"Faster...you're a god aren't you?" he challenges me.
It's none other than Deimos talking to me in the way that he is. We are both shirtless in the war god's arena. I have a shield and a sword in my hand. He comes crashing down with his sword on my hand, driving my entire body to the sand below. The weight of his diving power would have been enough to crush a mortal. I struggle to maintain it. I won't let him beat me.
"When you promised to teach me the ways of war, you never told me it would be so bad."
"You can always go pamper yourself," he teases, "And stay pretty."
I know he's just messing with me but in that moment he reminded me of Cupid. Cupid would have wanted me not to learn how to defend myself. He would have wanted me to be more like Aphrodite. He wasn't around anymore though. Cupid was gone. And if I didn't learn how to defend myself I'd be gone shortly as well.
"TO HELL WITH THAT!"
I'm pushing my weight into him. He doesn't expect the scream or for me to dig my heels into the sand and push him back as hard as I can. Our shields smash into one another and we both lose them in the ongoing impact. Our swords clash into each other at that moment and they are next to go. Soon I'm tackling him to the ground with my bare body. I attempt to pin him down.
It doesn't work. Together we are rolling around in the battle sands. I can almost see blood from all the warriors that have lived and trained in these immortal sands before. I join their ranks as I scrape and scrap with the god of war himself.
I almost feel like I have him until he starts to glow this golden yellow. His body is full of fierceness as he flips me over effortlessly and pins me to the ground.
"You almost had me," he smiles.
"Not good enough," I explain to him.
"You're being too hard on yourself. When Cupid was around, you wouldn't have even lasted 10 seconds in a ring with me," he explains to me, "Now you are fierce. There's nothing sexier than someone who is attractive and dangerous all at the same time."
I know he's turned on, sitting on my chest. His manhood is getting hard up against my stomach. I can feel it through his leather lappets. Of course, most of the time he wore jeans but when he fought it was as though he was in Ancient times with this sexy skirt on. I heard him call them Pteruges. They were the decorative skirt of leather strips worn around the waists of Romans. He had nothing underneath the leather strips. I can feel his warm dick and ass pressed up against my chest. It turns me on in ways I didn't think were imaginable.
"You're getting excited," I warn him.
"Is that a bad thing?" he asks.
Before I can answer Deimos is leaning down and kissing me. His tongue is in my mouth. His hands manhandle me as he wrestles my legs over his strong muscular shoulders. He wants to take me right there. I realize that when I feel his hard dick pressing up against my ass.
"Stop," I tell him, "We have company."
He turns to the right. Sure enough, Eris and Enyo are there. The goddesses of war and his main attendants are looking on from the rafters with a strong distaste for what's happening down here.
"I run the war department," he explains to me, "They'll get used to you. I'll make them get used to you..."
"I won't be here forever Deimos," I warn him, "I plan on rebuilding the Love department."
"The world needs love."
"I need you," he responds.
It's been a week that I've been at the War Department. Every corner I turn I am getting a bad look from one of the war spirits, or even worse a minor war god. It made me scared that the moment Deimos let down his guard I'd be thrown into this arena with gladiators until I was shredded to nothing. Deimos wasn't worried about it. Every second that we were around each other things got more...complicated between us.
"Don't say things like that," I warn him.
"You don't think I mean it."
"The problem is I think you really do mean it, and that's the problem," I tell him, "I'm promised to Hades."
"You don't love him. He doesn't have the connection that we have."
There was a time when I'd give anything to hear Deimos say those words. Deimos was beyond sexy. He had the looks. He had the vibes. There was a time a more reckless Thaddeus would have fallen for him. There was a time I was willing to. Love didn't mean the same as it did before though. When Cupid and the other love gods were around, I felt like I had an excuse to be reckless. There were others around to be responsible. Now, it all fell on me.
"My focus is rebuilding the Love Department," I explain to Deimos, "Hades is well respected and..."
"Are you saying I'm not?" he asks.
"You didn't come for me...in the Underworld. You didn't come for me."
There is a pause, "That's what this is about? You're still upset that I didn't come to your rescue. You're upset I didn't come to your aid. I would have. As soon as I won the title, I planned on coming for you."
That was easier said than done.
"Well you didn't," I remind him, "I had to get out of the Underworld myself. I could only depend on myself. I did the only thing I could. I promised myself to Hades. If I don't keep that promise, Hades will raise hell. Literally."
"I'm not scared of Hades. I'll go to war with Hades over you."
"No, you won't. You proved that already."
I'm blunt. I'm blunter then I think he's ready for. He doesn't want to hear it. I can see the veins in his neck start showing. Me coming at Deimos like this is pissing him off in a way that I don't think he is ready for.
