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Echo last won the day on August 12

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  1. Before the mistress of the domus arrived, Caecina took a chance to look around the atrium, noticing its tasteful and bright decorations. She wondered if the flowers were from the domus's own gardens, or if they'd been brought in from elsewhere, though the effect was the same either way. Caecina wondered how she would decorate her own house someday, assuming, of course, her husband allowed her to decorate how she liked. She was tugged out of her thoughts by Horatia arriving, greeting her by clasping her hands and kissing her on each cheek. Caecina returned the gesture with a bright smile, instantly turning on the charm just as she had intended to. "Horatia, it is so wonderful to see you again. Thank you for inviting me to your home - it is a beautiful domus." Astraea cleared her throat and Caecina took the hint. "Oh, goodness, I almost forgot. I brought you this wine from our cellars - a gift for your kindness in inviting me." Horatia suggested they retreat to the gardens and Caecina dipped her head, smiling. "That is a wonderful idea." With greetings out of the way, Caecina drew a breath of relief. There had been no barbed statements with underlying meanings, no chastisement. She was thankful for that. Horatia was asking her a question as they walked toward the gardens. "I usually stay in the city, actually. I am ever so fond of all the activity here - the villa can get awfully quiet. My stepmother, Juliana, stays at the villa most of the time, though." She gazed at her companion. "Do you get to the countryside very often?" @Sara
  2. Alexius's story touched Annis and she gazed sadly at him. Her free hand reached for his and gave it a squeeze, hopefully a comforting touch. What he had said was exactly what Annis feared she would find. Even though he had said northern Britannia was still holding out, what if her tribe had been killed? It wasn't impossible, and that's what scared her. What if she found a burned village, overtaken by weeds and grass and seedling trees? What if no one had survived to remember her? Then it was like her life before Rome had never happened. Was that how Alexius felt? He went on to say that his sister had been taken too, and he hadn't seen her since. Though he thought the conversation wasn't helping her, in a way, it was. It was showing her that she had been selfish, and she wasn't the only one who had suffered throughout her life. Alexius had had terrible times too and it was selfish of her to only think of herself. "I'm sorry, Alexius. That must have been devastating." @Atrice
  3. Caecina was confident that no one had seen her or Marcus that day, so she wasn't particularly concerned with her reputation. If her guards had let it leak that she had done such a thing and ruined her reputation, she would have asked her father to fire them and replace them. She didn't understand Manius at all - all she saw was a man trying to stop her from living her life the way she wanted to, a symbol of her status as a child and a weakling. She hated that feeling. She felt a little bad for taking out her frustration on him, but then her anger flared again and she sighed heavily. Her guilt took over again, though as he said he wanted them to get along and that he wanted her to trust him. She gazed at him for a long moment, trying to determine any truth to his statements through his eyes. But she wasn't a good judge of character and she wasn't sure she could trust him - not yet. Finally, she sighed again and uncrossed her arms, taking her weight off of the wall that she had been leaning on. "Alright, Manius. I want to get along with you too. And I'm... sorry." @Atrice
  4. Echo

