Touch me…please Aulus! Kiss me the way you do…rub your fingers over my skin, and massage my breasts, before you touch my eager femaleness! I need you! Mania spoke in her dream, enraptured with her lover, lying on a couch, as he slowly peeled away her clothing, revealing her beauty and feminine softness. She was deep in her sleep, consumed by her lust and desire, when a small bump of her own sleeping couch disturbed her, pulling her away from her enticing night vision.
Mania moaned softly, moving slightly, peeking with one bleary eye. She noted her husband Gaius by the lamp light, busy getting dressed.
“What…” she managed to whisper at last, vaguely guessing that she had felt him bumping her sleeping place in passing.
“Nothing…I didn’t mean to disturb you,” he said, not turning to even look at her.
“Are you going to the Senate?” she whispered.
“Of course…go back to sleep…the servants are up.” he informed her. He gathered his toga, intending to go out and eat, before having his slave place it on him. Passing close to her place, she reached for his leg, touching his knee first, before slipping her hand up under his tunic, to caress his organ.
“Wouldn’t you like to play a bit?” she asked, dreamy.
“I have no time. Besides, you’re already pregnant. You should focus on other things, such as your duties!” he insisted, none too kindly. Mania sighed, pulling her hand back, before turning over, stung as always by his lack of interest in having her.
“I’ll see you later…we’re to go to your friend’s for dinner,” she whispered.
“Of course,” he agreed, and slipped away.
Mania tried to return to sleep, eager to dream more. Her anger interfered, frustrating her. She was only five months pregnant, and her desire was unabated.
Why can’t he make time for me? He must have a mistress! she thought, not for the first time. She felt a substantial surge of guilt, considering the fact of her own lack of faithfulness.
I wouldn’t do such a thing, if I was properly attended to! she thought, wishing to reduce her guilt. That her husband would suffer small embarrassment, should he be discovered conducting an affair, while she could be divorced, beaten, or killed for such an offense seemed maddeningly unjust. Still, it was irrefutably true. She had been the daughter of a wealthy and patrician family, but had been as much property, to be married off for gain or to attain useful ties as the daughter of a goat herder.
I simply had a bigger dowry! she thought, still offended by this.
Turning onto her back, she gently caressed her belly, delighted by the sweet curve of it. She was expecting her seventh child. I wonder what this one shall be…boy or girl? Gaius so much wants another son, since only one has survived. I’m pleased by the three daughters, but he seems to care much less than I, she thought, annoyed by this fact.
Mania frowned, lying in the dim light cast by the single oil lamp; the first light would not break for an hour. Tossing back and forth, she found little comfort. She finally sat up, tossing the covers back, needing to pee. It took little consideration to decide not to bother putting on clothes, choosing to use the chamber pot, instead of dressing and walking to the bath room and its latrine. Her slave would empty it for her later. When she finished, she slipped back into bed, not expecting to sleep, but unwilling to go out, and see Gaius before he departed. She was still angry at his lack of attention.
Mania occupied herself, eyes closed, dreamily contemplating her lover, Aulus. He was much younger than her, being barely twenty to her matronly thirty three years. Still, he had no lack of desire nor ability to perform, easily having her two or three times each time they managed to meet for their illicit lovemaking. She became more aroused, thinking of him, and was soon lightly caressing her wet femaleness. She gasped, and jerked simultaneously, when someone sat on the side of her couch.
“Cassia! What are…you…startled me!” she complained, seeing her personal slave, the attendant who helped her with all manner of her private and personal needs.
“Good morning mistress! Are you ready to rise…or do you wish to sleep more?” the woman whispered gently. The look of amusement on her face made plain that she knew exactly what Mania had been doing with her hand under the covers. Mania hesitated, not sure what she wanted.
“Yes, mistress. Would you like me to massage you? Perhaps that will make you wake, or return to sleep!”
“I’d like that…yes!”
“Should I rub everything?” Cassia asked, a smug look on her face.
“Of course.” Mania sighed. Cassia went out, and returned with a small jar containing the finest oil.
“I don’t think I can easily lie on my belly!” Mania cautioned.
“Of course you can!” Cassia insisted, grabbing extra pillows. She had her mistress move, and positioned two one above and one just below her belly. “Better?”
“Yes,” Mania sighed, pleased at how able her slave was. Cassia had once been a Greek citizen, was well educated and very bright. She had been captured during a small rebellion, and because she was young and pretty, she had merely been raped and enslaved, instead of being killed. She owed her life to the greed of the merchants, and the nobility, who were eager for a cut of the profits. Gaius had purchased her, and had given her to Mania as a present on their first wedding anniversary. She had come to love her devoted service and companionship.
