by Juxian Tang
Blood was a flow of red, shiny like quicksilver and fast like  streaming water, running through his fingers. Holding his  wound was not going to stop it and yet he pressed his hands to it  as if covering it protectively. His face, with ashen lips and  features sharpened as if in approach of death, had a vague  expression of amazement; like he still couldn't believe it could  hurt like this.

He didn't stand straight - leaning against the wall heavily, bowed  over the gaping opening in his belly. This made his position  kind of submissive - with him having to look up at me - but I  didn't think he realized it or had enough strength to care. His  voice was reedy, going to a halt in odd places - and then I could  see a grimace of despair on his face as he tried to wait out the  worst waves of pain.

He looked like he was going to be sick or dying - but I knew he  was neither - and so far he managed to fight away  unconsciousness. That was what had saved him under Troy,  mainly - didn't let him stay on the battlefield... a captive or a  plaything for mortals - or alive among corpses.

When he'd come into my study, a few minutes ago, I was sure  he did it on the sheer effort of will - swaying so hard that it  tossed him against the wall - leaving bloody imprints on my  white marble. But he didn't collapse yet - keeping himself  upright and lucid for telling me what he considered so  important.

"This daughter of yours... got on everyone's nerves... it's time for  you to take the bitch on the leash at last..."

I didn't listen to him; if not for the fascination of looking at the  thin trickles of sweat leaking over his temples, I would interrupt  him a long time ago. I wanted to run my tongue over these  trickles, to taste him - desire so harsh and immediate that it  couldn't help but make everything else, every thing he was  saying, distant and unimportant.

"Do you think it is normal that she engages mortals in injuring  us, Gods?"

Right... Diomedes would never dare to raise a spear against him;  nor would he have enough strength to thrust it so deep or to pull  it out after that. Even through the quick beating of blood I could  see the jagged edges of the wound, the pulsing of his insides in  it. Athena took a good aim - an unprotected place just above his  groin... she understood a good joke, my clever daughter.

I ran my tongue over my lips, sliding my gaze up and down him  - stopping it only for a moment to look in his pain-widened, very  black eyes. I was not even sure he could see me clearly, pain  must've been sending him in and out of awareness. I saw him  shaking his head furiously, like he tried to shake himself into  concentration - but it hardly helped much.

Blood sliding over his leg and on the floor was so copious that it  spread towards me, an odd trickle nearly reaching the toe of my  sandal. I stepped away slightly, giving it the way, following it  with my eyes. The smell of blood was so thick; laced just  scarcely with the sick tang of pain... and of fear. He was afraid  of me; here, at his father's place, he should've believed he was  out of danger, safe if not sound. But his body knew better, even  if he didn't want to admit it.

The agonizing melody of his words stopped abruptly. It took me  a few moments to realize it, with how enthralling in the sight  and smell of his blood was. I saw him frown as I looked at him -  a frown of irritation, even of anger. But hopelessness in his eyes  was what he really felt.

"What?" Did I miss something? His nostrils flared, his voice  excruciatingly careful as he repeated:

"*What?* Is it all you can say to me?"

Ah, it was wearing him out - pain and blood-loss and the  memory of his defeat. I reveled in the tight notes of impatience  in his voice - and in what I could read behind them: his fear that  he would break down; a few minutes more and he would.

I sighed, unfolding me arms on my chest, following the flitting  expression of hope/expectation on his face, and made a step  towards him.

"And what am I supposed to say to you, son?" Yeah, it was a  good tone I took; just the right measure of derision and disgust  in my voice. I saw his head jerk, as if I hit him - and one of his  hands left the bleeding slot of the wound, dug into the wall  instinctively, helping him stay on his feet. He was making swift,  shallow breaths, like he was trying to get enough oxygen for  another effort - and I knew what it was going to be: he would be  leaving; he'd given up on me.

Well, I was not going to let it happen.

"Do you expect me to be shocked with what you said?" I  stepped towards him - a bit closer again - but moving so  smoothly that, distracted with my words, he wouldn't realize he  was getting trapped... until it was too late, at least. "Do I have to  burst out into tears with your whining? 'Daddy, daddy, bad  'Thena hurt me!' I always knew you were a sissy - but you  should've known better than come here to rat on your sister."

Oh yes, it worked. If he were pale before, then now he looked  like a ghost, his eyes dashing about in a momentary shock of my  words - and I had said every one of them clear and distinct  enough to drive into his mind. Not stopping even when I saw  him getting his breath to say something.

Well, he wanted me to say something, didn't he?

"You want me to punish her? Or you want me to protect you?"  A tiny pause after every phrase was not nearly enough for him  to put in something, not with how difficult talking came off for  him now; but it still made him try. "Show me - where did she  hurt you? Here?"

