"The world is a vampire."
Who said that? It's one of those expressions that ricochets inside my head, hitting synapses, breaking them open, snapping connections. It makes me think. About evil. About pain. About my role in the universe. I have plenty of time to think, you see, as I wait for Ares to bring me our third lover: Iphicles, hell-trapped like I am. Nothing like silent eternity, entombed in an empty palace, to make a man think. Even me. Caesar.
My mind's working now more than ever. Because something has happened to me. I suppose it's been gradual, but it seems almost instantaneous. My body has changed--my skin's smoother, cooler, harder. White as driftwood beaten by the tide. My hair shines blackly--I can see its inky darkness and my new, death-colored eyes when I stare at my reflection in the pool's green water.
I feel strange, almost hollow. Empty. I'm unable to get warm. Disturbed, I lie down, wrap myself in blankets. But even in bed, buried under layers of covers, my skin refuses to warm. A chill has invaded me, and won't be dispelled. Frustrated, I build a fire, leaning into the orange heat. I'm still cold. And in the light from the flames, I'm pale, my flesh glowing almost white.
I start to panic. Something's going wrong. Can lifeless flesh be infected with a virus? Is some disease working its way through my dead body?
"Hades!" I shout. "Hades!!"
He ignores me, as he always has. Does he even remember than I'm here? Bastard. What the fuck is wrong with me? I feel like I'm dying again. Is this some added punishment? Is my own guilt from an evil life and an evil death eating me from the inside? My own evil?
Before I know it, I leave my bedroom, heading to the scroll-filled library. If that prick Hades won't answer my questions, perhaps some long-dead historian will. I spend the next few days/months/years/ pouring over parchment, trying to discover why my skin is icy and waxen, why my body seems to move differently now, more fluidly, more quickly.
Inside, things have changed, too. If time functions in here, I'd say that today, some tiny unrecognized bone inside me snapped, then crumbled into powdery dust. It used to keep the rage back. Of course, I always let some anger go. But I'm not talking about the surface shit. I'm talking about the viscous green-black venom that festers in the red corridors of your heart. The shattered bone was the dam holding that back--and now it's gone.
And when it broke, the palace walls rippled before me, no more substantial now than river water. I could leave. After a strange, bleak, brutal stay in hell, I'm about to escape.
I want to drink from this wavering water-wall. My tongue actually extends to taste it, and the universe quivers in my mouth. But that doesn't cure the thirst, the terrible thirst eating me from the inside. Only one thing can.
Because I found the story that explains my metamorphosis. Blowing off the dust from a yellowed scroll hidden, I read how Odysseus conjured the spirit of the seer Tiresias from the darkest realm of hell. The Greek warrior slit the soft throats of animals, pouring the steaming blood into carved silver dishes. Like a magnet, a pheromone, the hot, sweet smell seduced the dead from their shadowy lairs, and they swirled screaming around the hero until he trembled with fear.
By drinking the blood, for a short while the frail specters gained substance, became whole. That's what I need. Oh, I'm not as frail as the old seer--my body is oddly strong. Maybe the blood-letting games I play with my two lovers have prepared my body for this.
But I need blood. And now that I can slide through the vague, watery walls of my prison, I'm going to find some.
Veni. Vidi. Vici.
Not even hell can stop me.
I'm in a town. Tenagra. Standing before a statue of Ares in the quiet market place. It looks like him under the quiet moonlight. The artist captured in that gleaming stone the decadent violence I associate with Ares, that sensual brutality that always makes me hot. I'll be visiting him soon. But first, a drink. I'm hollow with thirst.
My sandaled feet glide soundlessly over the cobblestones as I head east to a squat wooden building. A faint breeze wafts ocean air to me, through my weakened body, and the salt dries on my lips. Impossibly, my thirst grows.
Inside, there's noise and heat and smoke. The smell of baked bread and cheap ale. Startled, disoriented, oh-so-hungry, I move to the back, near the exit, to wait. I reject the first few patrons who approach me because on this night, the night of my rebirth, I want something special.
