Christmas came and went while we finished moving into our new house. George and I were getting huge or at least it felt that way. Dad and Ned got used to giving us back and foot rubs. They were also great for zipping up back zippers. One night after dreaming General Gaius' Roman bed, we decided that was what we wanted for our wing. They didn't have such things for sale at the local or even Manhattan furniture stores so Ned designed and built it himself with help from Dad.
George and I were the two luckiest women in the world that Dad and Ned loved us. Hannah was content with her new kitchen and she hired a college student to help her with the heavy cleaning and the laundry. I never would have believed how much dirty laundry five people could generate. What in the world would it be like when the babies were born?
Hannah just laughed when I asked her that and said that two loads a day would probably become four with the addition of children. Diapers, lots of diapers she reminded me. It was a good thing that the laundry room was on the first floor and each of the wings had laundry chutes that dumped straight into waiting baskets. That came in really handy although we had to be careful which clothes left which bedroom.
But so far we were okay and Connie Brent got free room and board for helping Hannah. She was a drama major but it was her first year and money was tight. It was a good solution for both sides. Captive babysitters were good things. I moved a little to try and get into a comfortable spot on the exam table. They kept these rooms much too cold for a half-naked pregnant lady, I told Ned.
It was our January appointment and I was hoping that Dr. Silverman would hurry up. George was in the next room with Dad and the door between was open. The nurses never knew what to do with us when we showed up together and with our husbands. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when seeing a husband with his wife was considered odd, I told Ned and he rubbed my back a little harder and hummed his agreement.
Funny, but he knew exactly what I was feeling both physically and mentally. It was kind of nice to know my husband had carried his own child for Dad in another time and place. He always knew the exact spot to rub. But bless his heart, my father took direction really well, too.
Finally Dr. Silverman finished with George and crossed over to me. Poking and prodding ensued and then the measuring, which only proved that I was huge. He listened to the baby for what seemed like an hour but was probably only five minutes. Then he smiled a little and told me I could get redressed and join the others in his office. Ned zipped me up while stealing a quick kiss. He always knew how to make me feel pretty rather than the whale that I was.
Once we were all together, Dr. Silverman took a deep breath and looked at all four of us. "I wasn't sure last time but it is now quite self-evident that your pregnancies are proceeding along normal lines. However," he paused and couldn't seem to decide who to look at, "you're both carrying twins."
I looked at him then down at my round tummy. Ned was squeezing my hand hard and our eyes met for a long moment before we started to grin.
"Twins? Both of the girls are carrying twins?" Dad seemed to be stuck on the word. "As in two each? Twins?"
"Yes, Mr. Drew, your wife and daughter are both carrying twins. The dual heartbeats are now quite distinctive. Because of this, your pregnancies will need to be monitored a little more closely. For the next two months, I'll need to see you every two weeks. Once you enter your seventh month, I'll see you both weekly. Congratulations."
Dad had his arms around George and was kissing her almost reverently while she stroked her stomach as if she couldn't quite believe the news. We had lots of questions and he answered them all before sending us on our way. We ate at Rosterman's again to celebrate the doubling of our family. Then we went home to tell Hannah.
She was almost more shocked than Dad had been but she sent us off for a nap after we told her some of the new plans. We'd have to double the cribs and diapers, that was for sure. I waddled upstairs and could hardly wait to get Ned naked. I wanted to celebrate before napping. Luckily he caught my impatience and got us into the big four-poster in the master suite in record time.
He eased inside of me and rocked in and out while we both caressed the bulge that held our twins. I wondered if they were two boys or two girls or maybe one of each. Dad voiced my musings and we decided to write down our guesses to be read once they were delivered. George wanted to ride Dad so he eased inside of her and let her set the pace. I came way too soon but I wanted fast and furious and it seems Ned did, too.
Cuddling me close, he whispered all kinds of wonderful compliments in my ear while we watched George and Dad finally come, too. Then we napped for an hour before getting up for dinner. Suddenly I was exhausted and Ned had to practically carry me up to bed. Dad lit a fire in the fireplace and we curled up together in the big bed, watching the shadows dance on the light green walls and making the oil painting of a dragon flicker into life.
I fell asleep between one heartbeat and the next.
