stonestepper (stonestepper) wrote,
stonestepper
stonestepper

TIMES CHANGE
part six.

Hephaestion looked beyond Alexander to the men behind him. Cleitus and Cassander were both there. Along with twenty soldiers. All of them watching Ansell and himself. The soldiers looked embarrassed. Both companions looked dismayed and a little surprised. The haughty look on the kings face did not bode well for Hephaestion. His eyes met the amused eyes of Ansell, who had yet to separate their bodies. Hephaestion unwrapped his legs from around the waist of the taller man. Ansell's softened member slipped free from Hephaestion's body. With a splash, Hephaestion fell into the water. He washed the semen from his body, glancing at his beloved. Alexander was starring daggers at Ansell. And Ansell was taking delight in the kings jealousy.. The two lovers waded naked to the shore. Ansell, without acknowledging the rank of the king, went past to gather their clothes, handing Hephaestion his.

Alexander studied Hephaestion while he dressed. There were bruises from his battle and his fall. Others that Alexander did not want to think about. But he looked beautiful. His long hair was in wild disarray around his face. His incredible eyes were sparkling with life. His lips were red and swollen from passion. Passion Hephaestion had only ever experienced in his bed. His lover had betrayed him. Similar to the hurt child he felt like, he struck out.

"I see the death of your unit hasn't affected you, Commander." Alexander's next words were quiet, for Hephaestion's ears only. Yet they were nearly spit at him. "You look like a whore!"

Alexander roughly grabbed Hephaestion's arm, pulling him towards the path. Ansell noticing the dread on Hephaestion's face, reached out to pull his lover free from the king's grasp. Alexander did not let go of Hephaestion's arm, while Ansell took hold off the other. Both of them were pulling on their lover, who tried to pull free from both of their holds.

His chest was heaving, and his eyes blazing. Now the two were fighting over him? Hephaestion remembered walking in on the king being serviced two mornings before. He and Ansell shared their bodies. He owed him nothing. A life dept was not asked for.

Alexander knew his lover well, and let go of his arm. Before he walked away, he drew himself up.

"You would do well to hold your temper, and remember who is still your king, General Amnitor. Your horse awaits atop of the hill. There is another for the man who jumped off a cliff to save my....." Alexander looked at Hephaestion, and with the dignity of a king in front of his people, said....."my second in command."

"Thank you, King Alexander of Macedonia. I accept your horse."

"You are from Gaul. Are you a spy for Rome?" Alexander had learned the Roman region of Gaul's language along with Hephaestion. He asked his question in Macedonian, since the tall man had seemed to understand him before.

"No. I followed your army from Egypt. I am no friend of Rome's." Ansell answered the king in Gaul.

Alexander's eyes narrowed. The man had understood him, yet answered in his own tongue.

"You know my language. For the courtesy of my people,if you have the intelligence to answer in Macedonian, then do so. Why have you followed my people? Have you joined my army? Are you a traveler expecting my men to keep you safe?"

"i have no need for a kings army to keep me safe," Ansell sneered. "I saw Hephaestion building your city in Alexandria. The city that you named for yourself. It is he that I follow."

"You mean him harm?" Alexander was incensed by this man. Hatred rose in his stomach.

"I mean to have him."

Alexander saw the advent looks of his men, awaiting the kings anger. They would not see it this day. Hephaestion had shown Alexander what was in his heart. He had made no move to stand beside his king. He looked to his beloved, let Hephaestion see his pain. Looked pointedly at Hephaestion's hand, that was still being held by the Gauls. In front of his men, he let his lover go.

"By the looks of my general, you already have....had him. But by all means..... ..have him again. "

Alexander looked at Cleitus, Cassander, and lastly, Hephaestion.

"Commander's we have an empire to keep safe. Now that we have found General Amnitor to be quite well without our assistance, can we please leave this place?"

Alexander turned and started back along the river. Towards the path that would lead them to the top of the ridge. He didn't know how he was going to walk out. How he was going to ride to Babylon. How he was going to live. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Cleitus and Cassander follow him. Saw Hephaestion pull out of his lovers grasp and hurry to catch up to his king.

