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All Rights Reserved © 2021, Rick Haydn Horst

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


With the help of the jogger who pulled him from the water, Adrianus acquired clothing and other items to replace any necessities he had lost in the explosion, including a new smartphone. Having settled into a small but stylish room on the sixth floor of the Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key, he showered again to remove the saltwater residue from his skin, and the shower’s spray induced disturbing reminders of that morning’s incident that echoed around in his head. The groan of fracturing metal and Felix’s last word haunted his memory, “Elias!” He had known Felix only a few hours and still, he felt devastated by his death. He had sensed something special with him. He wasn’t just a call-boy; he had intelligence. And it hadn’t mattered that his talent lay along sexual lines, he shared with the world his ability to enwrap someone in an ecstasy so profound, the experience would change them. Regardless of what some might say, his considerable talent made the world a better place for many people, and Adrianus held the privilege of being its last recipient.

His blind desire to end it all had killed Felix. Not to forget all the others who died at the hotel, most certainly another lesson in unintended consequences. He knew that woman who called herself Happiness was right though. His actions over the years had killed many people, and it just kept happening, as it had that morning. Regret…regret…a constant companion from then on, he knew. He had become an awful person, even in his own eyes.

Holed up in his hotel room, he ordered the beef tenderloin from room service and avoided the world. With his phone in his hands and his back against the headboard, he read one article after another about the explosion and the astonishing claims made about the man known as Stallion—who had saved twenty-three people that morning—and about the many others who had either died or were still missing.

When his food arrived at six o’clock that evening, a knock from room service came upon the door, and he answered it. A nude woman pushed the cart into his room. She looked to be in her early thirties, slender with dark wavy hair kept in a classic braid and pinned up.

“I bring what you hunger for,” she said, pushing the cart to the room’s intimate four-chair dining table.

He shut the door behind her. “Madam, what are you doing? Where are your clothes?”

“Come, you should eat while it’s hot.” She laid a plate of beef and asparagus with jasmine rice onto the table and pulled the chair out for him to sit.

“I don’t know who you are but-“

“Sit and eat.” Her voice and stare could have bored a hole through him.

He refrained from any further argument, sat, and picked up the fork. She relocated herself in his line of view a few feet from the table.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am Aletheia, the unconcealed, naked truth. Prometheus has asked that I come to you because Kakia, the goddess you met who called herself Happiness, kept the truth from you. Of anyone in the entire universe, I stand before you the one person who can never lie.”


She nodded. “Yes. He wants you to know your true origins and your circumstances.”

“Okay…,” he said with a cautious air. “Your nudity feels awkward. Please, won’t you sit?” He gestured to the seat across from him.

“Thank you, but no,” she said. “The truth stands…always.”

“I see.” Too hungry to argue, he began to eat. “Well, you have my attention.”

“Henri Estalon could not have a child, but Zeus made it happen. He is using you. By ensuring your birth, and every hardship you have endured, Zeus created who you are, and what you have become. But to him, you are a tool and nothing more.”

“Zeus… A tool…” He hadn’t liked the sound of that. “What about Stallion?”

“He is the object to which Zeus would ply you.”

“If I weren’t immortal and hadn’t experienced everything that I had the last day or so, I would think you were insane. So, why would Zeus do such a cruel thing? From what I remember reading, he was supposed to be good.”

She made a decisive shake of her head. “Primitive notions of what it means to be good and propaganda. A proclamation of someone’s goodness has no validity without actions to support it. According to his actions, Zeus is a psychopathic, serial rapist. He is a god; he does what he wants and has no one to answer to.”

He paused eating and his brows rose in surprise. “Wow.”

She shrugged with indifference. “The truth is sometimes harsh and unpalatable.”

“Will you not anger Zeus by saying these things?” He continued to eat.

“Zeus already niğde escort hates me, but only because he hates the truth of himself.”

“Well, about Stallion…who is he? What is he? And why is Zeus so interested in him?”

Her face held an affectionate smile to think of him. “Ronan is part human and part life essence of Chiron the centaur stallion, the two of them bound together by an eternal flame. Ronan Stallion is the light, and Zeus stands overshadowed by his own past; the promise of a better ruler than Cronus, his Titan father, died the moment he took the throne. Ronan is something new, and his nature may have made him the most powerful being in existence. Zeus isn’t sure whether to believe that, but still, he fears him more than anything or anyone.”