********* Ned/Nar *********
I held Nancy and tried to really come to grips with the amazing new facts the doctor had given us. She held two lives inside of her. We were going to have two babies at once. I knew that Carson was having a harder time because the doctor had already told George that her narrow hips were going to make the delivery a little more difficult than Nancy's.
What would two deliveries mean? Neither of my prior life pregnancies had been all that difficult, just painful, so I didn't know how to comfort him. We'd just have to be vigilant and watch her like hawks to make sure she didn't have problems. I vowed to be there for all of them and I watched his eyes close finally with a sigh of relief. Perhaps we'd dream, I thought before falling asleep myself.
My lessons in the bath continued and I both loved and worried about them. The General was so wise that I thought my questions foolish when he had other things to worry about but he always had time for me and I found myself thinking about him when I was alone for a few moments each morning in the bath. I'd wake up all hard and I'd dash to the bath and pour some hot water in a bowl to wash up after touching myself.
It felt really good and when he asked me what I thought about while I was doing it, I told him that I wasn't really thinking at all. He laughed and tousled my hair. That made me feel warm all over so then I started thinking about him, pretending it was his hand that was holding my shaft. He said that's what he called his so I could, too.
Lira wanted to know what happened in the bath so I told her. She was scared for me but I told her that he didn't do anything to me that I didn't like and then I told her what he'd said about being afraid so she wouldn't worry. She was curious about him and she peeked in his room one morning when he was still asleep but restless. Her eyes got real big and she told me that he looked frightening to her.
Well, he had to me, too so I couldn't really say anything, just remind her to be quiet and take good care of the house and Cerri. Three months had gone by since we'd become the General's slaves and I was happy even though I missed Mama and Papa. Petros had taught me the things I needed to know about taking care of the General's weapons and I added those duties when he was busy with hunting and stocking the larder.
One day a visitor came and I learned something more about the General. A squad of new soldiers came through and their officer was an old friend of General Gaius. Lira and I both waited on them, watching to be sure their plates were always full and their goblets, too. The other officer was named Claudius and he made the General laugh almost as light-heartedly as little Cerri did.
And suddenly, just like that I was jealous of him, jealous of his age and his dark hair and the memories of their time together. Claudius had all my General's attention and I was as jealous as a child whose honey has been taken away. Lira looked at me strangely when I almost dropped the wine ewer but I just shook my head and went back to pouring more wine for them.
"Nar, you and Lira have been working hard all day." The General patted my shoulder and smiled kindly at my sister. "Claudius and I will bathe each other tonight. Off to bed with you both."
He didn't want me to help him.
I nodded, struck dumb with misery but trying to hide it. Taking the ewer back to the kitchen, I whispered to Petros that we'd been dismissed and he grunted. "That one always was trouble, little Nar. Like as not he'll be tryin' it on with the General in the bath and He wouldn't want you to be seeing that. Brothers in arms, my arse, he's nothing but a jumped up Centurian with delusions of promotion. Never you fear, little one, I'll be checking on them regular."
That made me feel a little better although I wasn't quite sure what 'trying it on' meant and I led Lira back to our room and closed the door behind us. Cerri was already asleep, all curled up with a blanket wound so tightly around her that I knew we'd never get it loose until she awoke. Lira and I talked for a little bit but I didn't know what to tell her about what I was feeling so we soon fell silent.
She fell asleep and I sat in the window and watched the stars that Papa had taught me about. I was feeling so many things that I wished I could talk to him about all these odd emotions that made me feel tongue-tied. I could hardly ask the General about the way he made me feel. I wasn't tall and dark and a warrior like this Claudius. Lira thought he was handsome but I thought him a little too sure of himself.
Petros seemed to agree with me. Hopefully, he'd be off with his squad bright and early tomorrow and we could go back to normal. And I could go back to helping the General in our bath. Just thinking about him was making me hard and there was no way that I could touch myself here while my sisters slept in our bed. Sighing, I wished very hard on the brightest star that the house would soon be normal.
I could hear their voices a little from the vent that passed through all the rooms beneath the floors. They were splashing a bit and I hugged my knees to my chest and wished that I was there to take care of the General's back. I didn't want anyone else touching him - just me. I was one mixed up slave, I ruefully told my guardian star. From being afraid of him to wishing I could touch him everywhere, well I really had changed or maybe just grown up a little.
