The Gods were gathered on Olympus, the mood one of extreme tension.
"You have finally got your way, Ares," Zeus stated coldly. "Hercules must be punished for his crimes against the gods, and there is only one punishment that fits his crimes - DEATH!!" Voices murmured through the great hall, all faces turned to Ares in anger and confusion. For his part, Ares just sat there in a state of shock, he hadn't asked for this and he knew that this wasn't what he wanted. Since Hera's incarceration he had come to terms with the demigod and his feelings for him. No this definitely wasn't what he wanted.
"But Father," Athena begged, "What has Hercules done to deserve this fate. No one has petitioned to have him punished for a few months, not even Ares, so why now?"
"I have decided! My son has committed crimes against me, his father and his god, and now he will die for them!" Zeus yelled.
"But what did he do to deserve death, is there no other punishment he could be sentenced to instead?" Aphrodite pleaded.
"The crime is of no concern to any of you." Zeus bellowed.
"But is there no other punishments that will do?" Artemis asked again.
"Are there punishments worse than death?" Zeus responded.
"Yes" Discord interrupted with enthusiasm, "Especially for someone like Hercules, all that pride and morality make him an easy torture subject." she hissed.
"Maybe" Zeus considered and disappeared with Discord in tow.
The Hall of the Gods was a buzz with voices discussing Zeus's decree. Zeus wanting Hercules dead was unheard of, this was the man who gave this same child special protection and the gift of strength to protect him, why would he now want to end the life that he had fought so hard to protect. No one had expected this and everyone was trying to figure out what the demigod could have done to deserve it.
Ares listened for a while and when he realized that all the gods were totally clueless, he decided to go and find out the facts for himself, Hercules was going to need help, even if he didn't know it.
******* ******* ******** *********
Hercules and Iolaus were walking along the road to Corinth, the silence between them was wrought with tension. Something had happened recently to Hercules that Iolaus couldn't get him to talk about no matter what he did. Yet Iolaus could feel Hercules pulling further away each day and the worry lines on his friend's face growing more and more pronounced. It was becoming a strain on their friendship and Ares sudden appearance was almost a blessing.
"Ares," Iolaus growled and prepared to fight the god before them.
"Not now," the god of War ordered as his eyes followed his half brother.
Hercules was ignoring him, or more correctly, he was acting like he was ignoring him, that in itself was very strange behavior for the demigod.
"Hercules!" Ares commanded again and reluctantly the demigod faced him. "I just came from the strangest meeting of the gods that I have ever been to, do you know why?"
Hercules shrugged but still refused to look at Ares or Iolaus who now stood next to the God of War.
"Why?" Iolaus asked for him.
"Zeus ordered Hercules' death." Ares stated coldly. Iolaus swung around to look at both men but Hercules did not react at all.
"You knew?" Ares demanded in surprise.
"Zeus wants to kill you, Herc? Why?" Iolaus demanded as he moved towards his friend.
"He told me," Hercules replied as he turned and began walking away again.
"Zeus told you!" Ares asked suspiciously.
Hercules shook his head, "No, Someone else did."
"Yeah, but what did you do?" Iolaus asked.
"Nothing," Hercules stated.
"That's the problem isn't it?" Ares ruminated. "It wasn't what you did but what you wouldn't do that has him so furious, isn't it? So the question is what did Zeus want you to do that you wouldn't? The choices are endless."
"It wasn't what. It was who." Hercules explained softly.
"WHO?" Ares burst out in a combination of surprise and amusement.
"Yes, who." Herc spat out.
"Well?" Ares quizzed with genuine interest.
"Well what?" Herc replied with obviously faked ignorance.
"Who wouldn't you do?" Iolaus yelled in frustration. Hercules mumbles a name but even Ares couldn't understand him.
"What?" Iolaus and Ares demanded in unison.
"Ganymede." Hercules repeated, only slightly more clearly.
"Zeus's pet?" Ares commented.
Hercules nodded , "And when I said no, he said that if I didn't, it would cost me my life. I knew he wasn't lying."
Hercules found himself remembering the events that had led to this.
He had been at a party on Mt Olympus for Aphrodite. In her honor he had worn an outfit of her choosing, skin tight black suede pants and a vest that only just fitted him. He felt uncomfortable but strangely sexy in it.
