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 15 – Nuptials End
“[The roman emperor Titus was] believed to have a sexual taste for male prostitutes and eunuchs. [His brother, the emperor Domitian] was extremely over-sexed, describing his continual copulations as ‘bed-wrestling’… contradiction between his private practice and public professions occurred in his affection for eunuchs, since this… did not prevent him from declaring castration illegal.” The Twelve Caesars – Michael Grant, Barnes and Noble, Publisher.
Jin followed Jeet into his booth when the Abij-hah retired for an afternoon nap. “Can I sleep with you, Jeet-hah?” he asked.
Jeet nodded, removing his breechcloth and laying down. When Jin removed his, it was to reveal an erection.
Jeet, on his back, cocked an eye.
With a grin, Jin dropped to straddle Jeet’s waist. “Aruli has gotten to sleep with you this week, but I haven’t, and tonight you might want to go with Bantu since the Oracle picked Ptolemy.” He leaned forward and kissed Jeet, his cock pressing on Jeet’s flaccid one. “You belong to me, too, Jeet-hah. We are bound as brothers just like the others.”
Jeet wrapped his arms up over Jin’s shoulders and smiled at his pink-eyed brother eunuch. “I am well-rested Jin-hah, and I would like to fuck with you.”
+ + + + +
Jeet frowned when he came out onto the portico that afternoon and found a dozen parents with children. He frowned because Rem was nowhere to be found.
+ + + + +
They accentuated Ptolemy’s height that night by giving him a silk turban. They also gave him a long skirt of yellow silk, but left his torso bare, though necklaces cascaded halfway down his chest. After the others danced, Ptolemy escorted the Oracle to the open U in front of the tables, and danced with her as erotically as ever a groom danced with his bride.
Jeet kept an eye on Rem, who seemed… disinterested.
When the curtain fell over the doorway of Ptolemy’s booth, the tall eunuch pulled the Oracle’s belly to his with an arm behind her waist. Ptolemy kissed her, and she melted to him. He ran his hands over her body and under her gown. He undressed her while kissing and caressing her. Then he undressed himself, never breaking the contact of at least some part of his body with hers.
She grabbed his long cock, and he grabbed hers. They stroked and kissed until, wordlessly, he lowered her onto his pallet, spread her legs, and entered her.
+ + + + +
“You refuse us again?” Tazaar asked, surprised.
Jeet shook his head, eyeing the rafters. “Something’s not right with Rem,” he said. “I’m going to go find him.”
“Well come back once you are sure he’s alright,” Bantu encouraged. “I have yet to sleep with you this week, Jeet-hah.”
“Come to my booth with me and Jin,” Aruli said to Bantu and Tazaar. “Our bed is big enough for four, or,” he glanced at Jeet, “five.”
Jeet found Rem once more on the boy’s pallet behind the stairway screening wall. He extended his hand. “Come with me to the Oracle’s pallet,” he said.
“Why aren’t you with the others?” Rem asked, without reaching to take Jeet’s hand.
“Because I have been worried for you,” Jeet answered.
Rem frowned slightly. He sat up, took Jeet’s hand, and got to his feet. He followed the Abij-hah to the Oracle’s bed and lay down while Jeet removed his breechcloth. Rem said nothing while Jeet lay down beside him and slipped an arm behind the boy’s head, He rolled up against the younger boy, but Rem only stared at the ceiling.
“What is wrong, Rem-hah?” Jeet asked.
Rem rolled away.
Jeet moved up behind him, cradling Rem’s body with his own. “Tell me, Rem,” he said, wrapping an arm over Rem’s middle, “what is the matter?”
Rem shrugged. “Nothing is the matter.”
Jeet pressed his mouth behind Rem’s ear. “I am the Abij-hah,” he whispered with a smile. “You must tell me; you work for me.”
Rem scooted away from Jeet and onto his stomach, facing away.
Jeet rolled onto his stomach beside him and laid a hand on Rem’s back. “I’m sorry if that didn’t amuse you, Rem. I meant it to.” He smiled gently. “I will ask again. This time, I’ll ask as an older brother to you,” Jeet whispered. “Tell me what is wrong.”
“I am not your brother. The others downstairs; they’re your brothers… you and your promises and oaths to each other.”
Jeet moved closer so that the side of his naked body lay against the side of Rem’s, his hip in Rem’s resting hand. He wrapped his arm over the back of Rem’s shoulders. “You are my friend, Rem-hah,” Jeet whispered. “I will ask you, friend to friend.”
“Does it matter?” Rem asked. “You have other friends.”
Jeet rubbed the back of Rem’s shoulders, and leaned even closer, whispering even more softly to the back of Rem’s head. “I have no one else like you, Rem. I have no little brother of my own except you.”
Rem turned his face toward Jeet, their eyes and noses but inches apart. “You don’t need me,” Rem said.