And I can afford to pick and choose because they're drawn to me. Death, then this strange rebirth, have enhanced my beauty. On top of this, these men and women can sense my excitement, and want to experience it, believing I can transfer it with my cock. Maybe I can. We'll see.
Then I notice him. Dark curls and a lean, muscular body. A younger Ares. How can I resist? Why should I even try?
A fight breaks out--two farmers slamming each other with ham-sized fists over some minor outrage--and no one sees the boy approach me. His name's Lucius, and I want him.
In our dark corner, under sooty oaken beams, I slide my tongue into his warm mouth, moving my hips in slow circles, letting him feel my erection. Feeling his. Then I pull back, whispering in his ear. "I want to fuck you. Come outside with me." Oh, I want him. He's so warm, this human. So handsome. I can smell his skin, his blood.
Taking his hand, I lead him from the bar. We walk slowly into the alley between the tavern and the bakery next door, like two lovers, and I push him back against the rough stone wall. Fear flashes in his eyes, and I realize that my strength's startled him.
Brushing my fingers across his soft cheek, I kiss him gently. Those warm mortal lips... "You're so desirable, that's all." I drop to my knees, and quickly pull out his cock. Lucius moans when I take it into my mouth. It's been a long time since I've sucked a mortal. I almost laugh: what would this boy say if he knew that the man between his thighs was the ghost of Julius Caesar?
He's stroking my hair, thrusting his cock deeper and deeper down my throat. I let my tongue wander over his salty skin, tasting the liquid that will thicken into cum. When Lucius is ready to explode, I stand, making him face the wall.
Looking over his shoulder, he points to the leather bag he's dropped beside us. I find a jar of oil, and wonder briefly if he's a whore who thinks he'll get payment for this. The irony amuses me--it acts like a protective layer to my tumultuous emotions.
Uncapping the small vial, I ease out my cock, careful to avoid the dagger hanging from my belt. Then I pour the jasmine-scented oil onto my erection, smearing it on my fingers. I'm tempted to ram myself into him--this hot beautiful boy--but he deserves some pleasure, so I prepare him with my fingers, until he's begging me to fuck him.
Stepping closer, I position the head of my cock against his ass. The heat from his body confuses mine. I've been cold for so long that his warmth is jarring. But I need him, so I push a little, until the head disappears inside him.
"Fuck that's good," he says thickly, spreading his thighs wider. "Give me more."
I can barely speak. It *is* good; I love the way I'm penetrating him so easily, the way he's closing so tightly around me. And in the dark, with his soft curls against my cheek, I can pretend he's a different lover.
Finally, I'm fully inside him. I can feel the heat along my spine, my balls, behind my eyes...With one hand, I grasp his shoulder; with the other, I reach around for his cock. I jerk him off to the rhythm of my thrusts, licking the sweat as it falls between his shoulder blades.
Keeping one palm flat against the wall, Lucius reaches back and grabs my ass, pushing me deeper inside him. His cock swells at the greater contact--so does mine. We're both panting as I ram into him.
I'm not prepared for this intensity--I've been locked away for too long in the earth's black core. Too much sensation: from his body pressed against mine; from the cool night air; from the smells and sounds and sensations of the mortal world. Dogs barking; drunken patrons singing; clouds passing over the moon...And my whole body burns with the heat.
When he cries out, cock pulsing in my hand, I'm almost relieved. As my orgasm starts, I grab the death-sharp knife at my waist and plunge it into the side of his neck, severing the artery in one clean cut. I hold him tightly as he convulses, pressing the spurting wound to my lips. I drink.
I couldn't describe it then. I couldn't think. I couldn't do anything but shudder as my cock poured semen into his warm body while my mouth filled with his blood. I'm not even sure that I can describe it now.
A double-orgasm, I suppose, if you can imagine it. Sensation rushing through my body, dancing in my veins, trying to break through my skin. I drifted in and out of consciousness, while blue and gold points of light exploded before my eyes. Then everything went red...I was swimming in a sea of blood, drowning in it, cumming in it. Sex, death, birth all rolled into one.
