when his partner hung up.

"Profaci," Mike replied. "Rogers has the autopsy report ready for us."

Lennie nodded, and started to walk the few steps to the car.

Mike started to follow him before stopping suddenly.

"What?" Lennie asked, turning to face him.

"How did he know *I* was Logan?"


Ares stood up and walked over to the window, watching as Logan and Briscoe headed out of the building. He'd thought Strife was imagining something when he'd mentioned the feeling he'd got from one of the detectives, but he'd felt it when Michael Logan had walked into the room. And those feelings had gone straight to his cock. He'd had to forcibly will his erection to go down before he'd stood to greet the detectives. Ares smiled. He hadn't felt arousal like that since he'd first met Cassius. Unfortunately, it was no longer acceptable to just bend someone over a table and fuck them. /Pity,/ thought Ares. /I don't think Detective Logan is the kind of person who lets things go easily, and a good, hard fuck could be just what he needs./ The god's smile widened as an image of him pounding into Logan while Detective Briscoe looked on in shock sprang to his mind.

"Should I even ask what you're grinning at?"

Ares turned at the sound of the voice to find Cupid smirking at him. "Probably not," he replied. "How did it go?"

Cupid grimaced. "Remind me to tell Zeus where to stick it the next time he tells me to do something like this. Seeing a member of the family cut open and examined is *not* my idea of a good time."

"Distasteful as some of the practices of this day may be, Cupid, it had to be done. We had to have someone at the autopsy to make sure they didn't find anything they shouldn't."

"I still don't see why we couldn't have just dissipated Discord back to her atoms."

Ares sighed. "Because if the body went missing then the police investigation would be even heavier. Trust me, Cupid, it's better this way."

"Yeah, I know." Cupid matched Ares' sigh. "It still doesn't make it any less..." Cupid paused, looking for the word. "...*icky*."

"Well, here's something less 'icky' for you," smirked the War God. "I want you and Strife to go to Discord's apartment. Wait until the police have left and then go over it. There should be things you'll be able to pick up that the mortals won't. I want to know if she's seen any other god recently."

Cupid nodded.

"And find out where the other Olympians were when she was killed," Ares added.

"You don't think one of us did it, do you?" the winged god asked.

Ares shrugged. "I don't know. But let's admit it, how many people do you think are around *now* that would know how to kill a god?"

"Yeah, good point," Cupid admitted. "So, what are you going to be doing?"

"'Dite, Heph and I are going to go over where she was killed. Hopefully we'll be able to find something that'll tell us whether another god was involved or not."


Dr Rogers sighed as she handed over the autopsy report to Mike.

"Long day?" he asked, as she rubbed her eyes.

"The longest. And to top it off, all during the Cord autopsy I had the weirdest feeling that I was being watched."

"You know, I had that feeling once," commented Lennie. "It turned out my second wife had hired a private investigator to find out if I was having an affair."

"Nice analogy, Briscoe. But the idea only works if you've got the *time* to screw around, and trust me, I don't."

"So, you find anything interesting?" Mike asked.

"Nothing, nada, zip, and she had chicken chow mein two hours before she died. Without the beansprouts."

"Nice attention to detail," Logan grimaced.

Rogers smiled. "I try my best."

"What else did you find?" Lennie asked.

"Well, we figure she was stabbed somewhere between 10 and 10.30."

Mike's head jerked up from the report he had started reading. "That's impossible. She didn't leave her office until 11.30," he told her. "We've got witnesses that confirm that."

"Then we have a problem with the knife wound," the coroner said.

Logan frowned. "What do you mean by that?"

"It shouldn't have killed her."

Briscoe looked up sharply. "How do you mean."

"You said she left her office at 11:30."

"Yeah," nodded Mike. "So?"

"We put her time of death around 12:30, and she was found at 1:45. Give her 30 minutes to get from the office to the docks, and that would put it at what? Midnight at the earliest when she was stabbed?"

"Uh-huh," agreed Mike.

Rogers shook her head. "No way. The knife wound wasn't even that deep, and it didn't hit any major organs. It would have taken her at least 2 hours to bleed to death, not 30 minutes."

Lennie looked at Rogers. "Would she have been able to function after she was stabbed?" he asked.

"Function in what kind of capacity? I mean, I doubt if she would have been able to do the Mambo, but..." Rogers trailed her words off with a wry smile.

Lennie rolled his eyes and matched Rogers' smile. "Would she have been able to use a cell phone?"

"Yes," the coroner replied. "With the estimated blood loss from that kind of knife wound she shouldn't have lost feeling in her fingers until at least 30 minutes after she was stabbed. Why?"

Logan threw a glance at his partner before replying. "She had a fully charged cell phone in her bag."

"A bag which was lying not more than a foot away from her," Briscoe added.

Rogers shook her head in exasperation. "I'm telling you, guys, there's something decidedly funny going on here."

"Is it possible she was poisoned?" Logan looked at the two people with him. "Maybe there was something on the knife," he suggested.

Rogers shrugged. "Preliminary blood work doesn't indicate anything, but I sent the samples off the Quantico for further analysis. The FBI's got better equipment than we have. They may be able to detect something we can't."

"When'll you get the results?" Mike asked.

"Another couple of days," came the reply. "I'll ring you as soon as they come in."


Lieutenant Anita Van Buren looked at the two men standing in her office. "You're telling me that according to the coroner Diane Cord should still be alive?"

Lennie nodded. "Rogers says there was no way she should have died in the time it took from her to leave her office until the time her body was found. *Especially* if she didn't drive there."

Van Buren snorted softly. "*No one* walks through those docks at night if they've got any sense. Especially not a woman on her own."

"But there were no tyre marks," Mike pointed out. "No fresh ones, anyway."

"Well, she didn't just miraculously transport herself down to the docks. Go and check out the cab companies. Maybe one of the drivers remembers dropping our Miss Cord near there."


Strife shuddered softly as he and Cupid materialised in the plush apartment.

"What's wrong?" Cupid asked, coming up behind his lover and wrapping his arms around him.

"I hated her," Strife answered quietly. "She was my mother and I hated her."

Cupid tightened his hold on Strife. "It's only natural to feel guilty-"

"I don't," Strife cut off Cupid's words. "That's just it. I don't feel *anything*, and I should, shouldn't I?"

The winged god softly kissed Strife's neck. "Give it time, babe. You can't forget everything she put you through just because you think you should."

"I know." Strife closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Moving out of Cupid's arms, he grinned at the other god. "I'll start here, you start there and we'll meet in the middle."

"Fine," nodded Cupid, keeping an eye on Strife as he walked into the kitchen.


Mike smiled as he gratefully accepted the cup of coffee his partner was holding out for him. "I never realised there was this many cab places in New York," he muttered. "How many's that we've done?"

"Twelve," Lennie replied. "And we've still at least that number to go."


Lennie smirked. "Come on. I actually want to get back *before* midnight today."


Mike sighed and closed his eyes in relief as he flopped down into the chair in Van Buren's office.

"I take it the cab search didn't go well," the Lieutenant commented.

"Out of all the cab places we managed to find *one* driver who can remember taking someone down to the docks in the correct time frame," answered Lennie.

"I don't suppose it was Diane Cord he took down," said Anita.

"Well, he said they were wearing a dress, but that the beard kind of spoiled the overall effect," Mike said, cracking open an eye.

Van Buren muttered, pinching the bridge of her nose.

"What's wrong?"

"I've had Adam Schiff *and* Don Cragen on the phone. The mayor rang them earlier today saying that he hopes that we're putting every effort into finding Ms Cord's killers."

Mike snorted. "What? Did he think we were just gonna sit around eating donuts unless he rang?"

Van Buren didn't even try to hide the smile that came to her face. "Profaci left some of the things they found in Cord's apartment on your desk. Go through them, see what you can find."

"We're on it, Anita," Mike replied, pushing himself out of the chair.

"That's Lieutenant Anita to you!" she shouted as they walked out of the office.


"I can't believe I'm down here," muttered Aphrodite, as she stepped over the corpse of a large brown rat. She glared at Ares. "This is all your fault, you know."

"And just how do you figure that one out?" Ares asked.

"If you'd never agreed with Zeus when he had that hair-brained idea of 'living among the mortals' then I would be on Olympus instead of stuck down here trying to find out who killed someone I didn't even *like*!" The Love Goddess' voice had risen through the sentence until she was practically shouting.

"'Dite, calm down." Hephaestus reached out and placed a hand on his wife's arm. "What's done is done. And we *do* need to find out what killed Discord."

Aphrodite turned her glare on the Fire God. "Hep, will you *stop* being the voice of reason!" she demanded.

"Sorry," winced Hephaestus, turning to Ares and appealing for help.

Ares just grinned, glad that his sister had turned her attention to Hephaestus.

"So, why are we down here anyway?" Aphrodite asked.

Ares sighed. "Because, whether we like it or not, Zeus is right. We *need* to find out what happened to Discord."

"Why?" snapped the goddess. "The bitch is dead. Get over it."

"Think about it, 'Dite. Do you *really* want something that knows how to kill us running around the city."

Aphrodite thought for a moment. "Okay," she finally conceded. "Good point."

"And we can't let the mortals get too close," said the Fire God. "It could be disastrous. They'd have no idea what they could be letting themselves in for."

"And besides," his wife giggled, "I know what these investigations go like. I've watched 'NYPD Blue'. They always ask if there was anyone with a 'grudge against the deceased'." Her laugh got louder. "They'd end up speaking to half of Olympus!"

Ares' laughter joined his sister's. "Sorry," he explained when Hephaestus looked at him in confusion. "It's just that that's *exactly* what the police said when they came to see me. I'm telling you, when they asked if I knew of anyone who would want Discord dead, I felt like asking them if they had a couple of years to spare while I reeled off a list of names."

Hephaestus just shook his head while Aphrodite started to laugh hysterically.

"Oh, that is *too* good," the goddess panted out between laughs.

Ares grinned while Aphrodite pulled herself back to a semblance of calm.

"So," she said, after finally stopping laughing, "can we do what we came to do and get out of this rat-infested dump?" She peered into the darkness surrounding them. "This is worse than Athena's temple in Ithaceia."

Ares nodded. "We need to see if we can find any trace that any other god apart from Discord has been here. I want to know whether we're up against a member of the family or not."

Hephaestus matched Ares' nod with one of his own. "Let's do it, then."


Mike Logan stared at the pile of paper on his desk. "This woman was on the board of a massive company," he pointed out. "So, how come she's this disorganised in her personal life?"

Lennie grinned at his partner as he reached over and grabbed some of the take-out menus balanced on the top of the pile. "Chinese, pizza, Italian. Mikey, this woman ate like you do."

"But she sure as hell doesn't *date* like I do," came the reply.

Lennie looked up to see Mike waving a pink leaflet in the air. "What's that?"

Mike opened the leaflet and started to read from it. "'Life too busy to spend time in bars and clubs? Do you want the perfect love match? Try 'Venus Dating Agency' for all your romantic needs.' Jeez, I'd never be that desperate," he smirked.

"All hail the Great Lothario!" muttered Lennie.

"You know it," retorted Mike, before glancing away for a moment. "I wonder if she got any matches?"

Lennie shrugged. "I wonder how strong their background checks are?"

Mike scanned the leaflet and picked up the phone. Punching in a few numbers, he listened briefly before hanging up. "Answer phone. Office hours are between 9 and 6."

Briscoe met Mike's eyes. "I guess I know where we're going tomorrow."


"I hate doing that," said Aphrodite as she sat on the couch and swung her legs under her. "It always gives me a raging headache."

"Well, we needed to know if any other god had been near those docks when Discord died," Ares told her.

"And now we know there wasn't?" Hephaestus asked.


The Fire God nodded.

Ares shrugged. "I have *no* idea."


"Hi! My name is Cherry, and you are?"

Mike looked at the young woman smiling at him from behind the reception desk. "Detective Mike Logan."

"Oh cool!" grinned Cherry. "We don't get many cops in here. I'm sure you'll be snapped right up." Opening a drawer under her desk, she pulled out a pink form and handed it to Mike. "If you'd just fill that in - you know, likes, dislikes, any disgusting habits - then we'll get you straight on the computer. Although, and I hope you don't mind me saying this, with your looks, finding your love match will be no problem."

Lennie snorted as he tried to stifle his laughter.

"Miss," Mike said, trying to get Cherry to slow down, "I'm not here to join your agency."

"Oh," Cherry pouted, her eyes narrowing. "Why *are* you here?"

"We need to find out if a Diane Cord was ever on your books," said Lennie, opening his badge and showing it to the receptionist. "It's very important."

"I'm not allowed to give out our clients names. Privacy is a major part of this business."

"We could come back with a warrant," threatened Mike.

Lennie laid a hand on his partner's arm and gave Cherry his best smile. "Is there anyone here who could authorise us to check the files?"

"Miss Reynolds is in her office," Cherry told them. "She owns 'Venus'."

"Excellent," nodded Lennie. "Can we speak to her?"

"She's very busy, but I'll see." Cherry leant over and hit the intercom next to her.


"Miss Reynolds, there are two detectives here to see you," Cherry said.

{I'll be right out.}

"See, Mikey," grinned Lennie, turning to Logan. "A little patience goes a long way."

"Yeah, right," retorted Mike, as the door next to the reception opened.

A tall blonde walked into the reception area, holding out her hand. "I'm Victoria Reynolds," she said. "How can I help you?"

"We need some information on someone who may be a client of yours," Mike told her.

"May I ask why?"

"We found one of your leaflets at the house of a murder victim. We're just following up leads," Lennie replied.

Reynolds appeared to think for a moment, and then nodded her head. "If you'd follow me, we can go through to my office. It's more private in there." Reynolds turned around and walked back through the door she appeared from, not waiting for the detectives to follow.

Mike glanced at Lennie, before shrugging and heading after the blonde.

Reynolds led them through an office to a smaller office at one side. "Please," she said, opening the door and motioning them inside.

A young man looked up from where he was working at one of the two desks in the room.

"This is Jamie Forrest, my personal assistant," Reynolds said.

Forrest smiled at them before turning back to what he was working on.

"It's very... pink," commented Mike, looking around the room.

"Pink is the colour of love," Reynolds replied, closing the door and walking to her desk. "Now, who was it you wanted to know about?"

"Diane Cord," answered Mike.

Reynolds turned to the computer on her desk and typed in the name. A few seconds later a flashing screen appeared. "I'm sorry, she's not on the system, and I don't recognise the name."

"She had one of your leaflets," Mike repeated.

"Many people have our leaflets," Forrest said, heading over to them and sitting on the side of Reynolds' desk. "We've just completed an advertising campaign. Leaflets were delivered to over five thousand homes in New York. Maybe she got one from that. Or maybe she was considering joining. We do have very good success rates you know." He smiled softly. "It's as though Aphrodite herself were smiling down on us."

"Jamie's right," Reynolds added. "There are a dozen reasons why she could have had one of the leaflets. I'm afraid we can't help you."

Mike nodded. "Well, thank you for your time, anyway. We'll see ourselves out."


Aphrodite breathed a sigh of relief when Briscoe and Logan were out of the building. She'd been so sure that she was going to slip up and mention something she shouldn't. Glancing over at Cupid, she closed her eyes and quickly contacted Ares. /Ares? I think those detectives may be more of a problem than we first thought./


Zeus closed the scrying pool he'd opened to the Venus Dating Agency. "Your sister's right, the mortals are asking too many questions." The King of the Gods turned to Ares and pinned him with his gaze. "Do something about it."

