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The Heart of Pompeii

The year is 70CE in Pompeii, Italy, and highborn Quintus Vestorius is about to break his family’s heart when he runs away from home to escape society’s obligations that he marry and have children. At the same time, Valens, a sheep farmer from the country, brings his new wife to start a life in the city. Already, their lives are inexorably wound to Quintus’ whose disappearance has sent shockwaves through the city. When they do meet in the year 73, it’s in the Lupanar, Pompeii’s most notorious brothel where Quintus is now a male sex worker going by the name of Ignis. For Val, it’s love at first sight. For Ignis, it takes a little longer as loving Val threatens the modicum of freedom he has found within the brothel’s walls. Through their alternating points of view, we see life in Pompeii on display. A thriving city with ports, markets, families, and pockets of stories just like Val and Ignis’ comes to a terrifying halt in 79 when Mount Vesuvius erupts. Val and Ignis continue to fight for their lives and their love in a city falling to ash. Their story is a possibility for a specific cast from Pompeii, known as The Maidens; a couple found in a loving embrace who were later identified as two young adult men.