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Lost At Sea
“What is that smell?” Ares God of War sneered, dark eyes glancing toward one of his women with a cold stare. Her name was Katrina but Ares never seemed to remember, even though she had been with him the last fifteen years and shared his bed each night along with whatever woman (or women) of his that he desired at the time. Ares never seemed to remember anyone’s name unless it was an Olympian or someone who may have had the misfortune of getting close to him. “Answer.”
Risking incurring his ire, she spoke cautiously. “My Lord, that is the third time you have asked me that.” She smiled a little bit for him before she continued. “I smell nothing but the salt air from the sea and the fire burning in the hearth.” Katrina met Lord Ares one night in Athens; she was twenty at the time and in the middle of a very heated bar fight with two men who tried to walk out on their tab. She had jumped over the bar with a full bottle of Ouzo in her hand and gone after them, her long legs bare and tan out in front of her and her long dark hair flying behind her as she bolted over the wood bar. Now at thirty-five and Mortal, her days of bar fights were over and her youth swiftly fading away. A decade and a half in the service of the God of War takes a heavy toll on a woman.
Ares’ upper lip curled into a snarl as he let out an audible growl and then sat up and leaned forward on his throne. Long before the Olympians bestowed the title The God of War upon Ares, he lorded over All Things Wild and Free, and still did. The wilderness and all of its creatures was his domain. As such he possessed the keen senses of his animal totem, the wolf—a shape into which he could shift into at will—and the odor was much more acute to him than it was to the Mortals around him. It smelled…sweet…something oddly rotting with a tinge of honeysuckle underlying the acrid scent of the coming decay. Something on the island was dying; something he could not identify. That was most unsettling, as Ares knew every inch of his island, every animal, every rock, every stone, and every tree right down to its moss and lichen. The scent was altogether unfamiliar and it disturbed him. “I’m going for a walk. You have my dinner on that table when I return, woman.” Ares ordered as he rose from the throne to stand at his full height of seven feet, his long wavy raven hair flowing around his broad shoulders, the razor sharp lines of the whiskers on his face bending upward as he gave an evil grin with those perfectly white teeth.
“Yes, my Lord.”
Sauntering through the hallowed halls of his empty cave from the throne room to the entrance, where four torches burned as the night began to descend, he passed the guards standing outside and paid them no mind.
Nicco had been standing out in here in the cool evening chatting with Daniel and David Jackson, twin brothers also in the service of Ares when the Master sauntered out of the cave with purpose in his long stride. “Would you like one of us to accompany you, my Lord?” Nicco, Ares’ Captain of the Guard, a tall strapping young man with dark skin and piercing blue eyes asked warily, not liking the glare in his Lord’s eyes.
The scent caught in his nostrils, making them flare. Swiftly he spun on his leather boot-heels. “Do you smell that?”