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  1. 13th of October, during the festival Fontinalia The Piscina Publica were public swimming grounds and luckily placed not very far from their home. And this was quite lucky on a day like today – it was, after all, Fontinalia and it was the day of celebration for Fons, the god of wells and springs. Septima Major was out with her sister, Minor, to celebrate the day. They’d spent the last few days on preparing a most beautiful garland out of flowers and grasses and leaves and now it was done and ready to be hung on a fountain near the Piscina Publica on this very day. Septima Major was excited – she loved festivals like these and could barely wait with going out. Maybe she spent a little too long getting ready. Septima Minor had been ready for a while, before Major finally decided she was done too. She wore a very pretty, bright green chiton with a yellow and red palla over it. Her hair had been done up on her head, with twirls and curls and a few yellow flowers and green leaves added to the style. It went very well with her pretty blue eyes. On her feet were simple slippers. They carried the garland together on their way to the fountain. She gave her sister a smile, after she’d waved to a few people she knew on the way – Septima knew many people and she liked to talk to people and make new friends, “Oh I hope someone else didn’t already decorate the fountain we decided on. It’s going to look so pretty, isn’t it?” Septima Major said with an excited tone, “I wonder if there’s going to be music too. And maybe someone set up a shop that sells food and drinks? We could stay a little while.” She suggested with a smile, “Oh, do you think anyone’ swimming in the pools today? That would be interesting.” @Chevi
  2. Sara

    Midnight Games

    Early July, 74ad Vibia was trying to sleep. The heat was up in the city and it had driven the clientele of the Domus Venus into languor in the days, but the evenings had been a constant stream of patrons. Fortunately for the young freedwoman, she had been excused from servicing said patrons and had instead been instructed to simply play her cithara, to entertain the waiting guests. It was a little dull, but given how quickly the drink was flowing, she wasn't particularly keen on the other side of her job either. She tried to enjoy that side of her work as much as was possible, but given how freely the clients were knocking back the wine, she doubted she'd have a particularly satisfying evening. It was a little after midnight, and wrapped in a thin sheet, and with the sounds emanating from the other workers rooms, sleep seemed an impossible fantasy. Propping herself up on her bed she cast a quick glance around the room; noting with despondency the overturned pitcher that should have been full of wine had she thought to replenish it. With a groan, she swung her legs over the side and pushing back long blonde hair from her face, stifled a yawn. With some effort she stood on wobbly, sleep-deprived legs and sauntered to pick up the pitcher. Haphazardly she threw on a thin dressing gown to cover the tunica she hadn't bothered to remove when she had collapsed into her bed some hours ago. Padding on bare feet she unlatched her door and crept down the dimly lit corridor, past rooms with sounds that would make even the hardiest of Roman blush, into a back room where she took a seat at a table. She could have summoned one of the slave boys to refill her wine but her room had felt like a prison in the heat and she needed the air. Sitting herself down in the darkened room, and pouring herself a cup of sweet watered wine, she sighed. This had...not been what she imagined freedom to feel like. She was still at the beck and call of others; both the domina of the brothel, the wider Syndicate and the Collegium of course. Still, she had her health and wits, and it wasn't a particularly onerous job. She suspected she'd only be here for another year or two before her worth diminished and she could actually be free. But what she'd do with that freedom was anybody's guess. Startled from her reverie by another figure moving into the small side room, she arched a brow and grinned at who she saw. "Can't sleep either?" She leant forward to place her face in her palm, surveying him, "You should complain to Titinia that none of her girls or boys could satisfy you to sleep." It had been some weeks since she had seen Marcus, but she wasn't about to turn away company. Gesturing with her head to the pitcher she asked, "Wine?" TAG: @Gothic
  3. He had questions that needed answers. Every so often he would dream frightful images of his sister calling his name, pleading with him to take a message to the head Vestal and they had begun to get more insistent as time went on. When Lucius went to see his sister's children, they all had her warm, dark eyes and it was a reminder of what was lost to him. Finally, Lucius found the courage to go to meet with his sister's lover, and his thoughts echoed with questions whether she would make sense of them. His sister had done her duty, married and produced children. There were no men to rival his brother-in-law's other than Pontia. Lucius had heard it whispered about her Sapphic taste. Given Pontia's role in society it gave her additional protection to not be wooed by the promise of a man's affections. Still, the proper traditionalist in him despised the idea of his sister being involved in this way. His body slave had accompanied him to the Aedes Vesta, the Temple of Vesta and the home of the sacred flame. The body slave held the gifts in offering and 'officially' he had some questions about storing his will. Everything to ensure his son would inherit his wealth and property when he finally passed away. Yet.. this was an excuse, he knew the reasons or could easily find another to answer these questions. Lucius did not wish to share his sister's words from beyond the grave. He did not want to go back to sleep and disturb his sleep with her tears, crying and pleads for him to tell her lover. The Senator stood with his hands clasped behind his back, his posture upright and strong as he waited for one of the temple attendants to speak with him. Lucius looked healthy except for the darkness under his eyes through many nights of troubled sleep. One of the Vestals' slaves approached him and asked what he desired. "I am here to speak to the Virgo Vestalis Maxima. Inform her that Lucius Caecilius Metellus has arrived to see her. She will know who I am." He said, and waited. TAG: @Gothic
