I waddled everywhere I went. George did, too. The babies were playing football with our insides and I had a permanent crick in my back from trying to find a position that didn't press one of them on my teeny, tiny bladder. George took up walking - upstairs, downstairs, out to the patio, over to the baby rock garden that would get bigger once winter ceased to pummel us with snow.
Keeping a close eye on her meant that I got more exercise than I really wanted but Dr. Silverman was pleased with both of us. We now had an expert from Manhattan on call, compliments of Avery in England. The whole family was still corresponding with him and when we asked him if he knew of a good anesthesiologist/obstetrician, he responded immediately with Dr. Hansa's name.
All four of us went to see him and I know how much better I felt once we met. He had the kindest brown eyes and his manner was courtly but professional. I think George and I both relaxed within fifteen minutes of our exams. He accepted that we wanted to be together and that Dad and Ned were an integral part of our pregnancies. He cross-examined George about every bit of her medical history and about her family, too.
We saw him every two weeks and Dr. Silverman every week now that we were past our seventh month. I was beginning to think that spring would never come when suddenly it was just there everywhere we looked. The trees developed a green mist that was only visible if you didn't look at them. One morning, Ned and Dad brought us a bouquet of tiny white crocuses from Ned's woods.
I cried all over them. My emotions ranged from top to bottom sometimes four times a day but George's did too so we hugged each other early and often. The big problem was that we couldn't get close enough now that we were both size 42. Well, we weren't quite that large but it sure felt like it some days. Everyday that it was nice, Ned and Dad would come home and take us on a walk around a different part of the property.
None of us were really gardeners but George had a picture in her mind of an English garden that we'd seen in Oxford and we both sketched what we remembered of it for Ned. One of his college buddies, Paul Shepherd, had taken an internship in horticulture at the New York City Botanical Gardens but he was back in River Heights to set up a small landscaping center.
He'd taken our drawings and developed them into a lush landscape that looked beautiful on paper. Some of his crew was already working on leveling some of the ground torn up by the house construction. Others were building stone retaining walls for raised flower beds while still others were digging what would be a large kidney-shaped swimming pool nestled in among the plantings. It was going to be absolutely beautiful.
George loves to swim even more than I do so she went around with a permanent smile on her face as the mud and rock slowly began to resemble a landscape. We didn't want everything to be as neat and tidy as the English gardens we'd seen but we had 160 acres to play with so some of them could be whatever we wished. We had long years to decide and experiment.
That was a very satisfying thought these days. Sometimes on our walks, I'd see a tiny blonde toddler digging happily in the mud and I knew that someday I'd see him or her for real. That vision prompted a discussion on swings, slides and sandboxes. It was a little early for that but once we got started drawing, we came up with about an acre's worth of playground just behind the stone walls of the raised beds.
We included everybody's suggestions from Hannah and Connie down to the youngest digger on the landscaping crew. Most of them would have to wait several years for their playmates to arrive but we included some Big People furniture too, as Cerri would say. Shade trees would have comfortable cedar lawn furniture under them so we could watch the kids playing. Ned waterproofed a cedar chest for the soft cushions that would make the chairs more comfortable and we could use it as a table, too.
A Big People swing also found its way into the playground and I could hardly wait until George and I could push each other to new heights. It wasn't going to happen soon unless these babies popped out early. Part of me was wishing they would while part of me knew that it wouldn't be safe for them to come so soon. Dr. Silverman had already told us two babies would be smaller than one would be.
They were competing for our bodies' resources but it appeared that both of mine were sharing the wealth of vitamins and minerals that they were borrowing from me and George's were too. We still didn't know what genders they were but that was all right since no matter what, we were going to love them. I stroked the mound in front of me and came back to the Spring Solstice baby shower in progress.
George and I were ensconced on the leather sofa in front of the living room fireplace while our friends were scattered over the other sofa, chairs drawn from other parts of the room and the Persian rug. I watched Helen restrain her two year old toddler from 'helping' George open another gaily wrapped package. The little one was having more fun with the empty boxes and crunchy wrapping paper than with the pretty dolls that she'd brought with her.
Suddenly I found myself wishing that at least one of the twins was a little girl. Dolls, dressing up, pink everything and all that I remembered from my own childhood came back to me in a rush. I felt George pat my leg surreptitiously and I yanked myself back to the here and now. The party was winding down and I was ready for a nap.
