"Maybe I should practise more with that. The sweeping people off their feet, I mean."
"Practice makes perfect" she grinned, rolling over and stretching. She felt all relaxed, for the first time in days.
"I don't have any idea how to get him past this, you know. I don't mind if he wants me for a distraction, I just don't think I'm a very good one. Wrong shape and body parts and all, even if he does like that on occasion."
"It's not about the shape, or he would have found me." Metella pointed out, pursing her lips "The man needs care. The kind we can't give him, because he knows we have to. He's lonely. And hurt."
"They would never have said a thing to each other if I hadn't. Though whether they've managed to get over their shyness enough to do anything is a question Venus can answer better than I can."
"Well, not everyone just walks up and sweeps people off their feet like you do" Metella grinned. In fact, she had done at least as much of the sweeping as he had, but Attis liked to think of himself as a romantic. One had to allow men to think that. He could be quite charming when he wanted to, and he sure did not need a lot of prodding from outside forces to make his attractions known.
"I bet the dominus has been a right miseryguts. He looked like he hadn't bathed or shaved in weeks when Sulpicius Rufus and I got to the villa."
"Thank the gods you are back. He has been taking things hard." Metella agreed, snuggling closer. "He is going to have to find some comfort. Or distraction. Other than you."
Metella did not like her life questioned. She was already owned by someone, and not likely that she would ever be free, even if she knew what to do with the freedom. She was going to keep whatever was left of her options. She liked Attis, maybe loved him even, but she was not so keen on the concept of being anyone's wife. Even if it made her a slut in some men's eyes.
"You don't even know my grandfather. Hades, I don't know him. And Chlorus is Florus now, and I hope he's finally had the guts to stop mooning over Sulpicius Rufus' body slave and actually do something about it - the pair of them were making eyes at each other so much a blind man could have seen it, and neither of them was going to say a damn thing."
"So you did." it wasn't a question. Metella chuckled; she knew Attis enough to guess what happened next.
"Trying to get the two of them together was about the only fun possible in that house - everybody there needs to lighten up, they're all sex-starved. Especially Sulpicius Rufus."
"Poor things." she was only half joking. Being without sex, or intimacy, or affection, that was not a good way to be, even for the head of a Roman household.
"At least I've got a room and don't have to find some odd corner of the atrium to camp out in, like they do in some houses. So, how were things while I was away?"
"Not much to report" she sighed, snuggling closer, burying her nose in his neck "I took some time off, went to the baths, took some walks, went to some of the temples... I bet there's gonna be more work now that all of you are back." she glimpsed up at him with a mischievous smile "But also more fun."
Metella sighed and rolled to her side, tracing her fingers on Attis' chest, halfway hoping she would distract him from his current train of thought. She really did not want to ruin a perfectly steamy reunion with talking about shacking up in one room and having babies or whatnot.
"You know, out of the both of us, I think most people would expect that you would be the one doing the pursuing and I would be the one reluctant to enter into any such sort of binding agreement. Why won't you, though? It would be so much more comfortable for us to both share a room and be regarded as contubernales."
"Would it?" Metella arched an eyebrow. Two people in one room, it just sounded crowded, even if it was with someone lie Attis, whom she actually liked. As for contubernales... she wondered what the dominus would think.
"You're too good for the likes of me, though. Who is it who's caught your eye, then? The gardener? The baker's slave down the street?"
Metella's brow furrowed. She was not sure if Attis was joking or not, but either way she did not care much for his guesses.
"Both, actually." she deadpanned "The gardener, the baker's slave, the delivery boy from the butcher's, Vitus, Celsus, Chlorus, and your grandfather, you bloody idiot. So what?"
Metella hoped Longinus was not going to call for Attis for the rest of the night. It would have been a pity to get out of the cozy warmth they found themselves in. But if he did, there was little either of them could do about it, unless they wanted Attis to go into exile again...
"Dominus can go whistle. 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."
"Don't let him hear you talk like that" Metella warned him, half-joking. With the mouth Attis had, he was bound to piss off the dominus again unless he was more careful.
"Don't go anywhere. You can shift your things inhere, it's big enough for two of us, and better than your poky room. A bit better, anyway."
Metella sighed as Attis ran his fingers through her hair. They did not have much, between the two of them. Or anything, really, considering they themselves and everything around them was owned by the dominus. Not exactly the life situation one would get romantic about.
"I'll try not to mess up like that again, I bloody missed you."
