Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 22 – Antiochus

After a time of teaching his eromenos, an erastes offered the boy a gift. Exotic birds and plants were the most popular kinds of gifts, for they were rare and wondrous, expensive imports from distant foreign lands like equatorial Africa or India. Like the massive amount of available leisure time, the expense of the gift prohibited young men from lower economic classes from pursuing boys in the manner of the more financially capable. An eromenos might not accept a gift if it were not sufficiently rare or expensive…

If an eromenos accepted a gift, his erastes could initiate sexual relations with him. Not desiring to engage in sexual relations, then, provided the eromenos another reason not to accept a gift. Initiating such a relationship, the erastes commonly started by standing in front of his eromenos, who was also standing, and lightly used his fingers to stimulate the genitals of the boy underneath his tunic, which hung to just above his knees. A little wine could break down the reluctance of a hesitant boy. If the eromenos were receptive, he may have removed his tunic once he had become fully aroused, or he may have only pulled up the lower hem. The erastes had the same options, and then he took a seat in a chair. The eromenos straddled his lap, facing him. A vial of oil would already be at hand on a nearby side table. Greeks so strongly accepted pederasty that sometimes boys would have their own vial of oil, carrying it on a thong around their neck or at their waist to advertise their availability to a potential erastes

Other than straddling the lap of his erastes, an eromenos might lie down with him on a couch or sofa…

If an eromenos did not want his erastes to penetrate him, an additional popular option presented itself. The erastes could engage his eromenos in intercrural intercourse, whereby the man slid between the boy’s thighs in contact with his scrotum and perineum. Jewish boys seemed to favor this option, for their religion had stricter prohibitions against male-male penetration than did the various pagan Greek pseudo-religious cults… TruthTree

“Antiochus!” the governor called in greeting. Hector descended the citadel steps with his arms extended. Concealed behind his welcoming smile was his concern at the sudden appearance of the King’s brother in Kaleh. “We had no warning that you were coming,” he said, embracing Antiochus. The governor glanced around the courtyard at the thirty horses and their riders, muddy from the spring rains. “What has brought you to Kaleh? Who have you brought with you?”

“With me are servants and guards, mostly, and my twin eromenoi,” Antiochus said, returning the welcoming embrace. “We’re on a spring hunt, and decided to visit Kaleh.” He stepped back from the governor and waved over identical, golden-haired boys. They were nude except for chlamys – their woolen cloaks. “Hector, meet my two young friends.”

The twin boys stood side by side. Somehow, they had managed to stay virtually mud-free. Antiochus stepped behind them and laid his right hand on a boy’s shoulder. “This is Obenedes,” he said, “and this,” he continued, laying his hand on the other boy’s shoulder, “is Letradoisan. Difficult to tell them apart, isn’t it? But I can, from the front or the back.” He laughed. “Their father is the brother of Heliodorus. You remember Heliodorus; he serves my brother as minister.”

Hector nodded, studying the boys. They only came to Antiochus’ shoulder in height, and Hector guessed correctly that they were about thirteen years old, though he almost guessed older because both boys had dense little patches of pubic hair. Phrygians were normally fourteen or older before their first, short hairs.

They had dark brown eyes, which Hector thought unusual for boys with golden hair. Though Hector considered their mouths a bit small and their chins a bit weak – and he didn’t care for small mouths or weak chins – they were nevertheless, handsome youths. The two had broad brows, large eyes, very long eyelashes, straight, Greek noses, and even features.

Their young bodies were exceptional. The twins let their chlamys hang carelessly to one side, revealing already wide shoulders and tightly-muscled, long legs and torsos. They were amply endowed. Their genitals had that thickness and large appearance that come with the first flush of adolescence. Their lower legs had a light down of fine golden hair; otherwise, their bodies were smooth, and their skin, flawless.

The twins wore necklaces and arm bands of gold and sandals of fine leather. Even among soldiers, youths rarely wore only chlamys any more, though it was formerly common. Hector wondered who it was that was showing off their bodies; them or Antiochus. He guessed both. Perhaps he was prejudiced because of their mouths and chins, but the boys struck Hector as the smug, preening type, and he had certainly seen that before in rich, pretty boys.

“Our father sends his greetings,” Letradoisan said as the twins bowed their heads. Letradoisan’s voice had the rich midrange of a boy whose voice had lowered early.

The governor returned the bow. “He knew you were coming to Kaleh then?” Hector asked.

The boy hesitated only a moment. “He said to greet any of his friends we encountered on our hunt.”

And I know what you are hunting, thought the governor. Antiochus confirmed it with his next sentence.

“I told the twins that the shrine at Kaleh had boys as beautiful as themselves,” Antiochus said. He smiled and wrapped an arm over each boy’s shoulder. “They didn’t believe me, so I said we must come here for them to see for themselves.”

“Wonderful,” the governor replied. “You must stay a few days.” And no longer, Hector thought. “Come, we will give you rooms where you can refresh yourselves.”

“Don’t put yourself out on our behalf,” Antiochus told him. “The twins and I need only one room.” He glanced up at the sky. “It is still early and a fair day. We may venture out to see the city.”

Hector nodded. “I shall be glad to accompany you as your guide.”

“Splendid,” Antiochus said, grinning. “We would like to see the entire city, of course, and the riverfront. I’d like the boys to see the gymnasium, the palaestra, the dromos… ”

Hector repressed a frown as he translated Antiochus’ words to mean that he wanted to show off the twins at the gymnasium, palaestra, dromos – all the locations where boys and young men would be congregating. Those were also places where boys and youths worked out athletically, in the nude. Antiochus, no doubt, intended to ogle a few boys himself.

“… and the agora, your little hippodrome, and, of course, tomorrow, the temple and shrine. We thought we might even invite the Oracle’s eunuchs back to stay with us while we are here.”

The governor frowned. “Great One, the eunuchs do not leave the shrine. They only did so when your brother was here because he is the King and ordered it so.”

Antiochus frowned in turn. “Certainly, they would extend the same courtesy to the King’s brother.”

Hector shook his head. “The tradition is strong, even for someone as great as yourself. In fact, a son of the King of the Sungas left less than three weeks ago. He stayed at the shrine, and he covered the floor of the shrine with eastern treasures for the privilege to do so.”

“For the privilege to simply to stay in the shrine, and nothing more?” Antiochus asked, cocking a speculative eyebrow.

The governor nodded. “Simply to sleep in the shrine is said to have many benefits, Antiochus, but you are correct to assume that there was more to the request. The treasure he offered was by way of request to sleep with the Abij-hah.”

Antiochus grinned and shook the twins by their shoulders. “I bring treasure. I bring two, golden-haired, young Adonises, and I bring Antiochus, brother to the king of the Seleucids, and the goodwill of my name.” He stepped forward between the boys, and throwing an arm over the governor’s shoulders, turned Hector to lead him up the steps. “Let the twins and me refresh ourselves as you suggested, Hector. Then we’ll descend into the city.”

