Author: Tareena
Story Title: The Many Faces of War
Characters: Xena & Ares
Rating: NC-17
Summary: When a fierce storm forces Xena into one of Ares' temples, old feelings surface and she must deal with them; with the help of the God of War.
This rating is for explicit m/f sex

I do not own any of the characters mentioned in this story, although I would like to own Ares ;), Renaissance Pictures owns him instead. This is a non-profit story.

This story depicts consenting adults making love. If this offends you please do not read it. Be warned, subtext lovers, I believe than Xena and Gabrielle are just good friends, nothing more, and I strongly object to any rumours that Ares is Xena's father.


The Many Faces of War
by Tareena

It had been a relaxed day; a gentle breeze was rustling the leaves in the trees and it was pleasantly warm. Dusk was fast approaching though and Xena was routinely looking for a spot to spend the night. The two travelers continued along the dusty path until Gabrielle broke the silence which was making her uncomfortable.

"Xena, we need to set up camp soon, it's getting kind of dark." Confusion creased her features when the warrior did not respond, but it was quickly replaced by annoyance. "Xena, did you hear what I said?"

"What is it Gabrielle?" The warrior snapped uncharacteristically. Something was bothering her, Gabrielle could tell. Although she was somewhat temperamental and unconversational at the best of times, today she had been very irate. Gabrielle knew she should keep out of whatever was bothering Xena but she couldn't help herself.

"I said, we'll need to set up camp soon. We need to find a clearing."


Gabrielle rolled her eyes and sighed in frustration. "Xena! What's wrong with you today?"

"Nothing, Gabrielle," Xena responded tersely. She spun around to Gabrielle with eyes flashing annoyance and threat, a look that Gabrielle rarely saw; Xena's eyes had turned a strange hue of silver-blue, she didn't like this at all, something was obviously bothering Xena.

"There's a clearing about ten minutes up the path. I suggest you stop meandering if you want to get there before dusk," Xena added harshly before stopping momentarily to resume her place on Argo and spurring her on at a brisk walk. Gabrielle had to jog to keep up and whilst this was not a problem for her, her annoyance at the stubborn and dominating warrior was becoming apparent. However, the look that she had received earlier worried her. Xena always restrained herself in their inevitable petty fights but the cold rage contained in that glare scared her. She could see why Xena had been so successful in her conqueror days. Gabrielle was now certain that something was wrong and made her mind up to find out what it was.

Atop of Argo, Xena was absorbed in her thoughts and oblivious to the puffing of the frustrated bard who was jogging aside her. Her mind was plagued by memories. Years before she had been here, it was in this area that her army had camped. The spot had been chosen because of its closeness to Ares' temple. Her relationship with him had been in full swing by that time. She was determined not to be just another of his pretty-girl priestess imitations. She felt something for him and wanted it to be returned. Up until then she had resisted his advances, to a point, but he had convinced her that sleeping with him would only strengthen their relationship. She knew he was being manipulative as usual but she wanted him as much as it seemed he wanted her. That evening, after her army was settled she went to his temple where he was waiting for her. In his bedchamber that night he took not only her virginity but also her heart. Of course, when she awoke the next morning he was gone and had left in his place only a note, very businesslike, detailing when he would be back and what military advances she needed to take. It mentioned nothing of the night before, as if it was meaningless. At that point she broke down sobbing. She hadn't cried since Lyceus died, but the way she had been used by the man she loved hurt deeper than she had thought possible. Of course, in their next encounter, he reassured her that his untimely departure had been essential, but she saw him in a completely different light after that.

Xena flinched at the memory. But despite his betrayal she couldn't help remembering that night. His body had been so perfect, his words so arousing and he seemed to know exactly what to do to get her writhing at his touch, and best of all he seemed to relish and hunger for her body. That had been her first sexual encounter and until this day, she had never given herself to a man so wholly as she did that night. She had learnt a thing or two about men and kept her distance after that. Xena found herself aching for Ares and mentally slapped herself for thinking such a thing. He was her enemy! Why did she feel this way about him, he was a manipulative bastard, but he was so irresistible . . . . Her thoughts were interrupted by a rumble of thunder.

