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Chapter 20 – Judah
Hellenization (or Hellenisation) is a historical term most widely used to describe a growing cultural influence of Hellenistic civilization. It was most prominently achieved under Alexander III of Macedon who spread Greek language, culture and religion to the lands he conquered. The result, some elements of Greek origin combined in various forms and degrees with other elements taken from conquered civilizations, is known as Hellenism.
During the classical period, there was the hellenization of the Thracians, Dardanians, Paionians, and Illyrians, south of the Jurecek Line.
In the Hellenistic times, the Macedonians – following the death of Alexander – hellenized the Syrians, Jews, Egyptians, Persians, Armenians and a number of other smaller ethnic groups along the Middle East and Central Asia. The Bactrians, an Iranian ethnic group who lived in Bactria (northern Afghanistan), were hellenized during the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, and soon after various tribes in northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent (modern Pakistan) during the Indo-Greek Kingdom. Even today there are several ethnic groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan that claim descent from the Greeks…
Hellenized people variously adopted Greek language, alphabet, customs, and philosophy. - Wikipedia
The First [Jewish] Temple period ended around 586 BCE as the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah and destroyed the Jewish Temple. In 538 BCE, after fifty years of Babylonian captivity, Persian King Cyrus the Great permitted the Jews to return to rebuild Jerusalem and the holy temple. Construction of the Second Temple, was completed in 516 BCE during the reign of Darius the Great seventy years after the destruction of the First Temple. When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, the Land of Israel fell under Hellenistic Greek control, eventually falling to the Ptolemaic dynasty who lost it to the Seleucids. - Wikipedia
The King departed for Antioch, and the Oracle celebrated with her eunuchs… for a night and a day and another night. Bantu called it ‘the re-mating’, because their celebration combined lovemaking and reunion. By the time the two nights and a day had ended, each of them had ‘re-mated’ with every other member of the group – a group that now included Rem, and for this celebration, Cyndur as well. However, Cyndur did not try to mate with the Oracle, because his seed was potent.
The city, the temple, and the shrine returned to normal. The Oracle resumed her audiences. Jeet again blessed children. An erastes of a young boy from the gymnasium paid for the boy to sleep at the shrine with Bantu. A rich matron quietly paid for a secret night at the shrine with Jin and Aruli.
The Oracle and her eunuchs resumed their lessons, practices, workouts, swimming, and bathing. They resumed their practice of sleeping with their regular partners at night, randomly with each other after midday meals, and once again, they set aside the last night of the week to spend with a different partner than usual; a night for intimacy and re-mating with a different one they loved.
The second, last night of the week after the departure of the king, the Oracle watched Cyndur taking leave of them after the evening meal, and she frowned. “Cyndur is one of us,” she said to the others. “He, too, made a vow.” She glanced at Jeet. “Should we let him stay tonight with us?”
Before Jeet could answer, Jin spoke up. “But he has to pick someone different from Tazaar. That is the tradition for the last night of the week.”
“Or one of us should pick him?” Bantu suggested.
“I want him!” Aruli and Jin shouted in unison.
“Let’s wrestle for him,” Ptolemy suggested. “Let’s all wrestle and the winner gets Cyndur.”
Rem frowned. “I don’t stand a chance, and I’ve never been with Cyndur,” he protested.
“Most of us haven’t,” Ptolemy pointed out.
“But not Tazaar,” Aruli said. “Tazaar can’t wrestle for Cyndur.”
They brought pallets out onto the main floor of the shrine, and then sent away the servants. They stripped and drew straws for opponents while the Oracle and Cyndur watched.
An hour later, Jeet – chest heaving as he caught his breath, naked body glistening with sweat – walked up to the young athlete, Cyndur, took Cyndur by the hand, and led him away to one of the side rooms that was furnished for sexual trysts.
Once in the room, Cyndur bowed with a smile. “You have won me, young champion.”
“I did not wish to lose tonight,” Jeet said with a grin. He cocked an eyebrow. “You didn’t want me to, did you?”
Cyndur shook his head as Jeet circled the taller boy, removing Cyndur’s clothes. “You know I love Tazaar, right, Abij-hah?” Cyndur asked as Jeet undressed him.
Jeet closed his hand over one of Cyndur’s strong shoulders and squeezed. It was rock hard. “I know,” Jeet said. “Just as I love the Oracle and Rem.”
Jeet came back around to Cyndur’s front. They were both naked now. Jeet’s cock had begun to climb. Cyndur was rampantly erect. His face had grown flush as he watched Jeet’s lean body – the younger boy was wet with sweat that glistened in the lamplight. Now, as Jeet stood before him, Cyndur’s nostrils flared. He ran a hand over Jeet’s angular shoulder. “Day by day, I resist touching you,” Cyndur said. “When I teach you swimming, and run my hands over your body, I struggle to not let myself grow excited.” He swallowed hard. “There are times I want you so badly.”
Jeet stepped forward, running his palms over the athlete’s hard pectoral muscles. He glanced up at Cyndur and smiled. “When you are teaching me to swim and I feel your hands on my belly, or inside my legs, or when your hand brushes my cock underwater, I struggle to not let myself grow excited. There are times when I want you, badly.”
Reaching behind the sweaty boy, Cyndur placed one palm high on Jeet’s back and one down low, on Jeet’s bottom. He pulled Jeet’s slender body to his own, forcing their erections upward between them. “Is it just lust then?” Cyndur asked with a ragged breath and husky voice. “My desire for you is great, Jeet.” With an out rush of breath, he buried his mouth in the side of Jeet’s neck.
