Chapter Five – Too much too soon Brandos
The house slaves opened the large doors for Brandos and he sauntered down the marble steps into the cool serenity of evening. The courtyard was alive and breathing; it looked more like an exotic carnival than a makeshift camp. The Queen’s entourage bustled about between the colorful mess of tents and bonfires. Brandos made his way through the dancing Kriskons to the large purple tent that housed the Queen. He didn’t bother to announce himself or ask permission to enter. Brandos whipped the heavy folds back and entered.
“Uhhhhhhh…” murmured Brandos.
“Ahhhh ahhhh ahhhh---- Hey!” gasped Saphara at the intrusion. Brandos had walked in at a very inappropriate time. Currently, Saphara was naked on her hands and knees. A large bronze-skinned man was pumping furiously into the tiny divinity. His teeth were sharp and animal in nature and horns rose out of the dark curls of his hair. Saphara’s body from white to a deep pink and her eyes burned black fire.
“Is now a bad time?” asked Brandos without any qualms.
“Gahhhhh! Yes! GET OUT!” snarled Saphara. She pushed herself back to meet the vicious thrusts of the divinity behind her. The God moved himself even faster and dug his taloned fingers into Saphara’s hips. He leaned forward and took a chunk out of the Goddess’s thin neck. Saphara moaned and screamed, and the color of her skin deepened to a dark red. Brandos left the tent and stood with his arms folded across his chest as he waited for the divinity to finish.
“Ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh…” came her stabbed groans of lust. Eventually, she climaxed, and it was evident by a loud scream followed by a thunder clap.
Dayum. Thought Brandos to himself. He was impressed. He continued to wait for a few minutes. This time, before he went in, Brandos asked “May I enter, Goddess?”
“Yes you may, jackass.” Saphara appeared well sated as she reclined against the muscled torso of the God. She played with his chest hair and wrapped a leg around his lower body, concealing his massive phallus. Brandos entered the tent and his boyish grin once again lit up his features. Saphara chuckled.
“Did you enjoy yourself, mortal?” she said huskily.
“Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhhh.” Brandos walked in a small circle, as was one of his customary idiosyncrasies.
“Hahaha, I can imagine.” Saphara rolled her head to the side and kissed the God deeply on his mouth. When Brandos had entered, Saphara was white but when she kissed the God she turned pink.
“Sooooo, what’s next? I asked her to come with me, twice, but she hasn’t given me an answer either way.” Asked Brandos. Saphara ignored him and continued to kiss the God. Things were starting to get heated between them. Saphara brushed against his body and wiggled against his rising member. The God let out a raspy hiss and muttered something in a language that Brandos did not understand.
“Uhhhh, hello? Goddess?” Abruptly Saphara broke the kiss.
“It appears that playtime is over, my love.” Sighed Saphara with a pout. The God simply kissed her little hands and made to stand up. His phallus reached mid-thigh. He eyed Brandos and nodded. With a thunder clap, he disappeared into a cloud of dark smoke.
“Who was that?”
“Oh, that was Marduk. He’s a God King from Mesopotamia.” Saphara produced the thin pink dress she had worn when Brandos summoned her. She stood up, stretched, and walked over to a table where she poured out two drinks. She handed one to Brandos in which they raised glasses, clinked, and drank.
“Is he a friend or a fuck buddy? I don’t know what you Gods and Goddesses do.” Said Brandos. The drink was strong and rich and oddly warm. It was good.
“He’s my husband actually.” Said Saphara over her cup. Brandos raised an eyebrow.
“Husband? You? You have a husband?” He wasn’t overly incredulous but it was still hard picturing a sex Goddess being tied down to one divinity.
“Yes, Marduk is my husband, and yes, because I know that you are wondering, we have an open relationship. Marduk and I have been together for centuries.”
“Ahhh.” Exclaimed Brandos. For a few moments the two of them just stood in in commemorative silence. Having both been thoroughly pleasured, there wasn’t much for them to do other than to stand there with faint smiles as they sipped on a dark drink.
“How was she?” asked Saphara after a time.
“Oh, I could eat her out for days. I’ve never tasted a woman like her before!” Brandos licked his lips in memory.
“Hahaha, well I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself.”
“I asked her to come with me, twice, but she hasn’t really given me much of an answer.” Brandos had finished his cup and set it down. He crossed the tent and collapsed onto a pile of brightly colored pillows. He clasped his hands behind his neck and pushed air loudly out through pursed lips.
