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 18 – The King

ERASTES -- In ancient Greece, the erastes ("lover") (pl.: erastai) was an adult male aristocrat involved in a pederastic relationship with an adolescent boy called the eromenos... The word was also used as a general term for any male admirer courting a particular boy, even if he had not been accepted by the boy as a bona fide lover.

... the ideal erastes… would hide nothing concerning the boy from the father of that youth.

In some cities he was the one who initiated the love affair by courting or ritually kidnapping the boy, while in others, such as Sparta, it was the youth who requested the relationship. While the practice of pedagogic pederasty was encouraged and valorized, it seems to have been optional for the adult in all cities save Sparta, where it was mandated by law.

Erastai are often described as exerting a great deal of effort to attract the attention and the sympathy of an eromenos. This task often led to street fights with other suitors, family arguments, outrageous behavior like sleeping on the boy's stoop, writing of love poems, bestowing of gifts, and at times outright coercion.

...The function of the erastes was to love and educate — or see to the education of — the youth. The nature of that education varied with the culture of their respective polis, but generally was grounded in the physical culture of the gymnasium, which included athletics and military training as well as philosophical and musical studies.

... The erastes was generally an influential citizen, involved in the social and political life of his polis, often married and a pater familias, and enjoying a certain financial ease.

Taking on the responsibilities of a pederastic relationship was not inexpensive, in particular at the time of the festivities which were mandated by tradition. In Crete this entailed a banquet and a number of ritual gifts: an ox, to sacrifice to Zeus; a military outfit, signifying the attainment of warrior status by the eromenos; and a chalice symbolizing the youth's empowerment to attend symposia — as well as possible religious and ritual roles. It was not uncommon for friends of the erastes to contribute to the expenses, the celebration uniting the friends of both partners, much like a modern major family event.

EROMENOS -- In the pederastic tradition of Classical Athens, the eromenos (beloved, pl. "eromenoi") was an adolescent boy who was in a love relationship with an adult man, known as the erastes.

...The youth was expected to put up resistance to the entreaties of the various erastai seeking to win his affection, in order to test their seriousness of purpose, and to choose the most deserving. As a result, in Attica, eromenoi were assiduously courted, and were the object of street fights and arguments among the young men vying for their affection.[1] Some of the eromenoi moved in with their lovers, with whom they lived for some period of time.

The Greeks recognized and valued that time in the life of a boy when he was considered to be ripe for loving, which they referred to as hôraios, "in season," often translated as "the bloom of boyhood."[2] Though the eromenos was valued for his beauty, he was valued even more for his modesty, industriousness and courage. In Plato's Symposium, eromenoi are described as the "best" boys and their characteristic was that "they love men and enjoy living with men and being embraced by men."

... Upon reaching the age of maturity (ca. eighteen years), the eromenos would cut his long hair and become eligible for taking on the role of erastes and courting and winning an eromenos of his own.

Seleucus Philopator, King of the Seleucids, arrived at Kaleh early in the afternoon, two days before the fall equinox, in the tenth year of his reign. It had rained heavily that morning. Clouds still filled the sky, and the afternoon was uncharacteristically cool.

The governor, local aristocrats and land owners, city leaders, most of the local garrison, and hundreds of citizens from the city waited outside the city gates as the sound of drums and marching feet drew closer. And then they came – on foot with drummers and trumpeters, a thousand of the king’s personal guard. Behind them came four hundred mounted cavalry. The guardsmen and the cavalry took up formation on either side of the road, drums beating a slow, ponderous rhythm. Trumpets sounded in cascades down the line as the king’s mounted party of a hundred and forty riders began its advance between their ranks.

“Are we expected to feed all these?” The governor overheard one of the local aristocrats ask. He frowned at the man. The king came closer, and the governor, aristocrats, leaders, and citizens all bowed very low.

“Hector!” called out the king, as he dismounted and came to the governor. The king, a tall, handsome man with a short black beard, pulled the governor up from his bow and embraced him. In his early forties, the king was roughly the same age as the governor, but looked younger. “My father’s favorite general!” exclaimed the king as he patted the governor’s back. “How are you my friend?”

“I am well, O King,” the governor said with a slight bow of his head.

A second man came up alongside the king. “Hector,” he greeted, cordially. In his late thirties, this second man was shorter than the king, and had a squarer frame. Though clean-shaven he was obviously the king’s brother. He had a keen eye, and the governor felt as he always did around Antiochus – that he was being shrewdly sized up.

“Antiochus,” the governor responded, bowing slightly to the king’s brother. “It is good to see the sons of my former master. Welcome to Kaleh. I trust that your tour of garrisons and the frontier is going well.”

The king laughed and clapped the governor’s back. “Come, Hector, you know we call it a ‘tour of garrisons and the frontier’ simply so we can leave our wives at home. I’m here to meet this young Oracle of yours and her young eunuch who stirred things up so much. My brother, however,” he nodded his head toward Antiochus and grinned, “is interested in the delights of the temple.”

