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Remmy Meggs 

Grapes of Italy Chapter 13

Lothario woke and the sun was coming into the tent. He smiled and felt Ettore's arms around him as usual. He wiggled his behind only to find that the huge ding was asleep. He sighed, hoping for more love. Ettore smiled and kissed Lothario's neck, "I thought you would sleep all day."

Lothario rolled over and Ettore put his knee over Lothario's ding. "I liked it all. I especially liked the surprise."

"I wasn't sure if you would or not. I was told as big as it is it could hurt you. But I did everything I could to make sure it didn't."

Lothario frowned, "Who told you to do that stuff to me?"

"A boy, his name is Auriel. He says he met you." He quickly explained, "He said you wouldn't mind if he stayed with the soldiers."

"It's okay I guess." Lothario sighed, "He makes them feel special. I thought he was going to Rome."

"Some of the soldiers are close friends with him; he said he would go to Rome when the Cohort did."

Lothario smiled, "Si that would suit him fine. Now can I have some more?"

"They are tearing down the camp. The boys have breakfast and our baths ready. We leave this morning remember."

Lothario grinned, "I can tell them we will leave tomorrow."

"Si and you keep doing that and your father will show up and you will have to explain why you got dinged for five days instead of moving."

Lothario laughed, "Si that would not go over so well." He flipped the covers off and went pee in the brass bucket, "I don't think I should tell him. I like you with skin better than bones."

"I hope so." Ettore said getting out of bed and grabbing Lothario from behind, "You really did like it?"

"I want it all the time. I want you all the time. You know you can't leave me now or ever." Lothario spoke with authority.

"It's amazing that we made a deal that inside the tent I am the leader, and outside the tent you are the leader. Here you want to be the leader inside the tent." Ettore laughed.

"I didn't mean it like that. Don't you feel the same?"

Ettore rubbed Lothario's stomach and groin until his ding popped up to his stomach, "As long as you are all mine." He said rubbing Lothario's ding.

Lothario whimpered, "You are teasing it because you just said..."

"I just said what I wanted to. I am the leader in the tent." Ettore pushed his hardening ding between Lothario's legs, "Now if I can just get it in position you could..."

"Master your bath is ready." An exuberant Anthony smiled.

Ettore huffed, "We will have to wait until later." Ettore smacked Lothario's behind, "Let's get our bath and breakfast."

Lothario started to argue then thought better of it. He went outside his throbbing red member very noticeable to anyone around. He stepped into the tub and sat. His face was expressionless. After Ettore sat, Lothario looked at him, "That was not fair at all."

"Maybe some cold water would settle you down." Ettore laughed.

"I am a Tribune." He looked at the two slave boys and the guards who had returned, "I don't think any of you want to pour cold water on me this morning."

The very cold water over Lothario's head was shocking to say the least. His chest heaved his open mouth sucked in oxygen as if it was his last breath. Yet the water seemed to dribble down his face while his body convulsed in cold-water pain.

"He is a very cold Tribune." Ettore and the others laughed.

As soon as he could manage, Lothario stood up and turned to see who his attackers were. All he saw were two boys running off in the distance. Behind them, Anthony gave chase he would catch them. At least Lothario's hard ding was gone. With no way to catch up to the boys, he sat back down, "Who were they?"

"I have no idea." Ettore laughed more, "But seriously I had nothing to do with it!"

When they finished with their bath, Ettore and Lothario oiled each other down, talking about their love and the feelings they had. Cyrus and the soldiers listened from the outside of the tent. Cyrus, several times, made gagging faces and he and the soldiers would laugh. One soldier said, "Someday you will fall in love with a girl or boy and you won't be making faces like that I assure you."

"I am at least learning what not to say." Cyrus laughed.

Lothario and Ettore came out dressed in normal clothing with their sandals on as Anthony returned. Lothario smiled, "Did you find them?"

Out of breath Anthony answered, "Si Master, I am not sure who owns them, but when they are close enough I can point them out to you. Are you going to stab them with your sword?"

Lothario frowned, "Of course I am not going to stab them or hurt them, but they might be dropped in a vat of ice water as soon as it is cold enough."

Anthony started giggling as he looked at Cyrus. Lothario's eyes diverted to Cyrus who was making kissy faces and pointing to Ettore. Then the boy wrapped his arms around himself and nodded at Lothario. "That's enough you two. Behave yourselves; we don't mock you rubbing on your dings all day."

The soldiers started laughing. Lothario turned toward them, "Or you for that matter. Don't any of you think I don't know what you are doing when I am not around. I do know I have spies all over watching you. And all of you keep quiet about what goes on in the command tent."

Lothario and Ettore walked up to the dirt road and looked for something, while the boys and the soldiers stood at the tent, still giggling. Ettore half smiled, "You really don't have spies watching us do you?"

"No but maybe I should."

Ettore sighed, "Well no one does anything wrong."

"That is what everyone says until they are caught. Speaking of which, how do you know Auriel and what are you talking to him about? You aren't paying him for sex are you? That would hurt a lot." Lothario asked.

"No nothing like that Lothario, but I would rather not say what we talked about." Ettore looked behind and saw the men tearing down the camp, "Were we supposed to leave today or tomorrow."