He had watched as the other guests had arrived, but it Ares who caught his eye. He was wearing his normal leather pants but with a soft fawn vest. Hercules had found himself riveted on Ares all night, thoughts that he had never even contemplated before taunted him as he imagined himself with Ares.
This was why he hadn't noticed Ganymede's approach until his sleazy hands were on Hercules' arm. Hercules pulled away and when Ganymede had propositioned him, he hadn't even bothered to hide the disgust in his voice. Who could want this pretty boy when there was the God of War.
That was when Ganymede threatened him before leaving.
Hercules had forgotten the incident as he once more watched the God of War and wondered whether Aphrodite had done something to make him feel this way.
Ares' warm tones broke through his reverie.
"Don't plan your funeral yet, there are alot of gods who like having you around, despite you do gooding. They're up there now trying to figure out how to help you. You might get a surprise yet." Ares pointed out.
For the first time, Hercules looked at Ares, "But there are things worse than death." He imagined a life as Ganymede's playtoy and shivered. Strangely the same scenario with Ares was very appealing. He ignored this and turned away from the dark god.
Iolaus joined Hercules, as they began to walk away. Hercules looked over his shoulder drinking in the beauty that was his brother's, knowing that he would never see him again.
The gods had gathered once more in the Great Hall. There was not a god who wasn't prepared to argue for a new punishment for Hercules, though none but Ares knew the crime.
Zeus appeared with a flash, Discord at his side grinning insanely. "I have come to a decision, Hercules will not be killed but he will not be killed but he will be taken and given a new life. He will know who he is but it will mean nothing as he will no longer have his strength. No gods will be allowed to offer him assistance and no one will know where he is. That is my decision." He zapped out as the last word still reverberated around the hall.
******* ****** ******** ********
Hercules was enjoying the sunset when his father appeared before him. He wasn't surprised, he'd been expecting him for hours now. He wouldn't die, after Ares visit Hercules knew that Zeus couldn't risk angering that many gods without there being sever consequences. No, this punishment would be worse than death, he was certain of that.
That was the reason that he had sent Iolaus on ahead to Corinth to tell Iphicles the news. They both knew it was good-bye but there was always hope, hell they'd beaten death before so why not this time.
"Yes Father?" Hercules asked curtly.
"I will give you one more chance," Zeus ordered.
" No! It was no then and the answer isn't ever going to change." Hercules rejoined.
"Why?" Zeus wondered.
"I don't love him, I don't even desire him, the sight of him makes me sick and his personality makes my skin crawl, okay!" Hercules yelled in response.
"You are a stubborn bastard who thinks he's too good for everyone but wait until you find out your punishment, then you my son, will not be so high or mighty anymore." Zeus promised.
"Well, what is it?" Hercules demanded with fake bravado.
"It was Discord's idea actually. You are going to be a slave, and not just an ordinary slave, no you are going to be the favored slave of the most powerful psychopath in the world." Zeus teased his son.
"I don't do family" Hercules responded flippantly and found himself knocked into the tree behind him.
Zeus moved towards him and placed a hand around his neck, making Hercules feel light headed and his body felt so strange. He could feel his strength but something was blocking it and he felt frighteningly mortal.
"What?" he asked in bewilderment.
"That will make you behave for your new master" Zeus instructed him, "And don't bother trying to get the other gods to help you, no one will know where you are, only me."
Fear began to creep slowly into Hercules' mind, this wasn't the father he knew, maybe he had pushed him too far.
"Zeus, I'm sorry." he began.
Zeus pushed back a stray lock of his son's hair. This was one of the greatest things that he had ever created, one good selfish child who helped mankind, no matter what the cost to himself. Zeus was proud of this child and he knew looking at him now, was completely incompatible with Ganymede yet he knew that there were lessons about giving up control and pleasure that he had to learn before he could truly fulfill his destiny, hard lessons for one who could be so rigid in these matters but necessary.
Fate could not be denied and Zeus's attempts to do so had brought them both to this place, and now hard decisions had to be made and carried through.
