Author: JinXavier
Story Title: The Brass Jar: Part One
Characters: Ares & f (Dr. Jessica Albritton)
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Uber fiction. Dr. Albritton steals an ancient brass Jar, ignorant of its impressive contents. Mary Sue.
This rating is for explicit m/f sex.

The character of Ares, God of War, belongs 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.

I must apologize for bastardizing one of the Greek Myths, but I decided that if "The Powers That Be" can do so, then why can't I?  I also apologize to diehard Xena fans for totally ignoring "The Xena Scrolls".  It should be noted that this story takes place BEFORE "Yes Virginia, There Is a Hercules".

JinXavier's stories are also posted at Hercules After Dark.

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The Brass Jar: Part One
By JinXavier


Otus and Ephialtes were two sons of the god Poseidon.  They knew that because of their paternity, they could not be killed by gods or men, so they decided to lay siege to Olympus.  Ephialtes desired to rape Hera, and Otus desired Artemis.  During the siege, they captured Ares and locked him in a brass jar for thirteen months.  In a bid for Ares' freedom, Artemis offered to lay with Otus.  This made Ephialtes jealous, and the two brothers began to argue.  Artemis changed herself into a white doe and sprang between the two gods.  They seized their spears and threw them at the doe, which immediately vanished.  The spears did not stop though, and each one struck home, killing both brothers.   Artemis then freed Ares from the jar.


Hanson stood at the front of the truck, watching as a huge brute of a man began loading boxes into the back.  Trust the big boss to find himself a personal ape.  The guy even LOOKED like an ape with his overhanging forehead and that mop of shaggy brown hair.  Hanson chomped on a cigar, scratching absently at his balding pate as the big man's companion walked over, a clipboard in her hands.

"Just sign here, sir," the young woman said respectfully, shoving the clipboard into his hands.

"Just a minute," Hanson cautioned, scanning the list carefully, but everything looked to be in order.  He glanced back up at the woman, his gaze never quite making it up above her chest.  "You're new," he said with a grin, admiring the sight before him.  What a body she had.  Those baggy coveralls couldn't quite hide her curves or the way her full breasts strained against the zipper.  At last he looked at her face, but he couldn't see it very well; the baseball cap she wore cast shadows which masked her features.  Hanson could have cared less.  With that figure, who cared about the face?

"Just filling in for Anatole, sir," the woman said in a clipped, business-like tone.

"Oh yeah," Hanson replied agreeably.  "Heard he got shot.  It's a tough old world out there."  He eyed the woman's curves speculatively.  "Why don't you come in my office and get comfortable while your friend there loads the crates."  Hanson grinned around the cigar, hoping she'd pick up on the meaning behind his words.  He could already see himself peeling her out of those damned clothes.

"Sorry, sir," she said apologetically.  "I have to help load. Mr. Otus expects it."

The name of her employer snapped the man from his lust-filled haze.  He should have known Otus would take a personal interest in this one.  Oh well, he sure as hell wasn't going to piss the big man off by messing around with one of his girls.   He signed the manifest and handed it back to her, his eyes crawling over her once again.  Damn.  What a waste on that weirdo Otus.

"Thank you, sir," she said smartly, then turned on her heel and marched to the back of the truck.  Hanson watched in amazement as she began to help load the truck.  HE'D have trouble with some of the boxes she was able to pick up with ease.  She was strong!  He'd bet she was an animal in bed, too.  He shook his head, trying to scatter those unwanted thoughts.  He valued his hide too much; he might as well just get out of here before he did something stupid.  "Make sure they get it all," he yelled to his second-in-command, then stomped away.

The two movers finished loading the truck quickly.  The huge man shut the back doors of the truck, then climbed into the passenger seat.  The woman took a seat behind the wheel, and the truck moved out of the warehouse.  They drove for a few moments in total silence, the woman's gaze flicking back and forth between the rear-view mirror and the road in front of her.  The man kept his eyes fixed on the side-view mirror.  Finally, he grinned.

"There's no one following us," he announced.

"Then let's get the hell out of here, Bruno" the woman said with a grin, flooring the accelerator, speeding away from the warehouse as fast as she could.


"Damn, this one's heavy," Bruno griped as he unloaded the last crate.  The muscles in his arm bulged as he wrestled the crate to the floor in front of his boss.

