by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 25

Romulus's mansion was based on an ancient Roman house plan. The solid wooden front door was opened by a pleasant, slightly swarthy man in an unadorned, shapeless, sleeveless tunic that reached to mid thigh. Feet bare. He nodded politely. 'You must be Mortaumal; Romulus is expecting you. Please follow me.'

They passed through an atrium with a square tiled goldfish pool in the centre and a couple of what looked like altars with statues of gods on them on each side wall. Beyond that was a garden surrounded by a peristyle with a fountain in the centre, grass and flowers and several trees. An archway in the opposite wall led into a magnificent dining room.

Romulus's tunic hung from a gilded clasp on his left shoulder, leaving his right arm and shoulder exposed, and was short enough to display magnificent dancer's thighs and calves. It was made of the finest linen, bordered with gold thread in a complicated egg and dart pattern. Soft leather thongs protected the soles of his feet. He extended his hand, which Mort shook firmly.

'Mortaumal, thank you for gracing our house with your presence. Allow me to introduce my wife, Romola, and my twin boys, Castor and Pollux.'

Romola's garment resembled a pale blue silken sheet pinned over her right shoulder with a jewelled clasp. Her left breast was exposed, the nipple gilded. She was of average height, lean, but definitely not fragile. She shook hands like a man. The two identical boys who looked to be about ten years old, had close-cropped curly blond hair, creamy skin, bright blue eyes and were wearing tunics identical to their father's. They shook hands seriously and offered to take Mort on a tour of the house.

'Thanks, I'd like that.'

One of the boys ran to his room and reappeared offering a ticket. 'This is your entry ticket, Mortaumal. Pollux and I will be your guides for today.'

Romulus and Romola smiled proudly as Mort was led away.

A wide archway in the wall of the dining room opposite the entry led into smaller walled garden onto which all the other rooms of the house opened. In the modern kitchen, the man who had opened the door to Mort was preparing dinner. He was introduced as Jack, smiled, but didn't shake hands as they were sticky with food. After a tour of the house that elicited as much praise from their guest as it deserved, they returned to the dining room and reclined on couches around a low carved dining table. The food, served with silent good humour by the cook cum butler, was superb and the company more fun than expected.

'What do you like about the theatre?' Romulus asked?'

'So far all I've really done is perform. When I was eleven I put on a short skit I designed and directed… but that's all, and I go to the theatre whenever possible.'

'Performing. That's good because there's a concert in two days. Romola is a professional dancer and needs a partner for a short ballet I choreographed and will direct. It's not complicated, I'm sure you'll easily be able to do it after watching you during our excellent introduction to self-defence this morning. We can run through it after dinner and, if you like it, we will rehearse properly tomorrow.'

'That sounds sensible. I don't want to make a fool of myself.'

While the servant cleared the table, did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen before taking the service train back to the gate, they moved to the lounge where the twins sprawled over chairs.

Romulus outlined the plot. 'There are only two themes that underscore all successful human storytelling; conflict and sex. In this ballet I attempt to correct the notion that men instigate sexual activity, and women are passive receptacles. In reality it's more complicated; males are active concerning protecting and providing, while females are active about getting pregnant.'

'Yeah, that makes sense,' Mort nodded thoughtfully. 'After all, they're the ones who'll be carrying the baby.'

'Quite. After a short, musical introduction a drunken youth totters onto the stage, does a comic dance fighting phantom enemies, then falls asleep. A woman drifts on and performs an equally comic dance about her sexual frustration. She sees the sleeping youth, wakes him then dances seductively to arouse him. He leaps up and grabs at her. She pretends to have changed her mind and they skirmish in a comic pas de deux with lifts and acrobatics. After several complex manoeuvres she appears to lose the battle, landing on hands and knees. But her face breaks into a wide grin when the youth, who imagines he had been the instigator of sexual congress and therefore the victor, rams his erection into her.'

'On stage? You want me to have sex with Romola on stage?'

'Ideally. Simulated if you can't manage an erection.'

