The slaves lined up on the steps as their master checked them up. They were the four best gladiators of Pompeii, but still just slaves.
Julian made sure to treat them as such, slapping their bellies to check their tightness, grabbing their arms to check the muscles. They didn’t move, as the Master touched their whole body, even their private parts.
The slave’s names were Cicero, Tull, Marcellus, and Felix. They all looked straight ahead, avoiding eye contact. Their bodies were browned by the sun, skin toughed by the wind, but they were all different from one another, coming from different places.
“A few scratches here and there,” Julian said, smiling. “But the four of you proved yourselves once again. The people are satisfied. They will not think of anything else but the blood you spilled today.” Julian was a giant fat man, his body was covered by an extensive white robe that was dragged as he walked around his favorite attractions. He had four guards with him, but even if the slaves wanted to do something, their arms and legs were chained.
Tul looked at Julian. His heart began to race and he waited anxiously. The plump face carried a knowingly smile that couldn’t be anything good. He was used to being naked in front of people. The others beside him also didn’t mind. But all of them stirred slightly when the big-bellied man said, “I’ll miss you.”
The fat man walked around the four of them and sighed dramatically.
“Where do I begin?” Julian said. “Oh, well. My boys, it’s sad news indeed. It seems like the Mayor of Pompeii wants a bigger attraction for the guests. He wants to impress one of the emperor’s favorite Senator, Luccas, and he will use his most precious gems, you.”
Tul wanted to ask, but he didn’t. Julian would only use it as an excuse to punish him, and his punishments were usually disgustingly sexual. Julian waited a bit more and seemed disappointed that his slaves didn’t say a word. He continued.
“All of you will fight each other finally,” he said. The words hung around the four of them for long seconds. They knew that eventually, it would happen. There couldn’t be four winners. It was a miracle that they all survive all these years. Or a curse.
Tul wasn’t particularly disappointed, though. He wanted this. He wanted to fight the others. One of them in particular.
Julian continued. “It will happen eventually in the next few weeks. First, you will be divided into duos, and one duo shall fight the other. Then, the champions will fight each other. Not all in the same day. We all know that pleasure is most appreciated when elongated to its limit.” Julian smiled. “That was the news. Now you boys will clean yourselves and head down to your new cells.”
Julian came behind them and stopped at Felix. He was next to Tul.
“I hope you win, Felix, my boy,” he said. “You always do.”
Tul knew it was true, but he hoped to change that. He would kill Felix.
The four men were led to a small pool which they shared, naked and silent, to take a bath. And even their shower was a spectacle, for people could watch them if they wanted. But they did have it better than common slaves, like better food, constant showers, beds, and days off. They even were allowed to visit brothels sometimes.
While visiting one, a girl once told Tul that he was also a whore because he had to give pleasure to other people when they wanted him. She had a point, so he didn’t deny it. But when he thought about it, he realized that neither he nor the girl were prostitutes in any sense of the word. He wasn’t a whore like her. She was a slave like him.
Now he entered the pool, washing off the filthy in the warm water. He glanced at the others, who probably felt as relieved as him. Tough men that melted like butter in the sensation of a good clean bath. Marcellus, a copper-skinned foreigner who kept an exaggerated mustache, felt so good that his enjoyment gave him an erection. Its brown head stood out of the pool and he didn’t try to hide it.
Avoiding the sight, Tul stared at Felix instead. He had green eyes that found amusement wherever they looked. It made Tul feel sick. He was so close to that soulless demon, and couldn’t do anything to him. Revenge was both reachable and impossible at the same time. The guards would be on him so fast he wouldn’t be able to do anything he would like to do. It hurt Tull to look inside the pits of the man who killed his friend, while not being able to avenge him. He hoped that Felix sensed the hate he felt and that it provoked the most haunting nightmares in his sleep.
Then, Felix removed himself from the pool, splashing water and waking Tul from his daydreams of vengeance, and was the first to leave, while Tull and the others looked after him. His walk had an arrogance to it. He never looked back or around but kept going straight to the guards. He was given a towel by a servant that couldn’t take her eyes off his slender body, she stared directly between his legs, and her cheeks flushed so fervently that the guards laughed together.
