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Atrice last won the day on January 16

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  1. While Nymphias thought they'd be aloen to talk freely around each other, Helios had other thoughts entirely, when he was alone with her. She was so sweet and delicate, much like her sister, he now understood... but it was much easier to talk to Nymphias and luckily, she met him before she learned about Charis. So she would hopefully stay truthful and loyal to him now. He wanted her to do that and he wanted to make her stay like that. Helios had sat down on a wooden bench in the quiet temple and spoke of how they would admire each other. Nymphias took his offer to sit in his lap, and when she sat there, across his legs with an arm around his neck, he slid his around her waist too, to keep her in place. She was so young, so pretty, so easy to lead astray, he thought. And then she called him the nicest man in Rome. Really? He knew he wasn't, but he would let her believe it. She went on about how he treated her with respect and no other Roman men were like him. "Why would I not be nice to you and treat you with respect? You're so... special and one of a kind, my sweet one." Helios said and gently brushed her cheek with his free hand. It was easy to feel her warmth through hers and his clothes here, he thought. And then she asked another question. "You definitely are. It's not like it is a habit of mine... seeing girls the way I'm seeing you. In fact, I don't think I've had a relationship like ours before." Helios confessed and it was true. He never brought another girl here and he never tried to call someone his lover or girlfriend or whatever she was, the way she was to him, "Ardra... I just can't get enough of you." And then he reached towards her to finally place a lingering kiss on her lips. As before, it stirred something in him. He wanted more. So much more, but he had to take it easy so he wouldn't lose her again. He needed her for so many reasons and desire and attraction was just one of them. @Beauty
  2. It was almost odd to meet someone here in Rome, who had never been to a brothel or even near one - but it seemed Hector was one of such men, and he confirmed that his master was indeed very pleasing. Helios noted how the words matched the expression on Hector's face and wondered if the poor slave was in love with his master. It was doubtful the love was returned, but he imagined said master would make Hector believe it, in order to get the treatment he wanted. As long as it worked for them, he thought. Hector then also confessed that he never had the time or the interest in going to a brothel and Helios nodded, "Of course not." He said and sipped his wine, while Hector explained that of course he had his share of fucks. Helios smiled, "I'm sure you have. Did you have another master before Varus? Or was he your first?" And his first everything, Helios wondered. But no matter, it was interesting to talk to a body slave like this, one who had lived a completely different life than his own, but was at the same time also just there for the pleasure of a wealthy Roman. The difference was that Hector only had to serve the one man... and Helios had many to serve and please. @Joaquin
  3. It was clear, that Marcus might share certain views on slaves versus not-slaves the same way as the two Senators... but besides that, he was still the lower class compared to them. They were here to get their hair cut and their faces shaved, but they were also here as two friends going out together. They might as well have gone to a brothel, he thought, and send jokes to each other there. Now they chose to do it here, which meant profit for Marcus. But he could not help but note the distance between Senator and Plebian here. Though of course he said nothing, while Longinus' locks fell to the floor. They didn't want more than wine, any of them, and Longinus mentioned Britannia once more. Rufus then agreed that where he'd been, both wine and weather was better than Britannia. Marcus was born in Gaul, he knew all about how things varied in the world. He too had travelled. But not as a military man. Another difference... distance. Then Longinus asked a few questions, and it seemed to be easiest to begin with the first one. "It feels like I've been doing this my whole life. My father was a barber and so was my step-father after that. They taught me many things. After I came to Rome, I learned more." He added with a smile, "Now, good stories... there are plenty indeed, but which kind of story are you looking for? Something tragic, something funny or perhaps something more outrageous?" He said, glancing at both of them, "I imagine it is rare the two of you mingle much with anyone but me in this part of Rome." And then he looked at Longinus again, letting another lock of hair fall down from the sharp pair of scissors he held in his hand. He'd almost gone all the way around the man's head now and would soon move on to the shaving part of the experience. @Sara @Liv
