Title: All's Fair - Prequel to In Love and War
Fandom: TVD, Greek Gods AU
Ship: Klaus/Caroline Forbes, with hints of Stefan/Caroline, Damon/Katherine
Character/Gods Counterpart Reference List:
Ares - Klaus
Athena - Caroline
Aphrodite - Katherine
Dionysus - Damon
Hermes - Matt
Diomedes - Stefan
Poseidon - Elijah
Persephone - Bonnie
Hades - Alaric
The humans get it wrong. Aphrodite is just as capable of being cunning as Athena is to be vain. They're gods, but in no way are they the cookie cutter creatures that men make them out to be. If anything, with all their powers they're ever more flawed, more complicated.
She is not a paradigm of virtue. Far from it. And it's one of those times when she was growing increasingly sick of being put on a pedestal as the pillar of reason and logic that Aphrodite taunts her with the most delicious of schemes.
For one glorious night they will each shed the weight of their reputations and become somebody else.
Of course, habit is difficult to shake off, even if the temptation is great, and so Athena reasons with her sister. Picking apart the scheme, pointing out the flaws of her plan, the folly of it. But Aphrodite is a temptress and she's good at what she does.
"What is the harm in one night? Nothing that can be done in one night is irreversible or cannot become forgotten by dawn."
Athena had scoffed. "Entire cities can be destroyed in a night," she drawls.
"Remember what happened to Pompeii?"
"Well that's what happens when you anger Hades. Persephone should've seen it coming," Aphrodite answers flippantly.
"How was she supposed to foresee that he would burn down an entire city?" Athena argues.
Aphrodite rolls her eyes and flips her lovely dark curls over her shoulder and tries a new tactic.
"Enough about other people's affairs! What about your own? Aren't you sick of them calling you the Virgin Goddess?" she taunts, arching her eyebrows up in that signature condescending manner of hers.
Athena opens her mouth in protest, but Aphrodite interrupts with a melodramatic sigh. The Goddess of Love and Beauty pushes herself off the luxurious velvet divan upon which she lounged to approach her sister.
"Let loose for one night, Athena. No one even has to know."
Aphrodite smiles a beguiling smile before procuring a mask from behind her back. She holds it out to Athena like how one would dangle bait before a prey.
"Besides... don't you want an excuse to visit your mortal?"
Aphrodite smirks knowing full well about Athena's favoritism towards a certain Greek human.
"I hear he'll be in Athens tonight for the festivities. Along with all your other boys. Maybe you should steal a dance... or a kiss."
Athena blushes a deep red and wrings her hands. "They're not my boys," she protests.
Aphrodite rolls her eyes.
"Come on, Athena. You know you want to," Aphrodite whispers as she circles her sister.
Athena wrestles with contradicting emotions as she looks from the lovely mask made of ivory to her sister.
"Why do you care so much whether or not I go?" she questions suspiciously.
Aphrodite was trying way too hard and usually that means she was up to something.
"Maybe I just want to see you drop that superior act of yours and go wild," Aphrodite shrugs.
Athena's is not convinced by her doe eyes and pouty lips.
"There's something you want out of this."
Aphrodite presses a hand to her chest and her face contorts into an expression of appall.
"You wound me, Athena. Just because we've had our differences doesn't mean I'm out to get you. It truly hurts me that you would think I have ulterior motives that would harm you."
"Maybe not to harm me, but there are ulterior motives I'm sure. I speak from experience."
"Alright! So I lied," Aphrodite admits, groaning. "I need you to switch places with me because there's somebody I'm trying to avoid at the festivities tonight and I need somebody to distract him while I meet with my new lover."
"Of course you do."
Athena is not surprised. Aphrodite was constantly stringing men along. She was a fickle lover and was always causing trouble. The number of lovers her sister has probably outnumbered the number of snakes on Medusa's head. Often times Athena questions how they could be related when Aphrodite is so impulsive and reckless in her affairs.
"This person you are avoiding... it's not Dionysus is it?"
Aphrodite's face takes on a look of distaste at the mention of the God of Wine.
"I am so over that sorry excuse for a god. And... I think I've fallen in love. And I must see him or I shall surely die!"
The raven haired goddess saunters back to her divan and sprawls across the cushions, a hand pressed to her forehead in a satirical expression of devastation.
