It was a long, grueling hike between Corinth and Athens. Some obscure treaty had promised that we'd aid Athens if the Spartans started sniffing around Megara too much, and so I walked to Athens with about five hundred other poor suckers who'd recently joined the army.
The guys who'd been in for a couple years and had a battle or two under their belts went by ship. It was more efficient that way. But young hotheads like me had to walk. I guess it weeded out the mamma's boys and the ones that were in it for the glamour. Believe me, there's nothing glamorous about being a soldier. All those songs you hear in the taverns are just propaganda -- either that or the made-up notions of a pasty, soft-fingered bard who's never seen a lick of combat.
I'd started out with five other men in my tent but ended up with only three besides me by the time we'd started hiking over the isthmus. The footing was brutal, each step threatening to spill out beneath us in the gravelly rock where the roads had given way. Though the sea was a mile off, I had this weird idea that if I fell I'd just keep tumbling until I hit the water, so every step that I marched just took that much more out of me. By the end of the day my skin, my lungs, my lower back and my thighs all burned, each mile I'd gained taking a toll on my aching muscles. I wrapped myself in a blanket and wished that I could just pass out. Even though I was utterly exhausted, I hurt so bad that it felt like I'd never sleep again.
One by one my bunkmates had wandered off, leaving me alone in the cramped tent. My hand roamed under my tunic, more out of habit than desire, since a bit of release might bring sleep.
Strange things happen when you're alone. You can do those private things that you wouldn't do in front of another person in a million years. Scratch yourself. Make faces in the looking glass. Throw that perfect set of dice that no one else sees. Jerk off.
My cock just sat there in my hand, as tired as the rest of my body. The thing is, since I'd joined the army I really wasn't alone very much. It had nothing to do with the rest of the troops. There's a point when a soldier gets so saturated with the company of the other men that he goes inside himself and can find a bit of aloneness there. No, my problem was that when I found that space, the god appeared.
An eerie, solitary figure, he stood there in his black cloak that first time about a week before, unmoving as the rows of soldiers trudged straight through him. I knew right away by the bland looks of everyone around me that they didn't see him. I was the only one. And the path of the march brought me right up to him.
It occurred to me that maybe I'd been hallucinating, since it was unlikely that some spirit or shade had appeared before the Royal Corinthian Army, but I also thought that, considering my half-brother's heritage, such a visitation wasn't entirely impossible. Something along the lines of the snake Hera put in our crib way back when.
As I passed by the dark visitation, he looked up at me and smiled. Not a happy smile -- a catty, creepy, I-know-something-you-don't-know kind of smile that chilled me through and through. That was the first time I saw the god Strife.
He didn't speak to me then, though later on he began to say things -- strange musings that made no sense to me, about how I was special. Right. Me. Don't get me wrong. It felt incredible to have a god paying attention to me. I just had my reservations about it. When he was there, I got caught up in the delusions of grandeur he had for me, but when he was gone my doubts crept back and sunk their claws into me. He was using me to get to Hercules somehow.
With that cheerful thought, I considered my limp, hot dick refusing to stir in my hand as my rough blanket chafed against my sunburned arms.
"Hey, Red. What's shakin'?"
Of all times! My breath froze in my throat as I heard that voice: sibilant and controlled with an edge of something unnamable beneath it all. If my bunkmates chose that moment to return they might see him, I thought, and then I'd have to explain who he was. And then they wouldn't believe me anyway unless I explained that I was Hercules' older brother -- yeah, THAT Iphicles -- and since I didn't even wanna go there...
"My lord," I said, stumbling out of my blanket, happy that my useless dick hadn't taken interest in my fist after all as my tunic fell to cover it. My muscles balked at me for making them move again, but too bad. You ignore things like fatigued thighs when a god's in the house.
There was a pause, a heavy silence in which Strife no doubt had a hundred thousand thoughts. The gods are like that, seeing and hearing everything all around and sorting it out into the bits and pieces they can use. What did he see, I wondered, and what would he do with his knowledge?