"I...I'm telling you I love you and you're telling me to kiss my ass..."
"I'm telling you to love isn't enough. I can't be with you Deimos."
It hurts to say those words. Hearing them come out of my mouth is one thing. Seeing the expression that Deimos has when he hears those words is something completely different. I can see Deimos withdraw in himself. Things would have been so different if he had come to the Underworld and challenged Hades. It would have been so easy if he had saved me before I promised Hades I would marry him. He didn't though.
And now he didn't have the right to complain.
So when he turns away from me I swear there is real pain there. There is the true pain.
"It's probably best we don't speak again," he states.
"I can't be around you and not be with you," he explains, "I just can't..."
Deimos walks off at that moment. He walks off and I can tell that he's going to join Eris and Enyo. The goddesses seemed pleased. They must have overheard the conversation we had. They probably want nothing else but to see us separated.
I am sitting in the arena at that moment shocked that I am giving up on love so easily. The god of Love himself has found something more important to him than actually being in love.
And I feel so...empty.
Just at that moment, I see a rainbow. I know almost immediately what that means.
Iris arrives, "I have a message...from the Queen."
I think about not accepting Persephone's invitation, but the truth is I had nowhere else to go. Deimos had made it pretty clear that he never wanted to see me again. I couldn't hide in the War Department any longer. So I accept her invitation and arrive at the palace of Zeus.
The palace had been redecorated. The renovations had happened so immediately. They were so intense that I swear I didn't understand how they happened. The ivory towers had been replaced with timber. A smell of roses drafted into my nose. The beautiful indoor botanical garden is featured at the entrance where the light shines through. It's so peaceful and so beautiful here. It's deceptive as hell...just like the woman who owns it.
"Welcome," she tells me.
She sits on a throne with a crown of thorns long, a tilted white gown that flows past her feet and sweeps the ground. I feel like I just walked into a lion's den. Sure, it is a beautiful, nice smelling lion's den but it's a lion's den none-the-less.
Over to my right, I see Krill. He avoids eye contact with me. Right next to him, however, is Thalia who doesn't avoid eye contact. Under her mask are those strong, full eyes. They just glare at me. It makes me so painfully aware of everything.
"What's happening here?" I ask.
I specifically look at Krill. There was a time where I really liked Krill as a person. I thought he was a good guy. And then things changed. Looking at him I can see that he's in some sort of pain. I don't understand it. He knows something though. It's written all over his face.
Krill doesn't speak even though I can tell he wants to. He just remains completely quiet.
"He's going to be one of our witnesses," Persephone states.
"Witness to what?"
Just at that moment I turn and notice Aura and Nike. They are behind me closing the grand doors and block me in. What was this?
"This is an ambush?" I ask.
Persephone has a smile on her face. It's this triumphant smile. It sends shivers down my spine. This was a woman who would bend the universe to get her way and I am seeing she had just come up with another way to manipulate almost everything around her.
"It's not an ambush," she states, "It's something...something...different..."
It's over before I know it. I had no choice in the matter. If I didn't agree with what she wanted she was willing to have Aura go after my father again. And if Hades released him again, she'd have Aura go after him again and again. That's what she said. She asked me if I wanted my father to die a thousand deaths. I had no choice. She knew my weakness.
"Get yourself off of the ground," she whispers to me, "You're mine now. You belong to me. You do what I say."
She throws a crown at me. It clangs to the floor. I'm standing there just shaking with anger as I watch her leave the room. She's laughing. Aura and Nike follow behind her. They are silent.
"Here let me help you," Thalia states picking up the crown and attempting to place it on my head.
"Get the fuck away from me," I spit at that moment.
Thalia made me sick. She was nothing more than a goddamn snake and I could see it a mile away. Seeing her kiss Persephone's ass every chance that she got now was the worst thing that I could imagine. She was worse than Persephone if you asks me. Even now, seeing the corner of her eyes fold up with a smile.
"Listen here dumbass," she tells me, "You're the king of Olympus. Well, at least the Queen's consort. Sure you'll just be a symbol with no real power, but you can sit on a throne and you know? Look cute. That's the only thing you were good at anyway. Just like your horrible mother."
"That's what this is about, isn't it?" I ask her, "You're still getting revenge on my mother."
"You want to know a secret?" she asks.
"They are all puppets. All of the Olympians. Persephone has been decreed the Queen of the Gods. Sure. The Fates have decreed it because she won the trial and they won't change their minds. But I'm the real power. So you best stay on my good side. Wear your crown, look pretty and shut the fuck up."
