Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 30 – Demos

The Hyacinthia was a summer festival in Sparta honoring Hyacinthus, the mythical young prince of Sparta and beloved of Apollo. The festivities continued for three days, with the first mourning the death of Hyacinthus and the last two celebrating his rebirth. It has been suggested that the cycle symbolizes the development of a youth in such relationships, in which he dies as a child in order to be reborn as an adult.

The Gymnopaedia were yearly Spartan dances by naked boys, with attendance restricted to married men - Bookrags

Seleucus stirred. It took him a moment to recall where he was. The warm bodies of the fifteen-year-olds, sleeping one on each of his sides, didn’t help him remember. Jeet and Anda had been sharing his bed since the first night Jeet brought her to him over a week before. It was the sound of the river that reminded Seleucus that he was at Ganymede.

The King of the Seleucid Empire took a deep breath of night air and stared up at the dark ceiling of the large tent. He had an arm behind each of the teens, and he stroked the soft skin of their backs with his fingertips, thoughtfully. He heard a footstep, and rolled his head in the direction of the sound. The sides of the tent were open for any evening breeze. Screens of light silk gave a small measure of privacy, but through gaps between the screens, Seleucus could see night guards pacing casually.

He needed to get up to relieve himself, but he was damned comfortable. He enjoyed Jeet and Anda draped on his sides, their legs wrapped over his, their arms across his chest and belly.

He turned his head toward the top of Jeet’s and breathed in the boy’s scent. He was proud of the boy; proud of how the boy reflected on him.

Though others had done much of the planning, work, and preparation for the games, as soon as Jeet arrived with the king, all the others yielded to the Abij-hah’s leadership; naturally, easily, even gratefully. They wanted him to lead. And then tonight, Seleucus had watched with pride as Jeet addressed close to fourteen hundred boys with an easy authority, and fired them with Seleucus’ own vision.

Seleucus kissed the top of the sleeping boy’s head, and considered once more, the possibility of sending the boy and the other eunuchs out to organize games like these in every province. It would make Jeet well-known among the elite. That would be good.

Seleucus gently hugged Jeet to himself, and, again, pressed his lips to the top of the boy’s head. He loved the boy. He truly loved him. But Seleucus was also a man of power, and he was beginning to see real advantages to having the boy at his side.

He turned his head the other way and took a deep breath of the Oracle’s scent. She excited him. Or should it be, he excited him. Seleucus had been surprised how much the Oracle’s boy-and-girl, sexual androgyny stirred him. It stirred him that the Oracle was secretly Alexander.

There had been an understanding and a respect between the Oracle and himself from his first visit to the shrine; an understanding over Jeet. It had subtly changed with the king coming to view the Oracle more as a boy. It was one thing to share Jeet with a girl, and something very different to share him with another boy.

Just as subtly, the bonds between the Oracle and himself had become their own. They began with a mutual respect. However, his feelings for her grew appreciably when Jeet brought her to his bed. She was an accomplished lover. The Oracle moved under him unlike any girl ever had, and their physical intimacy led to tender moments between them.

Laying there with the two of them, Seleucus made a decision – he would make Anda his eromenos as well as Jeet. Sometime in the next few days, he would tell Anda and Jeet about it. He would have two eromenoi. He might even make it public. Certainly all the boys at these games could see how much Anda was really a boy. They would understand.

Even if he didn’t make it public, Anda and Jeet would share his bed whenever he could have them with him. And he intended for that to be at least six months out of the year, beginning this year or the next.

He patted their soft-skinned bottoms and got up from between them. Walking out from under the tent, Seleucus passed a guard who saluted him, ignoring the King’s nakedness.

Seleucus walked several feet toward the river, and realized that there was a dense fog. He stretched, looking up to see if he could see the stars. A puff of breeze washed cool air over his skin. Left and right, torches, close enough to be seen, shone through golden halos of mist. The King stepped closer to the river and let loose his stream. He rubbed his butt with both hands, watching his piss pool and bubble. It always felt good to piss outdoors, naked in the night.

His thoughts returned to Jeet. Even among the boys here at Ganymede, bare-assed as the rest of them, Jeet was larger than life. Seleucus saw it in the way boys bowed and gave way to him. He saw it in the way boys – even older boys – followed Jeet around. He saw it that previous evening in how they responded to Jeet when he stood in the torchlight on the platform before them, splendidly naked, with his head back, and his sword raised high, those large eyes scanning the crowd of youths. By the gods! The boy was magnificent! Seleucus thought, proudly.

Half of Phrygia already considered Jeet a god. They certainly would have if they’d seen him on that platform. Seleucus could encourage that… people believing that Jeet was more than a mere boy. He should encourage that. Boys would rally to Jeet. Men would rally to him. It wasn’t a great stretch to envision all of Phrygia rallying to their boy-god. After all, Macedonia rallied to Alexander when he was still a boy. Seleucus grinned, remembering Jeet on the platform the night before. Damn! Alexander himself might have rallied to Jeet!

Seleucus mused in the dark as his bladder emptied. Let Jeet mature a year or two. Let him hold games and gymnopaedia in all the provinces. Let the elite and their fathers, meet him, see him, fall under his spell. Then with Jeet at Seleucus’ right hand, and the Oracle at his left – an Oracle who could divine the future and warn him away from the rocks of fate and into the paths of glory… Seleucus’ brow knitted as he shook off the last drops of piss. It was a dream. But then, a king must dream.

His empire could be great again. Greater than his father’s. He could reclaim the lands to the east, lost after Alexander. Now that the Mauryans had fallen, their empire had fractured into smaller kingdoms. There was wealth there. He could bring those lands back under Seleucid reign… he could make Antioch rich… the center of the world.

The dream grew in his mind’s eye. He would use Judah and his sons to keep the unruly Jews in the south under control. They were a solid buffer against the Egyptians, and he needed them. In the north, he could count on the friendship of the Macedonians – their king, Perseus, was about to marry Seleucus’ own daughter in the coming spring. It was all arranged.

