Prologue

Ares quietly slipped through the large stone door. Cautiously he entered into the large cavern where the goddess of beauty had promised to meet him. No doubt her husband would be furious if he caught Ares enjoying Aphrodite's company, but he couldn't resist. His heart pounded as he remembered the feast earlier that night. Zeus had called the gods together for a feast, of course Ares had found out about it second hand through the loud mouth of Hermes, but he decided to show up and surprise his father with his presence. Zeus had given him a hard smile, one that did not reach his pale blue eyes. Zeus had welcomed him with a gracious "Ares, so glad you could join us." Ares had smirked and taken his place at the far end of the oak table next to his half sister Athena, who did not even glance at him. Ares remembered how Aphrodite had looked at him from across the table, a gentle smile crossed her luscious lips as she sipped from her golden goblet. That smile sent a wave of desire throughout his entire body, and he silently cursed Hephaestus as he kissed his wife's neck.

Even now as Ares crossed the rock platform inside the cavern he longed for the goddess of beauty, but he knew in just moments she would be his. His mind flashed again and he recalled when he met Aphrodite in the hall just outside the banquet room, where the gods where now laughing merrily at Artemis's impersonation of a boar-hound. Aphrodite smiled with her seductive smile, and pulled Ares toward her. Her lips met his. The kiss from the goddess of desire was overpowering, and Ares soon forgot where they where, and how dangerous their situation could become if he were caught with another gods wife. However, it felt too soon when Aphrodite pulled away and the words she whispered with her husky female voice "I want to meet you later tonight, Ares" had left him feeling even more empty.

The cavern where Ares was to meet Aphrodite was deep underneath Olympus. Ares noted that if they had gone down any farther they would be meeting right outside Hades' front door. He chuckled at that thought.

"What's so funny?"

Ares stopped at the end of the platform suddenly he couldn't remember what he had been laughing at. The sight of a gigantic seashell floating in the lake that filled the cavern and the woman in the center of the shell raft was enough to drain him of conscious thoughts. In the center of the pale pink seashell Aphrodite rested on a blanket of red velvet. Her long wavy blonde hair that was usually tied into a bun on the top of her head fell passed her shoulders and fanned out behind her. Ares couldn't help but notice Aphrodite's white gown that she had worn to the feast had changed to a silk robe accessorized with a golden belt. Torn between awe and desire, Ares stared dumbly at the goddess. Red silk flowed from her shoulders, cascaded across her perfect form and exposed her smooth never ending legs.

The seashell raft floated closer to the platform where Ares stood, and Aphrodite held out her small hand as invitation for him to join her. Ares ignored her hand, and instead leaped from the rock to the seashell which rocked dangerously from the sudden weight shift. The dark green stone walls echoed Aphrodite's shrill giggle as she pulled Ares on top of her and kissed him passionatly.

Suddenly the stone door through which Ares had snuck through was suddenly blown to pebbles, Aphrodite's giggles turned into a scream of agony. Ares tried to roll off of the screaming goddess, but she held him tight. Poseidon raised his trident and commanded the water to bring the shell forward. The shell was tossed through the air by a giant wave, and when it landed on the stone platform it shattered into millions of tiny shards. Ares hardly felt the sting of the shards when Aphrodite pushed him off and he rolled over them, the force of the landing had knocked him of air so he laid gasping as Aphrodite's convincing fearful voice as she convinced the gods that Ares had kidnapped her and brought her down with out her consent. Unable to defend himself, Hephaestus took the opportunity to kick Ares in the ribs.

"You bastard!" He shouted, "how dare you try to rape my wife!"

Through watered eyes, Ares saw the other god's feet surround him, and each took a turn to kick him. And when kicking wasn't enought to satisfy thier rage Apollo hauled Ares upright and held him while Hephaestus punched Ares in the gut. Ares felt his blood trickle down his back and legs where the shell's pieces were embedded in his flesh, and the pain from his sides where the gods had struck him had nearly caused him to double over again. Hephaestus took another solid punch to Ares' stomach. Ares gasped and coughed blood. The taste of blood, the angry shouts and beatings from the gods, and Aphrodite's smirking beautiful flawless face behind her husband suddenly filled Ares with a deep rage. His heart beat faster and sweat dribbed from his strong forehead.

"You make a mockery out of me, Aphrodite?" Ares struggled against Apollo and broke free of his grasp. A blind rage had overcome the god as he stood bloody and beaten in the center of the circle of gods. He clentched his fist and he felt the aura of his rage build inside of him. The tension in is muscles could only be relaxed through one thing. A fight. Ares first turned against Apollo who was still on the floor, he raised his fist. Apollo tried to move back away, but Ares caught him with a blow to his right cheek. Apollo fell to the floor. Poseidon rushed forward. His trident in hand, ready to jab through Are's chest. But Ares easily sidestepped Poseidon's jab. Caught the other gods robes and pushed him forward. Poseidon shouted curses as he was thrown over the edge of the platform and into the lake with a mighty splash.

Two gods down, but they weren't his true targets. Ares wiped the blood from his lips as he looked over his shoulder to Hephaestus, who stood protectively in front of his wife. The shards of the seashell crunched underneath Ares' bare feet as he made his way toward the couple.

"Stay back Ares or I shall damn you to Hades!" Hephaestus limped forward ready to defend his beloved wife.

Ares stopped in his tracks and smirked, "You dare to challenge me despite your deformity?"

Hephaestus never wavered, "My love for my wife fills the parts of me that are incomplete. That's something you will never understand Ares."

"Love is for the weak!" Ares clenched his fists and dashed toward his opponent. "You one-legged freak!" Aphrodite screamed in protest. Hephaestus went down with one mighty blow. Ares pinned Hephaestus to the floor and delivered punch after punch to the defenseless god.

"ARES ENOUGH!" A thunderous voice echoed through the cavern. The water itself trembled under the furious tone of the voice. Zeus appeared in the doorway, Hermes right beside him. He entered the room and in swift strides crossed the rock platform to Ares, grabbed the back of his toga and with his mighty strength he ripped the war god off of the wounded Hephaestus. "What in Hade's domain do you think you're doing boy?"

Aphrodite answered, "Ares tried to force himself on me, and when the other gods tried to help, he beat them.

Ares stood firm, the rage inside of him began to boil again when he heard Aphrodite speak however he did not look up into Zeus' face.

"Is this true?" Zeus shouted again, "It's because you weren't invited to the feast? You're angry and you decided to make Aphrodite pay for my not inviting you?" The ruler of the gods called to Hermes who came forward submissively. "Get him out of here. Off of Olympus."

At Zeus' sudden command, Ares raised his eyes, "The mortal world?" He shouted and pulled his arm away from Hermes, "You're banishing me to the mortal world?!"

Zeus nodded, his pale eyes flashed like lightening, "To me you are the most hateful of the gods who hold Olympus. Forever quarreling is dear to your heart, wars, and battles! And when bloodshed is not enough you take another's wife for revenge! I have had enough of you Ares. Your actions are despicable."