"I thought it was tomorrow why?"

Ettore turned him around. Lothario frowned, "Did I miss a meeting?"

"A couple of them, I guess we are leaving today." Ettore laughed, "Well we will get to your father's villa early."

"That's not so bad, and then I can visit with mama. Speaking of which, I will give you a few days to visit your family as well. Maybe we can both go if my duties don't get in the way."

"I would like that. With losing father it will be hard on everyone and with your support it will help them through it." Ettore said.

"I don't know about that, but I thought I could give you support." Lothario looked to the fields and called his horses. He turned back to Ettore, "How many horses do you have?"

"Including the wagons about twenty, but I didn't know I had that many really. That does not include the ones at home."

"That is about 17 more than I have. Mine are all borrowed from papa." He laughed.

Ettore thought a few minutes, "Lothario. You were more well off than I was before the war. Does it bother you I have inherited father's estate? I would gladly sell it to be with you!"

Lothario cocked his head and hugged Ettore, "It does not bother me at all. When I am old, grey and fat, and you are old, bald and fat you can take care of me."

Ettore thought about that for a few seconds before he started laughing. "I guess that will describe us pretty well."

Lothario frowned, glared, and then realizing what he said, started laughing. "I guess the contest will be who makes the most money."

Shrugging Lothario said, "As long as I have you, it won't matter to me."

"Awe, that is so sweet. We will always be together. As far as the money, tell that to your wife and children." Lothario smiled devilishly.

"Do you always have to bring up the wife and children? We have years before we have to marry someone."

Lothario counted on his fingers, "Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, Si that is a long time, but still we have to think about those things. I hope we at least get someone cute and not fat and ugly. If you do get someone fat and ugly then I will probably get more visits right?"

Ettore watched the wagons pull onto the road a few at a time. He turned to Lothario, "You know what? You can be so aggravating at times. Let's get the horses saddled."

Lothario knew exactly what he was doing. Ettore knew how to get him to want his ding and by changing the subject, to something neither wanted to talk about, Ettore frazzled at the edges. It was not good for Lothario but at least he controlled his basic urges.

Lothario left a Capo and twelve men and camp personnel behind to greet his father. As the caravan began moving, soldiers and officers got into their positions. They were not exactly dressed as warriors; they wore tunics, their weapons and sandals. That is about all they needed. Everything else placed into wagons. Lothario wanted to make time, and having the men dressing light would be easier for them to march faster.

Of course, there were the camp helpers and the slaves, but even they took turns carrying their burdens without asking them to do so that made Lothario happy with his cohort. They arrived at the next camp about seven hours later. The camp workers set up personal belongings the men would need, the slaves took care of bathing and the horses and some helped the vendors set up for last minute cooking. The slaves of the vendors had already gone to local farms to buy fruit, vegetables and meat for the evening meal and the next day's breakfast.

When Lothario, Ettore and the boys dismounted Lothario noticed that Anthony was walking strange. He said nothing however and prepared for the evening. "It will be cold out tonight, so make sure we have enough covers Anthony."

"Si Master." The boy responded weakly.

"Don't forget the horses, no reason for you to take care of them in the dark. Anthony, maybe you can find that harpist and you can sing for us tonight. Maybe Cyrus can gather the officers here." Lothario smiled as he pulled off his tunic.

Cyrus frowned, "Tell him Anthony, right now before you hurt worse."

Anthony looked sick. Lothario and Ettore both looked at the boy, "What is it Anthony?" Lothario asked.

"Nothing Master, please don't think of it." Anthony whispered.

"Tell him Anthony, maybe he can get help and you won't die!" Cyrus almost yelled. Then he calmed down, "Master Lothario he is not well, I will do my work and his work until he is better."

Lothario motioned for Anthony to come near, "What is wrong? Where does it hurt?"

"I hurt all over, but especially down here." Anthony turned red and pointed to his crotch.

Lothario pulled up the boy's tunic and looked. He looked up at Anthony, "How did this happen?"

"I am not sure. I was playing in the grass during playtime. This morning it was itching so I started scratching it, then I think the saddle rubbed it raw."

"That is more than raw, it has been bleeding. Why did you have to have Cyrus get you to tell me?" Lothario asked and then turned to Ettore, "Would you have Cyrus fetch a physician?"

Ettore nodded and turned to Cyrus, "He is with Centurion Crispin's men, get him here as soon as you can." Obviously even with Anthony's swollen member Ettore realized that both the slaves being near the same age as they, were much better equipped in the boy department than Lothario.

When Anthony did not respond Lothario said, "You will sleep in the big tent tonight so I can keep an eye on you. Even if the doctor cuts it off, do not worry, I will keep you. They do that to good boy singers sometimes. It makes their voices prettier or something like that. You probably won't need those balls either. The doctor will know what to do." Lothario said in all seriousness.

Anthony started crying, "Please Master don't let him cut it off."

Lothario was a little shocked, "And if he says you will die if he doesn't cut it off? No, if he needs to cut it all off he will have to, I like you too much to lose you. Do not worry about it until he gets here and talks to me."

