Author: Vannus (co-written by Kathy)
Story Title: The Favour
Characters: Ares & f (Vannus)
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Ares comes to collect on Vannus' owed favour. Sequel to No Way Out. Mary-Sue.
This rating is for explicit m/f sex.

The characters belong to Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures and were used without permission. No copyright infringement was intended and no money was made.

The following story contains scenes of a sexually explicit nature between two consenting adults. So if you're under 18yrs, or you are at all against that sort of thing, please read the edited version. You have been warned!

This story is a sequel to No Way Out

You can find more fan fiction by Vannus at her Ares site Vannus' Image of Ares

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The Favour [Uncut]
Written and edited by Vannus. Co-written by Kathy

Night had fallen over Treborworth hills, and most of the dragons were resting, while a few others had their turn of keeping watch over everything, gliding and hovering up above. Inside one of the smaller caves Vannus was fast asleep. Something quite unusual for her to be doing, being a immortal. It wasn't as though she would get tired at the end of a long day. But this was one of those many nights where she would rather dream than stay awake, her dreams did entertain her so, and were often quite amusing. All was peaceful, and faint cries could be heard from outside by those dragons who were still awake. Vannus lay on her side facing a fire not too far from her in one corner that softly lit up the cave.

Suddenly a burst of flames appeared at the foot of where Vannus lay. She merely stirred in her sleep but did not awake. Little was she aware of the fact that Ares had just appeared in front of her. He tilted his head to one side slightly as he watched her briefly where she lay. He thought to wake her, but then was curious as to what she might be dreaming about. He decided to find out. For all he knew it could be of some use to him, and what's to say he then couldn't have some fun with it also. An evil grin then covered his face as he slowly approached her. He slowly squatted behind her carefully as to not wake her, he then gently stroked the crown of her head, and at that point a vision of her dream appeared in his mind, he closed his eyes as to soak in the sight.


He found himself looking into a room, but this was no ordinary room. It was quite a substantial size, and the interior was decorated with the most intricate patterns and wall carvings. It was no surprise to him that the decor had a strong influence of dragons. He then spotted Vannus. She was at the opposite end of the room, sitting by what looked like a bathing pool. Her clothing was of the finest robes, fit for a queen, long and flowing. With shades of the richest blue, violet, and deep purple. Not forgetting a most impressive motif of a fire breathing dragon, which ran down the side of her tight fitting dress. Rose petals floated on the water and drifted as she stroked its surface with her hand. By her feet sat a baby dragon with it's head resting by her leg. Next a peasant man walked through the main doors.

"Oh, Wise Vannus, I bring a message..." Ares couldn't help but find amusement in what he heard.

"A message?..from who?" Vannus turned to face the peasant.

"From King Mortigan....he requests your assistants. News has spread to his kingdom of your success with the dragons, and how all of Britannia no longer see them as foe. He has a proposition for you."

"And what might that be?" Vannus raised an eyebrow in query to his statement.

"I'm afraid I do not know all the details, but if you were to visit his Kingdom tomorrow all will be revealed."

"It wouldn't have anything to do with him having an army would it?...and he requests the use of one of my dragons for help to win some war?" Her tone of voice showed a hint of sarcasm, and her remark grabbed Ares' attention.

"Why do you say that, oh wise one?" Asked the peasant

"You've heard of Ares God of War?"

"Yes...on a few occasions."

"Well let's just say he's most keen on the thought." She then looked down to the baby dragon and stroked his head.

Ares pouted with amusement, 'so' he thought, 'The Keeper of Dragons even speaks of Ares in her enlightening.' To his surprise she carried on raving about him to the messenger, telling him more or less the whole story of how he was involved in her becoming immortal, and that in her younger years he was a great influence when it came to independence a protection for herself and the dragons. What was also strange was that her tone of voice changed to one of enthusiasm. The messenger merely listened with a confused look on his face.

Ares decided to get involved at this point...he had to see her reaction to his presence in her dream. The messenger disappeared, and Ares then revealed himself to her, not too far from where she was sitting.

Vannus' eyes widened with surprise. "Ares?"

"Greetings, oh wise Vannus." Ares fought to keep a serious face.

"Like wise." Her face looking puzzled. "And what do I owe this visit?"

"I merely came to compliment you on a task well done..." He now began to approach her and slowly sat beside her on the edge of the pool. "...And long may it continue." Vannus suddenly became aware of his closeness as she watched him.

"It's not like you to complement me with the work that I do?"

Ares dismissed the comment. "I couldn't help but overhear you talking about me..." His face attempted to show an innocent expression. "May I ask what it was about?"

"It was nothing." Vannus answered abruptly. She then looked once again down to the dragon by her side, stroking its head in attempt to distract him from noticing her feeling tense by his question.

"Oh come now..." He took her chin to his finger tips and gently turned her head back to face him. "It didn't sound like nothing to me." A sultry smile covered his face.

"I was merely explaining about how I became an immortal, and how you had the task to protect me in my younger years beforehand. Also how you then taught me all I know about fighting and keeping my guard." She maintained a casual expression.

"Ah yes, I remember. You were quite a fast learner, you picked things up quite quickly at such a young age." He sounded most enthusiastic as he reminisced. Ares then attempted to flatter her. "You know I never said this before...but even though it was my task to teach you those things and watch over you while you were mortal....I have to say it didn't feel like one. I quite enjoyed it, at times it was quite rewarding."

"Really?" Vannus didn't sound too sure whether to believe him. Although thinking back, she did find him to be a good teacher. And considering him being well known for his impatience and hot blooded temper, she could never claim to having witnessed it.

"It's just a shame that my domain had no benefit from such a well turned out pupil." Ares then gazed deep into her eyes.

"Yes, well I'm no longer one of your pupils and I have my own domain to think about, one very different to yours." Vannus' tone became stern.

"Of course, and it is one task you conduct very well." Ares then stroked Vannus' cheek with the back of his fingers, "you've also become quite a stunning woman, I always knew you would..." He then brought himself closer to her mouth, while his fingers trailed down the side of her neck.

"I'm sure you did...." She replied sounding unamused and yet she felt drawn to him. They then locked into a kiss. He brought both hands to touch her face and softly trailed one hand down her back while the other held the back of her head. Vannus felt compelled to bring her hands up to feel his broad shoulders.

Their embrace felt so real. She began to remember moments in their past where they found themselves in a similar scene, in those times she was still quite vulnerable and susceptible to his charms. Certainly the God of War knew how to satisfy her yearnings as an immortal. Which also proved to be unfortunate. No mortal could bring her the same pleasure as that of a god, and relationships were certainly out of the question. They'd be old and grey before she knew it.