  4. October, 74 AD He had promised to come and spar with Thessala. And while there were some promises he sometimes had problems with keeping – like promising to be true to a wife, once – there were others he could definitely keep. Now of course he wasn’t married to Oriana, but he still knew she’d be very hurt if he betrayed her trust. They had a proper talk about it recently and at least now she was prepared though, wasn’t she? Although of course he’d do what he could to not hurt her. He wanted to make her happy, for as long as he could. But he also needed to do what made him feel good. And fighting always made him feel good. At least fighting wasn’t being unfaithful, right? He’d enjoyed fighting ever since he learned it and now it had been a long while since he’d had a fight with another gladiator. Alright, so this one was female and so what? It wouldn’t be a first, for him. And she’d proved that she could fight very well, he’d seen her in the arena. It was rare that gladiatrixes actually got to kill one another, they were just there to entertain, but that didn’t mean they didn’t put in a lot of effort in their fights. Thessala certainly did. He hadn't dressed up today so much, as he knew he'd probably work up a sweat. Hopefully at least! He wore his short breeches and a dark brown tunica and some of his armor too, although not the full set, as it was too heavy and warm for this. He didn't own any gladiator armor anymore, after all, and that was usually made for fights like these. As he entered the ludus, it was kind of a strange feeling, but he shook it off. He couldn’t use such feelings for anything right now. He’d sent word to the lanista that he’d come and spar with Thessala for a fee. After he’d had a chat with the doctore – and given him a little bribe, so that he could take Thessala out for a drink after – Alexius went looking for Thessala. She was training with another gladiatrix and he smiled, leaning against the wall for a moment, watching her. That woman, she really was impressive, and not just her looks and her moves, but her entire expression. When the training match was finished and Thessala would turn his way, he waved at her with a playful grin, “Thessala! I hope you’re not too tired yet.” @Chevi
  5. It was a very early morning in the baths. The sun had barely risen, but Helenus was up already, taking care of himself before he needed to take care of so many others. He left the sleeping quarters of the slaves and walked through the dark corridors, not yet lit for the new day… up towards the actual thermae, where he thought he might take a swim before anyone else woke. The baths were often nice and quiet this early and he liked that. Of course some Romans would be up early and he didn’t expect it would be quiet for very long, but right now… it was. The nearest bath was the women’s section and it was entirely empty right now. He never ventured far into this area when the baths were open and people were flocking everywhere. Then Helenus would only walk to the end of the corridor from the slave quarters to peek into the area with all the shelves for clothing. Right now, that was empty too and on bare feet he walked in. There was so much space here, when the baths were empty. He made a sound just for fun, to hear the echo and smiled by the sound of it. When he reached the big swimming pool, the natatio, he stopped for a moment, looking at the still water in it. Then he slipped out of his simple tunica and into the water. It was a bit cold at this hour, the ovens were not at their full heat right now, but it was fine, this was how it usually was for Helenus. The slaves who worked here didn’t get into the water when everyone else were. They’d have to do it before. Helenus dived under the water for a moment and then swam a few times back and forth. Then he let his body float a bit, while he lay on his back, staring up into the decorated ceiling of the room. This was so nice. What a pity he’d have to stop soon. He stopped floating then and dived under the water again. Only to be startled when he came up to the surface and brushed water away from his eyelids. He wasn't alone anymore. And he was not in the men's section of the thermae... he blinked the water away, staring at the woman up there. @Gothic
  6. Lucius was no stranger to the typical Roman banquet and all of its forms, whether it was the epulum, the cena, or the comissatio, as he would attend them all befitting a member of the most esteemed nobility. However in contrast to the past, he was a completely changed man and no longer did this senator drink himself to sleep, or go about fornicating with others no matter if they were total strangers to him or not. No longer did he find them to be as pleasurable or interesting as he once did, though naturally it depended on who hosted them, considering he attended them just to uphold his image rather than out of pure desire. A banquet hosted by no other than Oriana Laecania, daughter to Aulus Ordovian Laecanius V, wasn't supposed to be missed and instead one ought to attend it even if one were to be in a pretty bad shape. Lucius couldn't exactly put it, but it was something about Oriana's parties that always ended up in great success where every guest always had fun and felt quite good about it in the aftermath, including someone 'mature' as Lucius himself. His father Lucius Major and Aulus' relationship went back decades and it wasn't uncommon back in the day that the families would pay a visit to each others' homes, which is how Lucius Minor managed to get to Oriana to begin with. Finding her to be a beautiful, independent, and daring character compared to most Roman women, he would consider her to be one of his closest friends he could ever confide in, and she proved to be highly supportive ever since his parents died a few years ago. There were actually plans for him to consider marrying her, but for reasons only the Divine itself knew, it never went through and now not even Lucius himself knew if he would pursue it though in the end she probably was already being eyed by another rival senator. It was probably for the better that she remained as a friend rather than on the entire next level of the relationship phase, though one would never know if the circumstances would change. Lucius thought that she truly deserved someone who could treat her as the worthy woman she truly was. Wearing his finest toga and nearing his party destination, it would also prove to be a good opportunity to visit the now dying Aulus whose attendance at his father's funeral was appreciative enough, and he would more than likely show the same respect, when it was time for him to also move on to the next world. "Ladies." he said to two of them passing the other direction, the latter duo couldn't stop giggling and being mesmerized by his good looks, as his dear mother of his always remarked about, and old reputation as the ultimate man to spend the night with. The old Lucius would've immediately taken them home, pop up a vase of wine and they would've had a hell of a salacious journey waiting for them, their screams of pure lust heard across the entirety of Rome. However ever since he met old man Linus and his propagating Christian faith, he could no longer continue those old ways of his that only brought temporary, perceived happiness and sense of satisfaction. His eyes were opened up to a whole new world that he thought didn't exist, where the One True God helped him regain his confidence as a man who actually had a purpose to exist in this life to begin with. "Here we go again." Lucius made a positive sigh, before knocking on the door to Oriana's Domus as he could already hear that the Banquet was in full commotion. @Sydney
