Character: Maximus Decimus Meridius “Gladiator”
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction based on the characters established and defined in the movie and book titled Gladiator It is strictly for entertainment purposes. Please do not copy, publish or alter this work in any way without the written permission of the author.
Acknowledged thanks to Ilaria for her expertise, and the use of the characters, Sergius and Domitia ifrom the story, “No Longer a Boy”. Thanks to Sno for her beta.
Copyright 2003 Athena
Date 170 AD
A vigilant Maximus stood guard over Caesar’s daughter. For all the world, he wished he could draw her into his arms and kiss her deeply. He watched as the shadowy sunlight flickered through her fine hair. In the blur of the heat, it appeared to spark off flecks of gold into the air. Her graceful body swept through the cooling waves as her head tilted towards to the setting sun.
The trail of footprints in the sand stopped abruptly at the water’s edge. White foaming waves curled and lapped at Lucilla’s feet and shapely legs. She sighed with contentment.
Maximus raised his eyes to watch the sun begin to set over Poseidon’s Temple on the cliff top above. Its darkening shadow cascaded past the ragged rocks. The temple seemed to adopt an eerie stance as the sun set blindingly behind it. It was a perfect setting as the Gods retired for the evening.
Shifting his eyes back to the beach, he heard Lucilla’s soft voice calling him.
“Come and join me Maximus, it is so cooling,” the lady cooed.
The lady enchanted Maximus, but he could not join her. Charged with her protection it would be an act of treason to abandon himself and accept her request.
“My duty lies here, my lady,” Maximus spoke firmly, smiling a lop- sided grin. The gentleness in his voice did not escape Lucilla.
Marcus Aurelius had handpicked the 23-year-old tribune to accompany his daughter and guard her life. Maximus was honoured by the duty bestowed upon him. He had spent many hours with Lucilla and duty had spawned an attraction that was apparent to the both of them. The hours passed slowly between their meetings and it was as if time had sprung wings when they finally met. All too soon it was over and they were back in their separate lives.
Lucilla reached for Maximus’ hand as she trod the sinking sand beneath her feet. For a moment he held her to him, their eyes meeting, their breath close, but duty took over and he excused himself and released her gently. He had never beheld a more gracious woman.
Studying her protector she found him likened to the Gods she had learned of in childhood. He possessed strength, honour, a handsome face and a body that could have been chiselled from marble. She sensed his feelings for her and waited patiently for him to make the first move. Lucilla would have given everything to be loved by him, even though she knew it was forbidden.
Maximus checked the immediate vicinity before he spoke. “We must leave my lady, darkness is coming and you must return to safety.” He touched her gently whilst he helped her into the waiting carriage.
The two headed back towards the Legions’ camp in Sounion, just south of Athens in Greece.
Marcus Aurelius moved anxiously around his opulent quarters. The sun had set and his daughter should have returned by now. Hearing the noise of the carriage, he looked on as Maximus helped Lucilla alight. It was evident they had feelings for each other and as loyal as Maximus was, Caesar knew it was only a matter of time before nature overtook these two young people.
Lucilla bid Maximus and Caesar goodnight and made her way to her quarters. Her heart sang with the joy she felt in life. The joy was to be short lived. Caesar had other plans.
“Send the General to me!” Caesar ordered his guard.
The General arrived within minutes. In his mid thirties, he looked much older. His once good-looking face was scarred by battle and some felt his mind had been turned with all the years of killing. He had the unqualified respect of his Emperor and soldiers. In AD164-165 General Gaius Avidius Cassius captured the capital cities of Ctesiphon and Seleucia, but an epidemic forced the Romans to retreat and peace reigned. Nevertheless, he was undoubtedly a legend in his own lifetime.
“Sire.” TheGeneral saluted Caesar.
Caesar spoke with a sense of urgency in his voice.
“I have received a dispatch this day. There is an uprising in Armenia and it must be quelled. You must prepare to leave immediately. Order must be restored. Make your preparations and return to me later to discuss the battle plans.”
The General saluted and turned to leave. “Sire,” he bowed.
The General left swiftly and made ready the preparations to leave. He summoned Maximus, telling him that he was relieved of his duties and the legion would leave for Armenia as soon as they were ready.
Maximus reeled as the General relayed his orders. “What of my duties regarding Caesar’s daughter?”
“Those duties are revoked. Prepare to leave immediately.”
Maximus listened attentively, acknowledged the order and made his way to his quarters. He slept restlessly as his mind tussled with his new situation. He had hoped they would be stationed there for a while and his heart weighed heavily at the thought of not seeing Lucilla again.
He awoke early and took a last look around. A soldier never knew which battle would be his last, so he whispered a silent goodbye to the winds. As he did so, he noticed a bright-eyed robin staring at him from a tree. Unnaturally still, it appeared to gaze straight into his eyes. Maximus felt an unexpected warmth flood his body as he turned away. When he turned around again, the robin was gone. He heard no fluttering of wings. He was mystified.
By daybreak, they were ready to leave and began to break camp. The journey overland was as many before. The army travelled effortlessly, their movements disciplined and ordered. Morale was high, as usual. The army was undefeated. Victory was a forgone conclusion.