She puts the crown on my head. That's what I had been reduced to. That's why Persephone brought me here. She forced marriage on me. I'm sitting there feeling so weak and used. What was going to happen now? What was going to happen with Hades? What was going to happen with my life? Once again I had been robbed of choice completely.
Once again Persephone had gotten the better of me. Or should I say Thalia?
When Thalia walks out of the room, I remember that Krill is still in the room. She must have not seen him either as he walks over to me. He's been so quiet it's easy to forget he's there.
"She's manipulating all of us," Krill explains, "Including Persephone."
I know he's talking about Thalia. I can still hear Thalia's words when she left. We all thought Persephone was this grand manipulator but it wasn't. It was Thalia all along.
"Then why are you helping them?" I ask.
"The things people will do for love," he tells me before crossing his arms, "You know after doing all of this, Blue came back to me on his own. I suspect it was Thalia using her magic to somehow fuck with his head this entire time. That's what my gut was telling me..."
"Then help me. Fight them with me," I state.
It's clear we were on the same side here. A part of me saw good in Krill. The fact that he had merged himself in with Thalia and Persephone didn't change that. He was a good person. I could see it. I could tell.
"I'm not a warrior. I'm just a whore who lucked up into this..."
"Everyone used to think I was just a pretty face," I tell him, "Imagine what a whore and pretty face would be able to accomplish if we work together."
There is a pause at that moment.
"Persephone has been decreed Queen by the Fates. There is nothing we have that can change their minds..."
I pause. Dammit.
"So that's it?"
He shakes his head, "I said there was nothing `we' had that could change their mind. There is one thing however. The apple of Discord."
"Meet me later on the temple of strength. We'll discuss it in detail."
Knowing that there was a place that I could go was important. It's a small temple. It's the smallest temple of all of the 12 Olympians. When I knock on the door I'm surprised to see Ganymede open the door. He's standing behind the door and doesn't open it all the way up.
"I need to talk to Heracles," I beg him.
"He's busy," Ganymede states.
"Please..." I explain.
"Haven't you caused enough trouble?" Ganymede nearly spits.
"Let him through," a voice booms from the street, "We are going to see Heracles one way or another. We'll go through you if need be."
I turn at that moment confused at the person who I see on the street. There is a god standing there. His color was this golden yellow and his hair matched it. At first, I thought it was Apollo himself reborn but then I realize the fair skin and golden hair with that long, strong neck.
I almost don't notice him. He looks completely different then he looked like when Ganymede and taken me to see him the first time. He wasn't in doctor's robes. He was in armor. Seeing him at this moment looking so strong and powerful was shocking. He definitely changed. His muscles were almost as big as Heracles as he stands there looking at me. His curly blonde hair has grown longer past his shoulders. He has the same warrior skirt that Deimos wears and they show off his muscular, toned powerful thighs. His thighs stomp the ground showing power as he approaches me.
"I'm here to help," he states, "Ganymede tell Heracles that we are out here."
His voice is booming. It's full of authority. It's so different from the nervous, nerdy doctor that I met before.
"I'll let Heracles know that he has company," Ganymede states, "Just a warning. He's not the man that he used to be."
I wonder what Ganymede means by that but I don't have the time to think about it too long. The reason being is that I'm distracted by Clep. Clep is next to me.
He puts his hand on my face. He's gentle but firm like a father touching his newborn.
"I heard what happened to you," he states, "Krill told me. He told me that the Queen forced you into marriage. He said you might need my help."
"I barely recognized you..."
"Well maybe that's a good thing," he states.
"You came to help me?"
"I'm not going to let you remain hers," he explains to me at that moment, "I failed you once. I don't plan on doing that again."
He looked so handsome standing there in the doorway. I can't help but to be somewhat mesmerized. Clep had definitely changed. He had definitely stepped it up in a huge way.
He licks his lips at that moment. The flirt was real. It was extreme.
"What do you want in return for helping me?" I ask.
After being betrayed so much on Olympus I didn't know if I was willing to trust anyone.
"The same thing I always wanted from you for anything I've done for you. Just a kiss."
"I belong to Queen Persephone now. She'd kill you if she knew you did that."
"Here's what I think about our new Queen."
He shows me by leaning over and kissing me. His lips press up against mine. His hands wander to the back of my head. His tongue presses up against my tongue. Our bodies press up against one another. The way he kisses is almost as though he's trying to fuck my mouth. My dick hardens up against his inner thigh. I know he notices because his thigh muscles tighten as he applies even more pressure to my body. I don't know how it's happening but all this kissing is turning me on so much that I feel precum.
At least I think it's precum.
"Oh fuck," I state in a muffled moan.
