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Of all places... (Lucilla)

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COLLIS PALATINUS » Hortulum » Of all places... (Lucilla)
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Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 4, 2009, 4:36am

It had been rather ironic, actually, that a report had come in from the home of Claudius. Upon the start of his duty, Marcus was dismayed to read a report of some sort of vandalism dealing with the Emperor's estate. Rumors had leaked into the streets of the man's condition, and citizens had saw to it to create very bizarre illustrations upon the southern wall of the estate. Marcus partially suspected the guards of the place had allowed the mischief, seeing as how most sensible Romans would not want a Jewish Emperor. But, in the end, regardless of his suspicions, he was required to follow procedure. Procedure would lead him to the Palace.

His arrival was expected, as he had expected. Upon showing up before the large pathway that led up to the entrance of the palace, Marcus was greeted by two Praetorians -- both men he knew by name. The three exchanged gossip and news for a few moments, catching up with one another, and then headed to the estate. Marcus had been notified the estate's head slave would be meeting with him, and so he waited patiently for several minutes within the entrance. Several more minutes passed, and no one came to see him. Being a man that hated wasting time, Marcus decided to find someone himself.

Taking the first exit he could find, the man was surprised to find himself in the midst of a glorious garden. His eyes instantly fell to the various -- and very exotic -- plants that were perfectly aligned around the entire place. A smirk crossed his face as he thought of his own pitiful garden in his own home. Deciding to continue his walk, the man discovered his original decision had been the wrong one. Of all the people possible for Marcus to see, Lucilla, his former wife, and current love, stood only feet away from him. As he had remembered perfectly for the past eleven months, she was tending to her plants. There were some things she refused to let go -- a part of her mother.

Fixing his brows with concentration, the man strengthened his resolve. He was a professional, and had come to mind his duty, not his heart. If Lucilla was the only capable person in sight, Lucilla would have to do. He walked with stiff steps, noticing the sweat forming on the back of his neck. The woman he had spent much of his life with, that he had first shared a bed with, that -- at one time -- he had known so well, seemed a complete stranger to him. "My lady..." he said softly, honoring her title.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Mar 4, 2009, 6:04pm

Lucilla didn't have any great particular talent for gardening. But it was something she would occasionally do if you wanted to focus her mind; since she was slightly unable to wield arms for the sake of it. She looked down at the moist earth around the plants and could not resist a smile of pride. A gardener stood near by to assist her if she needed any heavy lifting or to do a task she had no desire to do so. The man's attention was directed elsewhere when he suddenly bowed his head to someone.

"Lucan! These plants are not arranged properly they need to be able to gain sunlight" She said peevishly; as she noticed the slave was strangely silent. She looked towards him and saw that he was showing submittance. "Lucan!" She commanded as she turned her head again towards where the slave was bowing and saw an unexpected pleasure. It was her second and most favoured husband Marcus. A smile came across her features as she slowly rose from her place on the floor.

"Hello Marcus, it is a pleasure to see you" She said; as she offered for the slave to take the heavy leather hide gloves from her hands. Once he had removed them for her; she removed the shift that had been used to protect her clothing. The dress beneath was by far not her finest garment; but it was still suitable for her to wear. What a woman of the patrician class desire to wear.

"What brings you here Marcus?" She asked curiously; as she walked towards him to take his hands and give him a kiss of greeting on either of his cheeks. Lucilla had no idea how this day would possibly go. She had imagined the day to be by far more awkward; with memories of the pleasant times they had spent together showing up, Marcus looked nervous to be with her again; clearly he didn't to see her here.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 6, 2009, 11:36pm

Swallowing the gulp of nerves that seemed to have gathered within his mouth, Marcus smiled. Each time he thought to open his mouth, it would suddenly shut, keeping any words from escaping. "It is good to see you, as well, my dea-- ahem, Lady." Again the man flashed his smile, making his best attempt smoothly put off the mistake he had just made. "Eleven months and still you think to call her such!?" He could not help but berate himself in the confines of his mind. Clearing his throat, his professionalism returned.

"The Cohort has received information of vandalism upon the southern-most wall of the Palace," he reported. "Frankly, I am not quite sure why we received the notice, as opposed to the Guard. I assume the Emperor's Guard are concerned with much more important matters currently." Though he dared not speak of Claudius' rumored condition openly, the tone of the man was evident. As almost every other soul in the city, Marcus was aware the Emperor was not well. Darius, in fact, the son of both Marcus and the Empress, had been the one to inform him. Though Darius had informed Marcus of his Lucilla's reaction, the man wondered how she would act in public, and before him. He dared not bring it up... not yet.