Jeet’s head dropped back, his mouth fell open. He could feel Cyndur’s strength against his entire body. “I love you as I love the others,” Jeet said, lifting his head, and running his hands over Cyndur’s splendidly muscled shoulders. He kissed the nape of Cyndur’s neck. “But this is lust. My desire for you has been great as well, Cyndur.”
Cyndur groaned, pulling Jeet’s small butt hard, pulling Jeet’s narrow hips between his legs. “How long will it take for this lust to be spent?” Cyndur murmured.
“Not in one night,” Jeet said, lifting first one leg to wrap up over Cyndur’s hip, and then the other. Cyndur grabbed Jeet up with both hands under the boy’s bottom, and Jeet wrapped his legs around Cyndur’s waist. He circled his arms over Cyndur’s shoulders, and brushed Cyndur’s lips with his own. “We have held ourselves back so long, this passion will not be spent in one night, strong Cyndur, but tonight, we will try.” He ran the fingers of one hand into the back of Cyndur’s hair, and pressed his lips to Cyndur’s ear. “We will try very hard!” He licked the hollow under Cyndur’s ear. “You will fuck me, and then I will fuck that hard, beautiful butt of yours, and I will play with your magnificent balls and comb the hair above your cock with my fingers. I will enjoy you tonight, Cyndur. I will enjoy you all night long.”
Then Jeet covered Cyndur’s mouth with his own, firmly, passionately, hungrily, thrusting in deeply with his tongue.
Jeet woke early in the morning. Cyndur lay sleeping with his head on Jeet’s belly. Jeet stroked strong Cyndur’s hair and lay thinking, waiting for the temple gongs to announce that the Oracle would be holding audience that day.
Cyndur stirred, and lifted his head. His hair was wildly disheveled. He smiled at Jeet and moved up alongside the younger boy. He nuzzled in under Jeet’s neck and murmured comfortably while Jeet wrapped an arm around the young athlete’s back.
“Did I do well, Abij-hah?” Cyndur asked. “Tazaar has told me how you each speak to each other on your special nights. Did I say the right words?”
Jeet nodded. “You did well, all night long.”
Cyndur laughed and lifted his head. He wrapped an arm over Jeet’s chest and a leg over his middle and smiled down at the younger boy. “I meant what I said last night.”
“I meant what I said,” Jeet told him. “That’s what we do on the last night of the week. We devote ourselves to the one we are with, and we open our hearts to each other. I love each one of my brothers in a different way, and when I’m with each one, I tell him how I want him, and how I love him, and he tells me how he has desired me and loves me.”
Cyndur grinned. “So I am not the only one you lust after?”
Jeet smiled. “The Oracle’s eunuchs are beautiful, Cyndur. Our eyes linger on each other… on our bodies, our faces. We have all made love together, and our bodies remember each other’s feel and caress. We lust for each other. We desire each other, and we let ourselves desire each other. We belong to one another.”
Cyndur pouted, playfully. “So I am not special then.”
Jeet grinned and ruffled Cyndur’s hair. “But that’s the point, dear Cyndur. You are special, and I do desire you. Like you, I have held back my feelings for your body for a long time, but now that you’re in the group officially…” Jeet grinned. Then his smile softened. “I do love you, Cyndur. You are my friend, and you are the mate of my beloved Tazaar.” He squeezed Cyndur’s bicep and grinned once more. “And… I am excited by your body; your strength and your virility…”
“And my beauty,” Cyndur interjected with a smile.
Jeet chuckled. “And your beauty.”
Impulsively, Cyndur kissed Jeet, interrupting the chuckle, because Jeet was so damned beautiful when he laughed. Cyndur gazed down into Jeet’s eyes. “Do you love so easily, whoever you are with, Jeet-hah?”
Jeet slowly shook his head. “When I am with others – those who pay to be with me – I enjoy them, or at least I try. It’s usually easy. I like people.” He grinned. “I like sex.” Then he shook his head, slightly. “But I don’t love them; not like I love you and my brothers or the Oracle.” He smiled, sliding his legs against Cyndur’s muscular ones. “Your legs excite me.”
Cyndur kissed him again, longer.
Jeet sighed and opened his almost silver eyes when the kiss ended. He smiled, and stroked Cyndur’s hair. “On the last night of the week, we give a gift to the one with whom we sleep,” he murmured as Cyndur moved his body over the younger boy’s, and pressed his thick erection down beside Jeet’s thickening cock. “Something that we have made during the week with the skills we are learning; a piece of jewelry or clothing. We give a gift on the last night of the week to our lover for the evening, and we give a gift on the first night of the week to our bedmate and lover; to show our love and our gratefulness to return to our shared bed.” He ran his fingers up into the back of Cyndur’s hair as the stronger boy bent to gently suck on the side of Jeet’s neck. “I did not bring my gift last night because of the wrestling…”
“Your gift was the wrestling,” Cyndur whispered into Jeet’s neck. “You wrestled for me and won. That was a gift.” He ground his stiffening cock on Jeet’s belly. “Can we hush now, and make love one last time? My lust is far from spent.”
Jeet laughed lightly, and wrapped his arms behind Cyndur’s neck, as Cyndur pressed his lips to Jeet’s once more.