“Don’t worry so much, Brandos, she will come to you.” Saphara joined him on the pillows and sat down with a poof. “We’ve made it to the island before the wedding, we have two more days. Well, technically one more day since she gets married the day after tomorrow, but so long as you catch her before she says “I do” then we’re good”.
“And if I don’t?” he asked gravely. Saphara snorted and rolled her mossy brown eyes.
“You really need to have more faith in yourself, Brandos. You became a free man, and a rich bastard at that. You found and summoned a Goddess, you’ve managed to half-woo your lady and you’ve only known each other for a few hours. Everything is going to work out just fine. You have my blessing, and Marduk’s, for what it’s worth.” She stopped to look at him. “And, if you keep complaining, I’ll have no choice but to turn you into a walking butt.”
“Haha, wow. A walking butt. Really?” Brandos chuckled.
“Yeah, a hairy walking butt capable of intelligent speech.” Brandos sat on the pillows for a few more minutes just reflecting on the events of the day. Brandos was exhausted and he felt his eyelids droop and his body sag. In no time at all, he had fallen asleep. Saphara conjured a blanket for him and draped over his massive form. She then vanished into thin air in hopes of finding her husband for round four.
Dawn broke as golden as ever was. The sound of the tide sweeping on the beach gradually roused Flavia from her slumber. When was the last time she had ever slept so good? She had awakened fresh and happy. Happy? Why was she happy? Oh. Flavia’s cheeks flushed a light pink as she remembered last night’s carnal activities. Strangely enough, she wasn’t embarrassed. Flavia felt so comfortable around Brandos; his towering build and massive muscles did not frighten her. His deep voice soothed her nerves and his icy blue eyes excited her. Flavia needed to be pleasured and she accepted what had happened to her without remorse. Gods, why couldn’t it be Brandos instead of Akiles? He’s a slave… Flavia sighed. But then again, does that really matter? The light bulb started to flicker on and off inside Flavia’s pretty little head. She was a little confused at the thoughts swarming in her head. Abruptly she stood up and stretched her slender arms high above her head. When she had released the stretch she noticed a faint trickle of moisture on the inside of her thighs. Flavia was still wet.
She continued about her usual daily routine. Flavia’s personal slaves attended to her. She was bathed, massaged, perfumed, and clothed. Flavia decided to have her lustrous hair free from any coils or adornments. It fell down her back to her scalloped waist. In a soft gown of mint green, Flavia left her chamber to greet her father and satisfy the gnawing pit of hunger she felt in her stomach.
The Queen was at the table when Flavia arrived.
“Good morning, your majesty.” Sang Flavia sweetly. Sapho blew air out of her nose slightly as one eyebrow crept forward and as her mouth creased into a sly smile. She didn’t miss out on the blissful dance to Flavia’s steps.
“Good morning, my lady Flavia. You look incredibly gorgeous this morning, I must admit I’m jealous.” Sapho rose and crossed the room to encircle Flavia in a warm embrace. The Queen smelled of roses.
“I could never be as beautiful as a Queen.” Replied Flavia.
“Pssshhhh, don’t say that. It’s all makeup, I swear. I drink too much and its starting to catch up with me. Your boobs look great in that dress by the way.”
“Hahaha, thanks, I guess.” Flavia smiled at the quirky compliment.
“So, did Brandos deliver?” asked Sapho as she returned to her seat.
“Oh yeah, he delivered alright.” Said Flavia a little too loudly.
“Did he now?” Sapho leaned forward on the table and perched her chin on one hand.
“Ye-yes. He did. The gifts were lovely.” Flavia turned a slight pink color as she realized at the double entendre of her words.
“Excellent. I rather hoped you would find everything to your licking.”
“Come again, your majesty?” stammered Flavia.
“I said, I rather hoped you would find everything to your liking.” Repeated Sapho.
“Oh.”Flavia looked away. She extended a dainty hand and grabbed a bagel. She then began to smear a goodly portion of strawberry cream cheese on it. Sapho drank her steaming coffee and picked at her eggs and toast. “The gifts were lovely, your majesty. The fabrics- I’ve never seen anything like them before.” Flavia would have continued except for Brandos had entered the dining room. He appeared just as content as she, although he walked with a stealthy masculine grace. He wore the simple brown linen tunic and the sunlight that filtered through the window reflected off of his slave’s cuffs.