"Is there anything specific you would like me to do, my lady?" He asked. "If I must, I can ensure that a detachment of a few soldiers are sent to the southern wall to prevent such vandalism. Or, they could be sent on patrol. Whatever you think is best." She looked far more beautiful than he had remembered. His mind served only so well; he could only remember her in contexts, in certain memories. And even then, Marcus could only recall his feelings, or words. Images were more or less blurred, as was the sensation of touch and true feeling. Though she had been working amongst the flowers, her skin was pristine and perfect. Silently, Marcus wondered at how splendid the baths of the Palace had to be.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Mar 7, 2009, 6:22pm

She took his hands in her own and gave him a peck on either cheek. She smiled remorsefully when he stumbled on her new title, Lucilla truly missed this man who was so humble, so honest and so true. She didn't mock him for his mistake and was relieved when he regained his composure and started to speak of the vandalism that had occurred around the Palace grounds. Her brow narrowed, she had heard the servants talk of it in muttered voices and as of yet she hadn't seen the vandalism for herself. She nodded in agreement. Recently a Priest had openly spoken out against the Emperor and was executed for the crime, although it was only a matter of time before they went too far.

"Yes they have been extremely busy of late. But it's to our advantage is it not?" She asked with a smile. It was pleasant to see him again. She remembered the hurt in his eyes as Claudius adopted his children and took them away from him. But the man's steadfast honour demanded that he allow the man who had pledged his life to protect take away what he held dearly. She hadn't yet spoken to Tiberius about what was happening to the Emperor and needed to know what the situation was. For now, the Praetorian Guard were supporting her... but also Caesar. Of her schemes she kept quiet around Marcus, it was not the right time.

"I think guarding the area would be a good idea, Nothing too drastic, the graffiti on the wall was mainly concerning Caesar's religious views" She said; clear displeasure in her voice. Gods! If she had done the job properly Caesar would be dead now and her son on the way to becoming the next Caesar of Rome. "But I do think some patrolling around the Domus would be a good idea as well. But do not take too many men away from keeping the peace around the city"

She paused looking him over, she had heard he had not remarried again after she had left him. That was incorrect, she was ordered to leave him.

"Would you like to stay for dinner? Your company would be worst welcome" She asked him. Surely the children would like to see their Father whilst he's here. Claudius barely spent any time with them to begin with. Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 9, 2009, 3:39am

He nodded stiffly, a simple, all-too-common motion for him as a soldier. The muscles of his neck had grown so used to sudden twitching and jerking that receiving orders demanded. "Understood, Lucilla," he said, a faint hint of his old confidence returning to his voice. With each breath he grew more and more comfortable in her presence. He knew she wouldn't be going back with him when he left, but at least he was able to see her for the time. She seemed to be so smooth and in control; she had never been a woman for fear, or nerves. Then again, he had never been a man for such things either, until his life had been changed drastically. "I will sent a detachment of eight of my finest men to patrol the wall, and clean it of any profanities."

Conversation paused for a moment as neither of them seemed to know what to say. Marcus had a thousand questions he could ask, but he would not impose personal matters upon Lucilla unless she engaged in her own curiosities. The man desperately wanted to know how his children were, the younger two he had not seen for quite some time. He also had many questions dealing with the Emperor and his supposed change of religion.

Dinner? His mind reeled for a moment, unsure of what it had just heard. "Yes, I would very much enjoy that, thank you," he stated calmly, correcting for the pause just seconds before. "Though, if you have a runner, I should send this dispatch to the headquarters." He smiled, sure she would remember the Marcus who always had to complete his orders.

The man silently wondered how his children would react to him sitting for a dinner with them. There was no worry of the Emperor, as apparently the man was incapable of anything but declaring himself to be someone else entirely. The servants of the house were sure to leak any gossip or information they found interesting -- as they were the only explanation for the Emperor's state being known throughout the city. Marcus smiled at the thought; he wouldn't mind the city knowing he had shared a meal and conversation with Lucilla and his children.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Mar 9, 2009, 7:03pm

She smiled in response to his military like answers. It was always so pleasant speaking to him; it was also pleasing to hear that he still remembered her name. Lucilla couldn't resist a smirk at the awkward nature a simple meal could cause; especially when it was such a normal event when the pair of them were married. She chuckled and nodded, of course he would be interested in completing the orders that were set for him. "Yes of course" She said, before turning to the slave Lucan. "Fetch a runner immediately" The slave gave a polite bow before turning to walk away to do as ordered. She turned back to Marcus with a smile; she had a feeling of what he wanted to know. He had always cared about his children; about their education and their general welfare.

"The children are well, you see Darius regularly. Junus is the typical scholar he always tends to be. Always with his head in scrolls or codexs" She remarked with a chuckle. "Although I hope he grows out of it and becomes a bit more soldierly. Little Flavia grows prettier day by day, although she's still quite a shy little thing as you will see at dinner" She remarked, then realising to who she was speaking to.

