GEORGE WILLERS was a lover.
The whole of his existence was built around the fact that he loved women
and they loved him and the fact that he had the amazing good fortune to
outlast and satisfy them all.
It wasn't empty vanity that made George Willers
think of himself as the world's perfect gift to women. Each morning, when
he looked in the mirror, he saw a completely unhandsome face staring back
at him. The deep, brown eyes might have given him a poetic quality, but
the chiseled lines of his nose and jaw spoke more of strength and firm
conviction than masculine beauty.
Of course, George was a man of strength and
firm conviction. The only trouble was that his strength was jealously conserved
until he unleashed his unbelievable stamina in the boudoir and his firm
convictions were channeled only toward newer and more exciting female conquests.
Ideally, George might have become an extremely successful pimp or an internationally
respected gigolo, but he tired easily of individual women and money was
of no importance to him. He didn't care how he made a living as long as
he kept business and pleasure on separate planes.
That is why, when he found himself out of
a job and an employment counselor mentioned that the Testing Institute
was looking for a janitor, George wandered over.
He enjoyed the month of salaried leisure afforded
by the finger printing and security clearances before he was officially
hired and, when he actually did go to work he didn't pay any more attention
to his job at the Testing Institute than he had ever paid to anything that
didn't involve women. He walked through the motions of cleaning offices
and laboratories while mentally tallying his amatory score and organizing
his elaborate dating schedule.
George might never have had any interest in
his job or the institute had he not found out that the main project there
was an electronic apparatus called the Durational Transistor. It was an
elaborate machine that operated on a cyclotronic principal and which could
disintegrate matter by separating objects into their basic molecular structures.
It could even transfer and reassemble those objects, not only in space,
but through time!
George had heard rumors about time machines
before, but he had never really believed they existed until he was fortunate
enough to peek through the door of the main operations room and actually
see the machine in action.
And, at that precise moment, an unformed thought
lodged in his mind.
In the days that followed, George watched
and listened and pried until he was absolutely sure that he could operate
the Transistor as well as any of the Ph.D.'s or technicians he had seen
in the function and operations rooms. And, as he watched, the embryonic
thought began to grow and form clearly in his mind until it took control
of his entire being.
He, George Willers, might personally be an
important part of history! If he could succeed in operating the machine,
he could not only be the greatest lover of his own generation but of all
On his off-duty hours, George began to break
dates for the first time in his life. He spent sleepless nights trying
to decide which woman of all the great lovers and courtesans would be the
best for him. He haunted the public libraries. For hours he pored over
book after book in an effort to find the greatest female lovers in history.
He had already gone through Pompadour, Catherine
of Russia, the Everleigh sisters and Fanny Sweet when he stopped. He was
staring at a passage in the book before him. It read:
"So, Messalina, wife of Claudius and Empress of the Roman
Empire, challenged the greatest courtesan in the city to a show of sexual
prowess on the very steps the Senate. The records show that after eighteen
gladiators had coupled with the prostitute, she was obliged to give up
in shame. The Empress, however, continued to prove her ability throughout
the afternoon and into the evening. She did not stop until the sun had
set on the City of the Seven Hills and she had 'vanquished' forty-five
of the most magnificent male specimens in the Empire."
George Willers leaned back in his chair and repeated
the name Messalina to himself as he remembered his three successful affairs
with proven nymphomaniacs. Each time, after hours of lovemaking, his partner
had begged him to stop, panting her thanks. He had even helped one achieve
a cure without feeling the least fatigue after a full afternoon of the
most strenuous exercise. As a matter of fact, he had had another date that
Sitting in the library chair, George Willers
mentally rewrote the paragraph in the book:
"...The Empress, however, continued to prove her ability...until
a foreigner named Willers satisfied her so completely that she sighed her
thanks and granted him the, sum of...
George Willers thought for a moment, then snapped
his fingers. "Why not?" he said out loud. Someone said, "Shusssh," and
George reconsidered the book. He read the paragraph several times before
surreptitiously tearing out an etched illustration of the Roman Senate.
THE NEXT DAY after work was over, George went
directly to his janitorial closet, but instead of changing clothes he sat
down on a pile of old cleaning rags and smoked several cigarettes. When
he was absolutely sure everyone had left the building, he took the heavy
ring of skeleton keys from their hook and went directly to the main operations
He opened the leaded door with one of the
keys, quickly locked it behind him, then turned to face the Durational
The huge machine covered three walls with
its dial selectors and multiple banks of electric wiring. The Molecular
Disintegration Chamber with its heavy shock-proof walls, stood in the center
of the room surrounded by batteries of tubes and circuits and overshadowed
by the huge world map on the fourth wall of the room.
At the locator apparatus, George set the time
selector switch for 2:30 P.M. The geographic selector had to be operated
in conjunction with the huge world map above it and the return had to be
synchronized exactly the same way.
Consulting the wall map and his stolen etching,
George rechecked the exact latitude and longitude to the yard of the leftmost
pillar of the Senate building.
When he had set the geographic indicator for
both the initial trip and the return, he carefully rechecked each of his
preparations. Then he looked at the wall clock. It was exactly 7:10 P.M.
He set his wrist watch and stepped into the Molecular Disintegration chamber.
He shut and locked the vault-like door, closed his eyes and crossed his
Then he threw the Terminal Transfer Valve.
WHEN GEORGE WILLERS opened his eyes, he was
being bumped and jostled in the midst of a throbbing crowd screaming in
a strange language and pushing toward the columns of a huge building ahead.
He'd made it! He was in Rome--48 AD!
He pushed his way through the crowd, edging
forward and elbowing strangely clad people aside until he was at the foot
of the wide flight of stone steps that led up to the Senate building.
