"We shall see what element is strong, and plan that it shall keep its virtue still. But that which must be healed--we must use medicine, or burn, or amputate, with kind intention, take all means at hand that might beat down corruption's pain."
Ares kneels over me, high up my body, using his strong thighs to lock my arms tight against my chest. I can raise my hands--barely--to caress his back, but otherwise I can't do anything but suck his big cock as he feeds it to me. I'm his prisoner, and he loves that.
I watch his face as he pushes himself forcefully into my mouth. Ares doesn't bother to meet my eyes; he's more interested in seeing the wet head of his cock ease past my lips, in seeing my tongue slide over it, because he thinks that he's dominating me. He'd blindfold me if he realized what that beautiful face reveals when I'm sucking him like this.
It's not often that I can study the god this closely, without irritating him. His hair, glossy with sweat, falls in his face, framing those high cheekbones, while his teeth sink into that pouty lower lip and his lashes weigh heavily over his dark eyes. The face of desire. Ares hates admitting it, but I really turn him on, like no one else has or ever will. And he loves when I blow him, especially when I let him feel like he's controlling the action. But the best part's when he starts to lose it. When he's so hot for me that he has to say my name, which always comes out in a rough growl.
He's doing it now, pretending the motivation's just passion, and not obsession. Pretending that his sharp teeth slice open his lip with everyone, not only with me, because his orgasm's so intense. Pretending that he's shaking only from sexual pleasure, and not from the thrill of coming in my mouth.
But we both know better.
After I've swallowed for five minutes straight, he moves off me to recline against the pillows on my bed. His cock is still hard--when I'm around, it's always hard--and lies, wet and glistening, against his stomach.
"You want to come again?"
"Yeah." He's already reaching out for me.
I slap his hand away, and his eyes flash red lightening. "Not that way," I tell him. "I want to fuck you."
"What makes you think I'm gonna let you, you arrogant prick?"
It's hard not to laugh. Like he's not dying to feel me inside him. But he wants to be talked into it, so I humor him. "Because I need to feel your tight ass around my cock. You know how much I love fucking you, Ares. There's no one who gets me this turned on, or this hard. I want to squeeze your cock in my hand while I fuck that perfect, hot ass of yours, while I ram myself inside you. I want to feel you contract around me while we both come."
His tongue circles those bruised lips. "Beg me. Then maybe I'll let you."
The things I have to do...I should be charging him for this: a few hundred denarii like the best Corinthian courtesans. But there's nothing like fucking an obsessed god, so I give him what he wants. "I'm dying for you. I don't give a shit about anyone else. I'd give up everything--my throne, my family--if I thought you'd let me slide my cock into your ass." You'd think I hadn't done it a dozen times already.
"Show me how much you want it."
I do laugh at that. "Actually, I have a surprise for you, Ares. Come with me." Climbing off the bed, I walk into the adjoining chamber, not waiting for the god. The oil lamps, dangling from chains on the ceiling, are burning brightly, illuminating a solid marble table set squarely in the room's center.
He pads in after me. "What's the surpri--Fuck!"
"Like it?" I move beside him, stroking the glass-smooth skin of his back.
"How the fuck did you get it?"
"I bribed the priest. When that didn't work, I had my men...persuade him. "
His cock twitches at that; he loves it when I get aggressive. "My father won't be pleased."
"So make it worth my while," I tell him, giving his firm ass a deliberate push. For a second, I think he's gonna resist, but the temptation's too strong. Ares has a big hard-on for his dear ol' dad, although he won't admit it, of course. But he can't resist the idea of being bent over Zeus' famous marble altar, stolen by yours truly from the main temple in Sparta. There's a gasp as he lands chest-first on the carved polished surface, then he grips the table's edge and offers himself to me.
A jar of oil appears in my hand. A not-so-subtle hint. Breaking the red wax seal, I tease him a little, pouring the liquid down the center of his back, letting it trickle into the crack of his gorgeous ass.
"Hurry up," he snaps.
I smack a ripe, round cheek. Hard. His whole body jerks. "If you were that desperate, you would've skipped this step and oiled my cock with a thought."
"One day, Iphicles, I'm gonna kill you."
"Right," I say, spreading the oil over my hands, then over my cock. "Just let me fuck you first." Bending down, I bite the fleshiest part of his left buttock. While he's distracted by the pain, cursing me, his cock getting harder and harder, I scoop up the flogger I'd hidden in the shadowy recess under the altar. I raise it high in my right hand, out of sight, holding the thumb of my left against the entrance to his body.
Ares thrusts back, and I withdraw my thumb.
"Don't move," I hiss at him. "Just fucking lie there and take it." At first, I'm not sure if he'll go along. Ares might be obsessed with me, but he's got a bad temper, no patience, and a huge ego. All of which means he doesn't respond well to orders. The muscles tense in those broad shoulders and blue veins appear along the sides of his neck. He's definitely pissed off, caught between wanting to rip me another hole and letting me fuck his.
To encourage him, I lean forward, resting my free hand on his hip, and lick a path up the long column of his spine, slowly, letting my tongue outline every vertebra. When I feel a satisfied rumble, like a lion's purr, I move my thumb back, rubbing it in lazy circles, pushing a little harder each time, but not penetrating him. This is too good. For both of us. He's shoving back against me again, so I grab him by the neck and hold him down. "Don't fucking move!"
"Where'd you get this aggressive streak?" he demands. "Your pansy-ass little brother sure doesn't share it."
I can hear the underlying whimper of pleasure, and my cock, already full of blood, swells even more. "I take after my father, not my mother, like that do-gooder brother of ours," I say.
We're both getting hot thinking about Hercules. What a threesome that'd be. We've talked half- jokingly about raping him, but there'd be no fun in that. We both want him willing, down on his knees before the two of us while we share his mouth.
Ares lets out a mean laugh. "Your father was a cuckold, Iphicles, remember? My father was sticking it to Alcmene, who loved every second of it."
"At least my father knew my name," I shoot back, just as I force my thumb inside him and the flogger's leather strips whistle through the air, slapping his right shoulder blade.
He didn't expect that. "You sonofabitch!!!"
He whirls around, and suddenly I'm hitting the wall with brutal force before slumping to the floor. I'm still trying to see straight when he yanks me to my feet, slams me again into the wall. Then he kisses me so hard I taste blood and jams his thick cock against mine. His tongue's diving down my throat, while one arm's holding me immobile against him. I can't fight Ares, so I kiss him back, the pain from the attack melting into a hot pool of pleasure.
When his mouth disappears, I open my eyes. He's watching me, close enough to take my head in his lion-jaws. I expect him to roar some more, give me the save-his-ass lecture on how he's a big bad god and I'm supposed to respect his innate superiority.
Instead, panting, he grins, sharp teeth and deep dimples. "You want to fuck me, Iphicles? Do it. Take me. If you can."
I nearly come. Yeah, I know. Who's obsessed with who here? But I'm a sucker for a challenge. Especially when it's packaged like that. So I drop to the ground in front of him, licking the shining head of his cock. I can tell he's disappointed: Ares, always aggressive, wants a fight. The advantage of surprise: I slide my arms around his calves, placing my hands in the warm hollow behind each knee, all innocent-like, then wrench back hard as I can. Ares actually squawks with surprise when he crashes down on his back, his head smacking the stone with a satisfying *thwaaack*
Before he can recover, I'm on him. The table's turned: now I'm grabbing his damp curls with one hand and forcefully guiding my cock past those swollen lips with the other. "That's it. Suck it." He does, for about a second, then I'm hurtling through the air again. I smash down on the altar, the impact jerking my body up before it settles down in a limp heap. It hurts. He's gonna pay for that. I keep my eyes closed, my limbs splayed. It's not hard.
He stalks over to me. "Iphicles, stop dicking around. I know you're ok." An ungentle prod of my shoulder.
Something warm and wet's seeping from the back of my head. Good. That'll teach him. I feel him probing the wound, hear him licking the blood from his fingers. He's an animal.
"So you're dying, are you?" he sneers. Then: "Shame to waste a hard-on like that." Roughly spreading my thighs, he takes me all the way into his hot mouth, then starts sucking like a hungry kid on his mother's tit.
I want to keep playing dead, but he's too good, the bastard. While I try to make my groan sound pained, he's not fooled.
"What an amazing recovery. Not dying after all?"
He can be so sarcastic. "Bite me, Ares."
"Ok." And those sharp white teeth close over the head of my cock.
My back curves into a half-moon, while my pleasure-heavy lids drop. "Yes..." They spring open, however, when the flogger's leather ends claw at my right nipple. Not hard enough to break the skin, only to heat it. "You're pretty good with that," I gasp, propping myself up on my elbows.
He licks the glowing tip of my cock, then straightens up. "I know your body, Iphicles. I know what you like." Ares is staring at me like I'm a twelve-course Solstice dinner and he hasn't eaten in a few centuries.
Now there's a sight: the god of war, eyes filled with need, a smear of my blood on his lower lip, standing gloriously naked, with a small leather flogger clenched in one big hand. I want him so much. But my way. So I swing my legs over the altar's side and stand up. I'm a little wobbly, and my vision's still blurred, but I'm ok. It's been worse.
"Where d'you think you're going?" he asks, stepping in front of me. "I'm not finished here."
He's a little taller than me, but not much, and when we face each other, it's like looking into a slightly distorted mirror. He's got the beard, of course, and the dark hair, but everything else is the same. We've joked that maybe I'm the one who's Zeus' son, not Hercules. The resemblance is a charge, as always. It's like fucking myself, or an older brother. Kinda taboo, kinda kinky. Kinda hot. And he thinks the same thing. "Lie down on the altar." My voice's harsh with lust.
An eyebrow goes up. "Just like that?"
"Just like that. Lie down on it and let me fuck you."
His mouth opens, and I wait for the laugh, the sarcasm, the roar. But I shoulda known.
"Fine." He hands me the whip, and once more drapes himself over the altar.
Maybe it's the lingering effects of my falls, but my legs are shaking. Holding the flogger between my teeth, I smear oil from a new jar onto my cock, and onto him. But I can't fuck him yet. Not before that smoky voice pleads with me. Usually he won't beg, probably because Ares rarely gives me the time to work him into a frenzy. He usually appears with no notice, pushes me against a wall or over whatever furniture's available, tugs my pants down over my hips, and shoves his cock into me. Or throws me to the ground, and shoves his cock into my mouth. Speed and shoving are usually involved. But every now and then, usually after the first intense fuck, he gives in to me.
So instead of my cock, I glide a finger inside him, joint by joint, ‘til I brush the sweet spot. When he moans, tightening around me, I take the flogger in my other hand and strike the right cheek of his ass. I don't stop after one stroke, but keep hitting, with enough pressure to make him jerk with every contact. The dual sensations force sweat to pour like rain down his back. I catch some on my tongue, then pick up the rhythm of brush/strike/brush/strike.
Adding a second finger now, I spread him wider, preparing him for my cock. His ass is tight like a virgin's, because he doesn't offer this privilege to many people. I like knowing that. I also like how his ass is turning the soft crimson-streaked pink of a Corinthian sunrise.
We're both breathing heavily now, gulping in the room's musky air, and sweat's stinging my eyes. I can't hold off much longer. Dropping the whip at my feet, I lay my body against his hot one, reaching round to pinch a nipple, while my fingers never stop stroking. I can hear him lick his lust-dried lips.
"Why don't you put that big cock inside me?" he finally asks. "I know how much you want to."
That's good enough for me. When my fingers are free, I position my cock at the tight ring. Then I do nothing. What can I say? Ares is so sexy when he gets annoyed.
"Iphicles, enough of your fucking game-playing. If you don't shove your cock inside me, I'm gonna--"
One long, deep thrust of my hips, and I'm buried in his ass. Once I get over the delicious shock and regain control, I start fucking him, letting my hand fall from his tortured nipple to his rock- hard cock. But I keep all movements molasses-slow, so he'll listen to me, even while I'm driving him crazy. "How does it feel to be fucked on daddy's altar?" I ask.
A low moan-growl. "You're sick, you know that?"
"That's why you can't get enough of me. Besides, I know you like it, Ares." A cruel nip to the back of his neck. "I know what turns you on. You'd love to be sacrificed to Zeus, maybe chained on your back to the altar, your hard cock sticking straight up, waiting for anointment?"
"You don't like it? Then why's your cock leaking all over my hand?"
A wordless grunt.
"Or maybe you'd like to think about being chained to this altar when Hercules shows up?"
He can't hold back the moan this time.
"Yeah." Thrust. "You like that, don't you?" Thrust. "He sees you helpless for the first time." Thrust. "Your cock, thick and wet, waiting for him." Thrust. "He strips quickly, exposing miles of golden skin." Thrust. "And a cock as hard as yours." Thrust. "At first you think he's just gonna ram it into your mouth." Thrust. "And he does." Thrust. "But he turns around so he can suck you at the same time."
Ares, who's been quivering, gives a shudder when I say that. "Don't stop. If you stop, I'll kill you."
I know he means the story as much as the fucking. "Hercules' lips close over your hard cock just as you swallow his. He's huge, but you like your brother's salty taste. Been wanting it for years." My strokes are faster now. Rougher. And Ares is making animalistic sounds. So hot. "His tongue's incredible, wet and fast, slipping and sliding all over your cock like he's been wanting this for years, as much as you have--"
Ares cries out, and his cock pulses in my hand. It's too much for me: his bestial cries, throbbing cock, contracting ass...I come, too, shooting semen far into his writhing body.
"Let's do it," I say later, when we're sprawled on my bed.
Ares, barely awake, doesn't even look up. "You're insatiable," he mumbles.
"Not that. We can do that again later. I mean seduce our brother."
This gets his attention. "You serious?"
"Of course. We both want to fuck him, right? He's an uptight, preachy little prick, and this'd be the perfect revenge. Seduce him, fuck his brains out, then dump him."
"He'd never go for it. He's got it bad for Iolaus."
"That's part of the challenge."
Ares gives a big, bone-cracking stretch. "You're worse than Discord. Always trying to fuck with people."
"If you don't want to do it, Ares, just say so."
"I'll do it. So he can suck us at the same time." He collapses back against the pillows, lowering my head between his legs, and I take his cock in my mouth, stroke his balls. "I'd like you both sucking me together..."
I slip a finger inside his ass, still wet from my semen, and keep licking him. He's the insatiable one, with that ever-hard cock. Ares can't get enough of me, spreading his long legs further apart, so I take full advantage of that openness, biting the insides of his thighs, lapping up the leaking semen, sucking his balls, massaging the head of his cock...
Soon Ares' head goes back, and he finally closes his eyes, as his thighs strain for release. I wait for that perfect moment when he breaks a little and calls my name. But when he spurts into my mouth, pulse after pulse of creamy fluid, it's not me he calls.
I admit it: hearing Ares moan our brother's name, not mine, hits me like a blow from the god's fist. But the feeling doesn't last. Ares might have a thing for Hercules, but it'd never work, even if--
"So how're we gonna work this? We can't both seduce him. I think you should. He'd never trust me enough. But you...You might not be his favorite person, but he doesn't hate your guts. So you soften him up, get him desperate for you, then convince him that his life won't be complete if he doesn't suck my cock."
"So I do all the work, and you get all the benefits?"
"You have a better idea?"
"Yeah. You seduce him. Think of it as a challenge, Ares. You like challenges."
"Iphicles, if I didn't know better I'd swear you're sulking. Didn't like it when I called his name while my cock was in your mouth?"
Asshole. "Do you accept the challenge or not?"
"If I do, then *I'm* doing all the work. Unless..."
"I give you a challenge, too."
"I seduce Hercules; you seduce Iolaus. Blondie's still pissed at you over that whole deal with the soldiers, right? You nearly got everyone killed, and he resents that. Plus he blames you for Ajax's death. I've heard him admit it to Herc."
It doesn't surprise me that Ares spies on them, but it bothers me. And I didn't realize that Iolaus is angry about that, or that he ever was. He'd defended me to Herc, to the soldiers. The two- faced little bastard. "Ok. You seduce Herc; I seduce his little blond friend."
"I love it when you're bad," he says, flipping me face-first onto the mattress.
I grab a pillow, hugging it to my chest as he enters me. "I love it, too."
"It's been awhile, Iphicles," Herc says, pulling me against him in a brotherly embrace that gives me a hard-on.
I pull back before he notices. "Yeah. I'm glad you could come. You too, Iolaus."
Ignoring the dismissive gesture, I fold my arms around him. "Welcome to Corinth." And to my hard cock.
Iolaus' eyes go wide for a second, then he steps away. I've made him uncomfortable. Good. Apparently Ares is right, and he really does hold a grudge against me. What the god doesn't know, though, is that I've always felt a...heat from Iolaus. Nothing definable. Nothing I could ever put my finger on. Just this loose sense that if Herc disappeared, and I was free, we'd be in bed. It's not cheating on the challenge, though. ‘Cos if Iolaus wants me on some level, Herc wants Ares. No smoke without fire and all that shit. And there's a lot of smoke between those two.
"I couldn't give you adjoining rooms this time," I quietly tell my brother. He doesn't like people knowing that he shares a bed with Iolaus. Thinks it puts his lover in danger. "I've got workers in doing some repairs."
Herc doesn't question it, but Iolaus gives me a look. He's very suspicious, unlike my more trusting brother. Let him be. I want him to know that something's up, put some ideas in his mind, let ‘em ferment there.
"Why don't we go talk, Iphicles, and you can tell us why we're here."
Straight to the point. That's my brother. No bullshit there. I almost feel guilty for what Ares and I are gonna do. But years of resentment die hard. And both Herc and Iolaus are too smug for their own good. "Let's go to the garden."
My steward relieves them of their packs, and we head off down the long corridor.
"You're ok, aren't you, Iphicles?" Herc asks, easily matching my strides.
Iolaus meanders behind us, tactfully giving the two brothers time to talk.
"Yeah. Physically. I mean, I'm not sick. It's just...Well, I'll tell you when we get outside. You're not gonna like it, but I need to talk about it with someone who might understand."
