I wish to retain all rights to this story. However, I am delighted to grant permission to any person to publish this story as long as there is no charge to the reader and as long as no changes are made to the story.

Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 11 – Athletes

A catamite is the younger partner in a pederastic relationship between two males and was a popular arrangement in the ancient world…

The word Catamite is derived from the Latin catamitus, itself borrowed from the Etruscan catmite, a corruption of the Greek Ganymedes, the boy who was seduced by Zeus and became his beloved and cup-bearer in Greek mythology – Wikipedia

[In Grecian society ] contrary to female prostitution, which covered all age groups, male prostitution was in essence restricted to adolescents…

The period during which adolescents were judged as desirable extended from puberty until the appearance of a beard, the hairlessness of youth being an object of marked taste among the Greeks. As such, there were cases of men keeping older boys for lovers, but depilated…

As with its female counterpart, male prostitution in Greece was not an object of scandal. Brothels for slave-boys existed openly… Wikipedia

The Oracle was quiet at her midday meal. Jeet, unsure of where he stood with her, sat several feet away, playing his harp between bites of bread. After eating, the Oracle rested and the others left her chambers. At first, Jeet continued to play his harp, but he grew drowsy, and finally lay down to rest at the edge of her bed.

Bantu woke them when he jumped astride the back of Jeet’s legs, jerked the Abij-hah’s breechcloth up his butt crack, and slapped a drumbeat with his hands onto Jeet’s bare butt cheeks. “Time to go dazzle your worshipers with a little acrobatics practice, Abij-hah,” the redhead announced.

The other eunuchs, led by Aruli, drifted into the room.

Jeet propped up on his elbows and glanced at the Oracle. She looked away.

“I think I’ll stay up here today,” Jeet said.

Bantu moved up astride Jeet’s butt and turned with a frown at the others. He nodded his head toward the Oracle.

“Let’s teach the Oracle some acrobatics,” Aruli suggested.

The eunuchs all looked at her. The Oracle glanced at them and frowned.

“Come on,” Bantu said with an encouraging smile. He climbed off Jeet to kneel beside her. Aruli knelt down on her other side. “You know you’ve wanted to learn,” Bantu said. The two of them started pulling up her light gown.

“What are you doing?” she asked, tugging her gown back down.

“You can’t learn acrobatics dressed like this,” Bantu told her.

“I don’t want to learn acrobatics,” she said.

“Sure you do,” Bantu said. “We’ve heard you say it.”

“We’ll put her in a breechcloth,” Aruli suggested.

The Oracle looked up.

“She’ll look damned good in a breechcloth,” Bantu agreed.

The Oracle fought back a grin, and that was all the approval they needed. Jeet hung back while the others undressed her and then fitted her with one of Jeet’s short, workout breechcloths. They left her naked except for that, and using her bedding for cushioning, they taught her how to do handstands and tumbles.

When Jeet offered help, she said nothing and looked away. He tried only once.

Time came for the Oracle’s bath.

As they always did, the boys undressed her on the top step of the bathhouse. As he always did, Jeet followed her into the water. He said nothing with words, but everything he could with the tenderness and affection he used to bathe her.

The Oracle said nothing to him, but closed her eyes as he washed her back down to her rounded bottom, and then her chest and belly. He didn’t dwell on her tender places as he would if wanted to give her pleasure, but he cleaned her gently.

They came up from the water. The eunuchs dried her body and dressed her in a fresh gown. They followed her to her chambers and served her evening meal, all the while joking and teasing about making the Oracle an acrobat. Jeet watched her. She ignored him.

They cleared away the evening meal, still joking. And then, eventually, they grew quiet. The eunuchs exchanged looks. “Time for bed?” Ptolemy asked. Everyone nodded.

The eunuchs undressed the Oracle and descended the stairs to their chamber. Rem stole behind the wall where he kept his pallet, and Jeet laid the Oracle down on her bed.

She rolled from him and faced the other direction, pulling bed covers up to her neck.

Jeet gazed at her sadly for a moment, and then quietly made his own bed at her feet.

+ + + + +

In the cool shade of the portico, Amnon knelt at the Oracle’s feet. Jeet stepped forward to announce the Oracle’s answer, speaking the words the Oracle had instructed him to say; words that Jarus agreed to. “Amnon, the Oracle says that she does not loan out her attendants to others for money. However, you are a child of Kaleh and our friend, and the Oracle accepts your gift. And because you are a champion for our city in the games, the Oracle grants your wish.”

Jeet lowered his voice, speaking directly to the young athlete, “I am the Abij-hah, Amnon, and I must not go far from the Oracle. It has been decided that for the three days you request, a room will be prepared here in the shrine. I will wait on you there. I will bring you food and whatever else you require of me, but we must stay in the shrine.”

Amnon bowed his head. “The Oracle is gracious. I am grateful.” As he straightened back up, his eyes traveled down Jeet’s nearly naked body. His gaze met Jeet’s, and he gave the younger boy a slight nod before leaving.

Inside the shrine, when she removed her mask, there were tears in the Oracle’s eyes. Sending her attendants away, she retreated to her chamber. Jeet followed, but not knowing what to say, or even if she would let him in, he sat down on the hallway floor outside her door. Rem followed a few minutes later and sat down beside him.

Just before midday, Aruli came up the stairs. He nodded at the guard who stood beside the door, then at Jeet and Rem, and then he went into the Oracle’s chamber.

The Oracle lay on her bed; on her side, knees drawn up, eyes open. Aruli sat down beside her. “Are you hungry, Oracle?” he asked quietly.

She shook her head.

Aruli stroked her hair. “He loves you, Oracle. You know that.”

She said nothing.

“This is the temple of Cybele,” Aruli reminded her. “It could be worse for us. It could be a lot worse. Just across the courtyard, on the backside of the temple, there are at least two boy prostitutes our age. The priests keep catamites. That’s what Ono was when he was little – he’s been with Jarus for years. It’s not bad for us here, Anda, even if sometimes Jeet has to do this sort of thing. We do what has to be done.”