"Get up," he said, finally. "Pick up your face and look at me. Look me in the eye."
It was agony to force myself to obey him. Everyone knows that looking upon a god is like looking straight into the sun; eventually you go blind. No, my mother never told me that -- big surprise. I learned it from the other kids. But it was part of Strife's great plan for me that I learn to be a leader, and to be a leader I was supposed to look everyone right in the eye no matter what.
The long, black, hooded wrap cloaked Strife from head to toe, though I could easily pick out his pale face even through the darkness. He smiled at me, but only with his lips, and a shiver ran down my spine that I could barely control.
"It's late, my lord, and my tentmates will be back soon." And then I'll have to tell them who you are. And who I am.
Strife's eyebrows flicked up a tiny bit. "Hm, let's see... Telesto is winning at dice, so he'll be gone most of the night. Dactyls is exchanging massages with -- oh, well I suppose that's none of your business, and Copreus's in the bushes shitting his guts out."
I nervously wondered what Copreus had done to displease Strife, if anything, or if it was just the god's way of ensuring a bit of time alone with me. Though I was positive Strife was angling toward getting closer to Hercules, some bit of me still thrilled to the god's notice, hoping that by some fluke his attentions had to do with me, just me, and not Hercules. Yeah, right. But a guy can dream.
"You're growing a beard?"
I couldn't tell if he was displeased or merely curious. "I'll shave it off if you don't like it."
Strife peeled back his hood to get a better look at me, his cloak flowing about him with a life of its own that caused the lamplight to dance against the tent walls. Even in the dim light, his pupils were just tiny motes of black against the chilling blue of his irises. A dark smudge of a bruise on his cheek echoed the blue of his eyes, and I wondered who could possibly hurt a god enough for him to bear the mark of it later, all the while telling myself not to wonder about it because he was probably reading my mind.
"It's really, really, reeeeaaally bright red."
"A lot of men with fair skin..."
"No, leave it," he snapped, staring hard at my face. If it'd been difficult to hold my head up under his general scrutiny before, it was absolute torture as he stared at my beard. The facial hair was a big deal for some reason, I could tell. My eyes flickered between his grotesquely pale irises and the bruise, so wrong for a god, on his cheek, that I somehow missed the emergence of a silvery dagger in his hand until the metallic hiss of the knife sliding into his palm sounded next to my ear.
"It just needs a little touching up," he breathed, reaching around my head to grasp my hair at the nape of my neck and pull me forward. His knife was like ice, burning at my cheeks as he slid the delicate blade against me, wide eyed and eager. I couldn't read his expression, of course, but there was some glee in it, I thought. I'm not sure if he was excited about me or the knife, though.
One pinkie extended on the hand that held the dagger, he shaved along my jaw, molding and sculpting my beard as he showered my chest with wiry red hairs. He'd scraped my cheeks nearly bare, though he'd left my chin and upper lip covered, fussing over the task, totally engrossed.
"It's very nice," he said finally, his eyes raking over my face from top to bottom. He hadn't backed away from me after he'd finished shaving me, nor did he give me permission to move away from him. "Stop cutting your hair. I want it long."
"Yes, my lord."
His eyes wide as if to swallow me with them, he grabbed me again by the jaw, looking at me with such intensity I was surprised I didn't combust there and then. "Are you like this with everyone else?" he asked me, his voice squirming out of him.
"What do you mean, my lo--"
"Stop calling me that."
"Okay," I said, searching for an address that wouldn't offend him and coming up empty handed.
"Do you bow your head when they walk by?" he whispered, blowing away the cut whiskers from my beard with tiny puffs of air he forced through his pursed lips. "Do you avert your eyes? Call them 'my lord'?"
"Of course not." My voice betrayed me, as it had been doing the past handful of years since it had dropped, growling out the response though I'd only meant to say it firmly.
"Oh," he said, his ice-chip eyes fixing right on mine, our eyeballs so close I swore they were going to touch. "You only do that for me?"
