The army had moved out. Maciste had been stuck at his post, stood on the wagon as the victorious enemy marched by. Tiradates had come-by .. deliberately positioning himself opposite Maciste. As if Maciste was a mirror-image of the imperious general. But both knowing otherwise.
His triumphant army had cheerfully marched past between them. Tiradates had taken their salute. His gesture to his prisoner a final mockery …… the one-time prince .. as-good-as-naked .. taking a scornful salute from the enemy that held him captive.
Choking on their dust .. breathing in their laughter .. mocked by every enemy step that tramped past. He wasn’t whom they held him for, he wasn’t the rebel prince. But over the hours when the victorious enemy marched past him taking a mock salute .. near-naked, no escape, destined for the-gods-knew-what ….. their mockery slowly ground down his proud steadfastness.
Questioning the wisdom of his surrender. Wondering where his decisions had got him. Where they were taking him. Hundreds of his victorious enemy paraded before his helplessness.
Even the oxen hauling carts of equipment seemed to bellow out his shame. Most poignant of all .. breathing the dust in the wake of the carts, the women Maciste had failed to save. He had surrendered to save these hostages. But Tiradates had gone back on his word. They were being carted away to the Parthian capital. There to be sold into permanent slavery. The final mocking gesture as the enemy army marched past. Saluting his complete failure.
Saluting his departure for Hellgate, Tiradates reined over his horse to the cart. With a sneering grin of self-satisfaction he shot his prisoner his final farewell, a mocking kiss in the air.
“Till we meet again. Cocksucker to the Emperor.”
They’d gone. The army had saluted his helplessness. That Parthian general had left with a mocking salute. Maciste was alone with his escort. And a sense of dismay. At what he’d failed to do. And what was coming down on him.
Trapped with upraised arms on this cart. Already he felt the blood streaming out of his hands, the cramps beginning to set in. A journey trapped up against the pole like this was going to be a challenge.
Cagily he watched a guard mount the cart. By the gods he looked weird, even crazy. Fiendish. An ugly near-deformed demon. Was he was the one in charge? Had he jumped back onto the wagon to continue where Tiradates had left off? Maciste looked into his half-deranged face sternly. Hard to believe this ugly prick was in charge. But if so, this was the one to make a mark on, to impress. Maciste set his face hard – saying he was not going to be intimidated.
“Take a good look around you, shit-head …..”
His breath stank foul. Faces only a short distance apart. Maciste just stared him back. His features unmoved by the presence of this guard although he stood there helpless and defenceless. He deliberately wrinkled his nose in disgust at the ugly stinking face coming on to him.
The man slowly snaked his arm around Maciste’s side. He felt a hand slide like a cobra’s cold touch up his back. Still the pair of them stared hostile into each other’s eyes. The hand reached Maciste’s neck, spread out, pawing at his flesh. Thumb one side, fingers the other, groping up and down Maciste’s neck. Possessively. Laying claim. Silently sending the message, he owned this. This neck .. this muscular helpless body … arms up, body exposed ….. all this was his to do with as he felt.
Doggedly, refusing to look riled, Maciste stared him coldly back .. refusing to give in to the anger that he had to let himself be groped.
“This beautiful world. A sight for sore eyes …. “
The hand squeezed. Tight on the back of Maciste’s neck. Squeezing, fingers digging in. Fingernails clawing pain out of Maciste’s neck.
Only when Maciste’s face gave way to a wince did the grip relax a little.
“Beautiful … even for a hopeless case like you. ”
What the fuck was Ugly on about? Maciste did not know where this was going. But he wasn’t going to let himself be forced into losing his temper. Have his strings pulled by this obnoxious cretin. Like some helpless puppet.
The groping had moved around front. The other hand feeling up Maciste’s chest. Because he could. Because he possessed this body. Slave to the empire. A nothing .. even less than that. Candidate for Hellgate. A “shit-head”.
The groping was trying to get Maciste worked up. Hoping to get him to blow his temper. And then laugh in his face when Maciste could do no more than bluster. Feeling him up to provoke Maciste into some futile gesture .. just to demonstrate how helpless his situation was. Damned if Maciste would give him that satisfaction!
Ugly’s filthy calloused hand had spread over Maciste’s left pec. Squeezing, pressing into hard muscle, digging the fingers in. Keeping himself calm, Maciste just glared into the obnoxious face. He pushed contempt into his look. Disgust that one man got off on groping another man. What desperate man had to do that? What kind of unhinged brute did that? One as deranged and uncouth as this toad.
His contempt for this animals was poured against the weirdo’s face. A gloating face filled with a smirk of foul green teeth.
Annoyed at not getting his response, fingers dug in. The hand turned to claws .. digging into a hard-muscled chest. Suddenly the fingers widened .. talons flared .. swiped downwards over a muscular chest. Fingernails scored lines down Maciste’s flesh.
The animal dug his nails in. Clawing out searing pains from Maciste’s muscle. Burning pains out of his flesh.
Despite himself, Maciste snarled.
”Damn you, toad.”