Love's Forge: Olympians
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by Susan M. Sailors
Category: Erotica/BDSM Erotica/Fantasy
Description: Aphrodite's talent for bringing about "happily ever after" despite numerous obstacles has never helped her straighten out her own love life. She's been keeping her estranged marriage to Hephaestus a secret from everyone, but his determination to finally make it work and regain her heart has convinced her the time for secrecy may soon be over. But when Hephaestus catches her with Ares, he decides his wife needs to be taught a lesson. Aphrodite stands very little chance against his erotic assault, but she still refuses to promise to be his forever. As he continues making her live out all his fantasies, she must ultimately decide if she only wants his body or if she can truly return his love.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: October 2010
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [175 KB]
Reading time: 115-161 min.
Aphrodite watched Eris and Hermes mingling with their wedding guests. The ceremony had been lovely, and they both seemed very happy. Even Eris' mother Nyx, a primal deity not known for showing any emotion but anger, looked happy as she stood with her son Hypnos and his lover Daphne. Everywhere Aphrodite looked she saw happy faces, not to mention more happy couples than she'd seen among the gods in a very long time.
She listened to her son Eros attentively, but she found it hard to keep from smiling. When he'd still lived with her, he'd had little interest in decorating. He'd always kept everything simple. When he'd been married to Psyche, a former mortal, domesticity had been the last thing on his mind. Psyche had never settled into immortality and life among the gods, though no one could blame her after all the fuss that kicked up when Eros fell for a mortal the gods had other plans for. Eros had never adjusted that well to being married, despite how hard he had fought to win immortality for Psyche so they could be together. His new wife was Iris, Hera's messenger and the goddess of rainbows, and she had changed him in more ways than Aphrodite could count. He wasn't likely to buy a dog or try to have children, but his attitudes toward love and life had certainly improved. He was telling Aphrodite all about the new kitchen theme now. He hadn't mastered every decorating term yet, but he certainly knew what he was talking about in general.
Iris spoke up when Eros paused for a breath. "The black and white tile for the floor is beautiful. The squares are very tiny, and the white ones have traces of silver in them. The floor really sparkles."
Aphrodite nodded. "That sounds lovely." She glanced back over at a group she'd been watching for several minutes.
Ares stood with his fiancee Alala. His mother Hera was talking animatedly to them and her other son, Ares' half-brother Hephaestus. Hephaestus wore a black suit and looked very handsome. He rarely socialized, but he'd been attending all the weddings lately. Aphrodite glanced around at all the couples. Many of them had not been together or even considering each other when her son Eros got married, which hadn't been that long ago. She turned back toward Hephaestus. His dark hair and eyes contrasted sharply with the white scar on his face. It was shaped like a lightning bolt, and it proved that one Greek myth had been passed down with a decent amount of accuracy.
Hephaestus had been born to Hera without a father being involved. Such births had happened before, though goddesses such as Persephone and Eris were typically the products of sex-free conceptions. A male child being born this way had seemed odd to everyone, especially Zeus, who suggested Hephaestus did have a father but Hera was hiding the fact because she'd cheated on him. Hera had become angry at his comment more than anything because Zeus had cheated on her far more often than she'd even thought of cheating on him. Hera had seen her son's birth as a way to rankle Zeus, at least temporarily, and prove she could do something without him. His suggesting she'd cheated had been the last straw. In a fight, Zeus had flung Hephaestus off of Mount Olympus and struck him with a lightning bolt. Hephaestus thankfully lived but he carried the scar from the lightning bolt, and the fall had left him with a slight limp. Aphrodite hardly noticed it now, but it certainly got people's attention. To most of the beings in the immortal realm, the royal family was as entertaining as a prime time drama, and many had probably been disappointed that Hephaestus was exactly like other one-parent deities and not the product of a scandalous affair.