The governor led them inside and instructed a servant to escort Antiochus and the twins to the largest of the guest rooms. Then he dispatched a messenger to the shrine.

+ + + + +

Antiochus and the twins arrived at the shrine early the next morning, while the temple gongs were still sounding to announce that the Oracle would grant an audience that day. They came on horseback with two servants.

It was a sunny morning. The scent of cedar was in the air. Leaving the horses with the servants, Antiochus and the twins strolled along the tables of the merchants, examining their wares. The twins, clad once more in only chlamys, were examined in turn, by the eyes of all.

They continued on to the temple, and then along the bathhouses and riverfront, back to the great altar, and finally, they joined the growing crowd in front of the shrine.

Bantu and Ptolemy, their long, red and black hair pulled back into high tails and dressed in simple, linen breechcloths, were examining gifts brought by supplicants when Antiochus and the twins strolled up. The eunuchs saw Antiochus, and smiling, bowed. “Great One.” Their eyes darted to the exposed genitals and bodies of the twins.

Antiochus pulled the eunuchs into a double embrace. “It is good to see you again, my beautiful boy flowers.” His hands lingered briefly on their bare backs before he stepped away from the embrace and motioned the twins forward. “Let me introduce you to my blond-haired eromenoi. This is Obenedes, and this is Letradoisan,” he said, indicating each boy in turn.

Obenedes smiled; Letradoisan did not. Bantu and Ptolemy bowed.

Stepping behind the eunuchs, Antiochus wrapped an arm over Bantu’s bare shoulders. “This redheaded child of the gods is Bantu,” he said, giving Bantu a sideways hug. “And this lovely gazelle,” he said, pulling Ptolemy under his other arm, “is Ptolemy. These two, along with two others, shared my bed last fall.” He grinned and shook them by the shoulders. “We had a fantastic time.” He released them and patted their bare bottoms. “Now go back to your work, and let the Oracle know we have come.”

“Do you wish to supplicate this morning?” Bantu asked, deferentially.

“No,” Antiochus said, laughing, “not the way you mean.” He stepped over beside the twins and slipped an arm behind Obenedes’ waist. “We are only spectators this morning. Tell the Oracle that we will attend her audience, and then we will visit with her afterward.”

The eunuchs bowed, backing away.

“Are they not lovely?” Antiochus asked the twins in an undertone as the eunuchs departed. “Wait until you see Tazaar and Jeet; especially Jeet.”

Obenedes followed the two eunuchs with his eyes as they moved back into the crowd. Letradoisan looked over the courtyard. He touched Antiochus’ forearm. “Don’t we know that old man?” he asked.

Antiochus glanced in the direction Letradoisan indicated. “Old Judah,” Antiochus observed. The old man had seen them, so Antiochus nodding a greeting. “I knew the old crow was up here, but I was hoping we wouldn’t run into him right away. I’m sure he’ll send a report to my brother, as soon as he can.”

Antiochus and the twins were standing at the bottom steps of the portico, beside that morning’s supplicant, when the rams horns sounded and servants pulled open the front doors to the shrine.

The long ceremonial horns of the temple bellowed, joining the rams horns, and six, large drums beat a heavy cadence, as Jin and Aruli came out through the doors, taller than Antiochus remembered them.

Their slim bodies appeared to be nude except for red hibiscus blossoms. A small garland of the blossoms circled low over the boys’ narrow hips. From the back of the garland, a single line of blossoms ran down into the crevice between the boys’ buttocks, became only silk between their legs – where it concealed their pulled-back cocks – and then tied to the front of the garland, pulling it down to their pubic mounds in a shallow V. A collar of blossoms circled their necks and blossoms were in their hair. Tight rings of bright blossoms around each wrist and ankle accentuated their long, hairless limbs.

Their walked with the easy grace of athletes, each step in cadence with the drums. Medallions of gold hung over their bare chests on golden chains. In each of their navels was a large, red garnet gemstone. Their hair hung from high tails through golden clasps, down to the middles of their backs. Red pigment outlined their eyes and came back to points on their temples.

Jin and Aruli stepped out to the sides at the front of the portico, as Ptolemy and Bantu emerged from the shrine. They were similarly adorned, but with yellow blossoms, and their eyes were outlined in yellow.

Tazaar followed wearing blossoms of orange, and eyes outlined in orange.

And then came the Oracle and Jeet, hand-in-hand, as regally as a prince and princess. The pace of the drums quickened, as did the pace of Antiochus’ heart; he’d been waiting months to have this boy.

New trumpets and horns joined the others. The temple’s three gongs sounded and people around Antiochus and the twins dropped to their knees.

Jeet’s blossoms were white, his eyes were outlined in white, and there were small white flowers in the tail of his long, jet-black hair. In his navel he wore a large, clear gemstone which Prekendra had given the Oracle.

All the trumpets of the temple bellowed. Rams horns called to their left and right. The deep gongs of the temple sounded in unison. The beating of the large drums were accelerating to a crescendo.

Antiochus’ eyes traveled up Jeet’s smooth legs from the white blossoms at the boy’s ankles, to the small band of white blossoms which fluted from his pubis and hugged his narrow hips. The large gem in Jeet’s navel drew Antiochus’ eyes to the boy’s flat belly and slender waist. Higher, the bright, gold medallion centered the symmetry of Jeet’s ribs, his high pectorals, and his tightly muscled shoulders. The collar of flowers around his slender neck drew Antiochus’ eyes up to the fine line of the boy’s jaw… and then Jeet looked down at Antiochus and smiled… white teeth, high cheekbones, brilliant eyes, widely-spaced, elegant black eyebrows… and his hair, jet-black, sleek, luxuriously thick, down onto his temples. It wasn’t just the angle; Jeet had definitely grown taller, even in the few months since Antiochus had last seen him. Looking up at Jeet, more striking than Antiochus remembered him, the man felt a stirring that was as much in his gut as in his loins. In all the world, there wasn’t another boy like Jeet… and Antiochus wanted him… by all that was within him, he wanted the boy!

Antiochus remembered to glance at the Oracle as an afterthought. Like her eunuchs, she wore a garland of blossoms – white blossoms – which rode low over her, also narrow but more rounded, hips. A second garland crisscrossed her chest and circled behind her neck, forming a bodice of blossoms that covered her nipples but left bare the outlines of her breasts. Like Jeet, her eyes were outlined in white. Her golden hair cascaded to her shoulders, and was adorned with the same small, white flowers that were in the hair of her Abij-hah.

Behind them, came Rem, also in white blossoms and white-outlined eyes, and the sisters, Notama and Maracee, in white cotton wraps. The girls wore all the colors of hibiscus flowers in their hair and around their necks and around their wrists.

The eunuchs stood to either side of the Oracle. Rem and the sisters took their positions behind them. They stood tall and erect, every one. The Oracle took her seat, and the horns, trumpets, and drums ceased, echoing faintly off the temple walls into absolute silence.

Antiochus glanced at the twins for their reactions. Obenedes, mouth open, was looking from eunuch to eunuch. Letradoisan was trying to feign indifference, and doing a poor job of it.

