"Your tears must dry now." Olympais petted the boy's head, her fingers threading through rich brown hair. He would be perfect. She lifted his chin and kissed his cheeks, tasting bitter liquid. "He would hate to see you this way." Picking up a comb from the low table, she brushed ratted hair smooth, stroking damp strands with methodical fingers. The boy quieted his sobs as she carefully twisted his hair into ropes. "You do not wish to displease him." Her eyes glittered when the boy turned eagerly.

"No," he agreed. "I love him."

"All shall love him," she whispered fiercely, "He will be Great."

Hephaistion looked up at the queen. He was to be given as a gift to his best friend. Not a fortnight after his father and mother were slain and his little sister killed, soldiers came for him. But he held no disdain for anyone but the assassins, who now hung in the gallows. Olympias said the gods let his parents die to sever any ties keeping him from Alexander.

Flinching a little when the queen pulled too hard, he let his breath go slowly between his lips. He thought of Alexander. In these circumstances, everything he loved and knew of the boy slipped from his mental grasp. Why? He could barely picture the prince's handsome face. Struggling a little to keep still as Olympias began twining thin silver and gold wires into his hair, Hephaistion let out a small sound. Alexander, he thought fiercely, where are you? Blonde hair, soulful brown eyes. A mouth, yes, a mouth Hephaistion had been tempted to kiss ever since Alexander had spoken to him for the first time.

Olympias stroked his cheek, turning his face to her. She saw dreams in his eyes. "His every whim is your gravest concern," she informed him. Serpentine eyes of the queen mystified the boy. She kissed him slowly. "Have you ever lay with a woman, Hepaistion?" she murmured, stroking the side of his face.

"No," he breathed, clenching his fingers. The Queen's face hovered near his eyes and he shut them. Whether he knew it or not, he had been waiting for Alexander. There was no one he loved more. The queen smiled reassuringly at him, her deep eyes just as compelling as her son's. Hephaistion frowned when Olympias retrieved dust of khol and decorative oils from her own dressing table. "I do not wish to look like a woman," he said, surprised.

The queen shushed him gently. "I want to bring out your eyes," she said, lining the blue orbs tastefully with khol, rubbing the oil into his skin to make him shine like an offering. He *was* an offering, a lifelong gift for her son to keep all to himself. And though Olympias wanted Alexander to marry and give her grandchildren to carry on the throne, she could not deny her son his greatest desire. At first he had been subtle, hiding from her the fact that none of the palace women appealed to him. Then one day she had caught that look in his eyes. For someone as young as he was (he as still so young to her) such a look of lust and desire made her maternal instinct immediately move to both please and prevent. She wanted to give him everything, but wanted to keep everything from him. Yet, it was his destiny to have everything at his feet, including that boy that caused such lust to show in his eyes.

Hephaistion was a beautiful creature; strong, honest, and undyingly loyal to Alexander. Again Olympias thought, He is perfect. He would never leave Alexander's side, no matter how many wives or how many years passed between them. The queen looked deeply into the eyes of her son's beloved. She kissed his mouth again, feeling his soft lips trembling.

A small flame of fear ingnited in his stomach. He hoped he had the strength to please the gods. Olympias held him close as she told him Alexander would be in possession of his soul. Hephaistion already belonged to Alexander, he knew that. He would do anything Alexander told him to, and he would protect the Prince until the very gods held him down. The love he had for Alexander was bottomless and unstoppable. He hoped that he would please him. Olympias's hand on his shoulder brought him from his reverie.

The prince's seventeenth year would pass this night, and Hephaistion would be presented to him privately, following the festivites. She left him to say goodbye to his family name. He sat quietly in the room, holding a small burning lamp. Under his breath he whispered to the gods to take care of his family. By the time Olympias returned to warn him of Alexander's coming, he had finished with his goodbyes.

The celebration raged on below. Glass could be heard breaking, and the audible shrieks of drunken soldiers careened up the walls of the palace. The prince's name was loosely chanted, slightly slurred. Hephaistion breathed, his heart beating with the syllables. Phillip bellowed something crude, and the surrounding merrymakers cheered in response. They quieted and someone spoke, too soft for Hephaistion to hear.

"He never was one to celebrate with such swine," Olympias mused to herself. Hephaistion rose and kept silent when her nails dug into his flesh. "Alexander is now making way to bed." Her sharp eyes scanned the walls and flickering oil lamps. "You must lie on his bed and wait for him. The curtains will be drawn, so he will not see your face-" She stopped and turned swiftly, grabbing Hephaistion's face roughly. Her harsh expression softened and she gently brushed his cheek. "You are beautiful for him," she whispered. "Be everything he needs in you, do anything he desires from you." Hephaistion dropped his eyes.