With a sigh, the Oracle shifted around, laying the side of her head in Aruli’s lap. “The first time I saw him, Aruli,” she said softly, “in that horrible jumble of people on the first day… it was like it was just him and me.” She smiled. “I thought he was stuck up. He was so pretty, and everyone talked about him so much, and he squeezed my hand, and I thought he was stuck up. But it was still like it was just him and me.” She rolled, turning her face to his belly and hugged his waist. “When I had to walk naked around the temple that day, I could do it because he was there with me.” She glanced up at Aruli. “Silly, wasn’t it; to feel that way even then.”

Aruli ran his fingers through her golden hair. “The gods picked him for you, Oracle. Jeet knew that, even then. I think we all did.”

“He might fall in love with Amnon,” she whispered, her eyes tearing.

“He won’t,” Aruli assured her, stroking her hair back behind her ear.

“How do you know?” she asked. “Tazaar fell in love with Cyndur. I am no athlete, Aruli. How can I compare with Amnon?”

“Jeet is not Tazaar,” Aruli told her, gently squeezing the Oracle’s shoulder. “And you have things Amnon does not.” He grinned and wriggled his eyebrows. Then his grin softened. “You’re pretty, Anda – not like Jeet is pretty, but you have a good face. You’re a good match for him. You’re smart like him, and you’re strong in your heart, and that’s a good match for him, too. You’re Jeet’s best friend. And if all that isn’t enough…” he leaned closer over her and whispered. “You are The Oracle of Kaleh. Jeet is your Abij-hah. You’re like a god and goddess together, right?” He smiled again and gently squeezed her shoulder.

The Oracle sighed, and hugging his waist, burrowed her face into Aruli’s belly. “I don’t want to lose him, Aruli. It’s one thing for him to say he’ll do whatever he has to do to keep us together when that means sleeping with a fat, old priest, but this is different.” She wiped a tear from her eye onto Aruli’s stomach. “He will find pleasure with Amnon. You know that.”

Aruli nodded. “He will find pleasure.”

The Oracle squeezed her eyes tightly, squeezing out the tears. She wiped them on Aruli’s belly. She swallowed. Her eyes opened, and she gazed at Aruli’s belly. She kissed the soft skin below Aruli’s navel. “I am a hypocrite, Aruli” she said quietly. “I would have pleasure with Amnon, too, if it were me.” She kissed Aruli’s belly again and rubbed the side of her face softly against it. She glanced up at him. “Sometimes when I look at you and the others… when we’re naked together, or simply when your breechcloths ride up in your butts…” she smiled thinly, and glanced up at him. “Sometimes I think about having pleasure with one of you.”

Aruli stroked her shoulder. “I have hoped that some night you and Jeet would ask me to your bed.” He trailed a fingertip down the skin of her arm. “I am bound to you, just as Jeet is. I vowed myself to you, just as he did. You, and the six of us, are like… like married to each other, Oracle. The other eunuchs and me, we know that. We talk about it sometimes, and we agree – we’re closer to each other than husbands and wives and closer than brothers. We love each other, and we…” he gently caressed the bare skin of her upper arm, “… we make love to each other.” His eyes met hers. “Jin is special to me, just as Ptolemy is special to Bantu and Tazaar is special to Cyndur. But I also love Ptolemy and Bantu and Tazaar… and Jeet… and you, Anda.”

“Please don’t be angry,” he said. “I know how much you and Jeet love each other. But I made vows to you as well, Oracle. When we made our promises to each other, you called the other eunuchs and me your husbands. We’ve talked about that, too… downstairs, at night, on our beds. Every one of us would like to be a husband to you, even if only once in a while.” He smiled sadly. “Sometimes when I look at you, when we’re naked together… I think about having pleasure with you.”

The Oracle pushed up on one arm and gazed into his eyes. She kissed him gently, softly. “I love you, too, sweet Aruli-hah.” She leaned her forehead to his. “I think someday we will have pleasure together, but now I must talk to Jeet.” She kissed him and gave him a hug. “Other than Jeet, you are my best friend.”

Aruli nodded and hugged her in return. “You are my sister.”

Their embrace tightened. “On the nights Jeet is with Amnon, I will be alone,” the Oracle whispered. She leaned back in his arms, and smiled.

Aruli grinned, and leaned forward to whisper beside her ear. “You have made me very hard, Oracle.”

She laughed and looked down to see that the end of Aruli’s cock had extended up past his breechcloth. She whispered in Aruli’s ear. “I am hard, too. Perhaps, you should find Jin and I should find Jeet.”

Nodding, Aruli stood up, working to tuck his erection back into his narrow breechcloth. “Jeet sits outside your door, Oracle,” he said. “I will send him in.”

The Oracle nodded. “Quickly.”

She was standing beside her bed, naked and erect when Jeet came through the doorway. He paused for a moment, and then with a smile, he rushed to her and pulled her into his arms. Anda tugged off his breechcloth, and the two thirteen-year-olds fell onto the bed, their slender, hairless legs entwining.

They kissed passionately, palms caressing faces, angular shoulders, narrow waists, rounded bottoms, soft skin. They rolled and Anda was on top, her golden hair hanging down over him. She pinned his arms and covered his mouth with hers. She slid the inside of her legs down the outside of his and moved back on him, seeking to feel his crown at her labia. He lifted his hips, seeking her.

They missed to one side, and then another; and then his crown parted the lips to her opening. Anda pushed back; wanting him in, taking him in. He raised his hips to meet her, and he was all the way in. They held there, pushing hard against each other, their eyes locked.

“I love you,” she whispered.

“Oracle,” he whispered back. “I love you.”

She swayed her back, pressing her phallus down against his firm belly. They moved together, rocking their hips in opposition, forward and back.

She released his hands and lay down on him. They wrapped arms around each other and kissed. They rolled, and Anda was on her back. Jeet could drive more deeply. He made his belly firm and rubbed it against her upturned phallus as he pumped. They held each other tightly, the sides of their faces pressed together as they gasped for air and pumped their hips.

Jeet rubbed his mouth against her cheek. “I love you, Anda,” he murmured, squeezing her even more tightly. “I’ll always love you.” He pressed deep with his cock. “Always.”