After many days marching, they finally had the city within their sights. The Infantry and Cavalry settled in their respective camps whilst the General and Maximus formed their battle plans. As much as they disliked each other, they respected the other’s ability when it came to battle.
The sleeping city would be stormed at daybreak. The Cavalry gathered at both gates whilst the Infantry prepared to storm the walls. Archers began the onslaught with their arrows of fire. Their stealth and cunning ensured that no one inside the walls knew what was happening until it was too late.
The legion stole silently into the slumbering city. Maximus led the secondary attack; crouching low, he moved like a panther,his sword at the ready. Fire was already gripping parts of the city causing fear and confusion. Citizens were killed as they slept. They were shown no mercy as they begged for their lives. Panic spread like wildfire as some tried to escape. By nightfall, the city was unnaturally silent and the stench of blood and death hung heavily in the air.
Carts were used to collect the bodies. The injured were killed. Only those who showed no resistance were allowed to live, with the exception of the woman Ayesha. The General had drawn his sword to spear her, but changed his mind. She would serve him well.
Order was restored. The city’s riches had been plundered and collected as taxes. Officers made camp in the empty houses.
Maximus took residence in one of the better dwellings. The battle had been long and hard and the Armenians had made a courageous, if pitiful attempt to save themselves. They were no match for the might of the Roman Army. The familiar scent of death and blood lingered on Maximus’ clothing. He blocked out the images of the dying women and children. Sitting heavily, he eased his weary body, as he summoned the strength to bathe in the warm water Cicerohad prepared for him.
Maximus scraped the dried blood from his body whilst he reflected upon the day. The warm water had turned muddy brown within seconds. “Roma Victrix”, he smiled to himself as he retired and slept the sleep of victory.
He arose early the next day and walked the short distance to the General’s new quarters. It was a comfortable dwelling set back off the road. As he entered the courtyard, he witnessed the cruellest of scenes. Four soldiers were beating and bullying a young woman, shoving her from one to the other whilst they laughed and mocked her. The largest soldier shook her aggressively shouting. “You will obey the General!”
The woman shook her head back, tossing a mane of black hair in an act of defiance.
“I would rather die!” She retorted.
The soldier laughed sadistically, looking round at the others. “Perhaps we should teach her a lesson, what do you think?” He snarled.
The woman was beautiful enough to have caused arousal in her oppressors. The second soldier nodded in agreement, as he removed his tunic and licked his lips in anticipation of what was to come.
The scene horrified Maximus. He watched in disgust as the soldier openly stroked his erect phallus.
“Soldier, what are you doing? STOP!” Maximus commanded, his voice low and filled with anger.
The four soldiers turned abruptly, shocked to see their superior officer in their midst.
The first solider stumbled his words out. “The General has ordered this, he wants her for his bed and she won’t obey him. He gave her to us… to change her mind.”
Maximus’ fury was plain to see as clenched his fists and stood squarely facing them.
“Go &endash; leave this place, NOW!” He ordered.
The first soldier did not wish to give up his prize so easily. “But, sir, the General orde……..”
Maximus did not allow him to finish. “I said, go now! I shall deal with the General. I take full responsibility for this.”
Maximus helped the woman to her feet, apologising for his men’s behaviour. The soldiers slunk away, obviously frustrated at the untimely intrusion. He beckoned a waiting handmaiden to tend the lady’s wounds. It was clear the lady was of noble birth and his heart went out to her. Maximus killed when he had to, but had no time for senseless cruelty.
Marching into the General’s quarters, he announced his presence as he stood to attention.
The General spun round. He was not surprised to see him. “You have come for your orders?”
“I have sir, but there is another matter I need to speak of first.”
The General looked bemused, “What troubles you Meridius?”
“I have just witnessed a scene of senseless brutality. The woman you have chosen.. and the soldiers who beat her – would have raped her had I not intervened. We are not barbarians sir, and we should not act as such!” His tone was defiant.
The General eyed the tribune, infuriated by his interference. He had planned to take the woman that night and was looking forward to the conquest. He glared at the young soldier.
Maximus possessed all the qualities he needed in a second in command and was the only one unlikely to betray him; but he was a little too moral for the General’s liking and needed to be taught a lesson. The General’s swift mind brought forth a solution. The tribune had interfered in business that was not his, and now he would pay the price.
Smiling to himself, he decided to teach this upstart a lesson. If he would defy his General, he would pay the price and perhaps lose some of his high-handedness into the bargain.
Speaking sternly and asserting his authority, he said, “I gave the soldiers an order. You have stopped them carrying it out, so now that order becomes yours. I want that woman in my bed and she will not come willingly. I command you to make her submit to my wishes. You have three days to make her ready and teach her the ways of Rome. If you do not succeed, she will die.”
Maximus was taken aback by these orders. He wondered what the Gods had in store for him. He had not expected this outcome, but could see the General was in no mood to be questioned.
“You have your orders. See to it they are carried out! You see yourself as so much more honourable than I, well, let’s see how honourable you are when three days have passed? Now leave me and attend to your duties. You have a busy time ahead of you.”
