Grapes of Italy by Remmy Meggs
For those of you that do not know my work, I grew up hearing stories from other boys about self-exploration and sexual partners with other boys and girls. I have not had any such experiences in Real Life as some of us call it. However, that does not mean I do not think about it and wish that things turned out different than they did.
IF the laws in your country make it illegal to or read fantasy stories about minors, or if you are under of age of eighteen or have someone in your presence under the age of eighteen, you must stop reading and leave this site immediately. Copyright 2012 Remmy Meggs I reserve all rights. This file cannot be uploaded to any site unless I have uploaded it myself.
Grapes of Italy -- Chapter 03
Dino ran over to Fedele, "Don Fedele, we want the boys to learn how to milk cows and goats and we want to use Lothario as the goat. If he sees you he will turn chicken and won't let us teach him anything. Can you just let us take him far into the garden? No one is going to hurt him."
Fedele frowned, "I do not know how you got him to agree to such a thing." He thought a moment, "I can stay back away from you boys, but I have to be close enough to hear him or the rest of you if something happens. Master Dino, if he backs out, do not hurt his feelings or force him. I won't be close enough to see, but I will be close enough to hear. Do you understand?"
"Yes Don Fedele, thank you for trusting me."
"I trust you Dino, but I do not know your friends, or any of those new slaves. Just be careful with him."
Dino bowed and ran up to the other boys that gathered, "This will be fun. Everyone can learn how to get milk out of a cow or goat, and you will see why they like us to take it from them every day." He grinned, "Come on everyone, just follow me and Emilio."
As they walked Emilio whispered to Dino, "This will never work you know."
"It just might, you have been pushing him for it. This way he sees it as a game that other boys are playing."
"What about Fedele? When he sees what we are doing to Lothario he will yell and scream at us, and we slaves will pay for it!"
Dino smacked the back of Emilio's head, "I have taken care of it. As long as no one hurts or forces Lothario into anything, then Fedele will leave us alone."
"What if Lothario panics or screams?"
Dino stopped and grumbled, "He is my friend and a noble, he better not scream!"
Emilio then realized his new master was not the pushover that Lothario had been. As they walked on, Emilio was finding a place in the open where the fourteen boys could play away from the adults. Emilio stopped and looked around, "There are no weeds or rocks here, and the slaves took care of the lawn yesterday. This would be a nice place."
Dino smiled, "Good. Now we can get started." He said as the younger boys joined them, "Okay everyone in here? We can teach you how to milk the cows and goats here, but do not think of this as work. This can be fun if you let it be. Now, the nobles aren't allowed to actually milk cows or goats, so we can only play the cows and goats. But being a cow or goat is fun too, so we will all give you a chance to be one." He looked around at the boys, but only glanced at Lothario. They were all excited about what they were going to learn. "Now the milking cows and nanny goats we milk are girls, so you have more teats to work with, and they give a lot more milk than a boy can. Little boys don't actually give milk of any kind, but you can still practice on them." Dino taught.
"Now everyone get on their hands and knees and get in a line just like the cows in the stables. The smaller boys just act like goats and kneel and just look around."
Lothario giggled and when he saw that Rafaele and Marcus did as they were told, he followed their lead. Dino continued, by showing one finger down and using two fingers from his other hand, "Now watch, with the little teats you can only use two fingers. And watch how they go up and down my other finger." Dino showed them the down motion, "You start loose at the top and as you near the bottom of the teat, you squeeze just a little harder, but not enough to hurt. That could get your head kicked in. That is why it is better to practice on a boy a lot before you try it on an animal. All of you have boys or men you can practice on, if they will let you. Ok sit back and all of you try it." Some of the boys started giggling and looking at Lothario.
The boy didn't notice. Lothario started making the same motions as the other boys. Dino frowned, "No No No Lothario, you are the goat, you can't do the work of a laborer, and so you sit there until we are ready. Some of the boys giggled. Lothario wanted to tell them he wanted to learn too, but to admit he wanted to do the work of slaves would not go well with his father.
Dino applauded, "Now you have the idea. Except for the nobles, the rest of you decide who the cows and nannies will be. That's it good! You will all get your chance to be the milk boy and the animal." He waited for them to decide who would do what they wanted first. Emilio could hardly wait, Rafaele's and Marcus' boys looked a little bewildered but wanted to be included. Guilio and Paolo started to argue who would milk Lothario first.
Dino applauded everyone again, "Now all the goats and cows get on all fours. That's very good! Now since we are boys and not girls, we have to stretch our arms out more so the others can get to our teats. Yes that's it Marcos, a little further out Raffaele." He neared Lothario and helped him stretch a little more, "Good Lothario, that just about perfect." Then he went and checked on the other boys.
