King's Mate 1-7
By Eirene

The new Queen of Corinth nuzzled lovingly at Iphicles’ chest hair, “Morning, lover!”  He chuckled softly and reached over for a long kiss. His head came up and he looked at the angle of the sunlight.

“Make that afternoon, Grace.  Afternoon of the *second*  day in bed,” he yawned and stretched, then surveyed the copious scratches and love-bites on his body,  “By the Gods, we were passionate.  I’ve never been like that; not even when I was sixteen and horny as a mountain goat!”  A soft hand with long, clever fingers gently stroked his balls, then the length of his cock.

“More like a wild mountain stallion, Iphicles.”  The king groaned as his cock stiffened immediately.

“Oh, Grace.  I’m sore, I ache.  I’ve had the twenty-five most explosive orgasms of my entire life, don’t stop,” his eyes glowed at her, “Finish what you’ve started.  One touch of your hand, your mouth and I *want*, I *need*.  Every time.”  Grace began to kiss slowly down his body.

“You do the same to me, my love.  I’m sore too, but I’m already wet and ready for you.”  Iphicles pulled her up his body, encouraged her hips wider and slid inside her welcoming sheath.  They both groaned with pleasure. Iphicles’ eyes glowed as he pulled them closer together.

“I’m going to declare a royal honeymoon.  Two weeks on my private island off the coast, doing nothing but eating, sleeping  and  lots and lots of hot, sweet loving.  *That* should take the edge off our appetites!”  Grace smoothed the riot of damp copper tangles off his face and kissed him.

{Don’t forget the joining of our minds.}  Iphicles slid his tongue into her mouth as he began to undulate gently inside her.

{Never!  Oh, baby.  Take me flying with you one more time........}  They moved slowly at first, careful of the lingering tenderness;  then as passion caught alight, hard and deep to a spectacular mutual climax.  Grace held Iphicles close in the after-glow.


Iphicles nodded sleepily, “Mmmmmm.  Pity we haven’t got one of those showers that you had in your home.  Got a waterfall on the island, though!”

“Making love in the open?!!?”  Grace tried to sound scandalised, but the idea was already turning her on, “Let’s go the whole hog and have sex on the beach!”  Iphicles chuckled as he began to fall asleep in her arms.

“Sand in your personal thanks!”  Grace felt herself drifting too.

“Not if we do it *properly*.”

“Naughty woman!”  Iphicles slurred the last words, then began to snore softly, his head pillowed on her breasts.  Grace smiled.

“You have no idea, my sweet husband.  You set free a woman who is rapidly turning into a sex fiend!”  She closed her eyes and tunnelled her fingers gently through his hair as she joined him in sleep.


Iphicles led Grace at last to his sunken, marble tub, which was already full of hot water.  He held out his hand.

“One of the benefits of being a King.   A hot bath big enough for two.”

Grace sank into the water and moaned softly in delight, “Bliss.  I could definitely get used to this.”

Iphicles smiled radiantly at her as he fetched the soap, “Let me....?”  he asked, “That’s another thing that *she* never.....  Well, it doesn’t matter any more.  I’ve got you, my dearest love.”

Grace let herself be pampered by his expert administrations,  “Well, you’ve been practicing.  Your touch is just right.”

Iphicles kissed her neck as he soaped her back, “I can’t deny I’ve had a number of lovers over the years.  You know your Greek history, surely?”

Grace nodded, “Of course darling.   The army;  your commanding officer.”

Iphicles reached round and gently cupped her breasts, “Amongst others.  But none I’ve loved like you.  No-one else’s mind has joined with mine.”

Grace leaned back and smiled, touching his chin, “I know. You’re very handsome;  I couldn’t blame any other man or woman who wanted you in the past.  You can tell me if you like.”

Iphicles closed his eyes and began soaping lower,  “Well, I was always well endowed and almost pretty as a teenager and young man.  You can probably guess I was almost always the one underneath.”

Grace nodded and guided his fingers lower.   Iphicles’ eyebrows arched in surprise, then he felt how aroused she was and began to draw slow, erotic circles with the soap and his fingers.

“Have you ever been ‘underneath’ with a woman?”

Iphicles’ fingers stilled, “Good grief, no!  Even with my first woman, I was in charge!  Even though I was only sixteen.  I  came in seconds, the did it all over again, longer and slower each time, for most of the rest of the day.  She showed me a lot;  very expertly, very discreetly.  Made me feel as if I was the best lover she’d ever had.  After that, I was always the seducer.  Even with you, sweet Grace.”

Grace encouraged his fingers to start moving again, then reached round to stroke his thighs.  She moved slowly upwards.

“We’re going to have to remedy that, my love.  One of these days I’ll tie you to the bed and show you what you’ve been missing!”  Iphicles moved his hips automatically so that her hands met his erection.  He groaned softly into her ear.

“It’s decadent, it’s most definitely *not* what I’ve been taught and led to believe a man should let a woman do with him, but by the Gods - the thought of you teasing and torturing me slowly to helpless ecstasy....” his erection swelled, right on cue,  “I want it.  Please.  *All* of it.  Until I’m covered in sweat and begging.  Then take me to paradise, love.  With you.”  Grace shifted her hips backwards and brought herself to the tip of
his erection.  She slid down an inch until he was just inside her.  She turned her lips to his ear and nibbled gently.

“You’ll love it.  I promise.  I’ve never truly been in control either.  Oh, Gods, you feel so good!” Her inner muscles spasmed around him, drawing him slightly deeper, “I’ll make it good for you.  I want to do all these wonderful wicked things with you that I’ve never done before.”  She pushed back as Iphicles thrust hotly forward and they linked fully under the water.  Iphicles gently bit her neck.

“I adore you, my sweet Queen.”

Grace covered his hands with her own,  “I love you, too.  This is one wonderful way to have a wash in the morning!”  Iphicles chuckled softly and began to stroke her expertly.   His free hand soaped her breasts, her stomach.  Within seconds, Grace arched and came apart, then Iphicles followed her with his own release.

Grace turned into his arms and smiled radiantly, “And we get to share a bath like this *every* morning?”  Iphicles nodded.

“The King most definitely commands it!”  Right at that moment, both their stomachs rumbled.

“, make that lunch.  Then we ought to see what Jessica and Robert are up to.” Iphicles got out of the bath and held up a towel for her.

“They had a tour of Corinth yesterday and last night Androcles took them camping in the valley not far away.  They’re virtually adults here, remember.  Jessica’s almost of marriageable age.”

Grace smiled, “I know, but I still want to see them.  They ought to know about our planned honeymoon.”


About an hour later, after eating and dressing,  Iphicles led Grace to the council chamber.  He was surprised to see Androcles and all the chief ministers there.  He sat in his chair at the round table, with Grace on his right.

“Is there an emergency?  Not a war, I trust?”

Androcles shook his head,  “No, sire.  Not a war.  I’ve asked Aesop to give your Robert and Jessica a full tour of the castle, Ma’am.  They will be here later,”  Androcles turned to his king, “It’s a more delicate matter, sire.  We can see you and Grace love each other, but the whole council is concerned about the matter of succession.  Robert and Jessica are not of royal blood......”

Iphicles stood up, “Neither was I, but you accepted Jason’s choice and my anointing.  I *know* I haven’t been found lacking.”

Androcles bowed his assent and carried on, “Indeed not.  A prince - or princess - of your body would help to cement a new dynasty though, as you know.  May we hope........?”

Iphicles began to get angry, “Not that it really matters, but no.  Grace cannot have more children.”  There was much fervent, whispered muttering between the council members.  Androcles stepped forward and spoke for them all.

“Jessica and Robert are fine young people, but we cannot accept either of them ascending the throne - begging your pardon, Ma’am.”

Iphicles made a decisive sweep with his hand, “So, in due course, I will offer the crown of Corinth to one worthy of the position,”  he smiled slightly, “*That* idea has at least one precedent.”

Androcles shuffled his feet and looked sheepish, “Forgive me, sire.  The council is....well, very keen to see a royal line of succession by blood. We are minded to ask you to consider an alliance with a suitable princess to provide a legitimate heir.”

Iphicles slammed his fists on the table, “Never!  Not in a million years! Grace is the wife of my heart and soul.  She loved me, although I offered her nothing but myself and my love.   She left her home far away to come here with me.  Although you do not need to know, we are joined not just in body but in mind and soul as well.  We are as one as two people can be.”

Grace stood up and gently laid her hand over Iphicles’ fist,  “They do have a point.  A son or daughter who is truly yours would provide stability.  I could go away quietly.”

Iphicles turned to her and saw the tears in her eyes, “Don’t you *dare* leave me.  I’d die a thousand times over without you,”  he turned back to the council members, “If it comes down to being king or having Grace, I choose the latter every time.  But remember if I abdicate now, there will be no king or queen of Corinth.”  More muttering amongst the council members ensued.