"Not even your officers?"
"Say it," he commanded, splinters of steel within the silk of his voice.
I managed to look right at him, even though it would blind me, somehow. "I only serve you."
"Uhhn..." he groaned, and I caught him only by reflex as his knees buckled beneath him. By the time my mind actually wrapped itself around the fact that I'd grabbed a god as if he were an oversized sack of grain, Strife had slid a knee between my burning thighs and wormed a hand around my waist. "Do it," he hissed, wild eyed and bruised. "You want to. C'mon, soldier boy. Kiss me."
To say I felt stupid was an understatement. I was way too old to be his eromenos, much too bristly to be a pretty child that was romanced and wooed, but that little piece of hope inside that told me he might not be using me to get to Hercules also allowed me to act before I missed my opportunity. I was starving for him, and devoured his mouth before I could second guess myself. I pressed his pliant lips open with mine, his smooth face against my sculpted beard, while my head spun as I tried to figure out who was seducing and who was being seduced. A mortal wouldn't have the power to seduce a god, after all. So why would he seduce me, of all men? Hercules. It always came back to that.
"Let's get a few things straight about Hercules," he hissed into my mouth, grasping me hard on either side of my head and boring his eyes right into mine. "You're worried about Hercules?" he asked in a deathly quiet voice, though my half-brother's name sounded like something dirty when he said it. And not dirty in a fun, titillating way, either.
"You got it all wrong, Iph." Strife straightened up and I followed suit, suddenly uncomfortable with our closeness within the cramped tent. "Let me show you what happens when I get close to good ol' Hercules."
And then it was like I was dreaming, only I knew damn well I was fully awake. I was seeing a scene kind of like a memory, but it wasn't my memory, 'cos it took place in some tavern I'd never seen before. I was flinging things, chairs, tankards, pots and pans, anything that wasn't tied down, only I was doing it with the power of my mind. That's when I realized Strife was showing me his own memories.
A figure rose out of the path of flung objects, familiar yet strange all at once.
He was tall, as tall as me, or I guess I should say as Strife, since he was the one remembering it. I suppose we're about the same height, anyway. Shit, when'd Herc get so tall? He was thinning out a little bit, too, his baby fat all gone, replaced by lean muscle. "Think you can take me, Strife?" he taunted. His mouth sure hadn't changed. "Is that all you've got?"
As more mundane items rained upon him, my bastard half-brother split a long bench with a stomp of his foot and plucked a massive board from it as if the wood were mere kindling. The board was far too long and heavy to be wielded with any kind of accuracy. Any normal man's center of balance wouldn't have allowed it.
But Hercules was Zeus' son.
Strife must have realized it before I did, that Hercules would actually be able to use that board as a weapon, because he was already dropping back by the time I'd come to the same conclusion. He just wasn't quite fast enough.
The first blow clipped him across the ribs, and even though Strife wasn't feeding me the tactile sensations from his memories, I could tell by the way the room lurched around that it was a nasty hit. Right after, far too close together for the immensity of that ridiculous board, another blow landed on Strife, this one on his face. I can only imagine that the impact would have taken the head off of a mortal.
"We're not finished yet, Jercules," Strife tittered, though his laughter seemed forced to me as the memory-vision faded.
"I don't understand," I said as the tent came into focus around me. "Why were you just throwing things at him? You didn't even touch him."
Strife drew a circle in the dirt floor with the toe of his boot. "Because he's Zeus' son. Pappa'd kill me if I ever really hurt him."
"So then why pester him at all? I'm sure your paths don't need to cross."
Strife's smirk turned self-derogatory. "Why, indeed. Because Ares commanded me to, that's why."
My mouth worked as I tried to find some logic behind their interaction.
"The pieces don't fit, Iphicles, because you're trying to make sense out of something that's senseless. That's just the way it is." He eased himself forward slowly, coming to rest pressed against my body. "I won't deny that the first time I noticed you some years ago, I happened to be spying on him, but that's about as far as the connection goes. And if I were to use someone against him, don't you think I'd use someone he's seen in the past decade? Hm? How about that mouthy Iolaus? He'd be the logical choice."