********* Carson/Gaius *********
I got home in time to greet the young women who'd come for the baby shower. Some of them seemed a little tongue-tied around me and I wondered if they thought me a cradle robber for marrying George. Ned had gotten home a few moments before me and he'd gotten both of them up off the sofa that was so easy to drop onto only to be hell to get out of. He and Nancy stood arm in arm, chatting with Bess while some of the others milled about fetching coats.
George came to me the moment that I came in the front door and I kissed her softly, wishing this whole ordeal was over and done with. I prayed every moment that I wasn't working or concentrating on something else that her labor would be brief and our babies would emerge safely into the world. Smiling down into her beautiful eyes, I dropped a second kiss on her silky hair before greeting those young women that I remembered.
Dinner was quiet except for the little nothings that we all contributed from our day. It was good to be home and have everyone safe if a little bit tired. We'd all sleep well tonight, I thought.
I chuckled when they attacked me together, one taking me high while the other went low. But I was planted firmly and able to throw Augustus over my shoulder while falling to one knee, trapping Nar with my greater weight.
"Jupiter's left nut," Augustus swore under his breath while Nar laughed and gave me his submission with mock terror and a murmured 'later'.
Ah, later would be sweet indeed, I thought before rising and offering them a hand up. "You both are lighter weight and must use it cunningly rather than in direct confrontation. Attacking together was a good idea though and tomorrow Petros and I will show you a way to use a partner to advantage. Now, we should go and wash up because Cook is beckoning us within for one of her wonderful meals. Join us, Augustus."
It wasn't exactly an order but he nodded obediently and followed Nar into the house while I strode behind them, pondering my matchmaking skills. Over the last four months, I'd been expanding my training to more than just Nar. The younger officers were a good bunch but they needed to keep their reflexes honed in case we were needed in the north. Some of the tribes were getting restless and it looked like a show of strength might put down a rebellion before it really got started.
Augustus however, was a different story. He and Nar were friends and he was secretly yearning after Lira. On Nar's fifteenth name day, he'd admitted that he lied to Drusis when he said his sister was only ten. She was now thirteen and I thought that by the time she was fourteen, I could marry her to young Augustus, but only if her heart yearned for him, too. I would never force anyone into an arranged marriage the way that so many of my compatriots had been.
No, married life was best if both hearts beat in unison, the way that my heart beat with Nar's. We weren't a conventional pairing but I knew of at least two other couples like us, one down in Gaul and the other in western Albion. The post of secretary or aide seemed to be a popular position for a lover. If we remained discrete then we should be fine, I mused while the conversation flowed evenly around the table.
Lira and Augustus were finally comfortable with each other. He teased her but she retaliated with a sharp tongue that urged him on to even wilder tall tales. Cerri was taking it all in from atop her box, which brought her up to the right level of the table. She was still at the 'take everything as gospel' stage that made us all laugh when she tried to do something like 'watch her tongue'.
Or 'little foxes have big ears' - that was one of her favorites and she had asked us so politely to catch a fox for her so she could see if that was true. One of these days, one of us probably would, just to satisfy her curiosity. Augustus treated her like a little sister and I could see that Lira very much approved of that. I was going to have to sit down with him soon and discuss his intentions and her dowry.
I had a bit put away and a governor's pay was substantially larger than a mere general's. I did more entertaining these days among the other legions and the civil administrators of Albion. They came to me and several had already mentioned that Londinium would be a more suitable headquarters location. I was considering that but for the moment I preferred the strategic position here at the meeting of two rivers about fifty-five miles northwest of the port of Londinium.
From here, the Legion and I could go in any direction we needed. Besides, I would have to build something myself to equal the Druid's home that I'd confiscated here in the village of Ox's Ford. Still, more bedrooms would be nice and I occasionally pondered adding on to this nice stone house. I came back to the conversation with a rush, wondering what I'd missed to have made everyone laugh so hard.
Augustus had told the story of the Faunus and the bear, the tame version. I thought it might be time to introduce Nar to the version I'd learned in my twenties. His gaze went sultry in a heartbeat when I sent a brief glance his way. In the year since I'd grown a new family, I'd moved slowly in my seduction of my sweet Nar. I couldn't bear the thought of hurting him but my cock was growing impatient and so was my secretary.
I decided that tonight we would see what happened when I told him the naughty version of that tale. Just thinking about him was hardening me to the point of pain. Luckily dinner was finally over and I could send Augustus off to his billet with my other three younger officers. Noticing Lira's rather yearning glance at his retreating figure, I decided that it was time to add on a wing to the house.