  7. It had been a good long while since she’d last laid her eyes upon Charis. Actually not since that day they went to the park, drinking and talking to Helios of the Domus Venus. She worried about her friend, wondering of course why she hadn’t seen her. She’d gone more than once to the play they had departed before, close to her house but not too close, hoping that Charis would show up. But she didn’t. Hopefully she was alright; hopefully nothing had happened to her. Maybe it was her hard-to-read Dominus who had locked her up for unknown reasons. Or she had behaved in the wrong way and displeased him and he’d killed her. All kinds of thoughts had gone through her mind and she had even considered going to knock on the door to ask for Charis – she just wanted to see her safe. She knew her friend probably wasn’t as fragile as one might think, but on the other hand, she was no warrior like Cynane and she was so delicately beautiful. Again she had a few hours where Claudia wanted to rest and other of the guards had taken over, and Cynane once more discovered that her feet led her to Charis’ home. She rounded the corner and found a place in shadow nearby, where she could watch the house. She probably wouldn’t come. Cynane crossed her arms, feeling a little bit irritated and angry at Charis’ dominus. Although to be fair, he probably didn’t even know about Cynane. She didn’t know if Charis had dared to mention to him that she had friends outside the house. Just as she was about to leave, a person came out from the little alley leading to the servant entrance to the house. And it could only be Charis! Cynane smiled at first, happy to see her, but the it faded, because she was still worried. When Charis came her way, she waved at her, “Charis! Thank the gods, it really is you!” She said in their own tongue, when the other was closer to her, “I was so worried!” @Sara
  8. Slaves played an important in Roman society and economy. Besides manual labour, they performed many domestic services, and might be employed at highly skilled jobs and professions. Accountants and physicians were often slaves. Slaves of Greek origin in particular might be highly educated. Unskilled slaves, or those sentcned to slavery as punishment, worked on farms, in mines, or at mills. Everyone in the empire knew about the importance of the institution of slavery, even Lucius Furus Pontius Thracius himself, growing up in a noble household where the use of slaves was paramount and even was taught how to handle them. However since his secret conversion to the Christian faith, he became more and more opposed to it over time, detesting said practise and questioned the morality behind it. Of course, it was a topic of heated debate between the factions themselves, referring to biblical scripts here and there about being approved by the allmighty Lord and that. Yet the fact that they were considered to be property under Roman law, with no legalhood whatsoever, being subjected corporal punishment, sexual exploitation, torture and outright summary execution, truly disgusted the young Senator and wished dearly that this would one day end. However he wasn't naive enough to believe that it would end over a night or two, no he had to contain his feelings and opinions to a minimum and to himself preferably, as pragmatism was the key to live through this misery and accepted it as everyday life, whether or not he approved of it. It's the reason why he dared venture to the slave market at the Emporium Magnum, not to only keep up a facade as a Roman noble filling up a somewhat 'empty' household of different slaves spanning across the entire world, it served as a effective compromise and Christian duty to take upon those who were defenceless and at the mercy of others. Naturally it would've been impossible for Lucius to purchase all and set free all of them. Instead, he had to pick at least one slave he thought to be 'special' in his eyes and according to his gut feeling, a small yet positive deed to perform whenever he returned to said market. As always, it happened to be a busy day of business as slaves were being auctioned and transactioned like cattle, their handlers shouting their prize and what they were capable of doing. Among the customers who were gathered that day was Lucius of course, taking a pity on those miserable, poor souls as he could clearly see on their faces how much they 'enjoyed' it, just waiting to end up in a random household and hoping for the best. It was a sickening feeling Lucius received from these sights, though how much could he actually do? He had to make due of the situation to the best of his ability, and try to create a positive change for one of these. He didn't know how long he would remain in the market, but he was sure enough that he would take someone home, sooner or later. @Mord
