A First Time For Everything
By Shamenka

Iphicles looked around his private chambers. He examined every tapestry, every table top and chair, every floor covering, in fact he went over every nook and cranny. He looked for anything that might be even slightly out of place or worn or less than pristinely clean. Tonight everything had to be as perfect as mortal hands could possibly make it. For tonight, after months of careful courting, planing, of painstakingly slow befriending he would have his God in his chambers, alone.

He stood still for a moment, savouring his memories of that very first sight of his God. His soon to be lover, if all went as he hoped. There was no way he could control the smile that refused to leave his face.

Thinking about his God's skittish nature, his lack of  self esteem was what always made the King smile. That totally unexpected gentleness, and it was geared to his well being no less. He was so sure that his annoying brother, the 'Blessed Hercules' as he liked to think of him, would never credit him for having to be the aggressive one in their soon to be relationship. Gods, as Hercules loved to profess, were never less than nasty, evil scheming bastards.

Unlike his brother the King, the hero always seemed to forget that it was he who was the bastard. Not necessarily the God in Herc's current sights. Not that actual facts had even stopped Hercules from spouting his bilious rubbish about the Gods.

Needing to calm himself, he wouldn't want his anger at thoughts of Hercules to frighten off his God. He walked over to the windows over looking his private garden. It was empty, as it should be. The low sun gilding it with a warm golden glow, it was such a contrast to the view of that same garden the first time he set eyes on his God. It had been a crisp, clear spring morning.

Timor had been working, quietly, diligently as always. Watching his inherited head gardener work had long soothed Iphicles' battered and ragged soul. Even more so since his wife had died, taking their child with her. He was one of the few good things or people Jason had left behind. An oasis of loyalty in a court ruined by a drunken King. But that morning watching Timor, as he had tidied his already faultless flower beds, had taken a different turn when the older man's cousin had turned up. Unannounced, but not unwelcome. Timor had greeted the much younger looking God with an enthusiasm that brought a smile to the King's face as he watched them from his secluded balcony. They hugged, they laughed, they chatted freely, they seemed so unaware of his scrutiny. They seemed to be enjoying all that he longed for; they displayed such companionship, friendship, a close familial bond. Everything he didn't have, yet, he couldn't resent them for it. He just shared it from afar.

Ares was a regular visitor too, to Timor in his garden. When his father was there, the King didn't like to spy on them. It seemed more of an intrusion than when it was merely Timor's cousin. Truth be told the War God did unnerve the King a little. Not that he let Ares see that. Far from it, if he encountered the God and his son he greeted them in a friendly enough manner. He just didn't hang around anymore than he had to before he would up and ran away.

It was during one of those brief encounters with Ares and Timor that the mystery cousin appeared and was finally introduced.

"Yo' Unc! Gramps just sent this over for ya' and yelled about it bein' urgent, like!" The nervous weaving of the younger looking God almost had Iphicles reaching out to comfort him, as he would a nervous colt.

Ares took the scroll from his nephew's hands and caught the alarmed look the younger God sent towards the King. When he looked at the King he saw the almost hungry look in his eyes as he in turn observed Strife.

"Strife, this is King Iphicles, he's Timor's employer and mentor. Be nice." The War God held his nephew's eyes and then turned to the King. "Iphicles, my nephew Strife. If you can't understand any more than three words in ten - feel free to ignore him. I do!"

"Lord Strife." Iphicles inclined his head, politely.

"Cool, Lord!" Strife couldn't help but repeat his choice of title. Then he blushed, most profusely, and a deep even red too. "I usually don't get the Lord stuff, ya' know." He explained, not looking at the King.

"He's right, you know. He don't get the Lord title. Well, he's Strife, no more, no less." Ares laughed at his nephew, mocking him as the younger God stood beside him, red faced and wishing to flee. Or so it looked to Iphicles. The King wished that Ares would go, leaving him with Strife and Timor. His silent plea to the Fates was answered. "Gotta dash, Timor. I'll be by to see you real soon, okay?"

"Okay, father. Can Strife stay a while?" Timor didn't ask  his cousin, even he knew that Strife's time was not his own, but at the total beck and call of his much more powerful uncle.

Ares looked from son to nephew, Strife looked pleased that Timor wanted his company but not hopeful, whereas Timor just radiated out and out hope that his cousin might stay a while.

"A little while." Ares announced, then to Iphicles' delight he added a condition to be closely observed. "But only if the King will accompany you both. I don't want Strife leading you into any trouble Timor."

"I won't." Strife informed him hastily.