The people rose.

“Come up higher, Great One,” Jeet called out in his clear, reed like voice.

All eyes watched as Antiochus, accompanied by the blond thirteen-year-olds, ascended the portico steps. He bowed before the Oracle.

Though Anda had ceased wearing her gold and silver mask, with her blue eyes outlined in white as they were, her face was almost as impassive. She nodded in greeting.

“Welcome, Antiochus, brother of the King,” Jeet said, loudly, for the crowd to hear. As he spoke, his gaze took in the twins, who were looking over the eunuchs with as much interest as the eunuchs were looking over them. First one twin, then the other casually pulled his chlamys back over his shoulders to fully expose himself.

The eunuchs could see every seam in the twins’ lean, fit bodies, but the eyes of the eunuchs were drawn particularly to their young, loose ballsacks and the large-appearing testicles that dangled beneath the flaccid cocks of the two blond boys. To boys without balls, the twins’ low-hanging scrotums were quite beautiful on two beautiful boys.

Noticing the directions of the eunuchs’ gazes, Antiochus smiled as he bowed to Jeet. “It is good to see you again, Abij-hah, and you as well, Oracle.”

“It is good to see you, Great One,” the Oracle said.

“I bring two young friends with me; Obenedes and Letradoisan,” Antiochus said, gesturing back toward the twins. “Their uncle is minister to the king. I believe you met him in the fall, Oracle. His name is Heliodorus.”

Antiochus then stepped closer to Jeet and the Oracle, speaking more conversationally. “We are on a spring hunt, Oracle,” Antiochus said. “My horsemen will find lodging elsewhere, but my two young friends and I have decided to stay here, at the shrine with you.”

“We heard that you were staying with the governor,” the Oracle replied.

Antiochus smiled. “But we prefer to stay here at the shrine, Oracle. It is much closer to the city, and frankly, your eunuchs and I became close friends when I was here in the fall in the company of my brother.” He glanced at Jeet. “I am hoping to further our friendships.”

His meaning was clear. Jeet glanced quickly at the Oracle, and then back at Antiochus. “Great one,” Jeet said, bowing his head deferentially and speaking quietly, “the king forbade that Tazaar and I should have relations with any in his party. Has the king changed his mind?”

Antiochus smiled. “That was only for that one trip, Abij-hah. That first time, the king wanted you for himself, and I didn’t blame him. But that was for that time only.” He smiled. “So, will you not invite an old friend to stay with you?”

Jeet glanced at the Oracle once more. In discussions the previous night with Jarus, it was agreed that they would do what they could to please the king’s brother. Though he brought no gifts to honor the Oracle, they would strive to please him, and honor the king.

Antiochus leaned even closer and lowered his voice. “We heard at the gymnasium about how athletes and youths stay at the shrine for a week to gain the blessing of the gods. Allow my two young friends and myself such a week. They are good athletes, and it would please many back in Antioch if they were to improve.”

The Oracle nodded. “Of course we invite you, Great One. You are always welcome at the Shrine.”

“Splendid,” Antiochus exclaimed, straightening up, and speaking out loud again.

“We have a room,” Jeet told him, “which was appointed for a prince from the East. You may have it, and we will find rooms for your friends.”

“The one room is sufficient for me and my friends, Abij-hah,” Antiochus said with a smile. “However, we heard that the shrine hall has been set up with lavishly appointed sleeping booths for each of the Oracle’s attendants. Is that so?”

Jeet nodded. “The shrine hall is still arranged that way from when some athletes were here.”

Antiochus grinned. “Excellent!” He bowed. “Please, Oracle, finish your audience. The twins and I will stand over here to one side on the steps.”

The morning’s supplicants were a young, recently-married couple who hoped for many children. They wanted the Abij-hah to sleep with them as a couple. They were an attractive, apparently wealthy pair, and Antiochus watched with a cocked eyebrow and an amused smile as Jeet told them that the Oracle would consider their request and that they should return later.

The couple left, and Antiochus returned to stand before Jeet and the Oracle. He offered his hand to Anda, to help her up from her seat. “This evening, we must have a feast,” he told her. “I have sent three of my best huntsmen into the forest to bring us game.”

He reached for Jeet’s hand with his free hand, and he turned both fourteen-year-olds toward the shrine doors. Once again, temple trumpets bellowed, horns sounded, and drums beat.

The cloaked twins followed Antiochus. The others followed the twins.

“I must say, Oracle,” Antiochus said, as they entered the shrine, “that the pageantry of your little audiences is quite impressive.” He glanced back over his shoulder. “And your attendants are even more beautiful than when I was here in the fall.” His eyes dropped to the band of flowers riding low over the small, smooth globes of Jeet’s buttocks and at the single line of blossoms disappearing down into the crevice between them. He smiled. “And you, Abij-hah, take my breath away. Dress like this again tonight, for our feast. And you must dress the twins this way.”

Jeet nodded, “Certainly, Great One. I will have you shown to your apartment, and then I will instruct Rallot, the temple steward who dresses us, to prepare what is required for your friends. We will send you refreshment. You and your friends can relax, if you wish, or you may explore the shrine. We have classes and duties to attend to today."

The shrine doors closed behind them, and the trumpets, drums, and rams horns all ceased. Antiochus and the twins glanced around the shrine hall. Six booths, three on a side, were still set up in the eunuchs’ colors, in rich silks and cottons.

The king’s brother turned back to Jeet. “Postpone your classes, Jeet,” he said. With a grin, Antiochus lightly grasped the boy’s shoulder. “Tell old Judah that you have more important things to do. You give us a tour of the shrine.”

The Oracle, who was standing beside Jeet, laid a possessive hand on the small of his bare back. “Jeet has many duties here, Great One,” she said, as Jeet motioned over the two Nubian shrine servants.

“We will attend to those duties this afternoon,” Jeet said, “but we will rearrange our schedule for the rest of the week to accommodate you.” He turned to the Nubians. “Show the king’s brother and his guests to the quarters that were set aside for Prekendra.” He turned back to Antiochus. “We must go change now, but you are welcome to observe our classes and the other things we do here.”

Antiochus inclined his head. “We will do that, Abij-hah.” Then he leaned in to kiss the side of Jeet’s cheek. He turned and kissed the Oracle’s as well. Then, smiling, he turned to follow the Nubians.

+ + + + +

Hands on his hips, Antiochus looked around the room approvingly – at the plush furnishings, colorful silk curtains and draperies, intricate lattices, polished wood and brass, gold and silver. Covering fully a quarter of the room, back close to the gently blowing silk curtains across the balcony, was an immense bed made in dark silk and cotton, with thick cushions, and pillows.

Letradoisan dropped his chlamys to the floor, and tossed himself onto the middle of the bed. “I like this,” he said.

Following his brother’s lead, Obenedes doffed his chlamys and dropped onto the bed as well, rolling onto his stomach.