Jeet bit his lip, and his eyes suddenly watered… because he was tired, and because it struck him that Rem’s were very sad words, and totally untrue. “I need you, Rem. I need you.” He swallowed and a tear rolled from the corner of his eye. “I need you at my back, Rem, with your hand on my shoulder when I’m blessing children, and I don’t know what to say.” He leaned his forehead to Rem’s. “I need you peering down at me from the rafters when someone I don’t know is making love to me.” He kissed Rem’s nose. “I need you to wake me in the middle of the night because you’re horny and maybe I’ve been feeling a little sad. You’re never sad, Rem. I need that, too. And I need you following me when I’m having to be Abij-hah and I don’t know yet what I’m doing, and somehow you being with me makes me bolder. I need you, Rem, because you are you, and no one else is. You may not need an older brother, but I need you, little brother.”
Rem pulled his hand from under Jeet’s hip bone and pulled his arm from between their bodies. With a finger, he touched the wet track on Jeet’s nose. “You don’t need me in your bed,” he said softly. “You’ve got Jin and Aruli and Tazaar and Ptolemy and Bantu, not to mention the Oracle. You belong to them first, and there are so many of them.”
“I came to you tonight,” Jeet said. “They wanted me to stay downstairs, but I came looking for you.”
Rem lifted his eyes to Jeet’s. “Seriously?”
Jeet nodded. He rolled to his back and sighed. Rem gazed at Jeet’s familiar profile in the dim light for a moment, and then scooted up beside him. He laid his head on Jeet’s shoulder and a hand on Jeet’s chest. Jeet pulled his arm from between their bodies and laid it behind Rem’s back. He stroked it.
“Rem,” Jeet said, thoughtfully, “the Oracle, the other eunuchs, and me. We’re going to always be together. The eunuchs and me, we were bought for her and we will stay with her as long as we all live.” He stroked Rem’s hair. “Do you know what happens to us if anything ever happens to the Oracle?” Jeet asked.
Rem nodded his head on Jeet’s shoulder.
Jeet kissed the top of Rem’s head. “You understand why there are special bonds between us then? We’re going to spend our lives together, Rem, and we’re going to die together. But even as a slave, you can find a girl and have children someday.”
Rem lifted his head and looked into Jeet’s eyes. “Today, one of the temple serving girls and me… we fucked together in a storeroom in back of the quarters of the priestesses.”
Jeet raised his eyebrows.
“She’s a year older than me,” Rem said. “And she’s pretty.” He smiled. “But not nearly as pretty as you.”
With a laugh, Jeet rolled Rem onto his back and pinned his arms. “You little hypocrite! I’ve been worried for you, but now I know the real reason why you’ve been preoccupied.”
Rem shook his head. “No, that’s not it.”
Jeet’s smile softened. He closed his arms around Rem and rolled to his back, bringing Rem with him. He gave Rem’s back a vigorous little rub. “Don’t quit being my friend, Rem. Don’t be mad at me if I spend time in the beds of my brother eunuchs or with the Oracle. They are my mates for life. But you, Rem… you’re special to me. You know that.” He gave the top of Rem’s head a kiss. “Besides, you have all those temple serving girls whose beds you can jump into.”
Rem shook his head, and struggled to free his arms. He wrapped them around Jeet’s neck and squeezed hard, the side of his face hard against the side of Jeet’s. Jeet patted the younger boy’s back and let Rem cling to him for a long time.
Rem finally relaxed his hold, and laid his head once again on Jeet’s chest.
“What is the girl’s name?” Jeet asked.
“Oh,” Jeet said. “I know her. She’s pretty.” He smiled, looking down at the back of Rem’s head. “Did you like it?”
Rem grinned. “We fit together really good.”
Jeet stroked Rem’s hair. It was good for Rem to have someone else, Jeet decided. Still…
“Did you have sex this afternoon?” Rem asked softly.
Jeet nodded. “Yes.”
“Don’t want to do anything tonight?” Rem asked. He flipped Jeet’s cock with his fingers. It was already thick. He pointed it at his face and pulled back the foreskin. The little slit in the end opened like a little mouth.
“What do you think?” Jeet asked, spreading his legs slightly and flexing his hips.
Rem lifted his head and kissed Jeet. Their mouths opened and their tongues slid against one another as Rem tugged on Jeet’s stiffening cock.
Jeet rolled up and rolled Rem onto his back. They kept their mouths open to each other, and Rem ran his fingers into Jeet’s long hair. Jeet moved his body over the smaller boy’s and flattened their upward-curving cocks between them. “Let’s do it like the other night,” Rem whispered.
With a quick kiss, Jeet knelt up between Rem’s legs. He spotted the oil and retrieved it, and then oiled his cock as it jutted out above Rem’s belly. Rem watched Jeet’s hand slide up and down the eunuch’s long cock, now glistening with oil. Then Jeet spread oil on to Rem’s cock and the boy’s breath caught, his eyes rolled up, and his hips rotated.
