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Sydney last won the day on August 6

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  1. Oriana knew that she shouldn’t enjoy Alexius’ company as much as she did. Whether it was intimate or casual, she liked having him around for more than just security reasons. If anyone were to find out their relationship, she’d be scrutinized by the upper class with potential husbands turning a blind eye towards her. That was the last thing she needed. So why did she not care that Alexius was carrying her, possibly to be seen by suitors? She couldn’t make sense of it, but it was something she just wasn’t worried about. He swept her off her feet, her body lying in his arms. He mentioned that she didn’t have to pay him extra for tonight, that her satisfaction was enough. She shook her head. “No, it’s no problem. I will give you a few extra coin when I pay you next.” Oriana was usually honest about keeping up her end of the bargain, especially towards people that she trusted. She laid her head against his chest, letting him carry her. Oriana laughed when he said that he would carry her drunkly home and winked. “Now that you mention being drunk, a bottle of wine does sound quite nice. When we get back to the villa, I might open a bottle of red. You can join me, if you wish,” she said. Oriana hadn’t drank in a couple days, which seemed to be long overdue. “And if I may say so, you do your job as my bodyguard very well.” @Atrice
  2. Justinia knee that the life she lead wasn’t perfect. It was far from it, but she had to keep her head up. If she was defeated, she knew there would be no place for her here and she would be sold again. Justinia wasn’t dumb—she knew that Venus wasn’t all beautiful. But for her, it was the best case scenario. She appreciated Helios’ realism when it came to their job. Sometimes she needed to be grounded by others near her. Helios spoke about how this might have been the only life they had known. Even people who weren’t slaves sometimes didn’t have food, a bed, and coin, but they had all of it. Well, with the exception of coin. She would sometimes see beggars on the street when she was with her last domina, often seeing that maybe being at Venus wasn’t the worst possible place to be. He went on to say that he wouldn’t know what he would do if he were free. It was a hard question for many, especially since they never knew if they would be free. Justinia wasn’t like the many who didn’t know what they would do. She knew exactly what she would do if she were free: travel. She would travel the empire, maybe beyond if she could. She didn’t know how she would pay for it or how she would feed herself, but she didn’t care. Traveling was her only priority. His next question was something that was asked often. He said that pleasing and satisfying others wasn’t a bad skill to have, and she nodded in agreement. He asked her what she did before. “I was with my domina since I was five. Her husband, my dominus, was jealous, so when she died when I was fifteen, he used me as his body slave. And after a couple years, he sold me to a merchant who sold me to Venus,” she said. It wasn’t a story she told often but she spoke of it so casually. “And you? You are very popular here. What did you do before?” @Atrice
  3. Astrius always adapted to change very well, but when it came to his beard...he really didn’t want to depart with it. It was his legacy, his pride (not that he had much pride), and his dignity. Without his beard, Astrius felt as if he was nothing. There was nothing to shield himself with. Astrius panicked. “Listen, Quintus Flavius Theodorus, Astrius will take a bath. Astrius will shave his head. Astrius will scrub his body and beard until no more bugs bite him or his master. Astrius will not bite anyone. But please, may Quintus Flavius Theodorus and the Vulcan have pity of Astrius’ poor beard!” He loved his beard. He had been growing it out for years now. It was ugly and patchy, but Astrius adored it. “Astrius will be the best slave and be in the man’s debt if Quintus Flavius Theodorus lets him keep it.” He was so strung up on the beard, Astrius couldn’t think about anything else. @Chevi
  4. Justinia wasn’t prepared to get in trouble. She was a terrible liar and even worse at controlling her emotions. She knew she was completely screwed, but she would try to be normal—for Theo’s sake. The last person she wanted to get in trouble was him. Faustus spoke again, Justinia looking at Theo and back at the tall man. “Dominus, this man keeps coming back. If I was not satisfactory, would he keep paying money for me?” She said in more of a bold tone. Justinia wasn’t exactly lying, but she was hiding the whole truth. Faustus glared at her. Justinia looked away. He then turned his attention towards Theo. “You seem tense. If I may say so Domine, the men that come in here are never tense after a session,” he said to Theo. Justinia figured that they already lost. She pursed her lips, waiting for Theo’s response. @Chevi