"Stop griping, and go get the crowbar."  The woman from the truck pulled off her baseball cap, unleashing a mass of wavy black curls that fell softly to her mid back.  Gray eyes framed by thick black lashes eyed the crate speculatively from behind gold rimmed spectacles.  Startlingly white, perfectly straight teeth nibbled on full lips as she considered her latest acquisitions.

"Okay," Bruno announced.  "This is the last of it.  I've got them all open but that big mother."

Dr. Jessica Albritton came to stand beside her friend.  She rummaged in the packing material of one of the smaller crates, finally pulling out a bronze medallion.  She studied it carefully, then snorted.  "This isn't even Greek.  Otus must be getting desperate."  Even so, she carefully replaced the medallion back in its packing.  It was still a valuable relic.  The museum would be happy to have such a fine new piece.

"Okay, Indiana, let me go find that crowbar," Bruno teased.

"Stop calling me that," Jess griped.  "I'm no Indiana Jones."

Bruno just laughed.  "Naw, we're just thieves."

"We're not thieves," Jess countered.  "We're liberators.  We take things FROM thieves.  Remember?"

Bruno grinned as he began to pry open the last crate.  "Whatever you say, Robin Hood.  Just call me Little John."  His massive arms strained with exertion as he pried the top of the crate off.  "Damn," he swore, reaching inside and feeling around.  "This thing is huge.  I'm going to have to pry the sides off, too."  He set to work, removing each side of the wooden crate, revealing a large object, covered in packing material.  Jess quickly removed the coarse material from around the object, then caught her breath in wonder.

"Oh man, is that gold?" the big man asked in awe.

"No," Jess said distractedly.  "It's brass."

She ran a hand across the painted surface of her new find, gently sweeping off the last bits of packing material which still clung there.

"What is it?  A vase?"

"It's a jar," Jess explained patiently.  "A brass jar."

"A jar???" he asked incredulously.  "I could fit inside that thing.  Who'd make a jar that big?  And what's that writing say?"

Jess bent down, studying the words.  "Ares," she read.

"Huh?"  Bruno scratched his head in puzzlement.  "Like the zodiac sign?"

"Jesus, Bruno, how can you work in a museum and not know anything about ancient history?"

The big man grinned.  "I'm a thief, not a historian."

"Ares was the Greek God of War," Jess explained.  "Look at the detail here.  That must be him.  Isn't he beautiful?"

Bruno squatted down beside her, squinting at the picture painted on the jar.  "He looks like a girl. Look at that hair."

Jess swatted her friend.  "Be respectful.  He was one of the twelve Olympians."

"Woohoo.  I'm impressed," Bruno said sarcastically.   His simian brow raised in amusement.  "Pretty built there wasn't he."

Jess nodded, unconsciously licking her lips.  "Yeah, he was.  Look at those muscles."  She idly traced the muscles in the figure's arm, then across his chest.  The god wore no clothes, but around his neck was a cord from which dangled a pendant, some symbol she didn't recognize, the top part of it shaped rather like a bull's horns.

"Pretty well endowed too," Bruno said with a sharp laugh.  "Whoever painted this thing sure had a vivid imagination."

Jess' eyes widened as her gaze followed the dark hair on the figure's chest down over his flat belly and below.  "Wow," she breathed.  "THAT is impressive."

Bruno burst out laughing.  "I don't believe it.  The ice princess awakens."

"Kiss my ass, Bruno," Jess snarled.  "Just because I don't date much doesn't make me an ice princess."

"Don't date much?  Try don't date at all."

"I just have high standards, that's all."

"You're TOO picky if you ask me," Bruno griped.  "You're too pretty and too nice to be alone so much."

Jess shrugged, not bothering to answer.  She and her friend had this argument on a regular basis.  She never listened to him, and he never listened to her.  She stood up, her gaze never leaving the painting.  "You can go on, Bruno.  I'll finish up here and get this stuff cataloged for the museum."

"You sure?" Bruno asked.  "I don't mind staying."

Jess shook her head.  "Nope.  Go home to the wife and kiddies."

The big man shook his head in disbelief.  "You work too much.  You ought to get out and meet you some nice man and get married and have about ten kids."

Jess snorted.  "Yeah, right."

"Or at least find you someone to have wild sex with," he teased.

Startled, Jess burst out laughing.  "Why you dirty old man.  I'm going to tell Sarah on you.  Now, get out of here so I can get some work done."