  4. He noticed how Longinus had seemed a bit surprised, when Tertius mentioned Teutus, and then he said he'd be happy to meet him. Tertius nodded, "I'm actually planning a small feast in his honor, for Saturnalia... I think that would be a proper occassion regarding a manumission ceremony. You're welcome to join." Tertius said with a smile, Longinus seemed like a good enough man so far. Then they had discussed their families and named Rufus the one with the happiest family. The other agreed that Fortuna had been kind to him, but then said it was rowdy with three children. Tertius chuckled at his mention of his daughter. "I just have one girl... and believe me, that is plenty. I hear it's going to get even worse when they mature." He said with a little laugh, only hoping that it wouldn't be too bad with Antonia... but you never knew. Gods knew she was spoiled into to be a pain in the ass, if she continued to demand she get everything she wanted when she was older. He did recall how his own sister had been like at that age and Antonia was a redhead like his sister... and like her mother, who had luckily been the calmer sort. He was torn out of his thoughts when Rufus coughed, as if his lungs were going to escape his body and then apologized. Tertius thought of how Charis had recently helped him with an illness, so maybe it would be useful to have her here... he glanced shortly at Hector, knowing it would displease him, but he was not the master who gave the orders here... then he looked at Rufus again, "No need to apologize for something that is not your fault." He said to his guest, surely he could not be blamed for being ill! It was very kind of Rufus to come with Longinus anyway! But the men were also here to discuss something entirely different and Tertius saw no reason to continue beating around the bush, so he asked into it with Longinus. The other said his wife had passed and Tertius nodded quietly, he had been through that too. Also with a wife who did not give him a son. But he smiled a little when Longinus mentioned his niece and then how he received no answer from his brother. "Good thing you have your friend to show you the ropes then." Tertius said, "I do apologize for my brother mistreating you so, not even responding to your request. He is... not quite the man he should be, anymore. But my niece and nephew and their mother visit with us often enough, so you have come to the right place." He added with a smile, "She is most definitely of the age to marry, and quite an elegant young woman, I think. And young enough to give you plenty sons. My father had three, in fact, so it does run in the family." Tertius added, hoping Longinus would be interested enough in Sergia by the description of her. She should have been married years ago, but trust Secundus to not get that job done either. He sighed and as if on cue, Hector rushed to fill up Tertius' cup with wine, he knew exactly what Tertius needed! Well, almost... "Hector, tell Charis to come?" @Sara @Liv
  5. Marcus listened to how Titus spoke of his slaves, telling that he had a good amount and didn't want to get most of them freed. He didn't want them getting good ideas and then he mentioned how some freedmen got too confident. Marcus nodded, "Yes, be careful with freedmen. After my father died, his body slave was freed. And my mother married him instead. It wasn't good." Marcus explained. It really hadn't been good. His mother's husband had been kinder to poor poor Gaius, his brother, just because of that incident with the razor. And he never liked Marcus anyway. Good they were all gone. Titus continued to tell what happened, if one of his slaves was maimed or died, but just as Marcus, Titus seemed to consider them only a little more than animals. They were paid for and replaced if he lost them. He said some of them got on his nerves and then he had to beat them into submission, so they wouldn't think they had a voice. "I agree. That is the way it should be." Marcus replied, "They shouldn't think they have a voice, because they don't. My slaves know this. They don't speak unless I ask them to and they're quiet, like ghosts. I don't want them disturbing my clients." He explained, "You'll see soon enough. It's easy to make them submissive when you're the one with the sharpest tools in the house." He added with a small smile, certain Titus would understand. How nice it was to meet someone so like himself! @Beauty
  6. Her sister commented on Thalia's wonder about fountains not being sacred, but the water was. It really made no sense. But she quickly moved on, barely hearing what her sister said, because it looked like such a fun place to be, this area, right now. And to think this was going on in all of Rome. She smiled by the thought and wondered which fountain they should pick. Clio agreed on the largest fountain and they headed that way, Thalia happily smiling at everyone and maybe she glanced a little too long at the young men splashing in the water. She blushed a little, they were so handsome and their bodies glistening water pearls. Then one of the young men commented on the twins coming with their garland, calling them nymphs and Thalia laughed, "Are we nymphs now? I wonder if we control the water then... or whatever is in the water..." She said with a smile, "What do you think, sister? If I'm a nymph, I suppose I should get into the water too..." She added with an arched brow and half an eye on the young men, certain that they were paying attention too. It was a great idea, getting into the water. She looked at her sister and leaned closer, "You would not tell, would you? If I did go in...?" @Chevi