Now, minutes later, I'm able to move, but feel like a god. I have the same heightened sensation of Ares' divine body, as I experienced it in hell. I can see a fat black spider scuttling along the wall far above me, trailing gossamer. I can hear a conversation between two brothers down the street. I can feel every beat of my engorged heart, the whoosh of blood shooting through me.
Bending down, I kiss the cooling lips of the beautiful boy, shut his startled blue eyes, and dip my fingers into his ravaged neck for one last taste. Delicious.
It's time to see the god.
Ares' temple in Tenagra is a looming, black marble building, the architectural equivalent of the god himself. Climbing the steep stairs, I pass under the elegant portico, pausing to admire the fresco above the door, lit by two flanking torches.
The portrait makes me eager for him, my perfect god. My beautiful lover. He stands on the battlefield--tall, black-clad, arms folded over his chest. Beside him, a golden horse rears in terror as a spear pierces her side, throwing her rider to the ground, where a solemn soldier plunges his blade into his enemy's heart. The violent god watches the action, a slight smile lifting the corners of his full mouth.
I stare at his painted mouth, remembering how it feels on my cock, when those full lips close over me. Mortals always find that mouth incongruous on the god of war--too sensuous. But they don't understand the erotic current that charges violence. Without violence, sex is tawdry. Without sex, violence is crude. Together, they redefine pleasure.
Ares understands that. It's what brought us together in the first place. We are a perfect match, the war god and I--now more than ever. I have this new power, and I want Ares to help me use it. I want, once more, to rule the world.
The main chamber is empty this late at night, although a few sticks of fragrant incense still burn in gold holders on the altar. I walk quickly to the north wall, toward the arched entrance leading to the inner sanctum. As I pass under the arch into the darkened hall, I hear sounds ahead.
No mystery. They're the sounds of pleasure. Ares groaning as he pleasures someone, a handsome priest, perhaps, or an eager young warrior. I look forward to the sight: the god is so uninhibited during sex, so out of control. So beautiful. His curls will be damp, lips parted--the tip of his tongue will wet that lush mouth. And his cock will be huge, gleaming with saliva, since he loves having it sucked.
Quietly, like the ghost I am, I advance. My cock is hardening between my thighs, and I imagine his young lover licking it while I suck Ares. Now I hear the second voice--deep like the god's, whispering words of love. And then I know who I'll see with Ares when I walk into the small chamber. No priest. No eager young warrior.
Questions sharp as broken glass cut through my mind. How he can be here? Is he like me now? Is that how he escaped? Or did Ares free him? If so, why did he leave me there? The god loves to play games--he's the only one who can ever beat me. No wonder my love is threaded with hate.
With a final stride, I enter the room. Iphicles, body like shining like topaz in the candlelight, lies against black silk sheets. His fingers tangle in the slick curls of the god sprawled between his thighs. I can hear now the wet, soft sounds of sucking.
The king--is he still king?--raises his hips, forcing his cock deeper. "Suck it harder," he commands. "I'm so close...I need to cum...Oh fuck...that's it...like that...Ohhhh..."
As his orgasm starts, I step from the shadows. "Ares does give the best blowjobs. He's had so much practice, of course."
Iphicles glances over at me, then he cries out. Ares continues to suck his lover's cock. Only when the king has stopped shaking does the dark god glance over at me.
"Caesar." His tone and expression tell me nothing.
It's Iphicles who speaks. "You've changed," he observes, studying me with that familiar, solemn amber gaze.
I realize he means my physical appearance, and wonder how much time has passed, in human terms, since I last saw the two of them.
No one speaks again until Ares sits up, and leans back against the pillows beside Iphicles. His cock is hard, as always. "Why don't you come here and suck me? The two of you together. I'd like that."
The silk feels like human skin as I slide into bed with them. Iphicles is now on the god's right side, and I move to the left. We're now face to face over Ares' thick cock. Closing my fingers around it, I bend down and lick the head, never talking my eyes from the king's. I'm deliberately ignoring Ares, treating him only as a body until I know more about this situation.