The door opened behind me with a sharp crack and I almost fell out of the window. Claudius stood there stark naked and he looked at Lira with a nasty look on his face. I jumped down and crossed to stand in front of her. "Is there something you need, Master Claudius?"
"A bed warmer would do nicely, you or your sister. It really doesn't matter which. Unless I take you both." He had the same look that some of the men had when they looked at the girls from our village. But worse because surely he wouldn't come to our room unless he thought it was all right. Had he asked the General for a 'bed-warmer' and been told to take what he wanted.
Lira was awake behind me and she whimpered almost silently. I couldn't let him hurt her so I guess I'd have to . . . to go with him myself. "I will come to see to your comfort, Sir."
"Gaius' catamite, who'd have thought he'd sink to the level of the barbs." He was sneering at me and I had the feeling that he was jealous of the General.
We had something in common after all. I approached him with as much courage as I could muster. "Shall I show you to your room, Master? Petros gave you the nicest guestroom."
"Barbarians to the core," he gripped my shoulder hard enough to leave bruises and I tried to hide my wince when he flung me out of the room and I heard Lira get up and close the door behind us.
At least, she and Cerri were safe, I thought while trying not to shiver at his touch. His saddlebags were on the chest at the foot of the bed and I wondered what he was going to do to me. I felt so cold that I wondered what had happened to the temperature. But suddenly the front door opened and closed with a bit of a slam and Claudius went to the door to see what was going on.
"Claudius, a messenger just arrived from Londinium. It looks like you'll need to move on at once. You'll be joined by two more squadrons. Come and read for yourself." The General's voice sounded like he'd just come back in. "Nar, what are you doing here?"
"He offered to warm my bed for me." Claudius' voice was smooth as if I was of no importance but I just knew that the General could see the fear on my face.
What if he believed him or thought I'd come here on my own? I wished I was dead.
"I see." His voice was so cold that it matched my sinking heart. "Nar, take the saddlebags to Petros and learn how to iron. We shall send you on, my friend, less wrinkled than you came. Come to my study, Claudius."
I picked up the bags and trudged into the kitchen, sure that He would send me away come the morning. I was in so much trouble.
********* Carson/Gaius *********
It was all I could do to keep from striking Claudius. How dare he try to take what was mine? Little Nar looked like he wanted to hide in the deepest, darkest cave of the forest. I was willing to bet that my 'old friend' had tried for Lira and Nar had offered himself in her place. If the northern frontier wasn't so important, I'd make sure that an unfortunate accident happened to Claudius before he could get there.
I had to pretend to be displeased with Nar or this idiot would spread tales at his next posting. But the moment he was gone I would come back and reassure the little one. Petros would keep him safely busy for the next few hours and I'd make sure that Claudius was on his way without a moment to spare. Putting my anger away, I dealt with the new dispatches and their importance.
Dawn greeted me with gritty eyes but a satisfied heart. Claudius and his men were on their way north joined in progress by a higher ranking officer I knew slightly. I'd taken Titus Petronicus aside and suggested that a firm hand was needed to keep the peace in their squadrons. I was already looking forward to their dispatches. But I had a little one to comfort back home and I strode there quickly.
Petros met me at the door and told me that Nar had fallen asleep outside my bedroom door. I smiled and bade him take care of the little girls while I took care of my secretary. He had the audacity to wink at me before telling me the bath was ready and leaving for the kitchen. Making my way silently down the hall, I found my little Nar curled up in front of the door with streaks of what had to be tears still on his cheeks.
Bending, I gently scooped him up in my arms and rose. He came to with a start, fear in his eyes until he realized who I was. Then his eyes overflowed again. "I didn't, Sir. I didn't, really I didn't."
"Hush, little Nar, I know you didn't. In fact, I expect he came looking for Lira and you protected her from him." I carried him down to the bath since I hadn't enjoyed my last one.
"He said he would have either of us or . . . or both." His eyes were downcast but his arms were almost strangling me.
"I would never offer either of you to anyone, little one. You are my Nar and precious to me. I'm sorry that he frightened you and that I was harsh with you earlier." I pushed open the door with my foot and he finally looked straight into my eyes.
