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by Niemand 23rd November 2018, 12:09 am

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by Niemand 6th October 2018, 8:15 pm

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» Calm Before the Storm
by Holly 4th October 2018, 9:37 pm

» Corrupt a Wish
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Calm Before the Storm

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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 29th September 2018, 8:14 pm

Leaving Persephone in the bath after they finally knew where the other stood was difficult. Ares hadn't wanted to leave her but knew the only way they would leave his rooms was if they were interrupted. That would be unpleasant on many levels. Having already suffered the shame and humiliation, he did not wish that on her.

While what he had in mind could wait, he figured it was the best excuse to extricate himself and get dressed. With him gone Persephone would also be able to use the bath for its intended purpose. Since he would be leaving Olympus, in place of his usual attire he wore 'biker clothes'. It was his stardard mortal clothing choice.

Having gotten used to having Konan pop by every so often or when he'd smuggled the mutt out, Ares had gotten sort of used to having a dog. He'd owned some before just not very often. The lifespan of a dog was ever so fleeting, much more than a mortal's. He'd found that out when one of his worshippers had gifted him a rare hunting hound back in ancient Greece. It would survive about a decade, but if it brought joy to Persephone... It would help fill her time when she wasn't fulfilling her duties.

The problem, he found was in which type of dog to get. It had to be a puppy. There were a few he had decided upon then second guessed. Would she want a dog that would be a guard dog or just a companion? Maybe one that could be both?

"How did there come to be so many different breeds?!" Surely there really weren't that many? Ares finally settled on one and gave the breeder the absurd amount they wanted. After gripping tje pup by the scruff and raising it to eye level he gave it a talking to. It responded by licking him which in turn had him scowling and wiping his face. "Save that for Persephone."

Tucking the pup securely against his chest he zipped the jacket closed. He opened a portal and used that rather than having taken his chariot/motorcycle. Unsure how either travel would efdect the dog, he chose the fastest mode of transportation. There was no telling what the goddess was getting up to in his rooms. That was his excuse anyway.

It wasn't until he was at his door that doubt crept up. Would she even want a reminder? Shoving all his insecurity aside, he opened his door and smirked seeing her relaxed on his couch despite how his chest hurt for a few seconds.

Unsure how to proceed as he'd never given a gift before -giving a dowry was not the same- Ares unzipped his jacket to reveal the puppy. Holding it out by the scruff of its neck he unceremoniously dropped it in the empty space beside Persephone. Waving at the dog he tried to explain. "For robbing you of your friend."
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 29th September 2018, 10:17 pm

One moment she was perched on Ares' sofa, sipping her glass of Ambrosia and enjoying the chance to acquaint herself with his chambers.  The next the door opened, and suddenly several things were demanding her attention all at once.   Wide-eyed, she looked around and tried to understand what had happened.

The first thing that caught her eye was Ares himself.   No longer clad in his usual leather, he wore mortal clothing.  Black jeans, a t-shirt, and a leather jacket, accessorized in his typical fashion with heavy black boots.  It wasn't entirely a departure from his usual garb, but it was still very different.  

It also managed to make him look dangerous and suave all at once, but that was beside the point.  Ares could have made a burlap sack look good - mortal clothing wasn't a challenge for him.

The second thing demanding her focus was the squirming ball of black and russet fur that was giving her free hand a vigorous bath with its wet pink tongue.

Looking from Ares to the puppy and back over the rim of her cup, she began to piece things together.   Ares' errand had been to bring her a canine companion.  Presumably, that had meant a trip to the mortal world, which explained his unique style of dress.  Her initial response was to feel sheepish -  mostly because he must have noticed the emptiness of her chambers during his visit to think that she needed a companion. Thankfully, warmth took over before she could begin to overthink.  Her insecurity aside, she did appreciate that he cared enough about her to try and bring her such a gift.  

"Welcome back." She greeted the war god with an amused smile and a blatant once-over.  "Taking after your son's taste in clothing?"

The puppy, thinking himself unsupervised, began to sniff anything his short legs could reach.  That included the cushions at the very edge of the couch, and Persephone was forced to lunge across the seat to catch him before he fell off.   Sitting back up, she gathered the little animal to her chest and began to scratch behind one velvet ear, earning herself another enthusiastic tongue bath that made her wince and laugh at the same time.  

"Robbing isn't the right word for it," she corrected gently, wiping away puppy slobber with the back of her hand.  "That implies ill intent.  If anything, you've helped me make a new one."

She grinned at him. "Would it be rude of me to call him Rex?"
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 30th September 2018, 1:52 am

Flushing for more than one reason, Ares supposed he should have greeted her, but he was new to this whole...thing. He'd never really needed to greet Aphrodite as for mortals; he didn't care about those as most were one night engagements. This newness, it was awkward and he didn't want to ruin it by upsetting Persephone by doing the wrong thing. He'd had enough of arguing with her for now. Even if perversely he found when she was feisty to be very attractive.

"Taking after your son's taste in clothing?"

At first, Ares wasn't sure what she was getting at since the twins had actually taken their cues from him. Then it sank in she was talking about Eros and his lip curled in distaste. He did not go around with 'artfully' ripped clothing and dyed hair! What was it he heard the mortals call it? He couldn't recall and he crossed his arms wondering if she really thought it was that bad. "Well, I can't go down dressed like I usually do, can I?" Was asked slightly defensively.

His eyes watched as she caught the puppy, wondering if she liked it and relaxed slightly as she petted it. Her following words relaxed his stance further. At least she wasn't upset that he had ruined her chance to have a companion that would lavish unconditional love on her. His eyes lit up as her grin even though she was teasing him. He actually laughed at her name suggesting for the dog. Shaking his head he strode over to hand her a collar with a blank name tag. He'd not known what name she would want to call the thing or even want it for that matter.

"I take it you like your gift?" Ares tried to hide the fact that the answer mattered to him as much as it did.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 30th September 2018, 2:15 am

Fending off Rex's endless kisses nearly made her miss the faint hint of redness that was showing on the war god's cheeks. It seemed today was the day that the impossible happened - confessions of love, a new puppy, and Ares blushing. It was an endearing sight until Rex stole her attention again by stuffing his entire snout into her ear to sniff.

She stifled her shriek of laughter with one hand as she leaned down to deposit the rambunctious canine on the floor. She knew Rex would be a comfort during her time in the Underworld, but at the moment he was just too distracting. Between his antics and Ares, she'd end up making a fool of herself sooner rather than later. The last thing she wanted was to foul things up with Ares before they even started.

