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A Punishment Like Me

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Hannibal walked slowly down the line of his cheering men. "So, it was another quick victory," he observed to his second in command. "The troops will soon be getting soft."

"We should begin our march on the capital city," agreed the captain. "That will prove to be a bigger challenge than these remote villages."

Hannibal nodded. His revenge had been a long time coming. "Were there many taken today?"

"Mostly only women - and this one." His captain nodded to a man, grimy and defeated on his knees in the dirt.

Hannibal approached.

The man was freshly captured, still marked with the scars of battle. He had been stripped and bound, and someone had forced a broken branch between his teeth, secured in place by a dirty strip of leather wound around both edges and tied off behind his head.

Hannibal had seen dead animals hanging in a similar style, to be prepared for pelting.

Hannibal took a fistful of wild curls and tugged the boy’s head up. Defiant eyes glared back at him. He guessed that if his jaw weren’t held immobile, this one would be cussing him out. "What is the reason for this," he asked, stroking his thumb over the boy’s stretched lower lip. His teeth were sinking into the bark.

"He’s a seer," said the captain. "Or so we were told by one of the other captives. But he must not be much of one ... didn’t see us coming, did he?"

A maker of prophecies. No wonder he was so coarsely muzzled - the captain would have wanted to ensure that the men's courage was not shaken by any dire foretelling.

But Hannibal did not fear any future. "The women are to be ransomed, unharmed," he pronounced. He stroked the boy’s curly hair off his forehead, ignoring his furious growl of protest. He had too much dignity to try and talk, but he offered what show of resistance he could, from his knees. "But this little one is coming with us."

"Yes, Commander Hannibal. It will be done."

Well should his captain know to obey him; Hannibal's authority in the band was absolute. Every man who wanted to join his army had to kneel and suck Hannibal’s cock, swearing allegiance by swallowing his bitter seed. A misbehaving soldier would be ordered stripped and flogged before Hannibal buggered him over a barrel in front of a jeering crowd.

"On your feet, little seer," said Hannibal, drawing him up with a hand under his elbow. The boy shuffled, awkward with his ankles bound. His clothing had been mostly torn away, leaving him in tattered rags.

"Beautiful," Hannibal pronounced, lifting the boy’s chin to meet his stormy grey eyes. He estimated an age of perhaps 20. "I want him gagged properly and chained to my horse."

Hannibal split what was left of his shirt, baring the boy’s pale chest. He tried to hunch over, modest as a woman with her breasts spilling out, prevented from moving far by the bindings on his wrists. "Pretty thing." Hannibal reached in pinch his brown nipples. "You need these suckled, I think."

The boy flushed. Hannibal patted his pink cheek.

He made a slow circle around his prize, pushing his thighs apart to scrutinize the soft, humble cock - carding casual fingers through the dark hair between his legs. Hannibal cupped his balls in one hand, enjoying the near-musical nng-nng-nng, the only sounds the boy was able to make as he was summarily inspected.

Finally he turned him around, momentarily overcome with the sight of the boy’s sculpted back muscles. He was impossibly beautiful. Hannibal slid a hand down to cup his buttocks, squeezing, then parted his firm cheeks, enjoying his stifled sounds of outrage as cool fingers examining his clenching orifice. Here he was fresh and pink, obviously untouched.

When the boy flinched away, Hannibal slapped his hip, hard, as he would with a disobedient horse. Not ready yet, he noted. 

"Commander?" His Second had reappeared, bearing rope and chain.

Hannibal nodded. That should keep his little seer out of trouble.

 

--

 

Will knew he should maintain icy silence but he couldn’t help making sounds – gurgling moans and grunts and pleas - through his gag, as he was seized by the upper arms and dragged, naked, towards the waiting horses. 

"Easy, boy," said the captain, unknotting the heavy cord that lashed his ankles and trapped his arms behind his back.

