It was late afternoon, and we were in the workroom of the house we shared on the outskirts of the city. A pleasant silence passed between us while we worked - the kind of silence that exists between lovers who have spent a lot of time together and who don't fear a lack of words. I looked around the room -- the remains of our mid-day meal were still spread out on the table, and the cloth covering flapped lazily in the breeze from the doors which opened onto the patio.
Hercules was cleaning the lion skin with a soft-bristled brush to prepare it for the next day. The skin had saved his life, but it also reminded me of the danger he was in. His efforts to clean it kicked up quite a dust storm -- countless motes floated in the air, captured in the beam of sunlight flooding in from the open window. The yellow sunlight caught the golden highlights in his hair and shone on his bronzed skin - he was breathtaking.
I watched him for a while: he was bent over on a chair across from my workbench, intent on his task and unaware that my eyes were on him, hungry for his every physical detail. We were comfortable together, sure, but I knew this might be the very last quiet afternoon we shared so I drank in his image like a thirsty man dying for a drink of water. His strong arm methodically stroked over the skin that lay in his lap and he'd built up quite a sweat: small beads dotted his upper lip and forehead. When one drop trickled down between his furrowed brows, he lifted his arm and brushed it away with the back of his hand. He caught my eye.
"Don't do this."
"I have to," he replied and returned to the skin, brushing once again with that maddening concentration. "You know that as well as I do."
My seat at the workbench was hard and my legs ached from inactivity. As I stretched, I couldn't help but sigh heavily. Our eyes met once again. Those blue eyes - so determined. His expression was resolute and confirmed what I already knew -- he really couldn't change his mind - not Herc. He felt too much guilt and being the hero that he was, he had to pay for his crime, even if it was Hera who was really at fault. She'd never pay, so it was Herc who was to suffer. Each labor had been successful, but this one was really the most dangerous. I hated Eurystheus.
Herc's forced smile didn't fool me. He meant to hide his worry for my sake, but I knew him too well. Fatigue was evident in the unnatural hunch to his shoulders and the dark circles around his eyes. He was as tired as I was and worried about the journey we faced the next day.
The forced smile on my face mimicked his. When he returned to his work and looked back at the lion skin, my lips press together in frustration that he wouldn't listen to reason, that I couldn't have my way with him.
I considered the strip of leather in my hands. Thick and black, it was about as pliable as Hercules when he made up his mind, and just as easy to work. I knew I'd have a battle with both - in fact, I expected to have more luck with the leather than the demigod. That's why my plan had to succeed.
"Come on, Iolaus, don't be so negative. We've been through a lot together - a lot worse than this."
"Worse than this?"
I meant to sound more dismissive than angry but I didn't succeed. He glanced up briefly from his work to offer me a frown and kept brushing, never missing a beat. Anger that he wouldn't listen to reason translated into force and as I pressed the tool against the leather, the blasted blade slipped right through and cut my hand.
"Great!" I yelled, and threw the whole works down on the table.
"What?" he said and then he stood and threw the skin down when he heard the sharp intake of my breath and saw the blood dripping off my hand.
"Iolaus! What in Hades?"
The pain seared my hand and streaked up my arm like a bolt of lightning. It seemed to immobilize me and I sat and watched as my upturned palm filled with blood. The deep crimson dripped onto the belt and filled the intricate pattern I'd carved in the leather. The blood would leave a permanent stain. I suppose it was fitting. "Don't mention Hades," I said dryly. "We'll get enough of him tomorrow."
Herc grabbed a cloth and pressed it against my wound, and when he did, his face was so close to mine that I could see the concern on his features.
"Nice job," he murmured and squeezed his big hands around mine and raised my hand high to staunch the flow.
"No half-measures for me."
He lifted the cloth away from the cut to inspect it but blood welled up quickly, so he pressed it once more against my wound.
"And you say you're a skilled beltmaker?" he laughed as a smile spread over his lips. "No wonder you were starving when I met you!" He looked at me and once again those eyes pierced me right to my heart. I'd do anything for him - anything.
I couldn't help but laugh with him. I wasn't starving when I met him, but he likes to think I was - he likes to think that he rescued me from a life of pain and suffering. It's the hero in him. He has this need to be needed, to be important. There was pain in my life, and yes, some suffering, but I wasn't a mess. Still, I was glad to have met him and I left my old life without hesitation and without regrets. As for my skills, I am a very talented beltmaker and can usually do wonders with leather, but contemplating Hercules' trial in the underworld was enough to put anyone off their usual performance. The fact that I was going along with him to the God of the Dead's domain was enough to scare even the bravest of men, and I would never count myself among their number. Not me.
No, any feats of bravery I got caught up in were accidental and because I was with Herc. It was Herc who was brave, fearless, and so damn good.
"Hercules, don't do this. It's unfair of Eurystheus to demand another labor after all you've done."
"Hey, I told you not to worry. It's a simple job. I go in -- I get the hound -- I get out. Nothing to it."