That left only the Romans. Seleucus’ jaw set. Once he had mastered the East and was strong again, he could get his son back from them. He could defy Roman demands for tribute, and he could bring Demetrius home.

Seleucus gazed out, far beyond the fog. It was only a dream, but greatness did not come without dreams. Dreams and determination.

He would be great. His kingdom would be powerful. What other king in all of history ruled with an Oracle at his left hand, and a god at his right? A god, he mused, glancing back at the tent. Jeet. The boy really was exceptional. In all of history, there had been only a handful with that boy’s quality. Seleucus would be afraid of him, if the boy didn’t so obviously love him. Seleucus felt a swelling in his heart. Jeet deserved to find glory, and Seleucus would take him there.

Returning to the tent, Seleucus found Jeet spooned behind Anda, holding her. A glimmering of dim torchlight danced on the smooth skin of their nested forms, erotically. Seleucus lay down behind Jeet, his eyes slowly traveling the length of the boy’s perfectly formed body from head to toe.

He laid a hand on Jeet’s firm bicep and kissed the back of his shoulder. The boy was slender, but every muscle was solid, hard. Seleucus was glad the boy worked his body to make up for his lack of balls. The King ran his palm lightly over the boy’s compact shoulder muscles, then down along the boy’s long-tapering side, down to the side of his narrow waist, up over the slim hips, down over the firm globes of Jeet’s bottom and back onto his long-muscled legs. The boy’s body was firm, and yet his skin was soft and smooth… and warm.

Seleucus gently slid his fingertips under Jeet’s bottom, down into the gap between the backs of Jeet’s legs, down onto his perineum and scrotum. Seleucus pressed the soft skin gently there, and rubbed. He regretted waking the boy, and yet, Seleucus’ cock had grown hard, and he desired him.

Under his fingers, Seleucus felt Jeet responding to his rubbing. The boy’s perineum was thickening and growing warmer. The soft skin grew taut. Seleucus pulled his fingers back and smelled them. His eyes drooped with pleasure. He smelled again. Then Seleucus inserted his fingers under Jeet’s bottom once more, and rubbed.

When Jeet murmured softly, and rocked his hips slightly against Seleucus’ fingers, the man leaned down and kissed the boy on the shoulder. “Do you mind, Jeet-hah?” he asked in a whisper. “I want you.”

Jeet twisted back at the waist, smiling up at Seleucus in the dim light. “Mind? That the King desires me?” He reached up and stroked the side of the man’s face, and Seleucus bent down, pressing his lips to the boy’s.

+ + + + +

At the sound of the ram’s horn, there were several groans. Philip sat up. Spread over the pavilion floor, one hundred and eighty-two nude fifteen-year-old boys slept in various positions, some in couples.

Jentes threw an arm across Philip’s chest and pulled him back down. Philip’s head rolled toward his new friend and he smiled. Jentes lifted his head, looked around, and then pressed his lips to Philip’s as he slid a leg over Philip’s middle.

They had slept lightly in the night, together, touching. It was an intimacy, new to Philip. He liked it – the feel of the other boy’s body, the other boy’s companionship in the night among so many strangers. He liked what he was feeling toward Jentes and what it seemed like Jentes was feeling toward him.

He liked kissing Jentes, but it was daylight now, and there were other boys everywhere. Philip resisted the urge to break the kiss to look around, and once he resisted it, he relaxed into Jentes’ embrace. Philip wrapped an arm over the other boy’s back, and their mouths opened to each other. They shared tongues and morning breath.

“Whoa, Benedetres, what were you dreaming about?” they heard a boy call out. Jentes lifted his head and he and Philip looked in the direction of the voice. A tall boy, Benedetres, stood stretching; a large, thick erection jutted up from between his legs.

Benedetres finished the stretch and closed his hand around his erection. “Morning stiffness,” he said, nonchalantly. “Gotta go piss.”

“Go piss and what else?” one of the other boys asked with a laugh.

Jentes looked down into Philip’s dark blue eyes. “I’ve got a morning stiffness of my own.”

Philip grinned. “I know. I feel it against my hip. I do, too.”

Jentes returned the grin and rubbed the inside of his thigh on Philip’s upturned cock.

The two of them looked around. A couple of boys, who had been looking at them, looked away.

Jentes gave Philip a quick peck, and then sat up. “I’ve got to piss, too.”

The two got up, following Benedetres and a couple of other boys out the back of the pavilion. The ground was open and only the morning fog prevented anyone beyond a few yards away from seeing their wagging erections.

Benedetres and the other two boys walked behind the latrine where they were partly screened from view. Jentes and Philip followed, coming around from the other side. The first three were in a line abreast, erections up, preparing to relieve themselves. Philip and Jentes stepped into line beside Benedetres. They all stood there.

“I’ve got to stroke off first,” Benedetres, finally said after a moment, and he started stroking.

The others exchanged glances, and then started to do the same. Philip and Jentes looked at each other, and reached for each other’s cock, turning slightly toward each other.

“Lets see who shoots farthest,” one of the boys suggested.

“Or the most,” Benedetres countered. “I don’t shoot far, but I shoot a lot.” He was standing beside Philip and laid one hand under Philip’s butt while stroking himself with the other. “Are you guys from the same town?” he asked. “You look like lovers.”

“Not from the same town,” Jentes said, grinning at Philip.

+ + + + +

Aruli wasn’t sure why he was so attracted to the copper-haired farm boy. Demos was certainly pretty, with a strong, little body. But it wasn’t simply that. Perhaps it was his all-boy carriage and demeanor. Perhaps it was because something about him, vaguely reminded Aruli of his own little brother. For whatever reason, Aruli felt a strong attraction to the younger boy.

He stayed close to Demos as he, Rem, and Menelaus gave the twelve-year-olds their first lesson in the Dance of the Kurbantes. Demos, however, gave all his attention to his friend, Lycos.