I can tell he's confused. After all, it's not like we've ever been close. It might've happened after the mess when I took over his identity for awhile and he found out. He was so pissed about that. And while he officially ‘forgave' his wayward brother, he's always looked down on me for it. I catch him watching me sometimes, and he has the fucking nerve to look pitying.
We arrive at the brass doors leading into the garden behind the palace and pass through them into the late afternoon sun. Nodding at the sentries, I lead Herc and Iolaus down a narrow path bordered with hyacinths and lilies. My mother taught me the names of flowers; I'm the only king in Greece who knows the difference between an anemone and a narcissus, a myrrh tree and a laurel. And who knows the stories behind them.
As we turn a corner, reaching the shade of those trees, I realize that Ares is here. I can't see him, but my balls always tingle when he's around. The others seem oblivious, although it wouldn't matter. There's a weathered stone bench under a laurel, and I rest my ass on its cold surface. Herc, naturally, remains standing, while Iolaus sprawls in the grass to my right, plucking a blade, and contemplatively chews on the root.
"So what's the problem, Iphicles?"
I turn toward my brother. "Just hear me out before you say anything, ok? I'm not telling you this so I can get a big lecture on ethics."
Herc's features tighten. "Fine. I'll shut up. Just talk."
"You too, Iolaus."
"Just tell your story."
"Ok. This is kind of embarrassing. But...anyway. I was in Tegea a few months ago, staying with the mayor there. Doesn't really matter why. It was fucking hot in his house, so I decided to go for a walk. No one's supposed to be out after curfew, but I was feeling restless, you know?" I gulp loudly at this point, but not ‘cos of my story. ‘Cos there's a big, leather-clad cock pressing against my back. Of course he'd be here for this part. Ares loves the official story of how we first met. I plant the heels of my boots firmly in the ground, so I won't move when he starts humping me.
"Go on," Herc says patiently.
Condescending..."Anyway, so I'm wandering through the empty streets, when I hear someone call my name. It's weird, ‘cos there's no one around, so I figure it's my imagination. Too much fried squid at the banquet. Then I hear it again. I look around and notice that I'm standing in front of this black temple."
Iolaus sits up and throws Herc a pointed glance. "Ares," they say knowingly.
A chuckle behind me. "Nice to see they recognize my handiwork."
Telling this story while Ares stands at my back, rubbing his cock against me, is unbearably exciting. I imagine lying back on the bench, opening my legs, and letting the god fuck me while Herc and Iolaus watch, jaws wide enough to catch birds, let alone flies. But that'd be too easy.
"What'd he do?" my brother asks, looking all concerned. "Did he threaten you? I'm gonna talk to Zeus about him if he did. He's really getting out of hand."
Ares snorts. "That's right. Run to daddy. Asshole."
"Let me finish before you get all tense," I say to all of them. "So I see this black temple, and I get this feeling like I should go inside. Even though I know it's his temple. I see the sign above the door: the shield with the sword, but I can't help it. I go inside."
"I can't believe you went in," Herc says abruptly. "That's just asking for troub--"
I flash him a look, and his lips close into a tight line. There's nothing I can do about the disapproving stare. "It's really quiet inside. The candles have burned low, and the air's smoky anyway with incense. I'm about to leave, when I feel this...This shift in the air. And then it's like I blink, and he's there."
"The look on your face...Like you couldn't decide whether to attack or come." Ares makes a sound deep in his throat. "Put your hand behind your back and touch my cock. Just reach back. Those two virgins'll never know."
Pretending to stretch, I extend my arms behind my neck, clasping my fingers together, as though I'm rubbing away the tension. The warm, slick head of the god's cock slides right between my palms, and I let him thrust a few times before my arms fall back to my sides.
His cock, ready to enter me, leaves traces of damp on my hand. Under the guise of a yawn, I lick it off.
"Tease," growls the voice in my ear. "I'm going to fuck you so hard later."
"Uh, Iphicles? You gonna continue?" Iolaus asks, throwing a handful of grass at me.
"Sorry. It's just...Anyway, so he's suddenly before me. I'm not sure what to do, or why he's here. So I ask him."
Ares laughs. "You got a lot of balls; I'll give you that."
"What does he say?" Herc prompts. His big hands form tight fists at his side.
"He doesn't say anything. Just starts walking toward me. I think maybe he's gonna kill me, to get back at you, so I draw my sword."
"You pulled your weapon on the god of war?" Iolaus rolls his eyes, but Herc waves a hand at him.
"Yeah. What the hell was I supposed to do? So Ares looks at my sword, then looks up at me, grinning wickedly before pulling out his own weapon. I'm thinking, ‘Oh fuck. This isn't good.' And then he says to me, ‘So you want to fight, king? Go for it.' So I do."
This time Iolaus can't hold back. "I can't believe he didn't fry your ass. Haven't you heard any of the stories we've told you? The guy's a psychopath! You don't provoke him!"
"Fuck you, Blondie," Ares snaps. "I had other plans for the king."
To calm him, I reach around, pretending to rub my lower back, and grab the god's cock, jerking him off for a half-dozen quick strokes. My cock's unbelievably hard right now, and I shift uncomfortably on the hard stone. I'd like nothing better than to take it out and let Ares suck me. He's not the only one who loves this story. "Maybe I wanted to provoke him, Iolaus. That's what I thought afterward, when I was trying to make sense of what happened."
"What exactly *did* happen?" Something in Iolaus' tone suggests he's starting to clue in.
"We start to fight, and he's way better than me. I'm not bad with a sword, but he's a master. I realize after awhile that he's toying with me. That he's...enjoying himself."
Ares, his breathing now harsh, translates that. "You mean: ‘that he's got a big fucking hard-on for me, and wants to throw me down and fuck me senseless.' Like I wanna do right now."
"Yeah, like he's...getting off on it. And he cuts me. Right above my heart. Enough to draw blood, but not enough to kill me. Then he backs me into the wall with the point of his sword. I'm fucking terrified at this point. I really think I'm going to die. But he doesn't kill me. He..." I break off here, closing my eyes. This isn't acting: the memory's still so intense I shiver.
"He rapes you?" Hercules asks softly.
"Not exactly," I tell him truthfully. "Yeah, he was forceful. Very forceful. And yeah, I knew he wouldn't stop no matter what I did. But--" I run my tongue over dry lips "--I wanted it. He's so beautiful, Hercules. And it was hot. Unfuckingbelievably hot."
Iolaus has jumped to his feet to pace back and forth before me, while Herc remains still as stone. "I can't believe you fucked him. I can't believe it. He's a fucking monster, Iphicles!!"
"Tell him he needs to work on his sympathetic approach, and let's get the hell out of here. Now."
I'm already up, shouting at Iolaus. "I told you I didn't want or need a fucking lecture! I'm trying to talk to you here, be honest, and explain what's going on, and you lay this shit on me. Well, thanks a fucking lot!"
I make it just inside the brass doors before Ares pushes me up against the wall, shoving his tongue down my throat, grinding his cock against me. His hands are all over me, pinching, stroking.
He breaks away first. "I've gotta fuck you now. Here," he says, making me face the wall.
"We can't. They could come in."
He laughs. "You'd like that, Iphicles. Can you just imagine Herc's face if he walked in while I had my cock up your ass?"
He's got my pants lowered, and I can feel the oiled head of his cock pressing against me. Then he's inside, pounding. When he can't get to my nipples through the high collar of my shirt, Ares rips it open, fingers rough on my skin. Grabbing my cock, I match his furious strokes. Within seconds, we're both coming, shuddering against each other.
With a final, hard thrust, he pulls out, and I turn around, leaning against the marble for support.
"Fix yourself up," he says. "You look like you've just been fucked."
"Come with me and I'll make you look the same way."
He throws an arm around me, and we disappear. Herc and Iolaus can wait.
A big four-poster frame supports my heavy mattress. The craftsman carved images of tangled vines onto the tall mahogany posts, then, at my request, attached iron bands at the midway point. I added the chains ending in manacles to each and I'm using the lower two to keep Ares in place. The god's standing naked at the foot of the bed, facing the headboard, arms fully extended, muscles pulled taut. The effect's like a Roman crucifixion. Or a sacrificial offering.
I'm taking full advantage, kneeling on the bed before him, resting my palms on the curve of his hips while I bite his right nipple. I've been doing this consistently since I bound him: bite after stinging bite, and the brown skin's turning dark red. The trick's to apply the right amount of pressure, making it hurt like hell without spilling blood.
Ares loves it. His head whips from side to side whenever my teeth close down, like he wants to get away. But the strong chains don't snap, and his cock strains against my stomach.
"Fuck, Iphicles! Been taking lessons from your dungeon-keeper?"
With a final nip that makes him howl, I pull off his abused nipple. He watches me, waiting to see what I'll do next. For some reason, he doesn't quite trust me. But after a thousand years of sex, that's part of the excitement.
I won't disappoint him.
Climbing off the bed, I go to the massive cabinet against the far wall. There's a wooden box on the top shelf, which I pull down, bringing it back with me to the bed.
When the god sees it, his cock jumps. "Anything new in there?"
"I'm always finding new toys." The lid lifts easily and I use my body to shield the contents from his prying eyes. Taking out a long piece of black silk, I deposit the box on the bed, then blindfold him, before returning to my kneeling position. "I should make you stand more often," I tell him. "You look hot like this."
"Yeah, but you can't ram your cock in my mouth like you can when I'm lying down," he says with a smirk. "And I know how much you love that."
I laugh. "True. But this makes a nice change. The visuals alone are worth it." Flipping open the box, I search for the small blue vial.
"What's that?" Ares asks, at the *pop* when I uncork the bottle.
"Just wait." I let a few drops fall on my finger, then begin smoothing it gently onto his raw nipple. My teeth have made him so sensitive that his back arches even with the slight contact, but he soon relaxes.
"Feels good. Cool."
Pouring a few more drops, then returning the bottle to my box, I turn my attention to his other nipple. I'm not so careful now, holding it with my thumb and middle finger, flicking my oil-coated index back and forth over the hard surface. When Ares makes a gravelly moan, I know he's gonna start provoking me ‘cos I'm making him feel too good.
"With this blindfold on, you could be anyone," he says.
"I don't think so, Ares, ‘cos only someone very close to you'd do this." I move my fingers just as the whip's fine tip strikes his nipple.
His breath hisses through clenched teeth and his body goes rigid. "Someone with a death wish."
"You want me to stop?" The heat from the whip on the cooling oil's really intense. But he won't say yes. Not Ares.
"Hercules was very quiet when you told him how we met."
"Yeah, he was."
"Ohhhh...Fuck..." A visible struggle for control. "It must've shocked the hell outta him."
"He'll get over it. When he's lying in bed tonight, he'll think about it. Trust me."
Sweat falls from his chest onto my face, mingling with my own.
"I think I'll drop by later on. See if he jerks off. I like the idea of him doing that while he thinks of me."
I correct him. "Of us."
When Ares doesn't respond, I wonder if he's imagining the scene: Herc, trying to be good, but failing, takes his cock in one big hand and starts to stroke it.
I remove the blindfold.
Before answering, I remove another jar from the chest, letting a strawberry-based oil dribble onto my palms, before smoothing it onto his cock. I'm doing it for pleasure, not lubrication, so I go slowly, not missing a spot, making his flesh glow. The sounds coming from him... "I can see Herc pacing around the room, really disturbed by what I've told him about us. Trying to pretend his hard-on's got nothing to do with my story." His eyes are closed, so I bend forward and deep-throat his cock. That focuses his attention.
"I love how you look with my cock in your mouth," he moans. "Suck it."
I do, just to see the look on his face. His skin's slick with sweat; clear drops gather along the bones beneath his eyes. Raising my hand, I wipe them away, then lick my fingers. "Eventually Herc gives up and lies on the bed. He starts touching himself the way I'm touching you: nothing rough. Just slow and teasing. Gotta think about Iolaus, he tells himself. But he keeps flashing on images of us in the temple, wondering what you did to me. ‘Cos he knows it was good."
"He always does it slow. Always has. Since he was a kid."
My hand drops from his cock, and I crawl away toward the pillows, collapsing back against them. Raising my knees, spreading my legs so he gets the full view, I start masturbating. No playing around, just a steady, rhythmic pumping.
"What about me?" he asks, annoyed.
There's a thunderous crash as he destroys my bed, splintering the frames, breaking the chains. He could've done it quietly, with a thought, but he wants to make a point. That's why he tackles me on the sagging mattress. I struggle under him, using fists and teeth, but it only gets him madder. Like it's supposed to.
"Don't fight me, Iphicles," Ares snarls in my ear. "I know you want it. Like you wanted it that first time. Like you always want it."
In one lightening-fast motion, his hands close around my calves, and he forces them back ‘til my knees meet my shoulders. Then he pushes his cock inside me so hard it hurts. When I open my mouth to cry out, his tongue's already there, choking me. He won't touch my cock, just keeps battering my ass, biting and clawing me.
As far as fucks go, it's violent, painful, selfish and possessive.
I love it.
At my request, my steward Dioclus invites Herc and Iolaus to a private dinner in a small room upstairs. My bedroom would've been better, but Ares refuses to fix my bed, so I've got a very suspicious staff cleaning up the mess. A few well-placed threats and early Solstice bonuses will silence the noisiest rumors, although I gather it's common knowledge that I'm fucking Ares. Too many people've caught us going at it, or heard the sounds, or seen the bruises the god won't heal. No amount of coin can stop all the gossip. In all honesty, I like its effect on people, the fear mixed with awe.
So this little room it is. Herc prefers that, anyway. He and Iolaus avoid the big banquets, undoubtedly thinking about starving children and fiscal responsibility while they eat virtuously ascetic meals away from my decadent court. I could explain about the importance of appearance in politics, but I'd get the long-suffering look that makes me want to bash my head into one of the palace's smooth marble walls.
Dioclus, again on my order, asked the cooks to prepare a simple meal. No juicy, roasted boar's head stuffed with figs; no tender swan glazed with orange juice; no three-tiered honey cake layered with almonds. Not for these two. No, for Herc and Iolaus it's sliced tomatoes, fresh bread, a few hunks of cheese and a couple of polished apples. At least they drink, although they both prefer Egyptian beer to sweet Gallic wine. Servants aren't allowed, of course. Can't exploit the common man or I'll be subjected to the homicide-provoking ‘don't-forget-your-roots-you're- no-better-than-they-are' speech.
Rolling my eyes, I fill my flagon (pewter, not silver) with some brown ale while I wait. They're not late; feeling restless, I came here early. Now I regret it: the wooden chair's too hard on my ass after the fucking Ares gave me. Pacing doesn't help: the pulled muscles in my thighs and calves scream when I walk. I take quick gulps of the thick beer, grimacing at the sharp taste, but hoping it'll dull the pain. Gotta pace myself, though: can't play out the initial steps of a seduction if I'm wasted.
A knock at the door, then they walk in. Both look very serious; apparently I'm in a lot of trouble. Guess they didn't take kindly to my confession, at least not on a moral level. I think there's pity, too. After all, Ares is the real villain. I'm just the misguided idiot.
"Sit down," I say, waving at the free chairs on either side of the square table.
Wordlessly, they do. My irritation rises at the silent treatment. I know these two aren't always so fucking uptight; I've watched them with other people when saving the world isn't at stake, and they both have a good sense of humor. I just don't bring out the best in them.
"Iphicles--" my brother begins, then stops short, eyes widening, like he sees a ghost.
I glance behind me, wondering if Ares has shown up, but there's nothing there. Then I realize that he's looking at my bruised neck, decorated with Ares' bite marks.
"Iphicles," Herc begins again, "I was gonna tell you that I've forgiven what happened between you and Ares, ‘cos it was in the past. That's what I thought: that you two did it once, and then it was over. But I'm wrong. You're still fucking him, aren't you?"
A beautifully-timed pause. "Yes." My cup's empty, and I refill it, avoiding their eyes, trying to look suitably embarrassed.
"Iphicles, why?" Iolaus' tone is this short of belligerent, and he leans forward in his seat..
Herc nods. "I'm trying to understand this, but I'm having trouble."
"Look, I'm not fucking him as an endorsement of any shitty thing he's ever done, ok? It's not like that. I know he's an evil bastard. But..." I break off and wait for the prompting so I can give them what they need: a cause. ‘Iphicles, the naive king who's gotta be saved from the clutches of a violent god.' Coming soon to an amphitheater near you.
"But--" drumrolls, please, "--I can't stop him, even if I wanted to. And I don't want to."
Two appalled blue-eyed stares.
Standing, I walk to the window. About to grasp the sill for that tortured-king look, my fingers encounter a hard, leather-clad thigh.
"Surprise," Ares says softly. "Now move your hand a little higher, to the right."
He doesn't usually manage to sneak up on me like that. Makes me wonder if he ever watches me when I don't know it. Like he watches Herc.
That warm, rumbling purr. "Nice little performance, by the way. Aeschylus'd be impressed."
"He's just using you," Iolaus announces, getting up and walking toward me. "To get back at Hercules."
I meet him halfway, blocking him with my body. "Maybe in the beginning. But he wouldn't keep coming back, not after all these months."
"Iphicles, I can't believe you're that naive! He'd do whatever it takes to hurt your brother."
"Why d'you find it so hard to believe that he could want me, Iolaus?"
The question throws him. "That's not it, and you know it. You're just not any handsome king: you're Hercules' brother."
"‘Handsome king'?" Ares repeats. "I should call this bet off. You've got it too easy."
"Iolaus, you're saying that when Ares sucks my cock, he's doing it to get back at Herc?" When he flinches, I wonder if I've gone too far. Looking at my brother, I see the lines of his face settle; I've never seen anyone go blank like that guy. "Yeah. Ares does that. It's not just me on my knees. He blows me, and I fuck him, and it's so good..." I'm getting an erection. Iolaus, still in front of me, doesn't look down, but somehow he knows.
"Don't give away all our secrets. I have a reputation to consider." The god's enjoying himself.
"Iphicles, he's just gonna make you fall in love with him, then dump you."
"He hasn't yet."
A frustrated groan. "This is too much. You think you're in love with him? Iphicles, you're thinking with your cock, not your brain. It's not love. It's obsession."
Tell me something I don't know. "Iolaus, he's just as obsessed with me as I am with him."