"WE go in," I corrected him. If he was going to die, it wouldn't be alone. I couldn't be sure the belt would be enough to save him -- that I could save him -- but it was all I had. It was the only debt I had yet to collect; the only marker I could call in. I was saving it for a day like tomorrow.
"I'm going to have to seal the cut," he said as he peeked once again at the wound. "It won't stop bleeding if I don't."
I nodded, having realized this as soon as I saw how much blood there was.
"Go ahead," I said with reluctance, not looking forward to more pain. "Give me a cup of wine first."
"Better take the whole jug."
I gulped the fragrant liquid down as he stood by the hearth and readied the knife he would use to seal my cut. He waited until the end was white-hot and then turned to me. I swallowed some more wine when I saw the blade.
"As ready as I'll ever be," I choked and clenched my eyes shut. The wine was already making my limbs heavy and I felt a little drunk. Half a jug of wine usually
did nothing to me, but I was tired so it had more of an affect than usual. I'd spent a sleepless night worrying about the trip and trying desperately to figure out some way to save his life. And now this...
GODS, but it hurt. The pain seemed to go on and on, deeper and more unbearable with each passing second. I tried to pull away but he held firm, knowing that the cut had to be sealed or it would become infected.
"STOP!" I cried out and pulled my injured hand away. I cradled it in my lap and looked at him, unable to disguise my pain or my anger that he could hurt me so easily -- without even flinching.
The blackened skin around the cut was shiny from the burn, but the bleeding had stopped. Luck was with me -- it wasn't my sword hand, so I wouldn't be completely useless as a partner for him tomorrow.
He put his big strong arms around me, and the act was so tender and caring, it made me choke with emotion. I pushed him away.
He rose with reluctance and then tore up some fine muslin he'd retrieved from the cupboard to use as a covering for my bandage. I sat still while he wound it around my injured hand. When he was done, he picked up the belt I'd been working on and wiped the blood off, inspecting my handiwork as he did.
"I have to finish this by tomorrow," I said as I watched him. "Now what in Tartarus am I going to do?"
If the belt wasn't ready in the morning, my plans were useless.
"Why do you have to finish it by tomorrow?"
I shook my head. I couldn't tell him why -- it was a reminder of my shame, of my deceit. It was also my only hope to save him.
"It's a," I stopped, unsure of what to say. "Well, it's a little hard to explain. It's... It's a reminder to someone of a debt they owe me. I have to get it to him by tomorrow."
"Who? What debt? I thought you agreed that we'd leave tomorrow night."
"Don't worry - we'll leave on time. It's personal," I sighed as I thought about the debt. "It's a very old debt. I'd rather not talk about it."
"Iolaus," he said, and went down on his knees in front of me. He wound his arms around my waist. "You can tell me anything." When he laid his head on my shoulder and pressed his lips against my throat, I felt emotion well up, but I hardened my heart.
I wanted to tell him - I wanted him to accept me completely, but there are some secrets you just don't tell.
"I know," I replied and pressed my fist against my chest. "But there are some things that have to stay in here."
He was hurt that I didn't trust him enough to reveal my secret - I could feel it when his body tensed and his lips retreated from my neck. I wanted his love more than anything, but I was afraid he'd hate me. By the gods, he was such a big man, so powerful. His beautiful body aroused so much passion in me, but at the same time, there was this purity to him, this willingness to give himself to me so totally that took my breath away.
He got up and went back to his chair. I know he didn't understand. He had nothing in his past that could compare to this. Even his crime - it wasn't his fault - he was tricked. Betrayed by a jealous Hera who still held a grudge against him and Alcmene. Herc was blameless. My own shadowed past was born of weakness.
"Let me finish this for you," he said as he took the leather belt in hand and ran his fingers over the engraved surface. "Tell me what to do."
"No," I protested. "No, let me do this. I'll manage." I tried to take the belt away from him but he held on fast.
"You need two hands. Don't be so stubborn."
I relented and let him keep the belt. He smiled, genuinely happy to be of help. Just like Herc.
I felt such guilt when I saw him sitting there, holding the belt in his hands. It was ironic, really, him finishing the work on the belt. It was both a symbol of my lies and just might save his life. It was a symbol of betrayal, and perhaps, of redemption.
"The design is complete, so you need to take the other tool and puncture the leather all the way through. Take a stud and put it in the hole. Yes, like that." I watched him for a moment. If he knew...
"You'll need to hammer the fastener to the stud. There's a dozen studs left."
He furrowed his brow in concentration as he set to the task.
"Your blood stained the leather," he noted as he examined the belt. "Will it wash out?"
He shrugged at my lack of concern and continued fastening the metal studs to the belt.
"Iolaus, tell me where you're going tomorrow," Herc insisted.
"Don't worry. I'll be back in time."
"Will you be in danger? Tell me the truth."
"No, of course not!" I lied. "I'm just going to collect on a debt, get the money someone owes me."
