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  1. Early March, 77AD Alexius had long since caught his breath after the night they caught Marcus Barbatius. He’d learned that was the name and that they had been right about their assumptions. The man was a barber. And now, he was behind bars and that made Alexius feel a little bit better about many things. For example, he helped catch the guy! And he wanted to tell it to people, but wasn’t quite sure if he could or should. And after he’d had a good sleep, he knew whom he really wanted to tell it to. Calpurnia. Only problem was… how? It really was an issue. That they’d caught the killer had at least distracted his mind a little, but now that it was all over and to be dealt with by other people, his mind had wandered back to a beautiful blonde woman with legs for days and the most contagious laugh. He couldn’t help but smile when she laughed. And even when he thought about it. He’d tried telling himself to get over her, he’d even gone out to find himself another distraction, but even after that, she was still on his mind. He wanted her again, he needed to be with her again. Fuck! So he was off to find the only person he felt he could talk to about this, someone he could even trust. Someone he thought of as a friend by now, someone who also cared too much for someone he was not supposed to care for at all. Lucius loved Ovinia, Alexius was quite sure of that. Even more after he saw them together at the library, how they would act around one another, how Lucius would look at her and how she was all flushed after they had been alone. How did Lucius deal with it? What thoughts did he have? And how on Earth did you live with the fact that you cared for a woman you weren't supposed to have? Sure, Alexius had slept with Patrician women before, and it had never been an issue before, but he’d done more than just sleep around with Calpurnia. It felt like more. It was more. At first he went to the castra where the vigiles had their headquarters, but they told him Lucius wasn’t there. He’d gained some injury (Ovinia cut him, duh!) and was to be found in his family home, which was on the Esquiline. Great, Alexius walked back again. Eventually he managed to track down the household of one Gaius Manius Victorius, Pater Familias to the family Lucius had been adopted into, when he left his Patrician rank behind to become a vigile. Alexius was allowed inside after stating his purpose – here to see his friend Lucius – and a slave led him through the lovely looking house to wherever Lucius was residing at the moment. @Chevi
  2. February, 77AD It was nice to have something else to think about. Something that had nothing to do with crazy and insane killers in Rome. Something that had nothing to do with innocent people being attacked and cut, just because someone liked to do so. Alexius would distract his mind with other things, much more pleasant things. Like the woman he met recently, Calpurnia. She was one of a kind! Alexius was unable to count how many lovers he’d had over the years, but really, he actually did not keep track of them. And many he’d picked up, or they had picked him up, while he was drunk and defeated and needed someone to need him. But Calpurnia was not such a woman. This was different. He met Calpurnia in broad daylight and she was nothing but kind and with plenty of smiles for him. He amused and entertained her, and he had enjoyed doing it. Their conversation had been so… so… fluid, hadn’t it? Like he didn’t need to charm her or kiss her to keep her interest in him, no, she wanted to talk to him and he wanted to talk to her. And she was so lovely. So near his own height, so independent and so stunning in everything that she was and had been… Alexius could barely any flaw. Or, he could find one, just one! Her brother… that was the flaw and that was hardly her fault. It was a big one though, but they had to figure it out anyway. He wanted to, he couldn't help it. It just meant he had to be more careful with her. So he’d found the perfect hospitia for their next meeting. He’d spent many of his savings on the meal and the room and the discretion of the staff… and he had even had to promise them to do a little dirty work for them, just as an insurance. Then he had asked his son to help him write a short message for her... just the name of the place and a date. Nothing more. Before heading to the hospitia, he’d spent some time at a thermae. Then he had put on the nice clothes that Ovinia had ordered for him. A tunic in a soft fabric and in a deep green shade, it went to just beneath his knees. There was also a pair of breeches that went with it, but for Calpurnia’s sake, he tried to look as Roman as possible. So no breeches. Besides, would he really be needing them? What he did need however was the dark cloak he put on, in a faint hope of hiding his shape so people wouldn't see where he went. And now he was here. In a comfortable room with a table and a very comfortable bed – usually very much out of reach for someone like him… and wine and a simple meal had been served on the small table in the room. Alexius waited. Hoping she had not changed her mind. @Chevi
  3. Early January, 77 AD Alexius had gone out for another night on the town. He’d been very thoughtful lately, especially after Ovinia had been attacked. There was so much he did and so much he could do… and so many things he couldn't do and didn't do. He wasn't getting any younger and still, he was just yet another freedman in Rome, sometimes struggling to find his place here. He had plenty of friends and probably even more lovers to spend time with, and he had Lexus too, but there was still something missing. Something he could often drown with wine and forget in the arms of someone else, and yet his mind wandered. Back to the time when he was married. He’d tried to count the years, he’d done it a few times to be sure and it would seem that it was about 13 years since he divorced Ariella Alexia. He’d not had a very long and steady relationship since. A few had lasted more than just one night, but those could be counted on one hand alone. At the end this evening, he decided it wouldn’t do him any good to sit alone with these thoughts, so out he went. It didn’t take him long to find a popina. And before he knew it, an attractive woman was sitting in his lap, picking up wine to serve to Alexius’ lips. They were both having a good time. She was lovely. That’s right until a man entered the popina. Not that that was out of the ordinary. But after looking around, he was heading straight towards Alexius and his companion. He looked a bit familiar? Alexius thought the man was coming for him. But then he slapped his companion. Smack, it said, and everyone at the popina stared at them. Alexius as startled as everyone else. “What the fuck are you doing Artia?!” He growled and Alexius gave them both a surprised look, but the man just looked at him, actually offering Alexius a smile. He was familiar! He’d slept with that guy too, once upon! Artia slipped off his lap, “Marcus, I can explain…” She said. Marcus was his name! And Marcus looked at Alexius again, unsure of what to say to him, “What?” Alexius asked, “I didn’t know she was yours! Or… did you want to join?” He attempted with a small smile, but Artia now gave Marcus a look. “You know him too? Seriously, Marcus?” She snapped at her husband and then looked at Alexius, “Everyone just wants you, don’t they?” And then she slipped off his lap, whispering on the way, “Another time maybe…” Then she took her husband’s hand and dragged him away from the popina. They had some talking to do, clearly. Especially if they both slept around. With the same people, apparently! Leaving Alexius alone again, looking maybe more than a bit surprised. “Well, that was dramatic!” Alexius then said with a chuckle, suddenly thinking that maybe it wasn’t that bad to not have a wife. But everyone at the popina was looking at him and he realized that perhaps this put him in a different light than usual. A bit embarrassing, actually. Well, fuck them all then. But not here. With a sigh, he downed the rest of the cup of the wine and stood to leave. Half-drunk already and the night had just begun.