Hephaestion was angry and scared at the same time. He could help run an army, feed a nation, and get them through desert and wilderness. But, he was a boy in the face of his beloveds anger. Hephaestion knew that no matter what Alexander had done to him, his lovers pride would stop him from ever coming to Hephaestion. It would be up to him to bridge the gap. He was angry at Alexander for making him out to be the one that was wrong. For putting him in the position that he felt he was the betrayer of their love. And yet the truth was, that Hephaestion felt that he had betrayed Alexander. By enjoying his time with Ansell.

When he hurried to catch up to his king, Alexander hurried his pace to follow his soldiers. Hephaestion realized that Alexander didn't want to talk to him now. He knew Alexander well enough to know that his lover was barely holding on. He fell into step beside Cleitus. He didn't need to look back to see if Ansell followed. He could feel him behind them. He didn't feel like it would be right to walk with the warrior either.

"Looks like you had a good night, after all the mayhem was over," Cleitus remarked. "You had to know that we would find you, Hephaestion."

"I did. I just wanted..."

"Yes, my friend, we saw who you wanted. Can't blame you there. However, since you knew that Alexander would find you in the morning, did you also want him to see you in the arms of another?"

"Cleitus, that's not the way of it. You sound like an old women."

"Maybe I do. Yesterday we had to tell my king of his lover's loss. The loss of his best friend and general. It wasn't until he got to the sight that he heard of your cliff adventure. Your assistant is still alive to tell the tale."

"Thank Zeus."

"He told about your fall into the gorge, and the handsome stranger jumping in after you. He told Alexander that he thought the man must be a god. It was dark. We couldn't see to find you, and we didn't know how many Persian rebels were about. I watched Alexander grow up, Hephaestion. Last night I had to keep soldiers away from him to help him save face. Then I had to hear his muffled tears. His fear for you made him cry in his sleep. What little he got. He spent the night making deals with Zeus, which I hope are never answered. It is not something I wish to go through again. We all face perils every day. And you and Alexander have stood in line of danger. I did not like hearing my kings cries in the silent night."

When the procession entered Babylon, Hephaestion, after handing his horse to a groom, turned to face Ansell. They were heard to be talking in a strange language. Alexander, hearing the mangled greek that he knew, turned from his lovers secretiveness.

"Where will you go," Hephaestion asked. "How long are you staying?"

"Hephaestion, a smart man told me years ago, that when you love, when you really love, there is no room for anybody else. Do you want me to stay because you love me, or because you crave Alexander's jealousy?"

Hephaestion drew back, indignant of the accusation.

"The night we shared was wonderful, not so wonderful that I am willing to lose Alexander. I didn't ask you to stay. I expressed an interest."

Ansell smiled down upon the beautiful man. So young, and so strong. Holding in his fears and running an empire. This Alexander had better realize the treasure he had, or Ansell would make his afterlife a misery. Ansell wanted nothing more then to gather Hephaestion to him. Keep him safe. Take him home, so that he and his Patroclus could guard his happiness. It wasn't to be. And truthfully, Ansell loved the younger man enough to want his destiny to be with Alexander. He was the soulmate that Hephaestion had searched a millenia  for.

"I know that you didn't ask. I wish I could stay with you, just to keep you from harm. You have faced more dangers then I during life."

"You can stay," Hephaestion whispered. Not really wanting to part with this man he felt such a deep bond with. "You can join my unit. I could use you. You can probably have your own unit. We...we can be friends."

"I can't stay here, Hephaestion. I only have a short amount of time I can be here. My own Patroclus awaits."

"You keep saying that. Yet, you wanted me to be with you. What would this other Patroclus think if we were together?"

"He is not the other Patroclus. He is just Patroclus. You are Hephaestion. And he would have welcomed you and loved you. We both would. But, you have found your soulmate, my love. We are happy for you. Now, find your mate, and sooth his soul. He will be a hard one to love. You had to love a king, didn't you?"

Hephaestion asked the question that he had been afraid to ask. He thought he knew the answer. Maybe he was crazy for thinking it.

"Ansell. This bond we have. I know you, don't I? From......from before?"

"We know each other well, little one."

Hephaestion blushed. Only Ansell would dare call him little one. It felt like an endearment coming from those lips that had given him such pleasure.

"Will I ever remember?"

"Perhaps. If you can open your mind."

"I am a little scared of all this."

