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Joaquin last won the day on December 31 2019

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  1. I have an away up (Discord) until the end of February, but here's my roll call. Joaquín ~ staying ~ keeping: Hector, Valeria Flacca, Gaia Lupadropping: Nada
  2. Hearing of sisters made Valeria feel as if a small piece of herself was missing. She had always wanted one where she only ever had a brother who was far much older and more of a joke target than a relation. “Oh,” Valeria let out another one of her loud laughs at Clio’s admission about her sister, but then admitted: “well, I can understand that curiosity.” In some or many ways, depending on the angle one looked at it, she had been the same. It was less of a hunger and more of a child’s curiosity about what all the adults were referring to. She was more comfortable with the subject of intercourse than someone ought to be but when bodily fluids and all shapes and state of genitalia dominated her imagination and time, she had become almost like a soldier who no longer felt phased by the sight of disembowelment and rotted flesh; it was merely passing fact and nothing else to dwell any further about. “And towards marriage as well,” she added, considering it as well and in that moment, thinking or rather knowing that Sulpicia likely thought similarly. “But it is a big change. I’m happy where I am now, but I feel that someone ought to enjoy what they have when they have the rest of their life to live in a union.” “And I wouldn’t have suggested my help if I wasn’t willing to help you out,” Valeria answered following her words with a laugh. “Of course, I am. The more writers you know, the better.” Valeria rose to her feet, stretching her legs. “Do you have somewhere to be or can I pull you in to walk a little with me?” @Chevi
  3. Saturnalia had been enjoyable in the past for Hector, but it always presented itself as a bizarre experience. Not serving Tertius in the way that he always did was like asking a mother not to be a mother, there were moments where he would see his master do something as small as tip the wine vessel over his cup and almost want to reach out to do it for himself, as if there was an art to it. Even if the only artistry about it was that he was doing it for him. But instead, he tried to enjoy the festivities rather than grimacing at how he could have or would have. This year was different than the last ones. First, there was Charis being the apple of his master’s eye – or one of them – and then there was Teutus. The whole situation with him was strange and admittedly awkward. Hector had yet to figure out how to address him, his transition from slave to a Varus by name and position didn’t exactly ‘compute’. Thus far, Teutus was the receiving end of a mixture of confused constipated but annoyed looks. As Hector entered into the hall, his first instinct as always was the wine. As he took a cup for himself, he turned around and took another, handing it out for Jocasta like an unspoken treaty. As he had learned from his time with Helios, there was nothing more unionising than a mutual hatred. It was mostly out of convenience than anything that ran any deeper – as if Hector made friends. His eyes caught Charis’s makeup and he felt himself almost choke on a gasp. “Oh. My. Hephaestus. She looks like a fish,” Hector mumbled through his teeth and under his breath, purposely out of his master’s range. He had spent literal days in preparation for the feast with his legion of ‘beauty products’. He wanted his skin to glow for the celebrations, even if inwardly he felt dark and bitterly. And yet Charis shoved her face into a dead flame pit and emerged with dark eyes and what looked like a horse’s ass at the back of her head yet had the gall to stand there and ‘flirt’ with his master. Moving off from the drinks, he began to pass Teutus as more slaves arrived. “If it isn’t the man of the hour,” Hector greeting Teutus, sounding pleasant and even offering a smile, albeit one that was rather empty on any further inspection. @Atrice @Sara @Sharpie
  4. It was common to find men leak through the doors in groups, sometimes before they branched and other times, the affair was treated as a crowd excursion for the same room, possibly the same woman or the same man. Oftentimes the assumption was that she worked there but not as the brief stand-in for when her brother was preoccupied, rather she was left with asserting uncomfortably “I’m not for sale” behind red cheeks. To her, it seemed that Bassus had the option to leave rather than wait and reform with his companions elsewhere if the plan cooperated with time, geography, and chance, but she didn’t question his patience. In the past, she would sit and converse with customers in the same way that a woman might if she had invited an old friend over for wine. Even though, many of them often spoke in ways that made her choke on her drink. As Bassus turned to address her, Gaia gave him a short smile. Another time that might have felt like a compliment. In her youth, she had turned her gaze towards older women who managed a business and admired them in a way that she wished that she could mirror that. The Elysium had soured that which was why the scale was tipping in one direction. “He has a lot to work through,” Gaia stated good-humouredly, even though the sentence itself might’ve meant two things in her eyes. “You might find yourself surprised in what it takes to run this place.” It was easy to make up details that filled the stories around her life when she had spent much of it lying to herself first, then learning how to lie to others, motivated by