  4. Early August, 76 AD Well lately had been eventful! It wasn’t like he was bored at all with the job he had with Teutus, the warehouse gave him plenty to do. And then he happened upon Ovinia, such a beautiful young woman in need of a proper guard, and he’d escorted her home. And now her father would pay him to escort her out from time to time too. But he liked not being bored and he liked meeting interesting, intelligent people. And who wouldn’t like to spend some time in the company of a lady like Ovinia, even if he should not think further than to actually guarding her. Not with his entire body. Only if he needed to. Gods, what a night it had been! He stretched in his bed. The company he had for the night had already left, he probably had to go to work, and Alexius was alone. Lexus usually also left early for his job and he had it all to himself. He wandered out to splash a bit of cold water in his face and emptied a cup of wine that stood on the table, although it had turned sour over the night. Oh well, a bit of wine was better than nothing, best not to let it go to waste, right? But he was hungry and had little to eat with the wine, so what to do about that? He tossed a tunica over his head and left the small insula. He didn’t feel like going down to the street just yet, so knocking on some door to ask if they’d share some morning bread with him was the next best thing. And he had many friends in the house now. First he considered Didia, but decided she too would be busy working now. Maybe Teutus was at home? He ran both hands through his hair to try and set it, although it probably didn’t work, and then he went knocking on Teutus’ door. He had a larger insula than Alexius had, and he knew Teutus bought some slaves recently… maybe it would be one of them, answering the door? @Sarah
  5. Early January, 77AD A week or so after: Winter Walk & Teamwork Is Magic Ovinia was curled in her chair, watching the rhythmic drip, drip, drip of the rain that fell across the garden. She was sat in one of the small receiving rooms that opened directly off of the peristyle garden, swatched in a thick blanket and a scroll of some elegy laying virtually discarded in her lap. She looked tired; she was tired; the nightmares had gotten worse if anything. Despite the weeks that had passed since the attack she was still largely sequestered in the house - her walks and pre-determined dinners notwithstanding. That suited her fine - every time she did leave the house she spent her days worrying about who was lurking in the shadows, who was following her and who was holding a knife just out of reach. She exhaled at the thought and tucked herself tighter into the chair and the blanket. She'd had few visitors since this self-imposed exile and her father had used the excuse that she was busy at home, being the dutiful daughter caring for her ailing mother to decline invitations to visit. So when one of the slave girls quietly padded into the room and said that one Lucius Antonius Alexius was here to see her, she was surprised. Her father wasn't at home, so the choice to see him fell to her. She gratefully nodded her head and asked the girl to bid him in. She knew he knew, but her father had been clear that nobody else beyond Lucius and his Centurion was to know. That he'd visit her here suggested there was something more serious going on; they'd just have to keep their voices down. She was grateful for the visit though and offered a weak smile as she saw him enter the room, Lucia following. TAG: @Atrice
  6. Mid-November, during the Ludii Plebeii Alexius had been looking forwards to this. Ovinia was a sweet and pretty young woman and her father trusted him too, which was important. Alexius just hoped he could trust himself. Well he could. He was quite sure that he could. Besides, he'd be distracted enough by the fights in the arena, to ignore her beauty. Well not ignore it completely, that would be unfair, but it wouldn't be a big deal. What was a big deal however, was that she had agreed to this idea. Lexus had gone with Alexius to a few games too, but he didn't seem to be so fond of it or interested. Maybe Ovinia would be? He’d escorted her once or twice since they met, so she was more familiar with him and hopefully she felt completely safe with him. And she would today too, as he was he taking her to something she might not have been to before. The Plebian Games, which also included both theatre and competitions. They were held each year, but were mostly for the common people of Rome. But it was fun and interesting and maybe it would even be healthy for a noble lady like Ovinia to try this out. Besides, she was with Alexius. What could go wrong? He didn’t know whether they’d make her travel through Rome in a litter or by foot, but nonetheless, he stood outside her family domus and knocked on the door. He was dressed well, in his favorite crimson tunica and dark breeches and a cloak around his shoulders. He was a freedman, so he didn’t wear a toga. Patiently he waited in the atrium for Ovinia to arrive, after a slave let him inside. @Sara
  7. Mid-July, 75 AD It had been a few weeks since the earthquake that shattered Rome, although he had heard that other parts of the nearby country had been hit far worse than the city. Still there was rubble here and there and some buildings, that had been too old or too badly built, had crumbled. Luckily not the little insula he shared with his son! Lexus had been fine the day after, it seemed, although a bit shaken. Alexius hadn’t even been at home when it hit, he’d been at the ludus with an arm wrapped around the divine body that was Annis. As soon as he was able, he’d returned to his son and they had talked things through and went out to help where they could in the city. Now that was a few weeks ago though and people had worked together to rebuild what was broken. Life went on in Rome, as it always had and always would in this eternal city. And he had returned to the ludus more than once to help out there too. Not today though; instead he went to visit one of his most familiar thermae, the one that was near the ludus and in the same region. The bath too had suffered some damage, but most of it was working once more and he thanked the gods for that. He hadn’t thought much about what happened here so many weeks ago, when he met the handsome young Florus. They hadn’t met here, actually, but he had smiled at Florus for the first time and then caught him to share a drink. Sadly, after Alexius had dared to touch Florus’ hand, the youth more or less bolted out. He wasn’t very experienced and even still a virgin. Pity with that, Alexius would have loved to teach him a thing or two about pleasure. Luckily, there were plenty of fish in the water in Rome and Alexius wasn’t bored or unsatisfied. Now he was back at the thermae, going through the less damaged baths and finished with a nice massage. After this he returned to the changing room and put his tunica back on – in the summer there was no reason to wear breeches, it was far too hot in Rome this time of the year. As he strapped the leather belt around his waist, another person entered the changing room from the baths and Alexius looked up at him briefly… and then looked again at the very handsome and very naked youth over there. What a sight to behold! “Florus!” He exclaimed with a grin, recalling how they’d talked about drinking together again sometime, “How good to see you again.” @Ejder
