"Come, put heart into the work and eat with your mouths full." --Aristophanes
"Beans, beans, good for your heart," Autolycus mumbled to himself and plunged his hand deep into the amphora's wide mouth. Tiny lentils, dry and green like ancient emeralds, cracked around his roving fingers. "The more you eat, the more you--eureka!" Like a winner at the Pythian Games, he raised the glorious symbol of his victory...
It's not like he expected a fistful of rubies. Kings didn't normally use lentils as a security system. Not even Iphicles, still pretty new to the job. As a professional thief, Auto knew that. He'd planned the whole thing, mapped it out like Odysseus between Scylla and Charybdis. First, subtle inquiries at the local taverns. The barmaids always knew the ins and outs of court life: some earned extra dinars by doing palace laundry, some by doing palace staff.
To confirm their gossip, he'd skipped his comfy room at The Horny Bull to squat for three nights under a juniper bush near the palace gates. Best way to find treasure: see where the torches stayed lit. Only in this palace, the torches stayed lit in two areas. One, on the third floor, had to be the hallway outside the treasure room. People always hoarded high, like squirrels with nuts. He figured that the lit corner room on the second floor belonged to Iphicles. The girls at The Horny Bull said the king gave up sleep when his wife died:
"I was passing his room one night," Dirce said, popping a greasy pig's knuckle into her mouth, "bringing some clean laundry to--"
"Ha!" Niobe clanked down her glass. "Spying on the king while off for a quickie with the undercook, more like."
Dirce winked. "I'd already had ‘im. Tiny cock, that Leonidas. Can't use it, either. I sneezed, and it was over. Miklos, the steward, promised better. I'd seen his poking out from that short tunic. Big as a Titan's." Like a proud fisherman, she spread her arms wide and waved her hands. "Like that, I swear."
"Warned you about that Leonidas." Her friend snickered. "Big as my finger, only not so hard. Thinks he's Priapus, a'course."
"Anyway, I was off to fold Miklos' sheets when I passed the king's room. The door's open, and one of the councillors, that snotty grey-beard Acrecius, is half-in, half-out, saying his final piece in that scratchy old voice. ‘Iphicles, you need rest, Rena's dead, it's time to move on...Blah blah blah.' King Iphicles is sitting at his desk, scrolls scattered every which way, and he cuts Acrecius right off. Tells him to stuff it up his ass, that the kingdom won't run itself." More snickering, like a herd of horses under an apple tree.
"Remember before she died? He'd stay up alright, but just to fuck her. The sheets'd be stiff with cum every morning. Tragic, really. Good-looking guy like that. These days his sheets are soft as a baby's bum. He must be hungry for it..."
The conversation veered off into lewd speculation about Iphicles' sexual potential, and Auto headed back to the palace. Iphicles probably looked like his brother: big and ox-like. A rainy-day bang, only without the thunder. Fact is, just last week he'd seen Herc slipping it to Iolaus: like watching an elephant mount a puppy, and about as sexy. He wouldn't mind polishing Iolaus' candlestick, but Herc... Get a sense of humor, buddy. Get a little dirty. It won't kill you. But those two were mated for life, balled and daisy-chained in vanilla paradise.
Auto skipped the bush this time and scaled the north wall. Biggest obstacle? The platoon of spear-wielding Corinthian regulars patrolling the grounds. Cerberus' lolling heads were friendlier. Through the roof was safest: peel off the Laconian tiles then chip through the thin layer of marble. In other words, the usual for a high-end haul. Piece of honey-soaked baklava for a guy who'd stolen Hermes' sandals, Artemis' bow--
And about as exciting, which maybe explained what he was doing in King Iphicles' kitchen, squeezing lentils.
It was all too damn easy. Almost be a relief to get caught. Not that he wanted it. Really. So why hang around the kitchen? Why skip the easy money for a complicated route through the hallway, up the main stairs, out a window up and to the roof? The danger, baby, the danger: those twitchy-nosed guards, who'd cut off Auto's jewels as payback for trying to steal King Iphicles'. Only these days the thudthudthud of thievery was more of a sluggish lowing, like a tired cow had plopped down ass-first on his buzz and squashed it flat as the world. That the cow was his own talent kinda made Auto think... that he'd been spending way too much time alone in a dark kitchen.
So he lit a torch.
