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Sharpie last won the day on April 1

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  1. Sharpie

    Mad World

    "He wants her to back down and stop being stupid," Teutus informed Cynane. "He's not used to being crossed, and he's never listened to me before." It had been a while, though, but Teutus knew that he got his own stubbornness from somewhere - he was very like his father, and had no expectation that he could possibly change Tertius' mind once it was made up, even if he was free now. Sons still had to defer to their fathers, after all, and Teutus had had twenty years' of slave habits ingrained into him when it came to interacting with his father (and any other citizen, for that matter). That was something it was not so easy to simply set aside. "The two of them are as stubborn as one another," he added. He sighed. "There is no chance that you can see her today, but if you come by next week, you will be able to have further news of her. Meanwhile, she is well, perhaps still a little weak, and the only person who can see her is one of the slaves, who takes her her food. Apart from Tertius, that is - and if you think that is unfair, it may be, but it is perfectly legal." @Atrice
  2. Volusa shook her head. "You all went out for a ride, and came back hours later, with the mistress wearing a different dress - one that I've never seen before! - and she's been very quiet ever since, as if something awful happened. And it's not like I can ask her why, is it?" She hadn't seemed hurt, but if anyone had tried to hurt her, Volusa would hunt them down and gut them with a sharp knife. No. A blunt one, it would hurt more. "And you were with her, so you muse know - and you haven't exactly been yourself, either." She indicated her own neck. "I've never known you to be jumpy like that. So something happened, and I want to know so I can help." @Atrice
  3. Sharpie

    Mad World

    "Oh, Apollo!" It was a total damned mess, was what it all was, of course - no thanks to Tertius, who was about the only one who didn't have to live with the mess he created - he just stirred things and let everyone else live with the fallout! Teutus didn't think he knew a Cynane. but Charis was somewhat secretive about things - and that had contributed to this whole mess; he couldn't lay the entire thing at Tertius' feet, much as he might like to. "If you're here, you probably know a fair amount already," he said. "Charis got pregnant, didn't want the baby and tried to get rid of it. That didn't work, she's been ill, and Tertius had forbidden anyone from speaking with her, or even seeing her, since. Apart from himself, that is." If Tertius didn't want anyone to know, well, he hadn't forbidden Teutus from saying - he didn't think he'd forbidden Rhoda from saying, in actual fact, so why she'd been so cagey was anyone's guess. Anyone looking for Charis probably had some inkling what she'd attempted. "As far as I know, she's recovered, but even I haven't seen her," he added. @Atrice
  4. Sharpie

    Laria's Plotter

    (Aulus first mentioned that Horatia had mentioned to him that she thought Callista was making eyes at Felix - but they could be entirely mistaken, of course; we're not going to dictate how anyone else's characters feel! ) I've got Aulus, the head of the household, or I can offer any one of three other body slaves Callista might run into at the market or some other place if they have an afternoon off (Attis is body slave to one of Aulus' friends, so they're the most likely to meet; Rufus is body slave to one of Caesar's cousins, and Volusa is body slave to one of Caesar's wards. No, I don't know how they wangled those roles )
  5. Sharpie