  8. Late July, 76 AD The warehouse was nice and secure now. Teutus had already gone home a while ago and Alexius made sure the other guards knew their duties for the night. He’d been there the two previous nights and now he’d really like to get some sleep. Certain doors were locked and the guards would keep the rest of the warehouse and the goods safe. So home he went. Lexus was probably already at home, but Alexius would want some food on the way, possibly some wine, so he took a shortcut to a street where he knew there were some good thermopolia. It was already getting dark though, so he’d have to hurry. While he could keep himself safe, he really didn’t need a fight tonight and he thought he could do with a good meal and some rest instead. So he’d just hurry home before he ended himself in a brawl or something. Not that a brawl wasn’t sometimes a good thing. He found he almost enjoyed it at times, and he often met such interesting people during or afterwards! He rounded a corner, he was getting close to the good street, when he saw someone else up ahead on the somewhat dark street he walked on now. There were two people, walking relatively close to each other, a woman by the looks of it and a cloaked figure not far behind her. Maybe a domina and her slave or guard? That’s what he suspected anyway. Nothing strange about that. But they weren’t walking the same way as he, because when the street split into two, Alexius walked one way and the two others the other way. It wouldn’t be long now, before he’d reach one of his favorite thermopolia. That’s when he heard a yell from the other direction. @Sara
  9. 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
  10. January, 76 AD Alexius just needed a break – and a drink! He’d been working for some senator the last few days, apparently the man had fallen out with a gang and wanted extra protection, so Alexius was luckily at the right place at the right time to protect the man. It would seem that the problems had settled now and Alexius would be out tomorrow, looking for something new to do. Tonight though, he got his payment for the job and he had plenty both to pay his landlord, food for him and Lexus… and for a night on the town. Working shady jobs for senators usually paid well! And who knew what would happen on such a night? It wasn’t so warm though, but sometimes that meant a good chance to find someone to stay warm with. Alexius was hopeful, both when it came to the amount of drink he planned to have and also when it came to someone to keep him company. He just hadn’t found them yet, but the night was young. He wore his regular clothes, just a crimson tunica and short breeches and a belt – and a cloak, of course, to stay warm until he found someone to keep entertained. He soon enough found himself entering Bacchus’ Cup, which he often just referred to as Bellona’s, since she was an old friend of his and fellow freed gladiator – or gladiatrix, since she was a woman. She greeted him happily when he entered and Alexius found a seat where he could watch the door. This was one of his favorite places to go out in Rome. Soon enough a jar of wine stood before him and he filled the first cup to the rim and downed half of it in one go. Then he leaned back against the wall behind him – what did this night have in store for him? He looked towards the doorway and saw a striking brunette enter the place – and it would appear that she was alone. Alexius smiled, hoping she’d look his way. @MsMeowMaam
  11. Early September, 75 AD Alexius had been talking to people. Well, he always talked to people and met people and had good times with people, but he was on a mission now. A certain and very important job, because a friend of his had been attacked and he had to do something about it. Didia must have been so afraid, he thought, when that sick fucker cut her and she had to go to Theo for help and then asked Alexius to help her look for the guy. And of course he'd help her! She was his neighbor and friend and he hated to see anyone he liked, harmed. It actually felt good, for once, to know you did something that really mattered to someone. And now, that’s exactly what he did. Galla, one of his lovers, suggested he went to the lower classes and the alleys and brothels to look for the attacker. And so he went to the first on his mind, the lovely Lucilla, who lived up on the top floor of the insula, because she knew people like that. But she said she doubted any guys like that went to the Venus. She had not heard about any men with knives cutting up anyone for fun there. But maybe at Elysium? People with sick tendencies tended to go there, she said. That brothel-owner felt no remorse and all he thought about was earning coin. The whores there got beaten up and worse and nobody cared. He'd gone out, asked around and some days later, he knew that Elysium had to be the place to go to. So that’s where he went. If Didia’s attacker ever went to a brothel, that would be the place! He felt weird though, approaching the place. Alexius had never once paid for sex, not directly anyway. Paying to meet a gladiatrix because she fought well, and said gladiatrix then deciding she liked him enough to have him, that was different in his eyes. And now he stood in front of the Elysium, a poorly kept building, matching its inhabitants, he guessed. Poor girls and guys. But he wasn’t here for sex, at least. He was here for information. Alexius entered the house, coming into the bar-like room on the ground level, where men (and some women) met whores who’d let them do just about anything. He felt… almost dirty, walking in here. He didn't like the idea of owning other people and then selling them to the highest bidder for one night or one release only. Some of them could be used many times in the same night. It was disgusting. As a gladiator, he'd been prostituted too. He knew what it was like. It was not always a fun business and especially not in a place like this. He inhaled a breath and ran a hand through his hair while his eyes adjusted to the light. @Echo