“Good morning, Brandos.” Said Sapho.
“Good morning, your majesty. My lady…” Brandos bowed and took his position at the back of the room. It grated his nerves that he couldn’t sit at the table; he was a slave after all.
“Hungry, Brandos?” asked the Queen.
“Not really.” He replied.
“Well you did have a lot to eat last night.” Flavia about stared a hole through the center of the table. A scarlet tinge flushed her cheeks. She lifted her gaze and glared at Brandos. Did he tell the Queen what happened? Sapho looked up as if nothing was up. “Are you okay, Flavia? You look a little warm.”
“I’m fine, your majesty.”
“Brandos has an insatiable appetite. Isn’t that so, Brandos?” Sapho had spun around in her chair to look at Brandos. She over rolled the r in his name.
“Does he now?” asked Flavia. For some unknown reason, Flavia felt jealousy creep up her spine. Why would the Queen know of Brandos’s eating habits? Brandos sensed the uneasy feeling that Flavia exhibited. He flared his nostrils in annoyance and glared at the divinity. He waited until Flavia had looked away and he angrily mouthed,
“Really?!” Sapho rolled her eyes and turned back around.
“Well, I think I am going to go for a brief walk along the shore. Flavia, would you like to join me and give me a tour of the island?”
“Sure, we can go if you would like.” Flavia swallowed the remains of her bagel. The uneasy jealous feeling started to subside. She was being childish. My brain has me hearing things. It’s just wedding nerves, mused Flavia. Once she finished chewing, she stood up and dusted off the crumbs from her lap. Sapho rose as well and followed her out into the warming sunshine.
The slaves opened the large gate and allowed for Flavia, followed by Sapho and Brandos. The beach wasn’t too terribly far away from the palace. Walking leisurely, it took the trio fifteen or so minutes to reach the beach. The sun glowed off the white sand but it was not too blinding. The water was a gorgeous teal green and it lapped delicately against the shoreline.
“Glorious! Absolutely glorious!” Rang the Queen. Both she and Flavia exchanged happy smile at the beauty of the ocean. Brandos was slightly less than amused as he was commanded to carry a parasol to shield the ladies’ sensitive skin from the sun. In all honesty, it didn’t bother him as much as pretended it did. He was annoyed with the Goddess at making him a slave, but he did feel a small surge of protection and gratitude towards her. And of course, Flavia was enjoying the shady haven provided by the parasol.
The air smelled so good, salty, fresh, and cleansing. Dolphins played nearby in the water and it was a fascinating scene to watch. Before stepping onto the sand, Sapho stopped to remove her sandals, as did Flavia. “Would you mind?” asked Sapho to Brandos as she handed him her sandals. He just grunted, took her shoes and Flavia’s in his free hand and followed them to the beach. He was still carrying the damn parasol.
The ladies lifted their lengthy skirts so as to not get sand on the hem. The sand was mildly hot and squishy. The three of them walked quietly for some time along the shore, soaking all the good energy and vitamin D from the sun. Flavia led them to stone structure at the base of a cliff.
“This is where I am going to be married.” Said she with a faint note of melancholy.
“Oooohhhh a beach wedding, nice!” Said Sapho. Flavia just stood there and touched the cold sun-bleached stone pillars. “Flavia?” Sapho gently reached out to touch Flavia on the arm. “Are you okay?”
“No.” Flavia wasn’t okay. She just wasn’t. Last night’s carnal skirmish was the first time she had felt okay in a while. The good vibes had since worn off and once again Flavia was filled with dread and despair.
“I’m not looking forward to being married. I hate Akiles. He’s an ass.” Sighed Flavia.
“He’s not that bad. His table manners need some work but at least he’s hot.” Offered the queen.
“I could care less how good he looks. He’s a monster!”
“I’m sure you will be able to tame him. He might surprise you. All men can be accommodating.”
“I wish that could be true.” With a stony expressionless face Flavia turned and watched the waves. It took Brando’s to the limits of his self-control to not reach out crush that curvy little woman in his arms. Oh, how he wanted to hold her, to kiss her, to calm her fears. She would never have to worry again if she was his. Sapho looked into Brandos’s eyes and knew of the heartfelt emotions that he was currently so enwrapped.
“Oh! Silly me, I forgot about my medicine!” exclaimed Sapho. She grabbed her shoes from Brando’s hands and rapidly put them on.