Somehow, she realized, things between them had ended up both defined and undefined. They both had feelings for one another - that much had been made clear - but everything else was still in flux. Would it last? Did he want things to last? There were so many questions that she couldn't quite figure out how to ask him.

Now she knew how human school girls felt. Everyone seemed to laugh at them for their frivolous pursuits and ridiculous clothing choices, but nobody seemed to put any stock in how difficult it was to navigate the surprisingly awkward jungle that was emotional bonds. Between the two of them, they'd seen several centuries come and go, and yet she still found her cheeks warming thanks to his presence.

"I suppose not," she agreed, casting one more appreciative look at his mortal attire before turning her attention to the collar and nametag he passed to her. It seemed he'd thought of everything - right down to an accessory for her new companion. It didn't entirely surprise her - he was a strategist who dealt in details - but it was also somehow unexpected that he would apply that particular skill to her. Her flush deepened just the tiniest bit as she closed her hand around the leather band and flashed a grin at him.

"I do," she assured him, suddenly feeling self-conscious. Should she have gotten him something? Had she missed a cue? Stars, she hoped not. It would have been just her luck to lose him on the same day she got him.

"He'll make those rooms feel a bit less empty," she nodded her thanks, tucking her slightly damp curls behind her ear. "It'll be nice to have some company."


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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 30th September 2018, 12:16 pm

Something in Ares lightened seeing Persephone so carefree and happy. To know that he was the cause of that even if indirectly? Naturally there was pride to feed his ego, the rest were quite foreign so he had no name to place them. The sight had caused his mouth to turn up into a genuine smile and his eyes to light in amusement and warmth. This time he did catch her look and preened a bit at knowing that she still found him attractive despite what he did or did not wear. Some of the anxiety he'd felt evaporated at her admittance that she liked her gift.

Knowing how he'd been as a dog, he wasn't surprised to see Rex begin to wander to take in the smells. When she'd mentioned the rooms feeling less empty, he internally winced. He hadn't meant to remind her of the lack of companionship she had when she was in her winter home. He preferred to reference it that way as opposed to her husband's home. The fact that she still had one was a sore point. It was something they would have to address, but he didn't want to bring the subject up just yet. Ares wanted to lie to himself for awhile more yet. Focusing more on the last sentence, he was relieved she'd taken his gift as it was meant to be.

Sitting on the edge of the couch in front of her legs afters she moved them aside a bit, he nodded at the metal attached to the collar in her hand. As much as he hated to admit it, his brother could engrave the tag and make it into anything that Persephone desired much better than any mortal could. The goddess was also on much better terms with him than Ares himself had ever been. "I'm sure a certain smith god wouldn't mind putting Rex's name on there for you."

Curiosity piqued as it had been last time, he allowed his interest to show. "How did you come up with that name?"
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 30th September 2018, 2:12 pm

Ares joined her on the couch as she pulled her knees out of his way, and that lovely warm feeling returned in force as he settled himself.  His real smile was back, and she loved the way it made his eyes crinkle just the tiniest bit.  Persephone had never taken so much time to study someone else's expressions as she had with him.  She knew her mother's scowl and smile in equal parts,  and her husband's blank stare, but she'd never noticed the way that those expressions did or didn't touch their eyes.  Ares' eyes were more expressive than his lips more often than not, and they flashed with amusement now.

He nodded to the collar in her hand, suggesting that she might get Hephaestus to engrave Rex's name on it.  She turned the leather over in her hands, using her thumb to brush over the tiny metal details embedded in it.  It was a lovely dark red-brown colour, and she knew that Rex would look nothing short of charming when he wore it.  She also knew that it was one of the best gifts Ares could have given her - a companion to keep her company when he couldn't, and a present she wouldn't have to hide.  She doubted anyone would question her about the dog's origins, and if they did, her answer could be mostly truthful.

I found him on the banks of the Styx, she'd say with a smile.  It seemed a shame to leave him there all alone.

"I'll speak to him about it," she confirmed, setting the collar on the cushion beside her.  

His next question made her flush deepen as she laughed sheepishly.  She'd decided on the name on impulse, never expecting anyone to ask her about it, and she found it strangely embarrassing.  There was no harm in telling him, yet she found herself struggling to find the right words.  

"You just seemed so regal sitting there by Konan's house; it seemed fitting."  She admitted, ducking her head slightly as she laughed.  

Through her sheepishness, she wondered if she ought to get him something in return.  She wanted him to have something to remember her by, no matter how things turned out.  She debated finding a canine companion for him too, but that seemed like cheating.  Besides, he called on Konan more than she ever did.  Jewelry was too obvious, and getting him clothing was pointless.  She looked over at the collar, studying as she thought.

One idea led to another, and when the realization hit her, she couldn't help but smile.  Yes, that would be perfect - practical and personal all at once.  She'd have to wait though - it would be too obvious if she left right away.  She wanted it to be a surprise.

"Should I have called you a mortal name?"  She teased, turning her attention back to him.  "Maybe Max? Or Fred?"
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 30th September 2018, 4:22 pm

Nodding, Ares didn't say anything else about the collar as it was her choice what she did or didn't do with it. It hadn't crossed his mind that she might not even want to put the dog in one. Taking in her flush he grinned at it still amused and marveled in equal parts that he could put her in such a state. She really did look lovely like that. It hadn't escaped his notice that she was in the chiton that matched the color of his light. It was also the one she wore when she'd invaded his room for the first time. He wasn't sure if it had been chosen on purpose or if it had been a subconscious decision. Whichever it was, Ares approved and couldn't stop one of his hands from fingering the material.  

Scoffing at the comment of how he looked regal sitting by the mutt's kennel, he arched a brow. "Really? I was pathetic." He'd been so depressed and the thought that Persephone saw him like that? Yet, even then his treacherous body couldn't contain how pleased he was to see her regardless.

"Should I have called you a mortal name?"  At her teasing tone he glanced askance at her. What was she up to? "Maybe Max? Or Fred?"

Looking appalled at the very thought, he paused with a frown on his face. "Max wouldn't have been bad. I knew a Maximus once..." The man had been one of the few mortals that Ares had come to respect. He supposed it wouldn't have been that bad to have to don that name for a brief span. Smirking back playfully, he continued, "King and Greatest. That's not a stroke to anyone's ego."