  12. August, 75 AD - the evening of Tricky Timing Alexius was ready. He’d not been working much today… well not officially anyway. He did not bring home any extra coin for him and Lexus. Instead he’d lurked around the marketplace to keep an eye out for Didia, as well as having asked people about barbers and other people who’d carry around knives and flasks with scented oils. A slave from one of the brothels said there were girls at their brothel who were scared of this one patron, who always wanted to see blood before he took in their bodies to get release. But when Alexius asked the name of the brothel, they didn’t want to talk. As if they were scared. It wasn’t at all easy, this mystery! In the evening he had a simple meal he brought back home to the insula and he told Lexus this morning he might not be home until it was dark out. Lexus wasn’t home yet while Alexius sat at his table, downing a bit of wine – a quite common thing for him to do – while he waited for Didia to show up. He was already dressed for the occasion, because when was he not? Short breeches and a thigh-long tunica and a belt that could easily be removed, so you could move easier. He wore his good boot-like sandals and had, just in case, also hidden a blade down a special sheath in said boot. Just in case. At last there was a knock on the door in the otherwise silent flat and Alexius jumped up to answer it, expecting to find Didia outside, also ready to learn a bit about self-defense in Rome. @Sara
  13. Artemon was feeling down for the umpteenth time that week. Things were not looking up at all. As he carried an amphora full of water up the stairs, balancing it easily over his shoulder, he ran the maths in his head once more. Numbers weren't his strong suit, but even a bad student like him knew that unless his luck changed - or Iophon's, for that matter -, keeping a roof over their heads would be no easy feat. His thoughts quickly strayed to the topic of alternate lodging and then to his attractive neighbour Lucilla. She was so pretty and had such nice skin... hard to believe she was a laundress, her hands were never swollen and wrinkly! She must clearly use quality products and be paid well for them, since she could afford a better place than him and Iophon. If only she would give him the time of day... Lost in his daydream, Artemon almost crashed into one of his neighbours that was going down the stairs, and after a few seconds of juggling and cursing the amphora was safely balanced between his shoulder and head again. "Sorry Alexius, I was very deep in thought," Artemon apologised to his downstairs neighbour. The man had always been friendly, so maybe he wouldn't be angry at the near-collision. Wait a minute. Alexius was just the right person to ask! He was often in good-looking company. Looking at Alexius with big hopeful eyes, Artemon put a hand on the bodyguard's arm to stop him. "Actually, you're just the person I needed to see. I want your opinion. And your help," he added in a low conspiratorial tone. "What do you think of Lucilla who lives upstairs?" @Atrice
  14. 1st July 75AD Didia thanked every single God in the sky this morning that there hadn't been more damage. Rumours floated through the streets that insulae all over the city had collapsed or had been part demolished by the earthquake that had caused the family to cower under the small table they used for meals. That was not to say the block was fine; great cracks spread across its exterior, paint and plaster and a thin veil of dust covered every inch of its surface and those on the lower levels had to now endure the nerve wracking creaks and groans as the building protested at still standing. Up on the fourth floor, things were in better shape thanks in part to Didia's fastidiousness. Since they were so high up there had been no time to take shelter outside, and it had meant that when the shaking finally subsided she could set out immediately to setting the world to rights and making their cramped little home hospitable again. It was now late morning and having dusted, swept and rearranged within the home itself - she now stood on the landing shared with neighbours, dusting a great swathe of broken plaster and detritus into neat little piles to be tossed off the balcony at a later date, city rules be damned - she wasn't going to lug it down four flights of stairs. She knew most people in the building by virtue of having lived here for well over half her life, but occasionally new faces joined the rabble of freedmen and plebs, and her next door neighbour was one of them. She'd met the boy that morning - nervous and flustered after the earthquake as she gingerly inquired after his welfare, but had yet to meet the man she said was his father. Fate, therefore, was fortuitous this morning as a man - a good head and a half taller than her pushed down the corridor coming straight towards the door she was presently sweeping outside of. She blinked up with an arched brow, but a warm smile on her lips. So this was her neighbour. "I'm glad you're safe," She commented lightly and cast her eyes back down as she resumed her sweeping, "Your son was worried about you. Alexius, I presume?" TAG: @Atrice
  15. Late April, 75 AD It had been a good day at the Ludus Magnus. Alexius had really begun enjoying it there. First there was lovely Thessala, who was a great friend and a great sparring partner. She seemed to enjoy fighting with him too. And then there was Annis and how could he not adore Annis? Gods that woman was just sexy and fun and… so many good things. Their medicus was nice enough too, Alexius liked him and really, all the gladiators, it reminded him of the good old days and it was never bad to watch them train up close either. Surrounded by dirt and sweat, but for some reason, he liked it like that! After sparring with Thessala today, he went to the nearby public baths together with some of the other gladiators, to clean up before going out tonight. It was late afternoon and as far as he knew, Oriana didn’t need him tonight. She hadn’t said so. They had fallen apart lately… so he thought he might just go out and enjoy a drink or ten and someone lovely too. There were other people in the baths too of course and Alexius noticed a young man looking towards the area where the gladiators were bathing and joking between each other. He almost felt as if he was one of them, but of course he wasn't. He could leave. They would have to return to the ludus, they were slaves. Alexius gave a young man watching them a smile, while he dried his body with a towel and got dressed in his blue-grey tunica and short breeches again. Then he exited the baths and stood for a moment outside the gates, stretching his arms and legs a bit. Gods it had been such a good day today! Fighting made him feel alive! As he stood there, the young guy from before walked up the road towards where he stood, probably actually planning to walk past him… but Alexius saw the way he looked earlier and honestly… the youth didn’t look too bad himself! “Greetings... I think I saw you just before, didn't I? You saw something, I know that.” He'd been naked, after all. Alexius asked with a playful tone and a wink, when the younger man was close enough. @Ejder
