Author: JinXavier
Story Title: The Americanization of Ares
Characters: Ares/f (Jessica Albritton)
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Uber fiction. More adventures with Ares in the twentieth century. Takes place just after the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode 'Yes Virginia, There Is a Hercules.' Sequel to The Brass Jar Parts I and II.
This rating is for explicit m/f sex.

The characters of Hercules, Strife and Ares, God of War, belong to Universal Studios and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement is intended.

This story contains scenes of graphic consensual sex between a man and a woman. If you are under 18, or this is illegal where you live, please read no further.

This story is a sequel to The Brass Jar Parts I and II. It should be noted that this story takes place just after the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode 'Yes Virginia, There Is a Hercules'.

You can find more stories by JinXavier at Hercules After Dark

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The Americanization of Ares
by JinXavier

Jessica Albritton tapped her foot impatiently as she waited in her seat for the signal to disembark.  She had tried her best to keep her anger in check on the long flight from New York to Los Angeles, but now that the plane had landed, she was spoiling for a fight.  At long last, the passengers were allowed to deplane, but Jess' mood was not improved by the sight of a familiar face waiting for her at the baggage claim area.

"Hey, Jess," Strife called when he spotted her.  For some reason the godling looked a bit uneasy.  He was shifting nervously from foot to foot.

"What are YOU doing here?" Jess asked in irritation.  It hadn't taken very long for Strife to get on her nerves.  She tolerated him only because Ares seemed rather fond of him in an odd way.

"Um, well, you see," the little godling stuttered.  "Uncle Ares asked me to come pick you up."

"I see," Jess mused.  "And how did 'Uncle Ares' know I was coming home today?  I wasn't supposed to be back until Friday."  Strife opened his mouth to answer, but Jess held up her hand to stop him.  "Don't answer that.  It was a stupid question."

The suitcases began moving past them, and Jess moved closer to the conveyor so she could reach her bag when it came around.  "I didn't need you to pick me up," she informed the godling.  "My car's in the lot."

"I know, I know," Strife said, "But Unc wanted me here anyway.  To make sure you get home safe and all.  So I just popped in, you know?"  He laughed weakly.

"Oh, really?" Jess retorted sarcastically.  She knew the way Ares' mind worked.  She and the god were connected in some way she hadn't quite figured out, and he'd surely be able to feel her anger.  He probably thought she'd take it out on Strife and get it out of her system before she got home.  Well, they'd just have to see about that, now wouldn't they?

Jess grabbed her bag, then handed it over to Strife to carry, suppressing a smirk when the unexpected weight almost pulled him to the ground.  It amused her to no end that the godling constantly seemed to forget his powers.

She marched out of the terminal toward the parking lot, not even looking back to see if Strife was following her.  Some of her anger melted away when she caught sight of her new car.  She rarely asked Ares for anything, but still the god was amazingly generous with her.  He surprised her on a regular basis with the most perfect gifts.  Ever since she'd started driving, she'd secretly longed for a Jaguar.  Sometime during their time together, Ares must have plucked that idea out of her head, because shortly after their arrival in California, he'd presented her with the keys to a candy apple red XK8 convertible!

Strife was right at her heels as she reached the car, and Jess opened the trunk so he could stow the suitcase.  She couldn't help but smile at the license plate.  'GOW #1'.  How subtle.  Jess shook her head.  No one would believe her if she explained it anyway!

She and Strife got in the car, and Jess pulled out of the lot.  She hit the freeway, driving much faster than normal.  Ares had taken to twentieth century travel with a vengeance.  He adored going for a drive, and he loved to fly.  She was even teaching him how to drive.  But Strife!  The poor guy HATED cars.  And Jess was in a bad enough mood to torment him a little.  She sped up, weaving in and out of traffic dangerously, sneaking glimpses at the godling.  If anything, he was even paler than usual.  There was a faint hint of green to his normal pastiness.  She shook her head ruefully.  She supposed it hadn't occurred to him that he could just transport himself away should they have a wreck.

"So why'd you come home early?" Strife asked through clenched teeth.

Jess shot the godling an incredulous look.  "Well, gee, Strife," she replied sarcastically.  "I guess I was a little worried about you two.  What with the earthquake and all."

"Earthquake?" Strife asked faintly.  "Was there an earthquake?"  He tried to smile, but the effort seemed somewhat pained.

"You didn't notice?" Jess asked with fake sweetness.  "But I thought that's why you came to meet me at the airport.  To make sure I could get home safely."