Of course. In order to use someone against Hercules, that person would have to matter to him.
"And what difference does it make if you matter to him?" Strife asked patiently as he toyed with the neckhole of my tunic. "You matter to me."
His eyes roamed my face as he leaned into me, his tongue darting over my lower lip, and I told the phantom Hercules in my mind to piss off and go find someone else's tryst to interrupt. Without warning, Strife folded himself over backwards again as I bent over him, my arms struggling to support him without me having to release his delicious lips.
A tiny moan of pleasure shuddered through his mouth into mine as I grasped him hard through his cloak and leathers, and the sound went straight to my cock. His legs clamped around mine as he ground his crotch up against me, his slim, white fingers playing along my neck and spine, leaving sultry shivers in their wake.
Somehow, though the roiling lust of my body, my crotch bumping his hipbone and my hands flexing in his black clothes, I managed to free my lips from his while my mind did somersaults and demanded to know what the fuck I thought I was doing.
"You got a guy off before," Strife panted, because his dagger eyes were looking straight through me and had figured out what the problem was before I could even name it.
I felt his sweet saliva cooling on my hot lips as he said it, and knew that what he'd picked from my mind was nothing like what we were doing, nothing at all. My first week as a soldier, a senior officer had been showing me the ropes and suggested a bit of mutual gratification as a way to let off steam, spilling his seed into my hand after a few minutes of furtive pumping. My orgasm soon followed, quiet and efficient, leaking between his fingers only to be brushed off into a nearby bush. "I didn't kiss him," I protested.
He grinned, his whole face scrunching from the force of it, the folds of his eyelids momentarily shielding me from his eyes. "Maybe you should've. You could've come harder."
My fatigued thighs blazed with pain as he hung there, grinning, in my arms while I wondered if he would smite me for dropping him. "Besides," he continued, "isn't it an honor to receive a god's attentions?"
His fingers flitted upon my waist while his eyes continued to search me. "You want to love me," he said quietly.
I didn't know what I wanted, so I just stared at him like a dumb mortal.
Scowling in thought, he waved his expressive fingers before my eyes and all the fatigue of the hike fell away from me like chaff, and I was no longer tired, or sore, or hungry -- nothing to detract from what he wanted me to feel, or maybe from what I really felt. I don't know.
"And it was wonderful to kiss me, wasn't it?"
Wonderful? There wasn't even a word for it. Mine, want, need. Sweet, hot, hungry. Yes. Please. No, there wasn't a word at all.
I had enough asshole pride that I couldn't bring myself to tell him that. My cheeks were burning like they tend to do when life kicks back in my face, but somehow I just couldn't say -- couldn't say anything, truth be told.
What if a girl had asked me the same thing, a girl who was bent over backward in my arms with a little pink tongue wetting her lips? Shit, I'd promise her the world, the stars and my unending devotion. It was really, really stupid that his maleness would get me so tongue-tied.
Strife narrowed his eyes and smiled in satisfaction. Oh yeah, I didn't need to tell him a thing when he could just split my mind open and read it.
"You think it'll unman you to be with me?"
"Of course not."
"You do, actually, but you want to do it anyway." Strife wriggled out of my arms and turned to my pallet, his cloak enfolding him, all but his loosely curled, tousled hair. He swayed toward the narrow bed and then spilled upon it all at once, ending up in a rather elaborate pose, one toe pointing toward the lantern and an arm tucked behind his head. "That just makes it all the more hot."
It was true. The sight of him sprawling there before me suddenly got me itching to reach under my tunic and whip out my cock, whereas every other time he'd come to whisper in my ear, I'd been too bowled over by his godliness to react with anything other than suspicion and a lot of awe. Amazing what a single kiss can do.