Androcles stepped forward again,  “You know how much you have done for Corinth.  You know that I consider you a friend.  You have been, in these last three or so years, one of the best kings we’ve had.   You have promise to be *the* best - ever.  That is part of the reason for putting this request to you.  Consider a political alliance just to have a child.  It is somewhat unconventional, but a brief legal union could be worked out by the lawyers.”

Iphicles shook his head, “It wouldn’t work.  I’ve only spent a few nights in Grace’s arms, but I know I *couldn’t* make love to anyone else now. Literally;  physically.  I wouldn’t be able to......consummate......the union.”

Androcles came nearer, “I understand, sire.  I know what it is like to love deeply.  I just remember how overjoyed you were with your son, while he was here.  Think of that and forgive me.”

Iphicles smiled softly, “I do forgive you, friend.  I know that you all have Corinth’s and my best interests at heart.  So do I, and I tell you most solemnly that I will be a better, more contented and happier monarch with Grace at my side.  Corinth herself will benefit.  Grace is kind, strong, beautiful, spiritual and wonderful with people.  You may come to love her nearly as much as I do.  As far as more children are has not escaped my notice that the only woman who apparently became pregnant by me was Rena.  I’m sure the court is only too aware of her constant infidelity.  I wish one of you had been so honest to my face back then.  I have no way of knowing if  my son was truly mine.  It might be that you’d marry me off to some likely lady and nothing would happen - because *I* cannot father children.  Then you’d ruin three lives. I think we can declare this matter closed now?”  Iphicles sat down and picked up the scrolls and petitions on the table.  Grace sat beside him. The council members slowly made their way to their seats.

Grace gently squeezed Iphicles’ hand, “I love you,” she whispered very softly.  Iphicles squeezed back and opened the first scroll.  He let Grace read it over his shoulder.

“We have a request here for a state visit to Crete.  The Minoans want to establish better trade relations.  How long will it take to furnish the royal trireme?”

The commander of the navy calculated, “About a week, sire.  As you know, the crossing takes about a week either way, then you’d need to stay several days on the island.”

Iphicles nodded, “Well, the Minoans are always worth doing business with. I’ve heard rumours of the Minotaur, but we can dismiss those as harmless stories used to frighten children.”

Grace touched his hand, “I’d recommend looking for a strong, young man to take with you.  Someone who is of a high family with good wits.”  She mentally crossed her fingers.

Iphicles smiled, “Yes of course;  the yearly bull-run will be on.  I’m pretty fit and limber, but we need a young man’s grace for that particular sport.   How about Prince Theseus?”

Grace grinned, “He’ll be just fine!”

Iphicles turned to her, “You know more than you’re letting on here!”  he whispered, amusedly.

Grace shrugged and her smile widened, “I can’t help it - I love making legends come to life!”

Iphicles raised her hand to his lips, “You’ll come too, naturally.  I command it!”

“Of course.  I always obey my King!”

Iphicles leaned and murmured in her ear one word that promised magnificent pleasure, “*Honeymoon!*”

Part 2

The Triremes had sailed out of Corinth's natural harbour and into the open sea. The sails took up the work of the stout rowers and the heavily muscled helmsman steered a course to Crete. They were three days out of Corinth and all was well. Not far below, in a large cabin on the first ship, was a bed. It took up most of the floor space and just above it was a window open to the sea breezes. On the bed, under a covering of sheer, translucent white material, two bodies were tangled, covered with a sheen of perspiration and in the middle of the act of making love. Small gasps and moans of pleasure escaped from the window, but were luckily masked by the sound of the waves, the sea-breeze and the creaking of seasoned timbers above.

Iphicles smiled down at Grace, "I give good honeymoon, don't I?"

Grace raised her legs and angled her hips to draw him deeper, "Oh yes, my love!" At that point, their bodies overtook coherence as they erupted into a beautiful mutual climax.

Iphicles rolled over with the last of his strength and pillowed Grace on his chest, "I could barely wait for the sending off to finish so that we could come down here. I know we'd only been apart, getting ready, for a day or two, but I was *hungry* . Must be the sight of you in that delectable Summer dress and the sea breezes."

Grace chuckled softly, "Well, *something* gave you an appetite. You've been hard for me for three whole days - and nights. Not that I'm complaining!"

Iphicles smothered a yawn, "I don't know *what* I'm going to do when we get to Crete. I've seen how the Minoan women wear their dresses, and the thought of you with your breasts bared in public....." his cock began to stiffen rapidly, "I'll be wearing my linen kilt at a *very* strange angle!"

Grace began stroking him slowly, "Mmmm. And we both know that *you'll* be naked under that kilt and that will turn me on *so* much."

Iphicles began to caress her gently, "You'll be stuck in the women's quarters, me with the king and all the ministers; only meeting at formal banquets and late at night in bed...... I think I might go crazy!"

Grace chuckled in his ear, "Don't worry, my love. I have a secret plan......." She gently moved down his body, "Let's see if I can wear you out before we get there....."

Iphicles leaned back, a slow grin spreading across his face. Her hands, lips and tongue began doing wonderful, wicked things to him, "Yes, please!"


The royal port of Malia on the north shore of Crete welcomed them. Iphicles, Grace and the royal party disembarked from one ship, whilst Grace's children and several other dignitaries got off the other. Jessica and Robert came over for a hug.

Robert whistled, "Wow! Pretty neat!" He was looking at the palace complex.

Grace smiled, "Do you remember seeing it......*before*?"

Robert nodded, "Yeah, but it was just ruins then....." he noticed Iphicles' shocked face, "At least, in *our* future it was all ruins."

Iphicles swallowed, "Knossos too?" Grace nodded. Iphicles' voice went into a harsh whisper, "Corinth?"

Grace chose her words carefully, "No, Corinth is still there......but not many of the buildings you've shown us."

Iphicles clutched her shoulder, "So the Minotaur could be real."

"In this version of Greece, I'd put money on it."

"I've brought you into danger!"

Grace faced him and cupped his face, "No. We have prince Theseus with the other young people. *He'll* sort things out - you'll see."

Iphicles caught up with something Grace had said, "You've been here *before*?!?"

"Yes, but there's not much left in my time. It will be a unique experience for me - us - to see the reality. If I could travel to my future and give lectures on it, I'd make a mint!"

At that moment, a pair of centaurs came up to lead the party to the palace. The ships' rowers were led to their own quarters for beer and other refreshments. Iphicles, Grace and her children followed the two centaurs into the palace of Malia.


Jessica watched the two centaurs. She'd never seen them at such close quaters before. One was dark, with long brown hair; fairly typical of centaurs. But the other - he had a thick, long red plait down his back. The hair or fur on the horse half of him was the same. Bright red curls all over. And he had a young, clean-shaven face with stunning dark green eyes. As he smiled at her, Jessica's knees went weak. His naked chest had a soft covering of red curls, too; but Jessica reckoned he couldn't be more than 22 or so. Jessica's heart thumped loudly in her own chest as she experienced adult desire for the first time. Later that night, she managed to speak to one of the serving girls who came to her room.

"Are there any......female centaurs?"

The girl bobbed a curtsy at her, "Not many. They are very rare. That's why male centaurs often mate with us humans. The ones that like women, anyway."

Jessica had seen with her own eyes enough of what went on between some of the warriors in Iphicles' army, "Oh. There was an unusual red-haired one that brought us here tonight......"

"That'd be the princeling, Meleus. He likes to greet important guests. He's just 19 years old. They say he gets the colouring from his human grand-mother. The centaurs will be having a moot tomorrow. If you go along, you must be discreet. I could show you the way......." So, that was how Jessica found herself hidden in some bushes upwind of a sunlit grassy basin not far from Malia the next morning. Several centaurs were there already. Suddenly two of the more muscled ones began kissing. One had reddish brown hair, the other was a blonde. Their hands sculpted each other's chests, then one dived for the fur at the front, at the place where a normal mortal man would have his genitals. A flap of fur was peeled back on each to reveal a very human-looking, but much larger than average, cock. Jessica watched, unable to tear her eyes away. She saw the tawny-haired one go down on his knees and begin sucking the other slowly, lovingly. The blonde yelled convulsively. The chords in his neck stood out. Jessica saw his whole body stiffen. The brown haired centaur had his hands on his own cock. She saw it spurt as he came and the way his lips were fastened tightly around the other's member, sucking it dry.

Jessica felt herself get aroused. She knew the mechanics, but even her doctor mother hadn't prepared her for this heat, this need. Her hands went automatically to her breasts, then the aching wetness at her groin. She stroked experimentally and had to bite back a groan. No-one had told her it would feel this good, either. Suddenly she noticed that the male centaurs were moving. They were nuzzling eacn other. The blonde moved round to the hind quarters of his lover. As he mounted him, a black cock of truly equine proportions could be seen below the horse's part. The brown centaur moaned as he was entered, inch by inch. The blonde's hands descended and teased out the corresponding horse's cock of his mate. A blonde head went forward and his teeth began to bite softly at the human neck. file://Not *so* much different to real horses......//, Jessica thought, then her fingers found her swollen clitoris and all rational thought escaped her. As they thrust, she stroked. She heard the roar of satisfaction from the centaurs seconds ahead of the sweetest convulsions she had ever known racking her own body; then everything went black.

