Wishing Well

by Ellison Wonderland


      The waves crashed against the beach with an almost hypnotic rhythm. Dull 
      and tired. The beautiful, sunlit day, with the smell of sea spray and a 
      myriad of colors all around them, did nothing to relieve the ennui. Cupid 
      was bored. Bored, bored, bored. It was amazing just how boring boredom 
      could be, after about a hundred years of it.

      Sheathing his cock in a woman. Soft, gentle loving. Sighs of passion. Day 
      after day. Body after body. Year in, year out.

      It was all Aphrodite's fault, really. How many other gods made their 
      offspring serve an apprenticeship? Vanilla was not Cupid's favorite 
      flavor, that was for sure.

      He fixed his companion with a baleful eye.

      "What the fuck are we doing here?"

      "Chill out," snapped Strife, looking aggravated. Though his mouth was 
      always twisted like that, so it was hard to tell.

      "It's just over here."

      Strife led Cupid over the dunes towards the rocks, much closer to the 
      pebble-strewn beach and the pounding waves.

      "This is it."

      Cupid was not impressed. Their destination seemed to be a small rock pool, 
      its circumference a circle of stones smoothed with age. It wasn't very 
      deep. It didn't seem anything special. But then, nothing did, these days.

      His query was directed at Strife through one raised eyebrow. There didn't 
      seem much point in vocalizing it.

      "This is Poseidon's wishing well," said Strife. He still had that pinched 
      look around his mouth. Almost, Cupid felt it would be worth the effort of 
      kissing it away, of smoothing those lines out with his lips. But he wasn't 
      allowed to kiss men. Aphrodite's orders.

      "Huh?" said Cupid.

      "The tale goes," said Strife with exaggerated patience, "that Poseidon 
      once stepped ashore here to make love to a beautiful rock nymph. This was 
      her pool. He took her off to his home under the sea. But she kept coming 
      back, sad because her pool was all lonely and neglected."

      "How fucking sad," groaned Cupid, scratching his feathers with an idle 

      Strife ignored him. People had been doing that a lot, lately.

      "Anyway, she returned every day to weep into her pool. Finally, Poseidon 
      got a bit sick of this, and told her that he would enchant the pool. It 
      would become a wellspring of good fortune for anyone who happened by. The 
      nymph was quite taken by this, and tossed her gold ring into the water. 
      Then they went off and fucked like bunnies."

      Cupid looked at the murky waters of the pool doubtfully. There did seem to 
      be a few bubbles in there. "How does it work?"

      Strife's face smoothed out in a genuine smile. He reached up to touch 
      Cupid's ear, and then pulled his hand away, no longer empty but gripping a 
      shiny gold coin.

      Cupid groaned at the simple trick, but he didn't refuse the coin. Turning 
      it over in his fingers, he saw the bold face of Julius Caesar staring back 
      at him. Roma paraded on the obverse, spear in hand and a sour look on her 

      "What do I do?" he asked.

      "Make a wish," said Strife, "then throw the coin in the water."

      Hmmn. What did he have to lose?

      Cupid closed his eyes. He didn't see how the coin glinted bright in the 
      sunlight as it span through the air and parted the waters of the pool with 
      barely a sound.



      Strife wondered where his life had taken a wrong turn.

      Things had been straightforward once. He stirred up mischief for Ares, 
      tricked all sorts of upright souls into war, and fucked anything he could 
      lay his hands on. When did it all start to go sour?

      Maybe it was the first time he saw Cupid naked, sunning himself by a 
      slow-moving river. The afternoon sun had lingered in Cupid's hair and 
      feathers, turning them to a burnished gold. Strife had never seen anything 
      so beautiful. And there hadn't been much beauty in his life. The hard, 
      cold arrogant glory of Ares, perhaps, and his incredibly hot body. But 
      nothing quite so lovely as Cupid, his wings unfurled, outshining the sun.