"I would consider it an honour." Iphicles said at more or less the same time.

"Fair enough." And Ares vanished leaving a King, a Demi-God and a God all looking at each other in an embarrassed silence.

"I'd suggest we sit down and talk but there's no benches in this part of the garden." Iphicles broke the growing silence and blushed. He had the clear image of Strife on a blanket on the ground in his mind. The fact that the God in his dream was naked and the God in reality was looking askance at him, fully clothed too, didn't pass the King bye. He did wonder if Strife was reading his thoughts until the God spoke.

"You don't think I have any power do you? I can make benches!" He challenged the King, firmly on the defensive, which wasn't where the King wanted him at all. "See!" Strife exerted his powers and created a matched pair of carved wooden benches, "So now you can sit and talk." Putting his words into action, Strife sat down. Timor followed suit, facing his cousin. Leaving Iphicles to choose to sit with the God or the gardener.

In the end he sat beside Strife, just to be closer to him. When Strife was called away by Ares' silent shout he left the benches behind for Iphicles to enjoy.

It had taken six months to get from that first, stilted, meeting to their private dinner that very evening, but Iphicles had to admit it had all been worthwhile. Or so he hoped. Only time would tell.

A low resonant rumble from behind him let the King know his guest had arrived. He spun around, smile already reclaiming his face.

"Welcome, Strife, and thank you for accepting my invitation." Iphicles held out a hand to greet the God. As he always did Strife accepted the handshake with a smile of his own. A shy smile.

"Tha's cool, nob'dy invited me ta' dinner afore. Ya' sure ya' want me here an' not Unc' ya've not got us all mixed up somehow?" Strife looked around the private dinning room. "'S a cool place ya' got here, yer Majesty."

"We've been through all this. Your uncle Ares is a nice enough God, but he is my gardener's father, that is all he comes here for. To see his son. You, on the other hand, come around to see me too, sometimes."

"You get on with Unc' well enough he was giggling like a maniac the last time he wuz'ere." Strife shrugged inelegantly at the thought of his uncle Ares and Iphicles laughing together. He could only assume they had been laughing at him.

Something in his demeanour pointed Iphicles in the direction of Strife's thoughts. One wrong word at this point and there would be no second chances at seducing this God.

"Yeah, if it's the time I think it was he and I had spent a good hour just slandering that idiot brother we share. Hercules had been messing with my rulings, yet again. He'd messed with your uncle's wars, again yet again. So we bitched, we moaned, we even whined. It was very therapeutic." Iphicles poured two goblets of wine and handed one to his guest. "Shall we drink to absent relatives - long may they stay absent!" He watched the humour slowly reclaim Strife's eye, then both goblets were raised to share their toast.

"Absent relative!" Strife repeated.

"Long may they remain absent!" Iphicles added.

Finally, Strife giggled and Iphicles knew the first hurdle was past. He indicated the table with it's two chairs facing each other. It wasn't a big table, that would have defeated Iphicles' purposes.

"Shall we be seated and serve ourselves?" He directed Strife to one chair and crossed to take the other one. "It's a cold dinner, I ordered the servants out of here for the evening. Sometimes they drive me insane with their constant need to be doing something for me. You know? I can dress myself thank you very much, been doing it for years now!"

Strife laughed, a soft whisper of sound at his hosts annoyance with his servant.

"We got servants on Olympus, only I don't get any, I'm too far down the power chain ta' count. So I have ta' dress m'self too. If a God kin manage it, a King should manage it too! 'S easy, one leg atta time, one arm atta time. Maybe they think you're uncle Herc' and need ta be helped inta' yer pants and all!" Strife sat up straight, holding his hands out as if he were holding Hercules' pants. "These are pants." He said slowly and clearly. "You put them on your bottom half... no Hercules that's your head. Oops, my bad, it was your butt!"

Strife enjoyed the sight and sound of Iphicles' laughter. It had the sound of something long missing from the King's life. The sight of the King so clearly amused by him made the God smile.

"Trouble is, I could see it." Iphicles finally calmed down enough to formulate his short sentence. To have something to do with his hands he reached for some of the food before them and began to eat. "Tuck in. I got a better chef than the one Hercules hired for me. Falafel is gone. At least from the kitchens he's gone. He was remarkably good at designing kitchens, just rubbish at using them. I hired him out to several wealthy families to design their kitchens. I get rid of him and make some money into the bargain."

"A sound plan that. Well, if it ain't Falafel's cooking count me in." Strife helped himself too. He had to admit the King was right, the new cook was far superior to Falafel any day. The food was edible for one thing.

