"Cherry. That's what you are, Iolaus."
Ares holds a bunch in his hand, dark red and glossy as a dozen hearts. They smell alive, earthy and sweet, but with a secret muskiness that reminds Iolaus of purple summer nights and his own semen. His body reacts with swelling and heat, and Iolaus shifts on the raw black silk to hide this, but is limited by more silk at his wrists. He swears it's just the memory, and not the god standing beside the bed, who up close has skin colored like stolen gold coin stretched tight over a statue's hard curves.
Maybe the Olympians come from stone.
Now some of Ares' hardness is for him, huge as a sword, rooted in dangerous black fur but gold, too. Watching, Iolaus is shaky-breathed, and tilts his head to stare at the silver-ringed hand right before he starts to wonder if Ares would smell like the cherries living on his palm. "Let me go," Iolaus says, because he has to try at least so Herc will know he didn't want this, not in his head or his heart where it matters, even if his stupid body has other ideas.
"Always pretending." Ares speaks almost affectionately, and under the black beard his ripe red mouth slips into a smile, like Iolaus has confirmed something. "But your cock's not hard for nothing."
Suddenly Ares is on the bed with him, knees tight against Iolaus' hips, and Iolaus forces his mouth shut when it opens on instinct. It's the cherries, he tells himself; they're making him hungry, his mouth water. "It's not for you. I hate you." If only his cock wouldn't strain up, trying to mate with Ares'. He needs to focus, that's all, bring his body back in line, stop the warm ripples spreading under his skin. Ares isn't a stone, he's not a pond, and this isn't a sure thing, no matter how right it feels.
"Hate me all you want. That only makes it better, builds up the tension so you'll burst. Then you can tell Hercules how good it was when you came for his brother."
Hearing his friend's name reminds Iolaus that this isn't just some dirty fantasy but real, and he struggles again. Only Ares, it seems, really is a stone, or at least made of it, strong and immovable. Iolaus knows the kids' game--paper, scissors, rock--and settles for slinging an insult. "You're sick."
"You think it's sick that I want to fuck you? I guess you would after spending time with my brother. Only Hercules would ignore your hot little ass night after night." He picks up a single cherry between two fingers. "You know what we do with cherries, don't you? I'm going to pop it. Eat it. Roll it around on my tongue. I'm going to burst you."
Iolaus opens his mouth again but the words stall, and he moans a little instead.
"You like that. I knew you would. He's got you all tight, ignoring you for so long when you're panting after him. I'll fix that." The tip of Ares' tongue glides over the cherry. "These are special," he says. "Demeter grew them, and they have no pits. Just pure flesh." He puts the cherry between his lips and rubs one finger over the rounded end.
"Don't." Not very powerful, but the fruit disappears into Ares' mouth, and Iolaus lets out his breath. Then the cherry reappears for a second on Ares' pink tongue, shiny and wet, before he plucks it up, brings it to Iolaus' mouth, and slides it across his lips.
At more struggling, Ares drops the other cherries on Iolaus' chest and holds his head in one big hand, hot against his skull. "Don't fight me, Iolaus. I'm not hurting you."
Part of him wishes Ares would hurt him, even though Ares is so big and could do real damage, kill him with one of those huge fists. Neat, uncomplicated pain, not this mess that has him licking the cherry's taut skin. He'd like to bite it, suck all the juice into his dry throat, but the cherry vanishes when he tries, and it's Ares who takes the first bite, splits it in two with teeth so white and sharp that Iolaus wonders if Zeus took a wolf's form to do Hera the night she conceived him.
There's a red gush from the pierced fruit, and a drop of juice falls on Iolaus' cheek. Ares scoops it up with his thumb and sucks it off, then smears the raw cherry on Iolaus' lips. More instinct, and Iolaus is lapping it up while Ares watches, saying, "You're so hungry for it" in that dark, thundery voice.
"It doesn't mean anything," Iolaus tells him when Ares tosses the dead pulp to the floor.
"It will," Ares says, and presses the palm of his hand flat on Iolaus' chest, crushing the cherries there.
A collective sigh as they die in a flow of sweet blood, and Ares' expression shifts, his heavy lids falling low over eyes that this close show green mixed with the black, his full lips going soft and open. The room's cherry heat has loosened his stern war-god hair, and a black curl strays onto his forehead, and...
Shit. Shit. Shit. Because Iolaus sees, really see, like he's suddenly Argus with his hundred eyes, how perfectly, wolfishly beautiful Ares is. No one ever mentions this in all the hymns and prayers: it's always about blood, vengeance and pain. Did no one ever really look? Iolaus does, again, can't stop now, buzzing with his discovery. He loves Hercules, always has, but there's nothing of Herc's blond, blue-eyed sweetness here, and that's good, because maybe someplace between his heart and his spleen he's pissed that his friend ignores the unsubtle hints Iolaus perennially lobs, saving his semi-divine attention for pretty disinterested girls.
Ares is different. Ares, who runs a finger through the pulpy mass over Iolaus' heart, and pushes it into Iolaus' mouth with a commanding, "Suck it," while those half-green eyes fix him to the bed even tighter than the silk ties. Ares, who blue-sparked into being after Iolaus' fight with Herc over Lilith and took him to the Halls of War for some cherry-flavored conquest.