As usual Aphrodite is overly dramatic and Athena struggles to refrain from laughing.
"Alright, alright," Athena soothes, even as she crosses her arms over her chest in annoyance. "I guess... there won't be in harm in showing up..."
Aphrodite peeks through her fingers, a smile already on her lips, sensing her victory within grasp.
"I'm just... I'm just not comfortable about this whole... switching thing," Athena gestures between the two of them. "No one is going to believe that I am, well...you."
"Well we're going to have to change that aren't we?"
With deft hands she plucks the helmet off of Athena's head, tossing it carelessly behind her.
"Hey!" Athena complains, her hands on her hips.
"You're not going need a helmet," Aphrodite drawls. "You're going to a party not war."
Without another word she drags her sister over to her wall of gilded mirrors, grinning a grin that was brighter than a thousand of Apollo's suns.
Aphrodite claps her hand together in excitement.
"This is the most important part, Athena. It's not just about what you're going to wear. It's about what you are going to take off," Aphrodite smiles mischievously at her, waggling her eyebrows.
Athena laughs. Aphrodite's delight is infectious and she finds herself smiling as they rummaged through Aphrodite's immense wardrobe of silken dresses.
He didn't normally do festivities. That was Dionysus's domain. His was war, violence and chaos. Three things the mortal world easily provided. Alas, a rare period of peace was upon them and he found that he had to resort to Pentathlon competitions and the like to provide his entertainment. But he can watch only for so long before feeling the call of the arena, the itch to partake in the violence himself. He was going mad with idleness.
Dionysus laughs at him over his ever present goblet of wine.
"You are coming, Ares. I will not take no for an answer," Dionysus declares as he passes his friend a goblet of wine. "It'll be fun! I'm tired of watching you pacing about. You're going to wear a hole in the ground. And besides there will be wine and women-"
"Isn't that always the case with you?" Ares interjects with an eyeroll.
"Beauties from across the land!" Dionysus continues ignoring the interruption.
Ares pauses in his pacing to turn and face his friend with a knowing smirk.
"I heard Aphrodite herself will be making a presence. Aren't you two-"
The God of Wine waves his hand dismissively.
"Aphrodite is a nothing more than a varnished vase. All surface beauty, but hallow inside," Dionysus answers disparagingly as he reaches for the beaker of wine.
Ares laughs and clasps his on the shoulder.
"She break your heart, mate? Well, they say there's always more fish in the sea. As to how true that is, you'd have to ask Poseidon."
Dionysus shoves away his hand and gulps down his wine.
"I don't care about what's-her-face. Her sister is prettier anyways."
Ares snorts and quirks his eyebrow.
"You mean Athena? The Virgin Goddess?"
Dionysus laughs. "She is no virgin, I assure you. Although she was one for quite a while, longer than I thought possible with a face like hers. She's not Aphrodite's sister for nothing. Even if they are about as similar as day and night."
"Yes, I doubt it was Aphrodite that came up with that formation that sunk my Thracian warships in the Persian sea."
Dionysus laughs again. "You need to let that go, Ares. What is it that they say? All is fair in love and war."
"You must speak from experience of the former rather than the latter." Ares quips.
"What is a woman, goddess or not, doing meddling in the affairs of the military anyways?"
"She would skin you alive if she heard that."
"If she was a true warrior she would come and meet me face-to-face in battle instead of playing puppet master behind the scenes," he drawls disdainfully.
"I forget that you have not met either of them," Dionysus muses thoughtfully.
"Perhaps that's for the best. I can only imagine what would happen should you two meet," Dionysus intones seriously, as he finishes his wine.
When his friend reaches for yet another beaker, Ares intercepts.
"I think that's enough, my friend. Let's not get too wasted before the party."
Dionysus grins like a cat who ate the canary.
"So you're coming?"
Before he can properly answer, Dionysus slaps his face with both hands and plants a kiss on his forehead despite Ares's complaints.
Dionysus ignores him and goes on to rambling on about how it would be a night he wouldn't forget and boasting of the attendance of all of Greece's mightiest warriors for him to test his strength with.
Ares sighs and wonders if he had just let himself be played by the God of Wine.
Aphrodite had been misinformed. Or rather she probably just plainly lied, Athena thinks scathingly.
