Genres: Gay, GLBT, Historical
Collections: Going Down in History, Swords and Sandals
Editor(s): Lon Sarver
Cover Designer(s): Siol na Tine
Cover Art Credits: Art adapted from the work of Charles François Jalabert (1819–1901).
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Length: Short Story (3,200 Words)
Publication Date: March 21, 2013
Serialization Date: January 8, 2017
Archive(d) on January 15, 2017
Tags: m/m/m, Roman, Short Story, Timeless Lust, virgil
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
Sextus takes the couch opposite Quintus, and Publius, to his friend’s fury, switches so that his head is next to Sextus and Quintus must talk to his feet. They are apologetic feet, though, and Quintus finds it hard to stay angry with them.
“I love being alive right now, don’t you?” Sextus says, swirling his wine around in Maecenas’s imported cup.
“Yes, I particularly enjoyed the civil war,” Quintus says nastily.
“Well, if you will choose the wrong side,” Publius says.
“It’s all over now,” Sextus says. He spread his hands expansively. “And look what peace brings us.”
“You?” Quintus snarls. “Mars, send me soldiers again.”
Sextus laughs at him, not improving Quintus’s mood at all. “You are nothing like I imagined you,” he says. “I was expecting some old stoic. It’s good to know you’re a little human. Well, in stature if not in girth, am I right?”
This does little to mollify Quintus.
“You’ve not read much of his poetry, have you?” Publius says, tossing a smile at his friend. “Or you have not read it well.”
Sextus laughs again, this time at himself. “You’ve caught me,” he says. “It’s not to say I haven’t tried. It’s just too evocative. You write about some beautiful girl or boy, and, well, I have to go out and find one. You write about your farm and I just have to have a holiday.”
“You write about Cynthia and I have to visit a doctor,” Quintus says.
Publius looks embarrassed, but Sextus just keeps chuckling. “If you knew her,” he says. “Oh, Cleopatra and Lesbia and all the mortal women in the world could not compare.”
“At least you are not invoking Venus,” Publius says.
“You should never tell a lover that another is more beautiful than they,” Sextus says, “and that goes doubly so for a god. Greater men than I have suffered all kinds of fates.”
Quintus looks up and meets Sextus’s eyes. It’s entirely unexpected and sends a bolt of lightning all the way down to his groin. Sextus grins. There is a cleft in that square jaw and dimples in his cheeks and that shit-eating smile would seduce a Vestal Virgin, and probably has. Sextus knows exactly what he’s doing.
“Priapus preserve us,” Quintus murmurs.
“I want you both,” Sextus says in a low, rough voice. “I want you both at once, and one after the other, and to watch you together.”
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