  5. Justinia noticed the girl's eye roll, looking down in disappointment. She felt so small compared to the woman, both in confidence and in stature. Vibia then spoke her name, something that normally wouldn't bother her but definitely did at that moment. She then asked Justinia a question, and she responed quickly this time. "It has always been my name," she said. Nobody had ever asked about her name before. The smaller girl wondered why the woman had asked about it. Maybe her choice of words wasn't the best when she commented on Vibia being one of the free ones. She didn't mean it in a jealous or bad way, in fact, she was astonished that she was free. It gave slaves hope that one day they would be able to make their own choices, just like everyone else. When Vibia commented on how Justinia was one of the slave ones, the girl only nodded. It wasn't hard to figure out. The freedpeople in the brothel always seemed to be more cocky and have a better-than-you attitude towards the slaves. But they were better than the slaves, at least by societial standards. Though it still felt strange; if she were ever freed, she'd treat people just the same as she would when she was a slave, just like she always had. The woman returned to the couch, which felt like Justinia’s cue to leave. Thank the gods, she thought to herself. She hadn’t even taken a step towards the door when Vibia requested Justinia to sit with her. There was an attitude that she was awake because of Justinia, and she felt like a burden. “Of course,” she said, making her way over to the couch. Unlike Vibia, Justinia didn’t mind not knowing who she was working with. She preferred it actually. But she hated confrontation, and the last thing she wanted to do was confront the blonde woman. She asked what she did before Venus. It was a complicated story, so she decided to tell the short version. “I was a body slave to a wealthy man. I considered myself lucky,” Justinia said, her hands in her lap and keeping to herself. She left the part out about how she was only his body slave because he was jealous of all the attention his wife gave the slave when raising Justinia, but she figured that was for the best. “And you? Have you been at the Venus for long?” Justinia was normally terrible at small talk. But Vibia scared her, and she figured the woman would yell at her if it was a one-sided conversation. @Sara
  6. Oriana Laecania - 22 - Sydney Justinia - 18 - Sydney
  7. Astrius wanted to go to the man’s home and take a nap. He was tired from all the standing around in the cage and all the questions he was asked. He would rather sleep for a long time than bother with useless questions! Most slaves were so boring, but Astrius definitely wasn’t most slaves. Theodorus said that he should go to the barber and Astrius gasped. “Quintus Flavius Theodorus wants to get rid of Astrius’ beard? No, please, no!” He begged. “Astrius almost bit the hand off of the man that tried to cut his beard the last time. Have pity on me, Quintus Flavius Theodorus!” He yelled, almost in a panic. He could handle a haircut and a bath, but Astrius loves his beard. It wasn’t much, but it was his pride and joy! @Chevi
  8. Very rarely did Justinia like the customers she entertained. She tolerated them, just like anyone would tolerate a customer at a job. But there was one person she always looked forward to: Theo. He had paid for her time just to chat with the girl, which she felt so thankful for. She had never seen so much kindness in a man before. There was never anyone that Justinia called a friend, but Theo might have been the first. The times she spent with the man were cherished; she thought he was the smartest and most interesting person in Rome. He had many stories to tell, and she would always listen. Justinia was never worried about getting into trouble: they weren’t doing anything wrong or illegal. He was buying her just like anyone else had. After Theo left on one of his many visits, Justinia started to clean up the plates and cups they had. A slave boy would pick them up shortly and she would have her next customer. She was happy after her visit with Theo. Instead, a knock ensured. There weren’t many who knocked at the Venus. She opened the door to see Faustus, one of the freed slaves that acted as one of the security for the brothel. She never spoke to him much—he was threatening and scary, which she thought that might have been the point. Her eyes turned to Theo behind him and the color faded from her face. Faustus asked to talk to her about Theo and she nodded. “Yes, of course. Faustus, Dominus, please come in.” She said, holding the door open until they both came in. She was terrible at hiding her emotions, as she was trembling. “Is there something wrong, Faustus? I had not heard of any complaints from Theodorus,” she said. @Chevi