That did not help Anthony and he started bawling like a baby. Lothario looked to Ettore for support, which did not happen. The physician showed up and examined Anthony's behind, ding and balls. He was raw everywhere. Lothario asked, "Can you save him?"

"Maybe, this is the worst case I have seen of this. He is scratching himself too much, and on top of it, he has chiggers, a little bug that likes to eat people alive. Either way we have to get rid of the bugs first. I can't even cut it off until they are gone. We will give it three days to get rid of those and then we can put salve on it for ten days and see if it starts to heal. I am afraid if it doesn't heal soon he will have to be a eunuch, or die." The doctor paused and looked at the guards, "I need the two of you to hold him upside down so I can pour wine all over him. Hopefully that will burn the chiggers out of his skin."

Ettore frowned and handed Cyrus a coin, "Go get a big vase of strong wine, not the weak stuff that they give to children that Anthony gives us."

"Chances are he will be alright, he won't be able to work for several days, maybe weeks. If I have to remove his equipment, it may take even longer to heal. We should be at your villa tomorrow, and it will be easier to cut him if it is needed." The doctor said seriously.

With Anthony's eyes wide open the doctor smiled when Cyrus returned with the vase of wine. "Take off your tunic. You soldiers hold him upside down and spread his legs wide. Anthony screamed, but it was just for a moment. The doctor frowned, "Because you are raw, this will sting quite a bit, so don't bite your tongue off." He turned to Lothario, "Make sure this is done three times a day. I will make up salve tonight; he can put on before riding. Actually, no I don't want him getting any worse, put him in a stretcher."

The doctor poured the wine over Anthony's behind and privates. Anthony screamed out in pain. When the soldiers carefully sat Anthony down, he was still whimpering with tears in his eyes. "That may kill them if it is done three times daily, but it will help to keep it from festering too, let's hope anyway. At least he is clean; most the slaves don't get enough baths. His cleanliness works for the good."

Lothario swallowed hard, "Si, we can do that." He said as Anthony put on his tunic, "Anthony I am not sure what you were doing out there, but I suggest you play in your tent, not on the bare ground. You never know what kind of insect will want to eat you. Now go lay down. I will find someone to take care of you and do your work."

Cyrus immediately volunteered. Lothario and Ettore smiled, "That is great, but I think we will need a few men to carry the lectica, and other work has to be accomplished."

Ettore shook his head, "I think he could ride in one of the wagons if we made up a bed for him. Pulling that lectica down and getting it ready would take half a day, and at least six men to carry it. Besides, bugs may get into it, and you don't want them."

"We will be home tomorrow I think. I am just worn out." Lothario turned to the soldiers, "Wash your hands and Cyrus will take you to where he gets our food. You can get yours and help him bring back enough for all of us. Anthony may be in pain but he will get hungry later."

For most of the evening Lothario checked on Anthony every few minutes. When Anthony developed a fever, his Master knew there was some type of infection. He stayed close to the boy until Ettore summoned him to bed.

Lothario covered up and looked at Ettore, "Why is it when I love someone, or someone is close to me they die?"

"If you are referring to Anthony, he is hardly dead. If you were referring to me or anyone else, it wouldn't be your fault. The gods work that way sometimes. It has nothing to do with good or bad. Every day you pray and make sacrifices, you are good and take care of everyone. For Mars sake, you have the only cohort with its own physician. Usually there is one of them for each legion. Now I thought you loved me."

Lothario giggled, "I do love you." Then his eyes became wide as he felt something hot on his leg. "Oh, I wasn't thinking. You have been good all day and you deserve some love time."

Ettore giggled, "You have been today too, and you want love time." Then he kissed Lothario, oiled his fingers and reached between Lothario's legs, "I know I can't keep you quiet, but try not to wake the whole cohort."

"Half a cohort, the others left for Rome... uhhhh." Lothario whimpered as he felt Ettore's finger enter. While trying to catch his breath he moaned, "Hold me so I don't fall off the divan."

Ettore smiled and wrapped an arm around Lothario's waist and held tight. He began kissing the tight golden skin that belonged to the boy he loved, "You won't fall if you do not squirm so much. You are going to squirm a lot tonight, but I will hold you in place."

It took over twenty minutes for Lothario to stiffen four times, then the squirming and wiggling began. To Ettore that was the sign Lothario was ready. Yet, there was more to Lothario than that. It was easy to stick his ding into Lothario; the boy loved it. He would stiffen several times with Ettore's body rubbing on Lothario's groin, but to make Lothario stiffen as Ettore wanted, he had to prepare him well.

For the most part, because of Ettore's preparation, Lothario would stiffen more than Ettore could, but the point was to have Lothario stiffen so hard at the end. That way he would want more the next day.

Ettore already learned that Lothario stiffened ten times more than he stiffened himself. He could not even let Lothario touch him, or he would shoot milk long before he even got into his love. It was aggravating at times, but he preferred being in control like this. Ettore could squirt just by watching Lothario walk or play, but having special time meant special attention. He felt his hot hard ding already leaking on Lothario's side.