Instead, I flirt with Iphicles. "We've had such a strange history, you and I," I tell him, holding the god's cock so that the king can lick it, too.
Silently, we share the god, taking the length into our mouth only once before passing it back.
"I've missed you, Caesar," Iphicles says softly, and lets his tongue touch mine over Ares' velvet skin.
The words surprise me. He must know the effect that will have on a jealous god, and I wonder again what changes Iphicles has undergone. Before, he avoided games--too straightforward, too honest. Too virtuous, even. Easy to victimize. I should know.
But now...now he flirts back, kissing me as much as he sucks Ares. He runs his tongue along the god's shaft, tracing a vein, then thrusts it into my mouth, kissing me for minutes at a time, while our hands slid up and down over Ares' swollen cock.
Hands, of course, are no substitute for tongues, and the god must be getting impatient. But he can't force us--that would show weakness, insecurity.
I wish that I could see his face when Iphicles asks us both to stand on the floor beside the bed. Because he's going to suck us both--not just Ares. But I refuse to look at the god, keeping my attention focused on the king as he kneels before us.
When his lips close over my cock, my knees buckle. His mouth...like Ares', but sweeter. And he's sucking me so expertly now, his tongue slipping around the head of my cock in slow circles while he strokes my balls with one hand. Every now and then he stops, quickly sucking Ares before returning to me, as though I'm the one who matters.
Finally, the god steps away. "I'll leave you two alone," he says, voice sardonic, then disappears.
I pull Iphicles to his feet, and we return to the bed. When he's on his back, I climb over him, shifting until my cock's over his mouth, and mine's over his. Simultaneously, I slide past his lips and he slides past mine. Double penetration.
I'd forgotten how good he tastes, how much he likes it when I run my tongue just under his head. I think I've been deliberately not thinking about Iphicles. Because he...disturbs. He always has. It's a weird combination of jealousy, respect, disdain, desire. And something else. But I'm not ready to consider that even now. I just want to lose myself in his hot, wet mouth.
"Slow down," I tell him. "I want this to last."
He stops sucking and begins exploring, letting his tongue sweep every inch of my swollen skin, while he strokes my ass. And suddenly, I need him inside me. I roll off, and open my legs wide. "Fuck me." There's a plea supporting the command, and Iphicles hears it.
As I look up at him, his beauty, as always, surprises me. And yet...there's something different about him, as there is about me. If anything, he's perfected: hair a deeper, richer shade of copper; skin flawless and honey-smooth; body curved and hard like the statue in the market...
Even as the flask of oil appears from nowhere in his hand, I realize why he's changed. The rage...like nothing I've ever felt or will ever feel. I choke out the words. "That fucking, cruel, evil bastard! He made you a god!"
He stares down at me, brows drawn in confusion. "You mean you're not a god? Then how did you escape from the underworld?"
Shit. Shit. Shit. "I'll tell you later. Just fuck me now."
His cock is inside me, and my legs are wrapped around his hips. It should be incredible. But my anger distracts me, as Ares, that prick, knew it would. He left us alone, knowing I'd find out that he'd left me to rot in the underworld while he'd made Iphicles immortal. And knowing that eventually, I'll have to tell Iphicles what I've become. A ghost with a ravenous thirst. A monster, more grotesque in death than life.
The dark god will pay.
"They were conquerors, and for that you want only brute force...It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind--as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness...What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it." --Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Even as Iphicles pounds into me, face glowing with sweat and lust, I accept that he'll never again give himself so freely. Because he'll discover what I now am. Ares will ensure it.
As though on cue, the war god appears from a rip in the ether. Standing a few paces from the bed, stroking that massive cock through the slick leather, he grins at me. I could count his sharp teeth. "Getting hungry, Caesar?" he asks.
If only Ares weren't so beautiful. I don't want to cum when I hear his smoky voice, when I see his saturnine face. I want to give it all to the new god fucking me. But I can't help myself--the older god embodies dark desire.
