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Sandals and Sodomy [MultiFormat]
eBook by D.G. Parker & Dar Mavison & John Simpson

eBook Category: Gay Fiction/Romance
eBook Description:

Enter the ancient world through a portal of marble pillars to see the wonders--beautiful and terrible--that await you: luck lost and love found in the infamous Trojan War; the binding of hearts and souls in the Sacred Band of Thebes; the horrors and pleasures of the gladiators' arena; the whims and fancies of the emperors; and the touch of the gods and goddesses upon the affairs of mere mortals. Sandals and Sodomy will transport you to another time... another place... where the battles of good and evil are overshadowed by the struggles for love.

Stories included are:

Greeks Bearing Gifts by D. G. Parker
Troy Cycle by Dar Mavison
Undefeated Love by John Simpson
Hadrian by Remmy Duchene
After the Games by Connie Bailey
The Vow by Ariel Tachna

eBook Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspinner Press, Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2009

12 Reader Ratings:
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Antenor awoke to feel the sun beating down upon his unprotected head. A groan escaped his parched lips, and he raised a shaky hand to his head. Every part of his body hurt, but the swollen gash above his left eye throbbed with every beat of his heart. Turning his head away from the merciless sunlight, he opened his eyes and saw nothing but destruction.

The sight was so unexpected, so foreign, that it took him a moment to recognize the street he'd grown up on. The houses and shops he knew like his own home were gone, reduced to smoking heaps of ash and stone. Half-buried in rubble himself, he fought his way free and staggered to his feet, squinting into the distance for some sign of life. Columns of black smoke reached into the sky as far as he could see in any direction. Barely a building remained standing. Large flocks of carrion birds wheeled overhead. In the distance, Antenor could hear the muffled sounds of a celebration.

He fell to his knees as the horrible reality hit him. The long siege was over. The walls had been breached.

Troy had fallen.

Tears coursed silently down his cheeks, cutting twin paths through the caked blood and dirt on his face. The pain of his body was nothing in the face of his breaking heart, for in that instant he knew that all those he loved were beyond his reach. His aging father, his sister and her husband, everyone he knew, all gone--the men slain, the women violated and taken away to be slaves in Greek households.

Antenor rose to his feet, his legs unsteady but his face set in grim determination. He did not know if it was luck or the will of the gods that he'd escaped detection and murder at the hands of the enemy, but he would make the most of the opportunity. He cast his eyes about for a weapon. He was no trained soldier and knew he stood no chance against the entire Greek host, but he was determined to have his vengeance before he fell.

It wasn't difficult to find the enemy. The Greeks were reveling in their victory, drunk on Trojan wine and fat with feasting, and in their arrogance they hadn't even bothered to post guards. They roamed the streets of the city, profaning the air with their drunken laughter and coarse words, searching gleefully through the ruined homes for plunder. They had slaughtered countless head of cattle, and the air was filled with the smell of cooking meat. All the while, the bodies of Antenor's countrymen lay where they had fallen, without the benefit of a funeral pyre.

His sight went red with rage. He clutched a dagger, the only weapon he'd been able to find, tightly in his fist as he crept toward the nearest group of Greeks. He knew he'd only have time to kill one--which one should it be? That one, he decided. Young and handsome, he had his face buried in the neck of a terrified teenage girl and his hands under her torn robe, groping her breasts. Yes, Antenor would kill that man. He would sacrifice his own life in doing so, but maybe it would buy the girl enough time to escape. Now all he had to do was circle around the group and get behind the bastard.

So intent was he on his victim, he never heard the footsteps at his back.

A hard punch between his shoulders sent him crashing to his knees. He was still arching his back in agony when a sandaled foot sank into his stomach, doubling him over. More kicks followed, and he curled up to protect his head and belly. Laughing, shouting voices surrounded him.

"What do we have here? Why, it's a little Trojan boy. With a dagger. Isn't that cute, he thinks he's a warrior."

"Nothing cute about it," said another man. "He got the drop on all of us. Kill him."

"Let's not be hasty." This man's voice was almost a purr. Antenor risked a glance at him and saw the handsome face of his intended victim. That same man now seized him by his hair, wrenching his head up and turning it from side to side. "He's pretty. I think I'll keep him."

"Agamemnon's orders were clear, Endymion." another argued. "Take the women and children, kill the men."

