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This chapter is posting immediately after 28. Make sure you read 28 first.


Chapter 29 – Fields of Ganymedes (2)

Fascination with the beauty of the male body, reflected in the twin practices of athletic nudity and decoration with olive oil, is linked to the concurrent introduction of pederasty as an educational institution. This athletics-pederasty complex saw its beginnings in the Spartan agoge in the early seventh century BCE and quickly spread to the other city-states. Its association with the culture of gymnasia is attested to by Plato, who identifies those states that "especially encourage the use of gymnasia" as being notable for their pederastic traditions. - Wikipedia

Philip watched as his younger brother approached the rocks on which Philip and several other fifteen-year-olds were sitting as they ate. The younger boy’s copper-colored hair, now banded with a yellow strip of cotton, was unmistakable. Demos was with another boy; the two walking with their arms over each other’s shoulders like twelve-year-old buddies sometimes did. At least Demos had a friend now, Philip thought, pleased that his younger brother wouldn’t be so inclined to tag along after him.

Philip took another bite of grilled beef and followed it with a bite of bread, as he watched Demos and his friend draw closer. He was mildly surprised that Demos hadn’t come for food earlier.

“That has to be your brother,” said one of Philip’s new friends, Jentes, a blond who was sitting at his left. “Look at the hair.”

Philip nodded. “Yeah, that’s my little brother.”

The two boys were close now, but were so busy talking together and looking around that Demos hadn’t noticed Philip in the group of red-waisted, fifteen-year-olds.

“Damn,” the fifteen-year-old sitting to Phillip’s right commented. “Look at the vial around his neck. It’s oily.”

The two boys were close now, and Demos finally noticed his older brother. He gave him a happy wave.

The fifteen-year-old who made the comment about the vial leaned close and elbowed Philip. “Both their vials are oily,” he said, chuckling.

As the two twelve-year-olds walked past them, the eyes of the older boys dropped to the twelve-year-olds’ bottoms. “Oh, shit,” the same fifteen-year-old said, laughing. “Look at their butt cracks. They still look wet.”

Philip flushed crimson. He didn’t think their butt cracks looked wet, but he wasn’t going to respond. He wanted his new friends to forget Demos, and talk about something else.

Another fifteen-year-old, one further to the right, watched the two twelve-year-olds’ bottoms as the younger boys went up to get a portion of food. He glanced at Philip. “Your little brother is pretty, just ripe for the picking.”

Philip frowned. The cock of the fifteen-year-old who had just spoken, had noticeably thickened. Philip had seen several erections already that day, but none as a result of someone staring at his brother. “Forget it,” Philip growled. “Stay away from my little brother.”

“Ooo,” several of the boys said, laughing.

“I mean it!” he said.

Jentes, the blond boy sitting on Philips left, leaned toward him. “Why?” he asked, and then pointedly fingered the vial of oil around Philip’s neck. He leaned close to Philip’s ear. “When I saw this,” he flicked the vial, “I thought that meant that you enjoyed that sort of thing. I thought you looked damn ripe for the picking, yourself.”

The closeness of the blond, a boy Philip had noticed with interest from the beginning, caused an uncomfortable stirring in Philip’s cock. He dropped his hands to his lap and the blond leaned back, smiling.

There was an increase in noise behind them… several boys saying “Jeet”, “Abij-hah”, “Oracle.”

The fifteen-year-olds turned, looking back over their shoulders, and Philip got his first glimpse of the Oracle and the Abij-hah. Walking hand-in-hand, they were coming his way, followed closely by a dense, little crowd of mostly younger boys.

Philip’s eyes were drawn immediately to the one he knew must be the Abij-hah, a tall, slender boy with extremely long, extremely thick and lustrous looking black hair, banded by a single strip of white cotton. Tied low around Jeet’s narrow hips, a second band of white cotton, rocked gently with Jeet’s fluid gait. Philip’s eyes dropped immediately to the long cock which bounced and swung as Jeet walked. It dangled differently than does the cock of a boy with balls. Philip saw the scar on Jeet’s belly; it drew the eye, as did Jeet’s smooth-skinned, long legs. There was a younger eunuch with Jeet and the Oracle. He looked to be Demos’ age, but wearing white bands around his waist and forehead like Jeet. They were talking and the younger boy laughed. Walking beside him was a dog.

Philip’s gaze traveled next to the Oracle. As the small crowd drew closer, there was much about the Oracle to catch Philip’s eye as well. She was as naked at Jeet, but with a twisted band of all the eunuch’s colors low about her waist. Her golden hair was tied back in a band of white silk. Philip noticed that she walked like a boy. Her frame looked almost like a boy’s, and she had a normal looking penis between her legs. But she also had breasts, the size Philip could cup with his hand, and Philip’s eyes lingered on them.

