This is an Alternate Universe story
Celeas Amnitor had fallen on hard times. His outer lands had been seized by the Macedonians years before. With no taxes coming in, he had used his own considerable wealth to fund Southern Greece's army. He had taken them as far as could in the fight to retain independence. The fight was over, he had lost, and now he had to think about his people. People who did not want to wage war only to lose, then turn around and pledge allegiance to the king who had conquered them. With his wealth almost gone, Celeas had only one commodity. His son. He had four daughters, all under the age of eight, too young to consider bartering them at their age. Besides, he hoped for a match with the Macedon king, and it was rumored that he preferred boys. So Amnitor had put out word that he would sell his son in return for a friendly alliance. His son was not to be sold as a servant, not even as an eromenos. He was to be given the honor of contractual consort. Celeas had made a starting price, asking the parties to bid on his son. Not publicly of course. Celeas Amnitor had lost even more money keeping his army going for the pretense of strength during the long months it had taken to set up his plan. He made his offer to both King Darius of Persia and King Alexander of Macedon. Suspicions ran rampant on both sides. Finally an agreement was made for the King of Macedonia and Bessos, the second in command of the Persian empire to meet at Amnitor's palace. They would both bring their own small guard, larger armies staying behind. Both sides had sent spies and diplomats to assure themselves of their leaders safety. Not wanting to appear too desperate, Celeas had even made the offer to the Republic of Rome. With a foothold in Athens, that nation could begin their own movement eastward. Although Amnitor expected a negative reply from Rome, he received confirmation that Rome's emissary would indeed be there. It took several more months for travel. Both Persia and Rome were sailing in, so Amnitor had to go to extra added expense for sea security. The money he would receive was a fortune. Amnitor had a large family of his own with many unmarried cousins on his wife's side.
Convincing his son had been the hardest thing he had ever done. Hephaestion's eyes had looked at him as if he had been betrayed by his own father. Being the loyal Athenian, as well as son and brother, Hephaestion had accepted his fate. In the young prince's mind, he didn't have to make the life of whatever arrogant king who bought him any better. Father and son had not been close for months.
Alexander wondered if things would be this way if his father hadn't died. Athens had gotten powerful. Not so powerful that they couldn't be beaten. However, Alexander wanted their city and their considerable army as friendly allies, rather then defeated followers.
Three years after his father's death, the twenty three year old king was finally ready to invade Persia. Through negotiations and some fighting he had amassed a considerable army of his own. Only one quarter the size of Persia's. But it would not be numbers that would win that war. He knew the Persians were scared, as they had already offered him large areas of land in return of his leaving them alone. Alexander wanted it all. He sent a negative reply. Also telling them that for right now they had nothing to worry about. After all Alexander was riding into Athens, virtually unguarded. He counted on the Persians to believe that his army wasn't far behind.
When Alexander received the unprecedented offer from Celeas Amnitor, he knew the man had rallied his last reserves, and was giving the false appearance of a strength he did not have. It was a good ploy. The boy really had nothing to do with it. Amnitor needed a way out of the corner he had backed himself into. If Persia bought young Amnitor, it would not defeat Alexander. To lose the allegiance of Athens however, meant that he would have to wage war upon that respected city before Persia even tried to take hold. So he decided he would take the boy off Amnitor's hands, gain allegiance and land, more men who would be willing to fight for him and the honor of Greece. He would be giving Athens back her dignity.
Alexander had to wonder though, why an almost seventeen year old boy wasn't the eromenos of some high ranking Greek. He was well bred after all. Nobody must have wanted him. The boy must surely be of ugly face and body for Amnitor to offer him for such a price that was nothing to Alexander.
Cleitus, Ptolemy and Cassander rode beside their king with the agreed upon twenty-five royal guard. They felt sure it could be a trap, and if it were then they would all lose their lives. Regardless of that fact, they were not sending their king in alone. Leaving Antipetar in charge, they left for Athens. They felt proud that Alexander was the only Royal who dared make the trip. Granted it was through their own lands, and it was far for the others. But to officially bind yourself to a boy in what was relatively a marriage, Alexander thinking of Athenian and Macedonian relations had made the trip. He felt certain he would come home with the boy. He would have to consummate the union with the creature, but then he could leave him in the hands of his mother. It's not as if the boy could give him children. Or even be of any use in his army. Or else he would already be in the ranks of Athenian soldier's. Alexander had already led troops by the time he was the boys age. What would Alexander want him around for?