Mort turned to Romola. 'Wouldn't you mind?'

'Why would I?'

'You are actors, Mortaumal. No one will imagine you are having an affair with my wife. The audience all know what happens on stage is fiction.'

'Do you have a problem with me?' Romola asked, eyebrows raised in patrician disbelief.

'Not with you; with the fact that I'm still a virgin and have no idea what to do.'

'A virgin! That's even better!' Romulus rubbed his hands enthusiastically. 'I'll modify the dances so the young man's a nervous virgin fighting off the female, instead of the other way round, and that'll give the woman an excuse to aggressively arouse him and show him what to do. That's much better than my hackneyed idea. Female as predator... brilliant. Thanks, Mortaumal. Let's do a quick run though now so you have something to think about tonight, and tomorrow we'll refine it.'

'But there'll be kids in the audience as young as six, and Castor and Pollox are watching.' Mort looked at his hosts' blank faces and laughed. 'You guys are amazing.'

'No, just rational,' Romulus said thoughtfully. 'Our boys have seen us having intercourse many times. We don't see it as different from any other activity.'

'Neither do I. My grandparents were always screwing like rabbits.'

'You understand, then. We do realistic theatre in Oasis, like the Romans, because the audience expects to see reality. We don't go as far as them, fortunately. There are records of Roman plays in which when a man has his hand cut off, they took beggars from the street and actually cut their hands off. In one instance, a very famous actor playing the part of a fellow who, according to legend castrated himself, was forced by the emperor to actually do it on stage.'

'What happened?'

'He died.'

'Fuck! That's horrible.'

'Indeed. But don't worry, we don't go that far. But at least we're more honest than traditional performances of works such as The Rites of Spring, for example, where they're supposed to end up in an orgy. But traditional productions choreograph it so "artistically" the audience thinks they're just doing another dance.'

Mort couldn't stop himself laughing. His hosts smiled their delight at having unearthed such a treasure.

'Outside Oasis it's considered normal for people to watch erotica and porn on the Internet, with actors who are unrealistically potent and artificially physically enhanced. This creates a sense of inferiority in viewers and unrealistic expectations in children of all ages who watch it regularly, despite parental restrictions. In Oasis we think that is very unhealthy. Whereas to see on stage people they know and like, having erotic fun and taking pleasure in kissing, touching and fucking each other, as long as it is part of the story, not just gratuitous, can only be good for children, and a relief for adults.'

'That was my argument when I was a stripper. And you're right about the kids too. They can see that sex is not a shameful act.'

'So you're okay with it?'

'Can't wait... but shouldn't I wear a condom?'

'I'm wearing a pessary and have no sexually transmitted diseases, and as you're a virgin, I imagine you don't either. So if you're happy to lose your virginity tonight, let's get on with it.'

Romulus put on Chopin's Les Sylphides and, following his direction, Mort danced around fighting invisible foes, causing several chuckles, then yawned and curled up to sleep.

'You're a natural, Mortaumal,' Romulus said with relief. 'You're so graceful and your timing's perfect. You've danced before?'

'Only as a stripper. Self-defence gives me balance and some good moves, and I've worked with an acrobat.'

'Romulus is right, Mortaumal, you are good,' Romola said warmly.

She was thoroughly professional, explicitly autoerotic, and her frustrated antics so amusing Mort laughed aloud. He hoped he wouldn't look too amateurish beside her.

Romulus then walked them through a sequence of moves that would ensure the humour of the third scene in which Mort acted nervous ignorance while Romola discarded her dress, impatiently prevented him from escaping, pushed him around and manually aroused him. Then they repeated it with music.

Romulus was a hands-on director who didn't hesitate to physically move his dancers into positions, so by the time Romola was on hands and knees, bum waggling in the wind, and Mort had been none too gently guided into the correct position behind her, his erection was rock solid. When commanded to thrust, he thrusted and kept on thrusting as the waltz played on until Romola screamed, he groaned, and a full load gushed into her. After withdrawing he gazed down in comic astonishment and dismay at his rapidly wilting appendage, taking hold and waggling it around as if trying to restore it to life. The parents as well as Castor and Pollux clapped and cracked up with laughter.