Diomedes was not there. And neither was Achilles or Odysseus. None of her great warriors were. False advertisement should be a crime punishable by the gods and she would have been happy to oblige in dealing out the punishment.
It's been a long while since she had last been in Argos and she has started missing her favorite champion. His absence would cloud her level of enjoyment for the rest of the evening.
She had been ready to leave when a hand grabs hers. She rolls her eyes and turns, expecting it to be one of Aphrodite's discarded lovers hoping to rekindle some romance. She had shooed away plenty in the past hour already. Instead she found herself staring into a pair of very familiar blue eyes.
"Herm-hermit! Please remove your hand, sir," she stutters.
She silently curses herself for that pathetic cover up. She's had one too many cups of wine and her mental faculties were failing her. She was going to need all of her wits to get out of this one. Then again, perhaps he had too much to drink as well. Maybe it didn't sound as horrible aloud as it did in her head.
The messenger of the gods quirks an eyebrow at her, a bemused smile curving his lips.
"Hermit? Now that's a little insulting. I know you can do better than that, Athena."
So much for that optimistic thought.
Perhaps if she kept denying it he'll go away. She still had her mask on after all.
"I'm sorry. I don't know who you are talking about. I think you got the wrong person," she lies in a pitchy voice.
Hermes laughs. "I know it's you, Athena. You cannot fool me. Now will you take off that ridiculous mask and speak to me normally?"
She sighs and lifts her mask. "How did you figure it out?"
She had not meant to run into another Olympian. Doing so could unravel everything. She was suppose to be escaping that life tonight, and it was rather embarrassing if he asked her why she was wearing Aphrodite's dress and pretending to be someone else.
"I have my ways. I wouldn't be a very good messenger if I cannot find the correct persons to deliver my messages." He gives her a quick look over and wrinkles his eyebrows. "Why are you wearing Aphrodite's dress?"
Once again she curses loudly in her head. Has he suddenly developed mind reading powers now too?
"It's none of your business," she snaps, blushing bright red. Tonight was so not turning out the way she had thought.
Hermes raises his hands up in the air in mock surrender. "My apologies. But I did not mean any offense."
She rolls her eyes as he returns his hands to his side once more.
"It suits you. I think you look lovely," he says sincerely.
He flashes her a genuine smile and she can't stay mad at him.
Hermes had always been a good friend of hers. He was clever and witty and most of all he knew when to keep his nose out of other's affairs. A trait a majority of the residents of Olympus sorely lacked.
"So I'm guessing you have a message for me?" she quirks her eyebrow at him, extending her hand out with palms up expectantly.
He chuckles as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the little scroll of parchment.
"From the son of Argos."
She blinks at him in surprise. Her heartbeat increases instinctively at the thought. But why would Diomedes be sending her a message?
It's only when she opens up the scroll and reads the message does she find out the answer to her own question. It was not from Diomedes at all. It was from Tydeus, his father. She struggles to keep the disappointment from showing on her face.
"What does it say?" Hermes inquires.
Athena shakes her head as she scans the page. Tydeus's words were cryptic and her head was too heavy with wine to make clear their meaning.
"Something about the Trojans. He rambles. I will have to decipher it in the morning when my head is clearer. I'm not in the right mind to be of any good counsel tonight. What does Dionysus puts in the drinks anyways?" she sighs.
Hermes laughs at that. "I think I'm beginning to understand the reason for your attire. It must be tiring to constantly heed the mind's words of wisdom and deny your heart's content."
Of course Hermes would figure her out. He was always the most observant of the gods.
"Yes, but perhaps it's about time I start cleaning the wax out of my ears and listen to logic again. I think I might retire early."
"You're leaving already? It's not because of your arch-nemesis is it?" he teases.
Athena stops and her eyebrows knit together in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
Hermes smiles mischievously. "Did you not know that the Ares is here? He's been making fools out of all the warriors that dare challenge him over at the amphitheatre."
Athena's mouth opens in shock. She has long had a rivalry of sorts with the God of War, but she had never actually laid eyes on him. To be quite honest she thought him a mere brute with a thirst for blood.
She's been avoiding the tournament all night because she had promised to help Aphrodite with her distraction, but now that she knew that Ares was there she couldn't help be feel like tempting fate.
