While it wasn’t her business to know the relationship between Lexus and the young woman he was shopping for, she had obviously made a good impression on him. There were so many social rules to courting, but she was always happy when young people seemed to be figuring out their world and hearts. Perhaps it came from the fact that her life had been so messed up- she would never wish her path on anyone. Sold into slavery, escaped slave, freed but hard to reintegrate into society due to her tarnished reputation…although that may have been more her hesitation than society around her. She had reached a point in her life where she was happy, even if content to be own her own now with a little help from her son and Alaric.
“Those are very good thoughts. I’m glad I asked you, you’re so much more aware of how they can be useful and for what, than I am. Thank you.”
Julia nodded her head and gave a wave of her hand as he said he was glad to have asked her & thanked her. “You are welcome. Good luck with your purchase.” With that said, she assumed the conversation was over and looked back to the wares she had been considering when he first made conversation. She didn’t pay Lexus any mind as he went on with his transaction so she was unaware that he was purchasing a ribbon for her until he looked in her direction and spoke up once more. “You’re as lovely as you are kind, Domina. This is for you.” She turned back, momentarily confused until she saw the ribbon he proceeded to hand her. Julia let her gaze drop to the dark green ribbon in her hand and then back up to Lexus. “Oh…Thank you. You didn’t have to do that- you asked a very simple question and I didn’t mind answering it. Have a wonderful day and may the Gods bless you both.”
(end?- sorry for the long wait for a reply….my work schedule has become busy)
“That’s good, it’s not often I go and buy gifts for lov… for women.”
She noted the quick change at the end of the sentence- had he meant to say ‘lover’? Julia didn’t bother to comment on his choice of relationship. Instead she pointed out various items. When she got to the ribbons he seemed to agree that it was a good choice. “That’s what I was thinking. I don’t know if she needs more jewels, she stunning enough already. But a ribbon… or more than one, perhaps?” Julia could see that he was certainly infatuated with the young woman.
“If it was you, which color would you pick?”
Which colour would she pick? A little curious as to why he was asking, Julia looked at the various ribbons. There were all kinds of colours, and preferences were very personal. Thinking about many of the colours that were on display Julia compared the options to her wardrobe. “If it was me I would probably chose a brown or dark green which then allows anything you string on it to stand out a little more.”
“It makes sense, I think. I’m sorry to hear you lost your husband… I hope he was good to you.”
Julia nodded her head when he gave his condolences and enquired whether he was good to her. “Thank you.” She took a moment to think about the time they had together. While it was an ‘unusual’ match in that he had once been working for a rival to Caesar, her life had never been a straight course either so in a way they were perfect for each other. “Yes he was good to me.”
He then went on to describe the young woman whom the gift was going to- she had a bit of a chuckle when he said ‘no offence, but she is younger than you’. “No offence taken- I assumed she was younger than me. She sounds like she has made quite an impression on you. If she is one who enjoys looking her best or enjoys dressing up you have picked a good stall. I would be very surprised if you weren’t able to find something that would suit her. Can’t really go wrong here.” She pointed to a few things as examples then stopped on the ribbons that were hanging down. “The ribbons can be used for many purposes- woven in the hair as an embellishment, worn around the neck with an amulet or pendant. Hope those were helpful suggestions.”
“Oh? I am just looking for something to buy for… someone I care for. How come you wouldn’t be happy with such a present now? If you are willing to share the story, of course.”
Julia smiled when he said he was looking for something to buy for someone he cared for. She looked at the items available and nodded her head. She noticed that he seemed kind of surprised by her answer-in fact he seemed curious as to why she wouldn’t have been happy with such a present now. It wasn’t exactly that she wouldn’t be happy but Julia had become very practical, not wanting money to be spent frivolously. Yes she was ‘technically’ wealthy but she had gone through so many ups and downs in her life that she understood what it meant to barely get by.
“It’s hard to explain…I certainly was happy when I was younger to have received presents like this, however, life has not always been easy for me. I was forced to learn the value of money and that it was important to be wise with the coin you had. Life has certainly gotten easier again so I don’t have to worry quite as much, but at the same time I have also recently lost my husband. I hope that makes sense.”
Julia once again looked at the items available before looking back to him. “That being said, what kind of person is the gift going to? That usually makes it easier to decide on a purchase.”