He looked at me for a moment as if he didn't really believe me. Then his good nature kicked in and, thinking I was as honest as he was, he nodded and turned back to the belt.
The points were sharp and the studs made the belt heavy, but it looked very good. It was a belt made for a warrior - a warlord. There was an attachment for a sword. A warlord could never be without his sword, after all.
The temple was dark and cool. Lit only by torches and a few candles, the shadowy halls and chambers were filled with the symbols of war. Candlelight danced off the polished metal of the swords and shields on display against the walls. Spears and armor, both ancient and new, lined the narrow hallway. My footsteps echoed off the stone walls and ceilings as I made my way into the temple's interior, announcing my presence as surely as if I'd yelled. There was a cold-sweat feel to the place, but maybe it was only my fear.
I stopped in the offering room and looked around. It was empty - there were no supplicants there this early in the morning so I was alone. Amidst the offerings on the altar were a few candles burnt down to their wick-ends. I could see the entrails of a sacrificed goat in a large bowl. An un-welcoming silence surrounded me and I felt as if the air had been sucked out of the place. My heart pounded as if it was in my throat.
I knelt in front of the massive throne and waited, trying to formulate just the right appeal to convince the god to help me.
His leather boot was hard against my back, and then I was blinded by pain as my face struck the cold stone floor.
"Well, well, well. What have we here?"
I watched those boots as he walked around me and wondered if he'd make me lick them. I didn't even try to get up -- he'd let me up when he felt like it, not before.
"I'm surprised to see you here, Iolaus. Of all the people who might visit my temple, you were just about the last one on my list. I didn't think you'd have the guts to come here after what you've done."
What could I say? He was right. I'd betrayed him - betrayed the God of War and chosen Herc.
I pulled the leather belt out from under me and placed it on the floor where he could see it. He said nothing for a moment and then picked it up. Finally, he walked away and I waited.
I rubbed my cheek as I rose and was careful not to look him in the eye. I could still see him in my peripheral vision -- he was seated on his massive throne and was examining the belt closely.
"It's very ... nice."
It was more than nice. It was a work of art.
"The bloodstain adds something, don't you think?" I looked up when I felt his eyes on me and shivered as his dark eyes caught mine. Zeus, he was beautiful. Deep shadow surrounded him, but the light from the torches highlighted those sharp cheekbones and captured the fullness of his lips.
"I take it this is your blood." He gestured to my bandaged hand with a finger encased in a silver attachment with a sharp point at the end. "Did you hurt yourself when you were making it?"
"The blade slipped and I cut myself."
I held up the injured limb for him to see.
A smile flickered across his face. My pain seemed to please him. It always had.
The War God stood up and I took in his marvelous physique. He seemed to stand still for a moment just so I could look him over. I wouldn't put it past him - he is beautiful for a reason. He loves the feel of our hungry eyes on his body and the way we mortals succumb to his attractions. I felt a stirring in my groin as I, too, was captured. A moth to the flame.
The leather vest and pants were too tight, emphasizing his bulk and carved musculature. He slid off his belt then fastened the one I'd made around his hips, slipping the sword into the sheath. He then pulled the belt down low, making sure that it partially covered the hard bulge in his pants. He grinned when he saw me looking at his erection.
"It's quite something, isn't it?" he laughed. "My sword, I mean. But then, you already know that, don't you Iolaus?" I looked up and felt a flush spread over my cheeks at the memories that played in my mind's eye. Twenty-five years is a long time, but the images were as fresh as if they happened yesterday. I was barely out of boyhood when he found me trailing behind the officers after a battle, hoping to beg for money to buy some food. Too young, really, to be the plaything of a god.
I looked at the belt he'd removed - it lay on the arm of the throne, discarded but certainly not forgotten. The leather was worn, but the belt was still impressive. The intricate working in the leather was that of an expert craftsman. Finely etched silver decorated the leather and dozens of metal studs pierced its length.
"I suppose you'll want this back," he said. He picked the belt up and looked at it, then ran his hand along the smooth underside. "It was special to you. I'm surprised it took you this long to come and get it."
"Under the circumstances..."
"Under the circumstances?" he hissed as he lunged at me and pinned against the wall. "Now that's what I call an understatement."
Before I could respond, he wrapped the leather belt around my neck and tightened it so that I could barely breathe.
"What is it you want, you conniving little..."
His face was so close to mine I could barely focus on his eyes, but they were black and filled with anger. His heat burned me and the hardness of his incredible body against mine would have turned me on at one time, but I knew about Ares' anger. It was something to fear.
"Well?" he demanded. "What do you want?"
"To save Hercules' life."
I closed my eyes. This was the worst thing to ask of Ares - I knew it when I came to his temple, but this was my only hope. I had to call in my marker and save Herc's life. I swear that he roared like a lion as he threw me across the room. I cracked my head against one corner when I came to rest at the foot of his throne. It took me a few moments to see straight.
He was standing at the other end of the room. A torch on the wall behind him flickered and he cast a huge shadow that spread out over the stone floor. His face was shrouded from sight, but I could hear his labored breathing. He was angry.