Logic told her that going to watch him would only result in disaster, but her curiosity got the best of her.
He would have to make Dionysus swallow his tongue the next time they see one another.
Ares finds himself vastly disappointed with the turnout. Were all the Grecian warriors actually just babes whose mouths still stunk of their mother's milk?
He easily disposed of all his challengers and was ready to retire with a large amount of mead when an Athenian youth steps up to the plate.
He was young and obviously green, looking to impress his peers and the many lovely ladies that were watching. Ares had scoffed and rejected the challenge. He did not make a sport out of beating children.
Of course the Athenian could not tolerate the insult of such a rejection and struck him from behind as he was leaving. If there's anything Ares hated most it was such underhanded moves. Obviously the boy had to be taught a lesson.
He had just finished doing just that when he hears the biting critique and dismemberment of his reputation by the spectators.
"So that's the great Ares, God of War? Pathetic. This whole thing is a charade!"
The acidic words raked his nerves. He turns his attention to the rows of seats, ready to skewer whomever dared mock his victory. He pushes his way through the flock of onlookers in search for the instigator. He makes his way towards the nucleus of the crowd and to his surprise he discovers that the voice of the prime instigator belonged to of all things a girl.
A beautiful girl at that. At least from what he can see. Her face was obscured by a mask, but the golden dress that clung to her curves hid much less and he got an eyeful of smooth, porcelain skin.
She pauses in her speech about how his footwork needed more practice when she notices the crowd parting for him to approach.
Rather than cowering in fear as she should the girl had the gall to laugh. Her head tilts a little to the side in bemusement and he can guess that she was smirking from behind her mask. All things that only made his blood boil hotter.
The tournament, if it could be called that, was pathetic at best. There wasn't even a pretense of an even playing field.
The fights grew increasingly boring as she watched the rather handsome Ares dispatch man after man. He was indeed the God of War and she would have admired his prowess had he been less ruthless with his adversaries. He played with his opponents, relishing in their defeat more than necessary.
You'd think he'd be as bored of fighting them as she was of watching them, but no. Needless to say it quickly grew distasteful in her eyes.
After a particularly brutal defeat of a young Athenian, she couldn't hold her tongue any longer and quite loudly proclaim to her fellow audience what a joke the entire challenge was. The wine had loosen up many tongues, not just her own, and other joined in her critique. It also didn't hurt that the men in the audience were quick to agree to the words of the beautiful maiden in their midst. Soon she's got a whole crowd of spectators clamoring boos at the arena.
Thinking back it was probably not exactly the wisest thing to do, especially when it earns her the attention of the very hotheaded and ruthless God of War.
His voice is a growl as he marches up the stone steps towards her.
"Are you laughing at me?"
The way he was looking at her made her wish she had not allowed Aphrodite to dress her. She was too used to the heavy weight of helmet and armor that Aphrodite's sheer, diaphanous dress left her feeling dizzy with lightness. A feeling she had relished. She had spent hours prior to the start of the festivities marveling at her reflection in the mirror. Aphrodite had worked her magic and she felt transformed. But now with his hot gaze raking over her body, she felt quite naked and subconscious. Still she stood her ground.
"Yes. I am," she replies cattily. "That was a poor show of sportsmanship. And you need more work on your skills with the sword."
His handsome face screws up in a frown.
"Were you even watching? I desecrated them," he points out, gesturing with his hand to all of his fallen, bloody and bruised opponents.
"You were sloppy," she says with unconcealed scorn.
There were multiple times when he left his whole right side exposed.
"And it wasn't even a fair fight. You were no more than a bully picking on weaker opponents to boost your ego."
"I will not tolerate criticisms from a little girl. Especially from one that hides her face," he snarls. "Take off your mask," he demands.
She scoffs at his demand and rather than obey she marches right up to him, her hands on her hips.
"I may be a woman," Athena corrects, "but anyone with eyes could see that if any of the warriors tonight were faster or smarter there would have been quite a few more dents in your armor and a couple more cuts and bruises. You were lucky tonight."
He'd be struck by how lovely she is if he was not so distracted by how infuriated he was by her words.
"Do you know who you are speaking to? I am the God of War."