"Agamemnon isn't here," the man snapped in reply. "Besides, the king would not begrudge me this small trophy after my many victories in his service."

"Take him if you wish, and risk his anger. If the king doesn't order him killed, the boy will likely murder you in your sleep. I care not either way."

"I did not seek your permission," Endymion snarled. "He is mine to keep, and if his manhood presents a problem, that is easy enough to remedy." He drew a curved dagger from his belt and held it before Antenor's eyes, and his smile changed his handsome face into something ugly and profane. "He won't need testicles for what I'll have him doing."

Sheer panic drove Antenor to lunge away from his captor in a bid so frantic he almost broke free. Within seconds, hands had secured him and pressed him into the dirt, still struggling.

"Put him with the women," Endymion dismissed, sheathing his knife. "I'll take him to my tent tonight."

Antenor was dragged, struggling and swearing, to a large hole that usually held preserves. The wooden door was lifted up and he was greeted with the sight of dozens of Trojan women and children, squinting up at the sudden light. Without warning, he was shoved from behind and tumbled down the stairs, landing in a dazed heap at the feet of the other prisoners. The door dropped, and they were left in darkness.

It was stiflingly hot in the cellar, and for a long moment it was quiet save for the occasional sniffle or whimper. Antenor pulled himself painfully into a sitting position, rubbing at one bruised elbow.

"Who are you?" a woman asked in a hushed tone.

"Antenor, son of Alcestes."

One by one, the women introduced themselves. Antenor knew several of them who had been frequent customers in his father's shop. From them he learned of the Greeks' cunning deception, of the great wooden horse left on the abandoned beach. How King Priam had ordered it brought into the city as an offering to the gods. How the warriors had swarmed out of it in the dead of night and slaughtered the Trojans, drunk and vulnerable after a day spent celebrating the apparent retreat of their enemy.

He learned of the death of Priam, the good old king. Beautiful Helen, the cause of all their sorrows, was returned to her Greek husband. He listened with horror as the women told him of children torn from their mothers' arms and of Prince Hector's infant son thrown from the walls of Troy so that he would not live to seek revenge for his father's death and his city's defeat.

By the time the story was complete, many of the women were weeping. Antenor wept with them.

* * * *

Time passed slowly in their dark, stifling hole. When next the door opened, night had fallen. Antenor and the women were seized and dragged out of their prison into the cool night air. The Greeks were drunk nearly to a man, none more so than the fair Endymion. Antenor was pushed before the warrior. Weak from hunger and thirst, he stumbled and fell heavily to his knees.

"My lovely prize," the warrior slurred. Light from the fire gave him an eerie glow like a demon straight out of Tartarus. The Greek snatched a fistful of Antenor's hair and leaned over, bathing his face in sour wine breath. "I can wait no longer," he rasped, "I must have you."

Antenor was suddenly flat on his back, Endymion's muscled body pinning him to the dirt. Fingers reached under his tunic, roughly fondling his genitals. With a panicked cry, he bucked his body and succeeded in throwing the Greek off. He flipped onto his hands and knees and tried to scramble away, but Endymion tackled him once more, crushing him to the ground and knocking the breath from his lungs. This time Antenor could feel the other man's hardness rubbing clumsily against his buttocks. Humiliated tears burned in his eyes. His fingers clawed the earth, but he was helpless against Endymion's superior strength.

Suddenly the weight was gone. Antenor sobbed in relief, pressing his face into the dirt to hide the tears that fell against his will. It took him a long moment to gather his wits enough to look up. To his surprise, he found that the Greeks were barely paying attention to him, caught up in the drama playing out before them. Endymion, his face flushed with anger, stood facing another warrior, who regarded him with barely-interested contempt.

"He is mine!" Endymion hissed. "My prize, earned with my sweat and blood!"

The other warrior was older, shorter and broader at the shoulders. He wore his hair cropped close to his scalp and his beard was short and neatly trimmed. His posture looked relaxed, almost lazy, but somehow that only made him seem more dangerous.

"You have taken many slaves this day," the older man drawled. "Well earned, as you say. I have taken none. Surely you can spare this little one, as a reward for my own efforts in battle?"

Endymion's frown grew deeper. "He is mine. Steal someone else's property if you're unable to win your own prizes." His expression grew sly, calculating. "Perhaps age has caught up with you, Calchas." Encouraged by a few snickers behind him, he grinned and continued. "War is a business for young men. Go back to your tent, old man, and thank the gods you did not fall in battle. Anyway, what use would you have for a bedmate? I doubt you'd even be able to use him."