As Hera talked on, Aphrodite sighed. She didn't like them talking together for many reasons. First and foremost, Hera was determined to find out who Hephaestus was in love with, and she had enlisted Aphrodite's help, not knowing Aphrodite was in fact the mystery girl. She also did not know Aphrodite and Hephaestus had been secretly married for years. It wasn't a true marriage at all, but Hephaestus had made it clear he intended to change that. His determination not to give Aphrodite her freedom from the marriage had caused her more than a little anxiety, which in turn had made her confide her secret in Alala. She hadn't been concerned until Hephaestus had admitted that during an argument he himself had confessed to Ares that he was in love with Aphrodite. They were half-brothers, of course, but no one would know that from observing them together. Ares was a lot like both of his parents. Hephaestus rarely resembled Hera in any way. He kept his distance from everyone, even his mother, though Aphrodite knew her love and approval meant more to him than he let anyone know.
Aphrodite sighed again as she watched Hera talking. Ares and Alala looked so tense she knew not only that they had probably confided in each other and discussed the subject but also that Hera was probably on the subject right this moment. She wondered what they had said. Ares was Eros' father, though he and Aphrodite had long ago decided they were wrong for each other. They had been lovers for many years, and in some ways they would always be close, despite some residual issues. He understood her and her weaknesses. After their final break up, Aphrodite had tried to help him see how much Alala loved him through a spell, which then backfired and nearly killed him. Everything had turned out fine in the end, but her friendships with him and with Hera had been severely tested by her mistake. Alala had reached out to her first, and she'd been grateful Ares had found someone so kind and forgiving.
Hera laughed loudly and walked away from the group after kissing both her sons on the cheek. Once she was gone, all three of them looked down, but after a few seconds Ares looked up and met Aphrodite's gaze. She turned away before Hephaestus looked up and noticed her watching.
"Mother, what's wrong with you?"
Aphrodite looked at Eros. His eyes had narrowed, and for a moment he looked a lot like Ares. She decided to tell the truth. "I'm sorry. I was thinking of Hephaestus."
"Why is this such a big deal? No one else is allowed as much privacy in the romance department. It's impossible to get involved around here without everyone knowing about it. I couldn't get a moment's peace for people giving me advice about Iris once the news had spread."
"You're right, though I seem to recall you seeking Hermes out to get information about his fellow messenger. The gossip train runs at top speed around here," Aphrodite said. "He shouldn't be treated differently, but I gave my word. I won't tell anyone who she is."
Iris watched her keenly. "He still must mean a lot to you. Keeping a secret from Hera and Zeus is a heavy responsibility."
Aphrodite looked into her eyes and didn't blink. "He does. He's one of my closest friends."
Iris paused. "I do wonder what kind of woman he'd like. He's so quiet and private. Is that the kind of girl he goes for? Or do opposites really attract?"
Aphrodite smiled, even as she wondered if Iris was wishing for a clue or maybe even suspected the truth. "I think everyone will be surprised, if things work out."
"Pleasantly surprised?" Eros asked. "The unpleasant surprises tend to end in ways much uglier than divorce."
"I hope everyone will think it's pleasant," Aphrodite said. She felt grateful neither of them had commented on her long ago and supposedly over and done with affair with Hephaestus. She glanced back and saw the group that had held her attention had dispersed. She spotted Alala spinning slowly on the dance floor with Hephaestus, and a moment later someone touched her shoulder.
"Wanna dance?" Ares asked. He winked at Iris, and then he nodded at Eros.
Eros nodded back and took Iris' hand as they turned to mingle again. Ares and Eros would never be close, but Aphrodite was relieved the tension between them had dissipated. At least that part of her life was drama-free now.
"Sure." She followed him out onto the floor. She knew the teasing would start in no time.
But it didn't.
"The breeze out here is nice. I like receptions that are held outside," he said as they swayed to the music.
