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Blood on the Sand

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The audience was cheering as the two gladiators circled each other.

The sun burned hot from a clear blue sky, its heat increasing the sweat already running down Stelios' back from the exertion. Blood spurted from his opponents shoulder where his sword sliced clean through the armor and into the flesh below, glancing off the bone. Their leather shoulder pads were grey from the dust of the arena and red from spilled blood, both old and new.

The man screamed, face hidden by the mask he wore. He stumbled backwards, away from Stelios’ blade and Stelios laughed. Dust rose around the gladiator’s feet and a well-aimed kick send him sprawling on the ground. The masses roared, working themselves into a frenzy for Stelios as he came to stand over the fallen man.

Blood-specked metal gleamed in the light when he raised his sword to deal the final blow.

Stelios paused. The crowd’s excitement was almost a tangible thing, a taste at the back of his throat not unlike the metallic tang of blood. He spit on the ground. A drop of sweat or something else ran down his spine until it disappeared in the edge of his loincloth.

As he waited, Stelios' turned his gaze towards the tiers. Waiting, just like he'd been taught; like a good little slave while pathetic nobles and wealthy citizens and artists would chose life or death of his opponent. That mercy belonged in his hands.

Stelios snarled, baring teeth in a dirty face that was hidden by his helmet.
Most of them turned their thumbs down, eager for more blood and more death as long as they didn't have to deal the finishing blow themself.
At his feet, the fallen gladiator whimpered. They weren't in his favor today.
For a brief moment, Stelios caught his Dominus' eye and saw him give a smile. Then he swiftly turned and buried the sword in his opponent's throat, ending the wretched sound.

The crowd cheered in answer to the blood spreading over the ground and soaking into the sand. Stelios turned away, adrenalin coursing through his veins. Beneath his flimsy loincloth his cock stood at half-mast.

Today had given him a decent fight.

A good fuck would make it perfect.

Across the arena he caught his Dominus’ eye again and watched him absentmindedly lick his lips.
With a last smirk that no one would see stealing across his features, Stelios strode from the arena, his head held high.

*

His fellow gladiators greeted him in the quarters but no woman. The noblewomen that sometimes waited for him after his fight, longing for some excitement in their bland lives, seemed to have decided to be faithful to their husbands after all. For today at least. Unfortunately.

The other men laughed at his disappointment and he turned his feet into the direction of the bathing chambers to get rid of the drying blood and dirt and sweat instead. Maybe he would find another kind of exitement for the night there. In any case the drying sweat and blood was starting to itch.

“Stelios?” A servant stopped him before he was even halfway through the maze that would lead him outside.

Stelios bared his teeth in answer and the young man, thin and pale, gave a little squeak in the face of Stelios violence promising appearance, before visibly straightening, pretending that the noise hadn't come from his throat. Stelios was tempted to growl at him just to see what he'd do. Quite possibly it would lighten his soured mood.

He settled on a grin that had no friendliness in it, but showed all his teeth.
The servant's voice wavered when he spoke, "Dominus Atreides demands to see you."

Stelios scoffed and shoved past him. Leto Atreides could demand all he wanted. His owner could wait until after he'd bathed to have him.

The servant squeaked again and visibly jumped as Stelios wordlessly snarled when he found the servant blocking his way. Again. He had balls, Stelios had to admit, no matter how tiny they were.

"Get out of my way. I will see the Dominus when I have bathed." Without minding the scared man, boy really, the gladiator pushed past him. Again. Annoying little…

“May I have a word, Stelios?”

The soft voice stopped him in his tracks while Leto stepped out of what Stelios’ fellow gladiators called the "conference room" where their Dominus ordered them whenever he wished to speak to one of his fighting men.
Addressing the servant he said, “Leave us.”

Stelios smiled at the boy-man and the self-satisfied smirk that had settled on his face slipped. As fast as his dignity would allow, the servant stumbled away .

“Stop scaring that poor boy,” Leto laughed quietly.

“Poor boy?” the tips of Stelios’ fingers brushed against the cloth of Leto’s back when they entered the empty room, furnished only with a medium sized table and a couple of chairs. Leto smiled at him over his shoulder, eyes unusual soft. Stelios couldn’t wait to get his hands on him. The bath could wait after all. He had his exitement it seemed.