"Xena, it's beginning to rain! We need to find shelter, now!" Gabrielle found herself shouting above the din of heavy rain and thunder. Xena weighed her options. Either stay out in this unrelenting storm or head for the only shelter she knew of in the area. Personally, she would prefer to stay out in the storm but looking down at the protesting and sopping wet figure standing with her hands on hips, Xena sighed heavily and offered her hand to Gabrielle who swiftly took it and, with Xena's help, swung up onto the back of Argo. After galloping briefly, they arrived in front of a massive and very impressive temple. Gabrielle gasped in wonder but felt Xena's body tense in front of her. She dismounted and Gabrielle followed her. After tying Argo to one of the huge marble pillars at the front of the temple Xena walked up and pushed the heavy doors open. Xena's reluctance became clear to Gabrielle as soon as she opened the doors and followed Xena inside. The rich furnishings, busts of famous warriors and meticulously polished weapons hanging along the walls left no doubt as to the owner of this temple.

"Ares," Gabrielle stated half under her breath, but Xena's keen ears picked up the half-whisper, half-curse. She turned and forced a smile at Gabrielle.

"It's the only shelter for miles unless you've got a tent."

Gabrielle raised her eyes to the priestess walking towards them. She stopped and looked Xena over, the warrior was not impressed, and Gabrielle had to try hard not to laugh at the expression on the warrior's face. Was it hate, disgust or even a bit of jealousy? What!? She knew Xena didn't hold the Gods in high esteem and thought even less of their servants and worshippers. In her old days jealousy of anyone else who received Ares affections would be understandable. But now . . . surely she didn't feel anything for Ares? Gabrielle's thoughts were interrupted when the priestess turned her not-too-impressed gaze at her. Gabrielle smiled. After all, it couldn't hurt to get on the good side of this priestess. But as her eyes rested on Gabrielle's staff she could see amusement spread plainly on the priestess's face. She turned back to Xena as Gabrielle decided that she definitely did NOT like this priestess.

"So, did you bring an offering for Lord Ares?" The priestess asked knowing full well what the answer would be. With a pointed glance towards Xena's chakram she added,

"I'm sure he'd appreciate that if you've got nothing else."

"I'm sure he would but that doesn't mean I'm offering it."

The priestess raised her eyebrows,

"Well, what DID you come here for then?"

Gabrielle didn't like the way this was going. She could see Xena liked the priestess even less than she did but this temple was their only possible shelter for the night. This was exactly why Gabrielle normally handled the negotiating.

Deciding she didn't like the cocky tone to the priestess' voice, Xena retorted, "We were looking for a bed for the night."

At that the priestess laughed. In a cool, offhand sort of tone she replied, "I'm sorry, unless you have an offering for Lord Ares, I can't lend you a bed for the night, we don't take in just any scum you know."

Xena's eyes flashed and she rose to her full height.

"Scum, huh? Well, at least I don't spend my life in a dreary temple as one of Ares' whores waiting for the next time he decides to visit for a screw."

"How dare you speak to me like that in MY temple!"

With a flash of light Ares appeared next to them in all his leathered glory. Xena felt herself immediately attracted to him. There was something about him that exuded raw sexuality and she wanted more than anything else to melt into it. For the second time that day she had to force herself to regain control of her senses and remember who this was.

"I do believe it is MY temple, Katrina," he stated coolly.

"Of course, Lord Ares," The priestess admonished as she fell to the ground at his feet and placed her hands on his boots in a submissive gesture.

"Oh please, spare me," Xena spat as she watched the arrogant God and his worshipping servant in front of her.

Ares grinned devilishly as he said in a patronizing tone, "I hear you are seeking refuge in my temple for the night, my dear."

'Well, it was inevitable,' Xena thought to herself. Bracing herself she said, "In case you haven't noticed, it's pouring outside."

Ares chuckled. "Of course, my dear, that is the only reason you are here." He looked into Xena's hate filled eyes hoping to see some indication of a reminiscent feeling but saw nothing but hate and repulsion. Something inside Ares faltered, his confidence maybe, but his suspicions were confirmed. He meant nothing to her. That night so long ago had meant nothing to her. Quickly his face hardened again and his usual cocky air returned.

