When in Rome - Cover

When in Rome

Copyright© 2023 by FantasyLover

Chapter 1


I awoke, sputtering, to find that someone had just thrown a bucket of icy water on me. “What the fuck?” I wondered as I wiped the water from my face and then opened my eyes.

The last thing I remembered was falling asleep on a stretcher aboard the medical transport plane taking me to Germany from Afghanistan. Once I reached the hospital in Germany, they intended, as best they could, to repair the damage done to my side by the grenade carried by the terrorist I had tackled as he tried to attack a congressman touring our base. Fortunately, for me, the terrorist had absorbed most of the blast from the grenade.

Instead, I now found myself lying on a straw-covered floor inside a crude iron cage that looked like something from medieval times. Light was provided by flickering torches. The iron cage made me think momentarily that the plane had crashed, and I’d been captured by the Taliban. However, the clothing was all wrong for that. The heavy leather skirt, bronze greaves, sandals, and gladius worn by the guard were definitely not Taliban issue. I wondered if I had died, and this was some sort of hellish afterlife.

“At least I won’t have to look at your pathetic face after today,” the man who threw the water on me shouted angrily. I later learned that his name was Celsus.

“Even after the deal I made you, I can’t believe that you’ve let me down like this. I promised your freedom. I promised not to bed your beautiful wife Antia, and even to give you a hundred silver Denarii when you won,” he continued ranting.

“Know this,” he warned, “once you lose today, I’m going to fuck that beautiful wife of yours all day before I turn her over to Lucius. When he finishes with her, he’ll give her to Varius, the man who will kill you today. You don’t even want to know what he’ll do to her,” he laughed disparagingly.

“Everyone is laughing at me because of you, especially my wife. She ridicules me in front of her friends, laughing because I told everyone that I had finally bought a slave who could win in the arena. Each time Lucius came over to watch you train, he left laughing,” he fumed.

If this wasn’t a dream or hellish visit, I wished that I had more information about where, or when, I was, and then I was shocked to find that the latter question didn’t upset me. I took into consideration the manner of dress of Celsus and the guards, as well as myself. I also examined the construction of the iron cage I was in and the type and style of weapons I saw the guards carrying. Finally, the Roman names Celsus had mentioned led me to conclude that this was Roman Republic, both the time and the place.

That, again, made me wonder if it was some sort of hellish dream. I had always been fascinated with the history of the Roman Republic and had spent all or part of several of my leaves touring ancient Roman sites. That my mother was of Italian ancestry had probably piqued my interest in Roman history.

Dream or not, it meant that he expected me to fight in the arena today. Twisting my body carefully, I was surprised that there was no pain. As surreptitiously as I could, I checked my wound, only to find no wound, not even a scar. Hell, I couldn’t even find the scars I had earned when I was a kid.

Taking a gamble, I replied to Celsus. “I apologize if your wife is laughing at you, but I had planned for everyone to underestimate me.”

“Planned?” he asked, almost exploding with rage.

“I thought you knew. I’ve purposely acted as if I was inept the entire time so nobody would think I could win. Now, when you bet on me, you will find much better odds available. Imagine how much you’ll be able to take from Lucius,” I suggested.

“Bet on YOU?” Celsus gasped. “You still can’t even hold a sword properly,” he laughed derisively.

“Bring me a practice sword and let me show you,” I offered.

Five minutes later, I held a wooden practice sword. “Now have one of the guards come at me with his real sword,” I said after showing Celsus some fancy sword handling. I hadn’t specifically been trained with a gladius in my martial arts training, but a weapon is a weapon to some extent. I’d practiced with many different weapons during my martial arts training, including distinctive styles of swords. It was too bad he didn’t have a katana or a saber.

With an evil grin on his face, Celsus sent a guard into the cage. Seconds later, I stabbed the guard’s sword into the ground next to where he was lying on his back and staring up at me incredulously. As the guard tried to catch his breath, I tossed the wooden practice sword to Celsus.

“How did you do that?” Celsus gasped as the guard finally snatched his sword back and glared at me angrily.