'That's hilarious, Mortaumal, that's exactly the ending we need to prevent it becoming serious! Do it like that and you'll win best actor award,' Romulus laughed.

'Yes, we have to keep that, it's so funny' Romola agreed. 'Then Mortaumal will shrug and go back to sleep while I pick up my dress and skip off, face wreathed in a satisfied smile.'

'You're all right then?' Mort asked.

'Never better,' she grinned. 'What about you? No longer a virgin. How does it feel?'

'No different from before. But it was interesting. At the beginning your vagina felt as if it was sucking my cock in. I hadn't expected that.'

'I've powerful pelvic floor muscles. They keep Romulus from straying too far. So you've no problems doing it for the performance?'

'Of course not. As Romulus says, it's natural and I'm a natural man so it'd be strange if I had problems with it.' Mort began to laugh. 'I'm sorry, but this whole evening has been so funny, I can't stop laughing.'

And he didn't until they brought him a glass of lemon tea.

Romulus arranged a practice session with Mort for the following day to memorise the moves and smooth the untrained edges of his dancing.

The following morning at breakfast Arch was relieved to hear about Mort's first day on the job, and promised to be there for the concert. Calumnia, who had ostentatiously placed a towel on his seat, merely sniffed and said she wasn't into theatrical nonsense. She preferred real life. Mort kept his fingers crossed and didn't attempt to change her opinion. She took her coffee and croissant out to the garden.

'It's good you like Romulus; he's a bit of a genius with choreography, and his wife's an excellent dancer. What did you mean by saying the dance is sexy reality?'

'I play a virgin, Romola seduces me and I fuck her. We had a rehearsal last night so I'm no longer a virgin when it comes to females.'

'Are you okay about that?' Arch asked. 'I mean, your first fuck is supposed to be special.'

Mort laughed. 'This was a wank. My first fuck will be with my botfriend. Actually, fucking Romola was less exciting than wanking. It didn't seem unnatural or anything like that... only boring. There's a sucking feeling at first, which was interesting, but then it's like pushing into a slimy hot hole. If I hadn't had an audience I'd have pulled out and finished off by hand. She seemed to enjoy it though, thank goodness. But it meant nothing to me. Now all I have to do is find a boyfriend.'

By the end of the day, Mort's week was almost fully booked. Word had got out and his talents were in demand. He decided teaching was his destiny. He loved explaining, demonstrating, applauding, repeating instructions in different words, watching his pupils progress.

During the rehearsal, Romulus explained that once the moves were perfected and memorised, the way to create a fluid whole was to think of all his moves and positions from beginning to end as a single movement, not a sequence, so everything would flow seamlessly from one position to the next. Having grasped that, Mort's delight in dancing increased and his confidence soared.

For obvious reasons, Romulus explained, only Oasis residents were permitted to watch plays and concerts. They understood reality, but visitors, no matter how well meaning, would be unable to resist telling friends outside Oasis and before long newspapers would be running exposés, the police would be investigating and they'd all be rounded up for running porno rings and child abuse. That made perfect sense to Mort who was also relieved that Calumnia would be spending the night with a girlfriend in town. He knew in his heart she could never understand the joy of natural behaviour.

The theatre looked splendid in the evening, lit by fake candles, the terraces filled with exquisitely dressed men, women and children, all chattering excitedly. The "Oasis String Trio", a semi-professional ensemble, played at the beginning and between the acts. A comedy duo, a children's orchestra and a tragic one-act play were followed by a magician, a teenage pop group and a witty monologue. Performers sat in the front row so they missed nothing, moving onto the stage when it was their turn, and returning after their applause. Mort and Romola were on last. The Trio played Chopin's Les Sylphides better than the CD, the lights dimmed, the curtain rose, and Mort remembered nothing until he was holding Romola's hand at the end, bowing to tumultuous applause.