Felix was the casino şirketleri only gladiator who had long curly hair, that reached his shoulders when it was wet. When he wasn’t covered in blood, he looked not like a gladiator, but a prince who could steal hearts.
When Tul was done with his bath, he was finally taken to his cell. Two guards accompanied him through the corridors. The way was a slightly different one this time. They were taking him to a different cell.
Tul smiled when he saw the cell. It was bigger and cleaner. Iron bars still locked him inside and reminded him that he was still a prisoner, a slave. However, he would take any improvements gladly.
Then, Tul saw that there were two beds instead of just one. And someone was already there, resting. His snapped open and he smiled.
“My partner finally arrived.”
“No,” Tul said. But the guards pushed him in and ignored his plea. He grabbed the iron bars after they closed them, and screamed. “Hey! Tell Julian I must speak with him. I beg you.”
The guards left. When he turned around, he saw the confusion on Felix’s face, as if he didn’t understand his reaction, which made him even more hateful. Of course, he didn’t understand. He would never understand. But he would suffer.
Tul sat down on his bed. Maybe he didn’t have to wait for the arena after all. Maybe he would only wait for his partner’s sleep time. He could twist this man’s neck, he thought. Or use his pillow to kill him slowly, agonizingly.
“I didn’t know you were so fiery,” Felix said. “We have to work together if we want to beat those two.”
It was almost comical.
“Work together?” Tul said.
“I’ve seen you fight. You’re stronger, but I’m faster. We could make it a fast fight.”
“It will be fast,” he said. The silence stretched.
“Why were you calling for Julian?” Felix asked. “He would never do anything for you.”
“But he does for you.” Tul showed his disgust.
He wasn’t looking into Felix’s eyes, but he imagined there was real confusion in them. He didn’t want to keep talking to him. His anger would burst eventually.
“A lot of people do things for me.”
“I won’t,” Tull said, and he finally lifted himself and looked into the green eyes. “I’ll die, before doing anything for you.”
Everything made sense for Felix. They stared at each other and Felix understood that he was hated, but for what he did not yet know. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that he was alone again, he would not only have to fight two but three. And having understood that, he ignored Tul and laid back on the bed and closed his eyes.
However, his rest got interrupted quickly when the ground moaned and trembled. Sounds of scream reached the cells, and the ceiling seemed to screech and threatened to fall on top of them. It went on for almost a whole minute, but it seemed longer than that. As sudden as it had begun, it stopped.
“That was a rough one,” Felix said. His voice was a bit husky.
“It was,” Tul responded. He realized a second later who he was talking to. His heartbeats came too fast, though, and he didn’t find the will to care just about now. “There have been more of them lately, but this one… Vesuvius seems angry indeed.”
“Maybe he’s greeting the senator. The emperor’s greatest friend, that demands a little shake form the gods. Julian said he was a collector.”
“Of warriors,” Felix said. “He goes around the world and convinces these men to come with him, to fight for and defend him. He is also a good fighter himself, but as a senator, it looks better if he has men to fight for him.” Felix seemed hopeful.
“You’ll never be free,” Tul said. “You’ll be Julian’s bitch forever until you finally die in that arena.”
“No. I’ll kill him one day,” Felix said. “I’ll open his huge belly and watch as his entrails fall off.”
Tul looked at him, blinking. It was his turn to be confused.
Then, he remembered the day that Felix killed Marcos. The arena was full, and the people screamed and laughed. Marcos and Tul were childhood friends, they had grown up together and had been captured together to become gladiators. Watching him die was the worst thing he had ever been through. Marcos was too gentle and was put inside the arena without any chance of winning.
The hate returned. He could not have a conversation with that man, no matter how much the earth trembled.
“Let me just ask you a question,” Felix said. “Do you really wanna kill me so much you’d give up your own life?”
It was as if he could read Tul’s thoughts. That made him even angrier.
“Don’t talk to me,” he said.
“Because I don’t wanna talk.”
“Why do you hate me?” Felix’s voice trembled a little.
“You’re hateful,” he said.
“Then hate on, gladiator.”
Tul could hear the irritated breathing coming from the other side. It calmed him enough that he was able to sleep. He woke up sometime later with the noise of guards opening the bars. Tul sat up and squinted at them.
“Julian casino firmaları is requesting your presence,” one of them said.