The governor smiled – a political smile. “May neither of you be disappointed,” he offered with a bow of his head. Turning, he gestured toward the crowd and the city gates. “The entire city has been looking forward all summer to your coming, O King. You will remember many of our local leaders of course, but let me re-introduce you…”

As they moved toward the important men of the town, the remainder of the king’s train – his many servants and supplies – maneuvered behind them and in through the city gate. Led by servants from the governor, they made their way up toward the citadel, where the King would be staying.

+ + + + +

Standing on the governor’s terrace, the king and his brother, Antiochus, gazed down on the river, the city, and the temple below. The governor came up beside them. “When will we meet the Oracle?” Antiochus asked.

“Tomorrow if you wish,” the governor replied. “I will take you down to the temple in the morning. Then in the afternoon, or some other day that would please the King, the Oracle has invited us to dine with her on her barge. We will take it to a spot along the river, downstream from the city, where a place has been set up for her attendants to perform for you.”

“Splendid,” the King said. “Tomorrow will be fine.” He turned from gazing down on the city to face the governor. “Will your son and his wife go with us? I hear that he has just married a remarkably beautiful girl.”

The governor hid any surprise at the king’s knowledge of his household. The king always seemed to know many things. Instead, the governor bowed his head. “My son and his bride have just begun their nuptial week. They are away at a house provided by a friend.”

“We should be here long enough to meet them,” the king said. “I shall give them a wedding gift of male and female slaves with which to start their household.”

The governor bowed. “The king is gracious.”

+ + + + +

From dawn, the temple had been closed to anyone from the outside, but now the gates were thrown open. Temple gongs sounded, and the long, ceremonial trumpets atop the walls bellowed deeply to announce the approach of Seleucus Philopator. Temple guards lined the walls and the entrance in force, and the aroma of sacrifices that had been provided by the governor filled the still, morning air.

Vendors at the gate had been allowed to stay, and the king and his party paused to look over their wares. At one table, the king examined a sleek, dark-wood phallus. He rolled it over in his fingers. “Why are there no balls at the base of this, and why is it shaped like this? Why so thin?”

“It is a model of the Abij-hah’s cock, O King,’ the vendor said. “The Abij-hah has no balls, and he is still young, so it is thin.”

The king laughed out loud and handed the phallus to his brother. “And just how did you get the measurements?” the king asked, amused.

The vendor bowed his head. “From those who have shared the bed of the Abij-hah,” the vendor said.

The king laughed loudly again. “The legend of this boy has grown large indeed.”

“Or at least long,” the king’s brother said as he examined the phallus with interest. He glanced up at the vendor. “How much for this?”

Priestesses lined the interior walls of the temple, chanting in monotone. Musicians played drums, cymbals, and flutes. Beams of morning sunlight from high portals angled down through the haze of incense. In front of the statue of the goddess, stood the three high priests.

“Which is the one whose balls were cut off?” asked the king in an undertone.

The governor leaned close. “The short, round one, Sire. He has gotten rounder since it happened.”

The king nodded. “An ugly man. Still, Hector, I’m surprised that you let slaves cut off the balls of high priests.”

The king did not look at him when he said it, and the governor felt a knot tighten in his stomach.

“I’m looking forward to meeting this remarkable… Abij-hah,” the king said as he started across the temple hall.

+ + + + +

Jarus had coached them. “Do not make the king wait,” he said. “Be ready for him when he comes.”

And so, when the king followed the governor into the shrine hall, he found the Oracle already seated at the far end. Her attendants were arrayed on either side of her, facing forward -- facing the approaching king. They wore their colored silk breechcloths, and full adornment.

The king appraised the long lines of their virtually nude bodies admiringly, but his pace slowed as he drew closer to them. “They’re children, Hector,” the King observed.

“And beautiful,” Antiochus murmured.

“The Oracle is thirteen years old,” the governor said. “Her eunuchs are thirteen, fourteen, and two just turned fifteen… except for that boy in the rear. He’s not one of her regular attendants, but serves the Abij-hah. He’s much younger.”

The king and his party drew up to the Oracle’s dais. All of the eunuchs dropped to one knee and bowed their heads. The Oracle, as she had been instructed, remained seated.

“O King,” the governor announced. “May I present to you the Oracle of Kaleh?”

Anda stood and descended the steps to kneel before the king.

He smiled and bent to stroke her golden hair. “I have seen other oracles,” he commented with a grin. “I’m not used to pretty ones.”

The Oracle, head down, smiled, as did Jeet.

The king glanced at the eunuchs. “Rise. All of you rise and come to me so I may see you,” he said.

Anda and the boys rose to their feet, and the eunuchs came to the king. Though the boys were tall for their age, only Ptolemy stood taller than the king’s shoulder, and that wasn’t by much. The governor introduced each boy, saving Jeet, who stood beside the Oracle, for last. As he named each one, the king lifted the boy’s chin, looking him over. They kept their eyes cast down until he reached Jeet. Unlike the others, Jeet met the king’s gaze briefly before looking down, and for that moment, the king was dazzled… as was his brother.

“Look at me again,” the king instructed, still cupping Jeet’s chin in his hand.