It was like stepping into Demeter's temple. A burnished walnut table at the center anchored the square room, like an altar to the goddess. A huge brick oven covered one wall, wide as a giant's grin, with gleaming copper-pot teeth--a benign daemon. To the right: a sluttish door that led to the palace atrium and opened easily, like a priestess with a weakness for thieves. Packed shelves framed it, kicking like legs to the frescoed ceiling, where the Olympians feasted. The scene extended down the east wall, and under the torchlight's parry-and-thrust, Centaurs charged Lapiths, overturning tables at an outdoor wedding banquet. A flock of apples flew through the air, while a dozen silver trout formed constellations against a blue sky splattered with peach suns. Auto could almost smell the wedding cake, feathered with almonds and golden with honey, as it soared above the stunned guests. It'd go good with some cardamom-spiced wine...
Had to be wine around here somewhere. Maybe some cake, too. He'd had a craving lately, an itch in his belly, that nothing satisfied. Yesterday, at lunch, he'd ordered his favorite: lamb and orzo, with a side order of stuffed vine-leaves. The few mouthfuls tasted like gritty and dry, although the other patrons at The Horny Bull grunted with satisfaction, mopping up juice with soft slabs of pita. But maybe king Iphicles had something for him.
Auto stepped over his pack, turning back to shelves that held rows of clay amphoras thick and stern as sentinels. Peering into one, he saw a gleaming mass of tiny pearls. Barley. Pretty, but useless on its own. A different story, brewed. Til then--like unhatched eggs.
The next jar emitted a sharp, briny smell. Olives. Iolaus said Aphrodite had nipples big as olives, swore they were so round and dark they looked like eyes staring at him through her shift. Auto gave one a squeeze, felt a stir between his legs, and popped it into his mouth, letting it roll across his tongue before swallowing it. Good, but needed a little salt.
‘I'll take jar number three for ten dinars, Alexus.' He dipped in a finger, and the honey sucked it. Auto sucked back. Not too thick, not too runny. Sweet and warm, too, like a mouthful of sun. Still...Maybe with a hunk of bread. Overpowering, alone.
Figs in the fourth. Ripe and pregnant, reddish-green skin stretched taut. No expense spared in the royal kitchen: someone had picked these fresh that day. He shoved in his hand and pulled out two. Wasn't there a rhyme like that? Something about a kid in a corner playing with himself? Curd and whey? Pulling out figs? Humming to himself, he rolled the figs between his fingers and wandered the room, then paused at the mural. That big chestnut centaur had balls like figs. Nice, juicy ones like these. He gave the ones in his hands a firm squeeze. Perfect for licking, sucking--
"Move, and you're dead." The voice bit through the dark behind him.
Embarrassment tugged Auto two ways. The indignity of fig-fondling almost beat the humiliation of capture. "This isn't what it looks like. These figs--they were begging for it. They were all over me like a cheap pair of...Well, figs."
A muffled sound at his back. A deep laugh trying to escape. Then: "That's what they all say. Hands above your head."
"So what's the going punishment these days for fig molestation? One year probation, if I promise to stay away from fruit?"
That sound again. "Don't turn back."
He'd lucked out. A guard with a sense of humor. Sexy voice, too. This called for a little peek. Like Orpheus, Auto glanced back--and his body went haywire, eyes and cock popping. Holy Marathonian bulls. Seems his Eurydice was almost naked. Nice naked, too. Very nice. Big and narrow in the right places. "Interesting armor you got there, buddy. That the latest thing in Corinthian battle gear? The loin cloth?" Another peek. What a face under that reddish hair. Matched the incredible body. "Not that I'm complaining. In fact, I've kinda had a fantasy about this."
"I'm off-duty. Came down for something to eat. Now face the wall."
Auto flipped around, spreading his hands over a centaur's rump. The chestnut one, with the big balls. "Question is, what kind of weapon comes with it? Or maybe you don't need one. Not with that body. I bet you just stand there and distract your enemies with all those rippling muscles. Gotta admire the tactic."
The man stepped closer, bare feet slapping the tiled floor. "Not very respectful, are you?"
"Know who I really respect? Guys who'd laugh this off and let me go. Then join me for a drink at The Horny Bull."
"Look, I don't think you're getting the situation here."
"Sure I am. You're a guard. I'm a fig-squeezer. Who says we can't be friends? C'mon, fella. I'll buy you a beer, then show you my fig-squeezing techniques."
"All the bars in Corinth close at midnight. I...It's by royal decree. To keep the peace."
"Who said anything about the bar?" Wide, fuck-me grin to drive the point home. "Besides, how're you gonna keep me here til the other guards show up? There's only one thing you could use for rope, and you're wearing it."
