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this is why ..., tag: gothy/claudia


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we can't have nice things

Claudia Caesaris early 68

Hands smoothed over her stomach, cupping the soft roundness of it as she stared at herself in the large mirror. Her forth child was blossoming within her and Cornelia could not find joy over it. Perhaps her grief was still heavy. But she could not help but find every fault in her appearance and glaringly so. Though Quintus denied seeing anything unflattering, leaving her to scoff at him and his attempts to make her complacent. But she could tell that this pregnancy was putting weight on her unlike the previous ones did. "It'll do..." She said, waving off her beauty slave who would often echo her husbands words.

Before long she was downstairs in the heart of the home she shared with her husband and his family, his younger brothers playing with her sons as the unwedded sisters and the matriarch kept her daughter occupied. But it wasn't long for the three to notice her an abandon their stations to come great their mother. No matter the facade she wore to society, she was a doting mother who loved her children with the fierce protectiveness of a cheetah. Greetings were shared as everyone settled back into play, her mother-in-law motioning her to come sit with her.

Hours of chatting and snacking would pass before the children finally demanded naps and one by one the family retreated back to their own rooms. Leaving Cornelia in a welcomed peace. A happy sigh left her as she sat back and glanced around at the garden. It was not as grand as her aunt's once was but it was pretty. A slave approached her from the entrance of the home, speaking lowly "Domina, Claudia Caesaris wishes to speak to you. Privately she says." Nodding, Cornelia rose, "Lead her to my husband's office. I will speak to her there. Then have refreshments brought to us." She replied before making her way to the office, knowing her husband would not be home for some time.

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She was nervous. The travel in the litter had not gone easily, not due to any disturbances from the populace. These were in her mind instead. Her fingers clenched together, she was uncharacteristically quiet throughout the trip and occasionally her hand pulled the curtain back to peek outside. It would not take long to reach her cousin's home although the wait kept her on edge. What if Cornelia did not keep her secret? What if there were no ways to conceal this change in life?

How soon would she be used as a pawn?

Claudia's thoughts continued to circle around. Her fears and worries. Marriage was normal, yet how many men would use her connections and bloodline for wicked ends? She had seen the impact of this. Her browline narrowed. She would not let him win, nor would she permit him to control her any longer.

"Domina, we have arrived," The servant said. Silently she accepted his hand and stepped out of the litter. She entered the home, followed by her faithful personal slave who was entrusted to care for all her needs. The girl was friendly, yet, no doubt the slave had been threatened to reveal any secrets she may have had. It did not take long before she was admitted into the office of her cousin's husband. She gazed around the room. She had talked to Cornelia before, at length. When their grandmother passed she found out more about their family, and herself.

"Cousin," She breathed when Cornelia entered the room. She approached and greeted her with an embrace, a kiss on either of her cheeks. She glanced down and saw the widening of her cousin's body, the telltale signs of pregnancy. Her own stomach was bloated, her skin reddened and irritated. All signs of a woman in the early part of her cycle. Claudia was eager to find a solution yet did not wish to be rude. "Are you well, cousin?" She asked.

Cornelia Scipionis

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we can't have nice things

Claudia Caesaris early 68

Cornelia's irritability soon melted away as the younger girl greeted her fondly. Before her aunt had slipped into the coma prior to the gods leading her to the underworld, Annthea had made her promise to watch over her youngest granddaughters. As she would have, had her health given her the chance. Especially those in the reaches of the bastard Ursus. And so she promised. "Dear Claudia" She said as she kissed both of the girl's flushed cheeks. She silenced herself as the slaves came in with food and wine, placing them down on a table.. She waved the servants away with a delicate hand, her pale blue eyes raking over her cousin's daughter.

Claudia had grown beautiful, came the thought followed with the knowledge that Lucilla would have been proud. However, there was something different about her. Something had changed. The childish youth had been seeming washed away, and at first she worried that perhaps she had failed in her task but the tell-all signs were there that the only change was that her younger cousin was no longer a girl. Instead, nature had made her a woman. She bit back her sigh as she took a seat, waving her hand to over the other to do the same.

"As well as to be expected. Pregnancy and I have never been on amicable terms, " She began with a bit of cheek, "And if this one is anything like your grandmother, I will have my hands full." Oh she was certain it was a girl. Even if her mother in law had the delusion that it was another boy. "What of you, dear Claudia?" She questioned, wondering what exactly had brought the young woman to her. Why she hadn't been summoned to the palace instead.

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Claudia smiled at the tender feel of the kisses on her cheeks. It felt good to be in the presence of her kin, a reassuring touch. If the Gods were kind this conversation would go well. It would not be suspicious for her to go visit a family member alone. Although, there were times when she suspected that he had managed to sway her staff to his cause. Long had she realised the necessary need for not only discretion, but to keep her own thoughts private as possible. She followed the heavily pregnant Cornelia into a room where servants brought them food and wine. It was expected, Cornelia was a gracious hostess and she a well-connected relation. She sat when she had been invited to do so, still unsure of herself and the confidence in what she had come to do. Her heart fluttered in her chest, full of anticipation, and desire for what may come.

She listened when Cornelia answered her question and nodded politely. It was not like her to be rude, although her thoughts were focused elsewhere. She nodded in acknowledgement when Cornelia began to tell her about her musings over the gender of the child. She smiled softly, hoped that her cousin would not be offended by her rudeness. When she was asked, a courtier's glance from side to side showed her that the servants were gone. They were alone. Did she finally own her tongue?

"I, I,-" She began, took a second to have another look around the room to ensure they were alone. Her grandmother told her that Cornelia could be trusted. There was no reason for her to hide anymore. "I am well, cousin," She answered, a lie and mostly skilled except for the tremor at the start and a slight fidget of her hands.

"Am I able to discuss... er.... women's matters with you?"

 

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