Ares was certainly most content with the out comings of this dream, he knew full well what Vannus was pondering about. He needed to go no further with his little game, as there were other important issues to attend to.


Back inside the cave Ares opened his eyes, and slowly stood up as he watched Vannus still asleep. A conniving smile crossed his face as he noticed her body shift in reaction to the dream. He then distanced himself slightly from her ready for her to wake up, as to imply that he'd only just entered the cave. Then with a slow wave of his hand he brought her gradually back into reality.

Vannus opened her eyes and found herself smiling to herself as she awoke. All of a sudden she became aware of a presence in the cave and quickly turned to see Ares before her watching with arms folded. "Had a tiring day did we?" He mocked raising one eyebrow.

"Very funny." Vannus couldn't help but wonder how long he'd been standing there. And what's more was the dream she just had purely innocent or did he have something to do with it? She decided it'd be better not to mention it, just in case he did happen to be there by pure coincidence, it would then save answering a lot of questions on her behalf. She also didn't want to give him the satisfaction if he did have something to do with it.

"What is it you want from me in the middle of the night?" She asked firmly.

"Well now that you put it that way there are a couple of other things that spring to mind." He replied wittingly, as he dropped his arms by his side and rested one hand on his sword.

"Yeah, right." Vannus replied casually, trying to block out the vision of her dream.

"Don't tell me you've forgotten our little agreement..." His expression then became more serious. "It's time for you to return my favour."

An expression of great disappointment crossed Vannus' face. "Oh... that." she mumbled as she got up out of her bedding, and stood up to face the God. "Well it has been a while, I guess it was wishful thinking, what with your busy schedule in making other peoples live a living hell, that you may have forgotten about me." With that she flashed a mocking smile.

Ares chuckled with amusement at her remark. "Ahh, that wit of yours. You know you need to be careful, somebody just might take you seriously one day. Yes, I suppose it has been a short while. But that's because I was picking my moment for something suitable." He eyed her form, while rubbing his chin. "And there's no need to look so disappointed, anyone would think I was about to ask you to face a fate worse than death!"

"So you want me to kill, I knew it!" She blurted with frustration looking away from him.

"Relax..." Ares walked up to her, and rested his hand on her shoulder. "Now I never said that! Of course, it all depends on how you handle the situation."

Vannus didn't trust him for one second. Sure, she was no stranger to killing anyone, but she drew the line when it came to anyone innocent. She gazed into his eyes with concern, his pupils reflected the small fire flickering away in the corner. Ares then drew himself away from her.

"Look, first things first we need to leave this place, then I'll explain your task at hand, and it'll all be clear as to what you have to do." He then walked over to the entrance of the cave and searched the view. "Where's that dragon I healed?"

"You mean Prolez."

"Yes that's the one," He then turned to face her, "I want to see him."

"What do you want with him?" She snapped marching up to him, "I'm the one who owes you."

Ares took her chin to his fingers, "I'm afraid you're mistaken my dear. As I recall he was in pretty bad shape in that dungeon, and if it weren't for me he'd be pretty much the same now."

Her gaze dropped and she looked to the ground. She then backed away from him with a stern look.

"I don't want you to bring him along."

"And whyever not?" His gaze grew disappointed

"He went through enough the last time. If you need the assistance of one of my dragons, then I wish to chose one of the others instead."

Ares smiled, "Very well, you're the dragon lady after all, just make sure you choose one of your most swift, agile, and strongest."

"That's 'dragon keeper.' You don't ask for much, do you?" She sighed.

"Hey, would a god settle for anything less?" His eyebrows arched in question.

"I suppose you do have a point. Do you want me to go and call one of them now?" She asked dispassionately.

"Well, I wasn't planning on staying here all day."

"Very well." She walked over to the small fire, and picked up one of the burning logs. She then took a small bag made of pigs skin from her belt, which lay on the floor by her bedding. Walking over to the caves entrance, she stared at the God.

Ares watched attentively with arms folded, as she passed him to stand outside. Vannus held the burning log high in the air, and gave out a shrieking yell which echoed around the hills. She opened the small bag and took a sip of the oil that it contained. She then brought the log to her mouth, and with one hard blow sent a fire ball into the air. Once again she called out to the dragon. It then wasn't long before the sound of wings beating through the air could be heard, and before he knew it one of her dragons appeared and landed beside her. This dragon was quite a considerable size, bigger than Prolez. A stunning beast, it's scales dazzled against the moonlight with different shades of orange and yellow, even gold. Vannus turned to face Ares and stroked the dragons neck, reassuring it.

"Good enough for you?"

"Magnificent." Ares gave her a gleaming smile of satisfaction, and walked up to them rubbing his hands together. He then briefly stroked it's neck, while admiring it. "What's it's name?"

"His name is Amberon, he's older than Prolez, but just as swift and cunning, if not more."

"He'll do just fine. Won't you, Amberon?" He smiled, patting the dragon. Amberon bowed his head in respect to the god.

Vannus' dragons knew full well who he was. Even though this god's morals and motives, were not to their nature, they were always respective to Ares for his involvement of their own existence.

"You probably don't remember Amberon, do you?"

"Should I?"

"Of course, he used to hang around a lot whenever you'd visit here. He's grown quite a bit since then."

"Without a doubt." Ares moved in front of Amberon, face to face as to study him. Amberon then snorted in his face and nudged him in the chest with the tip of his nose. Ares jolted back slightly. Vannus couldn't help but laugh to herself.

Ares frowned slightly in recognition of the beast. "Ah, yes I remember now. He'd always try to join in on your fighting lessons, quite the enthusiast."

"Which is one of the reasons why I chose him." Ares glanced over at her, once again frowning. "Well, a girl has to have some fun, especially when she owes someone such as the God of War a favour."

"Why do you have to make it sound like such a chore? Others would jump at the chance!"

Vannus didn't reply, she figured that frankly it would be just a waist of time. She merely look at him mockingly, and then focused on the dragon. Ares then moved away from the dragon and returned to where Vannus was standing. "I think it's time we left this place now, don't you?"

He then proceeded to put his hand on her shoulder, as though he were about to teleport them to wherever he was headed.

"Wait! What about my weapons, and my belt. I need to go and get them first."

"Not to worry, everything you need will be waiting for you when you get there." With that, flames suddenly surrounded them and they were no longer in Treborworth Hills.


"Where are we?" Vannus asked as she briefly gazed around the room.