Gently she placed a hand on his arm in case her words had offended him in some way. "I am sure there will be no problems. She still talks about you all the time" She said; suddenly feeling quite saddened by the fact as her smile disappeared. The union to Claudius had brought her greater power but it also brought her a sense of loneliness as well.

"How have you been, Marcus?" She asked; somewhat tenderly. A woman like Lucilla was not tender very often. But she was generally concerned about her ex husband. He was a good man and then to loose everything on the whim of a silly old fart must have been devastating for him to do. Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 9, 2009, 8:40pm

He smiled with a raise of his brows. "You read my mind, as always." Junus had always been a source of pride for the man, as had Darius. In all the history of his family, most of the men had been soldiers. They had served their required years, gaining various ranks, but serving nonetheless. Some had died in battle, others managed to return, but the line always continued. Darius was the soldier, as was blatantly obvious. He took after Marcus in many ways, and the father could have held more pride over the matter. Junus, though, was a refreshing surprise for Marcus. The boy possessed considerable knowledge, and the thought of a son of his becoming a lawyer, or a senator one day was a very promising one.

"I am glad to hear they are well," he stated, looking down to where her hand swayed against his arm. "Has Junus spoken any of his aspirations? Of what career he wishes to pursue? I know my mind was set at his age, but I had very different influences." He chuckled, remembering his young self and how badly he wished to become a hero. Smiling at the softness in her voice -- her voice as he remembered it -- the soldier felt a familiar sensation. "I have been well." The statement was a half-truth; he had managed to keep his body in fit physical condition, and he had avoided sickness, but he constantly yearned for the woman before him whenever his mind dwelt on her.

"I have been keeping myself busy with the duties of a Centurion within the Cohort. Duty calls quite often, as I am sure you can recall." He smiled at the reference to the days when they had first been married, when he could only see his family for months at a time before leaving for two or four-year campaigns. "And what of you, Lucilla? How is life within the Palace?"Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Mar 10, 2009, 7:54pm

She shook her head in response to his question about Junus. "No it seems that you have an ambitious son in Darius and in Junus you have one with little interest in anything other than reading" She smiled, in a way she was pleased for him to be interested in study. Lucilla was unwilling even to admit it to herself but Junus desired to be a poet. "The silly boy wants to become a poet, although it could be useful to Darius if he ruins the reputation of some of his political enemies" She mused to herself; always thinking of how an event could give her an advantage.

Lucilla smiled; she was happy he was well. It hurt her to think that he may have lost a bit of himself after she had been removed from him. But it was his resilience that endured her to him. That made her love him. She nodded, keeping busy she had heard was a good way to distract the emotions and he was always such a hard worker. She wanted to ask about whether he had found a woman who adored him, that he could marry and would be able to give him children after his earlier ones were taken from him. But that would be tactful, she remained silent on the matter,

"With Caesar's current condition I'm sure you will have plenty of work for you to do; both around the Palace and the city itself" She mentioned; it was good for her to know a man in his position. He was one of the few she trusted.

She had expected the question to be asked, as her eyes met his. The marriage between herself and Claudius was not a particularly happy one; yet she enjoyed the status that was given to her and the freedom associated with it. "I am well" She responded, then chuckled. "It can be stressful at times; although I quite enjoy it"Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 13, 2009, 10:03pm

With a thin smile, he nodded at her answer. He had expected her to say as much, though he secretly had hoped she would admit a discontent with the place. His hopes for such a foolish thing were gone, but nevertheless he was glad she was content. "That is good to hear," he stated, his eyes turning away from her to observe his surroundings. The home of Claudius was brilliantly decorated; Marcus wondered how much of it had been there before the man's ascension, and how much of it had come from power. "It is a beautiful home. It is only fitting that you should live here." He grinned at her, noticing her own small smile curling the edges of her lips.

Turning away from her, he continued his inspection of the walls and decorations around him. She had spoken then truth when she mentioned Caesar's condition, and the increased amount of violence. The people had begun to go mad in the poorer sections of the city. Though authority was still very-much maintained, and though Caesar was very much alive, the poorer citizens thought the time was ripe for looting and murder and all sorts of vile things. Marcus had, himself, been very busy the entire week up until his meeting with Lucilla. He hadn't expected to see the report when he entered the barracks, and had planned on quite a busy, bloody day in the slums.

Turning back around to look upon the woman he adored, he sighed lightly. "Things will no doubt become more turbulent the longer it takes for Caesar to address the people. If he doesn't, or if any sort of strong, single ruler isn't established, I do not want to think of what will happen to the city." He spoke honestly, knowing Lucilla was a strong woman. One thing he had learned from their years together was that she was a person who expected the truth at all times, or at least he was such a man to give it. "But I will do what I must to ensure those I care about most are protected, should times such as those descend upon us."Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Mar 14, 2009, 10:53pm

Lucilla smiled as she listened to him. She agreed with him about the home being beautiful; some of it was her doing other parts were added as the years went on by previous members of her husband's family. For the moment the normally commanding woman was willing to have a quiet afternoon with her ex-husband. If it wasn't for the greed of the current Emperor, she would have still been married to him to this day. Of course, she would prefer to live with Marcus although the man lacked the endless ambition she had. She smiled and remained silent as she listened to him speak.