The following morning five somewhat serious teenage girls were waiting outside the Activities office when Mort arrived.

'Can we talk to you, Mortaumal?'

'Of course. What about?'

'Last night and... and other things.'

'Come inside.'

'No. Hercules is in there; can we go to one of the other rooms?'

'Of course.' Mort was intrigued. Oasis girls always seemed so self-assured, mature and confident. They sat on chairs in a room used for flower arranging, while Mort perched on the desk.

'We think you were wonderful last night. I've never seen any man dance so beautifully. I cried all night.'

'So did we,' chorused the others.

'Thank you.'

'Will you be dancing again?'

'I hope so.'

'Have you got a girlfriend?'


'Was the boy you acted, real?'

'In what way?'

'He wasn't interested in the girl until she sort of forced him and seduced him by playing with herself and then making him stiff. And then after you fucked her... that was so exciting I got all wet down here…' She stopped, embarrassed.

'How flattering,' Mort said with a smile. 'And yes, that sort of thing is real for many males and females.'

'But we've been told at school that boys are always randy and ready to rape women if they aren't careful. We're frightened to go into the city.'

'Not true. The continuation of the human species depends on females choosing a mate who will produce strong babies and then provide for them. This is a heavy responsibility so they spend most of their spare time making themselves attractive and sexy, so if and when a suitable man comes along they can seduce him, as Romola did in the ballet. Young males, on the other hand, spend most of their spare time playing sport and learning skills so they will become strong and fit and able to provide for any baby that might arrive in the future. They certainly think about sex a great deal, but usually relieve the pressure by masturbating, which is essential because it maintains strong blood flows to the penis that are essential for good erections.'

'So the ballet was about telling us that it's up to the woman to get the man. It's no use sitting around waiting for him.'

'More or less, but it's also telling women they have to work on arousing their man if they want him to be a good lover.'

Hillary blushed. 'But what about rapes?'

'There are always a few people who don't obey the rules; they steal, drive too fast and so on. If females walk around cities and towns showing their cleavages, thighs, shoulders, in very tight, revealing clothes, most men who are sexually active will understand she is only flirting, not desiring sexual intercourse. But occasionally there will be a man who is not so well balanced, who misunderstands and thinks she is offering herself for sex, and if she forcefully rejects him he might get angry and rape her. That's why females should be careful about the strength of the sexual signals they send in public places if they want to remain safe.'

'That makes sense. And in the ballet you entered her from behind. Why?'

'Presenting her rear end is the easiest and best way for a woman to show a man she wants to have intercourse. There's no mistaking it. Even from the audience you could see her vulva was swollen like a sign saying fuck me.'

Everyone laughed.

'Then why do most people do it facing each other?'

'In the ballet the girl only wanted sex; nothing else. Face to face is intimate and you share kisses and affection and love, and that makes the act wonderful and personal.'

'Did you enjoy doing it with her?'

'I enjoyed the whole dance, that was simply part of it.'

'You've got an erection now. Do you fancy us?'

'No, we're talking about sexy things. And it likes being admired.'

'What makes you think we're admiring it?'

'Wishful thinking.'

'I am.'

Laughter, and the tiny cloud of tension that had lingered, lifted.

'I've always wanted to talk like this with boys, but never dared in case they thought I was perverted.'

'It's certainly not perverted! Curiosity is a very valuable, natural characteristic.'

'Do you wax?'

'No, just born like this.'

'You said you don't fancy us, is it because we're ugly?'

'No. You're all good-looking girls. Its because like one in ten males I was born with the same feelings as you when it comes to sexual attraction.'

'You mean…?'

'Yes, so if a guy you fancy doesn't respond to your signals, it doesn't mean he doesn't like you, there's a possibility he might be like me. But if you care for the guy at all, don't then shout to the entire world that he's gay; he might not be, and even if he is why run the risk of ruining his life by making him feel insecure? He might simply prefer masturbating.'

