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Found 7 results

  1. 24th of June, Fors Fortuna Months ago, Alexius met the very handsome and friendly Felix when he’d gone out for a night on the town. He’d interrupted a gang of guys about to beat someone up; and that someone turned out to be Felix. This Felix was someone he’d like to meet again and they had actually planned meeting for Vinalia Prima in Aprilis, but for some reason, Felix never showed up that night. Alexius had gone to his house as planned and patiently waited for his new friend to show up, but he never came and Alexius grew impatient. It was Vinalia and he couldn’t wait all night. So he had moved on since then, a lot had happened and at the same time, not much at all. His son had met a girl and Oriana’s father had decided she no longer needed a bodyguard to live in the house. Alexius had to move out and maybe that was for the best; the affair he had with her was doomed anyway, so he didn’t even know why he stayed. Well he knew… he had feelings for her and they were returned, but how could she ever marry a mere freedman, when she deserved so much more? Now he had a new home and Lexus had of course moved in with him. They got along fine, although most of the time, they didn’t see each other much. Lexus had a job and Alexius took little jobs here and there too, to make everything work and so they could pay for their home. It was late June now and time for another of his favorite Roman festivals – the Fors Fortuna. And didn’t he enjoy it? Not just because there was usually a lot of wine and pleasure involved, but also because it was the good fucking Fortuna they celebrated! The goddess of luck, the one who turned wheel and hopefully in the right way! He did earn his freedom once, years ago, and he would thank her for being alive and healthy and for having brought his son back to him. On the way to the temple, he walked past the home Felix showed him months ago and he stopped for a moment, kind of hoping he might actually see Felix again. And Fortuna worked in his favor, even today. Or perhaps, because it was today, she did it. The great Fortuna! He couldn’t help but grin, when that handsome creature emerged from the house, hopefully to also participate in the festival, “Felix! How good to see you! And on this blessed day, even!” @Chevi
  2. Britannia, late 67AD Nostalgia hit him with full force as Titus entered the military camp on a chilly (for one, not rainy) morning. It was early, but the camp was alive with the hustle and bustle of hundreds of men going about their tasks... Except for a group of four off to his left, where two huddled close to the ground and two others stood and watched. As he got closer to them, the familiar sound of dice rolling inside a cup could be heard, followed by sudden silence and a mix of boastful laughter and groaning. Fasces in tow, Titus approached one of the spectating legionaries and barked a question at him. "Soldier! Where is your legate?" The man flinched and whipped round so quickly he nearly broke his neck, showing a face full of pimples. He had the presence of spirit to step away from his comrades and salute Titus. "I-I d-don't know, sir!" the young soldier managed to stammer out. Titus was unimpressed. "Then why don't you do something about it?" The legionary stared at him with an asinine look. Titus hoped Balbus Papulus was at least a good fighter, since he had neither beauty nor brains. He rolled his eyes, feeling his patience dwindle. "Go find out, then come back here and take me to him, you idiot!" The order spurred the young man into action at last, and he sprang off in search of his general. In the mean time, Titus busied himself with shooting the gambling soldiers dirty looks until the sting of disapproval - or the threat of the fasces - was strong enough to make them put the dice away and start polishing their boots with exaggerated gestures. Balbus Papulus came back surprisingly soon and lead Titus through the camp to one of the bigger tents. The young man did his best to announce that "Qua-quaestor Titus Sulpicius Rufus is he-here to s-s-see--", but Titus dismissed him with a sigh and a wave before he could finish and strode into the tent. A quick look around the tent and its occupants let him know he needn't be too formal, but proper greetings were de rigueur in case someone was lingering just outside, trying to listen in. "Salvete, legate, Aulus Calpurnius," he greeted each man with a nod, predictably ignoring the slaves in a corner. Now that that was out of the way, Titus relaxed his posture a little, but still did not smile. "Did you know you have men gambling for money this early in the morning? At least teach them to be discreet about it." @Sara @Sharpie @Chevi