The evening progressed, from the dinning table to the comfortable lounge with it's comfortably upholstered couches. Strife lounged on the one directly opposite Iphicles. More wine flowed. The God didn't seem to notice that he was drinking far more than the King. Though Iphicles did drink his share of the jugs of light, fruity wine.

The conversation had finally come around to more private matters. To their own dreams and fantasies. Oh, they both mentioned the usual ones. Total world domination, universal worship, such are the dreams of Kings and Gods. They also talked about their real dreams.

"I want to be something more than just Strife: The God of War's nephew. I want to be recognised for myself. But it's been so long since I've been anything but Ares' kick about toy I don't think there's a mortal alive who remembers who and what I am." Strife was getting maudlin, like many a mortal did when they'd drunk enough.

Iphicles was a little more sober, but not by much. Which no doubt helped loosen his tongue.

"You're Strife, dead sexy nephew of War and what else my sweet Strife? What else are you?" Iphicles got up, unsteadily, leaned over, almost too far, and caressed Strife's face, gently.

"Drunk. I'm drunk Iphy.  I just imagined you called me sexy!" Strife giggled his accustomed high pitched squeal of delight, Iphicles did so too. The noise they were making was carrying out of the Kings private rooms to the guards posted outside. The laughing carried, the tone of voice carried, the words themselves were lost within. But the guards were happy that their King was happy. They'd be happier still if they knew which God it was that had attracted the Kings eye. Then they'd know if they ought to be worried or not.

"I did say that. You are sexy.  At least, I think you are." Iphicles leaned further over which over balanced him, tumbling him into  Strife's strong arms. "Kiss me damn it, please!" Iphicles lowered his lips to Strife's and was rewarded by a stunned but responding mouth kissing him back.

Iphicles climbed over the table between them, clambering onto Strife's couch with him, hand questing for a way into the Gods clothes.

"I've wanted you for so long!" The King admitted his desire when they broke the kiss.

"I never thought you would want the likes of me, not when I thought you had the likes of Unc' ya' know?" Strife waited for the briefest of nods from Iphicles and recaptured his mouth in another soul searing kiss. "What now my King?" He asked the man before him, let the mortal make the choice.

"Bedroom, now!" He ordered the God before him, pointing towards the bedroom door.

"Ah, such a strong man. Gotta love a strong man!" Strife slowly stood up, pushing the King away from him as he got onto his feet. He turned to look at the bedroom door and back at the King. "You maybe got somewhere ya' wanna' take this?" He asked, voice suddenly steady, all traces of drunkenness gone.

"Damn right I do." The King admitted, suddenly as sober as his guest. "My bed is where." He looked steadily at the God, never letting his eyes waver from the God's eyes.

"Ya' really want the like's o' me?" Strife stood face to face, toe to toe with the King. Looking up into those hot, dark eyes.

"Not the 'likes' of you. I want you and only you!" Iphicles leaned down and captured the God's mouth in a tender kiss that deepened, roughened and flared with their passions. Hands pulled through hair, bodies ground together, sharing their desperation.

"Ya' got me Iph. But if yer jus' yankin' ma' chain, ah gotta' warn ye' I'll make ye' pay fer it!" That he had known such betrayal from even mortals was so obvious to Iphicles it almost physically hurt him.

"Why would I do that?" he asked, stunned and angered at other's careless treatment of his God.

"Ta' git favours from Ares, like the others did." Strife looked at his Kings face as he spoke. What he saw there boded well for their future. This was serious, this meant something to the King, this had the promise of being about more than just one night.

"Bastards, all of them!" The King snarled, pulled the God to him and kissed him deeper than ever. So deep infact that he almost fainted from lack of fresh oxygen in his lungs.

"You say the sweetest things." Strife chuckled and swept the heavier set King into his arms and easily carried him towards the bedroom door.

Iphicles just snuggled in close and let his God carry him away. Once there, however, he insisted in regaining his own two feet. As soon as he was standing on his own again he gently pushed Strife over until the God fell onto the bed behind him. Iphicles all but threw off his clothes, garments chosen for their ease of removal. When naked he slowly approached the now openly staring God, reclined on his bed, as if they were made for each other and him!

 Finally, he reached for his God, pulled him off hte bed and stripped him. One item of clothing at a time. First his tight fitting leather jacket, unlaced with such care as to almost be an exquisite form of torture. Then making him sit again he removed his God's boots, massaging the surprisingly delicately boned feet each boot revealed hidden within. Iphicles smiled as he felt the tensing in Strife's entire body as the God tried not to giggle at the light touch. The God sighed as he slowly realised that his King was not going to tickle him.