"And how am I supposed to do anything about the mortals when I'm meant to be looking for whatever killed Discord?"

"Apollo can handle that. You deal with the mortals. Distract them." With that order, the King of the Gods vanished.

Ares leant back in his chair, allowing a smile to spring to his lips. Zeus wanted the mortals distracted. /Well,/ the War God thought, /it would seem that Michael Logan may just get that good, hard fuck after all./


"Oh, it was *way* too early in the morning to be dealing with someone like Cherry," commented Mike.

Lennie laughed. "Oh, I don't know. She seemed pretty taken with you."

Mike glared at his partner. "So what's next?"

"I think we should go back and see Hayes," replied Briscoe.

"Why?" Mike felt a unexplained flash of panic at the thought of going seeing Lawrence Hayes again.

"Because there was something he wasn't telling us and I want to know what it was," said Lennie, cursing softly as his pager went off.

Mike leant back against the car and waited while Lennie called the station.

"They've picked up two suspects in the Vanson case," Lennie said, when he returned to the car. "They want us back at the station."

"What about Hayes?" Mike asked.

"He can wait."

A second flash of panic ran through Mike, this time at the thought of *not* seeing Hayes. "Why don't I go and see him and you can head back to the station?" Mike suggested.

Briscoe studied his partner. "Are you sure?"

Mike nodded, trying to work some saliva into his suddenly dry throat. "Yeah."

"Okay," nodded Lennie. "You can drop me off on your way."


Mike Logan looked at the man in front of him.

"You wanted to see me, Detective?"

Mike closed his eyes briefly as Hayes' silken tones washed over him.

"Have you made any progress with your investigation?"

Snapping open his eyes, Mike looked at the other man. "Not yet, I'm afraid," he replied. "I just wanted to ask you a few more questions about who Miss Cord worked with."

"Of course." Hayes motioned to the leather couch against the wall. "Please, won't you have a seat."

Mike sat down, almost moaning in luxury when the supple leather moulded itself to his body. Looking up, he saw the amused gaze of Hayes focused on him. Mike bit his lower lip as the finger Hayes was trailing along the back of the couch brushed his neck lightly.

"I had it made to my specifications." Hayes leaned down, his mouth close to Mike's ear. "Soft, but strong."

Mike shuddered as the hot breath gently blew at the hairs at the back of his neck.

"You'd be surprised at what you can take."

"What?" The detective's mind suddenly registered Hayes' words.

"I said, you'd be surprised at what it can take." Hayes' hand rested on the arm of the couch, the soft leather sinking slightly under the weight of his touch.

/The couch,/ Mike thought frantically. /He's talking about the couch./ Desperately trying to ignore the metal image of Hayes bending him over the couch and pushing his hard cock into him, Mike looked down at his notebook.

"Detective Logan, look at me." Hayes' voice was insistent.

Unable to refuse Mike looked up, and instantly found himself trapped by a pair of flashing eyes.

"You want me, don't you."

/Yes./ The thought sprang unbidden to Mike's mind. Before his voice could act on his thoughts, Mike's pager beeped, breaking the soft spell that had descended on the room. Fishing the pager out of his pocket, he checked the number. "Um, it's the station, do you mind if I use your phone?"

"Oh, use away," Hayes smiled.

Mike walked over to the desk and picked up the phone. Dialling the station, he listened as Lennie told him to get back to the station as someone had just admitted to the Vanson murder. Hanging up, Mike glanced back over to Hayes. "I need to get back to the station. There's been a break in another case," he said quickly.

"Then don't let me keep one of New York's finest from carrying out his duty."

Mike headed to the door, his body swinging between wanting to run from the room and wanting to stay. Forcing himself not to look back, Mike Logan walked out of the office.


Ares smirked as the mortal headed out of his office. The sight of Logan's flushed face and dilated eyes danced in his mind. /Oh, I would say he's feeling distracted,/ the god thought with a grin.


Mike rested his forehead against the car's steering wheel and tried to calm his breathing. "DAMNIT!" he yelled, smacking the wheel with his hand. Staring at the reddening patch where his palm had hit the lard leather, he realised that he was trembling. Glancing out of the window, he looked up to where the window for Lawrence Hayes' office was. "What's happening?" he whispered. "What are you doing to me?"

There was no answer except for the soft crackling of his radio.

Finally stopping the shivers from running through him, Mike swung the car out into the traffic and headed back towards the station.


Aphrodite's eyes narrowed as she flashed into Ares' office to find her brother leaning back in his chair with a self-satisfied look on his face. "What are you up to?" she asked curiously.

Ares' grin widened. "I'm just doing what Father told me to do. Distracting the mortals. Well, *one* of them anyway."

"Let me guess. Tall, dark hair, beautiful eyes, gives off the kind of sensuality that makes you want to throw him to the ground and fuck him raw?"

Ares laughed. "I wouldn't let Heph hear you say that."

The goddess matched her brother's smile. "I'm married, not dead," she commented. "And anyway," she continued, sitting on the couch, "I came to ask if you fancied coming to ours for dinner."


Aphrodite nodded. "I figure that since we're meant to be mortals we may as well go the whole way. I'm going to try this cooking thing. By my reckoning we're gods, so even if it goes amazingly wrong it still shouldn't kill us."

Ares stood up and walked over to the window, looking out over New York. "I'd love to, 'Dite, but I have... plans for tonight." An image of Mike Logan ran through the god's mind. "And I don't intend to break them."


Mike Logan sighed in relief as he kicked off his shoes. Padding into the kitchen, he opened the fridge and peered inside. Pulling out a beer, he twisted off the cap and took a long drink, before heading back through into the living room. Shrugging out of his suit jacket, he draped it over the back of a chair, pulling off his tie to join it. Walking over to his telephone, Mike hit the play button on his answer machine, listening to the slight whirring as the tape started to play. He pulled off his socks and threw them into the corner of the room as he listened to Marie telling him that she'd love to see him again. "Not likely," Mike muttered, remembering the disastrous date. The second message informed him that he'd been chosen to take part in a draw for a million dollars, *if* he decided to buy a yacht. /Yeah, right. On *my* salary?/ he thought as he glanced down at the machine to see if there were any more messages waiting to be heard. The answer machine buzzed slightly, indicating that the tape had finished. Hitting the stop button, Mike headed over to the couch.

Sitting down, he sighed as he let his head fall back and rest against the back of the couch. Arnold Vassilly had eventually given them the information they had needed to be able to formally charge him *and* his brother with the Kim Vanson murder, and the two of them were now sitting in Rikers waiting for the lawyers to cut a deal.

Mike smiled as he remembered the scathing look Jack McCoy had given them when they had pleaded insanity; a plea that had been backed up by their lawyer, once he had arrived. The EADA knew the brothers were lying, and he had already set up a session with Elizabeth Olivet to prove it.

Logan's quiet musings were interrupted by a sudden knocking. Placing his beer on the table next to the couch, Mike stood up and walked over to the door. Opening it, he stared in surprised at Lawrence Hayes.

"Hello, Michael. Mind if I come in?"

Mike didn't move. "How did you get my address?" he asked, his voice rough.

Hayes smiled. Reaching out, he trailed a finger down Mike's cheek. "You can get anything if you want it hard enough."

Not thinking about it, Mike stepped back, allowing the other man to enter his apartment.

Hayes looked around the apartment. "Very nice," he commented. His dark eyes narrowing, he turned his attention back to Mike, raking his eyes up and down the detective. "Very nice, indeed."

Mike took an involuntary step back at the lust in Hayes' gaze, flinching when his back hit the wall. "I think you should leave," he said, forcing the words out.

Hayes took a step forward, placing his hands on either side of Mike's head. "Why?"

The husky whisper made Mike shiver. "Because-" His words were cut off by the insistent lips pressing against his. Pushing Lawrence away, Mike stared at him. "What the hell do ya think ya doing?"

"Why, Michael," the other man replied, "I would have thought *that* was obvious." Lawrence moved in again, his hard body pinning Mike to the wall as his mouth descended.

Mike couldn't stop the groan that rose in his throat as Lawrence's tongue teased his lips open. Trying to push the other man away, Mike moaned as his wrists were grabbed and held above his head.

Lawrence smiled. Holding both of Mike's wrists in one hand, he started to run the other over Mike's body.

Mike bit his lip as the caresses sent jolts straight to his cock. Closing his eyes, he stopped caring about how or why the other man was there. "Oh, Jesus, don't stop," he murmured, as Lawrence's hand began to knead his cloth covered erection.

"Oh, don't worry, Michael, I have no intention of."


Grabbing Mike around the waist, Ares walked into the bedroom and threw Mike onto the bed. Straddling his legs, Ares opened the mortal's trousers, smirking as Logan's hard cock sprang lose. "No underwear, Michael? I'm shocked."

"Don't like wearing it," panted Mike, his hands grasping at the figure above him.

Glancing over to the table by the bed, Ares grinned as he saw Mike's handcuffs. Reaching out, he picked them up. "Michael, give me your wrists," he demanded.

Unable to do anything but comply, Logan held out his hands.

Taking both of Mike's wrists in one hand, Ares swiftly cuffed the detective to the bed. "There, much better."

"Oh God, please," Mike murmured, pulling at the cuffs.

Ignoring Mike's pleas, Ares quickly yanked the rest of Mike's clothes off, leaving the man naked. Watching as the soft moonlight washed through the window and illuminated the taut body, the God smiled. "I'm going to fuck you, Michael, and you're going to beg me for it."

"Anything," Mike whispered.

Ares smiled as he quickly removed his own clothes, throwing them down on top of Mike's. Kneeling on the bed, Ares pushed Mike's thighs apart and settled between them. Pulling the tube of lubricant he'd brought with him out of his pocket, the War God flipped open the cap and squeezed some onto his fingers. Reaching down, he unerringly found the entrance to Mike's body and slid two fingers inside, twisting them roughly.

Logan arched off the bed.

Not letting him get accustomed to the intrusion, Ares removed his fingers and pulled the mortal's legs onto his shoulders, driving into his body.


Mike screamed as Lawrence's hard cock forced its way into him. White hot flashes of agonising need burst in front of his eyes. Pulling on the handcuffs that bound him to the bed, Mike blindly reached out, grasping the metal railings he was attached to as Lawrence continued to thrust into him.


Ares looked down at Mike's contorted face. Sweat ran of the mortal's body as he writhed underneath the god. Reigning in his need to fuck the man under him, Ares stopped moving.

Mike's eyes jerked open.

"Tell me what you want," Ares ground out between gritted teeth.


Mike stared at the man above him.

//I'm going to fuck you, Michael, and you're going to beg me for it.//

Lawrence's words ran through his mind. He shook his head, unable to voice the desire that consumed him.

"Tell me," Lawrence asked again. "What do you want, Michael?"

Mike shook his head. He could feel the heavy weight of the cock resting in his body. "Move!" he managed to pant out, trying to impale himself further.

Lawrence didn't move. "Tell me!" he demanded.

"You!" Mike cried out eventually. "Oh God, I want *you*!"


Ares smiled at Mike's admission. He knew it had pained Mike to admit the truth, but he didn't care. Michael Logan needed to know just who he belonged to. Reaching out, Ares took Mike's chin in his hand and turned his face, forcing Mike to look at him. "That's all I wanted to know."

Releasing the hold he had on his control, Ares started to pound into Mike. Moving his hands up Mike's body, Ares linked his fingers with the detective's.


Mike felt Lawrence's hands cover his own and held them. Blind need dictating his movements, Mike pushed himself onto the other man's cock as it was thrust into him. His own erection was trapped between their sweat-soaked bodies as they slid across each other. The friction of the skin against his cock continued to grow in intensity until he came, screaming.


Ares' scream joined Mike's as his cock was gripped tightly and milked by the tremors running through Mike's muscles. With a final thrust, he buried himself in the other man's body and came. Panting heavily, he released his hold on Mike's hands and slumped down, turning as to not crush the body beneath him.

A soft clink made Ares open his eyes. Glancing up, he saw that Mike was still chained to the bed. Fumbling for the key to the handcuffs, Ares muttered when his fingers knocked it onto the floor. Not having the energy to reach down and pick it up, Ares brushed his hand across the cuffs, smiling when he heard them clatter to the floor.


Mike's hands dropped as soon as his wrists were released. Unable to move from his position as lethargy overtook him, Mike closed his eyes and let sleep come.


Opening his eyes with a start, Mike bolted out of bed as the memories came flooding back.

The warm body in the bed shifted slightly, but didn't wake.

Grabbing his clothes out of the pile next to the bed, Mike threw them on and ran out of his apartment as quickly as he could. 'Oh Jesus,' he thought. 'Tell me I didn't just sleep with a murder suspect. A *male* murder suspect'

The only answer was silence.

Unwilling to wait for the elevator to arrive at his floor, Mike pushed open the door to the stairs and started to run down to the garage, stopping in mid-step when he realised that his car keys were sitting on his dresser in the bedroom. Unbidden, an image of Lawrence's hard body spread across the bed sprang to mind. Trying to shake the image out of his head, Mike slumped down on to the stairs. He winced as his ass hit the cold concrete, the pain reminding him of just *why* Lawrence Hayes had been in his bed. The other man's scent assailed him and he realised with a pained sigh that he had grabbed Lawrence's shirt instead of his own in his hurry to get out of the apartment. Resting his head against the cool concrete of the wall, Mike closed his eyes, the soft scent of Lawrence's cologne weaving its way around him. "I am *so* fucked," he whispered.


Ares stretched languidly as he opened his eyes. The first rays of the early morning sun were starting to flood the apartment, and the god sighed in contentment. Fucking Mike Logan had been just as satisfying as he had expected it to be. The detective had a definite wild streak to him, and having a cock in him certainly seemed to bring it out. Reaching out with his awareness, Ares frowned slightly as he realised there was no one else in the apartment. Expanding himself further, he finally found his wayward lover sitting in one of the stair-wells of the building. Brushing his mind across Mike's, Ares' frown deepened as the mortal's regret and dismay registered.

Pushing himself out of the bed, Ares picked up his clothes, discovering that his shirt was missing. Shrugging, he dressed with a thought and headed out of the apartment. He momentarily contemplated taking the stairs, but decided against it and waited for the elevator. He smiled as an image of Mike with his head thrown back in ecstasy came to mind. "Oh, Michael," he murmured. "You'll soon learn how futile it is to deny War. You're mine, and the sooner you realise it the better."


Detective Tony Profaci looked up as he heard the door to the squad room open. His jaw dropped open as he looked the newcomer up and down. "Jesus, Logan, you look like something the cat dragged in!"

Mike Logan's red-rimmed and bloodshot eyes gazed blankly at him.

Profaci grinned. "Don't tell me, you didn't get much sleep last night." The grin grew wider. "And the old Logan charm strikes again." He reached out to slap the other detective on the back, yanking his hand back when Mike slapped it away viciously.

"Back off, Profaci," Mike snarled, before stalking out of the squad room.


Mike stared into the mirror, grimacing at his reflection. He'd sat on the stairs in his apartment block for nearly four hours, before realising that he was going to be late for work. He'd grabbed a cab outside the building, unable to spare the time to go and change his clothes or get his car keys.

//Liar,// a voice taunted at the back of his mind. //You didn't want to go back because you were terrified that he would still be there.//

Mike shook his head to clear his thoughts and splashed some cold water on his face. He'd never wanted a man before, but there was something about Lawrence Hayes that drew him. "Yeah, like a damn moth to fire," he snorted softly. "One touch and you burn."