"I'm stunned, Iolaus," he said in a carefully controlled voice. The fingers of one hand played with the hilt of his sword as if to remind me of how quickly I could die at his hands. "I can't imagine how you could dare come to me with a request to save Hercules' life. Has he addled your brain as well?"
I thought he was showing remarkable patience.
"Hercules… he's going to the Underworld to steal Cerberus," I said as I sat up. The room spun and I had to hold onto the floor for a moment to regain my equilibrium. "He's got to do these labors. It's his punishment for… well, you know his crime. Even if Hades lets him in, Charon will never let him pass over the Styx."
I looked at the blood that had dripped on the floor beside me from the cut on my temple. More of my blood spilled. I knew it wouldn't be the last.
"Well? What's in Tartarus has that got to do with me?"
"I...I want you to protect Hercules. Find a way for him to get across the Styx and back. There's no way any living person can cross. Charon will only let the dead cross, but if Hercules doesn't, he won't be able to catch Cerberus and..."
"Iolaus," Ares interrupted. "I know about his labors, and I also know a bit about the Underworld."
"Oh, yeah...I guess."
Are walked over and picked me up by the front of my vest as if I was a child.
"It's not too serious," he said as he looked at my wound. "Besides," he said as he pulled me against his body, crushing me in his embrace. "I like to taste a bit of blood now and then."
He licked my cheek and then kissed me, hard. I could taste my own blood on his tongue.
What can I say about what happened next? I'm weak. That mouth, those lips, that tongue - I knew them so intimately. How could I not respond, even just a bit? I'm only human. A weak, spineless human. I've never claimed to be good, or a hero. No, that's not me. That's Herc.
He pushed me down on my knees, and it's not like I didn't know what was coming, but still, I couldn't help but resist -- just a bit, and only for my own sense of worth. I didn't want Ares to think he'd get my compliance as easily as he had when I was a boy.
"Come on," he said and pressed my face against his crotch. "You know the routine."
Yeah, I knew the routine, all right.
"I didn't come here for this," I said, and pulled away from him. "I came here to collect an old debt."
His eyes widened in shock at my insolence and then narrowed to slits. I swear the heat in the space between us increased and became almost unbearable. Sweat trickled down the small of my back. "I owe you nothing, mortal."
He ground my mouth against his hard cock once again and his powerful grip on my cheeks and jaw brought tears to my eyes. I managed to pull free.
"Damn it, Ares, you owe me!"
The god threw me away and I crumpled to the floor, glad that I was free of his punishing grip. He paced around the room, and then flopped down on his throne, his legs spread wide and his hands gripping the armrest as if to contain his anger.
"Don't remind me."
I sat up and waited. He could kill me in the blink of an eye and no one would ever know that he owed me and refused to live up to an obligation. He was a god, after all. Gods do what they want, and Ares wasn't known for his honor. He loved no one. I wasn't even sure he could feel anything for mortals, although he seemed to pick certain of us to submit to his particular brand of torture.
"The deal was that when you made me a replacement belt, I'd give you the old one back. It took you long enough to make it, but now you have the belt. Leave."
"The deal," I said as I stood up and took a deep breath. "The deal was that when I needed help, I'd make you a replacement belt, and you'd give me Cierces' back. And you'd grant me one favor in return."
The air in the room almost crackled with his energy, and I waited for his attack, but he only looked away and rubbed his chin, stroking the jet-black goatee. I could see a muscle in his jaw pulse, and knew he was fighting the urge to hurl a bolt of lightning my way and end this whole matter in his usual fashion -- with violence.
"So tell me, Iolaus," he said, and I could hear the anger and resignation in his voice. "What is it you want me to do? How in Tartarus can I save little-brother's life?"
"You can talk to Hades. Secure Hercules' passage into the underworld and across the river Styx."
Ares rose from his throne and walked in a circle around me. I stared straight ahead and tried to keep my body loose, my muscles relaxed and my mind alert -- ready for attack when it came. In the darkened room, he was difficult to see him and I had to keep track of him with my ears as much as my eyes. He taught me well.
"So, you want me to use my influence with Hades, do you?"
"He's your Uncle," I replied. "You must be able to ask a favor of him."
The kick came and I was ready. I dodged it, and rolled away from him and landed on my feet on the other side of the room. He laughed as if this was just a game -- the kind of game we used to play years ago when he taught me how to fight. I wasn't fooled. I could see bloodlust in his eyes.
"You're still pretty good," he said. "I was just testing you, to see if you remembered my lessons."
"How could I ever forget you?"
"Oh, now," he grinned, "don't get all sweet on me, little one. You know I hate all that sentimental crap."
"Don't worry. I'm not likely to get all sweet on you, Ares."
It was the wrong thing to say. I don't know why I'm so foolish sometimes. Well, a lot of the time, actually -- my tongue just won't stop. The bolt of lightning struck me and I dropped to the ground like a stone. Pain streaked through my entire body, and I was unable to move for some time.
