HEPHAESTUS LAYS DOWN THE LAW


Chapter One


“Hey, Hephaestus, how’s it hanging?”

“Hermes.”

Pounding on a molten piece of metal, Hephaestus didn’t bother to look up at the other man. Even though Hermes was family, he was annoying, and obviously up to no good. They had the same father, but different mothers. Not surprising knowing who his sire was. Zeus was the ultimate horn-dog and rarely turned down by anything with a heartbeat.

“This place is hot as Hades.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Hermes walk around his workshop, wiping the sweat off his pretty face. Even though they were both members of the elite pantheon of twelve Greek gods and goddesses who resided on Mount Olympus, Hephaestus didn’t trust his brother, not one bit. The other man was very clever and full of purpose, and this worried him. Without much effort, his brother could cause problems for mortals and immortals alike, although so far there wasn’t anything he couldn’t make right.

Silence usually made others uncomfortable and encouraged them to rush to their point, so he said nothing. He waited for the other man to get on with the reason for his visit while he kept beating on the hot steel. As expected, it didn’t take long for Hermes to start dancing around his reason for being there.

“Looks like you’re working hard.”

“Unlike you, I’m always hard at work.” Hephaestus still didn’t look at the other man. He didn’t want the distraction his brother’s walking around his workshop presented, and tried to make that perfectly clear. Keeping his pounding steady and his grip on the red hot material sure were both necessary when working around fire. He understood how volatile a tool it was to work with and had learned to be very respectful of its power.

“Asshole.”

“No thanks. Your ass, while rather feminine looking, is not for me.” The annoyance in his brother’s voice almost made him smile.

“Ha ha, you are such a jerk which makes it so much easier for me to pass on some information you’re not going to like.”

“Fine, what is this horrible news?”

“Only that your wife is once again rolling around naked on a hillside with someone other than you. Everyone knows how much she loves young, virile, and pretty men to fulfill her sexual needs. Obviously something, or more likely someone, is lacking in the passion department.”

“You’ve delivered your message, now leave.”

“Ahhh, is the big, lame, blacksmith upset? You shouldn’t be. She’ll never leave you. She’s simply looking for something better, more satisfying. It’s common knowledge the woman needs to constantly be adored and pleasured, not pawed over by a sweaty beast or worse, ignored.”

“Leave, or I’ll bust your winged shoes. I made them and know how to make them useless with one stroke from my stick.”

“So violent, what would our daddy say?”

Hephaestus made a move toward the smaller man. It wasn’t quick, he had one severely twisted leg that made his gait hobbled. He wouldn’t actually hurt his brother, but he wasn’t above using his size and power to scare someone when necessary. This moment called for a little intimidation in order to regain his peace. If he hadn’t been so upset by the news, he would’ve smiled at how easily the simple move worked on menacing his brother.

Hermes threw up his hands in defeat.

“Okay, I’m going,” the younger man called out as he quickly made his way out of his workshop. “You could’ve asked for help, old man. I’d be more than happy to explain how to satisfy a woman until she climaxed with delight and not faked it out of fear, or worse, disgust.”

Upset over Hermes’s parting shot, he fiercely thrust the metal he was working on back in the midst of the burning coals, causing embers to fly wildly in the air. Knowing this was not the place to be when unsettled, he tried not to think about what he’d just been told. Only he found it difficult not to.

There was never a doubt for him, that while he may have won her hand in marriage, ultimately it was an arranged union. She hadn’t handed him her heart and that hurt, but this was a lack of respect Aphrodite was showing him, and he’d had enough.

Hephaestus calmed himself down. It wouldn’t do him any good to lose his temper and end up physically hurt. Later he’d figure out what to do about his wife’s wandering eye, meanwhile, he’d work.

Turning the glowing rod in the coals, he looked it over, and pulled it out to start working on the once again malleable steel. Zeus, his father, was always in need of quality thunderbolts and he was the man who was charged with keeping him supplied. He swung the mallet up and started beating the heated metal into a thin, narrow jagged length, ending in a sharp point.

All of his frustrations were spent in his workshop.

The field he chose to toil in was extremely hot, with multiple fire pits burning around the forge, but there was much more to it than that. A good blacksmith had to be patient and skillful in bringing the best out of raw materials. Fire was his best instrument to manipulate the rigid steel. It helped him mold the hard material into whatever shape he wanted.