“Your majesty?” asked Flavia.
“I have this condition. I need to go and take my medicine or else I’ll die.”
“Die?” Flavia looked startled.
“Yes, I’ll die. Brandos,” said Sapho upon rising, “I am going back to my tent to take my medicine. Why don’t you stay here and guard the lady in my absence. I’ll be right back.”
“But your majesty,” interjected Sapho, “Shouldn’t we all go together?”
“No, no, no, that will not be necessary. I will be right back. This is a dire emergency and I fear that you guys would slow me down. I bid thee adieu!” With a wink aimed at Brandos Sapho leapt out of the stone structure with a flourish. Flavia made to go after her and was slightly stunned when she looked out the stone structure. The queen had vanished.
“I think she can fly.” Muttered Flavia. She felt a little odd being so close and so very alone with Brandos after last night’s juicy skirmish. It was so weird for her; it wasn’t embarrassment or shame she felt towards Brandos. Flavia felt that she should be bad because of what she allowed Brandos to do to her. She should have screamed rape and had his balls chopped off. Hell, the way he looked at her was justification enough to have his balls chopped off. Flavia reveled in his passion. She thrived on the memory of his body. In fact, Flavia exalted in the idea that she could possibly love a man. Never before had Flavia encountered the emotions she felt until Brandos. He was warm and strong. Brandos gave her what she secretly craved.
“How did you sleep, my lady?” Flavia jumped. Brandos had startled her from the fantasy she was having. She managed a small coy smile.
“I slept soundly. You?”
“Not too bad.” Brandos absently kicked at a small pebble.
“Mhm.” What could she say? “What do you think about silvery gray hair?
“What?” Brandos was caught off guard. Who asks about gray hair?
“Like, I was sifting through those dyes in the chest and I could change my hair color to a silvery gray. What do you think?” Flavia looked to him for approval.
Brandos just shrugged. “Maybe on an old person.”
“Oh.” Flavia looked downcast.
“Your hair is beautiful already.” Brandos eyed her warmly. “So…” It was really hard for Brandos to stay still. He walked in small circles and fidgeted. He didn’t know what to say! Woman remove thine confining adornment, bend thine body, spreadeth thine posterior cheeks, and prepare thineself for fuckening! No! No! No! I can’t say that. Uhhhh, how about the game last night? No, c’mon Brandos!
“How long have you been in the service of Queen Sapho?” Now it was Flavia’s time to disturb Brandos’s thoughts.
“Ugghhh, long enough.”
“Is she hard to work for? She seems a bit eccentric.”
“Let’s just say that as long as Sapho’s fed, she won’t eat you.” There was no mistaking the sexual content of that statement. Brandos’s voice had lowered and he had stopped moving. Flavia lifted her eyes from the ground and returned his gaze.
“I’m hungry too.” The words even surprised Flavia as they flowed smoothly from her lips. Brandos raised an eyebrow.
“I’d never let you go hungry, Flavia.” Brandos stepped forward slowly. Flavia felt the coldness of the stone wall behind her as she backed into it. Brandos had her trapped. Flavia placed her palms on the massive expanse of his chest to hinder his procession, but Brandos could not be stopped. Instead, he grabbed Flavia around her wrists and held them high against the wall behind her head. With one hand he pinned her wrists while his other hand crept the caress the scalloped length of her waist. Weakly, Flavia allowed the slave to dominate her, to command reactions from her body, and to thoroughly cast her sense of propriety to the sea.
“Brandos…” she whispered to him. She raised her face to meet with lips. Instead, Brandos placed a chaste kiss on her forehead and released her. “What?” stammered Flavia with disappointment. “Why didn’t you kiss me?”
“I did kiss you. Were you expecting something else?” asked Brandos rather nonchalantly.
“I’ll kiss you on one condition.”
“You have to admit how badly you want me.” Brandos flashed her his customary dark smile. Flavia fumed in silent fury. Oh, if holding her against the wall wasn’t bad enough this certainly was the last straw!
“I don’t have to admit anything to you! You are a slave! And If I want a kiss I get a kiss!” came the petulant response.
“I am not a slave, Flavia. I told you that last night.”
“You wear the collar and the cuffs. You follow the Queen. What do you mean you are not a slave?”