"Katrina," Ares beckoned as he motioned for her to rise, "How many rooms do we have spare?"

"One, Lord Ares, with only one bed." The priestess smiled triumphantly.

"Well then, Xena will just have to take my room won't she."

"Lord Ares?"

"Well it is going to be unoccupied after all, Katrina."

The priestess' face fell as she realised that Ares hadn't come for her but rather, for the warrior woman in front of her. Intense jealousy surged in her as she unsheathed her sword and charged for Xena, screaming and sword flailing. Xena easily flipped over her head and with only a few kicks dispensed of her sword and had the priestess pinned to the side wall. With a triumphant smirk towards the priestess she stalked back to Ares and remarked, "Well, you don't train them like you used to, Ares."

The priestess gasped at the flippant use of her lord's name. Ares turned around to her and ordered, "Katrina, escort the blonde to the guest room. I'll take Xena to her room."

As he moved past Xena, Ares whispered, just loud enough for her to hear, "Not that you couldn't find your own way there."

Xena closed her eyes and took a slow breath. "Why did he have to stay?" She asked herself. She had been dreading this, having to sleep in his room, the room where it happened. Didn't he realise how much this room meant? She opened her eyes and braced herself for the inevitable taunting that would come from him before following Ares down the long hall to his room.

Ares couldn't work out why he had stayed. He didn't want to have to face her. Even if that night hadn't meant anything to her she would remember and it would make things very uncomfortable. Coming to the end of the hall where his bedchamber was, Ares made a decision. He was going to tell her how much that night had meant to him. Maybe if she saw that he cared it would change things between them.

Xena came to stand next to Ares in front of the ominous looking door. He pushed it open and motioned for her to go inside. She didn't like his intentions. Was this some sick way to get into her pants in the same place he did all those years ago? Although he was manipulative and deceitful, Xena didn't believe he would do something like that to her.

The room was furnished with incredibly good taste. A four poster bed stood in the right corner covered with deep red silk sheets, and black silk was draped from the posts. Four freshly fluffed pillows sat at the head of the bed. The bedside table was of exquisitely carved mahogany and a large bowl of fresh fruit sat atop of it. A plush chair sat in the other corner of the room next to a large, open window and a large black fur covered most of the floor. The room was just as she remembered it and it sent shivers down her spine.

Ares walked into the room behind his silent warrior princess and closed the door behind him. Xena turned sharply at the sound and looked at Ares with revulsion. As she walked briskly towards the closed door she retorted, "Don't you ever give up? I only came for Gabrielle's sake you know. Personally, I'd rather sleep in the rain. It had NOTHING to do with you!"

As Xena reached out to open the door Ares grabbed her hand and pulled her towards him. She was slightly surprised but Ares could tell she was annoyed and was just about to pull away so he leant in and kissed her deeply. Xena squirmed and tried to yell at Ares but she was muffled by his mouth on hers and his delicious tongue working inside her mouth. He could feel her resistance weakening, her body was starting to relax and she was starting to return the kiss.

Xena's mind was screaming at her to stop but every fibre in her body was giving into Ares' ministrations. She found her arms wrapping around the back of his neck and her form melding into his. He was pure, hard muscle. He lifted her up and walked backwards, placing her on the bed and then laid down on top of her, not breaking the kiss. He ran his hand down her neck and over her breast.

It felt so delicious but Xena knew she had to stop this right now. She moved her hands around to his chest and started pushing him away from her but his hands didn't stop. Xena was starting to panic, she knew exactly where this was leading and she didn't like it at all. Doing the only thing she could in that position she brought her knee up in contact with his groin, hard. He let go of her. He may not be able to feel pain, but he got the message. Xena was mad, he could see.

"Get off me Ares, NOW!"

Ares did as he was told and after a brief pause, Xena got up and stormed out of the room. Not thinking, but desperately not wanting to loose what may be his only chance, he ran out of the door and down the hall after Xena. He got to the end of the hall and could see the temple doors open. Knowing where she would head he disappeared in a flash of light.