“He takes his work very seriously,” Leto assured him, leaning into the touch, nothing more than a boy either in Stelios’ eyes. He stared at Leto’s back, dressed pristinely in a long, white tunic. Years ago he would have thought about killing him, but now -- an image rose briefly in his mind of Leto covered in blood not his own and dirt, eyes glowing blue and divine stepping towards him.

For a startled moment Stelios’ step faltered and at the sound, Leto turned to regard him, an alarmed expression on his face.

"Are you injured, Stelios?" Leto asked him and Stelios shook his head, both an answer and to chase the sudden and unwelcome sentimental thoughts from his mind.

Where had that come from?

"Only minor injuries." Stelios replied a beat too late. His now dead opponent had caught him with his blade across the back but only shallowly. The tickling sensation of blood running down his skin had stopped long ago.

"Let me see." Leto said and Stelios turned, feeling strangely agreeable under his eyes, offering his back to his Dominus. The knotted scars littering his skin pulled when he moved and when Leto hushed him, he stilled.

Astios would have been appalled at how docile Stelios had become. But maybe it was alright if it was only towards one boy. Maybe.

Leto’s fingers ghosted over his shoulders. Then his hands slid down in a firm and intentional caress over his sides and stomach. Stelios watched their journey with growing interest before they came to rest just over his stirring groin.

"It's not bleeding anymore." Leto said unnecessarily. His hands looked impossibly pale against Stelios tanned skin. Giving in to the urge, Stelios laid his hands over Leto’s, pushed them until Leto was cupping his rising cock. At his back the Dominus shuddered once.

With a teasing laugh, Leto slithered his hands out of Stelios’ grip and danced his fingers upwards. Stelios' muscles tensed with the effort of not pushing his Dominus against the wall or bending him over the nearest table, which was only two feet away.

Rome had taught him 'manners' it seemed, because when Leto's hands came to rest on his shoulders and ever so slightly pushed, Stelios legs folded under him without resistance and he knelt. The ground was cool under his knees. He couldn’t bring himself to mind even though the position stung his pride.

With a whisper of fabric, Leto moved around him until he stood in front of him and Stelios had to bend his neck to look up at him.
Leto’s pupils were already dilated, fixed on Stelios' mouth when he deliberately licked his lips.

"Will you please me?" Leto asked, voice rough, laced with obvious desire.

Stelios bared his teeth in a grin that was more genuine than he wanted to admit.

"Do I have a choice?" he asked, a rhetoric question. The Dominus stood no chance against his strength, but he hadn’t wanted to hurt him for months now.
Nevertheless, Leto caught his chin between slender fingers.

"You always have a choice, my dear Stelios." he said, tone serious.

"I thank you, Dominus." Stelios said with enough mocking in his voice that Leto couldn't mistake it for obedience.

Leto smiled and gripped the back of his head, lacing his fingers through Stelios' long hair, while Stelios let his hands slide up the Dominus' legs. Stelios would have liked nothing better than to reverse their position. Kneeling didn't come easy to him but Leto would be perfect for it, slight and petite he looked more like a boy than a man and his red lips would look good stretched around Stelios' cock, wide blue eyes looking up at the gladiator.

His wandering hands encountered nothing but bare skin when they reached Leto's waist, bunching the tunic's fabric up at the front and Stelios raised a brow at Leto.

"Eager?"

"Silence. Don't make me regret saving you."

Stelios scoffed at him and leaned forward, swallowing Leto's half-hard length before he could think of saying more..

Saving him.

Just so he could die in the arena like an animal for the pleasure of pampered nobles.
This wasn't the beautiful death he had wanted. It was fortunate that Leto didn't minded a little teeth, because Stelios sucked him aggressively, scraping teeth against the sensitive skin light enough to do no damage but hard enough that Leto could feel it.

Leto jerked and his cock hardened further in Stelios' mouth.

"Careful." he hissed, yanking at Stelios' hair non-too-gently.

His other hand found its way to Stelios' cheek and dug a thumb into his cheek, feeling how his own cock moved in the cavern of Stelios' mouth.

Stelios' hands in turn dug bruises into Leto's waist, spanning almost the whole of his waist and he let one wander further until the tips of his fingers brushed against the crack of his ass. Lower and one of his fingers brushed against Leto's hole, making him moan.
The grip on his hair was almost painful.

