Valentine's Day on The Island: Ares
by Lisa Beth Darling
For the three days leading up to his Valentine's Day date with his Wife, the God of War could think of nothing else. Alena had been wonderful, no warrior could ever ask for more from his Wife. She'd been patient, strong, and brave. She'd stayed with him when he was deep in the clutches of Major Falls, a time he had not been kind to her. Lost to the fever and the delusions of the weaponized version of rabies, he'd done something unforgivable that nearly cost him her life. Yet she did forgive him, she even continued nursing him back to health refusing to give up on him when others would have done just that.
If that wasn't a miracle enough, when Zeus died, she'd stood by his side as they crowned him King of Olympus even though his Family would not accept her as their Queen. Other than to say that she wouldn't return to Olympus to live until the Mortal World was secured, she put up no fuss, no argument, and never gave him an ounce of grief over his new position among his Family.
Ares wanted to do something very special for Alena, something that would show her how much he appreciated her and loved her. Problem was he couldn't come up with anything. So, the day before the big day, Ares went to visit Eros in his Tower on Olympus to seek his Son's advice. After all, Eros was the world's foremost authority on Valentine's Day. Ares found Eros in an uncharacteristically bad mood.
Eros was blunt and to the point as they sat in his living room on plush white sofas, "All she wants is you. That’s it."Ares groaned, "I secured forty-eight hours with her, but that's not enough. I want to dazzle her."
"Show up," Eros huffed knowing it had been at least three months since Ares even stopped by the island to visit with his Wife. The Winged God of Love, who went often to visit with his step-mother, was keenly aware of how hurt and lonely Alena felt in Ares' continued absence. "No matter what happens on Olympus or with the Mortals, don't let anything interrupt you."
Taken aback by the sharpness of Eros' tone, Ares folded his arms over his broad chest, "I have duties and responsibilities…"
"Chief among them is to your Wife, not to them," Eros spat, "if you lose her, Father, you lose everything."
"Such hostility and drama," Ares remarked darkly, "she knows that…"
"That you're not with her, that's what she knows," Eros insisted as his white wings ruffled. "She's lonely more than that she feels alone, as though you've abandoned her in favor of your War and your new crown."
Ares quieted his tongue and thought for a few moments. Having remained single before Alena he never had to leave a beloved woman behind when he went into battle. Standing here in Eros's parlor, Ares remembered the morning he left, how she woke in his arms, enticed him to stay in bed with sex, and how her arms clasped around him a death grip when he finally rose from the bed to prepare for the coming battle. Her nails sank deep into his flesh and her fearful eyes pleaded with him to stay. Then he'd begged her not to make the departure harder than it had to be, he promised to come home if only for a few hours at a stretch, he'd been very lax in keeping that promise. "Me, huh?"
"You and your undivided attention," Eros huffed. "That's all."
"What is it you're not telling me?" Ares intoned darkly as he captured Eros' gaze. "Are you screwing my Wife? Getting close to it? I know you've always had a thing for her."
"Oh please," Eros protested indignantly, "she loves you, she'd never take a lover…never." Eros huffed hoping his emphasis caught his Father's attention but it did not. Eros couldn't prove what he suspected Apollo was doing to Alena in Ares' absence or how Ares' miraculous recovery from Major Falls really came about but he had deep suspicions. He even came right out and asked Alena while she tried to laugh it off, her eyes told a different tale, a tale of torment and someone on the edge of breaking. "Go down there and show her you're worthy of being her Husband, that you haven't forgotten her, or abandoned her in favor of your never ending passion for war."
Feeling duly chastised, Ares disappeared from Olympus to wander around the Mortal World for another day growing more anxious about his upcoming date. He knew he'd been away a long time, war didn't stop because he wanted a night off to make love with his Wife. Surely, Alena knew that and Eros was wrong, she didn't feel abandoned or forgotten by her warrior Husband. He thought about her every day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Wandering the deserted streets of New York City he came upon the remains of a once famous jewelry store; Tiffany & Co. The windows were busted and the heavy security door was off its hinges hanging open in a slightly sinister crooked smile. Stepping inside, Ares saw the interior was worse than the exterior with every single case having been smashed to bits and the contents emptied. The once fine floor with its plush Tiffany Blue carpet was covered with shards of glass and even a few small pieces left behind from the shattered cases. In this Brave New World, money was obsolete, the only things left of value were food, fuel, guns, gold, and jewels. Shiny cut rocks meant nothing to a God outside of their innate beauty but Alena seemed to enjoy them from time to time.