+ + + + +
In the fourth week after the departure of the king, the Oracle sent out an invitation to spend the last day of that week on her barge. She sent it to Jarus, Eustace, and to the Governor and his family. The invitation did not go to Stycus.
The day went well, and the Oracle promised to repeat the invitation each week and include others, until the weather turned cold. She could afford it. After the king himself had bowed to her and sought her counsel, her fame spread all the more. And though individual supplications continued in much the same vein, there were more and wealthier supplicants. The price of an audience with the Great Oracle of Kaleh was climbing.
+ + + + +
Crowds gathered whenever Jeet went out to bless children – far more people than simply parents wanting to have their children blessed. They came to see Attis reborn; a boy god who could heal the sick and had power over death. Most hung back and watched quietly, and Jeet was glad because he was uncomfortable with adoration he considered undeserved. When some, more enthusiastic, onlooker came forward to touch or be touched or was effusive in his praise, the shrine guards and the other eunuchs knew to move them on quickly.
Almost daily, parents brought some sick child. Jeet kept the sickest ones, and very rarely, a sick adult. One of the temple storerooms near the shrine was cleaned out, and pallets were set up as a ward. The old physician came frequently, and gave instructions in healing arts to the Oracle and eunuchs. Ono and Avankur taught them as well.
True to his word, the king sent additional tutors who started to arrive a month after the King’s departure. The eunuchs grew even busier.
Also of significance, that first month after the king’s departure –
both Weela and the governor’s wife were found to be with child, as was
one of their household servants. People remembered that the Abij-hah had spent
many days at the citadel with the King, and Jeet’s reputation for imparting
fertility grew. Not just the common people believed that Jeet might truly be
Attis reborn, a demigod of fertility and health, and they loved him because
he was a gentle demigod, and approachable by anyone; even and especially children.
But Jeet was also known now for being the King’s own eromenos, or beloved, and among the elite of Kaleh, there was speculation that Jeet would rise in the kingdom. The price of spending a night with the Abij-hah became even greater than it had already been.
Winter arrived, but life at the shrine did not experience its previous, winter-time hiatus. With windows and balconies boarded up against the cold, and with fires and braziers burning inside, the shrine stayed busy.
It had grown warm for a winter’s day, and so, for their midday meal, the eunuchs took down the removable, wooden wall that screened off the Oracle’s balcony. Cool, dry air immediately flooded the room. The cool air and savory food elevated the eunuchs’ spirits after a busy morning.
But the Oracle was thoughtful. The supplicant at her audience that morning had made an unusual request. He wanted to spend his first week of marriage to his new bride, in the shrine. He didn’t have the price required for the Abij-hah to sleep with him or his bride. However, the young man had said that it would be enough to sleep with his bride in the shrine because all of Kaleh knew that even though the Abij-hah had no relations with women at the citadel, several had become pregnant. “Just because the Abij-hah slept there,” the young man said, and heads in the crowd nodded in agreement.
The young couple had offered more than sufficient money for what they requested, and tomorrow, the Oracle would answer them affirmatively. But the request had started her thinking about herself and Jeet, and the children she would never have – at least not by her husband, Jeet. As always, that made her incredibly sad.
It was ironic that everyone looked upon Jeet as a fertility god, and yet he could never give her a child. Someday, she would want one. She was still young, but Weela was her same age, and Weela was already with child.
That afternoon, Anda watched the others eat, and talk, and laugh, and she wished, not for the first time, that she had balls, even one ball. Then perhaps, she could give herself a child. Once, she had put some of her clear, meager issue on her finger and placed it inside her vagina, dreaming of just such a thing. Lately, she had thought about letting Cyndur have sex with her, the same way Jeet had used Cyndur to father a child for the woman who was thought barren.
But she wasn’t ready to try that. She didn’t know what the affect would be on Jeet for her to bear another’s child. And what would be the impact on the shrine and temple if the Oracle became pregnant? She pondered these things because the Oracle didn’t know that she had no womb.
There was a burst of laughter and Jeet wrestled Rem away from the table because the younger boy – now eleven years old – had teased him. Barely fourteen, Jeet was still a boy himself, and that fact came home to her every time she watched him play with or make love to Rem. They were both, so obviously, just boys; laughing together, even in the midst of sex… all arms and knees and elbows until they wrapped each other up… until Rem, on his back, wrapped his arms over Jeet’s neck as he often did, clinging to the older boy, cheek to cheek, while Jeet folded the younger boy’s body inside his, to hold and nuzzle him, and enter him. Rem would lock his legs around Jeet’s waist, and Jeet would move only his hips at Rem’s bottom, and they would hold each other tightly and murmur together. They were quite beautiful.
‘A love knot’, Bantu called it once, when Jeet’s knees were forward under either side of Rem’s bottom, and the two had made themselves into an especially tight ball. ‘A boy knot’, Aruli suggested. But ‘love knot’ was the term that stuck, and it became the eunuchs’ euphemism for face to face intercourse… unanimously, they enjoyed making love knots.
There would always be some part of her that was jealous of Rem and the way he could make Jeet laugh and act like a boy. It was easy to forget how young Jeet still was – not because he didn’t look it, but because outside of their group, Jeet was careful to behave as the Abij-hah should, and because people treated him with awe, as if he were a god, and because he was the Abij-hah, shouldering the responsibilities of the position with increasing capability.