    Mad World

    "Teutus Quinctilius Varus, yes," he said, though the tria nomina still sounded odd when applied to himself - he'd been a single-named slave for twenty years, having the three names of a Roman citizen was going to take some getting used to. "And who might you be?" And more to the point, how did she know his name, when he was absolutely certain he had never set eyes on her - he would remember if he had, she was a striking woman to look at. "And why, may I ask, were you glaring at this particular house as if you wished to set it on fire just by looking at it?" What this unknown woman could have against the house, or any of its inhabitants, Teutus could not even begin to guess at, unless his father had somehow done her wrong. @Atrice
  6. "That is something anyone who runs an estate from a distance has to be wary of," Aulus said dryly. "Although I can imagine it would be harder for someone in your position, of course. Does your brother not wish to help keep your stewards and others honest?" He could imagine that her brother would have his own affairs to deal with, but were Aulus' own sister in a similar predicament, he could not imagine abrogating all responsibility and leaving her to fend for herself (although Calpurnia Praetextata was a soon-to-retire Vestal and therefore had more legal rights of her own than the majority of women - and his father was not as far from Rome as Sestia Vaticana's was, so Tiberius could advocate for Calpurnia Praetextata just as well as Aulus. His father was lucky in having a reliable vilicus to oversee his own estates - and a shrewd eye of his own to spot anything untoward in the books, though Aulus suspected that some of that was down to his also having a sharp-eyed and sharp-witted secretary. The biggest fiddle Aulus himself had ever seen was back in Britannia when someone had tried to pull the wool over Longinus' eyes and got greedy - which was how the whole scheme had come to light in the first place. @Sara @Lauren
  7. "I think that is an excellent idea," Aulus said. "Though frankly I may struggle to think who is in Rome at the moment! Your brother will be invited if he is around, of course." It would almost be easier to list who was not in Rome at the present moment - Longinus and Titus Sulpicius were elsewhere, of course. He had no idea whether Titus Flavius was in Rome, though he could make a shrewd guess that Octavius Flavius was. "I have no idea whether Vestal are permitted to join family dinners for their recently returned brothers, but it would be nice to have Calpurnia there - your aunt Calpurnia Praetextata," he said, looking down at his daughter and rolling his eyes inwardly at the lack of creativity when it came to female naming conventions. It was nice to walk in the spring sunshine with his family - he noted more than one envious or admiring look thrown in their direction, but ignored them, as befit a patrician in the presence of those of lesser rank. Re-establishing his connections with those in power would only serve to benefit him, and remind them of his loyalty, which could not hurt. "I will have to pay my respects to Quintus Augustus too, of course," he added, thinking aloud. @Sara
  8. Someone had needed to speak sense, and Aulus was just thankful that the others had actually listened. He did not particularly like admonishing others, after all, though Longinus' next words showed more of the sensible military leader than had been evident previously. It just went to show the truth of his father's advice - "Expect high things of a man, and he will do his best to live up to them," had been one of the last pieces of advice Tiberius Calpurnius Praetextatus had said before Aulus left to take up his first post as Tribune, and it had stood him in good stead ever since. "Tabnit is hardly likely to be the mastermind behind this," Aulus said mildly, relieved that the younger men seemed to have taken his words to heart. "However, it would not do to let any others think that they can profit by such schemes. A flogging would probably be as good a deterrent as any, but that would be your decision to make, Longinus." He sketched a salute in reply to the Tribune's slightly puzzled salutation as Longinus introduced them "Avete, Legate, Quaestor." "Ave, Tribune." He seemed very young for his post - Aulus couldn't remember having been so young during his own service as Tribune under Quintus Flavius Alexander, but he supposed he must have been. He seemed sensible enough, if young, for he listened to Longinus' explanation and grasped the seriousness of his orders without hesitation. "I presume you'll want to question the men, Titus," he said, once the tribune had left. "Although, really, this is between you and Longinus to sort out. Though I will offer my further services if you wish." @Liv @Sara
  9. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to," Volusa said, her heartbeat slowing to normal now that she was not going to be strangled or disembowelled or anything. She fussed with the bundle for another moment, and frowned up at the taller woman. "You don't sound fine," she said eventually. "And I've never known you to be so... jumpy. Especially towards people coming out of the mistress' rooms." She caught her lower lip between her teeth for a moment, debating whether to say the next thing or not. She was not generally one to gossip, especially about her mistress, but Cynane had been with her that day, and Claudia obviously trusted her. Anyway, the Briton was remarkably close-lipped and Volusa was relatively sure that anything she said would not go further. "Are you sure there's nothing to talk about? Because the mistress has been... on edge, a bit, since that day, and now this..." She shrugged. "You know I don't gossip. I wouldn't be the mistress' body slave if I did. You don't have to tell me, but if you wanted to... I won't tell. And - we're friends, and you need a friend, I think." If she was wrong about that, well, she was wrong. Offering wouldn't hurt anyone, anyway, and it might do the other woman some good to talk. @Atrice
  10. Sharpie

