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Beauty last won the day on January 22

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  1. Nymphias woke up, feeling rather groggy, her stomach queasy and bubbling, and paler than usual. She felt sore all over, tired even but worked relentlessly regardless because there wasn’t much else a slave could do. But Betua, having caught Nymphias on what was meant to her break, noticed the girl seemed off and told her to get a some “fresh air”. A slave couldn’t be sick in their master’s household, it didn’t help the flow of things. So now a slave wasn’t allowed to be feel unwell too. The stupid rules made by Romans were ever-growing. Betua wasn’t wrong in sending Nymphias off into the streets surrounding her master’s home. She slowly began to feel a little better. She wandered the streets, simply admiring the Roman structures, the well-paved roads, so unlike what she was met with in Britannia, for the most part. Feeling more like herself, she sat down somewhere on a bench so she could listen to some birds tweeting and whistling. Everything was calm until she decided she’d listened enough. She rose but then felt something. It couldn’t possible be, she thought. Oh, but it was. One of those surprising ones too. Nymphias wasn’t great at keeping track of things, especially when all days moulded into one after a while. Practically attached to the bench with her clothing likely stained at the back, she remained where she was. It wasn’t all that bad, it happened to most women. But then caught the familiar face of her master’s friend. “Hello, domine,” she said innocently in greeting but made no move to stand up. “Very pleasant day today. Are you hoping to see my domine? You want me to give a message?” Hopefully he was distracted by that. @Sara
  2. Beauty

    Sara's Plotter

    Hello there. I would love to plot with you! I'll look through my characters and yours (if you're not sick of me yet lol), maybe throw some ideas at you through DM? @Sara
  3. Bassus wasn’t interested in sex for the sake of pure pleasure with someone he didn’t know but he wasn’t a romantic either. He simply had no interest in anything fleeting with some face he would forget, someone he couldn’t talk to as either a friend or something more. Outside of his own complicated views on forced prostitution, he’d accompanied his friends to the Elysium due to its cheap prices but found himself keeping his mouth shut about how he felt a little unsettled within its walls. The whores did not look happy, even beneath those false smiles. He was one of the many men who lingered quietly behind while his friends hungrily picked through the women or men that they found of their liking. He was not a prude but it was ridiculous how quickly men’s wits disappeared in the face of sex. To Jews, sex was a sacred tool but was an act viewed in various interesting ways. Romans would be surprised if they looked past judgements. But there he was, bored out of his mind, he preferred mental stimulation to mindless “feel good” interactions. He had been an awkward fifth or sixth wheel until a familiar face approached him. Gaia, a woman he’d met a while back from another such event where he, once before, was a fifth or sixth wheel. She had the intelligence to bring him into a back room with fruits and wine for entertainment while his friends were being entertained in other ways. He folded one leg over the other, sitting comfortably in the chair while he propped one fruit into his mouth and then another. “You ought to run this place,” he said, beginning conversation. “Where is the big man himself?” Bassus playfully looked around him before settling his attention on the woman. She didn’t look like she belonged in such a place, no more than he did. “Thank you for nursing me while the adults are talking. And, tell me, how is being a midwife going for you?” @Joaquin
  4. Bassus had been in the middle of conversation with his fans, arms folded, laughing, seemingly soaking in all the praise and trying to ignore the young woman throwing herself at him by annoyingly interjecting the discussions he had with some of the others, even if he politely regarded her every now and again. And he got annoyed when some mentioned Menelaus. At the mention of Menelaus, some began to scream harder, slightly more than they had when Bassus made his entrance but not before long the people before him gasped, pointed and began to make more noise. Bassus turned to see the mare Azarion had been holding becoming jumpy and the young girl with him fall down flat on her bottom. Bassus extended a hand to the fans as if saying “wait, I’ll be back” before rushing on over to see if he could lessen whatever damage there was. He placed a hand on the girl’s back and held her hand to pull her up gently. “On your feet, little lady,” he said gently. “Are you all right?” She nodded, lips white and shut, clearly nervous. “Not hurt anywhere?” She shook her head, staring up at him dumbly. Beneath his touch, he could feel her shaking. He let go of the girl. He turned to Azarion, evidently impressed with the boy’s skill and quick thinking even if his words showed something different. “This is what happens when you flirt on the job, Azarion,” he said sternly. A swift scolding, he wouldn’t say more than that. He wasn’t the boy’s father. “You should put her back in the stables, I think she’s had enough for today, wouldn’t you say? We’ll talk later about this. You can join him.” He nodded to the girl, her falling down was punishment enough for walking where she wasn’t supposed to. @Chevi + myself
