Completely unaware of what was happening, Brashear and General Yates were in the palace bathhouse, enjoying each other's company. All it had taken was a bottle of wine, laced with a few drops of Centurion anima to get the general to see things Brashear's way. Yates was actually aggressive, often pinning his new-found lover against the wall.
It was after their third bottle of laced wine that they heard the roar of the entrance to the Labyrinth caving in. "What was that?" Yates jumped, getting back onto his feet, splashing water in Brashear's face.
"Ready again?" Brashear asked dreamily.
Yates looked down on the now slim and trim Brashear and could not help but feel the emotion of lust burning in his veins. Then there was a second roaring sound... something he could not ignore.
Climbing out of the pool, Yates covered himself with a white robe and peeked out the large brass doors. In front of the palace, he could see Huron troops fighting the few remaining soldiers from the other Confederate nations. He also witnessed dozens of large wagons being brought to the front of the palace and loaded with heavy chests.
Knowing he did not stand a chance against the Huron's superior numbers, Yates ducked back into the bathhouse, barring the doors behind him.
"Get dressed!" Yates ordered as he went to where his armor had been discarded.
"What's happening?" Brashear asked as he went to his clothes.
"It looks like Sirrus has betrayed us. His men are killing off the other Confederate troops and wagons are being loaded up with what I guess is the royal treasury."
"But that loud noise we heard?"
"Most likely it was the entrance to the Labyrinth being caved in."
"So we are on our own?"
"Yes." Yates nodded as he strapped on his sword belt.
"You know... we might as well stay here," Brashear said.
"You're right... there is no way we can sneak out of here, not with Sirrus' men all over the place," Yates agreed, letting his sword fall back onto the floor.
"And since they will be busy looting they might not even come here."
"Right again." Yates grinned, working to get his armor back off.
"Anyway, maybe... just maybe, when the Centurions come back to take over they will see us making love and might spare our lives... seeing that we share their love of men." Brashear winked.
"A very good assumption." Yates licked his lips.
"So how about you and I just getting back into that nice warm water and enjoying ourselves.
"I can think of nothing better to do."
With that, Yates watched Brashear dive back into the water, swim over to the far side, climb out of the water, walk over to the wall and bend over, wiggling his ass. Yates let his hands run through the blond hair that covered his chest while licking his lips. He had no idea what had come over him. One day he was trying to avoid Lord Brashear's hungry looks, then the next he was returning them.
Diving into the water and swimming toward Brashear's wiggling ass, Yates' giant grin let copious amounts of water into his mouth that had to be forced out before each breath. Reaching the far end he climbed out on his knees and scooted to where Brashear was waiting. Yates then claimed the Earl, not just with his lust but a growing sense of love as well.
Exhausted, Yates returned to the warm pool to relax. Brashear went to the changing room where he kept the bottle of anima fluid he had collected from the dead Centurions. He drained the bottle into two crystal glasses and brought them back to the pool, handing one to Yates.
"What is this?" Yates asked, curious.
"You've been enjoying what we've been doing?" Brashear asked with a wicked grin."
"Yes, I have... not sure what I am going to tell my wife, though." The general laughed.
"Same... my marriage was more political than from any real feelings we have for each other. I had to keep a close eye on her to make sure that I was the real father of those she presented to me as my children."
"How were you able to know for sure?" Yates asked as he began to sip on the blue fluid.
"I keep her locked up, with me being the only man allowed to see her until she is pregnant."
"She allows that?"
"If I caught her trying to pass a bastard for one of my sons, I would have every right to divorce her and keep her dowry. I know when I don't have her locked up she sees other men. I have seen other women. The only rule is that no children can result from her little fun." Brashear explained.
"Well, no children will be coming from what we do." Yates laughed.
"I know... which makes things perfect." Brashear grinned, as he took a deep swig of his own drink.
"Well, things are different for us in the military... certain things are expected of us. One of those things is to marry young, preferably a senior officer's daughter. The other is to have plenty of boys who can later keep up the family military tradition. As to sleeping with other women... that is allowed, but just like with you nobles, the offspring are not to follow us home," Yates explained
"So, what do you do when one of the wenches get pregnant?" Brashear asked.
"That's where a lonely private with no real future comes in handy."
"But why would a private agree to marry such a loose woman?"
"Easy... we offer him a promotion he would never really deserve, and send him and his new bride off to some remote outpost."
"I see." Brashear laughed.
By this time the large amount of anima both men were drinking was starting to have its effect. The General, not in bad shape, to begin with, was starting to develop some nice definition, all to Brashear's liking.
The general also started to notice changes in the lord standing across from him. The man who had once been too fat to ride a horse was becoming thinner by the minute. His waist no longer had any gut, while the muscles around his arms and shoulders grew to make them look broader, giving him a v-shaped body.
Yates then looked down at his own body and dropped his glass into the water out of surprise, "What is going on?"
"You know the stuff you have been drinking?" Brashear giggled.
"Yes... what the hell is it?" Yates demanded.
"It is the famous anima."
"Why are we drinking it?"
"Because I have read up on it... it is not only the source of a Centurion's life but also his strength. The more of it you drink the more like them you become."
"You mean their physical strength?" Yates asked, starting to become impressed by his new body.
"Among other things." Brashear grinned.
"As well as their physical desires..." Yates asked nervously.
"Well, tell me... did you ever desire another man before I gave you that bottle of wine?"
"There was anima in it?"
"Just a little," Brashear said as he held up two fingers only inches apart to stress the point.
"You made me gay?"
"I had to do something. I made the mistake of drinking a little anima without knowing what it would do to me. Do you have any idea how it feels to be lusting after a man while knowing that he is not interested in you?" Brashear replied, letting some of his frustrations show.
"But you tricked me."
"Then why should I not kill you?" Yates threatened.
"You can kill me, but only after you answer me this... Has what we have been doing for the past few hours not been enjoyable? Do you look down at your body and not only find that you like it, but feel a sense of lust from it? Don't you see that I am most likely the only man from Tal Sith that shares your feelings? Don't you see what we can gain from a partnership together... you a general, and me the king's most trusted noble?"
Brashear, having sampled anima several times in the past week, knew quite well what effect it had to be having on Yates. With each drinking, there was always the physical change but after that, there was the mental one that manifested itself with a strong emotional desire to kiss the nearest man before having sex with him. By watching Yates's facial expressions, Brashear could see that Yates was struggling between his anger at him and his desire to bend him over and fuck him again.
Just as Brashear calculated, lust turned out to be the stronger emotion as Yates grabbed hold of him hard and pulled him into a deep and powerful kiss that ended with him biting Brashear's lower lip until it bled.
Yates was still angry and expressed his anger through the rough way he handled Brashear, but he also knew that all that Brashear had asked him was correct. He indeed found his new sexual urges exciting if not addictive. The male form that he had only looked at to determine ability was now a thing to admire and lust after. The feel of hard muscle against hard muscle was so much more electrifying than any of the soft flesh of any woman he had ever touched. Brashear seemed to know this, which made him know the general better than any man or woman on earth. The partnership, as Brashear had called it, seemed also attractive.
With Brashear's connections to the king, it would not be hard for him to arrange for them to be assigned on the same missions. Yes, the king might find out about their sexual relationship, but Brashear's importance to tax collection would probably convince the king to give a blind eye to that social taboo. In a fight between morality and money, money always took first chair in Tal Sith. With Brashear, Yates would be able to pursue a male to male relationship without any negative consequences. He was just going to make the Earl pay a little for putting him into this position.