Xena ran out of the temple as fast as she could. She wasn't just mad this time she was upset. That room had been a sore spot and he had tried to take advantage of her. She ran around the corner of the temple to the stables and out of the pelting rain, where she knew a servant had taken Argo earlier. As she stormed into the stable she found Ares standing by Argo looking less arrogant than usual and actually a little sorry.

"How predictable. You disgust me, Ares. Just get out of my way."

Xena walked towards Argo but Ares didn't budge. He reached out to touch her arm but Xena roughly shook him off.

"Look, Xena. I'm sorry . . ."

"Oh please, save it, Ares. You knew very well that I didn't want you to make advances at me. I'm sick of you trying to get me back and even worse, trying to get in my pants. If you want a screw why don't you just go to your little priestess? I'm sure she'd gladly get down on her knees and give you what you want."

Ares' jaw tensed and he closed his eyes briefly. "Just listen to me for once will you, Xena!" he said a little louder than was necessary.

She turned to look at him, anger plastered all over her face, but she stayed put. Ares sighed and, with difficulty, started explaining.

"Whether you believe me or not, Xena, I didn't mean to hurt you. I just," Ares paused, searching for words. Xena started to realise that this time he may not be faking.

"I just, couldn't help it. Normally that's all it takes to get women back on my side, it was a spur of the moment thing, I'm sorry but I momentarily forgot that you were so extraordinary."

Xena opened her mouth as if to say something but then closed it again and whispered, "Well, you've got impeccable timing."

She quickly turned away and leaned on a post. Ares thought he sensed a quaver in her voice and walked around in front of her. Xena had her head down so that he couldn't see her. Ares reached out and tipped her chin upwards but she quickly shook her head away. However, Xena wasn't quick enough for Ares not to see the tears glistening on her cheek.

"Xena, are you crying?" Ares asked, his voice disbelieving.

"When's the last time you saw me cry, Ares?" Xena retorted sarcastically.

Quietly Ares replied, "The morning after we made love for the first time."

Xena's head shot up at the mention of that timeframe and Ares could see the tears on her cheek and in her eyes. She looked so vulnerable and feminine, a far cry from his warrior princess. Something around Ares' heart melted and he reached out his hand to try to brush away the tears but Xena slapped his hand away and roughly brushed her cheek, annoyed at herself for showing weakness to him.

"I thought you left. ‘Essential business' I believe you called it."

Xena turned back to Ares. All weakness was gone from her face and her eyes bore into his with a hate that had been kept buried for a long time. Ares paused. Emotion other than bloodlust and hate made him uncomfortable. He didn't like having to explain himself either but it had been left wanting a long time. Deep down he knew this was why their relationship had never taken off. He had treated her like another warlord, a tool for him to use to gain world domination. He hadn't treated her like a woman or like an equal which was what he knew she deserved.

Ares reached out and took Xena's hand in his own. He was glad when she let his action slip and looked instead to his eyes for an explanation. Ares sighed and began, "That night was the most special night of my life up until this point," Ares felt Xena's hand tense in his. "Really, Xena. I'm telling the truth. I stayed with you until you fell asleep but as I held you in my arms I realised how special you were." Ares paused before he went on, "a little too special. Xena, you know emotion and expressing it is not my mug of mead. Honestly, I didn't know how to handle you when you woke up, so I left. I just sat in my castle and watched you through a portal. When you woke in the morning I saw you break down when you found the note and I wanted nothing more than to go to you and hold and comfort you but I didn't know how to handle the situation. So I didn't. Nothing was quite the same between us after that. I could feel you becoming more distant, and frankly I don't blame you."

Xena was more shocked than anything and she just stood their leaning on the post for support and holding Ares' hand. Her instincts told her not to believe a word he said but she hadn't sensed anything but truth in Ares' voice. He seemed genuinely concerned and sorry. For the first time in years she gave into her emotion and started to silently cry. Ares didn't say a word. He simply let go of her hand and gently pulled her head to his chest and held her whilst she cried.

Xena also hated emotion but for years she had felt like no one loved her, at least not in this way. She knew her mother had always loved her and Gabrielle was the best friend anyone could have but the love of a mother and a friend was somehow different and just couldn't compare to the love of a man, this man. Xena felt like she was letting out years of pent-up emotion and for once didn't feel stupid or weak about it. She just felt comforted.