"One of my temples." Ares smiled.

"In Britannia?"

"No, in a town called Sparta. You're no longer in Britannia."

"Greece." Vannus replied, not surprised in the least. "I must admit, it's been a while."

"And what better place for you to return to Greece, than one of my temples." He stated, opening his arms out to exhibit their surroundings.

Vannus slowly paced about the place. "I have to hand it to you, it's quite impressive." She then paused and turned to the god. "But where is Amberon?"

"As impressive as this temple may be, it can hardly account for the size of your dragon." Ares then proceeded to walk over to what was clearly his throne, and sat down. "I've placed him safely outside, at the rear end of the temple. You need not worry, there's no chance of anyone spotting him there, it's quite a secluded spot surrounded by trees. There are no habitants for miles."

She gazed at him unsure of her trust towards him. She certainly didn't expect him to take Amberon's safety into consideration.

"So..." She started towards him and then stood opposite his throne. "What is it you want me to do?" her expression firm.

Ares stared at her with contempt, "I want you to retrieve something that rightfully belongs to me."

"And what's that?"

"This temple was built for me by one of my many great armies, as you've probably guessed. I have achieved many satisfying results from them over the years, and they have served me well. It was for that reason, along with a few others, that I decided to reward them with a well sought after gift." He slouched in his seat.

"And what might this gift be?"

"I replaced all their armor and weapons with those forged by Hephaestus." Ares then leaned forward as he began to explain further, "These are no ordinary weapons, they have the ability to make a warrior invincible." His tone of voice was deep and expressive. "They're made of metal that can cut through anything, and the only material that can do it damage is that of its own."

"And this armor was stolen from your army I take it?"

Ares, then frowned and gazed to the floor, "Barbarians." He muttered.

"What was that?" Vannus look at him curiously.

"Barbarians, came to Sparta and stole them." It was obvious by his expression that he wasn't to pleased in admitting to the fact.

"So you're telling me...." Vannus struggled to keep a serious expression, " of your most powerful armies had all their armor, forged by Hephaestus no less, stolen by....Barbarians?"

"Yes, that's right," He looked at her with narrowing eyes, "and there's no need for you to mock about the situation."

She cleared her throat in attempt to shrug off her amusement. "So how did this happen?"

Ares eased back again in his throne, his elbow propped up on the arm rest, while his finger tips supported the side of his head. "It's quite a long story actually, the theft wasn't a simple one, contrary to what you assume."

"Oh come now, as if I would assume such a task against the God of War would be a simple one." Vannus tried her best to sound sincere, but she knew there was no fooling him. Ares merely glared at her. He dropped his hand onto the arm rest, and continued to explain.

"Those barbarians were all once prisoners of war. Therefore they were no strangers to my army's quarters, here in Sparta... A short while ago I dismissed two of my warriors from that same army."

"Why was that?"

"Let's just say they weren't as loyal to me as I'd expected. The details are irrelevant. What is however, is the fact that they in turn decided to join up with these barbarians. With them having two of my former men, Pathos and Marsayas working along side them, it wouldn't be too difficult for them to find a way of getting their hands on my goods. Pathos and Marsayas knew of the army's future tasks, and picked the perfect time to sneak into the barracks, a time when they would be at their most vulnerable.

"But if this armor could make your warriors, invisible as you say, why couldn't they stop them?"

"When this whole incident happened, they had only just received my gift. Not only that but their general and a number of men were required to go out of camp, to negotiate an alliance with another army. Therefore they hadn't had much of a chance to put it to use, and it was all stored away with the rest of the army's essential goods."

"And let me guess, Pathos and Marsayas knew exactly where that was.... But didn't you expect them to betray you?"

"To tell you the truth I was led to believe that the barbarians had killed them, once they'd caught sight of them near their hideout." His tone of voice sounding almost vexed. "It was as soon as I found out what happened to the weapons that I decided to find out exactly what was going on myself."

"How did Pathos and Marsayas manage to form an alliance with these barbarians?"

"You could say that's the punch line to their whole scheme. The barbarians have been wanting to strike a deal with the Persian army for some time, who are out to conquer Greece. So when my former men approached the barbarians and knew of their intentions, they offered to help them find a suitable trade. And what could be better than weapons forged by a God. With this they could then make a trade to the Persian army for wealth and the prospect of becoming their ally."

"So let me get this straight..." Vannus placed both hands on her hips, "You want me, to go up against two of your former warriors, and a bunch of barbarians to retrieve a mass load of deadly weapons. Only for you to then use, and destroy other parts of Greece and anywhere else you might fancy?"

"You fail to look at this matter with careful consideration. It is true that the weapons would only then be used for war and pillage." His eyes then narrowed. "But if you weren't to retrieve them, there would still be masses of destruction, more so if anything, that's not my main concern. What is however is that this armor was only to be given to a chosen few, those who have served me well. It certainly was not intended to be a subject of theft." He then spoke with a faint chuckle of irony. "I can't afford word to get around of this defeat, especially the mere idea of them getting away with it."

"But surely you don't need me to do this. You could have your weapons appear in this room with a snap of your fingers!" Vannus waved her hand in gesture towards the centre of the room.

"Ah, but you see that would be too easy. I'd prefer to resolve this in a more..." Ares eyed her form while biting his lower lip, "...dramatic way. And besides you owe me."

"How am I supposed to complete this task, my weapons are no match? And what makes you think I can do this better than your wonderful army?" She threw back at him with a hint of sarcasm.

"Not to worry, I've taken it all into consideration." He waved his hand casually. "They will no doubt be expecting my army to attack, it's what they want. And without Hephaestus' weapons my army will be completely vulnerable against them. But with you being an immortal, they've got no chance of victory. Besides you won't be needing your weapons." He smiled.

"Oh yeah... how did you work that one out?" Vannus raised a questioning eyebrow.

"I have a little surprise for you..." Ares stood up out of his throne and started towards her. He opened both hands out in front of him and there a sword and two daggers appeared. He then handed them over to her. "I had Hephaestus make these especially for you. May I say... it took a little persuading, seeing as he's not too happy about what happened to the rest of his hard work."

Vannus slowly took the sword from him and began to admire its craftsmanship. "I have never met its equal," She remarked in awe her voice almost a whisper.

A belt then appeared around her waist with a scabbard attached. Ares proceeded to place each dagger, on either side of the belt. Then guided her hands to slide the sword into its scabbard.

"These weapons should keep those mongrels at bay, should they prove to be of any nuisance to you."

"So when do I get this over with?" She sighed.