Bruno opened his mouth to say more but shut it again slowly.  It didn't do any good anyway.  She never listened to him.  "Okay," he said at last.  "I'm gone."

"Tell Sarah and the kids hi for me."

"Sure thing, boss.  Night."  The big man grabbed his cowboy hat and perched it jauntily on his head, gave her a sly wink, then headed out the door.

Jess smiled after him, but her gaze soon returned to the jar, tracing every line of the painting.  She knew the Greeks idolized their gods and portrayed them larger than life, but this was incredible.  She had never seen a more perfect body.  And she didn't care what Bruno said, she LIKED his hair.  It was as black and curly as hers and fell softly around his shoulders, and he had a beard and mustache that gave him a decidedly wicked air.  And that BODY.  Oh, man.  She could already hear the arguments she would have with the more prudish board members about displaying this jar.  The detail was truly amazing.  She swallowed hard.  Just looking at him was almost enough to make her consider tossing out her self-imposed vow to stay the hell away from men.

Not that she'd had much experience with men.  The few she'd slept with had been incredibly selfish.  They'd taken their pleasure with only a minimum of foreplay, then immediately rolled off and gone to sleep when they were finished, not even caring that she hadn't had her own orgasm.  Jess sighed.  She supposed someday she'd meet someone who actually cared, but until then, she was happy with her job.

And it was a good job.  Harry Weems, the curator of the museum where she worked, was a fabulous man with a high sense of adventure that made him turn a blind eye to where she located some of their best finds.  And Jess delighted in taking things away from private collectors like that ass Otus who bought up everything he could find (and stole what he couldn't buy), simply to lock it away from everyone except himself.  And for some reason, he had been desperate for this particular cargo.  Probably that beautiful jar, she thought with a grin.  It was already HER favorite piece.

Well, drooling over that picture wasn't getting her work done.  She began moving around the open crates, pulling out artifacts, cataloging them as she went.  Every time she passed the jar, however, she paused to look at it again.  Maybe instead of displaying it for the general public (it would definitely shock some of those old-maid schoolteachers who brought their classes to the museum), she'd ask Harry to let her keep it in her office.  It was large; she'd have to move some stuff around, but she wanted it where she could see it.  If nothing else, she wanted a photo of that painting, preferably blown up to life-size!

She walked over closer, unable to stay away from the thing for very long.  It was just such an unusual shape, and it WAS rather big.  Bruno was right.  He probably could fit inside it.  She ran her fingers across the lid which sealed the jar.  How strange.  The symbol from the god's pendant had been stamped into the lid somehow.  She idly traced the symbol.  She'd never seen anything like it before, not in Greek mythology anyway.  She wondered what it meant.

She shook her head in mild disgust.  What was she doing wasting time like this?  Obsessing over this thing wasn't getting her work done.  She'd better get back at it, or she would NEVER get home tonight.

Jess walked over to another crate and pulled out a square wooden box.  She examined it closely.  It was very crudely made and had once had writing on top, but the letters had long since faded away.  It was really out of place amongst all these fine things.  She started to put it down on the worktable, when she felt something on the bottom of the box shift under her fingers.  Curious, she held the box up to the light, studying it.  How odd.  It looked like there was a panel on the bottom that moved.  Slowly, carefully, she slid the panel out, then caught her breath in amazement.  Inside the bottom of the box was an opening, and inside that opening was a pewter pendant exactly like the one the god wore around his neck in the painting.

Jess pulled out the pendant, running her fingers over the smooth pewter surface.  What the hell?  She glanced back at the jar.  This thing looked like it would be a perfect fit in the indentation in the lid.  Moved by some power she couldn't explain, Jess walked over to the jar.  Yes, they did look the same.   Almost of its own volition, her hand came up.  Slowly, as if in a dream, Jess placed the pendant into the indention.

She stared down at the jar, holding her breath in anticipation for some strange reason.  Suddenly, the lid began to turn.  Jess' eyes widened in shock.  Slowly, methodically, the thing began to unscrew itself.  She backed away, her gaze fastened on the lid in fascination.  It came free and flew across the room, clattering in the corner, and fear griped her as red smoke began to pour from the jar.

What the hell?????????   A hand slid out of the jar and grabbed the rim.  A rather large hand.  Jess backed up some more, panic welling up inside her, but unfortunately she wasn't watching where she was going.  She tripped and landed on her tail, hard enough to make her teeth click together.  The smoke had gotten so thick in the room that she could hardly see a thing.  She peered through the haze intently, trying to locate the source of a strange, soft creaking sound.