"I only want to be your Nar, ever and only yours." He said bravely and it was all I could do to keep from taking him then and there.
"Then that is what shall be, sweetheart." I was loathe to let him go but we both needed the familiarity of our bath. "Now, I missed you last night when we bathed. Our visitor was useless at scrubbing my back."
He sniffed and smiled a rather watery smile at me while I stroked his blond hair with a gentle hand. "I will do a much better job, Sir."
The sweet violet soap made him relax even more and soon he was busy lathering my chest. He seemed to like doing that and I enjoyed it, too. "Did he say anything else that disturbed you, little one?"
He blushed a little and nodded. "What is a cat-a-a-mite?"
I had a sudden urge to send one of my best archers after the departing troupe. Titus didn't really need Claudius and it would make me feel much better. "A catamite is a bad word that doesn't in any way describe you."
He stopped scrubbing and looked at me. "I thought maybe it was the same as a bed-warmer, someone who lets you . . . um, put this," one finger touched my hard as iron cock and I almost lost control, "inside of them."
I had to clear my throat of the sudden lump that was lodged there. "A lover is what you're describing. When there are no feelings involved, a catamite or bed-warmer are the right words to describe that act. But when there are strong feelings of love and caring on both sides then those people are lovers."
He looked at his hands then up at me with the shyest look imaginable. "I was jealous of him. I was afraid that you liked him more than me. When I'm with you, my stomach feels funny. When I touch you, I want you to touch me back. Does that make you mad because I'm only a slave?"
I drew him closer so I could feel him against me. "Never, Nar, I could never be mad at you. You're my very own Nar and the best secretary that I've ever had. I'm afraid that I like touching you more than I should. You're still so young for what I want to show you."
He slid his arms around my neck and softly kissed my cheek. "I know that I'm young but that just means that you can teach me these new lessons so I please you. I want that more than anything."
"Little Nar," I gently took that sweet mouth the way I'd wanted to do from the first moment I saw him. He opened to my questing tongue at once and I tasted him with a feeling of coming home. I kept it short since it was his first kiss and I could feel his young cock burst from just that.
"Oh, that was wonderful," his eyes opened and shone with happiness. "Can we do that again?"
"Again and again and again," I scattered little kisses over his beautiful face and he giggled just a little at the teasing touches. Somehow, he had ended up lying on top of me, his legs falling on either side of my hips and our cocks sliding against each other.
"Oh, that makes my stomach feel funny, too." He squirmed against me and I thought I'd come with just that bit of movement. "Does making love mean that you'll put . . . um, your shaft inside of me?"
"Eventually, we'll do that but there's much more I need to teach you first." I stroked down his back to the downy cheeks that drew me. "For right now, I want you to close your legs around me tight so I can pull on my shaft."
He obeyed me quickly and I felt his legs between mine so I had a little friction right where I needed it most. Silently telling my cock that his time would come, I only had to pull on myself twice before I was shooting all over his back while he rubbed against me. I was looking forward to these new lessons as much as he was.
"Oh, that feels good, too." He wiggled out of my arms and splashed hot water over us both. "I was kind of scared of him at first." He put out a hesitant hand and stroked down my shaft. "He's so big that I thought you'd kill me if you put him inside of me. But I'll keep growing bigger so one day he'll fit."
This little one was a special gift of the gods, I was quite certain of that. "You're right, Nar, you're growing bigger all the time. One of the lessons will be me putting one of my fingers inside this small hole." I slid a finger down his cleft and he clenched around me.
"That tickles," he didn't look nervous but curious. "Will it hurt?"
"Hand me the soap." I asked him and he reached until he could grab it and hand it to me. Slicking my index finger, I slid it down his crease until I could begin to press inward. He tensed then relaxed when I only went into the first knuckle.
"It . . . feels kind of funny. Even your fingers are big." His wide-eyed look made me laugh and I kissed the tip of his nose.
"We'll take our time and make sure that we both enjoy making love." I smiled down at him and received the widest grin I'd ever seen on his face. "Now, we're turning into prunes so we'd better get out of the bath and get back to work."
He nodded and got out first before reaching back to help me up. I've always been considered a lucky general but the Romans of home had no idea just how lucky I was.
The end of part seven