Antony was drunk the first time he cornered Cicero, up against one of the pillars in Dolabella's house. The party had only been going a short while; the weasel was trying to slip out early. His eyes had been going to the door ever since he'd seen Antony walk in unexpectedly. "Going somewhere, friend?" Antony planted his arm on the pillar, to the side of Cicero's head. "The night's still young."
"I find I have a headache," Cicero said. "If you will excuse me—"
"Maybe I won't," Antony said, and leaned in tipsily close. He'd only meant to whisper an insult, but Cicero's eyes bulged so, before he'd even said anything, that instead Antony started to laugh so hard the pathetic worm managed to slither away and get himself out the door.
The second time, it was only for the fun of making him squirm and sweat. Cicero was whispering with some of his fellow bootlickers up in the highest rank of Senate seats. Antony scattered the old hens with loud greetings and a smile, but as they fled, he caught Cicero by the arm and pushed him back up against the wall. "I'm beginning to think you don't like to see me," Antony said mournfully. He reached up to tweak the drape of Cicero's toga, adjusting it a little over his shoulder, and then gripped him tight at the base of the throat, pressing his thumb against the collarbone hard enough to leave a bruise the weakling would feel under the skin for a month. He put his mouth by Cicero's ear and let his lips brush against the skin as he murmured, "Truly you wound me to the quick."
The heartbeat yammered under his fingers, and Cicero's breath came in short. "I do not know what you mean, Antony."
"No?" Antony moved in closer and let him feel the heat of his body. Cicero was already shrinking back as far as he could, his hands almost splayed out as he tried to plaster himself thinner over the wall. "Should I enlighten you?"
"Dominus," one of his slaves said, from the floor, with a message; by the time he'd read it, Cicero had fled.
It was a running joke for a while. Antony would wink at Cicero across the room, slip up behind him and breathe a whisper out over his neck, let his hand wander offensively into Cicero's toga during a fraternal kiss. It was amusing to watch him trying desperately to avoid the pursuit. There was precious little else to keep Antony entertained otherwise, with Caesar off in Egypt diddling his new pet god-queen instead of settling Cato and Scipio, and Atia being tiresome. Damn the woman, anyway; if only she weren't the best fuck in Rome. Cicero would do to while away a few hours.
He was walking home through the streets the last night of Saturnalia, heady on unmixed wine and laughing with his guards, when he noticed he was going past Cicero's house. The windows were mostly dark: trust the humorless bastard to have a quiet night, probably not even give his slaves a feast. He had his men bang on the door until the slaves let them into the courtyard, and he went into the house smiling. Cicero met him in the hallway, still properly wrapped in his toga and so pale his guts were probably quivering like jelly.
"Haven't you been celebrating?" Antony walked past him into the court and threw himself on a couch; he'd taken the excuse of the festival to go out in little more than a tunic himself.
"I find the holiday somewhat—disreputable," Cicero said, perching uneasily on his own couch.
"Of course you do." Antony held out his cup to the slave girl for more wine. He smiled blandly at Cicero over the rim. "You may as well recline, you know. If I decide I want to fuck you, running's not going to help."
Cicero stared, then blurted, too hastily, "You wouldn't dare—" and closed his mouth so his teeth clacked together, too late.
"I wouldn't dare," Antony said, ruminatively, rolling it over his tongue. He drained the cup and set it down on the ground. "I wouldn't dare." He stood up, and strolled across the room, while Cicero gripped the back of his couch and sat up following him with his eyes, a mouse watching a hawk. "I—wouldn't—dare."
"I meant—I meant you would not—would not resort to such sordid—"
"Shh," Antony said, and put his finger on Cicero's lips to silence him. "The great orator, choosing his words wrong?"
"Antony—" Cicero said, whispering, his breath hitching, edging away. "Antony, do not—I beg of you—"
Antony started laughing; sweet Venus, the bastard couldn't have made him harder if he were trying with both hands. "Not yet you don't," he said, and hauled him up off the couch.
He threw Cicero on the bed and climbed onto him while the poor bastard squirmed like a lizard trying to get loose. Oh, this was going to be fun. Antony settled himself and reached down to unlace his sandals and kick them off onto the floor. No reason not to be comfortable. He bent down over Cicero and gripped his struggling leg by the thigh, smiling down at him. He slid his hand up slowly, pushing the cloth out of the way, getting his fingers on bare skin. "Don't fret, old cock. I won't use you too hard. You'll be sitting in the Senate again inside of a week. A month, at most."
