Sons of Sparta - A Story of the Spartans, Book 3
(inspired by the story 'Spartan' parts 1 through 4)
Note: All credit for the creation of the Spartans and Amazons, as well as the Spartan mythos belongs to the author 'CF', to whom I owe special thanks for his allowing me to write about these incredible people.
Seventeen year-old Steven Danielson wandered down the sidewalk uncertainly, trying to remember where the place he was looking for was located. One wouldn't think that he was seventeen, whether the person in question were Spartan or human. For a Spartan, he was rather mature of mind, acting more like a nineteen or twenty year old, rather than his true age, so even fellow Spartans were often fooled as to just how old he truly was. Steven was now a full adult by Spartan standards and any human who would look at him would swear he looked more like a twenty one year old, but that was only because Spartans matured half as much faster than humans. While his face closely resembled that of his siring father Sam Apolloson, he took his coloring from his birth dad Daniel Matthewson. He had begun to try to grow a mustache and goatee, but the hair was still short. He wasn’t worried, though because he suspected he'd one day have a thick layer of facial hair like his Dad Sam. He bit his lower lip nervously as he went, then suddenly brightened as he saw the front of the bistro he'd been looking for.
He entered the Greek restaurant and was greeted by an older human woman of strongly Grecian heritage, who smiled at him and ushered him warmly to a small empty table. "All alone today?" she asked sympathetically in a thick Grecian accent. He nodded, accepting his status as a single man with grace. After all, he was still very young and had plenty of time to find his partner, but he didn't want to say that because he had no idea how the woman would feel if she were to learn that he wasn't human like her. "Such a handsome boy! Well don't worry... You'll find a nice girl someday, just you wait."
*Not likely!* he thought, but said nothing out loud. He rested his arm on the table and frowned as salt crystals on the surface of it ground into his bare arm which poked out of his short shirt sleeve. "Ah! Say can I get this table wiped down?" he asked, frowning with mild distaste.
"Αφηρημένη ηλίθιος!" ('Afiriméni ilíthios!') she muttered in Greek, unaware that Steven understood her calling someone an absentminded idiot. One didn't grow up the son of an Apolline priest without learning to speak Greek fluently. "Γιώργο, να ομολογήσουν αυτό το τραπέζι!" ('Giórgo, na omologísoun aftó to trapézi!') she shouted towards the kitchen, telling someone named Giorgos, the Greek equivalent to the name George, to come clean the table.
"Ερχόμενοι μαμά! Μη φωνάζεις!" ('Erchómenoi mamá! Mi fonázeis!') a male voice called out in exasperation, telling his mother he was coming and for her not to shout.
A few moments later, as the woman said she would return with water and a menu, a young man in his mid teens... *No, probably his early twenties,* Steven corrected himself for the different rate at which humans matured, came out looking hurried and carrying a wash rag.
"Sorry," the man said distractedly in a thick Grecian accent like his mother's. He proceeded to scrub the table rapidly.
"It's ok," Steven said good-naturedly. "Rough day?"
"You do not know!" Giorgos grumbled. "Dishwasher is broke, I try to fix, brother Abdias is out sick and I try to run three jobs at once! If he is faking I will kill him!" He sighed explosively and slumped his shoulders. "I am sorry. I do not mean to make you the victim of my woes. Forgive,” he finished, looking the customer in the eye. He had a light tan and a clean-shaven face with short, curly brown hair and eyes the color of melted chocolate. He looked very handsome and trim, just like a statue of an ancient Grecian man.
Steven looked up at the human with a smile. "Don't worry, it's alrigh... -t," he finished slowly, staring up at the human man in wonder as their eyes met. Steven had the oddest sense that he knew this man even though they had only just met.
Giorgos stared oddly at Steven, feeling confused. This man seemed so very familiar to him. He stood there, taking in the stranger's appearance. then smiled gently. "Όμορφα..." ('Ómorfa...') he breathed softly, saying that Steven was beautiful.
"Καθώς είστε," ('Kathós eíste,' - 'As are you...') Steven replied with a smile of his own.
Giorgos, suddenly looking horribly embarrassed both at having said as much to a complete stranger as well as discovering that the man had understood him perfectly, began to stammer. "I am sorry," he apologized quickly in English. "I... I need to fix dishwasher..." He said with effort.