He smacks his forehead in disbelief, then turns to Herc, still seated at the table. "Can you talk some sense into your brother? Tell him that Ares'll destroy him just to hurt you?"
We all wait expectantly.
Ares chooses this moment to show himself. The room gets unbearably warm, and I watch as a vein, blue as his eyes, throbs in Iolaus' forehead. Herc's so still you'd think Ares is a Gorgon. The god doesn't touch me, but stands so close I smell hot leather and dried semen. My cock gets harder.
"You're always so melodramatic, Iolaus. Believe it or not, killing your boyfriend isn't the only thing on my mind. Maybe when I started fucking Iphicles, I was thinking revenge. But now--" he runs a hand down my back, resting it on my ass, "--but now I fuck him because he's so delicious. Just look at him. How can anyone not want to fuck that? I'd love to stay and hear more ranting, but I've got places to be. Later," he says to me, and vanishes.
"I can't fucking believe this. It's too sick," Iolaus says. "Herc, tell him."
Finally, my brother speaks. "Maybe he knows what he's doing."
I think Iolaus is gonna have a heart attack: he's breathing heavily, his cheeks turning redder than the apples on the table. Unable to stay still, he literally bounds over to Hercules. I've always thought that Iolaus must be pretty hot in bed; he's got so much energy, especially when his buttons are pushed
"Herc, you can't be serious!"
"Look, Iolaus, I don't trust Ares. He was, is, and always will be a manipulative liar. But I saw how he looked at Iphicles, how he touched him. It's not love or anything. Ares is way too selfish for that. There's something between them, though. That's obvious." He gives this really odd little laugh. "A lot of people find Iphicles very attractive."
Iolaus says nothing, but gets this equally weird look on his face, and I wonder what I'm missing. Suddenly he drops into the chair and grabs a piece of bread, shovelling it in his mouth. "This is Ares we're talking about. Yeah, so maybe he's hot for Iphicles. I won't deny that. But c'mon. He's been after you since we were kids."
I can't wait to see how Herc'll answer this. He's the poster-boy for modesty, and he's just seen a display--convincing ‘cos it's true--that Ares wants me. He's either gotta admit that he thinks he's the center of the god's world, or that maybe things have changed. What do you say when you find out your life-long enemy might not need you anymore? When you find out that your two brothers have turned to each other? I think I've waited my whole life for this. A great big fuck-you to the legendary hero.
Then he finally speaks. Nothing shows on his wooden face. His tone's completely casual, too. Rational, even. "So maybe I'm not that important to him anymore. Even Ares can move on."
His words almost make me come. This is too perfect. Finally I have something he never even knew he wanted. Does he even realize he's jealous? Hard to tell. But he will. Ares'll make sure of it.
Iolaus snorts, reaching for some grapes. "Yeah, right. That'll be the day. Whatever he feels for Iphicles--and I'm not convinced it's anything more than some twisted revenge scheme--he's always been obsessed with you. Always. And he always will be. Nothing'll ever change that. You know it. I know it. He knows it. Fuck. I can't think about this anymore. Let's eat."
But I'm not hungry.
Another bed's been set up in my room, and I lie naked in the dark, waiting for Ares. My body still aches from the sex, but my cock's hard. He's right: I always want him.
It's a few hours before dawn when I admit that the bastard's not gonna show. Well, fuck him. I need relief, and my hand's no substitute for a hot mouth. I get up, grabbing a robe, and leave my room. There's a young scribe I use when Ares's not around. He's handsome, quiet, and lets me do whatever I want to him. When I rap at his door, he opens it almost at once.
"I missed you," he says with a shy smile.
"Yeah, me too," I tell him. "I need you." My robe falls open, and he drops obediently to his knees at my hand on his head. I come almost at once, thrusting deep down his throat, so hard he gags. But he keeps sucking, ‘cos he knows I like it.
I hope Ares is watching.
I spend the next day meeting with my council to discuss an upcoming diplomatic mission to Messenia. Rykos, the king, might join us in an alliance against Rome. Personally, I think he doesn't have the balls to stand up to Caesar, but Agoros, one of my best men, wants to give him a final chance to get his ass in gear. The Messenians as a people are great fighters--they've overthrown the Spartans about a dozen times--and they'd be an asset to the Achaean Confederacy, despite the weak-willed Rykos. But I'm not holding my breath.
Herc and Iolaus, meanwhile, are off being good little heroes. They heard (gods know how) that the dockworkers at the Corinthian harbor of Lechaeum planned to cause trouble for a Galatian merchant ship. I offered to send a small contingent of soldiers to keep the peace, but that wasn't good enough. ‘Soldiers'll only make things worse,' Herc tells me. Hey, what do I know? I'm only the fucking king. I send the men anyway, just in case. But to shut my brother up, I order the commander to act only on Herc's orders.
The two return to the palace, mission accomplished (how could I've doubted them?), as I'm heading over to the amphitheater. A troupe from Athens'll be performing one of my favorite plays: Aeschylus' Agamemnon.
"Agamemnon?" Iolaus wrinkles his nose. "I like the comedies."
Herc laughs. "You should've seen him when we saw Lysistrata in Athens. They nearly stopped the show ‘cos he was laughing his ass off and no one could hear the actors."
"Now that was a good play. But Agamemnon...Pretty gloomy."
One of those invisible signals passes between them, and Iolaus closes his mouth. He's supposed to humor me. I consider telling my brother what a snotty asshole he can be, and that I'm not twelve. But I don't bother. It's not worth it. Besides, it'll give me chance to sit in the dark beside Iolaus.
"Well, at least it's nice and bloody," Iolaus says. "I've always kinda had a hard-on for Clytemnestra. Reminds me of Nebula."
Herc punches him affectionately on the arm, and we set off on the path around the west side of the complex to the theater. The court's already there, with the city's chief archons and their wives, all wrapped under blankets against the cooling night air, as the sun sinks low in the sky. Braziers are strategically spaced on the playing field so we can see the action. In the center, the troupe's set up an impressive, multi-levelled structure representing Agamemnon's gold, colonnaded palace.
Rather than sitting in the best seats near the musicians, we head up the stone steps, sitting a few rows behind the others. You lose a little in sound, but the visuals are worth it. Besides, it's more private here. I maneuver so that Herc enters the aisle first, followed by me, then Iolaus. We're barely seated when the music starts--a flute and a syrinx--and the Watchman appears on the palace roof.
As I watch the play, getting off on the talk of ‘wicked mortals who trample down the delicacy of things inviolable'--yeah, I identify with Agamemnon--I let my right thigh press lightly against Iolaus' left one. I'd like to grab his blond head and force it between my legs. Then Ares could show up and ram his cock into him. We'd pass Iolaus back and forth between us, making him suck us together, then separately, while we fucked his ass in turn. Herc'd try to stop us, but Iolaus'd pull his mouth from my cock long enough to tell him he loves it, and to join us. There'd be some hesitation, then Herc, his hard-on oiled by Ares, would step behind me and push that big cock into my ass...
"I'll be back," I say, getting quickly to my feet.
They nod, thinking I'm gonna take a leak, but I just can't stand to sit here anymore. I head to one of the exits, lit by torches. About to pass under the arched doorway, I'm roughly dragged into the shadowy passage. Then his tongue's in my mouth, and I'm pressed against his hard body. The kiss last forever, and when it finally ends, I can't speak.
"I missed you," Ares whispers, and pushes me to my knees.
This scene suddenly seems too familiar, as I remember my willing scribe, so I try to shake off the god's hand as it holds my head down. He doesn't stop, taking out his cock and shoving it into my mouth. His hand tangles in my hair and he forces me back and forth over the thick shaft.
I bite him.
He pulls me up by the hair ‘til we're standing eye to eye. The pain makes my eyes water, but it's worth it. "Why d'you have to fight me every single time, Iphicles? You're the mortal, I'm the god, and nothing's gonna change that."
"So I should just be grateful for the honor of sucking your cock?"
A smug grin. "Everyone else is."
"Not everyone, Ares," I remind him.
"It's only a matter of time."
I smack off his hand. "You really are an asshole."
"What d'you want from me, Iphicles? Flowers? Candy? It doesn't work that way."
"Forget it." I walk toward the doorway. At first, I don't think he's gonna stop me, and I'm almost through when he calls me.
"Come here." When I'm back in his arms, he sighs. "You're a serious pain in the ass. I don't know why I put up with your shit."
In between kisses, he opens my pants, taking out my cock. I do the same to him. While he licks the bruised skin of my neck, and I rub his nipples under the black vest, we rock against each other. Slowly at first, then harder, the hot flesh of his cock grinding against mine. The licks become bites, and cover my neck, my shoulders, my nipples...I'm moaning now, and I can't stop.
Finally, he returns to my face. Instead of kissing me, he holds my chin in one hand, so I can't move. "I love how you look right before you come. Do it. Come now. Come all over my cock."
That's enough to push me over the edge, but I keep my eyes open while I'm spilling semen on him. I like watching, too. His tongue goes out, circling his lips, and his lids fall, almost covering his dark eyes. Then he's coming, too, panting, as he thrusts against me. Afterwards, I willingly go to my knees and lick his cock clean.
"It won't always be like that," he warns.
"I know," I say, rising to my feet, pushing my wet cock back in my pants.
"Now go back there and let them smell me on you." He gives me a little push, and I stumble back out into the cool night air.
A moment later, when I'm squeezing past Iolaus, I move a little more slowly than I have to. My crotch is at nose-level, and he can't miss the evidence. As soon as my ass touches the seat, he's leaning into me.
"You're really unbelievable, you know that? You can't even stay away from him for five minutes! He's just using you. When will you see that?"
"Shhhhhh..." I whisper back, and he recoils from the smell of semen on my breath. "This is my favorite part."
From the playing field, the words of the masked chorus drifts up to us: "The god of war, money changer of dead bodies, held the balance of his spear in the fighting, and from the corpse-fires at Ilium sent to their dearest the dust heavy and bitter with tears shed packing smooth the urns with ashes that once were men."
"And you, Iolaus, are a self-righteous little prick. What I'm doing with Ares has nothing to do with you. The only reason I told you and Herc is because I didn't want you to hear it from someone else." Not because I want to put ideas into your prudish little mind. Oh no. Never that.
Herc gets up. "Need a drink," he says, and makes a beeline for the steward.
Waving his hand's too easy. But it gives me some alone-time with Iolaus.
"Iphicles, I feel sorry for you. I really do. The only reason I can think of for fucking Ares is to get back at Herc. And after all your brother's done for you...It's just too much--"
I kiss him. Not hard. No tongue. Just my lips touching his. He freezes, like every muscle in his body's turned to stone. Then, without a word, he leaves.
A few minutes later, Herc returns, mug in hand. "Where's Iolaus?" he asks, as he plunks back down on the cushion.
"I guess he didn't like the play."
The next morning, I'm eating breakfast in the atrium off the east wing, facing the sea, when Herc and Iolaus show up. Their eyes are shadowed, so I figure they've been up all night fucking, ‘til I see the deep lines bracketing Iolaus' mouth, the tension in his body, and my brother's stone- carved expression.
Not fucking. Fighting. Well, well, well. Trouble in paradise. I won't ask. Not that they'd tell me. They're obviously on their way out, in any case. "Off to slay some mythical beasts?" I ask. "Save a few villages from starvation? Flooding? Plague? Bring about world peace?"
Iolaus won't even look at me, and Herc's pretty monosyllabic, even for him, and, as usual, my pious brother overlooks my sarcasm. "Heard this morning from Helion that a few towns to the south might be having problems with Spartan troops. Gonna check it out. I'll let you know what happens." He grabs a handful of dates, offering one to his lover, who shakes his head. Then the two walk silently through the shuttered doors.
I'd like to think the fight's over me, but it doesn't really make sense. If Iolaus told Herc about last night's kiss, and my brother worked up the energy to get pissed off, it'd be at me, the shit- disturber, not at his beloved hunter. Not that he gets mad at me too often: patient suffering, or at most impatient suffering, is his preferred method of Dealing-With-His-Brother.
I shrug. Who in Tartarus knows what goes on between those two? I'm just glad they're fighting.
Look, I know how that sounds. Like I'm the world's biggest prick. What, after all, has my brother really done to me? It's not his fault he's a sanctimonious son of a god. And I do realize, too, that all of Greece doesn't love and respect him because he's Zeus' kid, but ‘cos he's truly a good man. See? I can be rational about him. Sometimes.
It's not really jealousy motivating me. Well, there's some of that--how could there not be?--but I mean, who else could be that good? I stopped competing with him on that level a long time ago, when I was still a kid. Yeah, that's right: I tried to be good. And you thought I was born wicked. But my efforts always ended in disaster, so I gave up trying. It was just too humiliating after awhile. My mom would get this look in her eyes, like ‘Oh gods. Here he goes again. Why can't he just go play in a quiet corner somewhere?'
I saw the ‘look' at eight, when she opened the door to a frowning magistrate holding her stupid son Iphicles--‘the other one'--by the ear, ‘cos some thieves had recruited innocent me to ‘liberate' some coin from a villainous merchant. Yeah, the oldest trick in the book. Ouch.
I saw it at ten, when she found me hiding behind the woodshed after I'd tried to bale hay like my baby brother could, and accidentally killed the cow with the pitchfork. (Don't ask. Let's just say you should never try pitching hay around live animals, especially dumb, slow-moving ones).
I saw it at eleven, when she caught me in the hayloft happily jerking off Lycidas, the seventeen- year-old baker's son, ‘cos he'd told me that if he didn't relieve the pressure ‘down there' he'd die. (My mother gave me a somewhat overdue and unbearably excruciating talk that night about the birds and the bees. I still cringe when I think about it. And not much makes me cringe).
Things really went to Tartarus, though, when I had my first orgasm shortly thereafter. Finally, pure, intense pleasure. At first, I just masturbated a LOT, but when I figured out that I could get other people to do it for me (the incident with Lycidas wasn't a total write-off), I spent the next few years fucking everyone in the neighborhood. I couldn't stop myself; I had this need that overrode all else, including common sense.
So if I'd been disinclined to good acts before, this really killed it, especially when it turned out that for some reason people seemed as interested in fucking me as I was in fucking them: wives, husbands, relatives, strangers, virgins...It didn't matter. They all lay down and spread themselves open.
The only people I *didn't* fuck were my mother (hey, a guy's gotta have some limits); my brother (he always ignored my not-so-subtle hints); and then later, Iolaus (always felt like it was ready to happen, but that loyalty thing kicked in). If I'd been around Herc when he was married to Deianira or Serena, I'm pretty confident that I would've fucked them, too.
The only one who's ever been able to keep up with me is Ares. I think we were both surprised by how good we were together. Me, ‘cos who knew that the god of war'd be an imaginative, talented fuck? Him, ‘cos he'd never met a mortal as sexually voracious and uninhibited as me.
When I told Iolaus and my brother about the first time I met Ares--the first time we fucked--I didn't tell them what the god said while we were still fighting in his temple. About how he'd been watching me slide my cock into every hole I could find, only to get bored when my lovers' needs couldn't match mine. Ares told me--after he'd nearly cut out my heart--that I'd just never been properly fucked, and he was gonna show me how it was done.
Then he pushed me against the temple wall, and just...took me. Over and over and over again. Pounding into me for hours, ‘til semen poured from my ass, pooling on the black tiled floor...And he wouldn't stop. He wanted me to beg him. To tell him that it hurt too much. That my cock and my ass and my nipples and my lips were too bruised and tender and sore to continue. But I didn't. Because the more he did it, the better it felt. I kept coming, and so did he. He fucked me everywhere in the temple, and finally, after countless orgasms, he took me into his bed.
I'd finally met my match.
But that doesn't really explain why I hate my brother, does it? It's just that need of his, which I've mentioned before, to save me from myself. To protect me, his older, weaker-in-so-many- ways brother. He feels guilty, of course. Zeus fucked my mom, and ‘cos of Herc, my dad left. Look, I'm not a kid anymore. I understand where the blame lies there, and it's not with my brother or my mother. Try telling him that...
And Herc also feels guilty ‘cos he thinks I was cheated: he got this fabulous gift from the gods, and I got dick. My only talent was getting people in bed, and keeping ‘em happy while they were there. Unfortunately, they don't build temples to you for that.
Didn't help that I did some stupid things as a kid, and some stupider ones as an adult. Like impersonating Hercules...Gods, what was I thinking? I shoulda known it'd only make him worse. But that happened around the time I slid into my own guilty, self-loathing patch. So I tried being him for awhile, impressed a nice girl, settled down...
Rena was great. She really was. I tried to be a good husband to her, especially when I found out about the baby. For awhile, it worked. Maybe if she hadn't died, things woulda turned out differently.
But I doubt it. Hercules was born to greatness. I was just...born.
Yeah, I know: whine, whine, whine. Pushing back my chair, I finish the last of my juice. That's enough sitting on my ass feeling sorry for myself. At least for one day. It's time to meet with my council. I do actually work, you know. It's not all fucking and sucking, bitching and moaning. Those are just the good days...
When I get there a few moments later, Argius is angrily waving a scroll at a roomful of my men. "Hippocoon sent word this morning that Sparta'll be leaving the Confederacy; he's pissed that we've even been courting Rykos and the Messenians." He looks down again at the crumpled papyrus, his grey eyes narrowing. "That bastard! This isn't the time to get petty about past differences. Not when Caesar's looking hungrily in our direction."
"I've heard that Spartan troops might be advancing into our territory," I tell him reluctantly. "My brother's checking it out."
That pleases everyone. Heads bob up and down, crusty faces creak into smiles. Hercules the strong and good will take care of everything.
I try not to vomit.
Helion nods, too, running long fingers through his coarse red hair. "Yeah, I asked him to go as soon as I heard the rumors that they attacked last night. If it's true, we're gonna have to fight the Spartans. Fuck. We can't afford to do it, and we can't afford not to. Hippocoon's such an idiot!! We'll all be depleting our men and our supplies with this infighting, when we should conserve everything in case Rome attacks."
"I say: attack at once, and kick Hippocoon's ass so hard he'll think twice about defying the Confederacy again." Argius bangs a meaty fist on the table.