  7. Alexius wasn't trying to speak ill of gladiatrices, when he mentioned they didn't risk death as often. They were lucky, he thought. They only had to fight and entertain. They didn't walk into the arena and risked not walking out again, not every time anyway. Thessala however mentioned how accidents happened, as if she did kill someone and he wondered if she enjoyed that part. It hadn't been something he loved - killing other slaves - but it was a necessery evil, if he wanted to live, sometimes someone had to die. Those were the terms. Alexius had had to fight hard and well to live, so that he could see his freedom... and he did. She'd asked where he was from and he easily explained it, how he ended up here, since he was from Germania. And then they were at the tavern and his next thoughts went to wine and some seats. Thessala commented on them being barbarians both of them and he chuckled and reached for the two simple cups that had been set on the table too and poured wine for them both. He didn't need a woman pouring for him. "Rome is... Rome." He just said then, "I don't know if I'd call it amazing... but it definitely could be worse too." Alexius said and picked up his cup, watching her, "Do you hope for freedom someday? What would you do with it, if you were free?" He then wondered. He couldn't see Thessala open a tavern like Bellona, but she might find work as a bodyguard like he'd done it. His former lover Achillia, whom he was with at the ludus, also came to work for one of the imperials as bodyguard. So maybe that was for Thessala too? @Chevi
  8. He assumed some slaves might be happy with their lives - most weren't, but they tolerated it, because what other options did they have? Helios however had worked himself up to a better position in his serfdom; sure he was still a slave and a whore, but he had a nice room, most of his patrons were good and then there was the whole business of spying and gaining and trading secrets. So he was content. Not happy, but content. Still though, he was hoping for freedom, something a former friend and fellow prostitute had made him want. Before that, he imagined he would never be free. But after his friendship with Dareios, things had changed. His friend might be gone for good - sold - but he did leave something with Helios. Nymphias wondered about the new name he might get, but he smiled, "Oh, Helios will still be part of my name. But a freed slave also take part of their owner's name. So mine would be longer, like the Roman's names." He explained to her and then they were finally at the temple. Nymphias and the whole thing with her sister was still on his mind, but he was good at pretending. Nymphias seemed to like the temple, sending him a beaming smile and she called it beautiful and romantic. "I thought you'd like it." Helios replied and tugged her closer with his hand again, "And do you remember how we hoped to be alone this time..." He looked around, at the moment, it was just them, "I have you all to myself here. Come." There were a few wooden benches along the sides of the inner temple and he went to sit down. Gods he wanted to kiss and touch her and do so many things to her. But gods, Charis would be so upset if Nymphias couldn't keep the secret! She just had to! On the other hand, he realized, this whole thing could indeed be useful! Nymphias could see her sister... and tell Helios all about that, and her. And he could tell it to Hector. See, this was all good, somehow. Helios just had to make sure that Nymphias would trust him and be loyal to him, which he didn't think should be too hard. She was easy to impress. He looked at sweet and pretty young Nymphias, "We can sit here together, admire the temple... and each other. If you want to sit in my lap, you can." @Beauty
  9. Helenus nodded quietly when she explained what she was drinking; he might have had the same, if he was at home at the baths, but this was a rare occassion and maybe the wine would make him calm. He did not feel very calm though, as he got into explaining how he came to be in the wrong pool at the wrong time and met that horrible and arrogant woman, who would not hear his apologies or let him make it up to her. And still he had not been punished properly either. Something was wrong. He didn't see she was smiling at the way he looked down, because he was too embarrassed to look at her. Maybe he should not have come. It was stupid to think he could be good enough for someone like her, but she had wanted to see him... so he came. Clio agreed he might still be punished and he nodded quietly while moving his fingers up and down from the table. Was the wine coming soon? Oh, he had not ordered it. Why weren't they being served? This was a disaster! Clio broke him out of his thoughts by speaking of the woman again, what she was like, "I'm definitely sure she has plenty of coin. She looked like it... beautiful, but deadly, you know." Surely Clio knew what he meant. Maybe she was deadly. Maybe that is why he hadn't been punished. He was going to die, maybe? "I think he knows? She said she would write to him. I don't know what will happen. It is not up to me to decide anything." Helenus said and sighed and dared to look up at her, "Maybe we should talk about something else. I am curious about you. Are you body slave to your domina?" @Liv