The other fifteen-year-olds stood to their feet, so Philip stood as well. Jeet paused abreast of them and came over, bringing the Oracle by the hand with him. “Jentes,” he said in greeting to the blond beside Philip. “It is good to see you. How is your running? Better?”

Philip almost forgot to breathe, not simply because such famous personages had drawn so close, but also because of the up-close view of Jeet’s face and his eyes. Philip had never seen such beauty.

Jentes bowed his head. “Yes, Abij-hah. Thank you for remembering me.”

Jeet laughed. “It was only this last spring, Jentes. I am not an old man, to forget names so easily.” He glanced at Philip, and the bottom of Philip’s stomach dropped as those pale eyes met his. “I have not met you before,” Jeet said. “I would have remembered hair of such a beautiful color.” He reached up and took a lock of Philip’s hair from over his forehead, into his thumb and finger. “Truly this is a rare color. I have never seen it before.”

“This is Philip,” Jentes said. “His brother has the same hair.” He pointed over to where Demos and Lycos stood watching with jaws agape.

Jeet glanced their way, and turned back to Philip with a grin. “I think your brother makes a funny statue. Birds will land in his mouth if he is not careful.”

Several around them laughed, but not Philip. He was still mesmerized.

Still smiling, Jeet clapped the fifteen-year-old’s shoulder in a friendly fashion. “It is good to meet you Philip. Do you like the food?”

Philip nodded, dumbly, his mind spinning because the Abij-hah’s hand was on his shoulder, a friendly hand.

“Good, then we shall try some,” Jeet said with a smile. As they turned to leave, Jeet’s eyes dropped to Philip’s tight batch of copper-colored pubic hair. The Abij-hah shook his head slightly and winked. “I’m sure I’ll remember you, Philip.”

As they walked away, Philip heard the Oracle laugh and say something about Jeet and Medusa, turning people to stone.

“But because Jeet-hah’s pretty, not ugly,” the eunuch, who was Demos’ age, said, patting the Abij-hah’s bare bottom. Philip’s eyes dropped there. Strangely, though Jeet’s was as perfectly shaped a boy’s butt as Philip thought he’d ever seen – and he’d already seen a couple of hundred new ones that day – nothing about Jeet had immediately aroused his desire or stirred his loins. Jeet was simply too overwhelming.

“They say he remembers everyone’s name,” Jentes said, leaning close. “He will certainly remember yours this whole week.” Jentes shook his head. “I saw Tazaar earlier today. I don’t think he remembered my name at all.” He glanced at Philip. “My father paid for me to spend a week at the shrine last spring, and I even slept with Tazaar.” Then he grinned. “At the shrine, I learned about a lot of things in addition to athletics. Maybe I can show you sometime.”

And now Philip did feel a stirring in his loins. Innumerable things about Jentes excited him; like the way Jentes’ eyes kept dropping to Philips’ butt or his crotch. The small vial of oil, hanging in the hollow of Jentes’ throat, drew Philip’s eye to the young-male muscles of Jentes’ neck. Fine golden hairs on Jentes’ tan forearms and calves glistened in the sun. Philip kept getting the urge to run his finger over them, or over the very fine golden hair that fanned up from the base of Jentes’ spine.

When Philip and Jentes left there, almost an hour later, they drifted away from the other fifteen-year-olds. Jentes took Philip’s hand, as Phrygian boys often did when they walked together, talking. He had long fingers, like Philip, and his hand felt good in Philip’s hand. Philip tried not to be excited by it, afraid of an erection, but at the same time, he didn’t let it go.

“So you’re a runner?” Philip asked.

“A sprinter,” Jentes said.

“I run,” Philip said. “I can run all day. I can run forever.”

“Oh,” Jentes asked. “Fast?”

“Yeah,” Jentes said. “I’m not a sprinter, but I can outlast everybody.”

They stopped beside the river to take a piss, and when they shook off, both cocks shook thickly. Hand-in-hand, they continued to the end of the peninsula and sat with dozens of other boys, watching several of the Oracle’s eunuchs, along with a few daring boys, do flips and twists off one of the rope swings.

A group of boys walked past, and Philip stared. “Did you see that?” he asked Jentes. “One of those boys had a funny cock. It had no hood to it.”

“Probably a Jew,” Jentes said. “There are a couple of them here. Jews cut off their foreskins.”

Oh, shit! That has to hurt.”

“They do it when the boys are babies,” Jentes told him, laughing.

“Why?” Philip asked, amazed.

“It’s their religion,” Jentes answered with a shrug. “I don’t know why.”