She arched her head back, giving him her throat, and whimpered when he buried his mouth in the nape of her neck. She ran her hands up and down his slender, flexing back. She bucked her pelvis to meet him, and rocked forward to grind her erection against his belly; her body undulating under his, in rhythm. She pulled him by the small of his back, wanting his belly more firmly on hers. Then she spread her legs wider, and planting her heels, grabbed him with both hands by his firm buttocks. Her eyes rolled up, and she lifted her pelvis to feel his thrusts more solidly.

They stayed in her chambers all afternoon. They ate alone. They bathed alone. Then they returned to bed and made love, and afterward, talked about their future together, the way best friends do, or lovers; into the night.

She woke before he did. She was spooned behind him; her arm over his waist. Nuzzling into the back of his hair, she took a deep breath, and comforted herself – Amnon would come, and then he would be gone. She and Jeet, though, would always be together.

+ + + + +

The third audience of the Oracle was held the following morning. This time, it was a group of four supplicants which came forward with the best gift. Like Cyndur and Amnon, the four were athletes, and between them, they brought a hundred silver drachmas.

The leader, a tall, muscular youth with black hair down to the middle of his back and who looked more like a warrior than an athlete, stepped forward. He laid down the heavy pouch of silver and bowed to the Oracle. “Oracle,” he said. “All of Kaleh knows that you love our city, and we heard about the wish you granted Amnon. We’re athletes like him and Cyndur, Oracle – the four of us. We will also compete for Kaleh in the upcoming games.”

He paused for a moment, frowning. He took a deep breath and looked up at the Oracle. “I am not good with words, Oracle. I speak plainly.” He glanced left and right at the young eunuchs who flanked her. “You still have four attendants left, not counting Tazaar and the Abij-hah. My three friends and me; we want the same arrangement that you have given to Amnon with the Abij-hah. We want,” he caught himself, and bowed apologetically. “We ask for your remaining four attendants to be with the four of us for the three days between tomorrow night’s festival and the games.”

+ + + + +

“Oracle,” Cyndur swore, “I didn’t know. I didn’t know that Amnon was going to ask what he did, and I didn’t know about these four coming today. I would have told you.”

The Oracle frowned. “At least there weren’t five of them; you still get to sleep with Tazaar… this time.”

Cyndur flushed red. “I know now that someday it might be Tazaar who is asked for, but these are my friends. They knew better than to try asking for Tazaar. The masters at the gymnasium selected the four best athletes for this.”

“And the one who spoke? The big, strong one?” she asked.

“That is Tenetamon. He is the strongest of our athletes and our most powerful wrestler,” Cyndur said, and then he grinned. “They had to argue with him. He wanted two eunuchs for himself.” Cyndur’s grin widened. “He has very big balls.”

+ + + + +

The next morning, as red smoke rose from two braziers in front of the temple and the aroma of searing beef hung in the air from the governor’s sacrifice, Jeet faced Jarus on the shrine portico.

“I thought that we were supposed to be stewards of the shrine, Jarus,” he protested. “Since dawn, you have flooded this place with your workmen.”

Jarus smiled indulgently. “You will be chief steward here, Abij-hah,” Jarus assured him. “But tonight is important. Very important.” He smiled and laid a hand on the boy’s slender shoulder. “You know what people have been saying, Jeet? They’re saying that tonight the Oracle and the city are joining themselves together, like lovers; through you and the athletes.” He gave Jeet’s shoulder a little shake. “Beautiful boy eunuchs and handsome young athletes. Why Jeet, everyone in the city – hell, over half the empire – will be talking about what happens here in the next three days.” He dropped his hand from Jeet’s shoulder and looked over the shrine and courtyard. “There has never been anything like this, even here at the temple of Cybele. All these workmen,” he said with a sweeping gesture, “we’re going to outfit the shrine for princes. We’re going to make sure that people have a lot to talk about.”

The two of them had to step aside in order for workmen to pass, carrying long, wooden poles. “We’re making a palace of love for you,” Jarus said, and then chuckled. “One of the priestesses came up with that name.”

Jarus gazed up the shrine edifice and patted the wall. “We needed to do something special anyway. The shrine doesn’t have enough rooms for six private chambers; not without a lot of refitting and possibly displacing the Oracle. So we are making three booths along either side of the shrine hall; one for each athlete and eunuch.” Jarus pointed at other workmen who were carrying in low tables. “We will furnish them with fine bedding and tables for eating and for holding lamps, oils, scents, and rare ointments. There will be silk robes for comfort, fine oils, and devices for massage and grooming. You will be like kings and concubines.”

Jeet frowned, crossing his arms. He didn’t like the idea of being a concubine, and he knew what Jarus and the other high priests wanted. They wanted the athletes to experience a legendary three days that would have others wanting the same. “We made plans, too, Jarus,” he said. “Cyndur told us about things we can do to help the athletes prepare their bodies. We’re going to give them rubdowns and stretch their limbs. We’re going to have Rufus seal off the area behind the shrine and barracks so the athletes can keep their bodies loose with light exercise.”

Jarus suppressed a grin. “Good,” he said, but then a chuckle escaped. He waved a hand apologetically. “Jeet, that is good. It’s just that everyone knows what kind of exercise those young men really want.”

Jarus gave Jeet’s back a pat and moved on. Jeet turned toward the courtyard. Rem, who had been hanging back, followed Jeet. They were stopped almost immediately. “Abij-hah,” a man in his early thirties said, bowing deeply. “Do you remember my son?” The man pushed forward a little boy who looked to be no older four or five.

It was unusual to see such a small child at the temple. Jeet looked down at him and shook his head. “No.”

“When you danced at the river, my wife and I were there with our children,” the man explained. He patted his son’s head. “This is Manu. He wandered away from us while we were watching the dance, and he was all by himself when the crowd rushed you. Manu was at your feet, Abij-hah. He held onto your leg and you protected him.”

Jeet glanced down, remembering. He had been trying to defend the Oracle, but he remembered protecting the boy at the same time. Jeet knelt down. “Hi Manu,” he said. Rem bent down beside Jeet, resting his hand on Jeet’s back as he looked over Jeet’s shoulder.