Jeet lifted his large, clear eyes, and the king felt a visceral reaction.

“It’s like looking into two, pale sapphires,” his brother murmured.

The king nodded. “I’ve never seen eyes this color,” he said. “They’re almost silver. Where are you from? What people?”

“I am from the north, O King,” Jeet answered, and the king saw that the boy’s teeth were white and even.

“Where in the north?”

“I don’t know, sir,” Jeet said, dropping his eyes once more. “I was very young.”

The King’s eyes roamed the boy’s face; his fine eyebrows, straight nose, and red lips. Jeet’s smoky skin tone had a depth and clarity to it. His sleek black hair was pulled back off his temples into a high tail. Even with his dazzling eyes diverted, the boy was a remarkably lovely creature.

“We know he comes from a family of warriors,” the governor said.

The king dropped his hand and glanced down Jeet’s lithe body. The boy was lean muscled and nicely proportioned. He saw the scar on Jeet’s belly and nodded. “Good fighters, I would think. How old are you?”

“Thirteen or fourteen,” Jeet answered.

The King shook his head, thinking that this was a boy who should never have been castrated… stupid, stupid priests. The king turned to the governor. “Your decision regarding this boy was a good one, Hector.” He lifted the boy’s chin once more in his hand. “You aren’t planning to emasculate any more high priests, are you?”

Jeet’s eyes went wide and he glanced up at the king. Then realizing that the king had made a joke, Jeet smiled in relief. The effect of that white smile and amused, pale eyes arrested the king for a moment. “By the gods,” Antiochus murmured from beside him.

The king glanced at Jarus, several feet away. “I have half a mind to castrate the rest of the high priests myself,” he said.

With a final smile at Jeet, the king moved on to the Oracle and lifted her chin as he had done with the boys. He studied her face with interest. Looking only at her face, she could be taken for a boy as easily as a girl. He decided he liked her face… intelligent and strong. The king dropped his hand. “I believe I know your father,” he said.

She nodded. “Yes sir. He has met you.”

The king looked around the shrine. “Do you like being the ‘Oracle of Kaleh’?” he asked as his eyes returned to her.

She nodded. “Yes, O King.”

Antiochus glanced at her eunuchs. “I imagine so,” he softly said.

+ + + + +

Crowds lined the bank as the Oracle’s barge floated down the river. The young eunuchs and other shrine servants moved among low tables which had been set up under linen sunscreens. They served food and drink, while oarsmen selected from temple servants and local boatmen, did their best to guide the cumbersome craft.

The king, reclining next to the Oracle, was watching her. She knew it, but did not behave self consciously. The King liked that, and he liked her. “I understand you can see the future,” he said, taking a sip of wine.

The Oracle glanced down the table toward Jarus who was keeping an eye on her. She wished he was closer to answer the king’s question for her. Should she lie to the king? He was waiting for her reply.

“There are dreams,” she said. “Dreams about what will happen.”

The king cocked an eyebrow. “Do the dreams always come true?”

She nodded.

“Can you dream whenever you want?” he asked.

She shook her head.

“Maybe you will have a dream about me before I leave.”

“I hope so,” the Oracle said, and she took a sip of wine.

Jeet leaned between them to pour more wine. The king’s glance shifted to the eunuch’s hairless, slender legs. He resisted an impulse to slide a hand up their smooth perfection, and Jeet moved on. The King felt unsettled. He loved women. He had from his youth. And he had no love for catamites or boy prostitutes. They were uniformly vacuous; good for, and interested in, only one thing. Many were effeminate. Most were sullen. Some were brassy. He had no use for any of them. But from their meeting that morning, these boys struck the King entirely differently.

In the past, his brother had been erastes to several eromenoi – pretty, well-borne boys Antiochus had pursued, wooed, bedded, and become sponsor and mentor for, just as Antiochus had been an eromenos as a boy for an advisor to their father. Jeet, Tazaar, and the others were more like those eromenoi than boy prostitutes. He wondered if Antiochus was eyeing them in that light.

Jeet reached the end of the table and stepped back. Tazaar came up beside him, and cocking an arm over Jeet’s shoulder, he leaned to whisper in Jeet’s ear. The boys laughed and the king was struck by their ease and naturalness. There was an athletic grace to their form and easy stance. The Sun and the Moon, he thought to himself – one boy, Tazaar, golden and happy like the sun; Jeet as exotic as a moonlit night.

The other eunuchs gathered around Jeet and Tazaar. The King, like others around the table, watched them. There was something subtly alluring about the boys; something that stirred his own pubescent memories. They had a subtle sexuality about them – not the intense sexuality of adolescent males or the exciting vulnerability of women, and certainly not the bald and bawdy sexuality of prostitutes.

It was their beauty… and yet, something else as well. Like catamites or boy prostitutes, these boys had been sexualized. That was clear from the direction and nature of occasional glances. And that, beside their beauty, the King decided, was the source of the sexual excitement he and others felt around them. It came from the knowledge that these boys were available; they could be slept with. It was in their eyes, and the way they looked away, almost demurely, when the King or one of the others looked at them. It was clear the boys knew they were being desired, and they were open to it… they had been trained to be open to it. And that openness was exciting.