"No." Leto hissed.

Too bad. So far, he hadn't let Stelios have this pleasure, which was a shame. He would like to make him scream, would like to see him splayed out beneath him.

Stelios' own cock tented his loincloth and his hand twitched against Leto’s skin. With another ragged moan Leto spilled, his seed a sudden bitter burst on Stelios' tongue that made him grimace.

Leto was panting, hands petting Stelios' head like a good obedient dog, stroking through his hair.

"Satisfied?" Stelios all but growled, pulling away until the hands fell away.

Leto straightened and smoothed out his rumpled clothes.

"Yes, you may stand." Leto said.

Stelios stood, groin still stiff and Leto reached for his cock under the fabric of his loincloth, stepping closer to Stelios until Stelios wound his an arm around his waist and pulled them flush together. It gave Stelios satisfaction to get some of his dirt and blood on Leto’s pristine tunic, now more rumpled than before.

How did Leto ever justify the state of his clothes, he wondered idly and one of his hands palmed Leto’s ass, while the other gripped the side of his face. He put his thumb over the line of his throat where Leto’s pulse was beating erratically.

“Will you ever let me fuck you?” The pulsing beat under his thumb jumped and Leto laughed.

“Only ever when you’re a free man.” he said. A twist of his fingers around Stelios’ cock let him lose his train of thought for a moment before he recovered his wits.

“When will that be?” he whispered viciously, pumping into the grip. When Leto only smiled mysteriously, he smashed their mouths together.

It gave Stelios even more satisfaction to spill his seed over Leto’s pristine hand and see him grimace.

*

"Dear Stelios, may I have a moment of your time?"

Stelios looked at Ghanima who came towards him, out of place in the bowels of the arena in her white robes and femaleness. More than one pair of eyes was drawn to her.

"Domina," he said as respectfully as he felt which wasn't much even for the sister of his Dominus. "how can I be of service." he showed his teeth when her eyes slid over his body appreciating, taking in his minimal clothing and dirty skin. The dried sweat and blood was beginning to feel like a second, uncomfortable skin, but it was amusing to watch a rosy tint rise to her cheeks.

Visibly, she straightened, adopting a haughty look that suited her noble face, when she caught and recognized Stelios’ grin. "I wanted to express my congratulation."

"My enemy today was weak. The fight was hardly noteworthy." He replied. Ghanima’s slapped his arm lightly and smiled good-natured. It made Stelios’ grin soften for a brief moment, before her next words registered.

"I am not speaking of today. In a week's time you will have your last fight. I'm sure you will excel as you always do!" she exclaimed with a bright smile. Stelios' face did something complicated and the happy expression faded from her pretty face.
Looking worried, she asked, "Did Leto not tell you? He seemed so excited about the prospect of your freedom. What else did he call you to him for?"

To let me blow him. was not something he would tell a girl who had hardly lain with a man before. For a moment he was at a loss for words, until Ghanima touched her fingers to his arm.

“Stelios? Are you alright? Are you hurt” With the alarmed expression on her face she reminded him of her brother.

"He did not tell me." Stelios said curtly and shrugged off her touch. “If you may excuse me, Domina. It’s time to wash of the grime of the fight.”

“Of course, dear Stelios.” she said, eyes kind and understanding, maybe a little too knowing for her age.

With a last incline of his head he finally made his way to the bathing chambers.

*

Leto Atreides II was, in this many Romans agreed, an unusual Dominus. Instead of letting his gladiators pay for their freedom with the money they saved up in the arena, he allowed his gladiators to fight for it after a set amount of battles. That was not to say that he was a merciful Dominus, because in those last battles, usually one soon-to-be free man fought against another with the same prize.

*

Stelios didn't think of his people often, his dead comrades that might still rot on the battlefield where they'd been slain (and Stelios captured), because there was no point. Thinking of them would not return them to life. They had died a warrior's death against the Roman army and by keeping their memories fresh in any man's mind that had fought them, Stelios would remember them.

This was the bitter truth: He had no home he could return to once he'd won, once he'd be free again. His family was most likely dead, or so he hoped, better than to think of his proud and strong-willed wife as some Roman's beaten whore and his son, destined to do lowly work instead of becoming a warrior like his father.