  9. His stepmother had nagged him endlessly. Berating him for not taking the time to connect to more experienced Senators, or meet with Caesar or the princes. Anything! Gaius would have preferred to do anything else. All he wanted was to drink, fuck and enjoy all the treats that life gave him. His one redeeming quality was that he was an excellent soldier, and that he had produced children. Her nagging eventually succeeded in him going out with the intention of meeting fellow Senators in order to boost his career. She had threatened to reach out to Senators on his behalf and likely would if he did not act. It was bad enough for her to pressure him into remarrying again. He had done his duty. Married and the Gods decided that she would get peace from him through death. Now? He would enjoy his Mistress, lovers, and other people who his stepmother did not like. Gaius did agree to go to the Circus Maximus and socialise. Perhaps he would see a lovely man's wife and seduce her? It all depended. He approached and sat down, exhaled slowly and rolled his eyes heavenward in irritation. Further way, he could have sworn he saw a familiar face and it was Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus. If Gaius remembered correctly he had a ravishingly attractive sister as a Vestal. Going to waste! It was almost as though he heard his mother and stepmother's voices in his head to both nag him. Gaius grunted and rolled his eyes. He smiled wide and raised his hand in a warm greeting. "Ave good Praetextatus! Would you like to sit with me and talk a moment?" He offered. Briefly there was a person who walked in front of him so he was able to frown. The last thing he wanted to do was listen to a boring fellow, and then smiled again in a warm greeting. @Sharpie
  10. It was of course important to stay in shape. Tertius knew all about this, especially with a young and handsome body slave and lover like Hector… he was certainly in shape still and Tertius had to keep up with him. On top of that, he just didn’t want to sit down and eat and drink until he could barely move. No, he wanted to keep on looking good and staying fit. Today he decided he’d exercise at the Thermae Aventini – well first some exercise in the surrounding grounds around the magnificent building with the thermae and afterwards, he’d of course go to have a bath and maybe a massage. First things first though – the important part and then the relaxing part. He’d left his proper clothes on a bench in the gardens outside the thermae and there he’d let his body slave stay with the clothes, so they wouldn’t be stolen. He wore his tunica and the short breeches as he went for a run around the thermae. After the second round, he was feeling rather warm and stopped by a fountain to splash some water in his face. When he looked up, he saw another man doing the exact same thing on the other side of the fountain and he couldn’t help but smile. The other seemed familiar, one of his fellow Senators, but there were so many and it was impossible to keep up with them all. He believed this one was called Calvus and decided it would never hurt to make another friend in the Senate… “Greetings… it is a good day for staying in shape, is it not?” @Mord
  11. July, 74 AD It was another day in Marcus Barbatius’ life, meaning another day of work. He had a few patrons coming in to see him today, they had already made it known they wanted his services on this day, but there were also a few open spots and especially before noon. Senators always came later in the day, when they were tired from their supposedly hard work and needed a proper shave and a scented lotion rubbed into their cheeks and oils onto their bodies. His condo was in the first floor of the building and just beneath his condo, was the workshop. He slept with the key to the chest around his neck and now a slave turned up to help him get dressed. A tunica and a simple toga, that he wouldn’t mind getting some hair onto along with some of the scented oils and lotions. The slave silently helped Marcus put on the sandals, helping with the straps that went around his leg and then he had some early breakfast served. A bit of cold, watered wine and bread. Apparently they were out of honey and didn’t have much olive oil, but his kitchen slave had managed to purchase some butter and that at least was something. The mornings were silent in his home. Slaves rarely spoke, out of fear they’d say something wrong to displease their master. Nobody wanted to displease him. Silently he went to the workshop in the street level, which had been cleaned with a broom and a brush and some wet cloth. There was an actual chair there and a few stools and a working table. Shelves of course, with beautiful bottles and jars with lotions and oils. There was a heavy scent in the room because of all that and Marcus opened the door and opened the shutters to the window to the shop to let it be known, that it was open for business. The slave he’d chosen to help him out today stood in the corner of the room, waiting to be asked to work and Marcus removed the key from his neck to open the chest. He picked one of the razors and decided to start the day with sharpening some of the tools while waiting for potential clients.
  12. Was it strange, that he now almost enjoyed going to see gladiator games in the arena? Alexius used to be the one standing there. The crowd had cheered for him once, he had won so many times that they named him a champion. He had a reputation for killing and surviving, for putting on a good show and entertaining the crowd. And sometimes in the nights, he could be found entertaining men or women at the local taverns, when he went out to have a little fun of his own. Either they were brawls or a good lay. Or both. But everything had changed since then and Alexius had too. He was a freedman and although he sometimes had considered returning the life of a gladiator, he hadn’t done it yet and now he had an actual job and a lovely mistress to care about. Was he falling in love? He wasn’t sure. But he knew he cared for her for more than just sex. He enjoyed spending time with her. And he grew jealous by the thought of her marrying someone else… even though he assumed it would happen anyway. It wasn’t exactly the easiest relationship he had ever been in, but he admired her and how could he not? Alexius enjoyed more or less any woman who’d enjoy him, even the sweet and innocent damsels in distress... but he had always had a certain liking for strong and independent women. His first love, Achillia, had been such a woman. He hadn't seen her in years, but how could he forget such a gorgeous gladiatrix who could fend for herself? Nowadays, there were still gladriatices. And he'd seen them and there was one especially who’d caught his gaze. Her name was Thessala and he’d not seen anyone like her in years! Man could she swing a blade and smirk afterwards with blood sprayed over her face in the most stunning way… he was curious about what she was like as a person and had decided he would meet her. Just because... well, he could! Alexius still had contacts in the world of gladiators and ludii, so one day after a fight in the arena, he was allowed back into the old and dark corridors underneath the arena. He only had to pay a few coins to be allowed, and it was more for show than anything else. Thessala would have been shown to a room of her own, probably unaware of whom she would meet. Gladiators and their female counterparts were often sold to wealthy romans for fun – he’d been through all of that too, once. But that wasn’t why he would meet her. He simply wanted to meet a gladiatrix who knew what she was doing. The guard led him to the right door and unlocked it for him and Alexius was allowed in. There was a faint light in the room and he glanced around, wondering which corner she was hiding in. And by the gods, he hoped they'd paid attention to what he said and had not put her in chains. He never liked that. He doubted she did. @Chevi