She had expected as much from the lower classes within the city. They always seemed to be ready to riot at the slightest sign of problems. No doubt they were likely being stirred up by the various factions in the city who wanted power for themselves. With a soft sigh, she had not seen Caesar since everyone was forced out of the Emperor's bed chambers and the man suddenly believed that he was a Jew. If the matter was not complete then she would be removing him from the situation. She gave him a sad smile as she answered it for him, what he likely knew what would happen. "Chaos" She responded.

At the moment there was no candidate who came out as being on top. There was Camillus; the Republicans, her Father and were this a few years in the future then their son would have a chance at the Imperial throne. She smiled at him; there was no doubts in her mind that he would protect her and their children.

"I am glad of that" She answered softly. There were so many who wanted to take the position of power from her. Even the members within her current husband's family were ambitious - Manius and his harpy mother.

"I am going to speak to the Commander of the Praetorian guards shortly about the condition of Caesar. Apparently no-one is currently permitted to see the man" She continued; clearly showing her distaste at being excluded from whatever was happening with the man. "I think it would also be a good idea for you to speak with him too, let him know what kind of things are happening around the city. Even if it's likely for him to know" She spoke.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 18, 2009, 1:19am

Marcus raised his brows at the news, surprised that Tiberius had the power to keep any and all away from the Emperor. He supposed it was for the utmost protection, but something about the Prefect of the Praetorians always struck a bad chord with the man. Though the guard was in place to protect the Emperor at all costs, no matter what, Marcus had seen -- first hand -- the members of the guard accept "monetary donations" which in turn swayed the support of the soldiers. In his mind, such a thing went against the very oath the Praetorians took upon their induction. When he had been offered a position within the ranks by Claudius upon the departure of Lucilla, Marcus rejected politely, insisting he was better-suited with the Urban Cohort. Not to mention, Marcus would not be "bought off" in any way for the stealing of his wife.

He nodded, thinking in silence. "Indeed, perhaps I should," he stated, looking to the woman standing before him. "I have no doubts he is aware of the events within the city, but Tiberius is a man who cares only for the protection of the Emperor, and his own industries. Nevertheless, it may be a good thing for me to speak with him. When do you plan on visiting him?" Marcus thought of the Praetorian's response if he were to show up. "Then again, I could be seen as a suspect for the assassination on the man. It is a very logical assumption, one that I am sure has already been considered."

They walked some, away from the garden and into the open areas of the Palace. Though the confines of Claudius' home were beautiful and extravagant in every way, Marcus could not help but keep his eyes of the woman at his side. In his mind, Lucilla far-surpassed any beauty or elegance the decorations of the home could provide. "How are the slaves doing?" He asked, noticing a rather young boy scurry in front of them. "The ones that went with you when you left?" As a married couple, Marcus and Lucilla had acquired a number of slaves. Marcus inherited those of his parents' that had not been freed, while Lucilla purchased many, and herself acquired some. Upon their split, only those that had originated in Marcus' family remained; the others, he hadn't seen for quite some time. In truth, he wasn't worried about the slaves, and he knew Lucilla wasn't, either. He only wanted to hear her speak as much as possible, with hopes to remember the sound of her voice upon his departure.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Mar 20, 2009, 6:35am

"I am going to see the man very shortly; I think the sooner I know the better about what the situation is with Claudius the better. There hasn't even been word about whether or not his illness has passed" She said; as the pair of them walked through the Palace. His company was certainly a relief from the hangers on who desired nothing but favours from her in order to get their way. Marcus was a soldier; an honest man probably like one of the ones from the old and dignified Rome. In a way she had never forgiven Claudius for marrying her, taking her away from a happy home in order to marry her for political gains. "I am going to find out the truth concerning the man and make sure the matter is dealt with, before Rome turns to nothing but pure chaos!" She spoke; her tone turning into a more commanding tone. Lucilla gave him an apoletgetic smile for a moment but it was a habit she did not feel she could break. She had been commanding men since she left the cradle; it felt as natural as breathing to her.

When he asked about the slaves she wondered why he was speaking of a trivial matter such as slaves. Perhaps he was lonely and wished to spend some more time with her? Lucilla certainly happy to indulge him. it was pleasant company for her. "Oh yes, the slaves. Aulus and Gaulus are doing well. They don't seem to like the Praetorian guards much" Although there were many peiple who didn't particularly like them much. "I still have Iulia, my hairdresser and Nymph my cosmetic slaves. Both are doing well" On thinking on it she didn't purchase many new slaves since coming to the new home. "The others are doing well; though one of my old grooms. I freed and retired him but he kept coming back. So he's a member of the staff now" She said with a smile. If the man hadn't of been useful he definitely would have been driven out.