Looking down at the light-skinned boys on the dark bed – at Obenedes' smooth rounded butt and Letradoisan’s cock lying out across his leg – Antiochus smiled. “This will do. This will definitely do.”

One of Antiochus’ two servants who had ridden to the temple with him, entered and bowed. “We will bring your belongings from the citadel, my lord, but we have been told that your servants cannot stay in the shrine,” he said. “We have been directed to stay at one of the pilgrim lodges.”

“That will be acceptable,” Antiochus told him with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I’ll send for you if I need you.”

The servant bowed and left.

“I don’t think he’s that beautiful,” Letradoisan said gazing up at the ceiling.

“Who? The Abij-hah?” Obenedes asked. “You’re an ass. He’s amazing and you know it. I’ve never seen eyes like his… and those lips… Damn, I can’t wait to kiss him! And that butt… I’ve got to get a ride on that butt! Oh, shit, he’s delicious!” Obenedes said, dreamily. He glanced at Letradoisan and grinned. “And you, my dear brother, are jealous.”

Obenedes rolled up onto his side to glance over at Antiochus. “I get to fuck him, too, Antiochus. You can’t keep him all to yourself the whole time.”

“Damn it! I didn’t say that I didn’t want to fuck him!” Letradoisan said, sitting up. “I didn’t say he was ugly.”

“You both have to wait your turns,” Antiochus said. Selecting a chair with a low-slung, dark leather seat, he sat down opposite the twins on the bed. “You’ll have to wait your turn for both Jeet and Tazaar. Last fall, I lusted after them for weeks while my brother kept them locked away in his bedroom. I have a lot of time to make up for.”

“I like Tazaar, too,” Obenedes said with a sigh, rolling back onto his stomach. “That’s another fine butt.”

“I like the redhead,” Letradoisan said.

“What about Aruli?” Obenedes asked. “Those dark eyes, and those dark nipples.”

“Too big,” Letradoisan said disdainfully, as he lay back down. “You like big nipples. I like pin-point nipples, like the albino boy has.”

“I don’t like big nipples,” Obenedes said defensively. “Aruli’s aren’t big. They’re perfect… and so dark,” he added, with a faraway smile. He reached over to his brother’s nipple and circled his fingertip on it. “But that’s alright, brother. I’ll just keep Aruli for myself.”

“Oh no you won’t,” Letradoisan said, putting his hands behind his head. He closed his eyes, enjoying Obenedes’ fingering of his areola.

“We have a week,” Antiochus said. “You can fuck them all as much as you want, but you can’t have Jeet and Tazaar until I say.” He settled back in the chair and smiled. “Don’t worry, though. You know how I like to watch you two fuck. When it’s time, I want to watch you fuck both of them.”

Obenedes frowned. “I know you said that we can’t stay long because your brother will be angry, but does it have to be only a week?” He licked his finger and circled his brother’s nipple with the wet tip. “They are such beautiful slave boys.”

“A week is fine,” Letradoisan said before Antiochus could answer. “By the end of the week, we will have fucked ourselves stupid. We’ll be tired of them and ready to go back.”

“You’re crazy,” Obenedes told him.

“You’ll see,” Letradoisan said, without opening his eyes.

“How many fucks do you think we can get in?” Obenedes asked.

“I’ll get in more than you will. I know that,” Letradoisan promised.

“Wager?” Obenedes asked.

Letradoisan lifted his head and met his brother’s gaze. “I’ll wager that new colt of mine to your new ring,” he offered.

“I accept.”

“Foolishness of youth,” Antiochus said, shaking his head. “I’m giving you a banquet of the most beautiful boys in the kingdom. You should partake slowly. Savor each dish.”

“Are we not among the ‘most beautiful boys in the kingdom’?” Obenedes asked with a playful pout.

“At a feast of slave boys,” Letradoisan said, gazing at the fingernails of one hand, “one should feast, and I intend to do so.”

“You said they can get erections, right Antiochus?” Obenedes asked. He still lay on his stomach, and reached down to shift his thickening cock upward under his belly; the talk of having sex with the eunuchs excited him. “Even though they are eunuchs, they can get erections?”

“They can get erections,” Antiochus reassured him, smiling as he remembered the boys from the fall. “They are amply endowed and they do a very good job of getting erections.”

Letradoisan glanced at his brother. “You can’t count being fucked in our wager,” he warned with a frown. “I know you, brother. You’ll have them rolling through your bed, one after another.”

Obenedes pouted and leaned forward to kiss his brother’s nipple. “And who taught me to like being fucked?” he whispered, reaching between Letradoisan’s legs. His brother had become aroused by the talk of fucking, just as he had.

“For the wager, you can only count the number of times you come,” Letradoisan told him.

Obenedes smiled and closed his hand around his brother’s stiffening cock. The twins had only slightly longer than average length cocks, but thick.

Letradoisan pushed his brother’s hand away. “Remember, no cheating, brother,” he said. He sat up, and then got up on his knees, taking his cock into his own hand. “You count only the number of times you come.”

Obenedes got up onto all fours and backed toward his brother. “Let us both start with one, then, brother,” Obenedes said.

Antiochus watched as Letradoisan moved forward, drooled into his hand, and rubbed it over the crown of his cock. Then pointing his thick erection into the smooth crevice between his brother’s tight, muscular buttocks, he grabbed Obenedes by the hips. Letradoisan’s own buttocks dimpled as he pressed forward from the middle. The tops of his smooth, muscled thighs pressed to the back of his brother’s and he pushed him forward before pulling back slowly to plunge again.

Antiochus’ cock stirred beneath his robes. He would watch, but he would save himself for the evening. The twins, he knew, had more stamina.

+ + + + +

“They are pretty,” Aruli said as they changed to linen breechcloths in the Oracle’s quarters. “Tazaar, Ptolemy, and Bantu have to take care of the boy athletes who are staying here this week. So Jin and I will take care of Letradoisan and Obenedes.”

"Oh, sure,” Ptolemy said, giving Aruli a playful shove. “Before the week is over, I plan to take care of them as well.”

Jeet, who was carefully removing the hibiscus garland from the Oracle’s waist, shook his head. “Antiochus must have heard about the week Amnon and the other athletes stayed here. I think he wants us to treat him and the twins the same way. I think he wants the shrine all to themselves for the entire week.”

“He wants you for the entire week,” the Oracle said with a frown, her eyes meeting his.

Rem, who was carefully removing Jeet’s garland from behind, looked up, interested in Jeet’s reply – the Abij-hah belonged to him, too.

Jeet nodded. “He wants me.”

“What about the boy athletes?” Tazaar asked. “Their erastoi and fathers paid for a week at the shrine.”

“There’s only one thing to do,” Jeet said, as he laid the Oracle’s garland carefully aside. “We will send them home after their workouts this afternoon, with a promise that we will give them a full week after the prince has gone.”

Jin stepped up, belly to belly with Aruli, and grasped his bedmate’s shoulders. “At least there are only three of them,” he said, giving Aruli’s cheek a kiss. “That should give us more time with each other.”

