It has been a long time since your mind has wandered to those deep recesses where you stashed the events that led you here. They have been haphazardly thrown one over the other, like the junk for which you have no real use, but are unable to throw away. They are there, those memories, and when you gaze into that messy collection, your heart skips a beat, your chest constricts, your eyes come dangerously close to overflowing with tears.
Shame! You are a god, you do not cry...
Breathe, you remind yourself... it is over. That time is long gone, but just for good measure you glance to your side, drink in his presence, and voilà, the bad memories are routed once again. Your heart gladdens, your chest fills with happiness, your loins stir... he is there and he is yours, as it was meant to be. Yes, those times were hard and you would rather never revisit those dark corners of your soul, but you indulge in this semi-masochistic endeavor from time to time.
It is good to remember that everything was not always as it is now. It never ceases to amaze you, the heart's capacity to withstand pain and loneliness.
Both are well known to you, aren't they?
Fool... you thought of yourself as above both, and took everything for granted. You, the son of Zeus, raised by a powerful King, endowed with the strength, skill and cunning that are usually found in a group of ten of earth's best men, tasted the bitter drought of mortality without ever stepping into the realm of Hades.
You close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your mind be transported into the mist of far-away, soul-wrenching memories, to the night when you lost your other half.
Pollux loves watching Castor break a stallion. The interaction between horse and man is a thing of sheer beauty. Castor, resembling a tranquil sea, works his magic on the reluctant stallion; his shoulders thrown back, his powerful body assuming that relaxed posture that reminds Castor of a pugilist right before a fight. Castor's masculine voice assumes the soft, soothing quality of a lover's tone. He becomes, he waits and watches, a mixture of quiet confidence, patience and animal magnetism. The stallion resists the allure; its bearing exudes pride and power untamed. It side steps and tosses its head in protest. It does not want to be tamed, it does not want to trust. It wants to run wild and free, it doesn't want to form this bond with the beautiful mortal. Castor is relentless in his pursuit and slowly the stallion's elegant body, taut lines ready to deal a swift, painful kick to whoever dares approach, starts to gradually lose its dangerous edge while Castor, ever patient, continues to work his charm.
Their dance enthralls those around them. They watch and wait, their breaths collectively held until the stallion relents and everyone heaves a sigh of relief… but not Pollux. He knows the stallion never had a chance.
How could a simple animal resist the one that holds a God in his thrall?
"I do not like this idea," says Castor, shifting in his saddle.
Pollux brings his horse around and throws his twin one of those carefree smiles that makes Castor's insides melt and his rod harden faster than he can say Zeus.
"Don't be a sour puss. It will be a fun raid." He knows he is using heavy artillery and it works. Castor swallows visibly, his eyes fastened to Pollux's lips.
"Not for the raidees, it won't," Castor replies, unconvinced.
Pollux tilts his head and asks, "Don't you wonder what rewards may be for you after such a feat? You'll have your pick of men and women and your name will be legend in Sparta." He stops and looks straight into those beautiful eyes that so resemble his own, his voice a sultry whisper. "I may even let you fuck me after..."
Castor's heart beats faster and Castor gives him an irreverent wink, his expression triumphant. His twin brother looks away, defeated. Silently they head toward their cousins' camp to plan for the raid.
Pollux stands naked under the star-lit sky. The rowdy shouts of the nearby camp where their cousins have chosen to stop for the night are somewhat muffled by the sounds of a nearby brook. His bearing is confident and his eyes shine with both lust and the touch of other-worldliness that comes with being the son of Zeus.
Castor tries to look away but finds that his efforts are wasted. Pollux is the lodestone that marks his North. It has always been that way, since they were children even when his mind was still unable to understand the feelings his heart commanded. His whole being thrums with longing and his breath catches when Pollux's hands come to rest on his chest.
"No…," croaks Castor.
Pollux rolls his eyes. "Why is it so wrong now?"
His hands make their way down to Castor's groin where they find an already hardened shaft. Pollux's mouth forms a little satisfied grin.
"We are to marry those women. We have pledged our troth to them… I cannot deceive them."
Pollux's expression turns contemptuous. "They are wombs in which to plant the seeds of our heirs. Marriage is a tool to form alliances and to gain political power…"
Castor interrupts. "We are to share our lives with them!"
His brother's temper flares. "No!" He tightens his grip on his twin's shaft. Castor gasps, he cannot turn away, his body revels in that tantalizing combination of pain and arousal.
"If it is written that I am to love another, why is it that I only find satisfaction when you are riding me like you ride one of your stallions?"
He takes a step closer, his mouth a breath away from Castor's. "You are the only one that can fill my heart with peace and happiness."