"Wait," Steven said, wanting to get to know this human better and beginning to wonder. "Who are you? I'm Steven, Steven Danielson."
"I am Giorgos... Xarhakos."
"Nice to meet you," Steven replied nervously.
"Γιώργος! Πλυντήριο πιάτων!" ('Giórgos! Plyntírio piáton!') his mother screamed from within the kitchen, yelling at him to return to fixing the dishwasher.
"Ερχόμενοι μαμά!" ('Erchómenoi mamá!' - 'Coming Mama!') he shouted back in annoyance. He turned back to Steven, looking disappointed. "I must go."
"Ok, take care," Steven said sadly as he watched the human hurry away...
After that, Steven came to eat at the bistro every day, feeling that something was developing between him and the human busboy. Finally, after three months of eating there, he decided to bite the bullet.
"Giorgos... Do you like guys?"
The human blushed furiously. "Yes, I do."
"Would you like to get dinner together?"
"Uh... okay," Giorgos replied after a second's thought.
"You like pizza? There's that place down the street from here," Steven said, pointing to the right from the storefront.
"I would like that," the Grecian said with a nervous smile. "I am off at six. We meet there at seven?"
"It's a date," Steven breathed.
They stayed there, smiling at each other nervously until the mother smacked him on the shoulder with the menu in her hand and sloshing the water from its glass she had been bringing Steven in her other as she did so. "Giorgos! Dishes!" she snapped in English.
"Alright, Mama! Stop yelling!"
"Then go!" she ordered.
Giorgos walked away, muttering under his breath. "Harpy," he grumbled.
Furious, the woman spun around and smacked him hard across the back of the head with the menu.
"Ow!" he exclaimed, rubbing his skull with a sour expression as he went, glancing at Steven with a look of apology.
"Watch your tongue!" she snapped irritably.
Steven smiled sympathetically to the man, who seemed to be his partner, before the human disappeared into the kitchen once more.
"Sorry about my boy," the mother apologized in a weary tone. "Giorgos is good boy, but stubborn. Things will work out for him, though. He just needs to find a nice girl to help ground him, is all."
Steven smiled awkwardly at the human, not knowing what to say, but seeing that if this was the beginnings of a partner bond, it might not be an easy one...
Giorgos returned to the kitchen and went back to work on the dishes, working clumsily. As he did so, he was unable to get that man, Steven Danielson, out of his head...
Giorgos waited nervously at the table, trying hard not to check his watch again. *Where is he?* he wondered in English, trying to think in the primary language of America in order to get more used to doing so. He breathed a sigh of relief as Steven hurried in the front door, saw him and made a beeline for the table.
"I'm sorry I'm late!" Steven said quickly. "My bus broke down and we had to wait for the next one. Hope I didn't keep you waiting very long."
"Is okay, I have not waited long," the Grecian replied. "I am glad you came."
"I wouldn't have missed this for the world," Steven breathed.
"I have been thinking of you all day... I do not understand why," Giorgos sighed as he stared shamelessly at Steven.
The Spartan shifted nervously. "I've been the same... And I know why. At least I think I do." He sighed. "I want to do this right, so please be patient. Would you prefer I go gently or just be blunt?"
"About what? What do you know?"
"Well... I'm Spartan."
"You are poor?" Giorgos asked slowly.
"No, I mean Spartan as in a descendant of Sparta."
"Wait..." the human said, then leaned forward to whisper in shock.”You mean those men who give birth like women?"
"...Yeah," Steven replied nervously.
Giorgos stopped the waitress who was passing by. "Beer. A pitcher... And whatever he wants," the Grecian said, gesturing limply to Steven.
"A second glass, thanks," the Spartan told the waitress as she looked to him.
"Two pitchers, then," Giorgos added weakly.
"Just the one, actually," Steven said kindly. "Let's take it slow."
"We Greeks can handle our spirits. Two pitchers," he argued mildly as he addressed the waitress.
"Let's just start you off with the one and work our way upwards, alright?" she said kindly, patting him on the shoulder gently before she walked away, shaking her head sadly.
"Are you okay?" Steven asked timidly.
"Not really," Giorgos replied in a shaky voice. Steven went to speak again, but he held up a hand. "Ah! Ah! Beer first!" he ordered, looking somewhat green in the face.
