Titus Norbanus Nepos had held his suspicions that he might lose his most formidable warrior, but had quietly hoped the businessman Marcus Octavius Paulus would have a different arrangement in mind. To have his fears realised was not a surprise but it was a body blow. Nimr was more than just another gladiator.
“Nimr…” He had to look away from Paulus’ piercing eyes. “He was my father’s first recruit. On his first day in the arena he took on three opponents and killed two of them within seconds. His name is bound to the Ludus of Nepos in the eyes of nearly every Roman.” He looked back at the older man, his eyes burning with frustration and fury. “And Nimr has always been proud to represent the house of Nepos.”
Paulus’ smile grew malevolent. “That may be, but if your ludus is to survive, you must be prepared to move past sentiment and consider more pragmatic choices. My client is prepared to give you time- but do not test his patience, nor mine. You have three days to make your decision. Once you have, send message to this place and we shall arrange further meeting. I would suggest you think of your future.”
Nepos struggled to resist the desire to bash Paulus’ head in with one of the statues. It was very tempting, even if the problem wouldn’t go away if he did.
“Three days.” He said. “Very well. I will send message in three days. Now, if you will excuse me, I have pressing business to attend to.”
“Of course. Good day, young Titus.”
Nepos suppressed a shudder. The way Paulus used his first name was, somehow, creepy. He nodded, and passed back through the door, off to consider the fate of his ludus.
Paulus watched him go. “A nice boy, in many ways. Certainly driven, and passionate.”
As he spoke, a side-door, concealed by deep purple curtains, swung open. Out stepped one of the most beautiful women in the Empire.
Petillia Crispina, with shoulder-length blonde hair, dressed in a figure-hugging one-piece ensemble of red and pink that seemed to enhance her already-impressive attributes, was a sight to behold. Dark brown eyes always seemed to twinkle with mischief. Her nails were always painted red (even her toenails), and she always walked with a saunter in her step. She grinned, and her smile sent a shiver down Paulus’ spine.
Behind her, a man, naked, save for a leather collar around his neck, followed, carrying a tray with two cups on it. He looked contrite- probably a new slave-in-training. He certainly looked as though he had all the requirements to be a good servant.
“Ah Marcus. He is certainly passionate. It’s a shame he’s loyal to his wife. That sort of passion would be most welcome here.” She sat down on the bed, patting the space next to her.
Paulus sat this time. The servant offered up the two cups, which they both took.
“Some morning fortification. Wine generously donated by one of my more eager clients. Apparently it’s the finest wine money can buy this time of year.” Crispina grinned again as she took a sip. “But then, several of my clients have boasted this already. What do you think of my latest purchase?” She ran her nails over her servant’s stomach. The slave did his best not to shudder but it was clearly an effort, especially when her nails slipped over his right thigh.
“A fine-looking specimen. Muscular without being too imposing. What is his role to be here?”
“Oh, I’m not too sure yet. I’m reliably informed that young Stigr enjoys men as much as women.” Her hand now caressed his thigh gently, and Stigr’s body was definitely reacting.
“He’s not shy either. He rises to the occasion with little prompting.” She purred, and wrapped her hand around the young man’s length. Paulus felt the temperature in the room go up a level. He wished business could simply be business, but Crispina always enjoyed her little games, and even at his relatively old age, he found himself struggling to focus on anything other than what Crispina was up to.
“So, do you believe Nepos will agree to my terms?” He turned to face Crispina, trying to ignore what she was doing to poor Stigr.
“Oh Paulus. I believe he might, under great protest.” Her hand took a firmer grip of Stigr’s cock, holding it upright whilst her right hand cupped his balls. “He’s stubborn, but not stupid. His ludus won’t survive without new blood.” Stigr let out a soft gasp. “He’s rather like this young man. Determined to hold on.” She laughed, and pumped her hand faster. “I suspect Nepos will resent coming to you for some time.”
Paulus swallowed. “I’m sure he will. It is for the best for all concerned however. He gets what he needs, my client gets what he wants, and everyone wins.”
“Mmmm, I’m sure. What do you get out of it?” Stigr groaned softly. “My, good stamina…” She winked at her slave.
“I get a share of the initial purchase, plus a share of the winnings Nimr will bring. A mutually beneficial arrangement.” Replied Paulus carefully. “and of course, you receive a share as well, for allowing me to use your venue.”
“What if Nimr should fall in the arena?” Crispina slowed her pace a little, rubbing her palm over the underside of Stigr’s shaft. “Imagine if he fell in his first fight!”
Paulus snorted. “Nimr is the best there is. He has no equal in the arena. Hence why my client wants him.”
“I see. Well, let us hope that he is as good as they claim.” Her hand started to pump more vigorously once again.
“Indeed. Now…” Paulus pushed himself up off the bed. “I must be going. I have other business to attend to, and you are clearly attending to some right now.”
Crispina laughed. “Oh Paulus, perhaps one day you will let me take care of your business.”
Paulus smiled politely. “Another time, perhaps. I bid you good day.”
“And to you as well.” Crispina eased her pace once more, as Paulus left. “So Stigr, you have impressed me thus far. I have known men to spill their seed at my barest touch. One even before I touched him, though perhaps that is more due to my teasing than them… still, you have done well.” She let go of his cock, and Stigr sighed. “Now, let us put you to proper test…” She eased her outfit off, and let it drop to the floor, before laying upon the bed. “Show me what you can do.”
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