"I promise I'll talk you through it," he coaxed, flexing his pelvis just a bit so that the lamplight flickered off the bulge in his crotch. My dry mouth watered at the sight of it. His eyes roamed over me as if I'd just said that thought aloud and he sighed and preened in front of me.
"C'mere, Iphicles. I need you to be strong for me. You can do that, can't you?"
"You know, take a little initiative. Tear my clothes off, spread my legs...you get the idea."
He wasn't even looking at me, just twirling a little blade of grass that he'd plucked off my blanket between his fingers, but his presence felt like it was going to suffocate me. He must have felt my rising panic, because then he planted a few choice images in my mind, the taste of godflesh on my tongue, the feel of his thighs parting beneath my hands, and I was on him before I could even think about what I was doing.
I had to have his mouth once more. He started moaning again when my lips pressed onto his, moaning deep into my mouth with a tingle that went straight to my groin. I pried his mouth open with mine, reveling in the divine sweetness of his lips. I wondered if he'd been digging into the ambrosia and nectar before he'd popped in on me, or if that was just what gods taste like. Honey and flowers.
His tongue flicked out to coax mine from me, and then I was cramming my tongue into his mouth, suddenly greedy. The taste of him was incredible, blossoming ever more complex and subtle as I probed deeper, sampling the contours and textures of his luscious mouth.
I must taste vile to him, I realized, pulling away to guiltily wipe the taste of him from my wet lips with the back of my hand.
"Cripes, Iph. Can you possibly think of anything else to obsess over? You're delicious. I promise." Strife only pulled me forward with the smallest of tugs, but my limbs were slack and obedient beneath his fingers. "Mortality is sweet, too," he whispered, sliding his tongue into my beard to tickle my chin. "Especially yours."
It's strange, how my mind can't just take a gift at face value without wondering a dozen useless things. Was Copreus still in the bushes? What about our commanding officer? What if he did a bunk check? And why wasn't Strife with someone more adept at the arts of love, like a pleasure slave or a hetairekos...
"Because I only want you."
Red. My face had to be ten shades of red. "But I'm all dirty and I--"
"I cleaned you up when I took away your aches and pains. Not that I have a problem with a little tang, mind you, but I thought you might be distracted by that. Imagine: you, distracted."
It was weird to be so tense, so tied up in knots while Strife just sprawled on my bed like he was made entirely of extra joints. His smile was different now, somehow -- gentle, inviting. I wasn't sure I could exactly be comfortable with him, but maybe I could be a few notches less terrified, if he kept his expression that open, that innocuous.
"Come on, Iph. What am I gonna do with you? If I wanted to fry you I would've done it by now." He peeled open his slinky black cloak, revealing a polished leather tunic crisscrossed with metal rings that parted beneath his pale fingers with tiny, musical clinks. "How can I make you comfortable, hm? Should I get naked for you?"
He smiled harder at my unvoiced enthusiasm.
His tunic parted strangely, revealing a slash of his chest with only the barest hint of the edge of his nipple, one white shoulder, and a side with ribs I could count. Once the whole affair was loosened, he shed it like a snake.
A stripe of greenish blue painted the ribs on his left flank, ugly and wrong against his perfect paleness.
"Don't you dare even *think* about Hercules."
"Of course not."
He seemed to find my quick agreement amusing. "Then stop staring at the owie and help me with my breeches." He snatched up my hands and pressed them hard against himself, one at the ties of his leathers and the other -- there. I swayed against the edge of the cot. He was hard. For me.
"Go ahead," he said, his voice now as serpentine as the rest of him. "My sizzlin' love muscle is yours for the night. Do what you want."
His absurd permission freed my paralyzed limbs a bit more, and carefully I pressed with my thumb and forefinger, finding his balls, determining that his hardness was ready and pointing to his navel.
"Yeah, Iph. Come on. Touch it."
I smoothed my fingers from base to tip, marveling as he squirmed beneath my timid exploration. "Yeah, that's right," he coaxed, thrusting his groin into my hand to increase the contact.