So when my cock jerks in my hand, pulsing hot semen onto my chest, it's for Ares. That's why I hate him. Unlike anyone else, this god can violate my self-control. Against my will, he tears me open and shoves himself inside...Melodramatic, I know. But when you're a dead vampire playing mind-games with the god of war, you're allowed a little creative license.
"How can I be hungry, Ares? I've just...eaten." I smile up at Iphicles, and kiss him. Truth underlies my words: while the blood-ache's there, behind my heart, I can ignore it. For now. And I refuse to tell the god-king anything. If Ares wants to spoil my relationship with Iphicles, open it to the ravaging power of light, then *he* can tell him. And lose points in our eternal game.
Iphicles is licking the semen off my nipples, ignoring the other god. As though Ares weren't towering over us, heating the room with his lust. His new defiance is very appealing, and I'm pleased when his cock grows hard again inside me. Reaching up, I stroke his chestnut curls, arching into his tongue. Lap, lap, lap. Like a huge, beautiful cat.
"There's someone I want you to meet," Ares announces unexpectedly, never talking his eyes from mine. Typical war god. Sneak attack.
"Victim or victor?"
An unearthly smile, teeth and dimples. Ferocity and charm. Ares. "We've got enough victims here."
"Can't this wait?" Iphicles asks with obvious annoyance, beginning to thrust inside me. His fingers grip my arms for leverage.
The broad shoulders shift under the black vest. "Finish your little fuck, then we'll go. It'll give Caesar the chance to work up an appetite." Moving with that oddly-graceful, quick stride, the wargod reaches the bedside. Ares' clothing disappears with a flick of his ringed hand, and his cock gleams with oil. Patience isn't one of his virtues. He pauses, however, before climbing on the bed.
I know why. He's playing with my hated hope that he'll take over. That he'll throw Iphicles out of the way and put that big cock inside me. It's not that I don't want the king--I do. He's beautiful, and we share a bond: our time in the grave.
But Ares...Sexually, he combines an eternity of decadent experience with a peculiar psychological insight. He can intuit your most depraved fantasies, then realize them. The ultimate dominant lover. But he won't fuck me. Much more cruel to fuck Iphicles, forcing me to watch the king and acknowledge that the real pleasure comes from Ares' cock in his ass. Not from me.
It's what I'd do.
I'm right: he moves behind his copper-haired twin, grasping his lover's hips, then penetrates him. The god does this slowly, so I can see every sensation play out over Iphicles' expressive face. Which I do. He can't hide his body's response, and his amber eyes widen, full lips part, as Ares pushes deeper inside him.
Then Ares whispers something to the king, so quietly I catch only a few scattered words. One is "love." I wonder about the context, as I'm supposed to. Is he telling Iphicles that he loves him? Or simply that he loves fucking him? Whatever it is, the god's whispered comments make him moan, and kiss me again.
My body shakes from the hard thrusts, as Ares pounds into him, and by extension, into me.
But I deliberately let my mind wander to curb my response. It's a petty revenge, but the wargod will notice.
Sex affects me differently now. Once, I'd made control into an art, studying every response from my body, from infinite others, eventually learning to maximize or minimize them at will. I could defer an orgasm for hours, and I understood the tangled relationship between pain and pleasure.
Death, not surprisingly, fucked it all up. In hell, I lost the cause of my obsession with sexual control: the illness plaguing me since childhood. And my body didn't work the same--I could be cut, be bled, and still live. Or is that ‘die'? Over and over and over again? Because that's what Ares did to me in the Underworld.
He loves blood, loves to spread it on his bronze skin, especially his cock, then loves to have someone lick it off. So in my shadowy palace in some uncharted corner of Tartarus, the god held my head in place while I sucked him and tasted my own strangely-sweet, dead blood mingled with his creamy semen...