"There's no rush just yet..." Ares gently moved a lock of black hair away from her face, and then rested his hand on her shoulder. "You need time to practice with your new weapons. It would be wise to concentrate on that now while it's still dark, that way it will be easier to keep Amberon at a low profile. Then before dawn you may head off to their hide out. Most of them will be hung over from celebrating their successful mission. The last thing they'll expect is for you to turn up." Again he showed concern for Amberon, which she found most strange.

"What do you care of Amberon's safety?"

"Why shouldn't I... If others were to discover his whereabouts it would threaten our plan. He would most definitely be killed." His tone of voice became more sincere. "Mortals don't appreciate or care about these beasts like you and I. You wouldn't want him to be slayed out here now would you?"

"Of course not, I was just curious about your concern." Vannus frowned. "Can I see him first before I practice?"

"Certainly." He smiled casually. Flames surrounded them and they disappeared.


Amberon stood patiently in the moonlight. His two front claws were cuffed to a long chain which led to the rear wall of the temple.

"Zeus there it is, by the gods it's huge!"

Amberon looked down and spotted two warriors approaching him. They both seemed to be pulling what looked like a small cart filled with scraps of food. Its aroma wafted up to Amberon's nostrils as they drew closer.

"Ares said to just leave the cart here and go, looking at the size of that thing I've no objections! Do you?"

"Definitely not! I'm outta here!"

Just at that point, Amberon swooped his head down to take a gulp of the food. His jaws just inches away from the warriors. They both panicked and drew their sword.

"Get back!" One of them shouted, attempting to thrust his sword in the beasts face. Amberon dodged them and snarled back.

"This is just great! Now he's gonna fry us!" One of them exclaimed.

"Not if I teach it a lesson first!"

Meanwhile Ares and Vannus appeared standing behind the two men, surprised to see the commotion. Amberon once again swooped his head down to get to the food, and with one swift movement the warrior swiped his sword to slash his jaw, but failed in only grazing it slightly.


The two warriors froze to the sound of their master's voice. Amberon paused and looked at Vannus, knowing that he was no longer at risk of any harm.

"What is going on here!" She shouted at them, and then turned to Ares with a vexed expression.

Both warriors turned round to face them. Ares started up to both warriors and grabbed them by the throat...

"What do you think you were doing..." He growled. "I gave you explicit instructions to bring the dragon's food here and then LEAVE!"

"W..we did my Lord... but then he started to attack us." One of them whispered hoarsely.

"Ignorant fools!" Vannus marched up to them, and stood beside the god. "Couldn't you see he was just trying to get to the food!"

"Y.. you can see the size of him! He got too.... close for comfort. How were we to know?" The other struggled. "If he wasn't attacking us, then why did he keep hissing at us?"

"Maybe if you weren't waving your little swords up at his face, he wouldn't have bothered. Ever thought of that? Huh?" Ares snarled. "Now get out of here, and get back to your posts!" He violently loosened his grip on both men. They then nodded in salute to him and made their way off the temple's premises. Vannus walked over to Amberon, and beckoned him to bring his face down towards her so she could inspect the wound. Ares followed behind her.

"I apologize on behalf of my men for that foolish little incident." His voice sounding a lot softer than a moment ago.

"It's o.k." She sighed. "He's only been grazed slightly, I suppose you only meant well what with the food and all."

"I'm glad you see it that way..."

"Look.." Vannus turned to face Ares, "I've had to deal with much worse scenarios in my time. You honestly don't expect me to get all upset over a little thing like this." A sense of pride filling her voice. "And besides, Amberon's big enough to fend for himself. That's another reason why I chose to bring him a long."

Ares smiled at her with content. "Your attitude impresses me. Lets hope you don't hold the same compassion towards those barbarians, or this whole mission will prove to be a waste of time." Amberon hesitated no further and began munching away at the food.

"I too must confess... of how you've impressed me so." She grinned.

"And how might that be?" He questioned moving closer.

"Well.." She gestured over at the small cart. "Your concern towards Amberon, and serving him food no less."

"He has a busy day ahead of him tomorrow. We don't want him carrying all those weapons on an empty stomach now do we?" He then took her by the hand. "Come, let us leave him to eat, you have work ahead of you before dawn rises. He'll be fine now." With that they vanished.....


They appeared once again inside Ares' temple, but this time they were in what look like a room of weaponry. The floor was spacious, and the walls displayed the most elegant armor she'd seen.

Vannus rubbed her forehead, "Do you always have to do that, it makes my head spin." She moaned. "Sometimes I wish you'd just walk from place to place, like the rest of us."

"You're just not used to it." He chuckled.

"I take it you want me to practice here then." She remarked glancing around the room. "I suppose this is where your men train to fight?"

"Mmmm, some of the time... well to be honest quite rarely." He answered pacing around the floor. "A few of my top men will come here if the need some quality training.... but that's only if they deserve it." Ares then walked over to lean against one of the walls. "So lets see what you can do with those weapons." He smiled gazing over at her, his arms and legs crossed.

Vannus drew her sword as she looked over at him, with an expression of uncertainty, "O.K. but I'll remind you that it's been a while since I've used one of these."

She gripped the sword in her right hand, and held out her left keeping her stance with her feet apart. Slowly and steadily she began to twirl her sword, it's blade gleaming in the light. She practiced a swing and a thrust..... and then paused.

With a half smile Ares arched his eyebrows in question."Why do you stop? You were doing so well?"

"You're putting me off.... I can't concentrate with you staring at me like that." She answered firmly.

"Would you prefer me to join in then?" He pulled away from the wall and started towards her. "I don't mind.." He stood opposite her and drew his sword, "It's all good for me." With that he swung his sword at her swiftly, and Vannus blocked it just in time. He swung again at her, and she again blocked it, this time holding on. "This is turning out to be just like old times." His voice sounding deep.Vannus broke away from their block. She ran her feet up him swiftly and somersaulted into back flip, creating some space between them. "Hey! Now lets not get carried away here..."

Vannus smiled wickedly, "Well you wanted to practice didn't you?" She pulled out one of her daggers and aimed it at the god in a shot, who caught the dagger his fist. Ares glanced at both the dagger and Vannus unamused. He then proceeded to thrust it back at her through the air. The dagger hit her in the stomach, and the force behind his throw sent her across the room. He started towards her. "It's a good thing you're not mortal, otherwise lesson would be over." Vannus slowly pulled the dagger out of her, and rose from the ground caressing her stomach with a frown.

"You need to practice catching the dagger."

"I know how to catch it, you just caught me off guard." She replied avoiding eye contact.