“So, let me see if I have this right,” said Adrianus. “Zeus caused my birth to use me as a tool. He kept me oblivious about my father, just so I could survive the ages alone, watching the people I love die. All, so I would stop loving, stop connecting with people, get sick of living, and feel a desperate need to kill Ronan, after only one spellbinding conversation with some evil witch named Kakia, calling herself Happiness.”

“That is precisely what happened, and all went according to plan until you destroyed her.”

“Is what she said the truth, about my inability to die, unless the eternal flame is destroyed?”

She tipped her head a little. “That plan had no guarantee of success for you. Zeus wanted information, so your attempt would have gotten him what he wanted regardless of the outcome. However, Prometheus has an alternative that wouldn’t require destroying Ronan.”

“What alternative?”

“The gulf of difference between yourself and those around you makes you alone. How would you like mortality, so that you can have a normal life, open yourself to the world around you again, fall in love one day, have children if you want, and perhaps die of old age?”

Adrianus dropped his fork, swallowed, and stared at her. “You can do that? I thought that would ask too much.”

“It can be done, but it would require sacrifice.”

“That’s fine,” he said, “whatever I would have to do, I would do it.”

“That’s the problem,” she said with a slight shake of her head. “The sacrifice is not yours.”


Due to his size, Ronan walked the hallway of the ship a few steps behind Liam. After having left Miami’s port on Dodge Island at five o’clock, the two had taken an hour to walk the main deck and explore the superstructure, leaving them to conclude that, as far as no-frills travel goes, it would do. The designer had to minimize everything to the essentials and consider whatever may come upon the high seas which resulted in an aesthetic of mere adequacy. The only exception to that rule was the beautiful wood-lined dry sauna which would hold about ten people.

As was tradition, during their welcome aboard, the captain invited them to dine with him at six that evening. The officer’s mess consisted of four round tables with seating for six each. The steward, Garit Bruckhauser, seated them with Captain Stettler and Paul Hurst, the first mate, both of whom wore the casual dress of a long sleeve pullover and jeans.

In a gentlemanly fashion, Ronan pulled out the brown Naugahyde-upholstered wooden chair for Liam and took the seat beside him.

“It reminds me of the dining set in my grandmother’s kitchen,” said Liam.

“Have you toured the ship?” asked the captain.

“Yes,” said Liam. “I think we’ll be comfortable, and we’re looking forward to the sauna this evening. I’ve never had a ship voyage, so out of curiosity, and for my peace of mind, are we carrying anything dangerous? And how often do you see inclement weather across the Atlantic?”

“Storms can occur any time of year,” he said, “but it’s not too bad in the warmer months, and according to the shipping report, the weather ahead is relatively calm, so nothing to worry about. As for what we’re carrying, it’s nothing too dangerous really. Currently, we have a ship half full of Hondas, but quite a few other things as well. I wouldn’t concern myself, just sit back and relax.

“I had hoped that the lovely Frau Nordström would grace us with her presence this evening, but the steward says that she and our purser will be—shall we say—busy for the next few days, and they will take all their meals in her cabin.”

“That’s our Emma,” said Ronan. “In her defense, she’s actually choosier than it might seem, but the purser is quite handsome.”

Paul nodded. “He is handsome, but he’s no Gustav Lauterborn.”

“Who is that?” asked Liam.

“He’s our First Engineer. You may have your man named Stallion,” said Paul gesturing to Ronan, “but we have Gustav Lauterborn. He’s quite impressive and always getting erections in the sauna.”

“I see.”

“The purser’s shortcomings probably won’t matter to Emma,” said Ronan. “He has a nice thick head of hair. It wouldn’t surprise niğde escort bayan me if, by the time we reached Genoa, it was thinner.”

They laughed.

“The two of you will get along well with the crew,” said Paul. “No topic is taboo with us, especially sex. We can get bawdy, and it keeps things lively.”

When it came time to order, the captain and first mate ordered their usual, and Liam ordered the salmon.

When asked what he would like, Ronan said, “Nothing for me, thank you. I’m just here for the company.”