Cassia worked unhurriedly, having no other task waiting her. Others would see to the children, and other household chores. She was only concerned with pleasing her mistress, and catering to her whims. She used an abundance of oil, making Mania’s skin slick with it. Her fingers were strong, and she deftly worked the muscles, beginning at Mania’s neck, and moving slowly down the woman’s back.
“You’re tense…what has made you so?” Cassia asked, having no hesitation to ask personal questions; she was closer to her mistress than any other.
“Gaius…he had no desire for me this morning,” she complained.
“Do you know why?
Mania shrugged slightly. “He said he had no time,”
“Perhaps that’s true.”
“Perhaps he has a mistress?” Mania suggested, sounding curt and bitter. Cassia continued to knead Mania’s butt, saying nothing. This made Mania curious.
“You never lack for words! Do you know something?” she demanded.
“Mistress…I should say no word against your husband. He treats me well, in all manners!” the younger woman declared.
“He’s never had you?” Mania demanded.
“No! I should not be able to lie about such a thing! But…” she stopped suddenly.
“But what? Keep rubbing my butt too!” Mania teased.
“Perhaps I overheard something incorrectly once, a few months ago.
“And perhaps you didn’t hear it wrong? What was it?” Mania demanded.
“I…he…well, he was speaking to someone…you were gone, and not yet returned from your affairs. I thought he was…perhaps speaking of a woman. I heard no name, but he seemed to be praising her well, especially…you know,” Cassia ended, hesitant to be more blatant.
“Praising her ability when she was naked?” Mania demanded, a stern tone creeping into her voice.
“I…perhaps. Mistress…I could be quite mistaken! Please don’t accuse him of anything on only my testimony!”
“That doesn’t surprise me, nor does it please me any.”
“It’s making you tense! Relax!” Cassia insisted, using her index finger to caress Mania’s anus. When she relaxed, Cassia slipped the oiled finger inside, deeply massaging her dark hole. “That’s better!” Mania sighed contentedly.
They were both quiet while Cassia worked down Mania’s legs, and then massaged her feet. She helped her turn over, before slowly working her way back up the fronts of her legs. At the top of the thighs, she stopped, and went back up to Mania’s neck, slowly working back down, she playfully rubbed Mania’s breasts, causing a large smile on their owner, and after giving special attention to the skin on the belly, which bore only a few small stretch marks from the previous pregnancies, she paused to dip her fingers in more oil
“Spread your legs!” Cassia insisted, before applying her oiled fingers to Mania’s sensitive clitoris. The slave worked precisely, toying with her mistress’ feminine self, slipping two fingers deep into her vagina, while using her other hand’s fingers to rub the clitoris with a slow and strong circular motion. Mania’s small moans grew steadily louder, until she pulled a pillow hard against her face, to contain her loud scream of delight. Cassia slowed and then stopped, knowing when to quit, and not over stimulate the hypersensitive female essence of her mistress. When Mania emerged from under her pillow, she was flushed from her arousal, and grinning, delighted by her orgasm.
“Did I do well?” Cassia asked, having long ago discovered that Mania found this an irresistible pleasure.
“Of course…you always do perfect!” Mania suggested, delighted by her servant’s skill. “Does that make you want yourself played with?” she wondered, having never thought to consider this before.
“Yes, but I’ll address that with someone!” Cassia replied, giggling.
“Who? You aren’t supposed to be had by the male slaves!”
“Oh, no…that’s forbidden. But there are several female slaves here, and…” Cassia shrugged, grinning widely, looking guilty.
“I see! So we have a house full of lesbos? Did you do that when you lived in Greece?”
“Of course not, mistress. But here…” she paused, touching Mania’s oily spread self gently, “many women seem to discover the need for pleasure. Don’t they?” she asked, eyes gleaming.
“What are you implying?” Mania wondered, shocked.
“Mistress…your friends Seeta and Tita were not here upon your couch to read verse, were they?” she asked. Mania sat up suddenly, which put her nose an inch from Cassia’s.
“You…what…spied on me?”
“I was only thinking to bring clean sheets into the room, but stopped, when I discovered you three bare, and so engaged! Are you ashamed of that? You aren’t alone in wanting to be loved!” They sat, staring at each other, before Mania closed her eyes, and leaned close, to kiss Cassia.
“You must promise to keep this a secret! Gaius would divorce me, should he hear of such!”
“Mania…mistress…he’d divorce you much faster, if he knew of Aulus, wouldn’t he?” Mania’s mouth dropped open, as she sat, paralyzed.
“How…how can…you know…”
“You’ve whispered his name, while napping, not your husband’s!” Mania seemed likely to be permanently mute. “If it pleases you to know, Gaius mentions someone named Lucia when he takes his siesta, occasionally!” Cassia declared, impishly grinning. Mania reached out, and touched Cassia’s face gently.
“You are the best servant a lady might have! I love you!” Mania declared, reaching eagerly to hug her.