I shouldn't remember this. Not now. Not when I'm trying to stay in control, not be overwhelmed by two gods fucking me. But like I said: the intricate web of restraint I once exercised is disintegrating. What, after all, motivates self-control? Fear of humiliation. Fear that people will see your rotted core, and strip you of everything. My sister, dear Cassia, did this when she killed me. I don't have much anymore. But that's going to change.
A plan incarnates in my mind...A geography of my desire, where a scarlet ocean surrounds an island built of bone. At the center: me. Robed in red silk with a jewel-encrusted crown on my head, governing my new empire.
Finally, I let myself cum to blood-drenched visions of the future.
The large room rests under a canopy of gold-threaded crimson silk, the same fabric covering the enormous bed. At each of the chamber's four corners stands a pillar in the shape of a divinity, supporting the weight of the high ceiling. Each life-sized figure has a hip thrust forward, the drapery falling away to reveal a smooth, marble leg, like whores in the Roman market place. They're illuminated by a thousand white candles burning in gold sconces along the walls.
The flickering light plays off a mosaic floor depicting what appears to be Bacchic rites. At my feet, a young priest, clad in the blue robes of his debauched god, eases a thyrsus between the spread thighs of an ecstatic, onyx-haired virgin.
And against one silk-strewn wall hangs a collection of toys: whips; dildos; manacles; cock rings; clamps; paddles; knives...
Beneath them is a long ebony cabinet with many drawers, covered by a collection of bottles in various shapes and colors. Picking up a delicate green jar, I uncork it. The sweet smell of poppies wafts up, making me recoil. "Your friend has opulent taste," I observe to Ares.
The god smirked. "Jealous, Caesar? Since he has all this--" Ares waved at the room--"and you have...well... nothing."
I shrug. "For now. So who is this friend? Another Roman emperor?"
"Not yet," Ares replies. "But he will be, once his great-uncle dies. He's special, this one. A real taste for pleasure. He reminds me of you, Caesar. When you were somebody."
I hate when he plays coy. "Does he have a name?"
"Of course. Like you: Gaius. Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, to be exact. Unlike you, however, he uses it, although others prefer his nickname. When he was a baby, his parents displayed him to the troops dressed like a little soldier, right down to the sandals you Romans call ‘caliga.' So they call him Caligula. A soldier from day one. Although these days he's got...other interests."
"A relative? How nostalgic of you, Ares. Does he look like me, too?"
Iphicles, standing beside me, cuts off the god's response. "I think you need a new name. You're not really ‘Caesar' anymore. Not now. Take another one. Reinvent yourself."
I like the idea, and the name bursts from my lips. "Iscarion."
A tribute to my first sexual tutor, his memory evoked by those four sluttish statues. On a quest to master my treacherous body, and addicted to orgasms--my own but especially others--I made inquiries about the purchase of a talented, intelligent and beautiful whore. My uncle suggested the infamous Iscarion, vowing that in one encounter the prostitute had sucked him to the brink of orgasm, then kept him there for an entire night. Only the man's exorbitant prices and the incredible demand for his services kept Marius from returning every evening.
So, sight unseen, I bought him. An extravagance--he cost more than the three loaded galleons-- but he was worth every beveled coin. As a boy, Iscarion had been brought as a slave from Iberia on such a ship, and raised in a celebrated Roman brothel. He was thirty when I met him, a decade older than me, and a lifetime more experienced.
I kept my new toy isolated, of course--I didn't want all of Rome to know my sexual secrets--and initially, Iscarion was quite unhappy. But when he learned that after his tutelage I'd send him home to Iberia, he quieted down and began to teach me ‘de arte amandi'.
Although inevitable, his death caused me regret. Periodically, I would even visit the spot on the bank of the muddy Tiber where my guards dumped the weighted corpse. But even in Iberia lived men who might use my secrets against me...
A sound in the corridor interrupts my reverie. "At last," I say, sounding bored. "I'm surprised he's allowed to make you wait, Ares."
"It'll be worth it, I promise, Cae--Iscarion."
I'm unprepared when he lunges at me, sending us both hurtling onto the bed, pinning my arms above me against the mattress. When I struggle, and he actually has to exert himself to keep me down, Ares laughs.