      Or was it the first time he spied on Cupid making love? Watching Cupid's 
      buttocks flex and relax, as he drove some bitch to undeserved heights of 

      Probably, it was the time that he pulled his cock out and jerked off in 
      time to Cupid's thrusts, hiding behind Aphrodite's altar. There'd been no 
      cum left for the goddess, though. Strife had made sure to lick up all the 
      evidence before he left, berating himself for this stupid, stupid 

      It couldn't have been the first time that he saw Cupid cry. No, that
      couldn't be it. Long, slow tears tricking down Cupid's face. The look of 
      unhappiness, deepening as the months went by, as eyes that used to sparkle 
      became dark and hollow. Once, when he licked a tear off the sleeping 
      Cupid's face, he tasted his friend's despair.

      Strife bowed his head a moment, his body taken with unaccustomed 
      stillness. Then he threw the coin at the pool, hurling it savagely over 
      his shoulder, not watching to see it disappear beneath the surface as he 
      strode away.



      A figure in a loose dark robe perched beside Poseidon's wishing well. His 
      face was concealed by a hood, but a close observer could have detected a 
      moustache and full, generous lips in the shadows.

      The man remained still for a long time, peering into the pool at the two 
      gold coins that lay on the rocky bottom. It startled a nearby seabird when 
      his hand finally moved, reaching inside the bulky robes to expose a large, 
      meaty cock to the salty air. The hand moved up and down in a harsh, rapid 
      way, as the growing flesh reached out to point proudly over the waters of 
      Poseidon's pool. Faster and faster, the man jerked his cock, occasional 
      rich chuckles drowning out the sound of fingers slapping on his wet, 
      weeping flesh.

      The man's orgasm, when it came, was a beautiful thing, arcing out over the 
      still waters like a shot from a catapult. But the laughter was anything 
      but beautiful. Even so, there was an inimitable grace as the man's free 
      hand tossed a gold coin into the air, his cum hitting it dead center and 
      driving it down into the water.

      But he was no longer there to see it, the seabird settling on the rocks
      where he'd been standing, as if there'd never been a threat to it at all.



      Who would have thought that the Temple of Aphrodite would gather so much 
      dust? But Mom liked to have every surface pristine and ready to be fucked 
      on, so it fell to the junior love god to satisfy this, as with so many 
      other, of Aphrodite's whims. Sighing, he scratched his butt on one of the 
      knobs of the bed frame and unfurled his wings. 

      Maybe a little experiment was in order.

      "No ass play," his mother had ordered, a century or two ago when he came 
      of age. "You're too young."

      Slipping his feathers along the bottom rail of the bed to sweep away the 
      dust, looking as busy as a good little son should, Cupid sent a quick 
      tendril of thought out into the sanctuary. No one was around, except an 
      elderly priestess, snoring loudly in the vestibule. Quickly, Cupid hitched 
      up his tunic and clenched his right wing tip into a fist-sized bunch of 
      feathers. Ichor began to drip from the feathers as he secreted the essence 
      of a god at twice the usual rate, the best-known lubricant in the natural 
      world. When his wing tip was slippery to the touch, Cupid began to force 
      it inside himself, one feather at a time. Silky smooth on one side, 
      sandpaper rough on the other, each quill sent a burst of sensation to his 
      brain, stopping off at his cock on the way. 

      As his cock began to unfurl and stiffen like his wings, Cupid eased 
      himself up on to the bed frame and started to sit down on the large, shiny 
      knob. Freshly dusted and lubricated by his feathers, the broad iron knob 
      slid easily inside him, pushing in at least two inches where only his own 
      feathers had gone before.

      This was so forbidden that Cupid was dizzy with excitement, his constant 
      state of boredom gone like dust in the wind. There was a bit of pain as 
      well. He hadn't had anything so big, cold, and unyielding inside him 
      before. The sensations were new and strange, causing little tremors to run 
      through his torso, chest straining, nipples erect as he sat down harder on 
      the bedstead.

      "Doing your mother's dirty work, I see," came an amused voice from just 
      behind him.


      Cupid tried desperately to pull the front of his loincloth down, hiding 
      his straining erection from sight.

