AresJoxerCupidStrife - Disciple of Ares


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Title: Innocence Lost
Author: Disciple of Ares.
Email: vodkguy2003@yahoo.co.uk
Rating: NC17
Fandom: Xena/Herc.
Pairing: A/J, C/S, Xena/Auto, Ipecles/Iyolas
Disclaimer: This fic contains adult material so don’t read it if it is illegal were you live, I don’t own any of the characters and this fic does not reflect on the sexuality of the people portraying these characters. No money has been made by this fic.
Warning: Angst, some Cupid bashing, lots of Herc & Gabby bashing though, contains slash.
Summary: To save Olympus and Greece, Ares must seek help to for fill a prophecy which will change Olympus and Greece.
Status: Complete.
Series: No
Archive: AJCS
Notes: I would like to thank by BETA who has been a great help and thank the many talented authors on AJCS who have been an inspiration to me, it was having read these fic’s that I wanted to take my favourite bits and put them in one fic. Hope you all like it, please let me know your views. By the way, as I am British, so is the spelling.

Innocence Lost

Now that Hercules had met up with them, Joxer was getting increasingly tired of the entire Anti-Ares rant from Hercules and Xena. All they saw was the visible consequences of War; they never bothered to think about why Wars happened.

Joxer had had his eyes opened on his 16th birthday. As usual Jonas had been drunk and, as his wife was not in the house, he decided to go to Joxer for his pleasure; as he approached Joxer, something snapped, Jonas had finally pushed his peaceful son too far. Joxer lunged forward knocking his father backwards and knocking his head on the table; without waiting for his father to get up Joxer fled the house. The first place he found to seek refuge was the Temple dedicated to his god, Ares. He had been dedicated to Ares from a young age by his father, since that time Joxer would often sneak there after the service to make his prayers.

On the day he sought refuge a deep, gravely voice enquired, “What are you doing here?”

Without turning around Joxer replied, “Hiding from a beating what does it look like?” He slowly turned around when he heard the reply.

“Speaking like that can have fatal consequences.” There was no malice in his voice, as soon as Joxer saw who had spoken he squeaked “Ares……” then everything went dark as he fainted.

Ares leant down and picked up the young mortal, he recognised the innocent features as belonging to Joxer. The innocent prayers that he gave to Ares were a welcome change from the blood thirsty ones the warlords offered. In his prayers Joxer never once asked for anything, instead he only gave thanks. Once he reached his early teens his prayers turned into more of a one way conversation where Joxer would tell his god whatever problems he had to deal with.

Slowly Joxer's eyes began to open, his mind was still blurry, he couldn’t remember if it had been a dream where he had insulted Ares; it must have been otherwise he would be dead.

As soon as he heard that gravely voice again his eyes shot open.

“Ah, I see you’re awake Joxer, don’t worry yourself.”

Joxer got off of the soft bed and kneeled before his God, “Lord Ares, please forgive me, I didn’t mean any disrespect, I’m sorry.”

He was shocked to see the smile on Ares’s face, “Don’t worry Joxer, I have listened to every one of your prayers. I often come to that temple when I want to get away from my family; it is one of the quietest as well. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t who I am.”

After the initial shock wore off, Joxer and Ares settled into a friendly conversation. Ares explained that after Joxer had fainted he had taken him to his sanctuary. “Joxer, every God on Olympus has one sanctuary where we go if we are injured or want to get away from everyone. There is only one person who knows of this place and that is Gaia. Here we can forget about our families. If you want you can stay here, even when I am not here.”

“But how will I get back?” Joxer enquired.

“Don’t worry, with this pendant you can come back, just visualise being here; I was going to give you this anyway.”

He had trouble getting over the shock; he was sitting in a sanctuary for the Gods having a conversation with one of the most feared gods in Greece.

Joxer did in fact stay at the Sanctuary after that first conversation; whenever Ares was free he would meet Joxer and they would train or just talk about whatever was bothering them.

It was his friendship with Joxer that kept Ares going. Since Joxer met up with Xena, it became easier and easier for them to meet. The only problem that Ares had was the blond bard. Every time she uttered a cruel word to Joxer, Ares felt his anger building more and more. Despite all the training that Ares had given him, Joxer had decided on a weak, bumbling warrior persona so that people would not suspect that he was not only Ares’s follower but his friend. The idea came about after accidentally bumping into the God of Mischief at Ares’s sanctuary.

As soon as Joxer appeared, the nervous God of Mischief turned round with a fearful look on his face; his Unc had sent him to his sanctuary to hide him from Zeus, who was in one of his tantrums.

Strife turned to the intruder. “What in Hades are you doing in Unc’s sanctuary?”

Before Joxer could reply Ares appeared. “Ah, so I see you two have met.”

Joxer soon became friends with Strife, who found it equally as calming talking to the mortal as his Uncle did.

Between his heartfelt prayers to Ares and the mischief that he got up to “accidentally” knocking into people Ares and Strife had a frequent supply of energy.

It was during one of these meetings that Joxer gained an understanding as to the reasons why wars happen, to cull the population, to prevent famines, and to stimulate discovery and development.

It was because of this discovery that Joxer had walked away from Hercules, Xena and Gabrielle. Iyolas was the only one who didn’t join in the Hate Ares campaign; he followed Joxer towards the side of a nearby lake and sat down next to him.

Iyolas could see that Joxer was upset about something. Joxer turned towards Iyolas and asked, “What is your personal view about Ares?”

Iyolas was slightly taken aback at the question but replied honestly; “Well, I have never given it much thought. I just tend to get caught up in what ever argument he and Herc have, to be honest I am getting pretty tired of hearing about it. Now, Herc is my best friend, but he has to realise that the whole world doesn’t centre on him, I mean Ares existence isn’t just to upset Herc.”

That was the start of many conversations Iyolas and Joxer had. Iyolas was yet another person who found they could rely on Joxer to listen without comment or judgement.

The four heroes and Joxer had stopped for the night on their way to Corinth; as usual Xena, Hercules and Gabrielle were bad mouthing Ares. When Joxer interrupted her Gabrielle replied in a scathing tone, “Joxer be quiet, you don’t know Ares like we do, there is nothing but evil in him.” Rather than get in an argument he just walked off. As soon as he sat down away from the others he was joined by Iyolas. “You know Jox, I never realised what a bitch Gabby can be. At one time I actually quite liked her, but the more I get to know her she gets to be more and more of a bitch. Hades knows what Xena sees in her.”

Joxer turned to his friend, “I know what you mean; there was a time that I actually thought I was in love with her. I just hate it when they all bad mouth Ares. They don’t know what he is really like.”

Before he could stop himself from saying any more Iyolas asked, “Jox, what are you not telling me? How do *you* know what the real Ares is like?”

Joxer looked worriedly at Iyolas, “If I tell you, I have to have your solemn vow that you will never breathe a word of this to anyone.”

Iyolas just raised an eyebrow, “You have it, we are friends Jox and nothing can change that.”

Joxer sat and told Iyolas a potted version of his friendship, after which Iyolas started to see the dark brooding God of War in a whole new light.

Whenever the strange man visited Psyche Bliss would hide. He only spoke to him once and after that the young godling felt fearful. The strange man would only visit when his daddy wasn’t there.

Bliss was slowly trying to hide away from the bad man as he saw him embrace his mother, who spoke in a quiet voice, “Imotep, seeing you is the only thing that makes living here with that fool and little bastard worthwhile.”

Bliss ran out of the temple in tears as he heard the hatred in his mother’s voice. Since his daddy wasn’t there he went to the one other place he would feel safe. He went to Ganpa Res.

As soon as Ares saw his tearful grandson he immediately stopped the argument with Eris and took his Grandson in his arms.

“What is wrong little one?” he asked. Between sobs Bliss barley managed to get the words out, “Mummy doesn’t want me, she tell the bad man that she doesn’t want me.”

Eris immediately saw the anger building up in her brother. She sent a call out across Olympus, //Aphrodite, Cupid, come to the Halls of War, it’s Bliss.//

The room was filled with sparks as Cupid and Aphrodite flashed into the temple.

Ares gently rubbed in between the young godling’s wings to sooth him as he did with a young Cupid. “Bliss, tell Granpa Ares, who is the bad man?”

The look of fear on the young god’s face only served to inflame Ares’s anger. “Can’t say bad man said he will hurt me if I tell.” The anger emanating from Cupid and Aphrodite was soon reaching the levels coming from the God of War.

“Bliss, your daddy and I will never let anyone hurt you, I promise.”

Bliss looked up to his big Granpa and questioned “Pwomise?”

Ares lightly touched his grandson’s forehead and gently looked to see who would dare to hurt his grandson.

“I promise Bliss you will be safe.” As soon as he found out who it was he bellowed out “STRIFE”, his nephew flashed in.

“What’s up Unc? What’s wrong with Bliss?” he cried out.

“Strife, I need you to take Bliss while I talk to Cupid and Aphrodite, I will tell you shortly.”

Strife picked up his little mischief maker in his arms and carried him out.

Ares turned to the fuming gods standing in front of him. “It would seem Psyche has been playing us all for fools. She has been having an affair with an Egyptian priest. They are there now.”

Psyche and her lover were disturbed by three fuming gods.

Aphrodite reached forward and slapped Psyche across the face, “You BITCH, after everything you have done this and you dare hurt my grandson.” By now Ares had the Egyptian by the throat and was holding him off of the floor. ”You dare come here and defile our temples, you will pay.”

“I do not fear you Olympian; I am under the protection of the Egyptian God of War. You harm me and Greece will be crushed under the might of the Egyptian Army,” he replied contemptuously.

Knowing that her life was unravelling Psyche decided to try and use pity and tears, “Please Cupid, I am sorry, please forgive me, I was so alone, and no one here likes me.”

In a flash the five of them appeared in front of Hera’s throne. “What is that Egyptian doing here?” Zeus bellowed.

After hearing the explanation of the morning’s events Hera reached forward to touch Psyche’s head and spoke clearly. “Hear me all of Olympus, from this day forth the Goddess Psyche is stripped of her godhood and immortality, never shall her name be mentioned on Olympus again.”

Before Psyche was sent back down to Earth Aphrodite added her own curse, “Until the end of your days you shall appear as an old hag whilst you shall only see your face as it is now.” With a wave of her hand Aphrodite sent Psyche down to Earth.

Since he had spent many years of his youth working with the Egyptian God of War, Ares silently called Mentu to deal with his priest.

Imotep crawled over to his god begging for his protection. Mentu turned to his young friend; “Ares, why have you called me all this way, I am not as young as I once was,” he said with a smile. Before Ares could reply Imotep spoke, “Lord Mentu please protect me, they have attacked me.”

Mentu turned to Zeus, “IS this true? Have you attacked one under my protection?”

“Mentu,” Ares called. “This priest has defiled our temple by having an affair with the wife of my son and threatening my grandson.”

Mentu turned to the grovelling priest “IS this true?” Not hearing a reply he reached forward to read the mind of his soon to be dead priest.

“You have dishonoured your god, you have threatened one of purity and harmed the family of my friend, from this time on, you are no longer under the protection of Egypt. You know of the punishment ordered by the Great God Ra for adultery.”

“Ares, my friend,” Mentu continued. “Do with this snivelling piece of waste as you see fit, I am sorry, my friend, that we meet under such circumstances.”

Ares flashed back to his temple with Aphrodite, Cupid and the quivering Egyptian. Aphrodite went to find Bliss. “Strife, Ares and Cupid need you. I will take care of Bliss. Here darling come to Grandma.”

Strife joined his uncle in the throne room. “What’s up guys, who’s the sad sack?”

The urge to protect Bliss was as strong with Strife as it was with Cupid and Ares so Strife happily went off with Cupid to punish the snivelling priest.

Thinking his day could not get any worse Ares turned and was greeted by the Fates, who appeared in front of him.

“God of War, hear our words. When Blood innocence is sacrificed for true love of War, Joy shall bring Judgment to Olympus. The Sky god shall fall and a new era shall begin, ensuring Olympus survives the Twilight, you shall not utter these words that have been spoken. When the Sky god falls you shall not take his place, you shall be needed to fulfil your role as guardian and protector of Olympus and Greece against the foreign gods approaching our borders, once you have done this you shall take up your rightful place as King of Olympus. Prepare yourself God of War.”

***

The five travellers were approaching the gates of Corinth. Iyolas was looking forward to meeting Ipecles again, after hearing Joxer explain about Ares, Iyolas also began to see how Hercules would act around Ipecles. Ipecles was king of a mighty Greek city, but Hercules always to talked to him as a little brother. Iyolas had a feeling that this trip to Corinth would be an eye opener.

Joxer started the day with his normal prayer to Ares wishing him well for the day.

“Good Morning Ares, thank you for bringing me through the day yesterday, I promise to visit your temple in Corinth, hope you have a great day and hope to see you soon”

Ares sat in his temple making silly faces with Bliss when he heard Joxer’s prayer. Bliss turned to Ares.

“Ganpa, Josser makes you happy?” the young God questioned. Ares looked at his grandson. “Yes Bliss Joxer is very nice to your Granpa, you like him?”

Bliss giggled. “Yer I lies Josser, he played with me when I played with daddy’s arrows.”

Ares laughed at the memory of the chaos that Bliss had caused when he got hold of Cupid’s Arrows. Strife got such a buzz of energy he was bouncing around the temple for days.

“Bliss, sweetheart, Granpa has to do some errands, you want to see Grandma?”

“Yeh, Ganma Dite, Ganpa Hep making me some arrows like daddy’s.” Bliss cried excitedly.

Ares flashed over to Aphrodite’s temple to drop off Bliss. The sound of Zeus’s voice echoed across Olympus as he bellowed “STRIFE, ARES ATTEND ME!”

Well so much for his day starting off well Ares thought as he flashed into Zeus’s temple. As soon as he arrived he saw Zeus forming a large ball of flames in his hand about to throw it at Strife. On instinct Ares rushed forward to protect his nephew.

Ares had seen Zeus angry before, but had never seen such hatred in his eyes, as Ares began to battle his father he called out to Strife, “Go quick to my sanctuary, go quick.”

As soon as Strife arrived he cried out “Gaia, hear my prayer, please help my uncle.” As soon as he finished his brief prayer Gaia appeared, “What is wrong Child?” she asked kindly.

Having reduced his son to a wounded pile on the floor Zeus sneered, “If you wont tell me where that bastard is hiding then you will suffer, lets see how you like life as a mortal, that’s if your survive, I know just the person to send you to.” As soon as Zeus had removed the godhood from Ares Gaia appeared as a hurricane in the temple. “Zeus, enough, you lay one more finger on that child and you will regret it.”

With cruel sneer and a wave of his hand Ares disappeared.

Down in Corinth Ipecles had greeted his condescending brother; the only benefit of Hercules visiting was that Ipecles would have the chance to see Iyolas.

The five travellers were sitting around a large table in Ipecles’s private quarters eating. It felt good to be able to eat a meal that they had no part in having to catch and prepare.

A loud clap of thunder startled the assembled group as they sat eating an evening meal, a loud thud was heard when a large male body hit the table scattering the plates and trays onto the floor with a loud crash. Fearing their King was in danger several guards rushed into the throne room. Since becoming king, despite his ignorance of the fact, Ipecles had become very popular. It had not gone unnoticed how their King would happily get his hands dirty helping his people, be it re-surfacing houses or helping to dig a well to provide his people with fresh water. The guards would gladly lay down their lives if it meant saving their King.

Joxer was the first to see who the body belonged to and cried out “ARES!” He rushed over to cradle his injured friend. Hercules stormed over to the Joxer dragging him off. “Get away from that animal; he has just come here to hurt me.” Hercules tossed Ares to the floor and began to kick the prone body. Looks of shock filled the faces of the rest of the people in the room. Xena and Iyolas tried to pull Hercules away. Ipecles grabbed a sword out of the hands of one of his soldiers and held it to his brother’s throat, “HOW DARE YOU SHOW SUCH DISRESPECT IN MY HOME!” Seeing no end to Hercules’s actions Xena quickly pinched the nerve in his shoulder forcing him to collapse on the floor.

By now Joxer was overcome with tears as he began to cradle his even more injured friend, he was soon joined by Iyolas. Gabrielle tried to push forward, “Joxer what are you doing wasting your time, just leave him.” Xena could not believe the callousness of her “friend”, there was obviously more happening than they knew, for Ares not to have fought back meant that something was very wrong.

“You say one more thing Gabrielle and you will be joining Hercules.” Gabrielle stood still glaring at the wanna-be warrior.

From the injuries to Ares Joxer knew that Zeus must have been involved, which left only one person who could help, “Great Gaia, hear my plea, I need your help, Ares is hurt.”

As the plump Goddess appeared she cried out and rushed towards her grandson, all be it her great great grandson. “My dear what has he done?” Gaia waved her hand over Ares’s body to scan the damage. Holding back the tears she sent a flow of her energy to help heal Ares, returning his immortality while she was at it, if Zeus dared to challenge her on this he would regret the day he ever met her.

Once she was done she materialised a set of Hephestian chains and wrapped the bastard child of Zeus.