"Oh, yeah," Strife said with obvious relief.  "THAT earthquake.  Yeah, Unc was afraid the roads might be messed up or something."

"I'll bet," Jess retorted.  "It's an amazing coincidence, isn't it."

"Coincidence?" Strife echoed uneasily.

"Yeah.  That Ares just happened to send me off to New York by myself, and there just happens to be an earthquake while I'm gone."

"Uhm, yeah," the godling agreed.  "That IS amazing."

"And what did you two do while I was gone?" Jess asked innocently.

Strife shrugged.  "Oh, nothing much.  Watched TV mostly."

"Really?" Jess said skeptically.  "Didn't happen to run into any old friends while I was gone, did you?"

"Old . . . old friends?" Strife asked faintly.  "Um, no?"

Jess snorted her disbelief, but then she decided to lay off the little godling.  It really wasn't his fault anyway.  Oh, he'd play whatever 'game' Ares wanted him to, but the God of War was the brains of the outfit.  She planned to save her anger for the instigator, not the stooge.

They arrived at the hotel at last.  One of the valets took the car, and the doorman held the door open for her with a big smile.  Jess returned the smile a bit distractedly.  Her mind was on the upcoming confrontation.  She marched to the elevator and punched the up button.  The doors opened, and she went inside, then hit the button for the top floor.  She grinned and waved cheerily at Strife as the doors came together before the godling could reach the elevator.

Quietly, Jess let herself into the suite that she and Ares called home.  For once, the television wasn't on.  It was absolutely still inside, a rather unusual state in and of itself.  She went into the master bedroom, noting absently that Strife must have popped in and dropped off her suitcase, then popped right back out.  Smart boy.  He obviously didn't want to be around when the shit hit the fan.

Ares wasn't in the bedroom, but faint noises behind the bathroom door revealed that SOMEONE was about.  She was debating whether to storm in there, when the door opened to reveal the God of War himself.

Even though she was furious at him, Jess couldn't stop her body's instinctive response.  She'd been with him for over a month now, but his presence still hit her like a physical blow.  He was dressed in blue jeans as she was, but where she had on a loose button-down shirt, he wore a white T-shirt so tight it looked painted on.  Every muscle in his magnificent chest and flat abdomen was outlined in stark relief, and the short sleeves left his massive arms gloriously bare.  Her body was urging her to forget her anger for other, more entertaining pursuits, but she quelled those urges for the moment.  She'd have her say first, THEN she'd attack him!

"Hey," he said softly as he leaned casually against the door frame.  "You're home early."

Jess didn't quite trust her voice yet, so she said nothing.  She simply nodded.

Ares' lips curved into a seductive smile full of promise.  "I thought you might be tired after that long flight, so I ran you a bath."  The smile widened.  "I'll wash your back if you'll wash mine."  A spark seemed to light deep down inside his dark eyes at the prospect.

Jess felt her anger trying to melt away, but she grabbed on to it and hung on for all she was worth.  It wouldn't do for him to think he'd pulled one over on her.  "I don't want a bath, Ares," she said.  "I want the truth."

"Truth?" he asked innocently.

"About the earthquake," she explained patiently.

The god cocked his head and returned her gaze quizzically.

"Ares," she said in exasperation.  "Don't play innocent with me.  I knew something was up when you insisted I go to New York by myself. You NEVER turn down an opportunity to fly.  And then, while I'm gone, there just HAPPENS to be an earthquake here?  Give me a break.  I'm not stupid you know."

Ares gazed at her stoically for a moment, then let out a long sigh.  "I sent you away for your own good, Jess.  I wanted you to be safe."

"So you admit it," she flared.  "You caused it."

The god nodded slowly.

"And was there a point?"

Ares shrugged.

Jess crossed her arms and glared at her lover.  "I'm waiting."

The god's eyes searched her face for a moment, then he held up his hands in surrender.  "Okay.  Okay.  I thought if there was an earthquake, Hercules would be too busy rescuing people to do his stupid show."

Jess stared at him incredulously.  "You caused an earthquake to try to keep his show from being made?"

Ares nodded again.

"Jesus, Ares," she said as she ran her fingers through her dark curls in agitation.  "You let all those people get hurt just to get at your brother."

"No one got hurt," Ares growled.  "That do-gooder managed to save EVERYONE.  AND do his stupid show."