“Without the extra skin, can they still get erections?”

Jentes laughed. “I guess so. Otherwise, there’d be no Jews.” He patted Philip’s thigh. “Can you swim?”


Jentes eyed the long lines at the rope swings. “Want to forget the ropes and just swim?”

“Sure,” Philip said, jumping up. He extended a hand and pulled Jentes to his feet. They moved closer to the water’s edge and removed their cotton strips.

Without warning, Jentes slapped Philip’s butt with a loud whop, and dashed into the water.

Philip followed, fast on his heels. He dove in after Jentes, caught him, and pinched the butt he’d been sneaking peeks at for the last couple of hours. Then Philip hopped in the waist-high water, trying to get away. Twisting his head to throw back his wet hair, Jentes followed.

He caught Philip when the copper-headed boy tried to dodge, and he tackled him into the water. He gave Philip’s balls a playful squeeze, just enough that Philip knew he’d been tagged.

Then Jentes tried to hop away and Philip caught him, tackling him into the waist-deep water. Philip grabbed for the other boy’s crotch and found his floating cock. He squeezed, and then tried to dodge away, but Jentes was on him instantly, grabbing at his cock, and when he found it, Jentes found that it was thick. “Oh, ho!” he said, giving it a squeeze. Kneeling beside Philip, Jentes didn’t let go.

Phillip got to his knees and grabbed for Jentes’ cock. It was thick and stiffening fast. They knelt there, the water up to their chests, holding each other’s cocks as they became fully erect.

“You’ve got a nice one,” Philips said, his voice thick.

“So do you,” Jentes said. He stroked its length. “It’s a long one.”

“It’s been trying to get long all day,” Philip said.

“Me, too,” Jentes agreed. He glanced around. There were a lot of boys close by, including a couple of their fifteen-year-old friends. “Later”, he said, grinning. He gave a hard tug to Philip’s cock, and then swam away laughing. Philip had seen the boys, too, and followed slowly, grinning.

Several older boys made it a point to sit close to twelve-year-old Demos and Lycos that evening, as all thirteen hundred and seventy-three boy athletes took seats on the slope that ran down from the entrance to Ganymede. To one side of the raised platform below them, drummers had been beating steadily for half an hour, building anticipation. Now trumpets sounded as the Oracle’s eunuchs climbed up to the raised platform.

The eunuchs were in black, silk breechcloths, each belted with a black, silk cord which rode low over the eunuchs’ buttocks, and very low in front. Additional silk cloths, each in their own color, banded their heads and bound their hair up in high tails. Around their necks hung the golden medallions given to each of them by the Oracle.

A line of lit torches ran across the top of the rise and down both sides of the steep slope. There were other torches around the raised platform, low in front so that they wouldn’t obstruct the view. The setting sun was in everyone’s eyes. Boys on the slope shielded their eyes to better see.

The eunuchs advanced in a line to the front of the platform, smiling, their long hair swinging this way and that as they looked up into the crowd. Their long breechcloths hung between smooth, slender legs.

“I wish I had one of them for my bed tonight,” one of the older boys said, nodding toward the eunuchs.

“They’re all sleeping in their pavilions,” another said. “Except for the Abij-hah. He sleeps with the King and the Oracle. Tazaar will be sleeping in your pavilion tonight.”

“Truly?” the first boy asked. “Then I will not.”

“Not sleep in your pavilion?”

“No. I’ll not be sleeping because of lust for Tazaar,” the boy answered.

Several laughed, but quickly quieted because, down on the platform, Jeet raised his hand for quiet. However, before he could speak, several of the boys from Kaleh began chanting, “Jeet-hah! Jeet-hah!” Soon, the rest of the crowd joined in.

Rams’ horns sounded, joined by trumpets and drums. On the platform, the eunuchs bowed deeply, and from around the side of the platform came the King. The Oracle in a fine silk gown walked beside him, followed by the Governor and Jarus, the Most High Priest. The crowd of nude boys stood to their feet and bowed deeply. The horns, trumpets, and drums failed to cover the laughter of hundreds of naked boys suddenly confronted with the bare butts of the boys in front of them. Several poked at those bare butts with a stiff finger.

The King and his party glanced up the slope. “They’re laughing because their faces are in each other’s butts,” Hector called to the King. Seleucus laughed himself, then.

The boys on the slope remained bowing until the King and his party took seats in chairs that had been provided for them at the base of the slope.

The drums, trumpets, and rams’ horns stopped. Jeet raised both hands, and lifted his high, reed-like voice. It carried clearly on the still evening air. “I welcome you all to the Phrygian Games and Gymnopaedia in honor of our great and beloved King, Seleucus Philopator!