"Stand for me, please?" Iphicles reached out to his God and helped him stand up. Slowly,  the King trailed his hands down Strife's body, tracking over already peaked nipples with well manicured finger nails. "You are beautiful." The King whispered right before he kissed his Gods belly, distracting Strife as he unfastened the skin-tight black leather pants.

Iphicles sighed deeply nuzzling into the dark crinkled hair that haloed the erect cock that adorned his God. Kissing that enticing flesh Iphicles looked up into Strife's darkening blue eyes. A look of such shock on his Gods face.

"You think I'm beautiful?" Strife asked when he met his lover's eyes. "Are you insane?" he chuckled, half afraid that his King was lying to him, half afraid he was indeed insane.

"Yes and no." Seeing his lovers need for reassurance, the King rose to stand face to face with the stationary God. "Yes, I think your beautiful and no, I'm not insane." He leaned forward and took his lover's mouth in a bruising kiss.

This time it was Strife who broke the kiss. Gasping, more in his shock at his so handsome King's passion. He cupped Iphicles' face in gentle hands, brushing his kiss swollen lips with is thumbs.

"You want me? Really?" He whispered his question, unable to bring any volume to his voice.

"Of course I do. How can you doubt me?" Iphicles saw the pain flood his lovers face. "Who hurt you?"

"You want a list or do you want to fuck?" Strife tried to laugh off his confession. His King wouldn't let him.

"Niether." He watched closely as Strife's face showed his pain at Iphicles' apparent deception, then Iphicles finished his little speech. "I want to make love to you, not fuck like a pair of common whores." The return of Strife's joy almost made the King drop to his knees and beg his God's forgiveness. Almost, but not quite. He did squeal in surprise when Strife picked him up and threw him onto the bed.

"Well, let's get on with things then." Strife laughed, a deeper tone than his more accustomed giggle.

"Com'ere you!" Iphicles pulled Strife down on top of him, rolled them over and lay over the slighter body of his God. "I'm gonna take you till you plead for mercy!"

Strife pulled the King in for more brutal kisses, then gentler kisses, then the kisses halted altogether as they just stared at each other. Their loving might be stalled before it had truly begun if something didn't break the wonderfully torturous tension. So, to give his lover ideas of where to go next Strife materialised a large bowl on his chest, filled, to the brim with warm almond oil.

"Will this be enough ya' reckon?" He asked grinning at Iphicles' shocked and amused expression.

"Just about." The King told him, reaching out and dipping his hand into the warm oil. "Pop it on the night stand." He gestured with his head and as the bowl vanished he began to draw pictures and patterns over Strife's chest and belly. Beneath him his God wriggled and writhed, screaming out laughter and entreaties to stop. These were followed by threats to Iphicles' life should he actually stop his teasing touches.

Strife paused in his pleas and pleadings to push Iphicles over and rolling over himself, he returned the favour. He willed the warm oil onto his hand and drew his own patterns over Iphicles' torso. He chatted happily as he drew his picture in oil.

"See, this is Zeus and Hera's palace, and all around it are the ten palaces of the rest of the council members. From them we have more little paths with minor palaces for the rest of us. It always seems kinda like a giant snowflake to me." He grinned at his fascinated lover.

"Where's your palace then?" Iphicles asked.

"I don't actually have my own home. I live with either Unc' or mom, depending on which of them is less pissed with me at the moment." Strife touched two palaces as he spoke, and inner one for Ares and a smaller outer one for his mother.

"And when you're out of favour with both of them?" Iphicles asked.

"I'm up shit creek with out the proverbial paddle." Strife wiped the pattern clean and swiped downward in long sweeping motions that took still warm oil towards Iphicles' cock.

"You can always live here, with me, if you want?" His King offered. Looking in his soul he saw Iphicles meant every word of his offer.

"Why?" Strife asked, startled.

"Because I'd have you here, with me, always, if I could." Iphicles pulled the startled God back into his arms and into a fresh round of kissing and stroking.

"Bad mortal, to tempt a poor defenceless God thus." Strife chided his lover as he pulled away slightly. "I think I'm going to have to teach you a lesson." He rolled over again, somehow getting Iphicles over his knees and slapped the upturned butt, sharply.

"Ow!" Iphicles protested the pain between bouts of laughter at the sharp almost delicious sensations.

"Well, if your not going to take this seriously then!" Strife rolled Iphicles onto the floor and scooted to the other side of the bed, laughing hysterically at the affronted expression on his Kings face.