The strange maroon-eyed man - Hannibal, they'd called him - was watching impassively. Someone behind Will sliced through the rawhide that kept the branch between his teeth. Will was forced back to his knees, his head pulled back, and for a second his mouth was free.

He had a sudden flash of - himself, kneeling in front of Hannibal with his lips parted. He saw Hannibal’s hand on the back of his neck, pulling him in. Something warm and damp nudged against his lips. He could smell clean skin. Hannibal's thick cock, slipping into his mouth. Hannibal’s hand holding him in place, sliding his cock deeper, thrusting into his mouth. And he saw himself taking it quietly. Letting it ease down the back of his throat, swallowing it down.

"Hold him, damn it." Although he tried to fight it was effortless for the men to stuff a roll of fabric between his teeth. It was the torn remains of his own shirt, Will realized, tasting the sweat and the dust. Another strip was bound securely around his head, holding it in, muffling his groans.

With his mouth filled, the visions didn’t come to Will. As a child Will’s mother had taught him to tuck a walnut under his tongue, to prevent the prophecies from spilling out. He was lucky that his tongue wasn’t cut out, a common fate.

"Take my advice, little seer," said the captain, holding Will’s wrists for the cuffs to be fitted. "Don’t cross the Commander. I’ve served under many men, but none like him. They say he eats the hearts of his enemies raw, and after three years travelling with him – well, let’s just say I believe it."

Will could feel the eyes of the men on his soft prick and his naked ass as he was dragged by his chains to a beautiful black warhorse, his shackles quickly latched to a long chain on the pommel. There wasn’t a stitch of fabric on his body, other than the wide roll bound tightly around his mouth.

"Ride on," said the captain, signaling to the men. Hannibal mounted the charger and guided it into a sedate pace, and Will found himself compelled to follow.

They walked for hours, barely stopping for lunch.

By the afternoon Will, unused to the exertion of the road, was exhausted. The third time he stumbled, he lost his bearings and fell to his knees, and would have been pulled along by his wrists if Hannibal had not noticed and pulled up his horse.

“Well, little seer,” he said, his strong accent making the words musical to Will’s ear. “You may ride up with me, or you may be dragged along behind. What do you say?”

Will hesitated, unwilling to get any closer to the barbarian than he had to. But he had already spent a whole day paraded naked across the plains - he was hungry and footsore, still feeling the wounds from his capture. He knew he couldn’t make it any further on foot.

Hannibal extended a hand, and Will shuffled close enough to be taken under the arm. Another of Hannibal’s men came behind him and boosted him up – Will was nearly helpless with his wrists bound – and he shuddered at Hannibal’s immense strength as he was easily hoisted up before him in the saddle. He didn’t seem to be so powerfully built a man – he was not large - but his muscles were all lean and wiry, used to hard work.

Hannibal arranged him sitting sideways in his lap, his head resting on Hannibal’s shoulder. Will sank hungrily into the warmth of the other man. “My little prize is chilled,” Hannibal noted, feeling over Will’s bare arms. “I would have thought the exertion would keep you warm enough.”

Will rested his head on Hannibal’s fur covered chest and closed his eyes. He should probably be planning some brilliant escape – a hidden knife (hidden where?) plunged between the ribs, a clever twist to knock him off his horse and ride away – that was what the other boys in the village would have tried to do, in revenge for the looting of his home and the indignities heaped upon him.

But Will had already seen flashes of the future and he knew there was no escape today. And he was bone tired, and near frozen, and Hannibal’s arm around him as he held the reins of the black charger was the only point of strength or heat he could find.

“Hand me one of those horse blankets,” ordered Hannibal to one of his men. Receiving it, he wrapped it snugly around Will, tucking the ends close around his neck. Will moaned a little at the warmth of it, curling deeper into Hannibal’s wiry heat. The wide strip of fabric was still secured tightly over his mouth, keeping in any protests as well as the rag that had been stuffed between his teeth. He kept biting and pushing at it futilely with his tongue, but so far it was no use; as long as his wrists were trapped under the blanket, he'd have to accept being silenced for now.