Lothario beamed that he was getting the idea, and praise from Dino made it that much better. Lothario waited for the next part. Dino looked at Emilio, "use the olive oil and put it on the milker's hands. Now boys once you have the oil on your hands do not touch anything but the teats because you do not want to hurt it. Teats are very tender. If you do touch the ground, wipe your hands clean on your tunic and get more oil. You will not be using oil on the real animals, just on boys and men, it is just a safety thing for boys."
The older boy waited for the others to get ready and he smiled, and winked at Lothario. Lothario beamed brightly. Dino turned to the others, "Now sit to the right side of your animal... There that is great. Now to calm the animal put your head on their side, or back, depending on how tall you are compared to them." He watched as everyone got into position. "Very good. Now you can tell when the animal likes what you are going, because in a couple of minutes after you start they will start moaning. You have heard the animals do that when they are enjoying something." The boys all nodded they had heard it before. "Very good." Dino continued, "Now grab your teat gently, like you would grab yourself." He looked at Lothario, "Gentle Guilio." Lothario's eyes bulged in disbelief that he was letting someone touch him there, and so were many of the other boys. "See Lothario, it doesn't hurt. All of you that are worried, don't be, no one will hurt you."
"Now being boys instead of girls, if it is being done correctly you will like it and start moaning or whimpering or something. This tells the milker he is doing it right. Now some of you may start growing down there, that is natural for boys, so don't get upset about it." He looked at Lothario, "Are you alright with this so far?"
Not wanting to be the one to let Dino down, he nodded he was okay, but feeling Guilio's warm oily fingers down there made him want to whimper already and nothing had started. "Now if it does get big or hard, still continue, don't stop, the older boys really will shoot out milk just like a cow or nanny, and they can do that several times. The animal may stretch out more or buck his hips into your hand or his teat, but don't stop. Some of them may get rigid, but don't stop, just keep on milking slowly. Once their bodies have become stiff after three times, then slowly stop and change positions. Except for you and the other nobles Lothario, you can't be milk boys." Lothario nodded he understood. Now to make it even better, boys have that little bag, just like nannies and cows, you can use your other hand to rub it gently, that will make them become rigid faster, or make the milk come out faster. One last thing, I don't want anyone to wimp out or go off crying or screaming and yelling. You all agreed to learn, and the nobles all agreed to be the nanny or cow for you, Is that understood?"
Lothario bit his lip but everyone else said they understood. Dino took notice of it, "Lothario?"
"Yes Dino I will play fair!" He answered, "I am not a baby."
"Okay then, everyone begin milking and I will come by and see that you are doing it correctly."
It only took a minute before he heard several boys start to whimper. A couple of boys needed a little adjustment but everything was going smooth. He went over to Lothario. The younger noble's face was red and he was biting his lip and Guilio milked him. Dino smiled, "You are supposed to enjoy it like a nanny does Lothario."
Lothario whimpered, "I am. It just tickles so much!"
Dino got on his knees like he did some of the other boys and looked to see what Guilio was doing, "Very good Guilio, if he were a really nanny he would be putting out a lot of milk right now, just keep that up, rub that sack, they like it."
Guilio looked up smiling, "This is fun!"
"I knew you all would like it, and so will your masters when you can show them what you have learned." Dino beamed and looked at Emilio, and nodded toward Lothario, "See, when they can see something is fun, and you can teach them, they have a lot of fun and want to do it all the time. Not everyone is a big boy, but even the little ones and have some fun learning things." Dino turned quickly when he heard two of the boy's moan pretty loud. "That's it; slower, slower let them recover, and then start again."
Lothario whimpered load and his body became rigid. Dino went over, "You look like an angel all the time, if you could only see how happy you look too us." Lothario looked up at him with glassy brown eyes, his mouth wide open, almost begging for it to not stop.
Marcus moaned loud, "I think something is happening Dino, I feel funny!"
Dino went over to him and looked under his belly; He turned to Marcus' boy, "Adriano, a little tighter, a little faster now, yes that's it. You can look under him and see the milk come out. He may not have a lot because it is his fist time, but it will come out and you can tell the others with pride that you did it by yourself!"
Adriano grinned from ear to ear and looked under Marcus' tummy to see the milk come out and he pulled and tugged sliding his fist up and down the pretend teat. Marcus froze and yelped and whimpered. Adriano yelled, "I did it I made milk come out I did it!"
Emilio quickly put his hand over Adriano's mouth, "Shush, Fedele is out there somewhere." Several of the boys came over to see, and the pretend animals started to complain. Adriano smiled, and put some of the milk on his fingers and showed the others. Adriano tasted it and let the others taste it.
Dino frowned, "Now go back to your animals; you can't leave them like that!"