Maximus paced the nearby gardens, deep in thought. He often wished he were older and blessed with a little more wisdom. His hot head and honest nature were always getting him into trouble. He was not like the others and everyone knew it.
He calmed himself and made his way to the small room where the woman had been taken. He approached quietly so as not to frighten her further.
Watching her as she rose to her full height,Maximus breathed sharply as he witnessed her beauty. Her eyes and teeth appeared a brilliant white against her dark skin and her thick plaited hair resembled rope. She was older than he, nearer to the General’s age.
Her dark almond shaped eyes were curtained with thick lashes that sent shivers down his spine when she blinked. Her tilted nose appeared slightly misshapen above her full lips and Maximus could see she had taken a beating.
“What is your name? I am Maximus. I am not like the General, I shall not harm you.” His deep gentle voice did nothing to reassure the angry creature.
Maximus repeated the question. “What is your name lady? Let me help you?”
“I am Ayesha and I don’t want or need your help. I will not favour you or any of your kind. I despise you. You havetaken my home, and now you would have my honour. Over my dead body Roman filth,” she spat.
Maximus lowered his head and considered her seriously. “The General will have you killed if you do not submit madam;you would do well to co-operate.”
“I would rather depart this life.” Ayesha stated flatly.
Maximus stared hard. “That will happen if you disobey the General’s orders.”
“So be it!” Ayesha spoke defiantly, her eyes blazing with disgust.
Maximus sent for Cicero. He told him to attend to the lady and bring her to his quarters that evening. Watching them leave, his heart was heavy. He knew Avidius would not tolerate such disobedience, and was unsure he could persuade the woman. He had never encountered such spirit before.
The day passed slowly as Maximus tended his duties. There was much to do after the onslaught. The citizens were hostile and his duties proved difficult. Sometimes the glory of Rome was hard to reconcile. Some of his men were injured and needed his support. He comforted the dying and blessed the dead as he mourned their passing. Rarely had his mind been so filled with conflict.
Finishing his meal, Maximus prepared for his bath. He heard the door creak and the shuffle of feet as Cicero returned with Ayesha. Cicero was a compassionate man and said nothing as he stood beside his escort. Maximus noticed he was holding her up and acknowledged Cicero’s request to take over. Maximus looked aghast; she could barely stand on her own.
Already half undressed himself; Maximus slipped a strong arm around her waist. She winced as he touched her, but made no sound as he gently led her to his bed. The spirit and fire he’d seen previously had abandoned her. She simply stared straight ahead, her beautiful face expressionless.
“Where are you harmed?” Maximus pressed her gently.
Seemingly in a trance, Ayesha opened her dress revealing her bruised body. She was naked to his sight but it seemed not to matter, as if nothing was registering in her mind. Beauty shone from her marked body. She had refused to let anyone help her as her mind and body had slipped into shock.
“I’m sorry they did this to you, you are to stay with me now, but you will be returned to the General in three days.” Maximus murmured.
Just for a moment, he saw a flicker of emotion in her face, but as she drew in a deep breath, she stared blankly into space, her eyes blinking rapidly. Maximus spoke softly, trying to reassure her, and find some words to comfort her. Her plaited hair had come undone and trailed the floor as she sat down. She was the most beautiful vision he had ever seen.
Looking at the warm tub of water, Maximus slipped her dress from her shoulders, picked her up gently and carried her to the tub. To his surprise, she offered no resistance. He could feel the grime and swellings under his hands. She did not attempt to stop him as he laid her gently in the warm water. Watching her face relax he took pleasure in the comfort she was deriving from the warmth. Reaching for a cloth, he gently dabbed her arms and shoulders. Drawing the cloth across her neck, he watched the rivulets of water cascade down her full breasts. He felt himself become aroused and drew back. It was as if she sensed his reaction as her huge almond eyes fixed on his groin. Biting her lip, she choked back tears. The shock was wearing off and the reality of her circumstances was slowly dawning.
Drawing back, Maximus handed her the cloth and excused himself. What was he thinking of? She was his, he should just take her, she was a slave, and she must obey him. The General had ordered it.
Sitting on his bed, he found himself stroking his erect phallus. He waited for her to join him and when she did not, he returned to the bathtub. Ayesha had fallen asleep. Her long hair trailed the floor as her head hung over the end of the bath. Her rounded breasts peeked out from the water, the dark triangle of thick hair flattened and glistening below the water.
Maximus ached with desire as he woke her and helped her from the bath. “You will serve me,” he ordered her softly.
Ayesha looked directly into his eyes. “I will not.”
Maximus stood and threw his arms into the air, partly with frustration at her refusal and partly at her stupidity.
Ayesha recognised his frustration and acknowledged his kindness. “I cannot willingly give myself to any Roman. I am a lady of noble birth and I cannot concede.”
Wincing with pain, she caught her breath as her body crumbled to the floor. Her nakedness was driving Maximus wild as he gathered her into his arms and laid her on his bed. Covering her with a blanket, he lay beside her.
“Stay here tonight and rest. We shall talk in the morning.”