Iolaus breaks the old adage and bites the cherried finger that's been fucking his mouth and dulling his memory. Ares is also a violent killing machine, a divine battering ram who lives to torture innocent people like Herc, and Iolaus could spit--he's that mad at being duped by those muscles, that mouth, those eyes. At the trick of being wanted. "Let me go, Ares. I don't want to be here." Emphasis on "I," a nice touch of defiance, which he means for a second, his body straining like a drawn bow against the ties.
Then Ares bends and starts licking him clean, long swirls of that pink animal tongue across Iolaus' chest, over his ribs, back to his nipples, one hand tangled in Iolaus' hair, the other stroking his hip. It's not that he hasn't been licked before. There was that other kid from the gang of thieves he used to hang with. His own saliva-slick fingers while he jerked off. That old brown dog who lived one field over from his parents' cottage. Not exactly a match for a god who has licked thousands, who knows just where to tickle, where to soothe. Soon Iolaus is writhing, twisting, moaning, although Ares refuses to tongue anywhere but his torso.
"Sounds like you want to be here," Ares says at last, raising his head, his mouth and chin slick and juicy.
"Does it matter?" Iolaus is proud and afraid that he sounds defiant. Being licked by the god of war is the most complicated experience of his life, and everything he says, thinks or feels is two-sided. Somehow along the way he's become a slutty Janus. Still, he wants an answer, and looks from Ares' mouth to his eyes, waiting. In the pause, the question seems huge, heavier than Sisyphus' rock, the kind recorded in poems as the last words of the guy Ares turned into a cockroach.
When Ares moves, Iolaus cringes and snaps his eyes shut, waiting for the extra legs and wings to sprout. Instead, his thighs are pushed open, and a gloriously tight, wet heat cages his cock. He arches, shouts, collapses, does it again when he sees the cause: Ares sucking him, those ripe lips stretched around the head of his cock, those eyes like a forest swallowing him deep as Ares' mouth.
"Fuck." It's all Iolaus can manage, and it's not enough. He's not even sure what it is, a curse or a command.
Ares ignores him, just spreads Iolaus' legs wider and tongues his way from the leaking head of his cock to his balls, sucking each one, before bending him like a tumbler, knees against his chest. When Ares' tongue actually enters him, Iolaus shouts again, quivering like...
Only he can't think of anything to compare this to. He can't think at all, not with Ares' finger replacing his mouth, which is busy again on the head of Iolaus' cock. How does the god of war know how to do this? To do this so that Iolaus verges on spontaneous combustion...
"Aphrodite," Iolaus mutters in delirious epiphany.
It's a mistake. Ares is a jealous god, everyone knows that, and mentioning his wife's name while he's tonguing your cock is apparently smart as the cockroach that Iolaus will soon be. The thing is, he'd take forever as a bug if only Ares wouldn't stop sucking and stroking him. Too late, because Ares draws back, and Iolaus considers apologizing, which is almost funny, given how he got here in the first place. Desperation makes men do stupid things, he realizes, and keeps his legs open and bent, hoping to tempt Ares back.
Doesn't happen. Ares straightens him by slipping his hand between Iolaus' chest and knees, then straddles him, higher this time, across his chest. "You're with me," he snaps, and feeds Iolaus his cock.
There's force, but not the expected amount, and Iolaus makes a tentative sweep with his tongue. Surprise. Not only does this big god-cock tastes good, even better than the cherries, but Ares actually moans, which Iolaus, hating himself for the thought, decides is the sexiest sound in the world. He begins to lick with real enthusiasm, hoping for more moans, and gets another when he teases the spot just under the crown. Flick after flick, and Ares' cock begins to leak, creamy wet juice that's got to be full of diluted ambrosia because Iolaus goes crazy when it hits his tongue, sucking hard, rocking his hips to find some contact, any contact, for his aching cock, turned on and inside out by the huge hot flesh in his mouth.
Iolaus wishes for free hands, then regrets it, much as he'd love to touch Ares' cock, to stroke the balls heavy on his cheeks. This way, he stays loyal to Hercules. But he must slow his crazed attack because Ares pulls away with a last swipe of Iolaus' lips, and settles down beside him.
"You don't owe my brother anything. He's turned you down all those times, but I won't. I know everything about you, Iolaus, and I still want to fuck you." A cherry materializes between Ares' fingers, and he puts it in his mouth, sucking it, lewd and noisy.
"You don't understand," Iolaus might say, hypnotized, picturing just what Ares wants him to picture. He angles himself toward Ares--bait, he knows, hooked by that tongue--and watches.
With an impatient sound, Ares reaches behind Iolaus' head, cupping it, and leans forward. Only their lips touch, and Iolaus twists for more contact. When it doesn't come, he gives in--how many battles has he lost?--and concentrates on the soft pressure, the slightly rougher touch of Ares' beard.