This teasing with no heat or malice behind it, was odd but it was pleasant. Was this what he'd been missing the entire time? What he'd been wanting without knowing it? The experiences with Persephone far eclipsed anything he'd previously felt or assumed he'd known before. As much as he was enjoying this, it was also a bit daunting.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 30th September 2018, 6:47 pm

Pathetic? Where was he getting that? All she'd seen was a sleek little dog sitting oh-so-patiently by Konan's kennel. Pathetic was not a word that would ever come to mind when someone mentioned Ares - capable, confident, fierce, and cunning, yes, but never pathetic. It seemed his view of himself could be as dour as her own, which surprised her. It frustrated him when she tried to take the blame, to de-escalate a situation by offering herself up as a scapegoat, and yet he seemed to do the same thing here - blame himself for what Artemis had done to him.

Every time they encountered one another, she discovered that they were similar in more ways than she'd previously thought. They were both black sheep on Olympus for various reasons, had hot tempers, and were harder on themselves than they had any right to be.

No wonder you like him, quipped the little voice in her head. Birds of a feather flock together.

"I should hope not," she drawled, her grin widening at his joking tone.

The longer she was in his room, the better things got. First, she'd gotten the physical intimacy she craved, then a clearer picture of where they stood with one another. Now here they sat, bantering back and forth like they hadn't a care in the world, and she loved every second of it. Part of her wondered how long this upward trend could continue, but the rest of her didn't care. That it had happened at all was a reason for joy, and she intended to cling to it with everything she had. Even if things went south, she'd have plenty of reasons to smile at the memories.

A brief flicker of movement caught her eye, and she turned to find him toying idly with her skirts. He'd never seemed to pay much mind to what she wore, save to remove it when it obstructed him. She'd almost forgotten that this particular dress was the one she'd worn on her semi-disastrous errand to retrieve the compass; when he'd pinned her to this very couch and almost distracted her from her goal. The thought made her smile, remembering the internal conflict that had raged inside her head as she tried to resist his charms.

That particular effort turned out well, she thought drily, crossing her legs and leaning back on the heels of her hands.

"Do you like that colour?" She arched an eyebrow, watching him play with the pale purple fabric.







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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 30th September 2018, 8:35 pm

A laugh had been pulled from him with her comment. At her question though, he looked down and realized what he'd been doing without even realizing it. He'd not let go of the material since he'd realized the color of it. Stilling his hand, he released it and pretended to think about it. While he would never claim to be a connoisseur of women, Ares knew better than to answer something that seemed so simple right way. If his time with Aphrodite had taught him anything it was that when asked if he liked something, to really think about his answer. Whether it was to lie or to answer honestly there usually was only one 'correct' answer. With Persephone he truly believed she looked beautiful and could pull off just about every color imaginable. This particular color however, he wondered if he'd been right and she'd donned it purposefully.

Did she know how much her presence affected him? How what she said and did had impacts on him? The things she had wrought in him aside from the obvious that everyone including him thought impossible? This wasn't a game that he was playing and he truly hoped that she realized that he was serious. While he knew he'd not be able to have Persephone quite the way he wanted, he would work to keep what he felt was the closest he would ever come to it.

Shifting so he his body was facing towards her more, he, scooped up her legs and placed them on his lap so he could sit more at ease. He studied her, how she was so relaxed and at ease helped his nerves. Running his fingers down the materiel, he tugged slightly on it with a fond smile. "How can I not? It's mine."
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 30th September 2018, 9:34 pm

"How can I not? It's mine."

How on earth could you lay claim to a colour? Ares' words didn't quite make sense as they entered Persephone's ears. It made sense that he liked the tone, but the rest of the sentence didn't quite click until she realized that it was the same shade of purple as the light that announced his portals. She'd chosen this dress purely because she liked the way it looked on her, but suddenly it seemed to have that much more significance.

She quite enjoyed the knowledge that they matched, even if it was in the smallest, most inconsequential of ways. There wasn't a doubt in her mind that, if the chance ever came, she would leave Hades without so much as a backward glance. She owed him nothing, and she'd found everything she'd ever hoped he'd give her in Ares' arms. Of course, that presumed that Ares would still have her, but at the moment that particular detail seemed inconsequential.

It was hard to worry about whether or not he'd still want her months from now when he'd just lifted her legs into his lap so that they could sit more comfortably and the radiant heat from his legs was soaking into the back of her calves. The weave of his jeans pressed into her skin, pleasantly rough as she scooted back against the cushions so that her back wasn't facing open air.

She could hear the tap of Rex's paws on the floor behind them as he carried on exploring, and she let out a relaxed sigh. Everything was right with the world for now, and she wished she could freeze time. Things never stayed this calm on Olympus, and she was determined to enjoy it.

"You'd better not tear my dress." She laughed as he tugged on the material of her skirt. She'd said the same thing to him over a year ago in her quarters, playing catch-me-if-you-can before she'd finally given in to their mutual chemistry. It seemed like a lifetime ago, and though she had fond memories of him in her rooms, she much preferred their dynamic now. She didn't miss always being on-edge around him, and she certainly didn't mourn the loss of her anger. It had been exhausting, and the warmth of affection was so much gentler than the burn of irritation.

"The colour might be yours, but that doesn't mean you can just lay claim to my dress whenever you please." They both knew he could if he so chose, but that was beside the point. Spreading her curls out across the cushions behind her, she grinned at him.

Damn Elysium. I'd choose this any day, she thought.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 30th September 2018, 10:05 pm

Unbeknownst to him how her words had caused her to recall when she'd last said those very same words to him, Ares' first thought when heard them was how she'd looked when he'd caught hold of her chiton then. It had been red rather than his color. At the memory his lip curled up at their game, even knowing then he wouldn't want to do anything to displease her too much. After that one time, he'd thought he'd blown it. For a time it seemed he had. Ares thought after they'd given into their attraction that perhaps the pull would lessen. He'd been right in a sort, but completely wrong in every other aspect. He was never more thankful that he was able to have this second chance.

"The colour might be yours, but that doesn't mean you can just lay claim to my dress whenever you please." Arching a brow at the perceived challenge he returned her grin with one of his own that said he would accept it. His lips twitched as he thought about a dirty contradiction he wisely kept his mouth shut; for now. Later he would 'lay claim' to the body in the dress. That way lay dangerous thoughts. Instead he settled for keeping the light atmosphere and wanted to continue to see her laugh or even just roll her eyes. Keeping a straight face he stated, "It wouldn't fit me any way."