Ayesha studied his handsome face. She could sense the goodness in him. It shone out in contrast to the turmoil around her. Another time, another place, she could have loved this man. “I thank you, you are an honourable man.” As she spoke, she trembled and a flood of tears burst from her eyes. Embarrassed at her lapse and hurt beyond belief, she hid her face in Maximus’ chest. She felt his strong arms hold her gently and just for a moment, she felt safe. Quivering as he stroked her hair, she fought the urge to love him. He was the enemy – she must remember that.
They both heard a noise from outside the door. Maximus jumped up investigate. He found Avidius’ guard standing outside with his ear to the door.
The guard was a mere boy and Maximus questioned him as to why he was there. The boy told him he was supposed to listen for sounds of lovemaking and report back to the General.
Maximus frowned. It was obvious the lad was highly embarrassed, which was probably the reason Avidius chose him. Knowing it was pointless to argue he went back inside and closed the door behind him.
He could not help a grin crossing his face as he explained the situation to Ayesha. It seemed to ease the tension between them as Maximus asked her to ‘co-operate’. Ayesha smiled herself as she let Maximus lead her to the door.
“You must be convincing, my lady,” Maximus murmured, trying not to grin as he stroked her cheek with his hand and kissed her neck. Feeling her freeze at his touch he reminded her they were only play acting. Ayesha relaxed a little and even laughed when he said, “groan”.
Ayesha let out a small ooohhh. Maximus opened his eyes wide. “That would not convince anyone. It should be like this… ‘aaarghh’ as he pressed his lips against hers, seeking entry with his tongue. The two fell silent as they kissed. Maximus murmured an obligatory moan, as did Ayesha. His hand reached for her breast and she really did moan this time.
“Yes, that’s it, like that,” he growled as his knee pressed between her legs. He felt her instinctively push back against him as her face quivered against his thick neck.
She was almost naked and the contact of his knee was bringing her close to orgasm. Maximus continued to rub against her. He desperately wanted more intimacy, but told himself it could wait. He’d not expected her to respond and her breathing told him she was very close to orgasm. Whispering in her ear, he spoke, his voice ragged, “It is all right to let go. Let yourself come, there is no shame in it.”
“We are only acting,” she breathed, trying to stop the flood of feelings she was experiencing.
“Are we?” Maximus questioned as he pushed hard and felt her climax against him. “Are we?” He repeated.
“Moan,” he told her, as he felt her wetness on his bare leg. Ayesha complied, but this time she wasn’t acting. She fell against him, shocked and elated that her body had betrayed so badly. She vowed it would not happen again.
Maximus caught his breath and opened the door. He smiled contentedly at the guard, telling him to be on his way and report back to his master.
They returned to bed. Ayesha had regained her composure and play was over as she turned her back on Maximus and fell asleep.
Knowing he had lit a fire in her, Maximus left by the back door in search of his own release.
Ayesha woke in the early hours to find Maximus gone. Puzzled, she awaited his return. As her senses returned, she realised she was in her father’s old house. Her parents had died many years ago, but she had visited her uncle many times there. The City Elders had known of the impending invasion and had issued death potions, in case the worst came to the worst. Creeping silently, she made her way to a small jar by the window and clasped a handful of the sealed phials. She did not want to die, but perhaps it would be the only way?
Returning to bed and pretending to be asleep, she felt Maximus crawl in next to her and slip his arm around her. His heart was beating fast and he smelt… she knew that scent. He had had sex. Her heart softened towards him as she realised not only had he not forced her, but he had found his satisfaction elsewhere.
In the morning, they shared food and polite conversation. Ayesha was becoming more secure and less angry. Her demeanour had begun to soften somewhat.
“Thank you for your kindness Maximus. Was your lady satisfactory last night?”
Maximus’ face reddened at her candour and the fact his secret was out. He didn’t want to discuss it and simply nodded.
Breakfast over, Ayesha paced up and down the room. She knew she did not have a lot of time and fear was rapidly overtaking her. “Could you talk to the General?” She asked nervously.
“No, my lady, I am sorry. You are his,” he spoke, shaking his head. “I cannot disobey an order.” His voice was a matter of fact, but genuine.
Maximus was wracked with guilt and anger. He could not challenge his General, but he knew Ayesha might die by his hand. He had averted his eyes many times as he’d seen covered bodies leave the General’s quarters. The General was the cruellest of lovers with no regard for the women he used. It was not three weeks since a girl had been carried out unconscious. There had been talk of torture and ritual sex. Maximus shut his eyes tightly as he prayed to his God for answers.
The General had two women in his bed that night. He was always well prepared with a variety of ‘aids’ to enhance his pleasure. As he feasted on their bodies, he grinned evilly at the thought of Maximus seducing the lovely Ayesha. That ‘moral man’ would get his come-uppance. The General fucked the women fast and furiously, going from one to the other. One of the women made noises of pain which displeased him. She did not leave his quarters alive.
As the General committed his grotesque acts, Maximus prepared for bed with Ayesha. He was a skilled lover, he had been taught well by Sergius and remembered with affection his first love, Domitia. There had been many lovers since that time, and success had bred confidence in the young tribune.
But what if he convinced her, would he send her to her death?
