Chapter Three

"Thank you for helping me," Aphrodite sighed. "I can't trust anyone." Iolaus sighed and patted Aphrodite's back. She was an immortal and yet she was as soft and delicate as any woman. He took a deep breath and her scent entered his nostrils. She smelled of lavender oil and some unknown scent he could only describe as love. Love was indeed a beautiful thing and she excreted it.

"You're welcome, but you have more than me to trust, we'll make it to cornith soon."

"Oh no if I can't spread the love than so many couples are going to be unhappy." She started rattling off couples who were due to find their true love and wouldn't now. Iolaus was amazed as he got her walking towards Cornith how well she knew her worshippers. As a good, he thought they were all selfish bastards who didn't give a damn at all about the people who came every day to worship them and fill their temples with gold and silk.

"Is it a long walk to Cornith?" She asked. Iolaus knew it was, but the longer she talked the quicker the walk would be now that he knew where he was.

"So how does it work bringing two people together?" Iolaus asked. "I mean do you know who will be someone's true love?" Aphrodite shook her head.

"Iolaus Love is everlasting, but it is also fickle."

"Yes, I know, I have yet to find everlasting love."

"Look Iolaus your true love will find you when the fates see fit, not because I say so. I mean yes I can make people fall in love, but eventually my spell must wear off and you, you must see if from that real love is born."

"And how many times have you hit me with a spell and I'm the one that's not in love?" Aphrodite grinned.

"I haven't hit you with a spell in years Iolaus, you have no trouble falling for a girl on your own, one day, you'll meet someone so great that their very presence will strike you down mind, body, and soul."

"Did any of them truly love me?" Iolaus asked.

"A few, but you would be surprised how quickly unrequited love can vanish in the face of true love."

"Hmm…I have another question," Iolaus said he was about to go deep into thought when he saw Aphrodite's attention turning back to their walk.

"What's that?" Aphrodite asked absently scratching her arm.

"Hercules and Xena."

"What about them?" Aphrodite asked. He got the feeling she knew where he was heading, but just let him talk.

"Are they ever going to be together?" He asked. "Do they even have true love?" Aphrodite smiled as she thought about her brother and the warrior princess.

"Xena has many loves." Iolaus frowned.

"What do you mean, that she has multiple lovers." Aphrodite giggled and shook her head.

"No, that's not Xena not at one time anyway. She…." Aphrodite trailed off as she thought about what she wanted to say. "She's a beautiful woman with qualities that man cannot resist, she's the perfect mortal woman. Strong and fierce yet soft, there's more to the warrior princess than most men will ever know."

"I don't understand," Iolaus said confused.

"She's ideal, all men want her, but not all will have her. I couldn't begin to count on my hand the number of people who have fallen in true love at just the sight of her, and she can't do anything about it. I can barely do anything about it. There are so many people who will never find another love, because the love that they have for Xena is so strong. A las Xena can only give one her whole being."

"But how do you know it's not one of them?" Iolaus asked. "You said you don't know who a person's true love is."

"I also must confer with the fates, when it comes to a woman like Xena, they can see your past future and present in any scenario. I can only try to bring her together with whom they suggest."

"Ares loves her doesn't he." Aphrodite nodded.

"My brother has loved her since before she knew there was a world outside her mother's womb, so loves are just cosmically destined to be there."

"But he's not her true love." Aphrodite shook her head.

"Not anymore, Ares, had his chance and he made the wrong choices."

"And Hercules has he made the wrong choices?" Iolaus asked.

"Not yet, soon though he will have to make a decision to claim their love or not or he'll be lose her."

"To who?" Iolaus asked.

"Number of people in Xena's past or future, present even, I won't let her be alone, she deserves love."

"Present?" Iolaus asked. "Are you saying I love Xena?"

"No, you loved Xena big difference." Iolaus couldn't fathom who else in the present would love Xena besides himself and Hercules.

"Yes, I loved, but they love each other right all they have to do is decide to be together?" Aphrodite nodded. "And my true love, she'll come soon?" Aphrodite shrugged.

"I told you I can't put a time stamp on when your true love arrives, for all I know she's already in your life, but that moment just hasn't happened yet. It's quite common, sometimes true love must grow over time before you realize it's there."

"Than Gabrielle and I!" Iolaus decided. "She must be it." He didn't feel anything for Gabrielle he thought perhaps Aphrodite was right, maybe this time something would spark between them and he would have the love he so desperately wanted. For a good mile Aphrodite watched him daydream about a family of little blondes running around with Gabrielle as his wife, but she didn't comment to him that Gabrielle was not destined for him, that much she knew, she always knew about a couple's potential and Iolaus and Gabrielle had no potential.

That night as they camped out under the stars more than just to Aphrodite's dismay, Iolaus dreamt of having a family again, but to his surprise it wasn't Gabrielle he greeted with a kiss, but Aphrodite wearing normal clothes. She was so beautiful and they were so happy and when he made love to her in his dream….Iolaus woke up in a sweat breathing hard. Aphrodite was beside him, she was a god, she didn't necessarily sleep and she couldn't sleep not while they were outside camping.

"You were having a sex dream," Aphrodite said amused. Iolaus looked at her strangely.

"You know most people tell someone they were having a bad dream not a sex dream."
Aphrodite grinned and shrugged. Iolaus couldn't help, but grin back at her.

"You forget I'm not most people Iolaus and unless you have a penchant for pain, bad dreams don't give you hard ons." She touched him lightly that if he hadn't seen her hand he might have thought it had never been there. Aphrodite moved back over to her seat by the fire and gazed into it. When Iolaus finally walked over after being alarmed and yet so turned on she had noticed such a thing, he saw she was watching couples in the fire.

"What are you doing?" Iolaus asked.

"Helping my worshippers," She replied absently so intent was her focus. "I can't just do nothing because Hera's crazy." Iolaus nodded and watched her work until he could fall asleep again.