Shrugging out of his jacket, he let it drop heavily behind him after a quick look to make sure the Rex wasn't in the line of fire. With it off he'd be able to do his task a lot easier without the restraining material. Lifting one of her feet he enclosed both his around it and making sure to watch her facial expression to accurately judge the pressure, he pressed with his thumbs. He'd not had a chance to complete what he'd wanted to in the baths, but didn't think Persephone would mind if he massaged her feet. He didn't know if she'd ever received one before. That was something women like wasn't it?
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 30th September 2018, 11:29 pm

Oh dear.

Persephone had slipped again, and she knew full well that Ares' arched eyebrow meant that he was taking her joke literally.  She'd already found herself upside down over his shoulder today because of poor phrasing, and she could only imagine what mayhem he was planning.  It would be amusing for them both, no doubt, but she couldn't help but feel just the tiniest bit sheepish.  She'd teased him about going soft earlier, but it seemed he wasn't the only one.  Naturally, it was entirely his fault that her brain wasn't fully working.

"It wouldn't fit me anyway." He drawled, apparently unaffected by her joking as he took her foot in his hands.  His thumbs pressed gently against the sole, and she half laughed, half hummed her approval.   The thought of him in a dress was equal parts surreal and hilarious. Notably, since her mind placed him in the same light purple chiton she was currently wearing.  She knew that mortal Scotsmen wore heavy wool skirt-garments for special events, but a dress seemed so contrary to Ares' nature that it didn't quite work.  

"Maybe not," she allowed, her eyes closing as she savoured the gentle pressure of his touch.  "The hem would be far too short on you.  It would be scandalous."  

She smiled at the understatement.  One of her dresses would likely fall a few inches below Ares' knee; a length considered scandalous only by her mother's high standards.  Mortals nowadays wore their skirts much shorter, and she suspected her flowing skirts would be too conservative if she wore them anywhere but Olympus.  The differences between mortals and deity could make her feel anachronistic sometimes - as though she was merely a relic from a bygone age - but she supposed nothing was stopping her from modernizing.  If Ares could do it, why couldn't she?  Resolving to try mortal garb sometime, she opened her eyes and stretched languidly.  

"You're spoiling me," she said gratefully.  "If you're not careful, you'll never get rid of me."
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 1st October 2018, 12:21 am

"The hem would be far too short on you. It would be scandalous ." Suppressing a chuckle, it didn't stop how amused he was from showing in his eyes and the twitch of his mouth to her comment. It seemed that she had forgotten that most of them had worn 'traditional' garb back when Greece was their home. Ares had tried to erase that part of his memory of when he'd actually worn something similar. Just recalling it caused him to feel embarrassment.

"If you're not careful, you'll never get rid of me." At those words, his eyes dilated slightly and his chest ached causing him to nearly pause simply staring at her. Looking down at the foot in his hands he stared at it rather than her as he fought what those words did to him. She didn't mean it like that, not like how he wanted her to. It had been an unintentional wounding yet he couldn't help how he had to try and keep his breathing even. If he had his way he wasn't going to ever let her go.

"Who says I want to?" he finally replied back with feeling. Honesty with her had gotten him this far. He ignored the voice that was telling him this whole thing would backfire on him and blow up in his face.

Hearing a crash, Ares paused with a frown on his face as his head whipped in the direction of the noise. He'd almost forgotten about the dog until it came running back having scared itself with whatever it had knocked over. Rex apparently was a better jumper than Ares as he was able to make it up onto his couch and straight up to Persephone. Ares scowled at the dog. "Show off."
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 1st October 2018, 12:55 am

It took her a moment to realize that Ares' hands had stilled on her foot. She'd been thoroughly enjoying his massage, and when she realized that he had stopped, her eyes opened, and she lifted her head from the cushions to see what had caused the disruption. His face was entirely neutral, but there was something about his gaze that told her he was upset. It took until he spoke up, asking who had said he wanted to get rid of her, for her to realize why. She'd meant it as a joke, but it seemed she'd slipped again and he'd taken it literally. She made an apologetic sound, reaching over to lay her hand on his arm.

"In that case, can I take it back?" Her smile turned rueful as she asked the question. She always seemed to forget that her self-deprecating jokes rubbed him the wrong way. In hindsight, it made sense- this thing between them had left them both vulnerable, and joking about its end prodded a sore spot. She'd have to find some new witticisms because the last thing she wanted to do was hurt him.

She was debating whether or not to sit up and try to kiss things better - as the mortal saying went - when a loud crash sounded from behind them followed by the clatter of canine claws on the floor. Rex rounded the corner at a run and lept up into her lap, earning a disgruntled grumble of "show off" from Ares. It seemed she wouldn't be kissing Ares after all, hindered by a lap full of squirming puppy, but she made sure to give his bicep a soothing rub with her thumb before she turned her attention to trying to corral the anxious dog.

"Shh, Rex." Scooping the puppy up, she cradled him against her chest and began to stroke the soft fur between his ears. His tail thumped rapidly against her stomach a few times until she tucked in his hind legs with her arm. Realizing that the big scary thing couldn't get him, he settled in to bathe the underside of her chin.

"Hello, you little rascal. Do we want to know what you knocked over?" She murmured, looking down at the Doberman with amused exasperation. If she'd thought Ares was destructive for taking a bite out of an old pillow from Hades' room, she knew she was in for a surprise with Rex. It wasn't a bad thing - it came with the territory - but she suspected she'd have to "puppy-proof" her rooms when she got back to the Underworld.

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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 1st October 2018, 3:44 am

Having already regretted speaking out and voicing the sentiment of him not wanting to let her go, he had decided that he would allow the subject to drop. Rex had good or bad timing depending on how you looked at it. Scowling at said dog, Ares supposed he had told the dog to save the affectionate kissing stuff for Persephone. However, that didn't mean that he had meant for Rex to interrupt when he and the goddess were having some quality time together. Narrowing his eyes, he watched as the dog was reassured from whatever 'terror' had befallen it. As she soothed it he went back to working on her foot so he could swap to the other one. He snorted when the question was asked of what had been destroyed.

"Nothing of import." The only thing that he valued that he kept in his rooms was the suit of armor which was too heavy for the dog to knock down. Whatever else he had laying about was free game as far as he was concerned. Except maybe his bed. He was rather fond of the bedding. Looking at her and the dog and realizing what he'd done he nearly groaned. If Rex was going to be her companion she would hardly leave it in the Underworld while she was here. A possible annoyed frown crossed his face as he muttered, "This is like the twins all over again."