And it was past time to free my three slaves so they could begin families of their own. If I was very lucky, Nar would choose to stay my secretary while Lira and Augustus could wed and provide a home for that little imp, Cerri. I got up from the table and complimented Shaylas on her fine cooking. She and Petros were a most unlikely couple but my diamond-in-the-rough aide was content so the household continued on an even keel.
"Nar, we need the bath tonight." I said quietly and watched his face light up.
"Yes, Sir," he said quietly and kissed Lira and Cerri goodnight. He'd been welcomed into my room for the last month and they'd become used to his not sleeping with them. If we had guests, he retreated to their room and I greatly missed his warmth.
Just thinking about that made me realize that it was definitely time to build on to my headquarters. A family wing would leave the rooms we were currently using for guests and meetings that were bigger than my current study could hold. Nar and I would design it together and the Legion builders could have it done in a month, barring unforeseen circumstances.
I put all those out of my mind so I could watch Nar undress in front of me. He has no idea how beautiful he is but I do and I thank Mithras every day for him. His head now reached my breastbone and he'd filled out nicely with the training sessions he'd had over the last four months. He still looked endearingly like a colt just finding his legs. His voice had ceased cracking and settled into a soft tenor that was pleasing to my ears.
"You are very slow tonight, my general." He came over to fold my tunic while I finished kicking off my breeches. "We didn't hurt you, did we?"
Caressing his cheek, I shook my head. "I am full of interesting thoughts this evening. I know another version of the Faunus and the bear if you'd like to hear it."
He smiled up at me and took me by the hand to lead me down into the hot water. "I thought that perhaps you did. Augustus told me that there was a racy one that he couldn't tell in front of the females."
I chuckled and reached for the soap. "It's not just racy, Nar, it borders on the pornographic. I was thinking that you and I might act it out tonight in the privacy of our bedroom."
He blushed and swarmed into my lap, kissing me urgently while my cock tried to drill a hole into his flat stomach. I think we both groaned and broke apart to take a hasty breath before going right back to entwining our tongues. My soapy fingers traced his cleft until I felt him spasm open for two fingers. Lately, I'd worked up to three and he'd taken them without complaint. Indeed, he had begged me to take him completely.
We both wanted that. I had one more surprise for him then we'd see.
********* Ned/Nar *********
I love kissing my general, especially when he'd been drinking the sweet wine from the village vineyards. It tasted much better from his lips. His fingers twisted inside of me and I pushed back against them wantonly. I wondered if he'd finally take me tonight. His mood was strange but I thought maybe he was thinking about the future.
He was contemplating freeing us, I knew that. He'd already mentioned that Lira would have a dowry when she married and I thought that Augustus was the one he'd pick for her. Lira had told me that since she couldn't have the general, Augustus was her second choice. He could make her laugh and he never talked down to her but explained what things meant when she had questions.
But right now, his fingers were sliding over the magic spot inside of me that made me so hot that I thought the water should boil around us. I was panting hard when I finally tore my mouth from his and threw back my head to come. It felt like I spurted for hours but it was only a few moments before I collapsed onto his hairy chest. His fingers slowly came out and I clenched around them in vain.
"Relax for me, Nar; I have a gift for you." He bit my ear gently and I shivered at the touch of something that wasn't his fingers nudge my hold. It was smooth and a little thicker than his fingers. But it must have been oiled because it slid in smoothly even deeper than his longest finger and I clenched around it once or twice before it stopped.
"Good, you took it all. Is there pain, little Nar?" His big hands stroked over my cheeks, stopping to pull out and push in what ever it was.
"No, not really." I tried to crane my neck around to see it but the angle was all wrong. "What is it?"
His lips bit the underside of my jaw and made my shaft twitch while he lifted me up a bit so his shaft rested between my thighs. That shifted my muscles and pushed the wooden thing against my magic spot. "I carved a phallus a little smaller than my shaft to see how ready you are for me."
"It doesn't hurt, my general." I flexed around it and it truly didn't hurt, just filled me more than anything ever had. "It feels like it's about to come out of my stomach but when I move, I . . . oh . . . do that again."
He chuckled and did that push-pull thing again and again until I hardened for the second time. "We are going to finish our bath then I'm going to take you to our bed and claim you for my own."
"Yes . . . yes . . . yes," I scattered kisses all over his face and shifted back a little, which moved the . . . phallus inside of me. "Oh, it feels very odd."