He wasn’t talking about Tul. Felix’s face now was visible and he didn’t hide the disgust. But in the blink of an eye, he was smiling. He stood up and let the men take him.
Tul could only think about Felix’s haunted face forcing a smile. If he hadn’t seen the change as it happened, he would never believe that it was fake.
It was the first time he saw a sign of weakness from him. He enjoyed that moment and repeated it over and over in his head.
Eventually, sleep came again and it was sweet. Tul awoke the next morning with his gladiator partner already back and sleeping peacefully. It was like Felix had never left. But as Tul looked for any sign of what happened last night, Felix turned his face around and smiled.
“What you looking at?”
Tul’s mouth was a hard line. But he repeated the moment of last night in his head and smiled back.
“Just checking for any bites. But maybe he only bites you where people can’t see.”
“I will kill you,” Felix said, suddenly, “if you stand in my way. I never lose.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure.”
“If you had killed as many men as I have, you would be.” Felix turned his back on Tul, who tried to hide his irritation by turning his back as well. Then, he felt like an immense fool and turned around again. He should be killing the man, not talking to him. He wouldn’t talk to him again.
They ate in silence, bathed in silence and slept in silence.
It was hard for Tul. And the worst thing was that it seemed easy for Felix. But training day was coming and he intended to follow through with his decision to not cooperate.
One night, there was another huge tremor that woke both of them. Mount Vesuvius seemed angry. He heard many tales of fire pouring out of its mouth and wondered if it would happen again.
“I would love to watch this city burn,” Felix said. Tul wondered if the man could read his thoughts.
“You’re insane,” Tul said, his back against the iron bars.
“Well? Don’t you? They love to watch death, maybe they should get a taste of it” Felix said. The night before, Julian had called for him again. That time, Tul was awake to see him going and coming back. There had been sadness in his eyes.
“There are children here, people who never came to the arena to watch. They don’t deserve that.”
“Still, this is the city that locked me up. I would enjoy it. I would.”
“You would burn too.”
“Wouldn’t you enjoy that, then? You said you would gladly give up your life to see me dead, what is the life of other people compared to yours?”
“Yes. I think you have convinced me. I would enjoy your death by fire.”
They stared at each other. And Felix laughed. Then, Tul laughed too. He felt guilty for that laugh.
The first training day finally arrived. It meant that the first fight was also close.
Tul welcomed the sun on his face as he stepped on the sandy ground, and Felix laughed heartily. Marcellus and Cicero were there too. The duos weren’t supposed to train against each other, so they stood on opposite sides of the arena.
Each one held a fake sword.
Before Felix and Tul came to blows, he heard the screams and watched the other two gladiators train on the other side. Shame washed through him as he realized that he was going to die. And he didn’t want to die. He wanted to live. He would get the chance of fighting Felix alone later, he could have everything he asked for since his friend was murdered, but his hate had blinded him. The others were giving everything to be prepared, while he worked against himself.
Tul looked at Felix and felt a little ashamed, and it seemed like those greens eyes could see exactly what thoughts and emotions went through his head at that moment.
He decided. He would not give up his life that easily. His hands held his sword and he stood firm on a battle stance, facing his enemy, ready to battle, ready to train… And as much as it pained him to admit, he was going to train with the best.
They were soaked in sweat and the sun was beginning to dwindle when the training finished. Tul felt guilty for enjoying himself so much.
Cicero and Marcellus were watching them from afar, and Tul wondered if they were now the ones worried about dying. Felix and Tul’s performance must have been good.
“They’re shitting their pants,” Felix said, through ragged breaths. The guards approached them and led them out of the arena.
“They are good,” Tul said back.
“Yes. I saw you watching them. I had hoped it would change your mind about killing me.”
“I still want to kill you.” It surprised him how eager he was to make him believe it.
“And I, you. But not now. Now you’re my in my team.”
Tul nodded in return, and it felt like a betrayal. But he had no heart to do it otherwise. Felix was correct.
Once more they bathed and cleaned themselves. This time they had no blood on their güvenilir casino skins, but the dirt and sweat made it look like they did.
Tul realized with a start that Felix was looking at him, and it seemed like his hand was…
He couldn’t believe it.
“What are you doing?”