Aruli hoped the boy would excel at the dance so he could take Demos to the king’s table that night, and perhaps, impress Demos, as well as give himself more time alone with the boy. Demos, however, did not excel at the first practice of the Kurbantes dance.

The fog started to break up, and the sun rose above the hill to the east. The sound of the ram’s horn ending the Kurbantes dance practice sounded.

Older boys had first use of the race oval and some of the other venues that morning, so Aruli had planned to help the twelve-year-olds with their wrestling. He had even asked Jeet to come by and help him coach, since Jeet was good at it and the twelve-year-olds were in awe of him. Aruli hoped Demos would excel at wrestling.

While the young eunuch waited for Jeet, he divided the boys into three groups between himself, Rem, and Menelaus. Aruli kept Demos in his group and paired him up with a smaller boy.

Out of the ninety-seven twelve-year-olds, there were only a handful of competent wrestlers. The smaller boy with whom Aruli paired Demos, was one of them. The copper-haired, farm boy was lying on his back in seconds.

Though the twelve-years were not great wrestlers, they were quite good at sprouting erections as they watched other naked boys wrestle and roll together, spindly-legged and butt-high. There had been several rigid cocks in the group by the time Jeet arrived to help. He brought Letradoisan and one of the Antioch masters to assist.

Letradoisan grinned and elbowed Jeet as several of the twelve-year-olds covered their middles, attempting to hide full or semi erect cocks. “Aruli,” Letradoisan called out teasingly, “just what kind of wrestling are you teaching these boys?”

Aruli frowned, but not at Letradoisan’s joke. He frowned, mainly because, as soon as Jeet arrived, Demos, along with most of the other twelve-year-olds, plainly awestruck, became dumb. For once, Aruli was envious that he didn’t have the affect that Jeet did.

“I’ve divided them into three groups,” Aruli told Jeet, without responding to Letradoisan’s verbal jab. “But we can work with them however you think best.”

“How good are they?” Jeet asked.

“Not very,” Aruli answered.

Jeet nodded and stepped forward. “All of you gather round,” he called out. He reached back for Aruli’s hand and pulled him forward to his side. “Aruli and I will show you some basics.”

But Aruli was distracted. He watched unhappily as he saw Letradoisan notice Demos and step over beside the copper-haired boy. He saw Letradoisan smile at Demos, and he saw Demos, distracted for a moment from Jeet, return the twin’s smile, tentatively, as he glanced over the well built body of the slightly older boy the way one boy appraises another.

Jeet spoke to the younger boys while demonstrating moves and holds with Aruli. Aruli, however, remained distracted; especially after Letradoisan rested a forearm on Demos’ shoulder and leaned to whisper some joke in Demos’ ear. The two boys laughed, and Letradoisan left his forearm resting there, on Demos’ shoulder. It looked to Aruli like the twin’s cock thickened slightly.

They finished the demonstration, and Jeet waved the boys back into their three groups. He stepped over to Rem to help him with his group. Letradoisan, bringing Demos by the hand, came to Aruli. “Demos here, says he’s in your group,” he said. “So I’ll help you with your group, and our master from Antioch can help Menelaus with his.”

Aruli’s unhappiness grew when he paired all the boys in his group, and Letradoisan paired himself with Demos because they had an odd number of boys. It grew again as he watched Letradoisan position Demos on all fours and then get down behind him, folding his naked body over the younger boy’s before the signal to start wrestling.

Aruli divided his time among the various boys in his group, stealing frequent glances at Demos and Letradoisan; he couldn’t help himself. All the boys worked through basic maneuvers, and several of the twelve-year-olds sprouted erections off and on. Aruli watched, and was grateful that Demos did not.

But Letradoisan joked with the boy, and they were obviously getting along well. Aruli tried to shake off unfamiliar feelings of depression as he moved among the boys. He tried to get his mind off Demos and the twin, attempting to be helpful to the other twelve-year-olds, making suggestions, demonstrating. He returned in time to see Letradoisan let Demos take him down onto his back, and the two boys tangled legs, rolling and laughing together. When Demos got up, not only did he have the beginnings of an erection, but Letradoisan did as well. Aruli stared a moment; Demos looked like his erection would be pleasantly long and thick for his small body.

Jeet called a short break, and Aruli watched with disappointment as Letradoisan took Demos by the hand and tugged him away from the group. With a last, hesitant look back at Lycos and the other boys, Demos gave in to Letradoisan’s tugging, and the two ran off into the pine trees in back of the twelve-year-old’s latrine.

Other boys saw, and almost immediately, another pair ran off into the woods, then two others.

Aruli felt a hand on his back and turned to see Rem’s sympathetic face. “Letradoisan didn’t know that you like Demos,” Rem said.

Aruli frowned and shrugged. “Demos probably wouldn’t be interested in me anyway.”

Rem kissed Aruli’s cheek. “He doesn’t look like a stupid boy to me, Aruli-hah,” Rem said. “And only a stupid boy wouldn’t be interested in you.”

Aruli smiled, sadly.

Rem patted his back. “You are not the only one feeling sad.” Rem nodded toward Lycos, who stood among the other twelve-year-olds, staring off toward the spot where Demos and Letradoisan had disappeared into the trees. “I may go comfort him, Aruli,” Rem said with a grin. “Myself, I think Lycos is very nice looking and someone has to protect him from older boys.” He patted Aruli’s back. “We have several more days, Aruli-hah. Don’t be discouraged.”

Letradoisan led Demos well into the woods and stopped, almost at the river and well out of sight of the others. Still holding Demos by the hand, he turned to him, grinning.

At almost fourteen, Letradoisan was almost two years older than Demos. He was also half a head taller and much more solidly built. Letradoisan was older in other ways, though. He was a worldly youth from Antioch; Demos was a farm boy – a farm boy who looked incredibly innocent and vulnerable at that moment, there, under the pine trees.

