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25 November 2008 @ 06:24 pm
I am not even sure where to begin with this story. I'm tempted to begin with the end, as if maybe seeing it on paper will make it more real, but I think if I just came out and told you where I am right now, you'd drop dead of shock. I guess I'll have to ease you into it, but I think your head may spin as much as mine is anyway.

All week every boy in this school has been absolutely mad with excitement, as if they were about to get a pile of gold and whores personally delivered by Jupiter himself. You know me well enough to know that the more hype there is about something, the more I'll hate it, and I assure you that was the case this time as well. The thing is... these boys were so excited about something admittedly a bit major. The EMPEROR coming to have dinner at the paedagogium. What could be bigger than that? And there would be fifteen boys chosen to sing a Greek chorus for him! As you might imagine, things got very cut-throat, as there wasn't a boy in the school not vying for the opportunity to sing for the Emperor.

Save for me.

No, I couldn't have cared less, I swear to you. Still, being the prettiest, best singer and Greek myself, I was chosen to sing at the dinner. I was so angry and so determined to spare myself from the lusty stares of those corrupt men, the day before I wouldn't even bathe in hopes I'd smell like a man and repulse them.

Then it was the morning of the dinner, and the paedagogium absolutely exploded with the excitement of the boys chosen for the chorus. I watched them prepare with such fervor, so eager to throw themselves at the men coming to sate their appetites. Suddenly I wanted to be the best, I wanted to prove to them all that their efforts are pathetic and useless. I washed myself, I put the flowers and leaves in my hair and I prepared to steal the show.

The Emperor isn't what I thought he'd be. I walked into the room expecting an old man, corrupt and stupid and greedy. He couldn't possibly be further from that. I saw a beautiful man sitting at the table, his face so warm and honest, his lips so perfect to kiss. He looked so intelligent, so capable and strong. I sang for him. I sang for him and when he saw me his eyes never left again. Every other boy in the chorus could have not existed, because the Emperor paid them no mind when he saw me. He smiled at me and I've never felt so strongly about anyone in my life.

He had me called back almost as soon as I left, but the schoolmaster of course was determined to bring his favorite as well. I went to the Emperor with another boy named Pontius, but only I sat on the Emperor's couch with him. We shared dessert, he held my hand and he fed me the sweetest peach I've ever tasted. He told me he'd just been to Nicodemia last year, and he even remembered that there had been an earthquake. He seemed so caring and dedicated, how could I not be charmed?

But then he asked me to leave the paedagogium and come to his Villa in Tibur with him. I have to admit, I was very tempted to say yes, I so ached to be in his bed. I stuck to my convictions, however, and I told him just what I thought, and that I wouldn't be used by him or his senators. He was so shocked, but not angry. Maybe even hurt. He told me he would prove me wrong, and then he released me. I stole a kiss from him as he left, just a breath long but the most perfect kiss of my life.

I swear I felt like I'd been stabbed in the gut, I felt so anguished walking away from him. I don't understand why I feel so strongly for this man I just met, but I think I might nearly have screamed with joy when a schoolmaster came to tell me to pack my things, that the Emperor had demanded I be shipped to his Villa that very night.

Of course, I convinced myself I was angry too. How dare he ignore the fact that I told him I didn't want to go to the Villa? I told myself that it clearly meant he didn't care for me - he wanted my body there, and he couldn't care less if my heart and mind came along. Certainly that was what it meant, right? But when I arrived at the Villa, I was brought to his quarters instead of to some dormitory, and he was awake there as if waiting for me. He told me I would sleep in his bed. I gave in and climbed in, and as you might expect, it was the softest bed in all of Rome. He didn't try to take me, he didn't express any lust for my body at all. I pretended to be asleep and he turned to worship me instead, touching my face as if a divine idol, taking my hand in his and holding it like a treasure.

I woke up in his arms, tempting him with my body - a temptation he refused to indulge in. He resisted me around every turn, only touching my face as he left. He left me in his bedroom, and I slept for a while longer before asking for peaches and cherries and getting dressed in Hadrian's clothes. I expect he'll come back soon, and I have no idea what to expect when he does.

He is the Emperor. He has all the power in the world. But he seems so willing to bow to my whims, he seems to truly care to have my consent before he takes what he could so effortlessly demand. His eyes are so kind, and when he touches me it feels like we've been in love for a thousand years, not that we've only known each other for less than a day. I'm so afraid, though - what if I'm just fooling myself? I never thought I had a romantic mind, but every time I see Hadrian I dither like a lovesick woman. How humiliating it would be to give myself up to love, to offer myself to him and then be discarded. I hesitate to give him my trust, but I don't know how long I can resist in this place.

I am sad I won't see you tonight. I already miss you. If I remain at the Villa much longer, I'll ask to have you sent here for a visit. Would you mind that? Hadrian's just come back, and he's staring at me wearing his bracae in the funniest way, with all these scrolls in his arms like he's a librarian and not the ruler of Rome. Fuck, Cissy, I think I'm done for.

I love you.

21 November 2008 @ 12:22 pm
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