"I can't let you go. For all I know, you're an assassin here to kill m...to kill king Iphicles."
Auto caught the hesitation, but decided to ignore it. Sure, it'd sounded like ‘me', but no way was this hot, amused piece of ass Hercules' brother. "I'm no assassin. I'm the king of...fig- squeezers." No point revealing his identity to luscious-lips. Auto was here to empty the royal coffers, not stuff ‘em full of bounty-money. Okay, that begged the question: why not leave? The guy had no weapon. A grab of his pack, a somersault toward the courtyard door, and freedom. That easy. But... "So, you gonna tie me up and show me how you fondle figs?" One day his brain'd catch up with his cock. Or not.
"What kind of a thief wants to be tied up?"
Good thing about naked guys: no matter what they said, their bodies didn't lie. The idea of tying up a funny fig-fondler apparently appealed to him, about half a hard-on's worth. "What kind of a guard thinks twice about it? You waiting for a committee to decide for you? Just do it." With the barest nudge of his boot, Auto pushed his pack behind the nearest amphora. Only one thing left to use for rope, all snug around those lean thighs. Still no reaction, though. Maybe the guy didn't like being ordered around. "Look," Auto said, raising his arms above his head. "I'm all yours. Do what you want with me, ‘cos I wanna be done."
No sound, then the flutter of cloth. "Wrists together."
That clinched it. No way Herc and this gorgeous naked guy were related. Mr. Legendary Hero'd haul his ass to the local jail, preaching a sermon long as The Iliad. Not tie him up with a loin cloth still hot from his cock. Or stand so close Auto smelled wine and something muskier. "How ‘bout that drink anyway? I'm thirsty." Gotta loosen him up a little. Still half a hard-on left to go.
"You got balls. But I could use a drink. Don't move." To ensure it, he pushed Auto a few paces left, so that his nose pressed against a centaur's hoof, and looped the knotted cloth over an iron hook. "That should hold you."
At the foraging noises, Auto inched around until he faced the room. Just in time, too. Full moon out tonight, worth a full five-star howl. "Check the bottom shelf. No, lower. That's it." An ass to launch a thousand ships, or a thousand epic poems. Pass the ink and papyrus, ‘cos, baby, he had a pen ready to go. Only roll the scroll a minute: the guy was standing up, bottle in hand. About to curse the table obscuring his view, Auto paused when the guy popped the cork with his thumb and leaned back for a long swallow. He drank with a messy eagerness, like Tantalus forgiven by Zeus, silver wine splashing down his chest.
"Damn, that's good," he finally said, moping his dripping chin with a forearm.
Auto slipped on his best leer. "You should try it from this angle."
Wrong thing to say. The guy glanced down at his wine-soaked skin, then back at Auto. "I'd better go. Can't really bring you in like this. I'll send a guard down. Don't even bother trying to escape. In a minute everyone'll know there's a thief on the premises."
"Hey! What about that drink? You're not the only thirsty guy around here. This how you treat prisoners in Corinth?"
"They'll give you one at the jail," he said, glancing into the hallway.
"Oh, yeah, right. That'll be their first priority. That and a manicure. I'll get a drink in maybe a week. If I'm still alive."
"Guess the only way to shut you up is to keep your mouth full."
"I like the way you think..." That's when the guy rounded the table. Inspired, Auto nearly crowed like a helluva big rooster. Instead, he told the truth: "Give it to me. In my mouth. Now."
"Lean back a little."
Obediently, Auto tilted his head, trying with clunky subtlety to twist his body closer to the big one beside him. Talk about penile imperatives. Hard to resist a guy like this, who gave off more heat than Hephaestus' forge. Harder still (and this was getting pretty literal) with the half-empty bottle resting on his lower lip, which kinda put ideas in a man's head. He sucked it into his mouth, then craned his neck for more than a teasing trickle. Instead, wine crashed like a waterfall down his throat, over his shirt.
"Sorry ‘bout that."
"You're one weird guard," Auto sputtered. "You're not supposed to be sorry. You're supposed to laugh evilly. Didn't they teach you anything in guard school? What's your name, anyway? Who do I tell people caught the famous king of...Me?"
He placed the bottle on the floor. "I always sucked at school. And my name's...Iphiclus. Iph."
"Hmm. That's kinda like the king's name. And could you maybe wipe off my--"
But he'd tweaked a nerve, and Iph was off. "I'm nothing like the king. The guy's boring. Dead. Spends all his time doing what's expected. He's turning into his brother. And his brother's the world's biggest pain in the ass." He stepped closer. "The king'd never do this."
