The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
Sacred Texts
  ~000 Introduction
  ~001 Arrival at Caelian Hill
  ~002 Life at the Paedagogium
  ~003 Monsters and Heroes
  ~004 The Private Baths
  ~005 The Soaps of Cyprias
  ~006 The Treachery of Gryllus
  ~007 Assurances and Endurances
  ~008 The Demise of Trenus
  ~009 The Surprise Inspection
  ~010 Little Donkey
  ~011 Whispering Hope
  ~012 Epigrams for Antinous
  ~013 Books from Maltinus
  ~014 Little Signals
  ~015 Promotion
  ~016 Juvenalis IX
  ~017 A Frothy Idea
  ~018 Evening on the Riverbank
  ~019 Across the Leagues
  ~020 Unprecedented Access
  ~021 Winged Mercury
  ~022 Dinner Guest
  ~023 Causes of Nausea
  ~024 New Pupil
  ~025 Wax, Soap, and Wool
  ~026 Four Daughters
  ~027 Vitalis Atones
  ~028 Futures and Histories...
  ~029 The Triumph of Desire
  ~030 An Image of Antinous
  ~031 The Ride From Rome
  ~032 The Villa at Tibur
  ~033 The Ride To Rome
  ~034 Praeconina
  ~035 Foolish Carisius
  ~036 The Christian Texts
  ~037 Married Pleasures
  ~038 In Tibur, Alone
  ~039 The End of Corinthus
  ~040 Turning Tables
  ~041 A History & Fantasy...
  ~042 A Sad Collection
  ~043 Rafts in a Raging Sea
  ~044 Rome, Home and History
  ~045 A Caravan of Monologue
  ~046 On Favorinus
  ~047 The Flesh of a Metaphor
  ~048 Disquieting Thoughts
  ~049 Purple Reign
  ~050 The Heart of Numidia
  ~051 Stables of the Palatine
  ~052 Hadrian's Deprivation
  ~053 Transcripts and Categories
  ~054 In the Wake of a Paradox
  ~055 Father of the Country
  ~056 The First Night with Hadrian
  ~057 A Place in the World
  ~058 Hard Resolution
  ~059 Announcements...
  ~060 Keeping Company
  ~061 The Stallions' Ride
  ~062 The Tour Begins
  ~063 On the Isthmus
  ~064 On Grief
  ~065 The Eleusian Mysteries
  ~066 A Playful Wager
  ~067 The Delights of Athens
  ~068 On Receiving
  ~069 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~070 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~071 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~072 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~073 Epistle Coming Soon
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Phallic Amulets

The Private Baths


How is it you’ve not written to me yet? Do you not receive these letters? I have no way of knowing, so must trust that you do, and that perhaps your life in Claudiopolis is even busier than mine in Rome. But I should doubt it greatly, for my memory of our lives there together is one so idyllic that I find myself too often retreating to it for respite.

I am ten and three! And trust you marked the passing with a votive in my name ha ha. Alas, there was little of ceremony here, and the day both brightened and darkened with nothing noted by anyone save myself. But there is nobody to blame for it but me, as I have been quite deliberate in my silence with regards to it and cannot expect people to mark an occasion of which they have not been forewarned. Even Trenus was not told.

Well my friend, it does more and more appear that the gods are in league against me. You will recall my intention to make myself unclean for Gryllus so as to upset him when he tried to have me. So it was that I put Trenus on the lookout for him, although knowing full well that to warn of the appearance of Gryllus is akin to the task of preparing a friend’s eye for the exact location and time of a random meteor in the nighttime sky! Thus I knew, when Trenus ran breathlessly up to me, that I had but moments to prepare. On this occasion, I hastily made of myself a great mess and took much care to be careless with my toilet. It was not easy, for I consider myself by nature a very clean person, but I was determined to give Gryllus a fright and make his violation of me as unpleasant for him as for I. But it was not to be. For instead of our regular room, Vestinus had had the household bath emptied of boys and reserved the entire space completely for the private enjoyment of Gryllus. Thus was I taken to him there, and as he called down for more steam he asked what I thought of his inspired idea and commanded that I soak with him. Then he rubbed me with oil and sand, ran the strigil all upon me and had the gall to remark on my uncleanliness, and that I should take from him a good lesson in preparing myself for my fleshly duties. In short time I was scraped red and made thoroughly raw by his blade, and once again he pulled me down into the steaming bath and placed me like a puppet upon his prick. The mist was oppressively hot and I felt myself becoming ill at the stinging pain and heavy humidity of the room.

Thence to the cold he pulled me, and as I sat there shivering beside his stubbly shoulder he decreed that he enjoyed the school’s waterworks immensely and from that time forward would continue our relationship there. What shall be made of this? I have no option but to think that the gods are laughing, for I am foiled yet again in my attempt to resist him.

Baths and Bathing in Classical AntiquityWhen back into the heat we had plunged, the monster put his arm around me and fondled me until I was hard. I despised myself for becoming so, for I knew it only made him think I enjoyed his attention. And then, with his hand forever upon me, he set to talking, as if intending to have with me a lengthy discussion on life and its many lessons. I answered him curtly and refused to engage with him beyond what was polite and minimal. But still he persisted, demanding that I speak and demonstrate to him my elocution and learning. I told him I was feeling ill by the heat, but he refused to release me until we had conversed. I was compelled therefore to admit to myself that I was stuck with him until he was satisfied of me, and at that moment, amid the swirling mists, an image of that peculiar Christian hell of which Trenus often speaks did settle into my skull. Seeing my options curtailed, I was given to at last indulge him.