“Don’t even think about it. I might not be so charitable next time,” I growled at the angry guard who was sizing me up, wondering if it was worth taking a second shot at me.

About an hour later, I was standing on the dirt floor of the “arena”, such that it was. Celsus had watched earlier, rapt, as I went through a kata to warm up and center myself. As I was led out of the darkened building to the dirt arena where our combat would occur, I squinted in the subdued light of the sun that occasionally peeked through the cloud cover. The weather was cool, but not cold. The breeze smelled of salt water and came from my left and I could hear the squawk of seagulls. I now assumed we were somewhere near the ocean.

The dirt-covered oval was barely half the size of the floor of the Colosseum in Rome, which I had visited as a tourist. In addition, there was no “colosseum” of any type built here, just guards with spears standing around the edges. There was a raised platform in the middle of the left side of the arena, at what would be the fifty-yard line if it had been a hundred yards long. Here, it was more like the twenty-yard line.

I still had no idea of where or when I was, and even less of an idea of how I came to be here, assuming that this weren’t a hellish dream.

Those thoughts disappeared when Varius, my opponent, appeared and stalked towards me. He was also armed with a gladius, the same weapon that I carried, although his appeared to be a few inches longer than mine. A gladius is a standard Roman short sword. We each had a round shield on our left arm that covered slightly less than the distance from wrist to elbow, allowing for unfettered movement of our left arm and hand. Other than that, we wore only a loincloth.

The body I inhabited was tall, just over six feet, and similar to my real body in that it was well-muscled. Varius was several inches taller and had more than fifty pounds on me. Grinning triumphantly, already certain of his victory, he continued towards me. I knew that he had the advantage of experience. This was his thirteenth fight, and he was still undefeated, although I could see several scars on his arms and torso.

“Unlucky thirteen for him,” I thought to myself as I mentally appraised the situation.

“Before you die, I’m going to rape your ass, right here in front of everyone,” he promised once he was close enough for me to hear. That taunt changed this fight from one where I simply incapacitated Varius to one where he died.

Varius slashed at me with his sword, coming from my upper left to lower right. I stepped back as the blade passed and then quickly stepped back inside of his reach and used my shield to push his sword arm farther than he had intended. Dropping my sword as I moved, I jabbed him in his right armpit with the stiffened fingers of my right hand, temporarily paralyzing his right arm. His sword fell from his grasp and he bellowed in pain as he stumbled past me, trying to regain his balance.

He recovered quickly, using his left hand to grab his sword from the dirt and take a half-hearted swipe at me from his knees to keep me away. I could see that he had trained left-handed, too, although he didn’t look nearly as proficient. I realized that a trained southpaw would have a distinct advantage in a sword fight since a right-handed opponent would have to parry his blows with a weaker backhand swing. While the left-handed swordsman would have a similar disadvantage, he’d at least have lots of experience from training.

Varius was not a good southpaw. He was barely able to wield the sword with his left hand. Having picked up my own sword when Varius reached for his, I went on the offensive. When I struck, he barely managed to deflect my half-hearted attempt. That was all I wanted. I stepped forward, sliding my blade along his and twisting my wrist in a tight circle, catching his blade, and flipping the sword from his non-dominant hand.

As he lunged after his sword, trying desperately to recover it, I again dropped my sword and made another strike with my stiffened fingers, this one near where his left arm met his shoulder. The arm dropped to his side like so much dead weight, leaving him standing before me with two useless arms. While he was still stunned by what I’d done, a quick punch with the heel of my hand to his solar plexus doubled him over.

Two more strikes near the front of the hip/leg joints left his legs likewise immobilized. With my opponent now in a heap on the floor of the arena and unable to move more than his head, I turned to face the crowd. I had no idea who the VIP was on the gaudily decorated raised platform. He polled the crowd and the majority voted for death, as did he.

After slicing the ties of my opponent’s loincloth, and while he cursed, threatened, and tried to spit at me, I rolled him onto his stomach and raised his ass. Then I shoved the hilt of his sword into his ass. The crowd’s roar of approval drowned out his bellow of pain and indignation.