      "Just having a bit of a rest," he said calmly, trying to look as if he was 
      leaning casually against the bedstead instead of impaling himself on it. 
      This was so embarrassing. More embarrassing than the time his father had 
      caught him making eyes at Aunty Artemis and trying to steal the most 
      famous virginity in the world. Cupid had never drunk too much at a family 
      get-together again. And then there'd been the vomit - the look on Ares' 
      face when his son managed to splatter everything in a three-yard radius.

      "I thought you might be bored," said Ares, his voice low and husky. That 
      was odd. He normally reserved that tone of voice for his favorite 
      priestesses and luckiest warriors. The fuckable ones. It was definitely 
      his bedroom voice. And this was a bedroom, albeit a dusty one.

      Cupid swished his feathers nervously. He nearly jumped out of his skin 
      when Ares rested a fatherly hand on his shoulder. Hard. Forcing him down 
      over the widest part of the knob until the backs of his thighs rested on 
      the iron railing, six inches of cold metal now inside him.

      Cupid gasped, thankful for the concealing loincloth that absorbed the 
      sudden flow of precum from his over-excited cock.

      Ares couldn't know what he'd just done. Could he?

      "Since when have you cared whether I was bored or not?" His own voice was 
      shaky, weak. Fuck. Ares must be able to hear "victim" in every tone. And 
      he still stood behind Cupid, out of sight, the only contact between them 
      the touch of hard, bruising fingers on Cupid's shoulder. The situation
      would be better, maybe a little, if only Cupid could see the expression in 
      Ares' eyes. Work out what he was thinking.

      "With Strife away, actually doing some work for a change, I thought it 
      might be tedious for you. Without your little playmate."

      The low, liquid voice sent another shiver down Cupid's spine. His ass 
      tightened reflexively on the iron knob, causing a small whimper of mingled 
      pain and pleasure to escape him.

      "So I've brought you a present," said Ares, stepping in front of him at 
      last, though he didn't ease his punishing grip on Cupid's shoulder. With 
      his free hand, Ares was holding out a shimmering coil of rope. It cascaded 
      through his fingers, seeming to twine itself round his hand, a mass of 
      slithering gray coils that reminded Cupid of a snake. He tried to pull 
      back, causing yet more strange sensations around the unyielding obstacle 
      inside him, his cock getting ever harder as Ares moved into his physical 
      space, standing almost pressed against him.

      "What is it?" squeaked Cupid. Fuck. That squeal was hardly going to 
      impress his warrior father.

      "Open your right hand," commanded Ares, ignoring his question.

      Cupid clenched his fingers into a tight fist, refusing to look Ares in the 

      "Alright then." A low chuckle, rumbling deep inside Ares' massive chest. 
      And then a strange sensation on Cupid's knuckles, almost as if they were 
      being nibbled. Cupid refused to open his eyes, too scared to look. This 
      was his father, not some road-side pick-up, and Aphrodite had forbidden 
      him to sleep with any sort of man, let alone his own father. "You need at 
      least another century of experience before you're ready for that," she'd 
      snapped. Secretly, Cupid thought she just didn't want the competition.

      The feeling of wet, hot pressure was growing on the skin of his hand. 
      Little licks, followed by long broad ones. Each lick sending heat coursing 
      to his cock.

      And then Ares bit him. Hard enough to draw blood. Cupid screamed, his hand 
      flying open as he tried to push those savage teeth away and punch Ares in 
      the face. The end of the rope was jammed into his opened hand, slithering 
      around his fingers in a way that made his skin crawl.

      "Get it off me," he shouted, as the rope twined around his wrist and 
      snaked up his arm to loop itself around his neck. Cupid started to panic, 
      screaming at the top of his lungs and fighting Ares' sudden grasp of both 
      his biceps. Squeezing hard, Ares forced Cupid's arms to his side while the 
      rope danced here and there, never lingering, and yet somehow tying him up 
      in knots in a way that left Cupid sweating with fear.

      "Get it off me!"