"Well, let's try that again shall we?" Ares took the dagger from her hand. "I'll hold onto this, and use it when you least expect it."

Vannus held her sword at the ready, and once again they began hitting and thrusting their swords at one another. Further into the sword play, she could feel her confidence coming back, and felt herself becoming one with the sword. She could sense Ares satisfaction grow with each blow from their swords clashing. The atmosphere between them was changing fast, an immense heat began to fill the air, and Vannus suddenly became aware of what she could be letting herself in for. Her sudden feeling of concern led her a stray from her concentration, and Ares struck her sword out from her hand. Quickly she back flipped to where it landed and retrieved it from the ground. As she stood up she was suddenly aware of her dagger Ares had just aimed at her, and caught it just in time.

"Well done my dear... that was some good fighting." His expression more serious than before.

Ares walked up to her, this time bringing his body much closer to hers. Vannus looked up at the god, sensing his intentions she looked down to the weapons she was holding. He took her hand holding the dagger and guided it back into its sheath on her belt. "I think we've done enough practicing, I'm sure you'll cope just fine tomorrow. After all it won't be a god you're fighting." His mouth curved into a smile. Vannus grew aware of his hand resting on her hip, slowly caressing her.

Glancing down at his hand she asked, "Do you usually get this close with your men after some quality training?"

Ares gave a faint chuckle, "Very amusing, but I'm sure you'll agree..." He brought his lips close to her ear and whispered, "you're somewhat... different to my men." He then brought his hand up to her shoulder and moved her hair back to expose her neck. Vannus almost quivered as she felt his warm breath against her skin, before she knew it she could feel his hot lips gently kiss her ever so sweetly down the side of her neck. Her eyes almost closed at the delight of his touch, but then widened again in realization of what was happening. She had to do something fast. She couldn't let him take her.

She backed away from him pointing her sword at him. "No Ares! I didn't come for this."

"I'll be honest.." His gaze dark and moody, "I never mentioned all of my intentions, but you don't honestly expect me to believe the thought never crossed your mind." He slowly raised his arm to move the tip of her blade away from his chest, but to his surprise, Vannus whacked his hand away with the flat side of the blade.

"I'm not that vulnerable young girl you once knew, Ares. I learned a long time ago what you're really about."

He gazed back at her with a slight frown, "Of course you're not... you've already made that apparent. But you still hold your desires, that you can't hide from me." Again he attempted to move the sword away from him, and again Vannus swiped him.

"You're wrong." She answered sternly.

"Well soon see about that." He growled. This time he gripped the blade of the sword and pulled it out from her grasp. Again he brought his body close to hers, taking hold of both her shoulders he moved her up against the wall. Pressing himself against her, he slowly brought his mouth to hers. Vannus turned her face to the side, which only resulted in him kissing her on the neck again. His grip was firm but his lips were ever so soft. He gradually moved up towards her ear, teasing her earlobe. Vannus struggled.

"Funny," his voice was soft, "you didn't take much persuasion when we were together earlier."

"What!?" Vannus gasped. "So it was real."

"Oh, yeah. It was real all right."

They then both faced each other, Vannus' eyes widened with shock, and Ares face looking ever so content.

"I had a suspicion it was really you in my dream, but I couldn't be sure." She frowned searching his face.

"Ah yes, but it didn't stop you from having your fun now did it?" He questioned, arching his eyebrows with faint smile.

"How dare you! How dare you toy with me like that!"

"Now, now Vannus why should you be so upset? By the looks of things you seemed to enjoy our little encounter."

Vannus was lost for words, how could she deny her reaction to him... he was there in her dream, and he was there, watching her sleep in the cave.

Ares eyed her form. "I know you better than you think. Because of your duties as a peacemaker, you wouldn't dare show your desire towards someone such as myself. You're too wise and proud to do that, if others were to know, your ...good reputation would be at stake. But if others weren't to know?..."

"Forget it, if I did you'd never leave me alone, and you'd force me to follow you."

"I have to say... the idea is tempting, you certainly have great potential. But I'd be willing to let that pass, if you'd be willing to let down your guard." He loosened his grip on her, as he slid his hands down to her hips. Staring lazily into her eyes, both hands began to creep into each side split of her skirt.

Vannus' pulse began pumping fast. Realizing he no longer had her trapped, she slid away from his reach. Keeping her distance from him, she began to pace backwards holding onto their gaze.

"Sorry to disappoint you, but I only owe you one favour." She then retrieved her sword from the floor and made her way out of the room.

Ares smiled wickedly to himself, if she thought he was going to let her get away so easily she had another thing coming...


Vannus raced down the hall way of the temple, she grabbed for one of the burning torches on the wall and headed out into the open air. Looking out into the sky she knew it would be a while yet before dawn would rise, and she knew that until then it would be very difficult to avoid Ares temptations. She needed to get away from the place, and decided to make her way round the back of the temple to check on Amberon.

Upon finding him she smiled to herself with relief. He was curled up on the temple grounds fast asleep. She paced over to him and hugged his face.

"How I look forward to our return home, Amberon." She whispered. "I'm almost tempted to go now, but knowing Ares I know that wouldn't be wise." Thinking about their task ahead, she stroked his brow. "I could do with a bit of relaxing myself, Ares can have quite an exhausting effect." She then looked about her surroundings, there was no way she was going to head back into the temple. She knew there'd be no chance of relaxing in there. Not too far in the distance she noticed some caves. Perfect she thought, it would be just the right place for her to unwind and get her thoughts back together.

Entering the cave she heard the faint sound of dripping water. Following the sound with curiosity, she came upon a hot spring. "Just what the witch doctor ordered." She whispered to herself with a grin. A hot soak would be just the treat to help soothe her jumbled thoughts.

She quickly undressed and stepped into the swirling water. Sinking herself into the spring she seated herself on a smooth rock, the water level just reaching her shoulders. Closing her eyes she rested her head against the edge of the pool, and her thoughts quickly turned to the source of her confusion, Ares. He was right of course, she knew she couldn't hide her feelings of desire for him. He could read her mind. She knew he was bad news and if she were to succumb to his advances he would never leave her in peace, but she still craved his touch. Suddenly she sensed a presence, she knew she was no longer alone with her thoughts. Opening her eyes the subject of her thoughts stood before her.

"What do you want now?" She spurted angrily. "Can't I have any privacy or time to myself?"

Ares smiled, his expression clearly showing his wicked thoughts of desire. "Making ourselves comfortable I see... good. For a moment there you got me worried. I thought you were going to head straight back for Britannia." He loosened his belt, with his sword and scabbard attached, and let it drop to the ground. He then started towards the spring.