"So; awake at last, princess?" Jessica opened her eyes with a start. The centaur Meleus was holding her, looking down at her. He smiled, "I knew I was right. You like centaurs, princess."

Jessica blushed deeply, "Um.....I'm only 14. And a half. And I'm not really a princess." She could see the simple gold circlet nestling in the hair on his head. She suddenly realised they were inside and they were half lying on something like a chaise longue together.

Meleus stroked her face, "To find a woman so incredibly responsive to centaur pheremones is amazingly rare. I knew when I saw you - the sweet scent of you aroused me so fiercely that I had to use all my powers of concentration to lead you to the palace. I wanted to touch you, to claim you. You will never know how hard it was for me to leave you to find your way to me. You are my mate, Jessica."

Jessica pushed herself upright, "But.... What about love? And I told you, I'm not even fifteen yet!"

Meleus chuckled softly, "I'm a youth by centaur standards. Just eighteen. And the love will come, I promise. We will mate for life - if you'll have me. But I tell you most solemnly, there won't be another for me. I've already imprinted on the scent and sight of you. That's how it is for centaurs." He gently brushed her lips with his. Thrills of pleasure ran through Jessica's body. As she moved, she could feel the long, hard bulge concealed beneath the fur at his groin.

Jessica blushed again, "Um. Meleus....... How do centaurs and women......? I mean, the two males out there*two* and I don't know what you expect......."

Meleus held her face gently, "I'm scared too. I'm a virgin, just like you; but my mother was human, as were my grandmothers. First of all, we fit together face to face......almost exactly like a man and woman. I mean, there are other positions, but for the first time I want to kiss you as we make love. Then, when you're ready - as soon as you can afterwards - you crawl under my belly and we mate again *that* way. That's the traditional pattern."

Jessica's mouth dropped open slightly, " you're anything like those others...... They were HUGE!"

Meleus dropped a quick kiss on her lips, "My first loving, my mouth and my human ejaculation prepares you. The tissues of a woman are so close to a female centaur's. You will find that you can take me, both times. After that, every other time will be even easier. Our pheremones will be so in tune that we will always find pleasure together."

"So male centaurs mate for life with each other as well?"

Meleus nodded, "So, sweet Jessica. I know you are young; but my mother mated with my father when she was barely thirteen."

"What about *my* mother.......and Iphicles?"

"The King knows how it is with centaurs. I'm sure he's told your mother. If not, I will soon reassure her that I am yours for life. My parents are dead and I am the youngest of six brothers. There are heirs enough to the lands of our ancestors. I hope we might have a foal or two of our own some day, but it can wait."

Jessica paled, "That's another problem. How in Hades' name do I give birth to a centaur?!!"

"We make love often right up to the end of your pregnancy. Even during labour, if you can bear it. My cum at that time will make your tissues stretch easily. Without a male centaur lover it can be very difficult. Ephiny, the Amazon had a terrible time after her mate died."

Jessica leaned back in his arms. After a few moments she realised her fingers were playing idly with Meleus' chest hair. A low growl of pleasure came from his chest, "Mate with me!" His voice was hot, urgent, "You are driving me out of my *mind* with desire." She looked up as his mouth descended. His kiss was deep and passionate. When he finally broke away, Jessica was trembling with desire and she was very aroused. He pulled her up on to her feet. He stood on his hooves close to her.

Meleus took off his leather belt, which was the only thing close to a garment that he wore and produced a long knife from the sheath that dangled from it. He cut the palm of his right hand, then held the knife towards Jessica. She saw the bright drops of blood falling to the floor.

"Meleus. We hardly know each other......" Her mind protested while she felt her body melting with desire.

He stepped closer, "We have the rest of our lives. I know what you are feeling. I can smell your arousal and the animal in me is *aching* for you." Jessica held out her hand, trembling. Meleus held it still. The cut barely hurt, then he was pressing their palms together and Jessica nearly swooned. Need. Longing. Loneliness. Desire. Heat. Passion. They swept through her and back out again. Meleus reeled and his lips curved into a slow smile.

"YES!" He pulled her close to him, "Our bodies, our libidos, our hearts and souls. One," His fingers interlinked with hers and blue fire surrounded the palms. The twin cuts healed in seconds, "See, Jessica. I am utterly yours." Then his mouth was on hers and she drowned in sensation.

With trembling fingers he swiftly removed her clothing. His mouth was everywhere, hot and feverish. When he began to lick her body with a surprisingly long tongue, Jessica was almost beside herself with pleasure. When he gently parted her thighs and began to lick that secret place, all the tension in Jessica built and quickly spasmed into glorious release. His hands shook as he pulled her up to his mouth. She saw his human cock, huge and rigid with need. Her legs parted and he pulled her up so that she sat, clinging around his waist, just poised above him. She began to move downwards instinctively, then he was there. Filling her, stretching her. Jessica heard a harsh, exultant cry come from somewhere and realised it was her. There was a brief moment of pain, then nothing but utter bliss. Meleus moaned and then produced a noise that was closest to a deep, pleasured whinny. His eyes darkened with pleasure as he held her and guided her the rest of the way, until he was fully sheathed inside her. He smiled into her eyes.

"Sweet Jessica......." His fingers descended to her sweet spot and gently caressed until she was right at the brink. Jessica teetered on the edge. She had to move. She slid up and down a little on him, experimentally. His hips aided her. She felt that gorgeous cock swell inside her, then she was there; he was there. They exploded together and Jessica shuddered with pleasure. Meleus guided them both to the floor with strong, yet gentle hands. He smoothed the hair back from her face, "Now? Soon, please? The other half of me is just about to explode....!" Jessica gently removed herself from Meleus' arms, kissing him briefly. She slowly navigated herway between his horse's legs and down the wonderfully soft red fur on his under-belly. She looked at the horse part of him. Meleus hadn't been kidding. It was thrusting up towards her, not only rigid but glistening with pre-cum. It was sheathed like a horse's phallus too in black skin. For a moment, Jessica wondered how they would actually fit, then her hips moved instinctively. As she touched him, the central part gently eased inside her. It was about the same size as his human cock, but smooth and wet. Jessica moaned. It felt wonderful. She felt her muscles gently clasping around him with pleasure, then he exploded seconds later. She felt herself being transported back to Meleus' arms when he had finished. He nuzzled her neck and murmured gentle words of pleasure. She felt the touch of a soft rug under her back, then she fell asleep, pillowed on his chest.


Grace paced up and down in the women's quarters. Two days without a sight or sound of Jessica combined with the same time apart from Iphicles and Robert were driving her slightly out of her mind. She was a bundle of worry and sexual tension. Sure, she'd used the items thoughtfully provided for ladies to relieve sexual tension. But she missed Iphicles; his whole self, his smile, those lips, that gorgeous hairy chest and the feel of his hot, hard cock inside her. Eventually she found the slave-girl who had helped Jessica and found out what had happened. Anger replaced all other emotions for the moment.

My daughter's not yet fifteen and now.....*this*. I've got to go and make sure she's happy with this sudden choice......

So Grace set off secretly towards the palace that held the centaurs a couple of miles or so away across the plain. She didn't know that Iphicles had finally become fed up with days of male-only talk and was trying to find her in the human part of Malia.

Part 3

Grace stormed into the centaurs' home, "I need to see my daughter!" One of the many male centaurs led her towards the chambers belonging to Meleus. In due course both he and Jessica emerged, looking a little flushed and tousled. Grace marched right up to the young centaur, "I think you had better tell me what's been going on!" Meleus explained the deep and permanent bond that now existed between him and Jessica. Grace turned to her daughter, "Jessica - please tell me you chose this freely."

Jessica blushed a little, "Yes, Mum. Eagerly too. Meleus is all I'll ever want in a husband."

Grace sighed, "You'll have to forgive me - marriages are not usually made at such a tender age where I come from."

Meleus stepped forward a little, "You have my solemn word that I will be a faithful and loving mate to your daughter until the day I die."

Grace held out her hand, "Having a centaur as a son-in-law will take me a little time to assimilate. Please bear with me, Meleus." He smiled and took her proffered hand. After a warm hand-shake she hugged her daughter, "Are you sure you're alright?" she whispered into Jessica's ear.

"Mum, I'm *fine* and the sex is wonderful!"

Grace laughed self-deprecatingly as she pulled back, "I guess you really have grown up," she turned to Meleus, "I suppose this is a welcome to the family, then. Take care of my daughter, Meleus."

"With my life," he promised.