As they faced each other, Letradoisan’s eyes surveyed the younger boy… Demos’ deep blue eyes, his dense curls of ruddy gold, his lips the color of strong wine, and his skin like cream.

When Letradoisan stepped closer, Demos’ delicate, copper eyebrows knitted uncertainly. He was pale, and his breath was shallow. Letradoisan smiled and rubbed the younger boy’s upper arm soothingly; noticing, momentarily, the softness of the farm boy’s warm skin. But he kept his concentration. It was exciting to seduce a younger boy; he’d done it before. Demos’ innocence made him particularly exciting. However, Letradoisan knew that he needed to go slow, even though his cock was already straining at its skin.

The twin gently backed Demos to a pine tree, and when the boy tensed, Letradoisan grinningly, disarmingly, mussed Demos copper-colored hair. When he got a tentative smile from Demos in return, he massaged Demos’ shoulders with both hands. He kept smiling, friendly, relaxing the younger boy as he carefully moved even closer. Then Letradoisan leaned in and gently kissed the twelve-year-old on the lips.

It was Demos’ first kiss, and the younger boy almost trembled.

Letradoisan brushed back Demos’ copper-colored hair. “You’re pretty. Did you know that?”

Demos slowly shook his head.

Letradoisan smiled. “You are.” He ran his hand over the smaller boy’s chest and shoulders. “You’re going to have a nice body, too.”

Demos swallowed hard. “You’re the one with the nice body.” He glanced down. Letradoisan’s cock was thick, totally rigid, and pointing straight up at Demos’ face.

Letradoisan saw the direction of Demos’ gaze. He leaned beside Demos’ ear. “Hold it if you want,” Letradoisan whispered, and Demos could feel the other boy’s warm breath on the side of his neck.

Demos stood, paralyzed.

Letradoisan kissed Demos again. At the same time, he reached down between the younger boy’s legs and closed his hand around Demos’ erection which had drooped slightly after the run. The boy jumped, but as Letradoisan kissed and fondled him, Demos’ cock quickly grew rigid again. Letradoisan almost smiled then, even while kissing, because once a younger boy got hard, the rest was usually easy.

This was much more of a kiss than Demos’ first one a moment before. As Letradoisan pressed his lips firmly to Demos’, his fingers gently lifted Demos’ balls and tugged at his stiffening cock. Demos started to kiss back and his breath came in rapid puffs.

A boy who likes to handle another boy’s genitals learns to give pleasure when he does it, and Letradoisan’s hand fondled Demos expertly. He felt the younger boy’s cock grow quickly rigid. Letradoisan pressed the tip of his tongue between Demos’ lips, and when those lips parted, he thrust into Demos’ mouth with his tongue. The twelve-year-old started to pull back from the intrusion, but Letradoisan kept his mouth pressed to Demos’ and he held Demos’ cock firmly until the younger boy’s tongue tentatively responded to his own.

Demos warmed to the kiss quickly. He was twelve and Letradoisan was fourteen; their tongues wrestled the way boys’ tongues wrestle, and Demos attempted his own thrust into Letradoisan’s mouth. The older boy murmured approvingly, and then again, when he felt the twelve-year-old’s hand grope for and find his own erection. Demos’ hand closed over it and then squeezed it, and then stroked it the way Letradoisan was stroking Demos’.

“That feels good, Demos,” Letradoisan whispered softly against Demos’ open lips. “Does it feel good to you?”

Demos barely breathed. “Yes,” he whispered.

Very, very slowly, Letradoisan covered the twelve-year-old’s mouth once more with his own. He showed the younger boy how to work an open-mouthed kiss. He fondled. He squeezed. He stroked. When Demos’ breath grew hot on his face and the younger boy’s hips started to pump into Letradoisan’s hand, the twin stepped back, drawing Demos with him. The farm boy’s cheeks, Letradoisan noticed, were flushed red.

Letradoisan sat down with his back against a smooth river boulder. Still holding Demos’ hand, his eyes were at a level with the twelve-year-old’s erection which pointed up from between Demos’ spindly legs, deeply flushed and thick-looking on the smaller boy. Letradoisan tugged Demos down to straddle his lap, and Demos knelt, one knee on either side of Letradoisan’s slender, golden thighs.

With both hands on Demos’ small hips, Letradoisan pulled the twelve-year-old forward so that Demos’ cock and balls came up against his own. Then, with a hand behind Demos’ neck, he pulled him into another kiss while he wrapped his other hand around both their cocks, where they jutted up together. He held the two shafts tightly, and stroked them. The twin’s was longer, but not thicker.

Demos steadied himself by grasping the older boy’s shoulders. He noticed that the muscles in them were hard, and squeezed that hardness with his hands.

They broke from their kiss and looked down between their bodies. Their paired crowns emerged together from foreskins with each downward stroke of Letradoisan’s hand. Letradoisan moved his hips slightly with his stroke; Demos responded.

Letradoisan felt for the leather thong behind Demos’ neck with his fingers, and finding it, he lifted the vial of oil from Demos. He released their two cocks long enough to remove the cap and attempt to pour a small amount of oil over their twin erections. There was little more than a drop.

With a chuckle, Letradoisan took his own vial of oil and poured lightly from it over their two cocks. He stroked it in. Demos, rested his forehead on the older boy’s forehead, watching.

Letradoisan poured another small amount of oil onto his fingertips and reached behind Demos. Finding the boy’s crack between firm little buttocks, he rubbed the oil in. When Demos rose on his knees, Letradoisan found his opening and probed in with one finger. Letradoisan looked up into Demos’ deep blue eyes, watching for the younger boy’s reaction as he moved the tip of his finger around inside.

But Demos closed his eyes and leaned forward to rest his forehead on the top of Letradoisan’s golden hair. The twin’s practiced finger probed, and Demos’ breath caught at a sudden surge of pleasure when Letradoisan pressed the right spot. But then the finger was gone, and Demos opened his eyes to see Letradoisan recap the oil.

