Mailor Servius Philodorus Pompey Draconis sat in his bath, looking over the low wall the surrounded his rear courtyard and sighed. Invalided out as Primus Pilus of the first and grandest cohort, the Aguilar, Philodorus was not easy in his new state in life. The farm and estates he had been given, added to those he had inherited from his late wife and his own father insured that he would never want for material comforts. He could indulge his taste for music and for writing. He could entertain himself with the company of the droves of people who wanted to be his guest at dinner or to have him as their guest, the man reputed to be the most heroic and gallant soldier in the army. And at night, there was no lack of candidates for bed mate, male and female, slave or freeborn. But he took no pleasure in any of this. His pleasure had been cut off in the last campaign with his wound, and now, more than nine months later, it did not look like recovery was in his stars.
“Excellency, Marcus Drusus Lentillus Pervine is here. Will you receive him?”
“Of course, Cason, you know Lentillus is always welcome.”
“Yes my Lord. Shall I show him into the library?”
“No. Show him in here.”
“To the bath, my Lord?”
“Did ‘here’ confuse you, Cason?”
The boy bowed and left. Philodorus watched him go. The boy would learn eventually, perhaps. If not, he would be sent back to the slave shop from which he had been bought, after discipline proved ineffective.
“Philip! It is so good to see you.” Lentillus stood feet shoulder width apart, chin raised and chest full. Even off duty he was on duty, a soldier even when a civilian.
Philodorus laughed as he rose from the bath. “Tully, at ease. I am not your commander and you are no longer a centurion. How good to see you.” he picked up a towel and dried his chest and arms and embraced the man.
“Philip. You are magnificent. Here it is, what, a year since the campaign and you have not gained an ounce! Still ready for the field.”
“Well, ‘ready’ has several meanings, Tully. And in some of them I am indeed ‘ready.’ At least, ‘libens and ‘volens’ apply. There is more than one opinion, I am afraid, about ‘potens.’” He smiled wryly and hefted his genitals.
Lentillus did not look down. He understood.
“It’s a miserable way to have been wounded. I can’t imagine what it is like. But Philip, you will recover. You have recovered, at least in every way that is important.
“Tully you’re a lousy liar, but I appreciate it. When that damned dying cur raised his sword from the ground and cut me, I thought it was my thigh. I mean, I felt it in my bollocks, but the wound, I thought was in my thigh. So much blood. It was only when I was back in the medical tent that I found out that the sack had been opened and the orchid was hanging by threads. Not exactly what ‘well hung’ is supposed to mean, you know.
“The doctor did his best, even closing the wound with some sort of sinew, but the orchid was gone. And with it, Tully, I will tell this to you, but to no one else. With it, Tully, any hope of raising my sword again, in both senses of the word.”
“You had given all but two years of your second voluntary enlistment Philip. You deserved the early retirement, and the bonus that you were given.”
“ ‘Deserved’ or ‘needed,’ Tully? I was unfit for any kind of service. I just thank Mars that the doctor was discrete. My men, my servants, even the commanders though, and as far as I know, still think, that the wound was to the thigh and that my only weakness is in my left leg.”
They sat at a table as Cason brought wine, honey, fruit and cheese on a tray. Philip tossed the towel over his lap.
“May I ask you about it, Philip, or would you rather not speak of it?”
“There is nothing you may not ask me, Tully.”
“There is no response, none what so ever?”
“And you have tried…..”
“Everything. Lamilla, my favorite tries to say it does not matter, but I know that she wants a whole man, not half a man. I have sent her back to her family. The slave girls primp and squeal and laugh, but it is obvious that I am not taking a stand with them.”
“And the slave boys?”
“The only one I fancy at all here is Tarcisius, and he would refuse me nothing, but I have not approached him. It would be too shameful to do so and then to not ….. respond.”
“Then, in all this time, ….”
“No, not once.”
Tully looked off into the hills. The deep gray green of the olive trees looked cool, though the sun beat heavy on them and on the courtyard. He did not speak. He turned his face back to his friend, and started to remove his heavy shin guards and boots. He slid from his chair and knelt on the marble, not quite between his friend’s knees.
Philodorus pushed his chair back and looked into the distance. The warmth of his friends mouth engulfed him, pushing back the heavy foreskin as the kneeling man sucked him in. The sucking was more than expert, and Philodorus’s eyes closed with pleasure as he tipped back his head.
Tully’s efforts increased in speed and force, and his own manhood began to rise and make itself known, but there was no response between friend’s legs. He worked hard, but his jaws became tired.
“Tully, thank you, but enough. Please, don’t embarrass me by proving again that I cannot be what I once was. Allow me to keep what dignity I can. Now, stay there, and relieve yourself.”
Tully placed his hand under his tunic and began to stroke. It did not take long until his breathing became heavy, and he gasped, spilling his seed onto the floor. Philodorus smiled and patted the man’s head. Tully leaned forward, as though to kiss his friend’s feet, but just as Philodorus moved to prevent it, he saw that Tully’s face was moving elsewhere. Marcus Drusus Lentillus Pervine licked his semen up from the tiles and stood. Philodorus looked into the deep chestnut eyes of his friend.
“You even removed the evidence of your ability so as not to mock my inability.”
Tully said nothing, but leaned forward and kissed his friend full on the mouth and shared his seed.Next chapter