“You won’t be able to get anything from the kitchen later,” said the captain.

“Actually, captain, I don’t eat.”

“You don’t eat?” he asked. “Everyone eats. How can you survive and not eat?”

Ronan shrugged a little. “I just do.”

“Okay…,” the captain said and gave Ronan an odd expression. “All the bridge crew saw the news reports about you, and now you tell us you don’t eat. Are you from another planet?”

“I am Centaurian,” said Ronan. “Half-human, half centaur. You’ll have yet to have heard of me, but I must start somewhere.”

“It sounds to me like you have a problem,” said the captain.

Liam smiled a rather sardonic smile. “A mental-health problem, right? I recognize the look on your faces. Ronan and I know how mad it all sounds. However, what he said is true. He is half centaur, and he doesn’t eat.”

“No disrespect intended,” said the first mate. “It’s just that the reports about him are too incredible to believe.”

“I understand,” said Ronan with the little smile. “For now, it’s not important. You’re welcome to believe whatever makes you comfortable.”

After dinner, they returned to their cabin. “I don’t want people treating you like you’re delusional.”

“That will happen for a while,” said Ronan, “and we will just have to accept that.”

A knock came upon the door. Emma entered the cabin dressed in a short diaphanous white gown that barely covered anything.

“Hello!” she said.

“Have you had fun with William?” asked Ronan.

Emma whispered, “Oh yes, he has a tongue like you wouldn’t believe, but he does seem to have an enormous ‘little’ problem, and a lifetime of memories of people cruelly teasing him over it, including some members of the crew.”

“Is his problem that significant?” asked Liam.

She continued, “I would tell anyone who would thoughtlessly use the blanket statement, size doesn’t matter, that they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. It may not matter to them, but it does matter. Regardless of the person’s intended use, be it for conception or purely for pleasure. As far as feasibility is concerned, if for a human, one like a whale is too big, but one like a gnat is too small, and there is a middle range of sizes that allow it to perform its personally intended function with a descriptor like ‘best’, ‘well’, ‘okay’, or ‘not at all’, then size matters. This poor man has some condition that caused him to have no protruding shaft when erect, and nothing protrudes when flaccid. So, during his sleep tonight, I intend to help him.”

“Wow,” said Liam.

“He’s a good man and not the first that I’ve helped this way.”

“Hey,” said Liam, “if you’re handing-out extra inches, I’ll take a few.”

Emma smiled and patted Liam’s cheek indulgently.

“So, is this what Emma wears to bed?” asked Ronan gesturing to her attire.

“No, it’s what Emma wears for less than two minutes before William takes it off her. Currently, he is showering. He knows I came across the hall to talk and check up on you. I have from Prometheus both good news and bad. The good news is that Aquila no longer wishes to kill you, but he does want to talk to you and is planning to meet you at the station while boarding the overnight train from Milan to Brindisi. As for the bad news…Zeus is planning something, but we don’t know what. Given that it’s Zeus, it will probably involve lightning.”


Gustav Lauterborn, a handsome, dark-haired man in his early thirties with a strong body, big biceps, and spectacular forearms from working with his hands all day, held the position as a well-paid first engineer on the CS Fritz Himmel. He knew all the inner workings of the ship and his superiors thought to tap him for the replacement of the chief engineer when the current chief retired. So, the crew had respect for Gustav’s abilities since he had the responsibility of most of the engineering work aboard the ship and the chief relied on him so heavily.

After a typical hard day’s work—when things ran smoothly—the engineer had an excellent dinner with conversations among his crew mates for an hour. This would begin his evening relaxation routine which he typically maintained like clockwork. Every evening, at 7:45, he would shower. At 8:00, he began the first of two 15-minute sauna sessions with a 20-minute break in between. Afterward, he cooled down for 5-minutes, walked back to his cabin, and showered again. He would escort niğde then sit on his bunk to read for a little while, and just before bed at 9:45, the steward would make his nightly visit to suck off his well-admired nine inches, after which he would sleep until morning. Life was good for Gustav, but for all that he had going for him, he wasn’t perfect…

The First-Mate Paul Hurst along with Crewmen Kurtis Eisen and Otto Gleich always took the sauna with Gustav, as did the friendly steward named Garit Bruckhauser who had a crush on Gustav. That evening, however, William and Emma joined them, at her insistence. The sauna had two sets of risers that faced one another. Paul, Gustav, Kurtis, Otto, and Garit sat on one side of the sauna while William and Emma sat on the other, facing them. The two sets of risers had only five feet between them, so one might call the sauna cozy.