They were unique creatures in Seleucus Philopator’s experience. Not entirely male, but certainly not female; the six of them would never be youths – not in a true sense. They were nevertheless transitioning from boyhood to a full blooming of their beauty.

As the tall, nearly-naked boys stood together – leaning comfortably on each other, smiling, laughing – they reminded Seleucus of the camaraderie he sometimes saw in groups of soldiers. These boys were a band, a group, a family among themselves. He liked them the more he watched them. There was goodness about them, and an obvious affection for each other. It made them… winsome.

The king mused over them, watching them, his fascination building. Rightly or wrongly, Seleucus felt he could judge a man or a boy by how they walked; by how they carried themselves. He thought back over his observations of them.

Ptolemy, the tall dark one, walked with his toes pointed straight ahead. He also had a loose gate that resulted in his hips rocking slightly left and right while his buttocks firmed alternately into tight balls. Of them all, he was the most feminine, but that was more because of elegance of line, and not because of mannerisms.

Jeet walked with his toes straight ahead as well, but his walk was the easy, fluid walk of an athlete… or a warrior. He was alert as he moved, and from the turn of his head to the lifting of his foot, it was all one movement; all of one piece.

The King turned his gaze on the albino boy. He had decided from the beginning that Jin would have rivaled Jeet for beauty if the boy’s coloring had only been right. As it was, the albino boy was beautiful in his own right, with flawless, white skin. He was squinting, because of the sun, and that distorted his features. But it was easy to see why the boy was chosen to be one of the six.

As it was with the Thracian boy; the redhead… Bantu had the smile and honest good looks of any man’s ideal for a son. And yet, the deep red of his hair, the planes of his face, and his creamy skin gave his countenance a profound beauty that appeared in odd moments between smiles like depths of clear water between ripples.

“Is what they say about the Abij-hah true?” the King asked the Oracle. “Is it true a barren woman conceived after sleeping with him?”

She nodded.

The king watched Jeet, thoughtfully. “My oldest son, Demetrius, is in Rome… hostage to the Romans. They were holding Antiochus, but demanded that I send Demetrius instead.” He glanced at the Oracle and forced a smile. “My brother was in Rome for several years. I am hoping that Demetrius will not be. He’s my heir.” He glanced back toward Jeet. The boy was watching him, waiting, if needed.

Jeet smiled, and the king felt a stirring in his loins. “I haven’t slept with a boy since I was one,” he said, mostly to himself. “I had a friend…” He glanced again at the Oracle and smiled. “Pleasant memories.” He returned to watching Jeet, and thought about the barren woman. “I would like to have another son or two,” he murmured.

The barge pulled up beside the shore, and all the parties went ashore so they could watch the dance and acrobatics of the eunuchs more closely. Couches were set up for the king, his brother, the governor and others at the edge of the level place that had been prepared for the performance. The boys repeated what they had performed for the city that spring; all that is, except for the Oracle’s participation. This time, with only the boys, the dance of the Kurbantes – the naked dance in crested helmets and armor, with the banging of shields and swords and bodies – was strangely male for a group of non-pubescent eunuchs. The aggressive clashing of shields and swords, punctuated by synchronized cries, and the flashing moves of naked bodies made it undeniably exciting.

The King noticed when his brother and a few others adjusted erections beneath their garments. It had been a long time since a boy stirred him, but these boys did. The King resisted the urge to rearrange his own member.

As the nude boys returned to the barge, the King overheard his brother speak to Jarus. “I want these boys sent to my quarters tonight,” Antiochus said.

“Sir,” Jarus said. “The eunuchs never sleep away from the shrine. We could offer you chambers there.”

“They will sleep away from the shrine tonight,” the King said. “But you will not have them all, my brother.” He gestured at Jarus. “Send Jeet and the one they call Tazaar to my quarters.”

He almost made a joke about it. Seleucus almost said that if the gods truly favored these boys, he didn’t want his brother to gain any more physical prowess or sexual potency by sleeping with Jeet and Tazaar. But that would only be part of the reason he asked for Jeet and Tazaar, and there was no sense pretending otherwise.

Jarus nodded, glancing at the boys on the barge as they fastened back on their breechcloths. Rem’s small, bare backside caught his eye. And because Jarus now considered himself a friend of the Abij-hah, and because he knew of Jeet’s love of Rem, he turned back to the King. “What about the boy, Rem?” Jarus asked. “He is not actually one of the Oracle’s attendants. May he stay to serve the Oracle since her attendants will not be there to care for her?”

“Yes,” the King answered before his brother could. He leaned toward Antiochus with a grin. “Rem is the boy that the Abij-hah rescued. We don’t want Jeet coming after your balls with a knife to rescue the boy from you, my brother.” And then he laughed loudly.

+ + + + +

Jeet and Tazaar undressed the King, skillfully. Though Jarus had warned them not to treat the King too well, they did as they had been trained. They treated the King like a King should be treated. They let him see their admiration for his musculature. They massaged and caressed those muscles as they bathed him.