Suddenly, out of the smoke, stepped a black leather boot.  Her gaze wandered up from the boot to black leather pants, stretched tightly over muscular legs.  And higher yet to an impressive silver belt buckle fashioned in the shape of a ram.  Was that a SWORD hanging from the belt???  And higher yet to a black leather vest, split low in the front and decorated with strange silver markings around the chest opening and collar.  Her gaze wanted to linger on the muscular chest with its light furring of black hair, but she dragged it away to look up into the face.  My God, what a beautiful man.  Long dark curls framed a strong, tanned face.  A beard and mustache added an almost dangerous aura, and the dark brown eyes gazed down at her haughtily.  Good Lord.  It was HIM.  The man in the painting.  ARES!  But that was impossible!

"Who are you?" he thundered down at her.

Jess gaped up at him, too stunned to think of anything remotely intelligent to say.  A voice inside her was screaming to run, but she was too petrified to move.

He knelt down in front of her, his gaze traveling over her form slowly.  He seemed to relax somewhat, and a slow, seductive smile crossed his lips.  "You're no god," he said at last.  "How did you free me?"

"You . . . you're . . . you can't be!" she finally managed to stammer.

The man seemed amused.  "I can't be what?"

"Ares," she breathed.

His smile widened further, taking on a decidedly feral cast.  His eyes seemed to sparkle with suppressed mirth.  "But I am," he announced.  "I am Ares, God of War, and as you have freed me, I am at your service."  With that pronouncement, he took her hand in his and brought it to his lips, kissing it softly.

"That's impossible," she whispered, even though the feel of his lips on her hand had sent a jolt of electricity through her entire body.  "You're not real.  You're a myth."

He dropped her hand and gently ran a finger down her arm, causing the short hairs there to stand up on end.  "I'm real," he said softly, seductively.

"Sure, you're real," she agreed.  "But you can't be a god.  They don't exist.  This is some kind of trick."

Ares seemed very amused at her disbelief for some reason.  "And what would convince you?" he asked pleasantly.

"Uh, I don't know."  Her forehead furrowed in thought, but for some reason, her brain didn't seem to want to work.  Then a thought struck her.  "I know.  Disappear and reappear."

Ares nodded slowly.  "Very well."  He stood, then winked out of existence in a sparkle of tiny red lights.

Jess gaped at the spot so recently vacated.  Suddenly, in that same sparkle of red lights, he reappeared.

"Satisfied now?"

"You . . . you . . . God, you really ARE Ares.  I can't believe it."

He bent down beside her again, gazing deeply into her eyes.  "Believe me," he said in a deep, rich voice that sent shivers down her spine.   His brow furrowed, and he touched her glasses.  "What are THOSE?" he asked in mild confusion.

"What?  Oh, my glasses.  They help me see."

He slid the glasses from her face.  "They're terrible," he complained.  "You shouldn't cover up those beautiful eyes.  They're like the sky on a stormy day."  He smiled softly at her.  "By the gods, you are a lovely little thing."  He reached forward and stroked her cheek.  "Now tell me, who are you?"

"Jess," she said faintly, unable to pull her gaze away from his beautiful brown eyes.  She felt like she was drowning in their dark depths.  "Jessica Albritton."

"Then tell me, Jessica Albritton, how you managed to free me."

"There was a pendant.  I put it in the top of the jar."

Ares rose and strode back over to the jar.  His eyebrow arched at the painting on the front, but he said nothing about it.  "Where is the top?" he demanded.

"I don't know," she admitted. "It flew off somewhere."

Ares looked around the room and spotted the lid.  He walked over and bent down, snagging the pendant from the indention.  He seemed pleased with his find.  He held it up to his chest, and suddenly a cord appeared from nowhere, winding up through a hole in the pendant and then around his neck.  "That's better," he murmured, then turned back to her.  "Thank you for releasing me," he said sincerely.  "But now I must be on my way."

"Wait!" Jess called, struggling to her feet and coming to stand in front of him.  He couldn't just LEAVE!

He cocked his head, gazing down at her curiously.

"You can't leave," she pleaded.  "There's so much I want to know."

"Like what?" he asked, his hand moving up to touch her hair.

God, how could such large hands be SO gentle?  And why did he keep touching her?  It was making it so hard to think.  "Um, like what were you doing in that jar?"

