Playing Games

  Aphrodite smiled as she watched them kiss. Love, she thought contentedly. Sweet. And it happened without almost any of my intervention...well....not truly, I... 

  She interrupted her own thoughts, frowning as Lysander strolled away. Where is he going? she thought bitterly, furrowing her brow. Why is he leaving her? Furious, Aphrodite saw Ayistis' broken expression, following after Lysander. He will get a piece of my mind, he will-!

  Pausing, the Goddess of Love caught sight of a black glimmer atop Lysander's strange staff. It had an air of dark magic around it. What was he doing with that? She caught sight of the glint once more-a beautiful black gem.

   "Ares," Aphrodite snarled quietly to herself. "What evil mischief is he up to?"

   Lysander had caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye. Aphrodite held her breath, watching as it appeared he met her own gaze. But it seemed he didn't seem he saw her any longer, and he shrugged, continuing on his way.

  She stalked after him until he left the forrest, full sun hitting his face. Still lurking in the murk of the shadows, Aphrodite watched as black armoured Ares appeared and spoke to Lysander in his deep undertone. Not a word reached her from his murmur, but she witnessed the determination and courage on Lysander's face and caught the last of Ares' words and the War God's mischievous expression, "With my help."

  Ares was certainly up to no good. He was not to mess with her business-Lysander was dealing with the affairs of deep love for Ayistis the beautiful nymph! What was he doing with Lysander here, in the realm of King Kelos?

  Angrily she stormed back to Mount Olympus, where Zeus was waiting, feeling that she had something to say to him. "What is the matter now Aphrodite?" he sighed, brushing golden hair from his eyes with his large hand.

  Stupid, proud brute. Knows nothing of love, only the whim of desire, Aphrodite thought grumpily to herself, yet she held her tongue, and replaced the words with polite, mannerly words, "Your Ares is causing mischief down on Earth. Terrible trouble, I believe, is brewing. And Ares' trouble, you know well, means blood, death, and horror on Earth as well as in our Heavenly court. You must stop him. He is controlling Ajax's son, Lysander, with his evil."

   Zeus furrowed his great, bushy brow. "There is nothing I can do about that, Aphrodite."

   "What! There must be something, you stup-!" Aphrodite shouted.

    "Quiet! The deed is done, Woman!" thundered Zeus, his eyes flashing. He continued more quietly, a somber note in his voice. "Ares has opened the flood gates of war. We must all prepare for what comes afterwards. I shall call a council, and have a talk with Ares."  He shook his head, walking away, mumbling, "Hades will have much work to do in the approaching days..."

  

  

  

The End

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