The boys were naked as well, and their long, dangling cocks distracted Seleucus. Apparently the wood carver at the gate had gotten the measurements of Jeet’s phallus correctly, the King decided with an uncomfortable amusement.

The caressing of their hands as the boys bathed him, brought the King to an erection. They fondled it, and he closed his eyes, swaying. He steadied himself with hands on the boys’ shoulders, and it was so easy, so natural to turn Jeet away from him and pull the naked boy back against himself. When he did, Tazaar oiled the King’s long, thick cock, and Jeet bent over. Tazaar took the king’s cock and guided him in.

With a deep sigh, Seleucus took Jeet by the hips and pulled them to his loins, looking down, watching – his ruddy erection looking impossibly thick as it spread the smooth little globes of the boy’s bottom. He pulled Jeet to him until those little globes flattened and he had impaled the boy on his entire length. Tazaar moved in front and steadied Jeet by raising him and wrapping Jeet’s arms over his own shoulders. Tazaar rubbed the side of his face on Jeet’s and then kissed him after a tender smile.

The King saw the affection and asked them to continue kissing. So they kissed and stroked each other while the king ran his hands over Jeet’s slender body with even more admiration than the boys had shown for his body.

Tazaar dropped to his knees and took Jeet’s erection into his mouth. Seleucus wrapped his arms around the boy, pulling Jeet upright and back against his belly and chest. He held him tightly, slowly pumping his hips, savoring the boy’s tightness, his lean body, his boy-scent. When his orgasm came, the King squeezed Jeet tightly, and pulsed into the boy for what seemed like a long, long, pleasurable time.

They cleaned the King’s cock, dried him off, scented his hair, and came to his bed. They laid on his sides, their cocks lying in his hands because that is what the king wanted. Their long, thin cocks pleased him. They laid their heads on his shoulders, and he asked if they were lovers.

They told him of their vows together. They told him of the shrine traditions and how they were bound for life and death to the Oracle; about Ono’s speech to them in the shrine; and about how they pledged themselves to love each other and to love the Oracle when she arrived. “We are all lovers,” Tazaar told him. “We love each other, one and all.”

The king thought to himself once again that the priests were stupidly foolish. These were remarkable boys, and to even think about killing them if something happened to the Oracle was criminal folly. He should take Jeet and Tazaar back to Antioch. Perhaps it was his turn to be an erastes.

Not only would they be more pleasant company than his current attendants, they might also be good luck charms – for athletic prowess and fertility. He’d leave the other four for the soothsayer; she seemed happy enough with her lot. He smiled when he thought about what his wife and concubines would think of him sleeping with boys.

“Kiss each other again,” he said, squeezing their still-erect cocks in his hands. “Make love to each other, and I will watch.”

Tazaar slid across the king’s body to kneel at Jeet’s bottom. Jeet, smiling, still lubricated, pulled up and spread his legs for his friend. Tazaar spread his knees wider, lowering his pelvis and his erection. Holding Jeet’s hip with one hand, he guided his cock into Jeet’s opening with his other. He carefully scooted forward on his knees, going deeper, sliding his thighs up on either side of Jeet’s bottom. Folding from the waist, he laid his belly and chest onto Jeet’s, and the two boys wrapped their arms around each other as Tazaar finished easing in. They tightened into a ball; a slowly copulating ball – Tazaar’s hips pulling back, his muscled butt rounding, and then slapping forward, audibly, jiggling Jeet in his arms. The King watched. He ran his hand over the very smooth skin of Tazaar’s flexing bottom. He grew hard again, stroking his cock. Getting up onto his knees, he moved behind Tazaar, and the king joined himself to the two boys.

+ + + + +

They slept on him, and on each other, as easily and comfortably as puppies. He lay on his back with Jeet nuzzled in behind one ear and Tazaar’s head resting on his opposite shoulder. It was a new sensation; having two boys sleeping on and with him. Though he had slept with two women, it had not been as comfortable as this. He had an arm behind each boy, and he stroked the soft skin of their firm backs. He yawned and closed his eyes.

Jeet murmured with pleasure at the stroking. At his first sight of the King, he had been struck that there were things about the man which reminded Jeet of his father… tall, strong, in charge, assured. Dozing, he fantasized about the King as his father. He nuzzled in, taking a deep breath of the King’s manly scent. He let his breath out with a low moan and rubbed his flaccid cock pleasantly on the King’s hip.

The King patted Jeet’s bottom. “Be careful, boy. You might start something.”

Jeet lifted his head with sleepy smile, and on impulse, kissed the King’s lips, giggling when the King’s beard tickled him. But then he jerked back, his mouth dropping open. “Is it permissible to kiss the King?” he asked in a whisper.

The King smiled and pulled the boy’s face back down to his own. Jeet laid a hand on the side of the king’s face as they kissed, and the King’s hand slid down Jeet’s back to the boy’s smooth-skinned butt. He gave it a squeeze and pulled Jeet more squarely onto his hip.