embarrassment. But no doubt, Titus was standing somewhere, gently peeling aside a drape with a finger and peering into one of the rooms with all the concentration and dedication of an idiot. “And midwifing is going well, it is as much work as it is learning from the better women and whatever literature I can get my hands on,” she added, surprised that he even showed interested in what was cordoned and waved off as women’s matters, even by some of the physicians. Of course, she knew better than to elaborate further or be the most truthful about it, she saw life and happiness but also plenty of death, disappointment and heartbreak. Sometimes she would come to know a woman and the same woman would fade away right on the bed or dwindle for a few days later. “And,” she paused, “the races?” She hadn’t seen a race or a game in a long time but when she had, she was always so far back that all she could make out was vague movement and her only understanding of what was going on was the music and the cries of the closer spectators. “I’ve heard claims” – Titus – “that the races are rigged by gangs and that even the winner is planned. But I imagine that it’s very technical on the track with the horses and chariots and you’re doing it all in front of hundreds. It’s hard work.” Yet Bassus seemed so casual. @Beauty
  5. In a classic show of self-importance, Hector wrinkled his nose in light disgust; as predicted, the jest had gone over his head. Trying to break a genuine laugh from the slave, if that was ever the purpose, was like chipping away at a block of ice. As Attis proceeded to make introductions, Hector limply followed, and his interest mildly increased at ‘Felix’ with the perk of his ears before his attention fell away again, listlessly completing the round of names as it ended on the only woman of the group. She smirked in his direction and proceeded to greet him in Greek to which his brows pressured together in confusion. She couldn’t have been making a pass at him, could she? Why else would anyone smirk at him in such a way? Hector let out a ‘tut’ sound. “So, you can all speak Greek, congratulations,” he observed dryly, deciding then was a good time as any to enjoy his wine like a cat at its milk bowl. That was until by a matter of bad coincidence, someone passing from behind jutted into him in all the crowdedness and mayhem of the midday eating. The slave looked like a mix between horrified and annoyed but then cleared his throat, brushed a hand through his hair, and proceeded to pretend as if nothing had happened. “No, stay,” Hector barked at the one called Felix, catching his ‘I can leave’. Even if he decided to leave, then Hector would follow. “Just as…” – there came a constipated pause as Hector’s expression wrinkled with an attempt to run through the new names – “Rumpus said, we’re all friends. Have your meal here and listen to Attis and his jokes.” He took another sip of his Titan-sized wine. @Sharpie @Liv @Chevi
  6. “Oh gods, do you make me feel so old,” Valeria sighed, brushing her jaw with her fingertips, feeling as if she had seen the ages come and go in a moment’s flash. She helped Valeriana up onto where she was sitting, then pulled her over in her arms. Truly, Valeria didn’t feel old, she had only endured three decades of life so far, but she was reminded of just how quickly it was going by. Her father had become elderly, her mother wrinkled, her children grown – a phenomenon accompanied with every fleeting disbelief that the realisation of ‘did that come out of my vagina?’ gave, and her half-brother dead. Nymphias’s behaviour was understandable. Until a certain point, everything still made sense, the world fell into place, and she hadn’t had the same slow introduction that Valeria had to the truth, that nothing made sense at all. Nymphias was indeed young but not as young as her soft features and light voice fooled one to feel. Sulpicia, by comparison, felt wise beyond her years. Still, being a three-time mother, Valeria often saw the reflection of her own children in the eyes of anyone largely younger than she was. If it had been Sulpicia asking her the same, she wouldn’t have played the snark. She often did play as if she didn’t care as much as she did. It was certainly manipulative, but it was Mother Nature’s doing. “Well, fine,” Valeria agreed after a pause as if she had made a difficult choice of it. “Wipe those tears. I’m not telling you to be like me, we don’t need any more of those,” Valeria said. “But consider what I said. You can’t be glowering and looking hurt all the time. It won’t help you.” Was this going to turn into an entire lesson? @Beauty
  7. “You’re lost?” she asked, more surprise than mockery in her voice, even though she was lightly amused and smiled by that point. “It could happen to anyone,” she added with reassurance, although she herself was still trying to recover from her own mortification. If it hadn’t been so dark, then the rising colour in her cheeks and the flustered look in her face might’ve been seen, despite her attempts to keep her voice natural behaviour and small talk. “Where were you before Rome?” She had guessed that he mightn’t have been from the neighbourhood, he didn’t carry himself in the way that most did when they were. He had taken an interest in the sights that had become so repetitive to her that they had melted into backdrop drowned out by thoughts and imaginings. Yet by the way of his words, it seemed that he originated from farther than she had imagined originally. By comparison, she had seen little beyond the neighbourhood and far less beyond Rome. It cost to travel and she rarely, if at all, had that amount of money. It was lucky at least that he’d encountered her, she wouldn’t leave him until she felt comfortable that he was a little more certain of where he was. Call that a mother’s instinct. “If you’d like, I could show you around,” she suggested, growing more relaxed where the man had a calmness that radiated, and she was in no hurry to go home. “It’s not exactly the forum so it may prove disappointing.” @Chevi