"Yes, it is nice. It was pretty the day we had Eros' reception here." She looked around as she tried to think of more small talk. It seemed absurd she and Ares would ever spend any time making small talk. That absurdity further proved he wanted to say something about what he knew. "Where are you and Alala going to have your reception?"
"On the beach. Iris and Layla are arranging everything."
Aphrodite nodded. Layla was Poseidon's wife and a former mortal. Unlike Eros and Psyche, she and Poseidon had found real happiness and considered the immortality Zeus had granted her a blessing. Layla and Iris did seem very close, though Aphrodite hadn't gotten to know Layla very well yet. "Well, after you and Alala make it official we'll only be waiting for Hypnos and Daphne to set a date."
Ares looked down into her eyes, and she felt like her face was on fire. "I think they're opting for a private ceremony, and then a party afterward at Daphne's father's house." He twirled her around and then brought her back into his arms. "There might be another wedding, you know."
"I'm not sure Apollo and Harmonia want to get married. They're moving in together though. As mother of the bride, I guess I'll be first to know." She pushed back a giggle. She would not let him see how nervous he was making her. Alala and Hephaestus were across the dance floor, but what if someone else heard them?
"I wasn't thinking of them."
He shook his head slowly. "There's one I'd like to attend though, if the girl says yes."
She scanned the immediate area for Hera. Satisfied the queen of the gods was far enough away, she asked, "Why did he tell you?"
"I reprimanded him for hurting you."
"You did?" She found it hard to believe. Hephaestus' confession had come very shortly after Aphrodite had nearly killed Ares. Why would Ares have cared? She'd told him how Hephaestus' words had hurt her when he'd broken things off with her and refused to see her for years. She told Ares about their fights the same day she'd finally confessed to Ares that Eros was his son. She'd felt so vulnerable that day she'd been relieved to confide in Ares, but now she wished she hadn't been quite so open. She'd wanted her freedom, which had been the subject of all their arguments. She still, in ways, resented how much his words had hurt her, even when they'd been in response to her saying she wanted nothing to do with him. She'd let everyone believe he'd 'dumped' her for cheating on him with Ares. It had made life easier for a time, and it had helped her keep her secrets.
She thought back to those confusing days. For a very long time, Eros' paternity had been a mystery. He'd been conceived while she was officially with Hephaestus but still infatuated with Hermes and sleeping with Ares. Most had always known the truth, but her unwillingness to confirm it had made it fun for others to speculate. All three men had reacted differently. Hermes, though sure he was not the father, had never denied it. He'd deemed it a petty argument, a situation not worthy of his notice. Ares was stubborn and proud. Though sure he was Eros' father, he had never fought to prove it. Hephaestus had told her to leave, that he didn't care. She knew it had been said in anger, since she was wearing his ring but carrying another man's child, but it had still hurt. Considering the long weeks of begging for her freedom, the pain she'd felt at his angry rejection had surprised her. It still did sometimes. Only recently, after Hermes had fallen in love with Eris and Hephaestus had told her he still loved her, had Aphrodite told Ares and everyone else the truth about her son. Both Eros and Ares seemed happier now, and that was what had mattered the most to her. She wished it could be so easy to make herself happy.
"Stop torturing yourself," Ares said softly.
"Don't do that." She hated it when he said things like that. It felt like an invasion of her privacy. Being lovers for so long had given him the ability to read her far too well. She felt he only meant the best, but she wanted to think through all of this for herself.
"Cheer up. You look incredibly sad, and this is a happy occasion. People will notice."
She tried to smile. "You're right. The last thing I need is people thinking I still have feelings for Hermes. Especially considering what happened at Eros' wedding." She laughed, glancing into the woods where she and Hermes had wound up having sex. He'd been under a lust spell, and she'd been trying to help, but it had been the final blow to her affair with Ares. She hoped he would tease her about that instead of pursuing the subject of her and Hephaestus.
"He seems hopeful. Are you two going to try again?"