Calchas smiled with the tolerance of a parent faced with an especially dense child. "I want the boy. If you require me to prove that I am still capable of using him, perhaps I shall demonstrate on you."

In the space of a second, the older warrior covered the distance between them, cocked his muscled arm and slammed his fist into Endymion's face. The younger man staggered, his hands flying to his broken nose, but didn't fall until Calchas kicked him in the side of his knee. A brutal backhand sent the young warrior sprawling in the dirt.

"Would you seek to deny me?" Calchas hissed, shoving Endymion onto his stomach. "Would you seek to shame me? Me, who has fought at Agamemnon's side since you were dragging on your mother's tit? Were you a man, I would challenge you and kill you in combat. Instead, I will deal with you like the foolish, prideful child you are."

Then, to Antenor's amazement, Calchas pinned the younger man to the ground, flipped up the back of his tunic, and brought his open palm down hard on the exposed buttocks.

Endymion shouted, swore, and struggled to free himself, but Calchas must have been a champion wrestler, for he held his victim pinned tight. His big hand rained blows down upon the humiliated man while the rest of the Greeks jeered. It wasn't until Endymion ceased struggling and submitted that Calchas stopped the beating.

Standing, the older warrior brushed a speck of dirt from his tunic. There was not a scratch on him. "Do you have any further questions about my vitality?" he asked mildly.

Endymion, huddled in the dirt with his arms covering his face, didn't answer.

Calchas dismissed him and turned to meet Antenor's shocked stare. "Come with me, boy."

Fool! Antenor thought, why didn't you run when you had the chance? A hand closed in his hair and dragged him to his feet. "You heard him," a voice snarled in his ear.

"Let go of him," Calchas directed. He stood before Antenor and looked him in the eye. "You can follow me to my tent, with your head up, like a man. Understand?"

Antenor glanced at the other Greeks, then back to Calchas. He understood completely. He could follow the warrior meekly and avoid any further humiliation, or he could be dragged like a misbehaving child to the amusement of the enemy warriors that surrounded them. He licked his lips and nodded. "I understand. I'll do as you say." For now.

* * * *

Calchas's tent was large but unadorned, especially considering the man had lived there for ten years. Antenor stood just inside the doorway, unsure of what was expected of him. "What do you want me to do?"

"Wash," the warrior replied immediately. "You stink. Drink something first."

Antenor caught the water skin and drank deeply. He could not remember a time when he wasn't thirsty. Calchas puttered around the tent, gathering a basin and a pile of cloth. "Sit," he directed. The younger man did as ordered, perching on a stool and watching his captor with distrust. Pulling up another stool, Calchas sat before him and took his chin in one callused hand. "Nasty cut. Hold still."

Antenor hissed and grit his teeth as his cut was carefully cleaned.

"What's your name, boy?"

He debated withholding the information, but decided it wasn't worth risking the older man's anger. He didn't fancy a spanking of his own, public or not. "Antenor. Son of Alcestes."

Calchas grunted, rinsing the rag and dropping it in the Trojan's lap. "Wash your face, Antenor son of Alcestes."

The young man picked up the cloth and scrubbed at the caked blood and dirt on his face, always keeping one eye on his captor. Calchas moved about the tent, leaving bits of discarded armor in his wake. Antenor's gaze moved from the warrior to the tent door, judging whether he could reach the opening before the older man caught him.

As if reading his mind, Calchas spoke without looking at him. "There's nowhere to go. Anyone you meet outside of this tent will kill you or worse. Take your chances if you like, but you're safer here."

"Am I?" Antenor tried to sound defiant, but a tremble in his voice betrayed his fear.

Calchas sighed deeply, sinking down on a camp cot and tugging at the laces of his sandals. "Do as you're told and stay out of my way, and you have nothing to fear from me."

"And what," he whispered, his voice breaking, "what will you have me do?"

"You talk a great deal for a slave," remarked the older man, but there was a trace of humor in his expression. "I won't require you to service me, if that's what you're worried about. Your virtue is safe."

Antenor felt his face heat, to the warrior's further amusement. "I am not a slave. I am a Trojan."

"There are no more Trojans. There is no more Troy. The sooner you accept your fate, the easier it will be for you."