Cicero was staring up at him, moon-calf face pale as milk, half-risen onto his elbows with the toga slipping off his shoulder. Antony grinned and bent to run his teeth along Cicero's exposed collarbone, licking a long stripe up the hitching flutter of his throat. Skinny bastard wasn't much to look at, not enough meat on his bones to get a proper grip, but at least he hadn't run to fat. "Such nice soft skin on you," he murmured into Cicero's flushed pink ear, and nipped at his mouth. "Such soft lips." Cicero was shivering under him like a thirteen-year-old virgin. "Take off my belt."
"Antony—Antony—" Cicero said, stammering.
"Take off," Antony said patiently, "my belt." He gave Cicero a good shove to lay him out flat, and Cicero's trembling hands unbuckled his belt slowly and dropped it off the side of the bed. All the while he kept swallowing. Antony smiled down at him tenderly. "There, not so hard, was it?" He sat up and pulled his tunic off over his head, and straddled Cicero's shoulders. "Go ahead, let's see if that mouth of yours is any use aside from spewing bile."
Antony leaned his hips in so close he was nearly brushing at Cicero's mouth. "Suck my cock," he said softly.
Cicero shut his eyes and shuddered, then he licked his lips and bent his head, and oh, that was good, watching a Senator of Rome take his cock like a whore; so good that it took a moment before he noticed that the bastard was—"Oh, you lying son of a Thracian whore," Antony said, gasping—was taking him to the root, sweet Juno, the hot suck of his throat, and how was the prick taking it all? Raddled twenty-year-old camp followers in Illyria hadn't been able to swallow him, and what Cicero was doing with his tongue—
"Shall—shall I stop?" Cicero panted, letting Antony's cock slide out, slapping wetly against his belly. He was breathing hard, but his eyes were narrowed and sly, the little shit. "Is it not to your liking?"
"Get your damn mouth back on me and keep it there until I give you permission to take it off," Antony said.
"As you wish; only say the word and I'll stop," Cicero said, false-innocent, and Antony didn't entirely follow until he was balls-deep down Cicero's throat again and the bastard slipped him a finger, dripping with oil, in past the third knuckle and working him like a kithara before he knew it was even there.
"Furies gnaw your bones," Antony said, "give me another," and jerked against them frantically, his thighs straining and his arms braced against the headboard, and the sodomite was oiling him like a bath-slave, rolling his balls in a slick hand, thumb riding in the crease of his leg, sucking him tight all the way through.
Cicero let Antony's spent cock slide out through the tight ring of his mouth and said, "Lie down on your belly."
Propped on shaky arms, Antony still laughed. "Do you think so, sweet?"
"Ah, perhaps I've heard wrong," Cicero said thoughtfully. "You don't care for being tongued from the back, then?" and Antony cursed in three languages and threw himself down.
Antony saw him next a few days later in the Forum, doing business with a Persian tradesman. The day was not very cold, and Antony's litter was draped too heavily, hot and miserably stuffy; he hated the damn things anyway. Good enough a reason to jump down and press Cicero up against the table; besides, it made him yip amusingly with surprise.
"Antony," he said, "I did not—I did not see you," stuttering at the little thrust Antony gave him.
Antony squeezed his hips. "Driving a hard bargain, I hope?"
Cicero had the most comical look of helpless indecision on his face. "I, well, that is—" Antony gently rocked forward. A lovely little shudder ran down Cicero's throat, and then he swallowed and said, with a voice that only trembled a little, "I find—I find myself unable to decide which of these unguents has the superior consistency. Will you give me your opinion?"
He took Antony's hand and rubbed a bit of the thick oil over the pulse of the wrist with slow, circular motions of his thumbs. Antony bit the inside of his cheek to keep his smile fixed in place. His other hand clenched tighter into the soft flesh of Cicero's hip.
"It is a difficult question, I confess," Cicero said, after a moment, a little breathlessly, "perhaps I will take them both," and handed the second jar off to one of his slaves. "Kladeos, see to it. I want them delivered before the cena is over. You will take the meal with me, I hope?" he asked, glancing up at Antony.
Antony glared at him. "Yes, damn you."
"The first," he said, later, sprawled on his back in the bed, still breathing hard, his thighs slick with experimentation and sweat.
"Are you quite certain?" Cicero said, a little vaguely, beside him. "I thought the second."
"Well," Antony said, "I suppose we'd better make sure."
"Dominus, the senators are here," one of the slaves murmured in his ear.
Antony waved a hand without opening his eyes. "Let them enter."