Man, if ever a guy needed a solid month of fucking... "Let's wait til Hercules gets back and see if the reports are true. Then we can decide the best course of action." I deliver this little speech in my most kingly tone, hoping to intimidate Argius into silence. It doesn't work, of course. Only death will shut him up. But he's a strong soldier--just a little excitable--so I humor him.
Unfortunately, that takes all day, because he's not alone. My council's pretty divided on the issue: an aggressive, vocal core wants to attack Sparta immediately. They're mostly older men, like Argius, leftovers from Jason's reign, who themselves haven't forgiven Sparta for routing us at the battle of Myria.
Soldiers don't always get irony.
We're still bickering when Herc and Iolaus walk in, looking muddy and dishevelled. Iolaus has a cut on one cheek. The room goes quiet; even Argius stops ranting.
"So what's the deal?" I ask.
My brother steps forward, addressing the group. "A small contingent of Spartans led by Eumedes, Hippocoon's son, has been raiding the towns to the south. They've killed a few dozen men--mostly farmers, too, not warriors--and raped some of the women. We scared them off, but they'll be back with reinforcements. You'll have to send in some soldiers."
Shit. It must be bad if the pacifist's recommending troops. "Is Hippocoon aware of this?"
Herc's massive shoulders move. "We couldn't find out, but my guess is yes. There were too many soldiers involved. The king's also head of the army, and I doubt he'd give that many warriors to his son if Hippocoon didn't mean business. But I don't have proof yet. I think that Eumedes is trying to give the impression that he's acting alone, so the raids don't seem that threatening."
"Not unless you were there," Iolaus adds, his tone grave. "These were Spartan hoplites in full battle gear fighting guys armed with hoes and rakes. And they got hold of some village girls. It was pretty brutal."
If Argius was pissed before, this pushes him over the edge. He and his wife had a daughter who'd been staying with grandparents when Cappadocian troops passed through town. Afterward, they sent the girl to live in a Hestian community ‘cos she started screaming whenever a man got near her. "I'll lead the troops myself, with your highness' permission," he says firmly.
That ends the meeting. Everyone rises gratefully, stretching cramped limbs, before trudging off. My brother and his lover stay behind, but I can tell they want to leave, too: Iolaus keeps glancing toward the door, chewing on a thumbnail, and even Herc's pawing the floor with one booted foot like a nervous colt. And it seems like more than just a desire to wash off the grime of battle. "Is there something you want to say?" I finally ask.
"No," Iolaus replies quickly. It sounds like a warning to my brother. "We're finished here. C'mon, Herc." He walks deliberately from the room, and with an annoyed click of tongue against teeth, Herc follows.
I'm left wondering what the fuck's going on. Is this still about me and Ares? About the kiss I gave Iolaus last night? Or is this about something else altogether? I really shouldn't give a shit, but those two always get to me: my teeth are grinding together and my fists are clenched in tight balls. This council session made me tense enough, but now I'm ready to snap. I'm gonna take a bath, then I'm gonna get my cock sucked.
Iolaus and my legendary brother can both go to Tartarus.
I'm soaking in hot, lemon-scented water, lightly stroking my cock, when the sentry outside my door announces Iolaus and my brother. A downside of being king is that I can't ignore visitors like this, or my guards assume I've been kidnapped or assassinated.
The big brass doors creak open, and Hercules walks in, Iolaus trailing behind. They've obviously bathed: Iolaus' hair is drying in soft curls, and Herc's looks like damp fawn-skin. The tension's still there, though, worse than ever: the little hunter can barely stand still. He paces around the room, finally stopping near the window, gazing down at the city below.
My only concession is to stop touching my hard-on, although I'm tempted to keep doing that, too. Just to be annoying. Instead, I lean back, resting my forearms on the tub's edges, letting one leg dangle over the side. "What've I done this time?"
"We need to talk," my brother says.
Here it comes. "So talk."
"Herc...Please don't do this." Iolaus keeps his voice low, but the intensity carries it to me.
His lover looks down at him tenderly. "It's gotta be done. Otherwise, it'll always be between us."
"I'm so sorry, Hercules." Unbelievably, he seems near tears.
I'm forgotten, as they stare at each other for a long moment. I don't see the signal, but Herc turns back toward me.
"Iphicles, I have a favor to ask."
"A favor?" Ok. I'm completely lost here. Unless the favor's to give him permission to tell me I have really crappy taste in boyfriends. "What's this favor?" I ask suspiciously.
He takes a deep breath. "I want you to make love to Iolaus."
For once in my life, my brother has completely shocked me. "You're joking." Or maybe I've slipped into some alternate universe where sexual fantasies come true.
Iolaus cuts him off. "Herc seems to think that I...that I'm...Obsessed isn't the right word. No. That I've got a thing for you. Your brother thinks I've got a thing for you. And that the only way I can get over it is to...sleep with you."
My body responds to this before my brain does, sending blood pounding into my cock. Hades. I can't believe this. "I thought you hated me. Because of Ajax and Golgoth. And Ares."
Iolaus shakes his head impatiently. "The whole thing with Ajax...It confused me. I think I used the anger to cover up what I was really feeling. When you and I were in the jail cell, and then down in the sand...I--" he sneaks a look at his lover, "--wanted you. I didn't tell Herc ‘cos I didn't want to hurt him, but he knew. I don't know how, but he knew. And it came between us. And since I've been here, it's been worse. And when you kissed me last night...I didn't want to tell him, but...He always knows." He touches Herc's arm, before staring directly at me. "I fought him on this. A lot. But he...Well, you know how he gets. So don't get me wrong: I'm in love with your brother. What I feel for you is purely sexual. I'm not even sure I like you. I'm doing this for him."
"So will you do it?" Herc asks.
How can I refuse such a flattering offer? And I won't. It's too unbelievably kinky. Herc offering me his lover. But this explains why they've been acting weird. I almost feel like laughing, if the two of them weren't so fucking serious. True love always gets you into trouble. "I'll do it." Like anyone had any doubt. My sexual history's not exactly the world's best kept secret.
My brother breathes a sigh of relief. "Thank you." Then, with a last reassuring smile at Iolaus, he leaves.
I climb from the tub, and stand before Iolaus, dripping water all over the floor. He doesn't want to look, but he does. Good. This won't happen if he doesn't stop thinking and start reacting. And, whether he likes it or not, my wet, naked body's provoking a reaction.
There's only one more thing--wait. There he is. Leaning against the wall, hips thrust forward. Even in the dim light I can see how the leather's pulled tight over his hard cock.
"Iolaus, why don't you come here?" I keep my voice quiet.
But he's already trying to bolt. I beat him to the door, copying Ares' pose. When Iolaus grabs my arm to drag me from away, his hand slips on my damp skin, and his fingertips graze my hip, close to my cock. The contact's enough to make me moan.
His eyes close for a second.
"Iolaus, the whole point here is *not* to fight it. Just fuck me, get it out of your system, and go live happily ever after with Hercules." And let me get it on with my brother's lover, while Ares watches. C'mon, Iolaus. Do it and make the god jealous.
"Fuck you, Iphicles," Iolaus snaps. "I don't know why I--"
"Why you want me? ‘Cos you want to know why everyone else does. It's wrong, and you're not so pure that the idea doesn't turn you on." There's one other reason, but I'll save that for later. "It'd be a lot stranger if you didn't want me. Now touch me." I take the hand that'd been on my hip and put it over my heart. He resists a little, but not as much as he could. Then I start moving his palm across my nipple. There's about a foot between us, and I let him see me admire the muscles in his extended arm while he touches my chest. "Is this alright, Iolaus?" I ask. "Because I like it. I want you to keep doing it when I let go."
But when I drop his hand, he pulls back. I know that before he and my brother finally figured out they were in love--years after everybody else did--Iolaus fucked anything that moved. And now....Nothing like true love to lock a man's legs together. I consider throwing him to the floor and plunging my cock into that tight round ass, but raping him'd be too easy. It's time for another strategy.
"I should've figured you wouldn't have the balls to fuck me, you uptight little prick." Pushing Iolaus away from me, I stalk to the bed. "You want to, but you're just too much of a fucking hypocrite to do something about it. I mean, hell! Even my brother thinks you should." Crude but effective: his eyes are narrowing, jaw tensing. I lie back against the covers, and deliberately spread my legs. "C'mon, Iolaus. Do it." There's a jar of oil on the table beside the bed, and I pour some between my thighs. "Fuck me like you've always wanted to."
He's already moving toward me, the vest flying into a corner of the room. He doesn't bother taking off his pants, just pulls his cock out and rams it furiously into me, just the way I like it. And when he starts biting my nipples and jerking me off, I almost forget that Ares is watching us.
The god stands beside the bed, thick cock in his hand, languidly stroking it. I want him in my mouth, so I put my foot against Iolaus' chest, pushing him off, then offer him my ass. He's back inside me at once, grabbing my hips to propel himself deeper. It feels fucking great. I knew he'd be good. Every stroke is smooth and long, but when I open my mouth to tell him I love what he's doing, Ares' cock is there. I knew he couldn't resist.
"Nice view," the god notes. "You have a great ass, especially when a big cock's plowing into it. Preferably mine."
No one fucks like Ares, but I wouldn't tell him that, even if my mouth wasn't full of cock. I want him to shut up, anyway: behind me, Iolaus is getting into it.
"...fucking slut...teasing me...deserve this..."
I love it when they talk dirty.
"You should see his face," Ares tells me, sliding his cock deeper down my throat. "He loves it."
I can feel Iolaus' sweat dripping onto my back, while he reaches between my legs for my cock. It figures: even like this, Iolaus isn't too selfish to make me come. Not that I need any added incentive here: it's pretty wild being fucked by the cock that belongs in my brother. Then the wet body tenses against my back and teeth sink into my shoulder...just before the semen reserved Herc pours into me.
"His eyes are squeezed shut," Ares says above me, and his cock hardens even more...And then my tongue's lapping up the come spilling onto it...
That's all it takes: the two of them coming in me...I'm gone.
When Iolaus finally collapses beside me, narrowly missing one of the god's bare feet, I crawl between his thighs to lick up the semen still dribbling out. He just lies there, arms folded behind his head, and watches. Ares disappears.
"Don't stop," Ioalus growls
His cock's already getting hard again. No wonder my brother keeps him close. And he tastes pretty good, too, so I dip my tongue into the leaking slit, and stroke the gold curls around his shaft. Why am I not surprised to feel Ares behind me, easing inside my ass on Iolaus' semen? Now I've got to try and keep my balance while he fucks me, so that I don't end up choking to death on the cock in my mouth.
Ares, being Ares, isn't cooperating: it's pretty hard to stay still and give the little hunter the blowjob of his life while the god literally bangs me. My thighs are taking all the pressure, but there's only so much I can do. Iolaus doesn't seem to mind as his cock slides practically down to my stomach, and if this didn't feel so fucking good I'd make Ares pay even more than he's gonna.
The god comes first. He's faster than usual, but a little kink always gets him going. Now it's my turn. When he moves away, I pull off Iolaus, then sit up between his legs. My cock's red and wet, and I want him to suck it before I shove it into his ass, so I start licking my way up his body. I stop to suck his nipples like I've fantasized a million times. It's that vest he wears: I always picture the way the rough cloth's gotta chafe them, making them permanently tender and hard.
Iolaus likes my sucking, too: he moans, arching upward. But I can only suck those juicy little nipples for so long: I need my cock in his mouth. Iolaus tries to turn his head away--like he hasn't been dying for this--but I straddle his chest, grabbing a handful of blond curls in one hand, and rub the head of my cock against his cheeks, then around his mouth, leaving a silvery wet trail. The pale pink lips open a little, so I brush them with it. When his tongue peeks out, connecting almost by accident with my skin, I moan. That's all the consent I need, so I start to feed it to him, bit by bit.
"Yeah...That's nice," I tell him. Suck me like you suck Herc. Do everything to me that you do to him. His tongue circles and darts and caresses ‘til I'm not thinking anymore.
Then Iolaus places his hands my hips, holding me back. "Fuck me now, Iphicles. Then it'll be over and I can go back to Herc."
His words annoy me. Maybe that's why I don't stop what happens later. First, though, I slather oil on my cock, curl my fingers around Iolaus' slim calves, and lift that smooth ass up to my hard- on. Then I shove it in. Hard. The sudden, close heat almost kills my anger, especially when his eyes roll back in his head. My brother never fucked you like this...Then: "On your hands and knees. I wanna fuck you from behind."
This is what he's wanted all along: Iolaus needs to be used, ‘cos he feels guilty for wanting me at all. And he's gonna be used alright. But not by me.
A cool rush of air, and I'm standing, invisible, beside the bed, watching as Ares spreads the cheeks of Iolaus' ass, then eases himself between them.
Take that, Iolaus.
Ares and I first shared a lover on the twelfth day of Anthesterion, the festival honoring Dionysus.
Watching the procession from the council house steps, I see men and women dancing by, faces hidden by masks, all only slightly drunker than me. They follow a writhing actor disguised as the god, heading north along the water to his temple. Barely realizing it, I'm swaying to the riotous beat of lyre and tambor, taking swig after swig from my bottle, not caring if the wine runs down my chin, just swatting away the drops with the back of my hand.
For once no one's paying attention to me: all eyes are fixed on the throng, scanning for a glimpse of bare flesh, some tit or thigh. Skimpy costumes are the norm at the Bacchic revels, the brighter and tighter the better. Nudity's not a problem, either. Not at this festival. There's more fucking here than at a Roman orgy, and I'd know. The air's ripe with it, and I want some.
I catch myself looking for a tall, dark-haired man to fuck, which pisses me off. Ares. It's been a week since he fucked me raw in Tegea. Seven days and seven nights of sweet fuck all. I realize he's the god of war, but I can't believe he'd forget about the sex, or dismiss it. Not after what we did together. This isn't just arrogance on my part. I've fucked a lot of people, and I know when someone's having a good time, especially him. After all, he's got my face.
When he finally dropped me off at the mayor's house, I'd fucked him, sucked him, been fucked and sucked by him. I'd seen his eyes turn liquid when I entered him for the first time. I'd felt his sweat like summer rain on my back when he thrust into my ass. I'd heard him moaning my name when he came in my mouth. There's no fucking way he doesn't want do it again. He's just playing me with me. Doesn't want to seem eager. Doesn't want to give me control. But he'll be back. I know it.
"Hey...You're the king, right?"
Looking down, I see a skinny kid about eight tugging at the hem of my tunic. "Yeah, that's me. You lost?"
Black curls bounce from side to side. "No," he says very seriously. "A man told me to give you this." He hands me an ivory mask carved like a ram's head with curving gold horns.
My balls and stomach contract. "A big man? Hair like yours? Did he--" But the little brat's already running off. Placing the mask over my face, I quickly tie the lengths of ribbon behind my head and hurry after him.
I hear a few surprised shouts behind me, but I'm swallowed into the crowd's convulsing belly before my guards can take their hands off their dicks. They hate when I do this: Argius always chews them out for ‘letting me' take off. The old guy's paranoid that someone like king Hippocoon'll send me an ‘Achilles' Heel': an archer takes you down with an arrow just above your heel, and while you're rolling on the ground screaming, a foot soldier slits your throat.
But with the mask, surrounded by costumed revelers, I'm just another guy with a hard-on.
Now where's the damn kid? I want some answers.
Then I see the bright red of his vest up ahead, as he ducks into the narrow space between a vinter's shop and a bakery. The crowd's hemming me in, nearly suffocating me, and I can't get to him. I feel this odd sense of panic, like if I don't catch up with this kid, I'll never see Ares again.
A beautiful young man is crushed against my chest, and he twists around to face me. Thick blond hair hangs in his green eyes, and he gives me a big smile while he reaches between my legs. I'm almost ready to let him jerk me off. I mean, the kid who gave me the mask is probably just some kid, right? Nothing to do with Ares. Probably working for thieves, and I'm gonna be killed in some horrible and painful way.
I decide to give it one last chance. Shaking my head at my new friend, I push forcefully through the crowd, getting hissed at for my trouble. Finally, I break through, stumbling onto the crowded sidewalk. The kid reappears, winks at me, then tears off down the street toward the agora. There's no way I can catch him--he's already vanished. Shit. I guess I must've been wrong. It's not about the war god after all.
That's when I see it, emerging from the dark space between the two buildings.
The polished black toe of a man's boot.
I suddenly realize how hot I am under the yellow midday sun: my tunic clings damply, while my face's wet under the mask. My skin feels slick, oiled, like every part of me's ready for him.
I'm barely past the bakery window, one foot in the alley, when I realize the god's not alone. He's reclining against the mud-brick walls, eyes closed, lips parted, while a man kneels between his legs, enthusiastically worshiping Ares' cock.
You prick, I think to myself. You fucking manipulative prick. You lure me here, but don't want to admit you're hot for me, so I get this. It's so petty. So obvious. So aggravating. But I know what to do. I spin around and walk back onto the street.
"Trouble?" asks the baker, kneading dough on a long wooden counter just inside the large window.
Resting my elbows on the sill, I lean forward, glad of the mask. "Nothing that can't be cured with some of that." I nod at the cruet of olive oil beside him.
The wrinkled face creases into a smile. "It goes with everything, doesn't it?"
"You said it," I reply, reaching into the pouch around my waist for a few dinars, then placing them on the counter where they glint in the sun.
He hands me the little jar, a little confused, then his fingers return to the dough. "Uh...Enjoy."
"Oh, I will." I'm back in the alley a breath later.
Ares opens his eyes and stares at me as I take off the mask, and keeps staring as I pull my cock out, pouring the oil over it. The man on his knees tries to turn, but the god holds his head in place. "Looks like my friend here's gonna give you a little something extra," he says, as I walk over to them. "Get up, but don't take your mouth off me."
When he's bent before Ares, I step behind him, raise his blue tunic and slide my oil-slick cock into his tight ass. The god's eyes never leave mine. I know I've surprised him; I was supposed to run away crying ‘cos the big bad god rejected me. "It's gonna take more than this," I tell him.
The dark eyebrows go up. "To what?"
"To convince me I'm not the hottest fuck you ever had."