With a playful smirk sneakily she elbowed him in the ribs. "And how are those two slaves who act as if they're your parents?" She asked him; at the present time she couldn't remember their names. But she knew they were dear to Marcus. Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 28, 2009, 2:05pm

It was evident that Lucilla was disturbed by the condition of the Emperor. Her entire body showed the signs of stress and anxiety that he would expect from a woman in her position. He had been careful to read her reactions when she mentioned the Emperor, and was somewhat pleased. Though she was upset and worried for the man, it was in a manner different than what he had expected. From what Marcus could tell, there was little emotional connection; little of the feelings and thoughts she expressed had anything to do with a love for the man.

Marcus' heart soared, a smile forming across his lips. "It is understandable why you are so upset by the way things have progressed," he stated, commenting on what she had already said. "If I were in your position, I would certainly expect to know everything going on within my own home." He thought of her mentioning of Romulus; he would need to meet with the man. Marcus had never trusted him, and now with Lucilla's forcefulness, and Romulus' inability to hold back when need-be, there was the potential for disaster.

With a chuckle, Marcus was glad she recalled his two eldest slaves, those who had been with him for his entire life. They had their own, great personalities, to be sure. "Yes, yes, Caius and Aurelia," he said, reminder her of their names, "they are quite alright. It surprises me how healthy they are, even in their old age. They have lived the lives of slaves, and yet managed to surpass my parents, and could even surpass me!" A deep chuckle filled the air of the corridor. "They get more excited than I do when the children visit, it is quite a spectacle."

They came through a small hall that led away from the gardens and the rest of palace. To Marcus, there were far too many rooms in the home, as he had no idea where he was. He had simply been walking and speaking, letting his feet follow the steps of the woman at his side. "This home is enormous," he spoke. "I feel much out of place here." His head reared back, allowing his eyes greater sight of the palace surrounding him. Leveling his sight, he looked to the woman that still held his heart. "Though the company certainly helps."Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Mar 30, 2009, 11:10am

Lucilla was a woman who tended to avoid talking about slaves to merely extend conversation. How different was she with him! She chuckled at the fortune of their long life and no doubt the pair of them lived to simply make sure Marcus behaved himself. She smiled remorsefully at the mention of the happy slaves seeing her children arrive at the place that had been their home. It was something she had long pushed from her mind. Not from displeasure but from the fact it may remove her reason and bring her to womanish tears.

"Yes, I have to admit it felt odd here when I first moved here. It was so spacious" She answered and smiled at his comment. She doubted during her time away from him that Marcus had become a courtier, a man with a silver tongue. No-one was around, the pair of them had a moment of privacy that they would likely not receive again. "I am certainly enjoying your company as well. Usually someone would have hinted at some kind of favour by now" She lightly teased and wished she could go home with him. She looked at him with love for a moment; it was a look she rarely gave anyone. Especially these days of late but how she loved this man's honesty, his respectable nature and his quiet confidence.

Feeling herself grow weak with the thought of openly showing her love for him on her face, the Empress decided a change of topic would be in order before she had lost all control of herself. Regaining her composure she continued. "Flavia will be staying with her Grandmothers for some time. I am sure she would love to stay with you at your place. Or you could simply visit her, in comfort and quiet at my Mother's house rather than here". Here is daughter was thought of as Caesar's daughter. His child. Marcus couldn't show as much affection as he would have wanted too.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Mar 30, 2009, 10:00pm

If there was anything Marcus was ever good at other than fighting and holding true to his words, it was his ability to read people. Ever since childhood the man had possessed a talent for understanding the different contortions of the face. Expressions to him were nearly plain as spoken words, and he often used it to his advantage. He had incredible insight to the personalities of others, and it served him well.

Lucilla's smiles, though extremely well hidden by her, did not escape his understanding. Marcus knew from the wetness against her eyes, and the way her smile seemed to linger moments after the thought had left that she still felt something for him. He couldn't be sure what, but he knew there was something, and it was more than he had known before coming into the Palace. In all honesty, he hadn't intended on seeing her, but had hoped for it. His departure from her would be much easier to bear, all from a simple smile.

"Yes, I can imagine," he said with a laugh between his words. "There is no need for such room, but I suppose the Emperor has the right to anything he desires, no?" He smiled fondly at the woman, just happening to realize the double-meaning behind his words after saying them. Lucilla's face remained still, her breathing tightened, but she refrained from speaking. His eyes locked with hers and he could see what she wanted to say, or at least what she felt for that moment.