He picked me up, threw me over his shoulder and carried me across the room. He made my clothes vanish as he threw me onto his bed and I grasped the thick coverlet as he climbed on top of me. My head was propped up on several pillows and Ares was straddling my chest, one thigh on each side of me. When I looked up, I could see the god leaning over me, his hands outstretched and propped against the wall. He reached down and opened his pants, freeing that massive cock, and it bobbed in front of my eyes like a cobra poised to strike. When he moved his hips, the wet head of his cock rubbed against my mouth.
"Start sucking," he said and his deep voice was filled with anger and lust. "Suck as if your life depends on it. It does."
The air crackled as the other god appeared by the side of the bed. He bent down to look at me and I could barely make out his face in the darkness - he seemed nearly invisible.
"Calm down, Ares," Hades said as he watched the War God shove his cock down my throat. "You'll choke him with that thing."
"Ha!" Ares replied and grabbed my head, fucking my mouth now with a vengeance. I could do nothing but let my throat go limp and wait for the hot rush of cum. Hades moved even closer to get a better look.
"It's dim in here," he complained and in response, the War God must have raised the lights for I could now see Hades more clearly from my position.
"What's up? I mean, besides you..."
Ares didn't respond.
Hades caught my eye and smiled. His cowl was up and the cloak was of such a fine material that it made him almost invisible. Even through the tears that blurred my vision, I could see that my memory was right -- he was a dark and broodingly beautiful man. He seemed amused at my plight and when he licked his lips, I knew he was becoming aroused as well.
"Give me a sec, here," Ares gasped and bit his bottom lip. With one final shove, he emptied his hot seed into my mouth and I choked as it spurted down my throat. He pulled his cock out of my mouth after I finished swallowing, and I was finally able to breathe.
"Come on, Iolaus. You know what I like. Clean me off."
I licked his still-hard cock from base to tip, making sure to catch the last drops of cum on my tongue so he could see me swallow it. I knew what he liked.
"That's it, yeah."
Hades threw back his cloak and I saw him more clearly. He was as I remembered him when I saw him years before - dressed in black leathers adorned with intricate silver work and ornate metal studs. His hand slipped down to his bulge and was stroking a noticeable swelling. He had that greedy look on his face -- the look that said he wanted some and was growing impatient.
"I'm sure you didn't call me here just to watch this mortal suck your cock, as nice a scene as that was. So, what is it?," Hades asked, his voice husky from desire. "I'm busy, you know, Ares. I have a lot of work, and I don't like to leave it."
Ares picked me up and passed me over to the other god.
"Hold him while I fuck him in the ass," Ares demanded. "I know you like a tight ass when it's nice and slick, so I'll prepare the way."
Hades leaned back against the temple's stone wall and held me up as if I was nothing more than a toy. His strong arms went around my chest and he nuzzled my neck almost affectionately. I could hear his breathing increase at the idea of fucking me after Ares was through with me.
"Not that I mind sharing an afternoon of pleasure with you, Ares," Hades breathed against my neck, "But I know you called me here for some other reason."
"I have to ask for a favor."
"Another favor? You already owe me big time."
Ares lifted my legs high and placed one foot on either shoulder. Then I felt the head of Ares' cock press against my ass and gritted my teeth in wait for the pain. Ares never did have much patience.
"Spit," he commanded, and held up his palm. I did, and he coated his cock with my saliva but it wasn't enough lubrication -- not for his massive cock. I took a deep breath but I was still in shock and wasn't ready for him. I couldn't help but cry out loud as the pain ripped through my body when he shoved his cock inside of me.
There I was, caught between these two gods. Ares was on one side of me, his huge cock pounding in my ass, and Hades was behind me, his own erection hard against my back.
"I want you to let Hercules into the Underworld and across the Styx and back," Ares panted as he pumped in my ass.
Hades didn't say anything for a few moments. The fingers on one of his hands played with my nipple. I was growing used to the pain, and now, against my will, and with the god staring at me as if he was looking right into my heart, I started to respond.
"Is this another one of his ridiculous 'labors'? What's he after now?"
Ares looked feral. Rabid. He held my gaze the whole time and when I tried to look away, he grabbed my chin and forced me to look in his eyes. He leaned over and breathed in my ear as he fucked me.
"Just like old times, isn't it, little one?" His tongue ran the length of my jaw and chin, then claimed my mouth in a punishing kiss. He sucked my tongue before pulling away. "I'll bet little brother doesn't fuck you like this."
He was right. Hercules never hurt me. When I fucked Hercules, I took the lead. I had control.
And now, here I was, unable to stop my response to this god, unable to fight the lust rising in me. With each powerful stroke of Ares' cock, my own grew harder. I ached for him to touch me, for one of them to grab hold of me and give me some relief. I hated myself for being so weak. Herc's life was worth a little self-hatred.
When Hades reached down and grabbed my cock, I cried out loud.
