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Cupid's Little Helper

Chapter One
Makin Tha Mess

All right, I shouldna done it. But hey, I'm tha God of Mischief, right? Sure, mosta my work is settin things up fah Unc, but I wouldn't be much of a god if I didn't pay attention ta tha little things, too, would I? If I didn't keep my hand in tha every-day stuff then tha mortals would start ta think they were safe except for tha big disasters, an' tha little ones can be so much fun!

So I had some free time between gettin a whole troop of Spartans sick on spoiled meat an' seein to it that tha ambassador from a minor kingdom got his Greek screwed up enough ta mortally insult a few important nobles, an' I decided ta do some detail work. Insteada just spreadin myself around, I picked one thing ta concentrate on. How the heck was I s'posed ta know I was messin in wunna my cousin's pet projects?


Okay, here's tha deal. There was this mortal couple, Anieli an' Damara, that was gettin hitched in a little village outside Corinth. Tha place was small enough that this was a big deal, an' tha whole village was gonna attend. I mean, they was plannin a big ass celebration, by their standards. It was perfect. I mean, how could anyone expect me ta pass up an opportunity like that?

I got there bright an' early an' dropped in on tha bride's house first. Aw, she looked so sweet, cuddled up ta her pillow. I didn't even hafta go pokin around in her mind ta know that she was dreamin about her sweetie. I sifted a good handful of ants inta her sheets before I started ta look around for what else I could do.

Her weddin dress was laid out nice an' neat ovah a chair near tha bed. Nice. A little less pink an' a lot more of it than 'Dite usually favahs, but nice. Ya could tell that a lotta work had gone inta it. First I thought about runnin her pet cat through a mud puddle an' gettin it ta take a nap on it. Then I thought about doin a little strategic weakenin of tha material an' havin wunna tha weddin party trip an' grab it, rippin it right offa her in fronta tha guests. Both good ideas, an' I stored 'em away for future use, but I decided on somthin a little more subtle. *giggle* But it was a real mind fuck. I did what I hadda do, then checked on Damara again.

She wasn't smilin in her sleep anymore. Nope, she was frownin worse than Hera when she's thinkin 'bout tha half-mortal kids Zeus has scattered all ovah creation. She wasn't quite awake yet, but she was gettin there. Whoo, she was scratchin like a bitch in flea season! Besides tha ant bites she was gonna have a nice crop of welts on her arms an' neck an' boobs an'... Well, ya get the picture.

There was a lot more I coulda done, but I decided ta start off slow. I mean, no point in havin tha roof fall in on her when she was too groggy ta appreciate it, huh? I headed for tha groom's place, makin sure that tha eggs her Ma had set aside for her breakfast were rotten. With any luck she'd get some on her hands when she broke tha first one. That smell is nearly impossible ta get rid of, an' it'd lend a nice atmosphere ta tha proceedins latah.

Anieli was still asleep, too, an' he had an expression on his face almost tha same as tha one Damara had before tha ants. Aw, mortals are just so fuckin' cute sometimes. I peeked inta his mind an' sure enough, he was dreamin about Damara. Kind of a cleaned up version of her, actually. Her hair wasn't quite that shiny, an' her nose turned up more, and her boobs definitely weren't that big. Musta been Damara through tha eyes of love. So I tinkered a little.

I turned that nose up till it woulda looked at home on wunna Circe's pets, then I set her eyes closer t'gethah an' showed 'im how she'd look without that henna rinse she uses in her hair. He'd started ta frown by then. I gave her a coupla gaps in her teeth (hey, tha mortals usually lose some of 'em eventually. It wasn't that much of a stretch), an' I gave her ankles like an elephant. Then I started hangin babies an' kids offa her, one atta time, increasin her weight by about ten, fifteen pounds with each one. By tha time I got her up ta six, ol' Anieli was sweatin. His expression was like he was watchin Ares comin at him in full pissed-off mode. *snicker*

For good measure I had Damara's cat come through tha window an' crap in his shoes, then curl up on his pillow, breathin in his face. There's nuthin worse than wakin up ta cat breath. Unless... I turned tha cat around, butt ta face, then went off ta see what else I could play with.

