• "Hey! El! Wake up! I said, wake up!" a voice hollered at me.
    My eyes fluttered open. I didn't want to wake up. I wanted to sleep. My stomach grumbled hungrily. My tongue was swollen with thirst. I was shaken awake and pulled up.
    "You idiot! I told you to wake up!" a familiarly low voice growled at me, handing me something. I took whatever it was they had.
    It was cold when it touched my hand. It was beer. I wasn't old enough to drink this. I looked at the person who had spoken to me.
    "Drink it. You haven't had anything all yesterday and all last night. Trust me, you need it." he said, looking straight at me. Ares. What was he doing here?
    "You got anything else? I'm under the drinking age." I said, handing it back to him.
    He scowled and pushed it back at me. His face wasn't pleased. I noticed some red stuff smeared across his cheek. Was it blood? Lipstick? Or something else?
    "No. Don't have anything else. And I don't care if you're underaged, just drink the damn stuff. You haven't liquid in like what, twenty four hours?" he replied angrily.
    Reluctantly, I drank the beer. It tasted horrible. It was cold and hydrated my insides though. My stomach thundered loudly, hunger gnawing at my belly like an angry animal.
    Ares raised an eyebrow. I merely looked at him and shrugged. I gulped down a bit more beer and then set it down. My muscles were still sore. I rubbed soem sleep out of my eyes.
    Ares grabbed my arm tightly. It hurt. His face was still angry. I didn't like the look in his blood red eyes either. I gulped nervously. What had I done?
    "Never get involved with Eris. You hear me? She's a goddess of chaos who doesn't care what happens to her pawns. You'd do better groveling to Aphrodite after what you did to her." he snarled, gripping my arm tighter. I could already feel the bruises forming.
    "But she promised she would-" I started, trying to wrest my arm out of his grasp. He still held on, not even daunted.
    "That she would what? Help you look for your mother? Eris wouldn't help you. She'd only get you into even more trouble than you already are. And that's a lot of trouble. And you've dragged me into it." he cut me off, pulling me a little closer so that we were staring right into each other's eyes. Brown met blood red.
    How had I gotten him into trouble?! Okay, maybe I got him in trouble with Aphro-dummy. But hey, she was asking for it. It's always a bad idea to mess around with your boyfriend's best friend. Especially if they have a short temper like me.
    "Aphrodite I could understand having trouble with. But all the other stuff? How is it getting you in trouble?!" I snapped angrily, still trying to pull away.
    Ares only gripped tighter. It really was painful now. It felt like he was crushing my bones. I clenched my teeth. He pulled me closer so that he was whispering in my ear.
    "Because as a mortal that I hang around with, I'm responsible for your actions with the gods. And you're meddling for finding your mother is really never going to get anywhere. Unless you know how to defend yourself, which you don't, you won't stand a chance against anything that comes in your way! Whether it be a god or a beast!" he hissed, his hot breath in my ear.
    I closed my hands into fists. Who said I wouldn't stand a chance?! I probably could! I had super strength and I had a good right hook!
    As if reading my mind, Ares scowled and let go. I had been right. There were bruises now. Just as I was about to move away, he pushed me roughly forward. I fell onto my side to find he had pinned me down.
    "Hey! What's the big idea?!" I snapped, my patience for my friend growing thin.
    Ares only glared at me and kept me pinned there.
    "You let your guard down. Any monster or god will take advantage of that the moment they see it. And believe me, they will. You think they're going to back off just because you throw them a punch? Think again. To them, a punch is like poking them with your finger. You won't be able to hurt them unless you know how to use a weapon!" he lectured me, his eyes smoldering with a light of fury.
    I gulped nervously. Somehow that look in his eyes always sent a shiver of fear up my spine. But I didn't show it. I kept a look of anger on my face.
    "How do you know?" I demanded, trying vainly to get back up. He had me pinned to well to get up.
    His mouth seemed to twitch up into something like a mad smile.
    "Cause I'm the god of war. I know all about fighting and how to use a weapon. Even if you tried your hardest, you'd never be able to beat me." he answered, his face darkening.
    I narrowed my eyes. I didn't care if he was the god of the entire universe. I wouldn't let him get in the way at the change of being able to find my mom. Though he did have a point. I'd probably need to learn how to use a weapon.
    "Then teach me." I said with all seriousness.