Jess shook her head.  "I just don't believe you.  And you know what?  I'm not even all that mad about you pulling this stunt.  What I AM mad about is you running me off while you did it.  Do you not want me around any more, Ares?"  Suddenly Jess realized that the main reason she was so furious was that deep down under her anger was an even more frantic fear.  Had he tired of her already?

"Jessie," Ares said softly, coming forward at last to stand in front of her.  "I sent you away for your safety.  Nothing more."

"I don't believe you," she retorted.

Ares sighed irritably.  "And because I knew you'd be upset."

"You're damned right I'm upset," she snapped.  "Innocent people could have been killed."

Ares snorted lightly.  "I knew he'd save them.  He couldn't stop himself."

"Still," Jess replied.  "You could have told me."

"And you would have tried to stop me," Ares pointed out.  He pulled her close to him, so close she could feel the heat that always radiated from his body.  He cupped her face in his hands and gazed deeply into her gray eyes.

"Jessica," he said.  "I can feel your fear, but you have no reason to worry.  I told you when we first met that I wasn't like Otus.  I need you.  You're a part of me now, and I want you with me.  But you knew who I was when you joined me.  You didn't come into this blind."

Jess sighed harshly.  "I know that," she admitted.  "But what does being the God of War have to do with causing an earthquake for such an asinine reason?"

Ares smiled and shrugged.  "What does it matter?  No one was killed, so you can stop worrying about it."

He kissed her lightly on the forehead, that simple touch lighting a fire deep down inside her, but Jess wasn't finished yet.  "Did you see him?" she asked quietly.

Ares released her, his features darkening with anger.  "Oh, yeah.  I saw him..  He didn't even seem surprised to see me."  He began to pace around the room.  "I was THIS close.  He was missing, and the people who work on his show couldn't come up with one decent storyline.  What a bunch of morons.  It's amazing they've managed to keep the show going as long as they have.  They're all idiots."  Ares paused.  "Although one of the writers had REAL potential."  He stared off into space for a moment, then shook his head.  "They were at each other's throats.  The show was as good as canceled.  Then HE showed up."

"What'd he say?"  Jess asked, interested despite herself.

Ares paused, then replied, "He said 'Have my people call your people.  We'll do lunch.'"

Jess couldn't help herself; she burst out laughing.  "Oh, that's priceless," she said.  "How Hollywood of him."

Ares glared at her, obviously seeing no humor in the situation.

"It serves you right," she said.  "I wish I'd been there to see it."

"There is no way in Tartarus I'm letting you anywhere near him," Ares snarled.

Jess tossed back her raven black curls and began to unpack her suitcase.  "Give me a break," she said.  "Sorbo does nothing for me."  She paused, then looked up at the god with a mischievous grin.  "Kevin Smith on the other hand . . . "

Ares stalked over and pulled her into his arms.  "You're not getting anywhere near him either," he growled menacingly, then bent his head to capture her lips with his own.

Jess felt the last bit of her anger fade away as the god kissed her as only he could, and when he pulled away at last, she was quite out of breath.

"How about that bath now?" he asked, his voice full of desire.

"Won't the water be cold?" Jess asked.

Ares smiled slowly.  "Not a problem.  I AM a god," he reminded her, then pulled her into the bathroom.

With a wave of his arm, steam began to rise from the water in the sunken tub..  He slowly began to undo the buttons on Jess' shirt, taking his time, drawing out the suspense.  He removed her shirt, then bent his head to touch the crook of her neck with his lips.  Jess wrapped her arms around his neck and plunged her fingers into the thick weight of his dark curls.  His mouth made its way back up to her lips, and he kissed her again as his fingers traced over the prominent bones of her ribs, then moved up to brush the underside of her breasts.

Jess reached down and tugged his shirt out of his jeans, then ran her hands up under the soft cotton and over the firm muscles of his chest.  She toyed with the dark fuzz there, then rubbed a finger lightly across his nipples.  His mouth became more demanding as he removed her bra, then cupped each breast in his large, gentle hands.

Jess arched into his touch as he lightly teased her nipples.  She pulled her mouth away from his, breathing heavily, and pulled his shirt over his head, revealing his upper body in all its glory.  "You're beautiful," she breathed, eliciting a smile from the god.

"So are you," he whispered, then bent to take one nipple between his full, sensuous lips.

Heat seared through her body.  No matter how many times they made love, Ares always made it feel like it was the first.  Her need was growing to astronomical proportions, and she began to fumble with the button on his jeans, suddenly frantic to have him inside her.