I was a busy lil booger. I gave tha maid-of-honor a nice, juicy pimple on tha end of her nose an' tha best man a killer case of loincloth itch. I hid tha license an' got tha mothah-of-tha-bride ta trip an' twist her ankle. I switched salt for sugah when tha baker made tha cake, an' took a good, long pee in tha pre-ceremony wine. I made sure that tha flowah girl told Damara about how Anieli tried ta neuter Fluffy. I thought that was gonna do it, but he kissed ass so quick an' so hard that she... Well, she didn't forgive him. He was gonna pay for that latah, but she didn't call it off, eithah. Hm. This was gonna take a little more.

I made sure I was there when tha bride put on her dress for tha final fitting. It was s'posed ta be just a token, but when Damara put it on they could barely get tha bodice laced up, an' tha fit around tha hips made a sausage skin look loose. Yeah, those alterations I made really turned tha trick. She busted out cryin, givin herself a nice runny nose an' red eyes, too. Her mothah managed ta get her calmed down enough ta keep her from postponin tha ceremony, though, dammit. She got tha dress ta fit again by rippin out seams an' bastin it back t'gethah. I figured that if I didn't manage it any othah way I could still pull out tha trip-an-rip trick, but I didn't hafta. Tha last little inspiration did tha trick.

Wunna Anieli's old flames was in town, an' I started whisperin in her ear about how hot he looked dressed up in his weddin finery, an' wouldn't it be nice ta have just one more roll before he tied tha knot? So, just before tha ceremony I helpfully pointed out an empty room an' whispered ta him that sure, it's all right ta go have a private chat with her. They wasn't on tha best of terms when they parted, an' here's his chance ta make peace.

Or 'make a piece'. *snicker*

Even once I got 'em alone it looked like it might not work. I swear, that guy was a hard sell. Tha broad was doin' a pretty fair Aphrodite impression an' he was still holden back while she was hanging all ovah him. I finally took a hand in it personally. Literally. A little crotch massage perked up his interest considerable. Sap nevah noticed that it was kinda hard for her ta give 'im a hand job while she had both arms around his neck. *snort* Mortals.

Well, there ain't too many males, god or mortal, that can ignore that kinda opportunity. I waited till he had her tunic around her waist an' a double handful before I went an' suggested ta Damara that all she really needed ta make things all right was a quick cuddle from her sweetie, an' he was right ovah there.

Oh, man! Ya shoulda heard it when she came in an' caught 'em. Sounded like a flock of harpies gettin their tail feathahs plucked. I nevah woulda thought a well-brought up girl like Damara even knew those sorta words. Then her an' the old girlfriend had a knock-down, drag-out cat fight in tha middle of main street, complete with ripped dresses, hair pullin, an' bitch slappin. When tha guests got 'em separated, Damara took aftah Anieli, who was still kinda dazed. She'da done ta him what he wanted ta do ta ol' Fluffy if they hadn't stopped her.

I hung around till they got 'em separated. By that time they was both swearin on both Olympus an' Tartarus that they nevah wanted ta set eyes on each othah again till Tantalus got let loose. I'll admit ta bein a little smug about how it had turned out. My job was done, an' I headed home. It was nectar time. If I'da know what was commin' I probably woulda put down a keg of it.

I got back ta my place on Olympus. Pretty damn humble as things went among tha gods, but I like it. Sorta. Eh, it's home, ya know? Where ya go ta lick yer wounds, usually, so it was a nice change ta be celebratin a success. I blinked outta my leathahs an' whipped up a nice, deep tub of steamy hot watah, with bubbles. Yeah, whatcha laughin' at? *silence* I thought so. *sigh* Ya know, there's a lot ta be said for hydrotherapy.

So there I was, kicked back with tha suds lappin up around my waist, about three sheets ta tha wind an' feelin pretty pleased with myself. Lemme tell ya somethin, when ya live on Olympus, at least when yer a minor godling, there ain't any such animal as privacy.