The warrior's tone was matter-of-fact, almost bored. Antenor felt fury well up in his heart. "I will never accept it! I will be free, and when I am free, I will kill you!"

Calchas stopped and slowly turned around. In two quick strides he was before his captive, gripping Antenor's face in one callused hand. The younger man twisted but could not break the hold.

"You will never be free again," the older man stated. "Your city is in ruins, your people dead or scattered to the four winds. You will live out your life as a slave in a foreign land. Nothing that you or I can do will change that." Antenor had the strange thought that he was taking no pleasure in his words. "This is your life now. Be thankful you will spend your days harvesting olives in Macedon. Most of your countrymen have fared much worse."

Thankful? Thankful? Antenor's eyes widened, but before he could retort, Calchas's grip tightened until it was painful.

"If I think you are a threat to me, you will spend the entire journey home bound in the hold of the ship. You will find I am a fair man. How you are treated depends on how you behave." Calchas shifted, his knees creaking slightly. "I go to meet with the others, to determine when we depart these shores. Think about what I've said." He stopped at the entrance to the tent, looking over his shoulder with a serious gaze. "Leave this tent at your peril."

Left alone, Antenor rubbed his aching cheeks and tried to calm the pounding of his heart. Conflicting thoughts raced through his mind, the Greek's words washing over him like breaking waves.

There is no more Troy...

Never be free again...

Antenor dropped his head into his hands as his eyes burned with tears. Gods. Oh Apollo, help me!

* * * *

Exhaustion and stress combined to send Antenor into a deep, dreamless sleep. He awoke in the dark, disoriented by a pounding headache. Slowly, the events of the day came back to him and he swallowed hard, fighting down a sudden surge of panic.

Over the sound of his own heartbeat, he could hear Calchas's soft snores and the creak of the cot as he shifted in his sleep.

Antenor had two choices. He could go meekly forward into a lifetime of slavery in another land, or he could risk his life in an attempt to escape.

He was no warrior. He'd spent his life safely behind the walls of Troy, aware that others killed and died in his defense. But he'd never taken a life, never felt the bite of a sword blade or had his flesh pierced with a spear. It was sheer lunacy for him to consider taking on the entire Greek army, especially with no plan for escape and no destination if he did.

And yet ... and yet, he was a Trojan, maybe the last Trojan man left alive. Did that not give him the incentive, the duty, to try and escape the enemy?

Antenor listened again, trying to detect any changes in Calchas's breathing. Rolling carefully to his feet, he took slow, cautious steps towards the tent opening. Once there, he peeked out of the flap at the sleeping Greek encampment. Nearby other tents stood dark and silent. Behind them, the dark hulks of beached Greek ships loomed silhouetted against the bright, full moon. He could see a campfire some distance to the left. If he crept behind the tent and headed in the other direction, he might be able to avoid the sentries.

He took one step out of the tent before a hand snagged his tunic and yanked him back in. Losing his balance, Antenor spun to the ground, landing hard on his rump.

"Fool." Calchas sighed, lighting a lamp. The glow cast his face in eerie shadows, making him look like Hades come from the underworld. "Little idiot."

Antenor scooted back on his bruised backside, afraid of the man's reaction although his voice held more frustration than anger.

"This is why I don't take slaves," Calchas muttered to himself, looking down with his hands on his hips. "Always more trouble than they're worth."

"Then let me go!" Antenor half-demanded, half-begged, ready to weep from sheer desperation.

"Boy, look at me," Calchas ordered, squatting down to eye level. "Listen to me very carefully. If you stay with me, you will live. If you run away, you will die. The choice is that simple. Now, if you would rather die, tell me now and I won't waste another moment of my time keeping you alive."

"Why?" Antenor shouted, pounding his hands into the dirt. "Why did you take me as a slave? Why didn't you let the other one kill me?"

Now Calchas's temper began to mount as well. "I would have let him kill you, insolent brat! It's what he would have done to you first that I could not allow!" The warrior sighed and ran a hand over his hair, visibly struggling to bring his anger under control. "I took you as a slave to keep you from being fucked to death. Now you must decide what will happen next."

"I don't understand," Antenor moaned.

"In two days' time, the fleet sails back to Greece. You can return with me to Macedon and serve in my household, where you will be well treated. If you can't find a way to live with that, tell me now. I will put you to the sword myself before I turn you out amongst my fellow soldiers. At least then I know your death will be swift and painless."