Gotta remember that nerve for next time, he thought, then Iph's tongue was in his mouth, licking, tasting, searching, darting...Hard to think after that, not with Iph giving him a twelve-course kiss. Hell, not just twelve courses, but four seasons, some adolescent angst, a midlife crisis, a peace treaty and a lunar eclipse. "A guy could get pregnant from a kiss like that," he gasped, when Iph finally stepped back, breathing hard.
"I'm sorry. Sort of. This is insane. I don't even know your name."
"You can call me... Autonyme. Auto, for short. Now that we're introduced, how ‘bout showing me what else the king'd never do?"
"I'm not sure--"
Iph's cock was, but Auto struggled for tact. "At least get this wet shirt off me. It feels all slimy." Iph hesitated, then peeled it off like grape skin. "Yeah, that's better. Just toss it on the ground. Get crazy. You're not the king, remember? No one's here but you and me."
"You know, for someone with his hands tied over his head, you're pretty demanding."
"So put me in my place. Kings don't take advantage of poor, disadvantaged prisoners. But you want to, don't you, Iph? So do it. Stick your tongue in my mouth again and teach me a lesson--"
No hesitation this time. Where in Tartarus did the guy learn how to kiss? Practically indecent, the way he moved his tongue. Wiped his mind clean...Maybe not clean. Could you wipe something dirty? Iph's hands on his chest didn't help, either, or his thumbs rubbing Auto's nipples. Holy Hera's peacocks, this guy was good. He hadn't been this horny since... A dusty voice inside him, filed behind lust, snarked, ‘Never.'
Maybe this half-naked necking should stop. He didn't need some gorgeous not-king getting all Bacchanalian on him. No, he should just tell Iph the jig was up. Time to move on. Fun while it lasted, but... "I forgot to mention this, Iph, but the wine spilled down my pants, too. Ever been stuck inside wet leather? It's like a python's wrapped around me." Or a wet cow, but that didn't sound as sexy. "I feel kinda faint..."
"Wouldn't want you to faint," Iph said, and crouched between Auto's thighs, gripping a glossy boot. A triumphant tug, then he tossed it over his shoulder, where it landed with a noisy splat near the atrium door. "May as well shut the doors," he said. "I'll get the guards when I'm ready. No need for them now." The second closed with a pointed echo. ‘They're gonna do it, they're gonna do it...'
Auto nodded vigorously. "Good idea."
"Yeah. I...The king's always got a million councillors telling him what to do." The second boot thwacked against a table leg. "I'm doing what I want."
"You're in charge. Screw the councillors."
"They'd lecture him to death, tell him to think about his reputation. "He's heard enough fucking lectures."
"Him and me both." Auto remembered his last conversation with Herc and Iolaus, Herc patiently condescending, and Iolaus bouncingly patronizing. "Try being friends with the most moral twosome in Greece. You'd think I beat up old ladies and ripped off babies. Hey, I pick my victims carefully. Only the rich and deserving. No one gets hurt."
"You think Iphicles deserves it? Lift your right foot. That's it. Because he didn't earn his crown but inherited it? Left now."
Freedom, as the pants eased off. "Anyone that rich deserves it. But about Iphicles: everyone says he's a good king. Maybe a little obsessive, not too happy, still grief-stricken--"
Iphicles got to his feet, standing straight before him, and their cocks brushed. "So why're you robbing him?"
"Something to do. I've robbed everyone else."
"And this is just another way to amuse yourself?"
"I got a big appetite. That a problem?"
This time, Iph put his hand at Auto's back and pulled him close, letting their naked bodies touch. The kissing started, light as cinnamon dust, along Auto's jaw, down his neck, then back to his mouth. He tasted the wine on Iph's tongue and sucked until Iph moaned and broke away. Auto would've stopped him, only he was still hanging like a fisherman's catch from the iron hook.
"This is...I need another drink. It's hot in here."
Iph's back gleamed in the torchlight as he searched for another bottle. Talk about lickable. And Iph would love it, especially when Auto' tongue slipped up his ass... "Yeah, it's like an oven in here. Gimme a drink." He watched Iph chugging the wine, saw it drip onto the swollen head of his cock. "You Corinthians ever hear of glasses? Or is this some kinda local torture? Tie a guy up, then flaunt your naked, wine-covered self at him? This is worse than the wet pants."