Soaping his hands, he lathered my chest and groin while I did the same for him. It was a very fast bath but both of us had waited almost a year for this moment and we were a little impatient. He lifted me onto my feet and told me to walk up the three steps. I felt like I had a tree limb stuck inside of me and I walked bow-legged over to the towels wondering if just that would make me come.
"Delightfully obscene, little one, you look like you've got a poker shoved up your arse." He chuckled but not unkindly and I contemplated sticking out my tongue at him the way that Cerri did sometimes. But he was hastily drying me and him both so I didn't. "Up you come, sweetheart. I have something much better to slide inside of you."
I put my arms around his neck and kissed his stubbly cheek. I was going to have little scratches all over my skin come morning but I didn't care. Once he put that huge shaft of his inside of me, I probably wouldn't be able to walk anyway. Petros had lit the two oil lamps on either side of the big bed that had become our bed. He laid me gently down on the large mattress covered by the well-washed bedding that was so soft against my skin.
The wooden phallus shifted yet again and my poor shaft felt like it had been hard for years instead of just minutes. He followed me onto the mattress and covered me with his long, hard body so we could kiss some more. But we were both hard and he finally relented, sliding down my body and swallowing my shaft whole while I fisted the sheets and tried not to come.
But he was moving the phallus in time to his swallows and with a strangled shout, I came in his throat. I must have spasmed all my seed away that time and I was limp as one of Cook's noodles when he spooned up behind me and removed the carved phallus. I missed it immediately but he was already nudging my small hole with his warm shaft and I tried to relax completely so he didn't hurt me.
Oh, but it felt twice the size of the wooden shaft and I bit my lip to keep from crying out. It was warm instead of cool but it felt like it was splitting me in two. His hands stroked my stomach, coming up to pinch my nipples while his tongue bathed that spot behind my ear that always made me shiver. He really was going to come out of my stomach if he went much farther, I thought through the haze of pain.
"There, my little Nar, you've got all of me." He kissed across my shoulders while I panted through the feeling of extreme fullness. "How much does it hurt, little one?"
"Not m-m-much, my general," I lied through clenched teeth.
"Hm-m, I doubt that, my sweet Nar. You've never taken anything this size before and you're going to be very sore in the morning." He kissed all around my ear before dipping his tongue inside briefly.
That made me shiver all over and I think we both groaned. His hips rocked just a tiny bit and his shaft moved within me while I panted some more. "That felt good, my general."
Gently biting my earlobe, he moved his hips out a little further then back in. "It will feel better shortly, sweetheart." Further out then back in a little faster, "I think that once you've healed from this lovemaking, I'll have you wear the wooden phallus for an hour or two each day." The pain was transmuting into heat that burned but in a good way. "Then every night I'll oil your sweet depths with olive oil so I can slide right back into your heat."
I was on fire and only he could put out the flames. I needed to move but his arms kept me still while his hips snapped towards me then retreated slowly. The fire had spread to every part of me and I was groaning as quietly as I could when suddenly I felt him sink deep and begin to flood me with his seed. His big hand found my rock-hard shaft and a single pull made me come all over his fingers.
Oh that felt so good, I thought through the fog that my mind had fallen into. He was whispering wonderful things in my ear about how beautiful I was, how tight I felt around him, what he was going to do to me once I healed, and a thousand other words that made me feel loved and cherished. But once he rocked his limp shaft from me, I finally felt relief. He caught the trickles with a towel that felt rough against my tender skin.
Then he spread some kind of salve deep inside of me. "Rest, little one, while I get some water to clean you up."
That was my job but I truly didn't think I could have stood up at that moment so I nodded and clenched my sore muscles to try and keep his seed inside of me. The pain would eventually leave; I was sure of that because I wanted him inside of me every day and he wouldn't gift me with his shaft if he thought he would hurt me.
He was back in moments and a warm wet towel cleaned between my cheeks. Then I felt something warm and moist there and realized that it was his tongue bathing me much like Lula tongue-washed Cerri's kitten. I clutched the pillow to me and squeaked in amazement. He just chuckled and dabbed on a little more of the cool salve.
"There, little Nar, you'll feel better in the morning." He threw the damp cloth to the table and blew out both lamps before sliding in behind me. I turned to face him, wincing a bit when my inner muscles twinged. He brought me up onto him so I lay cradled against his warm, broad chest. "I love you, Nar. We'll speak of the future tomorrow. And perhaps I'll tell you my version of the Faunus and the bear."
I kissed him and tucked my head beneath his chin. Tomorrow was going to be fun.
The end of part 9