I laugh, thrusting harder. "Right. He's better than me."
"No. But there've been others..."
He thinks, thrusting almost absently. "Cupid."
"So why're you here deliberately not fucking me when you could be with him?"
"Maybe he's busy."
"Like that'd stop you."
He's getting annoyed, fucking the mouth even harder. "You're just one of a thousand fucks to me. No more, no less."
"You keep telling yourself that." I push one more time into the hot ass milking my cock, then pull out, spraying semen on the tanned back before me. We both watch the liquid running in creamy rivulets on the damp skin, then Ares' head goes back, and he groans, tugging the mouth farther over his pulsing cock.
"Iphicles..." He pauses, finishing his orgasm, then grins. "How can I resist my brother's brother?"
"How can I?"
That was the first time we fucked someone together.
There were others: we like to kiss while two hungry mouths suck us. Ares constantly tests me, gauging my limits, trying to prove that I don't matter to him. Not long ago, he kidnapped me from a banquet, bringing me to his temple where he chained me to his altar. He did it manually, no god-tricks, so I knew a point was being made. Then he brought in ten of his favorite warlords and ordered them to rape me.
Afterward, when the last one'd finished, and my ass burned and my throat felt raw and come ran down my legs, the god straddled my hips. His cock made a wet, squelching sound as it swam through the soldiers' semen.
"Do you hate me now?"
"Do you want me to?"
"Yes," Ares said, then he kissed me.
I know it sounds brutal. He *is* brutal. That's part of the attraction. Sex with him always matters: it's never casual or trivial or boring. Instead, it's violent, painful and perverse: just the way I like it. And watching him fuck another guy is almost as hot as him watching me, ‘cos the whole thing's staged for my benefit, so I get the best angles, the best lighting. It's a performance.
And he's performing now with Iolaus.
Holding his unsuspecting lover's hips, Ares draws back ‘til I can see the thick head of his cock gleaming under the candlelight, before slowly re-entering the body beneath him. I know exactly when the god hits the hunter's sweet spot: Iolaus gasps, then starts quivering. Ares just keeps doing it, occasionally glancing over at me, offering the same self-satisfied smile. He's always wanted to fuck Herc's little friend. Just another way to fuck his brother.
While he quietly gives it to Iolaus, I talk, safely invisible, safely silent, except to the god. "Fuck him harder," I tell Ares, moving closer. "Make him crazy with that big cock of yours." Resting my hand on his ass, I feel the rhythm of the rape. "Just remember: you're inside the same body our brother fucks. Iolaus is used to the shape of his lover's cock, and you're gonna feel different to him. We've both seen Herc's cock, and while it's big, the head of yours is rounder, so you're stretching that tight little hole more than usual every time you push inside him."
The look Ares gives me's almost as searing as the sight and feel of his golden ass rising and falling over Iolaus' sweating body. His hair's shading his half-closed eyes and his bearded cheeks...are suddenly smooth, so he can lick and nibble Iolaus' back without alerting him. He looks like-- "Change the hair, too," I say. When he does, it's like I'm watching myself fuck Iolaus.
I walk around them, squeezing the head of my aching cock, admiring the lines of that perfect body topping the smaller one. But watching's not enough, so I climb on the bed, behind the god...The god who looks just like me, my twin-god who's fucking my brother's best friend. How can I resist that? How can I not ease my cock into that ass, and start pounding into Ares, and by extension, into Iolaus?
"Make me look like you," I whisper in his ear, sucking the lobe, and the hair hanging in my eyes turns dark. I rub my newly-bearded chin against his shoulder, the way he does to me, abrading his skin. "Yeah, that's good. Now you can be me, ramming it with a vengeance to Iolaus, and I can be you, ramming it to my beautiful mortal lover."
Shifting slightly, I let him feel the thick length of my cock as it spreads him open. It's exciting enough to fuck the god of war. Pretending to be him fucking me pushes perverse pleasure through a very high roof. And what's even better: he can't speak, or Iolaus'll know, and then Ares'll never get to fuck Herc. Advantage: Iphicles.
Time to get into the role. "That's right...Take it up the ass, you mortal slut. I know how much you want it, how much you always want it. I'm only fucking you ‘cos you need it so bad. And ‘cos it's a tradition for my family to fuck yours." Denial's looms behind Ares' fuck-talk. "You're nothing to me...Just a tight, hot ass. When you're cold and dead in Tartarus, I'll fuck your sons, your grandsons, your great-grandsons...I'll fuck your whole family line." I bite his shoulder hard enough to bruise. A shudder hits him, and I can hear Iolaus drinking air under us as the god's thrusts get deeper, more desperate. The next part's my favorite: this is where Ares loses it. Like I'm losing it. "Ohhhhh...You feel so good...Oh fuck..." Then the climax, and I can just gasp the word, crammed with need and anger, before I start coming: "Iphicles..."
Sudden tension forces Ares' body up, and he's pierced more deeply by my cock. For several thundering heartbeats, we're locked together, closer than twins in the womb. Then the breath hurtles from him, and, still together, we drop into Iolaus, who makes a harsh sound, like a wounded egret.
"That's right, Iolaus...Come with Ares' cock up your ass."
More hoarse moans. When Iolaus finally stops, there's a hot rush as I take the god's place on top of Iolaus, and my cock's back inside him, wet with Ares' semen and my own...Until he slides away, collapsing on his back. The cut on his cheek from the fight with the Spartans has opened, and blood's smeared on his face. I almost feel sorry for him.
Until he opens his mouth. "It's over."
It's the smugness that makes me want to smack him. "I'm so glad. It's always a pleasure to perform stud service. But you're fooling yourself, little man, if you think it's finished." We'll see if he falls for it. I think he will, though. Guilt's gonna weigh heavily with him, and that's just what I need to tip the deal in my favor.
"I think I'd know if it was over," he says.
I sigh. "It's more complicated than that. And if you'd pull your head from your love-struck ass, you'd see that. You fucked me ‘cos Herc didn't give you a choice--but that's not gonna make it alright. He might be able to live with it. You won't."
He says nothing, just lies on his back, still breathing heavily, absently wiping the blood trickling like red tears down his face.
"You know I'm right."
"So what d'you suggest I do? Since you have all answers."
But he knows what I'm gonna say. "He gave you what you wanted. Now you have to make him accept what he wants."
"And what's that?"
"Iolaus, don't play dumb. It's not a what, but a who: Ares."
Literally recoiling from me, he scoots to the far side of the bed, where he eyes me with disgust. "Iphicles, you're really fucked up, you know that?"
"And you're a fucking virgin if you think that Herc doesn't want to fuck Ares."
Iolaus is already up, throwing on clothes, when he pauses, scrunching his vest in his hands. "Iphicles--"
"Yeah, that's right. Maybe Herc feels about Ares the way you feel about me."
"No way," he finally says.
He's not stupid. That's not why Iolaus is so clued out. It's just denial: he has a certain view of Hercules, and his whole world's based around it. "Oh, of course not. How could my perfect brother possibly have a hard on for his worst enemy? Just ‘cos you do..."
"You're not my worst enemy, Iphicles. I just don't--"
"You just don't like me. But you still wanted to fuck me."
"Yes." He tugs the vest on. "But you're not Ares."
"Next thing you'll be telling me that *you* don't want to fuck him."
Iolaus shakes his head, while his eyebrows meet and his lips purse in a not overly-flattering hybrid of pity and anger. "You know what your problem is?"
"You don't know when to stop pushing, when to shut up. The only time you ever stop's when you're giving your wounded-king performance, and you only do that to push different buttons. People don't have to act on every impulse they ever get, Iphicles. Only kids do that."
He almost has me. Almost. "That would've made a great exit line," I call out, as he lays a hand on the door knob, "if you hadn't just spent the night with me."
"And you made sure that'd happen, didn't you?" He's furious again, but keeps his distance. "Rubbing against me like a bitch in heat when I first got here, kissing me last night...You pull shit like that with me all the time, Iphicles. You always have. I know that now."
"You're saying you didn't want this?" I give a horse-worthy snort.
He runs a hand through his hair, suddenly looking old and tired. "I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that you wouldn't let it go. That you...Fed it." With that, he yanks open the door and leaves.
Once this trouble with the Spartans is over, I'm gonna take a long vacation someplace where they've never heard of a certain legendary hero or his near-legendary sidekick.
I'm just falling asleep under semen-damp sheets when there's a knock at my door, and the sentry announces Helion.
"This better be good," I tell him, not bothering to get up. "Oh no. Not the hair-tugging. Keep doing that and you'll be balder than Argius soon."
But he doesn't crack a smile at the old joke. "Actually, it's Argius I want to talk about. I've been thinking: he shouldn't lead the troops you're sending after Eumedes and the Spartans."
"He can't be objective. Not right now. What happened with his daughter and those Cappadocian soldiers. Too recent. "
"Look, rape's part of war. Argius knows that--he's a soldier. That shit with his daughter'll only make him do a better job."
"I don't agree. While you were...busy in here, he was drinking in the great hall with some of the other men, making all sorts of vows about what he'd do with Eumedes if he caught him."
"Yeah, so? The world's better off without that piece of shit around." I plump up my pillows, hoping he'll take the hint.
He heaves a big sigh, the kind that moves the whole body and says, ‘Could you be more of an idiot?' I taught him that sigh. "If we kill him, Hippocoon'll be after us. And we need to avoid war with Sparta. Besides, if Daddy's supporting his son, then Eumedes might have greater reinforcements than we're expecting."
"You worry too much, Helion. Always have. Now go fuck that big-breasted wife of yours...Unless you'd like to join me?" I throw back the sheet and give him a big smile.
"Iphicles, sometimes you're a real asshole," he says, and walks out.
"Yeah, yeah," I grunt, burrowing under the covers. "That's what they all say."
A warm hot tongue between my thighs wakes me in the morning. I pretend to be asleep, letting Ares lick up and down the length of my cock. He knows I'm faking, of course, so he's doing his best to force a response from me. And his best is...bone-melting. He knows just when to slow down or speed up, when to suck or lick, and he always uses his mouth and fingers at the same time.
I asked him once where he learned to give blowjobs like that, which just earned me a smirk and a vague, "I didn't need a teacher." The rumor, though, is that Zeus sent his then barely-pubescent son to a specialized brothel in Aigyptos, where Ares was given private lessons in all aspects of sex. Sometimes I fantasize about it: Ares, young and fresh-faced, impossibly innocent, kneeling before one beautiful man while another stands behind him, whip in hand, ready to strike whenever the god's tongue slips...
"You'd be more convincing if you'd stop moaning," he tells me.
Opening my eyes, I prop myself cautiously on one elbow and look down at him. His fingers are curled around the base of my wet shaft, which rests against his cheek. Pale yellow light's falling softly on the swell of his ass, but I can't dwell on it ‘cos his lips are parting and his pink tongue's emerging to catch the clear liquid pearl poised on the end of my cock. When it dissolves there, Ares closes his mouth and tastes me.
At his satisfied rumble, I give him a smile. "There's plenty more where that came from."
"Oh really? You mean if I keep doing this--" a single, slow sweep with his tongue, "--I'll get more? Hmmmm...Looks like you're right."
My back arches. "If you want...even more, try sucking the head."
"Like this?" He inhales it hungrily, then lashes me with that hot tongue.
"Ohhhhh...yes..." Fuck...He looks so good with my cock in his mouth. I'd love to tell him that, but long, slow, delicious blowjobs from the control-needy war god are few and far between. "Taking it deep down your throat might help."
Shifting positions so that he's directly over my erection, gripping it tightly with one hand, Ares raises his eyes to mine. "You sure? I could just touch it...Like this." He sucks a thumb, then trails it down the length of my cock, over and under my balls, ‘til it's almost inside me.
Warm breath and a teasing thumb...I figure he wants me to beg. This is Ares, after all. But before I can react, he moans, "I love your cock," and deep-throats me.
That's when I realize he wants something. Ares might be skilled in bed, but the Fates gave him an incredible body instead of patience (they like to keep things balanced), so while he does occasionally suck me to orgasm, by this point he's usually throwing my legs around his waist and ramming himself into me. Enthusiastic cock-eating like this doesn't come without a price. No pun intended.
But his thumb's slipped inside, and he's moving up and down my cock, and I can't really think about anything because his mouth's softer and wetter than a ripe peach and he's sucking so hard and his tongue won't stop moving and my muscles are tightening and then straining and I'm gonna come if he doesn't stop love the sounds he's making why are you doing this oh god please don't stopitfeelssogoooooodshootinginhismouthdrinkingmeares...
When the semen finally stops pouring from me, I try to push his mouth off, but he knocks away my hand and keeps sucking. Whatever he wants, he must want it pretty bad. Not that I'm complaining. My cock's already getting hard again. It's the way he's acting so desperate for me, even though I know it's a con. He never lets go like this when his pleasure's not involved: groaning, attacking my cock with his mouth and hands, rubbing himself against the sheet...
I can't do more than say his name, which comes out like a prayer. "Ares..." My body's shaking so hard he has to hold me down with one hand on my chest. He pulls his thumb from me as I start coming again, and even while I'm crying, "Noooo," his cock replaces it, and I really, truly think I'm gonna die.
Then his come-sweet tongue's plunging into my mouth, and I hear harsh, ragged breathing but I don't know if it's him or me because it all feels beyond incredible...Somehow we fall off the bed but he stays inside me and keeps thrusting and I keep coming and then he starts, calling my name so loudly that my normally-stoic guards start banging at the door, and I start to laugh.
"It's ok," I shout. "I'm...uh...I'm having a nightmare. Was having a nightmare. It's over now."
"That's pretty weak," Ares says, rolling onto his side and pulling me with him so that my head's in the crook of his arm.
I touch one of his dimples. "Fine. Next time I'll tell them I'm being fucked by the god of war."
"You think they'd be used to it by now."
"This time was pretty exceptional, even for you. So what's the deal?"
"What d'you mean?" he asks innocently. "You're the one who's always insisting I'm obsessed with you."
His stomach's slick with sweat under my fingers as I pet him. "So that was just a demonstration of your deep feelings for me?"
"Well, now that you mention it, there *is* something you could do..."
I yank the dark hair on his chest. "I figured. What is it?"
The word has the unmistakable ring of euphemism.
"--wants to see Corinth fight Sparta and win. I told him it could be arranged. But I need you to lead the troops so you can follow my orders."
There's a pause while I digest this. "You want me to take on the Spartans just ‘cos some guy you're fucking asked you to?"
"Now who said I was fucking him? And since when are you jealous?"
"I'm not jealous. But going to war with Sparta's expensive. I'm hoping we can deal with Eumedes and avoid fighting his father."
"Eumedes attacked those villages along the border at Hippocoon's request."
I'm still trying to figure out who this new, demanding lover is. "I know the Messenians hate Sparta...You're not fucking king Rykos, are you? Rykos! He's an idiot! Yeah, he's pretty, but he's a joke as a warrior! He's not your type at all."
"And what's my type?"
"You mean slutty, jealous, red-headed kings who look like me?"
"Fuck you, Ares."
"So you'll do it?"
"What happens if I don't?" Even as I ask, he retreats. No, more like something inside him locks into place, and he becomes the war god, not my relaxed lover.
Sitting up, I lean against the bed frame. He moves onto his side, facing me, partially raising himself on an elbow. The position's designed to show his body to advantage, and it does. "What d'you mean, nothing?" I'm really not liking this conversation.
"I mean, nothing. I'm not going to force you to fight Sparta, Iphicles. Either way, I'll keep fucking you."
I don't believe him.
Post-fuck lassitude sets in, as Ares moves us both onto the bed, and soon I'm drifting in and out of sleep. But instead of wondering why he wants me to fight against Sparta, or even reliving what we did to Iolaus, I think about my past. About beginning and endings. It's been one of those weeks...
I left home at seventeen. My mother didn't kick me out, exactly. Let's just say she strongly suggested I go ‘find myself' somewhere. Not that I blame her: my cock spent more time in warm cunts and tight asses than in my pants, and the neighbors were starting to complain. I paid no attention: too busy lying in an unbooked room at the inn letting the hostler's daughter ride my cock while I blew the son; too busy at the back of Eudoxis the smith's workshop, leaning into his tanned back while I fucked him in the heat of his forge. (He'd hurt his foot in the war, and I used to fantasize for an added thrill that I was doing Hephaestus).
Retrospectively, it must've been tough for Mom, ‘cos some people also grumbled under their breath about sons inheriting their mothers' loose morals. People never really forgave her for attracting Zeus' attention. After all, no god had impersonated *their* loved ones to slide a divine cock into them, and the townspeople didn't appreciate an uppity matron gettin' some at their expense--even if she did have pretty blond hair and nice tits.
But that's not really why she put her small booted foot against my ass. She'd spent years listening to the sniggering, seeing the sidelong glances that I understood only as an adult. Nope. Mom nudged me out the door ‘cos she nearly caught me doing my little brother. Relax: he wasn't a baby when I went after him. Hell, I didn't even see him as fuck-material at first.
Initially, he was just a brat with super-human strength who thought big bro was the coolest guy around. He followed me everywhere, panting like a puppy. I'm pretty sure he caught a lot of the action: I'd leave the grove or the barn or the back door, wiping come off my chin or licking my salty fingers, and there he'd be, wide-eyed and flushed, not quite sure what I'd been doing, but wanting some.
"Can I play with you guys, Iphy?" he'd ask, scuffing the earth with the toe of his sandal.
I'd be like, "No, I don't think so."
Herc'd be crushed. "Next time, maybe?"
This exchange went on for a few years. Then, like I had at the same age, Herc suddenly hit a growth spurt. And it wasn't just his height that increased: *everything* did. All of a sudden he was tall, with huge shoulders and hard muscles. His eyes seemed to get bluer, and his hair grew to his shoulders. But he was still a kid. No sexual experience at all. Herc actually got pretty uptight about sex and stopped following me around. So this repressed little-kid-in-a-man's-body started lecturing me.
I'd sneak back into our room in the middle of the night, and that solemn voice would whisper through the blackness.
"Iph, you shouldn't be doing that."
Then we'd do our little routine. "Doing what?"
"That." Then he'd relent. "You know...Sex."