She retained her strength, and her same old willpower, which only pushed his love for the woman further. "Is that so?" His voice was filled with appeasement and surprise. "Well I shall certainly have her at home with me once more. It has been months since I have seen her. I am sure she will have thousands of things to speak with me about, as usual." A short laugh came out as he thought of his young daughter. It would do them both well if she were able to stay with him for a while.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Apr 3, 2009, 9:28am

When he mentioned the Emperor being able to have anything he desired to have. Her eyes met with his, her eyes were calm but they showed sadness within them - the longing to be with him. The family of old they had when for the moment she pushed aside her ambition for the sake of contentment and family. Was this man her weakness? The thing that would put a gag on her ambition and desire for power? Normally if anything stood in her way, she would limit it's impact or destroy it utterly. But the bond between the two of them was sacred.

She chuckled, Flavia for the most part had little in common with Lucilla. Except she seemed to have inherited the woman's stubbornness and strong willed nature. Besides Lucilla was sure if the girl fled from her lessons she would have the girl flogged. The Empress wasn't a particularly motherly person. "I'm sure she will tell you all sorts of things; I have pondered getting her a pony to ride" She said; hoping Marcus would be interested in assisting her. Lucila had a feeling the man would do so, especially if it meant seeing his daughter more often. "She has been eyeing up some of mine, and, before she gets any ideas I would like her to have her own. Mine are not safe for children" She said with a smile, horses were one of her passions in life.

"Would you be interested in finding a pony for her?" She asked plainly.

OOC: excuse poopy post.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Apr 5, 2009, 8:00pm

Marcus smiled, recalling when he had gone with his father to choose his first horse. Though the circumstances we quite different -- he had been choosing an animal to begin his training with, whereas Lucilla was merely ensuring her daughter wouldn't get hurt on a grown steed -- it was still something the man would be more than happy to do. "Eying up some of yours, you say?" He asked, picturing his young, energetic daughter getting into places she shouldn't, all for the excitement of it. "I would love to look around for her, Lucilla. I know several men throughout the city that could give me a good deal on a tame, docile horse for her."

Even with the smallest of horses, there was still a chance Flavia could get hurt in the riding. "Has Flavia had any riding lessons? Or are you planning on hiring an instructor?" In his heart, the man longed that his family was still intact, that he and Lucilla could travel together and find a horse for their daughter, and then take her to the fields of his parent's house -- that he still technically owned -- and teach her to ride. He knew he enjoyed the one-on-one lessons from his father much more than the ones of any instructors that were hired. It was a wonderful bonding experience for the two, and helped to strengthen their relationship in later years. He was sure, if Lucilla were able to teach her young daughter, it would help them get a better understanding for one another.

"Or, of course," he continued, vocalizing his thoughts, "you could teach her yourself, if you find the time." He smiled, knowing any other person in the entire empire couldn't make suggestions to the 'Empress' on how she could, or should spend her time. "I know you two have little in common, but it could be a good experience."

((it's quite alright. mine's not so hot, either.))Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Apr 7, 2009, 7:25am

Lucilla was pleased that Marcus was interested in finding a pony for little Flavia to call her own. As much affectionate love she had for her daughter; she found the endless prattle that came from the little girl's mouth utterly tedious at the best of times. And when Lucilla was in a more sour mood the urge to put a pillow over the little girl's face became more intense.. She smiled and answered him. "Yes, she has been. Ah, excellent! I am pleased that she would be able to ride and give my ears peace over wanting to take Nero for a ride" She rolled her eyes and chuckled at her daughter's enthusiasm.

"No, at this time she does not" She answered his second question. Of course he would be practical and ask whether she had any riding experience. Lucilla enjoyed riding and watching her horses, but she found the idea of teaching an enthusiastic child that sometimes would descend into hyperactivity that children happened to have was not an appealing one. No doubt it would give Marcus a chance to spend more time with his little girl. Time he was denied.

It would be nice to spend time with her, perhaps she wasn't simply the nuisance she made herself out to be. Anyone else would have been ignored, given a sharp retort but not Marcus. The Empress was quiet as she considered the option he had given her. Lucilla had no idea how to train a child to ride, much less maintain her patience with one.

"With the current condition of Caesar, my temper has been all over the place. You know how little Flavia is" She explained, although she knew herself for it to be a pretty feeble excuse. "Would you be interested in being the girl's riding instructor? Or a man of your choosing?" She asked, hoping he would be willing to assist her in this. Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Apr 8, 2009, 9:37pm

The man let a small smile break the stillness of his face, though for all purposes he was not very happy with the way Lucilla had answered. He knew the woman was always busy, and she had sparks of her mother in her; she seemed as if she did not want children, almost. It was something struck Marcus' heart quite hard. Though he had realized she was far from him, and he might not ever get her back, he knew they would always have some sort of connection through their children. Lucilla had changed a lot in her time away, it was clearly evident to the soldier. His grin slowly faded from the corners of his face and he remained still for a moment, not sure of what to say to her.