  3. AU - 70AD The villa in Baiae The letters had become so infrequent as of late that when it had been handed to her that morning Horatia had to squint at the writing on the outside to try and understand who had sent it. It was now almost nine years since Aulus had left that fateful night in sixty-two - Horatia had thought only for a few months, or a couple of years at most. Yet here she was, twenty-seven with a nine year old son and seven year old daughter, neither of whom could remember their father and the latter had never even met him. The letter was brief - no longer the tomes they used to write to one another and she set it down carefully on the table in the garden. What could she say in response to his enquiries? The children were as healthy as they had ever been? His parents were well but it had been some months since she'd last seen them - preferring to isolate herself at the villa out of their prying ways? She was well - bored and desperately lonely - but healthy? It was all meaningless chatter that didn't warrant the papyrus it would be written on, and she couldn't bring herself to elaborate any further that basic pleasantries. The infrequency of the letters between them - she knew - wasn't helping her feel any more connected to the man she called her husband, but it was all she could do. What could you say to a man you had only known for eighteen months before he disappeared from your life for almost nine years? The thought was a depressing one and she folded the letter - placing it under a book scroll she had been reading to consider later. It did her mind no good to dwell on Aulus. The villa was quiet today - the children were down at the beach with their nurses and a small army of slaves to keep them safe. She only had a skeleton staff here - the majority were back at Tiberius' domus in Rome and when she heard the gentle sound of footsteps she glanced over her shoulder, surprised to see somebody else. Seeing Felix's face, she smiled gently and inclined her head in greeting. He was a kind man, an honourable one - even if a slave. Given to her by Aulus before his departure to keep her safe, he had accompanied her throughout the years of her isolation as a familiar stalwart. He had seen her at her worst - desperately lonely and depressed at the isolation her husbands absence had forced her into - and at the happier times; the birth of her daughter, their growing up, her birthdays and losses. Felix had been through it all. Was it any wonder that the children likely saw the gentle giant of a man as more of a father than their own blood? She smiled gently at him and gestured to the seat opposite her; "The children are at the beach." She offered and pushed over the small jug of wine she had on the table, "You can relax a little." In truth, had she the authority to do so (which she most certainly did not) she would have freed him. His companionship went beyond the boundaries of a slave and a mistress, although it never dipped into impropriety - at least not badly. They talked, but never much more than that. "Are you busy?" She enquired, realising he might have better things to do than sit in the gardens with her. TAG: @Chevi
  4. Mid February, 75AD Horatia scanned the markets with a discerning eye, but a withering look on her face at the tat that was being offered. "What do you get a man that could afford to buy anything he wanted?" She said with a sigh, to nobody in particular. Casting a glance over her shoulder to Felix, she smiled mischievously; "You're worth your weight in gold, Felix, in every other capacity - lets see how you fare with gift shopping." Taking the man with her to the markets served a dual purpose; foremost to ask his advice, as the person closest to her husband than...well...anybody, herself included, but likewise for protection. The litter had been deposited some way back and the hum and crowds of the markets were a nuisance at the best of times, but fine weather and clear skies had driven out the masses and she was being jostled left right and centre before Felix had lengthened his stride. His imposing bulk had the brilliance of making crowds part as if he were parting an ocean and she breathed more freely with him close by. To others it might seem strange, to celebrate a date in the diary as she did, but tomorrow marked a particularly special occasion for Horatia outside of the usual birthdays and weddings. Tomorrow would be the seventh anniversary of Aulus' return to Rome after those years of absence in Cappadocia, Germania and Britannia. It had started as a habit the year after he'd returned - she'd given him a posy of flowers picked from the gardens herself, but as the years had gone on and their lives and marriage had settled down, she had begun to feel more content in splurging a little. Besides, not all of her wealth was tied to his and she had enough disposable income from her father to afford something special. But what special was, she had no idea. Last years gift had been planned weeks in advance, but she'd failed this year and so here she was, in the swarming market, hoping their faithful slave could offer guidance. Turning once more to look over her shoulder to him, she arched a brow; "Fabric for a tunic is out, it's too late to sew one ready for tomorrow and books seem wasteful." She was the reader in the family, and whatever she chose for him would likely not be to his tastes. She offered a gentle grin to Felix; "Any bright ideas, Felix?" But her smile was gone as somebody's elbow collided with her ribs and she winced. Gods she hated the markets. TAG: @Chevi