“Hail Seleucus!” one of the older boys in the crowd cried out, and then all the boys were calling it out, and quickly synchronized their calls into a chant for the king, “Hail Seleucus! Hail Seleucus!”

Jeet waited as the chant crested and then began to fade. He raised his hand for quiet. “Salute our governor, as well; we are all guests here, of our gracious governor, Hector Demathor.”

The crowd of boys cheered.

“And,” continued Jeet, “we are guests of the temple of Cybele… our Most High Priest, Jarus, sits there beside the governor.”

The boys cheered.

Jeet held up his hand. “And we are guests of the Oracle, the… GreatOracleofKaleh.”

The crowd of boys broke into cheers again.

Then Jeet waved for quiet and motioned for the boys to sit down. Up the slope, thirteen hundred boys took their seats.

Demos leaned forward, arms on knees, eyes on Jeet. After watching Jeet and the Oracle eating, earlier in the day, Demos and Lycos, like a score of other young boys, followed them as they walked hand-in-hand around the various venues. Demos had been awestruck; still was. He was smitten with Jeet, and vaguely resented all the other boys who also were.

Jeet raised both hands. “We welcome you all!”


Jeet lowered his hands, and spread them, depreciatingly. “I was going to introduce myself, but the athletes from Kaleh already did that.”

Chuckles. A couple of boys started to chant, “Jeet-hah!” but Jeet waved them down. He pointed behind him, to his right. “My pavilion is the last one back that way. It flies the white pennant. My herd are the seventeen-year-olds.”

Several of Jeet’s herd cheered.

“Amnon and Letradoisan are my helpers,” he said, pointing down to the athlete and the twin in turn. They stood with others in front of the raised platform, facing the crowd of boys, nude like the rest of them.

Jeet stepped behind Tazaar, grasping him by the back of the biceps, and leaning forward around him. “This is Tazaar,” he called out. “His pavilion flies the black pennant, and for his herd, he has the sixteen-year-olds.”

Tazaar’s herd cheered, and two of his sixteen-year-olds stood and rotated in a little jig before sitting back down.

“Helping Tazaar are Cyndur and Obenedes,” he said. And then, to cheers, Jeet introduced each of the other eunuchs and their helpers in turn.

Since he was in Jin’s herd, Philip listened to see who Jin’s helpers were. When they were announced, Jentes, who was sitting shoulder to shoulder with Philip, leaned even closer. “Jason,” he said, referring to one of Jin’s helpers, “is the governor’s son. He’s already married… to the Abij-hah’s sister. They say she’s very beautiful. She just gave Jason twin sons.”

Their eyes met, and Philip’s eyes lingered on Jentes’. The blond boy smiled. Before coming to the slope, Jentes moved his belongings next to Philip’s in the pavilion, and then they both moved their belongings away from the others. The memory of those two pallets, side-by-side, threatened to stir a fresh erection for Philip. He turned back to the platform, but when Jentes rested his leg against Philip’s, Philip pressed his back.

Several feet away, Demos watched to see who Aruli’s helpers would be, and was surprised that both were boys his age. One was a solid looking boy by the name of Menelaus. The second was Rem, the young eunuch whose dog followed him everywhere and who belonged to the Abij-hah.

Jeet came back to the center of the platform. “Tomorrow morning, the first sounding of rams’ horns will be to awaken you. You will have time to get something to eat before the second sounding of rams’ horns will signal your first workout. Every morning this week, your first workout will take place in front of your pavilion. You are to bring your shield, sword, and helmet, and you will practice the dance of the Kurbantes for an hour. The rams’ horns will sound at the end of the hour to end the workout. Once we start allowing spectators, it will only be after you have put away your gear from the Kurbantes practice each morning, that the men who brought you will be allowed in to Ganymede to watch the games.”

“Tomorrow, and the next day, they will not be allowed in to Ganymede at all. That’s because, for the next two days, masters from gymnasia in Antioch and Kaleh, along with some of us from the shrine, will work with each of you on your racing, wrestling, gymnastic dance, long jumping, javelin throwing, and more. Some of you have not been fortunate enough to have as much instruction as others, and we would like help you before the games actually begin.”

“Then,” Jeet continued, “over the three days following that, we will hold the games. Each of you will compete with the other boys of your age, in your own herd. Then on the last day, the seventh day, in the morning, we will hold games open to all ages, and any boy can compete against all the other boys who are here. On the afternoon of that last day, will be the gymnopaedia and you will dance for the men who brought you. There will be prizes for those who dance best, and prizes for the most beautiful boys, and those most graceful of form. That last evening, we will all dance the dance of the Kurbantes. Afterward, we will spend our final night together, and return home the following day.”