'Do you masturbate?'

'Of course. It's very pleasurable, which is why some men prefer it to screwing wives who just lie there and expect him to do everything. If you girls take only one lesson from that dance, it should be that if you want your man to desire you, take pains to arouse him and make him feel desired as well. Sex with another person should be a pas de deux, not a solo performance.'

'Thanks Mortaumal, I feel much wiser now.' Her grin was wicked, 'Can we touch your…?'

'As long as your hands are clean and you're gentle.'

As they walked past, the girls gently grasped his erection for a few seconds, then looked up at him and whispered, 'Thanks.'

He was just about to jerk himself off when four teenage boys trouped in and sat on the chairs. The smallest was grinning. 'Having a wank, Mortaumal?'

'I was going to. How can I help, gentlemen?'

'You were great last night.'


'Was it real?'

'What do you mean?'

'Do some females really act like that? You know play with themselves, shove their fingers up their cunts and get all hot and randy and then if they find a guy, also make him randy?'

'If they don't, they should.'

'So they also wank?'

'Frequently. There are loads of ways they can tickle their fannies. Riding bikes and horses can do it for some girls, and I've heard dildos are very popular.'

'We thought girls didn't really like it much because after talking to them for a bit they come over all difficult and we have to tell them they're the most beautiful girl in the room... all that crap.'

'That's a necessary ploy.'

'How do you mean?"

'Once they've got your attention they don't want you to think they're sluts, so they pretend they've lost interest. That triggers an evolutionary hunting response in most males to pursue and capture what they thought was theirs for the taking. By proving you really want it by chasing them and cajoling them into it, you convince them you're serious about them, and not just after a casual fuck that might leave them pregnant with no man to help support the child. Sex can be a very hazardous game for women.'

'Yeah… that makes sense, but I've never met a girl like Romola in the dance. Neither of the girls I've fiddled with have played with my bits. I had to do all the work.'

'Lizzie's like that, starts kissing, but when I get aroused she just lies back and expects me to fiddle with her for hours. She should do it to herself like Romola did last night. All I want to do is shove it in and come, like you did. Fuck it was a turn on to watch you, mate?'


'I guess you've screwed loads of girls.'

'No. I was like the guy in the dance before I met her. She had to teach me.'

'You're a bloody good learner. Was it the best part of the dance?'

'No. I liked everything else more. Fucking's just fucking... less interesting than wanking unless you're in love, I reckon.'

'It was so funny when you pulled out and your cock shrank to nothing, and then you just looked at it and shrugged and went to sleep. That's what I want to do, but Lizzie wants me to do it again and tells me I'm useless if I can't. What'll I do?'

'Explain things to her, and dump her if she doesn't treat you with respect. What about the rest of you?'

'We're still virgins.' The young man grinned sheepishly. 'I'd never have dared tell you if you hadn't told us about yourself. I thought there was a law that said we had to screw girls if they asked. But there's no one I want to do it with. Do you really prefer wanking?'

'Most men do at your age, and after a few years of marriage, unless they're still in love. The reason some don't do it much is religion tells them it's bad. And that's a load of crap, its actually very good for you, keeps everything working in top order down there, and even seems to prevent the development of prostate problems when you age. Religions just want more and more kids to fill their churches.'

'That's crazy, the planet's overpopulated now!'

'Yeah. I'm not going to have any kids.'

'But what'll I say when my girlfriend says I must be queer if I don't want to fuck her?'

'Say she must be a nymphomaniac if kissing and cuddling isn't enough at her age.'

'Is that what you say?'

'For some reason girls don't ask me. Perhaps they can tell I'm not interested.'

'You mean you're…?'

'Yes. I was born with the urge to do sexy things with males my own age.'

'But last night…?'

'We were acting, and that was part of the act. Simple.'



'No! Not at all. In fact I wish I was gay. Females seem too complicated.'

'Yeah, thanks Mortaumal, you've made me realise I have the right to choose what sort of sex I want and when. Until now I thought there was only one way — like in the porn videos and if I didn't want that then I was a retard.'

