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Posts Tagged ‘excerpts’

The City War: Excerpt #3

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

Another installment of The City War, comin’ atcha! This is part three of six, posting a complete (SEXY) scene from the novella.

You can find previous parts here.

***

There was a fresco on the wall of his bedroom, a painting of Venus Verticordia, the changer of hearts, the punisher of the disobedient and unfaithful—Porcia’s idea of a joke, most likely. At any rate, from the bed, only the curves of her hips and the smooth lines of her arms could be seen. He undressed and lay down, turning away from the fresco, studying the geometric patterns on the other wall.

The door to the cubiculum opened silently, a moving shadow in the shadows. Brutus watched as Cassius stepped inside, leaning one shoulder on the edge of the doorway.

“All quiet?” Brutus asked.

“This making me play at host is a little tiresome,” Cassius replied.

“I thought you were enjoying it.”

“It’s not far from making me play at wife,” Cassius complained, and Brutus sat up and slid to the edge of the bed, grinning.

“And you don’t enjoy that?” he asked as Cassius shut the door and came forward, twining his arms around Brutus’s shoulders. “Serving me? Just a little?”

“Not in public,” he said in his ear, easing his thighs down around Brutus’s, settling their hips together. It rucked up his tunic and Brutus pushed it up further, hands exploring at leisure, pulling away the cloth he wore underneath, tracing skin and muscle they already knew well. There was the scar on Cassius’s belly where he’d nearly died during an early campaign, and there was the long straight line down his thigh where one of Caesar’s men had nicked him during the civil war. On his shoulder, as Brutus pulled the fabric to one side, were two more scars from foreign archers, and on his back, just to the left of his spine, a knot where a horse had kicked him.

Brutus kissed the join of Cassius’s throat and shoulder. Cassius let his head fall back, body supported by the hand Brutus held between his shoulder blades. Brutus eased his arm around a little, pulling at the long tunic, and Cassius ducked out of it, curling in close again. He rolled his hips, a low hmm rumbling in his throat, and Brutus twisted to ease him onto the bed. Cassius slitted his eyes and smiled, seductive, affectionate.

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The City War: Excerpt #2

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

And here’s today’s excerpt from The City War, available for preorder from Riptide Press!

You can find yesterday’s here — eventually all of them will string together to form a completed scene from the novella.

***

By the time the servants brought in the pig – small but well-cooked, and stuffed with tender laurices and fragrant spices — Brutus saw the horse-boy watching the dancers as well, crouched in a shadow behind a tall window that let the breeze pass from the outer yard into the triclinium. He caught the boy’s dark eyes on the hips and breasts of the girls, and left him alone.

Brutus never overindulged, or at least not to the point some men did. Cassius sometimes did, but he was careful tonight, easy with his wine and delicate with his food. Aristus, by the time the end-of-feast offering to the house gods was complete, looked like he’d rather wander off somewhere to sleep. One of the girls had laid her head in Aristus’s lap, and Brutus knew a few others were licking their chops to try the same with him.

</lj-cut text=”A nice change from the jaded whores in Rome, eh?”>“A nice change from the jaded whores in Rome, eh?” Cassius asked in Greek as a girl settled shyly on the edge of his couch.

“Not much less jaded,” Brutus remarked. There was a laugh from the doorway, and he turned, startled, but the horse-boy had already pulled back into the shadows and could not be seen. The boy’s father must have been wealthy to educate him in Greek.

He turned back to the room to find Aristus with one proprietary hand on the thigh of the girl with her head in his lap, though his eyelids were drooping. Cassius glanced casually at Brutus, who nodded.

“All right, Aristus, off with you,” Cassius said, gesturing for one of the guards to come in. Aristus looked like he was about to object, glancing from Cassius to Brutus, but he was already being walked toward the door. “Take him away, put him to bed. Let the girl go too if he wants her.”

“Sleep well, Aristus,” Brutus called, examining the desserts on the platter the servant had set out. “Partaking?” he asked Cassius.

Cassius tilted his head as a girl with some visible daring sat close to Brutus on his couch.

“Are you?” he asked, and Brutus looked up at the girl, shaking his head. She pouted but slid away.

“No, I’m tired too,” he said. “Your steward’s around here somewhere, isn’t he?”

“Sure.”

“Tell him to pay everyone and have the musicians back here the day after tomorrow. We’ll do a feast for the local gentry.”

“Very well,” Cassius replied, hoisting himself off the couch. Brutus slipped away to his bedroom while Cassius spoke with the steward. He really should be the one, as host, but if Cassius wanted to play at domina here in Brutus’s villa, he wasn’t going to stop him.

The City War: Excerpt #1

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm

So, I wrote this novella called The City War. It’s an exciting tale of history and sex!

Riptide Press is publishing it as both an ebook and paperback (as a paperback it comes combined with another novella in the Warriors Of Rome series); the ebook comes out November 19th, but you can preorder it any time. As part of the promotional lead-up to the opening sale day, I’ll be posting excerpts from the novella all week.

These pick up where the excerpt on the sales page leaves off, and over the course of the week will compose an entire scene from the story. A SEXY SCENE.

Here’s today’s.
To my dear brother, Marcus Brutus,

I send you all the best greetings and salutations and hope you are well. This letter travels with my husband to the Villa Rustica Bruti, and with it my apologies I could not join him. The house is in a state right now with renovations to the north wing requiring the presence of Domina, so I am bound to stay.

My lord Cassius has news for you and many matters of state to discuss, I know and somewhat fear. I also know that you have fought bravely together in the past and were stronger for the close bonds you formed then. This is not war, but I fear it may be soon. Listen to him, I urge you, no matter what you may think when he first speaks.

I would not interfere, my brother, with the bond you keep with my husband. In all sisterly duty and love, I know now is the time to share him with you, and hope Rome will be the better for it. Look after him at the villa, and for the love of sacred things, look after yourself.

I know how you enjoy his company.

I remain your affectionate sister,

Junia Tertia

Brutus, if he subscribed to any philosophy, was a Platonist, not a Stoic by any means, though more stoic than Cassius by a good deal. Cassius was a strong soldier and an honorable politician, but he loved a rich life more than Brutus, and it showed in his idea of an evening meal among friends. He must have been at the villa rustica at least two days for his cook to prepare a meal so large, and for his servants to round up so much entertainment. It wasn’t unusual, but there seemed to be a sort of fever behind it, and combined with Junia’s cryptic letter, it made Brutus wary.

In the country, there were no comedians or great wits to invite, few musicians and no street entertainers to hire. But Cassius had found (or, more likely, sent servants to find) local girls and boys to dance for them, some with obvious hopes of winning the patronage, however temporary, of a senator come to the country to enjoy himself.

The servants brought in trays of apricots in sweet sauce and lentils imported from Egypt, roasted thrushes, goose livers in garum and oysters in cumin sauce. The men ate while the entertainers danced or sang. There was one young boy with an especially sweet voice, and two of the girls had hips that drew even Brutus’s attention. The guards watched covertly through the doorways.

Cassius occasionally licked sweet apricot sauce off his thumb, glancing at Brutus with lowered eyelids to see if he noticed. Brutus saw that Aristus did, and the older man drank more wine than usual. Brutus just busied himself counteracting the heat of the cumin with bites of honey-soaked melon, and ignored them both as children. He was getting tired of Cassius’s air of mystery.

To be continued…