Ares wandered around the mangled store peering into one broken empty case after another before he wound his way to the back rooms. These were also gutted but it seemed the looters hadn't been smart enough to be able to open the safes. "What do we have here?" Ares wondered aloud looking a row of seven safes, each safe six feet high by four feet wide. "I bet there's something good in there." Pointing at the safe directly in front of him and flicking his fingers in the air, the door flew off to reveal the glittering contents. "Ooooo, very nice," he muttered as he ran his big paw over cut but not set diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds, and so much more. Opening the next safe in the same manner, Ares found what he was looking for; boxes and boxes of finished jewelry, each with a name and address of is respective owner, an owner who would not be coming to collect their prized item. Ripping the tops off boxes, he threw necklaces, bracelets, watches, and rings over his shoulder tossing them as they were nothing more than yesterday's fish but knowing a looter would return and be very happy with the booty he was leaving them. Reaching way into the back, he pulled out a long box that was very wide. Pursing his full lips and narrowing his dark brows, Ares plucked the top from the box. "Oh, now that's better." He proclaimed as he stared at matching set of earrings, bracelet, and ring. Each piece handcrafted of the biggest and brightest cut rubies he'd ever seen. The earrings were large, each with a dangling teardrop ruby the size of a quarter, each rimmed with white diamonds and held to the ear by a pink diamond roughly the size of a dime. Ares thought of how well these would go with Alena's wedding necklace. Picking up the bracelet and holding it the fading sunlight he thought it would need to be smaller to fit Alena's delicate wrist but it was beautiful with its half-inch wide band of shining silver holding up the matching jewels. The ring was the finishing touch to the set with its own centerpiece a teardrop cut ruby to match the earrings, it was surrounded by three layers of sparkling white diamonds. "You're coming home with me," he crooned to the jewels as he popped the top back onto the box then stuffed it in his vest.
Taking his leave from the desolation of New York City, Ares appeared on Plum Island where Raven and his band of merry men were hold up. "You think they can do without you for two days?"
Standing on the shore looking past the sea to the Connecticut coastline, Raven nodded, "Yeah, they got this." He was expecting any major trouble in the next two days. The Mortal World was settling down, Major Falls was no longer a threat and neither were the world's caches of nuclear weapons. Still, with most of the Mortals having abandoned their cities for rural areas and gathering in clusters, battles and skirmishes broke out among neighboring clans. They were bloody and they were nasty. Raven, Ares, and Athena spent much time and energy quelling one feud after another. "You ready? You think you can handle two days…and nights…with her, old man?"
"You just take care of your Sister, don't be too anxious to bring her back, I have big plans for your Mother."
"Way to go, Pop, go get her." Raven clasped his hand to his Father shoulder and gave him an encouraging grin. "But, ah, you might to take a bath or something first," he waved his hand in front of his nose, "you're a little ripe."
"Thanks for the tip."
"Anytime," Raven crooned, "see ya in two days, give or take." He disappeared from the shore off on his way to the island ahead of his Father.
Ares took Raven's advice and had a hot shower in the bunker on Plum Island, he trimmed his beard, which had grown quite wild over the last few months and then trimmed the edges of his hair while taking note of the increasing number of grays popping up in his raven head. Looking at the reflection of the aging God, he thought himself still in tip-top shape but that didn't ease the little lines around his eyes and corners of his mouth. Squaring his shoulders to bring himself to his full height in front of the mirror he took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he spoke to his reflection, "Just me, huh? That's all she wants." He looked down at the big Tiffany Blue box with the big Tiffany Blue bow and nodded, "Still, it's good to have a backup plan just in case."
One more deep breath and he disappeared from the bunker to materialize at the entrance of the cave on his island home. Strolling inside, he found all was quiet save for the crackling of the fire in the hearth. All was shining top to bottom, Alena had been very busy preparing for their night together the cave sparkled. She'd filled the parlor with flowers and food and laid the big throw pillows on the floor by the fire. The sight of the pillows made him recall nights past, long passionate nights, on those pillows by that fire.
Nights that now seemed far too long ago.
Hearing her soft footsteps in the bedroom above, Ares settled on his Throne of Bones and slipped the box between it and the roaring fire. Lounging across the throne, his long legs over one arm, his eyes stayed fixed to the doorway not wanting to miss her entrance. He was not disappointed when Alena emerged from the stone archway in a flowing crimson robe of the softest silk with her silver hair pulled back from her face and piled on her head to cascade down again in long waves and ringlets. He watched her stop short, momentarily jarred by the sight of someone sitting on his Throne.
"You're early," she cooed with a wide smile as she dashed over to him. Rushing into his open arms, she jumped onto his lap and covered his full lips with hers as her hands wrapped around his neck so she could pull herself closer to his brawny warmth.
"I see you've been very busy," Ares replied wrapping his strong arms around her small frame, "got big plans, do you?" He dark eyes lit up with devilish delight.
"Yes, I do." She kissed his bearded cheek. "So glad you could pull yourself away from the battle to join me for the next twenty-four hours…"
"Forty-eight," Ares interrupted with a sly grin. "Raven and Rose won't be back for two days."
Alena bit down on her bottom lip as a shudder of anticipation went through her body. She reached out her free hand to entwine the hair on his chest around her finger, "Really?"
"Really," The God of War licked his lips before pulling her in for another passionate kiss. When she quivered again she shudder jumped from her to him making his seven-foot frame tingle to the soles of his booted feet. The animal between his legs, so long kept asleep by the rigors of battle, began to stir when her tongue slid down his throat and she began tugging his dark hair.