  9. Oriana was dazed, not really coming to terms with what just happened. She felt so good and her body was so relaxed. She couldn’t believe she let Alexius fuck her in an alley, but he did. It was probably the best experience she ever had too. Gods, why couldn’t men of higher class be more like him? She knew whoever she was going to marry would be straight laced just like all the noblemen. But Alexius gave her many surprises in her life. He was a surprise himself. She thought he would be like all of the other lower level classes. Alexius was so much more than that, Oriana had come to realize. She laughed that he offered to carry her, but she seriously considered the offer. He was strong and picked her up like it was nothing. Oriana didn’t know how he was so strong, though it was impressive. He spoke about convincing her back at the house and she chuckled. “You have more stamina than I do. I’m completely worn out by you tonight,” she said with a smile. “But if you wouldn’t mind...would you carry me? I’m completely exhausted. I’ll pay you extra since it’s not part of your job.” She wanted to make sure to mention that. “And if people question, just say I got too drunk at the popina. I don’t really care if people see us tonight.” The whole empire had probably heard them screaming and fucking anyways. @Atrice
  10. Justinia knew all too well of trying to make the best of a bad situation. Did she like being a slave? Of course not. But she never spoke her opinions towards it for fear of being placed back on the market. She wasn’t actually fond of this job either, but it was the best thing she could hope for as a slave. At least there weren’t many surprises. She knew what she was supposed to do. Helios said that he wouldn’t have chosen this life if he were free. It wasn’t often she heard slaves complain about their lifestyle. A lot of times, complaining lead to beatings or favors. She was always scared to speak out of turn for fear of getting punished. “I would not have chosen this path either. But you are right, we can only make the best of the situation we are given,” she said, understanding where he came from. “But there are freedmen and freedwomen who still work in this brothel. Why do you think they stay?” @Atrice
  11. Justinia was about to leave when the woman spoke again. She accused her of daydreaming, which Justinia felt a little insulted. She was only trying to go back to her room. “I wasn’t—” she started to argue, but she felt like it was pointless. Justinia never argued, but if someone called her out for something she didn’t do, she wanted to stand up for herself. The girl was terrible at standing up for herself and let it go. This was why Justinia hated interacting with the other prostitutes. They terrified her, and though she felt like she needed to leave, she didn’t want to be confronted later. Vibia was older and more experienced than her. Not only that, but she was a freedwoman. If Justinia were free, she would not stay at Venus. But everybody has their reasons. The dark-haired girl felt like Vibia had a lot of leverage over her. She was not her Domina, and yet, it felt like she was in charge. When the other prostitute asked if Justinia was new-ish, she nodded. It was hard to make eye contact with her. She felt inferior to her, and that was obvious. The girl was always terrible at hiding her emotions. Vibia asked for her name, and she paused for a second. It was like she was so worried about everything else she forgot her own name. Finally, she responded. “Justinia,” she said, looking at her. “And you are Vibia, one of the freed ones.” She added, not knowing if it was rude to address her status or not. @Sara
  12. Astrius couldn’t imagine doing anything clean. He had done almost every job but handling clean equipment. Sure, he cleaned houses, but never a job like the man had described. He didn’t know the first thing about helping a medicus. He assumed he would learn. That was if he would be able to pay attention long enough. He came down from a fit of laughter when Theodorus spoke again. He said he bought him because nobody else is going to? What a strange reason. “Astrius would usually call any man who said that a liar, but Astrius does not think that Quintus Flavius Theodorus is lying. A strange reason to buy a slave...out of pity...” he said, questioning why. The man moved on to the next question as well as headed down the street. “Lice? Astrius probably has lice. Little buggers in the head. Always bothering Astrius.” @Chevi