Antenor knew what his answer should be. A man, a true man and a Trojan, would demand death rather than live with the dishonor of slavery. But Antenor was only nineteen. Despite an uncertain future, despite all that he'd lost, he wasn't ready to die. Calchas saw that truth in his eyes and nodded.

The warrior rose from his crouch and moved to a trunk in the corner. In the darkened tent Antenor felt the rope before he saw it and struggled to avoid the inevitable. In short order he was bound, hands behind his back, to the center tent pole. "You have abused my trust," Calchas intoned. "I do not take that lightly. I have said that your behavior will determine your treatment. Consider this proof of my word." The Greek moved to the lantern and blew it out. Antenor heard the cot creak as the warrior settled down and fell asleep without speaking another word.

The young Trojan spent a moment tugging at his bonds before giving it up as futile. Sighing, he squirmed against the post and tried to get settled.

It was a long, uncomfortable night.

* * * *

Antenor awoke cold and achy with a maddening itch on his nose. Twitching his face like a rabbit, he tried to relieve it by rubbing against his shoulder, but found he couldn't reach. A soft splash made him open his eyes with a start.

He turned his gaze to the tent's other occupant. Calchas, he was startled to see, was standing before the wash basin completely nude. Flushed though he knew his face to be, Antenor could not help but stare.

Had Endymion seen the man like this, he would never have been so foolish as to challenge him. Calchas had round knots of muscle for calves and thighs like the trunks of old trees. His buttocks were high and muscled and might have been sculpted out of marble, so firm were they. Trim at the waist and broad at the shoulder, the Greek might have been the embodiment of physical beauty were it not for the myriad scars marking his dark skin. Even these, Antenor realized, were more badges of courage and honor than disfigurements, and somehow only served to add to the man's appeal.

And when he turned around.... Gods! Antenor was sure he'd seen better physiques on younger, more attractive men, but at the moment none came to mind. Calchas was drying his face and hair with a rough cloth, giving his prisoner time to note the rippling muscles of his stomach and chest. The Trojan let his eyes drift lower to the thick cock lying lax in a nest of wiry hair. Antenor felt his own member stir at the sight and tore his eyes away, pulling his legs up slightly to hide his state.

Calchas tossed his towel aside and shrugged into his tunic. Forgoing his armor, he still buckled his sword belt around his waist, then sat on the cot to lace his sandals. "You must be hungry."

Antenor nodded, once again trying and failing to scratch his nose. The warrior moved behind him and he was suddenly free. His arms fell heavily forward, and his shoulders screamed in pain at the change in position. His hands crawled with pins and needles as the blood flow returned to them. Calchas waited patiently until he had recovered--and scratched his nose at length.

"Come, let's find some breakfast." Antenor followed him to the door, only to be stopped before he could leave. "Outside, you must walk five paces behind me. You must not speak unless spoken to, and you must not make eye contact with anyone. Understand, I do not insist on these things when we are alone, but amongst the others, it must be so. I do this for your safety, not to humiliate you."

Antenor's jaw worked as he absorbed this further debasement. Calchas watched him with steady, sincere eyes until the younger man nodded. The Greek gave him a quick pat on the shoulder and strode into the sunlight. Antenor let him take a few paces' lead before following, studiously keeping his eyes on the other man's heels. A moment later, he heard voices of other men and assumed they were nearing a campfire. He stopped when Calchas did, keeping his face downcast and his arms at his sides.

"Sit," the warrior ordered, and Antenor folded smoothly to his knees. A plate was set on the ground before him. As famished as he was, he waited until Calchas tersely commanded him to eat before reaching for it.

As he shoveled food into his mouth, he paid close attention to the conversations taking place around him. Some of the men were merely bragging of the spoils they'd reaped from the fallen city. Most of them, however, spoke longingly of home.

"When I left Pella, my son was so small I could carry him on my shoulders," one said. "By the time I return he will nearly be a man."

Another murmured in agreement. "My daughter will have reached adulthood by now. I worry that my wife and father did not find her a suitable husband."

"Much has changed," Calchas commented. "Before I left, my sister asked my permission to marry our neighbor, a widower of good character. I asked her to wait, to run my household until I returned from Troy. Had I known how long my absence would be, I would not have asked her for such a sacrifice."

"Calchas, have you no wife, no children?"