A few feet away, Stycus was watching. He had noticed the boy before; he always noticed boys. And Rem, though plain of face, was nicely proportioned. Stycus particularly liked the boy’s nicely rounded little bottom which his butt flap of a loincloth barely covered. He had also noticed how Rem followed Jeet like a puppy and touched him frequently like a young boy does when he admires an older one; the way Rem was doing at the moment with his hand on Jeet’s back. He saw Jeet glance up at the boy with a grin, and Stycus made a mental note that the Abij-hah had a little favorite.

A few feet from Stycus, Rufus was watching the priest with a frown. Stycus looked like a cat watching a mouse. Rufus mistakenly thought that Stycus was watching only Jeet

“When we reached Manu that morning,” the man told Jeet, “he had a gold coin in his hand. Everyone said it was because he had been blessed by you and the Oracle, Abij-hah. Everyone says Manu has been blessed by the Abij-hah and the Oracle.”

The man looked earnestly into Jeet’s eyes. “You protected my son, Abij-hah, and you blessed him.” He bowed his head. “Thank you.”

Jeet glanced from the man back down to the boy. “But I did nothing.”

The man shook his head. “You are blessed by the gods, Abij-hah, and you covered Manu with your blessing that morning. I was hoping, Abij-hah… would you lay your hands on Manu and speak the words to give him a life blessing?”

Jeet, who was still kneeling in front of the boy, shook his head. “I don’t know how. I never have done such a thing.”

The man pushed Manu a little closer with his hands on the boy’s shoulders. “Please, just put your hands on his head and bless him by the goddess or whichever god protects you.”

Jeet glance at Rem. The ten-year-old had grown up in the temple and knew what the man wanted. He took Jeet’s hands and laid them on the boy’s head. “Just say, ‘by the goddess Cybele, may you have a long life.’”

Jeet looked down at Manu. The boy smiled up from under Jeet’s hands. Jeet tried to think… what if it wasn’t the goddess Cybele who protected him? What if it was another god or goddess? He wouldn’t want to offend them by invoking the goddess. Jeet took a deep breath. He would bless Manu with two things he would never have, himself. “May the good god, who blesses me, bless you, Manu, with freedom and many children… and a long life.”

Jeet lowered his hands. Manu laughed. The man bowed gratefully. “Thank you! Thank you, Abij-hah!”

A man in his early twenties had been watching with interest and approached Jeet as Manu and his dad walked away. “Abij-hah,” the new man asked, “If I bring my little boy to you, would you bless him the way you did that boy?”

Jeet started to protest that his blessing didn’t mean anything, but he paused. What if he was blessed by the gods? What if he could share the blessing? Jeet nodded. “If you wish, I will do that. But we have to go back inside soon.”

The man nodded gratefully. “I’ll bring him tomorrow.”

Jeet shook his head. “No. We’ll be busy for the next three days.” He thought to himself – the games were to be on the first day of the week. “Bring your boy on the second day of the week.”

The man smiled gratefully. “About this time of day?”

Jeet nodded. “Alright.”

Lenore, the priestess, insisted; so the eunuchs gathered around her. They stood in a half circle off to the side of the portico and out of the way of the workmen. With Lenore was an older prostitute as well as the young novice, Debhor. Debhor greeted Jeet shyly. Though she had had sex with him, now he was Abij-hah.

“I know you boys think you know all about fucking,” Lenore said, standing in front of the young eunuchs with her hands on her hips, “but to be really good at sex, you have to know more than how to look pretty and wiggle your butts.” She wiggled her butt and the old prostitute laughed. Lenore went on. “Jarus told me to give you a quick lesson on how to really please a man.”

Lenore stepped up to Aruli and slid an arm behind his shoulders, her ample bosom crowding his throat, and she looked at the other boys. “I wanted to bring you into my chamber, one at a time, to show you things.” She pouted. “But that old frog of a high priest says there is no time to do that, and that he wants you to be ‘fresh’ for tonight.” She gave Aruli a throat crushing hug and gazed down into his eyes with a cocked eyebrow. “You certainly wouldn’t be fresh when I got done with you.”

“I will tell you the secret to being a famous lover,” she said, releasing Aruli. “You must first pay attention to what pleases the man you are with. Every man, and every boy, is different.” She stepped in front of Ptolemy and faced him. “Some like to fuck hard like a stallion,” she said with a grin, grabbing Ptolemy by the butt and banging her pelvis against his. Then she slowed and ground slowly. “Some like fucking smoothly like in a dance.” She blew Ptolemy a kiss with her lips and stepped back, moving on to the others. “Some like talking. Some like laughing. Some like having their nipples sucked.” She stopped in front of Bantu, who covered his chest with his arms and stepped back quickly. The others laughed. Lenore grinned and moved on. “Some like having their balls licked.” She paused in front of Jeet, extending her tongue and then drawing it in over her teeth. She lowered her voice and made it sultry. “Some like licking balls.”

Lenore stepped back and made a sweeping gesture with her hand. “They all like to be told they have big cocks. Tell the man you are with that his is ‘too big,’ unless it is so short he will think you mock him. If that’s the case, tell him it is ‘too fat’ and act afraid of what he wants to do to you with it.”

Lenore went on for over an hour. At one point, she made Debhor bare her breasts and stand still while Lenore demonstrated things that could be done with a flickering tongue and with dancing fingers. She talked about special ways to kiss, to move one’s hips… ways of stretching out the time, of using only mouth and hands or even one’s breath to stimulate a partner to the very edge of a climax. She talked about angles of entry and things to do with sphincters and butt muscles… and things for the boys to do with their cocks if they were the ones doing the fucking. “No Greek man will ever admit it,” she said, “but some like to be fucked. Just never talk about it to anyone else.”

She talked about sounds to make and when to make them. She talked about when to yield and when to dominate. She spoke in direct, earthy tones, and smiled whenever one of the eunuchs adjusted his breechcloth.

As the women walked away to return to the temple, Tazaar shook his head. “We know things Lenore doesn’t, or that she has forgotten. A man is not a piece of meat or a horse to be ridden.”

“No,” Aruli agreed. “A man wants love. He wants intimacy just as much as a woman does.”