He'd had to go and make sure that he'd secured everything that one could get into. It had not been a fun time. Then, he'd had weapons and very not friendly items laying about his temples. There were also trying to keep the kids from interrupting his priests and the whole experience had been a nightmare. Eyeing the dog he didn't know which was worse. Godlings grew quickly unless they decided to be arbitrary and stay stuck in a teenaged angst mode. Personally, Ares believed it was a conspiracy to see how long until they drove him insane.

"At least they didn't try to destroy my bathroom..." Which Rex hadn't done, but he had knocked over some of the plants and such that one would put into the bath water.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 1st October 2018, 5:45 pm

Rex eventually settled under Persephone's hand, and the brief interruption was forgotten. She settled back down against the cushions, and Ares let go of her foot in favour of starting on the other. There was something cozy about being piled on the couch together, just enjoying one another's company. She wasn't sure she'd ever experienced anything like this, though she sincerely hoped this wouldn't be the last as well as the first. She and Ares were in a world of their own here, and she didn't have to think too hard to realize she vastly preferred it to anything beyond the walls of Ares' chambers. The rest of the world could crumble into dust for all she cared - she'd be safe and happy here.

"Thank goodness," she murmured drily, gently easing Rex off of her shoulder and down onto the cushion beside her. His eyes opened briefly, only to close again under the weight of his exhaustion after his thorough examination of Ares' things. She was grateful to have the little dog, but at the moment she was craving closeness with Ares. Tilting her hips, she rolled slightly to face him. Her head came to rest against his shoulder, though she was careful to keep her legs as immobile as possible so as not to disturb his massage.

"Surely one little puppy can't be as bad as two godlings?" She laughed, tucking her cheek into the curve where his collarbone met his shoulder. "He's just excitable. I'm sure he'll settle down once he gets to know my rooms a little."

She hoped, anyway. There was plenty of space for Rex to run around in her quarters and the fields beyond the palace, which would hopefully wear him down enough that he wouldn't feel the need to misbehave when he was indoors. Messes and a few pillow sacrifices were understandable for the first little while, but with any luck, he would grow out of his hyperactivity.

"Maybe you should borrow him sometime," she joked, recalling the way he'd 'borrowed' Konan so many times. "I'm sure adventuring with you would wear him down nicely."

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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 1st October 2018, 6:25 pm

Ares wasn't able to keep the scoffing noise from leaving his throat at her question comparing the twins to her new puppy. She hadn't seen them. Thankfully, at the time he'd had many minions and those eager to prove themselves to him and gain his blessing. It was nothing to him to task them to watch the twins only to come back and see how much his children had made the want to be warlord a mess. His excuse was if they couldn't handle the twins then the mortal had no place seeking his help or blessing. They hadn't gotten any better either as he recalled them deciding to 'test' their demigod sister when he'd allowed her the challenge of looking after his chariot for the day.

At her closer proximity settling her head where she did, his heart leapt and found a fond smile on his  face rather than his usual cynical one. Despite having her as close to him as one could without being fused together, Ares found that he disliked whenever there was any kind of distance between them. That she would initiate such a closeness with him, that still left him with awe towards her and fighting the negativity that wanted to keep telling him that it wouldn't last. He was quickly craving her touches and the warmth of her body being next to his.

At her mention of 'borrowing' her puppy he shook his head. Even with his ability to influence dogs, he was not going to touch the puppy or interact with it more than he had to. While he knew he'd be able to get it to calm and listen to him, he didn't want to interfere in the relationship that would form between Rex and his owner. Persephone had to be his alpha and listen to her. Which meant that he couldn't 'borrow' or interfere in any way shape or form in the the mutt's development.

"Maybe after you've tamed him," he compromised. Debating to explain in case she misunderstood or took it that he didn't want to see her until then, he sighed, and proceeded to do just that. It was strange to tell someone else why he did what he did as he usually didn't like to explain his actions to anyone.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 1st October 2018, 10:09 pm

She tilted her head so that she could look up at him from his shoulder as he explained why he wouldn't be borrowing Rex any time soon. It made sense - Rex needed to listen to her and obey, rather than getting caught between two people that he considered his masters. She was grateful that Ares took the time to explain his reasons to her, though she wouldn't have been upset if he'd merely turned her down. As much as she appreciated the insight into his thought process, he didn't owe her an explanation for every single thing he did.

"It's entirely up to you," she said, smiling warmly and nodding her understanding. As much as she liked the idea, she didn't want Ares to feel like he was obligated to babysit Rex - as though he'd left her with a burden rather than a gift. Nothing could be further from the truth, even if having a furry companion required some adjusting.

"Hopefully taming isn't required," she laughed, studying the tiny Doberman as he wriggled around on the cushion trying to get comfortable. He was high energy, but he seemed plenty intelligent. Training him would take patience and time, but she had plenty of both. The thought of having to tame a creature that was already so docile and obedient seemed like overkill to her.

"Taming one wild thing is enough for me." She grinned cheekily up at him. It was an overstatement - he'd only ever been entirely wild in her presence once, and it had come after she'd pushed him to the breaking point - but he'd certainly seemed that way during their first few encounters. She'd seen him as lawless and reckless, ignorant of the consequences of his actions, and the thought made her laugh. He was none of those things, and yet he still managed to project an air of indifference to almost everything. He was an excellent actor, and she could appreciate the control it took to disguise his intentions and emotions so well, but she would always prefer the man behind the mask to his public persona.




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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 1st October 2018, 11:07 pm

Arching his brow at her comment, he thought he'd already stated that he wasn't going to do it any time soon. While he'd told her the main reason he wouldn't interfere, he didn't tell her the real reason and he wasn't about to either. While he doubted there would be a 'later' or that she would once again extend the offer to him, for now he would humor her. As for the training bit, she would be surprised. However intelligent the dog was, it always came down to personality. Would it decide to give in to the woman's charms or would it out stubborn her to do whatever he wanted only listening when he wanted to. That was one of the things that had him in a quandary about which breed of dog to get her. Those tiny yappy things they generously called dogs were never even in consideration. If anything they would have been considered as prey for the puppy.