Letradoisan set the vial aside, and holding his cock upright with one hand, he grasped the side of Demos’ hip with the other, and guided the younger boy’s butt back and downward until Demos felt the wet, blunt end of the twin’s cock press between his butt cheeks; somehow bigger than it looked. The younger boy felt it against his rectum only briefly before his breath caught, because it was sliding inside, feeling slick and thick… a little bigger than Lycos’. Demos settled slowly, biting his lip, eyes shut in concentration. It was not unpleasant.

Letradoisan’s head fell back, mouth open, his own eyes closed in concentration of his own as the younger boy’s tightness traveled slowly down his shaft. At the bottom, Demos settled into his lap, and Letradoisan felt his full length stretch inside the smaller boy.

Letradoisan opened his eyes and saw that Demos’ eyes were open. The younger boy looked away, rather than into the blond twin’s brown eyes. But with his hands on Letradoisan’s shoulders, he wiggled his bottom, adjusting to the shaft up his butt, settling completely down.

The twin’s eyes dropped between their bodies to where Demos’ balls – not the little spheres of a boy, but already the egg shapes of youth – lay loosely on Letradoisan’s belly, just over his pubic patch. Between them, Demos’ cock lay thick and pink up onto Letradoisan’s belly, right up to his naval. Letradoisan closed a hand around the soft-skinned shaft, and holding Demos by the hip with his other hand, Letradoisan pulled him gently forward, and then back. Demos’ tightness stretched Letradoisan’s shaft as the smaller boy’s bottom bones ground at the base of it. Hot breath washed down onto their bellies from the twin’s flaring nostrils.

Letradoisan savored the feel. He slid his hands down the outside of Demos’ smooth thighs, and he pulled them more tightly to his sides while he lifted and ground up with his hips. He slid his hands back to Demos’ narrow hips and kneaded the soft skin of the younger boy’s small butt. He slid his hands up along Demos’ sides and over his belly and chest. His eyes met Demos’, and he grinned at the copper-haired boy. “You feel really good,” he whispered.

Without taking his eyes from Demos’ face, he grasped the younger boy’s hips once more and held him as he ground upward under the younger boy. “Does it feel good for you yet?” he asked the twelve-year-old.

Demos smiled – a hesitant, preoccupied smile. He gave his hips a little rock.

Letradoisan’s brow furrowed. “Ride it,” he whispered. “Ride my cock like you would ride on a horse; forward and back. Rub your cock on my belly. Make it feel good for you, too. Here… ”

Letradoisan, palm up, slid his fingers under Demos’ cock and balls, and when the younger boy rose slightly on his knees, Letradoisan pressed his fingertips up between Demos’ two testicles. He rubbed the skin of the younger boy’s scrotum up and down the thick ridge at the deep base of Demos’ shaft. “Rub here and… ” Then Letradoisan slid his fingers down farther, under Demos’ perineum. “And here. Rub them on the hard spot, under my short hairs, and on my belly. I’ll make it tight for you. Move your bottom around until it feels good.”

He held the younger boy by the hips, and Demos rocked them more forcefully forward and back. His hands squeezed Letradoisan’s shoulders, and as instructed, he slid his cock up Letradoisan’s firm belly and rubbed his perineum on the firmness of Letradoisan’s hair-covered pubic mound. It did begin to feel good; really good. Demos rocked harder. Then without looking directly into Letradoisan’s eyes, Demos bent his mouth to the twin’s. He wanted to kiss again.

+ + + + +

Jeet, leading Anda by the hand, leaned in at the shelter which had been set aside as an infirmary. Jeet had asked to have one, in large part, to have an excuse to give Ono a rest from his tireless work with the children at the shrine. “They will be well cared for,” Jeet had assured Ono. “You need to come away for a while.”

But now there were two boys in the infirmary, and Jeet worried that Ono wouldn’t rest after all.

Ono greeted the Abij-hah with a kiss and embrace. “Thank you for making me come, Jeet-hah,” he said in his high voice. “I love this place.”

Jeet glanced at the two boys lying on pallets inside. “You mustn’t work too hard, though, Ono. Let me know, and I will see that you have help.”

Ono shook his head. “We’re alright. That one,” he said, pointing to the younger of the two boys, “ate something he shouldn’t have, and he has diarrhea. He’ll be fine after his system purges itself, and he gets some rest. And that one,” he said, pointing to a sixteen-year-old, “hurt his ankle. I’m keeping him off it for a day or two, making sure it is just a sprain.” Ono grinned and leaned close. “He’s very pretty, don’t you think?”

Jeet nodded, then frowned slightly. He pulled Ono to one side with the Oracle. “Ono,” he said, speaking quietly, “I wasn’t thinking… all these pretty boys here, and you don’t have someone to sleep with.” Jeet laid his hand on Ono’s forearm. “Would you like one of the other eunuchs to come to your bed?”

Ono smiled and patted Jeet’s hand. “Jarus has called me to his tent the last two nights.” He winked. “All the priestesses are very busy.”

“Jarus?” the Oracle asked in surprise.

Ono smiled. “I’ve belonged to Jarus for a long time, Oracle. He doesn’t like sleeping with priestesses when they’ve just slept with other men.” Ono smiled. “All the priestesses have been very busy here, so Jarus has called for me.” He leaned close, confidentially. “Even at the temple, he still calls me frequently to his bed.”

The Oracle frowned. “I’m sorry.”

Ono laughed lightly. “Don’t be, Oracle. Jarus is kind to me, and he cares for me in his own way.” The older eunuch laughed again, and leaned closer. “There’s a young soldier here… one of the governor’s. He’s been by a few times, and has even brought me food.”

“Oh?” Jeet asked with a smile.

Ono nodded, grinning happily. “He’s very pretty, too.”