  5. The good thing about having been the son of a wealthy scribe and orchard owner was that Bassus had the opportunity to have been able to travel throughout some of the world near to Judea, following others of interest or in need of his work, such as government officials, which ultimately had lead him to Lucius. He’d remembered the boy, curious and wide-eyed, as youths are, but now wizened with age. “Just you and me? No one to bother us?” said Bassus, raising his brows but not before his lips upturned. “How very romantic. I hope I don’t fall in love with you.” A jest, clearly. Bassus, at times, could be quite the tease. Sometimes it was misread as interest but he had a way of sounding coy when he was just seemingly comfortable with himself and his surroundings. But for what it was worth, a visit to the countryside was a splendid idea. Besides, it wasn’t every day you met someone in Rome who wanted to have deep and thoughtful conversations. As much as he enjoyed his work, he missed being around educated, scribes and scholars. “But I suppose I can make time to go in the summer,” he then said with a shrug. “And we can have one of our thought-provoking discussions.” As a freedman, he had more freedom but as a charioteer, any time away from the chariot meant his body lost its physical memory. But perhaps even a charioteer needed rest as soreness did not help with winning races either. As Lucius, spoke, he listened and as the horse handler approached, having heard the last bits of Lucius’ words. Bassus nodded to the man in greeting before turning to Lucius, setting his hands on his hips. “Remind me why you never became a poet,” said Bassus. “The breed isn’t going to be the problem. Price aside.” Assuming the shop had what Lucius was looking for. “Horses are like people, each with their own personality. If you want a horse that works with you, you need a connection with it. I think you need an intelligent and well-mannered creature, not hot-headed.” The shop-keeper looked from one man to the other, appearing a little confused. @The Young Pope
  6. On one hand, Titus wanted to “sell” his sister to the highest bidder, the best option. After all, good connections were everything in Rome. And yet, all the same, he could not part from his sister. Not out of brotherly love, no, rather if she left, she would become her husband’s property and out of his line of power. He did not like that idea, not one bit. The man would need to be someone on the same set of mind as Titus or a fool, easy to manipulate. And then there was Gaia’s bastard to deal with, a boy who was growing into a man. Men were harder to control sometimes. Already Marcus was making quite the impression. A good impression. Titus raised his chin, eyes looking around him as if in thinking “did he ever do such things?” The answer was yes. He wasn't interested in torture, it didn’t do anything for him. Perhaps it was the power. What was life without power and money? “I’ve beaten my slaves,” he admitted casually, now the conversation was getting exciting and past all the polite words. Titus never did usually divulge too much of himself to anyone unless there was trust. Well, the two men seemed to see eye-to-eye. “I haven’t cut tongues, no. Not yet anyways.” He flashed Marcus a smile, a curious twinkle in his eyes. “More men need to be like you, Marcus. Strict on their slaves. I see too many wandering the streets like rats and multiplying like insects. You say cutting tongues isn’t enough. What would you say is enough?” @Atrice
  7. She nodded her head when he said her brother’s name and felt very happy with what he said next. Having someone as well-positioned as Lucius would surely mean she would find her brother. After all, men came to him with water when his fingers were dirtied! She could embrace the man in thanks or take his hands in to hers, shaking them in acknowledgment, but she didn’t, it was too inappropriate for a slave girl to be thanking a senator in such a manner, no matter how much gratitude she felt. The mentions of “back home” kicked her into reality and she looked visibly shaken. A lot of time had passed. That was one of the terrible consequences of being a slave, even your own time wasn’t yours to keep. Nymphias pushed herself up quickly, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, not wanting crumbs of honey cake on her lips. If anyone saw, they would surely ask. While she would have much preferred spending time with the senator, she had places to be and things to do. “Oh no, I should probably leave,” she said but wondered if that was rude even to say. She felt like she was walking on eggshells with most Romans, especially those she served. “But thank you, domine, for everything.” It was a kind gesture, she thought. “And for help with my brother.” She moved to leave but first turned to face him. “Goodbye.” And with that, she scurried off quickly. @The Young Pope
  8. Special and one of a kind, Nymphias gobbled that up. With his hand brushing her cheeks, it only worked to make her heart beat quickly and her lips spread wider into a flattered smile. He said they had a relationship, which then meant they were something more than friends. Nymphias had never been more than friends before with anyone. But she hadn’t lived very long. Hearing she was the only girl he’d brought to this temple solidified what she felt for Helios. It was fast, strong and impassioned but she was quite young and that was to be expected. As it stood, she would not have it any other way either, simply because it felt good. To her, his words were like honey or music. When his lips came to hers, her eyes closed, accepting it without complaint. She did tense a little, a bodily response from the terrors she’d endured, which, try as she might, she couldn’t get rid of. It happened in crowds, around particular spaces and people. Regardless of it, Helios made her comfortable and feel like she was in safe hands. After all, he’d saved her. He’d saved her in more ways too than he knew. She pulled away from the kiss, slowly and reluctantly. Her hands played with his hair, which was neatly pulled back. “I can’t get enough too,” she confessed, her words were soft, quiet and a little shy. Her eyes looked into his, captivated and stolen. “When you free… will you free me too?” She said, it was half-serious but half-fantasy as well, dreaming of being whisked away. Her eyes fell to his lips, eager for more but hoped they were destined for one another. She knew she would be heartbroken if ever they were separated. @Atrice