Jeet lifted Rem’s butt with both hands and the younger boy pulled his knees higher and wider out to the sides. Jeet pressed his oiled fingers into Rem’s crack and glanced up at Rem’s face. Rem wiggled his bottom and laughed.
Sitting back on his haunches, Jeet pulled Rem’s small bottom into his lap, and lined up his crown at Rem’s opening. He paused, looking down at the younger boy. Rem, with his happy grin and his knees up and out to the sides; with his cock laying up his belly, his perineum all flushed, and his round little balls loose in their sack… Rem looked to Jeet as open and vulnerable as a puppy on his back. And cute in much the same way.
He grinned at Rem, and then rose on his knees, pressing forward. His crown pressed against Rem’s opening for a second, and then vanished inside with a quiet squish. The younger boy’s sphincter closed around Jeet’s shaft, just behind the cockhead, and then spasmed. Jeet waited until the boy was able to relax, and then he pulled Rem’s butt toward him while rising on his knees again, easing forward, watching his shaft disappear under Rem’s perineum. At the same time, he felt Rem’s tightness and warmth travel down his length.
When he was all the way in, and Rem’s bottom bones pressed snug against his groin, Jeet carefully lay forward and planted an elbow on either side of Rem’s shoulders. Rem reached up under the back of Jeet’s hair to close his hands behind Jeet’s neck the way he had three nights before.
Jeet settled on him. Rem circled his hips. It felt good. He did it again. And again. The boy tensed his buttocks alternately, circling his hips, moving Jeet’s cock inside him while rubbing his own cock up against the weight of Jeet’s firm belly. He closed his eyes and his head rolled with the rocking of his hips.
Jeet lowered his mouth to the nape of Rem’s neck. “Rem-hah,” he whispered “We, also, fit together real good.”
Rem’s hips circled rapidly now. He tightened his arms around Jeet’s neck and pulled the older boy’s cheek to his own. “Real good,” he murmured with a tight voice, without stopping.
… “So,” Jeet mumbled into the bedding, “you plan to be a stallion, loose in the Oracle’s stable of geldings, don’t you?”
The Abij-hah was lying on his stomach. Rem was on top of him, the full length of his long stick of a cock up Jeet’s rectum. His legs fell outside Jeet’s as he pumped. “No,” Rem answered, kissing the back of Jeet’s shoulder. He squeezed Jeet’s legs with the insides of his own and clutched Jeet’s trapezius muscles more tightly with both hands. “I am a warrior-rider, and you are my powerful steed, the demigod Jeet-hah, and we’re chasing thunder across the hills.”
“Do we ride to battle, Rem-hah?”
“No, Jeet-hah, we fly high above all the world.” Rem ground down with his hips, driving deeper into Jeet, and he kissed the top of Jeet’s spine. “Climb the wind now, Jeet-hah, leap onto the lightening.”
… Jeet was almost asleep with Rem sprawled over his back like a blanket, when he remembered the man who wanted the Oracle to curse his enemy. He would be back in the morning for an answer. “Good god who protects me,” Jeet whispered, “What can we do? Do not let them force the Oracle to curse a man.”
+ + + + +
“You have a daughter?” Jeet asked the man kneeling before the Oracle.
“Yes, Abij-hah,” the man answered in surprise.
“She is mistress of your house?”
“And she does that well?”
“She does it better than any I know of.”
“Listen to what the Oracle says… make your daughter your steward,” Jeet told the man. “She will serve you well and your enemy will be unable to corrupt her or hire her away.”
“What about cursing my enemy?” the man demanded.
“Your prosperity will curse your enemy.”
The man considered that for a moment, then bowed. Whether the Oracle was right about his enemy, it was enough for the man to know that he would prosper.
Jarus came to Jeet after the man had left. “Another dream?” Jarus asked.
“What did you see in the dream?”
Jeet shrugged. “I saw the man’s daughter running his house and I saw them prospering.”
“And the curse?”
“Is it not a curse to see your enemy prosper?”
Jarus nodded. “Well done Abij-hah,” he said, with a genteel incline of his head.
Jeet bowed. “Holy one, could we wait two days before the Oracle’s next audience?”
“Wedding week?” Jarus asked with a raised eyebrow.
Jeet nodded. “Tonight is Bantu’s night, and then mine, and then our last night.”
+ + + + +
That afternoon as Jeet sat down to bless the few children who had shown up with their parents, he felt Rem’s hand on the back of his shoulder. He smiled as the younger boy knelt behind him.
+ + + + +
They could hear Bantu’s laughter from his booth only moments after he and the Oracle disappeared inside. “Bantu,” Aruli said with a grin and a shake of his head. The others laughed and nodded their heads knowingly.
Ptolemy pulled Jeet toward his booth. Jeet glanced back to see Rem watching from across the room. He smiled sadly at the younger boy before Ptolemy pulled him through the doorway.
+ + + + +
“Jeet-hah?” Rem asked as they were about to go out to the portico. “There are not many children outside to be blessed. Would it be alright with you if I don’t help this afternoon?”