Iphicles was going quietly nuts. First of all there were the talks. Round and round in circles, lots of platitudes and polite conversation but nothing much was getting *done*. He was itchy to dump the lot and get up to Knossos, which was the goal he'd been aiming for. The invitation had said as much. The banquets every night were possibly worse. Lots of masculine energy and scantily clad dancing girls. Some boys, too. The whole lot left him cold. It wasn't the same without Grace. If she'd been allowed to be there, they would have shared smiles and private jokes, then retired to their room for some mutual pleasuring. As it was, he went to bed alone. Sure, he'd given himself a helping hand, just thinking of her, but it wasn't the same.

The latest annoyance was her disappearance. He'd searched very carefully, but there was no sign of her. There was a limit to how close he could get to the women's quarters anyway. He eventually found the slave-girl who'd precipitated everything and realised Grace could be gone for some time, enjoying centaur hospitality. At least they would take care of her. He hoped that Grace could adapt to centaur mating customs when it came to Jessica. He knew that Meleus would have imprinted on Jessica very quickly and the two of them would already be irretrievably mated. Iphicles sighed. Another late banquet tonight and a lonely time in bed. At least Knossos beckoned - they were due to travel up there on the day after tomorrow. Then he and Grace could be together again.

Iphicles lay on cushions, Roman style, at this last banquet. The food was particularly good, the wine likewise. It was an impressive farewell from the centaurs and others at Malia. Huge man-size pots at the corners of the room held a mixture of water and wine. There was probably enough liquid to float a trireme. Stuffed birds gave way to lamb with vine leaves. The dancing girls and boys were sent in with the sweetmeats. The inference was clear. Both the food and the people were offered as dessert. Iphicles had seen many of the other men were availing themselves of the twin possibilities on other nights. He wondered if Grace had been offered similar intimate pleasures in the women's quarters. It was entirely likely. A dark-skinned nubile lady knelt at his feet. She was extremely scantily clad in gold, shimmering material. Breasts, legs and hips highlighted and displayed to stunning effect. Suddenly her mouth closed over one of his toes and Iphicles felt a bolt of pure pleasure run up his leg and settle as hot need in his groin. He was stunned. Until this moment, the only person who could get him hard and needy with a single touch had been Grace. His mind rebelled and he moved his foot away, staring at the lady. She ran a finger up his calf.

"Stop that!" It was unthinkable to Iphicles that he could be unfaithful to Grace. She came closer and he saw that her eyes were blue. The combination of dark skin and hair with those eyes was....he couldn't help himself.....a major turn-on. Then she smiled and Iphicles' heart jumped. He reached up and pulled her into his arms. A hot, deep kiss later, they were entangled on the cushions and her legs were wrapped around his waist. He found the convenient slit in her clothing, stroked that sweet spot with his fingers. Finding her ready, her soft moans of need encouraging him, he freed his urgent erection and slid home. She pulled him in for another kiss. He laughed softly, "Hello, Grace!"

"Hello yourself!" Her arms wrapped round his neck and her inner muscles squeezed him gently, "I missed you too!"

"I *love* the disguise!"

"Show me!"

"Mmmm, yeah. Talk later, sweetheart!" He began to move then, taking them both to a rather fast and breathless mutual release. He chuckled softly in her ear afterwards, "I've never actually made love in public or at a banquet before!"

Grace smiled widely, "You were *magnificent*." She said it loud enough for most of his neighbours to hear. Iphicles blushed slightly.

"So were you, sweet dancing lady. Come to my room?"

Grace laughed delightedly, "I thought you'd never ask!"

Two naked figures lay tangled on the sheets and glistening with sweat some hours later. Iphicles blew out his breath as he stared at the ceiling.

"By Zeus, I needed that! I missed you so much, Grace. A few days apart and I was going crazy."

"I know. Me too." Her leg slid further up his thigh and back over one hip.

"So, how on earth did you get your skin and hair like that?"

Grace chuckled, "Dye. It'll wash off. You may have noticed I've left some interesting tracks on the sheets!" Iphicles picked up a piece of sheet.

"So you have. I was too busy enjoying you to notice before now. The other guests at the banquet will think I've been unfaithful to you, dearest."

Grace laughed softly, "They won't - you just wait and see!"

Iphicles decided to let her have her little secret, "What about Jessica; I mean, are you comfortable with the idea of her being mated with a centaur?"

"I am now. It *is* for life, isn't it?" Iphicles nodded emphatically, "Then I think I'll adapt! I just wasn't expecting to lose her so soon or so fast. Jessica was radiant with happiness."

"I'm glad - that's the way it should be."

"And she has been well and thorougly loved. She has that glow of satisfied woman about her. I should know; I see my face in your silver mirror every morning!"

His mouth nuzzled close to her ear, "Centaurs have *two*, you know."

"Two what?" Then Grace caught the gleam in his eye, "Oh. I see," she grinned wickedly, "And I know a certain king who has more than enough appetite for two....." her hand began stroking his burgeoning erection seductively.

Iphicles chuckled and pulled her on top of him, "I've got a wife who makes me insatiable!"

Grace traced his lips slowly with her tongue, "And I *love* it!"


"So which story do you want to hear this morning?" Iphicles was spooned close behind her. It was not yet quite dawn.

"We've finally reached the 'sated after-glow' phase?"

He nibbled her ear and kissed her neck, "Mmmm. I think so. What we have is so much new territory for me, so intense."

"I know - me too." Grace lifted his hand from her stomach and kissed it lovingly. Iphicles rolled onto his back, taking Grace with him. She snuggled closer and began tracing abstract patterns in his chest hair.

"How about Pandora and her box?" Grace smiled. She knew most of the stories, but hearing something much closer to the original versions was exciting. Different in some ways, too. She wasn't sure if it was just Iphicles embellishing them, but most of them seemed to feature long, erotic details of sex at some point. This led to her getting aroused all over again, which led to him pleasuring her, which often led to a last wonderful finale of love-making.

"Okay, but I'd better warn you, you are wearing a lot of my body dye. A shared bath would be a good idea this morning."

Iphicles chuckled, "Sex in the bath *again*?!!" He tried to sound shocked, but it wasn't in the least convincing, "Okay, my Queen! Now; Pandora......." Grace's smile widened. She loved these intimate times when Iphicles told his tales just for her. He was a great story-teller. She felt her heart swell with love. Grace kissed his chest tenderly and settled down to listen.


Iphicles sat in the litter on the back of the wagon they had provided for him and brooded. Grace was late. Everyone was ready to make the journey up to Knossos and she was keeping them waiting. He drew back the curtains and looked out. The whole palace was out to bid them farewell, right down to all the guests at the banquet. He'd been ribbed a little about his nubile dancing lady by them, but had held his tongue. Suddenly, Grace emerged from the gates of Malia. She was swathed in a long, white cloak, her hair piled high on her head and wearing her crown. She looked imperial, distant and utterly desirable. Every head swivelled to watch her. When she had crossed about half the distance between them, she loosened her cloak and let it slide slowly to the floor. Iphicles nearly choked. She was wearing that brief golden dancer's outfit. The crowd gasped. Then the men at the banquet started to clap, broad grins on their faces. Iphicles knew that everyone else would realise that it was she he had enjoyed, in public, in disguise. His reputation would be phenomenal. They would be talking about it for years. His name and hers might even go down in legend. He was grinning like an idiot but he didn't care. He stood up and took her hand, pulling her close into his arms. He kissed Grace, hard, then brought her inside the litter and closed the curtains. He kissed her again.

"You are a bad, magnificent woman! I don't know whether to punish you or reward you!" The wagon began to move.

Grace cupped his face in her hands, "So do both!"

Iphicles growled softly, "At the moment, I want to tear that outfit off and take you, hard and fast. And then cover you in jewels. They'll be talking about you and me making love in public for *ages*."

Grace smiled, "That was the general idea, my love."

Iphicles' eyes flared with fire, "Now!" His hands ripped her clothing off in seconds. He spread her under him, freed himself and plunged inside. He groaned with pleasure when he found her wet and ready for him. Her legs twined around his neck, drawing him deep inside her. His fingers grasped her buttocks. He began to thrust. Within seconds she spasmed around him and Iphicles lost control. He plunged to a fast, explosive climax. His breathing was laboured as he crushed her to the cushions beneath them, "Oh, Grace. My delectable houri. The way you are ready for me, every time."

Grace gently stroked his slightly damp, red curls, "I can't help it! You turn me on! We've been perfectly matched since the first time, when our souls and minds became one."

"I know," Iphicles' smile widened wolfishly, "Now for a slower, second helping....."

