"Fuck it!" Iphicles swept the mountain of scrolls from his desk and watched them scatter across the floor with a childish satisfaction. He had been sitting in this sparse palace room since first light, trying to make sense of the new Athenian trade laws. He sighed tiredly as his wandering gaze came to rest upon the tempting sight of the small couch in the middle of the room. He knew from personal experience that, despite its plain wood frame and simple fur covering, it was a very comfortable couch. But the tired king shook his head dismissively; he really shouldn't be feeling sleepy, he had just drunk a little too much wine. His gaze then travelled across the room to the small table against the far wall, upon which was laid out his untouched midday meal. It was a nice chicken platter with baklava for dessert. He really should eat something; it would probably make him feel better. Unfortunately, he had already finished off the accompanying flask of wine.
"My life sucks donkey cock," he informed the empty goblet in his hand. His only response was a soundless, bright flash of light. "Oh, terrific," he eyed the coalescing sparks sourly.
Ares took in the view of the tousled, half-drunk mortal with a slight eyebrow elevation. "Bad day?" he rolled seductively towards Iphicles with that familiar cat-like grace, the promise of sex oozing from every inch of his perfect form.
"What is that?" The mortal ignored the god's attempted seduction to watch the biggest, most ugly, mustard coloured hound he'd ever seen, snatch his chicken dinner from its plate. "Hey!" Iphicles protested, turning his attention from the munching mutt to the 'innocent' god. "That was my fucking lunch!"
Ares shrugged eloquently, ignoring the noise of crunching bone. "He's hungry, been down in Tartarus for a few days."
"What on earth made you take it from Tartarus?" the king returned churlishly. "That must be one of the ugliest things Hades keeps down there. Couldn't you just take it wherever you're taking it? Or better yet, take it back where you found it?"
Ares made was no reply.
Iphicles looked up from his uninvited dinner guest's attempt to retrieve an escapee chicken leg from under his couch, to the silently scowling god.
"What's wrong with him?" Ares asked in a pouting tone. "There's a lot of things uglier than my dog, Iphicles."
The king glanced away from Ares' irritated glare with a pang of guilt. "That's Graegus, the Dog of War?"
"Yes," his godly lover growled back, shifting posture to a threatening stance that dared further comment.
"I thought he was dead," Iphicles finished lamely.
Frustrated growls turned to whimpers as the dog's head got stuck within the close confines of the couch frame.
Ares watched his pet's struggles with a slow shake of his head. "He doesn't die easily. Graegus is immortal, wouldn't be a lot of use if he wasn't." The god rolled his eyes as the dog yelped in pain upon freeing himself, then whined over to his master for reassurance. "He's just a little dumb." He crouched to fondle the large, loose skinned face with something resembling real affection.
Iphicles listened in disbelief to the contented canine groans that accompanied Ares' whispered, "Aw, did that big, nasty couch bite you, Graeg?" and almost choked in his attempt to quell his laughter. The sound alerted Ares to his mortal audience and he quickly stood with a dignified sniff, straightening his leathers.
"So, what's got you in such a pissy mood?" Ares deliberately ignored Graegus' adoring gaze.
"Hmm, nothing." Iphicles shrugged, quickly hiding a grin behind a pretend sip of wine as the Dog of War nearly knocked Ares on his godly ass with an overly enthusiastic thigh rub.
"Gerroff!" The god kneed the animal away in embarrassed annoyance. "Go eat Iph's baklava." He waved dismissively at the small table.
Iphicles watched the large animal's head whip around. Soggy nostrils snorted noisily, and the dog padded back to the table, tail waggling behind it.
"It-He understands words?" the king asked suspiciously.
"He's as smart as most mortals." The war god's gaze lingered momentarily upon his happily munching pet before he turned a sultry, deep brown gaze upon his king. "Better in a fight too." He moved forward once more, fluid and purposeful.
"Herc-", the mortal cleared his throat; damn, it was dry. How could Ares always do this to him? Iphicles fingered the desk beneath him, glad for the small defence it offered before the prowling god. "Hercules gave me the impression Graegus was a lot bigger and meaner."
Ares shrugged, lip curling in a small dismissive gesture before he spoke. "Graegus gets bigger and meaner the more he eats and the angrier he gets. He doesn't like demigod heroes, and he'd eaten a few soldiers by the time he got around to Hercules' sorry ass." The god leaned over the desk suggestively, sending alarm bells ringing in his mortal lover's head.
"What do you want?" Iphicles tried a growl.
"Want?" the insanely beautiful god purred as he eased around to the king's side. "You wound me, Iphicles. What do you think I am? Some kind of mercenary?"
The mortal found it hard to breathe, let alone swallow, as the god's presence suddenly filled his existence. First the sight of that perfect face; he closed his eyes, but there was nothing he could do against the intoxicating scent of sex and leather, or the finger tip caresses that began to trace up each of his forearms.
