He finds Greece sequestered in the small chamber provided for him within his palace. As he steps inside, he notices the bare furnishings, the drab walls and rough floors. The room is claustrophobic, the enclosing walls entirely too close for Turkey's comfort. For now, he has no desire for Greece to be anywhere near his chambers, but he sees no reason to spend time in a place he does not like.
He will see to it that Greece's chambers are changed. Perhaps somewhere in the harem, he decides. It will be convenient. And, of course, much more suited to the boy's new position in life. But first…
Ah, there he is. Turkey spies movement beneath coarse sheets, and hears the sound of quiet sobs. Once, or perhaps under different circumstances, he might have felt a tinge of regret. Today, however, there is just boredom, and slight disgust. Perhaps a bit of distant pity. But nothing more than he might feel for any other of those he has conquered.
He walks over, though the room is so small that really, it is only several steps, and yanks back the sheets. Greece lies huddled beneath them, curled into as tight a ball as he can manage. And all Turkey can think is that flexibility is a good quality for Greece to have, and he will put it to good use.
Tear-filled eyes look up to glare at him, surprised and angry. Lush pink lips, wet with his tears, and reddened from biting down on them to muffle his cries, part—ready to hurl poisoned barbs at him, Turkey is sure.
"Say anything, and you'll likely piss me off," Sadiq warns, before he does something he might find distasteful.
Greece sits up, back straight and stiffened with false pride, unwilling to show any signs of weakness, regardless of how his dignity remains only in tatters. "What do you want?" He snarls.
Sadiq smiles, though it is not friendly, and was never meant to be. "Nothing much. I just thought you might like a bath."
"I've had one," comes the sullen reply.
"Your cleanliness is my prerogative. Until I deem otherwise, you remain unclean. You will follow me to the baths." When he sees Heracles refusing to move, he smiles again. "It is not an offer, it is a command. And I hope you have the sense—if not for yourself, then for your people—to understand that I do not enjoy have my commands go unheeded."
Slowly, Greece gets off his mattress, though his movements are jerky, and he winces as he rises. He makes for his meagre chest of belongings and clothes, and is interrupted by a wave of a hand, and a dark voice.
"Do not bother to bring a new set of clothes. They will not be needed."
Greece follows Turkey, quickening his small strides to catch up to the larger, taller man. He is stopped, however, and reminded that he is not to walk beside Turkey, but rather, behind. Turkey simple looks at him, like a Sultan to a slave, unwavering until Greece finally yields and steps back, cheeks flushed with anger and humiliation. They continue walking.
He has seen the public baths used by the slaves, and the servants, and the commoners. But the one he is led to is nothing like the ones he has seen. They remind him vaguely of the luxurious baths he recalls seeing in Rome during a childhood that seems so long ago. The ceilings are high and tall, sculpted columns support the large chambers and high, domed roofs. The walls are a pure, clean white, and instantly, Greece feels every smudge of dirt, every grain of sand, every slick sheen of oil that he had accumulated earlier, even if the bath Hassan provided has washed them away.
Upon entering, they are immediately attended to by one of the slaves. Sadiq disrobes, leaving his clothes on the floor, which the slave picks up reverently to be cleaned.
"Strip," he tells Greece.
When the boy would hand his threadbare robes to the slave, he interrupts him. "Leave them on the floor."
He eyes the boy speculatively, deciding that perhaps he could do with a bit more food. He likes his boys lean and willowy, but such boniness offends his aesthetics.
"Have someone take them to be burned," he tells the slave. And then he walks off towards one of the inner chambers.
Greece knows better than to remain still, and he follows Turkey into the warm room, telling himself that the heat and damp in his eyes are purely from the light wisps of steam.
Intricately carved marble basins—white veined with pleasing greys—line the walls, and here, their taps are gold. Sadiq hands him a small washbasin with a washcloth, and a gilded box containing scented soap and a scrubbing mitt. Greece knows, from visiting some of the higher-class baths, that perfumes are sometimes provided, but he knows that here, the perfumes will have to be earned.
Heracles heads for the furthest corner of the chamber, telling himself that the soap in the dish most definitely does not smell nice, and ignoring the fact that the washcloth in his hands was the softest he'd felt in a long time.
He tries not to look, but curiosity makes him peer up once in awhile. He sees an adolescent boy, still without his adult hair, attend to Sadiq. Relief washes over him, because it means that he won't have to serve as Sadiq's tellak.