Abruptly, he cut off that sentimental train of thoughts. Tomorrow he would fight and win or die.

With a low vicious noise Stelios rolled from the straw filled mattress to his feet and joined his fellow gladiators for a drink, or two, or ten.

*

All the seats in the arena were filled with eager citizens when Stelios entered the ground where he would fight. Under his feet the mud squelched. The rain that had fallen the night before had washed the blood away and mixed it with the dust and sand into a slippery terrain.

His opponent was a whipcord thin man, less bulky than himself, but quicker for it. Stelios had seen him fight before.

A signal let them drop into a fighting stance. Stelios raised his shield as the man came at him.

Metal clashed against metal.

The fight lasted well into the evening while they danced around each other, attacking and parrying. Sweat was covering them both, along with an unhealthy amount of blood from a variety of cuts.

His opponent was tiring, Stelios was not.

Stelios dodged a downward swipe of a blade and slammed the edge of his shield into the shield of his opponent, staggering him. He followed him and brought his sword down into the opening carelessly presented to him, sinking metal into flesh.

Sudden pain blossomed in his side as the other gladiator toppled, swordless. The crowd cheered.

Stelios searched for Leto in the mass of people on the terraces of the arena. Wetness tickled down his side and the sky began to spin. He was a free man. He had won.

Unexpectedly, the world turned dark.

*

From where he lay, Stelios could hear the bustling of a street and the chirping of birds as he slowly regained consciousness. Underneath him, the unforgiving ground of the arena had been replaced by a soft bed and when he turned his head, a clean and familiar smell washed over him that made him smile without noticing.

Leto.

Sunlight stung his eyes when he tried to open them, room too bright for any part underneath the arena, where the only light came from torches. He squinted and couldn’t suppress a groan. A nearby voice spoke in a whisper, sending a doctor away while Stelios forced his eyes to open.

Leto's face appeared in his line of sight, looking anxious.

"We’re at your house.” Stelios rasped, throat dry which meant he must have been out for a while. His side ached where the other gladiator had burrowed his sword on his defeat. A thin blanket brushed the back of his hand and the top of his thighs and stomach when he moved. All in all he felt better than expected.

The bed dipped when Leto sat beside him. Worry made him look younger than his twenty years and Stelios itched to reach out and lay a hand on his cheek, see him lean into the touch. He didn’t. Instead he settled a hand on Leto’s knee, making the Dominus smiled.

“It is,” Leto confirmed. “How do you feel?” A hand ghosted over the bandages wrapped around Stelios’ middle and Leto’s thigh pressed against his blanket-covered hip.

“I am well,” Stelios assured him. The hand he had laid on Leto’s knee crept up Leto’s side, over the soft fabric of his tunic. “and a free man, if I’m not mistaken.” And they were alone. No servants in sight. He leered, startling a laugh out of Leto and chasing away the anxious look lingering on his face.
Leto shifted. Stelios’ gaze caught on the pinkness of his tongue as he licked his lips.

The white fabric crinkled under his hand when Stelios slid his hand farther around Leto. His thumb caressed Leto’s spine. “You will lay with me.” he stated and Leto laughed again, sounding breathless and not like he would disagree. His pupils were blown.

“The doctor said to not let you aggrieve your injuries.” he said, but already he slid around to straddle Stelios’ waist, weight settling on Stelios’ pelvis and ass pressing against his cock.

“Then you’ll have to do all the work.” Stelios’ purred. With only a distant thought to his injured side, he grinded his hardening cock into Leto’s backside. Both of his palms squeezed the globes of Leto’s ass and a finger pushing the fabric shallowly against his hole. “Or do you want to go back on your word?”

“I don’t remember any promise.” Leto smiled, but nonetheless he moved with Stelios, rubbing teasingly over Stelios’ groin where he was tenting the sheets. Without seemingly a conscious thought, Leto swayed closer, bending his back and holding himself up by resting a hand on Stelios’ shoulder. The outline of his cock was visible through the fabric of his clothes when he hardened under Stelios’ gaze.

“Are you so sure about that?” Stelios’ purred. The hand not currently pushing at the Dominus’ most intimate place slid up the naked skin of Leto’s thigh. Leto’s fingers grazed his cheek and finally, with a little impatient noise, Leto leaned down and slanted his mouth over that of the now ex-gladiator.

