She slid her hands over his bare shoulders and kissed his throat. He, tired from his thunder, could only lift his hands in half-protest. We shouldn’t – the others – Hera, be reasonable, he whispered, before she kissed the protests from his lips and drew her teeth over his nose. He pushed his hands into her hair, loose and free over her pale skin, and kissed her back. Chitons tangled together as they fell, drifting into perfect harmony, as the king and queen of the gods fell in love all over again.
Then, they were passionate. He couldn’t ever resist her; and she was always pleased to see him again. She was his equal – he ruled men, she ruled women. They lived and laughed and loved together, oftentimes losing days in hazy pleasure. Thunder rumbled between them, two colossal forces of nature that crashed together, kissing and touching. They didn’t just make love: they made war with their bodies, they made chaos with their souls.
It was under this influence that Ares was first conceived. Hera felt his pulsing lusts even before he was born: he drove her to Zeus over and over again. Her kisses became sharper – she drew blood, and was never satisfied without the taste of it in her mouth.
What am I becoming? Who am I becoming? she demanded of him, once, when he drew back. His shining lips had been torn, shredded, by her passion – but she did not feel guilty. Hunger thrummed in her body, looping from her to him to her to him, making the fires between them blaze higher. But whilst Zeus drew back, shielding himself from the flames, she pressed forward.
I do not know, he said, and that was all. She struck him, vibrant with lust and rage and need, and he left her.
From fire he was conceived; and into fire he was born: with that first strike, that first battle, the stakes shifted. Zeus’ gaze wandered as Hera screamed and pushed her child into the world. Zeus kissed and touched another woman as Hera held her lovely, snarling boy to her breast; and as Ares gripped at her skin, his fingers uncomfortably rough even then, Zeus impregnated another.
The clouds, as they always did, dispersed; but not before Hera’s rage blazed and she struck the other woman dead. Ares laughed, his eyes shining with love and hate, as his father’s gaze turned elsewhere; and Hera struck at him, again and again. They had been forced into these roles by their own hands — she striking, him retreating — and now they couldn’t back out of them. All Hera had to console herself with was her Ares, her darling Ares; and then Zeus returned to her with whispers of forever, truly, and she let herself get lost in him all over again.
[Laria is a Hellenic Polytheist, and has been so since roughly June of 2009. She pays particular devotion to the gods Aphrodite-Ananke, Ares and Rhea-Kybele, among others. She have been writing — both fiction and poetry — for five or six years and can be reached via email.]