Before she could point out how little that impressed her, the host of all this celebration drunkenly stumbles to Ares's side. Athena's hand instinctively touches the mask covering her face, making sure that it's still there. The last thing she needed was Dionysus to recognize her.
"Ares! You fiend! What are you doing beating up all of my guests? How many times do I have to tell you? It's a party not a brawl!"
Athena panics for just a moment and then she feels Hermes's hand on her elbow. Quickly the two of them takes advantage of the distraction to disappear into the crowd. When Ares had finally been able to shake the drunken Dionysus off of himself she was already gone.
"Where did she go?"
"Who?" Dionysus hiccups.
"The viper in the mask!" Ares screams. "Where is she?"
His question falls on deaf ears as Dionysus's attention had already been stolen away by a pair of voluptuous maidens.
He scans the crowd again for a sign of the masked girl, but to no avail.
Before his anger could be rekindled by the memories of her words, Dionysus once again appears by his side and drags him away to placate him with wine.
Only once she's put a good amount of distance between herself and the Gods of War and Wine does she allow herself to put her guard down. Now that she was safely far away from the angry brute she lets out a small giggle, recalling the look on Ares's face.
"You're drunk," Hermes smiles.
She merely nods, her giggles having turned into full out bellows of laughter hindering her from making coherent forms of speech.
Soon she has to rest her back against a pillar to keep from falling, that was how hard she was laughing. Hermes merely watches her with amusement.
It seemed like the full effects of all of Dionysus's wine was finally getting to her. If somebody asked her what two plus two was at the moment she'd probably tell them it equaled cow.
Music starts somewhere nearby and she's fraught with the sudden urge to dance. Her body feels restless and her feet were already tapping in time with the music.
"Let's dance," she announces.
Hermes chuckles and shakes his head. "I'm good, but you go."
She pouts, but doesn't bother trying to argue with him. The music is already luring her away.
Somehow, even despite her intoxication, her body remembered the steps and her feet barely touched the ground as she moved to the rhythm of the music.
Dionysus has once again abandoned him and he's forced to find his own form of entertainment. Still his thoughts continue to dwell on that infuriating girl from the arena. No one person has ever vexed him so other than the famed Athena.
He's trying to enjoy the company of a rather well-endowed mortal while nursing a cup of Dionysus's exceptional wine when he hears the music. He watches the dancers for a moment until he recognizes a very familiar figure in the foray of undulating bodies.
He smirks when he is finally able to place her.
She's a golden beacon amongst the jostle of the guests in various masks. They revolve around her as if she were the sun. The ardent eyes of the adoring spectators follow her every gesture.
"My gods," somebody breathes. "I think I've just fallen in love. If that isn't Aphrodite dancing then I'm a monkey's uncle."
And the puzzle clicks together.
"Aphrodite," he mutters.
Of course. It seemed that this pair of sisters was destined to be a thorn in his side.
Her movements were graceful and bewitching. It almost reminded him of the elegant control of a skilled swordsman. He would have admitted to being impressed if he didn't hate her so much.
In his book, Aphrodite has made far too many offenses. It's about time, he thinks, that Goddess of Love becomes the scorned lover. He may be an expert on the art of war, but that didn't mean the exquisite art of seduction escaped him.
He grins as he passes by a vendor selling bronze masks and procures himself one. Placing it over his face he joins the jostling bodies, making his way to its center.
She's too enthralled by the music that she doesn't notice his approach. His hand darts out, take hold of hers and with a forceful yank he pulls her to him. A gasp escapes her when he catches her in midair, sweeping her right off her feet. For a moment their eyes lock together and the rest of the world disappears.
Finally after a moment she seemed to snap out of her trance and struggles out of his hold. He smiles behind his mask as he sets her back down.
She backs a little away from him. Her heart is pounding away in her chest so hard she's afraid her ribcage would split apart from the impact.
He can see her eyes watching him from behind her mask, measuring him up.
The music picks up again the crowd forces them to move. She watches him curiously in silence as they circle one another.
The steps of the music bring them back again only to pull them away in the next moment. Like tides being pulled by the moon.
"Who are you?" She asks as she spins away.
When they come back together again he whispers into her ear, "Whoever you want me to be."
She can tell from the arrogant way he holds himself that he was smirking behind the mask.