Guilio frowned when he saw others leave their duties, then Lothario went rigid again and whimpered and squirmed after a few minutes. Guilio looked at Paolo, "I made it happen three times, it is your turn but I don't want to stop."
"It is my turn please let me try." Paolo begged.
Guilio gave up Lothario's red member and let the happy Paolo take over. Dino saw it and came over, "That was sweet Guilio. With two of you it is a must that you will have to share him and this is a good start." He turned to the others, "Once you have made your nanny or cow go ridged three times then switch places". Another boy made a horrendous sound and said "I have milk coming out!"
Lothario didn't care about the milk coming out of the other boys. He had started on his hands and knees, now he was on his elbows. He didn't know how much more milking he could take before he fell on his face, but he was not going to wimp out or yell for help or try and run. He wanted his boys to learn too, and now he knew that maybe two was two too many. Dino turned and smiled, "That's it Lothario, be a man and let them do their job. More fun than what you thought it would be right?"
The noble boy didn't have the strength to answer; he could bend his head between his elbows and could see the lighter skinned Paolo milking him. Paolo's head was against Lothario's side keeping Lothario calm. Guilio did the same, and when they switched he could feel the loss of someone touching him while they milked him."
Dino whispered to the two boys, "Once his head lies on the ground, he will be finished for the day. I want the two of you to practice on each other then."
Raffaele cried out, "Milk!"
"Hurry Guilio! Go watch it!" Dino ordered.
Guilio got there just in time to watch the squirting come out, "Wow." He grinned, "I will be able to make Lothario do that." He watched the older boy's muscles pump and squirm all over. Guilio noticed that Raffale's arm muscles were as big as Guilio's leg.
Another boy replaced Raffael's boy and Guilio walked back to Lothario, whose head was now on the ground. He looked at Paolo, "Aren't you supposed to stop when his head hit the ground?"
Paolo looked up and frowned, "He only got ridged twice, and I get another turn!"
Guilio raised his eyebrows, "Well we could be milking each other."
"Not until I finish my turn."
Lothario buckled, went rigid once more and fell the rest of the way to the ground with Paolo's hand still holding the nobles protrusion. Emilio went over to him, "Leave your hand there, I will turn him over and you can clean him up."
Emilio turned Lothario on his back. The little noble boy was sound asleep. Emilio smiled, "Silly Lothario, you had no idea what you were missing." He turned to the boys, "Now lick off the olive oil and make him clean."
They both stared at each other hesitantly. Emilio frowned, "Well if you don't do it I will."
Paolo raised his hand up as if to push Emilio away, "No I will do it."
"And I will help! He is ours." Guilio added.
"The way it should be then, never hesitate to take care of him. Someone else will and where does that put you?"
The two started to clean up Lothario by licking his body to get the oil off of him, they had to take turns and you would think Lothario would feel it. If he did there was no movement. Lothario had no idea what had happened or was happening, he was in a deep sleep.
After everyone took care of each other, Dino, gathered them up and Lothario was still asleep. Dino picked him up and everyone followed him to the house. On the way they met Fedele, "He is alright?" He asked referring to Lothario.
"Yes he is just worn out from all the training." Dino giggled.
Fedele frowned, but took Lothario from Dino as they walked back. When they arrived Esta had just called for them to eat. Fedele took Lothario to his bed and checked him over, "They must have really given you the treatment. I will save your dinner for you."
He left and ran into Dino walking down the hall with Emilio, "Master Dino what did you do to him out there?"
Dino smiled and made the worldwide sign for wanking. "He couldn't stop after he got started."
Fedele had a hard time believing that, "He didn't say no at any point or argue about it?"
"Not at all!" Dino bowed and walked on.
Fedele sighed and went to the adult table and sat to eat. Don Moretti was talking, "I am going to leave early with my new slaves. Since they are walking it will take time to get home. I will send six freemen and one citizen tomorrow, with a tent to stay in and supplies. I will have given you the money for swords outfitting and helmets, and food for the month. I hope that is agreeable."
The Capo nodded, "That would be excellent. If you all do that Don Moretti, the money the treasurer gave me is enough to build a barracks, wherever Senator Nico would like it. We will have to decide what colors you would like to use."
"Behind the garden would be fine."
"We should let the men choose the colors they would like once they get here." Fedele spoke up.
The Capo grinned, "Excellent idea."
Emilio whispered to Dino. Dino stood up, "Don Nico, Emilio has pointed out to me that you do not let Lothario and his friends leave the garden area, but behind the garden, when he gets older would be a perfect place to play. Emilio suggests the flat land near the base of the hill where the water runs off. There they have fresh water, a proper bathing area; they can make a well, and have plenty of room for practice and horses if they wish."
