"Exiles feed on hope." Aeschylus

Don't ask me to explain. I don't know if I even could.  Why does anyone do anything? Why do men climb mountains? Because they're there.

I've felt his eyes on me, sensed his hunger, ever since that first time I saw him standing in the village courtyard, leaning against the statue of the God of War outside his temple.  I suppose he did that just to see if I was paying attention.

I'd just left the tent where my officers and I were deciding on the most effective way to mete out our own special brand of justice. My men were waiting to see their commander teach these fools a lesson.

The captives were bound and on their knees in the middle of the courtyard, and the townspeople were milling around, fear and rage mixed on their faces. Our swords suppressed their protests, but I could feel their sullen anger that we'd defeated their best men, shamed their warriors.

This village was poor. They could barely afford to arm their men, so it was a pretty easy victory, as victories go. We didn't earn much booty, but that wasn't the point. The point was to prove myself, prove our power.

I had my sword at the ready, and their leader was on his knees in front of me, the blood from a gash on his forehead dripping down his face.  It was then I glanced up and saw him leaning so casually against the statue, his strong arms crossed, his black leather shining in the hot sun. He was smiling. Well, it was a half-smile at best. I could see his admiration for me. But most of all, I could see that lust.

Although he looked vaguely familiar, I couldn't remember him. I assumed he was just another warrior, except that my warriors usually have a look of deference on their faces when they see me -- that, and a touch of fear. Well, it's sometimes mixed with lust, of course, but the deference is always easy for me to spot over the desire.

Not in him, though.

Desire was the only emotion I could sense, and I had a mind to go over and punch him, knock that look off his face, kick him in the balls for good measure, but I didn't. I had to prove myself once again to my warriors. As a woman, I always have to prove myself. Then I'd take care of him, whoever he was.

He's been there ever since, watching, waiting. And you know something? It's been pretty easy saying no. When mortals mess with gods, it's mortals who end up dead. Or turned into trees. Some choice.

I've done very well, resisting temptation. I had to.

I don't have to any longer.


The room is dark, cold.

Outside the rain is falling, and the sound comforts me. Rhythmic, the patter of the rain on the roof seems to calm the flutter in my heart, but don't get me wrong ­­ the flutter isn't from
fear. I feel safe inside the room alone with him.

Finally safe.

I'm standing along the wall, my back against the cold stone, listening to the sound of his breathing, so regular and deep. He's fast asleep ­­ he has no idea I'm here ­­ and for once since that first day, I feel in control. It's me watching him now. Watching, waiting. Oh, he's seen me since he gave up his godhood, but he's done nothing. It's as if he has to prove himself. Now that he's not a god, he has to be a man.

From across the room I can smell him, his scent, the slight musky spice of masculinity. That scent speaks of his incredible strength and makes me squirm just a bit, squeeze my thighs together in anticipation.

Even as a mortal, he's magnificent.

Now it's me watching him, following him, seeing how he does without all that power, no longer immortal. He's done pretty well. Godhood made him arrogant, almost impossible to beat. Who'd have thought it'd be love that would finally defeat him?

Yes, I've been watching him since he gave up his godhood. I was worried at first that he'd be easy prey. That body is so big and strong, it invites other men's anger. He didn't know how to use it at first without all that power. I remained in the shadows, off in the distance, watching him fight, practice with that new sword. Did he see me? If he did, he never made a move.

He's so beautiful when he practices. Naked from the waist up, swinging that sword, his muscles shining with sweat, his curls dripping, his chest heaving from the effort.

He took his time, hooked up with a few really skilled warriors and learned from them how to get along in the mortal world. While he was a god, he could rely on his power to get one-up on others, but now that's gone. He has to rely on himself.

You know what? He's smart. It almost surprised me, really. He's resilient and a fast study. He'll make a great warrior,and if he can stay alive, a great leader. And something else, which I'm here to confirm. He'll make a great lover.

I step closer, moving across the room to the side of the bed. My boot leather taps on the stone floor, rousing him just a bit, interrupting his breathing so I stop, and loosen the ties so I can slip my boots off.