She consoled herself, though. Rem could make Jeet laugh, but it was her lap that Jeet laid his head in when he was troubled. It was her arms he came to at night when he was tired. And it was in her embrace that he made the most intimate and passionate love. His love for her was absolute and unshakable. She never worried about that.
Rem belly laughed as Jeet tickled him. Anda smiled. She did love Rem. At night, after lovemaking, when she would lie entwined with Jeet, and Rem would cuddle up to the back of one or the other of them, and the three of them would talk in soft voices, occasionally for a long time before sleep… at times like those, Rem belonged with them, and she was very happy he was there.
But now the meal was done. While the others cleared away the table, Jeet undressed the Oracle for her afternoon nap, and Rem waited patiently to see if she would take Jeet for herself. He obviously wanted to be with Jeet that afternoon.
Jeet kissed her, and she patted his bottom the way she did when it was alright for him to make a love knot with one of the others.
Rem smiled and quickly drew Jeet by the hand to his own pallet. Anda lay back on her bed and watched them strip off each other’s breechcloth; their cocks already stiffening. They grabbed each other’s growing erection; smiling and stroking. They kissed.
They all had sex so often now – every afternoon as they napped; every night; sometimes in the morning – even Anda was occasionally ready to skip a session. But lovemaking was a discipline for them. It had to be. It was just as much a part of their training as their acrobatics, swimming, and dance; and perhaps as important – not only for their general health, which for eunuchs was very important, but for their sexual prowess and stamina as well. Though they were eunuchs, they had sexual vigor to rival most boys their age who had balls. They were proud of that, and they enjoyed sex, even if at times, they’d rather sleep.
Anda had no idea what stirred inside her own loins, but there were times when she was the most interested in sex of them all. Her own stamina was great, and there were times when she felt so very much like a boy… a randy boy with a hard cock… a boy who simply had labia instead of balls, and a small hole between his legs that felt so good when Jeet or one of the others had his cock inside it.
She certainly loved having Jeet inside her. And yet, Anda’s phallus, especially the crown, was even more sensitive than the inside of her vagina. She loved using her cock. She loved using it so much that when she ventured out in the temple compound – they gave her that freedom, now, in the early morning and evening hours when few outsiders were at the temple – she had been stirred more than once when some young priestess looked at her as if she was interested in sex with the Oracle. It fired Anda-Alexander’s imagination, and she wondered what it would be like to slide her sensitive phallus into another vagina. She thought about having Jeet inside her at the same time she tried it. She liked sex in the middle; she was made for being in the middle.
Anda thought about these things while absently watching Jeet with Rem, but then her attention came back to her own bed. Ptolemy and Aruli stood at her feet, removing their breechcloths. They lay down beside her, one on either side. They were all so predictable now. Though every one of them experimented with different alignments and types of sex, they also, every one, fell easily into patterns. When Aruli and Ptolemy came together to her after the midday meal, they always lay, one on either side. They always kissed her lips and her breasts and fondled between her legs. Then Ptolemy would kneel at her butt and lift her legs and enter her vagina. Aruli would reverse position over her, and suck her phallus while she sucked his cock, and he would do his best to not come until after Ptolemy came, so that he could take his turn inside her.
The two boys always made it good. And it was usually fun. And she did love them.
They moved up alongside her, and their cocks pressed her hips. Their lips were at her neck and on her breasts. Their breath was hot on her skin. Their youth-sized hands fondled her, and the weight of their firm, naked bodies pressed her sides.
But she would try things differently today. She would surprise them. Pulling her shoulder from under Aruli, she rolled up to face Ptolemy and pulled him forward by his shoulder and onto his stomach. She climbed up on him, lying down on his back while kissing over the back of his long neck and angular shoulders. Aruli fetched the oil.
Placing her hands on the back of Ptolemy’s shoulders, she pushed up and straddled the tall boy’s butt. Aruli lubricated her erection. Then she backed her hips, and grasping the base of her phallus, pressed her crown down between Ptolemy’s smooth butt cheeks, spreading a little hole between the meaty little globes. She wiggled her cock down to his opening, and then eased in.
She lay down onto long Ptolemy, wrapping her arms under his shoulders and murmuring pleasurably as she ground down with her loins, stretching her erection long inside him. Aruli knelt behind her, and leaning forward onto one outstretched arm, he probed between her labia with his own erection.
She waited for him, rubbing her cheek on the back of Ptolemy’s shoulders. She thought again of the newlyweds who would be sleeping in the shrine. She thought of Jeet, and how she wished he could make a child inside her. She wished they could be alone more. Then she decided they would be. She would ask for a week… no a month, where every nap and every night she would sleep only with Jeet. She might let Rem sleep some with them.
Anda decided. She would announce it to the others tonight.
Aruli began to move his cock inside her. His long shaft made delicious slides in and out of her, and the Oracle thought, not for the first time, that someday she would need to thank old Jarus for making sure all her attendants had long cocks.
Aruli held her by the hips and ground in. “Ummm,” she murmured and ground down into Ptolemy in turn. She thought to herself then, that perhaps she wouldn’t exclude the others from her bed for the entire month. After all, she was as much Alexander as Anda, and a certain amount of lusting for her eunuchs was to be expected, right?
She glanced over at Jeet, in a tight love knot with Rem… a happy, fucking, boy knot. She glanced at Jeet’s small butt, dimpling with each of his thrusts… at the muscles in his long, smooth-skinned legs, at his narrow waist with Rem’s legs locked around it, at his long arms wrapped under the younger boy. She loved Jeet. She loved her Abij-hah… heart, mind, soul, and body.