Don Nico looked at Emilio, then back at Dino, "That is a good choice Master Dino." Nico looked at Emilio and nodded, "Since Emilio is your slave and came up with that idea, I will give you five coins, which will be enough to cloth him for over a year. That would be at least seven or eight tunics, and at least two pairs of sandals."
Don Romano frowned, "Sandals for a slave?"
Nico turned to Romano and winked, "Of course! If he is running back and forth every day from your house to mine with messages from Dino and Lothario, I think he should have sandals. It is ten miles round trip. And if he is running that five or six times a day he wouldn't have any feet left after the first week! Wouldn't you agree?"
Dino frowned, "He could ride couldn't he?"
"Well, can you buy and feed another horse?" His grandfather asked.
Dino sighed, "Very well he can run." Nico and Dino's grandfather started laughing and the other Dons joined them. Dino grumbled, "Funny very funny."
Fedele had Esta made a large dinner for Lothario, and set it aside. "Where is Lothario?" Don Nico asked.
Fedela frowned, "He was worn out from playing a new game it seems. I put him to bed and he is sound asleep."
Nico looked at Guilio and Paolo, "Is that true, is he well?"
The two boys stood, "Master Dino says Lothario is just fine and needs to sleep it off." Paolo spoke louder than needed. Both boys with their dark skin visibly blushed and tried not to look at anyone.
Several of the men stifled laughs.
Each citizen brought a bag of gold from their Dons to give Fedele for outfitting their militia. Fedele would of course give it to Senator Praetorio. For now he looked over the men that wanted to be soldiers. He had already been told why the freeborn wanted to be a part of this new unit. They were promised citizenship if they served a year. The citizens were promised gold at the end of two years of service. Of course any man could continue his duties.
Capo Andio Allesandro looked over the men carefully. All of them had well-worn sandals and relatively clean tunics. The citizens all had some type of embroidery on their tunics. Andio's men got the recruits in six groups of six men each putting the citizen out in from of the others. Andio spoke to them, "Each five days you will be with your families, work your business or fields. Two days each week you will walk here, not ride your horses. Those two days you will train from dawn to dusk. We do not expect you to be soldiers, but we do expect you to be brave and protect yourselves and your villages. Are there any questions?"
Of course there were no questions. The men thought these duties would be full time, and most would lose their families, businesses and crops. They were more than pleased with the Senator's idea of a militia. Andio had the men sit on the ground and went over the duties and responsibilities of the guard. Andio understood these men were hardly soldiers, and hardly assured of themselves. Those are things he would have to instill in them. The Capo talked for over an hour, and then he introduced Fedele with much fanfare. Fedele spoke for another hour. He introduced Senator Praetorio, who had several campaigns behind him. Don Nico spoke for another hour. Each man had their own subject matter to discuss, including training and punishment, benefits and pay, and Don Nico rallied the men to be one unit.
The boys listened well to everything the men said. Fedele wondered how the noble boys sat still for so long. He said nothing to them but watched them so they would not pull their pranks. With the meeting over, Andio sent the men home. Don Nico would send Fedele and Andio to Rome in the morning to order the swords the men would need. Tunics, shields and leather work would have to wait, since it took so long for each to be made. Dino and his friends and new slaves went home with Dino's grandfather.
That left Lothario basically alone. So when Lothario heard that Fedele was going to Rome, he begged half the night to go with group. Don Nico didn't like the idea, but Fedele assured him that Lothario would be just fine. Since Fedele and Andio were soldiers, it was hard for Don Nico to say no. Lothario had plans in Rome. He wanted to outfit his new slaves, and pick something out for his mother and father. The nearby village didn't have the beautiful things that he wanted.
Although the trip itself was uneventful; Lothario was happily stunned at seeing the merchants, children, and foods that were being sold. The main road into the city was filled with barkers and booths. No one that walked by paid attention to the boys or the soldiers. A couple of people smiled, but overall Fedele's group was ignored. Lothario wanted to get off his horse and look around but Fedele told him no, "We have to get logging and tomorrow we can go to the merchant and order what we want. Then you can look around, if you stay close by."
Andio found an inn and they unpacked the horses. Fedele told Lothario's slave boys where the stable was at and gave them some coins. "You get there and come right back. I know you won't run away, but I do worry that you will get lost or someone will grab you. Just get back here fast. When they got to the room it was clean but there was no bed or bedding. A woman came to the room. She had an attitude. She brought fresh straw for them all to sleep on. She made several trips, and slammed the door behind her when she finished.
Lothario looked at the straw, "Don Fedele, they do not expect us to eat that do they?"
Fedele laughed but it was Andio that answered, "When you are in the military you will wish you had straw to sleep on. Master Lothario, you put your bedding on the straw so you do not sleep on a hard floor."