It was some hours later that the party reached Knossos. Iphicles was looking somewhat tired, but satisfied. Grace was glowing with pleasure, wearing a fresh outfit and carrying a bag of jewels. Knossos itself was built on and around a small hill, with defensive ditches and ramparts protecting it. Towers gave way to decorative colonnades, which terraced down one side of the hill. The air was filled with the scent of flowers and citrus trees. Several of the buildings ran to three stories, often open to the breeze on at least one side. They were led through the main gates and up one of the many walkways. This particular one had plain stone at the ground floor level and rich red-brown columns above. Behind some of the columns, Grace could see murals of all descriptions; people, animals, gods. Servants bustled to and fro, carrying things or leading animals. They went into the main throne room. King Minos sat on a stone throne, built into the wall. Behind him on the wall, fabulous creatures similar to sphinx flanked the throne on either side. On a bench to his right sat the Queen and his beautiful daughter, Ariadne. Grace saw her and Prince Theseus exchange significant glances and knew what was going to happen. After suitable pleasantries and an exchange of gifts had been accomplished, Grace and Iphicles retired to their rooms. There would be nothing to do until the great banquet tonight. Grace stripped off in the heat and lay on her stomach on the cool linen sheets. Iphicles found a bottle of lotion by the side of the bed.

"I did say I'd pamper you later, Grace." He began gently spreading the lotion over her. Grace relaxed under his tender ministrations.

"You made it pretty darned good in the litter."

Iphicles' nostrils flared, "I know. I thought the whole convoy might have heard you if you hadn't stuffed that pillow in your mouth at the right moment. Seeing you that was very arousing."


The next days were spent in relaxing mood. A private breakfast together every morning in their room, genteel talks with Minos and the court, slow walks in the gardens, long siestas, banquets and wonderful weather with which to enjoy everything. On the third day came the bull run as entertainment during a night banquet in the great open square in the centre of the complex. People sat around on all three levels that surrounded the courtyard, legs hanging over the drop between the large pillars on the second and third storeys. Iphicles and Grace had the best places with Minos and the court. Sure enough, Theseus took part. He was about 20, stunningly handsome, long dark curls and deep blue eyes. All the young women followed him with their eyes. Grace knew what was going to become of him and shivered slightly. Ariadne blushed as he passed her a bunch of flowers. Then the huge sacred bull came in and the young men prepared themselves. They ran, vaulted over the bull's back by pivoting over its deadly horns. Theseus was by far the best, doing the most dangerous stunts with flair and ease. He accepted the laurel crown from Minos with his face shining.

Suddenly a huge bellowing shook the arena. It didn't come from the sacred bull - that was being led away to be sacrificed. A huge, hairy and roaring monster on two feet broke into the courtyard. It had long upright horns on its sable head, but the lower half, although very hairy, was clearly mostly human. The feet were cloven like cattle and it had an absolutely massive phallus dangling between its legs. Intelligent, wild red eyes surveyed the scene. Theseus showed that he was very brave. He stood the monster down. It began to chase him. Ariadne shouted something and Theseus gave a tight nod. He led it away at a run. The crowd filtered cautiously out of the arena to watch. Grace saw that there was a huge stone trapdoor in the ground which the Minotaur had managed to break open. Theseus saw it too. He glanced back at Ariadne. She was obtaining something from a servant. A spherical object curved through the air towards him. Theseus caught it neatly. He led the monster back to its lair, jesturing and saying something urgently to the servants nearby. Theseus disappeared into the trapdoor with the Minotaur close on his heels. The huge stone was slid back into place on top of them and another placed on top of it. As the dust settled, the only thing that could be seen was the end of a piece of rope which trailed under the lower slab. A slave sat, hammered an iron ring into the ground and secured it in place. There was utter silence for several moments.

"Good *Gods*'s real. The Minotaur is real....." Iphicles was still somewhat shocked.

"Yes, I know. But Theseus will be alright, I promise." Grace laid her hand on his arm.

Iphicles jaw went rigid, "I'm still going to have to have words with King Minos about this...."

"Don't be too angry with him; he did the best that he could - at least if the story *I* know is the truth."

"I shall feel a lot happier when Theseus comes out of there in one piece."


Part 4

Grace received a runner two days later.

"Your majesty - we know you are a physician.  We've found Theseus.  There's another entrance to the labyrinth, down near the sea. Everyone had forgotten about it.  He's alive, but we can't rouse him.  Oh, he is gripping hard onto its lifeless head.  The monster is dead!"

Grace turned to Iphicles, "I'll have to go,"  When the runner had gone, she confided in her husband,  "If your Greece really corresponds to all the legends I know, this Minotaur was more than just a monster.  Minos' Queen had a brief affair - if one can put it like that - with one of the sacred bulls and the Minotaur was the result.  He was Ariadne's half-brother.  The family may take this death in an unusual manner.  I thought you ought to
know so that you were fore-warned incase anyone starts behaving strangely, especially the Queen."

"Good Gods...."  Iphicles' eyes narrowed speculatively, "Okay.  The royal family line may fall apart if this comes out into the open.  If the Gods are made aware of what the Queen did - they may know but have turned a blind eye till now - there could be repurcussions.  I mean, everyone knows a shepherd may take a fancy to one or more of his sheep if he's been alone long enough, but deliberately going with a sacred bull.....the Gods  and Goddesses won't like that.  We'd better be packed and ready to leave at a moment's notice.  I'll find Robert;  last I heard he was helping the Knossos wood-carvers.  Your son has got quite a gift, I'm told."

"Yes, he enjoyed woodwork at the community.  We'd better introduce him to Pericles when we get back home to Corinth.  Anyway, I'll go and see what's wrong with Theseus.  Bye, love."  They shared a long, deep kiss and Grace picked up her bag of  instruments and went to follow the runner.


Grace felt frustrated that she hadn't been able to bring everything in her medical arsenal.  There had been moments, even in the short time she'd been here, when she'd wished for penicillin or an X-ray machine.  But she knew that the former could cause more harm than good, especially when it ran out and there was no way the Ancient Greeks could power the latter.  So she'd turned to Culpepper, other herbal lore and basic medicine.  It would just
have to do.  Theseus lay on a make-shift stretcher, covered in blood, but breathing.  She had him taken to a nearby house and washed him herself. Most of the blood was clearly not his, because he only had some  external scratches and bruises.  His skin was paler than she remembered, his breathing shallow and he stared sightless into space.  His pupils were fixed and unresponsive.  She examined him more closely and discovered why he was in a state of something like catatonic shock, and it wasn't just because of the gory head he still clutched in his right hand.  She realised that everything she had cleaned off him hadn't been just blood.  She washed herself, thoroughly.  Whoever had written down the story of  Theseus and the Minotaur had left out *this* part.  She decided to have him carried back to Knossos.  Iphicles at least ought to know why a royal prince might never quite regain his rightful mind.  Once Theseus was safely tucked up in bed and a servant sat by him, watching for any change, she found her husband.

"So, the message was true?  Theseus killed the Minotaur?"

"Yes, but he's in deep shock;  and not from the death.  It's what happened before that which has affected him.  I only realised after I'd washed him. He was covered in blood.  When I found the other.....I realised the smell hadn't been right and knew that there was quite a quantity of semen in with that blood.  I examined him;  the Minotaur had clearly ravished Theseus,
more than once if I'm any judge.  And Theseus had enjoyed it.  There was largely human semen on the outside and clearly a different variety inside him.  A lot of it.  *That's* why he's in shock;  his mind is rebelling against the pleasures enjoyed by his body with that monster."

Iphicles blinked, hard, "By all the Gods.......that thing was *huge*.  It must have almost ripped him apart."  He shuddered, caught between revulsion and fascination.

Grace nodded, "Yes.  I could tell that when I examined him. He'll take a while to heal physically;  mentally I have no idea.  He has youth on his side.  He may be able to come back eventually."

As Grace had predicted, the royal family went to pieces on hearing the news of the Minotaur's death.  The King finally asked for a divorce from his wife;  she ran out of Knossos screaming that the bull had been a better lover and Ariadne sat by Theseus for hours on end.  Grace felt sorry for the princess particularly.  She had lost her brother, her mother and a potential lover all at the same time.  That night, the earthquakes started. In haste, Iphicles, Grace and all their party left Knossos.  Ariadne rode
in the cart with Theseus, refusing to be parted from him.  Robert was sitting on Grace's horse, clutching some of his new carvings.  She held him close and prayed hard.   Although it wasn't the best tide, they hurried into their ships and set sail.  The centaurs were leaving, too.  Grace saw Jessica and Meleus in their own ship, at a distance. As they left Crete behind them, they could see the steam rising from one of the volcanoes. The storm clouds were sailing in from the direction of Egypt.  Theseus suddenly sat up and asked for food and water.  Grace began to hope that
everything would work out.  The storm hit the two boats.  They limped to a small island and moored in its lee.  Theseus wanted to explore.  Grace decided that it would probably help him and agreed.  He and Ariadne went ashore, amongst others.  Grace guessed what was going to happen.  She paced up and down the deck, worried about the princess in particular.  Iphicles had to drag her below in the end.  He tied Grace to their bed and gave her something to occupy her mind for most of the night.  She awoke late the next morning, sore, smug and secretly hoping for a second helping. Iphicles had been so masterful, so downright horny and gloriously insatiable.  She looked over to where he still slept, red curls tousled every which way and stubble over his face.  He was snoring, but his lips were curved in satisfaction.