  13. Appius still got excited when he talked about the different gladiators. Many people did, there was a time when he did not wish to admit that he found it exciting and he could not encourage his spouse to come with him. After the evening passed, he would come home and tell her what had happened while the pair of them would discuss their days accompanied with wine. Age and maturity meant that it settled some of his outward excitement. Although... on the inside? He was happy to be there. His eldest son walked with him. He was not quite as excited by gladiators but many loved the gladiators. There were many favourite gladiators that he had when he was younger. But there was one that stood out for him. Lexus. He was Germanic, said to be cheeky and had a lot of lovers. "Come Minor, we will see what up and coming gladiators are here," He walked towards the bars to peer through. There were the more experienced gladiators, the novices, and the ones currently in training. He remembered pestering Cornelia to help convince his parents to let him train as a gladiator when he was a child. She disagreed and refused to help him. Now? It was clear it was a childish dream. He was a Senator and a man of standing in Roman society. Appius turned and spoke to one of the lanistas, smiled and communication came easily to him. He enjoyed speaking with people and generally, most people seemed to get along with him too. The lanista had other people to mingle with and talk to about the progress of training the gladiators. Minor turned and looked at the gladiators, too. There was a strong possibility that he would take his place in the Senate and have some form of a military career. That was part of normal life for a boy of the Senatorial class. "Who is your favourite gladiator, Minor?" He asked his son. Looked down at him proudly and smiled. "Hmm... I don't know," Minor shrugged his smaller shoulders, looked towards the gladiators and then back towards his father. "Who is yours?" Appius practically beamed. "His name was Lexus and he has been freed for some time now." @Atrice
  14. It had been a few weeks since that day when Helios came to see him… and he learned that his newest and definitely prettiest slave had been talking badly about him, when she left the house to apparently go and get herself drunk with a friend. Tertius had naturally been upset and one thing led to another and her punishment was to sleep with Tertius, as his way of proving his control over her and her body and her life. She had nothing to say. She was his. And if she was going to behave like that while she was his, she had to learn that he was still in charge, no matter what. He bought her, fair and square, on the market in Rome. He wasn’t responsible for what happened to her before that, but she was his now. Sleeping with her actually hadn’t been all that bad. She was very pretty, almost delicate, and her skin had been so warm and soft and smooth because she was so much younger than he. And her lips, her kiss… and just the feeling of her. It was definitely something to remember. She had left the bed before he woke and after that day, things went back to normal. Not once had Hector complained about sleeping elsewhere but in Tertius’ bed, instead it was almost as if he seemed to work harder to please his master – maybe to try and prove that he did belong in Tertius’ bed, instead of Charis. Although it had been nice with her there. It had been so long since he slept with a woman and even longer since he spent the entire night next to one. Since that day, he’d watched her work in the garden. They barely spoke - it felt kind of weird after their intimacy - but she seemed to have learned her place. She didn’t speak out of turn, she acted respectfully and did what she to do. He’d of course allowed her to go the baths and after a few weeks, she’d even been allowed to the market again. She behaved, now, he believed. Charis was now the slave he wanted her to be, sweet to look at and behaving properly. The last few days he’d noticed a difference though. She wasn’t working as much in the gardens as she ought to. As she usually did. And he hadn’t been having guests or throwing parties, so there was no reason for her to spend so much time in the kitchens. He’d heard that she’d said there wasn’t a need for her in the garden right now, but once he also heard the kitchen slave Rhoda mutter under her breath about how she didn’t need the extra help in the kitchen. That it didn’t feel like help at all. Then Tertius was walking through the garden and noticed a few wilting flowers and arched a brow. Charis was needed here. He’d have to talk to her about this odd behavior, because it was almost misbehaving, again. He couldn’t have that. “Hector, fetch Charis for me.” Tertius told his always attentive slave. Then he plucked one of the drooping flowers and brought it with him to the tablinum. And there he sat on the front edge of the desk, waiting for her with the wilted flower in his hand. @Sara
  15. He had once more found a temporary job as a servant for yet another wealthy family in Rome. Lexus and his mother weren’t exactly wealthy, after all, and although his mother was far from some old woman, she also wasn’t young anymore. And Lexus he was growing and he had taken small jobs since they came to Rome, to help out his mother. Tonight was yet another night like that. He didn’t always enjoy the jobs, because sometimes the guests at the parties would end up drunk and wanted to bed anything that walked past them. Lexus remained inexperienced in that department though, although he supposed he should soon change that. He was very curious, after all, and especially after knowing Phaedo in the Domus Venus, he knew a thing or two… even if he hadn’t tried it for himself. He didn’t want any old drunk men at parties though, so he tried to avoid them the best he could. Tonight wasn’t so bad so far, there were women here too and the men didn’t stray too much if their wives were here. While a couple of slaves danced in the peristyle, he stopped to watch them for a moment, while he stood with a tray of dried peaches. It reminded him of how he met the kind Gaia, who apparently knew