When the cherry slips into his mouth, hot from Ares', followed by his tongue, which is even hotter, Iolaus shivers. They take turns trying to burst the cherry with their tongues, so nothing will be between them, and Ares wins, of course. He lets Iolaus chew and swallow, then comes at him again, only this time Iolaus can feel Ares' hard cock against his thigh while they kiss, while Ares licks away the cherry juice on his tongue.
They kiss for so long that Iolaus whimpers like a bitch and Ares growls like the alpha male he is. Iolaus has never known anything this bestial, the way Ares spoils his mouth with that tongue, where every searing touch bolts to his cock, and it's not impossible that he'll come just from this.
"Yes," Iolaus moans, limp against the sticky sheets as Ares moves back down the bed. Then, "No," when another cherry appears. He needs something else now, big and hard.
Ares slaps his thigh, and the stinging contact leaves him shuddering. "You're mine, Iolaus. I can do what I want. I will do what I want." And Ares folds him again, knees tucked tight, and suddenly there's a cherry being eased into him.
Iolaus tenses, and there's a flood of juice, which Ares licks up, sucking the pulp from him. Oh god. Then it starts again: another cherry, another wet burst, more hot god-tongue up his ass. Soon he's dripping and so open that Ares actually fits the cherry inside him, sucking Iolaus' cock as a reward til the cherry pops out, and Iolaus is achingly empty.
"You're ready." Ares kneels, so smeared with cherry it looks like blood. "Tell me you're ready."
This is the moment when Iolaus is supposed to play the hero. Hercules would. Hercules would tell Ares to take a slow ferry to Tartarus. On the other hand, Hercules would never have let it get this far, so far that his cock beats like a second heart.
Pressure at his asshole again, and his cock jumps, only it's no cherry this time, but the big wet head of Ares' cock.
"Tell me you're hungry for it, Iolaus."
Ares is right: he's so empty, hollow, nothing. He needs this. Oh god, he needs this more than he needed Herc every one of those purple summer nights put together. Because Ares does know him, knows he's no gold-hearted poster-boy for morality, and gets off on it. "Yes," Iolaus says. But it's not enough, and Ares is about to leave, and this is really a matter of life and death, and he is tied up, after all, so, "Yes. I'm hungry for it. For you. For..."
...the cock that's sliding, stretching, taking, filling him.
"Breathe," Ares says. "Eyes open."
Air hurtles into Iolaus' lungs as he obeys the first command. The second has him locking onto that perfect face, slick with sweat and juice, right over his, those black-green eyes that see what no one else can. He groans as Ares grips his hips, tilts his body, and slides all the way in.
His eyes barely open, almost devastated by this, Iolaus still catches the look on Ares' face, which mixes triumph and lust, and knows he's been conquered. What's worse is that Ares refuses to move, stays dead still, his cock so deep that Iolaus expects to feel it under his tongue. The feeling's so intense it borders pain, like Ares' cock has turned elemental inside him, fire now, and Iolaus can't take it, has to move, has to thrust up, has to fuck it or he'll die. Screw his self-respect, screw Herc, screw everything.
"Fuck me," Iolaus says, and finally hits commanding. "Fuck me. Fuck me. Fuck me."
It's a sign, they both know it, not even a white flag but full capitulation: he's joined the other side now, a traitor, but who gives a shit because Ares is doing it, doing him, ramming that huge hot cock into him, over and over, and the pain or the pleasure or whatever the fuck it is doesn't just grow but bursts, just like Ares wanted, cherry-red flashes, but he wants more, wants Ares' tongue in his mouth, wants Ares' hair under his hands, his ass...
Ares stops. Just stops. "Say it," he whispers.
"Untie me." And the silk is gone, along with the remaining shards of Iolaus' self-respect. He feels free now, in a dozen different ways, and wraps his arms around Ares, one hand sliding into the soft black curls, the other reaching back for Ares' ass, which he pushes hard in a final confessional act.
If he'd saved any guilt, the sound Ares makes crushes it, a battle-cry crossed with a groan, and then they go at it, fucking hard, kissing, biting, stroking, thrusting, licking, faster and faster, no barriers, one body, his, Ares', all Ares...
Every muscle in Iolaus' body shrinks, then expands, and he breaks, pieces of him flying through the air, green-blackness everywhere, a shout, his, Ares' name, Ares, in his mouth, ass, throat, and,
"Come for me, you hungry little slut," in his ear, a hot pulse inside him as Ares comes with a roar, then...
He melts, drowns on those drenched sheets, under that big, burning body, perfectly full.
"You okay, Iolaus?" Hercules watches Iolaus walks into the dorm. "You've been gone all day. Look, I said I was sorry."
"No problem," Iolaus says, and drops onto the bunk beside Herc's. Ares left him in the woods beside the Academy, and the short walk back sapped energy he didn't have.
A creak as Hercules swings his feet to the floor, puts his elbows on his knees, chin in his hands, and stares. "You look wrecked. What have you been doing?"
It's time for confession, to admit everything, not just that he fucked Ares, but that he loves Herc. To clean the slate, clear the air, put the past to rest. Give up all the cliches, the lies, everything.
Iolaus opens his mouth, the same mouth used by Ares' cock and tongue, and says, "Eating cherries."