"Hey, lover boy?!"  His long eyelashes fluttered and his eyes glowed at her, "Good morning!"

Iphicles smiled, slightly sheepishly,  "I hope you're not going to play the scandalised maiden, because we both know how much you loved it last night!"

Grace pulled him into her arms and shook her head, "No.  I was about to say 'encore!'"

Iphicles grinned down, "When I've had time to recover, sweet Queen!"

Grace gently pinned him to the bed, "We're at sea!  Did Theseus come back alright?"

Iphicles nodded, "Yes, he did. When I finally untied you, for some strange reason I was still humming with - what did you call it - adrenaline? - well, I had to get up and walk around.   He's eaten a huge meal, is his old self and went to the other boat, whistling.  He's going to be okay!"

"And Ariadne?"

"She decided to stay on the island with the centaurs and Jessica.  They are making a new home there."

Grace's heart sank.  She knew the legend was back on track.  Theseus had seduced Ariadne - very thoroughly if the tales were true - then left her. Now the young man walked under Ariadne's curse.  He would never be able to make love again until he'd found the woman who could beat him in a fight. Hippolyta, one day to be Queen of the Amazons.  A good twenty years ahead.
Then and only then would he also find full healing.  Such was the legacy of the Minotaur.

The rest of the journey past fairly uneventfully.  Anyone who glanced back at Crete sawe that it was hidden under a pall of cloud, which flashed fire from time to time.

Iphicles frowned, "Very localised, that earthquake.  We had the storm, but it didn't really hurt us.  Now we journey in sunshine and they are presumably under the wrath of the Gods.  It seems a bit harsh, given only the Queen was at fault."

"I have a feeling that ritual sex with the sacred bulls was probably
happening a lot.  The atmosphere in Knossos wasn't right, somehow.  They weren't surprised at the Minotaur, just frightened.  The human culture was giving way to indulgence and decadence.  There were no temples to anything but the bull-god.  It was too insular, too inbred.  Ariadne is better off without it."

"But Zeus and Hera are brother and sister - at least, that's what I've been told."

Grace turned into his strong arms, "Yes.  I know that;  the Greek Gods and Goddesses do seem to like marrying and having relationships rather close, but it doesn't work in the long term.  As Krsna said, and others will say later, even the Gods die.  Zeus replaced Chronos and he replaced *his* father and before that.....have you heard of the mystical Hebrew concept of
Mights, Dominions and Powers?"

"Yes.  The higher forces behind the universe.  The One - or Ones - who allow our Gods to be.  I've come across the Hindu scriptures as well.  We get trade from India from time to time.  Those who worship Ceres and the Green Man also understand about death and rebirth."

A breeze made Grace tremble slightly, "I hope your Zeus and Hera will understand when it's time to move on for what comes next?"

Iphicles held her closer, "What *does* come next?"

Grace laughed, "Your Gods translated into Roman terms, if I don't miss my guess!"

"Well, at least they won't have to go far - or change that much!"

Grace wondered if Iphicles would ever be ready for the momentous religious happenings once Rome became decadent.   She didn't know how history worked here.  Ancient Egypt was thriving, as far as she knew, alongside an older, classical, Greece *and* Julius Caesar.   Then there were the very real fabulous creatures and beings to take into account. When - if at all -
would be the time of the carpenter from Nazareth?  Maybe he didn't have a place in this reality.  Grace added the Buddha, Mohammed, the Ba'ab, the Sikhs, the Druids and the New Age from her own history.  A few less 'holy' wars would be a good thing. Iphicles leaned slightly over the side of the boat.  She turned to watch the waves and the wild dolphins frolicking in their wake.  She would just have to wait and see what happened.


Corinth greeted them above its natural bay.  Grace caught her breath at the site of all the buildings and columned temples.


Iphicles nuzzled her neck., "Yes.  We have some long 'Welcome home' speeches to endure, some necessary politics and a huge banquet, but later....."  She felt the long, hard promise next to her bottom.  Feeling daring, she stroked it slowly and deliberately.  Iphicles bit her shoulder and growled softly next to her skin, "Temptress!  Later!"  She pulled away and let him quickly try to disguise the tent he was making under his robes. They disembarked.  The second ship had diverted to take Theseus home.Grace knew he would find himself King as soon as he landed.  Affairs of state would keep Theseus occupied for a long time, and then there would be the personal problem of being impotent and childless.  Grace knew that the Minotaur's treatment had hardened him, so that he abused Ariadne's love, but she still felt sorry for him.

Life in the court continued.  Grace found that Robert took to woodcraft like a duck to water and he was soon apprenticed under Pericles, who did all the fine carvings in Corinth.  She and Iphicles settled down to a mutually satisfying routine;  a joint bath in the morning, a long siesta including intimate pleasures and often making love a second time in the evening.  She taught as much of her medical skills as she could, training up others to administer healing.  She always sat with Iphicles in council and watched as he commanded, sometimes delicately manipulated and invariably charmed the other members.   A year passed.

"Grace, love;  it's bad news."  Iphicles came into their apartments one morning after breakfast.

She lifted her head from some sewing, "What?"

Iphicles sighed, "The old warlord I worked for a long time ago, before Rena.  I left him rather suddenly and only now he's decided that he wants pay-back.  He's ignoring that I'm a king and powerful, he's just spoiling for a fight and I have to go and deal with him;  me and the army, of course!"

Grace swallowed her fears and helped Iphicles prepare.  Meanwhile the soldiers drilled and exercised in the palace courtyard.  By the following morning, she and Iphicles had made love quite a lot more than usual, holding each other close and saying all the intimate, loving things that they could.  Very early on the next morning, she helped Iphicles into his armour.  Everything was buckled and fastened.  She handed him his plumed helmet.

"Please be careful!"

He kissed her lingeringly.  She could feel him, rising to full arousal
again, under his kilt.  His mouth descended to her breasts and he lifted her in the doorway.  He knelt and his mouth devoured her.  She came apart in seconds, then he rose and took her.  They rocked slowly, trying to make it last.  He bit his lip as he held back from coming several times.  She felt him, hard and needy inside her.  She pulled him closer and her inner muscles spasmed around him. Iphicles groaned and  finally tipped over the edge into a long, noisy climax.  They pulled apart breathlessly and adjusted their clothes.  She took his arm and they walked down to where the army waited.  They were just inside the outer door when Iphicles pulled her hard, into his arms.   He was very erect.

"Oh, please.  Once more;  just once more...."  She freed him and gasped.
He was more painfully erect than she had ever seen him before.  Her legs parted and he found his way under her chiton.  He thrust hard inside her. Their earlier congress made it easy for him.  Iphicles muffled her yell of pleasure with one hand.  He withdrew almost all the way,  then thrust again.  She gave a muffled scream, bit into his hand and came.  So did he, fucking her hard until the final spasm erupted from him.  He withdrew slowly and kissed her softly, "I love you."

"I love you, too.  Just come back to me."

Iphicles nodded and held her chin gently, "If it's anything like before.... You ought to be warned - battle makes me very, *very* horny.  And bigger than I was just then.  Be prepared to receive a very needy husband, love."

Grace growled softly, "You come back in one piece and you can have me any way you want me!"

Iphicles grinned, "Oh, baby!  Take care of *yourself*, my sweet houri!" Then he was gone.


A week passed.  Grace and Androcles worked side by side with the council. Grace tried not to notice that her bed was lonely and the throne beside her was empty.  She knew all the soldiers' wives were waiting for their men-folk too.  Finally a herald brought the good news of a victory.  The soldiers were three days' march away.  Grace organised a victory meal for the soldiers in the main square of Corinth.  She declared a week's holiday for all the soldiers coming home.  She knew this would include Iphicles. She had the metal-workers strike medals for the victors and quietly set up provisions for anyone who had been wounded and the families of any man who had been killed.  She hoped Iphicles wasn't one of them.  The runners brought the tidings that Iphicles was indeed alive.  Grace made some preparations of her own.  She dressed in a loose diaphanous gown and waited in the throne room, alone.  She could hear Iphicles approaching by the sound of pieces of armour falling to them floor several rooms away.  The double doors were thrown back and he stood there, in nothing but his helmet.  He was sweaty, still streaked with blood, had a growth of  beard and was sporting an absolutely enormous erection.  Grace felt herself go into instant lust mode.  She wanted that stupendous cock and she wanted it *now*.  Iphicles tossed the helmet to the floor.  Grace let the gown drift to the ground.  She was equally naked.  Iphicles growled with pleasure and ran towards her.  They met in the middle of the floor and melted into a long, hot kiss.  Iphicles picked her up and carried her to the thrones.  He laid her across them and spread himself on top of her.  He parted her thighs roughly.