+ + + + +

“The Abij-hah is going to wrestle one of the seventeen-year-olds!” a boy cried out.

Jin’s fifteen-year-olds were working out on the racing oval and several of them turned in the direction of the boy’s voice. It came from the area of Jeet’s pavilion. Instantly, the fifteen-year-olds took off running that direction.

Philip and Jentes arrived at the cheering group of boys just as it parted, and a medium-sized seventeen-year-old came rolling their way on the ground. Beyond him, they could see Jeet getting up from the ground in the middle of a wrestling circle. Several boys howled.

The grinning Abij-hah brushed the grass and dirt off his bare bottom. The seventeen-year-old frowned as he got to his feet. He returned to the circle and the crowd closed back around them, this time with Philip and Jentes crowding to in the front.

“The Abij-hah was trying to show him a move,” Philip heard one boy tell another. “And Ajax there, told him, ‘If you’re so good, wrestle me.’” There were several laughs.

“How old is the Abij-hah?” Philip asked Jentes as the eunuch and the seventeen-year-old squared off.

“He’s our age, I think. Fifteen.”

“Only fifteen?” another boy asked.

In the circle, Jeet feinted, and Ajax lunged. In a flash, Jeet was behind him, attempting to take the older boy down. But Ajax was bigger and stronger, and started to turn on him. Jeet quickly dodged away before the stronger boy could tie him up.

“He’s quick,” someone said.

The two boys circled each other, feinting, Ajax trying to tangle Jeet’s hands. Ajax lunged for Jeet’s legs, but Jeet deftly hopped, and in a whirl of legs and arms, suddenly had Ajax on his back, legs up and painfully spread between Jeet’s shoulder and knee.

“Aah!” the seventeen-year-old cried out. He tried to squirm out, but Jeet stretched him more. “I give! I give!” Ajax gasped.

Jeet jumped up to the cheers of the boys around him. Ajax stood up more slowly, rubbing the tendons inside his legs. Jeet bowed to him. “Thank you for a good match,” he said.

“Bullshit,” Ajax said. “Show me how you got me into that last hold.”

“All of you in my herd,” Jin called out, “all the fifteen-year-olds, back to racing.”

Jentes took Philip’s hand as they walked back toward the track. “Are you a good wrestler?” he asked.

“No,” Philip said.

Jentes grinned. “I am. I will teach you.”

+ + + + +

Jeet checked behind them to make sure that no one was following, and then led Anda higher up the hill. They wore only sandals and hip pouches, and climbed easily. On a rocky ridge, they stopped and looked back. Directly below them was the amphitheater. Beyond that, the whole peninsula of Ganymede spread out below them. Smoke rose from the cooking fires to the left. Sun glinted on the river. There were hills to the west, beyond the river. On the northern horizon, Jeet thought he could make out the hills around Kaleh. He slid his arm behind and pulled the side of the Oracle’s hip to his.

“It’s beautiful,” Anda said, looking around. “I love being outdoors, and away from the temple.” She inhaled deeply. “I love the smell of pines.” She turned, facing Jeet, and rubbed the sides of his neck with her palms while pressing her pelvis forward against his. “It’s great, being able to simply be Alexander,” she said, “to walk and run around naked with other boys, and with you, and be a boy in my mind.”

“When you’re naked,’ Jeet said with a grin, “other boys look as much at your cock as your breasts.”

Anda smiled. “Yeah, they do. I wish it was long like yours.”

Jeet laughed. “It’s long enough. Why do you think they look?”

The Oracle kissed him, then took Jeet by the hand and led them farther up the hill and around to the south, where tents, buildings, soldiers, horses, and all the rest of the company that came with the boys to Ganymede, lay scattered across the field below them. They circled higher, where close to the top, they stood on a limestone outcropping and faced the mountains to the east.

Before them was a wide panorama, from north to east to south. Their eyes swept it as sun warmed their bare backsides. Anda squeezed Jeet’s hand. “Isn’t it grand?” she asked quietly, taking a deep breath. “When we’re away from the temple, I feel like I can breathe.”

Jeet studied the mountains, thinking that beyond them lay Parthia, and beyond Parthia, somewhere, was Prekendra’s homeland and the new empire of the Sungas. He turned his gaze northward. His own homeland lay somewhere in that direction; far in that direction.

Anda sat down on the edge of the rock, dangling her legs over a drop of several feet and then a steep slope downward. She tugged Jeet’s hand, wanting him to sit beside her.

He did, the sides of their legs pressing. They each grabbed the inner thigh of the other, comfortably.

“If I could, I would climb every one of those mountains,” Anda said, wistfully. “I would sit like this at the top of each one, and I would see what the world looked like from there. And if there are other mountains beyond those, I would climb them in turn.” She glanced at Jeet. “I wish I could see the whole wide world with you, Jeet-hah.”

Jeet squeezed her firm thigh. The way they were sitting, with her phallus concealing the crevice between her legs, her lean body beside his, talking about adventure, it was easy to think of her as… “Alexander,” he said softly.

The Oracle glanced at him.

Jeet smiled. “You really do have the heart of a boy at times.”

The Oracle shrugged. “And the body, too, if I keep working out with you and the others.” She flashed him a smile, and then looked up at the blue sky, and around at the trees behind them. “I always have a boy’s heart,” Anda-Alexander murmured. Then she glanced back at Jeet. “When I was little, and still at home, I loved to explore our house, the woods around our home… everywhere.” She gazed across at the mountains. “I have no heart for confinement.”

Jeet gently rubbed the inside of her thigh and leaned his shoulder against hers. “We’ve had no time alone for days now,” he said. “I could wish to stay up here forever.”