“A man,” Jeet said, “wants his body to give you pleasure, and see the pleasure in your eyes and in your movements, and in the sounds you make – but not the fake sounds Lenore made.”

“I know what sounds Stycus wants to hear,” Ptolemy said. “He wants to hear pain.”

“Men like Stycus only want to take their pleasure and hurt you,” Jeet said with a frown. “But I think most men want to please who they are with. A man wants to give delight. If the way he makes love to you makes you cry out with ecstasy, he is proud and happy. And he will be happy with you.”

The eunuchs nodded at Jeet’s words. Ptolemy glanced at Bantu and took his hand. “It’s true,” Ptolemy said with a grin. “When I make Bantu roll around and cry out; I like that a lot.”

Aruli glanced at Jin and smiled. He leaned over and they kissed.

Jeet glanced at Tazaar and smiled. Then they both noticed Rem, hanging back along the wall. The boy had stayed within earshot when Lenore was speaking to them, and he was struggling to keep his cock down under his loincloth. Tazaar winked at Jeet.

“He is to stay with you tonight,” Jeet told the Oracle. He pushed Rem forward toward her. “He is to sleep at your feet in case you have need of him, but also so he’ll stay out of trouble.”

Rem frowned at him, and Jeet wagged a finger. “I know you, Rem. You’ve had a permanent erection ever since I let Ptolemy suck you off that first time. But you don’t know what it’s like when a man gets hot and aroused. You could get hurt if one of those athletes who is coming decided to mount your little virgin butt.” Jeet’s look softened and he stepped closer to the boy, laying a hand on his shoulder. “Besides, all of the Oracle’s attendants will be with the athletes downstairs. Someone has to take care of the Oracle. You will serve her for us, Rem… as a favor to me and the others.”

Rem sighed, downcast. “Alright.”

“Thanks,” the Oracle said. “I’m sorry it will be so dreadful to be stuck up here with me?”

Rem’s head jerked up and he gasped. “Oh, no, Oracle! I didn’t mean that!”

She motioned Rem forward and looped an arm over the back of his shoulders. “I don’t want to be stuck up here either. Maybe we will get vessels of water and pour them from the rafters on all those hot young stallions who will be in my shrine tonight.”

Rem’s eyes lit up.

“She’s joking, Rem,” Jeet said. He glanced at her. “At least she’d better be.”

The Oracle grinned and winked. Then her look grew serious and she came to Jeet, throwing her arms around his neck. “We have had only a month together Jeet-hah,” she whispered, pressing her cheek to his. “Not enough to complete our nuptials.”

He pulled her slender body to his and embraced her.

“I know you will take pleasure tonight, Jeet-hah,” she whispered. “But when you are down there, remember the feel of my body in your arms, and my lips on yours. Remember how it is when we sleep with our legs entwined and our arms around each other. Remember,” she whispered, “that we are mated, you and me… and that we are best friends and life brothers as well as lovers… Remember that I love you.”

Jeet squeezed her tightly in his arms. “I will miss you.”

“Not as much as I will miss you,” she said with a sad smile. Her eyes grew damp. “I think you will be distracted, but I will be alone… waiting for you.” She forced a smile. “I have decided… husbands go off to work in the fields or in workshops every day. You are simply going off to your work. I will be waiting when you come back to me.”

Jeet ran his hand up behind her head and pulled her mouth to his. He kissed her hard, and then pressed his forehead to hers. “I must go now, or I will not be able to go at all,” Jeet said.

She nodded.

He pulled away, turned, and left.

The other eunuchs were waiting for Jeet when he came downstairs. Together, they went to the Oracle’s bathhouse to bathe and prepare themselves for the night.

+ + + + +

Cyndur arrived with his comrades, and like them, he wore his finest garments and jewels. He wanted to honor Tazaar, and he would take pleasure in the envy he knew that he would see in his friends’ eyes when he took Tazaar to his side.

The colors of the eunuchs were well known, and each of the athletes wore some item of apparel that matched the color of the eunuch they had selected. Amnon had dressed entirely in brilliant white, Jeet’s color. Cyndur wore a black tunic, Tazaar’s color.

Tenetamon wore blue, because he had chosen Bantu. Though the shortest of the eunuchs, Bantu had a tight body, and Tenetamon liked smaller youths. But it was Bantu’s amused smile that most aroused Tenetamon’s interest. He had seen it twice at the Oracle’s audiences, and Tenetamon wanted a boy he could laugh with.

There were many other people, mostly men and boys, coming to the temple complex that night for the festival to Cybele. All the others turned toward the temple for the festival to Cybele. The six athletes turned toward the shrine.

Rufus met them on the portico and led them to the shrine doors. He motioned to the guards who were stationed there, and they pulled the doors open to let the athletes pass.

Inside, they were confronted by a wall of white linen. When they threaded their way through, they found the shrine hall brightly lit by torches, set high along the walls. On either side of the hall, private booths had been constructed of brightly colored linen and silk which had been draped over wooden frames – three booths on a side, six booths in all, in six colors; the eunuchs’ colors.

Down the middle of the hall, a long, low banquet table had been assembled from smaller tables. It was surrounded by cushions and pillows and piled with food from the governor’s sacrifice. The eunuchs stood spaced out along the long sides of the table, three on each side. Rallot had shown them how to stand – erect, arms down at their sides, elegantly statuesque. They were wearing long, low-riding white breechcloths and necklaces of gold and silver. Their hair was braided or tied in a variety of ways, but each had bound his hair with silk of his own color.

The athletes came forward, each to the eunuch he had selected. They were bearing gifts.

Amnon came to Jeet who stood at the far end of the table, opposite Tazaar. The athlete smiled and bowed his head. “Abij-hah,” he said, and extended his hands. In them, he held a highly-polished box of dark wood with inlays of silver. Jeet took it into an open hand and gently touched the wood with a fingertip. “It is beautiful,” he said.

“Open it,” Amnon encouraged.

Jeet opened the lid. Inside were two combs made from highly polished silver, with crests of black onyx.

