Joxer sat at the campsite, head in his hands as he stared at the fire. Once again he was alone. It had been a normal state of affairs for him over the past few weeks. He found that he preferred it. No one around to talk down to him. To tell him that he couldn't be a warrior.
No one to love him.
Joxer sighed and shook his head, willing the last thought away. He found he could not. He didn't miss being talked down to, and he didn't miss people deriding his warrior skills.
But there was no way he could convince himself that he was not missing his lover. Things had not gone well the last time that they had met. Joxer had almost gotten killed by one of his lover's enemies and it had frightened his lover into attempting to sever the connection between them. Joxer had refused to give up so easily. Words were exchanged each one accusing the other of being obstinate and pigheaded. It had been ugly, so ugly that Joxer had broken it off therefore accomplishing his lover's objective, albeit by a different method.
He sighed again and stood from where he had been crouched on the ground. He strode forward and stamped out the fire, which had begun to burn low. He didn't want to attract any attention to himself by having someone spy the fire and enter his campsite. He turned away to walk back to where he had been crouching, intending to wrap himself in the covering he had taken along on this trip, when suddenly the fire leaped back to life behind him.
"I prefer the fire stay lit. I find it so romantic"
Joxer froze in his tracks at the smooth voice. The deep timbre ran through his body, already setting his pulse to race, though it had been only a few words that were spoken.
Joxer took a deep breath, squared his shoulders and took another step towards his covering determined to ignore the voice behind him.
"Joxer, don't walk away. I need you"
Joxer tensed at the words but kept walking. Suddenly, arms encircled his waist as a muscular body pressed against his back. He could feel the hard length of his the other man's shaft as it pressed against his buttocks enticingly. His breathing became ragged as every pore in his body reacted to the delicious feel of his lover's warmth wrapped about him from behind.
It wasn't enough.
"Let go of me" Joxer said tensely as he strained against the embrace. He stilled in shock as instead of being released, one of the hands that been stroking his waist, moved lower. The breath caught in his throat as the hand caressed his cock, which was straining against his pants. The other arm tightened about his waist like a band of steel, a painful reminder that Joxer's strength was inconsequential, compared to that of his lover.
"Are you going to force me?" he asked in shock, unable to control the tremble in his voice. His lover had never held him against his will before, and for the first time, he felt a sliver of fear within his embrace.
"No!" the explosive shout was accompanied by the instant release from his lover's embrace. There was a flash of light behind him and he turned, wondering if the other man had left.
What Joxer saw surprised him. His lover crouched before the fire. His shoulders were hunched forward, his head bent forward so that his expression was hidden from view. His hands were clasped together in front of him. He looked...vulnerable. A word that Joxer would never have associated with his lover. He also looked lonely.
Joxer walked towards him hesitantly. He couldn't bear to see his lover in pain but neither did he feel like he could give into him, given how he had rejected him just weeks before. He had almost reached the fire when his lover bought his hands up and covered his face, a small shudder wracking those broad shoulders. It was all the motivation Joxer needed to reach forwards, and touch the other man lightly on the shoulder.
"Ares," Joxer called to him softly. "What's wron..." his query broke off as Ares' hands dropped and he turned his face up towards him, he looked different somehow but Joxer couldn't place what it was.
Joxer let his hand drop away from Ares' shoulder but didn't move away from the God.
"Joxer. I need you. I need to feel you against me. I need to touch you." Ares said softly, looking up at his lover, eyes beseeching.
Joxer turned away slightly not knowing how to respond. Could things really be that easy? Could Ares want him back despite all the cruel things they had said to one another. He had to know.
"Ares, you were the one who said we should split up. You decided you wanted nothing more to do with me, and now you change your mind and expect me to jump straight into your arms?"
He watched his lover's expression carefully, perplexed at the momentary confusion on the other man's face. It was only there for a moment before he shook his head slightly and smiled softly, rising to his feet as he did so.
"That's in the past Joxer. What's important now is that we are both here. Together. I want you, I don't care what happened before."
Joxer shook his head, one hand going out to caress his lover's smooth cheek. Not once had Ares mentioned love. He confessed to needing Joxer but it seemed only to satisfy his lust. Once that may have been enough but no longer. He had thought they had gone beyond a merely physical relationship. He had fallen in love with Ares. And if Ares couldn't love him back then he would not give himself to the God. Decision made, his hand stilled against his lover's cheek.
"No" Joxer said, smiling sadly.
"No..what?" the God asked, eyes narrowing.
"It's not enough Ares." Joxer said, praying that he was strong enough to deny his lover even as his body strained towards Ares' heat. "It's all about what you want. What you need. What about what I want?" Joxer asked, stepping away from his lover.
"And what is that?" Ares asked as he took a step forward to match Joxer's retreating form.
"I want to be know that this time you will stay by my side" Joxer said boldly. His hand slid down Ares' cheek to the strong neck, further down until it rested against the broad chest.
"I can't promise that Joxer" Ares said quietly. His hand flew up as quickly as lightning to trap Joxer's hand against his chest as Joxer moved to pull it back. "But I can promise that I will love you for now" he promised, smiling darkly at the other man before pulling Joxer in tightly against him.