Pushing aside his doubts, he ordered her to undress. Ayesha threw him a haughty glance as she turned her head away from him. Maximus moved deliberately as he yanked her dress from her body, leaving her naked. She was beautiful beyond description. He had no choice; the General would wreak revenge on both of them if Maximus did not carry out his orders.
Maximus removed his tunic and stood naked before her. Ayesha could not help but admire his body and handsome features. She felt herself grow wet just looking at him. She had been married, although it was some years since her husband died. Ayesha had been blessed with a loving relationship, which she missed. Looking at Maximus she felt a longing rise in her body. She remembered the feelings from the night before. They were just too strong to fight, but she must try.
“Lie down, my lady,” Maximus spoke firmly, gesturing at the bed.
Ayesha lay down and curled herself into a ball. Maximus lay beside her softly stroking her face and hair as his lips sought hers. She did not respond. Ayesha fought to control her body as it began to betray her yet again.
When Maximus could draw no response from his kisses, he moved his hand to her breast, caressing it firmly, taking the nipple in his mouth as it peaked beneath his skilled fingers. Sensing a gasp, he went to work on her other breast, using both his large hands to squeeze her nipples hard and biting them with his teeth. From the corner of his eye, he saw her legs part slightly. His hand circled her soft belly as his mouth sought hers again. He kissed her hard, his tongue probing her mouth and sucking hers so erotically, he felt her body jerk in response.
Ayesha had never felt anything like it. Her whole body was on fire as her tongue reluctantly danced with his. The hand on her belly moved lower, teasing and stroking her dark curls.
“Do you want me to touch you?” Maximus murmured huskily as his finger trailed the inside of her thighs. “Do you want to feel my hand inside you, filling you, bringing you pleasure?”
Ayesha fought back an answer, as she remained silent. She seemed powerless to stop him.
Undaunted, Maximus continued, one hand on her breast rolling her nipple, the other, dipping lightly into her soft folds. Finding her soaked, he smiled against her cheek. His tongue licked the inside of her ear and trailed her neck as she felt his fingers begin to explore her wetness. Circling lightly, he coaxed her bud from its hiding place whilst his fingers moved rhythmically inside her. Feeling her harden under his dextrous thumb, he increased his speed. Her body was sweating as she fought for control, but she had long passed the point where she had any. Moving determinedly Maximus increased the pace of his onslaught as his skilled fingers brought her to near orgasm. Her sex twitched violently as he brought her to the brink repeatedly, only to stop before her final discharge.
“Do you want this?” he asked huskily.
Still defiant, no reply came as Maximus left his fingers inside her and sought her bud with his mouth. Licking her delicately, he felt her buck hard as her sex convulsed around his fingers, gripping them like a vice. He felt a shuddering orgasm rip through her body and when he finally withdrew, he smoothed his hand over her body, resting his wet fingers on her quivering belly.
Ayesha lay trembling in the aftershock. Her husband had never loved her like this. She experienced both shame and pleasure as her body returned to reality.
Maximus was a soldier; a tactician and he had worked out his battle plan. Taking his erect phallus in his own hand, he stroked himself slowly, watching for Ayesha’s response. Licking his lips deliberately, he openly enjoyed his own sexuality as much as he had hers.
Her eyes fixed on the stroking motions of his strong hand. She could see fluid glistening from the slit of his engorged phallus. Ayesha looked in disbelief at his shameless act. His eyes were hooded as his tongue licked his lips. It was the most powerful act she had ever witnessed as she listened to the low moans coming from deep inside him. She wanted to mount him as she watched his face contort with pleasure from his already wet fingers. As his speed increased, he grew larger. Letting out a gasp, his head jerked back and Maximus let out a feral cry as his body stiffened and his seed spurted onto her naked thighs.
She had never seen this before; apart from the bullying soldier, it was surely the most erotic scene she had ever witnessed.
Breathing heavily, Maximus collapsed heavily onto his back, his body trembling as it calmed down. There was something explicitly sexual in this base act played out before this beautiful creature.
“Why?” Ayesha stammered.
“Because we are not all barbarians Ayesha. I put your pleasure before mine as a sign of my respect for you, and I did not force you. I believe I gave you great satisfaction.”
Ayesha nodded, confused and somewhat unfulfilled. She wanted him desperately, his large calloused hands, his sweet mouth and his generous sized phallus. It was all she could do to stop herself climbing on top on him and taking him inside her.
Maximus smiled as lay on his side and prepared to sleep. He knew his plan was working as he felt her body nestle into his back.
They both slept soundly and awoke wrapped in each other’s arms in the morning.
Ayesha felt a large hand stroke her tousled hair as Maximus lightly kissed the top of her head. “I care about you,” he whispered softly as his hand slipped down her body. She stopped him before he went any further; she felt sticky and soiled and her emotions were in turmoil.
Climbing off the bed, she drew the sheet around herself and found the warm water Cicero had left for them. Dabbing her bruised body, she touched her sex, remembering the ecstasy of the night before.
Maximus came up behind her. Stroking the back of her neck, he took the cloth from her and drew it across his aroused body. Turning her to face him, he took her hand and placed it on his hardened member. Her lower lip dropped as he claimed her mouth, his tongue licking the inside of her cheeks.