"Gods, I missed you.  Gotta have you, right now!"  He took her, hard. Grace clawed his back, came in seconds, then urged him on.  He pistoned his whole length in and out of her.  Grace felt herself become very wet for him and Iphicles lost control.  He seized her buttocks and fucked her harder than he'd ever done before.  He ravished her.  Grace just held on and enjoyed the wonderful, out-of-control ride.  Iphicles' sweat dripped on her face.  He was growling and roaring with pleasure.  He exploded deep inside her and Grace came seconds later.  Iphicles collapsed on top of her, breathing hard, "By all the Gods....  You are the sweetest, hottest fuck I've ever known!"

Grace held him close, "You're not so bad yourself!"

His eyes glowed, "Turn over!"  Grace shivered and obeyed.  She loved it when he turned commanding on her.  He smoothed his hands down her flanks, breathing hard. Grace arched up, wantonly presenting herself to him. Iphicles spread her legs wider and impaled himself inside her.  He leaned over and nuzzled her ear.

"You have such a tempting, voluptuous behind.  Every time we sit on these thrones from now on  I'm going to remember this......"  Grace could feel him trying to take it slowly, but his moans of pleasure betrayed him.  She rotated her hips and Iphicles' cock swelled inside her.  He stilled deliberately and his fingers did wonderful, wicked things to her until she was trembling on the brink.  He drew back and thrust, hard.  Grace's head went back as she came, shouting her pleasure to the rafters.  Iphicles picked her up when they were finished and carried her off to bed.  Grace reached up and stroked the curls of his beard.

"Before you shave it off, can you rub it gently over every inch of my body?"

Iphicles' eyes were twin fires of  desire, "Yes;  in a couple of days, when I've finished satisfying my immediate desperate need!"

Some days later, Iphicles and Grace were lying in a sweaty, post-coital tangle in the sheets.

"There's something I forgot to tell you in all the last mad, passionate days.  Ares turned up on the battlefield.  That's not so unusual, he is the God of War, after all.  Anyway, he'd noticed how content I was recently and I think is secretly peeved that I didn't turn *his* way after Rena and the baby died.  It could have happened, if I hadn't been grieving and impotent for so long.   Anyway, it's not always easy to figure out what's going on in his head.  He's the ace manipulator.  One is never quite sure if he approves or not, no matter how hard we warriors fight.  My best guess is he'll pop in sometime soon to give you the once-over in person.  So, when
it happens, do exactly as I say.  Even if I'm acting out of character.  I want us to get through this in one piece, not burned to a crisp!"

Hestia was also watching the couple from a distance.  They were making love with the appetites of Gods, they loved each other, they'd been together for a year and no sign of babies.  This didn't seem right to the Goddess.  She came close while they were asleep and gently investigated Iphicles' body. Now a studmuffin with a weapon like his *ought* to be potent to match, but Hestia found very little.  She gently encouraged things.  It'd be only good
for one night or one day, but that was more than enough.  She decided to make him like a satyr for that day as well;  ever ready, willing and able. Hestia moved on to Grace.  She already had a heightened sexual response, linked to Iphicles' own.  Hestia could see the deep invisible link between them quite clearly.  Soul-mates.  That was excellent.  Grace had all the right exterior equipment and her sheath was a perfect fit for Iphicles. These two mortals were really setting the sheets alight when they loved. Then Hestia discovered the signs of surgery and no womb.  She 'saw' the difficult  births Grace had endured and gently cured that.  She made a new womb grow.  It'd last for one pregnancy, then gently dissolve again. Hestia moved to the ovaries and brought two eggs to ripening, just to be on the safe side.  Tomorrow would be interesting for Grace and Iphicles, to say the least.  Hestia brushed her hands together, weaved a couple of extra luck spells and left as silently as she'd arrived.



"Yes!"  Iphicles was covered in sweat, buried deep inside Grace and growling for more.

Grace gave a huge mock sigh, "It might be a good idea to get some food to feed this appetite of yours - and mine!"

Iphicles circled his hips and elicited a moan of desire from Grace, "Food later!"  he gasped, "Fuck first!"

Grace chortled and swatted his backside,  "I've heard that already today; about 10 times, you randy, gorgeous devil, you!"

Iphicles kissed her and sank inside a little deeper, "But you *love* it! And what's a devil?"

Grace wound her hands around his neck, "Yes.  I just can't resist you!  And a like a satyr - in a way."   Iphicles preened and carried on loving her


Iphicles and Grace sat in state at the official ceremony to mark and honour all those soldiers who had performed bravely in battle.  Grace was aware that her breasts were unusually tender and swollen.  Iphicles would definitely see the difference when they finally got to bed tonight.  The only time they'd been like that before was when she had been pregnant, but that was impossible.  No womb, not any more.  Grace bit back a grin.  She wondered how Iphicles would react to a wife whose breasts swelled early in pregnancy with a libido to match, right up to the end.  Actually, she'd been extra *needy* whilst breast-feeding, too.

Iphicles'd *love* it.  I remember particularly when Robert was growing inside me.  My first husband couldn't cope.  That delectable king of mine wouldn't be able to keep his hands off me,  or that magnificent cock out of me.  Oh, goody.  Ah, well.  It was a nice dream while it lasted;  now which medal does this soldier I remember.......

Grace and Iphicles finally retired to their bedroom and collapsed in their ceremonial robes.  Iphicles flung his crown over one of the ends of the headboard, "Gods;   that went on far too long.  I must have words with Androcles about his speeches.  Too much."

Ares shimmered into palpable existance at the foot of the bed, "The warriors need their rewards, Iphicles."

The king got off the bed and stood up, "Yes, Ares.  I know."

Dark, ebony eyes regarded Grace, "And who's this?  Introduce me to the little woman..."

Iphicles had a new light in his eyes.  For once, they looked cold and hard, "Spoils of war. That's my favourite slut."  Grace nearly protested, then remembered Iphicles' advice.

"Your wife too, I see.  Those rings come from Aphrodite.  Tell me, is your wife hot?"

"Yes. She'll do anything I ask her to.  She *was* the highest paid temple prostitute in all Britannia.  Come here!"  Grace walked over and kneeled in front of Iphicles as he gestured to her.

"Oh, a tame pet!"  Ares commented, "How quaint, from the world's best sub. You've got someone you can dominate at last!  So, make her perform.  I want to see how good she is."

Iphicles parted his robes, "Suck me."  Grace began, taking it nice and slow, starting at his thighs and working up.  She got the unspoken message that she had to make it good.  Grace decided to try to turn Ares on;  he must like having this done to him.  If she could get him aroused too, he might get distracted.  After ten minutes of increasingly intimate caresses, she felt his cock swell under her busy tongue.  She finally opened her mouth and took him in.  She heard an intake of breath that didn't come from Iphicles.  Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that the War God was actually stroking himself openly.  Grace closed her eyes.  She began
sucking in earnest.  She felt the whole of Iphicles' body go taut;  he was holding off orgasm by sheer will-power alone.  His cock was fiercely swollen in her mouth and he was leaking constantly.  She knew he was desperate to come.  He rode the knife-edge.  Grace stroked his turgid shaft with the tip of her tongue and Iphicles bucked. Finally, when Iphicles had endured longer than she'd ever known before, he cupped his hands round the back of her head.  Grace deep-throated him without a second's thought.
There was a hoarse yell from her left, quickly followed by a roar from the man above her.  He exploded violently.  Grace stayed with him until the pressure lessened and Iphicles let her go.

The King turned to Ares, "You've seen  how good she is."  Iphicles realised what he could say.  He'd heard the servants and council members whisper when they thought him out of ear-shot.  Grace's exotic beauty reminded a lot of them of one particular being.  He knew it was because she came from a different time and place, but he hoped Aphrodite would keep that secret. Iphicles could play on Grace's appearance to his favour.  The fact that they were frequent, noisy and passionate lovers worked too.

Ares arched a brow, "She made me come.  I like that.  I could take her for myself."

"I'm afraid she's imprinted on me - must be her animal genes. Her mother was a sphinx.  You know how hot they are in bed.  She won't open her legs for anyone else, not even a God.  Sphinxes are known for being like that. Dumb, loyal and biddable once broken. I've tried  pairing her with my royal friends.  Nothing.  But *I* snap my fingers and she's wet and ready for me. One of my best dumb slaves..."  A hand petted her hair.  Grace stayed pretending to be subservient and listened.

Ares grinned evilly, "And I suppose this imprinting didn't bother *you* at all.  I remember how you were before Rena.  You'd fuck anything that stayed still long enough.  Having a wife that's half animal is right up your street.  She won't mind all the others."

Iphicles produced a nasty-sounding laugh, "I'm a *king*.  I have droit de segneur in Corinth.  All the delicious virgins I can handle.  Both sexes."

