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General Excerpt from Child of War-A God is Born

Adult Fiction by Lisa Beth Darling

Sitting on his Throne of Bones in the silence of the Fortress, listening to nothing but the sound of his own breath and the rumbling of his stomach, Ares remembered when their whirlwind honeymoon ended. What a honeymoon it was! He hadn't seen so much of the globe in centuries. It was exhilarating, exciting, and wondrous to watch this old world unfold before Alena's bewildered, stormy eyes. Even more than the sparkle in her eyes, he adored the waddle in her walk as Raven became heavier within her. She went from gracefully floating about at his side, her arm looped through his-the other hand lovingly caressing the little bud growing inside her-as they strolled down the banks of the Seine, to a gait more akin to Daffy Duck than a willowy Fey.

Alena told the baby about everything she was seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, even how things felt. Things like the sun upon her face, the sand between her toes, or the petal of a rose in her fingers. One day, just before they left France, Ares turned to her and asked what she was doing and why she was doing it.

Alena just looked up at him and said that Raven wanted to know and so she was telling him. At night, as they lay together naked and warm, she would sing old Celtic lullabies and something called 'The Rose'. It was a pretty tune and Ares loved to hear her sing it. Alena told Raven stories of her homeland and insisted that Ares do the same. Having no direct experience here, but understanding that expectant mothers often used their unborn children to coax expectant fathers into giving them what they wanted, Ares stroked the beard on his chin and looked at her closely. The look in her gray eyes said she was serious; Alena believed she could communicate with Raven and to her it seemed a very natural ability. Altogether unsure that Alena was communicating with Raven or that the baby could even hear him, Ares humored his wife as he regaled her tummy with tales of glorious battles won and lost. It was easy for Ares to get lost in his storytelling, so whenever his language became a bit too graphic she would nudge him by clearing her throat, thereby reminding him to keep his tale to the PG version. They would laugh.

After all the eons of War and Battle, Ares truly believed that Peace had finally come to him and he would never cease being this happy and blissful.

He should have known better, especially when it started to appear as though Raven were speaking back to her when she thought no one was around.

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