"I think I have to experience torture in order to understand it," Iph said, and emptied the wine bottle down Auto's body.
"What's the verdict?" The answer stuck straight out from Iph's body, but what the hell. Wouldn't hurt to hear it.
Folding his arms, he studied Auto's body, his cock growing thicker. "About the torture? I see what you mean. Seeing you like that, all wet and ready...It definitely hurts."
"Hey, I don't want you to suffer, so why not clean me up a little?"
"It's the humane thing to do." Iph started with Auto's right collar bone, licking it like sugar stick.
"Tickles." Not just the wet teasing, but Iph's hair brushing his chin, powdery and sweet like nutmeg. He wriggled to get free, only his cock wagged against Iph's, and Auto gave up, swaying with pleasure.
"This better?" Iph closed his lips around a nipple, arms circling Auto's neck.
"The king'd be scandalized." When Iph looked up and smiled, sense danced back. Iph wasn't really the king, was he? Then the sucking started, and Auto decided it didn't really matter if Iph was king of Corinth or Hera in drag. Just keep sucking. Don't stop. No one ever does it long enough.
And Iph kept doing it, one to the other, sucking harder and harder, his arms tightening around Auto's neck, almost clinging now, and Auto's nipples started to sting, then burn, unused to a mouth that hungry. Harder and harder, until his skin swelled, nearly bursting, and it felt so good but he'd be drawing blood soon... "Iph," he said. Then louder, "Iph. Snap out of it, buddy."
Another look up, this time his eyes over-bright. "Sorry. I was just... I got lost. It's been a long time. Since my wife... No one."
Talk about a mood-breaker. Well, this whole thing had been crazy, anyway. Time to cut his losses and blow this ouzo-stand. When Iph stepped back, Auto performed a little move Houdinius taught him: he squeezed his wrists together, crossed them once forward, then back, and pulled. His hands slipped from the cloth, and he shook out his arms, fingers tingling as the blood returned.
"Guess this is it," Iph said. "Sorry I ruined it. And Auto, you can go, no worries about the guards. You didn't steal anything, and--"
"I'm going to fuck you," Auto told him, and served Iph his own twelve-course kiss. Resistance at first, but thieves understood resistance. A little pressure here, a little lightness there, and Iph's mouth was his. Still some stiffness in Iph's spine, though. Seems that ghost still talked guilt. Time for an exorcism. "Hands above your head."
"I can't do that."
"Iph, I don't need to tie you up to rob you. It's not my style, anyway. I like a challenge. So stop fighting me. Thieves' honor--I just want to make you come."
"Try anything funny, Auto, and I'll have the Corinthian army on your ass."
"I'm gonna try all sorts of stuff, Iph. I just don't plan to leave with any of it." Iph's body got a little looser, and Auto danced him back against the centaurs. "Besides, you're a big guy. Pull hard enough, and you can yank the hook right out of the wall."
"I'm just not sure I want to be tied up."
"That's what I thought about you, too. But face it, Iph: you're hungry for a break. And I'm here to fill you up."
"I hope you know what you're doing," he said, and held out his hands. "And Auto?"
"You ever do single entendres?"
"Life's too short." And stepped back to admire his handiwork. And back some more. Then some more...
"You going somewhere?"
"Just taking in the view. And I'll be collecting a few things, so close your eyes."
"Auto, if you're gone when I open them, your fig-fondling days are over. I'm gonna rip your--"
"Iph, I've done some stupid things in my life. You wouldn't believe how stupid. Ever go up against Ares, get turned into a circus freak, and fight a giant chicken? So I know about stupid. I invented stupid. But I'd have to be a blind cyclops after a lobotomy to leave while you're naked and tied up. Trust me, I'm not going anywhere. If you don't believe what I'm saying, let this--" he waved at the erection bobbing between his legs like a buoy in the waves "--reassure you."
Iph mumbled something about thieves, guards, violence and chickens, but his eyes shut. What a sight. His cock, deflated by the ghost-wife, had revived, which Auto took as a promising sign, and he walked to the amphoras, humming. This one...This...And did they have any of...Perfect. "Don't move," he called, tucking his chin over top jar in his arms. He lined them up neatly on the table's edge and dragged it closer to Iph, who flinched.
"I can't believe I let you talk me into this. I must be losing it. The pressure of keeping everything inside's finally sent me over the edge. They said it'd happen--"
Auto's honey-soaked finger skidded over that full mouth, leaving a soft gold trail. Iph's tongue peeked out, then dabbed at the sticky mess. Auto let him lick his lips clean, before resting his fingertip against Iph's bottom lip, right in the little dent at its center. When Iph's tongue touched it, he poked it further inside. Iph started to suck, a warm, gentle pressure that curved Auto's body. Their cockheads butted again, and Iph's moan vibrated from his finger to his spine.