"I had a wife, many years ago. She died in childbirth and the babe with her."

"Go and get yourself another," someone suggested cheerfully. "You've much to offer a wife, and with a plantation like that, you can attract a good one. You are young enough yet to sire many children."

Antenor risked a quick peek at his benefactor's face, just long enough to note the wistful sadness behind his smile. "Perhaps some day," Calchas replied, but Antenor saw the truth in the older man's face. He would never again take a wife.

The talk turned to their upcoming departure. Apparently, mobilizing a fleet of ships beached for ten years was no easy feat. The Greek camp had existed outside the Trojans walls for so long it had itself become a city. The entire fleet needed to be packed up and provisioned within the next two days in order to take advantage of the tide. Antenor listened to their plans with a heavy heart. He would see the sun rise twice more on the land he called home, and then he would never see it again.

He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't realize the group had broken up until Calchas tapped him on the shoulder. "Come, boy." Antenor rose and followed him, surprised when they moved behind a tent and stopped. Calchas put a finger under his chin and tipped his face up to meet his eyes. The warrior was smiling. "You did well. I know that was not easy for you. Take heart, once we are back in Macedon, you will no longer need to observe these formalities."

Unsure of how to respond, Antenor merely nodded.

"Now that we've established that you're under my command, therefore under my protection, you have a measure of safety in the camp. I want you to help prepare the ship for departure. You'll take orders from one of my most trusted men. If you have a problem, tell me or Nictos, but you must not argue or do anything else to bring down punishment on yourself. Do you understand?"

So it was that Antenor found himself working under the watchful eye of Nictos, a short, barrel-shaped Greek with ropey muscles and a missing left eye. The man was gruff and impatient, but not cruel, and so long as his young charge worked sufficiently hard, he was satisfied. Antenor spent the morning pushing barrels of drinking water up the ramp to the ship's deck, then lowering them by pulley into the cargo hold. It was harder work than he was used to, and by lunchtime, his muscles were trembling with fatigue.

He took his meal with the others in the sparse shade of a spindly tree. From their joking familiarity, he knew that the men he'd been laboring beside all morning were free men, Greeks lower in the social order than Calchas who'd been reduced to manual labor now that the fighting was over. Antenor took Calchas's warnings seriously and therefore hadn't uttered a word all day.

As he finished his lunch, a young man with a long, wiry beard offered him a fig. "What is your name?"

Antenor told him, accepting the fruit but keeping his eyes on the ground.

"Where do you come from, Antenor? I know you did not sail from Macedon with us."

Unsure of how or even if to respond, the young man darted a desperate look around, spotting Nictos in deep discussion with another man--too far away to assist him. He was saved having to reply when another Greek answered for him.

"That is Colchas's little Trojan slave," a wiry younger man laughed. "I hear he stole him right out from under Endymion's nose."

"I hear he beat Endymion near to death," added another.

"I will not eat with a slave," declared a deep voice. "I will take my meal over there--upwind of his Trojan stink."

"Would that we could be upwind of yours, Menides!" someone called to his retreating back.

Antenor felt the first man's eyes boring into him. "You are well away from Endymion in any case," he said, biting into a fig and continuing around a mouthful of food. "He has a habit of breaking his toys."

The wiry man made a scoffing noise. "I am happy to see that bastard denied anything, to be sure. He does nothing but brag of his conquests."

"Good fighter, though."

"Many are good fighters, but they don't feel the need to constantly remind everyone of the fact."

The men seemed to concede the point, and then one of them asked a question Antenor himself had been curious about. "How is it the boy was allowed to live? Agamemnon gave orders that all the men were to be put to death, only the women and children taken as slaves."

"You know Calchas. Once he sets his mind to something, the gods themselves stand aside and let him go. I hear that he spent hours last night convincing the king to grant the boy's life in exchange for his many victories in battle."

"But why?" Antenor heard himself ask. His head shot up in panic, waiting for the results of his breach of protocol.

The wiry-bearded man smiled and shrugged his shoulders, taking the opportunity to stretch overworked muscles. "If you ask me, sometimes even Calchas doesn't know why he does the things he does. I have known him many years and have never seen him take a slave. Perhaps you remind him of someone. Perhaps he is just sick of the killing. Anyway, you should be thanking the gods he took an interest in you. Of all Trojans, you will probably fare the best. There are not so many happy fates for the conquered."