"Yes, want." Iphicles managed to find his voice from somewhere as Ares continued to stroke up his bare arms until the god was fingering the top of his tunic sleeves. "You," he continued hoarsely. "Only act like this when you want something. Admit it, Ares, what is it?"
"Iphicles," Ares drawled out sadly, tracing fingers lightly over the king's collarbones before caressing the soft skin of his neck. "Do you really think so ill of me?" he whispered deeply, suddenly making full body contact.
"It's what you do," Iphicles breathed out this one last protest then he was lost to those hypnotic dark eyes, those caressing fingers, those divine lips.
"I just ask one little favour, Iph. That's all. Nothing big." A whispering touch of godly lips against mortal and Iphicles would have signed his own death warrant. "Just look after Graegus for a few hours. A day maybe?" Lips brushed ever so lightly. Who the fuck is Graegus? Some part of the king's mind wondered vaguely.
CLANG, RATTLE-RATTLE, CRASH, YELP!
"GRAEGUS!" Ares bellowed and dived across the room to the disaster that had been the king's table and midday meal.
"Bad dog," the God of War snarled, trying to haul the Dog of War out from underneath Iphicles' couch.
The king himself was swaying on the spot and blinking rapidly, temporarily unable to take in the ridiculous scene in front of him.
"Do you hear me? You're a bad boy. Get out from under that- You little..." Ares was struggling with his hold on the wriggling canine ribcage, while Graegus pushed the couch across room in a pathetic attempt to hide from his angered master.
"NO!" Iphicles shouted his objection. "Ares, you can just find some other lust-filled mortal to do your dirty work!"
"What?" The god pulled away from his whimpering pet to stand in chest heaving disarray before the growling king. "He's not normally this clingy or clumsy," Ares protested. "He just had a fight with Cerberus and he's a little upset."
"Upset? I don't care how upset he is, he's wrecking my fucking office!"
"No he's not. It's just one table." Ares gave up glaring at the annoying mortal and turned back to his trembling, half-hidden pet. "Come on Graeg, come out of there. Daddy's sorry he shouted at you."
The dog snuffled and shuffled around hopefully at the gentle tone of voice.
"That's it baby, daddy's sorry he got angry with you," the God of War continued calmly, petting the quivering rump in reassurance.
Iphicles watched Ares gently appease the huge, hellish-looking beast from behind a well-bitten set of knuckles.
"Come on out here and Iphicles will give you a nice treat. Yes he will, honey."
"What? Iphicles will not give him any bloody treat! I-" the king's objections came too late as several hundred pounds of excited war doggy suddenly pinned him to the wall, and proceeded to drench him in enthusiastically friendly saliva.
Ares sighed, ignoring Iphicles' gurgled expletives as he pulled the couch back to its original position then settled down with a freshly materialised goblet of wine.
"GET IT OFF!" the king screamed over the busy canine head.
"Just shove him away, Iph. He's only a dog for Gaia's sake." Ares yawned into his wine then watched the ensuing wrestling match.
After a few moments of growling and scuffling Iphicles stood braced against the wall, gulping huge breaths, soaked in sweat and war dog drool, but mercifully free of the mutt itself. He spat out several short, wiry dog hairs before snarling at his lover. "Thanks for nothing, Ares."
The god shrugged dismissively and sipped his wine, closing his eyes briefly to savour its sharp sweetness.
Iphicles' voice sounded pained and long suffering, it broke the god's sense of relaxation. He looked over to see Graegus with his muzzle firmly imbedded in the mortal's crotch. The Dog of War was snuffling contentedly; Iphicles was turning an alarming shade of magenta.
"Graegus stop that," Ares groaned, grumpily standing to stalk over and separate them. "He just likes you, Iph." The god grabbed Graegus' scruff and hauled. "You've got my scent on you."
As Ares pulled the disgusting mutt from him, Iphicles grabbed the goblet of wine from the god's other hand and chugged down the sweet liquid greedily.
"If you think for one second-" the king gulped breathlessly, pausing to wipe his dripping mouth over his forearm. "-That I'd let that ugly, drooling, disgusting THING, loose in my palace for one fucking second-" His seething protests were cut short when he was suddenly enveloped by hot, adept, and incredibly persuasive war god.
Relaxed and pleasantly satisfied, Iphicles awoke slowly from a light sleep and snuggled dopily against the warm body next to him. It was strange for Ares to tarry in bed after sex, but the mortal wouldn't say as much to his lover. Still, it was even odder for the god to lie on top of the covers, since, if he was going to linger, Ares stayed gloriously naked and ready for more.
"Something wrong?" Iphicles asked thickly, pulling his hand out from beneath the bedclothes with the intention of stroking Ares in placation.
He was drawing breath to apologise for his refusal to dog-sit Graegus, when his fingers settled upon short, dense hair. A deep, doggy groan filled unwelcoming mortal ears.