“Now hear the words of the King,” Jeet said, with a bow toward Seleucus.

The King stood, turning to face the crowd of boys. He knew how to address a crowd, and his voice boomed out, up the slope. “I watched you today,” he said. “And I was proud for Phrygia! You are splendid young men, and good athletes. You have character,” he said, making a strong fist. “I saw it in your friendships and in your competitions. I was happy for our empire, that we have youth such as you!”

The crowd of boys sat quietly, unaware that it was a good moment to cheer. But Seleucus wasn’t looking for cheers. He looked them in the eye, one after another.

“You are strong. Like your fathers and older brothers before you. You need to be strong. The safety of the empire and of Phrygia, depend on your strength, and your bravery. The safety of your mothers, and your sisters, and your homes rests on your strength and your courage.” His gaze traveled slowly over them. “I see it. I see it in your eyes. I sense it in your spirits. You,” he said, pointing at them, left and right, “you young men have the same hearts as the greatest of your fathers before you.” He clenched his fist and raised it high. “You are warriors!”

At this several boys jumped to their feet with a Greek war cry. The rest joined them instantly. They roared. They cried out. They beat their chests. Seleucus, with a serious countenance, nodded approvingly and pumped his fist with the pulse of their ferocity.

Then he calmed them, and motioned for them to sit.

They grew quiet, and he paced in front of them until they were absolutely still. Then he turned to face them once again. “I look out at you, and I think how fortunate… how very fortunate I am above all the kings of the earth, that I am king here, in this land, with young men such as you.”

“I am glad to be here this week, among you. I want to know you. Someday, some of you will be my generals, my governors, my advisors. And all of you I will count as friends.”

“I have told the Oracle’s attendants,” Seleucus said, sweeping his hand back toward them, “Jeet, Tazaar, Jin, Ptolemy, Aruli, and Bantu… I’ve told each of them to select one boy from his herd every evening to sit at my table. Every evening, I will sit down with six of you who have excelled in competition that day. I will learn your names and the names of your fathers. I want to remember you when you come into your manhood,” he said. He faced them and raised a fist. “Compete well. Make these games something you’ll remember all your life… as days you were young and walked with the King… and found great favor in his eyes.”

He held them, with his eyes. Then a boy, one of the sixteen-year-olds, jumped to his feet. “Hail Seleucus!” he cried. Immediately, the others were on their feet, hailing and cheering the king.

He nodded at them. He clenched his fist and shook it for them, and they cheered louder. Then he turned and sat down.

In that moment, Philip, like every other boy there, quietly determined in his heart to be one of the boys to sit at the King’s table before the week ended. He would make his father proud!

As the cheering began to subside, a single drum started to beat. The platform was large, but almost too small for what was to come next – the acrobatic performance of the Oracle’s eunuchs.

Over thirteen hundred boys watched, transfixed as boys always are by great athletic performances, as the eunuchs tumbled, flipped, and twisted high into the air over the platform, sometimes catapulting each other, sometimes catching one another on their shoulders, flying in twos, threes, and even sixes back and forth.

The crowd of boys cheered, and at times, oohed and aahed together. They laughed when Bantu clowned with the tail of Ptolemy’s breechcloth, tugging Ptolemy’s butt toward the crowd before giving it a good slap. They roared when Bantu dropped to all fours behind Aruli, who knew not to look back, and pretended to be a dog, sniffing, and then raising a leg to the back of Aruli’s legs.

And then the acrobatics were done, finishing with a grand flourish. The eunuchs filed to the back of the platform where they hurriedly stripped off their breechcloths and adornments. Cyndur and the twins came up onto the platform. The twins were already in crested helmets, swords, and shields. Cyndur came to the front. “And now, the Oracle’s attendants will perform the Dance of the Kurbantes for you.” The boys in the crowd cheered. Cyndur glanced back and saw that the eunuchs weren’t quite ready.

“While they finish their preparations,” he said, turning back to the crowd on the slope, “we have an announcement to make. Those of you who were here last night know that there was a lot of commotion in the night, and going back and forth between pavilions. Tomorrow will be a big day for all of us, so the guards who are posted tonight have been told to keep you all in your pavilions.”

There were hoots from the audience.

“You need your rest for tomorrow,” Cyndur said, raising his hand high. “Tomorrow is a preparation day, and you need alert and sharp minds. So when we are through here, go on back to your beds… and sleep.”

Cyndur ignored the answering catcalls and hoots, and climbed down from the platform. Then Jeet, the eunuchs, including Rem, and the twins came forward, nude, but for their crested helmets, shields, and swords.