  8. Valeria had purposely made it be known that she had a surprise in mind, offhandedly as if it were an afterthought, as if a surprise was as easy as a roll of the tongue. She rapped her fingers and had a devilish grin on her face, a look more appropriate for the wake of a devious murder plot rather than anything that might resemble normalcy or even innocence. But beyond ‘I have a surprise for you’, she had said very little else to her husband, not what time, whether it would be that day, or what the nature of what she had in store. If it left him anxious or shivering with anticipation, then she derived more pleasure from it. She often felt satiated by watching others squirm, whether it was Landicus’s foul written word or her own love of a little mischief. Something was clearly being planned, however, and even in the days ahead of her little slip of an announcement, she had to keep not only the preparations out of Titus’s attention but her children’s, although Sulpicia might’ve come to some level of conclusion, being that she was reaching the age to grow suspicious of any degree of ‘alone time’ between their father and mother. Of course, there was perhaps the occasional overhearing her mother’s burst of laughter and “you call that a penis?” through the walls when Titus wasn’t home. But if there was anyone that had a closest idea it was Vibia. After a back-and-forth, she arranged for the courtesan to arrive at their home in the evening and be met by a servant that was definitely not Nymphias until Valeria was able to join her. When the same servant had come into the chamber that Valeria had been in, reclining in candlelight with Titus, she leaned over to observe who it was and gave a quick “thank you, so-and-so” before they could stop, catch their breath, and open their mouth. At that moment, Valeria seemed to grow a sudden amount of energy as she drew up to her feet. “Are you ready for your present?” she asked with excitement carrying through her voice. @Liv and @Sara
  9. It was crowded inside and that alone was enough to drive Hector away. While others were met with the beckoning smell of food, he immediately took notice to the characteristic airlessness of a packed room and suffocating body odour and just about covered his nasal passage with a hand while he made his way for wine. While he often made a complete show of how much he couldn’t spare his valuable time of preening or bathing under the warm sun with a bit of wine, he found that he secretly did enjoy being around other humans. If only because it provided him the wonderful pastime of wrinkling his nose or looking scandalised at minute but strange habits in the streets. As he spun with what was a group’s serving of wine appropriated into one man’s giant cup, he was left with the torture of pressing against loud and red-faced strangers, who occasionally reared their ugly faces into view as he passed by, to find somewhere to plant his bottom and vegetate for the night. “Oh, you,” he greeted Attis, the first face his eyes fell onto as he slid into the first free chair before he briefly observed the others, all slaves, and moved his gaze from face to face with an air of judgement and disinterest. It was evidently barely interested in what they were doing, they could have been planning an uprising for all he cared, until his shallow attention halted on one who had a triad of qualities that caught his attention: male, beautiful, and very beautiful. Hey, a slave could look. But it was after looking at that one slave that his head swept along the other slaves a second time as if to double-check what he was doing associating with the rest, as if it was unfathomable that people found company for reasons beyond looks. “What’s going on? Is this some kind of a joke?” he asked, sounding almost as if he were making an accusation. @Sharpie @Chevi @Liv
  10. @Lauren I'll hit you a PM tonight
  11. It was far easier for Hector to talk about himself than it was about anyone else, namely because it was the primary thing he ever spoke about, except maybe after his master. “No, my master purchased me maybe four years ago,” Hector replied, realising how quickly the time had passed. He didn’t necessarily count if only because he had seamlessly adopted his life in the Varus household where he began to see more of a purpose and reason to be in service there. By comparison, the years prior to his acquisition had slogged on. “Before that I was owned by a Greek before, a slaver,” he added. It was a few moments before he realised that the question had followed shortly after his statement on his shares of fucking, to which he frowned. The idea of his previous master sitting on his list, albeit short compared to those with more freedom, was sickening. Far too old, far too dumb. “No, no, all he ever made me do was put ginger on his lumpy toes and truthfully, I would have preferred to have kept it at that,” Hector stated very bluntly. “I saw what was on his feet, I didn’t want my mouth anywhere between his legs or his ass cheeks.” He tapped the table thoughtfully, glancing around before taking another drink of wine and enjoying the taste, though it wasn’t quite the same as what Tertius had in storage. He wasn’t a connoisseur of wines but rather he was spoiled. “Why the curiosity?” @Atrice