I spoke to him of my classes and of my fondness of the tutor Maltinus. He said to me that he had conversed with Maltinus on my progress and was gratified that I was advancing at a respectable pace. “Why should you be concerned after my progress?” I asked him. Gryllus but laughed and replied that he loved me fiercely and my progress was supremely important to him. Then he told me something that made me angry, for it felt like Maltinus had betrayed me. He said that Maltinus had revealed to him that I was oppressed by the negative attention of certain boys, namely Carisius and his brainless cronies Servilius and Falconius. I protested that they were not a bother to me, but Gryllus persisted and impressed upon me that he knew they most certainly were. “Maltinus is a teller of lies,” I accused, and instantly I regretted it for I knew it was not true. “That is not true,” said Gryllus, and thus he had bested me in honour, for we both of us knew that it was I who was lying and that Maltinus was simply vigilant for my well-being. In my surrender to this fact Gryllus probed for more information, wanting to know how he should assist me to overcome their assaults.

How should I respond? The last thing I wished was to become indebted to Gryllus and to make him think that I needed him. The second last thing I wanted was to have Carisius know that I had enlisted the help of my despised paramour in some cowardly attempt to overcome him indirectly. But I knew that Gryllus was obviously in a position to influence Vestinus the Paedagogiarch, and so told him of my suspicions that Vestinus had a hand in emboldening Carisius against me. And to that Gryllus but laughed, declaring the school-master to be a man of impeccable character who would no sooner enlist the help of another boy to oppress me as he would oppress me himself. He dismissed my theory instantly.

“What then would you have me do?” I demanded of him. He replied thusly: “I would have you declare your loyalty to me, and allow yourself at long last to find pleasure in my company.” I was confused by this, and wondered how it should have any bearing on my relations with Carisius. Gryllus answered me loftily, proclaiming that a true and honest demonstration of my skills at pleasing a master would be rewarded by the other boys’ burgeoning respect for me, and their assaults would soon disappear. I thought this a very flimsy logic, and told him so, and told him still moreover that I did not enjoy his handling of me for the pleasure of it was too often only his. (I can only imagine what I should have had to endure were it not for the goodness of Arkamedes!)

Now his face did noticeably soften, and he asked me quite sincerely if I wished to be pleasured by him. Here again was another difficult question to answer. If that I found myself receiving from him some pleasure, would that signal to him my capitulation to his will? Would it forevermore demand of me that I treat his attentions as desirable and appreciated? On the other hand, if that I could maneuver him to be more giving of pleasure instead of always taking, might that not make my time with him a little less unbearable? These were the thoughts that dashed through my mind when suddenly confronted by his query, and I had far less time to consider them at that moment as I do now in their recounting. And so I yielded to him, and told him that I did indeed wish to receive what pleasures he was capable of giving. To this he smiled, and was satisfied that it signaled a promising first step toward my loving embrace of him. You can well imagine how in my mind I doubted it, and resolved that I would remain from him spiritually aloof while all the while profiting from whatever pleasure he was willing to part with.

He sat me then upon the edge of the bath and told me to lie backward on the stone. I did as he commanded, and propped upon my elbows watched as his balding head bent over my groin and took me into its mouth. It appeared to me as if Cetus was rising up out of the sea to devour me, but this only had the strange effect to further arouse and spin me down into a swirl of quickening pleasure. His mouth was warm and capable, and the steam that danced upon my body mixed with the film of sweat that had suddenly pushed through from within. Gryllus eventually settled upon a very acceptable rhythm, and soon I found myself thrusting up and down into it, speechless and thoughtless, thoroughly incapacitated save for that singular motion. And then the world seemed to burst forth from me in six distinct waves of ecstasy before tragically subsiding, and I fell back against the stone and exhaled. Gryllus looked up at me from where he stood waist-high in water. His pale breast sagged and his reddened face was awash in beads of sweat, but he smiled nonetheless and said, “There. Antinous is pleasured.”

I shut my eyes in confusion, and to be perfectly honest am still mightily confused, even as I write this. I know not what to think of myself for having succumbed to the monster’s offer. Am I now his accomplice? Have I any claim to continue to despise him? These questions accost me, and I wish desperately that you were here to advise me, for always you were wiser and more considered in your words. There is of course the bendable ear of Trenus, but I hesitate to engage him for I know already how conclusively he shall condemn me.

One final note. When Gryllus climbed from the bath and carried the lumbering weight of his body to drip from its belly above me, he stared down at me for a long time. I refused to sit up, for I did not want him to touch me. Instead I lay exposed upon the stone, wondering if he would kick me or spit on me or find some other means to reassert his hungry authority. But he didn’t. He simply stared. I had shut my eyes, for I did not wish to be seen to avert them from his gaze. Finally he spoke: “If indeed you are worthy of a lusty spat with an Emperor, perhaps I shall find myself forced to fight for you.” And then he left me alone in the room, as is his demonstrated custom.

What do you suppose was meant by that? How shall it be interpreted? Surely he is not intending to challenge the dominion of the Imperial household! But is there any other meaning to ascribe? I am fearful for my future, Lysicles, and fret that I’ve blundered into some enchanted thicket from which there shall be no escape. I pray that you will receive this and reply. A.

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