“Your hair is beautiful,” Amnon said, stepping closer. He took one of the combs and slid it into Jeet’s hair on the right side of his head. Then he took the other comb and slid it in on the left. Their faces were close. Amnon leaned in, and lifting Jeet’s chin, kissed his lips softly. Jeet kissed back… softly.

Their lips lingered in contact, and then Amnon released Jeet’s chin.

Jeet gestured toward the white booth. “This is my booth. I will put this away inside.” He smiled. “I have a silk robe for you; would you like to change into it?” Jeet asked.

A yelp came from down the table. Tenetamon slung Bantu over his shoulder and charged into the blue booth. A howl came from inside, and then Bantu’s high, clear laughter.

Jeet and Amnon turned back to each other. Their eyes met, and, taking Amnon’s hand, Jeet led him to the white booth. Inside, he set the box down on one of the small tables, and then turned back to Amnon.

The older youth’s eyes traveled over Jeet’s face, down his throat, and out onto the boy’s angular shoulders. Using a finger, Amnon traced from the hollow under Jeet’s ear, down the side of his neck, along his high trapezius muscle, and down into the hollow above Jeet’s collar bone. “I have never met anyone as beautiful as you,” he whispered.

Jeet smiled and came into Amnon’s arms. Laying a hand on the taller boy’s cheek, he stretched up to kiss him. He pressed his slender body to the older boy’s, and Amnon responded by sliding his arms around the boy.

“Abij-hah,” Amnon whispered. “I have desired you since I first saw you.”

“My name is Jeet,” Jeet replied. He squeezed Amnon’s strong shoulders through the youth’s garments. “And I have desired you,” Jeet whispered.

“Truly?” Amnon asked hopefully.

Jeet smiled. If as the Oracle had said, this was his work, he was good at it. And to tell Amnon ‘yes’ was no lie. “Truly,” he answered.

Amnon grinned broadly and slid his hands over Jeet’s back. His eyes dropped to Jeet’s lips, and he slowly leaned in to press his lips to the boy’s. They heard Bantu’s laughter again. And then from Aruli’s booth next door, they heard Aruli voice. “Oh… oh, hell… oh, damn!” A pause, and then Aruli’s voice, quieter. “It’s beautiful!”

Pulling his head back from the kiss with a grin, Amnon nodded toward Aruli’s booth. “Erondis is in there,” he whispered. “He has a very long cock.”

Jeet laughed. Then, still smiling, he began working Amnon’s cloak off his shoulders. Amnon lowered his arms to cooperate. His cloak fell to the floor, and Jeet ran his hands over Amnon’s strong neck and down over his muscular shoulders and firm biceps. His eyes met Amnon’s and Jeet smiled his appreciation for Amnon’s body.

Amnon smiled back, and then pulled his tunic off over his head. Jeet watched as the athlete revealed his body. Amnon had the firm muscles and superb definition of a sprinter. Jeet placed the flat of his hand on one of Amnon’s pectorals and pressed. “Hard as marble,” he whispered, his eyes traveling lower.

Jeet drew his finger down the mid seam of Amnon’s belly. The athlete was wearing a loincloth, tied like a pouch and his erection jutted off to the side under the fabric. Rising from inside the pouch of the loincloth, upward to Amnon’s navel, was a thin trail of jet-black hair. Jeet ran his finger over it. His eyes dropped to Amnon’s legs. The athlete had strong thighs, and every muscle showed. Jeet cupped the pouch, testing the weight.

He glanced up at Amnon, then back to Amnon’s chest and taut belly. He ran his hands over them… admiring, desiring. As he did, Amnon took the combs from Jeet’s hair and loosened its binding so that it fell thick and straight down the boy’s back. Amnon felt the younger boy’s hands at his waist, and then his loincloth fell away. He looked down to see his thick cock resting in the palm of Jeet’s hand. Jeet looked up at him with a lopsided grin. “Yours is big, too, Amnon.”

The athlete smiled and pulled Jeet into his arms. He pulled their naked bellies together and ran his hands down over Jeet’s smooth, little butt.

Jeet wrapped his arms around Amnon’s chest, and laid the side of his face on the athlete’s breastbone. He swept his hands up and down the steely muscles of Amnon’s back.

Amnon smiled. The boy liked his body.

He unfastened Jeet’s belt and slipped his hand into Jeet’s loosened breechcloth, causing it to fall away as he slid his hand down between Jeet’s legs. He had never made love to a eunuch before and it felt strange to find no balls. But Jeet had a long, thick shaft for a boy his age and size, and Amnon liked the feel of it as he closed his hand around it.

He pulled their cocks up between their bellies, and grabbing Jeet by the butt, pulled him tightly to himself. Jeet ran his fingers up into Amnon’s short, curly hair, and grabbing on, covered the athlete’s mouth with his own. He probed with his tongue, and when Amnon’s lips parted, he thrust his tongue in.

They moaned together. Amnon pulled Jeet up by the butt. The smaller boy wrapped his legs around Amnon’s waist, and the athlete moved to the thick bedding on the floor. He dropped to his knees. Then he leaned forward, and Jeet clung to him as Amnon lowered him down onto his back.

Jeet spread his legs, feeling the weight of Amnon’s hard body settle onto him. They kissed and Jeet ran his hands over the athlete’s muscled flanks. “There is oil,” Jeet whispered. “On the table there.”

Amnon nodded and retrieved it.

Four of the shrine’s other male servants had been provided, and now they waited as the sounds of lovemaking came from all six booths. None of the four servants were eunuchs, and all had erections. Two were Nubians in their early twenties. One turned to the other, knelt, and lifted the other’s loincloth.

On her balcony, the Oracle stood, leaning against the railing, and looked out over the river. Rem stood beside her.

“I know a way we can watch from the rafters,” Rem said. “I looked earlier and none of the booths that they built have coverings. You can see down into all of them.”

The Oracle glanced at him and bit her lip. Then she shook her head. “No. I don’t want to see that.”

“I can go take a look and see how everything is going for the eunuchs,” Rem offered.

The Oracle frowned and cuffed him on the head.

Their admiration was mutual. Almost any thirteen-year-old boy would admire the splendidly muscled body of a seventeen-year-old like Amnon. But for a young eunuch who would never have such muscles, the admiration was particularly acute.