While Iph kept sucking, Auto reached behind with his other hand and scooped more honey, painting a thin amber layer across Iph's smooth chest. Iph arched and lost the finger when the honey on his nipples dissolved under Auto's tongue. Above him, Auto heard Iph's breath change rhythm, get fast and hot like an Ionian dance number, so he stopped sucking to lick long and slow. Only Iph kept panting, and Auto wondered when someone last tied him up, smeared honey on his body and licked it off. And wondered, too, how anyone could stop once they'd started. It was the kind of body you could lick forever.
"Don't stop," Iph said, when Auto pulled away.
"Pretty demanding for a guy with his hands tied over his head. I was gonna smear some of the honey on your cock and lick it off, but if you're not--"
"Oh fuck, Auto..." A moan ate the rest. "Do it. Cover my cock with honey and suck it off."
"Since you asked so nicely..." Another handful of honey, only he cheated a little. Iph wasn't the only one who wanted a honey-smeared dick. His own was standing up and begging like a puppy. Twisting a little so his cock pointed parallel to Iph's, he took them both in his hand. Iph's was thicker, but his won in length. Soon, though, even Argus with his hundred eyes couldn't tell ‘em apart, both drenched in honey, both swollen, hot and leaking.
"Like that?" Auto asked him, gulping back his whimper as he rubbed the heads against his palm.
"If you keep...doing that...gonna make me--"
Auto let go. "Thanks for the warning. It's way too early to come yet. I wanna play." Standing on his toes, he unhooked Iph. "Go kneel on the table. Keep your hands in front and ass in the air."
"Look, Auto, I'm not sure about this. The whole submissive thing--it's not me. I like to be on top--"
"Sure you do, Iph. That's why you've got a huge raging hard-on right now. ‘Cos you hate what I'm doing to you. Now get up there." He gave Iph's cock a quick squeeze. "And don't worry: your ass is safe with me. For now."
"I don't know..."
"How ‘bout this? I'll fuck you only if you beg me for it, okay? Only if you shout, ‘Auto, fuck me now, fuck me hard, fuck me all night long.'"
Iph laughed. "I think I'm pretty safe, then. I mean, it's been incredible so far. You have no idea. But begging for it up the ass? Not even you can get me to do that." Still grinning, he climbed up, then knelt, resting his weight on his knees and bound hands.
"Whatever you say, lover-boy." The thing is, Iph's ass, curved and full, begged for a cock. No one with an ass shaped like that, with skin like dying nectarines, could refuse a big cock once the right levers were pulled. Auto patted it consolingly. Soon. "Look, I'm gonna make sure we're not interrupted," he said, and secured a chair under the knob of each door. "Just to be safe." Then he clambered onto the table.
Kneeling between Iph's spread legs, he grabbed a cheek for balance, then dipped his finger in the honey, smoothing it down Iph's spine. Iph gave a little shudder, but stayed tight. Easy enough to change that. No finger yet, though. Iph deserved some hardcore teasing first, for doubting Auto's erotic prowess. And ‘cos it redefined ‘turn-on' to make Iph hot, the way he was now, all sweat-slick and burning skin. Auto's cock thumped his belly for emphasis.
With his thumb, Auto retraced the honey-line, again pausing at the top of Iph's ass. A third pass, but slower, in loops and circles, while he cupped Iph's balls, making him sigh. Better than the centaur's, these balls. Better than the figs. He rolled them tenderly, as he spread more honey, pressed in with the flat of his end til Iph's back gleamed like polished sandstone. His balls, where the honey dripped down, shone. One night he'd like to do nothing but lick them until Iph came.
"Nice," Iph said, in a low, sleepy voice. "You have the best hands, Auto."
"And you have the best ass." He dropped a dollop of honey on each cheek and worked it in, the skin warming under his hands. Iph wriggled back against him, cock swinging between his thighs, begging to be caught. "Don't move." Auto grabbed the open honey pot and held it between Iph's legs. With one hand, he guided the thick cock straight into it.
"Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh fuck."
"That an invitation? In triplicate? Well, I'm no a teenager, but I could probably manage three times if--"
Another laugh. "Not yet...I mean, no. It just feels so good. Like a hot wet mouth's sucking me. I still want your mouth, though. Why don't you suck the honey off?"