his father… and he and his mother also went to visit her and her daughter in their fancy villa, but his mother decided that they didn’t really need it. They had their home in Rome and she had many people depending on her washing and mending their clothes. And Lexus, well he could serve people’s drinks and food so far. After he’d been watching the interesting dancers a few moments, he thought he better move on and see if any of the guests would like a dried peach. He took a step backwards, but instead of meeting thin air there, his back collided with a warm body behind him and he gasped and stumbled and then the tray and the peaches were on the ground… that was bad! And who did he walk into? Lexus turned to face a beautiful looking younger woman there. She was clearly not quite as young as Lexus, but also no matron, he thought to himself... “Apologies, Domina, I forgot to look where I was going.” He said, “If I hadn’t dropped the tray, I’d have offered you some peaches. I can get some for you though, if you’d like? Once I've removed these, of course. As an apology? If you'd like?” When Lexus was clumsy, he tended to try to talk it away, apparently. @Sydney
  16. Atrice

    The Bodyguards

    The whole strange ritual of Lupercalia was over – at least for the noble lady Cynane was serving. And she wasn’t just any noble lady, she was the princess. She was however also a young woman who was very much ready to be married soon, so she had to be present for an event like this. And Cynane was always near her, making sure her mistress wasn’t actually harmed and just enjoyed herself instead. By now though, they had retreated, as there was a private party for high-ranking nobles and of course Claudia was going to attend. And so Cynane was too. As always at such events, she had retreated to rest against a wall, not interrupting the party with her presence, she was just there, watching her mistress from afar. They had arrived early though, and she watched as more and more people entered – some carrying marks from the bloody strips of goatskin. Proof that they too had attended the ritual and the fun afterwards. If you could call that fun – it was strange fun. On the other hand, not stranger than so many other ancient rituals, both here and in Britannia. A slave offered Cynane a drink and she gladly took it and looked up as another group was entering the party. A tall and beautiful noble lady had appeared, with a guard in tow too it seemed. The guard was soon left to fend for himself, not following her around and Cynane tilted her head, watching him. He seemed so out of place here, for some reason. He was definitely no ordinary guard, she decided, but she didn’t know him yet and Cynane was always careful with strangers – especially when they were men. If he looked her way though, she’d raise her cup to him and have a sip, acknowledging his presence. @Sarah
  17. Rana was new… well she knew that. There weren’t a lot of gladiatrixes here and their sleeping quarters were apart from the gladiators. But the training grounds were the same and she’d heard that some of the best gladiatrixes actually earned a lot of respect among the male ones too. Rana had never seen a gladiator fight in her life. She came from Germania and she had travelled Europe, mostly bound to her slave trader one way or the other. And then she arrived in Rome, which was truly as glorious as she had expected. But since she was a slave, she didn’t get to see the temples or the beautiful villas a lot. She just saw this ludus, so far. And she wasn’t even ready for the arena yet. She had to be trained, had to learn the proper techniques and had to build up some muscle. The first few days had been spent on the latter. She had been lifting what appeared to be logs from trees, although she could not lift the heavy ones yet. And she had been watching the more experienced female fighters in their training. It seemed rough, but Rana felt it was nothing she couldn’t handle. She wanted to do well, after all. She wanted to earn fame and glory, as she’d heard you could. If that’s all she was here for, then by gods that’s what she would do. Today the doctore had informed her she would start learning some of the basic techniques from one of the experienced gladiatrixes. In fact she would be learning from the champion – if there was a champion among the women, that’s the one Rana would learn from. She had to learn from the best, the doctore thought. And so Rana had woken and now she sat by one of the long tables, taking her breakfast porridge. So far she ate alone. She didn’t know anyone here. But she looked at the other females and tried to guess which one was the best. She thought it was the slender dark-haired one, the one with the captivating blue eyes. Rana had seen her train with the others and she certainly did seem to know what she was doing. Now Rana followed the woman with her gaze, as she appeared in the gladiator’s eating area and she almost forgot to eat her own porridge. @Chevi
  18. Helios was on his way home from visiting one of his patrons – one of those who preferred and paid for Helios to come to him rather than the Senator visiting the Domus Venus. And Helios was fine with that, he enjoyed the fine beds such people had, all the luxury of their homes and their slaves serving him, because the patron would often demand it. And while he appeared to just be there for the man’s pleasure, of course Helios was constantly watchful of what went on around him, who came and who left in such homes and what did the patron talk about after sex? He was well spent though, as he walked home, late in the afternoon. Now he thought he might need a good rest in his own bed and maybe a trip to one of the baths, spending a single coin on getting a proper bathing session, and then he would get on with the job. He hadn’t been sent with any of the guards, not even lovely Calvunus or grumpy Marcus, so no one knew at what time he ought to be back. Helios supposed he could spend a little bit of time on his own. So on his way home to the brothel, he took a longer route that would lead him towards one of the public baths. Helios had just turned around a corner, he wasn't far from the baths now... but then he found himself fronting a familiar face. Charis, wasn’t it? The young Briton slave, whose secret he sold to her master not so long ago… oh he had kind of hoped not to meet her again, ever. Fuck! And there was no way she had not seen him. He could try and pretend though, although his look of surprise might give him away. He hurried his steps to walk past her, as if he didn’t really know who she was. Hopefully she didn’t know that he spoke to her master and hopefully her master hadn’t punished her too badly after the secret was out. Hopefully she wouldn’t even remember him. Hopefully… @Sara
