Who doesn’t love a little adventure along with their steamy reads? Meet Roman legionnaires, dashing Britannic thieves, Egyptian royal guards and ice-impervious Vikings in the second volume of Best Gay Erotica Of The Year! We’ve got a sneak peek below:
Dark. The smell of smoke. The light of a lamp falling on his face, hurting his eyes. A flinch, and the pain biting like an axe buried, rocking into bone. A wail breaking from his chest.
An arm supporting his shoulders. “Drink, Roman.” The clink of a cup against his teeth and a bitter mouthful, spraying as he coughed.
“Do you need to make water?” Something cold pushing between his thighs and the helpless gush of voiding.
The glimmer of a hearth, and the redder agony in his head receding as the kindly dark reclaimed him.
“Ah, you return to us.”
Lucius came to his senses in a round room, its curving walls whitewashed and painted with flowing patterns, spirals and coils in blue and green. A table. Stools. A column of smoke wafted into a thatched ceiling, bending now and again in a draft from the door.
A stout man, blunt-featured, his sparse white hair braided, unfolded his hands from a comfortable belly. “How does your head feel—ah, quiet now, quiet now!
Pointless to pull against the ropes.” The world spun and Lucius sank back, a spurt of vomit sour in his throat. Under a brightly colored blanket he was naked and spreadeagled, tied by his wrists and ankles to the cot. Knowing fingers searched and probed the cropped curls at the back of his head. “Legionaries are renowned as doughty fighters, but, by the gods, they’re hardheaded, too. You have a lump like a duck’s egg, but no break, I think. My name is Aneirin. What’s yours?”
Lucius stared rigidly, his teeth clenched against the sickness that threatened to unman him.
“Yes, well…come, a sip of this will settle a queasy stomach.” The cot creaked, sagging dangerously under the old man’s bulk. He swirled the liquid in the cup.
“Poison is not our way, decanus. This is only willow bark and ginger, with a drop of honey, no poppy this time. No? You’re sure? As you wish. It’ll keep for my poor knees. Ah, Nesta, there you are.”
A woman with a face like a frog hobbled toward them, a small pot in her hand.
She muttered something in their hateful language and elbowed Aneirin out of her way.
“Nesta brings the pot for you to make water again.” Seeing Lucius’s expression, Aneirin said blandly, “She has swaddled five sons and their sons, too. I doubt a Roman cock will hold much terror for her. Or you can piss yourself and lie in it. It makes no odds.”
The woman lifted away the cloth from Lucius’s hips. She took his cock between finger and gnarled thumb and hung it over the rim of the pot. Once she was satisfied with its placing, she stared into the fire until Lucius had finished. She shook him perfunctorily, then peered into the pot and held it out for Anei-rin’s inspection. He nodded, dismissing her.
“There is no blood in your water,” he remarked.
Lucius’s face burned. He was beyond humiliation.
Aneirin drew up a stool. “I learned your language in Rome, as a young man. Your countrymen are not renowned for their manners, but I found her citizens courteous enough. That’s the privilege of the conqueror, of course. Nonetheless, I’ve given you my name; won’t you give me yours?” He paused, but Lucius lay as dumb as a stone.
Perhaps his stubborn silence stung Aneirin, because he declared flatly, “Your comrades, the seven, are dead.”
Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, and Fate, winner of the 2016 TRR Readers’ Choice Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015 and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1 and 2. Please visit him at TheRobRosen.com