I pushed his hand away - and in his eyes I saw that only now he  realized how close I was. Not a step between us. And then,  before he could say or do anything, his eyes went huge and  glazed as I drove my fist against his wound.

Wet... wet and very warm, the vulnerable edges of torn flesh  pulsing against my fist. His eyes rolled up, not black any more,  and it was me who didn't let him slide down - both my fingers  digging in his upper arm and my knee forced between his legs.

"Don't go yet, we haven't finished," I whispered - and I think he  would possibly be surprised if he could hear my voice: there was  no scorn in it. It was all raw passion.

The curls of his long hair lay against his armored chest - looking  so soft against the shiny metal that I couldn't resist bringing one  of the strands to my lips. It smelled him - and it smelled the  battle and I brushed it against my face absently, wondering at  the heavy texture of it. He didn't know how it always  mesmerized me - that some parts of him were so hard - but some  could be so gentle - so vulnerable - like the feathery wings of his  eyelashes - or this place under his jaw, below the line of his  beard. He started coming back as I touched him there.

"F-fuck you..." his voice broke on a high-pitched note, a  whimper of a hurt child as his hands frantically pushed me in  my chest. No way. He was not a match to me at his best - what  to speak about now, when he couldn't stand without my help.

"I don't think so," I shook my head sorrowfully. "You are too  much a wuss for that."

That brought fire in his eyes again - deep, dark anger - and his  thrashing became more violent... having no effect, though,  except staining my clothes with his blood.

"You are good for nothing," I said painstakingly. "A God of War  that can't cope with a mortal on the battlefield. What were you  doing there, by the way? Stripping the dead?"

I knew that got him - as he stilled abruptly, meeting my gaze  steadily - well, at least it was what he tried to do because his  eyes were unfocused, huge pupils floating in the pools of pain.  Yet his hands continued to push me away - and I didn't like it.

"Coward," I hit him; his head dangled against the blow and his  eyes became dazed for a moment. And that was when I stuck my  fingers under his jaw, raising his head, making him look at me. I  made it difficult for him to breathe, felt contractions of his throat  against my palm as he tried to swallow - and his pushing hands  become pulling, catching on my clothes and clasping on them  convulsively.

We were so close now, my belly pressed to his - and his blood  had soaked through my clothes - so much of it, so hot on my  skin. The feeling of his gaping wound - almost against my groin  - it was making me swoon. The welcoming entrance of it - so  responsive to me rubbing my belly against it. It made him  freeze, his face a mask of agony, just with the little blood  welling on his split lips.

I didn't need to hold him any more. He was not going anywhere  from me... maybe, except into unconsciousness - but not yet. So  far I was going to make him take it easy.

I took his face in my hands, saying solemnly, intent on my  words to settle down with him:

"Do you know why I didn't get rid of you so far, boy? Do you  know why you are not in Tartarus yet, with this crazy shit of  your grandfather? If you only could imagine how close I am to  doing it from time to time... It is this mouth of yours that saves  you, the red rose lips that would give a credit to any whore..."

I caught the corner of his mouth with my thumb, smearing blood  over his lips, tugging his mouth down - almost making him look  like he wore a cheesy lopsided grin if not for the pre-death  emptiness of his eyes.

I saw it - there was no fight in him left; that's why the blow took  me out of surprise: both his fists brought under my chin, making  my head snap back as I heard a crunching sound of my jaw.

I almost let him go; the blow made me dizzy - adding in an odd  way to the encompassing arousal that filled me. It took a  moment for his face to swim into focus again for me; I moved  my jaw, setting it back into normal state and gripped his  shoulders once more, smashing him against the wall.

I heard his gasp, felt blood leak freer from his wound. It was  good; but it was not enough. Not enough to put him to  obedience I needed - and not enough to quench my anger. My  knee slammed into his groin and this time he didn't even make a  sound. I saw his body try to curl - his feet tried to give up and I  caught him in my arms, his weight and his scent overwhelming  me, the lines of his armor imprinting in my chest almost  painfully.

He was perfect; he was all mine.

I held him, petting his throat, telling him how much he was like  his mother - the same breathtaking clearness of lines, the same  annoying, rebellious character... but better. I had been bored  with Hera a long time ago, her assets interested me no more; but  I didn't think I would ever get bored with him - both with  marring and marking the flawlessness of his body and breaking  his spirit.

I didn't think he heard me; but he trembled slightly as my hand  reached between our bodies, brushing across his wound  deliberately - and I wondered if he recognized my movements as  I freed my cock from under my clothes. Oh, I knew he did.  Maybe, he wondered how I was going to have it this time. He  was too dazed to give me a head - and having him on the floor,  in the pools of his blood - wasn't it too messy?

"Don't worry, dear, you will know," I whispered reaching to the  inviting cleft of his wound.