      "Relax," ordered Ares, calm and quiet, sounding like the most reasonable 
      of men. But his eyes, they glittered, black and fathomless. Cupid started 
      to pant, as though Ares' eyes were sucking the air out of his chest.

      "Let me go, Dad," he pleaded, trying out the puppy dog look that had 
      always worked on Ares in the past.

      The only response was a sudden wrenching of his shoulders, pulling him up 
      and off the iron knob with effortless strength. It exited his ass with a 
      soft plop, a gut-stabbing pain as his insides were dragged past the widest 
      part of its circumference, and then a yawning emptiness.

      "Fuck me," whimpered Cupid. He'd never meant to say that, not in a million 
      years. Now he was in for it. But he felt so empty, all of a sudden, with a 
      desperate need to be filled. 

      "Fuck me." Oh god. He'd done it again.

      Ares laughed, pushing Cupid flat on his back on the mattress, the rope 
      somehow shooting out to wrap itself around the iron railings at the head 
      of the bed. Tugging at the knots seemed only to make them tighter. Cupid 
      saw out of the corner of his eyes that his wrists were secured to the 
      bedstead. He concentrated his power, ignoring the hunger on Ares' face, 
      and tried to blast the rope to ashes. Nothing happened.

      "What the fuck kind of rope is this?"

      Hephaestus' chains were supposed to be the only unbreakable bonds for a 
      god. Surely the smith wasn't going into the rope-making business?

      Ares laughed again, the sound harsh in the close, tight atmosphere of the 
      little room. 

      "Roma wove this rope centuries ago." 

      Ares shoved a brutal, meaty hand under Cupid's back and wrenched him up, 
      his wrists straining at the sick, slippery rope, which clung to him like 

      "She was just a piddling little goddess then. No power to speak of."

      Cupid screamed in agony, his body arching away from the surface of the bed 
      and Ares' cruel fingers. When the hand emerged into the light, it held a 
      broken feather, ichor oozing from the tip. Cupid gave a half sob and 
      collapsed against the bed, staring at his father with uncomprehending

      "I'm not your father," said Ares, as though he could read Cupid's mind. 
      Maybe he could. If so, Ares was getting a barrage of anger and pain at the 
      moment, enough to satisfy the cruelty of a hundred war gods. 

      "I found out yesterday that Aphrodite's been lying to me all these years. 
      You're not my son."

      The soft, silky outside of the feather trailed across Cupid's chest. 
      Lightly brushing a nipple. And again. Swirling in complicated patterns, 
      leaving a trail of goosebumps. 

      Through his confused tears, Cupid strained into the touch of the feather.

      "What brings you pain will give you pleasure," murmured Ares. He stroked 
      Cupid's stomach with the feather, finding his most ticklish spots, 
      lingering at the tight skin under his ribs. Tormenting him with the 
      softest of flicks.

      A giggle escaped Cupid's lips. He tasted his own sweat and tears as the 
      laughter bubbled inside him. The touches of the feather brought moans of 
      laughter, until finally, after minutes of this torture, it sounded in his 
      own ears like he was screaming.

      "Roma used this rope to catch and bind a wolf."

      The raspy underside of the feather was in play now, rubbing over and over 
      again against Cupid's nipples. As if someone had taken a prickly burr and 
      squashed it against his chest, leaving it to nag and torment him while 
      they murmured softly in his ear.

      "Look at your cock jumping. I guess you like this."

      "Who?" It was a strangled howl, barely recognizable as Ares punished his 
      chest with the feather. But his tormentor seemed to understand.

      "I don't know. She didn't say." Ares shrugged. The motion drew the feather 
      up to Cupid's throat, where it rasped against the soft, exposed skin.

      "And now I'm going to have you."

      Cupid shivered as Ares trailed the feather down his torso towards his 
      straining cock. Oh fuck. His nipples had been bad enough. No one had ever 
      subjected them to such torment. But his cock. How was he going to survive 
      the sensations?