Mike's train of thought was interrupted by the door to the men's room bursting open and Lennie sticking his head in. "Mike! Come on! We've just got a call from the 35th. They've just picked someone up who claims to have information on the Cord murder."


"Hey, Dave! What have ya got?" Lennie called, as he and Mike walked into the squad room of the 35th precinct.

Dave Meyers grinned as he walked over to them. "We were doing a bust on a crack house downtown and this guy says that he's got information that he may be willing to tell in return for an easy ride out of here."

"Is he on the level?"

Lennie turned and looked at his partner. Mike had been silent on the journey over and they were the first words the younger man had spoken since they'd left the 33rd.

Meyers grimaced. "That's the problem. We pulled his record and the guy's already been done for perjury."

Mike's eyes narrowed. "So how can we trust him on this?"

"Well, he lied about a dealer during a trial a couple of years back and got caught out," replied Meyers. "There's no reason for him to lie now, but it kinda colours the picture."

"Yeah," agreed Briscoe. "A lovely shade of grey. Where is he?"

Meyers nodded towards the interrogation rooms.

"Well, let's go and see what this fine, upstanding citizen has to tell us, shall we?" Casting a final glance at his still too quiet partner, Lennie started to follow Meyers across the room.


"So, you're telling us that you saw a woman get murdered and it didn't occur to you to say anything until now." Lennie's tone was disbelieving.

Mark Gibson glared at the older cop. "Yeah, well, it wouldn't be the first time some whore's been murdered down there. It ain't exactly Gramercy Park, ya know. And whadda I care if some hooker catches it? Didn't realise it was someone *important* 'til I saw his picture on the TV."

"Whose picture?" Logan asked.

"The guy who did it," Gibson replied. "I'm sittin' in McCarthy's when this picture of the dead broad flashes on the screen behind the bar. And then this guys comes on sayin' how there's a reward for," Gibson paused, "'information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator'." Gibson dropped back to his normal tone. "Only the guys who's offering the reward is the guy who offed her in the first place."

Mike pushed himself away from the wall. "What did you just say?" he said, a small tickle of dread forming in the back of his mind.

Lennie looked up at Mike's sharp tone.

"You heard me," sneered Gibson. "Or are cops deaf, as well as stupid?"

Placing a restraining hand on Mike's arm, Lennie glared at the seated felon. Opening the file in front of him, he pulled out several pictures and laid them in from of Gibson. "Are any of these the man you saw?" he asked.

Gibson immediately pointed to one of them. "Him. That's the guy I saw standin' over that woman's body."

"Are you sure?" Logan demanded.

Gibson nodded. "Hell, yeah, I'm sure. I ain't blind, ya know. So, you gonna let me out of here?"

Mike ignored him. He felt his stomach drop as his eyes fixed on the photo of Lawrence Hayes that Gibson had just pointed to.


"Well, as I always say, if something's worth doing, it's worth doing *right*."

Ares glanced up at the soft drawl that reached him as he walked into his office.

"Way to go on the... distracting, bro. It was a work of art."

Ares glared at the god who was leaning back in his chair, with his feet on the desk. "Get out of my chair, Apollo," Ares growled.

"But it's so *comfy*." Apollo wiggled further down into the supple leather.

With a soft snarl, Ares stalked up to Apollo and knocked his feet off the desk.

"Chill with the temper, Ares." Apollo held his hands out placatingly, as he stood up. "Jeez, I would have thought gettin' laid would have put you in a better mood," he commented. "And I must admit," he continued, "if I'd known that Logan looked liked *that* I would have gone for the distracting job, instead of the hunting. Which brings me to why I'm here." Apollo looked at his brother. "I need to know everything you, Heph and 'Dite found out when you went down to the docks."

"Fine," Ares nodded. Placing his hand on Apollo's, Ares closed his eyes and opened his mind to the Sun God.


Claire Kincaid stared at the two men in front of her. "You want me to go to a judge and ask for a search warrant on the word of a junkie who already has a conviction for perjury?!"

"That about sums it up, yeah," nodded Briscoe.

Claire rubbed a hand over her eyes. "Lennie, Lawrence Hayes runs one of the biggest export businesses in New York. He gave more to charity last month than I earned in the entire year. He's on the boards of several organisations, and has dinner with the Mayor at least once every couple of months." She pinned the older detective with her gaze. "Are you *absolutely* sure this guy wasn't just telling you want you wanted to hear so you'd drop the charges?"

Lennie sighed. "Claire, I can't explain it but this guy wasn't lying. And it's like I said to Mike. There's just something about Hayes. Maybe he isn't the murderer, but I'd bet my badge that he knows who is."

Claire turned her attention to Mike. The younger man had been uncharacteristically silent during the exchange. "Mike? Do you agree?"

Mike stared at her for a few seconds before the words seemed to register. "Yeah," he said, his words quiet, "there's definitely something about Lawrence Hayes."

The ADA was silent for long moments. "Fine," she finally nodded. "I'll go and see Judge Parkson after lunch. Just hope he's in a good mood."

Lennie grinned. "I'll keep my fingers crossed."


Mark Gibson glanced around nervously. He'd been waiting for nearly an hour, and the man he was due to meet was late.

"Is it done?"

Gibson jumped at the voice in his ear. Spinning around, he looked into cold eyes. "Yeah," he nodded quickly.

"Good," came the reply, as a hand extended out, holding an envelope.

Gibson snatched the enveloped and opened it, quickly counting the money inside.

"It's all there."

"I'm sure it is," Gibson said, never taking his eyes off the money. "But ya can't be sure about people, know what I mean?"

The other man smiled strangely. "Funnily enough, I know *exactly* what you mean," he answered, before he turned and walked away.


William Parkson re-read the piece of paper lying on his desk. "Miss Kincaid, are you being serious?"

"Perfectly, your honour," she replied.

"You want me to issue a warrant based on the word of a known perjurer?"

"As I said," Claire stated, "the reason for the perjury has nothing to do with this case."

Parkson raised an eyebrow. "Not good enough, Miss Kincaid. If you want the warrant, then I suggest you bring me something to back up Mr Gibson, like a more reliable witness."


"What do you mean 'he won't sign the warrant?'"

Claire sighed as she turned to face Briscoe. "Lennie, you don't have an overwhelming amount of evidence here. You've got to admit, it was a long shot going for the warrant."

"She's got a point," Van Buren agreed. "Mark Gibson is a drug addict and known perjurer. He can hardly be classed as a reliable witness against a man like Lawrence Hayes."

Lennie grimaced. "This guy's hiding something. He's guilty. I can *feel* it." Briscoe looked at his partner. "Mike?"

Logan glanced down. "I... don't know, Lennie."

"You *don't know*?!" Lennie's tone was incredulous. "Correct me if I'm wrong, Logan, but I thought you wanted to get this guy as much as I did."

Mike looked up and met Briscoe's glare. "Of course I do. All I'm saying is that there's no evidence linking Hayes to the murder, except for someone I wouldn't even trust if my life depended on it."

"Then we'll *get* more evidence," Lennie stated. "We'll stake him out."

Van Buren rubbed a hand over her eyes. "Briscoe, you know that the commissioner would never authorise a stakeout on Lawrence Hayes. He'd be unwilling to waste the manpower *or* the money."

"Would you have to tell him?" Lennie asked quietly.

The lieutenant looked at the older man. "Are you suggesting that this department conducts an unauthorised investigation, Detective Briscoe?"

"It wouldn't be the first time," pointed out Lennie.

"And just how would you do it?" Van Buren inquired. "Any stakeout requires at least *two* teams."

"Johnson and Robbins have just closed the Armati case," noted Briscoe.

"And just started on the Wellings one," Anita countered.

"Then Mike and I can do it alone. We'll take half a night each. Right, Mike?"

Logan looked up sharply at Lennie's words. "Fine."

Claire shook her head. "You can't. Any evidence turned up would be thrown out by a judge as inadmissible. You get all the T's crossed and the I's dotted if you want any stakeout against Hayes to stand up in court."

Anita looked at the three people in the office. "Give me an hour, I'll see what I can do."


Claire reached out and closed her fingers around Mike's arm as they walked out of Van Buren's office. "Mike? Are you okay? You seem out of it."

Mike looked down at his friend's fingers. He could feel the warmth from her hand seeping through his jacket and barely stopped the shiver that rose in him. "I'm fine," he replied. "I just have things on my mind." /Like how the thought of seeing... him again worries me, but the thought of *not* seeing him terrifies me. Like how I can feel him against my skin and smell him with each movement I make. Like how I've just realised how amazingly fucked up my life is./


Anita watched as the detective walked into her office.

"Well?" Briscoe asked.

"We've got authorisation for the stakeout. *But* it's only for four days."

"Four days!" groaned Lennie.

"I was lucky to get him to agree to that," Van Buren told him. "So you'd better hope your evidence turns up soon, Lennie."

"It will," Lennie assured her.

"It had better," Anita replied.


Ares frowned as he looked out of the window of his brownstone at the blue sedan that was parked down the street. He knew Mike Logan was one of the men in the car; he could *feel* it. He hadn't seen the detective since that night at Logan's apartment two days ago, but he was going to make sure that soon changed.

"They're not very good at hiding, are they?" Cupid commented, as he looked over Ares' shoulder.

"This is the second night they've been out there," Ares said.


The God of War turned to face his son. "Because someone told them they saw me kill Discord."

"What?!" exclaimed Strife. "No way!"

"Who?" Cupid asked

"A man named Gibson," Ares replied.

Strife looked confused. "So why don't you just go and see him and find out what's going on?"

"That's just the point, Strife. I *can't*."


Ares glanced back out the window at the unmarked police car. "I've been searching for this Gibson ever since I found out about him, and I can't find any trace of him. I've even asked Hephaestus and 'Dite to look as well. They can't find him either."

"But that would mean..." Cupid's words trailed off.

"Exactly," Ares said solemnly. "Either he's dead, or he's being hidden. And the only one who could hide a mortal from a god is another god."


Mike jumped slightly when Andrew Thompson knocked on the car window. Winding it down, he smiled at the other detective.

"He done anything?" Thompson asked, nodding in the direction of Hayes' house.

"No," replied Mike. "It's been pretty quiet, Andy."

"Yeah," added Lennie, "especially since Mike's said about 5 words in the past four hours."

Jim Colins smiled. "Mike Logan quiet? That's a first."

Briscoe grinned at Thompson's partner.

"Go home, guys, we're good to take over," Colins continued.

Lennie nodded and started up the car, slowly pulling out of the parking space so that the other car could slide in. "He'd better do something soon, this warrant runs out in a couple of days," Lennie commented as they drove past Hayes'.

Mike didn't reply. His eyes were fixed on the lit window on the first floor of the brownstone.


Ares watched as the car drove past. "Right on time," he muttered, as the second set of detectives replaced them. He turned around and barely kept from kicking the wall in frustration. He'd been looking for Mark Gibson all day, and he hadn't turned up one trace. He didn't even know how the search for Discord's killer was going, since his blond bimbo of a brother hadn't bothered to show up and tell him if anything new had been discovered. Holding out a hand, he grinned as he felt the heavy weight of the glass of whiskey appear. Lifting the glass to his lips, he drank the measure, feeling the burn as the liquid slipped down his throat.

Sighing, he walked over to the bed. A flash of light deposited his clothes in the wardrobe as he stretched out over the sheets. Motioning gently with his hand, he took another drink of whiskey as the image of an apartment appeared in the scrying pool.


Mike closed his eyes as he leant against the door to his apartment. Pushing himself away from the door, he walked through to the kitchen, shrugging off his coat and letting it drop to the floor. Flicking the light on, he winced as the harsh glare hit him. Heading around the table, he opened the fridge door, peering inside. Pulling out the carton of milk, he grimaced when he felt the heavy lumps weighing it down. Dropping the carton into the trash he turned back to the fridge. Sighing, he grabbed the carton of orange juice, taking a deep drink before replacing it. Kicking the fridge shut, he headed back into the lounge. The light from the kitchen added to the streetlamps, illuminating the room. Reaching down, Mike pulled off his shoes and dropped them next to the couch. Turning back to flick off the kitchen light, Mike padded through the darkened apartment to the bedroom.

Reaching the bedroom, Logan didn't bother with the main light and just switched on the small lamp next to the bed. A soft glint from the floor caught his eyes, and his spare set of handcuffs glared at him accusingly. The detective closed his eyes as images of entangled figures assaulted him. Slumping against the wall, Mike slid down to the floor.

//Tell me what you want.//

Dropping his head back, Mike bit his lip, trying not to react to the mental images running through his mind.

//Tell me. What do you want, Michael?//

A soft metallic tang ran into Mike's mouth and his lower lip started to throb.

//You! Oh God, I want *you*!//

Wrapping his arms around his legs, the detective rested his head on his knees and took a deep breath. "I want him," he said to the empty room.

Silence greeted his revelation.

Mike's voice dropped to a whisper. "And I want my life back."


Ares closed the scrying pool. Placing his drink on the cabinet, the War God pushed himself off the bed and clothed himself with a thought. Placing a shield around his presence he transported himself to Logan's apartment.

The god looked around the room he materialised in. Mike was huddled against a wall, staring at the window. Slowly walking over to the mortal, Ares crouched down next to him. He knew his presence was hidden, but still made no sound. Carefully, Ares studied Mike's face. The lines around the detective's eyes spoke of a life harsher than Ares had thought. Gently, the God of War pulled an image of a small child hiding under a bed with a woman shouting and screaming, a vodka bottle clutched in her hand, from Mike's mind.

"Oh, my Michael," Ares murmured. Reaching out, he traced a finger down Mike's cheek.

Suddenly, Mike looked up, his eyes meeting Ares', a sharp bark of near hysterical laughter escaping from him.

Ares held his breath as Mike's gaze matched his own. He knew the mortal could not see him, but it was as though Mike knew he was there.

In an instant the spell was broken by a piercing cry that hit the War God.


Standing up, Ares gave Mike a final glance and then vanished from the room.


The quiet tick of the clock next to Mike's bed kept a gentle counter-rhythm to the heartbeat he could hear running through him. He wasn't sure what time it was. All he knew was that the voices of people walking past the apartment block had long since died away. Hugging his knees closer to his body, Mike shivered slightly as a soft breeze seemed to float through the room. His eyes glanced towards the window, but he could see that it was shut.

Mike almost started with shock when he felt the delicate brush across his cheek. /Oh great,/ he thought, a sob of hysteria welling in him, /now I'm imagining things./ Wrapping his arms around himself even tighter, Mike closed his eyes, ignoring the second soft gust of air that weaved its way around him.


A flash of light deposited Ares back in his brownstone and in front of a frantic Artemis.

"Ares!" she sobbed.

"'Mis? What's wrong?"

"I can't find him!"

"Find who? Artemis, you're not making any sense." Ares walked over to his sister and forced her to look at him. "Tell me what's wrong," he instructed.

"It's Apollo. He's gone missing!"


"I hate doing the second half of the night," Briscoe commented. "All I can think of is the other guys at home in bed - which is exactly where I want to be."

"Don't we all?" Mike replied quietly.

Lennie turned and looked at his partner. "Mikey, what the hell is wrong with you? You've been acting weird for the past few days. Is something going on?"

"No." Mike shook his head. "Nothing's going on."

Lennie's retort was cut off by the sudden beeping coming from his coat. "Damn," he muttered, as he leant over to the back seat to pull his pager out. "Who the hell wants me at this time of the morning?"

"You'd better take it, it might be important," said Mike.

"Yeah," agreed Lennie. "There was a phone about a block up, wasn't there?"

Mike nodded.