It was a dangerous job he did and wanted it no other way. The challenge of producing superior products through tough labor while viewed by many as physically imperfect, appealed to him. Hephaestus constantly used everything inside him to prove he could do anything anyone else could, no matter what he looked like.

For long periods of time he worked over a roaring fire. There were certain limitations in what he did, and because he didn’t like being uncomfortable while there in the forge, he chose to wear only a leather apron to protect his flesh from flying sparks and out of control flames. Sweat covering his bare body became both his nemesis and a lure. The down side was the slickness made it difficult to hold onto whatever he was working on. On the other side, the physical labor his work required had made his body heavily muscled.

In the beginning of their relationship, he often caught his wife watching him work with lust in her gaze. Now, she only stopped by the forge not to admire his fit physique, but to apologize for fucking another man.

It was all so infuriating. Why did she do this to him? Didn’t she find him appealing anymore? It certainly seemed as if she liked him well enough whenever they were together, although that wasn’t nearly as often as he’d like. Up until now, he hadn’t thought about being unhappy in his marriage. Despite his misshapen leg that caused others to cringe, she’d married him, and freely came to his bed where there was always pleasure for them both. Surely these weren’t the actions of someone who didn’t enjoy what they had together.

With one last hit, he’d finished making the thunderbolt shape, and plunged it into a vat of cold water. Steam and a sizzling hiss filled the air around him. This final step would set its unique character before he added the fire element. Later it would be up to his three assistants to add the thunder, lightening, and intensity, bringing them together in each piece of metal, becoming a perfect thunderbolt for Zeus to throw.

Hephaestus saw nothing wrong with being a calm, good natured, type of person. Anger didn’t get him anywhere. Besides, he was too big and powerful to allow rage to rule his emotions. Someone with his strength could easily hurt another, permanently. While he made things that killed and maimed, he wouldn’t do it personally.

Since his difficult childhood, he focused on keeping his emotions in check. Up until now, it had been easy for him to do. Without any warning, the grip he had on his more volatile feelings started to loosen. He grabbed his stick, used it to knock a stool out of his way, and started pacing the workshop. Circling pits full of roaring fires and lengths of various raw materials, ready to be changed into something useful, except his mind was firmly settled on Aphrodite.

This was the last straw in their relationship. No longer would he stand by while she played these games. Not with him. He was tired of them and how they made him feel useless and deficient. From the first incident between her and a mortal man of all things, having sex by some river, he’d put up with her extramarital activities.

Well, no longer.

Deep down, it hurt when she snuck off to find her pleasure with someone other than him, her husband. In their short married life, he’d put up with her affairs with Gods, warriors, even mortals, but enough was enough. This was the last time she snuck out on him and he did nothing in return. It was time he took his wife in hand and settled what was between them, once and for all. This latest incident put an end to his patience. Things were going to change for them or they’d no longer be a couple.

Stopping in the center of his forge, Hephaestus looked around and saw nothing, although one very important thought flooded through his mind. No, he couldn’t easily cast his wife away. He’d fight to hold onto her before allowing that to happen.

A decision to do something was one thing, now he needed to figure out what he had to do to ensure she looked no further than him.

Aphrodite was certainly stunning and sexy. Without any effort, she inspired his cock to rise whenever he saw her, despite not being blinded to her faults. She could also be extremely selfish, fickle, and at times, cruel. If he could somehow reach into her heart, there may be a chance for them to have a future together. Otherwise he may have no choice but to do the unthinkable and leave her.

Not wanting any further delays, Hephaestus believed there was only one person he could talk to about all this. One man who would help him ensure his plan to regain his wife’s attention was successful. Without any further delays, he left his men hard at work in the forge and made his way along the ridge of Mount Olympus to the big temple at the highest peak.

There wasn’t anyone who knew women and how they thought about sex better than Zeus. His reputation as a ladies’ man was well-earned, and like it or not, his father, the King of Gods, was someone who would give him some guidance in this problem with Aphrodite.

Carefully he maneuvered up the stairs leading to the main temple as possibilities of various things he could do came to mind. No matter what he chose to do, he had to remember a secret side to his wife. She enjoyed sex, all forms of it, so it would be best if he formed a plan around that. The brain and talking was the best avenue for communicating between couples, but she understood the body and what it expressed even more. No, he definitely wouldn’t throw anything out that might appeal to her naturally sensual side.