The men rode on mostly the coastal path. Keeping east of Mount Olympus, giving homage as they passed the home of the Gods. They rode down through Larissa and Pheres, lodging in both towns. With few towns in between, they had to ride a little bit west in order to avoid a bay, They stayed overnight in both Trachis and Chaeronea. There was only a few miles between them and Athens, yet the group decided to lodge one more night in the town of Marathon, in order to ride into Athens fresh from a nights slumber and a good bath. They had decided to bypass Thebes. They had fought a long and bloody battle in that city a year and a half before. Nobody wished to revisit without the main army behind them.
With the invasion of Sparta and Corinth, and the lands north of Athens, Alexander owned most of Greece. And with the agreement of Amnitor's, he would be king of all Greece. Except for Mount Olympus, he controlled much of the civilized world.
The Macedonians had been riding through lush lands and rolling hills.
"Most of what you see here has been put to wheat," Alexander said to any who listened. "The closer we get to Athens, the soil and the heat is prime conditions for olives and grapes. It is the main source of wealth for the high nobles of Athens. The farming and making of wine and olive oil provides most of the city with work."
"Then why does Amnitor need to sell his son for our alliance if they are so wealthy?"
Ptolemy had never been one to listen to lessons or take an interest in the history of the lands they invaded. Both Cleitus and Cassander rode in silence, yet listened avidly to their kings story.
"The crops are still good, Ptolmey. We own the surrounding area. We have effectively cut off all source of trade and sale for Athens."
"Why are we here on this fools errand? Why don't we just take the city?"
"They have a culture here that is better then our own. A rich history and education I wish for our own people. It is worth the price of a few coins to have these people unite as our allies and not be a reluctant army. Which by the way, this city has a trained infantry that outshines our own. It is ten thousand strong. And they will fight for Alexander. For I will have a formal pledge of cohabitation with one of their own. And I will open trade for their wine and olive oil. They will be prosperous under my rule."
"Except that you have to give up your freedom, Alexander," Cassander joked.
"Zeus knows what kind of boy you are going to be bound to," Cleitus laughed.
"Bound too? I will not be bound to him. He will set no limits on my freedom. He is just a means to an end, and he will be the one that will be confined by his bonds. I doubt I will remember his face after our first night. In truth I do not care if he takes a lover, if anyone will have him. Somebody may want him because he is the kings consort. It's not as if I have to worry about a child that is not my own."
The men were quiet as they finally entered the great city. Buildings were old, with ivy and hibiscus growing along many homes. They saw buildings marked as schools and hospitals for both men and women. The people in the streets were courteous and bowed to Alexander, but not enough to appear submissive. They passed buildings that were used as forums for law. The people outside these places had an arrogance that made his companions scoff at their Athenian airs, but Alexander could respect pride and self worth. It was what he felt himself.
Stopping at an outdoor cantina, the four friends enjoyed refreshment before moving on. The wine was excellent and pure. He allowed the soldiers a glass or two, along with a tray of breads, cheese, olives, baked atichokes and meats. They were told of the ancient monuments that adorned their city. Deciding to prolong the last leg of their journey, they rode by the monuments the inn keeper had told them about. Alexander was an avid reader, and knew about the places they saw, so that he was able to talk about them to his companions. They rode by the Parthenon and Chalcothce, the temple of Asclepius. They were all happy to see the temple of Dionysus. They made time to go by the sanctuary of Artimus and the temple of Athena Nike. For Alexander who dreamed of seeing things he had only read about, hoped he could find time to tour these places before he left again. It would be enjoyable to do so with somebody who was as interested as he was. Alexander noted the boredom on his friends and the soldiers faces.
It was another hour and a half ride to Amnitor's home by the sea. Alexander led the way.