Their lips pressed together and Leto’s mouth opened against his when Stelios bit him. Tongues touched and Stelios made a pleased noise in his throat, felt Leto shudder over him. His hand rucked the tunic up around Leto’s waist, squeezing bare flesh. A finger played over Leto’s now naked hole and circled around it. Leto sighed against his mouth.

They disengaged only long enough for Leto to pull his tunic over his head and Stelios laughed when the impatient movements made the fabric twist. He roamed his hands all over the tensing stomach presented to him while Leto cursed. A red hue glowed high in his face when he managed to free himself from the cloth, but he straightened on top of Stelios.

Leto’s fully bared form was a sight to behold, lithe and subtly muscled. Bruises would look good on him, Stelios decided and urged him closer, sitting up to bite at his chest even when that made his side sting. When he licked over the skin around a nipple, Leto sighed and carded fingers through his hair, moaning when he bit down.

His hips undulated against Stelios’ groin and one of Stelios’ hands wandered down the Dominus’ spine, teasing his fingers into the crack of his ass. Gently, he pressed down. Leto moved into the pressure.

“Let me get some oil.” Leto whispered heatedly. He squirmed in Stelios’ grip until the gladiator let him go with another sharp nip to the thin skin right under his jaw.

“You’re pretty impatient.” The sunlight played over Leto’s body as he walked, naked, across the room. His step was graceful, his posture perfect.
Stelios didn’t take his eyes off of him as he threw of the sheets and slowly began to fist his cock.

"You're one to talk." Leto was smiling when he turned with an earthen pot in his hand and watched the gladiator touch himself. A moment later, Leto clamored back into his position on top of Stelios and made a little nest out of the rest of the pillows lying around Stelios’ side to safely hold it. “As if you mind.” The smell of the oil permeated the air.

Stelios reached for the pot, but Leto distracted him with a kiss. “Let me.” Leto whispered against his mouth. "I'm supposed to do all the work."

A grin. "True." Stelios murmured and swallowed the moan Leto let out when one of his own fingers breached him.

Sweat made a fine sheen on his skin and Stelios roamed his hands over Leto's chest, drawing another sigh out of him when he rubbed his nipples between thumb and forefinger until they were hard nubs. In twists and turns Stelios' hands roamed down to the globes of Leto's ass, making his spine arch when he squeezed the flesh.

A tip of a finger circled Leto's hole and sunk in beside Leto's own spreading the oil around. Stelios' breathed out harshly when the muscles contracted around him, strangely loose already. He pushed his hips up to rock their cocks together.

Leto removed his finger. "Already done?" Stelios purred when Leto's re-slicked hand wrapped around both their cocks.

"It's not your first time." Stelios curled his finger pointedly when Leto’s only answer was a moan, making Leto jerk atop him.
Stelios settled both his hands on Leto's waist.

"I was thinking of you this past week." Leto murmured. His throat moved as he swallowed and sunk down on the gladiator's cock. Stelios hissed. His fingers tight on Leto's hips.

"Thought of my cock, hm?" He yanked Leto the rest of the way down, drawing a ragged groan from his throat and hissed when the flesh constricted around him.

His hips bucked up and Leto's hands dragged down over his chest. He bowed his back and their lips met again. Stelios' slipped his tongue into the Dominus' mouth. Leto rose up and dropped back down on his cock.

A stab of pain in his side made Stelios' hiss when he moved to throw Leto on his back, making the Dominus laugh breathlessly and splay a hand on his chest. “Later.” he promised and Stelios’ grit his teeth. What a promise. He was looking forward to it.

His hips twitched upwards on their own accord while Leto screwed himself on his cock and then Leto was bowing his back, eyes shut in pleasure as he spilled over Stelios’ stomach. Stelios pulled him down, the pain in his side only a distant annoyance as he fucked him in short, sharp thrusts.

Leto held onto him as he was jostled, mouth open and riding out his orgasm. He convulsed around Stelios’ and the gladiator pushed in again and came. The hands in his hair loosened their grip.

Roughly Stelios pulled Leto into his arms when he made to leave the bed, flush against his chest. "You're mine now." he whispering into Leto's ear and saw the Dominus flush a pleasant shade of red.