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Lucius Junius Silanus

Newly Acquainted (Cl. Corinthia)

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Continued from Before it Begins...
 

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Corinthia was not sure what she thought of him. Warily her gaze moved up and down, her posture was at ease and she could see her mother peeking behind the plant to observe them. She sighed and gestured with an open palm out to the gathered crowd of people.

"It seems she may be hiding from you," She replied tartly. The reality of her situation was that she would need to marry. The sooner the better. Gods.. the better ranked, the better. Without it she would not be able to rise in the world.

Now if only her mother's name would not hinder her.

"Claudia Corinthia, and... may I ask your name?" She asked politely. It could not hurt to train when it came to mingling with people. There were others here who would be far less interesting. Around them there was the commotion of the arrival of the Imperial family. Corinthia glanced upwards in their direction with a frown. Her mother thought highly of them yet she did not. They had power and position. Both things that should have been hers by right.



Claudia Corinthia was a name Lucius knew, and he knew it made her the daughter of Claudia Gaia, the widow of Manius Glabrio, nephew to Claudius Caesar and at one time marked for imperial prominence. Which meant that, in her own way, Claudia Corinthia was a part of the greater imperial family. Before he could respond with his own self-introduction, the arrival of Caesar and his immediate family demanded the attention of all the guests. Caesar was direct in his approach - waving to those gathered and giving them thanks for attending before the minglers once again mingled.

Lucius returned his attention to the young Claudia Corinthia. "I am Lucius Junius Silanus, son of Marcus, nephew to the late Decimus, and head of the Junii-Silani."


Claudia Corinthia

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If this had of gone as they should. She would have been a princess of Rome. Corinthia glared up at them, realised where she was and softened her facial expressions. She forced herself to smile and unfortunately it did not quite reach her eyes. Her eyes lit up at the name. The Junii-Silanii. At one point, a member of their family could have become the wife of Junus, and while they had endured a lot. They remained an ancient and prominent family.

"Well, you are certainly well-connected," She praised him, she whispered politely and her gaze lingered on the Imperial family. If only she had a way to rise to their position. Power, prestige, and the ability to strike at those people who dared to hurt her. Corinthia gave him a slow, sideward glance and gave him a genuine smile.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Lucius." She answered. A slave walked past with many goblets on a platter and she lifted one. Unfortunately, she accidentally knocked one off that managed to spill the wine on Lucius' toga. Her eyes widened in surprise, her long fingers rubbed the stain and clicked her fingers at the slave. "Cloth! Something to dry him!" She hissed under her breath, then turned to Lucius, her cheeks flushed.

"Pardon, I did not mean to."

Lucius Junius Silanus

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Lucius could detect small hints of a strong character within Claudia Corinthia - simply from the way her expression changed from hard and calculating to practiced and relaxed from moment to moment.

He simply smiled and nodded as she commented on the connections of his family, and followed her eyes as they led both of their minds away from the conversation at hand and to the imperial family. Lucius was not so close to the center of power as others might think, but he wouldn't willingly have anyone think otherwise.

"The pleasure is all mine, Claudia Corinthia," he said in turn. Not a moment later, all the smoothness that he had planned on unleashing on her - he was to win a bet after all - came crashing down like so many goblets of wine onto the floor, and his toga. He instictively reacted, moving back from the spill, but not quickly enough. His pristine toga was very thoroughly stained with pristine wine.

For his part, Lucius decided to laugh it off. "I'm not sure whether your eyes or the slave's were wider in surprise," he chuckled, taking the towel as it was brought to him. He dabbed it across his chest where the liquid had begun to soak, taking some from the fabric with each application of pressure. "But it is quite alright. What's a part without a little spilled wine, eh?"

He handed off the cloth and the slave immediately scurried away. "Though, I could use some wine now, I think... preferably to drink."


Claudia Corinthia

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Corinthia smiled politely and remembered that a woman was supposed to be helpful, right? She took (near yanked!) the cloth from Lucius' hand after he had begun to do the same, and began to use it to clean the wine from his toga. Mostly he had been the one to dry it. "Apologies," She said, the word was foreign and rarely used by her tongue. "Let me make it up to you," Corinthia continued, as soon as she was done, the cloth was soon handed back on the slave's platter. Her dark eyes focused on Lucius' own.

She did not often indulge in wine. While Corinthia often said it was because she did not wish to be like her mother, in truth, the liquid soon had her head swimming. Still, it would not do for her not to make a show of it.

"Yes, a drink would certainly help," She said, raised her hand and soon a fresh goblet was in her hand with another being presented to him. "I must admit that it brought some colour to your otherwise 'plain' toga," Corinthia continued, the only signs of jest being a slight twitch to the side of her lips and her eyes narrowed. She knew it was costly to have such a white shade.