Castor closes the distance between them and takes his brother's mouth in an earth-shattering kiss. Pollux sighs happily. Their tug-of-war has ended and Castor has relented, but it is Pollux, the demi-god who is conquered. The son of Zeus submits to the mortal. The stallion is tamed and he now craves his master's bit.
They make love until the soft beams of Helius and his carriage appear on the horizon.
"The hell you say!" roars Pollux. "We were promised half of the heard. That's five hundred heads of cattle and we will take not one less." He charges his smug looking cousin, but is stopped by a quick moving Castor taking hold of Pollux's rein. Their cousins' band have their spears all aimed toward the two brothers. Fifty to two, an impossible situation.
Idas laughs. "Well, it seems to me you are outnumbered, son of Zeus, but we thank you for your help in procuring us all this wealth."
"So you know, Lynceus tells them, "Phoebe and Hilaria are safely ensconced in our castle, as we speak."
"You are mad if you think you'll get away with this," Castor replies trying his best to stop his brother from taking on the lot. They are in a bad situation, outnumbered and in the middle of a hostile territory. At least they are both unharmed and that is a blessing.
"Shut your dog's mouth!" Lynceus snaps turning to Pollux.
"Why don't you stuff his mouth with your cock and shut your whore's mouth, Pollux. Everyone knows that Zeus granted you a whore so you could satisfy your prurient appetites," Idas taunts. His troops cheer their master's bawdy wit with catcalls and wolf-whistles directed at the twins.
Pollux is unable to stop his brother and it only takes a second for disaster to strike. Castor lunges at Idas and breaks his neck with his bare hands. The world turns upside down and everything is tinted by the red haze of bloodshed. The air itself takes on the metallic, acrid taste of copper.
Pollux lets go of the control he has fought so hard to achieve over his own strength and viciousness, the gifts bestowed by his father, Zeus and the training given by his foster father,Tyndareous, a mighty warrior, burst from him in a gloriously deadly display. After a few hours, the band of thieves along with their treacherous cousins, are all dead. Pollux turns to his brother to congratulate him and do a bit of gloating, but the words stick in his throat. Castor is pale, his breathing is labored, his hand clutches his side, his tunic has a stain that grows by the second. Castor tries to talk, to reassure his brother that it's nothing, just a scratch, but a coughing fit prevents him. Pollux rushes to Castor's side as he collapses to the ground. There is blood on Castor's lips.
"You are hurt!" Pollux's tone is frantic. His brother is fading in front of his eyes and there is nothing he can do to help. His gifts are in fighting and pugilism, not in healing. He sees Castor eyes start to close.
"Stay with me!" he begs.
Castor draws a shuddering breath, he opens his mouth, but Pollux covers it with his index finger. "Don't… you'll get better. I'll run and get a healer for you."
Castor shakes his head sadly and with great effort takes his brother hand away from his face. He brings it to his blood stained lips and kisses it. "There is no time."
"Of course there is time. Hades will not have you yet. Not if I can prevent it."
Castor smiles, a wan remembrance of the radiant gesture he used to melt his brother's heart during his life. He beckons his brother to silence with a gesture from his hand. "What Idas said, it is a lie… I had a choice… I chose you. I have always been yours, because my heart wanted you since it was able to make a choice." He stops for a second to catch his breath. "I will love you, always…"
Castor exhales his last breath.
A soul-wrenching scream is heard across the plain. It reverberates for miles and miles, filling the hearts of those who happen to be in the vicinity with a feeling of abject loneliness for days.
A demi-god learns what loneliness and bitterness taste like.
"What are you doing?" Castors asks.
You wake from your self-inflicted trance and turn toward that most beloved voice. Castor is watching you. You notice that the light of the nearby stars reflect in his eyes; it almost looks as if he has stars in place of eyes. Concern and care are written all over his handsome face.
"Have I told you how fortunate I am to have you?" You ask him.
Castor tilts his head, that head you fought to have crowned with stars. "Are you in one of you maudlin moods?" He asks, his eyes alight with a mischievous gleam. You love that he can go from being concerned to mischievous in a heartbeat.
You laugh. You are happy he is here with you, in a version of paradise made for you both. Forever.
"I think I am," you say. "I think I need you to make wild love to me and make me forget that you once made my heart bleed with loneliness for having been born a mortal."
Castor rolls his eyes. "Fool," he says, but his eyes are dark with lust and longing for you.
You love to tease him. You are fortunate to be able to laugh with your soul-mate. You know it is not always the case. You only have to cast your eyes eastward and look at Zeus and Hera's union.
He tugs on your hand, bringing your meandering mind back to him and leads you away.
And you, the son of Zeus close your eyes and let yourself be led by the horse-master, once again.