  5. September 74AD It had only been a few short months since the family had returned to Rome from Raetia. It had been an interesting few weeks, settling back into their own house (technically, it was Aulus' father's house, as he was still alive and thus the head of the family, but he didn't really bother them, allowing them to get on with things). It had been a busy day, but it was evening now and Aulus was sitting under the garden colonnade, with a wineglass to hand and a sprig of grapes, although cena was over. It was nice just to sit, watch the moonlight silvering the plants and enjoy the coolness and scents of the garden in the evening. He saw a familiar shape heading towards the atrium, and raised his voice. "Felix!" @Chevi
  6. (Jan 75 AD) Attis was not entirely sure how he had got the afternoon to himself, and nor did he care - what mattered was that he had got the afternoon to himself. What mattered more was that he'd also been given two sestertii to spend and told to go and have fun. He had wandered around for a bit and found himself in a popina off the Via Lata, which served posca (totally crap but marginally better than lora) and food (greasy but not bad, on the whole). The only free seats were at a large table to one side and he'd debated eating his food at the counter before deciding that he spent far too much of his life on his feet. If someone else wanted to sit down too, well, the table was big enough. There was someone there already, a redhead of a similar age to Attis himself. "Mind if I join you?" "Help yourself, it's a big enough table, and there's nowhere else that's free." Attis didn't need telling twice and sat down. "Rome the eternal city - keeping everyone eternally on their feet," he said with a grin. "It's nice to sit down for once." @Liv @Joaquin @Chevi
  7. Aulus had no idea what the time was when a slave came banging on the door of the servants' quarters, bearing news that te Praetorian Prefect, Clemens, had proclaimed himself Emperor (which Aulus was aware of) and that he was out for the blood of anyone connected with the Junii-Silani and Flavii-Alexandrii (which Aulus most certainly was not aware of). "I have to leave Rome," Aulus informed his anxious wife. "Leave...?" "I can't stay here, they know me, they know who I am, they know where to find me..." "But what about me - what about Titus?" She held the baby up in wordless appeal. "You'll be safer once I'm gone. But you should go too - we can't go together because I'll put you in too much danger. I have to go - tonight, when it's dark and we can be more anonymous." Horatia laid the baby back against her shoulder. "'We', Aulus?" "Two men, in tunics and cloaks - it's still cold, that won't look out of place. I can't take Linus, everyone knows he's my slave." They probably didn't, of course; nobody looked at slaves, but it would only take one person to see the slave's face and recognise him and the game would be up, and Aedile Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus would join his ancestors decade before he had anticipated doing so. He was only thankful that his father was still in the family villa at Baiae. "Go to my father at Baiae; I'll leave enough money for that journey. You might have to walk, it'll help you stay anonymous. Take Linus, or one of the others - a plebeian family getting away from the riots won't look too strange, several of them still have families with farms away from Rome. Hide Titus in the slaves' quarters till you go - hide yourself there, pretend the family left for the country." "And what about you? Who will you take?" "I'll take Felix. He's about as anonymous as they come, despite his size, and people will think twice about troubling us. I doubt anyone will actually connect him with this household, anyway." "Where will you go?" "Where do you think? I will plan to make my way to join Quintus wherever he is and maybe we can stop this madness that has seized Rome." It was a few hours later when Aulus, clad in a dark anonymous tunic, layered over two more, and with a cloak around him for both inconspicuousness and protection from the weather, clasped his wife and infant son in his arms, perhaps for the last time, and turned to leave his father's house from the anonymity of the slaves' side door, the taller shape of the house slave Felix following him. Aulus took a breath and grasped Felix' arm, drawing him level. "We can't be seen to be master and slave, not now. It's too dangerous. Call me... Davus. Call me anything you like, but do not let the word Domine pass your lips before we are out of here." He did not dare to think what might befall him if the slave decided that he could maybe get his freedom by betraying his master.
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