"You, Hephaestion?"

Ansell cupped the beloved face in both his large hands. Hephaestion let him, leaning into the safety of the touch. He didn't care that Persia judged him. He didn't care that his whole army watched him, that the other generals moved in around him. Not really trusting this stranger with their fellow companion. He didn't even care that he could feel Alexander's eyes on him. He faltered a moment, while thinking of Alexander. Wondered if he was in his rooms alone, or if the eunuch was with him. His thoughts came back to the man that he had to say good-bye to. Someone he felt was a part of his life,

"Even now, you think of him. My little warrior, there is nothing to fear. You have fought in all the battles. Conquered all the worlds. Reborn and faced death many times. All in the name of love. I bow to your bravery, for there are none who are your match."

"There is one," Hephaestion whispered, suddenly longing for Alexander. His heart ached for his love.

Ansell stepped back, resigned to the hopelessness of ever having Hephaestion's complete love.

"Go to him. I have seen his soul. There is only room for you."

"He is so stubborn. I fear my hardest battle."

"The one worth winning. You had to chose a king didn't you?" Ansell leaned forward to kiss the full lips once more. savoring the taste, and the feel. The very essence of the man he loved. He gave a little grin and walked away.

Hephaestion watched him turn a corner, motioning to Cleitus not to follow. He didn't think it possible for any of them to follow anyway.

Hephaestion cleared his eyes and saw the people around him, meeting their eyes. He straightened his back and squared his shoulders. It wa time to face the fury that was Alexander.


Alexander stormed to his room. Once inside he was undecided as to what to do. He felt his anger subside. Beside the fear of losing his lover to death, there had been an overwhelming anxiety of losing his lover to an unknown force. Another man. It had required great mental and physical effort to endure the pain of seeing Hephaestion in the warriors arms. Knowing that their bodies were linked. He wondered if that was how Hephaestion had felt, knowing that Alexander had been with another. Alexander hadn't reached the heights that Hephaestion had. He had seen his lover's face. The rapturous feeling of intense orgasm. The joy of being taken. Feelings that he should have only felt in Alexander's arms.

The weakness that had invaded his soul had now reached his knees. The strain becoming to much, he went out on the balcony, to lean against the railing. He watched Hephaestion and Ansell talking quietly in their secret language that sounded much like the native tongue of his lover.

Alexander was unaware that tears fell from his eyes. The blurriness was just another part of his troubled heart. He knew that he was witnessing a farewell. It helped knowing that his lover would no longer be seeing the man that had tried to steal him from the king. Yet, did it really help? The whole army was now aware that Hephaestion had taken another man. He would be open game for any would be lover. Hephaestion knew that Alexander had been unfaithful Had even asked for Hephaestion's understanding of his deeds. How could he ever hope to keep Hephaestion to himself.

He had never really wanted anybody other then Hephaestion. He was always hearing people talk. His own people thought that it was Hephaestion who ruled the army, Hephaestion, who controlled the king. He wanted to show his people, and even his beloved that he was his own man. That he was king, and lived by his own rules. Now he wished he had talked to his lover about it. Just now remembering how Hephaestion had to endure vicious untrue words about his own rise in the army of the king.

Hephaestion was so sexual. So giving and loving. Alexander thought that it was with only him that Hephaestion was like that. Now he wondered if Hephaestion was like that with anyone he shared his body with. Had there been others? With Ansell gone, would Hephaestion be like that with anyone he was attracted to? Had Alexander driven Hephaestion to seek the warmth of other men? If that were the case, then what made Alexander special?


Hephaestion stopped outside Alexander's door. Not long ago, he would never hesitate to enter what would also be his room. He had told his lover that he wouldn't enter uninvited again. Said in anger, and even a little spite. Yet, now he was afraid to enter. Had it come to this? He asked the guard, who he knew well, to inform Alexander of his presence.

Alexander was on the balcony when Hephaestion entered. Just a few days had passed since first seeing the glitter of Babylon. Since first walking into these rooms. Days that had changed their relationship. Days that had brought them each pain and jealousy. Both feared being displaced by a rival.

Alexander could feel the close proximity of his lover.

"I don't know what to say to you anymore. What do you want, Hephaestion?"

"I want what we lost, Alexander," Hephaestion answered, eying the eunuch that had just entered the rooms.