  9. Nymphias wasn’t sure if she wanted the other woman’s advice. For starters, she was not a slave and so couldn’t possibly know anything about how Nymphias felt. But, at the same time, with her elder siblings gone, with no true guidance from the same blood as her, Nymphias sought such things elsewhere. Now, it was with Valeria, her domina, who she believed knew a lot more about things in Rome and life than her. Looking to her mistress, she listened and nodded slowly, her expression still clearly unhappy. Her eyes, not quite watering but no longer as bright as they’d been moments before, followed the young child to her mot’er's arms. Nymphias’ attention returned to Valeriana’s mother. “It is not daughter who makes me cry,” said Nymphias honestly, trying to explain that the child was a handful, certainly, at times, but not the reason for her plight. She cried for other reasons. If the older woman were to ask any of the slaves, they’d tell her mistress anyways that she cried all night, especially in the beginning and well before she’d ever been entrusted with the family’s youngest. “But I don’t want to fall behind,” admitted Nymphias. “How do I not fall behind? How do I be like you, like an older woman?” Her older sister, Erea, seemed like she had everything sorted, even when their life at home had been, quite frankly, falling apart. @Joaquin
  10. “Because people are people,” he said simply in answer to her first question. Most people liked to cause excitement or trouble where it wasn’t needed or picked and preyed on people they thought were “easy” targets, whether they were or weren’t. Even amongst communities or works such as the White Team, rivalries and butting heads happened. It was unavoidable. Bassus himself usually steered clear of that sort of thing, remaining rather neutral unless he had to intervene. Though, he sometimes felt competitive against the other charioteers. But that was different, you had to be or else risked being one of the charioteers playing catch up. “And I have eyes and ears, I use them,” said Bassus to her second question. “Do you think I wouldn’t notice a fresh-faced girl? I can spot a pin in a haystack.” With the way she spoke and behaved, he couldn’t tell if she was afraid and her fear came out differently than others, she was hiding nervousness, or was something else entirely. But she was new. She likely, he assumed, had no one to talk to, let alone be friends with. And no matter who difficult people were, Bassus tried and remained fair. He then pointed to what she held. “Leeks, delicious,” said, trying to continue conversation as he set the cloth he’d been using to hang snugly on his shoulder. “Why don’t I lend you a hand with that?” A simple, nice gesture of trying to offer friendship. @Liv
  11. On most days Bassus was busy training and had very little time to read. A good charioteer had to keep himself not only in shape but able to manoeuvre the chariots. However, a good scribe, or rather former scribe, kept his mind energised with words. But even when he had the only chance and time to read, it was hard to turn down an outing with Lucius, who’d been a good friend for many, long years. One of the sole people in Rome who actually knew for who he was, not the image he displayed at the chariot games or hid from others. He’d seen the best and worst of him, just as family did. The markets were busy and bustling as always, the smell of bread wafted throughout the air, voices were loud and came from all around them. The markets reminded him of those he’d visited in Galilee, the open-air markets with mounds of oranges, spices and thick sweets, only there was less of a welcoming, warm feeling to them. The bright sun bore down on him on that March day as he walked alongside Lucius and came to a shop with horses. “I can probably get the price lowered. You know me,” said Bassus confidently, looking at his nails. “I can get anything done. It’s like dealing with a pack of beasts, you have to show who’s boss. Show no fear.” A senator was bound to be ripped off, especially a nice one. Shopkeepers always preyed on one’s “weakness”, if it could even be called that. He’d once helped his family with their orchard, he’d seen how businessmen worked. “So, what type of horse you are after?” he said, folding his arms and waiting for a shopkeeper to approach them. “A big one to represent your Roman virility?” @The Young Pope
  12. When Lucius told him he was to accompany him to the gladiatorial games and sit with him in the senatorial box, he thought he was crazy. He laughed, tears flowed and his stomach felt like someone had just punched him, only to realise Lucius wasn’t at all joking. For one, Lucius didn’t seem the type to be interested in such games. Secondly, he was a freedman, probably smelt of elderberries, and was simply a charioteer. He wasn’t fancy by any means, regardless of his background before everything where he was rather privileged. But, of course, Lucius probably wanted to introduce him to some important people. Could have been pity or it could have been a genuine gesture to prompt his character or career. What was he to do, sit, smile and look pretty? If Bassus was nervous, sweating waterfalls from his armpits, or felt like a complete outsider, he certainly didn’t show it. Instead, he appeared confident and proud as usual. He was dressed his best, hair clean and brushed, clothing spotless, fresh and unwrinkled. If he was going to be amongst the best in society, he wanted to look good. “I still think you’ve lost it,” whispered Bassus jokingly to his friend, offering him a smile. @The Young Pope + others!