I stand next to the bed and can barely make out his form in the room's darkness. Light filters in from around the heavy drapesat the window, but it's not enough to see much. Still, I can detect the faint outline of his face, the incredible cheekbones, the full lips.

Here goes everything.

I straddle him, one knee on each side of his hips and lie on top of him, grabbing his hands in mine before he can even resist. He wakes with a start, confused by the weight of a body on top of him when there's no knife at his throat.

"What in Tartarus­­."

"Shut up, Ares. Just shut up."

His whole body tenses and I can't keep the smile off my lips as I bend down to kiss him.

Oh, those lips under mine! They're soft and full and pliant. He lies so still as I run my tongue over those lips. How long have I wanted to do just that? Feel those lips under mine? Ever since that day....

He doesn't kiss me back, just lets me kiss him, but his mouth is soft, open, willing. I kiss him, losing myself in his mouth and when his tongue meets mine, the thrill surges right to my groin and lust rushes through my whole body.

"Let me see you," he demands, his voice thick, breathless.

"Just lie back and be quiet."

He struggles again, trying to buck me off. It galls him to have me on top like this. I know most of all, he wants to be in control so he can set the terms of our first fuck. He's wanted this for so long. He wants to be the one to control it.

"Ares!" I hiss, struggling to hold him down. "Do you want this or not?"

That stills him. He lies quiet for a moment, his rapid breath and the rain on the tarp over our heads the only sounds in the room.

"Xena!" he says, and I can detect a hint of helplessness in his deep voice. "I want to see you."

I smile and release his hands, consider his request. Yes, I'd like to see him too.

Sitting up, I feel the thickness of his cock under my thigh and it feels so good. He's hard as rock and I know how good it'll feel when I finally take him inside of my body. I rub myself against him, just a bit, just to remind him how much he wants me, and that if he wants to feel his cock inside of me, he'd better comply.

"Oh," he moans and thrusts up gently with his hips. "Xena, please."

Oh, I like the sound of that.

"Please what?"

He hesitates, and I hear him hold his breath. It's hard for him to beg. Good. Beg me, Ares.

"Please, let me see you," he says finally, defiance just a soft note in his voice. "Turn the lamp up so I can watch."

"Come on, Ares," I say, a taunt in my voice. I'm loving this. "How `bout a quick fuck in the dark? We can both pretend it didn't happen. Just get it out of the way and move on."

I rub myself against him again and he grunts with pleasure and thrusts back, taking my hips and pulling down slightly. I feel his hand fumble between his legs. His cock is lying to the side, trapped in the folds of his loincloth, and he grabs himself, righting his cock so that it lies straight against his body. He pulls me down on him, and the length of his cock rides against me. I take his hands back in mine, twining our fingers, and lean down, lying over top of him, rubbing myself on his cock. I don't want him to have too much control.

His breathing quickens, and I pant over top of him. He moans when I press myself against the head of his cock. He's so thick and hard and long. I don't know if I can wait, but I want to draw this out, make him so hot that he's dying for it.

"Xena, please."

I smile. He wants this so badly, wants to see me, see our bodies together, watch me move on top of him. I have to admit I want to watch his face, look into those eyes. I know they'll be hungry, so dark, deep. There's so much passion inside of him.

"Xena," he says again. "I don't want this to be a quick fuck in the dark. Turn the lamp up so I can see you."

I can't help but gloat, enjoying his desperate insistence. I decide to comply.

Leaning over, I turn up the lamp on the bedside table and it casts a soft golden glow over us. Now I can see him, his chiseled features, his lips, full and rosy from our kiss. His eyes ­­ they slay me and I have to stifle a gasp, lean down and kiss him and now he kisses me back, his hands insistent, hungry, running over my body, down my back, squeezing me through the thick leather. I want his hands on me, on my naked skin.

"Take that fucking body armour off," he demands, forgetting himself for a moment. "Please," he adds when he feels me tense.