Zeus gently kissed him on his forehead, "I know son, and I know that this is just as much my fault as yours, but you need to learn a few lessons about yourself Hercules and I need to make sure you do. Farewell my son," Zeus whispered as Hercules fell asleep.
Hercules awoke to a pounding headache, nausea and a general feeling of uneasiness. He tried to move but found himself confined in a very small area. He felt around slowly and realized that he was locked in a trunk. After a few tries he figured out that he still didn't have his strength back and this damn trunk was unbreakable to him now.
He felt the thud as the trunk was put down and he tried to work out what the voices outside were saying, but he couldn't. He wasn't sure whether that was because of the pounding in his head or the thick walls of trunk.
Soon there was silence and he tensed waiting for the lid to be opened, but nothing happened. He waited and waited, growing more and more uneasy. Being locked up in a small area for a big man was disconcerting and it was beginning to make Hercules feel claustrophobic. As he waited he began to panic with everything that had happened today, he couldn't stop it taking hold of him.
He began at first to knock on the sides, trying to gain someone's attention but when this failed, he started kicking and yelling, becoming more desperate to be free. This failed as well and he then fell silent and hugged himself tightly as the idea that he was going to die in this trunk hit him hard.
Suddenly the lid opened and Hercules felt himself being dragged out of the trunk by his arms. The touch was cold, cruel and impersonal, but it was the most wondrous thing that Hercules had ever felt.
He looked at his savior. He was a strange man, handsome and yet not one to attract people. He was average height, with short brown hair. The eyes that raked over Hercules' body were cold and held a promise of cruelty that gave Hercules goosebumps.
This man ordered people into action in a language that Hercules didn't understand and he felt their hands tear off his clothing, leaving him completely naked in front of this man who he worked out must be his new master. The man leered over his body with cruel fascination. At that moment Hercules understood the lesson that Zeus was going to force him to learn. He had rejected Zeus's lover, now he would become a lover without choice or freedom, and who would not be shown any mercy. This man would teach him lessons in pain, obedience and humility that he had never imagined and Hercules began to wish that the gods hadn't intervened on his behalf. He may have been better off dead.
A forceful blow to his head brought his attention back to his master and he realized that the man was talking but he didn't understand a word.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand." he started and was rewarded with another blow that brought him to his knees. "Do not speak without my permission." the man yelled at him in Greek. "So you are Greek, no matter, we will have you speaking Roman soon enough. You are my slave and a beautiful slave at that. I will have fun breaking you." he promised and Hercules felt himself pulling away involuntarily.
Another man entered the room and Hercules watched them carefully, it was then he heard the name that chilled his heart to the core, the name of his new master was Caesar.
The next two hours were the most humiliating of Hercules' life. He was pushed into a large white room by a single guard and then thrown into the largest bath he had ever seen. He was a modest and private man and both of these were denied to him. He was treated as property, like a cow, a pig or a chair. He knew that he was now the same as these things, owned with no free will. It was something he had a hard time with . He imagined killing Ganymede to distract himself as he was ordered around, but it wasn't enough. He imagined Ganymede and Zeus's face if he and Ares turned up on Olympus as lovers, but he knew he could never do that in revenge, it wouldn't be fair on Ares.
Instead he just imagined the Dark God of War, his satiny tanned skin, the intoxicating power he held within himself, the warm chocolate eyes, the soft hair that fell to his shoulders in waves, he imagined the way his beard and mustache would tickle against his skin and the ecstasy that those lips would bring when they met.
A violent blow to the head brought Hercules back to reality as he remembered where he was and what he had become. Ares was lost to him forever.
The other slaves pushed him to where ever they wanted him and manipulated his body as if he did not possess a brain or soul. Hercules had to fight back his anger, now was not the place or time, nor was he in any condition, instead he co-operated as he was scrubbed until his skin was red raw and they cleaned his hair with strange fragrant liquids.
Once he was clean, they toweled him off thoroughly, all of it done as if he was a statute, nothing more. It was as if the aim was to break his spirit before the true contest started.
They rubbed almond oil all over his body and dressed him in a single white cloth which while appearing to covering him enough to allow him even a bit of modesty, actually revealed all through it's gauzy coloring. He was a slave and now he truly felt like one, no he was worse than a slave, he was about to become a concubine who's only value was in the value pleasure he could give his master.