"Give me some lubrication, Ares," Hades demanded and the War God let a drop of spit drip into the other god's hand. The Death God spread Ares' saliva over my cock and stroked me with a fast, firm grip. Ares was leaning over me and his hands were gripping my ass for leverage. It was finally too much, the sensations and the vision: Ares' eyes piercing me, his incredible scent, the smells and sounds of sex as his cock slid in and out of me, Hades' heat behind me, his grip on my cock. Before I knew it, I was shaking with pleasure. It flowed through me and I cried out as my cum spurted against Ares' bare chest.
"It felt good, little one," he said breathlessly as he leaned closer and kissed me, not missing a stroke. "Tell me how good it felt."
I was still numb from the pleasure and I resisted.
"It felt … so good."
He thrust even harder before cumming himself, grunting as he spasmed and emptied his seed in me. Then, as if I meant nothing to him, he pulled his cock out and let my legs fall to the ground.
"He's all yours."
I sagged in Hades' arms and waited to see what the Death God would do to me.
Ares walked to his throne and turned to watch us. He seemed on edge, as if cumming twice hadn't satisfied him and his hand stroked his still-hard cock. Hades turned me around, and had to hold me up because my legs were weak from the potent combination of pain and pleasure. I looked up into his eyes and could see no compassion there, only lust.
"He's delicious, Ares. I think I'll enjoy this." He let me stand and walked around me, looking me over as I stood naked, waiting. "I remember when you used to play with him, years ago. He was your little slave. I never imagined he'd leave you, or that you'd let him live if he did. Especially since he left you for your hero-brother."
"I've had a thousand like him," Ares shrugged. "I couldn't be bothered."
"I wonder why you want to grant him a favor then."
"Indulge me, Hades. Name your price."
Hades stood in front of me and ran his fingers through my hair.
"I'll let you know later. Right now," he said as his fingers circled my nipples. "I want to sample him, decide if he's worth the effort."
His hands stroked down my chest, around to my ass. and then he pulled me close and looked me in the eye.
"I always admired your hair, Iolaus. It gives you this look of innocence that I find very arousing. Innocence begs corruption, don't you think, Ares?"
"Believe me, he's already been corrupted."
"Yes, I'm sure he has," Hades replied and licked my lips. "But he still looks so… open and pure. So good. And his blue eyes - breathtaking. His skin, it's so smooth and golden. It would look just perfect with a bit of silver to adorn it."
"I like your thinking," Ares said with a laugh. He sat up a bit, and stroked his cock a little faster.
With his powers, the Death God conjured chains; ropes of them, shiny silver and surprisingly light. He held one end in his hand and attached the other to Ares' old belt that the god had wrapped around my neck. The chains crossed my chest, and attached to a broad belt that circled my waist. Another thin chain snaked down my belly, between my legs and up the crack of my ass.
"There - just one more thing…"
Hades took a long thin leather strap and started to wind it around the base of my cock and between and around each testicle. It was just a bit tight at first, but soon, he pulled and the tightness increased to pain.
He knelt down in front of me, the King of the Underworld, the God of Death, and started to lick my cock. I was limp from the pain of the bindings, but soon, no matter how hard I tried to distract myself from the sensation, my cock filled with blood. Pain and arousal grew -- each feeding on the other.
"Stop!" I begged, as my cock grew longer and harder than I'd imagined possible.
"I say when to stop," he replied quietly, and licked the end of my cock where my precum oozed out.
He stood and waved his hand, and with his powers, lifted my arms up and attached each wrist to shackles on the wall. I was suspended -- my feet were just a few inches off the ground, my tortured cock jutting out like a staff.
"That's more like it. Just the right height. Isn't he a sight, Ares?"
Ares didn't reply - he was stroking his cock slowly and deliberately. With each pass, he pulled his hand off the head completely and then pushed back on through his fist.
Hades' black robes disappeared, leaving him naked except for his crown and the silver amulet he wore on a leather strap around his neck.
"I know what you're missing, Iolaus," Hades said as he stroked my nipples. He held up his hand and a thick needle appeared between his finger and thumb. "Something to remember me by."
He played with one nipple: pinching and rolling it to hardness then pressed the point of the needle against it. I gritted my teeth and waited for it to pierce me. More pain, but this was sharp and swift, and after a few moments, when he'd finished threading a small ring through the fresh hole, the pain turned to a burning. A thin stream of blood streaked down my chest. He ran his finger through it and then licked the blood off.
"Ahhh, perfection. The next time we play, I'll enjoy doing the other one."
He leaned down and licked the injured nipple, lapping my blood and soothing me in the process. I felt my cock jump when he sucked the other nipple - my cock was so hard and thick, I thought it would burst.
He lifted my legs effortlessly so that I was poised for his use.
"Just the way I like it," he said huskily and looked down at my ass. "Primed and ready."
