I led the way to my office, allowing Selene to go in first before following her inside and closing the door. Gesturing to a leather chair across from my desk, I leaned my broadsword against my bookcase, then sat down.
“Nice office,” she said. She glanced around the room, taking in my surroundings warily as she took a seat. She stopped her scan as when she reached my face, and I could see the tension in her shoulders relax.
“How can I help you, Selene?” I asked cautiously.
“I’ve been thinking, Ares, with all that has been going on with the Titans being out and all that, I am, essentially, unarmed. I have my might and power, but,” she gestured with her hands, “I have no weapons, nor the knowledge to use one.” She paused for a moment, trying to gauge my reaction before continuing. “I was hoping you could help me find the right blade, perhaps, and train me how to use it,” she concluded, placing her hands back in her lap, awaiting my answer.
“I didn’t think you’d be that worried about protecting yourself,” I replied sardonically. “I mean, you took Atlas out with one punch.”
Selene glared at me, not happy that I was belittling her capture of Atlas. “I kicked his ass fair and square. I didn’t remember hearing of you catching anyone, God of War.”
I arched my right eyebrow slightly. “A rather lucky punch, I might add. But he has been known to have a glass jaw. And I was busy protecting my father, Titaness. His life is far more important than anyone else’s around here.”
We sat in silence for a minute. “I did not come here to fight. Well, I mean, actually I did. But not verbally.”
“Oh, I can accommodate your desire for a fight,” I retorted.
Sighing, Selene said, “This is not what I had in mind when I came here. Perhaps this was a bad idea.” She stood up.
“What exactly do you want from me, Selene?”
“I want to be able to defend myself with mortals around without going full Titan. The stares I get are very uncomfortable. There are times when I want to go to a club and have a good time. But there’s always some jerk who wants to play grab ass, then there are broken bones, police reports, whispers, stares…” she sighed.
I stood up and walked around the desk, looking her up and down. She was wearing a light pink silk blouse, black slacks and black Louboutins. Hey, when you hang around Reginald long enough, you recognize name brands. The top two buttons on her blouse were undone, and a delicate silver chain hung down to the “v” of her breasts. She wore a silver Rolex on her left wrist. The last time I had seen Selene, her blond hair was much longer; now she wore it at shoulder length. “You have at least two weapons on you right now,” I told her. “Your necklace, for starters. You could use it to choke someone from behind, like a garotte.”
“A what?” she said, gently touching one side of her necklace.
“A garotte. It’s basically a thin wire hit men use on their victims sometimes.” I moved behind her. “Do you mind if I show you?”
I carefully pulled the necklace up, and then held it up against her throat, tightening it slightly. “If you twist it and jerk backwards, you’ll catch them by surprise. Keep applying pressure; your victim will be too busy clawing at their neck, trying to breathe, to fight back. With your strength, choking them to death shouldn’t take long. Once they’re dead, you can drop them to the ground, remove the necklace, and go along your merry way.” I released the necklace and moved to stand in front of her again. “Of course, the same method could be used on you. The only difference is your strength. Breaking such a chokehold would be easy for you.”
“A rather gruesome sounding death,” Selene said.
“Of course not,” she snapped. “What a ridiculous question.”
“Your second weapon is your feet, namely those heels you’re wearing. Drive one of those down on the top of an annoying date’s foot, and he’ll leave you alone. If he doesn’t, take off the other heel and drive it into his eyeball.”
“And ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes?” Selene exclaimed. “Are you crazy?!”
I threw my hands in the air. “You want to defend yourself like a mortal woman, this is how you do it. Do you think they give two shits if there is an eyeball driven through the heel of their shoe if they have survived a violent attack?”
“If they’re expensive like these are, yes!”
My head started to hurt, and I rubbed my forehead. “Do you wear this kind of outfit when you go out at night?”
“No, I usually wear a dress and heels.”
“Come with me.”
I led her out of the office and down the hall to my weapons room. She gasped when she saw the various swords, daggers, spears and guns hanging on racks around the room. “Did you make all of these?” she asked as I walked toward the back of the room.