Jeet responded, rubbing himself on the man, stroking his bearded cheek. This was different than Praxis or Jarus or any other man. He admired this man. He admired his masculinity, his strength… everything about him. He felt protected with him; he didn’t have to be so strong himself. There had been an instant connection between them, and Jeet loved being held by this man.

The king rolled toward him, away from Tazaar, rolling Jeet onto his back. He slid his hand down between Jeet’s legs, and the boy looked up at him with a smile. Seleucus felt his gut tighten and the breath catch in his throat.

+ + + + +

The King clapped loudly, twice. A servant leaned into the room. “Bring us food,” the king called from the bed. “Food for all three of us.” The servant bowed out of the room.

Jeet sat up. The King was a copious sperm producer. He’d still had an abundance this morning. Jeet’s butt felt loose and lubricated. He tightened it, and glanced across the bed at Tazaar. “We should be heading back to the shrine,” he said.

“Nonsense!” the King exclaimed. “I haven’t had such a pleasant night in ages. You two will stay with me today, and I may not even get out of bed.”

Jeet and Tazaar exchanged glances. “May the king not be angry with me,” Jeet said, “but we have duties at the shrine.”

“Someone else will perform them today,” the king said, dismissively. He sat up. “I will get out of bed, but only to relieve myself.” He grinned at the boys. “I don’t want this bed to get any messier than it is already.”

In moments, the servant reappeared with food, and it smelled unlike anything they had at the shrine. Jeet and Tazaar scooted enthusiastically to the end of the bed and toward the table. They sniffed the air, and Tazaar’s stomach growled. The King laughed.

+ + + + +

It was early the next morning when a young officer of the king’s cavalry bowed before the Oracle in the shrine hall. “My master bids me to bring you to him. He has provided a horse if you know how to ride.”

“I can ride,” the Oracle said. “Where am I riding to?”

The messenger bowed his head. “The king is taking a party into the mountains east of the city. The boy – the Abij-hah – was of the opinion that you would like to go with them.”

The Oracle sprang to her feet. “Give me a moment to change clothes,” she said.

“Do either of you know how to ride?” the King asked Jeet and Tazaar.

Tazaar shook his head.

“I rode when I was younger,” Jeet said.

“How young?” the King asked. “Did you ride on your own, or with someone?”

“I rode on my own,” Jeet answered.

“Get up there, then,” the King said, pointing to a dark brown horse with a black mane and tail. “That mare is gentle and an easy ride. Let’s see how you do.”

Jeet approached the horse confidently. He grabbed the base of the mare’s mane and a servant gave him a boost up. The mare had been saddled with not much more than a thick blanket and surcingle, a belt around the horse’s girth. Jeet adjusted himself atop the horse, pulling up his long bare legs in order to use his knees, the way he did as a small boy. A servant handed up the reins.

With a pat to the mare’s rump, Jeet started her out. The king watched as Jeet walked her a few yards, then broke her into a trot to the citadel gate and back.

The King smiled. “You remember your seat well, Abij-hah. Tazaar can ride with you.”

Jeet brought his leg over the horse and jumped off. “First, I have to adjust my breechcloth,” he told the King and Tazaar. He loosened and pulled his breechcloth higher in front so he could pull his cock up from between his legs. “You’ll need to do the same, Tazaar,” he told him.

The king laughed. “Would you like more clothing?” he asked.

Jeet glanced at Tazaar and back at the King. He shook his head. “We’ll be alright.”

The King nodded. “We won’t go fast or far. But if you start to chafe between your legs, let me know.” He leaned close, confidentially. “We don’t want to spoil you for later.” He grinned, but then shook his head, thinking it a silly thing to say.

The Oracle arrived, dismounting from her horse as soon as she saw Jeet. She ran to him, and they embraced. The king noticed and watched as she kissed Jeet fervently, and the two held each other tightly.

Jeet rocked her in his arms. “I’ve missed you, Oracle,” he told her.

“We are supposed to never be apart,” she murmured, clutching his familiar body to herself, breathing his familiar scent. “The Abij-hah is to never leave the side of the Oracle.”

Jeet nodded. “I’ve prayed nightly to the good god who protects me, asking that he would protect you and Rem while we are away.”

The King watched all this with a furrowed brow. He had a rival for this young boy’s heart after all.

The Oracle glanced at the remaining eunuchs – Aruli, Jin, Ptolemy, and Bantu – all of whom stood on the front steps of the citadel. “Are the others not coming?” she asked.

Stepping back from her, Jeet took her hand. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “We are bedroom slaves to them. I’m surprised the king invited Tazaar and me.”

The Oracle frowned and leaned close to him again. “Don’t let him love you, Jeet-hah,” she said. Then she waved to the others and they waved back as Jeet walked her back to her horse.

“I like him, Anda,” Jeet said. “He is a good man.”

Her eyes met his and he could see the worry in them. He smiled and gently kissed her before boosting her up onto her horse.

Jeet mounted his horse, and the Oracle prodded her horse closer to Jeet’s. The rest of the king’s party mounted up. Anda reached across and took Jeet’s hand.