"Wash everywhere," a loud voice pierces his thoughts. "Especially where it counts the most. You will not enjoy it if someone else does it for you, I assure you."
Blushing with mortification, because he knows exactly what has been ordered, he refills the basin and resumes cleaning himself. He bites his lips bloody to stifle the cries of pain as he probes his torn flesh, still bruised and bloody from Sadiq's earlier ministrations. And when the pain mounts, and his wounds begin to seep blood again, he shuts his eyes, missing the dark look Sadiq gives him.
A shadow is cast over him, and Greece looks up. Covered in a swath of silk, Turkey looms over him, with a look that is impatient as it is speculative.
Greece stands up, shoulders back and back straight as always. He will never be broken. "Do I meet your standards of cleanliness?" He asks, voice dripping with sarcasm. He expects anger or a backhanded slap—although Turkey hasn't touched him since that encounter earlier on—but all he gets is a vague smile.
"It is satisfactory for now." It is all he says before he walks off into another chamber. The tellak follows behind, as he does. Neither speak. The sound of their clogs echo off the walls.
In the hararet, the hot room, the air is thick with steam. The small glass windows let bits of sunlight in, creating dappled pools of light throughout the chamber. The steam and random dust motes catch the sunlight, drifting lazily through the room, creating something that is almost a fantasy.
There is a large marble slab in the center of the chamber, and it is that that Sadiq positions himself.
"Watch carefully," he says, breaking the hazy bliss that Heracles had begun to slip into. "For you will be expected to learn, and when you are reasonably proficient, you will attend to me in his place."
Heracles feels a slimy shiver creep up his spine, and the laziness, the lightheadedness that had come with the steam and heat and generally peaceful time in the hamam flees.
As he looks on, the tellak annoints Sadiq's skin with scented oils and herbs and begins a sensuous massage. The heat is supposed to relax him, but now, Greece is tense. Because he now knows what is expected of him, why he has been brought here, into this private bath within the harem, where none are allowed save by invitation.
He watches, as instructed, but nothing penetrates past the shock and growing horror in his mind. It is only a massage, but he is hardly as green as he once was, and Greece knows what often accompanies the massages given by a tellak.
When the massage is over, he hopes, he wishes, and they all fall flat when he hears Sadiq speak.
"I have no need for your other services this time. Leave us."
Sadiq crooks a finger, and the look on his face is dark, predatory, a crooked, twisted parody of a smile. "Come here, Heracles," he says languidly. His voice is hot as the steam that surrounds them.
He moves on command, the desire to resist beginning to fade out of habit of continually suppressing it for survival. He kneels before the slab to sit on his haunches, which brings a spark of pleased surprise to Sadiq's eyes.
"Good, you're learning," he drawls, finally touching Heracles again, to stroke a finger down dark, damp curls.
"You will be tutored in the arts of massage, and how to bathe your master, amongst other things. Those tasks, I will leave to the ones who school the tellak themselves." He tells himself not to hope for too much, because everything Sadiq gives comes with a price, be it gifts for Greece and his people, or simply gifts to please Sadiq himself. "But there are some things," he continues, "that I think had better be left to me."
Sadiq rises from the marble, and an unflinching look at Heracles silently warns the Greek not to move. And he doesn't. Sadiq returns with several colourful bottles, made from blown glass and decorated with gold filigree, full of perfumed oils. He lays them out on the marble slab before Heracles.
"No one who serves me will smell of dust and the streets. Scented oils and perfumes and sweet-smelling herbs; you will use them for my pleasure." His lips curve in a slight, sly smile. "They will be given to you to use—to pay their price."
He unstops one and waves it beneath Heracles' nose. "Our most valued scent, the oil of roses, mixed with sandalwood for depth and heat, and geraniums to lighten it to pleasantness. It is worth more than its weight in silver, the oil of roses, and yet, I will allow its use on one such as you." He leaves it open to scent the heated air.
He shows Heracles another, pouring out a cupped palm full of green-gold oil. "Your beloved olives, Heracles. The finest, of course, and the best, go into making my oils." Sadiq slathers the oil over the skin of Heracles' back, still mostly smooth, firmly rubbing the fragrant oil into the boy's skin. His fingers glide over skin pale gold from the Mediterranean sun, stroking over the occasional battle scar that mars the perfection of an otherwise beautiful back.