Joxer struggled to pull his hand back, mouth opening in protest as he was pulled in tightly against that well muscled body. Ares took advantage of his opened mouth to kiss him thoroughly. Laying claim to his lover. Joxer sighed mentally. This was exactly what he had hoped to avoid. Ares kisses enflamed him as they always did. He could not resist when his lover lay claim to him in this way. Ares knew it and was this to his full advantage.
Joxer's struggles ceased as Ares' tongue entered his mouth, seeking to mate with his own tongue. Any thoughts of resistance melted at the feel of the wet velvet heat of Ares tongue thrusting against his own, in time to the minute thrusts that Ares made against him.
Joxer shuddered as Ares arms released the hand which had been holding his captive and reached down and grasped his butt, lifting him up against his bulk so that their groins were at an equal level. He hissed at the feel of his lover's hard shaft straining against the leather brushing over his own erection. He couldn't control the whimper that escaped him as Ares' mouth moved against him to suckle at the pulse point at his throat. He shifted restlessly in the God's arms, his thoughts in such turmoil that he knew not whether he was trying to get away or draw closer to the delicious heat.
He was barely aware of when his clothing had disappeared, or that Ares had half dragged, half carried him over to the covering on the ground. It was only when his lover began to lower him to the ground that he realized they were both naked. He watched as Ares lifted his legs and placed them over is shoulder. The feeling of being spread open for his lover, of being vulnerable to him brought to mind all the dozens of reasons why they could not do this. Every single one of those reasons flew out of his head at the feeling of the warm fist, which wrapped around him. Neither could he stop the lift of his hips as he thrust into the pressure around his cock.
Joxer whimpered as Ares released him, eyes widening at the appearance of a small bottle of oil in his lover's hand.
He could not stop the small shudders of need that raced through his body at the sight of Ares preparing himself. His own whimpers grew louder as he felt that glorious cock press against his hidden entrance. His own whimpers grew louder until finally they were swallowed by his lover's roar of triumph as he entered him in one smooth motion.
Joxer clutched at his lover's shoulders as Ares rocked against him. His thrusts rocked the young man almost off the ground. Yet the hands that stroked his body were tender. The caress of his nipples was feather light. The hot breath of his lover against his face as Ares leaned down for another searing kiss was enough to set him on edge. And the hand that grasped his erection and pumped in time to the strong thrusts was more than enough.
It was ecstasy, and it was too much. The last thing Joxer felt was the earth move beneath him before he cried out and lost consciousness.
Joxer opened his eyes and took a deep breath as he woke slowly. He was wrapped tightly in his lover's arms. He smiled as he felt the soft tiny kisses Ares was placing against his brow. He recognized the still uneasy feeling as it creeped up on him. His own issues with the God were not resolved. Joxer sighed. Maybe he would just have to accept that Ares couldn't love him they way he needed him to. Maybe this physical expression was all Ares was capable of. He shifted up and pressed a kiss against his lover's smooth cheek.
"That's what's different," he said as he reached up to caress his lover's face "you've gotten rid of the beard". Ares smiled but did not answer; instead he leaned down and kissed Joxer full on the mouth.
The roar that swept through the air shattered the quiet that lay between them and tore Joxer out of Ares' arms. He came to his knees instantly, prepared to defend himself against whatever animal invaded their campsite. What he saw froze the blood in his veins.
"I'm sorry Joxer" the words spoken quietly behind him caused Joxer to swing his gaze towards his lover. His mouth opened but he couldn't even formulate anything to say, in his confusion.
"How could you?"
The snarled question brought Joxer's attention back to the man that stood in the campsite.
"Ares?" Joxer asked shakily, he stood to face his lover. He instantly regretted the movement as the God took in the evidence of his recent lovemaking. Ares' lips drew together in a straight line at the thought of someone else touching what belonged to him. He looked beyond Joxer to see who would dare to do this.
"You!" he spat out.
"Yes it was me" Ares, the God of Love responded. "Do you know how unfair it is to see him at your side and to know that I could provide him with so much more. You can't even love him Ares."
"You don't know anything about what I feel for him," the God of War said tightly, his answer snarled out as he stepped towards his doppelganger. "And you" he began turning towards his lover "How could you betray me like this?"
Joxer shook his head, eyes pleading as he stepped towards his lover, hand outstretched. His breath caught in his throat as Ares stepped away from him, a look of hatred in his eyes.
"Do not blame him, he did not know" The God of Love told Ares when he saw the pain of the physical rejection on Joxer's face.
The God of War merely shook his head and took another step back as he raised his hand, lightning bolt flashing out to strike at his double. Joxer dropped to the ground and put his head in his hands oblivious to the battle raging around him. It did not last long. How could it? With the God of War fighting against the God of Love the outcome was a certainty.
"He's gone. I sent him back."
Joxer looked up at the voice that broke the sudden stillness. He could see no sign of welcome in the bearded face that looked down on his.
"Ares...I" he trailed off as he tried to think of what to say. His heart stilled at the God of War's angry expression.
"You have betrayed me"
Those were Ares' last words before with a flash of light he faded from view. Joxer wrapped his arms around himself and fell to his side on the ground, immediately curling into a fetal position. Ares was gone. Both of them.
He was alone.
There was no one to hear the sound of his heart breaking or the cry of grief that burst out.
But far away in the War God's temple, he heard, for it was a cry of grief that matched his own.
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