Everything in his started to demand he throw her down on the pillow by the fire, rip off that robe, and take her, take her hard. Instead, Ares broke the kiss, "I've been gone too long." He whispered breathlessly.
"Far too long," Alena agreed as she nuzzled her cheek to his beard.
To continue to the 'meat' of the story please visit
http://www.moonmusings.com/lbdarling/valentine.html to read the full story.
"Women of War"
(Venture on a Mystical Journey through Time and Secrets Past)
by Lisa Beth Darling
Series: OF WAR
Genre: Immortal/Paranormal Erotic/Romance
Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Format: (Print, EBook, or Both) Ebook and Print
Venture on a Mystical Journey through Time and Secrets Past
This story spans four generations of women in Alena's family from her great-grandmother, Shar Draíocht the last known Queen of the Dark Kingdom. Morrowind, her tortured daughter. Maven, Alena's free spirited mother. And ends the night Alena washed up on Ares' shore. With intensity, lust, fear, and strength these Women of War make their way in the world revealing the hidden truths of the past and Ares true connection to his beloved Wife, Alena.
To celebrate the release of the "Women of War" I'm making the "OF WAR Anthology" FREE on Kindle February 14-15th. Get the first 4 stories in the series FREE! http://www.amazon.com/WAR-Anthology-Novels-1-3-ebook/dp/B00AAKR6DE/
This was the Age of Men, of War, and Conquest. Looking down at his fingertips sparkling with glitter he knew not all of the Faery abandoned this place. Despite the dangers to them, they stayed hidden in this hill. Why that should be, he didn't know. "I know you can hear me, so listen good. If you're planning on joining in, don't," Ares warned in a low voice as he spoke to the night, "this is the province of men, not giggling bugs." Rudely he flicked the sparkling dust from his fingers and finished his trip down the hill where he vanished and then reappeared behind the city walls in his own rather plush quarters in the remains of Dunbar Castle. Grabbing up a fine crystal decanter in his big mitt, he poured half of the full container of the best Scot's Whisky one could steal down his gullet. Dawn was still several hours away and he was in the mood for female company to while away the time between now and the battle.
Throwing open the heavy oak door, he looked out into the corridor with its burning torches lighting up the remaining grandeur of the crumbling castle walls. He saw the guards at either end. "Bring me a bitch, a young one," he ordered and then slammed the door only to open it again just as one of the men started off. "Make it two." Ares slammed the door again. Restless and bored, he paced quickly about the room throwing his hand absently in the air, making the hearth spring up in a roaring blaze. The time between the planning and the attacking was always the worst. The waiting seemed to draw out forever no matter what he did to speed it up. Walking heavily back and forth, his boots clopping against the stone below his big feet, he downed the rest of the whisky then snapped his fingers to refill the delicate decanter from the casks in the basement. Just as he thought he'd lose all control to impatience, there was a knock on the door. "Took you long enough!" he snarled as he threw it open to see the guard standing there with two Celtic beauties. Ares' eyes appraised them even as they refused to meet his gaze. "These will do." He grabbed each young woman by the forearm and threw them into the room. "Bye." He shut the door in the guard's face and locked it tight before turning to his new guests. "Hello ladies, so good of you to join me tonight."
They didn't speak, they simply huddled together staring at him knowing what was coming and trying to figure a way to stop it. Although they didn't know his name, he was familiar to them; they'd seen him around the town and knew the tall dark stranger to be a mercenary. The man had no allegiance to Britain or the Crown; he was only here for the glory of the battle and only the battle. He spoke with an odd accent they'd never heard and he was darker skinned than any man they'd ever seen with a body taller and stronger than a tree.
Ares swaggered toward them, his dark eyes scanning their bodies up and down, down and up, and side to side, as he bit down on his bottom lip. Slowly he walked around them. Both of them were nineteen or maybe twenty, both of them with fiery red hair and crystal blue eyes, their alabaster faces covered with freckles. Strong bodies from working in fields had firm breasts below their flimsy cotton chemises. In the firelight, he clearly saw the curves of their shapely legs leading to the places between, the night's destinations. "Sisters," he remarked as his full lips turned into a sly smirk and he drew in breath over his sharp teeth. "How nice...for me," he whispered as he stopped in front of what he believed to be the younger of the two. She didn't look at him so Ares grabbed her jaw and forced her head upward to meet his cold stare. "There's no reason this has to go badly, hmmm? A little cooperation and I guarantee you'll enjoy the rest of the night." His smile widened when he felt her tremble and saw her pretty eyes dart away from him.
"Women of War" releases 2/14/2013 to Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords, also in print to Amazon.com. Signed paperbacks and hard covers may be ordered by going to http://www.moonsmusings.com
Also to celebrate the release of this story I'd like to giveaway 1 ebook copy of "Women of War" to go with this post.
To enter giveaway leave a comment or question for Lisa. Make sure to leave your email address in the comment so you can be contacted if you win.