  16. Late May, 75 AD Alexius could barely remember, when he last saw Charis – but it was quite a long time ago. Not that he had thought much about it, it wasn’t as if they ever planned to meet. They just happened to run into each other, after that first time they met, when he saved her from that wretch called Helios. Luckily for Helios, Alexius had not seen him since. And he had seen Charis. She was a very lovely young woman and still not assimilated into Rome, something he actually appreciated. Alexius knew now that he was more Roman than what he wanted to be, so Charis was a breath of fresh air to his too Roman self. And an attractive one too. Not that he’d forgotten what happened the one time he kissed her, nor the fact that she wanted them to be friends, despite how much he had wanted a few benefits with the friendship. But on the other hand, he did enjoy spending time with her. Not that they were close friends, but he liked her. And now he had not seen her in a long while, in fact all winter. He had been busy with Oriana and his job and his son, who lost his mother and now only had Alexius. And when spring came, so did the desires once more… for more than the strange affair going on at home. Now it was almost not even springtime anymore; summer was approaching quickly and Alexius had an afternoon off to enjoy the pleasures of Rome. He’d gone to the market and while other people went there to look at the stalls, even if they were unable to buy anything because they had little money… Alexius went there to look at people, even if he was unable to flirt with everyone because he was supposed to have enough at home. But did he? With Oriana always on the lookout for a future husband, that most definitely would not be a freedman and former gladiator? With a son from his time as a slave… he doubted it, still. Not that they talked about it anymore; the subject was too sore and none of them wanted to give up on the other, it seemed. Even if it was doomed. So now, with a doomed affair at home, he sat down to watch people, with a cup of wine in his hand from the nearest taverna. He had found a stone bench by a building, so that he could lean back. And as he sat there, watching one lovely person after another walk by, there was suddenly a very familiar figure among them! Alexius smiled, downed the wine and approached her with the empty cup in his hand. “Charis! It is you, isn’t it? It’s been too long.” He said with a cheerful smile, which turned into one of surprise when she turned to face him and he’d see her pregnant state. Now that, he had not expected! He could easily imagine who the father of the child was, but this wasn't new. They had a lot of catching up to do, didn't they? “Far too long, it seems!” @Sara
  17. Early May, 75 AD So here he was again. At the arena, to see gladiators fight. Maybe it was an addiction? Now that he was no longer a gladiator, he could at least look at them. Think that he used to hate it, back then, but now that he was free, it was what he enjoyed spending time looking at. Thinking back to the time where he stood down there, on the sands, with the crowd wrapped around his finger as they called out his name and threw praises his way and the women threw more than just that. But then there was the part about being a slave, being forced to fight to survive. Being forced to kill to live and he had no choice. And then of course the other part of it. Gladiators were little more than most other slaves, owned by the Empire and anyone in it could buy a private time with him. And he’d have to do whatever they wanted him to do, because that’s how it was, when you were a slave and a gladiator. Great, so he’d been daydreaming again and now the first entertainment had come to the sands. No Thessala today, it seemed, but there was the gorgeous blonde, Annis. He’d seen her before, both fighting and also at the ludus, when he came to see Thessala and spar with her. But he’d yet to meet this one. She was good. She had a warriors blood in her, he could tell. And she was tall, because she was not born around here. Alexius did enjoy gladiatrices and not just because he’d loved one of them, once, back in the day. They were so fierce, so independent in their own way. Not sweet and meek like Roman women. That’s also why he enjoyed Oriana so much, because she could act the same way, sometimes. But the gladiatrices… there was just something about them. She won, of course. He yelled along with the rest of the crowd and then decided it was about time he met this one. Spared her the humiliation of sleeping with a random Roman who bought his way into her cell and to her bed. He wouldn’t force her. But if she wanted him, he’d be stupid to say no, wouldn’t he? So he left the seats of the arena and hurried down the steps and corridors and towards the gladiators dark corridors underneath the arena. He knew these like the palm of his hand. Finally he encountered a guard and paid a few coins to be allowed access to her. Annis would have been shown to a room of her own, most likely unaware of who was coming to see her. 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’d come here… he just wanted to meet her and hear how she was doing. He was led to the right room and the guard unlocked the door and let him enter. The door closed behind Alexius and he looked around in the faint light of the room, finally setting his eyes upon the fierce and blood-stained blonde warrior. Gods, she was more stunning up close, wasn't she? “Greetings, Annis. You fought well today.” He said with a charming smile to her, not coming closer to her just yet, instead staying near the door until he knew how approachable she was. @Echo