“Just rest, little seer,” Hannibal murmured, patting a hand over Will’s face, from his temple to his cheek where it was half buried against his chest. “It wouldn’t do to take ill out here in the barrens. I still have great plans for you.”

 

---

 

Will was awakened as he was handed down from the horse, thankfully still wrapped in the blanket, although he couldn’t stop the men below from sliding daring hands up his thighs.

He was horribly aware of his pale cheeks on display to all and sundry before Hannibal dismounted and moved close behind him, blocking their view. "No need to be so prudish," he whispered close to Will's ear. "You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, and the men like to look."

Will squeaked. Laughing, Hannibal led him to the fire-side, which the advance scouts must have already prepared before they arrived. “Down to your knees, boy.”

Will remembered his vision, the girth of a stiff cock stretching his lips, and shivered as he obeyed - but Hannibal made no effort to molest him. Instead the barbarian patted his head and went to speak in low tones with his Second in command on the other side of the fire.

One of his men approached them, carrying a brace of fowl, still alive, hanging by their feet.

Hannibal picked one and, with his eyes still on Will, twisted its neck.

The man went to prepare the carcass as Will knelt, catching the heat of the fire, almost in a trance. He was aware of Hannibal's gaze, returning again and again. Humbled, Will let him look his fill. Humiliating as it was to be muzzled like an animal, he was also grateful - because it meant that he didn’t have to foresee his own bloody end before it happened.

He spared a thought for his little village, now sacked and burned. They had ignored his warnings, as usual. He hoped there were not too many dead. They could rebuild, surely. Will had no friends or loved ones left there anymore, but they hadn't deserved to be overtaken so thoughtlessly.

The next thing he was aware of was Hannibal, untying the band of cloth holding in his gag. Will moaned thankfully but was too wise to try and pull out the fabric muffling his tongue, although with his hands cuffed before him, it would have been possible.

“Do you know how appealing you are, like this?” asked Hannibal, lifting his chin to examine his face. He ran his thumb over Will’s lower lip, thrust forward by his mouthful. “I could do anything I wanted to you, and you wouldn’t even be able to beg me to stop.”

Will whimpered. Much to his surprise, Hannibal plucked the rag from between his jaws and offered a skein of water instead. Will clutched it in his bound hands and drank lustily, filling his mouth before a vision could come over him.

Hannibal smiled, watching him. “Are you as hungry as you are thirsty?”

He knelt with a piece of the bird’s charred carcass in his hand, holding a morsel to Will in his extended fingers. Will could remember feeding the village strays the same way – a show of trust, since they could have snapped up his hands with the offering.

He wondered why Hannibal would choose to show him any trust.

Slowly, he opened his mouth and let Hannibal feed him. “There,” soothed Hannibal. “It’s good, isn’t it? You must be hungry. You need to keep up your strength.”

The meat was cooked perfectly, despite the primitive campground and the wild game. It was well seasoned with herbs. Will wondered if Hannibal had preferences about such things.

Hannibal’s fingers were stained with grease, and Will, who was ravenous now, sucked on them hungrily, half expecting a blow. But Hannibal only chuckled and let him do it, his thumb stroking Will’s dirty cheek while he was distracted by the meal. Will moaned, his eyes closed, savoring the fat and the salt, indifferent to the touch.

“You are a feisty little thing,” said Hannibal. “Half wild, I think, but a gentle hand could tame you.”

He went back to fetch another hearty slice, seating himself in a wooden chair by the fire that was obviously for his own personal use.

“Come here, boy, if you're still hungry.” Will was hungry, terribly - he abandoned his pride and crawled, ungainly with his wrists bound. Hannibal reached to drag him in closer once he got within arm's reach and Will had to force himself to relax and go limp, letting himself be drawn in. He was rewarded with a juicy piece of ribmeat.