"Taming one wild thing is enough for me." That sentence however had his gaze immediately switch to her as he leaned his head back a little and saw the expression she gave him. An answering vulpine smile graced his face as his eyes gleamed. The hands that had been massaging her foot stopped one going up the leg attached to the foot in his lap, the other grasped her other leg and pulled her so that she was practically in his lap. Leaning in, his gaze went to her lips then back up to her eyes before he agreed wholeheartedly. Normally he would have told her that was where the fun was, but with her, it was more than the chase not that he would disagree about her taming him. He admitted, "You've got me addicted to you."
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 1st October 2018, 11:52 pm

He didn't seem overly enthused by her open-ended invitation, but it hardly mattered. Rex was still a puppy, and if she was going to train him, she'd have to start sooner than later. Until she knew he could mind his manners around other deities, she wouldn't be letting him out of her sight. Not unlike a certain war god, who was grinning wolfishly at her as he drew her almost into his lap.

His manners were questionable at times, at least according to the rest of the Olympian population, but she was more concerned about letting him out of her sight. A tiny, tiny part of her brain refused to accept that Ares had meant what he said when he'd called her gorgeous, or even when he'd nodded his agreement after she'd asked him outright if he loved her.

It just seems too good to be true!It argued, at least until the rest of her brain told it sternly to shush. Moments ago he'd replied that he didn't want to get rid of her, and now he was smiling at her in that particularly wicked way that made her knees feel like jelly. How much more proof did she need that he truly did desire her?

"Addicted?" She chuckled, breath hitching as he leaned in and looked from her eyes to her lips and back. "My, my. I didn't know I had such a potent effect."

It seemed she was addicted to him too. Everything gesture, every touch, made her crave him in a way that she'd never known before. She hadn't even known it was possible to desire another being's company the way she did his. Mortal romance novels - yes, she'd tried reading a few once upon a time - often likened it to the attraction between two magnets, but that didn't do it justice. Their attraction was more alike to the pull of the moon on the sea - undeniably powerful, and all-consuming.




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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 2nd October 2018, 1:03 am

She might not like the comparison, but she just as she was like a poison that ran through his veins, she also held the cure. He hummed agreement. "Very potent."

Claiming her lips, he made to show her exactly what she did to him and how addicted he was to her. That she had in a way tamed him. Even if she ultimately belonged to another, Ares knew that he was lost to her. He'd been hers before he'd even known or had come to be aware of the fact. How could she not know that she wasn't just a conquest to him? He wouldn't have voluntarily stepped foot in Tartarus for just anyone. When she wasn't around he went through withdrawals. Once she'd shown an answering interest back in him, he was lost. That was why he'd chanced kissing her down by the Styx before she'd slapped him for the first time.

Pulling her as close to him as he could, he knew that it would kill him when it was time to say goodbye. He'd be very reluctant to allow her to leave his quarters. Once she was over threshold he knew that he'd have to build his walls back up again. As much as she had teased, it was a real concern. Ares couldn't allow anyone to suspect that he'd come to love Persephone. It was bad enough that his children had been curious without proof. He'd only himself to blame for falling under their suspicion. They normally wouldn't have been able to pick up on his emotions but he'd been spending more time with them when he was trying to avoid Persephone. Since he'd begun to change and learn that he was more than fond of the goddess, his sons had been able to slightly influence and pick up on the emotions. Most forgot that the twins while able to help reduce an army to their horrors and fears, they were also the children of Aphrodite. They could also influence and pick up on a person's fear and dread of losing a loved one or someone close to them.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 2nd October 2018, 1:40 pm

Her laughter was cut off by his kiss, and she curled into him as he drew her closer.  She loved this - how effortless it was to be affectionate with him.  Even when she was wary of being too forward, it had been as natural as breathing once she'd learned that he didn't mind her touches.  She'd tried to love Hades, and she couldn't deny her infatuation with Adonis, but she'd never been comfortable enough to so much as lay her hands on them, let alone curl up in their laps or put her head on their shoulders.  Ares had been intimidating, but he'd made it clear that it pleased him when she reciprocated, which was a welcome reinforcement to her confidence against the onslaught of her doubts and anxieties.  

It was frankly baffling that the name for what she felt had taken so long to come to her.  It had been clear as day that she cared about him and trusted him, especially after she'd run to him for help with the sword.  Even when they'd been at odds, or were avoiding one another, he'd still been able to make her heart pang with just a glance.  She prided herself on knowing her nature, but it seemed that love had made her blind to her feelings.  It was a relief to understand finally why her chest ached so much when he was near, although she did worry that she'd never have realized it if he hadn't given her a push.  There was nothing to be done about it now, but it scared her that she'd nearly missed out on something so good.

You owe him for that, she reminded herself, trailing her fingers over the cotton that covered his shoulders.  He showed you something beautiful.

Beautiful wasn't a strong enough word, but it was the only one she had for it.  Warm, comforting, exciting, a little bit dangerous, unexpected, and very, very real - there wasn't a word that encompassed all of those qualities, though she wished there was.   Something this important deserved a name of its own.

"Hmm," she murmured, breaking away for a brief instant to adjust her skirts where they were bunched up between the backs of her thighs and the tops of his.  "We'll have to be careful then, won't we?  Wouldn't want you to overdose,"  she teased, leaning back in and then pausing just a hair short of resuming the kiss.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 2nd October 2018, 6:34 pm

When she pulled away Ares fought the need to instinctively close the distance between them. At her movements, he glanced down and his lip twitched upwards. He nearly gave in to the urge to hamper her movements, instead he decided to stroke the part of her legs that he was still holding onto. His gaze was drawn from her hands to her lips as she leaned back in then taunted him by stopping just short. It was already too late to keep him from overdosing on the goddess. She was already integrated into his system ever since their first stolen kiss. "Tease," he growled before recapturing her lips with his own and began to tease and encourage her to take over as his hands began to wander.

It was moments like this that Ares wondered if Morpheus was taking pity on him. It would be heartbreaking but par for the course if he would wake to find he'd put himself in that state out of boredom and had been dreaming. He wouldn't have been surprised if this situation was what his warped mind came up with in order to hide and/or deal with the truths he'd come to understand after he'd been rejected by Aphrodite. Their 'relationship' had been deteriorating for many years even if neither had been paying attention, wanted to acknowledge or accept it. It wouldn't be that far of a stretch that he would use the goddess he'd first been infatuated with as a means to soothe over the ache and confusion.