  13. She didn’t say anything which only pushed to further infuriate him. He looked down at her, dark strands of her against her pale skin as she opened her eyes. His hand extended forwards once more, this time, he wasn’t going to slap her cheeks mockingly but he began to stroke her head affectionately, perhaps sending very strange, mixed and uncomfortable messages to her. “What happened to the woman who spoke so boldly moments before?” said Titus, his voice may have sounded soothing but that was completely beside his true intentions, which was to continue to push her down into her place. Or rather, what he saw as her place. But she seemed spellbound so he roughly took her by the hair and pushed her head. “Are you not going to tell me how to take care of my own slaves, woman?” He pushed her head again, this time a little more tough. His actions were perhaps not as violent as their brother Gnaeus had been but it was harsh in its own way. @Joaquin
  14. He listened to Marcus open up to him. It was not by much, as the man seemed difficult to crack into, but it was something and that something was interesting. He laughed, not because it was a funny story but because, in a very small way, he could relate. “It wasn’t good” summed up the entire affair regarding Marcus and his family. It certainly summed up Titus’ backstory as well. “My father’s second woman was a whore after my mother died,” he admitted, rolling his eyes. “You would have thought he could do better. The woman spawned an equally loose creature, my sister. But she has her beauty so that was the one good thing that came out of it. She is quiet and obedient, the way a woman should to be. The perfect wife but now to find the perfect husband.” As the conversation veered forwards, he saw that he could actually see eye-to-eye with Marcus. That was a relatively rare thing, considering most seemed to treat slaves and freedmen like they were equals. “Have you ever thought of breaking their teeth when they talk? Or cutting out their tongues?” suggested Titus, waving a hand innocently. He phrased it like a joke but he truly meant it. @Atrice
  15. “Dim, yes. Ugly? No,” said Titus as he moved towards the door. As he did so, he didn’t say anything. One might have assumed he was leaving but he wasn’t. Instead, he called for a slave to come to him but didn’t explain why, nor did he say anything to “Vesuvia”. She would just have to find out. Turning from the door, his attention returned to Vibia. He doubted she was telling the truth, she had to be playing with him. But he wasn’t interested in what he assumed was a crack wise response. “I killed the real Vesuvia,” he said suddenly, coldly with no emotion. He hadn’t really, he’d only made her life miserable. He could remember sitting at her bedside as she lay dying, sweat rolling from her brow, and she could barely talk. He told her how he’d take care of her daughter while she was gone. But, of course, the real Vesuvia had seen Titus’ true colours by then. But he had orchestrated the death of a business partner and had no regrets. “But I’m sure that doesn’t faze you,” said Titus. “I get the idea that not much fazes you. I like that.” Being both a whore and once a slave, he figured she had experienced all kinds of things. “But if we are stuck together, as you so kindly reminded me, I’m sure you can try harder with trying to get along with me, hm?” At that moment, the door creaked open, revealing a small slave, poking their head through the door. Nervous, lips sewn shut. There was no means for the slave to say anything as a result beneath the stitches and swelling around their lips. Before they could step into the room, Titus hit the slave with the back of his hand, sending the slave flying onto the floor with a hard, loud thud. “That’s for every time you say something I don’t like.” @Sara
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