Aruli grinned the way he always did when Jin demonstrated his affection. Aruli’s adoration of his albino bedmate was deep, and always transparent.

“So,” Ptolemy asked, “are we to treat them the way we did the athletes?”

Bantu grinned. “They will love that! They’ll go back to Antioch and there will be a parade of youths coming back to the Shrine.”

The Oracle frowned.

Jeet pulled her naked body to his. “I love you,” he reminded her, quietly.

She laid her head onto his shoulder and hugged him to herself. “The rest of you may leave,” she said. “I wish to be alone with the Abij-hah.”

+ + + + +

Judah had avoided him, but when Antiochus and the twins decided to watch Onaelius giving a poetry lesson to the Oracle and her eunuchs, it would have been impolite to not step over and greet the king’s brother.

Judah bowed.

“Judah,” Antiochus acknowledged.

“Great One,” Judah replied.

Antiochus nodded toward the seated eunuchs. “How are your students doing?” he asked.

“They do well, Great One.”

“All of them?” Antiochus asked.

“Some more than others, Great One.”


Judah nodded. “He and Ptolemy are the smartest. They learn quickly and grasp concepts easily.”

Antiochus shook his head. “If I were my brother, I would not waste Jeet like this. I would bring him with me to Antioch where he belongs, while he is young and beautiful. I would make him my consort and companion… ”

Obenedes glanced at Letradoisan and saw him frown.

“… I would take him to games, to dramas and symposia, to races, to the gymnasium,” Antiochus said. “We would be famous, and I would be the envy of Antioch… hell, of the kingdom! I would keep Jeet at my side, or in my bedroom, or in my arms,” he said. He shot a glance at Judah “I would not leave him to sit at the feet of dreamers and old scholars.”

Judah kept his composure and answered patiently. “The boy truly is beautiful, Great One. But he is intelligent, and strong of spirit. The King is wise to leave him here to train, away from the distractions he would face at the capital. In a few years, he will serve the King well, both in Antioch and abroad."

“Abroad?” Antiochus asked with a crooked smile. “As an emissary? Maybe so, if Seleucus sends him to sleep with other kings.”

Judah returned his gaze to the young eunuchs and guarded his tongue. He was certain the king didn’t know that Antiochus was in Kaleh. “I am surprised,” the old man said, “that the king is willing to share the boy with you.”

Antiochus shrugged. “When we were younger, there were women we shared.”

Judah made no comment.

“There is no need to mention my visit to my brother,” Antiochus said, without looking at Judah. It was not a suggestion, but an instruction.

Judah frowned. “Such things are usually found out, Great One. Word will get back to your brother.”

“But not by you.” Antiochus said, and now he did turn and look directly at Judah.

Judah turned to meet his gaze. “I serve the King, Great One.” Then he turned back to the boys. “However, I do not see that it would serve the king’s best interest for me to stir him to anger against his brother.”

Antiochus smiled thinly. “Nor do I, old man.” He returned his gaze to the boys as well. “Say nothing to him. We will not be in Kaleh long.”


Jeet, followed by Rem and Governor, the dog, came out into the open space behind the shrine. The temple groundskeepers had successfully, over the fall and winter, grown ryegrass in the workout yard, and it was bright green in the spring sunshine. Half a dozen wrestling circles had been marked out as well as tracks for sprinting and long jumping, and crossbeams and grips for hanging displays of balance, agility and flexibility.

Antiochus and the twins stood to one side with Aruli and Jin. The five of them were watching Tazaar, Ptolemy, and Bantu coaching three pairs of naked, wrestling boys; one pair of thirteen-year-olds, one twelve and thirteen-year-old pair, and one twelve-year-old pair. Cyndur moved among the three groups, offering pointers.

Jeet and Rem walked over to join the prince’s group. Jeet stood beside Letradoisan.

“Have you finished blessing little children, Abij-hah?” Antiochus asked with an amused grin.

Jeet nodded. “Yes, great one,” he replied, turning to watch the wrestling boys. “You asked for a week like we give the local athletes, Great One. Tomorrow shall be the first day of workouts for Obenedes and Letradoisan.” He turned to Letradoisan. “Do you wrestle?”

Letradoisan frowned and gestured at the wrestlers. “Not if you call that wrestling,” he said.

“The twins are fine wrestlers, but not humble,” Antiochus said with a chuckle. “They are both superb athletes. Besides being excellent wrestlers, they are the best gymnastic dancers in Antioch.”

Letradoisan smiled… smugly.

Jeet nodded. “Even so,” he said, “the older athletes who come to the shrine are often very good, but they still workout. They use their time here to hone their skills.”

This time, we will hone your skills,” Letradoisan said, his dark brown eyes meeting Jeet’s pale blue ones. Only inches from each other, they took one another’s measure. Letradoisan smiled and looked away. “We’ll show you some things about the way we wrestle in Antioch.”

Jeet bowed his head. “You are gracious.”

“Why not now?” Antiochus asked. “Why don’t you and Obenedes give Jeet and the others a wrestling demonstration?”

“Why not,” Letradoisan agreed with a twisting smile. “Come on, brother,” he said to Obenedes as he tossed off his chlamys.

Naked, the twins moved to an open wrestling circle and squared off. Before anyone could call a start to the match, Letradoisan lunged for Obenedes’ middle and the wrestling began.

Antiochus moved over to stand beside Jeet. “They’re beautiful wrestlers, aren’t they?” he asked.

Jeet nodded.

“They’re good, but they don’t move very fast,” Aruli observed in a whisper behind Jeet’s other ear. “They rely too much on strength.”

Jeet shook his head for Aruli to be quiet, but Antiochus had heard.

“Aruli, would you like to wrestle one of them when they finish?” Antiochus asked with a challenging grin.

“Sure,” Aruli replied.

With a surprised chuckle, Antiochus shook his head. “Are you sure you want to do that?”

“Certainly, Great One,” Aruli answered cheerfully.

The others in the yard had gathered around to watch, forming a larger circle around the circle in which the twins wrestled. The two were evenly matched, but Letradoisan managed to force Obenedes’ surrender, twice in a row. The twins returned to Jeet and Antiochus. They were sweaty and small strands of grass were in their hair and adhered to the skin of their backs and butts. Rem handed them drying cloths.

“Aruli wishes to challenge you,” Antiochus told Letradoisan.

The twin wiped his face and looked over Aruli’s slim body. “Who is the best among you?” he asked.

Ptolemy answered before Aruli could. “Tazaar or Jeet,” he said.

Letradoisan smiled and stepped over in front of Jeet while toweling his arms. “I’ll wrestle you,” he said.

Jeet nodded. “When you have rested and are ready, I will wrestle you.”

Letradoisan tossed the towel at Rem’s stomach. The boy caught it. “I don’t need to rest,” Letradoisan said. “I’ll wrestle you now.”

With a bow, Jeet removed his breechcloth, handing it to Aruli. The eyes of both twins dropped to Jeet’s long, dangling cock, and Obenedes smiled, pleased.