Servants boosted Tazaar up behind Jeet, and he scooted forward nervously, wrapping his arms tightly around Jeet’s waist and pasting his body onto the back of the Abij-hah’s.

Riding up beside them, Antiochus, brother to the king, surveyed the closeness of the boys’ virtually naked bodies. Their long, thick hair, up in high tails, brushed their backs like horse tails as they looked left and right. He felt his cock thicken. His brother might have these two for now, but he was resolved to get them into his own bed.

The party started out from the citadel in a pack, visiting and talking. The governor led with the King riding alongside. Antiochus rode on one side of Jeet and Tazaar, the Oracle on the other. Jeet talked mostly to the Oracle; Tazaar to Antiochus, though the King’s brother did his best to engage both boys in conversation. That is, until the King himself dropped back alongside them.

Farther along the trail, they moved into single file with the King in front of Jeet’s horse and the Oracle behind. By then, Tazaar had relaxed and was holding Jeet more loosely. He even ran a hand up and down Jeet’s belly, as they rode, or over his flanks as their smooth-skinned bodies lightly jostled one another. Tazaar had even relaxed enough that his cock grew erect, and he rubbed it on Jeet’s bottom through the fabric of his breechcloth.

Jeet turned back with a grin. “So you like horseback riding, Tazaar-hah?” Jeet asked.

Tazaar pecked the side of Jeet’s neck and reached into the front of Jeet’s breechcloth. Closing his fingers around Jeet’s cock, he gave it a squeeze. “I would like it more if you rode farther back in my lap.”

Jeet laughed. “You mean ride your cock? We would both become very sore, very quickly, I think, Tazaar-hah.”

Tazaar hugged Jeet’s belly, giving it a squeeze, and he gently kissed the nape of Jeet’s neck between bounces. “Someday, we will have to ride a horse with no one else around and try that out,” Tazaar told him.

Jeet smiled, thinking he might like to ride that way with the Oracle.

“I miss Cyndur,” Tazaar said.

“I miss the Oracle,” Jeet replied.

Tazaar sighed, and kissed the side of Jeet’s neck once more. “It’s been nice, though. I have liked that it has been just you and me with the King.” He squeezed Jeet’s belly again. “I love you, Jeet-hah.”

Jeet took Tazaar’s hand from his belly and lifted it to his lips. He kissed the back of Tazaar’s knuckles and then placed it back on his stomach. The mare rode easily enough for Jeet to lean back against Tazaar, and he did. “Did you ever know your father, Tazaaar?” Jeet asked.

“No,” Tazaar said. “But my mother has told me about him.”

“The King reminds me of my father,” Jeet told him. He patted Tazaar’s leg. “Tell me what your mother told you about your father.”

The trail climbed through pine and cedar trees. They came out onto a high meadow, and riders moved alongside each other once again to chat. The King dropped back beside Jeet and Tazaar on one side and the Oracle pulled up alongside them from the other.

The King smiled. “You two look more comfortable now. Have you gotten used to riding, Tazaar?”

“Looks to me like he’s enjoying it,” the Oracle said, cocking an eyebrow at the two boys.

The King smiled, but he hadn’t forgotten that these two boys had been her lovers. It was becoming increasingly clear that she had feelings for them. He wondered how she would react to his taking them.

They rode higher into the foothills and arrived midday at a clear lake. It lay at the base of a true mountain. Pine trees surrounded much of the lake, but on the down-mountain side a clear stream flowed from the lake. The stream was low because of the time of year.

The riders dismounted. Soldiers immediately set up a fire and butchered two goats that they’d brought along. Servants set up small tables.

The King called for his bow, and practiced shooting at various targets. When Jeet said that he remembered learning to use a bow, the King let him try shooting with his. However, the boy didn’t have the strength to pull it far, and other bows were produced.

The king, his brother, and the governor taught Tazaar, Jeet, and the Oracle how to use the bows. Their shots strayed. Laughter echoed off the lake and rose on the mountain air, along with the aroma of grilling meat.

After their meal, several soldiers started a game, kicking and throwing the stuffed bladder of an ox. When Jeet and Tazaar drew close to watch, the soldiers pulled them into the game.

The King watched with the pride of a sponsor as the two boys quickly caught on. The Oracle came up alongside him.

When Jeet made his first score, he did a back flip and Tazaar made a run of handsprings and forward flips. “Have they taught you to do that yet, Oracle?” the King asked with a grin.

“So far,” she said with an answering grin, “I can walk on my hands.”

The King cocked an eyebrow, picturing the Oracle upside down, her garments exposing her. “Sometime I would like to see that,” he said, and because of the way he said it, it passed through the Oracle’s mind that the king wanted to see how she looked between her legs. She frowned and looked away. “If the King wishes,” she said.

And because the king was not an insensitive man, he regretted his comment. He saw the girl in that moment… as a girl – a girl who must have endured many things because of her anatomy. He hadn’t thought of that because of her self-assuredness.