  13. Justinia was exhausted. The night just didn’t seem to end. She had men coming in waves (both figuratively and literally), and by the time it was over, she was completely worn out. Justinia had great stamina, but the evening had worn her out. She wasn’t used to working as hard as she was, and though she was thankful she wasn’t thrown in the mines, the job was still trying at times. She spent most of her time off by herself. Justinia was a meek girl. She hated bothering others and often feared the other prostitutes. Not for any reason in particular, but she felt they all had more experience and were more attractive than her. She always avoided any kind of confrontation unless it was absolutely necessary. The time at the brothel was lonely for the girl, but she was used to it. She was also exhausted by the interaction from her clients, so any time alone was a good time for Justinia. She was walking back to her room after cleaning up her wine jug. Justinia knew she would nap when she got back, something she really looked forward to. The girl wasn’t paying attention, and to the side of her, one of the slave errand boys came out of one of the rooms quickly and bumped into her. The force was so much and so quick that it knocked Justinia through the curtain into the room across from the one the boy ran off. He looked at her and ran off quickly. Justinia sighed, and she noticed one of the prostitutes sleeping—or was until she crashed onto the floor. When she sat up and practically yelled at her, Justinia looked at her like a deer in headlights. Maybe she was right, the prostitutes were scary here. Justinia knew of her as Vibia, one of the freedwomen. She knew everybody’s name despite never talking to most of them. “I’m so sorry,” she said, her voice trembling as she got up quickly, brushing herself off. “It was an accident. I’ll leave you to sleep.” @Sara
  14. Oriana had looked after herself since her husband died. Her father hadn’t been in the greatest health condition for several years, so she tried to keep her family name together. The only other male she had looking out for her were the bodyguards she hired over the years, and Alexius currently, but she never brought them to parties. Nobody ever brought their bodyguards to parties, so why should she? Maybe it was dumb of her to stumble home tipsy after a party by herself, but she wasn’t about to miss out on interactions with so many of the party’s guests. If she was too scared to come to the parties because of that, people would call her a hermit because she wouldn’t ever leave the villa. “Yes, there are some boring ones here. Mostly avoid the men that are older than sixty; they usually never have their thoughts together,” she said with a laugh. She was sure not to say anything too controversial—for all she knew, he could run off and tell the men. Her voice spoke a little more hush than before, leaning into Aulus. “And remember, most of the people are here for a reason. Sometimes it’s to drink and eat good food, but we also have snakes among us. They listen to everything and they’ll strike when you least expect it. Especially a man like you in your position.” She had a little smirk on her face. Oh, she did like stirring trouble. She then moved back to her original stance. “I mean, a man as charming as you could easily sway people. You’ve already swayed me with your flirtations.” Oriana smiled and took a sip of her wine. @Sharpie
  15. Oriana was surprised when Lucius said he would assist her in drinking wine. It was not often people took up offers such as that. She couldn’t tell if it was a good thing or a bad thing. This man was certainly keeping her on edge. She had to think quick while still be charming. He asked her questions that wouldn’t be made with kind small talk. They were challenging, as if he were waiting to see a reaction rise out of her. He was sly, there was no doubt about that. “Fantastic, I will be looking forward to it.” She smiled, taking a sip of her wine. Oriana couldn’t tell what his intentions were. Maybe Lucius was just a blunt man and there was nothing more to it. But Senators always had something to hide. She just couldn’t tell what. His next question did catch her off guard. He asked why she didn’t say anything when he called her the wrong name. So he said it wrong on purpose, she thought. But why? Oriana looked down at her cup with a smirk. She then looked back up. “You should know as much as anyone that what we are called should not matter. Rather, it is the name we are given to carry out our family legacy. My name being mispronounced would not insult me. My father’s or husband’s name being mispronounced would, and I would have corrected you then.” She drank her wine, her face not giving away much. “But if I may ask, why did you mispronounce my name on purpose?” She said with a hint of curiosity in her voice. It was not often that someone called another by the wrong name on purpose. What was his reason? @Brian
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