The Confusion of War

"But he's already got you where he wants: you're in love with him, and so he'll ask you for a favor, if he hasn't already. Casually. No pressure.  And if you refuse, he'll say ‘no problem,' but he'll retreat a little.  He'll push and pull until you're exactly where he wants you.  That's when he hands you the knife."  Herc pauses, studying my face.  "It's already started, hasn't it?"

I want to deny it. To deny it all.  I'm not in love with Ares, and he's not using me to get to Herc.  Except that it all makes perfect, sickening sense.  That's why he's pushing me to fight with Sparta.  In the confusion of war, he'll show up, handing me a knife with a bloody blade, and when I raise my hand to strike, my brother'll suddenly be there.

--Iphicles, An Unkind Intention

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