His cock was thick, and the head spread my ass wide as it entered and passed the tightness at the entrance to my body. For a moment the pain was enough to make my erection subside. He was big, thick, but not as big as the War God and I soon grew hard and felt shivers of pleasure course through me as his cock brushed my sensitive spot. It made me almost bind with lust and I couldn't help but thrust my hips forward to meet his every push.
"That's right, Iolaus," he whispered as he leaned close and sucked the skin on my throat. "You love it."
I could see the God of War in the background, watching us, stroking that hungry cock with increasing speed. He was sitting on the edge of his throne, waiting, watching our performance.
"Oh, gods, oh, gods…" I cried out, unable to stop myself. "Let me cum…"
Hades reached down and released the thin ties that bound my cock and the pain was almost blinding, but my cock stayed hard. When Hades gripped it and pulled, I came at once, my cum spraying out over his hand and onto his chest. Ares groaned and I watched him cum as well, his seed spurting out several feet from the force of his ejaculation.
Hades' eyes never left mine as he thrust harder and deeper, then he bit me, bit my lip and my blood smeared his mouth as he came in my ass.
I couldn't stop the tears. Whether it was the pain or humiliation at loving it so much, they fell off my cheeks and onto my chest. Hades watched me through his pleasure-induced haze and licked my blood off his lips. "I'll grant your favor, Ares," he gasped. "But there's a price."
Ares nodded and leaned back in his throne, his chest heaving as he recovered from his orgasm.
"I'll make sure that Charon lets Iolaus and Hercules cross the river. I'll even make sure Cerberus doesn't fight too hard and is easily captured. But only one of them will re-cross the Styx."
"You didn't hear me right," Ares said, and there was more than a touch of impatience in his voice. "I said I wanted them both back."
"You said Hercules. You didn't say Iolaus."
"Well, I meant them both. So, do we have a deal or not?"
"Two mortals crossing the Styx and coming back alive? That's a pretty big favor. I need one life, at least."
"I'll give you lives," Ares replied. He'd dressed himself and came to stand beside Hades and me. Hades cock was still hard inside of me. Sweat dripped off Hades' face and onto his chest. The god had this strange look on his face -- like he was pleased with more than just the sex. He was enjoying playing with Ares.
"I've got a battle or two scheduled in the next while. You'll get lots of dead," Ares added.
"Yes, but they were fated to die," Hades replied and moved his cock inside of me. "This is different. I need someone whose life is a gift."
Hades sighed and pulled his cock out of me and let my legs fall away. He stepped back and his cloak enveloped him, rendering him almost invisible once more.
"It's ok, Ares," I said. "I'll stay."
Ares pushed Hades aside and came to stand close to me.
"Hold your tongue for once, Iolaus, I'm in negotiations here," he said in a quiet voice. He waved his hand and my bindings opened and I slipped to the floor, my knees crumbling beneath me. He let me fall and walked back to his throne.
"Look," Ares continued as he sat down. His fingers tapped against the brass knob on the arm of his throne. "This is the deal. They both go over, they both come back."
Hades moved like a specter and stood in front of me once again.
"You're a mess," he said to me as he took my hand and lifted me up. I was a mess - the cut on my head was still oozing, my wrists were raw and bloody from the manacles, and my spine was scraped from the rough stone wall. My nipple and ass ached.
"I wonder once again, nephew," he said as he turned to face the War God, "why you're so willing to grant this mortal a favor. He betrayed you. I'd think you'd fry him to a crisp rather than indebt yourself to me even further."
"Name your price. Do we have a deal or not?"
Hades turned back to me and smiled.
"You'd stay, you'd die, so that Hercules could live?"
"Hercules is a hero. People need someone good like him to look up to. He's saved my life so many times -- he's saved so many people's lives. I'd die for him."
Ares rose from the throne and stomped over to us. He stood with his hands splayed on his hips.
"Hercules killed his own children. That's why he's doing these 'labors' isn't it?"
"That," I spat, and glowered at the War God, "was your mother's work."
"Ares, we have no deal," Hades said quickly, never taking his eyes off me. "I'll grant Iolaus his request. Hercules will succeed, catch Cerberus and Iolaus will remain in Asphodel with me."
"Don't agree to this, Iolaus. Hercules isn't worth it."
"Hercules is the only one who can stand up to the gods -- to you."
Ares shook his head and turned to Hades.
"Don't do this. Grant me this request and name your price. I owe you big time."
Hades smiled and laid his hand on the War God's shoulder.
"Tell me why you want this mortal to live badly enough to be indebted to me?"
"Just grant me the fucking request."
"If I don't get an answer, I won't. I'll deal with Iolaus myself."
I knew why Ares resisted. It was the debt. He didn't want Hades to know the truth - that he'd screwed up, trusted a mortal and was betrayed and nearly died. I looked over at Ares - he was rubbing the leather belt I'd made for him, running his fingers along the smooth edge.
I thought back to the day when he lost his powers, when one of his most trusted warlords betrayed him -- stole his sword and planned to kill him when Ares was powerless. Conniving little Iolaus, the street urchin, the beautiful young man who knew how to please -- I got the sword back and killed the traitor. Men's weakness for beautiful young boys has its advantages at times.
