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Joxer came awake slowly reveling in the sensation of being held close. The memories of the night before returned and brought a smile to his face before he opened his eyes. He looked up into the loving gaze of Ares.
Joxer nuzzled his face back into Ares shoulder and shyly said, "Good Morning."
Ares reached down to Joxer's chin and pulled his face up enough so that he could place a tender kiss on Joxer's forehead. Then he said, "Good Morning."
Joxer adjusted his position and scooted back a little so that he could look into Ares' eyes comfortably. Then he cleared his throat and spoke, "Remember when I asked you if my being a god was going to change our relationship?"
Ares laughed and pulled Joxer in for their first kiss. Their lips just barely touched. The tiniest sensation could be felt, but it burned like fire. After just a moment of the feather light kiss, Ares let his tongue slip out and trace it's way across the crease of Joxer's full mouth.
Joxer opened his mouth to the intruder and Ares gently worked his way in. In response, Joxer's own tongue went to work.
And so it went, the kiss deepened and became more and more passionate. Hands were seeking and caressing as torsos began to writhe in pleasure. As if by a spoken cue, they separated and looked into each other's eyes again.
"Wow," Joxer said as he gasped for breath.
"Yeah," Ares responded, also gasping.
They moved in for round two when Joxer stopped and listened to a silent summons from Hephaistos. They pulled back from each other and Ares said, "Hep has a great sense of timing. Lets get ready, you can't keep the King waiting."
Joxer disentangled himself from Ares and the bed covers and began to get ready for another day.
* * * * *
Lust was watching Hera sleep when Hera came awake with a start. Hera looked into Lust's eyes and began to remember what had happened the night before. Lust was intrigued by the myriad of emotions running in quick succession across Hera's face. Wondering. Whistful. Shy Happiness. Sorrow. And finally anger.
Lust pulled away, wondering if Hera was regretting the night before. Hera noticed the movement and realized it's cause.
"No Lust, I'm not upset with you." Hera said a bit of anger in her tone.
"Then what is it, what is wrong?" Lust asked full of concern.
"I lived, married to that man, for thousands of years and NEVER felt anything like last night." Hera said gruffly.
"I had always heard that Zeus was a good lover." Lust said shyly.
"He knows what to rub and what to pinch to make everything happen that's supposed to. But last night was tender, and beautiful. Zeus is a good sex machine, but he doesn't know the first thing about loving." Hera finished a little less gruffly.
Lust turned her face away from Hera. Noticing this, Hera moved herself around to face Lust and saw the tears in her eyes.
"Did I say something wrong?" Hera asked with every bit of hostility gone from her voice.
Lust's shining tearful eyes looked deeply into Hera's. In a whisper of a voice Lust said, "You've given me more of a compliment than you'll ever know. People see me as accomplished at sex, but no one has ever called me a lover, not in the way that you mean."
As Lust was moving in to give Hera a very good morning kiss, the silent summons came from Hephaistos.
Before they separated, Lust held Hera's hand to her heart and said, "Regardless of what happens from now on, I will hold the memory of last night as a treasure in my heart. My first love."
Speechless, Hera pulled Lust into an embrace before they had to leave to meet with Hephaistos.
* * * * *
Hephaistos waited in the Great Hall for all the summoned to arrive. They flashed into the hall in ones and twos until the last was in attendance.
Hephaistos cleared his throat and began. "The title of King of the Gods comes with certain responsibilities. One of my duties is to watch out for the well being of every member of this pantheon."
None of those in attendance had any idea where this was leading so Hephaistos decided to take it up a notch. "Stop your plotting against Psyche."
Looking around Hephaistos thought to himself, [Who could have guessed that this group could look this innocent.]
Deciding that he needed to spell it out, he continued, "Remember that, as King, my word is law. So here is the law."
And Hephaistos turned to each in the group as he spoke to them.
"Hera, Psyche will not become obcessed with Zeus."
"Jett, you will not put out a bounty on Psyche's head."
"Lust, you will not alter Psyche's hormones in ANY way."
"Jace, you will not spread any rumors, true or otherwise about Psyche in the mortal world."
"Aphrodite, you will not infect Psyche with any disease. No pustules, no running sores, not even that discrete itch thing. None."
"And finally Joxer, you will not by your own action or the action of any other, alter Psyche's appearance in any way, no rat face, no donkey tail, and you most certainly will not create an aroma of urine to follow her around."
Turning his attention to the group as a whole he asked, "Am I understood?"
The entire group nodded in ascent and Joxer timidly raised his hand.
Hephaistos took notice and asked, "You have a question, Joxer?"
Joxer nodded and said, "Why?"
Hephaistos looked around, obviously addressing the entire group, "Short answer: Because I'm the King and I said so."
He waited a moment for this to sink in, then continued, "The long answer has to do with created gods. Joxer, let me ask you a question, since you've become a god, how much mischief have you created."
Joxer looked at the floor then timidly answered, "Some."
"In the full day that you've been a god you've tripped Gabrielle into the mud, put dirt in her food, given Xena's horse a case of flatulence that would send Cerberus yelping in terror, had Xena and Gabrielle afflicted with an attack of insects... need I continue?"
Joxer shook his head, eyes held firmly to the floor in shame.
Hephaistos continued, "What is happening is that all the impulses of mischief are coursing through your godhood and effecting your behavior. It's something that happens to all gods to some degree, but more so to created gods. Each of the created gods here today has a mentor. One of the duties of that mentor will be to train you to recognize when your godhood is pulling you toward a specific action. This isn't a matter of controlling your godhood, its a matter of recognizing its influence and making your choices accordingly."
Hephaistos looked around to see if everyone was following his explanation. Seeing the light of understanding in everyone's eyes he continued, "Now, back to your question Joxer, 'Why'. The answer is that Psyche was made a god and given no supervision. Does anyone here know of anyone who helped Psyche in any way?" No one answered but everyone knew.
"So she was a mortal, made into a god with the godhood of manipulation, then isolated from everyone except her new husband who gave her the tools to manipulate him." Hephaistos noticed the somber mood and decided to let them off the hook, a little.
"What's been done is past. If Cupid still desires the divorce, I see no reason to refuse it. But there will be no retaliation against Psyche for any past deed that Psyche has performed. And since Cupid is the reason for Psyche becoming a god at all, it will be his responsibility to see that she is properly trained to use her godhood, which is as it should have been five years ago."
Aphrodite spoke up on her son's behalf, "After what she did to him, you're going to make him train her in her godhood? That sucks!"
Hephaistos gave a tolerant grin to his wife and said, "No, he doesn't have to train her, he has to see that she is trained. He can find someone else to do the actual training."
Jett cleared his throat and asked, "How did you know what we were planning?"
Hephaistos motioned for Aphrodite to come close and whispered in her ear. Aphrodite then pulled back, looked carefully at his face and said, "Nope honey, it doesn't say 'stupid' anywhere on it."
Hephaistos then looked back to Jett and said, "It's a King of the God's thing you really don't need to know about."