Chapter 64 – For the First Time
“It is natural to want justice,” said Aphrodite, “And I demand a fair trial without anyone coercing Hephaestus to testify falsely, yet again. Isn’t that right, Lady Hera?” She looked at Hera levelly.
Hera didn’t respond. She seemed stunned that Aphrodite knew about that. It meant that she could reveal everything to Zeus at an instant. She had spread vague details about the incident, so nobody knew for sure what had actually happened.
“Why don’t you try asking nicely for a change, Lady Hera?” asked Aphrodite, “We might be able to put aside differences and settle everything rationally with politeness, you know.”
Hera sensed the threat in her words: show respect to Hephaestus or risk revealing the secret. Hera seethed in rage and clenched her fists. She wanted to smite this pest off the face of the world. Aphrodite gripped Hephaestus’ hand and stared her down, challenging her to wreak any havoc that she could.
Hera bowed her head and threw her arms wide open. “Please, Hephaestus,” she said, “I ask for forgiveness on behalf of Ares’ foolishness. Please release him.”
Hephaestus’ hand in Aphrodite’s clenched. He let out a loud sigh. His frustrations of a lifetime seemed to escape in that one sigh. He looked unyielding and immovable like he always did, but his heart was racing. Hera, who had treated him in the basest way possible, showed him respect and asked for forgiveness-even if it was for Ares- for the first time. He had never imagined in his wildest dreams that this was possible.
His response came haltingly and slowly. “Since you ask for forgiveness, Lady Hera,” he said, “I will release him for now to save your face….” He steeled himself. “But his subsequent punishment still needs to be discussed. I cannot have gods, whether major or minor, seeing it fit to invade my sanctuary as they please.”
Hephaestus felt that every word he uttered set him free from a lifetime of shackles. He had blocked any discomfort and hurt and built a wall around himself. He had never been able to free himself completely, only been able to lock himself in more and more. But with Aphrodite by his side, every word he uttered at this instant made him so light that he felt he could fly if he chose to. He had a gentle smile on his face as he realized this. Hera looked shocked.
“Hephaestus,” called Aphrodite, looking at him with worry. A silent question in her eyes: Are you alright?
He turned towards her and pulled her in an embrace and held her tightly to him. He had no care in the world for the many pairs of eyes still looking at them.
“I love you,” he whispered in her ears. His sincere feeling from the depths of his heart burst forth. He didn’t expect an answer. He just held her tight and felt her heart racing through her chest. Her heartbeat, and her ready hands that wrapped around him tenderly were all the answers he needed. He laughed quietly, unable to believe she was here, and will be here forever, by his side.
It was broad daylight, and the room was full of heat. The condensation was visible on the glasses and mirrors that spanned the room. The heat wasn’t so much because of the weather as it was because of two lovers entwined in each other’s arms on the bed.
Aphrodite, with her blond hair splayed everywhere, lay naked and prone, begging Hephaestus to just do it. “Ahhh,” she moaned, “No more now, just do it… ah!”
The sheets around were covered in fluid that escaped her body every time he touched her. The man sitting, looming over her, said in a hoarse voice, touching her in all the intimate parts, “You aren’t ready yet.”
“I am!” snapped Aphrodite, no longer able to bear it. Her voice was full of pleading desire.
However, Hephaestus persisted. He moved his fingers inside her and said in a firm voice, “You aren’t open wide enough.”
“There’s plenty of room there, you big oaf,” snapped Aphrodite. They had both lost their sense of shame a long time ago. She moaned as her inner walls clenched around his fingers. She bit her lips in pleasure. But it wasn’t enough. His fingers didn’t reach where she wanted it to. The climactic ecstasy that she wanted always remained out of reach.
“Hephaestus,” she urged, “Not there, ahhh.”
“Then where?” he asked, fingering her further, “Here?”
“You daft oaf,” she retorted, “Look at you pretending to be all innocent. You know where. Please, just… ah.” She moaned.
“It is because I am uncertain,” he said, trying to sound serious, “Your reaction is different every time.”
“When has it ever…,” her sentence was cut short by her gasping breaths.
It was just torturous. It was as though he had tied a leash around somebody that was dying of thirst, making them unable to reach the water that was just in sight.