Please help us give a warm welcome to author JP Kenwood, who’s dropping by to help us celebrate our 5 Year Blogiversary with a sexy and sweet little ficlet set in the world of her Dominus series, and she’s also offering one lucky reader the chance to win e-copies of the first two books of the series, so be sure to check out those details below.
Greetings, everyone! Many thanks to Lisa and the entire gang at The Novel Approach for letting me join the five-year anniversary celebrations! Congratulations on five wonderful years of blogs posts and book reviews, TNA crew. Let’s pop the damn champagne and get the bubbly flowing!
I write m/m+ erotic historical stories, and I’m giving away eBook copies of the first two novels of my five-book m/m saga set in ancient Rome. Book 2, Games of Rome, just won second place in the Rainbow Awards for Best Gay Historical, and the long-anticipated third book will finally be released in 2017. And for those twisted darlings who love and follow the filthy antics of our randy lads, I have a little ditty to share with you here featuring our two MCs, Gaius and Allerix. I have no idea if this wee story will remain a silly fanfic never to be heard from again or become canon. But I do hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it! And let me know if you’d like the scene to continue. Allerix is shivering. Happy Saturnalia!
HAPPY QUINQUENNALIA, TNA!
Whipping winds and snow swirled outside while another dull, gray day struggled to light the spacious but sparsely decorated room in the camp’s headquarters building. A dying fire in the stone hearth crackled and sputtered its last bursts of heat. Chopped wood stacked nearby stood at the ready to fuel the next blaze.
Allerix let escape one last ecstatic groan as steam rose from their exhausted, sweat covered bodies to disappear up into the frigid air. Shivers shook his imperially fucked bum, but winter’s frosty bite vanished when Gaius nibbled the skin at the nape of his neck. After a few more nips and warm kisses and a happy snarl of a grunt, Gaius pulled out and rolled off, lifting the heavy wool blankets up and over them both.
“I’ll ache for days.” Alle chuckled, pressing his bruised hips into the mattress.
“Was I too rough?” His voice trembled as Gaius slowly caught his breath. “Are you—are you injured, căţel?”
“I’m vanquished, sir,” Allerix whispered into the pillow before turning his head to be sure his next words could be heard. A shiny trickle of sweat rolled down from Gaius’s temple. Alle leaned over and wiped it away with his tongue. “You were forceful, but generous. Exactly what I needed. What I wanted. Perfect.”
“Perfect, eh?” Gaius laughed. “Gods, how long had it been since we—?”
Allerix hadn’t even seen the Roman for the past three. Commander Fabius had been preoccupied with settling frivolous disputes between quarreling veteran colonists, or hosting visits from groveling military deputies.
Too damn busy to call Alle to his bed during daylight hours.
And for the past five nights, Allerix hadn’t been summoned at all. Some other desirable creature must have warmed the general’s bed. Or perhaps no one had. Was that possible?
But here he was—Allerix, son of King Thiamarkos. Supremely fucked and fighting to stay warm on a lazy, frigid winter afternoon atop the plush bed of his master, the chief commanding officer at this imposing, desolate Roman fortress.
Gaius threw his forearm across his drowsy, satiated eyes. The pale whispers of his fine arm hairs glowed orange by the light of the flickering lamp. “Five days? Blast that elusive Eros. One day I’m going to ram that midget’s poison-tipped prick right up his plump little arse.”
“Poor, unsuspecting Cupid. Forced to face the ferocious wrath of the Lion of the Lucky Fourth armed with only a child’s bow and arrow.” Allerix’s snicker dissolved into eye-watering, post-coital snorts.
A loud knock silenced them both.
“Commander Fabius.” The guard’s stern but respectful tone rumbled through the thick wooden door. Gaius threw back the bed covers. As he rose to his feet, he grabbed his long, fur-lined travel cloak off the back of a tall wicker chair.
“Should I leave?” Alle asked.
Gaius narrowed his eyes but smiled. “You are mine, and you’re where you should be. Stay as you are.” After he’d slapped Allerix’s bum cheek hard, Gaius marched across the bedroom, wrapping his winter mantle around his shoulders, and turned the iron door handle.
“A messenger has arrived, sir. He’s delivered a letter from Rome, Commander Fabius.” The helmeted sentry offered out a thin scroll. Gaius eyed the missive suspiciously before grasping it. He shut the door and casually tossed the sealed papyrus on the mattress as he sauntered towards the oak table and a waiting bronze jug of grape. Alle watched the slender scroll teeter on the fold of a bed cover before it fell to the floor.
“Not urgent news, I take it?”
