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June 74CE. (After In the hot seat.) Eventually, the trio at parted after the meeting at the Flavian Colossuem and Octavius had spent a little more time with Ario. Before they had parted. As promised, Octavius made himself available to seeing Aulus and catching up on all the news from the provinces. No doubt Aulus would wish to see his sister and ensure his family was settled in. An invitation for a midday meal was sent earlier in the week in order to ensure that it did not impede Octavius' busy schedule, and hopefully showed courtesy to Aulus' as well. Messengers passed back and forth in order to work out a date. Sometime, an arrangement would be made for the families of both of them to meet and spend time together. However, this meeting would be for the two men. To catch up for old time's sakes. The home still had signs of Octavius' father and the family members who had resided here for a long time. However, over time, the current generation had begun to leave their mark on the place. The hour of Aulus' arrival was gradually getting closer. Rufus waited nearby and had gradually become part of the household. Octavius continued to work, writing and preparing things for the next day. His scribes behind him were also working, occasionally they would check with their Dominus about whether the work was acceptable or not. "Turio greet my guest when he arrives and bring him to the Atrium," Octavius instructed and the slave obediently walked to fetch the guest. Food and wine had been prepared. He had planned a meeting in the garden rather than the office he regularly worked from when he was at home. Eventually, he would rest and have a break while meeting his old friend from the past, and to be able to fully catch up with what had taken place between them. Eventually, Octavius hoped for their families to be able to meet. @Sharpie
Early April 74CE It was maybe a day or so after he'd been bought by his new master, one Octavius Flavius Alexander, cousin to the Titus Flavius Alexander he'd been lent to back in January for three days (three days of startling adventure, compared to anything Rufus had ever experienced before). He had been informed that his new master was a busy man, and had not been set to anything specific since his purchase, so had found himself helping round the house where an extra pair of hands was required, trying to get to know his fellow slaves, and to find a place in this new household. He was aware that his new master knew his abilities; they'd been written up and displayed for all to see, on a board around Rufus' neck - something that happened to every slave ever sold, as far as he could tell. But he hadn't been set to anything specific since his arrival. Whether that was because his new master was too busy, or merely wanted him to get to know how the household ran, or for some other reason entirely, Rufus had no idea. But now he had been summoned to the tablinum, the master's study, and he could not help wiping his hands on his clean new tunic. What if there had been some sort of mistake? Was he to be returned to the slave-dealer? Had he somehow displeased his new owner - which was entirely possible, of course, as he was still learning his way around the house and who everybody was (despite being a town house, it was far bigger than his old master's villa - but then, Octavius Flavius Alexander was a member of the senatorial class where Rufus' old master had been an equestrian). Was he, gods forbid, about to be told he should answer to a different name, even - it did happen, after all. "You sent for me, Domine?" he said, stopping just inside the tablinum, his hands folded neatly in front of him and his eyes down submissively. The mosaic of the floor was impressive, as was everything else in the house. His mouth was dry - why was it always easier to think that you'd done something wrong, when it might simply be that the master wanted to know how his new purchase was settling in? Because Roman masters didn't particularly care to know about their slaves' comfort - they bought slaves to make their own lives comfortable, why would they care about their slaves' comfort?! @Gothic
March 74CE Rufus had not expected to be sold - not so soon, anyway; every slave could expect to be sold at some point, after all. It was part of the condition of being a slave. He had just not expected it so soon, nor had he really expected it to be in Rome, several days' journey from home. He really shouldn't be thinking of Paestum as 'home' any more, except that it had been all his life. Home now would be... wherever his new master (mistress?) lived. Rufus could only hope that he (or she, or they) would be decent enough to their slaves. Somewhere to sleep at night, regular mealtimes, enough food... It would be useless to dream of much more than that, of course. At least he had the comfort of being a slave from within Italy, whose mother tongue was Latin and who therefore did not have to suffer the added indignity of being put up for sale with his feet chalked as the imported slaves did - even if he did resemble them in colouring more than he resembled the olive-skinned, dark-haired Romans. Well, that couldn't be helped, of course. He brushed straw from his hair and straightened as the master approached, leaning on his stick due to the limp he had. This could be it; he could be in a new home with a new master by sunset. He stood neatly, with his hands folded in front of him, his head up but his eyes down - no free man liked a slave who looked them in the face, after all, and Rufus wanted as much favour with the master as he could, in order to have the best chance he could of going to a good owner. And of course, the master would know who the good owners were likely to be (at least, from the point of view of his earnings. Maybe not so much from the point of view of the slaves sold to them.) He drew a breath, readying himself for what was to happen, but did not speak. After all, slaves did not initiate conversations with the free if they knew what was good for them. @Sarah @Gothic @Gil