The Master's troubles
Jack was aware of the ground disappearing beneath his feet and his sense of orientation falter as the time transportation belt was activated. A sense of nausea washed over him, bringing up his stomach content and causing his sight to black out for a while. When he came by, he was back in his office at the Torchwood institute, bent double with his head between his knees. The Doctor was right, this is absolutely a bloody lousy way to time-travel, he thought while he took deep breaths to fight his queasiness.
He felt under his shirt for the transporter. The thing made a terrible noise and was getting overheated. Jack quickly unbuckled the belt. He tossed the device away just before it started to burn the flesh off his fingers. It crashed into a table leg and spilled its electronic innards over the floor, after which several separated parts of he device combusted into flames. Jack grabbed hold of the fire extinguisher that had languished for years in a dusty corner behind the potted plants and sprayed the entire content on the flames.
After the small fire was put out, the captain looked down at the charcoaled remains. He went through the pieces, trying to identify at least the most vital parts, but as he picked them up and examined them one by one, he realized that it was of no use.
The time transporter was damaged beyond repair.
Another feeling of unease that was not far away from genuine nausea sank into him as he realized how this might affect his cruel little prank on the Master.
He never had intended to let the Timelord suffer in that Roman brothel for very long. A few days, one week max. But now he wasn't even sure that he could get him back safely to his own time.
"You stupid bloody git."
He swore with frustration, and wanted to kick himself for his mistake. Instead he punished the defunk time traveling device instead by booting a large piece of it straight into the now empty cylinder of the extinguisher.
He tried to keep his eyes on the sand colored lizard that hid just below the vaulted ceiling of the dark chamber. The pinpoint eyes of the small creature shimmered like glass beads in the light of the oil-lamps. He pressed his stomach down on the sheepskin lying underneath that had become damp with his sweat, and craned his neck to follow the reptile as it climbed its way across the wall. Somehow, it distracted him from the heavy weight that crushed down on his back and legs, and the pain that cut through him like a blade as his client tried to force himself deeper into his abused body.
"Keep your head down boy." The large man on top of him grunted, sweat dripped down from his nose onto Marcellus neck. Red blotches already started to bloom all over the man's skin. Marcellus tried to turn around but his client grabbed the back of his head and pushed it forcefully down into the bundle of rags in front of him, burying his face deep into the dirty fabric.
"Don't struggle!" The overweight gentleman puffed, being almost out of breath. "You may wriggle around a bit, but don't you struggle!"
The forcefulness of the assault increased, and Marcellus, being cruelly denied his distraction or even air to breathe, pushed his chin down on his chest to create a small pocket of air between his body and the bed surface, while he bit down the rags to muffle his cries. His client grunted and continued to ride him like a beast, his fat pork belly hanging over the slave's back while his hairy crotch banged into his reddened buttocks. The fat fingers that dug greedily into him slipped over the slave's sweaty skin and left a trail of white marks.
Marcellus breathed heavily as the pain amounted into a fierce burning that tore through him like fire. The large man rocked in and out above him, and swore under his breath when his cock could not penetrate him any further.
"You're far too tight." The man wiped the sweat off his brow. "Dear Gods, this is more like exercise! It's bound to be bad for my heart." He let go of the slave's buttocks to place himself in a better position before he started all over again.
The man came half an hour later. He shot his load inside the battered slave, after which he simply collapsed on top of him in total exhaustion. Marcellus lay very still underneath the mount of gasping slippery flesh, his mind empty as he stared blankly ahead. He managed to free his right hand and hesitantly, felt between his legs. A sticky fluid trickled down his fingers.
The overweight client finally got up and started to get dressed. He stumbled across the small chamber, looking for his missing sandals with the all grace of a drunken elephant.