"So many changes in your body," he comments softly, bending down to scrape his teeth against my neck. When the god grinds his hard cock against mine, my hips rise. "You want me to fuck you?"
If I say nothing, he'll leave, just to punish me. He'll do it only if I beg, an annoying habit he learned from me--
"Sorry. That took too long. Why fuck you if you don't really want it? Too much work. Too much energy." His nightmare-black eyes widen in mock-innocence.
I remember using those same words on him. Bastard. "What can I say, Ares? Maybe you're losing your touch."
"I know you're trying to provoke me, Iscarion," he growls.
The kiss is brutal, more teeth than tongue. I realize it's a distraction only when he's locked my wrists to the headboard, doing something so that even with my new strength, I'm trapped.
Ares sits up, straddling me. His leather-clad thighs are hot around my mine, and he looms above me like a master-carved colossus. Like one of the figures holding up the flame-colored ceiling in this shadowy room. The god blocks out everything else--I can see nothing but his chest, his handsome, grinning face with the thick curls spilling around it.
The heavy door creaks open, and Ares looks over his shoulder. "He's almost ready." A knife appears in his hand, and I wonder if he's going to cut me. My cock hardens. But the god only cuts methodically through my clothing, tossing each ruined piece to the floor until I'm naked. Then he climbs off, jumping to the floor, which trembles under his weight.
Now I can see the others. Four men, in addition to the two gods, all dressed in white Roman garb. But only one registers with me. *Him*. The one they call Caligula.
He's beautiful, of course, and his relationship to me is obvious in the sea-green irises, high cheekbones and lean body. This doesn't surprise me. What does, though, is the lush mouth, heavy-lidded eyes and dark curls. The resemblance is too strong for coincidence.
"You're the father?" I ask the god, keeping my voice steady.
Ares laughs. "Not directly. It was a few generations back. The mother was a sweet virgin I shared with... a mortal."
Does he mean Cassia, my sister-murderess? Ares and I, masquerading as her lover and his friend, had taken Cassia's virginity, fucking her alternately until dawn. Back when we roamed the world as partners in debauchery. But she'd gone to Britannia days after her rape and my murder, had become a warrior. Had she been pregnant when she killed me? How then did the child get back to Rome?
As these thoughts flutter like wind-blow sails in my mind, I stare at Gaius. Then my questions fade, and instead, I marvel at Ares' unerring instinct for depravity. His blood and mine, consorting in my sister's womb to produce this divine fuck-toy...this near-son of ours.
"So this is the one," Gaius says.
I shiver at his voice. The same raw, throaty timber as Ares'.
"Go to him."
The other three newcomers--pretty young men with familiar dark curls and pouty lips--peel off muslin tunics and glide toward me. Their silence and complete obedience to the master's voice betray their status: trained concubines, probably imported from one of the notorious Assyrian harems.
But I don't want them. I want the other three. "What did Ares tell you about me?" Does Gaius know just how hungry death has made me?
"Everything," he replies. "We have no secrets." He steps before Ares, then leans back against him, training his eyes on the slim-hipped men who coat their hands in sandalwood oil to caress my bound body. Two position themselves against my legs, massaging them, while the third, kneeling beside my chest, concentrates his attention there.
I laugh. "Your trust in the god is...charming."
"He's very handsome," Gaius notes, looking me over. "I see the resemblance between us. But his attitude..." He shrugs. "I'll enjoy watching him break. Iphicles, why don't you come here?" As the man speaks, a tiny smile curves his lips.
Then I understand. The blood-thirst is already rising, and the six oiled hands touching my skin increase it. My body confuses the needs, conflating the cravings for orgasm and blood. These boys are sacrifices to my hunger. So that Ares won't have to tell Iphicles what I am--the king will see for himself. I understand, too, the reason for the new god's antagonism to the old. Ares is neglecting--deliberately?--his divine creation for his own flesh and blood.
