Naomi waited upon the large crowd of people invited by Dominus to celebrate his only daughter Livia’s birthday. At eighteen, Livia drew every man’s attention young and old. Men had been vying for her hand in marriage for years, but so far Dominus had yet to pick a suitable husband for her.
Working her way from table to table, filling empty wine goblets, Naomi tried not to think about all the depraved men taking in her Domina’s beauty. She deserved better than that filth. And Naomi was happy to see to her needs.
Domina’s eyes met hers across the room, silently pleading for help. Most of the men were not entertained with the fire-dancers and sword-swallowers Dominus had hired in his daughter’s honor. Or even with the gladiators from his ludus he had painted and put on display. They were only interested in Livia.
Domina took a long drink, and held up her now empty goblet. She would be drunk and ill before the night was out if she did not slow down her consumption. Naomi returned to the table and filled her goblet and those of the many men flocked around her.
Naomi offered Domina a slight smile before re-schooling her impartial expression. No one could allowed to suspect the two women were lovers. The scandal would be disastrous.
Their exchange did not go unnoticed. One of the men sitting next to Livia, Senator Felix, looked up in time to catch their quick exchange of emotion. His arched eyebrow fell back into place and his lips twitched. He looked at her with a smug expression that gave her a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. Had he seen the true meaning of her smile?
Heart palpitating in her chest, her mind raced. She did not know what to expect. Had he already guessed the terrible truth?
His smoldering green eyes bore through her as if trying to read her thoughts and devour her at the same time. Her breath caught. She knew she should turn away, but her feet refused to move.
At just thirty Senator Felix was the right age to be Domina’s husband. Handsome with midnight black hair, and muscle built from his service in the army. A head taller than all the other men in the room, he demanded her attention. He exuded a pure masculinity that made her nipples peak. Naomi blinked. It was wrong of her to think of him so, and yet his gaze provoked such thoughts, caused gooseflesh to sprout on her arms.
He switched his hungry gaze from her body to that of her mistress.
Curse him. Now he looked at Domina with the same lust. From the rumors oft circulated about him, he looked at every woman that way. Which made him wholly unsuitable for her domina.
Naomi heard her name being called, thankful for a reason to leave, she hurried to answer the summons. Senator Felix flooded her veins with a powerful mix of fear and desire.
She shouldn’t have any desire for a man. Her domina should be enough for her.
Livia endured her birthday celebration one draught of wine at a time. She had not confided in Naomi, but she had overheard Father’s plans. At her birthday celebration he would decide on her husband. Likely the man he would choose was at the table with her tonight but she didn’t know which one. She had spoken to so many men she could scarcely keep their names straight.
Any men not talking with her were campaigning with Father, trying to curry his favor. Besides bestowing them with his daughter in marriage he would be able to increase the man’s political power and riches. Next to those stakes, she herself was little more than a bonus. A commodity with no say in the final outcome. She felt like a lamb being bartered at the market.
The cacophony of dancers and music roared in her ears. She longed for time alone, time with Naomi. Her personal servant had been pressed into service to attend to the masses tonight. She did not like the men’s hungry gaze on her any more than she liked them on her own body. Although having Felix’s eyes on her elicited a different feeling than the other men at the table. To be honest, it excited her and frightened her at the same time.
Senator Felix did not try to conceal his lust for either of them. Not having spoken with him before tonight, she knew little about this quiet man. She knew his type though. He wouldn’t be satisfied with his wife warming his bed. He had eyes for every woman. Hopefully Father would see this fault, and not find him suitable.
But none of the men showering her with attention aroused her like he did. The man was handsome, and he likely knew it.
He lifted his goblet of wine to his lips, not taking his gaze off her.
Her heart thumped loudly and her arms tingled. She resisted the urge to shift in her chair. She did not want him to think she was uncomfortable, to realize his attempts at getting her worked up were succeeding. The wine now clouding her senses and raising her desires made it more difficult.
It was a folly on his part to make his strong desire known. Without her father’s favor his efforts would be futile.
Naomi continued to attend to the many tables, inadvertently drawing Livia’s attention. The sway of the woman’s hips, her understated beauty was stunning, alluring.
Felix eyed Naomi again and Livia’s blood flamed. Her throat was parched from the heat, and she swallowed. It did nothing to ease her discomfort or her jealousy. She took a drink of wine, delighting in the haze now numbing her mind.
Her father’s lavish celebration would cease soon, and she could return to her chamber with Naomi and take comfort in her arms. Until Father had made his decision and asked for her presence that is.
Her teeth sank into her bottom lip, and she was unable to suppress a shiver despite the heat of the room.