He wanted his big hot ding in Lothario as soon as he could, but that was not the point. Lothario began whining for it. He tried reaching for Ettore's ding; he wanted to touch it before it entered him. Ettore would have none of it. Lothario could not help his whimpering or occasional outcry when he stiffened. He knew that Ettore was teasing his hot little wiggle bum. He knew that Ettore could enter and shoot his milk, then at least shoot seven more times before he was done. That would wear them both out. Lothario could tingle twenty times to Ettore's seven times.

Lothario kept pushing his wiggling behind in the air, whimpering for Ettore to enter. By Lothario's actions, Ettore knew it was time. He moved in between Lothario's legs, pushing Lothario's hands away each time they went to grab Ettore's ding, "Not too fast baby."

When Ettore was ready, he pressed his hot red top against Lothario's tight opening and let Lothario wiggle on it for a few seconds. Then Ettore grabbed the boy's buttocks and held him tight, he plunged his red top into Lothario and Lothario screamed in glee and stiffened again. Ettore could not help but smile. This was the time that Lothario was his weakest. A secret Ettore could never tell, but he could relish the rest of his life.

Once Lothario settled, Ettore pushed a little more, in and out. In and out gently while Lothario wiggled and squirmed to get it all in him. What Ettore knew is that if he went too fast his long thick ding could hurt his love, it had to go in slow. Auriel taught him well.

Lothario grabbed Ettore's arms and tried to push him in more. His little tight butt squirmed, and wiggled over Ettore's thick, hot throbbing member. With only an inch of his nine inches inside his love, Ettore shot milk into Lothario. This was great, but also irritating for Ettore as he stiffened and felt his hot milk shooting deep inside a happy Lothario who was still squirming and giggling.

Lothario stiffened when he felt Ettore's thick ding grow inside him. When Ettore stiffened Lothario squirmed more but felt the sweet milk shoot inside him. At their ages, it was not a lot, but enough for Lothario to tickle about it, "I got some. Can I have more?" Lothario almost giggled.

Ettore leaned over and kissed Lothario's soft wet lips, "Si you can have more, I just couldn't hold back." He said as he started moving inside Lothario's sweet spot, a little at a time, deeper and deeper and Lothario squirmed in happiness, forgetting his job and responsibilities if just for a while. Ettore lifted Lothario up and held him close as his hot ding sunk into his love.

He knew he was too big to fit into Lothario all the way. He did not want Lothario in pain at all. He was careful, and as soon as Lothario's angelic face would wince, Ettore would pull back. His ding sang with love with Lothario's squirming, wiggling and the squeezing when his body stiffened. He wanted Lothario's ding to feel the same way someday, but at least at this point, Lothario wanted none of it. Lothario wanted his Ettore's love ding never to leave him. When riding his horse Lothario had to keep his mind on business, or the movement under him would send him into a panic, making his little bum hot. He would look over at Ettore's crotch to see if he was stiff and leaking, and then panic for Ettore to be deep inside him and holding him would take over.

He held Ettore close and felt his body massaged by Ettore's bare chest and muscular stomach. This added to the stimulation that Ettore did not understand. Held, loved and cuddled meant so much more than just the making love. The making love just happened to be like the Summerland of the gods.

Lothario wrapped around Ettore's neck tight as the throbbing thickness started to pound him. This was the hard time, when Ettore went fast and shot milk so deep it astounded Lothario. He let Ettore pound him repeatedly, his own uncontrollable wiggling squirming and squeezing on the thick throbbing love ding he loved inside him.

Sometimes it was like that big ding was splitting him apart, but always it rubbed on his special place that sent Lothario into a frenzy of sexual appetite that could not be described by a mere mortal. As Ettore's love mound rubbed Lotharios happy ding and the thrusting became faster than lighting, Lothario stiffened like never before as Ettore's last bit of milk shot into him.

Ettore held Lothario tight while kissing and hugging him, "Will you need more or can we stop until morning?" He asked as his loins kept pumping the last of his milk into Lothario.

Lothario lifted his face to Ettore, "I can wait." He smiled. His eyes closed and he fell fast asleep.

Ettore laid him on the bed and went to check on Anthony. Satisfied he turned to Cyrus, "Try to get some sleep."

"You knew I was awake?"

"Rubbing yourself isn't noisy, but you hear moaning too." Ettore laughed and then got into the bed with Lothario.

* * *

The trip home was a happy time and a sad time for the boys and men. The soldiers from the South would go home and find things in disrepair, and worry about their crops. Even though the legions took turns in rotation, the crops, business and families did without while they were gone. The spoils of war would take weeks, maybe months to come back into the family.

A mile from the villa, Lothario and his men dressed in their finest, the horses completely armored, as his father did each time he came home. He wondered if he was doing the right thing, after all he was hardly a General. For Lothario and Ettore, they would go home to their dead and mourn for those they could not take care of. Lothario stopped the formation at the top of the rise before his father's villa. He looked down at the training area and saw soldiers practicing different forms of war games.

Then the Capo noticed Lothario's troops on the hill. He called for the trumpeters to sound formation, thinking it was General Nico. Ettore smiled, "Well they see us. Your household knows now, so we might as well go in."

Lothario turned to the Centurions, "Look sharp now." He looked at his group, "I am happy to be home, but I dread the next few days."