It may be real cum at that moment because I feel my dick gush. It begins to slide down my pants at that moment. Clep holds me almost that entire time and he takes a step back in this very confident way. It's almost as though he's making sure I'm aware that my love life just got a little bit more complicated.
"If the two of you would stop flirting then maybe we can get something done," Krill states from behind us.
Krill walks right past us into the Temple of Strength.
As we follow behind him I can feel Clep walking close to me. He's doing it on purpose. He's pressing his dick up against me. He's doing everything at this moment but dry humping me and it's turning me on in ways that I didn't think were imaginable. It's hard to focus on the beautiful temple of strength. Heroes are aligned all on these walls.
Achilles, Theseus, Perseus, Odysseus, Jason and Atalanta were all portrayed in these walls. It made sense that this was the home of Heracles...the greatest hero of all time.
"Where is Heracles?" Clep asks as we sit in the great room. There is a fire going in the hearth. He is the gentleman I think he is when he pulls the chair out and offers me a seat.
As I sit I look over on the wall and see the huge painting of Heracles standing there having slain the Nemean lion who could not be slain by mortals because it's golden fur was impervious to attacks. Now Heracles wore that lion on his back for sport.
"Probably having Ganymede oil him up, no doubt," Krill points out, "And maybe having him give him some head to get his blood pumping."
"Can we skip the details?" I ask.
"I prefer the details," Krill says with a smile.
"Don't worry," Clep states, "Heracles is still probably one of my biggest competitors for your heart. Ganymede doesn't hold a torch to you."
Clep was coming on strong. Real strong. I had to admit it was working. I was seeing him in a whole different light and I loved it.
"Speaking of the idiot guys willing to risk their immortality for you, is Deimos coming as well?" Krill asks.
"I didn't ask him," I respond.
"Where we are going...to get the apple of Discord, we'll need all the help we can get."
"For an apple?" Clep asks.
"Not just any apple. The apple of Discord. Eris, the goddess of discord wasn't invited to a divine wedding. Angered she threw the golden apple into the wedding. It caused chaos."
Eris. The same goddess that I had seen earlier with Deimos. Knowing that bitch was involved already was a sign that this wasn't going to turn out well.
"Why did it cause chaos?"
"She inscribed on it `to the fairest'. It sparked a vanity-fueled dispute among Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite that eventually led to the Trojan War. After it was all over Zeus took the apple and locked it away closely guarded. He felt like the vain goddesses of Olympus would do anything to get it. If we want the Fates to overturn their decree to make Persephone queen then that is the best way to convince them."
"Are you sure they'll change their decision for the apple?" I ask.
"I overheard Thalia herself plotting that if Persephone ever became too much to handle that would be her plan."
If Thalia was behind it then it had to be true.
I shake my head, "It's strange how such small objects can mean everything the most powerful being in existence."
Clep is unmoved, "If it's just an apple I can do it myself. I'll go get it and prove my devotion to Thad. No need for Deimos or Heracles. No need for Thad to break a sweat."
"It's guarded by Echidna in the garden of the Hesperides."
I swear I hear Clep clear his throat at that moment. It's clear he is changing his tone.
"We will need Deimos and Heracles," he states out of nowhere.
"Who is Echidna?" I ask.
"She is the mother of all monsters," Clep explains, "We are going to need all the help we can get if we plan on returning from this journey with the apple."
I don't know why I thought this was going to be easy. I don't know why I thought this was going to be simple. I don't know why I thought this was going to be a walk in the park. We get the apple of discord, we give it to the Fate that agrees to retract Persephone's title of Queen. It should have been simple right. We were gods. This wasn't supposed to be a journey. Hell, I thought it would have been just one short road trip.
I was wrong.
"It's no point in going," a voice states, "Not even I managed to enter the Garden of Hesperides."
"Heracles?" I ask.
Just how I could hardly recognize Clep because of how excellent he'd become I couldn't really recognize Heracles. His eyes were swollen. His skin was grey. He looked as though he had lost his immortality altogether. My heart sinks when I see Ganymede help the hero cross the room. This couldn't be him. This couldn't be Heracles.
"So this is what happens to failed heroes?" Krill wonders out loud.
Normally anyone would have been frightened to say something like this to Heracles, but this wasn't Heracles. This was the ghost of someone who was once great.
"Leave him be..." Ganymede barks at Krill with this huge sense of protection, "He's had a vision after Thad reappeared from the Underworld. He hasn't been the same since then."
"A vision of what?" I ask.
Heracles remains silent. His hair was once young and youthful but now it was gray. He looks at me with those swollen eyes.
"There is no point in fighting Persephone, something else is coming. The end."
"The Twilight of the Gods."
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