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.