Hannibal seemed to know instinctively how to keep the rhythm that Will himself used when he ate, always providing the next bite or sip before the last was fully gone, keeping the visions from troubling him. When he was finally slacked, Will held the last swallow under his tongue, as he had been taught. He could feel the prophesies waiting, just out of reach, suppressed by too much silence – but they would not burst forth, not until their message could be delivered.

Hannibal drew Will’s head into his lap when they were finished. Will, dozy with warmth and a full belly, allowed it.

“In my homeland, people such as you are revered,” said Hannibal absently, stroking Will’s curls. “It’s only here that people prefer to live in ignorance. I could teach you how to write words down on paper, and then you could reveal your secrets in your own time.”

Will, living in a remote border village all his life, had never even met anyone who could scribe.

Meanwhile Hannibal’s fingers traced down his back, feeling the bumps of his spine, down to the swell of his soft cheeks.

Will whimpered, trying to rouse himself from his sated daze as Hannibal’s broad fingers gently probed into his crease. “Easy," said Hannibal, rubbing slowly. "You’ll learn to love having me here. That's it, relax. Good boy.” His fingers nudged at Will's opening. “Yes, you’ve learned your place, haven’t you.”

“Commander? Excuse me, Sir. We just got the report from the scouts on the field for tomorrow.”

Hannibal sighed and withdrew. “Apologies, sweet boy,” he said. “I must attend to my duty. Let us get you secured for the night. It would not do to lose my prize before I have had him. A moment only, captain.”

Hannibal led Will, stumbling, to what must have been his own richly appointed tent, which was already assembled in the center of camp.

Will was forced back against the strong central pole, his wrists bound tightly behind it, trapping him there. Hannibal used the rest of a length of rope to secure him – tight around his ankles, a few passes around his waist, a strong band under his sternum. Then he gathered the remaining segment of rope and held it horizontally in front of Will’s lips. 

Will strained to turn his head away.

“Shush, little seer. You know this is necessary, to keep in those nasty prophecies,” Hannibal consoled, patting Will’s cheek. “Be a good boy for me now, and you’ll feel the reward later.”

Will grunted, shaking his head - but Hannibal was relentless, coaxing, until the rough coil of rope slipped between his teeth and was wrapped behind the pole, anchoring his head in place.

“There, now. That’s better, hmm? Yes.”

Will groaned, controlled by the tug of the rough rope at the tender corners of his lips.

“You look magnificent like this.” Hannibal cupped his breast lovingly, flicking his thumb over the nipple as Will whimpered. “I’ll try not to be too long. And then I'll show you how well we fit together."

A gentle kiss to Will's forehead and then he was gone, leaving Will weak-kneed and alone, staring at the pile of furs that no doubt served as a bed.

 

---

 

To Hannibal the evening’s report dragged. A few soldiers needed to be punished – he would see to them tomorrow. Supplies were adequate but not liberal. More would be obtained after the next victory. The battle tomorrow would be the first in what would likely be a long siege, to either victory or death.

Hannibal’s mind wandered to the soft boy who would warm his bed tonight. The look on his face as Hannibal’s fingers had found his snug little entrance. His jaw dropped open at the sensations, his pale face flushing beautifully. How Hannibal would enjoy having his cock in that lush mouth someday soon.

Hannibal was not a man to whom life had given much opportunity for pleasure; he had been practically born in the saddle, enduring nothing but hardship and battle and death. He had become commander of a brutal army which could be ruled only with an iron fist. Everything he knew he had taught himself.

But the boy … with his lowered eyes and his unmarked skin, his slender limbs, his warm and inviting openings …

A tool for his pleasure, nothing more. Not so different from his sword or his horse or his men.

But Hannibal took very good care of his few possessions.

"Are you satisfied, Commander?" asked the captain at last.

Not yet, thought Hannibal, but I will be soon. He merely nodded curtly.