They rode in between the great Italian cypress trees down the lane leading to the villa. The soldiers guarding the villa were very apparent. They saluted as the cohort passed them. Lothario saw his mother and smiled. He saw Esta and many of the citizens and freemen, then the slaves, not just a few of the slaves, but all of them.

He said to Ettore, "Not all the slaves at once have ever welcomed anyone home. Something must be wrong."

"Don't start worrying yet, your family looks safe enough." Ettore was not so sure after seeing so many soldiers.

The cohort stopped in front of the villa. The entire family began cheering. As Lothario dismounted, his family came running up to him. It was a lovely but disheartening time for Lothario. The rest of the officers dismounted and had the soldiers stand at ease.

Don Romano hugged everyone as well, and noticed tears in everyone's eyes. He turned to Lothario, "Something is wrong."

"We will find out soon enough." Lothario answered as the training cohort marched to the villa from the valley.

Lothario's mother stood back, "Lothario, where is your father?"

"He is behind us a few days mamma; he is well and sends his greetings." The boy answered.

Then he noticed Giulio's brother Roman standing with tears in his eyes. After hugging Esta, he went to the boy. Before he could say anything, Roman wrapped his arms around Lothario's neck and hugged him. He hugged him so tight they both fell to their knees. The guards went into action and pointed weapons at the slave boy.

Roman pushed back a bit and looked at Lothario, "Thank you for bringing him to the only real home he knew." Then he hugged Lothario again.

In time the guards knew there was no danger and backed off. Roman continued, "I would like to be your personal slave, to take the place of my brother. The soldiers told me how valiant you and he and Paolo were, and how you made the enemy pay a high price for their deaths."

Lothario stood up, "Your brother died in service to me, so did many others. I release you from your obligation." Lothario cried.

"Then master, I will serve you as a freeman. I will be by your side and take care of you." Roman answered.

"Si, if you wish. We must first rest, then mourn the dead." Lothario cried more. He turned to his mother, "I did not go to Rome mother, so I have no gift to bring you."

His mother was holding Lothario's helmet, "We have heard the stories Lothario. Are any of them true?"

Lothario blushed. Ettore smiled, "Si, they are all true. He went mad with the death of Paolo and Giulio, he almost single handedly took out the entire Etruscan force."

"That is an exaggeration mother, this is part of my cohort and they did most of the fighting." Lothario explained. "My officers need quarters. The slaves have their duties, and they all need rest, a bath, fresh clothing, and food. If the household can provide that, I would appreciate it. If not, we do have some provisions left."

Esta looked perplexed and spoke to Lothario's mother, "That is not Lothario! Someone replaced him with a man! But he looks like a little boy!"

Lothario raised an eyebrow, and wiped his face, "Please."

Esta with tears in her eyes nodded, "I will take care of things Lothario... Tribune Lothario, you go and visit with your mother."

Lothario had two of his guards stay at the front door. He released the others to get billeting and baths. His mother first fed the boy's group of officers and Don Romano. Then she bid Ettore and Lothario to bathe so she could talk to Don Romano alone.

Aquil, Crispin and Don Romano were waiting for Lothario after he dressed in a new toga, Next to Ettore in fresh military attire. Lothario urged Roman and Cyrus to get drinks for him and themselves, seeing that the visitors had already attacked the wine. Ettore left and went outside. Lothario noticed a young man of fifteen or sixteen standing nearby, wearing the clothes of a son of a Senator. Lothario sat in his chair next to his father's chair. His mother sat in her chair, "What is it?"

The three looked at each other and then Don Romano spoke, "This boy has been waiting for you."

"Papa will be here soon, whatever it is I think he should deal with it. I am hardly able to run the family business much less my own." Lothario answered.

Romano rubbed his chin, "The messenger comes from your mother." The man started crying.

"Don Romano what is it?" Lothario looked perplexed as Cyrus handed him his grape juice.

Instead of answering, Romano waved to the boy to come forward. The boy handed Lothario the necklace he bought for his mother, "Your mother said your father would recognize this, and know that I was telling the truth."

Lothario looked up at his mother and then the other boy, "What message has she sent to my father? Why on earth would she send the necklace I bought her?"

"She said I was to give it to your father. I was leaving when we saw your troops show up. Since I felt Don Romano should know, and I told him. I guess it would be okay to tell you. Although it is hard to believe that you are a soldier since I watched you grow up, Don Romano says you control the closet army to the South." The boy said.

"Just tell me what is wrong!" Lothario became worried and exasperated.

The boy looked at Don Romano. Don Romano nodded. The boy looked back at Lothario, "I am the son of Don di Gotti." Now Lothario knew who the boy was and listened to him, "A Sabin army of about forty men attacked my father's villa. My father had me ride to your villa to get help from Don Praetorio. He was at war so I was told by your mother to wait until he came home."

The boy was crying, and wiped his face. Roman left to get a towel for Don Romano and the boy. The boy continued, "Tribune, they killed my whole family and house slaves. I do not know if they killed the field workers, but I know they killed my family."

Lothario stood and walked around his chair. His face contorted and he yelled out. Don Romano looked at him, "Lothario, there is more."