Everyone grew quiet. And the drumbeats resumed.

Very few boys in the crowd had ever seen the dance of the Kurbantes. Even fewer had ever seen it performed at the shrine by the Oracle’s eunuchs. It was a dance to make the blood race and set fire to the spirit, and when it finally ended, over thirteen hundred, young male bodies leaped into the air. In over thirteen hundred young minds, the clashing of shields and shouts of “HA!” echoed, and would reecho into their sleep that evening, along with visions of sweating, tight male bodies, clashing shields and swords and stamping feet… and fire in their eyes.

“Oh, damn!” Philip yelled over the crowd, giving Jentes’ shoulder a light slam.

“By the gods!” Jentes yelled, returning the slam.

Several feet away, Lycos turned to Demos and raised his voice over the noise of the other boys. “We’re going to do that?” he asked, incredulously.

That afternoon, walking over Ganymede – seeing the boys and the venues, standing in the sun with the scents of pine and river, smoke of hardwood fires, and grilling meat in the air – Seleucus had the genesis of a vision. It was a vision for building up the elite of a new generation and using it to create a living backbone for a whole new generation of warriors for the kingdom. He shared the vision with Jeet, along with his idea of Jeet and the eunuchs holding games like these in other provinces. Jeet’s spirit was stirred by the dance. Remembering that conversation with Seleucus, Jeet stepped to the front of the platform with his sword high.

The crowd of boys quieted slowly. Jeet waited.

He looked them over, much as the king had done, and then with sword high, he lifted his voice. “This week, you will compete hard, and show the king and the men who brought you, what kind of character and stamina is in the heart of Phrygia. In six days, all thirteen hundred of you will join us down here, and your fathers, uncles, and erastoi will sit where you are sitting. Almost fourteen hundred of us will dance this dance of the Kurbantes for them, and we will make the ground shake under them with the clash of our shields and the roar or our voices. And they will see you as they have never seen you before. They will see that a race of warriors has been bred in Phrygia!”

They boys cheered.

Jeet banged his sword on his shield and cried, “HA!” but couldn’t be heard over the crowd. He did it again and the other eunuchs came forward joining him. Bantu waved for the boys on the slope to join them, and their cacophony coalesced into a louder and louder “HA!” until all thirteen hundred plus boys were thundering “HA!” in unison. Their young, but unmistakably masculine voices rode on a solid bass provided by the older boys.

Jeet kept going, striking harder; all of them yelling louder, until the sound of their joined voices came echoing back from the river. At a signal from Jeet, the eunuchs quit striking their shields and the boys on the slope broke into cheers.

They cheered as the eunuchs bowed to the King when he and his party left with final waves at the crowd of boys. The crowd of boys rushed the podium as the eunuchs dressed once more in their breechcloths. They surrounded the raised platform, but weren’t allowed up onto it.

“Why are you dressing again?” several of the boys asked.

“We go to the amphitheater next, to dance for the men,” the eunuchs told them.

“The Kurbantes dance?” one boy asked.

“No,” Bantu called out. “Some of our shrine dances.”

“Dance those for us!” one of the older boys called out.

“Yes, dance for us,” several echoed.

Jeet held up his hand. “Workout well tomorrow and perhaps we will, tomorrow night.”

+ + + + +

The eunuchs, in their breechcloths, filed past the line of guards and into the amphitheater to perform for the adult men. Seleucus had a vision for the boys. Jarus had an entirely different vision for the men. “Make it sexy for them,” Jarus encouraged. “They’ve been idle all day. Make your dance exciting so the priestesses will have good income tonight.”

+ + + + +

In Aruli’s pavilion, Lycos and Demos lay down onto their sides, facing each other in the dark. Lycos’ cock was already stiff when Demos closed his fingers around it, just as Demos’ was already stiff when Lycos closed his hand around his.

Around them, other boys were moving, and there were shuffling noises in the night. “Ouch, that hurts,” a boy’s voice protested from several feet away. “That’s what the oil’s for,” another boy called out, mockingly.

In Jin’s pavilion, Philip lay on his back in the dark, barely breathing. He had done his best to conceal his erection all the way back to the pavilion. The darkness of the night helped. He could barely piss with the others before coming to bed, his cock was so hard. But then, he had the impression that other boys’ cocks were hard as well. He knew Jentes’ was. They had come back together and he had seen it in the dark.

And now Philip lay on his back, barely breathing. Jentes rolled up onto his side beside him, and Philip could just make out the other boy’s shape in the darkness, and the barely perceptible glistening of Jentes’ eyes. Jentes slowly lowered his face toward Philip’s.