Jeet smiled. “Going to see Maracee?”
Rem smiled and blushed slightly. “You have been very busy, Abij-hah, and it has been a long time for me.”
Jeet laughed. “Two days?” He mussed the younger boy’s hair. “Go ahead. And by the way, I’m going to tell people not to bring children for the next two days so we can enjoy the last of our special week.”
Rem grinned, and took off.
… Rem hadn’t made it back that evening, but Jeet was preoccupied with preparations for the Oracle to visit his booth that night. When he did notice the boy wasn’t there, he wasn’t surprised. Rem knew it was Jeet’s night with the Oracle and that he probably decided to sleep with Maracee.
After the wedding song had been sung, and they stood inside the doorway of Jeet’s white booth, Jeet and the Oracle held each other tightly and listened as the others went off to their own booths. Jeet kissed her gently and she nuzzled into his neck. “I would be happy to simply sleep with you tonight, Jeet-hah,” she said. “I feel like I have been traveling all week and am finally back home.”
“I am tired, too, Anda,” he whispered. “You had them one at a time. I’ve had them in bunches.”
She grinned and began to remove his adornment. “I want to do that, too,” she whispered. “Have them in bunches. I thought about doing that tomorrow night. I thought about us putting all the pallets in the middle of the hall and all sleeping together. It will be the last night of all of our wedding week.”
“They might all want you, Oracle,” he warned. “It could be a very tiring night.”
She kissed his left nipple as she loosened his breechcloth. “Shall I tell you what I thought about?” she asked softly. “I thought about me being in the middle between you and one of the others, maybe Aruli. Me in him and you in me.”
She dropped to her knees and took Jeet’s mostly flaccid cock into her mouth.
“I thought we were going to sleep,” Jeet said, his voice tightening, as she pulled back his foreskin and swirled his crown with her tongue.
She lifted her mouth from his cock. “In a little while,” she said, and sucked his cock into her mouth once more.
“You have no audience tomorrow,” he said. “I arranged it. And children won’t be coming in the afternoon. We can have all day.”
The Oracle rose back to her feet, taking his now hard cock into her hand. “I know,” she said with a smile. Sliding a hand behind his neck, she pulled his face to hers. “I have missed you, Jeet-hah. Every night, I missed you. Every night, I realized how much I love you.”
Anda stepped back and removed her clothing. She lay back on the pallet and Jeet lay down onto her, caressing her breasts. She stroked his long hair, and he sucked her nipples. “No one loves my breasts like you do, Jeet-hah,” she whispered.
He moved up on her, looking down into her eyes. “Then they do not know perfection.”
Her eyes on his, she spread her legs under him. His eyes on hers, Jeet aimed his cock between her legs and found the opening at the bottom of her labia. He slid his cock into her warmth, joining with her, and settled onto her, wrapping her up in his arms. “Like coming home,” he agreed.
+ + + + +
They didn’t come out until the midday meal, and barely had eyes for any of the others. Then they returned to the booth to sleep, and, much later, went hand-in-hand to the bathhouse to bathe one another before the last night of the wedding feast.
Jeet frowned when Rem wasn’t among the servers that evening. Just because the boy knew Jeet would be occupied with the Oracle and the other eunuchs this last night didn’t mean Rem was free from his duties. He was still a servant at the shrine and needed to save time with Maracee until he had permission. Jeet wondered if Rem intended to take advantage of their relationship, but then he was distracted. The Oracle’s hand was in his lap.
After they ate and the food was cleared, Jeet dismissed the servants. He told the other eunuchs of the Oracle’s plan for the evening, and they quickly pulled their pallets into the center of the U of tables. Then they all stood grinning at each other, waiting for instructions.
“Help me undress the Oracle,” Jeet said. “And undress each other. Tonight we are married, one and all, and we make our bed together. The Oracle will begin.” He looked around for Aruli. “Aruli, oil your bottom and then lay on your back. The Oracle wishes to make love to you, and I will make love to her.” He wrapped his arm behind the now naked Oracle and pulled her side to his. The Oracle was erect. “The Oracle,” Jeet continued, “wishes to experience love making as both a boy and a girl at the same time.”
As they undressed, Tazaar pulled Jin into an embrace. Ptolemy did the same with Bantu. Seven cocks grew hard and jutted up and out from slender thirteen and fourteen-year-old bodies.
Aruli laid down onto his back, his long cock pointing up to his navel. Grinning, he pulled up his knees, and wiggled his butt at the Oracle. Grinning back, she dropped to her knees at his bottom, and pressed the pink crown of her phallus to Aruli’s opening. The others stood over them, stroking and watching as her hips settled down between Aruli’s legs and the two wrapped their arms around each other.
Jeet, holding the base of his cock in one hand, knelt behind the Oracle. He paused to glance up at the others. “Don’t fuck somebody’s butt,” he warned, “if you’re hoping to make love to the Oracle tonight. Not unless you go clean your cock really well first.”