Anda felt a hand on the side of her breast where her breast had flattened out on Ptolemy’s back. She turned to face her other side. Tazaar, Jin, and Bantu had made a three sided, cock-sucking triangle, and redheaded Bantu was peeking over Tazaar’s hip at her while he sucked Tazaar’s cock. It was Bantu’s hand on her breast. His deep blue eyes smiled at her and she smiled back.
Maybe not an entire month with only Jeet, she decided.
+ + + + +
Judah Ben Hezrah was a Jew whose family had been in Persia for several generations. He was widely traveled, learned, intelligent. The old man was every bit what he looked to be – wise, solid, perceptive. He was a patient man, and totally trustworthy. Seleucus Philopator, and his father before him, had found old Judah to be useful on many occasions; sending him on embassies as far as Alexandria and Rome. Now, the King was sending him to Kaleh.
“Teach the boy to serve me as well someday as you have, Judah,” Seleucus told him. “Teach him to be wise. Teach him about people and kings and empires… teach him about the world you have seen.” He beckoned the old man closer.
Judah stepped up to the throne and leaned close to the King.
“This boy is rare, Judah,” Seleucus said, grasping the old man’s arm. “You will see; there isn’t another like him.” The King lowered his voice even more. “I love him, Judah… more than my own son, or my wife… I know it’s an infatuation, Judah, but I mean to have him beside me, to serve me. You will not live forever, old friend. Teach the boy. Take charge of his tutors and his education. Make him fit to serve me.”
The wizened old man leaned back, studying his king for a moment. He had heard about Seleucus and the boy; that the King behaved like an addled youth. Though Judah was a Jew, it did not concern him – he and his father before him had been Hellenized; acclimated to Greek life. His own sons had loved other boys, and two of his grandsons were eromenoi to wealthy erastoi. It was to be expected in the culture. However, that Seleucus should suddenly love a boy, did come as a surprise.
And yet, old Judah knew the man. He trusted the King’s judgment. Infatuation or not, Seleucus wouldn’t send him if the boy wasn’t worth training.
He bowed to the King. “How long shall I stay?” Judah asked
“Until I come for him,” the King said. Then he frowned. “Judah, there is one other thing I should tell you. The shrine where these boys serve is in the Temple to Cybele at Kaleh.”
“It will not be a problem, O King,” the old man replied. “My God is the One who put me in your service; He will understand that I have to go to places where that service takes me.”
+ + + + +
“Who is this girl?” the Oracle asked Rem. “Why aren’t you out with Jeet, blessing the children?”
Rem came closer to where the Oracle was seated in her chamber, examining a parchment which they studied in a lesson. “This is Notama, Oracle,” Rem said, nodding toward the servant girl. He’d left her waiting inside the Oracle’s door. The girl, who was roughly Anda’s age, bowed.
Rem leaned closer and whispered in the Oracle’s ear. “You remember telling Jeet and me that you wanted to try sex with a girl sometime?”
The Oracle’s eyes widened and she studied the girl more closely. Though probably fourteen, like the Oracle, Notama was shorter and had a slighter frame. Her hair was short, brown, and curly. Her eyes were large and dark, but friendly, and she had a good smile.
“You mean?” Anda started to ask.
“She likes you, Oracle,” Rem whispered.
“When has she seen me?” Anda asked in a whisper.
“She serves here in the temple. Her younger sister, Maracee, had sex with me before… before they took away my balls.” Rem laid a hand on her shoulder. “Jeet sleeps with a boy from the town tonight.”
The Oracle glanced up at Rem, considering…
“Unless you rather wait until Jeet is with you,” Rem suggested.
“No,” Anda said quickly. This girl liked her. If Jeet was there, Notama might be distracted by him. “No,” Anda said more quietly. She adjusted her suddenly stiffening phallus beneath her gown. “We need not wait for Jeet.”
“She has only known girls, Oracle,” Rem whispered. “The priestesses have kept her for themselves.”
Anda felt a warmth grow between her legs.
“Shall I bring her tonight, Oracle?” Rem asked.
Rem grinned and kissed her cheek.
Anda-Alexander then watched as Rem rejoined the girl. Notama smiled and turned for the door. She walked like a young girl, with the slightest of bounces to her steps. She turned back at the door and smiled once more.
Jeet dined that evening with a boy who talked his erastes into buying him a night with the Abij-hah. The other eunuchs ate in the Oracle’s chamber, as usual, and afterward, the Oracle had them fill a bath for her. But then she sent all of them away except for Rem. When they were gone, Rem left quietly to retrieve Notama.
Anda changed to a gown of sheer silk, but then decided to put on one of Jeet’s short breechcloths underneath so that her erection wouldn’t show until she was ready. She combed her hair. She paced. She waited impatiently.
When Rem returned, he brought not only Notama, but a second girl of his own age. “This is Maracee,” he said. “She’s Notama’s younger sister, and she will sleep with me tonight.”
The younger girl smiled. The Oracle glanced from her to her older sister. Notama’s eyes were on the Oracle with transparent interest. Anda swallowed hard. “I was going to bathe with Notama,” she said.
“Maracee and I will bathe you both, and prepare your bed,” Rem offered.
The Oracle nodded and stepped to the side of the metal bath. Notama stepped up to the bath, facing her, and glanced down demurely. Rem came up behind the Oracle, and Maracee came up behind Notama.