      More tears spilled down Cupid's cheeks, as Ares drew the feather along the 
      sensitive underside of his cock. The soft edges of the quill swirled 
      around the meaty head, rubbing it lightly, sending sparks of fire to his 
      gut. Cupid watched his own cock quiver, as though from a distance, his 
      head struggling to work out what he was feeling.

      There was desolation. This big, splendid man wasn't his father. The god he 
      had looked to all these years, the solid-seeming center of his existence, 
      had been as insubstantial as his mother's heart. And now Cupid didn't have 
      a clue who he was anymore, his identity apparently gone with the knowledge 
      of who his father was.

      There was pain as well. His wing ached where Ares had ripped a feather out 
      by the roots.

      And there was pleasure. An incredible, aching pleasure, tightening his 
      balls as the feather itched at his cock. 

      "No more," he whispered. It was agony. He strained against the ropes, 
      trying to pull away from the feather.

      Ares leaned over and blew softly on his cockhead, causing Cupid to scream 
      and arch off the bed. He exploded in orgasm, his cum shooting out and 
      coating Ares' lips and beard.

      For a moment, all Cupid could see was shooting stars. And then Ares' face 
      was jammed against his own, a hot fire burning in those dark, dark, eyes.

      "You weren't supposed to cum yet," said Ares softly. "I'm going to have to 
      punish you for that."

      Cupid struggled to understand. The other man said those words as if they 
      were nothing, as though they were easy.

      "Don't hurt me," he whimpered, almost unable to bear it as Ares gripped 
      his softening cock and milked it with hard, angry fingers.

      Ares ignored Cupid's words, as he so often did, and bent down for a kiss. 
      But it wasn't the sort of kiss Cupid was used to getting from his lovers. 
      Soft and lingering, full of passion and promise. Instead, Ares punished 
      his mouth savagely, spitting his own cum into it, and then biting at his 
      lips and tongue. Making him whimper from his gut with the pain and 
      excitement of it.

      "I'm not going to hurt you," promised Ares, backing away and leaning back 
      to grab an ankle in each of his massive hands.

      Cupid gasped as his legs were yanked up and spread mercilessly. Somehow, 
      the rope was winding itself around him again, and his ankles were flipped 
      behind his ears and tied to the head of the bed, next to his imprisoned 
      wrists. Cupid couldn't believe it. He was now tied to his mother's bed, 
      bent almost in half, his buttocks spread and exposed to Ares' hungry view. 
      At least he could fold his wings enough to make a pillow to support his 
      straining neck and shoulders. But it was small comfort, on display for 
      this angry god whom he didn't know anymore. The one he'd used to think of 
      as a father.

      Ares stood motionless for at least a minute, surveying his handiwork with 
      every evidence of satisfaction. Cupid could see his bulging groin, 
      stretching the leather of Ares' tunic thin and tight.


      As though following Cupid's eyes, Ares looked down and then back up again
      with a smile. A nasty, dirty smile that had Cupid's heart beating a mile a 
      minute and his arms straining at the rope. Reaching down, Ares unbuckled 
      his belt and slid the thin, taut leather out of its loops and into his 
      hand. He wound it round and round his clenched fist, till about a 
      foot-and-a-half of leather hung from his fingers, pointed at the floor. 
      Unlike Cupid's cock, which was fully hard and pointing up again, as though 
      he hadn't just experienced a shattering orgasm.

      "Do you know what I'm going to do now?" asked Ares, his voice 
      conversational, as though chatting idly with Demeter about the harvest.

      "You're going to beat me," snarled Cupid. He hoped that Ares saw defiance 
      and not the terrible, crippling fear that filled him.

      "I'm going to tell you the story of Roma's rope," replied Ares, the belt 
      swaying as his hand moved gently in the air. 

      "She saw the path to true greatness, did Roma. War, power, and prayer, all 
      concentrated in one huge city. More and more people, conquering Italy, 
      gathering power with every slaughtered soul. And more and more prayers, of 
      course. She started a line that built Rome for her, and made her one of 
      the most powerful goddesses in the pantheon."