Lothario frowned as he watched the men take straw and make a place to lie down on, and then put their bedding on it. He looked at the remaining straw just as Guilio and Paolo opened the door. The two boys didn't need to be told what to do. They saw the straw and made two beds, one for the two of them and one for Lothario. They made Lothario's bed and looked at him. He was still frowning, "Thank you but are we really going to sleep on that?
Fedele stood and looked at Lothario, "We could find better Master Lothario, but just for one night I thought you might enjoy something different and save your father some coins. Andio is right too, this gets you ready to be a man."
Lothario frowned, "I have never seen you guys lying on straw until today."
Andio laughed, "We have had to lay in swamps with snakes, ticks and leeches Lothario. You will too someday, and we didn't have straw. We only had our blankets and leather for a pillow."
Still Lothario didn't like the idea, but Fedele changed the subject. "Put on a fresh tunic Lothario. We will find the sword maker and order the swords, then we can go look at the market for the things you wanted."
The salve boys didn't have extra tunics, but Fedele and Andio did, so they started changing. Andio looked at Lothario, "What is the bag hanging from your thong?"
Fedele looked, "His money. Lothario if you have it there, you have to lift up your tunic to get to it. That means everyone can see your body."
That was something Lothario didn't like, "Mother said I should hide it, so where am I supposed to put it?"
Andio got into his pack and pulled out a strip of leather used for mending his uniform. "Put it on this, and wear it around your neck. People will know you have it, but will be too afraid to try and steal it, because you would know it."
"Besides you have the boys and us to protect you. Your mother is over reacting. How much are you carrying?"
"500 in coins." Lothario answered.
Fedele sighed, "Would you mind if I held four hundred of it just to keep it safe? If you need it I can give it to you when no one is looking. I know you want to do this on your own and I wouldn't embarrass you."
Lothario took off the money bag and gave it to Fedele. Then the boys helped Lothario dress. Fedele put the bag with 100 in coins with the leather strap to make in a necklace around Lothario's neck, "Now just stick it in your tunic and no one will see it. If you spend more than that I will secretly give you more."
Lothario smiled for the first time, "That is great Don Fedele."
They left the inn, and as soon as they got out the door Lothario announced that he was hungry. Andio stalled him, Let's order the swords, and buy the tunics you wanted. If we go now, the little ones will be treated badly. The woman at the inn wanted the boys to sleep in the stables. After all Lothario, this is not home and people here have a different attitude toward slaves."
"How so is that?" The boy asked.
Fedele gritted his teeth as they walked, "Here they are treated worse than the animals for the most part. Slaves don't get beds or decent meals like they do at home. They don't eat with freeborns, citizens or nobles and they shouldn't be doing that at home either. You with your tunic on stand out among boys your age here in Rome. If they are dressed well we may be able to get away with a few things. Do you understand?"
Pablo spoke, "Si, we do not want to be trouble. We can sleep in the barn. Even if we do eat away from Master, we know he is watching out for us."
Several people stopped and looked at the group. Lothario looked at them, and then to Fedele, "What are they looking at?"
"You need to smack Paolo for speaking." Andio stated.
Lothario frowned. Fedele smacked Paolo lightly so not to hurt the boy, "You do not speak to your Master unless he asks you something!"
Tears ran down Paolo's face, he was not hurt from being smacked; he was hurt from being yelled at. Lothario looked at the boy's face and turned to the crowd, "Mind your own business and move on before I have you whipped." Of course Lothario didn't have the power to do that, but it made the people move on.
"We will need baths; the road dirt is all over us." Lothario insisted once he saw the tears on Paolo's face wash the dirt away.
Fedele sighed, "Ok Lothario exactly what do you want to do first? You have already made a list of things we were not going to do."
"I don't want them looking like this. We all need a bath. I want to get them some clothes. And you need to order swords, and we are all hungry!" Lothario snapped. Then realizing what he did, he apologized.
Fedele rubbed his hair. "Very well, let's get them some tunics and sandals, and then we will go to the baths before they put them on, then we can eat, and I can send Andio after the swords, if you are too tired."
As they walked Fedele spoke quietly to Guidio and Paolo, "Listen both of you. If you have something to say, whisper it to your master or to me, never speak in public, and keep your eyes down. You both know these things. Master Lothario may let you get away with things at home, but here in Rome you could get hung from a stake if the wrong person heard you, do you understand? Paolo, I need not mean to hurt you, but Master Lothario didn't know what to do. If I hurt you I apologize, I am sure later on he will be cursing me for interfering, but I wanted you to know I did it for your protection, not to hurt your feelings."
Paolo nodded he understood just as Andio found a beautiful tailor shop. He led the boys in and they started looking around. The owner spotted the soldiers and the boys and smiled, "Is there something I can do for you?"