“I’m getting your butt before the night is over,” Bantu said with a grin.
“We all ought to do each other,” Ptolemy said, rubbing the underside of Tazaar’s bottom. “As long as we can all keep it up, that is.”
They watched as Jeet positioned himself behind the Oracle, leaning forward onto a hand to get the right angle. Her hips had started to move, but now she paused. Jeet’s hair cascaded off his back as he tilted his head and aimed his cock with his hand. Jeet’s hips pressed forward. His rounded butt dimpled, and the long muscles on either side of his spine rose, rigid. The long muscles of his slender legs tightened. Jeet shifted slightly, and pulled his hand out from between him and the Oracle, planting it on the floor so he could support himself on both hands. His back swayed and his hips moved forward as he pressed his cock all the way in.
The other eunuchs watched Jeet’s small butt flex as he eased his hips forward and back.
“Oh, yes,” Ptolemy said. “We’re all going to want to partake of that ass tonight.”
Jeet lowered some of his weight to the Oracle’s back and pumped in long slow strokes from the hips. Anda-Alexander’s hips moved under him. After a few thrusts, they found a rhythm. “Do you like it, Anda?” he whispered. “Being in the middle?”
“We both do,” Aruli answered in a hoarse voice.
“I like it,” the Oracle confirmed, her voice as thick as Aruli’s.
“I like it when I’m in the middle, too,” Jeet whispered. “But I also like it, just face-to-face.”
“We’ll take care of you however you like it, Abij-hah,” Bantu promised from behind them.
Then it grew quiet.
Jeet glanced back. The four others had laid down on the pallets in a square of boys, Ptolemy sucking Jin, Jin sucking Bantu, Bantu sucking Tazaar, Tazaar sucking Ptolemy.
Jeet guessed why they were doing that – keeping their cocks clean for the Oracle. “I’m afraid, Oracle,” he whispered behind Anda’s ear, “that you’re in for a long night.”
“You are, too,” she promised.
Jeet ground downward with his hips and kissed behind her ear. “Let’s make it very good then.”
+ + + + +
Before dawn, when Jeet was laying belly-to-belly on Aruli and they were making love face-to-face the way they both liked, Tazaar woke and rolled up beside them. He ran his hand admiringly down the soft skin of Jeet’s long back and gently moving bottom. “Cyndur is going to be so horny when we get back together,” he said thoughtfully, “unless he’s been fucking someone else.”
“He’s in love with you, Tazaar-hah,” Jeet assured him, and Aruli murmured his agreement.
“I miss him, but I still feel like this week is over too soon,” Tazaar said. “It’s like I discovered who the Oracle really is this week. And I’ve enjoyed being with all of you.” He leaned in to kiss the side of Jeet’s face. “I could spend an entire week with either of you two.”
“Perhaps we can do this a couple of times a year,” Aruli suggested.
“Or a couple of times a month… spend a night or two with a different partner,” Jeet said.
“Or once a week,” Tazaar said. He rolled to his back, letting his thick cock fall back down between his legs. He put his hands behind his head and gazed up at the ceiling as Aruli began to make soft gurgling noises. “Yeah, once a week,” Tazaar repeated, thinking out loud. “Each audience is like two days, right? One day to hear the request and one day to answer. That’s six days. Let’s save the last day of the week for this… for changing partners and making love.”
He turned his head to watch Jeet and Aruli, and reached down to fondle his cock.
“Uh! Uh! Uh!” Aruli groaned out loud.
“Come to me next, Jeet-hah,” Tazaar whispered. “If you’re still hard when Aruli is done; come to me next.”
+ + + + +
With a groan, Jeet sat up, and Tazaar rolled away. All the others were sleeping on each other in various combinations. Jeet glanced around the shrine and guessed that it was already afternoon outside. He was vaguely hungry. Finding his breechcloth from the night before, he fastened it on and went looking for Rem to bring food.
He found Oot, one of the Nubian servants, first. Oot was returning a dumped and cleaned chamber pot to the shrine hall. “Where is Rem?” Jeet asked.
The Nubian servant shrugged. “I haven’t seen him.”
Jeet glanced up the stairs, thinking Rem might be in the Oracle’s chamber, but then he remembered Maracee. “Did he say where he was going?”
Oot frowned. “None of us have seen Rem for two or three days now.”
Jeet felt a twist in his gut. “What do you mean? You haven’t seen him… at all?”
Oot shook his head.
“And no one told me?”
Oot bowed his head. “You have been busy, Abij-hah.”
Jeet frowned at the servant and went out the shrine doors and onto the portico. He looked for and found Rufus, and went to him. “Have you seen Rem?” he asked.
“The boy who follows you everywhere?”
“You’ve all been locked away inside.” Rufus said, his mild disapproval showing. “He probably got bored and went looking for something to do.”
“He’s been gone for a couple of days,” Jeet said with a sharp glance at Rufus.
The captain of the guard frowned. “Two days? I’ll send a couple of men to look for him.”