Marcellus didn't dare to move before the client was ready. He was too much ashamed to look anyone of them into the eyes. When the man finally left the chamber, he sat up on the stone bed, crawled into a corner and pulled his legs against his stomach. Outside, he could hear the obese man complain to his patron about his services in such a loud voice that it carried far out into the street. Someone was laughing pleasantly in the next-door chamber. Marcellus could not imagine that it was one of the slave girls, except for perhaps that devious serpent Livia. He took a long ragged breath and tried not to think of any possible punishments that Simon now might come up with for him for not serving his clients well. Closing his eyes, he forced his mind to leave this hellish place and go somewhere where Simon or Macrinus could not find him. But however hard he tried, he could not picture any other place than the lupanare and perhaps the few streets directly around the brothel. He knew that he had traveled with his old master from the far province of Britannia all the way down south to the Roman capital, but he had no memories of the fields and the forests that he must have passed, or a recollection of the sea and the rivers that he had crossed. It was as if he had not been anywhere else in his entire life but here. The very idea of it frightened him to death. If this was all what life was, he rather was not blessed with it any longer.
Marcellus was still trapped in his gloomy thoughts, when Micranus stuck his head through the curtains.
"Marcellus. Are you not ready yet? There is another client outside who wish to see you. Get yourself cleaned up. Quick!"
He obeyed him, and dipped the rags into the wooden pail filled with cool water that stood at the end of the bed. He washed off the dried stains on his thighs, and carefully wiped away the crusted blood between his buttocks. The clients didn't like their slaves to bleed before the deed, as they considered it as a sign of weak health. In a place like this where whores were dirt-cheap and hygiene was almost non-existing, most of them learned to be precautious.
Marcellus stepped outside where a tall, middle-aged man was standing before the counter. The Roman had a bad leg and leaned heavily on a wooden cane. First he was busy speaking to Simon, but quickly he turned to Marcellus when he entered.
"So this is the young chap you were talking about." The man spoke, and smiled pleasantly at him. "Why, isn't he short and totally adorable. All fresh-faced, looking very clever with those bright brown eyes." He came closer and pinched Marcellus playfully on his cheek. "Healthy rosy cheeks. It's a pity that he looks so sad though. Why are you so glum my young friend? I'm not going to hurt you or anything. You don't need to look so worried."
Simon gave Marcellus more than an encouraging nudge on the shoulder.
"Come Marcellus, give the good senator a smile."
Marcellus pulled the corner of his lips up into a sad imitation of a smile, looking up at the crazy gentleman with even more nervousness then before. So he was a senator then. That really didn't help to calm his nerves. If he mocked this one up he was probably going to be sent directly to the arena to by ripped apart by the hungry lions.
The senator was kind enough to be content with Marcellus pained grin. He paid Simon a handsome sum of money to rent the slave for the entire night. Simon thanked him gleefully, expressing so much of his gratitude that it looked like he was praising the mighty god of commerce Mercury himself.
Micranus led the two men up the staircase to the first floor where he unlocked the door to a tidy room with a small window. The senator ordered some wine, and after the Moor had brought it to the table, gave Micranus a small tip and asked him to leave.
Marcellus's could not keep his eyes from the light outside that shone through the dust caked window grits. Unlike the girls, he was not allowed to leave the lupanare. He hadn't seen the sun or a blue sky since the day that Micranus took him outside and burned his new master's initials into his flesh. The lazy sun that hung low in the late afternoon looked beautiful to him. He closed his eyes for a second to memorize how it looked, as he wished to remember it before he was forced to stay in his somber working quarters downstairs again.
The senator sat down in the only chair that was present in the room, resting his chin on the handle of his cane while silently observing Marcellus. He felt intrigued by the young man. Although the senator was wealthy and had in his long life, many lovers and prostitutes before, he never had seen someone quite like him. It was not because he looked foreign, although slaves from the north were less common than those from the Greek or far eastern territories. No, the senator thought that the young man looked kind of lost, as if this great Roman city was not the place where he belonged.
"You've never been up here before?" The senator asked in a kind voice.
Marcellus shook his head, staring at his dirty feet. He had little courage to lookup at the older man.
"You don't need to sit on the floor Marcellus. Go sit on the bed. That's far more comfortable."
