"Dominus can go whistle," Attis informed her cheerfully. "He's done without me for two months, another night isn't going to kill him, is it? Anyway, if he does, I'll be the one moving, you won't need to go anywhere." He wound a loose strand of her copper-coloured hair around a finger. "Don't go anywhere," he added. "You can shift your things inhere, it's big enough for two of us, and better than your poky room. A bit better, anyway."
They were both slaves, neither of them lived in exactly palatial rooms within the slave quarters, after all. "I'll try not to mess up like that again, I bloody missed you."
Jupiter's fucking cock! Attis was a slave, had been one his entire life - and his master had never felt the need to point it out to him before or belittle him for something that was an accident of birth. And regardless of the sarcastic tone, it stung, in an unexpected way that made Attis clench his teeth. He'd fuck off now and leave the two bastards to it without him - neither one of them seemed to want him around, particularly. He took a silent breath and picked up the bottle of oil, pouring some into his hands to begin giving Longinus a massage. If the two of them wanted to pretend he was as deaf as a doorpost and worth less attention than the benches they were sitting on, fine with him.
Fuck the pair of them. He could play deaf and ignore them and their conversation if they wanted, and just imagine the two of them amusing themselves together - who would end up winning a blow job from the other? Seeing either of them on his knees with his mouth full would be highly amusing right now - and it'd stop them needling him and one another, to boot. Like Attis gave a fucking shit either way; all his own friends were back in Rome and he wouldn't even be able to laugh at it with the stupid idiots Longinus kept here in his villa.
"Mmm, I think it was," Attis said, covering her mouth with his again as his hands roamed... Where a man's hands were going to roam, given the permission to touch a naked woman who wanted to sleep with him. He lowered her carefully to her back on the bed, and got to kissing her all over, tiny kisses, before getting down to the reason they had come into this room.
"Missed you," he told her once they'd done, trying to catch his breath. "Stay here with me, tonight?"
It might make up for the night they hadn't spent together after Floralia - or it might not, Attis wasn't quite sure where they stood in their relationship now, although she had wanted him as much as he wanted her. Maybe they could even have the sort of relationship she'd refused to begin before?
"Write to Vitus. Some of Sestia's things were moved into my house before the wedding, I want them gone. Not to Cassia, not to my mother, but out of my house. Understood?"
Attis looked down at his master, floating on his stomach with his forearm on the edge of the small pool. The order had been as deadly serious as any life or death command he had heard his master issue as a Legate.
"Yes, domine," he said. He could say nothing else, and would ask whether his master wanted to seal the letter himself. (If not, if Attis could not use the master's own seal, he'd use a coin or something.)
He looked at his fellow slave, who had come to attend Sulpicius Rufus and seemed unwanted, and shook his head slightly before returning his attention to his own master. "Would you like a massage, domine?"
"Not at all. It'll come off, but you'll need water. Or spit, and I'm sure you'd rather use yours than mine." Attis spoke bracingly rather than brusquely, mostly because he thought Nymphias would respond better to a matter of fact tone of voice. "It's only a tunic, it'll dry quick enough, and it's not like I'm supposed to be serving the master's guests or anything, he's put me in the kitchens."
He offered it again. "I was only laughing because you were reacting as if it was the end of the world and it's really not that bad at all. Just a bit of water and a rag and you'll be as pretty as ever."
Attis grinned, unfastened his cloak and let it drop to the floor - he'd be the one picking it up again afterwards to put away, and he was far too concerned with catching up on what he'd been missing out on for the past two months. His belt followed it in short order and he stepped back to pull his tunic off before stepping in to pull at Metella's own tunica.
"Ah, but you're a beautiful woman who deserves to be flattered," Attis told her. He had missed her, and wondered whether Longinus had known just what he'd sentenced them both to - perhaps he might understand a little of it himself, now that Sestia had returned to Africa. (Though he hadn't expected his master to end up in the depths of despair over it all.)
He pulled Metella towards the straw pallet in the corner that served as the bed.
"Oh, frequently - but I couldn't ever be accused of having no prick," Attis rejoined with a grin, following her into the tiny room, and nudging the door closed behind him. "I missed you, you know. Mean sods wouldn't even let me come over to try to see you when you went out."
He'd left a message for her with one of the local stall-holder, though gods knew if she'd ever got it - or saw the plaintive graffito left on the wall near the house. Not that Rufus or Longinus could complain; he'd obeyed their orders. It wasn't his fault if he'd got talking to a shopkeeper, or found a bit of paint left by workman who'd been touching up some of the woodwork of a nearby house.
"You look serious when you're beautiful, Metella," he said. "Or is that beautiful when you're serious? Either way." He put his arms around herand kissed her again.
"Ugly?" Attis had seen her around and she was hardly 'ugly'. She had blond hair - unusual in Rome where blond-haired people were generally German or British (although his master's other friend, the senator Aulus Praetextatus, had blond hair and nobody could accuse him of being anything other than a pure-blooded Roman). Nymphias was one of the prettiest girls in Rome - certainly in this house.
She lowered her hands and Attis had to bite the inside of his cheek. She was too distressed to be able to understand his immediate reaction being a desire to laugh. "Is that... is that kohl?"
She had rimmed her eyes heavily with it, looking like some sort of exotic animal, and her upset had made her cry, which had cause it to run. "It'll come off, look."
He took the sleeve of his tunic and lifted the edge of it to her mouth. "Spit!"
Attis turned his practised innocent look on her. "I was bored, and they were never going to figure things out without a bit of help. Sweet innocents, the pair of them - and yes, that includes Rufus' body slave, make of that what you want!" He grinned at her. "Oh, you'd make good royalty, all right. You could tell people that you were, if you wanted, they'd never be able to say you weren't."
Longinus had brought numerous British slaves back to Rome but the only one that Attis thought was royal in any way was Eppitacos - everyone had heard of him, and he'd wound up as a gladiator owned by Quintus Caesar himself.
"Orgies? Did you have anyone good?" he asked, a wicked gleam in his eye as they reached the tiny room that had been his. Might still be his, but he wasn't about to push too hard just yet, not with everything else Longinus was dealing with. "Or were they all mouth and no prick?"
"It must have been about that, domine," Attis said quietly, with a slight stress on the word 'domine' - despite how he had addressed Sulpicius Rufus over the past two months, Cassius Longinus was his real master and the only one he would acknowledge as such.
"I don't think you could be miserable for the rest of your life, domine," he added. Longinus was like a cork; he'd bob back up eventually. He'd only be miserable for the rest of his life if 'the rest of his life' turned out to be incredibly short. "Your temperament isn't much like your father's."
He fell silent again. Longinus' expression was unreadable, but Rufus just looked thoughtful. And irritated, when he happened to glance in Attis' direction. Ah well; it wasn't as if Attis had to worry about annoying him any more. Hopefully, anyway.
If Longinus wanted to make his stamp on the villa, he could do worse than ship some of his souvenirs and mementoes from his military career up here, instead of having half of them stashed out of sight in some storeroom in the domus back in Rome. If he was bothered - right now, Attis could just feel the apathy rolling off him in waves.
He hoped the two of them would decide they wanted a massage before they were in the water so long that they turned into prunes - and maybe, just maybe, Attis could get a bath of his own before finding somewhere to sleep tonight. Once he'd settled his master down, anyway - and if that took getting him roaring drunk and leaving him to spill everything to an equally drunk Sulpicius Rufus, he would do that.