Olympias pulled the sheer curtains closed and blew a soft kiss to the boy on the bed. Hephaistion shifted, trembling. Not a moment passed before someone else entered the chamber. Through the curtains Hephaistion recognized Alexander's form. His breath caught. He sat up higher, too nervous to lounge like Olympias had instructed. Alexander must have noticed his movement, for the prince paused.

Unable to keep silent, Hephaistion whispered, "Alexander?"

"Hephaistion," Alexander answered, coming swiftly to the bedside. He tore back the curtains, his eyes bright and cheeks flushed with merrymaking. But when his eyes fully realized the sight of Hephaistion, all traces of a smile fell from his face. Slowly moving forward onto the bed, Alexander sat on his knees, eye to eye with Hephaistion. Gingerly he moved his hands to cup the sides of the brunette's face, his eyes barely lingering in any one place for long as he sought to take in his companion all at once.

"A-are you unhappy?" Hephaistion dropped his eyes, ashamed.

"No," Alexander assured him. "But when I saw you just hours ago you didn't look like this. I almost followed you, but Father made me stay." He touched the maleable wires in the brunette's hair. "What is this for, Hephaistion?"

Suddenly he was overwhelmed with passion. Throwing his arms tightly around his prince, Hephiastion cried into Alexander's chest, "I belong to you, Alexander! I will be everything you need in me, and I will do anything you desire from me. I always will, Alexander! I always was yours..." He trailed off sheepishly. When Alexander didn't speak, he sat up, wiping at his khol-lined eyes. "The gods have given me to you, Alexander. To be only yours."

His hands moved to Hephaistion's tapered waist. For such a slender boy, Hephaistion was never beat in wrestling. Alexander buried his head in the juncture of Hephaistion's neck and shoulder. Gripping the other boy tightly, he brought their bodies together and groaned as Hephaistion gasped. "You feel how much I love you, Hephaistion," he breathed, moving his hips. Hephaistion responded, panting, grinding back. They had ever only touched before, light curious touches. Now, though, Alexander felt the raging fires his father and the other men spoke about. He needed to let the fire out before he was burned alive.

The stiff heat between Alexander's legs pushed against him. Hephaistion whimpered, clutching at the blonde's tunic. Words to express what he wanted couldn't possiby be formed. There were no words for the need in him, the terrible aching want. "Alexander," he panted urgently, pushing closer to the other boy. He wanted... something, desperately. "Please, Alexander..." Hephaistion spread his knees apart and Alexander slipped between them, bringing their groins into hard contact. Both boys gasped, their open and wet mouths breathing hot air onto each other's faces. Alexander moved, thrusting against Hephaistion's heat, wrenching the cloth of Hephaistion's robe from his shoulders. And the brunette hastily pulled the hem of his robe up so it rode his hips, exposing his groin. Alexander greedily set his mouth against Hephaistion's neck and bit down, holding on as the boy writhed.

It hurt, but the sweet pleasure of being marked by Alexander spread euphoria in his mind. Hephaistion arched up, bringing them together again. He echoed Alexander's growl with a helpless moan as the prince shoved him down into the blankets. With gravity's aid they collided, Hephaistion's legs spread wide to keep them in constant contact. His robes were finally ripped away as Alexander sought to rid himself of his own. Hephaistion could barely see, could barely breathe. He looked blearily up at Alexander on his knees above him, sitting up proud like a lion over his prey. Hephaistion met the fiery brown eyes and fear of his prince flooded him. The lion in Alexander's soul was a vicious beast, and it was he who ruled the prince now. Hephaistion felt the ache on his neck acutely, where Alexander's teeth had broke skin. But he calmed himself and held up his arms, inviting the lion to feast on him.

The offering laid out before him drove him mad. Hephaistion's clear blue eyes were smudged with kohl and his hair lay in tangles over the pillow. And lips Alexander wanted to bite and taste were parted to allow hard breaths to escape. The prince raked his nails down the other boy's alabastor front, and dove down onto Hephasition, into the brunette's embrace. Alexander moved against him harshly, thrusting against his dearest friend with wild abandon. Their hips slapped together as they both moved violently, clawing at each other. Alexander wanted to mount him and take him like lovers did, but he had only ever been with women. Their erections beat against each other and Alexander cried out in frustration, finally capturing Hephaistion's lips in a bruising kiss. Long legs came up around his back, pulling him closer. Through his foggy mind Alexander thought about the rough soldiers talking about mounting young boys from defeated countries. But what they had done had hurt those boys and Alexander didn't want to hurt Hephaistion in that way, not like the soldiers raping those boys.

