Mira Ch. 06bysecretme©
Brian bent to set Briac on the ground. "Whether or not a man is good is relative to the next and what he wants and believes," Brian said. "There are plenty of men in the senate who believe Tiberius to be the savior of the nation." Brian pulled a pack over to where he was crouching and took a thin blanket out of it. "I suppose if you take into consideration that the eastern border would be overrun by now without the men Tiberius has pressed into service, you might say that Tiberius is only doing what is necessary."
Looking up from Briac's limp form, Brian found that he was completely alone. There was no trace of Rillan anywhere. Quickly, he piled the sticks and branches together. "Spirits," he whispered fearfully, as he hurriedly lit the campfire, staring into the trees, uncertain if Rillan had been real or an image of his imagination.
* * * *
Noviodunum streets at night were mostly abandoned. A few women draped in loose colorful sarongs stood near the main doors of a brothel next door to the largest of the inns on the main street. Candlelight shone in all the windows and sounds of drinking and debauchery wafted out the windows and filled the street in front of the buildings.
Rillan noted the new buildings and streets in the town since the last time he was there. Each time he ventured into this godforsaken city it was larger, louder, and more depraved. Still, even with the expansion of the city, the inner streets were the same. Keeping to the shadows, he worked his way through the newer alleyways, into the older streets and toward the homes of the senators.
Tonight was for scouting. Rillan established a routine long ago. He walked the streets near the senators' housing, reminding himself of the location of various landmarks. Then he returned to the large inn he passed on the way into town to get a room.
Upon entering the inn Rillan realized that he could count on one hand the number of men in breeches in the main room. There was an obvious distinction and segregation. The men wearing breeches and shirts sat together at a table in one corner of the main room. Judging by the clean look of their boots and the white of their shirts, Rillan figured that they were probably fairly wealthy. They sat quietly conversing.
The men in togas and kilts boisterously circulated throughout the room. A good number of them were accompanied by scantily clad women. A virtual orgy was starting at the far end of the large long table in the center of the room. A couple fair skinned women, sitting on either knee of a soldier wearing a battered but ornate breastplate and pauldrons were being undressed by soldiers standing to either side of the one seated. One of the men was groping the woman he was undressing. His hand roughly squeezed her breast and lifted it toward his face as he leaned down to wrap his mouth around the woman's nipple.
Rillan turned away in disgust, looking for the innkeeper. As if on cue, a fat, greasy, bare-chested man in a dirty toga waddled up to Rillan, eyeing him up and down with distaste. His eyes finally lingered on the gold clasp affixing Rillan's cloak. Suddenly, the man's demeanor shifted and he appeared much friendlier. "Can I be of service to you, barbarian?"
Rillan smiled at the condescending tone in the man's voice. Barbarian? Rillan scoffed openly. "How much for a room for the week," Rillan replied, in a hard intimidating tone.
The greasy innkeeper shifted uncomfortably and answered with more respect. "One sestertius for the week."
Reaching into his purse Rillan pulled out two silver coins. "I'm not to be disturbed," he said, placing the two coins in the man's grubby hand.
Turning them over in his hand the innkeeper examined the old coins. The senator's head was turned the wrong way. He looked questioningly at Rillan, held one coin to his mouth and bit down. Silver is silver. "As you like it," the man said, once he was satisfied with the authenticity of the money. He waved a hand, signaling a girl to join them. The girl's round, brown eyes reminded him of Mira, but spoke of the south, while her narrow face was distinctly of the druid nations. She smiled warmly at Rillan. "Arial, take this man to a room. Make sure he has everything he requires."
The irony of that statement, Rillan thought as he followed the pretty girl. She led him out a door in the back of the main room into a poorly kempt courtyard open to the sky. It was surrounded on all sides by columns propping up an overhang forming a peristyle. Beyond the columns were numerous doors, most of which were closed. Rillan could hear the distinct sounds of rough sex coming from behind various doors. They walked through the center of the courtyard, around a water filled basin, and past the columns directly across from the main building. Choosing a door that was slightly ajar Arial stepped into the small room ahead of Rillan. There was only an unmade bed in the small room. It smelled of rancid wine, urine, and other things that Rillan didn't even want to contemplate. Even knowing that his nose was more sensitive than humans, he wondered at a person's ability to sleep in this.
"You come to be used to it," Arial said softly, when she noticed the look on Rillan's face.