Ares felt relieved. This was something he should have done years ago and he was grateful that he had the chance to make up for lost time now. Xena suddenly seemed incredibly feminine and gentle to him. He no longer saw her just as his Destroyer of Nations but as a woman. One that had been through more than any mortal should have to go through, in many cases because of him. But he was determined to give her the love and care that she deserved. His princess, he would make her his goddess and ensure that she felt loved for the rest of her life.

In typical fashion, Gabrielle took that moment to walk in on the red-eyed warrior being held in a loving embrace by the God of War.

"Xena! Have you gone absolutely mad? What have you done to her, Ares? Get away from her now!"

Ares sighed heavily and Xena pulled away from him and quickly wiped her eyes. 'Great,' Ares thought, 'Now she's going to slap me, make something up and storm off with her little blonde sidekick. Just when I get the chance to love her, she walks out of my life again.' To Ares great surprise, Xena made no move to slap him or to walk out she just stood there and took a deep breath.

"He hasn't done anything, Gabrielle. Not anything harmful anyway." With a quick glance at Ares she continued. "I love him. All my senses tell me it's wrong but I can't help it. I always have loved him. I never stopped loving him."

The astonished bard just stood at the stable door, mouth agape and hand on hip looking like she'd been bitten by Bacchae. Gabrielle opened her mouth as if to say something but then just closed it again. The second time around, however, she was more successful,

"Xena, think about everything he did to you! He is evil, you're good. You deserve better! Hera's tits! He's your enemy, what's wrong with you?!"

"Nothing, Gabrielle."

Xena said, pain and sudden weariness in her voice.

"All I know is that I love him, I know who he is and I know what he's done but that doesn't change anything. You loved Perdicas, surely you can understand that you'd do anything to keep that love, to bask in it."

Gabrielle just shook her head and looked up at Xena.

"I don't want to have to say this Xena, believe me, it hurts but I have to." Gabrielle took a deep breath. "I can't help thinking that he's incapable of love. Tartarus, ten minutes ago I'm sure you would have said the same. So, Xena . . . . It's either me, or him."

Xena's face flashed with anger and disbelief.

"I can't believe you, Gabrielle! All through your marriage to Perdicas I stood by you and supported you . . ."

"How dare you bring that up! Besides, it's got nothing to do with this, Perdicas was kind and loving and sincere . . ."

"And you think that because Ares is the God of War he isn't capable of that? Well, what would you call what you saw Gabrielle? It was hardly harsh and murderous was it? To tell you the brutal truth, I never thought Perdicas was good enough for you, there was something funny about him, something I didn't like and he didn't like me, the same as your family. He didn't approve of you associating with me. But I held my tongue and I supported you because you had found love." Gabrielle was crying, Xena could see that, but she wouldn't stop, she was going to finish.

"You're being incredibly selfish, Gabrielle. I'm not asking you to come and live with us just to be tolerable. I'd hate to think that we've been friends for all this time and that means nothing at all to you. I don't want to take advantage of the situation but in case you didn't know I've had a very hard life. I've put up with a lot of hate and I'd just like to let down my guard and be loved . . . by a man. It's so different to motherly love or the love of a friend. You can immerse yourself in it. I'm sorry Gabrielle, I wish it didn't have to end like this but if I have to choose . . . . I'll go with Ares."

Gabrielle looked over at Ares expecting him to look arrogant and triumphant but instead saw genuine shock and pure love and adoration directed at Xena. She suddenly did feel very selfish and wished she could take back all she'd said. Instead she just walked up to Xena and hugged her. To her surprise Xena hugged her back and they both exchanged sorrys and cried. Gabrielle suddenly realised that she'd never seen Xena cry before and felt doubly bad.

When they eventually parted Ares said quietly, "Sorry to interrupt, ladies, but would you like to have some dinner together?"

Xena smiled at him. "I think that might be just what we need. Thank you, Ares."

They walked inside together. Ares wanted nothing more than to pull his warrior princess into his arms and kiss her passionately but she was walking with Gabrielle, that annoying little bard always did get in the way. Ares made a promise to himself; that he would be tolerable and nice to Gabrielle, for Xena's sake, at least for tonight.

