The lovers of Modena

The “Lovers of Modena” are the skeletons of two people who lived in the early Middle Age. Buried in the same grave. with their hands intertwined. The bodies were discovered in a grave object of an archaeological research near the city of Modena in 2009, capital of the homonymous province.
So cold was the news when they found out who we were.
First, they considered us a married couple because our hands were braided and, on our fingers, we had a bronze ring, and he had an iron ring. Yes, he and I because as it turned out from subsequent research, we were the skeletons of two males of 0-40 years.
They ha nicknamed us” The Lovers of Modena” but hypocrites they forgot us. Too bad because we were really lovers.
My name was Lombard. Trudulf of the Froenia people. But known as Elmar the sword-bearer.
When we took possession of these Modena lands, we made peasants our servants. I earned a boy named Gaius. They explained to me that in Latin it meant cheerful.
He really was even gifted though he was a teenager of sense and will.
My friends had chosen young female men as servants, good even for the bed, said laughing our alderman. “But for that” I answered, “to me was enough my wife. Gaius who could read and write became for me more than just a servant. Intelligent and skilled in writing and counting, he helped me direct our estate. So, I manumitted him by making Gaius a free man. By now he was family member and sometimes my wife reproached me for having for Gaius the kindness reserved for a brother. He taught me to read and write. In return I trained Gaius as a warrior. Although still slender he practiced with his sword and spear until, helped also by the good food we gave him, he began to put on muscles. When his arms were strong enough to carry the shield, I allowed him to join me into the battles. He was a good fighter and soon my friends called us “the brothers” Watching the agile Gaius practicing naked in fencing, covered only in sweat, gave me a subtle pleasure as when he instructed me about poetry and painting.
If I appreciated his slender body, he looked admiringly my muscular chest, narrow hips, and thighs where the muscles looked like ship ropes. Then I reciprocated his poetry by reciting the Norse epics created by my people a long time earlier in cold Scania.
So much was the esteem I had of him, that I asked our duke to accept him as a member of our people and a warrior. The duke questioned me, and I explained to him that the feeling with Gaius was now of friendship and brotherhood and that I considered him my equal, that what passed through my mind and heart, I could see it reflected in him.
So, he could join me in the raid against the Byzantines. He behaved well and I gave him as prize a Gothic sword.
Returning from the raid, I decided, wanting to hunt the wild boar that I and Gaius would go down a different path. We left early in the morning to avoid the heat.
We went up the wooded hills but did not find wild boars, so we settled for a frugal meal. Bread, cheese, and two hares who had the misfortune to cross our steps.
Next to the small clearing where we had camped, a stream flowed and formed a waterfall. So, we decided to take a bath. I had a piece of soap bought from the Jewish merchant, who was selling us the scents and spices of the East. Naked, our bodies showed the strength of masculinity.

Under the waterfall we soaped well and with our hands we rubbed our skin until we reddened it. My strong hands resting on him and his pleasant fingers on me, grazed our thighs and lingered there for a moment too long. He wiped my hair with dry grass. “Listen” said Gaius, “I have a poem for you:
Quivers his mind, beats his heart. My eyes full of you. I want your body to take me. I want, tight in your arms, be made yours. Servant I ask to be of your love, of you who until today, has ignored me”. Gaius wept and embraced me. I embraced him, too. The same feelings were in my soul, but I could not find the words to answer so I caressed him. In my hands his manhood grew erected in all his youthful beauty and his hands welcomed the turgidness of my member.
We looked at each other with complicit smiles and I felt in me that bubbling I had when I was lying with my wife. Still naked we sat on the sun-warmed grass and Gaius wiped my hair again with dry leaves. With an accomplice smile he stroked my beard and my chest. To reciprocate I let my hand slide towards his belly plate and his muscles quivered. After kisses and caresses Gaius asked to be taken as a woman. “Take me please my love.” “No,” I said “I’m going to take you as the friend of mine that I love.” Forgetting about the world, we loved each other. We made love with every part of our bodies, eyes and feet, lips, and thighs. The mouths joined and our manhood’s grew larger. I slowly penetrated him savouring every moment of his gift. My hands stroked him from the gluttonous lips to the warm member. Finally, with a groan, I filled it with my seed. Then I squeezed him hard kissing his beautiful hairless face wet with tears.” Now, Gaio my friend takes me” and so he took me and filled me with his young seed. We spent the night hugging each other, looking at the sky and wondering what the bright stars thought of us.
We became lovers and went to war together. After every battle, in the darkness of the tent we could love each other by clutching our bodies wet with sweat and blood. But even in the wooded clearings we let our minds work by exploring together universes of knowledge until one of us running his fingers on the lips of the beloved silenced him. And, hugging him tightly, gave him the joys of carnality. The others did not care what we were doing, as we were valiant fighters always paired to throw us into the thick of the fray.
My wife certainly understood that while honouring the thalamus, caring for the family, and behaving as a good husband, my heart and mind belonged to Gaius. But that was fine. For her, keeping me was enough.
Gaius and I travelled, by order of the duke, and we also went to Ravenna to bring gifts to the exarch.
We laughed like crazy when the eunuch sent by Byzantium, to pay homage to us, let “two young girls” enter our rooms, he said obscenely winking. And we laughed even more when we explained to the girls that we had just converted and made a vow of chastity for two years. We gave them two silver coins and they left happy to have their purse full and their cavities empty.
I could not resist and took Gaius in my arms. He showed himself to be naughty and said, “come on take me, use me like I was your wife.” “Well, “I said laughing” first a good spanking to teach you to stay at your place Gaia!” Then I took him as if he were a woman. Gaius let himself beloved and when I was exhausted, he took me satisfying my body.
Laughing “you’re my old bitch.” Finally, we loved each other the way males couples do it
From the day of our visit to Ravenna, six months had passed when Uyghur messengers on horseback brought the devastating news that the Byzantines had resumed the war and intended to attack Modena.
It was a different sort of war this one led by Baduano son-in-law of emperor Justinian. The order was to spare the Romans and kill all Lombard and Goths.
We prepared for the battle. We built fortifications where women and children could take refuge and filled them with food and livestock. Before the beginning of the battle, I called Gaius and spoke to him. Seriously “You are Roman, you can go in peace. Leave the fight to us.” My lover and friend smiled. “Trudulf ” he said “if I have been man enough to be your friend, to be a lover, to have let myself be possessed and possessing you, to have enjoyed loving you, now let me stay here”.
I understood that it was the last time we could declare our love. So, I put an iron ring on his finger and begged him to put a bronze one on mine.
“So, we will recognize ourselves in Walhalla” said Gaius laughing.
Then we lined up in front of our estate and walked towards the field where the Byzantine flags were waving.
When the fighting was over, fifty bodies of Lombard warriors lay on the ground. Many of them, hits while trying to escape or take shelter. But eight corps were of Longobards who had tried to hold back the Byzantine infantry. The bodies were thrown into a common grave, except for the eight brave ones to whom Baduano who had closely followed the fight, granted an individual burial.
Two death bodies had impressed him. He, on horseback, had seen the two warriors fighting side by side. Left alone after the other warrior’s death. When one fighter, injured, collapsed on his knees, the other one stood in front of him to defend him from the javelins stuck numerously into his chest. They had died embracing each other and with their right hands clenched.
Baduano approached, honored the valiant warriors, saw the two rings, and understood. He turned to the adjutant “Bury these two warriors together with their hands joined because they are brave and lovers.