  18. March, 75 AD Things were still strange at home. He did his best to try and connect with young Lexus, his son, but he never had a son before and did not quite know how! Lexus had seemed surprised too at meeting his father, and then his son's mother was suddenly dead and everything was strange. Add to that Alexius' affair with the mistress of the house - an affair he certainly enjoyed and when he was with her, there was nothing he wanted more but to stay with her. Yet he was nothing but a freedman and former gladiator and she was much too used to luxuries to ever marry a man like him. It just wouldn't happen; he did not think it would. So sometimes he just had to escape the strangeness of Oriana's home and get out and have a drink or two, as usual. So Alexius did that. It was evening and at the tavern he had a good talk with a very handsome young man, but in the end, the youth left with a just as attractive lady and Alexius had halfway considered if they would need a third party to their fun... but then decided to let the young have their fun and experiences alone and thus he wandered out onto the street, half-drunk and with a mind on finding his way home. First though, maybe just one more tavern and one more drink? Alexius had no idea if it was late or early in the evening, when he approached the next tavern and opened his purse to check if he had more coins. He did. Good, more wine then! Just leaving the tavern though was a gang of men, four of them, and they were dragging someone between them. Clearly someone who did not want to come with them! Alexius was not very fond of injustice like that and seeing someone unwilling being manhandled like that, made him want to help. Alexius saw them enter the alley near the tavern and now he definitely thought that something was shady about this. He decided to follow - because there were three things he never turned down. Wine, good looking people and fights... and this might be the latter! And just as he guessed, in the alley the unwilling person was pressed up against the wall by the men and Alexius inhaled a breath. "Hey, what are you doing? Let them go!" Alexius called out to the men and two of them approached him, "... or what?" One of them asked with a laugh and Alexius walked closer. They were definitely bad eggs, these! "Just do as I said, let them go. I don't want to have to hurt you." Alexius said and they laughed again. One of them pulled a knife. Well, fuck. He didn't bring any knife. Not that he would ever back out of a fight, just because he had no knife. He survived years in the arena, so he could definitely survive this too. Alexius inhaled a breath, bracing himself. Later, he barely remembered who started, but there was a struggle with the two men - while two others held the fifth person by the wall - and Alexius earned himself a fresh wound cut into his arm and a bruise on his cheek, but for some reason, the men had not planned on fighting a bodyguard and former gladiator. They had not planned on sticking around for this long and they didn't want to get caught. The two by the wall decided to call it off, and the four bad guys ran for it. They left the person they dragged among them, in the alley behind them, over there by the wall. Alexius brushed his clothes, they were not too dirty despite that he'd landed on the ground with at least one of the men and he took a quick glance at his upper arm where the knife had met his flesh. It was bleeding. The sleeve on his tunica was soaked. Nothing new there... he decided to pay attention to it later. There were more important things here, because the last person still stood over there by the wall in the shade of it, "Hey, are you alright?" He then asked, slowly approaching them. ((who the person is, you decide... could be your male or female character or a third party and your character was just a bystander or comes in after the fight... that is up to you))
  19. January, 75 AD Oriana was so lovely. He could not get enough of her when they were together, but when they were not, he was not sure what to think or feel. He knew she sometimes saw actual suitors and he knew that despite what she told him, she probably did want to rise in ranks here in Rome. She enjoyed her luxuries and she was clever and independent. And she didn't want her man sleeping around, like he had a tendency to, at least before he met her. Alexius tried to stay true. He tried hard. Did he fail or not? Well that was something he did not talk about. Something else had occurred in her home too though; in the fall, the arrival of his son Lexus, whom he had never met before, but now knew in person. Lexus was a handsome young man, but a lot more clumsy than Alexius and a lot more... inexperienced. Alexius did not think he was that inexperienced even at his son's age! Lexus' mother's death had been hard on the boy though, so he wouldn't push the boy either. Today, Lexus was busy in the garden and Oriana had again left the house without caring to ask her bodyguard to come! Probably to see a suitor again, he had an idea that's why she did not tell him. She knew he'd be jealous too. It was all a mess, the affair with his employer, and he often considered just quitting the job and leaving her to maybe ask sweet Gaia if she'd have him work for her. But then Oriana was so lovely in the nights. There were so many things he could do, and then there's what he did... and since his employer was gone and his son was busy working, Alexius thought he might just find himself a drink somewhere. It was still broad daylight when he entered his old favorite tavern, not so far from the ludii and of course run by the most amazing freedwoman and former gladiatrix, Bellona. He entered the place and was about to get himself a cup of wine, when he spotted another familiar and quite pretty lady in there, sitting all alone. Well she was not that familiar, but also not unfamiliar. He'd seen her at one of the ludii where he'd gone to see the gladiators train. And at one of the ludii, he had not failed to notice this particular pretty woman, also watching the gladiators train, but from the inside of the ludus. She was probably a slave, but that mattered little to him. He had seen her before, she was quite attractive and all alone - and he decided she was familiar enough to approach her. First though, he bought a jar of wine and seeing that she already had a cup, he only needed one for himself. Hopefully she would not deny good company and wine, since she was on her own. Then Alexius approached her with a friendly smile on his face, "Greetings, lovely lady... I hope you won't mind if I sit down here and share this with you?" He nodded to the jar of wine in his hand, "I think I've seen you at one of the ludii, haven't I?" @Liv