  19. He entered the Domus Venus with a wide grin and his eyes eagerly took in all the sights on offer. Gaius had fewer ambitions in life than he should have. One of them was to taste every beautiful jewel he caught he sight of. The Gods had graced him with this body of his, and it would not be fair to deny people a chance to touch him. Gaius entered the Domus Venus as though he owned the place. His posture was confident, straight back and chin raised in a bold, almost cocky confidence. His arms outstretched to his sides, in one hand he held a pitcher of wine and in the other, nothing. Gaius did not wear a respectable toga. His father used to say that a toga in a respectable place like this would shame Rome. Gaius, on the other hand, did not wear it because it was cumbersome and he would only lose it by the end of the night. It was one thing to hide many of his antics out in the provinces. It was another thing to do it all here in Rome itself. "Gods! I feel so alive!" Gaius exclaimed loudly, grinned and his gaze moved around at the mixture of body types. There were beauties from all over the empire gathered here for him to sample. Behind him, his silent and faithful body-slave accompanied him to mind his Dominus' purse but also to ensure that his Master did not find himself in more trouble than he could get himself out of. His late mother used to say that boys needed to get their wily behaviour out of their system. Unfortunately, Gaius had never grown beyond this stage. Gaius was blessed with a handsome appearance, and desired for all to mirror it. Mostly he received what he desired. He walked through the establishment and caught the sight of a beautiful blonde, a fair-haired beauty. Gaius had not been intimate with her in the past, and he had seen her around when he was occupied with another of the flowers of the Domus Venus. Gaius walked to sit close to a harp player and other musicians, there was a dancing boy and a girl gracefully moving together. Two handsome male youths, and two beautiful women dancing together. He caught Vibia's gaze and gestured with his hand for her to approach him. TAG: @Sara
  20. April, 74 AD Another night, another party for the wealthy and nobles of Rome. Not that it happened every night, of course, but it wasn’t all that uncommon and while Tertius didn’t attend every party anymore, he did like to go out and meet other people than his slaves and the little family at home. He had left Antonia in Teutus’ care, knowing that his son would take good care of the noble lady that was his sister – and he seemed able to control her too, which was good. That made Tertius feel perfectly fine leaving home for a night like this. He wore a green tunica and his favorite dark blue toga with golden edges – it suited his own colors well and he believed it made his eyes appear more blue too. Who knew who might attend this party and whom he might encounter… and what the night would turn into. Maybe it would be quiet, maybe everyone would get drunk, maybe people were out for a bit of fun, you never knew. Tertius showed up at the address of one of his fellow senators, with his body slave Hector and his gladiator and bodyguard Favian following him. Favian was told to stay near the door and Hector would of course serve his master the best he could at such a party. It didn’t take long until Tertius had a cup of wine in his hand and Hector had carefully picked some grapes for his master, so that Tertius could have them when he pleased. The triclinium seemed all filled up though; there were no couches left there, so Tertius moved on and found another area near the atrium. There were music players in the corridor just next to the atrium, and a male and female dancer was entertaining whomever watching, with their sensual sways and moves. Tertius stood near a pillar to enjoy the sight and was soon joined by another senator. He knew him by name of course, but they had never spoken much before, except for at the senate of course and the occasional greeting when they randomly met. Tertius was probably mostly known as a back-bencher, who tried his best to stay neutral when it came to politics – although he would of course always support the winning side. He did like where his head sat on the neck, after all. It seemed right to speak to this fellow senator tonight though, “Greetings, Senator. It’s a fine spectacle they set up here tonight, isn’t it?” Tertius said, looking at the handsome male with the dark hair next to him, “Metellus, isn’t it?” @Brian
  21. Sara

    Respite

    Late April, 74AD Charis breathed heavily as she sat on the floor, taking in the shade and the minimal breeze offered. She'd been warned that the heat of the city was only going to get worse, and this was actually rather a mild time of year. For a woman, however, who was used to the cold climes of her homeland in Britannia* it was already intolerable. The sheer amount of people here likewise didn't help. It seemed that whenever she was able to actually leave the domus, the streets got a little bit busier and the atmosphere more insufferable. Already in a poor mood after being disturbed in her sleep by the chattering of some of the other slaves, this morning's tasks had not helped. Whilst she was used to walking, Rhoda's instruction to head for the market (when she could very well have gone herself) irritated the slight Briton beyond measure. Fortunately for both of them, however, Charis had an uncanny ability to be ruthlessly efficient. Having collected the wares that were needed, she had lugged them back to the Quirinal Hill with time to spare. Oblivious to the fact that as a slave, she should never have time to spare unless instructed that she could take some time off, she assumed she was not expected back for a little while. Feeling as if she was melting, she had taken respite under a small tree between houses. Her own household was, perhaps, a ten or so minute walk from here and she felt suitably out of their watchful eye enough to enjoy a few moments to cool down and catch her breath. Few that passed her paid any attention and a couple of boys - slaves she assumed, judging by their clothing - had also taken a few moments in the shade. She wondered for a half-moment if they were Briton and struggling with the heat as much as her, when something else caught her attention and she glanced up. TAG: @Gothic Let me know if you need a little more for Gaius to go off of! *The Parisi, Charis' tribe, are from modern day Yorkshire so enjoyed northern climes!