The Macedonians arrived at the palace of Athens highest noble. Over a century before, the Athenians did away with an actual king. The highest nobles were the rich men who owned the olives and grapes. The men who handled the import and export of their products. And these nobles ran the city as a democracy. At least a democracy as they saw it. There were slaves and the servants were not paid well. The farmers who fed them did not make much, and often had to resort to drastic measures to take care of their families. These measures included the sale of their beautiful sons and daughters to the oft times flesh buyers of Persia. Slavers. Alexander would change all that.
The king dismounted with the rest of the group and was ready to hand over the reins of his beloved horse to the court groom, when out of the corner of his eye he spotted a boy of great beauty enter the barn from a different direction.
"I wish to inspect the barns, to see to the health of our horses. The hay may be a little dusty."
"Alexander, you shouldn't......."
"Stay here. I'll be right back, Cleitus."
Alexander heard girlish giggles when he entered the barn. He was disappointed. The beautiful young man was meeting a girl. As he listened more, he heard that the girl was a child.
"Oh Phai, do you think father will let me have one?"
"He will do anything during the next few days to make you girls happy. I think you should ask him now."
"You get one too. I know you have always wanted a cat."
"Shh, someone may hear," the boy joked. "Boys are not supposed to have cats. Besides someday I want a fluffy persian kitten. I'll hold out for him."
"You're funny, Phai."
"I know. I'm a riot. Run along now sister. I'll be right behind you."
As Alexander saw the pretty young girl run out the side door, he looked around the stall to see the boy who had caught his attention. What he saw made his breath catch. The slim Athenian youth was on his hands and knees, putting kittens back with their mother. He wore a sleeveless shirt and the thin trousers of a peasant boy. Alexander could see the outline of his shapely thighs, and his arms were tanned and had the smooth skin of youth. Alexander's eyes fixated on the slave's bottom. Kneeling as he was, he had lifted it high in the air. It looked firm and delectably round. The pert curves ignited Alexander's hunger. He felt his cock grow hard as he stepped forward. In his land, slaves were open game for visiting royals, and he wanted this boy.
Hephaestion turned when he heard the steps of a man. He stood up quickly when he saw the blond haired soldier advancing on him with lust in his eyes.
"I am not a slave, sir."
Alexander stopped and gathered himself. He was almost glad the boy had stopped him. Otherwise he might not have seen the face before him. Shoulder length dark chestnut hair was feathered around his face, making his forehead and high cheek bones look perfect. His lips were full and inviting. Alexander couldn't wait to kiss them and see them stretched around his shaft. It was the boy's eyes that brought out Alexander's tenderness. They were as blue as the sea that could be seen in the distance. Large and expressive, framed by long thick lashes. Alexander would lose himself in those eyes as they darkened with desire from the things that the king would do to him. This boy was more then a treat. He was a feast. No, Alexander wouldn't take him here. He would take him to his bed to seduce him and enjoy him. If only his future consort would look like this boy.
Hephaestion watched the soldier look at him, and took advantage to stare himself. The soldier was blond like the sun god. Not so big that he was scary, hard and muscular was the slim build. Hephaestion could see scars from battle and they thrilled him. The way the soldier was looking at him, made him feel warm. If only one of of the kings who were coming to buy him would look like this man. Hephaestion nearly melted when he heard the timber of the man's voice.
"Alright, you are not a slave for the taking," Alexander said gruffly. "Pity. Might I have one kiss though? Just one?"
Hephaestion wanted to be bold. He might as well have one kiss from somebody like this man. A kiss he could think about through the years. It would be his first.
"One kiss, soldier," he whispered.
Alexander gently pulled the trembling boy into his arms to hold him close. He saw the lashes flutter as he lowered his lips. The boy jumped a little at first contact, then warmed under Alexander's own lips. The kiss started off gentle, and grew to ravenous heights, heat radiating from them both. Alexander could tell the boy had never been kissed and was innocent in the ways of men. His inexperience made Alexander harden even more, and he pressed his hardness into the servant's own swelling body. The friction caused a whimper from the boy as he arched into the contact. Alexander could tell when a child's fear and inexperience changed to a young mans first exciting feelings of desire. Alexander was thrilled to be able to be the one to release the boys pent up passion. The king had never tasted such a sweet mouth. He twirled his tongue around that of the boys, once in a while stopping to suck on the boys tongue, and lap at the swollen lips. The boy was writhing now, moaning loud and lost in the feeling of first time desire. He was Alexander's for the taking. But not here in the straw. He would arrange for the boy to come to his bed after the court festivities.