"I will. Just not yet."
"Auto? Ever consider a future career as palace torturer?"
"Iph, if you'd stop moaning and rubbing yourself all over me, maybe I'd stop teasing you. But it's getting me off watching you get off."
"Maybe if you'd stop touching me and licking me, I'd stop moaning and rubbing."
"Want me to stop?"
"Stop, and I'll kill you. I've been waiting too long for this."
Which didn't make sense ‘cos they'd just met, but somehow Auto knew what he meant. "It's not just the sex, is it?"
Iph looked back at him, his face flushed. "No, that's everywhere. It's like a brothel here
every night, with people running half-naked through the halls. I just haven't been interested."
"C'mon, Auto. What d'you think? I'm on my hands and knees, this close to getting fucked up the ass, and you're asking if I'm interested? I'm the one who should be asking you that. For all I know you're doing this ‘cos you want me to free you. I told you: you're free."
"No offense, Iph, but I'd be halfway to Sparta before the guards got their hands off their dicks. I'm not here to fuck my way to freedom. I'm here ‘cos..." How to explain it? "‘You talked about not acting like a king. You don't. You could never be a king. I've met Hercules, and I bet his brother's just like him: good and incredibly boring. You, on the other hand, know how to have fun. Oh yeah--and one other thing. Your ass. You've got the greatest ass I've ever seen." He pulled the pot from Iph's cock, catching a dollop of honey on a finger. "Time to get to know it a little better. And I'm sticking to our deal: no fucking unless you shout, ‘Auto, fuck me now, fuck me hard, fuck me all night long.'"
"We'll see about th--Oh fuck."
"You know, Iph, ‘Fuck' isn't actually a god," Auto said, pushing his finger a little deeper.
"It's just... No one's ever... It feels so fucking good!"
"You gotta relax, or I can't do much more. Take a couple of deep breaths." He could use a few himself.
"I'll try. But it's hard."
Auto smirked and stroked Iph's cock. "I see that."
"I did merc work for years, and soldiers don't bother with the finer points of sex. And my wife... We played it pretty straight."
Iph was tensing again, and Auto gave his ass a swat. "Any more guilt, and I'll send you out on a legendary journey. You'll be shoveling shit and wrestling dogs instead of...this." Iph's laugh let him slide his finger all the way in. No laughing now, just low groans while Iph rocked back against him. When he moved his finger in light circles, Iph cried out, shuddering. A jar crashed to the floor and shattered, sending chickpeas scurrying across the tiles.
"What in Tartarus were you planning to do with those?" Iph asked.
"You'll have to wait til next time." Auto slipped his finger out, dipped it in the honey, and started rubbing it into the hole, which tried to kiss him.
"If I live til next time. What're you doing--?"
When Auto spread the firm cheeks and slid his tongue past the slick ring, Iph half-rose and stayed coiled in the air for an eternity before falling like Icarus on melted wings.
"You don't get away that easy," Auto said, and dragged Iph back onto his tongue. No tension now, and he licked high into Iph's honeyed body, which thrummed around him. His cock responded, pulsing the same beat. Holy mother of Zeus, this was good. He'd never had a lover like this, who--
"I have something...oh fuck....something to tell you."
With a last plunge of his tongue, Auto moved back, then climbed to the floor. He walked to the front of the table, his cock singing. "Hold on." Iph was resting his cheek on his bound hands, and Auto lifted his head, untying the cloth. "Roll over and spread your legs." He waited impatiently before kneeling between Iph's open thighs. "Raise your hips. First, some of this." He gripped Iph's cock at the base where the dark hair lay flat against the skin, matted with honey. Looking into Iph's eyes, he took the head in his mouth and sucked. No teasing, no toying. Just hard, powerful sucking that had Iph arching down his throat. When he tasted salt through the sweetness, he stopped.
Iph opened his mouth, but Auto cut him off. "There's one jar left. Hold yourself open for me." And he reached into the jar.
"What're you...You're not gonna... But it's a--"
"Fig. I know. And yes, I am. You're gonna love it." He smeared a final dab of honey around the greedy hole, watched it open hungrily for him. "I love your ass. I can't believe no one's ever been in it. A loss to tops everywhere." Bringing the fig to his lips, he took a bite, and juice purple as midnight spurted into the air. The fig's wet open end left a violet glaze on Iph's skin, and he whimpered as Auto rubbed it against him, almost into him. "I'm just gonna get it in a little deeper...Yeah, perfect. Now don't move."
