The Sacred Antinous - Erotically-charged, Explicitly Illustrated, Queer-Themed Historical Fiction about Antinous and Hadrian
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LEGEND TO ILLUSTRATIONS
  CONTAINS X-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS R-RATED IMAGES
  CONTAINS G-RATED IMAGES
COMMENTARY
  ~000 Introduction
I - THE YOUNG SCHOOLBOY
  ~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
II - THE COURT PAGE
  ~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
III - THE IMPERIAL FAVOURITE
  ~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
  ~074 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~075 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~076 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~077 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~078 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~079 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~080 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~081 Epistle Coming Soon
IV - THE SEARCHING SOUL
  ~082 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~083 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~084 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~085 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~086 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~087 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~088 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~089 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~090 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~091 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~092 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~093 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~094 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~095 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~096 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~097 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~098 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~099 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~100 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~101 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~102 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~103 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~104 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~105 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~106 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~107 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~108 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~109 Epistle Coming Soon
  ~110 Epistle Coming Soon
Phallic Amulets

The Stallions' Ride

Lysicles

Vitalis shall be joining us on the tour. Whether this is owing to his role as Keeper of Epeius, or to his talent as an artist, or to his irrefutable beauty as a youth, or a combination of all three, who am I to argue? How lucky I am to have him with me upon the journey! I am for it doubly gratified that, on those many occasions when duty shall bind me to Hadrian, Decentius will still be able to enjoy the warmth of Vitalis’ company. And when Hadrian is with another, as shall surely be his want, I’ll likely have my pick of either Vitalis or Decentius (or both!) and we shall never want for joy and passion. Such a strange and intertwined foursome are we!

Yet if there is satisfaction and relief in knowing that some of my most cherished friends are accompanying me on this grand adventure, there is also sadness at the fact that others must, by necessity, get left behind. And I am not alone in my grief, for Vitalis too will be feeling the absence of both Anaxamenos and Maltinus.

So it was to the house of Maltinus that Palmetta, Rufus, and the “three stallions” – Anaxamenos, Vitalis and I – ventured last night for a farewell dinner. It was Brocca who named us thusly, ostensibly for our role in the stables but more suggestively, I think, for the stampeding thunder of our sexual appetites. Not that we are more rabidly sexual than any other youthful men! It is simply, I believe, that we are males, and she the mother of four females. Naturally, then, we must appear to her as rabid, and will doubtless be seen as such forevermore, even if elderly, infirm, or proven more chaste than the most fanatical of abstinent Christians.

We were greeted upon our arrival by Stolo, as usual. She welcomed us with large and generous kisses and duly instructed us to pay our respects to young Merula, who toddled up to us, wide-eyed and curious. “She’s two!” informed Stolo. “Two!” Echoed Merula. Thus could there be no dispute. The house was alive with children and laughter, attention-seeking squeals and guileless questions. Rufus, being still an infant, was a source of great curiosity – especially for Merula, who doubted that she had ever been so small.

Maltinus emerged into the courtyard looking happy but haggard. “I am exhausted!” he joked. “The child forever asks why why why? How many times must I answer the same question?” Brocca kissed him gently on the cheek and said, “Why why why must we be so blessed with children, when our neighbours on either side have each seen two of their infants taken in as many years?”

Indeed, it was a sobering question, and Maltinus was instantly repentant. He smiled at Vitalis and I, and said, “See how she bests me in logic? I am chastised! Come Merula – ask me something!”

We sat for several hours, eating and laughing, speculating on the grand adventure before us. Corda strategically selected her seat so as to find herself between both Vitalis and I. She would have the twin travellers on either side of her, she declared. Brocca was very curious to know of Sabina, of which I could only give her impressions. Maltinus asked after the libraries at the Villa, as well as Hadrian’s personal collection in Rome. I listed for him as best I could some of the more interesting titles that had arrived, and he sighed in longing: “Marvellous…”

“How shall you fellows be married,” asked Corda, “while you are off traipsing about the world?” It was not an inappropriate question, despite the obvious self-interest that prompted it. “I can’t imagine we will be gone for more than a few years,” I replied. “Hadrian will always have business to conduct in Rome. I’m sure we’ll be back before too long.” Corda, however, was not so sure as I, and made known her upset at the prospect of our long absence.

“You shall have many tales,” said Brocca, “which we all shall eagerly anticipate.” I turned to look at Vitalis and said, “Not only that, but my words shall be illustrated.” The prospect of seeing the world through the eyes of Vitalis was gloriously exciting to everyone, including me. Corda placed her hand on his thigh and rubbed it eagerly, saying: “Oh, Vitalis! I simply cannot wait!”

It was quite obvious to everyone what game she was playing, and Maltinus was more than a little embarrassed by it. “Corda,” he said, “perhaps you shall help your mother put Merula to bed?” Corda reluctantly got off the sofa and trudged into the house. Maltinus smiled at us – half apologetic, half amused. “So desperately does that girl wish to be married that she abandons all sense of propriety. Would that she simply behaved herself, she’d suddenly find the suitors lining up outside our door.”

“Have you told her that?” I asked. “Many times,” he replied, “and perhaps one day she will not only hear it, but understand it as well.”

At last the time had come when both infants and elders alike were feeling the tug of sleep at their eyes. Anaxamenos and Palmetta had elected to spend the night with her family, and so Vitalis and I announced our departure. The round of goodbyes was heartfelt and intense. Maltinus kissed me proudly on the cheek and gazed into my eyes. His words brought both he and I almost to the brink of tears: “May you shine forever, Antinous, and remember us.”