Gaia turned to the stunned King who had helped her beloved Ares, “King Ipecles, can you have this animal placed in your dungeon until I can think of something to do with him?”

Ipecles knelt before the Goddess hoping to save his people from her wrath, “Please Goddess of the Earth, my brother’s actions were not mine or my peoples, please do not punish them, please take me in their stead.”

Gaia gently placed a hand on the kneeling king so that she could read his mind, what she saw just fuelled her anger towards Zeus’s bastard; years of bullying and disrespect from his big brother instead of love. She saw a genuine desire to care for his people.

“Arise Ipecles, I know where your heart lies, and neither your people nor you shall suffer this day, or any other, for his actions. I know what you were prepared to do to save my Ares.”

Ipecles stood up. “Thank you my Lady……… GUARDS!” he shouted, “Take my brother and make sure the he is chained securely, use no other chains than the ones he has on now. Xena when he is secured can you do your thing?”

Xena was about to follow the guards out when she was called back.

“Granddaughter, when you are done return to me, there are things you need to know.”

Xena looked at the goddess with a perplexed look on her face. For some strange reason over the past few days her mind had been in turmoil over her thoughts and feelings for Ares, while she hated what he was doing as God of War, he was still her father.

As soon as she removed the pressure on the nerves in Hercules’s body he began to thrash around in a furious frenzy. “You traitor, how can you side with that animal.”

Without getting into an argument with the man who was no doubt a former friend, Xena turned and walked back to the hall and the waiting goddess.

After leaving the hall Joxer and Iyolas carried Ares as Ipecles led them to one of the empty rooms in his private suite. They laid the heavy, muscled body down on the soft bed. Ipecles sent one of his guards to get some fresh water. Having waited what Ipecles thought was too long he stomped off to find out what the delay was. Iyolas helped Joxer undress Ares so that they could clean and dress the wounds that Gaea had not been able to heal yet.

As they were removing the tight leather tunic Iyolas turned to his friend, “Joxer, you ever realised how much Ares and Ipecles look alike?”

After giving it some thought Joxer smiled “Now that you mention it, do you think its Zeus’s fault or coincidence?”

Iyolas gave a lecherous glance at Ares, “Don’t know, but they are pleasant to the eye, mind you, I prefer clean shaven.”

At the sound of a deep cough both Iyolas and Joxer turned around and blushed deeply as they saw an equally blushing king standing in the doorway.

As they were dressing the wounds Joxer noticed the close proximity that Ipecles and Iyolas were standing and thought to himself, if only Ares felt the same way about him as Joxer felt. Joxer vowed to himself never to say anything for fear of ruining the closest friendship he had ever known.

Xena cautiously approached the still angry goddess; hearing the approach Gaia turned around and placed a hand on Xena’s left cheek and gently probed her mind, that harlot Psyche had fueled the uncertainties Xena had about her father and turned it into hate.

“My child, you mind has been altered, Psyche took your uncertain feelings for your father and turned them into hate, tell me why did you hate your father so?”

Xena glanced down at the floor, “He is the personification of so much pain and bloodshed.”

“My child, you know nothing of the world, tell me, how would you feed a hundred thousand people when you only have food for seventy-five thousand?”

Xena replied, “I do not understand.”

“Well my child, Ares has a very misunderstood job. What if there is not enough food? The strong will take the food leaving the poor and helpless to die in greater numbers, by having wars it thins out the population so that women and children may survive, thus not preventing growth. War also stimulates growth and development and discovery. If the population grows farmers hire more people to work the land, which could lead to developments in farming. Aqueducts allow the spread of farms further and further from the cities. Discoveries are made to strengthen city walls which allow the women and children to be protected better. Channelling the conflicts which mortals seem so intent on having allows Ares to prevent the wars from escalating and killing the wrong people, now do you see granddaughter?”

“I never actually gave it as much thought as I had the Gods and Goddess; I never actually thought about War like that, I just saw the bloodshed, because that is what I used to do.”

Gaia looked at the daughter of Ares, “Well my child, I have to go and sort some things out, think upon what I have said.”

As soon as Gaia reached Olympus she went off to see the Fates. The three women looked up from the great tapestry, “Mother Earth, we are humbled by your presence.” Lachesis spoke with reverence.

Gaia replied, “I want to know what is going to happen with my Grandson and I want a straight answer!!”

“Mother Earth, if Olympus is to be saved from tyranny and abuse this must happen. We have spoken to the God of War and we will tell you as we have told him.”

“When Blood innocence is sacrificed for true love of War, Joy shall bring Judgment to Olympus. The Sky god shall fall and a new era shall begin, ensuring Olympus survives the Twilight. When the Sky god falls the God of War shall not take his place, he shall be needed to fulfil his role as guardian and protector of Olympus and Greece against the foreign gods approaching our borders, once he has done this he shall take up his rightful place as King of Olympus.”

The three Fates intoned. After some thought Gaia spoke “Thank you ladies, I shall do all in my power to ensure the prophesy comes to pass, now if you shall excuse me.”

Gaia appeared in Ares’s sanctuary to be faced with an extremely anxious Strife, “Grandmother, please how is Unc? He risked his life for me. AGAIN!”

“Calm my child….Ares is safe away from Zeus, now I need you to stay here where you will be safe; however I need to make use of your extensive expertise in mischief.”

***

Ares lay tossing and turning in the bed, from the noises he was making Joxer could tell that Ares was in pain, without thinking Joxer wrapped his arms around the sleeping god, “Hush Ares, you’re safe now.” Joxer leant down and gently kissed Ares’s forehead. Ares slowly opened his eyes, and mumbled “Love you Joxer”, and went back to sleep. Joxer lay there cradling his love, thinking to himself, if only it was the same love as his.

Ipecles was sitting in front of the roaring fire in his room next to Iyolas, “So……Erm…….Iyolas……..I hear you like clean shaven…….?”

Iyolas looked up with a crimson face into the eyes of his dream, when he saw the look in the eyes of the Adonis in front of him he leant forward until his lips touched the luscious lips of the King.

Ipecles was overcome with the passion in the hunter as he was pushed onto his back as Iyolas devoured his lips while exploring his body with his nimble hands. Growing inpatient with the time it was taking to strip Ipecles, Iyolas ripped the shirt open; as soon as the firm, hairy chest was exposed he began to bath it with kisses, nearly driving his lover over the edge when he gently bit the hard nipple. Growing equally inpatient Ipecles took Iyolas’s lead and ripped the cloths off of his hunter, once Iyolas was laying there in his naked glory, Ipecles picked him up and carried him over to the bed.

Hearing the reassurances from Gaia, Strife began to calm down knowing that his uncle was going to be all right. Strife knew there were many on Olympus who didn’t like him and in some cases hated him, but whenever he needed help or protection Ares was always there; something the bastards on Olympus didn’t know about Ares was how much he loved his family. Strife remembered when he was a godling and Athena had upset him telling him he was a mistake and a poor excuse for a god. He remembered a furious Ares chasing Athena out of the Halls of War; he remembered what Ares had said to him. “Strife no matter what anyone else thinks or says, you are part of my family, I love you as much as I love my other children, you are the heir to the House of War and if you ever tell anyone, you will regret it.” Strife knew his uncle was joking by the smile on his face.

Together with Gaia they had come up with a plan to get Ares back to Olympus and restore his godhood. Strife would do whatever he had to do to help his uncle.

Gaia appeared in the Halls of Love and placed a silence charm around the temple to prevent anyone listening in.

Once she was joined by Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Cupid and Anteros, she began to explain, “Now children, I know you are worried about Ares, he is safe and in hiding. He must remain on Earth a little longer as there is a prophesy that he has to work with, now I don’t want any of you to do anything until I tell you to, there will be a meeting of the entire Pantheon tomorrow when all will become clear. We can not wait any longer otherwise we won’t even last until the twilight, let alone survive it. Now before the old goat gets suspicious go about your normal business. I would like to spend time with Bliss; I haven’t seen him for what seems far too long.”

Hephaestus was seething with anger. He loved his brother dearly and had done so his entire life, he made a silent vow to avenge all the pain that his beloved brother had to endure.

Gaia walked into Bliss’s room were he was sitting on the floor drawing pretty pictures on the floor, he looked up and squealed “Gate Gan ma,” jumped up and ran towards her.

“Now Bliss darling, do you know Joxer?” Gaia questioned gently.

“Yer Gan ma, I likes Josser, he make Ganpa Res happy,” Bliss exclaimed happily.

Gaia held out her hand and materialised a plate of special Honey Cakes, “Now Bliss dear, why don’t you visit your friend Joxer and give him some of these special cakes.”

Bliss took the plate “K, Gan ma, but me not be in twuble, I got spanked by daddy when I went to Josser and Zeena.”

Gaia smiled gently, “Don’t worry, I promise you won’t get into trouble.”

After being dumped back down on Earth Psyche was determined to get her revenge, she had found a Hind’s blood dagger, she did not care which God or Goddess got in her way she would get her revenge. She had been hiding in Ares’s temple in Corinth when she had heard that Ares had been made mortal and had been seen in the palace. She would sneak in and kill him; he was one of the worst on Olympus, always treating her as if she was something he had trod in. Hiding the Hind’s blood dagger away for next time, she took a small dagger that had been left to Ares as an offering.

Getting into the palace in Corinth had been easy once she had distracted one of the guards, a small sacrifice for the life of Ares.

After waking up in the arms of Joxer, Ares woke him up with a gentle kiss, “Joxer when this is all sorted out, we have a lot to talk about.”

Joxer woke up with a start to begin with he didn’t know if he was dreaming or not when he saw the look in the eyes of his dream lover. He tried to move away, but the firm arms held him in place, “What’s the hurry Joxer, I want to wake up like this every morning.” It was at that point Ares’s stomach began to rumble loudly, as he blushed Joxer began to snigger.

“You stay there and I will find you some food.”

Joxer had an elated feeling as he walked towards the kitchens when he heard a completely unexpected shout, “JOSSER!” Joxer turned to be hit with a young, eager godling flapping his wings furiously.

“Bliss, what are you doing here, does your daddy know you are here?”

Bliss smiled up at his friend and held out his hand with the cakes in, “I is not in twuble, honest Josser, I comes to see you cus you makes Ganpa Re sappy, I’s got a pwesent for you.”

Not wanting to upset the young god, Joxer reached forward to take one of the cakes and put it in his mouth; it had a nice sweet taste and reminded him of apples. They were really enjoyable and Joxer had soon finished the cakes Bliss had offered him. “Josser, I gots ta go now, just had pwesent for you for making gan pa happy.” Bliss wrapped his arms around Joxer’s legs nearly sending him toppling over.

As soon as Bliss flashed back to Olympus he went to find his Gwate Gan ma, he was on a top secret mission as Gaia had said he was a strong warrior like Ares.

Gaia was happy to see Bliss back; she had been keeping an eye on Bliss the whole time he was with Joxer. As soon as Bliss had told her that Joxer had eaten all of the cakes, she kissed Bliss on his cheek making him giggle. “Now darling, go and play, I have boring adult things to do with the other Gods.”

Bliss toddled out of the temple, Gaia took a deep breath “Host of Olympus hear my command, I call the Pantheon to Olympus, all attend me.”

Gaia appeared in the main meeting hall on Olympus to be met with a fuming Zeus, “What is the meaning of this, I am the king!”

In all her years Gaia had never once raised a hand to any of her descendants…that is until now, with a resounding slap she sent Zeus falling backwards, the gods who had appeared were shocked to see the normally calm and gentle goddess strike Zeus.

Once Zeus had recovered he grabbed a lightening bolt and was about to throw it, with a wave of her hand the bolt disappeared and Zeus found himself wrapped tightly in Hephestian chains.

“Olympus hear me, for too long I have stood back and allowed my grandchildren to live their lives, but it has gone too far. The twilight will soon be upon us when we have to survive the challenge of the one god and battle with the Northern Gods, despite this your mighty King has sent the God of War, the only one capable of defending us, to Earth. Do not try and find him as he is safe, anyone who defies me shall be struck from Olympus.”

The hall erupted into chatter, having heard the summons Strife had appeared and was standing next to Cupid and Hephaestus.

Having heard enough of the chatter, Gaia continued, “QUIET, by attacking his firstborn son and heir and attempting to kill him for no other reason than because Ares showed concern for another, Zeus has proven he is not worthy of the Crown, until such time as Ares takes his rightful place, I appoint Hephaestus as next in line as King of the Gods, Aphrodite shall be Queen, Hera you shall continue with your Godly Duties, Judgement will come to Olympus, you have all been warned.”

Hades had always made an effort to have as normal a relationship as possible with his nephews considering who their parents were. He walked forward and knelt down, “Hail, Hephaestus, King of the Gods.” He was soon followed by Cupid, Strife and the rest of Ares’s godly children, slowly the rest of Olympus walked forward, the last being Athena.

***

Joxer had found Akakios, a young guard who always seemed to be on duty. Akakios saw Joxer struggling and rushed forward, “Please allow me to help you,” he said as he took the tray that Joxer was balancing precariously on his arm.

“Thank you, how long have you been a guard here?” Joxer asked kindly.

Akakios smiled “Since my fourteenth year, King Ipecles had just taken the throne; he saved my family. My father had been killed by bandits and they were about to attack my mother when the King was riding past, he heard what was happening. He killed the three bandits single handed, he then put my mother on his horse while he walked her to the palace to the Royal Healer, once my mother recovered he gave my family a farm at the bottom of the mountain within the city walls, because of him my little brother is going to be a great philosopher. The King has created schools throughout the city for all the children. My life is his, not because he is the King, but because I would gladly give it.”

Joxer was surprised at the tale the young soldier had told him, he had never had much contact with Hercules’s brother, but he was starting to like him more and more, especially since what he had done to protect Ares.

After being woken up by a very sensuous and talented mouth Iyolas was going to see how his friend Joxer was; after one of their long chats he had found out that Joxer loved the God of War. After listening to Joxer he had started to get a greater understanding of Ares, apart from the biased Ares that Hercules would constantly go on about. Poking his head around the door leading into the bed chamber Ares was in the blond hunter saw the tan skinned god getting dressed. “With an ass like that, no wonder Joxer likes you.”

Shocked at being caught in such a state Ares blushed at the comments from the intruder.

Iyolas just chuckled, “Do you know that you blush as much as Ipecles?”

After quickly finishing getting dressed Ares said, “Joxer told me what you did for me, you have my thanks. It can not have been easy for you to have stood up to a friend for someone you barely know.”

Iyolas looked at Ares sadly. “Well it was only a matter of time; now listen. Joxer is a gentle soul and a good friend of mine, I swear this oath that if you ever hurt him I will hunt you down and kill you.”

Ares didn’t see any malice in what Iyolas was saying, only the deep caring of a friend. Ares grasped the arm of the hunter, “You have my word that if I do hurt him, I will let you kill me, now let’s get some food, I think he has gotten lost.” The two unlikely friends walked to the door. They arrived at the same time as Joxer and one of the guards. Out from behind one of the statues a woman rushed out towards Ares, “Die you bastard” she shouted.

Joxer dropped the tray and ran towards the woman to prevent her from hurting Ares. In the struggle Joxer was fatally stabbed, the guard immediately drew his sword and hit the woman on the head with the hilt knocking her out.

With an almighty roar Ares cried out, “NOOOOOO…... Joxer please don’t go, I need you……… I love you.” Hearing the shout Ipecles had come running, along with several guards.

They picked up the unconscious woman and began to drag her out, Ares looked up, torn between comforting his dying lover and tearing her apart for killing Joxer. “Wait, let me see her face,” he called to the guards. They looked at their King who nodded, Ares was shocked when he recognised who it was, “Psyche” was all he said as the room was filled with sparks and the room was filled with Gaia, Cupid, Strife, Anteros, Aphrodite and Hephaestus.

Gaia walked over to the sobbing Ares. “My child, lay him down and take out the knife.”

Not thinking Ares turned with a thunderous look in his face. “NO, stay away from him!” he shouted.

“My child listen to me, Joxer is no longer a mortal; now take out the knife so he can heal.”

The guards were terrified, they revered the Gods, but none of them had ever met one, now the room was filled with them.

“Guards,” Ipecles called. “Take her to a cell, keep her away from Hercules.”

Aphrodite looked confused. “What’s Jerkulese doing in a cell?”

“I will explain everything my child, later, first we must care for Joxer.” Gaia said kindly.

Once the knife was removed, Ares carried the body back into his room.

“Fates hear me, attend me, Judgement has come.”

As Joxer was opening his eyes the Fates appeared and together they spoke as one, “Hail Joxer, God of Judgement.”

Everyone turned to Gaia who was chuckling to herself.

“Allow me to explain, before Ares went for a little trip to meet his Joxer,” Gaia started as Ares and Joxer sat there blushing. Strife interrupted, “Grandma, you are giving me such a buzz, I’m gunna be bouncing off da walls all day.”

Gaia just laughed more “Well it is a Grandmother’s job to spoil her grandchildren, anyway, as I was saying, before he left Ares was told of a prophesy, When Blood innocence is sacrificed for true love of War, Joy shall bring Judgment to Olympus. The Sky god shall fall and a new era shall begin, ensuring Olympus survives the Twilight. Remember those cakes Bliss gave you Joxer, I sent them, they were made of ambrosia, as long as it was Bliss who gave them to you everything would be ok, now the rest of the prophesy isn’t important at the moment, but King Hephaestus, I believe we need our God of War back.”