“Oh, sorry!” she sighed, remembering that she was completely slick with oil, as Cassia laughed.
“Come…let me get you wiped off! I’m sure you have much to do!” Cassia sighed, delighted to be acknowledged and favored.
Gaia, at fifteen, the oldest daughter and the first born child of Mania and Gaius, was used to being well privileged. Even though she sometimes felt slighted by her father, for being a girl, she had no lack of expectation regarding her status in Roman society as a whole. No matter what, the daughter of a Roman Senator was not insignificant or lacking, in either things or regard.
Her friends were either members of her large and wealthy extended family, or other daughters, of the well connected and equally well off. That this became almost cloying at times, their smugness and disdain for anyone not like themselves making it even seem dirty to say hello to the common person.
Gaia had made the mistake of mentioning this to her mother one day, and had been thoroughly lashed by Mania’s tongue, the older woman appalled by her daughter’s shallowness and elitism.
“But mother! What good is being noble…being born into a better family, if you can’t look down on the commoners?” Gaia cried, looking quite shocked.
“You have no idea what nobility was once considered to be…do you? Part of what makes them privileged is the understanding that we show decency and kindness to those below us!”
“And how long ago was that the order?! You date yourself, mother, if you remember such a thing!” Gaia had laughed. This had gotten the young woman jerked up, bent over a table, her tunic tossed up to expose her bare bottom, and a switch applied handsomely to her soft and spoiled rear. She had then been sent to her room. She understood that her mother was well displeased by her mouthiness.
A much more contrite and less mouthy daughter had been summoned back later.
“Mother…I’m so sorry! Please…don’t be mad at me more! That was crass and improper!”
“Gaia, I don’t speak just to hear myself talking! I’m the mother, and you are no adult! Don’t lose sight of that!”
“Yes, mother!” Gaia sighed, her bottom still stinging, a fine reminder of her foolishness.
“Mother…can you explain…why do all our family and friends look down on the merchants? Aren’t many of them very wealthy?” Mania had looked down, considering this. Her lover was a merchant’s son, a fact that would only add more shame to her adultery.
“It’s complicated, and of long standing,” she suggested. Seeing Gaia watching, apparently willing to sit and listen, she had begun.
“Once, the Patrician families were not much different than all others. They were farmers, mostly, and proud enough to trace their lineage from the founding families of Rome. They used their positions mostly to do good for the Republic; many served as leaders and statesmen, or lead troops into battle. They were given many gifts and much wealth in gratitude for their service.”
“Isn’t father’s family one that can be counted back to that time?” Gaia wondered.
“Of course. My own was not nearly as…stately, and my father was thrilled beyond belief to have me married to your father’s clan!”
“But you…how did you feel?”
Mania laughed. “Daughter’s aren’t permitted to feel, at least not regarding who they marry. Oh, certainly, I was excited…he is very handsome. But…Gaia, a woman has to do her duty. We can’t survive without being part of someone’s family! Even the plebeians are so connected. When it’s time, you’ll be given too, and will become part of your husband’s family. It is how we order our lives!”
“But how many are unhappy with all that? What of you? Are you pleased?” Gaia asked, innocent and unprepared for her mother’s reaction. Mania turned away, hiding her face, a sudden fall of tears coming unbidden. “I have no wish to consider such a thing!” she gasped. Gaia sat, stunned, considering what this implied.
“You are unloved?” Gaia whispered, tentatively, not eager to be slapped for being pushy or insolent.
“I’m not sure what I feel, most days! Still, one does the best one can! Now, let me finish answering your question…the one about the merchants!” Gaia nodded, surprised she had forgotten this.
“The patricians liked to regard themselves as being above such common things as money, and they viewed earning it by commerce or labor, as being too ordinary for their tastes. They saw the management of their large estates, and their farms and vineyards as being somehow more noble and refined, than what the small farmer did, even though there is little difference, except for scale. Now, the elites are as devoted to grubbing for money, but they hide behind other citizens and freedmen, to make as much as possible. They use their wealth to influence laws and appointments, to their benefit. But still, they stand on their own wealth, and mock those of the merchants who openly work to make money. The sad part is that the merchants are by and large more honest, then the upper crust!” Gaia looked astounded, mouth open.
“That’s…mother! That’s awful! So you’re saying our family is a bunch of…hypocrites?”
“Mostly, yes.” Mania confessed calmly.
“Oh. So you’d have no issue with me, if I had a…friend who was from the …merchants?” she whispered.
“Boy or girl?” her mother asked sternly.
“A…a girl? We met her at the shops by my uncle’s house…when I was visiting Tiberia! She seemed very nice and well mannered!” Gaia conveniently neglected to mention the girl’s brother, who was her real interest. She sat, concentrating all of her attention on looking innocent and cute. Her mother looked sternly at her, only softening when Gaia failed to wilt or look guilty.