“I’ve no idea. I don’t recognize the seal stamp.” Gaius smirked before adjusting his cloak and gulping down a swallow of wine. “If it’s not the Emperor’s insignia, it’s not terribly important at the moment. Are all the winters here this damn fucking cold?” he asked, pulling the spotted fur lining tightly around his naked body as he sat on the edge of the bed.
“Most winters are far worse than this one, sir,” Alle replied, his breath hanging like smoke in the space between them. He accepted the silver cup from Gaius’s hand and basked in a long, quenching draught. “But we have Dacian wine. Where did you find this, sir? I’d heard our vineyards were razed.”
“Alas, they were. We’d cut and burned them in our haste to victory. Idiotic and shortsighted, I confess, but their destruction seemed both prudent and unavoidable at the time. This nectar was a lucky discovery. One of our cohorts found several large vessels buried under the ruins of your dead king’s palace. Not exactly the bastard’s famed secret cache of gold, but it’s a damn fine substitute.”
“There’s no secret treasure of gold, Dominus. Your legions removed everything of value from our cities long ago”
“So your fellow heathens have claimed. ‘There’s no more gold,’ they insist.”
“You don’t believe them?” Allerix wondered before savoring another delicious swig.
“I believe in very little other than my irrational but unrelenting passion for you, căţel. Unfortunately, as much as I might wish to delay, I can’t avoid this message forever. Let’s see what we’ve got here.”
Gaius bent down, retrieved the rolled scroll, and broke the wax seal. With every section his eyes scanned, his expression became more sour. Anger and disbelief welled up in his golden brown eyes. “By the cruel Fates, what is this nonsense?”
But Gaius ignored him. Red splotches of fury mottled his cheeks and neck. “I won’t fucking accept this,” he mumbled before crumpling the letter into a ball. It fell on the bed next to Allerix’s thigh.
With a deep breath, Gaius curled his hands into fists. The lines etched across his forehead grew deeper, but his smooth voice remained unwavering. “I will not read her duplicitous lies. I refuse to offer that woman a modicum of satisfaction. I owe her nothing.”
Gaius padded on bare feet to the table and poured more wine into his cup until it flowed over the side, spilling onto the floor. His hand shook violently as he raised the drink to his lips. Splashes of burgundy liquid soiled his mantle. His anger dissolved to tears. He wiped his eyes and, with a sloppy sniffle, turned his back to Allerix.
“She’s in Rome.” Gaius ambled over, plopping down on a bench at the foot of the bed with his back still to Alle, and lowered his head between his parted knees. He scraped his fingers through his chestnut curls, scratching his scalp raw with every pass. “By gods, she’s alive.”
“That’s quite a musical name. Beautifully melodic.”
The winds whistled through the tiny cracks in the mortar between the stones.
Gaius said nothing until he finally blurted out, “Julia Flaviana is my mother. The one who promised she’d come back for me and never did. The mother who handed over her only child—her only son—to a Spanish general she barely knew. To Marcus.” While Gaius threw back another swallow of grape, Allerix wrapped himself in a blanket and rushed over to sit down beside him.
“You thought she was dead.” It wasn’t a question. Allerix combed his fingers through Gaius’s tangled locks. His master was shaking.
“After she’d abandoned me, I’d assumed she ran off East in the company of her new cuckolded, twitchy husband. Syria seemed an obvious place for her to hide away comfortably, free of the burden of a fatherless son. The cursed progeny of a condemned traitor. I will never forgive her for leaving me. Never.”
Gaius dropped his head lower, his fingers intertwined, his hushed voice directed towards the black-and-white mosaic floor. “Gods, I’d thought she was dead. I’d imagined more often than a dutiful son should just how my dear mother might have died. Perhaps from an exotic sickness or Aphrodite’s shameful disease or some wretched ailment caused by Dionysian excess. But, no…”
Gaius jerked his head up, drank another swallow of wine, and burped as he raised his empty cup. “Mummy’s alive and back in Rome! To all the wretched, mother-fucking gods! I shit on each and every one of you!”
And another drink before Gaius collapsed into sobs he managed to smother until they were merely soft, woeful moans. Allerix wrapped him into an embrace, pressing his face into Gaius’s silky hair. He caught a whiff of the floral perfumes from the luxurious bath they shared earlier.
“I’m sorry, sir. To be honest, I don’t know if my mother is alive or not.” Alle confessed.
Gaius calmed his breaths and rubbed his eyes before asking, “What? You’ve never received word of her welfare?”
“No, but I never expected to.” Alle pulled back and ran his hand across Gaius’s cheek, resting two fingers where Gaius’s dimple lay hidden. “She left my father many years ago when I was a little boy. She took me with her, and my younger sister.”
“Into the ancient, sacred forest where the trees grow into unnatural forms. The groves where her goddesses still wield power. To this hidden sanctuary deep in the woods where she can worship without fear or retribution.”
