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Though the year had technically started months prior, Quintus always considered March and the coming of spring to be the true start to the year's activities. Anything before then was simply time to prepare... which he had done a lot of. From speaking with his brother Octavius in person, to his brother Jullus - on the Rhine frontier - via couriers, a great plan of expansion was underway. It would be some time until it all came to fruition, but Quintus was growing ever more restless. His whole life he had been the sort of man to be on the move, travelling somewhere to take care of a problem and exert his dominance.

In his years he had met several men who claimed that their wives had dampened their restless spirits; Quintus had been able to claim just the opposite. Previous wives had only served to keep him away from home longer... but Drusilla was different. Young and beautiful she certainly was, but there was an almost inexplicable trait to her calming demeanor and wise mind that Quintus found absolutely fascinating. It went beyond lust or love or any sort of word that he could find to describe it - and it was a trait that had flowed into the blood of their young son Drusus.

The boy was at times equal parts fool and savant - as all boys tended to be - but there were moments where he said something truly mystical or surprising that simply stopped Quintus in his tracks. Never an overly religious man in his personal life, the only explanation he had for it was that the blood of Augustus running through them both truly did have divine qualities.

"Tata," Drusus emerged from the bushes of the garden, covered in dirt and small cuts from the sharper-leaved flora. "Tata, look!"

Quintus leaned up from his chair, where he had been enjoying the warmth of the sun (for the first time in too long). His eyes narrowed in on whatever creature the boy was holding between his arms.

Sparing his father the trouble, Drusus shouted: "It's a kitten! There's a whole litter of them!" His voice was beyond excited. "Where's Mamma? I need to tell her." And the boy scurried away, the kitten squirming vigorously in his arms.

For his part, Quintus stood to investigate this new family of felines that had invaded the imperial garden...

Julia Drusilla


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