The notion that I could make a god do that was a drug. A god was rolling around on my bunk. He was thrusting into my hand. He was saying my name as his eyes rolled back.
"It's all you, Iphicles" he whispered, arching high off the bed while his arms fell bonelessly to either side of him. "You're beautiful, just beautiful."
As I unlaced his leggings, my mind was in such a daze that my fingers were practically numb, like someone else's hands were stripping the god, not mine. I meant to slide his leathers off reverentially, but they were so tight that I needed to force them down onto his thighs, stripping the leggings and boots with brutal, harsh tugs.
"C'mon, c'mon," he chanted, licking his lips as his body was exposed. "Do it, Iph. Touch me."
My focus went from him to me for just a moment as I reached for his cock and I saw with a strange detachment how hard my hand was shaking. This was it, somehow, this one moment. This was when I'd become a god's lover, and then nothing would ever be the same again.
It was strange to me how much I wanted him, when it was the touch of a god that had made my life absolutely miserable from the day Zeus laid eyes on my mother. I remember vaguely that once I was just a normal little kid, though the scorn and ridicule of being the son of a harlot who'd spread for Zeus was really what I recalled the most. I'd always thought it was a little suspicious when she claimed that she didn't know it was Zeus, and now I had my proof. My tent was thrumming with godly arousal so thick I could choke on it, and the god in my bed was surely nowhere near as powerful as the King of Olympus. If almighty Zeus was fucking her, she'd have known.
And there I was, poised at the very same precipice, about to take a god even though it meant that everything would be different from that point on. This was what mom sacrificed everything for: her lifestyle, her reputation, her family. To fuck a god. I had no idea what I'd be sacrificing, sure that I would only know in retrospect, that I would lose things that I didn't even know I had. Mom and Herc would totally disown me.
Fuck them, fuck everyone. I want mine.
I took hold of him with both hands, running my thumbs up the bottom of his stiff cock, feeling the glorious smoothness of his skin and the tiny swells of the engorged veins, circling my thumbs around the head while Strife nearly bent himself in half backwards with pleasure.
"Peel me back," he gasped out, nearly incoherent now that I had his bare flesh in my hands. I was breathing in hard, rough gasps as I wrapped a fist around his cock, pointing it at my face so that I could really see it. A clear drop of precum glistened from the slit as I eased his foreskin back, the head of his cock so ruddy and vulnerable without its sheath.
That viscous drop hypnotized me as my fist worked him, slow, steady and firm, his body shaking and my body shaking, and both of us breathing hard. I wanted to taste it, to have the essence of the god on my tongue, but I was terrified of doing something wrong. What if I couldn't handle having a cock in my mouth, even a god's cock, and I ended up doing something stupid?
"No no no," he panted feverishly. "Just taste it, then. Just taste it." He shoved at my head and I felt a hint of his real strength beneath whatever veneer of control he normally hid behind.
For some reason, my cock seemed to find that thought incredibly sexy, saluting the god heartily beneath my tunic. I had a hand on Strife's cock and another bracing me against the cot, so I couldn't take matters into my own hands.
"Don't worry," Strife promised, "I will make you come harder than you ever have, than you ever dreamed of." I caught his eye and his pupils were huge and black now, his irises thin, ornamental rings around them and I could feel in my bones that what he promised was true. Before the night was over I'd have an orgasm that would turn me inside out. "Just lick me."
As I touched my tongue to that bead of fluid, the taste of him exploded in my mouth, salt and sweet and a hundred other rare spices that men fought wars over. My own cock leaked in response to the taste of him and then I was laving him all over with my tongue, searching out more taste, more sensation. I thrust my tongue beneath his foreskin, finding more of that elusive essence, my cock straining against my tunic as I savored him.
"So good, so good," he murmured, stroking my hair gently with those fingers that had the power to crush me.
Ravenous now, I ran my tongue down the shaft, nestling it in the folds of his balls, soft flesh beneath prickly hair, finding new tastes there, earthen yet divine. "Oh, fuck, Iph, yeah," he said, weaving his fingers through my hair while his hips trembled beneath my grasping fingers.