Everyone who had not been on Olympus turned to Hephaestus in shock. “Come to me brother, Ares, God of War.” Ares walked into a hug from his little brother.

“Wicked, Joxer’s a god.” Strife called out as he went to hug his Uncle “Unc, thanks so much for what you did………anyway, enough mush, lets party.”

“King Ipecles,” Hephaestus began, at being addressed by the King of the Gods, Ipecles dropped to his knee. “Stop that,” Hephaestus continued, “Do not bow in your own palace and especially not in front of friends and family. I know what you did to care for my brother, send word throughout Greece, in seven days time there shall be a ceremony on the steps of the Temple of War in Corinth where there shall be new Gods announced.”

Aphrodite turned from Joxer, “Hi sweetcheeks, with the buzz coming from you two last night, I am going to be on a high all week.” Ipecles and Iyolas were mortified.

Not wanting to have to deal with the rest of Olympus, everyone appeared in the Halls of War, “Children, stay here for now,” Gaia said with a mischievous smirk that made Strife proud. “Tomorrow we shall deal with the rest of Olympus.”

After welcoming Ares back everyone had left except Gaia, “Tomorrow is going to be stressful, I know of the rest of the prophesy Ares. I had had enough of Zeus, I made Hephaestus King. I told everyone that it was until you take your rightful place. Your brother doesn’t know the rest of the prophesy, tomorrow he will try and give you the throne,” Gaia said.

After hearing his brother referred to as King back in the Palace, Ares realised that there could be no one better, “Grandmother, there can be no better person, if he was King from the beginning things would have turned out better. Tomorrow, I will get Hephaestus back for dropping me in that pile of manure when we were younger.” Ares chuckled.

“Ares,” Joxer began, “Care to explain what is going on?” Gaia turned to the now happy God of War, “I will leave you to it child, I am sure you don’t want an old woman around to ‘cramp your style’, just remember you need some energy for tomorrow.”

Still blushing deeply Joxer, looked into the eyes of his soon to be lover “Are you family always going to try and embarrasses me?” he asked.

Joxer melted into his lover’s arms as Ares erupted into deep laughter, “Now Joxer we have waited long enough, have you ever been with a man before?”

Joxer looked down at the floor shyly, “I…..erh…. havntbeenwithanyone,” he rushed out.

“Joxer, don’t be shy, it means so much that you would allow me to be your first…….you do want to don’t you?” Ares asked worriedly.

Joxer looked up. “More than anything, but you’re a God, I don’t want to disappoint you.”

With a flash of his hand they were both naked, Joxer’s pale, slim body contrasted with the tanned, muscle toned body of Ares.

Ares took Joxer’s hand and led him over to the bed laying him on his back. He slowly began to kiss and bite his way along Joxer’s collar bone, slowly working his way down towards his nipples, not knowing how sensitive they were, he began to suck and bite. Joxer was reduced to a writhing heap on the bed clenching the silk sheets in his fists.

Once he was satisfied with the passionate groans from his lover Ares worked his way down, deliberately avoiding the hard protruding muscle, slowly lavishing Joxer’s balls.

“Ares………if you don’t do something NOW………” he couldn’t finish his sentence as Ares devoured his cock in one swift movement.

“Aaaaaaarrrrrggghhhhhhhhhh……fuck………. Ares” Joxer cried out, Ares took the hard cock out of his mouth “Don’t worry Joxer you get to fuck me later,” Joxer glared at Ares, “Don’t stop!”

Ares went back to pleasuring Joxer. The more shallow Joxer’s breathing got the quicker Ares sucked and increased the suction on his lover, he could feel Joxer’s hard cock pulse meaning he was close, Ares slowly reached down and began to rub his finger around the tight, sensitive opening of his lover.

Sensing Joxer was close, Ares pushed his finger in into the tight confines of his wavering lover, hitting the special area causing Joxer to erupt into the waiting mouth of his lover, Joxer began to see stars just as he passed out.

Please with himself Ares began to swallow every last drop, once he had finished he began to kiss Joxer awake. All Joxer could do was mumble, Ares looked into his eyes, “I know I am good, but I have never made anyone pass out from sex before and we didn’t even get to the really good stuff, how about we changes places. And as for being a god so are you.”

For the rest of the day Joxer and Ares didn’t leave the bed. Their time was spent sensuously exploring each others bodies.

After finally getting his palace back from the Gods, Ipecles called his council.

The only people to have known that the palace had been visited by the Gods were the three guards, who had been sworn to secrecy.

Once the Council had all arrived Ipecles sat on his throne with Iyolas standing just behind him.

Ipecles was the first to speak, “I want notices to go to every temple and square in the city. In seven days time Corinth will be the scene of a historic event, new Gods will be announced here. This will be a great time for the city and her people, send ambassadors to every city within travelling distance inviting them here under a banner of truce, there shall be a public holiday to celebrate as I will have an announcement on that day as well.”

The Chief Advisor clapped his hands excitedly, “This is a great day my King, it is the view of the whole council that since you took the throne the city has grown and prospered, there is no one who the people love more.” The advisor had been on the council since before the young King had been born and was revered by rich and poor alike, “And may I offer my congratulations my King,” he continued with a smirk on his face.

Ipecles blushed at the comment; he had obviously not been as discreet as he had thought. Once the council had been dismissed, there was just Alexius the Chief Advisor there, Akakios walked in and bowed “Your Majesty, the woman has been chained securely in the dungeons awaiting your justice.”

“Majesty?” Alexius questioned.

“What I am about to tell you must go no further, not even to the rest of the council. For several days Ares has been hiding here in my chambers having been made mortal, he was attacked by my half brother Hercules, who tried to kill him, he is now in Hephestian chains, while he was here Ares was attacked by Psyche, the former Goddess of the Mind, who is also now a mortal, she to is in the dungeons, their presence must be kept secret, the people will not be happy at their hero being where he is.”

“Majesty,” Alexius replied. “I think you misunderstand the people, it is you they worship, truth be known Hercules is not popular within Corinth. It is well known how he was during your childhood, your people know this, and they are very protective of their King.”

Ipecles looked shocked at what he was hearing. Akakios approached “Majesty it is true, Hercules is not liked by the people of Corinth, you are the one people love.”

Alexius turned to the guard, “You, guard, tell the king why you feel this way.” Alexius knew full well why the guard was there, while Ipecles didn’t think he had done anything special, his actions meant a lot more to his people. Alexius turned to the King.

“Speak” Ipecles commanded.

“You Majesty, I was fourteen years, I lived with my parents and two brothers on a farm outside the city walls, three bandits attacked our farm, they killed my father and were about to attack my mother and brothers, you appeared and killed them single handedly, you saved my entire family, you ordered you advisor to house my mother and young brothers within the city walls, my brother is now studying to be a great philosopher in one of the schools you opened, when I was old enough I joined the Palace Guard so that I can serve you.”

Iyolas grasped Ipecles’s shoulder in reassurance.

Alexius excused himself, Akakios turned to Ipecles “Majesty, your people will rejoice in celebration at your joining with Iyolas, fear not, I will say nothing.”

The two men just blinked at him.

***

Joxer slowly began to wake, feeling the strong arms wrapped tightly around him. It was no dream. Ares loved him as much as he loved Ares.

“Love we have to get up, today I get to tell everyone about us.”

After a passionate bathe they eventually got dressed and appeared in the Halls of War for some breakfast to be greeted with a smirking God of Mischief. “I see you two finally managed to get out of bed.”

Ares loved how Joxer blushed, not content Strife continued, “Unc, does Joxer blush all over?”

Ares just erupted in laughter. Joxer tried to look stern but was having great trouble, “Well thanks, you are a great help.”

Midway through breakfast they heard the summons from Gaia. Gaia had explained the plan to have Ares and Joxer to wait in one of the ante rooms until Gaia called.

Once everyone was assembled, Gaia approached the twin thrones and turned to face them. “Gods and Goddesses of Olympus, it is now time for Judgement to come to Olympus, Zeus has corrupted Olympus and the children of my family for his own needs for long enough, some of you did nothing to stop this as you liked the lifestyle you had, I am here to tell you that Ares, God of War has returned, with a companion, The God of Judgement. Come forward now.”

Ares and Joxer appeared, Aphrodite squealed, “Ahhhhhh Joxer sweety.”

Gaia continued, “During his absence from us, there have been two further attempts to kill Ares, one by his bastard half brother Hercules. If it was not for King Ipecles and the blond hunter he would have succeeded. The second one being by Psyche, it was only due to the sacrifice of Joxer that Ares was saved.”

Gasps could be heard from around the hall, Athena stood at the back of the hall seething; she would be Goddess of War and not share the title with the upstart.

“Joxer, come forward,” Hephaestus commanded. “I hereby confer the Godhood of Judgement on you.” Joxer was enveloped in a burst of light as he felt his body absorbing the energy around him. Hephaestus turned towards his brother, “Ares, take your rightful place.”

Ares walked towards his brother, to the shock of the assembled crowd he wrapped his brother in a tight hug and whispered “Not today brother.” Ares dropped down on one knee, “I, Ares God of War, swear by the power of Olympus to serve you Hephaestus, King of the Gods.”

It wasn’t just Hephaestus who was shocked, it was well known that Ares would one day become King; that he was just waiting for the day, but to see him give the crown up and to his brother who no one knew was that close to Ares wasn’t something that they were expecting.

Gaia approached the two brothers, “Allow me to explain, there is a prophesy that; When Blood innocence is sacrificed for true love of War, Joy shall bring Judgment to Olympus. The Sky god shall fall and a new era shall begin, ensuring Olympus survives the Twilight.” Neither Ares nor the Fates mentioned the rest of the prophesy.

Hephaestus stood up, “In seven days time there will be a ceremony in Corinth where Joxer will be announced the new God of Judgement, plus some others…” Athena had had enough and shouted, “NO! Athens is the first city of Greece, not some backwater….”

Hephaestus turned to her, “Do not push me sister, I know of your scheming to depose my brother, it shall be for the God of Judgement to choose your punishment, now Gods choose your favoured mortals and bring them here to hear the judgement of Zeus, Athena and all others who have harmed Greece and Olympus.”

Gods began to flash out bringing various mortals, Ipecles had never before been on Olympus and was terrified, Iyolas immediately found Aphrodite and dragged Ipecles over.

“Hi ‘Dite,” Iyolas called. Aphrodite stood up and bounced over to Iyolas “Hi curly, so is this the hunk that kept me awake all night with a power buzz; between him and Ares I didn’t sleep all night.” This time Joxer and Iyolas burst out laughing at the embarrassed expressions on their lovers’ faces.

Joxer asked Ares to get his brothers, while Ares brought Xena, Poseidon brought Jason and Hermes brought Autolocus. Once the rest of the Gods appeared with various mortals, Gaia stood next to Hephaestus.

“Honoured Mortals and Gods of Olympus, today you are here to hear judgement against those who have harmed Olympus and Greece; Zeus who has corrupted Olympus for his own gains and brought us to the brink of destruction, cursed his wife to feel no love for her children, rape of both Mortal and Divine.”

Hades and Poseidon were shocked at the extent of their brother’s behaviour; they knew he liked the power, but not the extent he would go to keep the power.

Gaia continued “Hercules, son of Zeus for attempting to kill his injured brother in cold blood, Athena who conspired to kill her brother in an effort to become the sole God of War and the Mortal Psyche for attempting to kill Ares.”

Gaia waved her hand as Zeus appeared still chained securely. Joxer approached “As God of Judgement, my word is final, you do not deserve your godhood so hence forth you shall no longer be a God, you shall be stripped of your Immortality, until your dying day, you shall feel the pain and suffering you have caused others every day until you die, does anyone wish to say anything further?”

Cupid stepped forward, “Until your dying day, you shall never have sex again, you shall feel the urge, but others shall see you as an old decrepit man.” Bliss stomped over and kicked Zeus in the shin, “You bad, you hurt my Ganpa Res, you No happy.” Strife picked up the little godling, “Come on little Warrior.” Bliss wrapped his arms around Strife’s neck as they went to stand next to Cupid.

Hades walked forward “Dear brother, for the pain you caused my nephews I will have a special place waiting for you in Tartarus, never once shall you know peace.”

Zeus disappeared in a flash as Hades sent him down to Earth. With a wave of her hand Gaia brought Hercules before the assembled crowd.

With a roar Hercules shouted “WHERE is my FATHER!?!”

Hephaestus answered, “QUIET, your father is no longer in charge now, you have been brought here to be judged, you have spent your life using your strength and the fact your father was Zeus to get your own way, despite what others feel or want, and you tried to kill your own brother while he was mortally wounded.”

Joxer stepped forward, “You seem to hate the gods so much and yet cherish their gift, hence forth you shall no longer have your strength or immortality, you shall be no different than any other mortal, when you die you shall not find peace within Greece, you shall forever walk the Earth in limbo, does any one else wish to speak.”

Ipecles came forward, “As King of Corinth, you shall be banished from my Kingdom, set one foot within our borders and you shall be killed.”

Hercules was sent away. Gaia gave a nod to Cupid who led Strife and Bliss out of the Hall.

“I am glad you are back Strife, me and Bliss really missed you didn’t we little one?”

Bliss stuck his finger out, “I is not baby, I is a Warrior likes my Ganpa, Gate Ganma says so.”

Cupid smiled indulgently at his son, “Of course, Sorry oh Mighty Warrior.” Cupid and Strife spent the rest of the day playing with Bliss, every so often Cupid and Strife would sneak glances at each other; they both loved each other but their own insecurities prevented them from telling each other, so they were both settled on being each others friend rather than risk that friendship by telling the other that they loved them.

“Psyche, after everything you did here on Olympus and the harm you caused your own son, you then sought to kill Ares, my brother,” Hephaestus said through clenched teeth.

Joxer announced “You seem to want to cause pain to those you are supposed to care and love, so henceforth the only emotion you shall feel is the pain you have caused others.”

Next Hephaestus turned to Athena, “You have conspired and planned to depose my brother, the rightful God of War, you shall no longer be the Goddess of War and shall no longer be one of the twelve high gods, for now you shall remain Goddess of Wisdom until you give me the slightest reason to regret that.”

Psyche disappeared. Aphrodite saw the worried look on Joxer’s face and rushed over, pulling him away from the crowed, “Sweet buns what’s wrong?”

“’Dite, it’s great that I can spend the rest of my life with Ares, but I will have none of my family with me, when we were growing up my brothers and I protected each other, I can’t bear to see them die.” Aphrodite kissed him on the cheek, “Don’t worry sweet buns, it will be ok.”

//Hephey dear, I have a favour to ask, Joxer doesn’t want to see his brothers die.// 'Dite sent to her husband’s mind.

Hephaestus stood up, “Now that we have dealt with the unpleasantness, the pleasantries shall begin, now I will be forever grateful to Iyolas for the care he showed my brother, come step forward.” Aphrodite held out a jewel encrusted goblet, Ares immediately recognised it.

After Iyolas drank Hephaestus called out “Olympus, recognise the new God of Truth.” The hall erupted into cheers, just as Iyolas was about to pass out Ipecles rushed forward to catch him. Once Iyolas was standing again Hephaestus turned to Hera and said, “Mother if you could do the honours.” Hera stepped forward and offered Ipecles one of the golden apples.

Hephaestus continued, “You are after all a member of the House of War and we can hardly expect the God of Truth to be alone.” Ipecles stood there with his mouth open without taking the apple, his whole world was changing. Iyolas reached for the apple and stuffed it into his lover’s mouth. “’Dite, what did Hephaestus mean, Ipecles is a member of the House of War?” Iyolas asked the buxom Goddess.

Gaia stepped forward, “I am sure you recognise that Ares and Ipecles look so similar, it is because they share the same father. I recently was made aware of this in the Halls of Time, so as such he falls under the protection of the House of War and obviously the God of Truth.”

Jason rushed forward and grabbed Ipecles in a fatherly hug, “I am so proud of you Ipecles, you were a perfect choice to be King.”

Iyolas grabbed the munching King and dragged him to one side as Hephaestus turned to Joxer’s brothers, “Now Jett and Jayce step forward. Joxer is a part of my family, by extension so are you, we can not expect Joxer to live knowing that he will loose you and feel more pain, when he has suffered enough, so step forward and accept this gift from those on Olympus.” Hera offered them both a golden apple.

Joxer looked at Aphrodite, he knew it was her doing, she discreetly blew him a kiss, Joxer moved forward to hug his brothers closely, apart from Ares there was no one else he loved more than his brothers.

Jayce turned to Joxer “Even now you are protecting us, we love you.” The three brothers wrapped their arms around each other. By the time they were finished Jayce was crying, Joxer had a tear rolling down his cheek and Jett was doing his best to remain emotionless. Ares wiped the tear away. “Listen Ares, Joxer has always protected us when we were young, even if he got beat, you hurt him and I will kill you very, very slowly.”