He faced her and shook his head sympathetically. "It's enough to make me think sleeping in the stables would be more pleasant. No one should have to grow used to it."
A sad expression came over her face. "Some have no alternative." Arial suddenly snapped back to being sweet and comely, as if she remembered that she should be smiling at the wealthy man in front of her. She stepped up to Rillan and ran a gentle hand across the bulge in the front of his pants. "Is there anything else you require? Dinner? Wine? Company?" Arial's experienced fingers traced along Rillan's rapidly growing shaft.
This was the first time he had thought of sex since he left Mira. He hated the way he parted with her. Arial's attention made him acutely aware of how used to sleeping with a woman he had become. Sighing, he took hold of Arial's wrist, brought her hand to his mouth and kissed her softly on her palm. Staring into her eyes, Rillan could see a hopeful glimmer. "I'm afraid that I'll not be needing company this night Arial." Disappointment clouded her pretty brown eyes. You'd not be so upset if you truly knew me, sweet one.
"I guess I should go to the other guests then," she said regretfully.
At that Rillan realized what that would mean. Pulling another sestertius out of his purse, he placed it in her hand before releasing her wrist. "Have this night to yourself."
Arial stared in wonder at the coin, speechless. She shoved the coin into a hidden pocket in her sarong, as if someone would see it and try to take it.
The grateful smile on her face was more than Rillan could handle. He decided to change the subject before she started talking. "Tell me who a man speaks with if he wants to know the goings on of the senate."
"That depends," Arial said. Her innocent demeanor seemed to melt from her, the sweet innocent stare she perfected belied more than Rillan could have guessed. "What kind of goings on are you interested in."
"I want to find out what a senator does all day."
"That makes no sense. Anyone could tell you that the senators attended meetings all day. You must be wanting something more specific than that."
Rillan reached into his purse again and pulled out a denarius. He held it up in front of Arial, watching her eyes focus on the coin. "I guess I am looking for some fairly specific information. And I don't want anyone to know that I'm looking for it."
Arial nodded, staring past the shining golden coin to Rillan's face, the innocence now completely gone from her features. "What do you want to know," she said quietly, reaching for the coin.
Rillan let her get her hand around it, but didn't release it. "I need someone who can tell me what Tiberius Caelius Novanus does day and night. Who he's with. Where he goes."
"You need a member of his personal staff. It's not as if that information is secret. If you waited around outside his gates you would see him come and go." Arial sounded almost disappointed that he question hadn't been more interesting. "He leads a fairly public life."
During the day, he thought. Sometimes I hate the sun. More and more often of late. "I don't want to be seen watching him." Rillan started to take the coin out of her hand. "If you can't help me—"
"I know just the person you need," Arial said quickly and snatched the coin out of his hand.
"Bring him here tomorrow night," Rillan said dismissively and started to move so that Arial could leave the room.
Showing no intention of leaving, Arial's eyes focused contemplatively on Rillan. "It's not often that I do this for someone who hasn't paid and demanded it," she whispered.
Confusion was replaced with uncertain regret, as Rillan watched Arial drop to her knees in front of him. She managed to untie his breeches, pull his limp member from his pants and wrap her lips around it, before he knew what was happening. Either I'm getting slow or my guard was far too low with this one. "Arial," he hissed, trying to find the right words to stop her without insulting her. His cock, betraying him, responded enthusiastically to Arial's touch.
With the thought process of a philosopher examining the intricate differences between two flowers, he found himself contemplating the differences between Mira's naïve hands and Arial's practiced fingers. Arial's tongue swirled around the head of his cock, tracing the ridge. Her small hands gripped his shaft tightly and stroked the length slowly.
Pulling her mouth from him, Airal licked the tip a couple times as she stroked it. "You're so cold," she whispered.
Rillan took advantage of her having released him from her mouth. "Arial." He reached under her chin and made her look at him. "I have someone. I need you to stop this."
Disappointment filled her eyes, but she released his member from her grip and sat back on her heels. She watched him rearrange himself and tie his breeches securely in place. "You are an unusual man," she said softly. "And whoever she is, I envy her." With that Arial quickly got to her feet and disappeared through the door, before Rillan could say anything.
Thanks for reading. Chapter 7 is on its way and I'm going to get back to Leader of the Pack as soon as this one is finished. So for everyone who's been wondering, yes there will be more!
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