Jeet and Letradoisan stepped into the wrestling circle and squared off. Letradoisan lunged, head down, grappling for Jeet, who nimbly skipped to one side. Letradoisan turned and came at him again. Jeet adroitly dodged.

“Engage me,” Letradoisan said impatiently and came at Jeet again. Jeet met him, and as Letradoisan pressed forward, Jeet fell back, pulling up his knees. Planting his feet on Letradoisan’s belly, he flipped the twin overhead, and from the circle. The move was quick, and Letradoisan yelped as he flew through the air and onto his butt.

Antiochus roared with laughter. All but Obenedes cheered. Obenedes frowned; he knew his brother would be angry.

Letradoisan rose to his feet and stomped back into the circle with a frown. “Wrestle me fairly!” he demanded.

“Ha!” Antiochus cried. “That was a legal move. You must be more careful, Letradoisan. He is quick as a cat.”

Letradoisan crouched, squaring off against Jeet once more. This time, he approached more cautiously, staying back as he grappled with his hands. Jeet feinted forward and then to the side. Letradoisan responded to the feint, off balance. In an instant, Jeet threw an arm across Letradoisan’s chest and a leg behind his knees, taking Letradoisan down hard onto his back. In another instant, he had a leg across Letradoisan’s middle and one of Letradoisan’s arms up in a painful hold, applying pressure.

Letradoisan tried to struggle, but struggling hurt.

“Give up, Letradoisan,” Antiochus called. “He’s got you.”

Letradoisan tried to squirm again, and Jeet tightened the hold.

“Ah!” Letradoisan cried. “Alright! Alright! You win!”

Jeet released him, and got to his feet. He offered a hand up to Letradoisan , who ignored it and got to his feet on his own.

“Do you want to wrestle?” Aruli asked Obenedes with a grin. “I’m not nearly as good as Jeet.”

Obenedes eyed his brother who wouldn’t even look at him. He shook his head. “Maybe later.”

Jeet bowed to Letradoisan. “I should have let you rest first,” he said.

Letradoisan ignored him, brushing grass from his bottom.

“Perhaps they will show us gymnastic dance,” Tazaar suggested. “I would like very much to learn that.”

“Excellent idea,” Antiochus said. “Go ahead, Obenedes. Show them.”

With a glance at his brother, who stood beside him, but who was looking at no one, Obenedes stepped forward. “I need a drumbeat, a cadence,” he said.

“I’ll clap one for you,” Antiochus said, and he began a steady clap… clap… clap.

Obenedes took a wide stance, and a javelin-throwing pose. He began to move through athletic postures and movements designed to show a boy’s flexibility, musculature, beauty, and grace. Others took up the clapping beat, and Obenedes’ movements grew more fluid, more relaxed.

Aruli stepped out beside him and began to mimic his movements, but awkwardly. Obenedes stopped, and stepping behind Aruli, rearranged Aruli’s limbs. He guided Aruli through several movements and the other eunuchs stepped out to join them.

Quietly, Jeet came up beside Letradoisan and took his hand. “Show me how to do that,” he said, and then gave Letradoisan’s hand a gentle tug toward the others.

Letradoisan pulled his hand away, but motioned for Jeet to step out with him.

Jeet followed, which left only Antiochus, Cyndur, and the boy athletes left to clap the beat. Without meeting his eyes, Letradoisan arranged Jeet into a pose, and then stepping behind him, began moving Jeet through various movements.

First one, then others of the boy athletes stepped out to join the eunuchs, and Obenedes moved from one to another, giving pointers while Cyndur and Antiochus continued to clap a beat. Both kept an eye on Jeet and Letradoisan.

As the beat continued and Obenedes worked with the others, Letradoisan stayed behind Jeet, guiding him through movements. Letradoisan was almost Jeet’s height, and with each change of position, he molded his body more closely to the back of the Abij-hah’s. They repeated a series of moves and began to move together. Jeet felt Letradoisan’s cock start to rise under his bottom.

Antiochus stopped clapping and raised his hands for them all to stop. “Enough!” he called out. With a cocked eyebrow at Letradoisan, he said, “You will have to continue your lessons later.”

Letradoisan kissed the back of Jeet’s neck, and Antiochus saw it. He picked Letradoisan’s chlamys up from the ground and tossed it at boy, who caught it and covered his semi-erect cock.

“Tonight at the feast,” Aruli told Obenedes, “we will dance for you. We will dance the dance of the Kurbantes.”

“And we’ll do the dances we learned when Prekendra was here,” Jin promised.

+ + + + +

“I’m glad that I’m staying with you after the banquet, Oracle,” Rem said, as he and Jeet dressed her in a long, flowing gown. “I don’t like them. They’re arrogant. They think they’re perfect.”

“They aren’t so bad,” Jeet said, reaching for the first of Anda’s necklaces.

“They are gorgeous,” the Oracle said, thinking particularly of their bodies. When the twins stood alongside her eunuchs, the difference that balls and puberty make to a boy that age were manifestly clear. She loved her eunuchs, but felt a certain excitement over thirteen-year-old blonds with broadening shoulders, balls, and dense little patches of pubic hair.

“They aren’t as gorgeous as any of your attendants,” Rem said, picking up the remaining necklaces to hold for Jeet. “Even if they think so.” He grinned. “It was so funny when you flipped that one twin onto his butt, Jeet-hah. Oracle, you should have seen his face.”

The Oracle smiled. “I would have liked to have seen it.”

Jeet frowned. “We need to treat them respectfully, Rem. They come from a powerful family.”

Rem scrunched his face. “I’m glad that I don’t have to sleep with them.”

Jeet and the Oracle glanced at him.

“Well I am,” Rem repeated, defensively. “Both of you are prettier than them.”

The Oracle smiled and leaned over to give him a kiss.

Fawning non-stop and mumbling incessantly about “delicious bodies” and “simply gorgeous cocks,” Rallot, along with two servants, dressed the twins in their belts and collars of flowers. Then he led them to the shrine hall.

The hall was brightly lit with many torches. Musicians were playing, and Antiochus was already seated beside the Oracle. When Antiochus saw them, he rose to his feet with a wide smile and came to meet them.

“By the gods!” he murmured, running his hands over the boys’ muscled bellies, along the edge of the blossoms, and then over their smooth bottoms. “Oh, damn. It certainly puts me in a mood to deflower someone,” he said with a grin.

“Too late,” Obenedes murmured with a small smile that he quickly hid from his brother.

Antiochus led the twins back to the table and they took seats, one on each side of Antiochus and the Oracle. “Feels strange,” Obenedes commented as he settled in. “Strange to have flowers in my butt.”

A lewd grin spread over Antiochus’ face.

“Don’t say it!” Obenedes quickly told him.

“Say what?” Antiochus asked innocently.

“Whatever you were going to say,” Obenedes responded with a frown and quick look away.

The Nubians and two other servants brought food to the table, and then wine. When they left, the musicians increased the volume of their playing.