Alexander turned to see what had drawn Hephaestion's attention. A little surprised and angry when he saw Bagoas enter with fresh wine. He had noticed the fleeting look of anguish on his loves face.

"Leave the wine. You are not needed."

"Yes, master. I am sorry for the interruption. I thought General Hephaestion might feel thirsty or have a need for food after his ordeal."

"I am hungry, Alexander."

"Fruits and nuts, Bagoas. Maybe a little of the chefs sweet bread."

"Yes, Sire. I am happy for your return, General Hephaestion."

"And why would that be?"

"Because the king was praying for your safe return."

"That's enough, Bagoas. Send a servant up with our food. No, bring it yourself. Prepare it yourself."

"Yes, sire."

"Precaution's Alexander?"

"I have to take them. After your attack, I don't know who I can trust."

"Do you want to talk about security?"

"Yes, but not now."

"You trust the boy?"

"He is just a few years younger then us. And yes I trust him."

Hephaestion felt the pierce to his heart. It seemed that they would draw blood upon each other.

"He does seem to be ensconced in your rooms. Permanent fixture? Found you you didn't like sleeping alone? Or just didn't want to sleep with me any longer?"

Alexander heard the bitterness in Hephaestion's voice. A sharpness that he seldom heard in his gentle, yet powerful companion. His lover had claws when riled. Hephaestion's resentment gave hope to Alexander.

"I only had him the first night. He didn't sleep in my bed. I wanted you. I sent for you."

"Yes, and I came. Thank you for that show. I guess you had him the next day also."

"I sent for you earlier. I was bathing. He touched me. I am only human, Hephaestion."

"What did you want me for?"

"I wanted to tell you that I didn't want anybody else. That I was sorry."

"You didn't fuck him the next night?"

"No, and I slept alone. I am sorry I wasn't able to talk to you at the celebration, my love. Those boys in my colors. They are unwilling harem boys. it is just to keep them safe."

"I thought..."

"I know. Why wouldn't you think that?"

"And Bagoas didn't touch you the next morning?"

Hephaestion saw the telltale flicker in Alexander's eyes.

"No, he didn't." Alexander knew that his lover suspected a lie. It would be detrimental to tell the truth, no matter how painful to them both. " He brought somebody else with him."

"And he touched you?"

"I fucked him. It was worse then with Bagoas....... Oh Hephaestion I am so sorry. I won't try it again. Only you, my love."

"Do you know what I think? I think that if it had been good for you, you would continue doing it. I think that because you saw me with somebody else, that is the main reason for your change of heart. You cant stand that I enjoyed passion with another man."

Alexander stalked to Hephaestion. He grabbed his arms and gave him a shake.

"NO! By the gods, no. I can't stand it. You're right. I hate you for your betrayal. I wished I didn't love you so much. Wished I didn't need you. I do though. It kills me, Hephaestion. Why?! Why did you let him fuck you?"

"I wanted him."

"Would you have lay with him if I hadn't made these mistakes?"

"I would have wanted him. But no. I wouldn't have let him touch me."

Alexander fell heavily on the bed. His anger just a disguise for his pain. He put his head in his hands. Suddenly tired. He didn't know what to do. For the first time in his life, he was at a loss. He felt his chest heave. Felt the sobs break free.

"I can't do this without you, Hephaestion. I know you will do your duties. But I need you beside me. It's so hard all this. We are building the greatest empire in history. You are my only shelter from all the hardship."

Hephaestion slipped his arms around his king. Pressing Alexander's face into his chest. leaning down and kissing the top of his head. Inhaling his scent. This was his lover. His soulmate. He could feel Alexander's sobs as he wept. He dropped to his knee's and wrapped his arms around his beloveds waist. He lie his head down into his loves lap.

"You are Alexander," he whispered. and I belong to you. Only you."

Alexander knew that they had to talk. Talk about what they had both done. About their future. He wanted his lover back in their rooms. He wanted his fun loving general back. But right now, all he wanted to do was hold the man he loved. Together they lay on the bed, To share for the first time.

"I hope he hurries with our food. I might fall asleep. And I have so much to do today."

"I want to know where you're going, Hephaestion. I never know where you are."

"Oh Ale, not this again."
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