Gaius straightened his spine and lifted Ale’s chin. “Your mother was a priestess and she kidnapped you?”
“Kidnapped? No, no. I wanted to be with her. Learn from her. She raised me along with my sister until I came of age. Then a month before my tenth birthday, I returned to my father and my Dacian kin—my uncles and my cousins—to learn from the men and train as a warrior. I never saw or heard from her again.”
“You were abandoned by your mother as well, then.”
“I chose my fate. I left the safety of her forest for the glory of the battlefield to fight for the honor of Dacia.”
“To fight Rome.”
“To destroy Rome.”
Gaius scoffed. “A daft, futile dream.”
“Every barbarian’s dream, Dominus.”
“Indeed. And yet here we are again— back in the freezing wilds of the Carpathian Mountains. And stop bloody calling me Dominus, won’t you?” Gaius laughed and smothered Alle’s scowl with a deep, demanding kiss. “Gods, you’re more a lover to me than a slave, my brave Prince Allerix.”
“You are.” Gaius shook his head and chuckled. “And now, on top of everything else, it seems I’ve been afflicted with Lucius’s dreadful disease! I’ve elevated my whore to a proper concubine.”
Until finally Alle muttered, “Should I ignore that snide remark, Dominus?”
Gaius’s frown melted to an apologetic smile as he wiped away the last traces of his tears. “Yes. Ignore it. Ignore me. These interminable snow storms are driving me mad.” He drew a deep breath before crawling onto the bed, tapping the mattress for Allerix to lie down next to him.
As Allerix settled into his arms, Gaius sighed. “I should probably read the damn thing, you know.”
“What if Julia is hurt or in need of my protection or…?” He scrubbed his stubble-rough face. “Shit.”
“I can read the letter first—tell you if there’s any dire news. If it’s nothing more than a baseless appeal for funds or attention, you can ignore it.
“Can I burn it?” Gaius asked in a silly tone, rubbing his hands together as his teeth chattered.
“Yes. Shove the fucking thing right into the flames. Incinerate it.”
“Brilliant.” Gaius brushed his lips across Allerix’s mouth. The Roman tasted like wine diluted with relief. “Read the letter for me, căţel.”
Gaius rested his chin on Alle’s shoulder while Allerix fumbled through the hastily scribbled lines. The woman’s handwriting was nearly illegible, the words scratched onto the papyrus as if written under distress. Messy.
“She wants you to know she’s in Rome. She requests an audience with you upon your return. And something about how Empress Plotina has aged poorly. Nothing urgent.”
Gaius opened his eyes and glanced down at the letter. “Thanks to merciful Juno.”
“I thought you didn’t offer prayers to your old gods?”
“I don’t, except before a battle. But Julia does. Or did. I’m not sure who she is any longer, or what foreign demons she worships these days. But when I was a child, she was most traditional and pious… when she wasn’t off and about charming a widowed senator or some other ambitious, conniving bastard. Come, let’s burn this rubbish.”
They stood in front of the dwindling flames. Alle tucked his arms under Gaius’s fur-lined mantle and wrapped them snugly around his naked waist.
“There’s a chance I won’t survive whatever this assignment becomes, Allerix. I might never return to Rome.”
“Perhaps, but you need to save her letter, Rufus. She’s your mother.”
“Don’t call me Rufus either. Whenever I hear that irksome name, I hear it in my grandmother’s voice and my cock goes soft.”
“Well, we don’t want that.” Alle laughed. “What should I call you then?”
Gaius’s head fell back against Alle’s shoulder. He allowed his body to fall limp, surrendering to Allerix’s embrace. Alle shifted his legs to better support Gaius’s weight and tightened his hold.
“Call me a damned fool, Prince Allerix.”
Alle mumbled against the curls covering Gaius’s ear. “Throw some wood onto the embers, my handsome melodramatic fool. I’ll fetch more wine, and you safeguard your mother’s letter.”
“What’s this, then? You’re giving the orders now, Da—?”
He pressed his fingers against Gaius’s lips. “Relax and lean on me, sir.”
Allerix turned Gaius’s face for a soft, lingering kiss. When Gaius’s grateful groan stretched into a full-dimple grin, Alle whispered against his wine-sweet lips. “You will return home and, gods willing, you will reunite with your mother. Julia may have some answers to those niggling questions from your childhood.”
“Which questions are those?”
“The painful sorts of questions we all have but rarely ever ask of our parents.” Alle kissed Gaius’s temple and loosened his grip. “Go on, then. Rekindle the fire, Commander Fabius, and come back to bed. You need to warm up your concubine’s barbarian balls again.”