The king thought of the way the Oracle embraced Jeet that morning, and he reminded himself that he had a wife, and concubines, and children and friends. This young girl had servants, but for all he knew, Jeet might be the only love she would ever have.

He frowned, because, though he was answerable to no man, he was answerable to his own conscience. He pushed these thoughts aside.

“Thank you for taking us with you today,” Jeet said to the king, as he and Tazaar bowed low in the courtyard of the Citadel that evening. “Will we see you again before you leave?”

The King laughed. “You’ll see me now. I want a good bath and massage.”

Jeet and Tazaar exchanged glances. Jeet bowed again, low. “Great King, we are needed back at the shrine.”

“Nonsense,” he replied. He turned the boys around, toward the Citadel, and slapped their bare bottoms. “Now get inside and prepare me a bath.”

Jeet turned back, however and bowed once more. “Let the King not be angry, but may we say good night to the Oracle?”

The King glanced at the girl who stood next to her horse only feet away. She looked small and alone by herself.

The King called out to the governor. “Hector, it’s been a long day. Let’s not make the Oracle ride back to the shrine. Do you have a room the Oracle could stay in tonight?”

The governor nodded. “Certainly, O King.”

The King turned back to Jeet and smiled in spite of himself at the boy’s desperately hopeful look. Remembering that a great king is generous, he grabbed Jeet’s arm and pulled the boy past himself and toward the Oracle. He swatted Jeet on the butt once more. “Go take care of her, Abij-hah. Come to me in the morning.”

“Put them in Jason and Weela’s chamber,” the governor told his chief steward. Hector smiled at Jeet and the Oracle. Somehow, that seemed appropriate to him.

The steward summoned two other servants who led Jeet and the Oracle around an inner courtyard and to a room that opened off the back. They lit several lamps in the room, and by their light, Jeet and the Oracle could see that the room was well appointed. In the rear, near an open balcony, lay a bed covered in fine silk.

The servants left and instantly, Jeet and Anda were in each other’s arms. She lifted her face to his. Their mouths met. She grabbed the sides of his face and held him while kissing him hard.

She kissed him for a long time before Anda dropped to her knees before him. She held Jeet’s hips tightly and buried her face in his belly, smelling him. He stroked her hair and whispered, “Anda.”

She tugged at the sides of his cloth belt, not bothering to untie it. She tugged and when it came down, his breechcloth falling away, she grabbed him by the globes of his butt and buried her face between his legs. She rubbed her face there, breathing deeply of his scent; wanting him, needing him. His cock was semi-hard. She took it into her mouth.

Anda swallowed him deeply, squeezing the smooth globes of his buttocks with her hands. Her own phallus was fully erect, and she was torn between the urge to enter him, or have him enter her.

Jeet pulled up her clothing and she leaned back to let him pull it over her head. She stood and he finished undressing her while she ran her hands hungrily over his body. She wished he had balls; she wished he wanted her as much as she wanted him.

But then he had his arms around her; one over her shoulder, one around her back, pulling her forcefully to himself. He kissed her hard because not all passion comes from the balls. She hugged back hard, hoping to stir him even more.

Jeet backed her to the bed, and took her down on to it; their bodies falling together. He pinned her wrists beside her head and plunged his tongue into her mouth while the two of them moved their hips around, finding each other. When his crown brushed her labia, she shoved herself to him, and suddenly he was in, deeply. She wrapped her legs and arms around him, pulling him in, pulling him tightly to her. With a whimper, Jeet went flat on her; and began driving fast the way she liked.

He pumped from the hips. She dug her heels under his butt, pawed at his back, and writhed under him. They quit trying to kiss. He held her tightly by the shoulders, pressed his cheek to hers, and pumped as fast as he could.

She gasped. She cried out. She arched under him, clutching at his sides. Jeet kept going, and Anda’s mouth went wide in a silent cry. He slipped an arm under the small of her back, holding her belly up to his as he pounded between her legs. Shudders racked her body, and then she went rigid for a long, endless moment. She took a ragged breath and went limp. Jeet held her belly up against his, and he kept moving; but slowly now.

He lowered her, lying back down onto her. Their bellies were slick with her issue, and their flesh slid sensuously on each other. Her breathing was still ragged, but calming.

She moved her hands to the sides of his head, running her fingers into his hair. She rocked her hips to meet his continued thrusts, and she smiled at him. She pulled Jeet’s face down, his mouth to hers.

He probed with his tongue. He circled and ground with his hips, needing to keep going, but working to bring her along for a second climax.

Their tongues wrestled, and her breath grew more rapid again. She rolled them onto Jeet’s back and then pushed up with her hands on his shoulders, grinding down on him. He took her breasts into both hands; squeezing them as she rubbed her phallus furiously on his belly and rode his cock.

Anda watched Jeet’s face, and ground back against him, firmly. His eyes rolled up. So she ground harder… and felt all her love for him rise up along with her passion.

+ + + + +

Jeet saw her off in the morning, with a final, lingering, tender kiss. Then he returned to the King’s chamber where he bowed low before Seleucus Philopator, King.

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