Sadiq feels the bumps of bone beneath his fingers, reminding himself to ensure that their harshness will be muted with firm flesh by their next encounter.
He reaches for more oil, and this time, the slick hands wander in front, to slide over his all-too-prominent ribs, over the heart hammering like the thundering hooves of warhorses, over the stiffening peaks that break the smooth, gentle planes of pectorals.
"I was harsh with you earlier," he says softly. "I do not regret it—such actions are needed, to cement one's place in the society and the world. But it has been done, and for now, it will be enough." His lips brush over the curved shell of one ear. "If you wish, you may blame Hassan for speaking when he did not have to. Given such a challenge, required to prove my point… Honestly! I thought he knew better than that."
Heracles finds his breaths coming in soft pants, whether from terror or pleasure, or some sordid mix of both, he does not know. He knows better than to speak now, and defending the Egyptian for trying to protect him will earn him nothing but Sadiq's wrath.
Oiled hands creep down from his chest, stroking his belly—lean now from the hunger than ravages Greece—fingertips flitting over the tensing muscles like butterfly kisses.
"You did not reach your pleasure then, but if you are a good boy, Heracles, I may allow it now."
Heracles flinches when one hand wraps around his cock, still mostly flaccid from fear. And with skilled, slick strokes, Sadiq begins to coax it to life. Unbidden, he spreads he knees, unconsciously urging the Turk on. As the pleasure begins to mount, his stoic resistance fades, and he rocks, slowly at first and then quickening, into the tight grasp around him.
His lips, pressed into a hard line to suppress his shame, part and he fills the room with his cries, wanton and hot as the perfumed steam. The dark, liquid voice in his ear belongs to the devil, to the serpent, to the angel who fell from grace who was once the most beautiful thing in creation. The Turk who conquered him, who taunts him and torments him, who will break him to his bridle… Like the fallen lightbringer, Sadiq lights an inferno within him the builds and grows into something large and blinding and unquenchable.
Heracles whimpers, hating the sounds he makes, but unable to stop them from escaping. His arms, lying on the marble slab, are tense and his hands fisted. He needs to come now. He feels the pressure building up in his balls, and his body tenses, and then suddenly, like a bolt of lightning striking the ground, the pleasure explodes within him. He cries out, his voice crystalline and sharp slices through the steamy air as he fucks himself in Sadiq's hand.
For a moment, he feels like Icarus soaring towards the heavens, but then, like the legend of his land, he slowly falls back into reality. He finds himself slumped over the large slab of marble—goebektas, a detached part of his brain corrects him—and a large hand slowly milking him to completion.
His sigh is not a sigh, so much as a shaky sob.
He feels one strong arm come around his chest to pull him up into sitting again, keeping him steady as the remnants of pleasure leave his body weak and trembling. Eyes half open and drowsy, he feels more than he sees the rough fingers touch his lips, seeking entrance. Sated, he doesn't put up a fight.
"Clean me," he hears from behind him. Rough with lust, it scrapes over his too-sensitive nerves, and he shudders. But he accepts the digits, slick with olive oil and the proof of his own pleasure, into his mouth, tongue curling around the intruders lazily, unskilled, but willing all the same. He hears the hum of approval, as well as feels it rumbling forth from the body pressed behind him.
The fingers are removed, and Heracles follows their exit with his tongue, and begins work on the thumb, and then palm. He feels a light kiss to the nape of his neck, acknowledgement for obedience, and for a job satisfactorily done.
Sadiq leans over him, pressing him onto the marble, and reaches for the oil of roses. He pours some into his hand and replaces the stopper. Again, they roam over Heracles, beginning with his damp hair and making their way down. Mingling with the subdued scent of olives, and the sharper smell of sweat and heavy musk, the scent of roses and sandalwood seep into the delicate skin.
He bends down to inhale the complex blend of his little Greek boy, his sigh a hot puff of breath against the sensitive skin at Heracles' neck. Mimicking his actions from before, he nips at the boy's neck, but with less ferocity, teasing, almost playful as he scrapes and sucks another love-bruise to mark his boy. His tongue laves the skin tender from the edge of his teeth, and he feels a shiver run through Greece.
