|Hephaestion Goes Hunting!
Author: moon71 PM
Newly arrived at the Macedonian Court, Hephaestion decides a hunting expedition is the ideal opportunity to establish his place in Prince Alexander’s wolf pack… Final part! Happy New Year!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 6 - Words: 17,041 - Reviews: 48 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 01-08-08 - Published: 10-17-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3841442
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
HEPHAESTION GOES HUNTING! By Moon71
SUMMARY: Newly arrived at the Macedonian Court, Hephaestion decides a hunting expedition is the ideal opportunity to establish his place in Prince Alexander's wolf pack…
NOTE: Here we are at the final part! A warm and heartfelt thank you to all of you who have taken time to review; also a general thank you to everyone these past couple of years who has reviewed or written to me or recommended me, or just enjoyed my stories! Not only have you helped me to improve my writing and inspired me to write more, but you've all made me feel so proud to be Moon71! A very, very happy New Year to all of you!
CHAPTER 6: So Hephaestion has had his chance to impress Alexander after all! But is Alexander actually impressed? Just what is bothering him now? (A few of you had a go at guessing, but were any of you right…?)
"Here, son, try to stay with us now… drink this," Lysimachus said softly. I opened my eyes and accepted a cup of what smelled like some concoction my nurse Aithra gave when I was ill. "A simple camomile infusion," he reassured me, "it will help to steady you… and a little honey to restore your energy!"
I drank gratefully, finding it soothing. A moment later, Alexander came to kneel beside me, gently lifting my foot into his lap and beginning to rub a dark greenish paste over the swelling. The ointment, whatever it was, had a cool, fresh scent and very quickly began to ease the throbbing pain. Once it was applied Alexander bound the ankle with a clean cloth.
He did all of this in silence, barely acknowledging my murmur of thanks. When I looked down at him he looked away, but the moment I averted my gaze I felt his eyes upon me again. I couldn't help frowning at him – how long was he going to keep that up? And why was he so quiet? It had occurred to me that he might be jealous, but Alexander had already killed his first boar – Perdiccas had related the story before Crateros had finally lost patience and dragged the other boys away to continue the hunt. If anything, Alexander should be thoroughly pleased with himself – by his reasoning, surely an act of exceptional valour by one of his "soldiers" reflected positively on him? I could just hear him telling my father that he had taken away a boy and brought back a man!
I swallowed the last of the infusion and watched Alexander through narrowed eyes. His colour had come back soon enough – in fact, he looked distinctly rosy, almost feverish. And those grey eyes of his were very bright. While he had been tending my sprained ankle I could hear his breathing, soft but quick, as if he had been running.
"I'm sorry I missed your glorious moment, son of Amyntor," Lysimachus said, breaking into my thoughts, "but Alexander has been telling me all about it. He says you were quite magnificent; that you threw your spear like a Hero in the Trojan War and struck the boar right in the heart! Isn't that so, Alexander…?"
"Oh… yes…!" Alexander murmured, shifting uncomfortably.
Lysimachus glanced from me to Alexander, and then back to me with a mischievous grin. I smiled back uncertainly, wondering if it was I or Alexander who was being teased, or if in fact I was being given a quiet hint. I smiled at Alexander too, but he coloured even more deeply and looked away.
Perhaps not least because by now I had fully absorbed the true greatness of my achievement. Moving from one city, one culture to another, I had known vaguely about the ritual of the boar-killing among Macedonians, but gaining permission to recline at banquets seemed such an abstract achievement, something I would only worry about in the future if Macedon was to finally be my permanent home. Now I was beginning to feel the thrill not just of the killing, but of the kill. The danger. The boar could have killed me! I could have frozen to the spot and been gored to death! I could have wet myself and run away like a girl! In front of Alexander! I could have run away… and it could have killed him instead.
Had I saved Alexander's life? Was that why he was acting so strangely?