Hephaistion lay back as Alexander stilled, their breath heavy and thick in the smothering room. Sheens of sweat covered them both, the aching need still musky in the air. Hephaistion had heard the soldiers talk, too. He embraced Alexander closely and the prince held him in return. They quieted, breathing together. Hephaistion had often been a subject of those soldiers' conversations, as they described to him what they desired to do to him. He'd been touched and fondled by the soldiers before, but never to any harmful point. They would grip him between the legs and whisper to him when Alexander was away, and when Phillip wouldn't hear. 'I'll spread you wide, boy,' they'd whispered, 'And take claim to you...' At night he'd think about what they'd said, and imagine Alexander saying those things. He'd grow hot and would imagine Alexander doing everything the soldiers' said.

"Alexander," he intoned quietly. "Will you have me?" He reached over to the bowl of oil and dipped his fingers into it. "Enter me, Alexander. That is what we must do to be lovers." He rubbed the oil over Alexander's heat and then pushed Alexander's hand into the oil. "You must ease the way, and then take me so that I will completely belong to you." Hesitantly, brown eyes never leaving his blue ones, Alexander rubbed his slicked fingers together.

"Show me what to do," he intoned, eyes earnest and fierce against Hephaistion's gaze. The brunette took him by the wrist and pressed Alexander's hand against his opening.

"Open me," he whispered.

Alexander plunged two fingers into Hephaistion, brow knitting as the boy whimpered. "Does it hurt you?"

"Continue," he panted, struggling to relax. "Do not stop, Alexander."

He felt his beloved friend loosening around him, and instinctively added another finger. Hephaistion arched beautifully for him, a strangled moan breaking free from his mouth. Alexander bent close over him, kissing him hard. He moved his fingers inside of Hephaistion, touching something that caused his friend to cry out. "Hephaistion?"

"More Alexander," he moaned pushing down on the fingers within him. "Please give me more."

Alexander felt blind. He knew no sight; only heat and the sound of Hephaistion panting beneath him. Gripping his cock, he moved up to Hephaistion's entrance, stretching the muscle wide with his fingers. He began to push in, breath heaving, and Hephaistion's fingers clawing at his back. Deep keening noises came from Hephaistion, who continued to writhe and twist, legs scrambling to get a secure hold around Alexander's waist. The young prince flexed, thrusting his entire length hard into Hephaistion, who took it with a barrage of whimpers and quiet pleas.

"I am yours," he gasped, body clenching as Alexander penetrated him. He panted, lungs burning as he felt the hard length move inside of him. Above him Alexander was breathing as hard as he, limbs trembling with the effort to support the blonde. Hephaistion opened his eyes, wet with tears from the searing pain and near dizzying pleasure of being filled by his dear prince. And there was the comforting embrace of Alexander's steadfast gaze. Lifting his arms, Hephistion pulled him down so that their bodies lay together completely. He curled his legs higher up Alexander's back and flexed, bringing Alexander jarringly closer. The movement inside of him was like fire and he muffled his own pained outburst by fiercely kissing the prince. "Move," he urged, "Alexander, take me..."

He rose up on his elbows, using the leverage to thurst into the brunette. Slamming his hips down, Alexander gave a startled yell as the shot of dilerious pleasure stung him. He moved harder, shoving Hephaistion back and forth over the white blankets, listening with rapt attention to the cacophony of grunts, whimpers, cries, and wet slaps of flesh on flesh. Growling as the heat spiraled higher into burning focus, Alexander brought his hands to Hephaistion's hips, gripping with enough force to bruise. "Hephaistion," he cried, back screaming with the effort to thrust harder, the sweat dripping down his body and mingling with Hephaistion's. He stared at Hephastion's open and shining mouth, bruised and swollen lips shaping his name, chanting 'Alexander' like a mantra. Clenching his teeth, Alexander tore free from Hephaistion's body, yanking the other man into his lap before violently rentering him. Hephaistion had tears streaming down his face, now bouncing up and down in Alexander's lap, his moist mouth resting next to his prince's ear, pleading with him in words shaped by wet heat.

The speed and intensity grew until both men couldn't utter a sound. Alexander grinded up into Hephaistion as the brunette shoved down onto his cock, each meeting halfway in multiple explosions of white hot sensation. Faster and harder, louder and more violent until Hephaistion's mouth opened in a silent scream, now shoved back down onto the bed as Alexander thrust into him with short erratic movements, back burning from the friction of being pulled back and forth over the sheets.

And the end came in a blinding flash of pain so precise that it was the greatest pleasure Alexander had ever felt. It shot like an arrow into Hephaistion, who went limp with exaustion as Alexander finished thrusting, stilling finally when the dull after glow descended into a satiated ache.

When Alexander collapsed next to him, Hephaistion lay his head on the blonde's chest. He touched Alexander's lips, opening his mouth to welcome the kiss as Alexander rolled over on top of him. Feeling the weight of Alexander shift as the prince fell into the arms of sleep, Hephaistion noticed the serpetine form of Olympias framed in the doorway. Her glittering eyes found his immediately and she nodded at him briefly. His vow had been met. He would be everything to Alexander; everything he needed, and anything he desired.