Whoops.  THAT was not a good question to ask.  His hand dropped, and a fierce look of anger crossed his face.   "Those two brats of Poseidon's, Otus and Ephialtes.  They put me in that THING."  His voice rose with each word until he was practically yelling.  "When I find them I will tear them limb from limb and scatter their body parts all over this world!"

Jess had to fight to keep from putting her hands over her ears he had gotten so loud, but then his words penetrated her fevered brain.  "Otus?!?!"

Ares whirled around, a frightening look of fury on his face.  Jess backed away instinctively, right into her worktable.  The God of War stormed across the room and came to stand in front of her, glaring down at her.  He was so close she could feel the heat of him, could smell the tang of his leather and his strong male scent.  He caught her by the shoulders roughly, and without thinking, she put her hands up against his chest to hold him at bay.  His heart was beating rapidly under her fingers, almost as fast as her own.

"What of him?" he growled.  "Do you know him?"

Jess nodded.   "I . . .I guess.  I mean, the guy I stole, um . . . well . . . um, this stuff was his.  These artifacts, I mean."  She cursed herself inwardly.  She was stuttering like an idiot.  "You mean, weird old Otus is a GOD?"

"You will take me to him," Ares commanded.  "Now!"

Jess shook her head quickly.  "There's no way.  He lives in a mansion down south of town, and it's heavily guarded.  It's impossible to get inside."

Ares smiled savagely. "You forget who you're talking to.  I am Ares, God of War.  I go where I will."

"Wait," Jess said, trying to ignore the contrast of the softness of his skin and the hardness of his muscles under the palms of her hands.  "I'm confused.  I remember the myth now, about those two putting you in the jar, but it says that Artemis released you after thirteen months."

"That bitch," Ares snarled, moving away from her and stalking about the room.  "She's always hated me.  She probably helped those two idiots imprison me.  There's no way they could have done it on their own.  They left me in that thing for CENTURIES.  They will ALL pay."

"Then you know how long you've been in there?" she asked.  "That it's the twentieth century now?"

"Yes, yes," Ares said impatiently, pacing around the room.  "I wasn't asleep the WHOLE time.  I was aware of the passing years and the world changing around me."

"Look," Jess said, licking her lips unconsciously as she watched him stalk around the room.  God, those leather pants fit him snugly.  She could clearly see the well-defined muscles in his legs and ass.  And when he turned and came back toward her, her gaze wandered down below his waist, and she blushed hotly.  Fortunately, he didn't seem to notice.  "Let's go back to my house," she said.  "We can talk, and then you can go hunt down Otus.  I mean, really, it's been over two thousand years.  What's another day?"

His eyes focused on her once again.  His anger seemed to fade, and he began to smile again as he took in the flush on her face and the way her breathing had quickened.  "Very well," he agreed.  "Come."  He held out a hand.

Jess started to take it, then pulled away.  "No, no. Not THAT way.  I'll drive us there."


"You know, in a car?  An automobile?"  He gazed at her blankly, and she rubbed her temples in agitation.  "You'll see.  I hope we can get past the security guards to the garage.  They certainly don't need to see you.  That sword will scare them to death.  We'll have to sneak down the back way."

Before she could utter another word, however, Ares stepped forward and grabbed her arm.  A faint wave of dizziness passed over her, and she shut her eyes instinctively.  When she reopened them, she was standing beside her car in the downstairs garage of the museum.

"Why'd you DO that?" she squawked, fighting off the dizziness which still clung to her.

He simply gazed at her impassively.  "I am a god.  I do not 'sneak'."

"Geesh," Jess groaned.  "Just get in the car."  She ran to the passenger side and unlocked the door, opening it for him.  "You'll have to take off that sword to get in there," she said.

His eyes narrowed for a moment, but then he seemed to see the wisdom of her statement.  He unstrapped the sword and climbed inside the car.

"Okay, let's just strap you in," she said bending over him to get the seat belt.

He reached up and took a lock of her hair in his hand, bringing it to his nose and inhaling its fragrance.  "Marvelous," he breathed.  "You smell divine."

She jerked back as his fingers brushed her face again.  God, it was like a fire burnt her every time he touched her.  "Don't do that," she cautioned, trying to snap the buckle together with shaking fingers.

He covered her hands with his, guiding the two pieces together until they snapped.  "Why?" he said softly, rubbing his thumbs across her wrists.  "It pleases me to touch you."  He reached up and cupped her cheek.  "Your skin is so soft."

