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With a flash, Ares and Joxer appeared in complete darkness. A slight tremble of fear went through Joxer but Ares just held him tighter.
Joxer asked, "Where are we?" And noticed a strange reverberation of the sound of his voice.
Suddenly torches ignited and Joxer was breathless at the sight. They were in a crystal cave. There were sparkling jewels embedded in the walls ceiling and floor. They all seemed to be natural in their formation. After a few minutes had passed, Ares said, "No one has ever seen this cavern but me and now you, it can only be entered by godly means."
Joxer took a few steps away from Ares, as he stared in wonder at the beauty of this place. He turned to tell Ares but at the sight of him, Joxer was speechless. The shear beauty of his husband in the firelight staggered him. He immediately moved back into Ares arms and began a passionate kiss.
Ares pulled back reluctantly and said, "Deeper in the cave, I made a bedchamber for us. Forevermore, this will be our special place. No god or mortal will disturb us here, nothing in the world can disturb us here... not even Hep's sense of timing."
Ares led Joxer deeper into the cave. True to his word, there was a bedchamber made amongst the jewel encrusted walls of the cave. The flickering firelight caused the light cast through the jewels to dance on the walls which gave the entire room the appearance of a living thing.
Ares led his husband to the bed. This time rather than ravishing him, he began to slowly and reverently kiss him. With tender kisses full of love, Ares began at his beloved's mouth, then worked his way to his throat. While his mouth was busy kissing, his hands were slowly unlacing Joxer's shirt. Once the top of the shirt was adequately loosened, Ares pulled the shirt over Joxer's head in a smooth, fluid motion.
Joxer initiated the next kiss. He took his beloved husband's mouth gently, and as he did, he eased the vest off his shoulders. Joxer's hands drifted down Ares narrow waist and onward to his hips. He caressed them before moving to take a firm grasp of Ares leather covered cheeks and pull him tight against his body.
Ares pulled away from his husband's firm grip, then at Joxer's puzzled look, he dropped to his knees. He began to unlace Joxer's pants and looked up into his eyes seductively... inches from his crotch. He slowly unlaced the pants, deliberately removing one lace at a time, making sure that Joxer could feel the exquisite sensation of the cord being pulled loose just above his rising cock.
Ares smiled as he felt Joxer shudder with desire. After agonizing minutes, the laces were undone. Ares then took hold of one of Joxer's feet, indicating that he was going to remove his boot. With little effort he removed first one, then the other. Then, still on his knees, Ares placed his hands on Joxer's waist and began to slowly, painfully slowly peel the trousers down Joxer's hips.
Joxer's cock sprang free from it's confinement and Ares moved his face forward to nuzzle against the side of it as he continued to lower the pants down the long legs. When the pants were pooled on the floor, Joxer stepped out of them. He took hold of Ares by his shoulders and urged him to his feet.
Joxer performed the same actions on Ares, including the nuzzling caress against the side of his cock. Now they both stood naked in the shifting firelight.
Ares took Joxer by the hand and led him to the bed. Ares eased him down, then crawled into bed next to him and snuggled close.
"Are you nervous?" Ares asked quietly.
"You are my friend and I love you more than anyone I've ever known. I trust you to never hurt me or make me feel afraid. So no, I'm not nervous, I'm ready." Joxer said with a tender smile.
"Good." Ares said with his own smile before moving in for a slow deep kiss.
* * * * *
Cupid remembered a promise that he had made to Asclepius. He quickly realized that anyone who would be a suitable match for Asclepius would end up dominating him and would leave him, no one can respect a doormat. While he had been at Apollo's temple, telling Apollo about Psyche's situation, he had been told the latest gossip of Olympus by the muses. They had been going on about the changes in Ganymede and how he had seemed to grow up overnight. He searched Olympus with his mind and found Ganymede in his room at the house of Debauchery. //Ganymede, can I talk with you for a moment?// Cupid thought to him.
//Sure.// Ganymede answered with a little anxiety underlying the word.
Cupid appeared in a pink flash of power. Ganymede looked at him with wariness in his eyes. As Cupid was about to speak, Ganymede interrupted.
"Do you remember the times that Zeus had you shoot me with infatuation arrows?" Ganymede asked coldly.
Surprised, Cupid nodded.
"I know that as king of the gods he could command you to do something like that and you had to obey. But I want you to understand what that did to me. Zeus had violated my body for centuries before that. But with your arrows, he was able to violate my mind. I can't forgive that, not yet. So please, ask what you want of me and leave me alone. I know it's not your fault, and it's wrong of me to feel this way. But it's how I feel. I don't want anything to do with you. I don't like you." Ganymede said with regret in his voice.
Cupid stood gaping at the statement. He had never been told such a thing before. Everybody liked him. They always had. After a moment of stunned silence Cupid came back to himself and said, "I just wanted for you to spend some time with Asclepius. I remember how timid you used to be, and now you are stronger and more self-assured. I think it would be good for him to see someone who used to be as quiet as him as an example of how to be more assertive. I'm not asking you to try to change him, just be yourself and spend some time with him. I think you'd be a good influence on him."