"Now, what it is that we were speaking about?" Corinthia asked. It had been about his connections. While she knew, it did not hurt to see who he would bring up -- or if he would remember.

Lucius Junius Silanus

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Lucius hadn't expected Corinthia to take the cloth from him and do her own dabbing against the spill. Then he immediately thought of his bet, and turned his head to dart his eyes across the hall. He had hoped to catch Longinus' attention, but alas he was chatting up a party of three women - so far into winning their wager that he quite possibly had forgotten he was even in one.

As Corinthia spoke of more wine and presented him with another goblet, Lucius returned his attention to where it belonged: on her. She asked what the had been speaking of, and in all honestly they hadn't really talked about much at that point.

"Something about how my sixth cousin was once married to your eighth cousin, and they're both descended from Venus..." he paused to take a sip of wine. "Or something to that effect," and then flashed a smile.

"Are you living in the city, Corinthia? May I call you Corinthia?"


Claudia Corinthia

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She wondered what it was that Lucius kept glancing towards. Her gaze followed his, there was Longinus accompanied by three beautiful women and she wondered which one he would stare at. Corinthia was completely unaware of the bet that had been made, unsure about what would eventually happen and that was part of the excitement. Her browline narrowed briefly in frustration yet this could be a chance for her. If she could marry well... perhaps she would lose the stain of her father? He was so, so close to the Imperial throne.

"Oh yes, of course," She smiled and let out a courtier's laugh. Her insecurity at times blinded her to her paternal familial connections she retained. Manius nearly became Caesar. He was so, so close.

Corinthia sipped her wine and listened when he asked where she lived. Perhaps he wished to visit her sometime? "We have a home in the city itself," She began, in a not so subtle way of reminding him that her family had wealth. "Yet the villa just outside Rome is where I reside. And yes, you may call me Corinthia." She answered sweetly, now she had to return the favour.

"And what about you? May I call your Lucius or would you prefer something more formal?"

Lucius Junius Silanus

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He smiled at her answer - a house in the city proper and a villa outside its walls. It seemed that - despite the shade thrown on Corinthia's particular line of Claudians, they had money. Lucius didn't entirely know the full details of what had happened to her father Manius, only that he had - for some political reason - been ousted from the succession. Some of the rumors he had heard spoke to his desire to marry Gaia and not a woman of traditional Roman nobility... but looking at Corinthia before him, the only thing remotely "un-Roman" about her was her second name, at least to him.

"Lucius is fine," he said in kind. "I wouldn't think to be so formal with a woman who's already spilled wine on me and patted it off," he added with a quick chuckle before returning the subject to her family's villa.

"Are you a lady who prefers a more peaceful, natural surrounding, as opposed to the hustle and noise of the city?" There were many nobles who did. Lucius, too, had been in the countryside outside of the city until recently. He honestly preferred it, but it was better for his public image to be with the public.


Claudia Corinthia

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Corinthia smiled and at first stiffened when Lucius answered her. Was he mocking her? She smiled, giggled and hoped the latter part was not a hint at her doing anything else. The only way her legs would part would be for marriage -- and the status and wealth that came with it. "Lucius it is then," She answered, sipped her wine and gazed at him over the expensive goblet with her dark eyes. Completely unaware of the bet.

Now this was a mixed bag. She was unsure what the 'proper' answer was. Corinthia disliked how her mother was obsessed with her villa in the privacy of the country and yet, the city was where the people of Rome were. The same annoying people who were known for how fickle they were. She gave a small shrug, lowered the goblet and saw out of the corner of her eye. Her mother was still watching her -- while stuffing her face was some time of sweet. Corinthia exhaled irritably and focused on Lucius.

"Both have charm," She answered, neutrally. "There is something special about the city itself, and the villas can get quite large. We," She continued, naturally claimed her mother's assets as her own. "also have a villa in Greece. Have you spent much time there?" Corinthia asked, added in the family wealth and unfortunately could not drop any names in. Silently she hoped that he would not think about how her mother was originally from Greece, and the situation of her marriage would be brought up.

Lucius Junius Silanus

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"Greece is a part of the empire I have not yet managed to spend much time in," he said. Lucius knew that there was a connection with Corinthia's family and Greece - it was evident simply because of her name - but for all the rumors, he didn't know the truth of the matter, and so he left the point alone. "I've heard it is a beautiful, if not somewhat rough country. But, most things of any worth have rough spots to further accent the beauty." Lucius paused to take a drink.

"Most of my time outside of Rome has been spent in Britannia."