“Some of them, yes,” I admitted as I stopped in front of an oak cabinet. “Heph made the rest, except for the guns.” Opening the door, I turned and looked at her. “Are you right or left handed?”
“Take off your pants,” I said, facing the cabinet again.
“I didn’t stutter, and your ears didn’t flap. Take off your pants,” I replied as I selected a slender blade from the cabinet.
“Look, I know you have a reputation with the ladies,” Selene said, “but I am not about to sleep with you just to get a damn knife.”
Sighing, I turned around and looked at her. “Selene, I can’t very well select a knife for you if I can’t tell how well the sheath will fit against your leg. Now, are you going to take off your pants, or am I going to have to rip them off you?”
She glared at me for a moment, then without breaking eye contact, she slid the zipper down, unbuttoned them, then seductively pushed them off her hips and let them slip down her legs to pool at her feet. Stepping out of them, she stood in front of me with her hands on her hips. “Better?”
“Much, thank you,” I replied. I walked over and knelt by her right leg. “Spread your feet.” Muttering under her breath, she parted her legs slightly. “A little more.”
She growled as she complied. “Don’t push me, Ares.”
“You’re not my type, Selene,” I chuckled. I tied the sheath around her leg. “Is that too tight?”
“No,” Selene said, shaking her head. “I can hardly tell it’s there.”
“That’s the point,” I said, sliding the knife out of the sheath before standing up. “It’s called a stiletto knife. It’s made of carbon steel, weighs about six to seven ounces, and it’s about six inches long. Double edged and as you can tell, the blade narrows as you get down to the tip. The key thing to remember is to slip it out of the sheath in a way that your attacker can’t tell what you’re doing. Once you get it out,” I took a step forward, “act quickly. If you’re facing him, make sure you keep his eyes locked on your face, then ram it into his stomach as hard as you can. If you can do it more than once, great. But once should be enough, because he’ll immediately grab for the spot where you stabbed him. Shove him backwards and run.”
“If he’s behind me?”
I turned around so my back was to her. “Wrap your arm around my throat.”
Selene chuckled. “You really want me to do that?”
“You really want to try and kill me when I’m the one holding the knife?”
“Good point.” She put her arm around my throat without applying pressure.
“If you’re in this position, once you’ve managed to slide the knife out, stab him in his thigh. It will gush like a geyser. Again, he’ll grab at it with both hands. Once he lets go, run for it.”
“What if he doesn’t let go? What if he tries to make a grab for the knife?” she asked, dropping her arm.
Turning around, I slid the knife into the sheath, then put my hands on her shoulders. “Selene, you are a strong woman. A Titaness. You could snap a man’s neck with your bare hands and not break a sweat. You asked for my help because you didn’t want to do that. You want to be seen as a normal woman, not some freak. I am sure that if you find yourself in a situation where you have to defend yourself, you will find the strength to keep anyone from taking your knife from you, even if that means you have to break a few bones in the idiot’s body. You took out Atlas because you thought he was going to kill you, did you not?”
“Well, I knew he would try.”
“And you found the strength to prevent that from happening. You will do the same again if you have to. Why don’t you remove that knife and sheath from your leg, put your pants back on, and we’ll go back to my office? We can set up some training sessions for you.”
A couple of minutes later, we were headed back to my office. “You’ll need some practice with that stiletto,” I told her. “There are practice dummies in the courtyard training area that you can use. The next time you come, bring a skirt.”
Suddenly, I heard some yelling from the lobby. “Hey! You can’t go back there!” Reginald exclaimed. “Stop right now!”
Selene and I rushed in that direction. As I came around the corner, I collided with someone, and instinctively grabbed them. It was a disheveled young woman, her brunette hair sticking up in all directions, her blue eyes wide and full of fear. Her clothes were dirty and torn in some places, and she smelled of booze and the woods. “Are you Ares?” she asked, grabbing the front of my shirt tightly.
“Yes, I’m Ares, but who are you?”
“My name is Kara. Why the hell didn’t you come rescue me like he wanted you to?”
Then she passed out in my arms.
“A friend of yours?” Selene asked, one eyebrow slightly arched.
I scooped the woman into my arms and looked Selene right in the eyes. “I’ve never seen her before in my life.”
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