He pitied his new master, he obviously had hopes for him in bed, well he'd be the most worthless concubine in history, he was sure of that. He would give this butcher, full of dreams of grandeur, no pleasure at all. After all, he had never been with a man before and didn't know enough to give anyone pleasure. His sexual experiences had been a few long term relationships that had been more about companionship than sex when you consider the long periods he was away. He wasn't Iolaus, he knew little and had even less experience. See how long anyone would want him in their bed after they knew it. Soon he'd be just a regular slave.
His thoughts were interrupted by a jaw breaking slap to his face. He barely flinched, it had been happening all day and he no longer felt the impacting sting of flesh upon flesh.
He was directed out of the room and led down a corridor by a single guard. Hercules began to feel fear build up within him, He didn't want to be a slave and the idea of being forced to have sex with a stranger was terrify. He couldn't do this, he felt like a caged animal and he had to get out.
He looked around the hallway trying to find a way out. He kept his eyes peeled, looking for any weak point that could at least give him a place to hide and come up with a plan out of here.
They walked down corridor after corridor, Hercules realized that this palace must be huge and he was left feeling totally disoriented. The idea of him ever being able to successfully escape this place was becoming a dream and he had to fight the sense of defeat that was taking him over. This is what that bastard wanted, for him to defeat himself and he wasn't going to let that happen. He may well lose the war but he'd be damned if he would start it broken and defeated. If this psychopath wanted him, he was going to have to fight him and he wasn't going to give in easily.
Finally Hercules saw an opportunity, It was a door slightly ajar, if he could hide in there, then just maybe he could find a way out of here later and find his way back to Greece, back home.
The guard walked past the door oblivious and turned down the next corridor just ahead of Hercules. Hercules knew it was now or never and ran to the door, pulling the door open with little difficulty. He ducked inside and quickly moved the closet thing, a cupboard, in front of the door to give himself time to think. Once this was done, he turned around and began to look for a way out.
As he checked the connecting rooms for doors, he remembered the advice Iolaus had once given him, that not all escapes were obvious. He began to feel along the walls, to check for hollow sounds and eventually found the hidden door he had hoped was there. He moved the table away from it and carefully began to ease it open. It opened to a pitch black corridor. He hesitated, not sure whether he'd only be making his situation worse by going down there, when he heard the guards banging on the outer door and knew there was no more time.
He grabbed a lit candle from the desk and entered the tunnel, careful to close the door before he headed into the darkness and whatever waited for him the end.
The passage was dark and dusty. Hercules tried to ignore this but the dust constantly made him sneeze, almost putting out the candle until final it flickered one last time before plunging him into a terrifying and unknown darkness. Stubbornly he continued on, ignoring the uneasiness that becoming his constant companion. He walked on and on until in desperation he ran, but still the tunnel did not end, it just turned and twisted and continued. He wasn't sure if he was going around in circles, there was no light, nothing to guide him.
He began to believe that it was all a trick, a setup and he was going to die a slow and agonizing death because of his foolishness, his stupidity. It was then he saw it, hope blossomed through him. It was a light. By the gods there was a faint light in front of him, calling to him. He was saved.
Without hesitation her ran towards the light, which grew brighter and brighter with each step until he found himself at another secret door. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" he muttered to himself as he pushed the door open and felt himself bathed in the illumination of the room. It took a few moments his eyes to adjust to the light and when they did, Hercules felt like screaming but he couldn't find his voice. He knew he should run, fight anything but his body was paralyzed by fear and shock. He just stood there staring ahead of him, staring at the bed and the man lying on it, waiting for him.
"Hello slave," the voice purred, "We haven't been properly introduced. I am Caesar, Emperor of Rome and soon the World. I am also your master and you will refer to me as such. You are my slave and a bad one of that so far. I believe you need a few lessons on how to behave and I am the one to teach you."
Fear filled Hercules and he found himself doing the only thing he could, he ran.
Hercules raced around the room like a mouse in a maze, trying every door to get out. He searched the walls hurriedly, even cutting his fingers opened as he tried to force the door he had entered through to open once more.