"‘Cos...you do it with too many people. And ‘cos they say stuff about you. And about Mom. So you gotta stop."
I'd say something about them being jealous, then pull the blanket over my head.
The last time, though, he kept going.
"Iph...What does it feel like? When you...do it?"
I roll on my side. "Unfuckingbelievable. I can't really describe it."
"It's like...Everything good put together: sun and honey and Solstice and wine ..." I break off here. I'm no poet.
"Oh," he repeats, obviously unsatisfied, and shifts on the straw-stuffed pallet.
Does he have a hard-on? The thought gives me one, even though I spent the evening planted in the tight ass of Lycidas (yeah, the same one who had me jerking him off a few years earlier). "Want me to show you?"
"Uhhh...N--n--no. It's ok."
"Are you sure? It feels so good, Herc." I'm already on my feet.
"N--no. I mean--yes. I mean..."
I sit on the edge of his mattress and he wriggles away from me, sheet clutched under his chin, knees up protectively. His eyes glow in the faint light.
"I'm gonna tell Mom," he says.
"Tell her what?"
He gulps. "I--I don't know."
"You wanna know what it feels like, right? It's soooo good...You got a hard-on right now, don't you?"
His head ducks down, and I know he's blushing.
"There's nothing wrong with that," I tell him. "Look--so do I." The breech cloth unties easily, and I drop it beside me. Freed, my cock springs up, hitting my stomach, and I take it in one hand. He watches as I wet one finger then rub it over the head. "Why don't you touch it?"
I think he starts to move, but Mom suddenly appears in the doorway. It's dark enough that she probably can't see too much, but I get the feeling she knows what's going on.
"It's very late, boys. Iphicles--" her tone sharpens, "--get into your own bed and stop bothering your brother. Now." She waits to see that I do, even though it's not so dark that she can't tell I'm naked.
The next day, while Herc's out chopping wood, she calls me into the kitchen. Her speech is stuffed full of phrases like ‘reaching a certain age' and ‘making good.' No mention of my sexual activities, no reference to last night's near-seduction of her sweet-faced favorite. It's a rousing talk, like Dad used to give us before the village games, but the truth breaks through even my self- absorption.
"--and you're welcome back anytime, of course. But you're a man, now, Iphicles. It's time you did your father proud and--" She breaks off, and I wonder what she's seeing on my face. "It's not because I don't love you."
I left later that day. Herc cried, but my mother didn't, only waved from the doorway, keeping an arm around my brother, not quite hiding her relief.
Feeling a little stunned, I headed into town. Once inside the palisade, I just stood there and wondered what to do. Between orgasms, Eudoxis'd taught me the trick of hammering hot metal so that I could vary its thickness. It wasn't bad work, either; I liked the mindless physical aspect of it, the precise strength it took to mold the iron...Besides, smithing and fucking were already forever connected for me. (Hell, I still get a hard-on when I visit the royal blacksmith. And yes, it's no accident the guy who works for me is young and beautiful, and enjoys being fucked against the wall by his king). So, while I couldn't pattern worth shit, my basic hammering technique was fair enough that I qualified as an apprentice.
Unfortunately, the next few towns I visited didn't need a half-assed smith. And while I could've survived as a whore, and put my one true talent to use, I decided to give the legit job-hunt a final go and asked around at a busy inn down by the water. That's where I hooked up with a group of mercenaries sailing at dawn for Gaul, to fight for the Aquitani against the Romans.
Of course, there's only one reason why a group of seasoned fighters want an inexperienced seventeen-year old with them on a long sea voyage, as I discovered the first night in the hold, and then every night for the next several weeks. By the time we landed on the fog-shrouded shores of southern Gaul, I'd developed a taste for the darker side of sex. And I spent the next few years developing--
"Iphicles!" A large hand waggles in front of my face. "Snap out of it!" Ares sits up, but keeps me against his chest.
I move my hand from his thigh to his cock. "I was just thinking."
"Yeah? About what? Me?" He's noticed my hard-on.
"Trying to make me jealous?"
It'd serve him right. "Just thinking about when I lived in Gaul."
He nods, settling back, and spreads his thighs wider. "What about it?"
We've discussed Gaul before since he likes hearing details about the battles. And about the sex. But we've never talked about this. I've been saving it for the right time. "I'd been serving under Laidred for about two years when I had this weird experience."
"Mmm...I love your hands. Go on."
"By this point we were doing some sideline work in Britannia, fighting up in Lindum." I take a break to suck his nipple, while my fingers keep moving over his hard cock. Ares stares down at me, watching intently. Hell, he's been very intense since he woke me up with the blowjob. Not that he ever gets too relaxed, but this morning he's wired, even for him. With a final lick, I grin up at him. "What's the matter? Your new lover not satisfying you, Ares?"
"Just tell your story, king," he growls.
"So we'd done some damage to this town, and everything was pretty chaotic. Bodies everywhere, smoke from the fires burning our eyes. Laidred wanted to make sure we'd killed the main rebels, so he sent a group of us into the big temple on the hill to search for any survivors." Ares is now slowly jerking me off, mirroring my actions on his cock. "As soon as I'm inside, I realize the shrine's dedicated to a pagan war god."
"Oh yeah?" Neutral.
"Yeah. Belatucadros." I'm watching him now, but the lashes have fallen, protecting his eyes. "I only know his name ‘cos one of the guys with me speaks the language, and he's a little freaked that we're invading the god's shrine. He gets really antsy inside ‘cos even through the thick black smoke that's followed us we see the god's painted face glaring down from every wall." Impossibly, Ares' cock swells even more, but he stays on his back, not throwing me down and plowing into my ass. He even slows the handjob. It's how I know my story matters.
Not that he'll admit it. "Hmm...don't think you've told me about this part before."
"No? I won't, if you're not interested."
"I didn't say that." The tip of his thumb works over the head of my cock ‘til it's silver-coated, before Ares brings it to my mouth. "Taste yourself, then tell me your story." As I suck his thumb, his other hand covers my skull, but the downward push never comes. Instead, his eyes open, and the black stare dissects me. "You're so beautiful," he says unexpectedly.
My suspicions charge back. What in hell's going on? His motto's ‘force it, fight it, fuck it'. None of this ‘giving' crap. He's the original kid-in-the-candy-store, so this isn't just about doing Iolaus last night or my story. And if this is about pleasing his new lover (disturbing idea), he can screw right off. I'm not taking on Sparta unless I have to; it's cheaper and more efficient to let Argius lead a small battalion against Eumedes and not a full-fledged army against his father.
Suddenly, the thumb disappears from my mouth, and Ares says with this odd seriousness, "I'm gonna fuck you while you tell me about the temple." He kisses me so warmly I nearly rethink my position on Sparta, then pushes me down on my back. Spreading my legs for him, I wait for some fast and furious fucking, but Ares just kneels between my thighs, still eating me with his eyes. I know it's partly for show, to manipulate me, which lets me stay in control. Sorta. My body's a little less detached than my brain. And when Ares finally starts to enter me, he does it inch by inch. "I'm gonna fuck you slowly, Iphicles, as slowly as I can. Start talking."
"How...am I supposed to...concentrate when you're doing that?"
"It's never stopped you before."
Other lover or not, I can see the effort this takes: he's tense, almost vibrating under the strain of holding back. No one fucks like Ares. "So I'm in this temple. You gotta realize the place is a mess. There are about twenty of us crammed in there--oh fuck that feels good--and there's smoke from the fires and the incense, screams and blood as we find some of the hidden men. The shrine itself's practically glowing ‘cos of the red, gold and black murals everywhere."
"What's he look like?"
I know who he means. "The god? Big and dark. Mean. Sexy. Like you." A perfect moment when he fills me completely. How can anyone move that slowly?
"What happens next?" Ares looks inhuman now, as he looms, sweat-covered, over me.
No one else should ever get to see him like this. "Most of the action's taking place in the long aisle: throats are cut, ‘cos we're not supposed to show any mercy. Then--"
"Keep your eyes open, Iphicles. Look at me while you're telling the story."
"Then I hear something to my left, from one of the side aisles--if you don't go any faster, I'm gonna die-- and I see a flash of blue or maybe black. I figure one of the priests is hiding back there, so I take off after him." He ignores my panted request and maintains his eye-wateringly slow rhythm. His fingers tighten around my thighs, keeping me immobile, so I can't give in and thrust back. "It's dark back here. No candles and only watery light coming through the little windows high above me. The guy's disappeared, but I keep walking. My heart's pounding ‘cos maybe this isn't a priest but one of the rebels." I break off here. "I...I...Ares, it's too good..."
"No! Don't come. Keep talking, or I'll stop fucking you."
"Like...you could." I take a deep breath. Usually story-telling during sex's do-able for me. But this time, there's too much at stake. He has to remember, and I have to be right. "Ok. So I come to the end, and the corridor branches off in both directions. I go right, figuring it'll lead me to the temple's core. But when I turn the corner...He must've been waiting in the shadows ‘cos there's this rush of air and I'm slammed down across...an altar? I don't know. Too dark to tell..." I'm losing it again. Too good. His cock and the memory--
The slap stings. "Don't stop!"
His excitement's making me dizzy. Has he done something to stop me from coming? How can I feel this good and not be shooting all over his sweat-streaked chest? How can I--
Another slap. "Iphicles!"
"Ok, ok...Shit...I can't see him with my face against the stone...Just know he's incredibly strong. Too strong. And I start thinking that maybe..."
"Say it," he groans.
"--that maybe the man tearing off my pants isn't a man at all...That it's him. The war god."
"He starts pushing inside me. He's huge, and it hurts ‘cos he's trying to make a point. Trying to punish me. When his cock's in my ass, he starts talking, and then I know. He calls me a mortal slut, tells me he knows how much I want it, how we all want it, that he's only doing it ‘cos I need it so bad..."
Ares' eyes close for a second, and I see through my fog that he's fighting the orgasm--and losing. This is better than Iolaus. Better than anything. "Then he's inside, fucking me hard, and it hurts almost as good as it feels."
"That's what *he* said," I whisper, as Ares starts to come.
"I have to go," he says a few minutes later. One of those flashes, and he's standing beside the bed, fully dressed, hair in place. Only the flushed cheeks hint that he's been fucking me since sunrise.
I'm not surprised that he doesn't comment on my story, but it still annoys me. I want him to admit that he's been watching me, wanting me, since I was twenty. Maybe even before. I want him to admit that whatever he feels for Herc or anyone else, I'm the one who matters most. Me.
And my own needs piss me off even more. "Yeah. I've gotta meet with the civic council to discuss the Spartan problem. But you can tell your friend I'm not going to war. So far it's only been some raids along the borders; we don't know if Hippocoon's even aware of his son's hobbies."
Ares shifts to his ‘I'm a bad-assed god' position. This annoys me even more, not just ‘cos it foreshadows some condescending crack, but ‘cos he looks so hot with those huge arms folded over his chest, and his leather-covered cock thrust out. "Being king's ruining you, Iphicles," he says with a sigh. "It's all economy and diplomacy. What about fighting for the charge? You used to like it. Besides, your men could use some action."
"And some of ‘em will see it. But I'm not sending a fucking army to Sparta now. And I'm definitely not leading one."
His jaw tightens, then he grins. "You can be such a pain in the ass. Just like our brother. You remind me of him right now. Uptight. Boring."
"Fuck you, Ares. If he's so boring, then why d'you wanna fuck him? Or me?"
"Because you're there," he says, and disappears.
I'm in a foul mood when I head over to the stables. Not only did Ares get in the last dig, which I hate, but Herc and Iolaus are nowhere to be found, so I can't start yanking my brother's chain and get phase two of my plan going. At least Helion's not around to harass me: he's off with Argius marshaling the men for tomorrow's confrontation with Eumedes. Hmmm...Maybe Ares is right. Maybe my men *have* been outta commission for too long. Normally it wouldn't take a day to get organized. Great. Just great.
To make things worse, I'm meeting with the civic council, always a grueling experience, to ask for money. Personally, I think they should come to the palace, but whenever I suggest it, the mayor starts yammering about old king Jason and established tradition. It's just easier to give in.
Besides, I'm pretty popular most of the time. The aristocrats'd prefer a noble ruler, but the grunts like to see one of their own on the throne. So I wave to the workers picking currants in the fields as I ride into town, keeping my guards the right distance behind me so I look accessible but not vulnerable. Once through the gates, I toss a handful of coins, newly minted with my image, to the few beggars congregated there. Their numbers are way down since Selene, Argius' wife, came up with a clever plan to house ‘em all for free in an old building down by the wharf. She was being altruistic but it works for me ‘cos visitors to Corinth can enter the city relatively unmolested.
But I'd rather be accosted by a buncha grabby beggars than the mayor and his ass-kissing councillors. Pheidias doesn't wanna send *any* soldiers after Eumedes, going on at length about ‘maintaining the equilibrium of socially-expedient prosperity,' which I finally realize means that he doesn't wanna fork over any cash. Democracy's not all it's cracked up to be; hopefully it won't catch on. Tyranny has its uses.
We haggle for awhile, while I get tenser and tenser. I'm just about to give in ‘cos his creaky voice and snotty attitude are making my sword-fingers itchy, when I suddenly realize that he does this every time: wears me down with his big words and bigger excuses. Fuck this. "Pheidias," I say quietly, sticking my face in his parchment-pale one, "you're gonna cough up some cash for this expedition or I'll bring the bodies of those dead farmers into the agora. And while their raped wives are wailing, I'll tell everyone that you didn't think it was ‘socially-expedient' to go after the bastards who did it." He starts to stutter, spraying me with foul-smelling saliva, but I cut him off. "Just put your fucking seal on the scroll, so I can get the hell outta here."
With the scroll safely tucked in a guard's saddlebag, I head back to the palace. About half-way up the hill, I see two familiar shapes trudging along by the roadside: Herc and Iolaus. I convince my men that I'll be safe with my brother and hop off my horse to join the two. I sense they're not happy to see me. "Iolaus, would you mind walking ahead? I wanna talk to Herc."
He hesitates, looking up at his lover. "Is it--"
My brother nods. "We'll catch up with you, Iolaus. Don't worry," he adds reassuringly.
"Ok. I'll see you later."
I wait ‘til he's around the next bend. "I thought we should talk."
"Not much to say, Iphicles. It happened. Now it's over. It was something he had to do."
"And you can live with that?"
That's my talkative brother. "Can he?"
There's a pause. Our feet crunch noisily on the stony path, then Herc glances over at me. In the clear light of the late afternoon sun, he looks tired. "What're you getting at?"
"Iolaus slept with me ‘cos you wanted him to."
My brother rarely gets really angry. It's ‘cos his strength: he's afraid to let go and hurt someone. But when he turns to me again, I see pure red rage. I've hit my targeted nerve.
He draws in a breath, holds it. Probably counting to ten. Then the exhalation. "I didn't force him, Iphicles. We decided together it was the best thing."
"C'mon, Herc. Be honest. You practically dragged him to my room. Whatever he feels about me, Iolaus didn't want to hurt you. He'd never have acted if you hadn't pushed him."
His fist draws back, then all the breath seems to leave his body in a loud hiss. "Iolaus said you'd say that."
"Look--last night happened ‘cos you two tried to be honest with each other, right?"
"You know that."
"So all I'm saying is that if you're gonna be honest, admit that another reason you pushed this is ‘cos *you* wanna sleep with me."
The punch sends me flying. I land on my back, hard, in the tall grass by the road. Above me, I see the leaves of green oval leaves of a wild pear tree, the fruit itself fat and gold. Then I see my brother's bright blue eyes as he kneels beside me. "Ouch," I say, not moving.
"You're ok." He sounds relieved.
"I think so."
Herc slips an arm under my back and helps me sit up, then gently touches my jaw. "I'm sorry. It's just that--sometimes you say things I don't wanna hear."
"Because they're not true?"
"No--because they are."
The kiss is supposed to be brotherly, but his confession somehow frees us, and when our lips meet, his mouth opens for my tongue.
I don't know how long we lie kissing in the grass, but when he finally pulls away, his lips look bruised and we're both breathing heavily. I stay on my back, while he lies on his side, chin propped on his hand. Our bodies touch every time we exhale.
"I love Iolaus," he says.
"Yeah, I know. But you love me, too. I'm your brother. And there's only one way all this can end."
With a sigh, he lets me. "With the three of us..."
"No. The four of us. One night. The beginning and the end."
I pull him down for another kiss. "Herc, I've wanted you for years--it's no secret. And you've wanted me, too. We're clear on this part?"
"Yeah." I wonder if I'm hallucinating all this, if the blow knocked something loose in my head. It's just so...intimate. Me and Herc, talking about our history. About our needs. If he was anybody else, I wouldn't believe it, but my brother, while he's often a little self-deluded, as the truly good are, is essentially an honest guy.
I'm about to go on when he cuts me off. "Iphicles, if..you and I...sleep together, with Iolaus, it'll be because you're right. About me forcing him. He feels guilty, even though I begged him to do it. He never called me on it, never said what you just did. That I was...letting him act out a fantasy."
Hearing that, my cock twitches, and I lay my hand on his chest.
He closes his fingers around mine for a long moment, then he lets go. "And don't look at me like that..."
Knowing he's finally reacting openly to me is driving me wild. "Like what? Like I'm thinking about fucking you? About you fucking me?"
"Just let me finish, ok? I let...I let Iolaus think he was the only one who felt anything like that for you. I didn't want him seeing that side of me. *I* didn't wanna see it. Ever since we were kids..."
"Go on. I like hearing this."
"Ever since we were kids, I've wanted you. I used to..." He makes a strangled sound. "This is really weird...Hard to admit. I used to...follow you around. Watch you. You probably don't remember this, but one night...One night you came to my bed. The night before you left home."
"Yeah. And Mom came in. I thought she was gonna have a heart attack. Me with my cock hanging out, and you huddled against the wall, trying to hide from your over-sexed brother."
"I wanted you, Iphicles. I just didn't understand that then. And when you left, I...are you sure you wanna hear this stuff?"
"About how you wanted me? Oh yeaaaaah."