“Sapho seems to think that she is proving a point by dressing me as a slave. What she doesn’t realize is that it is I she is working for, not the other way around. I am not a slave. At one time I was a slave, but I earned my freedom. I am just a man, a free man, and I will only kiss you if you admit that you want me as badly as I want you.”
“You want me, Brandos?” remarked Flavia slyly. As a politician’s daughter, Flavia knew how to negotiate. Granted, she was very unskilled at the arts of pleasure but she knew enough to know that she drove Brandos crazy. It finally dawned on her why he looked at her the way he did. He was the hungry one. Brandos was just like Akiles, only wanting her for her lush body. She lowered her eyes demurely to play the seductress, but in actuality, she tried to hide from his penetrating stare. The realization that she was wanted for sex when she felt so close to being appreciated, let alone loved, was crushing. Thank the Gods that things did not get as heated as they could have been on that previous night.
“I’ve wanted you since I first saw you, Flavia.” Brandos’s voice was feathery soft. Flavia felt her heart plummet into her stomach. She didn’t think he was lying to her, but she couldn’t stand the fact that he pretended to have romantic feelings.
“And when was this? When you arrived at my palace?”
“No, when I saw you shopping two months ago in Sparta.”
Flavia’s eyes flashed in anger and she opened her mouth to utter and angry retort. “You are just like every other bas—wait, what?” Brandos’s words had finally sunk in. Flavia was taken aback.
“I was out and about when I noticed the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I followed you and,” Brandos flushed remember falling into a pile of steaming shit. He decided to embellish his story just a tad, “I was jumped by seven assassins.”
“Seven assassins?” interjected Flavia.
“Yes. Might have been more but that’s not important. What is important, Flavia, is that I desire more than your body, if that is what you’re thinking. I want your heart, your affection, and your love. I want the chance to take care of you and show you that I lov---”
“Brandos, stop.” Flavia raised a hand into the air to silence him. “I’ve heard a lot of big stories in my life, but this one takes the cake.” She made to leave the stone structure, to Hell with waiting for the Queen.
“Flavia, please.” For the second time Brandos lashed out and grabbed Flavia. This time he did so with more force. Brandos pushed her back against the wall.
“Let go of me!” screamed Flavia. She tried to kick him but his legs further pressed her into the wall. Brandos kissed her this time. At first, Flavia fought him, trying to bite and rip her face away. Brandos kept his mouth firmly planted on her. With his tongue he forced his way into her mouth and began to tease her. A feral grown escaped his throat and he felt his passion rise in a rather uncomfortable place.
After a time, Flavia gave in to the kiss. She returned it, and their tongues danced in a mimicked dance of what really happens between man and woman. Flavia melted into his body like softened butter. He was so strong and hard and she so delicate and precious. Flavia needed him. The kiss ended gently, a stark contrast to its abrupt beginning. Brandos slid to the floor and knelt at Flavia’s feet. His sinewy arms locked around her body and he hugged his head on her stomach. He lifted his face to look at her and said, “You can’t fake love.”
“How can you love me? We’ve only known each other for two days.” Whispered Flavia.
“I don’t know why, I just do. A small part of you is falling for me whether you admit it or not.”
“I don’t know what to say to that.”
“You don’t have to answer to anything, Flavia. Just, don’t deny what you feel. I feel it and I know you feel it too. You are just going to have to trust me when I say that I have fallen for you.” Brandos released her and stood up. “Will you come with me?”
“Where?” implored Flavia.
“Anywhere you want to go. Sparta, Crete, Athens, Hell, we can go all the way to Cathay if you want.”
For the past two months Flavia prayed for deliverance. She prayed that she wouldn’t have to marry that villain, Akiles. She prayed that could love and be loved by a man. It would seem as if her prayers had been answered. It was too good to be true. “Fairy tales don’t exist, Brandos, not for me.” Flavia fled and Brandos let her go. He watched in agony as his true love hurried down the shore back to the palace. It was over. He had failed.
“Don’t look so glum, Romeo.” Saphara had appeared from nowhere and sat on her customary cloud sipping her nectar.
“I don’t get it! She doesn’t believe me. I pleasured her, I said pretty flowery things to her. I tried to be rough and macho… all the shit that ladies love.” Cried Brandos.
“She’s playing hard to get. Every self-respecting woman does this. Also, you might be coming on too strong.” Offered the Goddess.
“Hard to get? Too strong? Does she have any idea what I’ve been through already to get her?”