At the front corner of the shrine hall, Rem appeared in the same arrangement of hibiscus blossoms he had worn in the morning. He advanced with his hands on his hips, his knees bent, and his feet apart. His bottom shifted from side to side with each bent-knee step that he took forward in time with the music.

Bantu was behind him, hands on Rem’s hips under Rem’s hands. He was close enough behind Rem for their bodies to almost touch, and his knees were bent right in behind Rem’s. When Rem stepped with his right, Bantu stepped with his right as well, and when Rem stepped with his left, Bantu stepped with his left.

Behind Bantu came Aruli; and behind Aruli, Jin; and behind Jin, Jeet; and behind Jeet, Tazaar; and behind Tazaar, Ptolemy. From the shortest to the tallest, they came forward in step; their swaying line like some strange, many-legged insect. It had taken them days to master, but they moved with absolute precision.

Antiochus was both fascinated and aroused. The movements of the boys' hips and long, bare legs – and the press of their bodies, nude except for hibiscus blossoms – was provocatively sensual.

Rem moved left several paces, then right; the line of eunuchs following in an S pattern, first one way, then another, as they wound their way onto the floor. They reached the middle, inline with the Oracle and her table, and Rem stopped. They counted three beats and then the line erupted into cartwheeling, forward flipping, and back flipping boys; to the front, to the sides, and to the back.

Between the booths on either side of the shrine hall and the banquet table at the rear, the area was confined, but the boys used all of it. They quickly moved into a rotating pattern of boys returning along on either side, along the booths, to the front of the shrine hall. At the front of the hall, they turned and came forward in tumbling passes by pairs toward the Oracle’s table.

By they time they began their third, complete pass, they began losing flowers. Hibiscus petals fell to the floor, where they were kicked quickly aside before anyone could slip on them.

The boys gathered at the front of the hall and came forward as a group, vaulting into flips and twists. They maneuvered into various balancing poses in twos and threes. Jeet and Tazaar levered Rem into high flips and twists.

After that, they took turns, individually demonstrating their best skills. Finally, they came together in one, seven-boy, balancing pyramid with Rem standing on Aruli’s shoulders at the apex.

Antiochus and the Oracle cheered. Obenedes pounded the table and cheered. Letradoisan merely smiled and nodded his head at the eunuchs in what he felt was approval in a fashion more appropriate for a young lord.

Rem, then Aruli, climbed down. Bantu and Jin jumped from their stances on the crooks of the remaining three eunuch’s legs. And then the boys backflipped and cartwheeled back out of the shrine hall.

“Come back,” Antiochus called. “Come back and feast with us.”

Jeet and the others came back into the shrine hall. “There is more performance, Great One,” Jeet said. “We were going to change and then dance for you.”

“Come,” Antiochus said, waving them forward. “Eat first. The food is warm. There is venison, boar, and pheasant.”

The boys came forward, standing before the table.. Jeet bowed toward Letradoisan. “Letradoisan,” he said. Then he bowed toward Obenedes. “Obenedes.”

“Ha! You can tell the difference,” Antiochus chortled.

Jeet nodded. “We can tell,” he said. But he didn’t say that it was the countenance and unsmiling eyes of Letradoisan that gave him away.

“Sit!” Antiochus commanded, indicating the eunuchs should sit on their side of the long table.

Aruli grabbed Jin by the hand, and the two of them took seats opposite Obenedes. Aruli smiled at the twin. Obenedes nodded. Bantu and Ptolemy approached the table opposite Letradoisan, but waited until the twin motioned, aloofly, for them to sit. He had wanted Jeet to sit there.

Jeet sat opposite the Oracle, and Tazaar took a seat opposite Antiochus. When Rem hung back, Jeet grabbed him by the hand and pulled the young boy down beside him.

They ate, Aruli and Jin smiling at Obenedes while Ptolemy and Bantu glanced uncertainly at each other because Letradoisan gave all his attention to the conversations at the middle of the table.

“Jeet,” Antiochus said, “we hear that sleeping with you makes a man or a woman more fertile.” He winked. “How do you do that?”

Jeet shook his head, frowning. “I don’t do anything. It’s just stories.”

“Tell us the stories,” Antiochus encouraged. “Tell us who you fucked and what happened?”

“Jeet-hah, you have to tell him about Prekendra,” Bantu encouraged. He leaned partway behind Tazaar, as if to hide himself for speaking up before the prince.

Antiochus waved at Bantu forgivingly. “Bantu, we have been abed together. Don’t be shy.” He swept the table with his hand. “All of you, feel free to speak.”

With a grin, Bantu came out from behind Tazaar. “Prekendra is a rich prince of the Sungas. He came with many elephants and horses and servants and much treasure because he heard about how Jeet makes youths and maidens fertile.”

“Prekendra had balls, but he was more of a eunuch than we were,” Tazaar told them.

“But he had a huge cock,” Aruli added from his end of the table. The other eunuchs grinned and nodded. “Huge,” Jin confirmed.

Obenedes glanced at Aruli. Noticing from the corner of his eye, Aruli turned toward Obenedes and smiled.

Quietly, as the others continued to talk, Obenedes leaned across the table. “How about you?” he asked. “Do you have a big cock.”

Aruli, and Jin sitting beside him, both grinned.

“He’s got a big one,” Jin said with a nod.

Obenedes glanced up and down Aruli’s body with his big brown eyes, and smiled.

Aruli felt his cock stir.

The conversation and the meal continued for almost two hours, the musicians taking breaks in turn. Finally, the eunuchs excused themselves from the table and left to change for their dance.

Three sets of eyes at the table watched their retreating bottoms and flowered butt cracks. The fourth set of eyes, Letradoisan’s, were only on Jeet’s bottom, and the grace with which the Abij-hah crossed the shrine hall floor.

“You are very lucky, Oracle,” Antiochus murmured.

“Very lucky,” Obenedes echoed quietly.

Letradoisan glanced at them, annoyed. “I’m going to take a piss,” he announced, rising from the table. He was used to being the one everyone watched – he and his brother. He frowned at Antiochus, but turned away before the man noticed. He frowned because Antiochus should be fawning over him, and not over ball-less slave boys. Even more, he frowned because Antiochus was first in line for Jeet, and only because he was the king’s brother.

He, Letradoisan, was the one who wrestled Jeet. He was the one who was beautiful enough to be worthy to bed the eunuch. And he needed to bed him. He lusted for Jeet’s body and beauty… to have him, to fuck him, and also, to own and dominate him, at least once. It would be a good fuck. A satisfying fuck. Letradoisan resolved to himself that he would have Jeet soon.

+ + + + +

Running in and out of the shrine several times, the Nubians reduced the number of burning torches by half. Other servants carried in three, small oil lamps which they spaced out on the tables between the Oracle, Antiochus, and the twins. Then all the servants left, and only the musicians remained.

The music changed to a martial beat.