Whatever I was doing, right, wrong, anything, ceased to matter as my own greed and lust overcame my body and my rational thought. Even the god's pleasure became secondary to my quest to taste more of him, more salt, more sweet, more whatever it was that surged through my veins like quickfire. I couldn't name it, but I needed more. Somehow in my raging hunger I'd grasped his thighs and forced them open, questing with my tongue to find more of that essence. I'm not sure exactly how long I'd been rooting around in his groin, perhaps the good part of an hour. The fucking General could have walked into the tent and I wouldn't have cared, I was so wrapped up in eating Strife alive. I found myself buried up to my nose in his asshole, two fingers up to the second knuckle inside him and biting at the delicate, pink tissue when a thin keening somehow broke through my fog of need.
"If you don't fuck me right now, I'm gonna die," he whimpered.
Me. Fuck him. I pulled my wet face from his crotch and stared at him stupidly. It had never occurred to me that I would be the one to breach him with anything other than a finger.
He looked like I felt. His eyes were huge and his whole face, except the ugly bruise, was flushed pink. "Oh, man, your beard is soaked," he said, his voice drunk with desire. A small vial appeared in his hand where there wasn't one before and I took it from him, my hands moving as if in a dream. I pulled the cork and smelled rare essences of some sort, but even the subtly fragrant oil was bland to me in comparison to the taste of the god.
Strife nodded, panting, as I hiked up my tunic and drizzled the oil on myself. My cock strained toward him, dark and completely engorged, wickedly stiff, as if any hard-on I'd ever gotten up to that point was just a preamble to this one, glorious moment. "It's huge," Strife murmured, grinning at me while I blushed. Even though the comparison to a stud animal or a filthy satyr shamed me, my immodest cock strained harder at the sprawled god. "Don't be so sensitive," he said, noting the mortified look on my face, no doubt. "Size goes in and out of fashion. What matters is the way it feels stuffed... deep... inside me." Raising his hips as he provoked me with his words, Strife displayed himself so wantonly, yet so very matter-of-fact, that I managed somehow to move again, though not without ruing the embarrassing size of my arousal.
"In, in, in," he muttered, grasping hard at the rough woolen blanket as he wrapped his legs around my waist, guiding me to him with such firmness that I couldn't turn away if I'd wanted to. I anointed him with the remainder of the oil, slipping one thumb inside him and then the other, thinking that the oil would probably ruin the taste of him for me, which made me sad. He wasn't interested in my mouth on him any more, though, flexing his hips in an attempt to draw my slippery fingers deeper, staring at me with such intensity that I couldn't meet his gaze.
"I'm only going to tell you once. Do it hard. Do it now."
Even though a niggling anxiety told me that I'd probably manage to fuck him wrong, the icy finger of fear that slithered down my spine bade me comply. My hands were shaking again as I grasped my hard cock and aimed it at his waiting ass. I pressed myself against a sublime tightness that promised near-immediate release once I'd plunged in, and I wondered if there was any way I could satisfy Strife before my traitorous body went its own merry way to orgasm and then oblivion.
A quick look at his wild eyes told me I'd better just manage, somehow. Remembering his order to do it hard, I grit my teeth and pushed in with no delicacy, halting as his scream split the air until his wordless howl coalesced into the word, "Yes."
His legs clamped me against his body and I lurched forward, one arm braced against the cot to keep me from falling on him. My other hand found its own way beneath his body to cup his slim buttocks and position him just right, because conscious control of my body seemed to be escaping me yet again and my hungry, animal need was directing me to fuck him hard, deep and relentlessly.
"Please, please, oh Ares, ummm, please," he chanted, his eyes half-closed but trained on my face. I'd always wondered if gods prayed. I guess there's almost always another god higher up to pray to, and if you're Zeus, well, maybe you pray to the Titans.