Joxer held his hands up in front to try and placate Jett. Ares just smiled “Jett, you will have to get in the que, I don’t want to have to face you, Iyolas, Aphrodite and not to mention Gaia as well, but welcome to the family the both of you.”

Hephaestus coughed loudly to get everyone’s attention, “There is one more thing, now there has been someone who has suffered greatly at the hands of Zeus here on Olympus, he has been denied his rightful place as a God, so step forward Ganymede, God of the Sky.” All the younger generation of Gods all cheered, Ganymede slowly walked forward, once he got close he looked worriedly at Hephaestus, “Do you want the same as him?”

Aphrodite nearly broke into tears, Hephaestus replied “Good Gods no, you shall be as you were meant to be, a God, what better way to piss off the old bastard than for you to be God of the Sky.”

Now that Hephaestus had finished his announcements he smiled. “Now everyone get out of my house so I can have some peace.”

Ares walked over to Ipecles who still had a dazed look on his face. “So come on little brother,” Ares said “Lets go and get drunk.” Ares was about to lead Ipecles, Iyolas and Jason to the Halls of War. He stopped when he heard Xena.

“Father…….” Ares was shocked; Xena had always denied that he was her father.

Ares turned to Strife, “Strife, can you take everyone to the Halls of War please?”

“He can’t Gan pa, he gots ta come to have dinner wit me and daddy, daddy says so.”

The assembled crowd smirked at the sight of Ares, God of War being told off by a little godling.

Ares bowed “My humble apologise oh mighty God.” Bliss giggled and wrapped his arms tightly around Ares’s legs nearly toppling him over.

“I luvs you Ganpa,” before Ares could reply Bliss was dragging Strife out of the temple. “Joxer you remember the way?” Ares asked his lover, “Sure, it’s not as if you can get lost on Olympus,” Joxer replied with a smile.

Xena followed Ares out into the garden, “Ares, while you were injured I had a chat with Gaia, she explained some things about what you actually do as God of War and seeing how you are with your family here, I realized I never actually gave you a chance.”

Ares looked at his daughter, “Xena, despite my relationship with Zeus, I vowed never to act that way with my children, I have never once raised a hand in anger to them. It hurt so much when you denied I was your father; do you think we can try again?”

Xena had been doing a great deal of thinking since she had spoken to Gaia and had made up her mind, “Yes, I would like that, but don’t expect me follow you, I can accept why you do what you do, but I don’t have to agree that it is the only way.”

Ares looked at his daughter, “That sounds fair to me, now how about you join me and the rest of your family.”

Being a god or immortal didn’t stop a person getting drunk. Ares’s other three sons, Demios, Phobos and Anteros all wanted to meet their new Uncle, Joxer was nervous at first at the prospect of meeting Ares’s children, he already met Cupid, but that didn’t stop him being nervous.

Ipecles had always hoped that Hercules would have included him with his family, now he had not only gained a brother who wanted to be his brother but a whole host of nieces and nephews, he was overjoyed when Phobos called him Unc.

****

Ares slowly woke with an unusual heavy weight on his back, he knew it wasn’t Joxer as he always snuggled down in the bed; he loved burrowing in the warm covers.

“MORNING GANPA” Bliss shouted, at the sudden shout Joxer jerked and landed in a heap on the floor, much to the enjoyment of Bliss who burst into laughter, Ares was struggling to keep a straight face, having looked at Bliss, Ares gave in to the laughter.

Ares turned to Bliss, “What are you doing here this early? Where is your daddy?”

“Daddy says I can wake you up as he says you is old and needs help, Strife and Daddy says I can come and see you and Jossa as they want to say things I is too little to know.”

Joxer laughed at the flummoxed expression on his lovers face, “He is right Ares. He is sounding more and more like Strife.”

Bliss was sitting next to Ares on the bed “Ganpa, can I have a ring in my ear like you as I is a warrior.”

Ares had an evil look on his face. “I think that is an excellent idea Bliss, but how about you go and get ready for breakfast so Joxer and I can get dressed.”

“K Ganpa, luves you.” Bliss replied happily as he got off the bed and trotted out. Once Bliss was out of the door, Ares turned to Joxer, however unknown to Ares Bliss was just outside of the door, “Joxer, if only Cupid hadn’t lost his balls, all he has to do is tell Strife he loves him then they can stop hiding it.”

Joxer laughed. “Ahhhh, you old romantic you.” Ares just raised an eyebrow, and replied, “You carry on with comments like that and I will tell Aphrodite you want her to help you choose a new wardrobe.”

Ares and Joxer finally got dressed and joined Bliss at the table for breakfast. “Bliss, do you want to surprise Daddy with your new earring when you get home?”

“Yahhhhh, you is my bestest Gan Pa,” he cried excitedly.

“Bliss I am going to see your Uncle Ipecles today, he is King of a big city, do you want to come as well?” Ares was determined to get Bliss on such a rush that Cupid will be up most of the night. After all that was just his duty as a grandfather.

After a quick breakfast, Ares, Joxer and Bliss appeared in the private dining room in the palace at Corinth. Iyolas was the first to see them, “Hey guys, good to see ya, hello Bliss.”

“Ya Unca las, Ganpa bring me to see Unc Ippy, so I can see his crown.”

Iyolas picked Bliss up and swung him around, reducing him to a giggles. Ipecles soon followed, “Now that is something I always wanted to hear, a child’s laughter. What are you doing here anyway, not that you are not welcome.”

Ares looked up from his goblet. “Well, little brother,” Ares began; Ipecles was still having difficulty getting used to his new life, in the last day he found out Zeus was his father, he had acquired the big brother that he had wanted Hercules to be, and to top it off he was in love with a God. “I thought I would bring Bliss to meet his new Uncle, and to start with the plans for the ceremony as Joxer and I are getting joined as well and we have come to find Bliss an earring.”

“Congratulations Lord…..Sorry Ares, this is going to take some getting used to.”

Joxer smiled, “Tell me about it, I have to live with him,” the four adults laughed. Iyolas picked up Bliss, “Do you want to see the big throne and the rest of the castle while Ares and Ipecles talk about all the boring stuff?”

Bliss bounced up and down excitedly, “Ganpa, can I pwese?” Not that he would ever admit it, but the one person who could tightly wrap Ares around their little finger was Bliss.

“Sure Bliss, no getting into any trouble or we won’t get you an earring.”

Iyolas picked up Bliss by his ankles and carried the giggling god out of the room.

Ipecles turned to Ares, “Earring?”

Ares and Joxer explained their wake up call and that Ares wanted to get a clip on earring that looked real before Bliss goes home later. “I think Cupid and Strife want to spend some time alone, not that they will say anything.”

Ares and Joxer spend the morning chatting with Ipecles, listening to Ipecles’s concerns about becoming an immortal.

They were joined at lunch time by the tones of Bliss and Iyolas singing the Joxer the Mighty song out of key. Ares created a little replica of his earring for Bliss.

“Bliss, here is your earring, you going to be extra brave while I put it on?” Ares asked his grandson.

Bliss looked indignantly at Ares, “Silly, I is a brave warrior, I not cry.” Ares fixed the little ring on Bliss’s left ear. Ipecles laughed, “Now you look like a real warrior.”

“Fank you unca Ippy, can I sees you cwone?” Ipecles picked his excited nephew up, “Sure, why not.”

Once Ipecles was out of ear shot, Iyolas turned to Ares and Joxer, “I have known Ipecles all his life, I have never seen him so relaxed. Hercules used to be a real bastard, all Ipecles ever wanted was a big brother, he is great with children, he would make a great father, that’s one thing I can’t give him,” Iyolas said sadly.

Ares gave Iyolas a patented Aphrodite Duh look, “Iyolas, you are a god now, I have never done it myself, but it’s possible, just ask ‘Dite.”

Iyolas looked horrified, “Are you mad, I am not talking to ‘Dite. She tries to dress me in pink whenever she sees me.”

Both men laughed at the expression on Iyolas’s face.

***

Since returning from Olympus Xena had been quiet and withdrawn, at first Gabrielle would incessantly badger Xena to tell her what was wrong, but eventually gave up.

They had set up camp, Gabrielle was by the stream catching dinner, and Xena sat making the fire. Hearing a noise coming from the copse of trees, Xena jumped up drawing her sword, seeing the form of the King of Thieves approaching Xena lowered her sword.

“Hey Xena,” Auto called. “You going to the ceremony?” Xena looked worriedly in the direction that Gabrielle had walked off in and replied, “Yes, but I haven’t explained it to Gabrielle yet. I am not sure how she will take it.”

Having spent a fair amount of time on the road with Xena and the blond bard, he had realised that Gabrielle could be a real bitch when she didn’t get her own way or people dared to think differently than her.

Dinner that night was subdued. Xena turned to Gabrielle, “Gabrielle, there is something I need to tell you.”

In response her “friend” glared at her, “Oh good, I was wondering when you were going to bother telling me what’s been wrong.” Autolocus just shook his head.

Xena took a deep breath, “Well, there is a new God of Judgement on Olympus, Zeus is now a mortal, as is Hercules after he tried to kill Ares.”

Gabrielle stood up “What in TARTARUS is wrong with that, the world would be better without Ares.”

Autolocus replied, “Gabby, care to remember what happened when Ares lost his sword, want the whole of Greece to live through that for eternity?”

Rather than have to admit she may be wrong Gabrielle just ignored him as Xena continued talking.

“There is a ceremony in Corinth in five days, new Gods are going to be named; Hephaestus is now the King of the Gods after Ares passed the throne to him; we will be meeting Joxer there, Ipecles is holding the ceremony and has invited us to stay in the palace.”

Gabrielle looked suspiciously at Xena, “How do you know so much about what’s been going on with the Gods?”

Autolocus replied for Xena who was hurt at the tone the person she thought had been her friend was using. “When Zeus was judged, the gods were asked to bring mortals to the hearing as it affected them as well.”

Not satisfied with the explanation, Gabrielle grabbed her sleeping mat and moved to the opposite side of the camp fire; a tear started to roll down Xena’s cheek.

Autolocus moved next to her and wrapped a protective arm around her shoulders. “You have done nothing wrong, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, I know she is a friend of yours, but she can be a real bitch to those who don’t think what she wants them to”

Xena was surprised at how supportive the arm felt around her shoulders. In an attempt to lighten the mood Xena turned to Autolocus “You know that Ares has decreed Ipecles to be his brother, so if you steal anything from Corinth you will have Ares after you.”

Autolocus laughed, upsetting Gabrielle who thought that her being annoyed should upset the others. “Xena, I am not suicidal, that’s one family I would never mess with, having a pissed off God of War is not a good thing, even if your dad’s Hermes, its all right for you have the Big bad as your daddy, my dad’s almost a big a whore as Apollo”

The two friends chuckled at the expense of their Godly relatives.

Ares had the priests on Olympus prepare a large banqueting table in the halls of War, he enjoyed having his whole family around him, especially when he had something important to say, tonight there would be Hephaestus, ‘Dite, Strife, Cupid, Anteros, the twins, Ipecles and Iyolas, he could hardly expect Ipecles to turn up without Iyolas.

The sight of Bliss with his earring had the desired effect with Cupid, “WHO in Tartarus let Bliss have an earring?” he demanded, Strife was buzzing with the mischief from his uncle, it was times like this that he was really proud of Ares. ‘Dite just squealed, kissing Bliss on the cheeks as she thought it was cute, Bliss squealed “Ewwwww ucky kisses.”

Once everyone was seated Ares stood up, “I am not one for speeches unless it has lots of blood and gore in it, so I will be brief, after what happened my family has become even more important to me.” All the faces looked lovingly at Ares as he spoke. “So I want you all to be the first to know, especially you Ipecles as its going to effect you, at the ceremony, Joxer and I are going to be joined.”

Aphrodite jumped up crying, running to Ares and Joxer to smother them with kisses, “That is so beautiful, I will make sure everything looks perfect.”

Overcome with the wine Ipecles shouted, “Hay, no you don’t I don’t want my palace painted pink. *hic*”

‘Dite, glared at him, then Ares, “Arry, you have been a bad influence on him.”

Ares smiled. “It’s my job as a big brother, anyway Hephaestus, I want you to stand with me please?” Ares looked expectantly at his brother. Hephaestus was chocked up with emotion, “Ares, I would be proud to.”

Joxer turned to Strife. “Strife, after Ares you have been my closest friend, I would be proud to have you stand with me.”

Strife turned to Ares, “Unc, ya sure ya want me?” Ares looked hurt at the doubt Strife had of his own importance. “Of course we want you; it wouldn’t be perfect if you don’t agree.”

Joxer looked a Bliss, “Bliss, me and Ares have a really important mission for you, will you be the ring bearer for us?” Bliss clapped his hands happily. “Yaaaaaaa!!!!” he cried.

After settling into the meal Bliss looked at Strife “Stwife will you be my other daddy, soos I have two daddies, Ganpa says daddy lost his balls to aks you, will you help daddy find em so he and me be happy?” There was complete quiet in the room. Hephaestus, Dite Ipecles and Iyolas were struggling not to burst out laughing; Strife looked mortified, while Cupid was glaring at Ares with daggers in his eyes.

“Stwife, will you wead me a stowy tonight?”

Still in a state of shock from the revelation Strife barley managed a reply “Sure Bliss.”

After an uneasy dinner Cupid announced, “Come on Bliss, its time to go home.”

“K daddy, but Stwife has to weed me a storwy.” Bliss grabbed Strife’s hand and dragged him out of the temple. Once the young Gods had left, the Halls of War erupted into laughter.

Hephaestus turned to Ares “Way to be subtle brother, if Strife wasn’t immortal I would have sworn he was going to have a heart attack.”

“Bliss darling, you want to get ready for bed, Strife will be in shortly.” Cupid asked his young son. “K daddy, I luves you and daddy Stwife.”

Cupid turned to a very nervous Strife. “If you take the job offer from Bliss, it would make us both very, very happy.”

Strife had trouble talking. “You mean you really want me, you can do better.”

Cupid slowly walked slow towards Strife, “One thing you are going to have to do is stop thinking so badly of yourself, you are perfect for me and Bliss if you want it, now before Bliss comes hunting go and read him a story so we can continue.”

“Bliss, do you really want me as your other Daddy?” Strife asked.

Bliss stood on his bed and kissed Strife, “Corse, you makes me and Daddy happy.” It didn’t take long for Bliss to fall asleep.

Strife walked back into the main hall, Cupid smiled, “So how about we carry on from were we left off, follow me.” Cupid took Strife’s hand and led him to a large bathing pool, the water was the perfect temperature and filled with warm oil, Cupid slowly unfastened the buckles on Strife’s leather clothes until he was standing there in all his naked glory. As Cupid began to kiss Strife passionately he grasped the growing erection tightly causing Strife to groan into the kiss.

After breaking apart Cupid led Strife into the warm pool. Strife slowly began to lather Cupids tight, toned body, massaging the muscles. Once he had finished Cupid began to return the favour, first he worked his way down Strife’s chest, missing the erection completely. Cupid began to work on Strife’s back working the shoulders then down the slender back, slowly reaching in between the pert round cheeks and slowly rubbing his finger around the sensitive opening. Strife arched away.

“Strife, you need to be sure about this, we stop whenever you say, what’s wrong?” Cupid asked concerned at look on Strife’s face. “Babe, what is it?” Strife couldn’t answer, Cupid reached forward and placed his hand against the side of Strife’s face, after seeing a vicious attack Cupid turned Strife around so that Cupid was looking into his lover’s eyes. “Strife, why didn’t you tell dad, he would have killed him, and if he ever gets his hands on Casius he will tear him apart if I don’t get to him first, but babe, it can be gentle, I will never hurt you.”

They got out of the pool after that. Cupid picked up a towel and began to slowly dry Strife, he could have done it with a wave of his hand, but he wanted to make it a pleasure for Strife. Once he was dry he laid Strife on his stomach and began to massage his back, “Strife, I promise not to do anything you don’t like.”

He began to kiss behind the shoulder blades making Strife groan, he kissed down the spine, gently biting each cheek. He slowly parted them gently blowing on the tight opening, Strife had never felt such contentment. Cupid slowly leant forward placing a kiss on the tight rosebud then gently massaging it with his tongue. “Fuck Cupes……… where in Hades did you learn to do that?”

Cupid briefly looked up. “Hey, Love God here.” Cupid was determined to bring Strife to the highest heights of passion.

It got to be too much for Strife. “Cupe…….fucking do something……..I’m gunna burst here.”

Cupid straddled the slender thighs positioning his leaking cock and gently pushed forward breaching his lover’s body, angling his thrust just right sending pulses of pleasure through Strife’s body. After what seemed like eternity, the thrusts became slower and more powerful until the God of Love erupted into his lover.

Strife could barley speak, “Fuck……….Cupe…….. that was fucking ace.”

Cupid wrapped his arms tightly around his lover, “Yes, well its your turn when I get some energy.” It wasn’t long before the two gods were sleeping soundly in each other’s arms.

***

Ipecles gently kissed the warm lips of his lover. “Iyolas, I have a serious question to ask you,” Ipecles said nervously. Iyolas looked at Ipecles with concern. “After talking to Ares, I have an important question to ask you, now we have known each other since we were children and have come to care greatly for each other, would you agree to join with me at the ceremony?”