Auto dropped lower, and at first just looked at the stretched skin loving the fruit. With the tip of his finger, he smoothed the honey leaking around the edges. Iph tightened, and his ass sucked at the fig, which nearly disappeared inside him. Auto pinched the end, and slowly drew it out. The honey and fig juice made a slurping sound, or maybe it was that hungry ass, begging for it. Even the air had turned purple, thick with heat and juice. He encouraged the fig deeper, and more juice squirted out, running down the crack, when--
"You hear that?" he asked Iph, whose eyes were closed and hips pumping. "Sounded like someone at the door."
"It's nothing. Don't stop. Just keep doing that."
Another push of the fig, and the juice began to pool under Iph's ass. The room smelled wet, sweet and earthy, like a field in summer. Auto stopped breathing the air, began to drink it in huge, heaping gulps, tasting and eating and--
"Is someone in there?" The sandpaper voice snapped out from behind the atrium door. A guard. Had to be. Probably a few of them, attracted by the light, the breaking jar, Iph's moans...
"No!" Iphicles shouted. "No one's here. Now fuck off!" Then, to Auto, "I want it."
"Whaddya mean, you want it? What?"
"Your cock. Up my ass. Now."
"Me too. Only we had a deal." He dropped the fig and reached for another one. A violet bite, before he polished Iph's cockhead with it.
"Your majesty, are you in there?" The second voice, higher, like a gull's cry, came from the inner door. "I've got Miklos, Leonidas and some of the others with me. We heard sounds..."
"We're flanked," Auto said, slathering the last of the honey on his own cock. "And what's this stuff about your majesty? Did they lose the king, or something?"
"Can we talk about that later? I want your cock!"
"So say it."
"Dammit, Auto, I can't remember exactly what I'm supposed to say. I can barely remember my own name. Just give me your cock!"
Auto rubbed the swollen head over Iph's ass. "They're gonna hear you."
"I don't give a shit! Let them hear me!"
"Your majesty! Are you alright? Don't worry--we'll save you!"
"Would you idiots leave? I don't need saving! I need fucking!"
"Iph, you know how hot this is making me?"
"I can feel how hot. Now stick it in my ass."
More banging--the wrong sort. "King Iphicles, be strong! We're gonna break down the door!"
"Go away, or I'll throw your ass in the dungeon! Now shove your cock up my ass!"
"Not you, Acrecius, you old fool."
"Iph, if you really want it, you have to shout the magic words. No, wait. Gotta make it even harder for royalty. Can't believe I fell for that. Iphiclus my ass. You want my cock, your Greatness? Come and get it." Auto lay back on the table, his cock jutting up, purple with juice and blood.
The knob of the back door rattled violently. "King Iphicles! Okay, that's it: we're on our way!"
"I'm fine, goddammit! Go away! Auto, fuck me now..." Iph sprang up and straddled Auto's body. "Fuck me hard--"
"Are you being attacked, your Highness? Don't worry--we'll rescue you!"
"Fuck me all night long!" And Iph sank down on Auto's cock.
"Thank the gods! I was starting to get worried," Auto told him, thrusting up into that tight, sweet ass. "Now do it to me, baby."
The bangs had turned into crashes, as shoulders struck both doors. "We're coming, King Iphicles!"
"Not before I do, you stupid bastards!" Iph shouted back, and started riding hard.
Auto grabbed Iph's cock and started stroking it, never taking his eyes from Iph's lust-melted face. "Whaddya think?"
"What was that, King Iphicles? You're being held for ransom? Be strong, my king!"
"What about you?" Iph demanded, leaning down. "Is it good?"
"You're incredible. Made for it. You're so hot and delicious... I'm gonna come--"
A loud splintering crack, as the guards at the atrium door burst through.
"Come in my ass, Auto. Do it now, ‘cos I'm gonna come--"
The thunderous crack of a second door drowned out his words. But it didn't really matter. While a platoon of brass-armored Corinthian regulars and a household staff of twenty-five looked on, Iphicles, king of Corinth, shot his load all over Auto's chest, while Auto returned the favor deep inside him. Then Iph collapsed on top of him, giving Auto one of those twelve-course kisses.
"Guess he's okay," someone mumbled.
A woman snickered. Looks like he's more than okay."
"Why isn't he saying anything?" a cross old voice asked.
"It's rude to talk with your mouth full."
Maybe, Auto thought, but damn, it felt good.
**No figs were harmed during the writing of this story.