“No, she doesn’t. But that isn’t the point, Brandos. She has to realize it for herself that she loves you back. Flavia has a lot of honor; she can’t just walk away with a complete stranger. And you’re not just any stranger, you’re a slave! Pleasure, flowery words, macho shit… those things don’t make a woman fall in love. They certainly help the cause, but Flavia has to figure that one on her own.”
“Aren’t you a Love Goddess? Why can’t you make her fall in love with me?”
“Ahhh, that I cannot actually do.” Said Saphara.
“What?” Brandos’s reply was flat.
“No one can control love, not even a Goddess of love. I simply embrace it and allow it to flow through me to help mortals. I have done all that I can to aid you in your quest, Brandos. I have brought you to this island. I have arranged for you to have two private meetings with Flavia. I have given you an opportunity to sabotage the wedding. There is nothing stopping you from kidnapping her and taking her away. But Brandos, it is up to Flavia and her alone to fall in love with you. I said I would help you get a wife. You will have her for a wife, but I never said that she would fall in love with you.” Saphara watched him quietly for the next few minutes. Brandos drunk in the meaning of her words.
“So, that’s it then? I just tie her up, throw her over my shoulder, and head back to Sparta?” spat Brandos.
“Possibly. Strangely, I don’t think she would be very agreeable to marriage then.” Saphara jumped off her cloud and walked towards Brandos. She gave him a big tight hug. Brandos just stood there stiff and angry as the little Goddess crooned and wiggled her head into his chest. He could smell roses. When it was apparent that she wasn’t going to release, Brandos returned her embrace. Saphara lifted her head and her mossy brown eyes glowed into his. “Just breathe, Brandos. I’m going to go talk to her.” She had turned to leave. “Oh, I forgot something,” Saphara said as she pivoted around. One hand lashed out and struck Brandos square on the side of this cheek.
“Ouch! What the Hell was that for!?” yelled Brandos.
“Who is working for who, mortal?” said Saphara. She simply raised an eyebrow and left him in search of Flavia.
Saphara had lied about not being able to control love. Of course she could! However, Saphara had learned the hard way that forcing love was not the way to receive it. Even Goddesses make mistakes every now and then. She knew Brandos better than he thought she did. He lived for the battle, the conquest, the pursuit. She could have easily snapped her fingers and produced Flavia naked and tied down to a bed but she didn’t. Brandos needed to realize who he was fighting for. And Flavia needed to learn that it was possible for her to love and to be loved. Saphara had heard her prayers too. By having Brandos act as a slave challenged him to work harder than he had ever done so before. In turn, Flavia would have to learn to accept that Brandos as a slave was no less than Brandos as a free man. She would have to break away from that conventional method of thinking and embrace the fact that love is boundless.
Saphara chose to walk along the beach to reach the palace instead of using her magic to get there instantaneously. She padded barefoot along the sand and luxuriated in the warmth. It wasn’t long before she reached the palace. Marching up the stairs one foot at a time she closed in on Flavia’s chambers.
Flavia heard a light rapping on her door. She really hoped it wasn’t Brandos. She groaned as she stood up. Flavia even debated opening the door. Reluctantly, she crossed her room and unlocked the door. She opened it and was a little startled to see the Queen there. “Your majesty?! I wasn’t expecting to see you. Did you get your medicine?”
“Yes I did. All better!” Sapho swept into the room. “Gorgeous bedroom, Flavia. I want to live here!” Flavia’s chambers where spectacular in deed.
“Thanks, your majesty.”
“Sapho, just call me, Sapho.”
“Yes, your maj-. I mean, Sapho.” The two of them giggled at the mishap.
“Is everything okay? I knew I was gone for a little bit but I was still expecting to see you back on the beach. Did something happen?” inquired Sapho.
“Yeah, I’m good.” Lied Flavia. She managed a small smile. “Sorry, I was just feeling kinda winded and decided to come back early.”
“No worries. I guess I’ll leave you and let you rest. You have a big day tomorrow.” Sapho turned and made for the door.
“Sapho?” called Flavia. The Queen stopped at the handle and spun around.
“Were you in Sparta two or so months ago?”
“Not that I recall. Why?”
“Brandos said that he, never mind.”
“What did Brandos tell you?”
“Oh nothing.” Said Flavia flatly.
“Brandos doesn’t lie, you know. I mean, he might add a few shiny details every now and then but he doesn’t lie. If he said he was in Sparta two or so months ago then he was telling you the truth.”