Philip closed his eyes. Though he’d fucked two boys – servant boys – he’d never kissed a boy. He felt Jentes’ firm lips softly touch his own. He could feel the warmth of the other boy’s breath on his face. In the still night, Philip’s heartbeat pounded in his ears.

With the shock of unexpected touch, Philip felt Jentes’ hand on his stomach. It laid there a moment, just under his breast bone, rising and falling with Philip’s breath. Pressing his lips to Philip’s, Jentes slid his hand down Philip’s belly. Just when all of Philip’s attention was on Jentes’ hand approaching his cock, Jentes’ tongue probed into Philip’s mouth. Philip had never done anything like that.

He could barely breathe. Sensation overwhelmed consciousness. The muscles in his belly quivered under Jentes’ hand.

Jentes moved his mouth on Philip’s, and his tongue was warm as it slid against Philip’s tongue in breath-robbing intimacy. Jentes’ fingers slid into Philip’s pubic hair, tugging, brushing under the back of Philip’s upturned cock. Philip whimpered – he couldn’t help it. He grabbed Jentes’ bicep and thrust his tongue hungrily into Jentes’ mouth. His hips moved on their own. And Philip was desperate for Jentes to close his fingers around his straining erection.

He turned his face away, gasping for breath… one breath… a second… then turned back quickly, seeking Jentes’ mouth once more with his own. The dark pavilion was loud with the roaring of his own blood in his ears. Jentes squeezed Philip’s cock, and suddenly, Philip couldn’t get enough air through his nose. He couldn’t breathe. He had to turn his face again, gasping.

Only this time, Jentes didn’t wait for him to turn back. He kissed the side of Philip’s neck, then his throat, and then onto his chest. Philip laid a hand on Jentes’ back, just resting it there, feeling the hardness of the muscles, too dazed to move as Jentes slid out from under it and kissed down Philip’s belly, following the trail his hand took earlier.

Somewhere in the pavilion, a boy groaned, but Philip didn’t notice. Nor did he notice the quiet, rhythmic slapping that followed that groan a moment later.

Jentes was between his legs. Philip felt the other boy’s breath on his cock and balls. He lifted his hips, wanting, wanting. He had never had his cock sucked. Greek boys didn’t do that… unless… unless they were alone, in the dark.

Jentes closed his hand around the base of Philip’s shaft. He lowered his mouth over the end of Philip’s erection and swirled the crown with his tongue, hard, the way Tazaar had done to him when he stayed in the shrine.

With a loud gasp, Philip came up, grasping both sides of Jentes’ head as he instantly orgasmed, spewing a day’s pent up semen into his new friend’s mouth. He clenched his jaw and held his breath to keep from crying out. He froze there, half sitting up; frozen in all his body except for the pulsing of his semen. And then, with a quick intake of breath, he aspirated a soft cry, a whimper, a whine.

Philip sat up farther, trying to scoot his hips back as his crown went sensitive. Jentes came off him, and Philip collapsed back onto his bed, his chest heaving.

Jentes remained between Philip’s legs, soothing the insides of Philip’s smooth thighs with his palms, gently kissing here and there on Philips lower abdomen, then rubbing his hands there, on Philip’s lower belly, not touching the spent cock, but rubbing around it, bending down to kiss inside Philip’s legs, in the crease beside his balls, and over his balls. Philip’s scent filled his nostrils. Jentes rubbed his face there. He liked doing it.

He drew his tongue up Philip’s shaft. It had started to soften and had a pleasant, spongy thickness to it. Jentes let his warm breath flow over it as he licked, open mouth. Philip murmured softly and his hips shifted. His cock stiffened from one heartbeat to the next.

Jentes took it into his mouth again, taking care to not give too much friction to the still-sensitive crown. Philip took a deep breath, holding it. Jentes sucked slowly, gently, working his tongue under the shaft.

Jentes came off it, and quietly reversed his body position beside Philip, pulling Phillip up onto his side by tugging at his hips, and then sliding down so that his own erection was level with Philip’s face. Jentes took Philip’s hand and moved it to his own cock, then he took Philip’s erection into his mouth once more.

Jentes’ scent excited Philip. He squeezed Jentes’ cock, studying it. His eyes had adjusted enough to the dark that in the faint light under the pavilion, he could discern the shape and thickness of Jentes’ erection. The blond boy’s hips were more compact than his own, and Jentes’ cock was thicker; it seemed big, and Philip, who had never looked at another boy’s cock so closely, was stirred by it. He slid the skin up and back. He inhaled deeply of Jentes’ scent. Even mixed with the scent of river water, it was much like his own; and that stirred him.