Vannus' eyes widened. "What do you think you're doing?"

"The water looks so inviting, may I join you?" Biting his lower lip suggestively, he began to remove his leather clad.

"YOU'RE CRAZY." She sputtered. "You can't mean to join me like this!"

"And why not?" He laughed, the pool is clearly big enough for two... and you wouldn't deny me the pleasure of your company, now would you?" He paused holding his gaze. His voice then more sullen, and deep, "Afraid are we?" He asked, as his hands lowered and began to unlace the front of his leather. Vannus felt she should leave. She knew full well where he planned to take things and would be crazy to allow it to proceed.

Rising to get out of the water, she wasn't embarrassed for him to see her nude. After all he'd seen her before and she was proud of her form. To be honest with herself, she always secretly wanted to see him too, it had been so long. She allowed her eyes to sweep over his nude form. The sight that greeted her was magnificent as she knew it would be. He was all hard muscle and covered with dark hair. She ached to touch it and see if it felt as soft as it looked. Noticing her instinct to leave, Ares stepped down into the water, blocking her way and stood close to her.

He took hold of her arm. "Uh uh uh, where do you think you're going?"

"I've bathed enough thank you. I'm off to head out for some fresh air." Her voice spoke firmly, but she daren't look him straight in the eye. She knew his means to take her. How could she allow this to happen, but also how could she stop it? He knew her weakness, and he knew how much she wanted him.

"Oh I beg to differ." Running both hands through her thick black hair, he held her firmly, bringing her to face him. Vannus' lips parted slightly, meeting his gaze. "I'm sure I can persuade you to stay longer... much longer."

Slowly he pulled her into an embrace and lowered his lips to nibble ever so gently along the muscle of her neck. Vannus shivered from the warmth of his breath on her sensitive skin. He then slowly licked his way towards her ear, gently sucking on her earlobe. She could feel herself start to melt inside from his touch. She could never imagine that he would be so gentle. She knew it was his way of seducing her and felt powerless to stop him. He's never gentle, she thought to herself, he's the god of war and used to taking what he wants. And right now he wanted her.

He brought his lips to hers. Coaxing her lips apart his warm wet tongue swept inside to mate with hers. His arms came around to the front of her and his hands began to slowly caress her throbbing breasts. Her thoughts ran wild. She couldn't handle this, she knew this wasn't the real him, all this gentleness. Her nipples became hard points under his touch. He then lowered his head towards her breast and gently nipped her with his teeth, quickly he soothed the sting with a sweep of his tongue. He was starting a fire building deep within her. Taking her nipple inside his mouth he began to suck on it harder. She could feel a moan well up inside her and she bit her lip to keep from crying out.  His body was pressed so tightly against her and she could feel the swollen length of him. He wanted her, and that was quite evident.

"This is wrong," she moaned.

"Does it feel wrong?" He asked. "I think it feels so right to me." His voice was husky and low, sending a shiver down her spine.

He was using this gentleness to woo her, and she began to crave his fierceness. That was the real Ares she knew and wanted. With her frustration she grasped his long dark hair and pulled his lips back up to hers. Their tongues dueled wildly like their swords did before. She reached down between them and grasped his swollen length in her hand and began to stoke him.

"My, My..." he chuckled faintly, "impatient are we?"

He loved the feel of her strong hand surrounding the part of him that throbbed with desire for her. The pleasure of her touch caused him to swell even more but he pulled her hand away from him. Vannus looked up at him with a question in her eyes, as he held on to both her hands, restricting her touch.

"Slow down, we have all night." He laughed. "It took years to get to this place in time. I don't want it over before it even begins." Biting his lower lip he then pouted lustfully eyeing her nude form. "I want to savour every inch of you."

Letting go of each hand he slid his up both her arms. Once he reached her shoulders, he eased her to turn and have her back facing him. He brought her body up close to him. Taking a firm hold of her hair, he pulled her head back forcing her mouth to meet his, this time his kiss was harder, stronger. Yes... this was just how she remembered him, she thought. But it didn't last long, he nipped at her lower lip as he pulled away. He paused, and merely gazed into her eyes, Vannus frowned at him. He simply smiled at her wickedly. He was teasing with her, and enjoying every minute. He let go of her hair and slowly slid both hands round to her front. At the same time, he brought his lips to her ear and whispered all the delicious things he wanted to do to her body.

Kissing and nipping his way along her jaw, he made his way down the side of her neck, all the while caressing and fondling her breasts. Vannus moved her hair round to her side exposing the back of her neck to him. He accepted her invite with pleasure, and continued his hot trail of kisses. Having her back to him, he was denying her the pleasure of touching him, and she was craving to do so. Determined, she reached behind with both hands and stroked his hips.

Gradually he worked his way down the spine of her back. She sighed to herself, damn he was so good... How wrong was she to think she'd never let him make her feel like this again. Ares brought one hand round to her rear, and began to squeeze and caress her firmness. His mouth soon followed, licking and biting her. Vannus couldn't help but let out a gasp. Her legs parted slightly, as he then slid his hand in between, allowing him to stroke and feel her arousal. His hand skimming the surface of the water. She felt herself go week in the legs, and wasn't sure if she could take much more. He noticed her breath becoming short, and not wanting her to reach her peak just yet, broke away from her and rose to his feet. Holding onto her waist he turned her to face him.

"Try not to get too far ahead of me, dear. I'm not even half done yet." He grinned.

She grabbed his hair with both hands and pulled him to kiss her passionately. He met her briefly then broke away, kissing and licking her down the front of her neck.

Vannus pulled at his hair. "You're driving me crazy," she muttered short of breath.

Ares gave a faint mischievous chuckle. "Good... this is pay back time for denying me your true desires."

His hand slid down past her flat stomach to the junction of her thighs. Again his questing fingers found the pearl of her desire, and began to fondle it with sure strokes. This was proving to be more than what she could take. He was teasing and tormenting her flesh and he knew it. He could feel what his touch was doing to her and was glorying in it.

Her pleasure began to build with each stroke of his finger on her most sensitive part. Vannus struggled to hold on as much as she could, she knew he wanted her to beg him to end his torment. And he knew he was driving her wild. With desperation she reached down grasping him again tightly, and started to stroke him hard and fast simulating his fingers on her.

"NOW! " she moaned. "Take me now and end this torment!"

Ares looked deep into her eyes and entered her with a deep thrust. They both moaned with the pleasure of him buried deep within her. He lifted her hips, easing her legs to wrap tightly around his waist.