He screamed when I entered - and I caught his shriek in my  mouth, tasting blood on his lips, drawing more of it as I sank my  teeth into his bottom lip. His eyes were closed - the dark curtains  of eyelashes shadowing his face - a perfect mask of pure agony,  any mimic lines wiped from it. I could look at it for hours - for  ages - the incarnation of my desire.

His body was rigid, held upright by my hands, the wall behind  him and my cock in his wound - and there was such utter  correctness in it - just like it had to be. And his blood filled my  mouth, tasting richly salt and metal - and I wouldn't change  anything in it, wouldn't shift an inch ever - if not for the burning  need in my cock that urged me to move.

I slithered out and back in gently, stroking him into stillness as  great shivers racked his body. The sounds he made were not  loud at all - and sometimes there was not sound at all coming  from his mouth.

I kissed his face as I fucked him and I told him how good it felt  inside him - hotter than up his ass, slicker than in the cunt of his  mother, his shredded insides parting for my invading member.

Then I couldn't talk any more because every bit of my strength  went into the frenzy thrusting, faster and as deep as I could - and  at last, in long spasms that shook my body in sweet agony - I  was coming.

I filled him with my semen more completely than I could ever  before - and he took every particle of it - and when, a few  minutes later, I took out my softened cock, no pearly drop of my  cum rolled out of the crushed flower of his wound.

"One day I'll make it real, my son," I promised him hoping that  he heard me. "It'll take a root in your body. I'll make you carry  my child."

I let him slide on the floor at last and stepped aside rearranging  my clothes. He was conscious, I knew it - could see how his  eyes moved behind half-translucent eyelids. Blood that had left  his body painted the floor glimmering red - a grim yet strangely  attractive picture. I wondered how much blood was still in him;  how long he could balance on the verge - not dying but not alive  either.

"Ares," I called him, getting on one knee, not minding the  wetness of red spreading up my clothes. I grasped his hair,  raising his face to myself. He still didn't look at me. "Do you  hear me?"

I wanted him to open his eyes - I waited patiently - and at last he  did it - his hazy stare clearing only fractionally as he met my  gaze. I nodded approvingly and let him discern a little sad smile  on my lips.

"I cannot see you suffer, my son. You are so much in pain, aren't  you?" He knew I wanted an answer, I made it sound clearly in  my voice - and it took just a few moments to break the last  resistance of his.

"Yes," it was no more sound than a rustle and some blood rolled  down from his lips. I nodded again, demanding nothing more  from him.

"I will help you. Paieon!"

My call reached through the halls and arcades of my palace -  and as I paced on the bloodstained floor of my study, the doctor  appeared at the door, an expression of worry on his face and a  bag of medicines in his hand. I invited him with a gesture and  pointed at Ares.

"My son is hurt, I want you to help him."

He didn't need to talk, just nodded, kneeling and setting at work  immediately, the leaves of herbal plants startlingly green against  the redness of Ares' blood.

As many times as I had seen it, it still caused me a strange  feeling of rapture and loss as I saw blood stopping instantly,  coagulating thickly around the would. I saw Ares shiver in the  last throes of healing - and then it closed totally, just a rough  scar on its place - but even that, I knew, would fade in no time at  all.

Paieon still probed around it, probably the inner tissues took  longer to knit together - but at last he sat down on his heels and  nodded to me, his face beaming as he met my grateful smile.

"You are the most light-handed doc I know, Paieon," I said  beckoning him to rise. "No wonder our family likes to use your  skills so much."

"Thank you, m'Lord," his head was bowed as he took his leave.  And as the door closed behind him, I looked at Ares again.

Still too pale and too unsteady - but already on his feet, walking  past me to the door, the challenge to stop him in his eyes. But I  didn't stop him, stepped away from his route, concentrating  slightly on changing my clothes. The smell on them was getting  stale, the same as the odor of gory pools on the floor and I got  rid of them, too.

"Hebe is waiting to take care of you," I said absently as he  walked past me. He didn't answer, even the line of his jaw didn't  move.

Through the door he left open I watched him walking along the  arcade and then a slight tiny figure parted away from the wall,  getting to his side, adapting to his wide strides with some  difficulty. I noticed a flash of paleness of my daughter's raised  face as she looked up at him.

They have the same kind of hair, I thought suddenly - raven- black and rippled, only Ares' reached just his shoulders and  Hebe's went down long below her waist. Not much else was  alike, though.

Her voice reached me - just the musical timbre of it, not the  words - and then her delicate arm wrapped around his waist -  like she would be able to support him if he needed it. And I saw  him lean slightly into this touch, putting his arm on her shoulder  - just before they passed out of my sight in the room where the  bath and fresh clothes were prepared for him.