  12. The unsettling and abrupt transition from taunting caressing to hair-yanking sent her emotions in a whirlwind, sweeping from discomfort to surprise to apprehension. Oftentimes, staying neutral to weather the hurricane, no matter how humiliating, proved the safest route. Almost like a beast that eventually grew bored of its prey that played dead, Titus might eventually turn away himself, but it meant that she became more entrenched in her frozen state. She took notice to it in times of reflection as the years wore on, that freezing in a moment of fear had become more of a secondary nature, as if cowardice was easier to her than anything else, and of course, she felt shame for it. When the second thrust at her head came, her neck felt the pain from the tension and discomfort. “I’m not,” she answered back, strained but in a tone that was clear that she was asking her brother to stop. It was possible that she would again if he were perhaps in a more receptive mood but tonight, she’d walked herself into the rabbit’s snare, blinded by her impulse to heal and care. A hand unconsciously reached out at her brother’s in an attempt to pry it from out of her hair before it was joined by the other, which was only able to reach as far his wrist. Her strength wasn’t half as strong, but she tried anyway. @Beauty
  13. Joaquin

    Role reversal [M-V]

    The most of anything that was red that Valeria could have been sucking off of her thumb would have been what little pigment was left on her fingers from earlier, but it was hardly enough or of the right consistency to fool Nymphias. She didn’t want to simply fall into complacency and let the bloodthirsty woman do as she pleased with them but the moment that she simply called her over, she knew that there was little she could do in the way of delaying the predetermined. She walked over like a guilty child, hanging her head before holding out her hand for inspection. Porcus’s mewling metaphorically cut her with guilt, even more-so when he cast his pleading eyes in her direction. At this point, she hoped that Titus missed. @Liv@Beauty
  14. “Unfortunately, I have no interesting name more to offer beyond the one that was given to me: Valeria. But it is pleasant to meet you, Septima – or Clio, if I may call you that,” she replied, purposely softening herself a little as her overall sense of the girl was that she was timid or more introverted in nature. It was probable that the gesture was far too familiar, after all could she really be counted family or a friend? But she imagined after a while their names became easy to interchange and mistake for another, just in the way as she imagined their faces might. “If you ever find yourself in need of guidance in your writing, I implore you, you should find me. And you are, of course, invited to my domus at the Domi Quirinalis. Your sister is invited if she shares your interests in the written word.” Partly, Valeria saw it as an opportunity for her daughter to meet someone else her own age and in some way, it offered her a fresh blood where her current circles might feel stifling. Valeria certainly would have welcomed it but she never had that opportunity: most of the girls she had associated with in her youth were women she still associated with in her adulthood, a lot of which were privileged women who thought themselves layered simply for hiding away their anger or drinking issues. @Chevi
  15. “If it is to be the gardens, Titus,” she spoke as if to remind him, resting her chin briefly over her hand. “Then it should have been your head under there, not your fingers. Or you could have made filthy use of that scroll which you so effortlessly predicted the ending of.” She followed her words with a tilt her head and a playfully scolding look, sensing the subtlety, and while it was acknowledged, it was also rejected – for the morning, at least, as it was highly likely she would surprise him later, tackling him in the hall in the manner of a perverted old goon. For now, for all the flippancy, her mind couldn’t truly rest and the energy to set it aside wasn’t there. She mightn’t have realised it herself, but she simply wanted to relax. Her son was likely to recover from whatever sickness he’d dredged up from the Tiber or the ‘cesspool of human shit’, as she lovingly thought of it. It was also just as likely that Valeriana would catch it. Children becoming sick was never unusual and after three children, she had grown more comfortable with the idea. Her father, on the other hand… illness was very unlike him. Her husband had extended his much-appreciated help, but it still couldn’t quite remove the fidgety, anticipatory feeling she felt beneath everything else for the future. “You’d be surprised at what my father has read. He’s read Landicus before.” And with great disdain and very likely far more if he’d known that Landicus was in fact his daughter. It had certainly been by that milestone that she considered her writing to have ‘made it’. “As for Landicus, the man himself, old age has not caught up with him yet. He is still the envy of Rome, still with all the flexibility to suck himself and remarkably with no flaccidity or broken bones despite his age. But he is bored, very bored. When you’ve fucked everything from lions to portly tavern wives, you find yourself unable to top the last conquest,” Valeria explained. “He’s thinking of writing an ode of putrid feet and how they make his son’s cock stir, a praise of his sons who are now able to take the helm of perversion for when he is gone, even though he will hopefully outlive all of Rome’s virtuous naysayers.” @Liv
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