Iyolas couldn’t control it, the tears just fell, “Ipecles, nothing would make me happier, but I am not going to put your throne at risk, we can be together for eternity.”

“I don’t care Iyolas, I want to let the whole world know, but I will talk to Alexius in the morning, now how about you demonstrate some godly stamina?” Ipecles asked cheekily.

Ipecles was the first to wake up; he lay next to his lover looking at the innocent look across his face. After the previous night’s activities Ipecles knew Iyolas was anything other than innocent, it was certainly going to be difficult sitting on the throne to hear petitions.

Ipecles just couldn’t get away from the insecurities, all his life he had put up with Hercules’s bullying. Ipecles was never good enough to be the brother of the great Hercules. The one thing that had been constant throughout his childhood was the friendship with Iyolas.

Since the arrival of Iyolas with Joxer and an injured God of War, Ipecles has gained his soulmate, a very protective Big Brother and a little godling nephew who he adored. His only concern was how his people would feel about him getting married to Iyolas.

Iyolas slowly began to wake up and snuggled tightly into Ipecles’s warm body. Iyolas wrapped his arms around Ipecles and pulled himself up so that he could kiss his lover, “Morning handsome,” Iyolas said dreamily.

After eventually getting dressed, following some passionate kissing, Ipecles went to the main hall to start the hearing the day’s petitions.

Ipecles was finding it hard to concentrate walking along the corridor to the hall, nearly knocking Alexius over.

“Good Morning Your Majesty, I trust you are not too tired?” The old man asked cheekily.

“What do you mean by that?” the King asked worriedly.

Alexius smiled warmly, “Only that since we have been graced with the presence of Lord Iyolas, I have seen my King smile once more and the pain of loneliness diminishing greatly, for that the people of Corinth owe him a great debt, I am sure the people will rejoice and celebrate if their King was to be joined to the one who brought this about.”

Ipecles stopped dead in his tracks with his chin hitting the floor. “Do not worry my King, I have lived what feels like many lifetimes, I know the people of Corinth……… I would gladly spend eternity in Tartarus for killing Hercules for causing such doubt, now come along my King the day begins.”

It took Ipecles a few moments to get his mind around what just happened; he began to question if his life could take any more shocks.

***


There was a tense quiet around the morning camp fire; Gabrielle was still ignoring Xena, how dare Xena and that thief not be upset that she had been betrayed.

Xena sat next to Auto. “How is it I never noticed how grown up you can be?” she asked with a smile.

Auto chuckled, “Its something I get from my dad, you do know who my dad is don’t you?” Auto enquired.

“Please don’t tell me it is Salmoneous,” Xena said with a wicked grin on her face.

Auto tried to look indignantly at his friend “I am mortally hurt that you would say such a thing, but no he isn’t my father. I have the second biggest whore of Olympus as my father, I think Hermes and Apollo have some kind of competition going,” Auto said with a wry smile.

Gabrielle had stomped off to wash in the stream leaving Xena and Auto alone. Auto had become increasingly more nervous around Xena; he began to find that he had feelings for the Warrior Princess. He was starting to see the softer emotional side behind the gruff exterior and he liked what he saw.

He gently leant forward placing a chaste kiss on Xena’s lips. Xena shockingly leant into the kiss; Auto pulled back as if burnt. “Xena ……I am sorry, I don’t know what came over me,” Auto said nervously.

Xena looked sad at his response, “I am sorry you think it was so bad, I liked it.” She got up and walked off, shoulders low trying to hold back the tears; why didn’t anyone want her.

Auto felt contempt for himself, how could he have done that, he got up and walked away, he felt the tingle on the back of his neck signalling a god was nearby, he walked around a tree to see his father sitting on a rock, “Well my boy, you seriously are trying to get yourself killed.”

Auto didn’t have time for this. “What do you want dad, I have fucked things up enough as it is.”

Hermes replied to his son, “Look, Ares is very, very protective of his family, especially after what Zeus did to him, if you hurt Xena he will tear you apart and there will be nothing that can stop him, not even a fellow god, now stop being an ass and TALK to her, you would both be good for each other and it would stop Ares threatening to rip my balls off if I go near her.”

Auto took a deep breath and turned round to return to camp as his dad flashed out, he saw Xena brushing Argo. “Xena, can we sit down and talk please?” Auto asked.

Xena was up for a long talk, “I want to apologise,” Auto began. “I didn’t want you to think I was taking advantage of the situation.”

Xena turned to glare at the thief, “So what are you saying?”

The reply she got was a shock. “I want to start again,” came the honest reply.

Auto leant forward for a second kiss, this time not pulling away.

Up on Olympus Ares was watching Xena in a mirror with Joxer, “Jox, if he hurts her I will rip his balls off and feed them to him.”

Joxer just chuckled at his future husband, “Listen you big softy, I’m sure daddy’s little girl can do as just as much damage.”

Ares looked at Joxer with a shocked expression on his face, “You know if anyone else made a comment like that, then they would never find the body. I am not a big softy; I am the fucking God of War!”

Having shared so much with Ares, Joxer was no longer afraid of him, “Despite what everyone else thinks you have an abundance of love for your family, now don’t pretend it wasn’t you I saw playing hide and seek with Bliss, or having silly face competitions or playing horsy with Bliss, and as for the Fucking God of War, how about you live up to that title.”

Ares was trying his best to look angry, but whenever Joxer got that glazed look his resolve wasted away, he grabbed Joxer in a tight embrace and devoured his lips as he lifted Joxer and carried him back towards the still rumpled bed.

Cupid was pacing around the halls of his mother and stepfather’s temple, he was fuming, he had just heard his son swear, he should never know such words at his age, there had only been one person in the Halls of Love who used such language, how could Strife have been so stupid.

“MUM I can’t believe Strife would swear like that with Bliss around, I must have been stupid thinking this will work,” Cupid cried.

“Cupid, don’t be rash, have you even bothered to talk to him yet or have you done what you usually do and jump to the wrong conclusions?”

“Look mum, I didn’t come here for a lecture,” Cupid shouted as he disappeared, unknown to ‘Dite or Cupid Strife had been listening; Ares had sent him to ‘Dite’s temple to ask Hephaestus over to plan the naming ceremony.

He flashed to the Halls of Love to talk to Cupid. “Cupid we need to talk,” he said as soon as he appeared.

Taking a deep breath Cupid replied. “You’re right we do; look, this has been a mistake, its not going to work out, just leave.”

Strife was trying his hardest not to cry, he knew Cupid would never really want him. “But Cupe, please…..”

“No Strife, just leave…… just go.”

Having resigned himself to the fact it had only been a slight tumble to Cupid, Strife turned to leave, “Can I at least say goodbye to Bliss?” he asked.

Cupid didn’t even turn to look at Strife. “Strife don’t make this any harder, just go…….”

As he turned around the tears began to stream down Strife’s face; neither of the two gods had seen the little godling looking out from behind the curtains. Cupid flashed out of the temple to get away from Strife, just as Strife was about to do the same Bliss came running out sobbing, “Daddy Strife, don’t leave me…”

Not wanting to make it any worse Strife flashed out.

After a bout of passionate love making Ares and Joxer had finally decided to get dressed, Ares decided to walk over to Cupid’s temple to see where Strife was; what he saw when he got there made the veins in his neck pulse, he found his beloved grandson sobbing on the floor repeating “He hates me.” over and over again,

Ares picked up his grandson, “Bliss, what’s wrong?” he asked concerned. “Daddy ………got mad at Daddy Stwife and sent him away, when I went to talk …………to daddy Strife he wouldn’t listen, now he hates me.” Bliss cried between sobs.

~I am going to fucking kill my son for doing this,~ Ares thought.

Joxer was startled to hear the loud bangs and explosions coming from Strife’s room at the Halls of War, although he had been staying at Cupid’s, Ares said that he would always have a room with him, no matter what.

Joxer went into the room. Strife had stopped exploding the contents and was just sitting on the floor with his arms wrapped around his knees. //ARES// Joxer cried out in his mind.

//Come quick, something has happened to Strife.//

Ares picked up Bliss and flashed back to the Halls of War. As soon as they arrived they were met by Joxer. “Ares, what is going on? What is wrong with Bliss?”

Before he could ask any more questions Ares replied, “My stupid son…… Bliss, will you stay with Joxer for a little while, I just have to do something.”

Bliss was trying not to break out into sobs again, “K Ganpa, does Daddy Stwife wealy hates me?”

Joxer couldn’t believe what he had just heard. Joxer held his arms out to the young God, “Bliss, why do you think Strife hates you?”

Bliss retold his sad tale, “Ahh Bliss, Strife doesn’t hate you, he loves you, sometimes grownups say things to each other that upset people, often with out thinking,” Joxer said trying to reassure the little godling.

Ares approached the door to Strife’s room and knocked. It had always been a rule in the Halls of War that each other’s bedroom was private to all unless invited in; instead of Strife telling him to go away, which he expected, he heard yet more sobs. He slowly walked in to see Strife sitting on the floor in the corner. He slowly walked over and sat down next to Strife and wrapped a strong protective arm around his shoulders.

In his entire life the only place Strife had ever truly felt safe was in the arms of his Uncle, no one could hurt him there. He wrapped his arms around his uncle’s chest and broke down in tears. Ares let his nephew cry himself out, gently rocking and rubbing his hand in circles on his back.

He asked his nephew what had happened, Strife told him what little he knew. “Strife, Bliss thinks you hate him,” Ares explained.

“Unc NO, I could never hate him, I love him. Cupid obviously thought I wasn’t good enough.”

“Shhh, Strife, Cupid is wrong, you are perfect. Now Bliss is here with Joxer, I found him in the Halls of Love sobbing that you hate him; now why don’t I bring him in here and we sort this out.”

“No Unc, Cupid doesn’t want me near him,” Strife cried.

“Well, tough for my son, this is my home and my family, I will do what I think is right.”

//Joxer, can you bring Bliss to Strife’s room please?// Ares thought to his lover.

As soon as they heard the young god Strife and Ares looked up. “Daddy Stwife,” Bliss cried. “Pwese don’t hates me,” he sobbed as he ran forward with his arms out stretched.

Strife could barely control his tears, “Bliss, I can never hate you, I love you.”

Ares got up and led Joxer out, leaving Bliss and Strife to comfort each other, Joxer looked at Ares with a questioning look.

Once they closed the door to Strife’s room Ares put up a shielding bubble around the room so that no one but him could hear what was being said inside and those inside could hear what was said outside.

Once they were in the main hall and Ares was sitting down he bellowed “CUPID GET HERE NOW!” The sound swept across Olympus.

Aphrodite and Hephaestus had never heard such anger in Ares’s voice and flashed over to the Halls of War just as Cupid appeared.

Ares glared at his son, “So help me, if you weren’t my son I would break every bone in your body, repair you and do it all over again. Care to explain to me why I found YOUR son alone sobbing; thinking the one person he loves almost as much as you, hates him?”

Aphrodite turned to her son, “Cupid…… what have you done?”

In his life Cupid had never seen his father so angry, he knew there was truth in everything he said, there was nothing he cared more for than Bliss.

Cupid began to explain what he had told his mother that morning, only to see the anger rising in his father.

“Did ever occur to you, you stupid fool, to talk to Strife, or even better yet Bliss, to find out where he heard this; for a love god you seem to be doing a lousy job, just be grateful I haven’t petitioned the Pantheon,” Ares said. “I will go and get Bliss and we shall do what you should have done as his father. Just be glad Strife’s mother is busy and won’t be hearing about this.” Ares got up and went towards Strife’s room.

Aphrodite turned to Cupid, “How could you have done this Cupid, you have been brought up better than this.”

Ares reappeared with Bliss, rather than sobs Bliss was now just whimpering. Cupid held his arms out to his son; instead of jumping into his daddy’s arms he wrapped his arms tighter around his grandfather’s neck.

“Bliss, you are not in any trouble, ok, but I have an important question to ask you?” Ares asked kindly.

“K Ganpa, you not make me leave?” Bliss asked worriedly.

Ares just shot a glare to his son, “Never Bliss, you will always be safe here, now your daddy said you used a bad word earlier, I need to know where you heard it?

“What word Ganpa, daddy not tell me.” Cupid paled, the look on his mother’s face was almost as strong as his fathers. ‘Dite stepped forward “Bliss Sweetheart, where did you heard the word bastard?”

Bliss looked at his grandfather. “I’s not supposed to say it, why?

Ares smiled, “It’s a hurtful word grownups use to be horrible to someone or someone whose parents weren’t married, now where did you hear it, then you can go back and play.”

Bliss replied “I heard Ganma Gaia says it, she says that bawsted hercese best not go to hurt nuncle Ippy…… I not in twuble to saying it am I?”

“No Bliss, now why don’t you go back and play with Strife.” Bliss kissed his grandfather, “Luves you Ganpa.”

Once Bliss had left the room Ares turned to his son, “At the moment the only thing keeping you alive after hurting my family is the fact that you are my son.”

“Dad, please, I have to talk to Strife.” Cupid begged, however Ares was having none of it.

“Don’t you think you have done enough talking; you stay away from him. I will protect him. While he is here, you are not welcome in any room other than this.”

Cupid flashed out of the Halls of War to do some serious thinking. How can he get his family back?

***


Alexius and the rest of the council were in the midst of a meeting to discuss the ceremony when Akakios came running in, “Majesty, please forgive the intrusion but can you please come to the palace gates. There is a huge crowd there.”

Ipecles got up, grabbed his sword and ran out followed by the rest of the council. Alexius knew exactly why they were there, as soon as Ipecles appeared the crowd went wild with joy. Iyolas soon appeared next to Ipecles, the crowed went wild again.

“HAIL IPECLESE, HAIL IYOLAS RULERS OF CORINTH,” the crowd chanted.

Ipecles turned to Iyolas, “There must be at least half the city here.”

Iyolas took hold of his lover’s hand, “Well I guess this means your subjects don’t mind, shall we?” he asked indicating with his head towards the crowd.

As soon as the two of them stepped forward the volume from the crowd increased. Alexius stepped forward and whispered to Ipecles, “I told you so.”

By early evening there were still ques of people waiting to leave gifts for the King. Alexius walked to the main hall, “The King thanks you graciously for your kindness, he is retiring for the night, you may still leave your presents for the King.”

Ipecles sat distractedly at the table while Iyolas began the evening meal. Ipecles could not believe what a strange day it had been; it was almost as strange as being adopted as little brother by the God of War.

Seeing his lover wasn’t hungry, Iyolas got up and walked around the table taking his lover’s hand pulling him up. “Now will you believe everyone when they say you are a great king? So let’s go and have a long soak then work up a sweat.” Iyolas asked seductively as he slapped Ipecles on the ass.

Once they were both naked Ipecles began to rub his soapy hands over the chest of his lover as he gently covered him in kisses, “Iyolas, I want to try that thing you did with your tongue, it sent me wild, where did you learn that?”

Iyolas looked uneasy, “It was at one of 'Dite’s parties, you don’t mind that I used to do that; I would never go again, you mean too much to me.”

With a hearty chuckle Ipecles replied “I know neither of us were virgins, as long as it’s just you and me now I don’t mind, but one of ‘Dite’s parties does sound interesting, we could always share.”

Iyolas burst into laugher, “Oh by the Gods, I have created a sex fiend.” The two lovers got out of the heated bath, “So, oh mighty, God of Truth, how about you use your powers and dry us so we can hurry up and get in bed.”

With a snap of his fingers Iyolas dried them both off and transported them to the bedroom. Iyolas was on his back as Ipecles slowly started to bath the firm chest, covered lightly in blond hair, with his tongue, taking extra care with the sensitive nipples. He wrapped his hand gently around the bulging flesh and began to move it up and down as he kissed and licked his way down until he found the large balls resting at the base of his lover’s bulging hardness.

Gently massaging the sensitive opening with his finger Ipecles was determined to make this as sensual as possible for his lover.

Iyolas just lay down and let his lover take control, during his life Iyolas had a lot of sex partners, none of them had ever been this passionate; normally is was just a quick tumble. Since he arrived in Corinth, Iyolas had seen far more to Ipecles than Hercules had ever given him credit for.

Up on Olympus Aphrodite cried out “Ohhhhhhhhhh!” as she grabbed Hephaestus’s arm. “’Dite what is it, what’s wrong?”

“Hephy dear, I just got a real big buzz from Iyolas and Ipecles, I really have to learn to block them out, but now I have soooooo much energy,” she said to her husband with a lecherous look on her face. Over the past week since Ares and Joxer, Iyolas and Ipecles had gotten together Aphrodite had been horny nearly constantly. Hephaestus decided he owed his two brothers a big thank you for that.

Cupid was sitting in his temple alone. Bliss was staying with Ares. Cupid turned to the only person who could help, his Grandma Gaia, having made up his mind he flashed over to her home and knocked on the door.

Gaia walked to the door of the cottage she lived in, she never bothered with the trappings of Olympus. She opened to door to see a devastated God of Love. “My child what has happened?” she asked as she pulled Cupid into the house.