The boy hesitated, "Then they attacked Don Moretti's villa and lastly, Don Romano's villa. No one was left alive anywhere."

"What about Centurion Valentine, what has he done?" Lothario hissed.

"Nothing, he said he could not do anything until he had orders to move, he only has trainees, and they are not trained warriors." The boy explained.

Lothario walked over to Don Romano and put a hand on the man's shoulder. He looked at the boy but spoke to both of them. "I cannot bring back your loved ones, but I can get revenge for this outrage."

Don Romano stood up and hugged Lothario, "As much as I would like that Lothario, we should wait for your father. He has the rest of the army, and will be here soon."

Lothario pulled back, very upset, "You don't think I can handle a small army?"

"Lothario, it is not that. You and your troops have been through a great ordeal and you all survived. That is not the way of war and rarely happens. Trust me Lothario, you always have in the past. I would like you to go in and kill every one of them in horrible ways. I also know you would do just that. It is only a few days before your father will reach here." Romano looked Lothario in the eyes and saw the hate in the boy, "Lothario, I beg you to listen to me. Your father will not leave you behind, he may send only your troops, but at least let them have a few days to prepare for another battle."

Ettore walked up to the group. He could see the conversation was tense, so he kept quiet. Lothario looked at him and smiled. He rubbed his head, turned to the messenger, and then he spoke to the Centurions, "Do you think Don Romano is right?"

Crispen bowed, "Tribune it would be good for the men to have a few days' rest, but they are ready to go back to the front lines and die under your command."

Aquil bowed, "If it were my family that were attacked, and maybe they have been by now, then I would ride as fast as I could to wipe them out, and the men would do the same. Give the order Don Lothario, and my Century alone will wipe them from the face of the earth."

Romano spoke quickly, "Si and if one escapes, you would bring down the Sabin army on yourselves and there would be no one to back you up."

"I would need time to form a plan, by then father will be here. If he approves we can act the same day. Do you approve mamma?"

Lady Alis looked at her son, "It is not my place to approve or disapprove Lothario. Either way would cause a chastisement from your father. He has decided for whatever reason that you are a citizen, a magistrate, a General and a Senator all in one stroke. Then why would my approval or disapproval of anything you did at this point do? Now if we want to talk about your personal life..."

The guards outside were yelling. The group could hear footsteps running on the veranda. Emilio slid around one of the columns and came face to face with Lothario, knocking him on the marble floor.

The two guards knocked Emilio on the floor and held him down with spears. Emilio frowned, "Stupid guards I live here!"

Lady Alis raised an eyebrow; Don Romano sighed and tried to hold back the tears that would come from seeing Dino's slave. Lothario sat and looked over at Emilio, "I am sure you have an explanation?"

Emilio looked at Lothario and smiled, "I missed you. I was out in the field helping when I heard Don Romano and you arrived."

The soldiers eased and helped Lothario up. Emilio sat and turned to Don Romano, he prostrated himself in front of the man. Romano frowned, "Get up Emilio."

"I am at your service, Don Romano." He smiled without looking up.

"Emilio, what am I to do with you? You were more expensive than thirty gladiators, you are as clumsy as a drunken cat and you have no respect for anyone." Romano teared, "Yet Dino loved you. I know you expect your freedom with his passing, but under the circumstances, I have need of your services."

Lothario looked perplexed, "That is what Dino wanted Don Romano."

Romano looked hurt, "Lothario, I have nothing, and even if we do get my villa and lands back, I have no one to begin to operate, this is a chance for Emilio to be my assistant and learn everything he needs to know. I in return get help I need to start again."

Lothario looked at the two of them. Both had tears rolling down their faces. Then Lothario smiled, holding back his own tears, "Then I make a proposition." He walked to Don Romano and whispered in his ear.

The two of them made a few exchanges and Lothario stood, went to his chair and sat. Romano wiped his eyes and looked at Emilio. "What I said before about you is true. It is also true that you can read and write, you can count, and work with numbers well. You have never stolen, and you have never lied. You are a Roman and you are proud to be one. Since you are a freeborn, I will release you from being a slave. I have announced this in front of citizens and warriors, so it is true. I have no reservations about this, and I cannot go back on my word. I will file the papers with Don Lothario this very night. Now then, Emilio, I have need of your services as a citizen. I need help to bring my home back together again. I would like to adopt you as my son, and furthermore, teach you all I can and all you are willing to learn about your destiny."

As the room applauded, Emilio smiled, fainted and hit his head on the marble floor. Lothario smiled, "That serves you right."

Roman ran over and woke Emilio, lifting him to his feet. He turned to Lothario, "Master, I don't think he will make a great soldier."

The room laughed. Emilio took several breaths, leaned over and kissed Don Romano's ring, "It would be an honor to be part of your family, and be by your side to rebuild."

Ettore walked behind Lothario and whispered, "I have no idea how you did that, but that was pure genius."

"Now sit down Emilio we were discussing the events that mean a lot to all of us." He turned and looked around the room, "We have to assume that this villa is on the Sabin list. I am sure they sent a scouting party and saw the soldiers here. That has probably stopped them for a while. Papa should not take more than six days to arrive here. We have almost a full cohort if you consider Valentino's Century. I think we are safe."