He kissed Anda-Alexander.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if the whole world didn’t want to sleep with you,” Anda said. “If I could simply have you to myself.” She took her hand from inside Jeet’s thigh and wrapped it behind his shoulders, leaning the side of her head against his. “It will be worse in Antioch,” she murmured. “We’ll always be with the king; or Antiochus will be trying to bed you, or the twins will be, or who knows who else… not to mention Rem, Tazaar, Ptolemy and the others wanting time with you. And I’ll have to be a girl, always.” Anda-Alexander rubbed Jeet’s hard-muscled back with her palm. “At least the King treats me more like a boy.”

Jeet rolled the side of his head on the Oracle’s and gave her a kiss on the side of her neck before laying back on the rock and gazing up at the sky. She lay back beside him, shoulder-to-shoulder, and laid the flat of her hand low on his belly, her fingers gently manipulating his pubic mound, just above his cock, as if idly scratching pubic hair that wasn’t there. Jeet lay his hand on her belly, and idly scratched a small patch of pubic hair that was.

The sky over them was deeply blue with only a few wisps of high clouds. The air was full of pine and cedar. Jeet took a deep breath and understood what Anda-Alexander meant about being able to breathe.

He could wish that they had the wings of birds and could soar up into the sky and be free together. They could fly out over those mountains to the east, he thought, and in that moment, he had a strange feeling that he would go that way some day; to those mountains and maybe beyond. It left him sad as he thought about them ever leaving what he and Anda had.

“Oracle,” he said, thoughtfully. “You know, as much as we like it out here, the temple isn’t such a prison anymore. It’s really almost our home, now. And it isn’t so bad these days. I don’t have to sleep with supplicants. We’ve got Rem and Maracee and Notama. They love us. Tazaar, Aruli, Ptolemy, Bantu, and Jin are mated to us for life, and think for a moment about how much we love them. And we have wealth and fame. We live off the bounty of the land. The people of Kaleh love us.” He took a deep breath, and tugged lightly a time or two at her small patch of pubic hair. “It’s not a bad life.”

“And Antioch?” the Oracle asked, quietly.

Jeet lay on the rock, gazing up at the sky, and shrugged. “Perhaps it won’t be so bad in Antioch. The king is a good man, and he cares for us. And he’ll keep Antiochus away.” Jeet rolled up onto his side, propping his head on his elbow beside the Oracle. His eyes met hers, and he smiled as he laid a hand on her left breast, caressing it, naturally, easily, appreciatively. “We’ll be at the center of the empire, Alexander. We’ll see people and things we’d never see in Kaleh. That will be an adventure, right? But then, six months each year, we’ll come home to Kaleh, and our friends there, and the people who love us. We can take your barge out on the river in the summer. We can come up here in the fall and hold games.”

Anda smiled, and reached up to run her hand along the side of his face, and his sleek hair that had been pulled up into a high tail. “Sometimes,” she whispered, “it’s not adventure, but privacy that I long for. Sometimes, I’m selfish. I want you to belong only to me.” She looked up into his eyes and smiled sadly. “Sometimes I wish you were less beautiful. I would love you as much, and others would love you less.”

Jeet lowered his face to hers, brushing her lips with his. “I belong to you, Oracle. I’ll always belong to you.”

He kissed her, and she grasped the back of his head. Their mouths opened to each other. Her phallus stirred, and with it, the male in Oracle’s spirit stirred. Anda-Alexander rolled up on her side to face Jeet. She probed into his mouth with her tongue, demandingly, while slipping a leg between his. Jeet responded and it came to Anda-Alexander, all in an instant, that Jeet needed the male in her, just as much as the female, and that in all the world, there was no one else suited so perfectly for her; fitted so perfectly in mind as well as body.

Her body was fit from working out with Jeet and the others, and she felt the strength of it now, holding Jeet. She squeezed him hard, probing with her tongue. Anda-Alexander knew her next moves; they were male; they were instinctual – She would bring Jeet back from the edge of the rock, and then she would spread his legs and mount him; bury herself deep inside him and grab his shoulders and fuck him hard and possess him and give him pleasure… and forget about adventure or freedom or privacy… but think only about joy and love and ecstasy and…. Jeet. She would fuck him, and keep him hard, and then she would take his cock up her vagina and ride him hard and wear him out and wring ecstasy out of him, and thoroughly satisfy both of them. And then she would lie beside him, against his body, and have a full heart for him the way she always did after they made love.

+ + + + +

Jin had seen the boy before. He was one of the seventeen-year-olds, on the boney side, but pleasing to look at, nevertheless. He had an average face, black hair, a thick chest, with chest hair, a dense pubic patch, and a circumcised cock of moderate length. Jin assumed the boy was a Jew.

Jin noticed him because, beginning the day before, he seemed to be around a lot. And now he came into Jin’s pavilion, the one for fifteen-year-olds, and bowed. “May I sit with you, beloved one?” the boy asked.

Jin nodded. “Is your herd taking a break?”

The boy shook his head. “No. They’re wrestling, and I’m not much of a wrestler. I don’t think they can make me one in a day or two.”

Jin smiled. “Of the Oracle’s attendants, I am perhaps the worst wrestler.”

“Why do you sit in here?” the older boy asked.

Jin looked out from under the shade of the pavilion at the sunny peninsula. “The sun hurts my eyes. If I stay out too long, it burns my skin.”

“Because you are albino?” the boy asked bluntly.

Jin nodded.

The boy moved closer, his eyes roaming Jin’s features. “I have never before seen an albino.”

Jin felt a sudden pang of disappointment. He had hoped the boy’s interest was not because of Jin’s oddity. But then the boy asked, “Are all albino boys so beautiful?”

Jin laughed. “I don’t know. I have never met another one. Are all Jews so bold?”

The boy grinned. “In my family they are.” He looked around. “It must be lonely and boring to have to be away from everyone because of the sun.”

“I have gotten used to it,” Jin said. He pointed to Aruli’s pipes. “I borrowed those from my… friend. I play music some. I think about things. Back in Kaleh, there are many things to keep me busy.”