  20. 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
  21. When you reached a certain age and had a certain amount of experiences in your life, you began dwelling on the past. When Lexus was in his 20’s, he mostly thought about when he’d get laid next and if there was a chance to get drunk. And he thought about survival, of course. Survival in the arena and where he lived and survival to be free. He thought about being free and finding his sister and returning to Germania. Well, now he was in his late 30’s, he still had not found his sister – had not seen her in over 20 years – and he had returned to Germania, yet it didn’t feel like he expected. So here he was, in Rome. At least he had a proper job now, working as a guard for a wealthy family with a quite beautiful mistress. He even had a chamber there, it was his new home now! Still though, when he had some time off, he tended to get drunk and mostly to try and forget all the things he didn’t want to think about, when he was alone. Today he had a rare day off, and after visiting his favorite tavern, he went for a walk. He might just be a little drunk now, but that was fine. He needed the walk. Somehow, his feet took him back to the place where he once spent most of his life. The ludii; the gladiator schools. There was an arena here, where you could watch the gladiators train, and it was a quite popular thing to do. Lexus climbed up the steps to take a seat and watch them train. Did he still know anyone there? More than ten years had gone, since he was freed. More than ten years since he fought upon the sands right there. It would seem that the drink he had today didn’t make him forget; it made him remember, now. His gaze turned distant, he didn’t really see them training, he was just lost in memories. Didn’t notice that someone else joined him and sat down quite close to him…
  22. 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
  23. LUCIUS ANTONIUS ALEXIUS. 38| 15 May 37 AD | Freedman | Guard | Bisexual/Hypersexual | Original | Dan Feuerriegel Personality. As a slave, Alexius – formerly Lexus – used to dislike Romans a great deal. He tried to keep it quiet on a daily basis, but among other slaves, it was hard for him to keep his mouth shut. He was determined to gain his freedom someday, and this was why he managed to stay silent after all, so he would not die before he could reach his goal. He hated being a slave though, so as a gladiator, he took his anger and hatred for the Romans out on other gladiators in the arena. This was how Lexus grew strong and gained the good reputation for surviving so many years. After Lexus was finally freed and changed his name, his outlook on Romans has changed too. Many things have changed though, since he was freed a little more than ten years ago. He has worked as a lanista and experienced being an outcast among former friends. He returned to Germania, but was an outcast there too, after many years in Rome and returning to a tribe where no one knew him. Now he’s back in Rome, but among the Romans, he’s still just a freedman and not an actual Roman. Where does Lexus really belong?The question made him go through a quite dark period of his life and in a way, he’s still there. Sure, the old Lexus still shines through. Outwardly, he still appears as the man he used to be, with plenty of self-esteem and libido to go around. There is a good possibility that Alexius is actually hypersexual and addicted to sex, since he just can't stop, even when he ought to. He wants to stay true to someone; he wants to settle down. But there's still nothing he likes more than a good night on the town, with a drink, maybe a brawl and then of course a beautiful woman or a handsome man (or maybe both) in his bed, or wherever else they may go together. This is how he likes to spend his free time, drinking and drowning himself in pleasure to forget how he does not belong anywhere. But behind the façade, there’s a man longing for someone to accept him and someone who will make him feel as if he belongs. The question is if he will ever get that far... Appearance Alexius is a tall and muscular former gladiator, hailing from Germania, just outside the Roman empire. He’s quite tall in Rome especially, standing 6’2” tall, towering above most Romans. His brown hair is worn short and is just long enough, so that you can see it’s slightly curly. His eyes are blue-grey and you can easily tell his emotions by looking at them; he’s bad at hiding his emotions. He’s tanned from being outside a lot. He has several scars especially on his arms and chest from his years as a gladiator. Family Father: Eberhard (dead) Mother: Ishild (dead) Siblings: Amalia (33, unknown whereabouts) Spouse: N/A - previous spouse: Ariella Alexia (divorced) Children: Lexus Naevius Gineverus (16) Extended family: N/A Other: Former lovers include Claudia Gaia, her freedwoman Nahia, Naevia Ginevera (his son's mother), Achillia, Agapetus, Annis... and many more! Current employer: Teutus Quinctilius Varus History CHILDHOOD [37 to 46 AD]: Lexus – who to this day cannot recall the name his parents gave him - was born into a family within the Chatti tribe in Germania. They lived on the Northern side of the Rhine, and when he was born, there was peace. As a child though, he often heard the stories of his greatgrandfathers who fought against the Romans and the general Varus in the Teuteburger Forest and beat them, so that they would never take his tribe’s lands. His ancestors were the reason why Lexus was free and not a Roman, and he was proud of this, already as a child. He loved sitting around the fire at the hearth in the house in the evenings, listening to stories about the battles and often he would imagine himself as a great warrior, fighting the Romans and winning. But his mother told him, that there was peace now, and Lexus would grow up to become a farmer, just like his father. There was no need to consider fighting in battles or wars, even if this interested him greatly.