Cupid explained the damage he had done to his family, without any accusation in her tone Gaia replied “My child, you youngsters, how do you really feel deep down about Strife?”

“Grandma, I love him so much. We have been friends since we were Bliss’s age; whenever he walks in the room its as if the temple lights up, if anyone else said what I just did, I would swear they were in love.”

“Let me guess child, you haven’t even told him, instead I bet you jumped straight into bed.”

Cupid blushed deeply as he looked at the floor.

“There may be one way to try and sort this out,” Gaia explained. “It is The Melding, acting as a conduit, I can meld your minds so that you can feel the other’s thoughts, are you willing to try?”

“Oh yes grandma, I’ll do anything I have to do to get my family back,” Cupid replied.

“Well child you remain here and I will see if Strife is willing to do it.”

She appeared in the Halls of War to see Bliss and Strife putting something under the cushion of Ares’s throne; it looked small and red like a bladder, if Bliss and Strife were working together it was bound to be good. She would have to make sure she was there when Ares sat down.

She called out, “Don’t worry dears I won’t say anything, as long as I can be here when he finds out,” winking at the two mischievous gods. “Now where is that great lump?” Strife had never heard of the God of War referred to like that, he just nodded in the direction of Ares and Joxer’s room. Gaia walked over and banged loudly on the door, “BOYS, put it away and get dressed, I want to talk to you”

Hearing his Grandmother shouting from the other side of the door Ares cried out “AAAAAarrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhh,” as he turned he misjudged the end of the bed and landed in a tangle with the sheets on the floor, hearing the bump Gaia pushed the door open, Strife and Bliss burst in to giggle at the blushing God of War.

Gaia tried to look stern but was struggling not to laugh. “Boys get dressed I have something important to talk to you about, I will be waiting in the banqueting hall.”

As soon as the door closed Ares and Joxer flashed a new set of clothes on and went to join Gaia.

Once everyone had arrived Gaia explained her visit, “Now I am aware of why Bliss and Strife are here; I have just left Cupid. Now my role in all of this is nothing but peacekeeping, I am not and will not take sides, I have seen into Cupid’s heart at his foolishness……… Now Strife before you start, I know you have been hurt very badly, but this is also about what is best for Bliss as well, now what I propose is The Melding.”

Strife looked at Ares in confusion as his uncle spoke, “Grandma, are you sure?”

“Unc?” Strife asked. Ares placed his hand on the shoulder of his nephew, “A Melding allows two people to share their thoughts and feelings, when you do there can be no confusion.”

“Daddy Stwife, we going to be family again?” Bliss asked hopefully. Strife hugged Bliss, despite what had happened with Cupid, Bliss flatly refused to call him anything other than daddy Strife.

Strife took a deep breath, “Come on then, let’s do this.” Giving Bliss a kiss on the cheek he flashed out with Gaia.

Cupid moved forward and was about to speak, but Strife did first. “Don’t start Cupid, I am only here because Bliss asked me, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have anything to do with you. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I don’t trust you. I loved you and without giving me a chance you decided I was a bad influence on Bliss. I love him as if he was my own son, now I know you don’t trust me, otherwise you wouldn’t have done what you did, so let’s get this over with as I have other people I want to spend my time with.”

All Cupid could say was “Ok.” Gaia got in place and said the incantation. She decided that it would be beneficial if Cupid felt Strife’s feelings first; as Cupid began to feel the pain and hurt Strife had endured the tears began to fall freely. Then it was Strife who felt the complete guilt and devastation that Cupid felt at his actions for destroying his family. Strife was nearly overcome with the intense love Cupid felt for him, when he had agreed to do this, no one had explained to him that it would be like this. Once Gaia was finished she broke the link, both Cupid and Strife slowly opened their eyes to see the tearful look the other had.

“Strife, I am so, so sorry, I can understand if you don’t want anything to do with me, but please be part of Bliss’s life, he loves you and I won’t deprive him of that.”

Strife looked up, “Cupid, I do want to see you, but I need to do some thinking. Why don’t you come round in the morning and have breakfast? Then we can both spend time with Bliss, he wants to see you; when I get back I will get Unc to bring him back over.”

Cupid tried to smile, “Thank you Strife and thank you Grandma.”

Strife appeared in the private quarters in the Halls of War, Ares was sitting in a large cushioned chair bouncing Bliss on his knee making silly faces. Ares was so misunderstood. Ares looked up “How did it go?”

Joxer put his hand on Strife’s shoulder. “It went Unc…… Bliss, do you want to go and see Daddy? He is going to bring you over in the morning and we are going to spend the whole day together, you like the sound of that?”

Bliss clapped his hands loudly and shouted “Yaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!”

“Unc, could you take Bliss over, then I need to talk to you and Jox?”

Ares picked Bliss up and sat him on his shoulders, “Come on Bliss, let’s go and see your daddy.”

Cupid’s heart lifted when he heard his son’s laughter then his dad’s voice boom out “BLISS! Get your finger out of my ear!”

Cupid sniggered; Bliss was so full of mischief. “Hi dad. Hello Bliss, did you have a good time with Daddy Strife?”

Ares was shocked at the way his son referred to Strife; “Bliss why don’t you go and get ready for bed, I will say goodbye before I go.”

“K Ganpa, luves you.”

Cupid looked at his father, “Dad, I am so sorry, thank you for looking after Bliss; the three of us are going to spend tomorrow together.”

Ares loved all of his children dearly, Cupid was very lucky that he was his son, if Cupid had not been his son, he would have found out what happens to people who hurt his family.

Ares walked forward and pulled his son into a hug, “Cupid, I love you all, but you ever pull a stunt like that again, I will pluck you like a chicken.”

Cupid wasn’t sure if his father was joking or not and wasn’t brave enough to ask.

“Dad, I have a serious question to ask you, I need your advice.”

Ares glanced at the serious look on his son’s face, “Go on, that’s what I am here for.”

“After my screw up, I don’t want it to happen again, I want to ask Strife to give me his mark and ask for the soul binding, what do you think?”

Ares was shocked at the serious look on his son’s face, Ares wondered if Joxer would take his mark.

“Actually I think it’s a good idea, but don’t be upset if Strife doesn’t want to rush things, ask him about the Mark, but leave it a while about the binding, prove to him you care.”

Cupid thought about what his father had said, “Thanks dad, I knew I could rely on you.”

Ares got up to say goodnight to Bliss.

Ares returned to see his lover lying naked on the bed, “Joxer, I have a really important question for you. Will you give me your mark?”

Joxer didn’t have a clue what Ares was on about, “What do you mean my mark?”

Ares explained that all the gods were able to give their mark to their most devout followers as a sign to all that the person was under Divine Protection, but a god doesn’t normally take it as it is seen by some as a sign of subservience.

The significance of what Ares was asking wasn’t lost on Joxer. “On one condition Ares, I take yours too; we are equal in all things.”

Ares kissed Joxer deeply then removed his top. He explained what was going to happen; he opened his right palm and put it on Joxer’s left shoulder as Joxer did the same to Ares. He told him to concentrate on the essence of his godhood. They both felt a burning sensation, once Ares opened his eyes he spoke softly, “It is done. I love you Joxer.”

Cupid spent the whole night sitting in the chair next to Bliss’s bed, after being apart from his son was too painful to be alone in his room. There was nothing that was going to separate them, and it wasn’t the fact that Ares would tear him apart if he hurt Bliss again.

Tomorrow Cupid would ask Strife for his mark.

*** Morning came to the camp, the birds singing loudly. Xena as always was the first to wake, however it took her a moment to get her bearings as she felt an arm around her waist, slowly peering over her shoulder she saw a sleeping, smiling Autolocus.

All Xena could think about was all the time that had been wasted, having thought about it after their kiss, Xena realised that in fact she had strong feelings for Auto, at least she didn’t have to worry about him using her to get to the Gods considering who his father was.

Lying in Auto’s arms Xena made a plan for the day, if Gabrielle wanted to join them then that was fine, but Xena had lost all interest in her former friend. Xena decided on a few more moments in the warm arms.

***


Having been busy with his Daddy Strife, Bliss was eager to make sure he went for breakfast to see what the pink bubble under Granpa Ares’s chair did. Bliss quickly got ready and ran from his room. He ran back into the room when he realized his daddy was asleep on the floor.

“DADDY, time to gets up, we have to go to Ganpa’s for bwekfast, come on daddy, we gets to see Daddy Stwife!”

Cupid slowly opened his eyes and wiped the sleep from them, the sight of his son happy and excited made up for having a lump land on his stomach while he was fast asleep.

“Mmm, Ok son, make sure you room is tidy while I go get ready then we will go to Granpa’s.”

Bliss jumped off to let his dad get ready. Once Cupid had freshened up he went to get his son and flashed over to the Halls of War. His dad and Joxer were already up sparring.

Ares turned to his son “Morning Cupid, Strife has gone to get Ipecles and Iyolas so we can all have breakfast, what’s with the giggle from Bliss?”

Cupid looked at his son who seemed to be overcome with a fit of the giggles, “Haven’t got a clue dad, I am just glad he is happy.”

After a long night of lovemaking Ipecles was sleeping heavily, Iyolas though got up and rushed to the window where he was violently sick; thankfully the only thing under the window in the antechamber was the moat.

Iyolas knew by the tingly feeling on the back of his neck that a God was about to appear, as soon as he saw Strife he tried to smile.

Strife saw the pale looking god leaning against the window. “What in Hades is wrong with you Iyolas, you do know that you’re a God, so why are you chucking up your guts?”

“Thanks for the reminder, not that you’re not welcome, but what are you doing here?”

“Unc sent me, he wants you and Ipecles to come for breakfast……… say Iyolas, as Ipecles is Unc’s brother, how can you manage to walk, Unc hardly got out of bed.”

Iyolas just laughed, he had never been shy about sex, “Strife, how about you waking him up?” Iyolas asked with a wicked grin.

Iyolas crept into the bedroom while Strife quietly got into bed, still asleep Ipecles leant his arm round mumbling in his sleep “Mmmmmm, love you…”

Struggling to keep a straight face Strife replied, “Thanks, Ipecles, I am not into Uncle-loving, but thanks for the offer.”

Ipecles’s eyes shot open as he shouted “AAAARRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH”, in shock Ipecles tried to move away but landed in a naked heap on the cold palace floor to the enjoyment of Iyolas and Strife who were laughing hysterically.

As Ipecles was stomping over to his pile of cloths the guards came running at the sound of their king shouting, swords drawn they swept into the room causing Strife and Iyolas to bust into laughter all over again. Ipecles turned to them all “EVERY ONE GET OUT!!” Knowing better than to anger their King the guards left sniggering, whatever was happening they were sure the King was embarrassed.

Strife eventually arrived with Iyolas and Ipecles in the Halls of War, Hephaestus and Aphrodite had also arrived; it was now normal to have a big family breakfast. Once Deimos and Phobos had arrived everyone took their seats, as Ares sat on his chair there was a loud “PUuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrpppppppppp.” Ares looked mortified at the sound he had just made, apart from the hysterical laughing of Bliss there was absolute silence from everyone else, Aphrodite’s face scrunched up in disgust whilst everyone else was struggling not to laugh at Ares’s embarrassment. Iyolas hadn’t recovered properly from his laughing fit at the palace so was the first to break, soon followed by everyone else in the room. Ares jumped up knocking his chair back; as it landed the cushion fell onto the floor showing a pink bladder. As soon as he saw it he glared at Strife.

Bliss looked at Joxer, “Ganpa Jox, Ganpa Ree was wude and not say cuse me, you gunna spank him.” Ares just dropped down into his chair and dropped his head in his hands, at Bliss’s comment all control in the room disappeared.

After a quick breakfast filled with sniggering Cupid announced that they he was leaving with Strife and Bliss who were going out for the day. Ipecles turned to them, “I know you can go anywhere you want, but there are some great sights in Corinth,” he offered shyly. Cupid looked at Strife who just smiled, “What do you think Bliss, want to go to Corinth?” they asked. Bliss loved his new uncle so was happy to go. “Yaaa, nuncle Ippy bestest nuncle, he let me play with his cwone.”

Iyolas and Ipecles appeared in the private hall followed by Cupid, Strife and Bliss. Ipecles led them out to the private gardens; just past a small copse of trees was a cool clear waterfall leading into a running stream that stretched along the inside of the palace walls. Ipecles and Iyolas left the young gods alone. Cupid led Strife over to the river bank as Bliss was marching around a short distance away wearing a mini version of Joxer’s old helmet singing the Joxer the Mighty song.

Once Cupid and Strife were sitting down, Cupid looked at the ground “Strife, I have something important to ask you, I know I have said it, but I am really sorry for being such bastard to you, to prove it I……I want to take your mark.”

Strife’s chin dropped, it wasn’t common but a lot of the gods would give their mark to their most loyal followers, it was also a form of protection, as it stopped the person receiving the mark from causing any form of pain to the god. No god ever took the mark of another god; to take the mark was the ultimate sign of devotion.

He looked at Cupid questioningly. “Strife, I understand if you don’t want to after what I did, but I want you to be part of mine and Bliss’s life.”

Strife began to cry. “Ahhh Cupe, it still hurts, but I love you. I just never thought anyone would want my mark, let alone a god.”

Cupid gently took Strife’s left hand and placed it on his shoulder, they both closed their eyes as Strife sent his power signature to the toned body; Cupid bit his lip at the surge of pain.

Bliss turned around to see Strife gently touching his daddy’s shoulder, he ran over feeling the immense happiness from his two daddies.

Once the two adults opened their eyes Bliss tried to wrap his arms around his two daddies in a hug. “Daddy Strife, is you gunna live with me and daddy now?” he asked with a hopeful expression on his face.

Strife lent down and kissed Bliss on his forehead, “Sure, Bliss, its you, me and your daddy now.”

Bliss began to jump up and down fluttering his wings singing “I gots two daddies.”

Back in the palace Iyolas was sitting across from Ipecles talking about their upcoming joining. “Iyolas, who are you going to get to stand with you?” Ipeclese asked.

“To be honest I don’t have a clue, normally it would have been HIM. ‘Dite is probably going to be balling her eyes out, so I will probably ask Cupid, what about you?”

Ipecles looked sadly as his intended, “I have even less clue than you, but don’t worry, I will find someone.”

Akakios and some of his friends had not long finished their guard duty and were walking through the gardens when they heard a young voice singing “Josser the Mighty.” Akakios was the youngest of the three guards and was looked on as a young brother to the others. They were laughing as they walked towards the singing, Akakios recognised who it was, “Guys we have to be careful, that’s Bliss, Child of Cupid; King Ipecles is his Uncle.”

Heron chuckled, “Guys you know what that means, guess who the King’s brother is then…..”

Akakios raised an eyebrow, “Yes, Lord Ares, I met him when he came to see the King, they are very close, I was so scared though, the room was full of gods.”

The two other guards laughed at the horrified expression on young Akakios’s face. Bliss saw the three soldiers; he recognised one and walked over. “Hello, fank you for looking after nuncle Ippy.” The two older guards were trying not to laugh at hearing the description of their King. They winked at each other and bowed down on one knee. “Yes Mighty General of Corinth,” Heron pulled the side of Akakios’s tunic to get him to kneel as well. Bliss giggled at the three big warriors calling him General.

Cupid and Strife walked up and saw the odd sight of three soldiers kneeling in front of a giggling Bliss, “Daddies, I is a General, they says so.” Strife could feel the mischief from the three soldiers, Cupid just chuckled. “Well General Bliss, its time for lunch, warriors need to stay strong.” As Strife took hold of Bliss’s hand and led him off Cupid turned to the three soldiers, “Thank you, I will remember what you have done.”

The three soldiers stood there shocked, particularly Akakios, over the past few days he had met more gods than he could even think of.

Once they got inside the palace Bliss ran forward shouting “NUNCLE IPPY.” Hearing his nephew shouting Ipecles called out, he was still getting used to having a god as a nephew. Bliss ran into Ipecles arms and gave him a wet sloppy kiss on the cheek, to the enjoyment of Iyolas.

Wherever Bliss went Strife got a constant buzz from the little mischief maker. “Nuncle, I is a General,” Bliss said happily. With puzzled look on his face Ipecles turned to Cupid who explained “Some of your guards decided to make Bliss a General when they caught him singing Joxer the Mighty.”

Ipecles burst out laughing, a thought immediately jumped in his mind “Bliss, as a General of Corinth, I have an important mission for you.”

Bliss stood tall, despite not reaching his father’s waist. Ipecles continued “Tomorrow when Joxer and Ares get joined, so are Iyolas and I, would you stand with me at the ceremony?” Iyolas leant forward and kissed Ipecles on the cheek. The look on Strife and Cupids face showed Ipecles the immense feelings they had for him. For the rest of the day Bliss was flying around the room shouting “I is General, Iss got peshal mission.”

As the ceremony was being held the following day, Ares and Joxer appeared in the palace to spend the night together with Ipecles and Iyolas. At hearing what Ipecles had done for Bliss Ares hugged him, “At last I have a little brother I can be proud of.”

After dinner Iyolas was showing Joxer the large bathing pool, it took up nearly the entire room, “Hey Jox, it’s big enough, how about we all have a soak and relax?”