Oh, shit. I didn't recognize tha voice right away, but ya couldn't miss tha 'pissed off' factor. I knew it wasn't Unc--his bellow I'd recognize anywhere. He can yell on tha othah side of the world an' jerk me out of wunna Hypnos's best efforts.

As footsteps approached down tha corridor, I considered runnin. Well, transportin. But I decided ta stick it out. I wasn't in any shape ta be very effective at hidin an' sometimes runnin gets ya in a lot more trouble. Like I said, I didn't know who ta expect, but who came through tha door was most certainly low on my list of possibilities.


Yeah, but not that gentle, beneficent, all that othah sweetness-an'-light bull crap tha mortals expect. Anyone evah tell ya that there's a fine line between love an' hate? Check Cupe out when he's in wunna his moods an' you'll believe it. His face was about as dark as it's possible for a blonde's ta get.

I hadn't seen him for a while. Let's face it--in tha natural scheme of things ya wouldn't expect Love an' Mischief ta mix very well, wouldya? I mean, I always liked 'im. Yeah, I know, I put up a pretty good front, but Tartarus, what was I s'posed ta do? Unc loved him, but they didn't exactly get along, bei' opposites an' all, an' I knew where my loyalties should lie.

Anyways, I had forgotten just how fuckin big he was. He stopped just inside tha room, an'... I dunno, maybe tha drink was playin havoc with my perceptions, but he seemed ta damn near fill tha doorway. Acres an' acres of blonde, pissed, sexy god. He can't help it, he'd be hot if ya wrapped 'im in burlap an' rolled 'im in a mud puddle. Oo, mud wrestling...

*long pause*

Huh? Sorry. Got distracted there for a minute.

So I try ta play it cool, right? I lean back in tha tub an' give him my best smart ass smile. "Hiya, Cupe."

"Don't you 'Cupe' me, you meddling miscreant!

" I fluttered my eyelashes at him. "Oo, I love it when ya talk dirty."

Jokin an' teasin usually got me outta whatevah little trouble I was in with him, but he wasn't buyin it this time. He stomped up ta tha tub an' sorta loomed ovah me, glarin down. Damn, he was mad. Those hazel eyes were shootin green sparks. "Can it, Strife! I want to know what the Tartarus you thought you were doing."

I knew what he was talkin about, of course. I knew from the second I'd seen who it was, but tha first rule of Mischief is 'Deny everything'. At least till they catch ya in tha lie. I indicated tha bubbles. "Takin a bath, cuz. I'd invite ya in, but I only made it big enough for one this time around."

Okay, innocent ain't my best pose. I usually can't get away with it except with mortals undah tha age of reason. I sure didn't get away with it then. He leaned ovah me, so angry that his wings were vibratin hard enough ta shake feathahs loose. "Damara and Anieli!"

Now, I don't as a rule like havin someone's breath in my face. It's normally enough ta earn 'em a month's wortha bruised toes, cut fingahs, an' dog bites. But Cupid... Man, it smelled good. Kinda like honeysuckle, and this was while he was pissed. I was kinda dazed by the wine an' that scent, othahwise I'da been able ta deny knowledge a little longer. Instead I just said, "Yah. What about 'em?"

He threw up his hands, turnin away ta stomp off. I kinda hoped he'd just flash right on outta there, but deep down I knew he wasn't gonna let it go. He couldn't, really. I s'pose ya noticed by now how hung up tha entire Pantheon is on tha whole power thing. Obviously I'd stepped on his toes, an' he couldn't just let it go or he'd lose face with tha other gods an' goddesses.

At last he came back an' glared down at me again. He was tryin ta keep his voice calm. "Do you realize how long it took me to get those two together?"

"Hey, Sport, ain't my fault that ya was tryin' ta be subtle insteada just usin yer arrows. What's tha big problem? Go shaft 'em both an' get 'em back tagethah."