      Cupid started to relax. Ares hadn't moved so much as an inch. Perhaps it 
      was safe to give up his vigil on hand and belt.

      "Roma had two sons, twins, whose spirits she shaped so that they would 
      become great men. But she thought they lacked something. A certain flair. 
      You might call it an edge. So Roma went hunting in the great forests of 
      Latium till she found what she was looking for. One day, when she'd almost 
      given up hope of catching a big enough predator, she came across an old 
      black wolf. It nearly took her throat out."

      Ares smiled reminiscently. Cupid was not reassured by the baring of all 
      those teeth. He closed his eyes and pretended that he was a child again, 
      with his father telling him bedside stories, just like he used to do.

      "Roma fought the wolf, rolling over and over on the ground, trying to get 
      her rope around its neck. She still has the scars, where it clawed her 
      breasts. But she caught it in the end, using her magic rope to bind it to 
      her will. And that's the beast that nurtured Romulus and Remus. But when…"


      The belt whistled through the air and struck Cupid's buttocks with a loud 
      crack. He almost levitated off the bed, shouting with shock and pain. 
      Cupid's eyes flew open, taking in the now-naked god standing over him, 
      belt in one hand, a huge grin stretching his cheeks wide. Ares was licking 
      his lips. His eyes were full of angry laughter.

      "Please," whimpered Cupid.

      The belt sang again, laying a second line of fire across his ass. Cupid 
      began to shake, his face flushed red with pain and humiliation.

      "You like this," commented Ares, scratching Cupid's straining erection 
      with a gentle nail, even as his other hand raised the belt high in the 

      "No," sobbed Cupid.


      Cupid bounced on the bed with the force of the blow, his stiff cock pushed 
      hard against his stomach.

      Ares raised the belt again and again, criss-crossing Cupid's ass with red 
      stripes, making him beg and moan. Fingers clawed the soft mattress, and 
      finally, his ass glowing red with hot agony, he found himself leaning into 
      the blows. Cupid was still begging, but now he was pleading for more. 
      Harder. And Ares' laughter rang in his ears, his breathing even as he 
      battered Cupid's ass, crowing all the while.

      Hot, angry blood sang in Cupid's head, in time with the music of the belt.

      "More!" he screamed.

      And Ares gave it to him. 

      Until finally, when he thought that his heart would burst out of his 
      chest, Ares threw the belt aside with a clatter and started to beat Cupid 
      with his hands. The pain was different now, duller and less sharp, but 
      still sending slow fire through his cock and balls, burning its way up to 
      his heaving chest.

      And then there was only one hand punishing Cupid's ass. Only one? It was 
      more than enough, raining blows in such a way that there seemed to be no 
      pattern, no way to anticipate the pain or lessen its impact.

      But where was the other hand?

      "Jerk me off," Cupid moaned through gritted teeth. He licked his own tears 
      and tried hard to sound in control. He knew that Ares would expect it, 
      admire it even. His father would certainly have done so.

      But the missing hand was nowhere near Cupid's neglected cock. A single 
      blunt finger punched its way inside him instead, sliding easily up his 
      lubricated hole, making Cupid gasp at the sudden insertion. While five 
      taut fingers slapped his battered ass, another three joined the one 
      already inside him, pistoning in and out with brutal force.

      "Fuck me," gasped Cupid. This was what he wanted. Wasn't it?

      Ares' thick, brutal-looking cock was pointed straight at him. Tugging 
      against his bonds was useless, but still, Cupid tried to get closer to it, 
      pulling with all his strength.

      "Fuck me, you bastard!"

      "Oh, I think you're the bastard," said Ares, his laughter wiped away as if 
      it had never been.

      At least the beating stopped when Ares fell heavily on top of Cupid, 
      covering him with his whole body, taking his mouth again with a savage 
      kiss. And even as his tongue forced its way inside Cupid's mouth, his hard 
      cock slammed into Cupid's ass with a single, terrible lunge.