“You know Iyolas that sounds like a plan; Ares and I normally bathe before going to bed.”

Once Joxer and Iyolas were submerged in the water Joxer thought to his lover, //Ares, bring Ipecles into the bathing room, walk though, don’t flash in.//

Ares had a distant confused look on his face as Ipecles looked at him “What is it?” he asked.

“Joxer wants us to walk to the bathing room,” Ares replied. When the brothers arrived they were both shocked to see their naked partners conspiring together until Iyolas spoke up, “Without using any powers you both have to slowly strip, Joxer and I want to see how similar you two actually are.” At the glazed horny look of their lovers, both Ipecles and Ares hardened to the point that their cocks strained against their leather trousers to the point of nearly bursting.

The two brothers slowly began to untie the front of each other’s shirts then throwing them in a discarded pile on the floor as they slowly lowered their trousers to release their straining cocks. Once they were fully naked they waded over to their horny lovers; each taking their lovers’ hardness in their hands as they devoured their respective lovers’ lips. The sound of splashing water soon filled the room at the powerful thrusts that were used. Once the two brothers’ desires were sated they sat next to their lovers, Ares nibbled Joxer’s ear “What came over you, I have never seen you so horny.”

After some more kissing Ipecles showed his brother to his room as he led his lover back to their room.

The following day the entire city was buzzing with excitement. There were flowers hanging from the front of all the city buildings, royal guests had arrived from all the neighbouring kingdoms had arrived; the group from Athens looking down on the common people that resided in what they believed was a backwater kingdom.

Once Joxer and Ares were up and dressed Ares called Strife. “Strife, I need you to do something, Can you go to Egypt and ask Mentu if he would come as my guest?”

Bliss turned to Cupid, “Daddy, can I go with Daddy Stwife?”

Cupid saw the look on Strife’s face and smiled, “Sure Bliss, but do what ever Strife tells you.”

“K Daddy Pwomise”

Strife held Bliss tightly and flashed to Egypt, before they entered the Egyptian Temple of War in Thebes Strife said, “Bliss, when we meet Grandpa’s friend you have to be quiet and polite, when I bow you have to do the same, can you do that for me?”

“K Daddy Stwife, I be good,” Bliss replied.

They appeared in the Egyptian Halls of War, Strife dropped to one knee, Bliss saw what his daddy was doing and copied him, with his head bowed Strife spoke, “Hail Mighty God of War, I bring glad tidings from Ares, Greek God of War, he would like to offer you the invitation to his joining ceremony and the naming of new Gods in Greece.”

There was a gasp around the hall; it was unheard of for one Pantheon to show such reverence to another. Ra, Egyptian King of the Gods remembered the young Ares when he stayed in Egypt, between a young Ares and Mentu the two little terrors caused absolute mayhem in Egypt, although he did not do it public, Ra had spent his days laughing at the exploits of his young son and his friend. Now would be a good time to make peace with Greece, the god of the slaves was gaining popularity and was a threat to both Egypt and Greece, Ra would go with his son.

Mentu stepped down towards Strife “So someone has finally managed to catch him, this person I want to see.”

There was complete shock in Corinth when Ra appeared. Hephaestus stepped forward “Hail Ra, I am the new King of the Greek Gods, greetings to you; you honour us with your presence”

Ra smiled, “Thank you for your graciousness, you are a far better king than that old goat, I have come to bring my personal gift for Ares on this great day, but I shall leave it until a later time to present it.”

Unknown to the Corinthian guards and dignitaries Hercules had gotten into the city; he would have his revenge, he slowly made his way towards the front of the crowd near the large dais that had twelve thrones across it. Hercules held tightly onto his sword.

At high noon the High Priest of the Temple of War rang the gong to summon the people. With a loud clap of thunder Gaia appeared on the dais. Followed by the more junior Gods who led Ra and Mentu to two Thrones set to the side of the twelve central Thrones.

Raising her voice Gaia announced, “People of Corinth and Greece, Honoured guests from the Great House of Egypt, today is a great day for the people of Greece, there have been some changes on Olympus, for his Crimes against his children and the people of Greece, Zeus has been banished from our borders, sing praise for the new King and Queen of Olympus, Hephaestus, King of the Gods, God of the Forge, Aphrodite, Queen of the Gods, Goddess of Romantic Love.”

The crowed erupted in cheers as Hephaestus and Aphrodite appeared, followed by the remainder of the twelve leaving three empty seats, the two to Hephaestus’s right and one on the far left.

Gaia raised her hands up to quiet the crowd, “Today we shall name three new Gods and the joining of two great loves, people of Corinth, I call Ares God of War, Protector of Greece.” With a loud clap of thunder Ares appeared and took the throne to Hephaestus’s right. Gaia continued, “I give you Joxer God of Judgement.” The crowd cheered loudly, Xena and Auto were standing at the front to the side and bowed their head when Joxer appeared, the sheer look of contempt on Gabrielle’s face was clear to see.

Gaia continued, “I call Iyolas God of Truth and patron God of Corinth,” the crowd went wild as Iyolas and Ipecles appeared, as Iyolas went to take his seat Ipecles bowed and took his seat next to Ra.

Gaia send a large bolt into the sky to get silence from the crowd, there was no doubt at all about how the people felt about their King and Patron. “I call upon the New God the Sky, Ganymede.”

Once the young God appeared Gaia continued with her announcements. “Honoured Friends and people of Greece mark this day well, I now call upon Hera, Goddess of Marriage to perform the last part of the ceremony.”

Hera stepped forward with a beaming smile and spoke “Who here wishes for the Binding Ceremony?” Ares and Ipecles stood up and replied at the same time “I do.”

Hera replied, “Step forward and announce your chosen.”

The two brothers stepped forward, Ares was the first to speak, “Joxer, God of Judgement, I ask for eternal binding of mind, body and soul.” Ares was followed by Ipecles “Iyolas, God of Truth, I ask for eternal binding of mind, body and soul.”

Joxer, Iyolas and the witnesses came forward, Iyolas lent down and whispered to Bliss, “Remember what you have to say,” with a beaming smile Bliss just nodded his head. As Iyolas stepped forward Hercules cried out “Nnnnnnooooooooooooooooo,” he drew his sword and rushed forward; before the guards could get to him he was set upon by the crowd who blocked his way to their king, with a resounding crack an old man broke his crutch across the head of the unwelcome Hercules. Auto turned to Xena, “Do you think it was the crutch or his head that just broke?” Xena chuckled, “I don’t care, and he deserves it.”

A group of guards had made their way towards the former hero and favourite of Zeus and dragged him away. Hera turned to the crowd, “The next person to defile this ceremony shall have the pleasure of visiting Hades.” Hearing no further interruptions she continued, “Who bears witness for Ares, God of War?” Hephaestus hobbled forward “I, Hephaestus, God of the Forge and proud brother stand witness for Ares.” Hera turned to Ipecles, and repeated the question slowly knowing who it was. Bliss stepped forward, “I, Bwiss, General of Corwinth stand with nuncle Iffikeys.” There was not a dry eye in the crowd at the words of the little god; there was the sound of chuckling at the title he gave the King. Ipecles leant down and kissed his forehead. Hera turned to Joxer, “Who bears witness for Joxer, God of Judgement?” Strife stepped forward “I, Strife, God of Mischief bear witness.” Hera turned to Iyolas and repeated the question. Cupid stepped forward, “I, Cupid, God of Passion and Infatuation bear witness for Iyolas God of Truth.”

Hera turned to her eldest son. “My Son…. Do you, Joxer and Ares, stand here freely to swear before these witnesses to share your mind, body and soul, for eternity, in this life and the next?” They both replied “YES.” Hera handed Ares a jewelled dagger, he took it cutting his palm, handing it to Joxer, who did the same; once both palms were bleeding they pressed them together, feeling the life force of their partner join with their own, as they were doing this Hera wrapped a golden cord around their hands. “This cord symbolises the binding.”

Asking the same question to Ipecles and Iyolas she was greeted with the same answer “YES.” Repeating the ceremony the crowed cheered loudly at the conclusion. Gaia turned to look at Ra and nodded slightly. He stood up and walked to the centre of the dais, the crowd hushed at seeing the foreign god. “People and Gods of Greece, Honoured Friends, this is a joyous day, to recognise this day and so that it shall never be forgotten I, Ra, King of the Egyptian Gods offer everlasting peace with the Gods and people of Greece, this is my gift to the friend of my son.” There was absolute quiet across the crowd and amongst the Greek Gods. Knowing what he had to do Hephaestus hobbled over and grasped the arm of Ra in a warrior’s grip, “You honour us on this day, we freely accept and offer our friendship in kind.”

Mentu passed a wicker basket to his father who reached in, bringing out a large red ruby, “King Hephaestus, I present to you the Eye of Ra as gift to you and your people, guard it well.”

The crowd gasped at the beautiful ruby. Hephaestus took it from Ra, “Thank you Lord Ra….. People of Greece, to mark this great day the home of the Eye of Ra shall be the city of Corinth and its guardian shall be King Ipecles.”

The crowed cheered loudly, while their King just stood there with his mouth open in shock.

The Gods started to leave the dais and walk into the palace. Gaia announced to the crowd, “Friends and people of Corinth celebrate this great day.”

Around the city Demeter and Artemis had placed banquets for all the people rich and poor, the only ones not happy were the people from Athens. Their patron was no longer favoured by them; they had grown fat, rich and decadent, thinking any not from Athens were beneath them. Now for some reason the Gods favoured this backwater town; Athens should be the city to house the Eye of Ra.

Inside the main hall of the palace the gods and friends mingled in the centre of the room, along the sides were tables covered in dishes from around Greece, as well as Egypt.

Ares stood with his brother receiving congratulations from the guests. Joxer had pulled Strife to one side. “Strife, what was that thing you used this morning?” Joxer asked with a wicked glint in his eye.

“It was something from the future, it’s called a whoopee cushion, he deserved it after what Bliss said,” Strife replied.

Joxer was chuckling, “It was funny though, you do realise he will get you back?”

Strife and Joxer glanced over to Ares who was glaring at them, “What ever Jox, I am the God of Mischief, I am the master.”

Mentu and Ra made their way to Ares, Mentu wrapping him in a friendly hug, “Well young Joxer must be very patient if he has caught you,” he said with a chuckle. Ares laughed replying to his childhood friend, “Thank you for coming. It is good to see you again Lord Ra, it has been a long time.” The friends chatted happily with each other.

Bliss ran up to Ipecles and Iyolas followed by Cupid, “Nuncle Iffy, did I do well?” Bliss asked excitedly, he was nearly bouncing off the walls from the amount of happiness in the room. Ipecles picked him up swinging a squealing godling around. “You did great General, to say thank you I have a special present for you.”

Bliss turned to his father. “Daddy, I did good.” Cupid was so proud of his son and cared deeply for the love Ipecles was showing his son. Ipecles walked over to the throne taking the crown off of the top, he walked back to Bliss and placed the crown on his head, “This is for you Bliss, thank you.” Bliss screamed in excitement causing everyone in the room to turn around as Bliss lifted in the air as he flapped his wings flying around excitedly. The room erupted in laughter, as everyone was distracted Ares thought deeply looking at the back of Strife as he whispered an incantation turning the seat of Strife’s trousers invisible. Only Cupid had been looking at the back of his lover’s trousers, when he suddenly saw the firm pert cheeks pressed against the tight confines of his trousers. Cupid looked around the room to see who had done it, his father caught his eye, and if there was anyone who couldn’t look innocent it was Ares. Cupid just smiled and carried on staring at his lover’s ass.

Aphrodite was walking around the crowd chatting with various people when something caught her eye, it was the sight of Strife pale ass showing out the back of his trousers, she began to think how great Hephaestus would look in those trousers; she bounced over in her near transparent dress, she put her arm around Strife’s shoulder and led him away.

“Strife where did you get those trousers, I want a pair for Hephie.”

Strife looked confused. “What you on about Dite, they are just trousers,” Strife replied.

Aphrodite leant back so she could get a look at Strife’s ass, “Well Strife, with your cute ass on show I’d say they’re really nice trousers; I would love to see Hephy in a pair of those.”

Strife looked mortified as he tried to look behind him and saw his bare ass. “Aaaarrrrrggggggggghhhhhh, Unc I hope your balls drop off!” Strife shouted at Ares as he flashed out. Cupid walked over to his mother, “Mum, when Bliss comes down will you look after him, I better go and see Strife.”

When Cupid appeared in his room he saw Strife pacing around the room swearing at Ares. Cupid knew that neither Ares or Strife would quit in their private mischief war, however Cupid had a tried and tested way to make Strife calm down. Cupid walked over, grabbed Strife’s head and pulled him in to a searing kiss.

By dusk the gods had started to leave the palace and flash back to Olympus. Ares and Joxer had found a new home when they weren’t on Olympus; Ares loved any chance to spend time with his brother.

Ipecles had started to become concerned about Iyolas, he had been sick three times since the ceremony. He turned to the only person he could talk to, “Ares, I’m worried about Iyolas, he keeps being sick. He was sick this morning and three times since the ceremony, is this a new god thing?

Ares could see his brother was worried and called out “ACE.” The young god of healing appeared. “What’s up unc, want a stamina potion for later?” he asked cheekily. Ares reached out and jokingly tried to hit his nephew. “No smart ass, Iyolas is sick, do your healing thing then you can get back to that maid you have been hiding with.” Ace blushed, was there nothing his uncle didn’t know about his surroundings.

Ace walked over to Iyolas, Ipecles led them to his bedroom and got Iyolas to lie down. As soon as Ace placed his hands over Iyolas’s stomach he cried out “DAD, HERA.” The two gods appeared, Apollo turned to his son, “What is it, what’s wrong?” Ace turned to his father and grandmother, “I need you both to check Iyolas.” Asclepius stepped aside. By now Ipecles was near to panic.

Both Apollo and Hera contained their shock, //Hera, I can’t remember the last time this has happened.//

Hera just nodded her head. //Apollo, I need you concentrate as I bless Ares and Joxer// Apollo snorted trying his hardest to hold in the laughter.

Both Ares and Joxer felt a slight shiver down their back but both shrugged it off. Hera turned to Ipecles, “King Ipecles, you now have a son and heir.” No one was quick enough to catch him as he fainted.

Ares and Apollo picked Ipecles up and laid him next to Iyolas while Joxer materialised a goblet of cool spring water from Olympus.

Joxer gently wiped Ipecles forehead with the cool water, Ipecles slowly opened his eyes, looking at the gods surrounding his bed. “Please tell me that was a joke?”

Iyolas took hold of Ipecles hand as Hera spoke to them, “I am afraid not my child, young Iyolas is carrying a son, it is very rare but not unknown, remember he is a god now.”

Ipecles looked into Iyolas’s eyes, “I love you so much, just when I thought you couldn’t give me anymore.”

Apollo coughed to get everyone’s attention, “Guys, before you get busy, I will back every couple of days. Iyolas, the baby will grow quicker than normal, it will age about one month every week; any problems just call. Ciao.”

Hera followed and left for her Olympian temple; chuckling at the gift she had given Ares and Joxer.

Ares turned to his brother, “Ipecles, if it’s all right with you Joxer and I will stay here in case you need us.”

Without taking his eyes away from Iyolas, Ipecles just waved his hand “Yes, ok, you know the way.” Ares laughed as he pulled Joxer towards the room they normally stayed in. The two lovers barely made it into their room before they had ripped each others clothes off; they were both overcome with an intense feeling of arousal.

Joxer pushed Ares back hard against the now closed door as he dropped to his knees bathing the hot, heavy balls in kisses as he slowly licked up the hard shaft circling the sensitive head with his tongue as he devoured his lover. All Ares could do was let his eyes roll into the back of his head as he surrendered himself to the feelings his lover gave him, as Joxer devoured the shaft he worked his finger into the tight opening of his lover seeking the sensitive spot deep within him. As he hit it Ares shot his head back hitting it against the door. Joxer began to add fingers until he had three in his lover, preparing him.

Joxer knew from the rapid breathing that his lover was close; he increased the thrust with his fingers while tightening the sucking on his lovers cock, with one last thrust of his finger onto the hard nut inside Ares erupted into Joxer’s mouth.

Joxer took the lead, after the mighty climax he had just had Ares was having difficulty speaking. Joxer took him by the hand leading him to the bed, pushing him backwards so Ares landed on his back. Joxer slowly kissed his lover up his navel making his way to the pert nipples before reaching the firm lips. Joxer reached down and took hold of the muscled leg resting it on his shoulder, the repeated this with the other until his cock was lined up at the welcoming opening of his lover; after some gentle teasing thrusts Joxer buried himself in Ares who cried out in pleasure.

Sex was never rushed with Ares, but Joxer was determined to tease his lover and show Ares just how much he was loved. There was still so much insecurity between them.

With each powerful thrust Joxer leant forward to kiss the succulent mouth. As he reached the pinnacle of his climax he clutched the satin sheets in his hand. Ares struggled to speak between panting. “Joxer…….pant…..that was…...pant……great…….what came over you?”