    Modern Girl

    Caecina grinned as Marcus entered, as suave and handsome as he always was. He had that way of pushing his hair back that just let it fall right back into place, and she thought he must have done that recently with how his hair was looking now. He spoke then, saying that he hoped he hadn't disturbed her and she shook her head. "Of course not. I'm always happy to have you, you know that." Even if she had been about to take a nap, spending time with him was much more preferable. The young man sat on the bed next to her and she gazed into his light blue eyes as he asked whether there were slaves nearby. "Not one." She wasn't sure where Astraea had gone off to, but Caecina had said she didn't need her for a few hours. That only left Manius as a variable, but she hadn't indicated she was going anywhere today, so there was no reason for him to come by. "Did you come here, just hoping to catch a poor, innocent girl by herself?" Her voice was teasing. @Atrice
  5. Early August, 75CE Why was Caecina plagued with forced visits with people she didn't care to know? It was nothing personal against those she had to meet - she just had a million other things she'd rather be doing! And Juliana had an amazing ability to make connections for Caecina while being miles away at the villa. Today's visit was no different. She had been introduced to Horatia Justina before, and had attended a social gathering, a book club, at her home as well (also spurred on by her stepmother) but had never had a visit with the woman one on one. At the book club meeting, Caecina had made the appropriate niceties and then retreated to spend the rest of the evening with the one young woman she'd known there. Because she'd never interacted one on one with the older woman, Caecina was going into the meeting today with little to no context or knowledge about her personality, and that intimidated her. The young senatore lady was of the notion that all older women were simply out to get their younger counterparts, to judge their new fashions and hair styles, to judge their adherence to the proprieties. Caecina was absolutely better at interacting with women her age than older women. But at least she had some knowledge about how to appease the old cats, so she was at least prepared on that front. Caecina dressed especially carefully, choosing a more modest chiton than she usually wore. The fabric was a light blue, Caecina's favorite, and embroidered along the edge's by the girl's own hands, something she could brag about if she needed to defend herself. Her palla was also blue, though darker, and sparingly decorated. Her jewelry was tasteful and not too garish, and she brought along a bottle of fine wine from her father's cellars as a hostess gift. Upon arrival, Caecina was shown into the entryway to wait for her hostess. @Sara
  6. Early July, 75CE Marcellus took a step back and sighed. The sun was beating overhead and making him drip with sweat. The whole team and their accompanying servants had turned out to help assess and fix the damage to the stables, and of course Marcellus was helping out. What else did he have to do, anyway? He could be out drinking, of course, but what was the point in that if he had to come back to the stables to sleep in an uncomfortable pallet on the ground? It wasn't worth it, though, for the hundredth time, he reminded himself to pool his money together and live in the insulae nearby. It wouldn't be a headache to commute to training, and he was a free man, free to live where he liked. But for now, he was taking a break from moving stones into the rubbish pile to have an apple and a sit-down. He couldn't work for hours on end without stopping - no human could. He made his way into an undamaged covered area and sat, sighing again. What a boring and difficult day. @Liv
  7. Aglaea nodded as he thanked her for reminding him to tie his coin purse on a little tighter. She just didn't want him to go through the anxiety of losing money on the streets of Rome - for people like them, money was hard-won and precious, and losing even one coin purse could be devastating. Of course, she didn't know his monetary situation. Manius said that there weren't a lot of decent people in Rome and she shrugged. "Well, someone has to be a leader," she replied, grinning a little. She, of course, would never even think of taking someone else's money, both because of a personal moral code, and because of the tenets of her religion. Manius then explained that he grew up in Rome and she flushed a little, embarrassed at her own silliness in assuming he was new. Anyone could get flustered at the markets - she certainly did from time to time. "Ah, I see. As you can tell, I am not from Rome." She gestured at her darker skin tone. Then she offered to share a cake with him and he asked if she was sure. "Of course. I bought too many and I certainly don't need to eat them all myself," she said with a laugh. "Come on. Take a break from the crowds for a moment." Without waiting to see whether he was following, she led the way to the fountain she had noticed a moment before, sitting on the marble edge. @Atrice
  8. Caecina looked back up at him as he agreed that they should speak more often, smiling again. "I'm glad we agree, Lucius." The young woman thought herself rather foolish - how could she not have noticed this man before? He'd been around often enough and had always been handsome. She supposed she'd just been looking at the men closer to her age, but now she had noticed him and was pleased that she had. The man then suggested that she show him more of the garden, saying that he would test her on her knowledge of the plants and animals. She laughed at that. "I think we both know I'd fail that test. But I shall do my best." She stood gracefully and took one last sip of wine before handing it back to her servant. "Here, let's go this way. There's a beautiful little enclosed area that I like." @Chris
  9. Of course, there was a ring of truth to everything Manius said. Caecina couldn't deny that. But when had she ever been in real danger? It wasn't like she lived in Britannia and had to be fearful of woad-painted warriors snatching her from her bed. This was Rome, and it was safer than most other places. She was already chafing under the apparently iron-clad rule of Manius and was not looking forward to his reign. "Honor," she repeated softly, the end of the word almost turning into a scoff. She'd never risked her honor - well, not terribly risked, anyway. Caecina gazed at him as he finished his statement, her jaw set stubbornly. "I won't run away from you if you don't keep me cooped up." And it was true - she didn't intend to run away again if he was reasonable and let her do the things she wanted to do, like spend time with Marcus. But if he didn't... "I have no control over whether you are hired, so this conversation is an exercise in futility. You may not be saying that I am a child, but everyone else thinks I am. Juliana and father... well, I'm not a child and I don't intend to be treated like one." @Atrice
  10. Aglaea jumped back a little as he rounded on her, almost as though he was going to hurt her. Though, she reasoned, it wasn't unfair of him to think she was a pickpocket, seeing as she had his coin purse in her hands in a crowded street in the emporium. But a pickpocket wouldn't willingly give back their plunder, and she handed it back to him, watching as he weighed it. He thanked her and she gave a small smile. "Of course. You should tie it on more carefully, though - a real pickpocket could have taken it with ease." She had experience with pickpockets, having run into the uncomfortable situation of losing money meant to buy something for her mistress. The man went on to ask how he could thank her and she waved her hand. "Nonsense, you don't have to thank me. Any decent person would have done the same." Though, in her experience, decent people were often few and far between in Rome. She shifted her tote bag filled with honeycakes to the other hand. "But... I hope you don't mind me saying, you seem a little perturbed. Are you new to Rome? I found the markets overwhelming when I first came here." She looked around, spotting a quieter section nearby with a fountain. "If you need a little rest, I have some extra cakes. You're welcome to share them with me." @Atrice
  11. Caecina raised her eyebrows at the man as he came closer, challenging her earlier statement that the day was enjoyable. It seemed he was taking his guarding duties seriously, despite having been hired only minutes before. This was an interesting challenge. Manius said that it had been an idea and a cool expression fell on her face as she set her jaw and met his eyes squarely. She couldn't be intimidated by this man - not much intimidated her. She'd never been afraid of snakes or spiders, even when boys tried to chase her around with them at the villa. And she'd once fallen off of Aurelia and broken a rib and never even cried. What could Manius do to her? What if something had happened that day? Well, nothing had. They'd been fine on their own - it wasn't like Briton insurgents were going to capture them in the Gardens of Sullust. There was no reason to be so afraid of the world. The common-sense part of her brain did acknowledge he had a point where Marcus was concerned, though. She had seen him spar before - he wasn't bad. Probably not as good as an older man like Manius. But then the man said such detours would not happen under his watch and she crossed her arms casually. Well, they'd just see, wouldn't they? Caecina had her tricks. "A trip to the Gardens of Sullust is hardly the most dangerous thing in the world, Manius," she said with a sarcastic tone. "And I won't be herded like some - like some lost child." Her tone was obstinate but carried a tinge of hurt pride and childish vanity. Why should she be so afraid of the world? She couldn't experience anything if she was constantly afraid. @Atrice
  12. Echo