Jentes’ crown was wet, like Philip’s got when he really needed to come. Philip wanted to take care of his friend, and he actually wanted to suck Jentes’ cock. It was dark in the pavilion. He didn’t know anyone else there anyway, and Jentes had done it – was doing it – for him. Philip pressed his lips to the underside of Jentes’ shaft, and the other boy’s scent filled his nostrils more intensely. The skin was warm and soft against his lips.

Philip froze, a catch in his breath, as Jentes’ swirled Philip’s crown once again. Then Jentes bobbed slowly, and Philip moaned, resting his face against Jentes’ cock. He rubbed his cheek against it. He liked Jente’s cock. He liked it a lot, just as Jentes evidently liked his. Unconsciously licking his lips lightly, Philip closed his hand around the base of Jentes’ shaft and pointed Jentes’ erection into his mouth.

He licked the crown, tasting, then closed his mouth over it, hungrily. Wanting to please Jentes just as Jentes was pleasing him; wanting to suck, liking the taste, surprised at the pleasure.

He held the shaft and sucked. It was surprisingly thick in his mouth; excitingly thick in his mouth. He licked over the crown and up and down the shaft. Then he swirled his tongue over the crown, just as Jentes had done to him, and he was pleased when Jentes twitched.

Philip ran his hands over Jentes’ hips and legs, admiring them with his palms and fingers. In the faint light, his eyes roamed over them. His friend was nicely made; a beautiful youth. And then Philip remembered the way Jentes ran his hands over Philip’s belly and legs earlier – and indeed, was running his hands over them now – and he wondered if Jentes was stirred by his own legs and form, just as he was by Jentes’.

Jentes cocked a leg, giving Philip better access. Philip came off Jentes’ cock, and used one hand to fondle Jente’s balls and lift Jentes’ scrotum closer to his nose and mouth. He sniffed and licked, and then sucked some of the scrotum skin into his mouth. Jentes moaned and opened his legs wider.

Philip closed his mouth back over the end of Jentes’ cock and held the base with both hands, doing for Jentes what Jentes was doing for him, especially with his tongue.

Jentes whimpered and tensed. He was about to come, and Philip wanted him to, wanted to taste him. He held Jentes’ shaft in his hands and sucked on the end as if he could suck the sperm right out of his blond friend. Jentes clutched Philip’s cock, sucking hard in turn, whimpering once more.

And then Jentes came, flooding into Philip’s mouth, and under his tongue, and somehow, the acrid tang under the back of his tongue excited him, and Philip started coming, too.

The boys’ young tutor waited patiently for a free booth. His excitement after the dance of the eunuchs had begun to subside, but he didn’t want to leave. He needed release. His eyes traveled over the myriad little booths, some not more than a simple frame with a blanket or two for privacy.

A man left one of the booths, and a boy came to the doorway a moment later, holding a piece of cloth provocatively over his middle. He saw the tutor and smiled, but the tutor looked away. He wanted a girl. Another man walked up to the boy.

The priestesses were older than he wanted. The tutor wanted a young girl, and was told he’d find one in the booths, but he hadn’t yet. Two men left booths at almost the same time. A moment later, a girl came to the doorway of one. She was young, and the tutor stepped up to her quickly, before some other man could.

Aruli and Rem took a piss on the way back to the pavilion. They came the back way, and walked diagonally across the raised floor, dodging the pallets on the floor. Some boys were sleeping. Some were not. Aruli looked for the boy with copper colored hair; he thought he remembered where the boy had set up his bed.

In the glimmer from torches outside the pavilion, Aruli saw him… on top of another twelve-year-old boy… Lycos. Lycos was lying on his stomach and Demos was on top of him, holding him by the shoulders and pumping his little hips. Their slender bodies and mounded butts were barely visible in the dim light.

Aruli had paused, and Rem came up behind him, looking where Aruli was looking. Rem pressed Aruli from behind and kissed the back of his shoulder.

Demos paused in his pumping, watching Aruli and Rem. He gave a small, embarrassed wave, and then faced the other way.

“You can do me like that,” Rem whispered.

Aruli looked back over his shoulder and smiled.

Jentes rested his head comfortably on Philip’s shoulder, the way he had slept with Tazaar the spring before. But unlike Tazaar, Philip had balls, and Jentes really, really liked that. He slipped his hand down between Philip’s legs and fondled those balls, damp in the soft skin of their sack. Philip murmured and his hips shifted, brushing inside Jentes’ forearm with a growing erection.

Jentes smiled. His cock was lengthening as well. He moved up onto Philip, belly-to-belly, cock-to-cock, and gazed down into the glimmer of Philip’s eyes. “Shall I teach you how they make love knots at the shrine?” he whispered.

Philip nodded in the dark.

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