'Porn is dangerous. It's pure fantasy. The world is not like that and humans are not like that. Be yourselves, do only what you feel comfortable doing and you won't go far wrong.'

They shook hands and departed thoughtfully.

For the next few days Mort was greeted as a hero by young and old, congratulated on his performance and asked if he'd be a permanent fixture in the theatre calendar. And whereas in the first couple of days when he'd asked children and teenagers to do something or not do it, they'd looked at him as if ready to challenge his authority, now their eyes lit up and his wishes became their command.

From time to time Mort had the feeling he was being watched. But when he looked around there was no one paying him more attention than usual. A man in green overalls was sometimes pushing a wheelbarrow, but too far away to make out. He intended to mention it to Hercules, but always forgot about it.

By the end of the week there were two permanent self-defence classes, two groups of joggers, four swimming pupils, three children between the ages of six and eight with reading difficulties, five teenagers practising acrobatics daily, and exercise for ancients. When asked, he guarded the pool, umpired softball, was a sought after partner for the popular afternoon Tea Dances, posed for artists, and accepted any other job that arrived. Hercules was over the moon; he could now enjoy his work instead of always feeling run off his feet and not doing enough.

A week later Calumnia looked up from the television when Mort walked in after a run around the boundary.

'Don wants you to phone him.'

'What about?'

'Ring the old fart and find out! I'm not your secretary.'

'Where's Arch?'

'Working, like a real man, not poncing around flashing his balls at everyone. You're fucking disgusting standing there stark naked in my house. Go put on some clothes!' She'd been saying this since he began assisting Hercules, but this time she seemed more venomous than usual.

'Calumnia, you know I've signed a contract to not wear clothes in Oasis.'

'Who the fuck are you, Mr. Up-himself Mortaumal? You arrive out of nowhere claiming to be my husband's cousin — as if! And suddenly you're the naked hero of the place and the chairman of the Body Corp invites you to dinner!'

'You said you didn't know what Don wanted.'

'I said ask him yourself! Well... answer me... who the fuck are you Mr. Flavour of the Month? What hold have you over my husband? If you think you're going to weasel yourself in and do me out of what's rightfully mine, think again.'

'Okay, I will.' Mort nodded, smiled, went to Arch's office, found the number, and rang. 'Don? It's Mortaumal.'

'Mortaumal! Thanks for ringing. Great performance the other night. I've a job for you, nothing to do with Oasis, so you'll get paid separately. I'm a senior partner in a legal firm and am hoping to get the business of a fabulously wealthy woman who used to be a stripper and now owns a string of brothels, peep shows, strip clubs and porn shops along the entire eastern seaboard. She's hesitating because she thinks we're opposed to the way she makes her money.' He paused as if unsure how to continue.

'I've got that part; what's my job?'

'Convince her we're true freethinkers when it comes to her occupation and that we'll treat her affairs with our customary diligence.'


'How what?'

'How do you expect me to convince her?'

'My business partner, who is not a resident of Oasis, and I will be in dinner suits, our wives will be looking like Christmas trees, and you will there to make up numbers and balance the sexes.'


'Your Oasis uniform. Very clean skin and well brushed hair.'

'And that will prove you're open minded free thinkers?'

'We hope so.'

'Hercules would be better.'

'Hercules refused; he doesn't approve of the woman. Not because of her business, but personally — he's had dealings with her apparently.'

'I'm only seventeen, for goodness sake. How old is your Madam?'

'Mid sixties.'

'I'm not a toy boy!'

'Of course not! What do you think of me?'

'That you'd do just about anything to get her account.'

'Anything legal — we're lawyers. Pimping for pretty young men is illegal.'

'That's a relief. How much are you paying?'

'Two hundred and fifty if we lose, five hundred if we win.'

'Sounds fun. What time?'


'Excellent. I'll be there.'

'But tell no one about it!'

'Sealed lips are my most marketable talent.'

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