Once she had a husband her relationship with Naomi would be forced to cease. A heavy feeling settled in her chest. Father would not just give Naomi to her. She was a valuable slave. A slave. That’s all she was to Father. Ire mixed with the sorrow in her veins. To her Naomi was more than a personal servant. She was her best friend, her confidant, her sister, her lover.
Their parting would be the hardest thing she would ever experience. If the melancholy the next morning did not kill her, heartache would make every day of her married life miserable.
Last night she’d assisted Domina into bed; the woman who’s world and love dominated her life had consumed too much wine to walk properly let alone think. Obviously she had tried to drown the fears of her coming nuptials. This morning those fears were the only thing either of them could think about and they barely exchanged a word as Naomi had helped her dress.
That had been several hours ago when she had sent Domina off to meet with her father. Naomi wrung her hands. Her lungs held in the constriction of apprehension making it difficult to breathe. Soon Domina would return to her chamber and announce the name of her betrothed—finally deliver the news both of them had been awaiting and dreading for days. Who would be Domina’s husband?
Unable to stand still, Naomi rose and paced the floor. Neither woman dared to speak of their mutual fear. Once Domina married she would move to live in her husband’s domus and Naomi would remain here, just another household slave. And maybe the Dominus would find no other use for her, and sell her to help cover the cost of the wedding.
Domina appeared in the doorway, her frown so deep it looked as if it would leave permanent etchings in her beautiful face.
Naomi’s heart dropped to her stomach like a lump of hot lead. Bad news. Who was it? Was it Senator Magnus? The man had prestige, but he was twice her age. Was it Senator Celcus? He seemed to have a good personality but he was ugly.
“Senator Felix,” Domina whispered.
Naomi gasped and quickly covered her mouth. Panic washed over, nearly driving her to the floor. Not him! He wouldn’t honor Domina at all. She’d inquired about him after the birthday celebration and had learned too much. He was a sybarite who liked to throw lavish parties of a bawdy nature.
She doubted such a high sexual appetite would be quenched by Domina alone even though she was a goddess in bed.
Of course, she had kept all this to herself. There was no need to trouble Domina with something she could not change. Now Naomi wanted to be with her. She wanted to feel her body next to hers and try to quench their fears in a goodbye embrace. She tried to fool herself into thinking she could bravely endure their parting, but she couldn’t restrain the sobs crawling up her throat and the tears building in her eyes. She had hoped the knowledge that the Domina would be well cared for would have eased her mind. She wanted Domina to find happiness.
Certain that Senator Felix would not love her, Naomi would. No matter the punishment she would beg Dominus to let her accompany his daughter.
She was no good to Dominus. He only had one daughter. Naomi’s only purpose was to wait upon her, support her, care for her and more…so much more. Her insides clenched at the thought of anyone else touching Livia.
All these years she’d known Domina could not be only hers forever. But she did not want to share—especially with the likes of Senator Felix.
Livia sniffled and rubbed her eyes. She did not have to look in a mirror to know they were red. She’d cried in front of her father, begged him to reconsider. Senator Felix made her heart flutter and yet, knowing his reputation with women, it disgusted her that she was attracted to him. He was the first man who’d aroused her, stirring a sexual desire in her similar to her connection with Naomi.
Yet, those feelings should be for Naomi alone, and she couldn’t tell him that. He must never know their secret.
Her father would not listen to her reasoning. He’d raised his hand putting a stop to her protests. Changing his mind was not an option. His decision was final, and wedding arrangements had begun. The lavish affair would take place in two months.
Why Senator Felix? Of all the men wishing to take her as their bride, her father chose the one man she wished with all her might he wouldn’t. Senator Felix confused her. He repelled and excited her at the same time. Would his touch incite the fire in her core the way Naomi’s did? Or would the brush of his fingers turn her cold?
Livia’s head swam with confused half-finished thoughts. Instead of sorting anything out she felt like she was drowning in the future.
Naomi wrapped her arms around Livia, holding her in a comforting embrace. She kissed away the tears dripping down her face until, finally, Livia smiled.
“It will be all right, Domina,” Naomi said, still holding her close. “I am sure it will not be as bad as you fear. Our hearts and minds always think the worst.”
The heat from Naomi’s body changed the pace of her racing heart. They stood silently for a moment. Livia took in Naomi’s sweet scent, her soft cheek a breadth away from hers. Naomi helped keep her sane in this depressing world. How would she live without her?
Livia sniffled again, silently repeating Naomi’s words until she started to believe them. “Yes, that is true. I-I need you Naomi,” she choked out.
“I know Domina. What would you have me do?”
“We can’t indulge now,” Livia said with a frown. They hadn’t the time.
“Yes.” Naomi sighed. “I have chores to attend.”
