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My Heart on Your Sacrificial Altar

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Victor is a god of many faces. He is the rising and falling of numbers the entire world watches with baited breath. He is the jingling of coins, the crispness of new bills, and the weathered wrinkles in old ones. He is the empire rising above the concrete jungle. He is a creator of dreams. The wolf of Wall Street. A living legend. He is the god of commerce and capitalism, a new but powerful god born from the greed and desires of mankind. He is even perhaps the most powerful god of them all… but it’s not enough for him. Victory and gold aren’t enough to satisfy the tired and lonely god anymore. For a god who has everything, Victor is at a loss to what exactly he’s missing.

It is out of pure happenstance that another new god, the god of social media Phichit, retweets an advertisement for a burlesque show in New York and another coincidence that Victor has a rare moment to himself to indulge in mortal dealings. Having had seen it all, Victor had resigned himself to a night of drinking and boredom, and that’s exactly what he does. However, he finds himself choking on his drink when the last dancer of the night steps out.

‘Yuuri’ they called him, but Victor knew better.

This wasn’t just some pretty slip of a mortal batting his lashes at the crowd. Victor was well aware that the old gods brought to America had practically fallen into ruin, but this god seemed to be thriving in his own way as the audience practically dropped to their knees in worship. Victor was one of them, completely enthralled and ready to be a heathen for this old god.

Eros didn’t need arrows to ensnare the god of victory.

It was almost pitiful how easy it was to bribe his way back stage and enter the god’s dressing room. Just as he slipped in, he caught Eros rolling a stocking down one smooth, pale leg and he nearly choked on his own breath at the sight. Victor was no stranger to the corruption and desires of businessmen, but he was practically reduced to a blushing virgin. It wasn’t until he looked up that the god of love and desire noticed Victor’s presence and froze like a deer in headlights. Impressively, all of Eros’s previous confidence seemed to drain from his face in a matter of seconds and a look of terror and bewilderment replaced it.

“V-Victor?”

Well he was certainly not expecting that sort of reaction, but he did enjoy surprises. “You sure have a way of captivating your audience,” Victor purred charmingly, taking liberties as he closed the distance between them. Eros straightened smartly then and frowned, quickly recovering from his previous shock as Victor stood before him. “You certainly caught my attention.”

Eros offered a slightly humored snort and returned to taking off his makeup. “You’re too kind. Should I ask what’s a god like you doing in a place like this or should I just skip the pleasantries and ask what you want from me?”

Victor mocked hurt, pressing a hand to his chest in affront. “Now why would you think that? Can’t I simply admire the beautiful things in life?”

Eros turned away from the mirror to give him an unconvinced look. Victor didn’t miss how his robe slipped with the movement, exposing his bare shoulder and torso. He became suddenly aware of why the Greek statues were so highly praised for their beauty. They were modeled after glorious gods like Eros after all. At this point Victor was half-convinced the old god knew exactly what kind of effect he had on him.

“The god of materialism doesn’t want anything from me?” he asked with a raised brow.

Victor sighed in defeat. “So you see through me then. I came to offer you a deal.” He reached out, eliciting a small gasp from the other god as he tilted Eros’s chin to meet his eyes. “I can make it so the entertainment stocks rise, so investments in you rise. Where money goes attention flows, and with enough manipulation on my part, it will only be a matter of time before you become the biggest sensation since Marilyn Monroe. You could have millions of humans at your feet, worshipping the very ground you walk. I can make you greater and even more powerful than you ever were at your prime.” He dropped his hand from his face and he secretly relished how Eros subtly followed the absence of his touch. “Don’t you miss it? The adoration, the praise, the surge of power with each whispered prayer in your name?” More like a demon than a god, Victor extended his hand invitingly. The gesture seemed too cold, too corporate, too rehearsed, yet he could only hope that the other god would reach back. ”It’s a generous offer, don’t you think? What do you say, Eros?”

Eros closed his eyes almost sorrowfully, as if reliving those days of glory in a land far away behind his lids. Accepting that Victor was no longer joking, he took a shuddering breath before finally giving him his full attention, his amber eyes more piercing than any arrow. “I’ll ask one last time. What do you want from me, Victor?”