He smiles a little at that. "After you left, I gave Mom a hard time for awhile. I was angry at her ‘cos she'd stopped you from touching me when I'd wanted it so much. And I figured...I can't believe I'm telling you this stuff...That if she hadn't stopped you, you wouldn't have left."
"I'm a little confused. You thought I left ‘cos you didn't immediately throw yourself on my cock?"
"It sounds stupid now. I realized a few years later that she must've asked you to leave. Mother was always a little over-protective of me."
"She didn't actually ask. And she was just looking out for you."
"Anyway, Iph, I'm telling you all this because, whatever's happened in the past, you're my brother, and I love you. I think that maybe if...if you and Iolaus and I spent the night together, it might do some good. He'd see that I'm not any better than him, and I'd...get to do what I've always wanted." He says it simply, but even in the growing dark I can see him flush.
"You don't know what it does to me when you say that."
"I'm trying to be honest. But I'll tell you now: whatever happens between the three of us, there's no way I'll *ever* sleep with Ares. No, Iphicles. Don't interrupt. You can believe I want that on some level, and maybe there's a base physical response to him, but he's a monster. He's spent his whole life trying to hurt me, and sleeping with him would be like a reward for the damage he's done."
He says that like it's a bad thing. "Well, I can't argue with--"
"Wait! Let me finish. I know there's something between you two. Maybe he really does have feelings for you, but Iolaus is right on this one, and I'm gonna keep being honest here: Ares has been out to get me since I was born, and I don't think that'll ever change. I know how his mind works. He's not stupid. He won't bring it up directly. Whatever problems you and I've had, I don't think you'd kill me. But Ares has already got you where he wants: you're in love with him, so he'll ask you for a favor, if he hasn't already. Casually. No pressure. And if you refuse, he'll say ‘no problem,' but he'll retreat a little. He'll push and pull until you're exactly where he wants you. That's when he hands you the knife." Herc pauses, studying my face. "It's already started, hasn't it?"
I wanna deny it. To deny it all. I'm not in love with Ares, and he's not using me to get to Herc. Except that it makes perfect, sickening sense. That's why Ares is pushing for war with Sparta. In the confusion of battle, he'll show up, handing me a knife with a bloody blade, and when I raise my hand to strike, my brother'll suddenly be there.
The slight squeeze to my shoulder reminds me where I am: lying in the grass with Hercules, still tasting his kiss. Inside me, a maggoty idea's crawling to consciousness, but I push it down. Don't wanna think about it. Whatever it is. Shit. I can't win this little battle, not with my brother's face twisting into that ‘poor Iphicles...screwed again' look. In the world according to Herc, Ares, the fucking selfish beautiful bastard, has been manipulating me, melting my resistance like hot wax so that I'll kill our brother during a battle between Corinth and Sparta. The god's not obsessed with me, although he sure seemed...Shut up. He's not obsessed with me. *I'm* obsessed with him. This isn't good. "Yeah?" I say to Herc.
Just fucking great. First he smacks me in the face with my true status in Ares' life--squashed under the black boot of revenge--and now my brother's ready to lob another truth home to me. "Don't keep me in suspense."
When Herc stays quiet, dropping onto his back to stare up at the purple-streaked sky, it hits me harder than one of his huge fists. I don't know how I know, but I do. What else could make Mr. Good and Pure look so damn awkward? "You...fucked...him. You fucked Ares." My tongue tries to fire back ‘hypocrite' and ‘bastard,' but can't. My mouth's too dry, my brain reeling like a top. Nothing inside's working well right now. Finally, after some gulping, I manage a slightly- hysterical, "I...don't...believe this..."
It's not my finest hour.
Herc sits up slowly, like he's buying time. "It was a few years ago. Right after you married Rena and cleaned up your act. We were fighting one day, and it just...happened. For a few weeks it was pretty intense, then..." A shrug. "It died. We just needed to get it out of our syst--"
"You fucked for a few weeks???" I hate how I sound, like some wronged wife in a cheesy melodrama. But I've been so wrong about everything. About Ares. He must think...the truth. That I'm a pathetic loser who constructed an elaborate fantasy to fill a useless life. None of this has been about me. As always, eternally, it's about Ares and Herc. I won't even be around to catch the ending and demand a refund.
My brain won't stop pressing down like a finger to a bruise on the image of Herc and Ares in bed, kissing and coming. Without me. Why do I feel so sickeningly hot? You'd think your body'd cooperate at times like this, when you're choking on your own inadequacy, and give you an orgasm or something. I can live without my stomach twisting like Medusa's hair and my temperature nearing combustion-level.
Oh, great. Herc's peering worriedly at me. How many of those lines shooting over his tanned skin are my fault? Most gotta be monster-induced, but I'll bet that nice fat one in the middle of his forehead's all mine. Let the pity-games begin.
"Are you gonna be ok, Iph? You look kinda sick. Iolaus said--"
"Don't tell me Iolaus knows, too?" But I don't need my brother's little nod of confirmation. Of course Iolaus knows. That's why the little blond slut agreed to sleep with me: he knew about Herc's romp with Ares, and wanted some payback. He used me. They all did. I'm glad I let Ares fuck the little bastard using my body. Serves Iolaus right.
Some people might argue that the Fates are giving me what I deserve. I engineered Iolaus' rape, now I'm the one who gets screwed. But what about Ares? How come, when the cosmic powers- that-be are raining shit on me, the god of war's always safely inside getting a blowjob? Dammit, I hate that Iolaus knows. "You guys must think I'm the biggest idiot."
"No, Iph." He keeps his voice soft, lulling, like a mother to a whiny child. "It's not like that. You're not the first guy Ares has used and you won't be the last."
"That makes me feel so much better." Sarcasm, the last bastion of the terminally-screwed. Luckily for him, the clatter of horses' hooves and the voices shouting my name bury the rest of my response. For once I'm grateful my courtiers get their tunics in a twirl when I go missing. "Over here!" I'm on the road in a flash.
One of the men reins in his mount. It's Helion, and his bare head looks like a red thistle. Not a good sign. "Iphicles--"
"Yeah, yeah. I ditched the guards again and endangered my royal ass. But am I glad to see--"
Helion cuts me off. "King Hippocoon's joined Eumedes on a killing spree: they've razed Lerna, slaughtered everyone in Tyrins. Argius went after him with what men were ready. It's war, Iphicles. The rest of the troop's already assembling. Once you're armed, we'll join ‘em."
Oh, what a day this is turning out to be. Grabbing his extended hand, I swing up behind him. "I'll meet you on the field behind the palace," I tell my brother, sliding my arms around Helion's waist. "Let's go!"
"There's another problem," Helion says, digging his heels into the horse's heaving sides.
"Of course there is."
"They say Ares is there. That Eumedes is his lover."
"Eumedes...?" Ok. Now I'm pissed. Beyond pissed. That whoring son of a bitch fucking prick bastard god of war. That's his new lover? Eumedes? That royal Spartan whore of a toad- screwing, limp-wristed, shit-eating--
"Uhhh...Iphicles. Could you loosen your grip?"
I stop with my ‘Herc and Atlas' routine. "Sorry. You sure Ares is there?"
"Yeah. Look, I'm sorry. I know you two were--"
"Shut up and get a move on, Helion. We've got some Spartan butt to kick."
If Ares thinks he can do this to me, he's got...Actually, he can do this to me. He's a god, and I'm a mortal. But so's Eumedes, and right now ramming my sword through his hollow, daddy's boy heart might just make up for this pisser of a day.
The palace is in an uproar. Rumors are flying like arrows from Artemis' bow, although I'm moving so fast only the tips penetrate.
"...Charon'll be busy..."
"...why Ares sided with ‘em..."
The last one's debated in low tones by the sentries at my door whose mouths snap shut when they see me. When I get back from the field, those two'll spend some quality time shoveling shit in the stables. Pushing past them, I tear into my room.
When the door clangs shut, Ares is there, leaning against a red and gold tapestry that shows the doomed Cassandra as she walks knowingly to her murder. While the god's big body's in the way, I know what it says under the seer's feet: ‘Alas, poor men, their destiny.'
"How ‘bout a blowjob?" Rubbing one hand over his crotch, he gives me the mother of all leers.
He's so fucking casual, like nothing's changed. I guess for him it hasn't. Asshole. "I'd love one, but I'm a little busy." Avoiding his gaze, I root through the wardrobe, throwing the cloth- wrapped armor onto the bed behind me. Cuirass. Greaves. Bracers. Doublet. Where's that sword- belt--
A knock at the door. "I'm here to help you dress, your highness."
"Leave me the fuck alone!" Ok, not quite the cool image I was going for, but I'm so angry I'm shaking.
"Something the matter, Iphicles?" His mock-innocent tone grates like a stylus on slate. He seems restless, excited. It's not just the war. Ares has plans. A little fratricide. Maybe more.
"No. What could possibly be the fucking matter?" I sit on the mattress, yanking open the bronze edges of a greave and clip it carefully around my left calf.
"You're not sulking, are you, ‘cos of a few rumors?"
"You can fuck who you want, Ares. Even ball-less Spartans like Eumedes. Or my brother. Oh wait! You've already fucked him." Shit. Didn't wanna say that last part. The other greave is stiffer, and I tug before it springs apart.
"Ah. So you found out about that." He sounds pleased. "Jealous?"
Focus on the armor. Give a casual shrug. "Don't know why you kept it a secret. Herc, I mean." The doublet's heavy fabric's rough under my fingers, and I examine the weave for any tears. "I'm surprised I missed it."
"You were busy."
There's something in his voice, and I look up. Big mistake. Ares is so fucking beautiful. He should be mine. All mine. Bastard. "It must've been pretty good, since you're still trying to get back in bed with him. It's never gonna happen, Ares. Herc knows you too well. Maybe you need a new obsession."
"I think I'll stick with the old one."
"Eumedes won't be pleased." Standing, I pull off my shirt, then drop the doublet over my head.
"Screw him. He's just another mortal, after all. Plenty of those around."
Normally I ignore cracks like that. I mean, what can I say? ‘Yeah, I'm aware you and Herc'll live forever while I rot in the dark pits of Tartarus. Thanks for the reminder'? Do they call comments like his ‘cracks' because of the damage they do? Long thin splits in our self-esteem? I'm not thinking straight. Always happens before a battle. And when I'm betrayed.
"You need help with that?" he asks, taking a step toward me.
More of the tapestry behind him's exposed. Agamemnon lying dead, body contorted. ‘A wickedly-mated man.' Tell me about it. "No! I'm fine." He can't touch me. Too much heat between us. Sorry. Not between us. From me only.
The cuirass' clasp under my left arm's a little hard to reach but I manage before hooking on the belt. Protected. I face him and see his eyes go smoky. How can he look like that and not be obsessed with me? He should be on the stage.
"You look hot like that. Bend over."
"I don't have time for this, Ares. I'm not in the mood, anyway."
"We both know that's bullshit, Iphicles," he says, moving toward me. "But go fight your war. It's what I want. What I've wanted for a long time."
Only when he's gone, and I'm touching my kiss-bruised lips, do I admit how this play's gonna end. I know finality when I feel it. Forget about Herc. Things don't look good for me.
More banging at my door. It's Iolaus. "Ready?" he asks.
Grabbing my shield and helmet, I follow him into the corridor. "Ares was here."
He sighs in annoyance. "I've heard the rumors that he's siding with Eumedes. Typical Ares. He doesn't care who's hurt as long as he gets his way."
"Yeah--that's what I'm afraid of."
A deep groove appears above Iolaus' eyes. "You think he's gonna sacrifice you to get to Herc?"
Hate hearing it said out loud. I manage a nod, hoping for denial, for reassurance that Ares is obviously obsessed with me and that my life's becoming a morality play about arrogant kings with bad taste in boyfriends.
But Iolaus' curly head's bobbing up and down. "I'm sorry, Iph. That's what he's like. A complete selfish prick. I've told you all along that nothing matters more to him than Herc."
I nearly say, ‘Well, he did manage to find time in his busy Herc's-demise-plotting schedule to fuck you, Blondie.' Only I don't. Sharing Iolaus was another step in Ares' revenge: satisfy my kinks, my fucking need, til I obsess over his divine self and happily commit fratricide. Given that, gloating over Iolaus' ignorance stinks so ripely of hypocrisy even my nose wrinkles. "What can I say? He's an asshole."
"So how do we stop him?" he asks, as we reach the stables.
"Why don't you and my brother come up with a brilliant plan while I talk to my men?"
"Hold on, Iph. I think we should be there for that. We know how the Spartans fight--we've been up against them plenty of times before." Before I can open my mouth, he jumps in. "Don't get all defensive. I'm just offering to help."
One of these days I'll explain to him and Herc the difference between help and paternalism. "Then you'd better grab a horse. I don't have time to waste while you stroll down to the field." I give a flick to my mount's reins and take off. Let him sort out his equine issues.
A little pressure with my knees guides Erebus behind the palace to the road bordering the cliff's edge. The sun's already sinking over the water; we'll have to use pyres for light on the battlefield, unless the messenger sent by Helion to Eumedes brings news of a truce.
I snort along with my horse. Like Ares'd let a truce happen. In addition to his plans for ridding the world of Alcmene's sons, he likes war best at night ‘cos it's more primitive, erotic. As opposed to confusing and shit-scaring for the poor dumb mortals.
Not long ago, I decided to see him in action. He'd bluntly refused to take me on a night-time campaign, and I wasn't ready to pick a fight with a neighbor to see for myself. It'd be my ass if he found out, but I couldn't resist. Just a little spying from a safe distance, maybe a little jerking off as I watched the show.
The battle between Megara and Eleusis took place a few hours' distance in a field beside the Argosian Wood. I knew the details ‘cos Megara always gives Corinth trouble; there'd been some half-hearted talk at the council meetings of joining up with Eleusis.
Through the forest seemed the safest way. I wanted to see Ares in his element, but not badly enough to get killed. At the sight of fire through the trees, I slowed my horse, moving carefully to the wood's edge. Admittedly, none of this'd get me nominated for Socrates' genius of the year award, but I figured I'd be fairly safe if I stayed hidden. How could I know the action'd move east and that even at the forest's outer lip, the view sucked? Only one way to deal with the problem.
Lucky for me, the battle, though still intense, was climaxing: the Eleusians'd suckered the other side with what the Gauls call a ‘fantaisie'. Instead of relying on common footsoldiers, you bring together a small phalanx of outstanding warriors to scare your enemy shitless by convincing ‘em your whole army's that good. If it works, you shore up your reputation for the next decade and generally kick some ass. If you lose, you lose big: your best men and lots of expensive armor.
I needed some of that armor if I was gonna get closer, so I tethered my horse to a tree, then went searching. The Eleusian elite favor a variation of the newer Corinthian helmet: gold, with silver- trimmed oval holes for eyes and wide cheekguards that cover most of the face, leaving only the mouth exposed. The rest's impressive, too: gold-plated cuirasses and thigh-high greaves.
Some luckless soldier, his blood watering the grass around him, easily gave up his armor. Newly-disguised, I peered across the field, past the pyres with the pine-brands shooting sparks into the night sky, past the clusters of screaming warriors.
Even in the smoky, red-splashed dark, Ares stood out, towering over the men. He didn't fight, only surveyed the warriors with a look somewhere between lust and anger, the curves of his folded arms and chest glowing bronze. Nearer, I noticed the three red traces smudging one cheek, like a dying soldier'd reached for him, and how the hand resting on the sword's pommel tensed every time a blade turned dark with blood
I was so focused on him that a Megaran nearly cut off my head. At the last second I heard the air split and kicked back, making solid contact. Turning, I saw him stagger, so I kicked again while he was still off-balance, and down he went. A foot on the chest kept him in place while I slit his throat. When I looked up, Ares had vanished, and just as I thought, "Shit! Nabbed!", I was suddenly back in the forest leaning naked against a tree, with the god ramming his cock into me. The rough bark dug into my cheek but I stayed quiet, ‘cos he wasn't too happy.
"You stupid, fucking mortal! I told you not to come! Why can't you ever obey me?" His teeth tore through my shoulder and he squeezed my hips bruise-hard. And between the bark and his cruel fingers, my nipples and cock were scraped so raw I tasted my own tears, even while I came to the sooty smell of his hair, the heat of his body.
When he'd finished, still furious, Ares threw me to the ground. "Don't ever follow me onto the battlefield! I can't protect you!" He raged on while I knelt and took his cock in my mouth, sucking the sweet god-come still seeping from it. "Dammit, Iphicles, stop pretending you're immortal! You're not Hercules!"
I ignored him and sucked harder, stroking his balls. Usually, he'd forget about being mad and fuck my mouth, but this time he swore, grabbed me by the hair and jerked me up. "You need a lesson in death, my little whore-king."
The forest vanished and we were in a small stone chamber with a low, stooped ceiling that nearly touched the god's head. Light from a few candles dripping messily on a rock altar splashed across brightly-frescoed walls. A tomb, complete with flower-strewn coffin.
Ares, fingers still woven in my hair, one arm around my naked waist, danced me in a slow circle around the room, showing me the vivid images. "Look. You'll be here soon enough. Sooner, if you keep pulling stupid shit like tonight."
Hades, sitting in judgment over lost souls in Tartarus, pointed with one hand to the Field of Mourning, to Phlegethon, the Burning River of Hell, with the other. Passing through a massive gate with adamant columns: figures in chains, mouths contorted in agonized screams as black birds tore at their skin. Behind them, in the distance, lurked the black-treed forest of Avernus, where Tisiphone tortured unhappy lovers with her handful of snakes, her scourge. The path to her throne ran red with blood.
"Now that's foreplay." I've never been a fan of death. "Look, just fuck me, Ares. That's all I want."
With the mud-stained toe of one boot, the god kicked off the flowers littering the coffin to reveal the painted face of its worm-gnawed occupant. "Lie back on it."
When I didn't move fast enough--and I was moving pretty quickly, eager for more of his big cock--he shoved me, and I fell, smacking the back of my head on the box. While I lay there, stunned, his clothes vanished and the candles blew out. Then Ares lay heavily on me but did nothing, although his hard cock pressed against mine.