Lennie opened the car door. "I'll be as quick as I can," he said, as he got out of the car and headed off in the direction of the phone.


Ares frowned as he appeared in his lounge. There'd been a full scale hunt for Apollo going on ever since Artemis had shown up at his the night before. The Huntress could still feel her twin through their link, so they knew Apollo was still alive. The major problem was that Artemis couldn't follow the link back to where the Sun God was. Something, or someone, was partially blocking the link between them. The War God's frown deepened. Not many of the gods would have the ability to block the twins' link to that degree, which meant that whoever had done it was either very old or very powerful - or both.


Mike turned around as the car door opened and Lennie got in, worried etched on his face. "What's wrong?" Mike asked.

"There's been an accident. Julia's in the hospital."

"Jesus, what happened?" Mike had met Lennie's daughter a few times, and he prayed that it was nothing serious.

"The car she was in was hit by a drunk driver. She's okay, but she's shaken up," replied Lennie. "I'll need to go and pick her up."

"Go!" Mike urged.

Lennie rubbed his hand over his face. "I'll need to ring the station. They'll have to send back-up out."

"Christ, Lennie, just go will ya! Jim and Andy'll be here to take over in about six hours. I can deal with this until then."

"You're sure?"

Mike rolled his eyes. "Of course I am. Now get out of here."

Lennie nodded before getting out of the car and running down the street to a cab pick-up.

Mike watched as his partner jumped into a cab and it sped away. He glanced over at the brownstone. "Guess it's just you and me, then," he murmured.


Mike sighed and looked at the small clock set into the dashboard. Only five minutes had passed since he'd last looked. Every so often his eyes would drift to the brownstone. The lights in the downstairs room were on, and he could see the shadows of someone moving around.

Rubbing his hands across his face, Mike growled softly as he opened the car door and got out. Ever since that night images of flashing dark eyes had haunted his every move. Every time someone touched him, every whispered word he heard; all of it brought that night spiralling back.

Telling himself to go back with every step he took, Mike walked towards Hayes' home. Within a few seconds he was standing in front of the door. Before he could change his mind, Mike reached up, and knocked.


Ares' head jerked up as the sharp knocking penetrated his mind. He looked towards the door before glancing back down at the map of New York that was spread across the table. Sections of the map had been crossed out, indicating the areas the gods had been in their search for the missing Apollo. Muttering as the knocking continued, Ares stalked towards the door. Reaching out with his mind, his anger drained away when he discovered who was waiting on the other side. A smile spread across his lips as he opened the door. "Hello, Michael."


Mike flinched slightly when the door suddenly opened. Raising his head, Mike's eyes moved up the body of the man standing in front of him. The tight black jeans that hugged firm legs gave way to a loose black silk shirt. Finally, Mike's gaze rested on the dark eyes that studied him.

"Hello, Michael."

Mike shivered as Lawrence's velvet tones washed over him. "I need... to talk," he said quietly.

"This really isn't a good time," the other man replied. "There are things going on that you shouldn't be involved with." Lawrence started to close the door.

"No!" Mike reached out and placed a hand on the door, stopping it from closing. "I... Please."

Lawrence watched him for a few seconds before nodding. "Fine, you'd better come in, then," he said, moving back to allow Mike to enter the house.

The detective glanced around the hall as Lawrence closed the door behind him. A large painting hung on the far wall.

"It's the sacking of Troy." Lawrence's breath was hot against Mike's ear. "You've got to admire a people who fought for ten years, even if they did lose to superior knowledge and force."

Mike looked at the other man, holding his breath when Lawrence's hand reached up and cupped his chin.

Lawrence's thumb softly brushed against the mark on Mike's lip. "What did you do?"

"Nothing, it's nothing," Mike replied quickly.

Lawrence raised an eyebrow but said nothing as he continued to trace Mike's lips.

Mike closed his eyes as the soft touch gently moved from his lip to his cheek. His eyes opened again when he felt the press of Lawrence's mouth against his own. The other man's tongue teased at his lips, seeking entry. Arousal flashed through Mike, but it was quickly dampened by the panic that followed. "I was wrong. I can't do this," he murmured, breaking the kiss.

"Why not?" demanded Lawrence, his body hot against Mike's.

Mike met his eyes. "Because I'm a cop, and you're the main suspect in a murder case."

Lawrence laughed. "But that just makes it all the more sweet. Admit it, Michael, the more forbidden the fruit, the more tempting the rewards."

Mike's eyes flashed. "I'm a *cop*, damnit. This is my career we're talking about." He started to walk back towards the door.

Lawrence's hand jerked out, grabbing Mike by the arm. "*You* came *here*, Michael. And I doubt if it was just because you needed some interesting conversation."

Mike angrily shrugged off Lawrence's hand. "I don't know why I came here."

"You know *exactly* why you came here. Don't start these games with me, Michael," Lawrence warned. "I guarantee you won't like how I play them."

Mike's eyes widened fractionally at the warning.

The air seemed to crackle as the two men stared at each other, neither saying a word.

Finally, Lawrence sighed. "Go home, Michael."

Mike turned to leave. Reaching out, he placed his hand on the door handle and started to turn it, before stopping. "I can't live like this," he finally admitted, more to himself than to Lawrence. He turned his attention back to the man who was still standing watching him. "I can still smell you," he whispered. "Still *feel* you; on me, *in* me. I walk down the street and it's *your* face that I see. A friend touches me, and it's *your* hand that I feel. What did you do to me?" The last sentence was barely audible.

Mike heard Lawrence close the distance between them, and a hand rested on his shoulder.

"I did nothing you didn't allow me to do," he said. "You wanted me."

Mike closed his eyes, the truth of Lawrence's statement washing over him. He *did* want the other man. He wanted him so badly he could feel the need pulsing within him. His entire life flashed before him. All he'd wanted was to be a good cop. He'd always thought that there was nothing that would make him jeopardise that. He was wrong. Mike turned to face Lawrence, body thrumming with need. "I still do." Pulling Lawrence to him, Mike pressed their lips together with a ferocious intensity.


Ares stiffened in shock at Mike's sudden move. Freezing for a couple of seconds, he soon came back to himself when Mike's tongue wormed its way into his mouth. Bringing his arms around Mike, he pressed the detective's body to his own, moaning when covered hardness met covered hardness. Hooking a foot around Mike's ankle, Ares pulled, and the two men tumbled to the floor, hands clawing at clothing.

"Want you. Need you," panted Mike, as he latched on to Ares' neck and sucked hard.

Tangling his fingers in Mike's hair, Ares pulled the mortal away from him.

Mike's eyes blazed black with passion.

"We have all night, Michael," Ares said, his breathing becoming more erratic.

"Good," ground out Logan, as he shook his head out of Ares' grasp and dived back to suck on the god's neck.

Ares arched up slightly as he felt Mike's thigh insinuate itself between his legs and rub at his hard cock.

Mike's hands worked their way between their bodies, and the last vestiges of clothing were pulled off and thrown down the hall.

Ares gasped as the sudden sensation of skin on skin hit his senses. Growling, Ares rolled them over until he was on top, pinning Mike to the ground with his body.

Mike moaned and thrust up, trying to rub their cocks together.

Ares laughed softly. Holding Mike's hips to the floor, he leant down and traced a line of kisses along the other man's collar bone.

"More!" Mike demanded.

Ares grinned. "Patience, Michael," he murmured as he took a nipple between his teeth and flicked it with his tongue, "is a virtue."

"Fuck patience!" Mike replied hotly.

Ares looked up, a feral gleam in his eye. "I'd rather fuck *you*."

Mike groaned at Ares' words, and his cock jumped. "Do it," he whispered.

Ares' grin faulted slightly when he realised there was no lubricant nearby. Crushing their lips together, Ares gently moved Mike's line of sight away from one of his hands and quickly materialised a tube of lubricant into his fingers. Opening the cap, he squeezed some of the slick substance on to his fingers and worked his hand under Mike's body.

Mike twitched as Ares' fingers deftly worked their way inside him, stretching him.

Withdrawing his fingers, Ares rolled them back over so that Mike was straddling his body. "Do it, Michael."


Mike looked away, feeling the hard cock brushing against the entrance to his body and knowing what Lawrence was asking him. Before this moment he had continued to fool himself. Told himself that it was all Lawrence - *Lawrence* had been in control, and all he could do was go along with the current. But not this time. This time the only thought that ran through him was the knowledge that he had tried to deny from the very beginning - that he was a willing participant in his own damnation.

Lawrence hadn't moved.

Turning back, Mike met Lawrence's eyes and held his gaze. Reaching out, he trailed his hands down the other man's arms and linked their fingers together as he impaled himself. He shuddered as the head of Lawrence's cock invaded his body, stretching him.

"Slowly, Michael." Lawrence's encouragement was a softly whispered benediction.

Breathing deeply, Mike continued to push himself down until he rested against Lawrence's body, the cock throbbing heavily inside him.

Lawrence's head fell back slightly and his grip tightened on Mike's fingers.

Slowly, Mike raised himself up, feeling each inch of Lawrence's cock as it slid out of him, brushing his nerve endings. When only the head remained inside he dropped back down, yelling as he hardness within him unwittingly knocked his prostate. "Oh fuck!" he gasped out, stars dancing in front of him.

Lawrence pushed up, hitting Mike's prostate again.

White heat flowing through him, Mike met his lover's thrusts.

Recapturing Mike's gaze, Lawrence unlinked their hands and grasped Mike's cock with his still slick fingers.

Arching his back, Mike moved into Lawrence's pumping movements as the other man's fingers danced over him. "Oh Jesus," he murmured. "Harder."

Lawrence smiled as he obliged. Wrapping his fingers tighter around Mike's cock, he pumped and thrust in tandem.

The detective's entire body started to tingle as he screamed, come arcing into the air and landing on Lawrence's stomach.

With a final thrust into Mike's body, Lawrence emptied himself into the other man.

Mike shivered as liquid heat flooded into him. Feeling like jelly, he dropped down onto the man beneath him, mewling softly as Lawrence's cock slipped out of him.

"We need to move," Lawrence said softly.

"I don't think I can," Mike admitted.

"Well, if you want to be stuck together who am I to argue?"

Mike laughed suddenly as an image of he and Lawrence glued together sprang to mind. "That'd certainly raise some questions down at the station," he commented.

Lawrence smiled wryly. "I think they have quite enough questions about me down at your station."

The smile fled from Mike's face as he stared at Lawrence.

Lawrence sighed. "Ask it. You know you want to."

"Did you kill her?" Mike asked softly, holding his breath as he waited for the answer. He *needed* to know; not as a detective, but because his feelings over Lawrence Hayes had long since stopped being purely professional.

Lawrence brushed a stray lock of hair of Mike's forehead as he met his eyes, holding his gaze. "No, Michael," he replied firmly, "I didn't kill her."

Realising that the other man could easily be lying, but somehow knowing that he wasn't, Mike nodded and let himself be pulled to his feet and led upstairs.


Ares jerked awake, instinctively covering Mike with a shield, as a flash of signalled the appearance of another god in the darkened bedroom.

"Ares!" Artemis collapsed to the floor, sobbing.

Scrambling away from Mike, Ares quickly rushed to his sister's side. "'Mis?" he asked worriedly, glad that Mike was shielded from seeing or hearing the wrenching cries that were coming from the goddess.

"He's gone!" she screamed. "I felt it happen!"

Ares stared at her, dread rising in his stomach.

"Apollo's dead, Ares!" The tears ran down her face.

Gathering the distraught goddess to him, Ares held her tightly, rocking her gently.

"He's dead, Ares! He's dead! What are we going to do?"

Not having an answer, Ares remained silent and just continued to rock her.


Mike stretched languidly as he slowly opened his eyes. Rolling over, he stared at the empty space next to him. "Lawrence?" he called out softly.

There was no answer.

Mike was just about to call again when his eyes fell on the clock next to the bed. "Oh fuck!" he swore, jumping out of the bed and looking around for his clothes. The detective cursed again when he remembered that they were still scattered through the hallway of the brownstone. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" The litany swam from Mike's mouth as he ran out of the bedroom naked.


"We've got to stop this thing!" yelled Athena over the noise of the arguing gods.

Strife snorted. "We know *that*, the question is *how*?"

"Strife's right," commented Hephaestus. "We need a plan."

"A plan for what?" Athena snapped. "Dying?"

"Oh, shut up, Athena!" barked Aphrodite suddenly. "Your whining is not helping the situation."

Athena glared at the Love Goddess. "Listen, you bimbo, I don't know if you've noticed, but the rules have just changed. This isn't someone who had a grudge against Discord, this is someone who could be thinking about killing us *all*."

"Oh, so now *you* may be in danger, you decide to take an interest?"

"ENOUGH!" The words were accompanied by a loud slap.

The gods turned to look at Zeus.

The King of the Gods was glaring out at the others, his hand resting on the table where he'd banged it down to get their attention. "This fighting is getting us nowhere." He turned to look at the Goddess of Wisdom. "Athena, I want you to take over from where Apollo left off. See if you can find anything-"

"What? And end up dead?" Athena interrupted him. "I don't think so!"

Strife smirked. "What, you've changed your calling to the Goddess of Cowardice?"

Athena ignored him. "*Wisdom* dictates that I stay the fuck away from here."

A sudden light flashed through the room and Athena was gone.

"Bitch," Strife muttered.

"But bitch with a point," conceded Hephaestus. "She's right; whoever we send after this killer may turn up dead. We've lost two to it already."

A keening wail came from the corner of the room, where Artemis sat rocking back and forth.

"Make that three," the Fire God corrected himself softly.


Ares studied his father. He still had no idea why Zeus had taken him away from looking for the killer and set Apollo after it. *He* was the fighter. Apollo could barely hold his own in a brawl. They *knew* this thing had the capacity to kill a god, so why weren't the warriors sent after it? The last time Zeus had thought the gods were being threatened, he'd sent Ares, Athena and Artemis out as a hunting party, saying that the warrior gods would be best able to handle the threat. Ares couldn't understand why a *perceived* threat rated more of a response than an *actual* threat.

The War God's train of thought was interrupted by a name running through his mind.


Closing his eyes, Ares quickly checked on Mike, to find the mortal running out of the bedroom. "I need to go," he said quickly, ignoring the surprised looks of the other gods as he transported himself back to New York.


Mike grabbed his trousers off the floor of the hall and pulled them on.


Spinning around, he saw Lawrence walking out of a kitchen with two cups in his hands.

"I was just making coffee."

Mike smiled. "Thanks, but my relief is due to be here in," he scrambled around under a table and found his watch from where it had been thrown the night before, "ten minutes, and if I'm not there..." He shrugged as his words trailed off.

"I understand," said Lawrence, placing the coffee on the table.

Mike picked one up and took a quick drink, staring at Lawrence in surprise.

"Is anything wrong?"

"No, in fact, this is just how I take my coffee," Mike told him. Putting the cup back down, Mike quickly put his tie around his neck and tied it, all the while chanting, "Shoes, shoes, shoes."

"By the door to the lounge," Lawrence pointed out.

"Thanks." Mike jogged over and quickly put them on. Realising he was now fully dressed, he turned to face Lawrence. "I need to go."

Lawrence nodded.

Smiling at his lover, Mike turned for the door, jumping slightly when a hand reached out and pulled him back.

Tangling his fingers in Mike's hair, Lawrence pulled the detective's mouth to meet his.

Mike moaned as Lawrence's tongue pushed its way into his mouth and caressed his own.

Breaking the kiss, Lawrence smiled. "You should go before they get here."