"Ale, are you here?" Cleitus seldom used the pet name for the king. His protective instincts kicked in, and it just came out. He was worried about the king when several moments passed, and thought it best to look for him.
The king felt the boy pull out of his arms. Arms that felt empty without the Athenian in them. Alexander looked around for his general, and when he turned back, the boy was gone. Without arranging for an evening tryst. Damn.
The people of Athens knew how to entertain. Each of the invited guests had their own quarters. With barracks for the soldiers and rooms for each of Alexander's companions. The king himself had a suite of rooms fit for a king. Slaves had been sent to ready baths that were like swimming pools and to have a feast of food for the soldiers. Even pleasure slaves should they want them. Alexander's guard were quick to take up the suggestive offers.
Later at the festivities in the main palace, Alexander's companions, after meeting their host, left to seek out other pleasures. They had left Celeas and Alexander talking and sharing small pitcher of wine.
"I can't just sell him to you right now, Alexander. I wish for Hephaestion to meet you first. He might take a shine to other offers."
"How can he judge when Darius and Titus are not even here. You know I want this union. I don't want to be harsh Lord Amnitor, we will take these lands. We would rather do it without the ruination of your city. You offer a way. I want this matter over with."
"I was afraid of that. What of Hephaestion?"
"He wil be your means to recoup your losses. He will bind our lands and be treated fairly and with respect."
"What of love?"
"When you put your son on the auction block, do not expect a love match. Have Persia or Rome made an offer for the boy?"
"No. Nor will they. They are here to assess the situation. Assess your weakness. We will show them your might with me at your side. My offer is fair for a drowning man, Lord Amnitor."
"I still must talk to my son first." Celeas was starting to feel a fathers guilt and fear, now that the plan was coming to fruition.
"Do so. I will enjoy your hospitality tonight, and we will talk business on the morrow. I will meet Hephaestion this evening if possible."
"Yes, Sire. I will bring him to you. I am sure he will be quite amenable."
Alexander found Cleitus and Cassander watching something down below the balcony they were standing on. Ptolemy was sitting on a couch, rubbing his hands over a slave girl.
"What are you looking at," Alexander asked as he approached?
"That servant boy with Bessos, the Persian emissary. He is exquisite, Alexander. We have never seen a more beautiful boy."
Alexander already knowing who he would see, looked over the railing. The beauty from this afternoon was handing the Persian a glass of wine. He was dressed brightly in a jade green toga style cloth. Sandals adorned his slim feet. Alexander watched the boy flirt innocently with Bessos. Saw the blue eyes flash and the flutter of his long lashes. The boy may be completely innocent in the ways of flesh, but he wasn't new to flirtation. Alexander was growing angry at every smile bestowed on the leering Persian.
"Ah, I see you have found Hephaestion. Hard not to spot in that toga. My son dresses the way that he likes." Amnitor said as he joined them at the railing.
Alexander looked to see where his host was looking. Straight at his lover from this afternoon!
By the gods, what luck, Alexander thought! The servant that he was so infatuated with was his betrothed. What irony is fate. He would have to have a serious talk with his intended about kissing soldiers in barns. And about other certain things Alexander expected. Complete fidelity. Never mind what he said that afternoon to his friends. He would have this boys faithfulness.
Alexander saw the Persian reach out and pull the boy to him, at the same time backing them into a dark corner. Alexander saw the momentary flash of annoyance giving way to fear in the boys eyes. And without waiting for Amnitor, he rushed down the stairs to rescue his betrothed.
Alexander heard Cassander and Cleitus yell to Ptolemy and run down the steps after him. He threw himself into the corner, pushing back the groping Persian and pulling Hephaestion into his arms. The Persian came right back back at Alexander, but by that time, his companions were there to block his assault.
"Sir, is this how you conduct yourself as an invited guest in my home? By assaulting my son?!"