Jeet shook his head. “I think I know where he might be,” he said, heading out across the courtyard toward the priestesses quarters.
From the temple wall, Menditis the guard saw Jeet approaching, and he motioned another guard over. “Go tell Stycus… say, ‘it’s time’.”
As Jeet drew close to the priestess’ quarters, Menditis drew close to him. “Are you looking for the boy, Rem?” he called.
The bottom dropped from Jeet’s stomach. He halted and turned back. “Yes,” he answered quietly.
“I know where you can find him,” the guard said. “Follow me.”
Jeet glanced back toward the shrine, wondering whether to get help from Rufus.
“You need to hurry Abij-hah. The boy is in trouble.”
“What kind of trouble?” Jeet asked, falling into step behind the guard.
“Just come,” the guard urged.
The knots in Jeet’s stomach grew tighter as they headed for the priests’ quarters, and tighter still when they turned toward Stycus’ chambers.
The guard went in, and Stycus’ dog began barking. Menditis kicked and yelled at the dog, and the dog retreated to the balcony. Jeet paused at the door. Menditis motioned urgently for him to come in.
Quietly, looking left and right, Jeet entered the chamber. They were alone. Jeet looked questioningly at Menditis. The guard motioned toward a back corner. Jeet stepped farther into the room and gasped.
On his side on the floor, bound hand and foot, was a naked boy. The boy’s bottom was toward Jeet, and the Abij-hah could see that the boy had been castrated. His savaged scrotum, as well as the backs of his thighs, was covered with dry blood. Jeet rushed toward him, but Menditis caught him by the arm.
Jeet tried to free himself, but the guard held his arm tightly.
“You can take the boy with you when we’re done,” Stycus said, entering the room behind them. “I don’t care; he’s begun to draw flies.”
Jeet’s vision had blurred from tears, and he turned toward Stycus’ voice blindly. “Is he alive?” he was barely able to ask.
“Oh, he’s alive,” Stycus said, coming up to Rem’s feet. He kicked the sole of one, and Rem moaned.
Jeet’s face contorted in rage. “Leave him alone, you pig!”
The priest stepped over to Jeet and slapped him with the palm of his hand. “You will address me as ‘holy one’.” Stycus warned.
Jeet glared at him.
“Now!” the priest said.
Jeet looked as if he were about to spit. The high priest quickly struck him once and then brought the back of his hand against the other side of Jeet’s face. He did it again and again. Stycus’ dog came back into the room, barking.
“Holy one!” Menditis warned. “The boy will be bruised.”
“He will be more than bruised,” Stycus said, kicking the dog back toward the balcony. The dog retreated, and, gripping Jeet’s jaw firmly in his hand, Stycus forced the boy’s head up so he could look him in the eye.
“Holy one,” Menditis warned, “if you damage the boy, you’ll bring the wrath of this whole city down on us. You said you were only going to fuck him hard to teach him a lesson.”
“And so I shall,” Stycus said. He held out his palm to the guard. “Give me your dagger.”
“Holy one,” Menditis started to protest.
“Give it to me!”¶
With his free hand, Menditis handed the priest the dagger which he wore opposite his sword.
“Now hold him still,” the priest instructed.
Menditis pulled Jeet’s arms behind his back. The boy glared defiantly at the priest.
“Holy one,” the guard said, “if you wound him…”
“What if I kill him?” Stycus asked. He pressed the point of the dagger into Jeet’s skin just above the belt of his breechcloth. “What if both these boys disappear? People will assume they ran away together.” He inclined the dagger downward and drove it between Jeet’s belly and the breechcloth, cutting the fabric and leaving a long gash in Jeet’s skin. The gash filled with blood, and the boy winced in pain.
“It might be difficult to dispose of their bodies,” the guard objected. “People will be looking for them.”
Stycus drew the knife down Jeet’s hip, cutting away another side of the belt and leaving another gash. The boy gasped, but didn’t cry out.
“He’s a slave,” Stycus said, grabbing the front of Jeet’s breechcloth. “Slaves die. People forget. They will get a new Abij-hah and they will be happy again.” The priest pulled away the boy’s breechcloth, leaving Jeet’s cock to dangle. The priest took it into his hand. “I may keep this as a trophy when we’re finished,” he said. He handed the dagger back to Menditis who quickly sheathed it with one hand. “I will take my pleasure with the boy first. Hold him.”
Stycus pulled off his robes and tunic. His cock was erect. “Tie the boy down, then leave me,” he said.
The guard dragged Jeet toward where Rem lay. There was rope on the floor there.
Jeet glanced at Rem, who stared back at him in a daze. In that moment, it came home to the young eunuch that, not only was he about to die, but his faithful Rem was going to die as well… and Jeet would never see the Oracle again… never be able to tell her that he didn’t leave her, didn’t run away… that he would never leave her.
A cry of frustration rose from the boy’s very soul. He desperately wanted to live. Jeet jerked against the hold of the guard and struggled frantically, trying to pull away.