Ayesha felt herself flood as she took his velvet hardness in her hand. Maximus moved back and forth as if to encourage her, his hands reaching for the cheeks of her ass as he hoisted her off her feet, rubbing his hardness at her entrance.
Breathing ragged, Ayesha knew she could not resist this time.
“Take me to your bed.”
Maximus lifted her easily and carried her to the bed.
“Lay down, let me love you!” Ayesha breathed.
Maximus lay on his back and watched himself disappear into her warm welcoming mouth. His hands grasped her hair as she bobbed back and forth, sucking furiously. He felt his body respond instinctively as his mind clouded with desire. Pulling her off gently, he breathed, “please, just lick me, I don’t want this to be over so soon.
Ayesha pulled back, licked her lips and ran her tongue lightly up and down his length, circling the tip, watching him melt with desire beneath her. Her own fire was burning furiously as she ground into the blanket trying to find some release.
Maximus’ world went black as her fingers stroked his underside whilst her tongue licked his testicles. Once again, he stopped her -he wanted this to last.
Ayesha reached for his mouth, kissing him deeply, her hands savouring his broad shoulders and broad chest. His guttural noises told her he was close. She felt his fingers exploring her wetness as they had done the night before. This time, it was different. She abandoned herself completely, moving in time with his hand. “Lick me, please?” She begged.
Maximus needed no second invitation as he spread her wide and buried his head between her legs. His tongue flicked lightly over the sensitised area before plunging deep inside her. She tasted like honey as he drank from her body. He held her firm as he sucked hard, bringing her to a shuddering climax, licking, blowing, and teasing her to the brink of insanity. Ayesha let out a scream as her climax broke. Maximus held her quivering body while she recovered, but his own needs could wait no longer. In one swift movement, he pulled her on top of him and watched as he disappeared deep inside her. He remained still for a moment, savouring the exquisite feeling of her warmth.
Ayesha’s senses reeled as his broad girth filled her completely. She clung to his body, squeezing and contracting her walls, heightening both their pleasure. A second climax followed quickly as she gripped him like a vice. He grew harder and larger with every second as he raised his hips to meet her, caressing her breasts and body. Feeling him judder, she felt him become rigid and the spray of his seed deep inside her. He made an animal-like growl, the like of such she had never heard before as his noises rumbled to a slow halt.
Shivering, they both collapsed, trying to breathe, unable to move their spent bodies.
As Maximus’ breath returned, he heard Ayesha’s breathing deepen as she fell into a satiated sleep. Spent and exhausted, he followed suit.
When they awoke, they shared the sweetest of kisses as their naked bodies touched and comforted each other, but it was time to rise and work. Maximus had training and duties to attend to.
That evening Maximus returned. He could see Ayesha had spent the day worrying about her fate and whilst he wanted to ravish her, he wanted to get to know her.
Cicero had left their food and Ayesha suggested they dine in the small garden at the back of the house. Maximus had not even noticed it, but as they set their bowls on the sundial, they sat in the midst of greenery and scented flowers. It was a small haven in their time of turmoil.
Maximus said as little as possible about Avidius, not wanting to frighten her any more than he had to.
Ayesha told of how she grew up in this house until her parents died and her uncle moved in. By then, she had married her husband and was happily settled.
Maximus allowed her to continue without interruption; gladly listening to her life unfolding before him. Drinking wine, he relaxed and enjoyed the cool of the evening. Watching her was so pleasurable as she laughed a little with the effects of her wine. Suddenly she went silent and stared at him.
Furrowing his brow, he asked, “What?”
Shaking her hair loose, she untied the bows on her shoulders. Her dress slithered to the floor leaving her naked. Sweeping the bowls noisily from the sundial, she sat on top of it, spreading herself for Maximus to see.
Within moments, Maximus was naked as he kneeled down and scraped his beard along her inner thighs. His fingers exposed her as his tongue began its exploration. She writhed so violently, he stopped, grinned at her and spoke huskily, “Be still.”
His hands worked their magic on her body as her honey trickled over his face. Standing, he pushed her gently back as he twisted her nipples and kissed her thoroughly. The scent of the night and the cool air added to their abandon.
“I want to take you from behind,” Maximus breathed.
“Well, I have; turn over for me,” he spoke softly, his large hands caressing her back and buttocks, preparing her for their joining. His hand stroked her as he described what he was about to do. She shivered at his deep voice. He told her it would feel different and she would climax, but from inside. He watched her nod as he guided himself smoothly inside her.
Maximus was right. It felt much fuller this way and as he started to move, she became aware of his tip hitting a spot inside her. He didn’t reach it every time, but listened as she responded to his thrusts. Finding the spot, he repositioned himself at an angle that struck her with each thrust. Feeling her body convulse beneath him, he knew he had found what he was looking for. Ironically, he climaxed first. As his liquid shot into her, her sex convulsed as she climaxed around his softening phallus. It was a perfect coupling, even if they had to be fairly athletic to avoid pointed dial.
Wrapped tightly in each other’sarms they leant against the sundial. The sun was down and the sky had darkened. A chill filled the air as Maximus led Ayesha back inside. He was beginning to care deeply for her and experienced an unprecedented sense of dread at the thought of losing her.