I ended his suffering with a quick thrust of my sword, severing his spinal cord as the blade continued on into his skull where I wiggled it back and forth to make sure he was dead.

The crowd roared their approval again. Once the noise died down and I dropped my sword, the guards parted so I could exit. When Celsus met me, he reminded me of a puppy whose owner had just come home after work. He was bouncing up and down excitedly with a silly grin on his face.

“You won! You won!” he shouted exuberantly. I almost expected a high five or a chest bump. Fifteen minutes later, while yet another contest was beginning on the arena floor, we were in front of the local Magister where Celsus signed a decree freeing Antia, the woman I was supposedly married to, and me. Doing it in front of a Magister granted both of us Roman citizenship.

It also made me a “client” of Celsus, meaning that I owed certain services to him, including endorsing him and voting for him if he ran for the Senate. By being freed in front of a Magister, I had the same rights as any other Roman citizen except that I wasn’t eligible to hold public office. At least that was my understanding from what I remembered from my studies of ancient Rome.

Next, Celsus took me with him as he collected on the bets he had placed, including the one hundred Denarii that he had wagered for me, which had earned me ten thousand Denarii. His rival, Lucius was not pleased when Celsus collected the proceeds of their even larger personal wager. As red as Lucius’s face was with anger, I’m surprised he didn’t have a stroke.

The next act was easy since his wife was sitting with Lucius and his wife. “Come, wife, you have ridiculed me for the last time,” Celsus demanded angrily as he grabbed her by the upper arm. She spun towards him and started to say something. Instead, she froze, her mouth still open and ready to speak when she saw the look on his face.

He yanked her to her feet, jerking her from the bench she was sitting on and pulled her along after him. He walked rapidly away from the arena to where their litters were waiting to take them home.

Per his instructions, I stayed back several feet. Even though I was now a free man, complete with the velum document to prove it, I was still his client and a stranger in the city. The Magister had even signed the document noting the legality and conclusion of the deal.

I was close enough to the couple that, when his wife finally managed to think of escape, she ran into me, slowing her down enough that her husband caught her again.

“Don’t touch me, SLAVE,” she shouted, almost spitting the word at me. She barely had time to see my grin before Celsus once again grabbed her, this time harder.

I walked a few yards behind their litters, which were each carried towards their villa by four sturdy slaves. About an hour later, the slaves set the litters down on the supports and helped Celsus down. His wife refused offers of help from both the slaves and her husband. I could see the indecision in her eyes as she again considered flight, but then saw me standing between her and freedom. Her shoulders slumped as she resigned herself to her fate and allowed her husband to pull her through the house into their bedroom.

Roman women were treated as inferiors. They couldn’t own property or vote. They couldn’t be a witness in court and weren’t even allowed to own their own possessions. If her husband wanted to have sex with other women, she had no say in the matter. If a man divorced his wife, he kept the children.

When I followed them into their bedroom and closed the door behind me, her arm rose, and her finger pointed accusingly at me as she started to say something. Her interrupted tirade was cut off when Celsus threatened to backhand her.

“Silence,” he boomed at her. She stared at him, wide-eyed, obviously wondering what had happened to her meek and easily manipulated husband.

“For three weeks you have ridiculed me in front of your friends about the slave that I bragged could win in the arena. You even refused to allow me to lie with you. Now, you will be punished for those transgressions to make sure you never repeat them,” Celsus almost snarled.

She fought him when he tried to remove her clothing. “Hold her,” he told me. Her brows arched even higher, and her eyes widened in fright even more.

“Don’t...” was all she managed to yell at me before he yanked on her stola.

I held her arms tightly while he stripped her of her stola and tunic, allowing her expensive clothing to fall to the ground and reveal the lush body beneath. I felt her muscles tense and felt movement. Knowing what it meant, I lifted her off the ground as I turned to my right. Her now futile kicks met nothing but air.

“Bind her,” Celsus told me, shaking his head at her continued resistance. She fought like a wildcat, trying to bite and kick at me. I lifted her into the air and tossed her onto the sleeping cushion. The explosion of air from her lungs when she landed let me know the cushion wasn’t as soft as it looked.