He looked at his empty cup, "Would someone get us some wine, or at least grape juice?" Then he turned to the three Centurions, "I don't need to tell you what to do, but an outline is to train hard, have fun, and be prepared. I am not sure what my father will do or say once he arrives, but I want us the best we can be for that moment."

No one spoke so Lothario continued, "I will have papa's Overseer teach Roman here, to handle my slaves, procurement and the like. I hereby free Roman of his servitude to me and my family. He is also the oldest of my family, and this will be a good start for him while we teach him math, and to read and write. When Anthony recovers, he will still be my personal assistant."

Don Romano smiled, "I like the way you leave out the word slave Lothario." The others giggled uncomfortably.

"I guess that is because I try to see them as part of the family and not slaves, just like I did Emilio until he went too far. I would like Esta to oversee the development of our own cloth, dye and sewing operation. With the help of Don Romano and Don Moretti, we can save a lot of gold, silver and copper coins by doing the work locally." He turned to Esta, "We will find someone to actually oversee it, but I would like you to get started on it, if mamma permits."

Everyone looked at his mother. She nodded agreement. Lothario turned to Centurion Valentino, "Train your troops well this week. Listen to the other Centurions and Don Romano. Your group will be the first on the line, in our next battle, wherever it may be."

The room was silent for an unbearable amount of time. "Am I missing something?" Lothario asked, "Why are you all so quiet? Have I miss stepped my boundaries? Have I offended someone?"

Don Romano nodded and looked behind Lothario. Lothario turned and saw Ettore standing with tears in his eyes. Lothario stood and turned to Ettore, "What is it?"

"I have asked around Tribune, no one has heard from my family. I would like to take a Century to my father's villa to see that everything is right."

Lothario stepped around the chair and hugged Ettore tight, "We must stay put for a few days. Then we will ride together to your father's villa."

Don Romano stood, "Ettore, Roman, Emilio, all the rest of you, tomorrow we mourn our losses. We may mourn our losses for many moons to come. You need to rest your minds, bodies, and train for the onslaught that will happen soon. Then we will mourn those who passed before us once more."

"Onslaught?" Lothario winced, "We are talking about a few Sabine savages!"

"Lothario, Tribune or not, you are still too young to know the ways of man. The Sabin's did not do this without a leader. We will find that Don di Francesco was the instigator. We will also find out that one of our own is a traitor. They will not expect your father for months and they will not expect Don Moretti. What they did not know is about you. You fight on instinct Lothario, and Ettore fights alongside you, with the love Dino had for you. You fight for Rome." Romano looked around the room and smiled, "They fight for you, and they will say they fight for Rome, but it is you they fight for."

"What are you talking about grandfather?" Lothario asked, "They fought for Rome before they knew who I was. That is ridiculous."

"Lothario, listen. They fought for their patrones, they did not know what Rome stood for until they met you." Romano stated.

Lothario looked puzzled about where the conversation was going. Lady Alis frowned, "Forgive me but what are you talking about Don Romano? I believe we are all lost in your conversation."

"Forgive an old man. I was just trying to get the point across that there is more going on with these attacks than what we actually see. And that the men's allegiance is first to Lothario and then Rome." He smiled, "Before you say that is preposterous, you will see in the future."

"Well maybe on the first issue, but it looks like a Sabine attack to me. Don Romano, where do you get the second part? Ettore asked as he wiped his eyes.

"The Cohort has made a link to Lothario, even though they think he is brutal and unreachable, they know he is brave and honorable. That is the key. Lothario is dedicated to Don Fedele, and Don Fedele would do anything for Don Nico." Romano explained.

Lothario scratched his head while thinking, "I don't see a connection between the men and myself." He looked over to the three Centurions, "Is true what he is saying?"

Aquil Crispin and Valentine looked at him. Aquil spoke, "Valentine was not with us at the battle, but to me and Crispin, and the men, your actions were what we see as heroic, something most men would not do. So Si, in part it is true. It is also true that they see you as a god, and would follow you anywhere at any time, and at the same time, they fear your power. Therefore, Si again, they follow you because you represent Rome to them. However, even if you were not the Tribune, we would follow another, because we are Rome."

Esta came into the room "Dinner is ready, if you will move to the dining room. Emilio, Roman, I know you both have been freed, but would you help my husband cut and bring in the lamb for the table?"

Emilio smiled and jumped up, "Si Esta, I have no idea what I am supposed to do, or what I am allowed to say, so I am bored to pieces."

Roman, not understanding Emilio's background rolled his eyes, "Come on, I will work with you on that over the next few days." Roman laughed as they left the room.

After dinner, the guests went either outside or to their rooms. Lothario went to his room followed by Ettore and Roman. Lothario checked on Anthony, "He seems to be better. I feel no fever in his head. That scream, three times a day, he gives out when they pour the wine on him hurts my soul."

After they settled in Romano looked at Lothario, "Don Lothario, is Emilio really stupid, or is he umm acting?"

"What do you mean Roman?" Ettore asked.

"He says he doesn't know how to act now that he is free."