The God of War's fascination with the masked Athena doesn't escape his notice. Hermes watches as Ares slips on the mask and makes his way towards the spinning goddess.
He thinks to intervene as anything the God of War has planned cannot be anything good, but when he makes a move to intercept Ares a hand stops him.
"Hello, Hermes," the God of Wine smiles. "Enjoying the party?"
Hermes glances at the multitude of drunken and inebriated mortals around him and then back at the dark haired God.
"Obviously not as much as some."
Dionysus laughs in reply. They both turn their attentions back to the twirling Athena and the approaching Ares.
"More of your handiwork," Hermes point out. "Shouldn't you stop him? This will only end in disaster."
"Awfully protective of young Athena, aren't you?" Dionysus drawls, raising his eyebrow at his companion.
"You're the one that intercepted back at the amphitheatre," Hermes retorts.
"I didn't want any bloodshed," he shrugs. "I'm a lover, not a fighter."
Hermes scoffs and takes a long drink out of his cup.
Dionysus looks over at his companion and smirks. "Why? Are you jealous? We both know you have a weak spot for young Athena."
"She's like a sister," Hermes answers plainly, not fazed by the God of Wine's provocation. "And Athena has too many men in her lives already. I don't like getting entangled into such complicated business. I prefer my life of simplicity."
"Boring," Dionysus sing-songs.
Hermes laughs. When he turns his attention back to Ares, he realizes that Dionysus had succeeded in distracting him. The God of War had already entered the dance floor.
He could swear that at that moment when Ares had caught Athena in midair, the Fates themselves held their breath. This was the pivotal moment when everything changes and the dominos began to fall.
"I hope you don't regret not interfering, Dionysus. I have a bad feeling about this."
This time Dionysus chuckles and shakes his head.
"Oh ye of little faith! I believe in happy endings."
"We're Greeks," Hermes points out. "We're not known for comedies. We're the tragic sort."
There was something about him that drew her to him. She couldn't quite place her finger on it, but it was a déjà vu type of feeling. As if she's met him before. It nagged at her in the recesses of her brain.
So when he extended his hand towards her once the music stopped she took it. Her curiosity got the best of her.
They somehow find themselves in one of Dionysus's empty chambers and something tells Athena that she should be more cautious, but the potency of Dionysus's wine remained as strong as ever, leaving an ever pleasant buzz in her head.
He was surprised by her. He had imagined Aphrodite a rather vapid and shallow creature. What had Dionysus called her? A vanished vase?
But for everything he said she would always have a witty counter, even though he can tell she had too much to drink. She likes rambling and he has to fight the urge to kiss her just to get her to shut up about the monetary policies in Thrace.
"I'm talking too much aren't I? I do that sometimes," she laughs shaking her head.
"You must be bored."
Not at all what he expected the Goddess of Love to be. He had expected sultry and sensual, dripping with sex appeal and mind games. Instead he finds her utterly candid. There was an aspect of innocence to her that he did not foresee, almost to the point of being clumsy. There was something utterly genuine about her that he finds immensely attractive.
"I think I can conjure up some alternative activities we can both enjoy..."
"Oh, I'm sure you can," her voice drips with sarcasm. She laughs again and tosses her hair. It glints prettily in the moonlight like a golden cascade.
His finger trails down her arms, his masked face close to hers. When his hand snakes it way around her waist she pulls away coyly.
"You're being a tease," he groans.
She tilts her head to the side and he can tell that she's smiling the most beguiling smile behind that mask and he's filled with the urge to kiss her again. If only that pesky mask was out of the way.
"Me?" she protests. "You're the one who won't tell me who you are."
"I'll take my mask off if you take off yours."
He tries to reach for it, but once again she pulls away, mischief in her eyes. A laugh like bells echoes in his ears. Strange how he had approached her as the seducer, but he's finding himself being the one seduced.
Not for the first time tonight, he wonders if he had underestimated her.
"I'd prefer it... if you took something else off," she says casually as her hands smoothes over his chest. Reaching around his shoulders she unclasps his cape.
He smiles when it falls to the floor. His eyes follow her hands as they reach for the buckles on his breastplate.
"Now how about this armor? I do admire it so. It looks to be made by Hephaestus himself. Although the gold inlay is a bit vain, don't you think?"