No, it was something else. All night Alexander was quiet but restive. He hardly seemed to be paying attention either to Lysimachus' stories or the chatter of our friends. Even when Leonatus made several dirty jokes about what Orion might have seen before Artemis struck him down Alexander did not react. And every time I turned toward him, I caught his eyes on me before he looked away. He looked… confused. He looked…
All at once the answer came to me. I was fairly certain I knew what was wrong… I was not quite so sure I was right about the reason why. But suddenly I could not wait until it was time for bed.
"It's even colder tonight," I ventured as we laid out our furs.
"Oh… yes, it is…" Alexander nodded, as if I'd said something profound.
"So… shall we share the furs again?"
"I… if you like, Hephaestion…"
I undressed quickly, my back to Alexander, so that he could not see my arousal. He'd feel it soon enough when he lay beside me, but for some reason I was overcome with shyness at the thought of his seeing it. I told myself it was always a little nerve-wracking with a new boy, you never knew what to expect. And no-one could ever know what to expect from Alexander. I lay down and closed my eyes, waiting for Alexander to join me.
After a long moment, I opened my eyes again. Alexander was kneeling beside me, still in his chiton, his hands in his lap. There was a confused, helpless look in his eyes and I could hear him breathing very quickly.
"Aren't you going to get undressed?" I asked innocently
"Are you all right, Alexander…?"
"Yes! No, I… Hephaestion… I…"
"It's all right, Alexander… really it is…" I could not help smiling at him, but it was not meant in mockery. Slowly, I pushed back the furs from my own body and let him see me.
Alexander stared with wide eyes. "Hephaestion…?"
Very gently I slid my hand up his thigh, under his chiton. For a moment his hands blocked mine, but then he let me touch him. As I heard a soft moan escape him, I shifted onto my knees and tugged the chiton off him before looking down at his erection. Not as big as mine, I noted, but quite in proportion with his figure, and very beautifully formed. With experienced fingers I began to stroke him, sighing with pleasure as he gradually began to reciprocate. He was not as practised as I was, but he learned quickly – whatever I did, he imitated with skill. As I increased the pace, Alexander whimpered loud enough to be heard by the others. "Oh Hephaestion…" I heard him gasp, "that's…"
"Shhh…." I grinned, "the whole camp will know what we're up to!"
Alexander hardly seemed to hear me; his eyes were glazed, his head was thrown back and his skin was burning hot. As he moaned once more, I quickly grabbed him, pressing his face into the crook of my neck, hoping only to muffle his squeals. But a moment later I felt moist, warm lips pressed to the sensitive skin of my throat.
For a second I was frozen with shock, but then my whole body began to shiver with pleasure. Perhaps I had been wrong about Alexander – perhaps he was not inexperienced at all. Perhaps this was the way boys did it in Macedon? I couldn't help a soft moan of my own as Alexander's lips made their way across my cheek, tickling me with light little kisses. With his free hand he caught my chin and the next thing I knew his mouth was upon mine, eagerly licking my lips.
This was definitely unexpected! I had never kissed another boy before – I had certainly never had one try to kiss me! Tentatively I parted my lips and let Alexander slip his tongue inside. After a few seconds of hesitation I met it with my own. It felt strange – Alexander's mouth was both salty and sweet. But it felt nice, too. I slipped my arm about his waist and crushed him close, letting go of his manhood to rub my own body against it.
Neither of us was able to last long. Alexander finished first, but he didn't push me away; he continued to kiss me and stroke my hair as I buried my face in his shoulder while I climaxed, biting my teeth together to stop myself crying out.
Finally I let go, sliding limply back onto the furs. I had expected Alexander to let go of me too – that was what the other boys did. But instead he clung to me and fell with me, so that we lay entangled, Alexander's head upon my shoulder, his hand pressed over my heart as though he wanted to make sure what we had done hadn't arrested its beat. I could feel him shivering, his hot breath caressing my neck as he panted softly.