With an evil grin he locked his gaze onto hers, "Is this what you wanted.... me deep within you?" He then proceeded to move his hips back and forth, thrusting deeply within her.

"Yes!" Vannus cried.

Their movements became frantic, and she met him thrust for thrust. Throwing back her head she let out a loud moan of pleasure. Her cries excited him all the more, he bit her neck thrusting harder and deeper. He wanted to hear her moan her pleasure, driving him crazy with desire. Nothing turned him on more than hearing her shout out with pleasure. The passion of their union seemed to go on forever, the pounding thrusting rhythm. Both of them were sweating, straining towards their peak. Their lips locked together, tongues mating furiously like their bodies. Finally Ares gave a fierce cry, meeting her climax and exploded with a final deep thrust. She could feel him pulse within her. Regaining their calmness she lowered her legs from around him. They stood there trembling looking into each others eyes and panting hard. Neither one of them could believe the strength of their union.

Ares chuckled softly, "I knew it would be like this between us, you mate like you fight, fierce and strong. I have wanted to taste your passion for a long time."

Vannus was at a loss for words, she knew he had desired her but never expected him to say so to her straight. Even so, she knew she couldn't trust him. And this encounter, no matter how pleasurable and inevitable, was a mistake. He'd now found her weakness and she knew he wouldn't soon forget what they just shared. At that moment Ares felt her begin to draw away from him.

"Don't worry.." he laughed. "I won't allow this one encounter to change things between us." He gently took a hold of her arm. "We both enjoyed it but we know it doesn't change how you feel about me." His expression became more serious, "I am war and you are peace. We are forever at odds. But still I have no regrets. We used each other for mutual pleasure and it was so good!"

"Somehow I don't know if I can have your word on that." Ares frowned at her response. "Well let's face it, I'm sure you'd love me to stay here and serve you. It wouldn't surprise me if all this was to buy my affection. As if you really need me to get your precious weapons back. All this impressive behaviour with Amberon, the loan of your weapons, and helping me to practice...."

"Just like old times, wouldn't you say?" Ares cupped her face in both hands, and flashed her a wicked grin.

"You're the limit." She frowned.

Her comment only led him to grin even more. "Thank you." He smugly brought his mouth to hers, swiftly parting her lips with his tongue, and devoured another hard passionate kiss. It wasn't long before he pulled himself away. He gazed at her licking his full lips with satisfaction. "I'd love to take this further, but time is running out." He slowly stroked her hair. "You need to be somewhere before dawn breaks, remember?" His eyebrows arched.

Vannus gazed back, half disappointed in realization. "Oh right, well... I suppose the sooner I get this out of the way the better." She turned her back to him as she started to get out of the water.

"That's the spirit" Ares remarked as he gave her a swift pat on the butt. Vannus jumped and glanced back at him in shock. Ares merely chuckled at her and vanished in a burst of flames. Vannus walked over to her pile of clothes. As she dressed herself she found herself glancing back at the hot spring, visions of their encounter mulling over in her brain.


Leaving the cave to head back to Amberon, Vannus continued thinking about her time there with Ares and what may become of it. Had she made a terrible mistake? Or could she just let it pass as some harmless fun? After all it's not as if she promised him anything. And it wasn't as though she hadn't given herself to him before. In fact, he was her first all those years ago. Which probably explained her actions a lot. But one thing was for sure, no one was to know about it. Talk of something like this could cause great threat to her domain. Soon she reached the Temple again, and there lay Amberon, still fast asleep. Vannus approached him and began to awake him. His big eyes began to open and he cocked his head back with a great yawn. With a sincere gaze to his guardian he rose to his feet attentively.

"Ares!" Vannus called. "I need you to show me the way to their hide out."

Just as she said that, Ares appeared in front of them. "Not to worry, Amberon already knows the way."

"What do you mean?"

"What do you think he's been dreaming about? He knows what he has to do. The weapons were all hidden in chests, when they were taken. You should be able to fasten them easily to Amberon, once you have dealt with them." Ares looked up at the dragon most content, with arms folded. "He's most certainly big and strong enough to carry the load back here, don't you agree." Without another word he vanished.

Vannus raised an eyebrow as she watched the god disappear, and mounted Amberon. As she sat in his saddle, without a word or signal, he took off into the moonlight.


Flying high, Vannus hadn't a clue where they were headed, but this was a time where she had to just trust what Ares said. Amberon seemed confident about where he was going, and it wasn't long before he began to descend from the skies. They arrived at the scene in perfect timing. Looking over at the horizon it was clear that dawn was about to brake, giving Vannus just enough daylight to see her way round. Amberon landed just beside some woods. Close by, there was a campus of tents. Vannus dismounted and proceeded to head towards the camp. Without any need for her to instruct, Amberon followed close behind. As she got closer she drew her sword, ready and on guard. Looking about the campus she saw that all campfires had long gone been extinguished. Passing each tent she discretely snuck a peek inside, looking for the weapons. Just as Ares suspected, they were all out cold from drinking the night away. Careless fools, she thought to herself. She turned to see where Amberon had got to, and to her surprise she spotted him by one of the tents, his nose pointing at the entrance, beckoning her to come and look. Vannus, astonished, walked up to him.

"What has Ares done to you?" She whispered to him. "He's seemed to have let you in on what's going on more than me." Carefully she peeked through the opening. Finally, she thought. There inside were the chests Ares told her about filled with his weaponry. But to her disappointment they were being kept guard by two men. Pathos and Marsayas, she thought. They certainly didn't look like barbarians, but it had to be them. Unlike the others it was obvious they knew to expect trouble, but fortunately for her, they too were both asleep. Whether that was due to drink also, she couldn't be sure. She walked over to Amberon's saddle and took a hold of some rope. She tied one end to his reigns and kept the rest looped around her arm. Using the tip of her sword she carefully parted the opening of the tent and made her way inside. Well this was certainly going to be a challenge, the chests were placed at one side of the tent and Pathos and Marsayas were at the other, facing them. It was going to take some skill to move all of them without them waking up, and she had to hurry before dawn had risen. She made her way over to the chests, and decided to open one of them just to make sure they contained the goods. She fastened the other end of the rope around the chest. Then making her way back to the tent's entrance, she instructed Amberon to pull, meanwhile keeping watch on the two warriors.

