Chapter One: Slave For Sale

Balbo smacked the young male slave hard across the face. "That's for interrupting the honored Senator, you barn filth!"

"Let the young man speak." Senator Marcus Domitius Alba was bored with Rome in the summer time. Taming an unruly slave promised to enliven the long, hot and dull afternoons.

"You have no right to buy me," cried the slim young man. "My father was Flavius Metellus, a landowner. He was a veteran, and a Roman citizen!" Remembering his mother, sisters, and beloved father made young Titus want to weep. Why had he ever abandoned the family farm for Rome?

"I remember this Flavius Metellus," the powerful Senator said. His cool gray eyes showed no emotion as he looked over the younger man. He was strikingly attractive, with long, thick-lashed dark eyes and a soft, passionate mouth. "You do resemble the man somewhat. His good looks were once the talk of Rome. Do you have any proof of your claim?"

"My uncle," Titus blurted out. "My uncle Claudius Metellus is a tribune in Spain. He's due home at the end of the summer. If you contact him he will gladly pay you. . ."

"Don't listen to him, sir," Balbo broke in harshly. "Every slave taken for debt tells the same tale, a rich uncle somewhere. Shall I have him chained for delivery to your hilltop villa?"

"No chains," Marcus decreed. "The boy will be my guest." His stern face softened as he thumbed the blood from Titus' swollen lower lip. "We'll have to see about your uncle later."

Titus was grateful for the Senator's kindness. But he was a little wary about accepting the older man's hospitality. By law he knew that he was still a slave, even as he soaked away the grime of the slave markets in a luxurious heated bath.

"Is there any way I can repay you, sir?" he asked, when he was reclining on a soft couch beside the Senator at dinner.

"Try the buttered shrimp with this new ginger sauce," Marcus replied, offering a succulent morsel from his own plate.

Titus closed his eyes as he savored the delightful delicacy, unaware of the seductive picture he presented. His lips closed over Marcus' fingertips, and he innocently sucked on them as well. Then all at once the older man was clutching him by the arms and kissing him passionately on the lips!

"Stop that! How dare you . . . Senator, please let go!" Titus scrambled to his feet, flushed and panting, his clothing disarranged by the older man's inexplicable assault. "What do you mean by . . . by dishonoring me in such a vile way?"

"I meant no insult to you, young Titus." Marcus rolled off the couch, giving the new slave a considering stare. "I take it you have never made love to a man before?"

"No!" Titus' voice was full of horror. "Till I came to Rome I never even imagined such a thing. How could you – why did you – do you think I must submit to such things because I am your slave?"

"You are my slave," the powerful Senator replied, his voice as hard and menacing as the crack of an overseer's whip. "But I do not force myself on the unwilling, free or slave. When the time comes, you will invite my kisses eagerly."

"Never!" Titus shuddered as he took in the older man's deep chest, broad shoulders and powerful arms. The Senator had deeply tanned skin, a strong face with well-lined features, and the hardened, seasoned toughness of a Roman soldier. For the first time he realized that Marcus Domitius Alba was more than one of Rome's wealthiest citizens. He was a virile, dominant male who could undoubtedly have any woman he desired. Why then did he insist on pursuing Titus?

"You will feel differently in time," Marcus said smoothly. "In the meantime, you may go to your room and rest. Tomorrow we will find labor for you so you may earn your keep."

"You will have me whipped, or beaten, won't you? You will try to make me give in to you by sending me to the mines or to the galleys." Titus meant to sound proud, and defiant, but his voice shook as he imagined all the punishments in store.

Marcus laughed at him. "Run along to bed, now. Tomorrow you will find out what it means to be a Roman slave."

A/N: I am very new to this type of story. Am I doing it right? Please write a review and tell me if I should keep going!