"Is this all right…?" I heard him whisper, "to lie together like this afterwards, I mean…"
"Well…" I began without thinking, "well – we don't usually…"
I knew it had been a stupid thing to say even before I felt Alexander suddenly trying to pull free. Without thinking any further, I caught him about the waist and drew him back down. Cuddling wasn't the usual thing; it probably wasn't very manly. But I didn't care. All I knew was that I liked holding him and I wanted to continue holding him. After a moment he subsided, his arms snaking around me.
"I've never done that with another boy," he said very quietly.
I was stunned, even a little touched by his honesty. "I couldn't tell…" I assured him.
"I didn't think I wanted to," he went on in the same soft, confidential tone, his lips brushing against my skin as he spoke, "I didn't think it was important… I thought maybe I should feel something but I didn't, and I asked Phoenix about it, but he said I shouldn't worry about it so I didn't, but… when I saw you kill the boar, I… you looked so beautiful, just like Orion himself, and so fearless too, and all at once I…"
I felt the blood rush to my face. No-one had ever said I was beautiful before. One or two of the older boys I had known had said I was "pretty" and "sweet" but I knew that was just because they wanted to do more complicated things than touching with me and I had taken no notice. This was completely different. What should I say in reply?
In the end, I did not say another word that night. I just bent my head and kissed Alexander very lightly on the mouth. As I heard Alexander give a sleepy sigh and burrow closer, I knew I had made the right choice.
"Would you like to share my horse, son of Amyntor?" Lysimachus called to me in too matter-of-fact a manner to make me feel embarrassed.
Actually I would have loved to. The long march over rough, uneven ground in the rising heat was not an appetising prospect. But then I caught sight of Alexander, and then Crateros, both of whom had stopped to watch me, and I shook my head. "Thank you, but I'll be all right," I told Lysimachus, "a soldier should learn to endure pain."
Crateros nodded approvingly, though I heard some sniggers from a few of the boys and Lysimachus gave an ironic little smile before he looked away.
"As you wish, Hephaestion…"
Alexander beamed at me, quite boldly slipping his arm about my waist. "Here, lean your weight on me, Hephaestion," he said cheerfully, "a soldier should always be able to rely on the help of his comrades!"
And so we made slow but steady progress. It was natural enough that Alexander and I should fall behind, but as we got closer and closer to Pella I became aware that Alexander was deliberately holding me back. Finally he stopped, pretending to adjust the bundles on the little pony's back before glancing shyly towards me.
"Hephaestion, I… you won't tell anyone else about what we did, will you?"
I chuckled. "Oh, don't worry about that, Alexander… no-one will think anything of it, me and my friends used to do it all the time!"
To my surprise, Alexander looked downcast at this news. "You've done this with lots of other boys?"
"Well… not lots," I admitted reluctantly, "only a few… Why? What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing…" Alexander replied sadly, "it's just… I thought… that you liked me especially…"
"I do," I said, then wondered why I had said it.
"Then you won't do those things with anyone else?"
I looked at him in surprise. "That's a strange thing to ask!"
Alexander frowned at me. "So you wouldn't mind if I did those things with… with Leonatus or Perdiccas or someone else?"
I hesitated. Actually I didn't much like the idea of it at all. I didn't know why – it had never bothered me with anyone else. But there was something special about Alexander's touch, something special about his reaction to mine. I didn't want anyone else to feel what I felt when I was with him. It was too complicated to analyse it all now; I told myself resolutely I would have weeks and months to puzzle it out.
"Perhaps I would mind," I said at length, "I don't know… all I know is that… well… it was nicer with you than it was with anyone else."
Alexander brightened at that. "Really…?"
"And… I liked it, you know, when you kissed me," I added more softly, "no-one has ever done that before…"
Alexander smiled warmly at me, reaching to press my hand. I looked away shyly, wondering why my stomach was fluttering.
Whatever I had planned or hoped for the day we set out on this hunt, I had certainly never dreamed of this. These new feelings were perplexing and not necessarily welcome; there was something bothersome and grownup about them and I was not sure I was ready for such things. Suddenly there seemed only one thing I could be sure of – whatever else life in Macedon might turn out to be, it certainly wasn't going to be dull.