There were always duties to occupy most of their time. “Cornelia wants to discuss wedding plans already,” she said in a monotone voice. Her step-mother loved entertaining, any excuse to show off the family’s wealth and power.
Naomi gave her arm a gentle squeeze. “Our private pleasure will have to wait until you are done.”
“Until then,” Livia whispered.
Naomi smiled. “Yes, Domina. I look forward to your summons.” Her sultry voice soothed the ache in Livia’s chest. “Tonight I will make you a very happy woman.” With that promise Naomi took her leave.
Livia watched Naomi exit the room, wishing she could go with her. More than ever she didn’t want for them to be separated. Even a blink of an eye without her was too long.
The absolute worst would be if she had to marry Senator Felix and leave Naomi behind. It would be too much sorrow to bear. Father would not be that cruel, would he?
She shook her head, forcing the dark thoughts away. Tonight she’d lose herself in Naomi’s love. She would not think once of Senator Felix.
Naomi was the one who held her heart.
* * * *
Nighttime had never come so slowly. Livia watched the sun fall lower on the horizon from the window in her study. She pushed away the scroll she was only pretending to read and blew out the candle. All the reading in the world couldn’t erase her step-mother’s wedding arrangements from her mind. Unfortunately. Most of the day was occupied discussing food and entertainment and other details Livia just couldn’t bring herself to care about. Finally, she was allowed to retire to her bedchamber where Naomi waited.
Livia opened the door to find Naomi sitting demurely on her bed, hands in her lap. Her slightly bowed head rose, their eyes meeting. Naomi smiled. “Domina,” she whispered. She stood and hurried toward her.
Livia closed the door and locked it, ensuring them the utmost secrecy for their illicit activities.
Naomi’s arms wrapped around her waist and she kissed the cleft between her breasts.
Livia delighted in their closeness. She felt Naomi’s pulse; each beat she hoped was for her.
Naomi, dear Naomi. The woman served her faithfully each day, asking very little in return. Each touch and kiss they shared birthed more lust between them. She ran her thumb across her servant’s cheek.
Naomi frowned, but did not turn away. “You will be installed in your husband’s domus and we will part.”
“I will try to arrange it so that will not be so.”
She loved Naomi. Naomi was more than her personal servant, the slave had been with her every year of her life. They were friends and if she was honest with herself, much more. Their bond ran deeper than anyone would know.
Alarm flared in Naomi’s eyes. “Be careful, Domina. If your father is displeased it will be I who is made to suffer.”
Livia, spread her arms, and enveloped the smaller woman. She did not want to see Naomi punished. She only wanted to take care of her, protect her. She held her tight, fingers threading through her brown locks.
Despite Naomi’s caution, she’d do everything in her power to keep them together. She’d beg her husband to buy Naomi so the woman could continue to look after her needs. All of her needs.
If she could not ensure Naomi’s freedom, she would do everything in her power to make sure the woman had a good life. Naomi was strong-willed, Livia liked that about her. She didn’t want her father to decide he had had enough of her high spirit. She needed Naomi by her side.
“We should savor our remaining time together,” Livia breathed into Naomi’s ear. Only during their private pleasure could they act as equals. Right now she wanted to love Naomi as her equal. Naomi unwound her arms from Livia’s waist. She looked up at her expectantly with large brown eyes. “Yes. We shall delight in every remaining moment.”
Livia blinked back the flood of oncoming tears. She wanted their waning time together to be filled with happiness not sorrow. Smiling, she cupped her servant’s cheek with her palm. She pressed a feather-light kiss to the side of Naomi’s neck. The woman’s pulse raced under her lips.
Livia inhaled deeply, taking in her sweet perfume. “Disrobe,” she ordered.
“Yes, Domina.” Naomi’s submissive expression did nothing to hide her lust.
It spurred Livia’s own hunger, stoking the heat of her passion. Naomi’s submission made her body thrum. She was eager to please, and Livia was eager to be pleased.
Meeting her gaze, Naomi undid the basic brooch at her shoulder, and unwound the stola and tunica from her body. The expanse of light fabric puddled at her feet. Her creamy skin completely exposed. She stood in the middle of the room, watching her Domina and waiting for the next instruction.
“Take down your hair.”
Silently Naomi reached up and began taking out the pins. She kept her hair up when working, so it stayed out of the way, but Livia much preferred to see it down. The motion of her arms lifted her bosom, and her erect nipples as if begging for the Domina’s attention.
Long brown tresses cascading across her shoulders, Naomi backed up to the bed and lay down, raising her arms above her head. This seductive move showed off her curves, especially the swell of her bosom and accentuated the rise of her mons.
“You’re beautiful,” Livia said, approaching her.
Naomi’s smile brightened. “Thank you, Domina.”