Ares pulled away, his own breath coming as rapidly as hers.  "We mustn't forget the bath," he said softly.

"I don't want a bath," Jess said.  "I want you."

Ares grinned.  "Patience, little one."  With one quick motion, he divested her of her jeans and panties, then skimmed his own jeans off.  Before she could protest, he had swooped her up in his arms and dropped her into the tub, then slid in behind her.

"Ares," she protested, but he shushed her and picked up a washcloth.

"Just relax," he said as he soaped up the cloth.

Jess leaned back against him as he began to move the washcloth over her body..  He took his time, soaping every inch of her, lingering just enough on her breasts to cause the ache deep inside her to intensify to almost painful levels.  When his hand dipped between her legs, Jess couldn't hold back a moan..  She leaned her head back and gazed up into his dark eyes, pleading with him silently, but he simply smiled and began to wash the soap away.  Once she was completely clean, he leaned down to kiss her, but Jess scooted away with a grin.  Two could play this game.

"Your turn," she announced, taking the washcloth from him.  He raised an eyebrow, but he didn't stop her from reaching for the soap.  Jess faced the god and began to wash his body, taking her time as she ran the cloth over the muscles in his chest and arms.  She gave his manhood a wide berth, teasing him just a bit.  Once he was clean everywhere else, she at last began to wash his shaft, smiling in anticipation as it grew from her ministrations.  She continued to rub up and down, stimulating him, until at last he gave an impatient growl.  He picked her up and pulled her onto his lap, then plunged his fingers into her hair and pulled her lips to his.

Ares kissed her roughly, thrusting his tongue deep into her mouth, and Jess returned his kiss with growing passion as his hand slid underneath her and one finger brushed against the tiny bud of her womanhood.  He began to rub her gently there until she thought she would explode.  The combination of his fingers moving over that most sensitive of spots and the lapping of the warm water was enough to send her over the edge.  Just as her body began to convulse inside, Ares slid two fingers inside her, and Jess couldn't stop from crying out as her orgasm tore through her.

Before the orgasm had subsided, Ares shifted her over so that his manhood was poised to enter her.  With one quick thrust, he plunged deep inside her.  Jess whispered his name as he began to push up inside her, harder and faster than humanly possible.  She wrapped her arms around his great bulk, holding on for dear life as he pounded into her roughly.  His mouth found hers again, and when his hand slipped back down between their joined bodies, Jess felt another orgasm building up deep inside her.  She unconsciously dug her fingernails into his back as a white hot heat seemed to explode from the very center of her being, enveloping her, blinding her as her body began to contract around the god's shaft.

With a deep groan, Ares ground into her one last time.  His godseed pulsed inside her, filling her deep inside with its heat, and without warning, Jess burst into tears.

Ares pulled back, startled.  "What's wrong?" he asked in concern.

Jess shook her head.  "Nothing," she said through her tears.

"Then why are you crying?" the god asked.  He pulled himself from her, then cradled her on his lap, stroking her hair gently.  "Jessie," he admonished her softly.  "Don't cry."

"I'm sorry," she whispered.  "I don't know what's wrong with me."

Ares kissed her gently.  "You're still upset with me for sending you away."

Jess hesitated, then nodded miserably.  "I guess it scared me.  I was afraid you didn't want me anymore."

Ares chuckled deeply.  "How can you say that after what we just did?"  He tilted her chin up so that she was forced to look into his deep brown eyes.  "By the gods," he whispered.  "No one has ever made me feel like you do.  I make love to you, and I immediately want you again."  He shook his head in amazement.  "I've never wanted a mortal like this.  Never."

"I love you," Jess whispered as she rested her cheek against his chest.  "I don't want to lose you."

"You won't," the god assured her as he kissed her on the top of her head.  "You're mine, Jessie.  Forever."

He hugged her tightly, and Jess did feel a little better, but deep down inside her was still some doubt.  He had said forever, but that could never be.  She was a mortal, after all, doomed to grow old and die.  He was a god, destined to live forever.  How would he feel about her in later years when she grew older and he remained young.  Jess sighed inwardly, but she forced herself to push those fears away.  Worrying about it certainly wasn't going to solve anything.  She might as well enjoy things now.  She snuggled up against the god, reveling in the heat of his body.

"Ares?" she said after a bit.

"Hmm?" he murmured.

"Are we going to stay in L. A.?"

The god shrugged.  "I suppose.  I like it here."

Jess smiled slightly.  "And Sorbo's here."

