Last pre-release nibble of Games of Rome. A peek at a scene featuring Gaius and Allerix. No plot spoilers. As always, this may or may not make the final cut. I’ve had to push the publication date forward just a few more days to Nov. 20th. Fingers crossed my crazy life will not interrupt again. We’re well over 100K words now, and growing! \o/
Out on the terrace, the two enjoyed a leisurely, scrumptious meal as they reclined side by side along the couch. Gaius reached over Allerix’s shoulder to feed him bites of seasoned lamb, poached snails, and green olives; neither man had bothered with clothes. As the night wore on, the air grew cooler, and the stars’ twinkling lights grew brighter. Gaius brushed his lips up Alle’s neck and whispered into his ear, “Are you cold?”
“No, sir, but I’m stuffed. I can’t eat another morsel. Did the meal exceed your expectations, Dominus?”
“Euphronia’s cooking is impossible to surpass, but this spread was tasty.”
“Why didn’t you relocate Euphronia to Rome with the rest of us?”
“She’d requested to remain in Campania. I suspect she fancies our dear Plautus. The woman asked me a couple of curious questions before we’d left: his age, whether he’d ever married, and other such trifles. Perhaps a romance will blossom while we’re away.” Gaius grinned as he popped the last succulent snail into his mouth, tossing its empty shell to the floor.
“Plautus, the grumpy, portly cook at the stable house?” Alle snorted, mocking Plautus’s rotund girth with exaggerated arm gestures.
“Everyone wants love, Alle—slaves, barbarians, and even plump, ornery veterans. All men desire to share their hearts. And speaking of desires, let’s light the braziers and retire to the bed. My damn feet are freezing.”