Ares lifted Grace's chin.  She tried to look docile and mentally vacant, "And the delectable creature is in whelp, too.  The Kings and Queens of Corinth hereafter will have sphinx blood running in their veins.  Good warriors, both sexes.  And insatiable in bed.  I like this idea.  I might come back some time in future generations and see if one of your offspring is mateable.  If you make an alliance with one of Xena's descendants, the result could please me immensely."   Ares vanished.  Iphicles waited a couple of moments, then sank and took Grace in his arms.

"I'm so sorry.  I didn't mean any of that - and that blow-job was
absolutely delectable."  He was trembling slightly.  Something else struck
him, "In *whelp*?"

Grace smiled, "It's okay. I understand.  I know you were only acting. I'm not sure about being half-sphinx, though.  Are they really like that?" Iphicles nodded and had the grace to blush, "But as for the other, one of the Gods or Goddesses must have performed a miracle.  We're going to have a baby!"

At that moment, Hestia appeared and filled them in on what she'd done. They understood that what had happened would only be good for one pregnancy.  Hestia explained things in more medical terms to Grace, then she left.  After she'd gone, Grace told him about the changes that would happen to her body and her libido.

Iphicles grinned, "TWICE the libido?"  He growled loudly and pinned Grace to the floor.  his nostrils flared and he began to rise eagerly again under his robes. He groaned loudly, "I'll go mad!  The smell of your arousal always sets me off and I'll know I can take you any time, anywhere."

Grace began to take off her robes, then stopped, deliberately, "What would help me a lot would be if you don't mind being ready to pleasure me with your fingers, or even better, your mouth, whenever I need it."

Iphicles grinned, "I can do that!"  then his grin widened until it
threatened to split his face, "I'm going to be a daddy!"

Grace parted the top of his robes and ran a single finger down the vee into his chest hair, "Yes.  And if  all that urgent activity of a few days ago comes to full fruition, it could be twins!"

Iphicles rolled them until she was on top, "My sweet Queen.  Just as long as he, she or they are healthy, I don't mind.  Do the 'in charge' act to me again, please!  I love it when *you* give *me* orders."

Grace duly stripped him and tied him securely to the bed, "You musn't come until I tell you."  She reckoned Iphicles deserved pay-back for all the things he'd called her in front of  Ares, even if he hadn't meant them.

Iphicles groaned softly, "Oh, yes.  Make me beg for it."

Grace began taking off her robes, slowly,  as she sat astride his waist, "I'm going to tease you and arouse you until you're as big as you were when you came back from battle.  I want you huge, hard and horny.  Then you'll have to pleasure me with your mouth.  A lot.  When I've come several times, you'll be desperate.  I'll take you in my mouth again and make you rise
almost to the brink. You'll be arched, covered in sweat and begging.  After that, I'll take your cock inside me, but you still won't be allowed to come.  I want that magnificent length pleasuring me almost senseless.  If you make it really good for me, I'll let you come.  Eventually."

"Just once?"  This was still part of the ritual.

"Oh no, baby.  We're going to do it over and over, until you think that you can't possibly get hard again.  Then I'll use all my wiles and charms on you and you'll be begging me for more sweet torture.  Remember that copy of an old scroll on Tantric sex that Autolycus stole and gave to us?  By the end of tonight, you are going to experience at least one multiple orgasm, my love."

Iphicles grinned, "One of those *again*?  Do anything to me that you like!!"

Grace chuckled, "I had a feeling you'd say that!"  She shed the top part of her undergarments and watched Iphicles' eyes darken with desire.  So, he liked her fuller breasts.  She stroked them slowly, watching as he licked his lips.   She could feel him already full and hard, pressing against her back.  She decided to test Iphicles' self-control way beyond any limits they had previously set.  He deserved to suffer a bit, he looked so exquisitely fuckable when he was begging and he absolutely loved having to hold back until his body was one throbbing ache of need.  He'd remember today for a long, long time.


Time passed.  Robert adapted quite well to the news of more siblings and
the scroll Grace got back from Jessica was equally pleased.  Iphicles was better than her wildest dreams.  He met all her increased intimate needs perfectly.  At the end, they made love gently.  Grace's stomach swelled. The council and Iphicles went around with grins on their faces.  Corinth's throne was secure.  At last, after eight and a half months, Grace's waters broke.  She knew by now that there were twins inside her and medically
everything was going well.  Iphicles helped her gently apply olive oil between her legs so that her tissues would stretch more easily.  This was so erotic that Grace orgasmed.  The contractions started.  Grace had taught Iphicles what to do.  He walked with her, held her and, by the deep psychic link between them, doubled up with her whenever the pain hit hard.  He even felt the urge to push when she did.  Grace had one of the local midwives to help as well.  Grace squatted in the birthing chair and waited for the midwife to say that she was ready to push.  Before long, she could stop breathing over the contractions and actually use them to bring the babies into the world.  A few minutes later, the first baby came.  Iphicles helped
her bring it onto her stomach.  He looked down.

"It's a girl!" He was smiling and there were tears in his eyes.  Grace nodded and the little girl hiccuped and started crying.  The midwife helped Iphicles cut the cord and Grace held her second daughter close to her breast.  Then the contractions started again.  Iphicles and the midwife bent to turn the second baby, who was breech.  Iphicles' head came up with a huge grin, "That's my son you've got in there!"  The baby came out bottom first despite their efforts and Grace went pale with the extra work required. Finally, they lifted the squalling boy into Grace's arms.  She looked up at Iphicles' whitened face.

"Now you know what labour is like!"  Iphicles bent and kissed her, then helped wash her and put her to bed with the babies once she had been cleaned up, even though he was shaking and pale himself.

"I don't know how you women stand such pain."

Grace smiled, "Because it's worth the effort, my love."  The twins were suckling and wearing the Grecian form of nappies, plus some swaddling the midwife had insisted on.  Grace planned to take it off later, once she had some more strength back.

Iphicles cleared his throat, "We never quite got around to names.  I'd like to name our son Nikolaus, if that's alright with you.  It's an old family name from way back.  My daughter......Aurora.  What about your choices?"

"Well, I'd add Persephone for this little lady and Iphicles as another name for our young man.  He ought to be named after you, too."

Iphicles looked so proud at that moment that Grace loved him more than ever.  He grinned, slowly, "Well, I got a good look at one part of my son as he came out.  Let's just say that I think he's going to be like his Dad in a very vital area!"

Grace chuckled, "It's not what you've got, it's what you do with it that counts!"

Iphicles kissed her hair, "Hmm.  All those shared contractions took it out of me.  It may be a while before I'm *up* to doing anything like that again!"

Grace smiled to herself, "So hopping in here for a gentle cuddle when these two are asleep is out of the question?"  At that moment, a tiny head let go of one nipple and Iphicles saw a huge drop of milk trembling on Grace's breast.  He moaned, softly.

"Oh, Gods.  Waiting until you're all healed up is going to be *torture*. How long do you plan to keep producing milk?"  He licked his lips, staring.

Grace looked up at him, "As I recall, ladies here breastfeed as long as three years."

Iphicles growled, "Oh, it'll be a lot longer than that!  You'll have one eager customer for *years*."

"You haven't even tasted it yet!"

Iphicles bent like lightning and latched on to the vacant breast, sucking strongly.  He made eager moaning noises in his throat.  Grace's breast filled anew and fed him.  Finally he pulled away, licking his lips again.

"Oh, yeah!  Call me warped, but they could bottle that stuff and sell it as instant aphrodisiac.  I *love* it."   Grace could see how powerful it was. He was very erect, tiredness notwithstanding.  She gently settled both twins in their cribs, then went back to bed.  She had a surprise of her own.  Grace took off her nightdress and pulled Iphicles into her arms. Hestia's last magic had worked.  She slid her legs gently around Iphicles and pulled up his shift.  She lifted her hips and let him feel how wet she
was.  He groaned, tried to resist, but then she was guiding him inside and he couldn't stop. He thrust eagerly all the way home. His stunned eyes looked down at her, "But you're ready!  And so *tight*.....and wet.  So quickly. Oh, sweet ambrosia;  how?"

Grace smiled the secret, seductive smile all women possess, "Hestia.   She promised me I'd be back to normal *there* right after birth.  A last, parting gift."

Iphicles grinned and pulled off his shift, "Remind me to make a very, very substantial gift to her temple soon!"

Grace gave a dirty chuckle, "Just as long as you continue giving
substantial 'gifts' to mine!"

Iphicles smiled down at her, "Your 'temple' is my exquisite home.  I'll visit every day, love.  For the rest of my life and in the Elysian fields forever."

Grace wrapped her arms and legs around him, drawing him closer,  "That makes you a God, my love.  Or a very devout worshipper.  And I love you and your magnificent 'gift'.  Always."

"Shh!"  Iphicles whispered, as he began to move, chuckling gently, "Not in front of the children!"