“I don’t think it’s a mystery what I’m doing.” His cock was fully erect and his hand splashed water with the jerking. Felix attracted more and more crowds. “I hope it doesn’t bother you too much that I wanna take you.”
This couldn’t be real. Tul gaped, but Felix kept going at it. He felt violated by his words, by his look, and by the possible thoughts that could be going through the other man’s mind.
“Stop right now.”
“I can’t stop, look at this,” Felix said, and he raised himself, his huge cock hard and pointed at Tul. “Just look at it,” Felix said again.
He looked. And he couldn’t take his eyes off it. It was beautiful, and it woke something in Tul too. The water couldn’t hide how much he enjoyed watching. Felix closed his eyes and moaned, as he spilled his seed. It fell on the pool, and some of it almost reached Tul.
Then, he just came back inside the pool and sighed.
“Sorry, I just had to put it out of me.”
After the bath, they came back to the cell.
The silence was heavy between them. He had grown accustomed to talking with the man he hated. Pathetic. But there was nothing to say right now.
Tul stared at the ceiling. He tried not to think about sex, hard cocks and provoking smiles. But from the corner of his vision, he saw movement and his heart began a race as he realized what Felix was doing.
Tul closed his eyes shut, but he could hear the grunts and the little ‘ahs’. They sounded so good. He wanted to get closer and hear him better and maybe smell him a little.
Smell him a little?
He opened his eyes.
“Okay, enough! STOP!”
“I just need to put it out of my system,” he said. His voice was not even a little bit shaken.
“You already did.”
“And you seemed to enjoy that.”
Fuck this guy.
Yeah, he would like to fuck this guy. Shit.
‘I’m sorry, Marcus,’ he thought. He couldn’t help but feel like he was thrusting a knife into his friend. But his friend was dead, and he was alive. And Felix was alive. And there he was, on his back, not giving a shit about the world.
Tul sneaked closer to Felix. Then, he stopped and shook his head. Some sense downed on him and he turned around, went to the bars of the cell and held them tightly. He closed his eyes. It was like hate and passion were becoming one inside of him, and he hated Felix…
Then, he was behind him. Felix, with his hanging cock hard against his back, wrapped his arms around his thighs and licked Tul’s ear.
“Your heart is beating so fast,” Felix said, impressed. “Why are you fighting this? It’s gonna be good for both of us. We don’t even have to talk about it later.”
“I can’t do this with you, please, don’t make me.”
“I won’t make you,” he said.
He released Tul completely. It felt like a huge blow to lose the contact of their bodies, the vibrations that their hearts shared for a moment. The more he tried to remember the hate, the more his cock pulsed.
Tul gave in and freed his cock, grabbing it hard and squeezing it. A shot of pleasure went through him, and he bit his lip to prevent a loud noise. His cock was very warm and its veins pulsed. He thought about having Felix watching him.
And that made him blush. He almost laughed. He turned around and saw that Felix was watching. He went to him. He wanted to fuck him and kill him, but instead, he kissed him.
It didn’t feel real. But his warm breath was very real and Tul opened his mouth and they sucked each other’s tongue.
He climbed on top of Felix and wrapped his legs around him. He didn’t stop the kiss, he couldn’t. It felt too good.
“Yes, you’re mine now,” Felix said.
“I’m not,” he said. But when Felix pulled his head for another kiss, he let him.
They stopped only for a breath.
“Somehow,” Felix said against his face. “I knew I would have you.”
“Shut up, please.” Felix brushed their lips, teasing. “Please.”
“Look at this,” he said and showed his cock. “I know you want to.”
“I can’t,” Tul said. He sounded desperate as well. “Not with you.”
Felix forced him to kneel on the ground and sat down again on the bed, opening his legs wide, and his cock felt heavy when he held it. It was warm and had a strong scent of masculinity.
“I promise you’ll like it,” Felix said.
Tul gave in. He put it in his mouth and sucked the man he should hate and kill. And he enjoyed it. It felt good in his mouth, and the noises were music to his ears. He let off all his suppressed anger into that sucking until his lips were sore. He stopped to breathe. Looked up and saw a pained face. He smiled and came right back at it. He thrust the cock deep down his throat until he gagged and then, did it again, and again.
Next, Felix held his face with both hands and forced Tul to stare back at him. His cock was still close and he could smell it, his mouth was full of saliva and the salty taste still there.