They talked late into the night. Ayesha told of her soldier husband who had been lost in battle during the early years of their marriage. She told Maximus how she much she loved him and how she almost died herself when her daughter was stillborn.
“I have been so lonely. I loved my husband but I barely knew him, and as for my child?” Her eyes brimmed as she spoke, not looking at him. “The only consolation that I have, is that I came from a wealthy family and could keep myself in the manner I was accustomed to.
In the dim light, she posed a thoughtful question. “Enough of me, how did you become so skilled… in bed?”
Maximus related the tale of meeting *Domitia, thinking she was a boy soldier and finding himself having sex with her when the truth came out.
“It wasn’t very good for her the first time, and I thought there should be more to it, so I asked Sergius,” he spoke, blushing slightly at the memory. “Sergius was happily married and he taught me how women should be loved.”
“What about your father, could not have asked him, did he not instruct you?”
“My father was a soldier and I saw very little of him when I was growing up. From what I remember, he was a good man and I think he would have instructed me, had he not died.”
“So we both bear our losses?”
“Yes.” Maximus nodded
“You are indeed a most unusual man, Maximus. Sergius taught you well; would you like to demonstrate again?”
Maximus drew her into his arms and kissed her deeply, drowning in the pleasure of the two of them together. They made slow tender love until the morning broke. It was surely the most wonderful experience either of them had ever had.
As the time drew near for Ayesha’s departure, she knew she would have to come up with a plan. She wanted to keep Maximus in the dark about her plans. What he didn’t know could not hurt him.
When Maximus left that morning, Ayesha called Cicero to their quarters. She put forward her plan to poison Avidius, not kill him, but put him out of action and make her escape through the old underground tunnels.
Cicero listened intently and breathed a sigh of relief that something was being done. He knew how much his Master loved this woman and he would have done anything to help them.But he feared getting his master into trouble so he kept everything secret.
Ayesha planned an escape route to a distant relative in a neighbouring town. Cicero would meet her at the exit from Avidius’ dwelling and procure a sturdy steed for the journey. She planned to escape during the middle of the night, and be well on her way before anyone realised something was amiss.
The fateful morning arrived. Their last coupling proved soft and tender; they had ceased fighting their destiny. Maximus held Ayesha close. She felt a small tear trickle down her forehead, and marvelled at the mighty soldier who shed a tear for her. But she had vowed to keep her plans secret.
Trying to reassure him, she spoke. “I have some poison. I will use it if I have to, but I will give Avidius what he wants. I won’t fight him and I will try and please him &endash; and perhaps he will let me go when he has done with me?
Maximus winced at the thought of Ayesha in bed with him. Closing his eyes tightly, he prayed to his God.
A last lingering kiss, hands touching for the last time, Maximus watched as Ayesha was led away by the General’s guard. Burying his head in his hands, he sobbed softly as soon as they were out of earshot.
The General was busy but had ordered Ayesha to be prepared for him that night. Her day was spent bathing and preening her body. He was already part drunk when she was taken to him. She could see the lust in his eyes as he ordered her to strip.
Ayesha put her plan into action.
“Sir, I hear you are the most mighty of lovers, the greatest of all men.”
He smiled at her flattery.
“I am a little nervous in such a great presence, may I have a drink to relax me? I want to be sure to please you, sir!”
Avidius was delighted at the unexpected turn of events. Maybe he should have given Maximus more credit.
Pouring a drink for each of them, he beckoned her close. Turning towards her discarded garment, she reached for the poison and tipped a small amount into the General’s goblet. Drinking her own wine in one gulp, she watched Avidius mimic her action as he stroked himself and beckoned her head towards his erect phallus.
The sight of him turned her stomach, but she knew the poison would act quickly as she lowered her head and prepared to take him in her mouth. As she began to swallow him, she felt his upper body buckle as he toppled back onto his bed. His eyes stared venom at her; he knew what she had done. Just before he passed out, he spoke.
“You whore, I will kill you for this.”
Ayesha grabbed her dress and headed for a secret passageway leading to the tunnels. Down the secret stairway, through the dark dusty tunnels, her heart beat like a trip hammer as she ran like the wind. Her fear was so great she kept looking behind to see if anyone was following. Hearing a noise, she stopped in her tracks, but it was only a sleeping bat flapping from the shadows. It scared her witless.
She and Cicero had worked their plans carefully and she found him and the steed waiting for her at the secret exit in a nearby cave.
“You are a loyal servant Cicero; Maximus will thank you well for this.”
Cicero smiled. He loved his Master and would have done anything to serve him.
Hugging him tightly and thanking him for his kindness, she mounted her horse and set off on her journey.
By morning she had arrived at her cousin’s dwelling in the neighbouring village. It was a small farming community, a valuable resource to the Army. It was allowed it to continue unharmed in return for regular supplies and rations.
Avidius slept a drugged sleep. His guards assumed he was having the night of his life. No one knew what had taken place until the morning came and Avidius woke feeling extremely unwell.