With a slight bow of his head, and a slight stutter, he agreed. "Yes, of course, I would love to teach her." Lucilla was a powerful woman, he realized, but for the first time, part of the man feared that her gain in power had corrupted who she had at one time been. There was much he wished to say to her, almost to give her a lecture on the way she seemed to treat her youngest child, but he held his tongue. She was no longer his wife, and he had no place telling the Empress of Rome his opinions of her parenting, regardless of their previous relations. Honor once more held his heart from speaking what it desired to say.

Taking a deep breath, he again smiled, pressing away the slightly strange moment. Lucilla realized her excuse for not wanting to instruct Flavia was shaky, but Marcus took the responsibility upon himself, and let the silence pass. "Anyway, I have grown rather curious about seeing what the rest of this place looks like," he stated, placing a quick change of tone to his voice. "Would you care to show me around? It would merely be for the protection of yourself and the royal family, of course," he added, grinning in the same boyish way.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Apr 9, 2009, 11:57pm

Lucilla's own smile faded when she saw the decline of the smile from Marcus'. The man who loved her despite her ambitions and the darker side of her nature. Her face stiffened as she turned away from him; had she changed so much since she was married to him in little over a year? She quietly nodded when he told her that he would be willing to teach Flavia to ride her own little pony. It would be good to see him around the Palace more often than she currently did. The Empress was quiet; her own thoughts troubling her as she thought of the home life she had once shared with Marcus. They lived well; the children were educated and they have lived the life that many people would be envious of.

When Marcus showed interest in viewing the rest of the extensive home she shared with the idiot she had been sworn to marry. Clearly it was an excuse to stay with her and for that she smiled, pleased despite his disapproval of her thoughts of raising children. It was partially out of fear she avoided spending too much time with them then she would end up killing them. When they were older, then she would be happy to speak with them and especially if they were intelligent.

"Of course, what areas have I yet to show you?" She asked; having been too absorbed in the conversation between them to remember where it is exactly they had gone by. In a cruel gesture; Caesar had instructed Marcus to attend the marriage to watch the woman he loved to be married to him. "Of course, I must show you any possible entrances in case villains decide to suddenly invade during the night" She teased; giving him a wink and feeling a bit more cheered than the previous part of their conversation. Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Apr 10, 2009, 1:46am

Though he was a man able to recognize the meaning of expressions others displayed, Marcus paid little attention to the effects of his own gestures. Lucilla turned away, her previously bright face stiffening as she did so, and only then did he realize that his own face looked quite chiseled. Stepping forward lightly, he wished to reverse the progressions since the somewhat awkward silence that had fallen on their conversation. She turned to him, taking a step toward where she thought he was, and happened to bump into the front of him. Gently placing his arms against the bare skin of his shoulders, Marcus smiled down at the woman. It had been ages since he had felt the charge of energy touching her body brought to him. He held on for a moment, perhaps a moment too long, and then backed away, smiling.

"Well, let's see," he stalled, thinking of what he'd want to see. Before he had a chance to answer, Lucilla used her own mind to fill in the blanks. "Of course, I must show you any possible entrances in case villains decide to suddenly invade in the night," she said, grinning in a manner that fit the memories Marcus possessed of her. "Oh, of course. We must make sure all entrances are safe and protected, my lady," he responded, matching her smile. The mood had cheered, and it was as if they two were teens once again, marveling in an excitement that they knew would be frowned upon. Of course, the moment was quite different than when they had been sneaking around during Lucilla's marriage to the elderly senator.

As they continued to walk through the grand hall of the Palace, Marcus silently wondered how many entrances the place had. He imagined there were not too many that directly connected to important parts of the Palace. If there was any threat of rioting, or of some sort of attack, there would only be one place for the enemies to funnel -- or at least that is how Marcus assumed the place was built. Smiling to Lucilla as they walked in somewhat juvenile silence, he wondered where they would go after the entrances had been covered, or if duty and honor would demand they cease their tour and their time together. He sincerely hoped the latter would not be true; he enjoyed spending as much time as possible with the woman. After all, he hadn't come close to losing his love for her, despite what he considered to be her only flaws.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Apr 11, 2009, 10:30pm

As she stumbled into him; physically it had been the closest the pair of them had been in nearly a year. Lucilla would have barked an insult and an order to anyone who dared come so close without her permission; but this was Marcus. Looking up at him she gave him an awkward smile and did not fight the gesture. But the Empress had noticed that he had left his hands on her shoulders for long than it was necessary. There stomachs were touching, clearly this was not the position a married woman should be be with a man, especially one that was her ex husband. For a moment Lucilla wished the gods would freeze time and she would be able to have him hold her like they used too. But that would not be able to happen. Slowly he released her and secretly she wished to have him hold her longer.

