Hephaistion wakes up. He moves and winces in pain. His last activities let him stiff and exhausted. He feels unable to move, his muscles heavy. He turns his head to the man asleep close to him. He doesn’t smile in looking at him. It was a mistake. Why did he agree to that ?
He forces himself to sit. His lower body aches like Hell. This man is a real bull. He will not be able to ride today. He feels a strong and muscular arm wrap his waist but he rejects it and gets up. The man lying on the bed lets fall his arm. His head leaning on his fist he looks at Hephaistion with serious eyes. This latter takes a silk robe and wraps it around his body. His companion sees how his officer tries to avoid his gaze. Something is wrong.
« What ? »
Without looking at his companion, Hephaistion answers coldly :
« I am sorry. It was a mistake. »
« A mistake ? »
The soldier gets up naked and comes close to Hephaistion. This latter is tall but the soldier even more. He forces him to look at him and adds with harshness :
« When was it a mistake ? When I fucked you thoroughly, while you shouted your pleasure, asking me for more ? When I buried my seed deep inside you at the moment you reached your extasy until to pass out ? Say me Hephaistion ! »
This one blushes and tightens his lips, between anger and shame. He tears himself away from the other man and orders with irritation :
« Don’t be so vulgar ! »
« That’s right, I am vulgar. I am just a simple soldier not a noble like you. But at least I am not a liar ! You liked it. At least, recognize it ! »
« What difference if I recognize it or not ! That stays a mistake. »
Looking intensively Hephaistion, the soldier stays in silence for a while then he adds calmer :
« I know that you love Alexander. And I don’t ask you to stop loving him. But don’t reject me. Keep me by your side. »
« To make you suffer like Alexander does with me. »
He says, his eyes becoming teary.
« I can’t. I can’t ask you that. It is too painful. »
The tall man sighs and takes in his arms Hephaistion.
« You can’t take the pain of the whole world on your shoulders. »
He tightens his embrace, holding the young officer as if afraid to lost him. The soldier knows he has to fight to keep the man he loves.
« Do you remember when we were boys ? »
« How can I forget ? You were a real bastard with me. »
The big man smiles.
« I know. I was in anger with you. »
« What ? Why ? I had never done anything to you. »
« Exactly ! That’s the reason. »
« What ? »
Hephaistion is confused.
« You didn’t done anything to me. You didn’t even looking at me. I was invisible to your eyes. You were so different of the other boy. Beautiful, intelligent, elegant, proud. The son of our Lord. On my side, I was just the son of a peasant. I wanted you to remark me. But I didn’t worth it. At least it was what my father said. I hated you for that. To beat you was the only way I have found to be someone in front of you. To be recognized by you. »
Hephaistion is taken aback by his words. He never imagined… The man continues.
« You were like a God for me. Inaccessible ! When you beat me, I was lost. I realized my feeling for you. I was afraid and fled in the army. When I stoled you a kiss, I wanted to give you something that none other before me had given you. Something that you will keep and remember forever. I was the first I know. »
He said with a nostalgic smile.
« When I kissed you this day, I thought that I should never see you again. During all these years, I never forgot you. You were there… »
In showing his heart with his fist.
« …always. I carried you in me everywhere I went. Sometimes wishing that Death will come to bring me in the kingdom of Hades. My life without you was like a desert. A soil arid and barren. So imagine what effect made on a thirsty man your presence when you arrived in the army. You were my oasis. The source giving life. I could hope again. I worked hard, like a damned soul to be closed to you. When I saw you dressed in officer close to Alexander, the way you looked at him, I knew you were lost for me. But I thought that even if I couldn’t be loved by you. I would be near you to defend you with my life. Don’t see me like a victim Hephaistion. I chose to be near you. And I took my chance when I saw that Alexander disregarded you. So don’t rejected me. Or my life will not worth to be lived anymore. Let me stay with you. Let me be the pillar you need sometimes even if you will never admit it. I can help you and carry your pain on my shoulders, even if I am not a king but a simple soldier. »
Moved, Hephaistion looks at the man like if he discovered him. Amazed by his words. Nobody has talked to him like this for such a long time. His words are like balm on his wounded heart. He raises a hand to the scarred cheek of the other man.
« No, not a simple soldier, you own a knight’s soul. »
Hephaistion has a sad smile and adds :
« I see you now. »
« I know. »
The tall man bows and kisses him.