Julia entered the marketplace with a plan in mind. She had a few wares that needed to be sold and it made sense to complete those transactions first. Finding the appropriate vendor, she placed the wares on the table for examination. Her part of the farm, a thriving garden, had experienced a bumper crop- too much for her to use entirely so she had arranged to sell it. Once they were examined and payment was received, she headed off to look at another booth.
She came across a stall that was selling ribbons, baubles and various pieces of jewellery. Julia let her gaze wander over the wares but wasn’t planning on buying. She was about to move on when a man near her spoke. “Excuse me, lovely Domina… would you be happy with getting one of these as a present?”
Julia turned and saw who the voice came from. It was Alexius- although she didn’t know him personally, she was aware of his history. “Salve. Would I be happy with one of those as a present? There was a time when I would have been.” If he knew anything of her story, he would understand her answer.
Julia is recently widowed- although she isn't exactly ready to run head first down the aisle yet, she is available for marriage if the right person came along. It would need to be someone who allied with the Imperial Family as she is very supportive of the Imperials.
She hasn't exactly had the easiest life-her brother Camillus sold her and her sisters into slavery, she had a son while a slave, goes from her master without her son, finally reunited with her son thanks to her connections with the Imperial family (she went to Lucilla after she fled her master), survived the purges/civil war although she was placed under house arrest because it was suspected she helped the Imperial children escape, after the war fell in love with Canus (long story) and it was a companionship match but he has now passes away making her a widow...
Widowhood was hard to deal with, but Julia was doing the best she could. A little over six months had passed since Canus had passed. She was still residing on the small farm that her and Canus had shared and worked together for Alaric Stilicho, but there were a few slaves who did the direct work. With the arrival of early summer Julia had taken a few days away from the farm to come into town to visit her son and go to the Markets.
Julia entered the Emporium Magnum and immediately was bombarded by the noise and the crowds of people milling about. She was mostly there to sell and purchase a few items but also to simply see who was around. After doing her business she was looking at a stall with a variety of wares.
"I was returning to my mistress' rooms, Domina,"
Good she was glad that she wasn’t keeping Volusa from her duties. Claudia was a good mistress but slaves still came and went at her orders, and she would never want someone to get in trouble because of her. Volusa offered to go in and see if Claudia was accepting visitors and Julia followed along a few steps behind her pausing only when she arrived at the threshold of the door. Isis, another of Claudia’s slaves recognized Julia and informed her that she had come to visit. Isis returned a moment later and said she could enter.
Julia took a breath to calm her nerves- she hoped this visit went better than the last time she had been there. As Julia was ‘tying up loose ends’ she hoped that her and Claudia could patch up their relationship. Although Claudia was far from needing someone as a governess anymore Julia had promised to remain a close ally and that had soured with her marriage. She entered the main part of the chamber and saw Claudia sitting nearby. Julia gave a cautious smile and a quick curtsy out of respect for Claudia’s elevated position. “Salve. I just wanted to pay you a quick visit as I had come to deliver a message to Caesar. I hope you are well.”
Julia knew she was an oddity when it came to social rules & decorum- having once been forced to be in the same position as Volusa she knew what it was like to be looked down on for your position. Since being restored to her former station, she should have adopted the view that slaves were there to be ordered around and ignored unless you needed something but that was something that she hadn’t been able to wrap her head around. To her they were still people with names and feelings, and it didn’t hurt anyone to at least use a name. Julia was sure the young woman was surprised that she had used her name, but Volusa managed to hide her surprise. "Salve, Domina. I am sorry that I don't know whether my mistress is seeing visitors today - but I'm sure she would see you, Domina. I am well, thank you, Domina. I hope that you are, also?"
Julia gave a nod of her head in confirmation of what Volusa said. She hoped Claudia would see her- things had been a little tense after her marriage, but that was no longer an issue. That being said, Claudia still outranked her so if she did not wish to see Julia that was her decision. ”Thank you for answering my question. I will leave it up Claudia whether she would like a visit today.” When Volusa went on to say that she was well and hoped that Julia was also doing well, this is where Julia hoped she wasn’t wearing her heart on her sleeve. Generally she was pretty good at shielding her ‘emotions’ but it had certainly been a stressful period so wouldn’t have surprised her if she wasn’t hiding it as well. ”I am doing well…Do not let me keep you from whatever task you were doing.” Julia did not wish to get Volusa in trouble- the life of a servant was come and go at their owner’s will.