    Modern Girl

    Caecina's brain always hurt after their lessons with Aia. She frankly saw little need in knowing so much, when her one purpose in life was to get married and bear her husband's children. Juliana had once said that the lessons were so that she could teach her own children one day - but if she married well enough, why should she spend her time teaching her children when she could just hire a tutor to do it? So, her mind was crammed full of knowledge and she had decided to rest in her chambers for a while after the lessons ended. She had been almost at the point of sleep when she heard an all-too-familiar voice: Marcus, asking to come into her bedroom. Immediately awake again, she rose off the bed and checked her reflection in her mirror. The reclining position she had just vacated had given her cheeks an especially pink glow. "Just a moment, Marcus," she called back. Quickly, she gathered her vial of cologne and poured a small amount in her hand, placing tiny amounts on her wrists and neck and behind her ears. Then, once she was ready, she sat on the edge of her bed and arranged her skirts. "Come in," she said lightly, giving him a soft smile as he entered. @Atrice Lol sorry, forgot to tag you yesterday!!
  13. August, 75CE Apparently, Livia had been in a good mood this morning, for whatever reason. That was the only conclusion Aglaea could come to that could explain her day off. Perhaps Livia had received a letter from her lover, or Secundus had been away and not bothered her. But whatever the cause, the point was that Aglaea was free for the day and was taking full advantage of that freedom. Of course, her first stop had been to synagogue and to talk with some other converts, covertly, of course. Next, she had visited the honey cake stand which she had shown Bassus a few months ago, purchasing a few. She would eat one now and keep one for Livia, and had bought a few extra just in case. Moving away from the stand, Aglaea took a leisurely walk through the Emporium Magnum, taking in the sights and smells of the marketplace. She decided she wouldn't purchase anything else, choosing instead to save her small sum of money for future needs. Maybe even freedom. As she walked, she noticed in passing a man walking in front of her. Just as she was about to look away at something else, she noticed the coin purse at his belt fall on the ground. Apparently he hadn't noticed it. "Excuse me!" As she passed the dropped coin purse, she scooped it up and broke into a trot, following the man. Once she caught up to him, the Jewish woman tapped him on the shoulder. "Excuse me, sir. You dropped your coin purse." @Atrice
  14. Caeso explained that he didn't really engage in the less-popular horse races, commenting that he thought it took less skill than chariot races. Caecina, who had an affinity for both chariot and horse races, would be inclined to disagree. Horse racing was certainly dependent on having a skilled horse, with long, strong legs, but the rider had to maneuver the horse around the other racers and determine how best to go around corners. But she didn't bother arguing with him, being in too good of a mood to do so. "I enjoy watching them," she said with a smile. "But of course I enjoy the chariots as well. It does take an awful lot of skill." As for being familiar with horse races - "At the villa, I often race my stepbrother through the countryside. My Aurelia is much easier to goad into flying, so whenever I want to race, I use her." She chuckled. @Atrice
  15. Annis felt her heart jump when he said he'd heard Northern Britannia was still holding out, sighing almost imperceptibly with relief. Perhaps her old rebel group had gotten back together after that disastrous battle and gone back to Caledonia to defend their homeland. Maybe Wulfrun was still fighting. Maybe a lot of things. Her belief in her homeland being near impregnable was strengthened, which was good as it was helping her stay positive and believe she would eventually win her freedom. And she would, and she would find her family. But then what? What would she do then? Keep fighting the Romans? It was an especially cruel feature of her imprisonment here, that Rome had brought her so many friends that would be hard to leave behind. Like Alexius and Thessala. She wondered which she valued more, her new friends or her family and tribe, that she hadn't seen for more than five years? And Alexius posed another question: what would she do if she returned to Britannia and didn't find her family? "I honestly don't know. I don't think I could stop searching until I found- some kind of evidence that..." She trailed off, gesturing vaguely. "I'm sure I could find them, though. We moved around a lot, you see - we had a few different campsites. We stayed deep in the highlands during the summer months, and went to this flat valley area for winter. I think I could track them." But what if they had changed their tactics after she'd left? What if they'd lost faith in her, or what if the Romans had forced them to retreat further north? "You said you returned to Germania, right? After you were freed? What... what did you find?" @Atrice
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