Menditis backhanded the side of Jeet’s head with a stunning blow. The boy wavered, then tried to pull away once more. The guard struck him again, and a ring he wore left a wound in Jeet’s scalp that bled into Jeet’s hair. The boy staggered and the guard forced him to the floor.
Throwing his body over the boy’s to pin him down, Menditis put both the boy’s wrists into the grip of one hand and reached for the rope with the other.
For an instant, time slowed for Jeet, and his senses were eerily heightened. He didn’t think; he reacted. With a last, supreme effort, he jerked one hand from Menditis’ grip, reached down their bodies, found the hilt of the guard’s dagger, pulled it out, and thrust it into Menditis side. It slipped between two ribs and went deep. Jeet jabbed again, and again; three times, quickly.
The guard twisted away, the movement pulling the dagger from Jeet’s hand. Going up on his knees and one hand, Menditis struggled away, grasping at the dagger.
Stycus and Jeet stared at the guard for a surreal moment. Then Jeet reacted, sitting up, but Stycus reacted as well, throwing his naked body onto the boy’s. He struggled to grab both of Jeet’s wrists to pin them, but Jeet twisted under him, and Stycus felt one of the boy’s hands close around his scrotum. With a gasp, he started to roll away, but it was too late.
Jeet squeezed hard. Keeping the priest’s scrotum tightly in his grip, he squeezed hard, over and over. The priest cried out and rolled to his back, trying to get away. Jeet rolled up with him, still holding Stycus’ scrotum, crushing the testicles within.
The priest pounded on the boy’s head, face, and shoulders, and still the boy squeezed. The priest began convulsing, his head rolled to the side, and he vomited before passing out.
Jeet rose unsteadily to his feet. The guard lay on his side, his breath coming in long, rasping wheezes. Jeet glanced at the priest. Stycus lay unconscious. The young eunuch started toward Rem, but looking on the boy’s savaged body, anger rose in Jeet once more.
He went to Menditis, who watched helplessly as Jeet pulled the dagger from his side. Then kneeling beside Stycus, Jeet grabbed the Priest’s scrotum once more, and with a few quick slashes cut it off, along with its contents. He tossed the whole handful out onto the balcony where the dog sniffed at it. “Welcome to the Order of Attis, holy one,” Jeet mumbled through bruised and bleeding lips.
He turned toward Rem. Jeet was having trouble seeing. One eye was rapidly swelling shut. He bent over Rem with the dagger and cut the boy’s bindings. He threw the dagger away and lifted Rem in his arms, then started for the door.
“Abij-hah,” the guard rasped in a barely audible voice. “The god who protects you…” Menditis swallowed, winced in pain, and struggled to take another breath. “Tell him not to be angry with me.” His eyes rose to Jeet’s. “I did not kill you; you have killed me.”
Jeet stared at the man impassively as he held Rem in his two arms. The younger boy stirred, and with a groan, grabbed weakly onto Jeet’s shoulders. “I never wanted to kill anybody,” Jeet told Menditis, before turning to leave.
+ + + + +
Rufus saw him coming. People moved out of the Abij-hah’s way, and then closed in behind him; a growing crowd following him.
Rufus ran down from the portico and out across the courtyard. He could see that Jeet was naked, and he was carrying a naked boy in his arms; a boy who Rufus guessed was Rem. Jeet walked slowly, stiffly.
As Rufus got closer, he could see that the Abij-hah was covered in blood. When he drew very close, he could see that Jeet had blackened eyes, one swollen almost shut; his entire face was swollen and bruised.
Sydal arrived beside Jeet at the same time Rufus did. “Rem!” he cried, seeing his younger brother in Jeet’s arms.
“Get Ono,” Jeet said in an even voice. “Get Ono and Avankur. Bring them to the shrine.”
“Go!” Rufus barked, and the boy dashed away.
Rufus tried to take Rem from Jeet, but Jeet brushed past him. “No!” he said, and continued stiffly toward the shrine.
The following crowd grew even larger. Almost every person in the shrine complex came running.
Jeet struggled with Rem’s limp body, stopping twice to shift Rem’s weight and renew his hold on his young friend. Rufus tried each time to take the boy for him, but Jeet refused.
Within moments of Jeet disappearing inside the shrine, word went out the gate and into the city. The word that spread was that the Abij-hah and another eunuch had been attacked and wickedly beaten, and the rumor was, that it was the doing of the high priests.
Jeet almost faltered at the bottom of the stairs. Silently, Rufus came up behind him, and extending an arm on each side of Jeet, he lifted Rem’s weight for him and carefully supported them both up the stairs and into the Oracle’s quarters.
Jeet collapsed back against Rufus, and the guard gently lowered both boys to the floor where Jeet sat, clutching Rem tightly to himself. Rem stirred and pressed his forehead to the inside of Jeet’s neck, moaning and barely conscious.
The Oracle and the other eunuchs rushed in to the room. With a cry, Anda ran to Jeet’s side, and, kneeling beside him, looked with horror at his wounds and at Rem.