"Yeah," breathed Mike, "I guess I should." With a final look at Lawrence, Mike ran out of the brownstone.


Mike breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the relief car come around the corner. If he'd been a couple of minutes later, then they would have seen him leaving the brownstone. The detective lowered his head slightly. He didn't even want to think about what kind of questions *that* would have raised.

The other car pulled up next to Mike and rolled down the window.

Thompson frowned. "Where's Lennie?"

"There was an accident involving his daughter, he had to leave," Mike replied.

"You should have called, we could have come and relieved you," Jim said.

"It was fine, really. There was no point in getting you guys out of bed," Logan assured him.

"Did anything happen while Lennie was gone?" Jim asked.

Mike shook his head. "No, nothing happened at all."


Ares frowned as he stared at the map in front of him. He'd continued to search for Apollo, even after they'd known him to be dead, but the past days had turned up nothing.

"Did you find anything?" Hephaestus asked, after a flash of light deposited him next to his brother.

Ares shook his head. "No. How about you?"

"Me neither."

Picking up the black marker next to the map Ares crossed out two more sections of the city.

"We may never find the body," pointed out the Fire God.

"But we should be able to," countered Ares. "Even dead, Apollo is still a god. We should still be able to trace his location."

Hephaestus sighed as he limped over to the couch and sat down. "I've got a bad feeling about this," he murmured.

"You're not the only one." Ares headed over to his brother and sat next to him. "Heph, there's something strange going on."

"What do you mean?"

"Things just don't add up," Ares said. "I may not have liked Discord, but I'll give her credit, she knew what she was doing. There's no way someone would have been able to sneak up on her unless they were masked in some way."

Hephaestus nodded his agreement. "True. And then you have to ask why Zeus felt it necessary to send *Apollo* after the killer. Our brother always insisted he was more of a lover than a fighter."

"I think there may be a reason for that."

"Ares, what are you saying?"

The God of War looked at his brother. "I think the killer is one of the Olympians. And not only does Zeus know who it is, but I think he's protecting them."


Mike watched as Lennie paced back and forth.

Van Buren sighed as her eyes followed the older detective across her office and back again. "Lennie, I told you that we wouldn't be able to get the warrant renewed."

"So what do we do?"

"How about what we're paid for?" replied Anita. "Some good, old-fashioned investigating."


"If I look at one more list of figures I think my head'll explode," commented Mike, as he put the printout of Diane Cord's finance records on his desk. "We've already checked more files than the IRS does."

Lennie grinned his agreement. "Do you want a coffee?"

"Yeah," nodded Mike, picking up the printout again, "it might keep me awake. Jesus, I think I should change jobs," he commented suddenly.


"Because one of the last things Cord bought before she was killed was a sculpture for 20,000 bucks."

Lennie stared at him. "Hold on. A sculpture?"

"Yeah, why?"

"What's the date on the receipt?"

Mike looked down. "14th."

Lennie headed back to the desk. Picking the box of Cord's belongings up off the floor, he rummaged through it for a few minutes before finally holding a leaflet aloft triumphantly.

"What's that."

Lennie handed him the leaflet. "The date of the opening night matches that on the receipt."

Logan studied the leaflet. "'Sean Namtar, world famous sculptor, makes his American debut'," he read. "Sean Namtar? Never heard of him."

"Yeah, well, you're not exactly the most cultured of guys, Mike."

The younger detective ignored the insult and continued to read. "'Sean would like to dedicate this night to his beautiful wife, Victoria Reynolds, without whom none of this would have been possible'." He looked up and met Lennie's surprised gaze.

"Victoria Reynolds? As in Victoria 'I have no idea who Diane Cord is' Reynolds?"

"It's possible she doesn't."

Lennie took the leaflet out of Mike's hands and quickly scanned it. "Mike, this thing was invite only. Diane Cord was not only at the opening night of her husband's exhibition, but she spent a fortune on something. Now if someone had spent that much on one of my wives, I guarantee you I would have remembered it." Lennie muttered softly under his breath as he picked up the phone and dialled the art house where the exhibition had been held. "I don't believe it," he said when he finally put the phone down.


"Namtar's exhibition was funded as a joint venture by the Venus Dating Agency and, check this, Olympian Exports.

"It could be just a coincidence," Mike offered.

Lennie snorted. "And since when did *you* start believing in coincidences?"

Mike sighed as he stood up and picked up his jacket.


Cherry pouted as she glared at the detectives. "Like I told you the last time you were here, I'm not allowed to give out client names."

Briscoe leant across the desk. "Fine, then get your boss out here."

"Ms Reynolds isn't in the office."

The two detectives turned at the sound of the male voice.

Jamie Forrest rested against the door to the inner offices. "And Cherry is right. It's company policy *not* to give out client names under *any* circumstances."

Briscoe stalked towards the young man. "Mr Forrest, either we leave here with that list, or we'll come back with a warrant. Now, if we have to do that it means we'll have to go through judges and paperwork. I don't like paperwork, it makes me cranky. And if I get cranky I'll be liable to knock on the door of each and every person on that list and ask them very in depth questions about their lives."

Forrest's eyes were defiant. "This is extortion."

"We're the police, Mr Forrest, we don't extort people. We simply make citizens aware of their civic duty."

Forrest glared at him. "Cherry, give them the list," he said, before turning and walking through the door.


Zeus' eyes narrowed as he stared at his son. "What did you say to me?"

"You heard me," answered Ares defiantly. "I want to know who it is you're protecting. Hercules? Or maybe there's another one of your bastard children running around trying to kill off the family."

"How dare you!" Zeus roared.

Ares' dark eyes flashed with anger. "How dare I? I'll tell you how, because two gods are *dead*. I warn you, Father, if I find out that two of us are dead because you're protecting someone I will personally send you to Tartarus." The War God ignored Zeus' look of outrage as he vanished from Olympus.


"Have you got anything?" Van Buren asked as she walked out of her office.

"None of the names match," Mike commented when he'd finished checking the list of Olympian Exports employees against the clients at the Venus Dating Agency.

"We've got the computer guys running a background check against Lawrence Hayes, Victoria Reynolds and Sean Namtar," Lennie told her. "If they're connected in some way we'll find out."

"Mike! Lennie!" Profaci's voice shouted the names across the room. "We've got another body. It was found in the same place Diane Cord was!"

Mike and Lennie looked at each other, before they got up and started out of the station.


"Hey, Cathy, we need to stop meeting like this, your husband'll get the wrong idea," Mike grinned as Sayer walked up to him.

Cathy returned the grin. "Chance'd be a fine thing."

"What is it?" Lennie motioned towards the body.

"Caucasian male, late 20s. ID identifies him as Bradley Willis. Pretty much exactly the same as your Cord murder; knife wound to the abdomen." Her smile widened. "Only this time, I think you got lucky." Cathy held up a small plastic bag. "This was found clutched in his hand."

Mike took the bag and looked at the gold ring, his eyes focusing in on the silver design etched into the onyx.

"Mike?" Lennie asked at his partner's concentration.

Mike handed the ring to Briscoe. "That's the symbol on the Olympian Exports sign, isn't it?"

"Yeah," Lennie nodded, "it is."

Mike looked over at Cathy. "Are there prints on it?"

"We'll find out when we get it back," replied Cathy, taking the bag back off Mike. "We'll lift whatever's there and then you can have it."

Lennie nodded. "Thanks, Cathy."


Aphrodite flashed into Ares' lounge in an angry shower of sparks. "They're investigating us."

"I know," Ares replied, finishing off the drink he had in his hand.

"I thought you were meant to be distracting them."

Ares' gaze bore into the Love Goddess. "Well, sis, I guess a good fuck just doesn't distract as well as it used to," he retorted sarcastically.

"They took my client list."

"And they took my employee list. Both of which they are no doubt examining in great detail."

Aphrodite cursed and clenched her fists. "I *hate* this century!" she exclaimed, before a flash of light took her from Ares' presence.

Ares sighed as he let his head drop to the back of the couch. "You're not the only one," he murmured.


Sayer dropped the bag containing the gold ring onto Mike's desk. "Two sets of prints," she told him. "One matches the deceased."

"And the other?" Lennie asked.

"Oh, you're gonna like this," Cathy grinned. "We found a match for the second set of prints in the computer."

Mike looked at her. "Really? Who?"

Cathy's smile widened. "Lawrence Hayes."


Ares growled softly at the insistent knocking. Stalking to the door, he opened it and stared at the man in front of him in surprise.

Mike Logan lowered his eyes slightly as his partner stepped in front of him.

Briscoe handed Ares the sheet of paper in his hand. "We have a warrant to search these premises, Mr Hayes. I hope you won't give us any trouble," he said, walking into the brownstone, the other officers following him.

Ares watched as the officers split into pairs and moved off in various directions throughout the house. With a thought, he quickly sent the map of New York back to Olympus before they could enter the study. Turning back, he looked at the man still standing by the front door. "Michael?" he said quietly. "What's going on?"

Mike was just about to answer when a shout came from the study.

Ares watched as Briscoe walked out of the kitchen and followed the sound of the voice. Heading after him, Ares stopped in shock as he entered the study.

One of the officers was carefully holding up a knife. "There's blood in the pattern of the handle," he said.

Ares continued to stare at the knife as the officer placed it in a bag.

Briscoe advanced on him. "I think we'd better discuss this down at the station, Mr Hayes, don't you."


"I didn't kill her," Ares said for what seemed like the hundredth time.

"No? Well, how about Bradley Willis?"

Ares masked his shock at Briscoe's words. Apollo? They'd found Apollo? But how? None of the other gods had sensed the body.

Briscoe tossed something onto the table. "Is that yours?"

Ares picked up the ring Hephaestus had made for him when he'd opened Olympian Exports. "Yes," he answered truthfully. "Why?"

"Because it was found clutched in Brad Willis' hand," answered Briscoe. "Care to tell us how it got here?"

"No, he wouldn't."

The two detectives turned at the female voice that came from the door to the interview room.

"Who are you?" Logan asked quietly.

"Danielle Russell. I'm Mr Hayes' attorney. Now, if you please, I'd like a few minutes with my client."


Mike watched through the glass as Lawrence and Russell talked.

"You know," said Lennie conversationally, as he looked at the button that would allow sound to flow from the interview room. "I could accidentally press this if anyone's interested in hearing what they're saying."

Van Buren just looked at him.

Lennie shrugged. "It was only a suggestion," he said, as Profaci opened the door and walked in.

"I thought you'd like to know, your forensic results on the knife are ready," the Italian detective told them.

Lennie looked at Mike. "Let's hope it's good news," he said, as they headed out of the interview room.


Ares looked at his aunt. His thoughts had been so occupied that he hadn't even realised that there was another god near until she'd walked into the interview room, looking every inch the attorney the Goddess of Justice should.

"Ares, what the hell is going on?" she asked.

"I'm being set up, Themis," he replied. "My ring is found with Apollo's body, and a bloody knife suddenly appears at the house. You know, if it wasn't me they were trying to get, I could almost applaud their tactics."

"But it *is* you they're trying to get, Ares," pointed out Themis. "So be careful."

"I always am."

The goddess snorted. "Yeah, which is why you're in here." Rubbing her eyes, her expression became serious. "Okay, let's go over everything that's happened, and try to get you out of here without resorting to violence."


Lennie and Mike waited as Medill finished his test and walked over to them.

"Profaci said that the results on the knife were in," Lennie said.

Medill nodded. "Yes, they are."

"And?" Briscoe encouraged.

"The blood is a 95% match to Bradley Willis."

"Yes," muttered Lennie, a blinding grin spreading across his face.

"But there's something else," Medill said quickly. "Willis' blood isn't the only thing on the knife."

Lennie's eyes narrowed. "What else was there?"

"I think it's blood," stated Medill. "It's got DNA in it."

"But?" asked Lennie.

Medill sighed. "I've never seen anything like it," he admitted. "I think it's human."

"You *think*?!" exclaimed Mike. "This is a man's life we're playing with. You'd better be a hell of lot more sure than 'think'."

Lennie stared at his partner; the shock at Mike's outburst clearly written on his face.

"It's as close as I can get," hissed the other man. "I sighed up for forensics not the X-Files."

"We don't need to know what it is," pointed out Lennie. "We've already matched up Willis' blood with what's on the knife."

"But, Briscoe, that's not all," the forensic expert said. "The blood analysis from Quantico came back about an hour ago. Whatever this stuff is, it's a match to what the FBI labs found in Diane Cord. And I'm guessing we'll find the same substance in Willis' body, as well."

Lennie smiled. "Then that's all we need to know. It just backs up the fact that the knife found in Hayes' apartment was the one used to kill Diane Cord as well as Brad Willis." He grinned triumphantly. "We've got the bastard."


Ares looked up as the door to the interrogation room opened.

Lennie Briscoe walked in and smiled at him with look of smug contentment.

Ares ignored Briscoe, his eyes immediately going to the man behind him.

Mike Logan looked everywhere in the room but at the god sitting at the table.

Unable to decipher the look on Mike's face, Ares turned his attention to the looming figure of Briscoe. "Finally come to your senses, Detective Briscoe. You'd better be about to let me leave."

"Oh, not even close," replied Briscoe, placing a hand on Ares' arm and pulling him to his feet. "Lawrence Hayes, you're under arrest for the murders of Diane Cord and Bradley Willis. You have right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot..."

The rest of Briscoe's words faded out as he focused in on Mike Logan.

Mike looked up and met his gaze briefly, before Ares was led out of the room.


Mike glanced around the squad room before his eyes fixed on the man in the cell. "You lied to me," he accused softly. "I trusted you, *believed* you, and you *lied* to me."

Lawrence met his gaze. "I didn't lie to you, Michael. I'm being set up."

Mike snorted as he placed one of his hands on the bars. "Yeah, just like everyone else who's in here, right?"

Lawrence kept his eyes on Mike as he reached out and gently brushed his thumb over Mike's hand. "I have *never* lied to you."

Mike squashed the jolt that ran through him at Lawrence's touch as he jerked his hand back.

"Detective Logan?"

Mike turned at looked at the young uniformed officer standing behind him. "Yes?"

"I'm here to take Lawrence Hayes to his bail hearing."

Mike nodded and moved back, allowing the other officer to open the cell.

Lawrence walked out of the cell, glancing at Mike.

Not meeting his lover's eyes, Mike turned away and walked back to his desk as Lawrence was taken out of the room.


"Case 1031: The People versus Lawrence Hayes. Two counts of murder in the second degree."

Claire Kincaid looked up at the clerk's words and watched as Hayes and his attorney stood and walked up.

Judge Andrew Rothman peered over his glasses. "Do you have a plea, Mr Hayes?"

Hayes nodded. "Not guilty, your Honour."

"They never are," Rothman sighed as he looked at Claire. "Ms Kincaid?"

"The People request that the defendant be held without bail," said Claire softly.

Danielle Russell snorted. "Your Honour, that's preposterous. My client is a well respected member of the community-"

"Who has been implicated in two brutal murders," Claire interrupted. "And who more than has the means of leaving the country."

Judge Rothman looked at the two women before his gaze fixed on Hayes. "Ms Kincaid, your point is well taken, but I don't believe Mr Hayes to be a flight risk." He banged down his gavel. "Bail is set at one million dollars."


Jack McCoy looked up as the door to his office opened and Claire walked in. "How did it go?" he asked.

"Hayes got bail," she replied.

 "Did you really think that he wouldn't?"