Lothario was still in a bad mood, "Yes I have come to pick up tunics for my slaves."
"Ah you must be Master Lothario Praetorio!" The man smiled.
Fedele and Andio grabbed their swords. Andio asked, "And how would you know that?"
The tailor stepped back and put his hands out in front of him, "Because his mother sent a rider, days ago, with instructions on what she wanted for his boys!"
"And we just happened to walk into the right store?" Fedele asked.
"It seems so!" The man answered.
"Mother didn't say anything to me about that. Show us what she ordered."
The man brought out twelve tunics from the back of the store and put them on the counter. "This is what she ordered, but they have not been paid for."
Andio picked one of the tunics up, "Well, they are the right size Master Lothario. They have Praetorio mark on each one to say they belong to your family."
Lothario sighed. It was obvious that his mother had ordered them, "Very well, you both get six each, and make sure they fit first."
They waited for the two slave boys to try each one on with the help for the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper smiled, "They all fit, are you happy with them Master Lothario?"
"Well I wouldn't have picked green with brown edging. I wanted something brighter, but yes they are fine." Lothario answered. "It seems odd they let me go to get them clothing then order it without asking me what I wanted, but it is a lot better than the rags they have been wearing. Did she order sandals for them?"
"That is the way mothers are, and she also ordered twelve new ones for you." The shopkeeper smiled, ran to the back and brought them out. "Yes she ordered shoes. I had the cobbler make them so I hope they fit."
The tunics were the same as he always wore, but these had different designs sewn into the neck and sleeves of each tunic. None of them looked exactly the same. "They look girly. How much do I owe you?"
"They will look very nice on you Master Lothario." Fedele stated.
While Lothario tried on his tunics, the shopkeeper showed the slave boys how to wear the sandals.
Once Lothario was satisfied the shopkeeper folded the clothes and wrapped them in a deerskin. The tied the package up with leather and handed it to Paolo, "If you drop it they will stay clean."
"How much do I owe you shop keeper and don't try to steal from me!" Lothario yelped.
The shop keeper smiled, "40 coins, I believe that is a fair price."
Lothario looked at Fedele, "Is that about right?
Fedele nodded. The boy turned to the shop keeper and counted out the coins to the man. The man smiled, "I hope you use my services the next time."
Sighing, Lothario turned to the man, "Yes I will but if my mother orders something for me wait until I pick the colors. They are going to be walking around like trees dressed like that."
Andio led them to one of the better bath houses. Fedele took Lothario and the boys to one area and talked to a woman there. She looked at the two boys in rags, "They are going to have to wash themselves, I am not touching them, but I will treat them well." Lothario noticed other boys there; they had to be slaves because of how they were acting.
Fedele took Lothario to another area to meet Andio. Together they went to the lockers and undressed. Lothario saw naked men and boys all over the place. Andio smiled, "Just so you understand the boys with a mark on their shoulders are care givers. The ones with a brand on their ankle are slaves. The rest will be citizens or noble children."
When they entered the bath house there were naked bodies all over. Lothario stayed with his mentors, and they sank in to the hot tubs slowly. Boys came over and washed them thoroughly. Then Lothario noticed the girls. "Who are the girls and what are they doing here?"
One of the caregivers smiled, "They wash the clothes in the locker room while we take care of you."
Lothario stood up, "Fedele my money is in there."
"Settle down Lothario, it will be there when we are done, no one steals from a bathhouse, and they would be caught. They have two guards and if you didn't see there is a man standing there watching everything all day long."
The boy sat and let the caregivers continue, but Lothario was watching what was going on around him. It was a busy place, and Lothario thought how nice it would be to be a boy and run around naked and free all day. He didn't realize how bad the boys actually had it at the baths. Of course Lothario could run around naked; at least until his mother saw it, but it wasn't every day he could get away with it. Lothario nodded to a part of the room, "What are they doing over there?"
Fedele looked, "Some men when they are real hairy go there to get the hair removed."
"Like you and Adele could go over and get all the hair off your chest and back and maybe your arms too?"
Fedele sneered at the boy, "You think I am too hairy?"
"Well I have never seen anyone but you, father and the visitors. But you are a lot hairier than them, and father has no hair at all." Lothario grinned.
"That's because your father is not Latin I suppose, he is a true Roman. The amount of hair is not what matters." Fedele smiled, "What matters is how you want others to see you. Thank the gods we don't look like the Greeks, they have to have their hair removed each week!" They and the others in the tub laughed. "Seriously though Lothario, it is up to each man whether to do that or not. The Gladiators do it to show off their bodies. Most of the young men do it so they still look younger than they are, but most men don't do that. Maybe because of money or the fact that they are happy with how they look." He touched his heart, "It is in here that you decide what you want to look like. Lothario you will probably look like you are a baby all your life!"