For Amnon, who had spent his days since boyhood at the gymnasium, often having sex with other boys, Jeet’s extraordinary beauty and the perfection of his boyish form stirred something deep in his gut; something of desire and of memories of innocent, boyish intimacy… but especially desire.

Jeet came to him now, carrying a cup of wine. Amnon was sitting back against stacked pillows with his legs straight out in front. His semi-erect cock pointed thickly up his belly. Jeet sat down straddling the older boy’s hips, his cock draping Amnon’s.

The younger boy smiled, took a sip, and then tilted the cup to Amnon’s lips. “Are you ready for food yet?” Jeet asked as Amnon drank. “I can bring you food, or we can eat out at the table.”

Amnon shook his head when Jeet lowered the cup, and he placed his hands on the sides of Jeet’s hips. “We’ve only come together once,” Amnon said, giving the boy’s hips a slight tug forward onto his upturned cock. “We can eat later.”

Carefully holding the cup, Jeet draped his arms over Amnon’s shoulders and moved his face close to the older boy’s. “I am a eunuch,” Jeet said. “I can’t come as many times as you.” He smiled and rocked his hips. “But I would like very much for you to come again.”

Amnon pulled Jeet’s hips forward in the same easy rhythm Jeet was rocking them. Jeet gave him another sip of wine. Amnon drank and then smiled, and then reached down to close a hand around their two cocks. “Your cock grows long like mine, Jeet. Maybe I shall teach you how to come many times.”

Jeet grinned. “I will enjoy your teaching.” He took a sip of wine and kissed Amnon with a wine flavored mouth. The kiss lasted. Amnon held their cocks together in his hand and stroked them. They grew rigid.

Jeet rose to his knees to set the wine down on a table close by. He had already been lubricated, both by oil and Amnon’s ample first come. So while he was up on his knees, he reached behind himself to grab Amnon’s erection. Aiming the older boy’s cock upward, he slowly sat down onto it, feeling pressure and stretching as the athlete’s crown slipped inside, and then pleasure as it brushed past his prostate.

Clutching Jeet’s hips, Amnon closed his eyes, moaning softly.

Jeet settled all the way down and draped his arms once more over Amnon’s strong shoulders. He rested his forehead on Amnon’s and rocked his hips. The angle was good. Jeet could rub his erection up and down Amnon’s firm belly while sitting on Amnon’s cock and rubbing against good places inside as well.

Taking the sides of Amnon’s face into both hands, Jeet covered the athlete’s mouth with his own. He probed hungrily into the older boy’s mouth with his tongue and drove his hips forward and back.

Amnon caressed Jeet’s sides. His large hands could almost encircle the boy’s narrow waist. He ran his fingers over the boy’s soft, smooth skin. He could feel Jeet’s slender muscles working.

“Alright,” the Oracle said, taking the comb from Rem’s hands. He wasn’t good at combing hair anyway, and she was distracted. “Show me where we can look down from the rafters.”

Without hesitation, Rem rose and took her by the hand. He led her out past the guard at her door and down along the hallway. The guard looked as though he would follow them. “Stay here,” she ordered. “We will be right back.”

Rem led her past the stairs which they normally took down into the shrine. They continued on along the hallway which ran at the rear of the shrine. At the far end, beside another stairway down, a wooden ladder went up the inside wall. Rem led the way up, the Oracle followed.

It was dank at the top, and dusty. There was a wooden floor and a low wall over which they could see down into the shrine hall. Below them were the six booths. Almost directly under them were the black and white booths of Tazaar and Jeet.

In Jeet’s booth, Amnon was sitting; leaning back against pillows. Jeet sat astride his lap, his forearms resting on Amnon’s strong shoulders and his mouth covering the youth’s mouth. Jeet’s body was moving. He was rising and falling on his knees, but most of the motion was in his hips, driving forward and back, and they could see Amnon’s thick shaft vanishing into Jeet’s butt crack and reappearing. The thirteen-year-old boy’s movements were nakedly sensual. He rode astride Amnon’s strong body, a naked boy riding a stallion.

From their angle above, it was impossible to see everything, and yet it was clear from his movements that Jeet was enjoying their sex. They could also tell by the way Amnon’s hips pumped and his hands swept Jeet’s undulating body that the older youth was deriving intense pleasure of his own.

Their movements grew faster.

Amnon grabbed Jeet’s bottom. He rose up on his knees, lifting the boy, carefully keeping himself inside Jeet. Amnon enjoyed doing this with smaller boys – rising up on his knees or rising to his feet while they wrapped their legs around his hips and clung to him. He liked when they rode up and down on him that way. He would hold them by their hips or with his arms around them and feel strong in his legs and back and belly, and long in his cock, balls swinging low.

Jeet moved with him, clinging to Amnon’s strong shoulders, leaning back in his grasp while grinding with his butt. And then Amnon leaned forward, laying Jeet down onto the back of the boy’s shoulders. Grabbing Jeet by the hips, he held the eunuch’s bottom level with his cock and pounded; the damp sound of their slapping flesh rising with their moans… rising up to Rem and the Oracle.

Rem and the Oracle watched, their mouths going dry. Unconsciously, Rem’s hand dropped under his loincloth and he began to stroke. Consciously, the Oracle reached inside her robe and did the same.

On his back, Jeet’s focus was on Amnon; on the feel of the movements and flexing of Amnon’s tightly muscled body. Amnon was beautiful. He was magnificent. Jeet closed his hands over Amnon’s strong hands at his hips. Their eyes met. Amnon’s nostrils were flaring. Grabbing a pillow, he thrust it under Jeet’s bottom and then fell forward onto the boy, wrapping his arms under Jeet’s slender shoulders, pressing his cheek to Jeet’s, settling his weight, belly to belly on the boy, and pumping with long, deep strokes into the boy’s tightness.

From above, the Oracle and Rem watched Amnon’s muscular buttocks pump between Jeet’s legs. They watched his splendid muscles, flexing in his back, butt, and legs, showing themselves, seam by seam. Jeet was barely visible under the larger youth; only his outspread legs and his head beside Amnon’s.

And then the Oracle’s eyes met Jeet’s. He had seen them.