As the two preteens undressed them, Anda and Notama watched the revelation of each other’s body with interest. Their eyes dropped to each other’s breasts, their slender frames, and their soft skin. It was obvious, even before Rem removed Anda’s breechcloth, that she had more between her legs than a normal girl. When he did remove the breechcloth, it was also instantly clear that she was Alexander as well as Anda. Her phallus curved rigidly up from between her legs.
Notama and Maracee watched with fascination as Rem, his hands on Anda’s hips from behind, maneuvered her into the bath. Anda, for her part, was transfixed by Notama’s tight little pubic bush.
When Rem removed his own breechcloth to follow her in, he revealed his own long erection. It was still thin as a twig, but the eyes of both sisters fell to it because it was a long twig.
Maracee undressed, and the sisters followed the other two into the bath. Not designed for four people, the bath was slightly crowded as they stood, and Anda’s body bumped Notama’s. Their breasts brushed, and Notama’s dark eyes met Anda’s blue ones. The servant girl smiled, and Anda smiled back, nervously. Notama leaned closer and ran her fingers into Anda’s golden hair. Anda’s eyelids drooped over the closeness of the other girl.
Rem and Maracee began their bathing of the older girls’ backs, and purposefully jostled their taller bodies together. Notama smiled. Anda reached tentatively to cup one of Notama’s small breasts, lifting it on her palm, feeling the weight of another girl’s breast for the first time.
Notama, leaning her forehead toward Anda’s, reached down between their bodies and closed her hand around an erection for the first time. “Oh,” she murmured. She looked up and her eyes met Anda’s once more. The Oracle leaned forward and kissed her, and at the same time slipped her fingers into the novel feel of Notama’s pubic hair – none of her eunuchs had any, and like some hermaphrodites, Anda had almost none.
Notama’s lips were soft, moist, and yielding. To the probing fingers of Anda-Alexander, Notama’s labia felt as soft as her own. Anda-Alexander pressed Notama’s lips more firmly with her own.
“Not yet,” Rem said with a chuckle, turning Anda to the side. He motioned her down onto her knees in the water, and then knelt beside her to ladle water onto her belly and breasts. Maracee did the same with Notama.
It was even more crowded in the bath now, as Notama and Anda-Alexander knelt side by side. Notama took Anda’s hand, and smiled at her.
“It is my first time with a girl,” Anda-Alexander whispered, nervously. Then she felt foolish because Notama already knew that.
Notama gave Anda-Alexander’s hand a squeeze. “It is my first time with a boy,” she said.
The Oracle’s erection instantly grew even harder; almost painfully hard.
Rem and Maracee, working on the older girls’ chests, caressed them. Their hands slid down to the older girls’ bellies, which tensed as they rubbed there. Then their hands dropped between the older girls’ legs, where they gently cleaned labia and inner thighs. When Rem began on Anda-Alexander’s erection, Maracee reached over to feel it as well. Anda-Alexander swayed on her knees.
They gently urged the older ones to bend down to the water so they could rinse their hair. Then Notama and Anda-Alexander faced each other with wet bodies, faces, and hair – brown hair and blond hair which Rem and Maracee pulled back from the girls’ temples as they dried it.
Anda-Alexander moved forward, pressing wet breasts to wet breasts, and looped an arm behind the small of Notama’s back. They kissed once more, and Anda-Alexander probed in with her tongue.
“Time to dry,” Rem said, patting the Oracle’s bottom.
Reluctantly, the older girls broke their kiss and stood, stepping from the tub.
Then Rem and Maracee dried them, and straightened the Oracle’s bedding. Next, they laid Notama back onto the bed, and Notama’s hand deliberately brushed Rem’s twig of a cock as she lay down. She grinned at him. Rem smiled back, and then separated Notama’s legs with a glance up at the Oracle… as if he was offering up a dish of fine food.
Anda-Alexander stared down at the other girl. On her back, Notama looked even more slender; her stomach settled between her ribs and her pubis like a small, flat bowl. She had a pronounced pubic mound, atop which sat her tight little pubic bush like a dark little forest on a low hill.
Anda-Alexander dropped to the bed beside Notama, and lay down on the girl’s side, reaching between Notama’s legs to feel once more another girl’s labia. They felt so soft; so very soft.
Notama reached between their bodies to close her hand around the Oracle’s erection. They kissed.
With a grin, Rem motioned Maracee back to the bath. They stepped in together, and into an embrace.
When they had met in the courtyard a few days before, Maracee frowned angrily at him. “Why haven’t you come back to see me?” she demanded.
Rem had cast his eyes down and shaken his head.
“Is it because you get all the sex you want at the shrine?” she asked.
“Is it because of what the priests did to you?” she asked more quietly.
She leaned close and kissed his cheek. “Well they left the most important part, didn’t they?”
Now, as they bathed each other, Maracee closed her hand around that important part of Rem’s. Gently, she slid the skin of Rem’s shaft up and back.
On the Oracle’s bed, Anda-Alexander moved her body over Notama’s. She rubbed her erection on the other girl’s labia. “It can hurt the first time,” Anda-Alexander warned.
Gazing up into the Oracle’s eyes, Notama shook her head. “The priestesses took my maidenhead a long time ago… with carved phalluses. But not the real thing. I’ve never felt a real cock inside me.”
Anda-Alexander felt a sudden knot in her gut.
Notama smiled and closed her arms loosely around Anda-Alexander’s neck.