"There are many snug places around the Palace where people could sneak off to. Many are quite secluded; away from the view of prying eyes" She said, her green eyes sparkling with enthusiasm. It certainly wasn't a particularly sneaky thing they were doing was it? Surely the Commander of the Urban Cohort should surely know all the possible problems. As they walked through the courtyard; she paused near one of the thick walls used to keep people outside. She pointed a finger to a rather large stone in the wall. "Look" She said; as she pushed it with her foot. A man of strength would have been easily able to push the boulder aside. "It's not the only one around either, there are some around the guards quarters as well; amongst other places"

It wasn't the tiny little hole where they could have some privacy but at least it would appear as if he was here to do do something important. Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Apr 13, 2009, 11:14pm

Even with their bodies separated, Marcus could feel the sparks between them. It was as if the years hadn't worn on their original lust and desire; as if everything was as it should have been, as it had been at the very start. Before their children, blessed as they were, before their complicated lives of prominence and responsibility... when they were just teenagers playing games and loving every moment of it. Regardless of his responsibilities, Marcus would not leave Lucilla's side without feeling the sensation of her skin against his once more. His brow's raised at her words, and his eyes took in the excitement of her emerald orbs.

The man's mind refused to work competently as she talked; only his heart pumped, sending blood through his body, pushing him to follow her through the palace. His senses heightened as he became more and more overwhelmed with the presence of the woman he had longed to hold for so many nights. For the first time he allowed himself to notice her perfume, and the way her hips swayed ever so slightly. They walked through the rest of the palace until their steps brought them to the courtyard, and then to a small spot in one of the walls where a secret sort of hideaway was identified.

"Strange," he said, leaning closer to observe the small stone that covered what he assumed was a passage leading either out or into the complex. "There are others?" He asked, turning back to her with a sort of grin. Lucilla, as always, was a clever woman, being sure to quell any questions that might otherwise arise before they had a chance at forming completely.Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by Empress Lucilla on Apr 15, 2009, 12:46pm

"No doubt a slave at one point or another would use it in order to try to escape, a lover perhaps?" She asked with a shrug; it didn't really matter why it was here but the point is that he was here. At the word lover; a flush of rekindled desire rose to her cheeks. There were of course more hidden places around the gardens than anyone tended to realise. Lucilla rose to stand up more and pointed in the direction of a small enclave that would normally be hidden from view; her eyes turned back to his as she spoke. "There is a small area over there, you would be surprised at how quiet it would be. Anyone could be standing there - and any within the gardens wouldn't even know". A part of her did want to warm him about the dangers but there was the same euphoric feeling she had when the pair of them were much younger.

"Come on then" She teased; as she began to walk towards the location. Of course it would be awkward to say the least if one of the slaves saw her - or were there for their own pleasure rather than their tasks. As they walked into the small enclave; it had a small waterfall that had not been used for some time. The gardens were over-grown; but with a soft moss that was smooth to the touch. "It's quite peaceful here; it's a shame to think that one day this garden may be used for less than noble intentions" Lucilla gave Marcus a knowing grin; as it faded as her eyes dipped from his blue ones to his uniform.

The Empress now realised her flirtation as she sat down on the stone seat that he served it's purpose for many years. Perhaps this could become a spot that would become prized to her? Perhaps to both of them? "Sit with me, Marcus?" She asked softly; wanting to be by his side once more. Re: Of all places... (Lucilla)
Post by chris4 on Apr 15, 2009, 6:54pm

Every inch of her movements did not go unnoticed. Marcus' eyes were glued to the woman who, at the start of the day, he had been a wreck over seeing. He smiled somewhat, realizing how much of a weak fool he had been for the past months. All of his confidence had been lost, but for what reason? Taking note of her continued grins, it was obvious to him that Lucilla still cared for him, still desired him. What then, had he lost all of his confidence about? He looked away from her for a moment, observing the small hole she had shown him while she spoke of its purposes.

The scarlet hue across Lucilla's cheeks was more than evident when Marcus' eyes turned back to her. "Let us see it," he insisted, Lucilla mentioning another small-known area. "I must ensure all of the premises are secure." He winked, knowing full-well the possible consequences of his actions.They took small steps across the lawn of the courtyard until they came to a small grove where everything had been left to become wilderness. "It certainly is a tranquil place," he said, following the Empress' own statement of the beauty the area held. "Oh, I disagree," he said, walking near the stone seat Lucilla sat upon. "If anything I doubt whatever happens here would ever be a shame."

Satisfying her request, Marcus walked to the front of the bench and placed himself against the woman he had desired for so many long months. Their thighs brushed while he sat, and simply the pressure of her legs against his own was almost too much for him to handle. "I would not think to disobey a request from my Empress," he smirked, turning his attention to Lucilla.

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