Ares had no belt though - his was destroyed in the battle -- so I'd offered him mine as a replacement. When I recaptured the sword and returned it, I returned his existence as a god. No one was the wiser.
"I like this belt," he said to me that day.
"You can wear it, Lord, but just until you get back to the temple. I want it back -- it was a gift from my teacher, Cierces. I'm finally big enough to wear it."
Ares examined the belt more closely and then looked at me from head to toe. Even after growing several inches since I'd become his temple "boy", I was still small. Next to him, I was like a girl -- my muscles were well shaped, but not yet large. I could see he was amused but he was also fighting with himself. He wanted the belt, but felt obligated in some way to return it to me, considering I'd saved his life.
"I tell you what, little one," he said as he fastened the belt around his hips and slid his sword into the sheath. "You make me another one as fine as this, and I'll return Cierces' belt to you. Since you've..." he paused, choosing his words carefully, "...helped me get my sword back, I'll consider granting you a favor. But you have to give me a new belt, first. And make sure it's as nice as this one."
So much happened that day. I met the demigod when he came to Ares' temple after the battle and that was it. I left Ares the next night to be with Hercules.
Now I stood helpless and waited for these two gods to decide my fate.
"He saved my life, OK? I owe him. Story over."
Ares' deep voice shocked me back to the present.
"Little Iolaus saved your life?" Hades said as he walked around me, looking me over as if I was some prize horse. "A mere mortal saved the God of War?"
"Do we have a deal or not?"
"So, Iolaus, you came to Ares and wanted him to save Hercules' life in return for saving his. Is that what this is all about?"
"I don't see what the problem is, Ares. If I allow Hercules to succeed, your debt to Iolaus is cancelled. You still owe me, though, and I want him. Quid pro quo."
"No. Anything else, name it."
"I'll take your deal, Hades," I said, impatient with their argument. I wanted to be sure Hercules would survive and be successful in his quest for Cerberus.
"It's not right," Ares protested. "Iolaus saved my life. A god is worth more than one mortal. He should live."
"If I didn't know you better, Ares, I'd say you're still fond of him."
Ares stood up in his throne and was going to protest, but Hades interrupted.
"But since I know you *very* well, I know it's just your sense of obligation."
Ares sat back and looked away.
Hades turned to me and ran his fingers across my bare chest. He teased the gold ring in my nipple and I gritted my teeth.
"All right. Hercules gets across the Styx and gets Cerberus. He gets to return. But Iolaus, I'm doing this for you. You owe *me*. I intend to collect on my debt, a little at a time."
With that he vanished, and I was alone in the room with the War God. He glowered at me from across the room.
I went to a basin at the side of the room and splashed cool water over my face.
"You're a mess," Ares said as he came to my side and handed me a towel. "You won't be able to explain your injuries to Hercules. He'll be upset to think it was because of you that he captured Cerberus and returned from Hades alive."
"I'll tell him the truth," I lied.
"Let me call Aesclepius, get him to heal your wounds. I know Hercules - his pride is bigger than his sense at times. You won't tell him." He laid his hand on my arm. I pushed it away.
"You underestimate him."
He laughed at my defiance and walked away.
"Ahh, well," he said as he ran his hands over the belt and fingered his sword. "At least I have a new belt out of the deal."
I finished dressing, and pulled my vest carefully over my nipples. I looked at the God. He'd come through in the end.
"Thank you, Ares."
"Get out. Don't push your luck."
I arrived back at our house late in the day - the sun was setting and stars were just starting to peek out from the darkening sky. I entered the room and he stood up and came to meet me at the door.
"I was getting worried."
My cut was bandaged and my lip still fat from Hades' bite. I'd cleaned up as best I could at an Inn on the way home, but I still looked a mess.
"What happened?" he asked as he gripped my arms and looked me over.
"The guy didn't want to pay. We had a fight."
"Did he pay you?"
"Yes," I laughed as I started to undress. "Don't worry, you should see him. I had him right where he wanted me."
Hercules laughed with me and watched as I stripped my vest and pants off and threw them on a heap on the floor. He noticed the ring in my nipple.
"What in Tartarus is that?"
I looked down and flicked the ring. It still stung, but after the events of the day, I could take it.
"Oh, this. Well, I always wanted one, and the money from my debt came in handy. I couldn't resist when I passed the jeweler."
He shook his head.
He hugged me and his arms felt so good, I wanted to just stay there and not face what lay ahead of us, but I knew we had to go. I pushed him away gently and limped to the closet to get some clean clothes.
"Are you up to the trip?" he asked, concern in his voice. "You look really tired and beat up. Maybe you should stay home. I can go by myself."
"No way, bud. If you go, I go."
"Iolaus, this is my labor. You don't have to come along."
"Forget it. Like you said: we go in -- we get the hound -- we get out. Nothing to it."