3. A Side-Dish for a Roman Banquet

Soundtrack and Video: James Brown, Sex Machine

He twines his fingers in her hair, leans in to kiss her. He finds this instant almost unbearably erotic: The first time he touches her with plainly seductive intent, the first time their lips meet, the moment he feels her incline towards him. Not mere verbal assent, but physical surrender. Alexandra’s no ingenue, so matters are quickly settled. Inglorion kisses her, strips her, and settles in to savor her charms.

There’s always a moment — precious, irreplaceable, unique to each woman — that can never be relived or repeated. With Alexandra it occurs a hour or so in, as he’s kneeling up behind her, poised to enter her for the first time. She’s come already, so she’s relaxed and receptive. She reaches back, takes hold of his cock, widens her stance a little, and guides him in. With a single stroke he’s deep within her, buried to the hilt, both of them gasping with the shock of pleasure. 

He pauses briefly. He’s gripping her hipbones, pulling her back against him, holding her still. He notes the contrast between his pale hands and the rich tones of her hips and thighs and slender waist. Her cries are high and sweet and dovelike just like he hoped. She sighs now, and nestles back against him. She’s muscular and strong — taller and probably heavier than he — but she yields gracefully and entirely to his touch. She smells of roses and bitter herbs, and her pussy tastes delicately of pineapple. It lingers on his lips. 

Remember this, he tells himself. He’s often felt that he would die for this, sell his soul for it. Perhaps he already has. He doesn’t care. This moment outweighs the tedium and sorrow and uncertainty that darken daily life.

His last coherent thought before climax comes in the form of a crude prayer: If You don’t want me to do this, cut my fucking dick off. As long as I have a dick, I intend to do this.

He begins to fuck her slowly, and has the sensation — rare and precious and beautiful — that their senses are irretrievably mingled. He’s lost within her, and they feel proud and pleased and dazzled, as if they invented sex from scratch just now, and have gone about it in a particularly clever and satisfying way.

He whispers, “Get on top of me — do you think you could…?”

“Oh, yes.” She rides him. She’s beautiful and graceful and strong, and towards the end, determined. They’re both drenched in sweat, and she’s slick. Her climax is violent, extended — she grinds herself down on him, and he feels each shock. He stays buried inside her as he flips her on her back and pins her down. He empties himself into her, round after round. It feels as if he’s blotted everything out and the world’s gone dark for a moment. 

As King of the Gypsies, Alexandra didn’t inherit tremendous wealth, but she does have time, leisure and freedom. Inglorion is briefly free from the scripted and communal nature of Drow life, and from a household of curious and solicitous servants. They’re free to please themselves, so they do so all afternoon, past sundown, and into the night. They break off occasionally to drink tea and chat, and at one point she cooks a rice dish with goat cheese, and slices up more fruit.

Inglorion learns that Alexandra was illiterate until recently — she reads and writes a bit of Common, but the Gypsies consider literacy unnecessary. She speaks eight languages beyond Common and the Romany dialect of her own tribe, and can recite hours’ worth of ballads and epics about Gypsy heroes and villains and tricksters. 

Alexandra marvels at the contrast between Inglorion’s elvish refinement and his frank carnal appetites. There’s something provocative about a creature of pure, angelic appearance — white-haired, silver-eyed, pale to the point of translucence — ramming his fingers into her and teasing her for moments on end with a perfectly serviceable cock. He sweats, and, of course, he comes. 

The second time he does it, she’s sucking him, and when she tastes it she breaks off and looks at him with such fascination that he cracks up and says, “What?”

“It’s just — I thought —” she’s laughing, too.

“You expected rainbows to shoot out? Honey, I’m Drow. You’re lucky it’s not lead shot.” He flops down next to her and kisses her. 

She chuckles. “Does the gray elvish blood cancel that out? Rainbows crossed with lead shot equals…”

“A handful of pearls. Some kind of salty ocean treasure. I can assure you that gray elves aren’t equipped with soft-serve ice cream makers. For example, my father — why are you laughing?”

“How do you know?”

He says with great dignity, “The gods in their infinite wisdom chose to give me a vision — you can see why I railed against my fate.”

“You saw him…?” Inglorion nods. “Wow.” She shakes her head, marveling. They’re both quiet for a moment, then she says, “You know, maybe it’s the trader in me, but I keep thinking that it must be a rare and valuable substance.”

“What, elf jizz? You don’t hang out with enough elves. It’s common enough in a barracks, I assure you.”

“No, no, half-Drow, half-gray jizz.”

“I never thought of it like that before: Mixed elf juice. It sounds like a side dish for a Roman banquet.” He considers. “Well, let me know if you come up with a business model. I’m happy to provide inventory.”

Eventually they retire, Alexandra to sleep, as humans do, and Inglorion for a few hours of deep meditation. He wakes long before she does, and finds that he’s impatient to get on the road before the sun comes up. He slips out of her embrace — they spent the night entangled in a very pleasant manner — and fishes paper, pen and ink from his pack. As she lingers in sleep, he writes the following note in Common:

Dear Alexandra,

What a wonderful way to renew the alliance between our tribes! Your hospitality, conversation and feminine sweetness have reminded me of the pleasures of traveling aboveground.

I hope our official and personal bonds will continue despite time and distance. If you should hear local news concerning trade or politics, or any other items of interest, a letter directed to the Amakir Central Post Office will reach me, even after I’ve found permanent lodgings.

Your affectionate friend and ally,


He reads it over, and decides that it will do. His handwriting is bad, but he took some pains to write the direction clearly. He folds it and props it up on the tea-table, then buckles on his sword belt and shoulders his longbow and quiver. He slips out into the cool predawn, and starts winding his way back inland, up the post road to Amakir.

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