Claire sighed as she sat on the couch. "Well, I did hold out some hope that the judge would be able to overlook the fact that he's a billionaire who's managed to pump millions in revenue into the city and treat him as a guy who murdered two people in cold blood," she deadpanned.

Jack smirked. "Ah, the judicial system. You gotta love it."


"I am going to find whoever is responsible for this and tear them limb from limb," growled Ares, as he leant back on the couch and closed his eyes.

Themis looked at her nephew. "I still don't see why you don't just leave and start again. Let Lawrence Hayes disappear. Strife can look after the business and you can always come back in a couple of hundred years."

Ares opened his eyes, fixing his gaze on the goddess. "What? And let-" He stopped suddenly as he realised what he had been about to say. What did he care if Michael Logan thought him guilty? Themis was right; leaving *would* be the easiest option. "No!" Ares stood up and stalked over to the window. "I refuse to run. Damn it, Themis, I did as Father asked. I came down and lived among the mortals. I built up a business from scratch, and I'll be damned if I'll let some bastard take it," /take *him*,/ "from me." Ares looked out of the window at the darkening skyline. "Someone out there is about to understand what it means to piss off War."


Elizabeth Olivet grumbled softly as she pulled on her robe and headed to the door. "Mike?" she said in surprise when she saw who was standing outside her house. "Do you know what time it is?"

Mike glanced down at his watch and shrugged.

Moving back, Liz motioned him into the house. "I'll get the coffee," she said quietly.

Mike smiled slightly and followed her, closing the door behind him.

Liz walked into the kitchen and put the coffee machine on. Looking through the door, she watched as Mike draped his jacket over the back of one of the chairs and sat down in front of it. It had been a long time since either of them had felt the need to turn up at the other's in the middle of the night. Whatever was on Mike's mind had to be big.

After a couple of minutes the coffee was ready. Pouring two cups, Liz picked them up and headed back into the lounge.

"Thanks," smiled Mike as she handed him one of the cups.

Liz returned the smile as she placed the second cup on the arm of the couch and sat down, tucking her legs under her. "So, Mike, what brings you to my doorstep at," she glanced at the clock and winced, "half three in the morning?"

Mike didn't look at her. Lowering his head he watched as the steam rose off the coffee and curled into the air.

"Mike?" A worried tone crept into Liz's voice.

Mike raised his head, fixing his gaze on the psychologist and laughed self-depracatingly. "Oh Jesus, Liz, I've really done it this time."

Liz's eyes narrowed. "Done what? Mike, what's wrong?"

"Lawrence Hayes."

Olivet frowned at the non sequitor. "The guy you arrested for the Cord and Willis murders?"

Mike nodded.

"What about him?"

Mike glanced away before finally meeting her eyes again. "I slept with him," he whispered.

Liz nearly dropped her coffee in shock. "You did *what*?"

"You're a shrink, Liz, you're not meant to react like that."

"Forget it, Mike. During the day, *then* I'm a shrink. When you turn up at my house at god awful times of the morning, freezing your ass off, then I'm a friend. So, I'm saying this as a friend. What are you thinking?"

"I don't know," Mike finally admitted. "I *can't* think when I'm with him." He closed his eyes. "I see him, and I want him. I can feel him and smell him, and it only makes me want more."

Liz slid off the couch and sat in front of Mike. Reaching out, she placed a hand on his arm, getting him to look at her. "And the fact that you're a detective and he's about to be put on trial for murder?"

"You think I haven't thought about that? You think that hasn't gone through my head ever since we found that knife at his place?" Mike fell silent for a few seconds. "He says he was set up."

"Do you believe him?"

"Yes. No. I don't know anymore."

"Is the evidence against him strong?" Liz asked.

Mike snorted. "I think that Jack McCoy would be a very happy DA if he had evidence this good against *all* his cases. And that's the problem."

Liz frowned. "How do you mean?"

"Liz, McCoy's set up watertight cases on less. Cases where I would have eaten my badge if the perp had got off."

"And now?" the psychologist asked.

"And now I'm faced with the choice of believing overwhelming evidence, or man who held me and told me he wasn't guilty."

Liz squeezed Mike's arm at the pain in his voice. "What do you *believe*, Mike? Don't think about it, don't analyse anything, just answer. Is Lawrence Hayes guilty, or innocent?"

"Innocent," Mike immediately answered. "But I don't know how I can prove it."


Ares flashed into the morgue and stalked over to the cold storage, heading towards Apollo's body. Pulling the cover back from the dead god, Ares shuddered slightly as he looked at the autopsy marks. "Okay, Apollo," he muttered, holding his hands over his brother, "you're going to tell me a story."


Mike rubbed his eyes as he walked into the art gallery. After he'd left Liz's he'd spent the rest of the night trying to sort out exactly what it was he was feeling about Lawrence Hayes. He believed the man was innocent; now all he had to do was figure out how to prove it. He'd been to the Venus Dating Agency only to be told by Cherry that Ms Reynolds was out of the office and would be for the next few days; although he was more than welcome to speak to Mr Forrest if it was urgent.

"Can I help you?"

Mike was brought out of his reverie by the voice behind him. Turning around his eyes fixed on the man looking at him. "I'm looking for Sean Namtar," Logan said.

"You've found him."

Mike looked at the sculptor. Long, dark blond hair fell over one side of his face, but the detective could still see the scars the other man was obviously trying to conceal. "I'm Detective Logan," he explained. "I wanted to talk to you about Diane Cord."


Hephaestus squashed the frown before it reached his face. So this was Ares' detective. The Fire God had to admit, his brother still had taste. "You'd better come into one of the back rooms." Hephaestus turned and started to walk through the gallery, not waiting to see if Logan would follow him.

When they reached one of the offices, Hephaestus opened the door and motioned Logan inside.

The detective glanced around the room before entering it.

The god hid his smile, closing the door behind him.

"How do you know Lawrence Hayes?"

Hephaestus raised an eyebrow. "I thought you wanted to talk about Diane Cord," he said pointedly.

Logan shrugged. "I'd say after the events of the past few weeks the two names are pretty much interlinked. Wouldn't you agree?"

A smile crossed Hephaestus' face as he nodded. "Lawrence and I were at college together."

"Is that how you met your wife?"

"Yes, Victoria attended the same place."

Logan's eyes narrowed. "So, you've all been friends for quite a long time, then?"

"Oh, at times it seems like we've known each other for centuries," the god commented wryly.

"Ah," Logan said quietly, picking up a small statuette and studying it. "I take it you know Terry Bowers, then?"

/Strife? What the Tartarus has Strife got to do with this?/ "Yes, I know Terry."

"And Ms Reynolds? Does she know Mr Bowers?"

"Yes, Victoria knows Terry." Hephaestus' words trailed off slightly as he realised where Logan was going with the questions.

"So why did she deny knowing Diane Cord when she was first asked? Even though she knows other members of Olympian Exports' staff. And even though Miss Cord was invited to the opening of your *invitation only* exhibition." Logan replaced the statuette and looked at Hephaestus expectantly.

The Fire God growled inwardly. Ares was right, Logan *was* sharp, and stubborn. "Victoria and I know Terry because he is Lawrence's personal assistant, and you can pretty much find him where Lawrence is. And as for Diane Cord having an invite to the opening, Lawrence took several invitations. I don't know who he gave them all to." He paused slightly. "Besides, I thought the police had all the evidence they needed against Lawrence. Or have you finally realised that he's innocent?"

"I'm just following through on the investigation," Logan replied.

/Smooth lie, Detective,/ Hephaestus thought, as he watched Logan head to the door, /just not smooth enough to fool a god./

Logan turned his attention back to the god. "Just one more thing, Mr Namtar."


"Where were *you* on the night Diane Cord was murdered?"

"I was having dinner with the gallery owners that night. As was Victoria," he added, cutting off Logan's next question.

The detective nodded. "I'll be in touch if there's anything else."

"Very well."

The detective took a final glance around the room before he opened the door and walked out of the room.

"Oh, Ares, you *do* know how to choose them, don't you," Hephaestus muttered to himself as the door closed behind the mortal.


Ares kept his eyes on Jack McCoy as the EADA stalked around the table and sat down.

"You know," McCoy said, "I always wonder why people like you feel the need to kill someone. It's certainly not for money, so I guess that leaves the other most popular motive. Sex."

Ares couldn't help it; he started to laugh. He'd just spent hours in the morgue trying to find anything on Apollo that would tell him exactly who the killer was, but come up with nothing. He was drained and frustrated, and the thought of him killing Discord over sex was just too preposterous. He'd killed many people over the years, including those who *had* been his lovers at some point, but never over sex.

"I don't find the thought of cold-blooded murder very funny, Mr Hayes," McCoy snapped.

Themis placed a hand on her nephew's arm. "Neither do we, Mr McCoy," she assured him. "And we find accusations thrown at innocent men even less so."

"Innocent?" Kincaid leant forward. "So what do you call the overwhelming amount of evidence against your client?"

Themis smiled. "I call it planted, Ms Kincaid. And I intend to get the jury to see that as well."

"It was enough to get the Grand Jury to indict," pointed out Jack.

The Goddess of Justice sighed. "And you and I both know that the Grand Jury would probably indict a cheese sandwich if it was the last case on a Friday afternoon."

McCoy nodded sardonically, acknowledging the words. "Plead guilty and I'll recommend that you only serve fifteen to twenty," he said suddenly after a few moments silence.

Ares met the mortal's gaze. "Not a chance, Mr McCoy. I'm innocent, and I intend to prove it."

"Is that your final word on the matter?" McCoy looked at Themis.

"It is," she nodded, getting to her feet. "We'll see you in court. Lawrence?" Motioning to the door, she followed Ares out of the room.


The flash of light caused Ares to look up.

Aphrodite glared at her brother, her hands on her hips. "You were supposed to distract him, Ares!"

"What are you talking about,' Dite?"

"Your detective, *that's* what I'm talking about. He's been to the Agency looking for me, accosted Heph at the gallery-"

Ares grinned, very much doubting that his brother would put up with anyone 'accosting' him.

The goddess ignored the look on Ares' face and continued talking. "I don't call that distracting him. He's more focused on the case now than he was at the beginning!"

"That's hardly my fault, 'Dite. I don't exactly keep Michael on a leash." Ares paused as the image of a supplicating Mike Logan wearing a collar and leash filtered into his mind. "Although I admit, the idea has its merits."

"Damn it, Ares, get your brain out of your cock for one second!" The goddess walked over to the couch and placed her hands on either side of Ares' face. "He's asking questions, Ares; too many questions. And I doubt if I'm the only one whose noticed." She disappeared in a flash of sparks.

Ares frowned. His sister was right; he couldn't afford to have Michael too involved in this. Whoever was doing this had already killed two Olympians, they wouldn't think twice about killing a mortal as well. Standing up, he headed over to the window and glanced out, his eyes instantly drawn to the unmarked police car that had been there since he got back from the meeting with Jack McCoy. Shaking his head softly, Ares smirked and transported himself away from the house.


Mike sighed quietly as he dropped onto the sofa, barely able to keep his eyes open. He'd gone to see the owners of the New York Gallery as soon as he'd left Sean Namtar. They'd corroborated his story, saying that Namtar and Reynolds *had* been having dinner with them on the night Cord was murdered. A gentle knocking drew Mike out of his thoughts. Standing up, he headed over to the door and opened it, staring in shock at the man who stood there.

"Heading out?" Lawrence asked, looking at the coat Mike was still wearing.

Mike shook his head. "There's meant to be a watch on your house," he pointed out softy.

"There is," Lawrence replied.

Mike frowned. "Then how did you get out without them seeing you?"

"I have my ways, Michael."

"You shouldn't be here."

Lawrence took a step closer. "Do you want me to go?"

Mike closed his eyes as Lawrence's hot breath brushed across his lips. "No," he finally whispered, stepping back to let Lawrence into the apartment.

The door had barely closed behind Lawrence before he was pushing Mike against the wall. Deft hands opened Mike's trousers, allowing his hard cock to spring free.

Mike's head jerked back and banged off the wall as Lawrence dropped to his knees and a hot mouth engulfed him. "Oh Jesus!" he wailed as Lawrence's tongue traced the thick vein on the underside of his cock. Unable to stop himself from moving, Mike started to thrust into the other man's mouth.

Lawrence's hands moved to Mike's hips, keeping the detective pressed against the wall.

"Please," Mike mumbled as Lawrence's teeth softly scraped along his shaft. "Please," he whispered again, wailing softly when cold air suddenly blew across his heated cock.


Ares smiled at Mike's cry as he moved his mouth and kissed the mortal's thigh. Looking at the place he had kissed, Ares thought for a moment before leaning back in and sucking the spot. Turning his attention back to Mike's cock, the god grinned at the red mark that now adorned Mike's thigh. Listening to the tiny whimpers coming from Mike's throat, Ares swallowed Mike's cock to the root.


"Fuck!" screamed Mike as Lawrence's throat muscles massaged his cock. Panting, Mike started to see stars as he felt a finger slip inside him and press at his prostate. Yelling, Mike came, his orgasm flooding down Lawrence's throat. Unable to support himself any longer Mike slid down the wall, moaning in protest when his softening cock slid from the warm haven of his lover's mouth.

Opening heavy lidded eyes, Mike saw Lawrence grinning at him.

Reaching out, the other man pulled the detective to him, fastening their lips together.

Mike opened his lips as Lawrence's tongue teased at them, realising with a jolt that the strange taste in Lawrence's mouth was *him*. "I want you," Mike murmured as he broke the kiss, his hands reaching out to undo Lawrence's shirt.


Ares' hands moved to help Mike remove their clothing. Coats and shirts were thrown to one side, followed by trousers and the rest of the clothes. When they were naked, Ares pulled Mike back to him.

"Bed," Mike ground out.

"Too far away," Ares replied. Pushing Mike to the floor, Ares parted the mortal's thighs and moved between them. Pulling his legs up onto his shoulders, Ares placed the head of his cock at the entrance to Mike's body. Feeling that the detective was still relaxed from his orgasm, Ares pushed into Mike's body, mentally dampening the pain the other man should have felt at the sudden intrusion.

Mike arched up, meeting Ares' thrust into him.

Without pausing, Ares started to move, driving his cock in and out of the pliant and willing body beneath him.


Mike shuddered as Lawrence plowed into him. The steady thrusting against his prostate sending ripples of pleasure through him as his cock hardened again.

Running his fingers through the pre-come leaking from Mike's cock, Lawrence closed his fingers around the hard shaft and started to pump it in time with his thrusts.

Mike groaned as he felt his second orgasm build. Wrapping his own hand around Lawrence's, he tightened the grip on his cock, screaming his lover's name as he came.

Freezing, Lawrence's cry matched Mike's as he emptied himself into the detective.

Mike groaned as Lawrence's body dropped onto his, the groan turning into a mewl of loss as the cock slipped out of his body.

Rolling over, Lawrence pulled Mike to him, running his fingers through the dark hair. "I can't stay," he said softly.

"I know," Mike answered.

Breaking away from each other they started to dress.

Standing in his shirt and trousers, Mike watched as Lawrence pulled on his coat and headed to the door.

Reaching the door, Lawrence reached out, stopping when his hand touched the handle. "The trial starts in two days," he said.

"I know," Mike replied. The date was indelibly stamped on his mind.

"Are you...?" Lawrence's words trailed off.

"No," he answered, knowing what the other man was asking. "McCoy's calling Briscoe. He seems to think that Lennie's more jury friendly." Mike grinned wryly. "Don't know why." Mike's smile slipped from his face. "Be careful, Jack's a good lawyer."

"So's Danielle," Hayes replied.