[br] However, he thought he would indeed be a farmer like the rest of his family and most people in the village. Of course though, this course of life was prevented. There was a constant demand from the Roman Empire for slaves, and though German slaves were not considered the best sort, they could be useful. The village was one day attacked by another roaming tribe of Germans, looking for slaves to sell. They were not prepared in the village, and those who did not die during the attack, were captured and enslaved. Lexus tried to hide along with his sister, Amalia, but their parents were killed and the children were found. Lexus was 7 years old at the time, and he held on well to his little sister and did his best to protect her. It was on the way south that he came to hate being in close spaces and cages, for this was how they travelled – he sat in a wagon with his sister, embracing her most of the time. It didn’t take long for him to begin missing freedom and the ability to run… but Lexus wasn’t able to ‘run’ for many years though, for after the long journey South, he and his sister were sold as slaves to the same household in Rome. Amalia came to work in the kitchens, while Lexus was taught how to take care of the horses. He absolutely hated being a slave. Lexus could often be caught daydreaming about the old stories about how his people fought the Romans and won… but here he sat, as a slave to the very same people his ancestors fought against! TEENAGE TO EARLY ADULT [46 to 56 AD]: As he grew older, he would learn how to fight though. He grew tall and working with the horses ensured that he grew strong too. So when Lexus’ owner lost his fortune, someone else luckily saw Lexus’ potential. In the year 51 AD, when Lexus was 14 years old, he was sold to a gladiator school – to become a gladiator, of course. At the same sale, he lost his sister, who was sold to someone else while Lexus went to the gladiator school. He missed his sister a lot, but he also knew he had to work even harder now. Lexus was aware that he could die in the arena, but he was also aware that his purpose was to fight and win and live. He knew that he could honor his ancestors by staying alive and fighting to become free again and eventually one day leave Rome. Lexus still hated the Romans, but he tried his best to follow orders on a daily basis. When he was 15 years old, he experienced pleasure for the first time with an older and experienced female slave of the same house, as his owner thought that losing his virginity would do him very good. And it did. It became the beginning of his neverending desire for more of that. Meanwhile, he also grew stronger and more skilled at fighting. He fought his first fight in a smaller arena when he was 17 years old, and he has survived since then, moving on and towards the grand arenas. He learned how to give the crowd some entertainment, but never did he forget his longing for freedom. He also hoped that if he gained freedom, he’d find his sister… and go home. ADULTHOOD [56 AD to 73 AD]: Eventually, Lexus would get at least one of the things he hoped for in life. He fought for years in the arena and gained quite the reputation – both in the arena and it became quite known that he enjoyed sex with whomever would sleep with him. Lexus was not fussy, as long as he thought his partner was good looking. When he was 22 years old, he was sold from his original lanista to another Dominus and another ludus. At this point of his life, he was a champion - a primus. After a win in the arena for his new owners – patrons - he was given a night with the personal slave to his new owner’s wife. Her name was Ginevera and she became pregnant and had his son in September 59 AD. Ginevera was freed however, before she gave birth and Lexus had never met the child. Later that same year, he also met Achillia, a gladiatrix with whom he fell in love. She even became pregnant too, but sadly, she lost the child before it was born. In the spring of 60 AD, Lexus changed owner again, as the ludus was handed over to the nephew of his first lanista. His new owner was Lucius Antonius Octavianus. And it was at this point that Lexus thought it was now or never – and dared to request freedom from his new owner. To his great surprise, Lucius took him up on the request, freed him the next day, and made Lexus the new lanista of his newly acquired ludus. Lexus took his owners name, changed his slave name slightly, and has since then officially been known as Lucius Antonius Alexius… although among friends, he’s still known as Lexus. As a lanista, he married Ariella Alexia in 61 AD and in 62 AD, he left the hard work of a lanista to someone else, as his former owner allowed him to leave Rome to finally return to Germania – as he had longed to do since he was a child. He brought Ariella with him on the long journey and was glad to at least have someone. For when he returned to Germania and found the area where his village had once been, he learned that it had been burnt down decades ago and no one ever rebuilt it the same place again. Now there was just a field where he had once played with his sister… and everyone who once knew his family were gone. Germania was not the paradise he’d dreamed it would be and he returned to Rome with his wife, now feeling as if he did not belong anywhere. In Rome, he had always been a slave and a gladiator. When he was freed, the gladiators treated him differently than before and the Romans still did not consider him a real Roman. And in Germania, he did not belong either. In the end, his marriage suffered under all this. Alexius fell into a dark pit in his mind, and began sleeping around again and drinking, despite having a beautiful and young wife who adored him. He also took work as a guard and spent more time away from home than in it. The life Alexius was used to live was gone and while his wife became pregnant and they hoped to become parents, she miscarried. Eventually, Alexius decided they’d both do better without each other. Since he divorced his wife, he has not taken a new one. He spent many years working as a guard for various nobles, escorting them around in the Empire, but he has now returned to Rome to try and settle down once more. Alexius has even considered returning to life as a gladiator, thinking if does, he may actually stay until the arena takes him for good. This is where his life took him. Lately he has worked as a personal bodyguard (with benefits and feelings involved) to Oriana Laecinia, but Alexius found it hard to stay true to her and she was bound to marry sometime. Now he lives in an insula with his 16 year old son, whom he only just met recently, taking various small jobs when he can, while he still hopes for the next proper job and perhaps, someday, a lover who will accept him as he is with his desires to sleep around with many. Atrice | GMT+1 | PM or Discord #7964
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