    Mad World

    Teutus was returning home from the baths, still adjusting to the unaccustomed folds of the pallium he had on over his tunic and minding his own business when someone barrelled into him, shouldering him aside. He stopped. The woman - it was a woman! - looked foreign, with her blond hair in a simple hairstyle and an almost mannish tunic and braccae. She was scowling, a thunderous expression on her face. "Watch where you're going," Teutus said mildly. He did not appreciate being bumped into by foreign women - especially ones he did not recognise, who were glaring at his father's house as if they hoped to set it on fire simply with the heat of their gaze. What his father's house had done to rouse this stranger's wrath, Teutus had no idea. @Atrice
  11. Aulus set his son down as a slave helped his wife from the litter. "I have carried heavier than Titus for further," he said. "Military duties require that - even for such privileged people as Tribunes, despite not being career soldiers in the way that the Centurions and others are." He straightened his pallium and held out his arm to his wife, noting her uncertain smile, though he could not tell the reason for it. "You are certainly the brightest flower here," he told her quietly, glancing at the other girls, none of whom could hold a candle to Horatia. Their plain clothes and plain looks were as dull as a moth's beside the butterfly beauty of his wife. "Mind you do not run too far ahead of us," he said to Titus. "Mama does not want to run, after all, and we need to see where you are taking us." He offered his free hand to his daughter, who probably preferred to hold Horatia's hand. It would take father and daughter a while to get to know one another, but she was young enough that hopefully she would not remember his absence when she was older. The slaves would keep up however they could, of course. Aulus paid them little heed as he followed his son with his wife and daughter. @Sara
  12. "I'm fine," Volusa said, regaining her breath and trying to calm her racing heart. "You startled me..." She bent to gather the dirty laundry that she had dropped. Once she had bundled it together and straightened, she looked at Cynane, puzzled and a little wary. "Are you alright, though? You've never... before..." Cynane had been watchful, before, but had never been so on edge that someone coming out of Claudia's rooms would spark that sort of reaction, not as far as Volusa was aware. "Do you want to talk about it?" she offered, calmer, balancing the bundle on her hip and looking for somewhere a little more private where they could have a conversation while Cynane could still keep an eye on the princess' door. @Atrice
  13. "I am quite capable of walking, you and Calpurnia need not worry I will insist on squeezing into the litter with you and crushing your gowns," Aulus said with a quick grin. He made sure that he had his money pouch secure (and out of sight, he was no fool) and waited as Horatia and Calpurnia made themselves comfortable in the litter. "You know what I think..." he said to Titus, sizing his son up for a moment. "I think you will see better from higher up." He could sacrifice a little dignitas and carry his own son on his shoulders, and it would save Titus from having to try to keep up - the crowds in the Forum were bound to be as stifling as ever, even for people merely passing on their way elsewhere. "Just don't hit me with the sword," he said, settling his son on his shoulders. "I think you should have a proper scabbard for that, too." If Titus could bear to let it go long enough for even Felix (or someone) to measure it for one - and if one of the slaves at home could make one, it would save on having to wait for one from some leather-worker somewhere. Rome was just as busy as he remembered it, though it was indefinably home, even after so many years away. All the scents, sights and sounds were as he remembered them, more or less. @Sara
  14. "No, I..." He sought her eyes out. "I am sorry. Of course you don't have anything else to do, living in my parents' house. I had not meant to suggest..." He sighed. "Well, I have been back less than a full day - I should be grateful I did not put my foot in my mouth earlier! But anyway, if the children can e left with the slaves for any length of time, that is time that you and I can be together without you needing to worry. Because as you say, I have been very far away for far too long and should like to spend time with you, just you, sometimes." He should really think about finding a house for himself, so that Horatia could set up and run her own household without feeling that everything she did was criticised by her mother-in-law (he could not think that she did not feel that, on occasion, whatever the actual truth of the matter). Preferably a house nearby, so that the children could still see their grandparents without too much difficulty. "There is time to find him somebody, I think. He's a child yet, after all - and I should like to get to know my son before I disrupt his life more than my mere arrival will have." He could hear the children's voices and light running footsteps. "I think we should be ready to leave on our adventure soon," he said, smiling at Horatia as the children burst back into the garden, sending a blackbird flying for safety. @Sara
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