Lothario smiled, "Si, he was sold at a young age, and all he knows is slavery. He is a free born just like you, but you lived most of your life in freedom, he did not. Being in constant servitude is different for him, and now he really doesn't know what to do or say. He has no idea of his position. He is not stupid, he just doesn't have the experience. He is also afraid to say anything at all because he doesn't know if he has those rights."

"I will teach him then." Roman smiled, "I just did not want him to make a fool of me."

"Be sure you teach him respect, you had to learn the hard way. Let's hope he does not have to endure any type of slavery again." Lothario grinned.

Roman turned red and became silent. Ettore looked out past the veranda, "Tomorrow we will mourn, but tonight Lothario my love, I plan on filling you up."

Roman raised an eyebrow but bit his tongue. Once Lothario turned red, Roman giggled, "Oh you are having sex together. We need more girls. They are fun."

Ettore frowned at him, "I suppose you have had a lot of girls in bed?"

Roman's lips pouted, "Not exactly, but I was too young. Now I think about them all the time."

Ettore laughed, "I bet you pull on it all the time too."

Roman blushed and shrugged. Lothario sighed, "Do you always have to talk about such things?"

Roman and Ettore both answered, "Si, it's fun."

Lothario winced and lay on the divan, "Si I am sure it is. That doesn't mean you have to talk about it. You will both get stiff dings. I will get filled up and you and Cyrus will play with yourselves and we will sleep late and get in trouble."

Roman laughed, "Si, it is all fun Lothario."

Ettore laughed and pulled off Lothario's toga, "Si you would have a tunic on under that. I suppose you have a thong under your tunic?"

"There is nothing wrong with being decent with company around. I run around naked when I want to."

"In the mornings and evenings we tend the sheep without clothes, but the sun is too hot in the afternoons, so you have to wear something." Roman explained.

Ettore laughed, "Si and that is when you pull on yourself in the heat of the day, probably for hours."

Cyrus came into the room, "Oh you are talking about sex again. I love being with you people, you are so horny. It makes me feel good to know that I am not the only one."

Lothario pulled his blanket over his head, "I don't want to hear about it!"

Cyrus sat and drank warm wine, "Master don't try to tell us you don't like it."

From under the cover Lothario answered, "I love it but you guys always want to talk about it, always! That is why Ettore wants to fill me up every night."

Cyrus laughed hard, "And in the morning and in the afternoon. We should have been here at your villa days ago, but you were too busy getting... um filled up." He laughed aloud.

"You are so disrespectful tonight." Lothario grinned under his blanket.

Ettore put his finger to his lips to warn Cyrus to be careful. The boy shrugged and half whispered, "He is not upset, it's true and he knows it."

Ettore frowned, "Put out the fire pans and go to sleep."

Cryus giggled, "Yes master as if we can sleep with Lothario's happy screaming."

Ettore warned, "You keep that up you can all sleep in the slave quarters."

Emilio walked into the room, "Esta told me to sleep here tonight. I see both divans are in use. I will get some pillows and sleep on the floor."

Roman sat up, "No you are older. You can sleep on the divan, I will sleep with Cyrus if he doesn't mind."

"You better not try poking me with your hot stick! And there is no way I will sleep with Emilio, he has a big hot stick, just not as big as Master Ettore." Cyrus yelped.

Ettore lay and cuddled Lothario. The other boys could see he was already working on his love, and it would only be minutes before Lothario started whimpering. Emilio sat on the divan, "What on earth are you talking about?"

Romano pointed to Ettore, "He is going to fill up Lothario."

"No way!" Emilio laughed, "First Lothario wouldn't allow it, and second Ettore is so big it would split Lothario in half!" Emilio laughed as he lay down.

"Si he will, you will hear, and then you will get stiff and play with it just like the rest of us." Cyrus giggled.

Ettore lifted his head up, "Extinguish the lamps and at least pretend to sleep!"

Emilio's head was not on sex. It was about the exciting things happening in his life. Although his heart ached for Dino, the turn of events was a little too much for a fourteen year old to comprehend. He laid back and thought. The oil lamps were put out, and the group lay quietly until the moonlight filled the room and their eyes adjusted.

An hour later Ettore heard the trumpets but ignored it. His Lothario was in ecstasy, his eyes glassed over, almost begging for more. Ettore swore he would fill Lothario up until he could not take anymore. It was too much for the others. Cyrus had already worn himself out and fell asleep. Romano was awake but working his hot ding slowly enjoying what he was witnessing.

Emilio, completely soaked in his own leaking hot member couldn't take what he was seeing and hearing. He pulled and pulled whimpering himself as he watched the moon dance off the bodies of Lothario and Ettore.

Another hour went by and Emilio was ecstatic, never would he have believed this was even possible unless he saw it with his own eyes. Little Lothario not only loving a ding in him, it was a huge ding. Ettore's ding was so big it was the topic of conversation all over the countryside on what girl could possibly have it all in her.

The lamps lit. The startled boys looked to see who was lighting them. Don Nico and Don Fedele were in the room. Don Nico frowned glaring at Ettore, "So this is why we were able to overtake you so soon. You have been screwing each other instead of getting home on time."

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