Like before, Sadiq's hands wander downwards, only this time, they stay behind him. But like the soft bites at his neck, they are gentle this time round, and he feels fingers caress rather than invade. They press, and he feels one probe him shallowly. His breath catches, and he stiffens in reflex. It stings, and the sweat sharpens the pain even more.
"Relax," Sadiq murmurs, "I told you I would allow you pleasure this time if you were good, hmm?"
The finger pushes deeper, but it is well oiled, and gentle, and some of the tension leaves Heracles. Another joins it in gradual degrees, feeling, probing, slowly stroking him inside until a burst of pleasure wrenches a cry of surprise from him.
The slow, liquid chuckle behind him speaks of the Turk's amusement. "Liked it? This will still hurt, boy, and there will be no way around it, but I will give you your reward, and perhaps it will dampen the pain."
Heracles feels the tears well up in his eyes again when those fingers stretch him, opening the wounds from earlier, but the burn is counteracted with the return of those callus-roughened fingers stroking him. To his shame, the pain and pleasure begins to meld into something terrifyingly arousing, and he finds himself stiffening again.
"Ah, to be young again," Sadiq muses, grinning. As he toys with Greece, Sadiq fits the head of his cock to the slightly parted pucker, properly-prepared this time, though again bleeding. And while one hand keeps Heracles languid with reawakened pleasure, the other guides him as he thrusts deep into Greece.
Eyes wide, Greece screams, but unlike before, it is tinged with desire, though his back is rigid from the accompanying pain. Sadiq strokes his back gently, whispering into his ear, and seated deeply inside Greece, this time he waits for the pain to subside.
He is still an impatient man, however, and after he deems it long enough, begins to rock within that clinging embrace, pulling back more and thrusting deeper each time. But he does not forget Heracles, and continues to stroke the boy, bringing him back to fullness where he had flagged from the pain of penetration.
The timbre of his voice deepens, and his language roughens as he speeds up. And his actions are less gentle, but still aware of the boy beneath his heaving chest. The fingers that grip those slender hips will leave bruises as livid as the ones on his neck. But Sadiq has a suspicion that he may be tempted to kiss them, if the boy proves pleasing enough.
Like a storm striking the Aegean, the waves of pleasure build, crashing over their joined bodies forcefully. True to his word, the pleasure Sadiq gives overwhelms the burn of pain, and the resulting pleasure is dark and agonisingly sweet. Perhaps this is the forbidden taste of Golden Apples.
The sounds Heracles makes are incomprehensible, but they serve only to heighten Sadiq's pleasure. That he has reduced the once-proud Greek to this incoherent mess of shivering limbs and undeniable lust brings him higher than ever.
The waves crest, and as he slams deep into Greece, he snarls, "Who owns you?"
His reply is a quaking whimper, and he repeats his command again, until finally he feels a rippling clenching around him, and Greece cries, tears burning his voice, "TURKEY!"
In the aftermath of their coupling, Sadiq stands up, and carries Heracles back into the warm room, where he instructs a tellak to bathe the barely-conscious boy.
""Clean him, and then scent his skin with my perfumes," he instructs him, and then allows himself to be tended to by another.
Heracles is drowsy, and he drifts in and out of sleep. The steamy heat of the hararet is replaced with a cooler, but still comfortable, heat of the warm room adjoining it. He is bathed, and then pampered with creams and oils. But these hands are impersonal, a far cry from the hands of the Turk that roam unapologetically over every bit of him.
Drying cloths, warm and thick, are wrapped around him, and he feels himself lifted again, and carried into a chamber where cool air caresses his cheeks. Someone dresses him in cool silks and linen, and then he is allowed to lie back again to indulge in his catnaps.
Occasionally, he wakes, and finds himself reclining against soft cushions, his cheek resting against the softness of skin-warmed silk.
Heracles stirs, and Sadiq glances down briefly. The boy's eyes drift open slightly and gaze out sleepily, the sea-green a thin ring around largely dilated pupils. Recognizing it for waking sleep, Sadiq dismisses it and indulges in the cool, refreshing drinks and light sweets that have been prepared for him.
The battle between them will begin anew when Greece wakes up properly, and defiance again fills those eyes the clear green of the Aegean beneath the sun. But for now, his claws are sheathed and he is docile while he sleeps, much like the cats he loves, and Sadiq is content to admire his spoils of war in satisfied peace.