Gods help him, the man was as stiff-necked as his brother! Caesar adjusted the folds of white linen draped over one arm. He noted how the crisp fabric heightened the perfection of his skin, though the effect was wasted on Hercules. The Man of the People stood in front of him, all worn, woven leather and dusty, sun-faded homespun, at odds with the cool refinement of his brother's palace.
There'd finally a break in the trade talks, and what did Caesar's free afternoon bring? A sermon from the mighty Hercules, who probably killed his enemies with long, boring speeches. Resigned to spending at least part of the afternoon captive to a demigod, Caesar sat, and motioned to a nearby chair. Hercules declined the offer, and went directly to the reason for his visit. Caesar was to stay away from Iphicles.
"I'm a guest of the State, Hercules. What would the king think of your behavior?" Barely nodding to a kneeling slave, Caesar motioned toward a wooden bowl piled high with fragrant grapes.
"I'm looking out for him. I've heard what happens when you take an interest in someone." Hercules looked determined and humorless.
"You suggest that I limit my time with the king of Corinth? I can hardly avoid him; he's the reason I'm here." The slave was subtly muscular, and his lightly oiled skin looked as luscious as a ripe fig. Caesar watched his quick, silent movements as he crossed the room, bearing the grapes before him like an offering to a god.
Hercules barely shifted on those big feet, but his cheeks seemed slightly flushed. "I know that the trade talks are important, that's not what I'm asking." His voice had roughened just a bit. His annoyance was beginning to show, and Caesar felt it was fair payment for ruining both his good humor and his free afternoon.
"No?" The fruit gleamed like dark jewels, and Caesar examined each grape as though the future of the empire hinged on his choice. "My mistake, Hercules. I thought you opposed trade with Rome." He looked up at the slave boy. "Feed me," he commanded, parting his lips slightly.
"Just take care of business, Caesar," Hercules continued, "and leave my brother alone."
Was that a catch in his voice? Caesar chewed slowly, and contemplated the man in front of him. Hercules had been watching his mouth intently until their eyes met, then he'd shadowed his hungry look. Hidden it, he probably thought, but no one could hide from Caesar.
It was hard to believe that he and Iphicles shared even a partial bloodline. Iphicles was a beautiful, arrogant slut, and Caesar wondered if a secret kink lay beneath Hercules' stolid exterior. No one was good and honest and true all the time; he'd learned that much in his life. Priests howled as loudly as senators when they were fucked. He began to harden, thinking of the pious men who'd mouthed words of God around his cock.
"I should do this because...?" Caesar paused. "Your brother's a grown man - and a king - and can make his own decisions, don't you think? Grape," he added to the youth. He flicked his tongue out to lick the grape's sweet dusky skin, then caught the tip of the slave's finger between his teeth. He glanced down at the boy's narrow hips where the thin cloth was tenting slowly, and a small wet spot stained the sheer fabric. Smiling, Caesar released the slave's finger, and turned his gaze toward Hercules, who'd watched, slit-eyed.
"Games. Games and fucking." Hercules' words were disapproving, but Caesar was sure that lump in his pants hadn't been there a few minutes ago.
"Yes, Romans enjoy pleasure. What's the harm?" So saying, he slid a hand beneath the slave's short garment and grasped his cock, stroking as though Hercules weren't there. "What's *your* pleasure, Hercules?"
"I don't know why I thought I could reason with you." Hercules shook his head, and when he laughed, he sounded bitter. "This display doesn't impress me, Caesar. You sicken me."
"I impress Iphicles, and that's enough." Caesar smiled. "He could teach you a thing or two about pleasure." He'd expected a reaction, but hadn't been prepared for the hands that were suddenly around his throat, and the oddly-tilted blue eyes a lash's length from his own. Straddling him, a powerful thigh on either side of his own legs, Hercules pushed close.
"Leave...My brother...Alone." Each word was separate, distinct and menacing. For a big man he moved fast, and there was no denying the power of Olympus in the fingers that gripped Caesar's throat.
Screaming, the terrified slave had dropped the bowl and run for the guards, and they gathered now, armor clashing, shouting warnings as they raised their swords. Caesar waved impatiently. Hercules wasn't a threat.
"An extension of the trade talks," he said, as though being choked by the king's brother was part of the process. "Leave us."
"Hercules!" Iphicles pushed through the guards. "You promised you'd show a little restraint. If you've jeopardized these talks.... Emperor, I apologize." He took a breath. "Hercules, let him go."
"Everything's fine, Iphicles," Caesar interrupted. "Your brother's showing me his famous wrestling techniques. No harm done." Iphicles' lips looked kiss-swollen, and his auburn hair stood from his head in a soft nimbus. Caesar wondered if they'd interrupted a royal blowjob. "Your guards and mine are right outside if I need them - which I don't."
"Hercules." Iphicles' voice was softer now. "Let him go. Please."
Slowly, so slowly, Hercules' grip lessened. "Not a problem." His hands dropped to his sides, and he straightened, though he still straddled Caesar's legs. "It's under control Iphicles. Go."
Even through the leather, Caesar could feel heat radiating from Hercules' skin, burning his own. His crotch was at mouth-level in this position, and Caesar could tell now that Hercules was definitely erect. He nearly laughed, thinking suddenly that they must look like battling lovers. Iphicles still looked unsure, but Caesar gave him a swift nod.
"If he'd wanted me dead, I'd be cold by now. Go."
Silently conceding the point, Iphicles gave Hercules one last scathing look before he left the room, closing the door quietly behind him. Wasting no time, Hercules' hands were around Caesar's throat before the catch slid home, and they continued their stare-down.
"What else do you use that strength for? Do you hold your partner - what's his name? Iago? Do you hold him down when you fuck him?"
"His name is Iolaus." He was deadly calm, even as he squeezed harder.
"You can't really enjoy him the way you'd like, though, can you?" When Hercules' grasp tightened a bit more, Caesar knew he'd hit a painful truth. "I suspect you like rougher games, and he doesn't strike me as that sort."
"Shut up." Hercules' control began to slip. Caesar could feel him trembling.
"Your brother is so much more beautiful than your friend." He lowered his voice to a murmur. "What's it like to see Iphicles' face when it's flushed from fucking? Does he moan? He has the most luscious mouth, just right for my cock...." He didn't see the slap coming, and his head rocked back against the wall. He blinked once or twice against the pain, then faced Hercules and smiled. He was a master of control. "I like rough games." He reached between their bodies, pulling back the folds of his tunic to reveal his stiff, dark cock. "See? You're making me hard." The tip was glistening with moisture.
"You're sick." Hercules' voice was thick and his eyes were wide.
"Perhaps," Caesar smiled, "but which of us is fucking his brother?" The next blow dazed him and tore his lip. "You won't kill me - the great Hercules isn't a murderer. But please, do keep squeezing. This is a fantasy of mine." He grasped his cock and began stroking himself.
"I could kill you, and you're pulling on your cock!"
"I told you: I like rough games." They were so close that they shared each other's breath; Caesar cupped Hercules' crotch and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Give in to your obsession," he whispered. "Pretend I'm Iphicles."
With that, Hercules snapped. He was growling, and probably didn't realize it, and his eyes held a mad, wet look of desperation. "Shut up, you lying bastard! Shut up!"
Barely able to breathe, Caesar croaked laughter in Hercules' face. He clawed a double handful of Hercules' faded yellow vest, and just before darkness shrouded him, pressed their lips together in a kiss.