4.  Brotherly chats

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“They have to be curious  ..  don’t they?  The rabble in the square  ….”
Kheir was still grabbing hold of the bars.  Sneering through.  Annoyed that his warnings wasn’t getting his half-brother riled.  Trying to get some sign from Maciste.  Driving a nail of fear into his heart.

“Hearing all that screaming.  Their ears assaulted by ear-piercing shrieks.”
Kheir was painting the scene for Maciste  ..  the scene his hand had held hard in his bed for many weeks.
“Wondering  ..  what the hell was happening on the steps.  Hearing the hammering.  The screams.  Their ears pounded by the echoes bouncing off the walls.  But they couldn’t see a thing.”

“Hardly fair,”  Kheir grinned maliciously.  “Is it?”
In his mind Kheir had Maciste stretched out on his back.  Cross flat-down on the temple steps.  Maciste’s arms out-stretched.  Held down while each wrist was smashed to pieces by cruel nails.
“The poor souls   ..  heard all the screaming  ..  hadn’t seen a thing.  Must be wondering.  What is going on?”

Steeling his guts against the threat of nailing. Maciste saw Kheir grin.  If he’d been a dog  ..  Maciste thought  ..  he’d have been foaming at the mouth.  Kheir was salivating like some sick cow.  Under his kilt, the excitement of domination winning over his better senses.

In his excitement Kheir clutched at the bars as if it was him trying to escape.
“Can’t see for the press of the crowd.  But needing like mad to know.  “What’s happening to our champion?”  “Can those be our hero’s screams?”
Kheir sniggered.
“How fares our stud-of-a-prince right now?”

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Kheir sniggered to himself.
“Brother-mine  ..  you’re gonna be quite a sight.”
Maciste could see his step-brother scouring his face through the bars.  Desperate for signs of anxieties.  The more he painted in the detail  ..  the more Kheir was itching for a twitch of fear.  Hoping, at the very least, to see Maciste looking nervous. 

“What a fine sight you’ll make.  Naked.  In your filth and degradation.  Your guards jizm clinging in your hair.”
He laughed.
“The people’s adored champion  …  quite the hero!”

Kheir was winding him up.  Trying to get a rise out of him.  And Maciste was as determined as hell that he see no such thing.  But the idea of his whole muscled bodyweight suspended off a pair of cruel wounds through his smashed up wrists  …..  The image could not fail to eat away at his guts. 

BUT  …  Show Kheir his nerves?  Like hell.  Maciste denied his fears  ..  not going to show the slightest sign of weakness.  Under the hammer  ..  he’d scream  ..  he’d be nailed into mind-blowing agony.  Maybe he too would pass out with the pain.  But he’d face that problem when it came.
Maciste slowly shook his head.  Telling Kheir he didn’t give a shit.  Because Maciste refused to believe it  ..  he was not yet done-in.


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