His eyes narrowed. "You don't understand, Strife. This was an important union. I'm not the only one involved in this." That gave me a little chill, even though tha water was still nice an' hot. Cupid bein chafed on his own account was perfectly understandable, an' I could probably handle it. Maybe. I dunno. He was a lot angrier than I'd evah seen him.

I guess what I did next was stupid. All right, I don't claim smart. Clevah an' cunning, yeah. Devious an' manipulative, sure. But smart? I shrugged. "Sorry."

He scowled. "You call that an apology?"


I saw it comin, but I didn't move fast enough. He grabbed a handful of my hair an' pushed me underwatah. A god can't really drown, of course, but those damn bubbles can sting when they get in yer eyes, an' it gets kinda uncomfortable after awhile. I thrashed an' jerked, but I really couldn't get enough leverage ta get loose. Finally I just went limp. He held me undah anothah coupla minutes, then hauled me back up, by the hair again. "You have to do better than that, Strife."

He continued ta pull, and dragged me ta my feet. I'm tellin ya, that smarted. An' it was kinda scary. I was used ta Cupid bein an easy goin sort. This was almost as scary as it woulda been if Mom had gotten lovey-dovey or Ares had started cuddlin baby bunnies.

So there I was, starkers, drippin wet an' shiverin, more or less danglin from tha God of Love's fist by my hair. I was ready for him ta punch me inta the middle of next week. I coulda handled it. Shit, I handled worse than that onna regular basis from Unc. I was used ta it.

I think he was gonna do it. His othah hand was balled up inna fist, an' he was drawin back, so I just closed my eyes an' waited. An' waited. An' waited. Finally I cracked one eye open an' peeked at him.

He was lookin at me. Alla me, if ya know what I mean. I suddenly became aware of exactly how pale an' skinny I was. He flexed his fingers a coupla times while he studied me, like he was still tryin ta decide what he was gonna do. Well, I liketa get tha bad stuff outta tha way, so I said, "Look, go ahead an' whale on me an' get it ovah with, 'kay? If it'll make ya feel any bettah, I promise not ta heal myself till tomorrah." That always helps calm Mom an' Unc down. Usually if I take some time healin myself, the beatin's are farthah between.

Somethin changed--I dunno what exactly. Somethin shifted in his eyes, and alluva sudden they was more blue than green. His hold on my hair relaxed enough for me ta come down offa my toes, for which I was grateful. Then his grip loosened even more. His hand moved in my hair, combin through it like Unc does when he's distracted. 'Cept with Ares I always know that his mind's a million miles away when he does that, an' he only pets me 'cause cats don't come when he calls, an' he doesn't wanna spoil his war dogs. With Cupe it was different.

I could tell that he was thinkin about me when he did it. I couldn't tell what he was t thinkin, though, cause I was too damn scared ta try an' cruise his thoughts. His hand slid back through my hair, spikin it up even more than usual. Then it slid down my neck ta my shouldah.


I knew he was hot, but I nevah thought he was really, well, hot. I felt scorched. I froze an' just looked up at him, surprised that he wasn't takin my head off. He stared back at me, frownin. But then... Maybe I was seein' things, but I thought I saw tha corners of that wet dream mouth turn up, just a little.

He gave me a little shove. "Get dressed."

Hey, no soonah thought than done--though I guess I shoulda gotten outta tha tub before I thought myself inta my leathahs. I'm pretty sure he was tryin not ta smile while I climbed out, swearin an' drippin from tha knees down. I hate havin watah in my boots. "Now what?"

"Now we go and explain to the other interested parties what happened and figure out how to make it right."

"Fine. Where to?"

"Oh, yeah, like I'll trust you to go there on your own."

He pulled me inta his arms, an' I found myself pressed full length against a very warm, very solid body. "Hey! Ya don't gotta do this! Ya could just hold my hand."

I looked up at him indignantly. I don't like bein treated like a kid. I know I'm still young, but I work hard ta be taken seriously, dammit. He just stared back down at me, lifted his eyebrows, an' said, "I know," then flashed us outta there.

Cupid's Little Helper Table of Contents
Cupid's Little Helper, Part TwoWrite tha woman, already