She stood at the foot of the bed, between Naomi’s splayed legs. Her hands traveled across her knees, up her thighs, then dipping down to her mound, already beginning to glisten with desire.
Naomi gasped at the caress, pleasure seeping through her gaze.
Livia delighted in her power over the enslaved Venus. Their debauchery was shunned, but Naomi had not complained when Livia had first asked to see all of her and drank in every compliment showered upon her.
Livia leaned over and brushed kisses across Naomi’s smooth belly, blazing a trail lower.
Naomi’s bosom rose and fell in rapid succession, her fingers intertwined in the bed sheets. She knew not to move, not to make a sound.
Naomi slipped a finger inside her, feeling the moist heat and delighting in the wetness, and in Naomi’s tiny moan.
“Shh,” Livia said.
Naomi bit her lip and held her breath.
Livia slowly probed her lovers heated core, thrusting the digit in and dragging it back out.
Naomi’s head tipped back, the curve of her neck available for kissing.
Shifting her body, straddling the prone woman with one leg on the bed, Livia licked and kissed her neck and throat. Her finger continued their languid fucking.
Frustration began to show on Naomi’s face, Livia could not hold back a laugh. The woman wanted more, needed more.
Livia added a second finger and increased the pace of her ministrations.
Livia shook her head, reminding Naomi to remain silent.
No one must know of their private pleasures. If their secret was ever exposed, both of them would be courting disaster. Most likely Naomi would be sold and a disgraced Livia would bring shame upon her family… She’d be lucky if all her father did was disown her and banish her from her home. The laws would allow him to do much worse things.
Naomi’s nipples stood taut, erect. Livia abandoned her neck, latched onto the right one and sucked deeply. She rolled the hardened bud with her tongue until Naomi gasped.
The woman just couldn’t keep quiet this evening. Livia muffled the woman’s mouth with her own, slipping her tongue into the open mouth, claiming it, mastering it.
Naomi moaned, the noise swallowed by Livia’s mouth. The sensation of their lips pressed together made Livia’s nether region throb and her juices flow. She kissed Naomi with pent up passion, her fingers continuing their teasing.
Their intimacy was a treasure she held dear, a closely guarded secret. She always saw that Naomi was satisfied and the woman returned the favors.
Livia teased her, dragged it out as long as she could, watching Naomi writhe on the bed, silently begging for more.
Livia shifted her mouth to Naomi’s left nipple, giving it the same attention as the right one, pinching, licking and sucking. When she pulled back her teeth grazed the sensitive flesh.
Naomi was so wet her fingers easily slipped within the woman’s moist heat. Naomi panted, but did not say a word.
Livia kneaded the woman’s now wet breasts hard, but not rough enough to bruise the tender pale skin.
Naomi’s mouth gaped open and Livia feared she would cry out, but the scream was silent.
“You like this, don’t you?” Livia cooed.
“Yes, Domina,” Naomi rasped. Her voice sounded from deep in her throat, almost a grunt.
She was holding back and Livia loved to torture her. But now it was time.
Ready to bring her bliss, Livia worried the protruding bud within Naomi’s nether lips with a finger. A tremor rippled across her servant’s flesh.
Livia’s heart ached to not only give Naomi pleasure but freedom as well. When she had been but a young girl she’d asked father for that favor which he quickly denied. A slave could only be freed if they had a way to support themselves, and a woman was required to find a husband, first. Livia didn’t know if she could let Naomi go. Could she share her sweet body with a man?
Suddenly Naomi’s body tensed and Livia knew she was close. Her heart ached at the thought of their parting. She couldn’t leave her. Her melancholy would be enough to drive her husband into madness.
Livia increased the pace of her finger thrusts wanting to watch Naomi come to pieces. The woman sank her teeth into her plump lip and her eyes widened. She came hard, gushing onto Livia’s hand.
Livia continued playing with the bead until the aftershocks ended, delighting in every whimper escaping Naomi’s clamped lips.
Livia dried off her hand on a scrap of cloth. Naomi’s smooth skin was now slightly flushed and shone with sweat.
The scent of her musk mixed with her own arousal. She was soaked and ready for Naomi to return the pleasure.
She offered her hands and helped pull Naomi to a sitting position on the bed. Naomi’s eyes locked with hers.
Naomi rested her head on Livia’s shoulder. Her slave’s body heat seeped through her stola, and Livia inhaled sharply.
Naomi offered a mischievous smile, eyes gleaming.
Livia cradled Naomi’s face in her hands and kissed her forehead, directing her forward.
Naomi readily obeyed, licking Livia’s right breast through her clothing.
“Yes,” Livia said softly. This is what she’d been dreaming about for hours.