      Cupid's scream was swallowed by Ares, who drank his terror and pain 
      through his lips and down his gullet. Cupid could feel those lips grinning 
      as they molested his own, while Ares' cock pounded away inside him. Thighs 
      battered each other as Ares' flesh slapped against his buttocks, forcing 
      his cock deep inside Cupid. Rubbing his prostate with every stroke. 
      Sending hot pleasure knifing through his body. When Cupid cried out for 
      more, that was swallowed too. Ares never ceased to kiss him, throttling 
      him with lips and suction. Pounding his ass. Raping his mouth. Making him 
      beg for it.

      Cupid's head was bashed against the iron railings with every thrust, his 
      wings unfurled again and rubbing against his sore wrists and ankles with 
      each jerk of his tortured body. Ichor dripped from his bleeding wing onto 
      the rope. Power hummed in the air as Ares fucked him long and hard. 

      "More," screamed Cupid into Ares' mouth, fighting him for every breath.

      Ares fucked him harder, pile driving into him without mercy. And Cupid, 
      his body on fire with so many sensations of pain and pleasure that he 
      thought he must go mad, cried out his second violent orgasm of the day. 
      The contractions clenched Ares' cock like a fist, milking him of his cum, 
      forcing it up and out to drench Cupid's insides with his seed.

      Ares collapsed on Cupid like a sack of potatoes, lying full length on him, 
      still rutting against his ass and kissing him with a bright, burning 

      "You're mine. Still. Always," growled Ares, flexing inside him, growing 
      hard again already.

      "Yours," agreed Cupid, not sure what it meant, not sure of anything except 
      the haze of pleasure still pulsing between his legs.

      And that was when it happened. He felt Ares' cock ripped out of him and 
      the dead weight suddenly gone, his skin tingling with remembered contact, 
      his mind protesting the sudden desolation of this loss.

      "Ares," he shouted, trying to sit up, forgetting the rope that tied his 
      wrists and ankles to the headboard. Only to discover that he *could* sit 
      up. The rope was gone, and with it the burning pain in his extremities. 
      Rubbing his wrists with soft feathers, Cupid looked round wildly and found 
      an amazing sight stretched out on the bed next to him.


      And not only that, but tied by the wrists with Roma's rope, straining at 
      his new bonds with a look that could have scorched a mightier god than 

      As though Ares' eyes really did shoot fire, Cupid was inundated with a 
      burst of pain from his battered ass, now pressed tightly against the 
      mattress. Leaping to his feet in one graceful motion, Cupid hopped from 
      foot to foot and cursed the god tied spread-eagled on the bed.

      Ares started to laugh. It was surely a tactical mistake.

      Cupid smiled calmly. His ass ached, inside and out, but he felt better 
      about himself than he had in a century. It made no sense. But then, he 
      knew better than to expect sense from love. His fear and heartache 
      receded, like the ebbing tide. He knew that they would come back again. 
      But not today.

      "This rope was woven with love," said Cupid softly. "A parent's love for
      her children. A woman's love for a predator. I know a side of Roma that 
      you can't begin to imagine. Did you really think that the rope obeyed you 
      rather than me?"

      Ares looked his astonishment. It was almost comical. 

      Cupid allowed his smile to grow wider, enjoying the first look of 
      uncertainty that he had ever seen in Ares' eyes.

      "Now then Ares," he said, bending over and picking up the discarded belt. 
      Twisting it in his hands, he gave it an experimental swing through the 
      air. "Now, where were we?"



      The waves crashed noisily on the beach, the cries of seabirds a 
      counterpoint filling the sky. But even stronger to the senses was a stench 
      like seaweed hanging in the air, as the god Poseidon waded ashore.

      Dripping saltwater from every pore, Poseidon walked across the beach, the 
      pebbles seeming to shape themselves to his feet like sand, leaving 
      mother-of-pearl prints behind him. But the sea god was more interested in 
      what lay before him, his favorite little pool in this part of the world.

      What the fuck? 

      Poseidon shook his head in bemusement. What were all those gold coins 
      doing in his toilet?

      The End






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