Cicero's voice came floating on ahead, growing louder. "The failure of the harvest in Campania will certainly cause unrest unless tax relief is, ah, is—" Antony lifted his head up from the edge of the bath. Cicero was already looking away, color creeping up his neck, and stammering onward, "—is forthcoming."
Trebonius and Cassius had come in with him; they were glaring down at Antony. "Forgive us for disturbing you with such tedious matters of business," Cassius said. "Perhaps we should return later."
"Nonsense! I am always ready to serve Rome," Antony said, and stood up out of the bath. He made a point of dripping on the two of them as he stepped by to take a toweling cloth from the waiting slave, and led them out into the courtyard.
He threw himself down on a bench with the cloth draped casually just over his thigh. "Come, dear friends, tell me of your concerns. My ears are open to you at any hour," he said expansively, and ran a hand down his flat stomach, enjoying the sun and the eyes on his skin. They had nothing to complain of; there was something worth looking at, after all. He wasn't about to let himself go to seed; one of these days Caesar would let him pick up a sword again, damn him, and he wasn't going to look like that sad sack Pompey at the end, belly sagging down to his balls. Poor Cicero kept glancing over at him and swallowing so his throat bobbed.
"Stay a while, dear Cicero," Antony said blandly, after he'd dealt summarily with the boring trivium of the taxes; he had no intentions of cutting the tax farmers off from their revenues. They'd paid him good healthy bribes, after all.
Cicero eyed him warily as the other senators stalked out. Antony smiled and crooked a finger for wine. "Why, dear Cicero, you look discontented. Anyone would think you wanted to quarrel with me."
"I am no great friend to the mob," Cicero said, "but you must see this policy is foolishly shortsighted. Starving men are desperate men, and under the present conditions we will soon have them rioting in the—in the streets," he finished, stuttering again as Antony stood up from his bench and let the towel slide away to the ground.
"Do you think so? How terrible," Antony said, draining his cup and handing it back to the slave. "Come here."
Cicero came warily over, and Antony caught him by the arms and jerked him close. "If they do, be assured I will deal with them," he said softly and full of menace, "as I will with anyone who defies me."
Cicero was stiff and tense in his grip, leaning away. Antony laughed and kissed him brutally, bringing him up hard against his body. "Very good," Cicero said, breathlessly, "an excellent strategy: it will serve well until next year, when those same men are required to bring in the new harvest, or you must raise levies for some fresh war of Caesar's, then—then—then—for Minerva's sake, leave off; I cannot think while you are doing so."
"Oh, there's cause to stop," Antony said, and got Cicero's belt off to join the toga in a heap at his feet.
"Yet I fear you may find me most—distracted under the burden of these pressing concerns," Cicero said, ending with a little yelp as Antony thrust him down on the bench.
"You think that would put me off, do you?" Antony purred, sliding onto him.
"Only so far as it will reduce your pleasure," Cicero said, a little defiantly; then he spread his legs, and went limp. Not a bit of fight in him, he just lay there staring idly up at the sky as if he couldn't be damn well bothered with the proceedings. The bastard even went soft; how in Hades did he do that?
Antony tried him anyway, but there wasn't any fun in it; like trying to fuck a week-old corpse. He gave up and threw himself back against the arm of the bench irritably. "Say your piece then, damn you."
Cicero propped himself on his elbows and frowned at him. "Why are you refusing to grant relief? These common men are your very base of support. I find it difficult to believe you would squander the good will of the public simply to maintain the health of the treasury, particularly as you have never paid the slightest attention to the health of the treasury."
Antony put up his eyebrows. "Cicero, you wrong me. The health of the treasury is my deepest concern."
"Oh, I see, you have been bribed," Cicero said. "Do not be foolish. Reginus Decius Salvius holds the grant for all Campania. Have him killed, and grant the relief next week. No one will complain; too many people owe him money."
"And men call me bloodthirsty," Antony said mockingly. "It's a matter of principle, old fellow. You can't take bribes from a man one day and have him killed the next. It's so very discouraging."
"Ah, well," Cicero said, and leaned forward to put his hands on Antony's thighs. "Perhaps I can persuade you to reconsider? With the force—" he pressed a soft kiss to the inner thigh, and then bit down, just sharply enough, hot little flash of pain straight to the cock, damn him "—of my arguments?"
Antony found himself gripping Cicero's head. "The idea might possibly have its merits," he conceded.
After all, no one had ever accused him of letting principle stand in the way of pleasure.
= End =