I sit up straight, fighting to keep my face relaxed, trying to smile as I undo the ties that hold my breastplate in place. I throw it on the floor, uncaring for a moment, and then pull my tunic over my head. He reaches up to cup my breasts and he can't hide the lust, can't keep his hands from reaching up to touch me. When he does, when he takes my nipples between his thumb and fingers and squeezes, I can't stop the moan.

Now he's smiling, but his lip quivers just a bit. He struggles up, resting his weight on one hand, and nuzzles his face between my breasts, running his hand up my back. His mouth is open, his tongue slides from one hard nipple to the other, sucking them, tugging at me, sending little shocks of pleasure to my flesh. I push him away.

"Lie back," I say, hardening my voice, wanting to be the one to control my pleasure. "Take that off."

I climb off and stand beside the bed, removing my own underclothes, shedding the leather skirt. He pulls off his loincloth and lies on his back, panting, and I finally get the pleasure of seeing him fully naked, and he is so beautiful. So perfect. His muscles are all full, sharply defined, his skin flawless except for the few new scars he's received since he started training. I want to devour him, take him in my mouth and my body. I want him to fill me up.

I climb back on top of him, and I just can't wait as I feel his rigid cock beneath me, so big and hot. I need to feel him inside of me, and rub against him, my moisture wetting him, mixing with the clear fluid in his slit so that I slide against him. He reaches down, as needy as I am, holding his cock from the base so I can sit on him, and I groan as I feel him push into me, as I feel the incredible pleasure as the head of his cock stretches me. I take him in as deeply as I can and he, too, is grunting beneath me, then I pull out just a bit, so the thick head of his cock presses just at the right spot.

"Oh, Xena," he groans as I squeeze myself around his cock and bear down, pressing myself against him as I ride him slowly, moving only slightly up and down his length, barely even fucking him. It's not enough for him, but it is for me, and I can feel I'm getting closer, I'm so close, it's so quick, I... Oh, Ares....

I shudder over him, pleasure like white fire in my veins as my cunt spasms around him. I watch him, my eyes half open, and he's loving it, loving how much I wanted him, how quick it was for me.

Damn him.

He grabs me, squeezing tightly, pulling me down against him, and nestles his face in my neck while I pant, recovering. He says nothing, does nothing for a few moments, just presses his lips against my neck. Then he takes my face and kisses me, and I'm still a little dizzy, drunk with pleasure and I let him, but part of me wants to hit him, part of me wants to run....

I know what he's going to do, he's going to try to take control, but I can't fight him, not just yet....

Before I know it, I'm lying on my back, and it's him on top, him pinning me beneath his body. He kisses me, his mouth moving across my face, from my lips to my eyes, my cheeks, my neck. I can feel his body shaking over me as he moves down, his mouth on my nipples, then lower, kissing my belly and then the skin on my inner thigh, his hands moving my legs apart. I gasp as his tongue touches me, stroking me, and I feel it once again, as if it never went completely away, that lust for him.

He slips two fingers inside of me and licks me, and I try to lie still, but can't stop moving beneath him. Before I know it, I'm ready again and grind myself against his mouth, grunting like an animal and it's then that he lies between my legs and shoves himself inside, thrusting now, faster, his need taking over and I thrust with him, meeting his every thrust, my hand slipping down between us, but in truth, I didn't need any more stimulation and I'm coming again, groaning into his mouth as he kisses me, my thighs squeezing around his waist, pulling him deep inside....

It's too much for him, too, and his whole body tenses as he comes, and he holds my face in his hands, looking into my eyes as he does, saying my name over and over.


He's sleeping again. I creep out of the bed, and dress quickly, trying hard not to disturb him. I have to leave. I have to get away.

It's light outside now, and the rain has stopped. I look back once at him lying there, the sheets in a disarray around his body. The room is warmer and I can smell the scent of our sex.

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I just can't bear to be here when he wakes up. There's too much to say, so much unsaid that I'm afraid he'll say.

I'm not ready for it. Not yet. He's a god even without his power.

I'm afraid again.