"Double the guard tonight," he ordered. "And see that you stay up to keep watch yourself. I intend to be ... otherwise occupied."

The men, familiar with his appetites, chuckled.

Making his way back to his tent in the gathering twilight, Hannibal planned his evening’s entertainment. He would have the boy a few times before they rested, and then again in the morning before they broke fast. Perhaps once more before they set out to survey the battleground to come. The first time he'd be careful, but after that the dam would be truly broken, and his little prize would not flinch from his hand - no, he'd lay back willingly and beg for more.

He was cautious as he returned to his tent, half-prepared to find the boy fled, or lying in wait with a dagger. But when he silently pulled back to skins, it was to see his treasure still slumped in his ropes, looking pale and weary.

Hannibal's under-used heart tugged. Hours had passed, and the boy was no doubt stiff and sore. From here, it was obvious that he had suffered some wounds in his earlier battle, which had been left thoughtlessly untreated. Was this any way to treat a valued possession? Would Hannibal stable a horse without orders for it to be properly brushed down, or leave a sword lying rusted and dirty from battle? No.

“Hello, little seer. I fear you have been uncomfortable.” It was no doubt indelicate to point out that his little cocklet was still half hard.

The boy snarled as best he could around the gagging rope. Hannibal raised an eyebrow, not particularly intimidated. He set a finger under his chin and lifted it as much as he could. Childishly, the boy averted his eyes.

"I thought to see to your wounds," said Hannibal. "That score across your arm needs tending, at least."

The seer blinked up at him, uncomprehending.

Hannibal moved to his travelling trunk and selected a well-used box of potions. “This is a tincture made from crushed dried herbs,” he said, producing the vial. “It will both numb the pain and keep the injury clear of putrefaction."

The boy grunted.

"Will you let me apply it?"

The restraints precluded nodding, but Hannibal perceived compliance in the boy's steady gaze. He soaked his hands in the warm bowl of water his guards left for this purpose; it was a ritual he had learned from the land over the mountains.

Then he applied the salve generously. The boy’s muffled humming indicated that it was effective as usual.

"By preventing exposure to air, this will heal more cleanly and thus be less likely to scar. An old soldier learns such things over the course of many campaigns.” He was being modest, of course; it was his own invention. 

After a thorough inspection Hannibal was satisfied that the boy was not otherwise seriously injured. Still, he promised himself that he would not be so careless again. After tonight the boy would not be chafed by harsh rope; he'd be draped in the fine, smooth material they plundered from caravan raids, which was said to be made from the threads of a moth.

He set the vial aside and washed his hands a second time, examining a different vial from the same box.

“Tell me, little seer. Have you ever lain with another?”

The boy fidgeted, his cheeks pink where they were bunched up around the rope.

“Answer me.”

“Nn,” said the boy finally, his eyes pleading. “Nnngh.”

It was not surprising; mages were often kept virgin as it was believed that their purity preserved their gifts.

“Good,” said Hannibal. “That pleases me. I am going to enter you as a man does a woman - my cock in your body - and you shall receive me. You should not find it unpleasant, especially after the first time. I shall prepare you well for it."

The boy garbled and squirmed.

“You’ve gotten very lucky, haven’t you, sweet boy. I don’t find myself wishing to hurt you. I only want to find my pleasure in you, and perhaps even bring you pleasure of your own. And in return I only ask your obedience … well, I do not ask it, you understand. I demand it, and I will have it.”

 

---

 

Will remained motionless as Hannibal approached carrying a bowl and a folded white cloth. “I thought you might appreciate being cleansed first,” he said, showing Will that the bowl contained soapy water.

Will's mind was spinning too quickly to comprehend. Hannibal lifted his chin in one hand, dipped the cloth into the water, and gently wiped away the grease and saliva around the gag. The water was warm. Will groaned. He felt like a child being cleaned up after dinner.

Hannibal tutted. "There there, little seer."

