Saturday, June 4, 2011

Love of a Courtesan out in the world!

Well, after a long, hard labour, Love of a Courtesan is out!!! Check it out! It was released 20th May by New Concepts Publishing. Here's another excerpt -

Chapter One
The loud, firm knock on the door resounded through the atrium startling the yellow songbirds in their cage. They flew off their perch, chirping, their wings fluttering. Chloe's own heart leapt though she had been expecting this summons, had been waiting for it. Belthus, her longest-serving slave, emerged from a side room but she waved him away and hurried to the heavy door. She knew who it was even before she opened it. A tall, slender man the color of burnt almonds stood in front of her. It was the third time he'd come. The third Monday morning in as many weeks.

"My master sends his greetings and this token of his love." He extended a small packet to her. A shiver went through her as his fingers touched hers. She wished she could prolong the contact.

"And a letter as well?"

"Yes." He made to hand the small scroll over to her as well but she stopped him with a shake of her head.

"No, come inside. I want you to read it to me." That was the plan she'd hit upon just the night before. It would draw the Aethiop courier into the house and keep him there, where she could feast her eyes on the sight of him. Even better, he would read the letter to her and she could pretend that it was he who'd written her the honeyed words of love, that the expressions of the writer, the feelings, were his.

"Do you not prefer to read it yourself, in privacy?" He frowned. "Perhaps it would be better."

"No," she said, firmly. "You know your master and know the inflection he would give to certain words. Since he prefers to remain anonymous for now, your voice will have to serve as his."

"I must be getting back."

"The letters you've brought before have been short. Is this one longer?"

"No." His tone was amused.

"Then you will be done before he has had time to miss you." She had out-argued him but he did not seem to mind she noted with satisfaction. A small smile splayed around his full, well-formed lips but he kept his eyes averted as if he didn't want her to read the expression in them. She turned to show him through the atrium. The songbirds monitored their passing but Chloe's attention was all on the man.

She watched him carefully to gauge his reaction to the large mosaic on the floor. It had been installed a year ago and depicted a series of love scenes between gods and mortals. In one corner, a swan lay on top of a voluptuous woman, Zeus's rape of Leda. In another, an ardent Bacchus lay with a naked Ariadne who reclined among flowers, her legs open to receive his very visible and very erect cock. Her guest slowed but she couldn't tell or even begin to guess what he was thinking. She thoughts his lips twitched but she wasn't sure and his face was completely neutral. As a slave, he might never have been in the home of a courtesan before. Certainly, few slaves could afford the services of a much sought-after courtesan and had to content themselves with a hurried fuck from a streetwalker in some small hovel near the theatres or outside the city walls. If they had enough money to spare, they might, as a special treat, seek out a fellatrix, those women whose gifts with their tongues could make a man believe he had found paradise.

A few whores moved up from the street to the bordello but few reached her status as owner of her own home, able to choose and refuse clients. Whenever she thought of what she'd achieved since she left North Africa as a teenager to follow Gallus Aemilius, the Roman governor, back to Rome, she felt a sense of pride. He had hired tutors for her to teach her the arts of conversation and literature, how to sing and dance. But Chloe herself had sought out the fellatrix, Cynthia, to teach her the more intimate arts and she had proved an apt pupil. When a stroke nearly felled Gallus Aemilius she had persuaded him to help her set herself up as one of the most stylish courtesans in the city. His patronage had ensured her success and though it was more than a year since he'd died she continued to offer prayers for him every day at her household shrine.

She wondered how much the Aethiop knew of her history, if her home and its explicit decorations had shocked him. Surely, he'd have realized that a courtesan's home would be no ordinary place, would, in fact, be something of a temple of the seductive arts. Like the garden to which she led him.

The rains of the past couple of days had revived her languishing plants and made her peristyle, once again, an inviting and intimate room for outdoor assignations. Jasmine vines curled around the columns and the leaves of the grape tree were a bright emerald green. Basil, thyme, mint and other herbs flourished alongside violets and nasturtiums while the red and white rosebushes ranged along the far wall released subtle but heady fragrances into the air.

He inhaled deeply and appreciatively.

"Your garden is a perfumerie," he said, looking admiringly around him.

"I am pleased you like it. Come sit." She took a seat on one of the three heavy couches and patted the space next to her. "You've said your master does not wish his name revealed but will you not tell me yours?"

For a second their eyes met and something hot uncoiled itself in her stomach, tautening her nipples. The Aethiop's eyes were the color of dark honey glinting in the sun, his lashes as long and silky as an Easterner's.

"He has instructed me not to reveal that either."

"Oh." She tried not to let the disappointment show on her face.

"Are you going to open your present?"

"What? Oh." She'd forgotten she held it. "No. I'll look at it later. I want you to read to me now."

He chuckled then, a low throaty sound.

"What is so funny?"

"I think you must always get what you want, when you want it. Isn't that so?"

No, she could have told him. It wasn't so. She could have told him that she'd wanted him from the minute she'd first seen him, could have described for him each and every dream she'd had of him, and how on some nights she woke up wet and panting for his touch. She could have told him that, last night, she'd turned away her clients so she'd be fresh and well-rested for him, that she'd woken especially early in order to have more time at the Baths to cleanse herself. But she said none of those things.