All the time Caesar laid down behind him on the bed, laughing. "Amusing, but pointless. Did you really think I wouldn't know how you would react boy! PLE - EASE!!!"
Hercules was leaning back against the passage door and he knew that he was trapped. If only he had his strength he could break free but he was helpless, trapped with a madman who only wanted at his body.
He was so engrossed in his self pity that he did not notice as Caesar rose and moved towards him until he felt the other man's hand begin stroking his arse.
Hercules turned quickly and came face to face with his enemy. He was surprised to notice that Caesar had managed in that one turn, not only to remove his gauzy covering but to position him between his own strong arms.
One hand grabbed his hair and forced his head down into a brutal kiss that was more about power and domination than pleasure. He fought this kiss, willing his body not to respond. Caesar growled his disappointment and Hercules was forced to cry out as he felt the emperor's teeth suddenly sink into his lower lip, drawing blood.
"You will respond!" Caesar ordered softly as he maneuvered the demigod to the bed. The fact that someone smaller and obviously weaker could now push him around sent Hercules' mind spinning.
He tried to concentrate on controlling his bodies response but each time something else happened, his treacherous mind would remind him that this should not be happening and asked why he didn't just knock this weakling into Tartarus and get out of this hell hole, and each time the answer would turn his soul to ice, I am fighting but I can't beat him.
Hercules tried to ignore what this man was doing to him, the way his fingers were tracing a path down his body, the gentle sucking on his earlobe and now his nipples, the hard erection that pressed painfully into his thigh. He tried to tell himself that this did nothing for him.
This wasn't how he thought it would happen. He had expected Caesar to have lost his temper already and bent him over, fucked his arse for his own pleasure and left him dissatisfied. There was not suppose to be a seduction, as if it was love, he was a slave and Caesar was his master - nothing more. Hercules was baffled and frightened, why was Caesar doing this and why? He knew he could no longer hide his bodies reaction but he feared that Caesar now wanted more than that.
A single finger traced the veins on his rock hard cock and he couldn't stop the moan of pleasure that escaped his lips. He heard the soft chuckling of his master and he hated that man more than he ever hated any one, even Hera.
Caesar slowly moved up his body, licking and nipping the bronzed flesh before him. "Tell me what you want." the Emperor demanded.
Hercules shook his head.
"Tell me what you want me to do to you."
Hercules shook his head.
"Admit you want this, I know that your body does, it can't lie. Now nod your pretty little head and I'll give you pleasure like you've never experience before in your life."
Hercules shook his head, cursing his body for it's betrayal but his mind wouldn't give in, not yet. He still hoped that this was only a nightmare end and he would wake up with his friend in Greece, but as he raised his eyes he knew that this was real. As Iolaus once said, he didn't have a good enough imagination to come up with all of this.
Hercules looked in front of him and saw the Emperor of Rome naked, aroused and unashamedly pleasuring himself. His hand lightly gripped his hard cock as he slowly moved his hand up and down, while with the other hand, he ran a finger along it's head, catching the precious fluid that was beginning to leak from it. He looked Hercules straight in the eye as he brought the finger up to his own lips.
Involuntarily Hercules felt his mouth open, his legs move apart and his cock hardened even more.
"Do you want this?" Caesar taunted as he brought the finger closer to Hercules' waiting mouth. "Do you want to know what I taste like?"
The nod was almost imperceptible but Caesar noticed it and in an instant Hercules felt himself thrown backwards onto the bed, the emperor straddling his chest, his huge cock pressing against his lips.
Hercules licked his lips unthinkingly, tasting the salty tang of this man before him. He should want to fight this, to stop what was about to happen but he couldn't, he wanted it, he needed it. He opened his mouth and felt the pulsing organ fill his mouth. His tongue cautiously running over the heated flesh.
"You have never done this before, have you?" Caesar demanded as he moved back slightly.
Hercules looked away and shook his head in shame.
He saw Caesar's hand move suddenly and prepared for the inevitable hit that would come, instead he felt the hand caress his jaws and his mouth was caught in a kiss that seemed to turn his body to fire and jelly at the same time.
"Let me teach you," Caesar whispered and Hercules knew as he nodded that he had just sold his soul to an evil worse than Hera.