Swallowing, Anda-Alexander looked down between their bodies. She lifted her hips, and reaching between their bellies, she grasped her erection and pointed it downward. With her crown, she found the smooth damp slit between Notama’s legs.
Notama lifted her hips to meet her. After three false probes, Anda-Alexander found the opening and eased in.
Both girls quietly gasped; Anda-Alexander at the feel of snug, moist sheathing traveling down her erection like a warm mouth, and Notama at the first intrusion of a genuine, hot, soft-skinned erection moving inside her. They pressed the connection home, and adjusted their fit. Their eyes met, and Anda lowered her lips and body to the other girl’s. They wrapped their arms around each other, and their breasts flattened together. Their mouths opened to one another, and they slowly began to move their hips.
Anda-Alexander moved confidently now; she knew how to please another girl.
On his pallet, Rem smiled up at Maracee as she pushed up from his shoulders and backed onto his erection.
In the darkness, Notama lay sleeping on Anda-Alexander’s side, the way Anda slept on Jeet’s side when he lay on his back. Anda-Alexander liked the feeling and gently stroked the sleeping girl’s back. Was this how Jeet felt when she rested on him?
There was a quiet movement in the room, and after a moment, Anda-Alexander felt a second naked body lay down against her open side; it was Maracee. The young girl’s breath felt hot on Anda-Alexander’s neck, and her vulva was warm and moist against Anda-Alexander’s hip. Then the young girl closed her hand around Anda-Alexander’s phallus.
+ + + + +
“I want you to buy the two servant girls, Notama and Maracee, from the temple to serve us here in the shrine,” Anda said when Jeet returned to her the next afternoon. It was almost time for the evening meal, but the others had not yet arrived after their workout, and they were alone. “Rem can point them out to you,” the Oracle said. “They are sisters.”
Jeet nodded. “I know who they are. I’ll arrange it.”
“Do you want to know why?” the Oracle asked, trying not to blush from the guilt she had been wrestling with all day. She wanted to confess to Jeet. She needed to… she thought.
But Jeet shook his head. “I had a dream last night,” he said. “I do not need to ask why.”
Anda frowned angrily. “Who said you could dream about me?” she demanded.
Jeet looked up at her and gave her a bittersweet smile. “My heart did, Anda,” he said. “Because I love you.” He stepped up beside her, and taking her hand, he gave her cheek a kiss. “It was Alexander I dreamed of last night,” he whispered. “You were a boy in my dream.” He squeezed her hand, and then hugged her neck with both arms. “Are we not still mates, Alexander? Are we not still lovers, and best friends?”
Anda nodded the side of her face against his and patted his back. “Forgive me for not talking to you first.”
Jeet placed his mouth at her ear. “You are the Oracle of Kaleh,” he whispered. “You do not need to talk to anyone about such things.”
Anda frowned. “I am your wife,” she said, “and your best friend. I should talk to you about such things.”
Jeet leaned back to look into her eyes, and then he nodded. “You are right. It would be best.” Then he cocked his head. “When will you sleep with them again?”
Anda nodded. “When you are next sleeping with a supplicant.”
Jeet nodded and kissed her cheek. “Poor Alexander. You play wife to six husbands, and sister to Rem. It is only fair that you should have the sisters. And it is right that the Oracle should have maids.”
Anda’s brow furrowed. “The high priests won’t object? My attendants are supposed to be you and the others; only eunuchs.”
“Let them object if they wish,” Jeet said with a reassuring smile. “It will not matter, and besides, the work of the shrine grows. All of us are busy now. We could use more help.” He kissed her cheek once again. “You are still my beloved, Anda. You always will be.” His voice lowered to a whisper. “Am I still your beloved?”
She hugged his neck, hard. “Husband,” she whispered.
+ + + + +
Judah bowed before the governor. It had seemed wise to make his presence known to the former general before going to the shrine, just so his purpose in Kaleh would not be misunderstood.
The governor listened to the old man, studying his fine dress and dignified carriage. Even the man’s servants were well-dressed. Besides wealth and intelligence, the man had an air of authority. While Hector listened to what Judah had to say, he considered ways to make an ally of this man.
“You must stay here, of course,” the governor told him, when the old man finished.
Judah bowed. “I thought,” he said, “that I would try to find a dwelling closer to the temple.”
The governor nodded. “Of course.” He rose from his seat and came to the old man, taking him by the arm toward the doorway onto the balcony. “The King has ordered the building of a house just up the river from the temple. It was to be for the tutors and physicians he has sent, but we have expanded the plan to house the increasing number of important visitors to the shrine lately. It’s down there,” he said, leading the old man out to the balcony balustrade.
It had been raining, and low storm clouds still filled the sky. “It’s just down there,” the governor said, pointing. “The large one on the left. The smaller new building on the right is for the sick children and adults who come to the shrine for healing. There have been so many lately, that there is not sufficient room for them at the temple. Neither building will be completed until the spring, however. In the meantime, please stay with me. I’ll have a litter carry you down and back each day.”
The old man shook his head. “My eyesight has grown weak. I’m afraid I cannot see much where you are pointing.” He smiled at the governor. “A litter will not be necessary. I have a horse; we are old friends. He will carry me down and back each day.”
“Splendid,” Hector said, clapping the old man lightly on the back. He smiled. “I envy those boys; sitting under your teaching.”