  22. Titus' fingertips tapped against the surface of the wooden desk. He could not stop thinking about ways to earn more coin. Eventually, he would need to either make a truce with the other gangs or attempt to push them out. Anything that would gain him further coin, and through that. Power. If he ever had a son he wanted the very best for him, even if it meant that he may have to sacrifice his happiness for the chance of a better life for his son. Always more. Neither the legitimate and illegitimate lines of work were particularly honourable for him yet they brought in considerable amounts of coin. He exhaled in irritation and sipped some of his wine. Temporarily he was away from his wife, and purposely kept this part of the business away from her. He heard footsteps in the background, and saw Lucius Corvinus, his second-in-command approach him. "Lucius, I think it is time for us to have a little meeting with the faction leaders," Titus said, personally, he had no interest nor favour in any of the teams. All he cared about was the profit that would come from the bets that were made. Sentiment was not essential nor wanted. "To remind them that our services are vital to their success or failure in the races, and that we are here to stay." "Yes Dominus, what team would you like for me to visit first?" Lucius answered in his gruff voice. His thumb idly scratched along the pale scar that marked his chin, the stubble made noise as he did so, and waited for the answer. "The Reds, make sure that they know who to come to for both protection and if they wish to sabotage another team. It doesn't take much. Men get sick, horses get sick, and all sorts of things." Titus listed things off and shrugged. Lucius was a veteran of this sort of thing and knew which of their agents who would be best to work with, for each task and what ones would be beneficial. "It will be done."
  23. Later that same day, after Secrets and Garden Games Hector had an unhappy look on his face. Not because that other slave Helios had visited his master today, because clearly Tertius hadn’t even touched the other handsome slave… and it wasn’t because of the news either. It was probably no secret that Hector didn’t like how his master looked at Charis, since that could threaten his own position in the household. No, he was unhappy because his master was unhappy. Tertius had shared a little with Hector about what Helios told him; something about Charis wanting to control Tertius and she obviously couldn’t. It didn’t make Hector more fond of her, only less. Tertius had had a cup of wine to calm his nerves, but it didn’t help. Not even a massage from Hector helped. He would have to speak to Charis and make her understand just how inferior she was in this household and that if she thought she could control Tertius, she was wrong. She was very wrong! He could make her life miserable if he wanted to, but he had kindly allowed her to work in the gardens and he could tear that away from her. He could tear away anything that pleased her. He could tear her apart. “Hector, tell Charis to come. Alone.” Tertius finally said firmly to his body slave and Hector nodded silently and went to fetch Charis. Tertius still sat in his office, the tablinum, he hadn’t moved much since Helios was here. But now he stood and paced a bit around, feeling restless. Gods how stupid was that girl? She’d looked so fine and pretty at the slave market that day, and she had seemed to be a fast learner, but it was all a mask and she thought she could control her master. He inhaled a breath, tried to calm himself, but the more he thought about what he learned today, the more upset he became. Finally there was a gentle knock before Charis would enter the tablinum. Tertius sat down on the edge of the front side of the table. @Sara
  24. Astrius' last owner didn't like him. The only reason he could think of was that he threw up on him after a night of drinking, but that was only once. He had an owner he threw up on three times before he put Astrius back on the market. He had so many owners by now that he lost track. Certainly it was in the 60s or 70s, right? He couldn't tell. Through a lot of them, he was either too drunk or too high to pay attention. Back on the market he'd go. It was almost like home for him. He'd been there so frequently, after all! The older slave had his head up on the bars. He was smiling, watching the slave owners walk by. They looked at him in disgust, and all he could do was laugh when they did that. Oh, what a sight! Little did they know he could easily have his real father, Vulcan, strike them down with his mighty flame! They'd really regret looking at him like that again. Or maybe they wouldn't, because they'd be dead! The man then saw a normal looking person in the market. Someone not a noble's messenger boy. His eyebrow raised. "Hello! Astrius greets you!" He said. If only he could sneak a bottle into the cage, then the real fun would begin. "Astrius thinks you don't belong here. So, do you belong here?" @Chevi
  25. It was just another day at work for Helenus. He’d woken up in the simple dormitory he shared with a bunch of other male slaves of the thermae. They had gone to break their fast with a bit of bread and olive oil and watered wine, and then they had gotten ready for the day. Helenus hadn’t spoken much yet today, he often didn’t feel like talking much in the morning. But in the corridor towards the men’s bathing area, he met one of the girls that was his best contact in the women’s bathing area. “Greetings. Hopefully it will be a good day.” Helenus said to her and she stopped and they moved to the side of the corridor to not be in the way. “Hopefully it will. Is there something in particular you hope will happen today?” She said. It was all a code though, their conversation. It sounded simple enough and like casual chatting, but of course they were discussing the plans for the day. And what they might gain. “Just that the sun will shine upon us. Remember to let me know if it does.” Helenus said and she nodded. Of course she would, that was her job. They were both slaves, but she’d been told to listen to Helenus, for he had done this in a few years already and he knew what he did. He was a good bath slave and a good thief, even though he appeared to be just a sweet and submissive slave. But underneath the surface, the girl was convinced he wasn’t. She couldn’t know he was only a good thief because he had to be. He didn’t want to taste the whip, he didn’t want to die and he didn’t want to gain a worse job than this. They parted ways to go to each their section of the great thermae. He had only taken care of one patron though, when the girl appeared in the doorway to the men’s section, “Helenus. You’re needed.” She said, and he knew what that meant. Helenus quietly followed her to the women’s section, where she pointed out a wealthy lady who was just finishing getting undressed. He wondered if her slave would follow her or what. @Liv
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