Two mouths close over my nipples, tongues flicking, teeth nipping. A third gently sucks each of my balls in turn. Fuck...it feels so good. They're so skilled...But I try to ignore the insidious pleasure, concentrating on the drama playing out against the red backdrop.
Iphicles wants to leave, and Gaius won't let him. Ares remains silent, presumably curious to see how his heir performs. They both need the god-king, though: watching my frantic desire culminate in ripped flesh and drained hearts isn't enough. Only the destruction of this inchoate bond between Iphicles and I will satisfy their voracious appetite for depravity.
You have to admire that.
The soft sucking at my nipples and balls inflames my deprived skin. I've been in hell for too long, and so, more than ever before, I'm...wanton. At pleasure's mercy. So is Iphicles. Like me, he suffered through the silent desolation of Hades' shaded realm, then received a new, endlessly sensitive body.
How can he resist when Gaius sinks down to his knees, freeing the new god's cock to slide his tongue over the smooth surface? Especially when burnished skin replaces clothing, and the strong god of war presses against Iphicles' naked back. The head of Ares' cock must be stretching him so deliciously. And that mouth around his cock...I know that the god, with his millennia of experience, will have taught Gaius how best to elicit pleasure.
The image of Ares teaching this boy--this hybrid of him and I--to suck cock rushes over me like a desert wind, snatching the breath from my body. I can hear the deep, chipped voice directing the action, while the battle-rough hands guide Gaius' actions. "More tongue there, under the head...less pressure...That's good..." Without thinking, I've spoken the words aloud to the boys now licking my cock.
Like good slaves, they obey me: three hot tongues...Two slipping with excruciating languor over the swollen tip, while the third rakes over my shaft with quicksilver speed. The outer two boys are pulling my thighs apart, tongues never stopping their wet play, while their companion pushes an oiled finger inside me.
Those mouths, that stroking finger, my own fevered fantasies...Incredible. But still somehow secondary to the sight of Ares and Gaius pleasuring Iphicles. Because he loves it so much... against his will. To see him struggling, trying desperately to deny the ecstasy of the god's cock buried in his body, of the warm mouth wrapped tightly around him--could anything be more arousing than the witness of that struggle? Ultimately, pleasure defeats him. His god-flesh is too receptive, and Iphicles can do little more than moan as he nears orgasm.
Most exciting of all...His eyes never leave my face. Somehow, despite the others who touch us, he's thinking about me. He's getting off on the three boys sucking me, seeing my response--how I raise my hips to push myself down one's throat, deeper onto the fingers opening me.
But more and more I'm aware of an internal emptiness. Not any metaphysical longing, but a real, agonizing need. The double desire for orgasm and blood--at the same time. And an ugly part of me, suppressed until now, demands that Iphicles see what I'll do to these boys once Ares releases me.
Why? Because that's the way I am. A destroyer. In Gaul, they nicknamed me "le diable sans coeur" because I personally supervised the villagers' torture. The devil without a heart. So it's no surprise that I want to hurt Iphicles--a god now, no less. So much power... That's why. Not because of my fear.
The breath leaves my body in staccato bursts, while sweat lacquers my skin. Iphicles' breath comes equally fast, and his flesh glistens with moisture. Our desire is exactly matched; Ares has ensured synchronicity. So much better that way.
The whores now pass my cock back and forth between them: several seconds of hard sucking before the cool air strikes me, then another hot mouth slides down my shaft. Hot, cold, hot, cold...Fingers on my balls, at the base of my cock, in my ass...Iphicles' flushed face, thrusting hips, half-closed eyes...One mouth now focused on my cock...teeth on my inner thighs...
The bonds vanish, and my fingers close around a carved handle. Silver flashes in the candlelight as I grab the hair of the boy swallowing me. Pushing back his head, I slit his soft, exposed throat just as I start cumming in his mouth.
Hot blood. Hotter semen. Terrified shouts.
More silver flashes.
His death-throes around my cock are exquisite. And when the scalding stream of blood shoots into my mouth, as I shoot into his, as Iphicles shoots into Gaius', I look into the god-king's eyes.