She jerked her head back and pulled out of the car, her heart rate almost doubling just from that simple touch.  She made sure he was inside and shut the door, then ran around to the other side and climbed into the driver's seat.  She prayed she'd be able to make it home without getting them both killed.  She was shaking like a leaf.

She started the car, then put it in reverse and backed out of the slot.  She shifted into first and took off, squealing her tires in her haste to get away from the museum and home where it was safe.

She was so conscious of his nearness as she drove; his great bulk seemed to fill her tiny car.  Try as she might, she couldn't resist darting glances at him.  At first he clutched the door handle rather tightly, but after a bit he relaxed and actually seemed to be enjoying the ride.  He gazed out the window at the passing cars, then up into the air as a plane passed over head, it's red and white blinking lights marking its passage in the dark, night sky.

"So mortals can fly now," he murmured.  "Amazing."

"Do you know where you are?" she asked.  "I mean, what country?"

He shook his head, craning his neck to watch as a red convertible drove by, its top down, its driver's long blond hair flying in the breeze.

"Well, this is America," she explained.  "It's halfway around the world from Greece.  And this," she added proudly, waving an arm at the cityscape around them, "is Dallas, Texas."

Ares turned to look at her blankly, her words obviously having no meaning for him.

She sighed.  So much for impressing him with her home town.  She got on Beltline Road and headed toward her house, flooring the accelerator, anxious to get there as quickly as possible.


"Okay," Jess said, leading Ares into her house.  "I have GOT to get out of these clothes.  Feel free to explore.  Look around.  Whatever makes you happy."  She headed for her bedroom, anxious to get out of her work clothes and into a T-shirt and some jeans.  Maybe in comfortable clothes she could think better.  She began to unbutton her blouse, when she felt eyes upon her.

Ares stood in the doorway, leaning casually against the frame, watching her with an amused expression on his face.

"Uh, I need to change," she said.

He smiled seductively.  "Please don't let me stop you."

"I can't change in front of you," she said in exasperation.  "Why don't you just go look around out there?"

"I prefer looking around in here," he announced, moving into her bedroom and gazing around curiously, an approving look crossing his face when he noticed her king-sized bed.

"Shit," she swore softly to herself.  "Look, why can't you just . . . " She was cut off by the sound of the phone ringing.  In the blink of an eye, Ares had drawn his sword, pointing it menacingly toward the source of the sound.  "Put that thing away," she yelled.  "It's just the phone."

She ran to grab the telephone before he sliced something up.  She picked up the receiver and put it to her ear, making frantic signs for him to put the blasted sword away.


"JESS???  Where have you BEEN?  I've been calling you for HOURS!!"

Oh, no!  It was her friend Lisa.  She'd forgotten they were supposed to go to a movie tonight.  She had gotten so caught up in everything that it had completely slipped her mind.

She breathed a sigh of relief when Ares finally sheathed his sword, but unfortunately, he moved over close to her, bending down, his ear cocked as he listened to the conversation.

"Lisa, I'm sorry.  I got caught up at work and forgot."

Her friend began to gripe at her, but before she could retort, Ares had plucked the phone from her hand.  He brought it up to look at it, then held it to his ear.  Jess could hear her friend babbling on.  Ares turned his dark gaze on her. "Where is she?" he asked, puzzled.

Lisa suddenly became unusually quiet, then she screeched, "Have you got a MAN over there???"

"Give me that," Jess said, grabbing the phone back from him.  "It's just a phone.  She's not in there.  She's miles away.  Don't ask me how it works 'cause I don't have a clue."

"You DO," her friend squealed.  "You've got a man there.  You go, girl."

"Lisa, can I call you back later?"

Her friend laughed heartily. "Hon, you'd BETTER call me later.  I want to know every gory little detail.  He SOUNDS marvelous."

"Yeah, he's nice.  I'll call you tomorrow."  Quickly, she hung up the phone.  God, he was playing with her hair again.

He took her wrist, bringing it up to his nose and inhaling delicately. "This is a different scent.  I like this.  What is it?"

Jess gulped.  "Um, it's called Passion."

Ares smiled slowly, and a spark seemed to ignite in the dark depths of his eyes.  "How appropriate," he said, kissing her softly on the wrist where her pulse beat, then darting his tongue out to lick her there.