Traditionally, everyone would go naked into a German sauna and sit on a towel, ensuring that no part of their body touched the wood beneath them. And while German saunas also had the tradition of treating the space as a non-sexual environment where everyone minded their own business, that part had never quite worked out aboard ship.

Within a minute of the group’s second 15-minute session, William could no longer stand it, he grabbed his towel and fled the sauna, bumping into the towel-wrapped Ronan and Liam about to enter. As they heard someone say from within the sauna, “There goes Envy,” whereupon Ronan and Liam found Otto, Kurtis, and Gustav having a laugh at William’s expense as they entered, closing the door behind them to keep in the heat.

Emma got up from the bench she sat upon, towel in hand, eyes ablaze, staring at those who laughed. “Shame on you,” she said. “The three of you are particularly cruel. If you don’t give William a heartfelt apology by morning for every snide remark you have ever made to him, with a promise to never treat anyone like that again, you will awaken to find yourself missing most of that which you hold so dear.” She turned and smiled at her friends. “Ah, Ronan, just the man.” She spoke confidentially into his ear. “Do me a favor and make sure these men feel as inferior as possible.” She then left to find William.

Liam gestured to the door through which Emma just exited. “Sounds like some of you are in deep shit.”

“It would serve them right,” said Paul. “They never leave William alone. He stopped using the sauna because of it.”

“Nothing will happen,” said Gustav. “Curses are not real.”

“We were all just having a laugh,” said Otto, “that’s all.”

“Really?” said Liam as they climbed to the second level of the empty risers. “I didn’t see William laughing. Did you see William laughing, Ronan?”

“No, I never saw him laugh either.” As Ronan took his place beside Liam, he just stood there for a moment. “I take it,” Ronan said to the men, “that you think that having a smaller penis is amusing.”

“Ja,” Gustav said simply, making a blatant display of his partially erect larger-than-average one.

“Humph,” said Ronan. “I see.” He unwrapped his towel and laid it onto the wood behind him and sat beside Liam allowing his fleshy hose to drape down from the riser between his muscular legs for everyone to see.

They all sat staring in complete disbelief.

“Scheisse! (Shit),” said Garit.

“Ficken Pferdeschwänz! (Fucking horse cock),” said Otto

“Du hast Konkurrenz, Gustav (You have competition, Gustav),” said Paul.

Gustav’s brows drew together, he leaned forward and asked, “How big are you?”

“Not sure, but I’m much bigger than you,” said Ronan. “I see a few of you getting an erection. Is this the part where we all get hard and compare ourselves to one another?”

“I have an erection,” Liam said in conviviality. “Will you have one? I must admit, I’m just as curious about yours as they are.”

Ronan lifted his Centaurian appendage and as he hefted it, it began to harden and lengthen and thicken in his hand. It rose until the head reached his pecs.

Liam stared at it. “You and I are going to have so much fun with that.” Ronan smiled and gave him a quick kiss.

Most of the others just stared in silence.

Paul asked, “How can you be so big?”

Ronan shrugged a little. “I told you at dinner that I was half centaur. I have something to say to those of you who laughed at William. Emma is many orders of magnitude more than she seems. If you don’t heed her warning—as sure as I’m sitting here before you—you will awaken to something that I doubt you will find so amusing when it’s yours. Now, I just want to sit here and enjoy the heat.” He leaned back and closed his eyes.

Afterward, Ronan trailed a few steps behind Liam as they trekked naked up the four floors back to their cabin. He watched Liam’s ass, noting he had worked it hard in the gym to give it an attractive curve with that firm, mildly bouncy quality so evident with every stair-step upward.

Upon reaching the cabin, Ronan walked him backward, kissing him into the room. He picked Liam up and tossed him onto the bed. “You want to hear something amazing?” Ronan asked him.


“My erections work nothing like a regular human’s. I can stay erect for as long as I like—even permanently if I want.”

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