The older boy leaned back against some bedding and grinned. Putting his hands behind his head, he stretched out his bare legs and crossed them. “I shall keep you company. Do you like talking? I do. And I would love to learn more about Kaleh and the Oracle.”

Jin smiled and leaned back against opposite bedding. “What is your name?”



Aruli lined the twelve-year-olds up in heats. He had given up on Demos excelling at anything. After Demos had disappeared with Letradoisan, he had pretty much given up on Demos, period. So he lumped Demos in a heat with other boys without a care as to whether those other boys looked to be slower or faster.

He ran three heats before Demos’. He was pleased to see Lycos do well. He felt a certain kindred spirit with the boy, and he knew that Rem liked him.

And then Demos ran, and he ran like the wind, leaving the other twelve-year-olds far behind.

Aruli ran all the heats, and took the fastest boys from each of them to run against Demos. Again, Demos won easily. He won at sprints. He won handily at medium distance. At long distance, he edged out a win with a sprint at the end.

+ + + + +

Marcos stood up and stretched. “I suppose I should get back to my herd,” he said. “It is getting late, and they will be eating soon.”

Jin looked out from the pavilion. It was late afternoon; very late. He was surprised. The time had gone quickly. “I need to catch up with my herd as well,” he said. Then he smiled. “I’m supposed to be their leader.”

With an earnest look, Marcos knelt back down beside Jin. “May I come to you tonight?” Before Jin could answer, though, Marcos continued. “It is fine if we are only friends. Everyone is spending the night with someone else. I would like to spend it with a friend.”

Jin smiled. “Me, too.”

+ + + + +

Seleucus took his seat between the Oracle and Jeet at the King’s table that evening, and motioned for the others to sit. Then he cocked an eye and turned to Jeet at his right. “Certainly, these two must be brothers,” he said aloud, pointing to two copper-haired boys at opposite sides of the table.

“They are,” Jeet answered. “I have met them both. The older one there is Philip.”

Philip smiled because the Abij-hah had remembered his name, just as Jentes said he would.

“And the younger one,” Jeet continued, “is Demos.”

“Welcome, Philip and Demos,” the king said. “And how have you both been chosen for my table on the first night?”

Behind each of the six champions who had been chosen to sit at the king’s table that evening, stood the eunuch who shepherded that champion’s herd. Jin stepped forward behind Philip. “Philip is easily the fastest runner of all the fifteen-year-olds, Great One. I watched him this morning, and I truly believe he could outrun a horse.”

The king nodded at Philip. “Indeed. A horse? We may test that, and if he can, then we must devise a very clever reward.”

Aruli stepped up behind Demos. “Demos is also a runner, Great One. He is faster than all the other twelve-year-olds. He runs like the wind.”

The king nodded, impressed. “Like the wind? That would be a race that would require a particularly cunning prize.” He grinned. “And which of you two brothers is fastest?”

“I am,” Philip answered immediately, with a sharp glance at his brother. He was faster, but he wasn’t sure that he was faster then Demos when he was twelve.

“I will certainly remember you, two,” the king said. “An army always needs good runners.” He turned to Jeet. “Introduce the others to me, and then I will inquire as to their fathers and the towns from which they come.”

The eunuchs served their champions that evening. Since Jeet sat at table with the king, Rem served the seventeen-year-old champion.

Aruli stayed close beside Demos, patting his back and encouraging him when the king or one of the others spoke directly to the boy. Demos was grateful, and when he smiled at Aruli, the young eunuch felt pleased.

“Will the Oracle’s attendants dance for us tonight?” the sixteen-year-old champion asked before the meal concluded. “Last night, the Abij-hah said that if we did well today, they would dance for us.”

The King frowned, thinking that perhaps he should forbid Jeet from dancing for men anymore. He didn’t want men looking upon Jeet as only a dancing boy. And yet, as he thought about Jeet’s beauty and sensuality when the boy danced, it appealed to the King’s vanity to have boys and men see the boy who shared the King’s bed. He smiled, thinking to himself how, the way Jeet danced, the boy might put men even more under his spell.

Seeing the King’s smile, Jeet glanced around at the other eunuchs. “We are supposed to dance for the men again tonight. We can dance first for the athletes.”

The sixteen-year-old who had asked, smiled.

+ + + + +

Demos hopped and spun around. “I sat at the King’s table!” he exclaimed.

Aruli laughed and turned Demos in the right direction as they headed back toward their pavilion. Aruli left his arm over the boy’s shoulder.

Demos looked up at him and grinned. “Thanks for taking me, and staying right behind me tonight,” he said, sliding his own arm behind the small of Aruli’s back.

Aruli, grateful for the boy’s arm there, gave Demos’ shoulders a friendly shake. “You earned it. You really do run like the wind.”

Demos glanced around. “I wonder where Letradoisan is. I’ve got to tell him all about it.”

Aruli couldn’t suppress a frown, but quickly looked away, taking his arm back from Demos’ shoulders. “I don’t know,” he said.

+ + + + +

Demos walked beside Lycos on the way to the entrance slope that evening. Lycos hadn’t been as friendly since Demos disappeared with Letradoisan that morning, but since Lycos had spent much of his time that day with Rem, and Rem was now with the other eunuchs, he didn’t seem to mind when Demos walked alongside.

That didn’t keep Demos from looking for Letradoisan. He didn’t see him on the slope as he and Lycos climbed up to take seats close to where they sat the evening before, so he watched for him among the arriving boys.

When finally he thought he saw him, he decided it must be Letradoisan’s twin instead, because the blond boy was walking, hand in hand with a slender boy who was identifiable as a thirteen-year-old by the purple strips tied around his waist and head. The twin gave the boy’s butt a friendly squeeze when they separated so that the twin could join the other helpers in front of the platform.

A few minutes later, the second twin arrived with his arm around the shoulders of a short, but solidly built fourteen-year-old. They were laughing, and kissed, before the second twin joined the first in front of the platform. Demos felt a sinking sensation in his gut.

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