She goes about undoing the straps, letting it drop to the floor and leaving his muscular chest bare.
He grins behind his mask and strokes her chin, tilting it up so he can look into her eyes.
"You're not what I expected."
"Maybe because I'm not myself today," she answers.
"And who are you usually?"
"Oh the very paradigm of virtue," she quips. "But virtue is overrated."
"That it is..."
She turns and walks towards the immense bed, waggling a come hither gesture with her hand in his direction.
He walks over to her, placing his hands on either side of her head on the bed as she leans back.
"I think you're overdressed," he points out.
"I think you might be right," she replies.
He slips her dress off a shoulder and she undos the belt buckle around his waist. Once divulged of their clothing, she slips from under him, crawling away to the opposite side of the bed.
He quickly follows, catching her ankle and pulling her back, climbing on top of her.
She writhes underneath him. His hand traces the curves of her body, eliciting the loveliest of sounds. She arches her neck, exposing beautiful expanse of skin that he longed to touch. His hand strokes the pulse at her throat and once again the urge to remove their masks is great.
She proves to be difficult and scurries away from his touches. But her first mistake was turning her back on him. He grabs her by the waist and buries his face in the crook of her neck. His nose assailed by the scent of her. Something akin to olives and lilies. A strange pairing, but she was an enigma of a maiden.
He pauses at her lower back, his hand tracing over what looks like a tattoo of an owl in mid-flight across the otherwise smooth, unmarked skin.
Before he can accurately study the picture, she had turned in his embrace and reversed their position. She hovers above him, her long legs wrapped around his midsection, no longer playing hard to get. Her fingers rakes down his chest and rotates her hips in a deliciously wicked way, earning a groan from his lips. It's a mixture of pain and pleasure.
When he tries to sit up she pushes him back down. Taking his hands in hers she places one on her hip and the other on her breast. He takes a sharp intake of breath when she adjusts her seat and brushes against his harden arousal sending pinpricks of agonizing pleasure through his body. The heat between them rivals the fires of Hades. His hand drops to stroke the flat of her stomach. Her back arches with his touch, her hand gripping his shoulders.
He takes back control then, sitting up and hitching her more securely onto his lap. She lets out another gasp when he enters her without preamble.
They don't bother with unnecessary words and they are not sweet nor are they gentle. Together they rock their bodies in rhythm. Her hands strokes and massages his muscles before tangling themselves in his hair. His goes about finding places that makes her gasp, places that makes her moan, exploring every inch of her body save the one obscured by the mask.
He longs to rip it off and kiss those lips hidden away by the artificial ivory face. But every time he tries she'd find some way to distract him and remove his hands. And she's good at her distractions so he lets her.
They tumble about, each scrambling for dominance. Sometimes it ends with him winning, other times not. Like the dance they danced, it's a series of tug-of-war, push and pull, but in the end they come together as one.
They collapse in a sweaty mess. Arms, legs and sheets tangled around them.
She waits until his breathing becomes slow and steady before cautiously opening one eye. He's fast asleep, his arm draped around her midsection. She watches him breathing for a while. He snores a little and she finds it laughable.
Who is he?
The niggling of familiarity still clings to the back of her mind. Her curiosity once again takes hold and against her better judgment she reaches her hand over to lift off his mask. In one delicate sweep the mask is off, leaving his face naked and bare in the flickering candlelight. That's when she comes into a terrified realization that she recognizes it.
She scrambles from the bed in realization that she had the God of War beside her. He starts stirring and she silently curses her clumsiness. Swiftly she picks up her scattered clothing and slips through the billowing curtains, stealing away into the night.
He wakes when he feels the heat disappear from his arms. He opens his eyes and manages to catch only a shadowy figure disappearing through the curtains. His mask lies besides him and he reaches to touch his own face in realization.
The billowing movements of the silk curtain is the only thing that showed evidence that she was ever there at all.
A/N: Whew this thing took forever to write and there IS more coming. I don't know how parts the prequel will end up being, but I'm also planning a sequel that comes after the Klaroline moment in "IN LOVE AND WAR" and it takes place during the Trojan war. I think I'm just way too invested in this greek gods AU. So bare with me and my obsession. Any and all feedback is welcome! I'm a vain creature and I need to be fed praise or at least good useful critique to keep going.