"And then there were two." The voice echoed off the walls of the stadium along with the roar of the crowd.
Geoff kept his gaze on the announcer and not on the carnage he'd dealt in the last several hours. The field was littered with the dead or dying, and he'd been the one to mete out half of it.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the gladiator he'd have to fight on the morrow. Blood spattered, as he himself was, covered in various bits of battle gear, a furry nonhuman that was built like a behemoth. Geoff exhaled slowly.
"Two gladiators. Alone and unafraid. Fierce and undefeated."
Win or lose, it didn't matter. He'd still be--
"On the morrow, watch these two magnificent specimens battle ... To the death!"
Again the roar of the crowd reverberated in the stadium, the thunder nearly deafened him. They lounged in their booths--each climate controlled to their species--watching the spectacle of the battle. The clear fronts of the stands might protect the spectators sequestered behind it from harm and the elements, but not from the sounds and smells of the fighting. This, too, became a measure of entertainment. The different sections of the stadium competed to see who could be the loudest. Such was their lives. The battle, the competition; there was nothing more. Since technology had taken over to simplify their lives, they only had the ancient pastimes to entertain them, keeping them from boredom.
Yes, the crowd loved the fight, and the survivors, but he had no caring of their enjoyment. Not anymore.
Geoff bowed to the crowd in each of the four directions. As was expected, he raised his arms in triumph. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ardis do the same. Turning, Geoff repeated the motions for the other side of the pla-steel stadium that he'd been told was meant to look like one from the ancient days of Old Earth.
Carrying his chain and shield, he turned and left the playing field, ignoring the hover cameras that tried to get his every expression. The stasis shield had been lowered and he entered the quiet, empty passageway. Unable to walk another step, he stopped to lean his back against the cool fab-stone of the wall.
Ardis followed, a few steps behind, and paused next to him.
Geoff could smell him now. Sweat mixed with the blood of the defeated and, even over his own stench, his nose twitched at the other gladiator's strong scent. He drew it in, enjoying the sensation of taking a deep breath.
"You must tend your wounds."
Geoff lifted his gaze from the floor and stared at the other gladiator. "It doesn't matter."
He thought, for a moment, that Ardis would reach out one of his massive hands and touch him, but the hand only twitched and settled. The mace and shield that Ardis had drawn, weapons the controllers said were ancient in origin, had fared him well this day. Only a few bruises to the chiseled face and several scrapes marred the hair-covered body.
Ardis' sand-colored hair was at least two inches long, coating his entire body except for his face and a few other places, like the palms of his hands. Geoff wondered for one moment what the gladiator's race was, as he'd never seen a humanoid with a full pelt, then shook off the thought. No longer did it matter what race they'd been born to. They were slaves, for at least one more night.
"Come, Geoff." Ardis' deep voice rippled over him, and as tired as he was, the hairs on his arm stood up in reaction and his cock twitched. He wondered what the hair would feel like against his own body, whether it was as soft as it looked, or dry and scratchy.
Pushing off the wall, he fell in beside Ardis. At the end of the doorless, windowless hall, they handed the weapons master their gear and strode beyond him, without breaking the silence. They passed through an inconspicuous doorway where a stasis shield automatically enabled to keep them from seeking freedom, and walked down a long, winding set of stairs to the gladiators' quarters. When Geoff started to turn into his own space, Ardis held out a staying hand.
"Join me? I'll care for your wounds as you seem to have no care of them yourself."
Geoff hesitated. He knew what the other asked. Companionship. A last night of contact for whoever did not survive the coming battle. It was a way of life here, and Geoff had known no other.
He scrutinized Ardis' body. Bare, strong feet, thick muscular legs, powerful, broad chest, and arms as big around as Geoff's head. He had a strong, smooth, chiseled face, and his eyes ... Ardis' blue eyes had Geoff nodding, following him to the other gladiator's quarters.
Ardis' intent stare had shown a loneliness and attraction that he himself felt. It was overpowering and consuming. He needed just one night of contact, before he might die.
Yes, Geoff understood these emotions, and they would share their time together.
Trying not to let his excitement show, Ardis plodded down the hall to his own quarters and could not believe his luck. Geoff would be joining him on his last night as a slave.
His heart pounded under his skin, causing the soft hair at his chest to move as if a wind blew through it.
Geoff excited him; his nearly hairless body was so smooth and soft looking that he'd wanted to touch him for some time, just to feel the difference between them. He'd been watching the dark-haired human for the three days Ardis had been held at the stadium, and he'd liked the being he'd observed. Geoff was a strong male, a powerful fighter, but didn't let the wins go to his head as Ardis had seen happen to others. Those creatures were lying on the field at this moment, gone and forgotten. Geoff was singular in that he did not like to fight and it showed when he wasn't in the arena.
He was a large man, and except for the waist-length hair on his head and the dense covering on his chest, he was smooth and bare. His legs and arms sported hair but it was sparse enough that Ardis could see skin through it.
Compared to his own thick pelt, the lack of body hair was such a novelty that Ardis had to constantly wage battles within himself to keep from touching Geoff each time he saw him. Perhaps now, he had his chance. Time was short and he must do everything within his power to convince Geoff that ... No. No time to think of that now.
Pushing open the door to his quarters, he stepped into the sparsely furnished room. The large bed fit his proportions, but was far from comfortable. A chest for his leathers--a trouser style of leggings with wide straps that went over the shoulders, the only clothing the gladiators wore--was against one wall. A solitary chair stood next to a small table. It was uncomfortable and stark, nothing like what he was accustomed to, but for the amount of time he would remain, it sufficed. "Please, enter my space."
Geoff crossed the threshold, not bothering to look around. His quarters would have been the same, so there was no need. He cast about for something to say. "Shower?"
When Geoff started to peel off his leather coverings, Ardis offered his assistance. Buckles were undone, and the leather slid from his body, leaving behind a beguiling nude form. Ardis had to fight himself not to throw the coverings to the floor and fall upon Geoff like the animal his ancestors had been. No matter what the master said, he was not an animal.
Ardis felt the intensity of Geoff's gaze as he removed his own leather coverings and, when air hissed through Geoff's teeth, Ardis' stomach clenched.
Geoff said nothing, but reached down to grip Ardis' aching cock. It was Ardis' turn to suck air, but the sensation of the hard hand on his cock, squeezing and pumping gently, had his eyes closing.
"You don't have hair here." Geoff's voice had a curious tone to it without distaste.
"It is the way of my people. We wear coverings over our hairless sexual organs, but the rest of the body, the gods have provided for us."
"It seems the gods have provided for you in all ways." Geoff's gaze slid up to Ardis', eyes flashing excitedly. "In all ways."
Ardis understood the compliment. Geoff's cock was very similar to his. It was just as big around, but Ardis' was slightly longer. He wanted to feel Geoff's cock inside him, soon. He'd not been with another since he'd been taken from his home world, and as this would be his last chance to mate with Geoff before...
"Shower?" The question was asked by Geoff this time, and Ardis nodded.