For a moment, she and Jeet simply gazed at each other in the unthinking haze of arousal. Then the Oracle smiled. It seemed important to her to smile just then. Jeet smiled tentatively back. Instinctively, the Oracle knew how to respond; knew how the Alexander in her would respond. She broadened her smile and then gave an ‘Oh my!’ my gesture with a dropped mouth and slow shake of her head. Jeet’s smile widened, gratefully. “I love you,” he mouthed.

The Oracle smiled back and mouthed, “Me, too.” Then she rested an arm on the top of the wall and watched. Jeet watched her, occasionally closing his eyes because of the pleasure Amnon was giving him.

The eyes of both Rem and the Oracle began to roam the shrine hall floor. In the booth next to Jeet’s, Aruli went to his knees to suck a very long cook. Bantu and Tenetamon, who had been eating at the table, began to wrestle naked, and the older boy howled when Bantu grabbed his balls. Laughing, Tenetamon pretended to surrender and soon they were on their sides, sucking each other’s cock.

“I didn’t think Greek boys would suck another boy’s cock,” Rem whispered.

The Oracle shrugged. “According to Cyndur boys at the gymnasium try almost everything when they’re alone.” She nodded down toward Tenetamon. “I think the big youth likes to do it.”

Inside Ptolemy’s booth, the young eunuch was feeding fruit by hand to a long, lean boy almost as young as he. In the next booth, Jin’s white body was in the arms of a very dark youth. They were on their sides, kissing tenderly and stroking each other’s flanks with their fingertips.

Below Rem and the Oracle, in Tazaar’s booth, Cyndur was lying on his stomach. Tazaar was lying on him, his legs outside Cyndur’s. Tazaar’s hips rose and fell as he caressed the hard-muscled back of his lover.

The Oracle leaned close to Rem. “Once a youth is as old as Cyndur, he’s not supposed to let anyone fuck him either,” she whispered. “But Cyndur lets Tazaar.”

“He loves him,” Rem whispered.

The Oracle nodded.

The two watched all the couples until Amnon finally slowed, and stopped, and rested; still inside Jeet. Jeet’s eyes opened and looked up toward the rafters. His eyes met the Oracle’s and she mouthed, “I love you,” once more to him before tugging Rem back from the low wall. They descended back down the ladder.

The Oracle’s garments hid her erect phallus, but Rem’s loincloth could not conceal his. He stayed close behind the Oracle as they returned to her chambers so that the guard would not see.

Once in her chamber, the Oracle stepped up to her bed. She wasn’t ready for sleep, but it was late.

Rem did as he had seen the eunuchs do many times; he began to undress the Oracle. She let him. When her garments fell away, her erect phallus arched up longer and thicker than Rem’s. Rem stood beside her, eyeing it. Neither moved.

Then Rem stepped to the bed and stacked up pillows. He motioned to the Oracle and it was clear what the ten-year-old boy wanted to try. He wanted the thirteen-year-old Oracle to sit like Amnon had been sitting when they first looked down into the shrine. Did he intend to take her phallus up his butt the way Jeet took Amnon’s cock, she wondered?

The Oracle sat down as Rem had indicated, her upward-curving phallus now flat up her belly. Rem removed his loincloth and stepped over her, standing astride her legs. “There is oil over there,” she said, pointing to a table. “Bring it.”

Rem handed it to the Oracle.

“Turn around,” she told him.

He did, and bent over. Rem had long, thin legs, and the Oracle ran her hand up and down the backs of them, then over his small butt. Rem’s skin was very soft.

She poured oil onto her fingertips and rubbed her fingertips into Rem’s small crack. Bent over as he was, she could see his boy-sized perineum, thick and flushed, even in the lamplight. Below that, his balls hung like plump, little grapes inside a wrinkled scrotum. “Have you ever done this before?” she asked, her finger finding and probing his opening.

The ten-year-old shook his head, overcome for a moment by the sensation of her finger slipping into his butt. “No,” he said after a moment; his voice tight.

The Oracle spread oil onto her slender phallus; a lot of oil. “We will go slowly then,” she said. “Here, put the oil back.”

Rem complied and returned to her. He carefully dropped to his knees astride her hips in the position Jeet had taken over Amnon. His eyes met the Oracle’s uncertainly.

With one hand, she pointed her erection up. The other hand she placed on Rem’s hip, guiding him back. Rem placed his hands on the Oracle’s shoulders and slowly lowered his bottom, adjusting his position under the guidance of her hand until he felt the oiled crown of her phallus press between his butt cheeks. He felt it at his hole.

“Just relax,” the Oracle said quietly. “Jeet and I have done this and he told me to just relax and I did and it was fine.”

Rem nodded, and steadying himself with his hands on the Oracle’s shoulders, he began to sit down. The pressure at his hole increased, and suddenly, she was inside him. He waited a moment, not entirely comfortable. But he had seen the eunuchs doing this. He had seen Jeet doing it only minutes before. He slowly eased down.

The Oracle sighed, her head rolling back. “You are much tighter than Jeet,” she whispered.

Rem eased down until he was sitting in her lap, and he could feel the Oracle up inside him. He was surprised now. It didn’t feel bad.

Tentatively, Rem moved his hips forward and back. His still-rigid erection lay on the Oracle’s belly like a very long, thin finger. He rubbed it on her. She grabbed him by the hips, her fingers closing under his small butt. Their eyes met again.

“Are you alright?” she asked in a hoarse voice.

Rem nodded and rubbed his cock on her belly again. “It feels alright,” he said; it was beginning to feel good.

He rocked his hips and his eyes dropped to her firm breasts. Taking his hands from her shoulders, he caressed them. She lifted her hips, thrusting up her phallus for him to ride. They moved together.

Rem leaned forward, circling his arms around her, under her arms. He hugged her while resting the side of his face against hers, and he pumped harder with his hips… it began to feel very good.

The Oracle smoothed her hands up and down his back; a surprisingly tight back for a young boy. “Rem,” she asked. “Have you ever kissed?”

Rem sat up into her lap and shook his head.

Anda slid a hand up behind his head, and pulled the boy forward.

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