"Okay, I'll talk to him." Ganymede said shortly, obviously not wanting to be in Cupid's presence anymore than necessary.
Cupid nodded and walked away, before walking out the doorway he turned and quietly said, "I'm sorry."
"I know, me too." Ganymede said and watched Cupid leave.
* * * * *
Sitting in their camp of the past two days, Iolaus was trying to work up the nerve to talk with Hercules. Finally, after hours of internal debate he began.
"Herc, you mind if I ask you a personal question?" Iolaus asked hesitantly.
"You know you can ask me anything."
"You haven't been with anyone, I mean like sex, since Serena, right?" Iolaus asked, trying to hide a tremor in his voice.
"Right." Hercules answered with a blush.
"Don't you get, like urges? I mean, I get urges all the time and I just wondered if you do too."
"Sometimes, I just try not to think about it." Hercules answered seriously.
"So if you had the opportunity to 'do it' right now, would you?" Iolaus asked, trying to lead Hercules to think about him 'that way'.
"There's no point in thinking about it since I'm not seeing anyone right now." Hercules answered obliviously.
"Right." Iolaus responded, feeling the ache within himself.
* * * * *
Cupid appeared in Hephaistos' study having received a summons from his step-father. He noticed Apollo sitting with Hephaistos and asked, "What do ya need, Daddy Hep?"
Apollo answered, "I've been thinking about Psyche and I figured out what to do. Heph gave me this," and he held up a bracelet. "To restrict Psyche's powers, I might need you to help me get it on her. Once we do, I'll take care of her. You won't be able to bring Bliss to visit her for a while, I'm going to need to keep her isolated. So whenever you're ready..."
"I'm ready, just tell me what you need me to do."
"Call Psyche, I'd like to do this while we're with Hephaistos so nothing can be said later of how we did it." Apollo answered with uncharacteristic seriousness.
//Psyche, could you come here for a minute, I need to talk with you.// Cupid called with false enthusiasm.
Psyche appeared in a flash of orange/red power. Immediately Apollo walked up to her and said, "I just wanted to formally invite you to take your place in the house of intellect." He took her hand with a slight bow as if to kiss it, then in a quick move he brought up his other hand and clapped the bracelet onto her wrist.
Realizing that she had been tricked, Psyche began to rant and rave. Apollo nodded to Cupid and they each took one of Psyche's arms and transported her to the house of intellect. They dragged her kicking and screaming down a hallway to a plain wooden door. Apollo opened the door and they dragged Psyche inside. The room was barren. There was a bed with a blanket and a pillow. Nothing else. Once she was fully inside, Apollo and Cupid stepped back out into the hallway, blocking her escape with their bodies and closed the door. After listening to Psyche scream for a moment, Apollo waved his hand and a golden glow appeared over the door and there was silence.
"Now I can begin weaning her off the influence of her godhood. I don't know how long it will take, but it is imperative that she remain secluded until I am finished." Apollo said as he led Cupid down the hall, back toward the audience chamber.
"Just let me know if there is anything I can do to help." Cupid said, glancing back at the door.
"Give me time to do my job. That's the best help you can give me now." Apollo answered seriously as he sat on his throne.
* * * * *
After the incident with Ganymede and helping to capture his ex-wife Cupid decided that he needed to talk with someone. He knocked on Strife's door, surprised when he hadn't been able to appear inside his room. Strife opened the door a crack and poked his head out. "Hey Cupe, what's goin on?"
"Strife, can I come in? I need to talk with you." Cupid said with emotion in his voice.
"Sorry Cupe, Dad said ya can't come in ma room no more. We can go ta tha study if ya wanna."
"I... I don't understand..." Cupid stammered.
"We both made mistakes afore, Cupe. I talk'd ta Dad 'bout it an he said we need ta do this right if we're gonna have a shot of makin it work. Soes ya need ta talk ta Dad, an if he says it's okay, we can go on a date. But it ain't right fer us ta be togethah where we could fool around. Least not fer a while yet." Strife said calmly.
"Since when did you let someone else decide who you can date?" Cupid asked, confused.
"Cupe, Dad cares 'bout me an don't wanna see me hurt. He didn't tell me we was doin' it like this, he told me what he thought an asked me. Ah care 'boutcha Cupe, an ah wanna do it this way an see if we can get it right. Cause if we jump in like last time, it'll prolly end up like last time. An I don' think I could go through that 'gain." Strife said seriously.
Cupid got a resigned look on his face and said, "I'll go talk to Hades now. If he says it's okay, would you like to go to Arcadia with me? They're having a festival."
"Yeah Cupe, Ah'd like that." Strife said with a smile.
* * * * *
An hour after her capture, Psyche heard the door open. Apollo walked into the barren room where Psyche was sitting on the plain bed crying.
Psyche cried with hitching breaths, "Why are you doing this to me?" giving him a pitiful look up through her lashes.
Apollo considered her coldly and said, "We're done for now." He closed the door and walked away leaving a stunned Psyche trying to understand what just happened.