He folded the cloth over, then proceeded too gently anoint Will's arms, down to his armpits - scrubbing there - and over his chest and belly. Strangely there was nothing salacious about the touch, which was almost clinical, not lingering over his sensitive nipples even when they peaked shamefully. And he was dirty, as well as sore - he stunk of his own sweat, and horse, and wood smoke.

“That’s it,” said Hannibal. “I am sure that feels better, doesn’t it.”

He passed slowly over Will’s cock and his balls, then reached back between his thighs to clean him there, the place his fingers had lingered before, as Will moaned.

Will could not imagine that a man's phallus could fit inside such a small place. But Hannibal's fingers were not rough with him, slow and coaxing. The sensation was - it was not altogether repulsive.

"I would like to loose you from this staff, if you can behave," said Hannibal. "You would be more comfortable. And I will find something softer for your mouth if you will let me."

Will had to admit that would not be taken amiss. Without another option, he blinked his acceptance.

Hannibal cut the ropes that secured him to the pole, but he had knotted them cleverly; the coils around Will's wrists and ankles stayed firm.

“Open,” said Hannibal, unwinding the rope across his mouth. Will complied, parting his lips obediently and grunting when Hannibal substituted a strip of something supple and cool. "Hush," said Hannibal, tying it snugly behind his head.

An arm around his waist. Will was tossed carelessly over the pile of furs. He managed a groan before Hannibal was on him, holding him down with one hand and guiding his thighs open with the other.

“I’m going to have you now," warned Hannibal. "Keep these spread for me, or I will chain them open.”

Will bit down on his gag, trying to swallow his moans, as Hannibal's hands split his cheeks to expose his little hole. There was a pause - he heard what sounded like a cork being pulled from a bottle - and then Hannibal slowly pressed one slender finger into him. He groaned and struggled until Hannibal shifted his grip to keep him pinned. “Hush, little seer,” said Hannibal. “I need to prepare you to take me here. You will thank me.”

It was wet and cool, whatever Hannibal was working into him. It warmed slowly to Will's body heat. "See? It can be enjoyable, if you let it be." It sunk in all the way, then moved carefully in and out. Will could feel himself loosening. Another finger gently probed against his opening, and began working its way inside.

Finally the fingers withdrew, replaced by something blunt and wet. “Relax your anus,” warned Hannibal.

Will automatically tensed up. It didn't help.

“Push back against me as I take you.”

"Mmn, mnggh, nhgh,” Will grunted, unused to the sensation, twisting against Hannibal’s restraining arm.

“Shh, let yourself feel it.” He pushed further and pinned Will on his belly, muffling his protests into the furs as he thrust in the rest of the way. “That’s it, little seer,” he soothed, stroking the boy’s curly head. “You’re just a vessel, aren’t you? A warm, snug sheath for my sword.”

Oh God, he was so full – so stuffed full of Hannibal that he felt possessed, like the other man’s power was subsuming him, starting where they were connected, but spreading upwards to include his hips, his stomach, his chest, his skull. All the places where Hannibal’s hot hands landed.

“Ahh, little seer,” said Hannibal lovingly. “You should have never let me inside you. I’m never going to give you up now.”

He began to move, slowly at first. Will was jolted by each inward thrust, his bound ankles pressing him tighter around Hannibal’s cock, squeezing his tender passage around the intrusion.

“Don’t resist me,” warned Hannibal. “It won’t help you. Try to take a nice deep breath. That’s it, good boy, keep breathing. Lovely. Ah! You’re so soft and warm inside. You should see your face – you’re beautiful in extremity.”

Will could hear his own soft little moans, muffled by the strip of fabric in his mouth, noises he wasn’t conscious of making – tight and high pitched, turning slowly to low, throaty groans as his was fucked.