When I tried to kiss him, the god stayed still. "Stop playing games, Ares. I got your point. Either fuck me, or let's go." I tried pushing him away, but it was like moving a huge stone statue. A colossus. "Ares! Get off!" I sucked dusty air into my compressed lungs. "Fine. I'm sorry I followed you, ok? I just wanted to see you on the field."
I kissed his mouth, his cheeks, his chin--all the skin within reach. I outlined his lips with my tongue, but could only get the tip between them. An itch started on my left shoulder blade before jumping all around my back, while my right foot fell asleep. "Please, Ares. At least say something. You fucking bastard...Get off!"
He didn't budge.
The fresco's gloomy pictures wavered before me and I tried blinking them away, ‘til I remembered the dark. "Ares, point taken. You're the god-who-must-be-obeyed, and I'm the dumb mortal. Now how ‘bout a make-up blowjob? Move so I can suck you dry. C'mon, give me that big cock and we'll break our record. Please, Ares. I'll suck you til midday, living off your cum. Get up and I'll lie back on the altar, my head hanging over the side, arms tied under me so I can't move, and you can fuck my mouth that way. Just think of your come spilling endlessly down my throat."
This distracted me a little, and I tried to thrust up so he'd feel my hard-on but couldn't under his dead weight, like a coffin lid over me. I didn't panic, exactly. But reality's contours blurred, like when you wake after a nightmare before the cool, rational part of your brain takes over. This was death: cold and suffocating.
I started babbling and I told him things I'd never told anyone else. Things you should never admit, especially to a god: fears, anxieties. Not the sexy, dressed-up stuff you spout to look good. The secret, ugly crap you spend your life denying. I told him everything, talking non-stop for hours, until my throat hurt, until the light died, until it was just my voice in the quiet dark.
Eventually I fell asleep, waking alone in my bed, cursing myself: after that pathetic display, he'd never come back. Did I think my Sordid Confessions of a Fucked-Up King would let him feel connected for once in his shitty life? No, instead I talked too much, got too serious, forgot he wanted me for my sexual skills and our kinky resemblance, like we were the brothers. Getting crazy with regret, I almost missed the hiss of tearing ether.
"I've been on the battlefield all morning," he announced, casually dropping down beside me, freeing his cock. "I need some release. Blow me."
Talk about relief: I was melting with it. Not that he needed to know. "Sorry. Gotta return your father's altar before he comes looking for it."
"You're turning me down?"
I could almost see his tail twitching. "Yep. I've also got a few council meetings. And I have to send a messenger for Herc and Iolaus...if our bet's still on."
"Oh, it's still on," he said, straddling my chest and pinning my arms over my head. "But you're not going anywhere until you swallow this."
Some showy struggles from me, then his cock was banging against my tonsils, his balls firm against my chin. He was so far down my throat that my tongue was useless, leaving me helpless while he fucked my mouth. Mostly helpless. Bucking my hips, I slapped my erection against his ass.
"You want me to do something about that, Iphicles? Touch it, maybe?" At my nod, Ares reached back, grabbing my cock with his newly-oiled hand. "You like that? Of course you do. You like anything I do to you. Slut." His voice and lashes sank with every word, until he was growling at me through half-closed eyes. With one hand, Ares pulled back so only the thick head stayed in my mouth. "Suck that for awhile, then maybe I'll do something for you. If it feels good enough."
I shook my wrists, so he'd free them. When he let go, I slid one hand between my legs, greasing a finger in the oil dripping from my cock, and eased it inside him. With my other hand, I gently squeezed his balls and started sucking his cock-head hard.
"Yeah, that's pretty good."
Throaty purring filled the room, and his lashes dropped fully. I waited for the tightening of his thighs and the quick pulsing under his skin before shoving him back. The bed creaked ominously, but didn't break, as I leapt on him. My cock was inside his ass before he recovered, so fast I got to see his eyes widen in surprise and his mouth drop open.
He didn't stop me, though, just grinned and said, "Need to feel in control today, Iphicles?"
When his legs wrapped around my waist, I forgot about why.
This happened a week ago. Right before I presented Ares with Zeus' famous altar and fucked him hard against it for a little incestuous kick, a few days before Herc and Iolaus showed up to hear the first chapter in the saga of the world's dumbest god-fucker.
Now, guiding my horse down the hill toward my soldiers doing exercises in the field, I don't regret spilling my guts. Not really. If Ares wasn't up for it, screw him. He's just as emotionally- retarded as I am. It's not like he hasn't let stuff slip. Ares talks a lot, especially after sex. And yeah, he's vented a few times about Herc, but so've I. It's not all he talks about, not by a long shot. It's just this game he plays, or so I thought, the asshole. Don't worry. I realize I'm a moron for believing him about anything, for taking him seriously.
I hate him. I really do, even while I rub against the saddle, hot at the memory.
Helion and I agree to hit the Spartans hard and fast. Amazingly, even Herc and Iolaus don't object. The last scout reported that the Spartans are camped just outside the ruined city of Lerna, They've been fighting the Corinthians under the impatient Argius, my trusty, crusty general, but he's not sure how that's going.
I'm lost in dark fantasies of revenge when Iolaus leaves Herc talking with Helion and rides up beside me. I'm not used to seeing him on a horse, and it's almost funny. "I can see why you don't ride much," I say. "Makes you look like a kid. Vulnerable."
"For what it's worth, I really do think Ares feels something for you. Hell, when he showed up the other night, he nearly convinced me that you meant more to him than Herc."
For a second I think he means when I let Ares fuck him, but of course he doesn't. He still doesn't know he came with the war god's cock in his ass, that Ares and I shared his hot little body. I almost tell him, so we can commiserate about being screwed by the god. But for a whole series of confused reasons, I keep my mouth shut, and we ride together in silence.
A few hours later, the high white walls of Lerna appear over the treetops. We're coming through on the west side, with the Spartans to the east, and from here the wall looks unbreached. Except there's something wrong.
"Those fucking bastards," Helion says, as I ride up beside him. One hand tries to slip under his helmet.
It's Argius. My friend and councillor who lost his considerable temper when he found out the Spartans were raping the women. ‘Cos of his daughter, you remember. The one raped by those soldiers as they passed through her town. Well, it looks like ol' Argius didn't get his revenge: the Spartans have hung his dead, bleeding body from the wall as a welcome present.
When people lose it, they say, "something snapped." It's a cliche...Until you're there, hearing a *crack* from inside before a ripple of pain spreads behind your eyes. Planting my knees firmly into the horse's sides, I charge ahead, although all I see are white smudges, red shadows, silver flashes. I know it's the city gates, the burning pyres, the Spartan armor, but I can't make out details, although I'm aware of an absence. No war god. But off in the distance: glints of gold. Father and son. King Hippocoon and Eumedes. If I can't have Ares' balls, theirs'll do. Especially Eumedes'. I'll feed them to him...
Ok, I've just failed ‘battle-leader 101' here, not to mention breaking rule number one in the good kingship manual (thou shalt not ride headlong into an enemy army til thou hast given the command) but I can't go back. I need revenge. I need blood. If it's mine...Well, who the fuck cares? Just let me at those Spartan dogs first.
Until I blast onto the field, the battle's pretty faded. Our speedy response paid off: we've surprised ‘em. But the sight of a large troop of Corinthians (the speed paid off) slams the Spartans into high-gear, and arrows fly thickly around me, deflected by my armor. My horse isn't so lucky and, with a vibrating scream, stumbles, tendons severed. I slide off, landing in sticky mud, and unhook my shield from the animal's side. Not too soon: a heavy silver sword arcs down toward my shoulder just as I raise my weapon. The blow actually pushes me about an inch into the soggy earth while my right hand, hard on the grip, smashes painfully into my collar bone.
Big advantage him, big trouble me. He's obviously a seasoned warrior: the firelight flickers over dents in his cuirass too deep for a blacksmith's healing hammer. You keep it for the fit; unfamiliar armor can kill you--I can still hear my smith-lover Eudoxis telling me that while I fucked him in that hot back room. This Spartan's just recognized me, too, and his teeth shine whitely. Killing the king means bragging rights plus some well-tooled Corinthian equipment, and he wastes no time zinging down the big sword. Unfortunately for him, my weapon's got a shorter traveling distance, and I jam it up between his thighs, winning the little encounter. He squeals louder than my horse, crumpling down, and dies easily from a clean slice across the throat.
Though my men swarm around me, the clank of solid metal stays a background buzz. Even the increasing screams don't distract me; it's my mercenary background taking over. The philosophy's pretty straightforward: screw everyone til you get your target, then worry (maybe) about the others on your side. I've always been lucky on the battlefield: a mortal blow barely scratches, a glancing one barely registers. Ares, I thought. I must've impressed the war god, despite the shady family connection. That's partly why I went to his temple the first time. Like I told Herc and Iolaus, a voice called my name, but I knew it was Ares, only not what he wanted. Murder, torture, sex. Guess which I bet on?
A soldier steps in my path, challenging me. A rebel: the Spartans are taught from the cradle to hit hard and fast, not dick around with shows of power. Too bad he didn't pay more attention in school. A straight thrust of my sword, and I lop off his arm at the shoulder, getting sprayed with hot stinking blood for my trouble. As he falls, the Spartan tosses his spear, which shoots past me, scraping my right forearm. There's a quick sting, but as usual the pain vanishes, swallowed by my pumping heart.
Still a lot of soldiers between me and my target, but no Ares. He'll probably wait til I reach the Spartan royals. More theatrical that way. Then...Who the fuck knows? Someone's dying today.
The hungry mud's sucking at my boots with a satisfied sound, making each step heavy. With smoke smearing the stars while red flames from the pyres burst up around me, it's like I'm in a nightmare. In reality, the mud's another advantage. I got used to it fighting in Britannia, with its permanently drenched ground. Like at Lindum, where Ares fucked me for the first time, disguised as a pagan god. Unless that wasn't him...Unless he lied when I told him the story, telling me what I wanted to hear, making me malleable as wax. A mindless little fuck-puppet: pull my strings right, and I'll kill on command.
My sword impacts with a Spartan throat, and the solid contact sings through me. The warrior dies painfully, frantically trying to stop the blood showering the earth. My feet move faster, stepping over dead men, kicking aside dropped shields, avoiding the pyres. They slow when I realize this is too easy, then, with a flash of annoyance, figure out why. My brother, of course, and his ever-faithful boy-toy, come to rescue the wayward king, my own men right there with ‘em. They wanna help, fine. As long they stay away when I go for Eumedes. The last thing I need right now is a speech on temperance and mercy when all I want's that smug princely bastard dangling from my blade.
I'm getting close enough to see Eumedes' pretty face under the helmet. The fighting's denser here, a silver-plated defense around prince and king. Their weapons are drawn, but they let their men do the work. Gods, it's gonna feel so good to ram my sword into that smug face, into the mouth that sucked Ares' cock...
"Iphicles! Watch out!"
I turn at Herc's cry, shield raised, just in time to repel a spear head. This guy's harder to kill. I've passed into the heart of their army: no more foot soldiers now, only the Spartan elite. My heart's banging away inside the cuirass and I'm almost there, but still no Ares. Where in Tartarus is he? He's cutting it close. Herc's not even beside me anymore, waylaid by a group of soldiers, who're flying spectacularly through the air. This doesn't make sense. Ares is a planner, a careful strategist. So why hasn't he arranged for Herc to be right beside me? Once I slice and dice pretty Eumedes here, this battle's over. The god's running out of time.
"Iph...What're you doing?" Iolaus pants beside me. "You're gonna get killed!" Using a fallen spear, he vaults in front of me, driving his feet hard into the chest of my would-be assassin.
"Shut up for once and spare me the lectures! Eumedes has it coming!"
"Go back, dammit! Herc can't protect you up here!"
"I don't need protection," I tell him, although that's not exactly true. My men are doing what they can, and back there my brother's a one-man wrecking ball, but the Spartans are closing in.
Sweat's washing my eyes, and my hair's wet under the helmet, but I'm too near to stop now. But where the fuck is Ares? I don't get it. Glancing beside me, looking for the god, I see that Iolaus is getting hemmed in. No armor, of course. He's doing what he can, but the Spartans smell blood. I take another step in the springy earth toward Eumedes.
"Iph, I need some help here!"
Iolaus has a deep wound on one shoulder; the blood gleams wetly under the light from a pyre. His movements are slowing, too, like he's tiring. But Eumedes is only a few arms' lengths from me.
"Iphicles! Over here!" Desperation raises his voice.
"Oh, for..." Changing direction, I cut a path to him. "You owe me big-time," I tell Iolaus, smashing the buckler of my shield into a soldier's face, while I cut another's femur artery. "Big time."
"Yeah, yeah. Just get these guys outta my face, and we'll talk."
For the next few minutes, it's him and me against a silver ring of seasoned killers. Maybe because we've fucked, we find each other's rhythm, amassing a nice pile of defeated Spartans. But something changes, and we're not working in tandem anymore. Then I see why: the royals have finally joined the party. Still no Ares, though.
Eumedes zeroes in on Iolaus, whose windmill arms have slowed. He's in trouble again, all ‘cos of me. Herc's catching up to us, but he's still too far off to save Iolaus' ass, which is about to be skewered. Eumedes has his spear up, ready to try Iolaus-on-a-stick. I'm so pumped with adrenaline that my brain's shut down, and I'm not really thinking anymore. All I know is that Ares' cock-sucking lover is about to kill Iolaus, so I charge, sword drawn.
But just as my gore-slick blade's arcing through the air, about to decapitate a certain Spartan prince, I feel the sting of an arrow in my left heel. My Achilles' tendon. Even as I crash down, King Hippocoon appears above me. I see the silver glint, then there's a sharp heat across my throat.
My last thought, before things go inky, is ‘Where's Ares?'
So I died. No deus ex machina appeared up at the last minute to save my ass. When I first woke up, I was a little pissed about that. I mean, Ares owed me. And I told him.
"You're a little late. I got Eumedes, but that little pansy-ass needed daddy's help to kill me. This doesn't look like Tartarus, though." I look around through dazed eyes. "More like a bedroom. Your bedroom. But I died, right?"
"Oh yeah, you died all right." Ares looks hugely pleased by this, grinning like a maniac. "Sort of."
"I'm glad you're so happy about that. Well, Herc's still alive and kicking, so why don't you go to him?" I know I sound like a baby, but I've just died and the world's a little hazy. "Hey! Sort of? What d'you mean, ‘sort of?'"
"Iph, remember that altar you stole from my father's temple?"
Ok, I'm dead, and he's asking about the altar. Talk about your insensitive bastards. "Uhhh, Ares, I've got other concerns right now. Like eternal torment. That kinda thing."
He ignores me, almost manic. "Zeus came looking for his prized altar, and he found out about us."
"So what? I'm dead. He can't hurt me now."
"Well, it turns out Dad had a little secret, and he was worried my mother'd hear about it."
"I'm not following. Your mother already knows about Herc; that's why she's been after him for years."
"And that's why he was worried: he thought I was gonna draw her attention to you."
"Why would Hera give a shit about me?" Being dead really scrambles your brain.
"Iphicles, you ever wonder why we look so much alike? Why you never get hurt? Why you've got the sex drive of...well, Zeus?"
An idea taps at my skull. But it's not possible..."Why? You have an answer?"
"As soon as Zeus started asking all these questions about you, I thought did, that maybe he'd been doing Alcmene for longer than he's admitted. That maybe Herc wasn't the only demigod growing up in your house."
"What exactly are you saying?"
"So I asked him. Point-blank. ‘Is Iphicles your son?' And he broke. ‘Yeah,' he tells me. ‘But you can't tell your mother. You know what she's like. And you can't tell Iphicles.'"
My chin's hitting my chest here, and my tongue's frozen with shock.
"He said if I told you, Hera'd find out, and immortal or not, she'd get you. He made me swear not to tell you, or kill you myself to speed things up. If you found out on your own, fine. Well, you found out on your own. Mostly." The grin somehow grows even more.
"Look, Ares. I've had kind of a long, weird day, and I'm a little confused. Can you just spell this out for me?"
"You're a demigod, Iphicles. You're the son of Zeus. My brother. And you're immortal."
Ares fucked me after that. No holding back, either. He fucked me harder and longer than ever before. During it all, he talked. He couldn't stop talking, and I started to feel pretty damn good.
After, lying in his arms, his cum everywhere on me, it was my turn to talk. "I think I get it. Zeus was doing Mom for years, and no one knew, not even her, until Herc was born. Zeus didn't tell anyone ‘cause of Hera's jealousy, and you only found out a week ago when he came for his altar and discovered that his two sons were lovers. When you clued in, he told you to keep quiet. You, being you, came to the palace, blew me within an inch of my life, then try to convince me to go on a suicide mission against the Spartans, not exactly observing daddy-dearest's injunction, but not technically breaking any rules. Right so far?"
He nods sleepily, pulling me closer. "
"So I head off, extremely pissed that you picked that toad Eumedes over me, and proceed to get officially killed, at which point you're free to fill me in on some crucial details about my life. Like we're half-brothers, and I'm immortal."
The look on his face is hardening my cock. "There's just one thing I don't get."
"All those years ago, at the temple in Lindum, when the god took me...Was that you?"
Another grin. "Of course."
"Why? You just wanted to get back at Herc?"
"What do you think?"
"That you used me to get to Herc ‘cos you're obsessed with him." But it comes out like a question.
There's a big, theatrical sigh. "Fine. I'll say it this once, since you've died today and all. I didn't use you to get to Herc. I used him to get to you. Because I'm..." He leans forward and whispers in my ear, then settles back with his thighs spread invitingly. "Now suck my cock, brother."
"Hold on! I have one more question: if you're so obs--interested in me, then why'd you leave me alone for so long after the first time in Lindum?"
No does a wicked grin like Ares. "Who said I did? Remember a certain smith named Eudoxis in your hometown?" His features flicker, and for a second I glimpse my old lover. "There've been others, most recently a young scribe at your palace...Happy? Now blow me."
He's very demanding, my brother. But I decide to humor him. Don't worry: I'm not turning all good and selfless just ‘cos of this immortality thing. Nah. I suck his thick, beautiful cock for the same reason I always do: that long, perfect moment when he loses control, when everything's stripped away, and he says what I love to hear more than anything: