I fell behind as Rebekah and Alonia walked up the hill ahead. The morning was a lovely soft late summer day with a warm sun shining between small white clouds. I wanted to see the new fields my family had recently acquired that were beyond the ridge above the Villa. From the ridge we could also see Rome in the distance and much of the beautiful countryside in all other directions.

The two young women were chattering, seemingly happy, as they stopped occasionally to look at the abundant wildflowers beside the path. The light catching them from above accentuated their slender bodies through their small tunics. I had left the horses tied to a tree at the base of the ridge so that I could enjoy the stroll up the hillside through the lush summer vegetation. I also enjoyed watching the lithe bodies of my slaves walking in front of me.

It was over two weeks since Alonia had been brought to work in the Villa. Rebekah was overjoyed at having her cousin join her in the household and together they worked in the kitchen helping Maya with food preparation and other tasks. Maya also took Alonia into the garden to cultivate and harvest food for our table, something I didn't want Rebekah to do as it would take time away from her language and accounting lessons. I also didn't want my courtesan slave to spend too much time in the burning sun. I liked her skin and lips soft and supple for my pleasure.

I also had not told Rebekah of the agreement with my father, that Alonia, along with other females owned by my family, would be bred to produce children to ensure our future supply of workers. There was no need for me to explain anything to my slave but I sensed her feelings were strong for her cousin and I didn't know how she would react. While really it didn't matter what she thought or wanted I was enjoying her new enthusiasm for pleasuring me with her body, an enthusiasm that built from the time Alonia was brought from the fields into the household.

I was also learning as the experience of owning my own slave unfolded that what I wanted from her and what I would get without careful management was frustratingly different. Even though I held the power of life or death over Rebekah she would not bend to my will fully unless I managed her carefully. Not negotiated behaviour -- one doesn't negotiate with a slave -- but a management of her attitude towards me. Understanding how she thinks was becoming an interesting game, something I hadn't anticipated I would need to do, much less enjoy, when she was purchased. In truth, her mind was sharp and lively and filled with an independence that I found intriguing.

I smiled to myself as the three of us walked along the top of the ridge in the lovely cooling breeze. Looking at Rebekah my cock twitched at the image of her last evening in the baths as she wrapped her legs around me and locked her arms around my neck, her breasts rubbing my chest and firm nipples pushing into my body.

I reflected on her earlier reluctance to come to me last evening. As much as I wanted her body immediately upon seeing her naked in the pool I was learning that gaining the most pleasure from my slave occurred only after I did things to her that I knew she liked. For Rebekah's fierce nature and coldness to my needs was just below the surface and I discovered no amount of beatings would change that.

In the baths I had moved up behind when she was explaining some Latin words to Alonia and I began a slow massage of her hips. My lips brushed along her delicate shoulders and neck. At the base of her neck I was learning to suck gently on the skin while licking the area. Moving up to her ears I nuzzled in behind her hair and gently licked and bit her ear lobes. With my cock hard as rock against her rear I subjected myself to this torture until finally her body relaxed and she turned from Alonia and moved into my arms.

I believed this slow warming as necessary training for a good sex slave, but in a lucid moment in my raging lust for this slip of a girl I wondered who was training who. But did it really matter? She was mine!

Alonia was invited to enjoy the baths with us as was often the case that time of the day, provided Maya had no more work for her. At first, Rebekah had been shy to touch me in the water and I didn't force her but as the two women became more comfortable being naked in the pool she was drawn towards my body as I gently did the things to her she liked.

Alonia was an experienced woman. She had come up behind Rebekah and to my surprise began rubbing her back as Rebekah brushed her lips over mine. All the while, Alonia's large brown eyes stared into mine. Alonia had glanced down at my stiff manhood and then smiled at me as Rebekah settled her rear on my cock. She then turned to Alonia and they said something to each other in their language and followed with a laugh.

I sensed it was good natured but still, they shouldn't talk like that in my presence. I asked, "Rebekah, what are you saying to each other?"

She smiled at me and then said, "Alonia said you had impressive manly parts."

I scoffed at this and didn't fully believe that was all they said. I pulled Rebekah out of the water and whispered to her on our way to my room that my manly parts were impatient to be inside her. She flashed a smile in Alonia's direction as we left the bathing room. I then proceeded to fuck my slave with all the energy and intensity that had built while in the company of the naked girls in the baths.

My attention was drawn back to the ridge as we moved beside a grove of trees. Rebekah and Alonia were edging down the other side of the ridge in an abundant area of beautiful wildflowers. They were picking an assortment. I raised my voice and said, "Rebekah, you may stay in this meadow but do not leave here. I'm going to look at the slope beyond this grove of trees."

I followed a small game trail through the grove and shortly came out on the other side. The fields below had belonged to a small freeman who had sold them to my father when he moved his family into the city to work as a wood craftsman. The fields had been neglected for several years. They needed to be plowed and reseeded with hay or wheat. Our foreman would move the main body of our field slaves to begin this task when the wheat harvest was complete. As I looked over our new domain I was sure we would earn much money from this land when it was cultivated and producing.

As I turned to walk back towards the grove of trees and the ridge I was startled by a piercing scream coming from the direction of the women. As I broke into a run up the hill I heard the shouts of men and more screams. I could hear horses neighing and hoofs pounding. With my hand on my short military sword I ran through the woods.

Coming into the clearing on the other side I was shocked to see four men on horseback circling around my terrified slaves. Rebekah and Alonia were holding on to each other as the men circled them. One rider was cracking a whip into the dirt at my women's feet. With each crack Rebekah screamed and clutched onto Alonia tighter. Another rider was reaching down trying to grab Alonia's long hair.

As I came closer the men were laughing at the women's terror. Looking at them I sensed they might be disbanded soldiers from the weaponry and the old warrior's tunics they wore. It was unlikely they were active in a battalion now. There were many such small bands of ex soldiers in the country side.

Coming up to them I yelled out, "HALT. These women are mine. Do not touch them!"

The men were startled by my appearance but did not seem fazed by my commands. They did back off from the frightened women but formed a circle around them.

One rider, perhaps the leader, looked down in some disgust at me and said, "Citizen, we have caught these runaway slaves. We will turn them into the magistrate for the reward."

Two of the riders pulled their swords out of their scabbards. I didn't like the look of this bedraggled band as they moved threateningly towards me. Their leader held up his hand and waved the two back. I caught my breath and said, "Soldier, these women have accompanied me on a survey of my estate. Thank you for your concern over runaways but I assure you they are where they were instructed to wait." I was trying to buy time to devise a plan but I was hopelessly outnumbered. One at a time I might have had a chance but not against them together. Sweat was beading on my brow and back as I tried to plan.

"Nonsense, citizen, you are just trying to rob us of our reward. These women were certainly running from their master's home. They must be punished and marked on their foreheads."

Rebekah heard this and tried to break from them and drag Alonia towards me. "NO NO, we are his property. He told us to wait here. Please let us go." The rider with the whip wheeled his horse and snapped the whip at the back of Rebekah's legs. She shrieked in agony and fell to the ground. My blood was boiling.

I shouted at the man, "You are on the Estate of a Senator. This is Octavius Legare's domain and he will hunt you down if you damage either of these slaves. Back off NOW." I could see them hesitate but there was a very hungry look in their eyes. These men were gaunt and I sensed they were desperate for the money a runaway slave could bring them. They looked at each other and then moved menacingly closer. One reached down and grabbed Alonia's hair. Rebekah screamed at him.

Thinking quickly I had to do something. I looked at their apparent leader and said, "Soldier, I thank you for your concern about runaways but as you can see they are not so. However, if you and your men can safely lead us to our horses and our Villa I will see that you are rewarded for your protection. My father, the Senator Octavius, will be pleased that you brought his son and his female slaves back safely."

The man wheeled his horse around and told the other three to stand back, "You say you are the son of a Senator. How do I know this is true? Is this a trick to get our reward money?"

Rebekah shouted out, "His father is a nobleman who bought me for this man. I am this man's slave. His father is a great Senator and his mother's family are leaders of the Legions." I looked in surprise at Rebekah. She clearly knew the danger we were in. I was shocked at the courage it took to confront these desperate men.

The leader looked between us and then said, "What will the reward be for guarding you back to your home"

"Many sesteres I am sure. My father will be grateful for your service. I give you my word."

His men were looking suspicious and grumbling but I knew the leader was weighing his options. If he hurt the son of a Senator and damaged his slaves they would be hunted and punished and I knew he sensed that. Finally he agreed to my compromise.

"Lead us towards your mounts and we will guard you back to your home. If we suspect a trick I will personally run you through and these women will be mine. Lead us now."

After we regained our mounts, the two girls sharing Rebekah's small sturdy horse, we led the four men back to the Villa. I was now sure that they were in fact disbanded Legionnaires who had no doubt fallen on hard times. If they had been common criminals our fate would certainly have been much worse.

My father was infrequently home but today was speaking to Paulus at the stables when they saw us followed by the four riders. His face showed his concern as we rode up.

I had learned the name of the leader and his former military unit while riding home. He was Silvanius Aurato and was a corporal in the 14nth Legion. As I suspected, his unit had been disbanded after the successful return from a campaign in Germania.

This would be a tense moment as the riders approached my father and Paulus. I sought to diffuse the situation quickly. "Father, these men have guided us safely back from the ridge. They are former soldiers of the 14nth Legion. I would like to repay them for their protection."

Father looked skeptical and asked, "What danger does one expect to be protected from in this countryside?"

Silvanius spoke, "Sir, we are aware of roving bands of bandits in this vicinity and also escaped slaves. We suspected your women were escaped as well."

"Yes Father, I left our slaves alone for a short while when I went to see our new lands and these men mistook them for runaways."

"Marcus, you should not leave our property unattended like that." The other men had arrived with their hands on their swords but seemed to relax after this.

My father quickly assessed the situation and determined the best course of action. "Soldiers, you are welcome on my Estate today. I will pay you for your service to my son and for returning my females safely.

I knew they were probably hungry so I turned to Paulus. "Paulus, could you find some food for these men. Also, is there feed and water for their mounts?"

He reluctantly said he could provide food for man and beast and I began to relax. Rebekah and Alonia were obviously nervous that a fight would break out with these armed men and were happy when I had the women dismount and follow me towards the Villa.

Silvanius and two of his men ended up staying for the remainder of the year and into next. The man who had struck Rebekah with the whip I did not want on our property. He was forced to leave. Father always had a kind heart towards active and former service men and in a shrewd moment decided the Estate could use their swords and training to protect the Estate and Family. He was aware they spoke the truth about wandering bands of unemployed men. Silvanius also became a sparing partner for me. He taught me many tricks of combat that would prove to be very valuable in my future.

But for now I led the two women towards the Villa. Rebekah was limping badly and in pain from the lash she had received to her leg. I needed Maya to tend to her wounds.

Days later I led Rebekah by the hand into the sumptuous home of the Legate. She cowered back behind me. Her eyes were wide at the splendour of the magnificent home of the wealthy patrician. Other than our Villa, I don't believe she had ever seen such wealth.

"Marcus, please come in. Very good to see you. You may not remember but the last time I saw you you were just a small boy. You have grown into a man." The Legate, Titus Aurelius, said, embracing me with both arms.

"Thank you Sir. Very good to see you as well," I replied nervously. I very much wanted this appointment with the Legate's mission to Judea. "And thank you for considering me as one of you aids on your mission."

"Nonsense son. Your father is a great friend of mine, and a solid supporter of my work. And who is this creature?" the Legate asked, gesturing to Rebekah, who was standing behind me.

"This is a slave owned by our family. My father may have mentioned that we owned a woman who might be valuable as a translator for your mission."

"Yes, yes, your father did mention your family owned a Judean woman. Has she learned our language adequately? She looks very young?" the Legate said looking skeptically at Rebekah.

"Sir, she is nearly twenty years and is a very quick learner. I teach her our language continuously," I replied firmly.

"Is that so. What role does she play in your family? Is she a field worker?"

"No Sir, she is my personal slave. I am teaching her our accounting system as well as our language. She learns very fast."

"Your 'personal' slave is she? She warms your bed I assume?" Titus said with a smirk on his face.

"Sir, yes, she is my bed slave but I have learned that she has many skills and talents that I never anticipated when she was purchased. She is also a daughter of one of the tribal rulers that we defeated in Judea. She has come from a long line of Jewish leaders," I stressed, fearing that the Legate viewed Rebekah as only a sex play thing for me on the Mission.

"Interesting. Certainly having a trusted translator on our Mission could be helpful should we need to contact the leaders of the defeated tribes. She could be a double edged sword however, given that her loyalties might not lie with us."

"Sir, I believe she would serve us well," I replied forcefully.

"Well, something to consider. She is a pretty little slip of a girl. May I ask if perhaps she might 'serve' in other capacities beside translating," the Legate said while walking around behind Rebekah. He ran his hands through her hair and brushed his hands over her shoulders and upper arms. I tried not to betray my surprise at his unwanted attention towards Rebekah but I held my tongue.

"Alas Sir, she is new to me and I am not yet willing to let her expand her 'service' as you suggest," I said firmly. It was a very new feeling for me, but I didn't like him touching my property.

"Marcus, yes, you are right. I apologize for suggesting her availability. Could I ask her some questions?"

"Certainly Sir."

The Legate moved over to a chair and gestured for me to sit down as well. He motioned for Rebekah to come towards his chair and then pointed to the soft looking sheepskin floor covering in front of his chair. Rebekah hesitated and looked at me. I nodded and she knelt in front of the Legate.

He looked at her and then asked, "How did you come to be here in Rome?"

"Master, when the defences of our city failed and were overrun by Roman soldiers I was captured."

"What was your role in the city's defence? Did you carry a weapon?"

"No Master, I was asked to carry water to put out fires started by your troops with their large weapons."

"Our ballista you are referring to?"

"I'm sorry Master, I don't know that word."

I jumped in to explain, "Sir, we have never spoken of the terms of warfare."

"I understand Marcus." Turning again towards Rebekah, he asked, "How were you treated by our soldiers when you were captured?"

She looked down at the floor and trembled visibly. With a shaky voice she said quietly, "I knelt down and waited to be put to the sword. A soldier came up to where I waited and pulled me up by the hair. He took a knife out and cut my clothes off and then held me by the arm. Soon, another soldier, a leader I thought from the way he was dressed, came up and holding my hair turned me around and back and looked at me carefully. I was then dragged by the first soldier through all the broken walls and dead bodies to a large pen that held other women. I was thrown into that."

"You must have been terrified?"

"Yes, I was sure I would die, but not right away," Rebekah almost whispered.

"Why so?" the Legate asked, unsure of what she meant.

She stifled a sob and then said even more quietly, "I thought I would be given to the soldiers ... first .... to be used and then killed."

I had never asked these questions of Rebekah. She was now shaking and tears were rolling down her cheeks and I had heard enough of the terror of her capture. "Legate, my slave is suffering from her memories. Please."

"Of course Marcus, I'm apologize for upsetting her. I have heard enough to know that her language skills are remarkable for just a few months in your possession. Well done."

"Thank you Sir."

With a large smile, the Legate stood up and reached for my hand, saying, "And I am very pleased to offer you a position on our delegation to Judea, along with your slave. I believe she will be very helpful in Judea."

"I am honoured to join your mission Sir."

"Take care Marcus and keep this little one safe as well," he said pointing to Rebekah. We will depart by sea at the first of next month, the gods willing."

It had been a very long day. Rebekah was very quiet on the ride home. She stared sadly at her horses head as I led her horse beside mine. She seemed lost in her thoughts and sadness. Finally, in frustration I demanded, "Woman, tell me why you are so long in the face. Talk to me."