They sat in silence, Giorgos resting his head in his hand and glancing nervously at his companion every few moments. Each time the Spartan tried to speak, the human interrupted him, insisting they wait for the beer. When the waitress brought it, he downed a glass rapidly, gagging slightly.
"This kind is terrible!" he complained with a wince. That did not, however, stop him from downing another glass of it in record time.
"I don't think it's a good idea to be drinking so much so quickly," Steven said nervously as Giorgos belched.
"This is nothing," the human answered loftily. "Try Ouzo sometime. Is much stronger."
"Is it okay to talk now?" Steven asked timidly.
"You are a male-female?"
"Yeah, basically, but I'm all man on the outside. If you saw me nude you'd never guess I wasn't a human man like you."
"And what? You want to have my babies?" Giorgos asked hesitantly.
"Well, let's get to know each other first, okay?" Suddenly, the human began to laugh. "What's so funny?" Steven asked with a smile.
"My mama keeps after me to meet someone nice, settle down, have children. I do not think she has another man in mind for this!"
Steven couldn't help it. He began to laugh too.
With the ice broken, they began to talk over pizza, pleasantly discovering that they were the rarest of the rare... People who had the exact same taste in pizza toppings of pepperoni, extra cheese, onions, black olives and mushrooms.
Giorgos and his family had moved to America five years ago to run the family-owned bistro after Giorgos' father had lost his job at a paper mill in his home city of Kalamanta in southern Greece. As a boy, he had been used to American tourists and studied hard to learn to speak and read English properly, which had helped him greatly when he moved to the states. He was currently attending college to learn how to become a professional chef. His hope was to get a job at a high end restaurant in San Francisco someday. Currently, he was living with his mother and father, as he had ever since they had all moved to America.
Steven then told of how he had been born and raised here in northern California in the Santa Rosa area and was the middle of seven sons, born of his one father Daniel and sired by his other Dad Sam, who served as head priest of Apollo, god of the sun and ran a temple dedicated to the deity here in town. Steven had graduated a year early from high school when due to excellent academic achievement, he had been permitted to skip ninth grade. Now he was working his way through college to become an architect due to his love of buildings and had a strong desire to design them. He was also living with his parents as he had a difficult time affording his own place.
Not wanting the evening to end, they went for a walk, talking until they became tired. Steven finally glanced at his watch to see that it was after two am and realized that he had missed the last bus of the night. As he was on the opposite end of town from home, he did the only thing he could do and pulled out his phone...
Half an hour later, the apartment door they waited at opened to reveal Steven's oldest brother Henry Danielson, who looked at them groggily. "You're lucky I even answered the phone..." he said coldly.”If it was up to me, I wouldn't have."
"Then why did you?" Steven asked with mild annoyance at his brother's sour mood.
"I thought it was the hospital calling me in."
Henry worked as an EMT, an emergency medical technician who worked out of an ambulance for Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. As such, he was sometimes on call, especially during emergencies. Steven explained this to the human, who nodded wisely.
Just then, Steven's cell phone rang. Grumbling, he fought it free of his pocket and answered it. "Hello? ...Hi Dad Sam... I'm okay... At Henry's. I was on a date and lost track of time... I'm not talking about that right now! ...I don't know, maybe..." he said, glancing at Giorgos nervously. "I hope so... Dad! Yes, I'll be careful... I know... Okay, I'll catch an early bus home in the morning... No, no, you have your duties. I'm fine with the bus... Okay, love you both. Night." He sighed and hung up.
Meanwhile, Giorgos was feeling awkward at having disturbed their host in the middle of the night and felt the need to say he was sorry. "I apologize for imposing. We lost track of time and I live with parents-"
"It's alright," Henry grumbled. "I'm just cranky when I'm woken up in the middle of the night. I'll take the couch."
"No, no!" Giorgos said hastily, feeling guilty. "I will take the floor."
"Don't be stupid!" Henry growled. "The bed's big enough for both of you if you scrunch up, so go ahead... That bed might as well have two people in it once in its life."
"You are single?" Giorgos asked with pity.
"Celibate," Henry corrected sourly.
"Oh... I mean no offense..." the Grecian replied weakly.