"Hephaestus?" she asked. She'd rather have talked about her former schoolgirl crush on Hermes, actually, but she thought it would be senseless to argue. Even teasing him about his immature reaction to finding her with Hermes probably wouldn't work. Stubbornness was one thing they would always have in common.
He laughed. "Unless you have another secret husband."
"Shhhh! Do you mind?"
"I mind your being so stubborn. He only told me he loved you. Alala told me you two are actually already married. It was a bit of a shock, but you could be happy if only you'd try. We're not close, but he's a good man. He'll certainly treat you better than I usually did."
She didn't want to think about that. Not yet. As much as she cared for Hephaestus, something was missing. Something kept her from giving her heart to him. Did the Fates have other plans for one or both of them? She couldn't be sure. His friendship meant so much to her, and it had been a hard relationship to work through, given their circumstances. She thought nothing could ruin it, and he'd even assured her she would always have his friendship, yet she was afraid to take the chance by changing their relationship too much. She had told him they could try again, even as she'd warned him she didn't have his confidence regarding them as a couple. His refusal to free her from the marriage even after sending her away while she was pregnant with Eros proved his patience and determination and perhaps even the depth of his love, but would they be enough in the end if she couldn't already return his feelings?
"My stubbornness isn't your problem anymore."
"Oh, I'm very glad it isn't. I wish him all the luck in the world."
"What about me?"
"You don't need any." He kissed her cheek and walked away as the music ended.
She looked across the dance floor at Hephaestus, but then turned away. She had no intention of running into his arms simply because Ares thought they were right for each other. That was a question she needed to answer on her own.
Lachesis watched Aphrodite walking away from Hephaestus. He watched her for a few seconds and then turned away with Alala to talk to someone else. He wanted to pursue her, but he didn't. Lachesis did not like having her plans stalled so needlessly. Her sisters Clotho and Atropos foresaw where each individual's destiny began and where it ended. Lachesis determined everything that came between those two points, and thus she had far more power than they did. Rarely, they could alter the start or end of a destiny, when the circumstances allowed. She could alter an entire destiny with the tiniest changes. She looked around at the wedding guests. She smiled at Eris and Hermes, the two deities most devoted to the Fates. Despite some occasional willfulness, they both served the Fates well and always put their faith in them, unlike most of the other immortals. Their finding happiness together had made her incredibly happy. They were perfect for one another in a way that was incredibly rare.
Lachesis' gaze roamed over every face. No one dared look her in the eye. Most of them feared the power of the Fates even more than they did the wrath of the Furies. Lachesis didn't care about that so much. She cared that despite their fear most immortals didn't give the Fates the reverence they deserved.
Lachesis had already told Hephaestus once that he had to fight for his bride. He'd said that he understood, but his idea of fighting simply wouldn't do. Did he truly intend to be her 'best friend' until he finally wore her down? It was a beginning, she did admit, since they had spent so much time not talking after their secret marriage and the fights that had led to them not talking for years. She smiled. That marriage scheme had been a wonderful plan in the beginning. Hephaestus had chained her to the bed during sex, and then he had slipped a ring he had forged onto her finger, refusing to let her go until she agreed to be his forever. She could not break free of the chains or remove the ring. He'd made her exchange vows with him before agreeing to finally free her. She'd fled, and Lachesis had expected Hephaestus to pursue her. He hadn't. She'd come back weeks later to beg for her freedom, but he'd refused. Again, Lachesis had expected him to take more action, and again she was disappointed. His inaction had resulted in a fight that drove her into Ares' arms. Eros had been conceived that night, and his birth had made Hephaestus lose hope. He'd sent her away when she told him, and then he'd left her alone for a long time, giving her the illusion of freedom after months of trying to gain it.
Aphrodite and Hephaestus had eventually started talking again when he came to her and asked her to forgive him. She had, and she'd even said she missed him, but she'd also asked for her freedom again. He refused to release her though. The ring gave him the power to summon her whenever he wanted, and once they'd made up in their own way he began exercising that power. She had no choice but to go to him, and soon they found themselves in a rather cozy friendship. Lachesis could not understand it. Aphrodite wanted him and cared for him. Why not be his wife?