"But McCoy's got the manner that can seduce a jury. It's why he's the EADA. He's one of the best I've seen, and believe me, I've seen a lot of lawyers in my time."

Lawrence nodded. "I'll be careful, Michael," he swore as he opened the door and stepped out. "Just promise me you'll do the same."

"I promise," Mike whispered to the empty apartment as the door closed behind Lawrence.


Mike's gaze flicked around the squad room to the 35th Precinct, finally spotting Dave Meyers hunched over a desk. "Meyers!" he called, walking over to the older detective.

Meyers looked up from his paperwork, smiling when he saw Mike. "Hey, Logan, how's it goin'? I hear you got Hayes for the Cord murder. I hate these bastards that think they can get away with it just because they got a bit of money behind them."

Mike glanced down at Meyers' tirade. "Actually, that's what I'm here about," he replied.


"I need to know where to find Mark Gibson."

"Why?" asked Meyers, his eyes narrowing slightly. "Don't think he'll turn up for the trial, huh?"

Mike shrugged. "No, I just need some more information on what he saw that night," he replied, hoping the other man wouldn't call him on it.

"I'm not sure where he is," Meyers said after a few moments. "I wanted to keep him in lock-up, but the captain said that we didn't have the room. I'd lay bets on where you could find him, though."

"Really? Where's that?"

"Same place he always is, the crack house down on the docks. You know, the one next to McCarthy's bar."

"I know it," Mike nodded, already heading out of the room. "Thanks!" he called over his shoulder.

Meyers just waved and went back to his paperwork.


Ares snarled as he glared at Zeus. "You set me up!"

Zeus held out a placating hand to the War God. "Whatever makes you say that, son?"

"The police find the knife used to kill Discord and Apollo *in my apartment* right after our little... *conversation*, and you expect me to believe it's just a coincidence." Ares felt his power start to run through him and physically pulled it back.

"And it's taken you *this* long to confront me?"

Ares shook his head. "No, it's taken me *this* long to be able to look at you without blasting you to Tartarus."

Zeus' eyes ran up and down his son's body. "So what's stopping you from trying it now?"

Ares leant forward, his face inches from Zeus'. "Because if I kill you I won't find out just who it is that you're protecting. But understand this, old man, I *will* find out. I will search this entire city if I have to, but I promise you this: I'll find them." His voice lowered. "And when I do I will exact the revenge that every god is feeling." Ares turned away, preparing to leave his father's study.

"And just who will protect that mortal of yours while you're out on your little hunt?" Zeus called.

The God of War slowly looked back at the elder god.

"It's a dangerous city out there, Ares. And your precious Michael is all alone in it. It would be such a pity if something happened to him, wouldn't it?"

Ares' eyes locked with his father's. "Touch him," he said, "and I will kill you." Not waiting for Zeus to reply, Ares flashed out of the room in an angry burst.


Feeling the reassuring weight of his gun under his jacket, Mike opened the door to the crack house and stepped inside, wincing as the mixture of smells hit him. "Jesus, it smells like something died in here," he muttered, grimacing as he realised that, at some point, something probably *had*. Looking around, he saw a young girl slumped against the wall. Walking over, he pulled her to her feet.

"Geroff," she mumbled.

"I'm looking for Mark Gibson. Is he here?"

"How the fuck would I know?" she snapped, kicking him in the leg.

"Shit!" swore Mike as the pain lanced up his leg. He dropped his hold on the girl and she ran out of the building. "Bitch!" Rubbing his leg until the pain had subsided to a dull ache, Mike headed further into the building. Pulling his gun out of the holster, he checked the clip before opening the door into the main room. The detective's eyes watered and he coughed as the acrid smoke escaped from the room and hit him.

Muted curses and the sounds of people scrambling to their feet filled the air.

"I'm not here to arrest anyone!" Mike shouted above the noise. "I just need to find someone!"

A man stepped up to him, his eyes narrowing as he took in the gun held by Mike's side. "And what makes ya think we'd be interested in helping *you*?"

"Because I'll make sure whoever helps me gets an easy ride out of the next bust on this place," Mike replied, making sure his words reached everyone in the room.

The man stared at him for long seconds before finally nodding. "Fine, what da ya want ta know?"

"I need to find Mark Gibson."

A woman on the other side of the room snorted. "Well you won't find him here. He hasn't been here in weeks, has he, Benny?"

"You don't happened to remember the last time he was here?" Mike asked, turning his attention back to the man.

"It was the ninth."

"Are you sure?"

Benny nodded. "It was the day after the party we had ta celebrate Mary's birthday."

The woman Mike assumed was Mary giggled. "Marky was the life and soul of the party."

Mike's head snapped up. "Wait a minute. Are you saying that Gibson was *here* on the eighth?"

"Sat in that corner all night," Benny pointed across the room, "with a hell of a supply. Only he wasn't tellin' where he got it from."

Mike's mind span. If Mark Gibson had been in the crack house on the night of the eighth, then there was no way he could have seen Diane Cord being murdered. "I need you to come down to the DA's with me."

Benny snorted. "I ain't *that* gone. Mr High-And-Mighty DA wants ta speak ta me, then he can come down here and do it."

Mike studied Benny, knowing that the other man wasn't going to back down. "Fine," he nodded, turning on his heel and heading towards the door. "I'll get them here."


The god looked around the room and sneered. These mortals were nothing but an annoyance, and he certainly wasn't going to let them interfere with his plans. Closing his eyes, he expanded his awareness outwards, smiling when he found what he was looking for. The gas pipe ran directly under the house and was in a perfect position. Reaching out, he allowed his power to build up, and then released it.


Mike pushed opened the door and jogged out on to the street. Spotting a phone further down the street, he started towards it, hoping that it was working. If he got McCoy to come down and listen to these people then the DA would *have* to drop the case against Lawrence. He'd barely taken a few steps when the searing heat flew into him, knocking him forward. Smacking his head off the ground as the roar of the explosion behind him filled his ears, Mike's head swam and blackness claimed him.


Mike groaned as he rolled over, the sound of the sirens becoming louder with each passing second. Waves of heat swept over him as he fumbled to his feet. Staggering the rest of the way to his car, Mike half collapsed against the bonnet as he turned to look at the inferno that had been the crack house.

A screech of tyres heralded the arrival of the emergency services, and a group of fire fighters ran by him.

Reaching out, Mike grabbed one of the firemen by the arm, wincing when pain lanced through his head at the sudden movement.

"What?" the fireman demanded.

"People... in the building," Mike said, his entire body throbbing.

"Fuck!" the other man swore, pulling his arm away from Mike and running over to the second fire truck that pulled up. "Move it, guys! We got people in there!"

A sudden hiss rose into the air as water was pumped onto the flames.

Mike swayed slightly as the shouting around him started to sound like it was coming from further and further away. Closing his eyes, he tried to stop the world from spinning.

"Sir? Are you all right?"

Mike ignored the words, they were too far away to be for him. The detective's breath quickened slightly as he felt warm fingers encircle and press against his wrist.

"Sir? Can you hear me?"

Mike sluggishly opened his eyes, turning his head to see a paramedic looking at him with concern. "Yeah, I can hear ya," Mike mumbled, not quite sure if the words left his mouth.

She smiled gently. "I think we should get that head wound checked out."

"Head wound?" Mike repeated, slowly raising his hand to his forehead and brushing his fingers across. Pulling his hand back, he stared at the viscous red liquid that clung to his fingers. He watched as a drop ran down his hand, leaving behind a single red trail.

"Sir?" The paramedic sounded more concerned. Taking his arm, she started to lead him to one of the ambulances that were parked next to the fire trucks. "What's your name?" she asked, as she set him down on the open back of the ambulance.

"Michael," he murmured. "Mike... Logan." Some of the fog cleared from his head. "Detective Logan."

"You're a cop?" she asked.

Mike nodded once, instantly regretting the action as the pain came back.

"Do you want us to ring your precinct? Or your partner?"


"No need," Mike replied, recognising Anita Van Buren's voice. Slowly looking up, he watched as his lieutenant ran across to them.

"What happened?" Van Buren demanded.

"And you are?" The paramedic glared at Lennie.

"Lieutenant Van Buren. I'm his commanding officer."

"Well, Lieutenant, what happened is your detective here had a very lucky escape."

"Wait a minute." Anita waved a hand through the air. "You were *in* that place? What the hell for?!"

The young woman cut off Van Buren's rant. "Lieutenant, can this wait? We really need to get Detective Logan to the hospital; he may have a concussion and needs to be checked."

"Of course." Van Buren nodded, looking slightly abashed.

The paramedic helped Mike to his feet and settled him on the stretcher in the back of the vehicle Closing the doors, she nodded to her partner in the driving seat, and the ambulance started to move


Ares looked at the other gods around the table. "Zeus knows who the murderer is."

"What!?" exclaimed Cupid. "Are you sure?"

The God of War nodded. "Perfectly."

"But why?" Aphrodite asked. "Why would he protect someone who seems intent on killing off the family? It just doesn't make sense."

Hephaestus laid a hand on his wife's arm. "'Dite, when was the last time father did anything that actually made sense?" he asked.

The goddess paused as she thought about it. "It *has* been a while," she admitted.

"I still don't get it, Unc," commented Strife, "Zeus may be gettin' flaky in his very old age but he's still the King of the Gods."

"I realise that, Strife, but everything that's happened points towards Zeus protecting whoever's doing this."

"You still haven't answered my question, Ares," Aphrodite interrupted. "You've said you think that father knows who's doing this, and that he's protecting them, but you still haven't said *why*."

Ares sighed. "*That* I don't know." He placed his hands on the table and dropped his head slightly. "Maybe it's one of his bastard children doing it. Elysia knows, he's got enough of them. But whatever reason he-" Ares' words were cut off by a sudden burst of pain in his head, and his legs started to buckle out from under him.




The voices all overlapped as the other gods in the room rushed to his side.

Kneeling next to him, Aphrodite gently placed a hand on his arm. "Ares? What's wrong?"

Ares struggled to get his breathing under control. He could almost feel the heat licking at his skin as the link he kept with Mike Logan pulsed with sensation. "Michael," he whispered.


Artemis growled softly as she listened to Ares' words, pulling the concealment shield around her tighter. Someone out there had taken away half of her soul, and Zeus knew who. The Huntress snarled. King of the Gods or not, Zeus *was* going to tell her who he was protecting, and then they were going to pay.


Mike looked up as Dr Carlon re-entered the examination room. "Well, Doc, am I gonna make it?" he grinned. The sharp pain in his head had abated to a dull throb, and he was starting to feel human again.

Carlon returned the smile. "You were *very* lucky not to be more seriously injured, Detective. Someone up there must be looking out for you."

"So, I can go?" Mike asked, hoping the answer would be yes. He hated hospitals and couldn't wait to get away.

"Yes, but you'll need someone to drive you home," Carlon nodded. "You're in no condition to do it yourself."

Mike snorted softly. "I couldn't even if I wanted to. My car's still down by the docks."

"I'll do it."

Both Mike and the doctor turned at the sound of the soft voice.

"And you are?" Dr Carlon asked.

"A... friend." Lawrence turned to Mike and smiled. "How are you?"

"Fine," Mike replied. "At least, I would be if this damn headache would go away."

Carlon raised an eyebrow. "You smacked your head off concrete, Detective. Be thankful a headache and a few stitches are *all* you have." He turned to Lawrence. "Make sure he comes back if he started to experience dizziness, nausea, or if his vision starts to black out."

"I'm still here," Mike pointed out.

Carlon looked at him with a sigh. "Detective Logan, you've been itching to get out of here ever since the paramedics brought you in. I'm telling your friend as well because I seriously doubt you'd come in yourself."

Mike rolled his eyes, refusing to acknowledge the truth of Carlon's words. There was no way he was coming back here if he could help it.

Lawrence walked over to the bed and placed a hand next to Mike's leg.

Even though their bodies weren't touching, Mike could feel the heat radiating off the other man.

"Don't worry, Doctor," Lawrence said with a soft smile. "I'll make sure nothing happens to him. You have my word."


The anger running through Ares bubbled as he started the car. Glancing over, he saw Mike's head resting against the seat, his eyes closed. The War God restrained himself from growling at the sight of the stitches in the detective's forehead. He'd gone to the docks as soon as his head had cleared, just in time to see Mike loaded into one of the ambulances and driven away. The blaze at the crack house was still burning and he could sense the work of another god.

//And just who will protect that mortal of yours while you're out on your little hunt?//

His father's words ran through his mind.

'I'll kill him,' Ares fumed. 'Laws of the gods be damned.' The God of War *had* been prepared to bide his time; to let Zeus make a mistake, but no more. He'd warned Zeus what would happen if Michael Logan was harmed. And it was about time that the King of the Gods learned his son *kept* his promises.


"What do you mean 'he's been released?'" Lennie Briscoe glared at the nurse behind the desk.

"Just what I said, Detective Logan has already been released from the hospital," she repeated.

"When?" Van Buren asked.

"One moment," said the nurse. Swivelling around in her chair, she typed something into the computer. "According to this, he was released 40 minutes ago."

Lennie looked at the lieutenant. "I thought his car had been taken back to the station?"

"It has," Anita confirmed. "Maybe he got a cab." She paused. "What I don't understand is what he was doing down there in the first place."

Lennie glanced down. "Maybe he got a lead on one of our cases."

Van Buren raised an eyebrow. "And it was so important that he decided to go in without backup and without telling anyone where he was going? I'm telling you, Lennie, your partner had better have a damn good explanation for this."



Ares turned his head at the softly spoken name. Mike's head was still back against the seat, but the detective's eyes were open and looking at him. "Yes?"

"Where we going?"

"I'm taking you home, Michael."

Mike reached out a hand and curled his fingers around Ares' wrist. "Not yet."

Ares frowned. "Why not?"

"I need to speak to Danielle Russell," Mike replied.

/Themis?/ Ares' frown deepened. "Michael, you've just been released from hospital," the god pointed out. "You're in no condition to gallivant around the city."

Mike's grip on Ares' wrist tightened. "Lawrence, it's important. It could get the case against you dropped."

Ares glanced down at the fingers wrapped around his skin. "Very well," he said finally, taking the turning to head back into the city centre.


"You can go in now."

Mike looked at Danielle Russell's secretary and smiled. "Thanks," he said, as he and Lawrence headed into the office.

Russell looked up from the papers on her desk as they entered. "Well, Detective, this is a surprise," she commented, standing up and walking around the desk. "Lawrence, how are you?" she asked, reaching up and kissing him on the cheek.

Mike squashed the small flare of jealousy he felt and turned to face the lawyer. "Mark Gibson's lying."

Russell snorted a laugh. "I *know* that, Detective."

Mike bristled. "What you *don't* know, Ms Russell, is that he was in a crack house down on the docks when Diane Cord was killed; more than a mile away from where the murder took place. Now, if he saw it from *there*, I'd say Superman has a rival."

Lawrence looked at him. "*That's* what you were doing down there?"

Mike nodded. "I was looking for Gibson, but found the people who'd been with him that night instead."

"You could have been killed," Lawrence said. "You nearly were."

Russell held out a hand. "Hold on, this is the place that exploded earlier today, right?"

"Yeah," confirmed Mike.

"I don't know if you've heard, Detective Logan, but there were no survivors from that."

"What?" Mike breathed.

"Everyone in that crack house died in the fire," Russell pointed out. "We have no one to corroborate the fact that Gibson was there."