The warmth and softness of the body pressed against his assured him that he was quite awake. While he'd had detailed 'dreams' before, none could measure up to the real thing which reassured him a bit. She was real and had accepted his advances. He really had confessed to loving her and she hadn't spurned him or thought him a fool for doing so. What was more, she returned the same feelings. For these blissful moments he could believe that there would be no repercussions for their actions and that the world beyond his door was not waiting to tear them apart.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 2nd October 2018, 7:21 pm

She laughed as he scolded her for teasing, the growl in his voice sending a pleasant shiver up her back as he turned the tables and began to tease her right back. His hands stroked the bare skin of her legs before moving over the rest of her body, never lingering like she wished they would. She didn't mind in the slightest - she'd brought it on herself after all - but it indeed was the most delightful form of torture.

"Of course," she replied mischievously in the brief breaks between kisses, cupping his jaw in her hands to hold him still. "I can't make it too easy for you. Where would be the fun in that?"

She didn't think she'd ever get bored of his affections. There was something about him, be it his touch or merely the way he looked at her when he was feeling amorous, that thrilled her every time. She loved his fierceness as much as she loved how gentle he was with her, which surprised her. He'd frightened her once upon a time, but now his intensity read as passion rather than anger. Yes, he still got upset, but she trusted him not to lash out at her without a good reason.

Goodness knows he earned that trust, she thought, stroking his cheekbones with her thumbs as she pressed her lips to his once more. He'd never tricked her, coerced her, or forced her when it came to their romantic encounters. He might have meddled and manipulated, but he'd always been honest with her. Even when it had pained him to do so, he'd never deceived her.

"I didn't think you minded a challenge," she teased, looking up at him from under her lashes. He was more than equal to any challenge she could give him, and they both knew it, but she could still needle him about it. It practically came with the territory - a near-contractual obligation to tease and needle one another just because they could.

"Shows what I know." She smirked, nipping at his lower lip as her hands trailed down to the nape of his neck to stroke the shorter fine hairs there.


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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 2nd October 2018, 8:09 pm

Ares nearly growled at her again in his impatience when she stopped him. She really didn't play fair, which he admitted amused and turned him on as much as it frustrated him at times.

"I can't make it too easy for you. Where would be the fun in that?"

She thought this was easy? Everything leading up them finally admitting their attraction to each other, them getting together, and then learning it was more than desire? None of it had been easy. Oh, but hadn't that been his previous thought pattern? That if it was uncomplicated and boring than it wasn't worth the effort?

Ares had to admit that he liked the fact that she felt confident and bold enough now to tease him back, to initiate touches, and to be comfortable with him. When she said she didn't think he'd mind the challenge he gave her a predatory grin.Oh, he didn't mind the challenge. If it was worth it. And Persephone, she was more than worth it.

"Shows what I know."

Making a noise of approval as she began to nip at his lip, he ran a hand to her hip and the other to her neck. He didn't want her to pull away again. In his single-minded pursuit, he'd once again forgotten about the dog who'd been content to lay curled up on the cushions. That was Rex had been until Ares had leaned a bit too forward and the deities went over causing the dog to jump to the floor as not to be squashed. Persephone shot the god a look of annoyance which caused him to laugh and return it was a mock innocent expression. It wasn't like he'd intended for that to happen. And really, it was her fault for being so tantalizing that he would forget everything but her.

Turning his head he looked at the dog and commanded, "Stay!"

So much for not getting himself involved with the mutt until he'd bonded more firmly with Persephone. At least it hadn't growled at him or gotten jealous when he'd kissed and touched Persephone and vice versa. That would have been more than aggravating. Glancing back at the goddess he gave her a 'what?' type of expression before he stroked her neck, gaze taking in how she looked, his features softening. "Do you know how enchanting your are?"
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 2nd October 2018, 9:36 pm

The last thing she registered was the grin he gave her as his hand cupped the back of her head, preventing her from pulling away again. Such was their game - she teased until he got frustrated and took over control - until he shifted forward and overbalanced them. Rex yelped just before her head hit the cushions, and her eyes widened in alarm and surprise. Ares' expression proclaimed total innocence in the face of the near-squishing of her pet, though he did have the presence of mind to command Rex to stay.

Rex's haunches dropped, and then he walked his front paws out in front of him. He seemed content enough - tongue lolling, his near-miss already forgotten - and Persephone arched an eyebrow as she turned her attention back to Ares. He'd replaced his innocent expression with a question that spoke one slightly indignant word - 'what?'

She was about to speak, to tease him about being distracted and looking at where he was going, only for him to silence her before a single word had left her tongue.

"Do you know how enchanting you are?"

That was the second question he'd asked her along that vein. The first time he'd asked if she knew how gorgeous he thought she was, and she hadn't had a clue. He still managed to surprise her the second time around. He stroked the side of her throat, touch light enough to make her shiver a tiny bit and her eyes widen. She drank in his expression, sighing when she noticed the warmth in his eyes.

There was no doubting it or denying it. If Persephone could see the affection in Ares' eyes, it was the real deal. She let out a soft huff as the realization sank in, twining her arms around him to keep him close.

"I'll have to take your word for it. I was a little distracted by you," Persephone murmured, watching the way the light in the room made his blue eyes almost read as a stormy gray and wondering if the expression 'eyes you could drown in' was based in truth. That was a death she'd have chosen happily.

She smiled softly, her fingers curling into the back of his shirt. "Lucky me."




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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 2nd October 2018, 10:24 pm

"Then I'm doing my job right, aren't I, Your Majesty?" Ares smirked with amusement dancing in his eyes. If he could distract her as much as she ensnared him, then all was well. It wouldn't be nearly as fun if they weren't even in that regard. He didn't tell her that he knew that he was the lucky one. Dipping his head down he lightly kissed her lips before he decided to tease a trail along her jaw and neck. He groaned in frustration when there was an impatient knocking coming from his door. Dropping his head on Persephone's chest he mumbled, "What was that you said about if someone came knocking?"

Climbing off the goddess, he frowned as he bent to pick up the dog and give it to her. He gestured with his head towards the curtained section that led to his bedchambers. Allowing his frustration, annoyance, and anger to surface, he went to find out what new irritant was at his door. Opening it, he scowled when he saw who it was. "Couldn't you have come by later?"

"Why?" Eros asked cheerily. "Did I interrupt something?"