Lachesis felt she knew the answer. He was too passive. Aphrodite needed passion, and she also needed a firm and strong hand. Ares had given her that, but love had not been their destiny. Their relationship had caused much pain over the years. They seemed to have made their peace in the past month though, something most had not expected. Ares' heart had definitely been softened when he found his own true love, his lifelong companion Alala. Lachesis sighed. That had been another fated relationship she'd had trouble bringing about. Ares could be so blind and stubborn, and Alala had, like Hephaestus, been reluctant to fight for what she wanted.
Lachesis watched Ares. She felt he owed her something for being such a thorn in her side. After a moment, she smiled. She'd have to consider her timing, but she thought she knew what would work best. It had been a long time since she'd really had any fun, and now she knew exactly what she needed to do to see her will finally done.
Ares walked into the garden and followed the humming he heard. He found Aphrodite pulling weeds out of a small flowerbed by her back door. Her ass looked perfect, even in a dirty pair of jeans, as she knelt on the ground. He shook his head. He'd been such a fool to ever let her go. She was his. She'd been made for him. No other man was ever going to touch her, not again. He'd spent the past week trying to convince her to make more of an effort with Hephaestus, but he wasn't going to do that anymore. If Hephaestus couldn't keep her, that was his loss.
"Aphrodite?" he said.
"Yeah?" As soon as she turned and looked up at him, he knew she felt it too. They were meant to be together. She smiled seductively. "Hey there. I was just thinking about you."
"What were you thinking?" He grabbed her arm and pulled her up into his arms.
"Mmmm. All the fun we used to have." She raised her eyebrows in a playful way. "Before you decided you wanted to marry Alala."
He moved his hands down her ass. She felt so good. "She never has to know. Unless you think she'd join us." He unzipped her jeans and slid his hand inside. "It'd be pretty hot to see you two going at each other."
"Naughty boy," she whispered before kissing him soundly.
He found he couldn't get their clothes off fast enough. Her touch electrified his whole body. When she wrapped her hand around his cock, he growled deep in his throat. He finished getting their clothes off by ripping them as fast as he could. He pushed her roughly to the ground and climbed onto her, pinning her hands on each side of her head and kissing and sucking her breasts. She squirmed with delight and giggled under him. He swirled his tongue around her nipple, and she spread her legs wide for him. He plunged into her, enjoying her little gasp of shock. Her pussy was so hot, and he was very hard. He moved quickly, wanting nothing but the sweet feel of her hot sex.
She cried out beneath him, and he felt her pussy contracting around him as she came. He pushed deeper and made her cry out again. She'd never come that quickly before. She'd obviously missed him and his cock. He thrust into her hard and fast, and he smiled at the lustful sounds she made. It had never felt this good before.
He groaned as he came, pumping her as hard as he could. "I knew I was the only man you needed."
Their lips locked in a heated kiss as they both trembled. His cock hardened again, and he was ready for more. She groaned beneath him as he tentatively moved his cock inside her, but then a hand grabbed his shoulder and threw him across the garden.
He opened his eyes, but he had trouble focusing. He saw a man looming over Aphrodite, and he heard her whimper in fear. He tried to stand, but his head swam. Then everything went black.
When Aphrodite woke up, she didn't know where she was. She was naked, and she felt bars beneath her. She sat up and saw she was in a cage. She looked down. Hephaestus' bedroom was below her. She didn't see any sign of him.