The old man nodded respectfully. “The King wants this boy’s education to be extensive,” he told the governor, “and I know nothing of being a general or a governor. It was my intention to ask you down to the shrine from time to time to add to the boy’s training.”
The governor chuckled. “From everything I’ve heard, Judah Ben Hezrah, you know more about armies and governments than I’ll ever know.” The governor inclined his head. “But I would be honored to help.”
+ + + + +
Jeet, laying on his back, turned the small silver dove this way and that, with his fingers, studying it from various angles in the lamp light. “It’s beautiful, Oracle. It’s the best you’ve ever done.”
“I’m going to set it on a clip for your hair,” Anda said, snuggling up beside him. “And I may make one or two more.” She threw a leg over his and laid her hand on his chest. “They will be stunning, set in the black of your hair.”
Jeet set the dove aside and rolled up to face her, sliding a leg between hers. He kissed her and smiled. They embraced, and simply held each other for several moments, growing hard.
+ + + + +
Judah Ben Hezrah, faithful servant to the Seleucus Philopator, King of the Seleucids, King of Persia, King of…
… O King, from the day I arrived here, I understood your esteem for the Abij-hah. He truly is unique, as are his fellow servants. They are uniformly intelligent and fast learners. And yet, despite their physical beauty, these boys are not unduly proud. I credit much of that attitude to the leadership of the Abij-hah, who is quite selfless.
Be assured, O King, that despite the demands of the shrine and the services the boys perform there, we have maintained a vigorous schedule of instruction in history, mathematics, poetry, music, art, and the art of government. As you instructed, I am teaching them all that I know.
Additionally, the captain of the guard at the shrine has been instructing them in how to handle swords and other weapons. He tells me that because they are eunuchs, they will never have the strength of men, but they are quite agile, and he is teaching them to use that agility. Surprisingly, they use that agility in wrestling, and are quite good at it. They also practice their routines of acrobatics and dance, as required by their service at the shrine, daily, and one of the young athletes from the city has taught them to swim and to race.
Along with the two physicians you sent, an old physician from the town is teaching them healing arts, and others from the temple are teaching them secrets of the temple.
They work hard and faithfully at their studies and at their responsibilities at the shrine. That includes the Oracle, who takes part in every class. And yet, they find time for a surprising amount of sex, even for a temple of Cybele. The Oracle explained to me that they consider frequent sex part of their training, and that they believe that multiple erections and ejaculations daily, impart to the eunuchs some additional, if small, degree of virility.
I have wondered if their constant physical intimacy contributes to the remarkable unity and affection I see between the boys and the Oracle – I am certainly unaccustomed to boys kissing so frequently in greeting, and to the way they recline on each other and even fondle each other when I am attempting to instruct them in class. And yet, I have refrained from prohibiting them because their care and concern for each other seems absolutely genuine.
None are more dedicated to each other than the Abij-hah and the Oracle. I have never seen two closer individuals of any age; not a husband and wife or brothers or father and son or even best friends. Except when duties demand otherwise, they are constantly together. In public, they carry themselves like a young king and queen. Yet in private, they are tender and affectionate.
I have been observing them; the way they share counsel and duties, their shared leadership of the others, and the way they look after each other. I have decided that the Abij-hah’s dedication to the Oracle rises partly from the fact that she defines who he is – he told me once that serving the Oracle was what the gods designed him for. He has promised himself to her, and he is fiercely loyal to his promises.
They are young, O King, but I would be careful to not underestimate the strength of the bond between these two. It might be wise to consider bringing her to Antioch as well as the boy. Both, however, are beloved by the people of Kaleh. We will need to give this much thought, O King.
+ + + + +
“Abij-hah?” Judah asked, stopping the boy on the shrine portico one day after he finished blessing children. “Who is this god you call upon? The one you call the ‘good god who protects me’. Do you know his name?”
Jeet shook his head. “I have never known his name; only that he is there and takes care of me. And,” he said thoughtfully, “I believe he hates death. I believe he is a god of life.”
Judah nodded, understandingly. “My people believe that there is only one Great God who made all of the heavens and the earth. We believe that it was he who created and gave life to every living creature – all the birds of the sky, beasts of the field, and fish in the sea.”
“Truly?” Jeet asked. “Only one god?”
The old man nodded. “But the god of the Jews is not like the gods of the Greeks. Those gods are more like men than like the Great God. The Great God is holy and terrible and mighty. He sits above all the earth and does not think like a man thinks.”
Jeet’s brow furrowed, and he shook his head. “The god who protects me is closer than that. He knows me. I sense his closeness sometimes, and he gives me…” he started to mention his dreams, but quickly changed ‘dreams’ to ‘feelings’… “he gives me feelings about things.”
“The Great God who made every creature, certainly knows men by name, Abij-hah. He would know you.”
Jeet smiled. “Then perhaps you should include more about him in our lessons, Judah.”
The old man bowed. “Perhaps so.”
The next morning, Judah took his seat before the boys and the Oracle in the shrine, and lifted his hand to indicate, he would now teach. “Today, I will tell you of four boys from my own people. They were taken from our land for service to the king of Babylon when they were about your age. Though our scriptures do not say so explicitly, tradition has it that they were made eunuchs, like you. And like you, they were chosen because they were good looking and intelligent. They served the great king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, and they rose to the highest place of counsel in his kingdom. The boy destined to be the greatest of them all, was named Daniel, and his friends were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. However, they were given new names in Babylon. Daniel was called Belteshazzar, and the others were called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego… ”