Jess had to bite back a groan.  Good Lord, how could he affect her like this?  Then she realized how stupid she was.  Duh.  He's a god.  He probably affects EVERYONE like this.

"Ares," she begged.  "Please don't."

He cocked his head, studying her.  "Why not?"

"Because it's making me nervous.  I'm not used to . . . um . . . being touched like that."

He seemed puzzled for a moment, but at last he did drop her wrist.  She rubbed it absently; it felt like it was on fire.  "Look," she said quickly, grabbing his arm and pulling him back toward the living room.  He went with her willingly enough, but she could feel the strong play of muscles under his skin and knew that if he chose to stay, she wouldn't be able to move him.  "Just sit there on the couch for just a minute.  Let me change, and I'll be right out.  Then we can talk.  Okay?"

He nodded, and with a sigh of relief she headed back into the bedroom, popping buttons in her haste to get her clothes off.  She threw her work clothes across a chair and slipped into a pair of jeans and a white Les Miserables T-shirt.  She immediately felt better.  She raced back into the living room, but he wasn't sitting on the couch!

Frantically, she looked around, then she heard a sound from the kitchen.  She raced in there, to see Ares standing in front of the refrigerator, eyeing the contents.  She bit back a laugh.  Typical male.  Straight for the food.  Not that there was a whole lot there.  She was the world's worst about grocery shopping.

He glanced back at her.  "It's cold," he pointed out.  "Where is the ice?"

"It doesn't need ice," she explained.  "It's a refrigerator."

He stared at her, and she rubbed her forehead absently.  "I don't know how that works either.  Are you hungry?"

He glanced back at the pitiful contents of the fridge and quickly shook his head.  He shut the door and turned back to her.   His eyes raked over her body, taking in the way her T-shirt fit snugly across her breasts and the way her jeans clung to her form.  That slow seductive smile crossed his face once again, and he moved lithely across the room toward her.

"No," she protested, recognizing the look in his eyes.

Before she could move, however, he had her pressed up against the kitchen counter, his hands cupping her face, gazing down at her with smoldering desire in his eyes.  His lower body was molded to hers, and she could feel the length of his manhood, hard and throbbing against her.  His thumbs brushed her cheek.  "Why do you resist?" he asked softly, quizzically.

"I don't . . . " She trailed off.  She couldn't think straight.  His touch was maddening.  "I just don't DO this."

"Do what?" he asked, amused, moving back her hair and softly kissing her neck, leaving a trail of fire in the wake of his full lips.

"I just don't sleep with someone I've just met."

Ares chuckled.  "I have no intention of sleeping," he said sincerely, his tongue darting out and tracing the outline of her shoulder, then up her neck to her ear.  It darted inside, tickling her, and she couldn't stop the moan this time.

His hands moved up and plunged into her hair, pulling her face up to his.  He gazed down at her, his eyes full of desire.  "You said to do whatever makes me happy.  This does."  He bent down and lightly brushed her lips with his own.  "And this."  Another kiss, firmer this time, deeper.  "And this," he breathed, at last covering her mouth completely, claiming her as his own.

Jess almost forgot to breathe.  She had never in her life been kissed like this.  She could feel her doubts and protests fading away.  Her nerve endings were on fire as his hands moved down her back, rubbing gently, and his tongue parted her lips, darting inside to explore.  She couldn't stop herself; she had to touch him as well.  She ran her hands up over his chest, marveling at the strong muscles there and the fierce pounding of his heart, then up to encircle his neck, toying with the dark curls which rested there.

He pulled her even closer, his mouth more demanding now.  His hands began to roam, first over her back, then reaching down to cup her ass, pulling her closer to him, grinding himself into her.  Jess moaned again, suddenly frantic with desire.  She moved her hands back down to play with his chest, opening his vest and brushing his nipples with her fingers.  She was gratified to hear HIM moan at that, and she pulled her mouth away from his, trailing kisses down his chest, lapping at his hardened nipples, then sucking them gently.

"By the gods," he groaned, pulling himself away.  He shed his vest, then pulled her T-shirt over her head.  The bra seemed to confound him for a moment, but he didn't bother to try to determine how it worked.  He ripped it from her body, then cupped her breasts in his large, powerful hands.