"Don't worry about it," Henry replied dismissively. He led them to the bedroom and snatched his favorite pillow from the bed as Giorgos went to the bathroom.
"Say Henry," Steven asked nervously. "You wouldn't happen to have any condoms, would you?"
"Real fucking cute!" the older brother snarled, his bad mood at being awoken in the middle of the night by his sibling, which had become worse at discovering his middle brother was now apparently partnered, spiked even higher. He took the innocent remark as an insult even though Steven had meant no such thing. "Dammit! What part of -celibate- do you not get?" he snarled.
"Excuse me," Steven replied huffily, taken aback by his oldest brother's sudden hostility. "They can be used for sex toys too, you know!"
"Well there's no way you're fucking a complete stranger in my bed!" He leaned close and hissed in a whisper. "Just because Marcus and Jason are bonded doesn't mean I'm okay with one of my own family's jizz in my sheets!"
"Eww!" Steven exclaimed in distaste. "You're just as gross as Dad Sam!"
"You shouldn't be fooling around anyways!" Henry added in a low growl. "I mean you just met! He could have AIDS, or SRV or herpes, or something. For all you know, he could be a walking petri dish!"
Suddenly angered, Steven glared at his brother. "Don't say that about him! You don't know the first thing about him!"
"Well excuse the fuck out of me for wanting to keep you healthy! Shit, Steve! What is -wrong- with you?!? You just met the guy and you’re already obsessed!" Henry backed away, looking very disturbed.
"Lord of the sun, Henry! I'm not obsessed... Besides, I know full well that he might not be the one... Henry," Steven said softly, seeing the fear in his sibling's eyes. "What's wrong? Why are you always so afraid of bonds?"
Henry sighed roughly. "I'm not getting into this again! Besides, there's no way to know yet if he really is your partner. Just go to sleep!" With that, he stormed from the bedroom, passing by the human. "Goodnight," he said in a civil tone. "No sex in my bed though!"
"No!" Giorgos exclaimed in shock, then became very embarrassed. "No, no, no! We will behave."
"Sorry I'm so cranky," Henry apologized, feeling guilty. After all, the human wasn't responsible for the Spartan's personal hang-ups. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight," the human said, making his way to the bedroom and hoping Henry wasn't angry because of him.
He stripped down to his boxers while Steven shed his pants until he was only in his briefs. "Sorry about this. I swear I don't normally share a bed with guys on the first date," he said with a mild laugh.
"Is okay," Giorgos said good-naturedly. "Is my fault for not paying attention to how late it was."
"Well I just want you to know that we don't have to do anything. I like you a lot, but don't want you to feel pressured or anything."
"Good. I like you too, but wish to go slowly."
With both of them feeling relieved, they fell asleep. Over the course of the night, they began to cuddle without being aware that they were doing so...
They awoke the next morning and showered separately. Giorgos was in the kitchen with their host while Steven showered.
"Sorry I was such an asshole last night," Henry apologized. "It was just so late at night."
"I understand. Thank you for allowing us to stay the night."
"You're welcome. So you guys only just started dating?"
"Yes, but Steven has come to the bistro every day for lunch these last few months."
Henry was shocked. For Steven to do that, he must have been cutting his spending budget drastically. That certainly sounded like a bonded Spartan to him. He experienced an odd twinge at that. Part of him was glad that Steven might very well have found his partner, but his repulsion at being bonded himself made him feel very uncomfortable about the possibility of his sibling becoming partnered.
"Just be good to him is all I ask. If you really are the person he thinks you are, then fine. But whether you are or not, don't you dare ever cause my brother any pain or I'll make you sorry, even if I have to chase you into Tartarus to do it! He's a good man and doesn't deserve to suffer... I love him too much to watch him go through any pain. Promise me that regardless of whoever you are, you'll try not to hurt him."
"What do you mean by that... 'The person he thinks I am'?"
"It's complicated... If you are, you'll know in time," Henry hedged, feeling awkward.
Feeling deeply confused, Giorgos could only shrug. "Steven is a good man. I will do my best."
"I guess that's all the right I have to ask, I guess. Alright, I'll accept that for now. Sorry to sound like such a hard-ass, but I just want to protect my brother from being hurt."
"I have siblings too. I understand."
"Want something to eat?"
Henry set to work, trying to bury his concern deep down inside and act normally...