By Dawn

War, wonderful war!  Standing arrogantly atop a hill overlooking a huge army camp, Ares was practically humming as he surveyed the preparations for the upcoming battle.  He had just finished meeting with his warlord and everything was proceeding exactly as planned.  All that remained was to deliver the new weapons from Hephaestus and then sit back and enjoy the carnage.  Nodding to himself and crossing perfectly muscled arms, he smiled smugly and proclaimed to the world, "I am good."

Materializing in the cavern that housed his brother's forge, Ares opened his mouth to deliver a hearty greeting and then froze, gaping at the sight in front of him.  Hephaestus was not in his usual place behind the anvil.  Instead, the scarred god lay naked before the fire on a pile of rich cloth and pillows, smiling hazily at the figure kneeling between his legs.  Her musical laughter swept across the room, striking Ares to his core.  Aphrodite.  As he watched, she placed a light kiss on the spent cock before her and stretched gracefully forward to join her mouth with that of the god beneath her.

Hephaestus and Aphrodite.  From the heights of his war fervor, Ares' spirits plunged to a shocking low as a wave of ‘something' rushed over him.  *It's not as if I didn't know they were together,* he told himself.  But knowing it and seeing it were two entirely different things.

The couple moved as one. Neither seemed to mind, or even acknowledge the fire god's disfigurement: the crippled leg, the ugly scars covering the left side of his body from ankle to scalp.  Released from a deep, passionate embrace, the golden goddess pulled slightly away and they shared private smiles that spoke of so much beyond the physical. Passion, security, love. It was all there between them, an almost tangible connection.

Stricken, Ares wanted to escape.  To get as far away as possible from these open emotions.  But another, more powerful part of him refused to be torn away.  *Look at them,* it whispered.  *Look at what you don't have.  Have never had.  Don't deserve to have.  Even your hideous, crippled brother is better off than you...*

Reverently, Hephaestus moved over the goddess and applied his mouth to her breast.  Lightly, he teased the nipple, brushing it first with his lips, then his tongue, and finally his teeth.  She gasped and squirmed as he continued his ministrations, moving to give equal consideration to the other breast.

Past the point of decision, Ares surrendered to his fascination, feeling his cock begin to harden as he watched.  When had a lover ever taken such enjoyment from his caresses?  Certainly, he gave others pleasure, and they gasped and squirmed appropriately, but he could sense something more in Aphrodite's responses.

Slowly Hephaestus moved his attention down the delicate body, hands and mouth touching and tantalizing in the knowing way of a familiar lover.
Aphrodite's breath came in fits and gasps as his kisses neared the juncture of her thighs.

No longer able to resist, Ares willed away his pants, wrapping his hand deliberately around his pulsing shaft as he absorbed the scene before him.  Aphrodite's moans of pleasure had escalated into incoherent shrieks of encouragement.  He could tell from her reactions the moment the god's fingers slid into her; the second his tongue found her clit.  Ares' mindlessly stroked his cock as he saw her body shudder and tense as she screamed with release.

An odd sense of loss threatened to overwhelm the watching god.  Surely, no one had ever taken such care to please him.  Oh, his lovers all licked and sucked effectively enough, but never had he seen the satisfaction in their eyes that he saw as Hephaestus gazed down on the sated body of the goddess before him.

Trailing kisses up her body, Hephaestus stretched his length beside his lover's, placing light, slow kisses on her face and neck as her breathing slowed.  Gradually, her eyes regained a measure of coherency and her hand came up to grasp his head, bringing his mouth to her own.

Aching for release, Ares was riveted by that kiss.  The sweet combination of passion and tenderness, lust and  love, was an undeniable force.  His hand began to move faster as the fire god sheathed himself in the bright, beautiful body and began to fill her with slow, deliberate thrusts.

They moved together.  Muscles bulged in Hephaestus' arms.  Aphrodite's fingernails created bright streaks of red as she clutched at his back.   As their tempo increased, their voices mingled in a chorus of gasps and muttered endearments.  Caught up in their passion, Ares matched the rhythm stroke for stroke until finally, as their hoarse cries of
completion echoed through the cavern, he too fell over the edge, finding his release alone.

As the couple by the fire relaxed in each others arms, sated and happy in the reaffirmation of their union, Ares slowly faded from the shadows, his heart empty and unsatisfied.

The End