Mike felt all the air leave his body. He hadn't heard anything since he'd been taken to the hospital; no one had told him about what had happened after he'd been ferried off. If no one survived, then there was no way to prove that Gibson was lying; no one to refute what he was saying. Unless... "Put *me* on the stand," Mike said.

"With what?" the lawyer asked.

"I can testify that the others said that Gibson never left the crack house that night. That there was no way he could have seen any murder."

"It would be hearsay, Detective. You know that as well as I do. The jury would be instructed to disregard it."

"And *you* know that no matter what a judge says to a jury, they *never* disregard anything they hear."


Themis blinked as Logan suddenly stopped.

"Themis," growled Ares, walking around the frozen mortal, "don't even *think* about it."

The goddess looked at her nephew. "Ares, I don't know if you've noticed this, but the odds are stacked ever-so slightly against us," she commented sarcastically. "Now, for some reason, although I have a good idea about what it is," she said, pointedly looking at Logan, "you're insisting we go through with this trial 'the mortal way'. Now, it'll take some fast talking, but I *can* get Logan on the stand-"

"No!" Ares cut her off.

"Why not?" she demanded.

"It's too dangerous for him to be involved in."

"Ares, like it or not, he *is* involved."

"And he could have died tonight because of it."

Themis shook her head in exasperation. "But it's his choice, and I've got a feeling that he's going to choose to *stay* involved."

The War God paused. "Someone out there has murdered two members of the Family, and taken great pains in setting me up for it. If Michael goes on that stand with evidence that could clear me, then he becomes a direct threat to their plans. They've killed two gods, Themis, they're not going to think twice about killing a mortal as well."

Themis sighed deeply. "Fine, we do it *your* way. But, I'm warning you, Ares, if this goes wrong you've only got yourself to blame."

"I understand that," nodded Ares, moving back behind Logan and waving a hand, unfreezing the detective.

"Well?" Logan prompted.

Themis shook her head. "I'm sorry, Detective, but McCoy would have your testimony squashed as soon as you opened your mouth." She watched as his shoulders sagged slightly. "Bring me someone who was actually *there* in the crack house the night of Cord's murder; someone who saw Gibson, and then we can talk."

"But like you said, everyone died..." his words trailed off.


The detective turned to Ares. "The girl."

"What girl?" Themis asked.

"The little bitch that kicked me. She ran out of the house before it went up," he explained.

Themis swallowed the knot of excitement she felt. "There's no guarantee that she was there on that night."

"No, but if users go to a crack house, they tend to stick to the same one." Logan smiled wryly. "I guess they're sentimental people."

"If we could find her..." Themis wondered out loud.

"Then she could knock Gibson's testimony right out of the courtroom," finished Logan.

Themis smiled. Since no one else knew about this girl, then they should be able to find her easily enough.

"I'll head back to the station and check the records," the detective said. "I might be able to-"

"No." Ares cut off Logan's words. "Michael, you've just come from the hospital. The only place you're going is home."

"But the trial starts tomorrow, we don't have time-"

Ares took the mortal's hands in his own. "Home, Michael."

Themis walked over to her desk and grabbed a pad of paper. "Give me a description of her, and I'll set my people on it straight away. You never know, we may find her before you get to the station."

Logan looked doubtful. "Okay, blonde, about 17, 5'3, 100 pounds." He closed his eyes, thinking. "She had a scar, just above her left eye."

Themis nodded and jotted down the details. There was no way they'd be able to find someone in the city from just that, but she'd also pulled an impression of the girl from Logan's mind, sending it to Cupid and Strife. The two younger gods wouldn't stop searching the city until they'd found her. "Leave it to me, Detective Logan."

Logan nodded and turned to Ares.

"Let's go, Michael," the God of War said.

Themis watched as Ares left the office. "Logan?" she called, as the mortal was just about to follow her nephew.

He turned to face her. "Yeah?"

"You'd have gone up in front of a court of law and testify that your own case was built on a lie? Directly contradict what your partner's said, and say that *you* believe Lawrence Hayes is innocent?"

He nodded.

"Why? Why are you trying so hard to get him acquitted?"

"Because I have to," he answered softly as he walked out of the office.


Mike closed his eyes as he stood in the middle of the room, his head throbbing. The door closed softly behind him, and a warm hand rested on his shoulder.


“I’m fine,” he said, hearing the concerned tone of his lover’s voice. “Just... sore.”

“You should be in bed.”

“Yeah, I guess I should be.” Shrugging off his coat, he dropped it where he stood and turned to head into the bedroom. Lawrence’s hand slid from his shoulder to rest in the small of his back as the other man followed.

“Do you want anything?” Lawrence asked, as they stood in the bedroom.

Mike shook his head gently. “No.” He reached up to take off his tie, looking up with surprise when two hands covered his own and moved them out of the way.

“Let me.” Lawrence carefully undid the tie and slid it from around Mike’s neck.

“I can do that,” Mike protested softly.

“But you don’t *have* to,” Lawrence replied. “Not while I’m here.”

Mike sighed quietly as Lawrence’s fingers started to undo the buttons of his shirt.

Slowly pushing the shirt off Mike shoulders, Lawrence leant forward and kissed the base of his throat.

Closing his eyes, Mike tilted his head as a soft line of kisses was placed along his collar bone. The soft thud of his shirt hitting the floor behind him reached his ears as the detective arched into Lawrence’s touch.


Ares felt Mike’s body tense and sag slightly as he moved into the god’s touch. Carefully turning the mortal around, Ares gently walked them both to the bed. Pulling back the covers, the War God manoeuvred Mike into the bed. “Sleep, Michael,” he murmured. He moved away to turn the light off, stopping suddenly and looking at Mike when warm fingers grabbed his wrist.


Meeting Lawrence’s gaze through heavy lidded eyes, Mike tilted his head to look at the fingers wrapped around the other man’s wrist. The detective opened his lips to ask Lawrence to stay, but closed them when the words wouldn’t come. Mike closed his eyes and turned his face away from his lover, suddenly embarrassed. He’d had this man in his body, so why was it so hard to ask him to stay?


Ares stared at the joining of their bodies, the heat from Mike’s hand seeping into his arm. Reaching down, he gently peeled the fingers away. Walking across the room, he turned out the light before quickly undressing. Heading back to the bed, he slid under the covers next to Mike.


Mike’s eyes opened as the bed dipped beside him.

Lawrence’s hand reached out and brushed a lock of hair off Mike’s forehead. “I’m here, Michael.” The voice was soft. “Go to sleep.”

Mike nodded gently and closed his eyes, the warmth of the other man’s body spreading through his as he fell asleep.


Ares looked down at the sleeping face of the man next to him. Raising a hand, he gently placed it on Mike’s head. Closing his eyes, his body tingled as his power flared and he healed the concussion Mike had sustained in the explosion. Glancing around the dark room, Ares lay his head next to Mike’s and closed his eyes. The God of War’s last coherent thought before sleep took him was to mentally set up a shield surrounding the apartment. Until he woke, no god would be able to get, or see, into the apartment. Until he woke, Michael would be safe.


Mike groaned as the solid warmth against his cheek shifted slightly. “Don’ move,” he mumbled, “‘m comfortable.” The body he was lying against vibrated as a soft, rumbling laugh ran through it.

“So am I, Michael, but we can’t stay here forever.”

“Why not?” Mike persisted.

Lawrence paused slightly before answering. “Because some of us have things to do today.”

Mike stiffened as the last remnants of sleep fled from him. “What time does it start?” he asked quietly.

“I’m due at the courtroom at twelve,” the other man replied.

Pushing himself up onto an elbow, Mike looked over Lawrence to the clock that sat on the cabinet. “You should get going.”

Twisting himself around until he was facing Mike, Lawrence met the detective’s gaze. “It’s still three hours away,” he pointed out.

“You’ll need time to prepare.”

“Danielle will have already done that.” Lawrence raised an eyebrow. “At least, I sincerely *hope* so.” The room was silent for a moment.

“You really don’t think her people will be able to find that girl, do you?”

Lawrence nodded. “I have the utmost faith in Danielle.”

Mike shook his head. “Do you have *any* idea about the size of this city. Trust me, I know how easy it is for people to just disappear into the streets. If that kid doesn’t want to be found then-” Mike’s words were swallowed by Lawrence’s lips on his. Fingers gently caressed his collar bone as a hand worked its way down to rest on his hip. Meeting Lawrence’s tongue with his own, Mike moaned softly when his lover pulled away.

Leaning over Mike, Lawrence grabbed the the lubricant that had been sitting in Mike’s bedside cabinet since their first encounter. Pausing to nip at Mike’s earlobe with his teeth, Lawrence shifted back, handing the tube to Mike.

Mike glance at the tube in his hand and smiled. Uncapping it, he squeezed some of the lubricant on to his fingers and moved his hand towards Lawrence’s hard cock, looking at the other man in confusion when a hand reached out to stop him.

Wrapping his fingers around Mike’s wrist, Lawrence slowly brought the other man’s hand to his lips, his tongue darting out to lap at the palm. Releasing his hold on Mike, Lawrence turned over to face away from the detective. Reaching behind himself, Lawrence took Mike’s wrist back in his fingers and guided their joined hands down to the entrance to his body.


Glancing over his shoulder, Lawrence meet Mike’s gaze. “I want you, Michael.” The words were laced with need.

Refusing to break eye contact, Mike tentatively pressed forward, biting his lower lip as his fingers sank into the tight heat of the other man’s body.

Lawrence hissed softly as the two digits pushed their way inside him.

Hearing the pleasure in the sound, Mike twisted his fingers slightly, grinning when Lawrence arched into the touch. Trembling want racing through him, Mike pulled his fingers out of his lover and moved closer, his chest flush against Lawrence’s back. Reaching down, he ran his lubricant-covered fingers over his cock, slicking up the hard flesh, before wrapping his fingers around himself and placing the head of his cock at the opening of Lawrence’s body. Pausing, he licked Lawrence’s shoulder, tracing patterns with his tongue.

“Do it, Michael, I won’t break.” Lawrence’s words were whispered into the morning.

With a final kiss to the shoulder, Mike gave a gentle push, moaning as the head of his cock was encased by hot velvet and he was drawn inexorably deeper into Lawrence.


Ares groaned as Mike’s cock cleaved into him. It had been centuries since he had allowed a lover to take him, but he refused to damped the sensations running through his body at Mike’s entry. He *wanted* to feel it, all of it; exquisite pain and terrible pleasure, all bound up within the man pushing into his body. After a torturously slow entry, Mike was finally flush with Ares’ ass. Reaching around, the mortal grasped Ares’ hard cock with his slick fingers as he pulled out of the god’s body before plunging back in. Ares shuddered at the burn that grew in him with Mike’s movements. Dropping his hand down his groin, he wrapped his fingers around Mike’s and slid their joined hands down the length of his cock.


Allowing Lawrence to dictate the speed their hands were moving on his cock, Mike leaned forward and swept his tongue across his lover’s shoulder, grinning as Lawrence moaned. Continuing to slide in and out of the warm body, Mike felt Lawrence’s grip around his fingers get tighter. The pace of their hands on Lawrence’s cock quickening, Mike felt Lawrence shudder. A warm wetness spread over his fingers as his cock was suddenly clenched in a vice-like grip of rippling muscles. Mike yelled as his climax was wrung out of him, feeling his entire being empty into Lawrence. Breathing in deep gasps of air, Mike moaned as his cock slipped out of the warm haven of his lover’s body. “You never told me it would be like that,” he muttered, leaning his forehead against Lawrence’s shoulder. His body still thrumming with the aftermath of his orgasm, Mike closed his eyes, allowing himself to forget the circumstances that had led to the other man being in his bed.

“Some things can’t be described; they have to be experienced.” Mike could hear the grin in Lawrence’s voice.

“I feel as though my entire body just got pulled out of me.”

“In a good way, though.”

“Oh yeah,” Mike agreed. “Definitely in a good way.”


Ares smiled at the sated tone of Mike’s voice. Ignoring Mike’s grumble as he moved, forcing the detective’s head from its resting place on his shoulder, Ares turned over and looked at his lover. Raising a hand, he gently traced over the stitches in the wound on Mike’s head.

“It’s noth-” Ares cut off his words with a finger across Mike’s lips.

“You shouldn’t have been there. You could have been killed.”

“I’m a cop,” pointed out Mike. “I could get killed on every case I work on.”

“This is different,”


Ares knew Mike was right. As a police officer, he faced danger every day. Every time he chased down a suspect, or got called to a robbery Mike could be injured or killed. But this *was* different. There were worlds between looking down a gun at someone, hoping they wouldn’t shoot, and facing someone who could kill you with a thought. Especially when you didn’t know they could. There was no way he could protect Mike, and he couldn’t just tell him to stay out of it, the detective had already proven his lack of desire to do that. And, like it or not, Mike *was* involved. The minute Zeus had attempted to use him as a way to get Ares to drop his suspicions, the mortal had become involved.


Ares shook himself out of his reverie to focus back on the other man. “There are forces at work here that you have no idea about.”

A flicker of confusion crossed Mike’s features. “I don’t understand.”

“Michael, I’m not exactly what you think I am.”

Mike’s eyes narrowed in sudden wariness. “Just what do you mean by that.”

Studying his lover, Ares nearly laughed as he realised Mike was steeling himself for a confession. Did the other man really think he was about to confess to killing Discord and Apollo?! Unable to keep a burst of laughter from escaping, Ares reached out, placing a hand on Mike’s arm. “It’s not that. I told you the truth when I said I didn’t kill them, Michael.”

Mike visibly relaxed. “Then don’t say things like that,” he said, reachng up to rub a hand across his face. “Jesus, this must be why cops aren’t meant to sleep with suspects.” He snorted a laugh. “Confessions as pillow-talk must really put a crimp in the love-life.” Lowering his hand, Mike looked at Ares. “So, if that isn’t it, then what? Don’t tell me, Lawrence Hayes is really away on business and you’re actually his secretary?”

Ares matched Mike’s smile. “Not exactly.”

“Then what?”

Ares closed his eyes briefly, before opening them and meeting Mike’s eyes. “Michael, have you ever...” His words trailed off as a flash filled the room and he was left looking at a statue-like Mike Logan and his aunt glaring at him from next to the bed. “Hello, Themis,” he sighed.

Themis pinned her nephew with her gaze. “I don’t believe you, Ares. You demand that I don’t put him on the stand because it’s ‘too dangerous’, but you’re about to tell him what you are. What we *all* are.”

“It’s for his own protection. At least then he’ll know what he’s up against.”

Themis shook her head as she started to pace around the bed. “*Think* about it. If he knows about us, then he becomes a *much* bigger threat then he is now.”

Ares met his aunt’s pointed gaze for long seconds, before finally turning away. It pained his to admit it, but Themis was right. Zeus had already threatened Mike; who knew how much further his father would go if the other man knew of the Pantheon’s existence? “Fine, I won’t tell him. Happy?”

“No,” she retorted. “But it’s a start.” Pinching the bridge of her nose, Themis sighed. “I’m getting too old for this,” she muttered. Taking a deep breath, she straightened back up. “Oh, and Ares?” She waited until the other god turned his attention back to her. “I don’t care how fuckable your detective is, don’t be late today.”

“Don’t worry, Themis, I’ll be there.”

Nodding, she cast a glance over Ares at Mike. “I’ll see you later,” she said, before vanishing from the room.

Ares kept his eyes on the spot his aunt had been standing for a brief moment before turning his attention back to a now unfrozen Mike. A bemused expression crossed his face as he looked at the War God.

“What were you saying?”

“Nothing,” Ares murmured. “Nothing at all.”