Crossing his arms, Ares arched a brow silently demanding what he wanted. He'd known he'd have to come talk to Eros sooner or later, he would have preferred later. The boy was too much like his mother though, which was the problem. Even after all these centuries, the boy was tied to his mother's apron strings as the saying went. If his son could pick up on the fact he loved Persephone, so would Aphrodite. She'd know a lot quicker if the boy went and ran off to tell his mother about it.

A bow was shoved into his arms. Looking down he saw that it was that damned cursed thing that had started this whole day off to a very strange but wonderful conclusion. Holding up his hands in surrender, Eros stated, "I'm not going to be caught with that."

"Whatever. You've delivered her little toy. Now if there was nothing else," he drawled dangerously. "Go away."

Eros huffed but did as his father bid him. Ares watched him go with narrowed eyes. Glancing down at the bow in his hands he scowled. He really didn't want to have to go see Artemis. Shutting his door, he went and tossed the bow on the couch uncaring if it fell which it didn't. Staring at it he wondered if he'd be able to threaten it enough so she'd give up his sword without deciding to shoot him with the blasted item again. Since he knew she'd be thrilled to let others know she'd been able to get his sword away from him, but didn't like it known when her own possession went walk about.

"Talk about a mood killer," he groused.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 2nd October 2018, 10:52 pm

The timing was uncanny. One minute, Persephone was on her back with Ares bending to kiss his way down her throat, the next he was shepherding her through the curtain that divided his sitting area from his bedchamber with Rex clutched in her arms. A bit stunned by the sudden change, she perched on the edge of the bed and rubbed Rex's ears as she strained to hear what was going on in the next room.

It was hard not to recognize Eros' drawl, asking if he was interrupting something. She could hear the broad grin on his face, and she couldn't help but roll her eyes. He was his father's son when it came to humour.

It seemed Eros had come to hand off Artemis' bow to his father, which was both a relief and a concern. He hadn't gone straight to the moon goddess himself, which was good, but it also meant that Artemis was still missing her bow and would likely come looking for it. A small knot of worry caught under her ribs, though Ares' grumbling about mood killers made her laugh enough to ease it.

Between the two of them, they'd find a way to sort it out. They'd managed to retrieve a magical sword from Tartarus - how bad could it be to return something?

"Better him than someone else," she replied ruefully, bending to set Rex down on the floor before turning to face Ares.

"As for the mood, I'm sure we'll muddle through." That much was a certainty. She doubted even a near-miss could prevent them from finding their place again. As far as she could tell, neither of them was quite finished soothing that year-old craving for closeness.

She smiled, watching Rex trot back out into the sitting area as she leaned back on her hands. Unsure of whether or not she needed to leave and let him go about his business, she looked up at him.

"Do you need to leave right away?" She asked, trying to suppress her reluctance to part with him. She couldn't stand in his way if he wanted to rid himself of the bow as soon as possible - not if she wanted to avoid being found out - but that didn't mean she had to like it.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Niemand on 2nd October 2018, 11:19 pm

Ares made a sound between agreement and a scoff. It was both better and worse that it was Eros who had come knocking. Although he had to arch a brow when she stated, "As for the mood, I'm sure we'll muddle through."

Looking at her on his bed like that reminded him of when she'd come to 'distract' him when she stole the compass. He was sure that they would both be more than willing to pick up right where they'd left off before the rude interruption. However, as frustrating as it was, it was a reminder. They were not really alone despite how much they would wish otherwise. Searching her gaze, he was tempted to give into a thought he'd harbored for centuries. It had only grown as things and powers shifted in the world. His plans hadn't included Persephone before though. Now, while they had this fragile truce and understanding, he didn't want to put any pressure on it and break it.

Depending on how things went, maybe, just maybe he'd ask her after everything was settled with the Titans and the prophecy. She was good at surprising him so she might again. Even if his gut churned at the though of her saying no or talking him out of it.

"Do you need to leave right away?"

Looking away from her he frowned. "I should. I still need to get my sword..." Hadn't he been the one that had gloated that he'd been able to get not one but two gods' items of power away from Olympus due to their negligence? He didn't want to leave her though he needed to. Giving into the urge uncaring if he sounded like a petulant child (hadn't she accused him of that too before?), he muttered, "I hate my family."

Dropping on the bed heavily he fell backwards to scowl at the ceiling. Reaching out, he clasped Persephone's hand not wanting her to leave just yet even if he was being childish. He gently yanked her hand to have her fall beside him. "I want to have at least five more minutes?" he pleaded. The 'please' went unsaid.
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

Post by Holly on 3rd October 2018, 12:33 am

Just like that, the little bubble of peace that had surrounded them had ruptured.  Neither Persephone nor Ares was at fault, but the outside world was beginning to batter down the door - in this case almost literally.    It wasn't surprising - it was going to happen sooner or later - but Persephone found herself wishing it hadn't happened yet.  The thought of going back to her quarters was distinctly unappealing, even with Rex to keep her company.  She desperately wanted to stay, but fate had decreed otherwise.  

Ares needed his sword back, and someone needed to give Artemis her bow back before she came looking for it and found something dangerous.  If she stayed away from the Underworld much longer, someone was sure to remark on her absence and result in a similar chain of events to Artemis tracking down her bow - a very much undesirable outcome.   Duty called, which wouldn't have bothered her once upon a time, but now it meant leaving behind the only thing that seemed to matter.   As he grumbled about how much he disliked his family, she laughed, not bothering to hide the bitter edge.  

The more time she spent with him, the more she shared his view of the other deities.  They were petty and cruel, and she marvelled that she hadn't noticed it sooner.  It was her mother's meddling that had saddled her with a husband she didn't love, and her father was just as guilty.  Nothing mattered but their wellbeing and pride; she was just a pawn to get them what they wanted.  Now she had something that was good for her, and she had to hide it.  

It frustrated her to no end.  She'd waited so long for something like this, but she couldn't have it - at least not in the fullest sense of the word.  

Someday you'll figure out a way, she promised herself, allowing Ares to pull her down beside him.  She tilted her wrist and laced her fingers through his as she pillowed her head on her other arm.  He asked for at least five more minutes, and she smiled.

"Take as many as you like," she murmured, eyes half-lidded as she studied him.  He looked as reluctant as she felt, and somehow that fact helped to soothe the ache that was building in her chest.  Neither one of them wanted to let go of the other, which meant that they'd inevitably find their way back to one another.  

"I'm not going anywhere until I absolutely have to."
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Re: Calm Before the Storm

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