Her mind raced, and she remembered what had happened. She'd been having sex with Ares, and it had been amazing. Then Hephaestus had shown up. She wondered where Ares was and if he was okay. If he was still alive. She didn't understand what had happened. Why had they done that? Why had she reacted that way? Everything had been normal, and then she'd heard him say her name. It had done something to her. Had he planned it? She shook her head, which ached as she did so. She rubbed her temples and looked around. Someone else was to blame. A seduction like that would have disgusted Ares. He loved Alala. She knew that. There was another explanation. Someone was meddling, though she couldn't imagine who it might be. Who would want to do that to them? Who would desire to hurt so many people and cause so much trouble?
She heard a door open, and she looked down again. Hephaestus walked in and looked up at her.
"Is this your idea of us 'trying,' Aphrodite? Fucking Ares in your backyard?"
His voice sent a chill down her spine. It had been a long time since she'd seen him angry. He'd been so gentle and warm the past few months.
"No. I'm sorry. I'm not sure why I gave in. I haven't thought about him that way for a while."
"I don't believe you. You lied to me. You said you didn't love him."
"Then why hurt Alala? Why hurt me? Why take such a risk?"
"I don't know. Once I saw him approaching me, I was overcome by desire. I can't explain it."
"It's easy to explain. You two never actually ended it. You've been together all this time. You probably plotted that spell together to trick Alala into believing he loved her to give the two of you more cover. You planned to use her and deceive me." He glared up at her. "You're going to pay for what you've done."
"No! I wouldn't do that. Neither would he. He loves Alala! We just..." She shook her head. She had no idea what had happened. No one was angry with her. No one had any reason to wish her harm. Ares hadn't been having problems with anyone either. Most people would think twice before trying to harm Ares, out of fear of him as well as of his mother Hera and sister Eris.
Hephaestus shook his head. The bottom of the cage opened, and Aphrodite found herself falling. She landed safely on the bed, but she did bounce twice. He was by her side in an instant, his hands braced on either side of her so she couldn't get away.
"Do you really expect me to believe it just happened?" He ran his hand up her stomach, and then over her breasts. His touch was gentle, but his eyes blazed with anger. "Why didn't you tell me that's how you like it? Rolling in the dirt, fucking so hard you're left with bruises?"
Aphrodite moved slightly, and indeed her bottom felt very sore. She turned slightly to look, and she saw two large bruises below the small of her back. She also had a bruise on her right wrist.
"Please stop, Hephaestus. You don't want to do this. We can find out what really happened."
"Why don't I want to do this? Is there some special reason?"
She stayed silent. She knew her answer would anger him.
He smiled darkly. "Because I love you? By the gods, I do love you, Aphrodite. That's why I'm going to put an end to your lustful wandering."
"Please. This isn't right. Why would Ares cheat on Alala? He loves her."
"Perhaps he can't manage to give you up." He moved his hand down between her legs. "You are sweet enough to have that effect on a man." He rubbed her clit, and then his fingers delved into her pussy.
She bit the inside of her lip. She refused to show him how his touch affected her. Her sex was still damp from her encounter with Ares, and his fingers slid in easily. He knew exactly how to touch her. He eyed her carefully. She knew she wasn't fooling him.
"I came to your house to invite you to dinner tonight. I had a night of romance planned." He dipped his head to toy with her nipple. His rough tongue made it hard, made her back arch before she could stop it.
His teeth grazed her nipple. "Then I found you rutting with him. I could hear you before I saw you." He brought his face to hers. "Why did you turn to him when I would willingly and gladly spend hours bringing you pleasure?"
"I didn't. It just happened. Please let me go. We'll find out what was really going on."
He shook his head as he sat back and moved away from her. "I was a fool to ever let you go. You ran to him before when I gave you your freedom."
"I was hurt and angry. It wasn't real freedom. You have no right. Our marriage isn't recognized by anyone but you. You forced me to marry you!" She raised her chin defiantly. "What are you going to force me to do tonight?"
He waited to answer her, smoothing her hair back and caressing her cheek. "I doubt I can accomplish my goal tonight."
"It hasn't changed, Aphrodite." He ran one finger over lips. "I'm going to make you love me." End excerpt