"You have to ruin it don't you" she huffed, wrinkling her nose at him. What, were they going to move into his room and make some babies? Metella was much more of a pragmatist than that. But she was also not in the mood to put up a fight. "I missed you too. But you know I don't do the wife thing."
Attis could be sassy, snappy, nosy, and dramatic sometimes, but when it came down to sex, he was pretty good at what he was doing. Metella would not have bothered with him otherwise. Especially now, after a long time apart, he was enthusiastic and giving, and they both lost track of time for quite a while, making up for things they had missed. When they finally quieted down, Metella giggled as they both tried to catch their breath. She felt relaxed, like a cat in the sun.
"Missed you. Stay here with me, tonight?"
"I promised" Metella smiled, draping a leg over him and snuggling to his side. "As long as dominus doesn't suddenly need your for anything..."
"Ah, but you're a beautiful woman who deserves to be flattered,"
"Oh I know." Metella grinned, untying her own belt as Attis got rid of his clothes. She didn't really make a ceremony out of undressing; it just needed to happen to get to the fun part. Attis' bed was not exactly the height of comfort, but then again neither was hers, and if it wouldn't serve, they still had the desk, the chair, the wall... and the hope that Longinus was moping in his rooms somewhere and allowing Attis to make up for lost time. Somewhere out of earshot. Metella grinned as she looked up at Attis. "Three bunnies, was it? Remind me..."
"Oh, frequently - but I couldn't ever be accused of having no prick... I missed you, you know. Mean sods wouldn't even let me come over to try to see you when you went out."
The door closed behind them, and Metella chuckled. She really had no complaints about Attis' past performance; if she did, she would have just stopped sneaking around with him. For the duration of his punishment they didn't meet, although it seemed it was not for lack of trying. She had been told she had a message scrawled on a wall. It didn't take a scholar to know where it came from.
"You look serious when you're beautiful, Metella. Or is that beautiful when you're serious? Either way."
She would have played with him more, but in all seriousness, she'd missed him too. And she'd missed sex, bless the gods.
"Alright, you have charmed me enough." she chuckled, kissing him back and pulling at his cloak and tunic. She couldn't keep the guy out of his own bed, after all...
"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!"
"Aww. You softie." Metella giggled. Attis had a sharp tongue, but apparently also a soft spot for romance. Why else would he try to help the two innocents get together? And the body slave? Wasn't he an old man? Love was strange sometimes.
"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."
"Maybe I will." she grinned as they made it to the room. Metella opened the door, still throwing some banter at Attis, as if there was something else they would be doing in the next hour or so.
"Orgies? Did you have anyone good?Or were they all mouth and no prick?"
"Attis." Metella turned to give him a serious look, hand on her hip "Have I ever complained about anyone being all mouth?"
Metella had briefly visited the other household before, but not long enough to make friends or even acquaintances among the slaves. She was kind of curious what kind of people Attis had spent his days among while he was away. Hopefully they were not bad company.
"Well, the gardener and Rufus' body slave are making eyes at each other but neither one of them believes the other one likes him so nobody's getting any there, either - I swear the whole place just needs one night of really good sex. Even pretty indifferent sex."
"Oooh. Romance." Metella cooed, wiggling her eyebrows at Attis "I'm sure you didn't poke your nose into that at all."
"He's got a Dacian woman. Not like Ismene, she used to be some royal bitch, and she gave as good as she got. All in all, it's been kind of dull. I'm glad to be home again."
"We are low on Dacian royalty around here. Shame. I think I'd make good royalty." Metella pointed out as they made their way to his (her) room, hand in hand.
"What about you? I suppose I shouldn't hope you've been pining away for me?"
"Oh, I was. In-between orgies, I totally missed you." the girl chuckled. Making fun of Attis was entertaining. She'd missed it. It was one of his best qualities.
Two freaking months.
Sure, Attis had been cheeky, and he had to deal with the consequences, but really, Longinus was pushing the boundaries of petty revenge here. Not that Metella would tell him that, lest she'd be sent away to some other domus too. But she could make hints. She did, with great frequency, until the whole marriage thing went to shit, at which point dominus up and left, and suddenly the house was fairly empty, with the young domina and Metella left to their own devices under the care of the staff.
The marriage thing was sad. Being left alone wasn't. Metella liked having the relative freedom of the dominus being away. It didn't last long, and things were bound to return to normal (ish) eventually. It would have been definitely more fun if Attis was around.
Eventually, that time came too. On a hot day at the end of Junius, when there was not much to be done in the house except sit in the gardens and eat some fruit, hoping that the evening would cool down the hot summer air...