"Come here, you!" And Iphicles launched himself at his God, tickling mercilessly the flesh he now knew was so sensitive.

Their game ended with the King's cock rubbing against his God's cock and two sets of eyes locking in a silent communion. Iphicles reached for their bowl of oil, even though his hand didn't reach it, Strife knew what he wanted and oil freely ran over the Kings fingers. His God spread out before him, parting his legs to allow free access to his King's goal.

Iphicles breached his God's body, slowly, reverentially. Nibbling on Strife's almond flavour nipples, teasing him, distracting him from any discomfort his hand and fingers might possibly be causing. He moved in and out, stroking Strife's special sweet spot now and again. Smiling gently at the little whimpers of pleasure his God gifted to him.

"Ready for more?" He asked, lifting his head from its feast on Strife's chest.

"Damn right I am." Strife ran his fingers through  his Kings hair, over his shoulders, down his flanks as best as he could reach. He resorted to pulling Iphicles in to position where he could devour his sweet mouth, kissing, tongue fucking him.

Iphicles broached his God with a second finger, filling his God a little more, moving a little more frantically. Hitting that sweet spot with more frequency.

"More!" Strife groaned between desperate kisses.

"Gladly." Iphicles managed. He added a third finger stoking, touching, stretching his God, gently, frantically, always changing, always  on the move. "Pillow." He pulled free of his God's intoxicating kisses and offered him his last chance to change his mind.

"My pleasure." Strife lifted his hips and created a pillow beneath the small of his back. Ready for him.

Iphicles met Strife's wild gaze as he pushed his now oiled cock in, slowly. Smiling at his lover as he took possession of more than his body, but of his heart and soul too. He watched the expressions flow and meld together as he began to move. To deliberately strike that same sweet spot over and over, faster and faster. Angling his body to almost crush Strife's cock between their oiled bellies.

"Faster.." Strife panted, all but lost in his desire to enjoy all his lover might do.

Iphicles did his best to comply.

As the pressure built he found himself unable to say why he was laughing so hard. It was as if all his sexual delight had to find some way to ease the pressure, some way that wouldn't have him come too soon. Then he felt his lover's body convulsing around him, that was all he needed to halt the laughter and scream out his own orgasm.

Slowly, the King sank onto his God's sweat soaked body, easing his weight onto the slender frame beneath him.

"You are beautiful, my God, my own God." He grinned at Strife's spaced out expression. "But I think we both need a bath."

"Damn right we do. You are so good, my King, my very own King." Strife repeated Iphicles' benediction at him, cupping his face in one warm, trembling hand. "And as for a bath, then share mine?" He waved that hand away from Iphicles' cheek and back again. In the corner of the room a steaming bath, big enough for two sat waiting on their pleasure.

Once more Iphicles found himself carried by Strife. He was lowered into the bath and moved to make room as Strife slipped in beside him. As soon as the God was settled he snuggled closer, kissing Strife's neck, nibble softly on an earlobe, pulling on the earring he found there.

"So, you gonna make me wait six months before you next accept a dinner invitation?" Iphicles asked, teasing his lover with lips and finger nails.

"Erm, I'll think about it, maybe.." Strife tried for an indifferent tone and broke into a high pitched giggle as his King proceeded to tickle him. "Okay, I give, next time I'm free and you're free, I'll be right here, okay?"

"Good as it gets I suppose. I'll look forward to it. And next time you take me, okay?" Iphicles stopped his teasing games to wash his God. As he did so he revealed honey coloured skin. "What the..?" He called out, surprised, thinking he had hurt his lover.

"Sorry, shoulda' warned ya' but, see, I thought, if we're gonna play and stuff. Together like, like we did. Then ya' ought ta' know what ah really look like. See, this is the real me." Strife sat there, in their warm bath, his honey skin a mass of old scar tissue.

"You're still beautiful to me." Iphicles leaned in for yet more kisses. Enjoying the taste that was uniquely Strife. He started when he felt his lover stiffen, he wondered what he'd done wrong when he saw the worried look on his lover's face. "What's wrong, what did I do wrong?"

"'S not you. It's Unc' he's bellowing like a bull with a belly ache.  He wants me, I gotta'' go." Strife cleaned them both, moved them out of the bath and vanished it, wherever it was that Gods sent these things. "Sorry to havta' duck out on ya' lover. But.."

"I know, Ares. Go, don't make him mad." Iphicles claimed one last kiss. "I'll see you next time."

"Next time, fer sure!" And Strife faded from his view, his arms, his life. Till next time.

The End