“You speak as though I should never return, Maltinus.” He smiled at that and shook his head, adding, “I speak as though when you return, I shall no longer be upon the face of the earth to receive you.” How sobering! And yet how unthinkable. I hugged him tightly, and said, “My gratitude is boundless, and of a depth that no sounding could possibly measure.”

To Anaxamenos my love flowed as strongly. And to Palmetta too – my sister! All in all, it took us the better part of an hour to exchange our farewells. When at last we were departed, Vitalis and I took each other’s hand so as to stabilize ourselves on the walk home.

There was a small silence between us, until Vitalis broke it thusly: “How many years shall it be, Antinous, before we see these randy streets of Subura again?” I looked up at the windows with their glowing lamplight. I smiled at the thought of what pleasures were being taken from within them. “Surely,” I replied, “there shall be ample pleasures on the road.”

He shook his head: “That Corda is a sly fox. She made me hard this night, and I’m suddenly hard once again. I’m in a mood.” I stopped and turned to him with a smirk. “A mood for what?”

He looked around at the houses. “A girl,” he replied. “I wish to ride something, and take with me into the wild world a memento of this mighty place.”

“Roman crabs?” I asked.

“Please!” he chided. “We shall shave. We shall bathe and scrape and ensure no nits come along with us on the road. You and I, Antinous, are far from the furry bulks of flesh to whom such critters are attracted. That is a poor excuse, and I reject it.”

I had told Hadrian of my desire to make plans this evening to say goodbye to my friends, and accordingly he had arranged for other company. Thus I knew that I was free to seek my pleasures as I wished – for there would be no need to perform for Hadrian this night. And so the idea of it slowly became to me more appealing, and at last I capitulated. “I do not require luxury,” I finally said to him, “but I shall not find myself in a stone pit. If I’m to join you, I expect the house to meet acceptable minimum standards of comfort and cleanliness.” He slapped my shoulder and said, “Agreed!” And off we went in search of a brothel.

We did not search long. The place to which we came was mothered by a soft-spoken and sensual woman named Tulla. Her rooms were modestly appointed but not uncomfortable by any means. Vitalis raised an eyebrow at me (“Will this do, O ye of minimum standards?”) and I nodded. And then I leaned in and whispered to him, “I want to watch you.” He smiled slyly and seemed to become by my words even more excited.

So it was that Tulla offered up to us an array of her girls to choose from, all of whom were undifferentiated to me for there was no one who stood out. Truth be told, my preference was for Vitalis, and I found my hardening arousal not in the casual attachment of a girl to my arm, but in watching my friend hungrily deliberate among his options. When at last he’d chosen his girl, whose name was Sona, the four of us were shown to our double-bedded room and left to ourselves.

We did not reveal to them our identities, nor our affiliation with the court, for such would have been cause to extort from us far more money than we were willing to part with. Instead we played as ordinary friends in search of distraction. To my bedfellow, who would soon prove to be not without considerable talent, I said I wished to remain but a passive observer. I would not take her, but asked her to pleasure me with her lips while I sat and watched the other couple. She complied wordlessly and set to work at my groin, leaving me a clear sightline to soak in the vision of Vitalis.

He wasted little time. Off came their clothes and into her legs he went, his hard and familiar prick driving happily inward and out. I enjoyed my inert and sidelined role; I revelled in the sensation of being pleasured without effort, all the while observing the scene before me as if a god in contemplation of its aesthetic qualities.

Vitalis is truly a beauteous youth. His buttocks are round and resplendent; his lithe body ripples with the promise of manly muscles beneath the smooth and flawless skin. I watched as his dark hair tumbled around his face, swaying back and forth as he thrusted. I watched his lips parting in breathy ecstasy as the cheeks of his ass squeezed themselves tightly together with each push closer to his climax. I drank in the sight of straining sinews in the arms that supported him; of flexing muscles in the thighs that powered him; of the glorious arch of his spine as his shoulder blades, like retractable fins, kneaded from within the supple, downy leather of his back. The rhythmic machination of his body, embroiled in the thoughtless swirl of its most natural and irrepressible motion, was breathtaking. It propelled me to my pleasure’s release in perfect timing with his own.

Vitalis collapsed into Sona while she cooed at him and stroked his hair. My own partner stood up and reached for a jug of wine. She drank thirstily, no doubt to wash away the flavour that I imagine she had long ago come to despise. “Thank you,” I said to her. She smiled at me. Her teeth were not straight, but that certainly didn’t render her unattractive. “You are very beauteous,” she said to me, “and thus it was not so distasteful as with others.” I nodded in silent comprehension. How lucky I am, I fleetingly thought, to have not been born nor captured for a slave.

Despite our earlier thriftiness, we ended up paying them well more than bargained and so left feeling contented and generous. “Farewell, Subura!” called Vitalis drunkenly to the windows. “Remember us! We of Hadrian’s departing train!”

And off we trotted to the Palatine, our hearts bursting with excitement, our balls emptied (briefly) of their lust.

Today this letter shall be rolled and taken to the stables, where it shall be deposited with Anaxamenos. It shall be the last one I hand to him in person for a long time. Perhaps I shall send him whatever others I write from the road, although that may be cause for confusion, seeing as how they are addressed to one named Lysicles. What does it matter? They are written for none but the stars. They are leaves in the autumn’s approaching gale.

And soon, within but days, off shall I gust with them into the awaiting world. I tremble just to think it! A.

 
Optimythic
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