At the head of his troops, Tiradates wanted to set a faster pace. Anxious to get back to his lord emperor. Eager to set things straight. Before those self-serving sycophants around the throne went and claimed Tiradates’ prize.
Still it irked, he wanted to gallop on ahead. Outmanoeuvred by those enemies back at court. This prisoner was HIS. But Tiradates was a man of action. Resenting the fact he’d been out-manoeuvred … where was that going to get him.? He needed to DO something.
He’d seen this prisoner off ….. with a flourish. The one-time prince had had his nose rubbed in his defeat, the troops of his enemy in a mock march-past. Now Tiradates wanted to ride like the wind and make sure the emperor had got it right. Clear about whom he owed this victory to.
The troops had marched past. The dust of their mockery still choking the air. Tiradates had reined his stallion over to his prisoner’s cart. He dismounted for a fond farewell. But no goodbye.
“I’ll be there to greet you. Drag you in in chains … I’ll do it myself ……”
Tiradates had smoothed his hand in the sweaty locks of the prisoner’s hair .. an act of condescension. Like he would have tussled the scalp of a dog.
“In chains. Broken.”
“Kiss my arse!”
The prisoner spoke up for himself. Still naively thinking he had a single choice. Still thinking he could be defiant. Tiradates indulged him. He’d not habour thoughts like that for long. Thoughtfully he ran a finger over the solid mass of his chest, the strength elongated by the upraised arms tied to the ring on the post.
“Hellgate. Now there’s a name to conjure with. Hellgate ………”
On second thoughts … why let the prick off lightly? Tiradates’ hand gave a sudden hard swipe at the arsehole’s balls. Gratified that the prick’s instincts won over his stubborn defiance. He tried to squirm out of the way.
He gave a slight scoff. His gesture mocking this slave who could only be defiant because he hadn’t the first idea. But the first hours in Hellgate would have his head straight.
“Few ever return,” Tiradates informed him. “Most just ….. disappear. Swallowed by the horrors of hell.”
A finger jabbed the prisoner in the chest.
“YOU, though. You’re the lucky one. The emperor will summon you. You will be brought to him at court.”
“And I’ll be there. To welcome you.”
Again his fingers ran down the deep cleft between a solid-packed muscled chest.
“THIS ….. Broken in. Broken down.”
His eyes ran down the powerful physique trapped against the post. He smiled. Taunting.
“When all this …….. “
From muscular neck he ran his gaze down the ridge in the broad chest … it paused taking in the might in the muscled belly … then it came to a halt on the bulge barely contained in the slave pouch.
“ …. When THIS .. all this shredded muscular magnificence has been reduced to an empty shell ……”
Still the slave glared back. But it said nothing back in return. Had the message got through? Was the prick realising that his posturing was only bravado? That Hellgate would break him. Break the back of his pig-headedness.
He’d not show it, Tiradates knew .. from experience. He’d not betray any nerves. But even to a general like Tiradates the idea of Hellgate could send a shiver down his back. The dog could glare back. How long before this mighty physique was struggling? Fighting to keep its spirits up?
“Till then ……”
Tiradates laughed in the face of his prisoner’s grim defiance.
“ …. Till we meet at court. Broken, an empty husk ….. “
He blew his captive a mock kiss. Shaming his futile defiance.
“Till we meet again ……”