"There is that," Ares agreed.  There was a small pause, then he added, "Aren't you happy here?  I thought you liked L. A."

"I do," Jess admitted, "But I'm tired of living in this hotel."

Ares nodded.  "You know, I am too.  I think it's time we got a place of our own.  Something private and secluded.  What do you think?"

Jess looked up at him with a smile.  "I think that's a great idea.  Can we start looking tomorrow?"

Ares matched her smile with one of his own.  "Anything for you, my love," he said softly, then bent to kiss her once again.


The next few months were busy ones as they checked out various houses around the Los Angeles area and finally settled on a beautiful mansion safely secluded behind brick walls and an electronic gate.  Jess spent many happy hours searching for the perfect furnishings for the place.  She was in her element again, locating beautiful treasures to display.

Ares was as excited as she about decorating their new home, but he just couldn't seem to understand why Jess didn't want swords and shields hanging on every wall.  He also showed a disturbing fondness for the color red.  Jess finally convinced him to take one room to decorate as he wanted and leave the rest of the house for her.  Ares agreed, and the result looked exactly like what one would expect for a temple to the God of War.  Jess did her best to stay out of that room, although both Ares and Strife seemed to enjoy spending time there.

Against Jess' wishes, the god had insisted on buying the largest television he could find.  Jess tried her best to keep him too busy to watch, but he always managed to sneak away when Hercules was on.  Jess couldn't understand why he tortured himself so.  He was always in a rage after he watched an episode, and his anger was even worse when Ares was a featured character.  The powers that be of the current season weren't treating the God of War very well.

One afternoon shortly after they'd moved into their new home, Jess came back from a buying expedition to find her lover's nephew sprawled on their den floor with his eyes glued to the massive screen of the television.  One thing Ares and Strife had in common was a love for the tube.  And beer.  They both loved to kick back, watch television, and knock back a couple of six-packs..  In thousands of years, man really hadn't changed all that much!

"Where's your uncle?" Jess asked as she threw her purse in a chair and kicked off her shoes.  She glanced around the room with satisfaction.  It was so nice to come back to a real house instead of a hotel suite.

Strife waved vaguely over his shoulder without looking her way.  "I think he's in the kitchen," he replied.

Jess nodded and began to leave, when the godling spoke again.  "Uh, you might wanna be careful.  Ares was on Hercules again.  Iolaus and Autolycus turned Discord into a chicken.  He's not happy."  Strife laughed softly.  "I thought it was kind of funny myself."

Jess sighed.  "God, it's like they're TRYING to piss him off."  She ran her fingers through her hair, gazing absently at the little godling.   He looked even more sickly than usual in the flickering light from the television.  "Strife," she asked.  "Have you ever heard of a device called a tanning bed?"

"Huh?" the godling asked, finally looking up at her in confusion.

Jess grinned.  "Forget it," she said, then headed toward the kitchen.

Just outside the doorway, Jess paused when she heard a horrible grinding noise.  With resigned dread, she peered inside the kitchen to see what was making the racket.  All she saw, however, was Ares bending over the sink.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

The God of War jumped, then whirled around to face her with his right arm tucked up behind his back.  Jess had to bite back a laugh at the expression on his face.  Sometimes he looked all the world like a naughty little boy caught doing something he knew he wasn't supposed to.

"What is this?" he asked, pointing into the sink.

Jess walked over and glanced down to see what he was talking about.  "Oh, that's the garbage disposal.  You put your garbage in, and there's a blade down there that chops it up fine so it'll go down the drain."  She glanced back up at the god.  "Ares," she admonished.  "Please tell me you didn't stick your hand in there."

Ares shook his head defensively.  "I didn't.  I'm not THAT stupid."

Jess couldn't help but grin.  "What DID you stick in there, Ares?"

Sheepishly, the god brought his hand out from behind his back and held up a fork for her perusal.  The tines were bent in every conceivable direction.

Jess sighed.  "Well, thank God it was just a fork.  Would you please ASK before you experiment from now on?" she said patiently.

"You weren't here," he pointed out grumpily.

Jess came over and put her arms around him.  "Strife told me about the show.  Why do you torture yourself by watching the stupid thing?"

Ares pulled away and began to pace.  "I can't help it.  I have to see what he's doing.  And I wouldn't mind it so much if they'd just leave ME alone.  But they keep making me out to be such a . . ." he trailed off, unable to come up with a suitable description.

"A wuss?" Jess supplied.

Ares' brow furrowed.  "A what?"

"Never mind.  I know what you mean."