  10. Citrus and strong smells were often good for men - but not too sweet or fruity, on the other hand. That's why he chose orange. Gods forbid he would add roses or jasmine to a man's oils, oh no! That was for women and whores... and honestly, he served few whores and also few women, so those scents were rarely in use and it wasn't like Marcus had to impress any ladies anyway. He had no wife. No need for one, no longing for one. Longinus still didn't seem too happy about being here, but Marcus went on with his work, as he should. As he had assumed, Longinus did not want his hair too short - else he would have had it already, Marcus thought. He nodded and the men joked about who was most good looking. He glanced at Rufus when he spoke up, "Now mind your words, Senator, don't make your friend regret he came here." He said, but with a smile, it was all just for fun. He had to make Longinus enjoy this more though. Couldn't have a man here who didn't really want to be here, then surely he would not return another time! While Marcus continued to wet the man's hair, he looked over at the black-haired, but otherwise mousy looking female slave waiting in the doorway to the domus behind, "Nigella, fetch some wine." He said to the girl, who clearly hadn't understood yet how important this was, but she nodded just once and hurried out of sight to fetch the wine for the two guests, "Is there anything else I can offer you two, now that you are here?" He asked, finishing with the comb in Longinus' hair and then he picked up a well-made pair of scissors and cut the first of many strands of hair from Longinus' head. Meanwhile the black-haired slave returned with the wine and three cups. Without looking at any of them and barely making a sound, she poured wine into all three cups, hoping it was the right thing to do and that her master had wanted wine for himself too. Then she returned to her place from before. @Liv @Sara
  11. Tertius arched a brow at Rufus' appearance, well-dressed and shaven as he was, he didn't seem to be in the best of shapes. Surely Longinus could have taken care of this little visit on his own, but of course, Rufus was more than welcome too. Tertius did like making new acquaintances and friends and knew how important that was in Rome. He might be a back-bencher in the Senate, but he also made sure to remain as neutral as possible in most matters. So no one would think too ill of him and if he ever had to choose a side, he could do it when it mattered and not before. Rufus thanked Tertius for having him over and so did Longinus, calling him generous and then they both followed him towards the triclinium. Tertius noticed how Longinus glanced at Hector and hoped the man would not disappoint his niece, should they come to a useful understanding in that matter. Longinus commented on his home and wondered who lived here, while sharing how it was the same in his house. "Yes, it is indeed just me and my daughter Antonia." Tertius confirmed, slaves did indeed not count in this matter... however... "Although there is also my son born as verna, Teutus, who will very soon become a freedman." He added with a smile, pleased that the prepartions for the Saturnalia feast were going so well. And there was no issue with mentioning Teutus to other Senators now; if they didn't know about him, they would soon, once he was freed and gain more responsiblity, of course. Longinus said Rufus had a perfect family and Tertius looked at Rufus with a smile. Tertius' own little household was very good, but the rest of his family - especially Secundus - made the whole of it seem a lot less than perfect. "He is lucky, I think. If he is one of the few in Rome, who can proudly speak of an entirely perfect family, I say Fortuna must smile upon him." Tertius said and indicated that the guests could pick a couch first. Then he glanced at his body slave, acting as servant in this round, and he looked at Longinius handsome body slave, who had also followed. He supposed they would figure out between themselves, who would pour drinks for the free Romans now relaxing on each their couch around the table. Tertius picked a grape and looked at Longinus again. "Now, concerning families... I understand you are hoping to expand yours once more?" He said and ate the juicy grape while waiting for an answer. @Sara @Liv @Sharpie @Joaquin
  12. He chuckled at her words concerning being addicted to winning, "Oh yes... much worse things, when the opposite of winning is injury or death." Alexius said, "Although as far as I know, gladiatrices don't risk the latter as often as the men." He added. Back when he was a gladiator, the women were mostly there to entertain and put on a show, before the male gladiators came into the arena. And as far as he knew today, it was the same. But boy did some of them know to put on a show! Thessala was definitely one of the best. He smiled, thinking about how lucky it was that she liked him; he could call her his friend! After she had shared a bit of her story, Alexius chose to tell her a bit about how his life had been like and why he ended up as a gladiator. And she thought it made sense to live in the present, rather than the past... and even the future. For a gladiator, the present would always matter most. If you died tomorrow, there would be no future anyway. Thessala said she once had siblings too, but she was sold by her own parents. Alexius knew it happened, but thought about how awful that must be. "Drinks before heavy talks are always good." He agreed, "I was born in Germania... a roaming tribe attacked our village and those who didn't die were taken and sold as slaves to the Romans. So that's how I ended up here." Alexius looked up as they were coming to the tavern, "But drinks... let's get some." It would seem that this meeting was more than just a sparring session and drinks for fun. But that was alright too. Talking and sharing experiences was what you had friends for. He led the way into the tavern and found a place for them to sit. He didn't see the barkeep, Bellona, anywhere, not yet. But he waved at one of the girls, who went to fetch a jar of wine without even asking. They knew him here. @Chevi