As the truth dawned and he remembered what had happened, he screamed for the guards and Maximus. Both arrived and stared in incredulity at the sight before them. It was evident that Maximus knew nothing of the girl’s plans. He was too honest to lie, the stupid brat.
In the midst of his ranting, a dispatch arrived from Caesar ordering him to return to Sounion to meet with him before he departed for Rome. There was no choice but to leave Maximus in charge of the Legion, Avidius knew he would do his duty.
As he handed down his orders, his face twisted as he spoke. “You have crossed me, Maximus and you will be punished on my return.” With that, he left for his meeting.
Avidius ordered the woman to be found. He despatched part of his private guard to search the neighbouring towns. The woman was to be killed on sight. His aide Brutus was ordered to take charge of the search and ultimate execution.
Maximus explained his circumstance to Quintus and asked his old friend to take command in his absence. Finding Cicero, Maximus managed to extract the truth from him. Hugging his servant, he thanked him and slipped into the saddle. He mounted one horse and tethered a second to the reigns of the first. Argento was asturdy mount. They would travel swiftly. Riding like the wind, he reached the village before the soldiers. Ayesha had left word where he should be taken if he arrived. Her cousin Petra approached him quietly and led him to the underground cellar where Ayesha was hiding.
The lynch party were hot on the heels of Ayesha. Brutus was a protégé of Avidius and had been schooled well. He was equally as evil as his Master and had always detested the pious Meridius. He was going to enjoy making him, and the whore, suffer.
Brutus arrived at the village but waited until nightfall, lulling Maximus andAyesha into a false sense of security before he struck.
Maximus and Ayesha took the time to plan a strategy. She was to travel to his uncle in Spain. Time was short; there was no time for loving. They stole kisses and embraces as they hurried their plans.
Petra was preparing the evening meal, when she suddenly felt an arm around her and a knife at her throat. She choked in shock. She had heard nothing.
“Where are they?” Brutus demanded.
The woman made no reply. Brutus left her half strangled on the floor as he rampaged through the small dwelling. Drawing back a curtain, he discovered a set of steps leading to the cellar. With his right arm raised, he summoned his men who bolted down the stairs behind him. Their armour clanking, they announced their presence to Maximus and Ayesha who were hurriedly loading up a cart in the cellar which lead to an underground tunnel. The pair spun round. Ayesha gasped in fear as she saw what the fates had in store for her.
Brutus had given strict orders that Maximus must not be killed. They overpowered him and led him away. “The General will deal with you later,” Brutus spat.
Maximus knew there was no point trying to reason with Brutus; he was no better than Avidius and they were almost equal in rank. He fought like a tiger as they dragged him away. It took five soldiers to hold him as Brutus’ eyes gleamed in readiness for the kill. Ayesha’s sad eyes would haunt Maximus for a long time. The remaining soldiers headed towards the trembling lady, but it was too late. Brutus watched in horror as she collapsed before him. She had swallowed her own poison and lay lifeless on the ground.
Maximus had known she would do that. As the tactician he was, he knew that they had covered every eventuality and he was relieved she had not died at the hands of Avidius’ mob. Whispering silent goodbyes, he quelled his sobbing heart as he was taken back to camp. Maximus knew his value to Avidius; he would have to take whatever punishment the bastard metered out, but he would be allowed to live.
On Avidius’ return, Maximus was dragged from his bed in the middle of the night and beaten to the point of collapse. Avidius took great pleasure administering the punishment. Reigning blow after blow, he spoke. “The next time you disobey me or meddle in my private affairs, I will have you killed.” Maximus knew he meant it and was lucky to escape with his life.
Life eventually returned to normal. Training, discipline and new plans all helped Maximus grieve his loss. He kept himself occupied and relived his nights of passion with Ayesha. Would he ever find that kind of love again, he wondered?
It took some time to recover from the loss of Ayesha, but Maximus allowed himself to gain strength from his experiences. He cried each night for his lost love and prayed to his Gods for strength and peace in her passing.
It was late one night, some months later, and Maximus had had a very hard day. He went to bed and, his heart in turmoil; he fell into a deep sleep.
He awoke to see a colourful robin perched at the end of his bed. He tried to speak, but no words formed as the robin spoke to him in an unearthly voice.
“Maximus. I am your guide. You need not fear. You must mourn your loss and let it pass. The Gods have determined your fate and Ayesha was not to be part of it. You have many tests ahead of you and the Gods will be with you. You are chosen and you are to go into the world and meet your destiny. Do you understand?”
Maximus nodded as he listened in wonder.
“We shall keep you safe until we meet in Elysium. Now grow in strength and go forth.”
Maximus awoke the next day. He felt much better. The sun was shining and the skies were clear. Avidius had found a new playmate and was leaving him alone. They would break camp soon and life would move on. He was a changed man. These life experiences had altered him, made him stronger and wiser. This had been what he had sought, although he wished there had been an easier way of achieving it.
As he walked the streets, he saw a robin perched in a tree. It looked straight at him. The Gods were with him. He would fulfil his destiny, whatever that may be.
Smiling, he entered a new era of his life. It would be some time before he would see the robin again, but see it, he would.
© Athena 2003
*Domitia and Sergius are characters taken from Ilaria’s story, No Longer a Boy.