"And it's irritating how they massacre the truth.  I mean, really.  Jason never married Hercules' mother.  Callisto wasn't a warrior.  She was one of Dad's little nymphs that Mom turned into a bear. And Strife is definitely NOT dead."  The god crossed his arms and glared at her.  "You'd think my brother would at least try to get them to stick to the truth."

Jess couldn't help but laugh.  "Ares, I seriously doubt they know who he really is.  He can't just say, 'Excuse me, but that's not the way it happened.'"

Ares shrugged.  "He doesn't have to make me out to be such a . . . wuss . . .. either," he growled.

"He's an actor, Ares," Jess pointed out.  "He probably doesn't have much control over what they write."

"Still, it's not right."

"I tell you what," Jess said.  "How 'bout we get out of here and go do something to take your mind off all this.  Let's go shopping."

The god's face lit up.  "Can we go to Walmart?" he asked, excitement plain in his voice.

Jess burst out laughing.  "Jesus, Ares.  You live in one of the richest cities in the world.  You have all the wealth anyone could ever want.  We can go anywhere, but you want to go to Walmart."

"I like it," Ares said defensively.

"So do I," another voice announced from the doorway as Strife appeared.  "I wanna go too."

Jess laughed.  "Looks like I'm outvoted.  Okay, guys.  Let's hit good old Wally World."


Ares and Strife immediately scattered in different directions when the three of them hit the front door of the store.  Jess shook her head ruefully.  Ares was probably headed toward the sporting goods.  She wondered what it meant that the god was so interested in sharp objects.  He wanted every knife he saw.  She couldn't wait to take him to a gun and knife show.  He'd have a blast.

Jess picked up a few things she needed, then wandered over toward the sporting goods.  She searched every aisle, but no Ares.  At last she went off to look for Strife, and she finally found the godling playing with the electronic games.  One thing she hadn't bought them was a Nintendo, and she had no intention of doing so.  The two gods wasted enough time in front of the television as it was.

"Where's Ares?" she asked.

Strife shrugged.  "Last time I saw him he was looking at the toys.  He found some doll looking things.  What do you call them?  The little ones?"

Jess' brow furrowed.  "What?  Action figures?"

Strife nodded.

"What on earth?" she mused, then wandered over to the toy section.  She finally located Ares standing in front of a display.  The god had a murderous expression on his face, and Jess saw with a sinking heart that he'd discovered the Hercules action figures.

He glanced up and saw her, then pointed to the plastic figures.  "Just look at this," he griped.  "He's even got DOLLS of him.  This is disgusting."  The god picked up one of the packages and examined the doll through the plastic.  "It doesn't even look like him."

"It's just a toy, Ares," Jess said with a sigh.  She really did feel sorry for him.  First the shows.  Now this.

Ares' brow creased as a thought struck him.  "Does he get money for this?" he asked.

Jess shrugged. "I guess.  I really don't know who gets the merchandising rights on the toys."

"Merchandising rights," Ares echoed, and Jess noted with dismay the considering expression that crossed the god's face.

"Ares," she began in a warning tone, but before she could continue, he had knelt down and pulled off another figure.

"What's this?" he asked confused, holding up the creature for her perusal.  The package said 'Ares,' but the figure was a hulking brute of a beast with horns and fur and skulls all over it.

Jess was confused for a moment, but then she remembered.  "When Hercules first aired, they never showed Ares.  They showed stuff like a talking pool of blood or a face in the moon.  That's one of his early incarnations I think."

Ares gazed at the figure closely.  "Well, it's a bit much, but it does kind of look like something I might have done when I was younger."  He looked up at her with a boyish grin.  "We all do it, but Dad's the worst.  He'll do anything to seduce a woman.  You wouldn't BELIEVE some of the stuff he's changed into."  The god shook his head in reluctant admiration, then tapped the figure lightly.  "Merchandising rights, huh?" he said softly.  "We'll just see about that."  He stood up and grabbed a Hercules doll to go with his Ares.  "I'll just take this one too."  He caught Jess' skeptical look, then added, a bit defensively, "It'll be fun to torture.  I can pretend, can't I?"  He took Jess' arm.  "Let's go find Strife and get out of here.  I have something I need to do."

"What?" Jess asked, warning bells going off in her head.

"Nothing important," Ares mused, pulling her toward the exit.  "Just a phone call.  I need to take care of a little . . .  B. S."

The End

Continue on to the sequel The God of War Takes a Holiday

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