My theory is that he reached into me with his god powers and kept me from coming somehow, until he was done with me. There was no way I should've been able to last a candlemark, but I was able to pound into Strife until the brush of our bellies on his cock brought him to a beautiful, terrible, sobbing, screaming orgasm. I was right behind him, my orgasm being torn from my body, mind and spirit all at once, the greatest release I'd ever known, so close to pure, white hot pleasure that I think I almost died.
I floated a little while when I was done, kind of like you do when you have a fever, or when you're falling asleep at night and you have a weird dream that's not really a dream because it feels different. That weird, floating state was damn good, about as good as a regular orgasm, though it was calm compared to the torrential explosion of my sex with the god.
He let me stay that way quite a while, I think, because the tent walls were beginning to lighten with the promise of sunrise by the time I was able to have a coherent thought. Fully dressed again, Strife perched on my cot, holding my head in his lap and stroking my cheek absently. Each caress shot a little thrill through me, and I think it was that sensation that woke me, not the fact that I'd lost my clothes some time during the night and was a little on the cold side.
"Thank you," I said, the words growling out of my throat, of course, when I'd meant them to sound tender.
"Oh, no. Thank you," he replied, grinning. His eyes didn't seem to be involved in his smile again, though.
I must have displeased him in some way, I figured. Perhaps I was supposed to have been more like a good eromenos and spurn him, but I was too much of a slut to catch on. But that didn't make any sense, since he demanded that I fuck him. Or maybe he thought that I wanted him to grant me wishes now because he's a god. "I -- I don't expect any special favors from you," I informed him.
"No?" Strife's disturbing expression turned wistful. "You were begging to drink my come when you were rutting into me."
My face burned again as I remembered the heady taste of him in my mouth.
Strife smoothed my hair down and gazed at the walls, now glowing gently from the impending dawn. "That's something we'd have to work up to. I don't wanna kill you with lovin', after all."
Did that mean he would visit me again? My heart battered at the inside of my ribs, clinging to that small hope, the hope I wouldn't have allowed myself to harbor if he hadn't encouraged it. That was what he meant, wasn't it?
A tiny line had appeared between his brows as he returned his gaze to me. I'd done something to displease him after all, then. My elation spiraled down into a sickening dread as I wondered when the other boot would drop, and how bad it would be. I lay there suddenly wishing I was dead, all because of that furrow in his brow.
I got up and looked stupidly around the tent for my tunic, but I didn't see it in the immediate area, so I stood there all naked, lumbering and awkward. Hercules would probably get a good laugh out of me thinking that I could please a god.
"I swear, you've got more baggage than Cleopatra going on holiday. You're fucking me, after all, not your brother! And what do you care what the mongrel brat thinks of you, anyway? You should be happy that we can be together without him in the way."
Normally the pity party would have gone on like it always does when I wax melancholy about my so-called family, but Strife had eased up to me, his face tilted up toward mine with his exquisite lips parting just a bit. You wouldn't know I'd just spent the night exhausting myself in his embrace as we devoured each other's lips, appetites flaring anew. Too soon, though, he pulled away and stared into my eyes, a guarded look. I felt myself tremble as he held me there, his hands clenched around my arms as I wondered what would come next.
"Don't worry," he breathed so low that I could hardly catch it. "It's not you. You rock. Really." He plucked a hair from my chest and placed it beneath his tongue, and then his abstract expression turned resigned and businesslike. "If I leave your army in stasis any longer they're gonna get creamed, which'll really set us back a few years. It's wakey-wakey camp time, Iph. For now."
Yes. My god would come back to me. At least, that's what he promised. The pain of separation from him was nearly crippling, though he walked to the tent flap slowly as if to ease away from me as gently as possible. I knew then what it was like after you fucked a god, the emptiness, the horrible longing. His promise seemed like so little, but it would have to be enough to sustain me. It was all I had.
"Oh," he said absently, turning toward me just as he was lifting the tent flap. The furrow between his eyebrows was back. "I changed my mind about your beard. I don't like it -- it hides your juicy lips. Lose it by the time I get back."