“I should not be so upset, but your father likely would have other feelings!”
“Because of his…position?”
“Of course! He is very well regarded, and has much influence within the highest levels of the city. Should you do anything to bring attention to yourself, especially scandal or shameful behavior, you would find yourself disowned shockingly fast!”
“So affection and love have no place in our lives?”! Gaia demanded, this seeming bitter and improper. Mania had looked deeply at her child, aching from her own misery regarding this fact.
“Very little, at times, or so it seems,” she sighed.
After this conversation, Gaia had only seen her cousin Tiberia a few times, and each occasion had endeavored to visit the shop where Marcus, the boy she found interesting, occasioned. She was eager to go again, and was waiting, when her mother arrived to eat breakfast, after her morning’s massage. Mania kissed Gaia’s cheek, giving her a hug, which she repeated for all the children.
“You look expectant this morning…what might you be inclined for today?” Mania asked, sitting at the table, and reaching for some fruit.
“Mother…might you require my presence today, or could I go visit Tiberia? I’ve not seen her for many days!”
“Do you wish to take your sister too?”
“Mother! She’s too young to be with the older girls like me and Tiberia!” Gaia sighed, outraged. Her sister was only eleven.
“And why can’t she spend time with her aunt and cousins?”
“If they’re free and willing to babysit her!” Gaia complained, not eager to have a witness tagging along. Still, she was reluctant to complain too loudly, and incite her mother’s suspicion. Smiling suddenly, she tried a new approach.
“How would it be if we take her along, but if Aunt Spuria is not willing, Lucius can escort her back here?”
“So I have to listen to her cry? Alright, you can go alone…with Lucius escorting you! Make sure you establish a time for him to return, to walk you home!”
“Yes, mother. Of course, I could walk myself…it’s only a few blocks…”
“And risk having you captured, and held for ransom…or worse?! I don’t think so!”
“Yes, mother,” Gaia sighed, before hopping up to get ready.
Gaia summoned Livia, her personal slave, and took her off to get properly attired and scented to be seen in public. She wanted to wear more perfume than her mother would consider proper, and sighed helplessly, unwilling to risk displaying her real intentions so foolishly. She handed Livia her choice of fragrance, and let her helper apply a proper amount. This gave her the option of blaming her slave if her mother found fault with her aroma.
Giving her mother a brief hug, letting her examine her, for forms sake, she noted only a tiny frown, before she smiled.
“Very nice! Be home for the mid day meal, or soon after it, should Spuria invite you to stay for it!”
“I will find out, and tell Lucius to advise you!” Gaia breathlessly declared, before going out.
Lucius was her mother’s age, and had been her father’s personal slave when he was Gaia’s age. Loyal and devoted, he now did odds and ends around the household, when not escorting Gaia or her mother when they went out. They walked along, bantering as always, staying close; Lucius had no desire to have her snatched while in his care. This possibility had become more real as the years passed, reflecting a coarsening of society.
“You seem quite excited,” Lucius remarked, as they walked through the crowed street. “Have you found a boy who interests you?” he asked, his impish smile making clear he was teasing her. Still, Gaia’s guilt made her blush suddenly, and she nearly stumbled upon a curbstone. Lucius handily caught her arm, to steady her.
“How…Lucius! You can’t be serious…can you?” she complained loudly.
“Actually I wasn’t, but seeing your response, I’m more inclined to have suspicions. Tell me about him!” he asked. Gaia had stopped, open mouthed, staring at her escort, helplessly caught by her emotions. She finally slumped, and looked down.
“His name is Marcus,” she sighed, barely loud enough for Lucius to hear. She looked up suddenly.
“Please don’t tell my parents! We merely chat upon occasion. His sister is the one Tiberia and I go to see!”
“You find him handsome and delightful,” Lucius declared, reaching out to pat Gaia’s cheek. “Don’t you?”
Gaia grinned, unable to resist. “Of course! I would be less inclined to talk, if he were ugly or rude!” she confessed, eyes sparkling. “Must you tell mother? Please…she might not let me visit Tiberia, and that would be so sad! I promise I won’t do anything improper! Mother has lectured me quite extensively about my duties and the need for me to be a virgin on my wedding night!
Lucius looked at her, suspecting she was as inclined to lie to herself as any young girl might be. He pondered this, looking thoughtful, noting Gaia’s nervousness and concern. As he expected, Gaia finally leaned close, to whisper to him.
“Lucius? I will give you a coin, if you say nothing! This can be our most dear secret!” Gaia spoke, having no hesitation to use money to get her way. Lucius sighed, trying not to grin excessively.
“Very well, but if I must risk a beating, to hide this, I should like two coins?” he slyly suggested. Gaia looked exasperated a moment, but suddenly grinned, and hugged Lucius.
“Very well…two coins…and you say nothing…now or later!” she whispered, before giggling.