Before she caught her breath, we had her tied, spread-eagle, on the bed. After several deep lungs full of air, she started shouting, first at me and then at Celsus. “Untie me now,” she insisted loudly, followed by threats and name-calling.

“I will untie you after I have completed my husbandly right and you have been punished,” he replied sternly.

“Don’t ... you ... dare!” she shouted when he stripped and moved onto the bed. When he nodded to me, I gagged her to muffle her shouts. Still, we could hear her angry scream when he began.

“After three weeks, I have more to make up for, so you’ll stay that way for now,” he told his wife Vibiana afterwards. “In the meantime, Quintus will begin your punishment,” he told her, grinning viciously.


We couldn’t understand her words, but the fear in her eyes was easy to understand. One at a time, I untied her feet and raised her legs, even as her struggle began anew. For the next minute, the sound of my hand impacting her bare ass filled the room, along with her muffled screams. She was openly sobbing when I finished the last of twenty moderate swats.

Her sobbing turned to another drawn out, muffled scream when I crawled onto the bed. Since I was still only wearing the loincloth, there was no need to undress. She wriggled violently trying to stop me, to no avail.

“I told Quintus to do this as part of your punishment,” he explained to her calmly. “If you ever deny me again, I will have every male slave I own use you,” he warned. She stopped fighting me to listen to him, her eyes wide with incredulity as he talked. Finally, she just closed her eyes and sobbed quietly.

When I finished, he removed her gag. “I intend to fuck you two more times,” he told her, although his voice was now soft and soothing as he stroked her cheek gently. “You can make this be over sooner. You know how to make me hard again,” he reminded her.

“You used to do it when you first became my wife. I don’t know what I did that angered you enough to become the way you are, but I want my old wife back,” he said.

She looked at his cock again, then back at his eyes, and then at me again. “Can he leave?” she asked quietly.

“Not yet,” he said, “but he won’t touch you again unless I tell him to,” he promised.

Once again her eyes wandered to his cock, and then to me. Her lips parted and she licked them nervously.

“I was jealous when you brought the slave girls to our bed,” she admitted as the tears started again. He was already between her legs again.

“Then, as long as my wife takes care of my desires, I will bring no more slave girls to our bed,” he promised.

“Really?” she asked hopefully.

“Have I ever broken a promise to you?” he asked. She shook her head.

“You may go,” he told me.

“If I might suggest untying her hands,” I said as I turned to leave.

“No,” she insisted. “I still owe him two more times, maybe more,” she said suggestively.

Following directions from one of the household slaves, I exited the house through the rear door, the door the slaves used. It was closest to the slave quarters where the wife of Quintus, and I guess my wife now, was quartered. I still wasn’t sure how to explain things to her.

With my mind elsewhere, I was startled and almost ran into a beautiful female slave when I opened the back door of the villa. “I’m looking for Master Celsus or Master Quintus,” she said nervously.

“Master Celsus is busy right now. I’m Quintus,” I replied.

“I’m Tacita, widow of Varius. You defeated him and I belong to you now,” she explained. “I have his belongings, too,” she said, motioning to the pile of his belongings behind her, including his armor and weapons. Knowing how heavy they were, I wondered how she had carried everything.

“Lucius had some of his slaves carry everything over,” she said when she saw what I was looking at, and while she looked at the ground again. Shit but she was gorgeous.

“Come with me, although I haven’t seen my wife for a month,” I said, warning her that we’d want some time alone. It took us three trips to pile everything outside the hut that was supposed to be mine.

“Quintus?” another beautiful young woman asked in amazement when I entered the slave hut. She looked to be in her mid to late teens. Before I could answer, she was clinging to me, crying. “I didn’t think I’d ever see you alive again,” she sobbed between kisses.

When she finally realized that another woman was with us, she looked to me to explain. “Take whatever you need from the money Varius had and go to the forum to buy food for three people for dinner and breakfast,” I told Tacita. I left Varius’s belongings outside the hut’s door for now.

“She’s the wife of the man I defeated today and belongs to us now,” I said. Antia’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

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