Both women were here, both looking contemptuously
at one another and hissing words he couldn't understand.
George watched wide-eyed as both women stripped
off their loose clothing and stood ravishingly nude before him. Then the
redheaded woman called to the crowd. She, he knew, must be the great Messalina.
George watched fascinated as a line of husky
men, soldiers, gladiators and gentlemen in flowing togas stepped forward
to form a double line facing the nude women. Then he saw the historical
event as it had happened almost two thousand years before his birth.
The prostitute was fast and skillful, bringing
her partners to shuddering climax with an almost mechanical efficiency.
But the Empress seemed to savor each man as if he were a personal thing
to be held as long as there was any worth left. George counted the men
as they mounted the steps. Messalina had only had ten while the prostitute
was wearily finishing with the eighteenth. Slowly she rolled away and tried
to struggle to her feet.
The crowd jeered as she staggered up, almost
falling twice, and slumped away amid a hail of angry words and bad fruit.
In that moment, George Willers elbowed his
way forward until he stood in front of the Empress.
"I think you'll meet your match," he said.
She looked at him without understanding.
He tapped his chest. "Willers," he said. "George
Slowly her arms circled his neck and drew
him down to her until they were together on the steps of the Roman Senate--slowly,
deliciously writhing and twisting amid cheers from the crowd.
Again and again Messalina moaned in ecstasy
and thrust herself against him--grinding, thrusting until George thought
he would drown in a sea of warm flesh and impossible pleasure.
Again and again he felt all of life drain
from him and he wondered if perhaps through the time machine he actually
had met his match. But he remembered the book he had read in the library.
If he were successful, he would see his name in print there when he returned.
He would be the greatest lover of all time. This was his one chance for
ultimate success or failure. He knew he had to win.
With renewed incentive, he thrust himself against Messalina--again
STILL MOVING in a half coma, he was vaguely
conscious of the damp Italian evening on his back and the haze of last
twilight beyond the hills when the Empress gave a final moan and feebly
pushed away from him.
He knew he had won. The great Messalina--the
most insatiable woman of all time--had succumbed to the prowess of a man
from another century.
George Willers staggered to his feet, retrieved
his clothing and helped Messalina to stand. He watched as she called an
She took a bag from the slave and, almost
collapsing under its weight, handed it to George.
George, always respectful of women, bowed
his thanks and feebly tapped his chest. "George Willers," he gasped. "Don't
forget the name. It's very important."
He let his head sag through sheer exhaustion
his gaze fixed on the bag of money dangling from his hand. Then, weary
eyes noticed something else--the shining band of his wrist watch. Almost
in panic, he lifted his arm.
It was almost 8 o'clock. He had to get to
his rendezvous with the machine or he would be stranded in Rome for the
rest of his life. No matter what his success with the women of his own
time, George knew he could never last under the daily strain of an almost
He bowed again, then clutching the bag of
golden coins in his hand, managed to stagger up the steps to the Senate
building and press against the pillar on the far left.
He waited only thirty seconds as the crowd
started after him--then he felt the driving tug of the Duration Disintegration
Chamber at the Testing Institute--smug, satisfied and completely exhausted.
After much feeble fumbling, he opened the chamber door and checked
the wall clock. It still said exactly 7:10 P.M. In all the hours he had
been in Rome, not one minute of current time had passed.
He wanted to rush to the library and check
the reference volume but physical fatigue was too much for him. He knew
he'd be lucky if he made it home to his own bed and, for the first time
in his life, he hoped it would be empty.
George Willers honestly wished he might never
see another woman again. He knew instinctively that his strange gift of
stamina and sexual prowess had disappeared, been burned out of him by the
greatest female lover of history. Even if he wanted to, he could never
perform a quarter as well as he had that afternoon. But it had been worth
At least he was part of history. He would
always be known as the world's greatest lover.
IN THE YEAR Of our Lord 48, a rather strange
conversation took place between Claudius Germanicus, Emperor of Rome and
his official court chronicler.
"Bitch!" the emperor screamed. "First she
consummated a bogus marriage with that idiot Silius and then she tried
to take on the whole city of Rome...and on the very steps of the Senate
The chronicler nodded his head. "Where is
this man Willers?" the Emperor demanded. "I want him thrown to the lions.
I'll have his head impaled. I'll...I'll..."
"Sire, he disappeared," the historian said.
"He mounted the steps of the Senate and..."
"That's not all he mounted! You fool, he's
probably hiding in the Senate building right now."
"No, sire. A thousand people saw him lean
against a pillar and just...just disappear."
"Impossible! This whole thing's impossible!
At least the whore gave up after eighteen, but you say Messealina and this
barbarian were in the act for five solid hours and then the man just vanished?"
"I order her death!" the emperor screamed.
"She's given me nothing but trouble for the past ten years. Besides, she's
getting old. She's pushing twenty-seven." He leaned back on his couch as
the historian started to leave. When the chronicler was almost out of the
room, the Emperor clapped his hands and called him back. He stroked his
chin for a moment, then faced the historian.
"In your records, friend scribe," he said,
"I don't mind your saying that Valeria Messalina, Empress of Rome, consummated
her...eh...marriage with Silius before a crowd of dinner guests. Everyone
knows how bad he is on a couch. Nor do I mind your saying that she took
on the whole city of Rome on the Senate steps. That will only explain what
a disloyal, ungrateful bitch she is. But it would be better if this Willers
man--this barbarian--were left out of the incident entirely. It might make
my imperial reputation seem...er...somewhat inadequate."
"His performance is rather hard to believe,
"Yes," the emperor said. "We can't have our
historians penning a lot of fairy stories for posterity."
"I understand fully, sire."