Jess arched back against the counter, fire searing through her as his fingers explored her breasts, then encircled her nipples.  His mouth soon followed, sucking the hardened peaks softly, outlining them with his tongue.  She put her hand behind his head, pulling him closer to her, aching for him to suck harder, and he complied, using one hand on one breast and his mouth on the other, twisting one nipple, then lightly grazing the other with his teeth.  She arched into him further, the fire from his touch seeming to shoot through her body and center in her groin.

He seemed to sense this, because his free hand slid down over her belly and up between her legs, rubbing her gently but deliciously there.  His fingers found the snap and zipper, and in one smooth motion, her jeans slid to the floor.  He ran his hand across the silk of her panties, lingering there for a moment, but then he ripped those away as well, his fingers probing for her opening.

His mouth left her breast, and he raised his head, his dark gaze intent on her face as he slid a finger inside her.  She was already so wet and aching for him.  She wanted more, and he soon obliged, sliding in another finger, then another, moving them in and out of her in a steady rhythm.  Her hips began to move in time with his fingers, and his mouth fastened on hers once again as he shoved in even deeper, then he used his thumb to locate that little bud that caused her so much pleasure.  One touch was enough.  An orgasm tore through her unlike anything she had ever experienced, peaking higher and higher until she thought she would explode.  Her body spasmed around his fingers, but he didn't stop.  He continued to pump in and out and stroke her with his thumb, drawing out the pleasure for an almost impossible amount of time.  At last he withdrew, smiling tenderly down at her.

Suddenly impatient to see him, Jess began to fumble with his pants, but the belt buckle defied her.  With an impatient gesture, he undid it himself, dropping the belt and his sword to the floor.  He unfastened his pants, then she took over, sliding her hands inside the smooth leather, searching for him.

God, he was HUGE. Bruno'd been wrong; that artist hadn't had an overactive imagination.  She encircled Ares' manhood with her hand, the pleasant ache in her groin intensifying at the mere thought of him inside her.  She stroked him slowly, enjoying the feel of the smooth layer of skin covering the steel hardness of him.  He moaned deep in his throat as her hand began to move faster.  She managed to slide his leather pants down and off, going to her knees, her gaze fastened on the sight before her. He was SO beautiful.  She stroked him slowly, admiring him, wanting suddenly to feel him in her mouth.  Tentatively, she stuck out her tongue, swirling it around the tip, tasting the warm liquid already seeping out.  He even TASTED wonderful.  She encircled the tip with her mouth, and his quick intake of breath gave her courage.  She began to slide him inside, deeper and deeper, to the back of her throat and beyond.  Then she pulled back slowly, enjoying the taste and feel of him.  She'd never wanted to do this before; what a fool she'd been.  She moved back and forth on him, and his hips began to jerk so that he was forcing himself deeper and deeper into her mouth.  She swirled her tongue around the length of him, then starting a light suction that finally sent him over the edge.  With a hoarse cry, his seed spilled into her mouth and down her throat, sweeter than she could have imagined, filling her with a delicious warmth.

As last he withdrew from her mouth, and she was amazed to see that he was still hard.  He bent quickly and picked her up, carrying her over to the dining room table and placing her on top.  With one quick thrust, he was inside her, more deeply than she would have thought possible, and she cried out as another orgasm immediately rushed through her.  He didn't stop, but continued to plunge in and out of her, harder and faster.  She wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him in even deeper, dragging his mouth down to hers and outlining his beautiful full lips with her tongue.  He put his hand behind her head and forced her mouth harder on his, kissing her passionately as he pounded into her.  He released her, and pushed her back on the table, his hands finding her breasts once again, kneading them almost roughly, then sliding down over her belly and below.  As his fingers brushed that little bud once again, she lost all control.  She arched up off the table, her body writhing, the muscles inside her contracting around his member.  With a guttural groan, he slammed all the way into her, releasing his seed into her once again.  Jess felt it, like a fire deep inside her, and her body contracted again, squeezing it from him.  She sat up, her legs still wrapped around his waist, pulling his mouth back down to hers, pouring her soul into her kiss.

At last he withdrew from her, then picked her up and carried her back into the bedroom.  He lay her on the bed gently, then covered her body with his, kissing her deeply.  God, he was already hard again!  Did he never stop?

He chuckled, guessing her thoughts.  He pulled back, gazing down at her tenderly.  "I have a lot of time to make up for," he explained, then bent down to claim her mouth again.

Later, much later, they lay in one another's arms, and she agreed to show him where Otus lived.  In a day.  Or two.  Or maybe even three!

Continue on to Part 2

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