“You mean he wasn’t with you? Isn’t he with you always?”
“No. He had some personal affairs to attend to in Sparta.” Sapho had backed away from the door and crossed over to stand by Flavia.
“Oh.” Uttered Flavia.
“Like I said, Brandos doesn’t lie. He doesn’t lie about anything. Well, I take that back. All men lie but Brandos tells the truth more often than not. Besides, he doesn’t have any reason to lie you. Flavia, you might as well tell me what happened between you too. Brandos looked like someone shoved a tamping rod up his butt when I got back there.” Voiced Sapho.
Flavia fidgeted nervously. “He, Brandos… ughhhhhh. I don’t get it! He looks at me funny and just, gahhhh! He is so infuriating! Last night he stayed a little too long in my chambers. Brandos asked me last night to run away with him and he asked me again today. He told me that he loves me, that he has loved me since he first saw me around two months ago. None of it makes any sense!” Flavia looked as if she were going cry. She had paced back and forth angrily as she ranted.
After a few moments of silence, Sapho quietly said, “I don’t know why you find that so hard to believe.”
“That he loves you.”
“He doesn’t even know me! Brandos wants what Akiles wants, what all men want of me, my body. He comes in acting like a Casanova, saying sweet things, shooting me sexy looks, his kisses… I know that it is all just an act! I’m already stressed out as it is and Brandos is just furthering my misery.”
“Flavia, allow me to disperse some of your fears. First, you are right, Brandos barely knows you. The magnetic tension between the two of you is palpable; I can see it, your father can see it, Hell, Akiles probably notices it too. I know you feel it too. Second, Brandos is a sex devil, but let me tell you something, Flavia, no man skips with joy after eating pussy. No man, unless he is in love.”
“He told you about last night?!” Flavia said a little too loudly.
“He didn’t have too; it was evident in the way he walked. And the way he smiled. Oh, and the way he still had some of your juices on his chin.”
“Uggghhhh.” Flavia groaned and fell backward onto her bed. She collapsed into her soft pillows and laid there with a blank expression. Sapho plopped down right beside her.
“Flavia, stop fighting it.”
“Fighting what?” Flavia hugged a pillow to her chest.
“There is a special bond between the two you, the kind of bond that only happens once in a lifetime. Brandos is offering you a chance of pure happiness and all you have to do is say the word and he will take you far, far, far away from Akiles. He will worship the ground you walk on. Anything you desire will be purchased and served to you on a golden platter. In time the two of you will get to know one another and the budding love will thrive and bloom. This is not an opportunity that you want to miss.” Said the Queen.
“How do you know all of this?”
“Let’s just say it’s a hobby of mine. Bottom line is, Flavia, tomorrow you can either marry a pig or you can sail off into the sunset with a man who would walk through fire just to hear your voice.”
“What about my father? He would be embarrassed and ashamed if I ran out on him.”
“Your father isn’t important right now. He isn’t the one getting married. Your father loves you and wants what is best for you, even if it means he has to swallow his pride.”
“Brandos is a slave.” Flavia had finally admitted.
“Ahhhh, but why does that matter so much to you?”
“Because I, he, I just, I can’t run away with a slave. I’m a noble lady.”
“And?” inquired Sapho.
“And ladies don’t do that sort of thing.”
Flavia was starting to get annoyed with the Queen. She really wished that Sapho would just shut up and leave. “Okay,” said Flavia sitting up on the bed, “Would you, as a Queen, run off and marry Brandos the slave?”
“No.” came the simple short answer.
“And why not? If it doesn’t matter so much, why wouldn’t you?”
“Because I have no romantic feelings for him. None whatsoever. I love Brandos, with all my heart. I’d die for him, and you know what, he probably would too. I wouldn’t run away with Brandos because I am not in love with him. He is not my life mate; he is not bound to me as he is to you. It is not my place to take him away from you. Besides, I’m already spoken for.” The two sat in heavy silence for several minutes. Sapho rose from the bed, stretched, and walked softly to the door. She tossed her hair over the shoulder and replied, “At the end of the day, you are a woman and he is a man. No titles after dark.” The Queen had left.
Flavia groaned in annoyance. She thrashed her pillows like a small child. After some time she rose from her bed and took a seat at her vanity. Flavia looked into the mirror. Could I love Brandos? She mused.