Antenor burned to ask more questions, but common sense had him hold his tongue. A few moments later, Nictos summoned them back to work, and the backbreaking labor soon cleared his mind of other thoughts.

When the sun set, Nictos dismissed Antenor and sent him back to Calchas's tent to eat and rest. Tired but strangely content, the young Trojan made his way through the encampment. Thoughts of food and a bed so encompassed his mind that he didn't notice the foot thrust into his path until he was face down in the sand. He looked up into a familiar cruel face, not so handsome now with its swollen nose and bruised eyes.

"Well, well, well. If it isn't the little Trojan whore." Endymion paced slowly in front of him, making sure to kick sand in his face as he passed. "I see they're trying to teach you men's work. You'd think by now they'd know that Trojan men are only good for one thing."

Antenor pushed himself upright and moved to stand.

"Stay on your knees, slave!" the Greek barked, grabbing him by the hair. "Calchas has not yet shown you how to pay proper respect to your betters. I think I'll assist you with that lesson." Antenor heard the rustle of cloth, and then Endymion's swollen member was right before his face. "Bite me and I'll bash your teeth in," the Greek snarled.

A sharp yank on his hair made him yelp in pain, and the long, thin cock poked into his mouth, leaving a sheen of foul-tasting liquid on his lips. Antenor tried to pull his head away but was held fast, helpless to do anything but try not to choke as Endymion shoved his cock in and out. The thrusts were long and brutal, sometimes hitting the back of his throat and causing him to gag. His eyes watered. His scalp burned. The assault went on for ages.

Finally the thrusts became quicker, jerkier. Endymion grasped his head on either side and pumped frantically into his mouth before seizing up with a groan. Thick, salty liquid pulsed from his cock and down Antenor's throat, some escaping from the corners of his mouth.

Abruptly the cock withdrew and the hands on his hair were gone. Unsupported, Antenor fell forward on his hands and vomited into the sand. As he knelt, retching miserably, Endymion crouched beside him to whisper in his ear. "Do not fool yourself, little whore. Sooner or later, Calchas will use you in this fashion, too. Whatever he has promised, this is your future." The warrior stood and sneered down at him. "I would have fucked you hard and then killed you. You will not receive that mercy from Calchas. He will fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck you, for years, until your mind and your body are damaged beyond recall. And then he will cast you aside, to die a slow, lingering death. I have seen him do it to others. His poor bride. He tells everyone she died in childbirth, but most know different."

Antenor spit and wiped his streaming eyes with the back of one hand. "I do not believe you," he croaked.

"What do I care what you believe? Your fate is sealed in any case. But I will tell you this, little whore. I'm sailing home on the same ship as you and your new master. If you tell him what happened here today, I will make your life a living hell. You think this was unpleasant? Imagine it with the whole crew of the ship taking their turns." Endymion laughed and kicked one last spout of sand in his direction, then disappeared in the maze of tents.

Dazed, Antenor rose shakily to his feet. He walked the rest of the way to Calchas's tent spitting and wiping at his mouth compulsively. By the time he arrived at his destination, his stride had steadied and he had mostly regained his composure.

Calchas glanced up as he entered. "Any trouble today?"

Antenor swallowed and shook his head. "No trouble."

"Good. I'm told you worked hard." Calchas gestured for him to sit on a stool, then handed him a plate. "Eat. Tomorrow we'll break down the tents and sleep on the ship so we can sail with first light."

Picking at his food, Antenor found he couldn't bear to put anything in his mouth. He watched Calchas move around the tent, picking up bits of armor and weaponry and stowing them in his trunk.

Antenor, deep in thought, barely noticed. Endymion was a sadistic bastard and a rapist to boot, and his word wasn't worth the dirt under his feet. And hadn't Calchas acted honorably towards him, at least so much as their circumstances permitted? Still, that niggling seed of doubt had been planted in his brain, nurtured by his own doubt. Why had the Greek saved his life? In the absence of the true reason, all reasons seemed equally plausible.

He started when a hand touched his own. Calchas took the plate from his hand and patted him on the shoulder. "You're exhausted. Get some sleep, more hard work awaits you tomorrow." The warrior gestured towards a pile of blankets heaped on the floor. "I think you'll be more comfortable tonight than last night."

Antenor stumbled over and dropped to the ground, gathering the blankets around him like an animal bedding down in leaves. He dropped immediately into sleep.

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