In single file, the eunuchs marched in wearing leather collars, wristbands, and boots, along with crested helmets and nothing else. Their bodies were oiled and glistened in the half-light of the shrine hall. Their long hair was loose and fell down behind their helmets and onto their backs. They carried shields and swords; beating the shields with the swords in time to their stamping steps. They formed a line across the shrine hall and advanced in lockstep. Even their long cocks swung in unison. In the center of the line, even eleven-year-old Rem’s thin cock swung in unison with the others.

It was the dance of the Kurbantes, and the eunuchs were long practiced at it. It was violent. It was loud. It looked dangerous – spinning from one to another, striking shields with swords, even slapping butts with the flat sides of their swords and turning their firm butts red. Stamping feet to the beat; their boots rising and falling in unison. All in time to the beat; loud, pulsing, clashing, crashing metal on metal noise that echoed off the stone walls of the shrine hall. Weaving through each other, slamming shields, forming lines, forming fighting pairs; they countered the beat with their voices. “Ha!”… Crash! "Ha!”… Crash! "Ha!”… Crash! echoed in the large chamber.

There was nothing comic about their high-pitched voices or the fact that they were eunuchs with swords. With wide, combative stances, they beat their shields savagely, and beneath their helmets they wore warrior faces.

They paused and howled.

Antiochus involuntarily shuddered. He had heard the battle cries of men, but the high-pitched, full throated howl of seven, teen-aged eunuchs was unearthly.

They resumed; faster. They slammed their shields harder, banged their swords louder, and stamped their feet harder. “Ha!” CRASH! “Ha!” CRASH! “Ha!” CRASH! resounded in the shrine hall.

They came closer and closer to the table until, with a final “Ha!” CRASH!, they stopped in a line across the front of the table. Their bellies and chests heaved. Their nude, oiled bodies glistened.

Letradoisan realized that his mouth was hanging agape. He closed it and his nostrils flared with a sudden need for breath. Obenedes’ mouth still hung open.

The music began again, only this time, melodic, slower.

The eunuchs removed their helmets and their thick, long hair fell freely down their backs. They laid the helmets down, along with their swords and shields. Then still bent over, their long hair hanging over their faces, they began weaving their arms like serpents and backed from the table until they were in a line across, arms over each other’s shoulders. Wide-stanced, the line squatted, right, left, right. They took a step closer, right, left, right, looking strange as a unit, but singly erotic. They moved back slowly, slowly standing upright and separating, and their writhing, serpent arms climbed higher. They stretched their nude bodies long, swaying their hips as they moved. Their hair fell back from the backs of their upturned heads and their cocks swung with the movements of their hips.

They performed the dance taught to them by Prekendra, and then moved into the more sensuous dancing they had learned at the temple. Their movements grew more and more erotic. Their bodies rubbed together. They closed their hands around each other’s cocks as they weaved back and forth between each other and together. Their cocks lengthened and grew heavy.

They advanced in a line, hips forward and flipping from side to side, so that their cocks slapped first one way, then the other, in a dance that had brought the athletes out of their seats a couple of weeks before, when they threw the eunuchs over their shoulders and carried them off to their various booths, and Tenetamon threw Rem over his second shoulder taking him as well as Bantu.

They turned around, swiveling their rounded bottoms, hands behind their heads. They turned back, feet spread, thrusting hips forward and back, cocks swinging down and up heavily, lengthening. Rem in the middle, could swing his cock in a circle and did.

And then, at a signal from Jeet, Aruli and Jin came to Obenedes while Ptolemy and Bantu went to Letradoisan. They urged them to their feet, and then led them by their hands out onto the shrine hall floor. “Dance with us,” they whispered to the twins. Their hands worked to remove the twins’ necklaces and belts of flowers.

When Obenedes and Letradoisan were nude, the eunuchs rubbed against them, and to the music. “We will oil your bodies with our own,” they whispered.

In the dim light of the hall, their heads light with wine, the young twins found themselves pressed by seven oiled, naked boys. Hands moved between bodies to slide under butts and between legs. Hands cupped balls and fingers traced up rampantly erect cocks.

The dance became a press of naked, swaying boys. Each twin felt them on all sides; skin on his skin, breath on necks, hands… everywhere. The music from the musicians became frenzied.

Suddenly, Jeet’s pale blue eyes were an inch from Letradoisan’s, and then closer as Jeet pressed his firm lips to the twin’s. Long fingers closed around Letradoisan’s erection and squeezed, and Jeet’s tongue plunged into the twin’s mouth. The scent, the heat, the feel of Jeet’s body against his, overwhelmed the twin’s senses, and then Jeet was gone; pulled away by Tazaar. Letradoisan tried to follow, but Ptolemy and Bantu pressed him closely.

Aruli and Jin pulled Obenedes away by the hand, leading him quickly into Aruli’s booth. Ptolemy and Bantu pulled away Letradoisan as he tried to look back at Jeet, and led him into Bantu’s booth. The music stopped, and the musicians quietly left the hall.

Jeet and Tazaar were left in the middle, with Rem pressed between their bodies, holding an erection in either hand. Jeet and Tazaar, foreheads pressed together, rolled their heads to look at Antiochus. His eyes were heavy-lidded and his chest was heaving as he gazed upon their tableaux. Rem met the Oracle’s eyes.

They split, Jeet and Tazaar coming around one side for Antiochus, who stood to meet them, pulling them into an embrace, one onto each leg. The front of his robes tented with his arousal.

Rem came, his long stick of an erection wagging, to the Oracle, and sitting astride her lap, he took her face in both hands and kissed her while she grabbed his small bottom and squeezed.

Jeet and Tazaar, laughing, erections wagging, tugged at Antiochus' hands, pulling him faster, dragging him from the hall and up to his apartment. He laughed, too, thinking he would tell friends later that the boys' slender bodies that night looked half boy, half cock.

As the echoes of their laughter died away, Rem laid the Oracle back beside the table, and opened her gown.

When the drape fell back across the doorway of Aruli’s booth, they pressed Obenedes, front and back. Their bodies were hot as their breath. Aruli, in front, clutched the twin’s thick cock. Jin, behind, stroked down between the back of Obenedes’ legs. They kissed his face, his neck, the back of his shoulders. Aruli kissed his lips and thrust his tongue into the twin’s mouth.

A small whimper escaped Obenedes and he pulled Aruli’s belly tightly to his own. “Fuck me,” he said, breathlessly. “By the gods, please fuck me.”

They guided him to the thick pallet on the floor and laid him back onto it, moving up on either side.

On Bantu’s pallet, Bantu, Ptolemy, and Letradoisan rolled back and forth together. And then Letradoisan was on top of Bantu, belly to belly, and Bantu pulled up and outward with his knees. Ptolemy grabbed for the oil.

It took time to undress Antiochus; he kept pulling the naked boys’ bodies to his own, kissing them and embracing them. When the last of his garments fell away, Jeet grabbed the king’s brother by his long erection and leaned up for a kiss. Antiochus pulled the slender boy to himself, while Tazaar caressed Antiochus from the side.

They backed Antiochus to the bed and laid him back onto it. Then pressing him from either side, they began to work down his body with their mouths and hands.

Antiochus had long since lost all coherent thought.

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