Marcellus obeyed him. He climbed up the wooden bed and pulled his legs up against his belly while keeping his head down like an obedient dog.
"What do they teach you here? Can't you look me into the eyes? Honestly, I'm not a Medusa, you won't turn to stone if you did."
Marcellus glanced up hesitantly, but kept his submissive position with his knees digging into his chest.
"Well, that's at least one step in the right direction." The senator muttered. He took the carafe of wine from the table and poured some into a shabby looking cup. He limped over to the nervous looking slave and offered the drink to him.
Marcellus had been living in the lupanare for over a month now, and all of his clients so far, even if they were rich noblemen, had been acting completely indifferent to him. All they wanted was to get pleasure from his body that they had paid for, and most of them were particularly callous in their selfish attempts to satisfy their carnal lust. He was so used to be being beaten and treated badly all the time that this sudden act of kindness brought tears in his eyes.
"Oh come on dear boy. Don't be like that." The senator said, slightly baffled.
"It's some just wine. If you don't want it, I won't force you to have it."
The senator sat down next to Marcellus who was now sobbing uncontrollably.
"There, there, now." He said, as he patted the slave's shoulders. "No need for tears tonight."
"I'm sorry." Marcellus sobbed, and tried to stop his tears from welling up in his eyes. "I'm sorry sir. I'm wasting your time."
"Nobody is counting the grains of sand in the hourglass downstairs. I paid for the entire night. Take your time to compose yourself."
"I'm all right." Marcellus wiped away the snot coming out from his nose. "I'm ready." He bravely held his head up. "You can do with me whatever you wish sir."
The senator smiled kindly at him. "Tempting offer. What can you exactly do, my young Paris?"
"Ehm, the pictures downstairs. I've learned how to do all of that." Marcellus said, and realized that he said it with an almost perverted sense of pride. He suddenly wasn't sure that the senator had looked at the frescoes at all. "If you haven't seen them I could describe them for you. There's one right above the door of the front entrance. It shows a young man with another young man, and they kind of lie on top of each other with the man on the bottom wrapping his legs around the other man's chest-"
"No I haven't seen them." The senator said, shaking his head and waving his hand dismissively. "But you don't need to describe them to me. I'm not that young anymore as you can see and I've been visiting the lupanares for quite some time now. Not that I didn't appreciate it." The senator said hastily when he saw the reaction on Marcellus's face. "It was very kind of you."
"But what do you want me to do sir?" Marcellus asked, nervously. "For that amount of money you paid for me you could have had the entire brothel! I can't just sit here and do nothing."
"All I want is to have a good time tonight. And I want you to have a good time too. Tell me my dear Marcellus, have you ever made love before?"
"Uhm, sir, I hope this does not sound rude but you do know that I'm a prostitute, right?" Marcellus asked hesitantly, worried that the kind gentleman was somehow confused about the establishment he had entered.
"What? No! No Marcellus! I'm not talking about that sweating disgusting thing you are forced to do with the other clients, just because your patron won't have it otherwise! I'm talking about making love the way that Paris would to his beautiful Helena, or Zeus to his precious Europa. The kind that starts with a fire in the heart, a tickle in the tummy, and simple dead honest trust."
"I don't think I understand what you mean." Marcellus said. He recalled all times that he had served the regulars of the lupanare. They all had been rough to him and the sex had been like a battle, with the slave at the bottom as the vanquished prisoner and his clients on top as his vicious lords and masters. There had been no tenderness, no warmth and consideration, only ugliness and competition in a perverted game that he had been taught to lose time after time. There had been nothing but fear and shame burning in his heart, and a sense of growing mistrust of other people's intentions.
"That's a shame." The senator said, honestly feeling sorry for the young man. "A man may loose his riches, his freedom and respect, but to never have loved once." He shook his head sadly. "It simply makes life not worth living for." He took a sip from the cup and then offered it to Marcellus.
"Still, it's not too late to learn. Take a good mouthful of this, young Marcellus. And let us begin with building our trust before we proceed to more the daunting challenges."