"My gorgeous boy," murmured Hannibal, picking up the pace.  He gripped hold of Will's bound wrists, using them to hold him down, and began a series of firm, steady thrusts that sparked something deep inside. Will was conscious of being rock hard despite the pain, rubbed off against the furs like this, as Hannibal settled into a punishing rhythm that began to hitch at the end. Despite himself, Will rocked back into it.

"Mine!" panted Hannibal, jolting inside him. "Mine, my sweet thing - mine. Mine. Mine, mine. Oh!"

Will felt his release, deep inside. Hannibal hissed, still thrusting weakly, working it in deeper. Then he collapsed against Will's back, almost crushing him. Hannibal’s cock softened and slipped out of his asshole, which dribbled out something warm and wet.

He didn’t let Will up until his stifled whines and whimpers had ceased. Then he rolled off slowly.

Will stayed where he was, naked and face down, trying to catch his breath. He was sticky and sore, and still tightly bound. His hole felt wrecked, but in a minute Hannibal’s cool, competent hands parted his cheeks and examined him there.

“You’re fine,” Hannibal assured him. He laid still as Hannibal cleaned him up and applied some of the salve from before. He was aware that he still had some of Hannibal’s emissions trapped inside him.

Hannibal sprawled back against the pile of furs. “Here, boy,” he said, lifting a corner of the blanket. “You can sleep in my bed, or you can freeze to death.”

Will stretched out slowly, aware of his nakedness and his still hard cock. Hannibal drew him in against his side, curling his body around him.

“Mm,” said Hannibal, humping lazily against the plush of Will’s backside. He reached to tug the gag free from his lips, leaving it knotted around his neck like a collar, and slid his thumb into Will’s mouth instead, swirling over his tongue. “I’ll keep your mouth full of my cock, lovely boy. You won’t have to worry about controlling your tongue.”

But then – to Will’s surprise – he withdrew.

“Alright, little seer, tell me my future,” said Hannibal gravely. “Am I to fall in battle, or does my little bedslave slit my throat in the night?”

Will worked his dry mouth, accepting a swallow of the water Hannibal lifted to his lips. He sipped slowly, allowing the big man to stroke his hair. He had seen Hannibal absentmindedly caress the fetlock of his horse in much the same manner.

This vision trickled slowly over his throat.

“You live a long life,” he said at last, swallowing. “You die an old man, in your bed, with your head in my lap. And by the time it happens you will have conquered an empire.”

“Truly, then, there is no justice in this world,” said Hannibal, although Will could tell he was pleased, and not least at the promise of Will’s own faithfulness. “And so, my little bird is netted for good, hm, and remains my loyal servant?”

Will could already see how he would spread his legs for Hannibal, beg so sweetly for that cock to push inside of him, split him open, fill him up – how many times he would humbly offer his buttocks to Hannibal’s sure hands, to be fucked, to be whipped, to lie naked with his legs spread, not bound in any way, unless he asked to be.

“Your – consort,” says Will. “Your left hand and your beating heart.” And your conscience.

Hannibal tugged him closer by his bound hands, lifting his chin to examine his fierce eyes. “I do not believe in fate," he said at last, stroking Will’s cheek with one finger. "Perhaps I should let you go now, send you on your way to a better future.”

“I wouldn’t go,” said Will dully. “Not now, not once I’ve Seen.”

“Seen, what, my lamb?”

“You found – great institutions of art and learning and culture,” said Will. “You heal the sick and educate the poor – not out of love, not you – but because you can’t stand ignorance and waste. Your reign will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. And you will be remembered as a Saint and the Founder of a new age of enlightenment that will last for a thousand years.”

Hannibal threw his head back and laughed. “Lord, have mercy,” he said, “that history should have such a short memory as that.” He kissed Will’s swollen mouth, pushing his tongue rudely between his lips. Will moaned, his knees still weak, and let himself be crushed down to the furs with Hannibal’s bulk on top of him.

“Come, my little chattel,” said Hannibal tenderly. “If I’m destined to become such a Saint as you say, then for God’s sake let me get my sins in now.”