Lothario smiled, "That's not funny at all! I should have hair at least a little like Dino has."
"Dino will have a lot more hair as he gets older. Maybe you will have some hair like your father, but not so much maybe. I am sure you will be happy with it regardless." Fedele smiled.
"What are they doing over there in the rooms?" The boy asked.
"That is where they service the nobles and citizens." Andio whispered.
"What do you mean?"
"Well there they oil your body down with scented oils and if you need your dick serviced, they will do that too, and some men..." Andio began.
Fedele interrupted, "You will get oiled of course before we leave, but the servicing part we will wait for until you are older."
The boy washing Lothario looked up that the two boys that approached. Lothario turned to see them, "Giulio Paolo you look very nice!"
The two beamed, "Master we have one of your tunics and belts when you are ready." Giulio smiled.
The washing boy looked at them, "You will have to wait outside."
The two boys kissed the top of Lothario's head and left the building. Lothario turned to Andio "Will they be alright out there?"
Andio nodded, "The way they are dressed people will think they are someone's cherished slaves, they wouldn't dare touch them. They will talk to them though, sometimes not in a good way, but they will be just fine."
Fedele smiled, "Lothario you realize we will have to brand them right?"
Lothario stood up and the boy started drying him, "I know, that doesn't mean I like it."
Fedele nodded, "I will just put a light brand on so as not to hurt them as much, but they will need a couple of days of care from Esta. She knows how to take care of such things."
"Well I don't want to watch it or hear about it." Lothario said as the boy finished drying.
The boy said nothing, he knew his place, but did talk about something else, "Let me walk you to the massage table. They will oil you well there and make you feel better." Once they were away from the adults the boy said, "Master, you treat your slaves well. Yes the branding will hurt, but they will have a good life with you because care about them. Right now they may think you are horrid for it, but when they see how other slaves are treated, they will love you even more."
A boy about eighteen saw them coming to his table. He put out a large towel over the table. Lothario jumped up and listened to what the boy said. "Just lie down and relax Master, I will soothe your muscles and oil you."
Lothario did as he was told. Then he noticed that Fedele and Andio began doing the same thing. They did not go to the servicing area. Lothario became relaxed and let the older boy work on him. It took about fifteen minutes and the bath boy brought over Lothario's new tunic, thong, belt, sandals, and coin purse. He helped Lothario dress and then said, "Thank you Master you are very nice. I hope when you come back you will remember me and let me care for you."
Although the boy couldn't see Lothario smile, Lothario said, "I will try and remember but I do not get to town often." After he paid the fee for the baths, he then gave the boy a small coin before Lothario exited the building and found Giulio and Paolo.
The two boys were talking about the people that walked by, although quietly, when Lothario grabbed their shoulders, "Has anything happened?"
"We have seen a lot of slave wagons. They must be having an auction soon." Giulio stated.
"It will probably be in the morning, I have never been in an auction in the afternoon." Paolo added.
"What do you mean never been in one?" Lothario asked.
"Well no one wanted me. It is not about how cute you are, it is about how much work you can do. I wasn't big enough to do the work that they wanted. That is why they sent me to learn how to work in the baths. I know everything there is about working in a place like this." He motioned to the building behind them, "When the slave trader heard boy eight to ten years of age, he threw me in the wagon first."
They jumped when a few men came out of the building. Paolo continued, "When I saw those men, I knew they wouldn't pick me. I do not know what they did with the other boys, but I don't think they would be so lucky. When you came out of the house, I had some hope when I realized you had first choice. The auction was about you, not the others. I knew you would be like the others, but I had the hope that you also cared for people."
Lothario frowned, "Well I do, but don't try to get away with anything. That is what happened to the last one, and I got rid of him. What about you Giulio?"
"I wasn't always a slave. My parents owed a Don a lot of money. When they died of coughing sickness, the Don sold me into slavery to make back some of the money. I have only been a slave for a year before you bought me. But Master I was trained in the baths right away, and how to serve." Guilio told him.
"Don't worry about that right now. Someday when I know more, I may have you both trained for something else." Lothario promised as Fedele came out of the building and rubbed his head.
"Let's find a place to eat now since you all look so stunning in your new clothes." He frowned, "It is almost 9 am, and even now I am hungry."
It didn't take them long to find a restaurant, but there was a sign on the door that said "NO SLAVES". It took them a half hour before they found one that would allow slaves at all. They walked and the place was almost full. The man that greeted them looked at the boys, "You two over in the corner with the other slaves." Then he took the others to a table. "Let me bring you some wine, and grape juice."
A girl brought the wine and juice over and poured it. Lothario looked up at her, "My two boys in green tunics also need grape juice."