  13. Marcus was genuinely curious if anyone else was like him or understood his ways. Not that he ever shared his secrets with anyone (anyone alive, anyway), but he thought Titus might be the closest to someone who might understand. Titus said he had not made anyone fight for their lives and spoke of money. Oh, he still talked about the games. Marcus talked about Titus making someone fight for their survival. And if they did not win, well, they would be dead. Marcus had done that, with some of his slaves. Never planned though, not to begin with. But sometimes they just didn't get his meaning and then he had do something... and he didn't mean to, but sometimes, they just ended up... dead. Good thing there were plenty of slaves to be bought in Rome! Titus continued musing on how it would be entertaining to make someone fight for their lives and Marcus nodded, "It can be." He just said, forgetting himself for a moment there, indirectly letting Titus know he had done it. The other said he thought that enjoying power was a good trait - and he spoke of their sort, as if they were the same. Marcus paid attention, as the man went on about how you could gain leverage in the world and life and death made the job more interesting, "When it comes to slaves, not being a slave definitely gives you the higher ground." Marcus said, "But you already know that. How many do you have, in the Elysium? Are all the whores slaves?" Honestly he didn't know, but he was curious, "Do you need to replace them often?" That was the next logical question from someone who also replaced his slaves sometimes. @Beauty
  14. He had not exactly desired friendship with Charis. Everyone he met were potential informants and whatever they did or whatever they had on their mind, could be useful to him. Helios was a gatherer and keeper and seller of information. And Charis had given him something to sell, that's all she was to him. And now apparently he had made her his enemy, or she had made him hers, which wasn't so good when he was now practically dating Charis' sister. But he could make this work, somehow! As long as Nymphias did not tell Charis whom her sweetheart was. She said no more for the time being about that subject, and agreed to move on to the temple, which was closer now. He felt the mood between them was tense now. The news had kind of putten a damper on the mood. Something had to be done. Luckily Nymphias did not stay on the topic now, no, she showed him the sea blue ornament in her hair and said she wore it for him. He smiled at her, "And it's beautiful on you." Helios said, "Although you don't need ornaments to be beautiful." Helios added with a soft smile to her, and she asked if he was happy in Rome. "I'm as happy as I can be, I think. I'm content with life. But I am saving up to buy my freedom and I think I may have enough soon." He explained, "I'm going to speak to my mistress about it as soon as I can. Then I will have a new name and more freedom to see who I want to see. To see you, for example." He added with a wink and looked up to see the temple, "There it is, the temple of the nymphs. Come." He walked a little faster to reach it and walk up the few steps to get inside. There weren't any other people here, just as he'd hoped. They were alone. Helios glanced at Nymphias, wondering what she thought of the Roman temple. @Beauty
  15. Helios would do this for Hector (and for himself) concerning Charis, but without breaking the terms that Charis decided for them both. He would not come to her home and he would not speak to her master. He'd find some other way to spy on her. Either he himself would keep an eye on her or he'd find an informant. That friend she had with her in the garden that day, Cynane, was not likely to use, he thought. She had seemed defensive or at least not friendly towards him. He thought Alexius might be useful, since Helios also had information on him, so he could be blackmailed. But he'd see what he came up with. Nothing was decided yet. But how to meet? He did agree it was best that Hector came to him and Hector was apparently curious about the brothels, "When I first came to the Venus, the owner had both that and the Elysium. From what I understood, he only had the Elysium first. But then somehow managed to take over the Domus Venus too." He explained, because that was what he knew. Lucius Armenius had not been that bad to him. He knew the man was worse with the female whores and especially those appearing weak. But Helios was not weak. He learned how to smooth-talk anyone very quickly! Hector wondered then how Helios ended at the Venus and he laughed at Hector's ideas, "I could have ended up there. But Armenius - the former owner - thought I was better suited for the Venus. I'm glad he thought so. I'm satisfied with that." He said. Sure it wasn't always great that you had to sell your body to stay alive and stay out of trouble, but it was better than the Elysium, he knew that much. Hector made him curious though... "Are you saying you've never been to a brothel, Hector? Your master must be very... pleasing." @Joaquin
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