 

@Gothic

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Corinthia listened and had to focus on her goal rather than his words. Unsure whether or not he was making pointed comments about her. Comparing her to the country or perhaps to some feature he found pleasing. She let it slip for a moment. Corinthia was so used to trying to decipher people's words she tended to assume that they were all insulting her. 

"Perhaps sometime you will visit the villa in Greece to see the country?" She offered. It did not matter that it was her mother's villa, not her own. Eventually it would be hers and that was what mattered. Britannia. She heard that place was building up and slowly becoming closer to being a proper Roman province. Despite that, she did not wish to ever visit that dreadful place. Corinthia remembered that he was there? Something to do with Decimus Junius Silanus and instantly cursed herself for not being fully aware. 

"Fortunately you are back in proper civilisation now."

@Chris

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Lucius chuckled lightly. "Yes, fortunate indeed." Fortune was a funny word. It was fortuna who led Decimus Silanus' slave Scaevo to betray him, which then led to Lucius' own decision to kill the slave. Though misfortune for Decimus, that event had set in motion a series of events that ultimately built Lucius into the man that he was, and gave him the opportunities he had. Who knew what might have happened had Decimus survived and been a player in the power struggles that came shortly after his death? Even still, from a certain light it was fortunate that he was again in Rome. Britannia was in his past, and Lucius had no plans to return as a magistrate in charge of civilizing the Britons.

"I would love to visit the villa," he said, picking up the invitation, however real or superfluous it might have been. "Tell me where and when to go and I'll see you there," he added with a grin.  He paused for a drink and then turned the conversation back around to focus on her. "Tell me Corinthia, are you still unmarried?" He presumed as much with her being unaccompanied at such a function.

@Gothic

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Corinthia was a little surprised that he had agreed so quickly. It was difficult for her to tell whether he was making it in jest or not. She decided that he might be serious and why not? She had breeding (paternal anyway) and wealth. She raised a dark eyebrow at him, slowly she smirked and had to admit that she enjoyed his boldness. A trait she also shared.

"The villa outside Rome? I typically reside there. As for the one in Greece, July... and I will expect to receive a gift when you arrive." She answered, sipped her wine and glared at her mother as Gaia showed her excitement while being half-hidden from behind one of the decorative plants. Corinthia steadily observed his face when he asked if she was unmarried. She was on the older side of marriage. Likely to still be fertile yet many noble women were married far younger than she was. 

"I am, you see, the right man has not yet come along.... breeding, strength, courage," She leaned close to him. "The proper display of virtus." Corinthia continued. Ignored the fact that there were likely other reasons. "And you? Are you unmarried?" 

@Chris

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Lucius smiled slyly when she so boldly told him when to meet her and what she expected. He wondered what sort of gift would wow a woman such as she. Having a villa in Greece was enough to sway most any noblewoman from Italia - what else could she desire? It was something Lucius made a mental note of to discuss with her further.

As she looked away only briefly, Lucius did the same in an attempt to find his party-goer-partner, Longinus, but in the spot where the man had been standing and speaking with a woman who'd seemed far too old to be a bachelorette there was only empty space. The sly dog, Lucius thought.

And then, Corinthia commented on her own unmarried status. "All important traits," Lucius agreed. "I, too, am unmarried. To be honest I have been away from Rome more than home the past several years and with my mind on so many other things, I haven't until recently put my mind to the prospect of marriage. As you say - there are many things to look for. So much that some say it's preferable to enjoy the single life and... sample the flavors, as it were." The last sentence was a comment on Longinus, but also an attempt to see if Corinthia would reveal how promiscuous she was, if at all.

@Gothic 

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Corinthia smiled politely. Unmarried? She noticed the question and could not help but take note of it. Perhaps it was her mother's reputation that worked against her? She had no wish to leave the hint unanswered nor give him reason to believe she would part her legs for anyone. Oh no, Corinthia was far too ambitious for that. "Sample the flavours?" She asked, a hint of taunting in her tone and a dark, well-groomed eyebrow rose. "Tsk tsk, why would you wish to be somewhere that many others had come before you?" She questioned, it was not uncommon for married women to look elsewhere while their husbands were occupied elsewhere. It did not matter to Corinthia that she was shading her mother among their number. 

"Now," She began, her long fingers moved to elegantly touch between her breasts to linger on her heart. The place the marriage ring would connect to in virtuous women. "I would choose to be married in virtue," Corinthia smiled, a rare occurrence and she gazed up at him. "Only if the man was worthwhile and of good virtue. I have no interest in a coward." She added, dared him. Was it him? Could it be him?