Victor was silent, quietly choosing his next words carefully. He had always known the right thing to say, what promises and lies to use to charm any adversary. He was always used to being the sharp and eloquent one, but in this moment, he found himself at a loss. There seemed to be no words that could do Eros justice. Would he say too much and scare him off? Would he be too forward? Would he not be forward enough? Business had always been his strong suit, but standing before this god, he found himself in completely uncharted territory unsure of what to say or do next.

“I want you to stay by my side, even if for a short while,” he finally admitted at length. Eros’s face instantly broke out into a beautiful blush that stained his cheeks a lovely rose color, an expression so different from the smoldering looks. He ducked his head shyly in an attempt to hide his blush from Victor, though he did a horrible job of it. Victor found this side of him even more endearing and intimate though, like a silly moment between lovers. “So what shall I be to you? A brother? A benefactor, perhaps? A coach? I’ll be sure to try my best,” he said with his best business smile and a wink.

Eros’s flattered expression wavered and Victor felt his heart drop when the older god gently pushed his hand away in rejection. “You don’t even know me.”

“But we can get to know each other?” Victor tried desperately in an attempt to change his mind, grasping at anything to make the god look his way.

“You don’t understand. You don’t know me,” Eros stressed almost beseechingly as he rose from the vanity. Having fully removed his makeup, he slipped on a pair of blue frames that gave him a softer, more delicate look in the lamplight. In that moment, he was no longer the desirous dancer that Victor became enamored with, but something else entirely. Something that threatened to change the very fabric of Victor’s being. Something more powerful and divine and all-consuming than Victor had ever anticipated. He had no words for it but he knew he would gladly drown in Eros’s waters if the god asked it of him. Eros could only offer him a sad smile in return though, one that showed Victor that despite their supposed difference in power and influence, Eros truly pitied him. “You only think you know who I am.”

He swallowed the lump forming in his throat, finding it hard to draw breath. “You’re Eros, god of love and desire.”

“That’s right,” he agreed, firmly holding Victor’s enraptured gaze, “I am the god of desire and love, and you can’t buy me, Victor, because you can’t buy love . If you truly knew what I stand for, you wouldn’t have approached me like you did. Love doesn’t have a price. It can’t be bought, bartered, or sold. Wealth, fame, power… It means nothing to me. There is nothing in your domain that could ever be of worth to me.”

It felt like a death blow. Victor averted his eyes, both devastated and thoroughly chastened. Throughout his existence, it had always been a known fact that everybody wanted something, that everyone could be bought for just the right price. It was a cruel irony then that there was nothing he could do to keep the one thing he wanted to hold onto. He was nothing but a naive young god for coming here, for hoping that something more could come of this. “You’re right,” he admitted softly, “I’ve grown accustomed to approaching everything in life like a business deal and it was absolutely insulting of me to approach you the same way, and for that, I am truly sorry. What would a god born from greed even know of love?”

Eros shook his head frantically. “It’s not like that! You don’t know me, Victor, but it’s not your fault,” he said urgently, pressing a hand against Victor’s heart in emphasis. Victor wondered if the older god noticed his racing heartbeat under his searing touch. “You don’t know love, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it.”

The smallest bit of hope bloomed in his chest at his words. “You think so?” Victor found himself breathless, wanting nothing more but to reach out and touch him.

He nodded and smiled widely, a sight more entrancing than any performance he could ever give. “I don’t need power or prayers. I don’t need a brother figure, a benefactor, or a coach either, but I,” he stuttered hesitantly, unaware that he had Victor hanging on his every word, “I don’t think I would mind having you by my side. Just as yourself though, just as Victor. What use is being a god if you can’t experience life and love? It’s worth a try, isn’t it?”

This time, Eros was the one offering his hand and Victor took it without a second thought. The older god’s eyes lit up, and in that moment, Victor stared into the face of love and adoration. He didn’t think he’d ever want to look away.

Eros is a god of many faces. He is the rising and falling of a lover’s chest on silvery moonlit nights. He is the hesitancy in new love, the all-consuming passion in sexual desire, and the weathered wrinkles in the face of a life-long partner. He is the home that welcomes you with open arms. He is the feeling of butterflies in your stomach at just the slightest touch. A burning emotion that words alone cannot describe. A force so powerful it sends even the mightiest of gods to their knees. He is the god of desire and love, a god of old born from all the tenderness and devotion of mankind. He is even perhaps the most powerful god of them all. Victory and gold cannot satisfy him, but in Victor, he found everything he could ever hope for and more.