As they walked into the temple, Ares directed them into the dining room off to the left of the altar. He had already laid the table, using his powers when he was outside. At the sight of the luscious food Xena smiled and walked over to Ares and leant up and kissed him on the cheek with a quick but well-deserved thank you. Gods he loved this woman! He took his place at the table next to her and listened whilst Gabrielle and her chatted, this was her night and maybe the last she would spend with Gabrielle for a while, he would stay silent and give them this time together.

Gabrielle was enjoying the conversation with Xena. Something definitely had changed in Xena's perspective, normally she was quite unconversational but she was doing more than her fair share of the talking now. She was glowing as well, she was happier than Gabrielle had ever seen her.

A tinge of sadness ran through Gabrielle. It was so ironic that Xena would find love with the man that had been her enemy for so long. But when she really thought about it, Gabrielle couldn't find any time he had really hurt Xena, just put her in situations where she had to make choices to come back to him or not. She couldn't really blame him, if he was in love like he said, he'd just tried to get her back. It upset Gabrielle that she could never make Xena as happy as Ares could make her, but she was Xena's friend and wanted the best for her. If this was what measure her happiness had to take, then there was no way but to support her.

Gabrielle looked over at Ares. He was staring at Xena adoringly. He'd hardly said a word all through dinner, just sat there and watched her contentedly. Gabrielle suddenly saw him in a different light. Who knows, he might turn out to have a heart after all. Gabrielle knew she'd never be friends with him and could never really forgive him after his involvement with Dahak. But he was different, she had to give him that, and she would be tolerable towards him from now on.

It was getting late and Gabrielle was getting tired despite herself. She hated to admit it but Xena and Ares needed some time alone.

"Xena, I'm a little tired, I think I'll go to bed, okay?"

"Okay, Gabrielle. I'll see you in the morning. Sleep well, okay?"

"I will, Xena. Night, Ares."

Ares smiled and nodded at Gabrielle as she walked out the door, leaving Xena and Ares alone.

"So, my princess, what do you fancy doing tonight?"

Xena smiled at Ares, he couldn't help himself. "I don't know but it seems like I'm going to need my energy and I'm not quite full."

"Well, what would tickle your fancy, my dear?"

Xena smiled and feigned thoughtfulness. "Oh, I don't know, some strawberries and . . ."

Before she could finish two bowls appeared before Xena. One of fresh strawberries and another of melted, dipping chocolate. She smiled at Ares.

"Well, I always said that I knew you better than I knew myself," he stated coyly as he stood and walked to stand behind Xena.

Ares reached around her and picked up a strawberry, dipped it in chocolate and brought it up to her lips. Xena chuckled but bit the strawberry back to his fingers and then licked the chocolate sauce off them. Ares smiled and resumed his seat beside Xena. She took the hint and stood up and moved over to sit on his lap. She smiled and picked up a strawberry, dipped it in the sauce and placed it on her hand which she then held in front of her breasts. Ares looked up at her face and smiled knowingly before bending his head to nuzzle her hand and retrieve the strawberry.

Xena was enjoying herself to the extreme, he could tell, when he placed another strawberry on his tongue and extended it for her to take. Instead of taking it as he had expected, she picked it up with her fingers and placed it in her own mouth. Ares raised his eyebrows but she just smiled and took another strawberry. This one she placed between her teeth for Ares to take. He tried to retrieve it with his tongue but just pushed it out of her mouth and it fell and sat on her cleavage. Ares just grinned.


Then, to Xena's surprise, he removed her armor, placed it on the nearest chair and extended his tongue to the strawberry. After eating it he returned to her cleavage to lick of the remaining chocolate sauce. Xena moaned softly and pushed her chest towards his face. She could feel Ares smile against her skin. By the gods she wanted him! When his warm, soft tongue eventually stopped lapping at her cleavage she claimed his mouth with her own and started kissing him with a vigour that surprised even Ares. He pulled away to Xena's disappointment but only smiled and picked her up. As he carried her to his bedroom she wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered in his ear, "I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Ares."

Ares looked into her love-filled eyes and whispered back, "You'll have everything and anything you want, my dear, I promise. I'll make you feel so happy and loved."