"He wanted it," the Persian grinned evilly.
"Liar," Alexander spat!
"The invitation to Darius has been rescinded. I will have my soldiers escort you to your ships. They will wait with you for the dawn, where you will sail from my borders at first light. I will send a letter to Darius informing him of your conduct."
"Why would he care if I tried to bed the whore you sell," Bessos smirked, before gathering his men to leave the hall.
Alexander watched him with hatred in his eyes. When he invaded Persia, he would stop at nothing to insure that man's death. Alexander was impressed with Amnitor's reaction. A proud old warrior, who Alexander would welcome into his family.
Meanwhile Hephaestion clung to his soldier from this afternoon, breathing in his fresh scent. He was no longer frightened, however this might be his last chance to be next to the man he had been daydreaming about all day.
Alexander soothed him with senseless whispers, holding the intoxicating form as close as he could without angering the father.
"Hephaestion, you forget yourself," Amnitor scolded. "Step back and meet the king of Macedon in a proper way."
Stricken by his fathers words, Hephaestion did indeed step back out of the soldiers arms. And not just any soldier, the king of Macedonia. Soon to be king of all Greece if his father was correct.
"You.......you are Alexander?" he asked, looking at the blond haired god. His first thought had been overwhelming joy, which rapidly changed to jealousy. It did not matter if the jealousy was about his own self. He did not care if it were unreasonable.
"Yes, I am Alexander, child."
"I am not a child. I am seventeen in two weeks."
"Excuse me," Alexander said softly. He sensed a tantrum coming on. "No, you are not a child. Shall I call you Hephaestion?"
"No, you may not," Hephaestion cried.
"Why? What is wrong? I hoped you would be as glad as I am to find out who we are to each other."
"Hephaestion! Enough! What goes on here?"
"Father, he kissed me today. Earlier, in the barn."
"I knew you had somebody in there," Cleitus snorted. "What a find. Well done, my friend." He was astounded at the glare he received from the Athenian beauty.
"I don't see the problem," Amnitor said. "Since he has made an offer for you. Of course he might want to kiss you." Amnitor looked towards the king. "He has been very sheltered, you understand."
"I am glad of his innocence," Alexander said as if Hephaestion wasn't standing right there, which inflamed the young man.
"Don't you see, father? This was before he knew who I was. He came here to become betrothed, and tried to bed a servant boy. He was being unfaithful before he even met his intended."
"Hephaestion, you are his intended."
"But, he didn't know that at the time!" Hephaestion cried as he glared at Alexander. "Is this the way you intend to act? Trying to kiss anybody you want, right under my nose? No matter how I feel?"
"How do you feel?"
"I ......I.......Oh never mind! I don't care. Don't accept his offer, father. I can not marry this man." Hephaestion hurried away from the laughing men. He was embarrassed by his outburst. Why did these things have to happen to him?
Amnitor was shaking his head at Hephaestion's abrupt departure. He had never seen his son more flustered. If he didn't know better, he would think that Hephaestion had developed feelings for the king. And the way Alexander had rushed down the stairs to rescue the boy..........well this was too good to be true. He couldn't wait to tell his lady wife. He hoped he could appease the king of his son's temper.
"I am sorry for my son's words, Sire. I assure you he does not normally show such bad behavior."
"Lord Amnitor, do not apologize for your son, He shows a fine temperament. I am not angry. In fact, I am delighted that he has such spirit."
The companions wandered away to give Alexander time with his future in law. They were happy for their king in the fine match he had made.They thought the young man would give the king a run for his money. Maybe that's what Alexander needed. Somebody to defy him. Give him a fun battle for once.
When Alexander looked at his host, all he saw was a father's pride in his beautiful and spirited boy. As well he should, the king thought. Alexander was delighted with the boys animated liveliness. The boy was willing to face the danger of a kings wrath all because of some misplaced jealousy. Alexander knew that Hephaestion would bring that spirit to their bed. Lord Amnitor was shocked at what he deemed bad behavior from his son. In truth, Alexander would not tolerate embarrassing behavior in public either. Fortunately, he knew how to tame a naughty prince.