“Abij-hah,” Rufus said, soothingly. “Let me take the boy.”
Jeet shook his head. His eyes – one only a slit – met Rufus’ eyes. “I killed Menditis… maybe Stycus, too.”
The room grew deadly quiet. “You killed a high priest?” Tazaar asked in horror.
Ono and Avankur arrived on the run, carrying their kits of herbs and ointments. Sydal was close behind them. They knelt beside the two boys. “Jeet-hah,” Ono whispered. “Let us have Rem so we can clean him and tend to him.” He turned to the others. “Tazaar, Aruli,” Ono said, “take Jeet to the bathhouse and clean him up. We’ll take care of him once we’re done with Rem.”
Gently, they took Rem from him, and Jeet got shakily to his feet. And yet, when the others tried to take him by the hand, he didn’t let them; he walked on his own, numbly. They followed him to the bathhouse, and, there, the Oracle took the lead in cleaning him. They tried to ask him questions, but Jeet said nothing, not even when they washed his cuts.
He began trembling, silently. Anda, Tazaar, and Aruli exchanged glances. Aruli’s eyes filled with tears.
When they returned to the Oracle’s chamber, Jeet walked unsteadily to a pallet which had been set up for Rem. Rem was being hand bathed, and his eyes were open, but glassy. His brother Sydal sat beside him, holding his hand. Avankur knelt beside the boy’s legs, and attempted to spread them. Rem flinched and whimpered.
Still naked, Jeet sat down beside Rem, on the side opposite Sydal, and pulled the boy’s head and shoulders into his lap. Rem’s eyes squeezed tightly shut, and he clutched Jeet’s arms tightly as Avankur bent and spread Rem’s thin legs. Rem cried out, and Avankur murmured soothingly. Jeet stroked Rem’s hair, and let Rem squeeze his arms almost painfully.
Ono knelt down in front of Jeet. “Come away, Jeet-hah We need to tend your wounds.”
Jeet shook his head, cradling the younger boy’s head in his lap.
Ono glanced at Avankur. The older servant nodded at Ono. “Tend to him as he sits,” Avankur told the younger eunuch.
Moments later, a temple guard ran breathlessly into the room. “Ono, Avankur. You are required at the temple.”
The two eunuchs hurried their ministrations.
+ + + + +
Jarus entered the Oracle’s chamber with a grave expression. It grew even graver as he looked Jeet over. Though the young eunuch still cradled Rem’s head in his lap, the slash at the Abij-hah’s hip was obvious and the priest could see part of the second gash up Jeet’s belly. Also, dreadfully obvious, was how badly Jeet had been beaten.
Rufus, who had been standing back against a wall, came forward, and the priest glanced up at him, then back at Jeet.
“Holy one,” Rufus said, drawing Jarus away by his arm. He spoke in a hushed tone, and led Jarus well away from the boys. “How bad is it?”
Jarus frowned. “What did the boy tell you?”
“That he might have killed Menditis and the high priest, Stycus.”
“Menditis is dead,” the high priest confirmed. “Stycus will live. Did the boy tell you that he castrated the high priest?”
Rufus’ head jerked back, and he glanced at Jeet, disbelievingly. “By himself? He killed a captain of the guard and did that to Stycus, by himself?”
Jarus nodded with a frown. “Stycus wants the boy executed.” He glanced at Rufus. “He’s demanding that the boy be brought in front of the temple and cut to pieces before him.”
“Holy one,” Rufus protested. “They attacked the boy.”
Jarus nodded. “I know, but Jeet is a slave, Rufus. He raised his hand against his masters.”
“You are the most high priest,” Rufus pointed out. “You can declare the boy innocent in this.”
Jarus looked over at Jeet who was stroking Rem’s hair. The Oracle was sitting behind the young eunuch, her arm around Jeet’s chest and her head resting on Jeet’s back. The other eunuchs knelt close by. Several had tears on their faces. Sydal sat beside his brother.
“My hands may be tied in this, Rufus,” Jarus said. “Stycus has powerful friends in the capital. I will pardon the boy – I told Stycus as much – but Stycus will appeal to the governor. The governor likes Jeet and might let the boy off. But if Stycus goes over the governor’s head…” Jarus shrugged.
Rufus frowned. “It would have been better for the boy if he had killed both of them,” the guard murmured.
Jarus eyed the guard. “Don’t do anything foolish, Rufus. And don’t let the boy get away.”
“Where could he go?” Rufus asked incredulously. “Even if there was a way for him to escape, he can barely walk.”
Another guard, one of Rufus’, came to the doorway. “Captain… Holy one,” he said, bowing. “The courtyard is filling with people. They’ve heard about the Abij-hah.” He swallowed and cast down his eyes. “They seem angry, Holy One.”
Jarus leaned close to Rufus. “For our own protection, keep a guard on the boy," the priest said. I’ll go out and calm the crowd.”
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