No doubt Caesar and his wife would keep an eye on any of the marriages that took place in Rome. Many of the families would connect and ally with each other. Still, she had to wonder whether he would be interested in the possibility. 

@Chris

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Lucius took note of her tone, and her playfulness in response as he listened, watched, and smirked. His eyes followed the movement of her fingers as they touched to her chest, and then forced his eyes to look up. Virtue was a strong word, and an important one to the Romans that held a number of meanings - it was the summation of a man's manliness, his courage, his valor, and the way in which he conducted himself. Pater Familias at such a young age, having rebuilt his family's home with his own wealth, having served in the British wars to great acclaim - Lucius had no doubts of his growing virtus... though he also recognized that he was still young in the grand scheme of things.

"No," his eyes quickly flicked back down to her hand before returning to her eyes, "I don't think a cowardly man could tame you." He smiled softly and then took a sip of his wine. "I, would need a wife who is as ambitious as she is loyal. Who would work with me to strengthen my career, to further my name, and of course to give me sons." All things traditionally expected of a wife. "But also, to challenge me and push me beyond my own limitations." Lucius appreciated strong women. He wasn't sure if it was the challenge, but something about a strong woman was almost intoxicating to him.

At this point, he had totally lost track of the bet with Longinus. His mind had moved past that petty gamble.

@Gothic

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Her dark eyebrow rose at the comment of taming her. Fortunately she managed to hold her tongue while he sipped his wine and continued to tell him what sort of wife he was currently looking for. Slowly Corinthia began to give the slightest of nods as he told her the list of desires he had in a wife. All of those things made a lot of sense. Each point was a traditional virtue for a wife. Corinthia was unsure how fertile she was, and had always tried to force down any desires unless she turn into her mother. Corinthia was passionate, driven and determined to gain her place in the world. That was something she would absolutely give any husband she had. 

"All important traits to have in a wife," She began, her eyes glistened as she held his gaze steadily and softened it by occasionally blinking her gaze. "I hope to challenge my husband into achieving the highest possible honours to him." Corinthia approved, stepped closer to him and sipped the wine from her goblet. She was careful, in order to survive under the various changes, she needed to be. First Darius, then the Co-Caesars, the overly ambitious dictator, Clemens, and now the Flavi-Alexandrone Caesar. Hints and promises were her weapon. Always able to be passed off as something else if need be. Her gaze moved towards Quintus Caesar, the current Augustus as he stood with his family and then back at Lucius. Corinthia hoped he would get her meaning without words needing to be spoken. 

"And do you think you have found a worthy candidate for the position of wife?" She teased. 

 

@Chris

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Lucius wasn't sure if it was the wine or simply the chemistry sparking between himself and Corinthia that flushed a wave of energy through him as she moved closer. She spoke without uttering a word. He grinned and took a sip of his wine.

"It is possible that I just might have," he said, careful to answer as ambiguously as possible so as to return the tease. In a traditional sense, Corinthia came from a family with a somewhat clouded past - on account of the rise and precipitous fall of her parents. Even still, she remained a Claudian and was in some way connected to that great house. The Junii-Silani, for that matter, had their own blurred past. Great-grandfathers and uncles to Lucius had been tried for treason, some killed and some pardoned. What did it matter in the end?

Just then, the dastardly Longinus reared in - far too drunk and shameful to be of any help to Lucius. He flailed in, bouncing off Lucius and almost falling into Corinthia before Lucius caught the man and pulled him upright.

"Ohh, ss-Lusis," Longinus slurred.

Lucius flashed a smile to Corinthia. "What in Hades' name are you doing man? Have you drained the entire stock?"

"No. Yar-uh. Maybe. I need ss-some air."

Lucius quickly placed himself as a brace for Longinus and looked to Corinthia. "Deepest apologies, domina. I shall hope to speak with you again, if not tonight, then another night soon." Longinus began to fall and Lucius stood him back up and walked out of the main hall as smoothly as possible.

Once they had reached a balcony with fresh air, Longinus burst into a roaring laughter.

"You'd fall for anything, Silanus," he gasped, somehow managing to fit words between laughter and sucking in air.

"You son of a whore," Lucius spat, and for the sake of decorum and rank held back a punch he desperately wanted to throw. "Where do you get off-"

"I saw you were going to win the bet," Longinus interjected. "Didn't say anything about interruptions beforehand, so I thought I'd take matters into my own hands."

Lucius couldn't help but laugh. "I'd kill you here if they wouldn't throw me off Tarp for treason."

"You'd miss me too much," Longinus chuckled and then suggested they go find some drinks. Lucius followed his commander and friend, but all the while couldn't get the thought of Corinthia far from his mind...

finis

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