Joxer was having far too much fun kissing Ares to be bothered about talking, “Well……kiss what do you expect……kiss…..you walking around looking all sexy…….don’t take too long…….kiss…getting your breath back its my turn next….kiss”

Ares rolled over pushing Joxer onto his back, lifting Joxer’s legs, before Joxer could complain; Ares stuck his tongue out and dived down bathing the tight rose with his tongue sending Joxer wild. Ares had had lovers do that to him, he had never wanted to do it to a lover until now. Ares tried hard to keep Joxer in place as he was writhing around on the bed.

“ARES, if you don’t do something soon you’re not getting any for a month.” Joxer cried out. Taking pity Ares positioned his hard pulsing length and gently sheathed himself into his lean lover, slowly thrusting in and up, hitting the spot each time, Ares grasped each of Joxer’s hands and interlocked the fingers, and it wasn’t long until he erupted with burst after burst into his lover, collapsing in a sweating heap to one side of Joxer.

Unknown to either god a small spark of life ignited within each of them, growing at an exponential rate.

***


Jayce woke up with a mission to fulfil, he was determined to find a gift for his brother Joxer; he had forgotten the number of times that Joxer had taken a beating from their father because he, Jayce, wasn’t man enough. Now Jayce was immortal thanks to the love of his brother.

Jayce set off for the main market in Corinth.

After a brief breakfast, Joxer and Ares returned to Olympus. Iyolas knew that Ipecles liked to walk amongst the people in Corinth, not long after becoming King, Ipecles had told him that how can he expect to rule a Kingdom if he didn’t know what was happening. Iyolas had suggested they go for a walk around the city, since learning of his child Ipecles wasn’t too pleased with the idea; wanting to keep Iyolas and the baby safe. He gave in once Iyolas pointed out he was a god and that if Ipecles didn’t let him he was going to ask ‘Dite, who was a friend of his, to make Ipecles impotent until after the baby is born.

Ipecles agreed only after Iyolas allowed two guards to go with them. Ipecles went to find two willing volunteers, the first guard he found was Akakios, Ipecles chuckled, “Do you ever spent time not on duty?”

Akakios bowed his head, “It is my duty to serve you Majesty.” Ipecles put his arm around the shoulder of the petrified young soldier, “Well I have a new mission for you, you must not say a word of this to anyone, especially Iyolas, you are to be his personal body guard.”

Akakios’s chin just dropped “Majesty, you honour me, you saved my family, now you give me such an important mission, surly there are better qualified soldiers.”

Ipecles raised an eyebrow, “Are you questioning my decision?”

Fearing he had angered his King, Akakios began to stutter, “Nnnooo, Maajeeesttty, I meant no disrespect.”

Ipecles just chuckled, “I want you to get the other two soldiers who were in the garden with you and come to my private chambers.”

Akakios bowed his head and rushed off. Ipecles returned to Iyolas, “You know those three soldiers who called Bliss ‘General’, well I have decided to take them, they seemed to have made quite an impact with Bliss and Cupid.”

Knowing Ipecles hadn’t chosen some bohemian guards Iyolas was only slightly mollified.

Once the three guards arrived Ipecles and Iyolas set off, they didn’t get far before they were stopped by every citizen on the way wishing them well.

Ipecles and Iyolas had nearly reached the main market when Ipecles heard a shout, “PLEASE……….father……..no………don’t……no more.”

Iyolas took off, he stopped suddenly when he saw someone who looked like Joxer; he ran forward and stood in front of the person cowering on the floor. The bully reached up and went to hit Iyolas, not knowing who he was. Ipecles went into a blind rage, bringing his fist back and punching the man who dared to try and hurt Iyolas, the force of the punch sending the man flying across the other side of the alley, shaking his head and rubbing his chin the man grabbed a nearby piece of wood and approached the two strangers who dared to try and protect the deviant.

The three guards reacted instantly; beating the man to the floor, once he was suitably subdued Ipecles and Iyolas approached the cowering man. “Jox????” Iyolas questioned. The young man replied “No, I’m Jayce, Joxer is my brother.”

Ipecles and Iyolas helped him up, “Who is that man and why was he beating you?” Ipecles questioned. “He is our father, I am a disappointment to him and mother as I am not a warrior, he thought to beat me into a warrior, and if our mother was here she would have done the same.” Iyolas could see that Jayce was close to tears and wrapped his arms around him.

By now a crowd had appeared and were making their way towards the man who had threatened their King and beloved Patron. Ipecles turned to one person “YOU, go now, get the Magistrate and bring him here with a detachment of guards, be quick.” The boy bowed and ran off as fast as his legs could carry him.

It wasn’t long before shouts could be heard. “MAKE WAY, MAKE WAY FOR THE MAGISTRATE!”

The crowd parted to allow the Magistrate through. “Majesty, you summoned me, how may I serve you?”

By now Ipecles was full of rage, “This person dared to beat his own son then attempt to attack Iyolas, God of Truth and Patron of Corinth.” The crowd gasped and slowly tried to move forward to exact their revenge. The guards held them back as Ipecles continued, “Drag him to jail, then find his wife who dared to beat their children; when you have found his wife they are both to be banished from my kingdom, every step they take from the jail to the city gates they shall be whipped, let it be known that if I ever catch any citizen of Corinth beating their children they shall suffer the same fate.”

The Magistrate bowed his head and indicated for his guards to secure the prisoner, they had great difficulty in getting to the jail as all the passers by would punch out at the prisoner.

Ipecles turned to Iyolas and Jayce and called out “ACE” in a spark of light the young god of healing appeared, “FUCK, Unc is gunna go on a rampage.” The young god had obviously mistaken the crying man for Joxer. After Iyolas had explained what had happened he healed the injuries and flashed back to the young maid he had just left.

Jayce had explained what he had been doing so Ipecles and Iyolas decided to go with him then all go back to the palace for the mid day meal.

Jayce had still not calmed down fully from the attack and was still highly strung, when he returned to palace and met up with his brother he broke down. Joxer wrapped his brother in his arms; Ares raised his eyebrow to his brother who nodded his head towards the side of the room.

Ipecles told his brother what had happened, the look on Ares’ face told Ipecles why so many people feared the God of War; his eyes were red with rage, in a loud bang Ares disappeared. There was only one place he would have gone, but Ipecles had a more important task to handle, to support his family.

In the jail Ares appeared just as the guards were dragging in Jocasta. “Despite the beatings you gave your son, he begged me not to kill you, so know that it is only that keeping you alive, for the rest of your lives you shall feel the pain you exacted on your sons, you shall feel the pain every day of your lives, you shall be unable to take your own lives, when the pain over comes you and you die of old age, there will be a special place waiting for your in Tartarus where we will meet again and you shall truly see the anger of the God of War.” Both Jonas and Jocasta paled at the curse now placed on them. There was no doubt in the mind of the soldiers in the room of what happens if you crossed the God of War.

Ares appeared back into the palace to see Joxer and Jayce had been joined by Jett. Ares also noticed the looks Ipecles and Iyolas were giving Jett. Ares smiled, there was so much more to his brother, he realised that so much time had been lost getting to know him.

Ipecles and Iyolas were standing next to each other whispering, “Ipecles, remember when we were in the bath with Joxer, do you think Jett is the same size?” Iyolas asked with a lecherous grin.

Ipecles just stood there in shock. Jett stood on the opposite side of the room and glanced over and thought to himself, ~MMMMmmm, I would sure like to get in between those two.~

What Jett saw next shocked him. Ipecles caught him staring and winked at him. Jett had never been one to shy away from a challenge and walked over. Iyolas spoke as he approached. “I don’t know about you two, but I want a drink, fancy joining me?” He asked innocently, he fought off the urge to bat his eyelashes as that would just be silly.

Ipecles, Iyolas and Jett sat around the roaring fire in the spacious room. Iyolas looked at Ipecles who nodded discreetly. Iyolas turned to Jett. “So Jett, do you mind if I ask you a question?”

Jett looked Iyolas in the eye, “You can ask, I might not answer though.”

“Well, we were wondering just how identical you are to Joxer?”

Jett saw the look in the eyes of Ipecles and Iyolas and knew where this was leading, but decide to have some fun, “Well we both look alike if that is what you mean,” he said innocently.

Iyolas began to fidget, completely forgetting he was a powerful god, “Well a couple of days ago Joxer and Ares joined us in the bathing pool, we were wondering if you were completely identical.”

Jett stood up and put his hands on his hips, “Well who am I to challenge a King and a God, why don’t you come and find out.”

Loosing his patience due to his straining cock, Iyolas made everyone’s clothes disappear as they fell in a heap on the bed.

They began to kiss and lick each other as their hardnesses began to thrust against the mass of bodies; in between kisses Iyolas said, “It’s a good thing Ace said I didn’t have to stop having sex,” as he reattached his lips to a sensitive part of Jett’s collar bone. Growing slightly anxious, Jett pulled away, “What do you mean, why would he stop you?”

Iyolas pulled Jett back down towards the bed, “Well, as I am a God there are a few extra things I can do, like carry a baby.”

Jett tried to pull away. “Are you sure its safe, especially with two of us?” Jett asked worriedly.

Ipecles was the one to speak, “Don’t worry, we won’t do anything dangerous that might harm our son, besides you won’t be doing much work, just lay back and let us enjoy our fantasy.”

Ares was growing concerned. His stomach should not be doing summersaults; he knew Joxer had been sick, and now he had his head out of the window looking down into the moat. It was then he remembered what had been wrong with Iyolas and thought “OH FUCK!”

“ACE!” Ares bellowed. His young nephew appeared looked pissed off, “For fuck’s sake unc, I am *trying* to get laid here.”

Ares laughed at the frustrated look on his nephew’s face, “You will have plenty of time for that later, you know what was wrong with Iyolas, well Joxer and I have the same symptoms.” The look of frustration disappeared into a look of glee.

Ace burst out laughing, “Well, you horny old dog you.” Ares just glared at the god, but there was no malice. Ace placed his hand over Ares’s stomach, when his chin dropped Ares knew, he was determined not to faint. He slowly led Ace to Joxer.

“Jox” Ares called, “Come and sit here, I have something to tell you.” Joxer walked over and sat next to his beloved. “Jox, you remember what symptoms Iyolas had, well I know you have been sick already today at least twice and so have I, Ace has checked me out………. We are going to have a baby. I want Ace to check you out just in case.”

Thankfully Joxer didn’t have far to fall. Jayce just squealed at the though of his brother being a daddy, he knew he would be a great one.

Ares sent a call to his brother and Dite calling them down as well as his godly children, he was so proud of them and how they had accepted Joxer.

The room began to fill with Gods and Goddesses, Cupid and Strife appeared with Bliss who was proudly wearing his crown.

Ace checked Joxer and nodded at Ares who jumped up and whooped for joy shouting “YEEEESSSSS!!!”

Ace glared at his uncle, “Now behave, that’s not good for the baby.”

There was a hushed silence in the room, once Ares had calmed down enough he spoke, “Well as some of you may know, as Iyolas is a god his body has changed, so much so that Ipecles has gotten him pregnant, it would seem Joxer and I have also got each other pregnant.”

Deimos and Phobos were jumping up and down excitedly chanting “We’re not the youngest.” over and over again; Ares noticed the guilty look on Apollo and Hera’s faces. Hera stepped forward, “My son, that would be our doing, I am sorry for not protecting you more during your childhood, but I hope you accept my gift to you and Joxer.”

***

It didn’t take long for word to leak out into the city of the miracle child; the Crown of Corinth was safe with an heir, between day and night working on the new Temple of Truth there was a stead stream of gift bearers attending the palace to leave gifts for the child.

Ares had taken Joxer up to Olympus where he hadn’t left, so he wasn’t alone Jayce was staying in the Halls of War. Jett had now become inseparable from Iyolas and Ipecles, Ares could guess what would happen to anyone who tried to harm them if Jett got his hands on them. He wondered if he would get enough notice so that he could take notes…..

Due to their godly nature the pregnancies had progressed rapidly, before anyone knew it the day had arrived for the birth, however the babies were in no hurry to be born.

Ever thinking of his people and kingdom Iyolas and Ipecles wanted the baby to be born in Corinth, knowing the love his brother had for his people, Ares and Joxer had decide to live down in Corinth where they had been for the past month.

Apollo and Ace were woken up by the bellows of Ares and Ipecles, it wasn’t only the Gods of Healing who were woken; the whole of Olympus were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new gods. It had been agreed that the only gods to go to Corinth would be Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hera, Ace and Apollo until after the birth.

The gods arrived in the palace, Ace found one of the guards on duty outside the Royal chambers, “Quick go to the temples, they will need the energy from their follower’s prayers, be quick.”

The guard sprinted out of the palace to the new Temple of Truth and woke the High Priest who immediately began to beat the gong at the front of the temple. Hearing the sound throughout the quiet, sleeping city, the streets began to fill as people rushed towards the Temple.

There were cheers when they heard of the impending births of the three gods. They fell to their knees in prayer. Around the palace and city walls, the soldiers were sending prayers to the God of War.

Due to the work of the City Magistrates there was equal love and admiration for the God of Judgement.

In the palace the corridor was filled with swearing, the guards outside the chamber could hear their God shouting, “IPECLES YOU EVER COME NEAR ME AGAIN, I WILL RIP YOU FUCKING BALLS OFF AND STUFF THEM UP YOUR NOSE.”

One of the guards turned to his fellows and said, “My wife made the same threat. I think the Patron could actually do it without killing him though….”

Joxer and Ares were exchanging abuse to each other, although they were pleased that the other was going through the same amount of pain.

Hephaestus had already spoken to the Fates to determine the godhood for each of the babies; he had kept it a closely guarded secret. Not even telling his beloved ‘Dite, he wanted it to be a surprise.

Joxer was the first to give birth, followed by Iyolas. Ares was not happy at having to wait the longest.

Once Ares had given birth Hephaestus stepped forward and in a booming voice proclaimed, “ALL OF OLYMPUS I give you Heron, God of Redemption, son Ipecles and Iyolas.” He handed the boy back to his dotting fathers, next he took the little boy in Joxer’s arms.

“ALL OF OLYMPUS, I give you Cyrus, God of Destiny, Son of Ares and Joxer.” He turned to his brother who reluctantly let go of his little daughter, “ALL OF OLYMPUS, I give you Hypatia, Goddess of Hope, daughter of Ares and Joxer.”

The guard outside immediately ran to the tower to ring the bell letting Corinth know of the new births. Once the babies were safely in their parents’ arms Hera allowed visitors. Joxer and Ares were surrounded by Ares’s godly children, Bliss climbed on the bed and sat between Ares and Joxer. Bliss was overjoyed to see his new baby uncle had wings, bright gold ones. ‘Dite was close to tears of joy with the three new babies, at last she had a baby girl to play with. Ares saw the look in her eyes as she looked at Hypatia and, with a sinking feeling in his heart, he knew that the first chance ‘Dite got the poor girl would be in pink.

Ares wanted his daughter, “Apollo, get Xena for me?” Apollo flashed out to get Xena, when he appeared he saw that blond bard in the thrall of a tantrum screaming at Xena and Hermes’s boy, “HOW CAN YOU DO THIS BEHIND MY BACK, FIRST YOU BETRAY ME TO THAT MUDRERING BASTARD NOW THIS!!!” Gabrielle screamed, Apollo had had enough.

“Listen Bitch, I have had enough of you, I am the God of Playwrights, as such you shall never utter or write one word that can be understood by a living person, you seem to like causing pain, so every day you shall feeling the pain you have exacted on others, now get out of my sight.”

Apollo turned to Xena who was close to tears, he saw how close Hermes’s son was and chuckled knowing what Ares would do to him if he hurt Xena.

“Xena, you father has given birth, you have a little brother and sister, he asked me to come and get you, I take it I am taking the pair of you?”

Xena just nodded as Apollo took them by the arm and took them to the palace.

As soon as they appeared Cupid felt the love coming from his sister and the thief. Once Xena had her little sister in her arms Cupid went up to the thief, leaving Auto in no doubt that Cupid was the son of the God of War, Cupid said “Listen and listen well, you hurt my sister and I will shrivel your dick so much it will look as if you don’t have one. But it will be nothing compared to what my father will do to you.”

Cupid led the thief over to Xena, there was no doubt in Cupid’s mind the love was genuine from each and returned, but he had to do the big brother thing. He looked on it as practice for when Hypatia and Cyrus were older.

Through the rest of the day and throughout the night the crowd remained outside the palace waiting for a glimpse of the new baby. The next morning they were not disappointed as the main balcony was filled with Gods, as their King and Patron came forward King Hephaestus, stepped forward holding a baby.

“People of Corinth, I give you Heron, God of Redemption, son Ipecles and Iyolas.”

The crowd cheered happily, not only had their King fathered a son but a God as well, they truly were blessed.

Holding up his young niece, Hephaestus called out. “People of Corinth, I give you Hypatia, Goddess of Hope, daughter of Ares and Joxer.”

Waiting for the cheers to quiet down he took his young nephew in his arms. “People of Corinth, I give you Cyrus, God of Destiny, son of Ares and Joxer.”

Once the cheers had died down everyone from the balcony went back inside, many were shocked to see the man who they thought was the cold and heartless King of the Assassins holding his niece with such love and tenderness.



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