Once the chest was outside, she followed to untie the rope and made her way back inside to retrieve another. As she began to fasten the rope once more, she wondered how much longer she could keep this up. She needed to rethink this, at this rate it would take too long. Just then Vannus froze, someone's arm rapped round her upper body and a dagger was now pointing at her neck. Without turning to look she knew it was one of the warriors.

"What are you doing here, who sent you?"

"Go ahead, slit my throat. You can't stop me."

"Don't tempt me, I want to know who sent you."

"No one." Vannus had no intention of telling him, not for Ares sake, but for her own. No way did she want others to think she was working for him. "I came of my own accord."

"Why do I not believe you. Now tell me the truth!" He raised his voice, and to no surprise caused the other warrior to awaken.

"Pathos, what's going on?"

"We have a visitor." Pathos turned still holding onto Vannus, to face him.

"I see..." Marsayas rose to his feet, and Vannus glared at him as he stared towards them.

"Ok spit it out, who sent you?" Pathos demanded once more. "Was it the Persian army?.... thinking of taking off with our goods before striking a deal?"

"You can dig that blade in all you like it makes no difference to me."

"Wait a minute Pathos.... it's obvious who sent her, can't you see?" A half smile crossed Marsayas' face. "Ares sent her."

"Ares? I'm sorry but I was expecting Ares to send something a little more..... threatening." His remark caused both men to laugh.

"Oh, but I am," replied Vannus.

"Well we'll just have to see about that then, won't we." With that Pathos sliced Vannus' throat. But to his horror she elbowed him in the gut and turned to face both men sword at hand.

"Now do you believe me?" There was no mark on her neck, leaving them both speechless. "Now we can make things easy for both of us if you just do as I say. See that rope. I want you to tie it to all the chests, there should be enough there." They both just stood there staring at her and glancing over to one another. "Now!" She demanded. Pathos reached for his sword, and swiftly drew it out from its sheath.

"Now way, not without a fight." He frowned.

"You asked for it."

Pathos lunged at Vannus, she ducked from his reach and swiped at his sword, causing it to split in two. "Had enough? Now grab that rope and do as I said."

"Ares did send you, didn't he?" replied Marsayas.

"Have I mentioned anything about Ares to you? Now get moving!" She demanded.

Both men glared at her with a grimace look, and moved over to grasp the rope. Vannus watched as they looped it round each latch. Once they finished she moved over to check they were secure. But as she did so Pathos seized the opportunity and kicked the sword out from her hand sending it across the room. Marsayas quickly ran to one corner of the tent and grabbed for the horn blower to alert the rest of the men.

"What do you think you're doing!" Vannus shouted. She grabbed both daggers from her belt and aimed one at Pathos' leg causing him to fall to the ground. The other hit the horn blower out from Marsayas' hands. She quickly retrieved both daggers and her sword as she ran out from the tent, and there before her she saw Amberon breathing fire out towards the band of barbarians, attempting to approach them. Marsayas promptly followed behind her and took his sword to the rope leading to Amberon, only to be blocked by Vannus' sword. She kicked him in the head swiftly, knocking him unconscious and then entered the tent once more.

"Just in case you get the same idea as your friend..." She started towards Pathos, now dragging himself towards the chests, his damaged sword in one hand. With the handle of her sword, Vannus struck the back of his head leaving him in the same state. "Sweet dreams." She then headed back out to see Amberon. He was keeping the barbarians well at bay, and she knew it would be now safe to leave. She mounted the dragon, and again without needing to instruct him, Amberon took off, still warding the men away. As they left the ground the chests soon followed, pulling the tent to shreds. Cries of abuse could be heard from the barbarians below, some even attempted shooting arrows at them. But they were far too high to reach. A sense of relief waved over Vannus. Finally her debt was repaid and soon she would return home.


It was now daylight as Vannus and Amberon landed outside Ares temple, first to hit the ground were the chests of weaponry.

As she dismounted Ares appeared, looking at the chests he commented,"Well... never let it be said that your tactics are missing ingenuity."

"I know I didn't exactly secure them greatly to Amberon, but it was the best I could do in the little time I had. Anyway the main things is I returned them all here, as requested."

"Oh don't get me wrong you did well...." He then paused, his face suddenly frowning, "Only......" He walked up to her, "... why didn't you tell them I sent you." His voice sounding most disappointed.

"I have my reasons, and besides, you never told me to."

Ares didn't like what he'd just heard. "Reasons? They asked you time and time again, and you still denied me. You knew I wanted it to be made clear they weren't to have messed with the likes of me!"

Vannus couldn't believe what she was hearing, after delivering his request without a hitch. "Look, I understand you're anger towards them, but you seem to forget that I'm not one of your followers. I've put my reputation on the line following your orders. Telling those men that I was on a mission set by Ares, would lead them to believe that I have the same morals. And if then word were to get around... well, then I would risk lives of more dragons now wouldn't I?" Ares' expression was blank, and Vannus wasn't sure what to make of his thoughts. She decided it best not to provoke him all the more and explain herself calmly. "You said yourself when we were together that you understand how I could never be on your side. If you're not happy with the way I handled things then maybe you should have chosen someone else.... and someone who would appreciate using these weapons more." She began removing the sword from her side, and both daggers. But Ares placed his hand on hers and stopped her.

"No, I don't want you to do that." His expression became as calm as hers. "Those weapons weren't given as a loan. I wanted you to keep them as a reminder of your time here, and what happened in Britannia."

"I don't know, Ares. I'm not sure about this." As she spoke she sensed disappointment from him.

"You won't even accept a gift from me?"

"OK." Vannus sighed. "If that's what will satisfy you, then I accept. Just as long as I don't end up regretting it."

"Why should you end up regretting it?" He replied mocking an innocent expression.

"Yeah right, like you make a habit of giving away sincere gifts." Vannus gave him a look of irony.

"I know, I know, but this is different. We go back a long way, and have all eternity ahead of us. It's not easy to be able to remember everything you know." His eyebrows arched, and lips almost curved into a smile.

Well at least he wasn't mad at her, that was some relief. "Very well, I'll take your word for it, but it's not like I need them."

"What ever you do chose to do with them, just make sure they're looked after. They're yours and yours alone, you're not to let anyone else near them, do you understand?" He took her chin to his finger tips and brought her gaze to meet his.

"You have my word." She then looked away, "Well I'd best head back home."

"I see.... such a shame really." He then backed away, and stood by the chests. "But, if you must go...... Well, it's been.... enlightening." His eyebrows arched as he spoke, "Until next time, Vannus." And he disappeared with all of the weaponry.

I suppose that's one way to put it, she thought. With that she turned to Amberon and began to mount him once more for their journey home.

The End

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