He reached the door and Xena pushed it open with her foot. Ares smiled and walked inside, placed her on the bed and straddled her hips.

"Ares, the door."

Ares just cocked his head, and waved his hand and the door swung closed and locked.

Xena smiled, "I'm going to enjoy this aren't I?" she teased coyly.

"I hope so, because you'll be enjoying it for the rest of your life," Ares replied seductively, then leant in and kissed her. Xena kissed him back and for a while both were contented with just kissing.

But Ares soon became impatient and started to kiss a path down her neck to her breast. He removed her leathers and his pants and vest with a thought and then started to kiss her right breast. Xena groaned and raised her chest upwards, towards his eager mouth. The feeling of his muscular, hard body against Xena's was so exquisite. Ares was sucking Xena's nipple and the sensation was driving her wild. It had been so long since anyone had touched her like this. His hand moved to her other nipple and started to roll and squeeze it. Xena couldn't stand it any longer, she ran her hands down his back and dug her nails into his buttocks. Ares quickly got the message and started to move down lower. He ran his hands lightly over her inner thighs and Xena groaned impatiently.

The sight of the writhing warrior princess below him sent Ares wild, he needed to be inside of her now but was determined to give her what she needed. Her hands on his buttocks, however, gave him the indication that she needed this as much as he did. He moved down her body, spread her legs and ran his hands over her inner thighs. This was his fantasy. His beautiful warrior princess in his bed making love to him. His earlier intentions to take it slowly seemed irrelevant now as he moved back up her body and looked at her face. Xena's eyes were closed and her face was a mask of pure pleasure. She could feel him looking at her and her thick, dark eyelashes fluttered open and her breathtakingly blue eyes locked with his brown ones in a mutual gaze of love. She smiled and opened her legs further. That was all the assurance Ares needed. He slowly thrust his more than ample member into her, and they both groaned at the sensation. After a brief pause Ares started to slowly thrust into Xena. She wrapped her legs around his hips and matched Ares' pace. Thrusting in unison, their pleasure was mounting considerably. Xena grasped onto Ares' buttocks once more to try to pull him deeper inside of her. He complied and readily thrust harder and deeper into Xena. Their breathing had become ragged and Xena could tell Ares was very close, she was herself. As much as she wanted him to thrust even faster, the feeling of him inside of her was so delicious she never wanted it to end. She opened her eyes to look at him and he whispered, "I love you, Xena."

Just then they both came together in the most powerful, mind blowing orgasm either of them had ever experienced. Ares pulled out of Xena and laid down next to her as they both recovered. Xena's breathing was slowing and Ares was still recovering so he pulled up the sheets over both of them and wrapped his arms around Xena. She rested her head on his chest and they both just lay there for several minutes before Ares eventually broke the silence.

"I'm sorry, Xena."

Xena shifted her head on his chest and replied, "What on earth for?"

"For all that I've done to you over the years. I've caused you so much pain but for a long time the only way I thought I could ever get you back was for you to be my conqueror. It took me a long time to realise that my obsession for you revolved around love. I found it hard to accept that I had a heart and was capable of love."

Ares felt Xena smile against his chest.

"Well, you're not the only one that has been realising things."

Ares face creased in confusion.

"War and love aren't really that far away from each other. Both need the other to exist properly. Mankind couldn't really live in a society without balances and choices and war and love offer them. Decisions are what shape our personalities and whichever path we take shapes our lives. It's not only possible, but necessary for war and peace to co-exist."

Ares was silent for a while as he digested the reasoning of his love. What Xena had said made perfect sense and he himself had a wonderful relationship with Aphrodite. She was the only goddess that he really got along with. That in itself had to be proof. He smiled to himself at the reasoning power and intelligence of his Xena.

"I love you, Xena," he said simply, but with so much devotion in his voice that Xena couldn't help melting at the simple phrase. She leant on his chest and looked up to face him.

"I know, Ares. Believe me, I know."

Xena laid back down next to Ares and let herself be consumed by the warmth of his body. She was almost asleep when he said softly, "Xena."

"Yes, Ares."

"I promise I'll be here in the morning."

The End

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