The owner came back over, "We will see to them when the regular customers are cared for, no need to worry."
Fedele frowned and grabbed the man's hand and slammed it into the table. Lothario almost jumped out of his chair. Fedele looked at the man and said, "Master is sitting here, he is not used to anything but the best. Those slaves are his traveling companions. I am not asking you to break protocol, but I am asking you to take good care of them. They are thirsty." He let loose of the man's hand.
The owner looked shaken and looked at the shaken Lothario, "Master I will feed them what you want, but if I do not take care of the citizens and free born first, I will lose face with them. Please understand they will be treated well, but in an order that I must follow."
Lothario looked up at the man, "They could have had a drink in the time we went through this request."
The man nodded at the girl, "Get them a glass of juice."
Fedele groaned, "Water would have been enough, but thank you."
The owner smiled, "We have lamb, green vegetables, and half a squash today. Is that suitable?"
The three looked at each other and Lothario finally nodded. When the man left Lothario looked at Fedele, "Why did you act like I was your master?"
"Because Lothario he would be more afraid of two paid citizens guarding you, than he would have been with soldiers."
Andio smiled, "Every day I learn more from you Don Fedele You handle people very well."
"Sometimes you have to think a situation through before you act on it. This man didn't know I was a Don, but he knew Lothario was a noble's son. It seemed to me it was the best thing to do. If the Senator were here, the man would have run for his life." He turned to Lothario, "When you become a great man like your father, you too remember that it is your family, your Don's your people and your slaves that will fight and die for you if they are treated well."
"Yes I will need many smart friends like you Don Fedele." Lothario smiled.
Fedele rubbed the boy's hair again messing it up. It didn't do Lothario any good to protest because Fedele would never stop. He didn't have his pack with him, so his hairbrush was back at the inn. Fedele always said with Lothario's curly black hair no one would notice if it was a mess. The girl came back with their food. She looked at the slaves sitting in the corner, "Meat and porridge for the boys?"
Fedele nodded, "That would be fine."
The girl smiled and walked away. Lothario looked at Fedele, "At home they would have eaten the same was we are."
"Back at home your father has Esta spoil everyone." Fedele stated, "Now eat and enjoy before I pull your thong off and lift your tunic so everyone can see you."
Lothario knew Fedele wouldn't do that, but he wasn't about to challenge him either. Fedele wasn't his boss, but whatever Fedele did to Lothario, his father would just laugh about. Giulio and Paolo sat in peace like the other boys around them, but they ate slow, while the others stuffed their faces. One boy looked at Paolo, "Do you think you are special because you get meat and have fancy clothes?"
The boy was older than Paolo. Paolo frowned, "We do not think we are better than any other slave. We think our master is great and takes care of us well."
The boy cursed, "And who is your master?"
Paolo pointed to Lothario, "Lothario Praetorio; Senator Praetorio's son. They call the senator Don Nico, although we would be whipped to shreds if we did so."
The older boy looked at Lothario, "You are very lucky to have a noble's son as a master."
Guilio nodded, "Very fortunate, and someday we hope better for you. Realize on the way here we saw slaves in chains so you are lucky too. Your masters must treat you well enough that you do not run."
The older boy was called to leave. He looked back at the two boys, "Thank you for explaining how much better we have it than others."
Paolo sighed and looked at Guilio, "You know Don Fedele will have us branded sooner or later, just like any slave."
Guilio nodded, "Yes and I bet Master Lothario cries out in more pain than we do when it happens."
Paolo finished his meat and looked at Guilio, "Yes I think he will. He has too much love to see anyone hurt, but Guilio, you have to understand that some things will never change. He has to follow the rules too. Those rules can be horrible if we make mistakes that he can't cover."
"Then we better not break any. With someone like Lothario, someday we may be citizens, and he will see to it that we have land of our own."
Paolo frowned, "I can't see that happening. We would have to do something valiant for that to happen."
Guilio shrugged, "They are finished eating. Let's finish the grape juice and get ready."
Paolo looked to Lothario and spoke to Guilio, "Then again you may be right. He is pure sweetness compared to what we saw in the streets this morning."
"Yes and did you see how he reacted when that slave fell and the master kicked him? Lothario said nothing but his expression and eyes told me he wanted to whip the man." Guilio commented.
"I saw him say and do several things today that other slave owners don't do. And even Don Fedele protects us for Lothario's benefit." Paolo smiled, "But when it comes to discipline, I am sure Lothario will have no say so in what it is. Don Fedele isn't cruel, but he is a Don after all, and he won't allow us to get away with anything."
The boys stood when Lothario and the others stood. They headed out the door and Lothario pointed at them to follow. Outside Fedele did not stop, "Now to the sword maker."
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